Forums: Skydiving: Tandem Skydiving:
Ending up on level with tandems?

 

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shah269  (A 59581)

Feb 13, 2012, 6:36 AM
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Ending up on level with tandems? Can't Post

I jump at a DZ that has a smallish landing area compared to the vast expanses I've seen at other DZ's. Thus from time to time there is a funneling effect that takes place where by new jumpers/students such as myself on lightly loaded canopies end up more or less on level with Tandems on various altitudes.

I will be asking this question at safety day but would also like to ask the masses since I didn't see anything called out specially in the SIM regarding this issue.

If I as a student find myself on level with a tandem at well over 3kft, is there a standard procedure? Should the student / low number jumper dive, flat turn left, or go into deep breaks?

And if by accident the same situation occurs at 1kft what is the standard procedure?

Is there a basic rule regarding this?

I would assume that tandems have right of way and should be given room. However what should the student do to get out of the way that is predictable and safe for all?


Para5-0  (D 19054)

Feb 13, 2012, 7:31 AM
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Re: [shah269] Ending up on level with tandems? [In reply to] Can't Post

Very good tough question. I will say that exit order and seperation SHOULD elleviate this problem. Tandems usually deploy higher than the average jumper and have the ability to stay up a bit longer to ensure you land before them.

It boils down to seperation at exit, vertical, and in the pattern. It appears you do not have a seperate landing area for tandems and you are sharing a common location. For the most part a tandem instructor should be aware of someone on the same level and should be able to HOLD IN BRAKES to allow seperation. If you see this happening it might be a good idea to clear your airspace and speed it up a bit by doing a slow controlled 360 to lose altitude (again gaining vertical sepreation) then continue with your predictible pattern.
On the other hand if you see a tandem spiriling down below you then you probably are very lightly loaded and should go into a brake configuaration that allows min. descent. Thus giving the tandem some space to work his pattern. Keep in mind turbulence coming off of the tandem is a concern and you should be nowhere near him at all.
If you have a question as to whether he sees you or not assume he does not. If possible you could also abort the main area and land safely away from the crowd or funnel. Sometimes a little walk back is a good thing.

Regardless talk to the instructors about how they would like you to proceed. Most DZ's do have seperate landing areas so this exact problem is avoided.
Also a canopy class to understand and practice all of your controls and accuracy would probably help you out.


shah269  (A 59581)

Feb 13, 2012, 7:53 AM
Post #3 of 52 (2385 views)
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Re: [Para5-0] Ending up on level with tandems? [In reply to] Can't Post

Para5-0
Thank you! Yes as a new guy I pull at 5k-4k which is at about the same height as where the tandems open up, and having a very lightly loaded canopy (0.9 wing loading) I've noticed I tend to float just under where the tandems finish their deployment.

I've utilized my fronts to dive and to get out of the way and have practiced going into deep breaks to allow the tandem to get below me. What really gets scary is when I a novis enters into my pattern and look back and see a tandem creeping up on me or at 1,500 lining up for entry into a standard pattern and see a tandem slide in.
Being that low kind of freaks me just a little.

I've had good success in doing flat turns to increase my distance between me and the tandem in front and have actually added pressure on the fronts at 1k ft to increase my speed a little to pull away. Not sure if either are the "Proper" thing to do.

However come safety day I will ask and will make it a point to speak to our great Safety Dude regarding the issue when the season begins this spring!


matthewcline  (D 21585)

Feb 13, 2012, 9:01 AM
Post #4 of 52 (2324 views)
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Re: [Para5-0] Ending up on level with tandems? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Very good tough question. I will say that exit order and seperation SHOULD elleviate this problem. Tandems usually deploy higher than the average jumper and have the ability to stay up a bit longer to ensure you land before them. Sadly, this is evolving to a make money only skydive and T-I's are taking it lower and toggling down to make the next load. Why? no enforcement from either Manufactures or USPA.

It boils down to seperation at exit, vertical, and in the pattern. It appears you do not have a seperate landing area for tandems and you are sharing a common location. For the most part a tandem instructor should be aware of someone on the same level and should be able to HOLD IN BRAKES to allow seperation. If you see this happening it might be a good idea to clear your airspace and speed it up a bit by doing a slow controlled 360 to lose altitude (again gaining vertical sepreation) then continue with your predictible pattern.
On the other hand if you see a tandem spiriling down below you then you probably are very lightly loaded and should go into a brake configuaration that allows min. descent. Thus giving the tandem some space to work his pattern<-- (This will be the case I think more than not). Keep in mind turbulence coming off of the tandem is a concern and you should be nowhere near him at all.
If you have a question as to whether he sees you or not assume he does not. If possible you could also abort the main area and land safely away from the crowd or funnel. Sometimes a little walk back is a good thing.

Regardless talk to the instructors about how they would like you to proceed. Most DZ's do have seperate landing areas so this exact problem is avoided.
Also a canopy class to understand and practice all of your controls and accuracy would probably help you out.


fanya  (D License)

Feb 13, 2012, 9:08 AM
Post #5 of 52 (2311 views)
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Re: [shah269] Ending up on level with tandems? [In reply to] Can't Post

Tandems have the right of way where I jump currently. You stay out of their way and land out if needed. Now granted that's a little simplistic when you have a pattern stacked up but sport jumpers have more maneuverable canopys and aren't trying to land in front of their camera person.


airtwardo  (D License)

Feb 13, 2012, 9:14 AM
Post #6 of 52 (2302 views)
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Re: [shah269] Ending up on level with tandems? [In reply to] Can't Post

I pull at 5k-4k


In reply to:

Hell...there's yer problem right there! Crazy


yoink

Feb 13, 2012, 9:43 AM
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Re: [fanya] Ending up on level with tandems? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Tandems have the right of way where I jump currently. You stay out of their way and land out if needed.

Whaaa? Unimpressed


Students should have right of way. Always. I can't think of a single exception to that rule.

A professional skydiver should be able to see the problem developing and mitigate it before it becomes an issue.

Students do crazy things even when they're not trying to dogde tandems. Don't ask them to do that. Certainly don't ask them to take an off landing in order to dodge a tandem! Shocked
Who's better equipped to land off? A tandem with a pilot with thousands of landings behind them, or a student, with less than 10?


(This post was edited by yoink on Feb 13, 2012, 9:45 AM)


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Feb 13, 2012, 9:53 AM
Post #8 of 52 (2264 views)
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Re: [yoink] Ending up on level with tandems? [In reply to] Can't Post

>Students should have right of way.

At most DZ's I've been to, tandems have the right of way - but also know quite well that they must be careful around students. Thus if a tandem and a solo student are on a collision course the tandem is going to turn to avoid them, then have a talk with the student on the ground.

>Who's better equipped to land off? A tandem with a pilot with thousands of landings
>behind them, or a student, with less than 10?

The tandem master, by himself, is much more capable of landing off. But a tandem master with a 50 year old woman who has bad knees? The student might well be more able to handle a bad landing than the TM plus student.


yoink

Feb 13, 2012, 10:04 AM
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Re: [billvon] Ending up on level with tandems? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
>Students should have right of way.

At most DZ's I've been to, tandems have the right of way - but also know quite well that they must be careful around students. Thus if a tandem and a solo student are on a collision course the tandem is going to turn to avoid them, then have a talk with the student on the ground.

>Who's better equipped to land off? A tandem with a pilot with thousands of landings
>behind them, or a student, with less than 10?

The tandem master, by himself, is much more capable of landing off. But a tandem master with a 50 year old woman who has bad knees? The student might well be more able to handle a bad landing than the TM plus student.

The right of way thing concerns me - I agree with your scenario, but not with telling students that Tandems have the right of way. For me, an instructor should (barring exceptional circumstances), be able to stay out of the way of a student. A new student has enough to think about, without trying to avoid tandems.

Maybe it's just me, but when I was in the air with students I always imagined a giant red danger bubble around them and stayed out of it. If I found myself in a level with then in that bubble, I'd screwed up, not them, and I'd get out of it as fasat as possible, even if it blew my landing pattern.
Granted, I didn't have a little old lady on my front though... Laugh


(This post was edited by yoink on Feb 13, 2012, 10:05 AM)


stayhigh  (F 111)

Feb 13, 2012, 10:11 AM
Post #10 of 52 (2228 views)
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Re: [shah269] Ending up on level with tandems? [In reply to] Can't Post

You need to pull little lower and tandem needs to stop spiraling.

and I thought that less maneuverable things have right of the way, in air or the ocean.

I'll never trust the student tho, I'll move out of their way, they are too busy looking at the wind sock not what is around them.


stratostar  (Student)

Feb 13, 2012, 10:18 AM
Post #11 of 52 (2213 views)
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Re: [stayhigh] Ending up on level with tandems? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
You need to pull little lower and tandem needs to stop spiraling.

There are canopies that require no turns and will beat down other canopies, even tandems that went out first. For example: A strong set 400 or 366 can be beat down by a P.aero 365 even when the set canopy was out first and both pulled at the same altitude. It's all in the glide ratio & canopy design.


stayhigh  (F 111)

Feb 13, 2012, 10:22 AM
Post #12 of 52 (2206 views)
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Re: [stratostar] Ending up on level with tandems? [In reply to] Can't Post

Little too much when you pull at 5k with .9 loaded triathelone, don't you think???

My sigma 370 with normal sized passenger will out drive this guy we are talking about.

If you have A license and cut in front of my tandem and not go anywhere due to low wing loading you are gonna get bitched at.


Ron

Feb 13, 2012, 10:30 AM
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Re: [shah269] Ending up on level with tandems? [In reply to] Can't Post

It is called learning to fly a "stack" (not the CRW).

If you see yourself on the same level as someone else, you need to take action to provide separation from the other person. This can mean:

* landing somewhere else
* losing altitude
* slowing your descent to let them land first.

What to do when depends on too many factors that change each jump.

But if you find yourself on the same level as a tandem and your spot is good, spiral down a bit to get separation. If THEY are spiraling down, then hold a little brakes and let them get away.

But there is no one answer, you might have to hold brakes for the guy below you to get down a bit, but not so much as to get into the way of the guy above you.

Landing is a dynamic activity and there is no cookie cutter approach.

As for Tandems having the right of way.... The LESS maneuverable craft ALWAYS has the right of way no matter the skill of the pilot. If Mike Mullins 25k+ hours helicopter/commercial pilot/ DZ owner is flying a balloon and I am flying a Cessna 150.... I yield to him... Period. That does not mean that a smart pilot does not also try to see and avoid, but the rules are the rules simply because they make the most sense.

As a TI, I try to avoid the students since I can. But a student should know that they are supposed to avoid the tandems as well.


DiverMike  (C 40024)

Feb 13, 2012, 12:42 PM
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Re: [Ron] Ending up on level with tandems? [In reply to] Can't Post

I hesitate to apply Sec. 91.113 Right-of-way rules to parachutes as they are not mentioned in any way in that section of the FAR's, although the thought that the less maneuverable parachute has right of way makes common sense.

I do find fault with the statement, "The LESS maneuverable craft ALWAYS has the right of way no matter the skill of the pilot" as you are not considering a craft that is in distress which will have right of way over any other regardless of maneuverablity. Someone with a low speed mal would have right of way over the tandem, and it might be difficult for the TI to know the other person is in a low speed mal.

So everybody is better off assuming they don't have the right of way because they may not be able to determine if they do (unless they are the person in the middle of a malfunction, in which case they can assume they have right of way).


Ron

Feb 13, 2012, 12:55 PM
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Re: [DiverMike] Ending up on level with tandems? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I do find fault with the statement, "The LESS maneuverable craft ALWAYS has the right of way no matter the skill of the pilot" as you are not considering a craft that is in distress which will have right of way over any other regardless of maneuverablity.

A craft in distress is normally less maneuverable.

Quote:
Someone with a low speed mal would have right of way over the tandem, and it might be difficult for the TI to know the other person is in a low speed mal.

The TI's observational abilities aside, the less maneuverable craft (the one with the mal) would still have the right of way.

Quote:
So everybody is better off assuming they don't have the right of way because they may not be able to determine if they do

Hence my "see and avoid" comment.


DiverMike  (C 40024)

Feb 13, 2012, 1:00 PM
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Re: [Ron] Ending up on level with tandems? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
A craft in distress is normally less maneuverable.

But not always. The parachute could be completely maneuverable, but the pilot/student could be experiencing a medical problem that could be impossible for the TI to notice even with superhuman observational abilities.

We agree completely on 'see and avoid'.


theonlyski  (D License)

Feb 13, 2012, 1:08 PM
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Re: [shah269] Ending up on level with tandems? [In reply to] Can't Post

I find myself on level with tandems all the time. Then they pull.


(This post was edited by theonlyski on Feb 13, 2012, 1:10 PM)
Attachments: IMG_8443 (Large).JPG (166 KB)


Ron

Feb 13, 2012, 1:30 PM
Post #18 of 52 (2078 views)
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Re: [DiverMike] Ending up on level with tandems? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
But not always. The parachute could be completely maneuverable, but the pilot/student could be experiencing a medical problem that could be impossible for the TI to notice even with superhuman observational abilities.

Then if the other canopy appears normal and there is no way for the TI to be able to identify a problem there is ZERO way for the other canopies to know there is a craft under distress. The "See and avoid" comes into play.

The simple fact is that the less maneuverable craft should have the right of way..... Yes, parachutes are not covered in the FAR's but there is ZERO reason to not follow an already established procedure and make something else up.

We can play word games all day but a tandem is less maneuverable than a solo and we might as well teach students the same lessons we want them to follow once off student status. So it makes zero sense to give a student right of way over a tandem and then flip that rule at some point in the future.

And only an idiot (TI or otherwise) would just assume that a student (or anyone else) will give way and just ignore the potential collision.


DiverMike  (C 40024)

Feb 13, 2012, 1:46 PM
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Re: [Ron] Ending up on level with tandems? [In reply to] Can't Post

As a pilot, you can declare an emergency and indicate you are in distress using your radio. That gives you right of way. There is no way to accomplish this in skydiving unless everyone is in two way communication (ain't gonna happen).

I agree that students should be taught that unless they themselves are in distress, they should yield the right of way to tandems.

The 'word play' that I think we both agree on is tandems can't assume they have the right of way just because they are less maneuverable. The TI can be rightfully pissed off on the ground if a student didn't yield the right of way, but he can't know for a fact in the air he has right of way since there is no official way for someone to declare they are under distress in a parachute.


jumpsalot-2  (D 33093)

Feb 13, 2012, 2:02 PM
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Re: [stayhigh] Ending up on level with tandems? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
You need to pull little lower and tandem needs to stop spiraling.

and I thought that less maneuverable things have right of the way, in air or the ocean.

I'll never trust the student tho, I'll move out of their way, they are too busy looking at the wind sock not what is around them.
In reply to:
The "Low Canopy" has the right of way....but.....if you are the low, but can see over your shoulder that a Tandem is coming in behind you, take a landing spot to one side or the other (inside of pattern is easiest, left side for left hand pattern. Right side for right hand pattern), and let the Tandem have the middle of the landing area....he/she has a passenger....duh...Crazy


stratostar  (Student)

Feb 13, 2012, 2:03 PM
Post #21 of 52 (2041 views)
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Re: [DiverMike] Ending up on level with tandems? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I think we both agree on is tandems can't assume they have the right of way just because they are less maneuverable. The TI can be rightfully pissed off on the ground if a student didn't yield the right of way

All this pissing back and forth..... the bottom line is any instructor who fails to think/assume a student jumper don't have their head up their ass is a fool. You can't count on students following any rules, or understand right of way, even on radio, it's like following around a student driver and and not expecting them to do something stupid, there is a reason there is a set of peddles on the driving instructors side.

I don't fly around doing tandems and think I'm less in control because I'm flying a huge canopy, I have just as much control and the experience to avoid students (and others seen) if need be. A little planing ahead goes a long way and if you can't tell what a student canopy looks like in the air then maybe you shouldn't be doing tandems or other instructional work.


3mpire  (C 39657)

Feb 13, 2012, 2:09 PM
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Re: [shah269] Ending up on level with tandems? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Yes as a new guy I pull at 5k-4k which is at about the same height as where the tandems open up, and having a very lightly loaded canopy (0.9 wing loading) I've noticed I tend to float just under where the tandems finish their deployment.

What are your tandems pulling at? I would guess around 6k? pulling at 4k should give you plenty of separation already. pulling at 5k is really high--why are you deploying at that alt?

If you're the last fun jumper out and you know you have a tandem following you, pull at 4, clear your airspace, and sprial down to 3k where most people have already deployed and are making their way down. Safely enter the pattern with the rest of the stick, don't drag your feet.

that way you should have several thousand feet vertical separation between you and the tandem(s). With your wing loading even if you spiral down to 3k you still won't overtake anyone else, who by that time should be below 2k anyway.

if you're pulling that much higher than everyone ahead of you and you've got tandems behind you, don't just sit around after deployment and let the tandems catch up. it's up to you in that case to create that vertical separation since you're the one that's creating the proximity by pulling higher than normal. release those toggles and scoot down a bit and then you can float in all nice and slow without a pissed off TI breathing down your neck on final :)


shah269  (A 59581)

Feb 14, 2012, 6:19 AM
Post #23 of 52 (1875 views)
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Re: [3mpire] Ending up on level with tandems? [In reply to] Can't Post

I pull higher because I'm new, but I agree I need to start pulling at 4k


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Feb 14, 2012, 7:48 AM
Post #24 of 52 (1840 views)
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Re: [yoink] Ending up on level with tandems? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Tandems have the right of way where I jump currently. You stay out of their way and land out if needed.

Whaaa? Unimpressed


Students should have right of way. Always. I can't think of a single exception to that rule.

A professional skydiver should be able to see the problem developing and mitigate it before it becomes an issue.

Students do crazy things even when they're not trying to dogde tandems. Don't ask them to do that. Certainly don't ask them to take an off landing in order to dodge a tandem! Shocked
Who's better equipped to land off? A tandem with a pilot with thousands of landings behind them, or a student, with less than 10?

+10


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Feb 14, 2012, 7:55 AM
Post #25 of 52 (1836 views)
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Re: [billvon] Ending up on level with tandems? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
At most DZ's I've been to, tandems have the right of way - but also know quite well that they must be careful around students.
No to the first part, yes to the second.



In reply to:
Thus if a tandem and a solo student are on a collision course the tandem is going to turn to avoid them, then have a talk with the student on the ground.
Talk to the student about what? How the student should have avoided the tandem? BS. Talk to the TM who should have known better than to get near the student.

>Who's better equipped to land off? A tandem with a pilot with thousands of landings
>behind them, or a student, with less than 10?

In reply to:
The tandem master, by himself, is much more capable of landing off. But a tandem master with a 50 year old woman who has bad knees? The student might well be more able to handle a bad landing than the TM plus student.
BS again. A TM worth his salt will always be better able to handle an off landing, knees or no knees. Period.

You cannot convince me that a TM cannot perform better than a student. Show me a TM who can't....and then pull his rating.

Sometimes people come up with the craziest ideas.
Unsure


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