Forums: Community: Skydivers with Disabilities:
Landings.. how hard, how fast?



Dec 22, 2008, 10:12 AM
Post #1 of 4 (2732 views)
Landings.. how hard, how fast? Can't Post

Hello i am Joanne.

I have just joined this site to find out a few questions about skydiving and was hoping you guys who actually jump could help me?

What are the landings like? Is it like jumping off the roof of a house, off a chair, off a wall, a step? Also is it very fast? When you come in do you land with 2 feet and stop or do you fall on to 1 foot then start running?

I have read up but have not found an answer - it says you have to be able to jump of a wall at 6ft and run between 0-15mph. Surely if you jumped of a 6ft wall and tried to run at the same time it would be impossible?

i have looked at videos and it seems like it isn't that hard but have never jumped so i wouldn't know?

I ask this because i have bad knee's but would like to take up the sport.
I see there are a lot of people who have worse injury's but skydive which i think is fantastic.

Many thanks to you all

BillyVance  (D 18895)

Dec 22, 2008, 11:19 AM
Post #2 of 4 (2699 views)
Re: [joanne123] Landings.. how hard, how fast? [In reply to] Can't Post

There are way too many variables - size of canopy, wingloading, wind speed vs canopy speed, whether you're flying against the wind or with it, etc.

As a student, you'll generally get a big slow canopy to work with and very low winds to jump in. No safety-conscious instructor is going to send a student up in winds over a certain amount, I'd have to look it up but I believe the limit is 12 mph. If you're facing the wind, say 10 mph wind, and your canopy flies say 15 mph forward speed, you're going about 5 mph ground speed, which when flared properly, probably means an easy two step landing. If there's zero wind, then you may be running the landing out a bit. If you make a mistake and land in the direction the wind blows - 10 mph + your canopy's 15 mph = 25 mph ground speed, your best bet is to PLF or slide it in.

How hard a landing is depends on your flare. If you don't flare at all, your downward speed stays constant and you will thump the ground somewhat. Flare too high, and your canopy stops descending momentarily and then drops you to the ground. Hope you're not too high when that happens.

Hope this gives you an idea...

(This post was edited by BillyVance on Dec 22, 2008, 11:19 AM)

Chubba  (A 10160)

Dec 23, 2008, 2:37 AM
Post #3 of 4 (2667 views)
Re: [joanne123] Landings.. how hard, how fast? [In reply to] Can't Post

I got really bad knee's/ankles.

A good landing is literally softer then walking.

Believe me though, you WILL make mistakes and you WILL land hard, this is where a pristine PLF comes in.

mdrejhon  (C 3268)

Dec 31, 2008, 11:28 AM
Post #4 of 4 (2611 views)
Re: [joanne123] Landings.. how hard, how fast? [In reply to] Can't Post

A bad landing would be like jumping off a 6 foot wall and attempting running at the same time, then stumbling... manageable with a PLF without injury.

A very good landing is like stepping off the last step of a stairs, onto the top of a pillow.

Worse landings can be worse, but I've never had anything more than just merely a 'bad landing'. Yet?

Be prepared for all kinds of landings. Learn your landings well, so that almost all the time, the landing is more like the latter. Also some dropzones use student parachutes that will land a little bit harder than others -- like a well-jumped old student canopy versus a new student canopy. Instructor teachings vary a lot from dropzone to dropzone. Radio equipment quality varies. At very light loadings like 0.5-0.6 like I started on, you will have some slight thump to your landings (vertical force) but very forgiving of landing errors like low turns. Similiar to jumping off a chair or kitchen table, on average. This can still be a problem for knees for some though, so bear this in mind. However, at some typical student wingloadings of 0.7 at different dropzones, depending on dropzone, it can be possible to zero your vertical velocity before you touch the ground, even on Jump #001. But the error margin for a botched landing can be less at higher wingloadings on first jumps, leading to worse knee injury. That said, dropzones havingbrand new canopies at at 0.7 might appeal to you -- but the instructors there might be as good as a different dropzone using slightly older gear that's bigger, and give you safer landings over there. You might also want to ask for extra flare-altitude tutoring (and give the instructor an extra $20 tip if he does a good job) -- flaring too high or too low will be a problem for your knees.

Just try to get the best package deal you can -- good instructors, good gear, tons of landing area (farmland dropzones with lots of grassy places and meadows), places where the dirt is soft rather than hard ground and few obstacles to worry about -- it will help a skydiver with "special needs".

Then other dropzones are a piece of cake once you've purchased the right gear that you know how to land reliably and softly, and know how to judge wind conditions, temperature, density altitude, etc. (Try the Pilot canopy maybe -- Although I fly a Sabre, that canopy has a reputation for being pillow soft -- gentle openings, gentle landings, easy to learn, easy to reliably land softly)

(This post was edited by mdrejhon on Dec 31, 2008, 11:34 AM)

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