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Bryan Burke's Eloy incident summary

 

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Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Apr 14, 2011, 9:55 AM
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Bryan Burke's Eloy incident summary Can't Post

Bryan wrote up an excellent summary of incidents (both fatal and nonfatal) at Eloy over the past 20 years. It is attached below.


(This post was edited by billvon on Apr 14, 2011, 1:05 PM)
Attachments: SDAZ Accident Summary.docx (34.9 KB)


bigbearfng  (D 29442)

Apr 14, 2011, 10:40 AM
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That should be a must read for every skydiver!
I hope at least the majority of it gets published in Parachutist.


chuckbrown  (D 19538)

Apr 14, 2011, 10:55 AM
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It most definitely needs to go into Parachutist, and should also be sent out as an e-mail from USPA to members.


Premier Remster  (C License)

Apr 14, 2011, 10:56 AM
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Very nice write up. Factual.

PS: it's over the last 20 years.


(This post was edited by Remster on Apr 14, 2011, 10:56 AM)


piisfish

Apr 14, 2011, 12:10 PM
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would you have it in .doc or .pdf ?


david3  (D 21297)

Apr 14, 2011, 12:14 PM
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In reply to:
would you have it in .doc or .pdf ?

Here it is.
Attachments: SDAZ Accident20Summary-1.pdf (79.3 KB)


Premier ianmdrennan  (D 25821)
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Apr 15, 2011, 12:12 PM
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Re: [billvon] Bryan Burke's Eloy incident summary [In reply to] Can't Post

Spectacular summary by Bryan. Much respect.

I REALLY liked this statement:

Quote:
Of all the things skydivers can do to reduce accidents, I can not emphasize enough that every turn you make, for any reason, increases your odds of an accident. Spiraling in the pattern and playing under canopy at any altitude is dangerous. S turns in the pattern are also high-risk. Furthermore, “the more you turn, the less you learn.” Turns create a constantly changing descent rate and picture of the pattern, making assessment of the environment a challenge. Canopy maneuvers should be discouraged except on solo jumps or with attention to separating jumpers in time and space.

Blues,
Ian


Beachbum  (B License)

Apr 15, 2011, 6:20 PM
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excellent work ... THANKS Bryan!


deltaV  (B 36262)

Nov 18, 2011, 8:53 AM
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Really great article. As a new jumper I realize that I'm beginning to form bad habits under canopy. I was a student at a DZ with a huge landing area, and last weekend was my first trip to a tiny DZ. The limits of my canopy skill set were made much more apparent, and this article is providing some good points for self-analysis. Thanks to Bryan for writing it up, and thanks for posting here.


Abedy

Nov 18, 2011, 9:37 AM
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This post did not get to my attention in April, shame on me. Very interesting article, will read it in full, just skimmed it: Matches very much what we can find in Germany: Intentional low turns being #1. All three low turn fatalities last year happened to very experienced jumpers with 2,500 to 10,000 jumps.


Premier Remster  (C License)

Nov 18, 2011, 2:02 PM
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Re: [Abedy] Bryan Burke's Eloy incident summary [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Intentional low turns being #1

Having talked with Brian a few times about this, I think the 2 main points that his analysis highlighted were:

- Any turn you do after opening dramatically increases the risks for either collisions, or hard landings (at a minimum you need controlled 90's for your patterns, even if those already increases your base risks, but anything above that raises it more);

- visiting jumpers are at a much higher risk that locals (probably can be extended to any DZ, but the data is only from Eloy)


mchamp  (D 32129)

Nov 18, 2011, 10:45 PM
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Glad that this thread was revived as I somehow missed it in April.....many thanks for this amazingly informative article Bryan!


hangdiver  (D License)

Nov 19, 2011, 7:16 AM
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Bryan has always had sage advice...he's given some to me that's saved my life.

The problem is...we all think we're not that "guy" or "gal"...just ask Sangi...

Addendum to Murphy's Law...if you figure for every scenario...there will inevitably be at least one more you didn't think of...


hangdiver


(This post was edited by hangdiver on Nov 19, 2011, 8:00 AM)


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Nov 19, 2011, 8:59 AM
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>The problem is...we all think we're not that "guy" or "gal"...just ask Sangi...

Well, Virgin Burner is a better example; he is doing all the "well, yes I am better than most but everyone tells me I am" things. Sangi, against our expectations, has learned that very important lesson. I just wish he didn't have to learn it in quite so dramatic a fashion.


Olmed  (B License)

Nov 20, 2011, 4:43 AM
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This reading motivates for learning.

I will be jumping in Arizona as a visitor for the first time next year.


Kralovec  (C License)

Nov 20, 2011, 8:14 AM
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Re: [Remster] Bryan Burke's Eloy incident summary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
- visiting jumpers are at a much higher risk that locals (probably can be extended to any DZ, but the data is only from Eloy)

Having never been to Eloy I do not know what type of briefing is given to first time or returning visiting jumpers. Are there certain things that Eloy, or any drop zone, could be doing to better inform visitors of the local conditions and rules? What are the crucial pieces of information that a visiting jumper needs to know?


davelepka  (D 21448)

Nov 20, 2011, 8:33 AM
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Quote:
What are the crucial pieces of information that a visiting jumper needs to know?

Eloy is 110 degrees in the shade all summer long, the same summer where most jumpers are active and current, just in a cooler spot than the Arizona desert. However, during the long cold winter, Eloy is a warm, inviting place to be for every jumper who is uncurrent, itching to jump, and trying to make the most out of their winter vacation.

What visiting jumpers need to know is that they have to take it easy, get current, and remember that just because you're at a DZ where they're turning dozens of loads every day with some of the worlds best jumpers, they're still an uncurrent, average jumper on vacation.

I remember being a new jumper, and traveling to Fla for a winter trip. The plan was always to make as many jumps as possible, all day every day, for the entire trip. During the summer when I was current, I was doing 10 to 15 jumps per week, then after not jumping for several months, I would go to Fla and try to make 50 jumps in a week. See where that could lead to problems?


paul.Mcallister  (A License)

Nov 20, 2011, 9:37 AM
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Thank you for posting this. I was thinking that next season it would be nice to do a canopy flying course. After reading this it has moved to a "must do" priority.


Premier Remster  (C License)

Nov 20, 2011, 9:54 AM
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Re: [davelepka] Bryan Burke's Eloy incident summary [In reply to] Can't Post

What Dave said.

Plus:

- Elevation is 1,500 feet. Its not that high compared to some places, but it's still not sea elevation.

- Dont try to impress the local swoop gods with your mad swooping skilz on your fist day there. I saw one guy bounce in trying to do a big 270 (before the 270 rule) on his 1st jump there.

- It's a big DZ with lots of planes. We've had 3 parallel jump runs at some events (it's rare, but it happens once in a while). Keep your head on a swivel.

- there really is no shame in landing in the alternate even if you are the top dog back home. Or even the desert: it's big, use it.


Again, I'm pretty sure most of these issues apply everywhere when visiting jumpers show up in winter. Well, except the elevation in FLA Sly.


kuai43  (C License)

Nov 20, 2011, 6:11 PM
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Re: [Kralovec] Bryan Burke's Eloy incident summary [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
- visiting jumpers are at a much higher risk that locals (probably can be extended to any DZ, but the data is only from Eloy)

Having never been to Eloy I do not know what type of briefing is given to first time or returning visiting jumpers. Are there certain things that Eloy, or any drop zone, could be doing to better inform visitors of the local conditions and rules? What are the crucial pieces of information that a visiting jumper needs to know?

Having visited & jumped at Eloy for the first time this past July, the briefing was fairly comprehensive, including warnings about the early afternoon dust devils, which sure enough showed up right on time. Gave me a nice rocking on downwind and let me know that riser 180 just wasn't going to happen on my last jump. Crazy


dthames  (B 37674)

Nov 20, 2011, 7:05 PM
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In reply to:
Quote:
Intentional low turns being #1

Having talked with Brian a few times about this, I think the 2 main points that his analysis highlighted were:

- Any turn you do after opening dramatically increases the risks for either collisions, or hard landings (at a minimum you need controlled 90's for your patterns, even if those already increases your base risks, but anything above that raises it more) <snip>

I am new. Yes, I read the report. Learn from the start, “don’t turn a lot outside a normal pattern”. Okay, got that. Now looking at the A and B license requirements for landing accuracy, I am wondering do the two goals conflict? I really don’t know a great deal about how to hit landing target. So maybe it would will be clear after I know more.

Thanks for any insight.

Dan


nigel99  (D 1)

Nov 21, 2011, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
I am new. Yes, I read the report. Learn from the start, “don’t turn a lot outside a normal pattern”. Okay, got that. Now looking at the A and B license requirements for landing accuracy, I am wondering do the two goals conflict? I really don’t know a great deal about how to hit landing target. So maybe it would will be clear after I know more.

Thanks for any insight.

Dan

For accuracy. S turns are a good skill to have but they are frowned on during a normal landing pattern. Speak to an instructor at your dz, you can do a few on a hop and pop where it is only you in the sky.

As for other techniques for accuracy, you can use your risers. It is best described by your instructors. For your B license I believe you now have to do a canopy training course anyway (starting in January 2012).


Kralovec  (C License)

Nov 21, 2011, 10:28 AM
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In reply to:
Quote:
I am new. Yes, I read the report. Learn from the start, “don’t turn a lot outside a normal pattern”. Okay, got that. Now looking at the A and B license requirements for landing accuracy, I am wondering do the two goals conflict? I really don’t know a great deal about how to hit landing target. So maybe it would will be clear after I know more.

Thanks for any insight.

Dan

For accuracy. S turns are a good skill to have but they are frowned on during a normal landing pattern. Speak to an instructor at your dz, you can do a few on a hop and pop where it is only you in the sky.

If you are the only person in the air aiming at a target and can fly whatever way you please, then most people should be able to land close to it.

As far as I understand it, the accuracy component of the license is not just about being able to land within a set distance of a target, but being able to do this reliable while flying a normal landing pattern on any given jump.

It is about learning how the equipment you are using flies in different conditions and setting up your pattern at the correct spot and altitude to land accurately. Below 1000 feet your turns should be limited to a 90 from downwind to base and a 90 from base to final.


nigel99  (D 1)

Nov 21, 2011, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
If you are the only person in the air aiming at a target and can fly whatever way you please, then most people should be able to land close to it.

As far as I understand it, the accuracy component of the license is not just about being able to land within a set distance of a target, but being able to do this reliable while flying a normal landing pattern on any given jump.

It is about learning how the equipment you are using flies in different conditions and setting up your pattern at the correct spot and altitude to land accurately. Below 1000 feet your turns should be limited to a 90 from downwind to base and a 90 from base to final.

I absolutely agree that the accuracy is intended for a normal pattern. What I don't want to do (especially with my experience level) is go tossing out advice about using front and rear risers to alter the flight.

I mentioned the S turns on a hop and pop, so they should be the only person in the air. Even with the freedom to fly using S turns etc, many people struggle to land within 10m of the target when they have low jump numbers.


JackC1

Nov 21, 2011, 1:00 PM
Post #25 of 26 (3416 views)
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In reply to:
I really don’t know a great deal about how to hit landing target. So maybe it would will be clear after I know more.

Thanks for any insight.

Dan

Accuracy is a tricky one when you haven't got a great deal of experience. There are tricks like 'S' turns and sinking in using the brakes but I always think doing that in the pattern is a bit like trying to aim for the freeway off ramp by zig zagging across the lanes of traffic or slamming on the brakes. Not wise when there's traffic around so pick a line and work with it if you can.

The best bet is to plan your pattern by starting with where you want to land and work backwards. Think about how far your canopy will glide for a given loss of altitude and then think where you need to make your last turn and at what height you need to be in order to get to your landing spot. Then work back again to the place and height you need to be in order to make your turn onto the base leg. Then work back again in order to see where and at what height you need to be in order to enter you downwind leg. Once you've got a plan, go and fly that plan and see how right you were. If you're clever (and lucky), you can adjust your plan and hit your target on the second try.

The only point you really must hit in order to be accurate, is the turn onto final approach. The ones before that, you can use to refine your pattern by cutting the base leg short a bit, or flying the base leg a bit wider, or crabbing a little off the wind line during your downwind leg. Be sure to keep looking around for traffic and pick a landing spot away from the main area until you've got your technique down. Remember that the wind speed will give you a push on the downwind leg and hold you back on the into wind leg compared to how much ground you can cover. Before you make a turn, check for traffic, check your altitude and check your position over the ground.

When flying, you can make an estimate of where you're going to land by using the "accuracy trick". Roughly, that means looking for the spot on the floor where the ground seems to stay still, not moving upwards in your vision or moving downwards. If the wind stays constant, that's where you'll land. But the winds will generally (but not always) reduce as you lose height so the spot will change. When you're high up, look down and see how much ground you're covering into wind and downwind to get some idea of how much space and height you'll need for those wind conditions.

If your prearranged plan doesn't come to fruition, don't get tempted to turn lower than you had planned to try and land on your spot or you won't learn where your plan was deficient so you can correct it next time. That is, provided you are going to land in a safe area. If you're heading for a gator infested swamp, abandon the plan and land safely elswhere.

And if you really aren't going to get where you want to be, pick your alternate landing spot early. Time flies when your under a canopy and any mistake you make early on will compound as you get nearer the floor, so don't get fixated on landing accurately. Get fixated on landing safely. Accuracy will come.

With a bit of practice, you'll be able to assess your flight plan and compensate for the wind variability without much trouble at all. You'll even be able to rotate your pattern around to land accurately in any direction you want. Then you'll be able to land on your target virtually any time you want and you'll be predictable to other canopy pilots who will be able to fly with you rather than into you.

Also, see if you can find a copy of "The Parachute and it's Pilot" by Brian Germain. All these ideas and more are covered brilliantly in that book.


(This post was edited by JackC1 on Nov 21, 2011, 1:23 PM)


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