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palejo

First flat spin

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My first one, check URL to watch it

http://www.skydivingmovies.com/ver2/pafiledb.php?action=file&id=6455

Me on my S-Fly and my friend with his M1. Approaching me from the right he went under me and his burble put me on my back and spinning. It happened really fast and I hit his container but nothing hard. Balling up fixed the situation. I think I lost like 2 grands trying to stop it, but it happened pretty high any ways. I was out of it by 7 grands.
Kuddos to Lou and others in this forum for the good advise on balling up. I'll stick to it the next time again.
Alejandro
B27585

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:D Looks like you went for a little ride there;). Good job identifing it, correctly handling it, and recovering from it.



Yeap! Nothing close to what I wanted the jump to be but exciting any ways. Thanks again for the advise bro. I guess now I need to learn how to fly the WS on my back.
Alejandro
B27585

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Had my first one too last saturday...
28 WS flight, solo jump, first try to barell roll. :$
I left 1 arm opened during transition, that kept me on my back (duh!) and started to spin. First reaction was to arch (instinct?), that didnt work and I balled up. Opened wings when I was facing earth. I was high and I recovered quick, Im guesing about 4-5 rotations, so it wasnt THAT scary. Actually it was kinda fun.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUVHB4W2JaE
HISPA #93
DS #419.5


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Nice ride - good job recovering.

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I think I lost like 2 grands trying to stop it, but it happened pretty high any ways.



This makes me think about working time. I usually pull at 4k and would not like to pull under 3.5k.
Is loosing 2k of altitude typical for this situation? If yes, this would mean to stop working at 6k to 5.5k even on a 2-way. Imagine this type of action starting at 4.5k finding yourself just recovering at 2.5k. Sounds scary to me.
I often worked on 2-ways until my pulling altitude since my buddy pulls at 3.5k and I pull at 4.5k then - maybe I should rethink this. :)
For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.

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Is loosing 2k of altitude typical for this situation?



I'd say it's incredibly rare. I've only ever once or twice seen someone lose more than a few tens of feet after being burbled, let alone a few thousand.
Do you want to have an ideagasm?

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This makes me think about working time. I usually pull at 4k and would not like to pull under 3.5k.
Is loosing 2k of altitude typical for this situation? If yes, this would mean to stop working at 6k to 5.5k even on a 2-way. Imagine this type of action starting at 4.5k finding yourself just recovering at 2.5k. Sounds scary to me.
I often worked on 2-ways until my pulling altitude since my buddy pulls at 3.5k and I pull at 4.5k then - maybe I should rethink this. :)



Hi benedikt,

I dont see any reason to break off higher on a two way, with a flatspin being the specific reason for extra altitude.

Though a flatspin can come with a lot of altitude loss, it mostly depends on your reaction, and how severe it is.
And keep in mind most people who fly a wingsuit will probably never experience one.

Flatspins dont happen often, but when they do, its typicaly only on exit, during special manouvres, and on sometimes on bumps when people have lost sight/track of eachother and suddenly make an unexpected pass.

Quite often, then the flatspin happens when people close their armwings, as a reaction to someone burbling them. Or out of fear of falling on top of someone. Or, during a barrelroll or other manouvre, when they close the armwings, but keep the legwing open, and then twist themselves around..

Just always keep flying your wingsuit.
If you slip/slide on top of someone, dont push off or close your armwings to duck. Just keep flying and you'll be fine.

And when it comes to trying new things on solo jump (loops/rolls etc) set yourself a 'safe' altitude bellow which you wont be initiating any new moves.
This so you have the altitude that you want/need to do what you want to do.
When I just started backflying, I wouldnt do it bellow 6000 ft, as I sometimes ended up spinning towards the earth on my back.
Now Im fine flying on my back till just a few seconds before pulltime at 3K.

Given 2500 ft is a low, but do-able minimum opening altitude for a wings. Your seperation/pull heigh of 4500 ft still gives your a large margin for recovery, SHOULD anything ever happen.
Though you probably wouldnt want to be in a situation where you are opening at 2500 ft, its still way within safety limits (in terms of having a normal canopy flight and not worry about AAD fire)

So as usual when I reply...a lot of words saying....no...I dont think you would have to be seperating any higher because of flatspins maybe happening.

But also note..if seperating a 500 ft or more higher makes you feel a lot better about the skydive, your own comfort and safety is much more important then those few extra seconds of working time.
So just base your seperation and pull altitude on what you are happy and comfortable with..and dont open lower because other people do..
JC
FlyLikeBrick
I'm an Athlete?

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Just had my first serious flat spin as well, thought I'd share the experience...

Doing a solo flight (no video) on my Phoenix Fly Ghost2, specifically working on barrel rolls. Came out of the second barrel roll in some way that instigated a spin.

I balled up as soon as I felt the spin, probably about half a rotation. But for some reason, balling up made the spin faster. Centrifugal force? Or maybe I collapsed my arms before my legs, not really sure.

One thing was for sure, after a couple rotations, I couldn't fully bring my knees up to my chest due to g-force. I could only get my knees and legs about half bent (and I'm fairly athletic). My arms were tucked against my chest, so I reached down to grab my knees to pull them in. I was able to pull them in a bit, but not much. I saw that my leg wing indeed had a little bit of inflated material sticking out between my shins. I grabbed that with my hands to deflate and pinched it between my knees.

As I was looking down working on my legs, I saw my wing cutaway handles, and given that I'd probably lost a good amount of altitude, ripped them out, then arched (keeping my knees and feet together). I instantly became stable, belly to earth, and thus pulled.

I think I probably started the spin around 8k and was out by 5k. I believe I was spinning on my side. The g-forces in the spin were pretty strong. I definitely felt blood rushing to my head, but no where near losing consciousness.

Not quite sure what I would do differently if I find myself in the same situation. My concern with doing anything but balling up, such as arching, would increase the rotation rate. From some of the videos I've been watching since, it looks like others experience the same problem with g-forces and balling up.

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Doing a solo flight (no video) on my Phoenix Fly Ghost2, specifically working on barrel rolls. Came out of the second barrel roll in some way that instigated a spin.



This is usually related to a legwing that is kept open in the barrelroll.
It will initiate a 180 degree turn when coming out, and when combining that with an instant tucking of armwings to correct, or a weird twisty turn, you can cartwheel it into a spinning orientation.

Try grabbing your ankles if normal balling up doesnt work (sometimes one can end up pushing the wing down on the relative/turning wind, instead of pulling it in).

The legwing is causing the flatspin (you're basicialy a human propellor).

Though cutting the armwings away is a psycological thing that has gotten more people out of a spin, in most cases its actually counter productive (next to an emergency procedure that, unlike your main/reserve handles, can vary if you own suits of various brands/models..so never the same in terms of where handles are..).

But regardless of advised actions...good job on getting out of it..

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Not quite sure what I would do differently if I find myself in the same situation. My concern with doing anything but balling up, such as arching,



A simple arch (or lazy 'delta') can fly you out of a spin in 99,9% of the cases. You went to step two immidiately.

Its a three step recovery.

1. Arch
2. Ball up
3. Canopy....(better a main at 5000 ft with 20 linetwists, than a reserve wraped around your body, deployed by a cypres..)
JC
FlyLikeBrick
I'm an Athlete?

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Balling up accomplishes one thing and the most important thing....stopping the flat spin, ie: on your back spinning like a record. You will see/feel an increase in speed/tumbling once you stop the flat spin and are still balled up , thats general instability you are experiencing and the speed is from the transitioning from a flat spin to a balled up style tuck position. Dealing with the instability is done in the same way you would deal with it on a normal skydive. In this instance, orientating yourself to where the ground is and opening the arm wings, which is followed by opening the leg wing and resuming flight.

It sounds like you were quick in stopping the flat spin but remained in the semi-balled up position you described longer than was necessary. You essentially were in a style tuck which can produce a good deal of rotation. At that point had you just dealt with the instability as you normally would and just arched and not pulled your wing cutaways, I am fairly confident the results would have been the same...a stable belly to earth position.

The only way to stop a flat spin is to remove as much of the surface area that is generating the spin as possible as quickly as possible. That is why balling up into a fetal position is the correct way to stop a flat spin. Doing this breaks the actual flat spin which is where the G forces will eventually cause blackout. It does not however stop tumbling and or instability. This is why one must be able to identify when the flat spin has been dealt with, which is the rapid spinning, and when one is now in a tumble and or un-stable orientation.

It is entirely possible to stop the flat spin and still be tumbling on any of the axis because you are curled up into a ball. There is a marked difference between a flat spin and tumbling and this is where the jumper must be able to differentiate. How does one differentiate? This is where prior experiences gained from doing acrobatics in a wingsuit and or tumbling on a normal skydive come into play as they serve as your frame of reference for determining when you've gone from being in a washing machine on spin cycle to simply tumbling.

Once you've established that you are simply tumbling, you need to make an effort to regain stability. That usually involves stopping any rotation and or returning to a belly to earth orientation. The important part here is that the jumper must know that they must do something. Simply balling up and staying balled up is not a solution and it will not return a jumper to a belly to earth orientation. The jumper must make an effort to stop the tumbling/instability and regain a stable belly to earth orientation. It can be viewed as a 3 step process:

1. Stop the flat spin: Ball up into fetal position....which leads to #2
2. Stop the tumbling: Regain stability using arms and then legs and or roll over once the location of the ground is known..which leads to #3
3. Resume flying


Glad to hear you are Ok and now you have the experience under your belt. If you continue to do acrobatics, be aware that it will very likely happen again. Next time it does happen, you will be even better prepared. Stay safe.:)
"It's just skydiving..additional drama is not required"
Some people dream about flying, I live my dream
SKYMONKEY PUBLISHING

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Your mileage may vary, but arching and/or even flying out of a spin is proven the most productive method, and should be the first thing to try.

Last years video from Zflock has a nice example by Scotty Burns..(which i think is one of the quickest spins on video)


1. Arch
2. Ball up
3. Canopy


The 3 step list you post, is only the explanation that comes with #2 on the above list.
But its ignoring two other important recovery techniques (that are especially important on wingsuits with long tailwings, and armwing roots beyond the knees) is just such a big miss in potential emergency situations..

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If you continue to do acrobatics, be aware that it will very likely happen again.



'very likely' is far from true...and turning a simple (flat)spin into the very demonic thing that makes people freak out first at the 'horror' when it happens.

If you never practice acrobatics, you're more likely to not know how to react. A lot of simple instabilities are often labeled flat-spin, as people start messing with cutaway cables and a lot of other methods that potentially cause more harm than they do good.

Dont fear a spin..its only a spin. And its caused by a lack of armwing, a large legwing acting as a helicopter blade due to the angle. And usually an unstable cartwheel like motion initiating it.
Whatever it may be called...its just a spin..and you should always first refer to what you know...and just try flying out of it (which is also how you tend to get a plane out of a flatspin).
The forward verctor/motion you create will stop the spin in 90% of the cases.

And you have 3 steps (not just the 1 you mention) that help you get out of it, or at least get a canopy overhead.
I know you dont fly a lot of (current day) big suits, and thus may not feel the need to include it in the briefing.

But Ive witnessed so many people stopping spins by simply arching and flying out of it..it is, and should always be the first thing to try.
With balling up, being the 2nd step...and a main canopy the last ditch effort.
JC
FlyLikeBrick
I'm an Athlete?

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Yesterday, Jim Hickey had a pretty nasty flatspin in his Super Mach 1.
He'd been trained to ball up, but chose to arch and track out in the dive.
I asked him why, because I knew he'd been trained to ball up.
He pointed out (correctly, IMO) that big suits and balling up don't work. Not only because of the inflation, but also because in a big suit there is still an assymetrical extension beyond the arms and/or feet. In my Stealth2, the tail cannot be completely collapsed. I've tried it (also have played with spin recovery in it). You cannot ball up in this suit.
I need good video of a flatspin other than the vids I shot of Nebelkopf intentionally flatspinning in Sebastian. Happy to pay/trade folks for some good flatspin video from the outside view.

IMO, it's important for people that fly bigger suits to know that generally, balling up will not have a big impact like collapsing, arching hard, and potentially grabbing feet.
Just like we teach in AFF...Arching hard will always put you belly to earth. Collapsing the wings and tail kills the assymetrical surface causing the spin. Flying out is easy at that point, and equally important in a dive with multiple people...you're predictable. We know where you're coming out of the spin and which direction you'll head.

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I do not advocate the arching out of it technique because I feel it is misleading and causes people to waste time and allows a real flat spin to build momentum. If you can arch out of it, you are not in a real flat spin, you are experiencing a form of instability no matter how exciting or fast you think it is. In terms most people can relate to, a merry go round best demonstrates the difference. Most people remember as a kid laying on the merry go round on their back as someone spun it to the point where you could feel the G forces and you could not move, that is a flat spin. Since we are talking about something that happens in a split second and a decision that has to be made by the jumper in another split second wasting time trying to arch is not a good course of action in my opinion, balling up in a fetal position is. If it turns out to not be a serious flat spin but just some instability you can recover quickly and resume flying. If it is a true flat spin, you stopped it before it built momentum and returned to flight. It is also easier to remember when you are hit with one. BAM!...what do I do? Ball up. How easy is that for the brain to process and the body to do?



In my book, Skyflying Wingsuits in Motion I cover skills that need to be mastered before moving into acrobatics which addresses flat spins and instability issues that can be encountered while attempting these moves. That section could also be a good primer for someone before going to a larger suit.


One thing I have seen recently that needs to made clear that when balling up all the wings must be collapsed. Recent flatspin incidents have video showing the jumper pulling their knees to their chest but not collapsing the tail wing. The jumper MUST close their legs until their knees and ankles touch one another while balling up. Likewise the arm wings must be collapsed as much as possible by ensuring the elbows are tight against the torso. This is even more crucial as some suits have very large arm wings that extend down the torso to the mid thigh area. On some leg wings, the wing may stay inflated even when your knees and ankles are touching. However, reducing the actual wing surface,whether the inflated leg wing pops in front of your legs or behind when they are closed, will still aid in stopping the flat spin. From that point, arching and or rolling back over onto your stomach is the fix to deal with the instability issue that follows.
"It's just skydiving..additional drama is not required"
Some people dream about flying, I live my dream
SKYMONKEY PUBLISHING

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It is also easier to remember when you are hit with one. BAM!...what do I do? Ball up. How easy is that for the brain to process and the body to do?



All of us were taught during AFF to arch hard when unstable. The hard arch is also the most basic component of the skydive that everyone is taught. And easy to invoke and remember regardless of type of suit being worn.

Most that fly really large suits seem to agree that arching hard with everything collapsed (closed heels, knees, elbows in to sides with hands back or on chest like we exit the aircraft) is the best and most effiicient method.

Some others feel that balling up is the best technique.

YMMV, and it's obviously a personal choice with a great deal of debate surrounding the chosen method.

At one time, the prevailing school of thought was to cut away wings in a flat spin or unstable flight. Over time, that's been recognized as a mistake. In other words, as experience and suit designs change (such as low wingroot suits) so does the methodology of dealing with issues.

Whether it's a "real" flatspin or not, the exercise is to get out of any unintentional spin ASAP, regardless of the method one chooses.

Choose a method, practice it over a couple skydives so that it feels "right" to you.
The best time to find out whether your suit will completely collapse (or not) shouldn't be during an emergency.

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I strongly advice looking at a lot of instability/spin recovery videos, and jumping some airlocked wingsuits with the wingroot past the upper leg (where half the wing doesnt collapse, even when you ball up).

There are a lot of videos and stories of people spending half the jump trying to 'ball up', withoyt results. The argurment 'its in my book'
is a bad one to skim/ignore 2 important recovery techniques.

Most wingsuit instruction these days used the above three step recovery.
Ommitting 2 because you feel it wastes time is worth reconcidering, as both added steps have been proven over and over, and balling up as the only technique is also seen as inaffective numerous times in videos seen online.

A simple arch/lazy delta is enough to fix most issues. And it reverts to a body position people know. Most BMI, PFI and Sfly taugt coaches also teach the same (up to date) recovery techniques. Also often based on experience in that area.

In a new batch of FlyLikeBrick flight manual videos coming up, several examples and according/correct response structure/steps will be adressed as well.
The examples I have so far are quite clear..
JC
FlyLikeBrick
I'm an Athlete?

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