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Banana, Banana, Banana!!

Wingsuit flying is undoubtedly the sharp end of skydiving. Suit design and manufacture has created incredibly responsive flying machines. All benefits have their price, and the downside of an ultra high performance suit is, it's easy to lose control… as this video [below] of a very experienced wingsuiter (700 wingsuit jumps) shows.

We thank him for putting it online for everyone to learn from.

  • Don't get a higher performance wingsuit until you are flying the pants off your existing one
  • Allow at least an extra thousand feet above recommended deployment altitudes if jumping a wingsuit, see previous article
Scotty Burns
Scotty Burns

Scotty Burns commentates

Tankslapper

So this is what we call “The TankSlapper of the Sky”… So here Steve is flying along with Jason Moledzki at Skydive DeLand during the Wingsuit Speed Camp, head low, driving as fast as they can as they are nearing break-off…

No Shit…

Steve makes a small motion while checking his airspace that begins a slight gyroscopic rotation about both the Longitudinal and Vertical Axis which results in an unrecoverable spin. Steve does exactly the only thing that will get him to the ground safely; deploys and sacrifices his main canopy, chops and lands under his reserve in just about the only way you can get yourself out of this situation.

The spin caused an uneven deployment, check the difference in riser alignment — by Steve Hubbard
The spin caused an uneven deployment, check the difference in riser alignment — by Steve Hubbard

This video highlights some of the scenarios that one can encounter very easily when taking big suits to the max. Much longer in that spin and you’re close to G-LOC. Watch and learn kids, this is a great example of how to handle this situation [unrecoverable spin], should you ever find yourself in it. Great job to Steve for not dying and doing things just right. Now, let's hear it for Him!! Him!!! … Oh and Steve, where'd you learn to fly like that anyways?? ;-)
Scotty Burns

Fly Sight Data shows the spin began at 4,680 feet
Fly Sight Data shows the spin began at 4,680 feet
Seems like a great spot to lose control of a wingsuit, don't you think?! [4,600 feet]
Jason Moledzki — by Balazs Gardi/Red Bull
Jason Moledzki — by Balazs Gardi/Red Bull

Jason Moledzki adds some wisdom…

This is what it looked like from my position:

The dearch is the opposite of Banana, Banana, Banana!
The dearch is the opposite of Banana, Banana, Banana!

Spin Avoidance

The spin is caused by rolling his left shoulder and arm to low, getting air on the top, and then keeping it there. The thing that made it ‘unrecoverable’ was the fact he brought his knees in and ‘de-arched’ turning the rolls into a flat spin on his back (which you can see from his POV angle) The correct recovery position ‘IMHO’ and from my personal experience is, BANANA, BANANA, BANANA!!!

'BANANA, BANANA, BANANA!!' has been shown to be more effective than 'F*ck, F*ck, F*ck!'
'BANANA, BANANA, BANANA!!' has been shown to be more effective than 'F*ck, F*ck, F*ck!'

Recovery Position

Just like a tandem side spin recovery, the pilot should close their legs together and straighten them removing the wing from the air, also close the arms tight to the sides of the body, closing the wings and putting your hands near the main deployment handles. Then “ARCH LIKE FUCK” while yelling “BANANA, BANANA, BANANA!!” like your fucking life depends on it!

Jason Moledzki

Read the full story including Steve's perspective at Blue Skies Mag

Obviously articles on the web are for information purposes only. Anyone jumping a wingsuit for the first time should take a first flight course to be fully prepared

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