May 28, 2003, 11:38 PM
Post #1 of 3
Side by Side
How do you transition to a side by side?
Specifically, I'm asking from a compressed stack, but there are other ways.
I've done it by just grabbing the harness of guy above me and pulling them beside me, pulling the outside toggle to pull the canopies away from each other, but I thought there is probably a different/better way.
A harness grip is the most common way of doing a side-by-side and works well. Pay very close attention to handles. I prefer the top person transition to the left and the bottom to the right so that if a handle gets pulled it's the cutaway and not the reserve. The tension can get quite high with moderate to highly loaded (~1.3+) ZP canopies.
The other method is the parabatic grip. Once in the plane the top jumper turns around (facing backward) and puts their feet under the armpits of the bottom. The top jumper then flips upside down and the bottom jumper places their feet over the tops shoulders. The canopies are fanned at the same time the grip is formed (mostly by the top jumper because they are doing less at the time). While it sounds complicated it's not and it can be dirt dove easily. You do want to get coaching the first few times you do it.
The harness grip is easier to build, harder to hold, and can't be used to downplane (have to lock legs first). The parabatic grip is harder to build, much easier to hold, and can be directly transitioned into a downplane with no change in the grip. In either case the canopies have a strong tendency to push apart, so simply dropping grips will force separation if things start getting squirrelly.