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RE: Surviving the No Wind Landing

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Some canopy coaching as well as a possible reevaluation of canopy choice would be in order.



Yep, that's got a lot to do with it. People get over their head. Its sad to see this happening.[:/]

j
Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

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Simple geometry. If you're holding your arms out at an angle your lines are not running along the full length of your arms, which is the only way to get all the flare you can get. Try it in the air and it'll be obvious.

It is also physically easier to flare straight down, you're using more muscles.



And if you happen to eat it on the landing, your arms are tucked safely out of the way for a nice plf instead of points sticking out to be broken off.
Scars remind us that the past is real

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Scariest part of no wind landings is the traffic pattern. There's always somebody thats going to land in the direction that the wind sock pole leans instead of the direction that everybody agreed on before boarding.



I actually thought that was what the article was going to be about when I read the title.

As usual Brian makes some great points that were worth reading.

I wonder why he didn't close with something like:

...And if you still dread the no wind landing, you should consider upsizing.

Blue skies,

Jim

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While I scratched my head at the intro to the article, I found the article very helpful.

The reason that I found the article helpful was that this summer I have struggled with many of my landings (and slid many, many in on by arse). While there are many reasons for this, perhaps the many windless days in the dog days of summer played a part!

Yes, the hints in this article are helpful. But the MOST helpful was that extreme opening statement... for it tells me that when I am struggling in no/low wind circumstances that I am not alone! Heck, I am now a bit proud that I kept jumping when landing smoothly was difficult!

Yes, I have gotten some canopy coaching. Yes, I will get more canopy coaching.

Blue Skies
The choices we make have consequences, for us & for others!

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Wahoo! Go downwind! I love down or crosswind landings, I also make sure the other 3 people in the plane know what I'm doing ahead of time, and they should fly their own pattern and not follow me B|.
"If it wasn't easy stupid people couldn't do it", Duane.

My momma said I could be anything I wanted when I grew up, so I became an a$$hole.

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I actually prefer no-wind landings. Last time there was a lot of wind and I was getting no penetration so I flew straight into the landing area (which was deserted) and plopped down just short of the central wind blade. I got bitched out for that because I didn't "fly my left hand pattern".

A few times after that I tried to fly this left hand pattern but wasn't able to get anywhere before my altitude ran out. Last minute flare turn back into the wind just squeeked me into a stand-up landing. I'm usually pretty good at setting things down 20m or less from the middle but some days in the wind it takes 1500' just to get to the marker...

-Michael

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One thing that may be contributing to the new jumpers fear of no wind landings is that student canopies are set up with longer brake lines, making it harder to complete the flare. The limiting of the flaring range makes it harder to slow the canopy down completely...Just a thought.

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One thing that may be contributing to the new jumpers fear of no wind landings is that student canopies are set up with longer brake lines, making it harder to complete the flare. The limiting of the flaring range makes it harder to slow the canopy down completely...Just a thought.



Having completed the student program recently I'm inclined to point out that student canopies are so big and slow that it doesn't make that big of a difference. The majority of my no-wind landings did not even require a step. I've done a fair bit of playing with these big boats and I think slack brake lines are better to prevent an inexperienced student from stalling.

-Michael

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I personally enjoy landing in no wind conditions. The reason I often sit them out though is because of the different directions each jumper chooses to land even though there is a designated default landing pattern.....go figure.

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One thing that may be contributing to the new jumpers fear of no wind landings is that student canopies are set up with longer brake lines, making it harder to complete the flare. The limiting of the flaring range makes it harder to slow the canopy down completely...Just a thought.



How did you come up with that? I'm thinking its because you weren't able to stall your student canopy without taking a wrap? That is not the test to see if the brake lines are too long or short. That has nothing to do with being able to have a complete and full flare.
--"When I die, may I be surrounded by scattered chrome and burning gasoline."

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I jumped on a no wind day the other weekend and crashed. [:/] But I didn't get hurt and it was a good learning experience. I learned that I came in too high and overshot my target and I didn't hold my flare or flare all the way. Won't make that mistake again!

As far as jumpers landing in different directions that is not good. Experienced jumpers KNOW and should always fly the default pattern on a no wind day and if they don't the S&TA should talk to them.

I liked Brian's article very much. I'm gonna try some of the things he mentioned next time there is a no wind day. I believe the only way to get better and gain more confidence is to keep practicing!
"It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities." - A. Dumbledore

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I don't have as many jumps as you by far, so please don't take this the wrong way. Can you help me to understand how toggle length and not being able to stall the canopy doesn't effect your ability to flair the canopy and slow the forward motion. In Brian's piece he seemed to say stalling the canopy was an important/integral part of the flair...

As I think about it, the closer you come to stalling the slower your forward speed will be. If you are prevented from approaching a stall the faster your forward speed will be. I know that students are at a far greater risk of stalling and need to be on a forgiving canopy.

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Right, the closer you come, not a stall. A stall is when the canopy is no longer flying. I assume that you've gone up and done full on toggle stalls before. The canopy stops flying, you fall backwards as the canopy continues to stall, then you swing back under the canopy as the canopy folds up. All of those things would be bad on landing, even just a few feet off the ground.

So you're looking for the ability to get the most flare out of your canopy, the most conversion of forward speed to lift. When in a stall the canopy is no longer providing lift. A modern student canopy design (i.e. the PD Navigator) does have factory brake settings that give a solid and powerful flare, but also leaves a stall a bit further out of reach. Having had done stalls on your canopy could you imagine a student flaring way too high and stalling the canopy 10ft off the ground? Even many popular sport mains are similar in regards to you have to hold a full flare for more then a couple of seconds to get the canopy flying slow enough that it stalls.

As for canopy design and how that relates to the stall you should really contact someone like Scott Miller. He can explain that much better then I can.
--"When I die, may I be surrounded by scattered chrome and burning gasoline."

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What a bizarre thread. I always thought the less wind the better...



That used to be somewhat true.

But now that everyone has been indoctrinated into jumping ever-smaller always-faster canopies, no-wind landings have become problematic for them. Landing safe is no longer the goal. The goal is landing fast.

I noticed that nowhere in the article did he recommend that jumpers just use a bigger canopy that will land them properly even in no-wind conditions.

Oh no... we can't do that. Smaller is better! Got it?

It kind of reminds me of giving an 18-year-old kid a hot sportscar, and then coaching him how to do emergency braking and steering to avoid crashing into something, rather than just teaching him how to drive safely in the first place.

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I had a bit of work to do for my no wind landings. I was use to jumping in normal 5mph type wind I had gone to shorter risers because I could not reach the slides with the originals. Well on the first no wind day it was freaking fast full flare and was still clocking in. Shortened up the steering lines and all is well now.

But I do rember on student gear having to wrap the lines around my hands a few times to get it to stall and now I can see how in a no wind landing getting the full maxium flare would be a problem.
SO this one time at band camp.....

"Of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most."

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One of the most dreaded conditions of all is the no wind scenario. This fear is so profound that many jumpers in fact avoid jumping in no wind conditions.


:S
If the quoted text describes you, it might be time to reconsider skydiving.



When I had 30 jumps on a PD210 F-111 canopy I had a great deal of trepidation jumping in 0 winds. That lasted for a while too! For me, learning how to proficiently pilot a canopy did not come easy, I had to really work at it while trying to avoid getting broken.

Glad I did not follow your advice because the last 3170+ jumps have been a blast, as have been the many hundreds of student jumps I have made.

There is no shame in taking it slow and struggling while tackling the learning curves involved in skydiving. No shame at all…
Mykel AFF-I10
Skydiving Priorities: 1) Open Canopy. 2) Land Safely. 3) Don’t hurt anyone. 4) Repeat…

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>Can you help me to understand how toggle length and not being able to
>stall the canopy doesn't effect your ability to flair the canopy and slow the
>forward motion.

If you can stall the canopy you get the most possible deceleration out of it. In an aircraft, the ideal landing has the wheels touching just as the stall warning horn goes off; that way the aircraft has been slowed to its minimum flying speed before putting rubber on the pavement.

However, that doesn't mean that you can't land a canopy that won't stall on you. It just means you can't get _quite_ as slow before you land - and on many student canopies, that doesn't matter. (The difference between 9mph and 10mph is pretty small.) The aircraft equivalent would be the Ercoupe, an aircraft that has a limited elevator travel; it can't be stalled. It can still be landed OK though.

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On older canopies, "finishing your flare" was a requirement, not an option.

I'd recommend everyone learn to land a 7 cell F111 for a bit and do some CrW also. Then the basics on the HP canopies is a lot easier to get.

(One of the funniest things to watch in this sport is some twit under a highly loaded canopy come in fast, flare down to armpit height, and then drop his toggles and RUN LIKE HELL to keep from tripping - it's the basics, people. No wind days don't have to be an issue and they can be a lot of fun)

...
Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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