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gunsmokex

So I inadvertantly entered a swoop contest

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Well on the 4th jump on my canopy on jump #41 fresh off of my A-license I go and inadvertently enter a swooping contest.

4th jump on my canopy ever and the previous 3 jumps were in high winds. I overshot my target (the boobies), there were just two of us on a hop and pop and I watched the other jumper land already and canopy traffic wasn't an issue. So I thought to myself 'well hell I know can make those gates, I'll just go over there that looks like nice spot to land' :)

Haha little did I know the boogie was having a swooping contest I must have missed the announcement.

I entered the gates did a 1/2 flare and with no wind it drove a ways, finished off my flare and touched down and noticed an organizer standing there with a clip board "25yds" she says. I'm thinking to myself 'ok what does that mean' she's like "great job you hit the gates and did awesome!" I was like you are never going to believe this but that was my 4th time on this canopy on my 41st jump and my A-license isn't even a week old. Apparently I even beat a few people that weren't able to hit the gates. Maybe if they factored in my 1:1 wingloading per yard! Haha.

Anyways it makes for a great story and I had a blast! I was thinking well dammit I want to go to 13,500' I can hop out of Cessnas at home, had I never made that jump I wouldn't have a cool story. Don't worry I don't plan on swooping or downsizing anytime soon, I'm a member of SoFPiDaRF

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I have a Katana 120 for sale.
It is on classifieds, check it out, it might be a perfect wing for ya.

You don't wanna push it too hard and go x-brace right away, do 5-10 jumps on my wing over the weekend and just sell it after once you move on to velo next month.
Bernie Sanders for President 2016

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gunsmokex


Anyways it makes for a great story and I had a blast!



Glad you had a fun jump.

You might not have been told it yet, but it's critically important that you know what's going on at the DZ in terms of landing areas and patterns.
Even though it might seem like it's not a big deal, accidentally blundering into a swoop area is extremely dangerous both for you and for other jumpers. You say you know where the other guys on your lift was but you may have missed people, or there may have been multiple loads turning.

Make a plan - fly the plan.

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right? Meanwhile this guy is having a blast, there is a dude holding his breaks for god knows how long at 1500 ft, just waiting, getting pissed off by a second for wasting 20 bucks on a hop and pop.

fuck it, I'll swoop around the guy.
Bernie Sanders for President 2016

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stayhigh



fuck it, I'll swoop around the guy.




That's probably what Jessica Edgington thought, and is a more reckless attitude than the OP is displaying. You should know better.

Instead of being an asshole, just teach the guy. He has 40 jumps and a week-old A license...

If he keeps doing it, then you can be an asshole about it.

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I know the boogie in question :). And that explains some of the canopy shenanigans I saw!! As someone said above, make sure you're aware of all the different landing areas and ALWAYS check your TAP (traffic-altitude-postion)....especially at a new DZ and a boogie atmosphere.

Glad you had a good time, it was a tough weekend for sure with all the plane problems and weather holds, thanks for coming out!

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Points all well taken. Believe me I was definitely looking around for other traffic and I can definitely say with 100% confidence there were no other canopies in the sky besides me at the time. 2 of us got out of Cessna @ 4000' and the other 2 had to ride up to 10K. I watched the other hop and popper land his canopy while I was on base.

Anyways I know it was a mistake and definitely do realize how important canopy flow is at a bigger event like this. I had just went from one extreme of 20mph winds to 0 winds and I had turned in a little too soon. Definitely was not intentional at all, my student canopy I had been using in the past sunk in a lot faster but it should as it was an F 111 7-cell. This on was my 9 cell ZP and I definitely wasn't expecting that much glide out of it. I was testing it out in the air all weekend and did a high pull and then this hop n cop just for extra canopy time. But like I said I did definitely account for all other canopies in the air, which was me and me alone.

I did talk with the other hop and popper he didn't have all that many jumps either but he actually almost collided with some dude just walking across the landing area looking down at his phone with his head down, he yelled at him.... the guy didn't hear him so he avoided him and only got a few scrapes from the concrete. Dude didn't even really apologize. I'm going to definitely going to start learning how to do flare turns as I get more canopy time on my new canopy. I've got brake turns down but flare turns I haven't tried yet.

Believe me I definitely learned a lot in the 4 jumps in got and I don't want to ever stop learning.

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It saddens me to say that I am a retired competitive swooper (I just could not stay current with my swooping ever since I moved back to the much short jump seasons here in Canuckistan), but as a former competitive swooper I can tell you that during our swoop comps we were often on separate loads than the rest of the DZ was on. So you can never assume if you are the last person on your load to land, that there isn't a group of jumpers just above you setting up. So going for the gates wasn't the smartest thing to do. But if you messed up your approach on this one jump you messed it up and it is much better for you to land in the safest possible area instead of doing something stupid like making a low turn to avoid the swoop park. The lower canopy always has the right of way and it is the responsibility of the swooper (even if they are in the middle of a competition) to make sure they abort their swoop if there is conflicting traffic. I know it was a pain in the rear end, but in all the swoop comps I was in, the swooper was given a do over if they had to abort their swoop due to traffic.


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

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It's also worth remembering that turn initiation height can be well over 1000ft so you can think you have plenty of time/space but you really don't.

We have a separate high performance landing area at my home DZ but people still land there (as is their right), I generally try to remind people not to land in the courses that are set up at all and that, even though they could be the low person, they should be looking at that 700ft+ for potential traffic. It's still on the high person not to hit the low person but why make that job any harder than it needs to be?

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I really hesitate to say "the lower canopy always has the right of way". The vast majority of canopy collisions occur when the higher canopy fails to see the lower canopy. In that case "right of way" has no meaning other than assigning blame after the collision.

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raymod2

I really hesitate to say "the lower canopy always has the right of way". The vast majority of canopy collisions occur when the higher canopy fails to see the lower canopy. In that case "right of way" has no meaning other than assigning blame after the collision.



For sure once the turn starts there are moments where blind spots occur and space that appeared to be open in one moment of time can rapidly become occupied. Swooper friendly DZs need to place their swoop parks away from their other LZs to limit the conflicting traffic like when a low timer messes up their approaches. But the lower timers will always make mistakes as they learn to fly their canopies and we don't want them making low turns if their safety is in question. However with all that said, I think we can all agree that people not intending on swooping need to do their best to avoid the airspace in the vicinity of swoop parks.


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

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It's a message to everyone that, when they're the higher canopy, their ability to avoid a collision is substantially higher than a canopy that is lower than them. Taking into account the restricted visibility a lower canopy has that are caused by the wing above someone's head, this is even more the case. It's not just to assign blame, it's a real consideration of the restrictions and limitations that people have.

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yoink

***

fuck it, I'll swoop around the guy.



That's probably what Jessica Edgington thought....

I highly doubt it for two reasons:

1. I respect Jessica's decision-making
2. If she had seen the low canopy she certainly had the skills to avoid it.

The message to the OP is right .... learn from this experience. It is extremely important.
"The ground does not care who you are. It will always be tougher than the human behind the controls."

~ CanuckInUSA

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