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Bailing out low?

 

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normiss  (D 28356)

Jul 27, 2009, 12:29 PM
Post #1 of 124 (3630 views)
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Bailing out low? Can't Post

You're on an Otter, engine out at 1800 ft, which canopy do YOU go for and why?
A recent event has many people asking this question and answering different canopies for different reasons.
Me?
I jump a Spectre 150 and for a sub-terminal hop n pop from 1800? I'm going for my main.
Wink
What's your choice and why?


**Edited caws I kaint speel. Tongue


(This post was edited by normiss on Jul 27, 2009, 1:08 PM)


Premier NWFlyer  (D 29960)

Jul 27, 2009, 12:42 PM
Post #2 of 124 (3596 views)
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Re: [normiss] Bailing out low? [In reply to] Can't Post

Aircraft in stable flight ... main. Not so stable... reserve. 1800's right on that bubble where I can fully understand decisions to go either way, but if it's a stable altitude and a subterminal opening I'd expect my Pilot to open without spooking the AAD, and I'd rather have two canopy options if needed.


(This post was edited by NWFlyer on Jul 27, 2009, 2:40 PM)


Beachbum  (B License)

Jul 27, 2009, 1:07 PM
Post #3 of 124 (3553 views)
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Re: [NWFlyer] Bailing out low? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Aircraft in stable flight ... main. No so stable... reserve. 1800's right on that bubble where I can fully understand decisions to go either way, but if it's a stable altitude and a subterminal opening I'd expect my Pilot to open without spooking the AAD, and I'd rather have two canopy options if needed.

Agree with concept, but the number I'm at for this stage of my skydiving career is 2000 feet ... lower than that and I'm going silver. That faster deployment gives me a little more time to locate/set up for a safe landing area (no telling what the airplane may be over, and I'm SURE not going to want to try to determine that on my way out the door to make the decision). Plus, my Triathlon is often a slow opening, so it gives me more leeway for the Cypres by only going main above 2k.


Premier Remster  (C License)

Jul 27, 2009, 1:19 PM
Post #4 of 124 (3526 views)
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Re: [Beachbum] Bailing out low? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Plus, my Triathlon is often a slow opening,

How much altitude do you think it would take for your main to open if you pull on exit on one of those "slow" openings?

(Note: I'm not trying to convince you to use it, but you should understand how your gear works)


Snowflake

Jul 27, 2009, 1:36 PM
Post #5 of 124 (3495 views)
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Re: [Remster] Bailing out low? [In reply to] Can't Post

My suggestion is do a hop and pop(pull as soon as you clear the plane) and check your altitude at exit and when your canopy is fully open. Things to take in to account sub terminal opening, Forward velocity.


(Just a general reply to no one in particular)


(This post was edited by Snowflake on Jul 27, 2009, 1:38 PM)


Andy9o8  (D License)

Jul 27, 2009, 1:44 PM
Post #6 of 124 (3478 views)
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Re: [NWFlyer] Bailing out low? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Aircraft in stable flight ... main. No so stable... reserve. 1800's right on that bubble where I can fully understand decisions to go either way, but if it's a stable altitude and a subterminal opening I'd expect my Pilot to open without spooking the AAD, and I'd rather have two canopy options if needed.

Yeah, I'd agree with that. If I was jumping a slower-opening canopy, though, like a Spectre, I'd probably up the cutoff altitude. Also, a quick hop & pop isn't really in near-dead air, of course, due to the plane's forward velocity.


tombuch  (D 8514)

Jul 27, 2009, 1:58 PM
Post #7 of 124 (3450 views)
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Re: [normiss] Bailing out low? [In reply to] Can't Post

Main. It's a Sabre and opens really fast, and I have more than 4,800 jumps with plenty of BASE experience, and a few aircraft exits in this altitude range.

Below 1,200 I'd go for the reserve just because my AAD is set for 700 feet.

Keep in mind that a hop and pop deploys the parachute behind you, and your rate of descent is much lower than terminal. The opening is very different, so it helps to have made a few practice jumps to know how fast and how well your main will open in the sub terminal air. Plus, many inexperienced jumpers have a hard time getting stable on a hop-and-pop.

It's a good question for everybody to think about.


lauraliscious  (C 35895)

Jul 27, 2009, 1:58 PM
Post #8 of 124 (3449 views)
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Re: [normiss] Bailing out low? [In reply to] Can't Post

I was involved in this particular incident, and we actually had a 3rd option you failed to mention....the pilot gave us the option to land with the plane.

For me, the decision was easy. Not a decision I really wanted to be making in the 1st place, but easy. I bailed out on my reserve. My main (Pilot 168) snivels a good deal, 1800' is my decision altitude so if my main had a problem I didn't feel like I would have had time to deal with it. Not to mention the very real chance of having 2 out due to an AAD fire (I've heard they arm at 1200', fire around 750??? - not sure if this is true). I did not want to land with the plane (although I have had to do that before, when I had no choice). I have no trouble landing with the plane when it's functioning properly, but when there's a problem with it I would much prefer to land under my own canopy. And between 1000 - 2000 feet, that canopy is my reserve.

I'm curious to know, for the people who say they would go to their mains in this situation (which 21 people did in this instance, with no problems) at what altitude WOULD you go straight to your reserve? Or would you choose to stay with the plane instead of going to your reserve?

It was a great learning experience, that's for sure. Crazy


(This post was edited by lauraliscious on Jul 27, 2009, 2:02 PM)


Sletzer  (B 31200)

Jul 27, 2009, 2:03 PM
Post #9 of 124 (3442 views)
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Re: [normiss] Bailing out low? [In reply to] Can't Post

Edited to add: I was on this load as well. I decided to use my main.

*personal opinion*
1500 is the cuttoff for me. Above, I'd go with the main. Below, straight to reserve. Main's may take a bit longer to deploy, however if you go reserve and it malfunctions, you're stuck with it. From my experience, main's often open with relatively little verticle loss when pitched right out the door. A 1200 foot snivel at terminal should not take 1200 feet to open when pitching right out the door. It's more of a semi horozontal deployment.

*moral*
That's my personal take on what to do. Make your own decision and be ready to impliment it when the time comes. That being said, never rule out the flexibility of decision making on the fly, should the parameters of the situation change. If you chose main and the slider hesitates, tug those risers and get that puppy down. If you chose reserve and the PC hesitates, try to get some air across it. React accordingly. It's an emergency: remain calm, and do what you have to do to survive once you leave that plane.

That's my take on it.


(This post was edited by Sletzer on Jul 27, 2009, 2:06 PM)


normiss  (D 28356)

Jul 27, 2009, 2:04 PM
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Re: [tombuch] Bailing out low? [In reply to] Can't Post

I would also suggest people make an occasional hop 'n pop to understand this.
I think a number of folks have not made a hop 'n pop since AFF.
Sniveling is not a word I would use for a sub terminal opening.
and 1200 would be about my decision as well, although I don't have an AAD.


Heatmiser  (C License)

Jul 27, 2009, 2:14 PM
Post #11 of 124 (3422 views)
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Re: [normiss] Bailing out low? [In reply to] Can't Post

Main. I'm on a Sabre 190, even sub-terminal it is open in a reasonable amount of time. 1500 is my hard deck. Anything below 1500 is silver.


JohnRich  (D License)

Jul 27, 2009, 2:20 PM
Post #12 of 124 (3409 views)
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Re: [normiss] Bailing out low? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
You're on an Otter, engine out at 1800 ft, which canopy do YOU go for and why?

The pilot couldn't climb to, say, 2,500' on the remaining engine?

How about if a few brave volunteers bail out at 1,800' to lighten the load, and then the pilot takes it up to 2,500' for everyone else?

Tandems, of course, are screwed in these scenarios.

For solo jumpers, it depends upon their comfort factor with exiting stable and pulling quickly, along with how fast their canopy opens.


(This post was edited by JohnRich on Jul 27, 2009, 2:22 PM)


indyz  (D 28525)

Jul 27, 2009, 2:22 PM
Post #13 of 124 (3407 views)
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Re: [normiss] Bailing out low? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd go with my main from 1800', no worries. Even my snivelly Velocity is open in a few hundred feet on a hop 'n pop. Below 1500' I would probably go with the reserve. If I was using my CRW rig I would go with the main 100% of the time, regardless of altitude.


Premier NWFlyer  (D 29960)

Jul 27, 2009, 2:45 PM
Post #14 of 124 (3382 views)
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Re: [lauraliscious] Bailing out low? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I'm curious to know, for the people who say they would go to their mains in this situation (which 21 people did in this instance, with no problems) at what altitude WOULD you go straight to your reserve? Or would you choose to stay with the plane instead of going to your reserve?

Probably 1500 - that's my hard deck and also where I feel like with my current canopy I would be too close for comfort on spooking my AAD.

As for riding with the plane - one factor in that would be where we were in relation to a safe landing area. I understand you all were right over the dropzone, which makes the decision an easier one ... you've got somewhere good to land under your own controls. But if I'm bailing low over a really sketchy landing area... makes the decision a little harder ... of course what's sketchy for me might also be sketchy for the plane assuming the pilot can't make it back to the runway.

No easy answers for sure. Hearing about the incident over the weekend prompted a nice discussion of this very decision. It's very possible that in a "shit hitting the fan"situation I might go with the reserve, but armchair quarterbacking right now I'm thinking main. I think either decision is an appropriate one at such a borderline bailout altitude.


(This post was edited by NWFlyer on Jul 27, 2009, 2:46 PM)


iluvtofly  (C License)

Jul 27, 2009, 2:51 PM
Post #15 of 124 (3372 views)
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Re: [normiss] Bailing out low? [In reply to] Can't Post

I was on the ground when this incident occurred. It immediately made me think about what I would do. I would go for my reserve just because of snivel factor and fear of having 2 out due to my AAD.

I think everyone on that load handled the situation PERFECTLY. From what everyone said not a single person panicked. Everyone stayed extremely calm throughout the entire situation. You could tell once they landed that there were a few people who's adrenaline was pumping a bit harder than usual but that's to be expected.

Kudo's to everyone on that load for handling it as well as they did. I definitely learned a lot from talking to everyone and learning just what everyone's thought process was when it came to main/reserve.


hchunter614  (B 30368)

Jul 27, 2009, 2:52 PM
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Re: [normiss] Bailing out low? [In reply to] Can't Post

Twin engine plane with 1 engine out - land with the plane unless pilot says get the hell out then bail on reserve.

If the plane is in enough trouble that the pilot tells you to get out it's very possible you'll be closer to 1200 feet by the time you get out the door depending on how the plane is flying and your position in the plane.


happythoughts  (D License)

Jul 27, 2009, 3:17 PM
Post #17 of 124 (3342 views)
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Re: [tombuch] Bailing out low? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Main. It's a Sabre and opens really fast, and I have more than 4,800 jumps with plenty of BASE experience, and a few aircraft exits in this altitude range.

Below 1,200 I'd go for the reserve just because my AAD is set for 700 feet.

Keep in mind that a hop and pop deploys the parachute behind you, and your rate of descent is much lower than terminal. The opening is very different, so it helps to have made a few practice jumps to know how fast and how well your main will open in the sub terminal air. Plus, many inexperienced jumpers have a hard time getting stable on a hop-and-pop.

It's a good question for everybody to think about.

I've noticed those things doing demos.
Plus, one more item - burble.

Whenever I do a demo, I give it a 4-count because
the air right behind the Otter is fairly turbulent.

A sub-terminal opening means that it is opening slower and the bag has more time to dance around.
Mix the slow opening, fouled up air, and questionable
body position - line twists (or worse) just waiting to happen.


BrianM  (D 661)

Jul 27, 2009, 3:19 PM
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Re: [NWFlyer] Bailing out low? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
As for riding with the plane - one factor in that would be where we were in relation to a safe landing area.

I would also add another factor - the elevation of the ground below you. It might not be a factor if you are jumping somewhere flat, but lots of DZ's have surrounding terrain that is significantly higher than the landing area. Just because your dial says 1800 doesn't mean you have 1800 feet. A 1000 foot hill will leave you with only 800 feet.

My answer to the original question: below 1500, reserve. Above 1500, main. If I'm not happy with what I have by the time I reach 1500, I still have time to cutaway and deploy my reserve, so why not have two shots at a good canopy?


(This post was edited by BrianM on Jul 27, 2009, 3:19 PM)


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Jul 27, 2009, 3:47 PM
Post #19 of 124 (3310 views)
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Re: [Remster] Bailing out low? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
Plus, my Triathlon is often a slow opening,

How much altitude do you think it would take for your main to open if you pull on exit on one of those "slow" openings?

(Note: I'm not trying to convince you to use it, but you should understand how your gear works)

Note: I fly Triathlons and I pack, and I have my packers set me up with, ~6-800 ft snivels...I like 'em soft.

I bailed on main.
I was jumpmastering the exit and I was next-to-last out (the last out was coming down from the co-pilot's seat and is a 6500-jump pro. He signalled me to go ahead of him.) FWIW, my Neptune registered 1900 ft exit, 1900 ft in the saddle. Yes, I said FWIW.

The first ones got out at a little over 1700ft. as per my analogue Galaxy. As weight left, the plane climbed a little.

It was stable flight.

I was prepared to cut the main if anything didn't come out like exactly how I wanted it to....and yes, to do so before add fire.

At about 1400ft, I would go with reserve.
NOTE: THIS IS A PERSONAL DECISION AND SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AS A RECOMMENDATION FOR ANYONE.


I'm sorry to hear that some people aren't sure what canopy opening differences there are between immediate pitch and terminal pitch....even the high-jump-numbers I talked to on the ground afterwards. I humbly suggest that they get some instruction and go find out first-hand BEFORE these types of decisions HAVE to be made.


Are you going to let it snivel all the way down to AAD fire? Or, do you even KNOW your AAD parameters?


(This post was edited by popsjumper on Jul 27, 2009, 3:50 PM)


jackwallace  (Student)

Jul 27, 2009, 4:09 PM
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Re: [normiss] Bailing out low? [In reply to] Can't Post

4 way at least two maybe three points. Never pull your reserve abouve 300 feet. If it don't work at least you won't have to worry. "Jim Bour"


Beachbum  (B License)

Jul 27, 2009, 4:49 PM
Post #21 of 124 (3252 views)
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Re: [Remster] Bailing out low? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've never pulled immediately out of the plane. Even on hop-n-pops, I've always given myself a couple of seconds to be well clear and be sure I'm not going to tumble or anything (not really much of a concern now that I've done more of them) ... and no, I can't say I have ever monitored altitude loss from plane to saddle on one, but would guess it probably averages around 500' with my normal pack job (nearer to 700', or once in a while greater at terminal). So, that would put me under something solid by about 1300. Reserve will buy me at least a few hundred feet in that situation, and for my experience level I'll take it. As I said above ... more time to locate and get to a good landing area. Where I usually jump, terrain isn't going to present a problem, but I have been up to Lost Prairie 3 times, and as someone mentioned ... there or anywhere like that, you could be up a creek relying on that 1800' number depending on where the plane is when you have to bail. I don't want to have to remember one rule for home, another for away. And yes, I still do h-n-p's now and then. I agree that they're good practice, and think the suggestion to do one and check altitudes before/saddle is a good idea. I'll report back after I test it (not that it will be totally definitive, since I'm sure my packjobs still vary!!).


skyjumpenfool  (Student)

Jul 27, 2009, 6:13 PM
Post #22 of 124 (3191 views)
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Re: [Beachbum] Bailing out low? [In reply to] Can't Post

Another reason I'd reccomend everyone do a little CReW!! Lot's of hop n pop opportunities for everyone. Nothing like experience.......


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Jul 27, 2009, 6:21 PM
Post #23 of 124 (3182 views)
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Re: [JohnRich] Bailing out low? [In reply to] Can't Post

>The pilot couldn't climb to, say, 2,500' on the remaining engine?

Depends. The Super Otter in San Diego in spring? Probably no problem. An Otter with -20 engines at Mile-Hi on a hot day? Maybe not.

>How about if a few brave volunteers bail out at 1,800' to lighten the load . . .

I'd think that's a _very_ complex decision to try to make when you are a pilot, you have lost an engine, are losing altitude and have to make a dozen decisions in the next five seconds. If it's bad enough that things necessitate a bailout, it's probably a good idea to get everyone out. If not, there's a lot to be said for following the usual engine-out procedure. A pilot who does a good job at that will be able to get the plane down without injury to his passengers, himself or people on the ground.


labrys  (D 29848)

Jul 27, 2009, 7:01 PM
Post #24 of 124 (3152 views)
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Re: [normiss] Bailing out low? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
You're on an Otter, engine out at 1800 ft, which canopy do YOU go for and why?

Main for sure.
Quote:
Sub terminal, that's "plenty" of time to watch for a good canopy and still have time to cut away if necessary. There just isn't a lot of time to waste.

But I also wonder if it would always be necessary to bail from a Twin Otter with only one engine out.


VideoFly  (D 25621)

Jul 27, 2009, 7:26 PM
Post #25 of 124 (3133 views)
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Re: [normiss] Bailing out low? [In reply to] Can't Post

For me and my current main, I would definitely go to my reserve below 2,000 feet. In the last 100 jumps, Ive typically had 1,500 foot snivels on my main whereas I used to have 800 to 1,200 foot snivels. My main is old and porous and its probably ready for a third line set. Also, where I jump, there are lots of 100+ foot trees in wide-based dense wooded areas (not to mention the Great Dismal Swamp) with sporadic great fields to land in. Even if I was in the saddle at 1,000 feet with my main, I might need a little extra altitude to make it to a safe landing zone. Furthermore, my reserve is not the boogie-man. Its a perfectly good canopy with in this situation, a lot of possible advantages. As far as my main is concerned, I got a new one today. If I were still jumping Sabres Id go to my main at 1,800 feet and after jumping my new canopy, I might consider changing my current plan. But with the possibility of line twists, bag lock, long snivels, a cypres fire with two out, or other common inconveniences or malfunctions, I would go directly to my reserve below 2,000 feet.


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