Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Why I don't hook up my RSL

 

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sundevil777  (D License)

May 16, 2013, 11:10 PM
Post #1 of 63 (5845 views)
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Why I don't hook up my RSL Can't Post

I think this topic deserves some serious, thoughtful discussion away from the Deland incident thread.

First, I think it is important that newbies use an RSL. Until a person has proven they can not only chop but also pull their reserve (perhaps even more than once) it is too great a risk.

Many of my reasons to not use an RSL involve concern about very low probability events. I recognize this. I can accept myself failing to pull my own reserve, but I don't like being subject to the potential problems that an RSL can cause, even if they will probably be less likely than my own failure (even if they are certainly less likely than my own failure).

My reasons do not involve a worry about reserve line twists. It is my opinion that line twists on reserves largely are due to the bag being extracted while not stable therefore imparting an unusual kick to the bag as it leaves the container. This does not mean that I advocate waiting to get stable before pulling reserve (I have never waited), but I like the idea of having that as an option without having to find and release an RSL shackle.

I don't loosen my chest strap, so I don't have my reserve handle moving on me. I use a metal reserve handle and one hand on each handle method, so I find the handle before chopping.

I like to keep things simple, and there are failure modes that I don't like being subject to that involve an RSL.

An RSL can get snagged pulling the reserve even before the main is out.

Even though I use wide risers, I don't like the idea of a single riser failure causing my reserve to be deployed.

I don't like having my main attached to me by another mechanism besides the risers, as the RSL could get hung up on something preventing a normal cutaway.

If I have a canopy collision/entanglement, you can't be sure that the entanglement will clear right away after chopping. If I have a 2 out situation, I would want to release the RSL (if I were using an RSL) before cutting away the main, as the RSL shackle can snag any part of the reserve on the way out, and I would not want to have to mess with releasing the shackle in either a collision/entanglement or 2 out scenario.

There are probably some other reasons I've not thought of right now.

I know that the numbers say an RSL is more likely to help than hurt. I've read Rick Horn's incident and understand the implications.

I do not wish to influence newbies to not use an RSL. Flame on...


(This post was edited by sundevil777 on May 16, 2013, 11:17 PM)


BIGUN  (D 23385)

May 17, 2013, 2:49 AM
Post #2 of 63 (5662 views)
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Re: [sundevil777] Why I don't hook up my RSL [In reply to] Can't Post

This was done in 2002, 2005, 2010, 2012....


http://www.dropzone.com/...ring=rsl%20;#4413205


GLIDEANGLE  (D 30292)

May 17, 2013, 4:51 AM
Post #3 of 63 (5598 views)
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Re: [sundevil777] Why I don't hook up my RSL [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I do not wish to influence newbies to not use an RSL. Flame on...

However, by making this post....you just did!


Divalent  (C 40494)

May 17, 2013, 6:28 AM
Post #4 of 63 (5533 views)
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Re: [sundevil777] Why I don't hook up my RSL [In reply to] Can't Post

IMO, you are raising very rare complicating scenarios where an RSL could contribute to a fatality (like, less than 1 in several million on any given skydive; such as an RSL snag causing a premature reserve deployment: exactly how many fatalites have been due to that?) but ignoring the upside.

As Diablo pilot stated in the thread Bigun linked to, the number of fatalities due to these failure modes over the last couple of decades is incredibly few relative to the several fataliies that occur every year that might have been helped by an RSL.

Yes, your gear and your experience and your usual proceedures and techniques might make you less likely to need one. But I suspect some of the many who did die because they didn't have one also thought that as well.


Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

May 17, 2013, 7:12 AM
Post #5 of 63 (5467 views)
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Re: [Divalent] Why I don't hook up my RSL [In reply to] Can't Post

Either way, no one is well served by having information hidden from them. However, included in that information is the likelihood of its happening.

I'm from the days when only students used Stevens systems (that should date me if nothing else Laugh). I've proven entirely too repeatedly that I can use my reserve. When I got back into jumping a number of years ago, I immediately had the RSL taken off the rig I bought.

Then I put it back on again a couple of years after that. To me, the biggest reason to have an RSL isn't to ensure that the reserve is pulled. The biggest reason is to ensure that in the event I mess around with my main when I shouldn't I have a little bit more effective altitude in my pocket. I haven't done that, I hope I don't. But after a couple of low-cutaway incidents a number of years ago, I decided that was the most likely RSL-involved situation I was likely to find myself in. People do, in fact, mess around with almost-fixable mains for too long -- it happens a couple of times each year, and often one of those is fatal. I'm sure none of those people intended to mess around with their almost-fixable main for too long, it just happened.

It's not a serious enough consideration for me to get a Skyhook, nor is it a serious enough consideration for me to start opening at 4,000 feet or something to ensure more time.

There are lots and lots of tradeoffs in the sport. Sundevil has some valid considerations, it's just that he assigns more importance to them than to others. I assign a different value to them.

But hiding them serves no one.

Wendy P.


(This post was edited by wmw999 on May 17, 2013, 7:12 AM)


Zlew  (D 21616)

May 17, 2013, 7:19 AM
Post #6 of 63 (5462 views)
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Re: [sundevil777] Why I don't hook up my RSL [In reply to] Can't Post

With the biggest effort being non-flaming.

If you choose to not jump an RSL and are educated as to why/ why not I think that is just fine. I jump a lot of video, did shit tons of research and do not wear an RSL on one rig (but do have a skyhook on the other...but that's another story).

I appreciate that you pointed out that the odds say (drastically) that you are much more likely to be saved by an RSL than hurt by it. I wish I remember the link the the uspa study showing the number of fatalities that would have been non issues with an RSL vs the number of RSL related problems).

For me the biggest RSL issue is the way it causes reserve PC/Bag/etc. to come up under arms/necks/ and past heads when cutting away from a fast spinning mal on your back. Please note, this is only an issue for me due to the mains I jump and the fact I have a camera helmet on. If not for both of these factors I would have an RSL. I recommend an RSL for almost everyone.

Most of the reasons you gave, IMO, are kinda long shots and really rare. I haven't heard of a broken riser since they started re-enforcing them when the mini risers became "cool" 15-20years ago. Plus many modern rigs have a Collins lanyard to make it a non issue if it does. Things like RSL's snagging or keeping your main attached to you are almost unheard of also.

If you don't want to have one, more power to you. this is a big boy sport and you get to make your own decisions. Act fast...don't get sucked into the basement fighting a mal, and you should be fine.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
May 17, 2013, 1:49 PM
Post #7 of 63 (5285 views)
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Re: [Divalent] Why I don't hook up my RSL [In reply to] Can't Post

>IMO, you are raising very rare complicating scenarios where an RSL could
>contribute to a fatality (like, less than 1 in several million on any given skydive;
>such as an RSL snag causing a premature reserve deployment: exactly how many
>fatalites have been due to that?) but ignoring the upside.

I don't think he is. He said pretty explicitly "I know it will help more often than it will hurt."

There are plenty of people who know that a Pilot 140 would be safer than their Katana 97. (And there are a lot more reasons for that, and a lot more incidents that prove that upsizing is even more important than using an RSL.) But they choose to not use the Pilot 140. That's not because they are "ignoring the upside" - they may just prefer the smaller canopy, even knowing the additional risks.


uberchris  (A License)

May 17, 2013, 1:57 PM
Post #8 of 63 (5278 views)
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Re: [billvon] Why I don't hook up my RSL [In reply to] Can't Post

the reason for using my RSL is just numbers:

there are more people that have died from not having an RSL hooked up and pounding in, than there are pounding in directly because of having an RSL and issues that arose from it.


danornan  (D 11308)

May 17, 2013, 2:24 PM
Post #9 of 63 (5244 views)
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Re: [uberchris] Why I don't hook up my RSL [In reply to] Can't Post

uberchris wrote:
the reason for using my RSL is just numbers:

there are more people that have died from not having an RSL hooked up and pounding in, than there are pounding in directly because of having an RSL and issues that arose from it.

The above is my reason to have one too.

In fact, after having used an RSL several times and lucky borrowing a rig several months ago that had a Sky Hook, I just bought a new rig with a Sky Hook. Those on the ground said that I probably cut away too low for an RSL, but the Sky Hook put a canopy above my head almost instantly.

I try to go with the odds and not think of myself as special and better than average.


chuckakers  (D 10855)

May 17, 2013, 3:03 PM
Post #10 of 63 (5208 views)
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Re: [uberchris] Why I don't hook up my RSL [In reply to] Can't Post

uberchris wrote:
the reason for using my RSL is just numbers:

there are more people that have died from not having an RSL hooked up and pounding in, than there are pounding in directly because of having an RSL and issues that arose from it.

In the case of people who die without an RSL, it is usually from low EP's - skydiver error, plain and simple. In the case of people who die with an RSL, it's often from an RSL induced mal.

Big difference and not really comparable as stats to make a stat-based decision.


danornan  (D 11308)

May 17, 2013, 5:55 PM
Post #11 of 63 (5130 views)
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Re: [chuckakers] Why I don't hook up my RSL [In reply to] Can't Post

chuckakers wrote:
uberchris wrote:
the reason for using my RSL is just numbers:

there are more people that have died from not having an RSL hooked up and pounding in, than there are pounding in directly because of having an RSL and issues that arose from it.

In the case of people who die without an RSL, it is usually from low EP's - skydiver error, plain and simple. In the case of people who die with an RSL, it's often from an RSL induced mal.

Big difference and not really comparable as stats to make a stat-based decision.

They are still dead, regardless of the reason.


normiss  (D 28356)

May 17, 2013, 6:57 PM
Post #12 of 63 (5096 views)
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Re: [danornan] Why I don't hook up my RSL [In reply to] Can't Post

Agreed.

I'll take an increase in odds in my favor any day.


airtwardo  (D License)

May 17, 2013, 8:19 PM
Post #13 of 63 (5048 views)
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Re: [normiss] Why I don't hook up my RSL [In reply to] Can't Post

normiss wrote:
Agreed.

I'll take an increase in odds in my favor any day.

Which is why I don't use one...

Between demos, camera jumps & CReW ~

A significant number of my jumps involve numerous snag hazards, I would prefer to be 100% stable when going to my last bullet.

I fully understand I'm 'giving away' some time & altitude as opposed to someone using an RSL...I adjust my opening altitude & hard-deck accordingly.

I broke the right riser set on a canopy at a demo a few years ago, If I would have had an RSL it would have fired the reserve into a wildly spinning main...even after I chopped I was ass over tea kettle for a second or two, with big ole snag grabbers on my head, belly & feet - no thanks!

I had plenty of altitude to get stable, sit up and fired the reserve in exactly the same body position I do the main, I saddled out @ 2200'

An RSL is a useful tool, just not the tool that's best for 'every' job.


Heck...all things considered, I happy to have a reserve that fires off by just pulling the ripcord! I have a few chops that also required a lot of cussing, sharp elbow jabs and a Jesus Cord!! Sly


sundevil777  (D License)

May 17, 2013, 9:00 PM
Post #14 of 63 (5030 views)
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Re: [billvon] Why I don't hook up my RSL [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
There are plenty of people who know that a Pilot 140 would be safer than their Katana 97. (And there are a lot more reasons for that, and a lot more incidents that prove that upsizing is even more important than using an RSL.) But they choose to not use the Pilot 140.

Quite right! We all make decisions that result in more or less risk than we might otherwise face. For many, the thrill of a fast canopy outweighs the very definite increase in risk. I am willing to face the risk of my own failure to pull the reserve, but not willing to let an RSL cause problems. Given my other choices, of docile canopies, low WL, not swooping (I don't even use front risers), metal reserve handle...As Billvon implies, my choices I think result in me continuing to accumulate more years of staying above ground level and walking without a limp than the common choice to pursue high performance landings. Instead of expending effort to promote RSLs, we should change the culture that expects a fast increase of WL so as not to be bored.

My memory from threads years ago is that even the old guy with the big beard doesn't like a conventional RSL.


(This post was edited by sundevil777 on May 17, 2013, 9:01 PM)


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
May 19, 2013, 9:36 AM
Post #15 of 63 (4746 views)
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Re: [sundevil777] Why I don't hook up my RSL [In reply to] Can't Post

>Instead of expending effort to promote RSLs, we should change the culture that
>expects a fast increase of WL so as not to be bored.

Well, we should do both. RSL promotion often gets more "bang for the buck" since RSL's are not seen as uncool the way larger canopies are. (in other words, if you spend 2 hours of your time trying to convince someone to be safer, you are more likely to save a life arguing for an RSL than arguing for a larger canopy.)


Andy9o8  (D License)

May 19, 2013, 10:02 AM
Post #16 of 63 (4735 views)
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Re: [sundevil777] Why I don't hook up my RSL [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
My memory from threads years ago is that even the old guy with the big beard doesn't like a conventional RSL.

I have great respect for him, his expertise and his innovation, and I use his products; but that's not the same as someone being a perfectly neutral, disinterested source of informed opinion on that particular subject.


airtwardo  (D License)

May 19, 2013, 11:09 AM
Post #17 of 63 (4703 views)
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Re: [Andy9o8] Why I don't hook up my RSL [In reply to] Can't Post

Andy9o8 wrote:
In reply to:
My memory from threads years ago is that even the old guy with the big beard doesn't like a conventional RSL.

I have great respect for him, his expertise and his innovation, and I use his products; but that's not the same as someone being a perfectly neutral, disinterested source of informed opinion on that particular subject.



Yeah...buy a Racer! Tongue


gowlerk  (C 3196)

May 19, 2013, 11:31 AM
Post #18 of 63 (4691 views)
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Re: [sundevil777] Why I don't hook up my RSL [In reply to] Can't Post

Nicely summed up. You and Wendy P both make more sense than many of the people with hard ass inflexible opinions here. Those who would scream that newbies shouldn't be given both sides of the argument are just afraid that they will make a decision they disagree with.

I don't use an RSL myself, but I have and I would again possibly. My only argument is with people who plan to disconnect one during a malfunction. My opinion is that you need to make that decision before you board the aircraft.


crotalus01  (B 28932)

May 19, 2013, 3:03 PM
Post #19 of 63 (4596 views)
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Re: [gowlerk] Why I don't hook up my RSL [In reply to] Can't Post

The main reason mine is disconnected is I do a lot of altitude pulls and CRW. However, now that I no longer have an AAD I am probably going to start hooking it up for freefall jumps.


tkhayes  (D 18764)

May 19, 2013, 3:59 PM
Post #20 of 63 (4564 views)
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Re: [sundevil777] Why I don't hook up my RSL [In reply to] Can't Post

Not using an RSL ranks up there with not wearing seatbelts because of the 1 or 2 scenarios that you can dream up where a seatbelt might not help u in a crash.

Botoom line? RSLs save lives and have. You are far better off with one than without one. period.


sundevil777  (D License)

May 19, 2013, 4:25 PM
Post #21 of 63 (4553 views)
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Re: [tkhayes] Why I don't hook up my RSL [In reply to] Can't Post

That is a lousy analogy.

Aren't we able to understand the issue without comparing it to something else that isn't a valid comparison? Analogies are useful when the issue is hard to understand.


Premier NWFlyer  (D License)

May 19, 2013, 4:40 PM
Post #22 of 63 (4545 views)
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Re: [crotalus01] Why I don't hook up my RSL [In reply to] Can't Post

crotalus01 wrote:
The main reason mine is disconnected is I do a lot of altitude pulls and CRW. However, now that I no longer have an AAD I am probably going to start hooking it up for freefall jumps.

Okay, this logic I don't get. Can you explain why you think that an RSL is a good substitute for an AAD?


BigMark  (D 17505)

May 19, 2013, 5:57 PM
Post #23 of 63 (4500 views)
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Re: [NWFlyer] Why I don't hook up my RSL [In reply to] Can't Post

NWFlyer wrote:
crotalus01 wrote:
The main reason mine is disconnected is I do a lot of altitude pulls and CRW. However, now that I no longer have an AAD I am probably going to start hooking it up for freefall jumps.

Okay, this logic I don't get. Can you explain why you think that an RSL is a good substitute for an AAD?

Most likely he no longer has an AAD so he is hooking up his RSL, pretty sure he would accept a free or heavily discounted AAD.


Premier wmw999  (D 6296)

May 19, 2013, 6:01 PM
Post #24 of 63 (4490 views)
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Re: [BigMark] Why I don't hook up my RSL [In reply to] Can't Post

I think her point is that since the AAD and RSL address entirely different jumper failure modes, the decisions to use them should be independent.

Wendy P.


BigMark  (D 17505)

May 19, 2013, 6:54 PM
Post #25 of 63 (4460 views)
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Re: [wmw999] Why I don't hook up my RSL [In reply to] Can't Post

As seen from someone who has money for an AAD. Tongue


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