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DO PILOTS JUMP?

20130220“Do you (have to) jump?” No, we do not have to jump. We are Aviators, not Jumpers, and as pilots those of us on Team Six are required when on duty to remain with the plane and pilot it safely to the ground.

“Ok, but can you jump if you want?” Sure! We can ride along with the Tandem team. In fact, some of us have taken advantage of this wonderful opportunity and received some invaluable cross-training exposure in the process. Sharing this experience gives a glimpse from the point of view of those whom we support daily. During our winter training this year, timing and weather afforded us an opportunity to enjoy this experience once again. The pilots were enthusiastic, the Jumpers professional and supportive as always, and the experience invaluable, yet again. Many thanks from Team Six to the Jumpers and especially the Tandem Team for your unending support.

 

 

TEAM SIX BACK TO FORT BRAGG FROM ACC

150220-A-DQ383-001.JPGAll home and working our way back into the swing of things… if only the weather would cooperate. Oh, how we long for the sunny, but sometimes windy, days of Southern Florida where we could climb to all jump levels from the streamer drop to the Tandem heights with relative ease. The forecasting powers-that-be predict more cold, cloudy, and rainy days this week with a glimmer of hope and sunshine coming mid-week but only time will tell the true tale. While we wait for the clear skies and warmer Spring air no time is wasted as families and friends show their appreciation reuniting and catching up on all the events and stories missed during our time away at Winter Training. After the Easter Holiday and Spring Break roll in over the next two weeks more excitement will undoubtedly unfold.

Knights Paving The Way At Florida Canopy Piloting Association (FLCPA) Meet 2.

SFC Jared Zell runs the speed course   Go faster, go farther, it might sound simple but that is the goal of the canopy piloting team this winter. Two thirds of the competition is about speed and distance. The team has been focusing on the power events this winter with the help of a Flysight GPS tracker. The data gathered has given the team a baseline for their turns. A number that previously was difficult to see with just video debriefs. The GPS has shown the team their vertical and horizontal speeds through every part of the turn as well as the shape of their turns. This information along with a video of their turns allows the team to fully understand what generates the most power for them and provides a goal to reach. That goal is 100mph vertically in the lowest part of their turn, just 250-300 ft above the ground. This speed should translate to about 90mph horizontally at the 1.5 meter high entry gate and help put up the fastest speed times and the longest distances.

How has the training been paying off? In just the second competition of the year SFC Jared Zell flying a new parachute came in 3rd in the distance event,  while SFC Greg Windmiller came in 1st in distance and 3rd in speed netting him a 4th place overall finish at the Florida Canopy Piloting Association (FLCPA) Meet 2. Those are quite impressive results for just a few weeks of training.

The training will continue now that the team is back home. The last two meets of the FLCPA and the United States Parachute Association National Championships of Canopy Piloting is in Raeford, NC this June, just outside of Ft. Bragg. With this major competition so close to home the team will focus most of their days at the swoop pond in Raeford trying to go faster and farther.

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