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thrillseek

Swoopers, LAND OUT

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OK, here's my opinion. It is ONLY my opinion, but good advice nonetheless...Let the flames begin...:S

Too often we are hearing of collisions due to one swooper and one conservative landing pattern. Understandably, everyone wants to avoid a long walk back to the packing area, but when you have people in unpredictable patterns mingling with others doing downwind, base, and final, problems are GOING to arise. It's just common sense to predict this.
SO,
Every DZ should have an alternate landing area for either swoopers, or conservatives. Period. End of story. If they don't have the space for this, then they should outlaw hook turns. It sucks for me to say that, but it'll save lives.

Personally, i'd rather walk an additional 500 ft than end up cutting off or colliding with someone else.

I'd say it's about time for people to start taking more responsibility for the lives of their peers. Skydiving is fun, but it's serious fun.

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You know, if people did a proper pattern, then it would be a non-issue. They'd be predictable. Talk about piss someone off, don't fly a pattern, just hit your final, then s-turn to bleed altitude. That, IMHO, is more dangerous then a swooper that knows what he/she is doing and is flying a proper patter, setting up and landing in a predictable fasion.
--"When I die, may I be surrounded by scattered chrome and burning gasoline."

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Dave,
That's definately a part of it, people doing their patterns properly. That really pisses me off when someone either does an opposite pattern, or skips one of the elements of it, whether downwind, base, or final.
Regardless, the issue here, as it has been since high performance landings have gained popularity, is swoopers vs. conservative landers. 2 Landing areas is not only a good idea, but also the safest way we have to mediate the risk posed by 2 different styles of canopy flight. Safety first, right?

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unpredictable patterns mingling with others doing downwind, base, and final,



Which is which? Most of the swoopers I know fly more predictable patterns than the so called "conservative" landers do. The problem with separate landing areas is that they are not respected, by either group...

We once set up a swoop lane, and made announcements over the PA and on the AC, that only swoopers were to land in the lane, and that the swoopers should also not fly the beer line... guess what happend... so many "conservative" landers landed square in the middle of the lane and stood there, that all the swoopers went back to the beer line... I gave up on the idea because it was not worth my time to set up the lane in the morning.

J
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. - Edmund Burke

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You know, if people did a proper pattern, then it would be a non-issue. They'd be predictable. Talk about piss someone off, don't fly a pattern, just hit your final, then s-turn to bleed altitude. That, IMHO, is more dangerous then a swooper that knows what he/she is doing and is flying a proper patter, setting up and landing in a predictable fasion.
_________________________________________________

This is an excellent point. However, I find that quite
often I don't have the luxury of setting up a proper landing pattern due to the spot, in combination with my limited canopy skills (I have 15 jumps). At our DZ, I often see people coming in from all directions, conservative landers and swoopers both. Then of course there are the students who do the pattern but find they've overshot the landing area, so they try to bleed off altitude with S turns. Maybe it's the students who should be segregated. I know I've found myself overshooting more than once (after doing the appropriate pattern), and I sure don't want to cause an accident any more than I want to fly into a fence.

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I use to think this too, but there are a few considerations:

First - who is a swooper? Are we defining it by landing approach, wing loading, something else? Presumably, the dude under the Velocity at 2.4 doing 270s is, but what about the guy under the Stiletto at 1.8 doing 90s?

Second - As has been stated, a serious problem is the s-turners. It's happened to me more than once when I have a nice line picked out between 2 big puffy canopies, make my turn, and then one of them starts that s-turning on final shit. If anything, maybe knowing a freight train is coming down on their ass will make them think twice before fucking up the pattern.

Fly fast or fly slow - doesn't matter if you fly predictable and follow a pattern.

Canuck

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Another option is to take on whats happening at a lot of UK DZ's now. They have an "experianced landing area". The definitions of "experianced" I've encountered is anywhere between 500 - 800 jumps.

By god do you catch hell if you land in the wrong area...B|

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students are easier to control anyway...either or, ya know?? Perhaps have a student landing area and enforce it.

The idea is to control air traffic safely, not to diss people for their methods of landing...We are seeing way too many accidents or near misses due to inability to control our traffic. Anyone have any solutions?

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> Theres a small advantage for students of skydiving in a small club or DZ just with C182/206. Theres no ZOO in the air.

True, true; students at such DZs need only have their heads vigilantly on swivels for 3 to 7 other canopies trying to kill them / each other. :P

(I mean that in the motorcyclist / defensive driving way. I don't actually mean that the guys at my DZ scare me at pattern time.)

-=-=-=-=-
Pull.

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students are easier to control anyway...either or, ya know?? Perhaps have a student landing area and enforce it.
_______________________________________________
I like this idea. It seems like it's mainly the students and low timers that create the hazard. Separate them from the pack until they (we) can prove their ability to land safely and it's probably better for everyone.

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this is exactly what you get in england. There is always a designated student landing area... generally a long way off (well why the hell should we walk?) Then there is also the exp landing area.

Over the past year or so several dropzones have brought in a rule that leaves jumpers who have their B license but less than 500-800 jumps (depending on DZ) without a designated landing area.

The Students have one, the 800+ jumpers have one... and everone else can land anywhere they want other than the exp area... in practice they land as close to the manifest area as pos to save a walk.

Its not quite the same as seperating swoopers from everyone else but it can only have a positive effect.

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it's mainly the students and low timers that create the hazard



Perhaps at your DZ, but not all... I've seen plenty of experianced jumpers casue this problem, and are jsut being a pain in the ass... accuracy approaches to imaginary pees... Just as big a problem as swoopers having to swoop the beer line every jump.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. - Edmund Burke

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The idea isn't to punish people for being low-timers.
Separating the two groups is akin to keeping the fox away from the hens...neither is right or wrong, they're just doing what they do. Foxes eat hens like swoopers fly fast...Hens mill around like people doing s-turns. Facts of life.
I would think it is much easier to "put them in separate pens" than it is to try to either speed up the hens or slow down the foxes.

Ok, i'm feeling pretty eloquent here...i'm sure someone will just love to rip on this one:P

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My DZ has a general landning area for anyone, and a landing area for the D lic people. The D people all get to land in the backyard of our clubhouse. Its close so theres not a long walk, and there is a myrad of obstacles for people to interact with, etc. Anyone w/o a D pays a beer fine if they land there.
~D
Where troubles melt like lemon drops Away above the chimney tops That's where you'll find me.
Swooping is taking one last poke at the bear before escaping it's cave - davelepka

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Having seperate landing areas is a luxury most DZs won't have.

Swoopers (am I one by the way) need to know when it's okay to do that 270 (or whatever they do to gain speed) and when to abort their approach. It all depends on the air traffic conditions. At the same time we need to educate people not to perform long large s-turns while on final. The bottom line is that we all have to keep our eyes open. Swoopers need to be sensitive to the less aggresive canopy pilots so as not to cut them off. But it would also help if the less aggressive canopy pilots recognize when and how a swooper is setting up their 270 (or 90) hook turn.

One of the reasons why swoopers swoop the beer line (or any line) isn't just because we are trying to show off (sure we are trying to look good). But I like swooping a line because it really helps me with my accuracy. I believe I will become a much better canopy pilot if I can consistently swoop a line as opposed to swooping in an open field with nothing to use as a reference.


Try not to worry about the things you have no control over

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Every DZ should have an alternate landing area for either swoopers, or conservatives.



And what about DZs that don't have the room for an alternate landing area? Or DZs that have more room, but using it requires a walk back in? FYI, We have a bunch of usable land, and a separate student landing area about a half mile away.

BUT...the main landing area is right across the street from the DZ. The acceptable alternate (or second) experienced landing area is the next field down...which results in a walk of about 300 yards. The Primary landing area also has a concrete taxi way with a spread of gravel on it that works great for swoopers...as well as a wide open field to land in. There is a tall tree row on the North end of the field (with a very nasty obstacle on the other side of that), so there is certainly a level of expertise needed to land their safely (hence, the Student landing are and the bus to bring you back).

So, if you're going to have two landing areas, here's the question: Who gets the close, right across the street, no-walk landing area???

Do you give it to the swoopers because it has a special taxi way and the other hazards that experienced jumpers can more easily handle, while sending the more conservative jumpers down the road to the bigger wide open field (with a walk)? OR Do you give it to the conservative pilots because swoopers don't "have" to swoop, so why should the conservative pilots have to walk because they don't want to hook?

Because of a few near misses, we've been fighting over this for about 3 years now. And no one can seem to figure out a compromise.

I bring this up because we have the room to make an alternate field, but we still haven't done it. So, what do we do? Not wanting to alienate customers is a bitch, isn't it? :S


"...and once you had tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward.
For there you have been, and there you long to return..."

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Not wanting to alienate customers is a bitch, isn't it?:S



i know of one drop zone that doesn't allow hook turns at all, and it doesn't seem to have an effect on his business. we can beat this one to death if we half way tried. with the RW divers seemingly growing out of style, and VRW hybrids being the new fad, it certainly brings about many new questions and ideals from exit order to landing areas. i've been coming in for final before with 90% of the rw jumpers that were on the same load as i was standing around "high fiving" each other and looking at video. this is nothing more than cutting off the canopy landing area, which is already tight at some DZ's. i have been told to land by the swoop pond if i were to continue to land my canopy in the way i was, that's cool! :)
--Richard--
"We Will Not Be Shaken By Thugs, And Terroist"

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i know of one drop zone that doesn't allow hook turns at all



Then you get into "what is a hook turn" problems. For instance, I pretty much never do a "hook turn" (where you swing like a pendulum up then back under the canopy), BUT I do steep 270-deg approaches that is more of a carve. Did I "hook" nope, could someone call it a hook turn? Not by the true defination.

Banning "hook turns" still doesn't stop swooping. What if I'm doing a deep brake approach, sitting in deep brakes until I decide I'm low enough, letting them up to surge forward for speed to swoop with. Did I hook turn? Nope. Did I royally screw up the pattern and possibly cause serious issues for folks behind, above and below me? Yup.

Then you can ban front riser approaches. What if I need to use my frontrisers to get drive in the wind? Am I now grounded? Then folks might start doing toggle carves.

Basically, there is no clear cut ban-able thing (IMHO) that would solve this problem.

What would really do the most good is educating jumpers and having them fly proper patterns. Even if that means, since you're long, you don't get to land as close as you wanted to.
--"When I die, may I be surrounded by scattered chrome and burning gasoline."

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>You know, if people did a proper pattern, then it would be a non-
>issue. They'd be predictable.

This is true to an extent. However, swooping can range from 90's from base to final to 270 degree hooks from above the landing area. A jumper flying straight over the landing area, planning to do a 90+ plus turn to a landing on the edge of the field looks very much like a jumper setting up for a 270. (except for altitude, which is very hard to judge from above.) At a place like Perris, where the first person down sets landing direction, that can be a very bad thing - you have no idea which way the guy is going to land until he's a few seconds from landing.

I agree that if everyone flew a pattern that included at least a base and final into the wind it would help things out. However, many swoopers do not fly these parts of the pattern; their swoop starts from nearly directly overhead, from a heading that does not allow jumpers behind them to predict where they will end up. One reason I think that a separate landing area for 90+ turn swoopers is a good idea.

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[replyOne reason I think that a separate landing area for 90+ turn swoopers is a good idea.



What about when a seperate landing area is not an option?

I still feel that swoopers need to know when to proceed and when to abort their swoop. But we're not being painted in a very good light in this thread (maybe I'm just being a little too defensive).


Try not to worry about the things you have no control over

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