but there are also those reports where the RSL may have made things worse.
I have had 29 malfunctions in 29 years in the sport and over 6000 jumps with well over 3000 tandems (incidently, all but eight of those are tandem malfunctions). I feel pretty goddamn qualified to offer a very educated opinion. OF COURSE, an RSL did nothing to affect the outcome for the better in any of my particular situations. That's because I DEPLOYED THE RESERVE! But what about the many jumpers who did not deploy the reserve after a cutaway?
Show me an incident where a properly installed Reserve Static Line caused an injury or fatality?
This student was doing his first PRCP on a static-line jump. He pulled his cutaway handle. The main parachute released cleanly, and the RSL initiated deployment of the reserve. I do not know whether he also pulled his reserve handle. Unfortunately, he was not entirely stable, and in a stroke of incredible bad luck, the bridle of the reserve's freebag entangled with his leg, preventing deployment. The rig was equipped with an in-date and functioning AAD, an FXC Astra. It would have made no difference in the outcome of this jump, but it was turned on. Unlike "schulzkk" who chooses to hide under a cloak of anonimity to post malicious lies and rumour, I am happy to identify myself. See you on OysterFest weekend, Tom. Friend of Fido
Now WHERE IN THE HELL DO YOU GET OUT OF THIS INCIDENT THAT THE RSL CAUSED THIS PROBLEM!!@!!
Are you people DAFT?
What if this person did not have an RSL and deployed his reserve right after he cut away (as he was taught to do)? Would maybe the same thing have happened?
And how about this scenario: He cuts away his main canopy and does nothing else? A far more likely scenario!
Use your fucking head! How can you make the statement that an RSL caused this problem?
With all the respect that I can muster, and Lord knows you deserve it, how can you make that statement? You simply cannot make the statement that a 'forced resreve deployment' cost this person their life!!! And even if you could make that statement, which you cannot, that still is not even close to the POINT!!!
Let us assume for a moment that you or anyone else can come up with an example that having an RSL caused a problem, which you cannot!!! I say again WHICH YOU CANNOT! That still means that the odds of an RSL helping a situation versus hurting a situation are astronomically greater!
An educated and experienced man such as yourself must be able to comprehend this?
Ok, I'll try to be more clear. I understand your intent. RSL's have saved lives. In fact a properly installed and attached RSL would have changed the outcome, in the death of my friend Kevin Clements.
But that said, unstable reserve deployments have left no outs remaining.
I'm torn sometimes whether to recommend an RSL or not however, for the most part, I'm an advocate of the RSL. I have to be an advocate because the fact that Kevin would be alive if he had one. He screwed up and didn't get his reserve out.
(This post was edited by hookitt on Aug 22, 2005, 11:57 PM)
>On those 14 skydives where my main malfunctioned, would I have >been better off with or without an RSL?
Exactly. It is better that I did not have an RSL. If I had been vvery low and failed to pull my reserve immediately, then I would have been much better off with one. But the RSL cannot make those distinctions. So it'll help if you are very low and don't pull the reserve yourself immediately as an RSL would, but can cause problems in a 'normal' cutaway.
Similarly, in the 2000 or so jumps I've made in the past five years (with zero mals) I would have been better off without a reserve - had I known I would have had zero malfunctions. Needless to say, I prefer to jump with one (usually) because I think they help more often than they hurt - if you're not omniscient. Same with RSL's.
The difference bewteen your reserve and an RSL, is the chances of the reserve causing a problem vs. saving you are much different than an RSL. You are much more likely to need your reserve than have the reserve pre-maturely deploy and cause a problem. With an RSL, you could have a bunch of mals where you don't need it (like I didn't) and it only make things worse for you.
You can deal with a malfunction just fine without an RSL, you can't deal with a malfunction just fine without a reserve.
Wow! 87 replies to a post in only one day. Is that a record?
I dunno, but discussions like this are excellent for people to look at both sides and make better choices or themselves. There is no right or wrong, but the more information out there, the better people can make the right choice for them.
There is no right or wrong, but the more information out there, the better people can make the right choice for them.
According to you there is right and wrong
Given my own very small sample number I would like you to explain the outcome of my two cutaways.
The first one was a spinning mal under a highly loaded FX. I was spinning on my BACK pulling some serous Gs. I cutway, the RSL was connected, and I was under a fully inflated reserve WITHOUT line twists in under 100'.
The second cutaway I released my main at 6000' (after disconnecting the RSL) due to a high speed premature deployment that blew up my main. I went back in FF to 2000' pull my reserve very, very stable, ended up with two line twists. The reserves were both Tempo 150s. I packed them the same way. Only the containers were different: Jav in the first one, Wings in the second one.
So how do you explain a perfect reserve deployment after a RSL deployment due to a severely spinning main and a two line twists after a super stable terminal deployment?
I would rather be stable for the reserve deployment, giving my reserve the best chance to open cleanly, than watch my freebag go between my legs.
Those two guys at the WFFC sure got stable after cutting away, that did not seem to help much.
You don't feel you needed RSLs and AADs because you think you had superior training and skills. I know that one of those two guys felt exactly like you.
...but the death was an end result from a chain of events.
Most fatalities are. Often times an RSL interrupts that chain of events before the jumper has shown that they would have deployed their reserve at sufficient altitude to save their life. That doesn't show up in an incident report, so we've got no accurate data regarding how often it happens. Every so often, the RSL can't interrupt the chain, whether it's due to an unrealeased riser, horseshoe, canopy wrap, etc. (which will still have to be dealt with before manual reserve deployment) or by deploying the reserve while the jumper is unstable. The seriousness of that situation varies, depending on deployment altitude. Reserve line twists (IF they happen) at 3000 feet scares you and makes you cuss an RSL as "having almost killed you". At 500 feet, it just saved your life, if you were going to wait for stability or couldn't find a handle. That doesn't show up in an incident report, so we've got no accurate data regarding how often it happens. The data that does show up is "died following impact under a malfunctioning reserve", we should see quite a number of those, since RSLs are common and they deploy the reserve after a cutaway very close to 100% of the time. I'm not seeing many. The other big thing missing from this discussion is input from jumpers that cutaway from a malfunctioning main and never pulled a handle. There's plenty of speculation why they didn't, or what "we" would have done differently (all ending in a safe landing, of course), but no first-hand account of what went wrong or any suggestions. Dead men tell no tales, and a lot of them don't use an RSL, from the looks of the reports.
That said, anyone that personally chooses to not use an RSL, for whatever personal reason, I have NO problems with. Presenting it as an option that increases your chances of death by impact, I do have a problem with, especially for jumpers that don't have previous experience(s) with malfunctions.
I, having had more malfunctions than some people with thousands of jumps (a whole nother issue in itself), can confidently say that I dont think I will ever cut away and do nothing else
The RSL for experienced jumpers isn't for some remote possibility that they may forget to pull their reserve. It's for when they're in the basement and getting out their reserve that much faster can save their lives.
Better jumpers than you have bounced pulling their reserve too low after trying to get stable. There are some jumping situations where it totally makes sense to not use a RSL, but for most jumpers RSLs are more likely to save them than kill them.
>The difference bewteen your reserve and an RSL, is the chances of > the reserve causing a problem vs. saving you are much different >than an RSL.
No they're not. In my case the chances of either one causing a problem over the past five years is the same - zero. But that's because I _know_ neither one caused a problem. Since I am not omniscient, that doesn't apply for the future. It may for you, since you have stopped jumping. But most people here are not in the same situation.
>With an RSL, you could have a bunch of mals where you don't need >it (like I didn't) and it only make things worse for you.
And with a reserve, you can have a bunch of good deployments (like I did) and it could only be a hindrance/hazard. But again, that's only if you're omniscient, and know you will never have a mal.
If a skydiver does not make mistakes, and has perfect knowledge of the future, then they don't need an RSL, or a reserve, or an AAD, or a helmet. Since many people make mistakes, and often can't tell what's going to happen on a given jump, all these things can (and have) saved lives.
>The odds of a reserve causing someone a problem and the odds of > an RSL causing someone a problem are not the same and they are > not zero.
I can say with 100% authority that neither an RSL nor a reserve caused me, or ever will cause me, a problem over the past five years - even though I have jumped with both.
Now, why is that even an interesting thing to say? It's really not. It's just history. It doesn't mean all that much that I didn't need a reserve in the past 5 years, because I might need one tomorrow. If you were still jumping, then your history of never needing an RSL isn't that interesting either, because you might need one tomorrow.
We use RSL's, AAD's, reserves and helmets because of what might happen - not what did happen. The recent fatalities in Rantoul may inspire people to use RSL's, and that inspiration may save a few lives. It may also expose them to more risk, but the odds of an RSL saving your life far exceed the risks of them causing you a serious problem.