Forums: Skydiving: General Skydiving Discussions:
Skyhooks/MARDs

 


StoppieJoe  (Student)

Nov 20, 2017, 7:50 PM
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Skyhooks/MARDs Can't Post

Recently watched a fatality that I and quite a few others believe a skyhook would have prevented.... So my question is this: What reasons, if any, would a jumper choose not to have a MARD? This is a question regarding ALL disciplines: Video, WS, RW, freefliers ect. I dont care. Just curious as to what potential issues a MARD could cause and why it would be worth it to not have one....


tsf

Nov 20, 2017, 8:08 PM
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Re: [StoppieJoe] Skyhooks/MARDs [In reply to] Can't Post

There is a decent population of skydivers that believes spinning cutaways using MARDs (or even just RSLs) leads to line twists on reserves. These people sometimes vocalize that they prefer to get stable after chopping & manually deploy their reserve instead of using a MARD/RSL, while others are fine with just an RSL. Some of these people also jump high performance canopies, where a spinning malfunction cutaway is purported to have an even higher likelihood of resulting in reserve line twists if chopped with a MARD.

A MARD is also an added complexity in the reserve deployment system, and some people place particular value on keeping things simple when it comes to safety. Note that Skyhooks aren't perfect, and there have been instances where the Skyhook never engaged.

It is also worth noting that not every container has a MARD available, and people choose their specific container for a variety of reasons.

And for full disclosure, I prefer a MARD over no MARD if given the option.


(This post was edited by tsf on Nov 20, 2017, 8:10 PM)


pchapman  (D 1014)

Nov 20, 2017, 8:14 PM
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Re: [StoppieJoe] Skyhooks/MARDs [In reply to] Can't Post

The main reason is that you don't want to buy a whole new rig to get one.

(Edit: Many existing rigs without one, can't have it retrofitted. A small proportion can.)

If you are buying a brand new rig, then it is an easy choice to have it included, since most but not all brands have them available, and at a reasonable price.

That's the 'general' reason why one might not choose to have a MARD. As for specific jumps and disciplines, that's another matter.


(This post was edited by pchapman on Nov 20, 2017, 8:15 PM)


StoppieJoe  (Student)

Nov 20, 2017, 8:25 PM
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Re: [tsf] Skyhooks/MARDs [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for your insight. My response to that line of thought is this (Im not attacking you at all, I know you prefer mards):

Per the test videos from UPT, there is absolutely no time/too much drag on the system for an entanglement with your reserve bridle when chopping a spinning mal on your back with a properly working skyhook. So in an aggressive spin getting lower and lower, IMO it be better to have line twists on a reserve over riding a reserve PC in due to entanglement or wrap ups from tumbling away from a spinning mal... Because lets face it: after a super hard opening shock and g forces that could potentially cause a blackout from the spin on top of being on your back, are you really going to be able to (or even have time to) get stable again from almost dead air before you pull your handle? I would also like to add that in high stress situations, people revert back to the EPs they have drilled, so most people probably wouldn't attempt to get stable anyway(paraphrasing Brian Germain on that line). Especially from pulling at 2500 or 3k as a lot of people do.

I just dont see that argument being extremely valid.


(This post was edited by StoppieJoe on Nov 20, 2017, 8:29 PM)


DHemer  (D License)

Nov 20, 2017, 9:07 PM
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Re: [StoppieJoe] Skyhooks/MARDs [In reply to] Can't Post

I jump an RSL on all my jumps. I do not have a MARD on my rig, if I did i would use it the same.

I agree i don't see why people are scared of reserve line twists.I suspect it comes from people who are used to chopping their mains because of line twists.

The important thing is to do all you can to avoid being in a situation where you might be cutting away at a low altitude. Hard decks exist for a reason. If you are low enough that only a MARD would get the reserve out in time you should not be cutting away. That's my opinion.


StoppieJoe  (Student)

Nov 20, 2017, 9:21 PM
Post #6 of 25 (5484 views)
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Re: [DHemer] Skyhooks/MARDs [In reply to] Can't Post

My biggest fear at the moment (because this is what I watched happen) is even on a high or appropriate altitude cutaway, the possibility of getting wrapped up in a reserve bridle from an aggressive spin on your back and that not allowing the reserve to come out of the freebag. Obviously altitude is always your friend and time to work problems can help....but in that situation, I dont see much else you can do in a total body wrap up. All the research and conversations I have had shows that a properly working MARD would not allow the time or rotation to tumble into your bridle to cause entanglement.... At least that's what my logic tells me. Is there anything that I am missing? Are the line twist arguments all there is to it or? I just cant wrap my head around actively choosing not to have a MARD.


Deimian

Nov 21, 2017, 1:22 AM
Post #7 of 25 (5361 views)
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Re: [StoppieJoe] Skyhooks/MARDs [In reply to] Can't Post

StoppieJoe wrote:
My biggest fear at the moment (because this is what I watched happen) is even on a high or appropriate altitude cutaway, the possibility of getting wrapped up in a reserve bridle from an aggressive spin on your back and that not allowing the reserve to come out of the freebag. Obviously altitude is always your friend and time to work problems can help....but in that situation, I dont see much else you can do in a total body wrap up. All the research and conversations I have had shows that a properly working MARD would not allow the time or rotation to tumble into your bridle to cause entanglement.... At least that's what my logic tells me. Is there anything that I am missing? Are the line twist arguments all there is to it or? I just cant wrap my head around actively choosing not to have a MARD.

IMO normal jumpers actively choosing not to jump a MARD do it due to poor risk assessment skills (they see possible line twists on a reserve, instead of noticing that they do have a reserve deployed almost instantly), overconfidence/ego ("I'll never be in a situation where a MARD would make a difference, I am not that stupid"), lack of gear understanding and price (gotta get whatever is available 2nd hand).

I personally just see it justifiable in CRW and dedicated swooping. And in some cases when the jumper is carrying big and heavy camera equipment on their head.


billbooth  (D 3546)

Nov 21, 2017, 5:54 AM
Post #8 of 25 (5134 views)
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Re: [tsf] Skyhooks/MARDs [In reply to] Can't Post

I've said it before, but I'll say it again. After watching hundreds of videos of people cutting away from spinning malfunctions with Skyhooks, I firmly believe that the chance of reserve line twists is lessened with a Skyhook because of the speed of the reserve deployment.

Line twists happen all the time on mains, and they (of course) are deployed without MARDS. "Getting stable" after a cutaway from a badly spinning main can take many hundreds of feet. While it is very unlikely that line twists on a reserve after a Skyhook deployment will kill you. It IS highly likely that hitting the ground without a fully opened reserve will.


countzero  (D 32712)

Nov 21, 2017, 6:07 AM
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Re: [StoppieJoe] Skyhooks/MARDs [In reply to] Can't Post

I exclusively do CRW and do not jump any type of RSL.

Reason- To avoid firing the reserve pilot chute into another dawgs good canopy it is safer to fall away before pulling silver after cutting away from a wrap.

Additionally- I don't jump a tiny rig with an overstuffed reserve compartment and I deploy 2 seconds out the door giving me a lot of time/ altitude to deal with an opening malfunction.


Unstable  (D 28930)

Nov 21, 2017, 6:12 AM
Post #10 of 25 (5102 views)
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Re: [StoppieJoe] Skyhooks/MARDs [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Recently watched a fatality that I and quite a few others believe a skyhook would have prevented...

Can we get a little more background? Was this individual wearing an RSL at all? What was the cutaway altitude?


StoppieJoe  (Student)

Nov 21, 2017, 3:16 PM
Post #11 of 25 (4773 views)
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Re: [Unstable] Skyhooks/MARDs [In reply to] Can't Post

No rsl, about 10-13 seconds from cutaway to impact. Individual had a known habit of pitching low. I don't know any other for sure facts about altitude on that incident. For a full account of what I saw, refer to the skydive pepperell fatality in the incidents forum.


StoppieJoe  (Student)

Nov 21, 2017, 3:17 PM
Post #12 of 25 (4761 views)
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Re: [countzero] Skyhooks/MARDs [In reply to] Can't Post

In the CRW argument I can see a valid reason. And that is a shit ton of altitude.... so yeah I guess.


Unstable  (D 28930)

Nov 21, 2017, 3:45 PM
Post #13 of 25 (4719 views)
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Re: [StoppieJoe] Skyhooks/MARDs [In reply to] Can't Post

OK, thank you.

Quote:
No rsl, about 10-13 seconds from cutaway to impact.

So, an RSL would have made a major difference in this case as well.


danornan  (D 11308)

Nov 21, 2017, 4:41 PM
Post #14 of 25 (4670 views)
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Re: [StoppieJoe] Skyhooks/MARDs [In reply to] Can't Post

Most of the replies in this forum are anecdotal and mine is that I prefer an RSL, along with an AAD. Both for different reasons. Bills reply is based upon years of research and that to me is the one that is most valid. I have used an RSL and my last cutaway way was with a Skyhook. Many on the ground said that the Skyhook saved my life. I prefer to go with the odds and not gamble.


(This post was edited by danornan on Nov 21, 2017, 4:42 PM)


Premier faulknerwn  (D 17441)
Moderator
Nov 21, 2017, 6:19 PM
Post #15 of 25 (4603 views)
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Re: [StoppieJoe] Skyhooks/MARDs [In reply to] Can't Post

Well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAw-fWkATLw reserve line twists - especially on highly loaded reserves - are not always so easy to deal with. A quick youtube search showed lots of videos of sketchy stuff. I remember seeing one on a spinning Optimum with lots of line twists that the guy barely got out of before the ground.

Beyond that, I would bet that 2/3 of rigs being actively jumped in the field were made before their respective manufacturers even offered a MARD. Not everyone can afford brand new gear and good gear can easily last for 20 years or more.

I jump Racers which open pretty much as fast as MARDS - they open quick. I have had 20+ malfunctions over the years - the lowest I was ever open under a reserve was 1500 feet and that was 20 years ago when standard pull altitude was 2000 feet. My last few I was under reserve by 2500-3000 feet. But I have also never been one to fight malfunctions. If I have spinning line twists I chop - I don't waste time trying to fix it - when in doubt whip it out. I think too many people waste too much time screwing around trying to fix an unfixable problem.

Get a rig with handles that are easy to grab and that don't rotate behind your back or fold under so that you have problems finding them. Practice your emergency procedures all the time.. Don't hesitate.

If you are cutting away low enough that you need a MARD to save your life you have seriously screwed up. Reserves are designed to open in 300 feet. If you are cutting away at 3-500 feet WTF?

I do think that RSL's and MARDs are good things for people. Do most people think that they need to get rid of their perfectly functional rigs to spend $3000 on a new one just to get a MARD? I would bet that most people who are buying a new rig from a manufacturer that offers a MARD - probably get it. And I do think they are a good thing as long as people don't think "I have a MARD - I can fight this a little longer." MARD's can come disconnected. They don't always function perfectly. Riggers sometimes screw them up. The more complicated the system the more likely someone is to screw it up.

I suspect in 20 years as the current crop of gear gets retired and replaced with gear that was produced after the age of MARDs - that most gear will have them.


angryelf  (D License)

Nov 21, 2017, 7:27 PM
Post #16 of 25 (4545 views)
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Re: [StoppieJoe] Skyhooks/MARDs [In reply to] Can't Post

No RSL vs. RSL vs. MARD... Oft debated topic and like many rigging/engineering specific things in skydiving rigs and BASE rigs many have opinions based off "anecdotal proof".

I would make the argument that many innovations in both skydiving and BASE equipment we currently consider "tried and true" were put into service (with some thought, granted) and worked-sometimes better than all other options and just became the way "the industry does things". Some of these (3-ring, modern [electronic] AAD, Skyhook) took years of development by incredibly smart people who were passionate about making our gear better and (hopefully) safer.

The first customers that tried/tested these advances saw better results and for the most part anecdotally accepted the gear in question was "better". Advertising had it's role as well, just like in anything.

My anecdotal statement: I usually own and maintain 2-4 rigs. I have 2600 jumps and am my own rigger. I make 200-300 jumps/year. I have 8 reserve rides.
My gear changes drastically/often and I own/jump everything from VK 75 (SWOOP/COMP/XRW) to SI190 (WS/TEST). I jump 210-460 sq ft canopies for my day job. I generally pull above 3,000 ft AGL on every skydive (particularly with small X-brace), but have been out of A/C much lower and have opened at 120' for BASE and under 2000' for AFF. Here are my "generic considerations" for risk management:

SHOULD HAVE RSL/MARD- Any jump that doesn't involve CRW or XRW.

SHOULD HAVE AAD
- Any jump that doesn't involve CRW, COMP Swoop XRW, WL above 2.75:1.

Jumps I will think hard about doing sans AAD- Freefly, belly beyond 4way, Hop & Pop w/ WL below 2.75:1.

Jumps I WILL NOT do without AAD- Any jump with a student. Period. Dot. WS Jumps. Freefly with large groups. Tracking Jumps. Angle Jumps. Belly Bigways. Zoo Dives. Jumps with weird people I don't know/trust. Jumps with kayaks, inflatables or other weird shit. Test jumps at terminal where shit can go wrong before/during deployment.

CAMERA: Camera + MARD-snap shackle is connected. Camera+ RSL -usually disconnected, case by case may be connected.

It's not a perfect system. But it works for me. Some folks need them, some don't. From an engineering perspective I like non MARDS. From a "most people suck at dealing with emergencies in freefall 2000ft above the malevolent dirtball called EARTH"-the NON-anecdotal evidence greatly favors RSL's/MARD's.

Caveat: Absolutes and people who insist on living by them rarely achieve great things. We live in a dynamic and ever-changing environment. Feet leaving the ground exacerbates the consequences.

Cheers,
-Harry


(This post was edited by angryelf on Nov 21, 2017, 7:28 PM)


StoppieJoe  (Student)

Nov 21, 2017, 8:08 PM
Post #17 of 25 (4509 views)
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Re: [Unstable] Skyhooks/MARDs [In reply to] Can't Post

Unstable wrote:
OK, thank you.

Quote:
No rsl, about 10-13 seconds from cutaway to impact.

So, an RSL would have made a major difference in this case as well.

Would it have? He got his handle out almost immediately, the PC came out less than a second or two after cutaway. Pin was pulled. He got entangled with his bridle because of the tumble that was caused by getting sling from a spin on his back.

ETA: At least that was the only thing that we could come up with based on what we all saw.


(This post was edited by StoppieJoe on Nov 21, 2017, 8:10 PM)


sammielu  (D 33923)

Nov 21, 2017, 9:09 PM
Post #18 of 25 (4450 views)
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Re: [StoppieJoe] Skyhooks/MARDs [In reply to] Can't Post

Would an RSL have saved that person? No way to know in hindsight.
Could it have? Yes.

And that's why I jump an RSL and an AAD on every jump (except crw). It's also why my reserve is loaded 1:1, I'm really picky about who I'll jump with, I stay current on EPs, and I'm vocal when I see complacency.


wmw999  (D 6296)

Nov 22, 2017, 5:39 AM
Post #19 of 25 (4208 views)
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Re: [StoppieJoe] Skyhooks/MARDs [In reply to] Can't Post

If that's the case, a MARD might have been better than an RSL. Might not have, also. But it would provide a little more traction and directional stability than the air in pulling the pilot chute away from him.

Wendy P.


skytribe  (D 9403)

Nov 22, 2017, 7:45 AM
Post #20 of 25 (4089 views)
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Re:Skyhooks/MARDs [In reply to] Can't Post

I question every owner who brings a rig to me without an RSL. Most common reasons

1. is that I bought it used and it didnt have one, hence I dont have one.
2. I have an AAD so I dont need one.
3. I'm experienced enough and can pull both handles.
4. I'm on a high loading and will have line twists on my reserve.
5. Using an incident from the 90's as a justification.

I can shoot down most of the excuses and show manufacturer evidence that show having an AAD reduces risks not increases them. Tests jumps that have been made with MARD/RSL showing to the contrary and incident reports that demonstrate that experienced jumpers still have problems being stable after cutaway and pulling in time.

Each to their own, in making a decision but at least make it based upon current information and thinking.


Unstable  (D 28930)

Nov 22, 2017, 3:43 PM
Post #21 of 25 (3833 views)
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Re: [wmw999] Skyhooks/MARDs [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
If that's the case, a MARD might have been better than an RSL. Might not have, also. But it would provide a little more traction and directional stability than the air in pulling the pilot chute away from him.

Agree. There is so much we don't know in this case. There is also an alarming trend in 'tighter' container and reserve combinations. We have seen evidence of excessive bag extraction forces caused by container design and our desires for smaller, tighter rigs. I do not believe a MARD should be used as a band-aid for poor container design.

I see a major risk reduction when an AAD is added. I see a major risk reduction when an RSL is added. I believe there is a risk reduction when a MARD is added on top of a normal RSL. However, I would to see data showing the reduction in risk compared to that or a normal RSL. I believe this data will be confounded by the fact that by the time a MARD may have made a difference compared to a normal RSL, so many things have gone wrong in the skydive up to that point and cannot easily be adjusted for.

On a side note, a MARD is a more complicated device than a normal RSL and also has more failure modes. They may be outweighed by the the benefit, but again we need data and compare to the benefits of a normal RSL.

Personally, I jump with an AAD and a single-sided RSL on both my rigs.


danornan  (D 11308)

Nov 23, 2017, 7:20 AM
Post #22 of 25 (3492 views)
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Re: [faulknerwn] Skyhooks/MARDs [In reply to] Can't Post

faulknerwn wrote:

I jump Racers which open pretty much as fast as MARDS - they open quick. I have had 20+ malfunctions over the years - the lowest I was ever open under a reserve was 1500 feet and that was 20 years ago when standard pull altitude was 2000 feet.

A Skyhook is almost like a canopy transfer...about 150 feet to be open. AND you do not have to pull anything. A cause of many deaths.

If you are cutting away low enough that you need a MARD to save your life you have seriously screwed up.

It happens and that is why !


julius  (D License)

Nov 23, 2017, 8:14 AM
Post #23 of 25 (3443 views)
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Re: [faulknerwn] Skyhooks/MARDs [In reply to] Can't Post

E X A C T L Y !

faulknerwn wrote:
Well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAw-fWkATLw reserve line twists - especially on highly loaded reserves - are not always so easy to deal with. A quick youtube search showed lots of videos of sketchy stuff. I remember seeing one on a spinning Optimum with lots of line twists that the guy barely got out of before the ground.

Beyond that, I would bet that 2/3 of rigs being actively jumped in the field were made before their respective manufacturers even offered a MARD. Not everyone can afford brand new gear and good gear can easily last for 20 years or more.

I jump Racers which open pretty much as fast as MARDS - they open quick. I have had 20+ malfunctions over the years - the lowest I was ever open under a reserve was 1500 feet and that was 20 years ago when standard pull altitude was 2000 feet. My last few I was under reserve by 2500-3000 feet. But I have also never been one to fight malfunctions. If I have spinning line twists I chop - I don't waste time trying to fix it - when in doubt whip it out. I think too many people waste too much time screwing around trying to fix an unfixable problem.

Get a rig with handles that are easy to grab and that don't rotate behind your back or fold under so that you have problems finding them. Practice your emergency procedures all the time.. Don't hesitate.

If you are cutting away low enough that you need a MARD to save your life you have seriously screwed up. Reserves are designed to open in 300 feet. If you are cutting away at 3-500 feet WTF?

I do think that RSL's and MARDs are good things for people. Do most people think that they need to get rid of their perfectly functional rigs to spend $3000 on a new one just to get a MARD? I would bet that most people who are buying a new rig from a manufacturer that offers a MARD - probably get it. And I do think they are a good thing as long as people don't think "I have a MARD - I can fight this a little longer." MARD's can come disconnected. They don't always function perfectly. Riggers sometimes screw them up. The more complicated the system the more likely someone is to screw it up.

I suspect in 20 years as the current crop of gear gets retired and replaced with gear that was produced after the age of MARDs - that most gear will have them.


lyosha

Nov 26, 2017, 1:11 PM
Post #24 of 25 (2652 views)
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Re: [StoppieJoe] Skyhooks/MARDs [In reply to] Can't Post

StoppieJoe wrote:
Recently watched a fatality that I and quite a few others believe a skyhook would have prevented.... So my question is this: What reasons, if any, would a jumper choose not to have a MARD? This is a question regarding ALL disciplines: Video, WS, RW, freefliers ect. I dont care. Just curious as to what potential issues a MARD could cause and why it would be worth it to not have one....

There are two things to consider with regards to skyhook:

1. There are those out there (I don't have the data, so this is second hand beliefs - albeit held by master riggers) that believe that a skyhook isn't that much more effective than an RSL. Talk to your trusted rigger about what his/her opinion is with regards to the actual difference in feet between deployment in with a skyhook and an RSL is. Maybe Bill Booth can comment since he's active in this thread.

2. Some disciplines it complicates things. For example if you wingsuit, a skyhook may complicate AAD deployments (there's a thread about that somewhere on this forum already). This is the reason my wife's Vector has an RSL, but not a skyhook. There are more WS friendly MARDs out there in my opinion. But my understanding is in Bill Booth's opinion they do worse in spinning line twists than a skyhook. Pick your poison.

Which isn't meant to discourage you from getting a rig with a skyhook. I'm just mentioning that there are legitimate reasons for making personal decisions with regards to your gear.


(This post was edited by lyosha on Nov 26, 2017, 1:13 PM)


JumpRu  (D License)

Dec 2, 2017, 9:38 PM
Post #25 of 25 (1656 views)
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Re: [StoppieJoe] Skyhooks/MARDs [In reply to] Can't Post

this happened in Russia couple years ago. There is a video in the middle of the page :(

https://life.ru/...hosia_pod_ghatchinoi

Reserve here was OP126 with MARD.

many ppl load their reserves more then this poor guy...


(This post was edited by JumpRu on Dec 2, 2017, 9:45 PM)



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