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Vigil Status report

 

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Elisha  (D 31656)

Feb 6, 2006, 4:30 PM
Post #1 of 99 (8945 views)
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Vigil Status report Can't Post

Not to neglect the Vigil's that fired off...

My CYPRES I expires in August and I was thinking of getting a Vigil. This recent incident is giving me second thoughts. Does (whatever the Vigil company is called) have a response about the 4 Vigils that fired?


Premier NWFlyer  (D 29960)

Feb 6, 2006, 5:14 PM
Post #2 of 99 (8835 views)
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Re: [Elisha] Vigil Status report [In reply to] Can't Post

I would imagine that Vigil will not come back with a report immediately; these things take time to 1) send the units in and 2) conduct research. It's only been five days.

Per Bill's original post, the Vigils fired (and the Cypres 1's shut down) under unusual operating conditions (rapid pressurization of the aircraft). The one that fired on the descent in the airplane apparently was switched back on inadvertenly after it was shut off (see post below).

http://www.dropzone.com/...tring=vigil;#2061345

I own a Vigil and I've seen nothing in any of these reports to indicate that I've made a bad decision. I will still continue to use my Vigil. Like you, I'm eager to see the findings (if any) from an investigation, but I am also not expecting that report to be immediate.


Elisha  (D 31656)

Feb 6, 2006, 7:05 PM
Post #3 of 99 (8690 views)
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Re: [NWFlyer] Vigil Status report [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I would imagine that Vigil will not come back with a report immediately; these things take time to 1) send the units in and 2) conduct research. It's only been five days.

Per Bill's original post, the Vigils fired (and the Cypres 1's shut down) under unusual operating conditions (rapid pressurization of the aircraft). The one that fired on the descent in the airplane apparently was switched back on inadvertenly after it was shut off (see post below).

http://www.dropzone.com/...tring=vigil;#2061345

I own a Vigil and I've seen nothing in any of these reports to indicate that I've made a bad decision. I will still continue to use my Vigil. Like you, I'm eager to see the findings (if any) from an investigation, but I am also not expecting that report to be immediate.

Thanks for helping get those "2nd thoughts" out of my head...and someone else sent a PM too.


tdog  (D 28800)

Feb 6, 2006, 7:31 PM
Post #4 of 99 (8672 views)
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Re: [Elisha] Vigil Status report [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Not to neglect the Vigil's that fired off...

My CYPRES I expires in August and I was thinking of getting a Vigil. This recent incident is giving me second thoughts. Does (whatever the Vigil company is called) have a response about the 4 Vigils that fired?

The first thought I had... One time flying back from Eloy - I forgot to turn my cypres off in my rig - and it flew in a Airbus... Nothing happened... I would like to support Vigil - but, what would have happened when I screwed up? Would it have fired when they pressurized the airbus???


Premier NWFlyer  (D 29960)

Feb 6, 2006, 7:46 PM
Post #5 of 99 (8650 views)
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Re: [tdog] Vigil Status report [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The first thought I had... One time flying back from Eloy - I forgot to turn my cypres off in my rig - and it flew in a Airbus... Nothing happened... I would like to support Vigil - but, what would have happened when I screwed up? Would it have fired when they pressurized the airbus???

Remember that both Cypres 1s and Vigils reacted unexpectedly to the unusual operating conditions - the Vigils fired and the Cypres 1s shut down and couldn't be restarted. I imagine both companies are looking at the units in question to understand the operating parameters that caused it.

From Bill's original post:
Quote:
Afterwards we found out that they pressurized the aircraft somewhat erratically (and rapidly) after we exited, causing four Vigils to fire and about 30 Cypres 1's to shut down permanently.

Sounds like it was somehow different from "normal" aircraft pressurization. I can't imagine you're the first skydiver to leave an AAD armed on a commercial flight, yet we don't hear about them firing on commerical flights, at least I haven't.


CSpenceFLY  (D 25252)

Feb 6, 2006, 8:00 PM
Post #6 of 99 (8634 views)
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Re: [tdog] Vigil Status report [In reply to] Can't Post

If you think about it the Vigil did what it was supposed to do.It is possible, if the pressurization controls were set incorrectly,to take the cabin pressure of the aircraft to ground level.The aircraft pressurization system took the Vigil through it firing altitude.As for the Cypress shutting down maybe they thought of that when they wrote the code.

.


tdog  (D 28800)

Feb 6, 2006, 8:18 PM
Post #7 of 99 (8610 views)
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Re: [CSpenceFLY] Vigil Status report [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
If you think about it the Vigil did what it was supposed to do.It is possible, if the pressurization controls were set incorrectly,to take the cabin pressure of the aircraft to ground level.The aircraft pressurization system took the Vigil through it firing altitude.As for the Cypress shutting down maybe they thought of that when they wrote the code.

.

I just read the press release on the http://www.cypres2.com/...etter_feb_2006_c.pdf site.


Quote:
Udon Thani, Thailand over 400 of the
world's best skydivers are undertaking
a huge project: setting a new record by
building a 400-way freefall formation.
On Wednesday February 1st, during
practice jumps, it was necessary for one
of the five C130 Hercules, which are
being provided by the Thai Airforce, to
descend and land - possibly due to some
jumper oxygen problems. During the
descent, the aircraft was extremely
pressurized, which resulted in a cabin
pressure in excess of 1100 millibars - far
more than what can happen in any
normal environment on the earth...

If you read the whole release, the Cypres 1 did exactly what they were supposed to do when they measured unrealistic pressurization - they locked out and said, "send me home to get checked out, I am confused, I just saw something weird." The Cypres 2 have more advanced brains, apparently, and knew they did not have to see the doctor.

However, the Vigils fired. Both the Cypres 1 and 2 did exactly what they were programmed to do... The Vigils? Is there any proof to show that the pressurization would mimic a skydiver in freefall at firing altitude?

If the pressurization was within the parameters of AAD fire - all the AADs (Cypres 1, Cypres 2, Vigils) should have ALL fired, unless there is some documentation to show that the Vigils have different firing parameters and the exposure was within the Vigil parameters and not within the Cypres...

So, I don't believe the Vigils did what it was supposed to do...

I believe Vigils are great products, and some day I might own one... But, clearly there is something wrong with the code. To err is human, humans wrote the code - so now I just want to see them fix it quickly or announce why they fired... Sure, they don't have to - but I don't have to buy one either.Blush


(This post was edited by tdog on Feb 6, 2006, 8:19 PM)


mattjw916  (D License)

Feb 6, 2006, 8:25 PM
Post #8 of 99 (8598 views)
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Re: [CSpenceFLY] Vigil Status report [In reply to] Can't Post

That was basically my take on it as well. I'm sure both the Cypres 1s and Vigils "saw" the pressure changes and reacted to them in the manner they were programmed to do, i.e. fire or shutdown. The fact that each type of AAD reacted in the same way is a _good_ thing to me. That means the activation parameters will be easily duplicated on the bench. Considering their "issues", if you could even call them that, were caused by aircraft pressurization, something the vast majority of skydivers would never encounter, this really is far from cause for concern to the average Cypres 1 or Vigil owner.

I'd hardly stop using my Cypres 1 because of any of this. And to add I doubt any of my friends that have Vigils are going to stop using them either.


(This post was edited by mattjw916 on Feb 6, 2006, 8:27 PM)


mattjw916  (D License)

Feb 6, 2006, 8:29 PM
Post #9 of 99 (8594 views)
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Re: [tdog] Vigil Status report [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
So, I don't believe the Vigils did what it was supposed to do...

Based on what? Rapid pressurization to a computer can mean a high rate of decent... if decent rate >78mph then "fire". Isn't that what an AAD is supposed to do? Wink


tdog  (D 28800)

Feb 6, 2006, 8:52 PM
Post #10 of 99 (8555 views)
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Re: [mattjw916] Vigil Status report [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
So, I don't believe the Vigils did what it was supposed to do...

Based on what? Rapid pressurization to a computer can mean a high rate of decent... if decent rate >78mph then "fire". Isn't that what an AAD is supposed to do? Wink

You are right... I have limited data...

But I am working off the theory that if the pressure change was >78 MPH thru the perceived altitude - then the Vigil should have fired - and all the Cypres should have fired too...

The Vigil in "Pro" mode fires at 840 feet at 78 MPH.

The Cypres "Expert" fires at 750 feet at 78 MPH.

So why did one brand fire and the other report an error code and lock out to say what it saw was completely abnormal after it saw a pressurization well below sea level and well below the calibrated field level? If the Vigils data log can show that it saw freefall like conditions thru 800 feet above the calibrated field elevation, then Vigil wins and Cypres, well, will have some 'splaning to do.

Seeing abnormal data should not equal fire... It should equal no-fire. I rather have my AAD lock out instead of firing when it does not understand what it is seeing.

Just my two cents... You don't have to agree with me.Blush


mattjw916  (D License)

Feb 6, 2006, 9:15 PM
Post #11 of 99 (8531 views)
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Re: [tdog] Vigil Status report [In reply to] Can't Post

It's not that I didn't agree with you, but after perusing the Vigil manual quickly there are about a dozen big warnings regarding decent in a pressurized aircraft, decent below takeoff altitude (which a Vigil might percieve due to "overpressurization"), and many others. If "some" fired or a "few" fired I'd be concerned. Since they "all" fired, I am less concerned if you get my drift. Wink


mslinn  (B License)

Feb 6, 2006, 9:30 PM
Post #12 of 99 (8518 views)
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Re: [tdog] Vigil Status report [In reply to] Can't Post

So why did one brand fire and the other report an error code and lock out to say what it saw was completely abnormal after it saw a pressurization well below sea level and well below the calibrated field level?

---
The Cypres has a minimum activation altitude of 130ft, whereas the Vigil has no minimum activation altitude. So both acted as they were programmed to do.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Feb 7, 2006, 2:12 AM
Post #13 of 99 (8312 views)
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Re: [NWFlyer] Vigil Status report [In reply to] Can't Post

>The one that fired on the descent in the airplane apparently was
>switched back on inadvertenly after it was shut off (see post below).

To clarify - the jumper in question tried 4-5 times to turn it off. Per his report, it turned off, then turned itself back on (or would not 'complete' the turn off cycle.) I imagine Vigil will have a better description of what was happening with the unit.


matthewcline  (D 21585)

Feb 7, 2006, 5:08 AM
Post #14 of 99 (8150 views)
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Re: [billvon] Vigil Status report [In reply to] Can't Post

Another possibility is that while wearing a helmet with O2, gloves and a bit of stress at high altitude the buttom didn't get completely pushed all the way in sequence.

The unit will "blink" and stay on at that point, it is a design on both models, I do beleive, to avoid an accidental shut down buy a bump or two in the plane.

Just a possibility.


Premier NWFlyer  (D 29960)

Feb 7, 2006, 5:49 AM
Post #15 of 99 (8077 views)
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Re: [billvon] Vigil Status report [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
>The one that fired on the descent in the airplane apparently was
>switched back on inadvertenly after it was shut off (see post below).

To clarify - the jumper in question tried 4-5 times to turn it off. Per his report, it turned off, then turned itself back on (or would not 'complete' the turn off cycle.) I imagine Vigil will have a better description of what was happening with the unit.

Thanks for the clarification, Bill. Yeah, that one makes me wonder more than the four fires in the oddly-pressurized aircraft. I'm curious to see Vigil's report on that one.


(This post was edited by NWFlyer on Feb 7, 2006, 5:49 AM)


brianfry713  (D 28665)

Feb 7, 2006, 10:38 AM
Post #16 of 99 (7778 views)
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Re: [tdog] Vigil Status report [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think the actual code that determines whether or not an AAD will fire is as simple as everyone tries to make it seem. I don't think the manufacturers will release the exact details or code of their firing parameters because that is their intellectual property. Some of the things that an AAD has to do is determine the pressure altitude when you've taken off in the aircraft, when you're in freefall and under canopy, and lots of other things that they're not going to give us all the details to.

Don't forget that the Expert Cypres also allows some extra altitude to compensate for the burble of a belly to earth skydiver, and will fire at around 1050 feet in a pressure chamber, if the skydiver is falling back to earth, or inside an aircraft. Also remember that it shuts off below 130 feet. These important general firing parameters are in the manual, but I imagine that there's a lot more complex algorithms taking place inside the CPU of an AAD.


MrBrant  (B License)

Feb 7, 2006, 11:30 AM
Post #17 of 99 (7714 views)
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Re: [tdog] Vigil Status report [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Would it have fired when they pressurized the airbus???

I highly doubt this.

Commercial jets do not climb to 25000 ft, THEN rapidly pressurize. The situation as it happened in the Herc was VERY unusual by conventional (even skydiver conventional) standards.

So I doubt mistakenly leaving a Vigil on in a commercial airliner will cause any problems. (although I don't think anybody would recomend it)


Elisha  (D 31656)

Feb 7, 2006, 2:15 PM
Post #18 of 99 (7569 views)
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Re: Vigil Status report [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow. I didn't think I'd get so many responses to my thread. I was curious since a) I'm thinking of buying a Vigil in the next several months and b) I didn't want those 4 Vigils to feel "left out" of the discussion.Cool.

All these responses make me feel.....so special. Crazy


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Feb 7, 2006, 4:14 PM
Post #19 of 99 (7490 views)
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Re: [MrBrant] Vigil Status report [In reply to] Can't Post

>So I doubt mistakenly leaving a Vigil on in a commercial airliner will cause any problems.

Probably true. Airliners routinely pressurize to a cabin altitude of between 5000 and 8000 feet, so pressurization alone would not cause a problem. If the airliner were descending rapidly it could, of course, cause the same problems you would see in a rapidly descending plane if the AAD was on (which is a good reason to turn it off before shipping/checking it!)


Herckydude  (D License)

Feb 7, 2006, 5:03 PM
Post #20 of 99 (7463 views)
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Re: [mslinn] Vigil Status report [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
So why did one brand fire and the other report an error code and lock out to say what it saw was completely abnormal after it saw a pressurisation well below sea level and well below the calibrated field level?

Normally, an AAD should never know if he gets below sea level. The logic of what happened to me is this: You put on your AAD. At this moment it measures the pressure and says: This is ground level. The standard atmosphere pressure at sea level is 1013.25 hPa or 29.92 inHg. Now, for every 30 ft you climb, you lose, on average, 1 hPa pressure.
If you know what the pressure is on the ground, and that you are lose every 30ft 1hPa of pressure you can start calculating how high you are. You can also calculate your (vertical) speed with this pressure change.
Now, what happens basically during a skydive?
You switch on your AAD: It knows the pressure on the ground. Never put it on in an airplane in flight: if you put it on at 2000 ft then it will think 2000 ft is the ground. So, it will fire your reserve in this case at 2800ft (about) and if at this time you are deploying your main, it will be messy. So, switch it on on the ground, never in the air. Easy.
Ok, the thing is on , and after your little fight with manifest they have advanced you one load and you are climbing. Airpressure decreases, houses become smaller, tandems lose their colour. Now, at a certain moment you have reached your exit altitude.
EXIT EXIT EXIT. Or maybe no drop for some reason... Here's the next thing: If you are freefalling, pressure starts to increase. If you are descending in the aircraft: pressure starts to increase. And if they are pressurising: guess what's happening: Yeah, pressure is increasing. But your poor AAD can NEVER know what is happening!! It can only determine the speed and altitude by the pressure it measures. Pressure is the only thing it has. Sow, if you come at the critical altitude/pressure and if at this moment the speed (pressure increase) is still too fast then again guess what: repack ... Unsure

So, in my opinion, if the people are overpressurising the aircraft, the AAD should allready have fired, because it passes the lower pressure were it will fire sooner than that it goes in overpressure. And Vigil did this, which, in my eyes is great. If you are in the parameters to fire the reserve, it must be fired. That's why we pay all this money for the thing. I think : Vigil is OK.
I also think Cypress is ok: maybe, when they were pressurising the aircraft, the cypress didn't fire because the speed threshold is just slightly higher when it has to fire than it was pressurising at that moment. Whatever. And then, because of that overpressure, the thing started to freak out a little bit.
Summary for me: The Vigils fired, proving they are reliable and that you can thrust it. The Cypresses didn't, for some reason, but I also am convinced that it will work when it has to. They are both OK and there is absolutely no reason to not to buy one of these due to these very exceptional circumstances.

Anyway, about AAD's: pull yourself!!!Wink

Worldteam: do it today!! Good luck people.
Hey, and if they start to pressurise the damn Herc: switch off those AAD's will you plaese Cool


sundevil777  (D License)

Feb 7, 2006, 8:13 PM
Post #21 of 99 (7381 views)
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Re: [Herckydude] Vigil Status report [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
So, switch it on on the ground, never in the air.

Of course this is good advise. However, the cypres will not complete its calibration sequence if the pressure is changing too much. In this way it might prevent a jumper from trying to turn it on in a plane, as long as the plane is climbing sufficiently to make the calibration fail.

I will be optomistic and assume that the Vigil also has similar logic.

Unfortunately the FXC Astra does not have such logic.


vidiot  (D 2431)

Feb 8, 2006, 2:18 AM
Post #22 of 99 (7300 views)
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Re: [Herckydude] Vigil Status report [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
And if they are pressurising: guess what's happening: Yeah, pressure is increasing. But your poor AAD can NEVER know what is happening!! It can only determine the speed and altitude by the pressure it measures. Pressure is the only thing it has.
...
So, in my opinion, if the people are overpressurising the aircraft, the AAD should allready have fired, because it passes the lower pressure were it will fire sooner than that it goes in overpressure.

Do you know how fast the aircraft pressurized? If it pressurized from 20k to -2.5k in 10 secs (just guessing), resulting calculated speeds and accelerations would be in a range never obtainable by a skydiver (e.g. 500mph and 10G - guessing again).

The question is whether the designer of the AAD considered this case to be normal and within in normal operational limits and to fire whenever the unit senses the 'correct' altitude or rather as being an indication of something being wrong with the unit (i.e. the pressure sensor) or the environment (i.e. an aircraft being pressurized too fast :-) and to rather switch the unit off instead of risking to fire in questionable circumstances.

From an engineering point of view, the later is the better design for a fail-safe device.

'Locking' the device in such a case makes sense as well, as you probably want to make sure the unit has to be returned to the factory so you can inspect the questionable unit and retrieve the data logged before it is used again.


(This post was edited by vidiot on Feb 8, 2006, 2:42 AM)


wimdevos

Feb 8, 2006, 2:50 AM
Post #23 of 99 (7261 views)
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Re: [vidiot] Vigil Status report [In reply to] Can't Post

At what altitude the cabin got pressured at that jump (after the start)?


evh  (D License)

Feb 8, 2006, 4:24 AM
Post #24 of 99 (7197 views)
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Re: [Herckydude] Vigil Status report [In reply to] Can't Post

If the unit detects an unrealistic, extremely high descent rate, it might "think" that the pressure sensor is defective.
Perhaps the Cypres designer decided it would be best to shut the unit down permanently in such a case and have the unit checked by the factory, where as the Vigil designers thouht it would be best to open the reserve.


RMURRAY

Feb 8, 2006, 4:37 AM
Post #25 of 99 (7173 views)
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Re: [billvon] Vigil Status report [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
>The one that fired on the descent in the airplane apparently was
>switched back on inadvertenly after it was shut off (see post below).

To clarify - the jumper in question tried 4-5 times to turn it off. Per his report, it turned off, then turned itself back on (or would not 'complete' the turn off cycle.) I imagine Vigil will have a better description of what was happening with the unit.

does anyone use the Astra - I see it advertised but never seen one in person. I like the idea you can turn off easily.

rm


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