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Requiring B license applicants to fly their canopy with their eyes closed for 15 seconds (5 flares, approx 3 seconds each)?

 

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Poll: Requiring B license applicants to fly their canopy with their eyes closed for 15 seconds (5 flares, approx 3 seconds each)?
Good idea. 48 / 40%
Bad Idea. 18 / 15%
Ridiculous idea. 53 / 45%
119 total votes
 
mkb0909  (D 31965)

Dec 22, 2011, 7:32 PM
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Requiring B license applicants to fly their canopy with their eyes closed for 15 seconds (5 flares, approx 3 seconds each)? Can't Post

What are people's thoughts on this? I think it is an absurd requirement. I was taught to fly my canopy with my head on a swivel and be aware of what's around me at all times and never assume I have the air all to myself. I think flying your canopy with your eyes closed makes about as much sense as driving or cycling on a public road with your eyes closed, even if you 'assume' it's empty.Pirate According to a contact on the S&T committee, this is so people can 'feel' their canopy. I think they are more likely to 'feel' someone else's canopy or body or a plane or the ground, than they are to benefit from this absurd idea. Apparently, this has been in the SIM for some time, however until now, most instructors have exercised common sense and chosen not to have students pilot their canopy with their eyes closed. I'm curious if anyone thinks that flying your canopy with your eyes closed will actually decrease canopy related fatalities.


(This post was edited by mkb0909 on Dec 22, 2011, 7:39 PM)


diablopilot  (D License)

Dec 22, 2011, 8:06 PM
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Re: [mkb0909] Requiring B license applicants to fly their canopy with their eyes closed for 15 seconds (5 flares, approx 3 seconds each)? [In reply to] Can't Post

Considering one of the requirements of the canopy progression card is that all the qualifying jumps be done as hop and pops with planning and focus on JUST canopy flight, I think the danger is pretty small.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Dec 22, 2011, 8:09 PM
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Re: [mkb0909] Requiring B license applicants to fly their canopy with their eyes closed for 15 seconds (5 flares, approx 3 seconds each)? [In reply to] Can't Post

 
As a guy who already knows it all, I don't read the SIM or keep up on the 'latest news' from the USPA. Clear this up for me, is this a USPA reccomendation (or, god help me, a requirement) for how people are supposed to learn to fly a canopy?

I'm guessing it is, and it's another example of the USPA doing nothing that makes any sense with regards to training people to fly parachutes. Let's review -

It all started with the USPA 'reccomending' that people take a canopy control course. They did not endorse, organize, or train people to administer a canopy control course, but they sure enough reccomended that everyone go out and take one (after you find one, and hopefully a good one.

Next, they were good enough to print a poster reminding jumpers to be safe under canopy, and sent it to group member DZs to hang up. Of course this was because jumpers didn't know they should 'be safe' under canopy, and jumpers are mentaly on par with a 9 year old gril, and love to stand around and look at posters. Again, there was no extrapolation on what 'be safe' meant, just that you should do it.

Now they have progressed to making an actual reccomendation of direct action a jumper can take, and it's to close their eyes and cram 5 practice flares into 15 seconds?

(I'm not sure the timing and count is correct on that, but if that is correct, can you even flare a canopy fully in 3 seconds? You can jam the toggles down, but will the canopy respond and complete it's reaction to the input within 3 seconds? How long does it take for the canopy to return to steady-state full flight (like you would have on final) to 'practice' another flare? My best guess it that you 'might' be able to get 2 full flare 'practices' from full flight within 15 seconds, and I stress 'might')

That aside, when was the last time anyone flared for an actual landing with their eyes closed? Why the hell would you practice it that way? Part of 'feeling' the canopy is relating it's actions to the horizon, and when you shut your eyes, your inner ear goes all wonky and you can't tell up from down (to some degree). No offence to the newbies out there, but the idea of practicing with your eyes closed sounds like one of those 'genius' ideas some newbie engineer-type thinks up at home, alone, and is going to use to really 'get to know' their canopy. It's absurd.

I still cannot why the USPA has such a resistance to using the resources we have available to us, and bringing the experts in to come with a 'real' plan that jumpers can follow, or better yet, a real class they can take. There are some very smart, talented canopy pilots out there who would be honored to donate their time to developing a program for the USPA that would run concurrently with the licensing program to further educate jumpers as they make their way to 'expert' status, but instead they give us 'close your eyes and flare'?


diablopilot  (D License)

Dec 22, 2011, 8:17 PM
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Re: [davelepka] Requiring B license applicants to fly their canopy with their eyes closed for 15 seconds (5 flares, approx 3 seconds each)? [In reply to] Can't Post

They are on the right track on this one....
Quote:
Reminder: New B-License Requirements in Effect Soon As of January 1, 2012, the USPA B-license requirements will change for the first time in decades. In addition to the B-license application, a completed and signed USPA Canopy Piloting Proficiency Card will be required. A USPA Safety & Training Advisor must verify that the applicant has completed the training and must sign the proficiency card before it is submitted to USPA Headquarters for processing. The training material and guidelines, including the recommended qualifications for those who can teach the course materials, appear in Skydivers Information Manual Sections 6-10 and 6-11. The proficiency card is available in the SIM and as a download on the USPA website.

http://www.uspa.org/...PProficiencyCard.pdf


mkb0909  (D 31965)

Dec 22, 2011, 8:17 PM
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Re: [davelepka] Requiring B license applicants to fly their canopy with their eyes closed for 15 seconds (5 flares, approx 3 seconds each)? [In reply to] Can't Post

It's a requirement now. 15 seconds was just a guesstimate of how long it would take to do 5 fairly quick flares. I think my flare is longer than 3 seconds, but I"m trying to be conservative in my estimate of how long you are now required to fly with your eyes closed. Apparently planning the jump and exiting from 5000' means there are no other hazards in the sky. I'm sure a lot of DZ's are going to ground all of their planes and only allow one jumper in the air at one time, so that anyone getting a B license can safely fly with their eyes closed. They will also shoot down any large birds or other planes that might be in the area. Oh, they better tell the dust devils not to kick up either while the jumper has their eyes closed.

http://www.uspa.org/Portals/0/Downloads/Form_CPProficiencyCard.pdf


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
Moderator
Dec 22, 2011, 8:36 PM
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Re: [davelepka] Requiring B license applicants to fly their canopy with their eyes closed for 15 seconds (5 flares, approx 3 seconds each)? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
That aside, when was the last time anyone flared for an actual landing with their eyes closed? Why the hell would you practice it that way? Part of 'feeling' the canopy is relating it's actions to the horizon, and when you shut your eyes, your inner ear goes all wonky and you can't tell up from down (to some degree). No offence to the newbies out there, but the idea of practicing with your eyes closed sounds like one of those 'genius' ideas some newbie engineer-type thinks up at home, alone, and is going to use to really 'get to know' their canopy. It's absurd.

Dave, try to do a flare with your eyes closed at altitude sometime. This is a normal activity that is taught in the majority of the canopy courses I have seen over the last 5-7 years. The point of the activity is to get you to fee the swing of your body under and then in front of the canopy for proper flare timing. Removing the vision makes you focus on the sensation you are feeling and not what you are/are not seeing. If you are flaring too fast you only feel yourself in front, if you are flaring too slow you don't really feel any movement but a properly timed flare lets you feel all the motion. I've done this as part of the 3 canopy courses I have taken including 2 from Scott Miller and I've seen it used in lots of others. You should not have balance issues just by closing your eyes and if you do then you might have a medical condition that needs to be looked at since you should be able to maintain balance without sight (Otherwise I am not sure how blind people could walk)


diablopilot  (D License)

Dec 22, 2011, 8:43 PM
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Re: [mkb0909] Requiring B license applicants to fly their canopy with their eyes closed for 15 seconds (5 flares, approx 3 seconds each)? [In reply to] Can't Post

Did you know the sky is falling?


mkb0909  (D 31965)

Dec 22, 2011, 8:57 PM
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Re: [diablopilot] Requiring B license applicants to fly their canopy with their eyes closed for 15 seconds (5 flares, approx 3 seconds each)? [In reply to] Can't Post

I"m not suggesting it's likely that something bad will happen. I'm just suggesting it is likelier when you have your eyes closed. I don't have to close my eyes to find my canopy's sweet spot or know whether it's in front of me or behind me. I can feel it just fine with my eyes open while being more aware of any potential hazards. I think where someone jumps factors in as well. At a cessna DZ, this is not a big deal, at somewhere with multiple turbines flying at the same time, it could be a bigger deal.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Dec 22, 2011, 9:25 PM
Post #9 of 108 (2309 views)
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Re: [mkb0909] Requiring B license applicants to fly their canopy with their eyes closed for 15 seconds (5 flares, approx 3 seconds each)? [In reply to] Can't Post

>I think flying your canopy with your eyes closed makes about as much sense as
>driving or cycling on a public road with your eyes closed, even if you 'assume' it's
>empty.

Or flying with a hood on during pilot training?


pchapman  (D 1014)

Dec 22, 2011, 10:01 PM
Post #10 of 108 (2295 views)
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Re: [mkb0909] Requiring B license applicants to fly their canopy with their eyes closed for 15 seconds (5 flares, approx 3 seconds each)? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I don't have to close my eyes to find my canopy's sweet spot or know whether it's in front of me or behind me.

OK, YOU don't, with 400+ jumps. The idea is for NOVICES to learn to feel the canopy without the visual distraction. It's a teaching technique.

The specific numbers and timings reported for the SIM are a bit odd. One should be able to get the right effect by closing eyes and doing one flare, taking one's time (no 3 sec rush), and opening eyes to check one's surroundings between each flare attempt.


jrjny  (A License)

Dec 22, 2011, 10:58 PM
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Re: [mkb0909] Requiring B license applicants to fly their canopy with their eyes closed for 15 seconds (5 flares, approx 3 seconds each)? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd like to see someone flare with their eyes closed and land.


piisfish

Dec 23, 2011, 1:22 AM
Post #12 of 108 (2242 views)
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Re: [jrjny] Requiring B license applicants to fly their canopy with their eyes closed for 15 seconds (5 flares, approx 3 seconds each)? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I'd like to see someone flare with their eyes closed and land.
I did complete paraglider flights blindfolded and guided by radio as part of a research on how to teach blind people to paraglide. It was very interesting Smile And provided guidance is good, landings were scary, but good


JerseyShawn  (Student)

Dec 23, 2011, 1:42 AM
Post #13 of 108 (2237 views)
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Re: [jrjny] Requiring B license applicants to fly their canopy with their eyes closed for 15 seconds (5 flares, approx 3 seconds each)? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I'd like to see someone flare with their eyes closed and land.

Im sure you realize the drill isn't meant for blind landingsLaugh

I would imagine its to feel when youre approaching 0 G's/line slack/collapse, rather than looking up at your canopy when you get near a stall, taking your eyes off of other canopies in the area that you can run into.

I used to look up at my canopy doing my control stall checks after opening, what younger jumper wouldn't, feeling the canopy start to collapse. Even though I would look all directions first, for a few seconds I wasn't paying attention to what other canopies could be next to me in those few seconds (were in constant motion til we land).

Being able to feel your canopies stall point (doing radical turns, avoidance maneuvers, getting out of a bad spot, turbulent conditions, ect.) without looking up at at a stalling canopy and adjusting properly while keeping your eyes out for others is beneficial to learn (for the newer jumpers). Feeling a canopy about to collapse isn't a natural feeling, tendencies will be to look up until were used to it, looking away from traffic.

I don't look when I feel my canopy about to stall anymore, just slowly adjust with my eyes on others flying around.

Edit: I didn't need to close my eyes to feel my canopy stall and feel its effect, I simply didn't look at it anymore when I practiced other than the visual inspection upon opening.


(This post was edited by JerseyShawn on Dec 23, 2011, 2:03 AM)


chuckakers  (D 10855)

Dec 23, 2011, 4:19 AM
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Re: [jrjny] Requiring B license applicants to fly their canopy with their eyes closed for 15 seconds (5 flares, approx 3 seconds each)? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I'd like to see someone flare with their eyes closed and land.

That's easy, once.Laugh


theonlyski  (D License)

Dec 23, 2011, 5:07 AM
Post #15 of 108 (2165 views)
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Re: [jrjny] Requiring B license applicants to fly their canopy with their eyes closed for 15 seconds (5 flares, approx 3 seconds each)? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I'd like to see someone flare with their eyes closed and land.

Go watch first time jumpers at the army airborne school... many of them do night jumps at 10 am!Laugh


theonlyski  (D License)

Dec 23, 2011, 5:08 AM
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Re: [billvon] Requiring B license applicants to fly their canopy with their eyes closed for 15 seconds (5 flares, approx 3 seconds each)? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
>I think flying your canopy with your eyes closed makes about as much sense as
>driving or cycling on a public road with your eyes closed, even if you 'assume' it's
>empty.

Or flying with a hood on during pilot training?

Slight difference there is that you have a safety pilot to keep you clear of aircraft and other things.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Dec 23, 2011, 5:13 AM
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Re: [PhreeZone] Requiring B license applicants to fly their canopy with their eyes closed for 15 seconds (5 flares, approx 3 seconds each)? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
You should not have balance issues just by closing your eyes and if you do then you might have a medical condition that needs to be looked at since you should be able to maintain balance without sight (Otherwise I am not sure how blind people could walk)

Blind people can walk because they have the solid ground to use as a reference point, and they spend their entire life learning to walk without a visual reference. Comapre that to a sighted person, who uses visual references everyday for all of their movements, and can you see how the change might be more drastic than comparing them to a blind person.

Without the ground as a solid reference point, you use the visible horizon (or ground) as your reference point, and that build off of that. This is the reason we have IFR flight, when there is no visual reference or solid ground to stand on, the inner ear gets confused and leads to spatial disorientation.

The resutls can be more dire in an aircraft, where you can enter a spin and possibly not recover. A canopy is different in that it shouldn't produce such negative results, but if you're trying to get someone to 'feel' what a canopy is doing, removing one of their balance refernce points seems like a step in the wrong direction.

A better move might be to explain what to look for, and have the student focus on that aspect during the manuver. If you're trying to illustrate the movement of the canopy relative to the jumper, you might even have them look up at the canopy, and see how it's position changes during the flare. Maybe do one or two watching the canopy, then one or two looking ahead (as if you were landing) and then 'feel' what you just saw.


DaVinciflies

Dec 23, 2011, 8:51 AM
Post #18 of 108 (2077 views)
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Re: [PhreeZone] Requiring B license applicants to fly their canopy with their eyes closed for 15 seconds (5 flares, approx 3 seconds each)? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
This is a normal activity that is taught in the majority of the canopy courses I have seen over the last 5-7 years.

Agree. I have been instructed to do this in all 4 canopy courses I have attended.


BMichaeli  (C License)

Dec 23, 2011, 8:59 AM
Post #19 of 108 (2071 views)
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Re: [mkb0909] Requiring B license applicants to fly their canopy with their eyes closed for 15 seconds (5 flares, approx 3 seconds each)? [In reply to] Can't Post

The slip stream canopy corse teaches this. I have taken it and actually found that closing my eyes helps you really feel the progression of the flair. We were instructed to do a hop and pop then turn north or south and proceed with checking our air space then closing our eyes and flare hold it for a second then return to full flight open our eyes and again check our air space. with the vertical and horizontal separation between each jumper we were pretty safe. We were exiting from 5K and were not supposed to do any more maneuvers under 2K. I at the time had around 250 jumps however most of the people in the class had under 20 jumps.


Kralovec  (C License)

Dec 23, 2011, 10:16 AM
Post #20 of 108 (2039 views)
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Re: [mkb0909] Requiring B license applicants to fly their canopy with their eyes closed for 15 seconds (5 flares, approx 3 seconds each)? [In reply to] Can't Post

I think it is a good idea based on the intent of the canopy card and not what you are making it out to be.

The idea of closing your eyes and doing a practice flare deprives you of one sense to help you better appreciate your other senses.

This card, like all thing give to new jumper will require instruction to explain how to properly preform the tasks. Just because it says "Practice flares, five with eyes closed" does not mean this should all before at one time keeping your eyes closed the entire time.

This was one of the first thing I tired on my new canopy on a high pull after reading. 25 Ways to Become a Better Canopy Pilot (http://parachutistonline.com/...-better-canopy-pilot).

I looked in all direction to make sure the air space was clear, closed my eyes, did a practice flare, and then opened my eyes to make sure I ways still clear.


InfiniteSky  (B 33221)

Dec 23, 2011, 10:18 AM
Post #21 of 108 (2037 views)
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Re: [mkb0909] Requiring B license applicants to fly their canopy with their eyes closed for 15 seconds (5 flares, approx 3 seconds each)? [In reply to] Can't Post

I did that drill in the canopy course I did as a newbie. It was made clear that we were to clear our airspace before each flare and open our eyes upon returning to full flight. I would say that doing them consecutively without opening your eyes would be foolish. FWIW we also did flares watching the canopy and flares looking at the horizon. I think it's definitely a useful drill to learn to feel your canopy early on.


DaVinciflies

Dec 23, 2011, 10:22 AM
Post #22 of 108 (2032 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Requiring B license applicants to fly their canopy with their eyes closed for 15 seconds (5 flares, approx 3 seconds each)? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
As a guy who already knows it all,...

I assume you're joking, right?!!


dthames  (B 37674)

Dec 23, 2011, 10:32 AM
Post #23 of 108 (2029 views)
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Re: [mkb0909] Requiring B license applicants to fly their canopy with their eyes closed for 15 seconds (5 flares, approx 3 seconds each)? [In reply to] Can't Post

Just looking at what the card says, couldn't you take a look around after each blind flare? I don't see anything about keeping your eyes closed the entire time.

Maybe it is to enhance the Jeti skills, or the first step toward instrument rating requirements.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Dec 23, 2011, 10:37 AM
Post #24 of 108 (2027 views)
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Re: [theonlyski] Requiring B license applicants to fly their canopy with their eyes closed for 15 seconds (5 flares, approx 3 seconds each)? [In reply to] Can't Post

>Slight difference there is that you have a safety pilot to keep you clear of aircraft and other things.

So have them get out on their own pass. Or if they absolutely have to jump in traffic, put a radio on them and have someone on the ground say "OK you're clear." Or just do it well away from other people. If you are 1000 feet from anyone else, it is unlikely that any other canopies will manage to accelerate to 100 knots and hit you before you open your eyes again - even if it's a very long flare.


(This post was edited by billvon on Dec 23, 2011, 10:39 AM)


jimjumper  (D 11137)

Dec 23, 2011, 10:38 AM
Post #25 of 108 (2025 views)
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Re: [mkb0909] Requiring B license applicants to fly their canopy with their eyes closed for 15 seconds (5 flares, approx 3 seconds each)? [In reply to] Can't Post

Not to hijack this thread but the other thing that I notice is that the signature requirement on the proficiency card is S&TA only. I assume that this means Instructors can no longer sign off "B' or "C" liscenses? If so, our S&TA's are gonna keep even busier than they are already.


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