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peek

Barrel roll to check for clear airspace?

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stratostar

If you really need to, going to the Carbonezone for deployment should be in ones tool box, because very few others will be that low, provided your canopy don’t 1500 feet to open, or you’ll have two out from an AAD fire, or maybe dead.




People who are willing to do that don't use AADs.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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billvon

>A 5-way angle typically has the same amount of breakoff (1500') as a 5-Way RW jump but
>half the airspace to separate into . . .

Why do you think that?



Because the outside fliers are typically limited to a 90° turn from the leader. Image attached shows what I mean.

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I would say absolutely no to a barrel roll, as has been mentioned elsewhere the fraction of a second it gives you to scan for traffic isn't useful and not worth the risk. Plus there's the risk of heading off on a tangent if you make a mess of it.

What can be useful is to transition from a belly to back track take a second to scan for traffic then transition back.....at full power....without losing heading. If you've got this dialed then sure go for it but don't underestimate the maneuver, it's tricky. That said most of the time I'll have checked above me earlier in the break-off (depends on the jump type) and there's no need for these acrobatics. Oh and make sure you actually look where you going, staring past your feet at where you've been may be reassuring but you need to check where you're going to be!

Once had a coach tell me about doing layouts in his track and how one time he found a dude tracking behind him on exactly the same heading, but this is some ninja shit and I'm not quite sure he wasn't pulling my leg!

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YES to "obelixtim.... If you really think you can clear your airspace with a barrel roll and not loose focus below, you are disillusion and possibly creating another problem. You cannot be responsible for or take corrective action for what happens above you.


obelixtim

The correct answer is NO.

If barrel rolls were an effective way of clearing airspace on breakoff from formations we would have been doing them 40 years ago when RW was the thing and everybody was doing formations. Its never been an acceptable thing to do.

No one ever advocated them as a way of checking for clear air after breakoff, and the reason is because its a stupid idea and a dangerous practice, as has been pointed out here.

Whoever came up with the idea needs to be shot with a ball of their own shit.

Breakoff protocols are clear and simple, and with everyone on the same page it is the safest method.

Break off, turn 180, and track like hell, checking other jumpers as you go, followed by a clear wave off before dumping. If you are low or nowhere near the formation when approaching break off then turn off and get the hell out of there. The low man has right of way. Separation both vertically and horizontally is essential.

Hundreds of thousands of formation jumps have been done over many years with complete safety, which proves the system works. The tool box already has enough tools in it.

Just because one or two incidents occur because people do not follow the proper drills is not a reason to start reinventing the wheel.

WTF is going on in peoples heads?


Dano

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YES to your first two sentences and NO to the second paragraph...

EvilGenius

I would say absolutely no to a barrel roll, as has been mentioned elsewhere the fraction of a second it gives you to scan for traffic isn't useful and not worth the risk. Plus there's the risk of heading off on a tangent if you make a mess of it.

What can be useful is to transition from a belly to back track take a second to scan for traffic then transition back.....at full power....without losing heading. If you've got this dialed then sure go for it but don't underestimate the maneuver, it's tricky. That said most of the time I'll have checked above me earlier in the break-off (depends on the jump type) and there's no need for these acrobatics. Oh and make sure you actually look where you going, staring past your feet at where you've been may be reassuring but you need to check where you're going to be!

Once had a coach tell me about doing layouts in his track and how one time he found a dude tracking behind him on exactly the same heading, but this is some ninja shit and I'm not quite sure he wasn't pulling my leg!


Dano

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danornan

You cannot be responsible for or take corrective action for what happens above you.



Well, you can NOT dump your canopy right in someone's face. That is something you can do. Not that taking it too low is an attractive option either, but........

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Deimian

***You cannot be responsible for or take corrective action for what happens above you.



Well, you can NOT dump your canopy right in someone's face. That is something you can do. Not that taking it too low is an attractive option either, but........

Of course, there are lots of things you should not do, but it is the responsibility of those above you to move, if you are below them.. Never a good situation, but looking above compounds the problem. Looking above you takes your eye from where it need to be and can create more problems.
Dano

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danornan

but it is the responsibility of those above you to move, if you are below them..



Agreed. But not everyone takes their responsibilities "seriously" and do what they are supposed to do. And sometimes things are not clear cut and your actions as a man on top might not be obvious. If you have someone tracking diagonally below you, what do you do? Let's say they come from the left, because they didn't do a proper 180 on separation.

-If you move to the left, but they notice their off heading tracking and correct it, you keep being right on top.

-If you go to the right, but they keep tracking on an "angle", you keep being right on top.

-If you keep your original trajectory, but they do a partial correction, you keep being right on top.

-If you pull and they pull too, you are going to open pretty close to each other.

In an ideal situation nothing like that would happen, of course. But in the real world it can and has happen. At the end of the day what is important is to land safely. To have a collision you need 2 people, but to avoid it the actions of one person can be enough. If the one above doesn't take the necessary actions to avoid it, the skydiver below has to step up or collide. If I'm not sure the space above me is clear I am not going to pull. Sometimes (hopefully very few) this might mean sucking it low or looking up before pulling once you know that there is nobody below you that you have to avoid.

I don't mean to contradict you with this post. I am just saying that oversimplifications like "it is the responsibility of the one above" are just that, oversimplifications. And it would be a pity if someone reads that and thinks "if I am below I won't care to get out of my way to avoid a collision, I have the right of way and it is not my responsibility".

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BigL

A 5-way angle typically has the same amount of breakoff (1500') as a 5-Way RW jump but half the airspace to separate into, but barrel rolls are considered good practice.

Whats the difference apart from already having speed on in an angle?



Please explain why barrel rolls would be a good thing on an angle jump?

Usually on a angle jump you will have much more speed and not much separation (hopefully) during the jump but when it comes to break-off everyone has (should have) a clear direction where to go during break-off. Also becouse it usually is a high speed jump that already has a decent horizontal component to it should be really easy to gain good separation during break-off.

The added speed and reduced room for break-off should all be clear signs to not to any barrel rolls becouse even a slight deviation in course can take you into another jumpers break-off sector...

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BigL

A 5-way angle typically has the same amount of breakoff (1500') as a 5-Way RW jump but half the airspace to separate into, but barrel rolls are considered good practice.

Whats the difference apart from already having speed on in an angle?



I think you replied to the wrong person, but am glad to see that people like Billvon are addressing you directly. My position is this: We have been discussing this for at least 12-15 years (I would encourage you to use the search function to get some history on the matter), but I am in the camp of - If you're the flattest, fastest tracker; there's no need to be doing aerobatics at the bottom end of the dive.

I would also encourage you to attend one of Billvon's (or another) bigway camp. The importance of turning from the formation at break-off; maintaining your heading; flat/fast tracking and a great wave-off will become very apparent.

@Gary: Brother, I think we beat this horse to death some time back and even took a poll and came to the consensus that barrel rolls at the bottom end were to join the ranks of the 45 degree rule. I am sorry for your loss. Condolences and respect to the family & friends.

Keith
Nobody has time to listen; because they're desperately chasing the need of being heard.

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BIGUN

@Gary: Brother, I think we beat this horse to death some time back and even took a poll and came to the consensus that barrel rolls at the bottom end were to join the ranks of the 45 degree rule. I am sorry for your loss. Condolences and respect to the family & friends.



Thank you, Keith. I started this topic, not to promote barrel rolls to clear airspace, but to see if anyone had any ideas about how to improve safety. Barrel rolls were just one idea. So far I have seen people with completely different opinions. My opinion is somewhere in the middle. We know what the best practices are, but sometimes things happen on a jump such that we need to modify those practices.

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Deimian

*** but it is the responsibility of those above you to move, if you are below them..



Agreed. But not everyone takes their responsibilities "seriously" and do what they are supposed to do.

And those people should be given a bowling ball and told not to come back.

Seriously, skydiving is a sport in which you can kill your friends. If a jumper can't play the game correctly they need to play a different game, and it is all of our responsibility to police that.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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>Because the outside fliers are typically limited to a 90° turn from the leader.

A simple solution to that is to tell people that that limitation does not apply on breakoff. At breakoff the dive is over; the one goal is to get clear airspace to deploy in.

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BigL

***>A 5-way angle typically has the same amount of breakoff (1500') as a 5-Way RW jump but
>half the airspace to separate into . . .

Why do you think that?



Because the outside fliers are typically limited to a 90° turn from the leader. Image attached shows what I mean.

I've done tracking dives where the outside flyers breakoff well beyond 90 degrees, giving the group a nearly 360 degree breakoff. I admit I do very few tracking jumps so there may be something I don't get.

Trackers, is there any reason jumpers on tracking dives shouldn't break off at greater than 90 degree angles assuming proper separation from other groups or disciplines?
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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Here's a segment from the following link describing general policy for angle breakoff. https://parachutistonline.com/feature/angle-flying-guidelines

Breakoffs
Generally, the breakoffs should take the form of a hand fan, in which the flyers farthest from the leader track perpendicularly from the center while the next set of flyers tracks away at 45 degrees and the closest flyers track at some angle in between. At all costs, avoid 180-degree turns that could result in flying into a trailing flyer or back toward the line of flight. Look in all directions before initiating a breakoff track, and gradually come out of any steep angle to avoid dangerous collisions. You’re never too experienced to practice this on the ground.

And another segment from another Angle flying guide.
https://parachutistonline.com/feature/covering-all-angles

BREAKOFF
At pull time, you must always assume there is someone above you. Check your airspace on all sides, even if you didn’t see anyone for most of the breakoff process. Some jumpers perform a barrel roll to clear the airspace above and below them, but you should only do so if you are confident in your skills and can perform the roll without losing too much altitude. (This is much more difficult than you would think.) If you do a barrel roll, spend enough time on your back to really see what’s above you by breaking the roll into halves: Transition to your back, take the time to clear your airspace, then return to your belly. Finally, wave off before you pull.

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Not true I use AADs in two of my four rigs and tdm rigs. I’m not scared to go down there with or with out one, however I will keep in mind what canopy is on my back! The main reason for that disclaimer is because there is lots of stupid who AADs and fail to understand how to use it correctly, for example the lady who turned hers on at Sea level and then drove to Parris valley and jump it, and she needed it that day and guess what, it didn’t fire!

At 1500 ft there are no friends! If I stay in FF till right 2K and pitch with my batwing on my back I will be open at 1200 ft and my AAD should not fire, that said I will be on alert for the fact it could! And there will be very few if anyone else down there. Just saying.
you can't pay for kids schoolin' with love of skydiving! ~ Airtwardo

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Statements about having another tool in the toolbox worry me. Not to push the metaphor too much but the more tools you have the more time you may burn up thinking which one is best this time. I've tried to come up with the one best way to handle each type of situation then practice and think about that.

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mbohu

As a newer jumper I have more questions about what exactly to do, if I notice someone above or below me at pull altitude (irrespective of how I notice.)
At this point it looks like I would deal with the situation on a one-on-one basis...but I also feel that any decision I take could be less than ideal, depending on the action of the other person in the same air space (and potentially even other sourrounding groups I'm not aware of)

For example: I notice someone above me at pull altitude (3.5k feet) and decide to track a few more seconds but adjust my heading slightly to the right. (This actually happened--only instance where I noticed someone in my airspace at pull-time). In my case it worked fine. I had enough altitude, it got me clearer of the person above, I did not encroach on the airspace of another group and the person above me was an experienced camera flier who got out of the way as much as possible and pulled high (and fortunately had a normal opening)
...but what if the person above also decided to adjust their heading in the same direction and track further? Or just pulled high immediately after noticing me and had a high-speed malfunction or really slow opening?

Are there any general recommendations that help in such situations?

PS: I am aware that usually, if someone is above or below me, one or more people already messed up in some way, and it's best to avoid that to begin with, but once you're in that situation you still will have to deal with it, no matter who's at fault.



I fly wingsuits and do very view RW type jumps now. But there always seems to be the need to properly react to these situations no matter what type of jump. One thing that helps is to be really good, to work at being good at tracking, tracking straight, tracking fast, and being able to slam on the brakes. A better skill set gives you more options. I see these situations today and resolve them without much thought. If I can slam on the brakes and go short of the guy above me, I might do that. If it looks like I have more forward speed than he/she, I might push hard to get further out. It seems to be different each time but the deeper you can dig, reaching for performance, the better equipped you will be. So never think your tracking is okay. Specifically work to sharpen your skills. Learn ways to measure your skills and abilities so you can continually improve.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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peek

This subject is related to the fatality I reported on in the Incidents forum, and I think it is better to discuss it here.

Doing a barrel roll while tracking away from others after breakoff from a formation is controversial to say the least, and I think that most people realize the times when it is definitely not a good idea to do it, for example, when a formation has been successful and breakoff is going as planned.

However, there are other skydives that include situations that are not planned for or not expected at all, and that include skydivers with various degrees of skills and experience. For example, a jumper being way high or way low on the others at breakoff, a "funnel" near breakoff altitude, etc.

1. Do we attempt to teach everything to everyone, so that if they remember their training (and practice those skills), that they will have the survival skills to deal with an unusual situation?

2. Or do we become incredibly conservative and do not plan anything that would risk an unusual situation?

3. Or is there something else we can do?

[By the way, if your search the forums for "barrel roll", you will find a few discussions from many years ago, for comparison to what we now think. There are good arguments on both sides.]



I do two disciplines, FS and WS. I don't believe there are good arguments on both sides. Barrel rolls following breakoff to clear your airspace, generally, are a stupid idea in either discipline. Anyone that thinks otherwise is confused on how to generate good separation. Following the more conventional plan for separation, that many have explained here, is more effective.

Also, I don't understand why emphasizing (and incorporating into training) the idea of not being over another divers back, following breakoff, gets little mention here. Bottomline: If you are above another jumper following breakoff, move, move now, move quickly. For me, I track, I wave, I look, but if you are over my back between 3000' - 2000', expect to dodge a pilot chute in the very near future.

I'm curious, when was the last time a largest formation record event had everyone barrel rolling on breakoff? My experience is never...

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chuckakers

......

Trackers, is there any reason jumpers on tracking dives shouldn't break off at greater than 90 degree angles assuming proper separation from other groups or disciplines?



There is a chance of a collision if a jumper is trailing and trying to catch up. You can do a bit more than 90 maybe on a big way or if you see someone under you, but going back to where you came from is very discouraged and can even get you grounded in a camp. Ive been to about 12 angle camps and have maybe 1000 angle jumps, and breakoffs are talked about a lot in the briefings and debriefings.

I dont barrel roll.
HISPA #93
DS #419.5


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yeyo

***......

Trackers, is there any reason jumpers on tracking dives shouldn't break off at greater than 90 degree angles assuming proper separation from other groups or disciplines?



There is a chance of a collision if a jumper is trailing and trying to catch up. You can do a bit more than 90 maybe on a big way or if you see someone under you, but going back to where you came from is very discouraged and can even get you grounded in a camp. Ive been to about 12 angle camps and have maybe 1000 angle jumps, and breakoffs are talked about a lot in the briefings and debriefings.

I dont barrel roll.

Thanks for the reply. Great info and something I hadn't thought of. Not sure if I learn something new every day, but I have today.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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I wanted to add a little detail here that I think is important. Not to diminish other points made in Hooknswoops post as I agreed with the majority of it.

Hooknswoop

-At beak-off altitude, LEAVE! Do not hesitate, do not delay leaving by wave-offing to indicate to the group that it is break-off altitude. Leave now. Every second is valuable and the best indication you can give the group that it is break-off altitude it to break off and leave.


If you're on a bigway, you're drilled to always check your airspace before you leave. That means turning 180º (flipping to your head for large head up formations) from the center of the formation, stopping to check that there's no one behind you and then tracking for your life.

Hooknswoop

-Track 180-degrees from the center of the formation. Tracking is a survival skill. Learn to flat track. Speed is not important in tracking. The relative angle to the ground is what is important. The more horizontal distance you cover for the least amount of altitude lost is what creates the maximum separation from other jumpers.


Very importantly your flattest track is not the track that'll get you the most horizontal separation. Having had the pleasure of tracking along side some of the best (Travis, Andy, etc.) I can tell you from personal experience your angle of track makes a huge difference. You learn this quickly when you're in a bigway with multiple waves for break off. You'll find yourself catching previous waves because people flat track but make waaaay less distance than someone tracking on a slightly steeper angle.

As far as barrel rolls on the end of a track, if you don't ever practice doing them, don't do them. Anyone breaking off head down (that means head up too) from a formation ought to be fairly good at doing a half barrel roll (back track to belly track) while maintaining heading. If not, there's something to get some training/practice on.

I've done them before when I've been on some weird break offs. They can be fun to do and, on a simple 2 way, I don't really think it poses much of a safety risk. Since I practice them, I'm pretty good at keeping my heading and, not sinking out so, it's an option. You won't find me doing them on bigways, though.

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stratostar

If you really need to, going to the Carbonezone for deployment should be in ones tool box, because very few others will be that low, provided your canopy don’t 1500 feet to open, or you’ll have two out from an AAD fire, or maybe dead.

Thats always worked for me ;)Of course being a big fat ass almost always in the base if my cypresss wasnt scared then neither was I ;)

MAKE EVERY DAY COUNT
Life is Short and we never know how long we are going to have. We must live life to the fullest EVERY DAY. Everything we do should have a greater purpose.

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