Dec 12, 2010, 5:55 PM
Post #1 of 82
tandem canopy size
I'm a tandem instructor and have been for 3 years. I have done skydive's with very light people and very heavy people ( not exceeding 225lbs). The new canopy, the firebolt 328, I beleave is the size, is very small. It is getting small for a tandem canopy. It is not to far off our largest student canopy, which only holds one person, not two. What do you other instructors think ?
A big student canopy is flown by a big student, possibly on their first jump. A small tandem canopy is flown by a TI, hpoefully not on their first tandem.
Canopy size as related to safety all comes down to the pilot. Being realistic about their abilities and the conditions they're jumping in are the two key features that promote safe use of small canopies. If you can account for those, small canopies can be safely jumped.
I was just seeing what all your thoughts were. I never have jumped any tandem canopy but the sigma 370 and icarus 400 . I would love to try one of the smaller ones since you say there better on the arms. I broke my elbows on a fall off a roof. So it is sometimes a struggle to pull the toodles all the way down so I start the flare a little early. I usually land on my feet. Im a canopy pilot and love to fly my canopies. I jump a velo and katana and have almost 2000 jumps. I know fast I just wanted others opinions since I've never jumped one under 370
I would have to look. I have had it for 3 yrs. I work at a smaller dz but we stay pretty busy just having 2 of us. I would say if I had to guess. Would be 500 or so. Maybe higher. Im multi rated so that's not all I do
Sounds like you have the skill, and experience to be trying a 330ish, of course that's said without seeing you fly.
It's a unique skill we have t have, build, and master, learning to fly a different wingloading on the same canopy every jump.
Remember the same concerns about downsizing apply. Faster reactions to the same input, higher speed, change in recovery arc.
Also keep in mind there's not always a good reason to be jumping a 330. Unless you're doing 1000 tandems a year, it's probably not the right tool for taking the big boys. It's also may not be the right teaching canopy for advanced tandems.
Our workhorses here are EZ 384 by Paratec (the EZ stands for elliptical zero-porosity). They require some effort when it comes to flaring but are very reliable and work both on low-wind and high-wind days very reasonable. The new Twin Century tandem canopy by Paratec is uhm... 360 sqft AFAIK and easier to steer and flare, but as long as the old EZs do, they are used.
I agree. I have not jumped the 285 but would love to give it a go. However I have some experience on the 300's and if given the choice I would not fly anything bigger. The 330's are an awesome canopy too. Most DZ down here seem to run them with tandem pilots I know up to 110+ kg. and everyone loves them. I actually dont see any reason to go any bigger. All our new tandem pilots at our company jump them with no problem. I'm only 70 kg so not the biggest tandem master out there. But I have jumped the 300 with up to 110kg and they still have plenty of flare!! Single or double toggle set up they still have one of the lightest toggle pressures out there. To me for the smaller tandem pilot is the best canopy on the market. And I would only buy the NZ one.
anything bigger than 360 is waste of fabric. but seems like some TI needs every bit of it. some TI really get their tandem rating at 500 jumps you know..
I Disagree, a Canopy is a tool (in this case) to get a pair of individuals, safely to the ground.
A 330 may be good for one wing loading and a 400 good for another. A T-I should be picking the right tool for the job and adjusting to every individual students needs.
I love the 285 and the 300, but i do believe the 330 is the best all round work horse. The 364's come in handy occasionally but anything bigger than that is too big i reckon.
Keep in mind the bigger the canopy the more it will be affected by turbulence, and a big canopy lightly loaded is more likely do injure someone than a smaller canopy heavilly loaded.
Remember the more forward speed the better the performance and landing
I have spoken to numerous people and combined with my experience, I believe the last line you wrote is a myth in regards to ALL canopies.
Yes, certain models are designed in such a way they handle better in higher loadings and thus are faster. SO those canopies will need to be utilized as you wrote.
Canopies are tools, no single canopy will work for ALL loads and conditions. AS Instructors we need to be able to select the right tool and keep our students safe first and foremost.
All canopies are effected by turbulence. Smaller ones "zip" through faster and bigger ones "truck" through slower. The trade offs are the smaller canopies have less exposure and less time to react to it. The Bigger canopies more exposure and more time to react.
I am new TI and am jumping 365 icarus but want a smaller canopy. i heard there are icarus 300 and performs better in winds cause of better wing loading. also you can swoop better and get more stand up landings. do you think it is ok to swoop your tandem for better landing??