Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction?

 

First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All

Poll: Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction?
Never 33 / 24%
Rarely 12 / 9%
Sometimes 39 / 28%
Always 54 / 39%
138 total votes
 
jwynne  (D License)

Nov 24, 2011, 10:56 AM
Post #1 of 40 (2229 views)
Shortcut
Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction? Can't Post

How many people really check altitude during a malfunction? I thought about this reading the recent hard pull discussion. Iíve had 5 malfunctions and I donít think Iíve ever looked at my altimeter during a malfunction. Probably I would if I had pulled high and knew I had time to mess around, but Iím usually pulling between 3,500 and 2,000 and I just want the situation corrected as fast as I can. I do adjust my responses by knowing where I pulled. Iíve taken a few seconds to fix a toggle fire because I knew I pulled at 3,500 and on big ways when I pull at 2,000, I know if thereís anything wrong there will be no hesitation.

In retrospect, taking seconds away from dealing with the problem to look at my altimeter doesnít always make sense. Hereís a couple of examples Ė years ago reached for a pilot chute that got buried in a leg pocket and I couldnít find the handle. I ended up giving it 3 quick tries and deploying my reserve with my right hand completely without thought. I looked at my altimeter when I had an open canopy. I was at 2,800. My most recent malfunction was in freezing weather with numb hands. I had a toggle fire which I didnít manage to correct fast enough because my hands were numb. Chopped, lost my cutaway handle halfway through the pull. One riser disconnected under a streamer. Grabbed yellow cable and finished the pull. What would looking at my altimeter have bought me except closer to the ground? The ground was in my peripheral vision and coming up way too fast.
Janna


SRI85  (D License)

Nov 24, 2011, 11:10 AM
Post #2 of 40 (2197 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jwynne] Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction? [In reply to] Can't Post

I did not look at mine when i had a mal...though i pulled at 5k and knew i had some time.


beowulf  (C License)

Nov 24, 2011, 1:05 PM
Post #3 of 40 (2130 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jwynne] Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction? [In reply to] Can't Post

I have only had one cut away malfunction and it was a spinning malfunction. I immediately realized I had very little time to either fix the problem or cut it away. Initially I started to fix it, then realized I didn't have time and cut it away. I never looked at my altimiter. There was no time to check my altitude.


mrubin  (C License)

Nov 24, 2011, 1:40 PM
Post #4 of 40 (2097 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jwynne] Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction? [In reply to] Can't Post

When I had my only chop (jump 16), it was spinning line twist. I was pulling high and knew I had plenty of time. I don't remember if I checked my altimeter, but after I was under my reserve I still had plenty of time to fly the canopy.

More recently I was on a wingsuit jump and opened with line twist. My canopy was flying stable, I just had a couple twists in the lines. When I was unzipping the arm wings, one of the zippers got caught. I checked my altitude, airspace, and location and knew that I had some time to deal with the zipper before it became a big issue. It took a little time, but I was able to free zipper. The whole time I kept checking my altitude and airspace.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Nov 24, 2011, 4:44 PM
Post #5 of 40 (2038 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jwynne] Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction? [In reply to] Can't Post

>Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction?

Three out of six times.


catfishhunter  (D 28796)

Nov 24, 2011, 4:55 PM
Post #6 of 40 (2034 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jwynne] Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction? [In reply to] Can't Post

1st yes slow speed tension not on a lazer 290 jump 57 next two nope didn't need to spinning line overs that wouldn't clear.


bodypilot90  (D 24249)

Nov 24, 2011, 5:43 PM
Post #7 of 40 (2001 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jwynne] Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction? [In reply to] Can't Post

2 high speed malfuntions I didn't. 2 low speed I did.


JohnRich  (D License)

Nov 24, 2011, 6:18 PM
Post #8 of 40 (1974 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jwynne] Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction? [In reply to] Can't Post

If you're already at the bottom end of your opening altitude, and know it, then it's probably best not to waste time looking. But if you're higher, and know it, glancing at your altimeter, which takes but a half-second, can give you a quick idea of how much time you have to deal with the problem before you reach your hard deck. So whether it's a good idea or a waste of time, depends upon the circumstances. There is not just one answer for all situations.

I once had serious line twists on a hop-n-pop at 13k for a cross-country jump. No need to do anything in a hurry there - I had LOTS of time to work 'em out. I did manage to resolve the problem, but it took about 3 minutes. Had the same thing happened at 3k, then monitoring my altitude while working the problem would have been vital to ensure that I didn't get too low before giving up and going for the reserve. I wouldn't have 3 minutes to spare in that case - I'd work on it until I got to 1,800', and then if it wasn't fixed, I'd release it.


(This post was edited by JohnRich on Nov 24, 2011, 6:19 PM)


AggieDave  (D License)

Nov 24, 2011, 7:50 PM
Post #9 of 40 (1937 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jwynne] Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction? [In reply to] Can't Post

Out of 6 chops I've looked about half of those times.

The other times I didn't need to look, no question, chop was happening!


nigel99  (D 1)

Nov 25, 2011, 12:22 AM
Post #10 of 40 (1864 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jwynne] Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction? [In reply to] Can't Post

First of all I have never had a malfunction requiring a cutaway. I completely understand the logic that you outlined, but I have a question.

If you are high and have a low speed malfunction, as others have said there is a benefit to checking. I am pretty sure you agree with that.

But in the instance where you are already low and have a partial malfunction. We shouldn't be cutting away below a 1000 foot, just dumping our reserve. If you don't have the experience to 'know' 1000 foot then surely that half a second is worth it? There have been a few fatalities over the years where people chopped too low.


mchamp  (D 32129)

Nov 25, 2011, 12:34 AM
Post #11 of 40 (1861 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jwynne] Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I had a toggle fire which I didnít manage to correct fast enough because my hands were numb. Chopped, lost my cutaway handle halfway through the pull. One riser disconnected under a streamer. Grabbed yellow cable and finished the pull.
Janna

Might want to look into some TruLok toggles perhaps? Tongue


manseman  (D License)

Nov 25, 2011, 2:03 AM
Post #12 of 40 (1838 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jwynne] Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've had two high speed malfunctions and the only thing on my mind was to get under my reserve asap. It wasn't like I actively chose not to look at my altimeter, but I can't see how looking would have helped me. On the other hand, I've never once looked at my altimeter while dealing with line twists. That's actually a bit discomforting. Maybe it's a good idea to check your altitude even if the line twists aren't scary just to build a habit.


Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

Nov 25, 2011, 5:46 AM
Post #13 of 40 (1795 views)
Shortcut
Re: [manseman] Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction? [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't remember having had a malfunction where I needed to know the altitude that precisely. The two spinning line twists I knew I was low (outer wave on a bigway); other than that, I had no doubt what was going to happen.

Wendy P.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Nov 25, 2011, 6:38 AM
Post #14 of 40 (1776 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jwynne] Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In retrospect, taking seconds away from dealing with the problem to look at my altimeter doesnít always make sense.
If one is stopping their procedures to check altitude, they're missing the point of the training. Onecan, and should be, doing both at the same time.

Evidently, you are thinking more about time than altitude. Now, you list a lot of jumps and are obviously comfortable in the sky and your experience may give you a sense of time that is superior to most and is less affected by time distortion. Just be aware that time is subjective , altitude is objective.

Also, with your experience, your peripheral vision and your sight picture of altitude is well-developed and that's fine.

My main concern is for those who have less experience and I always hammer home the importance of knowing your altitude...especially at crunch time.

Edited to add:
Me? 7 mals and checked alti every one.
-4 line twists (result: fixed)
-Spinning line twists (result: cutaway)
-PCIT (result: reserve deployment)
-Low pull - screwed up, though. I thought the main would come out and inflate before the AAD fire...I was wrong Unsure (result: landed biplane).


(This post was edited by popsjumper on Nov 25, 2011, 6:46 AM)


matthewcline  (D 21585)

Nov 25, 2011, 7:31 AM
Post #15 of 40 (1759 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jwynne] Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction? [In reply to] Can't Post

On all my mals I have, but on all of them I had an altimeter mounted in my line of sight, I carry two normally, my wrist and my rigs Hip Junction. The one on my wrist was visible when I needed to deal with things. I would see my altimeter at deployment, during the Mal and after my reserve ripcord was pulled.

Matt


tbrown  (D 6533)

Nov 25, 2011, 9:30 AM
Post #16 of 40 (1711 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jwynne] Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction? [In reply to] Can't Post

Don't forget that a lot us wear audibles as well. On my pilot chute in tow malfunction, I was waving off as my pull alarm sounded at 3 grand. The entire malfunction and EP drama took place as soon as I realized I was still lying on my belly when I should've been pulled upright. My hard deck never sounded (I set it for 2 grand) and when I reached up to grab the toggles on my reserve, my wrist alti was showing about 2 grand.

Due to a VERY stupid mistake I made 4 years ago, the first thing I do with line twists is to immediately check my wrist alti. If the canopy is stable, I will try to kick out of the twists down to 1800. If I can't clear it by then, or if it starts to spin at any time, I'm going for my handles.

Someone else raised the excellent point about being at the low end of your pull range. Usually I'm pulling at or just above 3 grand these days, so this gives me some time to fuss with line twists. But on something like a bigway, where I'm assigned a low pull altitude, there is little if any time for clearing twists or other problems. Especially if my hard deck has already sounded during line stretch & snivel. At that point, it's either good or gone.


SStewart  (D 10405)

Nov 25, 2011, 8:50 PM
Post #17 of 40 (1615 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jwynne] Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction? [In reply to] Can't Post

Never, but I always checked it after the reserve was open.
Pretty much the same procedure I use when I open my main.

Wink


jwynne  (D License)

Nov 25, 2011, 8:52 PM
Post #18 of 40 (1612 views)
Shortcut
Re: [popsjumper] Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction? [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't start this discussion proposing that what I've done is right or correct for anyone else. Mostly just food for thought for all of us. In retrospect I have checked my altimeter while kicking out of line twists. Those were potential slow speed malfunctions. The ones that were going slow were all correctable.

I made one change in my gear after the last malfunction. I switched out my cutaway pad for a fabric loop. I'm confident I can grab it and keep it in my hand if my hand is frozen. I've also declined to be on the first load of the day on frosty days sometimes. We do occassionally have frosty mornings in Southern Ca winters.


airtwardo  (D License)

Nov 26, 2011, 7:45 AM
Post #19 of 40 (1576 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jwynne] Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction? [In reply to] Can't Post

 
I have 14 malfunctions, I've looked twice...


On malfunction #3 (hop&pop with rings & ropes) it wasn't opening so I checked before messing with it. I'd exited at 3500' and was at 3000' when I looked.

I played with the retract line, then the rear risers then fired the brakes...it was slowly starting to inflate when I saw a farmer on a scaffolding painting his barn...EYE CONTACT!

Fired a 23' tricon into the main and they both opened...the altimeter still reading 3000' as I hit the ground a couple seconds later. I said I would never look at the instruments in an emergency again.

BUT on malfunction #14 which was a few years ago, I broke a riser on deployment during a demo.

I was spinning down under one side and knew I had lots of time, pulled at 4000'

I wanted to let it spin down below the other guys on the load so they would see me chop and know I was going into the tight LZ with the flag, on a reserve, and give me lots of room...

I rode the spin until 2500 and let it go. ~But I was looking at the ground as much as I was the altimeter! WinkSly


(This post was edited by airtwardo on Nov 26, 2011, 7:51 AM)


ufk22  (D 16168)

Nov 26, 2011, 9:52 AM
Post #20 of 40 (1551 views)
Shortcut
Re: [popsjumper] Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction? [In reply to] Can't Post

   
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In Reply To
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


In retrospect, taking seconds away from dealing with the problem to look at my altimeter doesnít always make sense.

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

If one is stopping their procedures to check altitude, they're missing the point of the training. One can, and should be, doing both at the same time.

In reply to:
Actually, you can't do both at the same time. For the cognitive portion of our brain, multi-tasking is not doing two things at once, it's more a matter of time-sharing.
This is why many studies have shown that talking on a cell phone while driving, two tasks that would seem much easier than doing EP's while checking an altimeter, detracts from the ability to do either.
As for me, 4 reserve rides. Two high-speed, never even thought about looking. Two low-speed, had plenty of time to look and did.


SStewart  (D 10405)

Nov 26, 2011, 10:08 AM
Post #21 of 40 (1550 views)
Shortcut
Re: [airtwardo] Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction? [In reply to] Can't Post

I have had 10 reserve rides, the first 8 were from 1982 to 1991. The first 3 were with capewells (1 shot and a half, 2 on r-3's) I did not have a cutaway on 3 rings until number 4.
My first 7 reserve rides were on round reserves.

After my first reserve ride on a square I got rid of the rounds and have not jumped one since.

Then I went nearly 20 years and almost 2000 jumps until I had a cutaway. It was a baglock and I saddled out at about 1000 feet. Certainly the lowest I have ever opened a reserve.

I have never looked at an altimeter during a malfunction, but then I don't usually look at an altimeter until after the canopy is open. Just to keep myself honest and to check my mental clock.

I have an audible but last summer the battery went dead and I kept jumping without it. I decided that beeping noise was annoying so I never got new batteries. Since my eyesight seems to be fading I might get new batteries next summer. Wink

When I started jumping they would not let you have an altimeter until you could prove you did not need one. But for some strange reason they let me have a stop watch.

Wink


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Nov 26, 2011, 2:46 PM
Post #22 of 40 (1521 views)
Shortcut
Re: [ufk22] Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
If one is stopping their procedures to check altitude, they're missing the point of the training. One can, and should be, doing both at the same time.

In reply to:
Actually, you can't do both at the same time.
OK. I'll try to convince myself of that next time.

Good luck with the time thing.


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Nov 26, 2011, 2:50 PM
Post #23 of 40 (1517 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jwynne] Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction? [In reply to] Can't Post

I hope no youngsters are reading this thread.
Crazy

Guys bragging about not knowing altitude.
Guys bragging about dependence on their "time clock".
Great examples...and then wondering why the youngsters do some of the oddball stuff they do.
Laugh


airtwardo  (D License)

Nov 26, 2011, 3:59 PM
Post #24 of 40 (1495 views)
Shortcut
Re: [popsjumper] Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I hope no youngsters are reading this thread.
Crazy

Guys bragging about not knowing altitude.
Guys bragging about dependence on their "time clock".
Great examples...and then wondering why the youngsters do some of the oddball stuff they do.
Laugh



Low pull - screwed up, though. I thought the main would come out and inflate before the AAD fire...

~I hear ya, no wonder the youngsters think they can survive anything! Sly


Decodiver  (D License)

Nov 26, 2011, 4:08 PM
Post #25 of 40 (1490 views)
Shortcut
Re: [jwynne] Have you looked at your altimeter during a malfunction? [In reply to] Can't Post

4 mals - of them 3 high speed cutaways didn't check altimeter it had gone to rat shit so ciao went the main

Only checked once on the canopy i got out of spinning line twists (won't do that again as i went a bit too low for my liking)


First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All

Forums : Skydiving : Safety and Training

 


Search for (options)