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kkeenan

Barrel Roll on Trackoff - Skydive Radio Interview

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I know this has been discussed here several times, and the consensus among experienced folks seemed to be, IIRC, that it was a bad idea.

On a recent Skydive Radio podcast, They discussed a canopy collision at Summerfest, and the 150-ish jump person involved said that she would be sure to, "barrel roll before pulling in the future". Show guest, Rook Nelson and host, Dave Schwartz seemed to agree that this was a good idea.

I agree with posters on the earlier discussion, who said that this was not an effective solution, and could even cause extra problems because of the difficulty of maintaining tracking speed and holding a heading, especially for lower-experienced jumpers.

What say you, unwashed DZ.com masses ?

Kevin K.
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I agree with posters on the earlier discussion, who said that this was not an effective solution, and could even cause extra problems because of the difficulty of maintaining tracking speed and holding a heading, especially for lower-experienced jumpers.

What say you, unwashed DZ.com masses ?.

I say if a barrel roll during tracking is a problem for you, you have no business on the jump where you are asked to perform one.
scissors beat paper, paper beat rock, rock beat wingsuit - KarlM

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I agree with posters on the earlier discussion, who said that this was not an effective solution, and could even cause extra problems because of the difficulty of maintaining tracking speed and holding a heading, especially for lower-experienced jumpers.

What say you, unwashed DZ.com masses ?.

I say if a barrel roll during tracking is a problem for you, you have no business on the jump where you are asked to perform one.




Ever had a big way organizer ask you TO do one?

There's probably a good reason they don't...;)










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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What kind of jump was it, the one with the collision?

My personal view, after seeing a lot of the previous discussions is this:

For normal jumps, whether belly or freefly, there is no need for a barrel roll because the dive and trackoff are designed not to require it. This is for normal jumps where you have to be able to trust that everyone else is following the same game plan, and carrying out their responsibilities properly.

But when (for whatever reason) you end up in a shit show and can't trust others with your life, then a barrel roll may help in avoiding a midair, a benefit that may outweigh the loss of tracking distance & altitude.

I don't know for sure, but I'd think the barrel roll would typically be done towards the end of the track, so it is not like a small error in heading will make a large difference in final position.

One does end up spending a little less time looking in the normal direction (e.g., down & forward in bellyfly), in order to briefly scan a wider arc (e.g., above).

If you are willing to pull lower than others, that can even mean that no tracking distance is lost. Where others are starting to pull, there's time for a roll, as long as you don't mind going lower. And that's easy these days, given how high people pull.

So: I never barrel roll... except in those few instances where I think the situation is dangerous enough for me to think it safer to do so.

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It's a terrible idea for the reasons you stated, trouble maintaining heading and track angle through the barrel roll.

The other idea is that you're not going to see much on a barrel roll. You'll get a 'flash' of the sky as you complete the roll, not enough to scan the area and asses the situation.

The rule in skydiving is that the low jumper has the right of way. With that in mind, that's where you're attention should be focused, the area below you. During your track, that's where you're going, and that's where you should be looking.

When pull time comes up, and you have been watching the area below you during your track, you can glance over your shoulder, or just go with a good wave off. That's the procedure, that's how it works.

The way you make it work is by 'learning' to track properly. Jumpers need to go beyond the AFF or A license training, and really learn to do a good, fast, flat track, where they can get up to speed quickly and have control over their heading.

The next thing you do is establish a sensible break off altitude with your pull altitude and the size of the skydive in mind. Bigger jumps need a higher breakof, and you need to stick to it.

Think about it people - imagine if EVERYONE was a strong tracker, and broke off 2000 ft before their pull altitude (for a 5 or 6 way max) do you think there would be any problems with seperation?

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The earlier discussion covered it pretty well, I thought.

You need to be scanning for the low man who is about to dump in your face. And he should be waving off, and you have no business being right above him when he does.

None of what you can see if you are on your back scanning the stratosphere.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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For normal jumps, whether belly or freefly, there is no need for a barrel roll because the dive and trackoff are designed not to require it. This is for normal jumps where you have to be able to trust that everyone else is following the same game plan, and carrying out their responsibilities properly.

But when (for whatever reason) you end up in a shit show and can't trust others with your life, then a barrel roll may help in avoiding a midair, a benefit that may outweigh the loss of tracking distance & altitude.



I kinda agree with this, but it depends on skill level. As a higher experienced person who often is organizing less experienced people, it helps for me. I can't always keep track of everyone during the skydive (in a blind spot while maintaing a formation, leave early for some wierd reason, etc etc), but my overall tracking capabilities generally let me out track everyone. Sometimes I just get that scary feeling that someone is somehow above me, then I roll and check.

My circumstances are different than most though, I lead a lot of tracking dives on my back (and can roll on heading), can track almost as fast on my back, and can roll a wingsuit to backfly on heading. It's just a different skill set I am working from.

It's not something I would ever do on a real bigway cause I expect those people to know what they are doing or not be on the jump. But when jumping with low experience people who I can't be sure will see a wave off, or me below them at pull time if they somehow have managed to keep up with me, I gotta look out for myself.
~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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It's not something I would ever do on a real bigway cause I expect those people to know what they are doing or not be on the jump.



It doesn't matter if its a big way or a two or four way, the same applies. If they are inexperienced, they need to be properly briefed, and carefully watched until they can demonstrate the requisite skills to complete every aspect of the dive safely.

As the experienced organiser, these drills are part of what you should be instilling in them, and they should not be progressing on to anything bigger until they have demonstrated their skills consistently.

Its why it is a good idea to have small groups jumping together on a regular basis, rather than chopping and changing the loads around with new individuals.

Easier to do on a small DZ operation though.....
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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What kind of jump was it, the one with the collision?



As I recall from the interview, it was a 6 or 8 way hybrid that did not come together correctly. The original break off plan was not possible and there was not secondary plan.

The two jumpers did not pull at the same altitude but one sniveled a long way, putting her on the level with the other jumper.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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this topic comes up more and more. Is it because we back track away from head down dives at the BEGINNING of the breakoff? (and thus people think it's appropriate at the end when everyone should be doing a normal track by then.....) - serious question.


I'm hearing more and more people talk about clearing with a barrel roll. I, personally, don't think it's a good idea 99% of the time. Seems that the evolution of the sport continues to generate a lot of good new ideas and some bad ideas at the same time. Here's a place where experienced jumpers can train this ahead of time and touch on during safety day briefings.

...
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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If you do it for fun at the end of a freefly dive no problem.



Backtrack away at the end of the relative portion of the dive to keep the fall rate transition more gradual (avoids corking). Roll to belly during the back track and finish on a normal track.

No one has ever said to me barrel roll at the end of the track, just back track on breakoff. (Now I'm hearing mixed discussions from newer and more experienced jumps - but not the pure belly folks, just the FFers and those that do both)

the back track is for safety at breakoff, not for fun, really. or so I've been taught.

Would be nice to have some of the more experienced FF'ers confirm or deny this here.

...
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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It's just a different skill set I am working from.



though likely true for you, how many others will also claim this also?

(Actually, if I get that creepy feeling someone might just be above me, I don't roll, I just check over the shoulder a little longer than my normal and really exaggerate the wave off. I really wonder just how big a blind spot from a traditional airspace check there is. Seems that we can see quite a lot unless we have neck issues.)

...
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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It's not something I would ever do on a real bigway cause I expect those people to know what they are doing or not be on the jump.



It doesn't matter if its a big way or a two or four way, the same applies. If they are inexperienced, they need to be properly briefed, and carefully watched until they can demonstrate the requisite skills to complete every aspect of the dive safely.

As the experienced organiser, these drills are part of what you should be instilling in them, and they should not be progressing on to anything bigger until they have demonstrated their skills consistently.

Its why it is a good idea to have small groups jumping together on a regular basis, rather than chopping and changing the loads around with new individuals.

Easier to do on a small DZ operation though.....



You're mixing theory with what really happens. I try to avoid skydives like this, but there is only so much you can do and when they are gonna do it with or without, generally it helps to give it some direction.

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though likely true for you, how many others will also claim this also?


Yeah who knows, inability judge one's own level of performance and all. Seems pretty rampant right?

Edit to add: To clarify some, I mean, I would say I would find myself in this situation a couple of times a season at most where I am wondering if someone might be above me or not.

Generally on things like speed stars where they funnel and people are everywhere and it's still only 8k. Who knows where everyone is gonna end up on that stuff.
~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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Most people I see these days pull at 3500 or thereabouts - would it not be a bit safer to track farther and take it lower if you are not sure about your air being clear?
I have no problem pulling at 2K, and can be pretty darn certain everyone else on the dive will have deployed by then - on the other hand I am not certain I could maintain my speed and heading while barrel rolling (although I have never tried it to see).
And if you did barrel roll and happen to see someone above you, arent you just going to have to suck it down anyways?

As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD...

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Think about it people - imagine if EVERYONE was a strong tracker, and broke off 2000 ft before their pull altitude (for a 5 or 6 way max) do you think there would be any problems with seperation?



[smartass] Yes, the separation from the other groups in the load[/smartass] :P:)
"That formation-stuff in freefall is just fun and games but with an open parachute it's starting to sound like, you know, an extreme sport."
~mom

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To those who barrel roll....what do you do if you see someone above you? You've already, in most cases, interupted your track and heading....do you resume tracking and barrel roll again? What do you do with this information then if someone is still above you? Learning to track efficiently may not be as 'cool' as barrel rolling on the gopro....but I would argue that it is a better use of your altitude.

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To those who barrel roll.....what do you do if you see someone above you



An awkward issue indeed.

You may not have much time to track much further, or track at a new angle, or take it much lower... but the options are still better than having pulled instead.

There is the argument against rolling that maybe someone caught up with you because you wasted some of your track barrel rolling. That's possible, but usually they shouldn't have been on your radial, making it a dangerous situation. And if they were coming up on you, they probably should have stopped short or pulled higher.

(It would be awkward in a barrel roll if you glimpse someone behind and above you, but quite likely you don't have enough time in the roll to confirm their forward speed and whether they were about to dump. There may not be a danger, but what one saw then encourages one to take it lower than desirable before pulling. That is a problem with the roll.)

Having a good track and making as much distance as possible is indeed nice.

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To those who barrel roll....what do you do if you see someone above you? You've already, in most cases, interupted your track and heading....do you resume tracking and barrel roll again? What do you do with this information then if someone is still above you?[email] Learning to track efficiently may not be as 'cool' as barrel rolling on the gopro....but I would argue that it is a better use of your altitude

:o:oas you say, learn to track efficiently.. if you need to stop to barrel roll, you do have a problem indeed.

If I see someone above, i will make sure he receives a huge waveoff and doesn't collide me on opening
scissors beat paper, paper beat rock, rock beat wingsuit - KarlM

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if you have someone right above you, will you dump in his face ? or try some avoidance by tracking even further or a bit lower ?



I always track the furthest and open lower than anyone else, on every RW jump I do if I can't account for everyone else on the load. Usually dumping at 2 grand.

Anyone above me at that point is going to eat my pilot chute, and then face a bit of wrath on the ground......I will definitely think twice about jumping with that person again, until they can demonstate use of a brain...

Breakoff protocol though, is something, that should always be reiterated during every dirt dive,

BTW I don't advocate anyone else going low, I'm comfortable doing so though.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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Most people I see these days pull at 3500 or thereabouts - would it not be a bit safer to track farther and take it lower if you are not sure about your air being clear?
I have no problem pulling at 2K, and can be pretty darn certain everyone else on the dive will have deployed by then - on the other hand I am not certain I could maintain my speed and heading while barrel rolling (although I have never tried it to see).
And if you did barrel roll and happen to see someone above you, arent you just going to have to suck it down anyways?


if you pull at 2k when are you in the saddle by? What is your decision altitude? That seems to be cutting it a little close unless your safire tends to open fast. I pulled in a wingsuit with a sabre1 from 2k and I am usually fully in the saddle by 1,500. Pretty low by most standards to be assessing your canopy whether you're going to keep it or not. Not something that I'd think is a good idea.

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