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is argus AAD safe ?

 

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J0nathan  (A License)

Jan 21, 2012, 4:11 PM
Post #1 of 35 (4153 views)
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is argus AAD safe ? Can't Post

i saw that argus aad s are quite cheap, are they safe to use ? i googeled it and google brought up some articles which said that argus failed to cut in 2 cases.


IanHarrop  (C 1152)

Jan 21, 2012, 6:34 PM
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Re: [J0nathan] is argus AAD safe ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Many don;t think so and as such, read this:
http://www.argus-aad.com/

Regardless of which side of the debate you are on, ask yourself two questions:

Do you want an AAD that rig manufacturers, some countries, and some dropzones, have banned?
Do you want an AAD that the manufacturer is no longer making and spare parts access will be limited?


(This post was edited by IanHarrop on Jan 21, 2012, 6:36 PM)


ShcShc11  (A 15638)

Jan 21, 2012, 7:17 PM
Post #3 of 35 (4058 views)
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Re: [J0nathan] is argus AAD safe ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
i saw that argus aad s are quite cheap, are they safe to use ? i googeled it and google brought up some articles which said that argus failed to cut in 2 cases.

They seem to be relatively safe. Talked with many at Chutingstar, Wings, Mirage and at my dropzone. AADs should never be relied on and should just be a back-up if ever.

Vigil AAD had a problem and resulted in a death in Quebec (IIRC, there was no cutter installed). Though maybe it is still better to spend an extra few $4 for cypres/vigil as a "just in case".


Cheers
Shc


(This post was edited by ShcShc11 on Jan 21, 2012, 7:23 PM)


AndyMan  (D 25698)

Jan 21, 2012, 7:32 PM
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Re: [J0nathan] is argus AAD safe ? [In reply to] Can't Post

The manufacturers of the components have stated that they are not fit for their intended use.

I don't know what your definition of safe is, but I do know mine. And to me, if the manufacturer won't stand behind it, then you run - not walk away.

_Am


JohnRich  (D License)

Jan 21, 2012, 8:13 PM
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Re: [J0nathan] is argus AAD safe ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Define "safe"?

Skydiving is not safe. No manufacturer of any piece of skydiving equipment can guarantee you that it will always work properly every time. If you can't accept that, don't jump.


jrjny  (A License)

Jan 21, 2012, 8:39 PM
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Re: [J0nathan] is argus AAD safe ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Cypres has been around for decades...they are the leader anyone disputing that is sucked into the industry minutiae. That said, I don't even know their URL or phone # but I have one in my rig.


dragon2  (D 101989)

Jan 22, 2012, 1:25 AM
Post #7 of 35 (3958 views)
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Re: [J0nathan] is argus AAD safe ? [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the argus is just as safe as any modern AAD out there. I would love to have kept mine in use. But the argus has been banned in several countries, by several manufacturers and even if not banned, some riggers will not pack a rig wih an argus in it.

So, before you buy an argus, make very sure you are allowed to jump it in your rig and have a rigger willing to pack it.


Coreefdiver  (D 15287)

Jan 23, 2012, 8:06 PM
Post #8 of 35 (3780 views)
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Re: [J0nathan] is argus AAD safe ? [In reply to] Can't Post

IMHO, I think the technology is sound; the cutters and management are not.


Chris-Ottawa  (A License)

Jan 24, 2012, 5:26 AM
Post #9 of 35 (3727 views)
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Re: [J0nathan] is argus AAD safe ? [In reply to] Can't Post

If it makes you feel better, I jump 2 of them. 1 in a Mirage and one in a Wings. The Wings, I am 100% comfortable jumping it because I think of it as a faisafe. There are only a few scenarios I can see myself in that would put me in a position where I'm in freefall, and busting the activation altitude. At that point, I'd like to hope that the Argus will cut cleanly and save my life, but I would never EXPECT it to.

That being said, I've questioned the use of it in my Mirage because it's on top of the pilot chute and if it pinches the closing loop and I require it in a situation where I am not busting activation altitude in freefall...it could prevent me from being able to use my reserve. Currently, I'm still jumping it and taking precautions to prevent that situation from happening. (Turning it off/on before each jump).

As mentioned above, other AAD's have had issues, but it seems there's a whole bunch of political BS around Argus' being banned. And, conveniently, each situation involving an Argus failure, or interesting issue, had something "odd' about the situation.

A loose closing loop, Argus never recieving gear to check due to riggers withholding the unit, wrong closing loop material, a ball bearing from a packing weight found inside the cutter, a container thrown on the floor, an airplane descent through activation altitude on a student rig etc.. Each one had unanswered questions surrounding it, and granted I'll never know, but I think it's all fishy once you start learning about the relationship of Argus with PIA, and the politics surrounding Argus and how the ban fell into place. Check it out for yourself...there's lots of information out there, and lots of tests done, and lots of opinions.

That's my position and I'm sticking to it.


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Jan 24, 2012, 5:35 AM
Post #10 of 35 (3717 views)
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Re: [Chris-Ottawa] is argus AAD safe ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
That's my position and I'm sticking to it.

Your position is based on a lack of knowledge and the facts of each incident. Have you even read the reports on any of them?

Sparky


DiverMike  (C 40024)

Jan 24, 2012, 5:35 AM
Post #11 of 35 (3717 views)
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Re: [Coreefdiver] is argus AAD safe ? [In reply to] Can't Post

That is a little like saying a car is well built except the brakes don't work.

I personally use an Argus, and to be honest the circular cutter causes me concern. I haven't seen any valid arguments that it is a better design over a knife edge cutter, and based on its design and where it is installed in the container, it can cause a fatal bag lock.

I am in the crowd of people who would never buy another one, but am not taking the one I have out of my container.

I check it before every jump, and am willing to conform to any requests at the DZ before boarding a plane (ie show it is on an working). I won't jump at a DZ that demands I remove a life saving device from my container. Is there a list of DZ's that demand removal?


Chris-Ottawa  (A License)

Jan 24, 2012, 6:13 AM
Post #12 of 35 (3699 views)
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Re: [mjosparky] is argus AAD safe ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Your position is based on a lack of knowledge and the facts of each incident. Have you even read the reports on any of them?

Sparky

Your opinion is based on the lack of agreement with "MY" opinion and I respect that, but don't just tell me I'm wrong because you disagree. Fact is, there were shady circumstances surround EVERY SINGLE Argus failure/incident.

Also, if you re-read my post, does it sound like I read any of the reports on the incidents, or the cutter tests performed, or the commentary on dz.com? It sure does to me.


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Jan 24, 2012, 10:10 AM
Post #13 of 35 (3635 views)
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Re: [Chris-Ottawa] is argus AAD safe ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Chris,

Quote:
there were shady circumstances surround EVERY SINGLE Argus failure/incident.

IMO there was knowledge not known about each incident; as is the case in almost all incidents.

I won't tell you to not jump your ARGUS, that is your decision.

My main concern with the ARGUS is that the mfr of the cutter says that they never made them for use in an AAD and they stopped supplying them when they found out what they were being used for.

That is 100% good enough for me.

JerryBaumchen


pchapman  (D 1014)

Jan 24, 2012, 10:10 AM
Post #14 of 35 (3635 views)
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Re: [Chris-Ottawa] is argus AAD safe ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Fact is, there were shady circumstances surround EVERY SINGLE Argus failure/incident.

If "shady" means "the old style cutters really sucked" and "the company did a terrible job in acknowledging any sort of problems", then I agree with you.

If you mean that PIA operatives were secretly sabotaging rigs by lengthening closing loops or inserting small steel balls, then "no" -- that's in conspiracy theory territory.

One should be able to separate out the different factors to some degree. I can at the same time both believe that the Argus AAD has had serious problems, AND simultaneously believe that rig manufacturers have been too harsh on it (i.e., permanent bans).

Correct me if I'm wrong anyone, but isn't it correct that none of the new style Argus cutters have failed to work?

It's hard to remember the results of every incident.

I wouldn't say the newer cutters are all that well proven, but I thought that all of the failures we had seen were on the older cutters (which for a long time the company used to say were perfectly fine).


Chris-Ottawa  (A License)

Jan 24, 2012, 10:34 AM
Post #15 of 35 (3616 views)
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Re: [JerryBaumchen] is argus AAD safe ? [In reply to] Can't Post

@Peter
I'm not suggesting conspiracy theories, even though the whole PIA thing seems like a shroud of silence has been placed over the situation. It honestly does seem like Aviacom was "ousted" because they refused to be a member. That being said, I'm not denying that Aviacom had some questionable PR methods, not that they had units which may have had failures etc. Fact is, each AAD manufacturer had incidents when they were starting out and the results were very different. I think Aviacom's demise in the civilian market was the restul of bad PR, an unfortunate string of incidents in a short timeframe, and PIA.

The "unknowns" I refer to are the things like the ball bearing, the rig that was refused investigation by Aviacom, the student leaning against the back of the plane and that plane descending through activation altitude etc. Essentially, the circumstances seem to revolve around questionable gear maintenance, along with interesting "test cases" for the units at time of failure.

*I'm not 100% certain of the exact details of the incidents either, but I do know that each one made me wonder. For all we know, these units could have been dragged through beach sand with batteries that were 8 years old and frozen on the weekends to keep the gear "fresh". Who knows.


@Jerry
Actually, this is the first I've heard of that. I heard that they wanted to avoid being named in further lawsuits, but I didn't see that they had no idea it was being used in civilian jumping. I'm certain if that's the case, they HAD to have turned a blind eye, or they're saying that to avoid implication in a lawsuit. One look from the supplier at the purchasing company's website and they'd have known. I seriously doubt that they had "no idea".


(This post was edited by Chris-Ottawa on Jan 24, 2012, 10:38 AM)


DiverMike  (C 40024)

Jan 24, 2012, 10:45 AM
Post #16 of 35 (3602 views)
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Re: [Chris-Ottawa] is argus AAD safe ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
@Jerry
Actually, this is the first I've heard of that.

+1

I consider you to be a trustworthy and knowledgable contributor on DZ.com. What information do you have to support the fact the supplier had no idea it was being used in civilian jumping? Without support, it is just speculation.

What do you know that refutes Chutingstar's statement in another thread:
Quote:
Aviacom's cutter was specifically made for skydiving and to fit in skydiving rigs. The company that did make the cutter for the Argus is a company that makes cutters for other applications, and the Argus cutter was specifically made for the skydiving application.


(This post was edited by DiverMike on Jan 24, 2012, 10:53 AM)


sundevil777  (D License)

Jan 24, 2012, 11:13 AM
Post #17 of 35 (3582 views)
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Re: [Chris-Ottawa] is argus AAD safe ? [In reply to] Can't Post

The ball was never shown in clear close up pics to be able to know if it showed any evidence of being hit by the cutter. That sure seems questionable.

Their assertion that tension is needed to get a reliable cut on a loop is not reasonable. Some rigs have the cutter placed between the PC and the freebag. For these rigs there is a significant time where the loop will have no tension after the PC launches. If the cutter jams during that time, as would happen if an AAD fires during a low reserve pull, well you know what that means. Aviacom spent a lot of time trying to convince users that the student leaning back incident doesn't indicate a problem with their product, but that is not true.


AndyMan  (D 25698)

Jan 24, 2012, 11:17 AM
Post #18 of 35 (3578 views)
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Re: [sundevil777] is argus AAD safe ? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm a bit confused why people are still arguing about the ball.

The manufacturer of the cutter has stated that it's not fit for its intended use. That really should be the end of the discussion right there.

Additionally, the manufacturer of the AAD has removed it from the market entirely.

What else is there to discuss?

_Am


DiverMike  (C 40024)

Jan 24, 2012, 11:57 AM
Post #19 of 35 (3558 views)
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Re: [AndyMan] is argus AAD safe ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The manufacturer of the cutter has stated that it's not fit for its intended use

Could you provide a link to the manufacturer's statement? I would be very interested in reading a statement where the manufacturer knows its product is not fit for being used in a lifesaving device, but issues no recall.


AndyMan  (D 25698)

Jan 24, 2012, 12:06 PM
Post #20 of 35 (3550 views)
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Re: [DiverMike] is argus AAD safe ? [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know why you expect others to do your research for you.

Quote:
Aviacom has been purchasing a modified commercial off the shelf, pyrotechnic reefing cable cutter
from Chemring Energetics UK as a sub component for use with the ARGUS AAD assembly. Since these
failures to cut in this life saving application have become public, Chemring Energetics UK has stopped
sale of these cutters to Aviacom. As a result, Aviacom reports that they have approximately 200 post
2007 cutters available for both testing/verification and for fielded customer units. Further, Aviacom
has no ability to institute higher or acceptable quality control practices as they do not manufacture the
cutter and Chemring Energetics UK refuses to modify any internal processes for this cutter as this
cutter is designed and intended for alternate purposes other than parachute automatic activation device

From http://www.pia.com/...P_Argus_FR210911.pdf

Really, if that's not good enough for you than I question your judgement.

_Am


Chris-Ottawa  (A License)

Jan 24, 2012, 12:12 PM
Post #21 of 35 (3541 views)
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Re: [AndyMan] is argus AAD safe ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Ah...PIA speakign on behalf of Aviacom. Again, PIA and Aviacom have dome disagreements, so this can be construed to sound however Aviacom wanted it to sound.

Regardless, this is PIA saying it was "designed" for another purpose, but nowhere does it say that it was not capable of safely performing it's secondary role. It simply wasn't designed for that....talk to the other AAD manufacturers and I'll be they didn't "start" with personal life saving devices designed for parachutes either.


sundevil777  (D License)

Jan 24, 2012, 12:13 PM
Post #22 of 35 (3535 views)
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Re: [AndyMan] is argus AAD safe ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I'm a bit confused why people are still arguing about the ball.

The manufacturer of the cutter has stated that it's not fit for its intended use. That really should be the end of the discussion right there.

Additionally, the manufacturer of the AAD has removed it from the market entirely.

What else is there to discuss?

_Am

Someone else brought it up again. The ball is not an explanation for why the cutter didn't work when they don't show details as mentioned. Seems reasonable to still discuss this when it is brought up.


AndyMan  (D 25698)

Jan 24, 2012, 12:14 PM
Post #23 of 35 (3531 views)
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Re: [Chris-Ottawa] is argus AAD safe ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Aviacom has not contradicted or denied anything in this letter.

Additionally, from the same letter:

Quote:
Aviacom has admitted that their cutter design has serious deficiencies; however they have continued
to allow use of substandard cutters due to their inability to provide viable replacement cutters.
Furthermore; Aviacom refuses to develop a new cutter design claiming the cost to do so would be in
excess of corporate resources. Aviacom is not willing to make a capital investment to develop a new
cutter, which has acceptable reliability levels
.

Like I said, you're free to make your own choices, but to think this is some grand conspiracy is extremely poor judgement.

And to be clear, the letter is not from the PIA, but from Sunpath.

_Am


(This post was edited by AndyMan on Jan 24, 2012, 12:18 PM)


DiverMike  (C 40024)

Jan 24, 2012, 12:32 PM
Post #24 of 35 (3512 views)
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Re: [AndyMan] is argus AAD safe ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Chemring Energetics UK refuses to modify any internal processes for this cutter as this cutter is designed and intended for alternate purposes other than parachute automatic activation device

This statement was made by Sunpath Products - not Chemring Energetics. There has been a lot of talk that the manufacturer deemed the product unfit and if this is your source for that statement, then I submit you are incorrect. It is not the manufacturer of the cutter making the statement, it was a container manufacturer making the statement.


AndyMan  (D 25698)

Jan 24, 2012, 12:36 PM
Post #25 of 35 (3504 views)
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Re: [DiverMike] is argus AAD safe ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In Reply To
Chemring Energetics UK refuses to modify any internal processes for this cutter as this cutter is designed and intended for alternate purposes other than parachute automatic activation device

This statement was made by Sunpath Products - not Chemring Energetics. There has been a lot of talk that the manufacturer deemed the product unfit and if this is your source for that statement, then I submit you are incorrect. It is not the manufacturer of the cutter making the statement, it was a container manufacturer making the statement.

Like I said, if it's not good enough than I question your judgement.

None of the statements have been contradicted or denied by Aviacom. Quite to the contrary, their response was to fold up their business and remove their products from the marketplace. As Aviacom did not make any statements, Sunpath is the last word.

_Am


(This post was edited by AndyMan on Jan 24, 2012, 12:37 PM)


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