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Kirkk0herra

My AFF is in 2 weeks, I'm kinda scared. A few questions.

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Hello,

In two weeks I'll be in Empuriabrava for my AFF with Nigel Holland. I've been reading this forum and other sources of information like a man possessed. I'm a professional dive instructor and maybe this is the contributing fear factor because I know all the errors/miscalculations newbies are prone of doing. I just want to become rock solid and safe performer fast. I'm mentally well past 'doing crazy stuff' and I take my newbie role seriously. I'm not going to get cocky with 30 jumps under my belt.

My biggest fears are injuring myself during landing and variety of mals, midair collisions and reserve not working. Two outs and spinning mals are particularly scary looking. Skydiving is something I have been dreaming about for years and now that I'm about take on the sport I don't remember feeling this insecure about my abilities. I did well in wind tunnel, solid controlled turns, back and forth, sideway slides. It was a bit like in water only not that dense :) I'm not overly worried over the freefall bit but the canopy flight and my abilities to fly and land safely. And of course what will come out of that container. With my luck Micky Mouse undies on a washing line.

How frequent line twists are?
Is downwind landing a sure leg breaker?
Is there anyway to practice canopy flying on dry land? Simulators or anything?

Thanks for reading.

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Firstly, RELAX. :)
While information in this sport is a really good thing, it's generally not the best to overwhelm yourself before you even start training.

If you're an instructor you understand the concept of information building on earlier lessons - all of the information here is unfiltered and unstructured so isn't the best resource at first.

Your primary concern is to listen to Nigel and just do what he tells you. It's his job to give you enough information to keep you as safe as possible - that includes dealing with mals, making sure you're taught about landing priorities and making you feel relaxed.

When you've done your AFF, that's the time to start soaking up information from here. ;)


Kirkk0herra




How frequent line twists are?
Is downwind landing a sure leg breaker?
Is there anyway to practice canopy flying on dry land? Simulators or anything?

Thanks for reading.



Just to help you relax here are some specific answers...

Line twists can be frequent or infrequent - depending on loads of factors. What you need to know is that they're considered a 'nuisance' rather than a 'malfunction' on student gear. You'll be taught how to recognize them and how to deal with them. Don't worry...

Downwind landings are faster than upwind landings but are not sure to cause injury. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR INSTRUCTOR WHEN HE'S TALKING ABOUT LANDING PRIORITIES. Many people have been hurt or killed trying to turn to get back into the wind because they were unnecessarily afraid of a downwind landing.

Practice canopy flight? - not really. Relax... you don't need to teach yourself. In fact, that's more likely to get you hurt.


Now put away the internet and just wait for another week. Honestly, it'll be better for your progression and safety. Come back in a couple of weeks and let us know how it went... :)

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line twists can happen with any canopy on any jump even with perfect body position or a perfect pack job, your throwing a ball of nylon and string out into 100+mph wind- the bag can spin as it leaves the container, one side of the canopy can inflate quicker inducing line a line twist or two or you could have horrible body position which usually will give you the worst line twists.

student canopies are large for a reason, they are quite forgiving - even extreme line twists the canopy will generally fly straight, just remember to clear the twists before unstowing the brake lines.

downwind landings are not a guarantee of injury and can be performed quite safely, however you should try to land into the wind but never never never try to turn into the wind at a low altitude - if you find you have misread the windblades - just take the downwinder and plf or slide the landings - as a new jumper I would recommend the plf instead of the slide since slamming your butt on the ground isn't pleasant if you misjudge the distance to the ground.

I can recall reading about a canopy simulator someone had years ago but haven't ever seen one.

Have fun!

Roy
They say I suffer from insanity.... But I actually enjoy it.

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Gazillions of static line jumpers had linetwists on average 3 out of every 5 SL jumps (depending on the deployment method used), they lived, so the occasion linetwist you might get during AFF is no problem whatsoever. Really. I ge tthe occasional SL student who says: if I get a twister (;)) I'll stop jumping. Might as well stop right there then; if you do not get a linetwists in your first 3 SL jumps, ask for you money back :P

Seriously, linetwists on a student canopy are not a big deal whatsoever.

Landing downwind is in every way preferable to turning too low to avoid said downwind landing. Heck some people do downwinders for fun. Just make sure to plf (=roll) on a landing like that, never try to run it out, and you'll be fine.
Landing into the wind is a nice-to-have, it is not mandatory for your safety.
Breaking of legs tend to happen when people try to run out landings they shouldn't, or (more frequently) turn too low and hit the ground while still in that turn.

Relax, stop reading these forums and watching youtube, wait for your course.

:)

ciel bleu,
Saskia

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To answer your questions:

Line twists happen sometimes. Under the large, docile canopy you will start out with, they are not a real issue. You kick out of them and get on with your canopy flight.

No. A downwind landing, under a slow, docile student canopy, in the winds you would be limited to as a student, will not be a huge deal. Avoid it if practical, but don't turn yourself into the ground trying to avoid it.
Learn to PLF (parachute landing fall). It is the falling roll that is used to make a hard landing less of an impact. It is a good tool to have available.

Not really. But don't worry about it. It's not all that hard.

And don't worry about the canopy not opening. They almost always do. The number of incidents that happen because of gear malfunction is very small. Most are "operator error."

If you want to know what AFF is really like, read the Skydiving Duck. Hands down the best depiction of the training I have ever seen.
Done by a student as she progressed through the training.
"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

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I had line twists on jump 2, its NOT a big deal. I looked up and gave a kick and was back in business. Big slow docile canopies wont turn or dive or get crazy. The malfunctions from twists that are super scary are on highly loaded small canopies. You will be a long ways to these.

Don't fear downwind, just try not to end up in a circumstance when you need to make one ;)
But in all seriousness the single best thing I learned was how to PLF and not be afraid to PLF. It will save your legs. I did 2 PLFs on my first landings, then I stood one up, the next 3 were also PLF because one I flared high (oops) and the other 2 were NO WIND landings which were a lot hotter than my previous ones. In addition you will not be jumping in high wind so downwind will still not be TOO fast.

No high performance turns when you get into pattern (it prevents the "impact from low turn", and also will make sure your AAD doesnt fire).

But the single epically important bit of advice is to pay 100% or more attention to EVERYTHING your instructor says. It will be a lot. Ask questions, slow him/her down,but they will get you through it. I had as much or more concern with my first jumps and my instructors got me through it without a hitch. A little dirt but no hitch.
You are not the contents of your wallet.

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If you don't know anything about flying, it might be wise to read a book like "The Parachute And It's Pilot". A good understanding of what you want to do flying the canopy and landing it will help you.

Going to the DZ and watching students land might give you some insight as long as you don't let it prejudice you causing, you to be "un-taught" before you can be taught by your instructors. Beginners flaring high is common. Watch how people recover (with a good PLF) or how they fail their training by improper PLF. A good PLF will cover a lot of minor mistakes.

But overall, if you just do what you are told by your instructors, things will go well, unless you one of the unlucky few.....(Understand the fact that when all goes right bad things can still happen).
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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Awesome you decided to take the AFF and becopme a skydiver!!!

On malls and botched landings - no worries! Just stay focused and listen to Nigel - he is a great guys and a real good instructor: I would do an AFF with him any day!

It only seems scary the first few times ;)
The Power of the Dark Side

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Hey, congrats on the choice to get it skydiving. I'm on my aff myself and did stage 2 on Sunday. I was also excited/nervous to get into the canopy flight. Once the canopy opened it had a single twist which was simple and almost instinct to kick it out. I felt out the canopy up high then around the 2000ish foot mark I just focused on my landing portion of the training. I did a few flat spins to get me to 1000 feet where. I started my landing leg. Landed a little off the mark ~50mtrs unassisted :) not bad for my first canopy flight. Instructors were stoked and couldn't find fault for a first "solo" jump (stage 1 was a tandem assisted). Skills were extended practice pull, 3x practice pulls and a delta maneuver. On return from the delta I came out to quick and corked a little but nothing major and will focus more on body controll. (Slow is smooth and smooth is fast). Good luck with your training and it's all about fun despite how serious it is. If it's not fun you may aswell not get involved...(always keep safety In mind and never get complacent)

Cheers, Matt

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Kirkk0herra

Thanks guys, I already feel more relaxed :)



Dude if you deploy your parachute and it is Micky Mouse underwear on a clothes line...don't freak.

Ask yourself, is it there? Is it square? Can I control it? If the answer to those questions is yes, then fly those shorts back to the DZ, go buy a case of beer and win the prize for most epic "first" ever.;)

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Congrats on getting into skydiving. I expect, like it has for many of us in this forum, it will be a positive life changing experience for you.

First, relax (...breathe). Your instructor will tell you everything you need to know, and he will do so in a way that's not overwhelming. Just do what you are told to do. If you want to do an additional thing, LOOK YOUR INSTRUCTORS IN THE EYE DURING FREEFALL, AND SMILE! Something tells me you won't have any problem doing this.

You'll be given a large canopy. It will be very difficult to mess that up.

Also, keep in mind that the Germans were putting large masses of troops out of airplanes long before WWII. We put a man on the moon in the 1960s. The equipment works, and it works well.

Have fun, and keep us posted! :)
We are all engines of karma

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Nigel Holland is a super-nice guy and a very experienced instructor. He'll be able to answer all your questions. Empuria is a great DZ. If you've done some tunnel time already you'll be nice and stable in freefall too.

Welcome to the sport. You'll fit in just fine and have a great time :)

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Line twists are very common on early jumps. About as common as a first dive student sucking their tank dry in 20 minutes. As your body position improves and you begin to relax through the initiation and opening, you will find line twists less and less frequent. Like everyone else said, they are not a big deal.

A downwind landing is not as spectacular as a swoop crash on Youtube. Under student conditions, you will be fine.

My favorite way to teach canopy flying is on a tandem system. I'm not suggesting you just go do a tandem. You will likely just get a carnival ride. If you find an instructor (Nigel, maybe?) who is willing to take you on a tandem, pull high, and teach you about finding the sweet spot and flaring your canopy, and actually teach you and let you flare with him, you can learn a lot. If not, don't waste your money.

You will learn all about handling nuisances, like line twists, and malfunctions. Trust your training and your equipment.

Have fun, relax, and let us know how it goes.

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Funny, I went scuba diving last year and the the instructor pointed out that I had much better than average body control in the water (yes, mad skillz). It was funny because the whole time I was thinking it was like free fall, just work the current to your advantage, position you body accordingly in the water and it's the same as flying in air. You can even "track" in the water.

I landed downwind in 10-15kts on my 4th jump on a hot day at 5000 MSL and later that day deflowered the Bush daughters. Misread the tetrahedron. Big grin full of dirt but just fine (after both), did 2 more that day.

I wouldn't recommend it but you could probably not flare a big student canopy with a good PLF and walk away (well, probably). No matter what... land in straight and level flight with your feet together, even if it's into the side of a barn. You might still get hurt by the barn but a low turn is a sure pass to much easier parking. Someone will probably argue about that but well.. that's what this site is for.

If you can already side slide in a tunnel you will rock the FF portion of your AFF.
Line twists aren't a problem on student canopies.
Reserves work. Don't hesitate to use them, they make beer taste better.
Midairs are feared by everyone, stay scared of them and welcome to the club, it's a great group.

Fear and insecurity are the buns on the airsports burger. You'll never master either but gaining ground on them is what it's all about, have a blast!!

Oh and if you see a lonely cow all alone in a field, that's not a cow and it's not lonely. Don't land there without a GoPro. Find that barn. Lonely sheep are another matter entirely.

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