Upon completing a number of sequences from the 2 way dive pool, you will next begin to learn 3 way flying and 3 way formations. 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.
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.