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Things to Consider When Visiting a New Drop Zone?

 


punkgod94  (A 62884)

Oct 2, 2012, 9:42 AM
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Things to Consider When Visiting a New Drop Zone? Can't Post

I could use some tips from the more experienced jumpers here. What are some things to consider when you're jumping at a new drop zone?? I've only been to a non-home drop zone once, and because I was nervous I ended up reading the wind sock wrong and broke myself on a downwinder. I wanna make sure that doesn't happen again by being prepared. Knowing the winds aloft and ground winds, where the outs and obstacles are...what other stuff should I be thinking when visiting new dzs?


skydivecat  (C License)

Oct 2, 2012, 9:59 AM
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Re: [punkgod94] Things to Consider When Visiting a New Drop Zone? [In reply to] Can't Post

Do they fly a right only or left only pattern?
Do they fly both?
~if they fly both, what do you do if you and another jumper enters the pattern at the same time from the opposite ways?

HP vs. normal landing area vs. tandems
Holding/play areas

Jump run direction vs where the holding/play area is
~don't fly the canopy up jump run to get to the play area! (I may have done this on my first visit somewhere...Blush)
As always know which way/direction to track on breakoff

Spotting (different aircraft/speed/pilot/area), ask for help!
Make sure you see the airport
Make sure you know some landmarks that can help you find the airport if you get confused

Landing direction: do they call it in the gate? is it follow first man down? can you adjust if the wind changes while you are up? do you stick with called direction no matter what?

I am in no ways an expert, still a noob myself. These are just a few of the things that I could think of off the top of my head that I have had to learn! Smile


excaza  (C License)

Oct 2, 2012, 10:05 AM
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Re: [punkgod94] Things to Consider When Visiting a New Drop Zone? [In reply to] Can't Post

In addition to what skydivecat said, outs.


airtwardo  (D License)

Oct 2, 2012, 10:16 AM
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Re: [punkgod94] Things to Consider When Visiting a New Drop Zone? [In reply to] Can't Post

When hitting a new to me DZ I always ask about 'outs' around the LZ. Power lines, water hazards, farmer McNasty's.

Are there any 'special procedures' I should know about...seat belt removal is different at different places, door handling, etc.

Find out where the closest liquor store is.

Make sure manifest has ALL your contact info just in case something bad happens.

I tend to watch a few loads with a critical eye... notice the spot, landing patterns, get a feel for who knows what they're doing and who to avoid.

As far at the windsock...look at it, and see in your minds eye from altitude in the pattern. 'it's south of the hangar 200 feet' or whatever. Remember ya fly 'up' the sock from the skinny end to the fat end...Wink

I also have a little 'tradition' I do before EVERY jump,
Take a bit of grass or pinch of dirt and throw in up in the air.
That's your 'general windline', sure it may change but 90% of the time it will be true...

Using that, face yourself into the wind and mentally take a snapshot of where the sun it. ~think 'I'll probably be landing with the sun off my left shoulder' or whatever.

That way you have a basic seed of an idea already downloaded if shit goes sideways...like landing off, or having to make an emergency exit and no windsock is available.

Other than that...tie yer shoes & wear clean underwear, keep your hands off the rigger girlfriend, your dick outta the DZO daughter and ya should be OK! Wink


fcajump  (D 15598)

Oct 2, 2012, 10:21 AM
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Re: [punkgod94] Things to Consider When Visiting a New Drop Zone? [In reply to] Can't Post

I travel and visit other DZ's most any time I can...

Especially as a newer jumper, recommendation #1:
Leave the gear/log book/skydive T-shirts/etc in the car. When you get there, shut your mouth and open your ears/eyes. How do the locals behave, what's the pilot doing between loads, how are loads flown, how is the landing patern behavior?

Then, if things look good, and you haven't yet been approached, introduce yourself and inquire about making a jump.

You can learn much by watching/listening, and often pick up on stuff the locals either won't mention or overlook.

Must see/learn items:
landing area (picture and with local while airborne)
hazards on the LZ/DZ/airport
good outs
bad outs (physically or politically)
landing pattern
landing areas by experience?
wind direction
known turbulance issues

Things that are encouraging to see:
sober/mature attitude
well maintained equipment/plane (yea, I know... good paint job doesn't mean good engine, but oil on the cowling can say much)
instruction following USPA or other serious approach (OK, you're not their student, but again.. listen to what they're teaching... it says much)
staff discussion of weather considerations
staff discussion of weight/balance considerations
safe/large landing area with others flying predictable patterns
staff who wants to see YOUR credentials and gear before letting you jump.
did they make sure everyone landed in? if someone was out, how did the staff react?

JW


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

Oct 2, 2012, 10:32 AM
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Re: [punkgod94] Things to Consider When Visiting a New Drop Zone? [In reply to] Can't Post

Get a good briefing.
At the DZs I've travelled to (admitedly, not a lot) I always get a good briefing. Either directly from manifest, or from someone manifest points out (the basic response was "I'm busy, but that guy over there can help you. HEY (insert name here) I NEED YOU TO BRIEF THIS GUY!!!)
The briefings I have gotten all include an aerial photo.
Landmarks, jumprun, where to and not to land (both on and off the DZ) landing patterns, and the best one of all - "Anything else you think I need to know?"
That can range from manifest procedure to walking off the landing area to where to put your stuff.

Everywhere I've been is happy to explain this stuff, rather than have me do something wrong and have to yell at me.


wildcard451  (D License)

Oct 2, 2012, 10:47 AM
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Re: [punkgod94] Things to Consider When Visiting a New Drop Zone? [In reply to] Can't Post

Whether they drink craft or shit beer.


erdnarob  (D 364)

Oct 2, 2012, 10:50 AM
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Re: [punkgod94] Things to Consider When Visiting a New Drop Zone? [In reply to] Can't Post

When visiting another DZ make sure :
1) at the DZ to get directions about what to do and what not to do both outside and with the use of an aerial picture of the DZ and surroundings.
2) your reserve is not due for repack and have the packing card ready
3) have your logbook and membership card
4) to be ready to fill up a waiver
5) have a look at the jump plane and particularly its door, steps...
6) some DZ are tight and alternate landing areas well specified. Some farmers around do not like skydivers and it is wise to avoid their fields.
7) at some DZs, you cannot fly over the runway at 500 ft or below and you cannot land within a specified margin along the runway.
8) to observe other skydiver landings, to locate the wind sock and obstacles
9) have a good account or cash and check before going if they accept credit card
10) have funSmile


Scrumpot  (D License)

Oct 2, 2012, 10:57 AM
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Re: [punkgod94] Things to Consider When Visiting a New Drop Zone? [In reply to] Can't Post

Great Post and reply string. I know this has been "hashed" many times before over time - but this is one the most to-the-point, quickly concise, non-combative and INFORMATIVE reply strings I have seen on the subject matter in a long time. Actually nobody pissing on anybody else's cheerios here or anything (yet)!

THIS SHOULD BE A STICKY!!

Some really great advice here, north of my (this) post! Cool


Squeak  (E 1313)

Oct 2, 2012, 7:04 PM
Post #10 of 22 (3397 views)
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Re: [punkgod94] Things to Consider When Visiting a New Drop Zone? [In reply to] Can't Post

apart from all the sensibles things mentioned so far.
I have found at quite a few DZs in the state that you will have to ASK someone to brief you.

A few of the DZs I have been to do a reserve card check, license check, then nothing.Unimpressed


(This post was edited by Squeak on Oct 2, 2012, 7:06 PM)


airtwardo  (D License)

Oct 2, 2012, 7:34 PM
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Re: [Squeak] Things to Consider When Visiting a New Drop Zone? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
apart from all the sensibles things mentioned so far.
I have found at quite a few DZs in the state that you will have to ASK someone to brief you.

A few of the DZs I have been to do a reserve card check, license check, then nothing.Unimpressed


Some are that way, and some go the extra mile...I've had a safety person walk the LZ with me once, it served to both get me familiar with the dropzone and for him to ask a lot of questions from me.

I mentioned correct contact info in my 1st post, I had a manifest person review my waiver with me in detail last year then ask about the emergency contact number, saying she was about to call it and if there was no answer I would need to provide another one...understandable, and kinda opened my eyes a bit regarding possible complications jumping away from home where no one knows me or anything about me.


Lindenwood  (Student)

Oct 2, 2012, 7:47 PM
Post #12 of 22 (3375 views)
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Re: [Squeak] Things to Consider When Visiting a New Drop Zone? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
apart from all the sensibles things mentioned so far.
I have found at quite a few DZs in the state that you will have to ASK someone to brief you.

A few of the DZs I have been to do a reserve card check, license check, then nothing.Unimpressed

Having no experience with new DZs, I would say out of general experience thst you should never be afraid to ask questions. As long as you are polite and come across as genuinely interested in learning the correct way to do whatever it is you're asking, people are generally helpful. If you go up to the first guy you see and start ranting about how those idiots by manifest didn't offer to brief you, you might get an unfriendly response. Similarly, if you ask with the attitude that their rules are stupid or you are just going through the motions, you'll probably get a short answer.


FallloutboyDAoC  (A 55768)

Oct 2, 2012, 9:08 PM
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Re: [punkgod94] Things to Consider When Visiting a New Drop Zone? [In reply to] Can't Post

 
DO THEY GOT A KEGERATOR??????


dthames  (B 37674)

Oct 3, 2012, 5:01 PM
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Re: [airtwardo] Things to Consider When Visiting a New Drop Zone? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
<snip>

I also have a little 'tradition' I do before EVERY jump,
Take a bit of grass or pinch of dirt and throw in up in the air.
That's your 'general windline', sure it may change but 90% of the time it will be true...

Using that, face yourself into the wind and mentally take a snapshot of where the sun it. ~think 'I'll probably be landing with the sun off my left shoulder' or whatever.

That way you have a basic seed of an idea already downloaded if shit goes sideways...like landing off, or having to make an emergency exit and no windsock is available.
<snip>

A golden nugget of advice. Thanks Twardo.


skr  (D 981)

Oct 3, 2012, 9:28 PM
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Re: [punkgod94] Things to Consider When Visiting a New Drop Zone? [In reply to] Can't Post

Besides all the other good answers above
I find it helpful to get on Google Maps and
practice seeing how the runways, surrounding
ground features and so on look.

I look at the dropzone from various altitudes
then look away and practice visualizing it.

I do that enough times that I can see the
runways and know their numbers, and can
see the river, highway, town, railroad track,
race track, or whatever, and know which
way north, south, east and west are.

That helps me assimilate the avalanche
of other new stuff I will encounter at a
new dropzone.

Skr


airtwardo  (D License)

Oct 3, 2012, 11:24 PM
Post #16 of 22 (3143 views)
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Re: [skr] Things to Consider When Visiting a New Drop Zone? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Besides all the other good answers above
I find it helpful to get on Google Maps and
practice seeing how the runways, surrounding
ground features and so on look.

I look at the dropzone from various altitudes
then look away and practice visualizing it.

I do that enough times that I can see the
runways and know their numbers, and can
see the river, highway, town, railroad track,
race track, or whatever, and know which
way north, south, east and west are.

That helps me assimilate the avalanche
of other new stuff I will encounter at a
new dropzone.

Skr

Great advise, never thought of doing that.

Nothing worse than a solo exit, turning a series, opening at 2500' and looking around thinking...HUMMMMM. Unimpressed

I've noticed jumping at a couple of new to me small Midwest DZ's, even after putting a couple jump in ~ Gee all those cornfields sure look alike! Wink


kallend  (D 23151)

Oct 4, 2012, 9:13 AM
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Re: [airtwardo] Things to Consider When Visiting a New Drop Zone? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

I also have a little 'tradition' I do before EVERY jump,
Take a bit of grass or pinch of dirt and throw in up in the air.

And I thought I was the only one who did that.

I like to find out where the toilets are.


(This post was edited by kallend on Oct 4, 2012, 9:14 AM)


skydivecat  (C License)

Oct 4, 2012, 10:34 AM
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Re: [skr] Things to Consider When Visiting a New Drop Zone? [In reply to] Can't Post

AWESOME advice on the google maps! I do this too before I traveled. There were a few DZs in the area I was headed to and I wanted an idea of outs and how congested it was. It helped me to make the right DZ choice for my skill level.

Also mentioned above which I hadn't thought about was just sitting quietly for a bit and watching without introducing myself as a jumper. I always watch a few loads before I jump somewhere new, but seeing how things operated before being identified as a visiting jumper can be enlightening as to how they typically do things.

A fellow jumper visited another DZ near home that he doesn't typically jump at. He was passing by and wanted to check it out. There were a lot of clouds that day, so he sat and watched a few loads. He was amazed that they were flying at all and asked how high they were jumping from. Staff told him 13000ft. Ceiling didn't look that high to him, so he questioned it and was assured that it was 13000ft alright. Next load he counted exit to opening on the tandems, 20 seconds max. He went inside again and asked, expressing that the freefall time was significantly shorter that what they had billed. They then explained that due to the clouds, they were actually only getting 10000ft, but as a first time jumper, he wouldn't notice the difference at all. At this point he identifed himself as a sport jumper and inquired about prices and getting on a load (no intention of jumping). Suddenly they were only getting 8000ft and they didn't know if they were going to fly much longer due to the weather. Crazy Def good to sit and listen with open eyes sometimes!

Great advice everyone! Thank you! Smile


airtwardo  (D License)

Oct 4, 2012, 10:40 AM
Post #19 of 22 (3033 views)
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Re: [kallend] Things to Consider When Visiting a New Drop Zone? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:

I also have a little 'tradition' I do before EVERY jump,
Take a bit of grass or pinch of dirt and throw in up in the air.

And I thought I was the only one who did that.

I like to find out where the toilets are.

I started doin' that 100 years ago at city demo LZ's...ground crew forgot the streamer once, made sure I always have a backup in my head so if I can't pick up an indicator I have an idea anyway.

Works so well I do it on every jump.


RMK

Oct 11, 2012, 9:48 AM
Post #20 of 22 (2766 views)
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Re: [punkgod94] Things to Consider When Visiting a New Drop Zone? [In reply to] Can't Post

save the DZ phone number on your mobile phone in case you land out. Not just for the "come get me" call, but primarily to let them know you're OK.

For other countries, find what memberships are needed and any "special requirements". Example, in the UK from age 40 or above you need a medical form signed by doctor.


dlcobbett  (C 3338)

Oct 11, 2012, 11:17 AM
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Re: [punkgod94] Things to Consider When Visiting a New Drop Zone? [In reply to] Can't Post

 A lot of great advice in this thread. I'd also add the following:

1. Check out the DZ website before you go. It may have a lot of info that can answer your questions in advance (policies, rules, etc)

2. As a newer jumper, write down your list of questions before you go and have it with you when you ask for a briefing. This way you can ensure that nothing you want to know gets left out

3. Reardless, it never hurts to confirm the landing pattern and direction in the boarding area, particularly when there are mulitple groups on the load, and when the winds are light & variable. Many DZs will allow left or right patterns as long as the load is in agreeance.

4. Remember your capabilities and limitations. Don't get roped into a jump beyond your experience. But most importantly, have fun and play safe


trinitycsi  (D 31815)

Oct 16, 2012, 2:57 PM
Post #22 of 22 (2534 views)
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Re: [dlcobbett] Things to Consider When Visiting a New Drop Zone? [In reply to] Can't Post

I love all these replies and I too always do the google maps thing. My addition was touched on...

If at all possible..... WALK THE LANDING AREA!!! and talk about the landing area with a local jumper / coach/ instructor (hopefully the person giving you a briefing) I travel a lot for my work so I have been blessed to visit quite a few DZs big and small. Twice I looked at the landing area from the hangar and thought no big deal. On one as I flared I realized I was actually landing downhill in a gully that was not visible from the hangar. Thankfully was able to slide in with no issues. Second time was similar with a hazard you couldn't see until close.

At my home DZ (Skydive Atlanta) you will typically get a tour/briefing from either a coach or instructor. We mainly have a standard outline of a tour we do and we add our own details. My tour might take a little longer since I'm trying to answer all the questions that I would ask on all my travels, Heck I'll even tell you the best areas to land after our great pop up rain showers in the summer ;)

BTW the walk up without your gear, etc comment... I like, it will also show you the DZ that actually has people that pay attention to their surroundings. At a good DZ, you won't make it too long before someone starts talking to you and quickly figures out that you are in fact a skydiver.



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