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slcooper

Canopy flying sideways on final

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Finally got to jump my new rig, Javenlin Contrainer with a Spectre 230. Opening was smooth as a baby's butt, but I soon discovered a problem. On the first landing I was facing directly into the wind but seemed to be drifting to the right at about 45 degrees. I checked both of my toggles, they were even, just figured it was a gust of wind. On my second landing it did the same thing, drifting a little more than 45 degrees to the right at a high rate of speed. Again I checked the wind sock, I was pointed directly into the wind, toggles were even. I didn't want to turn that low to face the direction I was drifting, landing SUCKED. Anyone know what might be causing this?
Why would anyone jump out of a perfectly good airplane? Cause the door was open!

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Get someone to video your landings. Several of them. Then have someone who is very knowledgable about canopy flight to view the video with you.

This usually corrects these problems.

It is occasionally the canopy trim but very seldom. If so, the video will help to determine that.
Be the canopy pilot you want that other guy to be.

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You probably are leaning in your harness in the direction you are drifting as a result of the tightening one of your leg straps too much or too little. Next time you are in the air, try leaning in one direction and notice how it will give you a slight turn.

On final, you can counter this by putting more of your body weight in the opposite side of the harness of the direction you are crabbing. Also don't be scared to give a slight toggle or rear riser input to keep you flying straight. This is necessary on crosswind landings if you want to fly straight.

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Finally got to jump my new rig, Javenlin Contrainer with a Spectre 230. Opening was smooth as a baby's butt, but I soon discovered a problem. On the first landing I was facing directly into the wind but seemed to be drifting to the right at about 45 degrees. I checked both of my toggles, they were even, just figured it was a gust of wind. On my second landing it did the same thing, drifting a little more than 45 degrees to the right at a high rate of speed. Again I checked the wind sock, I was pointed directly into the wind, toggles were even. I didn't want to turn that low to face the direction I was drifting, landing SUCKED. Anyone know what might be causing this?



Did you buy the canopy new or used? You stated you checked the toggles and they were even doe that mean you compared them or measured them with a tape measure. Did you tie in your toggles or was it done by a Rigger? Have you jumped this canopy before? If so how did the canopy fly?Does the canopy turn at altitude as well?

I know those are a lot of questions but I believe it may help others in providing a possible solution. Not to be rude but I find it hard to believe you are harness turning s Spectre 230 45 degrees (that would requite a ton of hip and body movement)


Fire Safety Tip: Don't fry bacon while naked

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Does the heading change, or does the canopy 'crab' sideways.

If the heading changes, you have a built in turn.

If the heading does not change, there's a 99% chance your canopy is fine, and you we're not square into the wind on final. Let's remember that beign on final means you're up higher than the windsock. I'm guessing that for the last 100ft, you're keeping your eyes on your target, not the windsock, so your flying in wind 100+ft higher than the windsock. Additionally, if the windsock is shifting slightly, even just 10 or 15 degrees, you may be seeing one end of the swing, and not the other.

Jump it on another day, and see what happens. Anything but a right-hand drift indicates your canopy is fine. On the off chance that the conditions are similar on that day, try turning the canopy away from the drift. If your drifting right, turn to the left slightly, and see if you can't get your canopy to square up into the wind.

The last thing to do is get a more experienced jumper to jump the rig. Tell them your problem, and have them go up and see what's what.

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It is a used canopy, I did not tie the toggles myself. When I said I checked to be sure they were even, I meant in the air, that my hands were even.

Yes the canopy was crabbing sideways. The wind was gusty the day I jumped it so it is possible that it was blowing in a different direction at 100 ft. vs. where the windwock was.

I will try jumping it again next weekend to see if the same thing happens.
Why would anyone jump out of a perfectly good airplane? Cause the door was open!

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Hard to imagine a spectre 230 responding to harness input. I used to jump a 190 and I couldn't get a significant turn from it with harness input to save my life.

My money is on other issues as asserted above.

It is important to distinguish between a turn and a slide, so look at those issues.

-- Jeff
My Skydiving History

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I bought a Pilot 210 directly from the factory, brand new and it came with a built in turn. It had a slow right turn with a heading change (it wasn't crabbing) I had it inspected by 2 riggers who couldn't find anything wrong.. I jumped it another 5 or 6 times thinking it was harness input, winds, etc... Finally had a rigger test jump it for me to confirm it was actually a canopy defect. Aerodyne had excellent customer service and replaced the canopy right away.

Have another jumper do a hop n' pop with your rig if you're still having problems

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A Spectre 230 is more likely to get blown off heading than a big square student canopy in gusty wind conditions. You might need to 'fly' the Spectre a little more than the student canopies you have been jumping. At least when the wind is a little funky, you may need to make some small 'corrections' on final to keep it tracking straight.

Do not use your rear risers for heading adjustment on final as someone else had suggested. Toggles only please, and no more than 4 or 5 inches of input. It might take a second for the canopy to come around, but there's no rush. If it never comes around, just land sideways, that's OK too.

If you do come in sideways, ingnore the sideways component, just focus on your descent and flaring at the proper time. If you do that right, your speed and descent rate at touchdown will be low enough that a little sideways action is no big deal.

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The canopy may have a small built in turn, but that's not what you're observing. The wind sock is a good general reference, but on windy days, even a few degrees off the exact local windline will produce drift. Quit wondering about what is making what do what and just fly the canopy all the way down. If the wind is pushing you to the left, steer right. If the wind is pushing you to the right, correct left. Correct in either direction until you kill your drift. Flare at the appropriate time.

On windy, gusty days, I find myself making minor corrections all the way to the ground. I also see people with many more jumps than you claiming a gust caught them or their parachute was drifting sideways. They were simply off the windline and just going along for the ride. They have quit flying their parachute actively. Also, make sure you're not sticking your arm out in the direction of your drift to "catch your fall." That's a very common mistake and makes for very hard landings, sometimes even injuries, since it will exacerbate the problem. See if someone will video your landings, then have an instructor review it. Good luck.

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The canopy may have a small built in turn, but that's not what you're observing. The wind sock is a good general reference, but on windy days, even a few degrees off the exact local windline will produce drift. Quit wondering about what is making what do what and just fly the canopy all the way down. If the wind is pushing you to the left, steer right. If the wind is pushing you to the right, correct left. Correct in either direction until you kill your drift. Flare at the appropriate time.

On windy, gusty days, I find myself making minor corrections all the way to the ground. I also see people with many more jumps than you claiming a gust caught them or their parachute was drifting sideways. They were simply off the windline and just going along for the ride. They have quit flying their parachute actively. Also, make sure you're not sticking your arm out in the direction of your drift to "catch your fall." That's a very common mistake and makes for very hard landings, sometimes even injuries, since it will exacerbate the problem. See if someone will video your landings, then have an instructor review it. Good luck.



Thanks John and everyone else who has responded. It is a great thing that I can post an issue I'm having and have so many experienced skydivers respond with good advice! This is the first issue I've ever had with landings and I'm a little frustrated because it's with my own rig!!! I did fine with student gear, including the same sized canopy I'm currently flying. I think I know what to do now and I'm ready to give it another try.

Pain is a good instructor, and that last landing FUCKING HURT! When I was learning to kickbox I didn't fully understand the meaning of "keep your hands up" until I got tagged in the nose a couple of times, then I got the point!

One of my favorite sayings is "A wise man learns from his mistakes, an even wiser man learns from others mistakes" :)
Why would anyone jump out of a perfectly good airplane? Cause the door was open!

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