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Yes, it actually CAN happen to you.....

 

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tkhayes  (D 18764)

Apr 1, 2011, 9:19 AM
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Yes, it actually CAN happen to you..... Can't Post

The Perris double fatal accident should be no surprise to anyone. Statistically (and unfortunately) these things will happen.

Tommy Piras went in back in 1990 or 1991, and no one believed it could happen to someone of such experience. AAD sales went through the roof.

Already many have forgotten why AAD's (and RSL's for that matter) are important and people argue against their value.

Today we argue (for and against) separating canopy traffic, enforcing patterns and making those 'careless' few more responsible for their actions.

Once you open your parachute, you have a responsibility to others to fly sensibly, analyze where you fit into the pattern, FLY the pattern, fly to avoid others and be utmost safe in your approach and landings.

Even if that means not landing exactly where you want to land.

For sure as shit, this will not be the last canopy collision fatality in our sport.

The question is - do you want to be the next one?

TK (tired of watching good people die)


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Apr 1, 2011, 10:32 AM
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Re: [tkhayes] Yes, it actually CAN happen to you..... [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm beginning to wonder if canopy collisions have become an unmanageable risk. There are plenty of those in the sport; we all choose to jump or not based on how many of them are present at any particular time. The level of experience, knowledge, training and ability of the deceased doesn't seem to matter when it comes to who the reaper picks to go this way. The only 100% sure way to not die in a canopy collision, other than not jumping, is to be the only canopy in the air.

The big question isn't do you want to be the next one. No one wants to be the next one. The big question is are you willing to accept the risk of being the next one, even if you do everything right.


Andrewwhyte  (C 1988)

Apr 1, 2011, 10:44 AM
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Re: [skybytch] Yes, it actually CAN happen to you..... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The big question isn't do you want to be the next one. No one wants to be the next one. The big question is are you willing to accept the risk of being the next one, even if you do everything right.
Accepting that the risk will remain non-zero is not the same thing as accepting the risk level as given. While risk is always present we still must continue to strive to manage the risk.


riggerpaul  (D 28098)

Apr 1, 2011, 10:54 AM
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Re: [skybytch] Yes, it actually CAN happen to you..... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I'm beginning to wonder if canopy collisions have become an unmanageable risk. There are plenty of those in the sport; we all choose to jump or not based on how many of them are present at any particular time. The level of experience, knowledge, training and ability of the deceased doesn't seem to matter when it comes to who the reaper picks to go this way. The only 100% sure way to not die in a canopy collision, other than not jumping, is to be the only canopy in the air.

The big question isn't do you want to be the next one. No one wants to be the next one. The big question is are you willing to accept the risk of being the next one, even if you do everything right.

I cannot agree.

The question is, "Are you willing to do what it takes to NOT be the next one?"

A great deal depends on what sort of skydive you will or won't accept.

Now, maybe you don't want to make solo low altitude hop-n-pops at a piston-Cessna dz and land away from dz center for the rest of your life, but that would surely get the job done, were you so inclined.

The first step is to believe that the risk is real.

The next step is to decide how far you will go to mitigate it.


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Apr 1, 2011, 12:24 PM
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Re: [riggerpaul] Yes, it actually CAN happen to you..... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The question is, "Are you willing to do what it takes to NOT be the next one?"

My point is that it seems that it doesn't matter how experienced we are, how predictably we fly our patterns, how much education we've sought out and received, how skilled we are, how busy the air is, how much we keep our head on a swivel or how conservative or aggressive our canopies are. IOW, beyond not jumping or being the only canopy in the air, there seems to be nothing we can do in our individual jumping to significantly reduce the risk of being involved in a canopy collision.

Skydiving is a risk management sport. Some risks we can't manage; those are the ones we choose to accept if we want to jump out of airplanes. I'm wondering if the risk of a canopy collision isn't still there - and higher than it used to be - no matter what we do under canopy.

The only solution I see to stopping collisions in the pattern would be if every jumper made a point to always be the only person on any leg of the pattern - just like airplanes do. We don't often hear of airplanes running into each other in the pattern; this may be why.

There's no reason why three of six people on one pass needed to land at the same time a few hours ago at my local dz, but they did. I guess they don't believe that the risk is real... I don't understand that.


peek  (D 8884)

Apr 1, 2011, 1:48 PM
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Re: [skybytch] Yes, it actually CAN happen to you..... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The only solution I see to stopping collisions in the pattern would be if every jumper made a point to always be the only person on any leg of the pattern - just like airplanes do. We don't often hear of airplanes running into each other in the pattern; this may be why.

Actually, that is one of the more likely places for an aircraft mid-air collision. Here is one reference, (and every time over the years that I have read an article about mid-air collisions, it has stated this too.) http://blog.aopa.org/asfblog/?p=32%20-%2041k Even worse is that many of these involve a instructor in the airplane, in a training environment!

Your idea of having only one airplane or canopy in a particular leg of the pattern at a time is valid, though. That's how it is supposed to work with aircraft, but it sometimes still does not.

General aviation has not been able to solve this problem, and general aviation has been working on it for a long time, having created many articles, safety bulletins, etc.

As to why this has only recently become more of a problem for skydiving? Perhaps faster canopies, but what else?

Accuracy jumpers have been "stacking" their descents and landings on the same target for years. Can we all not do this, or is it just not possible with a number of fast canopies?


riggerpaul  (D 28098)

Apr 1, 2011, 2:04 PM
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Re: [peek] Yes, it actually CAN happen to you..... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
The only solution I see to stopping collisions in the pattern would be if every jumper made a point to always be the only person on any leg of the pattern - just like airplanes do. We don't often hear of airplanes running into each other in the pattern; this may be why.

Actually, that is one of the more likely places for an aircraft mid-air collision. Here is one reference, (and every time over the years that I have read an article about mid-air collisions, it has stated this too.) http://blog.aopa.org/asfblog/?p=32%20-%2041k Even worse is that many of these involve a instructor in the airplane, in a training environment!

Your idea of having only one airplane or canopy in a particular leg of the pattern at a time is valid, though. That's how it is supposed to work with aircraft, but it sometimes still does not.

General aviation has not been able to solve this problem, and general aviation has been working on it for a long time, having created many articles, safety bulletins, etc.

As to why this has only recently become more of a problem for skydiving? Perhaps faster canopies, but what else?

Accuracy jumpers have been "stacking" their descents and landings on the same target for years. Can we all not do this, or is it just not possible with a number of fast canopies?

But it isn't just fast canopies. I hear students are joining in too.

As I said, step 1 - believe the risk is real.

If we can't get past that, we won't get anywhere.


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Apr 1, 2011, 2:10 PM
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Re: [peek] Yes, it actually CAN happen to you..... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Actually, that is one of the more likely places for an aircraft mid-air collision.

That makes me wonder even more about my initial point. If pilots and pilot instructors can't keep from running into each other either...

In reply to:
Accuracy jumpers have been "stacking" their descents and landings on the same target for years. Can we all not do this, or is it just not possible with a number of fast canopies?

And demo jumpers have been doing the same thing for years. It is possible, but every jumper has to be on the same page for it to work.

What we tried to teach in our canopy courses is active pattern management. Every jumper starts working toward their place in the pattern as soon as they open, or even before they get on the airplane (by figuring out who is jumping what). Those with higher wingloadings and/or who do HP landings plan to land first. Those with lighter wingloadings plan to land last. Everybody works to gain and maintain both horizontal and vertical separation throughout the canopy flight. The goal is having no more one canopy on any leg of the pattern at any time, which can only be accomplished if people are working toward that end far above 1000 feet. It also keeps everyone thinking about separation and constantly scanning for other canopies during the entire canopy flight.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Apr 1, 2011, 2:12 PM
Post #9 of 39 (2088 views)
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Re: [skybytch] Yes, it actually CAN happen to you..... [In reply to] Can't Post

>there seems to be nothing we can do in our individual jumping to
>significantly reduce the risk of being involved in a canopy collision.

Well, there are some very effective mitigation methods if you're willing to pursue them. I often do video, pull high and then stay above everyone else - and that's a pretty good way to ensure no one comes through your canopy from above.

But that only works for one person on each load.

(peek says)

>Accuracy jumpers have been "stacking" their descents and landings on the
>same target for years. Can we all not do this, or is it just not possible with
>a number of fast canopies?

I think it's perfectly possible with fast or slow canopies. It becomes very hard when you have a mix, though. On Moxie, for example, we have canopies ranging from 150's to 90's - and the smaller canopies often open higher. Which means either people are going to bunch up on landing (risk of collision) or they have to restack before entering the pattern by getting below other people (also risk of collision.)


airtwardo  (D License)

Apr 1, 2011, 2:18 PM
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Re: [peek] Yes, it actually CAN happen to you..... [In reply to] Can't Post

>>As to why this has only recently become more of a problem for skydiving? Perhaps faster canopies, but what else?<<

Faster canopies AND slower canopies competiting for the same airspace, 20 people exiting on one pass with similar opening altitudes all going to the same small place at the same time, unaware/uneducated/untalented people flying through a pattern causing havock and unplanned/unexpected turns by others trying to avoid them & creating a ripple effect.




>>Accuracy jumpers have been "stacking" their descents and landings on the same target for years. Can we all not do this, or is it just not possible with a number of fast canopies?<<


I think the concept is unknown sometimes, I've had jumpers 500' above and behind me in the downwind pattern spin down to my level, shorten up base or final only to come in virtually side by side. Crazy


(This post was edited by airtwardo on Apr 1, 2011, 3:18 PM)


phoenixlpr  (D 3049)

Apr 1, 2011, 3:07 PM
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Re: [billvon] Yes, it actually CAN happen to you..... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I think it's perfectly possible with fast or slow canopies. It becomes very hard when you have a mix, though. On Moxie, for example, we have canopies ranging from 150's to 90's - and the smaller canopies often open higher. Which means either people are going to bunch up on landing (risk of collision) or they have to restack before entering the pattern by getting below other people (also risk of collision.)

It was interesting to see the 63 way Finnish record attempts to land in 2009. Image 65 canopies flying over EMPURIABRAVA! Also image when 1-2 morons could not see or find a pattern a common direction with the rest of the fish-boll. Landing is not about different sizes and wing loads, but egos and discipline. With enough talent available there can be a dangerous traffic from a single C-172.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Apr 1, 2011, 3:10 PM
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Re: [phoenixlpr] Yes, it actually CAN happen to you..... [In reply to] Can't Post

>With enough talent available there can be a dangerous traffic from a
>single C-172.

And you can land 400 people safely - as long as everyone is on the same page and are willing to listen to the organizer.


phoenixlpr  (D 3049)

Apr 1, 2011, 3:43 PM
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Re: [billvon] Yes, it actually CAN happen to you..... [In reply to] Can't Post

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>With enough talent available there can be a dangerous traffic from a
>single C-172.

And you can land 400 people safely - as long as everyone is on the same page and are willing to listen to the organizer.
That could be a different example.

The "youngest" jumper was in the 125-250 jumps range there and there were people with 2000-5000+ jumps also.


kallend  (D 23151)

Apr 1, 2011, 4:44 PM
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Re: [tkhayes] Yes, it actually CAN happen to you..... [In reply to] Can't Post

 

All the skill in the world won't save you after a canopy collision. Whether or not you survive it is just plain luck.

Been there.


theonlyski  (D License)

Apr 1, 2011, 8:57 PM
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Re: [tkhayes] Yes, it actually CAN happen to you..... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The question is - do you want to be the next one?

I came VERY close to being one today. Unsure

Person had ~70 jumps and was flying against the pattern. I checked my landing area and air space under/behind me only to look up and see someone headed right for me @ ~150'.

They managed to see that it was a bad place and did a 180 hook...

Do they not fucking teach canopy control anymore?

TK, I fly a blue canopy with lime 2 and 8 cells... I WILL be landing off from here on. Don't worry about sending a truck, I'll happily walk back.


tkhayes  (D 18764)

Apr 1, 2011, 10:12 PM
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Re: [theonlyski] Yes, it actually CAN happen to you..... [In reply to] Can't Post

actually we have vastly expanded our canopy program at Z-Hills with our students over the past few years.

Just by going to the ISP program, there are more and more canopy requirements to be fulfilled.

So I disagree that 'they do not teach canopy control any more' - there was a very long period when AFF was created through to the ISP program where it was largely ignored and the freefall skills were focused upon.

That has much changed. It still has a lot of room for improvement but there is no way that dropzones teach 'less' canopy control than they did 4 years ago.

BTW, "70 jump wonders" are not the ones in the collisions.


jdfreefly  (D 24037)

Apr 1, 2011, 11:32 PM
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Re: [theonlyski] Yes, it actually CAN happen to you..... [In reply to] Can't Post

Trying to avoid a canopy collision at 150 feet is a sure fire way to have one, and landing off won't necessarily make you any safer. All it takes is one more person with the same thought and one of you with a momentary lack of awareness to kill you and them.

Start planning your pattern in the loading area. Adjust the plan to your spot the second you have a landable parachute over your head. Start counting canopies when you open. Look for outliers who don't seem to be following the rest of the herd. Stack the pattern so you're not all landing at the same time. Call out your friends when they compress the pattern. Evaluate close calls with a critical eye to your own actions first, and others second.


SStewart  (D 10405)

Apr 2, 2011, 12:45 AM
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Re: [tkhayes] Yes, it actually CAN happen to you..... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
actually we have vastly expanded our canopy program at Z-Hills with our students over the past few years.

Just by going to the ISP program, there are more and more canopy requirements to be fulfilled.

So I disagree that 'they do not teach canopy control any more' - there was a very long period when AFF was created through to the ISP program where it was largely ignored and the freefall skills were focused upon.

That has much changed. It still has a lot of room for improvement but there is no way that dropzones teach 'less' canopy control than they did 4 years ago.

Really? I attended an AFFI certification course less than two years ago and the entire course was devoted to exits, catching a student on their back and flipping them over, stopping a spin and doing the "8 second dance" If you could do that 3 out of 4 times you passed.

We spent about 20 minutes talking about canopy control.

I have been a static line instructor for over 20 years and IAD for about 5 years so I spend most of the class on canopy control and emergency procedures, the free fall skills come later and are of less importance to me.

The whole system is ass backwards.


phoenixlpr  (D 3049)

Apr 2, 2011, 2:23 AM
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Re: [SStewart] Yes, it actually CAN happen to you..... [In reply to] Can't Post

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Really? I attended an AFFI certification course less than two years ago and the entire course was devoted to exits, catching a student on their back and flipping them over, stopping a spin and doing the "8 second dance" If you could do that 3 out of 4 times you passed.

We spent about 20 minutes talking about canopy control.

I have been a static line instructor for over 20 years and IAD for about 5 years so I spend most of the class on canopy control and emergency procedures, the free fall skills come later and are of less importance to me.

The whole system is ass backwards.
There is just a limited amount of thing you can put in a course. There are more important things at that phase than canopy control. They can and should learn how to behave under a canopy later on.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Apr 2, 2011, 4:55 AM
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Re: [phoenixlpr] Yes, it actually CAN happen to you..... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
There is just a limited amount of thing you can put in a course. There are more important things at that phase than canopy control. They can and should learn how to behave under a canopy later on.

Ruh Roh...
You can expect some flak here for that comment.
It points directly to what others, including me, are saying...canopy control has taken a back seat to freefall skills.

Not only not good, but very bad, in my book.


airtwardo  (D License)

Apr 2, 2011, 5:01 AM
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Re: [popsjumper] Yes, it actually CAN happen to you..... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
There is just a limited amount of thing you can put in a course. There are more important things at that phase than canopy control. They can and should learn how to behave under a canopy later on.

Ruh Roh...
You can expect some flak here for that comment.
It points directly to what others, including me, are saying...canopy control has taken a back seat to freefall skills.

Not only not good, but very bad, in my book.


I couldn't agree more Pops, however keeping in mind that the sport has seen two double fatalities already this year with the participants on the complete opposite ends of the spectrum regarding experience levels...education alone isn't the answer.

What we're doing isn't working. How we're doing it seems to be the main reason for a large % of fatalities in recent years.

As we've seen in recent years, whenever a piece of equipment is judged to be less than nominal in it's performance, it's addressed with urgency industry wide.

That same approach is not only long overdue on this subject, it's a critical issue.


There HAS to be a better way.


(This post was edited by airtwardo on Apr 2, 2011, 5:19 AM)


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Apr 2, 2011, 5:12 AM
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Re: [jdfreefly] Yes, it actually CAN happen to you..... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Call out your friends when they compress the pattern.

THIS is the only thing that's going to work, IMHO.

Teach and educate all you want, you're not addressing the root cause...unthinking, head-up-the-ass, self-centered stupidity.

When you see it and don't say anything because he's your buddy, you're an enabler.

When you see it and don't say anything because he's popular, you're an enabler.

When you see it and don't say anything because he's a skygod, you're an enabler.


My God! These people are trying to KILL you! Say something! Nice? Nasty? Whatever! Say SOMETHING!


davelepka  (D 21448)

Apr 2, 2011, 5:30 AM
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Re: [SStewart] Yes, it actually CAN happen to you..... [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I attended an AFFI certification course less than two years ago and the entire course was devoted to exits, catching a student on their back and flipping them over, stopping a spin and doing the "8 second dance" If you could do that 3 out of 4 times you passed.

We spent about 20 minutes talking about canopy control

While I understand the point you're trying to make, the simple fact is that it is MUCH easier to teach canopy control than to actually demonstrate the freefall skills you mentioned.

The point of the AFF cert course is evaluate your skills as an instructor, so they focus on the most difficult skills required and work their way down from there. If you can't stay with a student, your ground training prowess (canopy or otherwise) is of no consequence.

Admittedly, it sends the wrong message to the candidates when they don't stress the importance of canopy control training with regards to their future students, but even if they did include more on canopy control, I doubt it would it would be at the expense of spending time and focus on the freefall skills. Like it or not, AFF is still a freefall based learning progression, and the instructor must poses the skills to teach in that environment.


theonlyski  (D License)

Apr 2, 2011, 5:38 AM
Post #24 of 39 (1735 views)
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Re: [tkhayes] Yes, it actually CAN happen to you..... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
actually we have vastly expanded our canopy program at Z-Hills with our students over the past few years.

Just by going to the ISP program, there are more and more canopy requirements to be fulfilled.

So I disagree that 'they do not teach canopy control any more' - there was a very long period when AFF was created through to the ISP program where it was largely ignored and the freefall skills were focused upon.

That has much changed. It still has a lot of room for improvement but there is no way that dropzones teach 'less' canopy control than they did 4 years ago.

BTW, "70 jump wonders" are not the ones in the collisions.

I don't doubt you at all, he was a visiting jumper from up north, a 182 dz.

He's been landing fine on the previous jumps. Looked more like a case of 'get home itis'


ETA: I'm actually pretty satisfied with almost all of the people at Z-hills, very rarely do you see someone flying against the pattern. I've been to a couple places where the pattern was "I will get down before you, even if I have to spiral a couple grand to do it" No pattern... just every man for themself.

This isn't a hit at all to you or the dz, please don't take it as one.


(This post was edited by theonlyski on Apr 2, 2011, 6:18 AM)


danornan  (D 11308)

Apr 2, 2011, 6:08 AM
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Re: [theonlyski] Yes, it actually CAN happen to you..... [In reply to] Can't Post

Part of the problem is the plan, (how to land and the direction) making it simple to understand and then following it to the letter.

Too many times I’ve been in the boarding area and someone says “first one down sets the landing direction.” This in its self creates a problem when two different people think that they will be the one to set the direction. (Could this have been the situation in Perris this past weekend?)

Or

Someone says, “Landing direction is to the North.”

And then here is what happens. As the first one down lands to the north, the winds change, and “everyone” knows, because it is “common” sense, to make a mid-air correction. Now some follow the instructions and some make a change.

To me, if a DZ has a predetermined pattern that is strictly enforced, making up a “right now rule” in the boarding area is not necessary. Everyone will know that the pattern starts below 500 feet and you enter it where ever you happen to be and land accordingly.

You might have to, land downwind or cross wind if you decide to “get into the pattern” or else you land out of it, anyway that you determine is safe. But you are not in the pattern traffic where a direction of travel is expected and predictable.

We will still have problems with one canopy overtaking another, but at least, you won’t have to worry about someone hooking it in or coming at you from the wrong direction.

In the past few years, I have watched several canopy wraps and last year, was almost taken out by someone coming at me, below 200 feet while I was getting ready to flair.

We need as much PERDICTABILITY in the LZ (landing Zone) area as possible and in my opinion, creating a pattern, and sticking to it, regardless of your own “common – at – time- common- sense” will go a long way in reducing these collisions on landing.

Changing an agreed upon rule on the fly or at the last minute is unexpected by everyone and creates confusion.

The rule must be simple, POSTED in the boarding area, easily understood, and followed by all without exception.

IT MUST BE ENFORSED!


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