How to perform a PLF or Parachute landing fall.

The PLF is a method of landing which was developed by the United States Army as part of their paratrooper training program. The purpose of performing a PLF is to minimize the chance of injury when performing a parachute jump. Because of its effectiveness the PLF has also been adopted by the paragliding community for use when a hard landing is likely such as when landing down wind or in strong thermic conditions.

The PLF consists of five points of contact:

1) Balls of the feet.
2) Calf muscle.
3) Thigh muscle.
4) Buttocks.
5) Lat’s.

Determine the direction of drift.

As soon as possible determine direction you are drifting by looking  at the ground. It is recommended that you do this with as much altitude as possible. 

Prepare to land

The landing position should be assumed not less than 100 ft Above Ground Level (AGL).

Press your feet and knees tightly together, bend your knees slightly and point the balls of your feet downward.

Moderate muscular tension must be maintained in the legs to insure that the legs absorb a portion of the landing impact.

Look at the horizon to avoid anticipating contact with the ground.



As soon as the balls of your feet come in contact  with the ground twist the upper body away from the direction of drift.

Press the outside knee against the inside knee.

Fall in the direction of drift.


Continue to bend and twist vigorously exposing the calf and thigh muscles.


Ensuring that the head remains tucked tightly to the chest. The neck muscles should be tensed to prevent the head from striking the ground.


Exhale or shout as the upper body impacts the ground, this will reduce internal pressure and help the body absorb the impact.


Roll in the direction of drift.


Keep the elbows in and hands up to protect the face.


Be prepared to disable the parachute and or glider so as not to get dragged.

Scroll to Top

Your info will be transferred securely over a 2048-bit encrypted connection.