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What is the best thing to do when you are low?

 

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crotalus01  (B 28932)

Apr 3, 2010, 10:13 PM
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What is the best thing to do when you are low? Can't Post

On a formation jump I mean. I went low on a 7 way today, low enough that I completely lost sight of the formation. I began tracking at 5K (breakoff was supposed to be 4.5), tracked until 3.5, waved off and pulled. I was saddled out at 2200 according to my Neptune.
Long story short, the other 6 were pretty pissed at me because they said I deployed dirctley below the formation (2 said they passed me while still in freefall).
SO, what is the best thing to do in a situation where you completely lose sight of the group you are with by going low? I could have sucked it down another 1K before deployment but I am jumping a new (to me) fairly high performance canopy and like to have a little bit of cushion if I have a funky opening or a mal.
Suggestions? (Other than not going low I mean)


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Apr 3, 2010, 10:31 PM
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Re: [crotalus01] What is the best thing to do when you are low? [In reply to] Can't Post

That's a tough one. I'm assuming it was a belly fly jump. First of all, what do they expect for 140 jumps? Depending on your build and your jumpsuit, they should have been prepared for you to go low.

Second, it sounds like maybe you don't track very well. Go up with some one who is a good tracker and have them evaluate your track. Most people don't push on the air hard enough to really flat track. That makes all the difference between moving across the sky to really get separation vs. diving towards the Earth so you have to pull sooner and scare everyone above you.

If you tend to go low a lot, maybe practice with smaller groups, jump with bigger people, and practice your recovery technique.

Last, but not least, if you do have to track early and far, try to go perpendicular to the jump run line, so that you don't track into another group's airspace.


ridestrong  (C 38471)

Apr 3, 2010, 10:36 PM
Post #3 of 83 (3383 views)
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Re: [crotalus01] What is the best thing to do when you are low? [In reply to] Can't Post

Barrel roll before pulling!?!


crotalus01  (B 28932)

Apr 3, 2010, 10:48 PM
Post #4 of 83 (3375 views)
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Re: [JohnMitchell] What is the best thing to do when you are low? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yep was a belly jump.
As far as my tracking, I am still learning to flat track for max seperation but I can haul ass pretty well in a track according to several friends and instructors. It was really windy (54 knots I think at 3K).
I have gone low plenty, just not like today where I completely lost the group I was with.
Did I f??k up by starting my track before planned breakoff, should I have just gone to the basement, what is the best course of action when that happens?


IanHarrop  (C 1152)

Apr 3, 2010, 10:50 PM
Post #5 of 83 (3372 views)
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Re: [ridestrong] What is the best thing to do when you are low? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Barrel roll before pulling!?!

This is one piece of advice that I really hate. It has been discussed at length.


Edit to add:

A previous discussion on this topic http://www.dropzone.com/...ew_flat;post=3438103


(This post was edited by IanHarrop on Apr 3, 2010, 10:54 PM)


ridestrong  (C 38471)

Apr 3, 2010, 11:12 PM
Post #6 of 83 (3357 views)
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Re: [IanHarrop] What is the best thing to do when you are low? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Barrel roll before pulling!?!

This is one piece of advice that I really hate. It has been discussed at length.


Edit to add:

A previous discussion on this topic http://www.dropzone.com/...ew_flat;post=3438103

good points


tetra316  (D 26945)

Apr 3, 2010, 11:17 PM
Post #7 of 83 (3352 views)
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Re: [crotalus01] What is the best thing to do when you are low? [In reply to] Can't Post

If low move out from directly underneath the formation to the edge and then keep trying the entire skydive to get back up. Start tracking with the first wave breaking off or if only one, at the afore stated breakoff altitude.

This is the general rule of thumb. With small groups I guess if depends on your abilities and what the group would prefer. They should have discussed this you before hand, especially given your low jump numbers.


NovaTTT  (D 17887)

Apr 4, 2010, 1:09 AM
Post #8 of 83 (3326 views)
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Re: [crotalus01] What is the best thing to do when you are low? [In reply to] Can't Post

Pull altitudes should be agreed upon before the jump. If you go so low that you're not getting back, remain where you are, outside of the formation's column, until breakoff altitude. Breakoff as you normally would and pull where you are expected to.

ETA:

This should all be part of pre-jump planning.


(This post was edited by NovaTTT on Apr 4, 2010, 1:10 AM)


jakee  (C License)

Apr 4, 2010, 5:59 AM
Post #9 of 83 (3270 views)
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Re: [crotalus01] What is the best thing to do when you are low? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
As far as my tracking, I am still learning to flat track for max seperation but I can haul ass pretty well in a track according to several friends and instructors.

And yet you were apparently still under the formation when you deployed.

So either you weren't tracking at all when you say you were, or you have no control over falling down the tube when you've got no reference, and you slid so far away from the formation when you were low that you simply tracked back under them when you thought you were breaking off.


Andy9o8  (D License)

Apr 4, 2010, 6:21 AM
Post #10 of 83 (3253 views)
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Re: [crotalus01] What is the best thing to do when you are low? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
the other 6 were pretty pissed at me because they said I deployed dirctley below the formation (2 said they passed me while still in freefall).

Thread drift - I hope everyone thinks about this kind of near-miss when they're having their "AAD debates". It doesn't take all that unlikely a mistake to find yourself in a freefall-into-canopy collision. As I've mentioned before, that's how the first person I knew who went in, went in.
Now back to our show.


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

Apr 4, 2010, 7:00 AM
Post #11 of 83 (3243 views)
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Re: [crotalus01] What is the best thing to do when you are low? [In reply to] Can't Post

Others have mentioned it, but what was the plan for this happening?

You planned for this during the dirt dive, right?

Other than "don't lose sight of the rest of the jumpers on your group", I don't have much.

I know looking up will make you fall faster, but I can look most of the way over both my shoulders by looking to the side without increasing my fall rate.

And (while I could be wrong), regaining location on the other guys in the group should take precedence over getting back to them. If you have no clue where they are, how can you be sure you are clear?
While barrel rolls are totally inappropriate during a normal breakoff, doing whatever it takes to relocate other jumpers in your space if you've completely lost track of them is preferable to just tracking, and possibly tracking directly under them (which is what it would seem that you did).


jimmytavino  (A 3914)

Apr 4, 2010, 7:20 AM
Post #12 of 83 (3235 views)
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Re: [crotalus01] What is the best thing to do when you are low? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
On a formation jump I mean. I went low on a 7 way today, low enough that I completely lost sight of the formation. I began tracking at 5K (breakoff was supposed to be 4.5), tracked until 3.5, waved off and pulled. I was saddled out at 2200 according to my Neptune.
Long story short, the other 6 were pretty pissed at me because they said I deployed dirctley below the formation (2 said they passed me while still in freefall).
SO, what is the best thing to do in a situation where you completely lose sight of the group you are with by going low? I could have sucked it down another 1K before deployment but I am jumping a new (to me) fairly high performance canopy and like to have a little bit of cushion if I have a funky opening or a mal.
Suggestions? (Other than not going low I mean)

RE: other than going low.....Wink
John Mitchell makes some great points, and if you ARE a 'fast faller' , then depending on where YOUR slot was,,, on the 7 way...... why couldn't the others have " gotten down to you" ? early on??/.
Were you in the base and fell out of it?? or did you overdive it???

If the group is small and people are at least a little bit tuned in , Then they might consider either UPPING the speed of the base.. or even dropping the grips of the base,, and booking on DOWN to join you..once they see you're struggling to get back.....
It IS a group dive..?? right??? and success levels , as well as safety levels can be enhanced by making sure that EVERYone is IN the formation....

problem is, that often, even in a small dive, some of the jumpers are unaware that "somebody is missing" Shocked or that someone is low, Unsure and so tend to relax, and grin, and fall slowly relative to the teammate who is trying to get back up.FrownFrown...and so that person ( the O P ) spends the dive, trying to recover, becoming a safety concern, and mumbling to himself under canopy...Unsure I Know.... i've been there.Frown

" We weren't falling too fast.... THEY were falling too slow..."SmileCool

i would consider breaking ranks, from within a building 'small way " (especially if it's only shortly out the door, and 'the Big guy ', is low right away)..to lead the others down , soas to re-establish the speed of the base, and allow the low person to be a part of the dive....by re building On him, and the sooner the better...
At the dirt dive, it Could be helpful to discuss the pros and cons of adapting such a " Plan B " procedure for the dive,, if there are noticable size differences and as such fall rates,, among the group membrs..

Certainly a better idea, than laying there for 30 seconds,, frowning at the guy...shaking my head, and wondering " what the hell is gonna happen Now" ? PirateUnsure



jt


monkycndo  (D License)

Apr 4, 2010, 7:47 AM
Post #13 of 83 (3219 views)
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Re: [wolfriverjoe] What is the best thing to do when you are low? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
While barrel rolls are totally inappropriate during a normal breakoff, doing whatever it takes to relocate other jumpers in your space if you've completely lost track of them is preferable to just tracking, and possibly tracking directly under them (which is what it would seem that you did).

If a jumper is having issues with tracking/heading control, adding a barrel roll into the equation is not the right answer. Once you start tracking, go hell bent for leather and be predictable. That barrel roll might change your heading into one right under another tracker, making the problem worse.

Plan the dive and dive the plan. Which should include break off when the original plan goes to shit.


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

Apr 4, 2010, 8:00 AM
Post #14 of 83 (3210 views)
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Re: [monkycndo] What is the best thing to do when you are low? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
While barrel rolls are totally inappropriate during a normal breakoff, doing whatever it takes to relocate other jumpers in your space if you've completely lost track of them is preferable to just tracking, and possibly tracking directly under them (which is what it would seem that you did).

If a jumper is having issues with tracking/heading control, adding a barrel roll into the equation is not the right answer. Once you start tracking, go hell bent for leather and be predictable. That barrel roll might change your heading into one right under another tracker, making the problem worse.

Plan the dive and dive the plan. Which should include break off when the original plan goes to shit.


I had a bad feeling this was going to start a controversy.

I'm not talking about during the track.

Once breakoff has occurred, a barrel roll is a bad idea.

But, well before breakoff, if a jumper has gone way low and completely lost the other jumpers in the group?
Knowing they are above you, but not where, is it a bad idea to flip over before tracking off to determine where the rest of the group is?

To deterimine a safe direction to track?

And agreed, as I said in my original post, having a plan for this beforehand is vital.


riggerpaul  (D 28098)

Apr 4, 2010, 8:17 AM
Post #15 of 83 (3197 views)
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Re: [wolfriverjoe] What is the best thing to do when you are low? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
While barrel rolls are totally inappropriate during a normal breakoff, doing whatever it takes to relocate other jumpers in your space if you've completely lost track of them is preferable to just tracking, and possibly tracking directly under them (which is what it would seem that you did).

If a jumper is having issues with tracking/heading control, adding a barrel roll into the equation is not the right answer. Once you start tracking, go hell bent for leather and be predictable. That barrel roll might change your heading into one right under another tracker, making the problem worse.

Plan the dive and dive the plan. Which should include break off when the original plan goes to shit.


I had a bad feeling this was going to start a controversy.

I'm not talking about during the track.

Once breakoff has occurred, a barrel roll is a bad idea.

But, well before breakoff, if a jumper has gone way low and completely lost the other jumpers in the group?
Knowing they are above you, but not where, is it a bad idea to flip over before tracking off to determine where the rest of the group is?

To deterimine a safe direction to track?

And agreed, as I said in my original post, having a plan for this beforehand is vital.

The fellow can't stay close enough to see the formation.

What makes you think he will find it if he does a barrel roll?

In addition, it is likely that he will not be able to do a roll without going all over the place or totally losing control.

All that does is burn precious altitude.

If he cannot stay with a formation or even keep it in sight, he needs to get more practice with smaller formations that will better accommodate his needs.

Trying to fix the problem without backing up a few steps and improving his skills just puts more people in danger.


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

Apr 4, 2010, 9:34 AM
Post #16 of 83 (3158 views)
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Re: [riggerpaul] What is the best thing to do when you are low? [In reply to] Can't Post

Very true. Thank you.


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Apr 4, 2010, 11:00 AM
Post #17 of 83 (3131 views)
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Re: [jimmytavino] What is the best thing to do when you are low? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
so that person ( the O P ) spends the dive, trying to recover, becoming a safety concern, and mumbling to himself under canopy...Unsure I Know.... i've been there.Frown
Haven't we all?WinkLaughLaugh


I would consider breaking ranks, from within a building 'small way " (especially if it's only shortly out the door, and 'the Big guy ', is low right away)..to lead the others down , soas to re-establish the speed of the base, and allow the low person to be a part of the dive....by re building On him, and the sooner the better...I think that's a great idea for the weekend fun jump, especially when were talking sub-500 jumps category. Heck, then 6 people all get to swoop.Cool

Probably one of the reasons I love to do 4 way so much when I'm fun jumping. It's much easier for Vskydiver and me to keep all the players in the game on a small jump, plus more docks for your dollar. There's very few skills in this sport you can't acquire doing 4 way.
Cool


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Apr 4, 2010, 11:07 AM
Post #18 of 83 (3128 views)
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Re: [crotalus01] What is the best thing to do when you are low? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
As far as my tracking, I am still learning to flat track for max seperation but I can haul ass pretty well in a track according to several friends and instructors. It was really windy (54 knots I think at 3K).
I have gone low plenty, just not like today where I completely lost the group I was with.
Did I f??k up by starting my track before planned breakoff, should I have just gone to the basement, what is the best course of action when that happens?
The high winds ( and those are huge at 3K! How bad were the ground winds?) don't affect what the group is doing or how separation is done. Everyone drifts in the same air mass together. Smile

One thing for all of us to remember is that low man does have right of way. That's why we watch where we're going when we track off and look for trackers and open canopies below us. As much as I hate to see someone go low on an RW jump, they do not have to burn it into the basement for me. When someone does go mega low, I prefer they try to come back up, but if it's hopeless, track early, track hard. It's just never a good situation.


chutem  (A 45827)

Apr 4, 2010, 1:58 PM
Post #19 of 83 (3094 views)
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Re: [riggerpaul] What is the best thing to do when you are low? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
While barrel rolls are totally inappropriate during a normal breakoff, doing whatever it takes to relocate other jumpers in your space if you've completely lost track of them is preferable to just tracking, and possibly tracking directly under them (which is what it would seem that you did).

If a jumper is having issues with tracking/heading control, adding a barrel roll into the equation is not the right answer. Once you start tracking, go hell bent for leather and be predictable. That barrel roll might change your heading into one right under another tracker, making the problem worse.

Plan the dive and dive the plan. Which should include break off when the original plan goes to shit.


I had a bad feeling this was going to start a controversy.

I'm not talking about during the track.

Once breakoff has occurred, a barrel roll is a bad idea.

But, well before breakoff, if a jumper has gone way low and completely lost the other jumpers in the group?
Knowing they are above you, but not where, is it a bad idea to flip over before tracking off to determine where the rest of the group is?

To deterimine a safe direction to track?

And agreed, as I said in my original post, having a plan for this beforehand is vital.

The fellow can't stay close enough to see the formation.

What makes you think he will find it if he does a barrel roll?

In addition, it is likely that he will not be able to do a roll without going all over the place or totally losing control.

All that does is burn precious altitude.

If he cannot stay with a formation or even keep it in sight, he needs to get more practice with smaller formations that will better accommodate his needs.

Trying to fix the problem without backing up a few steps and improving his skills just puts more people in danger.

He is also jumping a vengeance 170 at 1.45lbs/sqft with 140 jumps. I hope this all ends well.

James


JackC1

Apr 4, 2010, 2:52 PM
Post #20 of 83 (3068 views)
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Re: [JohnMitchell] What is the best thing to do when you are low? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
try to come back up, but if it's hopeless, track early, track hard.

+1


riggerpaul  (D 28098)

Apr 4, 2010, 3:08 PM
Post #21 of 83 (3063 views)
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Re: [JackC1] What is the best thing to do when you are low? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
try to come back up, but if it's hopeless, track early, track hard.

+1

I have no argument with this advice.

But it presumes that the fellow can track, track straight, and has a good idea of where to go.

From the story, it isn't clear to me that he has these skills.

So, to me, I think this jump should be a wake-up call to the jumper that he needs to take a step back and get his basic skills more solid before he does another jump like this one.


Premier faulknerwn  (D 17441)
Moderator
Apr 4, 2010, 3:44 PM
Post #22 of 83 (3039 views)
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Re: [chutem] What is the best thing to do when you are low? [In reply to] Can't Post

And I would seriously recommend going to a canopy more appropriate for your number of jumps (Vengeance loaded at 1.45 with a 140 jumps? Really?) A canopy that you have to pull high on because it scares you is not one you need to be jumping with other people in the sky. You ended up pulling high and underneath people because you were afraid of your canopy. I'm not advocating dumping in the basement, but 3500 is quite high when there is a crowd above you.


kallend  (D 23151)

Apr 4, 2010, 4:04 PM
Post #23 of 83 (3030 views)
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Re: [riggerpaul] What is the best thing to do when you are low? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
try to come back up, but if it's hopeless, track early, track hard.

+1

I have no argument with this advice.

But it presumes that the fellow can track, track straight, and has a good idea of where to go.

From the story, it isn't clear to me that he has these skills.

So, to me, I think this jump should be a wake-up call to the jumper that he needs to take a step back and get his basic skills more solid before he does another jump like this one.

Indeed. It's been my experience that people with a habit of getting way low are generally not the fastest, flattest trackers either.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Apr 4, 2010, 5:13 PM
Post #24 of 83 (3006 views)
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Re: [wolfriverjoe] What is the best thing to do when you are low? [In reply to] Can't Post

>But, well before breakoff, if a jumper has gone way low and completely
>lost the other jumpers in the group?

Then turn sideways to the formation, turn your head left or right and look above you to determine where you are. Track or stay with the formation until breakoff per the briefing for the jump. Track as long as possible and pull as close to 2000 as possible.


(This post was edited by billvon on Apr 4, 2010, 5:20 PM)


pchapman  (D 1014)

Apr 4, 2010, 5:47 PM
Post #25 of 83 (2978 views)
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Re: [riggerpaul] What is the best thing to do when you are low? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
try to come back up, but if it's hopeless, track early, track hard.

Some say track early, some say stay with the formation until breakoff. I think this is a bit like the barrel roll argument.

This is the way I personally make sense of those arguments back and forth:

Barrel roll?
If everyone is disciplined, capable, and doing what they should in a formation dive, doing a barrel roll is wrong.

But what if everything does go to hell and people are all over and you can't trust those above you? That's when a barrel roll can be valuable.

So: Track off early when you are stuck low?
If everyone is doing the right thing, in visual contact, and following the plan, the rule may be that you should stay with the formation until normal breakoff.

But, if everything goes to hell, track off early. (not up/down jump run)

So "the rules" depend on the situation.

For the original poster, if he wasn't capable of spotting the formation and thus maintaining a good position relative to it, he isn't going to be able to do a good track in the short time available when everyone else tracks. He's better to get well out of the way, early.

Just my opinion.


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