Jan 16, 2013, 6:44 PM
Post #1 of 8
Dive the plan……except
I am sure most have heard “plan the dive and dive the plan”. A few days I was on a sunset tracking dive with several people that I didn’t know. Some of them were just off student status and I was the latecomer to join the jump. I thought I would just hang back and give everyone plenty of room. The jump run was to the south and tracking east and turning back to the north later in the jump was what I understood as the plan. We were last out and tracking southeast. The turn never came. I knew where we were when we got out and getting back to the DZ was going to be something that needed some attention. But now, every second looked more and more like a planned landing off exercise. About 6,000 I turned back toward the DZ, tracked hard to cover ground, and made sure I didn’t pull any higher than we had agreed. Only 4 of 7 made it back to the DZ and 3 of those 4 were too low to fly the normal pattern.
It is sometimes hard to quickly know what to do if the plan needs to change. But I sure don’t ever want to be a be a Lemming.
I was on a sunset tracking dive with several people that I didn’t know. Some of them were just off student status
Don't attempt to dive this plan, and then you won't have to worry about making changes 'on the fly'.
The rule of thumb is to limit the number of 'new' things on any given skydive. New people to you and new people to the sky are each one 'new' thing. One of each might be too much, multiples of each is clearly too much.
That said, I would be weary of chaning the plan mid-dive like that when dealing with new jumpers. They are apt to be anywhere at anytime, and not always by choice. If you're someplace that they're not expecting you to be, that can turn into a problem.
On virtually any tracking dive, there is a chance you will land off. If the weather conditions, time of day, or your own personal skills or comfort level make that a bad idea, then don't go on a tracking dive. Wait for a better day, or until you are more comfortable with your canopy/canopy control skills that an off landing is not a reason for you to switch up the plan mid-jump.
A few days I was on a sunset tracking dive with several people that I didn’t know. Some of them were just off student status and I was the latecomer to join the jump. . . . About 6,000 I turned back toward the DZ, tracked hard to cover ground, and made sure I didn’t pull any higher than we had agreed.
I'm hoping that when you turned, you knew exactly where every other tracker was. Otherwise, there are potential collision factors to think of -- either someone behind you, or someone tracking 180 degrees to the direction you ended up tracking in. Jumpers tracking straight into each other does not make for a good ending.
There are times to deviate from the plan, but I don't think the situation you described is one of them.
If someone's plan is leading you into trouble, there's no shame in abandoning it and saving yourself.
I disagree. If you're in the middle of a group, realize you're not going to make it back and turn or deploy to "save yourself," it might cause a new problem for you or someone else. Plan, discuss a backup plan, and be sure everyone is on the same page.
Dive the plan yes, but make sure you have a GOOD plan. We always plan also for the unexpected. Not all goes according to the intended plan.
Adding this: We had a long spot a while back, flat 4. One of the jumpers realized this at 6k. Turned, and opened, to get back to the LZ. Due to the short turn/track/open, the rest of us did the same. Was there an aircraft below us, was there a problem? All sitting open at 5k, and yes, we were out last. He was a low timer, but screwed the jump, and could have been worse.
(This post was edited by potatoman on Jan 17, 2013, 12:44 AM)