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mickeyb117

landing help

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I am a level 5 aft and so far everything is going great except for my landings. I flare all the way and am pretty good with my plf but I'm affraid if I don't get this right soon I'm going to break something. Everyone at the dz says I'm starting my flare way to early. I was thinking of using a digital alti on my right to try and help. At what alti should I start my flare ? Also I'm pretty short and don't think I'm able to flare enough. Any suggestions ?

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mickeyb117

I am a level 5 aft and so far everything is going great except for my landings. I flare all the way and am pretty good with my plf but I'm affraid if I don't get this right soon I'm going to break something. Everyone at the dz says I'm starting my flare way to early. I was thinking of using a digital alti on my right to try and help. At what alti should I start my flare ? Also I'm pretty short and don't think I'm able to flare enough. Any suggestions ?



What do your instructors say?
Wrapping the brake lines once around your hands will allow a deeper "flare" but also might stall the canopy. But sure to get proper instruction before trying such a move.

Many students just need some practice to get the hang of it.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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All my instructors tell me to do is flare harder. I was thinking of wrapping the brake lines but like you said I'm afraid it will make the brakes to short and cause a stall. I guess plc is the best bet for now until I get the hang of it. Thanks for the reply.

Blue skiesB|

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Why don't you start your flare lower?

I flared too high, too low and then right in the middle.

It takes practice and pain is a good teacher. It took me til about jump 20 to get consistent stand ups ( I still slide some in now).

I judge where to start my flare with my eyes, not my alti. If you look at your alti for landing you will never stand them up.

If you're instructors are telling you something normally they are right, and you're over thinking it and have read too many DZ.com threads;).

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I don't know of any digital altimeters that read less than 100 feet in 10 foot increments, so a digital wouldn't do you any good for landing.

Get with your instructors, get video of your landings, get input from more experienced jumpers that can watch you land. Watch other people land and ask them questions.

Consistently landing on your feet takes time and practice. Get out- jump, learn, have fun.
diamonds are a dawgs best friend

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I AM NOT AN INSTRUCTOR AND THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT HELPED ME. TALK TO ONE OF YOUR INSTRUCTORS BEFORE ATTEMPTING/DOING ANY OF THESE THINGS.

Up high, after you open, clear your air space and practice flare.

See if you can stall the canopy by flaring as hard as possible and holding it. If you can't, try wrapping the brake lines once and doing it again. Don't be afraid to try it, it is important to know where/if you can hit the stall point. If you can/do stall, release the flare and let it go back into full flight. ONLY DO THIS WELL ABOVE YOUR DECISION ALTITUDE!

Find the response point of your canopy.
This means look up at how much slack your lines have when you are in full flight. As you pull the toggles down see how far you have to pull them before the slack disappears and it actually is pulling on the canopy. This is your response point and on my first canopy it was just below my shoulders/at chest height.

My landings sucked until I figured this out because I would come in full flight and try to flare and NOTHING from full flight until my chest (the response point) did ANYTHING for me. Once I discovered this I was able to flare better by beginning at my response point.
*talk this over with an instructor before trying

Look out at the horizon, not down. This is what always caused me to flare high. What also helped me is that I would try to keep the windsock in my peripheral vision and our windsock was 12-15 feet tall. When my feet where "level" with the wind sock I would start my flare.

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Awesome advice the windstock at my dz is about 12-15 feet so I will try you sugestion. Also I do find myself staring down at the ground which I know is a habbit I need to break. Thank all of u for your advice. It's awesome people like u guys helping out a nobody like me that really makes me love this sport.

Blue skies B|

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See if you can have someone film your landings too, I've found it quite useful to be able to review my (very few) landings from the outside to get a different perspective.
You are playing chicken with a planet - you can't dodge and planets don't blink. Act accordingly.

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Another trick is the two stage flare. That won't help you with the flare altitude itself, but gives you a bit of extra time to evaluate the effect of the flare whether the flare is early (and you can hold off on the 2nd half for a couple seconds) or late (and you have to haul down faster, all the way). The two stage flare is thus less sensitive to altitude than the one stage -- waiting for hopefully the perfect altitude and then just slamming both toggles all the way down.

Practice flares up high should help too. Not with the altitude, but with the feel. You have to feel that swing forward, and you may be able to feel where in the arm motion you're getting the most effect of the flare.

As usual, talk to the instructors about these options.

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countzero

I don't know of any digital altimeters that read less than 100 feet in 10 foot increments, so a digital wouldn't do you any good for landing.



A Suunto does, if you can all them altimeters.
I do not recommend them for the use the OP asks for, but they have 3 feet accuracy I believe.
Still, I do not recommend them.

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mickeyb117

Everyone at the dz says I'm starting my flare way to early.
All my instructors tell me to do is flare harder.


There is something more that you're not telling us???
The two statements, flaring too early-not flaring hard enough. mean two different things
What is actually happening to you on landing?
Too much speed and tumbling forward or too little speed too high and falling straight down or backwards?
Do you stage your flare or just go from full flight to full brakes?
This is the paradox of skydiving. We do something very dangerous, expose ourselves to a totally unnecesary risk, and then spend our time trying to make it safer.

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mickeyb117

Awesome advice the windstock at my dz is about 12-15 feet so I will try you sugestion. Also I do find myself staring down at the ground which I know is a habbit I need to break. Thank all of u for your advice. It's awesome people like u guys helping out a nobody like me that really makes me love this sport.

Blue skies B|



What if you land off and there is no wind sock? Don't reply on anything but your eyes. You'll get it the more you jump. Also, don't look straight down at the ground... It's like driving, you don't stare at the road 10' in front of your car when on the highway, you look where you're going.

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mickeyb117

Too high and falling down and forward. I was trying a 3 stage flare. Shoulders , torso , then all the way down.

Do you pull the toggles down close to your body, bending the elbows as you go? That's the correct way to get the most flare.

Some people mimic swoopers by flaring with their arms out to the sides. Takes more muscle, it's harder to do and many don't flare all the way down like they should.

Flaring too high? Very common problem judging height. I heard someone say the other day "Flare at the height you could kick somebody's head that was standing in the field." Sounded about right, but it takes practice to judge. Keep your eyes on the ground out in front of you, not straight down. Get your landings videoed. Continue PLFing. Good luck. :)

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JohnMitchell

***Too high and falling down and forward. I was trying a 3 stage flare. Shoulders , torso , then all the way down.

Do you pull the toggles down close to your body, bending the elbows as you go? That's the correct way to get the most flare.

Some people mimic swoopers by flaring with their arms out to the sides. Takes more muscle, it's harder to do and many don't flare all the way down like they should.

Flaring too high? Very common problem judging height. I heard someone say the other day "Flare at the height you could kick somebody's head that was standing in the field." Sounded about right, but it takes practice to judge. Keep your eyes on the ground out in front of you, not straight down. Get your landings videoed. Continue PLFing. Good luck. :)
Flare at the height of someone's head.....I did that (like I was told) on my first jump of my own rig, jump 23 or so for me. I hit the ground on my feet and a bit hard. I was told by instructors and other observers that I flared way too late and only about to my shoulders. With video from my wife I proved that I started my flare when my feet were approx. 9 feet from the ground and fully stroked the toggles (haha, okay). Anyway, while I did what I was told, it was not what was needed.

It just took a bit of practice to figure out what to do. No set formula except be ready with a good PLF.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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JeffCa
That's a very good article. Thanks for the link. B|

I liked this quote, pretty much what I tell people about flaring too high.

"‘Wait’ means stop pulling the toggles down as soon as you realise you’ve started flaring too high. Save the rest of the flare for later. ‘Keep it straight’ is important. Look at a point on the ground out in front of you and keep the canopy flying straight toward that point.

When the canopy starts to drop you back toward the ground, just before your feet touch down, push the toggles down and FINISH your flare, as we see in the video.

In most cases doing this will result in a reasonably soft, stand-up landing"

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Can you find a canopy coach at your DZ? You might run into instructors/managers who tell you to just focus on your AFF jumps and the learning will happen. Magic? I don't think so. You're asking the right questions, you just aren't asking them to the right person.

You need someone who can explain the mechanics of landing a ram-air parachute. Finding the sweet spot of a canopy, using it in a 2-stage flare, and applying it to any canopy, main or reserve, you happen to find overhead.

Consider a different DZ if you can't find instructors who can help you.

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The challenge you will have is how hard/fast/high you flare depends on how much headwind you are facing. There is no such thing as a standard flare it's all about conditions. You might think that all no wind landings should be the same but temperatures and field elevations can have a dramatic affect too.
Don't look at your altimeter that low to the ground, instead focus on your rate of decent and penetration and look where you are going not where you are.

Someday you may be facing a ferocious headwind and you may not need to flare at all! Then there will be the jump where you bury the toggles and wish your arms were 12 inches longer!

Failure is an excellent teacher but no one wants to attend his class, the trick is to pay attention to the landing conditions and how it related to your landing.

Cap 699

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I think your post is terrible advice. It may technically be correct, or be correct in some rare situations, but does the original poster a big disservice.

Quote


Someday you may be facing a ferocious headwind and you may not need to flare at all!



Huh? You still have to get rid of rate of descent, and that requires taking the time to pitch the canopy up. Sure, I have done a no flare landing under a slow descending accuracy canopy in 25mph winds, so you are technically correct, but in general that advice is useless and wrong.

Quote

You might think that all no wind landings should be the same but temperatures and field elevations can have a dramatic affect too.



Jeez, the guy only has a few jumps and is trying to master the very basics of a flare. And now he should be worrying about the temperature before he lands???

Again, what you are talking about is not maybe technically wrong, but is packaged in a way that isn't great advice.

The start of the flare can be pretty much identical in all conditions, as one has to pitch the canopy and plane out. The end part will change depending on how much slowing down one needs to do -- occasionally with high wind, one doesn't have to finish the flare as much as one doesn't want to get to the point of going backwards. But even this is getting beyond what is needed for someone just trying to get the starting altitude of the flare right.

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***I am a level 5 aft and so far everything is going great except for my landings. I flare all the way and am pretty good with my plf but I'm affraid if I don't get this right soon I'm going to break something. Everyone at the dz says I'm starting my flare way to early. I was thinking of using a digital alti on my right to try and help. At what alti should I start my flare ?
[/QUOTE]

1. Altimeters aren't accurate enough for that.

2. The altitude isn't too critical. To over-generalize you want to time things so that you finish pulling just before your feet reach the ground. If the ground is taking a while to arrive pull slower or even pause, if it's coming up quickly pull faster. If you can't pull any farther keep the toggles where they are and PLF because that will suck far less than letting them up which causes the canopy to surge forward and accelerate for an even harder landing

This is the sort of thing you want people watching you to teach, like your instructors.

Teaching styles and backgrounds vary so you might try a different one with more experience coaching canopy flight.

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Flaring high you probably have the same issues as I did when I started (I'm landing a lot more paragliders lately but the same ideas apply) which is LOOKING DOWN. Its a hard habit to break because we want to know when the ground is going to be "there". But you have to realize one thing: You'll flare high if you look down. Look to the horizon and get used to the picture.

My first skydive landings I have great video with me CLEARLY looking down (jump 5? I think) and I don't remember doing it. Made great PLFs though. Jump 6 was the first time I actually looked forward and it still has been my only un-assisted stand up landing. Paramotoring I also had the habbit, but the nice thing about it was that I could just take off and try again right away if I didn't hit too hard. My first few I flared high, then I had a slammer or two when I landed late, and finally I started looking ahead and the sight picture works now.

Look forward.

Also, 3-stage flare? Is this common in skydiving? We do it in paragliding (position 1 at 20 feet, 2 at 10 feet, all the way down at 3 feet) but I was taught "hands up, lots of speed, FLARE FLARE FLARE" for skydiving...
You are not the contents of your wallet.

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DrDom

Flaring high you probably have the same issues as I did when I started (I'm landing a lot more paragliders lately but the same ideas apply) which is LOOKING DOWN. Its a hard habit to break because we want to know when the ground is going to be "there". But you have to realize one thing: You'll flare high if you look down. Look to the horizon and get used to the picture.



Not entirely correct.
Also, the "horizon" is not exactly where you want to look. Don't take this type of advice from internet, discuss it with an instructor, they'll be happy to go through the final phase of the landing with you on the ground.

Get some instructors to have a look at a couple of your landings and use their feedback before everything else, if you tell them you have these problems they'll probably offer help without you even having to ask. Actually, at 7 jumps they should be watching all your landings and giving you feedback anyway. :)
I'm standing on the edge
With a vision in my head
My body screams release me
My dreams they must be fed... You're in flight.

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I too was/am having trouble flaring. I was glaring late and not hard or all the way, tumbling rolling landings. On my aff 5, end of April, practiced flared above decision altitude. Thought I had a feel for it and on approach I flared WAYYY to early held the flare, came straight down and backwards. Dislocated wrist at both bones and crushed the end of my radius. 3 plates 13 screws. Totally know NOW what I did wrong. Hard lesson.
I had all the wrong picture in my head coming in. I was looking at the ground rushing by, not using visual cues like the windsock or a light pole or when you can kick someone in the head. Not to scare you but don't do like I did. Get an instructor to video you.
Personally when I get back, in 7 more weeks, I am going back on radio. No shame in doing that. Better get it right now before you end up like me....watching landings instead of performing them.

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Quote

I flared WAYYY to early held the flare, came straight down and backwards.



You should not trust what I am about to tell you, you should assume I'm completely wrong, or that you shouldn't even be 'armed' with such knowledge at this early point in your training. . I'm going to tell you it anyway, because I would want this info if I were you. Some of it others have already mentioned or you have heard from your instructors.

It might help to think of the flare as first smoothly transitioning to level flight with plenty of left over forward speed, let if fly like that for just a small bit, then squeeze that last bit of flare power left over out of it to slow the forward motion. You MUST try this a bunch up high, dedicate a bunch of altitude to getting used to the feeling of what is called a dynamic flare, which is very different from what often happens when students just pull down abruptly without getting a feel for flying the wing. Fortunately student canopies are extra big, so even an abrupt flare can have decent results.

A non-abrupt flare/flaring a bit more slowly also allows you to realize that you may have started your flare too early, and allow for adjustments before you pull all the way down.

If you get half way through your flare (the first part of the dynamic flare, letting it level off and then pause) and realize you're too high, then just hold that brake position for a while until you get closer to the ground, and then finish the flare. Do NOT let up on the toggles. That will cause the canopy to surge forward and dive down quickly - requires a lot of altitude for the canopy to stop diving.

Finishing the flare from a partially braked condition is actually very useful when it is necessary to land in a very tight area, and is often described as "sinking in" your canopy, or an "accuracy approach". When you "sink in" your canopy, you can correct for going long or coming up short of your intended spot by applying a bit more or less toggle input to adjust your angle of descent. The descent of a large canopy in a half to deep brake condition should be slow enough that you can PLF a landing with no flare at the end, just a steady descent rate with less than normal forward speed. A variation of this technique that is more commonly seen is when someone is going long, they might apply some brakes for a short time, but then smoothly go back to full flight with plenty of altitude to spare so that they don't hit the ground while the canopy surges forward (and it does surge dangerously forward, especially if you let the toggles up quickly). Some tandem instructors use this technique to get extra airspeed from the surge for a more effective flare, but you can also kill yourself. I am only advising you learn more about how this "sinking it in" technique is done and why it is useful - DO NOT just try it out yourself at this stage in your jumping career - it deserves serious discussion with an instructor. I think it is reasonable to do some of this stuff at high altitude (after discussion with your instructor).

If you do start your flare too early and get the toggles ALL the way down and realize you're too high, what is important is that you don't allow the canopy to stall, which is when the canopy stops making significant lift and you drop like a rock usually with a leaned back orientation (hard to land on your feet - hitting your butt hard, or breaking your wrist/arm as you did). So, if you make the mistake of flaring fully too high, you should realize that you can land in a full flare condition as long as the canopy isn't stalled. Realizing what that 'stall' feels like takes practice (up high) and the need to hover just a bit before that stall point is the only time you should consider letting up just a bit on the toggles when landing (when you realize you're deep in toggles and the canopy has/is stalling). Managing that stall point only requires small adjustments and again should be practiced up high so you know what it really feels like to do it. You can land your canopy while hovering near the stall point with an acceptable rate of descent, and it is MUCH better than letting up a lot on the toggles (surging), or allowing the canopy to stall. The problem is that you may screw up - so don't (yes, I know, easy to say). Many students are not able to reach stall on their large student canopies without wrapping the brake line around their hand. As you jump smaller canopies, it will definitely be possible to stall.

All of this stuff is not natural for a new jumper to have thought about, but I think it is worth discussing so that you and others can gain valuable knowledge. As long as you realize that advice you get from the internet might be simply wrong, misinterpreted or misapplied, and you take responsibility to thoroughly review it with your instructors, then you might accelerate your learning curve (a good thing). Be careful out there. Your instructors should be able to discuss these topics with you, but they may also very rightly conclude that it is too much info to take in and process/execute at this stage for you.

I may well get flamed for passing on too much advice too early in your training, and probably deserve such flaming, but you've already been hurt when I think this info may have prevented it. Don't mess up!
People are sick and tired of being told that ordinary and decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I’m certainly not, and I’m sick and tired of being told that I am

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