Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Freefly Safety 101

 


Zennie

Sep 10, 2001, 5:13 PM
Post #1 of 14 (1441 views)
Shortcut
Freefly Safety 101 Can't Post

Don't ask me why I did this, but I did....

Last jump on Saturday I get with a friend who's learning freefly to see if he wants to do a 2-way sit (I'm still learning myself). He said sure, but there's another guy that wants to jump too. So I thought "three way sit should be OK". Well about 5 minutes before the load goes up a 4th guy comes up and says he's going to follow us in a stand. Um....... OK.

So out we goes. I of course fall faster than everyone else as I usually do so I try to get back up to them without too much luck. Our stand guy goes shooting down. Then the other two who were in a sit go into a head down. So I decide "OK I'll give it a shot". Now keep in mind I've only done head-down by myself. So I go into a head down with 3 other people in the sky. None of whom are close to me.

Now at this point I'm sure most of you are shaking your heads. I agree that this was all incredibly stupid on my (our) part. But I'm posting this hopefully so that others won't make the same mistake with worse results.

In any event, once I'm head down I realize why this was all such a bad idea.... I have absolutley no idea where everyone else is and I can't really find out because my field of vision in head-down is extremely limited. And I can't really move around much for fear of corking into someone I don't see.

So I make the best of a bad situation and pull my arms back and go straight down as fast as I can until breakoff altitude. It was the only direction I could see and I could see that it was clear. As I level off, I look up as I usually do before pulling only to see our stand person tracking right above me.

So it was an absolute fiasco and luckily no one got hurt. But it sure solidified how dangerous freefly can be. Please please don't do anything more than a 2-way freefly until you have a lot of experience with it. And don't try any radical moves until you have them down cold solo. It's awfully tempting to try new fun stuff to show off & have fun. But if you aren't rock solid, the results could be disastrous.


--------
Zennie
"I know the pieces fit. 'Cause I watched them fall away..."
--Tool


FallingMarc  (B 25542)

Sep 10, 2001, 5:46 PM
Post #2 of 14 (1420 views)
Shortcut
Re: Freefly Safety 101 [In reply to] Can't Post

Excellent advice Zennie... I plan to get some freefly coaching in the next couple of months, and the biggest thing that worries me is the thought of collisions. I'll definitely be staying away from anything but solos and 2-ways with someone who knows what they're doing for some time...

Marc



apoil  (D License)

Sep 10, 2001, 9:21 PM
Post #3 of 14 (1397 views)
Shortcut
Re: Freefly Safety 101 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
So I make the best of a bad situation and pull my arms back and go straight down as fast as I can until breakoff altitude. It was the only direction I could see and I could see that it was clear. As I level off, I look up as I usually do before pulling only to see our stand person tracking right above me.
Generally a good cautionary tale here, but you should know that you in no way made a bad situation better by doing this. You made it MUCH worse.

What if your standup guy was actually good enough to try and catch you, you just decided to go super fast without seeing him and when you went flat you could have corked right into him and killed the both of you.

I could iterate lots of other scenarios, but I just want to call into question the judgement that says, I'm low on a freefly formation with limited skills, I can't see any of them in my current orientation, so I will just remain in this orientation and go faster.

The safe(r) thing to do would have been to go head up without corking, find SOMEONE in the sky and try to fly relative to them (even if you can't get close, at least you know where they are) then see if you can locate the others on the dive.
Each one you find is one less random variable that could kill you.
Then at least at break off you'd have time to figure out where everyone is tracking and get away from them.

Of course the safest thing to do would be to not be on that dive in the first place. I fully realize that you've learned that lesson. I'm only pointing to your decisions in the air. It's these "make a bad situation worse" kind of mental processes that kill people because rarely is it only one thing that goes wrong in a fatality.





RemiAndKaren  (C 2328)

Sep 11, 2001, 12:41 AM
Post #4 of 14 (1380 views)
Shortcut
Re: Freefly Safety 101 [In reply to] Can't Post

You know what they say: if it didnt kill ya, it should make you a better skydiver.... I think we've all been there (done something not too intelligent we really should not have done...)

By the way, this is why I dont freefly... nothing but a bunch of out of control people who dont know where the other jumpers are... that NEVER happens in RW... nope, not ever ever ever... even after a funnel.. ever

Remi



ever Wink

Remi
Muff 914


Zennie

Sep 11, 2001, 12:49 AM
Post #5 of 14 (1379 views)
Shortcut
Re: Freefly Safety 101 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I just want to call into question the judgement that says, I'm low on a freefly formation with limited skills, I can't see any of them in my current orientation, so I will just remain in this orientation and go faster.
Yet another reason why I shouldn't have been trying this in the first place.


--------
Zennie
"I know the pieces fit. 'Cause I watched them fall away..."
--Tool


Aviatrr  (D 27349)

Sep 11, 2001, 11:06 AM
Post #6 of 14 (1352 views)
Shortcut
Re: Freefly Safety 101 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
By the way, this is why I dont freefly... nothing but a bunch of out of control people who dont know where the other jumpers are... that NEVER happens in RW... nope, not ever ever ever... even after a funnel.. ever
But at least us freeflyers can get out of the airplane without slamming into the door and deploying our reserve... Shocked

Mike



geoff

Sep 11, 2001, 2:37 PM
Post #7 of 14 (1338 views)
Shortcut
Re: Freefly Safety 101 [In reply to] Can't Post

The old saying ....

'Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.'


Lost freefliers I know (including myself) have been on jumps like the one you describe.

Maybe your post will enable a few people to learn without the bad judgement.....



lazerq3  (C -34113)

Sep 11, 2001, 6:20 PM
Post #8 of 14 (1328 views)
Shortcut
Re: Freefly Safety 101 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
But at least us freeflyers can get out of the airplane without slamming into the door
Correction... slamming your head in the door trying to get out on a 9 way... thank god for protecs!!

jason



RemiAndKaren  (C 2328)

Sep 12, 2001, 12:53 AM
Post #9 of 14 (1309 views)
Shortcut
Re: Freefly Safety 101 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
But at least us freeflyers can get out of the airplane without slamming into the door and deploying our reserve...
Tongue.. it wasnt the door.. it was the float handle... Tongue

Remi
Muff 914


flipper  (D 11524)

Sep 13, 2001, 12:15 AM
Post #10 of 14 (1278 views)
Shortcut
Re: Freefly Safety 101 [In reply to] Can't Post

good advise zennie....
I have about 800 f/fly jumps under my belt at the mo....and have most things pretty much squared away....but....it dosnt matter how many jumps you have there is allways the chance that you are gonna have somebody over the top of you/beneith/beside you in free fly at pull time....young free flyers should get as much coaching as they can afford....or look at it another way....can you afford not to ...!...

take it easy....

flipper.



Kelly  (C License)

Sep 13, 2001, 10:52 PM
Post #11 of 14 (1245 views)
Shortcut
Re: Freefly Safety 101 [In reply to] Can't Post

zennie,
freeflying with other people isnt always bad...
on saturday i went up on a 3 way with one VERY experienced freeflyer visiting from Australia and another moderately expereinced freeflyer (who is very current). we planned on doing a linked sit exit but then we had to switch planes and ended up with the tailgate fix. So we changed our exit to a 3 way head down exit. I've never done a head down exit, much less flown head down before, but its what these guys do on every jump. Right before we exit my friend gives me 2 instructions "we'll be moving faster, be VERY altitude aware" and "dont NO MATTER WHAT! go to your belly."
so we line up in the door, the three of us holding high grips. We step out and in a few seconds were flying head down, really tight. We break off and i immediately go onto my back. Its only my second sitfly jump so its not going to go 'perfectly' and all three of us know this.
the entire skydive i stayed on my back, only occasionally managing to hold a half descent sit for a second. But when i lost the sit i went to my back and just pulled my legs in. I started spinning like crazy to the left. Instinct told me to go to my belly, common sense told me thered be hell to pay if i did. So i didnt. i was spinning like crazy but still altitude aware, I played with extending my arms and pushing my bent legs down. I was in constant eyesight of the other two people, i swear i was looking like an owl on that jump. I saw them, they saw me. AT breakoff altitude, (mine being at 5,000 feet, 1,000 feet higher than them) i rolled over onto my belly. got stable, checked the airspace and waved off/deployed.
The canopy ride and landing werent anything out of the ordinary.
I didnt, havent, and i dont believe i will feel that this was dangerous. I knew the folks i was jumping with, I felt good about the jump (but not the tire that got a hole in it while taxying which caused us to switch planes) and i didnt have any inclination that this was something i couldnt handle.
I trust my instincts, because their always there. most times its something rediculous and im being 'beyond' safety conscious... but this time was different, i had no worries.
It was the last jump i'll do with Damo until January when i head out to Australia... and im glad that i went along on it.
would i sitfly with my friend who has 200 jumps, most of them freefly, the same freind that i look for FIRST when i want to do a 2 way belly dive? HELL NO. She doesnt have nearly enough jumps, and i dont have anywhere near nearly enough jumps.
Sometimes its more about who you jump with and everyone knowing each others limits/ abilities than it is other things.

just my .02 cents




Zennie

Sep 14, 2001, 6:23 AM
Post #12 of 14 (1233 views)
Shortcut
Re: Freefly Safety 101 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Sometimes its more about who you jump with and everyone knowing each others limits/ abilities than it is other things.
Good point. I was (and would be) comfortable doing a 3-way sit. My primary mistake was going into an orientation that I was just beginning to learn, and which limited my ability to look out for other fliers on a jump with similarly inexperienced fliers.

--------
Zennie
"I know the pieces fit. 'Cause I watched them fall away..."
--Tool


3fLiEr

Sep 14, 2001, 7:52 AM
Post #13 of 14 (1229 views)
Shortcut
Re: Freefly Safety 101 [In reply to] Can't Post

1) Know your limitations - be honest with yourself - just coz you get invited on a big way dont think of the visuals think about putting other people in danger
2) Think about what others are saying - "I will follow your 3 way sit out in a stand" - why??? - how do you know what fall rate you will need - it may be slow or fast that is not determined until during the jump - (unless previously agreed) this should have been a warning - that guy has no idea of fall rates and flying relative.
3) Be very warey of other people and their egos - I have jumped with some people with "hundreds of FF jumps" - but they have still corked - phuqking telling lies and almost killing people! - that aint on
4) NEVER try new things with other people unless you are coaching - going head down on a 4 way when you have done it once - phuq me - do you know if you back slide?????? - under people!
5) Why would you want to loose everyone in a dive??? a four way and the head downer goes too fast - why did he not adjust and slow it down????? - again lack of skill/safety/knowledge...... 3 things that can kill people.
6) FreeFly is the most fun you can have in FreeFall - but it also can be the most dangerous - Pick your partnaz carefully and know your limits - we want to have fun for a long time to come.............
7) Loadsa other stuff I can be phuqked to write!!!!!!!!!!

Just my 0.02 worth...........

(FreeF) All Success...................... BSBD






dove  (D 26128)

Sep 15, 2001, 7:04 PM
Post #14 of 14 (1196 views)
Shortcut
Re: Freefly Safety 101 [In reply to] Can't Post

2 cracked ribs, 1 bruised lung, trauma to my diaphragm, stomach and intestines, damaged nerve in my arm and tongue almost bit in half.....

I have learned my lesson the hard way. Don't freefly with anyone you've never jumped with before on anything bigger than a 2-way til you learn their skill level and jumping style!!!!

Please be careful out there folks! I lucked out! I was unconscious for 4,000 feet after this high-speed freefly collision. I feel incredibly blessed and lucky. Remember you have your whole life to jump! Don't rush it!

dove




Forums : Skydiving : Safety and Training

 


Search for (options)