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Falling out of a Harness

 

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migliore  (D 28383)

Nov 2, 2005, 8:02 PM
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Falling out of a Harness Can't Post

There has been a good bit of discussion about how a jumper can fall out of a harness lately. Jan Meyer has an article about it, and PhreeZone used to have a video showing his attempt. I'm honest enough to admit that in my time in the sport I had never heard of this accidentally happening so I never gave it major concern. With the recent tragic loss of a tandem passenger and stories of actual accidents and close-calls that have happened on sport rigs, I thought it might help people in my shoes to actually see how easy it can be. So I made two quick videos that show how one could fall out of either 1) the "head hole" while in a track or while headdown, or 2) the "rear hole" while in a sit.

Background: My rig is second hand and thus doesn't fit me perfect. I am aware that my rig (especially the yoke) is a bit too big for me. I also have lost 30 lbs. since I got it. I have put ~400 jumps on this rig and have never had a problem. In each video, I make the straps very tight, just as I do when I jump. The main canopy has been removed because a fallout of the harness would most likely occur on deployment as the main was inflating (and thus out of the container).

Sitfly Video

Tracking/HeadDown Video


I just thought this might be good for awareness. Please keep all comments constructive.


sdctlc  (D 16437)

Nov 2, 2005, 8:42 PM
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Re: [migliore] Falling out of a Harness [In reply to] Can't Post

WOW! You made that look easy! You did a very nice job puttting them together..

I would have to ask that even though you noted losing weight and the rig not fitting correctly, comparing to the demo given with your current build, how easy do you (or anybody) think that a better fitting set up would come off that easy????? Again that is more of a question and in no way a criticizm of the video's as they were very good..... I woud venture to guess a very high % of jmpers have used or non-fitted gear as theior own currently..

Thanks........

Scott C.


tdog  (D 28800)

Nov 2, 2005, 9:36 PM
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Re: [migliore] Falling out of a Harness [In reply to] Can't Post

I did your very same "head down" video move last night before I saw your video...

If my chest strap was tight, no flip-flop, I simply could not get my shoulder straps over both arms at the same time... (I have wider shoulders than you, but I think my rig fits about the same).

I did your "sitfly" move with the same easy out results (WITH THE CANOPY IN)... Less than 30 seconds from putting the rig on to having it on the floor with the straps just where I jump with them... Now I am a slightly bigger guy so I had to get my knees in my face to do it... Second attempt took me 12 seconds... But, with a little more practice, I think I can get out in less than 10...

And, my rig was custom made for me and fits snug...

Scary, scary, scary...Crazy

But, I have looked at my body position and wondered, if there was actually weight/tension on the straps and main lift web, I don't think I could do it...


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Nov 2, 2005, 9:59 PM
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Re: [sdctlc] Falling out of a Harness [In reply to] Can't Post

Valinda, being a former gymnast, can touch her toes and slide her rig off in seconds. Military harnesses have the saddle strap between the two leg straps to keep you in the rig, no matter what (like ejecting at 400 knots). That just might not have been such a bad idea. I also like belly bands for really holding your rig on securely.


MB38  (A 48618)

Nov 2, 2005, 10:06 PM
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Re: [migliore] Falling out of a Harness [In reply to] Can't Post

I jumped a demo rig that was about 1.5" too long for my torso... and proportionately wider. I'm a skinny guy, but I'm 6'4", so demo rigs are generally a little funny on me.

After a day of jumping, I sat down with the rig still on [no main in container] and it slid right off of my shoulders. I had loosened my chest strap under canopy, so it wouldn't have been that easy in freefall, but I was able to get out of the harness without any significant effort at all with the straps the way I had jumped them.

Needless to say I'll never jump a rig that size again. I suppose I'm lucky all I do is RW at this point.


(This post was edited by MB38 on Nov 2, 2005, 10:08 PM)


airtwardo  (D License)

Nov 3, 2005, 6:27 AM
Post #6 of 116 (10007 views)
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Re: [migliore] Falling out of a Harness [In reply to] Can't Post

Very nice work...
Thanks for taking the time and putting forth the effort to make that up!


Another point I'd like to share...

Back in the mid-80's I too 'fell out the hole' and it was years before sit flying. I was jumping an accuracy canopy that was set up with a 'raper' instead of a bag, and a really small split slider.

It was a great combination for accuracy jumping which usually was a hop n pop...

...but when I took it to terminal the thing opened in a millisecond, shit hammering me every time. It was like hanging the pilot chute on a hook as you went past at 120.

On one RW jump, I tracked-flared-reached & pulled....(Pull-out not throw out) and the next thing I know I hanging almost upside down by my knees in the leg straps. One arm was caught up in the container and webbing because of the wrist mounted Barigo altimeter.

I had gone down through the hole as your sit fly video shows...but it was a belly to earth opening, just a real HARD one!

Fortunately another jumper was close by and followed me down shouting encouragement to 'HANG ON' and telling me where I was heading and what I was about to land on/in.

I did eventually pull myself back up in the harness but it was at 100-200 feet, and only had time to pop the brakes and flare downwind.

We walked back to the packing area, a bit shaken but none the worse for wear, and we all had a discussion about what had happened...someone mentioned I may not have had my chest strap connected, but I did...in fact used it to assist in pulling myself back into the harness...

I repacked and tried to simulate just what had happened...I'm 6'4" but extremely flexible, I simply bent over at the waist and slid the whole rig off..with both canopies in it !

My room mate at the time had a loft and was manufacturing an accuracy rig called "The Force",
the rigs had a solid saddle, with a strap connecting the legstraps together at the back, he told me there was no way one could fall out the hole utilizing one of his rigs....until I put one on and showed him!

It WAS harder to do, but even with the solid saddle I could bend over, shrug my shoulders and 'lose' the rig.


I guess the point I'm trying to make is, even if you don't do sit fly or head down...it may still be possible for ANYONE...under certain less than ideal circumstances to "fall out the hole"


(This post was edited by airtwardo on Nov 3, 2005, 6:29 AM)


Tink1717  (D 12524)

Nov 3, 2005, 8:24 AM
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Re: [migliore] Falling out of a Harness [In reply to] Can't Post

OK, wet blanket time. I watched the videos and thought that you need to consider that the forces involved would only be transmitted through the connection point on the harness and in an essentially symmetrical manner. In your sit video, you were administering the force through the reserve container. In the head down video, you removed the risers one at a time. Neither of these scenarios are likely in the field. Good food for thought though.


migliore  (D 28383)

Nov 3, 2005, 8:51 AM
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Re: [Tink1717] Falling out of a Harness [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
OK, wet blanket time. I watched the videos and thought that you need to consider that the forces involved would only be transmitted through the connection point on the harness and in an essentially symmetrical manner. In your sit video, you were administering the force through the reserve container. In the head down video, you removed the risers one at a time. Neither of these scenarios are likely in the field. Good food for thought though.

I removed the container in those methods because my wife was already asleep and probably wouldn't have been an especially happy participant anyway. Also, I couldn't use both arms at the same time when moving the shoulder straps, but with enough force, they would both come off at the same time.

Under normal circumstances, though, you are correct...the forces applied to the harness by the canopy would be symetric and only applied at the attachment points. This would account for my success in not falling out of the harness for the past 400 jumps. However, the scenarios I demonstrated would most likely happen when things didn't go as planned. Suppose a line snagged or the canopy deployed unevenly or the jumper had poor body position or a premature opening happened or....


Andy9o8  (D License)

Nov 3, 2005, 9:41 AM
Post #9 of 116 (9893 views)
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Re: [JohnMitchell] Falling out of a Harness [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Military harnesses have the saddle strap between the two leg straps to keep you in the rig, no matter what (like ejecting at 400 knots). That just might not have been such a bad idea. I also like belly bands for really holding your rig on securely.

I've been thinking exactly the same thing these past few days reading these threads. Remember the military surplus rigs we jumped as students in the 70's - all rigged up that way. Then sport rigs started using "split saddles", which were all the fashion rage back then, and are now the universal standard. Maybe the next generation of harnesses needs to look a bit more like the previous one...

Clearly, these "holes" need to be designed out. Maybe..(and I'm no rigger..) full saddles...belly bands and rear horizontals...maybe a vertical running from the middle of the full saddle up to the rear horizontal....something like that...just some off-the-top ideas......
...Riggers please chime in....

Edit: BTW, while I’m on a roll here, I’ve never much liked the design of the current generation of chest straps, either. Used to be, you’d snap the two links closed, and it was done. You could still loosen it if you wanted, but you didn't have to undo it to come out of it. Now, the links are gone, and there’s this omnipresent “misrouted chest strap” issue. I wish that could be designed-out into something more user-friendly, too.
...OK, rant over.


(This post was edited by Andy9o8 on Nov 3, 2005, 10:01 AM)


shall555  (D 7231)

Nov 3, 2005, 9:57 AM
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Re: [Andy9o8] Falling out of a Harness [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
...Maybe..(and I'm no rigger..) full saddles...belly bands and rear horizontals...maybe a vertical running from the middle of the full saddle up to the rear horizontal....something like that...just some off-the-top ideas......

Man, I miss the belly band on my old Wonderhog Sprint. Sure, it had the pilot chute pouch on it, but, the harness felt *secure*.

When I first put on a modern rig this past spring, it felt really minimal, compared with what I remembered about my early 80s gear. Just a chest-strap and legstraps make me feel much less "contained."

I'd pay for a well thought-out belly-band and backstrap mod to my new rig, that's for sure.

shall
Cool


airtwardo  (D License)

Nov 3, 2005, 10:16 AM
Post #11 of 116 (9860 views)
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Re: [shall555] Falling out of a Harness [In reply to] Can't Post

Just a thought....

How about diagonal chest 'straps' making an X across the front running from the hip ring to just under the handles?

I'm no rig designer but a similar harness is used in high work for construction, and they're comfortable enough to wear all day.


shall555  (D 7231)

Nov 3, 2005, 10:21 AM
Post #12 of 116 (9851 views)
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Re: [airtwardo] Falling out of a Harness [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Just a thought....

How about diagonal chest 'straps' making an X across the front running from the hip ring to just under the handles?

Just guessin' here (I'm not a rigger, and my TV show was cancelled), but an X-strap configuration might not provide enough tension to counter the spreading forces on the MLW in the event of a head-down opening.

shall
Cool


airtwardo  (D License)

Nov 3, 2005, 10:26 AM
Post #13 of 116 (9847 views)
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Re: [shall555] Falling out of a Harness [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Just a thought....

How about diagonal chest 'straps' making an X across the front running from the hip ring to just under the handles?

Just guessin' here (I'm not a rigger, and my TV show was cancelled), but an X-strap configuration might not provide enough tension to counter the spreading forces on the MLW in the event of a head-down opening.

shall
Cool

Quote:

Good point....


And to make it so, would also make putting the thing on much harder.

Well I know....

We could always put the reserve on the FRONT!Wink

It would be tough to get through something like my old 'Mini-System'....and imagine the thrills THAT could bring to a head down or Hybrid jump!ShockedSly


livendive  (D 21415)

Nov 3, 2005, 10:30 AM
Post #14 of 116 (9842 views)
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Re: [Tink1717] Falling out of a Harness [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
OK, wet blanket time. I watched the videos and thought that you need to consider that the forces involved would only be transmitted through the connection point on the harness and in an essentially symmetrical manner. In your sit video, you were administering the force through the reserve container. In the head down video, you removed the risers one at a time. Neither of these scenarios are likely in the field. Good food for thought though.

In the demonstrations I've done/watched, the sit version works just about as easily with nothing but symmetrical pulling up on the main risers, as would be experienced in a premature opening. Not so sure about the tracking/headdown version.

Blues,
Dave


Reginald  (D 28162)

Nov 3, 2005, 11:02 AM
Post #15 of 116 (9818 views)
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Re: [migliore] Falling out of a Harness [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
My rig is second hand and thus doesn't fit me perfect. I am aware that my rig (especially the yoke) is a bit too big for me. I also have lost 30 lbs. since I got it.

It is very possible to fall out of ill fiting gear. it would be interesting to see the same thing with properly fitting gear.


NickDG  (D 8904)

Nov 3, 2005, 1:19 PM
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Re: [Reginald] Falling out of a Harness [In reply to] Can't Post

In this photo by Karl Eakins there is a modification on this passenger harness to keep this paralyzed jumper's legs together in drogue fall. While this may not be a crotch strap for the reasons we are discussing it does give the idea of how it could work. The crotch strap could be set loose enough so that under canopy the leg straps are still taking the load and the crotch strap would just prevent backing out of the harness.

BTW, on the RWS site in the tandem passenger harness section at http://www.relativeworkshop.com/tech_ssh.html it does say the following with the last line being the operative one:

"The Horizontal Back Strap must be positioned low and securely tightened. Don't forget to snug up the diagonals. After preliminary adjustment, step back and look at your student from every angle. Make sure there are no "gaps" that anyone could squeeze out of, especially in the back."

NickD Smile
BASE 194
Attachments: Strap.jpg (47.5 KB)


RogerRamjet  (D License)

Nov 3, 2005, 2:32 PM
Post #17 of 116 (9706 views)
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Re: [shall555] Falling out of a Harness [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
...Maybe..(and I'm no rigger..) full saddles...belly bands and rear horizontals...maybe a vertical running from the middle of the full saddle up to the rear horizontal....something like that...just some off-the-top ideas......

Man, I miss the belly band on my old Wonderhog Sprint. Sure, it had the pilot chute pouch on it, but, the harness felt *secure*.

When I first put on a modern rig this past spring, it felt really minimal, compared with what I remembered about my early 80s gear. Just a chest-strap and legstraps make me feel much less "contained."

I'd pay for a well thought-out belly-band and backstrap mod to my new rig, that's for sure.

shall
Cool

The original Wonderhog (and all other gear I built) had a lateral band running from the legstrap crossing point through the backpad to the other legstrap crossing point. this band was independent of the belly band which just attached to the container to hold the bottom of it close to your ass. You could not fall out backwards. The lateral band ran across your back just above your hips (about where your belt would be).

I don't know when this particular strap was deleted from modern rigs. The Wonderhog had it, Buchman's Eagle rig had one, and my rigs had one. I'm pretty sure the SST rigs of the same time period had one as well. It was "normal" in other words, split saddles or not.

Edited to add: I have uploaded a picture to my gallery that shows this band on the Wonderhog. As soon as the powers that be approve the image, I will post a link to it. I didn't think I could downrez it enough to attach here and still see the strap clearly.


(This post was edited by RogerRamjet on Nov 3, 2005, 2:34 PM)


steve1  (D 23640)

Nov 3, 2005, 5:15 PM
Post #18 of 116 (9654 views)
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Re: [Andy9o8] Falling out of a Harness [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Military harnesses have the saddle strap between the two leg straps to keep you in the rig, no matter what (like ejecting at 400 knots). That just might not have been such a bad idea. I also like belly bands for really holding your rig on securely.

I've been thinking exactly the same thing these past few days reading these threads. Remember the military surplus rigs we jumped as students in the 70's - all rigged up that way. Then sport rigs started using "split saddles", which were all the fashion rage back then, and are now the universal standard. Maybe the next generation of harnesses needs to look a bit more like the previous one...

Clearly, these "holes" need to be designed out. Maybe..(and I'm no rigger..) full saddles...belly bands and rear horizontals...maybe a vertical running from the middle of the full saddle up to the rear horizontal....something like that...just some off-the-top ideas......
...Riggers please chime in....

Edit: BTW, while I’m on a roll here, I’ve never much liked the design of the current generation of chest straps, either. Used to be, you’d snap the two links closed, and it was done. You could still loosen it if you wanted, but you didn't have to undo it to come out of it. Now, the links are gone, and there’s this omnipresent “misrouted chest strap” issue. I wish that could be designed-out into something more user-friendly, too.
...OK, rant over.


Your post does bring back memories...There was nothing like a big old belly reserve in front, complete with belly band, and a solid saddle on your good ole B-12 harness and container all snugged down tight to let you know there was no falling out of that rig no matter what. (hows that for a run on sentence?)

I remember when split saddles came out and kind of scared some of us. I had a split solid saddle on my Super Pro harness. It was like a split saddle, but had a small strap connecting the two. There was no falling out of that rig either.

If I remember right, even the first pig rigs had a belly band or two across the front to hold you in. I never jumped one, but had lot's of pals who swore by them.

And I know how you feel about the new chest straps. When I first started back I forgot to fasten it up right twice. Luckily I caught it both times in the plane just before jumping. I do miss just snapping my chest strap and then forgetting about it. Now I'm kind of paranoid about it and check it often.

My present rig is a little too big for me. I have to really cinch the chest strap down to keep me in. I worry about my scrawny shoulders slipping out.

I agree, I think it's time for someone to build a safer harness....Steve1


billbooth  (D 3546)

Nov 3, 2005, 6:44 PM
Post #19 of 116 (9622 views)
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Re: [steve1] Falling out of a Harness [In reply to] Can't Post

People don't want "safer" harnesses. Harnesses with belly bands are safer...but people won't buy them. Harnesses without lower harness rings are safer, (because the rings allow the leg straps to rotate forward with almost no resistance, increasing the "hole" size in the back) but "everyone" wants "articulated" harnesses. Larger canopies are safer, but people keep getting smaller and smaller ones. Dacron line is safer because of lower opening shocks (at least 4 jumpers have died because of hard openings in just the last two years on no-stretch lined canopies), but "everyone" still wants microline or Vectran so that their canopy will pack smaller. Large 3-rings are safer, but almost no one wants them because mini rings look "cooler". Non-collapsible pilot chutes and sliders are safer because you can't forget to cock them, but "everyone" has to have a collapsible, to make their tiny canopy with microline go faster, so that they can hit the ground even faster when they "miss" that swoop. In short, I've never seen people choose "safer" gear (with the possible exception of AAD's and RSL's), and I don't think I ever will. As I've said many times before,"Fashion wins out over safety every time".


hookitt  (D License)

Nov 3, 2005, 8:22 PM
Post #20 of 116 (9589 views)
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Re: [billbooth] Falling out of a Harness [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
People don't want "safer" harnesses.

That's because too many options have been made available. For example, if the only option was a fixed harness, that's the harness people would buy.


FrogNog  (C 34484)

Nov 3, 2005, 9:15 PM
Post #21 of 116 (9571 views)
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Re: [billbooth] Falling out of a Harness [In reply to] Can't Post

Don't forget anti-inversion netting, Bill. Cool


FrogNog  (C 34484)

Nov 3, 2005, 9:16 PM
Post #22 of 116 (9568 views)
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Re: [airtwardo] Falling out of a Harness [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Just a thought....

How about diagonal chest 'straps' making an X across the front running from the hip ring to just under the handles?

I'm no rig designer but a similar harness is used in high work for construction, and they're comfortable enough to wear all day.

How big are your breasts? Do the 1" (or wider) straps have to cross between them?

Edit: Oh, to just _below_ the handles. So this would be "cross-my-gut" straps. Wink


(This post was edited by FrogNog on Nov 3, 2005, 9:16 PM)


FrogNog  (C 34484)

Nov 3, 2005, 9:17 PM
Post #23 of 116 (9565 views)
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Re: [NickDG] Falling out of a Harness [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
crotch strap

I believe the politically correct term is "anti-submarine strap".


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Nov 3, 2005, 10:34 PM
Post #24 of 116 (9556 views)
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Re: [hookitt] Falling out of a Harness [In reply to] Can't Post

>For example, if the only option was a fixed harness, that's the harness
>people would buy.

Well, what happens in the market is that if one manufacturer only offered fixed harnesses, everyone would go to another manufacturer. So that behavior is economically discouraged. We're getting exactly what we ask for, in general.


airtwardo  (D License)

Nov 4, 2005, 5:57 AM
Post #25 of 116 (9497 views)
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Re: [FrogNog] Falling out of a Harness [In reply to] Can't Post

How big are your breasts?

Quote:

Small...but 'Perky'!Blush


After giving it some thought, a harness with an "X" would be an absolute BEAR to get in & out of...

I was just throwing out ideas, trying to spark some thought.Wink


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