Similar to the forward and backward movements, a basic knowledge of this skill will be understood as you progress through the neutral sit flying position. Now, learning to control your upper and lower body to create balanced turns, starting and stopping on specific headings and understanding how to control your extremities to generate the necessary power to rotate will be learned at this point.
Prior to learning how to turn while sit-flying, you will first need to be able to comfortably control a neutral sit-flying position, flying that position at a wind speed suitable for sustained flight. You will also need to be able to fly forward and backward comfortably while sit-flying.
These moves, along with all of the back-flying maneuvers and belly-to-back transitions, will greatly improve your sit-flying generally.
The main objective for this skill is to be able to safely and successfully control both left and right turns while maintaining a sit-flying orientation. You will begin by learning 90º turns and understanding how to start and stop the turns with control before advancing to 360º turns. Once you can demonstrate turning and remaining in control throughout, you will then learn up and down moves.
You will start in the center of the wind tunnel, either on or off the net based upon your instructor’s direction. At first you will complete small (90º) turns using your lower body only. If you plan to begin on the net, you will first need to raise off the net, place the input to turn in the desired direction, return to neutral once you have reached the desired heading, and then return to the net in order to reset and begin the next turn. If you are starting by flying off the net, then you will place the input to start your turn, reach the desired heading, then return to a neutral position and continue to manage your neutral body position in order to maintain your altitude.
While learning the move, it is preferred that you stop one turn before you start the next turn. This will ensure that you are maintaining control throughout.
Technique and Drills
Basic (usually beginning on the net)
- Start by determining what direction you want to turn
- Start the turn by tilting your leading foot sideways out in the direction you plan to turn (right turn, use your right foot and left turn use your left foot)
- Keep the 90º angle at your knee
- Turn 90º and then return to neutral in order to stop
- Keep you knees shoulder width apart throughout the turn
- Once the turn has stopped return down to the net and reset
Intermediate (off the net)
- You can begin either on the net or off the net and start in your neutral position
- This time you will use only your arms to turn
- Start the turn by rotating your arms so that your leading elbow points down and your trailing elbow is pointed up
- Begin with 90º turns and also work on building to 180º turns individually using your arms and then your legs
Advanced (off the net)
- Begin off the net for advanced turns
- Combine the use of your legs and your arms to turn
- Start with 180º turns and progress on to 360º turns
- As you become comfortable you can build the speed of the turns. Use opposite inputs to stop the turns on the desired heading.
Post-flight questions / suggestions
- How did your performance match the initial objectives?
- Were you able to turn in both directions and maintain stability? Did you feel comfortable using individual and combined upper / lower body inputs?
- What techniques did you feel comfortable with and what can you improve on during the next session?
As you become comfortable controlling yourself in a sit flying position and controlling turns, you will progress on to the next skill, while doing so, continue to challenge yourself on this maneuver, increasing wind speed where it is appropriate to do so and begin flying faster movements and stronger stops.
What skill level is next?
Sit Fly Up / Down
You will have had some exposure to the feeling of lift and understanding how to manage your position to create lift when you were learning the neutral sit position. At slower wind speeds, increasing surface area to get the necessary lift off the net. Now it is time for you, flying at higher wind speeds to learn how to use the same inputs although a reduced amount to gain altitude and how to descend at higher wind speed, moving to pre-determined altitudes and remaining in control.