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vanessalh

To RSL or not to RSL

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Hey folks,

I'm interested in your opinions on whether it is safer to have an RSL or not.

On my one and only cutaway it was comforting to have my reserve out before I'd even pulled it, but also a little unnerving as this gave me no time to get stable before deploying my reserve.

I can imagine situations where it is both life saving to have RSL (e.g. one arm broken or restricted making it difficult to pull reserve), but also situations where it makes it more dangerous (deploy while unstable after cutaway, being dragged around on a windy day if I forget to disconnect RSL)

Thoughts?

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Hey folks,

I'm interested in your opinions on whether it is safer to have an RSL or not.

On my one and only cutaway it was comforting to have my reserve out before I'd even pulled it, but also a little unnerving as this gave me no time to get stable before deploying my reserve.

I can imagine situations where it is both life saving to have RSL (e.g. one arm broken or restricted making it difficult to pull reserve), but also situations where it makes it more dangerous (deploy while unstable after cutaway, being dragged around on a windy day if I forget to disconnect RSL)

Thoughts?



You can imagine all you want, but history tells the tale.

There are very, very few situations where a standard single side RSL has contributed to a fatal outcome in the last 30 years.

On the other hand there is probably a 6 person a year average of people who cutaway and never deploy a reserve, or don't deploy a reserve in time to save themselves who would have been helped by the use of an RSL.

With the exception of CRW, there is no good reason for a modern skydiver not to utilize an RSL.

Post breakaway the safest opportunity to deploy a reserve is the moment the risers of the main release and are clear, or the same time the RSL would pull the reserve pin. The safest orientation to deploy a reserve is NOT belly to earth, but rather feet into the relative wind with the relative wind moving across the back of the jumper to prevent a burble and thus speed the reserve pilot chute deployment.
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You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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When RSL were first introduced it was done by Perry Stevens for conventional gear with a chest reserve. It was called a “Stevens System”. The main risers had dual (one on the front and one on the rear) cross connectors at the junction of the lines to the risers. Note: Cross connectors were required on any jump made by US Navy personnel, if a cutaway was planned. The right main riser had attached to its base a lanyard which had to be hooked up on every jump to the chest reserve ripcord as that was the ripcord pull connection. This configuration was almost guaranteed to knock some teeth out when used. That reserve ripcord handle, which usually had and AAD firing mechanism on it was heavy and if it hit you on the way by it hurt.
Piggy backs came out and the Stevens system was adapted cross connectors and all. A couple of early ones had the dual cross connectors but they would catch on the bottom of the reserve pack and hang up. The Navy had one hang up after a cutaway and it jammed the reserve so that only the PC came out. He landed hanging by the cross connectors of the malfunctioned main. Broke his wrist. Its all on video. Happened at El Centro in the 60’s.
Well cross connectors were no good at the end of the risers on a piggy back so most of the manufacturers just did away with them. Except the Racer, where they kept the original concept by moving the cross connector to the base of the risers, where it also acts as pull lanyard. Other manufacturers have developed other methods, for a complete explanation see:http://www.jumpshack.com/default.asp?CategoryID=TECH&PageID=RSL&SortBy=DATE_D
and follow the links to more information.
Then you will be equiped to make a decission.

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On my one and only cutaway it was comforting to have my reserve out before I'd even pulled it, but also a little unnerving as this gave me no time to get stable before deploying my reserve.



There's much debate over this issue. The competing school of thought is that getting classically "stable" after a cutaway creates a burble that can hesitate your pilot chute (aside from taking more time=altitude), and that it's better to present feet-down to the relative wind, so the wind will flow across your back and launch your pilot chute immediately.

:| Usually. ;)

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On my one and only cutaway it was comforting to have my reserve out before I'd even pulled it, but also a little unnerving as this gave me no time to get stable before deploying my reserve.



So how did your reserve deploy? A dozen line twists? With you upside down with a foot tangled in the lines? With a riser wrapped around your neck?

My guess is that it opened just fine. Stick with the RSL. Unless you can think of a very good reason not to have one, you should have one. When I say 'very good reason', I mean one where if you told the chief instructor at your DZ, he (she) would agree with you and tell you not to jump an RSL. Short of that, stick with the RSL.

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but also situations where it makes it more dangerous (deploy while unstable after cutaway, being dragged around on a windy day if I forget to disconnect RSL)

Thoughts?



This is probably one of the oldest myths in skydiving, that if you cutaway your main on the ground on a windy day and you forget to release your RSL, your reserve will open and will start dragging you.......

The truth is that the only thing that would happen then is make your rigger happy/unhappy. I've seen about a dozen occasions when a student didn't disconnect his RSL prior a ground cutaway , and in more that half of them the freebag stayed in the container.

The only thing that worries me ( not really ) about the single sided RSL is broken risers. In my almost 15 years in skydiving I've seen only 2 broken risers ( type 17 ). Both times the risers were way beyond 1000 jumps,and the jumpers were heavy .

Remember, hitting the ground with some twist on your reserve is better than with your reserve still in the freebag. The first situation might be survivable :)
"My belief is that once the doctor whacks you on the butt, all guarantees are off" Jerry Baumchen

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Hi John,

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This configuration was almost guaranteed to knock some teeth out when used.



The first documented use of a Stevens Lanyard was about '65-'66, a student. He did not lose any teeth but he did have a serious black eye.

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Piggy backs came out and the Stevens system was adapted cross connectors and all.



Security's CrossBow system never used any cross-connector.

You can check with the designer:

Dan Abbott
1800 Stone Cress Court
Ceres, CA 95307
Ph: 209-537-0422
dansanabbott(at)yahoo(dot)com

JerryBaumchen

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I would disconnect the Steven's line on the way up in the plane because I didn't want the thing to hit me. My instructors never noticed! :o
People are sick and tired of being told that ordinary and decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I’m certainly not, and I’m sick and tired of being told that I am

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Funny thing. I'm sitting here at my riggers house getting my repack done, reading this thread this morning.
He calls me in to have a look at my misrouted rsl on my mirage G4. It was misrouted under the reserve flap causing a 180 in pull force from the rsl lanyard to the reserve rip cord.
It took 20kg of pull force to pull the reserve ripcord while misrouted and 6kg of pull force when routed correctly.
Have you seen my pants?
it"s a rough life, Livin' the dream
>:)

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Funny thing. I'm sitting here at my riggers house getting my repack done, reading this thread this morning.
He calls me in to have a look at my misrouted rsl on my mirage G4. It was misrouted under the reserve flap causing a 180 in pull force from the rsl lanyard to the reserve rip cord.
It took 20kg of pull force to pull the reserve ripcord while misrouted and 6kg of pull force when routed correctly.



And you missed it doing gear/pin checks for so many months...?

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No actually I don't. I honestly didn't know any better. I've been jumping a possible death rig for the last 6 months and had no idea.
Guess I'd better get my riggers rating because apparently I can't trust them.
Will start a new thread when I get to a computer and can post some pics explaining the minor difference.

Or would you rather everyone just read the manual and figure it out for themselves?
Have you seen my pants?
it"s a rough life, Livin' the dream
>:)

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Imm not a rigger and did not know that where the lanyard came out from under the reserve flap was the wrong place



You don't need to be a rigger to know how your rig works. Nobody is suggesting that you should have done repairs to your harness, or repacked your own reserve, just that you should take the time to educate yourself about the specific rig you are jumping.

When you purchase your own gear, it's a great idea to be present during the first inspection and repack, and have your rigger go over the various components and operation of the whole thing.

Being a rigger means that you know more about every rig, and how to diagnose, repair, and repack them. It has nothing to do with the user being familiar with the correct assembly and operation of the rig they own/are jumping.

Think about your car, you know what the engine is supposed to sound like and how it's supposed to work. If you got it one day, and it was making a different noise or not producing the same HP as before, it's expected that you would notice that. It's not expected that you would know why, or how to fix it, that's the job for a mechanic and you're not a mechanic (I don't think), but it would be unreasonable if you just drove it around that way until your next oil change and the mechanic had to point it out to you.

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Tis is true.
I think I know an awful lot more about my rig than most people do and I definatley learned something new today.

How many people do you know that would be able to take their RSL and fully instal it?

It's great that I am trying to share with everyone here that I learned something about a simple but dangerous mistake that a RIGGER made and yet all you guys want to do is take the piss out of me.

Seriously pull your fucking head in.

Let's say I noticed this mistake. Am I allowed to fix it myself? Am I allowed to pull my reserve pin to reroute my RSL?
Have you seen my pants?
it"s a rough life, Livin' the dream
>:)

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Think I know a rigger who needs it more than I do.

Love how everyone says to trust your rigger, then give me shit for not knowing.

So is a RSL part of the reserve system? I was in the reserve category of the manual.

Edit to add

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can see that you are a Jumpmaster and USPA coach


Will gladly update my profile and remove those ratings as I haven't been current in them for 3 years.
Have you seen my pants?
it"s a rough life, Livin' the dream
>:)

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