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Everything posted by becka

  1. As has already been pointed here and in Linn's thread on Norway's first draft of a chart, it depends a lot on what the BSR would say. If it is as poorly written as the canopy recommendations appear in the SIM, then absolutely not. Among other things, smaller jumpers are completely overlooked by the recommendation saying any canopy below 150 square feet is advanced and reserved for D license holders. If you want an example of why some people feel justified in ignoring recommendations, here is one. There is no reason that this can't be tightened up and explain that, yes, in fact there are some people that weigh (a lot) less than 150 pounds and can be on smaller canopies (of appropriate type) sooner WITH appropriate steps taken to get there. Brian Germain's chart and thorough explanation is much more appropriate for most smaller jumpers, although I imagine some truly tiny folks may still be needing another column in the chart. To be clear, I am NOT talking about radical downsizing or ignoring the fact that canopy performance is not linear. But without a better explanation and a more appropriate recommendation, we are practically begging some people to break the rules in stupid ways because we don't have appropriate guidelines that can be justified with facts. Additionally, not everyone jumps at a dropzone with formal canopy coaching. However, many of these dropzones are small and close-knit. Because of that, you often get very good advice by people who may not be official canopy coaches, but who have seen you land 100 times in the past year. So it would be important to keep that in mind if there was a skills limitation as well as jump number limitation on wingloading/canopy type.
  2. Thanks for your comments. I'll admit to maybe not fully understanding what you guys meant by "softness". It is an ambiguous term and I was assuming that it was meaning setting down with little forward and little vertical speed....easier accomplished with low wingloadings. you are saying, "Regardless of the safety factors involved, I'm going to jump even if I have to land backwards". If that is what you are saying, then I have to question your decision-making abilities. Yes, and that questioning comes from my stance of erring on the side of safety. You do realize that that attitude is what is causing many of today's problems. That attitude very distinctly defines the Mad Skillz group..."Regardless of the recommendations, I'm going to fly that hot rod without having the necessary skills to do so safely because I want to do it now, not later." But that's not really what I'm saying, so I am sorry if it came across that way. I am saying that currently many recommendations/rules will seriously restrict many smaller jumpers and there is no evidence being shown to us that once you get to a certain square footage it doesn't matter if you have a 100 lb exit weight or a 160 lb exit weight. That doesn't seem right. I certainly am not saying that because of that, the small jumper with the windy conditions should put themselves in a bad situation. Elevator or backwards landings are even more likely to slow progress as is stupid fast downsizing. What I AM saying is that this particular problem with over restriction of smaller jumpers also creates bad situations. It would be nice if someone considered this in terms of recommendations for students and novices. No it should not be limited on sizing alone but that is all we really have to go on right now because we can't quantify the other factors. Yes it should definitely be limited based on skill set. The good news is that yes, there is a way. It's the slow and sure downsizing method of learning canopy skills on more forgiving canopies and then practicing them until you are fully conversant with it. THEN move down one size and do it all over again before you go one size smaller. It's simple really. The question, and the debate, stems from differences of opinion on determining whether the jumper's skill sets are adequate for the next lower size. Some advisors will say yes, some will say no. Unfortunately, those wanting to downsize rapidly will ALWAYS listen to the one that tells them yes and will ALWAYS argue with the one that tells them no. And those differences of opinion and all comes from the fact that those "other" factors cannot be quantified. I am fine with needing some quantification. I just think that some consideration should be given to how the smaller end of the scale is calculated. And I absolutely agree with you on the downsizing process. Short-cuts are not the solution. That bit has already been questioned and I don't know why they come up with that and I haven't seen a valid explanation of that. It does appear to more severely restrict smaller jumpers. On the face of it, I'm sitting here thinking, like you, "WTH is THAT all about?" I can only assume that what we've seen is a first-draft serving as a basis for further discussion and development. That is exactly the issue for me. And it is also applicable to the SIM. Thanks again for all the responses. And I apologize for any lack of clarity on my part that may have indicated that I thought poorly thought out policies should be countered with stupid decisions.
  3. I really appreciate you responding to the OPs comments and I know you are trying to make the point of erring on the side of caution, but I believe you being a bit disingenuous. (I really enjoy reading your comments and believe you make good points for some situations, but you are not addressing the particular issue that was brought up in this thread.) The "softness" of the landing is not the reason that smaller jumpers should have somewhat lower wing-loading at the same experience/skill level as a larger jumper. It is the responsiveness when flying it. Moreover, I believe the OP and I have both indicated that our landing were SOFTER under a slightly higher wing-loading that allowed some maneuverability and made it easier to have a good landing. SLOW and SOFT can be very different. Elevator rides and turbulence that no one else feels is not so much fun. (And when no one else feels the turbulence or the wind comes in stronger after you jump, the decision that gets to be made is whether you make the second jump.) There are many places where it would take 20 years for a very active small jumper to get her A license and the rest of the 500 jumps recommended by the SIM or required by these new rules if she were to sit every time her .8 wing-loaded canopy would fly backwards. If there is a way for this same jumper to fly safely on a smaller (but still relatively docile canopy), why should her progression be so limited? Finally, if it is so dangerous for this small jumper to be at 1.3 or 1.4 wing-loading before 1200 jumps, how on earth is it okay for the guy weighing 117 kg to be at that wing-loading with 201 jumps? Shouldn't he be required/recommended to have "slower and softer" landings too? This final point is the issue I would really like to see addressed. Not are regulations or recommendations better, not is conservative canopy flying best for learning, and not how should one decide on jumping when loading a canopy at .5 wing-loading. These all interesting discussions, but it appears that they are causing the original question to be ignored. We have rules/recommendations that have a massive discrepancy. In particular, many women will be among those most restricted. At least some of us that are affected would like some solid reasons for the exact severity of these restrictions on the smallest jumpers in comparison with the larger jumps.
  4. There are a lot of the usual regulation/no regulation comments on this thread. However, when I first saw this thread I was hoping people with more experience (especially smaller jumpers) would respond to one of the OPs main points which is the much higher restriction on smaller jumpers. I know there is not a linear progression because a smaller canopy will behave more aggressively at the same wing-loading as a larger canopy. However, at least based on personal experience, it does not seem to be nearly as dramatic as this chart or the SIM makes it out to be. I was so concerned for the "big jump" from a 164 to 150. And then from a 150 to a 135. And then from a 135 to a 119. But at my size, I barely noticed a difference at all in these progressions. Yet the SIM insists that a 150 square foot canopy is high performance regardless of wing-loading. What I did notice is that I could actually make forward progress above 1000 feet on a moderately windy day. I also noticed that landing with some forward speed on a regular basis makes it easier for me to land a little more gracefully. While many people (including me) probably don't need something much below 109 square feet (1.25ish for me) before 1200 jumps, some talented smaller jumpers deserve to be able to make the progression the larger jumpers are allowed/encouraged to make. But I only have 700 jumps and am not an expert. Could someone with more experience dealing with smaller jumpers and their canopy progression weigh in on this issue? Thanks!