Forums: Skydiving: Incidents:
Main/Reserve/Hair Entanglement

 

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kmfreefly  (D 22063)

Aug 31, 2009, 7:18 AM
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Main/Reserve/Hair Entanglement Can't Post

This happened to me on Friday...
So I taught AFF that morning, and thought weather would be bad, so my hair was down. Weather got good enough for fun jumps, so I threw in one long braid down my back, and went for a fun jump with my husband, Karl and Luke Evens. I tucked it in for exit. I knew the strap on my Z1 wasn't doing it's job very well lately, but no big deal, right... never been a problem before!
It obviously came out during freefall. I deployed and felt my head get jerked. I reached back and felt my braid COMPLETELY wrapped in bridle and risers. My d-bag was banging around on my right shoulder. I reached for my handles, and thought, "this is going to hurt". I was fully prepared to have my hair ripped out of my head. After I cutaway, I felt it towing from my head. I'm not sure if my three rings released. So I thought, "this is all I've got" and dumped my reserve into it, and it inflated quickly and beautifully. Then all of my stuff, my risers, bridle, bag, and hair wrapped around my right reserve steering toggle 2 or 3 times. By the way, it was Karl's first save....

I was so busy with that mess, I forgot to pay attention to my handles. I eventually had the thought "Did I keep my handles?" I saw that I did, and I put them both in my left hand, and released my left toggle to steer toward the DZ. I was over the SW intersection with many obstacles. I put the left toggle in my teeth to fly straight back to the DZ. I worked on the right toggle and got it out around 300 feet. My landing was pretty uneventful, and Karl quickly realized what happened, and came over to help untangle my main-reserve-hair entanglement. Unfortunately I didn't have time to watch my free bag, and the monster corn field has swallowed it.

My hair still hurts quite a bit, but mostly I'm grateful.. I know I'm lucky to be here.
I made two jumps Sunday. My helmet was a bit painful, but it felt good to be in the air.

What is to be learned? Tuck your hair, every single time, and be sure it will not come out.


fizzgizz

Aug 31, 2009, 7:26 AM
Post #2 of 42 (13388 views)
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Re: [kmfreefly] Main/Reserve/Hair Entanglement [In reply to] Can't Post

WOW! What a STORY! Glad you are OKAY!!!


peek  (D 8884)

Aug 31, 2009, 7:39 AM
Post #3 of 42 (13344 views)
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Re: [kmfreefly] Main/Reserve/Hair Entanglement [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I deployed and felt my head get jerked. I reached back and felt my braid COMPLETELY wrapped in bridle and risers. My d-bag was banging around on my right shoulder.

All I can say is "holy fucking shit!" Merriah, I'm so glad you are OK. Thank you for telling us about this.

One thing I don't understand is why the entanglement happened. I forget how long your hair is. Is it long enough to go way back by the main container? I would think that even very long hair would just be parallel to the pilot chute bridle on deployment.


kmfreefly  (D 22063)

Aug 31, 2009, 7:48 AM
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Re: [peek] Main/Reserve/Hair Entanglement [In reply to] Can't Post

My hair is pretty long, but usually it does float straight up over my back if it gets out. I always make an effort to tuck it, but my elastic had broken on my Z1. I have no idea how this happened. But it did, and so I feel the strong need to share, and hopefully prevent it from happening to anyone else.
Needless to say, my elastic has been promptly replaced. Plus, I'm shopping for a cap this week.


(This post was edited by kmfreefly on Aug 31, 2009, 7:49 AM)


rehmwa  (D 12816)

Aug 31, 2009, 7:55 AM
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Re: [kmfreefly] Main/Reserve/Hair Entanglement [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for sharing this one with everybody. This is the worst malfunction one can have - horseshoe that won't clear - and having to dump a reserve into that mess.

And then it's worse since the incredible distractions of the horseshoe attached to your HEAD rather than the 'typical' leg or arm that's normally presented in training.

The learning here about hair being able to tangle into anything (all the swirling and moving air that lives in our burbles is a BIG item we need to be aware of -

I'd recommend additional applicablity than just a lesson for people with long hair - Also - those that like to tie streamers in their helmets - or wear jewelry - or have poorly designed ring sites - etc etc.. We've seen people that let stuff just hang out get into trouble quite a bit. The equipment over our shoulders has all sorts of snag factors for fine features.

Merriah, you are one of the best skydivers I know - and knowing you were able to save your own life in the worst malfunction I could conceive just shows it again. (AND, you kept your handles)

Other lesson - a good hair conditioner for strong roots may very well keep one from getting scalped the hard way.

stay streamlined


(This post was edited by rehmwa on Aug 31, 2009, 1:09 PM)


rehmwa  (D 12816)

Aug 31, 2009, 8:00 AM
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Re: [peek] Main/Reserve/Hair Entanglement [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I would think that even very long hair would just be parallel to the pilot chute bridle on deployment.

idealized conditions, Gary

the burble is not a laminar flow of any kind - that flow is violent and random - totally unpredictable.

all of us has seen equipment (pilot chutes, etc) bounce and swirl in the burble like crazy - why would hair be any different? And since hair is so fine and so chaotic, it could snatch all sorts of little gear features than bulkier things would just bounce off of.

take a handful of thread sometime and just work it around over the 3-rings, and the flaps, and everywhere on your gear, see what happens

I think what's amazing is that we don't see this type of incident more often.


peek  (D 8884)

Aug 31, 2009, 8:26 AM
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Re: [rehmwa] Main/Reserve/Hair Entanglement [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
the burble is not a laminar flow of any kind - that flow is violent and random - totally unpredictable.

Yes, of course, I just didn't remember her having hair long enough to do that. A lot of people have hair long enough to catch in the riser release system, but the bridle (seems) a long way off. Perhaps aerodynamically it is not so far off.
In reply to:
I think what's amazing is that we don't see this type of incident more often.

Me too, especially with many tandem instructors not taking precautions with the long hair of their students.


rehmwa  (D 12816)

Aug 31, 2009, 8:30 AM
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Re: [peek] Main/Reserve/Hair Entanglement [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
many tandem instructors not taking precautions with the long hair of their students.


ooooooof - I didn't consider that one and I just saw it this weekend too (super long hair on a passenger and I just thought about it being in the TM's face and not the other possibility). Nice observation.


azureriders  (D 28830)

Aug 31, 2009, 8:31 AM
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Re: [kmfreefly] Main/Reserve/Hair Entanglement [In reply to] Can't Post

WOW, what a story and glad to hear you are ok.

This really hits home for me as this is something that the wife and I have been concerned with ever since she started jumping. Her hair ranges from in length from the middle of her back to the middle of her butt depending on when the last donation was made. We have tucked it in every way we can think and it still gets out from time to time. She has decided that she feels safer to 'shorten' the braids rather than tucking them. We put her hair into braided pigtails, then tri fold each braid and ruber band them there with three bands each.

I am not saying this the right answer, and for sure not the only answer to jumping with long hair, but it is what she does and I thought I would throw it out for discusion.

Thanks for sharing and again, glad you are ok.
Attachments: dirt dive.jpg (49.7 KB)
  with gear.jpg (62.4 KB)
  FreeFall.jpg (115 KB)


kuai43  (C License)

Aug 31, 2009, 9:20 AM
Post #10 of 42 (12969 views)
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Re: [kmfreefly] Main/Reserve/Hair Entanglement [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Then all of my stuff, my risers, bridle, bag, and hair wrapped around my right reserve steering toggle 2 or 3 times.

I put the left toggle in my teeth to fly straight back to the DZ. I worked on the right toggle and got it out around 300 feet.

Hook knife? Might have made for a messy haircut, but...


ufk22  (D 16168)

Aug 31, 2009, 9:40 AM
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Re: [kmfreefly] Main/Reserve/Hair Entanglement [In reply to] Can't Post

Merriah
Glad to be reading your version rather than speculation on a fatality.
Like most of this stuff, not one big thing , but rather a series of small things that collectively caused it.
I've had one horseshoe that I could clear, up high. The scariest function up there, but at deployment altitude, oooooooohhhhh, noooooo..............

Karl
Nothing better than this save.


kmfreefly  (D 22063)

Aug 31, 2009, 11:51 AM
Post #12 of 42 (12651 views)
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Re: [kuai43] Main/Reserve/Hair Entanglement [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, the hook knife thing crossed my mind, but there was so much stuff wrapped around my reserve riser that it would have taken me much longer to slice it. Considering my deployment was at about 1000 feet, I just didn't have time.


pirana  (D 30661)

Aug 31, 2009, 12:00 PM
Post #13 of 42 (12641 views)
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Re: [kmfreefly] Main/Reserve/Hair Entanglement [In reply to] Can't Post

Holy Shit! So glad you were able to keep wits and execute EP's. Damn!

As to the burble and it's erratic airflowlack; I'm always amazed at the videos I've seen of people that pull the pilot out of the container and then hang on to it for a bit while the bridle does this crazy dance all over the place. It seems to go everywhere BUT straight up.

Maybe there is call for some sort of special little contraption/clip to help prevent this kind of thing.


scooterskydives  (D 19729)

Aug 31, 2009, 12:20 PM
Post #14 of 42 (12589 views)
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Re: [kmfreefly] Main/Reserve/Hair Entanglement [In reply to] Can't Post

HOLY CRAP SISTA Shocked I am so glad your ok... Yeah, I remember that one time, one of the tandem instructors had to use a hook knife to cut the braid of his students because on deployment her braid got caught in the three rings and she was in so much pain the only way was help was to cut it... luckily he had a hook knife on him..
Take care and everyone be safe!!!


BikerBabe  (D 18644)

Aug 31, 2009, 4:07 PM
Post #15 of 42 (12233 views)
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Re: [scooterskydives] Main/Reserve/Hair Entanglement [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.swim2000.com/...edo-solid-lycra-cap/

I will never ever jump without a lycra cap or helmet liner. One, because i'm super picky about having hair in my eyes, two because my hair tangles if you breathe on it, much less at 120 mph...heh.

But seriously, i swam for 12 years, and saw women with hair to their butts stuff braids and such up into these with no problems. you might have to adjust your helmet a bit, but i really think it's worth it.


jurgencamps  (D License)

Sep 1, 2009, 12:54 AM
Post #16 of 42 (11753 views)
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Re: [kmfreefly] Main/Reserve/Hair Entanglement [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
What is to be learned? Tuck your hair, every single time, and be sure it will not come out.

A buff as a sort of a headcap can do that.


OlympiaStoica  (C 38509)

Sep 1, 2009, 4:35 AM
Post #17 of 42 (11618 views)
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Re: [kmfreefly] Main/Reserve/Hair Entanglement [In reply to] Can't Post

OMG ... I got long, wild hair ... I rarely braid it, but just tuck it in my jumpsuit. You just demonstrated that's a bad idea ... how scary!!!

Glad you made it to tell the story.

O


asolomon

Sep 1, 2009, 4:53 AM
Post #18 of 42 (11585 views)
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Re: [kmfreefly] Main/Reserve/Hair Entanglement [In reply to] Can't Post

Glad it all ended well!

Got long hair and normally tuck it under the helmet.
Remember looking at a footage from one of the jumps, where my hair came out of the helmet - thinking "this looks cool; but woman, this is damn scary!" Since than, I secure my hair with the elastic to the back of my googles and than put the helmet on... and always carry a bunch of hair elastics "just in case" to the airplane.


kingbunky  (B 5376)

Sep 1, 2009, 5:02 AM
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Re: [kmfreefly] Main/Reserve/Hair Entanglement [In reply to] Can't Post

i joke that i never thought one of my major worries at 45 would be getting my ponytail caught in my risers. i braid mine at the base of my skull and then flip the whole thing forward under my helmet (it comes almost back up to my forehead)

i guess i wasn't just being paranoid. great job dealing with it!


hchunter614  (B 30368)

Sep 1, 2009, 7:14 AM
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Re: [azureriders] Main/Reserve/Hair Entanglement [In reply to] Can't Post

EDIT: Bah, guess I should read the rest of the thread. Bikerbabe already beat me to the punch up thread.

How about using either a hair net (probably not stront enough) or one of the Under Armour skull caps to keep your hair contained under your helmet?
http://www.underarmour.com/...earch_text=skull+cap


(This post was edited by hchunter614 on Sep 1, 2009, 7:15 AM)


mircan  (D 32291)

Sep 1, 2009, 7:56 AM
Post #21 of 42 (11351 views)
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Re: [kmfreefly] Main/Reserve/Hair Entanglement [In reply to] Can't Post

I have a picture of me and my pony tail while shooting tandem with large wings. You can see that (because of the wings burble) the tail is resting on container and that it`s almost reaching main packing tray.
http://www.dropzone.com/...t;postatt_id=112831;

Situation like yours could have happen to me easily. However, it seems that I was lucky and It didn`t.
But I have cut my hair couple of months ago so no worries Wink


Bolas  (D License)

Sep 1, 2009, 9:21 AM
Post #22 of 42 (11252 views)
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Re: [kmfreefly] Main/Reserve/Hair Entanglement [In reply to] Can't Post

Would this work for long hair?

When putting on your jumpsuit have it underneath. Zip suit up fully and before you put your rig on tilt your head as far forward as it can go and do a few neck rolls so hair is not restricting head movement at all.

The longer the length hair the more likely it would stay I'd think.


(This post was edited by Bolas on Sep 1, 2009, 11:16 AM)


kmfreefly  (D 22063)

Sep 1, 2009, 3:27 PM
Post #23 of 42 (11054 views)
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Re: [Bolas] Main/Reserve/Hair Entanglement [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

When putting on your jumpsuit have it underneath. Zip suit up fully and before you put your rig on tilt your head as far forward as it can go and do a few neck rolls so hair is not restricting head movement at all.

The longer the length hair the more likely it would stay I'd think.

I would not recommend that method now...
I used to tuck my braid in my neck koozie... I jump in the winter up here in MN, but I will never be satisfied with that ever again.
We all know that sometimes we crane our necks looking for someone in freefall... that student, that freeflyer that just corked, or that airplane that looked closer than it should be.
I moved my head around a bit on a regular freefly, and my braid escaped. I am really adamant about having a secure head piece from now on....
I've heard a few similar bad stories since this happened, look up the thread. Even more that aren't here. Apparently this has happened to other folks... just not bad enough to make it an incident report.
Please heed my advice, and keep your hair in... some of mine has fallen out.
M


Premier DSE  (D 29060)

Sep 1, 2009, 4:07 PM
Post #24 of 42 (11011 views)
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Re: [OlympiaStoica] Main/Reserve/Hair Entanglement [In reply to] Can't Post

Even with multiple hairties, I lost 5-6" of hair during a nasty deployment. Now I make a bun since I can't self-braid.


kmfreefly  (D 22063)

Sep 1, 2009, 8:27 PM
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Re: [DSE] Main/Reserve/Hair Entanglement [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you DSE!
You are helping to prove my point!
We've never officially met (but I know who you are)and you have beautiful hair! I've seen you in pictures... So sorry it became a casualty like some of mine...
M


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