5-way formation skydive!

Jul 25 2010 Published by under Sports

It occurred to me, after some discussion on Twitter, that I haven't posted any skydiving videos for a while!  Part of the problem is that I haven't had that many videos taken over the past half-year; the other part of the problem is that I often get video copies in DVD format, which requires me to first transfer the video to an uploadable format -- no trivial feat on my system.

The following video is a 5-way (5-person) formation skydive I did in March of this year with my friends Mickey, Robyn, Mike, and Peanut.  Video was graciously taken by my friend Larry:

This is a relatively typical skydive for my friends, though we like to get a little bit more done in the air -- we were a little slow!  The jump began with Mike (white) and Peanut (blue) "launching" from the plane in a 2-way position.  The remaining three of us left the plane and caught up to the two of them to form a "round" formation.  I'm in the green and black jumpsuit, and the last one to get to the formation.  So this is how we started (colors chosen to approximate suits):

From the "round", we went to an "open accordion" formation:

(Yes, there is also a "closed accordion" formation.)  From the "open", we went to what is known as a "phalanx":

Formations of this type can be tricky because they're so stretched out, and can be unstable.  People have to be sure to match their fall rates with the rest of the group and not be applying any extra pull on the formation.

The last  unique point involved three of us forming a "round", with two people "stinging" the formation:

We ended by getting back together into another 5-way "round", before break-off.  It is to be noted that we were in the same positions in the final "round" that we were in the beginning, allowing the formation to be repeated, if we had time!  Overall, it was a 5-point skydive, not too shabby!

One other thing can be seen in the video of interest: when Larry's canopy opens, he ends up getting line twists in his canopy lines!  He gets out of them quickly, and it doesn't cause a problem; such line twists are not considered a "malfunction" because they can almost always be remedied.  When there are a lot of twists, however, it may be necessary to cut away the main canopy and go to the reserve.

I'll hopefully post more videos in the future, when I get them!


2 responses so far

  • Patrick says:

    Another great post, i love the diagrams of people. It really helped when rewatching the video to figure out what was going on. I cannot ever image skydiving myself, but looks like loads of fun.

    • It is lots of fun! I like to add the diagrams because it can kind of look like a blur to people watching who aren't familiar with the sport -- it is only 1 minute of freefall, after all!