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chutingstar

Cypres Service Bulletin Released

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FYI: Just Released from Airtec.

Service Bulletin
January 2008
Issue date: 22.01.2008
Bulletin number: C1/2 0108

Subject: Neccessary actions in case of an unsuccessful or incomplete selftest, Cypres1 and Cypres2.

Status: mandatory

Identification: All Cypres1 and Cypres2 units, all versions, in case of unsuccessful or incomplete selftest and/or switch-on procedure.

Background:
On the 29th of December 2007 in Eloy, AZ, USA a Cypres2 unit activated a few seconds after exit. The Cypres showed problems with the switch-on several times the days before. An attempt to
switch on the unit before the skydive was made, and nothing was seen on the display, but it was decided to use the parachute anyway. Fortunately there were no injuries.
The technical inspection in Germany showed that this incident was a result of several factors.
A very abnormal power supply defect (transient battery voltage before failure) in combination with a specific flight situation made this activation possible.
After days of reconstructing and testing, we judge this as a very unique scenario. We tested a very high number of batteries in our house without any findings. There are no reports of similar
cases.

Service Bulletin:
Please always observe the complete selftest until the „0“ appears.
In the event an error code is displayed, please consult the appropriate CYPRES User's Guide for appropriate action(s).
In the event that there are any irregularities or conditions during the selftest and/or switch-on procedure, which are not explained in the CYPRES User's Guide (such as unknown error codes or numbers, missing numbers, no red light, blank display, etc.) – please contact Airtec or SSK before the next jump.

Compliance date:
Effective immediately.

Authority:
Airtec GmbH & Co. KG
Kai Koerner
Tel: +49 2953 989948
Fax:+49 2953 1293
kai@cypres.cc
Mittelstrasse 69
33181 Bad Wuennenberg
Germany

Distribution:
All dealers
Parachuting publications
Parachute Industry Association
ChutingStar.com

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The technical inspection in Germany showed that this incident was a result of several factors. A very abnormal power supply defect in combination with a specific flight situation made this activation possible.



So what is the "specific flight situation" involved in this misfire?

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This happened to another jumper's (DSE) unit as well at the same boogie. Fortunately he did not attempt to jump the rig after experienceing the noted problem.
"It's just skydiving..additional drama is not required"
Some people dream about flying, I live my dream
SKYMONKEY PUBLISHING

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That is EXACTLY what they are saying:

In the event that there are any irregularities or conditions during the selftest and/or switch-on procedure, which are not explained in the CYPRES User's Guide (such as unknown error codes or numbers, missing numbers, no red light, blank display, etc.) – please contact Airtec or SSK before the next jump.

Over the summer a jumper and I debated jumping a rig that had a Cypres start-up failure (screen went blank). We decided not to...and the event in AZ proves that it was a prudent decision. When in doubt always trust your instincts!

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if the unit does anything strange when you are starting it up, Don't jump it?



Not quite. If it does something strange, check the manual. If the manual says something about that situation, follow its directions (which may be dont jump it). If it doesnt say anything, then dont jump it.
Remster

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CStar,

Thanks for the 411. Where did (has) this SB appeared? I don't find it on SSKs www.cypres-usa.com website nor Airtec's corporate website http://www.cypres.cc/ ... okay, maybe its there and I'm just blind. :S


Service Bulletin:
Please always observe the complete selftest until the „0“ appears.
In the event an error code is displayed, please consult the appropriate CYPRES User's Guide for appropriate action(s).
In the event that there are any irregularities or conditions during the selftest and/or switch-on procedure, which are not explained in the CYPRES User's Guide (such as unknown error codes or numbers, missing numbers, no red light, blank display, etc.) – please contact Airtec or SSK before the next jump.


Anyway, my 2 cents...

They're harping on folks to "read and follow the instructions" for things that happen that are covered in the manual... this is not a bad thing.

With respect to things not covered in the manual, they're covering themselves with the "...please contact Airtec or SSK before the next jump..." statement... and note being spefic to say contact Airtec or SSK & not your local rigger or buddy. Short answer, they're saying don't jump it if something not covered in the manual comes up and you have talk to us.

Without trying to over-speculate too much, this would seem to be a confirmaiotn from Airtec that there is some sort of failure mode to Cypres (1 & 2 or just 2... dunno) where the screen can be blank, but the unit is somehow "On" and could go off if jumped. I'll admit, I was somewhat sceptical about that, but here it is. That I'd like to hear more about. Who knows if we will or not.

In the past, I've seen rigs with a Cypres 1 that the unit failed the battery test (i.e. counted down, got to 8999 or 8998) and shut off that were still jumped (by up jumpers, NOT students) with the Cypres OFF until the rig could be turned over to a rigger to replace the batteries (i.e. end of the weekend)... maybe this wasn't the smartest thing to do? :S

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CStar,

Thanks for the 411. Where did (has) this SB appeared? I don't find it on SSKs www.cypres-usa.com website nor Airtec's corporate website http://www.cypres.cc/ ... okay, maybe its there and I'm just blind. :S



You're not crazy...well at least not in regards to this. ;) I received it in an e-mail from Airtec. I was going to link to the .pdf file on their site when I made the original post, but it's not there yet. I would imagine it will be posted under technical bulletins on the following page sometime soon:

http://cypres.cc/Sites/englisch/Frameset_engl_MY_CYPRES.htm

Mike
ChutingStar.com

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You're not crazy...well at least not in regards to this. I received it in an e-mail from Airtec. I was going to link to the .pdf file on their site when I made the original post, but it's not there yet. I would imagine it will be posted under technical bulletins on the following page sometime soon:



I found out about it here first. SSK Military Industries sent out an email to its military customers later the same day.
Arrive Safely

John

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I'm not happy with the way the bulletin was worded.

I do sympathize with those who try to build reliable AADs, and have to deal with what may here be a very rare case with an unusually flaky battery.

But this all changes our perception of a Cypres. The bulletin may be factually correct, but in the way it mentions 'error codes' and 'irregularities' it isn't as obvious as it should be, that:

"A Cypres that is OFF may not actually be OFF -- and may not be safe to jump!"

That's really new and a totally different mindset.

What has been written before about Cypres' that switch off during the startup cycle?

A Cypres1 manual I have mentions error codes and it turning itself off. Although the Cypres may clearly not be operational, it says nothing about any danger in leaving the Cypres Off, or immediately contacting Airtec/SSK. (At least in the "Switching CYPRES On" and "Errors Display" sections.)

A Cypres2 manual I have does mention contacting Airtec/SSK (in the Error Display section), or sending the unit for maintenance (in the Operational Safety section) because it won't turn on again. But it says nothing about danger in using the rig with the Cypres Off.

A complicating factor is that people may miss seeing any error code, displayed briefly before the unit shows a blank screen again. This applies whether they are turning their own Cypres on or perhaps all of the DZ's tandem & rental rigs. You start the sequence, move to the next rig, and then come back to check that all rigs show a zero.

If a Cypres instead shows a blank, now what?

Is it because of an valid error code that you missed, that is explained in the manual and thus safe even according to the latest bulletin? (The bulletin only talks of irregularities NOT explained in the manual.)

Or was there some other weird display, or did it just not complete the sequence and turn itself off? (It seems from '91 to '07 this was bad but the device was considered Off, while in '08 one is to ground the rig.)

If you didn't watch the whole sequence, you don't know which case applies.

You might be able to turn it on again to see the error code, but for some errors the unit won't allow itself to be turned on (as the manual says).

And then the Cypres1 manual says that is possible to have a low battery error code, then it shuts itself off, then you might occasionally be able to turn it on again and show zero (no error code) -- but then it is not guaranteed to work correctly.

If this post is all a bit messy, well, yes. It takes time to work precisely through the rules governing various scenarios. And I may well have missed something too.

Someone might say that all this is a bit alarmist, for even in the past if a Cypres went weird, it might be prudent to ground the rig. On the other hand, believing the Cypres to be safely Off, the owner might have jumped it for the rest of the weekend and then called Airtec on Monday, or left it with their rigger to try changing the battery.

"Cypres: All you have to do is turn it on... and read the latest manual & bulletins in detail, and create a mental decision tree as part of working to fully understand the implications of all that is contained in the aforementioned information sources."

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In the past, I've seen rigs with a Cypres 1 that the unit failed the battery test (i.e. counted down, got to 8999 or 8998) and shut off that were still jumped (by up jumpers, NOT students) with the Cypres OFF until the rig could be turned over to a rigger to replace the batteries (i.e. end of the weekend)... maybe this wasn't the smartest thing to do? :S



If the display goes blank, how would anyone know they've turned the unit "off" ?

A Cypres - or any other brand AAD that is not starting up properly should not be jumped. It's that simple. If people don't have a copy of the owner's manual, they should GET one, or download a copy, and keep it in their gearbag.

AADs have been a remarkable safety advance for our sport, but used improperly they can KILL people. A reserve going off mere seconds after exit, at altitude, could've killed both the user and anyone else unfortunate to be in the way. This ain't badminton we're playing here.

It's a shame they have to make a Service Bulletin to remind people to actually READ the manual and do what it says.

Your humble servant.....Professor Gravity !

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This isn't a case of RTFM. Where in the manual do find a warning that a cypres is dangerous when jumped if 0 isn't on the display?

Mind you, rig will be swaped, used by multiple persons, prepared by persons not jumping the rig themselves.

I've said in different topics already, but this is NOT a case of RTFM, the problem stated: "If cypres does not say "0" you can't say if the unit is off, or maybe someone turned it on with an error in which case in can misfire at will"

True, I personally think this is a serieus issue, but you can differ of opinion on that. What does irritate me is people claiming this to be a case of RTFM. It is beyond me how "holy" Airtec is. They're responsible for save AAD's, they made it possible, and therefore saved ALOT of lives and should be credited for that. But they're not saints and have made big mistakes before.

I am probably biased though, since I jump another AAD.
The trouble with skydiving; If you stink at it and continue to jump, you'll die. If you're good at it and continue to jump, you'll see a lot of friends die...

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I'm not going to argue whether this is a case of RTFM or not... I'll let that up to others. :D

Anyway, USPA, I hope you're not saying that reading the manual is a "bad" thing?

I wonder too if you would agree or disagree that there are some (maybe more than just a few) that would benifit from being more deligent about reading the manual? IMO, there are many situations, questiuons, concerns and comments / conjecture that could be avoided by reading the maual... all one has to do is sift through several of the threads around here to figure out there's some truth in that. :|

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I'm not happy with the way the bulletin was worded.



Then please email your feedback to Airtec - don't just post it here. Reps from both Airtec and SSK read these forums regularly, but this type of feedback is best sent directly from you the customer.

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But this all changes our perception of a Cypres. The bulletin may be factually correct, but in the way it mentions 'error codes' and 'irregularities' it isn't as obvious as it should be, that:

"A Cypres that is OFF may not actually be OFF -- and may not be safe to jump!"

That's really new and a totally different mindset.



I disagree - I think it's just plain common sense. Military users have been doing exactly what the service bulletin states ever since we started using them in the 1990's:

-Switch the CYPRES on, watch the countdown. Anything other than "Zero Down" means look the error code up in the manual and comply with the resulting instructions. Anything out of the ordinary such as an unknown error code, a blank screen, or the unit shutting itself off without explanation results in the rig being grounded and the manufacturer (SSK in our case) gets a call. Nearly 100% of the time we pull the unit out of the rig and send it back for testing - I cannot recall one case of a unit not being repaired.

All of our jumpers, Jumpmasters, and Riggers have been taught this common sense approach.

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A complicating factor is that people may miss seeing any error code, displayed briefly before the unit shows a blank screen again. This applies whether they are turning their own Cypres on or perhaps all of the DZ's tandem & rental rigs. You start the sequence, move to the next rig, and then come back to check that all rigs show a zero.

If a Cypres instead shows a blank, now what?



Then you turn it on again, this time paying attention to the behavior of the unit.

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You might be able to turn it on again to see the error code, but for some errors the unit won't allow itself to be turned on (as the manual says).



Then you ground the rig and call the manufacturer - again, it's just plain common sense.

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On the other hand, believing the Cypres to be safely Off, the owner might have jumped it for the rest of the weekend and then called Airtec on Monday, or left it with their rigger to try changing the battery.



This choice I can completely understand, providing the user knows for a fact the unit is in fact switched off. If he turned it on and walked away from the countdown, returning to find a blank screen and a unit that he cannot get any further activity out of in the display, assuming it is now "off" is a huge assumption and he is taking a risk in jumping it.

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"Cypres: All you have to do is turn it on... and read the latest manual & bulletins in detail, and create a mental decision tree as part of working to fully understand the implications of all that is contained in the aforementioned information sources."



The decision tree is easy:

-Turn it on
-Watch the countdown
-Error code? Read the manual and comply.
-No explanation in the manual, odd behavior that can't be replicated or accurately described, or a blank screen that does not respond to input? Ground the rig and call the manufacturer.

This service bulletin is telling we military customers to do something that we have taken as a common sense approach from day one.

I applaud Airtec for considering this important enough to educate the masses with a service bulletin rather than just handle it as an isolated incident.
Arrive Safely

John

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The situation I'd be more concerned with is that the AAD is turned on and fails to end with a "0". The owner then assumes they've incorrectly attempted to turn it on so they try it again. If this time it passes the self-test and calibration and shows the "0" then what are the chances that it is in fact safe to jump?

-Michael

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Assuming that the user watched the countdown and saw it end in "something other than 0" - if the unusual behavior cannot be repeated in a few more on/off cycles it qualifies as "odd behavior that can't be replicated or accurately described." I would not jump the rig until the manufacturer is consulted.
Arrive Safely

John

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Slotperfect: I actually did write Airtec prior to the DZ.com post.

It is possible for someone to reasonably think that not being able to turn a Cypres on, means that the battery is dead and the Cypres is off & safe.
Technically I think that was OK by the Cypres1 and 2 manuals.
And both manuals state "fail-safe error detection".

But other than wanting to restate that defense, I won't argue what you would suggest:

It has always probably been a good idea not to jump with an AAD that is doing unexpected things...

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Slotperfect: I actually did write Airtec prior to the DZ.com post.



EXCELLENT! I love to hear that!

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It is possible for someone to reasonably think that not being able to turn a Cypres on, means that the battery is dead and the Cypres is off & safe.



Remove the word "reasonably" and I agree with you. However, making that assumption is the wrong thing to do.

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And both manuals state "fail-safe error detection".



I have to chew on that one for a while . . .

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It has always probably been a good idea not to jump with an AAD that is doing unexpected things...



That's the idea! My point exactly!
Arrive Safely

John

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I agree RTFM would have a significant impact in alot of questions asked on dz.com, but that has nothing to do with this issue...
The trouble with skydiving; If you stink at it and continue to jump, you'll die. If you're good at it and continue to jump, you'll see a lot of friends die...

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I believe the situation was we were in a hold at altitutde waiting for a big way or something-another to clear..

Guys ends up like this:
If you tried to turn the unit on and it does not turn on/nothing happens, and it does not show a "0" do not jump it. It may have issues.

The jumper involved was even sketchy about jumping the rig "without a cypress". None-the-less, being there first hand, I will still jump mine and truely believe this was an unique case that is now documented and avoidable.

-Trunk
HYPOXIC

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