I was talking to a CReW Dawg early this year and he was explaining docks but I dont think i really got the concept. I keep thinking that if you are hitting someones legs with your canopy with any speed, you should just bounce right off or cause your canopy to stall. Someone want to see if they can explain the process in writing for little old me that knows next to nothing about CReW?
I want to touch the sky, I want to fly so high ~ Sonique
I don't know his e-mail (or even his real name, actually) but Brit or any of the other Houston area jumpers would. But you need to talk to Catfish. He's basically the best CReW guy in the Houston area and he really knows his schiznet. He has a little packet that he gives to people who want to learn CReW that explains a lot of stuff like that to give them background before he starts actually teaching it, you may be able to get a copy from him, at the least.
AggieDave '02 ------------- Blue Skies and Gig'em Ags! BTHO t.u.
It is a piece of cake actually (the actual dock that is, flying to it is a little harder).
if you are both flying the same direction and the top man (the guy who is going to be pinned is a little slower (1/4 brakes) or doing slight sashays, the bottom aster guy can fly his canopy into the top guys butt.
really what happens is it just grazes you (feels sort of like a ballon) and you reach down and grab an end cell). You can do a pretty violent reach and grab to and it won't hurt anything. As soon as you can grab this canopy fabric, do so and then look down at the bottom guys lines, pull the canopy over till you are centered (if he has crew liines, the 2 center lines will be red) and wrap your feet inside and around the two center lines then letgo with your hands and grab your toggles. Now you have a two stack...piece of cake.
This is how violently you can grab.
My friend Wane and I have done a two stack with small cross braced canopies (99FX and 109 FX). they are very twitchy and tend to zoom everywhere while he is trying to fly to my legs. The first time he got his canopy close enough for me to grab, I was late and he was out of reach in one second. the 2nd try I saw him coming and reached and barely grabed a nose cell. I held on, we twitch a little and I grabbed with both hands, dragged myself to his center and made the stack. It sort of got violent after I grabbed because they are so small, but we pulled it off.
Doing this with larger canopies is really easy. You just have to convince your self that it is ok to let go of your toggles and grab your partners nose really quickly. Once you have it hold on tight until you can position your feet. You won't wrpa, or collapse anything just trying a 2-stack....5 stack or larger things can get a little twitchy...2 -stacks are stable.
My friend Wane and I have done a two stack with small cross braced canopies (99FX and 109 FX).
I've seen it!! EXTREME CReW!!!!!!!! Waaaahooooo!! I've seen Catfish at work too amazing to say the least. They come in for landing in a down plane and about 150 feet break, sometimes lower! It's pretty nerve wracking to watch from the ground. You thinking BREAK AWAY!
Not like Im an Expert, but on my two CRW jumps, I was lucky enough to have them dock dead center. I just let go of my toggles and reached behind me to grab two hands full of canopy - then I slid all the way down the lines and put my feet in the front risers, then grabbed my toggles. - I was top man on both jumps so, I got to fly the formation . We were so high up both times, that letting go of the toggles or bumping around a bit didn't bother me. The docks didn't feel "hard" or "unstable" either time. Check out the photos in the Gallery.
Let's talk safety first (yeah boring, wrong forum...). The most dangerous thing that can happen doing CReW with `non CReW' canopies is pilotchute entanglement without you noticing it. Then when you (try to) break up low (below 2500') it will scare you shitless and it might be the last time you are scared. So get into the habbit of checking those dragging pilot chutes before you break up and do it high. 150 feet in a downplane is not the time to find out that your pilotchutes are trying to make love...
Now that I blew all the fun let me try and make up. There are basically two ways to dock. The easy way and the hard way. The latter being more fun and challenging of course.
Use two canopies that don't match. Position the small one in front and above (half brakes) and the big one (dog) behind and below. Now the dog will slowly rise since it has more float. As explaned above you have to fly the leading edge CENTER (sorry for takling loud) cell of the dog towards the container of the upper jumper, so all you see are legs and back. If you fall behind use frontriser, if you are to far behind the top (pilot) can start a slow turn and the bottom (pin) should not follow but predict flightpaht and cut the corner. If you move to far foreward but can still see at least feet use more toggle. If you loose sight make a frontriser turn away and set it up again or else be ready to deal with a wrap. When you're about a feet away shout `incomming' and when the fabric touches the pilot he should let go of the toggles and `grab what you can and hold on'. If you time it right you'll be able to grab before you swing to far foreward due to letting go of the toggles.
Since nobody wants to be a sitting duck let's now take two similar canopies (I prefer two Lightnings loaded 1.5 :-). Fly side by side touching endcells (this should be hard enough so practice and play a bit) Now the docking requires both the pilot (later on top) and the pin (later on bottom) to manouvre (spelling?). One of you can shout `attention -- GO!' (yeah, I'm in the millitairy) Then both of you turn about 30 deg. in the same direction, pilot using toggle en pin using frontriser (be smooth) What happens now is that pilot will float up and back and pin will drop low and foreward. Pin has to transition to toggles so he won't overshoot and drop too low. pilot times and grabs. If you managed to do a bunch of nice docks try catching the pin with your legs in stead of grabbing with your hands. This requires pin to `flare' at the right time so that he swings foreward when his canopy touches pilot who will then be able to `just stick his legs back and hook in' (arch).
I have to go now,
to be continued... (if I don't get flamed too much)
Sweet! This is the type of info that I was looking for! Thanks!
I higly suggest talking to some experienced CRW jumpers, before you attempt any of this, regarding wraps, cutaways, and canopy control.. If you get wrapped, and do the wrong thing, you could make the situation immensely worse for one or both of you.. One thing to remember, though, is that in most wraps the upper canopy remains flying normally.. If this is the case, the lower person needs to make sure that the upper person KNOWS that their canopy is flying normally.....otherwise, they may think they are hurtling toward the earth at 80mph with a partially inflated canopy.. Above all else, TALK TO EACH OTHER in a wrap.....discuss what you're going to do, commit to a plan of action, and stick to it - time and altitude permitting.. There are a couple times to disregard that, though - such as you being the bottom guy, and your lines are wrapped around the top guys neck choking him.....then you want to chop immediately to get the tension off the lines.. If you are at your hard deck(determined before the jump), and the top guy is not responding - chop..
There are many other things you need to know, so talk to some CRW jumpers in your area, and it would be an even better idea to jump with 'em..
I higly suggest talking to some experienced CRW jumpers, before you attempt any of this. <<snip snip>> There are many other things you need to know, so talk to some CRW jumpers in your area, and it would be an even better idea to jump with 'em..
I was typing the above at work and got cought so I had to cut it short. I'm glad to see that more experienced people are monitoring this forum but sad so see they are not hardly posting...
Let me write a bit about my background so you will be able to judge my experience. I am an F-16 pilot and did about 1500 hours of FReW (F-16 Relative Work) which in my opinion is about the same as CReW except the toys are faster, more expensive and it's called air combat :-) The airforce puts a lot of effort in keeping things safe so we are all given the same middle name: safety (wrong forum again...) I was going to give you the exact same advice and URL Mike gave you and some more since not all dropzones have experienced CReW dogs around to talk to and you posting here meens there aren't any at yours (I am not one jet).
People often ask me how much I fly and how long. The answer is about 4 times a week an average of 1 hour 15. The next question is what I use the other 8 hours for and when I say planning, briefing and debriefing the mission their mouths fall open.
Planning is the most important aspect and involves just what we are doing here, discussing the problem, getting other peoples opinions and thinking them over, locating possible ceveats (spelling? sorry a'm not native english/american), assessing unsertainties and risks. Always be very critical even with what you hear from experienced guys. They might not be as experienced as you think and if they are, they make mistakes too or have different assumptions and things may not be apliccable to you. Don't just listen but think for yourself (although I have a feeling that stubborn people live a shorter life). I quote Cheryl Michaels: Remember, whatever you hear, it's important to ask what canopies are being flown and what wing loading and if the team is doing anything special to their canopies. <<snip snip>> And remember, if you think of a different way to do it and someone says it's not possible, ask why. Over the years we've seen things flown that hadn't been possible, but some changes and some precautions made it possible. But if someone knows why it's not possible, listen. You'll have to figure out what you can do to avoid the problems if you want to try it that way.
Next is briefing. At work it takes 30 mins to 1 hour max. (after 50 mins most people fall asleep). For jumpng taking at least 15 mins seems to pay off. On concequetive jumps you can skip the already mentioned. It consists of exteriour factors (wheather, jumpship, landing zone), objectives you want to reach and how you think you are going to do that, emphasising the bottlenecks and have a back-up plan. Finish it of with discussing safety points, who does what, when, why and how high (be interactive). Don't be formal about it but try not to wonder off, be to the point. Then you can go outside and walk it out on the platform (kinda like the bellyfliers do with their creepers).
Next go skydive! At work it is a rule written in blood not to fly stuff you haven't briefed. This is especially true for new stuff. When I jump and get all excited I tend to sometimes feeling the urge to violate that rule but the little voice in the back of my head has kept me from doing it so far. Realise you haven't thought things through and will confuse the others on the jump. This is potentially very dangerous.
After you land it's time for some personbonding. All is allowed, hi-5's, hugging, yells, backflips. This is to releave some excitement so you will be able to talk normally again and other people can see they are missing something. Wait with the beer till after the last dive though :o)
Now debrief. This can be the hardest thing if you don't have a camera person. General rule is that he who shouts the loudest is definately right :-). If you want to continue jumping with the same person it pays of to be constructive and honest. In the airforce there was a huge change when the videocamera was introduced in fighter airplanes. It enabled the young wingman to prove that the old shouting experienced forcelead weaponinstructor was talking bullsh.t. The effect was that the shouting made room for thorrow video analisis. This had a rocketing effect on overall performance. If fast progression is important to you find a camera person.
It's about time for lunch so I'll sign off with some more guidelines I use (I won't say the S-word again). Tell people what you are up to, the DZ owner/chief instructor, the pilot and the others (on the load). Don't dock or transition below 2,500'. If you have a stable formation you are confident in flying you can keep it till 1,500'. Be gentil, you are not allone. Then you decide to break or land it (definately not with an other puppy). Check that dragging pilot chute! Better yet, get rid of it. Retractable is the way to go but there is an other sollution. I bet you and your friend can't wait to go out there this weekend and try that shit from my last post. Ask the chief-instructor if you can static-line two student chutes to do CReW (Disconnect the RSL. Turn off FXC once the chute is open). These are better fit to do your first CReW than your average bladerunner or what have you. Learn to walk before running.
I'm getting all exiced, let's prey for Blues this weekend. Remko.
General consensus....Ask Wendy Faulkner- she'll say "come to temple any time, I'll jump with ya!"
Wendy, the US CReW team, and several other highly experienced CRW jumpers put on novice training camps fairly often at various DZ's.. For a schedule, Wendy can be contacted via the website listed in my post above, and she can put you in contact with anybody else she knows of that may be setting up camps.. Mark Gregory and Chris Gay generally organize the camps by the US CReW team.. Mike Lewis is organizing a camp for sometime soon in ZHills..
Gotta get em down to Spacey Place. Already Emailed her!
Cool.. You'll have an awesome time......just beware of the Lightning landings.. They come down like a ton of bricks until you figure 'em out.. I don't land 'em anymore without a hook turn or double front riser approach..
http://www.vapaapudotus.net/...ge=IcarusFX70CRW.jpg you can see two fellows from our dz in a 2-stack, the cameraman is flying an Icarus Extreme FX70, the top man (too bad his canopy can't be seen) is flying a PD Velocity 96. These same two guys did a 2-stack with Icarus VX65 and the Velocity last summer in Estonia at Parasummer 2001.