Forums: Community: Skydivers with Disabilities:
New BE Right Arm Amputee with Questions

 


DanG  (D 22351)

Jul 22, 2005, 12:54 PM
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New BE Right Arm Amputee with Questions Can't Post

Hello everybody,

I recently lost my right hand in Afghanistan and am recovering at Walter Reed. I am only five weeks out from my injury, so I still have a long way to go. I have not yet started the process of being fitted for a prosthetic.

One of my most important goals is to get back in the air. I know I will have to modify my equipment, reduce my wingloading, and retrain my emergency proceedures. I have a few questions that I hope someone on here can answer:

1. I don't want to go to an SOS system, since I fly video. I was thinking about having both the cutaway handle (probably a soft loop) and the reserve handle on the left MLW. Any opinions?

2. What type of prosthetic do arm apmutees, specifically BE, use for jumping? Do I need to make sure to get a specific type, or will I have to have one modified?

3. Any problems keeping the arm on during freefall, opening, or canopy flight? Any special precautions?

4. What type of wingloadings are people flying? Keep in mind I have over 1400 jumps, with more than 600 at above a 1.6 wing loading.

5. Any other advice specific to rehab or prosthetic training would be appreciated.

I will gladly respond to PM's, but there seems to be a lack of information here for arm amputees, so I think public posts might be useful.

Thanks,

Dan G


BillyVance  (D 18895)

Jul 22, 2005, 8:52 PM
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Re: [DanG] New BE Right Arm Amputee with Questions [In reply to] Can't Post

You'll want to talk to Mike Boland (mx757). He is a left arm amputee, from a motorcycle accident over 20 years ago, before he started skydiving. He jumps with a prosthetic hook. He can help guide you as far as gear mods go and how he handled the disability in the sport.

Maybe you'll want to join the Pieces Of Eight club (amputee skydivers).


ltdiver  (D 20506)

Jul 22, 2005, 9:35 PM
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Re: [BillyVance] New BE Right Arm Amputee with Questions [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Maybe you'll want to join the Pieces Of Eight club (amputee skydivers).

A little history on Pieces of Eight.

ltdiver


Premier TomAiello  (D 22400)
Moderator
Jul 22, 2005, 11:55 PM
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Re: [DanG] New BE Right Arm Amputee with Questions [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
1. I don't want to go to an SOS system, since I fly video. I was thinking about having both the cutaway handle (probably a soft loop) and the reserve handle on the left MLW. Any opinions?
I have done many (more than 20, probably less than 50) cutaways pulling the handle mounted on my right MLW with my left hand. These were all intentional cutaways, but the system seems to work fine for me. I don't really see an advantage in moving it to the left side of the harness. I'd definitely recommend doing some "crossover" practice pulls on the ground before deciding to modify the rig like that.

Your results may vary, of course. Be aware that my experience is all with rigs that have no reserve handle (i.e. nothing on the left MLW at all--I'm deploying the second canopy from the BOC with my right hand).


mx757  (C License)

Jul 23, 2005, 12:12 AM
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Re: [DanG] New BE Right Arm Amputee with Questions [In reply to] Can't Post

 Hello everybody,

I recently lost my right hand in Afghanistan and am recovering at Walter Reed. I am only five weeks out from my injury, so I still have a long way to go. I have not yet started the process of being fitted for a prosthetic.

One of my most important goals is to get back in the air. I know I will have to modify my equipment, reduce my wingloading, and retrain my emergency proceedures. I have a few questions that I hope someone on here can answer:

Hi Dan
I'm Mike Boland and i'm a left BE amputee about 3 inch BE. the more stump you have the easier time you'll have flare the canopy. yes, I agree for NOW reduce your wing loading. later as you get more experiance / skill etc you can increase wing loading. I would suggest 1:1 or less wingloading for now..

1. I don't want to go to an SOS system, since I fly video. I was thinking about having both the cutaway handle (probably a soft loop) and the reserve handle on the left MLW. Any opinions?

I had conventional cutaway on right side and reserve on left side of my rigs and RSL too (on all 3 of my rigs) ) for over 20 years... but after thinking about it over the years...and thinking.. I decided SOS was better set up. All the other arm amputee skydivers that I know of are all jumping SOS set up rigs. You might want to think about that. Why? It seems to be safer set up. When I bought my new Racer I went the SOS route. Glad I did. my Racer SOS is set up so that a 4~5" inch pull only "cutaway" to deploy reserve you have to pull it ALL THE way past12~ 14 inches so you " can "cutaway or you can cutaway and pull" depend on the amount of the pull stroke. You can however have it set up cutaway handle and reserve handle on same side... you'd have to get your rig "custom made" I'm sure Nancy at Jumpshack would be willing to work with you on this. which rig you get SOS or cutaway/reserve is up to you. DO train and train on the rig however. With only one hand you got to be quicker. you can't waste time.

2. What type of prosthetic do arm apmutees, specifically BE, use for jumping? Do I need to make sure to get a specific type, or will I have to have one modified?
I had a " general purpose prothethesic limb for years.it was HEAVY / LIMITED on how much you could flare it too. . but after I bought my new firebolt main canopy I needed to be able to flare it lot more than I ever did on my Falcon F-111 mains. the Elipical mains fly so much faster than the F-111's especally on those NO Wind Days. I had a new prothethic arm made just recently. it made from carbon fiber and tititiam very light weight. weigh's almost nothing... I was supposed to go to a follow up visit today, but I rescheduled for next week...part of the deal with the prosthetic limb is how much stump you have left, in my case left BE amputee I got like 3 inches past elbow.. that's it. it like a fulcum in physics books farther away it is more force you can apply.. Al Krueger is right arm amputee but he cut just past wrist... longer stump = more fulcum = more force. I found couple way to "cheat" and working on few new Idea's short line hooked to hook and grab both left toggele and right toggle in right hand and use left arm hook too.. I haven't jump[ed my idea yet.. just finished it and going test jump my new idea this week...opening high to play... / practic / experiment. I'll figure it out soon.. just that my new Firebolt canopy fly's so much better than my old Falcon but I need more "flare" too... on NO WIND days when wind blowing.. I stand up like everyone else....

3. Any problems keeping the arm on during freefall, opening, or canopy flight? Any special precautions?
NO no problems keeping "arm" on in freefall. I have a harness that keep arm on feels like I'm wearing a "bra" I hate that and soon as I land I can't wait to take the "arm" off.. you never see me wear it unless I'm skydiving. I do more things without "arm
' than I do with it. Al Kruger on other hand you never see him with out his hook, and he does EVERYTHING with it. he freaks me out sometimes...he really does do "everything" with it, as for me I use hook only for skydiving. I dislike wearing the hook / arm I just don't like it... I'm a aircraft mechanic for American Airlines on the Boeing 767 at overhaul base. A private pilot, etc and drive a 2 VW's & Ford Truck with manual transmissions. The only problem you'll have with 1 arm is holding your cold beer and girl at the same time...
4. What type of wingloadings are people flying? Keep in mind I have over 1400 jumps, with more than 600 at above a 1.6 wing loading.
I would suggest you go to a 1:1 wingloading or lower for now and build your skills up. different canopys require different pull forces. two years ago at WFFC I was demo jumping pilots, firebolts / Icarus etc and I kept coming back to firebolt... why? fly'd great and light toggel pressure. What works for me might not work for you....
I don't know where your BE is i.e 3" BE like me? 6" right @ wrist?? it makes a differance. I would suggest right now you keep the wing loading low .8:1 or no more than 1:1 and try it there.. see how much control you have on toggle how much input you can do... how hard is it to pull on the toogle? can you stall the canopy? and get few jumps in at that before moving up to higher wing loading. I'm sure PD or jumpshack would be glad to give you demo canopy's till you can find what works best...

5. Any other advice specific to rehab or prosthetic training would be appreciated.
I made small "loop" about the size of a Nickle right where the lines attch to the steering toggles and soon as I open I put the "hook" through the loop other wise, you'll find your self flaring and soon as you do.. hook came out of toogle instant hook turn.
I will gladly respond to PM's, but there seems to be a lack of information here for arm amputees, so I think public posts might be useful.

feel free to PM me or email me at Mike@mvboland.com

also you might want to contack Chris Lake
Advanced Arm Dynamics of Texas
1451 Empire Central Suite 700
Dallas, Texas 75247

Mike Boland

Thanks,

Dan GTongue


(This post was edited by mx757 on Jul 23, 2005, 12:54 AM)
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DanG  (D 22351)

Jul 31, 2005, 6:45 PM
Post #6 of 8 (1218 views)
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Re: [mx757] New BE Right Arm Amputee with Questions [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for all the great info, everybody.

To answer a few questions, I am about 6" BE, so I have a moderately good lever arm. My elbow mobility is not very good right now, but I'm working on it. A right side cutaway handle would not be reachable by my prosthetic, but hopefully I will get to the point where it will be. We'll see.

Anyway, thanks again, I really appreciate it.

- Dan G


mx757  (C License)

Jul 31, 2005, 6:54 PM
Post #7 of 8 (1217 views)
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Re: [DanG] New BE Right Arm Amputee with Questions [In reply to] Can't Post

I wouldn't bother trying to get cutway with the prothestic... just get rig set up so both cutaway and reserve handle are on same side if you don't want a SOS set up like I have...


Gleb

Aug 15, 2005, 8:45 PM
Post #8 of 8 (1170 views)
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Re: [mx757] New BE Right Arm Amputee with Questions [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd just like to say thank you for your sacrifice. I'm just getting into this sport and I've been very inspired by the hardships many people are going through and continuing this sport. thank you again.



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