Saturday, May 8, 2010

Wingsuit Water Exercise

DSE posted a great video and article on wingsuit waterlandings, worth checking out:

I wanted to see what would happen with a wingsuit in water, particularly a bigger suit.
We headed to a local swimming pool armed with a water-ready rig, three wingsuits, and a crew of curious people.

The results of the exercise were different than expected.

What we learned is this:
~First, unzip arms, legs, undo cheststrap while still under canopy (assuming there is time). Arms being free is the most critical part of this process.
~Cutting away your arms will definitely not help the situation, and may even make things worse because now you have large "wings" filled with water, and attached to your arms. Unzip, so your arms are free.
~Once you hit the water, force yourself onto your back. The rig will float. While leaning back, remove legstraps, then remove arms from wingsuit and harness. Then turn your body 180 from the container/canopy, and swim away on your back. This worked very well on a half-dozen jumps with different suits.
~DO NOT KICK your legs. Although water in the suit/tail is neutral, once its in motion, it will drag you down.
~Remain CALM. Breathe slowly and deeply. I feel this is one of the key elements to surviving a water landing.
-Your rig may be used as a flotation device (assuming there is a packed reserve inside). Get clear of your gear, but stay near it. You can ride the container for at least 30 minutes. The main canopy makes you easier to be spotted by rescuers. It will not drag you down, contrary to current dogma.

This is not to be construed as training. It was merely an exercise in curiosity and problem-solving for one person. View at your own risk.

Check it out!

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