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This "2-stage flare" thing

 

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peek  (D 8884)

Aug 1, 2011, 4:47 PM
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This "2-stage flare" thing Can't Post

About this "2-stage flare" technique that is being taught. (or 3-stage flare). Various people have asked questions in other threads about doing one vs. not doing one. (asking if it would help.)

This is one of those things that I just don't think that people (instructors too) understand or apply well. Or perhaps that treat it as a panacea. I think there is a technical aspect to multi-stage flares that may not be understood by some.

Without trying to be too rhetorical, here are some questions. I am trying to find out to what extent the answers agree among skydivers and instructors.

Under what conditions would you suggest a 2-stage flare to someone?

For what kinds (or models or brands) of canopies would you suggest it?

For what wingloadings would you suggest it? (Have you compared landings of the same model canopy with different wingloadings?)

What other aspects (configurations) of the jumper's canopy would you investigate before suggesting it?

Do you consider it a solution to a problem of poor/mediocre landings, or something that should be taught early in is a student's progression?

If you have taught a multi-stage flare to someone, did it help? Have they continued using it or was it a temporary thing that improved their landings for a period of time?


(This post was edited by peek on Aug 1, 2011, 4:51 PM)


captain1976  (D 7183)

Aug 1, 2011, 5:32 PM
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Re: [peek] This "2-stage flare" thing [In reply to] Can't Post

I am not an instructor anymore, I leave that to the younger crowd, but can you please explain the 2 stage flare? Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sound like a procedure where you slow the canopy down with brakes prior to the full flare.


voilsb  (D 30581)

Aug 1, 2011, 5:36 PM
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Re: [captain1976] This "2-stage flare" thing [In reply to] Can't Post

How I understand it, the first stage is to bring the canopy to level flight, and the second stage is to bleed off forward speed.


captain1976  (D 7183)

Aug 1, 2011, 6:22 PM
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Re: [voilsb] This "2-stage flare" thing [In reply to] Can't Post

Just as I though. I have been preaching that to students as well as experienced for a long time, It works great.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Aug 1, 2011, 7:11 PM
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Re: [peek] This "2-stage flare" thing [In reply to] Can't Post

>Under what conditions would you suggest a 2-stage flare to someone?

This is one of my minor pet peeves.

The "2 stage flare" is a misnomer, because it is often taught as "first flare halfway then flare all the way." It's like telling someone who drives "stop in two stages - press the brake a little bit, then press more." The reason it's taught that way is to break new jumpers of the habit of yanking those toggles all the way down to flare, like they were taught in the first jump course.

The good part is that it gets people to stop yanking down. The bad part is that it makes people think that they put their hands in position A, then position B, and end up with a good landing. That, of course, doesn't work.

That being said, there is great value in teaching people how to land canopies the right way - by getting their vertical speed to zero at zero altitude, then holding the canopy there until their horizontal speed is as low as possible. An instructor can call this a "two stage flare" if it helps get the point across, but I think it's critical to emphasize that it's a continuous process and does not really have "hand locations" or discrete times to do X, Y and Z.

>For what kinds (or models or brands) of canopies would you suggest it?

Any canopy which, if flared hard, will pop you back up.


AndyMan  (D 25698)

Aug 1, 2011, 10:46 PM
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Re: [peek] This "2-stage flare" thing [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Under what conditions would you suggest a 2-stage flare to someone?

For what kinds (or models or brands) of canopies would you suggest it?

For what wingloadings would you suggest it? (Have you compared landings of the same model canopy with different wingloadings?)

What other aspects (configurations) of the jumper's canopy would you investigate before suggesting it?

Do you consider it a solution to a problem of poor/mediocre landings, or something that should be taught early in is a student's progression?

If you have taught a multi-stage flare to someone, did it help? Have they continued using it or was it a temporary thing that improved their landings for a period of time?

CSC teaches a 3-stage flare in the first jump course using lightly loaded Navigators. It works well, our students usually have pretty good landings (relatively speaking, of course.) I've jumped these canopies and find the 3-stage flare to be very effective.

I like that we're teaching techniques that the jumpers can carry forward as they grow in the sport.

I can't think of any reason to NOT teach a multi-stage flare.

_Am


nigel99  (D 1)

Aug 2, 2011, 1:30 AM
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Re: [peek] This "2-stage flare" thing [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
If you have taught a multi-stage flare to someone, did it help? Have they continued using it or was it a temporary thing that improved their landings for a period of time?

I had a bit of a problem when I started jumping Sabre 2's where I would "pop up" on landing. I don't remember who taught me, but I was told to flare until level flight and then to complete the flare keeping the flight level.

On the Sabre 2 it definitely feels like a 2 distinct stages to the flairing process.


pchapman  (D 1014)

Aug 2, 2011, 4:15 AM
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Re: [peek] This "2-stage flare" thing [In reply to] Can't Post

Hell, there were DZ's who taught the 2 stage flare 20 years ago on F-111 Manta's and the like.

It was hardly as necessary then, and not so much about the possibility of over flaring. The places that did it still liked to be able to adjust the flare and to some degree compensate for different reaction speeds on the part of the student.

(I'm at a DZ that just converted from the old F-111 & one stage flare to modern ZP student canopies & 2 stage. It is taking time to get all the instructors on one page and used to giving appropriate flare commands for the new canopies that we aren't familiar with!)

Even on F-111 style canopies, I like to introduce the 2 stage flare to any student off radio. That is, they can already land the simple, basic, one stage way that the DZ teaches. There may or may not be a momentary reduction or pause in the rate of brake application between the flare stages for them, but I think it is useful for them to understand the method, and that flaring is more than just mashing the brakes down at full speed.

Teaching the theory behind the 2 stage flare is part of teaching that flare, including why it works better on some canopies than others. Then the student can practice a little and be armed for when they begin to downsize -- instead of being told later, after they have problems landing, about this secret 2 stage trick.


hokierower  (B 36150)

Aug 3, 2011, 1:21 PM
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This "2-stage flare" thing [In reply to] Can't Post

My flare really depends on what the winds are doing and how crowded the LZ is.

If I am landing into the wind and it's blowing at a good and consistent 10+ mph then I'm going to perform a smooth flare in "1-stage".

If I am landing on a no wind day then I adjust accordingly and switch over to a 2-stage flare because like it was mentioned earlier, chances are pretty good that a single flaring motion will cause the parachute to "climb" because of the additional lift. Part one of the 2-stage allows my canopy to level out to a fair degree and a hard but smooth part two will put my feet on the ground without having to run out the landing.

My AFF 1-5 landings were pretty nasty but after that something clicked and since #5 the two times I haven't landed on my feet are when I had a downwind landing which I slid in on and a braked accuracy approach where I PLF'd to preserve my knees & feet.

Please understand that this is my personal experience and that I only have 61 jumps. I've only jumped a Spectre (in various sizes) and I feel that it's an awesome canopy. Please be sure to talk to a very experienced local canopy pilot.


rehmwa  (D 12816)

Aug 3, 2011, 1:33 PM
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Re: [peek] This "2-stage flare" thing [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll teach a staged flare to students to get them in the habit of assessing their landing during the flare. the concept of stages identifies a definite assessment point(s) in the middle of the process.

of course, the end goal is to start the flare at a height that'll level us off near touchdown and then to continue with that flare at the pace to maintain the landing - in other words - keep flying the canopy until you stop

(and finish the flare completely - I know a LOT of very experience skydivers that flare to their shoulders only and run like hell to stop - it's funny)


(This post was edited by rehmwa on Aug 3, 2011, 1:34 PM)


AndyMan  (D 25698)

Aug 3, 2011, 5:41 PM
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Re: [peek] This "2-stage flare" thing [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd be a lot more interested to hear from people who do not teach multi-stage flares. I'd also love to hear from people who use gear that doesn't benefit from such a technique. What decade was the canopy made in?

_Am


peek  (D 8884)

Aug 4, 2011, 8:47 AM
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Re: [AndyMan] This "2-stage flare" thing [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I'd be a lot more interested to hear from people who do not teach multi-stage flares. I'd also love to hear from people who use gear that doesn't benefit from such a technique.

I of course teach a multi-stage flare to anyone using a canopy whose design would cause it to "zoom" up if flared with a full stroke.

The Flight Concepts Manta is still a very popular student canopy. It does not benefit from a multi-stage flare that I can tell. I use a 288 square foot fully zero-porosity Manta and the best flare is simply a smooth flare with a full stroke, (and taking one wrap around the hand improves the landing too, but that's a whole 'nother discussion).

Although student canopies like the (slightly elliptical) PD Navigator are helpful to teach students how to flare canopies similar to canopies they will be using off student status, a rectangular canopy is a bit better for static-line direct bag deployment.

I know of a Navigator that was deployed via S/L direct-bag, and for some reason got into a steady-state spiral turn that did not stop by itself. (As far as I know the line set was nominal.) But again, another topic.


tkhayes  (D 18764)

Aug 7, 2011, 4:09 AM
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Re: [peek] This "2-stage flare" thing [In reply to] Can't Post

2 stages
1. Create level flight
2. hold level flight until the canopy can no longer hold you up

over simplified, but that is what we teach a lot of. Most canopies, especially student canopies, even navigators do not start to see any flare until the toggles are past chest level.

It is hard to do 3 stages - you go and try it.

So I teach them to focus ont eh elevator effect in the stomach to determine level flight. Adjust the input to always get the same output. The rest is timing and finishing it.


jonathan.newman  (D 30644)

Aug 22, 2011, 9:18 PM
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Re: [peek] This "2-stage flare" thing [In reply to] Can't Post

At 1000 jumps, I took the basic canopy control course. Every jump was about identifying the "sweet spot", or stage one, and then smoothly flaring the rest of the way, for stage two.

The very next day I was chucking drogues and landing better. I made it standard procedure to use the flare of my controlability check to find that sweet spot, which is different for every canopy and every wing loading. A couple practice flares ("feet up!") for me and the student helps us both land better.

The whole Category E canopy skill set is about finding the sweet spot. That is typically when I teach it; earlier if the student shows interest.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Aug 23, 2011, 5:16 AM
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Re: [peek] This "2-stage flare" thing [In reply to] Can't Post

Caveat: I am addressing student landings.

In reply to:
Under what conditions would you suggest a 2-stage flare to someone?
Post AFF. All wind conditions.

In reply to:
For what kinds (or models or brands) of canopies would you suggest it?
All.

In reply to:
For what wingloadings would you suggest it? (Have you compared landings of the same model canopy with different wingloadings?)
ALL.

In reply to:
What other aspects (configurations) of the jumper's canopy would you investigate before suggesting it?
I don't fully understand the question.

In reply to:
Do you consider it a solution to a problem of poor/mediocre landings, or something that should be taught early in is a student's progression?
Early. Yes, it is a temporary solution, but not a panacea.

In reply to:
If you have taught a multi-stage flare to someone, did it help?
Yes.

In reply to:
Have they continued using it or was it a temporary thing that improved their landings for a period of time?
Temporary. Simply one more step closer to getting them to understand that flaring is a dynamic process and not a 1, 2, 3 procedure.


peek  (D 8884)

Aug 23, 2011, 6:31 AM
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Re: [popsjumper] This "2-stage flare" thing [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
What other aspects (configurations) of the jumper's canopy would you investigate before suggesting it?
In reply to:
I don't fully understand the question.

For example, what steering line length? Some canopies deliberately have "slack" in the lines to prevent over-flaring. For those, a full stroke flare might be preferred.

Mainly I started this thread to see how many instructors understand all the variables related to teaching a multi-stage flare.

One can't assume that it will work well for every canopy model, size, wingloading, and configuration, although many of the comments posted so far seem to indicate that people are assuming some of those things.

(I see that you understand them.)


Ron

Aug 23, 2011, 10:48 AM
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Re: [peek] This "2-stage flare" thing [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Under what conditions would you suggest a 2-stage flare to someone?

I don't.... I teach the jumper to be an active participant in the flare, not just some semi-trained monkey doing "A" then "B".

I teach that the rate of flare should equal the speed towards the ground with the hands ending up at full flare as their feet are ~1 foot off the ground.


(This post was edited by Ron on Aug 23, 2011, 10:50 AM)


DaVinciflies

Aug 23, 2011, 10:58 AM
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Re: [Ron] This "2-stage flare" thing [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
Under what conditions would you suggest a 2-stage flare to someone?

I don't.... I teach the jumper to be an active participant in the flare, not just some semi-trained monkey doing "A" then "B".

I teach that the rate of flare should equal the speed towards the ground with the hands ending up at full flare as their feet are ~1 foot off the ground.

I am not sure you understand the 2-stage flare in the same way as I do.

- Stage 1 is to do whatever is needed to plane out the canopy. ie. to reduce the vertical velocity to zero.
- Stage 2 is to manage the sink-out of the wing during the plane out until the ground speed is as close to zero as you can get it.

The above is not a one-size-fits-all flare. It will have to be varied with many factors including wingloading, airspeed, flight-cycle of the system and wind speed and direction.

These variables (and others) necessitate some practice up high to determine the sweet-spot (ie. the approx toggle position of the plane-out point) of the system for a given jumper. It is far from a thoughtless "semi-trained monkey" procedure and is being taught to experienced jumpers in commercial canopy courses, such as that from Flight-1.


Ron

Aug 23, 2011, 11:05 AM
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Re: [DaVinciflies] This "2-stage flare" thing [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I am not sure you understand the 2-stage flare in the same way as I do

I am sure that I do... I just do not agree with it.

Quote:
The above is not a one-size-fits-all flare.

Then why teach it as opposed to teaching a way does work?

Do you think a rote memorization and execution is better than a dynamic flare based on feedback received from the jumpers speed and decent rate?

I don't.

Speaking of Flight-1.... How many of them do you see doing a two stage flare on landing? Or do they do a smooth flare based on feedback of the current situation?


DaVinciflies

Aug 23, 2011, 11:17 AM
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Re: [Ron] This "2-stage flare" thing [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
The above is not a one-size-fits-all flare.

Then why teach it as opposed to teaching a way does work?

It does work! That's the point. There is no one-size-fits-all flare and the sooner a young jumper realizes this the better. All landings require a feedback loop.

In reply to:
Do you think a rote memorization and execution is better than a dynamic flare based on feedback received from the jumpers speed and decent rate?

I don't.

Neither do I and that is not what a 2-stage flare is. It IS based on feedback - primarily decrease in descent rate in response to toggle movement.

In reply to:
Speaking of Flight-1.... How many of them do you see doing a two stage flare on landing? Or do they do a smooth flare based on feedback of the current situation?

Actually all of them. The difference is that they perform stage one of the two stage flare with their rear risers, but the effect is the same.


peek  (D 8884)

Aug 23, 2011, 11:24 AM
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Re: [Ron] This "2-stage flare" thing [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Do you think a rote memorization and execution is better than a dynamic flare based on feedback received from the jumpers speed and decent rate?

Uh-oh... I hate to see a major disagreement when we are all doing so well in this discussion.

Like I said, there are a lot of variables, and one variable might be whether you are teaching a multi-stage flare to a first jump student as opposed to an experienced jumper.

If teaching a multi-stage flare to a first jump student, a certain amount of rote memorization might be necessary. But it all depends on what student canopies are being used.

Hopefully we can cover it all in this discussion. I asked a lot of questions in that first post.


Ron

Aug 23, 2011, 11:32 AM
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Re: [DaVinciflies] This "2-stage flare" thing [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
There is no one-size-fits-all flare and the sooner a young jumper realizes this the better. All landings require a feedback loop.

Then why teach a two stage flare when you can teach a true dynamic flare? Because you are describing a dynamic flare in your posts. You just seem to think it has to have two parts, when in reality it does not.

Quote:
Actually all of them


You do not see them partially flare and then finish the stroke. They flare to maintain altitude throughout the flare.


DaVinciflies

Aug 23, 2011, 12:18 PM
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In reply to:
Then why teach a two stage flare when you can teach a true dynamic flare? Because you are describing a dynamic flare in your posts. You just seem to think it has to have two parts, when in reality it does not.

I believe the answer to this depends on whether you are teaching students or experienced jumpers who want a long plane out (swoop).

For students, preparing them to pause in the middle of the flare, after the plane-out allows for a slower feedback loop. That is, after they hit the sweet spot they can assess where they are. If they are low, they can nail the second half to try to recover it. If they are high they can hold the partial flare and allow it to sink out before completing the flare.

Please understand that I am not trying to say your way is bad. Just trying to explain the benefits of this method, which I have seen work really well.

For experience jumpers - see below.

Quote:
Actually all of them


You do not see them partially flare and then finish the stroke. They flare to maintain altitude throughout the flare.
Yes, you really do see exactly that if you perceive that planing out on the rears is stage one. It goes rears-hold-hold-hold-hold-finish on toggles.

Look at Nick Batsch's record swoop from a couple of weeks ago and you'll see what I mean. He planes out and stays on the rears until 9 seconds in and then transitions to toggles to maintain lift until he touches down at about 13 seconds.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mfgBDWukoA

ETA: I agree with you that this is a dynamic process, and maybe I am not understanding your method completely. It is possible that we are talking about very similar things but that I am emphasizing the plane-out phase more than you are.


(This post was edited by DaVinciflies on Aug 23, 2011, 12:20 PM)


pchapman  (D 1014)

Aug 23, 2011, 12:36 PM
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Re: [Ron] This "2-stage flare" thing [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm late to this argument but much of it seems to be about terminology.

"Two stage flare" isn't perfect but it encapsulates major parts of the flare process.

I don't want to have to talk to novice jumpers about the "infinite stage fully dynamic continually feedback adjusted flare", where the answer on how to do it is to flare as needed to achieve the slowest possible touchdown. Theoretically great, but useless providing a descriptive process.

While we want to make it clear to people that the flare process isn't to be done blindly -- except to some degree when first learning it, due to lack of ability to adequately assess & react to the situation -- breaking it down into 2 major stages, perhaps with some minor additional stages within that, is still a reasonable way of doing things.

The two stages are the pullout and the level-off. One could add a substage or a 3rd stage, for example, when talking about the finishing of the flare at the end. Or a substage about a gradual let down as a later part of the generally levelled-off part. Or other things.

So there are plenty of details to talk & argue about.

But saying "two stage" does not mean a blind set of actions without using feedback from what is happening.


Ron

Aug 23, 2011, 12:40 PM
Post #25 of 27 (2916 views)
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Quote:
Look at Nick Batsch's record swoop from a couple of weeks ago and you'll see what I mean. He planes out and stays on the rears until 9 seconds in and then transitions to toggles to maintain lift until he touches down at about 13 seconds.

What he does is flares and GAINS altitude. He then does not just *hold* the rears and wait, he is constantly pulling them down and letting them up to maintain the altitude he wants <Dynamic flare>. Then when he is risking a stall, he goes to toggles.

So it is a DYNAMIC flare, even on the rears. He does not just pull them down and then finish the flare later.... He IS flaring the entire time (To include letting off when needed).

Quote:
I agree with you that this is a dynamic process, and maybe I am not understanding your method completely. It is possible that we are talking about very similar things but that I am emphasizing the plane-out phase more than you are.

You seem to be focusing on that it MUST be a two stage flare with a pause in the middle. I am focusing on it being a smooth flare from start to finish.

When you land a plane, you do not flare part of the way and then stop and wait then continue (unless you flared too soon to start).

At any rate, it is clear we are not going to agree.... And I don't care enough to go round and round anymore.


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