Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
Brushing against the airplane frame !!#@@##

 


erdnarob  (D 364)

Aug 27, 2014, 1:34 PM
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Brushing against the airplane frame !!#@@## Can't Post

 At my DZ, recently, a friend of mine made a group jump involving a quite unusual problem which fortunately had a happy ending. The airplane is a Caravan with a plexiglas door. When he took the front floater position outside the airplane standing on the step, he had to move slightly toward the center of the door. It seems that move was the cause of the floating ripcord caught by the outside door hinge protruding by ". The reserve D handle was caught by this hinge when he was brushing against the outside frame of the airplane. The jumper said he had checked his ripcord handle several times before the jump and found it well seated in the pocket. In freefall another jumper noticed the problem and tried to catch his attention as seen on the picture. The jumper with the problem couldn't understand what was going on only to find out after opening.
Brushing inside or outside the airplane is responsible for many problems like, closing pins moving, flaps getting open or in this case, ripcord extracted from the pocket.
Again I come back to what happened in Germany several years ago, in a similar set up a jumper on the step outside the airplane brushed his equipment against the airplane frame when the reserve ripcord ball ending was caught in a little slot seemingly located on the vertical edge of the door. At the go, the reserve deployed and got entangled with the airplane horizontal stabilizer. A hell of a scenario.

The use of Spectra ripcord with a bungee inside makes a floating ripcord impossible like the one of the picture.

Any idea to prevent this kind of problem ?
Attachments: Floating Ripcord - copie.jpg (491 KB)


obelixtim  (D 84)

Aug 27, 2014, 1:41 PM
Post #2 of 13 (3807 views)
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Re: [erdnarob] Brushing against the airplane frame !!#@@## [In reply to] Can't Post

  
Swing out from the airframe as you take up your position, so you don't brush up against the airframe.

Tape up, or better still if possible, get the protruding hinge taken off when preparing the plane for jumping. If the plane is used exclusively for jumping and has a plexiglass door anyway, the door hinge is pretty much redundant.


(This post was edited by obelixtim on Aug 27, 2014, 1:54 PM)


Skydivesg  (D 10938)

Aug 27, 2014, 9:18 PM
Post #3 of 13 (3426 views)
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Re: [erdnarob] Brushing against the airplane frame !!#@@## [In reply to] Can't Post

This is not a new or unique problem. I watched someone on one of my jumps get a reserve open as he left the plane. Early 90's.

Even after watching the video, we could not figure out what happened and he assumed the ripcord was lost until someone on the next load called our attention to it hanging from the door frame.

The ball swage on the end of the ripcord had somehow worked it's way inside a hole for a screw (during climb out). The hole was there because the owner took off the hinge to the door in a valiant effort to remove the snag hazard.

It took us almost 10 minutes to work the ball (with ripcord) out of the hole.

At the end of the day we tried to put the ball swage back in the hole and for almost an hour and 20 people trying - we could not make it go in the hole. (yeah I know - that's what she said)

I really do love my soft reserve handle and spectra ripcord with a larks head attachment and NO ball swage.


potatoman  (Student)

Aug 28, 2014, 4:50 AM
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Re: [erdnarob] Brushing against the airplane frame !!#@@## [In reply to] Can't Post

Wonder if a loose handle like that might pull the reserve on opening force....

The use of spectra with bungee cord...Seems like a valid option, yet, also introduces other issues. (Which I am not familiar with, but you know what they say)


DiverMike  (C 40024)

Aug 28, 2014, 10:50 AM
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Re: [potatoman] Brushing against the airplane frame !!#@@## [In reply to] Can't Post

This brings up an interesting point. Does anyone know of a hand signal that indicates you have a loose handle? It is a rare occurrence, but extremely important to communicate when it happens (especially in freefall).

Maybe it could be something as simple as closing/opening your fist to indicate "check your handle".


Premier NWFlyer  (D License)

Aug 28, 2014, 11:00 AM
Post #6 of 13 (2914 views)
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Re: [DiverMike] Brushing against the airplane frame !!#@@## [In reply to] Can't Post

DiverMike wrote:
This brings up an interesting point. Does anyone know of a hand signal that indicates you have a loose handle? It is a rare occurrence, but extremely important to communicate when it happens (especially in freefall).

Maybe it could be something as simple as closing/opening your fist to indicate "check your handle".

I'd back off a hair (trying to indicate that I want to stop the planned skydive), and probably do something like point to my own handle then point at them to indicate they should check theirs.


audet40

Aug 28, 2014, 11:54 AM
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Re: [NWFlyer] Brushing against the airplane frame !!#@@## [In reply to] Can't Post

Ok, since Im the person involved here (yes it is me in the picture) I take the liberty to join in the conversation. There is nothing either I or my jumper friend could have done up to this point, cause we simply had no clue this was happening. He found out just then, as I was presenting my left side to him. According to discussions we had with others after, what he did was the right thing to do: point to his own handle and point to mine. The problem is, as he was noticing my handle dangling, my audible sounded the break off point. So I waved off and prepared turning to track away. I didnt see him point to his handle. I only saw him point to me or in the direction I was about to go. So my first reaction was, either hes telling me where to go (which I thought was strange cause in the many jumps weve done together hes never done that) or hes telling me to look out for something in my line of flight. I couldnt see anything. If my ditter hadnt sounded yet, I probably would have figured it out.
To answer the initial question: how can we prevent that? When you move on the step, just be aware not to have your torso/belly right against the plane. Our plane fit up is good. There is a rounded PVC frame on the outside frame, with nothing protruding that can catch on. I was just too close to it when I moved back toward the center, and the angle of my handle was just perfect to displace itself out of its velcro pocket. A fabric handle would have been fine in this particular situation.


cgriff

Aug 29, 2014, 6:34 AM
Post #8 of 13 (2531 views)
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Re: [DiverMike] Brushing against the airplane frame !!#@@## [In reply to] Can't Post

DiverMike wrote:
This brings up an interesting point. Does anyone know of a hand signal that indicates you have a loose handle? It is a rare occurrence, but extremely important to communicate when it happens (especially in freefall).

Maybe it could be something as simple as closing/opening your fist to indicate "check your handle".

Never heard of one, but I like that suggestion!


DiverMike  (C 40024)

Aug 29, 2014, 7:16 AM
Post #9 of 13 (2501 views)
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Re: [NWFlyer] Brushing against the airplane frame !!#@@## [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
point at them to indicate they should check theirs

Technically, we are all taught if you point at them, you are telling them to "pull now". I think most skydivers would correctly take it in context and check their handle, but some might not and immediately pull.

No question pointing at your own handle is currently the best way to pantomime the problem.

It would be nice if the USPA or other global governing agency would recommend a hand signal for a floating handle. Does anybody on the Safety Committee hang out in DZ.com who could respond?


darklow  (D License)

Sep 4, 2014, 8:49 AM
Post #10 of 13 (1883 views)
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Re: [erdnarob] Brushing against the airplane frame !!#@@## [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't have any advise other that is never too much to check your handles again. Especially if you bend or brush against someone more than any regular jump, or this is some special event jump which in some way differs from regular jump.

Even though i do toggle check before every jump and not just once, even then such thing can happen and here is the evidence.

In normal conditions my reserve toggle is very hard, tried it on the ground and experienced on two cutaways. And by some strange reason, in some strange bending position and by accidental help of my hand/suit, cutaway handle just slipped out! Tried to repeat what happened on the plane later on the ground and couldn't.

This was special event jump with special costumes and additional smoke.

Look after each other and be safe! This time i got lucky - my friend noticed release is out, before i jumped.

Here is the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sO56xSmy3zo


obelixtim  (D 84)

Sep 4, 2014, 2:45 PM
Post #11 of 13 (1680 views)
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Re: [darklow] Brushing against the airplane frame !!#@@## [In reply to] Can't Post

 You must have burnt up a lot of altitude before exit. That stack took ages.


Cambalectri

Sep 5, 2014, 6:38 PM
Post #12 of 13 (1397 views)
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Re: [audet40] Brushing against the airplane frame !!#@@## [In reply to] Can't Post

Since I am also a friend of audet40, I asked him if we could try to replicate this peculiar and unusual circumstance,
with the Caravan PVC strip which is outside the door frame !
( naturally, on the ground ! )
His reserve metal handle had to be at an exact angle from his body to the PVC strip, to be dislodged from the velcro pocket !
I also saw the video from one of the skydivers still inside the aircraft and it was quite a sight, when we saw the metal handle and part of the cable, back inside the door of the Caravan !

Possibly, if the metal reserve handle had caught on the door hinge, as assumed earlier, metal cable or spectra/bungee cable, the result would have been the same, surely a reserve ride at 14000 feet.
And, hoping for the best !

However, this may not be possible to replicate on the ground!

How to avoid this kind of incident !
Bent away from the aircraft door frame or the aircraft body !
Also, a fabric reserve handle may have helped in this particular situation, it may have only flipped, turned on itself, to the left !
This year, I have a fabric reserve handle.
In the past, I always had a metal D-handle, thinking it was
faster to grip, even with the thumb and as easy with the left or the right hand, especially should your left arm be incapacitated in freefall !

I practiced often, to remove my fabric reserve handle, from the velcro strip, with my left and also with my right hand.
However, it is not as fast with my right hand !

What is the best, a metal reserve D-handle or a fabric reserve handle, I do not know the answer....I assume
it would be a personal choice or your own personal evolution with the sport ....
Lastly, with a metal reserve D-handle you can see the entire unit; with the fabric handle, it's partly an act of faith...
Attachments: Caravan.jpg (88.0 KB)


erdnarob  (D 364)

Sep 11, 2014, 1:46 PM
Post #13 of 13 (509 views)
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Re: [potatoman] Brushing against the airplane frame !!#@@## [In reply to] Can't Post

What my thread picture is showing ? : a floating ripcord. One shouldn't make the confusion between a floating rip cord and a handle out of its pocket. Concerning the rig used on the thread picture, the floating rip cord was almost not avoidable with a handle out of the pocket.
OTOH, using a Spectra ripcord will reduce the risk of a floating ripcord since due to the bungee inside, its extension requires 3 lbs which is enough to keep the ripcord against the pocket as seen on the picture. I do believe the Spectra ripcord gives some other extra advantages by being able to easily check the bartack at the handle and near the pin and knowing that Spectra line is a 1000 lbs proof.
Now the D handle has proven being safe for the last 50 years+. The fact that we can put the thumb inside (and we should if we use it) makes a slippage impossible at a moment the time is vital. I have had personally a total of 6 malfuctions including two totals. Not a single problem and as a result a fast reserve deployment above me. And yes, I was in freefall, not on the ground.
I think everybody agree that in this thread we have a very rare occurrence. No equipment is perfect.
I would recommend people to do cut away and ripcord pull practice in a suspended harness at the beginning of each skydiving season. After all military people do simulation on a mockup to improve their efficiency in an actual operation. We are able to do the same to improve our survival.
Attachments: SPECTRA RC7.jpg (118 KB)



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