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pchapman

Philosophy of banning the Argus

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>What do you think of locating single use, untestable cutters, where it could
>lock a rig shut?

The technology is there to produce very reliable cutters. They are used in spacecraft and ejection seats with 99.99% reliability rates. You just have to spend the money.

That being said, it also makes the most sense (to me) to locate them where a failure does not cause a locked-closed rig. I.e. put them on the bottom of the pack tray on a conventional rig.

>And where do you stand on the whole matter that one is banned and the
>other is not?

I think it would be tough to come up with really hard and fast rules over which one to ban and which one not to ban. The Vigil came close during the "cutters are damaging closing loops" issue of a few years ago, but PIA (and rig manufacturers) never crossed the threshold of thinking they were too unsafe to use at all.



Fair enough regarding the cutters.

Regarding not banning the Vigil, I was more thinking about the Colorado firings where the door popped open during the initial climbout.

To me, that falls under your classification of "do not fire when the jumper is doing less than about 80 mph". (I'll presume "downward".)

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I think it's funny that everyone wants to bash the Argus and Vigil but conviently forgets that the Cypres had a known problem that wasn't corrected until after someone died from it.



No one is forgetting the swooping accident. The thing is that was not an error *in the system*... It operated within it's parameters, period. It is not the fault of the CYPRES unit that the operational parameters were met AFTER the parachute was opened.

The Vigil did the same thing (fired when parameters were met). You may not LIKE the parameters, but that is different than a malfunction of this type.

So you could lump the Vigil and the CYPRES into the "I don't like the parameters that it works" And that would be fine.

But the Argus is creating a situation where it does not work properly. Worse, in some rigs it locks the reserve closed.

I didn't buy a Vigil based on the door issues. I didn't buy an Argus based on the groundings in Europe. I don't fly a 69sqft canopy anymore so I could easily live within the parameters of the CYPRES... so I bought a CYPRES.





Well, you cannot compare this who things.. why? Cause one is caused by the user, and other can be caused by someone else.

Yes they both fired when parameters were met but you really can't compare them and dump it in the same basket.

If I buy A car, and MF says if you drive it more then 200mph your brakes will fail, and later added 250mph version, I'd be ok with that.

But if I buy B car, and MF says if you drive it and a kid in the back opens window your steering wheel will brake, and on top of that says they are aware but ok with that... well I really can't be ok with that.

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>An AAD should be expected to do TWO things:
>1) Properly cut the reserve closing loop and
>2) Do so at the appropriate time (high speed, low altitude).

Honestly to me those two things are secondary. By far the #1 thing in my list of AAD requirements is:

1) Under no circumstances interfere with the normal operation of the rig.

Then comes

2) Do not fire when the jumper is above about 1000 feet, and do not fire when the jumper is doing less than about 80 mph.

Those are the two really critical items. Everything else is secondary. I'd much rather have an AAD that fails to fire 10% of the time it's needed than an AAD that fires 10% of the time when it's not supposed to. (Or worse yet, prevents you from opening the reserve 10% of the time.)



I think your #1 is great but really more a function of the H/C system. Otherwise an AAD would have to be modified for every type of different H/C system. That would just spell trouble.

Your #2 (assuming we're talking expert mode, not tandem), should really fall within my #2 of appropriate time.

We're probably just splitting hairs at this point.

But in reality, if it's not broke, don't fix it. I think we can agree that there is an AAD option on the market that is not broke and doesn't violate either of our expectations/requirements.

I've just never understood some people's willingness to buy 'El Cheapo' brand over a few poor gimmicky marketing points, especially when it comes to a last chance life saving piece of equipment.

Our sport is dangerous enough. If I had life-threatening peanut allergy and worked next to a peanut factory, I wouldn't insist on buying the 'El Cheap' brand Epi-Pens. I guess some people are truly suckers for gimmicks.
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Well, you cannot compare this who things.. why? Cause one is caused by the user, and other can be caused by someone else.

Yes they both fired when parameters were met but you really can't compare them and dump it in the same basket.



I think you misunderstood. Both the vigil and CYPRES issues were due to them firing *when conditions were met*. You may not like those conditions, but they were met. Therefore they are not malfunctions.

The Argus fired and didn't cut the loop. That is a malfunction.

Two worked as intended (even if you don't like the intention), one just failed to work.

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But if I buy B car, and MF says if you drive it and a kid in the back opens window your steering wheel will brake, and on top of that says they are aware but ok with that... well I really can't be ok with that.



That is you not liking the parameter.... That does not mean it was a malfunction.

The company that makes Vigil has even stated that it firing in that situation is not a malfunction.

If I buy a car and the manufactor tells me that if a kid opens the back window the e-brake will lock up.... Well when it happens it is not a mal, but rather a feature that you may not like.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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I never said anything about malfunctions...

All I was trying to say is that with that kind of parameters, they shouldn't be aloud to sell them. Its not like choosing the color or something, its plain dangerous, that simple.

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Just to play devil's advocate here, who says the Argus didn't cut the loop? If you've ever seen the condition of a reserve closing loop after an AAD fire you will notice that it does not always look like a clean cut. It is a simple finger trap and when cut, the outside line tends to ride up leaving the core lower. This could appear to be a failed cut that tore the rest of the way. (I've seen this on two different loops from saves)

What if this were a locked up reserve container? Certainly everyone here is aware that improperly rigged/maintained gear can lock itself up. A few videos out there to prove it. The owner of the gear in TX didn't have any silicone on the loop and the rig was being jumped out of date. Those two factors alone should make us question the validity of the Argus claim. Why wont the DZ send the AAD to Aviacom for inspection?

Where are the pictures of the loop?

Why hasn't anyone mentioned that the final report on the Poland issue was a reserve container tray that held on to the free bag too long?

No conspiracy theories here, just another way to look at this. I'm not convinced that the cutter did not work. Neither should anyone else until proof is there.

Sorry if my grammar/spelling sucks.... a few vodka and red bulls into the night :)
Door!.... wait, what are we doin again?

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Okay, I'm going to let the business side of me take part here ~ financially, is there any way Argus is going to be able to sustain itself through this barrage long enough to even fix the problem if and when they come to identify it? :S

So, if X Y and Z container manufacturers don't ban the Argus, then will jumpers be left with an unmaintainable AAD with no source for cutters, parts, service, et cetera?

I guess my post here is a desire to steer the conversation to not the immediate flood of Argus bans, but where the next year or two will lead them..
=========Shaun ==========


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Okay, I'm going to let the business side of me take part here ~ financially, is there any way Argus is going to be able to sustain itself through this barrage long enough to even fix the problem if and when they come to identify it?



Sure. A new ad campaign.

Buy an Argus - Now With a Free Jesus Cord!

It's only partly funny, you know. They say what goes around comes around.
"Even in a world where perfection is unattainable, there's still a difference between excellence and mediocrity." Gary73

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*Next point (sorry, I know it's terribly rude to reply to one's own post)


How long can Aviocom go without issuing some sort of statement in regards to these recent rescinded approvals? I mean, I keep checking their website for a letter or something saying "We're working on it" or "BRB", "TTYL", "OMG WTF?"
=========Shaun ==========


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Just to play devil's advocate here, who says the Argus didn't cut the loop?



I'll post a reply over in the thread on the actual incident. (USPA Newsletter report of Texas Argus event)

Edit: Well, I didn't actually address your devil's advocate thoughts much, but it got me thinking.

The loop was at least about the right length. But when I looked at the photos of the loop... the situation got more confusing. Interesting.

Another edit:
Hey Shaun, maybe Argus' web designer also designs cutters in his spare time and is busy.

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Never forget that most people never do a pin check anyway, and that checking the AAD would never cross their minds.

unfortunately that would not be Aviacom's problem, but a USER problem... [:/]
scissors beat paper, paper beat rock, rock beat wingsuit - KarlM

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I think it's funny that everyone wants to bash the Argus and Vigil but conviently forgets that the Cypres had a known problem that wasn't corrected until after someone died from it.

-Blind


AFAIK there were some idiots swooping though the activation parameters and surprise their CYPRES fired...:S

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I'm sure Adrian's family would love to hear how much of an idiot he was, dying from something no one new would happen.



I would not say no one.... I would say most. Some people had talked about it before, but most had no clue. Even those that talked about it, most of them thought it unlikely.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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We've seen before that new AADs unfortunately don't come out working perfectly the first time. So why would people by them? I can say that I bought an Argus a couple years ago because I was broke and it was 40% less than a Cypress. For me a cheaper AAD was better than no AAD. For my next rig I'll probably by a Cypress just to avoid any headaches, and can afford it now. You can’t just say don’t by this or that. You have to take in consideration the current financial situation of each one. I bet not everyone here drives cars with ABS, EPS ,TPS , winter tires...... It's a choice what we can afford for safety.

One answer that hasn't been clear to me is... For those who have an Argus now, is it safer to keep it in or out. From what I understood the issue is that if it fires and doesn't cut it you are F&^%. For me if it fires it’s because I couldn't pull.... that gives me 86 % chance of opening (3 issues/ 22 saves) Is it as good as others out there... no... but will do for me until I replace it or it gets figured out? Yes…
I understand why manufactures are banning it... no one wants to have their ass in the line when lawyers start calling. Aviacom hasn’t said anything publically so why should the manufactures take the heat?

I see all this as being evolution.... we learn from this and apply to the future.

And if it wasn't for competition who knows what Cypress would charge for it and less people would be able to afford it... wouldn’t that make it unsafe?

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I'm sure Adrian's family would love to hear how much of an idiot he was, dying from something no one new would happen.


CYPRES firing parameters are and were known.
What can you expect if you use your safety device outside the operating window? Darwin award, maybe...

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I'm sure Adrian's family would love to hear how much of an idiot he was, dying from something no one new would happen.


CYPRES firing parameters are and were known.
What can you expect if you use your safety device outside the operating window? Darwin award, maybe...



Until the accident, Cypres had advertised that it was imposible to meet these parameters under an open canopy, no matter how it is flown. Look for the old ads... Adrian trusted that, I quess...

Airtec even responded to the jumper who was able to fire the off-set Cypres up high. The response was that it was impossible to do such maneuvers low and still land safely.

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For me if it fires it’s because I couldn't pull.... that gives me 86 % chance of opening (3 issues/ 22 saves)


Where is that 86% coming from? Do you know in what configuration was the cutter installed? You can have a total reserve malfunction if the cutter is installed on the top of the reserve PC and it's failing to make both cuts clean.

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One answer that hasn't been clear to me is... For those who have an Argus now, is it safer to keep it in or out.
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This is not something that YOU will get to choose. Rig manufacturers have stated to remove it before your next jump. NO rigger is going to repack for you with it in your rig.


From what I understood the issue is that if it fires and doesn't cut it you are F&^%. For me if it fires it’s because I couldn't pull.... that gives me 86 % chance of opening (3 issues/ 22 saves) Is it as good as others out there... no... but will do for me until I replace it or it gets figured out?

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This is flawed logic. What if your AAD fires just before you pull, locks thing up, and you die even tho you've pulled your reserve?
And no, I'm looking at this from the outside. I bought an Argus 3 years ago, have jumped over 15 years with no AAD. I jumped without one for alot of years because the old AAD's were unreliable in terms of firing when you didn't want them to. I liked the design, the info, the flexibility. The price was secondary, but was also a factor. I've got a Cypres on the way. I just wish I had know about the cutter design paper on PIA's website when it was written (9 months ago).

http://www.pia.com/TechnicalArgusDocuments/ARGUS%20Cutter%20Review.pdf[url]

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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>Until the accident, Cypres had advertised that it was imposible to meet
>these parameters under an open canopy . . .

Initially it was. When people started really loading up their canopies it became possible. (An Airtec guy wrote about that possibility in a Skydiving article.)

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Until the accident, Cypres had advertised that it was imposible to meet these parameters under an open canopy, no matter how it is flown. Look for the old ads... Adrian trusted that, I quess...



Sure, it was advertised. He was not a beginner, so he should have known what he was doing: gathering speed for landing....

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