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International, independent, e-magazine on skydiving, BASE & tunnel

Half & Full Eagles

Half Eagle
Half Eagle

Once you have proved your flying ability as a multi-dimensional free-flyer, along with being comfortable with the Sit to Head and Head to Sit transitions, you can begin learning the Half Eagle skill. This will challenge your transition ability as the airflow will be disturbed by the other flyer, so the move will feel different. The Half Eagle is a moving transition and will challenge your overall ability to fly each of the vertical orientations.

The Full Eagle move takes all of the individual skills from the Half Eagle, placing them together as one skill. Ideally, during the learning phase of Half Eagles, you became comfortable with starting and stopping in each “slot”. The Full Eagle requires that you are completing each half of the maneuver as one complete skill.

The Eagles are fun skills to learn and master, leading to competition-type moves.


The primary objective is for two flyers to be able to safely and successfully perform Half and Full Eagle maneuvers, with both flyers beginning in their specified “slots,” ending in their original “slots” at the same altitude, and returning to their neutral positions.


Begin by performing the transitions solo, starting on one side of the tunnel, facing the center. You will end the maneuver still facing the center, but on the opposite side of the tunnel facing the opposite direction to that of what you started. Make sure you’re comfortable flying each of the roles of a Half Eagle without another flyer or the effects of his/her burble. Once confident in your solo transition, your Instructor will step in and add a small burble or reference to fly around. For example, the Instructor might use his arm in order to build a visual reference, while creating a minimal air disturbance.

Once you are ready to fly with another person:

Sit to Head Front Flip Over the Flyer

  • Create some forward drive and decrease fall rate slightly to initiate the transition
  • Carry just enough momentum to travel smoothly through the other flyer’s burble but not too much that it creates extra distance from the other flyer
  • Keep your chin up during the beginning and middle of this transition to create the correct body position and ensure you can keep eye contact with the other flyer

Head to Sit Front Flip Under the Flyer

  • Create some forward drive and increase fall rate slightly to initiate the transition
  • Fly through the Back Fly portion of the transition up to Sit Fly without creating too much distance from the other flyer
  • Keep your chin down during the beginning and middle of the transition to create the correct body position and allow you to maintain eye contact with the other flyer

Full Eagle

  • Set up correctly and visualize the idea of placing two Half Eagles together to complete the Full Eagle. Begin in your most comfortable slot and perform one Full Eagle to a complete stop. Then, switch roles so that you begin in the opposite orientation and perform one Full Eagle to a stop.

Team Flying Notes

Check In

  • Were you able to maintain control throughout the whole maneuver?
  • What techniques did you feel comfortable with and what can you improve on during the next session?
  • Do you have a preferred “slot” (beginning in sit-fly or beginning in head-down)?

Learn more about the fundamentals of the Eagle maneuvers on the IBA Skills page. Download the full lesson plan and check out the rest of the post-flight evaluation questions and suggestions.

More Tutorial Videos

Previous Tutorial, Head Down Turns

IBA Sit Fly Tutorials HERE

IBA Back Fly Tutorials HERE

IBA Dynamic Progression Tutorials HERE

This article was originally published on @the_iba