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Safety

Home Up Safety Training Emergencies Regulations

 

[ Prerequisites ] [ Information ] [ Instructors ] [ Equipment ] [ Training Programs ] [ Aircraft ] [ Dive Planning ] [ Exit ] [ Setup ] [ Docking ] [ Maneouvres ] [ Break Off ] [ Flight Path ] [ Landings ] [ Weather ] [Other ]

Introduction

     As discussed on the Safety & Training page, there are many factors that affect the safety of CRW parachutists. It should also be re-emphasized that a structured training program, a suitably qualified instructor, CRW specific equipment, and adherence to fundamental safety and technique principles will go a long way to keeping a CRW jumper safe.

     Following are a series of tips & tricks and do's and do not's that will assist in keeping you safe. Again, there are more details throughout the OzCRW website.


Prerequisite Skills & Experiences

     Obviously, prior general parachuting experience is essential. But there are certain skills that you can develop whilst making those jumps. The benefit in terms of safety is that you will be able to respond better to emergency situations or avoid them in the first place if you know what is going on and how things work. These skills include:

  • basic equipment selection & configuration.
  • packing.
  • assessing weather conditions.
  • spotting.
  • general exit and freefall skills as well as the ability to deploy in a stable position.
  • knowledge of general parachuting emergency situations and procedures. Examples:
    • hard pulls.
    • pilot chute in tow.
    • bag lock (may not be directly relevant in CRW) and streamers.
    • line twists (you need to be extra fast in resolving them when doing CRW due to the potential of hitting other parachutists and/or flying uncontrollably further away from the formation).
    • catastrophic canopy and/or suspension line damage.
    • end cell closure.
    • line overs.
    • slider hang up.
    • canopy collisions.
    • etc.
  • executing emergency procedures.
  • heading control during deployment using rear risers.
  • maintaining and/or controlling heading during canopy flight.
  • traffic awareness throughout ALL parts of the jump including:
    • pre exit  & spotting.
    • exit & freefall.
    • deployment & heading correction.
    • during canopy flight.
    • setup for landing.
    • landing.
    • walking back from the landing area.
  • use and response of all control inputs (toggles, front and rear risers, harness).
  • a basic understanding of aerodynamics.
  • landing and accuracy skills.
  • experience flying in traffic or doing non contact CRW with other parachutists.

     Some experience in non contact CRW would be beneficial so that you are already comfortable flying in close proximity to other canopies. This allows the time spent with a CRW instructor to be on actually doing CRW instead of getting used to the idea.

     Many of these skills will be covered in the introductory CRW theory lesson. But it should be a refresher lesson only, not an introduction of new information. Otherwise the theory course will not be as affective and less time will be spent on the CRW specific theory. Coupled with this is the fact that most people will have accumulated at least 100 jumps (this number is variable) prior to doing CRW and they could and should have used that time to develop the skills mentioned above. Those skills are relevant to general parachuting as well as CRW.


Information & Research

     There is a plethora of information available about skydiving, parachuting, and CRW in particular. The OzCRW website is a great start. If you know most of the things in this website before you start CRW you will be well advanced compared to other students. There are a million other sources of information including:

  • the links page on the OzCRW website. This will take you to most other CRW and parachuting related websites in the world. These links include:
    • various international parachuting organisations.
    • parachuting publications.
    • aviation organisations.
    • weather, aerodynamics, and other sources of theoretical and practical information.
  • your local drop zone, instructors, and competitors. These will either have the resources or contacts to get you into CRW.

     Remember, INFORMATION IS POWER!!!!! And those that have the information are the ones in control.


Qualified Instruction

     The person who is teaching CRW should have prior CRW experience, CRW competence, and an ability to impart knowledge to students. He should also teach in a structured and logical manner using appropriate equipment.

Although it is OK to conduct non contact CRW exercises with other generally experienced canopy pilots,


CRW Specific Equipment & Accessories


Training Programs


Aircraft


Dive Planning

spotting

other skydivers

other aviation activities


Exit & Deployment


Setup


Docking


Manoeuvres & Formations


Break Off


Flight Path


Landings


Weather


Other Tips


 

Following are notes & other ideas relevant to this section that require further development. Please ignore.

  • Statistics
  • Accidents
  • Fatalities
  • Risk Factors and Risk Management in CRW
  • How to minimise risks

Risk factors - which formations are riskier and why? Assuming the formation mentioned below are complete, the following risks apply:

planes - are the most stable due to the leading edge of the canopy of the parachutist below resting on the suspension (brake) lines of the canopy above right across the leading edge. The parachutists are almost connected together. The formation is compressed. This means that is is difficult for the bottom canopy to move independently (turn, rise, fall, etc) from the rest of the formation.

stacks - 

stair-steps - 

wings - 

 

  • traffic awareness throughout ALL parts of the jump including:
    • pre exit  & spotting.
    • exit & freefall.
    • deployment & heading correction.
    • setup for formation.
    • whilst doing CRW.
    • break off.
    • setup for landing.
    • landing.
    • walking back from the landing area.

 

 

  • CRW etiquette air rules, right of way, landing patterns.
  • a prospective CRW jumper should have a thorough knowledge of canopy flight characteristics
  • understanding of the relative compatibility of various canopies
  • accuracy reliability and skills
  • begin with vertical formations - they are easier, safer, and more stable than offsets
  • learn offset formation AFTER developing competency in vertical formations
  • initial jumps should be 2 ways - student & tutor/instructor
  • initial theory lesson should include information on canopy aerodynamics and flight fundamentals, docking techniques, break off procedures, and emergency procedures
  • weather / turbulence considerations:
    • don't jump in turbulent or gusty wind conditions.
    • in areas subject to turbulence, it is preferable to jump early in the morning & later in the evening when thermal activity is minimal.
    • avoid flying near clouds, which develop as a result of unstable air conditions.
    • avoid flying over runways & roads (paved areas), plowed fields, and other locations which generate turbulent activity.
    • it is better to fly into wind when flying through turbulence due to a greater ability to maintain or recover pressurisation.

NIGHT CANOPY FORMATIONS

    As well as all the day time safety considerations, the following should be considered as well:

  • illumination
  • special communication techniques noise in base & give it the right of way
  • where to go if you get lost
  • landing patterns and techniques

CRW specific incident report form - way to analyse what went wrong

 

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Copyright 2005 OzCRW. Last modified: May 16, 2005