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Glossary Q to Z

Home Up Links Glossary A to D Glossary E to P Glossary Q to Z


Glossary of Terminology with CRW Perspective

    If you have problems understanding CRW jumpers and their jargon, don't worry. Study the terminology below and you'll fit in before you get your first line burn. There are many CRW specific terms in the glossary below. I have also attempted to define a CRW perspective on some general skydiving terminology. If you want an explanation on materials and rigging terminology, I strongly recommend "The Parachute Manual" by Dan Poynter.

[ A to D ] [ E to P ] [ Q R ] [ S ] [ T ] [ U V ] [ W ] [ X Y Z ]

Term Definition Country

Q QNH Pressure Setting which indicates height above sea level.
Quad When a group of four parachutists are linked together. It is usually in a vertical (planed / stacked) formation.
R RAC Rigging Advisory Circular. APF &/or manufacturer rigging advisories. Australia
Radio A communication device usually used for student operations.
Ram Air A double surfaced & ribbed canopy which attains an aerofoil (wing) shape by the action of the relative wind being forced through the holes at the leading edge (nose).
Rapide Links A barrel style quick connector link developed by the Maillon-Rapide company in France. They are the most commonly used in the world today due to being light, cheap, small, with a lower propensity to rotate. See Connector Links & L-Bar.
Reefing System A system whose function is to slow the inflation of a parachute.
Reinforcements Strong tape or webbing sewn into material at locations subjected to high stress.
Relative Altitude The distance between two points in the vertical plane. Usually measured by an altimeter. See Alti & Altitude.
Relative Humidity Ratio of water vapour actually in the air compared what the air would hold at saturation.
Relative Wind A combination of wind and/or air flow that an object is exposed to. A moving object creates its own relative wind. A moving air mass imposes a relative wind onto an object.
Reserve A secondary (auxiliary) parachute in a dual parachute system. It is utilised whenever the main parachute malfunctions.
Retraction System A system that retracts the bridle and pilot chute hard up against the canopy once the deployment sequence nears completion. It has two purposes. One is to collapse the pilot chute to prevent in flight inflation & corresponding decrease in performance of the parachute. The other is to clear the space immediately around a canopy so that CRW jumpers can fly immediately adjacent to other canopies and not have to worry about entangling with bridles & pilot chutes.
  Ribs The vertical pieces of material on the parachute that join the top skin of a canopy to the bottom skin. See Load Bearing Ribs and Non Load Bearing Ribs.  
Rig Colloquial for a complete harness/container & parachute system.
Rigger A person certified to pack, alter, and/or maintain parachute systems.
Rip Cord A deployment system where a spring loaded pilot chute is released by a cord that opens the pack holding the pilot chute. This method is not used in CRW. See Pilot Chute.
Riser Dock When a CRW parachutist docks the canopy such that the risers are positioned at the body of the parachutist above. A line dock is where the feet of the parachutist above are in the lines. A canopy dock is where the fabric is positioned at the feet of the parachutist above. 
Riser Jockey Colloquial for CRW parachutist.
Risers Pieces of webbing that connect the harness to the suspension lines via the connector links.
Rotation When a parachutist disconnects from the top of a vertical formation and then flies down to rejoin at the bottom of the formation.
Rotations A competition CRW event involving 4 parachutists and a cameraperson. The objective is to build a quad and then perform as many rotations as possible in a set time.
Round A single surface canopy. Also known as one jump completed by all teams in a competition.
RSL Reserve Static Line. A line or material that links the riser of the main parachute to some component of the reserve deployment system. Its function is to automatically initiate reserve deployment once the main canopy is released.
Rubber Bands See Bands, Rubber.
Rubis A CRW specific canopy made by The Parachute Shop, Bensancon, France. It was designed for use as a rotations and 8 way speed canopy. 
Running Heading down wind to maximise ground speed. If spotted correctly, this is the direction parachutists head after the canopy is fully opened.
RW Relative Work. Performing aerial manoeuvres whilst in freefall.
S S&TA Safety & Training Advisor. A USPA position based at local drop zones who is able to provide advice and assistance. USA
Sashay A sashay is a movement to one side and then to another. Modern CRW Rotations technique involves the pilot flying the canopy out & down the side of the formation, and then sneaking back in under the bottom canopy. 
Seal A seal (piece of lead with packers/riggers ID) is tied onto the reserve pin after the inspection and packing is completed. Its function is to indicate who packed the gear last. A missing seal may indicate that someone has tampered with the gear or that an unqualified person may have repacked the reserve.
Seat Belts Restraints used during take off, landing, and low altitude flight in all para-drop aircraft. They reduce the amount of relative movement of bodies within an aircraft during high impact landings and during excessive flight turbulence.
Sentinel An AAD made by SSE (Steve Snyder Enterprises) Inc.
Sequential The activity of building various formations and flying intermediate pieces during a CF descent. Usually done for the purpose of competition and with 4 parachutists. *
Sequential - 2 Way A competitive discipline in canopy formation parachuting involving 2 parachutists and a cameraperson who build a series of drawn formations. *
Sequential - 4 Way A competitive discipline in canopy formation parachuting involving 4 parachutists and a cameraperson who build a series of drawn formations. *
Sequential - 8 Way A competitive discipline in canopy formation parachuting involving 8 persons and a cameraperson who build a series of drawn formations. *
Shock Loading The maximum force exerted on a canopy during deployment.
Side by Side When two or more parachutists are flying in the same direction whilst they are linked at the body and the end cells of their parachutes are in contact.
Sink Rate The rate of descent of an object through a fluid medium.
Skydiver A parachutist who includes a freefall component during the descent. See Parachutist.
Skydiving The freefall part of a parachute descent.
Skygod A parachutist well respected for his/her skills and achievements in the sport.
S/L See Static Line.
Sleeve A deployment device that the canopy is packed into. It is usually long and tapered in shape.
Slider A rectangular piece of material & grommets which the suspension lines of the canopy run through. It controls the speed of inflation (opening force) by inhibiting the spread of the canopy during horizontal expansion (inflation). As the canopy expands, the slider is forced from the top of the suspension lines down to the risers, thereby allowing full pressurisation (inflation) in a controlled manner.
Slot A predefined position in a planned formation. Each parachutist must fly to their slot and maintain their position until keyed to move onto the next formation and possibly a new slot.
Snatch Force The force exerted by the deployment system on the parachutist, when a canopy extracted from the container accelerates to the same speed as the parachutist.
Snivel The canopy is said to snivel if the time between line stretch and commencement of horizontal expansion is greater than normal. It is a delayed pressurisation of the canopy.
SOS Single Operating System. A system designed such that pulling any handle will release the main risers and initiate reserve deployment. Used mainly in student operations. It is dangerous to use for CRW as you want to be clear of your emergency prior to commencing reserve activation.
Span The distance from one wing tip of a canopy to the opposite wing tip (side to side).
Spectra A high strength, lighter, poly-fibre replacing other lines (Kevlar, Dacron, nylon). 
Spider Slider A slider that is made up of two diagonal pieces of webbing joined in the centre. This slider gives faster openings (due to less air resistance) and better views for the parachutist using it.
Spilling Air escaping from a canopy leading to pressurisation fluctuations.
Split Slider A modified slider that can be split from side to side after deployment is completed. This allows unobstructed views for the cameraperson when filming canopy formations.
Sport Parachuting Where the objective for parachuting is recreational, it is considered sport parachuting. This includes most civilian parachuting operations, regardless of whether a financial gain is involved. Military parachuting is one example that does not fit into this category.
Spot The exit point related to a ground reference. Many factors influence where the correct spot is including, wind speeds at various altitudes, exit/opening heights, type of equipment, type of jumps, and number of parachutists. See Spotting.
Spotting Actively controlling the flight path of an aircraft such that parachutists may exit at the correct ground reference point. This gives the best opportunity to reach the target landing area. 
Square Most reserve & earlier main ram air canopies were rectangular in shape. They were referred to as square, probably due to the fact that there predecessors were referred to as rounds.
Stabiliser Piece of material connected to the outside bottom of the end cells whose function is to promote stability (reduced oscillations) by controlling air flow around the canopy.
Stability A measure of how stable a body is when interacting with a fluid. When disturbed, the body tends to find a new equilibrium by use of movement and force. Incorrect responses may create greater instability.
Stable Where a parachutist is in control of positioning, movements, and their relationship with air flow. A stable parachutist is said to be in equilibrium (forces are balanced).
Stack A vertical CRW formation where the parachutist above is positioned at the centre cell leading edge or A-line attachments of the parachutist below. This is most commonly achieved by the parachutist below flying the leading edge of his canopy into contact with the body of the parachutist above. See Open-Close.
Stairstep A CRW formation where the feet of the top parachutist are linked to the end cell outer A-line of the bottom parachutist. It is the basis (technique) of all offset formations.
Stall A wing stalls when the angle of attack becomes so great that it disturbs the relative air flow over the top of the wing hereby inducing a vacuum and losing the force of lift. A parachutist will experience loss of forward speed, temporary reduction in wind noise, and an increase in descent rate whilst at the same time losing control of the flight characteristics of their canopy. *
Static Line A line is attached from the object from which the parachutist is jumping from to the deployment system of the canopy. Deployment of the canopy is initiated by the parachutist falling away from the object to which the S/L is attached to.
Steering Lines See brake lines.
Stevens Lanyard Invented by Perry Stevens. See RSL.
Stow Suspension lines neatly locked by rubber bands into a tail pocket.
Streamer A high speed malfunction where line stretch is not followed by horizontal expansion and the canopy fails to inflate.
Student A parachutist who has not yet attained the first recognised license and is still under the full guidance of a certified instructor.
Suspension Lines Material (usually made of Dacron, nylon, or Kevlar) that connects the canopy material (at line attachment points) to the connector links on the risers.
Swage Joining pieces of metal by using pressure.
Swoop Generating maximum glide, flare, and distance from a canopy during final approach. Usually achieved by generating maximum air speed prior to the approach and then adjusting the control inputs of the canopy to create the most efficient wing possible.
T Tail See Trailing Edge.
Tail Pocket A pocket sewn onto the top surface of a canopy at the trailing edge. The suspension lines are stowed into the tail pocket.
Tandem Jump A parachute jump involving two people (instructor & student) suspended under the same canopy.
Target The planned/intended landing area. See Accuracy.
Tension Bar A leverage device used to gain mechanical advantage over closing loops, especially when closing reserve parachutes.
Terminal Velocity This is attained when an equilibrium is attained between drag (a body's resistance to air) and weight (the force of gravitational attraction). The acceleration equals zero. A typical person in a box-man position will reach approximately 200 km/hr after about 9 seconds of freefall.
Three Ring Release Invented by Bill Booth. It is a series of 3 interlocking rings which keep the harness attached to the risers until the cutaway handle is pulled. 
Throw Out A hand deployed pilot chute system. The pilot chute is pulled out of a pocket (see BOC), thrown into the relative air flow at the side of the parachutist. It then induces drag by inflating, opens the container, and extracts the parachute. See Pull Out.
Toggles Grips of various descriptions (usually a loop of webbing material) connected to the brake lines. They improve the grip a parachutist has on the brake lines, which in turn, control the flight of a canopy.
Toggle Turkey Colloquial for CRW parachutist.
Trailing Edge The rear most part of the canopy where the top & bottom skin are attached and the brake lines are connected to.
Triathlon A CRW specific canopy made by Aerodyne International from the USA. There is also a hybrid version of the Triathlon which can be used for general skydiving and CRW.
Trim Tabs A method of altering the angle of attack of a canopy by using a front riser pulley system. Especially used by CRW videographers and sometimes by people in large CRW formations.
TSO Technical Standard Order. USA - FAA regulations applied to standards of manufacture for various products. See TSO-C23c. USA
TSO-C23c The TSO that specifically relates to parachuting products. See TSO & AS-8015A & Mil Spec. USA
Tube Stows Tubular rubber bands. See Bands, Rubber.
Turbulence Disturbed airflow resulting in variations in localised pressure and relative air velocity. It occurs either when either the path of a moving air mass is obstructed by an object, or an object is propelled through an air mass. Relative air flow on the lee / aft side of the object is turbulent. Parachutists should avoid turbulence.
Turn Around An aborted jump run, usually when the aircraft has passed too far beyond the established exit point.
Turns Changes in heading or direction caused by the parachutist applying force any of his control inputs.
Tutor A parachutist who is qualified and capable of teaching parachutists specific skills related to a particular area of parachuting. For example, a CRW tutor. There is not always a formal qualification requirement to act as a tutor although it is recommended. See Instructor.
U Uppers Wind characteristics at higher altitudes. When discussing uppers, CRW jumpers normally consider winds from exit height until break off height.
USPA United States Parachute Association. Governs sport parachuting activities in the USA and is a member of the NAA & FAI. USA
V Velcro Commercial name for hook and pile nylon tape fastener. It must be maintained/replaced on a regular basis. The hook material tends to quickly wear out materials that it comes into contact with.
Velocity A vector quantity that includes a magnitude, and a relative direction. See Speed.
Vents Mesh covered holes on the bottom skin of some accuracy and BASE jumping canopies. There function is to reduce the time required for pressurisation and to allow air flow into the cells when flying with minimal forward speed (i.e. in a deep brake configuration). Also, commonly found on several panels of advanced round canopies. They assist in steering.
Vigil An AAD made by ?????.
W WADA World Anti Doping Agency.
WAG World Air Games. An international sporting event involving several FAI air sports at the same time.
Waiver Permission granted by qualified parachuting authorities to deviate from regulations. Something that may be useful to CRW jumpers, especially when considering equipment configuration requirements.
Warping Achieved by flying with front riser and opposite toggle inputs. The aim is to reduce forward speed and control descent rate. Often used by the base to make himself an easier target, or by parachutists flying  a wing slot on an offset formation.
Water Jump Intentionally landing a parachute into water.
Wave Off A key or signal given by a parachutist to indicate the cessation of activity and commencement of formation break down.
WDI Wind Drift Indicator. A device that is supposed to approximate the flight characteristics of flying parachute. It is used to indicate wind patterns.
Weather A description of meteorological activity. Wind direction & speed, visibility (cloud & fog), humidity, etc. All these must be considered for CRW jump as they impact safety & flight performance.
Weight The force of gravitational attraction. It is one of three main forces acting on the wing. Insufficient weight may mean poor pressurisation of a canopy. Hence the wing will not be shaped properly and will fly inefficiently. It will also be more prone to pressurisation fluctuations (even total shutdown). An excessively loaded canopy may have a weight force which exceeds the lift force by such an amount that the parachutist is unable to flare upon landing. See Lift & Drag.
Weights Used to equalise the exit weight (or wing loading) of parachutists in formations. See Wing Loading.
Weight Shift Another steering technique. Altering the relative loading on each side of the canopy by shifting the your weight in the harness. For example, loading the left side will steer the canopy left. This can be achieved by lifting the right buttock or lowering the leaning to the left.
Whuffo A person who does not jump. "Why fo dey jump out of dem perfekly gud airplanes"? Extended to include ignorant parachutists who have the same attitude towards other disciplines in the sport. See Meatie.
Wind Line A line parallel to the wind velocity vector.
Wind Sock A cloth tube mounted on a freely rotating pole. It is used to indicate ground wind direction and velocity.
Wing A position in offset formations where a parachutist makes a stair-step dock on another parachutist (one side of his canopy is caught by another parachutists), and the other side of his canopy is not connected to anyone. See Lock Off Slot.
Wing Dock This is a stair-step dock made where the parachutist being docked upon already has another parachutist connected on the opposite leg.
Wing Loading Ratio of overall exit weight (lbs) to the planform area of the canopy (square feet). The units are hence, lbs per square feet. Technically, it is the average force per unit area exerted on a canopy. In CRW, it is extremely important to balance wing loadings such that all parachutes have similar flying characteristics. This makes it easier to fly in formation together.
Wingsuit A flying suit integrated into a jumpsuit. There are 3 wings: one between the legs, and two that run between the arms and torso. The wings are follow the ram air design philosophy (two surfaces connected by vertical ribs). Wingsuits allow increased forward speeds and reduced descent rates. These mean that a parachutist can travel a greater distance for a given height.
Woomera A harness/container system developed by Roochutes Australia. It is unique in that the reserve is hand deployed. Most modern systems are ripcord deployed.
WPC World Parachuting Championships. The highest level of parachuting competition. Overseen by the FAI.
X - -
Y - -
Z ZP (Zero-P) Zero Porosity. This material is relatively impermeable to air. The less air that passes through canopy material, the more efficiently it flies. *

    This list is derived from Tom Begic with reference to the APF, USPA, BPA, The Skydivers Handbook, The Parachute Manual, and various internet sites.

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Copyright 2005 OzCRW. Last modified: May 16, 2005