Now you are a stable and controlled solo belly flyer, it is now time for you to begin learning to master that control while flying with a partner. 2 way flying opens many doors within your belly flight progression, allowing you to fine tune your control and learn to balance each skill aspect in order to successfully complete 2 way flight rotations.
Before the tunnel instructor will allow you to fly with another flyer, you will need to demonstrate proficiency at certain skills. These skills are:
- Stable, neutral belly-flying position
- Heading control (left/right turns)
- Up and down control
- Forward and backward control
- Entering and exiting with minimal instructor assistance
Being proficient at these skills is important because when you are flying with another person, you will obviously have less space in which to maneuver and you must able to control your body in that smaller amount of space.
Other than the personal flying skills, your instructor will also look to see that you and your chosen flying partner are suitably matched to fly together so that the wind speed required is close to the same. Additional equipment such a weight belts may be required to assist in equalizing flying speeds.
The primary objective is to be able to safely and successfully belly-fly with another flyer at the same time, with each flyer maintaining control throughout the entire flight rotation. Both flyers should be able to remain in visual contact the whole time and maintain the same altitude, avoiding any situations where one flyer is above another, which could cause unwanted collisions.
Both flyers will begin in the staging area. You will discuss with your instructor the most appropriate order for entering the chamber and then each flyer will enter, one at a time. After the first flyer has entered, you will need to make sure there is enough free space for the second to enter also.
Once both flyers have successfully entered the air flow, you will begin your 2-way flight low to the net, on the same level, before rising to your desired flying altitude.
Technique and Drills
- Begin on-level with your partner
- Fly facing each other and aim to maintain flying in the same airspace without moving
- Both flyers should turn so that you are side by side, facing the same direction and again maintaining your airspace
- Play a slow follow-the-leader drill where one person adjusts heading or altitude and the other person matches
- Maintain eye contact throughout
- Try some 360º turns having one person fly static and the other turning and then switch roles
- Once you become comfortable, build simple formations
- Before you pick up any grips on your flying partner, be sure that you are both on the same level
- After you adjust heading to build different formations, be sure that you stop any movement prior to picking up any grips on your partner
Post-flight questions / suggestions
- How did your performance match the initial objectives?
- Were you able to maintain the same level and visual contact for the whole flight without losing control?
- Are you ready to begin learning formations for the next session?
- What movements did you practice that we can improve on to make the entire 2-way experience more precise?
As you progress to learning specific 2 way formations, continue to build your basic 2 way flying experience, search for different partners to fly with that will challenge you in areas such as different wind speeds and different body types. Being able to fly with a range of different people will braoden your overall ability.
What skill level is next?
Now that you have some experience flying with a partner, you may now begin to build some specific 2 way "formations". Using the 2 way dive pool, create a sequence of random and/or block moves, understanding that each random formation is considered 1 point and each block move is considered 2 points when completed successfully. Begin by putting together sequences of only 3 - 4 points total and then work your way up from there.