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Should I of cutaway?

 

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aidanjames1  (A License)

Mar 7, 2014, 6:40 PM
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Should I of cutaway? Can't Post

Well today I was doing my AFF Stage 6 (My second solo landing). It was awesome by the way.

But.......I deployed my Parachute, (wave offs were at 4000ft) kicked out some line twists I had, then did my practice flare.
The Instructors tell you "if you have a low speed malfunction, 2 practice flares. If by then it's not fixed, check alti then cut away."

3000ft:

1st practice flare: Parachute did not slow down at all.



2nd practice flare: Slowed down a very tiny bit.

Done a turn, parachute turned very slowly.

Let's go for a 3rd practice flare: Ok, good, parachutes working pretty well now, not perfectly but good).

2400ft: Tested the rear risers, (Turns out I'm not confident landing with rear risers.) Maybe I should cutaway.

Just another very quick flare, it's working ok.

It wasn't that I was scared of cutting away, (Although I was a bit Wink)
Believe me if I got down to around 2200ft and it wasn't working properly, I would've cutaway with no hesitation.

But I'm interested what you think, should I of cutaway after those 2 first practice flares?

I had a perfect landing by the way.

-Aidan


(This post was edited by aidanjames1 on Mar 7, 2014, 6:43 PM)


fasted3  (D 30104)

Mar 7, 2014, 6:58 PM
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Re: [aidanjames1] Should I of cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

aidanjames1 wrote:
But I'm interested what you think, should I of cutaway after those 2 first practice flares?
-Aidan

You landed, you lived. What do you want from me?
Knowing me, I would have landed it too. I landed one with my slider half way up the lines. Should I of cut away from that one? Heck no. I landed, I lived.
Now, had either one of us wiped out, opinions may differ.
But the bottom line is we all makes our choices and takes our consequences. You did OK this time, and with any luck will continue to do so.


aidanjames1  (A License)

Mar 7, 2014, 7:01 PM
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Re: [fasted3] Should I of cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

Kind of reply I wanted.


yoink

Mar 7, 2014, 7:32 PM
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Re: [aidanjames1] Should I of cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

aidanjames1 wrote:
3000ft:

1st practice flare: Parachute did not slow down at all.



2nd practice flare: Slowed down a very tiny bit.

Done a turn, parachute turned very slowly.

Let's go for a 3rd practice flare: Ok, good, parachutes working pretty well now, not perfectly but good).

2400ft: Tested the rear risers, (Turns out I'm not confident landing with rear risers.) Maybe I should cutaway.

Just another very quick flare, it's working ok.


It's unlikely the situation happened the way you describe here. I can't think of ANY situation which would result in a parachute that flys normally (straight and level), doesn't have broken lines but doesn't flare at all, but then fixes itself over time.

If it didn't fix itself I could see an argument for a hugely detuned set of brake lines combined with someone with short arms resulting in an unavoidably short flare stroke. But the fixing itself thing? That suggests to me that the problem was with you rather than the canopy...

The good news is that in that situation you did what you were supposed to, tried a couple more times and fixed whatever the issue was.


My guess was that either your perception of how the canopy was behaving was off, or your initial technique was a bit off.


You'd just made a freefall and kicked out of twists - chances are you've got adrenaline pumping through your body which can cause all sorts of distorted perception. As you work through the problem (and 'slow everything down' as Brian Germain would say) your sense of time and response probably got a little more normal which might have seemed like the problem 'fixing itself'.

That, combined with a detuned student parachute and making a weak flare the first time (did you pull DOWN the line of your body, all the way to your knees, or were you pulling out sideways, for example?) could result in the situation you describe I think.


Good job on not panicking and landing safely. Now get back up and have another awesome jump! Smile


(This post was edited by yoink on Mar 7, 2014, 7:33 PM)


aidanjames1  (A License)

Mar 7, 2014, 7:47 PM
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Re: [yoink] Should I of cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

That is possible, and thank you.


irishrigger  (D 297)

Mar 8, 2014, 2:18 AM
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Re: [yoink] Should I of cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

I can think of 2 possible scenarios that would describe your situation. the first one is that your slider was stuck up, however you should have noticed that by checking with your eyes, however although possible i think its unlikely.
my suspicion is that you did not flare correctly or strong enough. some students sometimes are afraid to pull the toggles down. you need to be firm and positive and make sure that you flare evenly.
every intructor has a slightly different view point, i teach my students about the hard deck 2500, if you are not happy with your canopy at that height or its not responding the way it should, i advise my students to cutaway then. my motto, if in doubt get it out.
obviously if you have an obvious malfunction you should not wait until the decision altidude, you deal with it there and then,EG Bag lock, streamer, line over etc.

and the most important way to access if you have a problem is to do a control check, does it turn right-left and can you flare it? if the answer is no to any of those you have your answer.

good job so far and i wish you happy and safe jumping.


BIGUN  (D 23385)

Mar 8, 2014, 4:50 AM
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Re: [aidanjames1] Should I of cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, well I'm not going to be so warm and fuzzy.

>>>>>>>>>>The Instructors tell you "if you have a low speed malfunction, 2 practice flares. If by then it's not fixed, check alti then cut away."


They tell you this for reason. Right now in your progression things need to be as black & white as possible. You start going all gray now and cutting corners; you could get too creative and get yourself killed.

>>>>It wasn't that I was scared of cutting away, (Although I was a bit Wink)
>>>>>>Believe me if I got down to around 2200ft and it wasn't working properly, I would've cutaway with no hesitation.


I call bullshit. If you weren't willing to do as instructed on the 2 practice flares; then you've demonstrated that you "MAY" have cutaway at 2200.

Then, you come in here and... Fuck it. Do what you want. You're going to anyway.


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

Mar 8, 2014, 6:26 AM
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Re: [aidanjames1] Should I of cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

What changed?

You say it didn't flare the first try, did it a little the 2nd and did it more (but not perfect) the 3rd.

Was it "there and square" from the beginning?
Was the slider all the way down?

Was there any noticeable change in appearance or the way it was flying (without control input) between the first try and the last?

There really isn't any reason for the flare characteristics to change like you say they did.

Much more likely is that you weren't pulling down far enough the first time.

You said this was your second solo.
Was this the first time on this particular canopy?

They all fly a little different. And, depending on a couple things, a worn out student canopy may get less responsive as time goes by.

Did anyone (like an instructor) check the canopy over after you landed?
What did they say?


ufk22  (D 16168)

Mar 8, 2014, 7:00 AM
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Re: [aidanjames1] Should I of cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

At this stage of your skydiving, you don't know what you don't know.
What is your decision altitude? 2500'?
If you reach that altitude and don't have a parachute you are 100% confident in, you cut away. PERIOD.
The fact that you can't tell us why your parachute seemed to change it's flight characteristics and the fact that you're on DZ.com looking for justification should tell YOU something.
It certainly tells me something.


aidanjames1  (A License)

Mar 8, 2014, 1:11 PM
Post #10 of 32 (3685 views)
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Re: [ufk22] Should I of cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

Decision Altitude: 2000ft

I didn't look at the parachute after kicking out the line twists, (big mistake) maybe the slider was still up.

Parachute rig did seem kind of old.

I think all the parachutes I used where the same kind.

Next time I will do the two practice flares and then cutaway.


(This post was edited by aidanjames1 on Mar 8, 2014, 1:18 PM)


dthames  (B 37674)

Mar 8, 2014, 3:51 PM
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Re: [aidanjames1] Should I of cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

aidanjames1 wrote:
Decision Altitude: 2000ft

I didn't look at the parachute after kicking out the line twists, (big mistake) maybe the slider was still up.

Parachute rig did seem kind of old.

I think all the parachutes I used where the same kind.

Next time I will do the two practice flares and then cutaway.

I think you should carefully talk this over with your instructors. The canopy is good or it is not good. I don't think the practice flare instruction was meant to cue you to cut away or not, but to help clear specific problems. If those problem are there, did they clear or did they stay? I can't see how your perception of the "goodness" of the flare would weigh on the decision to keep the canopy or not.


ufk22  (D 16168)

Mar 8, 2014, 4:02 PM
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Re: [aidanjames1] Should I of cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

Over here, 2500' is decision/action altitude for canopy, 2000' is alternate landing site decision altitude.


jimjumper  (D 11137)

Mar 8, 2014, 4:46 PM
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Re: [dthames] Should I of cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

That is incorrect. The practice flare may clear some canopy problems but it is performed to accurately assess whether the canopy is safe to land. A canopy control check consists of left turn, a right turn, and a flair. This should be done by the student on each jump prior to decision altitude. There may be canopy damage, steering line, or brake problems that may only be discovered by doing a canopy control check. There was a fatality a few years ago due to the jumper leaving the brakes stowed and flying the canopy using the rear risers. When he unstowed the brakes at a low altitude to set up his landing, he discovered one was jammed and he spiraled in.


shropshire  (C License)

Mar 9, 2014, 1:00 PM
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Re: [yoink] Should I of cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

No sure if this at all relevant on a skydive canopy BUT a Paraglider 'can' be 'parachutal' (essentially a stall) ... a flight 'mode' that has low (or zero) forward speed but is clearly flying (fully open) but falling.

You would experience this as feeling no relative wind on your face.

Is this flight mode even possible on a smaller canopy?


DivingWombat  (B License)

Mar 9, 2014, 1:37 PM
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Re: [aidanjames1] Should I of cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

aidanjames1 wrote:
Decision Altitude: 2000ft

I didn't look at the parachute after kicking out the line twists, (big mistake) maybe the slider was still up.

Parachute rig did seem kind of old.

I think all the parachutes I used where the same kind.

Next time I will do the two practice flares and then cutaway.

You thought the flare (NOT flair! Wtf...some of you are even native speakers) is not ok and did not look up?!

Just to remember: This given piece of fabric over your head is the shit which brings you to the ground...hopefully uninjured.
It would be a wise choice to do a visual check.


dthames  (B 37674)

Mar 9, 2014, 3:43 PM
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Re: [jimjumper] Should I of cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

jimjumper wrote:
That is incorrect. The practice flare may clear some canopy problems but it is performed to accurately assess whether the canopy is safe to land. A canopy control check consists of left turn, a right turn, and a flair. This should be done by the student on each jump prior to decision altitude. There may be canopy damage, steering line, or brake problems that may only be discovered by doing a canopy control check. There was a fatality a few years ago due to the jumper leaving the brakes stowed and flying the canopy using the rear risers. When he unstowed the brakes at a low altitude to set up his landing, he discovered one was jammed and he spiraled in.

Maybe I was not able to clearly state what I was thinking. Yes, a control check can reveal (and could clear) a problem that is not visible and should always be done.

In the end everyone has to decide if the canopy is good or bad. But it sounded like the jumper was being way too subjective when it should have been clear if there was a problem or not. That is why I first suggested talking to the instructor.


DrDom  (Student)

Mar 9, 2014, 5:28 PM
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Re: [shropshire] Should I of cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

shropshire wrote:
No sure if this at all relevant on a skydive canopy BUT a Paraglider 'can' be 'parachutal' (essentially a stall) ... a flight 'mode' that has low (or zero) forward speed but is clearly flying (fully open) but falling.

You would experience this as feeling no relative wind on your face.

Is this flight mode even possible on a smaller canopy?

I think you can stall ANY wing with enough AOA. Its more the way the wing behaves under such stall conditions. Inflatable wings, if I understand them correctly, have the possibility to actually collapse under zero forward movement or even go backward.

Paragliders and parachutes have the difficulty that the wing is flexible AND the weight (CG) rides like a pendulum under it. The physics are definitely interesting.


mcstain  (B 8181)

Mar 10, 2014, 6:21 AM
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Re: [aidanjames1] Should I of cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

Did you discuss this in detail with your instructors afterwards? The internet is a terrible place to learn skydiving, and an even worse place to learn your emergency procedures. It sounds as though you had a firm decision altitude in mind, but you weren't entirely confident about the parachute over your head.

This is something you need to talk to your instructors about before your next jump. A malfunction can happen on any jump, and you need to be confident in making a decision and executing your plan (land it or chop it) on each and every jump, even when you are a student.

I don't have a lot of jumps, but I know that at this stage in your training, your instructors are the best people to talk to to straighten out this question in your mind.


PixieUK  (A License)

Mar 10, 2014, 6:43 AM
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Re: [aidanjames1] Should I of cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

aidanjames1 wrote:
But.......I deployed my Parachute, (wave offs were at 4000ft) kicked out some line twists I had, then did my practice flare.
The Instructors tell you "if you have a low speed malfunction, 2 practice flares. If by then it's not fixed, check alti then cut away."

3000ft:

1st practice flare: Parachute did not slow down at all.

2nd practice flare: Slowed down a very tiny bit.

Done a turn, parachute turned very slowly.

Let's go for a 3rd practice flare: Ok, good, parachutes working pretty well now, not perfectly but good).

2400ft: Tested the rear risers, (Turns out I'm not confident landing with rear risers.) Maybe I should cutaway.

Just another very quick flare, it's working ok.

It wasn't that I was scared of cutting away, (Although I was a bit Wink)
Believe me if I got down to around 2200ft and it wasn't working properly, I would've cutaway with no hesitation.

But I'm interested what you think, should I of cutaway after those 2 first practice flares?

I had a perfect landing by the way.

-Aidan

I'm a new jumper as well and a few things in your post surprise me.

Firstly, your wave off altitude seems very low. I pull at 4000 as I have to have a canopy over my head by 3000 (UK BPA rules for A & B licence jumpers - I could technically pull at 3500 but I'm comfortable with 4000, especially as I've already had a reserve ride). As a student I was waving off at 5500 and pulling at 5000 to allow plenty of time to deal with 'nuisance factors' such as line twists, high slider or end closures.

Secondly, were you not taught to check your canopy as soon as it is out? Is it big, is it rectangular, is it free from damage? How would you know if you had damage to your canopy or broken lines if you don't look at it?

Do you know if you were facing into the wind /downwind /crosswind when you did your flares? And how strong the winds were at different altitudes? How were you judging whether the canopy slowed down or not? The flare can feel different even though the canopy will react the same way, especially on a big student canopy that is very docile. Maybe try it on your next jump - do a flare facing into wind, then a flare facing downwind and see which one appears to slow you down more.

As for rear riser landings, I would suggest you talk to your instructors in great depth before considering that as a sensible alternative to cutting away.

2400ft: Tested the rear risers, (Turns out I'm not confident landing with rear risers.) Maybe I should cutaway.

Personally, I would have cut before then. I was taught that if I was not happy I could land the parachute safely then that was a good enough reason to cut away. The fact that even after your third practice flare (having been instructed to do two, then cut if not happy), you were still not happy and were testing rear risers and considering a landing other than using a flare, sets off all kinds of warning bells for me. I'm glad you landed safely but I really do think you should discuss the whole incident in great detail with your instructors.


Deimian

Mar 10, 2014, 7:25 AM
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Re: [PixieUK] Should I of cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

PixieUK wrote:
Firstly, your wave off altitude seems very low. I pull at 4000 as I have to have a canopy over my head by 3000 (UK BPA rules for A & B licence jumpers - I could technically pull at 3500 but I'm comfortable with 4000, especially as I've already had a reserve ride). As a student I was waving off at 5500 and pulling at 5000 to allow plenty of time to deal with 'nuisance factors' such as line twists, high slider or end closures.

BPA rules do not apply everywhere, and I think BPA rules are more conservative than in most places. I don't know the rules in Australia, but I imagine (not sure though) it was on the low-end for a student (but not necessarily out of bounds).

PixieUK wrote:
Do you know if you were facing into the wind /downwind /crosswind when you did your flares? And how strong the winds were at different altitudes? How were you judging whether the canopy slowed down or not? The flare can feel different even though the canopy will react the same way, especially on a big student canopy that is very docile. Maybe try it on your next jump - do a flare facing into wind, then a flare facing downwind and see which one appears to slow you down more.

Irrelevant. You are moving with a mass of air, if you are going upwind, downwind or crosswind does not matter at all, the behaviour of the canopy is the same. BUT the perception might be different if you are using the ground as a reference. There is a difference. For feeling the flare I think it is better to use other senses, as 2000 or 3000 ft. about the ground is not going to tell you anything about your change in fall rate.

Anyway, you are a new jumper (me too, just above 100 jumps). Maybe we should let others give advice that, even if good-intended, can be false, inaccurate or potentially dangerous.

To the OP, as others have said, talk to your instructors. My gut feeling tells me that the canopy was ok, but maybe with the slider halfway down or with end-cell closure, and that is why it was not responsive on the first flares. Since you didn't take a look at it, probably we will never know. Maybe a discussion with your instructors, telling them this hypothesis, can help you learn something.


yoink

Mar 10, 2014, 10:22 AM
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Re: [shropshire] Should I of cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

shropshire wrote:
No sure if this at all relevant on a skydive canopy BUT a Paraglider 'can' be 'parachutal' (essentially a stall) ... a flight 'mode' that has low (or zero) forward speed but is clearly flying (fully open) but falling.

You would experience this as feeling no relative wind on your face.

Is this flight mode even possible on a smaller canopy?


I've never seen one do it. We need a CRW dog....

The only straight down stalls I've seen on a small canopy result in a ball of washing above you. We used to do it to get down quicker... LaughLaugh


ConfusedVorlon

Mar 10, 2014, 10:40 AM
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Re: [aidanjames1] Should I of cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

1) student canopies are often pretty unresponsive due to being relatively large.
For this reason - while you're on a large canopy - you may not get a lot of response to your flare test.
You landed fine - so you may need to recalibrate your expectations slightly on what a 'flaring properly' canopy feels like.


2) having said that, I don't know of a single skydiver who cut away from a good canopy and then died. I know of many skydivers who waited too long thinking that they could fix things - or that it might not be so bad, and who then died landing a bad canopy, or under a reserve that didn't have time to open.

This even extends to 'land-able' canopies that were not 100% right. A friend had a broken brake line. A more confident canopy pilot would have used rear risers, done a PLF and landed without incident. She was not a confident canopy pilot. She stressed out, made a rough landing and broke her ankle badly.

If she had cut away, then she would have almost certainly landed fine.

My mantra is 'chop early, chop often'.

Much better to make a mistake and chop away from something that was actually ok, than to try to land something that isn't.


aidanjames1  (A License)

Mar 10, 2014, 3:26 PM
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Re: [ConfusedVorlon] Should I of cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

ConfusedVorlon wrote:
2) having said that, I don't know of a single skydiver who cut away from a good canopy and then died. I know of many skydivers who waited too long thinking that they could fix things - or that it might not be so bad, and who then died landing a bad canopy, or under a reserve that didn't have time to open.

This even extends to 'land-able' canopies that were not 100% right. A friend had a broken brake line. A more confident canopy pilot would have used rear risers, done a PLF and landed without incident. She was not a confident canopy pilot. She stressed out, made a rough landing and broke her ankle badly.

If she had cut away, then she would have almost certainly landed fine.

My mantra is 'chop early, chop often'.

Much better to make a mistake and chop away from something that was actually ok, than to try to land something that isn't.

This was helpful, thank you.

Oh yeah, to everyone else saying the height to wave off was a little low.

It says in my AFF Book, wave offs are at 4000ft.

My instructor changed the wave offs to 4,500ft. Pirate


ianyapxw

Mar 10, 2014, 8:00 PM
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Re: [jimjumper] Should I of cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

No, I just did ground school and a packing course on Saturday.

The practice flare also clears problems, like end cells closed. My packing instructor also said sometimes the slider gets jammed where the A and B lines join into a single line that leads to the front risers. The flare helps to 'knock' the slider down as well.

I'm not denying it's usefulness in a canopy check, but it's definitely part of clearing low speed mals.


(This post was edited by ianyapxw on Mar 10, 2014, 8:10 PM)


ianyapxw

Mar 10, 2014, 8:10 PM
Post #25 of 32 (2330 views)
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Re: [DivingWombat] Should I of cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

You should go easier on him. He's only a student and he already knows he did something wrong.


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