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Vector 3 main flap (not pin) snag potential

 

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danielcroft  (D 31103)

Jun 9, 2009, 9:08 PM
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Vector 3 main flap (not pin) snag potential Can't Post

I have had several people (a couple of riggers too) tell me that the design of the main flap on the Vector 3 has the potential to snag lines on deployment due to the way it's attached to the container. I have a trusted friend (3000+ jumps & rigger's ticket) who tells me he knows of at least two instances of this happening. In one case the main flap was ripped off on deployment, in the other, it did not rip off resulting in a tangled mess of a main & a reserve deployment into the ball of shit, luckily no injury.

I was pretty set on getting a Vector 3 when I order a new rig (probably towards the end of the year) but this issue has made me rethink that. I wanted the V3 because of the magnetic riser covers & the skyhook (yes, I know there's still debate about this).

Can someone please explain the issue? I'd like to understand the risks a little better. I'm going to have someone show me at the DZ over the weekend so I can see it but I'm interested in a discussion.

I did a search & got to page 30 of the results on the 3rd search & couldn't find any real explanation.

Thanks in advance.


Premier skydiverek  (C 41769)

Jun 10, 2009, 4:47 AM
Post #2 of 99 (3022 views)
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Re: [danielcroft] Vector 3 main flap (not pin) snag potential [In reply to] Can't Post

There was an accident on OMEGA rig, similar to what you are descrbing. A line snagged at the point where the plastic part ends in the main flap.

Check the links on THIS page:

http://www.sky-adventures.de/Unfall/index.html


Premier skymama  (D 26699)
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Jun 10, 2009, 4:57 AM
Post #3 of 99 (3012 views)
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Re: [danielcroft] Vector 3 main flap (not pin) snag potential [In reply to] Can't Post

Dz.commer Klingeme works at UPT. Send him a pm, I'm sure he'll be able to help you out with your concerns. Billbooth is a member too, I suppose you could always try him too!


tdog  (D 28800)

Jun 10, 2009, 6:02 AM
Post #4 of 99 (2973 views)
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Re: [danielcroft] Vector 3 main flap (not pin) snag potential [In reply to] Can't Post

All flaps on all containers can "grab lines" if everything is "just right" for it to happen. Heck, on another brand, the whole reserve container sewn in the rig grabbed a line...

The line has to be wrapped around the flap on packing, or it has to get around the flap in the chaos of opening, and then cinch itself down.... For that to happen, the line has to have a moment of slack, which can be managed by packing techniques designed to keep the lines tight at all times in opening.

I have looked at various rigs and I am not convinced that any one design will eliminate the risk of line snags. However the Vector and Mirage are some of my favorites (I own one of each), as a rigger, and as a user. Other rigs are good too...

Statistically the likelihood is very low... Search the incidents.

I am sure each container has something a little different - where in some situations it might be superior, but in other cases it might not work as well.

In other words, I believe you are focusing too much on something that is very, very unlikely - and there is no proof any other container will work better.... Whereas you are willing to give up the Skyhook, something that is pretty darn cool and a true safety device, because of a small risk elsewhere.


If you read incident reports - canopy landings is your greatest risk. Somewhere down the line, low reserve openings are a factor... And way below that - snagged lines on a rig. So, if you were my best friend I would tell you to do canopy coaching first, get a Skyhook and do an intentional cutaway on a three canopy rig as there is no practice like the real thing.... I would look at the other incidents that occur frequently.... I would not be overly concerned about the lines snagging the container on a well maintained and well packed rig.

P.S. PM BillBooth - he often replies. Or give him or Jeff a call. I talked with them for 3 hours at PIA last year, and while he has a lot of bias to his own design, he loves to tell you why. You will learn a lot.


Reginald  (D 28162)

Jun 10, 2009, 6:57 AM
Post #5 of 99 (2927 views)
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Re: [danielcroft] Vector 3 main flap (not pin) snag potential [In reply to] Can't Post

Personally, I dont believe that a Vector is more likely than any other rig to have this issue; in fact I believe it is less likely than most rigs. But lets understand this is a very low probability event and there are things that you can and should do to help avoid the situation.

The one fatality Ive personally seen caused by a line snagging a main flap was on a Javelin. It made a cutaway impossible and ended with a main reserve entanglement.

Ill quote the Vector manual Leave no more than 15 inches (37 cm) of lines unstowed between the bag and the connector links. This is due to any additional line being a snag hazard and potentially catching a flap.

I recall Bill Booth (Bill please step in here, I always feel uncomfortable using your name) discussing the issue and I believe he even had some video of lines on opening too showing that it is a wildly dynamic and messy process. And that while it is uncommon, the potential for a line to catch a flap was real and hence the 15 max unstowed line, which will help reduce the risk of a line catching a flap.

While were at it how many people leave this little unstowed line? I read a post the other day where someone said that they told their packer to leave 4 feet of unstowed line! Unfortunately, this is not uncommon. There is a belief (although it likely should be called a myth) that the more unstowed line one leaves the lower the chances of line twists. Ive never seen this vetted out in a convincing way. The last stow does not have to be super tight and triple wrapped, it merely needs to hold the lines in place for the initial stages of deployment.

There was a habit of people leaving 3 feet or so of unstowed line at my DZ. That is until the fatality; now I almost never see it. I like to think that in honor of the good man that passed away from this issue we all learned something. I personally never allow more than 15 and if Im using a packer out of town, I request that they dont either.


erdnarob  (D 364)

Jun 10, 2009, 8:23 AM
Post #6 of 99 (2862 views)
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Re: [danielcroft] Vector 3 main flap (not pin) snag potential [In reply to] Can't Post

I have now my second Vector III and more than 500 jumps on them without any problem with the main flap. Any rig flaps represent a potential snag problem for lines. That's why it is recommended not to leave more than 2 feet of unstowed lines between risers and the POD. (should be between 18" and 24") too short can cause line twists and too long can cause line snagging. Your choice for getting a Vector III is alright since this is the most advanced rig now on the market. You will love the magnets since they provide you with always the same openings (provided you pack OK). No more hard opening caused by a riser tuck tab releasing a fraction of a second before the other one.


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Jun 10, 2009, 8:56 AM
Post #7 of 99 (2840 views)
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Re: [Reginald] Vector 3 main flap (not pin) snag potential [In reply to] Can't Post

All good points!

We seem to re-visit this problem every decade or so ... ho hum!

Part of the problem is that flaps tend to flop in and out of the main container during opening. If there is too much un-stowed line, it might take a half-hitch around a flap.

The worst flaps - for snagging - are high aspect ratio with big stiffeners in the end (think Wonderhog left main flap).
OTOH the most difficult to snag (half-hitch) are low aspect ratio flaps with no stiffeners (think wide bottom flap without stiffener - a contradiction because it will never lay flat.

Main top flaps on Vector III - and the next dozen Vector clones - eliminate a dozen other malfunction modes, while SLIGHTLY increasing the risk of snagging. So you have to weigh the options of which malfunction is most likely to kill you.
If it was my money, I would invest in a Vector III with all the latest gadgets (Skyhook, magnetic riser covers, mesh back pad, etc.)


danielcroft  (D 31103)

Jun 10, 2009, 4:06 PM
Post #8 of 99 (2740 views)
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Re: Vector 3 main flap (not pin) snag potential [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you very much to everyone for your comments.

To address a couple of points:
1. I don't want to give up skyhook or magnetic riser covers, that's why I'm asking you guys. ; )

2. I've taken a canopy course (jump 15, need another one)

3. I've had a cutaway (jump 12, stand up reserve landing)

I can appreciate that the likelihood of this happening is very low, my concern stems from the fact that in the (however unlikely) event that lines did snag, I'm pretty much fucked, whereas I can better manage (not perfectly of course) the other more likely events (I may be mistaken here).

Someone who is a member on this board, who I respect, has very strong feelings about the design of the V3 main flap particularly. The concern is that the main flap is not sewn all the way across the rig & therefore poses a higher snag risk than other designs.

I'm posting here to gather a better understanding of the actual issue and so far I'm definitely off to a good start. : )

As much as I'd like to hear Bill Booth's comments, I doubt I'd really understand his explanations, nor would I necessarily understand the trade offs that lead to the V3 main flap design. So, the net result would be "it's a good design, based on the possibilities". Yes, I know I'm making assumptions but I feel like I get a more real-world view by posing this question to skydivers and riggers who are actually out in the field & who clearly know more and have more experience than myself.

I'm sorry that my question is boring riggerrob, I really did search! ; )


brettski74  (C 3197)

Jun 10, 2009, 8:43 PM
Post #9 of 99 (2684 views)
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Re: [danielcroft] Vector 3 main flap (not pin) snag potential [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
As much as I'd like to hear Bill Booth's comments, I doubt I'd really understand his explanations

Why not? While he doesn't post often, I find that when he does post, he tends to explain things fairly clearly in language that anyone on this forum should understand.


danielcroft  (D 31103)

Jun 10, 2009, 9:09 PM
Post #10 of 99 (2674 views)
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Re: [brettski74] Vector 3 main flap (not pin) snag potential [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been thinking about why for a little while, I'm not sure. I don't really trust vendors when talking to them about their own stuff for starters but in addition to that, I'm a newb and don't know much, I don't really have a great frame of reference and it's Bill Booth!

I guess I should drop them a line.


Andy9o8  (D License)

Jun 10, 2009, 10:44 PM
Post #11 of 99 (2652 views)
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Re: [danielcroft] Vector 3 main flap (not pin) snag potential [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I guess I should drop them a line.

In a sense you just have. Hopefully they'll reply here so we can all read it.


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Jun 11, 2009, 6:43 AM
Post #12 of 99 (2591 views)
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Re: [danielcroft] Vector 3 main flap (not pin) snag potential [In reply to] Can't Post

Normally that snag point is hidden by the reserve side flaps - on a properly packed Vector III.

You would have to pack your Vector III main and reserve incredibly sloppily before that became a significant risk.


KellyF  (D 13826)

Jun 11, 2009, 7:56 AM
Post #13 of 99 (2572 views)
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Re: [danielcroft] Vector 3 main flap (not pin) snag potential [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I can appreciate that the likelihood of this happening is very low, my concern stems from the fact that in the (however unlikely) event that lines did snag, I'm pretty much fucked....
Just make sure you have a hook kinfe on your rig at all times (standard on all Infinity's, not sure about others) [/shamelssplug]Angelic The video posted in the link earlier shows that if the jumper had a hook knife, they could have cut the snagged line, then released the main cleanly and gotten a good reserve out. There's nothing like having the right tool for the job when you need it.


markovwgti  (D 29993)

Jun 11, 2009, 8:26 AM
Post #14 of 99 (2555 views)
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Re: [KellyF] Vector 3 main flap (not pin) snag potential [In reply to] Can't Post

..


(This post was edited by markovwgti on Jun 11, 2009, 8:26 AM)


johnny1488  (D 25453)

Jun 11, 2009, 8:28 AM
Post #15 of 99 (2550 views)
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Re: [danielcroft] Vector 3 main flap (not pin) snag potential [In reply to] Can't Post

Like I Hope I made clear, Every rig has some issues. Just cause I know 2 people who had this mal, it doesn't make it common.

My only thought on those mals, is the fix Sonic and I and other proposed to Bill is simple and I dont realy think has a downside. My problem was after the first mal he told Sonic "one in a million, never happen again, and then it happened a month later.

But that being said, get the rig you want. But, don't get it cause you want a skyhook. If the rig you want has a skyhook available, go for it, but a glorified RSL is no reason to get a rig. Same goes for magnets. Plenty of rigs have tucktabs and covers that work and look better than a vector. If you like the rig as a whole, then get it. But I hate seeing skydivers, especially newer ones falling for marketing instead of really knowing their gear.

Is the skyhook a good rsl? yes. Will it save your life over a regular rsl, very unlikely. It buys you maybe 100 feet. If thats the difference whether you live or die, you messed up big somewhere.

Good luck with whatever rig you choose, maybe I'll get to pack it for you.


rhys  (D 95)

Jun 11, 2009, 2:21 PM
Post #16 of 99 (2426 views)
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Re: [johnny1488] Vector 3 main flap (not pin) snag potential [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Is the skyhook a good rsl? yes. Will it save your life over a regular rsl, very unlikely. It buys you maybe 100 feet. If thats the difference whether you live or die, you messed up big somewhere.

what a bout the idiot that flies into you at 1000ft?

Don't knock the skyhook if you don't really understand it.

If you did understand it you would not call it a glorified RSL.

The skyhook adresses all the issues the RSL posed.

a regular RSL will take alot more than a 100 feet more than a skyhook deployment. and that is if the bridle doesn't wrap around you if you are unstable.

I suppose you are one of those that think shit will never happen to you?

I have 5000 jumps and jump a high performance canopy, i have a skyhook but would never use a standatd RSL.
In reply to:
But that being said, get the rig you want. But, don't get it cause you want a skyhook. If the rig you want has a skyhook available, go for it, but a glorified RSL is no reason to get a rig.

Once again...


... bullshit, wanting a skyhook is all the reason to get a particular rig, a pretty design is not a good reason to choose a rig.


(This post was edited by rhys on Jun 11, 2009, 2:26 PM)


johnny1488  (D 25453)

Jun 11, 2009, 2:26 PM
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Re: [rhys] Vector 3 main flap (not pin) snag potential [In reply to] Can't Post

And when that guy flies into you and knocks the little shackle off, what, you're dead? Please.

It s a glorified rsl, and I jump one every day on my tandem rig. I think it makes a lot of sense where reserve stability is an issue, ie tandems.

But don't blame not keeping your head on a swivel during your pattern on your need for a skyhook. That's pathetic.

It is a backup system and should be treated as such.


rhys  (D 95)

Jun 11, 2009, 3:25 PM
Post #18 of 99 (2389 views)
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Re: [johnny1488] Vector 3 main flap (not pin) snag potential [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
And when that guy flies into you and knocks the little shackle off, what, you're dead? Please.

So you are one of those cool guys?

My wife has witnessed a fatality (low cutaway impact on linestrech) and almost became a casulaty herself, fortunately she did see the guy coming and evaded the collision.

but if you are too cool for shit to happen to you then go for it, I choose a skyhook for when I may need it one day.


johnny1488  (D 25453)

Jun 11, 2009, 3:36 PM
Post #19 of 99 (2384 views)
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Re: [rhys] Vector 3 main flap (not pin) snag potential [In reply to] Can't Post

What are you talking about?

So a skyhook will save you if you get into a collision at 600 feet. Unless it knocks the shackle off. Or unless the canopy wraps around you.

How about buying a rig because you like the the main pin protection. Or the harness comfort. Or any number or combination of reasons. But to buy it for when you get collided with at an altitude below where a regular rsl would save you, you've got you're priorities in order.


danielcroft  (D 31103)

Jun 11, 2009, 6:29 PM
Post #20 of 99 (2354 views)
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Re: Vector 3 main flap (not pin) snag potential [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess I shouldn't have mentioned the Skyhook then... Laugh

Seriously though, I'm interested in the rig for the Skyhook, the magnetic riser covers, I like the idea of the AAD being under the reserve flap and many comments here have indicated that it's up there in terms of rigs. I haven't tried it on. I've jumped an older Javelin and am currently on a Voodoo. Relative to those, I think my choices of the V3 or Infinity are pretty good. Comparing the V3 & Infinity, I think they're pretty much the same (yes, based on no experience) except for the Skyhook & magnetic riser covers on the V3. The only other issue that had been raised was the potentially problematic main flap on the V3. I'm not really ready to do a comparison until I can work out if the main flap issue on the V3 is a serious problem specific to that rig. From what everyone has said, the possibility is there on any rig but the V3 might be slightly worse?

Edit: oh yeah, I sent a link to this thread to BB & MK at UPT. Hopefully they'll chime in.


(This post was edited by danielcroft on Jun 11, 2009, 6:33 PM)


beowulf  (C License)

Jun 11, 2009, 7:03 PM
Post #21 of 99 (2340 views)
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Re: [danielcroft] Vector 3 main flap (not pin) snag potential [In reply to] Can't Post

I really don't think it's a "serious problem" on any rig. It's too rare for that status.

I have a V3 Micron on order and currently have a Javelin.


danielcroft  (D 31103)

Jun 11, 2009, 8:29 PM
Post #22 of 99 (2313 views)
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Re: [KellyF] Vector 3 main flap (not pin) snag potential [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Just make sure you have a hook kinfe on your rig at all times (standard on all Infinity's, not sure about others) [/shamelssplug]Angelic The video posted in the link earlier shows that if the jumper had a hook knife, they could have cut the snagged line, then released the main cleanly and gotten a good reserve out. There's nothing like having the right tool for the job when you need it.
Any chance you're going to put in magnetic riser covers any time soon? Laugh


brettski74  (C 3197)

Jun 11, 2009, 9:28 PM
Post #23 of 99 (2298 views)
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Re: [johnny1488] Vector 3 main flap (not pin) snag potential [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
How about buying a rig because you like the the main pin protection. Or the harness comfort. Or any number or combination of reasons. But to buy it for when you get collided with at an altitude below where a regular rsl would save you, you've got you're priorities in order.

So, in your estimation, what rigs do you consider have better pin/riser/bridle protection or comfort than the vector 3? There are many harness/container systems that I would consider having comparable pin/riser/bridle protection to the vector 3 and my vector 3 while stiff when brand new, is now quite comfortable.

Given two rigs with comparable pin protection, riser protection, bridle protection and comfort, but one has a MARD and the other does not, which would you choose? Searching the incidents forum, I'm quite sure that I'll find more low collision and low cutaway incidents than I will find main container flap entanglement incidents, so if I'm going to play the percentages...

Sure - a MARD such as the Skyhook RSL is a backup system. An AAD is also a backup system, but you jump with one of them.

To the OP, note that the V3 is not the only rig with a MARD, so even if you are adamant that you want a MARD, you still have at least two choices, maybe more if you're willing to wait. Sunpath also offer the Skyhook RSL on new Javelins. Several other manufacturers are working on adding MARD systems to their harness/container systems, either by licensing the skyhook or working on competing designs such as Mirage's DRX.


JackC  (B License)

Jun 12, 2009, 12:37 AM
Post #24 of 99 (2266 views)
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Re: [johnny1488] Vector 3 main flap (not pin) snag potential [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
How about buying a rig because you like the the main pin protection. Or the harness comfort. Or any number or combination of reasons. But to buy it for when you get collided with at an altitude below where a regular rsl would save you, you've got you're priorities in order.


Most new rigs have good pin protection and are comfortable. In fact there isn't really much to choose between any of them, except of course for proprietary stuff like Skyhooks, magnetic riser covers and Miniforce 3-ring systems and other stuff like waiting times, aesthetics and price. If I'm buying a rig, I'll put safety first in my list of requirements and a Skyhook is a big plus. I ordered a Vector3.


diablopilot  (D License)

Jun 12, 2009, 3:02 AM
Post #25 of 99 (2235 views)
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Re: [rhys] Vector 3 main flap (not pin) snag potential [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I have 5000 jumps and jump a high performance canopy, i have a skyhook but would never use a standatd RSL.


Obviously you don't understand it much at all either, but we do have some "magic beans" to sell you.....


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