1st Swoop Du Jour Canopy Piloting Competition at Skydive Arizona

On February 18th, Skydive Arizona held its first local Swoop Du Jour canopy piloting competition.

M’m! M’ m! Good!

An informal Canopy Piloting competition where the main objective is for beginner pilots to learn the competition rules AND for the professionals to get practice. There were judges, prizes and soup.

The first Swoop Du Jour focus was on Zone Accuracy. Nik collecting points on the water. Photo by Jochen Althoff.
Niklas Daniel swooping the pond at Skydive AZ. Photo by Jochen Althoff

Coaching and video debriefing was provided by PD Factory Team Member Justin Price. Competitors jump the course as many times as they want and the top three scores were used to determine standings.

There was a Pro-Class and a Beginner Class. The first competition focused only on Zone Accuracy Landings. Anyone who is signed off to land at the pond can participate in the upcoming Swoop Du Jour events. Future 2022 Dates: April 15 / June 4 / August 20 / November 19 / December 17

If you have any questions about the competition, reach out to Events@skydiveaz.com

Top 3 in the Open Class. Photo by Brianne Thompson.
All participants of the 1st Swoop Du Jour Meet. Photo by Brianne Thompson.

Foundations of Flight | Ram-Air Parachute Anatomy—Cells

Brought to you by Niklas Daniel and Brianne Thompson of AXIS Flight School at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. Images by Bruce Fournier.

In the photo above, the area that makes up the canopy’s center cell is highlighted in red.

It is important for jumpers to have at least a rough understanding of the different areas and features of their ram-air parachutes. Whether you are trying to describe a specific part that needs maintenance to a rigger or you are discussing your last landing with a canopy coach, a common language and terminology can help avoid confusion. The following provides a look at the internal components of your parachute that are hidden from view.

Concept: Cross-Sectional Area

A cross section provides a two-dimensional view of an object as if it were cut in half, revealing details of its inner workings. This can help shed some light on very specific areas, although they will make up only a small piece of the puzzle. There are generally six vantage points from which to view a cross-sectional area. These are typically at right angles to the three axes:

Equipment: Cells (Longitudinal Axis View)

In the previous article we defined what a ram-air parachute is and how to check if it is working properly. Now we will take a closer look at what the air is being rammed into: the cells.

In simplest terms, a cell is the space that is occupied by air when a parachute is inflated. The word “cell” comes from Latin and means “small room.” In the case of a parachute, the ribs make up the walls, the bottom skin is the floor and the top skin is the ceiling. The nose (leading edge) of the parachute has openings that capture the relative wind, pressurizing the internal structure of the wing as the closed trailing edge traps it. We’ll cover more details about these features in the next issue.

A parachute can have any number of cells, but most common sport parachute designs have seven or nine. Most sport parachutes utilize a bi-cell design, meaning there are two rooms per cell. Therefore, each cell has three ribs, two which are called loaded ribs (because they have suspension lines attached to them) and one in the middle of the cell that is not loaded. The purpose of non-loaded ribs is to provide additional connection points between the top and bottom skin. This helps shape the parachute into a more efficient wing.

Information about AXIS’ coaching and instructional services is available at axisflightschool.com. The authors intend this article to be an educational guideline. It is not a substitute for professional instruction.

More educational skydiving content, as well as this free article, is available by downloading the AXIS Skydiving app on your smart device.

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