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FlyLikeARaven

Hook knife discussion - was Fitzgerald GA fatality

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FlyLikeARaven

After getting my own gear and hearing more than one rigger/coach say "you don't have a hook knife?! You really should have one!" I'm really kind of pissed that no one ever mentioned it in AFF. I went through 30 skydives without one; never again.



Giving a student a hook knife might do more harm than good (it still might). This is one area where you gained experience in the sport and made an equipment choice. There's a reason experience not just training is valued and recognized in the sport. Don't be surprised when it manifests in a tangible way like this.

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FlyLikeARaven

I'm really kind of pissed that no one ever mentioned it in AFF.



I understand your feeling. Still, student instruction programs do tend to focus on keeping you alive for the next 1 hour, although with some view to teaching good habits for the long term. There are a million things still to learn about skydiving and gear at the awkward point which you are set free, off of instruction.

While just about every skydiver is expected to have a knife, it has also been argued that it is exceedingly rare to actually need one outside of CRW.

And I don't think I've ever seen a rental rig with a knife. So having a knife is somewhere vaguely between 'not essential' and 'really smart to have'.

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JWest

The main reasoning I hear for a knife is incase of a line over on the reserve.



Use a little imagination and I'm sure you will find many more.

What's your plan if you have a premature reserve deployment while climbing out of the plane and find yourself hanging from the tail?

Yep.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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yoink

******I'm really kind of pissed that no one ever mentioned it in AFF.


What do you imagine an AFF student should learn about using a hook knife?


How to clear a line over on a reserve?

How often do reserve line-overs occur to AFF students? How often do they occur at all? Given the low probability of such an event, wouldn't your training time be better spent elsewhere, reducing the risks of more probable events?

Mark

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Of course I can think of way more. The people I've talked to about it give me that as their main reasoning.

I had a hook knife during AFF. My training consist of "if you get tangled in a line or have a line over of your reserve, use that to cut it."

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JWest

Of course I can think of way more. The people I've talked to about it give me that as their main reasoning.

I had a hook knife during AFF. My training consist of "if you get tangled in a line or have a line over of your reserve, use that to cut it."

Where were you trained?
I've never seen students given hook knives.
Ever.
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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I agree.

I want a mentally overloaded (not sure if that's the correct term) going to their reserve when in doubt - not chopping, hacking and sawing ineffectually away at either canopy and probebly making things much, much worse.

I am afraid such a scenario would be much more likely than a student actually needing a hook knife..
"That formation-stuff in freefall is just fun and games but with an open parachute it's starting to sound like, you know, an extreme sport."
~mom

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chuckakers

What's your plan if you have a premature reserve deployment while climbing out of the plane and find yourself hanging from the tail?



It depends on where's the main. If opened or packed - cuting reserve lines. If there isn't main - cutting reserve lines.
Fuck it.
What goes around, comes later.

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ufk22

***Of course I can think of way more. The people I've talked to about it give me that as their main reasoning.

I had a hook knife during AFF. My training consist of "if you get tangled in a line or have a line over of your reserve, use that to cut it."

Where were you trained?
I've never seen students given hook knives.
Ever.

It's a requirement in the UK for every jump. Students included.

Sure, it's low probability to ever be any use, but it's a simple bit of training given the potential severity of the situation. 'Leave this knife where it is UNLESS you have a line over on your reserve. At that point identify the line and cut that one only.'

That's it. It doesn't need to take much time at all but for me is worth including if only for the reason that most jumpers never go back and attach hook knives once they're trained. Far better to drill it into them from the beginning.

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Baksteen

I agree.

I want a mentally overloaded (not sure if that's the correct term) going to their reserve when in doubt - not chopping, hacking and sawing ineffectually away at either canopy and probebly making things much, much worse.

I am afraid such a scenario would be much more likely than a student actually needing a hook knife..



Not sure if I agree with your assessment. Like all of us, well trained students tend to do what they are trained to do, so I doubt one is going to whip out a hook knife and hack away at a mal that can simply be chopped if that's contrary to their training.

At one time we required a minimum jump number to fly squares because we thought studnts couldn't handle them. Today first jump students jump squares.

At one time we put students on ripcords because we feared they would screw up trying to use hand deploy setups. Today first jump students use hand deploy setups without excessive problems.

At one time we thought using a 2-handle EP setup on students was asking for trouble. Today it is routine.

Point being that students can typically use any tool they are trained to use.


I agree that the odds of a student needing a hook knife are quite small, but conversely there are countless cases of injuries and deaths of students and novices who got entangled from unstable deployments and other similar problems where a hook knife might have altered the outcome. Would a student take appropriate action should the need to use a hook knife be presented? Who knows, but there's one thing we absolutely know for sure. If you don't have a hook knife when you need one, you will probably never need one again.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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> Like all of us, well trained students tend to do what they are trained to do

Exactly. So if an AFF program is willing to train a student to cut lines (including, of course, practicing actually cutting lines) then great; that will benefit them both during training and later on in their career.

But giving them one and not training them how to use it is not much different than not giving them one. Best case is that they forget it's there, and then later, when they get training on how to use it, they remember.

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CountZero23

***
It's a requirement in the UK for every jump. Students included.



It's only a requirement once you pass your A license. Before this point students jump without.

Crap. You're right. It's been too long since my training.

Is it still included in the FJC? It was when I did mine.

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billvon

> Like all of us, well trained students tend to do what they are trained to do

Exactly. So if an AFF program is willing to train a student to cut lines (including, of course, practicing actually cutting lines) then great; that will benefit them both during training and later on in their career.

But giving them one and not training them how to use it is not much different than not giving them one. Best case is that they forget it's there, and then later, when they get training on how to use it, they remember.



Agreed, although my guess is the vast majority of experienced jumpers with hook knives have never "trained" to use one either. :P
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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ufk22

***Of course I can think of way more. The people I've talked to about it give me that as their main reasoning.

I had a hook knife during AFF. My training consist of "if you get tangled in a line or have a line over of your reserve, use that to cut it."

Where were you trained?
I've never seen students given hook knives.
Ever.


He's been jumping longer than you. ;)

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yoink

******
It's a requirement in the UK for every jump. Students included.



It's only a requirement once you pass your A license. Before this point students jump without.

Crap. You're right. It's been too long since my training.

Is it still included in the FJC? It was when I did mine.

Well here it is a requirement.
It's part of the basic rules, when you skydive you need to have a knife.
And yes we do train students on when and why to use a knife and it's not a problem.

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dorbie

***... it's not a problem.



..until it's a problem.

I find it amazing how close minded people can be in this sport. So many people just reflexively oppose any training method that they do not use or have used themselves. Probably for another thread though.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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gowlerk

******... it's not a problem.



..until it's a problem.

I find it amazing how close minded people can be in this sport. So many people just reflexively oppose any training method that they do not use or have used themselves. Probably for another thread though.

I've considered many discussions where experienced jumpers are humble enough to admit that mid air rigging might cause more problems than it solves including a few who mention trying and failing to cut the right line during a line over even after several attempts. The one exception being Tom Aiello's epic BASE line over video where he didn't have a plan B. I'd be rather closed minded to reject that evidence.

My remark in response to "it's not a problem" was to highlight that you cannot possibly have the data to draw this conclusion without a body of students trying to use a hook knife to clear some kind of mal.

There's nothing closed minded about accepting what limited data there is to reject a bad and potentially deadly idea when wishful thinking is offered instead of data or clear reasoning. The claim made was farcical as is your attack on me. Sometimes foolish and deadly ideas are rejected because the risk that they might get an overloaded new jumper killed exceeds the benefit based on limited available evidence.

That might change if training consisted of more than a one day FJC to include better simulation.

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