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20kN

Do your EPs and Decision Altitude Change on WS Jumps?

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I'm still a WS noob. About 50 WS jumps so far and this was one of my first questions to my FFC coach. However, I've gotten mixed answers so I am curious what others think.

EPs: I have a MARD/ RSL, but of course we are all trained to assume these devices wont work. So, if I have a low speed mal like a spinning canopy and I'm on my back in my WS, when I cut away should I collapse all the wings and arch, or something else? I've seen people say to try to fly out of the cut away, so keep all the wings open. But if you're on your back spinning and you cut away, you're going to go in the wrong direction relative to the direction the suit is intended to fly.

EPs: In the past I have unzipped my WS and stowed the leg wing straps to the button by my hips before unstowing my toggles. I then thought that if I have to cut away because one of the toggles gets stuck or something, I'd be cutting away with a WS that is partly unzipped. I have since changed to unstowing my toggles and performing a controlibity check before unzipping anything except my arm wings. Is that the ideal way of going about things, or is the first option fine?

Decision altitude: My decision altitude is 2k with a deployment of 4k (3.5k on 4-way jumps) on belly/ FF jumps. On WS jumps I increase my deployment altitude to 4.5k, but keep the decision altitude at 2k. Should I raise the decision altitude to 2.5k? The main reason why I havent is to keep things simple so I dont have to memorize and then recall a ton of different altitudes depending on jump type. But if cutting away with a WS really increases the likeliness of problems on the reserve, then maybe an increase to 2.5k would be preferable?

Thanks. :)

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My only cut away was a spinning mal on my back. When you cut away you should try to get to your belly however you can. Arching is always a good idea. Keeping your arms in close to your body is also a very good idea because you do not want the reserve PC to go under your armpit. Even with a MARD/RSL you should see the reserve PC/Bridal come up next to you, roll away from it.

I personally think the first method is fine. I don't know how many jumps you have but you should now have the knowledge to look at your canopy and identify any issues with it. As long as you take care not to knot up your toggles when you unstow them it shouldn't be a problem.

There is no reason to change your decision altitude (Assuming you mean the one that you will cut away at) If you pull at 4.5 or even 4 you will know well before 2K if you have a landable parachute. You should and would likely cut away much before that. The only thing you should fight to your decision altitude is stable line twists.

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If you see something wrong and can't fix it just cut away. There is nothing wrong with cutting away before your decision altitude. I also wouldn't change your decision altitude based on jump type it's one more thing to think about.

For EPs, I wouldn't think so hard. If something bad happens like you are spinning on your back, the emergency procedures don't change. Don't worry about your wingsuit, instead focus on getting a good canopy over your head then worry about the suit.

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I have cutaway in a diving spinning line twist Mal, with my arms and legs unzipped, after fighting the canopy for a few. I don't have an RSL. I was flying a Freak 2 with a triathlon. If you cutaway while spinning on your back just be prepared to unintentionally do a flip or 2 after cutting away. I would just say relax and let it happen, give some arch and you should stabilize. I didn't have a problem getting to my handles with my unzipped arm wings, and I didn't feel unstable when I pulled my reserve. If you are unzipped you just need to think of the chance that your handles will be covered, and fix it. Ive never cutaway with a zipped wing suit so I cant comment on that.

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SLAMBO

I have cutaway in a diving spinning line twist Mal, with my arms and legs unzipped, after fighting the canopy for a few. I don't have an RSL. I was flying a Freak 2 with a triathlon. If you cutaway while spinning on your back just be prepared to unintentionally do a flip or 2 after cutting away. I would just say relax and let it happen, give some arch and you should stabilize. I didn't have a problem getting to my handles with my unzipped arm wings, and I didn't feel unstable when I pulled my reserve. If you are unzipped you just need to think of the chance that your handles will be covered, and fix it. Ive never cutaway with a zipped wing suit so I cant comment on that.



How was your suit unzipped if you had diving linetwists right upon deployment? Did you unzip your suit while spinning around?



On another note, I noticed that many wingsuiters have metal D handles on the reserve instead of the soft pillow. I always joked it was because wingsuiters have to spend their money on $2000 wingsuits so they cannot afford soft pillows, but in all seriousness is there a specific reason for this or just coincidence?

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I had a very similar mal to Slambo in my freak2 on a pilot 140. I had deployed at 4.5k and tried to get out of the twists, partly unzipped my arm wings to help twist the risers but it didn't help so it was time for EPs.
I had an RSL and the reserve PC was coming past me while i was still on my back and the reserve deployment rolled me nicely onto my belly for a comfortable opening.

Regarding the metal D handle, it is easier to find by touch than a pillow style and hooking your thumb into the handle prevents it slipping free. Finding it by touch is the important part for me as you may be wearing gloves on in a situation you cannot see your handles clearly.

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Hey there, so as far as decision altitude, I increased it at first like everyone does, then went back to 2k deck and 3k pull, then had a PC in tow followed by a full flight reserve deployment. I didn't have as much altitude under my line twisted reserve as I would have liked, so back up I went. Several hundred WS jumps later and I am still pulling at 4k 9 out of 10 jumps. It also gives me a little wiggle room to take it a tad lower for separation or spot preference. I don't really have a hard deck, I have an audible set at 3k, that is my "hey buddy, can you fix this like now-ish or not?" As opposed to a hardcore "chop now if not fixed." I also have a 2k audible, I guess that would be my SHTF "hard deck" but if I hear that one I'm already a few failures into the jump. i.e. I'm trying to chop, but can't for some reason, in which case me hearing it doesn't help.

Had one chop since, stable but severe line twists that I couldn't get out of (badly out of trim canopy that had been opening wonky for a while). I was fully unzipped with a SkyHook, basically was immediately in a snivel, I got to maybe a recliner like position before the reserve pulled me up. Had plenty of altitude thanks to pulling a bit higher.

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To each their own, and if someone wants to use the same EPs across the board there isn't anything fundamentally wrong with that, and an obvious benefit is doing the same thing all the time makes doing it correctly under stress more probable. But just as a reason why modifying it makes sense for some people (esp big suits).

1 - Vertical speed may be less than 1/2 belly speed (I can chug out a whole jump in the 40's mph vertical without much effort), so the relationship between altitude and time is blown way out of proportion compared to a belly jump. (Also I'm a big fella, so my relaxed belly speed is 140ish, hard arch and I can tap 160). This may incline people to pull lower (not me), but it's a thing.

2 - There exists the possibility of becoming unstable is such a way that it is difficult to correct and even get belly down quickly, in such a situation your vertical speed may be bellyish. So if that happens at pull time for whatever reason, you may not be able to get stable reasonably quickly and now you're worse off than if you were doing a belly jump (1 of the 2 reasons I increase my pull altitude). Also the whole, deployments in general aren't as clean or stable and more prone to line twists and such can be thrown in here.

3 - The suit is restrictive, that is just a sacrifice that has to be made, getting unzipped and situated takes longer, and/or getting out of line twists, and doing EPs fully zipped is less than desirable (done it zipped and unzipped myself, neither is ideal and each have their own drawbacks). This is the 2nd of 2 reasons why I increase my pull altitude. Even on a totally normal jump with a clean deployment, getting situated (at a comfortable/no stress speed) fully unzipped, visor up, slider collapsed, and brakes unstowed, takes me around 30 seconds, as opposed to 4 or 5 without a wingsuit. As fast as I can, maybe 10-15 seconds in a ws.

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