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Failure to hook up all 4 points on a tandem

 

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ocd11  (D 30683)

Nov 18, 2011, 10:55 PM
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Failure to hook up all 4 points on a tandem Can't Post

Was talking with another tandem instructor, and because I'm curious, I asked him what he thought he would do if he ever forgot to hook up all four points on a tandem. He said it's never happened to him, but that he'd talked to another instructor once who told him about the one time that it happened to them.

I've seen the pretty well known video of the guy that exits the C-182 without either shoulder point hooked up, who fixes it shortly after exit and before pitching the drogue.

The story that I heard was much worse - this guy never realized he'd missed the shoulder points until opening, when the student tipped forward hard as the canopy opened. By the way, other than this *huge* mistake, this guy landed with the student without any issues - the student was fine.

I'm not quite sure I know what I'd do in this case. There's no way you're going to get the student hooked up under canopy - unless you're super-human strong, or the student is a 90lb girl.

This made me think, and made me wonder what other people might think. Yes, I know that the correct solution to this is to make absolutely certain that you make every effort to prevent it. That you do your hookup procedure the same way every time, and that you make double checking yourself part of that procedure.

But... what if?

I think my focus would be on dealing with it in a calm and collected manor, to prevent freaking the student out. Analyze the situation, maintain altitude awareness, and work through it. Keep in mind that you're going to need your hands to steer and land the canopy, so you really can't do anything that involves holding the student in any way. Can't really get more specific than that since I can't imagine anything more specific about how this might pan out...

I'm curious to know what other tandem instructors think about this topic. What would you do? What would/do you do during the hookup procedure to prevent the possibility?


(This post was edited by ocd11 on Nov 18, 2011, 10:56 PM)


davelepka  (D 21448)

Nov 19, 2011, 6:59 AM
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Re: [ocd11] Failure to hook up all 4 points on a tandem [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Just a thought, but it seems odd to me that you're planning for a very odd eventuality, and one that you have complete control over.

I understand some of the 'out there' hypotheticals people come up with, but most of them involve things they have no control over, like the actions of another jumper, a pilot, or aircraft. In this case, however, the solution is to never leave the plane without all four points of attachment hooked-up, and triple checked.

You as a TI have 'all the time in the world' to hook up your student. Even the fastest jumpship out there will take 10 min to get you from boarding to altitude, and the hook process shouldn't take more than 60 seconds. Most jump planes will be more like 15 to 20 min to altitude, so there is no excuse to not have the student fully hooked up, and triple checked.

Focus more on doing these easy, simple, and critical things right the first time, than planning on what you would do if you didn't. Your #1 job up there is student safety, and hooking them up is the cornerstone of that. Unless your student is hooked up properly, there's little you can do to ensure their safety.

Beyond that, the number of variables to consider in this hypothetical makes it tough to condsider. What point, or combination of points, that are not hooked up would effect the course of action you would take, so unless you want to hash through every possibility, and then try to remember your conclusions while you try to not drop a student out of a harness, the topic is moot.

Stay focused, do your job, and check it 3 times. Get into a routine and never falter.


(This post was edited by davelepka on Nov 19, 2011, 7:00 AM)


airtwardo  (D License)

Nov 19, 2011, 7:25 AM
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Re: [davelepka] Failure to hook up all 4 points on a tandem [In reply to] Can't Post

That's kind of the reply was typing but you beat me to it.

When I went through TI training in the 80's we were told any ONE connector would keep the student attached during deployment, but that if you ever found yourself in a situation in which one or more was NOT attached, to tear up your tandem ticket when you landed because failing to perform the simplest procedure with no stress and all kinds of time meant you were not good enough to deal with the real 'what if' stuff that would probably be coming sometime down the line.


jimjumper  (D 11137)

Nov 19, 2011, 7:29 AM
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Re: [ocd11] Failure to hook up all 4 points on a tandem [In reply to] Can't Post

We actually use a small tag with the connection points and have the passenger read it back to us as the instructor verifies each connection point. While it's not really neccessary it re-assures the student and also forces the TI to check each individual connection. The tag gets stuffed into a pocket or the jumpsuit for reuse. I've seen at least 2 video's of the uppers not connected. If it takes an extra 20 seconds for the student to verify that all the connections are made it's worth it.


feuergnom  (D License)

Nov 19, 2011, 7:29 AM
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in my - compared to others, certainly limited experience as a TI, it was IMPERATIVE to follow the hook-up-sequence by the book.
of course it's easier in a spacier plane than in a 172. so you have to adapt some parts to make sure you don't have to fiddle around for ages and maybe miss something when connecting lowers. also my routine includes of commenting what I am doing and telling my pax which point I am connecting. read: They know whats going on and I don't forget what I have to do Smile


Abedy

Nov 19, 2011, 7:39 AM
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After hooking up I also tell them when checking again: "Left upper - fastened and secured, ... left lower... left leg strap... chest strap fastened and secured, now I'm checking my gear... Everything is attached and fastened as it should be, we're ready, have fun"

I also cannot but emphasize that routine is everything here: Do it in each and every skydive the same way at the same time. Like an experienced TI told me: "It's gotta work like a juke box with one disc - you insert 10c and will always get the same song."


Skydivesg  (D 10938)

Nov 19, 2011, 9:33 AM
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Re: [Abedy] Failure to hook up all 4 points on a tandem [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with the routine and the checklist that is vocally given to the passenger.

While I'm not a TI, I film a lot of tandems each year. The one thing the passenger is concerned about more than any other (besides their goggles) is whether or not they are hooked up.

When asked by the passenger this question, I've seen some TIs respond "don't worry about it, I'll take care of it".

Holy crap guys, this is the one biggest concern of the passenger who has no idea who you are, (and you're asking them to trust their life with you). It's not that tough to verbally re-assure them of the process, which if done each and every time will also suffice as your checklist to be certain you never leave the plane without hooking up a passenger.

Over the years I've pointed out (more than once) that a passenger did not have one or both of the tops hooked up before I opened the door (without letting on to the passenger). When I'm filming I give the tandem pair a visual gear inspection. Most TIs don't know I'm doing it.

I know the videographer who filmed a TI leaving a Cessna while the TI did not have a clue that the tops were not hooked up. The pictures are awesome and scary.

Do your verbal checklist and share it with the passenger. Just like pilots who use GUMPST before every takeoff and landing.


(This post was edited by Skydivesg on Nov 19, 2011, 9:34 AM)


Madison  (D 25271)

Nov 19, 2011, 10:43 AM
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Re: [davelepka] Failure to hook up all 4 points on a tandem [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Just a thought, but it seems odd to me that you're planning for a very odd eventuality, and one that you have complete control over.

Your statement seems odd to me.
Shouldn't you be planning for very odd eventualities and ones you have complete control over on every jump ? No?

I can't agree with the line of reasoning that That shouldn't happen to a TM if they did what they were supposed to do...
unless,
TM's aren't susceptible to human error and Murphy's Law doesn't apply to them, Then you are correct-No tandem master should ever f*ck up, because they are tandem masters.

I'd rather have one prepared for the odd eventuality, than not.
You know, like EP's ;) "You shouldn't have a malfunction IF you did what you were supposed to do...."


RIGGER  (D 7933)

Nov 19, 2011, 10:59 AM
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Re: [ocd11] Failure to hook up all 4 points on a tandem [In reply to] Can't Post

Smile Hi

The only point you have to think about is how to do the whole process in the aircraft at time & check your self at least twice - after all 4 points are hooked & Pre-Exit checks.

There is NO reason to exit for a normal tandem jump with any un hooked point/s.

The only time a TI & the passenger might be hooked on 1-4 points is in an Aircraft EP / Bailout situation at low altitude - we train the TI's for that.

Do it as you should & you will never get to be a part of such stories.

Cheers


Abedy

Nov 19, 2011, 11:02 AM
Post #10 of 46 (3352 views)
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Re: [Skydivesg] Failure to hook up all 4 points on a tandem [In reply to] Can't Post

Just one funny add-on: We attach the laterals right after boarding. I also tell my guests what I am doing but one day my colleague couldn't stop giggling because I told a nice young lady "Now yer pretty tight down there." (Jetzt bist Du untenrum schn fest!")
She didn't mind, though - I'm sure she didn't catch the ambiguity of the sentence Tongue Anyway, I am a more aware of what to tell my students now, that for sure.


dks13827  (C 9293)

Nov 19, 2011, 1:36 PM
Post #11 of 46 (3283 views)
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Failure to hook up all 4 points on a tandem [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank God it is extremely rare... but it scares the hell out of me since my daughter and nieces did tandems. I did tell my daughter a few days before to watch her instructor hook up all FOUR connections and double check him. Common sense for all concerned.


sacex250

Nov 19, 2011, 5:01 PM
Post #12 of 46 (3231 views)
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Re: [ocd11] Failure to hook up all 4 points on a tandem [In reply to] Can't Post

See how well this TI did it after he forgot to hook up ANYTHING to his tandem passenger!

Anyone want to critique this?


browncow  (D License)

Nov 19, 2011, 7:10 PM
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Re: [airtwardo] Failure to hook up all 4 points on a tandem [In reply to] Can't Post

'we were told any ONE connector would keep the student attached during deployment'

Does anyone know if any tests have been done to determine what effect having only one clip attached has on the opening?


Liemberg  (Student)

Nov 19, 2011, 9:27 PM
Post #14 of 46 (3135 views)
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Re: [browncow] Failure to hook up all 4 points on a tandem [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Does anyone know if any tests have been done to determine what effect having only one clip attached has on the opening?
Probably not, for lack of volunteers. But the known results of cutting away with the lowers already undone don't look promising so far...

The theory that just one connector is enough to hold you is a sound one however when the maximum payload is calculated and compared with load-test results in which connectors were torn apart.

So it *might* cause a malfunction - but the good news is that you still will be attached to it. Smile

IMO the best routine: "I have two parachutes on my back, you have four connectors - there's got to be a difference after all. But I'm not in the least bit insulted if you count and check ME during the hook-up, in fact that is what I would do! So If you don't reach four, don't leave the aeroplane in mid-air. You know how to count to four now don't you?"

You end up with someone who actively looks after his or her own safety AND might even save YOU one day from your worst clusterf#@k Cool


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Nov 20, 2011, 12:04 AM
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Re: [Skydivesg] Failure to hook up all 4 points on a tandem [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
When asked by the passenger this question, I've seen some TIs respond "don't worry about it, I'll take care of it".
JackassUnimpressed


In reply to:
Over the years I've pointed out (more than once) that a passenger did not have one or both of the tops hooked up before I opened the door (without letting on to the passenger).
Good on you. Those guys owe you, big time. I'd give you $100 if you caught me being that stupid.Crazy


In reply to:
When I'm filming I give the tandem pair a visual gear inspection. Most TIs don't know I'm doing it.
Thanks. I would enjoy working with you.Smile


BobMoore  (D 13136)

Nov 20, 2011, 2:23 AM
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Re: [JohnMitchell] Failure to hook up all 4 points on a tandem [In reply to] Can't Post

[erply]
In reply to:
Over the years I've pointed out (more than once) that a passenger did not have one or both of the tops hooked up before I opened the door (without letting on to the passenger).

Good on you. Those guys owe you, big time. I'd give you $100 if you caught me being that stupid.Crazy

I would give him my tandem ticket and go find another line of work.


dragon2  (D 101989)

Nov 20, 2011, 4:34 AM
Post #17 of 46 (3057 views)
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Re: [Skydivesg] Failure to hook up all 4 points on a tandem [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
When I'm filming I give the tandem pair a visual gear inspection.

I tend to do that too. One time I asked the TM if the belly strap was done-up alright, because I couldn't see it and assumed it was undone.

Turned out it was done up fine, just the passenger had this belly that folded over it making the whole belly strap go invisible Crazy

The TM did thank me for paying attention, but I was worried the passenger noticed Blush


Caught lack of goggles twice, inverted 3rings twice, and a turned-off cypres once on the tandem sitting in front of me (that TM no longer works as a TM...).


davelepka  (D 21448)

Nov 20, 2011, 7:05 AM
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Re: [dragon2] Failure to hook up all 4 points on a tandem [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
When I'm filming I give the tandem pair a visual gear inspection.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I tend to do that too.

Just to expand on that, I tend to look over every tandem if I'm filming them or not. Once they're hooked up, the TIs have a limited view of the front side, and even if they checked on the ground, and leaned forward before the hook-up, there's a non-jumper up there with access to anything and everything, no idea how it all works.

I'll eyeball the friction adapters for proper routing, the excess strap being stowed, googles and helmet in place and secured, jumpsuit zipped up, etc. There's no downside to it, with the benefits being a safer, more comfortable customer, and a TI with less extra 'work' on their hands.

I'm confident enough in my own routine that I can make the time to worry about someone else. No offence to the tandem guys or any other jumper, but if you as a jumper don't have that level of confidence, then keep your eyes (and your brain) on your own gear and your own preperation. Everyone up there is 'supposed' to be able to take care of themselves, and TIs are no exception. It's not worth sacrificing your own safety to double check the work of the TIs on the plane.

For the record, and to the credit of the guys I work with, I've never found any significant problems during one of these pre-flight checks.


DougH  (D License)

Nov 20, 2011, 7:14 AM
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Re: [davelepka] Failure to hook up all 4 points on a tandem [In reply to] Can't Post

I call out every connector verbally as I check them and check them again twice more. There is no reason for this to happen unless you rush and deviate from your procedure, or you are unsafe and have no procedure. I refuse to rush, the plane can do a go around.

We need to push unprofessional and/or unsafe instructors from the sport. Be friendly and professional, actually train your students, ensure proper harness adjustment and do the harness checks, check your gear using a procedure and all due care, talk to your students on the ride to altitude and dont sleep on the ride up, do all your finally gear checks.

Enough yahoo bs!


(This post was edited by DougH on Nov 20, 2011, 7:27 AM)


davelepka  (D 21448)

Nov 20, 2011, 7:19 AM
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Re: [DougH] Failure to hook up all 4 points on a tandem [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I refuse to rush, the plane can do a go around.

Yep. The pilot is in charge of the plane, the jumpers are in charge of themselves. The green light means you can jump, not that you have to jump.

On that note, it's a good idea to touch base with the pilot on any day a cloud layer might keep you from getting full alitude. Make sure he understands that you need more than a 2 min call at 8k to be ready to jump at 9k. If he's noticing the ceiling getting closer to the plane and doesn't anticipate full altitude, he should notify the jumpers ASAP, and give them time to get ready.


Skydivesg  (D 10938)

Nov 20, 2011, 9:12 AM
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Re: [JohnMitchell] Failure to hook up all 4 points on a tandem [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Over the years I've pointed out (more than once) that a passenger did not have one or both of the tops hooked up before I opened the door (without letting on to the passenger).
Good on you. Those guys owe you, big time. I'd give you $100 if you caught me being that stupid.Crazy


In reply to:
When I'm filming I give the tandem pair a visual gear inspection. Most TIs don't know I'm doing it.
Thanks. I would enjoy working with you.Smile
After catching the same TI for a second time in as many weeks with no tops I made a point to talk to him privately before he made another jump.

After a civil conversation about the problem, and letting him know that I could not see him using any routine, I suggested that he use the verbal checklist and to do it in a way that he is reassuring the passenger. (after witnessing thousands of tandem jumps and dozens of TIs, it doesn't take long to see who has a routine and who doesn't).

I made it clear to him that he needed to come up with an obviously recognizable routine and that to this point I had not mentioned it to the DZO, or anyone else, but I couldn't keep it to myself if he didn't come up with something that I could recognize as an attempt to have a checklist. He agreed that the verbal checklist was a very good idea and he would start using it.

The next day I was assigned to film him again and noticed he still was not using or even attempting to use a routine. I asked him later that night why he wasn't and he responded with something like "let me worry about it, you just worry about filming".

I had no choice but to tell the DZO who is a good friend. The TI no longer jumps at our DZ.

I took no joy in him loosing his position but sometimes you just have to step up. We're not just putting these customers on the "Tilt-a-Whirl".


(This post was edited by Skydivesg on Nov 20, 2011, 9:18 AM)


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Nov 20, 2011, 10:10 AM
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You did the right f-ing thing. If that guy couldn't set aside his precious little ego long enough to do what the pros do in all fields of aviation (use a checklist/routine) he's got NO business in our business.Unimpressed


Trae  (Student)

Nov 20, 2011, 2:31 PM
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Re: [Skydivesg] Failure to hook up all 4 points on a tandem [In reply to] Can't Post

in reply to "After catching the same TI for a second time in as many weeks with no tops I made a point to talk to him privately before he made another jump.

After a civil conversation about the problem, and letting him know that I could not see him using any routine, I suggested that he use the verbal checklist and to do it in a way that he is reassuring the passenger. (after witnessing thousands of tandem jumps and dozens of TIs, it doesn't take long to see who has a routine and who doesn't).

I made it clear to him that he needed to come up with an obviously recognizable routine and that to this point I had not mentioned it to the DZO, or anyone else, but I couldn't keep it to myself if he didn't come up with something that I could recognize as an attempt to have a checklist."
.....................................

Cool how you check the TM's ...good airmanship.

but why give the guy so many chances on the ground?
its not about his ego or your diplomacy, its about doing it right , every time .
What if he'd bounced some-one and you hadn't said anything to anyone else.?

If I saw a bloke not connect his uppers in the aircraft, I'd stop him from jumping on THAT jump, right there and then...citizen arrest.
"Hey guess what mate? WE're landing with the plane !"
He'd be in front of the boss before he knew it.
Too much ?
Set the standard high and keep it there. Otherwise you're just messin with people.


AdamLanes  (D License)

Nov 20, 2011, 2:34 PM
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Re: [ocd11] Failure to hook up all 4 points on a tandem [In reply to] Can't Post

My tandem IE actually went over scenarios where you may intentionally leave the aircraft with as little as only one connection hooked up. You may not have time to hook up all four connections when the pilot all of a sudden yells "get the fuck out" in an emergency situation, especially when people are behind you.


EppyNephrine  (F 111)

Nov 20, 2011, 5:46 PM
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Re: [davelepka] Failure to hook up all 4 points on a tandem [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Even the fastest jumpship out there will take 10 min to get you from boarding to altitude, and the hook process shouldn't take more than 60 seconds.

A DZ in Colorado has a super king air that makes altitude (12.5AGL) with a full load/full fuel during summer in 7 mins - and that's starting at a 5300MSL field elevation. I also know that Mike Mullins has a super KA, as well as another dz somewhere in the US.

And when you're sitting on straddle benches in a packed KA, it can take a little more than 60 seconds to properly hook your student up. Hell, it can take about a minute just to find the space to tighten down the straps when the plane is that full.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not making excuses for people who fail to properly hook their students up. Just pointing out the fact that some airplane conditions aren't as ideal as all TIs think. And, given that we're all prone to human error (as demonstrated in another thread dealing with riggers), accidents can happen.


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