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i_like_to_fly

saftey seal jams reserve (non deployment)

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Hello all,
I'm pretty new to the sport but came across a rather unnerving situation last week when i popped my rez. in my living room.
I don't know if anyone has ever heard of this situation before but thought i'd post it as it seems rather pertinent.

i put my rig on and made sure that i wasn't going to knock anything over behind me. ( i have a friend who broke a lamp this way :) )
i looked down, grasped my D handle and pulled firmly. the handle came away smoothly and with less resistance than i was expecting. i heard no other noise, nor felt anything else happen. I pulled the cable completely out and looked over my shoulder. nothing. no boing. no pop nothing had changed.
i jumped up and down, jiggled the container, hit it with my elbows. nothing.
I took the container off and put it on the floor none too gently. the reserve flaps were still closed. i pulled the closure flap up and looked inside gingerly, expecting to get a PC in the face. nothing.
here is what i saw:

the small lead seal with red thread that was on my single pin reserve (older talon container) had been pulled into the loop grommet and completely jammed it closed. i had to pull it out with my fingertips.
boing! out popped my PC.
i was a little shaken.

So. I thought that was kind of scary. has anyone else ever heard of this? perhaps a 1 in a million fluke?
i know i'll be looking at my Rez. pin before every jump from now on!
your mind is like a parachute: it works best when open.

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Should have taken a picture :( I have never heard of that happening, but my reaction would be the same as yours!
We're not fucking flying airplanes are we, no we're flying a glorified kite with no power and it should be flown like one! - Stratostar

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the small lead seal with red thread that was on my single pin reserve (older talon container) had been pulled into the loop grommet and completely jammed it closed.



I dont normally go out on a limb, but I'd say BS...


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i know i'll be looking at my Rez. pin before every jump from now on!



As everyone should....:S
www.WestCoastWingsuits.com
www.PrecisionSkydiving.com

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I believe this is the reason as to why they do not seal reserve containers in Australia, perhaps someone from down under could shed some light on the subject.

The rumor I heard was that a couple people died when the seal got caught in the ripcord housing.

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no more than 22lbs of pull force on the handle, BUT i don't understand how it can be "pulled" into the grommet. I think it might be possible to "maybe" push it in by a lot of pressure, maybe stowing the rig on that flap then putting a lot of weight on the rig. Maybe leaning back REALLY hard against the floor or wall of the plane, but it still seems unlikely.

That area can take a lot of pressure/punishment (take a look at the imprint of the reserve cable on some people's rigs) but it still seems unlikely...... however you should always check your reserve pin(s) before putting your rig on for a jump
Pete Draper,

Just because my life plan is written on the back of a Hooter's Napkin, it's still a life plan.... right?

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I believe this is the reason as to why they do not seal reserve containers in Australia, perhaps someone from down under could shed some light on the subject.

The rumor I heard was that a couple people died when the seal got caught in the ripcord housing.



Same in the UK ... we tend not to seal them here


... Is it possible the wrong thread was used ?

or

... Incorrectly routed ?

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Do you still have the closing loop and the seal? It seems odd that the loop would be large enough to accommodate the seal, not to mention the mechanics of pulling the seal into the loop while the whole thing is under pressure.

If you could, please try to re-insert the seal into the loop and take a photo for us, it's fine if the canopy is out of the container, it's the loop and seal I'm interested in. If I have time later I may play around with some loops and seals and see what it takes to allow that to happen.
Tom Buchanan
Instructor Emeritus
Comm Pilot MSEL,G
Author: JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy

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Any riggers, how much tension is the reserve closing loop under, minimum?



TSO-C23d (SAE AS8015 B) § 4.3.2.4 Specifies ripcord pull force of not less than 5 lbf (22.2N) nor more than 22 lbf (97.9N).

Just another reason to have an AAD... it provides an additional way to get the reserve container open. I have a friend who had a hard reserve pull and who was saved only by the AAD opening the container by a non-ripcord/non-pin means.
The choices we make have consequences, for us & for others!

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Both my newer and older Talon have the end of the cable housing 5-6 inches from the flap grommet, so this is impossible unless there was a leftover old seal there or the seal thread was incredibly long.

I can see how some manufacturer in the past designed their rig with the cable housing way too close to the grommet, and I can see how this might have happened in the past under normal conditions, but not now. Manufacturers know better now.




Duh'Oh

Edited after I was reminded that the Racer has the cable housing very close to the grommet.

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I would contact Sandy Reid at Rigging Innovations. The problem you describe sounds like it wouldn't be exclusive to RI products, but since it happened on an RI rig I would call Sandy. He may have some insight, and I'm sure he would want to know about it.

Scary stuff for sure, and not something that should happen under any circumstances.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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Even photos of a reconstruction of the event would help, especially if the original seal is used.
(And we also have the situation of a first time poster with no profile, which may or may not mean anything.)


Just wanted to clarify a couple issues people brought up where I think the original post may have been misread:

"For the lead seal to get pulled into the loop" -->
The O.P. wrote that the seal jammed in the grommet, and didn't mention anything about it actually going into the actual loop in the closing loop in any way.

Presumably the seal went into the grommet, jamming the loop against the grommet?

"the end of the cable housing 5-6 inches from the flap grommet, so this is impossible" --> The seal got stuck in the top grommet, not the ripcord housing.

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I dont normally go out on a limb, but I'd say BS...



I don't know about that. If the seal thread was too long, and the seal could hang below the bottom of the pin, when you pull the ripcord, the seal could 'chase' the pin up towards the loop.

I dont think the seal was fully under the loop, but if a corner of the seal caught the loop, the other end of the seal could wedge itself against the grommet.

While the likelyhood of this happening is rare, it could happen. The good news is that prevention is a snap. Just make sure the seal is installed such that it hangs above the pin/grommet, and you're all set.

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the small lead seal had been pulled into the loop grommet and completely jammed it closed.



I've heard of this happening before. It's rare, but can happen. Yes, it's scary.

I also worry about those RSL lanyard tabs jamming a 3-ring during a cut-away.

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It's very hard to understand exactly what happened with the seal without photos or a knowledgable person with more experienced describing what happened.

But as best I can figure out your saying the seal was PUSHED into the grommet, not PULLED into the grommet by pulling the ripcord. If this is the case this IS an gear check/inspection issue that should at least be found during daily inspection. You might not look at it between jumps but it's very hard to cram on it that hard. I'd think it was something your realize you'd done and check the gear again. Like landing very hard and rolling through the pea gravel. This is a reason to move the reserve cable in the housing again.

One other option is to use the next larger seal that doesn't fit in the grommet as easily. I bought a hundred seals of the next bigger size than usual. The whole symbol fits more easily. I've used them a couple of times.
I'm old for my age.
Terry Urban
D-8631
FAA DPRE

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First time I have heard of this malfunction ... but then I have only been rigging for 25 years.

Maybe the last rigger invented a new method of sealing reserves .. substantially different than the manual.

Or the rig was abused ... broken thread, lead seal jammed into the grommet. It takes a lot of force, applied in a specific direction to jam a lead seal into a grommet. Most of the time lead seals just fall off when abused that badly. Anyone who is that abusive to parachutes deserves to die.
I suspect a troll.

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Brits don't seal reserves because some idiot accidentally sealed a reserve with nylon E Thread (minimum breaking strength 8.5 pounds) instead of the wimpy 4.75 pound cotton thread specified in all the manuals.
Cotton sealing thread is so filmsy that half the reserve seals break before the end of the repack cycle.
Ho!
Hum!
Reserve sealing thread is mainly to prevent tampering. It should fail at less than the force required to extract the ripcord handle from the pocket (5 pounds).

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Thanks to everyone who has responded.
in hindsight a picture WOULD have been brilliant, but i didn't think of it at the time.
to clarify a few points:
The seal was just over the size of the flaps grommet.
and the red thread WAS pretty long, the seal could flop about.
The seal was jammed IN the grommet WITH the closing loop (not IN the loop). and when i say jammed i don't mean external force, i mean that in pulling the pin it was somehow at exactly the right place to catch the loop and get stuck.
Unfortunately i don't have my rig (it's already gone for a repack)or i would set up the picture.

As for abusing/thrashing my rig, that doesn't happen.

My best guess (uneducated though it may be) is that the thread was longer than it should be and as i pulled the pin the seal was hanging/pressed right above the grommet and the thread was pulled through the loop.
Now i can't honestly remember if the thread was through the loop or not, but i think it was. either way, when i said i was going to check my pin before every jump, i mean that i will be looking for that seal and making sure it is as far away from the grommet as possible.
your mind is like a parachute: it works best when open.

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I know of a rigger that runs the thead through the loop...not just around the pin. Theoretically...it could break from the cable...but still possibly hold the flaps down.....thread though the loop and still smached in the seal....but I still don't see it happening.
my pics & stuff!

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The thread was not originally routed through the loop. It was only around the cable, between the two rings.

The reason for me posting this was not to spark any debate as to whether i'm a troll or not.
Rather, i came across a situation that neither I nor my other skydiving friends (with far more exp than I) had heard of before. Due to the rather ( i thought) serious nature of the Mal. i wanted to put it out there. could be a 1 in a million. fair enough. but i don't think its worth NOT mentioning.

thank you all for the replies.
Looking forward to the new season!
your mind is like a parachute: it works best when open.

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Duh'Oh

Edited after I was reminded that the Racer has the cable housing very close to the grommet.



the housing is only close to the top pin grommet, not the grommet under the pin that is sealed. Just for clarification ;)
Pete Draper,

Just because my life plan is written on the back of a Hooter's Napkin, it's still a life plan.... right?

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