Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Taking seatbelts off after takeoff

 

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Hazarrd

May 4, 2004, 1:41 PM
Post #1 of 79 (2633 views)
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Taking seatbelts off after takeoff Can't Post

So I've been to around 10 different dropzones since I began skydiving a year ago. I think that the general consensus is that seatbelts come off somewhere between 1000 and 2000 feet (sorry if I left your DZ's altitude out). Anyways, my question is this. Are you really ready to exit an aircraft that is going down at 1000 feet? What if there are 10 jumpers in front of you? How about 20 jumpers? What altitude does that put the plane at when you are going to exit? When I visit dropzones where jumpers are taking seatbelts off at 1000 feet I feel as though thats an issue for me. I know I wouldnt prepare to jump out if I hear the plane is going down at 1000ft. If I was sitting right by the door its a different story. The plane crash stories that I have heard about in which people lived were ones in which the jumpers had their seatbelts on. Those same incidents are the ones that you hear people getting injured in because they didn't have their seatbelt on.

What are some more experienced jumper's thoughts on this?


(This post was edited by Hazarrd on May 4, 2004, 1:44 PM)


DrewEckhardt  (D 28461)

May 4, 2004, 1:56 PM
Post #2 of 79 (2592 views)
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Re: [Hazarrd] Taking seatbelts off after takeoff [In reply to] Can't Post

lI'm ready to exit an aircraft at 1000 feet. While they might not climb twins don't really loose altitude, cessnas come down slowly with the engine idling, and with their huge wings porters and caravans should do even better.

There's plenty of time to get out or put a seat belt back on if the pilot won't let me out.

Except for unlandable structural failures and mid-air collisions, planes only crash suddenly on take-off and landing.


Andrewwhyte  (C 1988)

May 4, 2004, 1:57 PM
Post #3 of 79 (2590 views)
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Re: [Hazarrd] Taking seatbelts off after takeoff [In reply to] Can't Post

I am not getting out at 1000', but I do have time to redo my seat belt from that altitude.


Hazarrd

May 4, 2004, 1:59 PM
Post #4 of 79 (2587 views)
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Re: [DrewEckhardt] Taking seatbelts off after takeoff [In reply to] Can't Post

Thats good to know. I think the part Im most concerned with is the plane losing altitude fast. If thats not the case, I guess that takes care of the problems I was thining about. Thanks.


Hazarrd

May 4, 2004, 2:01 PM
Post #5 of 79 (2586 views)
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Re: [Andrewwhyte] Taking seatbelts off after takeoff [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I am not getting out at 1000', but I do have time to redo my seat belt from that altitude.


I agree you would have time to put your seatbelt back on, but don't you think it would be easier to leave it on a little longer and take it off if neccessary (only requires a quick flick of the finger) as opposed to having to find both straps and clicking it back in? Especially if for some reason the plane began losing altitude fast...?


(This post was edited by Hazarrd on May 4, 2004, 2:02 PM)


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
May 4, 2004, 2:10 PM
Post #6 of 79 (2576 views)
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Re: [Hazarrd] Taking seatbelts off after takeoff [In reply to] Can't Post

>Are you really ready to exit an aircraft that is going down at 1000
>feet?

Yes. Depending on how bad the situation was I'd get out as low as 400 feet on my reserve.

>What if there are 10 jumpers in front of you? How about 20 jumpers?
> What altitude does that put the plane at when you are going to exit?

Depends on descent rate. Take a plane with a 1000fpm descent rate with a feathered engine. Assume it takes one second per jumper. If the bailot begins at 1000 feet and there are five people in the plane, you'd be getting out at 900 feet. With 20 jumpers you're out by 600 feet.

>I know I wouldnt prepare to jump out if I hear the plane is going
> down at 1000ft.

Again, depends on the situation. If there's an engine fire and the pilot says "get out", anyone behind you is going to physically toss you out the door if you don't want to go. If you're at 4000 feet and the pilot says "we lost an engine, anyone who wants out get out" then there's time for people to go around you.

Many people use a cypres nowadays, and apparently they believe that if a cypres fires at 700 feet at terminal velocity, and they are unconscious and on their backs, their reserve will open in time to save them. Why do you believe that your reserve will not open in time from 1000 feet if you have a perfect body position and no vertical speed? That's a much better situation.


adamjenner

May 4, 2004, 3:03 PM
Post #7 of 79 (2537 views)
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Re: [Hazarrd] Taking seatbelts off after takeoff [In reply to] Can't Post

seat belts?
i guess that's a feature our cessna's are missing haha then again with 5 jumpers in one plane there's really no way to get the seat belts on.


thelem  (C 103786)

May 4, 2004, 3:23 PM
Post #8 of 79 (2528 views)
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Re: [Hazarrd] Taking seatbelts off after takeoff [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, we don't even have seatbelts in our planes, but I would be happy (as I could be) to get out at 1000ft on my reserve. Like someone said, a cypres doesn't fire until 750ft, 1000ft should be plenty of time for your reserve to open.

In fact the students at my dz are taught that if there is an aircraft emergency above 1000ft to be ready get out and pull silver.


AndyMan  (D 25698)

May 4, 2004, 3:31 PM
Post #9 of 79 (2521 views)
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Re: [adamjenner] Taking seatbelts off after takeoff [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
i guess that's a feature our cessna's are missing haha then again with 5 jumpers in one plane there's really no way to get the seat belts on.

That is most certainly NOT the case.

You should refuse to take off in a plane that doesn't have seatbelts. I know I would...

_Am


JJohnson  (D 22675)

May 4, 2004, 3:43 PM
Post #10 of 79 (2511 views)
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Re: [billvon] Taking seatbelts off after takeoff [In reply to] Can't Post

You sometimes are one of the most well thought out people I know. Ugly as sin, but pretty frickin smart and methodical.


Hazarrd

May 4, 2004, 3:43 PM
Post #11 of 79 (2511 views)
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Re: [AndyMan] Taking seatbelts off after takeoff [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
i guess that's a feature our cessna's are missing haha then again with 5 jumpers in one plane there's really no way to get the seat belts on.

That is most certainly NOT the case.

You should refuse to take off in a plane that doesn't have seatbelts. I know I would...

_Am

was thinking the same thing...especially with a cessna..


CornishChris  (C 102981)

May 4, 2004, 3:51 PM
Post #12 of 79 (2505 views)
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Re: [AndyMan] Taking seatbelts off after takeoff [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
You should refuse to take off in a plane that doesn't have seatbelts. I know I would...

You do what you are used to. I have done 170 jumps at 6/7 different DZs and probably 15 different planes and not once have I worn a seatbelt. It is not a regulation in some places (read countries) and therefore we don't have the option of refusing in most cases unless we want to move oversees to jump...


FrogNog  (C 34484)

May 4, 2004, 4:22 PM
Post #13 of 79 (2479 views)
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Re: [Hazarrd] Taking seatbelts off after takeoff [In reply to] Can't Post

In an emergency, I'll get out at whatever altitude the pilot tells me to. So to me the 1,000 foot seat belt thing is half for us jumpers, half for the pilot. (If he wouldn't dare tell us to get out at 1,000 feet, he/she would have us keep our seat belts on higher up.)

I should add that I wouldn't be particularly relaxed getting out at e.g. 800 feet AGL. Tongue


tombuch  (D 8514)

May 4, 2004, 4:23 PM
Post #14 of 79 (2478 views)
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Re: [CornishChris] Taking seatbelts off after takeoff [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

You do what you are used to. I have done 170 jumps at 6/7 different DZs and probably 15 different planes and not once have I worn a seatbelt. It is not a regulation in some places (read countries) and therefore we don't have the option of refusing in most cases unless we want to move oversees to jump...

Sure you have options. Here in the United States the regulation was ignored for many years, but the deaths started piling up and eventually we began wearing the belts for our own good. You have that option too. Tell your DZO's that you want the protection of seat belts in your jump ships. If enough customers demand this inexpensive safety upgrade the DZO will respond.

It is your life!


mnischalke  (D 26290)

May 4, 2004, 4:41 PM
Post #15 of 79 (2464 views)
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Re: Taking seatbelts off after takeoff [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow, I won't ride in an A/C without seatbelts, and if you are the type who refuses to use seatbelts and see me on an A/C, please let me know, so I can scratch from the load.

Picture this: You're in the back of an 18+ passenger A/C as it's going in. You're not wearing a seatbelt, so you get to ride the kinetic wave to the front of the plane as it comes to an instantaneous halt. You kill two or three of your fellow skydivers in the front of the A/C, but you get to live. Besides the physical pain, how do you think you might feel for the rest of your life?

As for getting out, like Billvon, I am quite confident with going to the reserve at 400ft, given the pilot gives me the go. My Cessna pilot also knows this, as we have discussed it at length. If he needs to rapidly reduce his wingloading and can manage the c/g change, he knows I am there for him.


mnischalke  (D 26290)

May 4, 2004, 4:44 PM
Post #16 of 79 (2462 views)
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Re: [tombuch] Taking seatbelts off after takeoff [In reply to] Can't Post

I seem to recall seeing a study on seatbelts and their locations on jump A/C somewhere. Anybody know what I am talking about?


VectorBoy  (F 321)

May 4, 2004, 4:54 PM
Post #17 of 79 (2453 views)
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Re: [Hazarrd] Taking seatbelts off after takeoff [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Anyways, my question is this. Are you really ready to exit an aircraft that is going down at 1000 feet?
In reply to:

Probably more than accepting a crash in an aircraft loaded with jet fuel while wearing a whole bunch of nylon.


pilotdave  (D License)

May 4, 2004, 5:48 PM
Post #18 of 79 (2428 views)
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Re: [Hazarrd] Taking seatbelts off after takeoff [In reply to] Can't Post

What drives me nuts is when people open the door before our seatbelts are off. If that door is open, I definitely don't want my seatbelt on. We take em off at 2000, which seems like a reasonable altitude to me. If something bad enough happened at 1000 feet that the pilot screams for everyone to jump, I doubt anyone not sitting right by the door is gonna make it out. I think its more likely that the pilot will be screaming for everyone to stay put.

Dave


nightjumps  (D 23385)

May 4, 2004, 6:09 PM
Post #19 of 79 (2418 views)
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Re: [Hazarrd] Taking seatbelts off after takeoff [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm with BillVon on the exit scenario.
The two comments about not having seatbelts on the A/C at all concern me. Personally, I wear them, If I have a student and they don't have a seatbelt - no go.
Regarding the main point, most take off the seatbelt at 1,000' cause its habit since that's usually when the door gets opened in flight to get some air moving around in the summer.
I agree about those opening the door without first communicating to the A/C - "Everyone have their seatbelts off so I can open the door?"
Finally, unless the Pilot says you must exit the a/c (structural failure, etc.) you can choose to ride the a/c down.


bch7773  (C License)

May 4, 2004, 6:49 PM
Post #20 of 79 (2404 views)
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Re: [VectorBoy] Taking seatbelts off after takeoff [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Probably more than accepting a crash in an aircraft loaded with jet fuel while wearing a whole bunch of nylon.


lol. exactly what i was thinking.

I would feel really worried about getting out below 1000 feet, but if the choice is crashing along with several hundred pounds of metal, or hopping out low, i'd jump.


Amazon  (D License)

May 4, 2004, 7:21 PM
Post #21 of 79 (2390 views)
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Re: [Hazarrd] Taking seatbelts off after takeoff [In reply to] Can't Post

Jumping from 1000 ft... hmm simple I trust my reserve a LOT more than I do a hunk of metal that is not flying right.. Jumping from 500 ft... still better to get inflattion and fast landing than a very abrupt stop in a piece of metal that is collapsing around you.

Seat belt comes off at 1000 ft when my Protrack goes off.

Just my $.02 but I am leaving.. Buh Bye.


masher  (D 3806)

May 4, 2004, 7:45 PM
Post #22 of 79 (2379 views)
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Re: [thelem] Taking seatbelts off after takeoff [In reply to] Can't Post

Also, in the cypres vein...

Remember that it doesn't arm until 1500', so don't rely on that.


Not that I'm say you would or anything...


AndyMan  (D 25698)

May 4, 2004, 8:06 PM
Post #23 of 79 (2368 views)
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Re: [CornishChris] Taking seatbelts off after takeoff [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
You do what you are used to. I have done 170 jumps at 6/7 different DZs and probably 15 different planes and not once have I worn a seatbelt. It is not a regulation in some places (read countries) and therefore we don't have the option of refusing in most cases unless we want to move oversees to jump...
CJP

Wow. Aren't you a customers? Doesn't your DZO provide a service? If you ask for it, he should do it. If he doesn't, he doesn't deserve your business.

The FAA isn't aboard jump aircraft, there's nobody waiting to issue a fine if you don't put yours on. The only reason that people in the US wear seatbelts in planes is because they've got too many dead friends. It's exceedingly rare that you see someone not put theirs on.

At my DZ, in 40 years there's been more people killed in plane crashes than skydiving incidents. When you fly big planes, it doesn't take a lot of incidents to kill a lot of people. In our case, it was one crash of a twin beech. People weren't wearing seatbelts then, either.

When the Otter crashed at Perris, the coroner reported that more people were killed by other people than by the crash itself. Think about that next time the guy beside you doesn't put his on.

_Am


Hazarrd

May 4, 2004, 9:11 PM
Post #24 of 79 (2353 views)
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Re: [masher] Taking seatbelts off after takeoff [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Also, in the cypres vein...

Remember that it doesn't arm until 1500', so don't rely on that.


Not that I'm say you would or anything...

Im pretty sure its 1000' that it arms itself at at 750' that it fires.


Premier ianmdrennan  (D 25821)
Moderator
May 4, 2004, 9:37 PM
Post #25 of 79 (2338 views)
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Re: [AndyMan] Taking seatbelts off after takeoff [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry Andy but it doesn't quite work that way in the rest of the world. In SA the ONLY dropzone for 200 miles was already an hr and a half outside my city. There are no laws requiring seatbelts, so why should the DZO incur the cost.

I like the states system, but you don't always have a choice overseas- nor is the dzo REQUIRED to comply with your requests. Because DZ's are so few and far between forget about boycotting them, not to mention no dz that I'm aware of had them. Maybe they do now, but they didn't then.

I'm not saying there shouldn't be seatbelts, but don't expect to find them in other countries. If that's outside your comfort zone, then don't jump there.

Beyond that there isn't anything you can do about it.

Blue ones,
Ian


(This post was edited by ianmdrennan on May 4, 2004, 9:38 PM)


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