Sep 7, 2003, 3:44 PM
Post #1 of 6
When you are low
Today I was participating on 14-way formation skydive. One of the divers went low on approach and could not get back to the formation. As we were approaching the end of the freefall part of the skydive, he tracked away little earlier than pre-planned break-off altitude (4.5K) and pulled and about 4K. As a result I found myself tracking towards the opening canopy a few seconds after we broke off. There was no need for me to change the direction of track in order to avoid the collision, however I decided to talk to the person on the ground in order to explain him the danger of doing what he did on that dive. He seemed to understand. Here I would like to repeat what I was told many times by very experienced people who organize formation loads bigger than 2-way: if you go low, turn sideways to the formation and try to get back until the break-off altitude. Then track off and pull at minimum deployment altitude. This is the best way to prevent the situation when you pitch the PC in a face of the person tracking over your head.
I'm sure you'll get varying opinions on this. Some people say if you're low and won't be able to get back up, track away early and get far away. On the other hand, if I'm in that formation, I know that person is low, and I'd rather know where he is (near us) so I can keep an eye on him. I agree with the statement of pulling at the minimum altitude, definitely not higher, as he did.
billvon (D 16479)
Sep 8, 2003, 11:06 AM
Post #3 of 6
-If it happens high, soon after the exit, (above 8000 feet let s say), I would track all the way down (except being a very very bad tracker, 25/30 s of track should be enough too be far away), and If I can, open near break off altitude (if they have not break off yet, they have not tracked yet, so they are where you left them) to ensure horizontal separation.
If I am a bit lower and have a doubt whether I have tracked enough or not, yes that s when I would try to open lower than them...
Disclaimer: I tell that for small ways from 12000feet... and I am not saying "do as I say", I am rather asking "is it right like this?"