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corn field landing damage?

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I'm a new jumper. I landed in a corn field the other day. Tall, dry stalks. It took me well over an hour to untangle and gather my canopy and walk out. All the while I'm wondering what this is doing to my gear, especially my canopy. Upon return to DZ I asked if I needed to have my rig inspected or cleaned or anything. No one seemed particularly concerned, but there was no rigger around. A nice guy packed my rig for me and we laughed at my being covered in dirt, sweat, corn debris and god knows what all.

Since this happened, I keep imagining corn syrup/goop, sharp dry leaves, dirt, pesticides, bugs (that may chew on nylon!), etc etc packed into my main and doing damage. When I go jump again I will ask rigger at DZ about all this--but I'm worried about what's potentially happening between now and then.

So, my question: is there any standard operating procedure for post corn field landing (or any other super dirty landing)? Is it prudent/vital to get rig inspected and washed? Or is this a; "modern parachutes are so well-made these days, they can take it, don't worry" type situation? Do I need to unpack main immediately? (Dude shook it out before packing, but still; my imagination runs wild.)

Thanks for any help, suggestions, wisdom.

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I wouldn't wash it unless you know you got some sort of contaminant on it.

Personally I'd just shake it out and give it a visual inspection. Lay it out in the hanger and go over the top and bottom skins and inspect each line, although I wouldn't expect to find anything unless I'd been really aggressive in recovering it.

That said, if you'll always feel uncomfortable unless you get it washed and inspected, do that. Having peace of mind about your parachute is really valuable.

You should be more worried about doing any damage to Farmer McNasty's crops... ;) That's what I thought this post was about.

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yoink

I wouldn't wash it unless you know you got some sort of contaminant on it.

Personally I'd just shake it out and give it a visual inspection. Lay it out in the hanger and go over the top and bottom skins and inspect each line, although I wouldn't expect to find anything unless I'd been really aggressive in recovering it.

That said, if you'll always feel uncomfortable unless you get it washed and inspected, do that. Having peace of mind about your parachute is really valuable.

You should be more worried about doing any damage to Farmer McNasty's crops... ;) That's what I thought this post was about.



^This.

It's unlikely that there are any pesticides or fertilizer or any other chemicals on the crops in enough concentration to do any damage. Most of that stuff is applied a lot earlier in the season and has either washed off or been absorbed.

As was said, give it a good shake to get rid of most of the crap. A bit won't really matter and will blow out the next time you jump it.

It takes a lot of dirt to require washing the container. Mostly I just brush it off with a stiff, natural bristle brush. You'd be amazed how clean it will get that way.

And yes, I too thought this was about a farmer's claim to a DZ about crop damage.
My original DZ had a "Corn Field Landing" jar. Anyone who landed in the crop field had to toss in a buck. At the end of the season, we gave the contents to the farmer. He always appreciated it.
"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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wolfriverjoe

***I wouldn't wash it unless you know you got some sort of contaminant on it.

Personally I'd just shake it out and give it a visual inspection. Lay it out in the hanger and go over the top and bottom skins and inspect each line, although I wouldn't expect to find anything unless I'd been really aggressive in recovering it.

That said, if you'll always feel uncomfortable unless you get it washed and inspected, do that. Having peace of mind about your parachute is really valuable.

You should be more worried about doing any damage to Farmer McNasty's crops... ;) That's what I thought this post was about.



^This.

It's unlikely that there are any pesticides or fertilizer or any other chemicals on the crops in enough concentration to do any damage. Most of that stuff is applied a lot earlier in the season and has either washed off or been absorbed.

As was said, give it a good shake to get rid of most of the crap. A bit won't really matter and will blow out the next time you jump it.

It takes a lot of dirt to require washing the container. Mostly I just brush it off with a stiff, natural bristle brush. You'd be amazed how clean it will get that way.

And yes, I too thought this was about a farmer's claim to a DZ about crop damage.
My original DZ had a "Corn Field Landing" jar. Anyone who landed in the crop field had to toss in a buck. At the end of the season, we gave the contents to the farmer. He always appreciated it.

It's better to wait for the dirt to dry and then vacuum it. Brushing tends to drive some of the dirt farther inside the fabric which isnt a good thing...

Washing requires a full disassembly of the container and two to three days of time so it's better left after the season if needed...

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countzero

Why did you land in the corn field and not on the edge or in a different place?



Edges of fields often have ditches, fences and power lines.

Many times those are not visible until the jumper is very low and has few options left.

I was taught to avoid the edges for that reason.
"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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Washing the rig can be done, but as already mentioned, it's a lot of work. Washing the main canopy however is a very bad idea. From my understanding, canopy fabric is calendered (the fibres are ironed flat after weaving), and washing undoes that. This leads to a much more porous fabric, and a much reduced strength and performance of the canopy. Washing the canopy is almost always a cure that's much worse than the ill.

Instead, careful inspection of the main canopy should be enough. Ensure there's no damage to the fabric and stitching, and ensure there are no foreign objects in it that might cause damage later on during packing. Such inspection is best done together with a rigger.

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countzero

Why did you land in the corn field and not on the edge or in a different place?



I deployed NW (I think) of the field/landing area. Looked down and was above a highway--plenty of time/altitude though. I lined up to head back and land. I looked down and the highway was still beneath me, in the same spot. Tried .5, .25 brakes, rears etc. Highway was actually in front of me a bit now. I was being pushed away from the airport! Super high winds at my altitude--and all the way to the ground as it turned out.

It was obvious I wasn't gonna make it back. So I started looking for a safe alternate landing spot. I elected to aim for a big spot as I am a new jumper and I was at the mercy of some serious winds.

So there's the highway beneath me, a field next to it, then a river. So I aimed for the center of the field, trying to avoid the highway and river. I haven't done water training yet.

I could see huge ripples sweeping across the grassy field; like a giant, invisible broom was sweeping across it--hard and fast. I was being tossed around a good bit.

I focused on a good, open, obstacle-free spot in the center and began maneuvering for landing. I got closer and realized it was actually a corn field. But I was already committed (and low) so I landed there. No choice.

Also; like I said, I'm a new, sub 100 jumper, AND this was my 2nd or 3rd jump on my new rig (Pilot 188.) And it was my first ever jump at that DZ.

In retrospect, it wouldn't have been a bad idea to skip the jump altogether. The thought had crossed my mind: novice jumper, new rig, new DZ, high wind. Sounds pretty bad now as I'm typing this!! I would categorize myself as a safe, prudent skydiver; not one to make poor decisions. Now I'm re-assessing my judgement.

I landed safely though, and I learned from the experience. And, given the scenario, I'm pleased with my decisions and actions. I would only second guess the decision to jump in the first place.

Man, I guess I could've answered simply; "I didn't realize it was a cornfield until I was already committed." Sorry for the long-winded response--I had some coffee today!

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You survived, and it sounds you made enough good decisions to offset the bad decision of jumping in those winds. Plus you gained experience jumping in poor weather conditions, which is also worth quite a bit. Next jump, you'll be experienced enough to say No when the winds are that high.

As for aiming for the edge rather than the middle: as a low-time jumper I had serious issues even hitting the middle, let alone picking an edge and landing there accurately. Impromptu accuracy landings is a skill that requires lots of practice, I don't expect a <100 jump person to be able to pick a point while already in-air, and adjust their pattern to land accurately there.

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IJskonijn

You survived, and it sounds you made enough good decisions to offset the bad decision of jumping in those winds. Plus you gained experience jumping in poor weather conditions, which is also worth quite a bit. Next jump, you'll be experienced enough to say No when the winds are that high. [/B]

As for aiming for the edge rather than the middle: as a low-time jumper I had serious issues even hitting the middle, let alone picking an edge and landing there accurately. Impromptu accuracy landings is a skill that requires lots of practice, I don't expect a <100 jump person to be able to pick a point while already in-air, and adjust their pattern to land accurately there.



On the next jump he will be smarter and see what the upper winds are and if the jump run makes sense before making it...

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It sounds like you were facing directly into a headwind, and making no progress.

You can make progress into the wind if you fly at 45 degrees to the headwind, alternating your heading so you don't get pushed too far sideways.

A bit like how sailors tack sailboats into the wind. Called "crabbing" in the old days of roundies.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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obelixtim

It sounds like you were facing directly into a headwind, and making no progress.

You can make progress into the wind if you fly at 45 degrees to the headwind, alternating your heading so you don't get pushed too far sideways.

A bit like how sailors tack sailboats into the wind. Called "crabbing" in the old days of roundies.



Erm... Huh??

For sailboats it works because they have more than just wind force acting on them, they are in water and the water also acts on the boat.

When flying, if the headwind is stronger than your forward speed, everything upwind might as well be on the other end of the planet, i.e. totally unreachable.

For example, let's take a 30kt headwind coming from due south. If I have an airspeed of 20kt and fly due south, my groundspeed is 10kt due north. If I fly at 45 degree angles (either southwest or southeast), I can break up my airspeed into two components: one 14,1kt due south, and one 14,1kt due east or west. Now, my groundspeed is a combination of 15,9kt due north and 14,1kt due east or west. I'm actually losing penetration into the wind by crabbing back and forth across the wind line.

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OK, I didn't word my post that well. Obviously if the headwind is way too high, you won't be going anywhere but backwards.

But if the head wind is about the same as your canopy speed, you can make progress by crabbing. You can help by lifting your legs, bringing your arms in to make a smaller profile with your body, and lessen the effects of the wind.

However, it makes sense to make a decision about your landing zone when you still have enough altitude to get to it. That might mean flying downwind to a clear area.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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But if the head wind is about the same as your canopy speed, you can make progress by crabbing.



That would not work.
People are sick and tired of being told that ordinary and decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I’m certainly not, and I’m sick and tired of being told that I am

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Yup, pick a landing area when you still have options. But crabbing will never get you further upwind than flying straight upwind. On the other hand, tucking in your legs (reduced drag) and front riser input might, because you are adjusting the airspeed of your canopy in that case, as well as the downward speed.

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IJskonijn

Washing the rig can be done, but as already mentioned, it's a lot of work. Washing the main canopy however is a very bad idea. From my understanding, canopy fabric is calendered (the fibres are ironed flat after weaving), and washing undoes that. This leads to a much more porous fabric, and a much reduced strength and performance of the canopy. Washing the canopy is almost always a cure that's much worse than the ill.

Instead, careful inspection of the main canopy should be enough. Ensure there's no damage to the fabric and stitching, and ensure there are no foreign objects in it that might cause damage later on during packing. Such inspection is best done together with a rigger.



I've been told this too, that with Z-Po the threads unwind or something, but bottom line is a suddenly much more porous canopy. I'd at least check with the manufacturer first.

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