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Name that Malfunction!

 

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ccq  (D 23345)

Nov 18, 2008, 9:59 AM
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Name that Malfunction! Can't Post

Hey Gang-

So, I finally had a cutaway a couple of weeks ago after 11 years and 3400 skydives. Yes, I took care of my rigger (thanks, Vic!) and have a full case of cold Lang ready to share with the DZ this weekend. On to more important matters: what happened?

We have looked at all of the evidence and have some pretty good theories, but I wanted to share it as a learning exercise. I've attached six photos of the relevant pieces of equipment.

Equipment specs:
Main - Velocity 111, loaded at 2.2, HMA lines
Harness/Container - Wings EXT, 24" risers
Reserve - PD143
Helmet - Bonehead, circa 1999

My narrative on the events: a normal freefly skydive with a long spot had us breaking off and pulling high (good news). I waved and threw out the pilot chute, noticed a slight hesitation and then got stood up. I immediately knew something was wrong - it felt like I was about to go into fairly serious line twists. One half of the canopy was opening much more quickly than the other. When you jump a highly loaded cross-braced parachute, you occasionally get the "I'm about to go for a ride" opening sequence - this one was no different or more extreme.

At this point, things started to deteriorate fairly rapidly. The snivel took longer than usual, maybe two extra seconds. As I looked up, I could clearly see a line group coming across my field of view from the top right to lower left - uh oh. I decided to look back at the horizon and let things sort themselves out which they did rather quickly when the slider came down. At this point, the parachute started to spin a bit, but not too aggressively. I grabbed some risers to get the thing under control and was able to stop it from taking off completely. However, a quick glance up (here's where I wish I had a photographic memory) revealed what I shall term "all badness" with line groups where they shouldn't be. It was clear I wasn't going to land this parachute and it was clear I wasn't going to fix it. I said out loud: "Ok, here we go!" and started pulling handles. In between the time I let go of my risers and had my cutaway pad peeled from the velcro (probably 1.5 seconds), the beast took off and started spinning at a rapidly accelerating pace. Chink! Normal cutaway, and with altitude in the bank, I elected to get stable via 3/4 of a backflip and had a perfect on-heading opening of my PD143. I'd estimate I threw out the pilot chute at 4,000 feet and was saddled out under my reserve at 2,700, with the sequence taking maybe 12 seconds from start to finish.

I'll leave it at that. Now, look at the photos and tell me what happened with the main during the opening sequence!

All in all, a very standard cutaway after a moderately unusual malfunction.

I did keep my handles and get all of my gear back, but the risers and helmet are grievously wounded. Not a cheap skydive!

The photos are of the right risers, FYI.

Yes, it was packed by a packer, and it was only his fifth pack job for me. Yes, he is relatively new, but does have a fair amount of experience including packing other cross-braced parachutes. No, he no longer packs for me.

Cheers,
--Q
Attachments: Risers1.jpg (84.6 KB)
  Risers2.jpg (32.2 KB)
  Risers3.jpg (34.5 KB)
  Helmet1.jpg (78.6 KB)
  Helmet2.jpg (52.5 KB)
  Helmet3.jpg (43.4 KB)


jacketsdb23  (D 29802)

Nov 18, 2008, 10:19 AM
Post #2 of 77 (4292 views)
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Re: [ccq] Name that Malfunction! [In reply to] Can't Post

Q - congrats!

I was there when it happened but wasn't part of the discussion of what went wrong. I heard the term step-through thrown out but the pictures and description wouldn't support a "standard" step through. Almost sounds like a half step through. Like the harness was flipped between the front and back of one side of the risers. How this wouldn't be caught during packing I haven't a clue.

Close?


(This post was edited by jacketsdb23 on Nov 18, 2008, 10:28 AM)


mrbiceps  (D License)

Nov 18, 2008, 10:35 AM
Post #3 of 77 (4266 views)
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Re: [jacketsdb23] Name that Malfunction! [In reply to] Can't Post

i have only packed 40 canopies in my life. But at least i know how not to pack a step through. If i paid a packer and he packed me a step through i would walk up to him and punch him in the bloody head. plus he would be paying for anything that i lost during the cutaway. To pay a professional packer who doesnt pick up a step through is a absolute joke.


VTmotoMike08  (D 30399)

Nov 18, 2008, 10:55 AM
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Re: [mrbiceps] Name that Malfunction! [In reply to] Can't Post

Said truly like someone who has yet to pack his first malfunctionWink
Pack long enough, and you will pack a mal too. Maybe it will be for yourself, maybe it will be for someone else. We will see if you still feel the same way after that.

Try to find a packer who will sign a contract saying he will replace your stuff if you chop it. You will be packing for yourself foreverLaugh (not a bad thing)


piisfish

Nov 18, 2008, 11:01 AM
Post #5 of 77 (4229 views)
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Re: [ccq] Name that Malfunction! [In reply to] Can't Post

did you have the "main closing flap" modification ?

possible a line/group/riser snagged the flap...

please inspect your pin protection main flap.


jsaxton  (D 26818)

Nov 18, 2008, 11:03 AM
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Re: [mrbiceps] Name that Malfunction! [In reply to] Can't Post

Dude, you have a serious anger problem!


EXTremeWade  (D 29835)

Nov 18, 2008, 11:16 AM
Post #7 of 77 (4198 views)
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Re: [piisfish] Name that Malfunction! [In reply to] Can't Post

well, this may be all worng, but maybe when your riser hit your helmet, it tore it some. That helmet looked like it had a snag point on that "tightener" looking aparatus. Is that close? If it did snag it, then maybe there was un-even riser stuff going on, and hence the spinning, but then I would wonder, if it hit that hard to rip the damn riser, then your neck would be sore, or broken...I dont know..


mrbiceps  (D License)

Nov 18, 2008, 11:17 AM
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Re: [jsaxton] Name that Malfunction! [In reply to] Can't Post

Packing your own malfunction because you did a dodgie pack is one thing BUT paying a "professional" packer who is to lazy to do a simple line check is something totally different. If they couldnt be bothered to do their job properly and they endanger my life i think that is totally unforgivable. Fair enough if they did the best pack job they could do and ended up packing a mal thats tough luck and i wouldnt have a go at them.
Really its not that hard to pack a good canopy, there are really only a few basic things u have to do to get it all true and straight and then shove it in the bag.
Am i on my own here ??
Or is anyone with me?


grimmie  (D 18890)

Nov 18, 2008, 11:22 AM
Post #9 of 77 (4180 views)
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Re: [ccq] Name that Malfunction! [In reply to] Can't Post

I had a pc hesitation once, it pulled the closing pin but stayed in the burble a bit. The lines started coming off of the D bag and the pc slipped through a couple of lines. It finally deployed after a couple of seconds into a nice spin-O-rama with a half hitched pc around some lines. This was the very early days of collapseable pc's and I probably didn't check it before the jump. It was a nice soft opening into a violent spin. Very strange. I shortened my closing loop and checked my pc before every jump after my reserve ride!
Shall we discuss this more over rum in Belize?Cool
Glad you're OK and didn't knock your block off!


g2gjump  (B License)

Nov 18, 2008, 11:38 AM
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Re: [mrbiceps] Name that Malfunction! [In reply to] Can't Post

Even if you are the most meticulous packer in the world, shit can still go wrong(line overs, nasty off heading openings, etc) Some off these things can be also attributed to the jumper(bad body position).

Recently, I was packing for a guy and one of his openings separated his stabilizer from his end cell.

As it turns out, opening in a track isn't the best body position to open your parachute Smile


jakee  (C License)

Nov 18, 2008, 12:20 PM
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Re: [g2gjump] Name that Malfunction! [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
As it turns out, opening in a track dive isn't the best body position to open your parachute

Wink


phoenixlpr  (D 3049)

Nov 18, 2008, 1:27 PM
Post #12 of 77 (4079 views)
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Re: [mrbiceps] Name that Malfunction! [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
i have only packed 40 canopies in my life. But at least i know how not to pack a step through. If i paid a packer and he packed me a step through i would walk up to him and punch him in the bloody head. plus he would be paying for anything that i lost during the cutaway. To pay a professional packer who doesnt pick up a step through is a absolute joke.
Wow! Your lazy ass expect some liability for a fast $5 packjob? Dream on!


millertime24  (C 38793)

Nov 18, 2008, 1:42 PM
Post #13 of 77 (4063 views)
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Re: [phoenixlpr] Name that Malfunction! [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
i have only packed 40 canopies in my life. But at least i know how not to pack a step through. If i paid a packer and he packed me a step through i would walk up to him and punch him in the bloody head. plus he would be paying for anything that i lost during the cutaway. To pay a professional packer who doesnt pick up a step through is a absolute joke.
Wow! Your lazy ass expect some liability for a fast $5 packjob? Dream on!

Ive heard many a packer say "you pay for the packjob not the opening", which is why I will nearly always pack my own rig.


phoenixlpr  (D 3049)

Nov 18, 2008, 1:49 PM
Post #14 of 77 (4053 views)
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Re: [millertime24] Name that Malfunction! [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Ive heard many a packer say "you pay for the packjob not the opening", which is why I will nearly always pack my own rig.
I pack for others time to time. They put their trust in my hand. If you don't trust a packer than don't use it. Do not forget they allow you to rest or take that load which you could not make by yourself.


MakeItHappen

Nov 18, 2008, 2:01 PM
Post #15 of 77 (4040 views)
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Re: [ccq] Name that Malfunction! [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
.... a normal freefly skydive .....

If this was a normal freefly jump why didn't you have a camera on to take pics? Wink


.


Halfpastniner  (D 30747)

Nov 18, 2008, 2:14 PM
Post #16 of 77 (4025 views)
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Re: [mrbiceps] Name that Malfunction! [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
i have only packed 40 canopies in my life. But at least i know how not to pack a step through. If i paid a packer and he packed me a step through i would walk up to him and punch him in the bloody head. plus he would be paying for anything that i lost during the cutaway. To pay a professional packer who doesnt pick up a step through is a absolute joke.

I packed my buddy a stepthrough earlier this year. Oops. Definatly not my normal course of action, but it still happend.

This is skydiving. You want to make damn sure you dont have a step through.....DONT SKYDIVE.

pussy.


millertime24  (C 38793)

Nov 18, 2008, 2:21 PM
Post #17 of 77 (4017 views)
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Re: [Halfpastniner] Name that Malfunction! [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
i have only packed 40 canopies in my life. But at least i know how not to pack a step through. If i paid a packer and he packed me a step through i would walk up to him and punch him in the bloody head. plus he would be paying for anything that i lost during the cutaway. To pay a professional packer who doesnt pick up a step through is a absolute joke.

I packed my buddy a stepthrough earlier this year. Oops. Definatly not my normal course of action, but it still happend.

This is skydiving. You want to make damn sure you dont have a step through.....DONT SKYDIVE.

pussy.

Or pack your own gear and check it over and over until you're conviced that its right. Then if something goes horribly wrong there's only one person you can blame.


iluvtofly  (C License)

Nov 18, 2008, 2:26 PM
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Re: [mrbiceps] Name that Malfunction! [In reply to] Can't Post

Please let me know if you ever come to the states and where you'll be jumping at. I'm a packer and have hunderds of pack jobs. But...after the comments you just made about packers I want to make sure I never pack for you. You could pay me $100 per pack job and I still wouldn't pack for you.


NealFitz  (C 106601)

Nov 18, 2008, 2:46 PM
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Re: [jacketsdb23] Name that Malfunction! [In reply to] Can't Post

ive seen a couple of vids on youtube of stepp throughts but what actually causes them- what are you stepping through?? thanks Blush


millertime24  (C 38793)

Nov 18, 2008, 3:06 PM
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Re: [NealFitz] Name that Malfunction! [In reply to] Can't Post

It generally happens when someone doesn't pack their rig at the end of the day and just throws it in the car. Its possible for the rig to be flipped through the lines making the lines twisted 360deg in opposing directions. Its an easy fix too.


ficus  (D 29186)

Nov 18, 2008, 3:16 PM
Post #21 of 77 (3956 views)
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Re: [NealFitz] Name that Malfunction! [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
ive seen a couple of vids on youtube of stepp throughts but what actually causes them- what are you stepping through?? thanks Blush

Lay your rig out like you were going to pack it. Rotate the container 360 degrees in line with your risers and lines (e.g. grab the BOC and pull it up over the yoke and keep going). You now have a stepthrough.

Don't forget to take it back out. :)


(This post was edited by ficus on Nov 18, 2008, 3:17 PM)


Halfpastniner  (D 30747)

Nov 18, 2008, 3:21 PM
Post #22 of 77 (3943 views)
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Re: [ficus] Name that Malfunction! [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
ive seen a couple of vids on youtube of stepp throughts but what actually causes them- what are you stepping through?? thanks Blush

Lay your rig out like you were going to pack it. Rotate the container 360 degrees in line with your risers and lines (e.g. grab the BOC and pull it up over the yoke and keep going). You now have a stepthrough.


Don't forget to take it back out. :)

So whats a flip through?


LloydDobbler  (D 30655)

Nov 18, 2008, 3:26 PM
Post #23 of 77 (3938 views)
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Re: [mrbiceps] Name that Malfunction! [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Packing your own malfunction because you did a dodgie pack is one thing BUT paying a "professional" packer who is to lazy to do a simple line check is something totally different. If they couldnt be bothered to do their job properly and they endanger my life i think that is totally unforgivable. Fair enough if they did the best pack job they could do and ended up packing a mal thats tough luck and i wouldnt have a go at them.
Really its not that hard to pack a good canopy, there are really only a few basic things u have to do to get it all true and straight and then shove it in the bag.
Am i on my own here ??
Or is anyone with me?

There's a long-standing saying in this sport. Goes something like this:

"You pay a packer, you take your chances."

It's just one of those things. In a sport in which you're dead from the second you exit until you save yourself, there really aren't any guarantees. Life is like that, too. I mean heck, who's to say you won't be hit by a car in the DZ parking lot?

Simple fact is, stuff happens. Even to the most meticulous of us. If you want a guarantee, your best bet is to do everything for yourself (and thus accept full responsibility).

Even then, you're likely to still have something go wrong at some point. It happens to all of us. It's just the nature of the beast.


ficus  (D 29186)

Nov 18, 2008, 3:39 PM
Post #24 of 77 (3922 views)
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Re: [Halfpastniner] Name that Malfunction! [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
So whats a flip through?

Same thing, as far as I know.


millertime24  (C 38793)

Nov 18, 2008, 3:43 PM
Post #25 of 77 (3918 views)
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Re: [ficus] Name that Malfunction! [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought a "flip through" was basically a step through done while the canopy is flying by doing a flip though the risers. I could be wrong. Hell, I dont even know if thats possible.


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