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Freefall in S/L training, why so low?

 


w4p2  (Student)

Jun 26, 2003, 4:34 PM
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Freefall in S/L training, why so low? Can't Post

Here is a question that has puzzled my newbie mind:

What is the reason that freefall section on S/L training starts so low, basically centering around
pull out height of roughly 3000 feet.

What ever the freefall time is, I would feel more secure with a jump profile, where the pull out would be at 4000 or even 5000 feet.

This would give me a slightly longer period to react to potential problems etc.... It would also provide for longer canopy flight and time for practice the canopy control.
So... why so low?

AFF is a different ballgame, but not available at my DZ. The Dz is small, traffic is not a concern.... so why then?

Somebody trying to save gas or what?

Cheers: JL


tombuch  (D 8514)

Jun 26, 2003, 6:43 PM
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Re: [w4p2] Freefall in S/L training, why so low? [In reply to] Can't Post

Back in the day...everybody jumped rounds. If a student opened high, he (it was almost always a he, women hardly ever jumped) could drift far, far away. Thus, the idea was to keep the opening high enough to allow for emergency procedures, but low enough to keep the students close to the DZ. I think that's the reason, but those are just my thoughts based on 25 years of history in the sport. Oh, and there were a few drop zones that pushed static line students out at 1,800 or less because it gave them even less time to wander. Crazy but true.

Tom Buchanan
Instructor (AFF s/l iad, tandem)
Author, JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Jun 26, 2003, 7:19 PM
Post #3 of 17 (1646 views)
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Re: [w4p2] Freefall in S/L training, why so low? [In reply to] Can't Post

>What is the reason that freefall section on S/L training starts so low,
>basically centering around pull out height of roughly 3000 feet.

Because when starting your SL progression, there is not much benefit in being open at 5000 feet. (AFF pull altitude is not 4000-5000 feet because we want students open that high, it's so we have 2000 feet to get them open if they don't pull and we've released them.) Keep in mind that if you are doing a SL from 3000 feet, you are open by 2900 feet. There's no way to "hesitate" on a SL jump. Most places move up in altitude slightly once you start doing clear and pulls. Also remember that, from 4000 feet, you can screw around for 10 seconds and still only be at 3000 feet.

It's also partly gas/cost. Why go higher than you have to to put 3 static liners out?


tbrown  (D 6533)

Jun 26, 2003, 7:21 PM
Post #4 of 17 (1646 views)
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Re: [w4p2] Freefall in S/L training, why so low? [In reply to] Can't Post

Don't forget that a first freefall is a hop & pop, or at least is supposed to be. But anyway, it's a sub-terminal jump and you aren't nearly as close to the ground timewise as a terminal freefaller. It takes something like 12 seconds to fall the first 1200 or so ft, or something like that. Still, for the first time, it is a bit low. Mine was 3200 ft, back in the seventies. At least you won't be scared to death of anything below 5 grand, like too many AFF grads are these days.


jumpervali  (D 19338)

Jun 26, 2003, 7:26 PM
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Re: [w4p2] Freefall in S/L training, why so low? [In reply to] Can't Post

In most Static-line programs the student is required to have a minimum of 5 jumps before doing their clear & pull. That's 2 jumps for exit only training, 3 for exit and pull training. That's 5 parachute flights before even jumping into the clear & pull. They are usually off needing a radio well before ever doing a c&p. So their canopy skills are or should be as good a a student doing an AFF level 6 right. How low are the average AFF level 6 students pulling? I hope their not still pulling at 5k. AFF is a great program, but some Dz.'s are not teaching students who are near graduating AFF that it is also dangerous to pull too high. One of the reasons for the required AFF clear & pull is to teach students that an exit at the altitude that static-line started out at is safe and not beyond their skills. It was a concern to a lot of people that AFF was causing a generation of jumpers that were altitude dependent. 40 or 50 jumps and still pulling at 5k is a dangerous thing in a large group.

jumpervali aff-i/sl-i 03


w4p2  (Student)

Jun 26, 2003, 8:19 PM
Post #6 of 17 (1625 views)
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Re: [billvon] Freefall in S/L training, why so low? [In reply to] Can't Post

The part of s/l program I am referring to is the actual free fall training / clear and pull.

I think that Tombuch pretty much read my mind, because I was wondering if this was a carryover from days past.

As for altitude dependency as mentioned by Jumpervali I agree, but on the same token if you say that 2 experienced AFF instructors reserve themselves an extra 2000 feet spare, to bring a potential problem student under control. I would like to have the same amount of extra time to get hold of myself, if required.

Hey.... I am there by myself and you lads are doing a gang bang.Tongue

It is not a big deal, just something that has puzzled me and its good to hear your reasoning.

Cheers: JL


sducoach  (D License)

Jun 26, 2003, 8:37 PM
Post #7 of 17 (1616 views)
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Re: [tombuch] Freefall in S/L training, why so low? [In reply to] Can't Post

SmileTom hit it on the head. Back when a spot was really important we had to get you in the "cone" in order to land you on the airport.

Today there is an advantage to greater altitude from a students perspective, more canopy time. From a DZO's perspective however more turn-a-round time due to the additional altitude is a negative. Altitude is time, time is a good thing, altitude is a good thing.

An old pilot saying is.........
"There are two things a pilot can never count on using in an emergency. Altitude above you, and runway behind you."

Blues,

J.E.


drenaline  (C License)

Jun 26, 2003, 9:34 PM
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Re: [w4p2] Freefall in S/L training, why so low? [In reply to] Can't Post

I did S/L so I dunno how correct I will be when I say this.

When I did my S/L progression I only got higher altitude if I could have a stable freefall at the altitude given. For a student (for me it was) it is easier to hold a stable position for 10 seconds than to hold it for 15 seconds, remember in SL you always go SOLO and have to learn how to fix problems in the air solo, specially the unvoluntary spins (spins = turns right? sorry some bad english here), while in AFF the instructors help you controll yourself in freefall.

Let me set an example: imaging a student jump out of the plane for a 10 secs then pull, everything goes ok but with a very slow spin starting to happen, now on the next jump the student gets a 50 secs freefall, the slight spin might turn into a faster spin after 20 secs, after 30secs the student will have no idea how to stop that very fast spin, at 40 secs the student gets scared because the spin feels like the ultra fast fan he has at home and then pull before the 50 secs. Can you imagine how many line twist he will end up with? all that could of been prevented by giving him a slow progression and fixing the problem everytime the instructor sees something.

Happened to me I had to repeat my 15 secs cause I was having uncontrolled slow spins, and instructor said I had to be stable in order to get more altitude and trust me I thank him for that.

I asked the same thing and the other answer I got was "... and you don't need that much of an altitude to fix a problem, just cutaway and go for silver"

Hope I could of been of help.


phoenixlpr  (D 3049)

Jun 26, 2003, 9:35 PM
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Re: [sducoach] Freefall in S/L training, why so low? [In reply to] Can't Post

Those first jump arent terminal jumps. Students have enough time reserved for emergency procedures. On the other hand thats one way to prevent offDZ landings. They have not much canopy control experience and they usually have radio control too.

Safe landings.


w4p2  (Student)

Jun 26, 2003, 11:50 PM
Post #10 of 17 (1585 views)
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Re: [drenaline] Freefall in S/L training, why so low? [In reply to] Can't Post

You are correct in what you say.

I think that the gradual freefall increase is well thought of for obvious reasons, but I still think the pull out height could be higher.

If a have a choise, I prefer diving into a pool from the deep end, even if I could do it from the shallow one.Wink


w4p2  (Student)

Jun 26, 2003, 11:53 PM
Post #11 of 17 (1584 views)
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Re: [sducoach] Freefall in S/L training, why so low? [In reply to] Can't Post

I share your view 100%
In reply to:

cheers: JL


Premier Tonto  (D 515)
Moderator
Jun 27, 2003, 5:26 AM
Post #12 of 17 (1538 views)
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Re: [w4p2] Freefall in S/L training, why so low? [In reply to] Can't Post

Our SL students jump from 3500ft.

1st FF, a 3 sec delay (that's usually about 0.5) goes from 4500ft and the 10 sec goes from 5500ft etc.

t


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Jun 27, 2003, 8:20 AM
Post #13 of 17 (1490 views)
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Re: [Tonto] Freefall in S/L training, why so low? [In reply to] Can't Post

Some things don't make sense on face value, so you have to research the history.
For example, Tom MacCarthy (Gananoque, Ontario)was one of the first harness-hold instructors back in the 1970s. He also had a Cessna 172 that struggled to climb above 7,000 feet. Since FAI style competition was done from 7,200 feet, no-one ever asked the pilot to go higher.
So Tom took all his harness hold students to 7,200 feet and told them to pull at 3,000 feet. It made perfect sense back in those days.
Nowadays, exit and pull altitudes - in Tom's program are similar to modern USPA, CSPA, etc. standards.


sducoach  (D License)

Jun 29, 2003, 7:23 AM
Post #14 of 17 (1411 views)
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Re: [phoenixlpr] Freefall in S/L training, why so low? [In reply to] Can't Post

SmileVery true. Hence the first jumps are "survival" jumps. Students are taught to identify and react to malfunction scenarios. However, USPA sets minimum altitudes, DZO's can always go higher if they choose and air to ground communication is required.

Blues,

J.E.


Faber

Jun 29, 2003, 11:53 AM
Post #15 of 17 (1391 views)
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Re: [tbrown] Freefall in S/L training, why so low? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
It takes something like 12 seconds to fall the first 1200 or so ft, or something like that

In SL progression you normaly(here)jump your first freefall from 4000ft,there you has as a student 5sec. to pull your main.But you still has plenty of altitude left.I normaly take 12-14seconds from 3300ft and is in the saddel at 2000ft,so there should be no problem there.

In SL progression is it also about learning the student that there time to do stuff from that alti,and as some one mentioned thouse who get a SL course,are more confident about leaving the airplane in hop npops instead of AAFstudents,which has used ,most of the time in plenty alti,whith no stress factor(well there are but not the same as if your on your own lower).

Theres both ups and downs whith both systems.Wink


nigel99  (D 1)

Jun 30, 2003, 8:15 AM
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Re: [billvon] Freefall in S/L training, why so low? [In reply to] Can't Post

As crazy at it may sound - I was scared to death of freefall from a "low-ish" altitude and a friend who dispatched me agreed to let me do hop and pop progressions from 6000 - 8000 feet (basically when the skygods jumped - we had an old Trojan so that was the max altitude. I felt much happier and actually did better. BTW I was on a T-Ten C9 at the time and it was ok for me - I never landed too far away.


CornishChris  (C 102981)

Jul 1, 2003, 3:46 PM
Post #17 of 17 (1292 views)
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Re: [nigel99] Freefall in S/L training, why so low? [In reply to] Can't Post

I did 4 S/L's before jacking it and going for AFF. I totally agree that other pure AFFers have low altitude exit fear. The way they get over it in Aus - where I am now - is to do three H&Ps to graduate AFF, 5K, 4K then 3K. I think this is a good idea and it is fun to see their faces on the 3K jumpWink. Once you have bundled out at 3K on a S/L you feel much happier doing a H&P from 5K.

2 cents



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