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wmw999

Often-used safety procedures: the PLF

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Wendy,

As everyone else have said already, it was a great post, that for the last few days, particulary after this weekend, have discussed with a friend of mine at the DZ.

You just have to see all the people landing at any given zone, I think a good rule of thumb with all the landings is for everyone keeping the knees and feet together. Just watch the landings at any DZ, at any time, by any level of experience, and you see that people tend to separate their legs at landing....

By the way, my first 20 jumps were on rounds, and yes, I do think that it is great to put people through a higher level of training by getting them up on the tool box and practice PLF on all positions, if it is well done, it does not matter if it is even 15 ft up, you can survive, with only minor bruises and aches.....
As long as you increase the height little by little chair first and so on.......

Blue skies everyone...
"According to some of the conservatives here, it sounds like it's fine to beat your wide - as long as she had it coming." -Billvon

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Anyone know of injuries caused while learning PLFs? That was the reason given to me why we didn't practice them in FJC. I practiced a few on my own, but am now inspired to practice more-- if I see a bad landing coming up, I do a "feet and knees together and don't fight it" thing that so far has mostly covered me. I definitely transfer that kinetic energy, I can attest to that! And I have walked/tumbled away from some nasty ones with nothing more than some stiffness and soreness later. But some of that was luck, and I would be much worse off with a fast rate of descent (canopy collapse at 10-15 feet, partially fouled reserve, etc.)

I think I will practice first on cushy mats, though. Bones and joints are more brittle now... best to get it right before I add much impact... actually, there's a kids playground near me with some super soft spongy foam-covered ground, that would be perfect. ("Mommy, why does that person keep falling down in front of the slide?")

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Anyone know of injuries caused while learning PLFs?



I had a student break her ankle once practing landings. She was not very athletic, but in fact she ended up coming back and jumping after it healed. I probably taught well over 500 people in about 3 years's fairly active instruction, and that was the only injury. I had a more serious injury by someone in a cutaway harness -- that doesn't discourage people from practicing emergency procedures.

If you can't manage a landing when you know exactly when you're going to land (i.e. accelerating from a short height), then you're much more likely to hurt yourself when you're coming in under canopy and looking down (coming in at a constant speed). With radios, it's a little better.

Taught right, and using pea gravel, it's unlikely to hurt you. You do get the DZ's nice jumpsuits dirty though, if you let folks who wore nice clothes use them.

Wendy W.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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I learned the PLF in my First Jump course.

I Only have Five jumps so My course was resent like 3 week ago.



I recently completed a S/L RAPS course in the UK and PLF was not taught. This week I converted to AFF, and had to ask the instructor to include PLF as part of the course. I don't know if it is just our DZ or if PLF is no-longer taught in the UK. I know it was in the bad-old-days of Rounds;).

I had a couple of hard landingsB| on the S/L course and decided I need PLF if I am going to carry on jumping.

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I need to thank my Army Airborne training for really drilling a good PLF into my head. I don't use them much now days, but they really did help a lot in the old days, jumping rounds. I know one guy who said a PLF even saved his bacon when he fell off a scaffolding. He automatically did a PLF.......Steve1
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a PLF even saved his bacon when he fell off a scaffolding



Good falling & rolling technique will do that, no matter how you learn it. Judo teaches great rolls too. I got hit by a car when I was in my mid-20's; no serious damage, and I honestly thing that was partly because of the automatic PLF -- I was thrown a good 10 feet, and only hurt my heels (first point of contact).

Wendy W.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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Hey I know its cheesy and abit naff to mention......but check out the film 'Cutaway'......the scene where the guy collides in freefall and dies gets his chute opened........well following his landing the stuntman in for Tom Berenger does a wicked PLF to land quickly.......and again as cheesy as it is to take things away from 'mainstream' films....it really shows an excellent PLF !

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Now I never the basics out at my present DZ. I did the AM 490 program at the air force academy. I must have done at least 100 PLFs before my first jump. I thought they were pretty pointless, I figured I'm a gymanst I know how to freakin fall. But sure enough on my first I flared about 10 feet too high and came crashing in. The guy on the radio had time to verbally tell me I needed to PLF. I PLFed, hit like a rock, but got up and walked away. I never said anything bad about PLFs after that:P

B Moore

'Turbulence is a bitch'

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Having done military static education before AFF, i was drilled to do PLFs for two weeks by being dropped from a 10ft hanging harness (onto sawdust).

One thing i noticed about most of the PLF instruction out there is that people start it off of their feet, standing.
This is completely wrong, as you will have to bend your ankle to start the roll. Imagine that at high speed and waste the ankle...

--> Try to get it on your side, as it will gently lead you into the rolling motion and bleed off the impact force. <--

The hardest PLF is when you have only straight downward motion which makes it harder to get in the roll. Thankfully that's not the case with most of the landings, even under a stalled canopy...

The PLF saved my but on 16 military drops and one or two bad landings after my AFF...
The mind is like a parachute - it only works once it's open.
From the edge you just see more.
... Not every Swooper hooks & not every Hooker swoops ...

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People say a PLF won't help any more.



I would have to heartily disagree. The PLF has been my greatest tool in skydiving. Until recently I had two bad corneas so my depth perception well and truly sucked. If you asked any of my jumping friends, they would say that many times I've avoided some truly nasty injuries by being able to plf well. In fact, my S&TA is a S/L instructor, and he has been known to bring FJC students to the field to watch me land since I demonstrate the PLF so well. :)
Being able to PLF has definately been a great tool fo rme, and I am defiantely all for teaching it to students

-Blind
"If you end up in an alligator's jaws, naked, you probably did something to deserve it."

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I started off sport parachuting on rounds in the wilds of scotland (6 years ago) and of course had to do 2-3 hours of PLF training for that. I have to admit that it's saved my ass a couple of times since. In one bad accident that took me out of the sport for 18 months i PLF'd after a low turn, don't really want to think about what would have happened if I hadn't.

I think its worth everyone knowing how to do a properly executed PLF just for when things don't quite go as you intended them to go.

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Thought I'd bump this thread. I've seen folks referring to butt-slides to protect their knees; one of them just suffered a compression fracture of 3 vertebrae.

Personally, I'm not a big fan of butt-slides when you can't tolerate a landing on your feet, for exactly that reason.

Wendy W.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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wendy,

as you know i have has back surgery before for a comressed disc and i don't want to reinjur it again that is the same reason i don't slide in my landing if i can help it i'd much rather roll/ plf out of it if i can help it.... a good plf is great.. did a great one on my paracomander last wekend and non the worse for wear......... only thing is if you are flying a higher loaded square then it isn't really a clasic plf but more of feet then you sort of have to turn to the side and roll instead of just falling to one side like a "strait down" plf under a round.....

______________________________________
"i have no reader's digest version"

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I find your PLF procedures very interesting and I have a question. Do you ever have anyone in your classes that can't jump down from the tailgate because of pervious injuries and what do you do with them? I ask this because I have recently recovered from knee surgery and before I could jump again I was told I had to be able to do a PLF from a 2 ft bench and if my leg couldn't handle it then it probably couldn't handle a landing. I spent a couple of months in rehab and was eventually able to jump from a two foot bench, but it wasn't easy and took a lot of work. I was just curious if anyone else had a rule on how high off the ground their students had to be able to do a PLF.

DS

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Thanks for the response. I think I got good advice when I was told to wait until I could handle the 2 foot bench. I think it makes much more sense to get strong enough so in case you do have a hard landing you can handle it. I had a few people tell me to learn how to do the "butt slide" and then I wouldn't have to worry about it. I've made about 8 jumps since my surgery and most of them were PLF landings and I didn't hurt anything, but my new jump suit. I think you all are very smart for making people more aware of the need to be proficient at a good PLF. That's what has kept me in the sport.

DS

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