Upon completing a number of sequences from the 2 way dive pool, you will next begin to learn 3 way flying. Adding an extra person to the air column will increase the difficulty in itself, reducing the amount of airspace available to each person will mean more accuracy is required to gain success. Early on, building some basic formations will help each flyer evaluate their ability to maintain the correct altitude and heading and will also build the additional awareness needed.
Before the tunnel instructor will allow you to fly with two other flyers, you will need to demonstrate that:
- You are proficient at flying with one other flyer
- You have demonstrated that you have flown with a range of other flyers and are able to match different levels at different wind speeds
- You are capable of entering the wind tunnel into a smaller space and don’t require the whole chamber to control yourself during the entrance. When you fly with two other people you won’t have the luxury of having the entire width of the flight chamber to gain stability and control.
Similar to when you started flying 2-way, your tunnel instructor will need to ensure that the people you have chosen to fly with are suitably matched based upon equal skill level and fall rate. Additional equipment such as 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 two other flyers at the same time, with all flyers maintaining control throughout the entire flight rotation. All three 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 or below the rest of the group, which could cause unwanted collisions.
All 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, he or she will need to make sure there is enough free space for the second to enter, and so on.
Once all three flyers have successfully entered the air flow, you will begin your 3-way flight low to the net, on the same level, before rising to your desired flying altitude and picking up grips.
Technique and Drills
- Begin on-level with your partners
- Once everyone is on the same level, begin to build a formation
- Depending on the formations you plan on building, aim to maintain visual contact with each other the entire time
- Unless a specific vertical type formation has been pre-determined, aim to maintain the same flight level throughout
- Plan to build 3-4 different formations and continue to repeat the same sequence until your time is complete.
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 more difficult formations for the next session?
- What movements did you practice that you can improve on to make the entire 3-way experience more precise?
- Are you ready to compete?
As you become comfortable flying with two other people inside the wind tunnel, you will progress on to learning the dive pool for 3 way flying. Aim to fly with as many individuals as you can, mixing groups so that you can gain more experience flying at different wind speeds and also different body types.
What skill level is next?
After you are a proficient 3-Way flyer, your next and final step in the formation skydiving progression is to learn and become proficient at 4-Way Flying. In order to be approved to fly with three other flyers, you will need to demonstrate that you are able to safely enter the flight chamber, maintain awareness of others around you while maintaining the appropriate altitude throughout your flights.
You will need to be able to demonstrate that you can control your position inside the tunnel and build some basic formations that may be pulled from the random dive pool. Below is some information related to the dive pool to help guide you through what each formation may look like and using the video link also as an aid. It is not required that you know every move within the dive pool but those that wish to pursue 4-Way flying more seriously may elect to learn and fly each of the blocks and randoms.
Note that the video playlist displays all FS formations, both Blocks and Randoms. After 1:31, all formations shown are Blocks and are not a part of the Random Dive Pool.
Looking at the table below, depending on the size of the tunnel determines what available Random formations are used when compiling a Draw selection.
|12’ (3.66m)||14’ (4.27m)||16’ + (4.88m +)|
|B. Stairtep Diamond||A. Unipod||A. Unipod|
|D. Yuan||B. Stairstep Diamond||B. Stairstep Diamond|
|E. Meeker||C. Murphy Flake||C. Murphy Flake|
|F. Open Accordian||D. Yuan||D. Yuan|
|H. Bow||E. Meeker||E. Meeker|
|J. Donut||F. Open Accordian||F. Open Accordian|
|M. Star||G. Cataccord||G. Cataccord|
|O. Satellite||H. Bow||H. Bow|
|P. Sidebody||J. Donut||J. Donut|
|Q. Phalanx||K. Hook||K. Hook|
|L. Adder||L. Adder|
|M. Star||M. Star|
|N. Crank||N. Crank|
|O. Satellite||O. Satellite|
|P. Sidebody||P. Sidebody|
|Q. Phalanx||Q. Phalanx|
Challenge Yourself! Use the IBA Draw Generator to randomly select a Draw then go fly it!