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Slightly bent reserve closing pin

 

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x46255  (D 30213)

Jan 14, 2009, 5:07 PM
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Slightly bent reserve closing pin Can't Post

I have a Javelin J4 container that I just had my rigger swap a CYPRES in last month and I noticed that the reserve closing pin was slightly bent somewhere in the process. I have attached a couple of pictures to try to show the pin and the slight bend. I am wondering if this would be airworthy or not? I don't see anything that would impede the pin if the ripcord was pulled but I definitely don't want to take a chance with this. I am planning on taking this rig to Florida this weekend as my back-up rig and I'm wondering if it is even worth hauling along?
Attachments: DSC04345.JPG (255 KB)
  DSC04347.JPG (217 KB)


JohnRich  (D License)

Jan 14, 2009, 6:32 PM
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Re: [x46255] Slightly bent reserve closing pin [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not a rigger. My riggers have replaced pins like that on my rig. Personally, I see no reason why it wouldn't work properly. But the rule is to replace it.

Oh, and the tip of the pin should be tucked up under that flap so it doesn't catch on anything. I'm assuming it's sticking out on top like that for the purposes of the photo illustration.


(This post was edited by JohnRich on Jan 14, 2009, 7:45 PM)


wildfan75  (D 29536)

Jan 14, 2009, 6:46 PM
Post #3 of 63 (3471 views)
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Re: [x46255] Slightly bent reserve closing pin [In reply to] Can't Post

What's a new reserve ripcord cost?

What's your life worth?

If you're questioning it, replace it.

If you're okay with it, do whatever.

Will it function properly? Probably. Are you okay with probably? If so, don't replace it. If not, replace it.


x46255  (D 30213)

Jan 14, 2009, 7:05 PM
Post #4 of 63 (3455 views)
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Re: [JohnRich] Slightly bent reserve closing pin [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, I had it out of the flap for the pic to make the bend visible. I'm thinking that I will just order a new one and replace it with my next re-pack in a couple months... from what I can tell and gather there shouldn't be any huge risk of jumping it between now and then though? I'll have a rigger check it out to get their opinion first hand...was just trying to see if I should haul it along this weekend or not.


JohnDeere  (D License)

Jan 14, 2009, 7:05 PM
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Re: [x46255] Slightly bent reserve closing pin [In reply to] Can't Post

I would not jump that for anything! It looks like it would work ok but think about the fact that at the center of the bend the metal is now weaker. It could bend even more easy just by haveing rig on, in plane and that pin having pressure put on it by window frame, door frame, etc.


(This post was edited by JohnDeere on Jan 14, 2009, 7:06 PM)


JohnRich  (D License)

Jan 14, 2009, 7:49 PM
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Re: [x46255] Slightly bent reserve closing pin [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I'm thinking that I will just order a new one and replace it with my next re-pack in a couple months...

The danger is that it could be bent because there is a weakness in the metal - like an air bubble. And that could cause it to bend more over time, or even snap off if you whack it against something. And then you're left with a sheared-off pin stuck in the closing loop, and pulling the handle would not extract it, because it would no longer be attached. So if this is an extra rig as you say, order a replacement, and jump your other rig in the meantime.

If you send that ripcord handle back to the manufacturer, they should be able to cut off the old cable, and replace it with a new cable and pin. That way you're not paying for another handle which you don't really need. But it would mean dumping the reserve repack to free the handle to be sent off.


Martini  (D 23756)

Jan 14, 2009, 9:04 PM
Post #7 of 63 (3380 views)
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Re: [x46255] Slightly bent reserve closing pin [In reply to] Can't Post

If it's not airworthy now how does jumping it for the next couple of months seem okay to you?


pchapman  (D 1014)

Jan 14, 2009, 10:15 PM
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Re: [x46255] Slightly bent reserve closing pin [In reply to] Can't Post

I dunno.

Maybe I'm just being contrarian tonight, but it isn't that rare to see rigs with reserve pins that have gotten that little set to them, where they still stay flat against the flap. Nobody changes them and they stay that way for years. Maybe more so for the terminal style pins, like on Javelins. Someone else will remember better.


fugozzie  (D 28485)

Jan 15, 2009, 4:55 AM
Post #9 of 63 (3244 views)
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Re: [x46255] Slightly bent reserve closing pin [In reply to] Can't Post

I always replace them if they are bent. Order a new one from Sunpath and your rigger (or the rigger who packed it) can change it out without repacking the reserve. Should only take a couple of min.

Regards

JG


peek  (D 8884)

Jan 15, 2009, 5:53 AM
Post #10 of 63 (3213 views)
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Re: [pchapman] Slightly bent reserve closing pin [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Maybe I'm just being contrarian tonight, but it isn't that rare to see rigs with reserve pins that have gotten that little set to them, where they still stay flat against the flap. Nobody changes them and they stay that way for years.

No, you are not being contrary, you are just using your experience and common sense.

Question for all: How many accidents or fatalities have been attributed to slightly bent reserve pins? (Not including anything related to an RSL ring, etc.)


councilman24  (D 8631)

Jan 15, 2009, 6:02 AM
Post #11 of 63 (3207 views)
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Re: [x46255] Slightly bent reserve closing pin [In reply to] Can't Post

One of my customers has an older Talon. We have never been able to keep the pin from bending just a little. I replaced it the first time but it kept doing it. The gromment was the high point and no matter what I did and how it left it came back just a little bent. Less than this one. Decided it wasn't an issue. Some rigs it's almost impossible for the pin NOT to bend just a little.

This one looks like it's seated too far. A little hard to tell with the glare but it should NOT be seated with any part of the taper from the socket on the grommet. That part is hollow. I've seen many skydivers and pilots think farther in is better and seat the pins too far. Also seen riggers do it to.

Bends like this have been around for decades. Often straightened with a brass or copper hammer and a block of wood. My rig?, IF it's bent at the taper I wouldn't straighten it. If it's bent on the solid pin I'd straighten it, test it, and be good to go.

Check this service bulletin. Make sure your Ripcord didn't get missed and isn't covered by this bulletin. And refer your rigger to TEST 2. Capewell provide an aluminum block with appropriate holes for various length pins to do test 2. Every rigger SHOULD have one, Capewell or home made, but many newer riggers may not.

John suggested sending it in so the handle can be reused. Not all/many manufacturers make their own ripcords. I doubt it would save you anything. If you get a new one and this one is airworthy, save this one for a spare.

New ones are $70 ($85 for one version) per website. And yes I'd take the rig along.


bliston  (D 23040)

Jan 15, 2009, 6:11 AM
Post #12 of 63 (3200 views)
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Re: [x46255] Slightly bent reserve closing pin [In reply to] Can't Post

Funny that you posted this today - I just took this one out of service yeseterday... The first bent pin I've seen in years.
Attachments: OtherBentRipcord.jpg (47.5 KB)


virgin-burner

Jan 15, 2009, 6:22 AM
Post #13 of 63 (3179 views)
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Re: [x46255] Slightly bent reserve closing pin [In reply to] Can't Post

funny answer to that: if you dont worry about the slight chance of having a total, dont replace it.. Tongue


pchapman  (D 1014)

Jan 15, 2009, 6:48 AM
Post #14 of 63 (3157 views)
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Re: [bliston] Slightly bent reserve closing pin [In reply to] Can't Post

And I just replaced one too, the first in years. Found on an older Vector III the first time it came to me for repack. Measured over 10 degrees of bend. That was too far from normal for me. Whether or not the strength was OK, it could be more easily dislodged as it stuck up, and might start adding to the pull force.

I can't comment on the exact metallurgy involved with bent pins, but the steels used are pretty ductile in order to let the pins be swaged onto the cable. One can take pliers and bend pins 180 degrees (E.g., using old belly mount reserve handles, and the 180 degree bend, allows for resetting FXC's that need a maybe 50 pound pull.)

If done too quickly or with too tight a radius the pins will break, but with a little care it works. I imagine there would still be some microscopic cracking from straining the metal past its elastic point, but bending it that much still shows that pins have some reserve of strength in such situations.
Attachments: get bent.JPG (61.3 KB)


DJL  (C License)

Jan 15, 2009, 12:09 PM
Post #15 of 63 (3046 views)
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Re: [x46255] Slightly bent reserve closing pin [In reply to] Can't Post

Could a rigger reply. I understand that some riggers use tools to compress the pack job and get the pin in there. Could this result in a bent pin, bent spring, or pinched material?


hackish  (No License)

Jan 15, 2009, 12:40 PM
Post #16 of 63 (3023 views)
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Re: [DJL] Slightly bent reserve closing pin [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Could a rigger reply. I understand that some riggers use tools to compress the pack job and get the pin in there. Could this result in a bent pin, bent spring, or pinched material?

I have never stuck a pin in a rockwell tester to see if it's been hardened but I'm willing to bet it has. I have similar sized stainless rod used for TIG welding and it does not survive the bending test applied to the pins. It is also possible to harden the pin after it's been swaged or even harden the pin part and leave the rest softer. Metal is pretty versatile that way.

Most riggers use some sort of tool to compress things as they close the reserve. A more relevant question is could the pin bend as a result of a closing loop that is too tight? I don't know the answer to that but with the spare parts it would be fairly easy to test. Put a pin across a grommet and pull until the closing loop breaks.

-Michael


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Jan 15, 2009, 12:43 PM
Post #17 of 63 (3018 views)
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Re: [x46255] Slightly bent reserve closing pin [In reply to] Can't Post

A few notes:

1) Any bent pin will significantly increase pull forces, both because the pin must be extracted against the bend and because a bent pin indicates very high forces were applied (and may still be applied) to the closing loop. We have measured rigs with bent pins to have pull forces well over 50lbs (where our scale tops out.)

2) Pins can be straightened, especially with such a minor bend in them. However, they can only be straightened a limited number of times before you start work hardening (and potentially causing fractures in) the pin. Has this pin been straightened before? Hard to tell. Which is why it might be a good idea to replace it anyway.

If you want to test it you can borrow a pull test tool and see how much force it takes to move the pin. If it were me and I saw that on a rig I needed to use that day I would probably still jump it, but would replace the ripcord at my earliest opportunity.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Jan 15, 2009, 12:45 PM
Post #18 of 63 (3016 views)
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Re: [hackish] Slightly bent reserve closing pin [In reply to] Can't Post

>A more relevant question is could the pin bend as a result of a closing loop that is too tight?

Yes. Some rigs (like Racers) can be closed and then tightened; we've seen this result in bent pins.


JohnRich  (D License)

Jan 15, 2009, 2:55 PM
Post #19 of 63 (2953 views)
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Re: Slightly bent reserve closing pin [In reply to] Can't Post

Re: Bent Pin

I've also heard that this can happen when you remove your rig after a jump and drop the rig on the floor for a pack job. Smacking it against the floor can cause the surrounding pack to flex a bit, exerting some concentrated brief pressure on the pin and grommet. I'm a bit skeptical of this myself, but at least one rigger winces when people do it.


(This post was edited by JohnRich on Jan 15, 2009, 2:55 PM)


millertime24  (C 38793)

Jan 15, 2009, 3:07 PM
Post #20 of 63 (2940 views)
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Re: [x46255] Slightly bent reserve closing pin [In reply to] Can't Post

FWIW, and I'm no rigger, my reserve pin looks identical to yours. My master rigger told me it would be perfectly ok to jump. We did a pull test and I believe it was right at 3-5lbs to pull the pin (Way lower than the max of 12lbs iirc).

My advice would be take it to a senior or master rigger and ask them to look at it and maybe even do a pull test. You can also take that opportunity to learn how they do a pull test for little or no charge.

My master rigger actually encourages his customers to watch him work on their gear so they have a better understanding of how it works and what goes into its maintenance. Anyway, food for thought.Smile


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Jan 15, 2009, 4:26 PM
Post #21 of 63 (2891 views)
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Re: [hackish] Slightly bent reserve closing pin [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Michael,

Quote:
I have never stuck a pin in a rockwell tester to see if it's been hardened but I'm willing to bet it has.

OK, I'll take that bet; a $1 to a stale donut.

I have been around a fair amount of formed stainless steel ( not ripcord pins, however ) and I would seriously doubt that just the shaft portion would be heat-treated.

Your welding rod is probably unusually soft to make it easier to weld.

Just my thoughts . . . . . .

JerryBaumchen


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Jan 15, 2009, 4:32 PM
Post #22 of 63 (2887 views)
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Re: [billvon] Slightly bent reserve closing pin [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Bill,

Quote:
and potentially causing fractures in

Back 'in the day' we used to straighten pens rather routinely; the were main ripcord pins.

One simple method to inspect for cracking is to merely run your fingernail all along the shaft surface ( have your fingernail perpendicular to the surface ) and feel for small cracks.

Personally, I would be hesitant to straighten a reserve ripcord pin since I do not have magnifying-type of test equipment.

I always advocate each jumper have a spare reserve ripcord & a spare cutaway handle/cable.

Again, just my thoughts . . . .

JerryBaumchen

PS) And Para-Gear sells the device to test the pull force on a reserve ripcord pin ( but it will not work on a system using a SkyHook ). Mad


hackish  (No License)

Jan 15, 2009, 5:38 PM
Post #23 of 63 (2852 views)
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Re: [JerryBaumchen] Slightly bent reserve closing pin [In reply to] Can't Post

Stale doughnuts you say? The welding rods do not care if they've been hardened or not since you'll be melting them... I'm not sure what alloy is used for a reserve pin. This will dictate whether heat will get it hard or soft :)

Most of the stainless I work with work hardens and I suspect the pins are made from 304 which is austenitic. You heat it to about 1000C and when it cools it will be annealed (softened).

-Michael


chutingstar  (D 19956)

Jan 15, 2009, 6:42 PM
Post #24 of 63 (2814 views)
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Re: [billvon] Slightly bent reserve closing pin [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
A few notes:

1) Any bent pin will significantly increase pull forces, both because the pin must be extracted against the bend and because a bent pin indicates very high forces were applied (and may still be applied) to the closing loop. We have measured rigs with bent pins to have pull forces well over 50lbs (where our scale tops out.)

Relative Workshop told me several years ago that they did testing on the ripcord pull force on bent pins for their systems and found that slightly bent pins actually reduced pull forces. This was during the time when they went to a slighty larger diameter closing pin...

Anyway...FWIW...just passing along the info.

Personally I leave minor bends alone. I will straighten larger bends once, but if it occurs again, I'll replace it.

From what I've seen, bends occur during closing...when a rigger uses the pin to pull-up the closing loop from below the top of the grommet...or from handling of the rig such as weight placement for packing, leaning up against parts of the plane during climb or throwing/dropping the rig on the floor.

Mike


pchapman  (D 1014)

Jan 15, 2009, 8:28 PM
Post #25 of 63 (2776 views)
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Re: [hackish] Slightly bent reserve closing pin [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I'm not sure what alloy is used for a reserve pin.


Hey Hackish -- check out Poynter's, it has a little bit of info (not a lot) on the steels used and the manufacturing process.


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