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taylor.freefall

Wing Loading

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I used to think a parachute was just a parachute [...] and cheese is cheese?!



Sure, but there is swiss cheese, gorgonzola, brie, edam, Limburger, cheese spread etc. etc.
All cheese, yet all very different.

The same goes for parachutes. There are many different ones, with 9 or 7 cells. They are constructed from F111 or Zero porosity fabric or both, they come in different sizes, and with different lines ( microline, spectra, dacron). There is a difference in the amount of taper of the canopy, as well as in how steep it is trimmed.

Just a few things off the top of my head.

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if you exceeded those guidelines is that then dangerous?


They're not cast-iron rules, they're guidelines.
But the manufacturer puts them up for a good reason. Especially at our experience level we should follow those guidelines, as well as our instructors recommendations.
There is no such thing as downsizing too slowly, or "under loading" your canopy.
"That formation-stuff in freefall is just fun and games but with an open parachute it's starting to sound like, you know, an extreme sport."
~mom

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I have limited experiance, but here is my bit .
cause of my weight (286 lbs exit) started on a pd340. this gave me a wing loading of 0.8 which after 16 jumps felt super slow.

So on gaining a licence 2 jumps l8er. took advise from both my new found fs coach. my aff instructor and the CCI and one of the chief riggers.

All of the guys had seen me progress and knew my mentality in jumping and how i was handerling the canopy.. definetly the best people to ask.

I went on to a sabre 210 on there advise. This gives me a high wing loading around 1.3 but i have had no problems in all conditions, have landed up wind, down wind, and cross wind landings, (not in exterme conditions but to give me practice for when shit goes wrong, which happens.)

I have a few more jumps now and have been flying a 9 cell 190 (wing loading 1.5) which comes in like shit off a shovel.. so i have gone back up to a 210 b4 shit goes wrong. it was not a problem in wind but no wind was scarily fast.

I guess at the end of the day you pay your money you take a chance, i feel confident at 1.3 in all conditions. i pushed it to much on the 1.5.. but could have flown it till i broke myself.B| Take the advice of the people who have looked after you so well so far, your in 1 peice after all so they must have some idea.

If you feel confident and can land in most condtions than drop it down a bit... 230 to a 210 if sometimes you shit yourself coming in. stay where you are.

Good luck either way

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I have limited experiance, but here is my bit .
cause of my weight (286 lbs exit) started on a pd340. this gave me a wing loading of 0.8 which after 16 jumps felt super slow.

So on gaining a licence 2 jumps l8er. took advise from both my new found fs coach. my aff instructor and the CCI and one of the chief riggers.

All of the guys had seen me progress and knew my mentality in jumping and how i was handerling the canopy.. definetly the best people to ask.

I went on to a sabre 210 on there advise. This gives me a high wing loading around 1.3 but i have had no problems in all conditions, have landed up wind, down wind, and cross wind landings, (not in exterme conditions but to give me practice for when shit goes wrong, which happens.)

I have a few more jumps now and have been flying a 9 cell 190 (wing loading 1.5) which comes in like shit off a shovel.. so i have gone back up to a 210 b4 shit goes wrong. it was not a problem in wind but no wind was scarily fast.

I guess at the end of the day you pay your money you take a chance, i feel confident at 1.3 in all conditions. i pushed it to much on the 1.5.. but could have flown it till i broke myself.B| Take the advice of the people who have looked after you so well so far, your in 1 peice after all so they must have some idea.

If you feel confident and can land in most condtions than drop it down a bit... 230 to a 210 if sometimes you shit yourself coming in. stay where you are.

Good luck either way



DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDE,

you are comparing a ZP canopy to an F111 - I bet the difference you are seeing is MORE due to the fabric than the canopy size. 1.5 at 60 jumps ? on a F111 canopy ? You are walking (for now) incident report. Wake up before you break up. And this is not a smartass remark.

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I know one or two quite competent people who have broken bones landing canopies of that size. Not as competent as you, surely, but with several thousand jumps, perhaps a hundred demos and a PRO rating.



Yes you are right. I too have seen a few fairly competent people break bones. But with even bigger parachutes like 260's 280's and even in to the lower 300's. What happened was that they didn't think their jump through... Base jump that is.
Don't hate me 'cause you aint me.

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Those skygods might have been flying something else as a first canopy than a Cobalt135.


But it surely wasn't an f1-11:o

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If its for free.... Even a Navigator flies better than those.



Thats your opinion. Navigators aren't cheap. If they were cheap. Then yeah! he might want to check into one. He may or may not like it. Now that I think about it he might be happier with silohette. Those are inexpensive hybrids I believe.
**I'm the only one giving info that the original poster wants to hear.

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Getting bored? What a nice reason to downsize!:S



Why the hell else would you down size?
Don't hate me 'cause you aint me.

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presuming the usual safe limit is 1.0:1 or less. for novices.



There is no safe limit. The risk never goes to zero, no matter how big your canopy is. The pilot is what is 'safe' or 'dangerous', smaller canopies just expose your piloting deficiencies more readily, and make the consequences for mistakes worse.

Stop worrying about your canopy choice and start worrying about your canopy piloting.

Ted
Like a giddy school girl.

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If you feel confident and can land in most condtions than drop it down a bit... 230 to a 210 if sometimes you shit yourself coming in. stay where you are.

Good luck either way



DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDE,

you are comparing a ZP canopy to an F111 - I bet the difference you are seeing is MORE due to the fabric than the canopy size. 1.5 at 60 jumps ? on a F111 canopy ? You are walking (for now) incident report. Wake up before you break up. And this is not a smartass remark.



Read than re read than think....... cause this bit was key!!!!
- ... oh now do you see, its all in the detail my old mucker.

Rather than worry about my skills or lack off.
Help the guy out with constuctive advice... >:(

any how i may be a world class kite surfing champion landing on 40 square foot canopys at high speed... my jump numbers would then be in the 10000's:P wing loading of 7.15 hell yeah

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presuming the usual safe limit is 1.0:1 or less. for novices.



There is no safe limit. The risk never goes to zero, no matter how big your canopy is. The pilot is what is 'safe' or 'dangerous', smaller canopies just expose your piloting deficiencies more readily, and make the consequences for mistakes worse.

Stop worrying about your canopy choice and start worrying about your canopy piloting.



To be honest I have to worry about my canopy choice and try to make
an informed decision based upon my experience level. I'm sure you would agree that after twelve jumps I'm not going to be great at canopy piloting so canopy size, at my experience level, is in fact crucial?
I also think your splitting hairs when you say there is no safe limit - well no, but there's certainly safer limits, and it would be irresponsible not to try and reduce as much danger as possible.
It's important to me to try and build up as much knowledge as possible as this in turn will help me to become a safer (better) skydiver, not just for me but for all those around me.

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To be honest I have to worry about my canopy choice and try to make an informed decision based upon my experience level. I'm sure you would agree that after twelve jumps I'm not going to be great at canopy piloting so canopy size, at my experience level, is in fact crucial?



You need to put yourself under an appropriate canopy, no doubt, and a 1:1 WL is usually a good place to start, but that's all it is, a start. Once you choose your canopy, then the real work of becoming a pilot begins.


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I also think your splitting hairs when you say there is no safe limit - well no, but there's certainly safer limits, and it would be irresponsible not to try and reduce as much danger as possible.
It's important to me to try and build up as much knowledge as possible as this in turn will help me to become a safer (better) skydiver, not just for me but for all those around me.



I think you're overestimating the amount of extra safety that you'll get from loading a canopy lighter and lighter. You can injure or kill yourself under a canopy at .8 just as well as at 1.0. Also, please don't let the current fixation on wingloading dominate your thinking. Wingloading is just one variable in a much more complex equation, and the belief some people seem to have that if you're within the recommended WL guidelines, you're safe, is simply false. Wing loading is a very easy thing to get caught up in, because it is easy to determine, easy to harp on, doesn't require any extra effort from more experienced jumpers, makes sense on initial inspection, and is, in reality, part of the problem. However, fixation on WL is obscuring our view of the larger problem of inadequate training and not enough focus on canopy control.

Ted
Like a giddy school girl.

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I did break my ankle on a Navigator 220 ~WL 1.0 at jump number 87



Uuuh? yeah! you suck at flying canopies is why you broke your ankle. Any person with some competence can safely land a 220 regardless of experience, wingloading, and/or conditions.



> 1600 jumps. Better than pro-rating accuracy (consistent landings within a few feet). 245. < .8 pounds/square foot (usual canopy is 105 square feet at 1.8, ~1000 jumps at 1.6-1.8) Perfect approach + accuracy with a bad call on where to land resulting in a spiral tibia+fibula fractures

Whatever you're flying you have enough kinetic energy to earn an ambulance ride and surgery.

The wingloading limits just help you learn enough that you're much less likely to do something which breaks you before moving to a canopy which requires more experience to deal with problems.

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To be honest I have to worry about my canopy choice and try to make an informed decision based upon my experience level. I'm sure you would agree that after twelve jumps I'm not going to be great at canopy piloting so canopy size, at my experience level, is in fact crucial?



You need to put yourself under an appropriate canopy, no doubt, and a 1:1 WL is usually a good place to start, but that's all it is, a start. Once you choose your canopy, then the real work of becoming a pilot begins.


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I also think your splitting hairs when you say there is no safe limit - well no, but there's certainly safer limits, and it would be irresponsible not to try and reduce as much danger as possible.
It's important to me to try and build up as much knowledge as possible as this in turn will help me to become a safer (better) skydiver, not just for me but for all those around me.



I think you're overestimating the amount of extra safety that you'll get from loading a canopy lighter and lighter. You can injure or kill yourself under a canopy at .8 just as well as at 1.0. Also, please don't let the current fixation on wingloading dominate your thinking. Wingloading is just one variable in a much more complex equation, and the belief some people seem to have that if you're within the recommended WL guidelines, you're safe, is simply false. Wing loading is a very easy thing to get caught up in, because it is easy to determine, easy to harp on, doesn't require any extra effort from more experienced jumpers, makes sense on initial inspection, and is, in reality, part of the problem. However, fixation on WL is obscuring our view of the larger problem of inadequate training and not enough focus on canopy control.



Yeah I think youre right, I probably am getting caught up in the whole WL thing, which, as you say, is only part of a bigger picture. I do feel that as a result of this (now long) post I have a better overall understanding of how everything fits together, and hopefully other newbies also. The problem right now rental costs are killing me, then buying costs are bloody high also, its a difficult position to be in, what do you do for the best??! I've come to the conclusion look for second hand, which I feel like I'm now in a better position to do.
Oh and enter every competition to win free stuff :)

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I've come to the conclusion look for second hand, which I feel like I'm now in a better position to do.
Oh and enter every competition to win free stuff :)



Yeah, used gear is the way to go for your first few hundred jumps. Hold off on buying a new, custom, rig until both your landing ability has become more consistent, and you have a canopy you want to stick with for a while.

Ted
Like a giddy school girl.

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It's obvious to me by your posts that your attitude and your quest for knowledge will win the day in the end.

I'm sorry you got hammered as much as you have so far. Amazingly, you have taken it well. As you've found out, many things in skydiving are hazy and there are few absolutes. Opinions vary widely on many different topics. I, for one, am a proponent of the conservative approach while others are much more radical...ahhhh such is life.

Your search for knowledge is a good thing. Keep at it and don't let the hammering get you down.

I don't need to respond to your original question. You've already made it plain that you have a good guideline that will work well for you. Stick with it. Blue Skies.

Ain't skydiving the schnitz? My God, I love it!
My reality and yours are quite different.
I think we're all Bozos on this bus.
Falcon5232, SCS8170, SCSA353, POPS9398, DS239

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FWIW I saved my ass by having a low wingloading at least once where I would have surely been badly injured but instead had bruises to body and ego. In retrospect do I regret having 1:1 or 0.9:1 on those occasions hell no. Do my fellow jumpers pay me when I have to take off work. Then again I'm prone to injury going to the fridge for another beer or am I.............

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There seems to be quite a lot of questions going on in this thread. I’m going to do my best to answer 2 of them, the one regarding the PD-218, whether or not it should be safe to jump at a 1-1 WL. The other is more wing loading in general.

When the original PD canopies hit the market, the average canopy sizes were much larger then today, I guess for a few reasons, they didn't land as well and just a guess here, but I would bet canopy piloting skills weren't as good. Just from my experiences over the last 8 years, people now with 50 jumps generally have more knowledge about flying parachutes then someone with far more jumps even 8 years ago.

From what I understand, a 1-1 WL at most DZ’s before the original “PD” line of canopies came out was considered pretty radical, most people didn't load that high. When PD developed the “PD” line of canopies, compared to most other canopies on the market, it had great flare power and was possible to get “reasonable” landings at a higher WL. So, the natural reaction was to get a smaller canopy, why not, the smaller PD would be more fun to fly and would still provide a good landing. Keep in mind the frame of reference these guys were coming from, compared to today’s canopies they don’t have a powerful flare and most people wouldn't say they are “sporty” in the air.

The recommended WL’s on the canopy’s are based what the people who developed the canopy thought at that skill level you could get “acceptable” landings, taking into consideration the mistakes people make at the different skill levels, of course there is no way to determine who is a novice and who is an expert, not too mention aerodynamics don’t scale evenly, so it’s a close but rough estimate.

Then came the next generation of canopies, the Sabre’s and what not. The same thing happened again, these newer style canopies landed better, so people jumped smaller canopies at even higher WL’s, they were more fun to fly and still provided good landings, so why not. What happened was the general idea of WL and what’s reasonable slowly became higher. Before the “PD” line a 0.7 WL was perfectly reasonable for a novice or expert, now with the latest generation of canopies and the increased knowledge of canopy flight people with far less jumps and experience could now jump a canopy at 1-1 or even a 1.3 WL and still be considered safe.

So in short, over time the accepted WL’s people fly canopies at and what is considered “radical” has gone up quite a bit over the years. What changed are the canopies as well as the skill level. So, looking at an older style canopy like the “PD” line and what we now consider “reasonable” WL’s, you can’t jump these canopies at the definition of a 2007 “reasonable” WL and get “reasonable” landing, because the 2007 definition of a reasonable WL is much higher then what the design of the canopy was intended for.

Just a quick analogy, Picture a highway with a posted speed limit of 75 mph, in any reasonably new car it’s a safe speed to travel, now put yourself in a Ford model T, that car was never designed to go that fast, it would be ridiculous and dangerous to drive that fast in that design. But, using the car in it’s originally designed parameters would be totally reasonable, same thing goes for the older style canopies, they aren't unsafe to jump, just not a good idea to use them at today’s "reasonable" WL’s.

Another thing that came up was a bigger jumper jumping say 260 sq ft canopies at a 1.2 WL at 40 jumps… One thing to understand is, WL will effect the speed the canopy flies at, the size of the canopy determines more the responsiveness, because aerodynamics don’t scale evenly, a jumper loading a 260 sq ft at 1.3 is going to be far less responsive then a jumper loading a 120 at a 0.8 WL. For bigger people, they tend to look for more responsiveness in a canopy, because jumping at a reasonable WL, puts them under something so big that it doesn't feel responsive enough, but when they downsize enough to get somewhat of a sporty feel, now they have a high WL and come screaming in. Just the opposite happens with small jumpers, in order to get any kind of WL so they have some penetration into the wind, they downsize to some silly small canopy, then it’s so responsive if they flare slightly uneven they go crashing to one side or the other.

What tends to happen a lot is you see a small jumper asking a big guy about canopy advice, from the big guys frame of reference a 1.3 WL is completely reasonable and says that’s what you should fly, not taking into consideration what size canopy that puts the smaller person under, or you might have the flip situation a small jumper telling a big guy with 40 jumps 1.2 WL is way too high, even though at 1.2-1 he might be under a 280.

Every single person is coming from a different frame of reference; there is no perfect or safe WL for everyone. WL is simply one thing to possibly consider when choosing a canopy. More importantly is how well it works for the person flying the canopy. If a small girl is jumping a 107 sq ft canopy at a 0.9 WL and duffs in every time, maybe it’s not the right canopy, regardless of wing loading, if you can’t land the canopy well, chances are pretty good it’s not the right one.

Then you factor in all the different canopy designs and it gets even more complex. The best advice anyone can get in the beginning is, play it safe, try the bigger canopies, try a few of them, see what one works best for you, nobody knows what is right for you, asking someone to recommend a canopy to you, or say what canopy is going to work best for you is like asking, what color do I like.

I hope some of this helps, be safe and have FUN!

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