Forums: Skydiving: Incidents:
Extremely Hard Stiletto Opening

 


Kris  (D 26033)

Sep 20, 2003, 2:41 AM
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Extremely Hard Stiletto Opening Can't Post

UnimpressedUnsureMadPirateFrown

So....I get to the AOT boogie and things are hopping. I'm there no more than five minutes, filling out the mountain of paperwork at the registration tent, and have already received hugs from no less than 8 friends that I haven't seen in a while.

First jump, did a two-way sit with Turtlespeed out of the CASA. Folks, his name needs to be changed to Lightning speed. I broke 215 in a head down and couldn't catch him.ShockedCool

Second jump is the sunset load. Yeah, I got there late. I was feeling kinda zen so I just decided to do a solo and admire the view. Left the jumpsuit on the ground, thought about leaving my helmet for the full effect, but decided to go ahead and take it anyway.

On exit, Tony from SSM was taking everyones picture so I did a reverse exit, cracked an evil grin, and threw out a couple of "hang-loose" signs as I fell away.

Played in my sit, worked on some cartwheels, and spent from 6K to 3500 on my belly checking out the sun as it finished dropping over the horizon.

3500 comes so I take a look over both shoulders, wave off, make sure that I'm stable & level, and deploy.

Folks, I have NEVER had a harder opening in my life. At that moment I had to decide whether I wanted to throw up, pass out, or scream in agony. I kept conscious, spit out a bit of bile, and screamed like it was a world-class event.

Okay, fuck....I'm alive. I somehow manage to bend my head back, and I know my legs are okay because I really wished I couldn't feel my right leg right then, because it had been severely wrenched at both the hip and the knee and it was singing the anvil chorus.Unsure

I look up at my Stiletto 190 and the left side has a bit of a line-over but the canopy is turning so gradually it's no big deal. I popped the toggles and it cleared so I finished collapsing and pulling my slider down as I continued looking at the canopy to check it out.

That's when I noticed that the entire bottom panel had completely blown out of the 2nd cell in from the right and I had busted a control line. Since I was still at 2700 feet I tried a left turn and a right turn. Both were good but the right one took a bit of effort.

Then I tried a practice flare. I got 1/4 into the brakes and the canopy started oscillating.Crazy

Fuck! I can't land it, but I can fly it. I checked the traffic around me and flew over to the hangars. I hung out until about 2000', made damn sure there was no traffic below me or above & behind me, and then I chopped.

My Tempo 210 opened wonderfully, if not a bit brisk for my right legs taste, and I stowed my handles for safe keeping, did some practice flares, got a bead on my main and freebag, and got into pattern for an uneventful landing.

It was then that I noticed that my face felt really hot. It turns out I had a pretty good knot on my forehead and also had abrasions on my left cheek and the left side of my forehead. There is no doubt in my mind that if I had not been wearing my helmet we'd have been looking for my ear along with the rest of my equipment.Shocked

I gotta give the Aggies credit. The DZO and the RWS factory rep had already gone after my freebag and my main landed right next to the hangar in the swoop area and was already being recovered by someone else. DZ.com's own Brits17 met me as I limped out of the landing area with a beer in hand for me.Cool I had no less than 4 offers from other people who offered me gear to get me back in the air. Damn, those people rock.Smile

My Stiletto is going back to PD thanks to the RWS rep who offered to drop it off for me. Egon, if you're reading this, I really appreciate it!

Unfortunately, my reserve freebag and PC were the victims of a TX highway. The road had just been re-tarred and tar was all over the bag, bridle, and PC. They're totalled.Pirate

I have psycho-packed my Stiletto for the last 200+ jumps, the canopy has about 250 jumps on it, the lines are still white, and I had checked the trim 3 weeks previous. I did nothing different during my pack-job and had also un-twisted the brake-lines prior to that jump. Nothing about that pack-job was out of the ordinary. I flaked the entire canopy leaving the nose hanging and quarter the slider, pulled it out over the nose a bit, and made a pocket like I always do. This has given me consistant on-heading 600'+ snivels.

None of the bands on my D-bag were damaged or broken either. I use 2.5-3" bights for my locking stows and 2" bights for the rest.

Frankly, I'm at a loss as to what may have caused it, especially since Stiletto's are known soft-opening canopies.

I'll find out more from PD once they get the canopy in and take a look at it.

I decided to go ahead and head back home. Now I'm going to crash into bed and hope I can move my leg and knee once I wake up. sigh.


trigger  (D 101390)

Sep 20, 2003, 3:17 AM
Post #2 of 25 (1955 views)
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Re: [Kris] Extremely Hard Stiletto Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

I know how you feel!!!
Hard openings and why the hell did that happen?
Happened to me recently[last 3 months] CF2,packed as i always do.BANG!!!!!WTF.....[please note not inthe extreme,like you describe,but v.hard]
Could the opening been due to possible line dump!!![did read the bit about you bungies]...
I say this because it's the only explanation i could come up with,after my own experience...and i now keep a good eye on the condition of my line stows.MYSTERIES EHH.
Be interesting to hear what pd have to say....


(This post was edited by trigger on Sep 20, 2003, 3:24 AM)


Hooknswoop  (D License)

Sep 20, 2003, 5:02 AM
Post #3 of 25 (1924 views)
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Re: [Kris] Extremely Hard Stiletto Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

A 'symptom' of a line-over can be a very hard opening. When I was doing some line-over testing, pulling right after exit, the canopy would open very hard.

Derek


andy2

Sep 20, 2003, 6:09 AM
Post #4 of 25 (1905 views)
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Re: [Hooknswoop] Extremely Hard Stiletto Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

Im just wondering here but do you think this could of been caused from quartering the slider unevenly and having the pack job open up distorted, i.e. one side wasnt protected by the slider as much as the other. Could account for the blown cell and the line over in the chaos.

Was the opening wild at all?


darkwing  (D 4164)

Sep 20, 2003, 6:52 AM
Post #5 of 25 (1886 views)
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Re: [Kris] Extremely Hard Stiletto Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

I am convinced that even with a flawless pack job no canopy is immune from slammer openings.


Hooknswoop  (D License)

Sep 20, 2003, 6:54 AM
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Re: [andy2] Extremely Hard Stiletto Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

Anything is possible, but I speculate that the line-over caused the hard opening, resulting in the damage.

A line-over is generally caused by allowing the steering lines to move from the center of the pack job to around in front of or near the nose.

I packed 2 or 3 line-overs intentionlly (on a cutaway rig) and every time it opened very hard-subterminal. A terminal deployment would have been even harder and easily could have resulted in damage to the canopy.

Derek


MikeTJumps  (D 5957)

Sep 20, 2003, 9:59 AM
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Re: [Kris] Extremely Hard Stiletto Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm very glad to read that you did your procedures properly and are with us to talk about it.

Thanks!


Kris  (D 26033)

Sep 20, 2003, 11:43 AM
Post #8 of 25 (1777 views)
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Re: [andy2] Extremely Hard Stiletto Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Was the opening wild at all?
It was too quick to tell if the canopy was doing anything odd during the opening.


Kris  (D 26033)

Sep 20, 2003, 11:45 AM
Post #9 of 25 (1777 views)
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Re: [Hooknswoop] Extremely Hard Stiletto Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Anything is possible, but I speculate that the line-over caused the hard opening, resulting in the damage.

A line-over is generally caused by allowing the steering lines to move from the center of the pack job to around in front of or near the nose.

I packed 2 or 3 line-overs intentionlly (on a cutaway rig) and every time it opened very hard-subterminal. A terminal deployment would have been even harder and easily could have resulted in damage to the canopy.

Thanks for the suggestion, Derek. I'm pretty meticulous about making sure the lines are in the center of the pack job but anything is possible. I was pretty surprised to see the line-over myself, having never had one before. It was halfway over the left outside cell and immediately cleared upon releasing the brakes.


jose  (D License)

Sep 20, 2003, 12:44 PM
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Re: [Kris] Extremely Hard Stiletto Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

First off, I would like to say that I have not had to chop yet and I am not familiar with the DZ you were at. It seems you handled the situation with much forethought and it came out good in the end, minus the wasted pc and freebag.Unsure

I have only 1 question about your cutaway location, and keep in mind, this is to educate ME in case I encounter a similiar situation. Why did you go over the hangers and then chop? Now lets just take worst case scenerio here.........god forbid........what if it didnt open? I understand that the chances are extremely slim, and it seems like you took much consideration of those in the air with you when you chopped, but it could happen ya know? So, with that being said.....are we to consider those on the ground as well? Keep in mind that I couldnt give a shit less about property damage here, as if you were to damage anything, its not likely that you would be alive to pay for itTongue But when we have the time and situation to place ourselves where we want to chop, granted the altitude, do we take care to not do it over populated areas?

Thanks for the experience sharing Kris


Kris  (D 26033)

Sep 20, 2003, 1:04 PM
Post #11 of 25 (1758 views)
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Re: [jose] Extremely Hard Stiletto Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

Okay, you make a good point. I didn't think about it at all. I just checked for traffic, not for what was directly below me.

In a high-speed emergency, we don't get the option to dictate our cutaway locale, but if something like that happens again, I will be sure to make sure I'm over ground.Wink

But, having stated that, I helped pack the reserve that was on my back, and I was pretty damn confident that it would do its job.Cool


cbain  (D 25839)

Sep 20, 2003, 2:45 PM
Post #12 of 25 (1719 views)
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Re: [Kris] Extremely Hard Stiletto Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

Last weekend I had an extremely hard opening on my Sabre2 190. Nothing like anything I've ever experienced before. I don't think I had a lineover, like your case, and didn't see any damage to the canopy while flying it, still need to do a more thorough check on the ground.

My chest, arms and legs are all still pretty bruised up, and my back and neck hurt for a few days, luckily I wasn't wearing my camera helmet. When I checked my protrack, it said I was open in less than 100 feet from when I pulled.

The canopy has about 400 jumps on it, so I'm thinking that the hard opening may have partially resulted from needing a new line set.

Christina


andy2

Sep 20, 2003, 4:32 PM
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Re: [cbain] Extremely Hard Stiletto Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

huh? I can understand line twists, built in turns, but a line over because a canopy is just getting into the range of needing a new line set?

Can someone back this up? I just dont know what the connection is...

edit - doh i must be more tired than I thought, I understand what youre saying cbain. Sorry for the confusion/clutter! Crazy


(This post was edited by andy2 on Sep 20, 2003, 5:40 PM)


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Sep 20, 2003, 11:49 PM
Post #14 of 25 (1591 views)
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Re: [andy2] Extremely Hard Stiletto Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

> huh? I can understand line twists, built in turns, but a line over because
>a canopy is just getting into the range of needing a new line set?

Not line overs per se, but a canopy that needs a reline can begin to open hard. What usually happens is that the outer lines shrink, and that's where the slider sits. You end up with a slider that's 2-3 inches further from the center part of the canopy, and this can lead to hard openings in severe cases.


ryoder  (D 6663)

Sep 21, 2003, 8:22 AM
Post #15 of 25 (1526 views)
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Re: [darkwing] Extremely Hard Stiletto Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I am convinced that even with a flawless pack job no canopy is immune from slammer openings.

I agree. Just yesterday, my Samurai slammed me hard enough to break the left steering line at the brake loop. I have about 100 jumps on it, and it has never slammed me before. I also have a Diablo which has given me ~200 slow, snivelly openings...and 2 slammers.

Recently I was discussing the statistical probabilities of slammers with a fellow jumper who is also a forensic chemist. He agreed with my theory that no matter what you do, they are likely inevitable. He summed it up with a statement that left me in hysterics:

"Yes, plus or minus three standard deviations, it happens."


MBOF  (B License)

Sep 22, 2003, 5:41 AM
Post #16 of 25 (1262 views)
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Re: [cbain] Extremely Hard Stiletto Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

I had a really hard opening on a Sabre 2 190 yesterday. I don't even remember the opening and think I may have passed out for a couple of seconds. My back and chest were in so much pain it was really difficult to reach for the toggles. I did land it safely and the folks at the DZ looked after me. Fortunately my canopy didn't appear to be damaged. The canopy is relatively new (only 50 jumps) and as with all big ZP canopies a pain to pack. I am told by people who watched the opening that it may have been due to the slider slipping during packing (not sure of the technical term?). I know that it was quartered ok but apparently when putting the canopy into the bag it is possible for the slider to slip just a few inches. I am told that this can cause the canopy to inflate very quickly. I have no idea whether this is the reason for your hard opening but I do know that I'm going to be extra careful when putting the canopy in the bag.


Casie  (B 25656)

Sep 22, 2003, 6:48 AM
Post #17 of 25 (1204 views)
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Re: [Kris] Extremely Hard Stiletto Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

Kris, I'm glad you made it safely to the ground! Hope you recover fast!


AggieDave  (D License)

Sep 22, 2003, 9:03 AM
Post #18 of 25 (1107 views)
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Re: [Kris] Extremely Hard Stiletto Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

Kris,

It was good seeing you this weekend, sucks that your canopy decided to go poof...

Ok, now that its been a couple days, are you sore or are you actually injured? Hopefully you were only sore, but I haven't seen an update yet.


GAskygirl  (D 21464)

Sep 22, 2003, 11:30 AM
Post #19 of 25 (1021 views)
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Re: [trigger] Extremely Hard Stiletto Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

A few years ago when I was packing for a living, we got in a bad batch of rubber bands that were so stretchy I probably could have put one around my head for a headband (no, I didn't try ;-). I was stowing lines with 4-5 wraps around the bites (however many it took to make them snug), which I tried out on my own rig for several jumps first of course, and that seemed to work pretty well.

I borrowed a rig one weekend that I had jumped many times before with no trouble (Stiletto 120), and got a very solid slammer on the first jump Saturday, probably from line dump. I had not been the last person to pack it, and thought it had probably been packed with the typical 1-2 wraps around the line bites (with those same big floppy rubber bands). I packed it myself with enough wraps around the line bites to make them uniformly tight, and jumped it the rest of the weekend with no trouble whatsoever.

Don't know if this might have contributed to this issue, but loose bands can certainly cause you pain.


Premier Remster  (C License)

Sep 22, 2003, 11:37 AM
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Re: [GAskygirl] Extremely Hard Stiletto Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
but loose bands can certainly cause you pain.

I was one to firmly believe that too, but I think the jury is still out on this one.

Several people now pack with freestows, and only lock the back with the locking stows (which are typically pretty tight already)...


AggieDave  (D License)

Sep 22, 2003, 12:06 PM
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Re: [Remster] Extremely Hard Stiletto Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Several people now pack with freestows, and only lock the back with the locking stows (which are typically pretty tight already)...

I'm sure you have, but have you ever watched a very slowed down deployment on video? Specifically the d-bag coming out of the container.

As the bag accelerates upwards, the canopy tries to seperate from the bag, stretching the locking stows to the max. After watching videos of those I decided that I would always atleast do the 3-4 (depending on the bag) stows where the bands go through the grommets of the bag. Any less then that and I would fear an early extraction of the canopy.


Premier PhreeZone  (D License)
Moderator
Sep 22, 2003, 12:08 PM
Post #22 of 25 (994 views)
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Re: [Remster] Extremely Hard Stiletto Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

On all but my Wingsuit flights I'll freestow and I'll do it on any canopy and never have had a hard opening. I get harder openings on tandems then I do on freestowed mains.

All rubber bands do is keep your lines from entangling until you get to line strech. Properly coiled lines do the same for a freestow.

I do my 2 locking stows and thats it. On video it is a different looking deployment since the bag leaves and lines just keep appearing and appearing and appearing out of the pack tray till I reach line extention and transition to a stand up as the bag opens.


(This post was edited by PhreeZone on Sep 22, 2003, 12:10 PM)


Premier ianmdrennan  (D 25821)
Moderator
Sep 22, 2003, 12:20 PM
Post #23 of 25 (985 views)
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Re: [AggieDave] Extremely Hard Stiletto Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

PD factory team have bandless bags that basically have tuck tabs to keep the bag closed. Can't see how that's any different to making sure the locking stows are held in place. In fact I'd assume that the locking stows would be less likely to deploy early than the bandless bag configuration.

I'm certainly curious about jumping them Smile.

Blue skies
Ian


NoPush  (D 28129)

Sep 22, 2003, 4:47 PM
Post #24 of 25 (899 views)
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Re: [ianmdrennan] Extremely Hard Stiletto Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

My Saber2 210 (around 50 Jumps) will crack like a whip if the slider is not well quartered and cupped.

I had a TM/instructor rush a pack job to make a load. The result was bruises on both legs, shoulders, and a wicked gash in the right side of my helmet. I pitched and the lights went out........I could still hear but could not see for a few seconds. My first thought was "you all talked about hard openings, but you never said it was like that." I was out for a week walking bow legged and the first few jumps back scared the hell out of me.

I did a hop-n-pop after packing with the slider intentionally half-assed and it did it again, but not nearly as bad when your not terminal.

I'm convinced (at least with my Saber2) it's all about the slider.


NeedToJump  (D 27247)

Sep 22, 2003, 5:26 PM
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Re: [NoPush] Extremely Hard Stiletto Opening [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I'm convinced (at least with my Saber2) it's all about the slider

Yes, that's the whole idea behind the slider - to slow down the opening. As far as I know that's the only purpose it serves.



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