0
Chris-Ottawa

First 3 jumps on my new Aura...with a small incident to share.

Recommended Posts

So, I bought an Aura over the winter and I've been itching pretty bad to jump it. Finally, the DZ's up here in Canada are starting to open, so I headed out on Saturday to jump. I made a couple of mistakes, and though I'd share.

Mistake #1: Last jump, Sept 29, 2013, these jumps, April 12, 2014.

Mistake #2: Rushing the exit

Mistake #3: Noob wingsuit error

So here's what happened. This was jump # 2 of the day, the first jump went flawless even though I could have benefited from some form of a recurrency jump before strapping on a brand new wingsuit.

On exit, I rushed a bit because I though my co-jumper said "GO". What he actually said was "Whoa, take you time ". Of course, I was at the door and heard none of this. So, I exit. The tail of the suit grabs some air, puts me head low, I recover a bit before opening my arms, but not quite enough. As I open my arm wings, my left wing catches air first, and causes my right wing to catch air on top instead of the bottom. This instantly throws me into a pretty wild spin. I do 6 revolutions total, during which I was trying to outfly it by twisting the leg wing, opening one arm wing or the other, balling up, and finally arching which recovered me instantly. I would have arched first, but I wanted to see the effect of trying to outfly it. Effect: None...

It all happened very quickly, but it was a good experience overall, especially since I was able to recover. It would have been really sketchy to dump my main into that had it come to that, but the jump continues uneventful after that and I followed up with another successful jump before heading home.

Anyways, just posting to share if anyone can learn something from it, or if anyone has any critique etc. The best lesson I can say is to remember your training. Arching is your best friend...and I recalled exactly what I was taught by Jeff N. on my first WS jump as this was happening.

Video clips are as follows:
1) Outisde video, 100% speed
2) Inside Video, 100% speed
3) Outside video, 25% speed

http://youtu.be/SI5gLqCrtDQ


And yes...I know my back zipper was undone slightly. I've got to get some ties to link the zippers. The front ones were tied together, but not the rear. Either way, this likely had no impact on the resulting spin.
"When once you have tasted flight..."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

As I open my arm wings, my left wing catches air first, and causes my right wing to catch air on top instead of the bottom. This instantly throws me into a pretty wild spin.



I think that was coming from your open leg wing.

How about trying like on FFC? Open Arm-Wing first, than open leg wing.... ;)

It could also help to look forward to the plane on exit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
phoenixlpr

Quote

As I open my arm wings, my left wing catches air first, and causes my right wing to catch air on top instead of the bottom. This instantly throws me into a pretty wild spin.



I think that was coming from your open leg wing.

How about trying like on FFC? Open Arm-Wing first, than open leg wing.... ;)

It could also help to look forward to the plane on exit.



Is main problem! I do same ting one time. See how relativ wind push leg under and start spin, same ting probly happen in arms only is exit not straight. Slow down is right, better exits that way.
McConkey es Dios

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't blame the plane or the pilot, but either this person was there (Justin?), or they noticed that there were no flaps being used.

The plane is a King Air, which has a tiny door and high exit speed on a good day, but when the flaps are not used, the exit speed is much quicker. If I'm not mistaken, a 182 exit speed is 80kts, a King Air is 100-110kts, and with no flaps, it's 130kts? I could be totally wrong, but I seem to recall that for some reason. I'm sure someone will correct me.

As for my exit, this is how I always exit. I'm still relative to the wind, I'm just not oriented straight up which makes no difference. I'll upload another video in a bit which shows the same exit on one of the other jumps, as well as the slow motion video of the spin (first person view) just because it's interesting.
"When once you have tasted flight..."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
phoenixlpr

Quote

really fast plane + no flaps



Do you blame the plane and its pilot?

Lets blame the moon because it was in a wrong phase.:P



Nope. No where above did i even hint at placing blame. Actually maybe i did in a vague facetious way, but rather the WS pilot not the plane pilot. No one made him exit. All i was saying is it wasn't great conditions for a WS exit in the first place.
Fiend

I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark. - Thomas Hobbes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a couple of points that could be brought up,
1. What suits were you jumping prior to going into hibernation for the canadian winter?
2. What was wrong with the flaps?
3. Lots of side presentation, you luckily stayed low and away from the tail but as you rotated your head back towards the relative wind, the left armwing definitely inflates first. It looks like your right armwing at that time is still down along your torso.

The asymmetric armwing inflation seems to me to cause the tumble, just be carefull, the Aura is a Beast of a suit, definitely able to influence the inputs from the pilot due to high internal cell pressures and really nice airfoil design.

Nice job not freaking out and making the situation better, but i'd advise against high speed passes with side door aircraft.

-DC
"What kind of man would live a life without daring? Is life so sweet that we should criticize men that seek adventure?Is there a better way to die?" Charles Lindberg, August 26th, 1938

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This was not an intentional high speed pass by any means. The pilots slowed the plane the best they could, the gear was deployed, but unfortunately the flaps were not functioning at this point in time resulting in the high exit speed.

My last jumps of the year were done on a Vampire 4. As for your assessment of the video, you are correct.
"When once you have tasted flight..."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not convinced the speed of the plane had anything to do with it. The other pilot with POV video exited extremely smoothly even in the suboptimal position of looking backwards at you.

Body position and familiarity with exit are the two biggest things that would have helped you here. I've exited side door planes going so fast that I can pop back up above the tail even after making goddamn sure it passes well overhead first. I did all of that before I ever bought a giant suit or a helmet camera. :)
www.WingsuitPhotos.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I'm not convinced the speed of the plane had anything to do with it. The other pilot with POV video exited extremely smoothly even in the suboptimal position of looking backwards at you.


The other pilot has been jumping his Apache for a few years, this was my second jump on the Aura (let alone second jump since a 7 month break). In my opinion, that explains the difference in exit even without factoring in the high speed. I'm fairly confident that my exits on this suit won't look quite the same in a couple of years either.


Quote

Body position and familiarity with exit are the two biggest things that would have helped you here


I agree, and I had neither of those on this jump. I have about 10 jumps out of this plane ever (even fewer wingsuit), and had zero jumps on the Aura, let alone out of a plane that had no flaps deployed. I think the combination of everything added up. Not much more to say...I botched the exit, went for a ride and shared the video to be learnt from.
"When once you have tasted flight..."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you for sharing your experience!
FWIW, the type of plane shouldn't matter (not if it's a turbine).
No flaps isn't why you went out sideways, that was your body position on exit, and momentum/force in leaving. In a King (big suit or not), this "side" exit can easily toss your feet up into the horizontal stab.
Probably a good idea to get more current in a WS before taking on a mattress?

Quote

I'm fairly confident that my exits on this suit won't look quite the same in a couple of years either.


Again, FWIW...if you continue to exit like that from a King, Cara, or PAC, you may not get to fly that wingsuit for a couple more years. That would really suck (for all of us). Be safe out there!

Again, thanks for sharing. It provides a learning opportunity for others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DSE

No flaps isn't why you went out sideways, that was your body position on exit, and momentum/force in leaving. In a King (big suit or not), this "side" exit can easily toss your feet up into the horizontal stab.



I am well aware that you have heaps more experience than I do in the sport, as well as in a wingsuit, but I'm intrigued by your assessment. Regardless of the orientation of my body to the earth, my postition to the relative wind is what makes the difference. This spinning jump aside, the way I exit is the same as anyone else, except I'm rotated 90 degrees to the left and this doesn't put any part of my body closer to the tail than anyone else. The relative wind still hits my chest (on a non-botched exit). Did you see the same exit....done more "effectively" we'll call it? (It's the second clip in this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLqlvPcPKzE). This clearly shows that I have zero momentum towards the tail, and by being sideways, I shave off at least 2 feet from my profile/height relative to the tail.

Could you elaborate on your assessment to help me understand? Also, just to clarify, the spin was induced by one wing inflating while the other remains uninflated (this can be seen very clearly in the video linked above). This was a result of my leg wing catching a bit of air below my knees, which drives my head into the rel wind, and when I opened my wings, one inflated and the other didn't as it was blocked by my shoulder. I will not say for a second that this wasn't 100% my fault, but it happened so quickly that there was nothing I could do. The plane and other variables contributed not to the resulting spin, but to my rushing and poor exit. I blame absolutely no one and nothing aside from myself for this shitty exit.


Quote

Again, FWIW...if you continue to exit like that from a King, Cara, or PAC, you may not get to fly that wingsuit for a couple more years. That would really suck (for all of us). Be safe out there!



Same as above...orientation shouldn't matter, as long as the rel wind is in the same direction (which it is). I'm interested in knowing more about what I may not know at this point.
"When once you have tasted flight..."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think all of it is summed up in Mistake #1 which you already identified. Thanks for sharing.

A swooper that finished the season on a super small elliptical would be very wise to start the following season on an upsized canopy and with a nice conservative plan. The incidents forum is full of examples of people starting the season too excited. The good guys of course don't take a season off but they sure do upsize when coming back from an injury induced rest.

Same goes for wingsuiting, simple as that. If you are not current you pick a suit and plan that is appropriate. You already figured that out but I think it is something great to share this time of year as people are getting back into the groove.

As others have pointed out some other stuff went wrong but a smaller suit would have minimized all of the other issues. You might not have felt so anxious in a smaller suit and wouldn't have rushed the exit.

This is a subject close to my heart because I took the winter off due to personal reasons. Luckily I had a suit or two to get current on again! ;)
Summer Rental special, 5 weeks for the price of 4! That is $160 a month.

Try before You Buy with Wicked Wingsuits - WingsuitRental.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chris-Ottawa

I'll happily share that info, but I'd rather know your thoughts before I do. What's on your mind?



I'm interested in your experience ahead of jumping a high performance suit, after a period of no jumping.

I'm directing this at you, but I'm seeing a considerable trend of people with lower experience jumping in to the biggest suits they can find, then posting up a story or status update about how well the first jumps didn't go.

What concerns me is that you know the first mistake you made, yet went ahead and did it anyway. Glad it worked out with just a lack of stability, but it could have been worse - though overall certainly preventable.
Phoenix Fly - High performance wingsuits for skydiving and BASE
Performance Designs - Simply brilliant canopies

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chris-Ottawa


Regardless of the orientation of my body to the earth, my postition to the relative wind is what makes the difference. This spinning jump aside, the way I exit is the same as anyone else, except I'm rotated 90 degrees to the left...



Am I missing something or isn't this rotation exactly what makes you rotated 90 to relative wind, as on the exit the relative wind is not from the earth but from the side?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Interesting...so if someone botches an exit, they don't have the required experience to be jumping "X" suit? That's the extent of your assessment? A little hyper-critical I think.

In my opinion, I had 3 successful flights, deployments and landings on the weekend, but one hairy exit as a result of a simple mistake in body presentation.

Zeemax

What concerns me is that you know the first mistake you made, yet went ahead and did it anyway.



Hindsight is 20/20 my friend...if we all knew what was about to happen, we would probably take steps to prevent that outcome if it was not desirable.



skow

Am I missing something or isn't this rotation exactly what makes you rotated 90 to relative wind, as on the exit the relative wind is not from the earth but from the side?



The relative wind is coming from the same place, regardless of the orientation of my feet/head. If you're referring to the fact that the side of my body rotated into the rel wind, then yes...but that's exactly what my mistake was. The fact that I'm 90 degrees to the left has zero effect on the rel wind.
"When once you have tasted flight..."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chris-Ottawa



The relative wind is coming from the same place, regardless of the orientation of my feet/head. If you're referring to the fact that the side of my body rotated into the rel wind, then yes...but that's exactly what my mistake was. The fact that I'm 90 degrees to the left has zero effect on the rel wind.



This is so, your body position has zero effect on the relative wind. It is constant (it's actually prop wash as well).
However, the relative wind can have greater or lesser impact on your body based on your body position. The body position you're increases risk (not to mention that it's simply not an efficient exit position).

You invited criticism when you posted this, no one is beating you up. Consider that others are trying to help you increase your knowledge vs biting back (specifically at Zee, he's a pretty experienced WS and coach).
In a botched exit, all it takes is just a small amount of "X" additional fabric to put you into the aircraft, a spin, or another person.
People can increase or decrease their hurt based on their skill set with "X" amount of fabric on their body.
Back in the "old days" most folks were smart enough to recognize that being hyper efficient in a small suit was the first of a few indicators that they were ready for mattresses. Nowadays, everyone learns basics in a small suit and then flies like shit in a mattress, with zero fine skill ability. Most fly with brute force, zero finesse. You might be an exception.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't think you've read what you've written and my reply.

To quote your OP:

Quote

Mistake #1: Last jump, Sept 29, 2013, these jumps, April 12, 2014.

Mistake #2: Rushing the exit

Mistake #3: Noob wingsuit error

So here's what happened. This was jump # 2 of the day, the first jump went flawless even though I could have benefited from some form of a recurrency jump before strapping on a brand new wingsuit



You weren't current and put the big new suit on. This doesn't need any hindsight, it's basics.

The same principle exists throughout skydiving. Start of the season, un current? I think I'll try that new, heavily loaded Velo. No.

At no point did I say anything about experience vs suit. I asked about your experience as a side because I'm aware of a growing number of people in our sport racing to get to the big suits.

The Aura is a big suit. I was curious as to your experience, progression and need for such a big suit. I still am.
Phoenix Fly - High performance wingsuits for skydiving and BASE
Performance Designs - Simply brilliant canopies

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DSE


Back in the "old days" most folks were smart enough to recognize that being hyper efficient in a small suit was the first of a few indicators that they were ready for mattresses. Nowadays, everyone learns basics in a small suit and then flies like shit in a mattress, with zero fine skill ability. Most fly with brute force, zero finesse. You might be an exception.



the trend we see in BASE is even worse... People suck in smal suits and do to that decide to go for big suits because they think they can improve glide, speed, overal performance etc. But I don't know if this applies also for skydivers...
Michi (#1068)
hsbc/gba/sba
www.swissbaseassociation.ch
www.michibase.ch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It does.

"I can't get the performance I want out of a smaller suit", reads as "I've not learned the small suit, so surely the bigger suit will give me what I think I need". :(

Note, not aimed at the OP.
Phoenix Fly - High performance wingsuits for skydiving and BASE
Performance Designs - Simply brilliant canopies

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DSE

However, the relative wind can have greater or lesser impact on your body based on your body position. The body position you're increases risk (not to mention that it's simply not an efficient exit position).



This is what I'm trying to figure out. How does rotating 90 degrees in one direction or another increase my risk of hitting the tail? Looking at the video, it's pretty evident that I'm clearing the tail MUCH sooner than someone else exiting poised would/does. Based on simple evidence, I'd be inclined to say you're incorrect, but I'm genuinely interested in understanding your view. The way I see it, is that if I exit in full flight in a poised, sideways, or upside down...something is going to hit. My risk doesn't go up because I'm sideways.

DSE

You invited criticism when you posted this, no one is beating you up. Consider that others are trying to help you increase your knowledge vs biting back (specifically at Zee, he's a pretty experienced WS and coach).



I certainly did invite criticism and I don't feel as though I snapped at anyone, or that anyone is beating me up. I know exactly where Zee's question was going, and I simply wanted to address the fact that it was a mistake as a result of several factors and not necessarily indicative of my experience level (unless we're referring to the winter break, to which I'd agree).


Zeemax


The same principle exists throughout skydiving. Start of the season, un-current? I think I'll try that new, heavily loaded Velo. No.



I think you have a very optomistic and maybe even naive view of the sport. I'd bet that no more than 1 in 10 experienced jumpers actually do some sort of an upsize after a break/winter, or downsize a wingsuit for the first few jumps of the season. Students...sure, I'd say that most of them may do it, but experienced jumpers...not so much. You buy that new canopy, generally, you're jumping it. Now, will you rip a 270 on it on jump 1? I'd say probably not, but 99% will likely still jump it and save 270 for jump 2 or 3.

That being said, this didn't play down quite like I imagine it is in your mind. There were a few things leading up to everything happening the way it did, and I simply didn't feel it necessary to draw out the complete story for everyone. My intent was to share what happened and that is all. If someone learns something from that, great, if not, I guess I wasted my time.
"When once you have tasted flight..."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

0