Forums: Skydiving Disciplines: Swooping and Canopy Control:
Cross wind landing on reserve

 


alexafox  (D License)

Nov 11, 2012, 4:37 PM
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Cross wind landing on reserve Can't Post

So I have some questions after an incident yesterday...

I had a chop, and landed off the DZ under my reserve. It was pretty turbulent and windy. When I turned into wind I could feel the canopy being pulled quite strongly to my left. Usually I would use my harness to keep the canopy flying straight but this was really pulling hard!

I tried to use small toggle inputs to keep it straight but couldn't stop being pulled sideways. I didn't want to use too much input because I was worried I wouldn't get any flare as I was pretty low...

I ended up having a pretty hard landing.

If there are really strong winds like that do I use toggle inputs and sacrifice a bit of flare or how else can I keep the canopy flying straight....

HELP! :)

Here's my landing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0E3hlyEdR4&feature=plcp

I'm at the 36 second mark.


(This post was edited by alexafox on Nov 11, 2012, 4:43 PM)


SRI85  (D License)

Nov 11, 2012, 4:56 PM
Post #2 of 22 (3351 views)
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Re: [alexafox] Cross wind landing on reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
If there are really strong winds like that do I use toggle inputs and sacrifice a bit of flare or how else can I keep the canopy flying straight....

If there are really strong winds, stay on the ground.


alexafox  (D License)

Nov 11, 2012, 4:58 PM
Post #3 of 22 (3348 views)
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Re: [SRI85] Cross wind landing on reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
If there are really strong winds like that do I use toggle inputs and sacrifice a bit of flare or how else can I keep the canopy flying straight....

If there are really strong winds, stay on the ground.

I absolutely agree with that but when we got out of the plane, the winds weren't strong.... They picked up once we were under canopy.

Any constructive advice otherwise?


AggieDave  (D License)

Nov 11, 2012, 5:21 PM
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Re: [alexafox] Cross wind landing on reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

1. PLF Don't be too proud to save your ass with a really good PLF.

2. Even money your inputs had much more effect on your canopy flight than the wind. You can demo reserves from many manufactures to jump as a main. Give it a shot.

As for cross wind landings, you can give slight toggle input to crab the canopy and give you a straight landing against the ground; however, even money you led with the downwind toggle/leg and caused the push to be much worse. Why do I say that? Experience in what I've observed teaching canopy control.

Go up and start doing some hop-n-pops by yourself, do crosswind landings, get them videoed.


alexafox  (D License)

Nov 11, 2012, 8:35 PM
Post #5 of 22 (3282 views)
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Re: [AggieDave] Cross wind landing on reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
1. PLF Don't be too proud to save your ass with a really good PLF.

2. Even money your inputs had much more effect on your canopy flight than the wind. You can demo reserves from many manufactures to jump as a main. Give it a shot.

As for cross wind landings, you can give slight toggle input to crab the canopy and give you a straight landing against the ground; however, even money you led with the downwind toggle/leg and caused the push to be much worse. Why do I say that? Experience in what I've observed teaching canopy control.

Go up and start doing some hop-n-pops by yourself, do crosswind landings, get them videoed.

That's really helpful! Thank you!


pchapman  (D 1014)

Nov 11, 2012, 8:39 PM
Post #6 of 22 (3281 views)
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Re: [AggieDave] Cross wind landing on reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
however, even money you led with the downwind toggle/leg and caused the push to be much worse. Why do I say that? Experience in what I've observed teaching canopy control.

Now that's an unusual observation.
Why would that be? The proper thing for the thinking skydiver to do is to turn or flare turn more into the wind.
But the way I can see your idea coming into play is that if one is crosswind and the ground is moving sideways under you, would some people tend to instinctively try to "straighten out" to align their body with the direction of ground motion and remove the unnatural "skidding sideways" movement, by turning more downwind? Sort of a 'steering into the skid' idea that might make sense when driving but is bad when landing crosswind??

On the video that Alexa posted, if the jumper with the camera was landing upwind, then it looks like Alexa might have been pretty much crosswind, but turned almost straight downwind in the last seconds. That landing looked hard!

Alexa:

Hard to tell in the video at a distance, but if you had the altitude to make it some distance into the field, and also turn downwind from crosswind, then you also had the altitude to turn at least mostly upwind.

Unless one had extreme turbulence, it might bounce you a little left or right randomly, but there's no reason you couldn't generally overcome its effect with moderate toggle input.

I guess a partial answer to how much to turn is that over time one will can practice how much one can turn one's canopy before letting it recover and flaring. In other words, how long a final approach one needs after a certain speed turn. That's part of learning "how low is too low" for a turn. In addition to doing a simple turn to get a little more into the wind, the options one can do are (a) a braked turn which is good for not diving at the ground but takes away energy you'd like to have for a good flare, or (b) a flare turn where you turn during the flare itself, trying to point a little more into the wind so the crosswind isn't sliding you sideways (which is rather hard to deal with to run out a landing - so a PLF may be necessary).

I can't give a simple answer because it all depends on getting to know your own canopy. As AggieDave said, practice and get video. Landing upwind is better than landing crosswind, but landing crosswind is better than landing in a diving turn that you couldn't get out of in time.


alexafox  (D License)

Nov 11, 2012, 8:51 PM
Post #7 of 22 (3277 views)
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Re: [pchapman] Cross wind landing on reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

On the video that Alexa posted, if the jumper with the camera was landing upwind, then it looks like Alexa might have been pretty much crosswind, but turned almost straight downwind in the last seconds. That landing looked hard!

That was the weird/tricky thing about this landing... I was trying to land the same way as TJ but I was getting dragged sideways... I was actually digging my right toggle almost down to my shoulder to try and get back into wind but it was just dragging me sideways. It's kinda hard to tell in the video but I'm virtually facing the camera and getting dragged complete sideways... I obviously didn't want to do a harder turn that low... And yea it was turbulent as hell! Haha Not only did the winds pick up but it's a solar farm there so a fair bit of heat gets thrown up around that area...

The more I talk with people about it, the more it seems that there pobably wasn't much more I could have done in this situation!


AggieDave  (D License)

Nov 12, 2012, 4:13 AM
Post #8 of 22 (3177 views)
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Re: [pchapman] Cross wind landing on reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
however, even money you led with the downwind toggle/leg and caused the push to be much worse. Why do I say that? Experience in what I've observed teaching canopy control.

Now that's an unusual observation.
Why would that be? The proper thing for the thinking skydiver to do is to turn or flare turn more into the wind.

My theory is that people start reaching towards the ground with the downwind leg trying to get that one down since that is the leg they would pivot and take the first running step with. The arm follows the leg. The large majority of the time the jumper didn't realize they were doing that, they would walk up and go "wow, the wind really pushed me to the side" then we would watch the video and it would be painfully obvious what really happened.

Video your DZ's landing area when the winds are semi-light and variable, you'll see it on every load, even from experienced jumpers, since they won't be necessarily landing into the wind. Take your video camera, it's a good learning experience.


DocPop  (C License)

Nov 12, 2012, 9:19 AM
Post #9 of 22 (3086 views)
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Re: [AggieDave] Cross wind landing on reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

Yep - happens all the time. And people will deny it until blue in the face until you show them a video or still of them doing it.


jacketsdb23  (D 29802)

Nov 12, 2012, 10:44 AM
Post #10 of 22 (3054 views)
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Re: [alexafox] Cross wind landing on reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I tried to use small toggle inputs to keep it straight but couldn't stop being pulled sideways. I didn't want to use too much input because I was worried I wouldn't get any flare as I was pretty low...

Just another tip...when the winds are high, you usually don't need as much toggle stroke to get the same "power" when you flare. Its not uncommon in high cross wind landings to have asymmetrical toggle strokes to keep the wing level. This takes time an experience to get a good feel for. Keep practicing...and if you're jumping with TJ, there is a wealth of canopy piloting knowledge right there!


DrewEckhardt  (D 28461)

Nov 12, 2012, 4:11 PM
Post #11 of 22 (2959 views)
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Re: [jacketsdb23] Cross wind landing on reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
I tried to use small toggle inputs to keep it straight but couldn't stop being pulled sideways. I didn't want to use too much input because I was worried I wouldn't get any flare as I was pretty low...

Just another tip...when the winds are high, you usually don't need as much toggle stroke to get the same "power" when you flare.

Your canopy doesn't care what the wind speed is and requires the same control input to achieve a given airspeed, sink rate, and attitude regardless of wind strength and direction.

Of course with a healthy head wind you can get away with putting your feet down with much more air speed than without since your ground speed is lower and under a smaller canopy neglecting to finish the flare more aggressively to pop back up won't have your feet moving like Fred Flintstone.


(This post was edited by DrewEckhardt on Nov 12, 2012, 4:23 PM)


jjudd  (D 31065)

Nov 12, 2012, 6:07 PM
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Re: [alexafox] Cross wind landing on reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.youtube.com/...dR4&feature=plcp

Heres a clicky to the original posters vid


jjudd  (D 31065)

Nov 12, 2012, 6:12 PM
Post #13 of 22 (2913 views)
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Re: [jjudd] Cross wind landing on reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

also i have a few questions.

did you have a low cutaway and not have the opportunity to land directly into the wind? It appears to be a pretty open field you landed in.

Whats your experience level main and reserve size out of curiosity? true to your dz profile?


The advice given by others should help you greatly and like you feared and know you will have less flare on your reserve being a 7 cell design and the materials used in reserves vs mains


alexafox  (D License)

Nov 12, 2012, 6:21 PM
Post #14 of 22 (2908 views)
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Re: [jjudd] Cross wind landing on reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
also i have a few questions.

did you have a low cutaway and not have the opportunity to land directly into the wind? It appears to be a pretty open field you landed in.

Yea it was fairly low.. Chopped about 1950ft.

I didn't have any indicators of wind direction so I tried to follow the same landing pattern as on the dz and followed in TJ.

Like I said before, its hard to see in the video but I'm actually pointing towards the camera (what I thought was into wind) but was being dragged sideways... You can see at the end of the video where I pretty much get turned directly downwind about 4ft off the ground... The canopy was pulling really strong to my left... I didn't want to add anymore toggle inputs than I already was because i was so low.... The way I landed was almost sideways...


In reply to:
Whats your experience level main and reserve size out of curiosity? true to your dz profile?

I just updated my my profile stuff but yea pretty well up to date... About 130-150 jumps... Just got on a Safire 2 145 (loading it at about 1.0, about 20 jumps on it) and I'm still on the Raven M dash 150 reserve.


In reply to:
The advice given by others should help you greatly and like you feared and know you will have less flare on your reserve being a 7 cell design and the materials used in reserves vs mains

Thanks! :)


SRI85  (D License)

Nov 12, 2012, 6:37 PM
Post #15 of 22 (2903 views)
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Re: [alexafox] Cross wind landing on reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I didn't have any indicators of wind direction

Water can be used as an indicator of wind direction. Ripples are pretty distinctive in their direction.


alexafox  (D License)

Nov 12, 2012, 6:39 PM
Post #16 of 22 (2902 views)
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Re: [SRI85] Cross wind landing on reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
I didn't have any indicators of wind direction

Water can be used as an indicator of wind direction. Ripples are pretty distinctive in their direction.

Not much water around there unfortunately but I'll have to remember that for next time! Thanks Smile


SRI85  (D License)

Nov 12, 2012, 6:47 PM
Post #17 of 22 (2893 views)
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Re: [alexafox] Cross wind landing on reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
I didn't have any indicators of wind direction

Water can be used as an indicator of wind direction. Ripples are pretty distinctive in their direction.

Not much water around there unfortunately but I'll have to remember that for next time! Thanks Smile

Oh, it looked like there were some funky colored swoop pond sized ponds in there. Hard to tell if it was actually water from the video.


AggieDave  (D License)

Nov 13, 2012, 4:34 AM
Post #18 of 22 (2820 views)
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Re: [alexafox] Cross wind landing on reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Like I said before, its hard to see in the video but I'm actually pointing towards the camera (what I thought was into wind) but was being dragged sideways... You can see at the end of the video where I pretty much get turned directly downwind about 4ft off the ground... The canopy was pulling really strong to my left... I didn't want to add anymore toggle inputs than I already was because i was so low.... The way I landed was almost sideways...

Yup and and looking at the video it looks like the canopy had toggle input to turn that direction (looking at the tail of the canopy). That was followed by either no flare or a flare so late that it had no effect. So it was a no-flare turning landing running down wind. Yes, that landing probably hurt!

1900ft isn't a low cutaway, it is a cutaway that was probably a little low for you. Even getting in the saddle at 1000ft should be enough time to get setup with your pattern under your reserve. For that to work properly you MUST plan your canopy flight before you get on the plane. You will know what your pattern is, where your opening location should be and where your exit spot should be be. All of that can stay the same under a reserve, except that you may have to make minor deviations from your plan due to circumstances. It is easier and faster to make minor deviations in a plan if you already have one, but if you don't have one to begin with, you will be behind the curve the entire canopy flight. That is how people get hurt and killed.

Cross wind and even downwind really doesn't matter too much, as long as you fly your canopy well and have a good flare.

So some things to get with your canopy coach would be making a flight plan for your canopy flight on every skydive, neutral canopy flight to flare and refining your flare technique. These are things you may have already worked on or are currently working on, but it may be worth your time to revisit them. Also look into getting a demo of your reserve to jump as a main for a couple of hop-n-pops to get to know it.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Nov 13, 2012, 8:52 AM
Post #19 of 22 (2774 views)
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Re: [alexafox] Cross wind landing on reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

>Like I said before, its hard to see in the video but I'm actually pointing towards the
>camera (what I thought was into wind) but was being dragged sideways... You can see
>at the end of the video where I pretty much get turned directly downwind about 4ft off
>the ground... The canopy was pulling really strong to my left... I didn't want to add
>anymore toggle inputs than I already was because i was so low....

Glad you are OK and glad you learned from this. As others have suggested, your canopy wasn't "pulling really strongly" - you were turning it downwind. You can choose to turn it upwind instead, and that will generally work out better. It's a very hard habit to overcome because our habit to "break your fall" with your arm is much, much stronger than our training to turn into the wind. I've seen a lot of jumpers have this problem so you're definitely not alone in this.


alexafox  (D License)

Nov 13, 2012, 3:06 PM
Post #20 of 22 (2683 views)
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Re: [AggieDave] Cross wind landing on reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
Like I said before, its hard to see in the video but I'm actually pointing towards the camera (what I thought was into wind) but was being dragged sideways... You can see at the end of the video where I pretty much get turned directly downwind about 4ft off the ground... The canopy was pulling really strong to my left... I didn't want to add anymore toggle inputs than I already was because i was so low.... The way I landed was almost sideways...

Yup and and looking at the video it looks like the canopy had toggle input to turn that direction (looking at the tail of the canopy). That was followed by either no flare or a flare so late that it had no effect. So it was a no-flare turning landing running down wind. Yes, that landing probably hurt!

1900ft isn't a low cutaway, it is a cutaway that was probably a little low for you. Even getting in the saddle at 1000ft should be enough time to get setup with your pattern under your reserve. For that to work properly you MUST plan your canopy flight before you get on the plane. You will know what your pattern is, where your opening location should be and where your exit spot should be be. All of that can stay the same under a reserve, except that you may have to make minor deviations from your plan due to circumstances. It is easier and faster to make minor deviations in a plan if you already have one, but if you don't have one to begin with, you will be behind the curve the entire canopy flight. That is how people get hurt and killed.

Cross wind and even downwind really doesn't matter too much, as long as you fly your canopy well and have a good flare.

So some things to get with your canopy coach would be making a flight plan for your canopy flight on every skydive, neutral canopy flight to flare and refining your flare technique. These are things you may have already worked on or are currently working on, but it may be worth your time to revisit them. Also look into getting a demo of your reserve to jump as a main for a couple of hop-n-pops to get to know it.

Thanks Aggie! That's really helpful thanks


alexafox  (D License)

Nov 13, 2012, 3:14 PM
Post #21 of 22 (2679 views)
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Re: [billvon] Cross wind landing on reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
your canopy wasn't "pulling really strongly" - you were turning it downwind. You can choose to turn it upwind instead, and that will generally work out better.

Thanks for your reply... I do disagree on the above though....

Right at the end I think I 'gave in' to the pulling just before i landed to try and get a straighter landing and flare but I was too late with my flare... I was however absolutely being pulled sideways and was doing my best (as a beginner) to turn out of it... I was attempting to turn back into the wind also using harness turns as well as toggle input, so I know I wasn't reaching for the ground until the very last second where you see the canopy turn down wind.. it was so strong at first i thought id had some sort of tension not or something causing it to turn...

Anyway, I definitely know what your saying... I think the biggest thing I will take away from this is to pay more attention up higher to what the winds are doing to my canopy and take evasive action before I get too low... And I'll practice some turning flares and some of the other stuff suggested!

Thanks for all your help and suggestions... It's good to get a broad perspective on how I could improve my canopy skills! Smile


Guinness_fr  (D 109579)

Nov 14, 2012, 4:49 AM
Post #22 of 22 (2562 views)
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Re: [jacketsdb23] Cross wind landing on reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
...and if you're jumping with TJ, there is a wealth of canopy piloting knowledge right there!

Not the same TJ (I'm assuming you meant Landgreen), look at the video!

To the OP, your problem started way before flare-time, in the video at 23' (when highlighted in the square), you should have been more on the video guy's side so that a simple left 90 would put you facing into the wind with plenty of margin before the trees and their turbulence - it is hard to tell but even from where you where I think that you should have tried a 90 left instead of the right turn that I think you did (and which would have required about 270 to be facing the wind), you might have ended up closer to the trees' turbulence than might have been comfortable though.
You've already learned the important lesson: plan things much higher and keep assessing your plan all the way down.



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