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To Phil Re: Disciplinary Action

 


YISkyDive  (D License)

Mar 31, 2011, 2:58 PM
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To Phil Re: Disciplinary Action Can't Post

Phil -

Thank you for the letter in USPA's Parachutist. While I regrettably inform you that your letter contains material inaccuracies your point is valid. I'll save correcting your letter and skip to why the video is on youtube - may I politely suggest you review the accuracy of your letter.

The "low cutaway" video posted on youtube is there as a safety and training reminder that no matter how many jumps you have (in my case +2,000 when the video was filmed) things can and will go wrong; more importantly, at the most inopportune time as evidenced. I was opening at 2,000ft AGL, while holding my D license, and decided to make the video public in response to a number of deaths due to low cutaways since my time in the sport.

If you analyze the video you'll see that from the moment my canopy starts spinning to the time I cutaway I'm attached to my canopy for less than three seconds. In my review and in my personal emergency preparation this is how a low deployment malfunction needs to be handled. Moreover, I clearly demonstrated that altitude is KEY over stability and while it was rather scary kicking out of linetwists flying away from the airport my decision to open unstable was contributing factor to being able to negotiate a difficult landing safety. The aforementioned decision provided me with the altitude and time to set up a good pattern, confirm my obstacles and instill confidence in my approach.

I hope everyone who has viewed, commented or debated & discussed the video in question has made note of material S&T points. In the unlikely event people view this video as a cowboy post in lieu of a learning tool Ill provide my personal points now. Most IMPORTANTLY:

1) Know your rig - be proficient with your emergency procedures. A fast, clean breakway was material to my safety.
2) If faced with an emergency know how to react. I.e. rehearsing a low cutaway mentally many of times before helped me take action quickly. I knew I had less than 5 seconds to make a decision and act all the while understanding that a clean, calm break away was important.
3) Below 2,500 feet deploy your reserve immediately after breakaway regardless of a skyhook, rsl or camera helmet. I had my camera helmet on and no RSL for the deployment. I hope my video ends the altitude versus stability arguments. Line twists on a reserve may not be pleasant but impacting at line stretch or less is far worse.
4) Forget about your handles and get your reserve under control - especially if you have a feeling youll be negotiating a difficult landing. I had no qualms about the ribbings I received for loosing my handle.
5) Decide and commit to your landing zone early. Confirm your winds. Check for hazards and get into the landing zone safely without a low turn.

Phil, thank you for your understanding and I hope you found some educational value in the video. In the unfortunate event you feel there is no value please refrain from posting negative remarks and let those that do get something out of this video process it. If I saved one life with the video or provided one new jumper with a "what not to do" then I am proud of my decision to post the video and I am happy to have provided some positive influence.

Thanks.

- DK


(This post was edited by YISkyDive on Mar 31, 2011, 3:00 PM)


chuckakers  (D 10855)

Mar 31, 2011, 4:11 PM
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Re: [YISkyDive] To Phil Re: Disciplinary Action [In reply to] Can't Post

For the benefit of those who haven't seen the video - myself included - could you post a link to the video you make reference to??


JohnnyMarko

Mar 31, 2011, 4:43 PM
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Re: [chuckakers] To Phil Re: Disciplinary Action [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
For the benefit of those who haven't seen the video - myself included - could you post a link to the video you make reference to??
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azADtrO0nz8
^ Maybe....maybe not ^


d100965  (D 100965)

Apr 1, 2011, 1:40 AM
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Re: [YISkyDive] To Phil Re: Disciplinary Action [In reply to] Can't Post

I've not seen these negative comments you speak of and I don't know who Phil is. Is there another thread or another article somewhere? (USPA mag)

As a learning tool I would like to ask some questions please, I will try not to be negative....

1. It appears you are using a Suunto as your primary altimeter. These are known for not being able to update quick enough in freefall. Was that the case here? And do you think in hindsight that it's still a good idea to have it as your primary?

2. After breakoff did you wait deliberately and then intentionally pull at 2K?
I know what the SIM says but in hindsight do you think waiting to pull at 2K was a good idea? And do you still pull at 2K?
What I don't get is once the student left you actually just sat there burning altitude. Why?
Is there any merit as a learning tool in discussing breakoff heights and pull heights? Especially when on a coaching jump whether it's really necessary to pull at 2K.
It seems once the student was clear, (I take it you watched them track off) you could actually have pulled much higher than 2K.

3. Did the student pull at 2K as well then?

4. Was that the plan all along? For you and the student to work all the way down to pull height at 2K.

I value your comments regarding what to do if you need to cutaway low, however the biggest learning to be gained from this incident is surely based around why you found yourself in that situation and how you put a student in that situation, a situation which seems you actually planned.

So if it's your wish for us to learn and to save lives then perhaps you could tell us a little bit more about how not to get in that situation in the first place. ie. How to choose a suitable pull height for your experience, your equipment and the type of jump being carried out.
Being in the UK I don't get the USPA mag but these negative comments, are they pretty much the same as what I'm asking here?
There has been a lot of discussion recently regarding pull heights and whether or not to raise them. I assume that you wanting to pull at 2K that you are not in favour of raising USPA min pull heights. However your video and the situation you found yourself in speaks otherwise.
Sorry if this is getting a bit negative but I have less jumps than you and ergo less experience, so I would like to know what "YOU" have learnt from this incident and what "YOU" are doing differently, if anything. And not just around how to handle a low cutaway but how to avoid being there in the first place!


(This post was edited by d100965 on Apr 1, 2011, 2:14 AM)


Coreefdiver  (D 15287)

Apr 1, 2011, 4:39 AM
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Re: [YISkyDive] To Phil Re: Disciplinary Action [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not gonna monday morning QB your actions, you are using this as a learning experience for yourself and others, AND, as I used to burn down to 2k ALL the time in my early years (i even have an 1800' and a 1700') I say that not to brag, but in hind sight as to some of the more stupid things I've done. Now I pull around 4k and get a bit of canopy time. I hope others wont be so critical of your actions, but instead use it as a learning tool.
I guarantee you not everyone is perfect, they just forget.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Apr 1, 2011, 7:11 AM
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Re: [YISkyDive] To Phil Re: Disciplinary Action [In reply to] Can't Post

 
I don't recall seeing this video previously here, and I have no idea who Phil is, but the video is a great illustration of what pulling at 2K is all about. The amount of time you have to indentify, cutaway, pull your reserve, and set up for landing are clearly illustrated, and illustrated as being 'not much'. For that, the video has great value in showing the real time events that follow pulling at 2k.

However, I have to agree with the others, waiting to pull at 2k is rank amateur. After watching some nice moves on the AFF practice jump, I was very surprised to see you checking and re-checking your altimeter after break off, and then locking on to it waiting for 2k to arrive.

By this time in your skydiving carrer, I would have thought that you would have figured out that you pull as soon as it's safe to do so. On a two way like the jump in question, that would have been 5-ish seconds after break off. I understand that you have thought about and rehearsed a low altitude malfunction (which is good), but that should be reserved for when you HAVE to pull at a low altitude, such as a big way or some sort of emergancy situation where need to hum it down. Short of eother of those, get sufficient seperation from others in your group, and open a parachute.

Hindsight is always 20/20, but there's a pretty fair chance that if you had dumped at 3k on that same jump, you could have just kicked out of the line twists on your main, and avoided the cutaway all together.


DBCOOPER  (D 24112)

Apr 1, 2011, 7:44 AM
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Re: [davelepka] To Phil Re: Disciplinary Action [In reply to] Can't Post

The statement at the end of the video says it all...


davelepka  (D 21448)

Apr 1, 2011, 7:57 AM
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Re: [DBCOOPER] To Phil Re: Disciplinary Action [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Yeah, I didn't have the sound up or watch past the landing the first time around, but after checking out the end, you're right.

One other note, the video is another great illustration of why jumper need to be careful selecting a reserve canopy. All the newbies who have a reserve a size or two smaller than their main should take note of the area he landed in. It was tight, but also surrounded by trees, so if there had been a good wind that day, it would have been surrounded by dirty air and rotors as well.

A reserve is a more doclie canopy than a main. So if you jump the same size reserve and main, you should have an easier time landing your reserve which is an asset in less than ideal landing conditions. If you jump a reseve one size bigger, you have added two layers of safety, one with square footage and one by virtue of the reseve being more doclie than you main.

Jumping a smaller reserve than your main negates any advatage you get from jumping a docile reserve. You become the poster child for Booth's law that for every safety advance in skydiving gear, jumpers will find a way to cancel it out, and maintain the status quo. So if you want to be a dumbass, and validate Bill Booth at the same time, then jump a smaller reserve than you main.


(This post was edited by davelepka on Apr 1, 2011, 7:58 AM)


Ron

Apr 1, 2011, 8:07 AM
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Re: [YISkyDive] To Phil Re: Disciplinary Action [In reply to] Can't Post

Phil..... Get a life.

YISkyDive.... Not the smartest thing... But you already know that.

I don't really see a problem. He has a "D" license, pulled 2kish, had a malfunction, handled the mal, landed out in a field.

I'd say you did pretty well.... Except when an AFF student is spinning, you hook the *trailing* leg, not the leading legWink

Better would have been to pull 5-6 seconds after the student... But that is 'best practice', I saw no violation in the video.

He did nothing 'wrong'. He could have done things better.... But he did nothing wrong.


pchapman  (D 1014)

Apr 1, 2011, 8:25 AM
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Re: [YISkyDive] To Phil Re: Disciplinary Action [In reply to] Can't Post

Looks OK to me. Pull altitude and pack opening altitude looked legal. Quick reactions, tossed the handles when he felt it was needed. Being low of course restricts one's choice of landing area and time to look for one's jettisoned equipment. Personal choice.

Don't think he was any lower than he would have been 40 years ago with a streamered ParaCommander and having to get at both Capewells and then go to the belly mount.

Yes there was some 'industrial haze' and I don't know much about any Suunto lag.

35 seconds reserve slider down to landing.

Any useful readings off an audible altimeter? AAD equipped? (If so it would suggest the reserve opening was high enough even by modern standards.)

A useful video to show that if you take it down to the legal limits, you don't have a lot of time to screw around. A good video to show newer jumpers.


YISkyDive  (D License)

Apr 1, 2011, 9:27 AM
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Re: [YISkyDive] To Phil Re: Disciplinary Action [In reply to] Can't Post

The posted video is the one in question. A few points - I fly two velos 90 (2.66 :1) and 96 (2.4 :1) unless faced with an emergency situation I would never open at 2,0K with them. The canopy I was on was my nitro 120 (1.8 :1) - which is a "docile" canopy that I NEVER previously had trouble with but the video clearly shows even a semi elliptical canopy will screw you.

With respect to my altimeter - I recommend against using a Suunto Core for skydiving operations. I have 1000 jumps on my Core but it refreshes noticeably slowler. While it looks nice the altimeter is not the best for skydiving. I recommend the Altimax, X-Lander and Vector as altimeter replacements you have to make the decision why you want to jump a Suunto, a digital altimiter or a traditional altimeter for yourself. Since my 300th jump all I've used have been Suuntos and I currently use an Altimax. My Suunto Core is now my water watch for kiting and surfing.

With respect to being stupid for opening at 2K... I'll agree but lets keep in mind our BSRs say we can do that. I'd advocate for a minimum opening altitude of 2,5K in a second. However, though I normally do not open this low, it was my opinion that you should always be comfortable to open at 2K which is what I was practicing after this fun jump (it was just a fun jump.) You never know when you'll be forced low especially on a big way skydive. I would generally open with my least performance canopy at 2,000 feet every 200 or so jumps either on a hop and pop or solo it just so happened my mal occurred on a opening I do maybe less than 4 times a season. I was in the PEAK of my currency when this occurred and just after a very extensive personal EP review which included reviewing a low altitude deployment to breakaway.

Reserve - I fly a 90 velo and a Smart 150. You won't find my ass under anything smaller. I've had linetwists on 3/7 sport reserve rides and I don't want to have a malfunction like the one I cutaway from. Also, it was nice to have a slow canopy to land in a tight spot. Id advocate RSLs for everyone but the most unique cases. Im weighing the pros and cons of having an RSL on my velo rigs right now.

Was it dumb? Yes. Did it suck? Yes. I hope people in the minimum opening altitude threads look at the video and reconsider their opinions. I am proud of the way I handled the situation and I hope low jump number low pullers take a moment to stop and think about what they are doing.

Thanks,

-DK


(This post was edited by YISkyDive on Apr 1, 2011, 9:31 AM)


robinheid  (D 5533)

Apr 1, 2011, 11:36 AM
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Re: [Ron] To Phil Re: Disciplinary Action [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Phil..... Get a life.

YISkyDive.... Not the smartest thing... But you already know that.

I don't really see a problem. He has a "D" license, pulled 2kish, had a malfunction, handled the mal, landed out in a field.

I'd say you did pretty well.... Except when an AFF student is spinning, you hook the *trailing* leg, not the leading legWink

Better would have been to pull 5-6 seconds after the student... But that is 'best practice', I saw no violation in the video.

He did nothing 'wrong'. He could have done things better.... But he did nothing wrong.

+ 1...

...although it's hard to argue that he could have done anything better:

1. He lived.
2. He didn't hurt himself or anyone else.
3. He didn't damage his gear.
4. He didn't damage any property.
5. He created a great training video for properly handling a high-speed malfunction at the edge of the USPA-sanctioned opening envelope.
6. He created visual evidence for why it's a good idea to pull higher than USPA's MINIMUM CONTAINER OPENING ALTITUDE.
7. He shared it with everyone else so that we can all learn something.

And for that -- the video of which was posted on OCTOBER 5, 2009, he becomes the subject of this whining letter published by Parachutist in the APRIL 2011 ISSUE:

"Recently, I was on the internet and typed in 'low cutaways." I was quite disturbed and horrified in viewing one particular event in which a person pulled very low, opened up in line twists, cut away and landed in a residential neighborhood. On the video, he repeteated said, 'That was dumb.'

"Although I wholeheartedly agreee with him, it does not excuse the matter. I've jumped at this drop zone many times before, and I know they took disciplinary action on the jumper. But I believe USPA should take action on those who endanger their own lives, my life and the lives of others.

"Fellow skydivers, let be safe and check our altitudes." -- Phill Snyder, A-46387

April FOOL indeed.

Cool


(This post was edited by robinheid on Apr 1, 2011, 11:51 AM)


robinheid  (D 5533)

Apr 1, 2011, 11:48 AM
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Re: [YISkyDive] To Phil Re: Disciplinary Action [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
<snip> ... With respect to being stupid for opening at 2K... I'll agree but lets keep in mind our BSRs say we can do that. I'd advocate for a minimum opening altitude of 2,5K in a second. However, though I normally do not open this low, it was my opinion that you should always be comfortable to open at 2K which is what I was practicing after this fun jump (it was just a fun jump.) You never know when you'll be forced low especially on a big way skydive. I would generally open with my least performance canopy at 2,000 feet every 200 or so jumps either on a hop and pop or solo it just so happened my mal occurred on a opening I do maybe less than 4 times a season. I was in the PEAK of my currency when this occurred and just after a very extensive personal EP review which included reviewing a low altitude deployment to breakaway. <snip>

-DK

+1, DK! This is something everyone should do -- especially everyone who is an AFF baby -- especially when you're at peak currency and just did a comprehensive EP review, including down-and-dirty EPs.

Really, dude, you rock, from your premise (you never know when you might end up low so be ready) to your preparation to your execution. Really well done -- and as I said in another post, you inadvertently created a perfect Exhibit A for the affirmative that pulling near the USPA-sanctioned MINIMUM CONTAINER OPENING ALTITUDE is not something you want to do routinely.

BTW, another +1 for your patience and courtesy in responding to Phill's Parachutist letter. Not many of us who could pass the somewhat-low-altitude cutaway test would pass THAT one too!

Cool


airdvr  (D 10977)

Apr 1, 2011, 12:00 PM
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Re: [robinheid] To Phil Re: Disciplinary Action [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
"Although I wholeheartedly agreee with him, it does not excuse the matter. I've jumped at this drop zone many times before, and I know they took disciplinary action on the jumper. But I believe USPA should take action on those who endanger their own lives, my life and the lives of others.

"Fellow skydivers, let be safe and check our altitudes." -- Phill Snyder, A-46387

BWAHHAHAHAHA! It's sad that I'm not surprised by these types anymore. We've created them with AFF and AADs.



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