Dec 24, 2001, 12:51 PM
Post #1 of 37
Canopy Nazi Question?
I'm at a strange point in my skydiving career. I ended the weekend with 114 jumps. I'm normally a pretty agressive canopy pilot. During the height of the summer I was doing 180 front riser hooks almsot every time I landed. I did my first 360 this summer and it was nearly flawless. (Yes, I bought beer) Now that it's winter time I'm not as current. I still jump fairly regularly but have gone 2 weeks without jumping on a couple of occasions lately. When it's been two weeks since I last jumped I tend to make a 90 riser turn a little high and then ride both fronts to keep the speed. This is a pretty safe way to land IMHO. Gives me a little surf and the flair power to actually stop that huge PD 190. Several times in the last ten jumps I find that my timing on letting up the risers is a little off. I have had to dig out a couple times. I'm just as comfortable but my skills get a little rusty. Haven't hurt myself but I don't like having to dig out of a dive. That shit can kill you some day. With all that said. I was seriously thinking of downsizing. I don't think a Cobalt 150 would have been out of my skill envelope a couple months ago. Now, I doubt myself. Am I just being a Wuss? Am I a guy with 100 and some jumps that actually realizes I don't know everything and there are limits to my skills? It's not so much that I think I wouldn't be able to hook and swoop a smaller canopy. It's just that I see the little mistakes I make under a relatively docile canopy and they are easy to fix. I tend to have pretty big cajones under canopy. I'm afraid that I might get "stupid brave" under something smaller and hurt myself. I do love to "HOOK IT!" What's the canopy Nazi opinion? Should I just stay with my docile PD 190 and keep having fun or push the envelope to something smaller?
Don't downsize. Instead, use the money to get a non elliptical ZP canopy. You did ~100 jumps this year and thats better then most, but since you are loading that PD 190 at about 1.2-1.3, you should start to learn how to fly ZP canopies now. It usually takes at least 10 jumps on ZP before everyone can start to get a surf with stand up landings. At the current rate of your jumps, that almost 10% of next years jumps. Try and find something like a Sabre, Safire or a Pro series 190. (I'd say Cobalt since you really want one, but they don't make a 190 and you should stick to the 190 for now.) DO NOT go elliptical yet. Stick to the rule of three strikes, If you ever put 3 new things or 3 unusual things together, walk away. If you get a Cobalt 170 or god forbid a 150, thats 1) a new canopy style, 2) Elliptical, 3) ZP, 4) Downsized, 5) different flare then even a PD product. Thats more then enough that can hurt you. After another season of skydiving with ZP, then you can look at downsizing, or going elliptical, just stay under the 3 strikes rule to help break the chain of events that can hurt ya.
I want to touch the sky, I want to fly so high ~ Sonique
OK....here's my next question Phree. I have been told several times by HIGHLY experienced jumpers that ZP "Flys about one size bigger" than F-111. I see that Cobalt goes up to 170. I know it's pretty hard to compare a PD 190 and a Cobalt 170 but it seems that speed/descent rate would be somewhat close. Certainly the Cobalt will handle better. Have more flare power and faster turn rates. I would think it would be easier to make conservative approaches. From experience I have seen Cobalts far outglide my PD when coming back from long spots. I would load a 170 at about 1.38:1 which is plenty but being ZP should actually fly a little easier (especially on the landing) than my PD loaded at 1.2-1.3:1. Does a 1.38:1 loading on a Cobalt make you cringe for me? I have so far avoided any serious injury in skydiving. I'd like to keep it that way!
Oh...BTW I have done 66 jumps since May. Many more next year!
keep your canopy and demo everyone elses 170/150 as spring apporaches.
By the time youare ready to buy you will be more current, better, and have a good idea what you want.
Demo everything, it is fun having a differnet canopy waiting at the DZ for you every other weekend, take your time and you will really look foward to the one you buy and will enjoy it more rather than force yourself to adapt to it.
just my 2 cents ramon
PhreeZone (D License)
Dec 24, 2001, 11:15 PM
Post #5 of 37
Having flown a Cobalt for 60+ jumps straight now at 1.25:1 I feel better giving this recomendation then most others that are yet to jump one.... I'm also going to be jumping a 135 Cobalt loaded at a real similar loading in a few days so once I return, I'll let you know my feelings at that loading.
ZP does fly bigger, but not a whole size, its more like an extra 5 feet or so in the feeling, a Cobalt feels the same way. I did 195+ jumps since this April and did'nt look at the Cobalt till jump mid season. The Cobalt is'nt as wicked of a canopy as I orginally thought it was, and I now think of it as more of a Super Sabre design. Flys similar, flare is powerful, but nothing in terms of twitcyness of a Stiletto. The thing that is getting more and more high and mid proformance pilots into trouble is the ease in which thier highly loaded canopies fly and land when things go right. Its like the canopy is a natural extention of the body, look right, turn right concept. I wish more pilots would take the time to realize why the canopy is so much more responsive and the drawbacks of an elliptical canopy. Sure it turns faster, but a minor course correction with a toggle can drop you a few feet if your not ready for it with an elliptical canopy and a more rectangular canopy would not do that.
I'm sticking with my earlier post, grab a ZP 190 (Sabre if you can) for a dozen or so jumps before trying to learn to many things to quickly. If you start nailing the landings, a 170 at the end of spring might not maim you too bad.
As for the compairson, not even close, the Desent is much less in glide on the Cobalt but much higher in spirls then the PD. The Cobalt is going to have a higher forward speed to start with, so you need to ask just how much is too muxh right now? Learning and understanding your personal limits will help keep you walking.
I want to touch the sky, I want to fly so high ~ Sonique
Before downsizing, learn all the corners of the envelope on your current canopy. Sounds like you understand where the dreaded "corner" is when doing front riser hooks, but do you know where the corners are in low speed flight? Next jump, tell the pilot you plan to open at 4,000' or 5,000' and practice flying around in deep brakes. When you have fully mastered all the corners on your current canopy, then you can start searching for you new canopy. Plan to take delivery one month into the busy season so you are "on top" of your current canopy. Earlier posters gave good advice about avoiding three new variables on any skydive. Also remember that rectangular ZP canopies are falling out of fashion, so prices are dropping. You should be able to pick up a decent used Sabre for half the cost of a new Cobalt, jump the Sabre for a season and re-sell it for almost the same price.
Am I a guy with 100 and some jumps that actually realizes I don't know everything and there are limits to my skills?
Yes. And that's a good thing.
I'd also suggest making the switch to zp in the near future. You're an aggressive pilot; you'll have way more fun with zp and get better landings with less work. Considering your wingloading on a 190, I'd suggest 25 - 50 jumps or so on a Sabre (or equivalent) 190, then start demoing 170's if a 190 isn't fast enough for you. I wouldn't recommend a 150 anything until you have at least a couple hundred more jumps - take the time to really learn how to fly the 1.4 wingloading you'd be at under a 170; it will pay off when you're flying an Icarus Ridicarous 47 a couple years from now.
Surprised I'd suggest a 170? You're an aggressive pilot who wants to go fast and surf long. As long as you stay current and guard yourself from getting "stupid brave" too close to the ground until after you really know what you're doing and know the canopy, you'll probably do just fine with it. Get some good high performance canopy control coaching though. I feel strongly that education is the key to long term survival in this sport, period; I think it's even more important if you're going to play with higher wing loadings.
I think thats exactly what I'm going to do. That and Jonathan keeps raving about his Nitro....AuFreefly has had a couple of Cobalts and he says they fly "big" I'll try them both out and see what I like and what I feel comfortable with. I've about gotten everything out of that 190 that I can. The one thing that tend to throw me off is the "slow speed corner" The difference in recovery arc after a 90 deg riser turn and a 180 deg riser turn is huge. It takes a lot longer to recover after a 90. That really confused me for a little while but I have a handle on it. There's not much I can't do with that canopy. Plus, I really have a woody for an all purple cobalt with black diamonds. SCHHWWWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEETTTT!!!!!!! I already downloaded the demo form!!! Now, I just have to wait for the weather to warm up a bit.....
Okay here is my opinion, as I may be one of those rare ones who downsized quite fast, as I changed from PD Navigator 220 straight into the PISA Hornet 150.
So, you have flown a canopy that is made of F-111 fabric, and I can certainly say that you will love the ZP-canopy. I made one jump on F-111 canopy and hell, I landed it hard, but haven't had a single problem on a ZP canopy. The flaring is so much more efficient on ZP canopy.
Anyway, I would say atleast demo some 150sqft canopies too, after you have demoed the 170 ones. The difference isn't that radical.
Sorry, didn't mean to throw you off by referring to the "low speed corner." I was referring to exploring the lower speed range of any parachute, the exact opposite of high speed hook turn landings. This is not nearly as exciting as the high speed range, but low speed skills can come in handy if Helen Keller spots and you have to land in a tennis court. To practice low speed flight, clear the air around you and find your stall point. Bang your fists into your hips to "lock" that toggle position into short term memory. No need to lock it into long term memory because it will change tomorrow. Pull half brakes. Then pull one toggle down to 3/4 brakes and watch how quickly the canopy turns. Try a 3/4 brake turn to the other side. Then pull one toggle down to 3/4 and the other toggle down all the way. How fast does it turn? Then experiment with both toggles at 3/4, then raising one toggle to 1/2 brakes and watching how fast it turns, etc. All these low speed exercises will consume a dozen or two dozen jumps as you ease your way towards the corners of the envelope. The graduation exercise for low speed flight is knowing how steep an approach you can fly and still stand up the landing.
Yeah...I guess "Low Speed" is a relative term. I use braked flat turns every once in a while when setting up. Sometimes traffic is in the way and I can't afford to lose any more alti before I hook it. I can't do anything resembling a braked approach. That canopy doesn't have enough flare power to actually stop it. I can land without killing myself but in no wind it isn't much fun...LOL. I actually make a much more accurate and controlled landing with a 90 deg riser. I have to have that induced speed in order to give me the flare power to level off and then stop the canopy. Braked flight=Hard fast landings......
sorry for asking but what is your job? Undertaker – working for the morgue?
I say “Heil canopy” to all that has been said above. I read the part in the parachute magazine where they advertise all the ones that have given up their slots (read casualties reports) and what do I see – yes most of them have changed sides by hitting the floor after attempting a loooow turn. C’mon take it step by step and get to know your limits better.
After all – who do we want to impress? Or is it because of the small pack volume?
I'm just curious as to what the staff at your DZ thinks about your hook turns. I can't imagine any DZO being too thrilled with the idea of a low time jumper hooking it in over the landing area, especially on a PD 190. And why are other jumpers allowing this on their DZ? Low time jumpers are dangerous enough on landing, I can't see too many skygods letting you get away with hooking over their turf. The bottom line is that you are putting yourself and those you jump with at a considerably higher risk by being dumb and hooking a canopy not primarily designed for hooking. You may think you can handle a 150 elliptical, but the truth is, you can't. Not right now. You may still go ahead and jump a 150 HP and be fine, and think I'm just being a dick, but there will come a landing when somthing will be misjudged, but on your 150HP, you won't have the same margin for error and your gonna end up hurting yourself. Just take it slow, you have your whole life ahead of you to skydive. Learn as much as you can from each canopy you jump before you move down. Again, I'm not trying to bash you, I can understand you want to be as good as you can, as fast as you can, I'm just tired of seeing skydivers getting hurt or killed in otherwise avoidable situations, and this whole thread sounds like an accident waiting to happen. Believe me, I went through the same thing recently, I did 300 jumps my first year and I was itching to get down to a Crossfire 129, but I waited and practiced on my Sabre 150, putting over 200 jumps on the canopy. I'm still jumping it today, and with 400 jumps (I'm a newbie too), I'm waiting for my Vengence 120 to be delivered this month. Could I have jumped the 120 200 jumps ago? Sure. But would I have been able to handle the same inflight emergencies under 120 as the 150? No way. You arejust now hitting the apex of yoru learning curve on canopy flight, take the time to do it right and learn all you can about the canopies you are flying. Okay, sorry if this was a bash, I just want you and all of us for that matter, to be as safe as we can in the skies.
"I can't see too many skygods letting you get away with hooking over their turf"
All I can say is.....If you saw me fly my canopy you most likely wouldn't feel this way. I did 3 head down jumps with the DZO last weekend. He trusts me and so does everyone else on the DZ. In fact the only words of caution I have experienced were from a friend and camera flyer at the DZ. After I did that insane 360 hook he said..."Ya know...You probably shouldn't be doing stuff like that." I totally agreed with him and will never do it again unless I'm over water. When I jump with "Skygod's" at the DZ I normally get comments about how good and safe I fly. Both in Free Fall and under canopy. They are usually very suprised cause they know I only have 100 and some jumps. Bottom line is....they watch me jump and don't have any problem with me. I fly loads better than half the people out there that have 2 times or more jumps than me. Just a matter of opinion I guess...come jump with me sometime....
here's the deal freeflir29. It's ultimately your decision to make wether to downsize or not. When you consider downsizing your canopy there are a few trade offs you need to consider. First am I ready to downsize ( both skill and experience wise). Talk to other flyers you trust that have had the oportunity to observe your canopy control skills over a period of time. If they are honest they can give you the best feedback. Second, will I be able to land this canopy safely in someones back yard without puting myself out of commision for a while. What I mean is, have you ever had to land out of the DZ wether it be your fault or not? My first out was a real humbling experience for me that made me realize I had alot to learn, maybe I could wait a little longer for that smaller canopy. Third are my landing skills solid. In solid I mean am I pretty much error free. Remember, the smaller the amount of material over your head, the more expensive the price for mistakes. nuff said on that. Fourth and last, do I jump enough to be able to always stay current on this canopy. I know few people(with over 1000 jumps) that make 1 or 2 jumps a week on their 95 sq ft rockets, and you can see them struggling to survive and on the other hand a guy with only 400 jumps almost all made that year flying the same canopy with no noticeable problems . If you believe that you are outflying your canopy and pretty much bored with what you have, hey it's you decision to make. nuff said just my 2 cents.
While demo'ing canopies, give the Hornet (PISA) a try. It's semi-eliptical shaped, ZP. It's not as aggressive on the front risers as the new Saber-II, but fly's very similar otherwise. They are cheap (price wise) in case this is a transition canopy for you. Try a 190 & 170 and have someone watch you. They sell new around $910 on sale. Do yourself a favor, get a little more experience under your belt before going to a cobalt (right now, that's my dream canopy) or other eliptical mains. The thing to consider is not whether or not you will be able to land it on a clear DZ, but in a tight back yard during an emergency. Just my 2 cents (good thing I get paid on the 1st).
The answers to all the accuracy/back yard questions are a huge yes. I would bet a case of beer that with a resonable spot I can not only put that PD on the X every time. I'll swoop to a stop at the X every time. I have landed out several times. None of the ones on this canopy have been into tight places as most of my jumps on it have been at SD Atlanta where the outs are huge. At around 30 jumps I did have to put an Aero Glide 230 into a back yard. The guys I landed with (Steve Lee was one) asked how many jumps I had and complimented my canopy control skills. I've come light years since then. I have flown the crap out of this canopy. I have 66 jumps on this one and about 10-15 jumps on a differen't PD 190. I'm not in a hurry to hurt myself but I would like something that performs a little better to get back from long spots...get down a little faster, Something I can get more swoop out of, etc etc....
Yes you are right it's almost impossible to land out at thomaston. If you are looking for something smaller around the 150 range give Percision Aerodynamics a shot, I just purchased a Nitron which is similar to a german made Nitro. Nitros are pretty sweet flying canopies. They also sell this seven cell model. And all at 40% off the retail price. I ended up paying 950 for my Nitron. You need to trade in a canopy offcourse but it can be one you used as a car cover. Can't beat the deal for a zp. By the way give greetings to Ferg for me if you see him from the Moody guys.
quade (D 22635)
Dec 28, 2001, 3:18 PM
Post #23 of 37
I would bet a case of beer that with a resonable spot I can not only put that PD on the X every time.
I'm NOT saying you can't do it, but I'll take that bet in a second.
Pro-rating type landings are -way- more difficult than most people think and if you think you can hit 10 in a row by swooping in, I for one, would like to see that and a case of beer would be a cheap price to pay for some good entertainment.
Please video your landings this weekend. I look forward to the footage!
I certainly will. I haven't seen a lot of him lately. He is either done or almost done with school and then it's back in the Air Force for him!!!! He was one of the first people I talked with down there. I was walking around with a ROMAD shirt on and we found out that we used to do the same job in the Air Force but our paths had only crossed briefly once. Funny that can happen in such a small career field.....