What didn't you understand?......nothing personal, o.k.? Here's how I read the above:
He likes the canopy....he's jumped one, and would jump it again.
He doesn't think it would be good for someone with few jumps (like me or Viking).
He is upset because he perceives that Atair and other manufacturers are targeting newbies in the sport, because we really don't know much about anything. We are easily taken advantage of, because we know pretty much nothing about gear. We are easily taken to the hospital, too, and he's just trying to look out for us.
He'd like to see us learn how to fly with canopies that are solid, predictable, and controllable with little or no experience.
He has his opinion. It was well stated. I appreciate the advice. And from what I have seen, he's pretty correct in the marketing tactics (nothing personal, Cobalt Dan).
I have no clue as to what to buy. The first canopy I could identify (and still the only one) is the Cobalt, because of it's distinctive double diamond. It flies well, and looks like something I will want to try out in about 150 jumps. But not yet.
Until then, I rely on more experienced jumpers, their opinions, and their guidance. I will not buy something because it is cool, or because my friends have one. I will buy what is appropriate to my skill level, whether I am color coordinated or not, whether I am fashionable or not, or whether it is the lastest style or not.
I am new. I need good, solid advice. I will take it where I can get it. I want to sky dive for a long, long time, and I am solid sure that I will eventually become skilled enough to handle a fully elliptical canopy. But not yet.
Please take this in the manner it is offered - it is not meant as as an attack, o.k.?
ciel bleu- Michele
"What of the dreams that never die? Turn to your left at the end of the sky". ~e e cummings~
There is another way to downsize and be safe.I call it start big make as many jumps as you can and downsize over a few years.I could name a few jumpers on this forum that have been jumping for almost two years and have not made the 100 jump mark and think they are ready for a smaller canopy.
I'm one of those low time jumpers who is in no hurry to downsize. I'm jumping a 210 Silhouette loaded about 1:1 ... With just 102 jumps under my belt (50 in the past year), there is no bloody way I am in a hurry to get a smaller canopy. The advice I was given by some high-timers at my DZ is to put 300/400 jumps on my canopy, learn everything there is to know about it, and learn how to fly it - SAFELY - before trying to get into a higher wing loading. I've never even SEEN a Cobalt canopy, but from what I've read in this forum over the past few months, they are at the top end of performance... you need to be a very skilled canopy pilot to fly something like that safely.
-First of all Craddock,how many jumps do you have? A lot less than you
-I am a very current canopy pilot.I do not think of myself as a hot shit skygod canopy pilot. I have asked before and received conflicting answers on what a "skygod" is. Could you elaborate?
-I have done things and made jumps by parachute that most of you will sadly never have the chance to do. I would love to hear more. Your references are vague and leave me with many questions. You must have some cool stories with your experiences! -.Does a low time jumper have what it takes to handle a problem at a 1.4 loading within 50-100 feet of the ground? Depends on what you consider a "low time jumper" and of course the individual themselves. Some are more apt to handle these kind of situations. It is not that hard to teach canopy control, but it is hard for some to learn. It is usually panic that hurts/kills. Even the best student who knows everything on paper may not stand a chance in a real world situation, but that does not mean that we need profile every "low timer" on ??? standards.
-If you answer anything but no,you should not be giving advice on this forum. It is not a yes or no question.
-What happens when another jumper on a slower canopy drops in front of you and you have to avoid running into him? Go around, over or under!
-A low timer does not have what it takes in most cases to handle an event like this. Exactly my point. "in most cases"
-I have seen a few get out of it and I have seen a few crash and burn.Some of the low timers I have watched that did walk away were under a lightly loaded main.The ones under a higher loading did not do so well.Why you ask? No
Spectre230, I really meant no disrespect. I am one of those who started jumping high performance mains as soon as I could and flew them very aggressively right from the start. I realize that this is not for everybody, but it ticks me off when "low time jumpers" are told that they are foolish for what they want to jump. Now obviously it is not a good idea to have 50 jump wonders flying at ultra high wing loadings, but I do not like to sterotype jumpers at any level. I know jumpers with thousands of jumps that would hurt themselves on canopies some are jumping early on. It is so individual. There was a time (way before I started jumping) when the Sabre was considered High Performance and what did they recomend at that time as far as experiance? See how times change. As far as the Cobalt is concerned, I disagree a little on your assesment of its performance. My feelings are that you need to go down a size or two(higher wing loading) to have the same speed compared to most canopies. I Have jumped the 75 and the 95. I do not feel that the 95 was any faster than my 107 Stiletto that I had been jumping since my first year. It is hard for me to say for sure as I had not jumped for months before demoing the 95 and when spring came up here in the northland I had already sold my Stiletto. The cg is further back which is why it needs to be loaded heavier. The new Xaos is simuler in that regard. I am also very sick and stuck on the ground this weekend so excuse me if I come off like an ass! J
Aug 18, 2001, 3:55 PM
Post #9 of 39
One's in from the South West..........Continue One.....Cleared Hot One........One's Off hot.....Two put your bombs 200 meters south of ones shack...Two's in from the North...Continue two.......Cleared hot two....Good bombs Two. Continue with immediate reattack......
It's gonna get warm in here.
"I've got pieces of corn in my crap bigger than him" -Fat Bastard
Spec I'm with ya on the canopy choice errors. I see this all the time. I have 73 free falls.( So I really dont know shit but I ain't stupid either) I jump a PD 190 9 cell main. Not exactly what you would call a "High Performance" canopy...LOL I do load it fairly heavy at 1.28:1. This canopy is very docile in a lot of respects but let me assure you, I'm positive I could kill myself if I hooked it too low. It's a canopy I feel very comfortable under. I can stop it on a dime in a backyard if I have to or I can take a hand full of riser and do a very fast(to me that is) swoop. I think that I happen to be a better than average canopy pilot for my experience. I have gotten some very nice comments at the DZ. The one that really stuck out was a time I followed two other jumpers (Several 100 jumps a piece at least) into a back yard. The first question they asked was "How many jumps do you have?" I think it was 38 or so( I was on a Falcon 235 then). They were impressed by my canopy control. It made me feel good. Point is...I'm jumping a PD 190 9 cell at 1.28:1 at 73 jumps. I see far too many people IMHO that are jumping HP canopies that have less jumps than me. Do they do allright most of the time. Sure, but I always wonder what will happen in a backyard someday. There seems to be an attitude that you cant swoop anything that isnt eliptical. My humble opinion is that if you cant swoop a Yugo you sure as hell shouldn't be trying to swoop a Ferrari.
P.S. I have seen a swoop under an MC-4 XX. Well...of course the guy was about 350 lbs....but that still only makes it a 1.1 load or so.
"I've got pieces of corn in my crap bigger than him" -Fat Bastard
Oh yeah...I'm there with currency too. I wont be doing much jumping over the winter. I hate jumping when it's cold. Some resentment I still carry from the military. I just refuse to jump when it's uncomfortable. The uneasyness I felt after my last 6 month break is still a very vivd memory. Yet another reason I have the canopy I do. I know damn well I'm going to get pretty non-current over the winter and I only do 5 or 6 jumps a week anyway. I like to walk away from these.
"I've got pieces of corn in my crap bigger than him" -Fat Bastard
>There seems to be an attitude that you cant swoop anything >that isnt eliptical. My humble opinion is that if you cant >swoop a Yugo you sure as hell shouldn't be trying to swoop >a Ferrari.
True, very true I must say.I know , and my instructors know that I fly quite aggressively (yeah, that Navigator 260!),and accepting that fact, I ask, practice and learn details about HP canopy flight(I sometimes have ignored the some of the required '1 flare, 2 360 turns' canopy exercises that most DZs tell their students to do, just to practice my hook turn recovery), that others with much more than my humble 32 jumps have no clue what I'm talking about... And what did I soon find out?That even that huge Navigator is surfable! At less that 0.8:1 wingloading, it can 'surf' for 15-20 feet in a low-no wind day.Good enough for a 32 jump wonder I guess I even impressed my AFF instructor with my off DZ landing in Empuria, in one of those tight tree-surrounded fields behind the road. All these facts can make my ego really grow!Sure, I always dream about having a nice sexy elliptical ! And sure, I was giving the Cobalt serious consideration! But at least, I have a bit of rational thoughts hiding in my brain,to keep me safe from ego-driven choices! I mean,I know I have learned a lot of bad habits on the canopies I fly!I knew the PD 260 would forgive my radical turn to get into that field avoiding the trees.But I also know, that if I had an elliptical loaded at any level, those trees would have my silhouette imprinted on them!That PD 260 almost outsurfed the field until it decided to stop and drop me in the mud runway I had chosen!Would I manage to pull that stunt in a moderately loaded elliptical with a nice glide?I doubt it!Sure, they flare tons stronger than that F111 canopy, but would I know how to stop them on a dime?I seriously doubt it, since I'm primarily used to the two-stage flare!I'd probably had to turn low to pass the trees...if I survived that, I'd have to stop.What would probably happen, is that I would instictively start to level the canopy, then realise I'm gonna crash on the trees, panic, full flare, ooops, the canopy goes a bit up and back down...ouch... What I'm saying is, (which came to me just now) experience is necessary.However, we shouldn't trust that we are experienced in just a specific field(I'm not experienced at anything) to keep us safe.All around skill is required.HP landings, slow landings, accuracy landings, body flight, aerodynamics knowledge, everything is required to play safely!And especially for newbies.And it has to come instinctively when we need it. I confess I'm overconfident about my skills and canopy control knowledge,but I know it's my ego talking. Sure, I feel pretty confident I can fly a Cobalt@1.3:1 at my home DZ when I'll have just 100 jumps.However, certain 'low performance' skills will be missing, i think, and these may be needed one day to save my ass!Just as I needed a flat turn 3 weeks ago!I'm almost absolutely sure than noone with my jumps in my DZ ever heard of them before!Medium performance canopies can serve a purpose as well, we just have to USE them.They are not here just to land us bored to the ground!But someone is needed to explain to new jumpers that 'flat turns' exist.For me, that someone was these forums,teaching me things, pointing out to me the HP flight manuals and so many things!If it wasn't for that, I'd be like some jumpers at my other DZ...getting an A licence at 90 jumps, weigh smth like 150 pounds with gear, flying a Parafoil and ripcord cause "I'm afraid of the oh-so-fast 230 and throw out", and finally blaming the Parafoil for collapsing over me during final...gee...such a high loading...I wonder why it collapsed!Or even some more...a guy babbling all day about hook turn no-no and doing a hook turn to hit his target, ending up in hospital! My point : Being conservative for no matter how long, is just shit if you don't learn what you fly! I wouldn't say no to a Cobalt demo at ~80-90 jumps.There's an 'emotional' barrier that will keep me from buying one so soon, I guess...even though I might feel EXTREMELY comfy with it, I won't want to waste it...these canopies are for high wing loadings.Since my first canopy (probably a Hornet 170) will be loaded ~1.15:1 , putting that light loading on a top HP canopy, is just a SHAME! And a last thing...if I can get a 20ft surf with a Navigator 260 straight in with no riser input, I think I'll make that Hornet satisfy me for a bit more than 150 jumps! Will it be as sexy as an elliptical?Sure, I'll order a neon green one, with jade ribs and jade stabilisers (just like the Cobalt 85 Jim Slaton jumped), and noone will notice! Be a little pushy with your 'larger' canopy, make some aesthetic tricks, and there, plenty of cool performance to practice with, and still the same old safety margin of the 'tapered' wing! Did I make my points clear, or did I just confuse you? Just my newbie $0.02
Don't pull low, unless you are afraid of heights! Tefkros
Hey Spectre, I have a question for you. I gather that you are pretty proficient on canopies and need your opinion. I have 16 jumps right now and have been flying a Raider 220 since my 3rd jump. I have stood-up every landing within a 30m range of my target. I load the 220 at 1.05:1. I am going to be ordering a new canopy within the next couple of weeks.
Here is the question. If I would order a 169 Safire (loaded at 1.29:1), would this be too much for me to handle? I will be jumping my ass off at the boogie and during the weekends. Since I will have my own gear, having $$$ to jump will not really be an issue and neither will time.
Before I get my canopy, I will be ablet to use all the canopies in between for as long as I want to get used to them and get some good experience with zero-p.
My thinking is that since I'll be able to downsize slowly, I can learn how the canopy flies and adjust my flying style to that. I will also be loosing some weight which will even lower the load rating, making it less responsive, etc.
Can you please comment on what you think about this?? Thanks!!!
we do make lower performance mains... but i truely believe that a cobalt loaded 1.2-1.4 is a superior choice for many people considering a sabre or safire in the range of 1.0-1.2.
the cobalt loaded equally to a sabre or safire is slower, not faster in foward speed, with a flatter glide. i have many dataloged jumps to substantiate this.
you can load cobalts lighter but end cell closure will occur, especially on very slow flat turns, inboard side.
additionaly i would like to point out a 6 year track record with the cobalt's predecessor canopy (same airfoil and planform) with newbies in europe.
i am very concerned about safety in this sport. more & more every day as many people close to me have been seriously hurt in the last year. i do not believe the solution to increased safety is to build dogier canopies. i'll explain why: the accidents i mentioned above were all on very lightly loaded sabres: one friend broken pelvis and 2 broken hips, next: broken ankle, 2 plates 10 screws, next 2 broken ankles, next 2 broken femurs, etc...would they have been hurt worse on a cobalt? in one instance yes, in the rest probably not as they would have had the flare to get out of it. regardless its not the canopy, its the complete lack of education, skills and practice. even with only 50 jumps, a newbie probably has close to 500 minutes canopy flying time. what can you learn in 500 minutes? alot ! but most newbies and many 'experienced' jumpers know suprisingly little about their canopy (ie. simple aerodynamic principals, and routine to determine key flight charateristics) and have even less practice. every canopy flight should contain practice elements up high.
anyway, my eyes are starting to get blurry. i spent the day doing wing suit jumps at the ranch. i am very tired and wstarting to stray. i apologize but i will finish this post tomorrow.
This is a passionate debate over a thorny issue and I can't help but drop my $.02.
I am not an expert skydiver, in fact I do not qualify for an A licence, so I will avoid the technical subjetcts. On the other hand I do have some experience with human communication that may be put to good use here. It is not my intention to put anyone down but to encourage useful debate in a topic that is crucial to newbies like me. Feel free to ignore this if you find it off the mark or just think it's snotty.
There are two main issues here 1) Whether the Cobalt is safe for casual low-time skydivers to use on a regular basis, and 2) Whether Aatair's marketing practices are unethical.
Personally I find issue #1 to be more crucial, especially since point #2 depends on the former. I humbly suggest holding on remarks on ethics and marketing practices for a while, not because they are irrelevant but either side will be able to make stronger arguments about ehtics after us, readers, have been better enlightened regarding the safety issues.
As I mentioned before, this is a passionate debate, it seems that both Dan and Spectre are on a mission of sorts. Correct me if I'm wrong (or just ignore me), but the way you (and your supporters) are coming of to me (in this and other threads) is something like this:
Spectre: People may die if they chose the wrong canopy at the wrong moment, this is a serious issue and some of Atairs prospective customers have no idea of what they are getting into, this oversight could prove fatal. In order to stay alive, low timers should jump and master traditional canopies (ie, square/rectangular canopies at about 1.1:1 wing loadings) before trying the Cobalt. A canopy should be safe enough to land a pilot safely even in a potentially hazardous situation. He has the experience to back these comments and have witnessed how people close to him paid dearly for their mistakes in this issue.
Dan: Things evolve, and the sport of skydiving is evolving, what is now considered a safe canopy for newcomers used to be a high performance wing in the past. People that resist the Cobalt are stuck with old fashioned ideas and prejudice. Cobalts can be flown safely yet people regard them as radical and dangerous because they are elliptical in shape and respond quickly to pilot input. Students learning to fly underloaded big square canopies will perfect erroneous skills, the earlier they get on a modern canopy, the better they will fly. Besides, any canopy can kill a pilot who makes a stupid mistake too close to the ground.
You both have good points and to be honest, right now I am leaning towards Spectre on issue #1. I just wish that he wouldn't get personal and accuse Dan of being greedy and reckless before Dan had a chance to articulate a clear response.
Both positions seem to render any opposition irrelevant. Spectre may say that human lives are too precious to risk for the sake of making a sale while Dan may argue that he is being dismissed right away by backwards thinking overzealous old timers.
Again, I apologize if I got anyone wrong or if someone feels offended in any way by this post, feel free to correct me or ignore me. My intention was only to clarify things a little bit.
Hey Spectre....thank you very much for taking the time to reply to my message. Here are some answers in regards to your concerns and then some:
In reply to:
Do you plan on jumping over the winter months?Do you plan a layoff on the jumping over the winter.
Yes, I am absolutely going to just as much as possible during the winter. Both of the DZs I jump at are open during the winter months, albeit a little slower, however they are open. I dont want to (nor do I think i can) stop jumping until spring. Also, because my wife and I are going south in Feb/March to jump at Atlanta, Pensacola, Deland, and possibly Z-hills. Skydiving is something that I am going to make part of my career in the future. (Teach for 9 months...instruct for 3 and during weekends.)
In reply to:
It sounds like you have not jumped a safire yet,and don't buy one without a demo first.
I have not jumped a Safire yet, however I will be jumping my ass off in two weeks at the Richmond boogie. The gear guy at our DZ is the largest demo center for Icarus and he has tons of mains with Safire in many sizes. He said that we could fly those, downsizing as we go, until our new canopies came in. This way, giving us a time to downsize instead of jumping into something that is too fast.
In reply to:
How fast you can safely downsize IS related to how many jumps you can do a year and how current you stay when you do downsize.
Absolutely!! However, I also believe that how fast you can downsize depends on your learning curve and how agressive you want to fly your canopy and fast you want to learn your canopy. For instance, my wife and I both are using 220 Raiders still. However, I out-weigh her by a good 70 pounds. Obviously, it is going to fly better for me than it will for her, so I get more performance out of it. Everytime I come in for a landing I make a 90 left and get a little surf from it. However, she FINALLY made a landing on her feet this past Sunday.
I guess what I am trying to say is that in my measly 16 jumps, I have gone from landing the Manta on my ass to trying to surf the Raider. Whereas she (and many others I've seen) are still landing the same canopy as if they are on their first jump still.
I talked to my gear guy yesterday afternoon about what I should get. He is an AFF JM/I, TM, master rigger with about 5500+ jumps. He has been with me on my jumps for about 1/2 the time and knows what I can do in the air and how I fly my canopy. Hell, a couple times, I beat my JM to the ground. Anyway, we were talking and he said that by seeing how I fly my canopy (trying to learn hard) and how much I get down there to jump (every other weekend for 3 days and then trying for days in between), he would recommend that I order a 169. So, after I demo what kind of canopy I like, I can order this and use his canopies to downsize to it. I would have about a month, right? (What is the custom order time??) This would give me about 8 full jumping days. And my jumping days consist of me continually trying to get on loads. And, at the boogie, I'll be trying out all the new gear we'll be getting as demos. I'll be there jumping straight for 5 days. So, he says that a 169 would be a good one to start of with. And, I dont see why he would try to steer me wrong because he wont make more by putting me on a 169 instead of a 189 or 219, right?
Spectre, I dont mean to belittle what you have said. Trust me, all that you write is going straight to my decision making lobe through my thick skull. Please tell me what you think now that I have given you more details. I am now (and will be even more) staying a highly proficient skydiver and wont quit due to weather.
Thank you very much and I look forward to reading your response. Blues!!
Damn brother!! I sure wish I had consistant 25,000' exit points. I sure envy you Spectre and dont know now if you should retire if this is what you do a lot. Either way, I sure am glad that you can do this a lot and gain experience that you are willing to pass on to us newbies.
Blue ones, Brandon (eagerly awating a reply to the Safire)
Please understand that I made jump #16 yesterday. I would like to add a few comments from the perspective of someone newly off student status and not yet an "A" license holder (weather hold yesterday made that the impossible dream...at least for two more weeks...).
In getting ready for my "A" license, it seems as if I have more requirements to accomplish with freefall and rw then anything in regards to canopy control. The only canopy requirements are 5 landings within 20 meters of a selected target. Well, I have those, easily. However, what I don't have is an understanding about canopies, and about how to fly under them. For the record, my standup landings number 11 and my other body parts landings number 5. One of those five was my downwind one, which resulted in a broken toe. It could/should have been much worse, but somehow I pulled it out of my hat.
While rw is important, and ff is important, canopy control is, imho, far more important. And yet there is no real requirements, and thus no-one makes it a point to learn - I mean, really learn - about canopies. Biffing a formation won't kill you; funnelling an exit won't kill you. Poor canopy control will. To that end, I really think canopy control instruction is vital to my staying alive. I have been fortunate enough to walk away from a really hairy landing. I don't want to depend on luck. I want luck to come into play only after I have learned about how to handle my dangling ass in the air. Luck and skill are two different things.
I have had a rougher time than most people, granted. Because I have fear, and am not one of those (insert # here)jump wonders, I talked long and hard with a few people whom I respect, all who have over 6,000 jumps. I have designed a fairly costly education plan which should give me what I want and need in regards to canopy control, as well as rw and ff. But which comes first? I will complete my license requirements, w/ the 3 rw jumps (but only because it is a requirement). Then Canopy Evolution five jump series with Jim Slaton's folk. And then, jump 5 times one size/type canopy, repeating the course stuff under a new canopy. If I can fly it comfortably, do all the riser, flat turns, and so forth with little concern, accuracy land in whatever traffic, weather, whatever situation, on my feet 4 of the 5 times, then I move down to the next. And so forth. I figure that I will have a choice made about which canopy to buy by jump 50-60.
Yes, this will take time. Yes, this will cost extra $$. I am worth the wait. I am worth the time. And yes, I understand that I am fortunate because I am at a larger dz, and that this education is available to me, when it is not available to other people. But I see so many people at my dz not taking advantage of this. I am not looking to fly like Clint or Jim. I am looking to fly safely. Period.
In regards the marketing, it is more subtle than adverts. I see people I respect jumping high performance canopies. They do really neat looking things in the air, and I want to do it too. I want my fellow jumpers to like, respect and accept me, too. I want someone someday to look at me and think - wow! Look at her go. I want all these things. And to see them under their canopies, doing all the things I want to do, well, I have to remember that it is not the equipment which does it, but the pilot who does it with the equipment. And remember that I am not ready to play with thier equipment quite yet. It's hard to remember that when I am on the ground. It is easy to remember that in the air. I am not ready for the advanced things yet. And if I keep flying and learning, and walking away, I will someday be ready for it. But this is not the general mindset. I see people who are just off student status jumping at what has to be a loading of 1:1.3 or better. I have asked them, and they don't know - they don't know! what they are loading at. They don't know the difference between a fully elliptical or "regular" canopy. When I asked them how they chose their canopy, they said "my friend jumps this..." or "I liked it's look in the air", or "it was recommended by Joe Blow". I have never been one to follow the crowd, but not knowing your own equipment is dangerous.
I look forward to the day I can try out the Cobalt. Until then, I will watch from the ground, and dream. And use that as motivation to learn, learn, learn.
just my .02.....
ciel bleus- Michele
"What of the dreams that never die? Turn to your left at the end of the sky". ~e e cummings~
i think our points of view are not as far apart as they might seem. you tried a cobalt at 1.7# . this loading is just crossing over the range we would generally consider intermediate into high experience level. high experience level extends to 2.2# and over 2.2 we consider extreme or pro loading.
i still stand by our recomendation of 1.2-1.4 for newbies. of course this is a general recommendation and does not take into consideration the individuals competence. final recommendation is suggested to be made by an experienced dealer familiar with first hand knowledge of the canopies and the individuals flying.
please remember atair sells almost exclusively through dzo & dropzone dealers. dealers do not make any more money selling atair canopies over any other manufacturer. we have many instructors flying our canopies and putting newbies on them. we insist that instructors test fly a cobalt at 1.2. this is so that they can have a valid opinion as to whether or not to recommend the canopy and to whom.
testing a canopy at 1.7 does not give good reference to decide what it will perform like at 1.2. if you only flew a sabres at + 1.7, i think you would have a similar opinion that they are not good for newbies.
if you have the interest, i would love to get you on a cobalt at 1.2 and then talk some more.
i would like to point out one more time that cobalts are slower in foward speed than a sabre or safire. i point this out because i want to make clear that load recommendations are specific to the canopy design being recommended. ie a 1.4 loading on one canopy may be suitable and perfectly safe for someone's skill level but unsafe on a different canopy. skill level to wing loading can vary drastically on one canopy design to another. this is both on the low and high side, ie. aggresively flying a cobalt up to 2.4 # is within my safe skill level but aggressively flying a stilletto at 2# falls out of my safe zone.
ps. your background sounds very interesting. perhaps we can talk sometime via phone or in person.
Aug 19, 2001, 6:17 PM
Post #25 of 39