0
Ericakeeley

Canopy transition for downsizing

Recommended Posts

Hi all, I'm an A licensed newbie here. I am about 125lbs without gear, I did my student jumps on navigator 200 but purchased a 170 s-fire. Basically I'm looking for advice to safely downsize. I used a demo 190 (low pack volume so I could use my own container) but wasn't able to do many jumps.
So I guess I'm asking would it be too risky to just jump my 170 when next season starts or should I be looking for a 190 to jump in between?
My landings have not been consistently good, accuracy is OK but I've done my share of PLF landings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I did my licence with a Solo 230 Sqft and started the next season with my Silhouette 170 Sqft. Weightwise, I am a little bit heavier than you, however this not what matters right now. A general advice I can give you is to speak to the instructors from your DZ, as they can give you a better advice than a random dude on the internet. They know you and can help you with finding a good starter canopy. The general rule of downsizing is, that once you can handle landings at no wind, cross wind and land near a previous set point within 10 meters, you are good to go. From what I can tell, having PLFs on mass may indicate that downsizing is not a good idea as of right now. See if you can participate in a canopy control course. After my AFF-Instructor died in a landing accident, it helped me to get rid of the fear on making a mistake while landing. It is a valuable lesson to help you understand yourself and your canopy a bit better.

Keep in mind, you spend most time under canopy and not in freefall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ericakeeley

Hi all, I'm an A licensed newbie here. I am about 125lbs without gear, I did my student jumps on navigator 200 but purchased a 170 s-fire. Basically I'm looking for advice to safely downsize. I used a demo 190 (low pack volume so I could use my own container) but wasn't able to do many jumps.
So I guess I'm asking would it be too risky to just jump my 170 when next season starts or should I be looking for a 190 to jump in between?
My landings have not been consistently good, accuracy is OK but I've done my share of PLF landings.



I'm guessing, based on what you have written, you know the best answer already, but are wanting other people to tell you it'll be fine so you can have that peace of mind.

Not consistently good landings, but hey, let's downsize more!

You're not heavy, so won't be loading a 170 much. What's the worst that could happen?! As you've already got the container, even if everyone is like "jump a 190!!", are you going to? I mean, you've got the container for the 170, you've got the 170... you'll be careful, right?
Sky Switches - Affordable stills camera tongue switches and conversion adaptors, supporting various brands of camera (Canon, Sony, Nikon, Panasonic).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
degeneration

What's the worst that could happen?! As you've already got the container, even if everyone is like "jump a 190!!", are you going to? I mean, you've got the container for the 170, you've got the 170... you'll be careful, right?



[Insert thoughtful pause to consider what degeneration really meant]

:P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I see how you immediately jump to that, but I was looking for actual honest advice not just for someone the back up a bad decision. I know my wing loading on a 170 is no where near extreme which is why I wasn't certain how big of a deal the transition would be. And I've been told that jumping a 170 would allow me to control the canopy more rather than "the canopy controlling me" for lack of better wording.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anyone at your level will always get the response "ask your instructors," when asking this type of question. It's not meant as a shitty or snobby response to you. They know you better and have a better idea of what you could handle at this level. All these questions you're posing and pondering on here could be easily answered by someone who has coached you and seen your progression in person.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Like everyone else, I'd say your instructors will have the best advice since they know your canopy skills better than a bunch of strangers on the internet.

I'm a bit heavier than you and the transition from 190 to 170 was no big deal.

However, if you take a few months off from jumping (since you mentioned when next season starts), I would at least do a few jumps on something bigger and more forgiving. Can you rent a student rig for a few jumps or a day?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wing loading matters, until it doesn't.

Yes, that isn't an ill-advised wing-loading, but only in a vacuum without considering any other factors.

Controlling for canopy type, the 170 will have more forward speed and more descent speed than the 190 and if you aren't already flying the 190 well you should wait to fly the 170 because it is only going to compound the areas that you need to practice and improve on.

It isn't that I would be calling your DZ to get in on the bounce bingo, I don't know anything about you other than what you typed, but people have gotten away with way worse. But... that really isn't the point. :ph34r:

It is more an issue of learning and progression. You will build your basic canopy skills better with a slower progression on a slower canopy. It is easy to learn when things are going slower, and your brain isn't racing to keep one step ahead of the canopy.

Your canopy skills for the rest of your skydiving career will build on the base skills you are learning right now.

Get your hands on another demo canopy and do some more jumps that focus primarily on canopy flight. Also ask an instructor or an experienced jumper to film your landing and debrief you, or better yet take a Flight 1 canopy course. That is a much better than trying trial and error, because at your level of experience it is hard for you to know what you screwed up when the landing wasn't great.
"The restraining order says you're only allowed to touch me in freefall"
=P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yes, I will be taking a canopy course ASAP. I want to do everything as safely and intelligently as possible so I can stay in the sport for years to come.
Obviously the intelligent choice is to spend time on a 190 before going to a 170 but there's some barriers to doing so.
Only a low pack volume 190 will fit in my container (barely) and there are no rental 190's at my DZ. Maybe I can find someone close to my size that has an entire rig with a 190 I can borrow. I'll keep searching.
Thanks everyone for the advice.
(and to those of you that don't treat people like morons for asking questions)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My suggestion:

Before you downsize you should be able to do the following on your existing canopy:

flat turn 90 degrees at 50 feet
flare turn at least 45 degrees
land crosswind and in no wind
land reliably within a 10 meter circle
initiate a high performance landing with double front risers and front riser turn to landing
land on slight uphills and downhills
land with rear risers

Once you can do all that, you are likely ready for the next size smaller.

For more info:

http://www.dropzone.com/safety/Canopy_Control/Downsizing_Checklist_47.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ericakeeley


Only a low pack volume 190 will fit in my container (barely) and there are no rental 190's at my DZ.



That's why it is not really a good idea to buy a rig/container for a canopy you plan to jump sometime soon, before you are possibly ready to go on it.

Maybe you were a bit over-eager buying that kit before you should have.

On the flip side of all this, depending on what 190 you demoed and 200 you're used to, a 170 may be better.

When I was on a 170, I was flying an F111 PD170. Crap flare, but it was dirt cheap and got me in the air. I downsized after about 20 jumps on it to a Pilot 150, and my landings got considerably better, as I actually had some flare power.

So maybe that scenario might be applicable to you to?

But as has been said, your WL on a 170 is going to be low, so while it is a higher performance size, it won't be overly reckless.

But as you are saying next season, going to that canopy after a bit of time off (if I've understood you correctly) may not be the best way to start the season with your jump numbers. Prob best chat to your instructors!!
Sky Switches - Affordable stills camera tongue switches and conversion adaptors, supporting various brands of camera (Canon, Sony, Nikon, Panasonic).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
First off, you might fill in your profile some. A bit of info goes a long way when answering these sorts of questions.

Now, some questions for you. You don't have to give me the answers, but you should know them.

1 - What is your wingloading on the 190? On the 170? Keep in mind that wingloading is your weight, when fully geared up, divided into the size of the canopy in square feet.

2 - You say you PLF a lot of your landings. Why? Bad flare timing, bad height judgement (similar, but not the same), bad flaring technique, inability to flare properly (again, similar but not the same), inability to run out the landing (lots of reasons for that), simple fear (when you PLF landings you could have stood up).
The idea of getting video of your current landings and having an instructor critique them is a good one. Some canopy courses include this.

3 - How good is your canopy control other than the landing? How is your pattern, approach, all that?

4 - How was the 190 to fly and land? Was it 'scary fast'? Did it feel like you were almost out of control?

When I got my first rig, I went from a Manta 288 to a 190 Triathlon. Nothing between. But the Tri was only loaded at 1:1. I had been making consistent landings under the Mantas, good patterns and good, on target, stand up landings. The Mantas ranged from almost new to almost totally ragged out. Some had a nice, strong flare, some you flared as hard as you could a bit higher than usual and hoped it slowed down before you hit the ground.
Although it was a pretty big 'leap', the transition wasn't all that difficult. I picked a day with moderate, steady winds to land into. I did a high pull and practiced my flares a bunch. It worked out well for me. I never had any real problems with it. But, again, it was a conservative wing loading and a fairly big canopy, despite being a 'big jump.'

You are not me, and your experience and choices may be different. Chose wisely.
"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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ericakeeley

Hi all, I'm an A licensed newbie here. I am about 125lbs without gear, I did my student jumps on navigator 200 but purchased a 170 s-fire. Basically I'm looking for advice to safely downsize. I used a demo 190 (low pack volume so I could use my own container) but wasn't able to do many jumps.
So I guess I'm asking would it be too risky to just jump my 170 when next season starts or should I be looking for a 190 to jump in between?
My landings have not been consistently good, accuracy is OK but I've done my share of PLF landings.



Well, one additional thing to consider is moving from a student Navigator to a semi-elliptical. The wingloading increase is a but more 'meh' since you're pretty light, but if you can find a semi in the larger size get a few jumps on that before going to your rig.
Î
Big concern would be if you have to do a maneuver and you're used to the clunky Navigator. Jumping down and going to a semi could make putting it in Grandma's backyard a bit tougher.

169 is not out of the ballpark. You probably settle into a 135 or a 120 at your exit weight of 140-150 but that's a few seasons down the road.
Confirmed cynical sarcastic bastard since 2003

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah, in regards to the landings/PLFs -- what was the 190 that you were demoing? Different canopies definitely fly/flare differently -- my no-wind landings were awful until someone told me that the canopy I was using (Pilot 168) was more suited to a two-stage flare.
I would say IF you choose to jump the 170, find someone who has flown that particular canopy and ask them about how it flies/flares/etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Iago

***Hi all, I'm an A licensed newbie here. I am about 125lbs without gear, I did my student jumps on navigator 200 but purchased a 170 s-fire. Basically I'm looking for advice to safely downsize. I used a demo 190 (low pack volume so I could use my own container) but wasn't able to do many jumps.
So I guess I'm asking would it be too risky to just jump my 170 when next season starts or should I be looking for a 190 to jump in between?
My landings have not been consistently good, accuracy is OK but I've done my share of PLF landings.



Well, one additional thing to consider is moving from a student Navigator to a semi-elliptical. The wingloading increase is a but more 'meh' since you're pretty light, but if you can find a semi in the larger size get a few jumps on that before going to your rig.
Î
Big concern would be if you have to do a maneuver and you're used to the clunky Navigator. Jumping down and going to a semi could make putting it in Grandma's backyard a bit tougher.

169 is not out of the ballpark. You probably settle into a 135 or a 120 at your exit weight of 140-150 but that's a few seasons down the road.

The planform of a canopy is not the only factor to consider,when it comes down to performance...since the Navigator is already a semi elliptical... just a buzzword that makes things more complicated for no reason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
billvon

Before you downsize you should be able to do the following on your existing canopy:
...initiate a high performance landing with double front risers and front riser turn to landing



Ok. Im going to risk it, in spite of knowing that you seem to be one of the most reasonable and experienced posters here.

REALLY? Am I misunderstanding you or are you saying that a student/new A-Licensed jumper who is just coming off a student canopy and still quite a bit under (<-edited) 1:1 wingloading should first perform front-riser high performance landings before going on with a reasonable progression to one size smaller (even if the person may never intend to do any high-performance landings?)

I am certainly not saying that the OP should downsize but: I know of no single jumper at that level at our DZs who has experimented with front-riser landings before going towards a wingloading closer to 1:1.
In fact I know very few jumpers with close to my jump numbers who are doing any high-performance landings (I'm not talking about tugging a bit on both front-risers before landing without any turns...) --in fact the only one who comes to mind had a long hospital stay and is currently not jumping and who knows if he ever will again.

I must be misunderstanding you.

Also (and now I'm opening myself up to more critisism, I'm sure, but...) When I jumped large navigators in the beginning at under (<-edited) 1:1, I PLF-ed a whole lot. I think I did not even try to stand up most my landings at first--simply because I had no intention of risking my ankles, knees or legs (admittedly I was over 50 and quite heavy). My instructors did not think that this precluded me from slowly downsizing to a more reasonable canopy and I did find it actually much easier to land slightly smaller (still 1:1 or larger) canopies and especially something just a little more responsive than the Navigator (a 7-cell PD)

I know, at 250lbs exit weight I can't compare my wingloading numbers with a 125lb person, but still: If I had to do high performance landings before downsizing to even the next smaller canopy I'd still be on a Navigator 300. I must be misunderstanding you, no?! (just that line, not the rest of the post)

Do we really ALL have to do front-riser turns on landings????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ThrustVectored


I do not think anyone should attempt high performance landings before attending a few canopy courses



IMO the same applies to back riser landings. Stalling the canopy on rears is quite easy, and novice jumpers just don't have the finesse to know when this is going to happen. Even in flight 1 courses rear riser landings are out of the question until 201 or 202 (don't quite remember).

I think that list makes a lot of sense for the intermediate crowd, but a couple of bullet points should be adjusted for novice jumpers (again, just IMO)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
***First off, you might fill in your profile some. A bit of info goes a long way when answering these sorts of questions.

Now, some questions for you. You don't have to give me the answers, but you should know them.

1 - What is your wingloading on the 190? On the 170? Keep in mind that wingloading is your weight, when fully geared up, divided into the size of the canopy in square feet.

2 - You say you PLF a lot of your landings. Why? Bad flare timing, bad height judgement (similar, but not the same), bad flaring technique, inability to flare properly (again, similar but not the same), inability to run out the landing (lots of reasons for that), simple fear (when you PLF landings you could have stood up).
The idea of getting video of your current landings and having an instructor critique them is a good one. Some canopy courses include this.

3 - How good is your canopy control other than the landing? How is your pattern, approach, all that?

4 - How was the 190 to fly and land? Was it 'scary fast'? Did it feel like you were almost out of control?

When I got my first rig, I went from a Manta 288 to a 190 Triathlon. Nothing between. But the Tri was only loaded at 1:1. I had been making consistent landings under the Mantas, good patterns and good, on target, stand up landings. The Mantas ranged from almost new to almost totally ragged out. Some had a nice, strong flare, some you flared as hard as you could a bit higher than usual and hoped it slowed down before you hit the ground.
Although it was a pretty big 'leap', the transition wasn't all that difficult. I picked a day with moderate, steady winds to land into. I did a high pull and practiced my flares a bunch. It worked out well for me. I never had any real problems with it. But, again, it was a conservative wing loading and a fairly big canopy, despite being a 'big jump.']

Quote


1) Wingloading on a 190 is 0.76, on a 170 it is 0.85
2) I think the main reason for my history of PLF's is mental. I psych myself out and PLF landings that afterwards I KNOW I could have just stood up (honestly I've been doing a lot of personal development since beginning this skydiving journey to get over a defeatist attitude) with a mix of bad flare timing.
3) Otherwise my approach and pattern have been pretty good. Learning to make adjustments by the conditions instead of relying on altitude cues only and making progress on accuracy.
4)the 190 didn't feel out of control, it was notably faster but not in a "omg I can't handle this" kind of way. I really wish I got more jumps in but the end of the season weather was not cooperative in the least.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ThrustVectored

What Billvon listed comes directly from NZ Aerosports,

Proof:

http://www.nzaerosports.com/massive-information/downsizing-checklist

I do not think anyone should attempt high performance landings before attending a few canopy courses



And I would add, it is very hard to do anything "double front" if you are loaded light. Well, chin-ups would be an exception.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account. It's free!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
0