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fcajump

Follow "first down" or landing direction indicator?

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mxk


There is a tetrahedron in this scenario, but because you weren't attentive during the DZ briefing, you can't remember what the local policy is. The first person is landing in the opposite direction and you have to make a choice of following them or landing in the correct direction.



If I wasn't sure what to do, that means I have not jumped at this DZ before or in a long time, so I probably would just follow down the person in front of me.

If it was a DZ I normally jumped at, I would know what to do when someone is landing the wrong way, and I would do that. If the rule is follow the tetrahedron no matter what, I would do that. I would keep an eye on the first person so that I didn't line up my final with his, so basically land not "out" but away from him as reasonably possible.
It's flare not flair, brakes not breaks, bridle not bridal, "could NOT care less" not "could care less".

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The question is what do YOU do now?? Because the ONLY way all of us looking to land stay safe is to answer the question the same way.




LAND FUCKING ELSEWHERE IN THE DIRECTION DECIDED ON THE GROUND.


FOR FUCK'S SAKE, PEOPLE, YOU DON'T HAVE TO LAND IN THE LANDING AREA ALL THE TIME.
"I encourage all awesome dangerous behavior." - Jeffro Fincher

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DJL

LAND FUCKING ELSEWHERE IN THE DIRECTION DECIDED ON THE GROUND. FOR FUCK'S SAKE, PEOPLE, YOU DON'T HAVE TO LAND IN THE LANDING AREA ALL THE TIME.



The reason I limited the question to having no acceptable 'outs' is that I have been to dropzones that had limited/no good outs (at least not by the time you are near pattern alt. Sometimes you really do want to land 'in' if at all possible, though certainly head-to-head is a bad thing.

I find it interesting that the votes are fairly split on this, which would back up the individual who suggested that in such a situation we would get some following #1 down and others following the LDI... Which is what I heard in the confusion at Safety Day.

PLEASE take this question to YOUR S&TA. Get your DZ to POST the landing direction policy and the S&TA/DZO's to enforce it.

Not to say a solo jumper in the air by themselves can't do a down-winder, but when there are multiple jumpers, we've gotta know what is expected.

Finally, remember that stuff happens. Low reserve opening near the landing area, student can't make their field and turns to the main, brain lock, visitor... stuff happens and there will occasionally be someone coming at you (or, was it your brain lock and you're coming at THEM??) I'm going to try to make it part of my scan on final, to check for oncoming traffic.

JW
Always remember that some clouds are harder than others...

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Ha, I actually stopped reading before the "no outs" clause. We've dealt with this at my DZ and we have a gigantic quantity of grass around the main landing area so it frustrates me to no end when the landing area gets dicey and everyone piles in as if they don't have all the alternatives in the world.

So, land in the direction you decided upon when you were on the ground. It will only compound the error by repeating what someone else did.
"I encourage all awesome dangerous behavior." - Jeffro Fincher

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Sometimes you're left with all less-than-optimal actions. But in this case, yeah, I'd land in the originally agreed-upon direction is the right thing to do. If you're going against the goober, then land as far away from them as you safely can. Including right up against the trees, or on the (empty) taxiway, etc. Lots of quick deciding, but that's part of the shit sandwich.

If I couldn't remember the agree-upon direction for some reason, then I'm part of the problem.

Wendy P.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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DJL

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The question is what do YOU do now?? Because the ONLY way all of us looking to land stay safe is to answer the question the same way.




LAND FUCKING ELSEWHERE IN THE DIRECTION DECIDED ON THE GROUND.


FOR FUCK'S SAKE, PEOPLE, YOU DON'T HAVE TO LAND IN THE LANDING AREA ALL THE TIME.



First rule of skydiving: Land safely.

Wherever that happens to be is pretty secondary in the big scheme of things.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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obelixtim

***

Quote

The question is what do YOU do now?? Because the ONLY way all of us looking to land stay safe is to answer the question the same way.




LAND FUCKING ELSEWHERE IN THE DIRECTION DECIDED ON THE GROUND.


FOR FUCK'S SAKE, PEOPLE, YOU DON'T HAVE TO LAND IN THE LANDING AREA ALL THE TIME.



First rule of skydiving: Land safely.

Wherever that happens to be is pretty secondary in the big scheme of things.

First rule of skydiving: pull

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>Someone pulled.

Nope. Not a soul.

>Lol, no it is not.

After seeing a lot of fatalities that occurred after someone pulled just fine - and seen a lot of saves where someone didn't pull and landed to try again - I have to disagree. "Land safely" is what every skydiver should be striving for. Pulling is one part of that. Lately it's not even the most important part when it comes to avoiding fatalities.

In 2016, there were:

8 fatalities due to malfunctions that were either not dealt with correctly or happened too low to deal with

3 collisions - 2 freefall and 1 under canopy

5 landing problems - hitting things or hooking their canopy into the ground.

2 reserve problems - a premature and a 2-out that downplaned.

3 where jumpers were simply dead when they got to the ground.

During that whole time, there wasn't a single fatality that was caused by a no-pull. There were 3 no-pulls in total, but these were not the cause of the death - one of the jumpers, for example, apparently suffered a massive heart attack in freefall. He lost consciousness, his AAD fired, and landed him under his reserve. He was dead before he got to the ground.

All those fatalities were due to either people not ensuring a safe landing through many, many mistakes - or in a few cases through fate (i.e. the heart attack.) The avoidable ones were caused by not maintaining their gear correctly, not clearing their airspace, not making good decisions about landing, choosing the wrong gear for what they were doing etc.

So I am going with "land safely." "Pull" is just one part of that.

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wmw999

Sometimes you're left with all less-than-optimal actions. But in this case, yeah, I'd land in the originally agreed-upon direction is the right thing to do. If you're going against the goober, then land as far away from them as you safely can. Including right up against the trees, or on the (empty) taxiway, etc. Lots of quick deciding, but that's part of the shit sandwich.

If I couldn't remember the agree-upon direction for some reason, then I'm part of the problem.

Wendy P.



Hooray for Wendy.

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billvon

>The question is what do YOU do now?

If winds are light - land in the direction of the #1 guy (if altitude permits)



Even if you have time to turn and land in the direction that fits the DZ policy, Bill?

So you stick with a First man down policy always, unless it puts you in danger?

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>Even if you have time to turn and land in the direction that fits the DZ policy, Bill?

If that's the DZ policy then I'd do that as a default. (The OP was somewhat vague as to what the DZ policy was in that case.)

At Perris, for example, the policy is that you usually follow first person down. If the second person lands the opposite way then the landing area is closed - so you have to land out.

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billvon

>First rule of skydiving: pull

Gotta go with land safely. I didn't pull on my first 3 jumps - and pulling then killing yourself during a landing attempt is just as much a failure as not pulling.



It's not the fall, but the sudden stop that gets you. I've read that a Norway Spruce is the best tree for slowing you down safely.
"I encourage all awesome dangerous behavior." - Jeffro Fincher

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"see that #1 is setting up to land in the wrong direction, spiral down and land first. Problem solved."

Our dz doesn't allow spiraling in the traffic pattern. We've had close calls where the person spiraling was certain they saw only one person ahead of them...they were wrong. When newer jumpers spiral down from the middle of the pack, our S+TAs remind them why that's a bad idea.

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billvon

>The OP was somewhat vague as to what the DZ policy was in that case.



Intentional -

- first to make it more generic for the sake of a lively discussion that would encompase more than just the DZ's I go to.

- second because it was a point of confusion during the safety day, even among the staff. So I am not yet clear on what that particular DZ's policy is... I have e-mailed the S&TA for clarification and have yet to get a response...

JW
Always remember that some clouds are harder than others...

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billvon

>Even if you have time to turn and land in the direction that fits the DZ policy, Bill?

If that's the DZ policy then I'd do that as a default. (The OP was somewhat vague as to what the DZ policy was in that case.)

At Perris, for example, the policy is that you usually follow first person down. If the second person lands the opposite way then the landing area is closed - so you have to land out.



I'm going to guess (and it is just a guess) that the folks who are voting 'follow the guy' are more from DZs that have a 'first man sets pattern' policy, and the ones voting 'land the right way' are from "set landing direction" places.

And there's absolutely no excuse for not knowing and following DZ policy. If you don't know, ask. If you forget, ask again. Every once in a while, someone will ask "what's the landing direction again?" on jump run. Maybe they completely forgot. Maybe they weren't 100% sure and wanted a confirmation. Maybe they just wanted to make sure everyone else remembered it.

I've never heard anyone ask why. Or comment that they should have remembered. Simply an "east" or "west" shouted out. Often by more than one person.
"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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Jumpers that go from DZs with set pattern to tetrahedron can have this issue too. Yes, definitely important to know before you board. The way it works at my DZ, set pattern, if we change the landing direction it's usually because we spent three loads doing downwinders on light/variable days and it's just damn obvious that it's time to change it for the rest of the day.
"I encourage all awesome dangerous behavior." - Jeffro Fincher

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For the "First man down" idea to work, that first man down has to fly a long-enough pattern that allows those above to see which direction he has chosen to land. Frequently, the first man down has a small canopy and knows he is not accompanied by other jumpers under canopy - so he goes "this way-that way- whatever way" until about 300 feet off the ground. Then more or less swoops, usually a 90 degree turn to final and then lands. Only when the jumpers above see that final decision can they set up for the load landing direction. Sometimes they are not that far above. Then by the time the hotshot decides to turn on final, (He is of course at 90 degrees to the wind line -which allows him to choose - right or left) (?will it be a 90 degree turn to the left or the right? No one knows- everyone above is guessing) Result? The jumpers above are in difficulty trying to set up to the to the direction, some so low they are 180 degrees off, seemingly decided at the last few seconds by the hotshot 'first man down."

My point here, is that the first man down has to fly a reasonably long approach to make the "first man down rule" work. Jerking right or left on a 90 degree final approach swoop leaves those above guessing and adjusting at pretty low altitudes. "Which way is he going to go?" doesn't cut it. Yes, this happens. A lot.

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>For the "First man down" idea to work, that first man down has to fly a long-enough pattern
>that allows those above to see which direction he has chosen to land.

Yep, and that's one of the bigger drawbacks of that method. Of all the methods out there, probably the most foolproof is the manned arrow/tetrahedron - but often DZ's don't have the extra people to spare for such duty. (Actually by far the easiest is that used by many coastal DZ's in California - always land to the West. But that's not practical in most cases.)

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dpreguy

For the "First man down" idea to work, that first man down has to fly a long-enough pattern that allows those above to see which direction he has chosen to land. Frequently, the first man down has a small canopy and knows he is not accompanied by other jumpers under canopy - so he goes "this way-that way- whatever way" until about 300 feet off the ground. Then more or less swoops, usually a 90 degree turn to final and then lands. Only when the jumpers above see that final decision can they set up for the load landing direction. Sometimes they are not that far above. Then by the time the hotshot decides to turn on final, (He is of course at 90 degrees to the wind line -which allows him to choose - right or left) (?will it be a 90 degree turn to the left or the right? No one knows- everyone above is guessing) Result? The jumpers above are in difficulty trying to set up to the to the direction, some so low they are 180 degrees off, seemingly decided at the last few seconds by the hotshot 'first man down."

My point here, is that the first man down has to fly a reasonably long approach to make the "first man down rule" work. Jerking right or left on a 90 degree final approach swoop leaves those above guessing and adjusting at pretty low altitudes. "Which way is he going to go?" doesn't cut it. Yes, this happens. A lot.



Quite right, and people are focusing their attention on someone far below, instead of those around them. That is a bad idea.
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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DJL and wendy's

LAND FUCKING ELSEWHERE IN THE DIRECTION DECIDED ON THE GROUND.

FOR FUCK'S SAKE, PEOPLE, YOU DON'T HAVE TO LAND IN THE LANDING AREA ALL THE TIME.



YESSSSS!!!!!

1 - The DZ needs a policy and 'whatever' it is, everyone follow (whether it's follow the guys, set landing area, or into the perceived wind) it. The idea is predictability is safest as a good general rule not some specific option.

2 - Then, if some asshat breaks the rule, go land over in the alternate landing area and avoid his shit and the fallout from it.

Cause I don't like the idea of the 3rd guy down now posting a thread about the confusion the 2nd guy added to the mix.

...
Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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At our DZ we have a very large arrow which is a very strong suggestion to land in the direction indicated. It is located near the boarding area and can be changed whenever a consensus dictates. If a planeload is in the air and wind direction and/or intensity changes we radio up and change the arrow.

When winds are light and variable rather than chase the direction with the arrow it is set to prevailing. Should it be wrong the consequences are usually minimal and jumpers may land away from the close-in or expert landing area in whichever direction they please.

If winds are steady the arrow is boss unless you are swooping on your own pass or landing in the segregated high performance area. Landing in the expert area at any more than 45 degrees off the wind line may get a friendly reminder to please use the arrow.

Of course, if a traffic conflict arrises, you may land in whichever direction is necessary to avoid injury. In which case discussion of the cause of conflict is warranted.

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