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Catching freebags and mains (was: ASC fatality)

 

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Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Jul 11, 2004, 4:22 PM
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Catching freebags and mains (was: ASC fatality) Can't Post

> This jumper followed a falling canopy in the sky and tryed to actually
>grab it? Just trying to understand why.

Some jumpers try to follow freebags and "catch" them either in your feet (ideal) or in your lines (not so ideal especially with a HP canopy.) I've done this a few times. The idea here is that the jumper under the reserve lands back at the DZ (I think it's a bad idea to try to land out on a canopy you've never flown before to find your stuff) and another jumper, preferably someone with a largish canopy, snags the freebag and lands near the main. It's possible that some jumpers think this is appropriate to do with a main parachute as well. Obvious problem there is that as soon as you catch it you effectively have a malfunctioning main parachute attached to you; a situation that you really want to avoid when you think about it.

When I chase gear I usually try to snag the freebag above 1200 feet or so; if not I leave it alone and just follow both down (assuming I have an appropriate canopy like my Silhouette 170.) Usually it's possible to land next to the freebag (which is the harder of the two to find) and get a bead on the main so you can find it as well. Some potential dangers:

-The usual danger of landing somewhere you've never landed before while trying to shoot accuracy on a moving target (the falling freebag.) Probably a bad idea for someone who does not do demos.

-Snagging a freebag in the outer A lines of a Velocity 95 might not result in a controllable canopy; remember, that reserve pilot chute is going to inflate as designed.

-Gotta always keep your eyes open and not fixate on the bag. Remember someone else might be trying the same thing you're trying.

NOTE ADDED: This is _not_ intended to be a how-to; catching freebags is dangerous, especially when you can just land next to them and accomplish the same thing. I think catching mains is even worse.


(This post was edited by billvon on Jul 12, 2004, 2:08 PM)


carbonezone  (D 23582)

Jul 11, 2004, 6:17 PM
Post #2 of 77 (4251 views)
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Re: [billvon] Fatality at ASC [In reply to] Can't Post

<<<<Scotty Talking now>>>>
DONT ENCOURAGE THIS """""PERIOD"""""
NOT EVEN A FUCKING FREE-BAG IT CAN FUCKING KILL TOO!
BSBD,
Scotty Carbone


(This post was edited by carbonezone on Jul 11, 2004, 6:25 PM)


burbleflyer  (D License)

Jul 11, 2004, 8:50 PM
Post #3 of 77 (4012 views)
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Re: [carbonezone] Fatality at ASC [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
<<<<Scotty Talking now>>>>
DONT ENCOURAGE THIS """""PERIOD"""""
NOT EVEN A FUCKING FREE-BAG IT CAN FUCKING KILL TOO!
BSBD,
Scotty Carbone

I gotta agree with Scotty on this one. Chasing a main or a freebag is not a good idea. Dont do it.
Why do people have to be told this? Think for a minute...whats the WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN? Then if you can deal with that, go ahead.
If it can happen, it will eventually.


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Jul 11, 2004, 10:31 PM
Post #4 of 77 (3900 views)
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Re: [billvon] Fatality at ASC [In reply to] Can't Post

I jump a large canopy, not a little 170 and do up to 25 demos a year. I would not attempt to catch anything while under canopy. Both the main and the freebag/pilot chute are not worth the risk involved.
The jumper in question I understand was an excellent canopy pilot and he is dead. (no dis-respect intended)
As Scotty said:
Quote:
<<<<Scotty Talking now>>>>
DONT ENCOURAGE THIS """""PERIOD"""""
NOT EVEN A FUCKING FREE-BAG IT CAN FUCKING KILL TOO!
BSBD,
Scotty Carbone

Sparky


Amazon  (D License)

Jul 11, 2004, 10:32 PM
Post #5 of 77 (3903 views)
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Re: [carbonezone] Fatality at ASC [In reply to] Can't Post

I have seen several people catch a main or a freebag since I came back to the sport. When I had my cutaway in March I even thought about catching my trash for a couple seconds since it was right there in front of me. But then I decided against it since I had just used my last chance. I figured it would just be too easy to entangle something. I flew my reserve down and landed it without further incident. If I see someone on the load chop/ I will follow the trash..mark it the best I can from a safe landing area.... as I did last month and retrieved the main from a heavily wooded area.


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Jul 12, 2004, 1:09 AM
Post #6 of 77 (3879 views)
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Re: [Amazon] Fatality at ASC [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I have seen several people catch a main or a freebag since I came back to the sport. When I had my cutaway in March I even thought about catching my trash for a couple seconds since it was right there in front of me. But then I decided against it since I had just used my last chance. I figured it would just be too easy to entangle something. I flew my reserve down and landed it without further incident. If I see someone on the load chop/ I will follow the trash..mark it the best I can from a safe landing area.... as I did last month and retrieved the main from a heavily wooded area.

Smart Lady, Jeanne!Tongue
Sparky


Brumby  (C 104799)

Jul 12, 2004, 1:12 AM
Post #7 of 77 (3879 views)
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Re: [Amazon] Fatality at ASC [In reply to] Can't Post

The way i see it is. A canopy/freebag can be replaced. A life cant!


crwmike  (D 6139)

Jul 12, 2004, 5:35 AM
Post #8 of 77 (3718 views)
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Re: [carbonezone] Fatality at ASC [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
<<<<Scotty Talking now>>>>
DONT ENCOURAGE THIS """""PERIOD"""""
NOT EVEN A FUCKING FREE-BAG IT CAN FUCKING KILL TOO!
BSBD,
Scotty Carbone

Bill's advice was on target.

Michael


beezyshaw  (A 3393)

Jul 12, 2004, 6:26 AM
Post #9 of 77 (3627 views)
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Re: [crwmike] Fatality at ASC [In reply to] Can't Post

You probably agree with Bill because of your experience at flying close and docking under canopy as a CREWdog. So to you, from your perspective, snagging a freebag seems a no-brainer. But remember that most skydivers aren't proficient at CRW, so keeping their skills and experience in mind, I would have to agree that the smart move is to follow anyone's anything to the ground and not try to actually snag it mid-air. So if you want to catch a freebag, that's your call, but I'm not going to do it (not again, anyway).


Ron

Jul 12, 2004, 7:05 AM
Post #10 of 77 (3546 views)
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Re: [billvon] Fatality at ASC [In reply to] Can't Post

Bill while your advice was on....

The best advice is don't do it. EVER. It is foolish to risk your life for a freebag, or a main.

Nathan gilbert was a GREAT canopy pilot, and it killed him. I bet most people are not as good as he was.

Its pretty simple folks....DON'T FUCKING DO IT.

Even those that have the skill, and the know how...Still get killed doing it.

1. Land SAFE first.
2. Land CLOSE if possible to assist in its recovery.
3. NEVER try and catch ANYTHING under canopy. People die doing this and its not needed.

I am sorry for all those than knew Nathan...Let this tragic accident serve as a lesson NOT TO TRY THIS. There is NO REASON TO RISK IT.


(This post was edited by Ron on Jul 12, 2004, 7:48 AM)


stl135

Jul 12, 2004, 7:20 AM
Post #11 of 77 (3515 views)
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Re: [carbonezone] Fatality at ASC [In reply to] Can't Post

Sad to hear about it.
I agree with Scotty. There are several other ways to retrieve a cutaway canopy and free-bag.


Kerr

Jul 12, 2004, 7:25 AM
Post #12 of 77 (3496 views)
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Re: [billvon] Fatality at ASC [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
-Gotta always keep your eyes open and not fixate on the bag. Remember someone else might be trying the same thing you're trying.

And remember that there will be other shit in the air too.

I was on a 4-way Eloy a little while back (two existing team mates, me and a coach) and one of the group had a mal and cut away without further incident. His team mate decided to follow the freebag. She got fixated on the freebag and managed to fly into the cutaway main. Crazy She cut away and landed without further incident.


Premier faulknerwn  (D 17441)
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Jul 12, 2004, 8:02 AM
Post #13 of 77 (3407 views)
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Re: [Kerr] Fatality at ASC [In reply to] Can't Post

Without a doubt trying to catch a cutaway main is stupid. Follow it down.
I've certainly caught freebags in my time, but my hard deck is around 2500 feet. Below that I would never try. Its not worth it. And that pretty much rules out ever catching them on most freefall jumps.

I know of at least 2 people chasing a freebag who managed to run into each other and they had 2 more cutaways. If this had happened low? Egads.

Chasing freebags is one thing if you're at 6k after a CRW jump - its a completely different beast if you're low - don't ever even attempt it at an altitude lower than you want to be cutting away. And don't ever try to catch a main - they're WAY too unpredictable.

W


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Jul 12, 2004, 8:57 AM
Post #14 of 77 (3287 views)
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Re: [Ron] Fatality at ASC [In reply to] Can't Post

>The best advice is don't do it. EVER. It is foolish to risk your life for a
>freebag, or a main.

In case I was unclear in my original post, I do NOT recommend doing this. However, I have also come to realize that telling one how to make a safe swoop can sometimes work better than the "Swooping - DON'T DO IT! It'll kill you!" approach.


Ron

Jul 12, 2004, 9:07 AM
Post #15 of 77 (3254 views)
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Re: [billvon] Fatality at ASC [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In case I was unclear in my original post, I do NOT recommend doing this. However, I have also come to realize that telling one how to make a safe swoop can sometimes work better than the "Swooping - DON'T DO IT! It'll kill you!" approach.

Well by you giving advice on how to do it...And saying you have done it you are encouraging others to try it.

Simple math here...1500.00 is not worth a life or medical bills.

He was one of the better canopy pilots out there. And it killed him.

There was no reason for it.


I don't see you giving advice to people who want to pull low. Somethings should just NOT be encouraged.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Jul 12, 2004, 9:34 AM
Post #16 of 77 (3191 views)
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Re: [Ron] Fatality at ASC [In reply to] Can't Post

>Simple math here...1500.00 is not worth a life or medical bills.

I know of no safe way to catch a main parachute. Even if you catch it cleanly, it will try to inflate and you'll essentially have a two-out situation - which I mentioned in the original post.

>I don't see you giving advice to people who want to pull low.

I just spent ten minutes giving advice (via PM) to a first time NRGB jumper who wants to take his skydiving rig off the bridge; he'll probably be opening at 500 feet or so. Like I said, I think sometimes the "just say no!" angle doesn't work.


carbonezone  (D 23582)

Jul 12, 2004, 9:37 AM
Post #17 of 77 (3181 views)
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Re: [crwmike] Fatality at ASC [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Bill's advice was on target.
<<Tami Here>>
Thats fine...I hope you sleep well at night when the next person dies listining to such a dumb-ass suggestion!


Ron

Jul 12, 2004, 9:47 AM
Post #18 of 77 (3152 views)
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Re: [billvon] Fatality at ASC [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I know of no safe way to catch a main parachute. Even if you catch it cleanly, it will try to inflate and you'll essentially have a two-out situation - which I mentioned in the original post.

Well wrong...You can catch it by the pilot chute and it will not inflate. However the chances of you getting it that way are SLIM.

In reply to:
I just spent ten minutes giving advice (via PM) to a first time NRGB jumper who wants to take his skydiving rig off the bridge; he'll probably be opening at 500 feet or so. Like I said, I think sometimes the "just say no!" angle doesn't work.

Giving reasons why it's a bad idea is one thing...Telling people how to do it is another.


MrHixxx  (D 24144)

Jul 12, 2004, 11:29 AM
Post #19 of 77 (2944 views)
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Re: [carbonezone] Fatality at ASC [In reply to] Can't Post

Totally agree with Scotty on this! Parachute parts are replaceable, lives are not.

It is worth noting that this incident claimed a well seasoned, very current skydiver of well over 4000 jumps. Trying to catch a freebag or main is an unsafe practice period! There is no level of proficiency that makes it otherwise.

-Jon


OnYourBack  (D 25190)

Jul 12, 2004, 12:28 PM
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Re: [Ron] Fatality at ASC [In reply to] Can't Post

>"Telling people how to do it is another."

You mean like this? -

>"You can catch it by the pilot chute and it will not inflate. However the chances of you getting it that way are SLIM."


Ron

Jul 12, 2004, 12:57 PM
Post #21 of 77 (2771 views)
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Re: [OnYourBack] Fatality at ASC [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
>"Telling people how to do it is another."

You mean like this? -

>"You can catch it by the pilot chute and it will not inflate. However the chances of you getting it that way are SLIM."

You must have missed the part where I say "The chances of getting away with it are SLIM"

See I'm not telling them to do it...In fact in an earlier post I say its a stupid idea that has killed others.

And in this post I'm saying the chances of pulling it off are SLIM...That means a low probability of doing it correctly...In other words a BAD idea.


OnYourBack  (D 25190)

Jul 12, 2004, 1:25 PM
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Re: [Ron] Fatality at ASC [In reply to] Can't Post

>You must have missed the part where I say "The chances of getting away with it are SLIM"

I saw the part where you said SLIM, in fact I included it in your quote.

>See I'm not telling them to do it...In fact in an earlier post I say its a stupid idea that has killed others.

I read the whole thread and I agree that it is a stupid idea that has killed some people and in this case a very experienced canopy pilot.

However, I also agree with Bill. You can tell people that it is a stupid idea, that people have died trying it, that your chances are "SLIM" and there will still be some kid with 75 jumps who thinks he's God's gift to skydiving who will try it. I don't think that talking about the best ways to do it, as long as you include the disclaimer "its a terrible and potentially fatal idea but if your going to do it do it you might want to think about this," is a bad idea. At least now the kid who is going to try it has seen some ideas that might make it potentially safer.

Again let me reiterate though, IT'S A BAD IDEA!


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Jul 12, 2004, 1:36 PM
Post #23 of 77 (2692 views)
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Re: [OnYourBack] Fatality at ASC [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
However, I also agree with Bill. You can tell people that it is a stupid idea, that people have died trying it, that your chances are "SLIM" and there will still be some kid with 75 jumps who thinks he's God's gift to skydiving who will try it. I don't think that talking about the best ways to do it, as long as you include the disclaimer "its a terrible and potentially fatal idea but if your going to do it do it you might want to think about this," is a bad idea. At least now the kid who is going to try it has seen some ideas that might make it potentially safer.

You can nit pick all you want. Tell your 75 jump wonder anything you want. There is not a right way or a safe way to catch a canopy or fee bag. If you attempt it and pull it off, it is pure ass luck. To claim anything else is ego talking.
Leave the damn thing alone is all that needs to be said.
Sparky


(This post was edited by mjosparky on Jul 12, 2004, 1:37 PM)


Ron

Jul 12, 2004, 1:42 PM
Post #24 of 77 (2677 views)
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Re: [OnYourBack] Fatality at ASC [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
However, I also agree with Bill. You can tell people that it is a stupid idea, that people have died trying it, that your chances are "SLIM" and there will still be some kid with 75 jumps who thinks he's God's gift to skydiving who will try it. I don't think that talking about the best ways to do it, as long as you include the disclaimer "its a terrible and potentially fatal idea but if your going to do it do it you might want to think about this," is a bad idea. At least now the kid who is going to try it has seen some ideas that might make it potentially safer.

Again let me reiterate though, IT'S A BAD IDEA!

Agreed, and as I said to Bill in a PM...I would have never done it if some guy had not have said how cool it would be if a guy did it when I had around 100 jumps....That voice stuck in my head and sure enough as soon as I had the chance I went after a freebag....Stupid idea, but I pulled it off. It was only later whan a buddy told me I was a fucking idiot for doing it did I really think about it. To this day when I see a freebag or main I start turning to get it....That damn voice again. But then logic takes over and I just follow or spot it.

If a guy had said it was a stupid fucking idea when I first heard it....I would have never tried it, and my cool guy inner voice would not want me to do it when I see a freebag floating down.

The newbies on this site often miss the "Its a stupid idea" posts and only read the "How to" sections.

Thats why I included the SLIM part...Maybe I should have just said "Fucking stupid" instead of slim.


Push  (A 10205)

Jul 12, 2004, 2:29 PM
Post #25 of 77 (2602 views)
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Re: [Ron] Fatality at ASC [In reply to] Can't Post

Please don't take this the wrong way, but what are the problems with catching a reserve freebag while under canopy? People have repeatedly said that it can kill, and I do not doubt your experience but I am wondering how, since I cannot see any reasons beyond what was stated. I can see a problem if you "catch" it with your canopy fabric, and I can see the possibility of colliding with someone. Any other dangers?


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