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Flying a Biplane or side by side

 

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dthames  (B 37674)

Feb 5, 2012, 11:45 AM
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Flying a Biplane or side by side Can't Post

A post on a recent thread asked for documented procedures for two out and the SIM was referenced. I recall a conversation in an instructor where we were working on category quizzes. The two out biplane and side by side were being reviewed. The comments by the instructor went something like this..

I know the SIM says you can use the toggles to steer the most forward (for biplane) or most overhead (for side by side) . If you release the brakes on one of the two canopies it could start flying faster and could result in a downplane. The rear risers are the better choice. I would just leave the brakes stowed and steer with the rear risers (front canopy rear risers for biplane, outside most risers for side by side). With two inflated canopies overhead, it is not as critical to flare. But be ready to do the PLF.
<end instructor>

To me this makes good sense. It would be good to hear additional points of view, if there are any.

Thanks
Dan


GLIDEANGLE  (D 30292)

Feb 5, 2012, 12:19 PM
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Re: [dthames] Flying a Biplane or side by side [In reply to] Can't Post

Try this for some data rather than merely opinions:

http://www.performancedesigns.com/docs/dualsq.pdf


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Feb 5, 2012, 2:58 PM
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Re: [dthames] Flying a Biplane or side by side [In reply to] Can't Post

One good indicator of what I had said about "not everybody follows the SIM".

Personally, I'd go with tested procedure over guesswork. Guesswork does not trump testing.

Ask him how are to safely fly with risers if you haven't been taught, and practiced riser flight, flaring and stalls.

You are going to run into more situations where there is more than one way to skin a cat. Your job is to learn and make intelligent decisions for yourself. Just because one person says "A", doesn't mean that "A" is the best solution for you. Well, for anyone else either.

As you are doing here (good job, BTW), get more info...as much as you can. The more you know about a situation, the better equipped you are to make those intelligent decisions.


(This post was edited by popsjumper on Feb 5, 2012, 3:09 PM)


dthames  (B 37674)

Feb 5, 2012, 3:53 PM
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Re: [GLIDEANGLE] Flying a Biplane or side by side [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Try this for some data rather than merely opinions:

http://www.performancedesigns.com/docs/dualsq.pdf

That is great information. Thanks.

Pops, I am not in contact with that instructor, so I can't ask him those questions. At the time I had finished my catagory D canopy work, so I don't consider the timing of the statement/conversation out of place.

But the report gives some really good information and Yes test results are better than lesser experience.

Dan


sundevil777  (D License)

Feb 5, 2012, 6:54 PM
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Re: [dthames] Flying a Biplane or side by side [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I know the SIM says you can use the toggles to steer the most forward (for biplane) or most overhead (for side by side) . If you release the brakes on one of the two canopies it could start flying faster and could result in a downplane.

Even after releasing the brakes on the top canopy, you can still make it fly as if the brakes were stowed, and slowly let them up to see if it will behave. Just fly around with a bit of brakes if needed.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Feb 5, 2012, 7:19 PM
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Re: [sundevil777] Flying a Biplane or side by side [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
...to see if it will behave.

...another reason why we like to keep the main and reserve similar in size and flight characteristics.


In reply to:
Just fly around with a bit of brakes if needed.
I'm not so sure about this.
IMO, 2-out is not a time to be "flying around".
It's a time for survival finding a place in front of you that you can land safely making minimal control inputs.

Maybe you didn't mean "fly around" as I understood it to mean. The bit about using a bit of brakes if necessary is what I would do, too.


(This post was edited by popsjumper on Feb 5, 2012, 7:21 PM)


sundevil777  (D License)

Feb 5, 2012, 7:42 PM
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Re: [popsjumper] Flying a Biplane or side by side [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Maybe you didn't mean "fly around" as I understood it to mean.

Just meant that you can turn as needed, as little as needed.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Feb 6, 2012, 4:28 AM
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Re: [sundevil777] Flying a Biplane or side by side [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks. I needed clarification.


dthames  (B 37674)

Feb 6, 2012, 4:54 AM
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Re: [popsjumper] Flying a Biplane or side by side [In reply to] Can't Post

One of the reasons I have specific interest in this topic is because of a guy at our DZ was hurt last year with a two out. His reserve came out when he was low. His main went out in front and down, pulling him out of control. He tried to "fly it back" up and into a more stable configuration. But he ended up hitting hard on concrete and had spinal injuries.

He never had a stable two out, so it is a bit different. But I would not want a stable situation to become unstable because of something I did. So, I am hunting for the best understanding I can get.

The test report was a help, for sure.

Dan


(This post was edited by dthames on Feb 6, 2012, 4:55 AM)


Scrumpot  (D License)

Feb 6, 2012, 8:42 AM
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Re: [popsjumper] Flying a Biplane or side by side [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
...another reason why we like to keep the main and reserve similar in size and flight characteristics.

So Andy - Are we then, if you are serious about applying this logic, indeed keeping with that logic, when the 2 canopies, once out and flying, presumably already behaving let's just say - "similar in size and flight characteristics" ...when now one releases the toggles on the front canopy - and entering that one, as opposed to the other into "full flight"?

Seems to me you may have something of a bit of contradiction in terms there, no? - Just playing a little "devils" advocate here is all, and interested to hear how you now reconcile both statements/positions, when one does seem to be actually, opposed to the other.

TIA for playing along.


(This post was edited by Scrumpot on Feb 6, 2012, 8:43 AM)


tkhayes  (D 18764)

Feb 6, 2012, 9:16 AM
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Re: [GLIDEANGLE] Flying a Biplane or side by side [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
conclusion: If a biplane is present and the jumper has directional control, leave the brakes stowed on the rear canopy and fly the biplane using gentle toggle input on the front canopy. Do not flare either canopy for landing. Be prepared to do a PLF

I have a lot of issues with the PD report and I also have a lot of issues with the SIM guidance as well.

No, none of it is all 'wrong', but the PD report was from 1992 and that is 20 years ago. A LOT of things have changed- particularly canopy size and performance.

The quote above says 'do not flare' - not flaring any modern canopy today will almost certainly result in serious injury. They are flying a ridiculously higher speeds compared to 20 years ago.

I believe that prevention is the key. DO NOT EVER end up with two canopies out.

It's kind of like scuba diving "What do I do if I find myself at 120 feet with 1 minute of air left?" Well the answer is "You should never have been there and now you are fucked"

There is no good answer for two canopies out. There is no right answer for two canopies out. Every situation can be different and the BEST situation is landing under ONE and only ONE parachute.

So I believe the message needs to be prevention of the said 'two canopy out scenario' and less on what to do about it.

And if it does happen, which should be never, then my best situation is figuring out the best way to get rid of the main so you can land the reserve.


sundevil777  (D License)

Feb 6, 2012, 10:06 AM
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Re: [Scrumpot] Flying a Biplane or side by side [In reply to] Can't Post

Again, releasing the toggles on a canopy does not mean that the canopy must then be at full flight.


yoink

Feb 6, 2012, 10:34 AM
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Re: [dthames] Flying a Biplane or side by side [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
His main went out in front and down, pulling him out of control. He tried to "fly it back" up and into a more stable configuration.

Frown


Sounds like someone missed the part on how to deal with a downplane in the FJC.

Hint: the answer isn't 'fly it back up'...


peek  (D 8884)

Feb 6, 2012, 11:12 AM
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Re: [sundevil777] Flying a Biplane or side by side [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Again, releasing the toggles on a canopy does not mean that the canopy must then be at full flight.

I agree, but I wonder how much skill it would take to do that. Usually we just reach up and give the toggles a little tug, and suddenly we are in nearly full flight.

I suppose we could unstow toggles, and in one motion, go right to half brakes (or however far down they were when stowed) but that would take some skill. I think you and I could do it, but I'm not sure a student or novice skydiver would even _think_ to do it in all of the excitement.

Overall, I am of the opinion that we should teach people to leave the toggles alone in a 2-out situation.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Feb 6, 2012, 3:04 PM
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Re: [Scrumpot] Flying a Biplane or side by side [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes....much more so that a 260 main and a 126 reserve
Shocked


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Feb 6, 2012, 3:07 PM
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Re: [tkhayes] Flying a Biplane or side by side [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I believe that prevention is the key. DO NOT EVER end up with two canopies out.
Oh, hell yes, hell yes, hell yes.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Feb 6, 2012, 3:31 PM
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Re: [peek] Flying a Biplane or side by side [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Again, releasing the toggles on a canopy does not mean that the canopy must then be at full flight.

I agree, but I wonder how much skill it would take to do that. Usually we just reach up and give the toggles a little tug, and suddenly we are in nearly full flight.

I suppose we could unstow toggles, and in one motion, go right to half brakes (or however far down they were when stowed) but that would take some skill. I think you and I could do it, but I'm not sure a student or novice skydiver would even _think_ to do it in all of the excitement.

Overall, I am of the opinion that we should teach people to leave the toggles alone in a 2-out situation.

IMO, you answered your own question...we're talking about students who fly tame, docile canopies. Neither canopy is going to all-of-a-sudden speed out and away from the other....even if one is in full flight. Kinda hard for that slow, student canopy to get to true full flight when it's dragging another parachute around behind it.

Out of all the student 2-outs I have seen, including mine as a young jumper, the real problems developed when the student got all radical toggle-jockey with one of them trying to do large-degree turns to get to the dropzone. That's why the emphasis on flying it gently making minimal inputs.

And, yes, students. They will do a lot of not-so-good things even after having been taught and drilled. One thing common is to grab the toggles....and freak out thinking "get home, get home, get home."

Students...have they been taught riser flight and control? If not, then all bets are off on whether or not they can do it successfully....especially with a 2-out situation.

Flaring? Every 2-out student landing I've seen so far have been very soft and well within the range of a successful, bone-saving PLF.

If the testing is out-dated, then let's make a push to re-do that testing. Maybe the test jumpers will come up with different results. I doubt it, but hell, at least the testing gets updated, right?

Personally, I don't understand ignoring positive, proven testing results.

Some or the HP canopies that really do fly fast? Maybe. I'll not address that. I'll leave that discussion to the hot rod boys.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Feb 6, 2012, 3:51 PM
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Re: [tkhayes] Flying a Biplane or side by side [In reply to] Can't Post

>The quote above says 'do not flare' - not flaring any modern canopy today will almost
>certainly result in serious injury.

Agreed. You'd probably be injured if you did not flare a 2:1 loaded canopy.

But in a stable biplane you're going to have at least twice as much fabric out. And for students, who typically have loadings much closer to 1:1, your loading is now .5 to 1. And _that_ will tend to land you without injury without a flare.

For more experienced jumpers it's a judgment call. My main is a XF2 109 and my reserve is a 143, so it's unlikely they'd be very happy together, especially if I've already released the brakes on the main*. So I'd be more likely to cut the main away if I had an AAD firing.

>There is no good answer for two canopies out. There is no right answer for two
>canopies out. Every situation can be different and the BEST situation is landing under
>ONE and only ONE parachute.

Also agreed. But we don't always get the canopy configuration we want - and especially for lower experienced jumpers, it is often better to leave it alone if it will land you safely.

Would they be better landing under a single main or reserve? Absolutely. But that's not the configuration they have, and the risk of the main snagging the reserve as it leaves is not zero. Thus in many cases to stick with what will save your life instead of cutting away and trying for an option that MIGHT save your life.

(* - I recently changed my opening procedures to look at both toggled before releasing them, both to ensure I don't stick my finger through a loop of line and to ensure I look behind the main to see if I have a reserve. For a while I thought that keeping eyes out the entire time after opening was more important (to look for traffic) but a malfunction caused by a trapped toggle changed my mind.)


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Feb 7, 2012, 11:35 AM
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Re: [tkhayes] Flying a Biplane or side by side [In reply to] Can't Post

"[reply... but the PD report was from 1992 and that is 20 years ago. A LOT of things have changed- particularly canopy size and performance. ..."

.........................................................................

Student parachutes have not changed significantly over the last twenty years, so we should continue giving the same KISS advice to students.

OTOH canopies for experienced jumpers have changed significantly over the last twenty years. As soon as a fun jumper buys a canopy - that he loads at more than one pound per square foot - he needs to re-think his two-out procedure.


tkhayes  (D 18764)

Feb 7, 2012, 11:59 AM
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Re: [riggerrob] Flying a Biplane or side by side [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Student parachutes have not changed significantly over the last twenty years...

I disagree with that. 20 years ago most everyone was jumping a Manta, and today we have everything on the shelf from a Spectre 170 to a Navigator 300 for our students.

I do not disagree with keeping it simple. However a student with 12 jumps could easily (at a progressive dropzone), be downsizing to a 1:1 wing-loading and to say that they should continue to think that they can land a biplane (IMO) borders on negligent.

So we then need to teach every student what to do on every jump depending on what canopy they have over their head for that particular wing-loading, canopy set etc.

In other words, you cannot use KISS. It is no longer simple and the answer changes with every set of gear they use and every canopy they fly.

Prevention is the key and landing under ONE parachute is always the best option.

I am more inclined to tell my student how to turn a bi-plane into a side-by-side and then chop the main. And if it is anything other than a bi-plane, chop it, because most of the time, they will clear just fine - I have done it myself.

Now if every student regardless of size and/or weight is/was jumping a 288 main and a 260+ reserve, then the issue of landing a bi-plane, arguably is not a bad decision.

My point is that there are far too many different size parachutes out there for students and to tell anyone to land a bi-plane with the performance of parachutes these days is probably going to end up with serious injury - regardless of the possibility of negligence.

Which is worse, the case for negligence or the case for serious injury? How many possible scenarios are you going to try and cram in their heads on a First Jump Course? or at 10 jumps? or at 25 jumps?

Does anyone actually have real statistics on how many main reserve entanglements occur due to cutting away from a biplane? 'cause if we do not, then the advice that ANY of us is giving is pointless.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Feb 7, 2012, 2:55 PM
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Re: [tkhayes] Flying a Biplane or side by side [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I am more inclined to tell my student how to turn a bi-plane into a side-by-side and then chop the main. And if it is anything other than a bi-plane, chop it, because most of the time, they will clear just fine - I have done it myself.
I'll counter with:
"Most of the time"?
Uh huh.
Compare that "most of the time" with landing a stable biplane.
I'm sure that the stable biplane cutaways and the side-by-side cutaways that resulted in entanglements were freaks of nature and statistical anomalies.

In reply to:
Does anyone actually have real statistics on how many main reserve entanglements occur due to cutting away from a biplane? 'cause if we do not, then the advice that ANY of us is giving is pointless.
So why do you feel compelled to advise young jumpers to destabilize a biplane into a side-by-side and cutaway thereby increasing the risk of entanglement?

You didn't mention situational awareness which is all-important in these situations, BTW.


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Feb 7, 2012, 8:14 PM
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Re: [tkhayes] Flying a Biplane or side by side [In reply to] Can't Post

T.K.

I agree with half of what you said/wrote.

I still believe in KISS for first (solo) jump students.

As they progress to smaller/faster canopies, they should receive a little more instruction - on canopy control/landing patterns/emergency procedures so that they start to grasp the "bigger picture" by the time they have 25 jumps.


tkhayes  (D 18764)

Feb 8, 2012, 4:03 AM
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Re: [popsjumper] Flying a Biplane or side by side [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
So why do you feel compelled to advise young jumpers to destabilize a biplane into a side-by-side and cutaway thereby increasing the risk of entanglement?

You didn't mention situational awareness which is all-important in these situations, BTW.

exactly my point, these situations are too complicated to write a paper about it and come up with a 'method'. KISS or whatever, YOUR student may very well get killed or seriously injured following a published procedure.

So don't publish one. Talk about it yes, and give several examples. and then focus on the prevention of any such thing ever happening because you are mostly likely fucked if it does.


melathechamp  (B License)

Feb 8, 2012, 4:39 AM
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Re: [GLIDEANGLE] Flying a Biplane or side by side [In reply to] Can't Post

According to the article, it says that you have to disconnect your RSL before cutting away. Why do you have to do that when both canopies are out?


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Feb 8, 2012, 9:56 AM
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Re: [tkhayes] Flying a Biplane or side by side [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
exactly my point, these situations are too complicated to write a paper about it and come up with a 'method'. KISS or whatever, YOUR student may very well get killed or seriously injured following a published procedure.
Yes. ANY student could be killed with ANY method. The method used should be the one with the least risk of entanglements. Cutting away a side-by-side is a high-risk adventure. I'm glad you were successful with yours.
And God knows, we shouldn't cutaway a stable biplane.

In reply to:
So don't publish one. Talk about it yes, and give several examples. and then focus on the prevention of any such thing ever happening because you are mostly likely fucked if it does.
Well, I would not sacrifice knowledge of what to do when it happens for that. There are too many instances where the problem was created beyond the control of the jumper. I can do everything possible to "prevent" it and it could still happen due to circumstances beyond my control. I want my students to know exactly what to do if it does, YMMV.


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