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Letter from Argus

 

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SStewart  (D 10405)

Mar 24, 2011, 11:55 AM
Post #1 of 64 (2999 views)
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Letter from Argus Can't Post

I want to share the email I received this morning.
I am not taking sides just passing this on....
***************

This really sucs.

We are sincerely sorry for the inconvenience that the Argus ban may cause you. Were not the victim of this decision. You all are.

The Argus is the most advanced, flexible and most compact AAD ever.
We are proud to have saved 24 lives till today.

As you know by now the Argus has been banned by RI, Mirage, Parachute Systems, UPT and Sunpath due to a so called series of incidents.

We know that the decision to ban the Argus was taken well before the PIA Symposium. It was just waiting for the 'right' timing to zoom in for the kill. As in all crimes, look whos benefitting from it.

At this time San Marcos still refuses to release the affected unit. Therefore, we can not investigate this incident and we cannot defend us. We asked the FAA to help us in this matter.

Aviacom provided the PIA with all the cutter-testing results. To no avail.

There is not one reason the ground the Argus; there are three million (3,000,000.00 USD) reasons of an instant replacement market that has been created on behalf of PIA members. And we are not a member.

This is about politics and not about safety.

Banning the Argus is not going to improve safety.

And the ban effectively shuts down this company.

May we suggest that you contact the H/C manufacturers to review their decision? Its the only solution on a short notice.

Thank you for your support through the years.

Kind regards,

Karel Goorts
Aviacom SA

P.S.: Argus # 1 207011 102269 has its 3rd Life-Save in a Telesis from Rigging Innovations


(This post was edited by SStewart on Mar 24, 2011, 11:57 AM)


sundevil777  (D License)

Mar 24, 2011, 12:08 PM
Post #2 of 64 (2935 views)
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Re: [SStewart] Letter from Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

The tone of this letter is clear. They assert there is nothing wrong, no reason to think something is wrong, there never was anything wrong, our competition is complicit in destroying us, and our product is the best.

That is certain to increase the distrust among their actual and potential customers.

They should have been able to say they don't know anything about that incident yet, but they have been working on a redesigned cutter that should start to be available on XX/2011. Instead they imply that there is no reason to think there is anything wrong, they are just poor victims of a conspiracy.

That wallows in a vast sea of lameness.


Premier NWFlyer  (D License)

Mar 24, 2011, 12:27 PM
Post #3 of 64 (2900 views)
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Re: [SStewart] Letter from Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

Customer service 101 says that great service recovery can create a better overall brand perception than if you got things "right" in the first place.

This email shows that no one at Argus knows a damn thing about customer service or service recovery. From what I've heard from Argus owners*, they've also done a piss-poor job of handing cutter replacements and communications around that. Another example of not really "getting" that customer service and support is what makes or breaks your company, especially in this day and age of instant communication, and in such a small market.

Even if there is a "vast PIA conspiracy" to shut down Aviacom, they're doing a pretty good job of shutting themselves down in the process.




*I'm not an Argus owner and haven't seriously considered the AAD, mostly because I haven't been in the market for an AAD since they came out. This is more from my own background in business and as a consumer, not my opinion of the product itself.


(This post was edited by NWFlyer on Mar 24, 2011, 12:28 PM)


firemedic  (D 29776)

Mar 24, 2011, 12:27 PM
Post #4 of 64 (2897 views)
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Re: [sundevil777] Letter from Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The tone of this letter is clear. They assert there is nothing wrong, no reason to think something is wrong, there never was anything wrong, our competition is complicit in destroying us, and our product is the best.

That is certain to increase the distrust among their actual and potential customers.

They should have been able to say they don't know anything about that incident yet, but they have been working on a redesigned cutter that should start to be available on XX/2011. Instead they imply that there is no reason to think there is anything wrong, they are just poor victims of a conspiracy.

That wallows in a vast sea of lameness.


Could any of these assertions be true? Yes. Are they true? , Are they blame shifting? Are they false? I don't know. I will say one thing though. This seems to have been Aviacom's theme songs since this began.


CrazyAl  (C 3179)

Mar 24, 2011, 12:33 PM
Post #5 of 64 (2877 views)
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Re: [sundevil777] Letter from Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

The tone of this letter is clear. They assert there is nothing wrong, no reason to think something is wrong, there never was anything wrong, our competition is complicit in destroying us, and our product is the best.

That is certain to increase the distrust among their actual and potential customers.

They should have been able to say they don't know anything about that incident yet, but they have been working on a redesigned cutter that should start to be available on XX/2011. Instead they imply that there is no reason to think there is anything wrong, they are just poor victims of a conspiracy.

That wallows in a vast sea of lameness.




Do you actually know there is something wrong with the cutter?

All the cutters from the SB that where returned to argus were tested/fired.. All successful!

This new report holds no water until Argus, and Mirage get to see the container and AAD.. Argus had to ask the FAA to step in so they can actually have the unit for testing.. The dropzone would not let them investigate.

I think until the FAA is done there report people should relax.


Coreefdiver  (D 15287)

Mar 24, 2011, 12:56 PM
Post #6 of 64 (2835 views)
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Re: [SStewart] Letter from Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

I won't say much about this, as I'm obviously biased, based on my dealings with Karel in the past.

but, I see that he's pretty transparent, most responses in this thread have seen right through his cloud to what he's really saying.


it IS about safety Karel.

I won't say anything else, if Aviacom hasn't gotten it by now.....its way too late.


sundevil777  (D License)

Mar 24, 2011, 1:03 PM
Post #7 of 64 (2824 views)
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Re: [CrazyAl] Letter from Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The tone of this letter is clear. They assert there is nothing wrong, no reason to think something is wrong, there never was anything wrong, our competition is complicit in destroying us, and our product is the best.

That is certain to increase the distrust among their actual and potential customers.

They should have been able to say they don't know anything about that incident yet, but they have been working on a redesigned cutter that should start to be available on XX/2011. Instead they imply that there is no reason to think there is anything wrong, they are just poor victims of a conspiracy.

That wallows in a vast sea of lameness.




Do you actually know there is something wrong with the cutter?

All the cutters from the SB that where returned to argus were tested/fired.. All successful!

This new report holds no water until Argus, and Mirage get to see the container and AAD.. Argus had to ask the FAA to step in so they can actually have the unit for testing.. The dropzone would not let them investigate.

I think until the FAA is done there report people should relax.

In a previous life I was a mechanical design engineer. I have quickly reviewed the PIA documentation at the bottom of this page (especially the "Argus cutter review"):

http://www.pia.com/...nicalSpecialPage.htm

The analysis seems to be sound, logical, without bias. Perhaps I've missed Aviacom's reply that shows how this is all a big conspiracy against them. If someone can point that out for all of us, that would be great.


CrazyAl  (C 3179)

Mar 24, 2011, 1:21 PM
Post #8 of 64 (2791 views)
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Re: [sundevil777] Letter from Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

The tone of this letter is clear. They assert there is nothing wrong, no reason to think something is wrong, there never was anything wrong, our competition is complicit in destroying us, and our product is the best.

That is certain to increase the distrust among their actual and potential customers.

They should have been able to say they don't know anything about that incident yet, but they have been working on a redesigned cutter that should start to be available on XX/2011. Instead they imply that there is no reason to think there is anything wrong, they are just poor victims of a conspiracy.

That wallows in a vast sea of lameness.



Do you actually know there is something wrong with the cutter?

All the cutters from the SB that where returned to argus were tested/fired.. All successful!

This new report holds no water until Argus, and Mirage get to see the container and AAD.. Argus had to ask the FAA to step in so they can actually have the unit for testing.. The dropzone would not let them investigate.

I think until the FAA is done there report people should relax.

In a previous life I was a mechanical design engineer. I have quickly reviewed the PIA documentation at the bottom of this page (especially the "Argus cutter review"):

http://www.pia.com/...nicalSpecialPage.htm

The analysis seems to be sound, logical, without bias. Perhaps I've missed Aviacom's reply that shows how this is all a big conspiracy against them. If someone can point that out for all of us, that would be great.




That report was written with out seeing the said effected units.. The industry is hanging Argus with out a trial.. Why order a recal if there is no proof of a problem?

Let's see what the FAA comes up with.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Mar 24, 2011, 1:24 PM
Post #9 of 64 (2781 views)
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Re: [CrazyAl] Letter from Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

>Do you actually know there is something wrong with the cutter?

There are at least three documented cases now where there _was_ something wrong with the cutter.

>This new report holds no water until Argus, and Mirage get to see the container and AAD.

Well, they saw the Polish fatality AAD. (That was the one where the reserve did not open until impact.) Their conclusion - it worked fine, nothing wrong with our stuff, someone should look into that container, it obviously doesn't work. Comparing that response to the actual reports and pictures from the incident makes one think that something's not lining up.


Premier skydiverek  (C 41769)

Mar 24, 2011, 1:33 PM
Post #10 of 64 (2758 views)
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Re: [billvon] Letter from Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Well, they saw the Polish fatality AAD. (That was the one where the reserve did not open until impact.) Their conclusion - it worked fine, nothing wrong with our stuff, someone should look into that container, it obviously doesn't work. Comparing that response to the actual reports and pictures from the incident makes one think that something's not lining up.

For a refresh- here is my translation of the key points from the preliminary report on the Polish fatality with Argus in 2009: (The final report is completed, and is being officially translated into English now).

http://www.dropzone.com/...post=3817893#3817893





sundevil777  (D License)

Mar 24, 2011, 1:40 PM
Post #11 of 64 (2730 views)
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Re: [CrazyAl] Letter from Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The tone of this letter is clear. They assert there is nothing wrong, no reason to think something is wrong, there never was anything wrong, our competition is complicit in destroying us, and our product is the best.

That is certain to increase the distrust among their actual and potential customers.

They should have been able to say they don't know anything about that incident yet, but they have been working on a redesigned cutter that should start to be available on XX/2011. Instead they imply that there is no reason to think there is anything wrong, they are just poor victims of a conspiracy.

That wallows in a vast sea of lameness.



Do you actually know there is something wrong with the cutter?

All the cutters from the SB that where returned to argus were tested/fired.. All successful!

This new report holds no water until Argus, and Mirage get to see the container and AAD.. Argus had to ask the FAA to step in so they can actually have the unit for testing.. The dropzone would not let them investigate.

I think until the FAA is done there report people should relax.

In a previous life I was a mechanical design engineer. I have quickly reviewed the PIA documentation at the bottom of this page (especially the "Argus cutter review"):

http://www.pia.com/...nicalSpecialPage.htm

The analysis seems to be sound, logical, without bias. Perhaps I've missed Aviacom's reply that shows how this is all a big conspiracy against them. If someone can point that out for all of us, that would be great.




That report was written with out seeing the said effected units.. The industry is hanging Argus with out a trial.. Why order a recal if there is no proof of a problem?

Let's see what the FAA comes up with.

The "argus cutter review" at the PIA site references a particular orientation of grommets, etcs. that makes it more likely to suffer the 'top of loop cut, bottom of loop jammed' scenario.

When Aviacom did tests of the service bulletin returned units, I wonder what was the configuration of their test firings. The scenario in the "argus cutter review" does make sense that the bottom of the loop could be under no tension when the cutter makes contact. I think we can acknowledge that this is a bad condition for a cylindrical cutter. I wonder if Aviacom's test fixture can recreate that scenario. It shouldn't be hard to do, shouldn't require installation in a rig to test many cutters in those circumstances.

The cylindrical cutter design does appear to be a bad idea, or at least bad execution of that idea.

I admit that perhaps Aviacom has thoroughly refuted the claims made against the cylindrical cutter design, and I just haven't paid enough attention to realize that. The most recent letter from Aviacom is as far from that as can be.


ufk22  (D 16168)

Mar 24, 2011, 1:44 PM
Post #12 of 64 (2718 views)
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Re: [SStewart] Letter from Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

Been told by more than 1 person who would know, the reason this finally happened (the ban) is that Aviacom has been totally unresponsive to the last two failures.
I own one and I'm highly disapointed with their attitude about this situation. I would be much less bothered by a "no fire" problem than by something that, if it happens, could lock my reserve closed, and apparently this is what it does.
My Cypres is on the way.
Thanks to ParaConcepts, especially to Amber.


yoink

Mar 24, 2011, 1:54 PM
Post #13 of 64 (2685 views)
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Re: [ufk22] Letter from Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

Does anyone know if the photos from the Portugal report are publically available? I couldn't find them on the PIA site.


Premier skydiverek  (C 41769)

Mar 24, 2011, 1:58 PM
Post #14 of 64 (2672 views)
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Re: [yoink] Letter from Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Does anyone know if the photos from the Portugal report are publically available? I couldn't find them on the PIA site.

Here are some pics from this accident:

https://viewer.zoho.com/docs/gbaAqg


sundevil777  (D License)

Mar 24, 2011, 2:00 PM
Post #15 of 64 (2661 views)
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Re: [ufk22] Letter from Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
...Aviacom has been totally unresponsive...

Not any more, they sent out the letter. What else do we need to know?


sundevil777  (D License)

Mar 24, 2011, 2:13 PM
Post #16 of 64 (2632 views)
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Re: [skydiverek] Letter from Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

It may seem very important to say that some cutters have been tested with no tension on the loop, and the cutter worked.

It is a very different test than the scenario described in the "argus cutter review" document. That scenario is for the loop to be under tension, but at an angled orientation that could allow the top of the loop to be cut while under tension, then the bottom of the loop left to be cut without tension present.

Cutting a loop with no tension at all does nothing to disprove the validity of a problem with the other circumstances that have been asserted to be a possible explanation for the lockup.


LloydDobbler  (D 30655)

Mar 24, 2011, 2:23 PM
Post #17 of 64 (2604 views)
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Re: [ufk22] Letter from Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Been told by more than 1 person who would know, the reason this finally happened (the ban) is that Aviacom has been totally unresponsive to the last two failures.
I own one and I'm highly disapointed with their attitude about this situation. I would be much less bothered by a "no fire" problem than by something that, if it happens, could lock my reserve closed, and apparently this is what it does.

As am I.

I've defended Argus a number of times in the past, given how transparent they've been. And in most cases, if nothing else, I could always compare their transparency and correspondence to Vigil. Which is a clear win.

But in this case, I agree wholeheartedly with what Krisanne says above. If their company is effectively shut down by this, perhaps it's better to begin looking for another type of cutter. Even if they think their existing cutter is fine, the PR benefits gained by announcing they're making a change would be well-worth the trust lost by their customers when they try and avoid the issue/play it off as a conspiracy theory.

I also don't think it's right that they haven't been able to inspect the unit yet...but again, at this point, perhaps they need to cut their losses. I'm no longer likely to buy one of their AAD's again, in spite of how much of an advocate I've been for them in the past.


(This post was edited by LloydDobbler on Mar 24, 2011, 2:24 PM)


Unstable  (D 28930)

Mar 24, 2011, 4:17 PM
Post #18 of 64 (2449 views)
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Re: [LloydDobbler] Letter from Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
ve defended Argus a number of times in the past, given how transparent they've been. And in most cases, if nothing else, I could always compare their transparency and correspondence to Vigil. Which is a clear win.

Me Too. I would agree with this point.


yoink

Mar 24, 2011, 4:23 PM
Post #19 of 64 (2440 views)
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Re: [skydiverek] Letter from Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Does anyone know if the photos from the Portugal report are publically available? I couldn't find them on the PIA site.

Here are some pics from this accident:

https://viewer.zoho.com/docs/gbaAqg

Thanks!


Unstable  (D 28930)

Mar 24, 2011, 4:46 PM
Post #20 of 64 (2404 views)
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Re: [sundevil777] Letter from Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
he tone of this letter is clear. They assert there is nothing wrong, no reason to think something is wrong, there never was anything wrong, our competition is complicit in destroying us, and our product is the best.


I wouldn't necessarily agree with you 100% on that observation. I think the tone is more along the line of "We do not have the resources to address this problem." I agree that this is the wrong tone to take, and frankly I would be happiest to see them recall the cutters again, sell more Argii (I've always wanted to say that) and we can move on with our happy lives.


pchapman  (D 1014)

Mar 24, 2011, 5:15 PM
Post #21 of 64 (2373 views)
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Re: [SStewart] Letter from Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I
There is not one reason the ground the Argus; there are three million (3,000,000.00 USD) reasons of an instant replacement market that has been created on behalf of PIA members.

I must admit, now I'm curious what his opinions are on 9/11, the Kennedy assassination, and alien abductions.
Frown


Divalent  (C 40494)

Mar 24, 2011, 6:04 PM
Post #22 of 64 (2334 views)
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Re: [SStewart] Letter from Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

Question for those more knowledgeable about AADs: Are either of the two passages below serious enough for concern?

These are quotes from the incident report at the PIA site (http://www.pia.com/...tins/TEXASUSA211.pdf):

"Latest reserve repack date and details: unknown, multiple pack cards in rig, rigger unwilling to respond with copy of logbook page and date. No in-date pack card found in rig (believe fabrication of pack card and logbook entry may be attempted after comments made by jumper)"

and

"Loop seemed to be dry, lacking in the recommended treatment of silicon by the manufacturer."

A possible implication is that the reserve may not have been serviced within 180 days, so there might have been maintanance issues involved. What is the purpose of the silicon? (to keep the cutter blade from oxidizing? To keep moisture from wicking down to the cutter through the loop material? To make the loop material easier to cut?)


diablopilot  (D License)

Mar 24, 2011, 8:42 PM
Post #23 of 64 (2204 views)
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Re: [SStewart] Letter from Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

The tone of the company was set for me when I experienced a problem with the battery connection disconnecting any time the rig was bumped.

The company response?

"Oh yeah, we heard about that." Period.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Mar 25, 2011, 4:51 AM
Post #24 of 64 (2078 views)
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Re: [SStewart] Letter from Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
As you know by now the Argus has been banned by RI, Mirage, Parachute Systems, UPT and Sunpath due to a so called series of incidents.

We know that the decision to ban the Argus was taken well before the PIA Symposium.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't PIA last month? How could the decision have been made to ban the Argus well before PIA if this last incident happened early this month?

What he's suggesting here is a conspiracy, and for him to be correct, one of two things would have occurred - A) the conspirators, whoever they may be, would have been poised to ban the Argus and were simply awaiting something to go wrong so they had a reason. Lucky for them this Texas incident fit the bill. -OR - B) the conspirators faked the Texas incident in order to give themselves a reason to ban the Argus.

As absurd as both of those may seem, you have to go one step further, and ask yourself, 'Why would anyone want to ban the Argus (aside, of course, from a ligitmate safety issue)?'. The reason I say this is because the people instituting the ban, rig manufacturers and parachute associations, don't stand to gain anything from the ban.

The only ones with anything to gain would be other AAD manufacturers, but they have no control over the ban. Even then, his suggetion that this creates $3M business opportunity is making the assumption that every Vigil will be replaced with another AAD. I'd be willing to be that half of the Vigil owners out there won't be replacing their AAD with anything due to cost. Not everyone can afford to drop $1200 on a new AAD, used AADs will become even harder to find (and expect used Cypres to exceed the stated value on the website) and some people will either just go without, or not jump. I would guess that DZOs using them may only be able to afford to replace some of their student/tandem AADs, and just continue on with a reduced number of student/tandem rigs in service.

Even if everyone could afford a new AAD, how many of them would be willing to buy 'off brand' again? I would expect Cypres to be the AAD of choice, and as far as I know, they already sell every one they make. What are they going to do, tool up for increased production to satisfy this very temporary boost in business? Once all the Argus are replaced, their sales and production will return to where it was before all the hub-bub, and that increased production will be a waste. My guess is that they will soldier on in their current capacity, and what they produce is what they produce.

This does indeed look very bad for the company, and for Argus owners. I'm willing to admit that I bought a very expensive paper weight when I purchased a Cypres 15 years ago, but at least I got 12 years of functionality out of it.


piisfish

Mar 25, 2011, 5:01 AM
Post #25 of 64 (2065 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Letter from Argus [In reply to] Can't Post

Dave, if you want to investigate the conspiracy theory, then conspirators could be...
-the big beard man who has interest in Vigil
-PIA who seems to receive sponsoring from Airtec
-Alti2 who want to launch the new MarS AAD in the US
-FXC to prove that the Astra is good, plus has a nicer color

Just some ideas thrown from the back of my sleepy brain. Laugh


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