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This "2-stage flare" thing

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You seem to be focusing on that it MUST be a two stage flare with a pause in the middle. I am focusing on it being a smooth flare from start to finish.



So if a student starts to flare too high, you would not have them pause?

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When you land a plane, you do not flare part of the way and then stop and wait then continue (unless you flared too soon to start).



A parachute is not a plane so this analogy is irrelevant. Airplanes can touch down with much higher speeds than would be advisable to a skydiver. This creates the need for skydivers to develop a way to scrub off speed before touching down. This is achieved by creating horizontal flight and waiting for the airspeed to bleed off.

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At any rate, it is clear we are not going to agree.... And I don't care enough to go round and round anymore.



It's a shame you feel that way. I felt we were having a useful discussion. Thank you for your input.

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Frankly, I think you two are talking about similar technique but just calling it and visualizing it "slightly" different. (But in practice/application, it ends up with the same results, just some students 'get it' better with one description and others better with the other)

I like it when people argue about the semantics of something they agree on. Since I'm in engineering, I see it every day.:D

...
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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(edited)

This is pretty old conversation but I'm curious about your opinions. I've been taught and used for all of my 17 jumps - 2 stage flare. Simply:
- flare first to half brakes (hands around shoulder level)
- then finish all the way down

One or two times I started flaring too high. So I kept it at half brakes for good few seconds and finished right before touch down. Other times I started at exactly right level so I executed 1st and 2nd stage right after - which ended up looking like ONE smooth movement.

I think it's good approach for students as it allows them to start too high (by mistake) and still have some of the flare power left as they touch down.

Edited by CoolBeans

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On 7/5/2019 at 5:40 PM, CoolBeans said:

This is pretty old conversation but I'm curious about your opinions. I've been taught and used for all of my 17 jumps - 2 stage flare. Simply:
- flare first to half brakes (hands around shoulder level)
- then finish all the way down

One or two times I started flaring too high. So I kept it at half brakes for good few seconds and finished right before touch down. Other times I started at exactly right level so I executed 1st and 2nd stage right after - which ended up looking like ONE smooth movement.

As I mentioned, I am not a fan of calling it a "two stage flare" because it's not.  It's one smooth movement.  But if thinking about a "two stage flare" lets you get that one smooth movement, then it works for you.

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14 minutes ago, billvon said:

As I mentioned, I am not a fan of calling it a "two stage flare" because it's not.  It's one smooth movement.  But if thinking about a "two stage flare" lets you get that one smooth movement, then it works for you.

Well, I did once or twice start flaring too high and then I would stop & freeze with my hands around shoulder level for good few seconds. It wasn't one smooth movement then.

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I'm no instructor, but I still think there may be a confusion of terms?

As I understood it, the 2 "stages" refer to the 2 goals that you want to achieve:
Stage 1: level out the flight path of the canopy to (more or less) parallel to ground
Stage 2: Bleed off the forward speed and eventually bring the canopy (as close as possible) to a full stop

It is NOT meant to (necessarily) describe 2 distinct stages of what you DO, such as:
1: Flare to half breaks
2: Wait and then finish the flare

So, HOW you achieve the 2 goals, is entirely up to you and probably depends on a number of factors.
I do have to say though, and I know that some instructors have told me I was wrong on this (let the flogging begin!!!), but I still think it's because they haven't flown one of these parachutes for a long long time:
When I was renting Navigators at my DZ, there was really only ONE way to get them to level out and that was to yank down the toggles pretty hard and then stop and wait, as they would react with a slight delay. This had to be timed perfectly right. Then you could smoothly finish the flare to stop their forward speed.

Ever since I switched to more common sports canopies, and eventually my trusty Spectre, I finally understood what they meant by a dynamic, continuous flare. These parachutes react immediately to the input and I can therefore level them out and bleed out the speed with a continuous flare which I adjust moment to moment with the feedback I get from the canopy.
I really don't think that this was quite possible with the Navigator, at least not the ones I rented--but of course, I was inexperienced as well.

BTW: I recently jumped in Austria and had to rent student gear, because I did not want to get my rig on an international flight, and that was all the rental gear they had: I did not even try to level the flight path out but just did a continuous slow flare, slowing down the descent without having any "swoop" over the ground. (I know, I know, I'm never swooping as such, but even with my 7-cell there is usually a distinctly long time that I fly straight over the ground before I stop, at least at low winds)

 

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I still go with the term two-stage flare as a general convenient and accepted skydiving term. It doesn't properly explain every possible variation in how one might describe or do it, but it is a reasonable term to use. 

However when teaching a canopy course, I tell newbie jumpers that one could call it a variety of things, like a four stage flare or -- to go to extremes -- an infinite stage flare as one is always evaluating the response and adjusting based on canopy motion and location. Two stages may be all one smooth movement or two completely separate actions with a stop in between, depending on what effect the first stage had for you.

One could for example talk about stages like this, if the canopy does have some speed:

1. Start the motion to plane out (plus any feedback, evaluation, and adjustment at any of these stages),  2. Be almost planed out but allowing oneself to slowly descend from an initial plane out height to a desired final plane out height (say, 2 ft off the ground in case of error while learning to do this, to 6" off the ground with legs pulled up slightly), 3. Completely plane out at that final height, 4. Finish the flare to step down onto the ground or run it out,  or give an extra fast final flare to pop up to minimize speed and stand up the landing. 

Or if it is a newer student on a very lightly loaded canopy, one might say the flare is more like:

1. Start the flare to some predetermined arm position, 2. Evaluate how the flare is going, 3. Decide whether to wait a bit to descend more before finishing the flare, or whether to finish the rest of the flare right away.

So there are plenty of different ways to describe a "two-stage" flare, depending on the audience and their experience level and canopy, and how you want to teach it.

 

 

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14 hours ago, mbohu said:

I'm no instructor, but I still think there may be a confusion of terms?

As I understood it, the 2 "stages" refer to the 2 goals that you want to achieve:
Stage 1: level out the flight path of the canopy to (more or less) parallel to ground
Stage 2: Bleed off the forward speed and eventually bring the canopy (as close as possible) to a full stop

Agreed.  Unfortunately it is usually taught as described by the above poster, namely:

 I've been taught and used for all of my 17 jumps - 2 stage flare. Simply:
- flare first to half brakes (hands around shoulder level)
- then finish all the way down

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The Flight-1 courses teach the two-stage flare as described above with the first stage being the "sweet spot" where you plane out and your body is directly underneath the leading edge, thus arresting your vertical descent, then a distinct movement where you rotate your hands and finish the flare straight down as far as you can push, keeping your arms in line with your torso.  I'm not here to debate what's "right" or "wrong" because I lack the experience to say one or the other.  Just pointing out that that's what they are teaching.  I just took the 101 and 102 courses two weeks ago.

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(edited)

I also recognize landing as two motions. It is not smooth as mentioned by some above. Flare starts at 0:15. This was my first jump on this canopy, this technique never let me down since you can find that "surf" sweet spot on any wing while testing it in the air. The timing and transition from 1st to 2nd stage is very dependant on the weather conditions during the jump day. Winds, temperature and other variables.

 

Edited by Maddingo

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For those who have jumped 9-cells but now jump a 7-cell (I have an old Triathlon with 4.0 mod):  how is your flare different?  Personally, I've found it takes a quicker flare to get it to plane out (versus a slow & steady like a 9-cell), I figure because a 7-cell sinks more than it glides.  I've also found I need to flare a tad earlier with my Tri - perhaps because of its faster descent rate.  The rest is the same once I've planed out.

Judging the right flare altitude & how quickly to flare has been tricky.  I've found myself sliding in at half brakes, or planing out high enough I prepared to PLF.  And I've waited too long, realized it, so did a fast top-to-bottom - still landed on my feet, but I would credit luck more than technique.  The only time I've gotten my Tri to pop back up was the same situation, but was after the 4.0 mod on a windy day when my brake lines were too short - maybe popped back up a foot, then it gently set me down on my feet.  Again, wouldn't do that on purpose.  Anybody else jump a 7-cell that can explain their flare?  Call it what you want, terminology isn't my concern.

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