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Tandem with main / reserve out / handcam

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The skydive was going well until the drogue release was pulled. The TM was wearing a handcam and as the canopy opened he brought his hand in front to video both the punters face and the canopy opening. He got more than he bargained for as the reserve pud snagged on his jumpsuit which deployed his reserve. Fortunately the reserve opened behind the main, which was cut away as the canopies transitioned into a downplane. A standard reserve ride ensued.
An investigation was carried out with some interesting conclusions. The reserve pud was 'directly' connected to the reserve cable meaning that as soon as force is applied it is transferred directly to the reserve pin. Our other set of gear has about 2 inches of cable before the swage meaning that there is a certain tolerance before the force is transferred.
We contacted the manufacturer and the reaction was that this is a handcam specific problem and that their position is that handcam shouldn't be used. As a TM I disagree. While the handcam contributed to the scenerio, I believe that I should have full and free movement of my arms to deal with any situations.
We've modified both the shape of the pud, rounding it off, as well as our arm postion on opening.
But I must say I was disappointed with the manufacturers response. A hazard has been identified. Deal with it rather than burying your head in the sand.
2 wrongs don't make a right - but 3 lefts do.

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Glad you are both okay.

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he brought his hand in front to video both the punters face and the canopy opening.



What's a "punter"?

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there position is that handcam shouldn't be used. As a TM I disagree. While the handcam contributed to the scenerio, I believe that I should have full and free movement of my arms to deal with any situations.



That statement seems contradictory to me. If you have a big hunk of camera on your hand, then you don't have full and free movement of your hands. They also seem to present a snag hazard...

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Sorry, a punter is a 'downunder' term for passenger.

With regard to your other query I agree that the handcam can create issues but my point is that this isn't a handcam specific problem. It contributed, but all TMs should be aware that there may be a gear issue with tandem reserve handles facing out and potentially snagging - particuarly during the opening sequence.
2 wrongs don't make a right - but 3 lefts do.

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Can you let us know the type of gear?

I cannot see how the hand cam contibutes, can you enlighten us a bit more? What kind of reserve handle, and how exactly did it snag on the jumpsuit?
----------------------------------------------
You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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Fortunately the reserve opened behind the main,


On the last picture it looks like the main is behind the reserve.
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as the reserve pud snagged on his jumpsuit


What snagged the reserve handle, the handcam or the jump suit? I find it hard to believe a bit of baggy cloth can snag a handle. That does not mean it's impossible but if it was the handcam, that is another matter entirely.
Dave

Fallschirmsport Marl

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Thanks for your pedantic and quite accurate discription of the word punter. Semantics are a wonderful thing and it is a priviledge to be corrected. Thanks for your contribution. A Master is to a mistress as an Instructor is to a student.
2 wrongs don't make a right - but 3 lefts do.

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Hi Diablo, I guess the hand cam contributed in the fact that the arm was brought in front to capture the tandem students (punters - the betting type) face at the time of opening. This meant that as the harness 'distorted' - for want of a better word - the corner of the pud caught the jumpsuit. If a 'standard' arch was being maintained, the upper arm/jumpsuit wouldn't be near the pud.
My point is that it's not a handcam specific problem, but a potentially a problem that has wider ramifications.
2 wrongs don't make a right - but 3 lefts do.

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That's fu(ken shockin, mate! ... You didn't get the punter's face in shot once! :P

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Sorry re gear. I don't want to get into that specificly right now. However I'm intending to let the manufacturer of this gear know about this thread.



Looks like a Sigma, the student harness at least, with the snaps on attachment risers :)
Skydiving Fatalities - Cease not to learn 'til thou cease to live

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Looks like a Sigma, the student harness at least, with the snaps on attachment risers



I`ve seen this snaps on different rigs, and I know they are on a strong i regulary jump with too. So I would not be that shure....

alex

--
www.tandemmaster.net
www.skydivegear.de

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Looks like a Sigma, the student harness at least, with the snaps on attachment risers



I`ve seen this snaps on different rigs, and I know they are on a strong i regulary jump with too. So I would not be that shure....

alex



I don't now, i've never jumped Strong tandems. Could be. Don't Strongs generally have the integral 3 ring and student attachment ring hardware?
Skydiving Fatalities - Cease not to learn 'til thou cease to live

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I mean is a hand cam needed ? sounds goofy to me, one more thing on the list looking to take you out....hell, put one on each hand and along with one on your dick...:S i don't get it,,when is enough enough ?



I think they sell the footage to tandem students in lieu of having an outside camera flyer no?
Mykel AFF-I10
Skydiving Priorities: 1) Open Canopy. 2) Land Safely. 3) Don’t hurt anyone. 4) Repeat…

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I mean is a hand cam needed ? sounds goofy to me, one more thing on the list looking to take you out....hell, put one on each hand and along with one on your dick...:S i don't get it,,when is enough enough ?



Thanks for your inciteful and thought provoking comment? This will go along way to promoting safety in our sport.

With an attitude like yours I'm surprised that you've lasted the number of years and jumps your profile claims. This forum is to promote safety and training and I'm happy to take fair criticism but PA removed by slotperfect you should go and play somewhere else.

Thankfully not on a dropzone near me.
2 wrongs don't make a right - but 3 lefts do.

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Cheers AFFI,
I work on a small cessna dropzone where there are 2 TIs and I'm the camera jumper. We often use handcams to provide punters with what we believe is high quality video footage. Others may disagree but that is their problem as far as I'm concerned.
2 wrongs don't make a right - but 3 lefts do.

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Can you expand on this a bit? I'm still having problems seeing just how jumpsuit fabric is going to snag on a pud with enough force to pull a reserve pin.

In point of fact, it seems MUCH more likely that the cam snagged the pud. If this isn't the case, then your rigger may want to take some VERY hard looks at how they are maintaining the tandem rigs.
Mike
I love you, Shannon and Jim.
POPS 9708 , SCR 14706

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The handcam footage shows that the camera was at arms length when the the reserve was activated, which means that the instructors hand was also at arms length. If you look at tandem gear you'll see that both the cutaway handle and the reserve handle face 'outward' from the main liftweb so that they are accessable to the TI while carrying a passenger. Video footage clearly showed that the pud was secure on exit and during freefall and yet the reserve deployed just fractionally after the main. The TI initial thoght was that it was an AAD malfunction - deployed at 5000 ft - but the AAD was fine and the loop not cut. The reserve pud was found to be dislodged and hanging about 2 to 3 inches from where it should have been.
Tandem harnesses can go through a lot of distortion during opening, with the handles being in a 'higher' position after opening, moving from the chest area up to the shoulder area.
As regard to the maintainence in question, the gear in question had been in use for less than 3 months and had no more than 200 jumps on it. It was in excellent condition.
Therefore the only logical conclusion is the the pud was dislodged by catching on the jumpsuit in the upper arm area. This was because the left arm was being held out to capture the footage from which the photos were taken from.
As I mentioned, the reserve cable has no 'tolerance' and as soon as pressure is applied to the pud it is applied to the pin, which is about 1 inch long.
My intention is not to implicate a specific manufacturer and I realise that people will have opposing views to the use of handcam. But I stand by my belief that a TI should have full and free movement of their arms at all times to deal with situations as they arise.
2 wrongs don't make a right - but 3 lefts do.

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I mean is a hand cam needed ? sounds goofy to me, one more thing on the list looking to take you out....hell, put one on each hand and along with one on your dick...:S i don't get it,,when is enough enough ?



Oops, sorry. Seemed that I got a little carried away. Will post photos from dickcam shortly.
2 wrongs don't make a right - but 3 lefts do.

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I understand what you are saying, if the reserve cable does not have any slack in it then it needs to be fixed.

I am not a rigger, but I am sure a rigger can tell us how much slack there needs to be on a reserve cable. I have about 2 -3 inches on my sport rig.

However, you must realize that most people here are not going to believe that fabric on a jump suit released the reserve. They are going to go for the handcam that snagged the reserve handle.
Dave

Fallschirmsport Marl

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Seems thats the impression I'm getting also. However I can assure you thats not the case. As I explained the footage shows clearly this didn't happen. I agree about the 'tolerance' required and my sport rig is the same as yours. In the past I believe there was a similar problem when atriculated sports rigs were introduced with hip and chest rings, and the xtra movement was able to trigger a reserve opening - but don't quote me on this.
2 wrongs don't make a right - but 3 lefts do.

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