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Deployment systems for a Paracommander

 

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dgw  (C License)

Nov 6, 2011, 1:56 PM
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Deployment systems for a Paracommander Can't Post

Folks,

I am hoping to tax a little information from the old school about Paracommanders.

I've done a search, and scanned the FAA rigger manual, but I am no better informed... :-)

I have had the great good fortune to pick up a PC, complete with H/C and reserve. However, the H/C is far too small, and the advice I have had is to put the PC in a modern(ish) piggy-back rig, to minimise the 'old crap gear problems (quote)'. I like this advice, as it keeps things relatively simple for me. I have not jumped front / back gear, although I do have a H/C that fits and would take the PC. I'd prefer to avoid using it if I can.

Here is the first question: The PC is HUGE, and the deployment device is a heavy cotton sleeve, which was very interesting to figure out how it works. The sleeve seems to be about 30% - 40% of the bulk (I guess). Are there any ways (that work) to deploy a PC other than with a sleeve? I have a Dolphin student container sized for a 260 SQ ft main, but there is no hope of getting the PC in there in a sleeve. I thought about about getting a nylon sleeve made up?

Second question: What size containers were used for the orginal piggy-back systems with PCs, and what deployment system was used?

Third question: I am informed by the former owner that it has been shortlined by 60 inches. This seems like a quite a lot of shortlining... Any comments on likely effects?

The gear is in (to my non - rigger eye) good nick, and was last jumped in 2008.


Thanks in advance for any comments.

Darren


stratostar  (Student)

Nov 6, 2011, 3:10 PM
Post #2 of 34 (2201 views)
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Re: [dgw] Deployment systems for a Paracommander [In reply to] Can't Post

Try a copy of the parachute manual vol.1 or the paracommander hand book by Gary Lewis... A quick search on here will find the handbook.

As for your questions, 1. nothing wrong with gutter gear stop being a pussy! A sleeve is the most simple deployment system, not hard to use at all.

There are a number of ways to deploy a PC, sleeve (short & Long), POD, and D-bag, each one is packed different, the sleeve being the easiest of all three.

You could find an old fart who knows how to pack a PC into a D-bag and then have it hooked on to 3-rings and placed in the dolphin, but that would make you a major pussy.Tongue

You could build a POD and try to turn it sideways into the dolphin, or build a POD and use it in the HC you have that fits and is old school.... I like PODs over D-bags for easy packing, but sleeves are the simple, but more of a bitch to pack depending on the container size.

The most important thing for you to do is find a live person who is knowing what the fuck their doing on old gear and get some help and have them double check your shit.

If your in the UK you might try finding this guy... http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?username=andrewhilton;


(This post was edited by stratostar on Nov 6, 2011, 3:14 PM)


dgw  (C License)

Nov 6, 2011, 3:41 PM
Post #3 of 34 (2189 views)
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Re: [stratostar] Deployment systems for a Paracommander [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks Dude Smile

I am a bit of a pussy, and man enough to declare it to the world Smile.

I have taken advice from a good few people, all of whom has said ask the next guy... Andrew Hilton is a name that has popped up on a couple of occasions, and I will try and tap him up.

My big problem is that I'm only 10 years in the game, and all of my limited knowledge about older gear is gleaned from trawling the interweb, and chats around the fire. I have a copy of Gary Lewis's manual, which is a fascinating read, but I can't even begin to figure out how a POD might work.

I am encouraged by your thoughts that I might get it into my Dolphin though. It will fit without the sleeve.... I am only planning to use it for hop'n'pops (at leat initiallly), and I thought, with no experience to support this idea, that a standard direct bag / short delay with a D-bag might be okay?

You are right - I am a bit of a pussy Frown


stratostar  (Student)

Nov 6, 2011, 4:29 PM
Post #4 of 34 (2179 views)
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Re: [dgw] Deployment systems for a Paracommander [In reply to] Can't Post

a standard PC will fit into a D-bag that is made big enough for it and then it will fit into a very large student or tandem rig with not much problem. With a POD you would have to turn it sideways to fit in there. A POD is much like a strong tandem main D-bag, only different... LOL

As for jumping it, there is no reason you can't go terminal.... unless your a pussy or can't spot for shit.... LOLTongue

Regardless, you need to check out Andrew and the collection he has access to. Also most of all have fun! Rounds are fun to jump, much different then what you know now. And if you want to jump gutter gear there is a great first jump training film you can watch so you'll be up to speed on what to do.Wink

Training film link:http://www.youtube.com/...&feature=related


dks13827  (C 9293)

Nov 6, 2011, 5:42 PM
Post #5 of 34 (2170 views)
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Deployment systems for a Paracommander [In reply to] Can't Post

Nylon sleeve would cause burns I would think. A POD is a bag, stands for para opener device, and I liked that method the best for myself. Make sure your exit weight is within the limits ( or you will land somewhat hard, or harder ).


pchapman  (D 1014)

Nov 6, 2011, 6:27 PM
Post #6 of 34 (2160 views)
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Re: [dgw] Deployment systems for a Paracommander [In reply to] Can't Post

One of my PC's is in a d-bag. Volume wise it is much bigger than a Parafoil 282, which is quite bulky and bigger than an equivalent student canopy of that square footage.

So even old student or accuracy gear might not be big enough.

The technique I used was to build a simple "main container" that velcros around the existing main container but is bigger. It has 3 flaps, and uses the existing main top flap / pin cover flap. The original flaps just tuck underneath. I learned this from some Aussie accuracy jumpers. I think I've posted pics somewhere on dz.com at some time a few years back. They could use their regular small rigs for Style, then velcro on a big main container for Accuracy.

The only other complication I can think of is what to do with the crown lines. They should be stowed to meter out neatly. Or at least that's what people tell me.

Option 1: I put elastic stows inside the top of the bag, to stow the crown lines just like one would stow parachute lines in general, zig zagged back and forth. Stow before folding the canopy into the bag.

Option 2: Others have put the stows on the outside top of the bag, and have the lines pull through a large (but smooth and undented) grommet in the top of the bag on opening. That's been mentioned in old threads on deploying PCs'. I'm not sure how the bridle attachment is then done, but I guess it could be sewn to the bag, leaving the grommet clear for the crown lines only.


Mountainsky1  (D 6397)

Nov 6, 2011, 6:33 PM
Post #7 of 34 (2160 views)
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Re: [dgw] Deployment systems for a Paracommander [In reply to] Can't Post

Don't let "Strat's" name calling get you down. He hides behind his finger..A POD can be made from your existing deployment bag, you won't have to do anything sideways. I would be happy to help you accomplish this. PM me.Wink

Cheers,
MJ


stratostar  (Student)

Nov 6, 2011, 7:59 PM
Post #8 of 34 (2148 views)
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Re: [Mountainsky1] Deployment systems for a Paracommander [In reply to] Can't Post

Not really, note the Tongue in the posts... And I offered some damn good advice, such as seek out and visit Andrew & have a look at the large airworthy collection over there in person. I have a large collection too of all kinds of stuff set up in a lot of ways most of it would be hard to type out what is what and how it works, keeping it simple is the best, I strongly believe anyone who has not grown up on or around the old shit, who seeks to use it should put in the hours to learn about it and how to use it.... such as getting a copy of parachute manual vol 1 for starters and maybe beckmons if you can find one & along with finding an old fart to advise and other gear and inspecting it.

All of my deployment methods are vintage and were rebuilt or made from patterns of vintage. For example my wonderhog has a mk1 in a POD and it will not fit in it top to bottom flaps, because it's made for a style master like HC, but by turning it 90 degrees 'sideways' it fits just fine.

My 74 racer SST has a regular style but large d-bagged mk1. At some point I will build a bag for the wonderhog or find one to fit. My paratwin has a sleeve in it and it's a bitch to pack and should have a POD on it.... this is all the shit a noob need to see, hear & learn about first hand and by reading it in the manual while looking at the crap on the packing table and not over an internet post.

And Marty, in the last 15 years I personally have help a great deal of people(more then 50) experience their first round jumps, many of them making more then one, I have no problem helping others who seek to jump vintage gear, even those who I might call a pussy Wink for not jumping a belly wart system..... I have modern rigs that are hand deploy on 3-rings, like my 77 wonderhog....LOLTongueLaugh

I hope you can help him out in building a deployment device, that is kind of you.


(This post was edited by stratostar on Nov 6, 2011, 8:01 PM)


vanair  (D 8360)

Nov 7, 2011, 7:33 AM
Post #9 of 34 (2110 views)
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Re: [dgw] Deployment systems for a Paracommander [In reply to] Can't Post

Pussy, You are what you eat!


dgw  (C License)

Nov 7, 2011, 2:46 PM
Post #10 of 34 (2074 views)
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Re: [stratostar] Deployment systems for a Paracommander [In reply to] Can't Post

Many thanks for the comments and help folks. It is much appreciated. Smile

All tasty food for thought.

I've ordered a copy of Mr Poynter's Vol 1, which I will read with interest. I need to get up to speed on some of the basics. This is a bit more involved than had I anticipated, which is great, because I really like parachutes and parachute accesories.

@Mountainsky1: Many thanks for your offer to help. I think I ought to get a fuller understanding of the ins and outs of the paracommander deployment options before I chop up the sleeve... it's all I have at the moment.

Annecdote: I picked this equipment up on Saturday morning, and hot-footed it to the DZ to have it out for a good gawk / feel. DZ owner (30+ years in the business) walks past, looks for a moment, and tells me: 'whatever you do, don't use a sleeve if you jump that'. Later, a rigger who gave me a few packing pointers over and above the manual content commented: 'you MUST use the sleeve to deploy this canopy'....... Advisor 2 gave a good set of reasons to support his view. Hence the post.

Thanks again folks - I will keep you up to speed when I get it sorted out.

Darren


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Nov 7, 2011, 3:51 PM
Post #11 of 34 (2061 views)
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Re: [dgw] Deployment systems for a Paracommander [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi dgw,

Quote:
it has been shortlined by 60 inches

60 inches was nowhere near the 'norm' for back in the day. They were usually short-lined 36 - 48 inches, with 48 being the extreme.

I would suggest that you make some measurements and see what you really have.

As far as d-bag, pod, sleeve; they all will work. Keep the stablizers away from the lines & have fun with it.

JerryBaumchen


skr  (D 981)

Nov 7, 2011, 3:59 PM
Post #12 of 34 (2060 views)
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Re: [dgw] Deployment systems for a Paracommander [In reply to] Can't Post

I made about 900 jumps on PC's and always used
a sleeve, but the guys in Florida at that time used
bags so maybe the idea is to find some Florida old
timers and get details on packing techniques.

PC's are complicated parachutes.

You've got the center line from the apex down to
the back risers, and steering lines that go up and
then branch out to a bunch of steering slots, and
down around the skirt you've got stabilizers that
are not attached to the skirt, and they flail around
during deployment looking for convenient steering
lines or even a center line to snag.

With a sleeve I never worried about the crown lines,
but with a bag you have to stow them in some kind
of organized fashion.

I guess a nylon bag might be OK but I heard about
nylon sleeves burning canopies so I wouldn't do that.

60 inches is a major short-line. I never heard of
anybody doing any more than that.

The accuracy people were doing that. I believe
the theory was something about the jumper and
canopy being a more closely connected system
with less pendulum effect and with the jumper
and canopy staying more closely related during
turns.

Knowing jumpers I'm sure some people did more
than 60 inches, but short-lining tended to make
the canopy snivel and people probably figured out
that 60 inches was about as much as you could
get away with.

As far as bag size goes there must be some tables
with cubic inches somewhere in one of Dan Poynter's
books.

Bill Booth is on here sometimes and he probably
still remembers those figures.

I remember one night at a Z-hills Thanksgiving meet
watching John Sherman cram a PC into a bag that
looked like it had about 3 cubic inches of space.

I couldn't believe he was going to get it in there,
but he did. I was afraid it was going to implode
and become a black hole :-) :-)

Give him a call at the Jump Shack, he probably
still remembers those cubic inch numbers, too.

Just pack the center line, steering lines and stabilizer
section so that it stays organized when the canopy
comes out of the bag and hits the wind.

PC's were really pretty amazing chutes.

Skr


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Nov 8, 2011, 8:42 AM
Post #13 of 34 (2015 views)
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Re: [stratostar] Deployment systems for a Paracommander [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
a standard PC will fit into a D-bag that is made big enough for it and then it will fit into a very large student or tandem rig with not much problem. With a POD you would have to turn it sideways to fit in there. A POD is much like a strong tandem main D-bag, only different... LOL ..."

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

The biggest difference is the number 8 grommet installed top-dead-center of a POD. All the crown lines are pulled up through the grommet and stowed in rubber bands along the top of the POD.
Stowing the crown lines (outside of the POD) eliminates most of the risk of sleeve-slump.

See Poynters, Volume 1, section 6.5.5, page 301.


andrewhilton  (D 32371)

Nov 8, 2011, 9:32 AM
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Re: [dgw] Deployment systems for a Paracommander [In reply to] Can't Post

There's a good section in the Para commander handbook covering short-lining and how the acceptable length to short-line by varies with the jumper's weight. What model of PC do you have? My Competition PC is just beyond the recommended minimum line length in the book but I have a 100% success rate using it, based on the one time I have jumped it.

Are you in the UK?- I would be happy to provide packing lessons. I have some notes somewhere I could email you too. I can lend you a deployment device and maybe even a rig. I'm not sure it would fit in a rig built for a modern 260 (mine are built for Manta 280s or bigger).

Here's a link to some pictures of round deployment devices to help illustrate things. There are also some pictures that could be used to make a short sleeve aka slag (sleeve/bag) or POD including basic measurements. The slag measurements are for a PC ; the POD is for a Papillon.

http://www.flickr.com/...s/72157628083833002/


(This post was edited by andrewhilton on Nov 8, 2011, 11:48 AM)


Krip  (Student)

Nov 8, 2011, 10:41 AM
Post #15 of 34 (1987 views)
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Re: [andrewhilton] Deployment systems for a Paracommander [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Andrew

Great pics. Smile

They helped shake some of the cobwebs from my fuzzy brain.

FWIW we switched to a POD almost back in the day after seeing it advertised in parachutist magazine.


Trivia: One of the selling points in the ad was. "The POD is aerodynamically clean and photographically unclutered".Laugh

In retrospect the same can be said for the collapsing pilot chutes used today.Blush

K-RIP


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Nov 8, 2011, 11:30 AM
Post #16 of 34 (1982 views)
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Re: [andrewhilton] Deployment systems for a Paracommander [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi andrew,

That purple device would not have been called a short sleeve back in the day.

A short sleeve was only shorter than the standard PC long sleeve by the length of the crown lines. They did not have a folding of the canopy as shown in that sequence of photos.

But it is an interesting device; and you definitely have all the info needed to build one.

JerryBaumchen


dgw  (C License)

Nov 8, 2011, 3:23 PM
Post #17 of 34 (1958 views)
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Re: [andrewhilton] Deployment systems for a Paracommander [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
There's a good section in the Para commander handbook covering short-lining and how the acceptable length to short-line by varies with the jumper's weight. What model of PC do you have? My Competition PC is just beyond the recommended minimum line length in the book but I have a 100% success rate using it, based on the one time I have jumped it.

Are you in the UK?- I would be happy to provide packing lessons. I have some notes somewhere I could email you too. I can lend you a deployment device and maybe even a rig. I'm not sure it would fit in a rig built for a modern 260 (mine are built for Manta 280s or bigger).

Here's a link to some pictures of round deployment devices to help illustrate things. There are also some pictures that could be used to make a short sleeve aka slag (sleeve/bag) or POD including basic measurements. The slag measurements are for a PC ; the POD is for a Papillon.

http://www.flickr.com/...s/72157628083833002/

Hi Andrew,

Many thanks for the photo link - it has really helped me see the possibilities. I am based in the UK, and I will gladly take up your kind offer of packing instruction.

I can go most anywhere, most weekends. I bought the system from Keith Mace (who suggested that I speak to you), and he was clear about the degree of shortlining: 60 inches - I don't have any metric to compare the line length with, but he is a light gentleman, and he seemed confident in his information.

I might be able to borrow a bigger container from Fordy that is sized for a 280 main canopy - he gave me a hand packing the PC (easier than the manual.. :-) ) and intimated that this was a possibility. As for deployment devices, I have not much of a clue, to be frank. My only observation was that the sleeve system is really bulky...

I have had a read of The Manual by Mr Lewis, and I have a copy (per Stratostar's demand..) of Mr Poynter's Vol 1 on order so I can get up to speed.

But, yes, educate me please :-)

Many thanks,

Darren


winsor  (D 13715)

Nov 9, 2011, 5:55 AM
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Re: [dgw] Deployment systems for a Paracommander [In reply to] Can't Post

Having played with a variety of PC-class canopies and containers, I have settled on keeping everything "modern" except the canopy.

My primary PC rig is a Wonderhog with a D-bagged RWPC and a BOC throwout. It's nice that a collapsible is not necessary...

I think it's a #8 grommet on top for the crown lines, which are stowed with small bands across the top of the D-bag.

As far as packing goes, after flaking the canopy with all lines squared away like you would do with any deployment system, secure the crown lines and S-fold the canopy into the bag. Secure the lines like you would with anything.

Needless to say, it's a good idea to have someone on hand that has done it before when you try it for the first time. The thing to recall is that the canopy basically wants to open properly, so you have to do something pretty drastic before it builds in an unrecoverable problem.

The PC is a great canopy, and I suspect a zero-P variant with microlines would be worth the trouble. The bottom line, however, is that your forward speed is limited by design, and the amount of fuss involved in packing it is going to be greater than with an equivalent square.


Have fun!

Winsor


longtall  (D 7244)

Nov 9, 2011, 6:22 AM
Post #19 of 34 (1922 views)
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Re: [andrewhilton] Deployment systems for a Paracommander [In reply to] Can't Post

WOW way cool,Thanks for the photos and the measurments;might come in handy.


dgw  (C License)

Nov 9, 2011, 1:25 PM
Post #20 of 34 (1894 views)
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Re: [winsor] Deployment systems for a Paracommander [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks Winsor,

I gave a heads-up rigger a good listening to at the weekend, and that was his firm view, which I think is entirely sensible. He basically said, eliminate as much as the 'old crap gear' as possible, and just use the PC. So, that is the plan.

Mr Hilton has kindly offered to help me out, and I will take all of his advice.

I will update the thread to let you all know how it goes.

Many thanks to all,

Darren


steve1  (D 23640)

Nov 9, 2011, 2:59 PM
Post #21 of 34 (1885 views)
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Re: [dgw] Deployment systems for a Paracommander [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess everyone has an opinion on this. I don't think all that old gear is crap.

I've got a paracommander that I'd like to jump. It's in a stylemaster main container and harness. I'm going to get a 26 coni for a chest mount reserve. That old gear served me well in the 70's. I'm looking forward to jumping it again in the future....

It's kind of like driving an old car that once meant something to you. It just wouldn't be the same to put a P.C. in a modern container. Just my two cents worth....


(This post was edited by steve1 on Nov 9, 2011, 3:01 PM)


stratostar  (Student)

Nov 9, 2011, 3:33 PM
Post #22 of 34 (1878 views)
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Re: [steve1] Deployment systems for a Paracommander [In reply to] Can't Post

It's one thing for you & I to use that stuff because we learned on it and used it in the day....... that said it can be used safely by today's jumpers in a safe manner with a little training, it dose take a some knowing WTF to do. I have trained a good deal of people to use it and so far no one bounced from using gutter gear.


steve1  (D 23640)

Nov 10, 2011, 8:14 AM
Post #23 of 34 (1852 views)
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Re: [stratostar] Deployment systems for a Paracommander [In reply to] Can't Post

That's a good point Stratostar. The old gear does take training. If one is unfamiliar with it, it might be best just to put a para-commander in a modern container...


stratostar  (Student)

Nov 10, 2011, 10:53 AM
Post #24 of 34 (1836 views)
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Re: [steve1] Deployment systems for a Paracommander [In reply to] Can't Post

well some people get scared when you start talking about elbowing your container in order to get it to open or having to watch their reserve deploy in front of them.....Laugh

http://www.dropzone.com/...one_lock_106351.html


(This post was edited by stratostar on Nov 10, 2011, 10:54 AM)


pchapman  (D 1014)

Nov 10, 2011, 12:22 PM
Post #25 of 34 (1823 views)
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Re: [dgw] Deployment systems for a Paracommander [In reply to] Can't Post

I found my photo of a side by side comparison of a PC Mk1 in a bag vs. a Parafoil 282, to help get an idea of the sizing.

(I don't know where the PC bag came from, but from its size I figure it had been used when students still jumped PCs in the early 80s. I don't use the split flap closed by velcro, just like most people didn't use the split flap on Vector II d-bags.)
Attachments: CIMG4156small Volumes compared of Parafoil 282 vs Mk1 PC.JPG (250 KB)


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