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jrjny

How Often You Check Reserve Pin?

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Every jump, on the ground. I not only open the flap and look, but I tug a little on the cable to watch the swaged ball move up & down in the handle. I climb out in floater positions a lot and want to be very sure about my pins !

Your humble servant.....Professor Gravity !

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>The real question is, how many have been avoided by doing a quick pin check?

That's the question - and that's why I included the above incident. That's (supposedly) the sort of incident that is avoided by pin checks, yet it occurred despite very extensive reserve pin checks. Indeed, by increasing wear on the reserve flaps it may have _contributed_ to the incident. Our rigs had transparent windows over the reserve pin; might the incident have been prevented if the pin covers were "like new" (achieved by using the window instead of actually doing a traditional pin check) rather than having gone through 1000 or so openings and closings?

Most premature main openings seem to be due to packing errors (too-long closing loop, bridle not routed correctly) with pin protection coming in second. Reserve preemies seem to follow the opposite rule - #1 is failure of pin protection, followed by packing errors. I suspect this is due to the far greater care that is applied to packing reserves, and to the fact that aircraft door tops tend to hit reserves far more often than mains.

So might having stiffer (i.e. less-handled) pin protection be a better tradeoff than a pin check on every jump?

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Agreed...
At my home DZ, or any DZ where I pretty much know everyone, 1st thing in the morning is it, unless I biff or bump things.
If I'm traveling to somewhere new, big, boogie, or especially if I use a packer I check my pin, PC, and bridle routing before every gear-up.
This is the paradox of skydiving. We do something very dangerous, expose ourselves to a totally unnecesary risk, and then spend our time trying to make it safer.

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>C'mon guys, that's a bit on the complacent side, don't ya think?

How many incidents have resulted from, or been made more likely by, checking one's reserve pin once a day instead of once per jump?

The one serious accident I was aware of involved a student who managed to open his reserve on the step of the aircraft. He had had three reserve pin checks, the last one a few minutes before exit. Broken femur, damaged aircraft.





The real question is, how many have been avoided by doing a quick pin check?


As far as any certifiable fatalities cause by not checking a reserve pin...I don't really know, maybe none....but I am positive that that's one case of beer I never wanna owe!


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He had had three reserve pin checks, the last one a few minutes before exit.

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The real question is, how many have been avoided by doing a quick pin check?



That is a good question. How many people have inspected their reserve pin between jumps and found a potential problem (pin nearly out, pin inverted (or dangerously incorrectly orientated), cable frayed damaged etc)

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The real question is, how many have been avoided by doing a quick pin check?


I've heard a case when someone died because she could not launch her reserve due to a bent pin.



Problem is, that type of information doesnt help. When was it bent? before the jump, during climbout/exit, or maybe even possibly during the jump?
Remster

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Yup...

Doing a 2 way out of a 182 years ago, a guy ahead of me on GutGear, he banged the MAIN backpack so hard on the door it bent the top pin rendering it undeployable...front mounted reserve worked okay.

I always remembered looking at his rig on the ground thinking that's about where my hogback reserve pin was. :o Sure made me a lot more cautious crawling out...



Damn Racers...:ph34r::ph34r:










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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So might having stiffer (i.e. less-handled) pin protection be a better tradeoff than a pin check on every jump?



No. A reserve pin check before every jump is a must. The process of making a skydive, the deployment, landing, and subsequent pack job creates too many opportunities for the reserve pin or ripcord to be effected in some ways that you cannot let it go unchecked before the next jump.

If your concern is wear on the pin cover flap, the solution is an improved pin cover flap or system for checking the pin, not to avoid the check itself.

In your example of the student reserve out on the step, I would look to the actions of the student as a contributor to the incident. It's more likely that a student would not be aware of their rig, and dragging it against things in and around the aircraft during the climbout. Given that the pins were checked (I'm assuming) before boarding and again before exit, it leaves the climbout as the only time the pins were 'unsupervised'.

Short of a Racer, there is no pin cover that is 100% 'jumper proof'. They can all be opened given enough force applied in the right direction, even when brand new and packed correctly.

I'm not suggesting that I have a solution for the problem, just that reducing the number of pin checks is not it. I would suggest that better jumper education in terms of being mindful of where your rig is and what you are doing with it would be a far better solution. A saw a recent video of an RW jumper who was attempting to 'head jam' himself in the door of an Otter, but instead of pressing the back of his neck against the floater bar, he pressed the reserve flap of his rig against the bar, resulting in a reserve launch on the hill.

If that jumper had been thinking about his rig, that wouldn't have happened. There's a chance that if the student in your example (or the instructors) had been more mindful of the rig, that example might not have happened.

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I'm not suggesting that I have a solution for the problem, just that reducing the number of pin checks is not it.

I have a pretty simple solution... Put a transparent window on the main and reserve flaps, tandem style... Easy to check the sitting of the pin without messing with the flap...

I think I will ask that on my next rig :)

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The real question is, how many have been avoided by doing a quick pin check?


I've heard a case when someone died because she could not launch her reserve due to a bent pin.



I found a bent pin on a friends rig after he had put his rig on.

Ever since then I have thought that our reserve pins are too vulnerable to such damage. It should not be possible to bend them, no matter how hard we bash into a door frame or any structure in the plane or anywhere else. The service bulletins from several years ago should have resulted by now in an improvement. Even when the pins are made properly, they are too vulnerable to bending.

A racer won't have the pins bent hitting the door, but they can still have the pop top snagged and so much force put on them that the closing loop might break, right? Probably less likely though.
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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The real question is, how many have been avoided by doing a quick pin check?


I've heard a case when someone died because she could not launch her reserve due to a bent pin.



I found a bent pin on a friends rig after he had put his rig on.

Ever since then I have thought that our reserve pins are too vulnerable to such damage. It should not be possible to bend them, no matter how hard we bash into a door frame or any structure in the plane or anywhere else. The service bulletins from several years ago should have resulted by now in an improvement. Even when the pins are made properly, they are too vulnerable to bending.

A racer won't have the pins bent hitting the door, but they can still have the pop top snagged and so much force put on them that the closing loop might break, right? Probably less likely though.




I always wondered why a pin at all?

Why not just a long piece of covered steel cable?










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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I always wondered why a pin at all?

Why not just a long piece of covered steel cable?

like the yellow lolon coated cable ?



Not hard enough; the cable would be pulled into the grommet making it just like a bent pin, only worse. It could be reinforced at that point, perhaps, but there is already a solution for that: hardened steel pins. ;)

I'm interested in the Skyhook pin and its ability to withstand forces which would bend a standard reserve pin.

Does anyone know of info on this?

(EFS: edit for spelling!)
"Even in a world where perfection is unattainable, there's still a difference between excellence and mediocrity." Gary73

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>In your example of the student reserve out on the step, I would look to the actions
>of the student as a contributor to the incident.

It definitely contributed. He rubbed his reserve container on the lip of the door until the pin protector opened, then popped the pin. Given his behavior, stiffer pin protection may have avoided the incident; a fourth pin check would not have.

>Short of a Racer, there is no pin cover that is 100% 'jumper proof'.

Also Reflex, which is my second rig.

>I would suggest that better jumper education in terms of being mindful of where
>your rig is and what you are doing with it would be a far better solution.

I agree. And if all jumpers are mindful of where there rig is at all times, you would need neither pin checks nor protector flaps. However, jumpers (and especially students) being what they are, both pin checks and pin protection are important backups. It is wise, IMO, to have both - and to not remove the protection of one by neglecting the other.

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>Why not just a long piece of covered steel cable?

I think plastic or teflon coated steel cables are too easy to bend. There have been several cases of very high cutaway forces "sucking" the cable through the hole - and closing forces for reserves are pretty high.

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>Why not just a long piece of covered steel cable?

I think plastic or teflon coated steel cables are too easy to bend. There have been several cases of very high cutaway forces "sucking" the cable through the hole - and closing forces for reserves are pretty high.




Yeah, I can see that...but then again, why not a cable 2 or 3x's the OD of what's currently used?










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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>Is there really any problem with wearing the closing flaps out over time, checking the pin?

Depends on the rig. I've seen a lot of Vectors whose reserve flap will barely stay closed after a few hundred openings and closings. My G4 is still pretty solid, but the side tuck tabs are starting to get that deadly curve to them after about 800 jumps. Reflexes have been no problem (obviously.)

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And when talking about the reserve pin, let's not forget about the condition of the reserve loop. I've seen too many scary looking reserve loops over the years.

Blue skies
"My belief is that once the doctor whacks you on the butt, all guarantees are off" Jerry Baumchen

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And when talking about the reserve pin, let's not forget about the condition of the reserve loop. I've seen too many scary looking reserve loops over the years.

Blue skies




I'm glad you brought that up...my old rigger use to replace mine every re-pack, I'll have to make a note to let my new rigger know that's what I want to keep doing.










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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And when talking about the reserve pin, let's not forget about the condition of the reserve loop. I've seen too many scary looking reserve loops over the years.

Blue skies




I'm glad you brought that up...my old rigger use to replace mine every re-pack, I'll have to make a note to let my new rigger know that's what I want to keep doing.



apparently, my rigger replaced my main-loop too.. whole rig starts to look like shit now again.. but i still appreciate it! :)
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-Hunter S. Thompson
"No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try."
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