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Landings ... I am frustrated beyond belief!!!

 

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OlympiaStoica  (C 38509)

Aug 10, 2009, 8:54 AM
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Landings ... I am frustrated beyond belief!!! Can't Post

I have been in the sport for one year, I got 138 jumps I still cant get decent landings in all wind conditions. I currently jump a PD Storm 190 with a wing loading of almost 1:1. I have just returned to jumping after a two month layoff, as I was recovering from a broken ankle (yep on a botched landing Pirate).

Skydiving has helped me heal from a broken heart and has brought me much happiness. I would feel a deep sense of loss (and failure) if I had to quit Another injury (and if I continue to land the way I do, it is only a matter of time before that happens), I will probably give this up for reason of lacking ability Unsure ...

The Saturday before this one winds were light and variable, which is usually a bad thing, as my canopy has a lot of speed and is very ground hungry, but I had 5 awesome landings. I got radio help on the first 2 (my DZ has been very supportive) that gave me confidence and ended up doing very well on the next 3.

This past Saturday winds were light and variable again 3 crash landings, 2 of them pretty bad. I dont understand why I take one step forward and five steps backwards. At this point, Im considering upsizing my canopy and perhaps switching to something more docile. That may or may not help if I can be helped at all Unsure ...

O


virgin-burner

Aug 10, 2009, 8:59 AM
Post #2 of 149 (4239 views)
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Re: [OlympiaStoica] Landings ... I am frustrated beyond belief!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

hang in there, get more mentoring.. not radio specifically.. you'll get it worked out, just dont give up on it! Smile


sxc  (B 33155)

Aug 10, 2009, 9:08 AM
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Re: [OlympiaStoica] Landings ... I am frustrated beyond belief!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

I have far fewer jumps than you, but my landings also leave a LOT to be desired!! I was hoping to do a canopy course this summer, but it does not look like I can mange that, so it is a definite for next summer. But thankfully, I am not hurting myself - I am a PLF Queen!!

I am hoping that it is just going to take practice. Like driving a car - you probably couldn't pull up to a stop light and stop at the line perfectly the first few times. Every landing I try and get it right, but so far, all I have managed is some spectacular grass stains!!

If you figure out any great insights, please share!


TheCaptain  (D License)

Aug 10, 2009, 9:12 AM
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Re: [OlympiaStoica] Landings ... I am frustrated beyond belief!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

A two stage flare is generally a good way to start: first stage puts hands around ear level this will plane the canopy out so you are flying parallel to the ground it also allows you to take a look at the height before finishing the flare. Second stage is to finish the flare. Two common mistakes that are made in landing is reaching for the ground with your feet, and stop flying the canopy as soon as your feet touch the ground. Remember to fly your canopy until it stops fling not when your feet touch the ground. Also if possible have someone film your landing as video is worth a thousand words.


wingnut_78  (A License)

Aug 10, 2009, 9:19 AM
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Re: [OlympiaStoica] Landings ... I am frustrated beyond belief!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi there OS,

I'm new to this (12 jumps), but thought I'd drop you a line anyway Cool

The most difficult part in landing was my height perception and appreciation for my running speed. Usually we had reasonable wind speeds to land into, but I had to think about it all over again (a very good thing) when we started landing when the winds had dropped off.

When I was first guided in via radio, the standard procedure was for the instructor to relay "stand by, stand by, 3 - 2 - 1, flare, flare flare". So at the third instruction to flare, my toggles would be pulled all the way down. At first, I found this difficult as I varied between upright landings or the standard PLF (falling over and feeling silly Blush). Then, once it was under my own control, I experimented a bit to find the approach that worked for me. I watched a few landings performed by the military, other students, club jumpers and tandem jumpers, which really helped as you can then start to attribute their physical actions to the response from their 'chute. I'm a slow learner, so I spent some time observing and I'm glad that I did.

What works best for me is to half-flare at around 10ft, then complete the action with a slight delay. The outcome for me is that my descent is slowed and I still travel forward (but not much) before executing an upright landing. This works almost all of the time. My point is that even though there is a right way to land, you have to approach the action in a way that works with your style.

Also, have you practiced your PLFs even when not jumping? This helps as well, I do it at home just to remember the action/position, which helps reinforce your confidence that you can walk away from a less than ideal landing.

Have you researched reinforced or suitable footwear to help support your ankles? It may be worth speaking to a physiotherapist or trained sports therapist, since their experience with related injuries could help injury prevention. I'm a sports massage therapist, but my course didn't cover skydiving Laugh

So, that's my very inexpert and beginners' contribution, I'm sure you've probably considered all of this before! I really hope that you find a way to resolve this, it would be sad to have to give it up!

Eugene x


Kami-kaze  (C 34855)

Aug 10, 2009, 9:22 AM
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Re: [virgin-burner] Landings ... I am frustrated beyond belief!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe you should up size and rent out student gear. Maybe you can do a tandem jump and get the feel ... Definitely get some canopy coaching ! How did you get thru AFF?
methinks in any sport the key is awareness ... to realize what you are doing ! where is your eyes focused .. some people get target fixation, some people just look right under their feet, not further enough. Like if you are riding a bicycle you don't look where the tires are going on the road, do you? you look ahead what's coming ..
It must be frustrating and scary because you are not sure how your landing turns out. Difficult to relax. I hope you get your confidence and landings back .


Premier LouDiamond  (D 25931)
Moderator
Aug 10, 2009, 9:24 AM
Post #7 of 149 (4186 views)
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Re: [OlympiaStoica] Landings ... I am frustrated beyond belief!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

It sounds like you are experiencing your problems with the landings themselves. Would it be correct to say that the last 20 feet is where you are having problems? Or are you having problems setting up your pattern correctly and landing where you want? Or is it both? A bit more explanation of what is happening would help

A Storm 190 is a docile canopy and is far from being a ground hungry canopy so I wouldn't start upsizing just yet until you've identified your landing problem(s). You're at a WL of 1:1 on this canopy which is ideal and you've had successful landings when coached, so don't be too quick to blame the gear and spend more money just yet. My guess here is that you simply need a bit more time under canopy after your layoff, and coaching, to smooth things out. Hang in there.Smile


Landings can be the hardest thing for some people to master(some still haven't, just watch the landing area). If you think about it, we spend more time actually under a canopy than we do in freefall itself, yet people dedicate more time and money on learning how to control their body in freefall than they do on learning to fly their canopy.


OlympiaStoica  (C 38509)

Aug 10, 2009, 9:28 AM
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Re: [Kami-kaze] Landings ... I am frustrated beyond belief!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Perhaps I got through AFF because I met the requirements (?). Other than landing, I've done well with everything else. I had my first stand up landing on Cat E (Level 5). I always had the tendency to just go to my butt, but landings weren't "bad" to the point of being dangerous. I got worse after being injured. Knowing myself, my head is my worse enemy right now ...

O


OlympiaStoica  (C 38509)

Aug 10, 2009, 9:34 AM
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Re: [LouDiamond] Landings ... I am frustrated beyond belief!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

I never had trouble with the landing pattern ... accuracy is pretty good too. Yes, the landing itself is the issue ...

I'm not going to blame my gear - it is my lack of ability that's at fault ...

O


wingnut_78  (A License)

Aug 10, 2009, 9:36 AM
Post #10 of 149 (4168 views)
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Re: [OlympiaStoica] Landings ... I am frustrated beyond belief!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Another thought ;) I used Google Earth / Google Maps to research my DZ. The satellite images are to scale, which helps to familiarise yourself with how the ground is going to look at say 500ft, 100ft, etc.


Kami-kaze  (C 34855)

Aug 10, 2009, 9:57 AM
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Re: [wingnut_78] Landings ... I am frustrated beyond belief!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Mate,
you do that when you go up in the plane.
I still do it. Look at the ground at different hights to see what it looks like.
Desert looks different from tree area, etc.


Skydivesg  (D 10938)

Aug 10, 2009, 10:02 AM
Post #12 of 149 (4127 views)
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Re: [OlympiaStoica] Landings ... I am frustrated beyond belief!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Lou is right.

You just need more knowledge about how and why a canopy flies (aerodynamics). And how best to time your flair, which is the process of converting your airspeed into lift, which results in the suspension of forward speed and a temporary suspension of downward pull. All of this, when done right and with the right timing, gives you a nice soft "no run out" landing.

It's not as hard as it all sounds but it often requires help from someone who is not only knowledgable but also has the skills to communicate that information to the uninformed.

The best and quickest way is to use a proven canopy coach or course.

If you can't do that soon, then you can improvise.

Get in touch with USPA and tell them you would like a copy of the "Fly to Survive" video. They sent them out to all the S&TAs a couple of years ago.

The video has some excellent footage of landings both good and bad. I will be happy to help you figure out which landings to emulate if you desire.
I use the video in my canopy course and I have all the time codes marked so you don't have to keep searching for the right spot and I will give them to you if you request them.

You then need to get someone to video your landings. It's best to shoot from about a 45 degree angle from the front. It helps to capture the entire canopy and imperative that the jumper is in frame. It's important to see what both hands are doing during the flair. And not from too far away.

Disect your landings while comparing it to a perfect landing on the "Fly to Survive" video.

I use two screens so that you can watch and pause the video and the landing footage side by side.

If you dedicate an entire day, or better yet weekend, to this it will help beyond belief.

Good luck and good landings.

Sandy


wingnut_78  (A License)

Aug 10, 2009, 10:03 AM
Post #13 of 149 (4123 views)
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Re: [Kami-kaze] Landings ... I am frustrated beyond belief!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Yep, you're right. I try my best to focus and be aware during the ascent, especially since the view can change due to cloud cover, time of day, cast shadows and add to that the fact that our DZ is surrounded by farmland, many variables to consider Smile


dks13827  (C 9293)

Aug 10, 2009, 10:18 AM
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Landings ... I am frustrated beyond belief!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

here's another thought......... go take some Cessna 172 ( or similar ) lessons... ( 5 ??? ). Focus on patterns and landings.
Not kidding.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Aug 10, 2009, 10:21 AM
Post #15 of 149 (4097 views)
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Re: [OlympiaStoica] Landings ... I am frustrated beyond belief!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Without posting videos of several 'bad' landings, there's nothing anyone online can do to help you with your specific problems.

It does sound as if it's the flare/touchdown that's giving you problems, and not the pattern and accuracy. If that's the case, then you're already halfway to good canopy control because the patten work and set up are a big part of the picture.

Without video, here's what I can add that should prevent further injury -

1. Finish the flare. Always, and everytime, you should make contact with the ground with your hands all the way down in the full flare position.

If you begin your falre early, simply stop moving your hands until you get to a lower alitude (do not put your hands back up once you bgein to flare).

If you begin your flare late, vigorously complete as much of the flare as you can before impact.

Always, always, always finish your flare.

2. PLF. I don't care if you have 138 or 1380 jumps, I don't care of your jumpsuit and rig get dirty. Practice and employ a proper PLF on every landing. You have a track record of hard landings with some leading to injury, and you need to protect yourself moving forward.

A PLF will help you to walk away from otherwise very hard landings. In a case where your landing is very soft, the PLF will simply happen in slow motion, but it should still happen. Once you can establish a track record of 15 or 20 consecutive landings where the PLF was not needed, then you can go back to taking your chances with the stand ups, but until them protect yourself, and your future in skydiving, with a good PLF.

A note on the PLF - watch any swoop competition video. You will see the swoopers sliding in, rolling, PLFing, and everything but standing it up. These guys are there to showcase their canopy flying talents, but they realize that sometimes the touchdown itself will not be pretty, and they simply give up on standing it up. They end up walking away covered in sand, dirt, mud, grass, and the chalk they use to mark the swoop course, but the walk away.

Keep in mind the true measure of success for a landing is one that you can walk away from. Standing it up, staying clean, and looking cool do not count for anything.


kallend  (D 23151)

Aug 10, 2009, 10:25 AM
Post #16 of 149 (4090 views)
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Re: [OlympiaStoica] Landings ... I am frustrated beyond belief!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I never had trouble with the landing pattern ... accuracy is pretty good too. Yes, the landing itself is the issue ...

I'm not going to blame my gear - it is my lack of ability that's at fault ...

O

How is your eyesight and depth perception?


jdfreefly  (D 24037)

Aug 10, 2009, 10:32 AM
Post #17 of 149 (4078 views)
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Re: [OlympiaStoica] Landings ... I am frustrated beyond belief!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Take a canopy control course if you can.

If you cant, do this:

Spend an entire day doing nothing but hop and pops. Try finding someone at the dz that can video your landings.
Spend the time doing hop and pops to learn the flight of the canopy you are jumping.
Have someone who knows what they are doing review the video with you, preferably between jumps.

Just devoting a day to canopy flight and not thinking about freefall will have a very positive effect on your landings.


OlympiaStoica  (C 38509)

Aug 10, 2009, 10:41 AM
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Re: [kallend] Landings ... I am frustrated beyond belief!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
I never had trouble with the landing pattern ... accuracy is pretty good too. Yes, the landing itself is the issue ...

I'm not going to blame my gear - it is my lack of ability that's at fault ...

O

How is your eyesight and depth perception?

I have perfect 20/20 vision ... last time I had my eyes checked (last year) the doctor didn't mention anything about depth perception issues (that gets checked too.) However, I am really bad at judging my distance from the ground.

I did some one-on-on coaching with Luigi Cani at Perris ... we concentrated just on my landings. I was shocked to see the video of how high I would start my flare (somewhere between 40 and 80 feet). I got better at bringing that lower after the first 2 - 3 jumps ... now I think the issue of not finishing my flare is what remains. On light wind days, I think I'm not "agressive" enough and I hit the ground before I get a chance to finish pulling down my toggles ...

O


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Aug 10, 2009, 11:08 AM
Post #19 of 149 (4033 views)
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Re: [OlympiaStoica] Landings ... I am frustrated beyond belief!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

This is probably a sexist thing to say, but women often have more problem with this than men. I've confirmed this with a bunch of people (the people who rent gear at Square One, the organizer of the women's attempts) and it seems to hold.

So the question is - what's different?

One explanation that I've heard that might be plausible is the speed one. Guys, in general, like to go fast. And on landing, speed is your friend. A very common problem in landing is to start the flare too high because the jumper perceives their speed to be increasing as they get lower. (It's not, it just looks that way because they're closer to the ground.) If you try to get as much perceived speed as possible - arrive at 6 inches above the ground with your vertical speed close to zero and your horizontal speed as high as possible - your odds of a good landing go up.

Another possibility is weight. Women tend to be lighter than men. And this isn't normally a problem, but occasionally a very light woman will get put under a very large canopy (say, a 280) for their first 10 jumps. This "keeps them safe" but it is very difficult to learn to fly one of these, since the reaction to the flare is sluggish at best. They get used to a sluggish flare, then they assume that's what will happen as they downsize.

There are a few possibilities that have nothing to do with gender. One is altitude perception. You need very accurate altitude perception to land well. For some people, it's being able to see detail on the ground. For most experienced jumpers, it's what is happening in your peripheral vision that determines your altitude, You look where you're going, and the motion on the edges of your vision tells you how high you are.

Another is learning bad habits. Big canopies can keep you safe but they also teach you bad habits. Flaring unevenly is a big one. A Manta will let you get away with a lot of uneven flaring, but go to a 1:1 canopy and you're going to get more sideways motion. And if you then "stick out your hand to break your fall" - you make it even worse. I have seen several broken wrists from people who stick out their hands (with the toggle in it of course) and then later claim that a "side gust" pushed them over.

Another common mistake is the one-step flare. You start from hands all the way up, bring them all the way down and you're done. That works up to a certain loading, but above that you have to flare more gradually. Some people call this a "two stage flare" but that's a bit of a misnomer, because that sounds like you put your hands in position A, then in position B, then you land. What actually happens is that the first stage is getting the canopy to level off at ground level, and the second stage is getting the canopy to "shut down" - to bleed off speed at ground level until it stops flying. That requires a gradually increasing amount of pull on the toggles, modulated by what you see happening.

However, at 1:1, you will be seeing minimal planeout if any.

There are also a few possibilities that have to do with gear. Can you easily see over your chest strap? Some rental/secondhand rigs fit poorly, and the chest strap rides up until it cuts into your neck, and it's harder to see down. Can you get the toggles down easily? Are the risers the right length? Too-short risers can limit your toggle stroke, but that's usually not a problem if you can get any good landings.


OlympiaStoica  (C 38509)

Aug 10, 2009, 11:15 AM
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Re: [jdfreefly] Landings ... I am frustrated beyond belief!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Take a canopy control course if you can.

If you cant, do this:

Spend an entire day doing nothing but hop and pops. Try finding someone at the dz that can video your landings.
Spend the time doing hop and pops to learn the flight of the canopy you are jumping.
Have someone who knows what they are doing review the video with you, preferably between jumps.

Just devoting a day to canopy flight and not thinking about freefall will have a very positive effect on your landings.

I did a canopy course - well, was more of a one-on-one coaching - with Luigi Cani at Periss this past winter. I did somewhat better after that, but two things have changed since:

1. I got injured 2.5 months ago, which makes me very anxious on landing

2. My break lines got shortened 4 inches. (A friend/rigger jumped my rig/canopy after I got injured ... turned out the breaks were set too long ... I have been landing with little flare for more than 30 jumps Pirate )

I just exchanged some e-mails with my DZO, whom has been very supportive. The next formal canopy coaching course is in more than a month. So, I'm making arangements to hire someone for one-on-one coaching. All day/weekend hop 'n pops with some ground school should help ... I hope ........

O


topdocker  (D 12018)

Aug 10, 2009, 11:17 AM
Post #21 of 149 (4019 views)
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Re: [OlympiaStoica] Landings ... I am frustrated beyond belief!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Not wanting to completely let you off the hook but....

Have you had someone experienced jump your canopy? Maybe their is damage within the canopy, maybe the canopy is out of trim, maybe the brake lines are too long for your arms and cannot give you an effective flare. You probably aren't familiar with how a canopy should fly/flare for you enough to know if something is wrong.

Lots of things effect your landing that you have not thought about. I don't want you stop learning and blame the gear, but it should be looked into as well.

top


dks13827  (C 9293)

Aug 10, 2009, 11:25 AM
Post #22 of 149 (4009 views)
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Landings ... I am frustrated beyond belief!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

yes !! have someone jump your canopy !!!Unimpressed


OlympiaStoica  (C 38509)

Aug 10, 2009, 11:35 AM
Post #23 of 149 (3994 views)
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Re: [billvon] Landings ... I am frustrated beyond belief!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

I wasnt going to bring the gender differences perception into this, but now that you mention it

Long story, short I jumped a couple of demo Storm (210 and 190) and I had awesome landings I thought this is it my landing troubles are over and I ordered a Storm 190 as my main. I received it start jumping it my landings got worse on that and I didnt understand why the digression. Everyone kept telling me you dont finish your flare and started to imply that Im an idiot and the worse part, I started believing it.

Then I get injured I leave my rig at the DZ as someone there (who is a rigger) wanted to do some crew jumps. After the first jump, he shortened the breaks 4 inches. Im not an expert, but Im told thats a significant amount.

What is my point? Everyone assumed Im an idiot. Nobody even considered that my canopy might be miss configured. Frankly, I think my gender has something to do with that. (Im a woman we tend to suck at landing that must be it.)

O


fallfast69

Aug 10, 2009, 11:38 AM
Post #24 of 149 (3985 views)
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Re: [OlympiaStoica] Landings ... I am frustrated beyond belief!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

 

O...you might have a rigger look at your line trim and brake line length.

Something that really scares me about this is you saying you were starting your flare very high. If this continues to happen, make sure you are close enough to the ground before you finish your flare, so you don't stall the canopy high and cause a really, really bad landing.

Jon


OlympiaStoica  (C 38509)

Aug 10, 2009, 11:39 AM
Post #25 of 149 (3984 views)
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Re: [topdocker] Landings ... I am frustrated beyond belief!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

Topdocker ... see my latest reponse on that.

The person who installed it, did jump it ... and did a high performance landing on it. I don't use my front risers to land (duh!!!), so that wasn't a good test.

The worse part about this, the damage is already done. My breaks are set properly now, but I've lost all confidence in my landing abilities ...

O


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