Re: [meatbomb] PIA - If you're there - What's new?
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I sat in on a very interesting riggers discussion on the 20 year (or less) mandatory retirement of reserves and possibly harnesses.
Was there any outcome / consensus?
The consensus was, that there are many and varied opinions as to the 'service life' of both canopies and harnesses.
It was stated that although it has not been a problem to this point, it very well could be, and the manufactures needed to address the concern now, in advance of a fatality because the 'overemphasis' following one could possibly be detrimental to the sport.
Some riggers thought it was much to do about nothing since the 120 day inspection would / should catch any problems.
A manufacturer suggested that the only way to truly tell if a harness still had the integral strength needed, was to test it to destruction...Bill Booth didn't feel that was necessary and that a thorough visual is all that would be required. (in most cases)
Most everyone seemed to agree that if and when a problem arises it would be most likely on a pilot's emergency rig, since they are notoriously lax on the care and maintenance of the parachute system.
It was also brought up that in years past very few 'sport' rigs were subjected to the constant and high volume of use some 'professional' jumpers put them through. ie. 1500-2000 jumps in a 12 month period, and THAT should also be taken into consideration.
One suggested path was to place a 10 YEAR 'general' life cycle on ALL reserves / harnesses with the system then being sent back to the manufacturer for evaluation and re-certification for another 5 years, following THAT 5 year cycle, another send back and 5 year re-cert would come into play....at the end of the 20 years the retirement would be mandatory.
I have a lot of old gear that I maintain impeccably and for a while during the discussion I was leaning toward the comments made by some there that this was actually, or would be viewed by the skydiving 'public', as an unnecessary planned obsolesce to facilitate the buying / selling of new gear...
...until the points were made and agreed upon by ALL, that the substandard quality of the materials the manufactures are 'forced' to buy these days do indeed raise the question of long term durability.
One highly respected rigger made the comment that some rigs built 20 years ago are stronger than some with only 10 years of recent use...and taking that a step further the materials used on some 30-40 year old military gear is still as strong or stronger that recently manufactured systems now in use. THAT kind of brought the point home that this may be a viable concern that WILL need to be dealt with in some fashion, in the very near future.
Listening in on various topics, like this one really opened MY eyes as to the fragile state of the so call 'status quo' in regard to 'our' standard operating procedures.
I've ALWAYS had the highest regard for Bill Booth and his contributions to the skydiving industry, listening to his talks brought that respect to an even higher level.
He's given a tremendous amount of detailed thought as to the ramifications to our sport should any number of things occur. Reminded me of a 'chess master' that is 10 moves ahead of everyone else in the room.
The analytical dissection Bill made concerning the two Tandem fatalities...the cause, the cure, the present and the future, made me for one, realize that it's the responsibility of US ALL to take steps to insure nothing like that EVER happens again. It's only prudent for us ALL to become educated as well as willing to speak up if something doesn't look right regarding the things happening around us, at the DZ, in the AC...
Stop and think for a moment of a governmental 'knee jerk' reaction to another tandem fatality that would possibly put an end to ALL tandem jumping...
...how might that effect YOU?
Without the tandem $$$ we've come to depend on to subsidize our plush DZ's and turbine AC, the face of the sport would be instantly and drastically changed, and not for the better!
This was my first PIA convention, I attend several conventions of this 'type' each year, though not centered on the skydiving industry. Very quickly into the week I came to realize the vast amount and importance of the information being shared, put THIS convention at the top of my list to attend again. I would recommend to anyone with even the slightest interest in where our sport is both currently AND where it's headed, to make plans for going to the 2009 meeting, even IF it's in Barcelona!
~AND hey, finally got to put a few faces to names of dotcommers I've met, but never 'met'!
(This post was edited by airtwardo on Feb 12, 2007, 7:38 AM)
Post edited by airtwardo
() on Feb 12, 2007, 7:36 AM
Post edited by airtwardo
() on Feb 12, 2007, 7:38 AM