Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Horseshoe Malfunction

 


DZBone  (D 14358)

Jul 5, 2001, 9:23 PM
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Horseshoe Malfunction Can't Post

It seems that one of the most catastrophic class of malfunctions gets the least coverage in the emergency procedures.

My guess is that this is not a coincidence.

So, what would YOU do in the case of a horseshoe? Of course, there is a variety of scenarios, which makes matters worse, including the different procedures for pull-out and throw-out deployment systems.

Specifically, when would you cut away, and when wouldn't you? When would you reach for a HOOK KNIFE and why? Under what conditions would you just leave it horseshoed and go for the reserve (other than hard deck)?

And what are the various types anyway? I could only think of these:

- Bag out, pilot chute not (throw-out only)
- Bag out, p/c snagged on container or body part (probably pull-out only)
- bag/lines snagged on container or body part

The "body part" ones specifically give me chills, as cutting away could cause pain and damage, but may also mean survival? Or cause pain/damage and make no difference?

Have any of you experienced a horseshoe mal?





Kirils  (D License)

Jul 6, 2001, 7:44 AM
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I had a horseshoe mal on my 22nd jump. A line caught under the bottom of my container. I was whipped around violently
like a frog in a blender. When I cut away the main pulled
free from the container but the RSL activated deployment of the reserve caused an entanglement with the main. I landed hard but walked away. The top of the main had been ripped from the force. This incident is just one of the reasons I will NEVER use or recommend an RSL.

Skydiving is not a static excercise with discrete predictability...


Grogs  (D 24265)

Jul 6, 2001, 1:50 PM
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Honestly, I think I'd always cutaway a horseshoe. I'm of the opinion that one point of contact is less likely to cause an entanglement than 2. Time and altitude permitting I'd try and clear the problem first, but I doubt the hook knife would ever enter my mind, or if it did I'd really have a chance to use it (unless it's from a premature deployment at 10k or something along those lines). The hook knife would probably come into play if the main and reserve entangled, or the reserve opened with a line over and I had nothing better to do with the rest of my life. Maybe a bit simplistic, but I'd rather have a solution that works for 90% of the problems I'm likely to remember under stress than have 50 different possible solutions and completely brainlock if the problem comes up. I don't use an RSL for the same reason - one less branch in the malfunction tree to worry about.



DZBone  (D 14358)

Jul 6, 2001, 9:23 PM
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I was thinking that the hook knife would be handy to clear a bridle around the wrist, but as you say, time would not likely permit it. You would probably hit a decision altitude before you could make much cutting progress.

Good thinking - forget the knife, focus on efforts that will have a more immediate payoff.

Good point about the streamer vs horseshoe entaglement risk, too.

Thanks, G.

Carl




mgaillar  (B 25118)

Aug 15, 2001, 9:44 AM
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Just thought I would add my two cents here........I am nobody to take advice from since I am as green as they come (working on AFF Cat. C jump), however, just this last weekend I was doing my oral exam with one of my JM's and she asked me what a horseshoe mal was and what I would do about. My AFF Cat. A training taught me to cut-away. not much else was said. So my answer to her was just that...."cut-away and pull the reserve". But she then proceded to tell me why and what else should be done. As was mentioned earlier, hooked at one point is better than hooked at two points, and then she said once the reserve is deployed to try and "rope" in the main as much as possible because it will want to take out the reserve, e.g., wrap it around your legs...stuff under your arms....whatever works to get it out of the way. Naturally this depends on altitude and controllablility of the reserve, I suspect. You also have to attempt to gather the mess and still control your canopy, at least effectively enough to land someplace open and PLF.

Again....just a conversation I had with my JM. I agree that this MAL seems to be one of the more dangerous MAL's I have been trained on, and with the least amount of attention.

Matt



riggerrob  (D 14840)

Aug 15, 2001, 10:17 AM
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Only had one horseshoe type malfunction myself.
It was early in the season. I was wobbling when I tossed my pilotchute. It was a lazy toss to boot! I waited a couple of seconds and nothing happened. So I looked over my shoulder and saw my pilotchute trailing behind me. I traced the bridle with my eyes, concluded that it was wrapped around my chest-mounted altimeter, grabbed the bridle and tossed it a second time. This time my main opened at about 1500!"

Lesson learned: throw that pilotchute all the way out to arm's length!

USPA recommends pulling both the release and reserve ripcords. That way the reserve has less of a chance of entangling with a long skinny mess, as opposed to trying to fight its way past a loop. And besides, most of the time when you take the pressure off the main container, the main falls out anyways. Far better to have your main fall clear.



freeflir29  (D 10000000)

Aug 15, 2001, 10:45 AM
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Yep this is bad news. There's a building in Yuma, Arizona named for Brian Daily. He died fighting a horseshoe. His was caused by a small piece of 550 cord that was tied to his button hole on his 6 pocket BDU pants. The other end attached to a small "Firefly" strobe light. He pitched his main became entangled. He cut away and pulled the reserve to no avail as it became fatally entangled with the reserve. He was found still clutching the offending 550 cord. I think most horseshoes could be prevented by an ounce of prevention. Both on the ground and at deployment time.

"I used to know a girl...She had two pirced nipples and a black tattoo"-Everclear

Clay


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Aug 15, 2001, 1:01 PM
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>Honestly, I think I'd always cutaway a horseshoe. I'm of the opinion that one
>point of contact is less likely to cause an entanglement than 2. Time and
>altitude permitting I'd try and clear the problem first,

I think this is good advice. Reserves will open cleanly 90% of the time even with a PC in tow - AAD testing on the Strong and Vector tandem rigs showed this. After you've gotten your reserve out (or even most of your reserve out) then you have time to start thinking about your hook knife.

I always teach to make one attempt to clear it, then if that doesn't work, cut away and open your reserve. If you discover the horseshoe after pulling at 2500 feet, you'll barely have enough time to do all that and be under a reserve by 1000 feet.

-bill von


weid14  (D 20292)

Aug 15, 2001, 5:01 PM
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If you are around Cross Keys or the Ranch (NY) there is a video of a real live horseshoe -- BOC system, pin gets knocked out. She didnt' even know what was going on, couldn't get down to the formation though. the video guy actaully pulled the PC out. She then ended up with (I think) something around her ankle, got rid of that, had a bag lock, which she got out of, which turned into a ball of spinning mess, which she finally cut away from. I think she covered all the major mals in one opportunity. She even took a little free fall delay before deploying the reserve. True story, it happened at Z-hills around new years. (it all started right out the door of the plane, so there was plenty of altitude to fight with the thing. Weekend before last some students were doing low solos (typical Aff grads, scared of anything less than 13 grand). THe third one pitched, JM looking out the door, we all hear "OH SH__" lot's of heads out the door, apparently he pitched, did some sort of loop (back I think), and had the lines around his ankle, was able to free himself, but I dont think he passed that level.



PhillyKev

Aug 16, 2001, 4:22 AM
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In reply to:
Weekend before last some students were doing low solos (typical Aff grads, scared of anything less than 13 grand). THe third one pitched, JM looking out the door, we all hear "OH SH__" lot's of heads out the door, apparently he pitched, did some sort of loop (back I think), and had the lines around his ankle, was able to free himself, but I dont think he passed that level.
Yeah...Joe D. was supervising those low solos. He said the guy exited, went onto his back and pitched the pc. First the bridle wrapped around his arm, he shook that loose, then the pc and free bag went up between his legs and started deploying. Somehow he twisted/flipped around and it opened into a nice safe main. Could have been ugly.

cielos azules y cerveza fra

-Kevin


Krishan  (D 26361)

Aug 16, 2001, 7:24 AM
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Hell, that happened to me on my first hop n pop with a spring loaded pc. I pulled on my back and saw the pc come up between my legs. Next thing I knew, the canopy was open above my head. I think that this happens fairly often to newbies.....



DZBone  (D 14358)

Aug 23, 2001, 10:02 PM
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In reply to:
I always teach to make one attempt to clear it, then if that doesn't work, cut away and open your reserve. If you discover the horseshoe after pulling at 2500 feet, you'll barely have enough time to do all that and be under a reserve by 1000 feet.
The Oracle has spoken wisely. This is exactly what I was looking for.

Thanks, Bill.



Schroeder  (Student)

Aug 26, 2001, 3:58 PM
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Hey guys
Just saw this and could relate. I was on my first clear and pull, let go of the strut, went into a barrel roll, they taught me to deploy even if unstable. Halfway to inverted, I pitched it out, and the pilot came up between my legs. I saw it, was on my back, and grabbed at it from the bottom, missed, tried a second time, took an extra moment to really get a hold of it, then yanked it back down and out. It caught, flipped me around and opened with a few twists. At the time I was calm, but shit, it does sink in later what really happened. I got in on ground video too. What was supposed to be a 1sec delay turned into 7-ish.
scary indeed.




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