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Is a 1.17 too high a wing-loading for a first rig, say starting at the 40 jumps mark after stepping down?

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Is a 1.17 too high a wing-loading for a first rig, say starting at the 40 jumps mark after stepping down?

Background:

* Interested in any comments from more experiences jumpers who have gone through the process of going from student gear to first rig.

* I'm 180 pounds so the question translates for me to, could I get a rig with a 170 main (~1.17) which are easier to find second hand, as opposed to keep waiting to find a 2nd hand rig with say a 190 (1.05)? Or if I can't find a decent 2nd hand 190 then speed more $ to get a new rig with a 190.

* From the downsizing chart at http://www.bigairsportz.com/pdf/bas-sizingchart.pdf seems the answer is NO and I shouldn't consider a 170 at all (but rather get nothing smaller than a 190), but I guess it would be good to hear from experienced jumpers too to ram it home if this is the case...
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I'm 180 pounds



If you're 180 lbs, then your exit weight is more like 205 lbs, and your WL on a 170 is more like 1.2+.

If you're 155, then your exit weight is around 180, and your WL on a 170 is more like 1.06ish.

It's a big difference and one you need to figure out before moving on. The bigger factor to consider is your ability, and your experience jumping a 190.

First and foremost, keep the WL down, below 1.1 to 1 for sure. That doesn't mean find a rig that will put you at 1.1 to 1, and start there, it means don't go over that.

Second, look at your experiences with what you have jumped already, how many jumps you have on that size, and how well you did/are doing with that size. Make sure you jump each size multiple times in a variety of conditions, and don't downsize until you can put together a string of 'good' jumps on your current size. 'Good' meaning you're in control, follow your flight plan, and have good accuracy and a good landing. A 'string' meaning that you can do that 10 times in a row. Not that you do it 10 times over the course of 20 jumps, that's only a 50% success rate, it's 10 times in a row, so you have a 100% success rate for those 10 jumps. Only then, should you consider downsizing.

You don't have to downsize, you don't have to jump the smallest canopy you think you can 'get away' with (and that goes for mains and reserves). There is no penalty to jumping a larger canopy, it will always be the safer choice (and no, high winds don't count - you may get backed up under a bigger canopy in high winds, and be able to get some penetration with a smaller wing, but you shouldn't be jumping in those conditions anyway, so the 'rule' stands, and there's no penalty to jumping a bigger canopy).

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ok - thanks

By the way, what would be the symptoms you'd notice under canopy if you downsized too fast? I don't want to try to find out for myself, but just curious. Would it be things like, turns you initiate ending up being sharper & steeper than you'd expect. Perhaps more difficulty in getting the flare happening at the right point (e.g. flare too high, or too low)
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My first rig was a second hand Jav with a pilot 190 and PD 193? reserve.

My exit weight was right around 190. I got that rig at around 30 jumps. The pilot at that wing loading was a great canopy to learn on and screw up on. It was fun to fly, easy to pack and had good openings.

After putting just over 100 jumps on that canopy I would put it down where i wanted to pretty much everytime. I could land cross wind and downwind without much worry.

Having that canopy for my first 100 or so jumps definitely saved me a couple of times. Like the first time I found myself landing in some high crosswinds after trying to make it back from a bad spot. The landing wasn't pretty by any means but I walked away from it.
Second time it saved me from worse damage was when I was still new to no wind / variable wind landings, there is pretty much always wind at my home DZ so landing in no winds or downwind doesn't happen very often.
I was following the pattern which was very light downwind. I wasn't used to landing with so much speed and ended up sliding for quite a way and got some pretty bad scrapes on my leg (think roadrash) that I still have scars from 4 years later.

Around 150 jumps I downsized to a used safire 2 159 at almost no cost after selling my pilot. It maybe cost me a $200 to change canopies after jumping the pilot for a season.

So when I went to the saf2 my wingloading was around 1.19, not to far off where you will be at on a 170.
The first 50 jumps I put on that canopy were very frustrating, I had to totally relearn how to fly THAT canopy, my accuracy was off, I was losing more altitude in turns than I was used to and things were happening faster. I would not have wanted to be under that canopy for some of the landings I had on my pilot.

Get yourself a used 190 and put 100-200 jumps on it then sell it and buy another used canopy for little cost. Try and find a used container that will hold a 190 as the largest main so you can go down a size over the next year or two while still keeping the costs of gear down.
Have you seen my pants?
it"s a rough life, Livin' the dream
>:)

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ok - thanks

By the way, what would be the symptoms you'd notice under canopy if you downsized too fast? I don't want to try to find out for myself, but just curious. Would it be things like, turns you initiate ending up being sharper & steeper than you'd expect. Perhaps more difficulty in getting the flare happening at the right point (e.g. flare too high, or too low)



For me the symptoms went like this. First jump, stood the landing up but thought wow I was lucky to not hurt myself. Second jump I was nervous about landing, didn't stand up the landing and again thought that it was more luck than skill. So I went back up to what I was comfortable with.

I think it is similar to driving, when you start out everything takes mental effort. Remembering your turn signals, changing gears, getting the clutch timing right. Eventually you get to the point where it is subconscious and you can turn a corner, change gear at the same time and not even realise you have done it.

I am still at the point under canopy where I am having to "think" about basic actions. Actions such as flying the pattern and figuring exactly where I am going to land are still competing for conscious thought. I want to get to the point where scanning for traffic is the only conscious thought on landing and pattern flying and flare height become mundane actions like changing gear.
Experienced jumper - someone who has made mistakes more often than I have and lived.

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It's not the things that you notice that will bite you, it's the things that you don't notice until they've bitten you.

Part of the problem with people flying wings that are too fast for them is that they generally feel fine under them. "I stand up all my landings" is the most common phrase in G&R... the problem is when something unexpected happens, and you need your accumulated muscle memory and understanding of canopy flight to kick in before whatever badness (landing off in a small unfamiliar area, finding yourself low after kicking out twists, encountering turbulence, getting cut off on final, whatever) catches you out.

These badnesses are pretty much inevitable at some point.

When your wing is bigger, the bad thing is coming at you slower, and will hopefully turn into the good kind of learning experience.
--
"I'll tell you how all skydivers are judged, . They are judged by the laws of physics." - kkeenan

"You jump out, pull the string and either live or die. What's there to be good at?

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Where are you jumping in Australia? Get intouch with some of the local gear dealer / riggers and let them know what you are looking for so they can keep an eye out for you and help you find some suitable gear. They gear you want is out there, you just need to find it.
I was looking for a used safire2 159 (an odd size) and I found one eventually.
Have you seen my pants?
it"s a rough life, Livin' the dream
>:)

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* I'm 180 pounds so the question translates for me to, could I get a rig with a 170 main (~1.17) which are easier to find second hand, as opposed to keep waiting to find a 2nd hand rig with say a 190 (1.05)? Or if I can't find a decent 2nd hand 190 then speed more $ to get a new rig with a 190.



Found a used 190 rig its a good price and i was thinking of buying it but i weigh 160lbs and got a 170sf main instead.

http://www.chutingstar.com/usedgear_en/reflex-spectre-190-pdr176-expired-cypres.html


All it needs is an AAD and your good to go!
Cheers

Jon W

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ok - thanks

By the way, what would be the symptoms you'd notice under canopy if you downsized too fast? I don't want to try to find out for myself, but just curious. Would it be things like, turns you initiate ending up being sharper & steeper than you'd expect. Perhaps more difficulty in getting the flare happening at the right point (e.g. flare too high, or too low)



Yes to quicker turns that dive steeper. It would be more responsive to toggle input too, which would compound the issue.
Unfortunately, testing this out up high only gives you a limited idea of how different it is because you have no accurate reference to see how fast/steep you are diving. And finding out close to the ground can be very unpleasant.

Also, as has been mentioned, is 180 your "normal" weight, or your exit weight?

Put all your gear on and step on a scale. You might be a bit surprised.
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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in reply to "* From the downsizing chart at http://www.bigairsportz.com/pdf/bas-sizingchart.pdf seems the answer is NO and I shouldn't consider a 170 at all (but rather get nothing smaller than a 190), but I guess it would be good to hear from experienced jumpers too to ram it home if this is the case... "
...............................

ram on ;)

This is one sport where its ALWAYS preferable to err on the side of caution.

Why don't you trust the recommendations ?
Do you know how many people have been injured and killed by downsizing too quickly?

Please ...back off with the downsizing crap, and just have fun on a bigger, safer canopy until YOU know what YOU"RE doing.
It might take many hundreds of jumps unless you're being downsize delusional.
ps of course all the newbie's will tell you different so beware.

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I weight 185 with clothing and shoes. Started off with a Pilot 210 can handle it well. Jumped by buddy's Pilot 190 10 times and felt a tad quicker but OK.

Bought a Pilot 168 (1.2x wingload) jumped in no wind and couldn't stand it up reliable so went back to the 210.

Had I been able to jump daily for a few weeks and get some coaching I think I'd have stuck with it but I jump infrequently enough to much rather jump the 210.

Don't see when I'd want to go past the 168 though for sure...better safe than sorry. Have had all in a mirage m5 container. 210 is TIGHT

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ok - thanks

By the way, what would be the symptoms you'd notice under canopy if you downsized too fast?



It's the sunset load, cute chicks flash the pilot for extra altitude, some one in your group gets hypoxic and catches their foot on the seatbelt so you take forever to climb out, you have a long spot so you're landing off, and the low light means you don't see power lines until you're almost on top of them so you make a low turn to avoid them for a down-wind landing on an asphalt road.

If you down-sized too fast before that you're more likely to

- Loose more altitude turning than expected and fly yourself into the ground (this can be avoided with the proper control input, but that takes practice and when you get it wrong a smaller canopy will loose more altitude)

- Over-control the canopy so it dives steeper than you'd like either flying you into the ground or leaving you with more speed than expected.

(The first two have led to fatalities)

- Over-control the canopy after plane-out so you hit an obstacle beside the road.

- Suffer from situation overload, freeze-up, and fly yourself into the ground.

(Every time I've seen this it's only been broken bones)

- Not get away with an incomplete flare that worked well enough landing into the wind and with larger sizes.

(This tends to be more a face plant, road rash, and torn container/jump suit situation, but one guy killed himself falling forwards onto his chest-mount altimeter)

Quote


I don't want to try to find out for myself, but just curious. Would it be things like, turns you initiate ending up being sharper & steeper than you'd expect. Perhaps more difficulty in getting the flare happening at the right point (e.g. flare too high, or too low)



Landing into the wind in a smooth grassy wide-open field is ridiculously easy and not the situation you want to be choosing your canopy size based on.

Some day you will be landing down-wind, on hard ground, after a low turn, and with a turn after you've started flaring perhaps all together. You want to pick a canopy which lets you handle that and practice all the skills before you need to use them after bad luck/judgement get you into such a situation.

Some people say you should listen to your instructors and down size if they say it's OK. That's the wrong attitude to take since either they haven't seen how you've been performing with off-field down wind landings and not seen enough to give that advice or you've been doing it enough that they noticed and thereby shown bad judgement which suggests you don't downsize. Sticking to Brian's formula (about 1.0 + .1/100 jumps, with less wing loading in some situations) and being more conservative if they tell you to is the right thing.

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Just a point - (and let's imagine for a second that everyone here said 1.17 was OK) - it seems you are talking here about a canopy that you do not want to jump. It seems that you know you're safer under a 190, the 190 is the one you'd rather have, and you're asking if the riskier choice is OK because it is easier and cheaper for you to purchase....? I reckon you know the answer to your question already.
You will find a 190 if you keep an eye out, or else just get one brand new. Like you said they are hard to find, it's not like you're going to lose a lot of money selling it. Also, peace of mind is very important - having it allows you to have more fun. :)

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Short answer: Yes.

Longer answer: Most likely yes, but it depends on a BUNCH of factors. Density altitude, exp, type of canopy, currency, and your attitude all play into it.

And each of those factors pay with and against each other. For example I knew a guy that was current as hell and got a canopy that was maybe a bit more than he needed. Well, then he got uncurrent and the canopy WAS more than he needed when he wanted to jump again. The fear of the canopy made coming back suck for him. His ego would not let him upsize. He eventually quit.

So yes, 1.2 is too high in most cases.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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Hi

I am new too this sport but I'd like to share a couple of things that surprised me. I weigh 170 lb, but just for grins I got on the scales all suited up, helmet and rig and I came in at 202 lb which was more than I expected.

I had been jumping a 220 and was at the point where I could consistently stand up my landings. Working with my coach I changed to a 190 for jump number 50. Despite the coaching watching other people land the same rig I still found myself surprised at how much faster things happened in the flare.

I can see myself staying with a 190 for a lot of seasons.

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Is a 1.17 too high a wing-loading for a first rig, say starting at the 40 jumps mark after stepping down?

Background:

* Interested in any comments from more experiences jumpers who have gone through the process of going from student gear to first rig.



Yes the WL is too high.


I'll share my canopy progression with you, not saying it's right but this is what I did.

I started skydiving in August 2008 and I am 44 years of age now.

I weighed 187lbs out of the door

Jump #1 to #30 on a 260sq ft WL = 0.71
Jump #2 to #42 on a 220sq ft WL = 0.85
Jump #43 to #157 on a 210 sq ft WL = 0.89
Jump #158 to #278 on a Storm 190sq ft WL = 0.98
Jump #279 to #563 on a Sabre2 170sq ft WL = 1.10
Jump #564 to #614 on a Sabre 2 150sq ft WL = 1.24
Jump #615 to #737 on a Xfire2 129sq ft WL = 1.44
Jump #738 to #1057 on a Xfire2 119sq ft WL = 1.57
Jump #1058 to #1442 on a Xfire2 109sq ft WL = 1.71
Jump #1442 to #1552 on a JVX 99sq ft WL = 2.0 (I've put on some weight)

Started jumping my own rig at jump #158 at a WL of 0.98.

Now I'm not saying I'm right, but I changed canopy size each time with the express permission of my DZO and of course I've scared myself a few times.

I made sure I could do everything on BillVon's list multiple times before downsizing each time.

Just thought this may be some useful numbers for you.

Cheers.

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thanks for the replies guys - just in case it's not obvious after the replies I'll be looking for 190+ main only now

oh, & the "bones protruding through your skin" and "possibly ceasing to breathe anymore" sounded just a little on the nasty side... B|
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thanks for the replies guys - just in case it's not obvious after the replies I'll be looking for 190+ main only now

oh, & the "bones protruding through your skin" and "possibly ceasing to breathe anymore" sounded just a little on the nasty side... Pirate



Good decision, as was asking for advice/opinions.

As for the second part, nasty, yes, but quite common, especially for some of us who have seen these sights too often for our liking. Thats the reality of bad judgement and big egos.....
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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the "bones protruding through your skin" and "possibly ceasing to breathe anymore" sounded just a little on the nasty side...



It is nasty, but it's also the truth of the matter.

Sometimes jumpers get lulled into a false sense of security because they see (and experience) so many 'good' landings. The vast majority of landings involve a good flare, and even if the timing or extent of the flare isn't excactly perfect, it's enough to reduce the impact with the ground to something less than if you fell down after tripping on your own shoelace.

However, if you've ever seen a jumper land with no flare, you realize the significance of the flare, and how much difference it makes. I've only seen students fly stright into the ground with no flare at all, and even an average sized student jumping a 280 sq ft canopy goes in like a sack of bricks with a no flare landing.

Now take that one step further, and make it a canopy loaded at 1.1 or 1.2 instead of .75 to 1, and think about the impact. Now add in a panic turn, and imagine the impact with the added speed.

The basic idea is that even a canopy loaded conservatively will pile you into the ground without a halfway decent flare. It doesn't take much of a mistake to get into the "bones protruding through your skin" level of injury. It's a little harder to kill yourself, but just about every jumper on every jump is very, very close a bone fracturing injury, and it's the flare that saves them and turns into a fun jump and gets you back in the hanger packing up for another.

There's not a lot of room for error. The way canopies fly and the way the human body absorb impact are not exactly a match made in heaven. Don't stack the deck against yourself with 'borderline' equipment choices.

Fun fact - I heard from an EMT buddy that they consisder any fall from 12 or 14ft on up to be considered 'critical', and they expect severe injuries to result. That's falling from a stationary position, like a ladder, 12 ft to the floor. Considering that the majority of your time is spent well above 12 ft on a skydive, and that you also have a forward speed component to deal with, you can see that it's an area to really respect.

If it's 'meant to be' there will be time for smaller and faster canopies. If you jump for a couple of years and have some success in developing your skills, you'll get your chance. If you quit jumping before then, or jumping quits you (like side-lining you with an injury) you'll be gald that you didn't have the smaller canopy in your rig.

Note- I know you chimed in a suggested that you're going to go with the larger canopy, and I applaud you. The majority of this post was aimed at 'Joe Skydiver' reading this thread at home, who still thinks he's got some shit in his ass that doesn't stink.

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