Forums: Skydiving: Gear and Rigging:
Philosophy of banning the Argus

 


pchapman  (D 1014)

Mar 22, 2011, 6:17 PM
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Philosophy of banning the Argus Can't Post

Some opinions:

Although I'm not happy with how slowly Aviacom has appreciated the Argus cutter issues and dealt with them, the way things get banned these days I wonder about the philosophy of doing so.

The Argus clearly has a problem cutting loops in some conditions. I can see rig companies wishing to be dissociated with a "loser", but some companies sure react fast and strongly once the word gets passed around, to ban the Argus in their rigs.

I bet the US FAA rules on manufacturer approval for AAD installations is driving this process, that rig manufacturer don't want to be linked officially to a product with a problem, that's physically installed inside their rigs. Wusses. They don't ban other potentially dangerous things that people might jump with.

Unless manufacturers have a specific rig configuration that changes the odds of something going wrong, then if there's an industry wide warning they don't really have to jump on the band wagon with their own specific rules.

The idea of banning an AAD temporarily also depends on one's philosophy on AADs.

For students and tandems, there's pretty much agreement that they should be protected with a decent AAD. But for experienced jumpers, the situation is different.

The Argus isn't much danger to others on the plane or the sky, as it isn't firing inadvertently. It would only be a problem if one smoked it low, had the loop not cut properly, and go up again without checking one's AAD. That could be dealt with largely by bulletins about increased inspections, just as is done with aircraft part problems while waiting for a long term solution.

The Argus also creates little increased risk to the jumper if they behave properly. An Argus can only impede a manual reserve pull if you pull your reserve a lot lower than you should, if one has a certain cutter location and the Argus happens to cut the loop poorly just before you get the reserve extracted.

If someone's philosophy is that AAD's should be mandatory, then the Argus is doing a lousy job and perhaps rigs and jumpers should be grounded.

But if one's philosophy is that AAD's are an optional safety device, then Argus' are still useful. If you lose altitude awareness or are knocked silly in freefall, it quite easily still has a 90+% chance to save your life. That may be a good tradeoff against a chance of jamming up (depending on the rig) if you pull your reserve below 1000'.

(My biases: I'm in the group who believes that AAD's should be optional once off student status. And I've got a Cypres 2.)

As much as Argus' cutters and their response to the problem sucks, I'm not sure Argus' should all be grounded.


Beachbum  (B License)

Mar 22, 2011, 6:38 PM
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From what I understand, there has been at least one instance of it partially severing a closing loop which later gave way and deployed the reserve, fortunately on the ground. Had that happened at a worse time, it could have been very bad for others in the air with the person wearing it at the time, or even an entire plane load. I think maybe the ban is more related to the possible situations a malfunction of it could introduce to people besides just the owner of the rig it is installed in that prompted the ban?


davelepka  (D 21448)

Mar 22, 2011, 6:39 PM
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As much as Argus' cutters and their response to the problem sucks, I'm not sure Argus' should all be grounded

No, they really should be. They don't work the way they are supposed to, and even though you feel the failures are acceptable, they are not. If something doesn't work right, you don't keep jumping it because you don't 'think' the failure will be a problem, you stop jumping it until the problem has been resolved.

You have to remember that this isn't an altimeter or audlible that doesn't work quite right, it's an intergal part of your reserve system, and litterally has a stranglehold over your reserve closing loop. It might cut it, it might partially cut it, it might even trap it and contain the reserve PC. The scope and severity of the trouble a malfunctioning AAD can cause makes it a no-brainer that you stop jumping them until normal, reliable operation can be restored.

Quote:
It would only be a problem if one smoked it low, had the loop not cut properly, and go up again without checking one's AAD. That could be dealt with largely by bulletins about increased inspections,

One of the reasons that AADs were not that popular pre-Cypres is that they were not 'set it and forget it'. As sad as it might be, that's the only way to 'idiot proof' an AAD, and the most reliable method for making sure they are used properly. Make it one step, and most of the time it will be done, and done correctly. Add steps, and you add in chances for the humans in the equation to fail.

You can't allow someone to jump a malfunctioning AAD with the proviso that they check to see if had fired and failed to the cut the loop before every jump. There are too many opportunites for the check to be forgotten, or communication about a check to be mistaken. The result being a jumper in the plane and in freefall with a comprimised reserve closing loop, and an in-op AAD.


riggerpaul  (D 28098)

Mar 22, 2011, 10:06 PM
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Re: [davelepka] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
As much as Argus' cutters and their response to the problem sucks, I'm not sure Argus' should all be grounded

No, they really should be. They don't work the way they are supposed to, and even though you feel the failures are acceptable, they are not. If something doesn't work right, you don't keep jumping it because you don't 'think' the failure will be a problem, you stop jumping it until the problem has been resolved.

There is another AAD that has had a number of documented cases of firing in an aircraft when a door popped open.

I don't recall any talk of banning that AAD, and I'd like to know why the two are being treated differently.

Ban both, or ban neither. (However, I am absolutely not suggesting that "neither" is the right action.)

Banning one and not the other doesn't seem prudent for all the reasons you stated.

I don't recall what you might think about that other AAD.

I am not arguing with your logic that the Argus should be grounded now.

And the question of why the other AAD was not banned is not really directed at you, Dave.

But you posted some very good reasons why we should ban an AAD that does bad things, which begs the question of why one is banned but not the other.


Unstable  (D 28930)

Mar 22, 2011, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
There is another AAD that has had a number of documented cases of firing in an aircraft when a door popped open.
...............................
I am not arguing with your logic that the Argus should be grounded now.
.........................................
But you posted some very good reasons why we should ban an AAD that does bad things, which begs the question of why one is banned but not the other.


+1. Well Said, Rigger Paul. It seems other AADs went through growing pains of sorts. Hell, there are videos on youtube of various AADs misfiring. Talking to some gear manufacturers today who confided in me that they will not be taking action at this time, cited specifically the 'difference' in reactions to different manufacturers.


*Edited to change a few sentences that could be read as too aggressive in my wording, just trying to avoid confusion.


(This post was edited by Unstable on Mar 22, 2011, 10:32 PM)


LongWayToFall  (A 52639)

Mar 23, 2011, 12:58 AM
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Re: [riggerpaul] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

Eh, to each his own. If I had an Argus I'd probably keep jumping it, because I'd rather do that then jump without an aad, or bite the $1200 needed to buy another aad and toss the argus.
Taking a look at your aad screen is the least of your worries if you are pulling your main low enough to activate the aad.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Mar 23, 2011, 5:12 AM
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Quote:
There is another AAD that has had a number of documented cases of firing in an aircraft when a door popped open.

I don't recall any talk of banning that AAD, and I'd like to know why the two are being treated differently.

I'm not sure why they would be treated differently either. The standard I set for the Argus should stand for any AAD, or really any part of the reserve system. If it doesn't work reliably, and as designed, it should not be a part of the reserve system. Even if the failure mode is benign, it's just taking up space and subtracting from the KISS principal at that point. Remove it, solve the problem and go from there.

In terms of the Vigil, I don't recall if there was ever a solid conclusion as to what happened. I know we had a variety of theories here on DZ.com, and some of them seemed to 'add up', but it was still guesswork.

In this case, we have three instances where cutters only partiall cut the loop, with the factory confirming the problem, and supposedly 'solving' it with a recall. With the problem presisting beyond the recall, and keeping in mind the factory admitting the problem, and the published reports surrounding the incidents in question, the problem has become 'real' and 'official' enough to warrant action.

I'm not sure where the attitude comes from, but any time you tout the Cypres, jumpers pop up and back the other brands, or call you a Cypres-snob. I'm not sire what Cypres has done to garner these negative feelings, but I know what it has done to garner my respect. The fact is that Cypres has established the standard that all AADs need to be judged by. I'm not saying that they are perfect, but what's the sense in marketing, buying, or jumping as AAD that cannot meet the standard set by the Cypres when you could just jump a Cypres. Could it be better? Sure. Should other manufacturers strive to surpass the standard set by the Cypres? Sure.

In the meantime, Cypres undoubtedly has the best record for proper operation, or at the minimum, failing via complete inaction as opposed to improper operation. The fact that it has been on the market the longest, and the most widely distributed only makes the safety record even more impressive. It has had more opportunities by far to fail when compared to the other brands, but it remains the 'safest' AAD out there.


sriddy  (D License)

Mar 23, 2011, 7:50 AM
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Re: [pchapman] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

The way I see it, as a lowly nobody senior rigger, is like this:

In two incidents, a problem was found with the Argus cutter not completely severing the closing loop. Aviacom acknowledged the problem and attempted to solve it by recalling all cutters made before April(ish) 2007.

A third incident uncovered the same problem with a newer cutter. This implies that Aviacom hasn't fixed the problem.

Now the issue is known to the public, including lawyers. So the manufacturers are disallowing Argus use until Aviacom gets their shit straight.

Like it has been said above, all AAD manufacturers have had issues to solve, so I'm not trying to badmouth Aviacom. But I can see the point of view of the container manufacturers that don't want to be sued out of existence.


riggerpaul  (D 28098)

Mar 23, 2011, 8:17 AM
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Re: [sriddy] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The way I see it, as a lowly nobody senior rigger, is like this:

In two incidents, a problem was found with the Argus cutter not completely severing the closing loop. Aviacom acknowledged the problem and attempted to solve it by recalling all cutters made before April(ish) 2007.

A third incident uncovered the same problem with a newer cutter. This implies that Aviacom hasn't fixed the problem.

Now the issue is known to the public, including lawyers. So the manufacturers are disallowing Argus use until Aviacom gets their shit straight.

Like it has been said above, all AAD manufacturers have had issues to solve, so I'm not trying to badmouth Aviacom. But I can see the point of view of the container manufacturers that don't want to be sued out of existence.

So why are the H/C manufacturers not banning the Vigil?

It has fired in the plane, and the manufacturer says they won't fix it because it isn't broken.

Why would the H/C manufacturers not be scared of that AAD as well?

Something in this playing field does not seem to be level.

Seems to me that either one of these devices needs fixing before the H/C manufacturers would be happy again.

Now, at least one manufacturer I contacted said that they do not approve AADs.

But, according to CFR 105.43.b.3 -
The tandem parachute system contains an operational automatic activation device for the reserve parachute, approved by the manufacturer of that tandem parachute system.
The device mustó
(i) Have been maintained in accordance with manufacturer instructions, and
(ii) Be armed during each tandem parachute operation.
(red emphasis mine)

If the H/C manufacturer isn't approving AADs, then we can't legally jump the tandem parachute system, can we?

Anyway, why aren't the two AADs treated the same way?

Either one could easily cause a catastrophe should it repeat a known behavior at the wrong time.

So why is one banned and not the other?


piisfish

Mar 23, 2011, 8:48 AM
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In reply to:
Either one could easily cause a catastrophe should it repeat a known behavior at the wrong time.

So why is one banned and not the other?
maybe because one of them does not prevent proper opening of the reserve ?


CrazyAl  (C 3179)

Mar 23, 2011, 9:05 AM
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Re: [piisfish] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

It just takes down entire airplanes full of people instead?


riggerpaul  (D 28098)

Mar 23, 2011, 9:11 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Either one could easily cause a catastrophe should it repeat a known behavior at the wrong time.

So why is one banned and not the other?
maybe because one of them does not prevent proper opening of the reserve ?

Do you really think that is a valid distinction?

Lock the reserve container closed = 1 dead person.

Bring down the plane? Depends on the plane, but it seems to me that the number pretty much starts at 2.


(This post was edited by riggerpaul on Mar 23, 2011, 9:13 AM)


ridestrong  (C 38471)

Mar 23, 2011, 9:15 AM
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Re: [riggerpaul] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
The way I see it, as a lowly nobody senior rigger, is like this:

In two incidents, a problem was found with the Argus cutter not completely severing the closing loop. Aviacom acknowledged the problem and attempted to solve it by recalling all cutters made before April(ish) 2007.

A third incident uncovered the same problem with a newer cutter. This implies that Aviacom hasn't fixed the problem.

Now the issue is known to the public, including lawyers. So the manufacturers are disallowing Argus use until Aviacom gets their shit straight.

Like it has been said above, all AAD manufacturers have had issues to solve, so I'm not trying to badmouth Aviacom. But I can see the point of view of the container manufacturers that don't want to be sued out of existence.

So why are the H/C manufacturers not banning the Vigil?

It has fired in the plane, and the manufacturer says they won't fix it because it isn't broken.

Why would the H/C manufacturers not be scared of that AAD as well?

Something in this playing field does not seem to be level.

Seems to me that either one of these devices needs fixing before the H/C manufacturers would be happy again.

Now, at least one manufacturer I contacted said that they do not approve AADs.

But, according to CFR 105.43.b.3 -
The tandem parachute system contains an operational automatic activation device for the reserve parachute, approved by the manufacturer of that tandem parachute system.
The device mustó
(i) Have been maintained in accordance with manufacturer instructions, and
(ii) Be armed during each tandem parachute operation.
(red emphasis mine)

If the H/C manufacturer isn't approving AADs, then we can't legally jump the tandem parachute system, can we?

Anyway, why aren't the two AADs treated the same way?

Either one could easily cause a catastrophe should it repeat a known behavior at the wrong time.

So why is one banned and not the other?



I'm certainly not a rigger... but as far as banning one and not the other, the issues between the two AADs are completely different.

The Argus has been proven to not properly cut the closing loop and this has not been properly corrected. (Seems pretty cut and dry)

The Vigil, had 2 miss-fires in the incident that you mentioned, that seem to be due to a combination or rare set of circumstances. This has yet to be proven as a defined problem with the device. (not yet cut and dry)

Ultimately one is an obviously known problem... and the other is yet just a 'phenomenon'.


(This post was edited by ridestrong on Mar 23, 2011, 9:22 AM)


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Mar 23, 2011, 9:19 AM
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Re: [CrazyAl] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

>It just takes down entire airplanes full of people instead?

Well, no, it doesn't. Even when you get a parachute open in the door (which has happened on loads I've been on) it doesn't "take down the airplane" usually.

However, an Argus that doesn't cut the loop and locks your reserve closed is a guaranteed fatality. There's no way to deal with a reserve that won't open when you are down to your last canopy.


piisfish

Mar 23, 2011, 9:22 AM
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Re: [riggerpaul] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

I consider it as a distinction. Valid or not ?? It is just my interpretation (which can be questionned).

Bringing down the plane can be done with a misfire at the door, or by a damaged but not completely cut loop too.
So one of the AAD's has "only" the "down the plane" problem, the other one in addition has the "skydiver goes in with a locked parachute" option.
The positive way to look at it is if the skydiver goes in with a locked reserve, at least the plane should be safe.
I guess that manufacturers don't like stuff that can prevent a reserve deployment


CrazyAl  (C 3179)

Mar 23, 2011, 9:24 AM
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Re: [billvon] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

>It just takes down entire airplanes full of people instead?

>>Well, no, it doesn't. Even when you get a parachute open in the door (which has happened on loads I've been on) it doesn't "take down the airplane" usually.

>>However, an Argus that doesn't cut the loop and locks your reserve closed is a guaranteed fatality. There's no way to deal with a reserve that won't open when you are down to your last canopy.




True, because if every time a Vigil misfired it took down a plane, there wouldn't be very many of us skydivers left in this sport. And it would already be to late to ban anything.


(This post was edited by CrazyAl on Mar 23, 2011, 9:27 AM)


piisfish

Mar 23, 2011, 9:42 AM
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In reply to:
True, because if every time a Vigil misfired it took down a plane, there wouldn't be very many of us skydivers left in this sport. And it would already be to late to ban anything.
LaughLaugh this one is slightly exaggerated, but made me chuckle


CygnusX-1  (B 28761)

Mar 23, 2011, 9:47 AM
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In reply to:
Do you really think that is a valid distinction?

Lock the reserve container closed = 1 dead person.

Bring down the plane? Depends on the plane, but it seems to me that the number pretty much starts at 2.

I think that is a very valid distinction. Just because the cutter fires inside a plane does not guarantee that the plane will be damaged and fall out of the sky killing everyone aboard. That is one possible outcome, but does not happen all the time.

But having a cutter not cut the loop - or worse yet trap the loop such that a normal pull doesn't open the reserve, does (for all practical purposes) mean death.


Ron

Mar 23, 2011, 9:59 AM
Post #19 of 117 (2952 views)
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Quote:
Wusses. They don't ban other potentially dangerous things that people might jump with.

The other things are not part of the container system.

Quote:
I can see rig companies wishing to be dissociated with a "loser", but some companies sure react fast and strongly once the word gets passed around, to ban the Argus in their rigs.

They do not want to deal with a lawsuit. Even if it is NOT related a person suing them could show that they didn't ground something that was "proven" to be dangerous.

Quote:
The Argus isn't much danger to others on the plane or the sky, as it isn't firing inadvertently.

It is a danger if it 'half fires' and then the loop breaks near the door or in freefall. Never forget that most people never do a pin check anyway, and that checking the AAD would never cross their minds.


riggerpaul  (D 28098)

Mar 23, 2011, 10:00 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:

So why is one banned and not the other?



I'm certainly not a rigger... but as far as banning one and not the other, the issues between the two AADs are completely different.

The Argus has been proven to not properly cut the closing loop and this has not been properly corrected. (Seems pretty cut and dry)

The Vigil, had 2 miss-fires in the incident that you mentioned, that seem to be due to a combination or rare set of circumstances. This has yet to be proven to be a defined problem with the device. (not yet cut and dry)

Ultimately one is an obviously known problem... and the other is yet just a 'phenomenon'.

Actually Advanced Aerospace Designs has told us that the device worked as designed. So, should the same conditions occur again, the same behavior is expected.

Regarding the Argus cutter, we have absolutely seen that some cutters have worked just fine.

There has been mention that manufacturing tolerances may be responsible for some not working as planned. I say that is pretty much identical to being " due to a combination or rare set of circumstances".

That is a long way from saying that all the cutters have been "proven to not properly cut the closing loop".

In case you might be thinking that I oppose the Argus bans, I restate that I do not. They have a problem that must be solved.

But, as I see it, so does the Vigil.


Ron

Mar 23, 2011, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
I don't recall any talk of banning that AAD, and I'd like to know why the two are being treated differently.

I refused to buy either.

But, recognize that the Argus cutter failed. So if it was needed, it didn't work. It then created a dangerous situation if you didn't catch it.

The Vigil firing with the door was wrong, but much more in line with how an AAD should operate.

Quote:
But you posted some very good reasons why we should ban an AAD that does bad things, which begs the question of why one is banned but not the other.

Different reasons for the failures.


ridestrong  (C 38471)

Mar 23, 2011, 10:15 AM
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In reply to:
In case you might be thinking that I oppose the Argus bans, I restate that I do not. They have a problem that must be solved.

But, as I see it, so does the Vigil.


Yeah I definitely see your point. I'm a bit up in the air with banning Vigil, it does seem that there is a data reading/progaming issue which caused the mis-fires.

Argus just seems more like a no brainer.


BrianM  (D 661)

Mar 23, 2011, 10:34 AM
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The Vigil, had 2 miss-fires in the incident that you mentioned, that seem to be due to a combination or rare set of circumstances. This has yet to be proven as a defined problem with the device. (not yet cut and dry)

Shortly after the incident in question, Vigil released graphs from the affected devices showing the recorded altitude and speed.

The graphs indicate that both units fired due to a very short spike in air pressure which represented an acceleration from zero to firing altitude in under a second - an acceleration several times that which is physically possible. It was very obviously not a situation requiring reserve activation.

There are also several incidents where they have fired on the ground (pressurized aircraft, slamming a car trunk lid, etc). Another physical impossibility - there is no way to be on the ground, and then in freefall at firing speed a fraction of a second later.

Any sudden, short pressure spike will cause the Vigil to fire, even if it is sitting on the ground. It is clear that the Vigil makes little or no effort to filter the data, nor to detect what should be non-firing situations. These are situations that are easy to deal with, yet the Vigil is no better than a mechanical AAD such as the FXC 12000 in that regard.

Not proven as a defined problem? The problem is clearly defined and it has been shown quite a few times that it exists. The manufacturer says so themselves every time they explain why one of these firings occurred.


riggerpaul  (D 28098)

Mar 23, 2011, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
I don't recall any talk of banning that AAD, and I'd like to know why the two are being treated differently.

I refused to buy either.

But, recognize that the Argus cutter failed. So if it was needed, it didn't work. It then created a dangerous situation if you didn't catch it.

The Vigil firing with the door was wrong, but much more in line with how an AAD should operate.

Quote:
But you posted some very good reasons why we should ban an AAD that does bad things, which begs the question of why one is banned but not the other.

Different reasons for the failures.

Just to be sure, I'll restate - I am not opposed to the ban on Argus. In fact, as it stands now, I recommend CYPRES2 as the only acceptable AAD.

The Vigil firing in the plane (with the door open, and that is very important) also creates a dangerous situation if you didn't catch it.

Yes, different reasons for the failures. But failures nonetheless. Either can kill.

"Much more in line with how an AAD should operate"? CYPRES doesn't arm so early, and that's what invites the Vigil to fire when it should not.

According to the manufacturer, they said the device operated as designed. To me, that means that they are okay with their AAD firing inside an aircraft when nobody was even skydiving yet.

I am not okay with that.


BrianM  (D 661)

Mar 23, 2011, 10:45 AM
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Argus just seems more like a no brainer.

So in the case of the Vigil, you have an AAD that could misfire at any time - in the plane, in the door, etc. I don't trust them to not fire at an inopportune moment. I don't want to jump one, and I don't even like having them in the plane with me. Seems like a no brainer to me!


BrianM  (D 661)

Mar 23, 2011, 10:49 AM
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In reply to:
CYPRES doesn't arm so early, and that's what invites the Vigil to fire when it should not.

I suspect there is more than just the arming altitude at play. If the plane had ascended above the CYPRES arming altitude, then descended back to the altitude at which the incident occurred, do you think the CYPRES would have fired? Or do you think it has data filtering and/or algorithms that would have prevented a firing due to a physically impossible event?


ridestrong  (C 38471)

Mar 23, 2011, 10:59 AM
Post #27 of 117 (983 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Argus just seems more like a no brainer.

So in the case of the Vigil, you have an AAD that could misfire at any time - in the plane, in the door, etc. I don't trust them to not fire at an inopportune moment. I don't want to jump one, and I don't even like having them in the plane with me. Seems like a no brainer to me!


I gave a reason why I thought one might be banned over the other, but I actually tend to agree with both you and riggerpaul on this. I personally would not jump either one of them.


nigel99  (D 1)

Mar 23, 2011, 11:02 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
The Vigil, had 2 miss-fires in the incident that you mentioned, that seem to be due to a combination or rare set of circumstances. This has yet to be proven as a defined problem with the device. (not yet cut and dry)

Shortly after the incident in question, Vigil released graphs from the affected devices showing the recorded altitude and speed.

The graphs indicate that both units fired due to a very short spike in air pressure which represented an acceleration from zero to firing altitude in under a second - an acceleration several times that which is physically possible. It was very obviously not a situation requiring reserve activation.

There are also several incidents where they have fired on the ground (pressurized aircraft, slamming a car trunk lid, etc). Another physical impossibility - there is no way to be on the ground, and then in freefall at firing speed a fraction of a second later.

Any sudden, short pressure spike will cause the Vigil to fire, even if it is sitting on the ground. It is clear that the Vigil makes little or no effort to filter the data, nor to detect what should be non-firing situations. These are situations that are easy to deal with, yet the Vigil is no better than a mechanical AAD such as the FXC 12000 in that regard.

Not proven as a defined problem? The problem is clearly defined and it has been shown quite a few times that it exists. The manufacturer says so themselves every time they explain why one of these firings occurred.

There is a principle of keep it simple. Adding software filters changes algorithms and increases the amount of software. A risk assessment can show that it is lower risk to not implement something that may seem obvious to an outsider.

I would say that any software algorithm that is "life critical" is not trivial or easy to deal with.

I am sorry you have just caught me after a meeting explaining to someone why a "bloody obvious" software algorithm bug is hidden in 3000 lines of code. To quote a colleague "don't expect a shitty little 8 bit processor to do the same job as the 300 billion node neural computer between your ears does"


Ron

Mar 23, 2011, 11:04 AM
Post #29 of 117 (978 views)
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Yes, different reasons for the failures. But failures nonetheless. Either can kill.

Well, the argus is a clear failure.. It didnt cut the loop.

The vigil operated within it's parameters... You may disagree with the parameter (as do I), but the door opening created a pressure change that fooled the unit.

So one failed to fire, the other was tricked into firing... A CYPRES will 'misfire' if you pull low too. You may disagree with that parameter as well.

Don't get me wrong, I only recommend the CYPRES (and have gotten TONS of flack on here for that). But these two cases are the difference between a unit not firing (and thereby locking the container) and an operations parameter that is within the units programming that some people (me included) do not like.


riggerpaul  (D 28098)

Mar 23, 2011, 11:08 AM
Post #30 of 117 (975 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:
CYPRES doesn't arm so early, and that's what invites the Vigil to fire when it should not.

I suspect there is more than just the arming altitude at play. If the plane had ascended above the CYPRES arming altitude, then descended back to the altitude at which the incident occurred, do you think the CYPRES would have fired? Or do you think it has data filtering and/or algorithms that would have prevented a firing due to a physically impossible event?

Yes, that is what I understand (underlined text), that the CYPRES family will filter for impossible situations.

I seem to recall Airtec telling us that a tumbling skydiver will make it take longer for the device to fire. That also supports that they have data filters that try to detect spurious conditions.

Either way, such a descent back to firing altitude would constitute an unusual event that is easily recognized by the skydiver.

Having it happen shortly after takeoff when the door popped open is a completely different thing that no one could expect or plan for. It was only luck that it turned out as well as it did.

Even without other filtering, raising the arming altitude out of the firing range would have prevented the activations that happened at the particular moment that they did. Even that improvement would make me feel a lot better about being on a plane with them.


BrianM  (D 661)

Mar 23, 2011, 11:21 AM
Post #31 of 117 (970 views)
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In reply to:
There is a principle of keep it simple. Adding software filters changes algorithms and increases the amount of software. A risk assessment can show that it is lower risk to not implement something that may seem obvious to an outsider.

I would say that any software algorithm that is "life critical" is not trivial or easy to deal with.

I am sorry you have just caught me after a meeting explaining to someone why a "bloody obvious" software algorithm bug is hidden in 3000 lines of code. To quote a colleague "don't expect a shitty little 8 bit processor to do the same job as the 300 billion node neural computer between your ears does"

Of course unnecessary complexity is never good in a safety critical device. Neither is insufficient complexity to do the job properly.

What we are talking about here is something that improves safety. Yes, it will increase the chance of bugs; that is always the tradeoff. The question is whether the improvement in safety outweighs the risk of bugs - in this case I believe that it does.

BTW, I'm an engineer with a background in embedded systems, including safety critical systems, and including systems using pressure transducers to measure the altitude and speed of a skydiver.


BrianM  (D 661)

Mar 23, 2011, 11:26 AM
Post #32 of 117 (962 views)
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In reply to:
Either way, such a descent back to firing altitude would constitute an unusual event that is easily recognized by the skydiver.

On rereading my post, I think I wasn't clear enough. I meant that if the plane had ascended to arming altitude, descended again, then the door popped open. I was trying to come up with a scenario that would eliminate the arming altitude from the equation to allow a more equal comparison.

Sorry for not being more clear.

In reply to:
Even without other filtering, raising the arming altitude out of the firing range would have prevented the activations that happened at the particular moment that they did. Even that improvement would make me feel a lot better about being on a plane with them.

I agree, though I'd prefer to have both, and if I could only have one, I'd take the better algorithms over the increased arming altitude.


gbstuar  (D 23744)

Mar 23, 2011, 11:46 AM
Post #33 of 117 (944 views)
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In reply to:
Some opinions:

Quote:
The Argus isn't much danger to others on the plane or the sky, as it isn't firing inadvertently.

I personally saw one fire at 11,000' while the jumper was in freefall. The only response/explanation from Aviacom was to send a new unit once the affected unit was returned to them. I wonder how many similar incidents have happened that are not widely known?


Quote:
It would only be a problem if one smoked it low, had the loop not cut properly, and go up again without checking one's AAD.

So Argus users should open their reserve container before every jump to "check one's AAD?" My understanding is that you can also go through the Argus menu to see if it has "fired," but that as a procedure does not inspire confidence. Besides, neither option is practical to do before every jump.

Quote:
The Argus also creates little increased risk to the jumper if they behave properly.

It could be easily argued that people have an AAD *precisely* for situations when they are unable to "behave properly" (i.e. unconscious).

Quote:
An Argus can only impede a manual reserve pull if you pull your reserve a lot lower than you should

So let's make a bad situation even worse?

Quote:
But if one's philosophy is that AAD's are an optional safety device, then Argus' are still useful. If you lose altitude awareness or are knocked silly in freefall, it quite easily still has a 90+% chance to save your life. That may be a good tradeoff against a chance of jamming up (depending on the rig) if you pull your reserve below 1000'.

Some would say that you're probably better off with an Argus installed than no AAD at all. I'd say the jury is still out on that one. But if you're going to spend the money on an AAD, why not just get proven technology like a Cypres?


riggerpaul  (D 28098)

Mar 23, 2011, 11:49 AM
Post #34 of 117 (940 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Either way, such a descent back to firing altitude would constitute an unusual event that is easily recognized by the skydiver.

On rereading my post, I think I wasn't clear enough. I meant that if the plane had ascended to arming altitude, descended again, then the door popped open. I was trying to come up with a scenario that would eliminate the arming altitude from the equation to allow a more equal comparison.

Sorry for not being more clear.

In reply to:
Even without other filtering, raising the arming altitude out of the firing range would have prevented the activations that happened at the particular moment that they did. Even that improvement would make me feel a lot better about being on a plane with them.

I agree, though I'd prefer to have both, and if I could only have one, I'd take the better algorithms over the increased arming altitude.

I understood what you meant.

What I meant is that if the airplane had reached the arming altitude, and then we decided to come down, I'd already know that I should take steps to be sure that nothing bad will happen. It might be turning off the AAD, which can be difficult. Or it could be as simple as putting my back to a wall of some sort, so that even if it fired, the pilot chute is trapped.

Are we on the same page now?


BlindBrick  (C 35382)

Mar 23, 2011, 11:51 AM
Post #35 of 117 (933 views)
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I think it's funny that everyone wants to bash the Argus and Vigil but conviently forgets that the Cypres had a known problem that wasn't corrected until after someone died from it.

-Blind


riggerpaul  (D 28098)

Mar 23, 2011, 11:52 AM
Post #36 of 117 (932 views)
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In reply to:
I agree, though I'd prefer to have both, and if I could only have one, I'd take the better algorithms over the increased arming altitude.

Per Nigel99's post, if they weren't comfortable with putting filtering software into the system in the first place, I'd likely feel better that they didn't try to add it later as an afterthought. So, I'd probably prefer just raising the arming altitude.

(I too have a background in embedded software systems, though not life critical or skydiver related like yours.)


DiverMike  (C 40024)

Mar 23, 2011, 11:54 AM
Post #37 of 117 (927 views)
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In reply to:
Some would say that you're probably better off with an Argus installed than no AAD at all. I'd say the jury is still out on that one. But if you're going to spend the money on an AAD, why not just get proven technology like a Cypres?

That doesn't help people (like me) who have an Argus already. I am still noodling over if I am better off without an AAD or using the one I already purchased. If I could climb into my wayback machine, I wouldn't have purchased a rig with an Argus in it.


BrianM  (D 661)

Mar 23, 2011, 12:12 PM
Post #38 of 117 (915 views)
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In reply to:
Are we on the same page now?

Yep, thanks!

In reply to:
if they weren't comfortable with putting filtering software into the system in the first place, I'd likely feel better that they didn't try to add it later as an afterthought.

Well, if it's just a quick fix without much engineering and QA effort, then I agree, and that would likely have prevented most or all of the undesired firings that have happened.


pchapman  (D 1014)

Mar 23, 2011, 12:25 PM
Post #39 of 117 (905 views)
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In reply to:
I think it's funny that everyone wants to bash the Argus and Vigil but conviently forgets that the Cypres had a known problem that wasn't corrected until after someone died from it.

OK to repeat, though some of us remember it. Airtec took a long time (and one death) to finally admit that somebody some day might dive fast enough to set one off under canopy. Still, that was a change in one aspect of the sport of skydiving that caught up with what had been a perfectly reasonable design for years.

But the Argus is today's issue.

I'm kind of surprised nobody has a web page where they've taken the time to summarize all the AAD failures and rumours over the years, and how the companies responded. It would take some work! Things fade from memory and one doesn't always remember the details.

And there are always incidents one hasn't heard of, that seemingly haven't been investigated in detail, like in another post just made here:

Quote:
I personally saw one fire at 11,000' while the jumper was in freefall. The only response/explanation from Aviacom was to send a new unit

(What year was that? Not one of the early prototypes presumably, gbstuar ?)


sriddy  (D License)

Mar 23, 2011, 12:34 PM
Post #40 of 117 (901 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:
CYPRES doesn't arm so early, and that's what invites the Vigil to fire when it should not.

I suspect there is more than just the arming altitude at play. If the plane had ascended above the CYPRES arming altitude, then descended back to the altitude at which the incident occurred, do you think the CYPRES would have fired? Or do you think it has data filtering and/or algorithms that would have prevented a firing due to a physically impossible event?

I know of two student cypreses that fired on the same load under these exact circumstances.

The pilot went above 1500 ft. Then descended to about 1000 ft. to quickly look for a cutaway canopy when he flew over the suspected location. He opened the cockpit window for a better view, and POP, two pilot chutes in the face. The pressure onset wasn't fast enough to trigger any other AAD, but it was for the student version. (Student versions trigger at a lower sensed airspeed and higher altitude)

So from this, I gather that there are aren't any cypres algorithms that perform in the way you are suggesting.


BrianM  (D 661)

Mar 23, 2011, 12:40 PM
Post #41 of 117 (903 views)
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In reply to:
I know of two student cypreses that fired on the same load under these exact circumstances.

The pilot went above 1500 ft. Then descended to about 1000 ft. to quickly look for a cutaway canopy when he flew over the suspected location. He opened the cockpit window for a better view, and POP, two pilot chutes in the face. The pressure onset wasn't fast enough to trigger any other AAD, but it was for the student version. (Student versions trigger at a lower sensed airspeed and higher altitude)

So from this, I gather that there are aren't any cypres algorithms that perform in the way you are suggesting.

Interesting! Thanks for posting about it.

When the window was opened and the AADs fired, was the plane still descending, or flying level? If it was level, how long had it been level?

Was there a response from Airtec?


sriddy  (D License)

Mar 23, 2011, 1:12 PM
Post #42 of 117 (879 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:
I know of two student cypreses that fired on the same load under these exact circumstances.

The pilot went above 1500 ft. Then descended to about 1000 ft. to quickly look for a cutaway canopy when he flew over the suspected location. He opened the cockpit window for a better view, and POP, two pilot chutes in the face. The pressure onset wasn't fast enough to trigger any other AAD, but it was for the student version. (Student versions trigger at a lower sensed airspeed and higher altitude)

So from this, I gather that there are aren't any cypres algorithms that perform in the way you are suggesting.

Interesting! Thanks for posting about it.

When the window was opened and the AADs fired, was the plane still descending, or flying level? If it was level, how long had it been level?

Was there a response from Airtec?


I don't really remember how long the plane was level, but I don't think aircraft decent was the cause.

The window that the pilot opened was a side window in the cockpit, but it is slightly angled forward. So when he opened it, it caused a slight ram air effect. (kinda like the nose of a canopy). This caused a sharp increase in cabin pressure.

The only thing an AAD senses is pressure. It records how fast that pressure changes to get decent rate. It has no way of knowing if it is in freefall or if a pilot opened a window. In this case, the pressure increase from opening the window was high enough to and fast enough to trigger the student cypreses, but not fast enough to trigger other AADs.

I believe that the consensus of dropzone people involved was that the student AADs performed as designed. The problem was with the pilot (a newer one if I recall) that should have known better than to open that window.

Because nobody blamed the AAD, I don't know if Airtec was notified or if they sent a response.

As far as filtering goes, the more data filtering you add to smooth out the pressure spikes, the more lag is added to the measurement, which slows down the unit's reaction time. If you add more logic so the measurement has to meet more criteria, there will probably be a skydiver out there who will eventually be in some situation that doesn't meet all the criteria, but really needs an AAD fire to save his ass. (In other words, better to use the KISS approach)

Or at least, that's the way I see it... Smile


SimonBones  (D 28573)

Mar 23, 2011, 4:28 PM
Post #43 of 117 (822 views)
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An AAD should be expected to do TWO things:

1) Properly cut the reserve closing loop and

2) Do so at the appropriate time (high speed, low altitude).

The Argus has failed multiple times to do #1, and so we ban them until they can sort their shit out and perform under expectations 1 and 2.

The Vigil has failed multiple times to understand #2. If I owned an H/C company, the Vigil would be banned as well until it could perform under expectations 1 and 2.

If only there were an AAD manufacturer that did so. Maybe someone could recommend one to me. I'm preferably looking for one with a 20 year track record.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Mar 23, 2011, 4:39 PM
Post #44 of 117 (813 views)
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Re: [SimonBones] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

>An AAD should be expected to do TWO things:
>1) Properly cut the reserve closing loop and
>2) Do so at the appropriate time (high speed, low altitude).

Honestly to me those two things are secondary. By far the #1 thing in my list of AAD requirements is:

1) Under no circumstances interfere with the normal operation of the rig.

Then comes

2) Do not fire when the jumper is above about 1000 feet, and do not fire when the jumper is doing less than about 80 mph.

Those are the two really critical items. Everything else is secondary. I'd much rather have an AAD that fails to fire 10% of the time it's needed than an AAD that fires 10% of the time when it's not supposed to. (Or worse yet, prevents you from opening the reserve 10% of the time.)


fgersch  (D License)

Mar 23, 2011, 5:24 PM
Post #45 of 117 (778 views)
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In reply to:
Quote:
Yes, different reasons for the failures. But failures nonetheless. Either can kill.

Quote:
Well, the argus is a clear failure.. It didnt cut the loop.

I wouldn't say that it is clear. That it happened it clear. What made it happen is not. It could be attributable to rigger error or other factors as yet undiscovered?

I think that the impact of this decision is going to be huge. Most of my rigs for the season are now out of commission and half my customers will be grounded. I am fortunate that I can afford to by replacements for my work gear but many DZs will not be so fortunate. I think this could have been resolved more effectively with an advisory requiring inspection after any low pull incident. I have also hear (not verified) that Aviacom have not been given access to the rig that has the mentioned incident. How are they to investigate it in this case?

Don't get me wrong I think Aviacom have not offered the best customer response in the past and this is probably at least in part why they are now in this position. But I think a response that would not have screwed a large part of the skydiving population would have been in order.

I hope for everyones sake that this will have a resolution soon. Right now I am sitting on $30Ks worth of bricks.


riggerpaul  (D 28098)

Mar 23, 2011, 5:27 PM
Post #46 of 117 (772 views)
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In reply to:
>An AAD should be expected to do TWO things:
>1) Properly cut the reserve closing loop and
>2) Do so at the appropriate time (high speed, low altitude).

Honestly to me those two things are secondary. By far the #1 thing in my list of AAD requirements is:

1) Under no circumstances interfere with the normal operation of the rig.

Then comes

2) Do not fire when the jumper is above about 1000 feet, and do not fire when the jumper is doing less than about 80 mph.

Those are the two really critical items. Everything else is secondary. I'd much rather have an AAD that fails to fire 10% of the time it's needed than an AAD that fires 10% of the time when it's not supposed to. (Or worse yet, prevents you from opening the reserve 10% of the time.)

Interesting. We agree. Except that I place not hurting someone else as the first priority.

For me -
1) pose no hazard to anyone else.
2) don't get in the way of my saving myself.
3) save me if I clearly need it and it can.

What do you think of locating single use, untestable cutters, where it could lock a rig shut?

And where do you stand on the whole matter that one is banned and the other is not?

Clearly, a partially cut loop that could fail later violates the #1 priority, so I have no problem with banning an AAD that can partially cut a loop.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Mar 23, 2011, 5:32 PM
Post #47 of 117 (762 views)
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Re: [riggerpaul] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

>What do you think of locating single use, untestable cutters, where it could
>lock a rig shut?

The technology is there to produce very reliable cutters. They are used in spacecraft and ejection seats with 99.99% reliability rates. You just have to spend the money.

That being said, it also makes the most sense (to me) to locate them where a failure does not cause a locked-closed rig. I.e. put them on the bottom of the pack tray on a conventional rig.

>And where do you stand on the whole matter that one is banned and the
>other is not?

I think it would be tough to come up with really hard and fast rules over which one to ban and which one not to ban. The Vigil came close during the "cutters are damaging closing loops" issue of a few years ago, but PIA (and rig manufacturers) never crossed the threshold of thinking they were too unsafe to use at all.


Ron

Mar 23, 2011, 5:42 PM
Post #48 of 117 (755 views)
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Quote:
I think it's funny that everyone wants to bash the Argus and Vigil but conviently forgets that the Cypres had a known problem that wasn't corrected until after someone died from it.

No one is forgetting the swooping accident. The thing is that was not an error *in the system*... It operated within it's parameters, period. It is not the fault of the CYPRES unit that the operational parameters were met AFTER the parachute was opened.

The Vigil did the same thing (fired when parameters were met). You may not LIKE the parameters, but that is different than a malfunction of this type.

So you could lump the Vigil and the CYPRES into the "I don't like the parameters that it works" And that would be fine.

But the Argus is creating a situation where it does not work properly. Worse, in some rigs it locks the reserve closed.

I didn't buy a Vigil based on the door issues. I didn't buy an Argus based on the groundings in Europe. I don't fly a 69sqft canopy anymore so I could easily live within the parameters of the CYPRES... so I bought a CYPRES.


Ron

Mar 23, 2011, 5:51 PM
Post #49 of 117 (751 views)
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Quote:
That doesn't help people (like me) who have an Argus already. I am still noodling over if I am better off without an AAD or using the one I already purchased.

Only you can answer that..... With a Dolphin (IIRC) the cutter is in the bottom of the container. So the chance of a partial fire locking the container is nil (If I remember the Dolphin correctly). But DAMN that would suck.... Your AAD locking your PC and not being able to get a launch.

So as long as you check the AAD to see if it has fired after you land from each jump..... You should be fine.

But like always you should expect the AAD not to work and plan accordingly.

Personally.... I have the money so I'd buy something else.

Edit:

The question is mute if this happens

http://www.dropzone.com/...;;page=unread#unread

And if I owned a HC company, I'd ground them till there is a fix as well.


(This post was edited by Ron on Mar 23, 2011, 5:53 PM)


ridestrong  (C 38471)

Mar 23, 2011, 6:05 PM
Post #50 of 117 (740 views)
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In reply to:
Quote:
I think it's funny that everyone wants to bash the Argus and Vigil but conviently forgets that the Cypres had a known problem that wasn't corrected until after someone died from it.

No one is forgetting the swooping accident. The thing is that was not an error *in the system*... It operated within it's parameters, period. It is not the fault of the CYPRES unit that the operational parameters were met AFTER the parachute was opened.

The Vigil did the same thing (fired when parameters were met). You may not LIKE the parameters, but that is different than a malfunction of this type.

So you could lump the Vigil and the CYPRES into the "I don't like the parameters that it works" And that would be fine.

But the Argus is creating a situation where it does not work properly. Worse, in some rigs it locks the reserve closed.

I didn't buy a Vigil based on the door issues. I didn't buy an Argus based on the groundings in Europe. I don't fly a 69sqft canopy anymore so I could easily live within the parameters of the CYPRES... so I bought a CYPRES.


+1


riggerpaul  (D 28098)

Mar 23, 2011, 6:34 PM
Post #51 of 117 (1056 views)
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In reply to:
>What do you think of locating single use, untestable cutters, where it could
>lock a rig shut?

The technology is there to produce very reliable cutters. They are used in spacecraft and ejection seats with 99.99% reliability rates. You just have to spend the money.

That being said, it also makes the most sense (to me) to locate them where a failure does not cause a locked-closed rig. I.e. put them on the bottom of the pack tray on a conventional rig.

>And where do you stand on the whole matter that one is banned and the
>other is not?

I think it would be tough to come up with really hard and fast rules over which one to ban and which one not to ban. The Vigil came close during the "cutters are damaging closing loops" issue of a few years ago, but PIA (and rig manufacturers) never crossed the threshold of thinking they were too unsafe to use at all.

Fair enough regarding the cutters.

Regarding not banning the Vigil, I was more thinking about the Colorado firings where the door popped open during the initial climbout.

To me, that falls under your classification of "do not fire when the jumper is doing less than about 80 mph". (I'll presume "downward".)


iwo

Mar 23, 2011, 6:34 PM
Post #52 of 117 (1055 views)
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In reply to:
Quote:
I think it's funny that everyone wants to bash the Argus and Vigil but conviently forgets that the Cypres had a known problem that wasn't corrected until after someone died from it.

No one is forgetting the swooping accident. The thing is that was not an error *in the system*... It operated within it's parameters, period. It is not the fault of the CYPRES unit that the operational parameters were met AFTER the parachute was opened.

The Vigil did the same thing (fired when parameters were met). You may not LIKE the parameters, but that is different than a malfunction of this type.

So you could lump the Vigil and the CYPRES into the "I don't like the parameters that it works" And that would be fine.

But the Argus is creating a situation where it does not work properly. Worse, in some rigs it locks the reserve closed.

I didn't buy a Vigil based on the door issues. I didn't buy an Argus based on the groundings in Europe. I don't fly a 69sqft canopy anymore so I could easily live within the parameters of the CYPRES... so I bought a CYPRES.



Well, you cannot compare this who things.. why? Cause one is caused by the user, and other can be caused by someone else.

Yes they both fired when parameters were met but you really can't compare them and dump it in the same basket.

If I buy A car, and MF says if you drive it more then 200mph your brakes will fail, and later added 250mph version, I'd be ok with that.

But if I buy B car, and MF says if you drive it and a kid in the back opens window your steering wheel will brake, and on top of that says they are aware but ok with that... well I really can't be ok with that.


SimonBones  (D 28573)

Mar 23, 2011, 8:07 PM
Post #53 of 117 (1020 views)
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Re: [billvon] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
>An AAD should be expected to do TWO things:
>1) Properly cut the reserve closing loop and
>2) Do so at the appropriate time (high speed, low altitude).

Honestly to me those two things are secondary. By far the #1 thing in my list of AAD requirements is:

1) Under no circumstances interfere with the normal operation of the rig.

Then comes

2) Do not fire when the jumper is above about 1000 feet, and do not fire when the jumper is doing less than about 80 mph.

Those are the two really critical items. Everything else is secondary. I'd much rather have an AAD that fails to fire 10% of the time it's needed than an AAD that fires 10% of the time when it's not supposed to. (Or worse yet, prevents you from opening the reserve 10% of the time.)

I think your #1 is great but really more a function of the H/C system. Otherwise an AAD would have to be modified for every type of different H/C system. That would just spell trouble.

Your #2 (assuming we're talking expert mode, not tandem), should really fall within my #2 of appropriate time.

We're probably just splitting hairs at this point.

But in reality, if it's not broke, don't fix it. I think we can agree that there is an AAD option on the market that is not broke and doesn't violate either of our expectations/requirements.

I've just never understood some people's willingness to buy 'El Cheapo' brand over a few poor gimmicky marketing points, especially when it comes to a last chance life saving piece of equipment.

Our sport is dangerous enough. If I had life-threatening peanut allergy and worked next to a peanut factory, I wouldn't insist on buying the 'El Cheap' brand Epi-Pens. I guess some people are truly suckers for gimmicks.


Ron

Mar 23, 2011, 8:26 PM
Post #54 of 117 (1009 views)
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Re: [iwo] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Well, you cannot compare this who things.. why? Cause one is caused by the user, and other can be caused by someone else.

Yes they both fired when parameters were met but you really can't compare them and dump it in the same basket.

I think you misunderstood. Both the vigil and CYPRES issues were due to them firing *when conditions were met*. You may not like those conditions, but they were met. Therefore they are not malfunctions.

The Argus fired and didn't cut the loop. That is a malfunction.

Two worked as intended (even if you don't like the intention), one just failed to work.

Quote:
But if I buy B car, and MF says if you drive it and a kid in the back opens window your steering wheel will brake, and on top of that says they are aware but ok with that... well I really can't be ok with that.

That is you not liking the parameter.... That does not mean it was a malfunction.

The company that makes Vigil has even stated that it firing in that situation is not a malfunction.

If I buy a car and the manufactor tells me that if a kid opens the back window the e-brake will lock up.... Well when it happens it is not a mal, but rather a feature that you may not like.


iwo

Mar 23, 2011, 8:44 PM
Post #55 of 117 (997 views)
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Re: [Ron] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

I never said anything about malfunctions...

All I was trying to say is that with that kind of parameters, they shouldn't be aloud to sell them. Its not like choosing the color or something, its plain dangerous, that simple.


subject21  (D 29274)

Mar 23, 2011, 8:46 PM
Post #56 of 117 (993 views)
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Re: [pchapman] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

Just to play devil's advocate here, who says the Argus didn't cut the loop? If you've ever seen the condition of a reserve closing loop after an AAD fire you will notice that it does not always look like a clean cut. It is a simple finger trap and when cut, the outside line tends to ride up leaving the core lower. This could appear to be a failed cut that tore the rest of the way. (I've seen this on two different loops from saves)

What if this were a locked up reserve container? Certainly everyone here is aware that improperly rigged/maintained gear can lock itself up. A few videos out there to prove it. The owner of the gear in TX didn't have any silicone on the loop and the rig was being jumped out of date. Those two factors alone should make us question the validity of the Argus claim. Why wont the DZ send the AAD to Aviacom for inspection?

Where are the pictures of the loop?

Why hasn't anyone mentioned that the final report on the Poland issue was a reserve container tray that held on to the free bag too long?

No conspiracy theories here, just another way to look at this. I'm not convinced that the cutter did not work. Neither should anyone else until proof is there.

Sorry if my grammar/spelling sucks.... a few vodka and red bulls into the night :)


Unstable  (D 28930)

Mar 23, 2011, 9:42 PM
Post #57 of 117 (976 views)
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Re: [subject21] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

Okay, I'm going to let the business side of me take part here ~ financially, is there any way Argus is going to be able to sustain itself through this barrage long enough to even fix the problem if and when they come to identify it? Crazy

So, if X Y and Z container manufacturers don't ban the Argus, then will jumpers be left with an unmaintainable AAD with no source for cutters, parts, service, et cetera?

I guess my post here is a desire to steer the conversation to not the immediate flood of Argus bans, but where the next year or two will lead them..


NovaTTT  (D 17887)

Mar 23, 2011, 10:09 PM
Post #58 of 117 (967 views)
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Re: [Unstable] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Okay, I'm going to let the business side of me take part here ~ financially, is there any way Argus is going to be able to sustain itself through this barrage long enough to even fix the problem if and when they come to identify it?

Sure. A new ad campaign.

Buy an Argus - Now With a Free Jesus Cord!

It's only partly funny, you know. They say what goes around comes around.


Unstable  (D 28930)

Mar 23, 2011, 10:10 PM
Post #59 of 117 (966 views)
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Re: [Unstable] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

*Next point (sorry, I know it's terribly rude to reply to one's own post)


How long can Aviocom go without issuing some sort of statement in regards to these recent rescinded approvals? I mean, I keep checking their website for a letter or something saying "We're working on it" or "BRB", "TTYL", "OMG WTF?"


pchapman  (D 1014)

Mar 23, 2011, 10:21 PM
Post #60 of 117 (962 views)
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Re: [subject21] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Just to play devil's advocate here, who says the Argus didn't cut the loop?

I'll post a reply over in the thread on the actual incident. (USPA Newsletter report of Texas Argus event)

Edit: Well, I didn't actually address your devil's advocate thoughts much, but it got me thinking.

The loop was at least about the right length. But when I looked at the photos of the loop... the situation got more confusing. Interesting.

Another edit:
Hey Shaun, maybe Argus' web designer also designs cutters in his spare time and is busy.


(This post was edited by pchapman on Mar 23, 2011, 10:35 PM)


piisfish

Mar 24, 2011, 12:42 AM
Post #61 of 117 (940 views)
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Re: [Ron] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Never forget that most people never do a pin check anyway, and that checking the AAD would never cross their minds.
unfortunately that would not be Aviacom's problem, but a USER problem... Unsure


piisfish

Mar 24, 2011, 12:48 AM
Post #62 of 117 (940 views)
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Re: [BlindBrick] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
the Cypres had a known problem that wasn't corrected until after someone died from it.
what was that case ? Please educate me.


phoenixlpr  (D 3049)

Mar 24, 2011, 1:41 AM
Post #63 of 117 (929 views)
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Re: [BlindBrick] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I think it's funny that everyone wants to bash the Argus and Vigil but conviently forgets that the Cypres had a known problem that wasn't corrected until after someone died from it.

-Blind
AFAIK there were some idiots swooping though the activation parameters and surprise their CYPRES fired...Crazy


piisfish

Mar 24, 2011, 2:18 AM
Post #64 of 117 (918 views)
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Re: [phoenixlpr] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
AFAIK there were some idiots swooping though the activation parameters and surprise their CYPRES fired...Crazy
classy Unimpressed


iliketofly  (C License)

Mar 24, 2011, 8:09 AM
Post #65 of 117 (847 views)
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Re: [phoenixlpr] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

 I'm sure Adrian's family would love to hear how much of an idiot he was, dying from something no one new would happen.


Ron

Mar 24, 2011, 9:24 AM
Post #66 of 117 (809 views)
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Re: [iliketofly] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I'm sure Adrian's family would love to hear how much of an idiot he was, dying from something no one new would happen.

I would not say no one.... I would say most. Some people had talked about it before, but most had no clue. Even those that talked about it, most of them thought it unlikely.


brwonder  (C License)

Mar 24, 2011, 10:13 AM
Post #67 of 117 (789 views)
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Re: [Unstable] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

We've seen before that new AADs unfortunately don't come out working perfectly the first time. So why would people by them? I can say that I bought an Argus a couple years ago because I was broke and it was 40% less than a Cypress. For me a cheaper AAD was better than no AAD. For my next rig I'll probably by a Cypress just to avoid any headaches, and can afford it now. You canít just say donít by this or that. You have to take in consideration the current financial situation of each one. I bet not everyone here drives cars with ABS, EPS ,TPS , winter tires...... It's a choice what we can afford for safety.

One answer that hasn't been clear to me is... For those who have an Argus now, is it safer to keep it in or out. From what I understood the issue is that if it fires and doesn't cut it you are F&^%. For me if it fires itís because I couldn't pull.... that gives me 86 % chance of opening (3 issues/ 22 saves) Is it as good as others out there... no... but will do for me until I replace it or it gets figured out? YesÖ
I understand why manufactures are banning it... no one wants to have their ass in the line when lawyers start calling. Aviacom hasnít said anything publically so why should the manufactures take the heat?

I see all this as being evolution.... we learn from this and apply to the future.

And if it wasn't for competition who knows what Cypress would charge for it and less people would be able to afford it... wouldnít that make it unsafe?


phoenixlpr  (D 3049)

Mar 24, 2011, 10:18 AM
Post #68 of 117 (778 views)
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Re: [iliketofly] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I'm sure Adrian's family would love to hear how much of an idiot he was, dying from something no one new would happen.
CYPRES firing parameters are and were known.
What can you expect if you use your safety device outside the operating window? Darwin award, maybe...


Premier skydiverek  (C 41769)

Mar 24, 2011, 10:25 AM
Post #69 of 117 (771 views)
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Re: [phoenixlpr] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
I'm sure Adrian's family would love to hear how much of an idiot he was, dying from something no one new would happen.
CYPRES firing parameters are and were known.
What can you expect if you use your safety device outside the operating window? Darwin award, maybe...

Until the accident, Cypres had advertised that it was imposible to meet these parameters under an open canopy, no matter how it is flown. Look for the old ads... Adrian trusted that, I quess...

Airtec even responded to the jumper who was able to fire the off-set Cypres up high. The response was that it was impossible to do such maneuvers low and still land safely.


(This post was edited by skydiverek on Mar 24, 2011, 10:27 AM)


phoenixlpr  (D 3049)

Mar 24, 2011, 10:28 AM
Post #70 of 117 (768 views)
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Re: [Ron] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
For me if it fires itís because I couldn't pull.... that gives me 86 % chance of opening (3 issues/ 22 saves)
Where is that 86% coming from? Do you know in what configuration was the cutter installed? You can have a total reserve malfunction if the cutter is installed on the top of the reserve PC and it's failing to make both cuts clean.


ufk22  (D 16168)

Mar 24, 2011, 10:36 AM
Post #71 of 117 (769 views)
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Re: [brwonder] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

 
One answer that hasn't been clear to me is... For those who have an Argus now, is it safer to keep it in or out.
In reply to:
This is not something that YOU will get to choose. Rig manufacturers have stated to remove it before your next jump. NO rigger is going to repack for you with it in your rig.


From what I understood the issue is that if it fires and doesn't cut it you are F&^%. For me if it fires itís because I couldn't pull.... that gives me 86 % chance of opening (3 issues/ 22 saves) Is it as good as others out there... no... but will do for me until I replace it or it gets figured out?
In reply to:
This is flawed logic. What if your AAD fires just before you pull, locks thing up, and you die even tho you've pulled your reserve?
And no, I'm looking at this from the outside. I bought an Argus 3 years ago, have jumped over 15 years with no AAD. I jumped without one for alot of years because the old AAD's were unreliable in terms of firing when you didn't want them to. I liked the design, the info, the flexibility. The price was secondary, but was also a factor. I've got a Cypres on the way. I just wish I had know about the cutter design paper on PIA's website when it was written (9 months ago).

http://www.pia.com/TechnicalArgusDocuments/ARGUS%20Cutter%20Review.pdf


(This post was edited by ufk22 on Mar 24, 2011, 10:40 AM)


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Mar 24, 2011, 10:38 AM
Post #72 of 117 (766 views)
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Re: [skydiverek] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

>Until the accident, Cypres had advertised that it was imposible to meet
>these parameters under an open canopy . . .

Initially it was. When people started really loading up their canopies it became possible. (An Airtec guy wrote about that possibility in a Skydiving article.)


brwonder  (C License)

Mar 24, 2011, 10:54 AM
Post #73 of 117 (745 views)
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Re: [phoenixlpr] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

From I read ... 3 problems and 33 saves that's 14% failure and 86% success from actual cases.


phoenixlpr  (D 3049)

Mar 24, 2011, 10:57 AM
Post #74 of 117 (742 views)
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Re: [skydiverek] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Until the accident, Cypres had advertised that it was imposible to meet these parameters under an open canopy, no matter how it is flown. Look for the old ads... Adrian trusted that, I quess...

Sure, it was advertised. He was not a beginner, so he should have known what he was doing: gathering speed for landing....


phoenixlpr  (D 3049)

Mar 24, 2011, 10:59 AM
Post #75 of 117 (741 views)
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Re: [brwonder] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
From I read ... 3 problems and 33 saves that's 14% failure and 86% success from actual cases.
Read the safety report, failure is depending the installation configuration.


brwonder  (C License)

Mar 24, 2011, 11:03 AM
Post #76 of 117 (1524 views)
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Re: [ufk22] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

Well... if it isn't my choice I'll just be pissed that I paid $300.00 per season to have an AAD... deal with it and go by something else. I still have the choice to not wear one but I believe that`s a risk I am not willing to take.


Premier skydiverek  (C 41769)

Mar 24, 2011, 11:41 AM
Post #77 of 117 (1492 views)
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Re: [billvon] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
>Until the accident, Cypres had advertised that it was imposible to meet
>these parameters under an open canopy . . .

Initially it was. When people started really loading up their canopies it became possible. (An Airtec guy wrote about that possibility in a Skydiving article.)

I remember the Airtec article in Skydiving Magazine, and recall that Airtec's conclusion was that "it is not possible to reach activation speeds and still land safely". That is why the initial author (test jumper) wrote a reply to Airtec (which was never published). So, Airtec basically reasurred everyone that you can do whatever you want and the Cypres will not fire (even though they say, that it 'may' happen, they lean heavily on the side that it is impossible). Airtec did not even change this after Jay Moledzki had a Cypres fire during a swoop in France (where he had to have an AAD due to a law).

OK, I just found it:

Original test jumps:
http://swoop.skydiveworld.com/...by_the_numbers_1.htm

Airtec response in Skydiving Magazine:
http://www.cypres-usa.com/...skydiving_letter.pdf

Never published response by the initial test jumper:
http://swoop.skydiveworld.com/...sponse_to_airtec.htm




Ron

Mar 24, 2011, 12:05 PM
Post #78 of 117 (1479 views)
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Re: [phoenixlpr] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Where is that 86% coming from

IDK... Not my quoteWink


Ron

Mar 24, 2011, 12:09 PM
Post #79 of 117 (1477 views)
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Re: [piisfish] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
unfortunately that would not be Aviacom's problem, but a USER problem

Maybe, but I'd bet the argus manual does not tell the user to check to see if the cutter *almost* cut the reserve.

The fact is back in the day AADs were not used because the risks and hassle was more than the average jumper would accept.


LloydDobbler  (D 30655)

Mar 24, 2011, 2:09 PM
Post #80 of 117 (1435 views)
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Re: [SimonBones] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
>An AAD should be expected to do TWO things:
>1) Properly cut the reserve closing loop and
>2) Do so at the appropriate time (high speed, low altitude).

Re: the 2 requirements, Simon, you & I are in complete agreement. That sums it up well. In particular, in the past I've worried more about an AAD firing when I didn't want it to (which falls under #2 above) than I have worried about it failing to save me when I need it.

In reply to:
But in reality, if it's not broke, don't fix it. I think we can agree that there is an AAD option on the market that is not broke and doesn't violate either of our expectations/requirements.

I've just never understood some people's willingness to buy 'El Cheapo' brand over a few poor gimmicky marketing points, especially when it comes to a last chance life saving piece of equipment.

But while I agree with most of your logic, I disagree with the assumption that most people are buying other AAD's to save a buck or two. I can only speak to my experience, but price had nothing to do with my decision.

I've been jumping an Argus for almost 3 years now, and paid close to what I would've paid for a Cypres. I bought the Argus because it was multi-mode. And specifically, unlike with a Speed Cypres, it disarms the AAD after deployment (whereas a Speed Cypres simply raises the activation threshold). I also wasn't going with a Vigil because, again, my bigger fear was an AAD working when I didn't want it to, and Vigil has shown issues with that, by design.

I wanted an AAD that I was certain wasn't going to fire when I was coming out of a 720. Argus met those conditions, by the simple virtue that it shuts down upon deployment when in Swoop mode.

I regularly jump where ground level is 5200', where as we know, canopy speeds are faster. I've seen firsthand someone on a 74sf canopy cause a standard Cypres to fire, and someone on a 107-ish canopy causing a Vigil to fire. All within 50 feet of the ground.

I'm also a light guy, but on my Crossfire2-105 loaded at 1.4, I can set off my audible in a front riser dive. Those things being the case, I'm not convinced that someone under the right conditions can't break the 96mph Speed Cypres threshold. Remember - Cypres told us repeatedly that they had tested the original Cypres, and that no one besides Luigi Cani on a 46sf canopy was able to activate it. (The link is still available on the Cypres-USA site).

**None of this has any bearing on the cutter issues we're seeing now - just wanted to point out that there are other considerations than just price. Cypres may not prove to meet the 2 conditions you mentioned above, in the long run.

In spite of them doing pretty well so far.
Wink


piisfish

Mar 24, 2011, 2:27 PM
Post #81 of 117 (1434 views)
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Re: [Ron] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
unfortunately that would not be Aviacom's problem, but a USER problem

Maybe, but I'd bet the argus manual does not tell the user to check to see if the cutter *almost* cut the reserve.
.
before each jump, you need to check whatever your AAD says don't you ?
In the Argus case, it shows "CTR ERR" (or something similar)


LloydDobbler  (D 30655)

Mar 24, 2011, 2:32 PM
Post #82 of 117 (1431 views)
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Re: [Ron] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
But if I buy B car, and MF says if you drive it and a kid in the back opens window your steering wheel will brake, and on top of that says they are aware but ok with that... well I really can't be ok with that.

That is you not liking the parameter.... That does not mean it was a malfunction.

The company that makes Vigil has even stated that it firing in that situation is not a malfunction.

If I buy a car and the manufactor tells me that if a kid opens the back window the e-brake will lock up.... Well when it happens it is not a mal, but rather a feature that you may not like.


Right. But when it's a feature I don't like that can seriously jeopardize the lives of an Otter full of skydivers, then it does make me wonder why someone isn't calling for a banning on a broader scale.

(Not saying I'm in the "this is a conspiracy" camp - I think Argus's response to this whole situation has been disappointing (to understate the matter). But I DO think that the "features" of a Vigil can be dangerous, as can the "malfunctions" of an Argus.)

Put another way: why does splitting these hairs matter? If the Argus was locking down reserve containers by design, and calling it a feature, should it not still be banned?


LloydDobbler  (D 30655)

Mar 24, 2011, 2:36 PM
Post #83 of 117 (1428 views)
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In reply to:
*Next point (sorry, I know it's terribly rude to reply to one's own post)


How long can Aviocom go without issuing some sort of statement in regards to these recent rescinded approvals? I mean, I keep checking their website for a letter or something saying "We're working on it" or "BRB", "TTYL", "OMG WTF?"

In case you didn't see, Argus has sent a letter to some owners who have inquired.

The content and tone of which is disappointing to lots of us, to say the least.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Mar 24, 2011, 2:36 PM
Post #84 of 117 (1427 views)
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Re: [piisfish] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

>In the Argus case, it shows "CTR ERR" (or something similar)

Or nothing, as in the Portugal case.


piisfish

Mar 24, 2011, 2:45 PM
Post #85 of 117 (1415 views)
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In reply to:
>In the Argus case, it shows "CTR ERR" (or something similar)

Or nothing, as in the Portugal case.
what do you do with an AAD showing a blank screen ?

In the Portugal case, there was a blank screen, and the cutter fired (and failed to cut) LATER

In the Texas case, NORMALLY the display should have shown the error message "after the packjob" Unsure


There also has been a case of a "world class" skydiver jumping a german AAD with a blank screen after multiple turn-on cycles... She got a high altitude reserve ride...


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Mar 24, 2011, 2:53 PM
Post #86 of 117 (1409 views)
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Re: [piisfish] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

>what do you do with an AAD showing a blank screen ?

Well, from experiences reported here, with a Cypres you assume it's off - with an Argus you assume it's broken and can misfire.


piisfish

Mar 24, 2011, 3:12 PM
Post #87 of 117 (1393 views)
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Re: [billvon] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
>what do you do with an AAD showing a blank screen ?

Well, from experiences reported here, with a Cypres you assume it's off - with an Argus you assume it's broken and can misfire.
assuming a Cypres is OFF is WRONG (ask around in Eloy, or ask Airtec). A blank screen after trying to cycle it screams "DON'T JUMP ME (and call my Mummy )". This is how I understand page 25 of the Cypres2 manual.

You can only assume it is OFF when you finish the TURN-OFF procedure and the display turns blank.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Mar 24, 2011, 3:43 PM
Post #88 of 117 (1365 views)
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Re: [piisfish] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

>This is how I understand page 25 of the Cypres2 manual.

I agree; that's how I read the manual as well.

Here's the situation I was thinking about:

I have a reserve ride during a training day, and I land and try to find a loaner rig before the next load. Someone I trust loans me their rig. I give it a quick once over, put it on and get on the plane. At 6000 feet someone gives me a gear check.

"Looks OK but the AAD is off; the display is blank" they say. "Was it on when you got it?" Oops.

Now, shame on me for not checking that on the ground. But what do I do then? Based on my experience with AAD's, I would jump a Cypres that looked off, but I would _not_ jump an Argus that looked off.


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Mar 24, 2011, 3:56 PM
Post #89 of 117 (1355 views)
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Re: [skydiverek] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi skydiverek,

Thank you for putting those links up; it should help educate people.

As I have posted on this website previously, I was on the drop-zone ( Skydive Oregon in Molalla, Oregon ) the day that Troy did the jump & got the CYPRES to fire. I talked to him about the jump & assisted him in getting geared up. I did not witness the actual jump as I was talking with some other people. I did see the fired cutter after he walked back to the clubhouse.

I do not have a dog in this fight but I strongly disagree with the position taken by AirTec regarding Troy's jump & the results.

I was there and I saw the before & after.

JerryBaumchen


piisfish

Mar 24, 2011, 4:03 PM
Post #90 of 117 (1348 views)
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Re: [billvon] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Based on my experience with AAD's, I would jump a Cypres that looked off, but I would _not_ jump an Argus that looked off.
the key with any AAD is to know if it had been turned ON or not. IIRC the jumper I was referring to is an AZ Arsenal member (but I can be wrong, not the 1st or the last time). She tried to turn it on to no avail. Blank screen. Jump. Cypres fire.


Unstable  (D 28930)

Mar 24, 2011, 4:33 PM
Post #91 of 117 (1332 views)
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I've been pouring over the PIA tech papers, incident reports, SBs et cetera for the last 2 hours trying to sort this all out in my mind. I am a Quality Engineer ~ this is what I love. There is ONE THING That REALLY bothers me, however.

*******
Argus claims that between 2%-5% of their cutters are tested (fired) as a batch acceptance sampling plan. Very logical ~ I wonder if Cypres or Vigil fire as many of their cutters off. SO! Think about this ~ Argus tested (fired) 5% of all units, plus the countless fired during initial acceptance testing, et cetera. I have a very hard time believing a problem that came out before did not once manifest itslef in the lab ~ they tested them with no tenstion, all they way up beyond where any rigger could close a container.

Did they really not have one incomplete cut in the lab?


yoink

Mar 24, 2011, 4:37 PM
Post #92 of 117 (1328 views)
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Are you not assuming that the test firing is done with a cable in place to verify clean severance?

If clean severance was never a problem, isn't it more likely that they want to see that 100 / 100 fire when they are supposed to in regard to their activation perameters, and it's that which they look for?


(This post was edited by yoink on Mar 24, 2011, 4:38 PM)


Unstable  (D 28930)

Mar 24, 2011, 4:42 PM
Post #93 of 117 (1318 views)
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Quote:
Are you not assuming that the test firing is done with a cable in place to verify clean severance?

If clean severance was never a problem, isn't it more likely that they want to see that 100 / 100 fire when they are supposed to in regard to their activation perameters, and it's that which they look for?

Sorry Friend, I'm not 100% following your post. Yes, I am assuming that the test firing is done with a closing loop through the cutter, they all were ~ and variable tension (0-22+++ Pounds) on the loop.

My thought process is simply that if 2 incidents in the field show that the cutters have a problem severing the loop completely, then it is highly unlikely that they never witness this happen during laboratory acceptance or qualification testing.

Edited: See, if the problem were of this magnitude, ANY reasonable quality, acceptance, or qualification program would have had a few red flags pop up. That is my point.


(This post was edited by Unstable on Mar 24, 2011, 4:43 PM)


yoink

Mar 24, 2011, 4:45 PM
Post #94 of 117 (1313 views)
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In reply to:
Quote:
Are you not assuming that the test firing is done with a cable in place to verify clean severance?

If clean severance was never a problem, isn't it more likely that they want to see that 100 / 100 fire when they are supposed to in regard to their activation perameters, and it's that which they look for?

they all were ~ and variable tension (0-22+++ Pounds) on the loop.


That's the bit I didn't know! Wink

cheers


hcsvader  (E 2952)

Mar 24, 2011, 5:58 PM
Post #95 of 117 (1285 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:
>what do you do with an AAD showing a blank screen ?

Well, from experiences reported here, with a Cypres you assume it's off - with an Argus you assume it's broken and can misfire.
assuming a Cypres is OFF is WRONG (ask around in Eloy, or ask Airtec). A blank screen after trying to cycle it screams "DON'T JUMP ME (and call my Mummy )". This is how I understand page 25 of the Cypres2 manual.

You can only assume it is OFF when you finish the TURN-OFF procedure and the display turns blank.

Seeing a blank screen on an AAD does not mean it has turned off. It is possible to turn on an AAD the disconnect the control head. The AAD will still be on when you reconnect the control head.


riggerpaul  (D 28098)

Mar 24, 2011, 6:33 PM
Post #96 of 117 (1271 views)
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
>what do you do with an AAD showing a blank screen ?

Well, from experiences reported here, with a Cypres you assume it's off - with an Argus you assume it's broken and can misfire.
assuming a Cypres is OFF is WRONG (ask around in Eloy, or ask Airtec). A blank screen after trying to cycle it screams "DON'T JUMP ME (and call my Mummy )". This is how I understand page 25 of the Cypres2 manual.

You can only assume it is OFF when you finish the TURN-OFF procedure and the display turns blank.

Seeing a blank screen on an AAD does not mean it has turned off. It is possible to turn on an AAD the disconnect the control head. The AAD will still be on when you reconnect the control head.

Taking into consideration all the various comments about this, we are left with ONLY one course of action.

IF THE AAD IS NOT ACTING THE WAY IT IS SUPPOSED TO ACT, DO NOT TAKE IT INTO THE AIR.

Thinking it is off is not good enough.

Even turning it on and off is not good enough.

Passing self-test is not good enough.

IF YOU SAW ANY UNEXPLAINED BEHAVIOR, DO NOT TAKE THAT AAD INTO THE AIR.

You simply have no idea what that device might do.

Remember, the switch is not a power or on/off switch. It is an input to a processor. The processor never really shuts down. It is watching for your switch presses. Something is always "on" enough to see those switch presses, and once you realize that, you cannot help but realize that whenever you see any sort of unexplained behavior, ALL BETS ARE OFF.

At that point, the only acceptable reaction is to consider the device unairworthy.

DO NOT TAKE IT INTO THE AIR.


danielcroft  (D 31103)

Mar 24, 2011, 6:34 PM
Post #97 of 117 (1270 views)
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http://www.pia.com/...tins/TEXASUSA211.pdf
According to the PIA report, the rig in question wasn't entirely in order, at least, sufficiently in my mind to cast doubt on effectively shutting down a company. On top of this, according to Aviacom, they haven't been permitted to check the unit in question and therefore are unable to come to any conclusions or most importantly to a resolution.

I think it's fair to say that if some issue is found with the cutter then (at least for me) a full recall and switch to new cutter is just about all that would allay any concerns with the Argus.

Until Aviacom has had a chance to inspect the offending cutter and system then I think a lot of this talk is pretty harsh. The other incidents were found to be related to the 2007 cutter sequence which resulted in a recall (and subsequently fruitless) test. The cutter in question is a later model that doesn't fall inside the previous recall so it seems pretty poor form to me that Aviacom shouldn't be given the opportunity to test and at least a little time to work out the issue, especially in light of some of the issues with the rig reported in the PIA report. I don't mean that the units should be considered safe until then, just that they currently do anything about the issue.

As for why different rules should apply to different manufacturers, I don't believe we're talking about apples and apples here. The Vigil 2 issues are not a death sentence (although they could be), the Argus issue is a little more directly connected to an issue and could result in a state which is unsolvable and likely fatal.

I do not own an Argus, I own a Vigil 2. I would jump without an AAD (if I had to). I haven't considered buying a CYPRES after any of the incidents in discussion.


(This post was edited by danielcroft on Mar 24, 2011, 6:36 PM)


sundevil777  (D License)

Mar 24, 2011, 7:16 PM
Post #98 of 117 (1241 views)
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In reply to:
My thought process is simply that if 2 incidents in the field show that the cutters have a problem severing the loop completely, then it is highly unlikely that they never witness this happen during laboratory acceptance or qualification testing.

Edited: See, if the problem were of this magnitude, ANY reasonable quality, acceptance, or qualification program would have had a few red flags pop up. That is my point.

If the test articles are not subjected to the conditions that are asserted to enhance the possibility of a jammed loop (the "argus cutter review" analysis), then they have no meaning.


nigel99  (D 1)

Mar 25, 2011, 1:41 AM
Post #99 of 117 (1187 views)
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In reply to:
Quote:
Are you not assuming that the test firing is done with a cable in place to verify clean severance?

If clean severance was never a problem, isn't it more likely that they want to see that 100 / 100 fire when they are supposed to in regard to their activation perameters, and it's that which they look for?

Sorry Friend, I'm not 100% following your post. Yes, I am assuming that the test firing is done with a closing loop through the cutter, they all were ~ and variable tension (0-22+++ Pounds) on the loop.

My thought process is simply that if 2 incidents in the field show that the cutters have a problem severing the loop completely, then it is highly unlikely that they never witness this happen during laboratory acceptance or qualification testing.

Edited: See, if the problem were of this magnitude, ANY reasonable quality, acceptance, or qualification program would have had a few red flags pop up. That is my point.

I think it is quite plausible that the test method in the lab accounts for the "known" failure modes and provides test coverage. If there is another mechanism that contributes towards failure then it would pass the test and not rouse suspicion. For example what happens to a cutter that has been through the swoop pond a dozen times or that has "aged" allowing oxide layers etc to build up? This is a hypothetical question and not meant to imply that either scenario has ever occurred.

I still find your post interesting - it is fascinating to have engineers and riggers mulling over a problem. Certainly makes one think.


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Mar 25, 2011, 1:05 PM
Post #100 of 117 (1092 views)
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In reply to:
Until Aviacom has had a chance to inspect the offending cutter and system then I think a lot of this talk is pretty harsh.

Aviacom has had cutter problems as far back as 2006. (see attachment 2) It is way past time for ďharsh talkĒ. It is time to take action that will force this company to make the needed changes in their product or go away. And now they are going with the ďconspiracyĒ defense. Thatís lame.
On thing that shows a glaring lack of attention to detail is that the first SB they put out on cutters in 2006 was not even dated. (see attachment 1)

Sparky
Attachments: Attachment 1.pdf (52.2 KB)
  Attachment 2.pdf (88.1 KB)


champu  (D 28302)

Mar 25, 2011, 4:27 PM
Post #101 of 117 (1119 views)
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In reply to:
I think you misunderstood. Both the vigil and CYPRES issues were due to them firing *when conditions were met*. You may not like those conditions, but they were met. Therefore they are not malfunctions.

Nonsense.

Here is Airtec's page describing the Cypres firing parameters.

Here's AAD's page describing the Vigil firing parameters.

The advertised parameters are speed and altitude. Of course we all know that these parameters are calculated based on a pressure sensor and an internal system clock, but the specifics there are not advertised nor published. If your AAD fires for any reason whatsoever and you were not descending faster than the advertised speed and within the advertised altitude range, then it constitutes a malfunction, period.


imsparticus  (D License)

Mar 25, 2011, 4:39 PM
Post #102 of 117 (1111 views)
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sorry if this has already been discussed i really couldnt be bothered reading through 5 pages but why dont they put the cutter on the bottom of the tray that way if it hung up you could still deploy your reserve. is there a major reason why all cutters placed on one of the closing flaps?


imsparticus  (D License)

Mar 25, 2011, 4:45 PM
Post #103 of 117 (1107 views)
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I always thaught a cypres would not fire lower than 300ft but have heard alot of reports on it doing so has something changed?


champu  (D 28302)

Mar 25, 2011, 4:49 PM
Post #104 of 117 (1106 views)
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This thread has a pretty good discussion of the reasoning and trade-offs.


Ron

Mar 25, 2011, 4:53 PM
Post #105 of 117 (1100 views)
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Quote:
Nonsense.

No, sense.

Quote:
The advertised parameters are speed and altitude. Of course we all know that these parameters are calculated based on a pressure sensor

Quote:
then it constitutes a malfunction, period.

It works on PRESSURE... Period. The vigil claims to use some math, but clearly that is not 100% true since you never left the plane and it will fire due to the PRESSURE change if a door opens.


(This post was edited by Ron on Mar 25, 2011, 4:57 PM)


champu  (D 28302)

Mar 25, 2011, 5:11 PM
Post #106 of 117 (1089 views)
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If the website, users manual, etc. said, "Will fire when transitioning from at most X Pa to at least Y Pa in less than Z ms." then I would agree with you.

That's not what it says. That's not the advertised specification. I don't care if their problem is a lame software algorithm, a mechanical design flaw, or a manufacturing defect, if the thing fires outside of its advertised specifications, it's a malfunction.

/edited to add: by the way, I'm aware that AAD has responded to the incidents by saying that their device performed exactly as designed. That tells me they don't understand the above concept either, and that's why I will never buy nor recommend one of their products.


(This post was edited by champu on Mar 25, 2011, 5:15 PM)


danielcroft  (D 31103)

Mar 25, 2011, 9:32 PM
Post #107 of 117 (1000 views)
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Re: [mjosparky] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

Ok, the first SB is related to a software bug. The second is related to the design of the cutter. The cutter was recalled.

Here you have a company, trying to get into a market that has two (main) players. They have a new product that has unique features and have had a couple of problems. I'm not sure what "a couple" relates to in terms of actual recalls, incidents or fatalities (and I'm not trying to trivialize them either) but I don't think these problems are unique to this company. How did people react to the Vigil issues? What about the CYPRES' issues?

I would be more inclined to agree with you if they'd had the same issue a number of times, claimed they'd fixed it and then people had died. But in this case, we don't even know that for sure. I'd like to see the company given the chance to examine the gear (not sure that's even valid at this point given the time that has passed), make them do that under supervision if there's some suspicion about their ethical leanings. At least give them the chance to check the device logs and condition.

The second SB showed a recall for the housing of the cutter, that was not identified as the issue here so I think it's unfair to say that Avaicom has had their chance. They've had issues and, ostensibly have fixed them. This may be a new issue that they need to resolve. As described by the PIA, there were issues with the condition of the rig and the state of the reserve system was unknown prior to this event. Are we really happy to just blame the cutter/AAD and ignore the other factors (this is not a rhetorical question)?

Isn't it the HC manufacturer who decides where the cutter goes?


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Mar 25, 2011, 10:08 PM
Post #108 of 117 (987 views)
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In reply to:
Ok, the first SB is related to a software bug. The second is related to the design of the cutter. The cutter was recalled.

Here you have a company, trying to get into a market that has two (main) players. They have a new product that has unique features and have had a couple of problems. I'm not sure what "a couple" relates to in terms of actual recalls, incidents or fatalities (and I'm not trying to trivialize them either) but I don't think these problems are unique to this company. How did people react to the Vigil issues? What about the CYPRES' issues?

I would be more inclined to agree with you if they'd had the same issue a number of times, claimed they'd fixed it and then people had died. But in this case, we don't even know that for sure. I'd like to see the company given the chance to examine the gear (not sure that's even valid at this point given the time that has passed), make them do that under supervision if there's some suspicion about their ethical leanings. At least give them the chance to check the device logs and condition.

The second SB showed a recall for the housing of the cutter, that was not identified as the issue here so I think it's unfair to say that Avaicom has had their chance. They've had issues and, ostensibly have fixed them. This may be a new issue that they need to resolve. As described by the PIA, there were issues with the condition of the rig and the state of the reserve system was unknown prior to this event. Are we really happy to just blame the cutter/AAD and ignore the other factors (this is not a rhetorical question)?

Isn't it the HC manufacturer who decides where the cutter goes?

First of all we are discussing the ARGUS AAD and what the other manufacture do is for another thread. As I understand it there have been 3 incidents in the recent past. Aviacomís response to these problems has been weak at best. They always say the fault lies with someone else. The way they handle there customer base would be an embarrassment to most companies.
I worked with pyrotechnic cutter is various shapes and sizes for almost 20 years. There are cutters on the market that will cut cleanly through Kevlar or a ĹĒ cable. They can be electrically initiated or time delay. They can have an anvil or blade cutter bar. I canít understand why they are having such a hard time coming up with one to work with their product. It appears they are not spec it right or are not testing it thoroughly. You can continue to defend them if you wish but think long and hard about jumping one.

Sparky


nigel99  (D 1)

Mar 26, 2011, 1:58 AM
Post #109 of 117 (941 views)
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In reply to:
If the website, users manual, etc. said, "Will fire when transitioning from at most X Pa to at least Y Pa in less than Z ms." then I would agree with you.

That's not what it says. That's not the advertised specification. I don't care if their problem is a lame software algorithm, a mechanical design flaw, or a manufacturing defect, if the thing fires outside of its advertised specifications, it's a malfunction.

/edited to add: by the way, I'm aware that AAD has responded to the incidents by saying that their device performed exactly as designed. That tells me they don't understand the above concept either, and that's why I will never buy nor recommend one of their products.

I agree with you to some extent. The danger that most companies have in translating engineering parameters to "user speak" is that a lot of the nuances are lost. It would probably be wise for manufacturers to have a caveat to protect themselves maybe they do somewhere in the documentation.

It is naive to think that we should have access to and understand every single parameter that forms part of their algorithms (whoever they are).


Premier slotperfect  (D 13014)

Mar 26, 2011, 3:45 AM
Post #110 of 117 (923 views)
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The CYPRES no-fire window begins at 130 FT.


Premier skydiverek  (C 41769)

Mar 26, 2011, 3:48 AM
Post #111 of 117 (925 views)
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In reply to:
The CYPRES no-fire window begins at 130 FT.

And 330 FT for Speed Cypres.


pchapman  (D 1014)

Mar 26, 2011, 7:39 PM
Post #112 of 117 (822 views)
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I found this little nugget in something written by Cliff Schmucker (cypres-usa) sixteen years ago in 1995:
(http://www.cypres-usa.com/cyp13.htm)

Quote:
A loop cut by the CYPRES cutter is very clean, squared off, and precise with no ragged edges, unlike a two bladed or scissors type cutter. Thus the concern raised about the loop "hanging up" when the cutter fires from "pinching", etc. is hypothetical at best.

So it isn't just luck that the Cypres happened to end up with the cutter it did.


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Mar 26, 2011, 7:46 PM
Post #113 of 117 (818 views)
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Hi Peter,

While I have read all of the posts in all of the threads about the Argus problem, I thought I would use this one to post some info about a test that Andre' LeMaire ( your countryman ) did about 5 years ago with a 'cutter' mounted below the floor plate of a Vector III. I think this is a very close approximation of a cutter being mounted on the floor plate and activated.

IIRC he did write this up & have photos for an article in SKYDIVING magazine; and I think he once posted it here on this website.

Since I could not find his old posting using Search, I contacted him and he sent me some info.

Here is some of what he wrote back then:

An experiment on the reserve in a VECTOR 3-M

Date : February 21, 2005 by Andrť Lemaire

Preamble :

Following the recall on the Mirage container system in order to change the routing of the AAD cable cutter and the location of the cutter (Skydiving magazine Feb. 2005 issue), I was concerned about a possible failure of a reserve deployment should my AAD fire as it happened to 2 Russian jumpers equiped with Mirage container. Althought I am not concerned with the recall, I really wanted to test my Vector 3-M reserve deployment in a such situation or a similar one.

Installation :

Main parachute has been removed completely from the pack. The harness/container system was flat on the floor. With the reserve container open, the packed reserve in its free bag has been put outside of its container to allow the installation of a hook knife between the pack back cover and the bottom of the reserve container with the knife blade around and near the loop (below the grommet of the closing loop washer, the nearest grommet to the top of container). Attached to the hook knife was a pull cord to allow the assembly (hook knife and pull cord) to be pulled toward the top of the reserve container and that way cut the loop. The packed reserve in its free bag was put back in place and its container closed with all 6 flaps as usual. The pin protector flap (no grommet) was not tucked on the 6th flap it is to allow the pull cord attached to the hook knife to get out and be pulled. A temporary pin (on top of the flap #6) was closing the reserve.


The test :

A camera able of shooting 6 frames per second has been installed at about 10 feet from the parachute system.

At the count down (3-2-1-0) the camera was activated at 1, and the pull cord attached to the hook knife pulled toward the top at 0.

The pilot chute popped up about 5 ft in the air (earlier with the reserve packed and by pulling the rip cord, the pilot chute jumped up also to 5 feet). No difference was observed between the pilot chute behavior during that test and with the reserve activated by pulling the rip cord.

The cut closing loop was found afterward on the floor beside the parachute system and was mesured to be 4 inches and a quarter long.

Conclusion :

The reserve closing loop has been cut with the maximum possible length (4 /4").

That loop had no silicone at the cut location.

The cut closing loop had to go through the grommet at the bottom of reserve container, through the packed reserve, through the flap #1, flap #2, pilot chute, flap 3, #4, #5 and #6.

It seems that no problem at all has been observed and I am confident that the AAD will have no problem at all in order to initiate a reserve deployment.

Materials :

Container/harness system : Vector 3-M serial # 39144
Container size : V348M
Reserve : PD 160R
AAD installed : Vigil Nov.04
Loop : Cypres type
Reserve pin pull test : 17 lbs
Hook knife : all metal BENCHMADE
Pilot chute force (fully compressed) : 40-45 lbs


Assistant/witness and photographer : Raymond Bissonnette


And here are two photos of what he sent to me: One is of the pilot chute at launch & the other is a drawing of his setup.

I am just doing this to provide some information on this problem and cutter location, since both seem to be issues with AADs.

JerryBaumchen
Attachments: Vector Test-1.jpg (45.6 KB)
  Vector Test-2.jpg (25.1 KB)


danielcroft  (D 31103)

Mar 26, 2011, 7:54 PM
Post #114 of 117 (815 views)
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Re: [mjosparky] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

Fair comments and I can't disagree. I guess what I object to most is the witch hunt but Avaiacom aren't doing themselves any favors. If they were open and transparent about their issues I'm sure people would be more willing to give them a chance.

I had a long chat with one of the senior jumpers/rigger at my DZ about this today.


(This post was edited by danielcroft on Mar 26, 2011, 8:04 PM)


pwilby2  (C License)

Mar 27, 2011, 7:28 AM
Post #115 of 117 (705 views)
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Re: [pchapman] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

My experience of Argus is a strange one. I bought it new because I agreed with the philosophy that all the companies are as bad as are good, and at the the end of the day its a vigorously tested AAD which is safe to use. Then I had a misfire as I deployed my main at 3500ft, which could have been pretty bad, luckily I had a safe main and the twisted reserve sat behind. Argus paid for a repack and a man came and collected the AAD and gave me a new one - pretty good service, I thought - so I decided to stay happy. However, since the cutter situation the service has changed completely. I havn't jumped my rig since September due to the BPA grounding and waiting for the cutter, and I have been offered no compensation. My main concern is the service. Argus need to sort it out or no one will want them even if they are allowed to stay in service (4 months to get my cutter back!!!). For example, If I owned a Toyota and it was recalled because the breaks dont work, I would get a hire car and it fixed or replaced for free.
In reply to:


champu  (D 28302)

Mar 27, 2011, 10:44 AM
Post #116 of 117 (661 views)
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Re: [Ron] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

My last couple posts were snotty, sorry about that.

There's a layer of distinction that I want to drive home regarding some of the problems AADs have had. The way I see it, there are four things the device can do (these are, of course, not mutually exclusive)

- Perform as desired (what you want)
- Perform as specified (what they're selling you)
- Perform as designed (what they're offering)
- Not perform as designed (??? - who knows)

I think everybody is on the same page regarding what should be done by companies in situations where the device doesn't perform as designed like cutter failures and faulty pressure sensors. The units need to be recalled and the components need to be dealt with.

The instances where the Cypres fired during a swoop is what happens when a device performs as specified, but not as desired. The back and forth Airtec went through in skydiving magazine was them defending the specifications they choose. "We don't think you can fly your canopy fast enough to set it off while swooping." They have since been proven wrong, but the "rules of the game" were right there for everybody to see the whole time. They've also introduced a new unit with different specifications for those that desire different performance.

The instances where Vigils have fired in airplanes, car trunks, or (one that I witnessed first hand) just sitting on the ground in the packing area is what happens when a device performs as designed but neither as specified nor desired. When AAD says, "The Vigil performed exactly as designed" they are completely missing a fundamental engineering concept: no one cares how highly you regard your broken design. It's time for them to either fix their design or change the spec to better reflect what they're offering.


jerm  (D 23994)

Mar 27, 2011, 7:00 PM
Post #117 of 117 (587 views)
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Re: [JerryBaumchen] Philosophy of banning the Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

one positive test only proves that it CAN work, it doesn't prove that it WILL work, so his test only shows what was already known, that a backpad mounted cypres can save the day w/o a hangup. One positive test is no cause for celebration. One negative test prices that it does _not_ work every time, and is certainly cause for concern.

now, in the case of the russian mirages i heard tell that the rigs were packed with loops so long that it's a wonder they looked airworthy, but that was 3rd party at best.



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