Exiting a Double Spock (MFS Random Formation B)
Brought to you by Niklas Daniel and Brianne Thompson of AXIS Flight School at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. Aerial photo by Seth Studer. Ground photos by David Arnett. Information about AXIS' coaching and instructional services is available at axisflightschool.com.
The double spock is a competitive 2-way mixed formation skydiving maneuver in both the open and advanced classes (random formation B in the International Parachuting Commission dive pool). In the move, a head-down flyer and a head-up flyer face one another. Each flyer docks with one hand on the other flyer’s head, and both must use the same (i.e., left or right) hand. In the example, both performers are using their right hands.
The performers should be able to fly this formation while already in freefall (see November 2011 Parachutist, “Foundations of Flight—Double Spock,” available at parachutistonline.com) before attempting to exit in this position.
For this mixed-orientation exit, establishing good communication and assuming a comfortable position will facilitate a good launch.
Head-down flyer: The head-down flyer positions herself toward the tail of the door and holds onto the bar with her left hand. Bringing her left arm to full extension, she gets low to the floor and allows her right leg to trail in the wind. She looks straight back for her partner, who is in the door and behind her. She then reaches for his head with her right hand and places her palm firmly on his helmet.
Head-up flyer: While the head-down flyer is getting into position, the head-up flyer can climb fully out of the plane. Holding onto the bar with both hands, he turns to face the tail of the aircraft. He continues holding onto the bar with his left hand and places the palm of his right hand firmly onto the head-down flyer’s head. He then makes eye contact with his partner to establish communication and time the launch.
As the performers simultaneously give the count to leave the aircraft, they must prioritize presenting their bodies properly to the relative wind. Keep in mind that the relative wind is coming from the airplane’s direction of travel at the moment of exit. Airflow dictates jumpers’ flying orientations, so the team must launch the double-spock formation close to 90 degrees from its relation to the ground. This means that the head-down flyer will initially be back to earth, while the head-up flyer will be belly to earth.
Hooking your fingers into your partner’s helmet padding is not legal in competition and can cause neck injuries, especially during a funnel. In addition, the palm of your hand needs to make stationary contact with the helmet’s surface.
The camera flyer should attempt to film the performers’ grips in the door before the team exits to demonstrate to the judges that the first point has already built before exit. As long as the team comes off the plane properly presented, the team can move on to the next point in the sequence.
The authors intend this article to be an educational guideline. It is not a substitute for professional instruction.