Sport Canopy - Introduction
A novice's introduction to sport canopies is a crucial part of their survival training.
The Sport Canopy Endorsement states that the person has demonstrated enough skills and knows enough technical knowlege about canopies that they are now cleared to fly a canopy that would be considered a non-student canopy.
The transition from round canopies to square (ram-air) canopies in all areas of the sport, including the first jump, has led to the need to clearly specify what constitutes suitable training to be ram-air qualified. Although the first jump course provides enough information to safely handle a student ram-air, further training and information is required prior to leaving the forgiveness of the student canopy and moving on to the less forgiving higher performance ram-air canopies. This endorsement was created in 1997.
Coach 2's and SSE's have the privilege of administering and signing off this endorsement. Coach 1's and SSI's are part of the teaching process on the way to completion of the endorsement.
The Sport Canopy "A" is required for the "A" CoP and the Sport Canopy "B" for the "B" CoP.
Novices must understand why smaller airfoils (regardless of wing loading) have a shorter control range and the impact this has on their ability to manoeuvre the canopy. Debunk the myth that a person piloting a 135 square foot canopy at a 1.3 wing loading will experience the same performance as someone flying an 190 square foot canopy of the same model and condition also at a 1.3 wing loading
Performance Designs is an excellent source of articles on canopy flight and wing loading.
They will need to put a canopy through all its paces, including the canopy dive recovery drill, as part of becoming familiar with it. This applies to any canopy they jump regardless of their experience level. Those tasks include; finding the stall point, front and rear riser turns, and rear risers flaring. Emphasis should be placed on finding the stall point and the fact that they never need to push the steering loop past that point to achieve the best canopy performance for turns or landing.
Discuss stall recovery and the lack of it in highly loaded elliptical canopies.
Discuss the flight characteristics of highly wing loaded canopies (1.2 +) specifically harness steering during openings and flight, and that canopies dive when performing abrupt turns.
Stress that their body posture affects the canopies heading from the moment the pilot chute is released until they land. Every turn is a response to their input (steering loops or body posture), whether they are aware of the specific cause or not. Recommend strategies for ensuring good posture particularly during opening.
Discuss the variety of canopy types currently on the market, Square, Tapered, Elliptical, Air-locked, Cross Braced and their various 7 and 9 cell versions.