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PC in tow, cutaway or no cutaway?

 

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Poll: PC in tow, cutaway or no cutaway?
Cut away first, then pull reserve 227 / 66%
Pull reserve immediately, no cutaway 117 / 34%
344 total votes
 
RTB  (D 582)

Dec 23, 2002, 5:22 AM
Post #1 of 187 (6127 views)
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PC in tow, cutaway or no cutaway? Can't Post

What would you do if you have a pilot chute in tow?
The normal procedure I believe is to cut away first, but the risk of having the main risers or coming loose and interfering with the reserve could be potentially very dangerous.
If the main is released from the three rings, chances are you will not be able to reach it.
What would you do and why?

This poll was made after reading the post main/reserve entanglement in the Incident forum.


BPO  (D 87411)

Dec 23, 2002, 5:56 AM
Post #2 of 187 (6014 views)
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Re: [RTB] PC in tow, cutaway or no cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

Disclaimer.. I know nothing... Tongue

cut away, then pull reserve.

when the reserve is out of the container, the main pin will have a bigger chance of getting loose enough to activate the main canopy.. and that is something I'd rather avoid..

I'm sure this discussion has been on these forums one more than one occasion, and there are enough (valid) motivations for either action. Most important is to do (whatever action you take) what you plan to do and do it quickly!

Blue skies!


Sonic  (B 102345)

Dec 23, 2002, 5:59 AM
Post #3 of 187 (6010 views)
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Re: [RTB] PC in tow, cutaway or no cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

Cutaway first, mainly cos it keeps the procedure the same - I don't want to be thinking "do I chop it first or not" while screaming through 1500 foot Wink


fudd  (C License)

Dec 23, 2002, 6:20 AM
Post #4 of 187 (5990 views)
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Re: [RTB] PC in tow, cutaway or no cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

Had a pc in tow and I cut away first.
Acted on instinct and believe I did the right thing. At least I'm here to talk about it Shocked


parachutist  (D 25468)

Dec 23, 2002, 6:45 AM
Post #5 of 187 (5981 views)
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Re: [RTB] PC in tow, cutaway or no cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

This poll was made after reading the post main/reserve entanglement in the Incident forum.

There is another option <only use this method if you have sufficient altitude to screw around.>

Reach back, grab the bridle that's trailing behind you & give it a solid yank to try and dislodge the pin, release bridle immediately after yank. If the pin came out then great & if not then pull cutaway followed by reserve.

This cleared a PC in tow that I had once. I was @ 12,000 ft doing a hop & pop so I had plenty of time. The PC was trailing because the bridle was short. I had thrown out the PC and it just dragged around behind me at full extention, but since it was catching my burble it didn't have enough pressure to pull the pin. If you're low when you realize you have a PC in tow then go directly to emergency procedure. Shocked

Chris


markbaur  (D 6108)

Dec 23, 2002, 7:45 AM
Post #6 of 187 (5938 views)
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Re: [RTB] PC in tow, cutaway or no cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

Most of the time, riser covers and the webbing "set" at the 3-ring will keep the risers from releasing in a no-tension cut away.

I'd argue that the best general procedure is cut away, then pull reserve. This procedure works in almost all situations, and extra time spent cutting away when you don't need to is balanced by the reduced time needed to analyze the malfunction.

Make the decision tree short. One pull-time procedure, executed well:
Step 1. Pull a ripcord -- preferably the main, but reserve if necessary.
Step 2. If you don't like the result, cut away and pull reserve.

Mark


(This post was edited by markbaur on Dec 23, 2002, 9:16 AM)


murrays  (C 1285)

Dec 23, 2002, 7:51 AM
Post #7 of 187 (5933 views)
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Re: [BPO] PC in tow, cutaway or no cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

I can see the action of pulling back and yanking on the bridle to be very bad _if_ jumping a ROL throwout. I know there aren't many people still jumping them but pulling on a bridle that is misrouted under the harness or leg strap may have the undesirable effect of opening the main container, having the main come out and creating a huge mess that can't be fully released.

I've always jumped a pullout which I liked because it removed the possibility of a misrouted bridle but I have always thought that opening your reserve without pulling the cutaway handle was the accepted wisdom for a pc in tow.

Murray


grega  (D 100020)

Dec 23, 2002, 7:52 AM
Post #8 of 187 (5929 views)
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Re: [RTB] PC in tow, cutaway or no cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

i'd definetely cut away first and then deploy the reserve. of course if i'd have enough altitude i'd try to rich the bridle and open the container by pulling the bridle as mentioned eralier.
If you don't cutaway before pulling the reserve the main canopy could open the same time you pulled the reserve. That way you can have both canopies opening at the same time. In worst case scenario they could entangle. And i can't think of worse case scenario than both canopies opened and entangled Unsure


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Dec 23, 2002, 7:53 AM
Post #9 of 187 (5925 views)
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Re: [RTB] PC in tow, cutaway or no cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

"... the risk of having the main risers or coming loose and interfering with the reserve could be potentially very dangerous."

I thought we reduced this risk in the late 1970s with Velcro risers keeper straps. Then Velcro riser covers were introduced in the early 1980s. Finally, tuck tab riser covers were introduced in the late 1980s. All the manufacturers have been steadily improving their tuck tabs since then.
The chances of a cutaway main riser interferring with a reserve deployment are pretty slim these days.
There is a much higher risk that the main will start to deploy when the reserve container emptys. The last thing I want is two canopies fighting for air.


SkySlut  (D License)

Dec 23, 2002, 7:59 AM
Post #10 of 187 (5921 views)
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Re: [RTB] PC in tow, cutaway or no cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

I had a PC in tow once and I put my hands on both handles and then started beating the hell out of my container with my elbows. It worked and I could also keep stable, keep a visual reference on my altitude, and avoid the bridle wrapping around my arm by attempting to grab it & pull it out. If that method didnt work, I would have chopped and gone for the reserve. Anyways, its important to realize not to mess with this one too long...you are at terminal for the whole time! This mal will wake you up really quick on the first load on a sunday morning!!!


CanEHdian  (B 4418)

Dec 23, 2002, 8:38 AM
Post #11 of 187 (5894 views)
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Re: [SkySlut] PC in tow, cutaway or no cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

Excellent info.

Cheers,
CanEHdian


councilman24  (D 8631)

Dec 23, 2002, 10:49 AM
Post #12 of 187 (5851 views)
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Re: [RTB] PC in tow, cutaway or no cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

If I had cut away first from my PC in tow I'd be dead. Remember, you've thrown out, waited for deployment, checked to see what's going on, recognized the problem, maye checked altitude, and looked for handles. And your still in freefall.

On 2000' demo exit I had a PC in tow. After taking 4 sec to ensure stability after an awkward exit, throwing out, etc listed above, I pulled my reserve directly. I had both canopies opening above my head as I went into the trees. If I had taken the time to cutaway I wouldn't have made it. I think it was during the PD two square out study they tried to get them to entangle during deployment and failed all but once. I think I'd rather not have the entire main free to wrap around a reserve bag, lines or canopy. At least if it's still attached it's trying to inflate and separate itself from the reserve.

We had a transient jumper from England stop by to make a jump. He had about 80 jumps and didn't own his own rig. He was thoroughly checked out and the gear was familiar to him. He went in. In helping the state police investigate the incident, I determine there was nothing that should have prevented him from opening the main or reserve. The only handle missing and never found (after two searches) was the cutaway handle. No one watched him on his solo freefall. In reviewing his log book he had been trying some freestyle manuvers and losing stability. There was no indication of suicide. What I believe happened, and there is no way of knowing for sure, was he tried freestyle manuvers again, maybe lost stability but certainly lost altitude awareness, realized he was low, decided to open his reserve, and resorted to his one method fits all reserve procedure of cutting away and pulling his reserve. He spent the rest of his life pulling the only handle that wouldn't open a parachute. (No AAD was installed.)

Yes, this requires two procedures. But I've had two procedures since my initial training in 1978. Total (and I include PC in tow) pull reserve, partial, cutaway and pull reserve. These two incidents, one happening to me and one I investigated, still lead me to conclude with a PC in tow you better get something out, then worry about releasing your main if necessary.

Sorry for the downer post but wanted to explain my reasons for my opinion.


falxori  (D License)

Dec 23, 2002, 11:06 AM
Post #13 of 187 (5846 views)
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Re: [Sonic] PC in tow, cutaway or no cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

we can (and do) debate on the action needed when we have PC in tow.

i just don't like the argument of "one procedure is easier remembered"
there are malfunctions that requires pulling the reserve and not cutaway first (like hard pull, or handle missing).

i go with: if the container was opened --> chop
if not (including pc in tow, cant find the damn handle etc.)--> pull silver.
O


JohanW  (D 86318)

Dec 23, 2002, 11:32 AM
Post #14 of 187 (5837 views)
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Re: [councilman24][falxori] PC in tow, cutaway or no cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

[councilman] You consider a PC in tow a total. I don't. It's a PC in tow, and my main may deploy anytime. Or it may not.
[falxori] With a PC in tow, your container is as closed as Schr÷dinger's cat is alive.

On a more or less normal jump, I have from my hard deck down to 1000' to pull two handles. Below 1000', anything over my head is a bonus, and I'd go straight to silver as well. That's what I was taught, and our training is obviously different.

[councilman exits at 2000' at a demo] This situation is sufficiently around normal procedures that it would warrant other-than-normal procedures to deal with a mal. There's a reason why demoes are to be performed by highly experienced jumpers. You reacted to your situation adequately, you lived to tell the tale, but I do not consider it a reason to immediately deploy the reserve under other circumstances.

The 1000' reserve deck, the 2000' demo exit and the transient freestyler from England all underline the prime importance of altitude awareness.


Hooknswoop  (D License)

Dec 23, 2002, 11:38 AM
Post #15 of 187 (5834 views)
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Re: [falxori] PC in tow, cutaway or no cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
i just don't like the argument of "one procedure is easier remembered"
there are malfunctions that requires pulling the reserve and not cutaway first (like hard pull, or handle missing).

A hard pull or missing handle does not "require" not cutting away. If you have a hard pull, cutaway and then pull your reserve, what difference does it make? The reserve will open and you will land.

Councilman- getting out at 2000 ft unstable was the second mistake. The first was not preventing the PC in tow, they are preventable. As for the PD/Army study, that was done w/ large, student-type mains and reserves. Not applicicable to small-small, and small-large mains and reserves.

Personally, I would cutaway from a PC in tow. I do not want to find out if my VX-60 and MR-109-M would entangle or not.

Hook


councilman24  (D 8631)

Dec 23, 2002, 11:59 AM
Post #16 of 187 (5821 views)
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Re: [Hooknswoop] PC in tow, cutaway or no cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hook

I didn't say I didn't learn anything. And the point about the dual study of entanglement was during deployment, not after opening with highperformance canopies. They tried to deploy simultaneously and couldn't get them to interfer before opening. My point, which is still valid, is that at 2000' (or 3000' pulling higher) at terminal (and I wasn't) IF you have a PC in tow, you don't have much time to waste pulling a handle that doesn't open a parachute. BTW this was in 1987 before many of the improvements in current gear. Your situation with a 60 may add a different spin.Wink


Hooknswoop  (D License)

Dec 23, 2002, 12:17 PM
Post #17 of 187 (5803 views)
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Re: [councilman24] PC in tow, cutaway or no cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

Blush Oops, sorry council, I guess I should slow down.

True, you don't have a lot of time, but if you don't have enought ime, you are pulling too low. If you discover you have a hores-shoe mal at pull time and can't get the PC out of the BOC, you have to cutaway and pull the reserve. So if you are so low that you don't have time to attempt to pull the PC, cutaway before pulling the reserve, you should pull higher.

Hook
With today's high performance canopiues, not cutting away may create a larger problem than cutting away from a PC in tow.


Kirils  (D License)

Dec 23, 2002, 1:19 PM
Post #18 of 187 (5783 views)
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Re: [RTB] PC in tow, cutaway or no cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

It was my first mal. I cracked the side of the container with my elbow and the bag popped out spinning with a partial canopy deployment.. I chopped and had a main/reserve entanglement.
NEXT TIME... I will spread my legs and do a forward flip and catch the PC between my legs.


falxori  (D License)

Dec 23, 2002, 1:28 PM
Post #19 of 187 (5776 views)
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Re: [JohanW] [falxori] PC in tow, cutaway or no cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
With a PC in tow, your container is as closed as Schr÷dinger's cat is alive

nice analogy, but from what i've learned, if the container is opened and the bag is out, its a baglock and no longer a pc in tow.
will i be able to know ?
unlike the poor cat, this mess is on my back, not locked in a lead box, so i hope i'll feel it.


JohanW  (D 86318)

Dec 23, 2002, 1:52 PM
Post #20 of 187 (5767 views)
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Re: [falxori] [falxori] PC in tow, cutaway or no cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

The bag may not lock. And do you have the time to react to what is or is not on your back?

When having a high speed mal, these become very serious questions I'd rather ponder on the ground.


sweeney  (D 26032)

Dec 23, 2002, 4:39 PM
Post #21 of 187 (5713 views)
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Re: [Kirils] PC in tow, cutaway or no cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
NEXT TIME... I will spread my legs and do a forward flip and catch the PC between my legs.

Are you serious?


RTB  (D 582)

Dec 23, 2002, 4:43 PM
Post #22 of 187 (5711 views)
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Re: [riggerrob] PC in tow, cutaway or no cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

"I thought we reduced this risk in the late 1970s with Velcro risers keeper straps. Then Velcro riser covers were introduced in the early 1980s. Finally, tuck tab riser covers were introduced in the late 1980s"

If the reserve is open or opening the reserve risers will also open the tuck tab riser covers.
Most likely the set in the three rings will keep them from coming lose, but I'm also considering relative workshops recommendation for tandem masters to not cut if the release has not been made. Just because of the risk for the main risers entangling.
And as someone else posted, if you cant reach the entangling main it could be an even bigger problem than if they are both still attached.


councilman24  (D 8631)

Dec 23, 2002, 5:34 PM
Post #23 of 187 (5698 views)
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Re: [Hooknswoop] PC in tow, cutaway or no cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
[
True, you don't have a lot of time, but if you don't have enought ime, you are pulling too low. If you discover you have a hores-shoe mal at pull time and can't get the PC out of the BOC, you have to cutaway and pull the reserve. So if you are so low that you don't have time to attempt to pull the PC, cutaway before pulling the reserve, you should pull higher.

Which is why I don't agree with minimum PACK opening at 2000' for D license. One of the more positive things about newer jumpers is their desire to pull higher and their desire to have an AAD. But, being scared of a 4000' hop and pop, let alone a 2000' exit, or doesn't help. Along with many not knowing much about or wanting to learn about their gear, (including packing their mainUnimpressed). Maybe one procedure is better for some. I always give both procedures to transition students, tell them why I have my opinion, and tell them to decide and practice on the ground. Of course in the early days the theoretical procedure was to roll on you back, pull in the PC (which is creating 150lbs of drag), roll back and fire your reserve. I always figured this was just so you didn't see the trees coming, like I did.Wink

This debate is a old as throwout PC's, and is a personal decision that each of us has to make, hopefully before we need to act on it. It's also complicated by the canopies that take 700+ ft' to open. (If you don't have to check your shorts, it opened too slow.Wink) Of course I'm an inch shorter than I used to be.Unsure

Ripcords forerver!!!WinkCool Just kidding.

Blue skies,

Terry


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Dec 24, 2002, 8:25 AM
Post #24 of 187 (5615 views)
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Re: [RTB] PC in tow, cutaway or no cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
"I thought we reduced this risk in the late 1970s with Velcro rises keeper straps. Then Velcro riser covers were introduced in the early 1980s. Finally, tuck tab riser covers were introduced in the late 1980s"

"If the reserve is open or opening the reserve risers will also open the tuck tab riser covers.
Most likely the set in the three rings will keep them from coming lose, but I'm also considering relative workshops recommendation for tandem masters to not cut if the release has not been made. Just because of the risk for the main risers entangling.
And as someone else posted, if you cant reach the entangling main it could be an even bigger problem than if they are both still attached.
"

If the reserve risers pull the main riser cover tuck tabs open as they deploy the reserve, so what? Once the reserve has gotten past riser stretch, it is almost impossible for a late-deploying main to interferr with reserve inflation.


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Dec 24, 2002, 8:29 AM
Post #25 of 187 (5614 views)
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Re: [riggerrob] PC in tow, cutaway or no cutaway? [In reply to] Can't Post

Folks, let's keep our terminology straight here.
A bag lock is vastly different than a container lock.
A bag lock usually has the pilotchute, bridle and most of the lines extended.
A container lock may or may not have a pilotchute out (depending upon type of system), but the d-bag is still firmly lodged on your bag and the side flaps are still closed.


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