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Basic Exit Techniques

There are three basic concepts that apply to all exits. When these are executed, it is possible to launch any formation you can imagine from any aircraft. These concepts include: timing, presentation of yourself, and presentation of the entire piece to the relative wind.

The first concept is timing. Everyone must leave the aircraft at the exact same moment. To do this we use a variety of different forms of communication: audible, a loud count given by someone in a position that can be heard by everyone; tactile, a shake which can be felt; vision, a small rock that shows the movement of the piece. This triple redundancy virtually guarantees the count will be communicated. The most useful sense you can use to ensure a timely exit is vision. With an eye on the count person you will know when he is leaving.

Presenting to the relative wind is something we all learned about on our first jump. It is spoken of any time people discuss exits. Be sure you are aware of where the wind is coming from as you are lined up in the door and have a plan about presenting your body to it. Know at what angle the rest of the piece will be presented and what heading you will need to have.

Presenting the entire piece to the relative wind is something not so commonly discussed, although it is a very critical component of a good exit. Just as you must present your body, you must present the piece. This, like the first two concepts, is done gymnastically, as opposed to flying the air. It is done by launching from the plane to a specific place outside the door that leaves the piece on the proper angle to be presented to the relative wind. This will usually entail the person in the front of the door to launch up, while the person in the rear drops low.

Even the best-timed and presented launch will funnel if the people within do not fly the piece the moment it hits the air. There is enough air speed right outside the door to fly. The problem lies in being aware soon enough to use it. You will find that by choosing to fly as soon as your feet leave the aircraft. It will go a long way to help you develop the awareness to do it.

Airspeed 4-Way Training Work Book - Basic Exit Techniques
© 1998 – Jack Jefferies, Airspeed – All Rights Reserved

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By Jack Jefferies on 2002-02-07 | Last Modified on 2014-07-24

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