4. Harness - not twisted, leg straps not twisted, threaded & fastened correctly, excess stowed.
5. Reserve flap - pin secure, visible cable in good condition, cable free, cover properly closed, RSL routing (back), AAD on. nb; if it's a Pop-top, then ask your buddy if he's checked his reserve pin(s) & switched his AAD on.
6. Main flap - main pin secure, bridle not tight (to stop pin releasing), pin cover properly closed.
follow bridle to
7. Deployment pocket/handle - bridle "clear" (not twisted through harness), main handle secure, properly stowed.
Talk to your "buddy", if the kit is not familiar to you, or you aren't sure about something - ask him. If he/she doesn't know, ask others! Use your eyes & your hands. Be systematic in your checks.
This is not designed to be a comprehensive "riggers" kit check, it's purpose is to pick up on the sort of small but fundamental mistakes that could end up with your buddy in trouble.
This is not an insult to your buddy's ability to check his own kit - it's just a case of a fresh pair of eyes...
Assume that there is something wrong with the kit! I know of some riggers who'll gear up with an unairworthy kit and ask for a check just to see if the fault gets picked up - hence to "shake the complacency" of someone who passes him as "good to jump"!
Personally, I think such a check is "best practice". SCUBA divers won't get their toes wet without a similar check!
A question : if they have them are jumpers resposible for their own audibles? I have heard that some freefliers and camera men/ladies jump with two audibles, should this be part of a buddy check? Also, I read somewhere how some skydivers will compare their altis to another skydiver's (or the plane's if they can see it) at a certain altitude. Would it be a good idea to make this part of my '1000 self-check, or should I do it a little higher?
Does the BPA ever have a safety day like the USPA's? It would be great if we could have a day dedicated to topics like this one. I think there might be quite a few safety tips that beginners like myself might not be aware of that you more mature (nice way of saying old farts) skydivers could teach us.
In South Africa buddy checks are also mandatory and I found it put me a lot more at ease when I was in the plane knowing that an experienced jumper had checked my gear out. Those stories of people getting in the plane with unfastened leg-straps and chest straps would not go down well in SA (but then those skydivers would not be allowed in the plane in the first place).
I don't recall reading about anybody dying in South Africa or the UK because of an unfastened chest strap, so maybe buddy checks should fall under the category of 'common sense' rather than 'over-regulation'. I mean, hell, how long does it take anyway?
Great post! I read the other as well. We even give quick checks before the door opens.
FYI, you probably know that a lot of BPA skydivers are at Elsinore for the next two weeks. Anyway, a few of the college kids were injured. I believe they were in AFF and S/L students. One today was more serious and I hope all is going well.
I didn't include Audibles 'cos thay're not "mandatory", just as in the US I would have left out the "headwear" part of the check.
Yeah... Excuses, excuses... To be honest I don't commonly ask about audibles "Have you got one? Is it on? Is it set?" 'cos I'm not fully familiar with all the different audibles available & I take the view that if the jumper is using one, then he's set it.
Then again, think I'll change my "Buddy-check" lines....
This is great Mike! It was actually how I was taught, and the gentleman who showed me actually has several times went out and messed with his rig, then had me check him over just to see if I'd catch it. It was great practice!!
A couple of things...he also suggested checking your handles (cutaway and reserve) in the air while under canopy, even try doing it in freefall just so you can see what it feels like before you may have to do it. Also, and even bigger deal, he suggested we check the risers very well while under canopy. The cables that run up into the risers especially as he had a friend whom had barely landed when one of them slipped out and one side of his risers came undone from his harness! If it'd happened in the air, it could've been bad. Another jumper at our DZ also apparently had something go wrong with the ring (sorry, can't remember the name..French ring or something?)holding the lines to the risers and they were barely still hooked in! I'm definately going to try to remember to check them every time, unless as he pointed out, you're at a huge boogie with a lot of traffic you should be watching for...then I'll try to at least glance over them when I'm clear.
Another thing/question....he suggested always checking the alti on the ground, and NEVER changing it once in the air because they can be a little off from each other and you should KNOW it was right if you zero'd it on the ground.