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Aug 21, 2008, 9:50 AM
Post #76 of 85 (940 views)
Re: [chuteless] Suspensions [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess what I meant to say was I am under the impression that a 28' reserve would hold together at weights and speeds far greater then 160lbs and 110-120-ish knots.

What little info I have on them specifies weight ranges from 180lbs to 295lbs, speeds from 0 to 250 knots, with plotted opening forces at those speeds for pressure altitudes 0-15000 feet.....Durability one would expect in a common ejection parachute....(If you are referencing C9's).

I meant it as a question to you not a statement.

chuteless  (D 41)

Aug 21, 2008, 10:00 AM
Post #77 of 85 (939 views)
Re: [Colson] Suspensions [In reply to] Can't Post

I understand.

However, when a friend of mine packed his main Para Commander up in the pack so it couldn't open, his 28ft reserve split from the top band to the lower band.

I believe the extra weight of the unopened PC, and the weight of the obese jumper (who had broken his leg in 5 places on an earlier jump,)
would likely have torn the upper and/or the lower bands apart, and even with one band gone, he would have died.

I do not think the 28ft C-9 would have brought hiom down safely, and thats what I said at the inquest.

pchapman  (D 1014)

Aug 21, 2008, 4:01 PM
Post #78 of 85 (903 views)
Re: [chuteless] Suspensions [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey Bill, I will have to question you on this one:

In reply to:
I do not think the 28ft C-9 would have brought hiom down safely, and thats what I said at the inquest.

So help me understand this issue from the old days. I don't know the chutes well, but the C-9 sounds like it was a very common military reserve or bailout canopy. At 28', it was a good size, which sounds appropriate for heavier guys. (Although it was a flat circular, so not as low drag as more modern designs.)

Poynter manual 1 shows data for opening the canopy up to 400 kts (although bag deployed and not canopy-first deployment), with opening loads of up to 5400 lbs -- equivalent at least to the Normal not Low Speed category of the era. The weight is not quite clear but may have been around 235 lbs all-up.

So my limited info suggests it would be a standard, beefy canopy to be used, even by hefty guys, while you suggest -- from seeing one bad incident -- that it is a wimpy canopy even for a medium weight guy. (Although while carrying the weight of a totalled main.)

Haven't C-9's been used in ACES II ejection seat systems, something which suggests they aren't too wimpy even if there is complex sequencing and reduction of speed before the canopy is opened?

So I'll have to say:
- How was the C-9 generally regarded back in the day?
- What were the alternatives for big guys? Did anyone realistically have anything better in those days?
- If others didn't like your opinion, why couldn't they refute it in court?
- Are you sure the C-9 was so wimpy, and it wasn't some unusual circumstance that nearly killed your friend (like the fabric catching on something and tearing)?
- How did politics fit into the inquest and the whole question of whether the DZ that equipped the dead student was to be judged as "bad" or "good"?

I'm not disputing that a big guy, who is a student, with existing leg injuries, might well bust himself up again on landing a round reserve.

Overall, my first impression is that I'd also be pretty upset with your testimony about the C-9 being unsafe!

Can you convince me otherwise?

chuteless  (D 41)

Aug 22, 2008, 7:24 AM
Post #79 of 85 (876 views)
Re: [pchapman] Suspensions [In reply to] Can't Post

Peter: First, the guy was so obese that he should never have been allowed to jump anything. I am not just talking "fat"...but obese.

His first jump he broke his leg in 5 places, so if PLF means Parachute Landing Fall, that is when they must have changed it to Possible Leg Fractures.

When he died, his entire body exploded like a bomb, so imagine the total weight of the man, with his PC still packed on his back, and his 28 ft reserve also still packed. I cannot recall his exact weight, but I believe with the main chute still packed, he would have been over 300 pounds.

The dropzones eagerness to take someone's money and risk his life was obvious. His automatic opener didnt work on his 28ft reserve C-9, and although they found the corroded batteries in the field a day later, they gave the DZ the benefit of the doubt that they may have been corroded due to weather overnight.

The C-9 canopies were usually orange and white, and this would have been a military surplus, the dated of manufacture unknown.

Walter Graf, and old friend who weight about as much as anyone would want on a 28 ft modified reserve, hooked his pack closed, ( exactly like te man who died) and his 28 ft reserve (C9) split from the top band to the bottom band.

If either band had broken, he would have died.

The extra weight of the deceased , with main still packed, would be far above what anyone would use in normal circumstances, and I believe that even if his reserve had split like Walter Graf's, he likely still would have died. If either lateral band had broke, he definitely would have died.

If he hadn't been killed and the 28 ft C-9 had got him to earth, he certyainl;y would have been badly injured,and likely not survived. Your reference to him being a " MEDIUM WEIGHT GUY" is not an accurate description of this man. He was OBESE.

I gave my opinion, that in either case, it would NOT have brought him back to earth in a safe, uninjured condition, and most likely having the canopy split as Walter Graf's did, he would have died anyhow.

In my opinion, the DZ owner and the jumpmaster should have been charged with Criminal Negligence causing death.

I do not think of the C-9 as wimpy, but they can only take so much. How long ago the reserve had been rejected from the military is anyone's guess, but it could have even been in legitimate use during World War II.

When I started jumping, I paid $50.00 for my first chute, and all white 28 ft canopy. I don't recall the manufacturers date on it, but I took it home and modified it. I used it a lot ( with many stand up landings )until 1964, when I ordered my first Para Commander.

The alternatives back then might have been a T-10, , but the best alternative was not to drop him at all in his condition. Greed got the best of the DZ operator.

I think putting this obese person out was the first mistake. The second was hooking his Para Commander up so it wouldn't open. The third was giving him an inadequate reserve, most likely with dead batteries to fire the AOD.

I would still jump a C-9 today, but I am not obese, It was a C-9 (orange and white) that I used in terminal ( unsleeved) on both chuteless jumps.

They are a good canopy used under normal condition, and with a man of normal weight.

The deceased was far to heavy to drop with a C-9 in the best of conditions.

The inquest was no ther to judge the DZ as good or bad. They were interested in finding out why he died, and could it have been prevented. I think it could have been, and should have not taking his money and trusting to luck. Their luck ran out that day. The deceased trusted the DZ and they screwed up.

Considering the weight of the man, I don't think the DZ or CSPA would have attempted to justify dropping him , to the court of inquest. They were wrong to have taken his money and practiced total carelessness with his life and I think CSPA knew it.

I hope I have answered all your questions.

Bill Cole D-41

pchapman  (D 1014)

Aug 22, 2008, 7:58 AM
Post #80 of 85 (869 views)
Re: [chuteless] Suspensions [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you for the further explanation of the situation and why you had your opinions.

(As for the "medium weight guy" I didn't mean the heavy student, but was referring to how you said that someone 35 lbs heavier than your lightweight friend might have blown the canopy -- and that would only have been medium weight. No matter.)

I'm still not convinced that your opinion is right, but that's not that big a deal.

The issue gets into knowing more about what the standards were in those days for how heavy students could be, and what reserves the average DZ had for the big boys. People might differ whether there was simply an increased risk of injury, as there always is with extra weight, or whether it was greedy and irresponsible. If the guy had actually pulled his reserve at any time we might have had some answers to the questions...

The part relevant to the thread is of course whether some higher up in the CSPA found you to be an annoying troublemaker, and how that influenced their decisions despite the rules.

skypuppy  (D 347)

Aug 22, 2008, 8:39 AM
Post #81 of 85 (864 views)
Re: [chuteless] Suspensions [In reply to] Can't Post

I based my words on a friend who weight 125 lbs and had done the samething, hooked his own main closed. When he pulled his reserve, it split fromthe topto the bottom. The only thing that saved the man's life was the upper and lower lateral bands that held together.

The weight of the deceased man was another 35 pounds heavier, and I feel the lateral bands would have torn apart on the 28 ft reserve if it had opened.

Bill -- I think the confusion here is coming from the the above quote -- You talk about the guy being obese, but then say he weighed 35 lbs. heavier than your friend, who you say was 125 lbs. That's 160 lbs, not really obese, unless he was really short.

Maybe you meant 225 lbs?

chuteless  (D 41)

Aug 25, 2008, 11:52 AM
Post #82 of 85 (799 views)
Re: [skypuppy] Suspensions [In reply to] Can't Post

If I said my friend was 125 then that was a mistype. He was 185 lbs, and with his chute attached so as not to open, he split the canopy from top to bottom.

I looked up the facts on the deceased that was the subject of the inquest. His name was Howard Francis, age 44, father of 5, and he weighed 240 pounds. without gear. On his first jump,. he broke his leg in 3 places ( not 5 as my memory had told me) and he spent months in the hospital.

About the same time he was killed, there was another jumper also killed ( I believe at Simcoe) and his name was George Wingrove. He weighed 310 pounds, and also exploded when he hit.

I dont recall the equipment data on him, but the Hamilton Spectotor OR the St Catherines Standard newspaper wrote a full page spread titled " Did George Wingrove really have to die"

I do not have a copy of the article, but it covered one full page of the newspaper.

As Peter said, CSPA BOD didnt like what I said, and that was one of their reasons for allowing John Smyth to suspend me on his own initiative.

They expected me to lie on oath, and there is no way.

chuteless  (D 41)

Aug 25, 2008, 11:54 AM
Post #83 of 85 (795 views)
Re: [chuteless] Suspensions [In reply to] Can't Post

YES, I did say 125....instead of 185 pounds. Sorry for the error.

Bill Cole ( at that time 165 pounds)


Walter Graf 185 pounds

Howard Francis 240 pounds

George Wingrove 310 pounds.

(This post was edited by chuteless on Aug 25, 2008, 11:57 AM)


Sep 8, 2008, 6:54 PM
Post #84 of 85 (699 views)
Re: [skypuppy] Suspensions [In reply to] Can't Post

im thinking its better press for Bill if he is banned! Let the ban live!

Thats my opinion, but im truly for what bill desires.

chuteless  (D 41)

Sep 9, 2008, 12:47 PM
Post #85 of 85 (641 views)
Re: [low_pull1] Suspensions [In reply to] Can't Post

What was that all about....did I miss something????

Bill Cole

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