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Big-way, hard pull, reserve, biplane, tree landing

 

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dgrabowski  (D 23648)

Jul 13, 2004, 4:45 AM
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Big-way, hard pull, reserve, biplane, tree landing Can't Post

Main: Sabre2 170
Reserve: PD 143
Wing loading: ~1.15
Container: Javelin Odyssey, BOC deployment with hackey handle
Jumps: 900+, all RW; 200 in past year

100-way sequential jumps from 17,500 feet with supplemental oxygen at Cross Keys. I was a late diver from a trail aircraft on the outside of the formation. I was wearing a longsleeve shirt on top of my RW suit to adjust for a slow fallrate.

There were oxygen issues on our airplane, but the pilots made the decision to continue to full altitude. For the rest of the ride to altitude, we all focused on being extremely calm and relaxed in order to conserve oxygen. An fun 100-way was built, and was followed by an uneventful track-off. At deployment time (a bit under 3000 feet), I reached back and grabbed, but didn't end up with a hackey in my hand. I tried a second time, and the same thing happened. I looked back and saw that I had a handful of white material that didn't belong there. Considering this to be a total, I grabbed my reserve handle and pulled. A fast on-heading opening followed (open at 1300ft, according to my pro-track), and I looked ahead and saw that I was fairly close to the golf course and that it would be an ideal place to land.

Then I looked up. My reserve was there. But to my surprise, so was my *MAIN*, in a nice, stable biplane, with the main in front.

I focused my attention to ensuring that the biplane stayed in its stable configuration, using slight input on the rear risers of the canopies to keep them lined up. I looked down and realized that due to the winds and the massive amount of square footage above my head, I was drifting backwards. If I did a 180-degree turn, I had a shot at a downwind landing at the end of the runway. However, a turn that dramatic didn't seem like a good idea to contemplate. I decided that landing in the trees (there's a dense forest between the golf course and the airport) would be a better option than risking the turn, and hoping that I'd make it back to land in the clear.

Due to the slow speed, my entry into the forest was quite soft. When it was all done, I was suspended about 40 feet in the air (this is a completely arbitrary guess, somewhat based on the location of my main when I found it two days later), between two trees. All of my weight was suspended by the left side of my main canopy -- my reserve had actually fallen down below me.

I knew that I was in the middle of the forest. However, I figured that my best option would be to try to wait it out. After what seemed like an eternity (but at that point, who can keep track of time?), with my left leg starting to become numb and my yells for help going unanswered, I decided to try to figure a way out on my own. It took a few attempts at pulling on a tree branch before I got close enough to wrap my left arm around the tree (it was relatively thin, maybe 8" in diameter). With my arm around the branch, and one foot somewhat secure on a lower branch, I cut away my main and lunged towards the tree trunk. I was able to hold on and stay in the tree, now completely released from my main.

It took me a number of minutes to shimmy down, taking a few branches with me as I went. The last 20 or so feet, there were no branches at all, but my booties, sneakers, and "tackified" RW gloves provided enough grip to keep me from falling down.

It was a good half-hour or more before I finally got out of the woods. John Eddowes flew his chopper overhead to locate me and verified that I was OK, and then I finally heard the sirens from the volunteer firemen and was able to find my way to a dirt road and met up with them. Other than some scratches, a couple bruises, and a few bug bites, I'm otherwise OK.

Possible factors...

1. Hypoxia. Although I have experienced hypoxic symptoms before, I did not feel them at all on this jump -- at least, not during the ride to altitude. I had actually felt hypoxic on a high-altitude jump the day before, and we had full oxygen for that jump. Was my judgement impaired? Perhaps. Should we have aborted our ascent to 17,500 feet? Probably.

2. My longsleeve "dress for success" shirt. A teammate saw me the following day as we were getting ready to go up for another jump, and she noted that my shirt was a bit long and conceivably could work its way out to cover my hackey handle. Was it possible that when I thought I was pulling my hackey, that I was actually grabbing a handful of shirt? In hindsight, I think it's *very* possible.

Some thoughts...

- Main deployment: Try once, try twice, then go for the reserve. In hindsight, my second attempt should have involved a more concerted effort to locate my PC. I probably would have been able to deploy it.

- Biplane: Fly it. I was quite concerned that since there is a difference in sizes between my two canopies (about 19%), that they may not play well together, but they actually seemed fairly docile with each other. I did not release the brakes on either canopy. After watching the two canopies flying together with all the brakes stowed, I figured, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

- Tree landing: Protect the head and try to grab some big pieces of tree and hold on. Wait for help. Okay, so I gave up on the last part -- because I felt that a) I would be able to get out, b) nobody was going to find me anytime soon, and c) even when they did, it would take a loooong time before they'd be able to set up any sort of rescue attempt, and d) I was very high up and couldn't fathom how they'd be able to get to me to get me down.


First 100-way (technically, my first one happened a jump or two earlier). First reserve pull. First biplane. First tree landing. I still have some shopping to do.


gus

Jul 13, 2004, 4:51 AM
Post #2 of 32 (2755 views)
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Re: [dgrabowski] Big-way, hard pull, reserve, biplane, tree landing [In reply to] Can't Post

Perhaps I've misunderstood your post but how did you end up with 2 out when you never deployed your main?

Gus


dgrabowski  (D 23648)

Jul 13, 2004, 5:09 AM
Post #3 of 32 (2737 views)
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Re: [gus] Big-way, hard pull, reserve, biplane, tree landing [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Perhaps I've misunderstood your post but how did you end up with 2 out when you never deployed your main?

Gus

Good question. I figure I must have gotten *some* of my main PC out, and perhaps all the commotion of the reserve deployment kicked it out the rest of the way. How much -- I have no idea. When I went for my reserve, I definitely had *nothing* above me.


parachutist  (D 25468)

Jul 13, 2004, 5:27 AM
Post #4 of 32 (2724 views)
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Re: [dgrabowski] Big-way, hard pull, reserve, biplane, tree landing [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
- Main deployment: Try once, try twice, then go for the reserve.

Or maybe try once, try twice, then go through your emergency procedures. If you had your hand on something and didn't know what it was, then you didn't know what may be trailing behind you to entangle your reserve. Cutting away takes an extra 2 seconds, but I think it's very worth the extra time to clear out any trash you may be towing, if you're above 1,000 ft.


freeflynick  (D 24960)

Jul 13, 2004, 6:25 AM
Post #5 of 32 (2693 views)
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Re: [dgrabowski] Big-way, hard pull, reserve, biplane, tree landing [In reply to] Can't Post

An unrelated question - why do you fly a 170sq/ft main and choose to use a 143sq/ft reserve? Just to have a nice, neat looking rig??


riddler  (D 10234)

Jul 13, 2004, 6:38 AM
Post #6 of 32 (2690 views)
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Re: [dgrabowski] Big-way, hard pull, reserve, biplane, tree landing [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I looked back and saw that I had a handful of white material that didn't belong there.

What do you think this was? Was your shirt white? Is your main pilot chute white?


dgrabowski  (D 23648)

Jul 13, 2004, 8:07 AM
Post #7 of 32 (2645 views)
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Re: [freeflynick] Big-way, hard pull, reserve, biplane, tree landing [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
An unrelated question - why do you fly a 170sq/ft main and choose to use a 143sq/ft reserve? Just to have a nice, neat looking rig??

When I put this rig together a year ago, I discussed with a number of very experienced jumpers/riggers this very question. The opinion was that the difference wasn't that significant. From the PD Dual Square Report - "Choose canopies that are not drastically different in size... choose a reserve that is similar in size to the main canopy." I think that less than a 20% variance counts as "similar."


dgrabowski  (D 23648)

Jul 13, 2004, 8:09 AM
Post #8 of 32 (2641 views)
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Re: [riddler] Big-way, hard pull, reserve, biplane, tree landing [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
I looked back and saw that I had a handful of white material that didn't belong there.

What do you think this was? Was your shirt white? Is your main pilot chute white?

Shirt was white -- sorry if that was unclear. When I looked back at it, I don't think I realized that's what it was, however. All I knew at that point was that it was NOT my PC. Actually, I do recall thinking, "What the F is that?!"

Main PC is black with white mesh.


sdctlc  (D 16437)

Jul 13, 2004, 8:11 AM
Post #9 of 32 (2640 views)
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Re: [dgrabowski] Big-way, hard pull, reserve, biplane, tree landing [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Then I looked up. My reserve was there. But to my surprise, so was my *MAIN*, in a nice, stable biplane, with the main in front.

If the Main is in front of the reserve I guess that it opened first... The timing was probably very close but sounds like your luckey that they did not come out at the same time.

Glad your OK and hypoxia can be interesting. How long were you above 15K before you jumped. I assume that you had no OO2 the entire ride up???

Scott C.


freeflynick  (D 24960)

Jul 13, 2004, 8:19 AM
Post #10 of 32 (2633 views)
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Re: [dgrabowski] Big-way, hard pull, reserve, biplane, tree landing [In reply to] Can't Post

I hadn't thought about the flying configuration - I was thinking more about the canopy size for landing.

Loading your main @ 1.15 would equate to a loading on your reserve of 1.37 - which is pretty high for an F111 canopy, especially considering you won't have had much practice flying it, you may be opening relatively low, landing off, possibly injured.......and doing this under a fairly highly loaded F111 canopy?

Not a choice I would make! I presume you took all this into account - what was your justification the decision?

Just interested.....Wink

Nick


FrogNog  (C 34484)

Jul 13, 2004, 8:48 AM
Post #11 of 32 (2620 views)
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Re: [freeflynick] Big-way, hard pull, reserve, biplane, tree landing [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Not a choice I would make! I presume you took all this into account - what was your justification the decision?

Maybe he figured he'd usually be loading it at .62 pounds per foot because he'd be flying them both? Wink


dgrabowski  (D 23648)

Jul 13, 2004, 10:25 AM
Post #12 of 32 (2567 views)
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Re: [freeflynick] Big-way, hard pull, reserve, biplane, tree landing [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Loading your main @ 1.15 would equate to a loading on your reserve of 1.37 - which is pretty high for an F111 canopy, especially considering you won't have had much practice flying it, you may be opening relatively low, landing off, possibly injured.......and doing this under a fairly highly loaded F111 canopy?

Not a choice I would make! I presume you took all this into account - what was your justification the decision?

There was no real "justification" involved. It was at the upper limit wing-loading wise for what I was comfortable with. I've got a lot of jumps on 7-cell canopies, many with a higher wing loading than my current main (I used to weigh about 30 lbs more than I do now).

Oddly enough, the previous weekend, PD was at the Ranch and I was hoping that they'd have reserves on risers so I could actually fly a 143. Unfortunately, they did not have any.


dgrabowski  (D 23648)

Jul 13, 2004, 10:36 AM
Post #13 of 32 (2551 views)
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Re: [sdctlc] Big-way, hard pull, reserve, biplane, tree landing [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Glad your OK and hypoxia can be interesting. How long were you above 15K before you jumped. I assume that you had no OO2 the entire ride up???

The air was turned on at 12K. All I'll say is that we had issues with the O2 in our aircraft, and those issues were not sufficiently relayed to the other aircraft in the formation.

Actually, if I recall correctly, the entire formation did a go-around at 17.5K before we jumped, due to low clouds. So we were up high for a *long* time.


jumperconway  (D 24335)

Jul 13, 2004, 11:35 AM
Post #14 of 32 (2507 views)
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Re: [dgrabowski] Big-way, hard pull, reserve, biplane, tree landing [In reply to] Can't Post

Oddly enough, the previous weekend, PD was at the Ranch and I was hoping that they'd have reserves on risers so I could actually fly a 143. Unfortunately, they did not have any.


I had the same experience with PD demo day. I had a 143R in my rig and wanted to try one and they didn't bring one either so I jumped the 126R and put a 113R in my next container. I think at the time the 143R was their most popular size so surprised that they had none for demo.


bodypilot1  (D 16037)

Jul 13, 2004, 6:24 PM
Post #15 of 32 (2403 views)
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Re: [dgrabowski] Big-way, hard pull, reserve, biplane, tree landing [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Should we have aborted our ascent to 17,500 feet? Probably.

Unfortunatly the problems with your planes oxygen came when we had cloud cover limiting sight of the DZ.
Aborting the 5 planes we already had at altitude would have been costly for sure, but just remember,
YOU have the choice of jumping from that plane and no one else so you can't place blame on the pilot.
Doing big ways from high altitudes are part of doing big ways, plain and simple.
Sometimes the oxygen isn't the best for everyone on board, but thats what you deal with and try to make everyone happy and safe.
T shirts on the outside of jump suits are not something we like to jump with and MUST be kept away from your pilot chute for a clean pull after break off.
Being it was your first "big way" and you were struggling with the fall rate, maybe a bigger suit would be needed?
Yes, dressing for success is the right attitude on bigways, whether your in the base or on the outside of the formation docking 105th, but be safe doing it and don't get out of the plane if you feel your NOT at 100% of your ability.
It not only endangers you, but it puts the other jumpers at risk too.

Glad to hear you made it out ok.
Now go buy the beer. Tongue

-


dgrabowski  (D 23648)

Jul 13, 2004, 7:39 PM
Post #16 of 32 (2385 views)
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Re: [bodypilot1] Big-way, hard pull, reserve, biplane, tree landing [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Should we have aborted our ascent to 17,500 feet? Probably.

Unfortunatly the problems with your planes oxygen came when we had cloud cover limiting sight of the DZ.
Aborting the 5 planes we already had at altitude would have been costly for sure,
Not any more so than the 50-way we did from 9K due to clouds on Sunday, after we took a trip to 17K, circled, and then gave up and descended below the ceiling. However, that's really a moot point - on our aircraft, we were aware that there was an O2 problem at 12K. There was a communications breakdown that prevented the facts from being relayed.
In reply to:
but just remember,
YOU have the choice of jumping from that plane and no one else so you can't place blame on the pilot.
And I did not. I had absolutely no intention of giving that impression, and I apologize if I did.
In reply to:

Doing big ways from high altitudes are part of doing big ways, plain and simple.
Sometimes the oxygen isn't the best for everyone on board, but thats what you deal with and try to make everyone happy and safe.
T shirts on the outside of jump suits are not something we like to jump with and MUST be kept away from your pilot chute for a clean pull after break off.
Absolutely. I've worn a shirt before and it never occurred to me. And judging by the reaction I got when I mentioned to folks on Saturday what I thought my problem was, it hadn't occurred to them, either.
In reply to:
Being it was your first "big way"
It wasn't. First 100+ yes, but hardly a stretch.
In reply to:
and you were struggling with the fall rate, maybe a bigger suit would be needed?
Yep. And judging by the number of folks who were wearing t-shirts, longsleeve shirts, and sweatshirts, many people could have benefitted from larger suits.
In reply to:
Yes, dressing for success is the right attitude on bigways, whether your in the base or on the outside of the formation docking 105th, but be safe doing it and don't get out of the plane if you feel your NOT at 100% of your ability.
Absolutely. But let's be realistic here. How many people have jumped when they've had a head cold, a hangover, or just felt "down"? Like I said, I didn't detect anything that felt out of the ordinary. I'm not claiming that hypoxia was the cause of what happened to me. I merely suggested that it may have been a factor.
In reply to:
It not only endangers you, but it puts the other jumpers at risk too.

Glad to hear you made it out ok.
Now go buy the beer. Tongue
Where were you at Roger & Mary's on Saturday night? Smile


Scrumpot  (D License)

Jul 13, 2004, 8:08 PM
Post #17 of 32 (2376 views)
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Re: [bodypilot1] Big-way, hard pull, reserve, biplane, tree landing [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
and don't get out of the plane if you feel your NOT at 100% of your ability.

That's the funny thing about hypoxia... it very easily (and in fact most likely CAN) actually ROB you of that ability to tell!

Quote:
Doing big ways from high altitudes are part of doing big ways, plain and simple.
Sometimes the oxygen isn't the best for everyone on board, but thats what you deal with and try to make everyone happy and safe.

No way. Gotta disagree with this one. If the oxygen is not functional, then the jumprun should not exceed 15k period, let alone continue and even "go around" at 17k+. Now, this jumper does say that the pilot (and or other pilots in the formation) may not have been aware due to "breakdown in communication". But who was responsible for that?

If the pilot was aware (of the O2 problems), wouldn't it indeed be HIS (or her ...don't mean to be non-"pc" Angelic) responsibility to abide by the FAR's and NOT exceed 15k in his flight pattern? ---I dunno. I'm asking?

That's at least the way I read into just THIS part of this. Help correct my thinking or understanding if it is in any way askew.

-Grant


skydiverton  (D 123456789)

Jul 14, 2004, 6:06 AM
Post #18 of 32 (2329 views)
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Re: [dgrabowski] Big-way, hard pull, reserve, biplane, tree landing [In reply to] Can't Post

1) Break away
2) Pull your reserve

One procedure, deviation will cause accidents.

Keep It Simple


bodypilot1  (D 16037)

Jul 14, 2004, 9:56 AM
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Re: [Scrumpot] Big-way, hard pull, reserve, biplane, tree landing [In reply to] Can't Post

 
In reply to:
No way. Gotta disagree with this one. If the oxygen is not functional, then the jumprun should not exceed 15k period, let alone continue and even "go around" at 17k+. Now, this jumper does say that the pilot (and or other pilots in the formation) may not have been aware due to "breakdown in communication". But who was responsible for that?

If the pilot was aware (of the O2 problems), wouldn't it indeed be HIS (or her ...don't mean to be non-"pc" ) responsibility to abide by the FAR's and NOT exceed 15k in his flight pattern? ---I dunno. I'm asking?

That's at least the way I read into just THIS part of this. Help correct my thinking or understanding if it is in any way askew.

My point was, on big ways with multiple airplanes sometimes you have to deal with things not going always as planned and maybe not always done the correct way according to the FAR's, and sometimes there is a communication break down. It has always been and always be just something you have to deal with, or dont jump on big ways....
Whether you want to exit or not, and if you choose to stay in the plane because you didnt feel safe is your choice.....

-


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Jul 14, 2004, 11:05 AM
Post #20 of 32 (2250 views)
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Re: [Scrumpot] Big-way, hard pull, reserve, biplane, tree landing [In reply to] Can't Post

>If the pilot was aware (of the O2 problems), wouldn't it indeed be >HIS (or her ...don't mean to be non-"pc" ) responsibility to abide by
>the FAR's and NOT exceed 15k in his flight pattern?

Technically, yes. But technically, the pilot is also responsible for making sure each and every jumper doesn't punch a cloud. That's not possible at most DZ's, so the pilot relies on jumpers to verify that they will be clear of clouds before jumping.

On just about every big-way I've been on, each plane has a plane captain responsible for sorting out exit problems, dealing with the lineup, getting the bench up, giving the pilot feedback on position, the oxygen system etc. Often there is another person (the O2 monitor) who is responsible for turning on and off the O2 and checking the amount left in the tank. He usually ends up being the guy sitting over the tank. If there was a problem with O2, the usual protocol would be the O2 guy would check the tank and tell the plane captain they were low or out, and the plane captain would then tell the pilot to radio the lead plane to either ask for instructions or tell the lead plane they could not exceed 15K.

So technically the pilot is still responsible, but in practice he relies on the plane captain to let him know what's going on.

In terms of real world examples, I can think of one case at the 300-way where low O2 on one aircraft led us to cancel the jump and land. (You can't take 300 people out at 13K and break off safely.) On another jump, a friend of mine had a communications problem on their aircraft and went off O2 two minutes early (at 23,000 feet.) She landed safely but did not remember the dive.

One of the problems for organizers is that the people who get picked for big-ways are generally the people who can perform 100% of the time, and often that means they have the mindset that they will overlook minor problems (sore shoulder, cold, congestion) and still be in their slot. Jennifer Behrens is a good example; she was in a _lot_ of pain on the 357 way but stuck it out, and was in her slot on the record jump. People with a mindset like that often have a hard time saying "no" and being the reason a new record is not set.

Personally, I am less worried about myself being hypoxic than about the pilot being hypoxic. If I am severely hypoxic, I'm a risk to myself and perhaps one other person (the person I collide with) - if the pilot is hypoxic and flying in close formation he could put 46 lives at risk. That's why low O2 really concerns me; we can always cancel the jump at the last minute but the pilot can't afford to be loopy at any time during the flight. Some aircraft have separate systems for the pilot so this is less of a concern.


Scrumpot  (D License)

Jul 14, 2004, 11:15 AM
Post #21 of 32 (2248 views)
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Re: [bodypilot1] Big-way, hard pull, reserve, biplane, tree landing [In reply to] Can't Post

I understand your point. I just don't know if I agree with it, and I'd like to solicit perhaps even further opinion (and knowledge/clarification maybe too, of the "facts" from the actual incident). If it is as I percieve it, which I grant could be wrong (which is why I am asking), this situation could have been much worse (and for many more than just this one jumper), and I think it is probably worth even a little more exploration into the subject than "you either just take it and accept it that way, or you don't get onto big ways". Seems to me as if we could have something MORE to learn here, and perhaps take to heart to PREVENT future potential real problems like this! ...Wouldn't that be a good thing?

From the jumpers original post:
Quote:
There were oxygen issues on our airplane, but the pilots made the decision to continue to full altitude. For the rest of the ride to altitude, we all focused on being extremely calm and relaxed in order to conserve oxygen.

This indicates to me 2 things.
1. That the pilots were indeed aware that the oxygen was NON-FUNCTIONAL (not just "not the best for everybody") and...

2. That is was more than just this one jumper who may have not had "optimal" O2.

I think that you & I are talking therefore, about entirely different scenario's of what should be "acceptance level" here.

Further, if you grant that hypoxia can affect individuals in such a way that they don't even know it (are aware of it - that they are impaired) ...I repeat, then ...if #1 & #2 above are correct: who is responsible for taking PROPER precautions to prevent this possible scenario from happening in the 1st place?

Maybe my questions or the way I am phrasing them are not making much sense, and perhaps someone else can chime in here, and/or help clarify for me? This one just seems as if it was entirely PREVENTABLE, could have been (quite easily) much WORSE, and... was not just this one individual jumpers "fault" (decision not to jump at all, when his decision-making capabilities its very self could have been impaired Crazy). Is it really acceptable procedure to continue on with flying and pursuing a jump run that would exceed 15k for an extended time (as this one apparently did), or were there any other potential alternatives here could have been considered?

Again, I don't know. I'm asking. If being exposed to these scenarios as potential eventualities is a part of the consideration in participating in big ways, and that it should just be otherwise considered "acceptable" or don't just participate in the 1st place (as you apparently assert) is "just the way it is", then fine. I guess we SHOULD all take that into advance consideration then. Let me know if indeed that is just "the way it is".

Blue Skies,
-Grant


payback462

Jul 14, 2004, 7:16 PM
Post #22 of 32 (2177 views)
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Re: [dgrabowski] Big-way, hard pull, reserve, biplane, tree landing [In reply to] Can't Post

i witnessed this jump, i dont really have anything to add as far as the skydive part, but id like to say something as far as the tree landing.

climbing down from the tree was stupid.
people have died from doing this.
the williamstown fire company is VERY good at getting people out of trees (infact they have their own skydiver lowering device (snaps onto big 3ring)
my point is NO ONE should EVER try to climb down from a tree if they land in it.
youll feel like a real jackass if you die falling ten feet out of a tree after just surviving a fall out of a plane

people arent monkeys, dont climb trees!
Wink



edited to add: i reread my post and it seemed kinda harsh toward the jumpers actions, i just want to point out that my motivation wasnt to criticize the jumper for their actions but merely to make sure other people dont do what they didSmile


(This post was edited by payback462 on Jul 14, 2004, 7:24 PM)


bodypilot1  (D 16037)

Jul 14, 2004, 8:46 PM
Post #23 of 32 (2156 views)
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Re: [payback462] Big-way, hard pull, reserve, biplane, tree landing [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
climbing down from the tree was stupid.

This is kinda harsh too. Unsure
He may have made the mistake of climbing down and adding possible further injury, but I dont think it was to go as far as saying it was "stupid".
Maybe he did not know of the great procedure the local fire department had?

-


kelpdiver  (B 7)

Jul 14, 2004, 10:35 PM
Post #24 of 32 (2143 views)
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Re: [payback462] Big-way, hard pull, reserve, biplane, tree landing [In reply to] Can't Post

How long do you wait before you rescue yourself? He waited some period of time and was starting to go numb. had he remained much longer, he could have gotten to a point where he was physically uncapable of getting out.

Comes down to how long you think it will be before someone comes, or will they?


dgrabowski  (D 23648)

Jul 15, 2004, 6:02 AM
Post #25 of 32 (2104 views)
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Re: [payback462] Big-way, hard pull, reserve, biplane, tree landing [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
climbing down from the tree was stupid.
Yep.

I'm actually somewhat surprised that nobody has said anything about this, either in this forum or any of the folks who I spoke to in the days after the incident. (Most of the discussions I had with people focused on the fact that they thought that I had a Cypres fire due to a low pull)

This is the one thing that I think I should have done differently (or, I guess, not done). As I hung there, I agonized about what to do. If I stayed put, how long would it be before someone got to me? It'd be a travesty to make it as far as I did, only to do something incredibly moronic like crack my head on a rock and bleed to death because I decided to try to climb down.

Honestly, I really had no concept of time, so I can't say how long I was suspended before I started my trek down. But it seemed like an eternity.

After I realized that I was safely (??) suspended in the tree, the only things I knew was that I was very deep in the woods, that nobody was responding to my calls for help, and from my vantage point, it didn't seem likely that even when (if?) they did find me, that there wouldn't be much of a chance that they'd be able to get me out. I was too deep in the woods to be rescued by some sort of vehicle with a ladder or bucket, and too high for a free-standing ladder. Above me, there were nothing significant to attach ropes or other rescue implements. The only benefit, I felt, to waiting was that there would be someone on the ground who could watch me climb down.

And as I was about halfway down, I started second-guessing my decision, but at that point I had no choice but to keep going -- I couldn't just give up and stay on that little branch.

Knowing what I know now, I figure it would have taken about an additional half hour from the time I decided to get down for someone on the ground to find me. That someone was a volunteer fireman, who had nothing with him other than a radio.

Now, with all that said, I still agree that it was a stupid decision to climb down. I got lucky. Actually, I got lucky about three times on this jump.


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