Hearing about another canopy collision resulting in a fatality saddens me Far too many of our friends in the sky are snatched away while under a perfectly good canopy. We all must do a better job of preventing canopy collisions.
Knowledge and training are some of your best defenses. If your dropzone offers canopy courses, take advantage of them! If you have never taken one please do, regardless of how many jumps you have or how badass you think you are. You might learn more about that wing above your head, you might gain that confidence you were lacking under canopy, you might learn that some things you thought you knew were completely wrong. Only good can come out of it for you and everyone in the air with you.
If your dropzone doesn’t offer canopy courses there are courses available from outfits like Flight-1. Talk with your dropzone staff to see if there is interest in organizing a course.
When was the last time you rear riser stalled your canopy?
How much toggle input does it take to stall your canopy?
How would you make it back from a long spot up/down wind?
Could you put your canopy down in a small backyard if you had to?
How do you obtain and maintain horizontal and vertical canopy separation?
Obstacle avoidance… is a quick level flat turn second nature?
There is no shame in admitting you might not know the best answers, but if you have any doubts or are feeling unsure about your canopy skills please seek out information from your coaches, instructors, s&ta’s. They are great resources, make use of them.
I had the opportunity to take Ian Drennan’s Flight-1 course again at Skydive Pepperell recently, and it was well worth it. It was a great refresher from last time, and was fun finding out that my joy of canopy stalls from last year was spreading
Pepperell’s Boogie is coming up, so let’s start off the Safety Tips with canopy control, here’s some great reading from Take Back the Sky.