Canopy Course in Banning
30 years ago, a parachute was simply something that you had to use to get to the ground after your freefall, so that you could pack up and go again for another skydive. Changing from round to square parachutes (really rectangle, but square by comparison) the new square parachutes were large, slow and opened properly only some of the time.
Today, things have changed quite a lot in the parachute world. Advancements in design and technology have us jumping parachutes that are easily ten to twenty times faster than what was on the market 30 years ago. The openings are much more comfortable and reliable. “High Performance” is now a “thing”. The need for speed seems to have gripped everyone under a canopy. But learning how to master these new designs seems to have taken a back seat.
While Wind Tunnels are popping up all over the place and students are learning to fly their bodies in the free fall simulators before they take them to the skies, the flight of parachutes hasn’t been getting quite the same attention. For the most part, canopy control classes are much the same as they were 30 years ago. “Is it square, will it get you there? Great, here are the basics of a landing pattern, pull on the toggles all the way for landing and make sure you land into wind!”
Flight-1 is a company that has surfaced to take the lead in bridging this gap in the basic understanding of canopy flight with a full and very comprehensive program, teaching everything from the very basics of a flight cycle and how a parachute really fly’s, all the way to high performance, high speed landings.
Understanding basic aerodynamics may seem a little overwhelming to most, but the flight-1 team have it down to a science that anyone can understand. The use of well-presented materials, videos and diagrams, opens everyone eyes as to what is really going on above their heads with that spread of nylon. It’s not just something to get you to the ground, it’s something that you can gain much control over and with the right inputs and understanding, help you judge exactly where you are, or are not going to land.
John Minos – Canadian National Piloting team member for two World meets with a list of competitions as long as your arm, loves flying parachutes and it shows. His ability to share that knowledge is part of the reason he is such a valuable member of the flight-1 team.
Understanding your parachute should be as much a part of your skydive as mastering your body in freefall. Every skydive should have a flight plan and a flight pattern and with the skills you learn on a flight-1 course, or any other canopy course you might take, you can make much better decisions on how to get to where you want to go and decide if getting there is even possible. Having a full understanding of your parachute and having things to “practice” under canopy should be as much a part of your skydive as turning points in a formation.
Canopy skills are now a requirement for obtaining your “B” license and we at Skydive West Coast are more than happy to put a course together for you to help you achieve that goal. Everyone should spend more time trying to understand their parachute. It makes for much safer skies and much better landings.