Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Practicing Down/Crosswinders

 


Zennie

Aug 21, 2001, 8:12 PM
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Practicing Down/Crosswinders Can't Post

I've seen this discussed in other threads, and spectre brought it up again in the Cobalt thread. It makes a lot of sense to know how to deal with all sorts of conditions, and the only way to know is to practice. Which brings me to my question.

Just how do you safely practice cross/downwinders? Crosswind isn't too bad, but I'm sure there are some considerations I'm not aware of. But downwinders I have absolutely no idea.

How do you practice these?

------------
Blue Skies!

Zennie


Aviatrr  (D 27349)

Aug 21, 2001, 8:52 PM
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Re: Practicing Down/Crosswinders [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Just how do you safely practice cross/downwinders? Crosswind isn't too bad, but I'm sure there are some considerations I'm not aware of. But downwinders I have absolutely no idea.
In both cases, start out with light winds.. Land way away from anybody else.. I prefer to go out first(like a 3-5k exit) or very last and pull high so that the landing area is clear....and so that nobody tries to follow your pattern.. At most DZ's, the rule is 'First person down sets the landing direction'.. It's just so that you don't have people going every-which-way.. Don't try to land downwind in very strong winds - my personal limit is about 6-8knots for an intentional downwinder.. 10-12 for a crosswinder.. Know how to PLF - you'll need it..

Mike



apoil  (D License)

Aug 21, 2001, 8:54 PM
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Re: Practicing Down/Crosswinders [In reply to] Can't Post

A downwind landing isn't that bad. It definitely beats a low turn, so let's think about it as a survival technique rather than a cool swooping thing.

To perform a downwind landing, this is what they say in "Fly Like a Pro"
"flare at your normal height.. do the roll"

You'll be looking at the ground going, holy shit that's fast! The difference in your ground speed will be TWICE the windspeed. So even 3-4 knots ground wind will make a very noticable difference if you land downwind versus upwind.

Don't freak out, do the best flare you can, at the appropriate altitude keeping your feet together and knees bent. You will almost certainly finish your flare with a lot of forward speed, but if you've flared correctly you wont have any more downward speed than in any other landing. Forward speed just helps you do a proper PLF. You should be able to roll out of it, and dust yourself off.

So, now if you are going to practice a downwind landing
1) Make sure you do it in a place where you wont screw up the landing pattern or you may kill someone who tries to avoid you. Best to tell the people in the plane that are close to your exit order what you are planning. And if yours is the kind of dropzone where someone will usually have a word with you if you make a really screwy approach, TELL those people.

2) Pick your target with the understanding that you are likely to be sliding through it. Don't wear your brand new pre-brown (white) jumpsuit. If it's rough tall grass it will scratch you up.

3) Give yourself a longer runway, you'll be going faster than normal.





Michele  (B 26874)

Aug 21, 2001, 9:08 PM
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Re: Practicing Down/Crosswinders [In reply to] Can't Post

(can we just say that I have already practiced my downwind landing? Pleeeeze? Don't want to do it again.....)

Wink
me


"What of the dreams that never die? Turn to your left at the end of the sky".
~e e cummings~


ramon  (D 26115)

Aug 22, 2001, 5:48 AM
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Re: Practicing Down/Crosswinders [In reply to] Can't Post

Ted watch and ask some of the fellas at our DZ. We have some of the best canopy pilots in the South

I've done them several times just trying to swoop the nurf noodles (never perfectly on the wind line). Watch Eric, Josh, Chris....and especially Super Dave if he shows up, he really has good down wind technique (the secret being to slide your feet on the ground during the surf to steady your self and get ready to stop or run)

Zennie, the easiest way to get a taste is to do a cross winder that is almost downwind. turn on to final much further out than you normally do as you will glide a lot longer.

Don't do a PLF and get your gear messed up if you think you can run it out, you probably can. If it is an emergency down winder in sort of high winds, and you have a lot of room to land, I would butt slide, but that takes practice. PLF if you feel the need just remember that is from the days of round parachutes not square wings skimming along the ground at 20 (5 mph stall speed 15 mph down wind as example)

Actually I would hope your cross winder will be 5-8 mph (3-4 mph stall speed 2-5 mph wind)

Good luck

ramon

PS. I realize the point of this is not to be afraid to land down wind, not to get practice swooping downwind all the time, but when you see how weel some of the hot shots do it on fast canopies, you know that in a little higher wind with a slower canopy, you can downwind it and not have a scratch.





Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Aug 22, 2001, 12:44 PM
Post #6 of 6 (611 views)
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Re: Practicing Down/Crosswinders [In reply to] Can't Post

>Just how do you safely practice cross/downwinders? Crosswind isn't too bad, but I'm sure there are
>some considerations I'm not aware of.

I suggest starting 20-30 degrees off the windline. Practice turning your canopy in the flare. A 20 degree turn into the wind will put you directly into the wind, and this is an important skill to have if you misjudge ground winds. A 20 degree turn away from the wind will put you in a crosswind landing.

For downwinders, choose an area that is relatively smooth and soft, and do it on a day with light winds. You will tend to flare high, because your brain will equate higher speeds with being low. Resist this tendency and flare at a normal height. Generally the safest way to land downwind is a sliding-into-home-plate feet first slide - that way you are as low as possible, and your feet are in front to protect you.

-bill von



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