Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Not turning on your AAD

 


flyhi  (D License)

Sep 6, 2008, 4:55 AM
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Not turning on your AAD Can't Post

In another thread, someone wrote:
Quote:
I look at jumps differently without my cypres... I think about the added risk. I have also not turned my cypres on for certain jumps, where I thought the cypres was a risk...

I have heard of people jumping without an AAD because, "My reserve is so small, if it deployed when I was unconscious, it would kill me anyway. And if it didn't, I would be so broken up, I would want to be dead."

I have seen people disconnect RSL's because they were doing CRW.

I understand the thought process in each of these. But I cannot come up with any circumstance where it is safer to jump without an AAD.

I can't believe anyone would verbalize the old, "I'm an instructor and might have to chase a student down low." But are there people who think that way?

Any light would be appreciated.


Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

Sep 6, 2008, 8:24 AM
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I'd say that a demo jump where you take off from one field and are landing at another, lower field would be a time not to turn on the Cypres, unless you can go to the landing field to turn it on.

Other than that, I can't really imagine a reason. And I periodically turn off my audible to avoid too much device dependency (I pretty much only belly fly, so the ground is generally in my field of view).

Wendy W.


brettski74  (C 3197)

Sep 6, 2008, 8:51 AM
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Re: [wmw999] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I'd say that a demo jump where you take off from one field and are landing at another, lower field would be a time not to turn on the Cypres, unless you can go to the landing field to turn it on.

You can set an offset on your AAD just like you can on your altimeter. Going to the landing field and turning it on would not help. By the time you have gone back to the runway, it will probably have enough time to re-zero itself to ground level there. You really need to set the offset as described in the manual for your AAD.

I choose to turn my AAD off when doing CRW, however, I'll admit that it's a toss-up. I think that argument to support either on or off for CRW will be dependent on specific circumstances which are fairly rare.


jimmytavino  (A 3914)

Sep 6, 2008, 8:51 AM
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Re: [flyhi] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

not following you here..

if a reserve which is aad activated is believed to kill an unconcious jumper... then wouldn't it also likely kill a concious one,,,, who simply has a situation where it's deployed at terminal.....?? are you meaning killed at opening or at landing??/

some feel a small reserve, without proper toggle control,,, might land them somewhere troublesome,, and it might hurt them when it happens,,,but it also might NOT.. hell. i'd feel it's about 50-50...
A reserve with it's toggles stowed and depending on wind speed, may have some forward speed.. but if the dz is sizable, and your angels are on the job,,, you could do just fine...CoolSmileWink

You might even " come to".. during the descent and regain control of the situation...
\for sure... without the aad, the landing WILL not be survivable...

..RSL removal for CREW, sounds right to me...Unimpressed as well as establishing and adhering to a hrad deck.. and then,,,, monitoring altitude...did you mean RSL or AAD...?
maybe i can see aad disarming, in the event something goes bad, and a spiral situation presents itself to a low altitude, at which point, those involved might better want full control of the introduction of a reserve pilot chute to the mix...UnsureUnimpressed... but i'm not a crew expert...

and there should be no instructor who is thinking he has to be chasing anyone below aad altitude.... the student would have an auto, anyway, and then the instructor gets a face full of freebag,,,Pirate...

if he or she is doing that.. i'd guess they might WANT to turn on their own aad. let's be sensible here....
so , no i don't think anyone still says that...

maintain it, use it, skydive like there is no such thing,,,pull a handle...

jt


Baksteen  (C 708753)

Sep 6, 2008, 8:52 AM
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Re: [wmw999] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

As it happens, I just finished browsing the manual for my brand new Cypres2 and I'm sure I saw something about adjusting the unit for dropzones that are situated significantly lower than the airport. Smile

Edit: BTW, the manual definitely contains something about having to reset the cypres if you have to transport it in a car.


(This post was edited by Baksteen on Sep 6, 2008, 8:54 AM)


flyhi  (D License)

Sep 6, 2008, 8:52 AM
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Re: [wmw999] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

Valid point.

After thinking about it, swooping with an AAD that does not have a swoop mode would be another instance. Although the original poster of that statement does not list it as a favorite discipline and has nothing smaller than a Sabre2 135 listed.


flyhi  (D License)

Sep 6, 2008, 9:02 AM
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Re: [jimmytavino] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
are you meaning killed at opening or at landing??/

The individual was worried about an unconscious landing under his reserve after an AAD fire following his incapacitation. He was jumping a cross-braced 69 and had a very small reserve. He felt he could land the reserve with his input, but did not look forward to the results of a landing with no input. Our "discussion" lasted about a case of beer. I did not and do not agree with him (I think you are right on the mark), but I understand his though process in not using it.

In reply to:
..RSL removal for CREW, sounds right to me... as well as establishing and adhering to a hrad deck.. and then,,,, monitoring altitude...did you mean RSL or AAD...?

I meant RSL for CRW. I am not familiar with all of the issues involving CRW and wondered if there was something in their procedures that dictated not arming the AAD as well as not connecting the RSL.


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Sep 6, 2008, 9:10 AM
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In reply to:
"My reserve is so small, if it deployed when I was unconscious, it would kill me anyway. And if it didn't, I would be so broken up, I would want to be dead."
Sounds like

(1) they need a bigger reserve.

(2) maybe they are just too cool.Unimpressed

I can see turning it off if you're a hard core swooper and don't have a swoop mode. I've just seen too many people killed that would have been saved by an AAD. Many of the arguments against AAD's remind me of arguments against seatbelts. Not many hold water.


grimmie  (D 18890)

Sep 6, 2008, 9:11 AM
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Having a reserve too small is not a wise investment in your future.


chrismgtis  (B 32561)

Sep 6, 2008, 9:26 AM
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Re: [grimmie] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

It's scary to think of where you might land if an AAD fires and you are not conscious, but your odds of living are still greater. You could land in a field. You might land on top of an antennae, impaling yourself, but the odds of that happening are about as low as an asteroid striking your house. That's what mainly has always bothered me about ever having to use one, thinking I might land on something pretty horrible. Sly But look at the alternative. You know you're going to go splat. There's just no survivability to hitting the ground while tumbling.

Personally, I don't have one (mine expired) and yes the "I don't have the money" excuse is a very valid one in my case. Tongue


(This post was edited by chrismgtis on Sep 6, 2008, 9:27 AM)


hackish  (No License)

Sep 6, 2008, 11:30 AM
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In reply to:
The individual was worried about an unconscious landing under his reserve after an AAD fire following his incapacitation. He was jumping a cross-braced 69 and had a very small reserve. He felt he could land the reserve with his input, but did not look forward to the results of a landing with no input.

If he's at the pearly gates he might feel pretty stupid if he learned that he was only going to be knocked out for 15 seconds. I borrowed a canopy once Sabre2-170. It slammed me so hard I could only see black for a few seconds and it took a few minutes before I could move my legs.

AADs are programmed to fire at pretty much the last second where you'd be dead otherwise. If you're 5 seconds from regaining consciousness when the AAD fires then by omitting the AAD you just threw your life away.

-Michael


DrewEckhardt  (D 28461)

Sep 6, 2008, 11:38 AM
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In reply to:
I'd say that a demo jump where you take off from one field and are landing at another, lower field would be a time not to turn on the Cypres, unless you can go to the landing field to turn it on.

Or you have the time before the demo to read the instruction manual which talks about adjusting it for higher and lower landing area elevations.


NickDG  (D 8904)

Sep 6, 2008, 12:49 PM
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Re: [wmw999] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

>>I can't believe anyone would verbalize the old, "I'm an instructor and might have to chase a student down low." But are there people who think that way?<<

Modern AADs on both students and Instructors have made it a moot point. Although world wide it still happens from time to time and there was a recent thread about an Instructor who died chasing a student. But even prior to reliable AADs this debate still occurred. Even today if I hear a long time Instructor express the idea I can understand what they mean because I understand where they're coming from. Newer jumpers will consider it out of hand and nuts.

If you began jumping after the advent of the Cypres you may look at these devices a bit differently then someone who remembers a time without them. Especially if you were an Instructor at the time. When I began jumping and all our initial student jumps were solos no experienced jumper in the sport used an AAD. Well, maybe a very few who had some sort of physical or medical issue.

There were basically two models of AADs available in those early days. There was a Russian one called the KAP 3 and it was used on military and civilian jumps to activate the main parachute. It was a rather bulky mechanical thing that you wound up with a skate key like an old grandfather clock. If your student was doing a 10-second delay you'd set it for fifteen seconds. It was reliable enough but one problem with it is if your student hesitated after it was activated they would be eating into the clock. It could be shut off and reactivated by the JM, but if the student was out of reach like out on the strut you had to get them off before the "bomb" went off. And while it wasn't often you did see these KAP 3s in the States once in a while.

The prevalent AAD of the time was the American made Sentinel. BTW, originally these devices were called AODs for "Automatic Opening Device" until we became sue happy and a malfunctioned reserve having nothing to do with the AOD could land the manufacturer in court because the device failed to "open" the canopy. So they changed "opening" to "activation" in the 1980s for legal reasons. And I'm a bit surprised these days there aren't called, Just Might Save Your Life Devices, for the same reasons. There was a third American made AAD called the FXE and it was probably the most reliable of the bunch but I didnít see any of those to years later.

I had my first AOD malfunction on my 9th jump or so. And whenever these devices go wonky that's what I still call it, a malfunction. We tend to now call it a premature firing or an inadvertent activation, as those are slightly more comforting terms that denote more an annoyance than a life threatening situation. I was sitting in a Marine Corps helicopter minding my own business on the way up and since I was going to be first out at about 5000-feet I was sitting close to the open ramp with only my Jumpmaster between me and the void. All of sudden the pilot banked hard to avoid something possible a cloud or another aircraft and the "G" force of the turn fired the Sentinel on my chest mounted reserve. My reserve pilot chute flew across the cabin and bounced off the startled jumper sitting across from me. I was startled too. Sentinels weren't mechanical they were gas operated. And you'd never get through airport security with one them today. They actually used a 22. Caliber blank cartridge to blow the ripcord handle out of the reserve container. And it could be rather loud in a confined space and just like a gun going off.

We were, of course, taught to sit with our hands over the reserve to protect the ripcord handle. But you kind of did it loosely and there was no way I could have been fast enough catch the pilot chute. So after hitting the other jumper it was now on the deck, and because the forward crew chief's upper door was open the wind blowing through the cabin is making it skid toward the open ramp. My JM/Instructor, a grizzled old Marine Master Sergeant, just reached out with his leg and stomped on it.

He handed it to me and sent me forward with a glare that said I was in a bucket of shit. The fact if I'd been dragged out I probably would have went into the sea and been drowned wasn't as scary as what was now waiting for me on the ground. In the Marine Corps there is no such thing as "shit happens" everything that goes wrong is somebody's fault. And I'd be it . . .

My punishment later on was putting away all the club gear and packing all the mains well into the night. In the meantime everyone else is drinking beer with steaks sizzling on the grill. And every once in a while some drunken killer would come by and give me a swift and hard kick in the ass. God, with all the problems we have I sometimes wish we still taught parachuting that way now. These days whenever I'm "correcting" a problem student I'm polite and use all the accepted modern methods. But in the back of my mind I can't help but think, man, this guy needs a good boot in the ass . . .

One the big perks of finally getting off student status in the 1970s was being able to ditch the AOD. It was akin to removing the training wheels from your bike when you were a kid. And in my case it was certainly one less thing to worry about. A few weeks later I saw my first AOD save when a student Army jumper's Sentinel fired at 1000-feet and he later said he was totally confused and surely would have went in without it. So while I saw the value in AODs, in my mind, that value laid only in student use. When an experienced jumper died nobody thought to say, "If he'd only had an AOD," it was more simply you became the honored dead and your photo went up in the club wall.

Now back to the original question. Why do some Instructors chase students into the ground? And how does that idea still linger today? It's hard to understand now, but I've no doubt the JM/Instructor I had, the same one who opened the can a whup ass on me, would have given his life to save mine without a second thought. Because in his simple military mind my failure was his failure. And this wasn't purely a Marine Corps thing. Even in the civilian world most Instructors understood they weren't getting the three dollars a head to teach skydiving as much as they were being paid too keep their students alive. There was a trust factor between Instructors and students. And there was no imaginary line in the sky were the deal was off.

But then all though the 1980s the main excuse from experienced jumpers against AADs was they just weren't reliable enough. Then in the early 1990s the Cypres changed all that. They were reliable enough, not perfect, but reliable enough that we were running out of excuses. And slowly at first, than like a land slide, experienced jumpers began to embrace the technology. I resisted it until the late nineties. It wasn't wholly based on any "deal" I made in my mind with my students even though, yes, it was there, it was just a big collision between the old ways and the new ways and I was caught in the middle. And a lot of jumpers went through the same dilemma.

Then a few things happened that changed my mind completely. I was lucky in that in many years of jumping and teaching I'd never gotten a scratch on me. And of course I chalked that up to my superior ability. And while I always played it strictly by the book with students in my personal jumping I was up for anything. Night bandit skydives, B.A.S.E. jumps, fun Al Frisbee loads not being totally sober along with everyone else on the load, all that stuff. But then, and all of sudden, I started to get hurt. The first time was on my 80th B.A.S.E. jump when I had a bad opening and broke both my legs. But that I thought was an anomaly as in a lifetime of jumping where some amount of plaster is to be expected. And the year I spent laid up was a relief in a way as I was sure nothing like it would ever happen again.

Then I found myself with a young woman on an AFF jump who went unstable, got below me, and was now spinning badly. I'd learned long ago to avoid getting knocked out you approached these students from above or below and I was dropping down on her back when at about 6000-feet she reached in and pulled her reserve handle. I never forget what rig she was using it was student Racer number nine because the pop top had a big number 9 on it. And just like intentioned with Racers that reserve pilot chute launched like a shot, caught air, and then hit me square in the head. I woke up in a plowed field with my main out and lying next to me. I have no other explanation for what happened except somewhere in the twilight zone of being unconscious I deployed my main pilot chute or it got knocked out somehow. The student, BTW, landed fine.

But still I thought that was just a weird occurrence, part of the game, what you get paid for. Then some months later I experienced what I now call strike three. Another AFF jump with a so far switched on student doing a later level. He'd just finished his planned for tracking, which like most students was a little crooked and wobbly, and I set up in front of him waiting for his wave off and pull. And I didnít give him a check altimeter signal because I saw him dutifully look at it. But instead of waving off he turned 180 degrees and started tracking again. I spent a second thinking, "Were the hell is he going?" And then went after him.

I donít jump snively gear so I donít have an issue taking it down low. And my generation came up believing it was better to go low looking for clean air rather that panic dump in some big RW formation that funneled late and sloppy. But somehow this student pulled a stellar tracking position out of his ass and being he was a smaller and lighter then me the harder I tried to go after him the lower I was getting on him. But I knew by now he didnít have a clue about his altitude. So I got bigger and popped up enough to make a one last ten-man speed star swoop on him and it worked. I got myself into his burble and was falling down onto his back when his AAD fired.

I was about 20-feet above him and I watched his container open and the pilot chute start dancing around on his back. "Holy shit," I thought, "I'm in the kill zone."

I rolled right as hard and fast as I could and avoided his pilot chute and deployment bag but as he got pulled up I knew I was going to hit him. So I stuck my right hand out to protect my myself and some part of his leg hit my hand and shattered it. I managed to still use it to throw out my main. But that was it. I'm ignorant about a lot of things, but I'm not stupid.

And I could read the writing on the wall so I got myself a Cypres. The first few jumps with it were nervous ones. Sitting in the aircraft I could almost swear I was hearing it ticking but that was just my imagination I suppose. Then soon enough I became used to it and now it's not a "thing" anymore.

The first time I heard the Student/Instructor "new" deal was as an evaluator in one of Rick Horn's AFF courses in Monterey, California years ago. Basically he said below the hard deck it was every man for himself. And we then started to teach new Instructors the last ditch move was, "If you pull the student will pull."

And yes, that made sense to me, as long as you were in the student's sight line. But I was having a hard time reconciling what Rick was saying with what I knew. Not all students are this way, but some are. And I've been with enough of them in aircraft who were shaking with fear. They'd cling to my jumpsuit, even after I told them on the ground not to be grabby in the airplane. What made these people jump, I always wondered? That very morning they'd never met any us and now here they were hanging on by the last bit of guts they could muster. The only reason I could come up with is they did it because they trusted me. I can't speak for the rest of you guys, but that's a hard thing to turn you back on.

I can still see both sides of the argument because I lived both sides of it. And even though it's not politically correct to say, I've come to take some amount of comfort from the fact there's an AAD in my reserve container. And yes, anyway you cut it that is being device dependent. And it may not keep me from chasing a student below the hard deck again. But it will give me a boot in the ass before my lights go out . . .

NickD Smile


chrismgtis  (B 32561)

Sep 6, 2008, 1:10 PM
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Re: [NickDG] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Modern AADs on both students and Instructors have made it a moot point........

NickD Smile

I enjoy a lot of your posts man. Write a book or something. Seriously. You seem to have a lot of time in this sport and have seen a lot of things. I like reading about them. Cool


jdatc

Sep 6, 2008, 3:33 PM
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Re: [flyhi] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In another thread, someone wrote:
Quote:
I look at jumps differently without my cypres... I think about the added risk. I have also not turned my cypres on for certain jumps, where I thought the cypres was a risk...

I understand the thought process in each of these. But I cannot come up with any circumstance where it is safer to jump without an AAD.


Since you quoted me.

My dedicated wingsuit rig freepacks a flik 182 base canopy, so I have the option of using no dbag, tail pocket and mesh slider making it an equivlent of a 'base' rig....

Hypothetically lets say I was to fly my wingsuit down past cypres firing altitudes. While I tend to fly much slower than the cypres firing threshold I feel that turning it off is a prudent choice in these situations.

_justin


Martini  (D 23756)

Sep 6, 2008, 9:04 PM
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Hypothetically lets say I was to fly my wingsuit down past cypres firing altitudes.
Quote:



Smile


azureriders  (D 28830)

Sep 6, 2008, 9:32 PM
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Re: [wmw999] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I'd say that a demo jump where you take off from one field and are landing at another, lower field would be a time not to turn on the Cypres, unless you can go to the landing field to turn it on.

I know that it has already been mentioned, but please read your owners manual, know both field elevations, and set the offset as described in the manual. Electronic AADs and Altimeters do re-zero them selves. If they did not, they would not be able to adjust for changes in the weather during the day.

Turning on an AAD at the jump location and driving across town to another field elevation to board the plane is NOT SAFE

Another situation I have wittnessed: Taking off at the DZ, being diverted to land at another airfield for a fast building thunder storm near the DZ, spending a hour at the other airfield before taking off again and jumping back into the original DZ. Leaving your AAD on the whole time does not mean that it is still set to the original field elevation. Read the owners manual.

Wendy, I replied to your post and your comment, but my intent is not to be blunt to you, their are many many skydivers out there that do not understand this.


jurgencamps  (D License)

Sep 7, 2008, 1:24 AM
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In reply to:
..., swooping with an AAD that does not have a swoop mode would be another instance...

Only if you do multiple rotations. No need for a special swoopmode or swoopversion if you only do a 270 or a 360.


Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

Sep 7, 2008, 6:25 AM
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Re: [azureriders] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Wendy, I replied to your post and your comment, but my intent is not to be blunt to you
Blunt is good. I was ignorant. As it happens, I got my gear used and never got a Cypres manual; all I ever do is turn it on (and occasionally off) and forget about it. When it's in for service (just finished the 8-year) I jump anyway; the majority of my jumps are still without them.

And, well, if I were doing a jump at a different altitude field, I'd just leave it off. I wouldn't want to mess with learning how to change the altitude just before a higher-stress situation like a demo.

Wendy W.


BrianM  (D 661)

Sep 7, 2008, 10:55 AM
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In reply to:
I got my gear used and never got a Cypres manual;

Here ya go:

http://www.cypres.cc/...rs_guide_english.pdf


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Sep 7, 2008, 3:01 PM
Post #21 of 61 (3987 views)
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Re: [flyhi] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

> But I cannot come up with any circumstance where it is safer to jump without an AAD.

I turn mine off during intentional cutaways. I think I can deal with a two-out; not sure I could deal with a three-out.


DanG  (D 22351)

Sep 8, 2008, 5:58 AM
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I will admit to turning off my Cypres on one particular jump. Let's just say that the projected exit altitude was lower than traditional.

I think swooping, intentional low pulls, and aircraft descents with student mode AADs are the only reasons I can think of to turn it off.


ASTKU  (D License)

Nov 6, 2008, 4:23 PM
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In reply to:
> But I cannot come up with any circumstance where it is safer to jump without an AAD.


I typically pull high, no lower than 4k, and I had my AAD set at 1080 feet. I didn't turn mine on for a balloon jump the other day because I jumped out at 3000 feet...... I ended up throwing at about 2200 feet and under goo canopy at 1300-1400 feet. Just something I thought would be safer, was I wrong?

I guess what I need to do is set the Vigil back to factory Wink


Blink  (C 3275)

Nov 6, 2008, 4:31 PM
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Re: [ASTKU] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

Safer would be pulling higer. How do you feel about cutting away at 1000'?


ASTKU  (D License)

Nov 6, 2008, 5:44 PM
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In reply to:
How do you feel about cutting away at 1000'?


Not a preferable situation that I would like to be in....Its do-able though


AndyBoyd  (D 16728)

Nov 7, 2008, 11:15 AM
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If we have low clouds and are doing hop n pops, I leave my Cypres off. Can't see any reason to have it on, and the downside is obvious.


ghost47  (A License)

Nov 7, 2008, 11:33 AM
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In reply to:
If we have low clouds and are doing hop n pops, I leave my Cypres off. Can't see any reason to have it on, and the downside is obvious.
What if you get knocked unconscious on the jump out? Wouldn't that be a time when you'd want the AAD on? The cons may be still outweigh the pros, but that does seem like something an AAD would always help with.


AndyBoyd  (D 16728)

Nov 7, 2008, 12:03 PM
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Re: [ghost47] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

If someone is so uncoordinated that getting knocked unconscious on the way out the door on a hop n pop is a serious possibility, that person has no business skydiving in the first place.


erdnarob  (D 364)

Nov 7, 2008, 5:16 PM
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Re: [flyhi] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

It seems that you don't consider your AAD as a back up device but maybe as a psychological crutch...or am I wrong ?
An AAD is worn and switched on and you forget about it. Last year I lent my Vigil II for 2-3 months during the Summer to a friend of mine because I calculated that he needed it more than me for personal reason. I have made 1700 jumps without an AAD then jumping without one is OK. As I use to say : << The main parachute has no idea what is an AAD and will open anyway >>. In other word : << Don't rely on it >> since it can fail.
When you switch it on, make sure to do it at the very location where you will land. Years ago a jumper from LA decided to swith on her AAD at home. Since LA is about at 50 feet above sea level the AAD took that as the zero reference altitude. Unfortunately she was jumping at Perris Valley which is at 1450 feet above sea level and more unfortunately she got problems and never made it thru. The ground at Perris being at 1450 feet was therefore higher than the firing altitude of 800 feet or 890 feet respectively for the Cypres and the Vigil set up in Expert or PRO mode.
Cypres: 750 + 50 = 800, Vigil : 840 + 50 = 890.
When jumping at a place of an elevation different than where you take off always use the elevation of the place you land as a zero. Then set up you altimeter and AAD accordingly.
EG 1: take off location elevation: 300 feet ASL; landing location elevation: 1000 feet ASL ::: set up altimeter and AAD at minus 700 feet (300 - 1000 = -700) where you take off. After take off when the airplane is at a 1000 feet ASL your altimeter will indicate zero and you will be at the same level than the landing location ground.

EG 2: take off location elevation: 1200 feet ASL; landing location elevation:400 feet ASL:::set up your altimeter and AAD at plus 800 feet (1200 - 400 = +800) where you take off. When you will land your altimeter will indicate zero since your are now 800 below the ground of the place where you took off. If in doubt ask a senior instructor.


airtwardo  (D License)

Nov 7, 2008, 9:49 PM
Post #30 of 61 (1463 views)
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Re: [NickDG] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

There was a third American made AAD called the FXE...
FXC...had one, came on my used 1st generation Wonderdog.

Bought the rig in Santee, early 80's for a grand, and sold the FXC to a buddy the next day for 600.00.

Buddy was killed in a car crash a couple years later and his brother gave me his rig...sold the FXC again for 600.00...



STILL don't have an AAD, but may finally bite the bullet...gotta have one for some of the European DZ's on my up comin' across the pond travel itinerary. Wink


mircan  (D 32291)

Nov 8, 2008, 3:38 AM
Post #31 of 61 (1448 views)
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Re: [NickDG] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
There was a Russian one called the KAP 3
I jumped with this baby when I was starting. It is still used at some DZs around here. You could set it to both time and altitude (at least the one marked P). 5 seconds time or hard deck altitude which ever comes first.

There were a couple of saves. Good. But the downside was that on occasion, some stupid student would develop a habit of letting himself low enough and waiting for the AAD to fire. Multiple times.

I also had this thing fire at will, and it was in helicopter like yours. Opened my main as well as two others of my beginner friends that sat next to me.
It was my second ride down with the aircraft... Ever. Unsure


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Nov 8, 2008, 6:59 AM
Post #32 of 61 (1437 views)
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Re: [jimmytavino] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
some feel a small reserve, without proper toggle control,,, might land them somewhere troublesome,, and it might hurt them when it happens,,,but it also might NOT.. hell. i'd feel it's about 50-50...
A reserve with it's toggles stowed and depending on wind speed, may have some forward speed.. but if the dz is sizable, and your angels are on the job,,, you could do just fine...

TSO testing require they meet this standard.

Sparky



AS8015B

4.3.7 Rate of Descent Tests, All Types: There shall be not less than 6 drops, with an individual and/or dummy in each harness weighing not less than the maximum operating weight4. The average rate of descent shall not exceed 24 ft/s (7.3 m/s), and the total velocity shall not exceed 36 ft/s (11.0 m/s), in an unaltered post deployment configuration, corrected to standard sea level altitude conditions. The rate of descent measurement shall be taken over a minimum interval of 100 ft (30.5 m). These tests
may be combined with other tests in this section.



DeNReN  (B 5642)

Nov 8, 2008, 7:07 AM
Post #33 of 61 (1435 views)
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Re: [airtwardo] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
STILL don't have an AAD, but may finally bite the bullet...gotta have one for some of the European DZ's on my up comin' across the pond travel itinerary.

I'll sell ya a FXC for $600 Wink


DrewEckhardt  (D 28461)

Nov 8, 2008, 2:51 PM
Post #34 of 61 (1393 views)
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Re: [mjosparky] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
4.3.7 Rate of Descent Tests, All Types: There shall be not less than 6 drops, with an individual and/or dummy in each harness weighing not less than the maximum operating weight4. The average rate of descent shall not exceed 24 ft/s (7.3 m/s), and the total velocity shall not exceed 36 ft/s (11.0 m/s), in an unaltered post deployment configuration,

In other words, with the brakes stowed the reserve will be going no faster than you would after stepping off a second story roof (20 feet).

While usually not enough to kill people that's not going to be pleasant.


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Nov 9, 2008, 12:52 AM
Post #35 of 61 (1368 views)
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Re: [DrewEckhardt] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
4.3.7 Rate of Descent Tests, All Types: There shall be not less than 6 drops, with an individual and/or dummy in each harness weighing not less than the maximum operating weight4. The average rate of descent shall not exceed 24 ft/s (7.3 m/s), and the total velocity shall not exceed 36 ft/s (11.0 m/s), in an unaltered post deployment configuration,

In other words, with the brakes stowed the reserve will be going no faster than you would after stepping off a second story roof (20 feet).

While usually not enough to kill people that's not going to be pleasant.

You are dealing with decent rate and forward speed. That makes it better than flying at full glide or coming straight down. You are right is not pleasant but if you end up that situation you are not sports jumping; you are trying to save your life. And it helps if you jump a reserve that is built for your body weight.Tongue

Hell, cheepos would come down at around 24 fps and we could sometimes stand them up. Of course I was 40 pounds lighter and 30 year younger.

Sparky


SStewart  (D 10405)

Nov 9, 2008, 2:18 AM
Post #36 of 61 (1366 views)
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Re: [mjosparky] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

40 pounds?


airtwardo  (D License)

Nov 9, 2008, 7:46 AM
Post #37 of 61 (1342 views)
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Re: [SStewart] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
40 pounds?


They say there is a pork-chop in every bottle of Bud...must be a whole PORK ROAST in ever bottle of Gray Goose! SlySlySly


ASTKU  (D License)

Nov 10, 2008, 7:27 AM
Post #38 of 61 (1228 views)
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Re: [AndyBoyd] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
If we have low clouds and are doing hop n pops, I leave my Cypres off. Can't see any reason to have it on, and the downside is obvious.

If you don't mind, What are the downsides??


Blink  (C 3275)

Nov 10, 2008, 8:37 AM
Post #39 of 61 (1210 views)
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Re: [ASTKU] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

If he was doing a multiple revolution turn above 1000' for his swoop, he could activate his Cypres, causing a two-out, etc, etc.


ASTKU  (D License)

Nov 10, 2008, 8:58 AM
Post #40 of 61 (1202 views)
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Re: [Blink] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
If he was doing a multiple revolution turn above 1000' for his swoop, he could activate his Cypres, causing a two-out, etc, etc.


What does that have to do with Clouds???


sparkie  (D License)

Nov 10, 2008, 9:02 AM
Post #41 of 61 (1203 views)
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Re: [ASTKU] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
How do you feel about cutting away at 1000'?


Not a preferable situation that I would like to be in....Its do-able though

@ 110 jumps you have only half a clue what you are doing (I had at least) so I'd have to call BS on that statement. No disrespect intended though.


phoenixlpr  (D 3049)

Nov 10, 2008, 10:32 AM
Post #42 of 61 (1161 views)
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Re: [ASTKU] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
What does that have to do with Clouds???
Clouds are defining exit altitude. If you jump from 800m with a really slow opening canopy....


Blink  (C 3275)

Nov 10, 2008, 10:51 AM
Post #43 of 61 (1154 views)
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Re: [ASTKU] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Not a preferable situation that I would like to be in....Its do-able though

If it's not a preferable situation, why would you consider putting youself in that situation in the first place. It's just plane stupid to jump a balloon when you're pulling at 2200', and having a fully inflated canopy at 1300'.

I'm not familiar with the USPA rules, but what are the minimum opening altitudes?

Sit back, take a breath and calm down.


ASTKU  (D License)

Nov 10, 2008, 1:40 PM
Post #44 of 61 (1106 views)
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Re: [Blink] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
If it's not a preferable situation, why would you consider putting youself in that situation in the first place.

Uhhhh. Because its shit loads of fun. Ive done almost that same scenerio twice and had plans to do it last weekend (winds)..... In your 3xx jumps you havn't done a balloon jump??



In reply to:
Sit back, take a breath and calm down.

I just don't get this statement. Calm down? What are you referring to??


AndyBoyd  (D 16728)

Nov 10, 2008, 1:57 PM
Post #45 of 61 (1105 views)
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Re: [Blink] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
If he was doing a multiple revolution turn above 1000' for his swoop, he could activate his Cypres, causing a two-out, etc, etc.

Not on my Spectre 150. Smile If I end up doing a hop n pop from 2,000 or maybe a little below that because of a low ceiling (I know, not the greatest idea), I do not want my Cypres getting anywhere near activation altitude if I snivel for a while. In that situation, I feel like I am safer with the Cypres off. It is arguable that I shouldn't be doing hop n pops that low in the first place. But, in response to the OP, a low hop n pop with a potentially slow opening canopy is a situation where I do jump with the AAD off.


Blink  (C 3275)

Nov 10, 2008, 3:06 PM
Post #46 of 61 (1084 views)
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Re: [ASTKU] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

Sure have, but I've always had a fully functioning canopy by 2500'.

I am not saying don't do balloon jumps, that woulds be hypocritical, and just plain mean, becaue they are a load of fun! But instead of waiting until 2200' to pull, knowing your canopy is going to snivel for ~1000' doesn't sound like fun to me. I'd ask the balloonist for 500' extra or just do a clear and pull.

Let me ask you another question. What is your "hard deck"? In other words, at what point do you say, alright, enough fooling with these linetwists, this baglock, these broken lines, etc, and cut-away?


(This post was edited by Blink on Nov 10, 2008, 3:10 PM)


ASTKU  (D License)

Nov 10, 2008, 3:30 PM
Post #47 of 61 (1070 views)
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Re: [Blink] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

The fucking balloon would only go to 3000' I wanted more but thats all we could get. The air was too thin to go any higher.... Im not just going to hop n pop when I am paying $70 bucks a jump.

Post edited. Your one warning. No PA's.


(This post was edited by billvon on Nov 10, 2008, 5:42 PM)


mdrejhon  (C 3268)

Nov 10, 2008, 4:01 PM
Post #48 of 61 (1058 views)
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Re: [Blink] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
It's just plane stupid to jump a balloon when you're pulling at 2200', and having a fully inflated canopy at 1300'.
During bigway events, some of us are required to open at 2500'. Which means, some of us pull at 2500' and some have fully inflated canopies as low as 1500'. I try to pull just barely before 2500' so that I'm already in a deployment sequence at 2500', and have a fully inflated canopy between 2000-2500' with my reasonably-brisk-opening Sabre, though there were at least a few jumps where Altitrack tells me I'm fully inflated slightly below 2000' (and still higher than half of the canopies at that particular jump! And yes, they were all the outers that broke off at the same time as I did.) It is something that bigway events sometimes have to deal with, when you're an outer -- there's only so much airspace to cover even in a good track, after a 100way and bigger formation, especially if the bigway only has time to complete from only 14000 to 16000 feet. So 6-7Kfeet breakoffs with outers doing long-distance tracking towards 2500 feet pulls resulting in low deployments, very little time for EP -- at these pull altitudes there's no time to troubleshoot a high speed, so EP's are typically immediate.


(This post was edited by mdrejhon on Nov 10, 2008, 4:12 PM)


labrys  (D 29848)

Nov 10, 2008, 4:12 PM
Post #49 of 61 (1046 views)
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Re: [Blink] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
If it's not a preferable situation, why would you consider putting youself in that situation in the first place. It's just plane stupid to jump a balloon when you're pulling at 2200', and having a fully inflated canopy at 1300'.

I'm not familiar with the USPA rules, but what are the minimum opening altitudes?

Minimum opening altitudes vary by license. C and D recommended minimum container openings are 2000 feet. I'm not a big fan of pushing minimums but the couple of times I have, I've been in the saddle between 1500 and 1200 feet.

No "rules" broken. Not optimum safety but most certainly not the end of the world. Crazy


tetra316  (D 26945)

Nov 11, 2008, 10:05 AM
Post #50 of 61 (967 views)
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Re: [mdrejhon] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
It's just plane stupid to jump a balloon when you're pulling at 2200', and having a fully inflated canopy at 1300'.
During bigway events, some of us are required to open at 2500'. Which means, some of us pull at 2500' and some have fully inflated canopies as low as 1500'. I try to pull just barely before 2500' so that I'm already in a deployment sequence at 2500', and have a fully inflated canopy between 2000-2500' with my reasonably-brisk-opening Sabre, though there were at least a few jumps where Altitrack tells me I'm fully inflated slightly below 2000' (and still higher than half of the canopies at that particular jump! And yes, they were all the outers that broke off at the same time as I did.) It is something that bigway events sometimes have to deal with, when you're an outer -- there's only so much airspace to cover even in a good track, after a 100way and bigger formation, especially if the bigway only has time to complete from only 14000 to 16000 feet. So 6-7Kfeet breakoffs with outers doing long-distance tracking towards 2500 feet pulls resulting in low deployments, very little time for EP -- at these pull altitudes there's no time to troubleshoot a high speed, so EP's are typically immediate.

Very true. I was typically open at 1700 to 2000 during the big ways in Perris. I don't quite understand the fear of opening lower than 3000. I have many, many hop and pops from 2000 to 2500 feet. A few even under 2k. The joys of cessna dzs. You just have to be aware that yes you do have a lot less time for EP's and realize that you do not have time to try and fix something if you get a mal. You cutaway immediately.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Nov 11, 2008, 10:35 AM
Post #51 of 61 (1227 views)
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Re: [tetra316] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

>I don't quite understand the fear of opening lower than 3000.

I think it's due to AFF. Static liners start their training getting out at 2500-4000 feet; AFFers often pull at 5000 to start out with and then gradually reduce that. When they graduate, they are far more comfortable opening at 5000 feet because it's what they have done most often.


livendive  (D 21415)

Nov 11, 2008, 12:01 PM
Post #52 of 61 (1214 views)
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Re: [flyhi] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

I went several years without an AAD (except on tandems) and got used to it. Eventually, I took a shot to the chin on an AFF jump that convinced me to put an AAD back in my rig for at least some jumps. At first, I would only use it on AFF jumps and on freefly jumps with people I didn't know (I'm not very good at FF). I would turn it off for all other jumps because its presence freaked me out. It's been 2 years and I now always turn on it for AFF and freefly, and sometimes even for RW (at least a third of the time). I'm just not a fan of having something on board making decisions for me, regardless of the fact that I understand it's usually safer to have an AAD on than off. For me, it's about comfort, and AADs usually make me uncomfortable.

Blues,
Dave


DrewEckhardt  (D 28461)

Nov 11, 2008, 7:39 PM
Post #53 of 61 (1178 views)
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Re: [labrys] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

Minimum opening altitudes vary by license. C and D recommended minimum container openings are 2000 feet.

The cutaway decision altitude is 1800 feet for all licensed skydivers.

If you're not doing hop-and-pops (which give you 3.5 seconds to accelerate to 1800 feet with nothing out when you open at 2000 feet, and mean your canopy opens in less altitude) or jumping a fast (unacceptably so according to many skydivers) opening canopy that precludes a 2000' pack opening altitude.

A 2000' hop-and-pop with a fast opening square canopy isn't a big deal. You'll be open by 1950 feet.

2000' with fast opening square canopy at terminal is getting closer, but may still have you fully open by 1800' with a somewhat higher than steady state descent rate. A 2000' hop and pop with a moderately soft opening canopy like a Stiletto will have you open pretty close to 1800' and you won't be going that fast if it doesn't.

At 2000' at terminal with a slow opening canopy the slider will still be all the way up the lines when you go through 1800' at 90 MPH.


This also ignores the 1800 foot decision altitude being predicated on canopies with low decent rates (you won't loose that much altitude while finding your handles and cutting away) while malfunctioning and little risk of a hard cutaway due to the slow spins and mechanical advantage offerred by big 3-rings.


(This post was edited by DrewEckhardt on Nov 11, 2008, 7:47 PM)


Baksteen  (C 708753)

Nov 12, 2008, 1:36 AM
Post #54 of 61 (1153 views)
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Re: [billvon] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
>I don't quite understand the fear of opening lower than 3000.

I think it's due to AFF. Static liners start their training getting out at 2500-4000 feet; AFFers often pull at 5000 to start out with and then gradually reduce that. When they graduate, they are far more comfortable opening at 5000 feet because it's what they have done most often.

For me (as a SL-er) it's not that I fear to open low, but just that i don't relish the prospect of having to go search for my main after having cut away a linetwist I normally could have kicked out of.
If the clouds are at 2500 (minimum opening altitude), I'll sit it out.


phoenixlpr  (D 3049)

Nov 12, 2008, 2:29 AM
Post #55 of 61 (1145 views)
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Re: [Baksteen] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
For me (as a SL-er) it's not that I fear to open low, but just that i don't relish the prospect of having to go search for my main after having cut away a linetwist I normally could have kicked out of.
I like my Triathlon really much for opening fast and reliable.


Baksteen  (C 708753)

Nov 12, 2008, 3:03 AM
Post #56 of 61 (1140 views)
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Re: [phoenixlpr] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

Just breaking the Chain of Events...Smile


DanG  (D 22351)

Nov 12, 2008, 5:53 AM
Post #57 of 61 (1122 views)
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Re: [DrewEckhardt] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The cutaway decision altitude is 1800 feet for all licensed skydivers.

Where is that from? When I was much more current my decision altitude was 1,500ft. I've since increased it to 1,800ft. I decided that all by myself. There is no "minimum".


labrys  (D 29848)

Nov 12, 2008, 7:31 AM
Post #58 of 61 (1103 views)
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Re: [DrewEckhardt] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
The cutaway decision altitude is 1800 feet for all licensed skydivers.

While the USPA does include a general recommendation of 2500 feet for students and A license holders and 1800 feet for C and D license holders, this is not a BSR. Minimum container opening altitudes, on the other hand, are a BSR.


erdnarob  (D 364)

Nov 12, 2008, 10:41 AM
Post #59 of 61 (1081 views)
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Re: [NickDG] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

Very interesting historical reminder. I had the chance to used several of them: Kap 3, Sentinel, FXC, Cypres 1 and 2 and Vigil 1 and 2.


BigMark  (D 17505)

Dec 2, 2012, 3:47 PM
Post #60 of 61 (848 views)
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Re: [NickDG] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
>>I can't believe anyone would verbalize the old, "I'm an instructor and might have to chase a student down low." But are there people who think that way?<<

Modern AADs on both students and Instructors have made it a moot point. Although world wide it still happens from time to time and there was a recent thread about an Instructor who died chasing a student. But even prior to reliable AADs this debate still occurred. Even today if I hear a long time Instructor express the idea I can understand what they mean because I understand where they're coming from. Newer jumpers will consider it out of hand and nuts.

If you began jumping after the advent of the Cypres you may look at these devices a bit differently then someone who remembers a time without them. Especially if you were an Instructor at the time. When I began jumping and all our initial student jumps were solos no experienced jumper in the sport used an AAD. Well, maybe a very few who had some sort of physical or medical issue.

There were basically two models of AADs available in those early days. There was a Russian one called the KAP 3 and it was used on military and civilian jumps to activate the main parachute. It was a rather bulky mechanical thing that you wound up with a skate key like an old grandfather clock. If your student was doing a 10-second delay you'd set it for fifteen seconds. It was reliable enough but one problem with it is if your student hesitated after it was activated they would be eating into the clock. It could be shut off and reactivated by the JM, but if the student was out of reach like out on the strut you had to get them off before the "bomb" went off. And while it wasn't often you did see these KAP 3s in the States once in a while.

The prevalent AAD of the time was the American made Sentinel. BTW, originally these devices were called AODs for "Automatic Opening Device" until we became sue happy and a malfunctioned reserve having nothing to do with the AOD could land the manufacturer in court because the device failed to "open" the canopy. So they changed "opening" to "activation" in the 1980s for legal reasons. And I'm a bit surprised these days there aren't called, Just Might Save Your Life Devices, for the same reasons. There was a third American made AAD called the FXE and it was probably the most reliable of the bunch but I didnít see any of those to years later.

I had my first AOD malfunction on my 9th jump or so. And whenever these devices go wonky that's what I still call it, a malfunction. We tend to now call it a premature firing or an inadvertent activation, as those are slightly more comforting terms that denote more an annoyance than a life threatening situation. I was sitting in a Marine Corps helicopter minding my own business on the way up and since I was going to be first out at about 5000-feet I was sitting close to the open ramp with only my Jumpmaster between me and the void. All of sudden the pilot banked hard to avoid something possible a cloud or another aircraft and the "G" force of the turn fired the Sentinel on my chest mounted reserve. My reserve pilot chute flew across the cabin and bounced off the startled jumper sitting across from me. I was startled too. Sentinels weren't mechanical they were gas operated. And you'd never get through airport security with one them today. They actually used a 22. Caliber blank cartridge to blow the ripcord handle out of the reserve container. And it could be rather loud in a confined space and just like a gun going off.

We were, of course, taught to sit with our hands over the reserve to protect the ripcord handle. But you kind of did it loosely and there was no way I could have been fast enough catch the pilot chute. So after hitting the other jumper it was now on the deck, and because the forward crew chief's upper door was open the wind blowing through the cabin is making it skid toward the open ramp. My JM/Instructor, a grizzled old Marine Master Sergeant, just reached out with his leg and stomped on it.

He handed it to me and sent me forward with a glare that said I was in a bucket of shit. The fact if I'd been dragged out I probably would have went into the sea and been drowned wasn't as scary as what was now waiting for me on the ground. In the Marine Corps there is no such thing as "shit happens" everything that goes wrong is somebody's fault. And I'd be it . . .

My punishment later on was putting away all the club gear and packing all the mains well into the night. In the meantime everyone else is drinking beer with steaks sizzling on the grill. And every once in a while some drunken killer would come by and give me a swift and hard kick in the ass. God, with all the problems we have I sometimes wish we still taught parachuting that way now. These days whenever I'm "correcting" a problem student I'm polite and use all the accepted modern methods. But in the back of my mind I can't help but think, man, this guy needs a good boot in the ass . . .

One the big perks of finally getting off student status in the 1970s was being able to ditch the AOD. It was akin to removing the training wheels from your bike when you were a kid. And in my case it was certainly one less thing to worry about. A few weeks later I saw my first AOD save when a student Army jumper's Sentinel fired at 1000-feet and he later said he was totally confused and surely would have went in without it. So while I saw the value in AODs, in my mind, that value laid only in student use. When an experienced jumper died nobody thought to say, "If he'd only had an AOD," it was more simply you became the honored dead and your photo went up in the club wall.

Now back to the original question. Why do some Instructors chase students into the ground? And how does that idea still linger today? It's hard to understand now, but I've no doubt the JM/Instructor I had, the same one who opened the can a whup ass on me, would have given his life to save mine without a second thought. Because in his simple military mind my failure was his failure. And this wasn't purely a Marine Corps thing. Even in the civilian world most Instructors understood they weren't getting the three dollars a head to teach skydiving as much as they were being paid too keep their students alive. There was a trust factor between Instructors and students. And there was no imaginary line in the sky were the deal was off.

But then all though the 1980s the main excuse from experienced jumpers against AADs was they just weren't reliable enough. Then in the early 1990s the Cypres changed all that. They were reliable enough, not perfect, but reliable enough that we were running out of excuses. And slowly at first, than like a land slide, experienced jumpers began to embrace the technology. I resisted it until the late nineties. It wasn't wholly based on any "deal" I made in my mind with my students even though, yes, it was there, it was just a big collision between the old ways and the new ways and I was caught in the middle. And a lot of jumpers went through the same dilemma.

Then a few things happened that changed my mind completely. I was lucky in that in many years of jumping and teaching I'd never gotten a scratch on me. And of course I chalked that up to my superior ability. And while I always played it strictly by the book with students in my personal jumping I was up for anything. Night bandit skydives, B.A.S.E. jumps, fun Al Frisbee loads not being totally sober along with everyone else on the load, all that stuff. But then, and all of sudden, I started to get hurt. The first time was on my 80th B.A.S.E. jump when I had a bad opening and broke both my legs. But that I thought was an anomaly as in a lifetime of jumping where some amount of plaster is to be expected. And the year I spent laid up was a relief in a way as I was sure nothing like it would ever happen again.

Then I found myself with a young woman on an AFF jump who went unstable, got below me, and was now spinning badly. I'd learned long ago to avoid getting knocked out you approached these students from above or below and I was dropping down on her back when at about 6000-feet she reached in and pulled her reserve handle. I never forget what rig she was using it was student Racer number nine because the pop top had a big number 9 on it. And just like intentioned with Racers that reserve pilot chute launched like a shot, caught air, and then hit me square in the head. I woke up in a plowed field with my main out and lying next to me. I have no other explanation for what happened except somewhere in the twilight zone of being unconscious I deployed my main pilot chute or it got knocked out somehow. The student, BTW, landed fine.

But still I thought that was just a weird occurrence, part of the game, what you get paid for. Then some months later I experienced what I now call strike three. Another AFF jump with a so far switched on student doing a later level. He'd just finished his planned for tracking, which like most students was a little crooked and wobbly, and I set up in front of him waiting for his wave off and pull. And I didnít give him a check altimeter signal because I saw him dutifully look at it. But instead of waving off he turned 180 degrees and started tracking again. I spent a second thinking, "Were the hell is he going?" And then went after him.

I donít jump snively gear so I donít have an issue taking it down low. And my generation came up believing it was better to go low looking for clean air rather that panic dump in some big RW formation that funneled late and sloppy. But somehow this student pulled a stellar tracking position out of his ass and being he was a smaller and lighter then me the harder I tried to go after him the lower I was getting on him. But I knew by now he didnít have a clue about his altitude. So I got bigger and popped up enough to make a one last ten-man speed star swoop on him and it worked. I got myself into his burble and was falling down onto his back when his AAD fired.

I was about 20-feet above him and I watched his container open and the pilot chute start dancing around on his back. "Holy shit," I thought, "I'm in the kill zone."

I rolled right as hard and fast as I could and avoided his pilot chute and deployment bag but as he got pulled up I knew I was going to hit him. So I stuck my right hand out to protect my myself and some part of his leg hit my hand and shattered it. I managed to still use it to throw out my main. But that was it. I'm ignorant about a lot of things, but I'm not stupid.

And I could read the writing on the wall so I got myself a Cypres. The first few jumps with it were nervous ones. Sitting in the aircraft I could almost swear I was hearing it ticking but that was just my imagination I suppose. Then soon enough I became used to it and now it's not a "thing" anymore.

The first time I heard the Student/Instructor "new" deal was as an evaluator in one of Rick Horn's AFF courses in Monterey, California years ago. Basically he said below the hard deck it was every man for himself. And we then started to teach new Instructors the last ditch move was, "If you pull the student will pull."

And yes, that made sense to me, as long as you were in the student's sight line. But I was having a hard time reconciling what Rick was saying with what I knew. Not all students are this way, but some are. And I've been with enough of them in aircraft who were shaking with fear. They'd cling to my jumpsuit, even after I told them on the ground not to be grabby in the airplane. What made these people jump, I always wondered? That very morning they'd never met any us and now here they were hanging on by the last bit of guts they could muster. The only reason I could come up with is they did it because they trusted me. I can't speak for the rest of you guys, but that's a hard thing to turn you back on.

I can still see both sides of the argument because I lived both sides of it. And even though it's not politically correct to say, I've come to take some amount of comfort from the fact there's an AAD in my reserve container. And yes, anyway you cut it that is being device dependent. And it may not keep me from chasing a student below the hard deck again. But it will give me a boot in the ass before my lights go out . . .

NickD Smile

Was searching the forum and found this gem, bump for a great post!


dthames  (B 37674)

Dec 4, 2012, 10:47 AM
Post #61 of 61 (617 views)
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Re: [BigMark] Not turning on your AAD [In reply to] Can't Post

Nick, Thanks for posting. Great insight.



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