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landing Tandem with 4 blown cells

 

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motomike  (D License)

Jan 4, 2011, 6:36 AM
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landing Tandem with 4 blown cells Can't Post

Just curious what others think, Saw a tandem instructor (or in the state of getting a rating) taking up a experienced skydiver (student) and watched them land with 4 blown out cells. WOW I had no idea you could land a canopy with half the cells flapping in the breeze.

If a canopy acts normal (assuming this did) would you land a known "bad" canopy or chop and go to reserve, knowning that opening is where you had the blow out (hard opening, with two big guys).


normiss  (D 28356)

Jan 4, 2011, 6:43 AM
Post #2 of 57 (4022 views)
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Re: [motomike] landing Tandem with 4 blown cells [In reply to] Can't Post

Personally, no.
If it's blown one (or more) cells, to me there is an increased risk of complete fabric failure - depending on the tear of course.
Not worth the risk to me if it's that bad.
YMMV.


airtwardo  (D License)

Jan 4, 2011, 7:49 AM
Post #3 of 57 (3986 views)
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Re: [normiss] landing Tandem with 4 blown cells [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Personally, no.
If it's blown one (or more) cells, to me there is an increased risk of complete fabric failure - depending on the tear of course.
Not worth the risk to me if it's that bad.
YMMV.

Absolutely...sure it can be done, but why drive home on a flat when there is a good spare in the trunk.


VTmotoMike08  (D 30399)

Jan 4, 2011, 8:28 AM
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Re: [motomike] landing Tandem with 4 blown cells [In reply to] Can't Post

So did he notice that the cells were blown out? I have seen two very experienced TI's (one was an IE) land a tandem canopy with a single blown out center cell with no problems, didn't even notice anything was wrong. I would think that 4 blown cells would create a noticable difference, but I could be wrong. That being said, I would chop and land the reserve if I noticed 4 blown cells.


Ron

Jan 4, 2011, 8:37 AM
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Re: [airtwardo] landing Tandem with 4 blown cells [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
but why drive home on a flat when there is a good spare in the trunk.

Because sometimes the spare is also flat?

"Description: He was filming a 4-way and became entangled with another jumper on opening. The two jumpers cut away and his reserve pilot chute became entangled with his helmet."

"Description: Due to a hard opening, this jumper broke one of the D lines on his canopy, a 230 Rascal. it went into a spin, so he cut it away. The rapid deployment of the reserve via the RSL resulted in his capturing the reserve pilot chute on his right arm. One report indicates the reserve lines also entangled with his neck. The reserve never cleared the freebag."

It is a tough choice.... But if the one above my head is "there, square, stable, steerable".... I'd likely keep it.

If I felt at all iffy... It would be gone.


motomike  (D License)

Jan 4, 2011, 8:39 AM
Post #6 of 57 (3950 views)
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Re: [VTmotoMike08] landing Tandem with 4 blown cells [In reply to] Can't Post

They did notice... VERY hard opening. They thought they had end cell closure because that side of the canopy didnt inflate..(then they noticed the real problem when they could see the sun through the cells

I change this scenerio to my canopy: I think I would have chopped in fear of getting too low and NOT being able to have ANY options....if the fabric gave out.


airtwardo  (D License)

Jan 4, 2011, 8:43 AM
Post #7 of 57 (3935 views)
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Re: [Ron] landing Tandem with 4 blown cells [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
but why drive home on a flat when there is a good spare in the trunk.

Because sometimes the spare is also flat?

"Description: He was filming a 4-way and became entangled with another jumper on opening. The two jumpers cut away and his reserve pilot chute became entangled with his helmet."

"Description: Due to a hard opening, this jumper broke one of the D lines on his canopy, a 230 Rascal. it went into a spin, so he cut it away. The rapid deployment of the reserve via the RSL resulted in his capturing the reserve pilot chute on his right arm. One report indicates the reserve lines also entangled with his neck. The reserve never cleared the freebag."

It is a tough choice.... But if the one above my head is "there, square, stable, steerable".... I'd likely keep it.

If I felt at all iffy... It would be gone.


With a paying customer strapped to me, there is no 'iffy' regarding a blown cell, much less four.

The wing incurred a structural failure, difficult to access the extent of the damage while in the air, and impossible to predict if further damage will continue during the decent...A blown cell is a malfunction by any definition, yes some are land-able but that's not a chance I'd take with a passenger that might have a lawyer in the family.

If I didn't trust the reserve to work, I wouldn't jump.


(This post was edited by airtwardo on Jan 4, 2011, 9:13 AM)


Ron

Jan 4, 2011, 9:15 AM
Post #8 of 57 (3915 views)
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Re: [airtwardo] landing Tandem with 4 blown cells [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
And if i did trust the reserve to work or my ability to deploy it, I wouldn't jump.

That's cool.... But I have seen reserve malfunctions over the years. For me and my student I am going to play what I see as the safest course of action... And that may very well be staying with the main if it flys fine rather than trading it for what is behind pin #2.

Your opinion is different, and that is fine. There is no black and white in this situation.


airtwardo  (D License)

Jan 4, 2011, 9:20 AM
Post #9 of 57 (3909 views)
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Re: [Ron] landing Tandem with 4 blown cells [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
And if i did trust the reserve to work or my ability to deploy it, I wouldn't jump.

That's cool.... But I have seen reserve malfunctions over the years. For me and my student I am going to play what I see as the safest course of action... And that may very well be staying with the main if it flys fine rather than trading it for what is behind pin #2.

Your opinion is different, and that is fine. There is no black and white in this situation.


LaughLaugh
I was about to say the same thing, it's a judgement call...And yes I've seen a reserve malfunction as well, it was mine with a line over.

That said, I'd still chop with a passenger...just seems the prudent thing to me. You do however have quite a few more tandems than I do.


Andrewwhyte  (C 1988)

Jan 4, 2011, 9:29 AM
Post #10 of 57 (3899 views)
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Re: [airtwardo] landing Tandem with 4 blown cells [In reply to] Can't Post

I once had a tandem mal that was controllable and square. It wanted to turn, but was easily kept straight. The flare was a bit tough but do-able. I thought about keeping it for about 2 seconds until I realised that I was doing a tandem and didn't have the luxury of making that call. If I had been alone I would have landed it. But I wasn't alone, my tolerance for risk was lowered. I chopped.
A candidate who lands a canopy with 4 blown cells should fail. He either has deficient awareness or deficient judgement.


vanair  (D 8360)

Jan 4, 2011, 8:48 PM
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Re: [Andrewwhyte] landing Tandem with 4 blown cells [In reply to] Can't Post

yeah, no black and white. I did have a tandem that had a tension knot in the steering line. tried flairing but it would stop when it hit the keeper. couldn't get it out, almost perfect parachute but only right turns. Told my passenger, he was no student. He keep screaming No No I don't want to fall again. Chop, clean easy landing. my guy did kiss the ground. In this situation I would have chopped. 2 big guys but the reserve opening would be sub-terminal. With blown cells it's hard to truly tell how effective the practice flair is with no ground coming up to judge against.


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Jan 4, 2011, 8:50 PM
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Re: [airtwardo] landing Tandem with 4 blown cells [In reply to] Can't Post

Agreed!
I take far fewer risks with student's ankles than I take with my own ankles.

Back when I lived in Southern California, I tore up my fair share of F-111 tandem mains and even landed a few damaged mains.
Holes in the top skin are no-brainers, because they might turn okay, but fold up when you practice flaring them.

I have landed a few with minor tension knots, near the middle.

I have also landed a few with broken C or D lines, but I only ever landed one tandem with a broken A line. That flared like a bag-lock and SMACKED me so hard into the Mojave Desert that I vowed to never repeat that foolishness!

I have also landed several tandem mains with torn bottom skins. A couple of them were even tore from front to rear. Since they turned and flared fine, I elected to land them.

Now that the days of hard-opening, F-111 mains have passed, there are far fewer excuses for landing damaged mains and now I tell junior TIs: "When in doubt, cutaway and follow through with your reserve ripcord."

I offer these scary tales in hopes that you can learn from some of the mistakes that I made when I was young and foolish, to enable you to learn without all the scar tissue, so that you can remain young and beautiful.

But landing 4 blow cells????
Surrender your rating!

Rob Warner
Strong Tandem Examiner
Racer TI
Vector TI


Bodhisattva420  (B 35178)

Jan 4, 2011, 9:51 PM
Post #13 of 57 (3707 views)
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Re: [Andrewwhyte] landing Tandem with 4 blown cells [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think anyone mentioned that the TM did consult the D-Licensed passenger and both decided they wanted to land the main. Don't know if that matters but thought it was kind of funny. What do you wanna do man???


obelixtim  (D 84)

Jan 5, 2011, 1:57 AM
Post #14 of 57 (3653 views)
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Re: [Bodhisattva420] landing Tandem with 4 blown cells [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I don't think anyone mentioned that the TM did consult the D-Licensed passenger and both decided they wanted to land the main. Don't know if that matters but thought it was kind of funny. What do you wanna do man???

I can imagine the discussion betwen them would have been reasonably animated. The cutaway or not decision would have been mutual, I would think.


Para5-0  (D 19054)

Jan 5, 2011, 7:11 AM
Post #15 of 57 (3580 views)
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Re: [obelixtim] landing Tandem with 4 blown cells [In reply to] Can't Post

I think it would have made a better story if they disagreed and argued about it, on video of course.Wink


motomike  (D License)

Jan 5, 2011, 7:48 AM
Post #16 of 57 (3562 views)
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Re: [Bodhisattva420] landing Tandem with 4 blown cells [In reply to] Can't Post

Bodhi....im just glad you can still walk.... I wont post your video here :)


airtwardo  (D License)

Jan 5, 2011, 8:24 AM
Post #17 of 57 (3538 views)
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Re: [obelixtim] landing Tandem with 4 blown cells [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
I don't think anyone mentioned that the TM did consult the D-Licensed passenger and both decided they wanted to land the main. Don't know if that matters but thought it was kind of funny. What do you wanna do man???

I can imagine the discussion between them would have been reasonably animated. The cutaway or not decision would have been mutual, I would think.


Probably depends on how long the passenger's arms are and how flexible he is...Sly


motomike  (D License)

Jan 5, 2011, 8:50 AM
Post #18 of 57 (3527 views)
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Re: [Bodhisattva420] landing Tandem with 4 blown cells [In reply to] Can't Post

Also if the TI is trying to get his rating would he consult passenger in a real situation? I head him on plane giving him the usual TI instruction before leaving plane.As if it was a real practice run.. mmmhmmmm


Liemberg  (Student)

Jan 5, 2011, 10:03 AM
Post #19 of 57 (3498 views)
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Re: [Bodhisattva420] landing Tandem with 4 blown cells [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I don't think anyone mentioned that the TM did consult the D-Licensed passenger and both decided they wanted to land the main. Don't know if that matters but thought it was kind of funny. What do you wanna do man???
"All in favour say aye...'

Next thing of course: What to do if the pax elects he wants to get rid of it, while the TI-prospect would rather stay?

*Note to self (repeated) Never play pax without IE handles*
Smile

My choice would have been to cut it away but I have an optimistic nature regarding reserves. A previous poster talked about 'square, stable, steerable' but how can you be sure about solid flight characteristics @ or below 50 ft when you are @ 3500ft? If you were wrong, it would really suck to find out below 1000ft.

(Well at least that was my rationale when I saw the sunlight peaking through at least three of MY center cells...)


obelixtim  (D 84)

Jan 5, 2011, 10:16 AM
Post #20 of 57 (3489 views)
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Re: [Liemberg] landing Tandem with 4 blown cells [In reply to] Can't Post

 It can be stable and controllable at altitude, but you can get into big trouble close to the ground if you encounter turbulence.

Thats something that a lot of people won't even think of when they are at altitude wondering if the canopy is worth staying with.

The old "if in doubt, whip it out" adage comes to mind. Pretty sound policy over a long period of time.


petemac  (D 5465)

Jan 6, 2011, 3:46 AM
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Re: [obelixtim] landing Tandem with 4 blown cells [In reply to] Can't Post

<qoute>It can be stable and controllable at altitude, but you can get into big trouble close to the ground if you encounter turbulence. </quote>

Absolutely!!, who knows when and where this will turn into something nasty!

I've landed a few problematic tandem, but known top-skin damage and an uncertainty landing\faring characteristic is way too random for me, even if it is a practice punter on the front.


(This post was edited by petemac on Jan 6, 2011, 3:50 AM)


airathanas  (D 29277)

Jan 6, 2011, 6:05 AM
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Re: [petemac] landing Tandem with 4 blown cells [In reply to] Can't Post

I find it interesting that the passenger (an experienced skydiver) chose to land the main with 4 blown out cells too. I'm 99.999% sure that this tandem system was Strong Enterprises. On these types of jumps (candidate jumping for a tandem rating with a licensed jumper as the passenger), the passenger has handles which they can use to cut away and pull the reserve. I'm assuming that they were wearing an altimeter too (and they they knew the decision altitude). Those handles are required to be there for a reason!


motomike  (D License)

Jan 6, 2011, 7:05 AM
Post #23 of 57 (3341 views)
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Re: [airathanas] landing Tandem with 4 blown cells [In reply to] Can't Post

airathanas: What would you have done?

I would think that part of the TI process is to be able to think for yourself and your student because in the future this guy would be taking real passengers.

Again I guess I think what if my mom was on this tandem ride? Would I trust the judgement or decision?


Liemberg  (Student)

Jan 6, 2011, 11:51 AM
Post #24 of 57 (3303 views)
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Re: [motomike] landing Tandem with 4 blown cells [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Again I guess I think what if my mom was on this tandem ride? Would I trust the judgement or decision

Like the "Hey let's wear wingsuits" thing, this was a stupid idea. Luckily, not all stupid idea's kill us...

The danger lies in getting away with it and therefore believing that it is OK. It is not.

I'm not the one to say if the candidate(?) should fail or pass. For most people it is true that making bad decisions every now and then improves the quality of the decision-making. Like in "you live and learn"...


Skyper

Jan 6, 2011, 2:08 PM
Post #25 of 57 (3249 views)
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Re: [Para5-0] landing Tandem with 4 blown cells [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I think it would have made a better story if they disagreed and argued about it, on video of course.Wink
~

plus 1

Laugh


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