View Full Version : Question for the experts....

10 June 2009, 12:15
...I'm on an airfield in Portugal. Runway in use is 1. Winds are 250 at 15 steady. Two jump aircraft (Otter and Caravan), three passes a piece. However the jumpers are landing for the most part facing north (rig is a typical high speed square chute). Now pardon my stupidity for only being a static line jumper way back in the day of dinosaurs but wouldn't it be better if the jumpers landed to the northwest rather than straight north?

Billy L-bach
10 June 2009, 18:26
Landing into the wind has always been my favorite approach, but just to entertain a few possibilities:

-Flying a true 'into the wind' final approach will cause them to fly over the active runway below 1000 feet AGL - with multiple aircraft in the area you dont want to get in a gunfight against an airplane when your primary weapon is a parachute. (as a note - if you fly over the active runway below 1000 feet at the local civilian DZ where I jump, it will get you 'grounded' for the rest of the weekend, or possibly even thrown off the dropzone) My first guess since they are using 'runway-1'

-They dont have a choice on placement of the landing area and want to avoid/lessen the possiblity of dealing with obstacles if they come up "short" (which is very possible in high winds) if the winds on the surface are 15, the winds under canopy could be well over 20 causing inexperienced jumpers to go toooo far downwind before "turning-in"

-If they are jumping heavy equipment/ruck sacks and flying into the wind is going to take them over people, cars, obstacles or other "stuff" during final approach they may not want to risk dropping equipment and having it break free and land on someone/something

...could be some other obscure reason but my best guess is that they dont want to risk crossing the 'active' runway on final approach.

...just my 2 cents I could be wrong