Feb 16, 2009, 10:56 AM
Post #1 of 21
Parachute Landing Falls. This was the basic part of the 1st jump coarse when using a T-10 and Front mounted reserves back in the 70's jumping off plat forms and demonstrating you could do a PLF. The good part is that it stays with you from then on, in case you need it. After you made a number of jumps you were encouraged to pull down on on the rear risers just as you land and do a " stand up ". That was accomplished if you had a good spot and a just right into the wind landing. Who says those were the good ole days??
Tony I'm surprised at you. Those WERE the good ol days in as much as back then we were trained for every type of problem or situation one could get himself into. These days the most difficult thing a person has to know how to do in order to keep jumping is pull out a credit card.
There were five of us in my first jump class, which lasted 2 1/2 hours. An hour of which consisted of learning PLF's off of a four foot high platfrom. Forward right and left, and the same backwards. Which were more important because Double L's most always went backwards!
I taught PLFs off of a 55 gallon drum labeled for poison complete with skull and crossbones. All part of the BSBD bravado.
I remember pulling on my rear risers to put the pressurized area into the unmodified panels away from the slots. There was a recent thread of firsts requiring beer. The first first was usually your first stand-up. Sometimes it was preceded by your first freefall. However... BEER!
You are totally right in saying that "it stays with you". Many is the time that i have either tripped on something or caught a toe while swooping and the PLF mentality kicks in. People always come to ask me if I'm allright after the tumble, and I always am. All that practice (3 sessions at old Antioch DZ) still pays off.
I did my static line course in the S A Army in 1974 (I still remember the dinosaurs watching as we trained.... For a week we practiced everything over and over, including PLF's in every conceivable direction - left, right, forwards, backwards, then from a platform, then from a ladder etc.)
It NEVER leaves you, and a good PLF has on at least one occasion saved me from serious injury. (Nothing like arriving in a spectacular cloud of dust on an unmodified round, standing up and saying "that was a good jump!" to the amazed onlookers....
Although I did my First Jump course in May 1992, somehow, I found (not intentional) as DZ that still used T-10s. It was at Skydive East in NJ. We had 30 people in the first jump course split between 2 Instructors, Doug Angel and Dick Lee. We PLFed for hours, as it was a pretty hot day. That landing hurt like heck despite doing a good PLF. Over 90 degree heat on a T-10 coming almost straight down. Harry, the ground instructor, was real serious about making sure our legs were squeezed together and we were looking out at the horizon. I remember there were 3 leg injuries on that day. I did 5 more T-10 jumps before moving to AFF at UPC.
I did all my PLF's on a 28' 7T/U in the early 60's. I could do them well as it was necessary to avoid broken stuff. I get a kick today when I see someone do a high speed downind, crash, roll thru the lines in a quadriple somersalt while an observer hollers "good plf" They don't really have a clue. It's not their fault tho as we usually came in backwards, and thats a lot easier. However, I certainly will take todays landings over those "good" plf's of the past.
When I worked construction I worked with a guy who was an old para-trooper. He said he had one nasty fall. He figured his PLF training is what allowed him to walk away from that.
The army really drilled PLF's into your head. We did them every day for three weeks.
I don't know how anyone can learn a PLF with only an hours practice. I think that was one reason our jump club had so many injuries in the 70's. There just wasn't enough PLF practice. It wasn't unusual for a small skydiving class to have at least one broken leg or ankle....
Oh wow... Bully went down some Christmas seasons ago while hanging Christmas lights and decorations on the roof. He didn't walk away from that one so I guess he didn't PLF.
I got cut off on final at Perris once and had to land cross down wind on the runway. My PLF included me rolling up in the lines and then unrolling myself to get clear. I was asked what the heck kind of landing that was. I replied it was a P.L.F. He then asked,,,
I received my Instructor's rating at an ICC at Pelicanland in Ridgely, MD in 1971 or 1972. Everyone taught PLFs then because the rigs we used were mostly modified military surplus 28' canopies. Landings were almost always hard and bruising. Standing up was next to impossible... and stupid.
One of the guys presenting during the course was Caesar Aguilar. During his presentation on how to teach PLFs someone raised their hand and asked, "What should we teach people about landings on roofs or buildings?" The class burst into laughter.
Without missing a beat Caesar said, "Tell them to do a good PLF and immediately prepare to do another."
Geez that's low. I used to think the smoke jumpers at 800 were awful low. One of my partners, a fromer Army Ranger jumped into the airport at night when they went after Noriega- He learned afterwards- jump run was at about 350', at about cruising speed, from the C130. Said with the gear he had he was not in the air very long... and landing separation was 'good'... any Rangers out there to confirm?