Forums: Skydiving: General Skydiving Discussions:
Lesson from the weekend

 


JohnRich  (D License)

Aug 20, 2012, 7:43 AM
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Lesson from the weekend Can't Post

I jumped at a DZ this weekend at which I have not spent a lot of time lately, and don't know everyone there. My group, an 8-way, boarded the Otter 2nd to last, with two jumpers behind us who we thought were doing hop 'n pops. Behind us in the plane was a 6-way, and some tandems.

On the climb to altitude a jump run was made for the hop 'n pops, but only one exited. The other guy stayed in back on the floor, riding the plane to altitude. He said he was going to do a tracking dive.

I thought to ask him what the heck he was doing back there, because now the exit sequence is screwed up, with some solo going first, followed by the bigger RW groups. But since I didn't know the guy, and since no one else on the plane who are regulars at the DZ questioned him, I figured he must know what he's doing, and everyone is okay with it. Who am I to question him? A lot of these young kids these days have more jumps than me, and it can be embarassing to question what they're doing, only to find out they have plenty of experience and are a national champion at something. So I kept my mouth shut. Surely he knows to track downwind or perpendicular to the line of flight, right? Not to worry!

Well, jump run came at 14k, green light on, the solo tracker exited. My 8-way climbed out and exited, followed by the 6-way and the tandems.

Lo and behold, at opening time, the solo tracker ended up underneath the six-way group that exited third! How did that happen? The friggin solo idiot did a tracking dive all right, he tracked UP THE LINE OF FLIGHT! Yep, passing right underneath my 8-way, and continued on under the 6-way.

He got a talking-to on the ground afterwards, after it was figured out who that red canopy was, since there was also one other red canopy on the load. I hope he's learned his lesson.

And the lesson I've learned, once again, is that if things don't look right, don't be afraid to speak up and question them. Even at the risk of looking like a grumpy old fart. I'd rather be a grumpy old fart, then a dead old fart who fell through someone's canopy because they didn't know what they were doing and tracked and opened underneath me.

That solo tracker should have been moved back in the line-up, after the RW groups, and before the tandems. And he should have been asked which way he intended to track. I'm guilty of not questioning all that, which could have set things right and eliminated the danger right up front.


excaza  (C License)

Aug 20, 2012, 7:58 AM
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Re: [JohnRich] Lesson from the weekend [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
That solo tracker should have been moved back in the line-up, after the RW groups, and before the tandems. And he should have been asked which way he intended to track. I'm guilty of not questioning all that, which could have set things right and eliminated the danger right up front.
Not disagreeing that he should communicate which direction he intends to track, but is that exit order really correct? The tracking divers I've seen go out either first or last and track way out perpendicular before turning anywhere remotely close to jump run.


(This post was edited by excaza on Aug 20, 2012, 7:59 AM)


piisfish

Aug 20, 2012, 7:59 AM
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Re: [JohnRich] Lesson from the weekend [In reply to] Can't Post

did he barrel roll to see the 6way falling on him ?


Rick  (D 28557)

Aug 20, 2012, 8:02 AM
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Re: [JohnRich] Lesson from the weekend [In reply to] Can't Post

Do they use load organizers at this particular DZ?


JohnRich  (D License)

Aug 20, 2012, 8:24 AM
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Re: Lesson from the weekend [In reply to] Can't Post

Replies:

Just to clarify, this was not a wing suit tracker, but a guy in a regular jump suit practicing tracking.

Don't know about the barrel roll - never saw him in freefall. The six-way never saw him either, until his canopy popped open underneath them. They were lucky he didn't pull high.

There are load organizers, and one was on the plane, organizing that 6-way. That's another reason I thought everything must be okay, because he would know better than me - he's a regular there, and he's not afraid to speak up if something isn't correct. He gave the talking-to to the jumper on the ground after-the-fact, so it's been handled, and hopefully won't happen again.


Rick  (D 28557)

Aug 20, 2012, 8:54 AM
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Re: [JohnRich] Lesson from the weekend [In reply to] Can't Post

If there is a load organizer on the load that person should be making sure the exit order is correct and everyone knows the proper separation etc.

I can understand how you would not want to speak up in this situation, but this just goes to show you If you think something is not right go ahead and say something.


DocPop  (C License)

Aug 20, 2012, 8:58 AM
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Re: [JohnRich] Lesson from the weekend [In reply to] Can't Post

That's what I meant in aonther thread about behaving like everyone else it trying to kill you.


jimmytavino  (A 3914)

Aug 20, 2012, 9:11 AM
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Re: [Rick] Lesson from the weekend [In reply to] Can't Post

Agreed Rick...i have always felt that a Load Organizer... especially One who is getting the slot comped is obliged to do MORE than simply "organize" his or her Own smaller group..

Yes.. sure... they need to do a thorough job of THAt. but also should be c ounted on,,, to somewhat assist.....for the entire load... by identifying just WHAT is gonna happen.. with each and EVERY group, and also with those various Solos who may be on the plane... It doesn't take a lot of extra effort, addresses Many, if not ALL of the unspoken concerns that folks may have, and just adds a bit of extra attention to the safety of the load..At some places, that's exactly what happens , at other places,,, not so much...

jmy


ghost47  (D License)

Aug 20, 2012, 9:18 AM
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Re: [JohnRich] Lesson from the weekend [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
That solo tracker should have been moved back in the line-up, after the RW groups, and before the tandems.
What are people's thoughts as to where trackers should go in the exit order? At Elsinore, trackers get out first, I assumed because they would be exposed to the relative wind the longest. Are other dropzones different?


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

Aug 20, 2012, 9:39 AM
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Re: [ghost47] Lesson from the weekend [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
That solo tracker should have been moved back in the line-up, after the RW groups, and before the tandems.
What are people's thoughts as to where trackers should go in the exit order? At Elsinore, trackers get out first, I assumed because they would be exposed to the relative wind the longest. Are other dropzones different?

I don't have a whole lot of experience with this, but at Summerfest this year, there were several loads that I was on where the "trackers" got out first.
There was lots of attention to exit order and it was correct as far as I was aware (belly, big to small; FF, big to small; tandems; wingsuits). The organizers for each group were communicating with each other in the loading area, and the plane loader was making sure.

I think this is more of a "Don't track up jumprun" situation than an "exit order" question.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Aug 20, 2012, 2:04 PM
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Re: [JohnRich] Lesson from the weekend [In reply to] Can't Post

John...I'm surprised that you did not question fully and make things right. With your time in sport and experience, I don't think anyone is going to ignore you.

Besides that, even if it WAS a dingo skygod, he was wrong....you know as well as I do that experienced people do just as stupid shit as newbies do.....and there is no excuse for it except...well, skygod mentality.

For everyone:
Speak up for God's sake! Experience be damned!


zen_mtn_climber  (B 35734)

Aug 20, 2012, 3:52 PM
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Re: [wolfriverjoe] Lesson from the weekend [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I think this is more of a "Don't track up jumprun" situation than an "exit order" question.

Actually, I think it sounds like both. Tracking up jump run certainly made a mess of the situation but exit order could have as well.

For argument sake, say the solo tracker did track perpendicular to jump run but was a poor tracker (sounds like he's a new jumper). In this case, he wouldn't gain much separation from the line of the jump run and his position in the sky wouldn't be much different than solo belly flyer. Then depending on the uppers, the 8 way could drift over top of him.

Never seen trackers get out first except on a large tracking dive with most of the plane tracking . . anyone know the rational behind sending trackers out first? I'm curious . .

ZMC


tetra316  (D 26945)

Aug 20, 2012, 3:58 PM
Post #13 of 21 (2252 views)
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Re: [ghost47] Lesson from the weekend [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
That solo tracker should have been moved back in the line-up, after the RW groups, and before the tandems.
What are people's thoughts as to where trackers should go in the exit order? At Elsinore, trackers get out first, I assumed because they would be exposed to the relative wind the longest. Are other dropzones different?

At Perris, trackers also get out first. However, at other dzs I've been to they get out last. So I guess there really is no consensus on this order as there is on freefly and belly order. I would think then the real problem is not exit order but tracking direction and the fact that he tracked up the line of flight.


Pacific

Aug 20, 2012, 6:30 PM
Post #14 of 21 (2182 views)
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Re: [tetra316] Lesson from the weekend [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
That solo tracker should have been moved back in the line-up, after the RW groups, and before the tandems.
What are people's thoughts as to where trackers should go in the exit order? At Elsinore, trackers get out first, I assumed because they would be exposed to the relative wind the longest. Are other dropzones different?

At Perris, trackers also get out first. However, at other dzs I've been to they get out last. So I guess there really is no consensus on this order as there is on freefly and belly order. I would think then the real problem is not exit order but tracking direction and the fact that he tracked up the line of flight.

I agree, mistakes can still happen. Perhaps the tracker was back tracking and became disoriented.

At Perris last month, a seasoned LO led a 6-8 man tracking dive on his back...with the group leaving the aircraft first per DZ exit order. It started off perpendicular as planned, but the leader mistakenly shifted back with jump run. Some close openings with the other groups but nothing more to report. Would this have still have been considered a near miss if the trackers had gotten out last?


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Aug 20, 2012, 9:49 PM
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Re: [JohnRich] Lesson from the weekend [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm still the old guy that asks questions. There's a lot of noobs at our DZ and all the boogies. Too many times people have tried to kill Vskydiver and me. Laugh




ridebmxbikes  (D 33588)

May 31, 2013, 4:27 PM
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Re: [JohnMitchell] Lesson from the weekend [In reply to] Can't Post

ok, not replying to anyone but had to ask about getting out first on a tracking dive. i thought trackers got out last (except for wingsuiters) because if you were doing a right hand pattern and the plane ended up turning left during jump run you might end up under another group and you would know jump run changed because you were in the plane when it happened. not trying to flame on anyone just asking for educational purposes.


unkulunkulu  (C License)

May 31, 2013, 6:05 PM
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Re: [ridebmxbikes] Lesson from the weekend [In reply to] Can't Post

Another point: a tracker exits first, tracks 5 secs or whatever perpendicular, then turns up the jump run and tracks the rest. He is a slower faller than belly even. What if a larger group exits after him and during break-off one of the better trackers in that group ends up crossing the path of the tracker that exited first? What don't I understand here? Also, the tracker from the groups has some advantage due to the fact he tracks at the bottom, so he has achieved the terminal velocity by then (the first man tracked somewhat off the hill, not sure how significant that is though).


dthames  (B 37674)

May 31, 2013, 9:03 PM
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Re: [ridebmxbikes] Lesson from the weekend [In reply to] Can't Post

ridebmxbikes wrote:
ok, not replying to anyone but had to ask about getting out first on a tracking dive. i thought trackers got out last (except for wingsuiters) because if you were doing a right hand pattern and the plane ended up turning left during jump run you might end up under another group and you would know jump run changed because you were in the plane when it happened. not trying to flame on anyone just asking for educational purposes.

If you are seriously going to track from 13,000 you better have a flight path plan that keeps you a long way away from all other groups. You cant just track a mile particular without some plan to say halfway close to a fair opening point. If you need to or choose to get out first you can go perpendicular and then back down the line of flight in a big U shape safely. Even getting out last you need a navigation plan when you are going to cover that much ground.

The only time I was on a tracking jump that got out first was when there were 2 wingsuit groups on the same load. The trackers were out first and went out and then back down the line of flight. The wingsuit groups went right and left off the line of flight, exiting last.


FlyingRhenquest  (B 37920)

May 31, 2013, 9:03 PM
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Re: [ridebmxbikes] Lesson from the weekend [In reply to] Can't Post

ridebmxbikes wrote:
ok, not replying to anyone but had to ask about getting out first on a tracking dive. i thought trackers got out last (except for wingsuiters) because if you were doing a right hand pattern and the plane ended up turning left during jump run you might end up under another group and you would know jump run changed because you were in the plane when it happened. not trying to flame on anyone just asking for educational purposes.

We fly a simple east-west jump run, so it's fairly simple. Usually they have trackers get out first (And about 80% of my jumps are tracking jumps, so...) although occasionally one of the big-way leaders banishes us to the back because he's had problems with trackers not tracking. It's no hair off my ass -- I hold a heading perpendicular to the jump run and open a couple thousand feet away from everyone else.


Ron

Jun 1, 2013, 1:47 PM
Post #21 of 21 (1353 views)
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Re: [tetra316] Lesson from the weekend [In reply to] Can't Post

tetra316 wrote:
In reply to:
In reply to:

At Perris, trackers also get out first. However, at other dzs I've been to they get out last. So I guess there really is no consensus on this order as there is on freefly and belly order. I would think then the real problem is not exit order but tracking direction and the fact that he tracked up the line of flight.

There was not consensus for belly and FF for a really long time and even after most people were doing it the current way some DZ's still did it other ways.

Simply put, there is no reason a tracking dive should go out first. They are not going to track downwind because of the spot, they can track across the line of flight at any point in the order, and if they screw up and track up the line of flight they are best served by being under the high pullers of AFF and tandem than under large formations.



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