Sep 9, 2001, 1:16 PM
Post #1 of 8
Brake set nightmare!
Brake set nightmare!
About ten days ago at Eloy, I let a visiting jumper from Israel jump my Reflex that has a Cobalt 135 in it. After he landed I asked him the usual questions about the canopy performance/opening--his response was positive. It was at this point that I noticed that the brakes had been reset. When I mentioned this to him, he said that he was in the habit in doing so immediately after landing. I didn't give it any thought, as I knew he had 600 jumps, and "should" know how to set the brakes. A few days later I packed the canopy--I did look over the brake set/toggle area, and nothing looked out of the norm whatsoever.
My brake set method is to bring the excess line/loop through a ring at the top of the riser, then back down to the brake set loop area--passing the toggle nose first through it, then into the steering line brake set loop. This method is not widely practiced, but known/done by many. (I first started doing it in the very early eighties)
I made one jump yesterday at Marana, AZ (Saturday) After I opened, I first killed my slider, then released my brakes--so I thought! It was immediately apparent that something was terribly wrong! My toggles hung down about one foot below the brake set point on the risers! When I pulled down on either toggle, I was in fact pulling the riser itself down! Closer inspection reveled a complete overhand knot at each excess loop pass ring which are located at the top of the risers! I did a few riser flares via the toggles, and figured I was ok making a landing this way. There was basically no wind--I leveled out in riser flair-landing out-doing a slide in landing on the desert floor, with some resulting road rash. (no jump suit)
During my walk back to the DZ, I rationalized what he had to have done. After he brought the excess lower steering line loop through the "riser top-excess line pass ring," he then passed the "entire toggle/line" through the loop! After this the excess lower steering line was brought down normally to the set point where the toggle nose was passed through it before being put into the steering line brake set loop. If you can envision this, you can see that it would look totally normal, with no "apparent condition" that would result in a knot forming around the loop pass ring, after toggle/brake release.
Yes, as the packer of this canopy, I take total responsibility for this incident, for assuming that an experienced jumper with 600 jumps would know how to set the brakes! He never asked me about the excess line pass ring/method, so maybe this along with his "claimed" 600 jumps sent a subconscious ok message to me.
Lesson again learned--Always question the validity of the obvious!
(This post was edited by DBTECH on Sep 9, 2001, 5:32 AM)
I salute you for a great post. It takes a big person (read non-skygod) to not allow his ego to get in the way of educating the masses.
You have obviously been jumping for awhile and your willingness to bring this forward should make everyone say, "If it can happen to him, it can happen to me. I better check again and make sure." This is a cheap but valuable lesson for everyone to learn. And it didn't cost anyone (except you) anything. You have reenforced the safety posture in the sport and we thank you.
I know you get dive loops on the front risers, but on the rear
must have been a CReW rig.. lol DB: I've always been a bit twitchy about using the locking loop and toggle for anything else then what it was designed for... although I did stow my lines in a similar way a while ago (passing exess line through the loop in the riser where the links connect to the canopy lines)... I now have had some elastic fabric sewn on the bach of the riser to stow the exess.. much cleaner in my opinion...
Hey,It happens,I leant my "test" rig out once when I was trying to figure a way to stow excess brake line.Needless to say the test pilot was a little upset when he relaeased the brakes and pulled the toggle through the looped excess line.O.K. my fault!Don,t try to stow the excess line!
I've been doing this excess line stow method for 900+ jumps. (now have 1200) I have never had a problem with this method before this incident. NOTE: I've been told that the new Vector Tandem rig specifies this excess line stow method, which I claim, to have first used back in the mid eighties.
yip...been there myself ...have had brakes that wont release....both brakes not set...stuff like that... found the best way is to avoid this sort of hassle is to leave the excess un stowed....never lend my rig ......and pack it myself..