I'd have to look at my logbook to figure out what jump this happened on, but somewhere in the 175-250 jump range I came off of a solo head down jump (which was going well) and missed my 4500 break off ProTrack warning. So I misinterpreted the 3000 foot pull warning as my break off warning and found myself hauling ass at 3k. The video shows me doing a 180 and looking at my wrist mount altimeter (it showed 2200), I wave off and pitch. Snivel ... snivel ... snivel and my main canopy opens. But unknown to myself, my Cypres fired as I was deep in the saddle and due to this circumstance (and the fact that the container was considered tight for the reserve) the reserve never came out of the container (the reserve PC was left dangling), and I then executed a 180 front riser carve and landed in the peas and saw this reserve PC flop down in front of me ... thinking ... this isn't right. I easily could have been killed on that jump had my reserve come out of the container and entangled with my main while I was in the middle of my 180 front riser carving turn.
Lessons learned ... when I find myself at 2k with nothing over my head, go for my reserve. Some old time belly fliers may be thinking what's wrong with pulling at 2k, but when you are coming off of a head down jump hauling ass in the rarified air of CO, going for one's reserve is a better option.
Oh and the 750 foot Cypres altitude we've all been told about is for a "belly to earth" orientation. The Cypres will fire much higher when you are head or foot first towards the planet.
(This post was edited by CanuckInUSA on Jun 25, 2004, 10:06 AM)