Crosswind Landings

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Brian Germain explains the principles of crosswind landings in this exclusive video for our readers…

Leaning slightly towards the wind to counteract the tendency for the canopy to tip over in a crosswind landing – screenshot from Essential Flight Manuevers

Article and video by Brian Germain

Crosswind landings

Knowing how to do a crosswind landing is very important.  Many times we find ourselves in a situation where we have to land crosswind.  All of us. If you can’t do that without crashing, it’s a dangerous day for you to be jumping.

Sure, many of you have done some crosswind approaches and landings, but there is much more to this story. To plan and execute this type of approach, one must be very well versed in the geometry of navigation, as well as knowing the specific idiosyncrasies of crosswinds while in ground effect.

  • Make sure you don’t have any traffic
  • Pay attention to navigation, plan each leg of the pattern
  • Be aware of the tip over tendency, control by leaning with the hip

The topic is fully explained and demonstrated here…

Video Extract – Crosswind Landings

Crosswind Landings by Adventure Wisdom

Essential Flight Maneuvers

The video above is an exclusive extract from Brian Germain’s new video, Essential Flight Maneuvers, which is an hour and 20 minutes long. Here’s what Brian has to say about why he produced the video and who will benefit from it…

I love flying my parachute. It is my love that drives me to learn more and train harder, so that my skills can protect me from the unexpected. Further, my skill leads me to higher levels of joy. The more you can do with your canopy, the more fun you will have. This is why I have created my latest training video, Essential Flight Maneuvers (sorry for the spelling, Brits, but after all, I am a Yank).

The United States Parachute Association, among many other organizations, wisely decided to include a Canopy Piloting Proficiency Card with the B License requirements. On that card one finds many valuable canopy flight exercises that must be verified before the license is issued. A signature, however, does not necessarily prove that the jumper has truly mastered those skills. It does not even prove that they were trained fully in the “how” and “why” of these vital maneuvers. This is the focus of my new video.

I understand that many of you are far beyond your B license, and a great many of you got your licenses prior to the implementation of these very reasonable requirements. This does not mean that you are exempt from gravity nor its effects. The ground still hurts. This video is for everyone. 

  • If you think of your parachute only as a means to get to the ground safety so you can freefall again, this video is for you.
  • If you are struggling with landings, accuracy, or complex maneuvers, this video is for you. 
  • If you are a coach or instructor, and you are looking for ways to better help your students fly their parachutes safely, this video is certainly for you as well.

In short, I cannot think of a single skydiver who will not benefit from our work here. It is a gem.

Crosswind Landings

One of the areas of focus in Essential Flight Maneuvers is crosswind landings (see above video). This is a topic I spent a good deal of time on in this video, and I am very pleased with the clarity of the instruction that we created.

High angle of attack turns
Photo by Levant Tinaz, from an Adventure Wisdom canopy course

High angle of attack turns

Another area of skill that we all need to cultivate is high angle of attack turns. The automated response: “don’t turn low” only goes so far in preventing accidents. In my experience, it is not low turns that hurt people, it is inappropriate low turn techniques. There is often a need for a turn below 100 feet, but without deep knowledge and rehearsal, one is better off holding the heading you have and hoping for the best.

With a profound understanding, on the other hand, a great many things are possible. One aspect of this skill set involves pulling out of the dive before stopping the turn, while the other is about flaring first and executing the turn after you level off. Both are key skills if you are to be an adaptable canopy pilot who is ready for anything. These are topics that I discuss in detail in the video, as well as many of my other videos on AdventureWisdom.com

It is not low turns that hurt people, it is inappropriate low turn techniques

You can hang under your canopy like a piece of meat, waiting for the ground to come up, or you can fly. The trouble is, without a clear plan, the plethora of options is daunting, and we can find ourselves at a loss to think of things to do. This is why these jump plans were created. Each exercise is important, and each one should be repeated countless times. Once is never enough if your goal is true mastery. Please take the time to do these exercises precisely with complete awareness, your life really does depend on it.

I do what I do because I truly and deeply love skydivers, all skydivers. It pains me so much when people get hurt. My next thoughts are always about what I can do in the future to reduce the risks by teaching more, teaching better, and inspiring people to expand their canopy skills. The sport gets better by the day, and knowledge is what makes this expansion possible. In my metaphorical model of flight, Joy is Thrust, Ego is Weight, Fear is Drag, and Knowledge is Lift.

Take the time to do these exercises precisely with complete awareness, your life really does depend on it

Author Brian Germain by Levant Tinaz

FFI: AdventureWisdom.com

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Meet: Brian Germain

Brian Germain made his first skydive in 1986 at the age of eighteen and quickly attained all the available ratings. He graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in Psychology and over 1000 skydives. Today with over 14000 jumps and 25 years of instructional experience, Brian travels the world teaching basic, advanced and instructor level canopy courses, provides Life Coaching, keynote speaking and workshops for corporate and organizational events. He has authored numerous critically acclaimed books, designs parachutes and is a featured instructor and keynote speaker at Adventure Wisdom LLC.

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