Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Water landings

 


Sky_doggy  (C 41295)

Dec 30, 2012, 7:29 PM
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Water landings Can't Post

Hi All,

I have been following the incidents thread on the WS water landing and it piqued a few questions about water landings.

I recently did my water landing training and I decided to make it as realistic as possible. I wore my clothes, a jumpsuit and sneakers. I am quite comfortable in the water having Scuba dived for 18 consecutive seasons, but this experience was very different for me.

I found it hard going, despite doing everything as defined in the SIM. To be honest if I was landing in a lake with the shock of 50 degree water I don't think it would have been a good outcome.

This got me to wondering if it would be practical to chop my main just as my toes touched the water?

I total understand the whole depth perception thing and not cutting away above the water, but it would seem to me that if I could get rid of the main then things would start getting a bit easier. I'd be interested in the opinion of the experienced folks on the forum.


GLIDEANGLE  (D 30292)

Dec 30, 2012, 7:43 PM
Post #2 of 16 (2379 views)
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Re: [Sky_doggy] Water landings [In reply to] Can't Post

USPA SIM 5-1.F.1.j.2:

"If cutting away (known deep water only), do so only after both feet contact the water."


Sky_doggy  (C 41295)

Dec 30, 2012, 7:54 PM
Post #3 of 16 (2374 views)
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Re: [GLIDEANGLE] Water landings [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you, I missed that in the SIM.


jumpinjackflsh  (B 27757)

Dec 30, 2012, 7:57 PM
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Re: [GLIDEANGLE] Water landings [In reply to] Can't Post

Alright, heading to bed, just picked this one up and I have to ask. It's been FOREVER since I last did water training.... The SIM recommendation you posted is obviously good for many reasons.

However, aside from the recent wing suit incident, I have to ask, with all the experience we have on this site, how many people out there have had a "real" water landing incident and lived to survive?

Just curious because, adding on to the original poster, with extensive water experience (that kind of scuba diving is significant), how many people have cutaway the main when toes touching water, etc...?

Just curious, this is obviously a specific kind of incident and frankly, has to be scary as hell.


Thanks gang ahead of time, and I'm not trying to hijack, just adding on. SIM recommendations are great, I read everything I get my hands on, however, obviously, we know real world "been there" advice counts for a hell of a lot more than what the book recommends.

Happy Holidays All,

Jack


obelixtim  (D 84)

Dec 31, 2012, 1:01 AM
Post #5 of 16 (2297 views)
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Re: [Sky_doggy] Water landings [In reply to] Can't Post

 In still water, like a lake, chopping the main with a second or two difference in time is neither here nor there,

The main isn't going to immediately grab you and drag you to the depths. If you land into the wind it should land behind you anyway.

In surf or flowing water like a river, the main does become a big problem when caught in the current, which will drag you with it quickly. Having anticipated this before you touch down you need to be quick on the trigger and chop the main when you feet touch.

The big problem really isn't your main parachute, its your reserve, especially if you have an AAD. The pressure change when you go into the water is much higher than when you are in air, and this differential could quite possibly fire the AAD and release your reserve.

In that case you need to be ready to get out of your harness, hence loosening things in the air is important. In swift flowing water you could be in trouble pretty quickly.

When jumping near water (still or flowing) you need to anticipate your drills for that particular hazard, before you get in the plane.....like all other potential emergencies.


airtwardo  (D License)

Dec 31, 2012, 8:10 AM
Post #6 of 16 (2201 views)
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Re: [obelixtim] Water landings [In reply to] Can't Post

When jumping near water (still or flowing) you need to anticipate your drills for that particular hazard, before you get in the plane.....like all other potential emergencies.

In reply to:


+1!

I landed in a lake for my water training...fully geared up with a safety boat near by. We were trained to get away from the gear and save yourself...we swam in without any assistance. Worked great because THAT was the plan for the jump.

I've also landed unintentionally in the Pacific Ocean and in the Illinois River...when it's NOT part of the plan it gets a bit sporty. You have little time to prepare and have to get it right the first time.

Flowing water is the worst and getting out over water just scares the heck out of me...Had to do a demo at the St Louis arch once, I got out in Illinois and flew over the Mississippi under canopy so I wouldn't have to exit over the river...makes no logical sense I know, but that's how much I have exiting over water!

CrazySly




popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Dec 31, 2012, 4:34 PM
Post #8 of 16 (2102 views)
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Re: [obelixtim] Water landings [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

The big problem really isn't your main parachute, its your reserve, especially if you have an AAD. The pressure change when you go into the water is much higher than when you are in air, and this differential could quite possibly fire the AAD and release your reserve.

I'm going to question that...what does the Cypres2 manual say?
It says:
g.

"Below approx. 130 feet (approx.
40 meters) AGL opening is no longer useful. For
this reason, CYPRES
ceases operation below approximately
130 feet AGL."

Everyone should check the User manual for the unit they have.


obelixtim  (D 84)

Dec 31, 2012, 6:48 PM
Post #9 of 16 (2082 views)
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Re: [popsjumper] Water landings [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I'm going to question that...what does the Cypres2 manual say?
It says:
g.

"Below approx. 130 feet (approx.
40 meters) AGL opening is no longer useful. For
this reason, CYPRES
ceases operation below approximately
130 feet AGL."

Everyone should check the User manual for the unit they have.

You may be right......which is why I qualified it with the words "quite possibly".

But: Batteries (electricity), pressure changes, water.......

Murphy + Reaper lurking........

Interested to know how many units Airtec and the others dunked in the drink to test this....and I bet they haven't assessed the bouyancy value of the ops manual. Wink

Whatever, its a factor I'd rather not discount out of hand. When the shit hits the fan if often does so in big, hard lumps.

The rafting/canoeing mob grade water according to its challenge/difficulty.....as Twardo pointed out, a calm, still lake in mid summer isn't quite the same challenge as the Mississippi in full flood.

Most peoples experience with water is limited to the stuff that comes in a plastic bottle, or their annual shower!!!

Ya pays ya money ya takes ya chances...


(This post was edited by obelixtim on Dec 31, 2012, 6:51 PM)


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Jan 1, 2013, 1:54 AM
Post #10 of 16 (2042 views)
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Re: [obelixtim] Water landings [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Murphy + Reaper lurking........
Yep, there's always that.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Jan 1, 2013, 1:59 AM
Post #11 of 16 (2036 views)
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Re: [Tampa Peeps] Water landings [In reply to] Can't Post

Back in the day here in the U.S. it was a license requirement to do intentional water landings.

You may not be familiar with how nasty Tampa Bay is up around the Tampa docks. My bro' did his as a Demo for the '77 Gasparilla parade next to the Davis Island bridge.
Unsure


jimjumper  (D 11137)

Jan 1, 2013, 7:34 AM
Post #12 of 16 (1984 views)
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Re: [Sky_doggy] Water landings [In reply to] Can't Post

I haven't seen anything posted yet about flotation gear. Whenever the question comes up there's always somebody with an old Aquabuoy that thinks he'll be just fine. Few jumpers check their floatation gear like their jump gear so when they do you find a lot of leaking or torn gear with dead CO2 cartridges. If there is a chance of going in the water properly worn, serviced, and appropriate type floatation gear is some of the best insurance you can have. Open it, inflate it, and make sure you know how to use it before you get stuck landing in the water.


obelixtim  (D 84)

Jan 1, 2013, 8:01 AM
Post #13 of 16 (1973 views)
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Re: [jimjumper] Water landings [In reply to] Can't Post

 *1

Last drowning I saw was a guy who left his lifejacket in the plane. He couldn't swim, strong upper winds towards the lake, he got out over the water then flew further out and didn't make it back to shore. High summer, 25 degrees C, at surface level the lake was like glass.

Landed 200 metres out from shore, panicked and vanished. Spent the night sleeping with the fishes till he was found the next day.

A totally needless loss of life.

Always wear a (serviceable) lifejacket.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Jan 2, 2013, 9:22 AM
Post #14 of 16 (1856 views)
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Re: [Sky_doggy] Water landings [In reply to] Can't Post

>This got me to wondering if it would be practical to chop my main just as my toes
>touched the water?

Recommend you do NOT do this. At least one person I know of has cut away from about 20 feet because they were certain their feet were about to touch the water. Few of us has any experience with depth perception landing into water since we never do it; even swoopers set up with reference to visual land-based landmarks as opposed to the surface of the water. The one water landing I did in the middle of the New River was very hard to judge, but the ones nearer shore were pretty easy.

Even if you can actually do it, the difference between 'toes touch the water" and "in the water" is about 1/4 second and not that important in the long run.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Jan 2, 2013, 9:37 AM
Post #15 of 16 (1846 views)
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Re: [Sky_doggy] Water landings [In reply to] Can't Post

Another reason for not cutting away (and an argument for preparing for a PLF) is that you might think you know how deep the water is vs what the reality is. Chopping over very shallow water, even if it's just a couple of feet, speeds your descent. One might find themselves with a broken ankle or worse, and in cold water.

In case the changes in the SIM have not been noted, it did change in the past two years. Note that it now mentions that the container may be used as a flotation device if the reserve is intact, rather than insisting that the rig be left behind/swim away from the rig.





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