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Low cut-away

 

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Freeflysmiley  (C License)

Dec 13, 2004, 5:13 AM
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Low cut-away Can't Post

Whats the lowest height you can generally cut away at safely ( on an rsl deployment), I know skyhook is quite low but what about genaral RSL? I'm envisaging some sort of delayed mal/freak wind occurence causing a gross main mal at a low height'd . Reason asked is you'd have to make a call whether to just go silver and put fabric above head, ride your mal down, or go for a complete chop, I'm guessing you want be at least 1000ft?


murps2000  (D 23114)

Dec 13, 2004, 5:41 AM
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Re: [Freeflysmiley] Low cut-away [In reply to] Can't Post

From what I've read on these forums, most people abhor the idea of a canopy transfer, but some still consider it an option. I don't jump with an RSL, 1000' is my absolute in the basement hardeck for a chop, and I will not wait for stability to pull silver at that altitude. Below that, I'll pull the reserve first, and then assess whether I can make the transfer. In some instances, I would agree that you may just want to get as much fabric overhead as possible, and get ready for your best PLF. That's one of the reasons I still jump with a huge reserve.


Zoter

Dec 13, 2004, 6:24 AM
Post #3 of 83 (2906 views)
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Re: [murps2000] Low cut-away [In reply to] Can't Post

I was taught that having a large difference between main and reserve canopy sizes is not recommended.......and is less likely to form a 'stable' flyable 2 out configuration, in comparison to similar sized mains/reserves......
Just a thought based on the clsoing line in your last post ( and the size of your main)


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Dec 13, 2004, 6:40 AM
Post #4 of 83 (2885 views)
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Re: [Freeflysmiley] Low cut-away [In reply to] Can't Post

How much altitude does it take to open a reserve?


LannerFalcon  (A License)

Dec 13, 2004, 6:58 AM
Post #5 of 83 (2866 views)
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Re: [JohnMitchell] Low cut-away [In reply to] Can't Post

About 500ft on average i think, but wou wouldn't get me chopping at that height,hence my question!


Freeflysmiley  (C License)

Dec 13, 2004, 7:22 AM
Post #6 of 83 (2851 views)
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Re: [JohnMitchell] Low cut-away [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd say 400-500ft but as someone said above surely not advisable?


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Dec 13, 2004, 8:33 AM
Post #7 of 83 (2811 views)
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Re: [JohnMitchell] Low cut-away [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
How much altitude does it take to open a reserve?

4.3.6 Functional Test (Normal Pack All Types): For all 4.3.6 tests the maximum allowable opening time for
parachute canopies with a maximum operating weight of 250 lb (113.4 kg) or less, is 3 s from the
moment of pack opening. For parachutes with a maximum operating weight of greater than 250 lb
(113.4 kg) the maximum allowable opening time shall be increased by 0.01 s for every pound of
maximum operating weight in excess of 250 lb (113.4 kg).

4.3.6 (Continued):
Alternatively altitude loss instead of time may be measured and the maximum allowable altitude loss
may be calculated as follows.
For all 4.3.6 tests the maximum allowable altitude loss for parachutes with a maximum operating
weight of 250 lb (113.4 kg) or less is 300 ft (91.5 m) from the altitude at pack opening. For parachutes
with a maximum operating weight of greater than 250 lb (113.4 kg) the maximum allowable altitude loss
shall be increased by 1 ft for every pound of maximum operating weight in excess of 250 lb (113.4 kg).

Most reserve canopies are tested to time rather then distance.

Source: AS-8015B

Sparky


diablopilot  (D License)

Dec 13, 2004, 11:07 AM
Post #8 of 83 (2732 views)
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Re: [Freeflysmiley] Low cut-away [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Whats the lowest height you can generally cut away at safely ( on an rsl deployment), I know skyhook is quite low but what about genaral RSL?

#1) The altitude you would be willing to cutaway should be the same RSL, SkyHook, or nothing. Devices fail. Don't rely on them.

#2) My personal altitude would be no lower than 500AGL in a static enviorment, Higher than that in reality as the last thing I'm doing at 500AGL is checking my Alti. In reality If I don't have a landable canopy by 1500AGL, I'm cutting away and going for my reserve. Both times I've done it for real it was much higher. Once it's bad, there is no reason to stick around.

#2a) Additionaly it's probably a silly thing to have a "fixed" rule for. Remember the 4 priorities of skydiving?

Pull.
Pull at proper altitude.
Pull stable.
Land safely.

They apply no matter how many jumps you have.

If you're in an unsurvivable situation at 500AGL (or any altitude for that matter, DO SOMETHING!

There are some old sayings that reinforce this....

"Options till impact"
"Keep pulling handles till your goggles fill up with blood"

I live by them.

Anyone got any others?Tongue


flyhi  (D License)

Dec 13, 2004, 12:16 PM
Post #9 of 83 (2702 views)
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Re: [diablopilot] Low cut-away [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
#2) My personal altitude would be no lower than 500AGL in a static enviorment, Higher than that in reality as the last thing I'm doing at 500AGL is checking my Alti. In reality If I don't have a landable canopy by 1500AGL, I'm cutting away and going for my reserve. Both times I've done it for real it was much higher. Once it's bad, there is no reason to stick around.

Could not agree more. One reserve ride and I was sitting under it at 1900 feet. Probably had the time to play with my main a little to see if I could work it out. Then again, maybe not.

I never intend to play with a bad canopy. I pull high enough that I believe I can evaluate and chop a bad one and get a reserve out so that it won't be a problem. Checking your altitude below 1000 feet without a good canopy above your head is wasting time you don't have.

In reply to:
Anyone got any others?

"Bad news doesn't get better with age."
"The low altitude record can never be broken, it can only be tied."


Scrumpot  (D License)

Dec 13, 2004, 2:32 PM
Post #10 of 83 (2643 views)
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Re: [Freeflysmiley] Low cut-away [In reply to] Can't Post

HERE <---check out this video (key word ID: foxsports_canopy_collision.asf).

This cut-away took place at approx 600ft AGL.

-Grant


nael  (D License)

Dec 13, 2004, 6:10 PM
Post #11 of 83 (2583 views)
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Re: [Freeflysmiley] Low cut-away [In reply to] Can't Post

I wouldn't cutaway below 1000'. If my main had really gone to shit below that and was unlandable/unsurvivable I would put my reserve out too, and deal with the consequences.

I've seen a video of a low cutaway that resulted in a semi inflated reserve on impact. Crazy I wouldnt take my chances below 1000'.


murps2000  (D 23114)

Dec 13, 2004, 8:03 PM
Post #12 of 83 (2557 views)
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Re: [Zoter] Low cut-away [In reply to] Can't Post

I was taught that having a large difference between main and reserve canopy sizes is not recommended.......and is less likely to form a 'stable' flyable 2 out configuration, in comparison to similar sized mains/reserves......
Just a thought based on the clsoing line in your last post ( and the size of your main)
Quote:

Yeah, I'm aware of that school of thought, and I've always thought that it was about the dumbest reason to jump with a small reserve. To base the size of my last ditch canopy on when I might have two out? I honestly don't think my main is going to fly well with any reserve, regardless of size, so I'll take the square footage for times like when I'm knocked out, or I have no choice but to dump it into some trash that I got stuck with at low altitude or I can't get rid of. You may not always be able to flare your reserve.


tnscorcoran  (Student)

Dec 14, 2004, 7:59 AM
Post #13 of 83 (2460 views)
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Re: [flyhi] Low cut-away [In reply to] Can't Post

I have wondered what to do in this scenario: You are under a spinning mal at 2 grand and have an RSL. Do you A) disconnect RSL, cutaway, get stable and go silver or B) cutaway and go silver?
A) loses time but B) may introduce bad line twists into the reserve because of instability. Any ideas?
While here, another scenario - a 2 out at 1 grand. Cutaway Main or not? I have heard that you should ride them both down - however doesn't that risk turning into a downplane?


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Dec 14, 2004, 9:18 AM
Post #14 of 83 (2441 views)
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Re: [tnscorcoran] Low cut-away [In reply to] Can't Post

>You are under a spinning mal at 2 grand and have an RSL. Do you A)
> disconnect RSL, cutaway, get stable and go silver or B) cutaway and go
> silver?

NEVER attempt to disconnect your RSL when you are under a malfunction! It could take the rest of your life to find it; being under a spinning main is not like sitting under a perfectly fine main parachute. And if you do find it, disconnect it, then cut away just as you realize you're at 300 feet? You have just disconnected a device that might have saved your life.

>While here, another scenario - a 2 out at 1 grand. Cutaway Main or not?

I'd go with whatever your FJC instructor taught you on this. Generally I tell people to keep both if you can land them safely. Get rid of the main if it is clear of the reserve and you _can't_ land them safely (i.e. a downplane.) A stable biplane or side-by-side will generally not turn into a downplane unless you mess with it.


diablopilot  (D License)

Dec 14, 2004, 10:56 AM
Post #15 of 83 (2417 views)
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Re: [tnscorcoran] Low cut-away [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
B) may introduce bad line twists into the reserve because of instability.

RSL's do not cause instablility or line twists.

Spinning malfunctions do not cause instability or line twists.


Dougiefresh  (Student)

Dec 14, 2004, 11:23 AM
Post #16 of 83 (2403 views)
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Re: [tnscorcoran] Low cut-away [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
disconnect RSL

What's the point of having an RSL if you're going to disconnect it?Crazy

Why would you even think of touching your RSL during a mal? Just get rid of the crap and get a good canopy over your head, as fast as you can. That's what the RSL is there for, to help you get your reserve out sooner.


steve1  (D 23640)

Dec 14, 2004, 11:44 AM
Post #17 of 83 (2395 views)
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Re: [Freeflysmiley] Low cut-away [In reply to] Can't Post

I knew a couple guys back in the 70's who cut away, too low, and both died. I suspect neither of them realized how low they were when they chopped their para-commanders.

I wonder how many people check their altimeters before cutting away. I've only had a couple cut aways, so I'm no expert, but in both scenarios I briefly glanced at the ground and then cut away without looking at my altimeter. Seconds count and I wonder how many people really take the time to even look at an altimeter when dealing with a malfunction at a lower altitude. In many cases there is time available, but they don't want to waste any, when the adrenaline is pumping, and they immediately cut away.

Both of the fatalities I mentioned above involved taking a relative work load down too low, and then ending up under a malfunction. I've often wondered if I would be smart enough not to cut away in such a situation. Canopy transfers are a subject I don't have any experience with, but I'd imagine it would be hard to do under a spinning canopy, and I really hope I don't end up in such a pickle some day.

I'd appreciate your ideas on this....Steve1


LawnDart21  (D License)

Dec 14, 2004, 1:55 PM
Post #18 of 83 (2375 views)
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Re: [Freeflysmiley] Low cut-away [In reply to] Can't Post

An observation:
Altimeters aren't precise instruments. An alti reading 1000ft could be at 750ft, could be 1250ft. Do you (or I) know what 1000ft looks like, add to that the stress of a malfunction? If a reserve opens in 3 seconds and it takes 500-600 ft to open, what if your alti reads 800ft and your really at 600 ft. Ugh.
My point (I swear there is one here somewhere.....)
is that when speaking of decision altis and lowest cutaway altis please remember that altis are not that accurate. Even the cypres, a computer aided alti is prone to high (or low) fires due to inconsistent pressure readings. Have you ever heard someone have a cypres fire and swear up and down that their alti said 2000ft when they pulled? (It probably did and was really 1500ft)

Just my .02 on the discussion.


Scrumpot  (D License)

Dec 14, 2004, 6:56 PM
Post #19 of 83 (2341 views)
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Re: [tnscorcoran] Low cut-away [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I have wondered what to do in this scenario: You are under a spinning mal at 2 grand and have an RSL.

I have seen several cut-aways from under even wildly spinning mains WITH an RSL. All resulted in a nice, clean and STABLE reserve deployment with no further concerns at all.

Your answer to this one: CHOP and don't worry about it! Deal with your reserve deployment upon it's deployment only AFTER having CORRECTLY executed your EP's in this situation. Which does NOT include disconnecting your RSL! Crazy ---Get this one out of your head.

Blue Skies,
-Grant


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Dec 14, 2004, 8:28 PM
Post #20 of 83 (2328 views)
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Re: [Freeflysmiley] Low cut-away [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Whats the lowest height you can generally cut away at safely ( on an rsl deployment) I'm guessing you want be at least 1000ft?
When you need to chop, chop it and pull right then and there. If you don't, you're leaving the realm of safety and venturing into the survival zone. That's a whole 'nother world,where you've screwed up and you're hoping to live through it all. Your question shouldn't be "How low Safely?" but how low and live through it. That's why I posed the question of "How much altitude does the reserve need?" I've got about 10 cutaways, high speed and low speed, spinning and not, but none below 1000 feet. However, if I screwed up, and was below a grand, and had to chop, I would, but I wouldn't like it much.

Taught to me years ago, a few weeks before my first cutaway on a back mounted reserve, was to put my feet on my butt and arch as I chopped and pulled the reserve. Keeps you head high and stable from just about anything, reducing pilot chute hesitation, and giving the reserve a real good chance to open okay. Talk to your instructor, but from what I've seen, a lot of people ignore body position when they chop. It's probably the most important time in your life to arch. Smile


tdog  (D 28800)

Dec 14, 2004, 10:09 PM
Post #21 of 83 (2320 views)
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Re: [JohnMitchell] Low cut-away [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Talk to your instructor, but from what I've seen, a lot of people ignore body position when they chop. It's probably the most important time in your life to arch.

I just learned something. Thank you... It was not something I had programmed into my mind.


dorbie

Dec 14, 2004, 10:49 PM
Post #22 of 83 (2310 views)
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Re: [diablopilot] Low cut-away [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
#1) The altitude you would be willing to cutaway should be the same RSL, SkyHook, or nothing. Devices fail. Don't rely on them.

A device could fail in theory but a reserve can entangle a main and become a ball of crap in theory too, infact it doesn't seem that improbable.

It's an odds game and a skyhook changes the odds, no I wouldn't plan on relying on it but I might chop lower if I knew I had a skyhook. My life, my decision and my odds of living & dying. When you're down to your last contingency you're taking a chance either way and if it's between relying on a reserve not entangling a spinning main and a skyhook working I'd pick the skyhook, it's just *seems* like better odds of surviving and/or landing uninjured IMHO. Its performance changes the altitude at which I transition to another procedure.

You roll your own dice, but ask yourself in advance what option you'd rather gamble on as you fell through 1000 ft with a low speed mal, SkyHook or two out?

With no Skyhook I'd go straight for the reserve, but I hope I never have to put this to the test.

Procedures and decisions shouldn't ignore equipment that has radically different performance characteristics, it sounds decisive but that's just too dogmatic for me.

Yep I jump an Odyssey, but I might switch for a skyhook, it impresses me a lot.

P.S. If you're jumping multiple rigs with & without then a single procedure/thinking process makes more sense. I'm talking about what I'd do if that were my rig and why.


(This post was edited by dorbie on Dec 14, 2004, 10:56 PM)


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Dec 15, 2004, 1:19 AM
Post #23 of 83 (2289 views)
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Re: [JohnMitchell] Low cut-away [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
That's a whole 'nother world,where you've screwed up and you're hoping to live through it all.

John is right. When you have made the decision that you can not land your main, for what ever reason or altitude, you are no longer sports parachuting. You are trying to save your life.
Remember if you hit 1000 feet at terminal, you have 5 seconds to live. But then 2 of those seconds don't count because then it is to late for anything to work. Think about it, 1000 feet, 120 mph, 3 sec. to live.

Sparky


Freeflysmiley  (C License)

Dec 15, 2004, 2:09 AM
Post #24 of 83 (2285 views)
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Re: [diablopilot] Low cut-away [In reply to] Can't Post

WinkI think you got the wrong idea of my question, I'm not talking about fixed rules, and I know we shouldn't go low.

I wanted advice on a perfect main canopy, with a perfectly safe deployment height, suddenly going to shit at low level. There are three actions, ride it to the groud, chop, or just pull silver ( not necessarrily a canopy transfer not at that stage anyway).

People must have a rough idea of what height, they say who, to low for a chop (for me at least 1000ft) , and may decide to go for fabric overhead, instead and just put out their reserve?


tnscorcoran  (Student)

Dec 15, 2004, 4:59 AM
Post #25 of 83 (2270 views)
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Re: [Dougiefresh] Low cut-away [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
What's the point of having an RSL if you're going to disconnect it?Crazy
In reply to:
I was trying to find out if a spinning main and consequent unstable body position would likely induce a spinning reserve, and if you had altitude to spare if it would be worthwhile to get stable before deploying reserve. Anyway some good resolute answers to that. Thanks for clearing it up.


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