Aug 20, 2001, 4:24 AM
Post #1 of 9
is this a silly question?
This is the first time I've posted in the safety/training forum, it's like I'm at school scared to ask questions which is where I went wrong with math!
I have two AFF jumps behind me, and so many questions, which I know I can ask my JMs but as it's winter (almost over!) I haven't been out to the dz much and the last time I went it was a bright blue sunny day and I just watched everyone else jump like a dodo (me the dodo watching, not them jumping...)
What questions should I ask about canopy control? I've read some stuff in here about steering with rear risers and realise I am not totally clear on what the risers are and how they fit in with the toggles... (are all the lines risers?) Is there a resource somewhere that details all the parts of a canopy & rig? Next time I go to my dz I'm going to do the packing class they have on Friday nights - will this answer these sort of questions?
It's just the more I think about it, the more I realise there is to think about it! My JMs are very approachable and helpful but I thought I'd ask in here as I can't go to the dz for a few weeks and I think about this all the time.
At least as a student my emergency response is quite straightforward: mal=pull reserve (SOS), but I think I'll feel more confident if I know all the parts of the canopy/rig.
Hope I'm not repeating questions previously answered.
"Look with your understanding, find out what you already know, and you'll see the way to fly" - Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach
There are no silly questions, only silly people...
Your risers are the things attached at your shoulders. Ever looked at your 3-ring release system? 2 of the 3 rings are attached to your risers. The lines going up to your canopy are attached to the other end of your risers. When you grabbed your toggles after opening, you pulled them off your rear risers. You can (and should be able to) control your canopy using nothing but risers, you can even flare using your rear risers.
Then, I saw these two guys swoopin across the pond, and I was like 'weeeeeee!!!!'
The risers are the lanyards that attach the canopy lines to the D rings of the rig. They look like seat belt material. When you take the toggles down from the rear risers you can the steer the canopy by changing the air flow across the trailing edge of the canopy. Like the ailerons of an airplane wing. You can also change the airfoil by pulling one rear riser, this is more like wing warping. You can turn quickly if you put a lot of force into it. Pulling both rear risers 6-8 inches will slow the canopy just like pulling down on your toggles. This is like an airplane lowering it's flaps. If you plan to check this out under canopy remember to do it at a higher altitude, don't try to learn new canopy skills low to the ground. Be safe, have fun, look cool for the camera.
As has been discussed in other threads here, canopy control and along with that I would say detailed equipment instruction aren't quite up to snuff in the AFF program. I would suggest that you get a canopy control video/workbook. I use Skydive U's Basic Canopy flight video and workbook. There's others out there too, but I'm not familiar with them. BCF starts out with detailed info about why and how a parachute flies, the different parts of the canopy, and has you practice all the different control inputs possible as you progress through the modules. Also teaches you how to figure out best glide and best flare for the canopy you're flying. Something that a lot of more experienced jumpers I met have no clue about.
If you can get ahold of the the "Jumping the Ram Air" series that was in Parachutist a while back (they advertise the series in almost every current issue), there is one entire article detailing all the parts of your canopy with pictures! Very useful. In fact, there is SO much you can learn from that entire series. I have read each article AT LEAST 3 times and each time I get more out of it. I highly suggest it. The USPA store sells the whole series for $9.95 here . Other than that, just do what I do - pester all of the other jumpers at the dz with questions. Especially during a weather hold - great time to learn lots of cool stuff! Be safe!
Thanks everyone for all your hints and advice. I'll definitely do the packing class before I jump again, and try to get my hands on some of those resources.
I feel like I'm at my dz when I'm in here, everyone there is always ready to answer questions and offer advice or just make me feel welcome... one of my JMs has set me homework to reprogram my brain so that when I come to jumping out the door (the bit I'm really having problems with in a mental/psychological way) I see it as a good thing, or as something that leads to a good thing (ie., freefall and canopy ride). One of the things I love about skydiving is the infinite capacity for learning it offers.
Yes, Skydive University's "Basic Canopy Flight 101" is great for recent AFF graduates. Another excellent video is Pier Media's "Pack Like a Pro." PLP goes into more detail about the various parts of a canopy and teachs two packing methods, with a lot of litle tips and tricks that will save time and sweat.