Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Working jumper canopy choices

 


nigel99  (D 1)

Apr 25, 2013, 6:32 PM
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A friends recent injury on a work jump, got me thinking. Almost without exception my AFF and Vidiot friends jump smaller (120 or less) elliptical or crossbraced canopies.

On one hand staff jumpers are super current, especially as everyone I know works at full time dz's. I can see the attraction of the sportier canopies.

On the downside, work jumpers have to jump when tired and conditions get sketchy.

Without focusing on specific individuals I'd be interested in hearing peoples thoughts.

At a personal level I am working as hard as I can towards being a weekend warrior work jumper, so its relevant.


wmw999  (D 6296)

Apr 25, 2013, 6:34 PM
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I have a friend who was a weekend warrior video jumper. He is now a high quadriplegic from a botched deadman swoop, using a small canopy.

Wendy P.


pchapman  (D 1014)

Apr 25, 2013, 8:03 PM
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It is an interesting point you bring up.

Getting to swoop with a small canopy is in my mind effectively part of the compensation I get when doing a video jump.

Just like in the old days, when I dispatched a load of static line students for a few bucks, I got to to have some fun, and fly accuracy into the pea gravel bowl.

Many of the experienced video flyers at my local DZ do fly the small canopies. On the other hand, one full time jumper with a family, although he's young and adventurous in general, flies a medium sized Pilot because that's a relatively docile canopy that'll easily get him down safely.

In 2011 there was a fatality in Quebec where a videographer hooked it in low, trying to get back into wind after a long spot, and was possibly subject to turbulence from a tree line with the winds that day.

Since it was a working jump, in that province the Workplace Health and Safety Commission created a report on the fatality. Being whuffos and not understanding how skydiving doesn't exactly operate like a normal business, they were a little aghast at the situation: The jumper with 800 jumps on a Katana 107 was probably considered to be of "advanced" experience level, yet the canopy manufacturer charts show that canopy at his wing loading is for an "expert" jumper. They also noted that his employer did not exert any control over his inadequate skill level for the equipment he was using in his work.

So it was as if they were comparing the situation to a company allowing a factory worker to use dangerous machinery he hadn't been trained on properly.

I don't think there was any big fallout from the report, but if you have a government acting like this, you could understand if some liability adverse DZO started to wonder about what canopies their staff were using. Meanwhile jumpers tend to consider the time under canopy , between filming a tandem freefall and a tandem landing, to be our own time to do with as we please (subject to the usual requirements of not running into other skydivers under canopy).

A situation like after that fatality isn't a threat everywhere, but is shows a different, whuffo viewpoint.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Apr 25, 2013, 8:36 PM
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Quote:
On the downside, work jumpers have to jump when tired and conditions get sketchy

You pick your wing with this in mind. Whatever you can safely fly in the above conditions is a 'good' choice for any jumper.

The other aspect is having the judgement to pass on jumps when the conditions aren't right. If it's you, the weather, or something else, there comes a time when the risk is not worth the $30 or $40 you stand to make.


nigel99  (D 1)

Apr 25, 2013, 11:08 PM
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Re: [davelepka] Working jumper canopy choices [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
On the downside, work jumpers have to jump when tired and conditions get sketchy

You pick your wing with this in mind. Whatever you can safely fly in the above conditions is a 'good' choice for any jumper.

The other aspect is having the judgement to pass on jumps when the conditions aren't right. If it's you, the weather, or something else, there comes a time when the risk is not worth the $30 or $40 you stand to make.

I really hesitated about using the word 'have' to jump, but left it in as in most cases you'll see tandems still churning when the wise old timers are sitting it out.

I agree with your view though.


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Apr 26, 2013, 8:24 AM
Post #6 of 13 (2387 views)
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Re: [nigel99] Working jumper canopy choices [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
A friends recent injury on a work jump, got me thinking. Almost without exception my AFF and Vidiot friends jump smaller (120 or less) elliptical or crossbraced canopies.

On one hand staff jumpers are super current, especially as everyone I know works at full time dz's. I can see the attraction of the sportier canopies.

On the downside, work jumpers have to jump when tired and conditions get sketchy.

Without focusing on specific individuals I'd be interested in hearing peoples thoughts.

At a personal level I am working as hard as I can towards being a weekend warrior work jumper, so its relevant.


Some DZ's have strong recommendations for staff jumping high performance canopies. From a Workman's Comp perspective, from a DZM perspective, there is no upside to allowing/encouraging people to jump high performance for work jumps.
Most staff injuries occur during AFF or video jumps. One DZ where I was coaching, both main and reserve side had minor injuries due to very hot day, zero winds, small canopies. One broken wrist, the other a sprained ankle. DZ temporarily lost two employees that day. High risk, low reward for the DZO regarding HP canopies.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Apr 26, 2013, 9:29 AM
Post #7 of 13 (2352 views)
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Re: [nigel99] Working jumper canopy choices [In reply to] Can't Post

>Without focusing on specific individuals I'd be interested in hearing peoples thoughts.

By far the biggest factor for the people I've worked with is what they can get for cheap or for free. Generally the hardest working people at the DZ are the full time teams who do AFF and video when they're not training, and for them it's whatever sponsorship they can get and whatever the sponsor sends them. Beyond that it's what they can beg or borrow.

Some other considerations:

-Smaller canopies allow you to get down faster and turn more loads a day. Also gives you time to pee or get water or whatever.

-Many people who work also swoop and small ellipticals are pretty good at that.

-Soft openings are critical for someone who does 14 jumps a day.

-Packing is not as much of an issue since generally they use packers.


Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Apr 26, 2013, 11:39 AM
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Re: [billvon] Working jumper canopy choices [In reply to] Can't Post

Good post, Bill. Totally accurate.

Spot posted something that made me chuckle: "Workman's compensation" What is this workman's compensation you speak of? LaughI've never worked at a dropzone, full or part-time as anything other than a 1099 contractor. Only salaried full-time employees get that benefit, brother. Thank GOD for my military pension!

Chuck


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Apr 26, 2013, 12:09 PM
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Re: [SkymonkeyONE] Working jumper canopy choices [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Good post, Bill. Totally accurate.

Spot posted something that made me chuckle: "Workman's compensation" What is this workman's compensation you speak of? LaughI've never worked at a dropzone, full or part-time as anything other than a 1099 contractor. Only salaried full-time employees get that benefit, brother. Thank GOD for my military pension!

Chuck

Maybe.
http://wiki.answers.com/...nder_a_1099_contract
Two of the three DZ's I've worked at, WC is in the program.


(This post was edited by DSE on Apr 26, 2013, 12:10 PM)


D22369  (D 22369)

Apr 27, 2013, 6:21 AM
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Re: [nigel99] Working jumper canopy choices [In reply to] Can't Post

way back when tandems used the old f-111 mains they hung in the sky forever giving the vidiot plenty of time to land - get a drink - do their taxes, etc... and still be set up for the landing shot no matter what canopy the cameraman used.

nowdays with the faster tandem mains its just easier to get down faster with a smaller canopy.

I didnt use packers very often so 10+ pack jobs in a day in addition to the jumps themselves would leave me tired, my swoops would get milder as my fatigue grew.



I am working as hard as I can towards being a weekend warrior work jumper
Quote:

dont be afraid to stand down if the conditions are bad or your exausted.
stay hydrated.
challenge yourself to learn everything your canopy can do untill your confident you can do that braked approach into a off dz field/backyard/ parking lot - I think far too many people skip ahead to faster canopy's and dont plan for when everything goes to hell.



Roy


Premier faulknerwn  (D 17441)
Moderator
Apr 28, 2013, 5:01 PM
Post #11 of 13 (1803 views)
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Re: [D22369] Working jumper canopy choices [In reply to] Can't Post

I mostly jump Triathlon 120s loaded at 1.3 for my video jumps. I inevitably get out out last because I have a lighter loading, so the larger canopy enables me to get back from long spots. If the spot is long, the tandem has to come back too so I will still land before them. The openings are really nice and soft so that's not an issue.

It also helps on AFF jumps - I have no worries making sure the spot is fine for the student because I don't worry about making it back.


Fast  (D 28237)

Apr 29, 2013, 7:53 AM
Post #12 of 13 (1651 views)
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Re: [SkymonkeyONE] Working jumper canopy choices [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Good post, Bill. Totally accurate.

Spot posted something that made me chuckle: "Workman's compensation" What is this workman's compensation you speak of? LaughI've never worked at a dropzone, full or part-time as anything other than a 1099 contractor. Only salaried full-time employees get that benefit, brother. Thank GOD for my military pension!

Chuck

Not true at all. Depends on the state. Where I am, if the contractor doesn't supply a certificate of insurance, the state makes the dropzone pay for coverage.


Andrewwhyte  (C 1988)

Apr 30, 2013, 10:49 AM
Post #13 of 13 (1481 views)
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Re: [Fast] Working jumper canopy choices [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Good post, Bill. Totally accurate.

Spot posted something that made me chuckle: "Workman's compensation" What is this workman's compensation you speak of? LaughI've never worked at a dropzone, full or part-time as anything other than a 1099 contractor. Only salaried full-time employees get that benefit, brother. Thank GOD for my military pension!

Chuck

Not true at all. Depends on the state. Where I am, if the contractor doesn't supply a certificate of insurance, the state makes the dropzone pay for coverage.
Similarly in most if not all provinces in Canada, the responsibility chain goes from the employer (or sub-contractor) to the contractor, to the land-owner, to the welfare system. In other words if the sub-contracted cameraflyer doesn't have coverage, the DZ is responsible. If the DZ goes broke, the land-owner is on the hook. One way or another the province wants to find someone other than the ministry of social services (welfare) to pay. In British Columbia the WCB act states that a non incorporated sub-contractor who provides labour only (including personal tools) is not responsible for coverage. For the purpose of the act they are employees. This is not to be confused with their tax status which is a federal determination.
In the Pitt Meadows crash all the working employees, part and full time, were covered. The part timer who was not working on that jump however, was not. WCB is now acting like every other insurance company out there and suing everyone in sight to try and recoup their losses.



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