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What is a "tailgate" exactly?

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Only thing i know is they promote nose first inflation, and reduce the incidence of line over malfunctions. (i only know that because i read it in an article)

I have never seen one, How exactly do they work? anybody has a picture of one? why should amateur BASE jumpers jump with one in their rig?

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The tailgate is a small piece of stiffened line, created by fingertrapping a piece of suspension line back into itself. It's perhaps 3 or 4 inches long. It's attached to a center C line by a fingertrapped bit of line, and is used to constrain a set of lines (usually the two center C lines, the two center D lines, and all the control lines), which promotes nose first inflation by allowing the unconstrained nose (lines) to inflate before the tailgate blows open, which then allows the tail to inflate.


I'll try to take some pictures, unless someone else beats me to it. There used to be some good diagrams on the Basic Research web site, but I'm unable to find them on the new Apex site. Does anyone know where they went?


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why should amateur BASE jumpers jump with one in their rig?



To improve heading performance, promote nose first inflation, and probably most importantly inhibit line over malfunctions.

I'm not aware of any distinctions drawn by physics between amateur and professional jumpers, so it's likely that all BASE jumpers would find the tailgate useful.
-- Tom Aiello

Tom@SnakeRiverBASE.com
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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I'm not aware of any distinctions drawn by physics between amateur and professional jumpers, so it's likely that all BASE jumpers would find the tailgate useful.



I'm an amateur BASE jumper - I fall faster because I lack the Neo-like ability to warp the matrix and increase my loft. I've seen 808 do it...it's kinda cool.

Someone once compared my chiseled, sleek lines to the aerodynamic artistry of a pair of vise grips wrapped in redi-whip.

Oh...but I do use 3 wraps of masking tape on the tailgate lines in lieu thereof.

Tailgate
- Harvey, BASE 1232
TAN-I, IAD-I, S&TA

BLiNC Magazine Team Member

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Hey, both you bastards, do you always use a tailgate on every jump? I've not heard of this. And don't you increase the likelyhood of a mal if it doesn't open?
"I'm not sure how it's going to turn out, except I'll die in the end, she said. So what could really go wrong? -----Brian Andreas

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Hey, both you bastards, do you always use a tailgate on every jump?



Yes, on all slider down jumps.


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I've not heard of this. And don't you increase the likelyhood of a mal if it doesn't open?



If the tailgate fails to open, you are experiencing a malfunction, so the likelihood is 100%.


If this happens, it is almost always a result of two things:

1) The wrong rubber band. All of the cases I am aware of where a tailgate has hung up have used the wrong rubber band. Most of those cases used the old (black) rubber bands, which used to be sold by Roger Ponce under the brand name "skybands." These rubber bands were once recommended by the manufacturer, but are not any more.

2) The rubber band being tied onto the tailgate cord. This is usually done with the girth hitch or larkshead (two names for the same thing) know. If you tie the rubber band to the tailgate, it is very important to push the loops of rubber band outboard of the knot, so that they "roll" clear of the tailgate without encountering the extra bump of the knot, on which they can hang up. I know of one case in which a tailgate hung up that the rubber band was not tied to the tailgate (and in that case a very unusual and inappropriate rubber band was used).

In virtually every case I know of that a tailgate has hung up (all but one), both of these things were done--in other words a black rubber band was used, and it was tied onto the tailgate.

I prefer to use the regular (tan) tailgate rubber bands (they are basically the small stow bands from skydiving cut in half lengthwise), and not to tie them to my tailgate (basically accepting that I'll lose on every jump--I buy them in 5 pound bags).


The tailgate is really one of the fundamental pieces of modern BASE equipment, and has virtually (nothing is 100%) eliminated the line over from slider down BASE jumps. Prior to the invention of the tailgate, when most jumpers had no such reefing system (even then some jumpers used masking tape, which is still a good method), the incidence of line overs on slider down BASE jumps was probably around 1%. The good folks at Basic Research (now Apex), especially Anne Helliwell, deserve much credit for creating (and making standard) the tailgate, [noting that at the time Martin Tilley (now the owner of Asylum) was one of those folks].
-- Tom Aiello

Tom@SnakeRiverBASE.com
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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Is there any known case of the "Blue Painter's Tape" hangup (too much tape) or lineover (too little tape)?
Android+Wear/iOS/Windows apps:
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Is there any known case of the "Blue Painter's Tape" hangup (too much tape) or lineover (too little tape)?



I am unaware of any cases of tape hangup, although I think that someone mentioned somewhere earlier on this forum that they'd found the tape to become much stronger when wet (?).

The tape is also less likely to hang up because it can be perfectly positioned.

A tailgate ought to be placed as high as possible up the lines, such that it is just below the line attachment tabs. Obviously, when you switch brake settings around, this means you ought to move the tailgate as well (because the change in brake settings results in a change in relative location of the attachment points). Most people don't do that, though, and I've seen some ridiculously low tailgate placements (as much as 8 inches below the lowest line attachments). Obviously, with tape you get to choose the proper location for your placement each time you apply the tape, so even if you switch between varying "deep" settings for various conditions, you can still "perfectly" place your "tailgate."


I am unaware of any cases of lineover with the tape method, but that doesn't really prove anything, as even if the tape (or tailgate) fails, the odds of line over are still relatively small. Adding the chance of a failure with the (resulting) odds of a line over occuring, you have a fairly small chance of actually observing the combination.
-- Tom Aiello

Tom@SnakeRiverBASE.com
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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Here is a shot of what it looks like right before the tailgate lets go..............



Actually that shot is after the tailgate let go. If it constricted the parachute so much as to only allow front first expansion everytime, it would be frightening.

I've freeze framed several openings and even with a tailgate, tail first expansion sometimes occurs.
My grammar sometimes resembles that of magnetic refrigerator poetry... Ghetto

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I've freeze framed several openings and even with a tailgate, tail first expansion sometimes occurs.



Can you share these framegrabs?
Android+Wear/iOS/Windows apps:
L/D Vario, Smart Altimeter, Rockdrop Pro, Wingsuit FAP
iOS only: L/D Magic
Windows only: WS Studio

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Actually that shot is after the tailgate let go.

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Doesn't look that way to me................... And if it is after, it is about 1/1000th of a second after...........

What do you see in the pic I don't?

How about the second one? I call tailgate still holding

SabreDave

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Much better. Thanks for the close up. You are definitely correct. It looked like the lines were free of the tailgate on monitor I was looking at earlier.

On freefall jumps, I've seen many side to side, nose or even tail first expansion even with a properly secured tailgate. Either way though, it will help keep the lines in place until linestretch.
My grammar sometimes resembles that of magnetic refrigerator poetry... Ghetto

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I believe there's a nice shot of it happening on a jump from Welshmans in Moab on the Team Hold My Beer dvd. I don't have the tape it was shot on so I'll have to wait till I get a new copy.

I THINK Faber has another shot of it on a jump we did from a small bridge but I'm not certain.
My grammar sometimes resembles that of magnetic refrigerator poetry... Ghetto

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Greetings all!

Definitive answer:

A tailgate is at the end of a pick-up bed.

You open it, put down a blanket, lay down, focus your camera,put on your head phones to Pink Floyd and wait for your cell phone to vibrate, then shoot.

Newer memories for sure!

Joy

PS. On vacation for a bit, back to the numbers in about 10 days.
joyhgc1@aol.com

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...just confirming what I recall from my FJC.

Slider up jumps do not use a tailgate because
when we pack the slider up, a rubber band is
used to keep the slider up until the force of
inflation starts to push the slider --- this
helps to stage the deployment and reduce
the chance of a lineover.

Is this basic understanding of slider-up correct?
(I pussied out before doing a slider-up jump).

Oh, and both the tailgate and rubber banding
the slider up are both types of "reefing" right?
Rigger, Skydiver, BASE Jumper, Retired TM

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...Slider up jumps do not use a tailgate...



In general, yes. Some people are using the tailgate slider up, however, in an effort to decrease the likelihood of (already very rare) slider up line over. In my opinion, using the tailgate slider up marginally slows the inflation, with the effect being most noticeable at lower airspeeds, and virtually imperceptible at terminal. Perhaps it is for this reason that the slider up use of the tailgate appears to have much more acceptance in some places than others (because some places have more terminal jumping).


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...because when we pack the slider up, a rubber band is used to keep the slider up until the force of inflation starts to push the slider --- this helps to stage the deployment and reduce the chance of a lineover.



Sort of. The slider is the reefing mechanism that reduces the chance of a line over. It keeps the lines constrained inside the width of the canopy, and in relative order, so that they are quite unlikely to slip around the outside (and/or over the front) of the fabric.

The direct control stow is intended to keep the slider up in the canopy until it reaches line stretch (so is the indirect control, or primary stow). Keeping the slider up in the canopy prior to line stretch (staging the deployment) ought to reduce the chance of a tension knot (because the slider won't be partially deploying down slack lines).


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Oh, and both the tailgate and rubber banding the slider up are both types of "reefing" right?



I suppose so. I'm not sure that there is a precise technical definition for "reefing", but I'd agree that the tailgate "reefs" the canopy, and the rubber band "reefs" (perhaps "constrains" or "stages" is a better word) the slider.
-- Tom Aiello

Tom@SnakeRiverBASE.com
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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[reply ALL slider down/off jumps. never on slider up.



why not on slider up jumps? it seems to be that the tailgate is another tool to use to help avoid lineovers. having a slider reefs the entire line set to slow the opening.
so,
1. canopy extraction
2. line stretch
3. slider drops
4. tailgate reefs inner C, D, brake lines, thus encouraging nose first inflation
5. canopy fully opens

I know people who use a tailgate when slider up, and people who dont. What makes this a never in your jumping? I understand it does very little, but everylittle bit counts, right? I just dont see a negative that isnt resolved with a small mesh slider.

nic

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