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Tandem Toggle Lock ... quasi-incident

 

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MotherGoose

Aug 10, 2012, 4:43 PM
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Tandem Toggle Lock ... quasi-incident Can't Post

Last weekend I was huckin' meat as normal when I experience a few incidents that made for an interesting day. First tandem of the day I had a torn topskin on one of my cells (sigma 370) right on opening. Canopy pulled to the left but I did a flight control check and decided to land it without incident.

Later in the middle of the day I had a normal opening, pulled on my toggles and only one came out (left side). Right side stayed locked in place. I asked the student to hold my left toggle while I investigated the right toggle (approx. 4500 ft). I undid the snap and pulled on the toggle a few times with both hands - nothing. I pulled the riser down to my face level and looked closely, the toggle was stowed into the eye of the line but was forced through all the way past the grommet and the brake line "knot" (for lack of a better term). See Attached diagram. With the force of the canopy pulling from above and the weight of the tandem pulling from below this thing was cinched SUPER TIGHT. I could not get the loop around the grommet/knot by hand and after countless hard two handed pulls I was exhausted and had to stop. I remembered a recent chop that a friend had from this very problem and so now I was mulling over the idea that I likely had to chop it because the landing would be way too risky for both the student and I. I looked at my alti and was just starting to cruise below 3 grand. I decided to give it one last effort and then get rid of it, I don't know how I came to this but as I grabbed the riser I pulled it down to my face level again and then some kind of childhood (or other) instinct kicked in and I stuck the line eyelet in my mouth. I found the line with my teeth and began positioning it and pulling on it to get it around the knot and grommet. I would say it took less than 10 seconds and then it popped right over the knot and came free. Normal canopy flight after and landing was great.

The last tandem of the day puked on me as if to top off a bad day.

Anyhow, just wanted to share my experience as I am sure some of you may experience something like this again. Talk to your packing team, make sure they pay attention. We have a great packing team and this was a freak occurrence for us. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
Attachments: Sigma Toggle.jpg (27.0 KB)


timber  (D 14846)

Aug 10, 2012, 5:02 PM
Post #2 of 27 (4012 views)
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Re: [MotherGoose] Tandem Toggle Lock ... quasi-incident [In reply to] Can't Post

 Sounds like a typical day hauling meat to me! I am fairly small for a tandem master 5"6 and 155 pounds. The people especially in Alabama seem to be getting bigger by the week! Climbing out of a C-182 with someone 230 LBS and 6'2" plus is a challenge. Then you get the girls that are built wide as they are tall and large "mammalian protuberances" No matter how you adjust the harness they seem to "OOZE" through it and end up sick! I am learning to just say "NO"! Hope you have a better weekend ahead! Thanks for the heads up!


MotherGoose

Aug 10, 2012, 5:14 PM
Post #3 of 27 (4003 views)
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Re: [timber] Tandem Toggle Lock ... quasi-incident [In reply to] Can't Post

I hear that, I'm currently working out of C182's myself and they are narrow-body !! I find the worst wear and tear on my body is getting up on my knees in the plane from the seated position. The day before I also had a student shift on exit and my knee smashed right off the step, got a bruise the size of a cantaloupe just above my knee now. This shit is not for the faint hearted. I'm 6ft 220lbs and when I get a passenger similar to my size we need to tie an anvil to the video guys leg just to keep up. My protrack has clocked some of my tandems at 145 mph. Good times.


Southern_Man  (C License)

Aug 10, 2012, 6:24 PM
Post #4 of 27 (3977 views)
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Re: [MotherGoose] Tandem Toggle Lock ... quasi-incident [In reply to] Can't Post

How much of your topskin was torn on your canopy? What sort of canopy (type and size) and approx. wingloading did you have?

Do you think the tear increased your descent rate?


diablopilot  (D License)

Aug 10, 2012, 7:23 PM
Post #5 of 27 (3945 views)
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Re: [MotherGoose] Tandem Toggle Lock ... quasi-incident [In reply to] Can't Post

What line type was on your canopy? I had a similar problem about 6 years ago on an Aerodyne A2 with Spectra line. The condition was possible because the thinner Spectra did not use up as much of the toggle stow loop as the thicker Dacron of the then Sigma canopies thus allowing the toggle to be "over stowed".

Not an issue on the non brake stowed Icarus and Precision canopies.


pchapman  (D 1014)

Aug 10, 2012, 7:32 PM
Post #6 of 27 (3938 views)
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Re: [MotherGoose] Tandem Toggle Lock ... quasi-incident [In reply to] Can't Post

With your toggle lockup, MotherGoose, wasn't there the issue that the toggle was inserted directly into the brake eye, or something like that, increasing the force with which the line clamped down on the toggle? (Jim O. thought that might have happened.)

That's instead of the proper way with the white loop on the riser going through the brake line eye, and then the toggle tip through the white loop, to hold everything in place. (Unlike normal rigs, but like some early 80s's rigs or certain BASE packs.)

With the brake line directly on the toggle, that would make it easier to pull down to where one could gnaw on it, as one wouldn't have to pull the riser down as well.

Either way, the toggle was inserted way too deep. Nice job not having to chop twice in a day!

@ Southernman:
I saw the canopy, a Sigma II 370. The split was right out at the end, on one of the end cells, 2nd chamber in from the stabilizer. Although the canopy chord is smaller out at the tip, the topskin was split all the way, front to back. Thankfully they didn't make the crossports to that end cell all that big!


Southern_Man  (C License)

Aug 10, 2012, 7:47 PM
Post #7 of 27 (3929 views)
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Re: [pchapman] Tandem Toggle Lock ... quasi-incident [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

@ Southernman:
I saw the canopy, a Sigma II 370. The split was right out at the end, on one of the end cells, 2nd chamber in from the stabilizer. Although the canopy chord is smaller out at the tip, the topskin was split all the way, front to back. Thankfully they didn't make the crossports to that end cell all that big!

Wow, a split all the way across. I am not that experienced and in no way a tandem instructor. I think (just thinking out loud) that if I could see the canopy was split all the way through I would be very inclined to chop, because it is hard to judge descent rate until you get down to where you are too low to do anything about it. Anyway, good job to the O.P. and thanks for additional information.


MotherGoose

Aug 10, 2012, 8:19 PM
Post #8 of 27 (3906 views)
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Re: [Southern_Man] Tandem Toggle Lock ... quasi-incident [In reply to] Can't Post

I wish I had the opportunity to make that call... Unfortunately I could not SEE the tear from underneath. I could only detect a problem, but I did not identify the problem until I got on the ground and people rushed up to me and said, "NICE TORN CANOPY". I had to fly it with my right hand just less than half way into a full flare to keep it straight and without seeing a major problem, I decided to keep it. We all make decisions and we have to live with them, not saying that I made the right one, but I stick by my assessment and decision.

Regarding the tear, Peter summed it up nicely, I think the only other question was about the line type and it was Dacron.


pchapman  (D 1014)

Aug 10, 2012, 8:24 PM
Post #9 of 27 (3895 views)
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Re: [Southern_Man] Tandem Toggle Lock ... quasi-incident [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah one has to be careful with "minor" mals, and more so with tandems. What you can roll out and walk away from on a solo jump, may not work out well with a passenger. (I did see another instructor land a tension knot last year -- the canopy flew straight with a fair bit of opposite brake but the flare sucked and the older student was injured.) You never know, but it seems like MotherGoose made a good call -- he reported to me using only a little brake to countersteer, so the canopy still had energy and flare left.


MotherGoose

Aug 10, 2012, 8:33 PM
Post #10 of 27 (3885 views)
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Re: [pchapman] Tandem Toggle Lock ... quasi-incident [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
With your toggle lockup, MotherGoose, wasn't there the issue that the toggle was inserted directly into the brake eye, or something like that, increasing the force with which the line clamped down on the toggle? (Jim O. thought that might have happened.)

The toggle loop itself was also partially caught up in the "kink" which increased the pressure for sure.

I would like to add, for everyone's information, that I have had 3 tandem chops (albeit a couple years ago now). There were mumblings and grumblings that perhaps I was not taking the time to assess a problem before chopping it away. First of all, those people can kiss my ass, second of all I am not implying that now I have some sort of bravado issue with chopping so I take additional risks. All three of those chops were tension knots that could not be cleared and with Sigma elliptical canopies you find yourself spinning on your back with a tandem within seconds of opening. When you have your first tandem mal, you react FAST no doubt. By the second one, I took the time to really look at the tension knot and pump it a few times. The third one unfortunately was extremely fast and the most violent so I also got rid of that one fast.

Anyhow, just wanted to highlight that its hardly my "first rodeo" and I'm amazed at how much more this crazy sport has for us to learn all the time. I hope this post provides others with some knowledge or info as well.


sparkie  (D License)

Aug 11, 2012, 4:59 AM
Post #11 of 27 (3795 views)
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Re: [MotherGoose] Tandem Toggle Lock ... quasi-incident [In reply to] Can't Post

what is huckin' or hauling meat?

You mean taking paying guests up for a tandem jump?


firemedic  (D 29776)

Aug 11, 2012, 7:22 AM
Post #12 of 27 (3769 views)
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Re: [pchapman] Tandem Toggle Lock ... quasi-incident [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Yeah one has to be careful with "minor" mals, and more so with tandems. What you can roll out and walk away from on a solo jump, may not work out well with a passenger. (I did see another instructor land a tension knot last year -- the canopy flew straight with a fair bit of opposite brake but the flare sucked and the older student was injured.) You never know, but it seems like MotherGoose made a good call -- he reported to me using only a little brake to countersteer, so the canopy still had energy and flare left.


I agree. Unfortunately, we only get to say the instructor made a "good decision" or he made a "bad decision", after the result. If he had pounded in his student and/or himself we would be saying he made a bad decision. I just don't understand why we question chopping any tandem canopy that is not performing 100%. If you have to hold one toggle at just less than 50% of full flair in order to fly straight, why in the world would someone want to try and land that?


MotherGoose

Aug 11, 2012, 5:42 PM
Post #13 of 27 (3660 views)
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Re: [sparkie] Tandem Toggle Lock ... quasi-incident [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
what is huckin' or hauling meat?

You mean taking paying guests up for a tandem jump?

What is "taking paying guests up for a tandem jump?"

I'm not sure what you are talking about, is this some sort of new discipline?


sparkie  (D License)

Aug 13, 2012, 1:18 AM
Post #14 of 27 (3553 views)
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Re: [MotherGoose] Tandem Toggle Lock ... quasi-incident [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
what is huckin' or hauling meat?

You mean taking paying guests up for a tandem jump?

What is "taking paying guests up for a tandem jump?"

I'm not sure what you are talking about, is this some sort of new discipline?

touch


MotherGoose

Aug 13, 2012, 5:58 AM
Post #15 of 27 (3491 views)
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Re: [sparkie] Tandem Toggle Lock ... quasi-incident [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Cool


MotherGoose

Aug 13, 2012, 6:04 AM
Post #16 of 27 (3490 views)
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Re: [Southern_Man] Tandem Toggle Lock ... quasi-incident [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

Do you think the tear increased your descent rate?

Just realized this one question was not addressed.
There was no change in descent from my perspective. Something like that would have alarmed me. I honestly shrugged it off as a line trim issue or even an uneven harness issue. I will be more diligent in the future if I have a built in turn. Can't say that I will be able to see a torn topskin but at least now I know that it can be the culprit.


fincher  (E License)

Aug 14, 2012, 11:19 AM
Post #17 of 27 (3334 views)
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Re: [MotherGoose] Tandem Toggle Lock ... quasi-incident [In reply to] Can't Post

I have been seeing this issue alot this year, its happened multiple time to me and always on the same exact canopy and normaly on the same side every time. I saw one instructor land this with a nice head wind and it was not bad. I have cut it away once and fixed it the other times. The last time I had the student hold down on the ggod toggle while I pulled the rear riser to take pressure off the brake line, then i was able to work it over the grommet with both hands. I think this is going to be an issue all over and perhaps something UPT needs to look at. I can only assume it is related to change of line types on the sigma canopies.


sundevil777  (D License)

Dec 10, 2012, 2:38 PM
Post #18 of 27 (2819 views)
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Re: [MotherGoose] Tandem Toggle Lock ... quasi-incident [In reply to] Can't Post

Another potential solution for the toggle inserted too far, at least I think it is a possible solution.

Use a hook knife to cut off the bottom of the toggle handle (close to the eye), so that the eye can go off the remaining bit of toggle relatively easy (hopefully).

I understand that it isn't practical to use a hook knife to cut one side of the eye, that isn't easily done with a hook knife, better done with a normal sharp pointed knife that is not normally carried. However, cutting off the bottom of the handle seems practical. You'd have only a little bit of it left to grab, but that shouldn't be a problem for a TM.

Anyway, this just occurred to me as something to keep in mind as it might happen to anyone that isn't careful packing or is subject to how others pack. It would be interesting to see if it is hard to do when a lot of tension has been applied.

With my mild WL, I could just land from a partial braked condition without anyone noticing and not having to replace a toggle. Is this not practical for a tandem?


dudeman17  (D License)

Dec 11, 2012, 9:03 PM
Post #19 of 27 (2741 views)
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Re: [MotherGoose] Tandem Toggle Lock ... quasi-incident [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:

Do you think the tear increased your descent rate?

Just realized this one question was not addressed.
There was no change in descent from my perspective. Something like that would have alarmed me. I honestly shrugged it off as a line trim issue or even an uneven harness issue. I will be more diligent in the future if I have a built in turn. Can't say that I will be able to see a torn topskin but at least now I know that it can be the culprit.

A torn top skin could very well increase the descent rate, and as noted earlier may not be noticed until you land like a sack of potatoes. One way to assess a possibly torn top skin is to turn the canopy different directions to orient it to the sun at different angles. If you can get the sun to shine through the hole, you can see it on the bottom skin and that can give you an idea of how big the hole is.


swoopfly  (E License)

Dec 11, 2012, 11:05 PM
Post #20 of 27 (2718 views)
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Re: [dudeman17] Tandem Toggle Lock ... quasi-incident [In reply to] Can't Post

Had about 5 chops this year total at our Dz, all but one were due to toggle lock on sigmas. I have 3000 pack jobs, only have packed one cutaway that was you guessed it a toggle lock. I have 700 tandems, no cutaway. I always jumped the icarus for the main reason that it can't toggle lock. My instincts were right as I watched the rest of the guys cutaway all season due to toggle locks on the sigmas. While it is packing error or even toggle slip slightly past the grommet. It is an issue I think the manufacturers should address.


duroejc  (D 27312)

Dec 12, 2012, 6:50 PM
Post #21 of 27 (2624 views)
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Re: [swoopfly] Tandem Toggle Lock ... quasi-incident [In reply to] Can't Post

I've unfortunately had this type of malfunction. Check that the toggles are stowed in the proper order- that was the cause of mine- Vector rigs


skydiveoc  (D 12721)

Dec 22, 2012, 5:53 AM
Post #22 of 27 (2432 views)
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Re: [duroejc] Tandem Toggle Lock ... quasi-incident [In reply to] Can't Post

I dont think it has anything to do with order, jammed uo too far while stoeing. I never heard of it when using Dacron line...only vectran. With vectran there is obviously less meat in line thickness and your are not stoeing the flare toggle segment through the loop. So...more room for the stiffener to move around.

We have this situation on hand cam video and yoiu can see the stiffener slide upward past the grommet.

UPT has made now the loop smaller on tandem risers in response to this.

We already had several toggle hang ups which we were able to clear so we were aware while packing to make sure the loop only travels about 3/4 into the stiffener.

Of course this happened on risers where the toggle may not have been snapped. Noticed UPT changed the snap location to make it more field friendly to replace!

I think you may need to replace with new risers, (means waiting a year now) or shorten the riser loop with some tacking thread. New risers are now much more tighter fitting the stiffener through the loop.


skydiverton2  (D License)

Jan 13, 2013, 5:30 AM
Post #23 of 27 (2172 views)
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Re: [skydiveoc] Tandem Toggle Lock ... quasi-incident [In reply to] Can't Post

Have seen that before. Happened at least twice on a DZ I worked a couple of weekends last year. This is how the equipment was found after the chop
Attachments: DSC03889small.JPG (54.5 KB)


MotherGoose

Feb 2, 2013, 5:50 PM
Post #24 of 27 (1797 views)
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Re: [skydiverton2] Tandem Toggle Lock ... quasi-incident [In reply to] Can't Post

That's exactly what had happened to me. I chewed the eyelet back over the knot with my teeth.


Amyr  (C License)

Feb 3, 2013, 5:04 AM
Post #25 of 27 (1756 views)
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Re: [skydiveoc] Tandem Toggle Lock ... quasi-incident [In reply to] Can't Post

SO by insuring the toggle is snapped in place this malfunction wont occur? 2nd Question this malfunction was caused by the packer shoving the toggle past the eyelet or on opening the toggle pulling itself up under the eyelet?


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