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Hard pull / trapped pilot chute Q

 

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devildog  (C 40302)

Nov 21, 2011, 8:48 AM
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Hard pull / trapped pilot chute Q Can't Post

Was looking for some input on a jump of mine that happened a few jumps ago (around 60). Went through a normal dive, everything good, and went to pull @ around 4k where I usually do. First pull my hand slipped off the hackey and I thought nothing of it. My second pull was more forceful, and that was when I realized the PC wasn't coming out. So, at this point I'm thinking, "Oh God, here comes a reserve ride" but I instead decided to try one more time and I reached back and really pulled for all I was worth. Got a little unstable doing so, but I got it out and had to kick a few line twists out. Landed fine. After replaying the jump over and over trying to come up with what happened and how long, I was sitting under a good canopy a little over 2k, as opposed to my usual 3k, so I lost 1k feet and what, 5-6 seconds in that? (Felt like forever). So my Q is, "Is the try 2 times to clear after your first attempt to pull, or including your first attempt?" And I suppose a follow up would be, did I screw the pooch by not going to the reserve after try #2 (not knowing that #3 would clear it, obviously) or given I started @ 4k, trying the 3rd was okay provided if it hadn't cleared, I'd go to the reserve?


Premier NWFlyer  (D 29960)

Nov 21, 2011, 8:55 AM
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Re: [devildog] Hard pull / trapped pilot chute Q [In reply to] Can't Post

The key thing is knowing your altitude when you're considering that third (or subsequent) attempt. Are you still at the point where you could make that third attempt and be above your decision altitude. If you're still above it, give it one more try; if not, it's time to stop trying to fight the main and get a canopy (reserve) over your head.


(This post was edited by NWFlyer on Nov 21, 2011, 8:56 AM)


Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

Nov 21, 2011, 9:03 AM
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Re: [devildog] Hard pull / trapped pilot chute Q [In reply to] Can't Post

You want to have a plan, and you want to know your altitude. If your decision altitude is 1800', that's low to take yet another pull on the pud.

You were open at a very reasonable altitude; I'd've done the exact same thing (and I HAVE gone to my reserve for a hard pull).

But if you think about situations that might come up, and how you plan to address them, there are more brain cells left over at the moment for things like paying attention to altitude. Which is also necessary for a good decision.

Always have some idea of your altitude. If you've been futzing, and you haven't kept up with your altitude, then it's time to pull your reserve. You might have been futzing longer than you thought.

Wendy P.


sundevil777  (D License)

Nov 21, 2011, 9:06 AM
Post #4 of 48 (1486 views)
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Re: [devildog] Hard pull / trapped pilot chute Q [In reply to] Can't Post

It depends on how aware you were of your altitude. Sounds like you did great, as you had it in your mind that you were likely going to need to use the reserve, and were under a good canopy above 2k. That is a little low for your jump numbers, but not terrible given what you had to do.

What have you done to make sure it doesn't happen again? There are OK techniques for folding and stowing your PC, and there are better techniques. I like Germain's method, although not so relevant to your issue, as it is more focused on the PC being able to extract when pulled by the bridle. Was it a mess stuffed in there? Having a set way of putting it in neatly is of course wise. Is there something that contributed to your handle being slippery?


devildog  (C 40302)

Nov 21, 2011, 9:09 AM
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Re: [sundevil777] Hard pull / trapped pilot chute Q [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
It depends on how aware you were of your altitude. Sounds like you did great, as you had it in your mind that you were likely going to need to use the reserve, and were under a good canopy above 2k. That is a little low for your jump numbers, but not terrible given what you had to do.

What have you done to make sure it doesn't happen again? There are OK techniques for folding and stowing your PC, and there are better techniques. I like Germain's method, although not so relevant to your issue, as it is more focused on the PC being able to extract when pulled by the bridle. Was it a mess stuffed in there? Having a set way of putting it in neatly is of course wise. Is there something that contributed to your handle being slippery?

Well, when I got home, I did practice repacking the chute over and over and over (tossing it out in between) and never had a hard pull before or after. I'm not really sure why it bunched on me. I've been using Germain's method as well since I started.

I think I'm a little shook up in that I would have liked my response better had I actually checked my alt after try #2. In my head I was thinking, if this doesn't work, I've got to go to the reserve. But like what was just mentioned above, I could have been lower than I thought. So, mentally, I guess I'll be drilling alt checks after each attempt should that ever come up again. Not sure what else I could do to prep for such a thing.


BIGUN  (D 23385)

Nov 21, 2011, 9:15 AM
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Re: [devildog] Hard pull / trapped pilot chute Q [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
It depends on how aware you were of your altitude. Sounds like you did great, as you had it in your mind that you were likely going to need to use the reserve, and were under a good canopy above 2k. That is a little low for your jump numbers, but not terrible given what you had to do.

What have you done to make sure it doesn't happen again? There are OK techniques for folding and stowing your PC, and there are better techniques. I like Germain's method, although not so relevant to your issue, as it is more focused on the PC being able to extract when pulled by the bridle. Was it a mess stuffed in there? Having a set way of putting it in neatly is of course wise. Is there something that contributed to your handle being slippery?

Well, when I got home, I did practice repacking the chute over and over and over (tossing it out in between) and never had a hard pull before or after. I'm not really sure why it bunched on me. I've been using Germain's method as well since I started.

I think I'm a little shook up in that I would have liked my response better had I actually checked my alt after try #2. In my head I was thinking, if this doesn't work, I've got to go to the reserve. But like what was just mentioned above, I could have been lower than I thought. So, mentally, I guess I'll be drilling alt checks after each attempt should that ever come up again. Not sure what else I could do to prep for such a thing.

Please realize the rule of two is written in the blood of those gone before you.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Nov 21, 2011, 9:22 AM
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Re: [devildog] Hard pull / trapped pilot chute Q [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
So my Q is, "Is the try 2 times to clear after your first attempt to pull, or including your first attempt?" And I suppose a follow up would be, did I screw the pooch by not going to the reserve after try #2 (not knowing that #3 would clear it, obviously) or given I started @ 4k, trying the 3rd was okay provided if it hadn't cleared, I'd go to the reserve?

One 'rule of thumb' is 'two tries, two seconds' and the idea is to limit the amount of time you spend trying to do something. It only applies when something doesn't go right, and since you're never sure why it's not going right, you need some sort of guideline. Let's say the PC has melted to the pouch and will never come out (I don't think this is possible), without a guideline, you might spend valuable time fighting a losing battle.

In your case, there's a little wiggle room. With a pull altitude of 4k, you have what newbies need, a little extra time. Take all the numbers in your stort, and subtract 1k, and you can see how there would have been a problem. Attempted pull at 3k, hoping to be open by 2k, but not open until 1k, which is getting a little low.

It's an interesting situation, where on the one hand you might want to stick to the rule 'two tries, two seconds', in order to build mucsle memory and good habits, and on the other hand, do you really want to open your last parachute at 3500ft? A reserve mal can happen, and it would suck, but it was avoided by you taking a little extra time to get the main out.

I think the important part is awareness. If you know you're high, and have time for a thrid shot, I guess that's OK, provided you also know when you're low and don't have time for the extra try.

All of that aside, the solution is something esle, and that's to get serious about your pull. If you hand slipped off the hackey, it indicates a relaxed grip and probably a relaxed attitude. What should have happened in a hard pull is that you go for the pull, and your hand and the hackey both stay in one place. You need to grab onto the hackey like you mean, and pull/toss it like you mean it.

The basic thought is that you wanted the skydive to end at 4k, and you should have acted like you meant it. On your side was the extra altitude you had, and that made this 'less' of a big deal, but in the end, it's still sort of a big deal. You were lucky in that you got away with no harm done, open by 2k, no reserve ride, etc, now take advantage of that luck, and learn the lesson to stay on the ball at pull time, and pull like you mean it.


devildog  (C 40302)

Nov 21, 2011, 9:23 AM
Post #8 of 48 (1444 views)
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Re: [BIGUN] Hard pull / trapped pilot chute Q [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
It depends on how aware you were of your altitude. Sounds like you did great, as you had it in your mind that you were likely going to need to use the reserve, and were under a good canopy above 2k. That is a little low for your jump numbers, but not terrible given what you had to do.

What have you done to make sure it doesn't happen again? There are OK techniques for folding and stowing your PC, and there are better techniques. I like Germain's method, although not so relevant to your issue, as it is more focused on the PC being able to extract when pulled by the bridle. Was it a mess stuffed in there? Having a set way of putting it in neatly is of course wise. Is there something that contributed to your handle being slippery?

Well, when I got home, I did practice repacking the chute over and over and over (tossing it out in between) and never had a hard pull before or after. I'm not really sure why it bunched on me. I've been using Germain's method as well since I started.

I think I'm a little shook up in that I would have liked my response better had I actually checked my alt after try #2. In my head I was thinking, if this doesn't work, I've got to go to the reserve. But like what was just mentioned above, I could have been lower than I thought. So, mentally, I guess I'll be drilling alt checks after each attempt should that ever come up again. Not sure what else I could do to prep for such a thing.

Please realize the rule of two is written in the blood of those gone before you.

Not trying to re-write rules or pretend they don't apply to me. Just curious on views on the matter, and if I should have done something totally different, I just want to know.

Also, FWIW, http://www.dropzone.com/safety/emergencies/emergency_deployment.shtml seems to say 2 different things (which is also why I'm asking for clarification). Under hard pull, it says to try 3 total times (original plus 2 tries to clear), but under trapped pilot chute, it's only 2 total times (original plus 2 vigorous)


devildog  (C 40302)

Nov 21, 2011, 9:26 AM
Post #9 of 48 (1440 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Hard pull / trapped pilot chute Q [In reply to] Can't Post

[reply
...

You were lucky in that you got away with no harm done, open by 2k, no reserve ride, etc, now take advantage of that luck, and learn the lesson to stay on the ball at pull time, and pull like you mean it.
I will. I try to learn as much as I can from my mistakes so I don't have to repeat them. Thanks!


davelepka  (D 21448)

Nov 21, 2011, 9:29 AM
Post #10 of 48 (1434 views)
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Re: [devildog] Hard pull / trapped pilot chute Q [In reply to] Can't Post

 
By the way, this is not that uncommon. People tend to get used to things being one way or the other, and when you PC slips out nice and easy for 50 jumps in a row, you begin to expect that. Meanwhile, you or your packer is in a rush and doesn't fold the PC the same way, or it gets squished around in the pouch while moving around the plane, and the result is a hard(er) pull.

Do you best to be strong at pull time, and more importantly, be aware of your altitude at all times.


Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

Nov 21, 2011, 9:32 AM
Post #11 of 48 (1426 views)
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Re: [devildog] Hard pull / trapped pilot chute Q [In reply to] Can't Post

BTW -- thanks for posting the question. this is a really good overall discussion, and makes a lot of the dz.com chaff worth sifting through.

Wendy P.


sundevil777  (D License)

Nov 21, 2011, 9:37 AM
Post #12 of 48 (1422 views)
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Re: [devildog] Hard pull / trapped pilot chute Q [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I think I'm a little shook up in that I would have liked my response better had I actually checked my alt after try #2.

You might also consider how long it takes to look at the altimeter, realize what it means, and decide what to do as a result of that altitude. I think it likely that you would spend a lot more altitude doing that compared to your last and successful attempt to pull. Of course that doesn't mean that another pull attempt is a good idea. If you think you need to check your altitude before another attempt, then you probably are already low and you know it - it is better to go right to your reserve


nigel99  (D 1)

Nov 21, 2011, 9:51 AM
Post #13 of 48 (1407 views)
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Re: [sundevil777] Hard pull / trapped pilot chute Q [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
I think I'm a little shook up in that I would have liked my response better had I actually checked my alt after try #2.

You might also consider how long it takes to look at the altimeter, realize what it means, and decide what to do as a result of that altitude. I think it likely that you would spend a lot more altitude doing that compared to your last and successful attempt to pull. Of course that doesn't mean that another pull attempt is a good idea. If you think you need to check your altitude before another attempt, then you probably are already low and you know it - it is better to go right to your reserve

Isn't your altimeter right in front of your face at pull time? I must admit that I do not look at it after waving off. It seems like reading your altimeter as you throw would be a good idea?


DiverMike  (C 40024)

Nov 21, 2011, 11:14 AM
Post #14 of 48 (1348 views)
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Re: [sundevil777] Hard pull / trapped pilot chute Q [In reply to] Can't Post

I had a trapped PC yesterday. I only tried twice, then went to EP's. It was interesting how muscle memory took over. I reached for my cutaway pillow, since that is the way I constantly practice. My 'thinking brain' took over and I let go of the cutaway pillow and grabbed the reserve handle with both hands and pulled. Still haven't found the freebag, and had to buy a case of beer for my 1st reserve ride.

My natural reaction was - "Get something out now!". I had no thought or interest in trying to get the PC out after my second attempt.

I did have 'get-back-itis' and focused on getting back to the airport. When I was 300 ' AGL, I knew I was going to make it, but it was a 15 kt downwind approach. I also realized I hadn't done any practice flares like I should have because I was focusing on getting back so I was in half brakes all the way. Fortunately for me, my reserve is the exact same size as my main and it flared just fine.


BIGUN  (D 23385)

Nov 21, 2011, 11:35 AM
Post #15 of 48 (1332 views)
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Re: [devildog] Hard pull / trapped pilot chute Q [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
It depends on how aware you were of your altitude. Sounds like you did great, as you had it in your mind that you were likely going to need to use the reserve, and were under a good canopy above 2k. That is a little low for your jump numbers, but not terrible given what you had to do.

What have you done to make sure it doesn't happen again? There are OK techniques for folding and stowing your PC, and there are better techniques. I like Germain's method, although not so relevant to your issue, as it is more focused on the PC being able to extract when pulled by the bridle. Was it a mess stuffed in there? Having a set way of putting it in neatly is of course wise. Is there something that contributed to your handle being slippery?

Well, when I got home, I did practice repacking the chute over and over and over (tossing it out in between) and never had a hard pull before or after. I'm not really sure why it bunched on me. I've been using Germain's method as well since I started.

I think I'm a little shook up in that I would have liked my response better had I actually checked my alt after try #2. In my head I was thinking, if this doesn't work, I've got to go to the reserve. But like what was just mentioned above, I could have been lower than I thought. So, mentally, I guess I'll be drilling alt checks after each attempt should that ever come up again. Not sure what else I could do to prep for such a thing.

Please realize the rule of two is written in the blood of those gone before you.

Not trying to re-write rules or pretend they don't apply to me. Just curious on views on the matter, and if I should have done something totally different, I just want to know.

Also, FWIW, http://www.dropzone.com/safety/emergencies/emergency_deployment.shtml seems to say 2 different things (which is also why I'm asking for clarification). Under hard pull, it says to try 3 total times (original plus 2 tries to clear), but under trapped pilot chute, it's only 2 total times (original plus 2 vigorous)

Quote:
Total Malfunction
1. Identification
a. A total malfunction includes deployment handle problems (unable to locate or extract the main parachute deployment handle), pack closure, and a pilot chute in tow.
b. If altitude permits, the jumper should make no more than two attempts to solve the problem (or a total of no more than two additional seconds).

SOURCE: http://www.uspa.org/...ads/Man_SIM_2012.pdf Section 5-1 E. Total Malfunction. pps. 103-104

EDIT: I _think_ what Dan and Mike (authors) were referring to was the older main ripcord handle - not the newer throw-out.


(This post was edited by BIGUN on Nov 21, 2011, 11:44 AM)


sundevil777  (D License)

Nov 21, 2011, 12:32 PM
Post #16 of 48 (1293 views)
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Re: [DiverMike] Hard pull / trapped pilot chute Q [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I had a trapped PC yesterday

Please describe in more detail.

Now you probably wonder why you were focused on getting back to the DZ, eh? If you'd just hung out and watched for your bag it wouldn't be lost, unless of course obstacles were making that prospect nasty.


Premier NWFlyer  (D 29960)

Nov 21, 2011, 12:40 PM
Post #17 of 48 (1283 views)
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Re: [sundevil777] Hard pull / trapped pilot chute Q [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
I had a trapped PC yesterday

Please describe in more detail.

Now you probably wonder why you were focused on getting back to the DZ, eh? If you'd just hung out and watched for your bag it wouldn't be lost, unless of course obstacles were making that prospect nasty.

You've obviously got way more time in sport than me, but I'm much more inclined to advise and reward newer jumpers for focusing on safely navigating traffic and landing rather than focusing on where their stuff is. I could see chasing a freebag (and/or main) becoming a distraction over paying attention to other canopies and finding somewhere good to land. Especially if it's the first time under the reserve - better to spend the time doing a few practice flares and turns (if altitude/location permits, of course).

JMHO. Gear's nice to have, but I sometimes think we put too much emphasis on following your trash down.


DiverMike  (C 40024)

Nov 21, 2011, 1:12 PM
Post #18 of 48 (1271 views)
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Re: [NWFlyer] Hard pull / trapped pilot chute Q [In reply to] Can't Post

Point 1:
I didn't really want to describe too much detail, because it makes me look like an idiot. I was changing the way I pack my PC after watching Brian Germain's youtube video. In the process of changing my procedure and the way I was stuffing the bridle, I had a complete brain-fart and stuffed the hackey into the pouch. I did my handle checks on the plane, and felt the hackey but was wearing gloves. When I went to pull, I was wearing gloves, so I couldn't get it out.

Point 2:
I was directly over a golf course, and there were two large fields before the river so I could have in theory danced around in the sky looking for my free bag and still have a relatively safe place to land. I didn't give a shit about any of my equipment, I just wanted to land in the biggest field I could safely get to (the airport). There were two large areas of trees and a river it could have landed in, so following it down might not have worked anyway (see attached photo)
Luckily for me, I took Ian Bobo's Canopy Control course in August and the 5th jump of that course we pulled 2 miles south of the DZ to practice returning from a long spot. That was exactly where I was and I had the benefit of a 15kt tailwind.
Attachments: Freebag.jpg (116 KB)


sundevil777  (D License)

Nov 21, 2011, 1:23 PM
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Re: [DiverMike] Hard pull / trapped pilot chute Q [In reply to] Can't Post

That's a really long spot! I've never seen it anywhere near that far, winds must have been smokin'. Landing on the golf course could be fun, I'd never even noticed it before.


(This post was edited by sundevil777 on Nov 21, 2011, 1:28 PM)


sundevil777  (D License)

Nov 21, 2011, 1:26 PM
Post #20 of 48 (1254 views)
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Re: [NWFlyer] Hard pull / trapped pilot chute Q [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
I had a trapped PC yesterday

Please describe in more detail.

Now you probably wonder why you were focused on getting back to the DZ, eh? If you'd just hung out and watched for your bag it wouldn't be lost, unless of course obstacles were making that prospect nasty.

You've obviously got way more time in sport than me, but I'm much more inclined to advise and reward newer jumpers for focusing on safely navigating traffic and landing rather than focusing on where their stuff is. I could see chasing a freebag (and/or main) becoming a distraction over paying attention to other canopies and finding somewhere good to land. Especially if it's the first time under the reserve - better to spend the time doing a few practice flares and turns (if altitude/location permits, of course).

JMHO. Gear's nice to have, but I sometimes think we put too much emphasis on following your trash down.

You are right, and it is supposed to be on others (that haven't had to deal with a mal) to do the favor of following stuff down while the one with the extra adrenaline and less altitude deal with their reserve landing.


Premier NWFlyer  (D 29960)

Nov 21, 2011, 1:31 PM
Post #21 of 48 (1252 views)
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Re: [sundevil777] Hard pull / trapped pilot chute Q [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
You are right, and it is supposed to be on others (that haven't had to deal with a mal) to do the favor of following stuff down while the one with the extra adrenaline and less altitude deal with their reserve landing.

And pitch in tromping around fields looking for a small swatch of (hopefully) brightly-colored fabric! LaughLaugh In addition to the in-air visibility bright colors provide, chopping a black main into pine trees was what convinced me all my canopies need to contain obnoxious colors that don't occur in nature - at least not anywhere on the ground! Which is why my two canopies are now primarily yellow (with a little orange) and primarily orange (with a little white & navy).


devildog  (C 40302)

Nov 21, 2011, 1:43 PM
Post #22 of 48 (1244 views)
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Re: [NWFlyer] Hard pull / trapped pilot chute Q [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
You are right, and it is supposed to be on others (that haven't had to deal with a mal) to do the favor of following stuff down while the one with the extra adrenaline and less altitude deal with their reserve landing.

And pitch in tromping around fields looking for a small swatch of (hopefully) brightly-colored fabric! LaughLaugh In addition to the in-air visibility bright colors provide, chopping a black main into pine trees was what convinced me all my canopies need to contain obnoxious colors that don't occur in nature - at least not anywhere on the ground! Which is why my two canopies are now primarily yellow (with a little orange) and primarily orange (with a little white & navy).
I'm gonna keep that in mind on my next main purchase, be it new or used


thrillstalker  (C 40678)

Nov 21, 2011, 4:38 PM
Post #23 of 48 (1203 views)
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Re: [devildog] Hard pull / trapped pilot chute Q [In reply to] Can't Post

My hard deck is 1800 feet. This means if i find myself in freefall below 1800 i go for my reserve. If there was altitude for the 3rd grab i would go for my main again, if not then reserve.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Nov 21, 2011, 4:59 PM
Post #24 of 48 (1193 views)
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Re: [devildog] Hard pull / trapped pilot chute Q [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Not trying to re-write rules or pretend they don't apply to me. Just curious on views on the matter, and if I should have done something totally different, I just want to know.

Also, FWIW, http://www.dropzone.com/safety/emergencies/emergency_deployment.shtml seems to say 2 different things (which is also why I'm asking for clarification). Under hard pull, it says to try 3 total times (original plus 2 tries to clear), but under trapped pilot chute, it's only 2 total times (original plus 2 vigorous)

First, good job on keeping your head and handling the problem.

Did you notice all the people mentioning "altitude"? Of course you did and you already that is where you screwed the pooch.

Dave above mention the "two seconds" bit. I strongly urge you to disregard any talk about time in these situations. Surely you have heard of time distortion, right? What seems like two to you may be four to the real world...splat.

You had mentioned that you should have checked altitude after the 2nd try....Ooooops....not good. You should have checked it before the second try to see if you had enough altitude to even try it again.

The two-tries bit is for students and younger jumpers who have not had ample opportunity to train themselves solidly on EPs. Your reality is your decision altitude. It appears you got it done above the B-license requirement and all is well.

Congrats...now train yourself to pay more attention to altitude...in ALL EP situations.

I'm impressed that you are searching for knowledge...good stuff...keep it up your entire skydive career, eh?
Smile

Oh, BTW....the link to the DZ.com page is DZ.com.
We don't adhere to DZ.com we go by USPA and the FAA.

That's NOT to say there is no good info here. The info for the lost handle and the hard pull in your link is laughable. Ignore it.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Nov 21, 2011, 5:07 PM
Post #25 of 48 (1191 views)
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Re: [nigel99] Hard pull / trapped pilot chute Q [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Isn't your altimeter right in front of your face at pull time? I must admit that I do not look at it after waving off. It seems like reading your altimeter as you throw would be a good idea?
Yep! dead on!
Ooooo bad choice of words.
LaughLaugh


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