CANOPY RELATIVE WORK SCHOOL (CWR)

Купольная акробатикаThe first attempts to build formations using canopies were made by skydiving enthusiasts back when round canopies were used. When wing parachutes were developed, adding to maneuverability and having improved characteristics, new possibilities were created for using the parachute as a sporting device, and a new skydiving discipline emerged: Canopy Relative Work (CRW).

CRW envisages a jump by a group of two or more athletes with the intentional maneuvering of two or more open parachute canopies with a view to building various formations: a stack, diamond, plane, etc. When building a formation, skydivers actually come into contact—parachutist–parachutist, parachutist–canopy (lines), or canopy–canopy. This contact is why CRW skydives are so exciting, complicated, and risky.

To make CRW skydives, a skydiver must know well the aerodynamics of the chute and be proficient in maneuvering in the air. An athlete must be bold, resolute, poised and be able to make decisions not only for himself/herself, but also for the entire team. Further, it is important that all crew members be good at handling panic attacks, analyzing the situation at hand, and refraining from rash acts. Our school is the best place to improve these skills. To make a CRW jump you need to have the necessary equipment, and all signals and commands must be trained on the ground.
CRW skydives are exciting and spectacular. Athletes involved in CRW jumps experience a unique emotional reward.

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I. Introduction

факультет купольной акробатикиThe first attempts to build formations using open canopies were made by skydiving enthusiasts back when round canopies were used. When wing parachutes were developed, adding to maneuverability and having improved characteristics, new possibilities were created for using the parachute as a sporting device, and a new skydiving discipline emerged: Canopy Relative Work.

CRW envisages a jump by a group of two or more athletes with the intentional maneuvering of two or more open parachute canopies with a view to building various formations: a stack, diamond, plane, etc. When building a formation, skydivers actually come into contact—parachutist–parachutist, parachutist–canopy (lines), or canopy–canopy. This contact is why CRW skydives are so exciting, complicated, and risky.

To make CRW jumps, a skydiver must know well the aerodynamics of the chute and be proficient in maneuvering in the air. An athlete must be bold, resolute, poised and be able to make decisions not only for himself/herself, but also for the entire team. Further, it is important that all crew members be good at handling panic attacks, analyzing the situation at hand, and refraining from rash acts. Our school is the best place to improve these skills. You should not make a CRW jump with an unknown partner. For a CRW skydive you need to have the necessary equipment, and all signals and commands must be trained on the ground.
CRW is a relatively young and rapidly developing skydiving discipline.

The discipline comprises:

  • CRW pre-jump training;
  • CRW training jumps;
  • CRW exhibition jumps;
  • CRW record-setting jumps;
  • CRW competition jumps.

CRW competitions are held in the following categories:

  • 2-way + cameraman – Changing formation;
  • 4-way + cameraman – Changing formation;
  • 4-way + cameraman – Rotation;
  • 8-way + cameraman – High-speed formation.

CRW skydives are exciting and spectacular. Athletes involved in CRW jumps experience a unique emotional reward.

II. Student qualifications

At least 200 jumps.

  • Completion of an RW course.
  • Moral preparedness to make CRW jumps.
  • Physical fitness.

III. Equipment and gear

Equipment and gear are of special importance when making a CRW jump.
There are no special clothing requirements, the only important thing being that it does not encumber your movements. Loose clothing is not recommended (athletes must not wear clothes blocking the cutaway system and the reserve release system).

Wear shoes with laces, with no hooks, smooth soles and no deep treads. The ankle must not be covered in order for the shoes to come off easily in case of unintentional contacts. Wear thick socks in order to minimize the risk of abrasion from lines.

Wear thin leather gloves.

Wear goggles with light filters that will not hamper your vision. The filters are required for building formations “in the sun.”

The helmet must not fully cover your head, as you will want to hear your partners’ commands; there must be no hooks or projecting parts on the helmet.

A knife (mandatory) or sling cutter can be attached to the harness or the suit. Attach it in such a way so as not to entangle it in your partners’ lines or canopies, but you must always be able to use it to resolve entanglements.
Always wear an altimeter.

IV. Parachute system

Special parachute systems have been developed for CRW skydiving. They differ from regular parachute systems for classic skydiving, formations, etc. in the following way:

  • there is no AAD;
  • there is no main parachute bag;
  • bridle retracts once the main parachute opens;
  • reefing with a cross connector;
  • a pouch for the pilot chute ensuring both left- and right-sided pilot chute packing;
  • rigid (constant shape) loops on steering lines instead of soft ones;
  • central and side A lines are reinforced and have contrasting colors;

The canopies of parachutes used in CRW are rectangular. Their dimensions and capacities must correspond to the skydiver’s experience.
A CRW initial training course comprises seven levels:

LEVEL ONE

  • Objectives
  • controlled exit
  • controlled maneuvering
  • coordinated canopy flying
  • control of the distance between canopies

Jump one

One at a time exit. Novice exits first. Fall on aircraft heading, up to three-second delay.

Opening on aircraft heading.

Novice flies in 1/2 brakes, while keeping heading.

Novice keeps canopy’s stabilizers at the same level with tutor’s canopy until the next command. After the command novice falls 10-15 meters down and sets the base, while keeping heading and maintaining eye contact with the tutor. Tutor approaches novice and sets up with stabilizers at the same level 1-2 meters away from novice, who must keep the same height and maintain heading until the next change in formation.

Changes in formations continue down to 800 meters.

LEVEL TWO

Objectives

  • controlled exit
  • controlled maneuvering
  • coordinated canopy flying
  • control of the distance between canopies
  • accuracy and precision of approach

One at a time exit. Novice exits first. Fall on aircraft heading, three-second delay.

Opening on aircraft heading.

Novice flies in 1/2 brakes, while keeping heading. Once tutor approaches and flies with stabilizers at the same level, novice maintains heading. On signal tutor falls down and sets the base for novice, while maintaining heading. Novice, while falling, watches tutor, flies with stabilizers at the same level 1-2 meters away from tutor, while maintaining height.

Drill is repeated until skill is mastered.

Changes in formations continue down to 800 meters.

LEVEL THREE

Objectives

  • controlled exit
  • controlled maneuvering
  • coordinated canopy flying
  • control of the distance between canopies
  • accuracy and precision of approach

One at a time exit. Novice exits first. Fall on aircraft heading, three-second delay.

Opening on aircraft heading.

Novice flies in 1/2 brakes, while keeping heading. Once tutor approaches and flies with stabilizers at the same level, novice maintains heading. On tutor’s signal, both make simultaneous turn towards tutor. Novice goes at full speed and places the canopy on tutor’s back. Tutor does a 360° turn while maintaining the canopy in 1/2 brakes. Novice aims center cell at tutor, tutor places feet in centre lines. After break off, tutor sets the base altitude, novice sets up with stabilizers at the identical level and performs the same drill. Tutor receives dock.

Changes in formations continue down to 800 meters.

LEVEL FOUR

Objectives

  • controlled exit
  • controlled maneuvering
  • control of the distance between canopies
  • novice receives dock

One at a time exit. Novice exits first. Fall on aircraft heading, three-second delay.

Opening on aircraft heading.

Novice flies in 1/2 brakes, while keeping heading. Once tutor approaches and flies with stabilizers at the same level, novice maintains heading. On tutor’s signal, novice turns the canopy away from tutor. Tutor docks on novice. Novice locks feet into center lines. After break off, novice releases tutor’s canopy and sets the base, tutor sets up with stabilizers at the same level and performs the same drill. Novice receives dock.

Changes in formations continue down to 800 meters.

LEVEL FIVE

Objectives

  • controlled exit
  • controlled maneuvering
  • control of the distance between canopies
  • tutor receives dock
  • compressed stack
  • maintaining heading

Standard exit. Fall on aircraft heading, three-second delay.

Opening on aircraft heading.

After novice docks on tutor, tutor locks feet into center lines and “compresses”. To achieve compressed stack lower jumper (novice) shakes canopy, while tutor, with hands gripping center lines, goes down, locks feet in risers. After break off lower jumper flies in 1/2 brakes, upper jumper releases feet from lines, lower jumper moves away while reporting which side he/she goes.

Changes in formations continue down to 800 meters.

LEVEL SIX

Objectives

  • controlled exit
  • controlled maneuvering
  • control of the distance between canopies
  • novice receives dock
  • compressed stack

Standard exit. Fall on aircraft heading, three-second delay.

Opening on aircraft heading.

After tutor docks on novice, novice locks feet into center lines and “compresses”. To achieve compressed stack lower jumper (tutor) shakes canopy, while novice, with hands gripping center lines, goes down, locks feet in risers. After break off lower jumper flies in 1/2 brakes, upper jumper releases feet from lines, lower jumper moves away while reporting which side he/she goes.

Changes in formations continue down to 800 meters.

LEVEL SEVEN

Objectives

  • controlled exit
  • controlled maneuvering
  • control of the distance between canopies
  • novice docks
  • maintaining heading
  • maintaining canopy
  • correct foot lock

Standard exit. Fall on aircraft heading, three-second delay.

Opening on aircraft heading.

Starting position—with stabilizers at the same level. Novice docks outside A line on tutor’s foot. Tutor locks foot on the outside A line and maintains heading. Novice prevents canopy from rising using the front riser on the side opposite tutor. After break off tutor releases foot, sets up base for another dock on novice.

Changes in formations continue down to 800 meters.

LEVEL EIGHT

Objectives

  • controlled exit
  • controlled maneuvering
  • control of the distance between canopies
  • tutor docks
  • maintaining heading
  • maintaining canopy
  • correct foot lock

Standard exit. Fall on aircraft heading, three-second delay.

Opening on aircraft heading.

Starting position—with stabilizers at the same level. Tutor docks outside A line on novice’s foot. Novice locks foot on the outside A line and maintains heading. Tutor prevents canopy from rising using the front riser on the side opposite novice. After break off novice releases foot, sets up base for another dock on tutor.

Changes in formations continue down to 800 meters.

BUILDING AND CHANGING FLAT FORMATIONS

Objective

  • improving formation and formation changing skills
  • maintaining heading – formation piloting techniques
  • psychological preparedness for RW skydiving
  • safety precautions in RW skydiving

Fan:

  1. Building a compressed stack
  2. Upper jumper goes down to the level of the lower jumper on his/her side while holding onto the harness of the lower jumper. While gripping onto harness he/she controls cutaway handle and reserve ring.
  3. Lower jumper brings canopy from compressed stack into a fan.
  4. 4. Turns within the fan are performed using simultaneously left and right steering lines of both chutes depending on required heading.

Stairstep:

  1. Starting position—with stabilizers at the same level.
  2. One of the jumpers docks an outside A line.
  3. Upper jumper catches the line by moving his/her foot from outside to inside.
  4. Lower jumper prevents canopy from rising using the front riser on the side opposite upper jumper.
  5. Turns are performed both onto lower chute and from it.

Note: making turns

When turns are done towards lower jumper, lower jumper must control canopy using the upper riser, because canopy tends to rise and wrap around upper jumper.

Turning opposite lower jumper is easier; however, when stopping in place in the right direction, lower canopy continues moving forward because of momentum, which may also result in wrapping around upper jumper.

If upper jumper fails to release grip on lower canopy and lower canopy wraps around foot, upper jumper spins in harness and easily releases foot. In case of more serious wraps, jumpers must follow the standard emergency procedure (see emergency procedures).

Down plane:

  1. Building a compressed stack
  2. Upper jumper goes down to the level of lower jumper gripping onto harness while controlling cutaway handle and reserve ring.
  3. Use special docking device, if any.
  4. Lower jumper places right leg between the legs of upper jumper and does a 180° left turn.
  5. Upper jumper pushes right leg further between the legs of lower jumper, grabs onto it with both hands and holds it.
  6. Lower jumper takes canopy to the right by applying brakes.
  7. Canopies first form a fan and then a down plane.
  8. Jumpers are holding on each others’ legs.
  9. For break off, they only need to release legs.
  10. To rotate the down plane divers need to pull both right and left steering lines.

CRW EMERGENCY PROCEDURES

The main rule for making good CRW skydives is to ensure precise canopy work and correct docks.

Rough, inaccurate docking may result in mistakes that will have to be corrected by all of the jumpers in the formation of two and more people.

Emergency procedure for wraps:

  1. Establish voice contact with the lower jumper and inform him/her that you are not being smothered. If the upper jumper’s lines cause suffocation, the lower jumper immediately cuts away.
  2. When a canopy wraps around the body, the upper jumper must vigorously discard the canopy. When a canopy wraps around a leg, the jumper needs to spin in the harness to release it.
  3. At the same time, the upper jumper must shake the canopy to create pressure and help the upper jumper release.
  4. As soon as the lower jumper makes sure the upper jumper has released from the lines, he/she commands to cut away.
  5. The upper jumper must fall to the minimum safe altitude; the reserve must be deployed at least at 600 meters.
  6. The lower jumper evaluates the situation, cuts away if necessary and immediately deploys the reserve.

Emergency procedure for wraps in a large formation:

  1. Upper jumpers must maintain the canopy of the entangled skydivers.
  2. A break off command is given immediately.
  3. A formation is broken off starting with the lowest level.
  4. After they have made sure that there is no one below the entangled jumpers, upper jumpers release the entangled couple.
  5. The two entangled jumpers must follow the emergency procedure for a regular wrap.

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