May 30, 2002, 12:57 AM
Post #1 of 5
A guy at my dropzone got hurt on his very first CReW jump last weekend. I have no CReW experience whatsoever, but the description of his mishap made me wonder.
The way it was described to me the middle cells on his canopy did not inflate properly. In spite of other people's attempts to warn him he did not cutaway and use his reserve, causing him to land very hard.
On my canopy, I get closed end-cells frequently, which is easily solved by flaring, but I have never before heard of the center cells staying closed. Can this happen on non-CReW canopies as well? Is it obvious from under canopy that the center cells did not inflate fully? Is there no other solution for this problem then to use the reserve?
I'm not sure if this is what happened by any means, but I'm going to take a guess. Many CRW canopies have a retract system which retracts the pilot chute to the center of the canopy so it doesn't trail behind to get tangled.
The way most work is that there are 3 rings (sometimes 4), one on the center cell and one on both the next cells over. If the retrack system wasn't checked to make sure it was clear when packing, i.e the line ran cleanly between the 3 rings, sometimes they'll end up knotted. In this case, there isn't enough length of bridle to allow the center cells to fully inflate, as the bridle is keeping them from widening completely out.
Lesson: Always check your retract system when packing.