Hook Pattern Jump Run

Have you read the Spotting Basics?

The hook pattern run is partly a crosswind jump run, partly into the wind and possibly, a downwind run. This type of jump run is good when you start out on a crosswind jump run but you start to get long for one reason or another. Try to plan your hook before you get totally long. Jumpers will be more apt to try it if they know to expect it. Let them know that it is OK to exit while the aircraft is banked. SOME DROP ZONES TEACH PEOPLE TO STAY IN WHEN THE AIRCRAFT BANKS. Make sure you know what the jumpers expect. If you plan to use this technique then you need to tell the jumpers. I learned to use it almost all the time, and then I visited a DZ that told jumpers to stay in if the aircraft was banking. This was the signal for a go-around. When they stopped exiting, I was quite surprised and kept yelling, “GO, Go!” It’s a good example for good communication. Make sure everyone knows what the plan is.

However, banking while large groups climb out is not a very good thing, so it’s not appropriate all the time. The times I used it were mostly when you got down to the solos and tandems leaving at the end of the line. Turning into the upper winds also slowed the ground speed so that we didn’t cover so much ground. I also used it when I had a full boat of 23 jumpers in the Twin Otter and they were all two ways and tandems. In a no wind day I would actually fly a circular pattern around the whole DZ. 13,000 foot turns about a point. But it worked. Start you entry just offset to the downwind side of the landing area or over the top if there is a little breeze. As you come abeam the center just bank a little and hold it. Let the aircraft pivot around and draw a perfect circle around the landing area. No one was more than a half-mile a way and everyone landed in. And there was no need for a go-around, which always helps on the turn times.

Admittedly, I have not tried this type of jump run on anything other than a Twin Otter, so make sure you know how your type of aircraft will do at altitude and banking in thin air with people rolling out. Look at the aircraft section for specific information about jump run in your aircraft.

Don’t forget to check out the Crosswind Jump Runs page!

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