0
Gary73

Vigil vs. Argus?

Recommended Posts

Can anyone explain to me why people are banning Argus AADs but not Vigils? Consider this:

The Argus problem is that it sometimes doesn't activate the reserve when it should. Possible consequence = the death of a jumper who was going to die on that jump if he had no AAD at all.

The Vigil problem is that it sometimes fires when it shouldn't, for example if someone opens the door around 1,200 feet. Possible consequence = entire plane torn out of the sky, killing all on board.

Seems to me that the Vigils are more dangerous, since they can kill people who aren't even using them. So why the difference in the way the two problems are being dealt with?

No histrionics, speculation, or politics, please; this is a serious question intended to be taken at face value. I really would like to know the answer. Thanks.

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." - Carl Sagan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Good question.

Note that vigil are not the only units to fire fire for no reason, It seems argus has the best track record in this respect.
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then the world will see peace." - 'Jimi' Hendrix

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Argus problem can result in situation where jumper cannot deploy reserve with ripcord. Even if the reserve pin is pulled, the closing loop is trapped and cannot move. Depending on where the Argus cutter is mounted this can keep the reserve container closed.
The choices we make have consequences, for us & for others!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
- That's still hypothetical
- That could only occur if the cutter is on top
- That would mean you would want to activate the reserve after the AAD activated
- If an activation would go "unnoticed" the display would display activation during pincheck

An unwanted activation would actually actively kill the jumper and others in the same jump and plane.
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...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

An unwanted activation would actually actively kill the jumper and others in the same jump and plane.

if you want to play on words, an unwanted activation COULD lead to the deployment of a reserve parachute at a moment you would not want it.

*joke mode*And it wouldn't happen with the Argus as the loop wouldn't be cut :D
scissors beat paper, paper beat rock, rock beat wingsuit - KarlM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You're right, it could. Apart from that, I'm not playing with words.

I far more prefer an AAD which doesn't activate, then an AAD that does activate when it doesn't supposed to.

Current status is that because of these bulletins their isn't a save AAD out there anymore, which means my rig manufacturer forbids me to use a safety device.

I have off course let the manufacturer know of this consequence and off course also put in in writing, if someday someone would want proof on the effect of the ban and I am not able to provide it... :):P
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...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
>Can anyone explain to me why people are banning Argus AADs but not Vigils?

Because

1) manufacturers are worried that someone will go in under an Argus when it has locked the container closed, thus exposing them to liability

2) Both have had problems, but when Vigil was confronted on them, they responded and fixed the problem.

That being said, the Vigil-misfire thing is a serious issue. It's not so much an issue for people in Otters, but for no-door aircraft and pressurizable aircraft, it's not really safe to use

>The Argus problem is that it sometimes doesn't activate the reserve when it should.

Well, no, that's not the big problem with Argus. If that's all it was there wouldn't be this stink. The problem is sometimes it tries to cut the loop, fails, and results in a reserve total malfunction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[reply1) manufacturers are worried that someone will go in under a Vigil when it has locked the container closed, thus exposing them to liability

isn't it the Argus ?
scissors beat paper, paper beat rock, rock beat wingsuit - KarlM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

That being said, the Vigil-misfire thing is a serious issue. It's not so much an issue for people in Otters, but for no-door aircraft and pressurizable aircraft, it's not really safe to use.




Maybe im missunderstanding what you write or i have missunderstood the incident where vigils fired but, why do you mean its not as much of a problem on a Otter compared to a no door plane?

If i understand the incident correct, the reason there was a "missfire" (it was not a missfire as it did as it was supposed to do) was because when they/someone opend the door the rapid pressurization of the door opening fired the Vigils?
In my world that would mean a no door airplane is Vigil safe as it can not create this pressurization by opening a door.
But if the one opening the door has a Vigil, he might have a bad day.

If i understand your reasoning you mean that bigger airplanes mean they sit further from the door?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
>If i understand your reasoning you mean that bigger airplanes mean they
>sit further from the door?

Well, a few reasons:

1) the time when the device is most sensitive to misfiring is near firing altitude (~1000 feet) - Otter doors are generally closed at that time (and can be left closed until the aircraft reaches a less sensitive altitude, like 2000 feet.)

2) Fewer jumpers are actually near the door in an Otter, and the position they are in when they open the door is facing the door (i.e. PC side away from the door.) We had an open-container in an Otter in Rantoul one year, and it was a non-issue until the jumper, confused by what people were telling him, tried to climb out.

But it's still an issue overall. An AAD that does not misfire due to transient pressure changes is still a much better solution.

>In my world that would mean a no door airplane is Vigil safe . . .

Well, the Vigil fires when it sees a pressure change, not when it senses a door opening. So if the pilot kicks in some rudder at the wrong time (which also causes a pressure change) you could see an AAD firing. And the worst possible situation to be in is an open reserve in a small aircraft with no door, especially with "creative" seating arrangements.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

- That would mean you would want to activate the reserve after the AAD activated



So how much time does one have in that case to react? 1 second? Because after activation, and with total malfunction, how much time is left for safe reserve deployment?

Quote


- If an activation would go "unnoticed" the display would display activation during pincheck



How many jumpers here do not check their gear before every jump?
I`m really interested. Because if you don`t check to see the possible "Replace cutter" message, how would you see that battery ran out on some other AAD? In the event of no pull, the result would be the same. Wouldn`t it?
dudeist skydiver #42

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
>Because if you don`t check to see the possible "Replace cutter" message,
>how would you see that battery ran out on some other AAD? In the event
>of no pull, the result would be the same. Wouldn`t it?

In the case of a no pull, yes. However, that's not a likely case.

In the case of (say) a Vigil whose battery died:

-Regular jump - no problem
-Total with reserve pull - no problem
-Cutaway and reserve pull - no problem
-Cutaway and no reserve pull - death

In the case of an Argus whose cutter has jammed the closing loop:

-Regular jump - no problem
-Total with reserve pull - death
-Cutaway and reserve pull - death
-Cutaway and no reserve pull - death

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote



In the case of an Argus whose cutter has jammed the closing loop:

-Regular jump - no problem
-Total with reserve pull - death
-Cutaway and reserve pull - death
-Cutaway and no reserve pull - death



On some rigs + a few gear designers here stated that the reserve PC should be able to create enough pull force to break the remaining loop.
So lets be honest....how likely is this situation in real life?
"My belief is that once the doctor whacks you on the butt, all guarantees are off" Jerry Baumchen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
>On some rigs + a few gear designers here stated that the reserve PC
>should be able to create enough pull force to break the remaining loop.

Agreed - but we've seen four cases where it looks like it wasn't enough.

>So lets be honest....how likely is this situation in real life?

Pretty low. Personally if I had a bottom-anchored rig (like a Javelin) I'd use an Argus if it was the only thing available, because the odds of that sort of a problem are pretty low. Would I jump with a student who was using an Argus? No - for a student I'd want something more bulletproof.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

2) Both have had problems, but when Vigil was confronted on them, they responded and fixed the problem.



Ahem, apparently fixed the problem, if the prob;em was fixed there would not have been a vigil fire on the ground.

Had that have been on climb out, the whole load could have gone in.

Just because they tweaked some knobs, does not mean they fixed anything.

if they fixed something, they dod not fix everythong as we would not be having this conversation if they did.

Oh so if you are at an otter dropzone there is no chance of a premature fire in a freefly jump with someone above you? or a myrad of other scenarios.

yes this was a tandem vigil, but wht is to say t cannot occur in all units?

Quote

Well, no, that's not the big problem with Argus. If that's all it was there wouldn't be this stink. The problem is sometimes it tries to cut the loop, fails, and results in a reserve total malfunction.



That is the conclusion some have come to. aparentlt with biased points of view, incomplete analysis and incorrect assumtions.

it may well be the case, but not so definitive as you make it out to be.

Vigils for sure fire when they shouldn't, they have done so before on various occasions, it is time to bann them immediately, based on the rationale given to the argus.
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then the world will see peace." - 'Jimi' Hendrix

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
>if they fixed something, they dod not fix everythong as we would not be
>having this conversation if they did.

Agreed. They solved one problem but have other problems to solve.

>Vigils for sure fire when they shouldn't, they have done so before on
>various occasions, it is time to bann them immediately . . .

Give it a shot! Let us know how it goes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Argus problem can result in situation where jumper cannot deploy reserve with ripcord. Even if the reserve pin is pulled, the closing loop is trapped and cannot move. Depending on where the Argus cutter is mounted this can keep the reserve container closed.



Only on rigs with flap-mounted cutters. Why did Sun Path and Altico (temporarily) ban the units?

Quote

Both have had problems, but when Vigil was confronted on them, they responded and fixed the problem.



AAD has (apparently) fixed the cutter-head problem, but still has the fire-when-it-shouldn't problem. Declaring that the unit is working as designed isn't a fix, especially when the design is causing fatalities (see NTSB report on the Mt. Vernon C-206 accident: http://dms.ntsb.gov/aviation/AccidentReports/sjmagtalk524riqdbdqetd55/U04212011120000.pdf

Quote

1) the time when the device is most sensitive to misfiring is near firing altitude (~1000 feet) - Otter doors are generally closed at that time (and can be left closed until the aircraft reaches a less sensitive altitude, like 2000 feet.)



Any jump plane door is generally closed at that time, but in my travels I've seen too many cases when they either weren't closed at all or were opened right at 1,000', even before everyone's belts were off. And what about Vigils in Tandem mode? Their sensitive zone is around 2,000'.

Quote

2) Fewer jumpers are actually near the door in an Otter, and the position they are in when they open the door is facing the door (i.e. PC side away from the door.)



If an Otter is fully loaded, there are more jumpers near the door than can fit in a C-206. And mostly they sit facing aft, at least when the plane is full.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not defending the Argus. Or the Vigil. I wouldn't put either one in any rig of mine even if they were free. I just want to know why the industry hasn't had the same type of reaction the the Vigil's problems.

And for that matter, if people are going to keep using Vigils and AAD is going to stick by its story that it's okay for an AAD to fire if the door opens near firing altitude, shouldn't we immediately institute an industry-wide ban on opening doors below 2,500'?

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." - Carl Sagan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In Reply To
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Only on rigs with flap-mounted cutters. Why did Sun Path and Altico (temporarily) ban the units?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I think what is being overlooked here are two principle reasons jumpers choose to use an AAD; inability to pull or loss of altitude awareness.

In these circumstances the Argus might just do it's job but a known defect could render the action null.

So what's the point in the AAD in the first place? If or when I choose to jump an AAD, I will not choose one that does not have a reasonable expectation of performing its job: cutting the loop.

That's it. Just cut the loop.

Zooming through firing altitude means there are other problems, sure, but having an AAD that can't be reasonably relied on to cut the loop is simply a useless and expensive hunk of shit taking up space in my container.

All the best algorithms and electronics don't make up for the weakest link: a substandard cutter design.

.02

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I cannot believe how far can go some gossip. First of all the question of the thread is a trap and one can see some people posting accordingly ie. make believe that only Vigil and Argus have problems. ALL ADD manufacturers have had their problems, all without any exception.
Have you ever heard about statistics ? ALL products, all of them have a certain percentage of deficient units. The idea for safety products is to keep the defects at minimum. BUT it is impossible to guarantee the function of a product at 100% unless if it is made by GOD. Like nobody can guarantee that your spare tire will not blow up when you use it.
I am sure Argus will fix the problem of its cutter. Remember that the Argus cutter is made by Nobel Scotland which is a specialist of explosives devices. An electronic device can be checked electronically, a cutter electrical wiring can be checked for electrical continuity but it is impossible to check if the explosive cartridge chemical is good without opening it. Then keep that in mind, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO GUARANTEE IF A CUTTER WILL FIRE OR WILL FIRE STRONG ENOUGH. Only a statistical quality control can be used but it will never guarantee the function at 100%.
Now for the Vigil. I have had a Vigil I and now a Vigil II. My Vigil I has fired twice when it had to do it and at the exact altitude altitude it was designed for and under normal firing conditions. Now, with my Vigil II, just like the Vigil I, I have been in all kind of airplanes, Cessnas, at the door, helicopters going up and down, Twin Otters, near the door, PAC 750 XL near the door, Casas on the tail gate, doing linked exit up to 8 way, DC9 rear door...name it. I have been on the same aircrafts at any position you can imagine, rear floater, front floater, diving, free exit, linked exit........NO PROBLEM AT ALL. All AADs are good and well designed but think twice about that there cannot be any total absolute, 100% guarantee.
Beside that, competition is good. Keep it, it is your best insurance to get better product.
Why I am so often near the door...because most of my jumps are FS jumps (4 to 40+) therefore since FS big ways are first to exit, I am very often near the door. :)
Learn from others mistakes, you will never live long enough to make them all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My question was not intended to be any kind of trap. I just want to know why the two cases are being handled so differently when it's pretty obvious that both products have serious problems.

As for reliability, you are correct that no type of AAD can be perfect. But consider how many CYPRES units are in service and how long they've been in service. The problem rate is about a thousand times lower with them than with either Vigil or Argus. Even in a world where perfection is unattainable, there's still a difference between excellence and mediocrity.

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." - Carl Sagan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
>I am sure Argus will fix the problem of its cutter.

I hope so, and I look forward to that. We all benefit by having a choice of AAD's, and competition helps improve both price and performance of any product.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account. It's free!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
0