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Jumping without a cypres

 

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Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Sep 15, 2003, 12:05 PM
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Jumping without a cypres Can't Post

I've been watching the various cypres threads with interest. There seems to be a fight brewing between the "you don't need an AAD" faction and the "how dare you take issue with all my safety gear!" camp. Rather than keep up with the many threads I thought I'd just post some thoughts here.

I'm definitely an old-school skydiver. I started on DC-5's and round reserves, with a Sentinel Mk2000 as an AAD. We couldn't wait to get off student status because we could finally disconnect the damn things, pull at 3000 feet without fear of a misfire, and get other people to jump with us. When I bought my first canopy, a used PD-190 loaded at .95, I got several speeches on how I had to handle such a high performance canopy. Shortly after I got that Ray got a brand new Monarch 190, a canopy so dangerous no one but him was allowed to jump it. After all, it was ZP!

Times change.

I think one thing that's changed with time is the concept of soloing. In a sense, you soloed on your first jump in the static line program. You had to climb out on the strut yourself, hang there, and let go. The JM would watch you for a few seconds then turn his attention to someone else. After a few jumps you'd have to open your own parachute, again with no help whatsoever. If you screwed up you were in trouble; your cruddy AAD might save your life, but it's not something you'd want to depend on at the rate that they had problems. Compare that to an AFF student who just has to say "Ready!" and the JM's pick up the count and haul him out the door. From there to pull the student has their undivided attention, and even under canopy two people are more or less responsible for him.

Of course, from a purely practical standpoint, the JM's job in both cases is to make sure the main gets opened, and SL JM's can actually do that more reliably than AFF JM's. I still think there's a significant difference there in how people "solo." I believe that tandem to AFF to coaching creates a path whereby a somewhat timid student can ease into the sport, without ever being "alone," to the extent that their first jump without a JM (and especially at 4000 feet!) is cause for great consternation. Nowadays we even have an AAD that's so reliable that a student who uses one during student status need never give it up.

Is this a bad thing? From the top-level view of saving lives it certainly isn't. The cypres has saved a lot of people, both students and experienced jumpers. And the AFF program is a good fit for a lot of people; even initially timid jumpers go on to be instructors, competitors and leaders in the sport, and we are better off with them.

But I think there is still something lost when the concept of the solo is diluted. It remains perhaps the most basic part of learning to fly a plane. There is nothing at all different in terms of skills required to fly without an instructor than with one; indeed, most CFI's want to see at least a few flights where the CFI sits there and does nothing while the student preflights the plane, talks to the tower, plans the pattern, manipulates the controls etc. And the student does nothing different on his first solo flight. It is still, I think, a huge step - the first flight without the backup of the instructor sitting there.

Why is it so important? Two reasons, I think. First of all, it's a confidence builder. A pilot who can fly with a silent instructor in the right seat can _probably_ fly without one in the plane - a pilot who solos has proven to himself that he can. Secondly, there is something inherently different about flying without a backup. There is no instructor to remind you of the ground frequency, so you better remember it. There is no one to remind you of the pre-takeoff checklist, so you better make sure you have it memorized or have it available. In other words, you know you have to get it right or else, and that knowledge makes you a better pilot.

In skydiving, we ease into this a lot more gradually, letting the student do more and more on his own. I worry that we never get to the point of true soloing any more - we never make a jump where our survival is entirely up to us. Sure, we demonstrate all the skills needed to be able to safely jump, but today many people never jump without a device backing up the most important skill in skydiving - getting an open canopy before impact. Is that bad? It is certainly a change in attitude, and as we've seen there are people who are overly dependent on that device, and ask more of it than it can do. Someone willing to jump without a cypres doesn't have that sort of dependence; someone unwilling to do even a single 'solo' jump _may_ have such a dependence. In some cases it's easy to tell if that dependence exists, but I don't know of any hard and fast rule to determine who's overly dependent (beyond being willing to jump without one.)

There's another facet of this, one that I think is important. I've heard several people say things to the effect of "I'm not going to do something dangerous to make some dumb point!" I think that misses the point. A person who learns by doing becomes better at that thing than someone who simulates doing it. Actual experience has more value than pretend experience, even if it's marginally more dangerous to get that experience. You learn to safely land downwind by doing it; you learn to safely flat turn by doing it. Someone who goes to a canopy control seminar then downsizes that day to a much smaller parachute, thinking that listening to a guy talk alone makes him a better canopy pilot, is less prepared than the guy who practices on his own (large) canopy until he has mastered it and _then_ downsizes. Both are important, of course. But actual experience wins over listening to someone else's version of that actual experience. You take a small risk, say by learning to land downwind on a day when the wind is light and the ground is soft. You are rewarded with experience that you cannot get any other way, and that experience can save your life.

Take another example from flying. Most pilots learn to set up an engine-out landing. They don't actually land without an engine, or even get within 500 feet of landing; that's dangerous, the engine may have shock cooling problems, it may not deliver power immediately etc. They generally switch emphasis from forced landing practice to one-engine operation once they get to twins and larger planes. They do not, of course, ever actually _land_ without an engine. That would be even more dangerous.

Well, at least most pilots don't. Bob Pearson did; he was a glider pilot as well as a pilot for Air Canada. He hadn't just practiced engine out approaches; he had landed a great many times with no engine, very few instruments and no way to go around. When his 757 lost power in both engines, he found himself in a glider with very few instruments (his 'glass cockpit' instruments all went dead) and resorted to his experience landing gliders to safely land an unpowered 757 on a runway that had been converted to a drag strip. No one was injured; the plane was barely damaged.

Practicing those dangerous no-engine landings for real, in an ideal environment (i.e. in a glider designed for such landings) made him a better pilot and most probably saved his life and the lives of his passengers. Similarly, skydivers who practice dangerous manuevers for real under ideal conditions become better skydivers as a result, at the cost of a slightly increased level of risk. Tracking jumps make for better trackers. Intentional cutaways make for skydivers who are better at emergency procedures. Jumping without an altimeter (or one covered over, or in a normally inaccessible location) make for more altitude aware jumpers. Doing a ten second delay without goggles can make a jumper better prepared for losing their goggles in freefall. Demo jumpers who can consistently land in stadiums are better at accuracy than jumpers who land on large open fields.

So while I can certainly understand a jumper's reluctance to jump without all possible safety equipment and outs, sometimes doing just that under ideal conditions is an important part of learning to be a safer jumper. A jumper who can land in a stadium is safer landing in a big open field than a jumper who needs that big open field to land safely. A jumper who is able to jump out of a plane with a one-canopy rig and nothing else (no altimeter, AAD, helmet etc) is safer when using modern equipment than a skydiver who depends on all the features of that modern equipment to land safely. That doesn't mean he SHOULD jump without a reserve or AAD, but he should be a good enough packer, judge of altitude etc to be able to if he had to. Even if he never does it, trying to get to that point is a good goal in terms of safety.

Does all this mean that I think all jumpers should jump without AAD's? No. They have done a lot for the sport, and overall their good (saving people who would have otherwise died) has outweighed their bad (giving less-competent people enough confidence to continue jumping, encouraging skydivers to go on more dangerous jumps than they otherwise would.) A jumper who would never jump without an AAD and an RSL is probably still acceptably safe; they are pretty reliable devices, and can probably compensate for a slight reliance on the part of the jumper. I would suggest, though, that if a jumper is uncomfortable with the idea of _ever_ jumping without a cypres, they take a long hard look at why that is, and what they think a cypres will do for them. In some cases, they are relying on it to do more than it can.

As a final note, I'm an instructor. That means that when I am with a student, what I say goes. That ends once they're off student status. I keep teaching; the last 'formal' instruction I give is usually water training, and I teach informally at places like Rantoul and Lost Prairie when I organize. At that point, though, what I say falls under advice rather than instruction. A suggestion that someone consider a jump without an AAD or a visual altimeter is just that; a suggestion. I think it can help jumpers become more self-reliant, and I think that's a good thing. People can disagree without them being a bad skydiver, or without them being a horribly device dependent accident-waiting-to-happen. It's just my take on an issue that I see in skydiving.


AggieDave  (D License)

Sep 15, 2003, 12:25 PM
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Re: [billvon] Jumping without a cypres [In reply to] Can't Post

Good post Bill, although I have a couple points I would like to make.


First of all, I think you're generalizing when you say that students don't get the "solo" jump done, that someone is holding their hand.

When I'm teaching (coaching) a student for their 2 H&Ps during the ISP program (tandem progression), they've learned how to spot they're obviously 100% responsible for pulling. So, the control of the jump is in their hands, I let it be in their hands. I tell them that they are responsible for their spot, that if they get out in a spot where they can't get back, then they're landing off. So they go to the winds aloft posted, get the winds, look at the aeral map and decide their spot. They brief the pilot, we get in and go. Before all of this, I've already talked to the pilot, so he'll setup jumprun off of the spot so there needs to be a correction and that he gives the door semi-early (roughly where a 1 minute call would be). So the door is opened early, the student is spotting and giving corrections, then get out and do their H&P having to pull within 5 seconds to pass the jump (and we actually do our H&Ps from the correct altitude, which isn't always the case at some DZs).

What the student doesn't know is that I'm not going to let them leave at a spot where they can't get back.

My point is, they don't know I'm holding their hand, since I've made it very clear to them that "the only reason I'm in the plane for this is because I want to do a H&P after you and that a Coach *has* to be in the plane because of the rules."

No, this doesn't directly corrolate with the AAD/no AAD debate on the surface, but I'm making a point about your point that students "have their hand held" through their entire training.

As an instructor I try to create an environment where the student feels like they're self supervising and that they are totally responsible for their jump, at a certain point in their training, to give them another point to truely learn what they're doing. Much like the engine out training for pilots.


Oh, side note, our pilot "Pilot Mike" landed our 182 with no engine and 4 jumpers after loosing the engine at 250ft, in the only available space to land with no injuries to anyone on board (not even a bump or scrap) and with minimal damage to the plane (do to the field), and all he ever went through was the engine out training that wasn't totally real.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Sep 15, 2003, 12:32 PM
Post #3 of 155 (4348 views)
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Re: [AggieDave] Jumping without a cypres [In reply to] Can't Post

>What the student doesn't know is that I'm not going to let them
>leave at a spot where they can't get back.

I think that's similar to a student pilot with an instructor who tells them "I'm not going to do anything; it's your show." My CFI did this to me, and indeed let me make minor mistakes. I still knew in the back of my mind that he would save my life if I did something really stupid. That was the big difference on my first solo; I really knew he couldn't save me because he wasn't there.

>As an instructor I try to create an environment where the student
> feels like they're self supervising and that they are totally
> responsible for their jump

I think that's true of most skydiving _and_ flying instruction. I still think there's a fundamental and important difference between doing something with an instructor and doing the same thing yourself.

>Oh, side note, our pilot "Pilot Mike" landed our 182 with no engine
> and 4 jumpers after loosing the engine at 250ft, in the only
> available space to land with no injuries to anyone on board (not
> even a bump or scrap) and with minimal damage to the plane (do
> to the field), and all he ever went through was the engine out
> training that wasn't totally real.

That's great. If he ever has to do that again (hopefully he doesn't) he will be better prepared than someone who never has. Harry the pilot never had such experience, and his attempt to get the plane back to the runway when its engine quit killed him and paralyzed the JM on the plane. (NY, 1992.) I wish he'd had the experience your pilot did.


AggieDave  (D License)

Sep 15, 2003, 12:35 PM
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Re: [billvon] Jumping without a cypres [In reply to] Can't Post

I trust that you got my point in including the stuff about Pilot Mike? I was trying to make the point that proper training can overcome the limitations we have in creating a truely "do or die" situation for our students.


freakydiver  (D 26421)

Sep 15, 2003, 12:54 PM
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Re: [billvon] Jumping without a cypres [In reply to] Can't Post

I think you hit the head on the nail with this one Bill. I agree with you completely that "true soloing" is done without a cypress. There is nothing to rely on but one's packing skills and reaction skills to whatever part of the skydive they are currently inside of. However, Having about 50/50 with and without a cypress, I'll take it with now that I know in my own mind that I can solo and am comfortable and confident in my ability to do so. Having a cypress today is only due to the fact that I like to jump without a helmet pretty regularly and I have a decent job WinkWink


Fast  (D 28237)

Sep 15, 2003, 1:26 PM
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Re: [AggieDave] Jumping without a cypres [In reply to] Can't Post

Looking from a new jumpers point of view at the way people are trained around my DZ, and from all the things that I have read on here, I can but give my opinion.


For starters, I agree with the things that you are saying about instruction today making it possible for some of the people that are more timid (I can include myself in this category some, though I am a very dedicated person to something once I make up my mind to do it.) I think that along the way there is a lot of reasurance given to skydiving students that the thing they enjoy (skydiving) can be safe no matter what the mind tells you. Perfectly safe, uhh hell no, but you can minimize the risks that have to be taken.

My student progressoin was on older rigs that have FXCs as aads, and all the time jumping them rigs I honestly didn't really tust the thing to go off. I was more confident in my JMs than the FXC. I think one thing that may not always be clear to students is that when you make the decisoin to go out the door of that plane, you are responsible and no one else. If your doing aff and you lose both your JMs its up to you to pull stable, or pull at all if your low. You have to be the one responsible for your own altitude, no one else... The JMs are there to help you not die, and give instruction, but you can't rely 100% on them, an AAD, RSL or anything else other than yourself. That being said, my first solo jump was #9. I had a tandem and 7 aff jumps before that (my tandem was pre any instruction, just to see if I wanted to become a skydiver.) I looked over my gear, and so did my instructors, but when it came time to go out the door, it was my decision, and my responsibility to do all the things I learned. I was just out there, alone, me, the sky, and the planet rushing up at me, my responsibility. I think that jump and the one following it were two jumps that gave me the confidence and experience to trust in myself. I didn't have to make a lot of jumps with people there with me to make sure I pulled, I went on #9, did it and knew I could form that day forward.

Now this all may not be relavent to the cypress debate, but I do agree with ya bill, even if I had some gear related supervision, that getting out there and knowing you can do it is a serious acomplishment and learning tool, there was no one to back my pull up except a AAD that I honestly put very little faith in. In my mind it was pull or die.

Fast forward 2 months and I have about 40 jumps, quite a few of which have just been me going out alone to practice everything from the A check dive, to learning to sitfly (hey its a fun thing to do when no one is around to jump with Laugh) The gear I have been using has a cypress in it, its rental gear from the club. It does make me feel more safe, there is some degree of risk that is taken off the stack of ways you can die skydiving when you use one. There are no garuntees, but it does limit risk, we can all agree on that.

When I started skydiving there was two things in my mind that I decided I didn't want to do, one was be the person running out to the plane gear half on, and the other is be a person who does not trust themselfs to pull, therefor requireing a cypress. I have already done the first one, because of a rushed load that me and a coach needed to make (don't worry everything was on and secured/tight by the time I made it to the plane.)

I in looking for gear have decided that I will get a rig that has one (partially to make my parents happy, whom I live with because I am a broke, skydiving, college student.) The opertunity is there for me to jump without one, the time will come when it needs service and I have to decide on a repack or to wait.

The only thing that still goes on in my mind about jumping without one is what if its that jump where something happens. I trust myself to pull, and do it at the right altitude, and deal with a malfunction. I agree with what you have said, there is a valuable experience to be had in jumping without one.

If you have no cypress you have to take that extra time to have a good exit, not cork into someone, watch your altitude, there is less margin for error. I think that one point that needs to ring in everyones mind, and from all the things that are said, I don't think does, is that cypress or not you should always be taking them steps to make sure a dive is a safe one.

I am in the so called 'cypress generation' and I think that there may not be much to gain by jumping a cypress but that thier is a lot to lose by not jumping one. Does that make me an unsafe skydiver, I sure hope not. To the people that don't jump one regularly does it quell your concerns when a person has my state of mind that, a cypress doesn't mean shit when your deciding what saftey procedures to follow? Cypress or not, I see no reason to not do something to instill more saftey. Being aware in freefall and under canopy, and even in the plane, not getting complacent and not being stupid about your actions should be the commonplace for cypress owners and for non cypress owners.


I suppose that its hard for me to convey my opinion on this subject and how I really personally feel in my own mind about this, because it is easy to look at me and say that I'm a cypress kid and am just saying this. I suppose the only way to show otherwise is to take the extra risk, and prove the level of saftey that I wish to achieve by jumping without a cypress.

Whats the worst that could happen? Die? Yep... well that can happen on any skydive so where is the difference? I guess that we can debate about this a lot and people will only make up thier own minds. What is the common reason that people say they jump with a cypress, tail strike? Mid air collision? I think them are the two most prominent ones.

So what if we take a person that jumps with one for them reason, and put them out on a solo, from a cessna, that has no tail to hit? Ok the reasons for having one that are stated are gone. Now if that same person still has a problem jumping without that cypress then I think people are starting to gain some ground in saying that bowling or gold might be a better sport.

You have taken away the things that they say they need the cypress for, so they should be able to jump without one, once, twice, 5 times, 100 times... There is no need by what they said. Am I just being naive, or is that something that would make people who don't trust a person when they say they only want it for being unconscious comfortable. Would that satisfy the growing concern of the pre-cypress generation of jumpers? Or is it a matter of taking all the risk, getting out of the king air on a FF or RW jump, taking the risk of the tailstrike, or collision, and surviving that?

I'm sure that some day I will jump without one, if it is only to get on back to back loads, or because mine is in for service. A person has to have the confidence and trust in themselves to know that they can pull, if you need a cypress to make you confident in yourself to pull then I thinkthere is a problem.

--------

On the alti note, there is a person at my DZ that jumps with no alti, and I think its pretty damn cool that he can tell almost any altitude just by looking.


That is, was, and will stay a long winded post, some is relevant, some might not be, but its my experience and train of thought when it comes to learning, and the cypress debate. I really think that this subject is something that could be discussed for a few hours over a could of cold ones around the bonfire.

Blue Skies, and Safe dives!


Hazarrd

Sep 15, 2003, 1:28 PM
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Re: [freakydiver] Jumping without a cypres [In reply to] Can't Post

Doesn't the most recent Cypres save that was posted in the Incident forum give most people enough of a reason to use an AAD?


Fast  (D 28237)

Sep 15, 2003, 1:30 PM
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Re: [Hazarrd] Jumping without a cypres [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Doesn't the most recent Cypres save that was posted in the Incident forum give most people enough of a reason to use an AAD?

I think that it does, but I don't think thats what the concern is about. I think we are at the point where the technology is there, but the problem that it instills is a misaligned trust in the device, rather than having the trust in yourself.

I think its ok, if people want them for the type of saves that we just saw, but not if its because your not sure if your going to pull, or if you want to be less safe, and take more risk in other parts of a skydive.


freakydiver  (D 26421)

Sep 15, 2003, 1:37 PM
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Re: [Fast] Jumping without a cypres [In reply to] Can't Post

Exactly - there is a perception from a student's standpoint that the Cypress is a save all device. I act like I don't have one at all times.

I can compare this to all of the new bullshit gadgets out there for people who travel the winter backcountry out here in the Rocky Mountains. The "avalung" for instance, or the avalanche beacon that has a directional locator on it. 9 times out of 10 one is killed in an avalnche becuase a car sized chunk of snow compacted to have more mass than a car hits them and breaks them. More and more people think that straping on an avalung or the latest and greatest avalanche beacon is all they need to survive - when that couldn't be further from the truth.

The only thing one should rely on to save themselves is themselves and the only way to improve one's odds of survivial is to increase one's knowledge set regarding a partiuclar sport of subject. IMHO anyone who relies on a device of any shape or form to save them should NOT be participating in the sport in question.


CanuckInUSA  (D 26396)

Sep 15, 2003, 1:43 PM
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Re: [billvon] Jumping without a cypres [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't get it folks? Maybe I'm just dense ... I guess we need to make this sport more dangerous because obviously many of you out there think that jumping with a cypres is wrong. Let's have some more people bounce and then claim that hey "they obviously shouldn't have been skydiving in the first place". It sounds like only cool people who truly solo should be allowed to skydive and the rest of us (who time and time again have saved out own asses by activating our mains or reserves) shouldn't be skydiving because we have this modern gadget (very similar to an airbag) installed in our rigs.


Scrumpot  (D License)

Sep 15, 2003, 2:04 PM
Post #11 of 155 (4244 views)
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Re: [Fast] Jumping without a cypres [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
If you have no cypress you have to take that extra time to have a good exit, not cork into someone and watch your altitude, there is less margin for error.

This statement, if you had stuck with just THIS, is precisely the attitude that worries me (greatly) about SOME new jumpers I'm seeing today. If you even remotely agree with the above, as it is, then you need to reconsider skydiving in TOTAL, IMHO!!

Think about it. Why would you NOT do these things ANYWAY? ...And yes, I've actually heard jumpers saying quite the similar!

But thank goodness Derrick you went on to say (or I'd have to be otherwise jumping all over you here! Wink):

Quote:
I think that one point that needs to ring in everyones mind, and from all the things that are said, I don't think does, is that cypress or not you should always be taking them steps to make sure a dive is a safe one.

I don't think it does either Derrick. So THANK YOU, for posting YOUR post as well, from your perspective too. You've restored my faith, just one little bit here maybe.

Blue Skies!
-Grant


Fast  (D 28237)

Sep 15, 2003, 2:04 PM
Post #12 of 155 (4242 views)
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Re: [CanuckInUSA] Jumping without a cypres [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I don't get it folks? Maybe I'm just dense ... I guess we need to make this sport more dangerous because obviously many of you out there think that jumping with a cypres is wrong. Let's have some more people bounce and then claim that hey "they obviously shouldn't have been skydiving in the first place". It sounds like only cool people who truly solo should be allowed to skydive and the rest of us (who time and time again have saved out own asses by activating our mains or reserves) shouldn't be skydiving because we have this modern gadget (very similar to an airbag) installed in our rigs.

I don't think that anyone thinks that jumping with a cypress is wrong. I sure don't. I think that people are trying to say that jumping with a cypress for the wrong reasons is bad, it sets up a situation where a person will die because the cypress fails. I think that the non-cypress advocates are trying to make it clear to the people that take them for granted that a cypress is and only should be a last resort, not a device that you should be relying on. I think that a cypress save is one of the greatest things that we can read about happening. I sure as shit will take it over reading about a bounce. The point that I think people are trying to make, to people like me who are new in the sport (and yes i get it) is that you should jump like you have no cypress even if you do.

Jump with the awareness and presence of mind, and saftey that you would be if you sudennly realized you had no cypress just before you went out the door, or if there was no such thing.

I think the problem that people are seeing is that people are becomming reliant on them as a first line defense, like a reserve handle, rather than a last resort, all hell has broken lose, ground screaming up, i hope to god i walk away from this resort.

Thats just how I am seeing the debate.


Hooknswoop  (D License)

Sep 15, 2003, 2:07 PM
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Re: [Fast] Jumping without a cypres [In reply to] Can't Post

Bill- Very nice post. To throw in my two cents:

I am reminded of a chapter of Chuck Yeager's autobiography. He was talking about how at fighter training, him and most others would go out and fly hard, right at the edge of the their and the aircraft's capability. Buzzing, jumping each other and dog fighting down to the deck, etc. All this flying was against the regulations, but they did it anyway. The pilots that went out and flew like this were the pilots that survived combat.

I have over 50 cutaways, 14 live. I have flown high performance canopies, big canopies, high-stress, small landing area demos. I have BASE jumped. Chased down out of control students. Worked on my own gear. Pulled low. Pulled high. Jumped without an AAD, RSL, goggles, helmet, or altimeter, all on the same jump. Flown video. I have taken 900+ people on a tandem jump. I have jumped aircraft not set up for skydiving (everything from a Piper Cub to a Beech T-34A Mentor). I've made 18 jumps (16 Tandem, 2 AFF) in a day. I've spent around 20 hours in the wind tunnel (Orlando and Ft. Bragg). I've exited a jump-ship that lost it's only engine, spotting the whole load from 7,000 feet. I've laid on the wing of an aircraft from taxi to take -off, and climb until I slid off the wind at altitude.

What has all this given me? I don't panic when it gets ugly. I depend on me when things get hairy. I am prepared to do whatever needs to be done in a stressful situation. I am comfortable relying on my own abilities to get me out of any situation I get into. An AAD, altimeter, helmet, etc do make me safer, but I can function without them and knowing that gives me confidence that helps me manage my fears and stress when things aren't going as planned. When crunch time comes, I don't any shred of doubt that I can handle it, and that allows me to focus on the solution to the problem.

Knowing that you can exit an aircraft, with out an altimeter, AAD, RSL, etc and be successful is a confidence builder. Until you do, there will always be a little doubt in the back of your mind if you can really handle it or not.

The difference between flying airplane with a CFI sitting next to you doing nothing and flying a plane solo is huge. When that CFI steps out of the airplane, you must perform. Even if the CFIU didn't do anything during the flight they are there and will take over if you get in over your head. After flying without a CFI next to you, you cross a threshold. You have proven to yourself that you can fly the aircraft without any help, just you at the controls. The difference between the last flight before you solo and the first flight after you solo is dramatic.

It's not about gear, it's about mind set, attitude, and confidence. Not arrogance, but well-earned confidence.

You are the second person to land, and have followed the first person down only to realize, too late to turn, that the first person is landing down wind. Two possible reactions: 1) You immediately get the "fight or flight" spurt of adrenaline and tense up realizing that you are going to land downwind. Something you have never done before and fear that it will hurt. You get wide-eyed at the ground speed, faster than you ever seen before. You flare early, trying to slow the canopy down, trying to prevent injury. The canopy responds to the input, flaring high, then runs our of airspeed and lift, dropping you down several feet, still with a high ground speed. You hit hard, tumbling and rolling. Getting scratched and bruised up. Your jumpsuit gets torn and your rig scuffed and dirty. 2) You think to yourself; "OK, self, you've landed down wind before. You know how to do this. This may be faster than ever before, but the same principles still hold true. Relax, breathe. Don't flare high, flare at normal height and be ready to slide like a 500 pound tandem on a no-wind day." You hesitate, fight off the instinct to flare high and slow the canopy down. You flare at normal altitude, ease it down and slide to a stop. You leg strap has some grass stains on it, but nothing else is damaged, including you. You get up grinning, thinking "Man, that was fast! Cool swoop!"

Having down a downwind landing under conditions that you choose and knowing it is coming before ever leaving the ground prepares you for landing downwind under conditions you didn't choose.

The difference may seem small, but the result can be huge.

All that being said, I think Cypres's, Helmets, altimeters, audibles, etc are awesome, when accompanied by the correct attitude and mindset.

Derek


Fast  (D 28237)

Sep 15, 2003, 2:09 PM
Post #14 of 155 (4235 views)
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Re: [Scrumpot] Jumping without a cypres [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
If you have no cypress you have to take that extra time to have a good exit, not cork into someone and watch your altitude, there is less margin for error.

This statement, if you had stuck with just THIS, is precisely the attitude that worries me (greatly) about SOME new jumpers I'm seeing today. If you even remotely agree with the above, as it is, then you need to reconsider skydiving in TOTAL, IMHO!!

Yeah, well you don't have to do them things on every skydive if you have a cypress, but I wont jump with you, and I think you would be a pretty stupid person. I guess the problem is that people are taking saftey for granted when they have a cypress, and becomming complacent. "Oh it will save me."

/sigh


freakydiver  (D 26421)

Sep 15, 2003, 2:10 PM
Post #15 of 155 (4233 views)
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Re: [CanuckInUSA] Jumping without a cypres [In reply to] Can't Post

Don't get me wrong - I love knowing I have one in my rig, but I just try not to rely on it in any sense of the word.

How's it been btw Steve!


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Sep 15, 2003, 2:15 PM
Post #16 of 155 (4221 views)
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Re: [CanuckInUSA] Jumping without a cypres [In reply to] Can't Post

>I guess we need to make this sport more dangerous because
> obviously many of you out there think that jumping with a cypres is
> wrong.

No, we need to make it _safer_ by jumping as if you don't need a cypres - then using one anyway. If we have people that truly depend on cypreses (and I've met some) then we have indeed made this sport more dangerous through our dependence on a device.

>It sounds like only cool people who truly solo should be allowed to
> skydive and the rest of us (who time and time again have saved out
> own asses by activating our mains or reserves) shouldn't be
> skydiving because we have this modern gadget (very similar to an
> airbag) installed in our rigs.

At the beginning of this thread is a (rather long) post that basically says the opposite of that. Rather than repost it I would direct you to it.


petetheladd  (D License)

Sep 15, 2003, 2:16 PM
Post #17 of 155 (4218 views)
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Re: [billvon] Jumping without a cypres [In reply to] Can't Post

Very well put Bill.

I think you got across the point, that a jump where you are completely responsible for the pull is like a progression jump.

The added risk will heighten perceptions, drive a lesson home and also bolster self control.

I also am from the old static line round school. After my dummy pulls, it was time for a 3 sec freefall.
The Instructor scared the crap out of me(intentionally) telling me how unreliable the fxc AADs were, how when they sent theirs to the factory for testing, half of them were out of spec and I better be planning on saving myself on the jump.

Everybody doing his first solo freefall was very apprehensive about it.

The transition to squares was again very nervey. No AAD of any way, shape or form.
The CCI led me into his office, pulled out a stack of fatalities, and proceeded to explain that everyone of them went in with a perfectly good reserve on their back.
He finished off by saying, you will die on the next jump if you dont save yourself - and if I need to use my reserve 'I better pull handles and no matter how bad things become, keep pulling at stuff, even to pulling my socks offLaugh, I better go in naked.Sly

Let me tell you every neuron was focused on the pull and reserve drills, as was anyone doing their first AAD-less/square jump

On my first reserve ride - no RSL - I absolutely had a mindset of no matter what, the reserve handle was gonna get pulled or I am going in.

So where am I going with this - just trying to relate some of my early experiences skydiving, certainly it was a more direct instruction than today.

Now I would bet that anyone who has never made a jump without an AAD and was confronted with actually doing one from say 4,000 ft.
They would be treating it as an extra special skydive with all the apprehension and nervousness that goes with a progression jump i.e. the unknown.

Now I am not advocateing anyone to throw their cypress away, I have them now in both my rigs. But I am advocateing doing that extra special skydive with it turned off to cement the idea of - its all you, now pull goddammit pull.

Now pick the bones outta that.

P.S. Add to this - dynamic stalls, downwind/crosswind landings for that extra special feeling


(This post was edited by petetheladd on Sep 15, 2003, 2:19 PM)


freakydiver  (D 26421)

Sep 15, 2003, 2:21 PM
Post #18 of 155 (4205 views)
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Re: [billvon] Jumping without a cypres [In reply to] Can't Post

Completely like going into avalanche prone conditions. The number one thing taught is, do not ever put yourself in a situation where you'll need your beacon. Prevention is key from the get go. Strange thing is, I think preventing the need for a Cypress in skydiving is much easier to obtain compared to running around in avalanche country imho.

But that's just it - we need to work on every single element of safety in skydiving to reduce that need for a Cypress to less than one percent (but shoot, I'll still take one heh)...


wmw999  (D 6296)

Sep 15, 2003, 2:39 PM
Post #19 of 155 (4184 views)
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Re: [freakydiver] Jumping without a cypres [In reply to] Can't Post

I think that's a good comparison about the Avalung to an excellent post on the difference between flying with a CFI present and without one.

I had an AAD for my first through (roughly) 5th freefalls. They were mandatory through 3-second delays, and cost extra after that. Since they were Sentinels, and I was an impoverished college student, I didn't pay the extra.

Do I wish it were like that now? No. But what was an acceptable risk to skydivers then is still an acceptable (if not ideal) risk to some skydivers now.

Wendy W.


Scrumpot  (D License)

Sep 15, 2003, 2:40 PM
Post #20 of 155 (4178 views)
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Re: [freakydiver] Jumping without a cypres [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Don't get me wrong - I love knowing I have one in my rig, but I just try not to rely on it in any sense of the word.

So, riddle me this one ...just for "yucks".

You're on jumprun, getting a final pin-check before exit. The person checking your pin(s) also has access to your Cypres window & notices it is OFF. "...Oops, your Cypres is not turned on!"

Are you staying with the plane? ---Or are you still making the jump? Doing &/or thinking anything DIFFERENT now if you do "go" as a result?


wmw999  (D 6296)

Sep 15, 2003, 2:42 PM
Post #21 of 155 (4175 views)
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Re: [Scrumpot] Jumping without a cypres [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
"...Oops, your Cypres is not turned on!"

Are you staying with the plane? ---Or are you still making the jump?

It's information, less important than knowing that I'd blown out a bootie and was planning on doing RW. It would be unlikely to have any effect whatsoever on my likelihood to jump, or how I conducted it. I'd probably remember to turn it on when I got down, but maybe not.

Wendy W.


Scrumpot  (D License)

Sep 15, 2003, 2:44 PM
Post #22 of 155 (4171 views)
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Re: [wmw999] Jumping without a cypres [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks Wendy. You don't think you've influenced Freaky's answer now any though, do you? Wink


wmw999  (D 6296)

Sep 15, 2003, 2:47 PM
Post #23 of 155 (4168 views)
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Re: [Scrumpot] Jumping without a cypres [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm slow -- I didn't realize it was addressed specifically to him. Really...

Wendy W.


Scrumpot  (D License)

Sep 15, 2003, 2:50 PM
Post #24 of 155 (4160 views)
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Re: [wmw999] Jumping without a cypres [In reply to] Can't Post

I really do hate it when my bootie blows out on the step too! ...It's usually right before that hot 4-way I was gonna turn 18+ points on, that turned into only 8 or 9 as a result too gall-darn it!! WinkWink

Now if only my Cypres was on.... DOH! Tongue


Nullified  (C 32259)

Sep 15, 2003, 3:06 PM
Post #25 of 155 (4147 views)
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Re: [Fast] Jumping without a cypres [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
I don't get it folks? Maybe I'm just dense ... I guess we need to make this sport more dangerous because obviously many of you out there think that jumping with a cypres is wrong. Let's have some more people bounce and then claim that hey "they obviously shouldn't have been skydiving in the first place". It sounds like only cool people who truly solo should be allowed to skydive and the rest of us (who time and time again have saved out own asses by activating our mains or reserves) shouldn't be skydiving because we have this modern gadget (very similar to an airbag) installed in our rigs.

I don't think that anyone thinks that jumping with a cypress is wrong. I sure don't. I think that people are trying to say that jumping with a cypress for the wrong reasons is bad, it sets up a situation where a person will die because the cypress fails.

If I realize on the ride up that I forgot to arm my AAD, I have no problem exiting the aircraft, doing the skydive as planned and not giving it another thought. For what it's worth, I've done it several times. I won't purposely though, leave my AAD unarmed. It just doesn't make sense.
I know there are a handful of people, the (once again) "It's ok, I've got a Cypres people." out there, and I'm pretty sure that we all agree regarding these people.
Believe me, I'm not being lax trying to insure that I don't become unconcious, with or without an AAD. The AAD may get my reserve out in the event that I'm incapacitated, but it won't steer me away from a tree, or the side of a hangar, or a moving prop. It also won't do anything to keep me from breaking my neck upon landing in the peas if I'm unconcious.

There are those people who just don't get that, but again, I think that only a very tiny part of the people who jump with an AAD, --including those who won't jump without-- fall in to the idiot catagory. Maybe the numbers are greater than I think, but still, you can't lump everyone in to the same catagory.

Stay safe.


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