Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Does going to a wind tunnel really help?

 

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climber71

Sep 11, 2012, 4:02 PM
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Does going to a wind tunnel really help? Can't Post

Hello, Am a student in an AFF Program, heading to Orlando, FL for some wind tunnel time. Just wondering does wind tunnel time help that much?


BKS60  (C 41583)

Sep 11, 2012, 4:18 PM
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Re: [climber71] Does going to a wind tunnel really help? [In reply to] Can't Post

I can only respond based on my personal case!
Yes!
I'm not sure I would have made it through AFF if I had not spent the time I did in the tunnel.
Not to mention it was fun!


Premier NWFlyer  (D License)

Sep 11, 2012, 4:23 PM
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Re: [climber71] Does going to a wind tunnel really help? [In reply to] Can't Post

The tunnel can be a valuable training tool. The freefall training time it provides you can be cheaper on a per-minute basis than the freefall training you receive on a skydive.

If you're going to go to a tunnel, make sure you have a coach, someone who knows that you're a skydiving student/new skydiver who wants to work on skydiving skills. Otherwise you'll just get a fun ride.

All that said, tunnel is absolutely not a necessity, nor is it required to progress in the sport. Even with the proliferation of tunnels today, most skydivers still learn without any tunnel time at all. Many long-time jumpers have never set foot in the tunnel and fly just fine. The tunnel teaches you nothing about aircraft safety, exiting an aircraft, approaching formations safely, breakoff, tracking, deployment, safe canopy flight, pattern setup, or landing.

But for focused freefall skill-building and training, it's great.


zerospinskier  (D License)

Sep 11, 2012, 5:22 PM
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Re: [climber71] Does going to a wind tunnel really help? [In reply to] Can't Post

If your goal is to learn to freefly, the tunnel is an amazing tool that will teach you faster, cheaper, and easier than in the sky. I only have an hour in the tunnel at this point, all working on freeflying, and the amount that I have learned is insane. I would be no where near where I am this quickly without the tunnel. Best money I've spent.


Olmed  (B License)

Sep 12, 2012, 12:46 AM
Post #5 of 38 (4729 views)
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Re: [zerospinskier] Does going to a wind tunnel really help? [In reply to] Can't Post

The tunnel is useful to build some confidense in freefall before AFF.

I have 4,5 hours with coaching and made some tunnel progression. At the same time I am still not sure how much I directly have so far been able to transfer my skills into a skydive.

But I plan more tunnel time and it is great fun.


(This post was edited by Olmed on Sep 12, 2012, 12:48 AM)


Periapt  (D 3017)

Sep 12, 2012, 7:42 AM
Post #6 of 38 (4656 views)
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Re: [NWFlyer] Does going to a wind tunnel really help? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The tunnel can be a valuable training tool. The freefall training time it provides you can be cheaper on a per-minute basis than the freefall training you receive on a skydive.

If you're going to go to a tunnel, make sure you have a coach, someone who knows that you're a skydiving student/new skydiver who wants to work on skydiving skills. Otherwise you'll just get a fun ride.

All that said, tunnel is absolutely not a necessity, nor is it required to progress in the sport. Even with the proliferation of tunnels today, most skydivers still learn without any tunnel time at all. Many long-time jumpers have never set foot in the tunnel and fly just fine. The tunnel teaches you nothing about aircraft safety, exiting an aircraft, approaching formations safely, breakoff, tracking, deployment, safe canopy flight, pattern setup, or landing.

But for focused freefall skill-building and training, it's great.

See article: Belly Fly 101 - Tue Jun 13 2006 by Steven Blincoe.


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Sep 12, 2012, 10:33 AM
Post #7 of 38 (4628 views)
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Re: [Olmed] Does going to a wind tunnel really help? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I am still not sure how much I directly have so far been able to transfer my skills into a skydive.
I think those skills have about 100% transference to skydiving. Tunnel time for skydiving is a good investment, I feel. The AFF students I've seen with tunnel time tend to do very well. Smile


scdiver89  (B 36782)

Sep 14, 2012, 12:09 PM
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Re: [JohnMitchell] Does going to a wind tunnel really help? [In reply to] Can't Post

I think there can be a pretty serious lag, at least for freeflying. I have like 25hrs in the tunnel and 166 jumps and my freeflying in the sky is much farther behind, but that being said it still is a huge tool and you can see massive improvements in the beginning.


climber71

Sep 14, 2012, 1:41 PM
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Re: [scdiver89] Does going to a wind tunnel really help? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the input everyone. Am flying to Orlando next week for some wind tunnel time. Blue Skies [/email]


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Sep 14, 2012, 10:16 PM
Post #10 of 38 (4461 views)
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Re: [scdiver89] Does going to a wind tunnel really help? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I think there can be a pretty serious lag, at least for freeflying. I have like 25hrs in the tunnel and 166 jumps and my freeflying in the sky is much farther behind,
Behind what? People with thousands of jumps?

My son works in a tunnel. He has 16 jumps and turned a couple of double digit 4 ways today.Smile

I think that pretty much proves tunnel skills transfer to skydiving. Wink


DocPop  (C License)

Sep 15, 2012, 4:21 AM
Post #11 of 38 (4433 views)
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Re: [climber71] Does going to a wind tunnel really help? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Hello, Am a student in an AFF Program, heading to Orlando, FL for some wind tunnel time. Just wondering does wind tunnel time help that much?

Not for canopy work.


climber71

Sep 15, 2012, 4:07 PM
Post #12 of 38 (4390 views)
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Re: [DocPop] Does going to a wind tunnel really help? [In reply to] Can't Post

PS.Orlando (IFly) is closed for repairs to the wind tunnel. Was going the 09/22/2012, the representative told me they could be doing repairs until the 24th. May try again later. Did check wit Deland, FL (Outdoor) the owner told he closed down operations completely. Also know where I can find a weight to container listing, when down the road when I may buy one. Am 152 pounds 5'10" ft. Usually jump a between 200 and 240. Like the 240 best.


Madison  (D 25271)

Sep 17, 2012, 8:39 AM
Post #13 of 38 (4322 views)
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Re: [DocPop] Does going to a wind tunnel really help? [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Quote:
Not for canopy work.
--exactly

As useful as a wind tunnel may be to work on freefall skills, it's true that you don't learn canopy work. This is one factor contributing to canopy collisions. Someone who is tearin it up in the wind tunnel gets confident about tearing it up in the sky and then comes that 'whole part of the dive where you are under canopy'.
Use the tunnel, but do what teams do then& devote hop&pops to exits & canopy work over and over again.
Just a suggestion.
Blue Skies~April


Austintxflight

Sep 17, 2012, 8:37 PM
Post #14 of 38 (4270 views)
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Re: [JohnMitchell] Does going to a wind tunnel really help? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
I think there can be a pretty serious lag, at least for freeflying. I have like 25hrs in the tunnel and 166 jumps and my freeflying in the sky is much farther behind,
Behind what? People with thousands of jumps?

My son works in a tunnel. He has 16 jumps and turned a couple of double digit 4 ways today.Smile

I think that pretty much proves tunnel skills transfer to skydiving. Wink

I think what he meant was that his skills in the sky are not on par to his skills in the tunnel. I also know that I can do much more in the tunnel than I can in the sky, part of that is the fact that you have restricted space so you are forced to fly in proximity and you are matching speeds to the tunnel not to the other people in the sky.


shorehambeach  (C License)

Sep 18, 2012, 1:09 AM
Post #15 of 38 (4240 views)
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Re: [climber71] Does going to a wind tunnel really help? [In reply to] Can't Post

Climber71

I did tunnel & AFF in Deland. For me it was excellent.

The tunnel has a habit of breaking down there but its really worth the investment.

There are some very good tunnel instructors from Deland who coach there most nights. PM me if you want the details.

Although i am a low number jumper - the tunnel has enabled me to be far more confident and skilful than you'd expect with less than 30 jumps. Although it clearly doesn't improve your canopy skills - if you've had a good time before you pull you'll feel more confident once the canopy opens.

Also, during the plane ride, if you know you'll have no issues on stability once you've exited, then there's less stuff going around in your mind before the doors opens.

JMHO.

Blue Skies

(I am in the UK)


(This post was edited by shorehambeach on Sep 18, 2012, 1:12 AM)


Olmed  (B License)

Sep 19, 2012, 3:01 AM
Post #16 of 38 (4094 views)
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Re: [JohnMitchell] Does going to a wind tunnel really help? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
I am still not sure how much I directly have so far been able to transfer my skills into a skydive.
I think those skills have about 100% transference to skydiving. Tunnel time for skydiving is a good investment, I feel. The AFF students I've seen with tunnel time tend to do very well. Smile

Finally managed to dock in sit last weekend, it truly felt as a milestoneSmile

In a skydive it is so much more to consider and speed is really fast. Then you have the rig. So this has been a barrier to overcome before transfering more tunnel skills into the sky. But again, I am still just a newbie in both tunnel and sky!


(This post was edited by Olmed on Sep 19, 2012, 3:03 AM)


Joellercoaster  (D 105792)

Sep 19, 2012, 5:56 AM
Post #17 of 38 (4079 views)
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Re: [Madison] Does going to a wind tunnel really help? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
This is one factor contributing to canopy collisions.

Really?

I think you just made that up. But if you have anything else to go on other than "well it sounds plausible", by all means fill us in.


Madison  (D 25271)

Sep 19, 2012, 7:38 AM
Post #18 of 38 (4059 views)
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Re: [Joellercoaster] Does going to a wind tunnel really help? [In reply to] Can't Post

Really? I need to explain this one?
I thought I was pointing out the obvious in the first place. Crazy

Here are a few things that are contributing to canopy collisions these days as pointed out by a fellow jumper:

Bigger airplanes=more canopies.
Wind tunnels=false sense of security under canopy.
Higher wingloading is cool=rapid downsizing.
First man down=lots of confusion.
Full face helmets =not hearing well, seeing well or yelling well.
More than 90's=high speed, low vision, little outs.
Some people have 1,000 jumps, some people have one jump 1,000 times.
Old school landing techniques vs. new school.
Dirt diving the skydive, never dirt diving the canopy flight.
Fighter jets, cargo planes and 182's all landing at the same "airport".

Ok, you can digest this how you'd like, but next time please don't use the statement "fill us in", it implies that some are on the same uneducated plane as yourself.



Blue Skies,
April


(This post was edited by Madison on Sep 19, 2012, 7:45 AM)


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Sep 19, 2012, 8:16 AM
Post #19 of 38 (4046 views)
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Re: [Madison] Does going to a wind tunnel really help? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Use the tunnel, but do what teams do then& devote hop&pops to exits & canopy work over and over again.
Really? What teams do that?

I agree that the tunnel doesn't teach canopy skills, but that can be learned by normal means. Some people just don't do a good job of learning. Others have the right of way but get killed anyway. Unsure


Joellercoaster  (D 105792)

Sep 19, 2012, 8:43 AM
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Re: [Madison] Does going to a wind tunnel really help? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Really? I need to explain this one?

Actually, yes.

In reply to:
Wind tunnels=false sense of security under canopy.

This is the part I disagree with. There is no link in my mind, and I think about this stuff as much as the next guy - no need to disparage my education level just because I ask you to explain why you think something I disagree with.

So basically, according to you, there isn't any evidence for it, it hasn't been implicated in any of the real, horrible accidents under canopy recently. It just sounds likely to someone you were talking to. It's just "obvious."

In reply to:
it implies that some are on the same uneducated plane as yourself.

Thanks for clearing that up.


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Sep 19, 2012, 9:13 AM
Post #21 of 38 (4021 views)
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Re: [Madison] Does going to a wind tunnel really help? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Wind tunnels=false sense of security under canopy.
Although I agreed with many of your reasons, this one is the weakest. You don't need a lot of tunnel time to have a false sense of security under canopy. I feel it's an attitude thing, not a tunnel thing. My son has been very conservative under canopy.


Zenister  (A 42)

Sep 19, 2012, 9:18 AM
Post #22 of 38 (4018 views)
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Re: [Madison] Does going to a wind tunnel really help? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Really? I need to explain this one?
I thought I was pointing out the obvious in the first place. Crazy

please provide a link the the canopy collision that was caused by a "Tunnel Rat" being less familiar with the canopy flight portion of the skydive than their freefall skills would suggest.

until you do you are talking out of your ass.


groundtested  (A 63002)

Sep 19, 2012, 12:09 PM
Post #23 of 38 (3983 views)
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Re: [climber71] Does going to a wind tunnel really help? [In reply to] Can't Post

While I was in Deland a couple weeks ago I overheard IFly had another fan issue and would be closed to fix it. The tunnel does help alot IMO; I did 20 mins in it before my AFF. As for finding a canopy, as a beginner after you get your A you should be looking at a wing loading of 1.0:1 until about 100 jumps(search wing loading chart in the forum, there's a few really good posts). I am basically the same height and weight as you. Gear adds about 15-20 pounds so a 170sq canopy will be probably where you end up.

My canopy progession so far has been: 5 jumps Navigator 240, 20 jumps Navigator 220, 5 jumps Navigator 200, 15 jumps Silhouette 190, 2 jumps Sabre2 170(which is the canopy I just bought). Not sure what wind conditions you've jumped in so far, but on windier days a 240 won't give you much penetration on your base leg(or if you've found youself downwind of the landing area).


nigel99  (D 1)

Sep 20, 2012, 2:39 AM
Post #24 of 38 (3907 views)
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Re: [JohnMitchell] Does going to a wind tunnel really help? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Wind tunnels=false sense of security under canopy.
Although I agreed with many of your reasons, this one is the weakest. You don't need a lot of tunnel time to have a false sense of security under canopy. I feel it's an attitude thing, not a tunnel thing. My son has been very conservative under canopy.

Not a false sense of security, but I feel it is related. There are alleged incidents (based on posts on dz.com over the years), that certain people with significant tunnel time have skipped AFF levels, or got onto 8 ways etc within a very few jumps.

The tunnel doesn't teach exit skills, tracking skills or any of the skills necessary to fly in a busy sky. A typical AFF student spends their first few jumps essentially alone in the sky.

The cases I mention are extremes though, for your typical jumper tunnel time almost certainly increases your safety. The simple fact that in FJC you can focus on emergency skills and you already know that you can get stable has to help.


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Sep 20, 2012, 7:11 AM
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Re: [nigel99] Does going to a wind tunnel really help? [In reply to] Can't Post

When I taught my son's AFF class this summer, there were 4 other tunnel employees in the class. I didn't spend very much time teaching arching.TongueLaugh

I know of one very adept young man who grew up on the DZ as a third generation skydiver. At 16 he started jumping, static line method. He was diving late and docking on 10+ ways before he had 20 jumps. And he was doing it very well. A lot depends on the person.

With that said, the maddest air skilz in the world won't save you from a bag lock if you don't know your EP's. Every student needs their attitude in the right place. Some need to have it adjusted for them.Wink

But most people's problems in AFF come from poor air skills. No one's been flunking their level III repeatedly because of poor canopy control, at least not that I've heard. That's why I say tunnel time is such an advantage. Smile


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