0
npgraphicdesign

Poor pattern choices and pattern/other jumper awareness

Recommended Posts

:|

Cut off two people today. Didn't notice one of them at all, even though i thought was looking around. Noticed the other as he flew by about 50 feet below me. Cut off the other one as I was on my final and landed at an angle rather than continuing to go straight (this is the other person that I didn't see at all, even though he was very close to me.)

My main mistake was getting to the point where I had to enter the pattern around 2k and then I started spiraling to bleed off some altitude in the middle of the pattern rather than taking it out wider or hanging out in the 'play area' longer before entering the pattern. Don't know what the **** I was thinking, but I learned from it. It was a complete lack of attention on my part during that specific jump, as the previous jump was in similar circumstances and there weren't any such issues.

As they say in Latin, mea culpa. Thanks to the other two jumpers for explaining my mistake to me in a mature manner rather then swearing and yelling.

Considering the difference in skill level/knowledge of skydivers around you, is pattern awareness/pattern entry a part of the skydive where you should be perhaps even more alert than any other time? Any thoughts and words of wisdom would be appreciated...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Kudos for posting your fuck up on here...but your gonna get blasted so you should've just talked about it at your DZ



That's fine...I accepted responsibility and learned from my mistake. Maybe others can as well. Thankfully the only result of this was someone having a talk with me and not an ambulance at the drop zone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Good on you.

Do you know why you weren't paying enough attention? Something else distracted you, or something on your mind?












Now, enough with the constructive BS: [yelling]You're a danger to yourself and everyone! Give up the sport already! ;)[/yelling]
Remster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I did something similar a few weeks back at the dz. It was my last jump of the day and I was flying my crosswind and instead of looking at the windsock like a windsock...I looked at it like it was the tetrahedron. Big mistake...as soon as I turned (downwind or course) I started picking up speed big time. I didnt even have time to think about what jump happened because I was getting within 500 feet or so of the hanger...I checked my altitrack and it showed I was at 0 feet. I stabbed that fokker at the last second and slid on my ass.

These are the things I learned:
1.) unless you turn downwind down low...you never really know how fast you are going downwind until you do it low
2.) I will never look at the windsock like that again...the wind comes from the opposite direction with the windsock...I knew that (3.) I am glad a couple of the experienced guys talked to me about it...for one without being a tad bit embarrased about it I wouldnt have learned as much as I did and had it stuck in my mind...
4.) I did do one thing right though...I knew something was going crazy when I started hauling ass...but I didnt want to make things worse by turning low...I had already made the decision to turn downwind and I knew I had to stick with it...good or bad...in this case it was good because I landed around 400 feet from the east side of the hanger and I didnt get hurt...I got talked to and I learned a valuable lesson...if I didnt learn a good lesson it could have bitten me in the ass at a later time...So actually I am quite grateful for what happened. This is what life is about...learning from your mistakes you dont repeat them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why did you have to enter the pattern at 2,000 feet? Was it so windy you couldn't go back upwind then turn around? With a light wing-loading, it's nice to be able to hang out in brakes upwind of the pattern while faster canopies get below you, then merge in when you've got some room.
You don't have to outrun the bear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Why did you have to enter the pattern at 2,000 feet? Was it so windy you couldn't go back upwind then turn around? With a light wing-loading, it's nice to be able to hang out in brakes upwind of the pattern while faster canopies get below you, then merge in when you've got some room.



It's a good question. It was a bit windy today and I thought I'd need more time to get back to the pattern entry point. I got back to early...and that's when it all started. Don't know why I didn't just hang out in brakes and wait for the few faster canopies to enter, then merge when there was enough room/time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In my canopy coaching I teach a couple of points when it comes to planning and executing your pattern. This is a watered down overview of something that I go into greater detail in my classes:

Firstly, the pattern isn't just for you, its for other people. Its there to give you the ability to enter your flare in full flight, free of the recovery from the previous turn and to be where you want. The pattern is also there to give a safe plan and margin to you and the other jumpers around you.

Secondly, planning the pattern starts before you board the plane. You should have a clear and conscious plan as to what your pattern will be for the winds and landing direction for that load (depends on your DZ). You should also have a good guess as to where you "fit" in the load. Not just your exit order, but a guess as to where you are going to end up in the line of canopies coming in for landing. Looking around you have the experience to guess who is jumping something fast and who may be pulling higher or lower than you. Think of it like a school of fish and you're all swimming together.

Next, once you're open, its a perfect opportunity to practice a couple of flat turns while you find the canopies in the sky. You're in your holding area funneling towards the entry to the downwind of your pattern. If someone wants to go up and spiral and screw off under canopy, then they should do a hop-n-pop by themselves. Those sorts of maneuvers really have no place in the middle of an otter load of jumpers.

Once you found your place while in the holding area, fly with the school of fish to the landing. If you don't like what the "school" is doing, this is your opportunity to move your pattern to another portion of the landing area.

When encountering groups of jumpers, you're better off slowing your decent rate down with the gradual application of some brakes then trying to out-dive/spiral another jumper. Loading your 150 Sabre2 at 1.2 (for example) and even while spiraling will quickly be overtaken by the jumper on a Velo at 2.2 in just full flight.

Lastly, protect yourself as the jumper. If your DZ has a "beer line" that the "middle of the load swoopers" like to go to, land a safe distance away from that dangerous area. Outside of where the "swooper" pattern will take them. You can't change their possibly bad decision to hook-it in traffic, but you can take steps to get away from their bad decisions under canopy.
--"When I die, may I be surrounded by scattered chrome and burning gasoline."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Great post; it's good to see an incident report with a happy ending.

>is pattern awareness/pattern entry a part of the skydive where you
>should be perhaps even more alert than any other time?

I'm pretty paranoid under canopy since I jump a fairly fast canopy, I'm generally descending through traffic and because I have a camera helmet that decreases my visibility a little. But the times that I am most paranoid are:

1) Right after opening; that's the time that someone from another group may open up 100 feet from me

2) Descending rapidly (i.e. spiraling or front risering down.) Generally I try to make spiraling the very _first_ thing I do because I can see that I have clearance from everyone in my group and can see where other groups are. I generally do a slow 360 to look around before I do any fast 360's (spirals)

3) Turning into the downwind or base parts of the pattern. This is where the most confusion occurs since people start the patterns at different times.

4) Turning final; this is where everything converges.

5) The first few seconds after landing, when someone might be right on my tail.

>It was a complete lack of attention on my part . . .

That's when most of the problems I have occur as well. I'm just not paying enough attention to what's going on around me. (Example - fussing with stowing brakes in the landing area and not looking for incoming canopies enough.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Firstly, the pattern isn't just for you, its for other people. Its there to give you the ability to enter your flare in full flight, free of the recovery from the previous turn and to be where you want. The pattern is also there to give a safe plan and margin to you and the other jumpers around you.



Another way I like to describe a landing pattern is as a communication tool. By flying a well-defined downwind leg (i.e. no sashaying, at least a few hundred feet of descent, no going in and out of brakes abruptly) you're telling everyone above and behind you that your next major action is going to be a turn to base leg. They might not know exactly when you're going to turn to final, but based on how fast you're flying your canopy and based on what the ground winds are doing, it's not too hard to make a pretty good guess with some experience. Certainly good enough to be able to make their own plans around.

Same thing goes with the base leg.

When people get to the ground they should consider asking themselves, "If I were someone behind me, and I was trying to follow me in, would I have been able to guess what I was going to do next throughout my pattern?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There is nothing wrong with landing downwind if you have to. Good job on not turning low just to face the wind.

But....
Quote

I checked my altitrack and it showed I was at 0 feet. I stabbed that fokker at the last second and slid on my ass.



...do you mean to say that the only way you knew that it was time to flare was from looking at your alti???

This is a big problem and you need to get some instruction on this, possible going back on the radio.
"The ground does not care who you are. It will always be tougher than the human behind the controls."

~ CanuckInUSA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Good on you.

Do you know why you weren't paying enough attention? Something else distracted you, or something on your mind?


Now, enough with the constructive BS: [yelling]You're a danger to yourself and everyone! Give up the sport already! ;)[/yelling]



I'm not sure if it was work...or just such a great day, happy to be jumping on a Monday, etc..was just distracted. I know that the last place you want to be distracted is when you're skydiving...whether in the plane, freefalling, under canopy, landing, etc.

Thanks for the constructive and destructive criticism. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

You might want to try a different approach in your responses. It's rather abrasive.



What???
DocPop in post #11 rubbed you the wrong way?

Was it the rubbing?
Should he use KY the next time?
My reality and yours are quite different.
I think we're all Bozos on this bus.
Falcon5232, SCS8170, SCSA353, POPS9398, DS239

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Also BTW your Altimeter is NOT accurate below 1,000 Feet.... if you were trying to track your legs using that exclusively... you are setting yourself up for a funeral.

I reccomend that you try a Tandem jump with an experienced instructor who can help you dial in your accuracy and talk the landing through as you go so you get a good "hands on" feel.

At only 36 jumps and only an A License I am not as experienced as most but it worked for me.

Take Care,

Blue Skies!
Taz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

You might want to try a different approach in your responses. It's rather abrasive.



Sorry to hear about the accumulation of silica based material in your birth canal.

I believe the abrasive form of my message would have been something more akin to:

"Are you fucking crazy? Do not jump any more until you speak to someone who can teach you how to flare."

My response started with a pat on the back for something done well and then a suggestion for a way to avoid potential future injury. If that is too abrasive then maybe you might want to reconsider your involvement in this sport.
"The ground does not care who you are. It will always be tougher than the human behind the controls."

~ CanuckInUSA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm going to get associated with the way the point was taken rather than the issue at hand. No I don't need to look at my alti to know when to flair. But the important thing (to me at least) was that I checked it to determine my height because I was coming in close proximity to the hanger. Thats the only reason I injected the comment about my altitrack showing I was at 0 feet. I was worried about fiairing too early because I was downwind and didnt want to flair too early and stall it while downwind and land much harder than I did. I hope that will elaborate more on what I was talking about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
First of all, good job of not getting hurt and learning a lesson.

But...

If you are that low that your alti shows 0 ft, you should concentrate on your landing and your flare. You shouldn't distract yourself by looking anywhere but the area directly in front of you. Plus (as has been said above) altimeters, no matter if analog or digital, are not that accurate. E.g. my Optima shows -5 m (-16 ft) after landing on a regular basis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I'm going to get associated with the way the point was taken rather than the issue at hand. No I don't need to look at my alti to know when to flair. But the important thing (to me at least) was that I checked it to determine my height because I was coming in close proximity to the hanger. Thats the only reason I injected the comment about my altitrack showing I was at 0 feet. I was worried about fiairing too early because I was downwind and didnt want to flair too early and stall it while downwind and land much harder than I did. I hope that will elaborate more on what I was talking about.



Again, not flaming you at all, but this could be a good learning opportunity. You don't need to worry about flaring differently for a downwind landing - the goal is still to plane out within touch-down distance of the ground.

The key difference is that you may not be able to get to a speed where you can comfortably stand up the landing. To help with this, you can do two things:

1. Ensure you complete your flare, to minimize your airspeed.
2. Be prepared to slide your landing in without trying to stand it up.

Hope this helps.
"The ground does not care who you are. It will always be tougher than the human behind the controls."

~ CanuckInUSA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
>Thats the only reason I injected the comment about my altitrack showing
>I was at 0 feet. I was worried about fiairing too early . . .

Gotta use your eyes. Flaring using your altimeter is like driving your car by staring at your GPS. You're a lot more likely to run into things if you do that; GPSes (and altimeters) are not all that accurate.

>worried about fiairing too early because I was downwind . . .

The canopy flares the same way no matter what direction you're flying. (You'll land a lot faster when going downwind, of course.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Also BTW your Altimeter is NOT accurate below 1,000 Feet.... if you were trying to track your legs using that exclusively... you are setting yourself up for a funeral.



Many times I've landed and had my altimeter say -20 feet... and once it told me I was at 3000 feet when I was only 500 feet up.

Your altimeter is only a reference. It's not a substitute for poor judgment.

I can't imagine looking at the altimeter coming in on final... it just isn't smart.
Don't forget to pull!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It is true that the canopy flares the same in a steady upwind vs. downwind. But it is also quite reasonable to worry about one's flare & flare height when going downwind -- because it can become a lot more critical to get it right, to efficiently plane out right down low so one can slide it out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

0