Forums: Skydiving: Safety and Training:
seatbelts (cross post talkback)

 


adamT  (D 26819)

May 23, 2003, 11:45 AM
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seatbelts (cross post talkback) Can't Post

 It is standard procedure at most dropzones to remove your seat belt after 1000'
Thats what everyone is taught. But on safety day our pilot brought up the the concern of near misses. Our DZ(hollister) lies in the traffic patterns for the major bay area airports. We see alot of traffic at all altitudes. He, and our other pilots have had experiences where they were not told of traffic by atc and wen't visually identified until they were closer then they would prefer. So if the situation arises where if he has to make a abrubt course change to avoid a collision it is most likely going to be a carving negative g pushover. This of course will slam all the unseatbelted jummpers in back right into the celling. Possibly braking necks. So he recommended that everyone keep their seat belt on until we turn onto jumprun.
Of course the first rebuttal is what about emergency exits? Well as he explained it anything below 1000' your staying in the plane(as we are all taught) and anything above you should have time to make an orderly exit. If you are aware of how you placed the seat belt it should not take you more then a second to remove it, just another part of your emegency procdures.
The will not just drop out of the sky in an emergency, and if it does that means it stalled and if it is not recovering quickly its probably going to be spinning. According to everyone i've talked to that has been in a spinning aircraft, seatbelt or not you are going to be too stuck to the side of the aircraft to get out. So alot of us have started wearing our seatbelts for most of the climb. Taking it of just becomes part of the routine, like checking you hanndles and putting on healmet(these should also be secured for the whole flight as they would become a dangerous projectile) gogles. The only valid argument(IMHO) i've heard so far against this was regarding people sitting by the door while it is open durring the climb. It a pilotcute gets out the door they could be ripped in half by their seatbelt(depending how it was placed).
Of the few jump pilots i've talked they have agreed with this. But you would be amazed by some of the shit people have been given at other DZs when they try to where their seat belt past 1000'. I try to find out the pilots stance and listen to him, because ultimatly he is responsible for the jump ship. I just wanted to bring this up for discussion, get some more opinions( especially pilots) so i can make a more educated descision.
adam


rigging65  (D 21921)

May 23, 2003, 11:58 AM
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Re: [adamT] seatbelts (cross post talkback) [In reply to] Can't Post

I think you make some valid points, but what about this one:

In the event of an emergency, where everyone doesn't remain calm, the pilot gives the word to get out and someone nearer the door has problems getting their seat belt loose. Do you think the folks behind him are going to let a little thing like a body keep them from getting out the door when the pilot says "Get out!"...I think not.

I've only been in one bail out situation, and it was under very controlled circumstances. We lost a de-icing boot off the prop and exiting was more of a precaution than anything else. We had a minute to think about it as we were warned to prepare for a bail out...and even then there was a TON of tension with the folks up near the pilot once he said "Go". If it had been a real emergency and he had said "Get out now!" I imagine it could have gotten quite ugly if there was much of a delay near the door.

Not everyone is going to respond in a safe, orderly manner when it hits the fan, and any slow down is just going to magnify that...turning what could have been a clean bail out into a dangerous door rush. Unsure

Is there less of a chance of a bail out than a near-mid air? Probably, but which is more preventable? Probably the near-mid air... 6 of one, Half Dozen of the other, you make the call...


adamT  (D 26819)

May 23, 2003, 12:08 PM
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Re: [rigging65] seatbelts (cross post talkback) [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes this is something i brought up with the pilot durring one of our disscusions.
I see it as a valid point. Not everyone will be calm and have the piece of mind to quickly remove their belt. Between 1000 and 3000 feet is where i see this to be an issue. Anything high and you have the time make an orderly exit. Even with two out he can maintain a shallow dive and keep the airspeed up and the plane flying.


andy2

May 23, 2003, 12:10 PM
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Re: [rigging65] seatbelts (cross post talkback) [In reply to] Can't Post

on a related note, what is the altitude that people switch from their reserves to their mains? I assume anything in the 1k neighborhood is going to warrent a bail on reserve type situation, but where do you switch from the safety of the reserve, to the practicality of the main (i.e. you can repack a main in 15 minutes, whereas a reserve is a little more complicated). Not trying to hijack the thread (its very interesting), just looking for a knowledgeable answer.


(This post was edited by andy2 on May 23, 2003, 12:11 PM)


dex  (D 26204)

May 23, 2003, 12:18 PM
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Re: [adamT] seatbelts (cross post talkback) [In reply to] Can't Post

Another thing to remember is that if the door is open for the ride up people shouldn't be buckled in... A pilot chute going out the door will *REALLY* ruin your day if you are buckled in....


RozeAY  (D License)

May 23, 2003, 12:25 PM
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Re: [adamT] seatbelts (cross post talkback) [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
The only valid argument(IMHO) i've heard so far against this was regarding people sitting by the door while it is open durring the climb. It a pilotcute gets out the door they could be ripped in half by their seatbelt(depending how it was placed).

If the rules of the DZ/pilot are to wear your seatbelt until jump run, I would consider not climbing with the door open to prevent this situation.


adamT  (D 26819)

May 23, 2003, 12:31 PM
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Re: [RozeAY] seatbelts (cross post talkback) [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree. There is no rule though, besides takeoff and on untill 1000' Above is a choice.

I will make people aware of this issue though. Especially with the summer months comming and people choosing to stay belted.


Casch

May 23, 2003, 12:52 PM
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Re: [andy2] seatbelts (cross post talkback) [In reply to] Can't Post

Anything 1500 ft and below I will use my reserve. The gear I usually jump usually takes about 600-800 ft to open. I want an absolute minimum of 500 feet to find a clear landing area. Even 500 feet isn't much time, unless you already know the outs for your DZ


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
May 23, 2003, 2:14 PM
Post #9 of 20 (1022 views)
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Re: [andy2] seatbelts (cross post talkback) [In reply to] Can't Post

>what is the altitude that people switch from their reserves to their mains?

Depends on the main. On my Silhouette 170 I'd get out well under 1000 on the main. On the 119 i'd probably go reserve under 1500. On my old Nova the main opens faster than the reserve, so I'd use that at an arbitrarily low altitude.


rigging65  (D 21921)

May 23, 2003, 3:20 PM
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Re: [andy2] seatbelts (cross post talkback) [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
where do you switch from the safety of the reserve, to the practicality of the main

That depends on what I'm jumping. My Xaos is a snivly little girl, so I'd be less inclined to use it in a low situation...especially if the plane is truly crippled and descending (which it will be if you lose the engine(s)). That's one of those times you might look at your alti while it's all going on and it could be 500-1000 feet lower by the time you exit.

My Lightning on the other hand, is so much faster than my reserve that I'd definitely opt to go that way, if that's what I was jumping.

Something else to consider:
If you're jumping something that doesn't open all that nicely (ie. not on heading, tends to dive, etc.) it may not be the best canopy to bail out on...especially since you most likely wont get to do a nice poised exit, but you'll be diving out. If you're low and dive out head first, you might be pressured to whip that twitchy main out before you're really in the optimum position to help your openings. In such a case, it would simply make more sense to go to your reserve...especially low.

my $.02....


tb62871  (A 23465)

May 23, 2003, 4:22 PM
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Re: [adamT] seatbelts (cross post talkback) [In reply to] Can't Post

We had this conversation on safety day . If an Otter load of 20 skydivers has an emergency at 1500 feet how many will be out the door by 100feet and how many will need to be putting seatbelts back on for an emergency landing? The decision was to keep your belt on untill you can safely make it to the door above 1000. This means that everyone in front of you should have their belt off before you do. As for when you go from the reserve to the main. how low would you take a hop & pop?


andy2

May 23, 2003, 4:27 PM
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Re: [adamT] seatbelts (cross post talkback) [In reply to] Can't Post

when bailing at ~1000 feet is it recomended to take a 2 second delay, or just pitch during the exit?


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
May 23, 2003, 6:14 PM
Post #13 of 20 (979 views)
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Re: [andy2] seatbelts (cross post talkback) [In reply to] Can't Post

Pull immediately after exit when exiting at a low altitude.


b1jercat  (B 26608)

May 23, 2003, 10:55 PM
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Re: [billvon] seatbelts (cross post talkback) [In reply to] Can't Post

I think in the sim it states wear your seat belt to 2000 ft or maybe its just my DZ's policy. for me under 2 grand and I'm going reserve for sure.blue skies
jerry


andy2

May 24, 2003, 6:43 AM
Post #15 of 20 (931 views)
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Re: [b1jercat] seatbelts (cross post talkback) [In reply to] Can't Post

can you track the pull time linearly from terminal to subterminal deployment on the main and reserve? I understand reserves are meant to excell at opening at both terminal and subterminal. But wouldn't mains that open in 400-500 feet open a little faster since you're not going terminal? You'd be nowhere near terminal pulling directly after a bail.


mjosparky  (D 5476)

May 24, 2003, 11:46 AM
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Re: [adamT] seatbelts (cross post talkback) [In reply to] Can't Post

Remember, there is a big difference between exiting at 1000 ft. and being at 1000 ft. at terminal. If you go through 1000 ft. in freefall, you have about 5 sec. until impact, with only about 3 sec. of working time. If you exit at 1000 ft. you will have about 9 sec. before impact and about 7 sec. working time.
Sparky


sundevil777  (D License)

May 24, 2003, 1:46 PM
Post #17 of 20 (905 views)
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Re: [andy2] seatbelts (cross post talkback) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
You'd be nowhere near terminal pulling directly after a bail.

You will have the airspeed of the plane.


Kris  (D 26033)

May 24, 2003, 5:33 PM
Post #18 of 20 (894 views)
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Re: [adamT] seatbelts (cross post talkback) [In reply to] Can't Post

Procedure at my DZ is to remove seatbelts at 1000. If I'm taking up a load of IAD students I personally remove their belts, turn their radios on, and give them the first of two last gear checks at that time.

As for the thread creep regarding reserve usage... I will use my main if over 1500 and go right to silver if I am at 1000-1500. My main is a Stiletto with a long snivel (400-600) but I can force it open fast with a tug on the rear risers.


riggerrob  (D 14840)

May 26, 2003, 8:20 AM
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Re: [Kris] seatbelts (cross post talkback) [In reply to] Can't Post

Let's also consider AADs when choosing which canopy to deploy in a bail-out.
If you are low enough (say 1500 feet) - that slow main opening might scare your Cypres - then you might as well pull your reserve ripcord.
If you are low enough to scare your FXC (say 2500 feet) then you might as well pull your reserve ripcord.
Above that, pull your main.
Just remember that the plane will be losing altitude rapidly between the last time you look at your altimeter and when you are clear enough to pull. Clear enough means past the tail wheel.


diverdriver  (D 19012)

May 28, 2003, 5:30 AM
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Re: [adamT] seatbelts (cross post talkback) [In reply to] Can't Post

You make very real points. HERE is the accident report from a mid-air involving a jump plane. Mid-airs can happen anywhere, anytime.

HERE is the report from a low emergency exit that killed everyone.

So, the point is that those who think that having an emergency at 1,000 feet means they can bail are wrong. IT DOES NOT. That's just the lowest altitude that most people think they can get out. But really, if the emergency doesn't happen above 1,500 feet I'm not telling anyone to get out. There's no time to get people up and start climbing over me (in the case of a 182) while I try to fly the plane and land it somewhat safely. In the case of a twin I will not tell anyone to get out unless the aircraft is going out of control. Since I don't believe in flying in twins that can't climb on one engine you'll never hear me tell people to bail out below 2,000 feet for a simple engine failure.

Another thing I've noted. People are putting their seatbelts on incorrectly in my opinion. They are routing the large "female" end through the harness. In an emergency to you think you can get that back through the harness quickly? Any seatbelt setup that routes through your harness should only have the skinny "male" end through the harness. So that when you unbuckle the seatbelt it will easily slide back through. <to everyone> Have you thought about that? You should. Your next emergency exit may depend on you not being tangled with your seatbelt.



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