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neilmck

Jumping in metres

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Having jumped in feet in the UK back in the day, after a 20+ year break I now find myself living in France and jumping in metres.  

It is a constant cause of stress being in free-fall looking at my altimeter and never being able to remember if I have to multiply or divide by 3. Thank God it is colour coded, there is no way I will ever buy a digit altimeter.

After discussing with some friends I understand that French parachutists are unique in the aviation world for using metres (even our pilot uses feet).  Is this true?  Do any other countries jump in metres?

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I use an altimeter in metres because all the other parachutists I jump with are agreeing on altitudes in metres and things would only get confused if I was using feet.

The main issue I have is underestimating the time left to break-off.  I have been using metres for everything without exception since moving to France over 20 years ago, and for most of the dive I will think in metres yet just before break-off when estimating how much time is left my brain subconsciously switches to feet. So for example I will estimate there are only 2 seconds left until break-off when there is in fact 6 to 7 seconds left.

After a few more years if my my brain ever sorts itself out I'll have another look at digital altimeters.

 

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2 hours ago, piisfish said:

Yet aviation is mostly worldwide in feet. 

Yes, I agree this one is a weird one.  I cannot understand how one ever started jumping in metres when their pilots have always used feet.  I'd have thought they would have used feet just to avoid confusion with the pilot.

At my home DZ one of our parachutists started jumping aged 16 and she celebrated her 80th birthday in January.  If anyone knows why they switched to metres, she will.  I'll ask her next time I'm at the DZ and report back. 

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I believe that most skydivers in the metric world do not consider themselves aviators. Moreover due to the precision of our instruments and the decision speed we need, it is better to jump with the units you are most familiar with. 

In case of mixed units jumps, do the rough calculations on the ground prior to jumping, and agree on altitudes during the briefing. 

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10 hours ago, piisfish said:

I believe that most skydivers in the metric world do not consider themselves aviators. Moreover due to the precision of our instruments and the decision speed we need, it is better to jump with the units you are most familiar with. 

In case of mixed units jumps, do the rough calculations on the ground prior to jumping, and agree on altitudes during the briefing. 

In Canada we jump in feet. Pilots fly in feet. Pretty had to go metric with the Imperialist elephant south of us.

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In Canada we jump in feet. Pilots fly in feet. Pretty had to go metric with the Imperialist elephant south of us.

On the hit United States of America TV show, How I Met Your Mother, there is a flashback to a concert by the  Canadian singer,  Robin Sparkles. At the concert, behind Robin was a banner that read, "Consider Questioning Authority, Please."

Robin got it. 

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