I've had 1800 drilled into my head from student status and still keep that as my decision point...
Here's another one though... in-plane emergency--where do you go for your main, where do you go straight for the reserve? I think if I'm under 1500', I'm going reserve, because for one, that's already not much time to deal with a potential malfunction, and also I don't want to have a snivelly opening and have to hope that the cypres didn't arm a little early. Above 1500, I'd go for my main(unless I didn't pack it), because I pack it to open pretty fast.
Well, my decision altitude changes based on the canopy I'm jumping and where I'm pulling.. Normally, on elliptical canopies, my decision altitude is 1500', and I pull at 2500 to 3500.. On some other canopies, I'll pull as low as 2000 - and then my decision altitude is more like 1200'.. I don't pull at 2000 on a regular basis - just if there is a need for it, such as a large group with staged breakoff/pull altitudes..
If I'm in freefall when my last dytter warning goes of at 1800', I'm going silver if I'm jumping any elliptical or snivelly canopy.. If I'm jumping a fast opener, that is not a sketchy opening canopy, I have 2 seconds after that warning to pull main - after that, it's silver..
I know, seems like a lot to think about.....but I plan my dive and dive my plan every jump..
Hmmmm.......I'll put it this way. I always dump at 2000 or higher. (Record low dump to date is 2200) My normal deployment altitude is 3000. My canopy opens in 500-700 ft (from the time I pitch) and if it isn't right I'm not fighting it...I'll just chop it! I know my canopy and I can tell if it's going to be good or not almost as soon as it comes out of the bag. Now twists, I may play with a little but not any lower than 1500 and that's only if it isn't spinning hard.
"There once was a man named Enis....."-Krusty the Clown Clay
mine is 1800. Of course i'll chop higher if I can tell there is something seriously wrong, I was just wondering about fighting twists or something not majorly spinning. I'll fight till 1800, then go for silver
I have a bungee kill line in my pilot so I'm not taking any chances that low!!!
Good call.. One day, we had to either ride the plane down or get out at 2,000ft due to some low clouds that had moved in during climb.. I was jumping a friends rig.. I had jumped it many times.. This time I forgot about the fact that it had a bungee PC.. It was a very tense few seconds while I was falling with a PC behind me, not pulling the pin.. Luckily, I knew what was happening since I realized it as soon as I pitched.. Canopy was open at 1200..
The instructors at Perris drilled 2,500 ft. into my head. But then again, that was of course with the relatively high main activation altitudes (4,500ft. - 5,000 ft.) of AFF dives in mind. I currently use 1,500 ft. I don't adjust the decision altitude when opening higher. I just allow myself more time to assess and remedy the situation.