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PiLFy

Problem w/Dolphin RSLs?

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There is nothing wrong with the design of the Dolphin RSL. It is designed and functions like the majority of containers on the market today. From the video and the written description my guess is that the RSL was miss routed causing the main risers to deploy the reserve.

Sparky
My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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Hi sparky,

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There is nothing wrong with the design of the Dolphin RSL.



Miracle Mike says: ' . . . but did not notice that the RSL laynard had a routing problem that developed from mishandling the container and from the crappy design of the container. . .'

So 'mishandling the container' results in a 'crappy design.' :S

I am no longer amazed, I am just numb.

JerryBaumchen

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It looks to me as if the RSL was routed improperly such that when the main risers lifted up during deployment, they took the slack out of the RSL and pulled the reserve pin.

It appears that he tried to cutaway the main, and some part of it snagged the reserve slider, and pulled the slider up, choking off the reserve in the process.

Both errors were on the part of the jumper. The misrouted RSL should have been caught in a pre-jump gear check. Not every 'buddy check' on the flight line or in the plane will include checking the RSl routing, but a complete inspection should be done before donning a rig, especially when it's rental rig that's been handled by others.

The other error was cutting away the main it a two out, in any case besides a downplane. Any configuratuion besides a downplane will have the two canopies next to each other, the possibility for the main to snag the reserve (or any part of the resevre) on the way out exists, thus you don't cutaway a biplane or side by side.

A downplane will have the canopies on either side of you, and flying straight at the ground. Cutting away the main can be done without the risk of an entaglement because of the physical seperation of the canopies. It's also a requirement due to the high descent rate.

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Hi Jerry,
I read what the poster wrote. I've heard many good things about the Dolphin. That's why I asked. This is the only time I've found this negative claim against those containers. It leads me to believe the opinion isn't based in fact. Why are you no longer amazed, but just dumb?

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Hi Dave,
I'm aware of what can happen when chopping during a two-out scenario. Thank You for taking the time to review that. Please elaborate on this:
"The misrouted RSL should have been caught in a pre-jump gear check."

I asked an instructor early in my AFF progression about checking the RSL. I was told you can't. You can check that it's attached properly @the three ring(s), & @the reserve pin. How it's routed in between only the rigger knows. I still use rentals every weekend, & check everything I can on them. How would I check an RSL thoroughly?

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I asked an instructor early in my AFF progression about checking the RSL. I was told you can't



He might have meant that you couldn't check it at that time, with your level of experience. The reality is that you can open the riser cover over the shoulder and the reserve pin cover falp, and you should be able to see 90% of the RSL on just about every rig out there (every rig with an outward facing reserve pin, Racers and the like are different).

The exact routing and stowage varies from rig to rig, but it's easy to learn how it should look (ask a rigger or instructor) and check that it is routed correctly.

I had a good friend killed (and his tandem passenger) when he jumped with a misrouted RSl that prevented him from cutting away a malfunctioning main or pulling the reserve ripcord. It was a Racer tandem, so the exact details are not important as that system is unique to itself, but the general idea that the RSL can and should be checked is valid.

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I was there the day of this incident and got to see the rig up close and personal after the incident. I can't remember all the details, but I do remember that there was evidence (wear on the RSL and main riser) that this had been happening for some time. This led me to believe that the reserve pin was slowly pulled a little at a time over a few jumps. He had made 3 or 4 that day if I recall correctly. If he had simply pin-checked the reserve pin, not just the main pin (as many only check main), he may have realized that something wasn't right as the reserve pin was displaced. This is speculation on my part, but I'm pretty convinced a check on the reserve pin and putting two and two together would've told him there was a problem with the RSL routing.

At first some thought the RSL was too short, but the wear points indicated otherwise.

Lesson learned: Check reserve pin, not just main pin. It all counts and it all matters!
Blues,
Nathan

If you wait 'til the last minute, it'll only take a minute.

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Hi sparky,

Quote

There is nothing wrong with the design of the Dolphin RSL.



Miracle Mike says: ' . . . but did not notice that the RSL laynard had a routing problem that developed from mishandling the container and from the crappy design of the container. . .'

So 'mishandling the container' results in a 'crappy design.' :S

I am no longer amazed, I am just numb.

JerryBaumchen



I agree with you Jerry. If the damn thing was hooked right to begin with no amount of “mishandling” would have changed the routing. If he had made 3 or 4 jumps on the rig that day who ever packed should have noticed the problem.

And you have been numb for years. B|

Michael
My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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Hi Jerry,
I read what the poster wrote. I've heard many good things about the Dolphin. That's why I asked. This is the only time I've found this negative claim against those containers. It leads me to believe the opinion isn't based in fact. Why are you no longer amazed, but just dumb? numb



Jerry is a lot of things but dumb is not one of them.

Sparky
My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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Thank You for this. It's a good thing I jump a different brand container almost every weekend, huh? This is good. I was running out of annoying Newbie questions to ask the instructors :P...



.........................................................................

The only annoying Newbie question is the question that you do not know the answer to, as you plummet towards the planet.

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I recently sent my Dolphin to Altico for some mods, and they did something to the RSL for free. If your worried about it, I imagine they would probably do the mod for free if you send them your rig. (I don't know what they did to it, I'm sure they'd be better able to explain the mod if you gave them a call)

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Others here are right. You don't know what they did to it, but are willing to trust your life to it anyway???

Thank You everyone for the replies on this. After pricing a bargain-spec'd Dolphin system against a much nicer Mirage system. I'd only save about $600. To me, that's just not enough of a savings. That's not to mention a longer service life & higher resale value for the Mirage. I'm sorry Mr.Fury. It was a good idea, & priced right @the time. I think that time has passed. The math just doesn't add up anymore, IMHO.

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The math just doesn't add up anymore



Speaking of math, you could save thousands by buying a used rig to start off with. Rigs are like cars in that they take a huge loss in value the day you buy them. Unless you plan to do several hundered jumps per year and keep a rig for several years, the cost per jump on a new rig can easily be twice as much as a used rig.

The flip side to that is that you can usually buy a starter rig for almost nothing. It's entirely possible to buy a used rig, jump it for a year and 100 jumps, and sell it for just about what you paid for it. The obvious upside is getting your money back when you sell it, the other upside is keeping a huge chunk on money when you buy it becasue it's half the price of a new rig. (Hint - take that money and spend it all on jumps, that experience will make you a much better jumper, while fancy new gear will not).

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Thanks Dave, but I'm aware of the attributes of a ten year old rig. I've found two problems w/that approach. First, those rigs are in short supply, & high demand. Secondly, the sellers are aware of that math, too. The few suitable rigs I've found so far have been over-priced by about a grand.

W/my battered frame, I'm not going to be downsizing much. Renting is the pits, & gets expensive. I'll probably blow $2K by the end of this season just in rental fees... I might have to just bite the bullet this Winter. We'll see.

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