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yobnoc

Fear of Landing

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I need suggestions on how I can give positive support to my wife with regard to her landings.  She is at 26 or 27 jumps, and the only thing holding her back from her A license is her check dive (obviously), and accuracy landings.  Hell, just a nice soft landing would be a step in the right direction.  I don't know how to help her through the mental block.  I'm no sky-god at only 44 jumps, but I'm pretty happy with my progression with most of my landings being run in.  She's flaring too early or too late, and it's causing her to be more afraid of skydiving than excited for it.  Has anyone else had a similar speed bump and is willing to share how they focused through it?

Edited by yobnoc

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She should probably work with an experienced canopy coach to fix this. Start with her instructor. If she does not have a license, then that makes her a student which means she has an instructor that is supposed to be assigned to helping her.

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Here what its work with me it took me around 50 ish jump to get to look far away  in front of me and not at my feets or the ground above... thats what it work for me...  and that advice was from a canopy coach pilot at my local DZ. Hope it works for you ! Soon its better. Let me know ! Excuse my poor english hope l’ve been understood-  Bluesky

Edited by oldschoolratz
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I suggest that the first thing to do is determine what kind of fear she has. Is it fear of injury or fear of looking bad? If it is fear of injury, someone needs to convince her that a good PLF will almost completely remove the chance of injury, however, some people will probably still comment on the "crash" landing, and she will just need to ignore them. Specific coaching from a sympathetic instructor that knows her will likely be needed.

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, oldschoolratz said:

Here what its work with me it took me around 50 ish jump to get to look far away  in front of me and not at my feets or the ground above... thats what it work for me...  and that advice was from a canopy coach pilot at my local DZ. Hope it works for you ! Soon its better. Let me know ! Excuse my poor english hope l’ve been understood-  Bluesky

Looking farther out doesn't have to mean really far. All things in moderation...

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I don't have awesome depth perception, so I PLF a lot more than most people. I also get up every single time. I'm saying this because my approach to landings (I've taken several canopy courses) is to prepare to PLF, and then stand it up if it looks good. This is the opposite of the "plan for success" method, but I've walked away from every landing, and I'm confident landing in any situation.

Looking out is good; flaring with confidence is good. Practicing the flare as she goes down an escalator is good (I'm told). doing a couple of canopy-control-dedicated jumps with a coach is good, too. Not just to get her the A, but to give her the confidence to own the skill.

But first, practice PLF'ing with her. It's one of the most under-rated emergency procedures, but one of the best at helping in realtime landing problems.

Wendy P.

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The one thing I would add to what everyone has said is... practice the flare up high. The more times the better.  Do some looking out and some looking up at the canopy so she can see what it is doing. Focus on smooth and slow and finishing it all the way to arms length. She will begin to feel what the canopy is doing, which is imho the first step to a good flare.

Even though it sounds scary, practice it with eyes closed; she can then feel what the canopy is doing as she flares much better than with eyes open. We taught this in the canopy control course I used to help with and nearly everyone said it was extremely helpful (it was extremely helpful for me too).

Of course, she should discuss the eyes closed thing with an instructor prior to doing it, and be done with practicing flares before her decision altitude.

For me, my landings went from pretty bad to mostly pretty good after I took a canopy control course.  I would recommend it to both of you actually; even if your landings are good, you will learn loads.

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Thank you for the kind replies.  We are both signed up for Canopy 101 with Maxine Tate this June.  For me, it will probably be the last thing I need to do for my B license.  I'm really looking forward to it.  I just feel so bad every time I see my lady pound in.  She's resilient, but still...ouch!

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16 hours ago, 20kN said:

She should probably work with an experienced canopy coach to fix this. Start with her instructor. If she does not have a license, then that makes her a student which means she has an instructor that is supposed to be assigned to helping her.

I didn't know this was a thing.  I didn't have any one instructor assigned to helping me, nor have I seen any student have any one instructor assigned to him/her either.  I had several AFFI's and coaches throughout my licensing, but I had to go seek out someone - anyone - who could help me get through whatever difficulties I was experiencing.

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If the problem is gauging distance above the ground, landing downwind from something (wind sock, wind blade, anything) to give a reference of height can sometimes help. 

Obviously not always possible because of obstacles.

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3 hours ago, yobnoc said:

I didn't know this was a thing.  I didn't have any one instructor assigned to helping me, nor have I seen any student have any one instructor assigned to him/her either.  I had several AFFI's and coaches throughout my licensing, but I had to go seek out someone - anyone - who could help me get through whatever difficulties I was experiencing.

Your AFFIs would be your instructors. Some DZs keep the same AFFI for the entire course for a student, others mix them up. Either way, whoever graduated you from AFF or whoever jumped with you the most would be 'your' instructor per se. Solo status does not mean 'okay I just need 25 jumps and I cant jump with anyone buy an instructor or a coach until then'. It's supposed to be a status where you're working on specific tasks and checking in with an instructor. The instructor is not jumping with you, but they are keeping tabs on what you're doing. Many DZs seem to take shortcuts here and once you're off AFF you're on your own, but that's not the intent of the program as written by the USPA.

Edited by 20kN
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On 3/18/2019 at 9:19 AM, oldschoolratz said:

Here what its work with me it took me around 50 ish jump to get to look far away  in front of me and not at my feets or the ground above... thats what it work for me...  and that advice was from a canopy coach pilot at my local DZ. Hope it works for you ! Soon its better. Let me know ! Excuse my poor english hope l’ve been understood-  Bluesky

This also worked for me. I used to look down to estimate when to flare and an Instructor gave me the advice to look 30 feet or so straight ahead. This really helped me to know when to start to flare. If she will be able to have good stand-up landings, there is no reason for having any fear.

I f it is more about what happends if something will go wrong, practise PLF and do it. She will notice with bigger canopies and low WL you jump at the beginning, there is not so much that can go wrong, if you can do a proper PLF.

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On 3/18/2019 at 5:53 PM, wmw999 said:

I don't have awesome depth perception, so I PLF a lot more than most people. I also get up every single time. I'm saying this because my approach to landings (I've taken several canopy courses) is to prepare to PLF, and then stand it up if it looks good. This is the opposite of the "plan for success" method, but I've walked away from every landing, and I'm confident landing in any situation.

Looking out is good; flaring with confidence is good. Practicing the flare as she goes down an escalator is good (I'm told). doing a couple of canopy-control-dedicated jumps with a coach is good, too. Not just to get her the A, but to give her the confidence to own the skill.

But first, practice PLF'ing with her. It's one of the most under-rated emergency procedures, but one of the best at helping in realtime landing problems.

Wendy P.

What canopy are you jumping?

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I'm curious as the size and style of canopy as well.

Getting good flare down on a large student canopy really helped my confidence level when I was student. For reference that canopy was a Skymaster 290, so it was F111. Don't know if that helped me or not because when I finally got to ZP I actually got different flare of course.

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31 minutes ago, gunsmokex said:

For reference that canopy was a Skymaster 290, so it was F111.

Skymasters were actually of hybrid construction. ZP top skins and f-111 type ribs and bottom skins. Just like PD Navigators. Large docile student canopies are easy to land for more than one reason.

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5 minutes ago, gowlerk said:

Skymasters were actually of hybrid construction. ZP top skins and f-111 type ribs and bottom skins. Just like PD Navigators. Large docile student canopies are easy to land for more than one reason.

Thanks for that correction. Yes it was a great student canopy! I've seen many students flare waay too high before the flare command was given on radio and it sets them down nice and gentle each time :) Only problem is the light student who hang in the sky well forever lol.

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On 3/18/2019 at 5:49 PM, yobnoc said:

Thank you for the kind replies.  We are both signed up for Canopy 101 with Maxine Tate this June.  For me, it will probably be the last thing I need to do for my B license.  I'm really looking forward to it.  I just feel so bad every time I see my lady pound in.  She's resilient, but still...ouch!

Why ask about something so crucial and basic yet schedule help in june?  Part of skydiving is consistency and muscle memory. Getting help now is far better than letting bad habits continue to develop.

Also, tell her to join the Womens Skydiving Leadership Network on facebook.  Jeanine Bartholomew is running some canopy classes around the country through this program and will help tailor the learning to what she needs. It's also great support for women from other women.  :)

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23 hours ago, kat00 said:

Why ask about something so crucial and basic yet schedule help in june?  Part of skydiving is consistency and muscle memory. Getting help now is far better than letting bad habits continue to develop.

Also, tell her to join the Womens Skydiving Leadership Network on facebook.  Jeanine Bartholomew is running some canopy classes around the country through this program and will help tailor the learning to what she needs. It's also great support for women from other women.  :)

We are both employed full-time-plus-overtime and have two small kids, and we live in Michigan, where our jump season is only 5-6 months long.  So, we're limited in many ways and the course in June is just when Maxine will be rolling through at our home DZ.

Update though:  We went down to Start Skydiving in Middletown, OH on Saturday, and one of their coaches worked extensively with the wifey.  After building up her confidence and teaching her a two-stage flare (Spectre 190), she nailed a stander upper.

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On 3/18/2019 at 6:16 PM, yobnoc said:

I didn't know this was a thing.  I didn't have any one instructor assigned to helping me, nor have I seen any student have any one instructor assigned to him/her either.  I had several AFFI's and coaches throughout my licensing, but I had to go seek out someone - anyone - who could help me get through whatever difficulties I was experiencing.

Well, DZs vary, but if she's beyond AFF but not licensed yet, she can jump solo, no instructor, or with a coach. Your wife has a problem that I've seen many times and I know of no easy fix. Sometimes going back on the radio for assistance can help. Good luck. 

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I've done late flares before, you can't really PLF them. You just crash in with your ass and a foot or something. My foot took some massive impact from one, and then from an early flare on the next jump, had me limping the rest of the day. I think it's better to flare early than late if you have a good PLF.

I was never able to get good at gauging when to flare by looking ahead at the horizon, I am usually glancing sideways when I start the flare, looking at nearby flags or whatever in relation to the sideways horizon. Looking forward at the horizon gives me a pretty good idea when it's time to glance sideways, but isn't enough to tell me when to actually start the flare. Using the glance cheat, I am usually starting the flare at the perfect height, then I just have to judge how quickly to finish punching it out. This is for two stage flares, which they didn't teach student jumpers for some reason. But I expect the glance would still work for a one stage flare.

I've noticed certain times looking ahead can help determine when to start the flare, but only when I was looking directly at where I was going to land, "the point that doesn't move", etc, and it takes a while to train your eye for that. The advice "look towards the horizon" didn't help for me, and I think the advice "look ahead 20 feet or so" might be missing the reason for why it works, such as the landing spot being roughly 20 feet ahead. Then again, that much information is hard to apply if they have untrained eyes. I also have never tried consistently looking 20 feet ahead while landing, so that's interesting.

Edited by Justincblount

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