I'm interested in your opinions on whether it is safer to have an RSL or not.
On my one and only cutaway it was comforting to have my reserve out before I'd even pulled it, but also a little unnerving as this gave me no time to get stable before deploying my reserve.
I can imagine situations where it is both life saving to have RSL (e.g. one arm broken or restricted making it difficult to pull reserve), but also situations where it makes it more dangerous (deploy while unstable after cutaway, being dragged around on a windy day if I forget to disconnect RSL)
You can imagine all you want, but history tells the tale.
There are very, very few situations where a standard single side RSL has contributed to a fatal outcome in the last 30 years.
On the other hand there is probably a 6 person a year average of people who cutaway and never deploy a reserve, or don't deploy a reserve in time to save themselves who would have been helped by the use of an RSL.
With the exception of CRW, there is no good reason for a modern skydiver not to utilize an RSL.
Post breakaway the safest opportunity to deploy a reserve is the moment the risers of the main release and are clear, or the same time the RSL would pull the reserve pin. The safest orientation to deploy a reserve is NOT belly to earth, but rather feet into the relative wind with the relative wind moving across the back of the jumper to prevent a burble and thus speed the reserve pilot chute deployment.
(This post was edited by diablopilot on Dec 14, 2012, 8:44 PM)