A Simulator Solution for the Parachute Canopy Control and Guidance Training Problem 920984

Maneuverable round and ramair parachutes are flown by professional forestry firefighters, search and rescue personnel, and military combat teams when deployment by fixed or rotary aircraft is inappropriate. Parachute flight training requires the development of perceptual skills in canopy control, guidance, and energy management. These parachutists must learn to accurately sense motion visual cues, and predict and manage their trajectory. Parachute guidance and control can only be acquired through repeated practice. Canopy control training has been traditionally limited to a classroom lecture topic. There was no opportunity for the immediate student/instructor dialogue available during the extensive dual flight training used for conventional aircraft, where instruction can occur during the numerous practice landings available via rapid touch-and-go techniques.
This paper describes a low-cost simulator which is specifically optimized to teach and allow practice of professional parachuting skills. The simulator allows an instructor to coach and instruct while a trainee maneuvers on a simulated parachute descent. Trainees can learn good parachute handling techniques and learn the consequences of poor techniques in complete safety. Simulated jumps can teach and maintain the skills needed to deal with landing hazards. The utility of this canopy control training aid has been validated via reports from parachute instructors of improved student performance.


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