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RMK

Rounds - what were they like to land ?

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What's it like? It depends. I jumped 28 ft modified round canopies, 32 ft "low porosity" modified, 24 ft Para Commanders and 28 ft Para Commanders. By "modified" I mean steering slots were cut into the rear of the canopy--and I use the term "steering" loosely.

The hottest modification on a traditional round was called a 7 TU. Modifications allowed you to point your canopy in the direction you wanted to go and to reduce or eliminate oscillation of the canopy with you at the bottom of the pendulum. Two panels. seven panels apart were partially removed and connected to a shorter removal of panels along the skirt of the canopy. Forward speed was about 7 mph. At the time a skydiver had to have at least 100 jumps to jump one. Reserve canopies were UNmodified (modified reserves came much later) which really meant you couldn't steer the thing and were likely to oscillate into the ground--which hurt a lot--with an accompanying louder OOF.

Then came the Para Commander from Pioneer which revolutionized rounds. It was much more manouverable and had a forward speed in calm air of about 15 mph. Needless to say you had to have a lot of jumps to be allowed to jump one.

Landing (depending on size of canopy, modification and weight of the jumper) under a traditional round was usually an almighty thump followed by an exhale of air (OOF)--sort of like jumping from ten feet up. Standups were possible--but rare. Wind limits were MUCH lower--if I recall anything over 15 mph and you stayed on the ground. Jump boots were pretty much mandatory if you valued your ankles.

I did seven jumps in one day and the next day I was sore as hell. Spotting was a lot more important. Landing into the wind was a really good idea.

Sounds terrible--I know. But, somehow, it was at least as much fun as jumping a ram air. The close of day festivities were MUCH more fun than today. Copious amounts of beer and a bon homme atmosphere that is somehow just not there today.

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Fellow Starlite owner here. Made about 800 jumps on one. I liked the fact they packed up a lot smaller than a traditional PC. But damn, openings really thumped me. I would sit up and tuck my chin to chest knowing what was coming....bruised thighs and or the wind getting knocked out of me. Blew panels out of it on about 4 separate occasions and cut it away. The last time when it went back to factory for repairs they installed what was called (OSI strap......I think that's what it was called.....foggy memory). Basically, a wide strap that held the lines together for a short time and unwrapped, slowing openings down. BUT sometime the damn thing would just streamer as I would be trying to spread the risers to help it(or so I thought).
As a low opener back in the day, I always put on a good show at the DZ. It was the largest DZ in the country at the time and no one wanted to buy a Starlite after watching me. I did make the cover of the local phone book doing a stand-up in packing area with it (rainbow colored canopy).
I guess your mention of a Starlite had me drifting into memory Ville....thanks :)

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I loved my Starlite. Got used to the openings; I even took the spider slider off it. I also had a rainbow one.

Wendy P.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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RMK

Seeing some of the D-Day Anniversary events today; was thinking that I've never actually seen anyone land a round.

Roughly understand that there was a small slit in the back that you could (in limited manner) control some direction. When you landed did you want to be head on or at slight angle to get a good PLF going?



After making roughly 400 round jumps - It's kinda like this:

When my son was 4 years old we made him try some average dish my wife made for dinner. The after conversation went like this:

"Did you like it?"

"Yup."

"Want some more?"

"Nope."
Be the canopy pilot you want that other guy to be.

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katzas

Landing into the wind was a really good idea.



That was better than facing straight downwind? With a little breeze, wouldn't that have dumped you right on your coccyx?
"Pain is the best instructor, but no one wants to attend his classes"

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wmw999

I loved my Starlite.



You're just teasing; you're far too young to have jumped such vintage equipment. ;)
"Pain is the best instructor, but no one wants to attend his classes"

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I have jumped many rounds to include night jumps with combat gear. I have to agree with the poster that said "my worst square landing was an average round landing". As for steering you could pull down on one riser and theoretically move in that direction. I think the reality of it was it just gave you something to do until you crashed into the earth ;)

Those were definitely some brave men.
My goal is that when all is said done I will have a big pile of well used gear and a collection of great stories.

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They "were guaranteed, to land "...NOT necessarily WHERE you wanted,,,, and not necessarily gently,,, BUT you WOULD Land !!!;) also pretty damn much guaranteed to OPEN...( at least in MY experience ) i made 25 or so, jumps on a cheapo 28 footer...WON an accuracy meet (novice class) with a 28' LOPO, when i had 19 Jumps!!!! hahaha. then made 4 or 5 on a Para Commander until i had a chance to try a French Papillon..!!! B|:):DThough i DID switch to a 26 foot Strong LOPO when i bought wonderhog Ser. # 438... I owned 3 different Papillons over the years, ALL french paps..One was R W & B and the other 2 were Green Black and White . I made over 900 jumps on those mains..... including my gold wings jump in '79!!.( i was very sloooow to transition to ram-airs. since i saw LOTS of my Pals getting hurt with them, or scxrewing up their landings, or cutting them AWAY ( rings & ropes ) On breezy days and if i was "backin' up " i would reach up to my rear risers, while crossing my arms, and then grab the risers and UNCross my arms, effectively turning MYSELF 180 degrees and land Running...:S:P:) I was successful, about... 6 times out of ten. !!! THEN i got a strato cloud in 1979 and now jump a PD spectre.... First 2 pics here,,,,are under those fantastic papillons... Picture 3.... shows just WHAT can happen Under a square !!! I'll let You all decide which was / is better !!!and picture 4 is of the GB&W Pap... AND my BrandX "swingwing" jumpsuit.... jmy A 3914 scr scs nscr POPS 3935:)

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RMK

***I loved my Starlite.



You're just teasing; you're far too young to have jumped such vintage equipment. ;)


Wendy's a time traveler. I loved my Starlite too, except about the five times I chopped it.

Funny, back when rounds were mostly being jumped the term "round" was used to describe the freefall formation, not the canopy.

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I'm in the same boat as you weight wise(230 in the buff). I've jumped a round once, and I landed hard. It was a 32 ft military round (-1D I believe).

I was wondering, if a PC landed better than the military ones?

I really liked floating down, was quite and peaceful, just hated the landing. I would like to jump another one, but don't care for hospital trips for ankle X-rays [:/]

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justme12001

I'm in the same boat as you weight wise(230 in the buff). I've jumped a round once, and I landed hard. It was a 32 ft military round (-1D I believe).

I was wondering, if a PC landed better than the military ones?

I really liked floating down, was quite and peaceful, just hated the landing. I would like to jump another one, but don't care for hospital trips for ankle X-rays [:/]



Better is a relative term,

The PC was basically one size fits all.

It had more drive, faster turns, I only weighed 135 lbs when I was jumping the PC and made 500 jumps on rounds.

The forward speed help reduce the speed you would be backing up facing in the wind, but if your a big dude, you better land in the pea gravel, or do a good PLF or your going to really feel the landings.

The little people would get stand ups 95 % of the time on any of the rounds unless we were going backwards to fast. We learned to stand down when the winds exceeded 15 mph. To avoid the drama.

When the little people caught a thermal the rate of descent of the PC type canopies was close to zeroB|
One Jump Wonder

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RMK

***Landing into the wind was a really good idea.



That was better than facing straight downwind? With a little breeze, wouldn't that have dumped you right on your coccyx?

Could and did. But--you learned the PLF dance really fast. I bruised my tailbone and, trust me--you don't wanna do that. There is absolutely no position, sitting, standing, laying down--none that don't hurt for about a month--not to mention using that bruised stuff for other uses--like when you and your GF are getting frisky.

If you landed down wind (remember--there was no way to slow the damned thing down) in a 10 mph wind your ground speed was the combined wind speed plus the forward speed of your canopy. A 7 TU would plant your face into the dirt at about 17 mph in that case. A PC would do the same but with a little more gusto--about 25 mph. Come to think of it, why in hell did we do that to ourselves?

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JerryBaumchen

Hi katzas,

Quote

Come to think of it, why in hell did we do that to ourselves?



Do the words young and stupid come to mind?

;)

JerryBaumchen



It was what we had and it was what we could afford..

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Amazon

***Hi katzas,

Quote

Come to think of it, why in hell did we do that to ourselves?



Do the words young and stupid come to mind?

;)

JerryBaumchen



It was what we had and it was what we could afford..

Hi AJ

But what about tandems, Aff, and tunnels. :o

You all must have been really poor and deprived.:(

But it sure was fun:P
One Jump Wonder

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Amazon

***Hi katzas,

Quote

Come to think of it, why in hell did we do that to ourselves?



Do the words young and stupid come to mind?

;)

JerryBaumchen[/quote

It was what we had and it was what we could afford..



Hi AJ

But what about tandems, Aff, and tunnels. :o

You all must have been really poor and deprived.:(

But it sure was fun:P
One Jump Wonder

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Not all rounds are the same. I don't know when the para-commander was put in that category. It was a huge improvement over the others.

I made my first jump out of a C-141 in 1970. The next four jumps were out of C-119's. Those T-10's had no modification at all. You pulled down the risers into the wind. It might be front, side, or rear risers. You were trained to not look at the ground, and wait to hit with feet and knees together. Wind jumps were no fun with that kind of gear.

I started Special Forces training after jump school. There we made all kinds of night jumps with equipment, out of various aircraft. I also remember visiting more than one friend in the hospital who had been hurt on landing. Later in S. F. we started jumping a couple of new canopies that allowed more turning abilities. The last had toggles.

When I started sport jumping, I thought that 7-TU's were a big improvement over the military T-10's. They were a smaller canopy that you could land softly enough, as long as you were young. and tough. and wore French Jump boots.

I only weighed about 140 pounds in the old days. I usually stood my P.C. up. I even had a one foot landing one day.

I still own a para-commander. I'm going to jump it again one of these days. Maybe when I get on Medi-care and have better insurance....;)

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oldwomanc6

Two words: PIGLETT II! :o

That's what jumping a sport round was. Small, small, small. Hammer, hammer, hammer. Extremely reliable, however. Opened in about 100ft. B|




Hammer is right, I still limp occasionally due to one of my few Piglet landings.

Reliable also right, some of the Piglet guys would regularly zip thru a grand still in freefall. I loved watching (and listening) to them from the ground when they would hum it down right over the DZ. Piglets were even used as early BASE canopies by the die hards till they realized the strato flyers opened faster.

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As usual I have to apologize if I've told this before on here...ole dewd-itce has set in.
Jumping in Magee Ms early 80's. I think their student rigs were Russian Paps. Anywho....I'm in a gentle descent one day right over the peas, around 40-50 ft I just -stopped - coming down. My brother was sitting up against the FBO building. He got up outta the chair, walked over to the edge of the peas looked up an asked "are 'ya gonna come down?" I told him "believe me, I'm trying"...couple seconds later the elevator cranked back up and set me softly down. I was one of those 230-240 lb fellers...so that whole "soft landing" thing was a miracle :D

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But what about tandems, Aff, and tunnels. :o

You all must have been really poor and deprived.:(

..................................................................................

Tandems were not invented until 1983.
AFF was invented around 1980.
The first tunnel time I flew in a tunnel was 1981.
If you wanted to jump before that, you jumped military-surplus round chutes.
Para-Commanders were introduced in 1964, but those high-performance rounds were considered way too radical for students.
Square canopies may have been invented (by Domina Jalbert) around 1969, but it took Prof. Dicoladius (sp?) and a huge pile of ARPA money to work the major bugs out.

Reliable squares were perfected during the late 1970s, but it was another two or three years before they learned how to make squares large enough and docile enough for students. Which was good, because Crown Assets Disposal (Canada) and the U.S. military started cutting lines off MIL SPEC canopies around then (1980), so that by 1990, square mains had disappeared from civilian DZs. Round reserves were replaced by square reserves about a decade later (2000).

That is why us old-farts jumped round parachutes when we were young and beautiful.

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