Jump to content

Wingsuit Skydiving


Wingsuit Forum Discussions


Topics


History of Wingsuits

The history of wingsuit flying is quite similar to that of skydiving, while early attempts may have shown promise, it took decades before it was truly stabilized into a viable recreational product. The first wingsuit attempt can be traced back to Frank Reichelt in the early 20th century, an Australian-born Frenchman. While his attempt to create a viable wingsuit design was noteworthy, it was far from a success. In fact, Reichelt became well known for his attempt to wingsuit fly from the Eifle Tower, an attempt that resulted in death from impact when he landed head first into the ground, which killed him instantly.

It took a couple decades before any further advancements were publicly seen in wingsuit flying, but in the 1930s a young man by the name of Rex G Finney created a wingsuit that simply connected the legs with a piece of material, as covered in the September 1930 issue of Popular Science. This design was said to offer increased horizontal flight, though was far from any kind of commercial product, and again the wingsuit evolution went dormant for more than half a century.

Wingsuit flying took a massive leap into the commercial world in the 90's starting with Patrick de Gayardon who created a suit which while not yet commercial, could be considered the first modern wingsuit design. At this time, it didn't require the risks of jumping off the Eifle Tower in order to test the flight quality - vertical wind tunnels were now around and were used in conjunction with the wingsuit to test its viability. There were a couple of innovations during the mid-90s which continued to refine the design of the wingsuit.

In 1999, Jari Kuosma and Robert Pečnik teamed up to create what could be considered the first commercial wingsuit under the brand name of Bird-man International, a company which continues to manufacture wingsuits today. This new establishment of a recreationally viable wingsuits also saw the company begin what was the first wingsuit instructor programme.

Wingsuits have continued to evolve over the past 20 years, since the introduction of the Bird-man Classic wingsuit. There are now a number of companies producing commercial wingsuits to the skydiving and base jumping communities, as well as wingsuits which are catered to skill levels. Beginner wingsuit designs are less responsive, but easier to handle while advanced wingsuit designs now offer flyers the ability to perform responsive maneuvers. Wingsuit flying is now performed competitively in both skydiving and base jumping with large events and prizes up for offer, a long way from Reichelt's first notorious wingsuit experiment.


Learning to Fly a Wingsuit

Wingsuiting is a fast-growing discipline in the skydiving and BASE-jumping world, and like all new disciplines in the sport, there are some potential pitfalls that this article might help you to avoid.

Wingsuits can convert downward speed into forward speed/lift, much like a canopy can, up to a certain point. This allows the wingsuit skydiver to travel much farther over the ground than even the best tracker can travel. Like a canopy, there is a balance between weight and performance. Wingsuits come in a wide variety of sizes, but all are of a similar shape. It is a common misconception that size is related to skill, freefall time, and distance traveled. New wingsuiters would be well-advised to not be concerned about which suit they’ll eventually be jumping; suit styles, features, and sizes are constantly evolving. In other words, use the introductory suit provided by your coach and plan on a world of discovery after that first experience.

How Should I Prepare For Wingsuiting?

First and foremost, you’ll need a minimum of 200 jumps in the past 18 months if you’ll be jumping at a USPA dropzone. This is a BSR, or Basic Safety Requirement. It is highly recommended by both USPA and all manufacturers that you take a First Flight Course/FFC from a qualified wingsuit coach. There is no USPA “instructor” rating for wingsuiting, only manufacturer-issued ratings. Be sure the person providing FFC coaching is current and it is recommended that you seek someone with additional USPA instructional ratings. There is no difference between a wingsuit “instructor” and a wingsuit “coach.” Some manufacturers have elected to not confuse the USPA Instructional ratings with being one who teaches wingsuiting, ergo; “coach.”

Tracking jumps with a focus on navigation will go a long way to achieving a good sense of navigation. Navigation is a critical component of a wingsuiting since we’ll be adding the potential ability to fly several miles from 13K. Concentrating on flying “quiet” (without a lot of body/limb movement and relaxed) is a benefit to preparing for a wingsuit skydive. Your coach may even require that you’ll do a tracking dive prior to the first wingsuit flight.

There are some equipment recommendations to consider prior to making a first wingsuit skydive. For example, lighter canopy wingloadings are preferable. A good wingsuit coach will recommend or require a non-elliptical canopy for the FFC It’s a good idea to avoid ellipticals for wingsuiting in general, and most coaches will highly recommend (if not require) an AAD. Losing altitude awareness should not occur in a wingsuit skydive, but your body clock will feel “off” in most first wingsuit jumps.

A hard helmet is recommended; wingsuits restrict movement. If there is going to be an impact of any kind in a wingsuit, it generally will occur at the front of the fuselage (your head) and your arms cannot be used to protect the head/face. Full-face or open face helmets both work. I personally wear an open face helmet, but many wear full face helmets. There is little doubt the wind can be heard more clearly in a full-face helmet. The sound of the wind is often used to gauge fall rate.

An audible may promote awareness due to the potentially elongated skydive. First flights, like AFF, generally terminate at 5.5k, and most skydivers have a lower deployment point. The audible may help with the change in body clock and new sight picture at deployment time.

Mudflap or chest mount altimeters are highly recommended; looking at your wrist may cause a turn or instability in the first wingsuit skydive. A good coach should be able to provide these things in the event you don’t have them. I personally prefer chest mounts for FFC’s as they keep the student’s head aligned with the body when looking at the altimeter.

Get Taught The Specifics Of Wingsuiting

Look for a coach that provides appropriate time to teach specifics relating to:

  • Exits (Exits are the most dangerous part of any wingsuit skydive)

  • Stable flight

  • Navigation

  • Deployment

  • Emergency procedures/recovery from instability

You should be doing at least two practice touches in the air as well. Your coach should make sure you not only know all of the above procedures, but assure you feel comfortable in all aspects of the process. The training process should be specific to the aircraft from which you’ll be jumping. Otters and Skyvans have a slightly different exit method than say…a King Air or Cessna 182.

Wingsuiting is becoming more common across the world, and suit designs are available for the newcomer to the discipline. A good coach should have an abundance of suits so that the suit fits properly. Wingsuits for introductory skydives/FFC’s include Phoenix-Fly Prodigy, Shadow, and Phantom 2. Tonysuit offers the Intro model, while FYB offers the Access and Indy. All of these wingsuits are designed with beginning wingsuit pilots in mind. Some of them can carry well into a wingsuit pilot’s jumping career, while others will most likely be used for a couple of dozen jumps at best.

Linetwists were caused by the student keeping his legs open on deployment.

Be cautious about planning for larger suit sizes. There is a balance between wingloading and hang-time. A lightweight person in a very large wingsuit will be more like a “leaf” as opposed to a rocket, where a heavier person in a small suit can generate ridiculous forward speeds. Once you’ve determined that you want to continue down the wingsuit piloting path, you’ll likely figure out whether acrobatics, relative work, flocking, distance flights, or hang-time (time aloft) is the goal. There are suits that can meet most of these goals, while some suits are better designed than others for specific tasks.

Performance should not be an objective in initial flights. There are three goals/TLO’s in the FFC that I teach:

  • Safe/clean exit (Avoiding the stabilizer and being stable)

  • Navigation back to the DZ

  • Clean deployment free of malfunctions

Other coaches may provide other emphasis, but at the end of the day, the goal of the first wingsuit flight is that it is a fun skydive with a heavy emphasis on safety. You’ll experience a different ground rush, feel the sensation of true flight, and find the wingsuit a very different experience from other skydives.


A list of wingsuiting coaches may be found on the websites of various manufacturers.

We’re looking forward to seeing you in the flock!

DSE is a USPA Coach Examiner, AFFI, Sr. Phoenix-Fly Examiner (North America) and a staff instructor at Skydive Elsinore.


Wingsuit Flight Reference Guide

This manual is intended as a resource for highly experienced wingsuiters. It is not a substitute for training by a wingsuit instructor certified by Skydive Elsinore Wingsuit School (“SEWS”) or by any other comparable rating program.

We strongly encourage novice and intermediate wingsuiters to seek out reputable, qualified, rated instructors to develop the skills necessary to safely and enjoyably fly a wingsuit.

This manual and the method of coaching described in it are provided for educational purposes and as a reference tool. Your use of this manual does not indicate endorsement by any staff member of SEWS (or its owners, affiliates, or sponsors) or by Skydive Elsinore (or its owners, affiliates, or employees).

As a licensed skydiver, you understand that skydiving (and wingsuiting) can result in severe injuries and death, thus you need to learn the necessary skills to skydive. You are responsible for your own safety. As a result, the information in this manual is provided “as is”, and without any warranties or representations as to its completeness or accuracy. While our goal is to improve the overall safety of the wingsuiting community, your use of or reliance on this manual does not guarantee that your wingsuiting will be incident free. This manual is not intended to establish a legal standard of care with respect to wingsuit instruction. As a result, no inference should be drawn from the use or reliance upon this manual (or the failure to use or rely on this manual) by any person in connection with wingsuit instruction.

By using this manual, you are agreeing to indemnify and hold harmless SEWS (and its owners, affiliates, and sponsors) and Skydive Elsinore (and its owners, affiliates, and employees) from any claims (whether by you or by a third party) relating to this manual or its use.

This reference manual is intended as a guide for SEWS coaches who have been fully trained in the methods used at the Skydive Elsinore Wingsuit School. It is not intended as a training program that does not include a coach, and should not be used by any person who is not a SEWS-trained coach, as the methods and techniques are designed for a specific progression.

Wingsuit Couch Flight Manual

Skydive Elsinore

Contributors: Douglas Spotted Eagle/DSE, Joel Hindman, Tom van Dijck, Jarno Cordia, Robert Pecnik, Andreea Olea, Jeff Donohue, Matt Santa Maria, John Hamilton, Karl Gulledge, Laurent Lobjoit, Jason Timm, Jay Stokes, Chuck Blue, Barry Williams, Darren Burke, Alan Martinez, Scotty Burns

Skydive Elsinore
Wingsuit School Flight Manual

  • CONTENTS

  • Wingsuit Briefing

  • Pilot’s briefing/information

  • Recurrency Jumps

  • Wingsuit Rodeos

  • Helicopter/Night/Balloon/Distance Jumps

  • Hand Signals

  • Pre-Wingsuit Evaluation Jump

  • Level One/First Flight Course

  • Level Two (Forward Motion Control)

  • Level Three (Up/Down Motion Control)

  • Level Four (Coach as base)

  • Level Five (Barrel Rolls)

  • Level Six (Introduction to Docking)

  • Level Seven (Docking)

  • Level Eight (Proximity)

  • Level Nine(Performance Flight)

  • Level Ten (Introduction to Backflying)

  • Wingsuit Water Training

  • Non-USPA Member training

  • FUN STUFF

Wingsuit Training Material

Levels/Dive Flows

The materials contained in this section are for SEWS coach use. This section is a reference for dive flows, training techniques, and tips for providing students the best information available. These Levels should accompany the skydiving videos found in the SEWS Wingsuit School on the school DVD player and computer system. The methods described are for SEWS-trained coaches and should be used in context demonstrated during your SEWS training process.

Pre-FFC Evaluation Jump

This jump is for persons who have near-to or exactly 200 jumps, persons that are unknown to the coach and persons who do not have logbooks but do have low jump numbers.

Skydiver attends the full Level One/FFC course, while wearing wingsuit.
Coach and skydiver will perform a skydive, performing all tasks from the First Flight Course, with the student NOT wearing a wingsuit.

  • The FFC skydiver candidate will:

     

  • Perform poised exit/Wingsuit FFC exit

  • ‘Wings’ closed (close one-thousand, fly one thousand)

  • Practice touch w/wave-off

  • 90° turn

  • Practice touch w/wave-off

  • Deploy at 4500’

  • Land in designated area

Following ground training, show the relevant video found on the SEWS training DVD.

Manifest and jump.

If all tasks are properly performed AND the student meets the USPA requirement of 200 skydives, a Level One/First Flight in a wingsuit is appropriate.

A small-format camera is permissible on a pre-wingsuit FFC training jump student if the student has previous small-format camera experience and meets USPA’s camera recommendations.

**Logbook verifications are important!

First Wingsuit Flight Jump/Level One

Training for the First Flight/Level One jump may only be provided by a Skydive Elsinore Wingsuit School coach. Non-SEWS coaches may not train on the Skydive Elsinore premises without prior clearance from Lob or DSE.

Training must include exit-appropriate training for the Otter or Caravan. Practice exits both in wingsuit-only and wingsuit/rig (with helmet) combinations must occur prior to manifesting the student.

**Logbook verifications are required! It’s a good idea to take a photograph of the student with their logbook when possible, and store photo on the video system HDD.

REQUIRED EQUIPMENT FOR THE FFC:

  • Hard Helmet

  • Audible

  • AAD

Non-Elliptical canopy should not be loaded more highly than 1.3:1 (This is at coaches discretion. SEWS does have some sizes and types of PD canopies for our students if necessary)

  • Appropriate canopies for FFC;

  • PD Pulse

  • PD Storm

  • PD Silhouette

  • PD Spectre

  • PD Sabre, Sabre II

  • PD Navigator

  • Aerodyne Triathalon

  • Aerodyne Pilot

  • Icarus Safire
  • FFC Dive Flow:

  • Perform poised exit/Wingsuit FFC exit

  • ‘Wings’ closed (close one-thousand, fly one thousand)

  • Practice touch w/wave-off

  • 90 degree turn

  • Practice touch w/wave-off

  • Wave-off at 5500 feet

  • Deploy at 5000 feet

  • Land in designated area

Following ground training, show the video found on the SEWS training DVD.
Manifest and jump.

The Coach shall record video when possible; the video is archived on either the SEWS computer or on the Skydive Elsinore master computer system. We prefer the video be uploaded to the Skydive Elsinore YouTube account. This is not only valuable for providing the student a solid debrief, but is also valuable in making other skydivers aware of the Skydive Elsinore Wingsuit School.

An FFC/Level One student may not wear a camera on this skydive. Entanglement issues are very possible.

We recommend at least 25 clean deployments (linetwist or other issues) prior to attaching a camera to the student’s helmet.

Level Two (New exit/three tasks)

This jump teaches the Floating Exit, forward drive, and stopping power. It is important to only teach the basics of acceleration in this level; the objective is forward motion, stopping/slowing power with control, not performance flight.

Student will be trained for a Front Float Exit.

Key training points for this exit:

  • There is no ‘jump’ from the aircraft; it is merely a transfer of weight from the balls of the foot to the heel of the foot. When the “jump one-thousand/fly one-thousand” exit method is observed, the relative wind will turn the wingsuiter towards the line of flight and put them on their belly.

  • Look towards the prop or door of the aircraft for stability.

Key training points for this jump:
 

  • Have the student slightly lower their head while performing the first two maneuvers. This not only helps maintain stability, but also gets the student in the habit of keeping his/her head lower.

  • Tossing head back for the Emergency Stop/Stall is a significant component of stopping force.

Dive Flow:

Coach (rear float) and student exit (maintain “close one-thousand, fly one-thousand”)

Coach and student turn to line of flight and fly relative (it is the coach’s responsibility to fly relative to the student). Coach signals to the student to begin the maneuvers.

Student accelerates for 3 seconds, by lowering head and pointing toes. The coach should not accelerate, but rather performs a slight drop in altitude while observing the student’s acceleration.

Student performs a “Stop n’ Drop” maneuver. Student’s legs remain in line with body while lower legs are raised to a 45 °angle. This will slow the student and drop them in altitude. The coach and student should once again be flying relative.

Student accelerates for 3 seconds. The coach should not accelerate, but rather slightly slows.

Student performs a “Slow and Hold/Flying Dirty” maneuver for 5 seconds. Knees are dropped, calves should remain parallel to earth.

This maneuver will allow student and coach to fly together at slow speed.
Student resumes normal flight, coach and student will fly relative for a moment.

Student accelerates for 3 seconds. The coach should not accelerate, but rather maintains speed while observing student’s acceleration.

Student performs a Stall/Emergency stop by confidently throwing head backwards, pushing palms towards earth, spreading legs, and cupping/de-arching body for maximum size and air. This will stop the student and the coach will appear to rapidly fly past.

The coach slows so that student may catch up and fly relative to coach.
The student should be able to rapidly recover from lost altitude and speed. If sufficient altitude is available, the three maneuvers should be repeated.

At 6500 feet, the student looks to coach and shakes head, indicating “no more work.” This informs the coach of the student’s altitude awareness, and that the student is about to lock on at 6000 feet, and the deployment waveoff begins at 5500 feet for a deployment at 5000 feet.

Following ground training, show the relevant video found on the SEWS training DVD. Manifest and jump.

Level Three (New exit/two tasks)

This jump teaches the Running/Pivot Exit (Otter only) and Up/Down fall rate skills. The Running/Pivot exit is valuable for rapidly clearing an Otter or other large-door aircraft. The student's objective is to maneuver upward and downward with control.

Key training points for this exit:
 

  • The right foot must be on the edge of the door frame for proper launch.

  • The student should look at the prop/door of the aircraft on exit while keeping wings closed for 2 seconds.

Key training points for this jump:
 

  • These two maneuvers are accomplished exclusively with the hips.

  • Squeeze glutes (butt cheeks) to lose altitude/increase vertical fall rate.

  • “Open” glutes (butt cheeks) to ‘gain’ altitude/decrease vertical fall rate.

  • Proper kinesthetic (against the wall) training is critical for dive success.

DiveFlow:

The Coach is a rear-float position. The coach will signal the student to exit. As the student’s foot reaches the door frame, the coach launches. This allows the coach to capture video of the student’s exit for debrief purposes. Observe “Close one-thousand, fly one thousand.”

Coach and student turn to line of flight and fly relative (it is the coach’s responsibility to fly relative to the student). Coach signals to student to begin the maneuvers.

The student will climb 10’ above the coach and wait for the coach to match altitude.

The student will drop 10’ below the coach and wait for the coach to match altitude.

Repeat these maneuvers until reaching an altitude of 6500 feet.
At 6500 feet, the student looks to coach and shakes head, indicating “no more work.” This informs the coach of the student’s altitude awareness, and that the student is about to lock on at 6000 feet, and the deployment waveoff begins at 5500 feet for a deployment at 5000 feet.

Following the ground training, show the student the relevant video(s) found on the SEWS DVD.

Level Four (new exit, test tasks)

This jump teaches the Gainer Exit (Otter-only). This is an unstable exit that prepares the student for instability (Level Five jump) and teaches them to re-gain heading from a new perspective. It is critical that no other wingsuiters are on the load, or that all wingsuiters perform the same exit. This exit forces the student to fly opposite the aircraft line of flight, so adjust the spot accordingly (later exit point). The objective of this jump is to give the student a moving base in order to learn to use small movements to stay as near the Coach as possible. A secondary objective in this jump is to give the student a semi-unstable exit for recovery, and build confidence that the student is capable of recovering from minor instability.

In this jump, the coach follows the student.

Key training points for this jump:

  • Coach the student to move sideways using either grippers curled in, or using a *slight* drop of the hip/knee.

Dive Flow

Coach and student turn to line of flight. The coach catches up to the student and flies relative. The coach then acts as a base for the student. This is the first jump in which the student is not the base.

The Coach should challenge the student with small movements up/down/forward/slowing/side to side to allow the student to practice their fall rate and forward motion skills.

At 6000 feet, the student looks to coach and shakes head, indicating “no more work.” This informs the coach of the student’s altitude awareness, and that the student is about to lock on at 5500 feet, and the deployment waveoff begins at 5000 feet for a deployment at 4500 feet (if student is comfortable with the lower deployment altitude).

Level Five (two tasks)

This jump teaches Barrel Rolls and Instability Recovery. Although the training is aimed at barrel rolls, a primary objective is for the student to gain confidence in managing instability.

A Front Float Exit is used for this jump. The student will do two barrel rolls to the right, then two barrel rolls to the left.

Key training points for this dive flow:

  • Use a count of 1,2 (pause) 3, 4.

  • Look in the direction of the turn.

  • Close knees/feet slightly before closing arm wing.

  • Do not force/muscle the rollover. Let the wind create the force.

Dive Flow:

Coach launches first, maintains altitude above the student.
Student sets heading towards dropzone.

Student begins barrel roll without input from coach. Coach should observe first barrel roll from above and second barrel roll from the side (if possible).
Student demonstrates two barrel rolls in one direction, then two barrel rolls in the other direction (right/left). One side will typically be weaker/less confident than the other side.

Heading should be re-set and altitude checked following each task.

At 6000 feet, the student looks to coach and shakes head, indicating “no more work.” This informs the coach of the student’s altitude awareness, and that the student is about to lock on at 5500 feet, and the deployment waveoff begins at 5000 feet for a deployment at 4500 feet (if student is comfortable with the lower deployment altitude).

Following ground training, show the student the relevant video found on the SEWS Training DVD.

**It is very important that the Coach maintain proximity during these jumps. The best camera angles are from the top and from the side. These positions also assist Coach in chasing student so that when student recovers, Coach is relative, providing instant feedback and boosting their confidence.

Level Six (two tasks)

This jump teaches Introductory Docking skills. This jump also provides an emphasis on stability during wing movement (as the student passes the baton from hand to hand during flight). The objective is to make the student feel confident with moving towards another wingsuit pilot and confidence in collapsing the wing.

Exit: Student choice of Front Float, Running/Pivot, or Gainer Exit. It is recommended that the student perform the exit in which he/she (or the coach) feels is the weakest or most difficult exit.

Key training points for this dive flow:

  • The student should slightly dip the head with each hand transfer of the baton. This helps maintain altitude.

  • The student should use hands, hips, or knees to slide sideways (as presented in Level Four) to slowly bring the baton to the coach.

Dive Flow:

Coach has baton in hand.

Coach exits from Front, Rear, Running, or Gainer slot (Student choice)

Student and coach turn to heading.

Student takes baton from coach’s hand. Coach does not provide any significant assistance to the student.

Student flies over coach to coach’s opposite side.

Student transfers baton from one hand to the other.

Student flies the baton to the coach and places baton in coach’s hand. Coach does not provide any significant assistance to the student.

At 6000 feet, the student looks to coach and shakes head, indicating “no more work.” This informs the coach of the student’s altitude awareness, and that the student is about to lock on at 5500 feet, and the deployment waveoff begins at 5000 feet for a deployment at 4500 feet (if student is comfortable with the lower deployment altitude).

Following ground training, show the student the relevant video found on the SEWS training DVD.

If the student has baton in their hand at 6000 feet, student should hold baton in LEFT hand for deployment, then place baton in chest strap or wingsuit tail vent for landing. Student should not attempt to hold baton in hand while controlling the parachute.

It is also beneficial for a student to do a solo wingsuit skydive with the baton in hand, and practice exchanging the baton from hand to hand.

Level Seven (two tasks)

This jump teaches docking and sideslides using the hips. This jump uses a running exit.

The objective is to teach the student to use small hand/hip/knee movements to make a dock. The Coach should be prepared for bumps and student instability.

Key training points for this dive flow:

  • The Student slightly shifts weight to hips or slightly drops a knee to generate a side slide. This helps teach small movements.

  • Student should breathe and exhale prior to making the move and a dock attempt.

Dive Flow:

Coach exits first, student follows.

Student flies to coach.

Coach flies a stable base.

Student docks on Coach and holds dock for 1-2 seconds.

Student/Coach releases.

Coach flies 4-5 feet away from student.

Student flies to coach.

At 6000 feet, the student looks to coach and shakes head, indicating “no more work.” This informs the coach of the student’s altitude awareness, and that the student is about to lock on at 5500 feet, and the deployment waveoff begins at 5000 feet for a deployment at 4500 feet (if student is comfortable with the lower deployment altitude).

Level Eight (test tasks)

This jump teaches PROXIMITY. Coach challenges student with forward speed, diving, and floating. Objectives include student maintaining proximity even with high movement, breakoff speed, and using speed control/fall rate skills learned previously.

Exit: Running Exit after Coach

Key training points for this dive flow:
-Reiterate the importance of keeping head low for speed/drive.
-Reiterate the importance of hips/elevators keeping body on level.

Dive Flow:

Coach exits with a Running/Pivot exit.

Student exits after Coach.

Student dives to Coach.

After Coach has established the student being relative, Coach challenges student with increased/decreased forward speed, up/down movement, and floating.

Student should stay proximate to Coach throughout the entire flight.

(if the student appears to be struggling and distance grows greater than major separation, the Coach should attempt to assist the student by slowing/speeding, floating to re-establish relative flight).

At 6000 feet, the student looks to coach and shakes head, indicating “no more work.” This informs the coach of the student’s altitude awareness, and that the student is about to lock on at 5500 feet, and the deployment waveoff begins at 5000 feet for a deployment at 4500 feet (if student is comfortable with the lower deployment altitude).

Level Nine (one task)

This jump will introduce the concepts of performance flight. The student should have a logging device (Altitrack or Neptune) that has previous flight data for purposes of comparison. One of our Flysight devices is also useful for comparison and showing the track in Google Earth. The primary objective is to teach speed, which may translate to either distance or time, depending on how the student works with their body.

The exit is a student-choice (although Float or Running are the most efficient).

Key training points for this jump:

Gearshifting

  • Gear one-Head down

  • Gear two-elbows forward

  • Gear three-hips up/glutes open

  • Gear four-pointed toes

Listen to the sound of the wind.

Dive Flow:

Exit

Coach and student fly relative.

Student engages Performance Flight for 10 seconds.

Student slows. This allows the student to feel the change in speed, with focus on listening to the wind.

Coach follows/provides hand signals as necessary. Use Head Down, Arms, Hips Up/Down, Point Toes hand signals.

At 6000 feet, the student looks to coach and shakes head, indicating “no more work.” This informs the coach of the student’s altitude awareness, and that the student is about to lock on at 5000 feet, and the deployment waveoff begins at 4500 feet for a deployment at 4000 feet (if student is comfortable with the lower deployment altitude).

(See next page for illustrations of correct body/arm position)

Level Ten (two tasks)

This jump is an introduction to backflying. The purpose of the jump is to introduce Backflying. The actual objective is to familiarize the student with transitions from belly to back and back to belly.

Key training points:
 

  • Legwing should be kept closed. Focus on keeping knees close together.

  • Armwings provide lift, legs provide drive.

  • Describe the first backfly to be similar to sitting in a “lazy-boy lounge chair.”

  • Demonstrate and observe the “dead cow”

  • Reiterate ISR (instability recovery)

EXIT:

The coach will exit from a front float, backfly position. The student will exit from a rear float, belly fly position.

This enables the student to see the backfly exit. The Coach exits first.

Dive Flow:

Student will drop below Coach after exit (Coach rolls over after exit).
The Coach should fly directly above the student, providing a visual point of reference.

Student transitions from front to back, and holds back position #1 for 7-10 seconds.

Student transitions from back to belly, re-sets heading, and transitions from belly to back again, to position #2.

Student transitions from back to belly, re-sets heading, and transitions from belly to back again, to position #3.

At 7000 feet, the student transitions from back to belly and stays on belly.

At 6000 feet, the student looks to coach and shakes head, indicating “no more work.” This informs the coach of the student’s altitude awareness, and that the student is about to lock on at 5000 feet, and the deployment waveoff begins at 4500 feet for a deployment at 4000 feet (if student is comfortable with the lower deployment altitude). Following ground training, show the relevant video found on the SEWS training DVD. Manifest and jump.

Positioning student for backflying. This is “Position 1.”
Coach should not be forward of student (as would normally be in a vertical jump).

Coach should be slightly behind, so student is not bending neck backward. This example photograph is taken from below the student.

This concludes the standardized levels.

All of these levels tend towards using smaller suits such as the Phoenix-Fly Phantom series; while big suits are a lot of fun at times, they are typically meant for performance flight and not very suitable to the agile and precise flying style we teach at SEWS. Larger suits can be challenging in flocks; consider suit sizes and related experience when coaching, organizing, or assigning lanes of flight.

Wingsuit Water Training

Wingsuits in the water are more difficult than standard skydiving water landings. As a result, wingsuit water training is unique and valuable when wingsuiters are planning to jump near bodies of water.

Not a good place to be in wingsuit

Every wingsuiter receiving water training should have already achieved their mandatory USPA B license water training.

Wingsuit landings begin with these same steps when possible.

  • A water landing sequence is as follows:
  • Unzip arms

  • Loosen or undo chest strap

  • Do not remove helmet

  • Put canopy in half-brakes

  • After impact with water, cutaway main.
  • It is likely that the impact will force a face-down position. Roll over onto back immediately. The reserve will act as a flotation device for up to 30 minutes in fresh water, longer in salt water. The tail wing may also be inflated, making a roll-over a bit more difficult (in repeated water training, it’s unlikely the tail will remain inflated once it’s become entirely soaked). While on the back, calmly unzip the body zippers, and unzip the leg zippers. In the event of a unibody zipper, the zippers should be positioned below the knee for efficient escape.
  • Loosen legstraps

  • Work legs from legstraps first, then pull arms from harness/wingsuit, and roll forward

  • Dive to swim away from rig/wingsuit/main

  • Remove helmet when/if appropriate (in moving water, keep the helmet on to protect the head unless the helmet impedes breathing)

If landing in moving water, it is important to stay upstream of canopy. In moving water, it is very easy to become entangled in the main and attached lines.

Water moving at even moderate speed is very dangerous. It is important to become free of wingsuit, rig, and main as quickly as possible, while attempting to stay upstream of canopy.

If landing in calm waters far from shore, stay near the container if the main has been cut away and can be avoided. The reserve parachute may act as a flotation device. However, there is always the risk of becoming entangled with the main and its lines. If skydiver can swim and is near a shoreline, then swimming to the shoreline is preferable to using the rig as a flotation device.

The tail will likely want to float, making it difficult to breathe if facing belly-down.
Get onto the back as quickly as possible. The reserve will act as a flotation device.

Non-USPA Member Training

Skydive Elsinore is a destination dropzone. This means we attract many foreign visitors. If a foreign visitor is using their FAI or other foreign membership to obtain jumping privileges, it is very important that Coaches verify the wingsuiting requirements of their country’s wingsuit/parachuting rules and regulations.

Persons that join the USPA and meet USPA regulations may be trained according to USPA membership/BSR’s.

Examples:

United Kingdom/BPA-

A member of the BPA must have 200 jumps in the past 18 months, or a total of 500 jumps. They may not be trained at Skydive Elsinore if they cannot prove either of these things. For example, they may not be trained if they have 200 jumps in the past 19 months.
(BPA Ops manual Section 2 Para 9.)

Australia/APF-

Have a minimum of 500 freefall skydives; or a minimum of 200 freefall skydives made within the past 18 months, and receive one-on-one instruction from an experienced and qualified wingsuit trainer (who possesses an authority and/or recognized instructor status from a wingsuit manufacturer).

Sweden-

Wingsuit skydives requirements are at least 500 logged jumps. (birdman, skyflyer etc). AAD must be worn and it must be activated.
Wingsuits designed with no restriction of movements of arms and legs requires 300 logged jumps(Phoenix-fly Prodigy etc).

In other words, to jump a Phantom 3 or similar (wingsuit with arm restrictions of any kind) the Swedish student must have a minimum of 500 logged/demonstrable jumps. However, a Swedish student may jump a Prodigy, Intro w/no clips, or other non-restrictive wingsuit with 300 logged/demonstrable jumps.
Operations manual/Wingsuit 402:07

France-

Minimum of 150 jumps and may only fly a student suit (S-Fly Access, PF Prodigy).
Note: We will not teach persons from France with only 150 jumps, as the USPA BSR is the standard to which we must adhere.

SKYDIVE ELSINORE COACHES MUST VERIFY CURRENT USPA MEMBERSHIP OR ADHERE TO LICENSING COUNTRY’S WINGSUIT REGULATIONS PRIOR TO PROVIDING A LEVEL ONE/FFC COURSE TO ANY FOREIGN SKYDIVER. Logbook checks are required; No logbook, no training.

Wingsuit Fun Formations

  • This is a random collection of wingsuit activities for one or more persons.

  • Flat flocks shaped as diamonds, wedges, chevrons, inverted V’s (forward chevrons), or letters of the alphabet.

  • Vertical flocks shaped as diamonds, wedges.

  • Haystacks-(three or more) A vertical stack is built. The bottom person moves to side and climbs the “ladder.” The next to the bottom person stays as “base” for a few seconds, and then too, moves to the side and climbs the “ladder.” This is an evolution where each person is on top and on the bottom of the formation. Be cautious about getting this formation larger than 5-6 people, as lesser experienced people on top may take out the group.

A variation on the haystack is that the bottom/base person flips to their back as the bottom person moves to the side and climbs to the top of the vertical stack. The person above the ‘base’ may also direct the line of flight.

Organizing tip: Left side of formation exits first, right side exits last. In groups larger than 5-6, it’s a good idea to have the base exit in the middle of the group vs in the first part of the group. It’s often a good idea to put base as front float, left side as rear float, and right side as center float.

  • Dirt-dive the formation, then have the right rear side of the formation load into the mockup, loading from right rear to left front. This will help clearly define the exit order. ALWAYS dirt-dive group dives to be sure no one is crossing in front of someone else; this helps avoid collisions.

  • Baton-passing (one or more persons) Be sure to brief deployment with baton in left hand, stow baton in arm or tail vent after deployment.

  • Over-unders (Two or more) Start by flying side-by-side, one person flies over the other. To add variety, alternate between flying over, and then flying under each other.

  • French Braid (three or more) fly all wingsuiters in a straight line next to each other. Right side floats up/over to the left, taking the left end slot. The former left slot (now middle) flies to the right slot. The former right slot (now middle) flies to left slot. The new right slot then flies to left (either over or under the group). This can be done with as many as five wingsuiters without too much difficulty.

  • Orbits (two or more) start flying relative. One person pulls ahead of the other and flies forward, to the side, and then behind the other, returning to original position.

  • Carving Rolls/Rotors (two) One flyer is on back, other on belly straight over. Each wingsuiter reaches towards the other, and carves into a reverse role where the backflyer becomes the bellyflyer and vice-versa.

  • Team barrel rolls (two or more) Get out of the plane, get relative, and on a head-nod or other cue, everyone does a barrel roll in the same direction. The goal is to see if the heading and horizontal proximity can be kept on-heading and equal.

  • Team front rolls/fruity loops (two or more) Get out, get relative. Do front rolls one at a time (they can be done together, but you’ll both want to be very able to do these well, otherwise a collision is almost assured)

  • Learn a backfly exit

  • Learn a Gravitron. Add a twist.

  • Do some forward Orbits

  • Use the 2-way guides for WRW.
×