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Catching a cutaway and or free bag - Don't

 

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danornan  (D 11308)

Mar 21, 2013, 4:22 AM
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Catching a cutaway and or free bag - Don't Can't Post

Are students taught this? Did it come up on Safety Day? I've been away from training too long and since this came up again over the past weekend, I thought it would be good to raise.

I know it know by most experienced skydivers, but is it actually a part of the formal training program?

I don't know the details as far as the experience level of the "catcher" but, at Fitzgerald, a cutaway was caught and the "catcher" had to cutaway resulting in another disconnected main.


crotalus01  (B 28932)

Mar 21, 2013, 4:50 AM
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Re: [danornan] Catching a cutaway and or free bag - Don't [In reply to] Can't Post

It was covered in my AFF, dont know about other DZs....


stratostar  (Student)

Mar 21, 2013, 5:32 AM
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This is one of those deals where those of us who have lived through seeing the carnage of the 70's when this was first in vogue... We all learned rather quickly what a bad idea this is and it didn't take long for the word to spread. Kind of like cutting away above water too.

Well all the old fucks go on thinking new ways to have fun, along comes Johnny come lately who missed the memo, sees a photo or video on youtube of someone else doing XYZ that the old fucks already dreamed up, tried it and decided bad juju and moved along..... Young whippersnapper get's big idea, going to show us all how it's done.... the modern way, right.

Stupid is as stupid does.

FYI- not something I would teach in a FJC per say outside of don't hit anything with your canopy while in flight. Catching cutaways is a continued education topic best suited later in the progression, I'll worry about teaching you that crap after you come back a few times.


Andy9o8  (D License)

Mar 21, 2013, 5:43 AM
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You're right; it's under-taught. Wouldn't be a bad idea to have it on the A License test and/or memorialized in the SIM.


(This post was edited by Andy9o8 on Mar 21, 2013, 5:46 AM)


hillson  (D 33134)

Mar 21, 2013, 5:44 AM
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Re: [danornan] Catching a cutaway and or free bag - Don't [In reply to] Can't Post

Not in FJC...sort of out of the scope. Nor is it mentioned in the rest of the ISP or in the emergency section of the SIM (5-1 IIRC). Everything is sort of "do this" vice "don't do this."

I believe, at some point, I either asked or was told "don't fucking do that. ever." at some point along the pathway to getting my license...


DougH  (D License)

Mar 21, 2013, 6:07 AM
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Re: [hillson] Catching a cutaway and or free bag - Don't [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think it is a bad idea. I think right now people get educated on this in a reactive way.

I remember asking some one as a new jumper if you could you catch you free bag. I think the context was that they lost some gear in the woods after a chop.

But if you don't ask, or you ask the wrong person, there could be a wide gap in this knowledge.


pchapman  (D 1014)

Mar 21, 2013, 6:37 AM
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Re: [danornan] Catching a cutaway and or free bag - Don't [In reply to] Can't Post

Catching canopies is pretty dumb.
Catching freebags though, that's one of those things which they recommend against, but one gets recognition among peers if one does it. If you don't get it tangled in your lines with the pilot chute inflated off centre, and don't whack your kneecap off the spring at 35 mph, you've shown off some skill. Hell, I've got a pic of a me, a freebag, and the DZO congratulating me when I came down after a video jump with the freebag off one of his tandems.

Still, a good explanation of why it is dangerous, rather than just "don't do it", would be useful for jumpers to know. There is danger to the game.

Edit: My point is that education about the reasons for something is important. Otherwise there's that gap between being told never to do something, and seeing the cool kids celebrating when someone does it.


(This post was edited by pchapman on Mar 21, 2013, 6:44 AM)


BillyVance  (D 18895)

Mar 21, 2013, 6:41 AM
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I fully agree with danoran. Doesn't matter what the experience level is, DON'T do it. I've been there, done that. Fortunately I did them way up high on CRW jumps. I already had over 1000 jumps as well as being an experienced recreational CRW jumper, but what I did was pretty stupid. I was in a stack with one guy docked on me and the next guy slammed into him hard and wrapped him.

The resulting force snatched him right out of my grips and I got to watch up close the carnage of the poor guy getting the lines wrapped around his arm and amputating the tip of his finger before he cut his main away. At that point the dive was over and everybody broke up and headed back to the DZ, except me.

I wanted to save his canopy as we were well off the airport over the woods. I made a couple passes before I finally snagged the canopy on my foot. It was a big one too, at least a 190 or 210 sq. ft. and I was under my 120. It put my canopy into a dive, quite effectively a downplane.

It took me a while to reel the cutaway canopy in and stash it between my legs, and by the time I did, I'd lost about 4,000 feet. Let that sink in a minute. It was about 9,000 feet when the cutaway occurred. I still had plenty of altitude left, but not enough to make it back to the DZ, so I settled for the local high school football field, and hitched a ride with a local back.

If I'd caught that canopy at say under 5,000 feet, I would have put myself in a grave situation. Pirate

And if that wasn't enough, another day I snagged a reserve freebag which would have gone into the woods too. I caught it on my lines just barely out of reach. Stupid. I was lucky, it didn't do anything but hang on until I did a flare and it slid down within my reach and I stashed it away.

There was a guy at Cedartown that caught a canopy on his feet years ago and he was under a high performance canopy, shit went bad and he was killed.

In short. DON'T do it. What you do is make a note of where its going, or follow it and land near it if you can do so safely.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Mar 21, 2013, 6:46 AM
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Re: [Andy9o8] Catching a cutaway and or free bag - Don't [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Wouldn't be a bad idea to have it on the A License test and/or memorialized in the SIM

I recall a guy was killed doing just that 6 or 8 years ago (I guess) down in Atlanta (or there-abouts). His name is on the tip of my tongue, but he was an accomplished swooper who grabbed a freebag, and it lead to some sort of mal that he could not (or did not) recover from.

The better option for all is to fly past a freebag (or cutaway main) at a safe distance. As you pass, note your altitude and look straight down to 'spot' yourself. These two pieces of info, when combined with the wind speed/direction for the day can really help to pinpoint the location of the downed gear.


pchapman  (D 1014)

Mar 21, 2013, 6:49 AM
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Re: [BillyVance] Catching a cutaway and or free bag - Don't [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
There was a guy at Cedartown that caught a canopy on his feet years ago and he was under a high performance canopy, shit went bad and he was killed.

That was the classic example I think.
There was another incident too that highlights the dangers of getting snagged between two canopies, even if it wasn't related to catching a cutaway canopy. A few years ago a student in South Africa was badly injured and I think died soon after. The jumper's main risers or lines were caught on his leg while he was under his reserve (after some static line exit issue), he got stretched out in a downplane, and probably had no chance to reach or deal with the lines on his leg. So the danger isn't just with small canopies.

Scare 'em for safety day:


Edit: Dave L, wasn't the guy you were thinking of, the one caught the main canopy, not just a freebag? Still, if we had more stories of freebag catching issues, it would help emphasize the point about danger.

Edit: And while I'm at it, one can also point out the dangers in just following a freebag down. Lots of turning without looking where one is going and possibly getting in a bad setup for landing, way too low. (Been there myself.) Know when to save yourself.


(This post was edited by pchapman on Mar 21, 2013, 7:05 AM)
Attachments: 2009SouthAfrica-studentbetweenmain,reserve.jpg (45.6 KB)


davelepka  (D 21448)

Mar 21, 2013, 7:17 AM
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Re: [pchapman] Catching a cutaway and or free bag - Don't [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Dave L, wasn't the guy you were thinking of, the one caught the main canopy, not just a freebag?

Yes, it turns out that it was. Either way, I think the lesson stands. RIP, Nate Gilbert

http://www.dropzone.com/...es/Detailed/36.shtml


BillyVance  (D 18895)

Mar 21, 2013, 8:18 AM
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Re: [davelepka] Catching a cutaway and or free bag - Don't [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
Dave L, wasn't the guy you were thinking of, the one caught the main canopy, not just a freebag?

Yes, it turns out that it was. Either way, I think the lesson stands. RIP, Nate Gilbert

http://www.dropzone.com/...es/Detailed/36.shtml

Ah, he caught the lines on his leg. I caught the fabric of the canopy on mine. That's one big difference. Luck of the devil. Pirate


Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Mar 21, 2013, 8:39 AM
Post #13 of 35 (3603 views)
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Re: [davelepka] Catching a cutaway and or free bag - Don't [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
Dave L, wasn't the guy you were thinking of, the one caught the main canopy, not just a freebag?

Yes, it turns out that it was. Either way, I think the lesson stands. RIP, Nate Gilbert

http://www.dropzone.com/...es/Detailed/36.shtml

It was definitely Nate Gilbert. He was a TREMENDOUSLY good skydiver. A buddy cutaway his Velo and Nate caught it. It inflated and his impact with the ground killed him. This was maybe five days after the 2004 Wildwood, NJ PST meet. It was a horrible loss. Do NOT EVER try and catch a cutaway main.

Chuck


mistercwood  (Student)

Mar 21, 2013, 9:01 PM
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Re: [danornan] Catching a cutaway and or free bag - Don't [In reply to] Can't Post

My FJC didn't exactly deal with this directly, but the emphasis with respect to EPs was to just forget about the canopy. Instructor was very clear on it didn't matter a damn thing what it was worth, if you gotta chop, chop, and someone on the ground will worry about where the canopy went.


danornan  (D 11308)

Mar 22, 2013, 3:07 AM
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Re: [mistercwood] Catching a cutaway and or free bag - Don't [In reply to] Can't Post

So maybe it's time to move this area of knowledge from folklore to designated training?

I saw a skydiver almost die last weekend because I don't think they knew and had not heard the folklore. I really feel that in less than 5 minutes, a student can be told the 'rule" and why.

I'd hate to hear of a fatality that could be easily prevented with this knowledge, that has been written in blood. How is this added to formal training?


tkhayes  (D 18764)

Mar 22, 2013, 4:12 AM
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Re: [danornan] Catching a cutaway and or free bag - Don't [In reply to] Can't Post

I have caught several freebags. But I was also jumping a 200+ size canopy then. Not recommended if the wing loading of your reserve is above 1.1 or so - just too many variables.

I would never recommend trying to catch a canopy.

I don't know if anyone who is 'teaching it', but not like I have not told the stories of how I used to do it....a quick 180 degree turn right after your reserve opens usually puts you right into the path of the your freebag.

And not like I also never tell the time I stuffed the fucking freebag into the end cell of my reserve to create a whole new problem.


DiverMike  (C 40024)

Mar 22, 2013, 5:22 AM
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Re: [tkhayes] Catching a cutaway and or free bag - Don't [In reply to] Can't Post

I was taking a canopy course and we had 8 people in the air. One girl spun up her stilletto and cut it away. I followed her freebag, and found it very disorienting trying to match direction and fall rate. I also realized I was focusing too much on that piece of shit and not the other canopies in the sky. I immediately stopped chasing it. I would also recommend not trying to catch a freebag when there are other canopies around, and given that the freebag had to come from a canopy in the area, that means don't go after them. YMMV


normiss  (D 28356)

Mar 22, 2013, 5:39 AM
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Re: [danornan] Catching a cutaway and or free bag - Don't [In reply to] Can't Post

One of the younger up-jumpers even said they thought it was cool that the jumper tried to catch it.
I was told I was rude for saying it was stupid.
Unsure
It is. Stupid.
Very.


jimmytavino  (A 3914)

Mar 22, 2013, 6:00 AM
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Re: [normiss] Catching a cutaway and or free bag - Don't [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
One of the younger up-jumpers even said they thought it was cool that the jumper tried to catch it.
I was told I was rude for saying it was stupid.
Unsure
It is. Stupid.
Very.



There IS no "try ".....
there also is NO " DO "..
there is ONLY " Do NOT "...

"Rude" occurs when one has bad intentions....
your Intentions were GOOD... so the term doesn't apply...ShockedSmileWink

jamesjoseph


BillyVance  (D 18895)

Mar 22, 2013, 6:25 AM
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Re: [normiss] Catching a cutaway and or free bag - Don't [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
One of the younger up-jumpers even said they thought it was cool that the jumper tried to catch it.
I was told I was rude for saying it was stupid.
Unsure
It is. Stupid.
Very.

Fucking young whippersnappers... Tongue


Squeak  (E 1313)

Mar 22, 2013, 6:45 AM
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Re: [danornan] Catching a cutaway and or free bag - Don't [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I know it know by most experienced skydivers, but is it actually a part of the formal training program?
.

The only people I have actually seen do it. (and I have seen it probably half dozen times) are experienced pilots who should know better.


Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Mar 22, 2013, 9:11 AM
Post #22 of 35 (2977 views)
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Re: [Squeak] Catching a cutaway and or free bag - Don't [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
I know it know by most experienced skydivers, but is it actually a part of the formal training program?
.

The only people I have actually seen do it. (and I have seen it probably half dozen times) are experienced pilots who should know better.

Absolutely true. I've caught MANY a freebag and having one get caught up mid-lines was eventful to say the least. Stupid. What I do now, and what I teach, is to circle down and land as close as SAFELY possible to your cutaway main so you can aid in it's speedy recovery. NOT paying attention to where your cutaway main has drifted and then landing under your reserve on the beer line and expecting someone else to shag your shit is not smart. Gear is EXPENSIVE, so if you can land SAFELY close to it, then do it. I can't count the number of times I've seen students or other people renting gear just drop their shit on the packing mat, then get in their car and go home with no care whatsoever that they just left a $2000 Navigator in the woods.

Chuck


BillyVance  (D 18895)

Mar 22, 2013, 9:23 AM
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Re: [SkymonkeyONE] Catching a cutaway and or free bag - Don't [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
I know it know by most experienced skydivers, but is it actually a part of the formal training program?
.

The only people I have actually seen do it. (and I have seen it probably half dozen times) are experienced pilots who should know better.

Absolutely true. I've caught MANY a freebag and having one get caught up mid-lines was eventful to say the least. Stupid. What I do now, and what I teach, is to circle down and land as close as SAFELY possible to your cutaway main so you can aid in it's speedy recovery. NOT paying attention to where your cutaway main has drifted and then landing under your reserve on the beer line and expecting someone else to shag your shit is not smart. Gear is EXPENSIVE, so if you can land SAFELY close to it, then do it. I can't count the number of times I've seen students or other people renting gear just drop their shit on the packing mat, then get in their car and go home with no care whatsoever that they just left a $2000 Navigator in the woods.

Chuck

That's just careless and selfish of them. Mad

My first mal and resulting cut-away happened over Skydive Monroe during their 64 way state record attempts. I was over the woods when I had the tension-knot-wildly-spinning mal, and with the low pull on the main at 2000'+/-, I put all my attention on making it back to the airport as there were ZERO places to land on that side. There was a neighborhood of homes with small yards between the woods and the airport and my main landed in the yard of one the houses.

I had just dropped my gear on the packing mat when friends told me that manifest was calling for me. Apparently the people picked up my main from their yard and drove it back to the DZ. I got lucky. They had been watching the formations and parachutes. My freebag is probably still in the woods or in the pond in the middle of the woods to this day 16 years later. Laugh

So, if you don't have time to make a note of where the main and freebag is going and there's no way to land nearby, you just hope and pray someone else is watching for you.


Southern_Man  (C License)

Mar 22, 2013, 9:26 AM
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Re: [BillyVance] Catching a cutaway and or free bag - Don't [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

I had just dropped my gear on the packing mat when friends told me that manifest was calling for me.

"Billy to manifest, Billy to manifest" LaughLaugh


BillyVance  (D 18895)

Mar 22, 2013, 9:42 AM
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Re: [Southern_Man] Catching a cutaway and or free bag - Don't [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:

I had just dropped my gear on the packing mat when friends told me that manifest was calling for me.

"Billy to manifest, Billy to manifest" LaughLaugh

Those are words I've NEVER heard. LaughLaughLaugh


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