Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Tips for flying under canopy

 


jetbox  (Student)

Nov 15, 2012, 11:16 AM
Post #1 of 11 (2080 views)
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Tips for flying under canopy Can't Post

So just last weekend I completed my first IAF Lvl1 Jump at SkyDive PA DZ. The jump was awesome and I can safely say I am hooked. However once I pulled and was under canopy I was having an incredibly hard time hearing the radios. I start freaking out and just kept circling the DZ as best as I could (pretty far off-course). Finally I could hear the radio and eventually landed exactly where I needed to be. The radio operator asked what the hell had happened up there, I explained I couldn't hear the radio and the wind was insane. I later found out they had stopped jumping students due to wind conditions. Basically I am asking, as a student If I do not have the assistance of a radio.....what should I do? I just kept looking around for alt spots to land if I could not land in the DZ.


Southern_Man  (C License)

Nov 15, 2012, 12:19 PM
Post #2 of 11 (1999 views)
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Re: [jetbox] Tips for flying under canopy [In reply to] Can't Post

The radio is only a backup. You should be trained to know how to land all on your own before you ever went up in the plane. Batteries fail, radios come unattached, and sometimes wind pushes people off course. On the positive side looking for an alternative place to land if you can't make it back to the main landing area is exactly what you should do.

Make sure you get retrained and understand every part of your canopy plan and flight before you jump again. Radios are a backup device and ultimately it is your responsibility to land safely and you who suffers the consequences if you don't.


melanie91  (C License)

Nov 15, 2012, 12:19 PM
Post #3 of 11 (1997 views)
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Re: [jetbox] Tips for flying under canopy [In reply to] Can't Post

You should have been trained not to rely on the radio and your training should have included plenty of time spent on how to fly your canopy, your pattern, how to land safely, how to deal with challenging conditions etc...
It can be overwhelming on your first jump but you should go back to your instructors and ask them to go over the canopy control lessons again so that if you're caught without a working radio again it won't be a big deal.

Glad you enjoyed your jump :)


linebckr83  (D 30571)

Nov 15, 2012, 12:24 PM
Post #4 of 11 (1989 views)
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Re: [jetbox] Tips for flying under canopy [In reply to] Can't Post

Well first off, the wind speed won't affect how loud the air is. You still have the same airspeed no matter what direction or magnitude of wind over the ground. So don't expect it to be any quieter on a different day. Were you wearing a helmet over your earpiece? Once you landed, did they check the volume level of your radio?

Did your instructors teach you how to fly a proper pattern and land without radios? The first jump course should have included all this information. The radio is just for backup so you should know what to do if the radio fails or cannot be heard...kind of like your case. If not, I'd ask them to teach you that subject as it is required.

By the way, congrats on the first jump and welcome!


jetbox  (Student)

Nov 15, 2012, 12:34 PM
Post #5 of 11 (1971 views)
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Tips for flying under canopy [In reply to] Can't Post

We WERE trained on how to handle the days conditions, however I did not jump the same day as my ground training. The day I returned, we went over the jump conditions but not enough to really make me think I was prepared for proper canopy flying. I will be asking this weekend (level 2) to touch back on canopy and what to do. They did check the radio after landing and it was faulty. I did not have an earpiece, the radio was inside ontop of my helmet so it was a bit hard to hear with my ears popping pretty hard. All-in-all I think it was a case of me being unprepared, and relying too heavily on the radio. I assume that's a classic 1st timer mistake.

Thanks for the info, and thanks for the welcome...I cant believe I waited till 25 to realize how life changing this sport is.


(This post was edited by jetbox on Nov 15, 2012, 12:39 PM)


Southern_Man  (C License)

Nov 15, 2012, 12:55 PM
Post #6 of 11 (1944 views)
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Re: [jetbox] Tips for flying under canopy [In reply to] Can't Post

There is a lot of information in a first jump class and a whole lot of it is important, so it is not unusual to either get overwhelmed and forget things or forget things if you don't get to jump that day.

Definitely make sure you are comfortable with caopy flight before you go back up again.

Since I forgot to say welcome, Welcome!


melanie91  (C License)

Nov 15, 2012, 1:38 PM
Post #7 of 11 (1907 views)
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Re: [jetbox] Tips for flying under canopy [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, you have the right attitude. Just remember if you're not comfortable with something, ask BEFORE you jump. This is especially important if you're not jumping every single week.
When I was a student I made the mistake of not asking my instructors to go over canopy flight again before one of my jumps. Luckily my radio worked and I didn't have an incident, but it could have been different. . The feeling of being under canopy not knowing what I should be doing, and having to wait for the radio to instruct me was terrifying and after that jump I made sure that I was 100% comfortable before deciding to get in the plane.

Good luck on your next jump :)


excaza  (C License)

Nov 15, 2012, 3:52 PM
Post #8 of 11 (1828 views)
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Re: [jetbox] Tips for flying under canopy [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The day I returned, we went over the jump conditions but not enough to really make me think I was prepared for proper canopy flying.
Perhaps you just worded it poorly, but why on earth did you jump if you didn't feel prepared?


(This post was edited by excaza on Nov 15, 2012, 3:54 PM)


Skydivesg  (D 10938)

Nov 15, 2012, 8:12 PM
Post #9 of 11 (1720 views)
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Re: [jetbox] Tips for flying under canopy [In reply to] Can't Post

To help hear the radio make sure you clear your ears after you open. This will help your hearing and limit the popping and crackling.

Learn the valsalva maneuver to clear the ears. I have to clear them two or three times during my canopy flight.

.


diablopilot  (D License)

Nov 16, 2012, 6:54 AM
Post #10 of 11 (1632 views)
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Re: [jetbox] Tips for flying under canopy [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I start freaking out

Well there's your problem right there.....


erdnarob  (D 364)

Nov 19, 2012, 12:08 PM
Post #11 of 11 (1309 views)
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Re: [jetbox] Tips for flying under canopy [In reply to] Can't Post

Unfortunately,at some DZ, students are learning to fly their canopy with radio only or so. Better yet, some instructors swear that students should be kept at minimum info because, as they say, they will forget anyway.
I totally disagree with such an approach. As instructors we have to teach survival skills at any level. Radio is fine, but there is a way to use it with intelligence and educational approach. It's a bit more challenging for the radio operator but it works.
Students at any level should know before boarding about : the wind line and how to "see" it, the descent pattern with key points (landmarks)in use and which direction he/she has to face to at landing (using landmarks on the ground such trees, runway, buildings, and... sun at the time of the day).


(This post was edited by erdnarob on Nov 19, 2012, 12:12 PM)



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