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I learned a valuable lesson this weekend..

 

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shoeless_wonder

Dec 1, 2013, 11:52 AM
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I learned a valuable lesson this weekend.. Can't Post

Before I explain what happened, a little background on me; I'm the new guy. I just got released to do my solo/coach jumps on Saturday. My very first jump for AFF, I lost my shoe at 12K feet (Hence my name shoeless_wonder).
Being the new guy, and a naturally curious person in every aspect of life, I try to learn every bit of everything that I can. WELL, this weekend, I learned a lesson I wont forget any time soon.
My first solo jump. I was PUMPED! But I remained calm, on the plane, checked, rechecked, and checked my rig again. Had a coach on the plane check my rig too. All was good. Green light at 13,500ft. Good spot. Good exit. I decided to do some front loops and back loops, than track for a bit. The first back loop went smoothly, check alt.-12,000ft. first front loop, a little delay on the back, and not a clean front loop, but it was successful.
As soon as I got stable from the front loop, my canopy opened. My first thought was that I blacked out and my AAD went off. I instinctively looked down to check my position and realized I was FAR from 1k ft. I checked my altitude...My chute opened at 10,000ft!!! I thought that maybe somebody saw me "tumbling" (aka: my messy front loop) and pulled for me since everybody on the plane knew it was my first solo. But I dismissed that idea because I figured they would let me work it out for a little bit longer-at least till 6k.
After what seemed like hours under canopy, I landed and had a talk with some friends... They said it was probably caused by the pilot chute coming loose during my front and back loops. I learned a valuable lesson that day: If I am going to be doing that kind of stuff, I should have a rig designed for that, and not one made predominately for belly down.

On the flip side, I got a ton of canopy time. And the view was spectacular.

P.S. THANKFULLY, I only owe 1 case of beer since it happened on my first solo.


Premier NWFlyer  (D 29960)

Dec 1, 2013, 12:05 PM
Post #2 of 32 (4629 views)
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Re: [shoeless_wonder] I learned a valuable lesson this weekend.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Hopefully you not only talked to some friends but also to some instructors/riggers at the dropzone. They can give you a full explanation/demonstration about what might have happened, and can also see if there's anything that needs to be adjusted/fixed on the rig.


shoeless_wonder

Dec 1, 2013, 12:20 PM
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Re: [NWFlyer] I learned a valuable lesson this weekend.. [In reply to] Can't Post

I have not really had an in depth conversation with a rigger/instructor yet. I went to dinner right after I landed. But I am planning on having a talk with them next weekend when I go back. Unfortunately there is no video of it happened, would be interesting to see exactly what caused it.


Premier NWFlyer  (D 29960)

Dec 1, 2013, 12:22 PM
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Re: [shoeless_wonder] I learned a valuable lesson this weekend.. [In reply to] Can't Post

shoeless_wonder wrote:
I have not really had an in depth conversation with a rigger/instructor yet. I went to dinner right after I landed. But I am planning on having a talk with them next weekend when I go back. Unfortunately there is no video of it happened, would be interesting to see exactly what caused it.

I'd recommend giving a call before then - I say this only because if there is something that needs to be fixed on the rig you jumped, they should pull it out of service till they do that. If no one at the DZ knows to take a closer look at it, could happen to someone else. (There may very well be nothing wrong with it, but it'd be prudent to take a closer look).


shoeless_wonder

Dec 1, 2013, 12:36 PM
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Re: [NWFlyer] I learned a valuable lesson this weekend.. [In reply to] Can't Post

NWFlyer wrote:
shoeless_wonder wrote:
I have not really had an in depth conversation with a rigger/instructor yet. I went to dinner right after I landed. But I am planning on having a talk with them next weekend when I go back. Unfortunately there is no video of it happened, would be interesting to see exactly what caused it.

I'd recommend giving a call before then - I say this only because if there is something that needs to be fixed on the rig you jumped, they should pull it out of service till they do that. If no one at the DZ knows to take a closer look at it, could happen to someone else. (There may very well be nothing wrong with it, but it'd be prudent to take a closer look).

Will do. Thanks for the words of wisdom. Like I said, Im the new guy right now, and Im always looking for more advice.


Southern_Man  (C License)

Dec 1, 2013, 12:58 PM
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Re: [shoeless_wonder] I learned a valuable lesson this weekend.. [In reply to] Can't Post

What kind of rig did you have?

Do you have any idea what might have caused the premature?


Did you have good knowledge of what the upper winds were like, so that when you deployed high you had some idea which way to face?


shoeless_wonder

Dec 1, 2013, 2:27 PM
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Re: [Southern_Man] I learned a valuable lesson this weekend.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Southern_Man wrote:
What kind of rig did you have?

Do you have any idea what might have caused the premature?


Did you have good knowledge of what the upper winds were like, so that when you deployed high you had some idea which way to face?

-It was a dolphin.
-My best bet is that it was my semi chaotic controlled tumbling (that is what I am going to refer to my aerobatics as) that caused the pilot to come out.
-Yes, I knew what the winds were like, I had already jumped shortly before that one.

All-in-all, I look at it like a learning experience and an opportunity to get a good amount of time under canopy. Im a little bummed out that I didnt get to complete the jump the way I wanted to, but I didnt get hurt and that is what matters most in the end. And like I said, it was one heck of a view. Cool


mattjw916  (D License)

Dec 1, 2013, 2:32 PM
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Re: [Southern_Man] I learned a valuable lesson this weekend.. [In reply to] Can't Post

take your pick, he already said he didn't know and there wasn't video:

PC not adequately pushed into BOC, worn out spandex on BOC pouch, too long closing loop, exposed bridle caught air, horseshoe, main pulled PC out on inflation, etc, etc, any or all of the above...

some student and/or rental gear I've seen over the years is in a pretty sorry state for anything other than flat flying so plan accordingly...

remember, especially if you aren't doing clean/controlled loops, your fall rate is going to increase substantially and basically you're now "freeflying" albeit in an uncontrolled manner... so you need "freefly friendly" gear that is well maintained or, as you just experienced, you can have a premature deployment which can break you, kill you, or just result in a good story for the bonfire... luckily you experienced the latter instead of the former...


shoeless_wonder

Dec 1, 2013, 2:46 PM
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Re: [mattjw916] I learned a valuable lesson this weekend.. [In reply to] Can't Post

mattjw916 wrote:
take your pick, he already said he didn't know and there wasn't video:

PC not adequately pushed into BOC, worn out spandex on BOC pouch, too long closing loop, exposed bridle caught air, horseshoe, main pulled PC out on inflation, etc, etc, any or all of the above...

some student and/or rental gear I've seen over the years is in a pretty sorry state for anything other than flat flying so plan accordingly...

remember, especially if you aren't doing clean/controlled loops, your fall rate is going to increase substantially and basically you're now "freeflying" albeit in an uncontrolled manner... so you need "freefly friendly" gear that is well maintained or, as you just experienced, you can have a premature deployment which can break you, kill you, or just result in a good story for the bonfire... luckily you experienced the latter instead of the former...

I am very thankful that it happened after I got into my stable belly down position. I can only imagine how bad it would have been if I was in an awkward position. I was also told the same thing afterwards-if I am going to be dicking around in the sky and not doing just belly down the entire time, I need to have freefly friendly gear. It was an experience that I am glad to have, but even more glad that it wasnt worse.


councilman24  (D 8631)

Dec 1, 2013, 9:26 PM
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Re: [shoeless_wonder] I learned a valuable lesson this weekend.. [In reply to] Can't Post

The fact that was a dolphin is NOT the reason your main deployed early. Any rig should be fine with unstable flailing. The one thing would be if this was a leg strap throw out. I very much doubt that it was, or that you even know what that is. Why do you think this rig wasn't feefly friendly? And what you were doing is not freeflying.

It was either poor maintenance or User error in packing (which includes the PC) .

You needed to go over this rig with a rigged or the owner (assuming it was a rental). Not throw it on the pile and go to supper. If there is an issue it may happen to you or someone else again.


JasonYergin  (C 40641)

Dec 1, 2013, 9:37 PM
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Re: [councilman24] I learned a valuable lesson this weekend.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Hopefully there was no issue with the rig and it was just a lack of good handle awareness. It certainly wouldn't be the first time someone pried something loose in the plane.

Still you should inform the DZ. And the next time you open that high have someone with you because high pulls are way more fun that way Wink


potatoman  (Student)

Dec 2, 2013, 5:14 AM
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Re: [shoeless_wonder] I learned a valuable lesson this weekend.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Whoever taught you to touch your pc while doing a front loop......Pirate

Glad you are ok.

I would suggest you talk and look at some of the freeflyer rigs, and how they close them etc. You will learn a lot.


shoeless_wonder

Dec 2, 2013, 5:49 AM
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Re: [potatoman] I learned a valuable lesson this weekend.. [In reply to] Can't Post

councilman24 -I've come to the conclusion that it was nothing more than dumb luck and carelessness on my part that caused the PC to deploy. I will bring it up to the riggers though, have them inspect it just in case.
I've learned my lesson, and am better because of it.

JasonYergin-Yeah, would have been a bit nicer to have some company.

potatoman-I'm doing a lot more research than I had been. On different rigs rather than just techniques and cool gear.


Di0  (C 42151)

Dec 2, 2013, 6:28 AM
Post #14 of 32 (3730 views)
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Re: [shoeless_wonder] I learned a valuable lesson this weekend.. [In reply to] Can't Post

shoeless_wonder wrote:
councilman24 -I've come to the conclusion that it was nothing more than dumb luck and carelessness on my part that caused the PC to deploy. I will bring it up to the riggers though, have them inspect it just in case.
You don't know until a rigger or an expert skydiver inspects it. Did you care to look at the Spandex BOC after landing? If the flaps give enough protection to the bridle? If the PC handle is not coming out too lose? etc. etc.
True, student rigs are not "freefly" friendly but you weren't freeflying. You were doing barrel-rolls and loops. Those, are not freefly. Although they do change attitude from belly-down flying, they should be safe on ANY student rig. Otherwise why would they ask you to do them during your AFF dives? Because they are trying to figure out if the rig will have a premature or hold together? Ask the rigger to see that rig ASAP, just for your peace of mind.
And as somebody else mentioned, always "touch your handles in the order you would use them" prior to exit. All those annoying things your instructors asked you to do during AFF, those weren't to bother you during the plane ride, ideally you should continue doing them yourself now that they are not there to ask. YMVK.
:)


(This post was edited by Di0 on Dec 2, 2013, 6:31 AM)


potatoman  (Student)

Dec 2, 2013, 8:09 AM
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Re: [Di0] I learned a valuable lesson this weekend.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Di0,

seriously love your signature.

"My body screams release me"


Di0  (C 42151)

Dec 2, 2013, 8:51 AM
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Re: [potatoman] I learned a valuable lesson this weekend.. [In reply to] Can't Post

It has a background behind it.
Of course, it is From Wings Came Flight:
http://youtu.be/Xl6dNx1Lp3s

But more specifically, it is the video one of my AFF-Is showed me a few months ago, after failing my AFF Level 2 for the 4th time in a row ( Unsure ), trying to get me over the nervousness/anxiety/whatever was messing with me and making me too nervous to do anything the second they released me. It worked quite well, I'd say, I've been in love with that song ever since. Blush
Three months later, I run around the DZs tying to get people together to do 4ways RW jumps with me and instructors or very experience jumpers I fun jump with will compliment my "heads-up" during jumps when something doesn't go as planned. This is rewarding beyond words.


FlyingRhenquest  (B 37920)

Dec 2, 2013, 9:44 PM
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Re: [shoeless_wonder] I learned a valuable lesson this weekend.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Did you pack it yourself or was it packing staff? And was it your own rig or a DZ rental?

If you packed it yourself, my suspicion would be that the pilot chute wasn't seated properly or the bridle wasn't tucked into the rig correctly. Maybe go over that part of the packing process with a packer and make sure you're doing it correctly.

If it was a DZ rig or DZ packer packed it (or both) maybe have a rigger check the rig over to make sure it's all good. Log and discuss malfunctions, especially with rental gear.

Could just be it came lose somehow too. In general, always protect your handles and make sure everything's secure before leaving the plane. It's easy enough to get snagged on something on your way to the door.

Pulling high's kind of fun when you intend to. I was doing at least one 12K hop and pop a week over the summer. I'm going to miss that until the spring, since it's really too cold to do them now. Just make sure to clear it with mainfest ahead of time, if you ever decide to give it a try.


Premier onelawndart  (No License)

Dec 2, 2013, 9:55 PM
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Re: [shoeless_wonder] I learned a valuable lesson this weekend.. [In reply to] Can't Post

shoeless_wonder wrote:

P.S. THANKFULLY, I only owe 1 case of beer since it happened on my first solo.

In reply to:
two firsts... two cases...Mad


CSpenceFLY  (D 25252)

Dec 3, 2013, 7:26 AM
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Re: [NWFlyer] I learned a valuable lesson this weekend.. [In reply to] Can't Post

NWFlyer wrote:
shoeless_wonder wrote:
I have not really had an in depth conversation with a rigger/instructor yet. I went to dinner right after I landed. But I am planning on having a talk with them next weekend when I go back. Unfortunately there is no video of it happened, would be interesting to see exactly what caused it.

I'd recommend giving a call before then - I say this only because if there is something that needs to be fixed on the rig you jumped, they should pull it out of service till they do that. If no one at the DZ knows to take a closer look at it, could happen to someone else. (There may very well be nothing wrong with it, but it'd be prudent to take a closer look).

Sad state of affairs for a first time solo to have a premature and no one from the dz knew about it??


ufk22  (D 16168)

Dec 3, 2013, 8:55 AM
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Re: [shoeless_wonder] I learned a valuable lesson this weekend.. [In reply to] Can't Post

shoeless_wonder wrote:
I have not really had an in depth conversation with a rigger/instructor yet. I went to dinner right after I landed. But I am planning on having a talk with them next weekend when I go back. Unfortunately there is no video of it happened, would be interesting to see exactly what caused it.
You had a potentially serious gear malfunction, no one aparently saw it, and you went to dinner rather than discussing this with an instructor at the DZ and are now looking to the internet for advise.
WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?
I would ground you for a month just based on how you handled this (nothing to do with the "why it happened", just the "what you did after").
And if going to dinner really is a higher priority for you than dealing with this, OSB.
And if you really think the lesson you should learn from this is about free-fly friendly gear........


(This post was edited by ufk22 on Dec 3, 2013, 8:59 AM)


shoeless_wonder

Dec 3, 2013, 10:14 AM
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Re: [ufk22] I learned a valuable lesson this weekend.. [In reply to] Can't Post

It was brought to the riggers attention when I dropped it off to have it repacked-Im sorry I didnt mention that, I forgot I had said something to them. (I have memory issues because of certain incidents in the Army, I have a hard time remembering certain things). I didnt mean to get people all worked up. I didnt just drop it and leave, several people knew what happened including instructors and the rigger.

Again, sorry about my damn memory issues, I feel pretty stupid, I should have definitely remembered that I said something to them. Unsure


BASE469  (D 14328)

Dec 3, 2013, 10:32 AM
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Re: [CSpenceFLY] I learned a valuable lesson this weekend.. [In reply to] Can't Post

The dropzone, or rather the school, is quite aware of this event. It will be addressed.


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Dec 6, 2013, 7:14 PM
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Re: [shoeless_wonder] I learned a valuable lesson this weekend.. [In reply to] Can't Post

shoeless_wonder wrote:
It was brought to the riggers attention when I dropped it off to have it repacked-Im sorry I didnt mention that, I forgot I had said something to them. (I have memory issues because of certain incidents in the Army, I have a hard time remembering certain things). ...Unsure

..........................................................................

Dropit off ... with a note ... because some riggers cannot remember $#!* Monday morning.

My pet peeve was the rigs that arrived at Rigging Innovations with no notes ... then the owner would phone three weeks later demanding to know where his $#@! rig was! I often replied "Was that the blue Talon or the red Flexon or the orange Telesis ... 'cus they all arrived without repair instructions?
Hah!
Hah!

This old rigger has a letter - from Veterans' Affairs - saying that he suffers from PTSD ..:. do we dare ask what sort of head injury you suffered?


shoeless_wonder

Dec 7, 2013, 5:56 PM
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Re: [riggerrob] I learned a valuable lesson this weekend.. [In reply to] Can't Post

riggerrob wrote:
shoeless_wonder wrote:
It was brought to the riggers attention when I dropped it off to have it repacked-Im sorry I didnt mention that, I forgot I had said something to them. (I have memory issues because of certain incidents in the Army, I have a hard time remembering certain things). ...Unsure

..........................................................................

Dropit off ... with a note ... because some riggers cannot remember $#!* Monday morning.

My pet peeve was the rigs that arrived at Rigging Innovations with no notes ... then the owner would phone three weeks later demanding to know where his $#@! rig was! I often replied "Was that the blue Talon or the red Flexon or the orange Telesis ... 'cus they all arrived without repair instructions?
Hah!
Hah!

This old rigger has a letter - from Veterans' Affairs - saying that he suffers from PTSD ..:. do we dare ask what sort of head injury you suffered?

Along with other incidents, my truck was hit with an rpg. Helmets only help so much.


lyosha  (A License)

Dec 8, 2013, 4:19 PM
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Re: [shoeless_wonder] I learned a valuable lesson this weekend.. [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know how things are at your dropzone, at the one that I just got an A license at, the students are very duly warned that the student gear is absolutely NOT freefly friendly. Furthermore, we are taught to examine our gear prior to putting it on (and re-routing the bridle as part of that check just to be sure that it's routed securely and properly), as well as to check the gear on the other students around you.

If I had to guess what happened I'd guess that your pilot chute dislodged somewhat out of the BOC, or wasn't secure in the first place. I've seen it a bunch of times - students getting on a plane or getting ready to exit with an inch or two of PC hanging out. Either someone didn't check to make sure before putting the rig on, or they sat down and the hackey gets caught on the bench and pulls a little out. Happens.

This is what I do, feel free to think it's excessive or to borrow:

Before every jump, check AAD to make sure it's on and no error messages. Check rings. Jiggle cutaway cables to make sure they move freely. Undo bridle, and then re-do it.

When in plane, touch each handle once at 6k in the order you would use them (make sure they're still there!), and at 1k before jumping. Feel the hackey and make sure it's still on the edge of the spandex and that the pilot chute isn't hanging out (ask someone to adjust you if it is, then check again). Check your riser covers (on student gear these like to undo themselves). If feeling cheeky, ask someone on the plane to take a look at your pins and AAD (I've heard stories of a student's AAD turning off on the plane ride up.)

Seems like a lot of things to check, but takes 10-20 seconds really. And it might save you a hard opening or even your life. For me it's now a ritual.


(This post was edited by lyosha on Dec 8, 2013, 4:22 PM)


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