Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
"First Free Fall Rig" ~ FXC on Main and Cypres/Vigil on Reserve

 


Unstable  (D 28930)

Mar 23, 2011, 9:49 PM
Post #1 of 22 (1545 views)
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"First Free Fall Rig" ~ FXC on Main and Cypres/Vigil on Reserve Can't Post

****I debated whether or not to post this in the gear forum, but my focus here is on practicality of training methods, not necessarily the gear in and of itself. Mods, if you feel you would rather move this, go ahead...Putting it here was debatable in the first place...
**********

Here in the Midwest, the Bread and butter of Small to Mid DZ's is SL and IAD. It is no secret. A Cessna can turn more $$ per hour and cater to a larger clientele wtih 1 instructor and 3 students versus two instructors and 1 student. I've been a Sl instructor since 2004, and I've taken students up at about 4 DZs.

One thing that always surprises me about SL is the First Free Fall ~ done after 3 consecutive PRCPs or PPCT's. Anyone that has instructed for a few years knows that, well, sometimes students surprise the hell out of you, especially the Top 98% or the bottom 2%.

Have any DZ's ever considered putting SL/IAD students out on their First Freefalls and maybe their first 10-second delays with a rig equiped with a modern AAD on the reserve and an FXC on the main? Yes, FXC is not a modern 'set and forget' format, but for this application, it would do a fine job. I know the Air Force does this with ALL their first jump students.

Advice or concerns?

*edited for spelling.


(This post was edited by Unstable on Mar 23, 2011, 9:52 PM)


hcsvader  (E 2952)

Mar 23, 2011, 10:42 PM
Post #2 of 22 (1501 views)
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Re: [Unstable] "First Free Fall Rig" ~ FXC on Main and Cypres/Vigil on Reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

I have seen alot of student rigs here in australia that use the FXC on the main for freefall students. Its mostly used on AFF jumps tho, not man static line jumps done here.

this would only work for DZ using rigs equipped with spring loaded pilot chute on the main. So it probably wouldn't be ideal for DZ doing IAD.


(This post was edited by hcsvader on Mar 23, 2011, 10:45 PM)


Unstable  (D 28930)

Mar 23, 2011, 11:21 PM
Post #3 of 22 (1488 views)
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Re: [hcsvader] "First Free Fall Rig" ~ FXC on Main and Cypres/Vigil on Reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
this would only work for DZ using rigs equipped with spring loaded pilot chute on the main. So it probably wouldn't be ideal for DZ doing IAD.


Good Point ~ I didn't think about that. Still, do we see this on any DZ's here in the states, other than US Air Force Academy?


peek  (D 8884)

Mar 24, 2011, 5:30 AM
Post #4 of 22 (1416 views)
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Re: [Unstable] "First Free Fall Rig" ~ FXC on Main and Cypres/Vigil on Reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
this would only work for DZ using rigs equipped with spring loaded pilot chute on the main. So it probably wouldn't be ideal for DZ doing IAD.

Good Point ~ I didn't think about that.

Furthermore, the main ripcord needs to have a pin that has the steel cable going through it and continuing with a short section of cable terminated with a swaged ball.

Then students will be throwing away $50-70 ripcords instead of $5 ones you can make yourself.

I think the system increases student safety quite a bit, but is impractical in today's world.


phoenixlpr  (D 3049)

Mar 24, 2011, 6:29 AM
Post #5 of 22 (1386 views)
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Re: [Unstable] "First Free Fall Rig" ~ FXC on Main and Cypres/Vigil on Reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

Do you really want to use FXC on the main?
You should inspect/calibrate FXC with an altitude chamber after every activation.

You need an FXC as much as an extra belly mount reserve.


stratostar  (Student)

Mar 24, 2011, 6:35 AM
Post #6 of 22 (1383 views)
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Re: [peek] "First Free Fall Rig" ~ FXC on Main and Cypres/Vigil on Reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I think the system increases student safety quite a bit, but is impractical in today's world.

If it was really needed in today's world then why do we not see lot's of students firing aad's left and right on S/L & IAD progression..... In today's era we see little student deaths do to no pulls as long as the add is hooked up right, and we hardly see aad saves on first free fall's or 10 sec. jumps, sure they can & do happen but not much.

Kind of reminds me of a recent debate about giving students BOC HD pilot chutes and how if it was allowed the horseshoe's would start happening 10 fold and students would start going in.... Then it turned into well you have to use base pilot chutes if you do allow that because the bridal will half hitch around the handle and cause a PCIT or total..... Yea cause that goes on all the time across the country and it's a huge industry conspiracy to hush it up in order to keep pilot chute MFG's in business, and of course every dz who uses hand deploy pilots chutes in the world are to fucking stupid understand that their using the wrong kind of pilot chutes, imagine that.... risking all those students worldwide by allowing them to use a regular hand deploy pilot chute! Some of the stupidest shit I've heard in years!


obelixtim  (D 84)

Mar 24, 2011, 8:19 AM
Post #7 of 22 (1338 views)
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Re: [Unstable] "First Free Fall Rig" ~ FXC on Main and Cypres/Vigil on Reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

 If you are clearing them for FF and then they are not pulling the handle, then you need to look at your own processes for clearing them for FF in the first place.

By giving them an AAD on their main you are giving them the message that you don't trust them, and that is not good for their self confidence, which is a very important part of them becoming a competant skydiver.

They need to know they can look after themselves.


Andrewwhyte  (C 1988)

Mar 24, 2011, 8:35 AM
Post #8 of 22 (1330 views)
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Re: [Unstable] "First Free Fall Rig" ~ FXC on Main and Cypres/Vigil on Reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

I believe Skydive Toronto Inc. Uses FXCs on the main for their student rigs for SL progression. I am not sure if they do for AFF.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Mar 24, 2011, 9:24 AM
Post #9 of 22 (1317 views)
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Re: [Unstable] "First Free Fall Rig" ~ FXC on Main and Cypres/Vigil on Reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

>Have any DZ's ever considered putting SL/IAD students out on their First
>Freefalls and maybe their first 10-second delays with a rig equiped with a
>modern AAD on the reserve and an FXC on the main?

Not sure what that would buy you. Modern AAD's (Cypres) are pretty reliable, and do a pretty good job of making sure that the student has a canopy by the time he gets near the ground.

Perris did that for a while - FXC on the main, relied on the RSL to open the reserve if the student cut away. After Lutz they switched to AAD on the reserve.


Ron

Mar 24, 2011, 9:34 AM
Post #10 of 22 (1315 views)
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Re: [stratostar] "First Free Fall Rig" ~ FXC on Main and Cypres/Vigil on Reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
If it was really needed in today's world then why do we not see lot's of students firing aad's left and right on S/L & IAD progression.....

+1 If it were a real issue we would see more firings.


rehmwa  (D 12816)

Mar 24, 2011, 10:19 AM
Post #11 of 22 (1298 views)
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Re: [Unstable] "First Free Fall Rig" ~ FXC on Main and Cypres/Vigil on Reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

any kind of aad on a main sounds completely idiotic

If the student isn't prepared to pull their own main on a freefall jump, then they need more PRCPs (static line), or more ground training (AFF).

(I trained Static Line and teach AFF - not the best qualifications, but hopefully enough to have an opinion)


Edit: why are so many questions lately about more and more nannying, and more and more conservative approaches to students? rather than appropriate and complete training and a philosophy of making sure the student is capable from training and responsible for their own lives.

Just to be clear - I do NOT want to see new grads:

1 - too scared to pull between 3k and 4k
2 - complacent about pulling their own main (or any other handles)
3 - unable to spot, unable to pack
4 - scared to exit below 3k, or 8K, or 13K
5 - scared of cessnas
6 - more

I don't want to see this, but I'm seeing this more and more

It's a VERY disturbing trend. We need to train better and instill confidence, not add a bunch of gadgets and idiotic restrictions to cover the idiots and the meek.


(This post was edited by rehmwa on Mar 24, 2011, 10:25 AM)


ufk22  (D 16168)

Mar 24, 2011, 10:46 AM
Post #12 of 22 (1277 views)
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Re: [Unstable] "First Free Fall Rig" ~ FXC on Main and Cypres/Vigil on Reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe we should just KEEP them on a static line til they get their licence......


Premier NWFlyer  (D License)

Mar 24, 2011, 12:48 PM
Post #13 of 22 (1228 views)
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Re: [rehmwa] "First Free Fall Rig" ~ FXC on Main and Cypres/Vigil on Reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
2 - complacent about pulling their own main (or any other handles)

I was that problem child. Not complacent about pulling my main, but the one who went unstable enough on my first freefall off of static line that I was having trouble finding my main ripcord (despite the fact that it was right there where I left it! Laugh).

However, I was trained to "try twice and pull silver." So I tried twice and pulled silver. That shows that I was trained that it was my job to get a canopy over my head, no matter what (and that I absorbed that training). This was in 2004, so I'm hardly an old-schooler.

Another issue besides all of those raised so far that I could see with an AAD on the main is that if you have someone who is for whatever reason having difficulty pulling the main and who follows their training (try twice/pull silver), having an AAD on the main could increase the likelihood of a two-out if the main AAD fires at the same time the jumper is following training and pulling their reserve.


Unstable  (D 28930)

Mar 24, 2011, 4:38 PM
Post #14 of 22 (1184 views)
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Re: [rehmwa] "First Free Fall Rig" ~ FXC on Main and Cypres/Vigil on Reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
any kind of aad on a main sounds completely idiotic

....
Edit: why are so many questions lately about more and more nannying, and more and more conservative approaches to students?


I appreciate your candor, but I find your tone rather inappropirate. This was a hypothetical thread, just wondering about the progressions and though processes in regaards to this particular set up.


pchapman  (D 1014)

Mar 24, 2011, 10:36 PM
Post #15 of 22 (1140 views)
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Re: [Unstable] "First Free Fall Rig" ~ FXC on Main and Cypres/Vigil on Reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll explain the system at Skydive Toronto since I instruct there. Yes it is weird and forces certain compromises, but the DZO has his reasons.

The static line gear has just the reserve AAD. And there's a bottom of container dummy handle pocket to do PRCP's.

The freefall gear has a reserve AAD, still an FXC. It also has an FXC for the main, and so has to use a ripcord and spring loaded PC.

Until last year, the ripcord was mounted above the hip junction - not a BOC but at least away from the chest. Last year a PFF (Canadian AFF) program was introduced, so the rigs were modified to have a ripcord with golf ball handle secured in the BOC location with tuck tabs. That got the handle away from where instructors might have to grab students.

(We riggers had considered a Sigma tandem style attached Spectra ripcord with a bungee, but the DZO preferred the lesser snag hazard of a traditional ripcord.)

When flying main side PFF, one does have to watch out for a metal ripcord across the face or camera lens! And the charge to the student for dropping a ripcord might be low compared to the rigger time & cost to build.

But leaving aside those rig details, why did the DZO choose to engineer this system? If he didn't believe in it, he wouldn't have added all that complexity to his rigs.

He doesn't like the idea of students being saved within just a few seconds of death by a reserve AAD. Even if rare, he doesn't want the situation to go that far.

Over the many years he has run a DZ, it was maybe once every 5 or 7 years that someone was saved by an AAD. (These were usually mechanical AAD's, so not the reliability of electronic ones, but even then we've seen that having a cut loop doesn't always get a reserve out before impact.) The last time it happened, a student on their first 15 second delay started to spin and totally lost track of time instead of just pulling.

So the idea was to add an extra level of safety by deploying a parachute at a reasonable altitude if the student didn't, and not to wait until the last moment.

It does add some training complications as one can't have students going for the main too early, because one wants the main AAD to fire before they get to the stage of plan B going to the reserve. So there is a quite legitimate concern over possible deployments of main and reserve at the same time. I can't be sure, but I can't recall any such cases in the 9 or so years since such rigs were first used.

A student typically would be aiming to pull at 3500' with the main FXC set for 3000' (on traditional progression; PFF opening altitudes differ). Having the main AAD pull for a student is seen as just as much of a failure for the student, as if they were at another DZ and smoked it lower than briefed pull altitude. I don't see that the DZ is any less rigorous than elsewhere about training students to maintain altitude awareness.

The students know no other way, so they don't feel "the DZ doesn't trust them". But the FXC's in effect do keep a close eye on student altitude discipline, hell, probably better than the average junior freefall coach would do.

Having students convert to more regular skydiving rigs later on also adds a level of complexity that some don't like, but we're always moving on to new things during our skydiving progression.

Compared to what most DZ's do it is all a bit bizarre, but there are some reasons behind it.


(The FXC's on mains don't need inspections and calibrations after firing. They have the rubber bumpers that prevent shock loading damage from regular use. It is common enough for the main AAD's to go off during the deployment sequence, shortly after the student pulled but not fully under canopy.)


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Mar 24, 2011, 11:29 PM
Post #16 of 22 (1134 views)
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Re: [Unstable] "First Free Fall Rig" ~ FXC on Main and Cypres/Vigil on Reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

Down load this and read through it. You will go broke keeping up with the maintenance and inspection requirements. That is after you purchase the needed test equipment. Their deployment window can be up to 1000 feet +-.

Sparky


http://parachutemanuals.com/...=fileinfo&id=241


skydiver604

Mar 25, 2011, 5:46 AM
Post #17 of 22 (1113 views)
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Re: [pchapman] "First Free Fall Rig" ~ FXC on Main and Cypres/Vigil on Reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

I did my static line training at this DZ,,,I can tell you that after 1 or 2 unexpected main AAD fires during the freefall progression the student's altitude awareness skills greatly improve. Wink


Ron

Mar 25, 2011, 6:24 AM
Post #18 of 22 (1107 views)
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Re: [NWFlyer] "First Free Fall Rig" ~ FXC on Main and Cypres/Vigil on Reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
This was in 2004, so I'm hardly an old-schooler.

Time: No

Attitude: Yes


pchapman  (D 1014)

Mar 25, 2011, 6:53 AM
Post #19 of 22 (1100 views)
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Re: [mjosparky] "First Free Fall Rig" ~ FXC on Main and Cypres/Vigil on Reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Down load this and read through it. You will go broke keeping up with the maintenance and inspection requirements.

It's true that FXC's aren't as cheap as they appear!

But in the old days plenty of DZ's did use FXC's and managed to stay open.

A used FXC can probably be had for about zero dollars (you know, sort of like an ArgusTongue), but when the mandatory factory maintenance every two years is $200 (plus shipping), the lifetime costs are significant. Not so far off electronic AAD's depending on how you look at the carrying cost of the big initial investment, plus mandatory maintenance in some cases. Plus there's the work tossing each rig into a large altitude chamber box every six months to check their parameters.

For all the scary stories of FXC's going off at the wrong time, they have acutally behaved pretty well at the DZ. (Perhaps because they actually send them in for maintenance, which I bet some places didn't.) I recall a couple being out of spec in the altitude chamber. And there was one reserve FXC that popped a couple times under canopy giving a two out. Not good.

Edit: Their firing specs are supposed to be within +/- 300'. The 1500' sometimes heard is about not opening the main any closer to the set reserve altitude, as there is an increased risk of opening shock setting them off if close to their firing parameters.


(This post was edited by pchapman on Mar 25, 2011, 7:00 AM)


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Mar 25, 2011, 11:44 AM
Post #20 of 22 (1055 views)
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Re: [pchapman] "First Free Fall Rig" ~ FXC on Main and Cypres/Vigil on Reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
But in the old days plenty of DZ's did use FXC's and managed to stay open.

I am pretty sure, at least in the US, that would have been before AADs were addressed in Part 105. And many if not all did not follow manufactures guide lines. Used on a main they require a chamber test every 6 months. Most models also require a factory service every year. Having worked at a DZ that used them I learned they are a money pit.

Sparky


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Mar 27, 2011, 11:46 AM
Post #21 of 22 (959 views)
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Re: [rehmwa] "First Free Fall Rig" ~ FXC on Main and Cypres/Vigil on Reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

"
In reply to:
any kind of aad on a main sounds completely idiotic ...
"

.......................................................................

Carefulw hat you say on these public forums. Lots of military freefallers still use AADs on their mains. These are the sorts of guys who like to jump into the mountains of Afghanistan, at night, with rucksack, rifle and snowshoes, kill Taliban and hide the bodies.

On a more serious note, those military freefall mains are packed by real riggers, because the tolerances on main AADs are far too tight to trust the dope-smoking illegal immigrants who pack at many American DZs.

IOW, if you cannot trust that something will be packed correctly by an exhausted, dehydrated, hung-over, hungry, packer who rushing to fill the next load, ... you should never allow it near the general public.


JohnnyMarko

Mar 27, 2011, 12:04 PM
Post #22 of 22 (955 views)
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Re: [riggerrob] "First Free Fall Rig" ~ FXC on Main and Cypres/Vigil on Reserve [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
IOW, if you cannot trust that something will be packed correctly by an exhausted, dehydrated, hung-over, hungry, packer who rushing to fill the next load, ... you should never allow it near the general public.

You forgot angry



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