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nigel99

PD Novice, Intermediate, Advanced and Expert

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I don't see how a larger canopy would help me other than keeping me aloft for a little while longer.



You really don’t know what it is you don’t know. As Ron said you canopy size may be alright but your understanding of canopies can get you killed on any size canopy. In most cases the bigger the canopy the less pain for any given screw up.

Sparky
My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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I don't see how a larger canopy would help me other than keeping me aloft for a little while longer.



You really don’t know what it is you don’t know. As Ron said you canopy size may be alright but your understanding of canopies can get you killed on any size canopy. In most cases the bigger the canopy the less pain for any given screw up.

Sparky



Fine then, please explain what it is I don't know.

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I don't see how a larger canopy would help me other than keeping me aloft for a little while longer.


Well, at least you'll have more time to consider your options... :)
Smaller canopy gives more forward speed on landing. More forward speed means you need a longer 'runway' to land on.

This, in itself, reduces the options when you are in a tight spot.

If there is an obstacle in your chosen path you'll hit it harder than under a larger canopy. To put it bluntly, it may be the difference between a sprained ankle or a broken femur.

I'd rather go backward on a walking pace than forward on a running pace into any given obstacle.

YMMV

"Whoever in discussion adduces authority uses not intellect but memory." - Leonardo da Vinci
A thousand words...

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What happens if you find yourself on a bad spot in a small area? What happens if, while you are flying your "simple" pattern, another pilot almost flies into you?

Your canopy selection has to be for the WORST day and the WORST situation... Not nice calm winds.

I am not saying your canopy CHOICE is wrong... I do think your reasoning has some errors.



1. If I find myself in a bad spot with a series of very confined outs, I don't see how a larger canopy would help me other than keeping me aloft for a little while longer. While that may be enough to get me out of the situation, it may be enough to keep me from landing because the canopy keeps flying instead of sinking into my landing area of choice. I'm also a dumbass for not checking the spot before I jumped.

2. If I'm flying my simple pattern and a pilot almost flies into me, my canopy has nothing to do with the situation, it's my lack of heads up. The only way the canopy size would come into play is if it prevented me from seeing the other jumper. Does that mean I should choose a smaller canopy to reduce my blind spot? Worst day & situation planning is good, but at what point is preemptive planning going overboard? An initial assessment of the situation on the ground, made with the help of instructors/coaches I trust, will help to prevent me from ending up in the worst case scenarios. In addition, choosing who I jump with and what kinds of jumps I participate in will help to ensure that I stay as safe as possible.

To wrap it all up, the items you quoted is not my reasoning, but the steps I plan on taking to keep myself alive.



You have 40 jumps now and already you have everything figured out. From your responses it is evident that you are only going to accept the advice that suits you.
It would be to your benefit to get into a canopy course ASAP and study the flight characteristics of different canopy types.
I wish you luck.

Sparky
My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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I would suggest taking a look at the typical size of canopies used in the following disciplines...

BASE Jumping / Accuracy

Often these disciplines require someone to land in a specific tight landing area - the canopy of choice in both disciplines is significantly larger than those generally used in skydiving.

As everyone else has said - take some time, take a canopy course and if possible see if there's anyone locally who can explain the reasons behind the canopies chosen for BASE or Accuracy...

And FWIW - try to slow down and listen to those with 1000's more jumps than you as they may have something important to share with you... B|

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Gents (and ladies?),

I apologize for my tone. I'm not trying to challenge or dismiss what any of you have said, I'm just trying to explain how I see things. These ideas of mine are based off of observation of others landings, reading whatever I can from this website, and my own VERRRYYY small amount of personal experience.

That said, I agree that the majority of what I have said has errors in it, but not because of stubbornness or dismissing what others have said, but because I do not know any better. I am just entering this world and my experiences have been limited to a single dropzone where I see the same people land every time I visit. There are no small outs anywhere because it's in Texas farm land and the fields are massive. There is no practical experience or even a basic sight picture to help me comprehend what some of you are saying. I have to imagine what I can and hope that's what you're trying to convey.

I appreciate those of you who are trying to help me by poking holes in what I've said and then explaining to me why you've just deflated my knowledge parachute. And to the rest of you, yes, I will be taking a canopy control course as soon as I can, however that is based off of my work schedule which is currently in a transitory status.

Unfortunately, this thread has branched off more onto my viewpoints and how they are wrong versus the original post and I apologize for that. If anyone would like to pursue the matter further, please PM me.

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Unfortunately, this thread has branched off more onto my viewpoints and how they are wrong versus the original post ...


Actually, the discussion of your choices and viewpoints goes directly to the issue raised by the OP's original question: what does Novice, Intermediate, etc mean with respect to skills, training, and experience, and how do they relate to the choice of an appropriate canopy.

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Unfortunately, this thread has branched off more onto my viewpoints and how they are wrong versus the original post ...


Actually, the discussion of your choices and viewpoints goes directly to the issue raised by the OP's original question: what does Novice, Intermediate, etc mean with respect to skills, training, and experience, and how do they relate to the choice of an appropriate canopy.



Divalent is right. I quite strongly disagree with the vague guidelines as it allows people to find "mentors" who are prepared to tell them what they want to hear.

For your interest I suggest you dig out the downsizing checklist here on dz.com and also read the section on advanced canopy flight in the SIM. Work on accuracy by placing a towel in the dz so that you have a "real" target to aim for. Challenge yourself to wring every last ounce out of your current canopy - you can have alot of fun doing it. The USPA has a canopy progression card even if you don't go on a formal course work with an AFF-I or up-jumper at your dz to un-officially run through the exercises.
Experienced jumper - someone who has made mistakes more often than I have and lived.

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Divalent is right. I quite strongly disagree with the vague guidelines as it allows people to find "mentors" who are prepared to tell them what they want to hear.



Who is it that you would like to be less vague?

The manufacturers want to sell canopies. They are not your instructors, and they are not your national club.

If you want USPA to be less vague, fine, have at it.

But when USPA makes anything resembling a stronger recommendation, they seem to catch a whole lot of shit about it.

Just look at the discussion regarding the USPA recommendations for jumping with a camera. The folks at USPA just can't win. It seems to me that people demand standards mostly so they can be ignored.

The best person to take care of yourself is YOURSELF.

If you are unsure, if you feel the manufacturer's recommendations are too vague, if you feel that the USPA's recommendation are too vague, then take the matter into your own hands, and stay well on the conservative side of any of the recommendations.

If the problem is mentors who will say whatever the students wants to hear, maybe the student should be wanting to hear something more conservative in the first place.

After all, survival is the goal, isn't it?

Sure, it would be nice if this was nice and scientific and mainstream.

But, it is not. It is a fringe sport, what's written about it is often less than we would sometimes like. A lot of canopy flight is more art than science.

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Who is it that you would like to be less vague?

The manufacturers want to sell canopies. They are not your instructors, and they are not your national club.

If you want USPA to be less vague, fine, have at it.



I think it should be the USPA it is not the manufacturers job to self regulate.

People can't have it both ways. We can't bitch about deaths and injuries under open canopies, and then resist change. Having to meet specific objectives under canopy is the correct method in my mind. There is no point just requiring jump numbers.

Guidelines will always be broken, but at least people will KNOW that what they are doing is irresponsible. I slightly disagree that the best person to take care of yourself is yourself. I like to know that someone with 1000+ jumps has my back, is prepared to offer guidance and mentoring. Sure it is my responsibility to behave in a responsible manner.
Experienced jumper - someone who has made mistakes more often than I have and lived.

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Who is it that you would like to be less vague?

The manufacturers want to sell canopies. They are not your instructors, and they are not your national club.

If you want USPA to be less vague, fine, have at it.



I think it should be the USPA it is not the manufacturers job to self regulate.

People can't have it both ways. We can't bitch about deaths and injuries under open canopies, and then resist change. Having to meet specific objectives under canopy is the correct method in my mind. There is no point just requiring jump numbers.

Guidelines will always be broken, but at least people will KNOW that what they are doing is irresponsible. I slightly disagree that the best person to take care of yourself is yourself. I like to know that someone with 1000+ jumps has my back, is prepared to offer guidance and mentoring. Sure it is my responsibility to behave in a responsible manner.



Is there a reason that you cannot establish for yourself a set of goals to achieve on your way to becoming a proficient canopy pilot?

USPA is US. Start a grassroots movement to support sane canopy progressions.

The folks who lead USPA now mostly came from a time when you needed to work a lot of stuff out on your own. Why put it on them?

If you think that guidelines are too vague, work on refining them.

You don't have to be the expert to launch the effort. Talk to the folks that appear to know, and write down what they say. When you have something that is better than what we have now, submit of for review and refinement.

If you really want to see it happen, MAKE it happen.

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For your interest I suggest you dig out the downsizing checklist here on dz.com



Attached are the Dutch Rules For Canopy choice. You might want to look though it.

Sparky



Interesting thanks.
Experienced jumper - someone who has made mistakes more often than I have and lived.

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For your interest I suggest you dig out the downsizing checklist here on dz.com



Attached are the Dutch Rules For Canopy choice. You might want to look though it.

Sparky



Sparky, after reading through the document it would seem that these are definitely rules and not a certain manufacturer's guidelines. Who is responsible for enforcing the rules and what is the penalty for someone who doesn't adhere to them?

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Not so huge. In fact, barest tip of the iceberg.



While true that it is the barest tip of the iceberg, accomplishments are relative, someone going from nothing to an A has often just completed something extradinary, relative to their life up to that point.

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There is a common misconception that you need to "downsize for safety".



Not disagreeing with you, just adding that I think forward penetration is often misused as an excuse to downsize.

Skydivers need to think locally...a jumper on a square with a 1:1 loading at a DZ with 15 - 20mph and surrounded by soy beans is one thing...going backwards and landing off is not likely to be a big deal. That same jumper and conditions at a DZ surrounded by trees, buildings, powerlines, and bull fields with only a couple of outs is where more penetration can be helpful to give the jumper more options of where they can land.

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>That same jumper and conditions at a DZ surrounded by trees, buildings, powerlines . . .

Or a jumper who can drive a few hours and be at a DZ that's 1000 feet higher, on a day that's 20 degrees warmer. Suddenly that canopy they downsized to, that they are OK on provided they're really careful, is way more than they can handle.

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For your interest I suggest you dig out the downsizing checklist here on dz.com



Attached are the Dutch Rules For Canopy choice. You might want to look though it.

Sparky



Sparky, after reading through the document it would seem that these are definitely rules and not a certain manufacturer's guidelines. Who is responsible for enforcing the rules and what is the penalty for someone who doesn't adhere to them?



Those rules are from the Netherlands and I am guessing it is their equivalent of the USPA. We have a couple of dutch posters here and they have mentioned the more conservative approach to canopy choice a few times.

For an interesting read there is also the British Parachute Association Canopy progression manual(s).

While I originally mentioned PD's categories, it is not their place to "regulate" the sport. However I do feel that manufacturers could provide more clarity.
Experienced jumper - someone who has made mistakes more often than I have and lived.

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Is there a reason that you cannot establish for yourself a set of goals to achieve on your way to becoming a proficient canopy pilot?

USPA is US. Start a grassroots movement to support sane canopy progressions.

The folks who lead USPA now mostly came from a time when you needed to work a lot of stuff out on your own. Why put it on them?

If you think that guidelines are too vague, work on refining them.

You don't have to be the expert to launch the effort. Talk to the folks that appear to know, and write down what they say. When you have something that is better than what we have now, submit of for review and refinement.

If you really want to see it happen, MAKE it happen.



Very good advice Paul. I am lucky in that where I jump I have access to a number of very good people. I am currently soaking up information and learning like a sponge.

I am involved in voluntary industry committees, in my line of work (not skydiving related). I realise how much work and commitment it takes. So the people who contribute within the USPA have my respect. I do think that the USPA is best positioned to assist in the change of culture. I like the fact that accuracy is a requirement for both the B and C license, but it could start to encompass alot more detail.

When we had the accuracy competition on the Farm recently, Popsjumper sat down and reviewed canopy flight with all of us. Nothing that he covered was not part of a first jump course, and yet every single one of us went out after the review and practiced the techniques mentioned. There were people with 180 jumps involved.
Experienced jumper - someone who has made mistakes more often than I have and lived.

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I think it should be the USPA it is not the manufacturers job to self regulate.



Maybe, but the fact is the manufacturer has the right as well....

How many lawsuits are brought against the USPA vs. PD? And in the end, who knows its products best, the USPA or the people that tested and designed the product?
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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There is a common misconception that you need to "downsize for safety".



Not disagreeing with you, just adding that I think forward penetration is often misused as an excuse to downsize.

Skydivers need to think locally...a jumper on a square with a 1:1 loading at a DZ with 15 - 20mph and surrounded by soy beans is one thing...going backwards and landing off is not likely to be a big deal. That same jumper and conditions at a DZ surrounded by trees, buildings, powerlines, and bull fields with only a couple of outs is where more penetration can be helpful to give the jumper more options of where they can land.



....and there is always the option to stay on the ground.

People often discuss the merits of downsizing or not, but rarely do I see it summed up as "a smaller canopy gives the pilot a smaller margin for error". To me that is what it comes down to. Whether we are talking about being able to fly a precise pattern, get enough landing separation or to survive a low turn or a no-flare landing, it's all going to be easier on a larger, slower canopy.

Just this weekend I saw a whole bunch of landings where jumpers flared asymmetrically. No great problem on a Navigator loaded at 0.75, but potentially career ending on a Velocity @ 2.7.

Smaller canopies can be more fun, but they bite much harder and faster.

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1. If I find myself in a bad spot with a series of very confined outs, I don't see how a larger canopy would help me other than keeping me aloft for a little while longer. While that may be enough to get me out of the situation,



Would you rather hit a tree at 30 MPH, or 3MPH? A larger canopy will have both a slower fwd speed and a slower rate of descent.

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it may be enough to keep me from landing because the canopy keeps flying instead of sinking into my landing area of choice..



This is not how canopies work. A bigger canopy will have less of a fwd speed and is MUCH better suited to a steep descent angle. For example, look at an accuracy canopy... Do they jump a big canopy, or a small one? In a tight area, FWD speed is bad and angle of approach is important.

Which would you rather land in a tight area?

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCkBtN6tVD4

2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWFBVzDWk_o&NR=1

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I'm also a dumbass for not checking the spot before I jumped



Uh, well you could also have been wrong on the spot. You could also have been in an RW jump and in the back of the plane unable to check the spot. Fact is that with 40 jumps you may not have landed off YET, but you WILL land off at some point.

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2. If I'm flying my simple pattern and a pilot almost flies into me, my canopy has nothing to do with the situation, it's my lack of heads up



Yes, but the speed of a canopy requires your brain to be faster than the canopy.

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An initial assessment of the situation on the ground, made with the help of instructors/coaches I trust, will help to prevent me from ending up in the worst case scenarios.



It will not prevent it.... It will reduce it. They call it "unforeseen" for a reason. Unless you are always 100% perfect, then reality happens.

Two simple questions. Of all the people that die each year skydiving.... How many of them thought they made choices that would kill them, or thought they didn't have the skills needed to survive the jump?

No one plans on dying, yet each year people die.

2. What makes you different than them?
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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Skydivers need to think locally...a jumper on a square with a 1:1 loading at a DZ with 15 - 20mph and surrounded by soy beans is one thing...going backwards and landing off is not likely to be a big deal. That same jumper and conditions at a DZ surrounded by trees, buildings, powerlines, and bull fields with only a couple of outs is where more penetration can be helpful to give the jumper more options of where they can land.



The jumper that is in a bad area needs to stay on the ground, not get a higher performance canopy.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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Skydivers need to think locally...a jumper on a square with a 1:1 loading at a DZ with 15 - 20mph and surrounded by soy beans is one thing...going backwards and landing off is not likely to be a big deal. That same jumper and conditions at a DZ surrounded by trees, buildings, powerlines, and bull fields with only a couple of outs is where more penetration can be helpful to give the jumper more options of where they can land.



The jumper that is in a bad area needs to stay on the ground, not get a higher performance canopy.



Not necessarily...someone with 1,000 jumps is likely capable of a downsize for this sort of situation.

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1. If I find myself in a bad spot with a series of very confined outs, I don't see how a larger canopy would help me other than keeping me aloft for a little while longer.



You need canopy coaching. Ever seen classic accuracy? They all jump big, big F-111 7 cell canopies. Want to know why? Because that's the absolute best combination for steep approaches into tight areas. Those guys can hit a 5cm target over and over!

You've obviously never landed a canopy in deep deep brakes in a very tight area, or you would understand why a larger parachute is desirable in that circumstance!

"If all you ever do is all you ever did, then all you'll ever get is all you ever got."

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