Forums: Skydiving: Tandem Skydiving:
1991 Tandem 'incident' in the UK

 


nigel99  (D 1)

Apr 14, 2012, 7:38 PM
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1991 Tandem 'incident' in the UK Can't Post

On Australian TV the other day, there was an incident from 1990/1991 where a TI got the drogue bridle around his neck which caused him to go unconscious.

The video dude dumped the tandems reserve and 'saved their lives'. Back in the late 80's and early 90's were AAD's not compulsory on tandems?

Initially I had thought it was just TV hype, but they interviewed both the TI and video guy, neither mentioned an AAD.

It was some pretty amazing footage.


skydiverek  (C 952)

Apr 14, 2012, 7:52 PM
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Re: [nigel99] 1991 Tandem 'incident' in the UK [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Back in the late 80's and early 90's were AAD's not compulsory on tandems?

Correct.


pchapman  (D 1014)

Apr 14, 2012, 8:54 PM
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Re: [nigel99] 1991 Tandem 'incident' in the UK [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Back in the late 80's and early 90's were AAD's not compulsory on tandems?

One reason might be is that zero all-electronic AAD's existed until the CYPRES was introduced at the start of 1991. Smile

And (although not tandem related) Tommy Piras didn't die until Dec. 1992 -- a point at which experienced skydivers started to consider AAD's a lot more seriously.

The old belief was that a tandem rig didn't need an AAD like some rig for dumbass students, because it was being operated by a professional, experienced skydiver. It took time for the industry to realize that they screwed up and died too.


(This post was edited by pchapman on Apr 14, 2012, 8:57 PM)


nigel99  (D 1)

Apr 14, 2012, 11:19 PM
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Re: [pchapman] 1991 Tandem 'incident' in the UK [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Back in the late 80's and early 90's were AAD's not compulsory on tandems?

One reason might be is that zero all-electronic AAD's existed until the CYPRES was introduced at the start of 1991. Smile

And (although not tandem related) Tommy Piras didn't die until Dec. 1992 -- a point at which experienced skydivers started to consider AAD's a lot more seriously.

The old belief was that a tandem rig didn't need an AAD like some rig for dumbass students, because it was being operated by a professional, experienced skydiver. It took time for the industry to realize that they screwed up and died too.

Thanks I couldn't remember the timeline. I was jumping in the early 90's and remember hearing about Tom at the dz. For some reason I had heard about aad's before I knew tandems existed as more than a stunt.


tkhayes  (D 18764)

Apr 15, 2012, 2:14 AM
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Re: [pchapman] 1991 Tandem 'incident' in the UK [In reply to] Can't Post

Tommy Piras going in did more for AAD sales than any other event in skydiving history.

I bought mine right after that - there were no more excuses....


obelixtim  (D 84)

Apr 15, 2012, 4:06 AM
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Re: [pchapman] 1991 Tandem 'incident' in the UK [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
One reason might be is that zero all-electronic AAD's existed until the CYPRES was introduced at the start of 1991.

FXC came out with a perfectly serviceable Tandem AAD. We had them on all our tandem rigs. They were fine. Never had one fire in anger....

The only time we had a problem with one was when it was returned from a factory service incorrectly reassembled, and a reserve popped on opening one time. The TM actually reached around and cauught the bagged reserve as it fell out of the container, and gave it to the rider to hold on to (tightly) until they landed.

The problem was a chamfered washer which had been installed up side down, something almost impossible to spot, The activation cable popped out of the body of the unit, pulling the reserve pin.


pchapman  (D 1014)

Apr 15, 2012, 5:34 AM
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Re: [obelixtim] 1991 Tandem 'incident' in the UK [In reply to] Can't Post

I looked up the history to understand the timeline better myself:

In May 1993 RWS (UPT) issued their bulletin (PSB#050393) about mandatory AAD's for their Tandem Vectors, that would take effect Jan 1, 1994.

At the time, only the CYPRES and versions of the Sentinel were accepted for Tandem Vectors. (The Sentinal was only electrical or partially electronic -- no microcomputer control, and the altitude sensing I think was by aneroid capsule still).

Strong and the USPA also thought things over and by mid 1994 both decided they would go mandatory as of July 1, 1995. [Ref.: Strong Tandem News #16, Aug 1994] When Strong made their decision, the only allowed AAD for Strong was the CYPRES.

(For various reasons, Vector tandem fatalities at the time were much higher than for Strong, which may have influenced them to act sooner.)

It wasn't until April 1994 that the Tandem FXC was approved by RWS after testing. So its sounds like the Tandem FXC only arrived on the marked after the mandatory rule? (That timing would also explain why my Paragear catalogs of '91 and '93 show no Tandem FXC in the FXC ads.)


Peterkn  (D 7417)

Apr 15, 2012, 6:57 AM
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Re: [nigel99] 1991 Tandem 'incident' in the UK [In reply to] Can't Post

AADs were made mandatory for tandems in the UK a couple of days after the John Farr tandem fatality at BPS Langar in early August 93.

The Mike Smith/Ronnie OBrien incident that you saw on the TV happened at Sibson in May 91. Ronnie was awarded a medal (the QGM I think) for his actions that day, which almost certainly saved the lives of Mike and his student.


obelixtim  (D 84)

Apr 15, 2012, 8:55 AM
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Re: [pchapman] 1991 Tandem 'incident' in the UK [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I looked up the history to understand the timeline better myself:

I'm surprised about what you found there, we got our first tandem rig around 1988/89, and I don't recall NOT having an AAD on it...

I certainly don't recall installing an AAD at a later date, (my riggers logbooks are stashed away, 12000 miles from where I am right now), but if your search says so, I must have fitted AAD's retrospectively...

I'm claiming alzheimers here Laugh ...it was 20 odd years ago, after all.....

By 1995 we had 7 or 8 tandem rigs and they were all fitted with AAD's. (FXC's)

One reason people might have been wary about electronic AAD's in their early days, would simply be a lack of trust, and an unwillingness to use them until proven over a reasonable period of time.


pchapman  (D 1014)

Apr 15, 2012, 9:39 AM
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Re: [obelixtim] 1991 Tandem 'incident' in the UK [In reply to] Can't Post

I wasn't around tandems much at the time, so I'm just going by what old documents seem to indicate about those days...


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Apr 15, 2012, 12:41 PM
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Re: [pchapman] 1991 Tandem 'incident' in the UK [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Peter,

Quote:
until the CYPRES was introduced at the start of 1991.

I was in the crowd at PIA '91 in Orlando when Helmut gave the first presentation about his new CYPRES.

His English was quite poor but he did struggle through to the end. Having spent a fair amount of time in Europe, I did not have too much trouble understanding him.

When he finished he asked if there were any questions. Ironically, the first question was from Cliff Schmucker, an electical engineer, about the possibility of a firing when the pilot keys the mike to alert the local ATC. A slight pawl went over the room as most people thought one would get an instant reserve.

I think that question probably did more to slow the acceptance of the electronic AAD until the Piras fatality; as per TK above.

Just for those who might be interested,

JerryBaumchen


(This post was edited by JerryBaumchen on Apr 15, 2012, 1:02 PM)


councilman24  (D 8631)

Apr 15, 2012, 1:27 PM
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Re: [JerryBaumchen] 1991 Tandem 'incident' in the UK [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey Jerry,

I was there too but don't remember that question. I do remember being impressed and my buddy and I looking at eachother when he said there were two processors, one to check the function of the first.

I think price and the unwillingness by experienced jumpers to give up control and have a "student" device on there back slowed acceptance.

I had a friend knocked unconscious and bounce exiting a DC 3 in 1985. Wearing a frap hat. Everyone said they were going to get a protect, some said a Fxc. As far as I know there wasn't a single helmet or Aod bought because of her death.


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Apr 15, 2012, 3:28 PM
Post #13 of 13 (1221 views)
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Re: [councilman24] 1991 Tandem 'incident' in the UK [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Terry,

Quote:
I was there too but don't remember that question.

I remember it like it was yesterday. I'm a Mech. Engr. and so that type of concern ( that Cliff asked about ) never crossed my mind. Cliff being an electical engineer it was probably easy for him to envision it.

That question sure did get my attention, though.

Shocked

And the irony is that Cliff is now the USA Service Ctr for CYPRES.

JerryBaumchen



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