I know of someone who dislocated their shoulder in freefall, lost use of their left arm. I am assuming they made only right turns. When it came to the flare they grabbed both toggles with the one hand and flared down the center of their body and landed without incident.
You can get both toggles in one hand (which is actually harder than it sounds), and steer by moving that hand across your body. It can be a little confusing at first, because you have to move your hand to the left to turn right, and vice versa. You may also find yourself uneven in the harness because your are reaching across with one hand. Flaring is done down the centerline, and will likely result in a less than full flare. It can take a good amount of strength, too.
A skydiver friend has limited use of her right arm. She can walk and lift her legs. She will be doing her first tandem post-accident very soon. She is an experienced skydiver and wants to get back in the air solo. She has flown in a tunnel and is not at all worried about the freefall.
I started to think through how it might be possible for her to fly her canopy. I am sure she is not the first person to do this!
I appreciate all the information and links. I did do a search on here but did not find any good information. I shall refine and redo the search.
I have no experience in this, but I do have a thought:
I suspect that there is a big difference between having only one arm, and having two arms (only one of which can be controlled). The latter case raises the question: What is the bad arm doing during freefall?
>> raises the question: What is the bad arm doing during freefall?
Good point. I am not sure. I suspect we will find out during a couple of tandems first! She said she could fly in the tunnel and was stable and comfortable, but I was not there, so I am not sure. I will have to find out!
A Friend of mine learned Skydiving with the right arm missing, as far I am aware it was hard but not impossible...you may want to have a look at her Homepage. It's in German, but I am sure she will answer your questions when you send her an email.
I have asked my sister (who is fluent in German) to take a look at the site and get me some of the information I am thinking about. Also, it looks like she is missing her left arm and has a prostetic. Interesting stuff! Thanks for the link.
Yeah, google translate is not the greatest. And talking to my sister is not THAT much of a hardship!!
Anyway, I read that website and while very interesting, is not totally relevant since the girl was born with no hand and has a prostetic. My friend just has no use of her arm. I discussed her situation with some other skydivers and we think that she needs to get into a tunnel to make sure she can fly first.
Tunnel for sure, but freefall generally won't kill you. She needs lots of emergency procedure training, as realistic as possible. For that matter, she needs lots of regular procedure training. After deployment on my first jump after losing my right hand was not the time to realize I didn't have the arm strength to flare with my prosthetic. If possible, hook her up with a one-armed or similarly disabled experienced jumper. She might be surprized at the things she would never have thought about.
I think SOS might be a good choice. I used a standard two handle system because I jumped camera, and wanted extra flexibility. I also had 1400 jumps and two cutaways when I was injured, so I had confidence that two handles would work for me. I had one cutaway post-injury, and it went fine. However, if SOS doesn't cause any other problems with specialty jumps, etc., I think it would be a good choice. Which arm has the jumper lost use of?
I lost my right arm below the elbow, and jumped with a prosthetic, so I have a different situation, but at least it's the same side. Obviously she'll need a left handed throwout. Rigs can easily by modified, or made that way. An SOS on the left (which is the normal position) would probably be a good idea. If she has no use of her right arm at all, she's really going to have to work on the strength of her left arm, particularly the shoulder for pulling down the toggles. No matter how awesome the set-up is, it won't do much good if she can't flare it. Choosing the right canopy will help a lot. She needs to find a canopy of an appropriate size (big) but with as light toggle pressure as possible. Talk to some canopy manufacturers about that. I found a large Stiletto was great, but I would 100% not recommend one for someone with no use of their compromised arm, they are too sensitive to control input.
Feel free to keep asking questions, I'd be glad to help anyway I can.
we have another skydiver with use of only one arm here in germany. did his AFF. He lost his right arm above the elbow, and jumped with or without a prosthetic. Using one hand for both toggels works well for him. Also a cutaway was no problem at all. His Rig had to be changed to "lefthand" boc ...