Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Unusual Incident: Blinded by Condensation

 

First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All

AviationTD  (A License)

Apr 5, 2013, 10:10 PM
Post #1 of 28 (3853 views)
Shortcut
Unusual Incident: Blinded by Condensation Can't Post

A S&TA or one of the S&TAs approached to me and told me that I had a nice PLF but I need to make sure not to do that again. I tried to explain the fact that I was completely blind. I think it fell on deaf ears. So, I kept my mouth shut and let him have it. I thought that I would share my incident on this DZ. If it could happen to me, it could happen to anyone.

Keep in mind that I am still a fairly new jumper.

It was the second jump for the day and I was using the borrowed full-faced helmet (never wore full-face helmet before this day). The visor cannot be flipped up.

Once enter the pattern (I entered the pattern fairly high), I noticed a water build-up at the bottom of the visor but I wasn't alarmed. After turning into base (fairly high), my visor was completely blocked with condensation like you would see on icy glass of water on hot day. Everything I see through the visor was completely distorted. I can't even read the altimeter at that time. I fanatically searched every inch of my visor, looking for a clean spot and found none. My mind was running through several actions I could do but didn't like any of them. For example, I thought about letting go my toggles in order to remove the helmet. Seems too dangerous at low altitude with little time. Because of calm and variable winds, I could easily run into a tree line ahead of the landing zone. I performed few S-turns. Since, I can't see what I was doing, people on the ground probably viewed this as potential low turns (I was on downsized rental gear). I stopped when I am confident that I wouldn't run into the tree line. The truth is I really had no idea. I rely heavily on experiences to give me a general idea of where I was. When I thought I was in perfect position to flare, I slowly pulled the toggle. I ended up realizing that I was still high. I did exactly what I have been trained to do: perform PLF. And it definitely saves my butt.

Thought that I would share. Feel free to criticize or tell me what would you do. Safety is always on top of my mind, but this scenario never enters my mind before. And it caught me off guard.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Apr 5, 2013, 11:42 PM
Post #2 of 28 (3793 views)
Shortcut
Re: [AviationTD] Unusual Incident: Blinded by Condensation [In reply to] Can't Post

Just to be clear...he told you not to PLF and nothing else?


chuckakers  (D 10855)

Apr 6, 2013, 4:35 AM
Post #3 of 28 (3737 views)
Shortcut
Re: [AviationTD] Unusual Incident: Blinded by Condensation [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
A S&TA or one of the S&TAs approached to me and told me that I had a nice PLF but I need to make sure not to do that again.

I will give the S&TA the benefit of the doubt here and say you may have misunderstood him/her. A PLF is seldom something to be avoided and ALWAYS a good choice if you think the landing may be less than delicate.

Just out of curiosity, do you know how long that S&TA has been jumping?


potatoman  (Student)

Apr 6, 2013, 4:44 AM
Post #4 of 28 (3730 views)
Shortcut
Re: [AviationTD] Unusual Incident: Blinded by Condensation [In reply to] Can't Post

Gear can become an issue in an instant. Take note or leave it, but get confident with the gear you are going to use. Tips though on the helmet thingy: Get the antifog spray stuff, can't remember what they are called. I have aslo seen people put the helmet ontop of their heads a after opening and in clear airspace. Also, sounds like you were scared to let go of the toggles. Try leg input turns, you should be able to let go the toggles, and do something to the helmet.

Glad you avoided the treeline, and also did a PLF...AND Kept your calm.

Best yet, get a G3. hehehe


theonlyski  (D License)

Apr 6, 2013, 4:50 AM
Post #5 of 28 (3720 views)
Shortcut
Re: [AviationTD] Unusual Incident: Blinded by Condensation [In reply to] Can't Post

Just FYI, my full face does that too, if you breathe incorrectly...

In thru the nose, out thru the mouth port. It takes a conscious effort on my part, but it isn't hard to do.


Andy9o8  (D License)

Apr 6, 2013, 5:37 AM
Post #6 of 28 (3706 views)
Shortcut
Re: [popsjumper] Unusual Incident: Blinded by Condensation [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Just to be clear...he told you not to PLF and nothing else?

Maybe was referring to the S-turns.....?


davelepka  (D 21448)

Apr 6, 2013, 5:50 AM
Post #7 of 28 (3696 views)
Shortcut
Re: [AviationTD] Unusual Incident: Blinded by Condensation [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I was using the borrowed full-faced helmet (never wore full-face helmet before

(I was on downsized rental gear).

One new thing per jump is the rule. 'New' not neccesarily meaning 'jump #1' on something, 'new' meaning however many jumps it takes you to get used to the new item. It might only take one jump in some cases, in others it might take 10 or 20.

Keep everything else the same, so you can focus (no pun intended) on the 'new' thing.


BIGUN  (D 23385)

Apr 6, 2013, 6:17 AM
Post #8 of 28 (3680 views)
Shortcut
Re: [AviationTD] Unusual Incident: Blinded by Condensation [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
S&TAs approached to me and told me that I had a nice PLF but I need to make sure not to do that again

Please forgive me; but, I am struggling with this. I've never met an S&TA that did not only respect a well-done PLF; but encouraged them. (and, several on this thread are current or former S&TAs)


AviationTD  (A License)

Apr 6, 2013, 7:09 AM
Post #9 of 28 (3657 views)
Shortcut
Re: [popsjumper] Unusual Incident: Blinded by Condensation [In reply to] Can't Post

That's correct. That's all he said. He said the same thing after my explanation.


AviationTD  (A License)

Apr 6, 2013, 7:30 AM
Post #10 of 28 (3636 views)
Shortcut
Re: [BIGUN] Unusual Incident: Blinded by Condensation [In reply to] Can't Post

It is a possible that I misunderstood him, but that's all he said. If he expand his comments, then he might mean something else. He could refer to my s-turns. I think I was aggressive on them.


AviationTD  (A License)

Apr 6, 2013, 7:49 AM
Post #11 of 28 (3618 views)
Shortcut
Re: [potatoman] Unusual Incident: Blinded by Condensation [In reply to] Can't Post

I have never done the leg input before. I thought that it is something that I will learn in canopy course. i haven't take the course yet (plan to wait until I have my own gear). Yes, I was scared to let toggle go because I was unable to determine how high I was. Thought that it was best to stick to what I already know.


(This post was edited by AviationTD on Apr 6, 2013, 8:31 AM)


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Apr 6, 2013, 8:17 AM
Post #12 of 28 (3593 views)
Shortcut
Re: [AviationTD] Unusual Incident: Blinded by Condensation [In reply to] Can't Post

If you have a full face helmet with a removable visor, practice with it to be sure you can open it quickly and safely.

If you have a full face helmet without a removable visor, practice taking it off under canopy. Also be sure you can either stow it or hold it, or be willing to drop it if you cannot do either one.


ghost47  (D License)

Apr 6, 2013, 9:19 AM
Post #13 of 28 (3546 views)
Shortcut
Re: [AviationTD] Unusual Incident: Blinded by Condensation [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
It is a possible that I misunderstood him, but that's all he said. If he expand his comments, then he might mean something else. He could refer to my s-turns. I think I was aggressive on them.
If you're not sure, ask him.

Think about S-Turns. Unless you're POSITIVE that you're the only one trying to land then, think about people that might be to the left or right of you, maybe on faster canopies, who are also landing. What might someone swerving in front of them do to their approach? What if there's no time for that person to react, or they react instinctively (and badly) by stabbing a toggle down?


grimmie  (D 18890)

Apr 6, 2013, 9:40 AM
Post #14 of 28 (3532 views)
Shortcut
Re: [AviationTD] Unusual Incident: Blinded by Condensation [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.visorclear.com/


potatoman  (Student)

Apr 7, 2013, 11:36 PM
Post #15 of 28 (3248 views)
Shortcut
Re: [AviationTD] Unusual Incident: Blinded by Condensation [In reply to] Can't Post

No need for a canopy course to practice leg turns.
Go for a HopnPop. Your brakes are stowed on opening, so leave them there. If your canopy is flying fine, and you don't have any traffic in your way, give the leg turns a go. The turns are normally smooth, you can only give so much input with your legs. Extend the one leg down straight, and lift the other leg up high. You will find yourself doing a slow turn. NOW, when you are under canopy and you want to let go of the toggles to tend to some sort of issue, you can steer.
Keep it safe.

PS. You can also do this with the brakes unstowed.


jurgencamps  (D License)

Apr 8, 2013, 4:06 AM
Post #16 of 28 (3202 views)
Shortcut
Re: [potatoman] Unusual Incident: Blinded by Condensation [In reply to] Can't Post

Legturns on student (or rental) gear? The canopy will take tiiiiiiiiiiiime to react I presume.


potatoman  (Student)

Apr 8, 2013, 4:09 AM
Post #17 of 28 (3195 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jurgencamps] Unusual Incident: Blinded by Condensation [In reply to] Can't Post

Depends on the size of the legs.... and the jumper did not mention the size, but he did mention that it was different, so I presurmed it being a bit smaller than the norm.

Anyways, like I said, give it a go in a safe ennvironment. Even slooooow turns could save your life.


mr2mk1g  (C 103449)

Apr 8, 2013, 4:28 AM
Post #18 of 28 (3185 views)
Shortcut
Re: [AviationTD] Unusual Incident: Blinded by Condensation [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't like the idea of taking hands out of toggles down low - but there's an awful lot you can do with your hands in the toggles. My post opening procedure for example has me take my toggles, control check/avoid traffic/point in the right direction THEN loosen chest strap with my hands still in toggles - you just end up going into half brakes.

With a little practice, you should find no issue taking your helmet off whilst still having your hands in your toggles without putting any significant input into your canopy beside slowing it down slightly. Try lifting it up so that it sits on top of your head. Not ideal frankly from a protection point of view but if you can't see out of it it's required. Consider a different helmet if you're not getting on with the full face.

Leaving your hands in the toggles however mean you can always respond to surprise traffic and can't find yourself in a situation where you can't find a toggle. Plus it helps prevent twisted brake lines.

I'd take the S&TA's comments to mean - don't put yourself in that position again where you s-turn on final and flare high requiring a strong PLF. PLF's should remain part of your repertoir.


DougH  (D License)

Apr 9, 2013, 3:01 PM
Post #19 of 28 (2977 views)
Shortcut
Re: [mr2mk1g] Unusual Incident: Blinded by Condensation [In reply to] Can't Post

You can yank a helmet off with your toggles in your hands. No ideal, but much better than taking your hands out of your toggles down low, and better than flying blind in the pattern.

It sounds like you made the best of the circumstances and you didn't panic. That is a key takeaway for me.

As you jump more you build your well of experience and your jumpers tool box.

BUT... and this is a big but, you need to keep calm and avoid panic to use that extra experience and skillset. You were short on the skillset because of your jump numbers, but you responded in the best way you could.


stayhigh  (F 111)

Apr 9, 2013, 6:23 PM
Post #20 of 28 (2903 views)
Shortcut
Re: [AviationTD] Unusual Incident: Blinded by Condensation [In reply to] Can't Post

Sounds little bit on exaggeration side. If you were completely blinded you would've ripped the helmet off.


Mach1dmb  (B License)

Apr 9, 2013, 8:28 PM
Post #21 of 28 (2838 views)
Shortcut
Re: [AviationTD] Unusual Incident: Blinded by Condensation [In reply to] Can't Post

I haven't tried a full face helmet yet, but I think if I were in that situation I would have just chucked the helmet. I'd rather pay to replace it than get hurt.


RyanFYF  (C 41792)

Apr 12, 2013, 10:53 AM
Post #22 of 28 (2619 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Mach1dmb] Unusual Incident: Blinded by Condensation [In reply to] Can't Post

you should have had plenty of time to unbuckle it and buckle it to your chest strap if it was too foggy to see. been there before. Got a G3 and never looked back. flip up full face for ever!!!!!


Premier NWFlyer  (D License)

Apr 12, 2013, 11:03 AM
Post #23 of 28 (2606 views)
Shortcut
Re: [RyanFYF] Unusual Incident: Blinded by Condensation [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
you should have had plenty of time to unbuckle it and buckle it to your chest strap if it was too foggy to see. been there before.

Might want to think through that advice a little bit more. Unsure

Personally, I'd never attach something to my chest strap (like a helmet) that could potentially interfere with my ability to see and reach my handles. Even if I open at my normal altitude (3Kish) and decide my main is happy and landable, there are scenarios that could cause me to need to cutaway and/or fire my reserve later on (canopy collision in traffic, self-induced malfunction to name but two).


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Apr 12, 2013, 12:49 PM
Post #24 of 28 (2559 views)
Shortcut
Re: [RyanFYF] Unusual Incident: Blinded by Condensation [In reply to] Can't Post

>you should have had plenty of time to unbuckle it and buckle it to your chest strap if it
>was too foggy to see.

Not if you are already on base. If you can pull it up to the top of your head, do so. If you take it off and can fly with it in your hand, do so. If you can do neither one, drop it; when you are on base you don't have time to be messing around with your hands. You need to be flying your parachute..

A former student of mine had this happen to him and broke his femur when he could not see to flare. Do not hesitate to take the helmet off and drop it if need be.


rockola  (E 2631)

Apr 27, 2013, 1:00 AM
Post #25 of 28 (2091 views)
Shortcut
Re: [RyanFYF] Unusual Incident: Blinded by Condensation [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
you should have had plenty of time to unbuckle it and buckle it to your chest strap if it was too foggy to see. been there before.
Could you outline the steps you'd take to buckle a Factory Diver to your chest strap?

Quote:
Got a G3 and never looked back. flip up full face for ever!!!!!
I have one (1) jump on a G3... fogged up so badly I could barely see. Also, since I hadn't practiced it on the ground (silly me), I couldn't get the visor to flip up.


First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All

Forums : Skydiving : Safety and Training

 


Search for (options)