Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
WL Limits Pro/Con

 


geronimo

Jul 3, 2003, 9:09 AM
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WL Limits Pro/Con Can't Post

This is a request for anyone that has suggestions on limiting WL recommendations or requirements.

Send a succinct summary to the Safety & Training Committee at
Safety&TrainingCommittee_AT_uspa.org
asap.

Include:
- proposed limits
- whether you suggest a recommendation or requirement
- benefits
- drawbacks
- discussion


PS - Have you sent in your proxy?
.


Hooknswoop  (D License)

Jul 3, 2003, 9:20 AM
Post #2 of 15 (1073 views)
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Re: [geronimo] WL Limits Pro/Con [In reply to] Can't Post

Is this an indication that the board would like to discuss this issue? If so, was this interest brought on by the discussions here on DZ.com?

Thanks

Hook


KenKnight  (D 28695)

Jul 3, 2003, 10:16 AM
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Re: [Hooknswoop] WL Limits Pro/Con [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Is this an indication that the board would like to discuss this issue?

Someone posted a link a day or two ago that listed the agendas for all the committees. It's on the Safety and Training Committee agenda, but I didn't see in on the full boards agenda.


mustard  (D 14580)

Jul 3, 2003, 12:08 PM
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Re: [KenKnight] WL Limits Pro/Con [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Someone posted a link a day or two ago that listed the agendas for all the committees. It's on the Safety and Training Committee agenda, but I didn't see in on the full boards agenda.

The way it works is this: we discuss it in Safety and Training and *then* bring it to the full board with our recommendation(s). And yes, the reason it is on the S&T committee is because of the three (now four, with Bill von Novak's letter of today) letters sent to the BOD already.


geronimo

Jul 3, 2003, 2:17 PM
Post #5 of 15 (954 views)
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Re: [Hooknswoop] WL Limits Pro/Con [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Is this an indication that the board would like to discuss this issue? If so, was this interest brought on by the discussions here on DZ.com?

Ron made a request to his RD to have this on the S&T Comm. agenda.
The request is stated as:
Wing-Loading:
There has been a request to discuss canopy wing-loading and possible requirements implemented by USPA.
Thank Ron for putting this on the agenda.

Since that time, SkyBytch and Derek V have sent emails to us. Bill sent one today. I hope to see emails from Ron, Zenister & Kallend too, as well as from anyone else.

The reason I posted this request is because there are so many posts on this. The discussions are not read by every BOD member - only a few. Unlike a newsreader, you cannot mark individual posts for saving & ignore the rest. IOW, it is really hard to go find the handful of pertinent posts on this topic. It would help if you summarized how you see this issue PRO or CON and forward that directly to the S&T Comm.

I hope you folks realize that every USPA official, employee or elected representative, is just as tired and frustrated about all of the fatalities & injuries under perfectly good parachutes. We have the same goal to reduce these incidents. We differ only on the course of action.

The exact course of action is yet to be determined. I am sure it will not measure up to some people's expectations and exceed the boundaries of what USPA should be doing for other people.

I strongly urge people that want to understand this entire issue to read up on risk, safety, liability, assumption of risk, statistics & data, waivers, history etc. If you have strong feelings on this issue and do not educate yourself about the 'whole' picture, then you would fit into the mentality of those young whipper-snappers that don't listen to the S&TA or fellow jumpers and are not open to influence. Stand in the shoes of your adversary and really understand what he is saying.

I would also like to point out that the S&T Comm. has some REALLY smart people on it with LOTS of experience. We do not always see eye-to-eye. That is a good thing.


Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

Jul 3, 2003, 7:20 PM
Post #6 of 15 (907 views)
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Re: [geronimo] WL Limits Pro/Con [In reply to] Can't Post

Just mailed my letter off, and (although you didn't ask for it), thought I'd post it here too.
+++
My name is Wendy Wilkinson, and I'd like to weigh in on the wingloading thread.

As background: started jumping 1975, 1000 jumps to about 1984, then 100 very irregularly in the rest of the 80's; started again 2001. Expired I, AFF/I, senior rigger, D6296. Currently jump a wingloading of 1.2..

To me, there are three parts to this intertwined problem.
1. Canopy technology is advancing very quickly
2. The leading edge of knowledge is advancing just as quickly
3. The rest of the world is not advancing as quickly, but the quick advancement in canopy design means that advanced technology is far more accessible than education.

To go along with this, there is more money in skydiving, and it's cool to fly a small canopy. Think of people who have computers they only understand partly, and it's the same for canopies. However, the parts you don't know about a computer are unlikely to kill you.

I would like to see, not necessarily a BSR, but a structured canopy curriculum which would be considered mandatory for all jumpers at USPA dropzones. This curriculum would be multi-stepped, since basic survival skills for first-jump AFF students are different from ones for someone jumping with other people in the air, and for someone who is changing their wingloading. Some basic skills are included in AFF, but it's more focused on freefall skills in my (admittedly distant) experience.

Enforcement is mostly up to the dropzones -- a student who's extremely conservative might do with a briefing by an instructor, but someone with a high-performance canopy would be more likely to have to demonstrate more directly the skills outlined, and probably get some more formal instruction. It would need to be signed off. When? Dunno for sure, but a formal signoff by an instructor, S&TA or canopy course instructor for any given section of the curriculum would be good. In the logbook for the parts that aren't part of the license structure. And maybe have the signoff repeated at any downsize of more than 20% when the jumper has less than 100 jumps on the previous canopy, and they don't have a D license.
How to verify? Two ways, and neither of them is great. At a home DZ, the S&TA or DZO is likely to be aware of what's going on to some degree, and local instructors will too. And with time, jumpers will be educated through the D license, and a D license will be evidence that you have completed at least reading the curriculum.

Yes, people can still hurt themselves. And that cannot be prevented. But if we begin by focusing on the basic skills that so many young jumpers seem to lack. From what I've read on rec.skydiving and in dropzoen.com, a lot of low-turn injuries seem to be panic and misjudgement turns, not necessarily high-performance landing turns. Definitely some are from high-performance landings too. However, the people who were panicked are very likely to be helped by education and practice, because it will give them confidence in their skills in a panic situation.

The curriculum should include some discussion of the nature of flight, preferably with visual aids (computers can add a whole lot of illustration here). Then the types of emergencies that can happen, and the types of maneuvers that can help. There is not single maneuver that is always safe, but emphasis on flat turns followed by a PLF as an automatic emergency maneuver might help people to think of them first, rather than last. There aren't any well-defined emergency procedures right now for landing emergencies, and there isn't as much time to deal with them as there are with many canopy emergencies. This curriculum would also be available to jumpers re-entering the sport after a long layoff. When I came back, there wasn't a whole lot of information that I didn't have to go dig out -- people figured I already knew, even though I hadn't made a jump in 10+ years.

Of course there will be people who will still abuse the system. But if the majority of the materials are easy to use, then the skydiving community will eventually develop what's known as herd immunity when it comes to inoculations -- the majority will have the education, and that will serve to enforce it on the minority who don't get it.

Wendy Wilkinson
Houston Texas


nathaniel

Jul 4, 2003, 4:42 PM
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Re: [geronimo] WL Limits Pro/Con [In reply to] Can't Post

Just tossed in my $0.02 via email.

For all the non-USPA S&TA committee members here's what I wrote:
Hello USPA Safety & Training Committee.

My name is Nathaniel, I'm a new jumper with ~ 100 jumps
having started in this great sport approximately 1 year ago. In March I
purchased a rig with a used Sabre-150 that I load at 1.0 lbs / sq ft.

The proposal to restrict or recommend wingloadings on the basis of a
jumper's jump numbers or license level or other measure of experience
makes several assumptions. These are my opinions on some of them:


1 (jumpers with less experience are more likely to be involved in
accidents or accidents of a particular type.) It's not enough to look
at accident numbers; we are interested in accident rates. According to
the USPA website, more than 50% of skydivers have less than 250 jumps.
So a high number of accidents among less-experienced skydivers by itself
does not justify this assumption. Until we have evidence that
experience is a factor, we should not restrict the discussion of
wingloading regulation to jumpers of any experience level.


2 (high wingloadings increase the accident rate.) This assumption galls
me--without in-depth study this assumption is a striking
misappropriation of causality. My experience with other jumpers has
been that smaller, high performance canopies are the expression of a
jumper's preferences, not the cause. Jumpers with less experience and
higher wingloadings that I have met are frequently jumpers flying camera
and doing complex freeflying formations--some of them do BASE jumps.
Their choice of high performance main canopies does not seem to be made
in ignorance, but out of increased tolerance for risk. I detect in
myself a strong libertarian leaning when it comes to regulating the
informed decisions of other citizens.

The claim that the same accident made with higher WL will be more severe
than with lower WL is plausible to me, but this doesn't justify the
assumption. A jumper forced to fly a larger canopy than she prefers
will not fly her canopy the same as she would with a smaller one.
Forcing people to fly larger canopies could even /increase/ the accident
rate if it gave jumpers a false sense of security in their parachutes.
A jumper of any experience level can die jumping a parachute of any size
under the wrong circumstances.


3 (wingloading is constant). Wingloading is not constant. Parachutes
tend to stay at approximately the same size as when they were
manufactured, but jumpers do not. Personally I jump between 1.0 lbs/sq
ft and over 1.1 lbs / sq ft depending on the amount of belly weights
(0-12 lbs) I'm wearing. It's preposterous that judicious use of weights
might be restricted by wingloading regulations.


4 (wingloading is a good measure of a parachute's performance
characteristics). To be sure, a smaller parachute will fly more
aggressively than a larger one of the same design when flown by the same
jumper. Wingloading loses some of its appeal when it is used to compare
parachutes of different designs. Is a jumper with a C license and 250
jumps safer flying a PD Spectre @ 1.4 lbs / sq ft or an Icarus
EXtreme-VX at 1.3 lbs / sq ft? If we regulate on wingloading alone,
jumpers may substitute for wingloading with more advanced parachute
designs to get the flight characteristics they want.

Wingloading is most meaningful for average-size people. A 100 pound
jumper on a 90 sq ft canopy is a creature very different from a 220
pound jumper on a 190 sq ft canopy, even if the canopies are the same
model.

Parachute design is an inexact science. The sizes and designs that are
popular today will one day be obsolete. If Atair came out with a canopy
that was as safe as other models with 10% more fabric (or safer), what
good would the USPA achieve in misclassifying it? We'd need to
continuously update the standard in close communication with industry
representatives to ensure it didn't become obsolete with today's gear.
Otherwise regulations based on today's wingloadings could have an
unanticipated impact on the sport parachute manufacturing industry.
They would encourage the use of a particular amount of fabric for no
other reason than it was the amount popular when the regulation was
enacted.

-

It is quite possible that wingloading regulations might decrease the
accident rate, but the opposite (including no effect) is at least
equally likely. If we go with a regulation or a recommendation in the
SIM, we should avoid oversimplifying the issue of canopy performance to
wingloading; we should include all major factors that affect canopy
flight.

We should also consider other ways to encourage safe behaviour, such as
* extending the coach / instructor system into a longer-term mentoring
system
* dividing the coach / instructor system into specialty classes, eg.,
CRW, freeflying, swooping, etc
* providing incentives and recognition for safe jumpers and safe DZs


Thank you for your patience and your time.

Nathaniel
Chicago, Illinois
A-41130


ChileRelleno  (D 24868)

Jul 4, 2003, 5:15 PM
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Re: [geronimo] WL Limits Pro/Con [In reply to] Can't Post

YO! Geronimo, please feel free to fill in your profiles. We kind of think of it as bit of etiquette to atleast fill in the basics. It would be "AWESOME" (my word for the dayWink) if we knew more about you. THNX Chile.


geronimo

Jul 4, 2003, 7:29 PM
Post #9 of 15 (825 views)
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Re: [ChileRelleno] WL Limits Pro/Con [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
YO! Geronimo, please feel free to fill in your profiles. We kind of think of it as bit of etiquette to atleast fill in the basics. It would be "AWESOME" (my word for the dayWink) if we knew more about you. THNX Chile.

I don't get why you folks are so obsessed with that profile thing. Most of the info is stuff I just do not keep track of.
I certainly don't want to maintain that stuff either.
I can't even keep my own websites up to date.

But if you really want to read all about ME! see
Too Scared To Jump!!!!
and
World Record Night 50-way
and
Me!!!! (not up to date)

See Parachutist July 2003 pages 48-51 and page 6.

I rather that you did not know who I really was & replied based only on the content of my post.

.


riddler  (D 10234)

Jul 4, 2003, 8:41 PM
Post #10 of 15 (811 views)
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Re: [geronimo] WL Limits Pro/Con [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I rather that you did not know who I really was & replied based only on the content of my post.

<riddler bows respectfully to a USPA National Director>

Jan - the reason we take the profile seriously is that we get a lot of newbie "trolls" that have personality issues and post trash to our beloved forums. If the profile isn't filled out, we might just assume it's someone that wants to stir up trouble. Typically, when you get more posts and your status changes, you get more respect on the forums.

Because of who you are, you have the option to bypass all that and go straight to the lovin' if you fill out the profile and let everyone know who you are. Either way, but the former takes more time and posts ...


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Jul 4, 2003, 11:27 PM
Post #11 of 15 (799 views)
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Re: [geronimo] WL Limits Pro/Con [In reply to] Can't Post

>I don't get why you folks are so obsessed with that profile thing.

Just netiquette. It's the web version of introducing yourself before beginning a conversation with someone. It's certainly not required; just considered polite in message board discussions.


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Jul 5, 2003, 3:04 AM
Post #12 of 15 (791 views)
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Re: [geronimo] WL Limits Pro/Con [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't get why you folks are so obsessed with that profile thing. Most of the info is stuff I just do not keep track of.
I certainly don't want to maintain that stuff either.
I can't even keep my own websites up to date.

Jan,
Shame on you!
Sparky


Cornholio  (D License)

Jul 5, 2003, 7:27 AM
Post #13 of 15 (772 views)
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Re: [geronimo] WL Limits Pro/Con [In reply to] Can't Post

Ok, how about this one...

People have been saying that higher wingloadings vs jump numbers vs size of canopy do not always mean the same thing. So how about a chart of some kind that is proportional to the size of the canopy, the desired wingloading, AND the type of canopy....like this one (see attached)

Edit: the jump numbers ARE negotiable, I was just using them as an example.


(This post was edited by Cornholio on Jul 5, 2003, 7:32 AM)
Attachments: Page.htm (10.4 KB)


Hooknswoop  (D License)

Jul 5, 2003, 8:32 AM
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Re: [Cornholio] WL Limits Pro/Con [In reply to] Can't Post

The Dutch made a chart that went by canopy type.

The more complicated we make, the less likely it will be used and the more difficult it will be to use it.

Jump numbers and wing loading has errors at each end of the scale that can be corrected with a very detailed and complicated chart.

The point of the BSR isn't so much to restrict people as it is to make education mandatory.

Hook


Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

Jul 9, 2003, 8:49 PM
Post #15 of 15 (679 views)
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Re: [geronimo] WL Limits Pro/Con [In reply to] Can't Post

Bump. Folks, this is a sterling opportunity to provide input, so this is a reminder to those folks who haven't yet.

Wendy W.



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