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kirrz

Exits and the Relative Wind

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I finished AFF a few weeks ago but haven't jumped since because I was overseas. I want to go to the DZ tomorrow but I am so nervous! I wanted to ask about exits and the relative wind. I normally jump out of an XL (sometimes an Otter) and prefer diving exits to poised ones because I tended to not let go of the plane during AFF. I can get stable really quickly and I am fine in the sky, I just can't seem to nail exits.

When I did my hop and pops, I found that all the different instructors at the DZ told me to exit with different body positions (still all diving) and so I just ended up being really confused. I know that I have to stick my legs up to my bum, arms straight out and look up.. but for some reason, sometimes it doesn't work and I kick a bit. I have heard the phrase "present to the relative wind" a lot but I don't really get it. Can someone please explain to me what exactly this relative wind is, how to present to it, what am I supposed to present to it and why? Also, how is it possible to have so many different exit positions whilst still "presenting to the relative wind"? Assume I am very stupid and please explain it to me like you would to a child. I just can't grasp the concept. I did a search but couldn't really find much.

I am really nervous about tomorrow.. my fear is the initial 10seconds where I don't feel stable and tend to kick.

Thanks in advance!

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First off, quit worrying, you know how to get stable and have lots of time, worrying is going to make it more difficult.

Try this, exit facing forwards, and stare at the prop as you step (not jump) out, and keep staring at it until you are stable on your belly. If you do not have an exact heading it will be difficult to be stable on exit.

As for relative wind: the way you are stable when flying belly to earth is you are flying on the air that is moving by you at 120mph – that air isn’t really moving, you are, hence ‘relative’ wind. When you exit the aircraft, that relative wind is not coming from below you, it is coming from in front of you because the plan is flying at 100+ mph. On exit, you will not be flying belly to earth as much as legs to earth, belly toward the direction of the plane as that is where the wind is coming from. As you lose forward speed and gain downward speed, you will naturally transition from being vertical to being belly to earth.

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Hey!

I know what you mean! Only in the last few jumps have I gotten comfortable with the exits. But jeremy556 is right. Don't really worry about anything! Just relax!

As far as the poised exits, just keep looking at the prop (or wing or plane). If you keep looking up, notice how your body naturally arches. You may feel as if you are a little unstable, but don't worry about it, you are just getting off the hill. Within a couple of seconds, you'll be belly-to-earth!

Climb outside that plane, take a deep breath, do a count, let go, and most importantly, be relaxed. You'll do great!;)

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I will start this off by saying, you need to talk to an instructor at your dz about this to have it explained in person to you.

That said, the concept of relative wind is sometimes hard to understand, but really, it is quite simple. When you are out in the air flying around on your belly, all the relative wind is caused by you falling towards the earth. That means it comes from down, straight at the ground. This means belly to earth is "Presenting to the relative wind"

That make sense?

ok, but your question is about exits right? Well, when we are in a plane we are moving forward. The plane has to be moving forward through the air to stay flying. When we first exit the plane, due to physics, we keep moving forward for awhile till gravity takes over completly and we are only moving down. This is called moving down the hill.

As you first exit your relative wind is coming from straight ahead towards the prop (the movement of the plane forward provides this wind, you have not started falling down yet) Now, you imeadiatly start also being affected by gravity which causes you to go down. As this happens the wind shifts from being forward to pointing down.

This is much easier to explain in person.
~D
Where troubles melt like lemon drops Away above the chimney tops That's where you'll find me.
Swooping is taking one last poke at the bear before escaping it's cave - davelepka

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The relative wind is simply "where the air is coming from". Since the airplane you're exiting is flying through the air at about 80-90kts, the wind will initially come from roughly the nose of the airplane (your right-hand-side as you look out of the door of the Otter/XL). As gravity starts to take hold, your trajectory will tend towards straight down, and you'll end up belly to Earth after about ten seconds.

On exit, place your hips square into the relative wind. This is easier to do if you have your left foot forward and your right foot behind. To visualise this, stand as described, note the position of your hips, and imagine the wind coming from your right. Now swap your legs - right foot forward, left back - and see the changed position of your hips.

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Hey Kirrz!

Well done on finishing AFF! I hope to finish off this weekend..a few solos and then hop n pops.

And guess what? im working on my exits first before the hop n pop, i want to be a little more stable on exit.

I too have been told and shown a range of exits by different instructors - its all learning, but yes can be confusing. Ive got one instructor helping me this saturday, which should uncomplicate things!

There is some good reading material on relative wind and exits see:

http://www.dropzone.com/safety/resources/handbook/chap2.shtml

Good luck, dont be nervous. I know easy to say than do, but if you did the hop n pops already.. you will be fine getting out at height!

Cheers
Kell
(FW)
ps. check your PMs

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Thanks for the advice and PMs everyone and especially thanks for the link Kell - it was awesome!! I feel heaps better!!

Didn't make it to the DZ today cos I've found myself with the flu but will hopefully be there this weekend armed with all this new info.

Thanks guys!

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one more thing i wanted to mention is that the reason why you kick during the first 10 seconds is because you are speeding up and you do not have the wind to stabelize you. I had the same problem tell I relaxed more during the exit and it worked out fine. that will take some time. once you relaxe you will stop kicking or trying to swim to get stable. then you really start to have some fun.

"Falling is the easy part, Landing smoothly is the most importent part!
-DJ Mike

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