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How important is the exit?

Dear Rolls

We are an AA team just going into AAA, and about to book our training for the year. We hope to do 100-150 training jumps (depending on weather) in 2 training camps, plus 5 hours of tunnel. Our major competition is the National Championships, where the meet is 10 rounds, out of a Caravan, and our goal is a double figure average for our first year in AAA. Our dream goal is a 12 average. (We averaged 9.9 in AA last year.) We can train at a dropzone that has a Caravan or one that has two turbine G92s. The first option gives us the nationals aircraft for exits, and the second one would maybe give us an extra 30-50 jumps (depending obviously on the weather). How do we balance those two factors? Our exits were generally okay last year but now there are a lot more to learn! 


Hello Alicia,

Let me summarise the info you gave me; the main goal is your National Championship out of the Caravan, the team can do about 150 training jumps divided over two camps and 5 hours of tunnel training… I would say that’s a good start!

I believe if the Nationals are your main goal, you need to train the Caravan for sure.

There are differences between the Caravan and the Dornier such as flying speed, dimensions of the door, handle bars, prop-blast etc. Also the exit timing and the strength we need to present ourselves to the wind can be slightly different. Plus don’t forget the cameraflyer, his preparation is just as important as the one from the team. Also mentally everyone will feel more ‘at home’ during the meet if you train the Caravan during the year.

The more we train the plane we need for our major competition, the better we are prepared. BUT if you can do 30-50 jumps extra out of the Dornier it is worth giving it some thought! Let’s say that if you can do 50 extra jumps out of the Dornier, it gives you 25% extra jumps and that is a lot.

If I would be you, I would use both planes. The first part of the year I would use the Dornier and try to jump as much as possible. The second part of the year I would go and train the Caravan. I think it is important to find the right balance between jumping as much as you can for the same money, and preparing yourselves as good as possible for your Nationals.

Another thing worth asking yourself is, what you want to do with the exits? Do you want to learn all the new exits for AAA, or do you keep to a few ‘standard exits’?

Important is also how to divide the number of jumps and hours of tunnel. If you only have two training camps, make sure the timing is good regarding the Nationals, and what if you have bad weather that camp? Do you have a back-up plan?

For the tunnel it is much easier to plan the training time, as it is not weather depending of course. Again, be smart with it in which period of the year you schedule these sessions and how you combine it with the outdoor training. The kind of tunnel training must be beneficial for jumping.

Last but not least, if you really want to perform well during the Nationals, make sure you participate in some other competitions earlier on. This experience will surely help you reaching your goal.

Good luck!

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