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Flaaaaring

 

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antibac  (C License)

Aug 22, 2011, 2:16 PM
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Flaaaaring Can't Post

Hello!

Okay, so flying a canopy and landing it is not what I'm best at. I am a beginner, got 1 tandem and 9 other jumps. I seem to be having a problem with flaring. I did two jumps this weekend, first jumps in two months. I know what I can change while actually flying the canopy, like flying to the holding area earlier, etc., but when it comes down to landing I'm terrible at timing the flare. I find this very hard. I PLFed both jumps (the reason for me not jumping for two months is because of a bad butt landing, I am NEVER doing that again unless I really have to), and walked away with no trouble. My arms and chest got pretty sore after the first jump, felt like I'd been working out. This might be because I practiced flaring up high though, or maybe I'm tense during free fall. I also have tense shoulder muscles, and my naprapath told me that I would get sore quicker than others (need to work out my back more, yeah), but it's nothing dangerous. Although it could make flaring heavier, though I don't feel any pain until a while after the skydive.

Anyway, my point is, I feel like I can't finish the flare properly, and I tend to start flaring too soon. I know I did it too soon on the first jump this weekend, but it's like the lines are too long for me to finish? I'm jumping a 240 Navigator, sometimes 220, and I'm a pretty short girl with short arms. A friend told me that she had the same problem, but she made them shorter by taking them around her hands once or twice. If you know what I mean. I haven't tried this yet since I haven't talked to my instructor about it, but if you guys have any input on this, feel free to share.

Also, I'm scared of hurting myself when landing, so I always prepare myself for a crash landing. I haven't tried running them out, and I haven't been able to get a full stop and a smooth landing. Haven't stood up once!

Of course, I will talk to my instructors about all of this, but if any of you have tips on how to time my flare better and getting good landings, please share. Like I said earlier, I tried practicing up high, but I didn't really get when the "sweet spot" was. This is the main problem I have with skydiving, and I would like to get the hang of it soon, cause it's kinda stressful to be nervous about landings all the time. I love the free fall, and I'm actually pretty good at it, and I think I could love canopy flying more eventually.

And yes, yes, yes. I know I shouldn't follow advice here blindly, it's just nice to see what other experience skydivers can share, but I will never, ever do anything that people tell me here without discussing it with an instructor.


(This post was edited by antibac on Aug 22, 2011, 2:19 PM)


brnnncrzy77  (Student)

Aug 22, 2011, 2:21 PM
Post #2 of 48 (1817 views)
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Re: [antibac] Flaaaaring [In reply to] Can't Post

Do you guys not use student radios?


antibac  (C License)

Aug 22, 2011, 2:29 PM
Post #3 of 48 (1810 views)
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Re: [brnnncrzy77] Flaaaaring [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Do you guys not use student radios?

No, unfortunately not. I hope they reconsider this, because I am definitely one of those who would benefit from some radio help, and I bet I'm not the only one. They've gotten audibles now though, that will make a sound when on 900, 600 and 300 feet. I didn't use that though. I found it more helpful with a digital altimetre though, than the regular ones.


PiLFy  (A License)

Aug 22, 2011, 2:59 PM
Post #4 of 48 (1782 views)
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Re: [antibac] Flaaaaring [In reply to] Can't Post

Didn't you post a thread about your DZ not having radios before? Everyone ripped them for sacrificing student safety by being so cheap. Where are you located? Aren't there other DZs for you to choose from?

I'm glad you're afraid of getting hurt on landings. You should be. You can get seriously F'd up on them. There are a multitude of teaching techniques that can be used to help you by your instructors on-site. Acceptable landings don't come overnight. It doesn't sound like you're getting the help you need @that DZ, though. Just my humble opinion. Others may take issue w/it.


antibac  (C License)

Aug 22, 2011, 3:07 PM
Post #5 of 48 (1773 views)
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Re: [PiLFy] Flaaaaring [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Didn't you post a thread about your DZ not having radios before? Everyone ripped them for sacrificing student safety by being so cheap. Where are you located? Aren't there other DZs for you to choose from?

I'm glad you're afraid of getting hurt on landings. You should be. You can get seriously F'd up on them. There are a multitude of teaching techniques that can be used to help you by your instructors on-site. Acceptable landings don't come overnight. It doesn't sound like you're getting the help you need @that DZ, though. Just my humble opinion. Others may take issue w/it.

I'm not going to say which DZ I'm at, anyway it's outside of the US and you probably wouldn't know where it is.

I know, I saw people calling them cheap. I would agree, but it seems like they're trying to get better equipment (like the digital altimetres, audibles, etc), though no radio yet. I haven't asked yet why they don't have radios though, but I will tomorrow. Then we'll find out how cheap they are ;)

Yes, I have another DZ I can go to, though this one is sort of connected to the one I go to at the moment. Not sure if they use radios though. It's not open for jumping yet though.

Anyway, I've been told that they can film my landings, so I'm definitely asking them to do that on my next jump. I think my instructor is the best, he's been super and spending a lot of time on me, and I really have nothing bad to say about any of the instructors there, except for them not having radios.

But I didn't post this thread for you guys to bash my DZ.


antibac  (C License)

Aug 22, 2011, 3:10 PM
Post #6 of 48 (1770 views)
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Re: [antibac] Flaaaaring [In reply to] Can't Post

Also, is it a good thing that I don't trust other skydivers in the air at all? Canopy collision is definitely my BIGGEST fear, and scares me more than landing. I saw a lot of people (mostly male students) flying REALLY close this weekend, and it makes me scared jumping with other students. They pissed the instructors off though, so maybe they'll be more careful on their next jumps.


missbrz  (B License)

Aug 22, 2011, 3:13 PM
Post #7 of 48 (1768 views)
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Re: [antibac] Flaaaaring [In reply to] Can't Post

hhhmmm the no radio thing is a little hinky to me. but if you dont have access to one, you'll have to make do I guess. Try having somebody film your landings so you can have some outside perspective. When I was learning to flare, that helped me the most because I didnt realize that one of my hands was always higher than the other. I could have sworn it wasnt so, until I saw the video. Maybe you're not actually flaring all the way though you think you are.


PiLFy  (A License)

Aug 22, 2011, 3:29 PM
Post #8 of 48 (1756 views)
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Re: [antibac] Flaaaaring [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not trying to out your particular DZ. This isn't about them. it's about you. I didn't realize you're outside the US. So, it's a moot point anyway. Filming landings is a big help. Frankly, it should have been offered to you before this. You've already been struggling, & gotten hurt, for a while now. One common mistake is having your legs pointing out forward, instead of pointing straight down. This will leave you w/an incomplete flare. What has your instructor said about it all?

I think I suggested the following to you before (?). When in doubt. Put it in half brakes, & PLF it. It beats the H*ll out of stalling it @35 feet. It takes you as long as it takes you to get better @landings. Do it safely.


Premier faulknerwn  (D 17441)
Moderator
Aug 22, 2011, 6:30 PM
Post #9 of 48 (1693 views)
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Re: [antibac] Flaaaaring [In reply to] Can't Post

Even if the DZ doesn't have radios, if you bought a pair, would your instructor take one and help you with them?? Radios are fairly cheap and if you supplied your own ....


deltron80  (A License)

Aug 22, 2011, 6:55 PM
Post #10 of 48 (1676 views)
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Re: [antibac] Flaaaaring [In reply to] Can't Post

1. feet & knees together
2. PLF
3. profit


BrianM  (D 661)

Aug 22, 2011, 8:06 PM
Post #11 of 48 (1648 views)
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Re: [antibac] Flaaaaring [In reply to] Can't Post

Quite a few years ago, I was an instructor at a DZ that didn't use radios.

We used a big orange arrow for ground control. We would turn the arrow in the direction we wanted the student to fly.

When the student was on final approach, we would pick up two big orange paddles, one in each hand, and hold them up overhead. The student would then mimic whatever the instructor did with the paddles. Move a paddle to shoulder height, the student pulls the toggle on that side to shoulder height; move it all the way down, student pulls the toggle all the way down, etc. This allowed for course corrections, S turns, etc if necessary.

To flare, we would simply move both paddles all the way down in a flaring motion, and the student would do the same. This worked quite well.

If radios are not an option, perhaps you could get an instructor to use this method to tell you when to flare. It's not expensive - all you need is two objects of a suitable size and colour to be seen from under canopy. You can probably find something free that would work - some pieces of red cardboard, for example. In fact, since it seems you only need a flare signal and not steering assistance, you probably don't even need the paddles, as long as you're not landing too far away from the instructor.


sundevil777  (D License)

Aug 22, 2011, 9:22 PM
Post #12 of 48 (1622 views)
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Re: [antibac] Flaaaaring [In reply to] Can't Post

How much do you weigh?

You should not trust what I am about to tell you, you should assume I'm completely wrong, or that you shouldn't even be 'armed' with such knowledge at this early point in your training.

A small person/short arms, can be at a disadvantage when it comes to landing a large canopy because it might take a longer total stroke of the toggles to get good results, so getting a wrap or two of the steering lines around your hand can be helpful. Some student canopies will be set up with extra steering line length so that it is very difficult to pull down far enough to stall them, and that can compound a short armed person's struggle to get a deep enough flare. You ought to check out how far you have to pull down the toggles to get nearly all the slack out of the steering lines/start deflecting the tail. If you take too much slack out/start pulling down on the tail, you'll be keeping it from starting the flare at full flight, and you don't want that. You are also able to flare deeper by being purposeful at the bottom of the flare stroke - you can add a few/several inches of stroke. It might help to think of the flare as first smoothly transitioning to level flight with plenty of left over forward speed, let if fly like that for just a small bit, then squeeze that last bit of flare power left over out of it to slow the forward motion. You MUST try this a bunch up high, dedicate a bunch of altitude to getting used to the feeling of what is called a dynamic flare, which is very different from what often happens when students just pull down abruptly without getting a feel for flying the wing. Fortunately student canopies are extra big, so even an abrupt flare can have decent results.

A non-abrupt flare/flaring a bit more slowly also allows you to realize that you may have started your flare too early, and allow for adjustments before you pull all the way down.

If you get half way through your flare and realize you're too high, then just hold that brake position for a while until you get closer to the ground, and then finish the flare. Do NOT let up on the toggles. That will cause the canopy to surge forward and dive down quickly - requires a lot of altitude for the canopy to stop diving.

Finishing the flare from a partially braked condition is actually very useful when it is necessary to land in a very tight area, and is often described as "sinking in" your canopy, or an "accuracy approach". When you "sink in" your canopy, you can correct for going long or coming up short of your intended spot by applying a bit more or less toggle input to adjust your angle of descent. The descent of a large canopy in a half to deep brake condition should be slow enough that you can PLF a landing with no flare at the end, just a steady descent rate with less than normal forward speed. A variation of this technique that is more commonly seen is when someone is going long, they might apply some brakes for a short time, but then smoothly go back to full flight with plenty of altitude to spare so that they don't hit the ground while the canopy surges forward (and it does surge dangerously forward, especially if you let the toggles up quickly). Some tandem instructors use this technique to get extra airspeed from the surge for a more effective flare, but you can also kill yourself. I am only advising you learn more about how this "sinking it in" technique is done and why it is useful - DO NOT just try it out yourself at this stage in your jumping career - it deserves serious discussion with an instructor. I think it is reasonable to do some of this stuff at high altitude (after discussion with your instructor).

If you do start your flare too early and get the toggles ALL the way down and realize you're too high, what is important is that you don't allow the canopy to stall, which is when the canopy stops making significant lift and you drop like a rock usually with a leaned back orientation (hard to land on your feet - hitting your butt hard). So, if you make the mistake of flaring fully too high, you should realize that you can land in a full flare condition as long as the canopy isn't stalled. Realizing what that 'stall' feels like takes practice (up high) and the need to hover just a bit before that stall point is the only time you should consider letting up just a bit on the toggles when landing (when you realize you're deep in toggles and the canopy has/is stalling). Managing that stall point only requires small adjustments and again should be practiced up high so you know what if really feels like to do it. You can land your canopy while hovering near the stall point with an acceptable rate of descent, and it is MUCH better than letting up on the toggles (surging), or allowing the canopy to stall. The problem is that you may screw up - so don't (yes, I know, easy to say). Many students are not able to reach stall on their large student canopies without wrapping the brake line around their hand. As you jump smaller canopies, it will definitely be possible to stall.

All of this stuff is not natural for a new jumper to have thought about, but I think it is worth discussing so that you and others can gain valuable knowledge. As long as you realize that advice you get from the internet might be simply wrong, misinterpreted or misapplied, and you take responsibility to thoroughly review it with your instructors, then you are going to be accelerating your learning curve (a good thing). Be careful out there. Your instructors should be able to discuss these topics with you, but they may also very rightly conclude that it is too much info to take in and process/execute at this stage for you.

I may well get flamed for passing on too much advice too early in your training, and probably deserve such flaming, for you may take this advice and hurt yourself with it - so DON'T.


DaVinciflies

Aug 22, 2011, 9:22 PM
Post #13 of 48 (1621 views)
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Re: [PiLFy] Flaaaaring [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
When in doubt. Put it in half brakes, & PLF it.

Please don't listen to this BS.

Anyone telling you not to finish your flare is not helping you. You should finish your flare before you PLF (which you should always be prepared to do).


sundevil777  (D License)

Aug 22, 2011, 9:58 PM
Post #14 of 48 (1610 views)
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Re: [sundevil777] Flaaaaring [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's another current thread on student flare technique, I'm sure there are lots of other flare technique threads.

http://www.dropzone.com/...;;page=unread#unread


Premier cpoxon  (D 11665)
Moderator
Aug 23, 2011, 2:15 AM
Post #15 of 48 (1577 views)
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Re: [PiLFy] Flaaaaring [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I think I suggested the following to you before (?). When in doubt. Put it in half brakes, & PLF it. It beats the H*ll out of stalling it @35 feet. It takes you as long as it takes you to get better @landings. Do it safely.

Student canopies are generally configured so that they can not be stalled. As a low experienced skydiver talking to a student skydiver, please don't offer advice as it could well be wrong (as in this case).


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Aug 23, 2011, 4:18 AM
Post #16 of 48 (1557 views)
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Re: [DaVinciflies] Flaaaaring [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
When in doubt. Put it in half brakes, & PLF it.

Please don't listen to this BS.

Anyone telling you not to finish your flare is not helping you. You should finish your flare before you PLF (which you should always be prepared to do).

Good stuff. Excellent comment....with a cpoxon back-up too!


JerseyShawn  (Student)

Aug 23, 2011, 6:59 AM
Post #17 of 48 (1512 views)
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Re: [PiLFy] Flaaaaring [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I'm not trying to out your particular DZ. This isn't about them. it's about you. I didn't realize you're outside the US. So, it's a moot point anyway. Filming landings is a big help. Frankly, it should have been offered to you before this. You've already been struggling, & gotten hurt, for a while now. One common mistake is having your legs pointing out forward, instead of pointing straight down. This will leave you w/an incomplete flare. What has your instructor said about it all?

I think I suggested the following to you before (?). When in doubt. Put it in half brakes, & PLF it. It beats the H*ll out of stalling it @35 feet. It takes you as long as it takes you to get
better @landings. Do it safely.

PeteJones?Sly, just kidding.

No disrespect at all intended, but at 60 jumps the only advise a young jumper should/could give to another youngin' is
-Arch
-Relax
-Breathe
-Ask your instructors

Its dangerous enough giving the right training and throwing your body to the Earth.


PiLFy  (A License)

Aug 23, 2011, 2:22 PM
Post #18 of 48 (1442 views)
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Re: [DaVinciflies] Flaaaaring [In reply to] Can't Post

You're taking my comment out of context. I had made it as part of an earlier PM to the OP. He was afraid of flaring early, & stalling @30'. I had said something to the effect of "If you start your flare too high? Just hold the flare to half brakes until you're @the right height. Worse comes to worse, you can always hold it in half brakes, & PLF."

It wasn't BS, Thank You. It was advice prefaced w/the need to go over everything w/his instructors.


antibac  (C License)

Aug 23, 2011, 2:25 PM
Post #19 of 48 (1439 views)
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Re: [antibac] Flaaaaring [In reply to] Can't Post

So, yeah, things are moving forward. Did 5 jumps today, managed to land on landing area every time. Didn't stand up any landings, almost made it once, but I did a lot of "baseball slides". Talked to my instructor, so I learned to turn the canopy with just using my harness and flaring got a bit easier when I wrapped the lines around my hand. I got a more feel for it now, found the sweet spot and everything! :) So, no hard landings at all, though I'm not happy about all the "ass swooping", I hope I'm able to land standing up soon!

I was also told that the canopies I fly are almost impossible to stall, but I'm not supposed to know that ;)


(This post was edited by antibac on Aug 23, 2011, 2:31 PM)


PiLFy  (A License)

Aug 23, 2011, 2:25 PM
Post #20 of 48 (1437 views)
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Re: [cpoxon] Flaaaaring [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
I think I suggested the following to you before (?). When in doubt. Put it in half brakes, & PLF it. It beats the H*ll out of stalling it @35 feet. It takes you as long as it takes you to get better @landings. Do it safely.

Student canopies are generally configured so that they can not be stalled. As a low experienced skydiver talking to a student skydiver, please don't offer advice as it could well be wrong (as in this case).

Again, I was referencing an earlier PM to the OP. In that PM, I had prefaced the advice by telling him to go over everything w/his instructor. I appreciate the need for you to say that, but you've misunderstood. I'm not a 60-jump wonder wannabe instructor.


antibac  (C License)

Aug 23, 2011, 2:26 PM
Post #21 of 48 (1435 views)
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Re: [PiLFy] Flaaaaring [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
You're taking my comment out of context. I had made it as part of an earlier PM to the OP. He was afraid of flaring early, & stalling @30'. I had said something to the effect of "If you start your flare too high? Just hold the flare to half brakes until you're @the right height. Worse comes to worse, you can always hold it in half brakes, & PLF."

It wasn't BS, Thank You. It was advice prefaced w/the need to go over everything w/his instructors.

He is a she ;)


PiLFy  (A License)

Aug 23, 2011, 2:26 PM
Post #22 of 48 (1433 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] Flaaaaring [In reply to] Can't Post

Glad you liked it, Andy. Maybe you can PM them about Audibles???


antibac  (C License)

Aug 23, 2011, 2:30 PM
Post #23 of 48 (1429 views)
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Re: [antibac] Flaaaaring [In reply to] Can't Post

Relax people, I don't think PiLfY is trying to be a wannabe-instructor. He's just sharing his experience, and like he said, he specifically told me to go over things with my instructor, which I did!


PiLFy  (A License)

Aug 23, 2011, 2:34 PM
Post #24 of 48 (1423 views)
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Re: [JerseyShawn] Flaaaaring [In reply to] Can't Post

Jeeze,
Let's all pile on the new guy, huh? I don't remember all the particulars of the earlier PMs. I think the OP was struggling, & afraid of slamming in on a landing (again?). I mainly offered words of encouragement. At the end of the message, I had said something like holding it in half brakes & PLFing is something he'll have to do for his A, anyway. When in doubt, he could do that. He was having trouble judging when to start his flare. I think he had slammed his back pretty hard before. I told him to discuss everything w/his instructors. I'm nowhere near having a rating. I know that. Thank you.

P.S.: PeteJones?! Ouch.


antibac  (C License)

Aug 23, 2011, 2:44 PM
Post #25 of 48 (1414 views)
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Re: [PiLFy] Flaaaaring [In reply to] Can't Post

edit: never mind


(This post was edited by antibac on Aug 23, 2011, 2:44 PM)


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