Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Newbie questions re: loading

 


Michele  (B 26874)

Aug 25, 2001, 12:29 PM
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Newbie questions re: loading Can't Post

Hi, all.

Newbie question: what is considered heavily loaded as opposed to lightly loaded? I understand how to get the loading factor, but I am just wondering as to the heavy v. light loading, and where is the cut-off? I mean, is a load of 1.5:1 heavy or light? How about 1.1:1? or 1.3:1? Is there a clear demarcation line (although I suspect there isn't....sigh)

I am asking this because of the thread "Death in Hollister" brought up a point: there was a loading quoted, and I was wondering if it was heavy (as indicated) or light. This is not to point at anyone, I am sincerely curious.

And another newbie question: how does a lightly loaded v. heavily loaded canopy behave differently close to the ground? (I have an idea, but was wondering if someone else had a good description and/or explanation).

And before anyone rips me a new.....I am asking this because I want to make sure I stay conservative, and not cross the boundaries without knowing where they are.

I appreciate any advice and/or explanations you can share!

Ciels-
michele

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


Albatross  (D 32026)

Aug 25, 2001, 2:20 PM
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Re: Newbie questions re: loading [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Michele,
The loading issue is one that has no clear lines but rather ranges and it differs for each canopy. For the most part <1.0 is light 1.1- 1.5 is middle and >1.5 is heavy but that is really rough. Each canopy has a different range that it is designed to fly in at peak preformance and the FX and VX are going to fly best at much higher loadings than a spectre. You (given your conservative style under canopy) will probably like the preformance of something like a Spectre at about 1.0 when you feel comfortable flying a canopy that size. It should geve you powerful flare that will make the landing better but not be so touchy thatlittle wight shifts will affect the flight.
Chris

Flare Damn it!!!!!
Albatross


ftaba1

Aug 25, 2001, 2:22 PM
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Re: Newbie questions re: loading [In reply to] Can't Post

You are right, Michele, there is no a certain cut-off between
light and heavy loadings. It is a mixture of experience,
individual capabilities, and a type of canopy that matters.
Loading 1.5 is VERY HIGH. The difference here is that some
jumpers with enough experience CAN handle such a loading.
Although if mistake is made, the result is usually fatal (take a
look at fatalities reports paying attention how many jumps
they had - if we assume for now that # of jumps is an
indicator of experience level).

Also take a look at PD and Icarus web sites:
http://www.performancedesigns.com
http://www.icaruscanopies.com/choosing.htm
These manufacturers give their opinions concerning wing
loadings with PD being more conservative than Icarus.
I think they suspect that people will not really stick with what
they suggest, that's why their (I mean PD's) recommendations
are slightly over moderate.
There are a lot of useful info on the PD's site. Check out their
articles, manuals, and seminars. I expect you'll find answers
to all your questions there.

If we consider a particular canopy, then suspending more
weight to it will increase the total speed of the canopy keeping
the glide angle the same. The total speed consists of the
horizontal and vertical components which both increase too.
This increased total speed generates more lift needed to
support heavier suspended weight and also allows to generate
more lift when flaring (that's what attracts many jumpers). But
the "side effects" that comes with the increased speed and
higher loadings are the very fast turns and a lost of lots of
altitude. All these together leave you much less time to
react and consequences of a wrong decision will be more
radical if the jump deflects from planned. (I think this is
exactly what they mean by forgiveness).

No matter what canopy you choose make sure you are
comfortable with it and can handle it in the worst situation.

Hope this helps.
Anton




cloud9  (D 27635)

Aug 25, 2001, 2:56 PM
Post #4 of 7 (1165 views)
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Re: Newbie questions re: loading [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Michele
I'm a bit of a lay person so I'll explain in lay terms.
The above explained wing loading rather well so I'll just tell you what to expect at higher wing loadings.

Your canopy flys straight in much faster (forward speed) also the canopy turns much quicker. This means that the canopy dives faster, and your body swings out from under the canopy quicker. The recovery arch is longer. It will keep you out there longer.

A lighter loaded canopy has a little less forward speed, the turns are slower your body swings out less and the recovery arch is shorter. So if you happen to make a mistake (low turn) under a lightly loaded canopy you won't be going as fast and the odds of recovery (getting back under your canopy) before you strike the ground are better. Hence it is more forgiving. Smile



jaybird  (D 24977)

Aug 26, 2001, 9:04 PM
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Re: Newbie questions re: loading [In reply to] Can't Post

wing loadings will react differently under different style canopies. i have a crossfire 149, i am 190 out the door, so i load it just under 1.3:1 this is "light" for THIS canopy. i have recently been demoing smaller canopies and have seen big differences. i jumped a crossfire 109, 1.75:1 loading, and it is much faster forward, longer dives, and much faster turns. the ground hunginess was increased as well. however, not all canopies will fly the same at the same wing loading. for example i also jumped a jedei 120. i was surprised under this canopy because it dove and had the ground rush similar to the crossfire 109. two jumpers at my dz with the same wing loading were flying next to each other, one under a stiletto 120 and one under a jedei 120, and the jedei was coming down much faster. if you are looking for a new canopy, and you say that you are a conservative pilot, then you might like the spectre, sabre, or safire. its best to talk to a s&ta at your dz that is familiar with your flying skills as well as your landings before choosing a canopy.

just my thoughts.

jaybird



apoil  (D License)

Aug 27, 2001, 12:24 AM
Post #6 of 7 (1105 views)
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Re: Newbie questions re: loading [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I am asking this because of the thread "Death in Hollister" brought up a point: there was a loading quoted, and I was wondering if it was heavy (as indicated) or light. This is not to point at anyone, I am sincerely curious.
The posting said that generally speaking wing loadings greater than 1.2 are "heavy".

1.2 is as good a place as any if you are going to place a demarkation between "heavy" and "light". However 1.2 is by no means extreme especially by modern standards. I wouldn't steer a beginner to that range, but after a few hundred jumps and demonstrated canopy control, 1.3-1.5 would not be considered extreme.

In reply to:
And before anyone rips me a new.....I am asking this because I want to make sure I stay conservative, and not cross the boundaries without knowing where they are.
The safest thing you are doing is asking questions like this.
I myself have been very slow and conservative in my canopy progression.
~700 jumps now and I jump a Safire at 1.4-1.5 (depending on what I had for breakfast).

Since you post with a woman's name I'll make the following points
1 - women's bones are more brittle than mens and their bodies are less muscular.
This means that an impact that might only cause a sprain injury for a man is far more likely to break bones or kill a woman.
2 - women tend to be less agressive canopy pilots than men.

For these reasons, a woman is usually steered towards a .8/.9 wingloading for her first canopy versus 1.0/1.2 for a man. (These are not rules, just what I've observed).

Jump with what you are comfortable with and don't downsize unless you are truly feeling the limitations of your current canopy.




riggerrob  (D 14840)

Aug 27, 2001, 10:24 AM
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Re: Newbie questions re: loading [In reply to] Can't Post

Let's look at this question of wing-loadings from a different angle.
One definition of EXTREME SPORTS is any sport that pushes you beyond your comfort zone or previous skill level.
For a example, a grandma trying snowboarding on the bunny hill for the first time is probably operating at 150% of her previous skill. Granny will pump major adrenaline all day and will be exhausted by sunset.
On the other hand, a young buck with a year or two's experience on a snowboard will find 50 foot jumps a pleasant distraction from carving down avalanche slopes.
Now which snowboarder is operating at an EXTREME SPORT level?

The same philosophy applies to wing loading parachutes. For a first jump student, a wing loading of 0.7 pounds per square foot has her pegging the adrenaline meter!
On the other hand, a professional blade running competitor may find a wing loading of 2.0 boring.
Which skydiver is operating in the EXTREME Zone?

The definition of heavy wing loading is a personal definition. It depends upon your experience, physical fitness, skill and experience. Also consider currency. If you do 200 jumps over a summer, by the end of the summer, your definition of a heavy wing loading may be 1.7. But after a winter of coach surfing, a wing loading of 1.2 might peg your adrenaline meter!




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