Basic Para Course

Simba

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2021
Messages
11
Reaction score
6
It's not a thing of the past. In a parachute deployment (opening) sequence, the rigging lines of a round canopy come out first, irrelevant of whatever design it is. Exiting into the slipstream (airflow) the body can rotate to a degree as the rigging lines are coming out of their stowage pocket. Poor exit technique such as wide legs ( door exits only ), not enough drive out the door / too much drive can lead to an unstable position in the airflow thus causing the rigging lines to also rotate ( twist).

Curiously, well not so much, ramp ( back of airframes which have this option) legs apart and arms not folded across the reserve leads to a more stable position for canopy deployment. Loaded down with equipment limits this option, however.

Hi @Alec_Lomas I note in this clip a Para has a twist when jumping from a chinook. It seemed the drill was just to kick his legs frantically? Does jumping from a helicopter add risk due to downdraft ? Also there seems to be a real bad name for the American parachute that they seem to be using on that exercise. A lot seemed to be landing really fast.

Skip to 24 mins in the clip if you want to see what I’m referring to

 
Last edited:

Snows

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 2, 2021
Messages
73
Reaction score
246
Hi @Alec_Lomas I note in this clip a Para has a twist when jumping from a chinook. It seemed the drill was just to kick his legs frantically? Does jumping from a helicopter add risk due to downdraft ? Also there seems to be a real bad name for the American parachute that they seem to be using on that exercise. A lot seemed to be landing really fast.

They aren't landing that fast, although one screws up his landing (he's drifting and hits with his arse rather than feet, which probably hurt).

Remember that the point of square civvy parachutes is to allow you to guide your landing onto a mostly empty DZ, as part of a stack of skydivers coming in sequentially, and then touch down light as a feather into a walk. It's like a single aircraft approaching a runway at a time, they want zero defects.

The point of military Bn-level parachuting is to get as many blokes and their kit as possible into the air over the same DZ at the same time, as tight together as is safe (which is why they aren't steerable, to reduce chaos and collisions), and get them to the ground as fast as possible without breaking them when they hit, to reduce the risk of getting shot in the air if the DZ is compromised. It's like squirting into a toilet and hoping that most hits the pan, but accepting that you'll have to wipe the seat.

(If anyone ever tells you that paratroopers are shits, this is almost certainly what they mean)
 

Simba

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2021
Messages
11
Reaction score
6
They aren't landing that fast, although one screws up his landing (he's drifting and hits with his arse rather than feet, which probably hurt).

Remember that the point of square civvy parachutes is to allow you to guide your landing onto a mostly empty DZ, as part of a stack of skydivers coming in sequentially, and then touch down light as a feather into a walk. It's like a single aircraft approaching a runway at a time, they want zero defects.

The point of military Bn-level parachuting is to get as many blokes and their kit as possible into the air over the same DZ at the same time, as tight together as is safe (which is why they aren't steerable, to reduce chaos and collisions), and get them to the ground as fast as possible without breaking them when they hit, to reduce the risk of getting shot in the air if the DZ is compromised. It's like squirting into a toilet and hoping that most hits the pan, but accepting that you'll have to wipe the seat.

(If anyone ever tells you that paratroopers are shits, this is almost certainly what they mean)
Is it not possible to steer round parachutes? The 3 Para lad who had the twist in the above video seemed to hit the ground at like 30mph! Although it may of just been the camera? What’s it like jumping at night. I imagine it’s a nightmare landing when you can’t tell for certain how quickly you are heading for the ground?
 

Snows

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 2, 2021
Messages
73
Reaction score
246
Is it not possible to steer round parachutes? The 3 Para lad who had the twist in the above video seemed to hit the ground at like 30mph! Although it may of just been the camera? What’s it like jumping at night. I imagine it’s a nightmare landing when you can’t tell for certain how quickly you are heading for the ground?
You can't really steer with the old chute, although different chutes have slightly different capabilities. Round canopies are nothing like even the largest, least sporty square canopies, however. Round are designed to be hard to collapse or move around the sky, square are designed for maneuver but you can collapse them if you make a mistake. Speed of impact was partly but not entirely the camera. Even a good landing will slightly knock the wind out of you, but honestly it's nothing. Jumping at night is fine, you just feel for your kit hitting the ground, and use that as a guide instead.

Ultimately with landings you just try to make the same shape every time, adjusted for drift direction, and then hope for the best. Mostly it works out fine. Unless you land in a bastard gorse bush. They are a fucking nightmare.
 

Chelonian

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
83
Reaction score
275
Is it not possible to steer round parachutes?
No idea about current canopies but ideally one would attempt to land 'steered' into the wind prevailing on the ground of the DZ. This minimises the ground speed on impact and reduces risk of injury. That's the theory. Reality is rather more of a lottery.

As an aside, military canopies and sport parachute canopies are different beasts. Before the widespread use of ram air canopies (the square ones) in the 1970s the most steerable, high performance round one was (if memory serves) the Para Commander. As used by the Red Devils freefall team until they adopted Clouds (again, relying on memory).
 

Snows

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 2, 2021
Messages
73
Reaction score
246
No idea about current canopies but ideally one would attempt to land 'steered' into the wind prevailing on the ground of the DZ. This minimises the ground speed on impact and reduces risk of injury. That's the theory. Reality is rather more of a lottery.
This. It was a surprise to me how localised wind conditions can be, even on a calm day on a flat DZ. For example, you might see one guy in a stick take an age to reach the ground, while the next guy plummets like a rock. This is because you get thermals: warm air columns which suck air upwards, but as a result create a pressure system sucking in air from the side and dumping air at the top when it cools, so you get a cyclical system. The guy on the warm air has a nice slow descent, the guy on the cool air hits the ground hard.

These same effects exist in sport parachuting, but, first, they try to build DZs in places that minimise the effect, whereas military drops happen in a wide range of places, and second, military parachutists tend to be going straight down over one spot, whereas after deploying your chute in skydiving you are usually travelling horizontally and then doing a box approach, which covers a lot more ground.
 

Alec_Lomas

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 4, 2021
Messages
22
Reaction score
58
Hi @Alec_Lomas I note in this clip a Para has a twist when jumping from a chinook. It seemed the drill was just to kick his legs frantically? Does jumping from a helicopter add risk due to downdraft ? Also there seems to be a real bad name for the American parachute that they seem to be using on that exercise. A lot seemed to be landing really fast.
Hi @Simba, let me take your remarks in stages -

* twists in the rigging lines do occur. They're regularly not a big deal, one of the golden rules being, that if you are carrying a container, remembering to lower that first before carrying out the drill. Rotating the shoulders while pulling the lift webs apart is the start, scissor-style kicking with the legs helps speed up the momentum of the turn. The second golden rule is being mindful of your height. It's potentially a painful lesson not to have your feet and knees tight together on landing and you should prepare accordingly irrelevant if you are still in twists.

*Downdraft is not an issue from a helio. In the instance shown, the chinook has forward motion rather than in the hover. Either way, it's no issue.
Were that an issue then concerns for 'fast-roping' or 'abseil' serials would occur.

* The T11 canopy is as good as any in the world. Keep in mind the size of the American airborne community across their three services including their reserve forces, therefore statistical occurrence for opinions on parachute quality is that much higher. Anyway, you also carry/wear a reserve parachute, so what's the issue? :) The canopy gets blamed for poor skills and in instances being used outside of it's design parameters, i.e. high wind conditions.
 
Last edited:

Snows

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 2, 2021
Messages
73
Reaction score
246
*Downdraft is not an issue from a helio. In the instance shown, the chinook has forward motion rather than in the hover. Either way, it's no issue.
@Simba Just adding to that, downdraft as you may be thinking of it (when people are near a landed or landing helo) is caused as much by the ground as it is by the blades. Fast moving air is trapped between the blades forcing it away, and the solid ground. This creates the extreme wind escaping in any direction possible. Think of a hovercraft - it's not going to hover 100ft in the air, it needs the resistance of the ground.

Aerodynamics actually in there air, when there is little to no resistance offered, are very different. You can get buffeted exiting an airframe by various effects, but by the time you've fallen a little distance you are out of their effective range.
 

Simba

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2021
Messages
11
Reaction score
6
All great replies guys thanks, I think the BPC is often forgotten about when talking about joining. I’m starting to think there is a lot to learn!!
 

Nutter

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Messages
82
Reaction score
90
Great stuff @Alec_Lomas . Do you have any free fall experience ? How does that compare to static line mate? Also out of interest what is the drill if you land in water, I assume it’s panic stations as the chute would drag you under?
 

Chelonian

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
83
Reaction score
275
As an aside, during the 1970s a sport parachuting gizmo was an altimeter-activated reserve. It would deploy the reserve at a selected altitude unless it was manually disabled once one's main canopy had correctly deployed.

It was a long time ago but the shame of landing under a functional main canopy with a deployed reserve dangling like Mrs Miggins' laundry was horrifying to contemplate. The device probably had a justifiable specific application though.

@Alec_Lomas might comment if he spots this.
 

Alec_Lomas

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 4, 2021
Messages
22
Reaction score
58
As an aside, during the 1970s a sport parachuting gizmo was an altimeter-activated reserve. It would deploy the reserve at a selected altitude unless it was manually disabled once one's main canopy had correctly deployed.

It was a long time ago but the shame of landing under a functional main canopy with a deployed reserve dangling like Mrs Miggins' laundry was horrifying to contemplate. The device probably had a justifiable specific application though.

@Alec_Lomas might comment if he spots this.

There was a 'Barometric' activated gizmo looped into the reserve locking pins. Memory fade as a result of age....... I think it was called a 'Sentinel' It was preset to activate below 1500' in student f/fall sport para descents IF the student was travelling at a speed higher than what would be recognised if he were under a normal descending canopy.

The word 'Barometric' relates to the pre-programming of the device. It refers to a drop in air pressure, in this instance to airspeed through a 'tube' which in turn triggers a device causing the reserve closure pins to pull apart. Gents I'm not explaining this too well, but you have the raison d'etre of the instrument.

The device had it's 'moments'. The device was set by an instructor on the ground prior to emplaning. Following take off as the aircraft climbed to altitude, the device was prone to activate if set incorrectly causing a reserve deployment in the aircraft. Such instances were occasionally experienced under a complete canopy. These matters were recorded to the BPA Safety & Training Committee.

Evolvements included a 'ballistic' deployment of a pilot 'chute' attached to the reserve canopy. That had it's moments in the sport para world. As the military had ( has yet?) sport para training (ATF) centres at Neatheravon, Bad Lippspringer in Germany, Kingsfield in Cyprus in my time, devices such as the 'Sentinel' were well tested and proven and we became an unofficial clearinghouse for a commercial device.

The sport of parachuting is given every encouragement in our military establishments irrelevant of infantry or corps and has been officially since !975 when the ATF system kicked into gear. Up to that time, adventuresome folks just discovered their local jump centre, open their wallets, and gone on with it, the military offered a two-week freebie as a taster.
 

Alec_Lomas

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 4, 2021
Messages
22
Reaction score
58
Great stuff @Alec_Lomas . Do you have any free fall experience ? How does that compare to static line mate? Also out of interest what is the drill if you land in water, I assume it’s panic stations as the chute would drag you under?

Ok, I'll bite.......... Yes to your first question.
Static-Line v F/Fall...... well you can static line a round and a square from 25,000' and enjoy the ride down....... all that time, plugged into your favourite music earbuds, or maybes helmet inter-patrol comms. Alec, a 2 Para mate would spark up a ciggie.

Water? well, there are those CRD's ( Canopy release devices) activated as you enter the briny, so none of the drowned activity.
 
Top