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Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator?

 

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Poll: Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator?
ALWAYS follow the direction indicator (tetrahedron, etc)? 35 / 49%
ALWAYS follow the first person down 14 / 19%
Other (explain) 23 / 32%
72 total votes
 
fcajump  (D 15598)

Mar 20, 2018, 5:47 AM
Post #1 of 55 (3845 views)
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Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator? Can't Post

At a DZ where I chose to attend Safety Day this year (unnamed, don't ask), there was a question asked that seemed to be unresolved even among the staff.

Here's a mock-up of the situation being discussed:
- Bi-directional landing area (ONLY North-to-South or South-to-North)
- Winds are/have been light and variable, with occasional light-steady swings favoring either direction.
- Tetrahedron (weighted so as to not swing in the light winds) indicating North-to-South landing direction

- Lets say you are #2 to land with many others on level and just above you and #1 is already setting up to with the land OPPOSITE to the tetrahedron.

Forget WHY #1 is going against policy, lets assume we can all agree that he busted the rule to land with the tetrahedron and we can yell at them later... if we all live...

The question is what do YOU do now?? Because the ONLY way all of us looking to land stay safe is to answer the question the same way.

For the sake of discussion, lets assume you don't have other good out fields.*

*personally I don't like the idea that 1 person busting the rule means everyone else is to bale to the alternative field, because a large number of people all bailing from random positions in pattern seems like it would be a bad idea too... but we can discuss that separately... for this discussion, you don't have any.

Let the jousting begin... Unsure

JW


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

Mar 20, 2018, 6:33 AM
Post #2 of 55 (3787 views)
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Re: [fcajump] Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator? [In reply to] Can't Post

If it's a "First man down sets the pattern" DZ, then follow the first guy.

If it's a "Land in the predetermined direction" then land in the predetermined direction, regardless of the tetrahedron.

If winds are that light and variable, I would want to know before getting on the plane what the landing direction is. Under those conditions, 'follow the wind sock' (or tetrahedron or 'little plane') is a bad idea.

That is policy at the DZ I jump at. Even if the winds switch, land in the predetermined direction. Even if it's down wind. On very rare occasions, the folks on the ground will radio up to the plane that there has been a significant change in the winds and the direction should be changed.

This is in the Midwest US, and radical wind changes aren't likely to happen without a frontal or squall situation, and those are known well ahead of time.


countzero  (D 32712)

Mar 20, 2018, 6:39 AM
Post #3 of 55 (3774 views)
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Re: [fcajump] Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator? [In reply to] Can't Post

If I was # 2 to land I will always follow the 1st guy. If I decide to land the other direction it will cause a chain reaction of confusion for people landing after me.


fcajump  (D 15598)

Mar 20, 2018, 6:47 AM
Post #4 of 55 (3751 views)
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Re: [fcajump] Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator? [In reply to] Can't Post

(skipping over some GOOD talking points for a second...)

And the first two responses (taken a bit out of context) shows me that we (collectively) need to talk this out more...


Quote:
That is policy at the DZ I jump at. Even if the winds switch, land in the predetermined direction. Even if it's down wind.

Quote:
If I was # 2 to land I will always follow the 1st guy. If I decide to land the other direction it will cause a chain reaction of confusion for people landing after me.

Both are good concepts, but may cause problems if implemented by two different jumpers on the same jump.

JW


(This post was edited by fcajump on Mar 20, 2018, 6:52 AM)


fcajump  (D 15598)

Mar 20, 2018, 6:50 AM
Post #5 of 55 (3744 views)
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Re: [wolfriverjoe] Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator? [In reply to] Can't Post

wolfriverjoe wrote:
If it's a "First man down sets the pattern" DZ, then follow the first guy.

If it's a "Land in the predetermined direction" then land in the predetermined direction, regardless of the tetrahedron.

Good approach, IF everyone (including visitors) know and follow the local policy.

Quote:
If winds are that light and variable, I would want to know before getting on the plane what the landing direction is. Under those conditions, 'follow the wind sock' (or tetrahedron or 'little plane') is a bad idea.

Agreed, which is why the DZ I was at decided to "set" their indicator rather than have it free to spin.

JW


yoink

Mar 20, 2018, 8:53 AM
Post #6 of 55 (3624 views)
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Re: [fcajump] Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator? [In reply to] Can't Post

You can't plan for someone not following policy, or at least you shouldn't.

The DZ has the responsibility to have a policy in light and variable winds and to ensure that all jumpers know what it is. It is the responsibility of the jumper to ensure that they know what the policy is and to follow it.

Wolfriverjoe has the right answer for me, so both answers in your poll are correct - just not at the same DZ.


(This post was edited by yoink on Mar 20, 2018, 8:54 AM)


lyosha

Mar 20, 2018, 10:05 AM
Post #7 of 55 (3512 views)
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Re: [fcajump] Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator? [In reply to] Can't Post

Make sure everyone on every load knows what the agreed upon direction of landing is.

Commit to a concrete direction before the plane is at altitude. Make sure everyone affirms.

I don't like the idea of a wind indicator because winds can change. Pick a direction at take off based on the best information available at the time.

I don't like the idea of "first person down picks" because I've seen two people going opposite directions think they are first. I've also seen people intentionally go downwind.

Pick a direction as a load and stick with it.


(This post was edited by lyosha on Mar 20, 2018, 10:14 AM)


benlangfeld

Mar 20, 2018, 10:11 AM
Post #8 of 55 (3498 views)
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Re: [yoink] Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
You can't plan for someone not following policy, or at least you shouldn't.

You really should as best as possible. It's the first thing I was taught when learning to drive also. Assume everyone else in the sky (on the road) is a homicidal maniac and fly (drive) to avoid them.

If you don't do this, you're handing off control of your survival to people with potentially unknown skill. There's a very small group of people I don't look at with suspicion when I'm under canopy; many with significantly more experience than me are not included.


wolfriverjoe  (A 50013)

Mar 20, 2018, 10:15 AM
Post #9 of 55 (3486 views)
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Re: [fcajump] Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator? [In reply to] Can't Post

fcajump wrote:
Good approach, IF everyone (including visitors) know and follow the local policy.

It's the responsibility of the jumper to know what the policies are (landing direction is only one of the things they need to know).

It's the responsibility of the DZ to inform the jumpers of the policies.

If the jumper doesn't follow these policies, he (or she) should not be allowed to jump.

Not a draconian "One screwup and you're gone", but blatant or repeated violations need to have consequences.

My DZ has a few people with the authority to 'talk to' people. And an S&TA and DZO who are not afraid to ground people. They'd much rather have angry people on the ground than dead ones.

And they have a very good DZ brief from Manifest, usually with a follow up with the S&TA. He's usually busy, but will always take a minute if needed (it may be a bit before he has a minute, but he will always find one.)


fcajump  (D 15598)

Mar 20, 2018, 10:15 AM
Post #10 of 55 (3486 views)
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Re: [yoink] Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator? [In reply to] Can't Post

yoink wrote:
You can't plan for someone not following policy, or at least you shouldn't.

I respectfully disagree... We plan for main canopies that don't follow the plan... And we see once again in Mexico (RIP) that there will be those who fly contrary to the plan... (or was one following the wind-sock and the other following the planned direction, each of whom were following their home DZ's plan?)

Quote:
Wolfriverjoe has the right answer for me, so both answers in your poll are correct - just not at the same DZ.
No argument on the surface of it, but how many people ask (and remember) the local policy vs follow what they were taught at home?

JW

PS - edited to add: AND it reenforces the notion that ALL DZ staff at a particular location MUST agree and promote the same policy.


(This post was edited by fcajump on Mar 20, 2018, 10:18 AM)


mxk  (D 36227)

Mar 20, 2018, 10:36 AM
Post #11 of 55 (3447 views)
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Re: [fcajump] Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator? [In reply to] Can't Post

The answers about following the DZ policy, while correct, are not helpful to discussion about whether one policy is better than the other.

I don't like the "follow first person down" rule. Of the few people that I talked to after Safety Day, all agreed that following the tetrahedron was a better idea.

Here's the basic problem. If someone doesn't look down at a fixed bright orange arrow telling you the landing direction, why would you expect them to notice who the first person down is/was and in what direction they landed?

What if the first person lands in the correct direction, which you don't see, but you see the second person landing in the wrong direction? Are you now (incorrectly) assuming that he was following the first?

But it's worse than that, because by the time you see their landing direction, you may already be committed to entering the pattern from one side or the other. So now, depending on where you were in the exit order, you're really talking about anticipating the direction in which they will land, and assuming that they won't change their mind in the pattern. Do we want people realizing half way along downwind that the first person landed the wrong way and then making 180 degree turns to follow them?

Neither policy will fix the jousting, but one policy has much fewer variables and decisions that need to be made than the other. The change to the policy will also ensure that a significant portion of regulars who weren't at Safety Day will do the "wrong" thing this season.

What would I do if landing elsewhere is not an option? First, probably sit in deep brakes as long as I can to build spacing. Second, try to anticipate what others at my altitude are about to do and follow them. If I manage to create enough separation so that people are either already on the ground or not yet in the pattern, I'm following the tetrahedron. At a certain point, you'll be closer to tandems and wingsuiters, and they aren't going to be following the first person down.


(This post was edited by mxk on Mar 20, 2018, 10:39 AM)


yoink

Mar 20, 2018, 10:49 AM
Post #12 of 55 (3434 views)
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Re: [benlangfeld] Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator? [In reply to] Can't Post

benlangfeld wrote:
Quote:
You can't plan for someone not following policy, or at least you shouldn't.

You really should as best as possible. It's the first thing I was taught when learning to drive also. Assume everyone else in the sky (on the road) is a homicidal maniac and fly (drive) to avoid them.

If you don't do this, you're handing off control of your survival to people with potentially unknown skill. There's a very small group of people I don't look at with suspicion when I'm under canopy; many with significantly more experience than me are not included.

There's a difference between being aware of people and overburdening jumpers with policies and procedures for every possible contingency. It's why we teach students a simplified emergency procedure to cover as many situations as possible.

The solution to situations like this isn't to cover every possible error with procedures - it's to remove the error in the first place.

DZ sets the policy. Jumpers follow it. Breaking the policy leads to immediate grounding.


(This post was edited by yoink on Mar 20, 2018, 11:01 AM)


yoink

Mar 20, 2018, 10:59 AM
Post #13 of 55 (3426 views)
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Re: [mxk] Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator? [In reply to] Can't Post

mxk wrote:
and they aren't going to be following the first person down.

Why not?

If the second guy follows the first, and the third follows the second it'll translate all the way up.

If the policy at the DZ is to follow the first guy down you follow that policy. It's not rocket science - If you don't like it you don't jump.

The WORST possible thing that can happen is people deciding under canopy that they're either unsure about the policy or don't agree with it, or deciding to ignore the policy when it's explained to them.


We're in danger of splitting this thread - the original post was in response to a specific question. I suggest discussion about which is the RIGHT policy would be best in a separate thread. (FWIW I prefer a fixed tetrahedron on light wind days).


mxk  (D 36227)

Mar 20, 2018, 11:08 AM
Post #14 of 55 (3397 views)
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Re: [yoink] Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator? [In reply to] Can't Post

You cut out an important part of my quote, which was referring to tandems and wingsuiters. They are not going to follow the first person down. Tandems will land in whatever direction they want, and wingsuiters are landing with them. I also provided an example where the second follows first, and third follows second idea isn't going to hold.

In answering the question, I said that I would follow the group of skydivers that will be landing at approximately the same time as I am. That's the safest course of action regardless of the policy. Unfortunately, that group of skydivers will usually have some people landing one way and some the other, so the real answer is that I would do everything I can to avoid landing "as a group." That means either creating vertical separation or landing elsewhere.


(This post was edited by mxk on Mar 20, 2018, 11:10 AM)


yoink

Mar 20, 2018, 11:27 AM
Post #15 of 55 (3361 views)
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Re: [mxk] Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator? [In reply to] Can't Post

mxk wrote:
Unfortunately, that group of skydivers will usually have some people landing one way and some the other,

Why??

That's the real issue here.

It's not that complicated to follow a first-man-down rule, even if you don't agree with it.

Unfortunately without strong enforcement skydivers tend to think policies don't apply to them which is WHY you get people landing in different directions. If you start grounding people for landing in the wrong direction you'd see people start paying a LOT more attention to how people before them are landing.

This is another example of how shit we are at self-policing.


(This post was edited by yoink on Mar 20, 2018, 11:28 AM)


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Mar 20, 2018, 11:28 AM
Post #16 of 55 (3357 views)
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Re: [fcajump] Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator? [In reply to] Can't Post

>The question is what do YOU do now?

If winds are light - land in the direction of the #1 guy (if altitude permits)
If winds are stronger and he downwinded - land off the main landing area into the wind


mxk  (D 36227)

Mar 20, 2018, 11:42 AM
Post #17 of 55 (3342 views)
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Re: [yoink] Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator? [In reply to] Can't Post

yoink wrote:
mxk wrote:
Unfortunately, that group of skydivers will usually have some people landing one way and some the other,

Why??

That's the real issue here.

From what I've seen, that's just how it usually plays out regardless of the what the local DZ policy is. Probably because no policy has been standardized across DZs.

yoink wrote:
It's not that complicated to follow a first-man-down rule, even if you don't agree with it.

Unfortunately without strong enforcement skydivers tend to think policies don't apply to them which is WHY you get people landing in different directions. If you start grounding people for landing in the wrong direction you'd see people start paying a LOT more attention to how people before them are landing.

As long as everyone follows the same rules, there is no problem. But that's like saying that everyone should just land in the correct direction to begin with and we shouldn't even have any policies of what to do if someone doesn't. Enforcement is what you do after people land and, hopefully, walk away. It also doesn't do anything for visiting skydivers who come from DZs with a different set of rules. Strong enforcement of different rules will not prevent the problem from reoccurring.

Until the rules are the same everywhere, the problem will persist.


mxk  (D 36227)

Mar 20, 2018, 11:48 AM
Post #18 of 55 (3323 views)
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Re: [billvon] Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm changing my answer. If you're #2 and see that #1 is setting up to land in the wrong direction, spiral down and land first. Problem solved. Cool


Premier Remster  (C License)

Mar 20, 2018, 12:02 PM
Post #19 of 55 (3313 views)
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Re: [billvon] Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator? [In reply to] Can't Post

billvon wrote:
>The question is what do YOU do now?

If winds are light - land in the direction of the #1 guy (if altitude permits)
If winds are stronger and he downwinded - land off the main landing area into the wind

I have a similar rule for when there are conflicting landing directions in a landing area:

When I see 2 people land in opposite directions, I consider that area closed for me and land out. 2 reasons:
- I don't want to be adding to the confusion
- I have no clue what other people will do (did they see #1 and #2, or just #2, or just #1...)


LeeroyJenkins  (D License)

Mar 20, 2018, 12:19 PM
Post #20 of 55 (3286 views)
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Re: [mxk] Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator? [In reply to] Can't Post

mxk wrote:
You cut out an important part of my quote, which was referring to tandems and wingsuiters. They are not going to follow the first person down. Tandems will land in whatever direction they want, and wingsuiters are landing with them. I also provided an example where the second follows first, and third follows second idea isn't going to hold.

In answering the question, I said that I would follow the group of skydivers that will be landing at approximately the same time as I am. That's the safest course of action regardless of the policy. Unfortunately, that group of skydivers will usually have some people landing one way and some the other, so the real answer is that I would do everything I can to avoid landing "as a group." That means either creating vertical separation or landing elsewhere.

Seriously, I have landed the "wrong" way a few times while wingsuiting. By the time some of us big suit people open up everyone else is already on the ground. At that point I either follow the person in front of me or the landing arrow. Doesn't matter what the "first" person down did because they don't really exist.


lug  (D License)

Mar 20, 2018, 3:11 PM
Post #21 of 55 (3175 views)
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Re: [fcajump] Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator? [In reply to] Can't Post

This sounds like the factionary DZ you are talking about has the landing direction policy of follow the tetrahedron, so I would be setting my landing up accord to DZ policy regardless if I agree or not with the DZ policy. I can only assume that everyone after me is following the policy so ideally there is only one fool on the load jumper #1.

On the topic of visitors, every skydiver should go through a DZ orientation where one of the points covered is landing direction policy then at this time it becomes our responsibility to remember. If the DZ does not have an orientation, what would you do?


Slimrn  (D 36404)

Mar 20, 2018, 4:12 PM
Post #22 of 55 (3094 views)
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Re: [lug] Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator? [In reply to] Can't Post

IMHO a LDI is not a useful tool, and in fact can increase confusion- at a DZ with a first man down policy. I love LDIs that are wind guided AS LONG as the ground crew is proactive in locking it down at light/variable times. If an idiot mans the arrow, bad things happen. The ghost of the first man down rule has no place if there is an arrow that people are taught to follow.


lomcovak  (B 7050)

Mar 20, 2018, 4:21 PM
Post #23 of 55 (3078 views)
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Re: [fcajump] Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
fcajump wrote:

...snip...

The question is what do YOU do now?? Because the ONLY way all of us looking to land stay safe is to answer the question the same way.

...snip...

JW

I knew straight away that this question wouldn't be answered by hardly anyone in the thread yet it is actually the one question I'd like to see everyone answer.

The policy is to land in the direction indicated by the tetrahedron. The OP is asking if you would joust with the first guy in order to follow the rule or follow his landing direction?


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Mar 20, 2018, 5:03 PM
Post #24 of 55 (3046 views)
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Re: [lomcovak] Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator? [In reply to] Can't Post

>The OP is asking if you would joust with the first guy in order to follow the rule or follow
>his landing direction?

Notice he listed a third option which is "other."

In the case listed, in significant winds I would choose "other" (land out.)


mxk  (D 36227)

Mar 20, 2018, 5:55 PM
Post #25 of 55 (2999 views)
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Re: [billvon] Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator? [In reply to] Can't Post

billvon wrote:
>The OP is asking if you would joust with the first guy in order to follow the rule or follow
>his landing direction?

Notice he listed a third option which is "other."

In the case listed, in significant winds I would choose "other" (land out.)

He also said that landing out is not an option Tongue. And the DZ policy of what to do when someone is landing in the wrong direction was not specified. People are assuming that the policy is to land with the tetrahedron, but that's not stated in the original question.

There is a tetrahedron in this scenario, but because you weren't attentive during the DZ briefing, you can't remember what the local policy is. The first person is landing in the opposite direction and you have to make a choice of following them or landing in the correct direction.


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