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ludikris

side by side - emergency procedures

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Recently I was told by an instructor that in the event of a side by side 2-out, that if they are stable and flyable, to steer both canopies individually - left hand on left rear riser, right hand on right rear riser...

In my experience, this is not correct, I was trained to grab the reserve by the opposite or outside rear riser, steer it away from the main and chop the main so I am only now flying the reserve to the ground..

Has anyone heard the first before?

2nd..

Under a biplane that is stable... I was also told to fly the rear by someone I would consider an expert vs someone else who said It's correct to fly the one in front... which to me seems illogical as it would disrupt the air flow between the two wings..

Bueller?

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Recently I was told by an instructor that in the event of a side by side 2-out, that if they are stable and flyable, to steer both canopies individually - left hand on left rear riser, right hand on right rear riser...

In my experience, this is not correct, I was trained to grab the reserve by the opposite or outside rear riser, steer it away from the main and chop the main so I am only now flying the reserve to the ground..



The Golden Knights did a study a while back and determined that keeping two is generally a pretty safe thing to do. The thinking is that under two canopies, if they are at all controllable, you will land safely. That is a better option than trying to force a downplane, cutting away and potentially discovering a new (unsurvivable) problem.

If the canopies will NOT land you safely, then your training (separate and cut away) is a good option.

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Under a biplane that is stable... I was also told to fly the rear by someone I would consider an expert vs someone else who said It's correct to fly the one in front... which to me seems illogical as it would disrupt the air flow between the two wings..


The air is already pretty disrupted in this case. The "fly by rears on the rear canopy" is most commonly taught but I have no personal experience with that.

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It depends....

What's your experience level? What's your altitude? What canopy types? Are sizes similar? Are they playing nice? Landing area options? How/why did the 2 out happen? And most important, are they entangled in any way and are you SURE enough of that to risk it when you have enough material flying over your head to land safely?

These are all the questions I would ask myself before deciding anything.

What a student/newer jumper should do varies drastically from what an experienced crw dawg or jumper would feel comfortable doing. I was taught that if they are playing nice to not touch a thing (besides disconnecting RSL), don't unstow brakes, anything. Only steer with lite outside rear input to avoid obstacles (for side by side, for biplane the dominant/more overhead canopy) or a dangerous landing situation, if it downplanes, cutaway main. Don't flare, PLF.

I'm inclined to lean that direction but have heard arguments for and against... it's a situation I have thought a lot about and hope to never be in.

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billvon

... The "fly by rears on the rear canopy" is most commonly taught but I have no personal experience with that.



You know of people teaching that for a biplane? Are they doing that during initial training for students or during something like a canopy course, teaching people who have smaller canopies?

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There was an interesting seminar. I think it was two PIA's ago. They were talking about this and other entanglement scenarios.

The idea that you should cutaway a side by side has been around for a while but it assumes that the reserve has fired long enough after the main to insure that it has opened behind the main. This dates back to the time when they did the testing and the nature of the canopies that they were using. There is another scenario. It the main is sniveling slider up when the reserve fires the reserve pilot chute can hit the bottom of the slider during the snivel. It's being blown right up into it. When it does it can bounce off of it in one of four ways. There is a good possibility that it will fall out the back and the reserve will open behind the main in the normal way. But it can also go out the side for example. Where the PC goes the reserve bag will try to follow. Both canopies can open beautifully in a perfect side by side. You look up and you see you have a two out and they're already in a nice stable side by side. But if you cut the main away you'll find that the risers are looped in a choke hold around the reserve. He'd actually had this happen. And it's not obvious. He didn't really figure it out till after he'd landed and was very glad that he had not chopped it. This isn't the most likely scenario but it can happen and with newer canopies with longer snivels it's that much more likely.

It was an interesting lecture I don't know if it was recorded.

Lee
Lee
lee@velocitysportswear.com
www.velocitysportswear.com

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Simple:
If it is a biplane formation that is one on top of another - then steer the front top canopy and leave the brakes set on the rear canopy. Be gentle with the steering and the trailing canopy will follow the top canopy. This is how CRW stacks are flown. Top guy (Pilot) flies the formation.

If they are side by side and not entangled then pick the dominant canopy - slightly larger and fly this canopy gently. They will generally want to fly and the inside cells will rest against each other. The canopy you are not flying then leave the brakes stowed. Sometimes you will find its easier to make a turn by doing a slow 270 rather than a 90 as the no steering canopy will want to follow the other canopy rather than trying to push a canopy.

Ensure you are comfortable with flying either formation and be slow and gentle in your actions. Giving yourself a large landing area. Landing technique is to be prepared to PLF but the biplane you can do a gentle flare on the front canopy but for the side by side simply keep the end cells touching and PLF.

If they are clear and separate (such as a down plane) AND you have sufficient altitude you can cut away the main. But be aware that with two outs the reserve may have deployed between the riser groups and may not be clear and in this situation cutting away could make things worse.

How do I know this works I do CRW and have flown these formations numerous times. Talk to experienced CRW jumpers who fly these formations around rather than just anyone.

Also be aware that the compatibility of modern ultra-high performance canopies and more docile reserves may invalidate some of the above as the performance differential between the two canopies may result in them not being happy flying together.

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In my scenario, the biplane ended up with two canopies, main up front.. the reserve came out after I was in the saddle and about to collapse my slider... it just sat right in behind the main at the exact same level making it basically one big canopy... rather than disrupt the airflow between two equal canopies of size and level, i steered the rear.

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Ask Jim Cowan about the possible entanglement risk for side by side. It was definitely a real world situation and one he'd covered in his 2 out presentation at PIA a few years back.

The checking the canopies are clear before cutting away is something we should consider on all two out situations. Blindly cutting away from one is often not the best solution.

If the 2nd canopy has during deployment had gone through a riser group then when cutting away you have the real possibility of the main choking off the reserve (Much like the Racer double RSL).

Cutting away from a biplane if the main is the front canopy also risks the canopy snagging as it is leaving.

So as every single scenario is different and have potential + and - . No answer will apply to all scenarios. Sizes and shapes of canopies, positions of canopies relative to each other, RSL design are all factors as is general experience level and awareness under canopy.

The best thing really is to avoid the 2 out scenario in the first place. Well maintained gear, gear checks, correct opening altitudes - doing all the things to avoid the situation.

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skytribe

Ask Jim Cowan about the possible entanglement risk for side by side. It was definitely a real world situation and one he'd covered in his 2 out presentation at PIA a few years back.

The checking the canopies are clear before cutting away is something we should consider on all two out situations. Blindly cutting away from one is often not the best solution.

If the 2nd canopy has during deployment had gone through a riser group then when cutting away you have the real possibility of the main choking off the reserve (Much like the Racer double RSL).

Cutting away from a biplane if the main is the front canopy also risks the canopy snagging as it is leaving.

So as every single scenario is different and have potential + and - . No answer will apply to all scenarios. Sizes and shapes of canopies, positions of canopies relative to each other, RSL design are all factors as is general experience level and awareness under canopy.

The best thing really is to avoid the 2 out scenario in the first place. Well maintained gear, gear checks, correct opening altitudes - doing all the things to avoid the situation.



I saw that presentation and was thoroughly impressed. My take away was if the configuration is flying side by side for the student to have them reach up and hold the centre risers so a down-plane could not ensue. With if i re-call correctly steering to be done only for object avoidance.
I like my canopy...


...it lets me down.

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The fact that if that scenario with the deployment between the riser groups had occurred and the student had determined that the two canopies were flying well together then the option to cutaway is not advisable and the action to avoid turning into a downplane.

Using outside inputs from both canopies will transition to a downplane which greatly increases the descent rate. Keeping the end cells touching will result in a wing which is like a much bigger canopy.

Both canopies will want to fly above your head and therefore will rest against each other typically with very little input to keep flying in a straight line.

Inputs for collision avoidance should be slow and gradually. Anticipate this when choosing a landing spot. Also if the canopies are flying together happily then the formation also tends to glide pretty well. So anticipate a longer final approach to a wide open area.

The idea of flying one dominant canopy and the other following is that if you turn a canopy away from the center the other canopy will have to want to come up more over you head naturally. When you straighten up the canopy that you are flying will gently push against the end cell and revert back to the original configuration with little effort. Slow and gentle inputs.

If you try to turn the 90 degrees by steering one canopy and pushing the canopy this can result in pushing canopy tucking behind the other canopy. Not achieving the result and becoming less controllable. Hence turning 270 may be preferable to turning 90.

As said previously, landing a side by side is really just keeping the canopies flying in straight line with end cells touching and being prepared to PLF. Do not try flaring the canopies. Typically the descent rate increases when the canopies separate.

The best action for 2 outs is really to avoid in the first place. Well maintained gear, correct procedures and adequate deployment altitudes go a long way to avoiding the issue in the first place.

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I have seen (while I was standing on the ground) 4 side by sides, all of them as a result of a low-pull. Two big canopies (student, navigator 240 or manta 288) and 2 experienced jumpers during bigways.
All 4 seemed to fly pretty stable, with no tendency of the canopies to separate or fly into eachother.
One cut away, the others made super soft landings.

So my question is: why would you risk the main risers damaging or entangling with the reserve by cutting away when you can safely land what you have? Seems like a big risk without benefits to me.

As for which risers to use to steer the two canopies; I tend to think that you will find out soon enough if you carefully try. If the canopies act funny: try something else.

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Well, this is good to know. I landed the configuration in my photo--side by side, two similarly-trimmed 7 cells. Aside from spending more time than I wanted over some mountains, I stand by my choice to land them both--for that jump alone. In other situations, cutting away would have been a better choice.

This is probably a mal that should have its own thread, but I can't be bothered to write one now, but to keep it short, the circumstances called for either/or. I tried to separate the canopies enough to cut away the main clear of the reserve (the main was trimmed about a foot shorter than the reserve), but the canopies really wanted to fly together, and I wasn't 100% sure I could separate them enough to chop without firing the main into the reserve. Winds were steady from an open space with no turbulence and it wasn't "dust devil" weather yet. I managed to get it over an empty field with 1000 feet to spare and land it uneventfully.

I tried to steer using the outside rear riser of each, as I was taught; however, due to the difference in trim, the main wanted to turn right and the reserve wanted to follow it. Turning right wouldn't have worked out so well, since that's where the town was. I ended up hanging off the left (reserve) rear riser for the entire ride down (and it was a high pull, so we're talking a good half hour in the sky) to keep it flying straight.

All in all, I ended up landing safely in a patch of grass in an open field with nothing worse than a swollen ankle to show for it. However, it could have gone way worse. 1--I could have landed in the mountains that I spent 10,000 feet trying to clear. I spent some time on that ride remembering my tree landing protocol, and adding the extra complication of a second canopy to that. 2--my coach followed me into the mountains, shouting at me to chop, but I didn't hear him. He ended up landing safely in the mountains, which he was more familiar with, in case I landed there and needed help. This was a consequence I'm not comfortable with. I made my own choices, which worked for me, unaware that my coach was in the mountains in case he was needed. He was fine, but I put him at risk and I'm not okay with that. Had I chopped, there would've been a slight chance of entanglement, but I would have had a much better chance of getting over stable ground at a high enough altitude to steer my canopy well, and probably not have endangered my coach. Had I been alone, I could say I made the right choice, but since someone else was looking out for me, I should have considered the consequences of my choices a little differently.

I could go on and on about my jump and all the things that could have happened, but really I think the main takeaway here is risk assessment, judgment of the individual situation, and there's not a one-size-fits-all solution to every situation. Had the winds been twitchier or a higher risk of downplane, I'd have probably cut away. Had I known my coach was flying over the mountains to see where I'd land, I'd have probably chopped higher to make sure I could get to solid ground first and to make sure he saw me doing it. But I made the choices that I thought the situation called for and managed to walk away with just a minor bump.

Maybe skydiving would be easier if we had cookie-cutter EPs for every situation, but sometimes you have to use your judgment.
I'm not a lady, I'm a skydiver.

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FlyLikeARaven

Had I known my coach was flying over the mountains to see where I'd land, I'd have probably chopped higher to make sure I could get to solid ground first and to make sure he saw me doing it.



IMHO, the actions of your coach should have no influence on how you deal with your emergency. Your coach has a good canopy overhead and isn't involved. If they choose to follow you, it's their responsibility to give you the right of way and to land safely. Your job is to take actions that maximize the likelihood of you walking away unhurt, and it sounds like that's what you did. Accepting a "slight chance of entanglement" because you're worried about where you coach will land is not the right approach.

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