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I thought I knew how to PLF until...

 

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shibu  (B 37474)

Sep 10, 2012, 2:10 PM
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I thought I knew how to PLF until... Can't Post

I thought I knew how to PLF until yesterday when I needed it. Downsized to a smaller canopy (still relatively large)... tried to avoid traffic & ended up on runway. No big deal I thought. I've landed on the runway as a student without a problem. Then I got a pop up towards the end of my flare and my PLF turned into a somersault thing with my body pivoting off of my forearm.

Surprisingly I walked away without a problem but I realized it could have been much worse.

How often do experienced jumpers practice PLFs?

Do you practice them on landings even if not needed once in a while?


theonlyski  (D License)

Sep 10, 2012, 4:24 PM
Post #2 of 29 (2698 views)
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Re: [shibu] I thought I knew how to PLF until... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
How often do experienced jumpers practice PLFs?

I practice them every time I do a FJC. Tongue

I thought I knew how to do them until I went to Airborne school.Pirate


AggieDave  (D License)

Sep 10, 2012, 6:28 PM
Post #3 of 29 (2628 views)
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Re: [shibu] I thought I knew how to PLF until... [In reply to] Can't Post

I can say with out a doubt that doing a good PLF saved my body from serious injury on more than one occasion after I had 1,000 jumps.

They will save you, you must practice them if you're not able to do one in your sleep.

There's a reason why the airborne school is so long, it's all the PLF training.Wink


pchapman  (D 1014)

Sep 10, 2012, 7:13 PM
Post #4 of 29 (2600 views)
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Re: [shibu] I thought I knew how to PLF until... [In reply to] Can't Post

I kind of doubt that most experienced jumpers ever practice them. Certainly people do try to roll out landings if they get going a little fast on landing or trip. Better to get the rig dirty than going feet-knees-face. I personally wouldn't practice them on actual landings; I'd rather play around jumping off a picnic table.

You do need to be mentally prepared though, think about it enough, for it to accessible in your mental toolbox when you're a split second away from a hard landing. You want your brain to think "Crap... PLF!" not just "Crap!", or "Crap...Stick limbs out!". So having the experience of rolling out minor botched landings probably helps when you need it more seriously.

A PLF sure helped me a month back when I had a hard landing; people didn't expect to see me get up. Still, I hadn't twisted quite as much as I wanted in the brief moment I realized I couldn't pull out of the dive, so I wasn't thrown into a full PLF on impact, adding somewhat to the injury. (Nothing broken, back to jumping soon, but lots of bruising, strained tendons, doctor office visits etc.) So much for low spirals with a student canopy; I was glad to get back under my 88 after that. Blush


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Sep 10, 2012, 7:52 PM
Post #5 of 29 (2574 views)
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Re: [AggieDave] I thought I knew how to PLF until... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I can say with out a doubt that doing a good PLF saved my body from serious injury on more than one occasion after I had 1,000 jumps.

They will save you, you must practice them if you're not able to do one in your sleep.

There's a reason why the airborne school is so long, it's all the PLF training.Wink

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

AH yes!

You brought back some fond memories from the winter of 1981, at the Canadian Army's Airborne Center, in Edmonton.
For the first two weeks we alternated between push-ups and PLFs.
Then we jumped for two days.


sundevil777  (D License)

Sep 10, 2012, 7:58 PM
Post #6 of 29 (2573 views)
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Re: [shibu] I thought I knew how to PLF until... [In reply to] Can't Post

Of course doing a PLF well is good.

But, there is no reason that a "pop up" should cause a bad landing. Think about managing the pop up, A pop up can be kinda fun. Don't let it pop up too much, don't let up on the toggles too much, keep flying it all the way to landing. You can often "sink" the canopy down the rest of the way from the pop up like an accuracy landing, or let if fly just a little bit so you still have a flare left. It all depends. Perhaps you can witness some others with good landings after a pop up and talk to some more experienced jumpers. You want to avoid stalling it, and at the opposite extreme, avoid letting it surge forward.

Don't trust anything I've said.


(This post was edited by sundevil777 on Sep 10, 2012, 7:59 PM)


fanya  (D License)

Sep 11, 2012, 12:14 AM
Post #7 of 29 (2485 views)
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Re: [shibu] I thought I knew how to PLF until... [In reply to] Can't Post

I practiced my PLFs off the 16 foot bouldering wall at the climbing gym for about 3 months, it ended up saving my ass a couple months later because when I needed it I was able to instinctively react instead of having to think about how to do it.


DougH  (D License)

Sep 11, 2012, 5:30 AM
Post #8 of 29 (2406 views)
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Re: [fanya] I thought I knew how to PLF until... [In reply to] Can't Post

PLF'd a tandem the other day due to some funky turbulence. That was fun, thank goodness it was a smaller young guy, and not some pear shaped 80 year old grandma. SlyUnimpressedShocked

We got the nice hand of god phantom lift on the last part of my final, and where there is lift there is fall. I told the student to put his feet down and bend his knees, and I did the same behind him. Sure glad I did that instead of continuing the tell him legs up legs up legs up.

It was actually a picture perfect PLF, well except for me getting my throat slammed into the students shoulder. We hit, absorbed some energy with our legs, rolled to the side and absorbed the rest.

All is well that ends well! I am pretty sure it would have hurt like a son of a bitch if we took that landing on our butts instead of disappointing the force! Pirate


Dutton  (D 15542)

Sep 11, 2012, 7:42 AM
Post #9 of 29 (2356 views)
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Re: [shibu] I thought I knew how to PLF until... [In reply to] Can't Post

The traditional PLF works well when you are hanging straight in a harness, as you do naturally with a round parachute. When flaring a ram air, you typically are moved forward and leaned back as in a swing. Unless you know how to lean forward in your harness during plane out, the pitch change of the flare will put your feet way in front of your cg and you can't run well in this orientation, or PLF for that matter. Just watch students land, this is why they land on their butts and hurt their backs, or sit on the feet and damage their ankles. This also makes it hard to roll, which is what you should do when falling at high speed. Next time you are under canopy up high, clear traffic and flare, leaning forward against your chest strap. Notice how your feet are under you instead of instead front of you. Watch you tube videos of free running rolls and you will see techniques that serve you better when wiping out with a faster parachute than the traditional PLF. Practice rolls, from standing, then from a slow walk, then a run. The highlights are, don't let your head or neck touch the ground, roll on broad flat planes like your back and thighs. Don't roll on your spine. I eat shit spectacularly at least once a year and always get right up because I roll.

Your mileage may vary.

Be careful, this stuff is dangerous.


shibu  (B 37474)

Sep 11, 2012, 12:19 PM
Post #10 of 29 (2301 views)
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Re: [theonlyski] I thought I knew how to PLF until... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
How often do experienced jumpers practice PLFs?

I practice them every time I do a FJC. Tongue.....Pirate

Yeah FJC was probably the last time I really practiced PLFs well.


shibu  (B 37474)

Sep 11, 2012, 12:25 PM
Post #11 of 29 (2298 views)
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Re: [AggieDave] I thought I knew how to PLF until... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I can say with out a doubt that doing a good PLF saved my body from serious injury on more than one occasion after I had 1,000 jumps.

They will save you, you must practice them if you're not able to do one in your sleep....

Now that I think of it, I was never able to PLF in my sleep.. and it always bothered me.. especially when I read a story about a more experienced jumper seriously hurting themselves & only later learning to PLF well.


shibu  (B 37474)

Sep 11, 2012, 12:28 PM
Post #12 of 29 (2295 views)
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Re: [pchapman] I thought I knew how to PLF until... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I kind of doubt that most experienced jumpers ever practice them. Certainly people do try to roll out landings if they get going a little fast on landing or trip. Better to get the rig dirty than going feet-knees-face. I personally wouldn't practice them on actual landings; I'd rather play around jumping off a picnic table.

You do need to be mentally prepared though, think about it enough, for it to accessible in your mental toolbox when you're a split second away from a hard landing. You want your brain to think "Crap... PLF!" not just "Crap!", or "Crap...Stick limbs out!"....

"Crap...Stick limbs out" Yep. That's exactly what my brain did.


shibu  (B 37474)

Sep 11, 2012, 12:29 PM
Post #13 of 29 (2294 views)
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Re: [riggerrob] I thought I knew how to PLF until... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
I can say with out a doubt that doing a good PLF saved my body from serious injury on more than one occasion after I had 1,000 jumps.

They will save you, you must practice them if you're not able to do one in your sleep.

There's a reason why the airborne school is so long, it's all the PLF training.Wink

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

AH yes!

You brought back some fond memories from the winter of 1981, at the Canadian Army's Airborne Center, in Edmonton.
For the first two weeks we alternated between push-ups and PLFs.
Then we jumped for two days.

I think I could use a training program like this.


shibu  (B 37474)

Sep 11, 2012, 12:30 PM
Post #14 of 29 (2293 views)
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Re: [sundevil777] I thought I knew how to PLF until... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Of course doing a PLF well is good.

But, there is no reason that a "pop up" should cause a bad landing. Think about managing the pop up, A pop up can be kinda fun. Don't let it pop up too much, don't let up on the toggles too much, keep flying it all the way to landing. You can often "sink" the canopy down the rest of the way from the pop up like an accuracy landing, or let if fly just a little bit so you still have a flare left. It all depends. Perhaps you can witness some others with good landings after a pop up and talk to some more experienced jumpers. You want to avoid stalling it, and at the opposite extreme, avoid letting it surge forward.

Don't trust anything I've said.

Couldn't agree more. In hindsight, I could have landed the pop up much better & avoided the need for a PLF.


shibu  (B 37474)

Sep 11, 2012, 12:32 PM
Post #15 of 29 (2292 views)
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Re: [fanya] I thought I knew how to PLF until... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I practiced my PLFs off the 16 foot bouldering wall at the climbing gym for about 3 months, it ended up saving my ass a couple months later because when I needed it I was able to instinctively react instead of having to think about how to do it.

PLFing off of a 16 ft wall! I need to get to that point.


shibu  (B 37474)

Sep 11, 2012, 12:33 PM
Post #16 of 29 (2290 views)
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Re: [Dutton] I thought I knew how to PLF until... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The traditional PLF works well when you are hanging straight in a harness, as you do naturally with a round parachute. When flaring a ram air, you typically are moved forward and leaned back as in a swing. Unless you know how to lean forward in your harness during plane out, the pitch change of the flare will put your feet way in front of your cg and you can't run well in this orientation, or PLF for that matter. Just watch students land, this is why they land on their butts and hurt their backs, or sit on the feet and damage their ankles. This also makes it hard to roll, which is what you should do when falling at high speed. Next time you are under canopy up high, clear traffic and flare, leaning forward against your chest strap. Notice how your feet are under you instead of instead front of you. Watch you tube videos of free running rolls and you will see techniques that serve you better when wiping out with a faster parachute than the traditional PLF. Practice rolls, from standing, then from a slow walk, then a run. The highlights are, don't let your head or neck touch the ground, roll on broad flat planes like your back and thighs. Don't roll on your spine. I eat shit spectacularly at least once a year and always get right up because I roll.

Your mileage may vary.

Be careful, this stuff is dangerous.

Thanks for the advice. I'm going to look into these rolls.


weekender  (C License)

Sep 12, 2012, 8:09 AM
Post #17 of 29 (2116 views)
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Re: [Dutton] I thought I knew how to PLF until... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The traditional PLF works well when you are hanging straight in a harness, as you do naturally with a round parachute. When flaring a ram air, you typically are moved forward and leaned back as in a swing. Unless you know how to lean forward in your harness during plane out, the pitch change of the flare will put your feet way in front of your cg and you can't run well in this orientation, or PLF for that matter. Just watch students land, this is why they land on their butts and hurt their backs, or sit on the feet and damage their ankles. This also makes it hard to roll, which is what you should do when falling at high speed. Next time you are under canopy up high, clear traffic and flare, leaning forward against your chest strap. Notice how your feet are under you instead of instead front of you. Watch you tube videos of free running rolls and you will see techniques that serve you better when wiping out with a faster parachute than the traditional PLF. Practice rolls, from standing, then from a slow walk, then a run. The highlights are, don't let your head or neck touch the ground, roll on broad flat planes like your back and thighs. Don't roll on your spine. I eat shit spectacularly at least once a year and always get right up because I roll.

Your mileage may vary.

Be careful, this stuff is dangerous.

i agree totally. I'm one of the lucky who has been to jump school and was trained well on the PLF. I only used it once as a student when i flared early and knew i was coming mostly down. worked great. I prefer to roll, as you described, when im moving forward with any speed.

ive seen alot of bad landings with the jumper stating how they did a PLF and it worked. They did not by what i saw. they keep their feet together and just wiped out. thats not a PLF. AFF does not, IMO, train you long enough to do a real PLF. i also feel the training is outdated because unless your coming mostly down they arent the best solution. a good slide or roll is better. my 2cents


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Sep 12, 2012, 10:43 AM
Post #18 of 29 (2083 views)
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Re: [weekender] I thought I knew how to PLF until... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
i also feel the training is outdated because unless your coming mostly down they arent the best solution. a good slide or roll is better. my 2cents
I've seen a few injuries from people flying into the lip of a ditch or hitting some other object. A good PLF position could have helped prevent their injuries. Instead they received broken ankles.


Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

Sep 14, 2012, 11:21 AM
Post #19 of 29 (1956 views)
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Re: [JohnMitchell] I thought I knew how to PLF until... [In reply to] Can't Post

To me (and I'm a pretty serious PLF advocate), a PLF is adjusted to the conditions. But what it really means is that you work on having your feet hit the ground first, with tension between your legs and in your knees, without anything being locked. The idea is to take a little bit of shock on many places (hopefully most of them nice and springy or meaty), rather than on one or two of them.

I always plan for landing with my feet and knees together, and then change that if it looks like an ideal landing. Yeah, I fall down more often than a lot of people. But I'm 57, and I get back up all the time, too. My gear has over 1000 jumps on it and still looks fine, so all that rolling around hasn't ruined it, either.

I've butt-slid maybe 3-4 times. I figure if my landing isn't good enough to stand up, I for sure don't want to test it on my spine.

Wendy P.


Zenister  (A 42)

Sep 14, 2012, 11:48 AM
Post #20 of 29 (1950 views)
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Re: [wmw999] I thought I knew how to PLF until... [In reply to] Can't Post

agreed, the Airborne PLF isnt always applicable to every landing under a ram air... I had some serious retraining to do in jumpschool because I kept doing judo rolls instead of PLFs... the rolls are more effective (if entangling) but take ALOT more time to learn to do correctly.


zoobrothertom  (D 9397)

Sep 14, 2012, 4:55 PM
Post #21 of 29 (1923 views)
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Re: [wmw999] I thought I knew how to PLF until... [In reply to] Can't Post

The good 'ole airborne PLF has saved my butt way too many times.

I, too, treat every landing as a PLF with feet & knees together until my flare tells me it's standupable/runoutable.

Back when I was an active jumper, I watched too many jumpers come in with arms and legs everywhere unable to do a PLF if they suddenly needed to. On landings, do your best but be ready for the worst. Wink


Amyr  (C License)

Sep 14, 2012, 9:07 PM
Post #22 of 29 (1892 views)
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Re: [wmw999] I thought I knew how to PLF until... [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Yeah, I fall down more often than a lot of people. But I'm 57, and I get back up all the time, too

At 1000 jumps you still fall down a lot?? YOU HAVE JUST MADE MY DAY << yes grammar Nazi's that is in caps and I shouted

At 94 jumps I was feeling really down about my ability to stand up while watching people still on or freshly off student status stand them up THANK YOU<< shouted again


Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

Sep 15, 2012, 12:17 PM
Post #23 of 29 (1836 views)
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Re: [Amyr] I thought I knew how to PLF until... [In reply to] Can't Post

Personally, I think standup landings are great. I also think that as a measure of one's skydiving ability, they're overrated. Accuracy matters -- to be able to land where you want to, and avoid obstacles, is really important. But if you fall down when you land where you wanted to, whose business is it?

Wendy P.


AggieDave  (D License)

Sep 15, 2012, 2:31 PM
Post #24 of 29 (1811 views)
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Re: [wmw999] I thought I knew how to PLF until... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Personally, I think standup landings are great. I also think that as a measure of one's skydiving ability, they're overrated. Accuracy matters -- to be able to land where you want to, and avoid obstacles, is really important. But if you fall down when you land where you wanted to, whose business is it?

Wendy P.

Contrary to popular belief a stand up landing doesn't mean that it was a good landing.

A good/safe landing starts with planning the canopy portion of the skydive before you board the plane. You have an idea of where you're going to exit, where you're going to open, where you'll enter your holding area and where you'll enter the pattern. You have an idea of where you'll fit in the "school of fish" with all the other canopies in the air. You're flying safely but also flying courteously, not cranking out a bunch of hard spiraling turns while backing up the traffic behind you.

You fly a good landing pattern that is appropriate for the conditions at the time, hitting your way points and coming in to land where you had intended. You flare evenly and finish the flare. You may not time putting your landing gear down at the right time or maybe your balance is off as you transfer your weight to your feet and you fall over. That is OK, you still flew a good and safe landing.

How does that compare to the guy who opens and starts tossing out a bunch of spiraling turns, doesn't consider the other jumpers in the air, flies a landing pattern with a bunch of big S-turns, backing up the jumpers behind him and lands next to the beer line by accident but manages to stand up his landing with a half-uneven flare?

Which one was the better and safer landing?


Amyr  (C License)

Sep 15, 2012, 2:45 PM
Post #25 of 29 (1808 views)
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Re: [AggieDave] I thought I knew how to PLF until... [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you again My landings have been harder and harder to get up from since I got it in my head I have to stand up. Here I am at almost 100 jumps and I let my ego about standing up get in the way. Going to try to get it in my head PLF. Even then when all i did was PLF my stand ups were accidental i didn't stand to many up but they sure as hell didn't hurt as bad. MY PLF's sucked but I was able to distribute the ground around my body.

Seeing the posts from the BIG boys and Girls with so many jumps about it not being that important to stand up but work on accuracy really ment a lot to this baby skydiver.

To me I always thought the ability to stand up every time was a direct reflection upon total capability as a skydiver

Hopefully i can actually get it out of my head that I must stand up( cause i know if i continue with these landings I am going to get hurt )I want to keep me around a lot longer!!!!!

You all are great it helps hearing it from people that are good with lots of jumps that you don't look at us clumsy idiots with contempt at the ability not to stand up


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