0
Ms.sofaking

Freak occurance?

Recommended Posts

I experienced a "sort of malfunction" that I don't completely understand. And after stepping back I wonder if I made the right choices, even though it turned out OK.
I opened with a slider hang up. I went to release my toggles to pump my breaks and couldn't release them. I'm on a new rig and don't like the way the toggles are set up.I finally got my left toggle and it slipped from my hand, somehow the steering line wrapped around my finger and pinned it. I could not free my finger. My canopy began to spiral at 2000 ft. I went to release the other toggle and couldn't. I struggled with it watching the ground approach quickly. I was considering chopping hoping the canopy would clear my finger(or take my finger but be clear of my reserve.) I knew with one hand, I may have to depend on my rsl if I couldn't reach my reserve handle. On my last attempt I got the toggle. But, when all was well, I was at 1100 feet. Well below my decision altitude. So I was disappointed I did what I said I would never do, go that low thinking I could fix the problem. I'm fairly strong and just couldn't believe I couldn't release my toggle. I still don't fully understand what happened. In hind sight I should've tried to get the rest of my fingers around the riser to at least stop the spin. I'm not sure if I could've, I didn't try. I was working on the other toggle instead.
Although it turned out, I wonder if I should have chopped right away. But, it's a tough call the wrong decision can luckily work out. And sometimes the right one may go wrong.Or , Is there something else I should have done?
It was also suggested I get new risers and toggles. I might be doing that.
"I'm not sure how it's going to turn out, except I'll die in the end, she said. So what could really go wrong? -----Brian Andreas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I did have a hook knife. If I had gone that route, once I cut the line wouldn't my canopy start spinning faster? And once I got the riser to stop the spin, would it be better to cut the other line to make things equal? Or get the toggle and steer with one riser and one toggle?
"I'm not sure how it's going to turn out, except I'll die in the end, she said. So what could really go wrong? -----Brian Andreas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Based on this sentence:

Quote

I finally got my left toggle and it slipped from my hand, somehow the steering line wrapped around my finger and pinned it. I could not free my finger.



The picture I get from your narrative is that one hand was trapped by a steering line and one hand was free. If that is the case, then [this is just me] I would have cut the steering line above my finger to have two free hands and then made a decison as to 1) whether to chop the main and go reserve, or 2) cut the other steering line and fly and land the canopy with risers. Having said that, it would be much better to get with an Instructor or S&TA at your local DZ and re-inact the scenario and discuss face-to-face just in case we're not picturing it correctly.
Nobody has time to listen; because they're desperately chasing the need of being heard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You are picturing it correctly. That is why I asked if you are spiraling to the right and you cut the left steering line, will the speed at which you are spinning intially increase as soon as that line is cut.

And thanks for answering my other question. My understanding now is if you have to cut one steering line, you should cut the other. That makes sense.
"I'm not sure how it's going to turn out, except I'll die in the end, she said. So what could really go wrong? -----Brian Andreas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
An entanglement is perhaps the worst sort of malfunction. For years I didn't give them much thought, or when I did I considered them to be too varied in type and solution to be able to give much advice during my courses. A couple of years ago I began teaching for the British military; they insisted that I have a designated module in the first jump course for entanglements.
The decision tree in the BPA/APA course demands that you first decide if the canopy you have is survivable. If it is you spend some time trying to clear the entanglement but concentrate on making the canopy you have land as well as it can. The rationale is that cutting away (and having it not leave) and pulling your reserve is a low percentage play at best. If your main as it is is not survivable you should try once to clear it but definitely not spend the rest of your life trying to fix a canopy that wont save you anyway; you have to try your reserve.
In the case you described you clearly had a canopy that gave you a better chance than if you cut away and it didn't leave, so I think you were better off not cutting it away but fighting with it instead. Although you went below your decision altitude you may have been right to do so. That said, you are right that you would have been better off getting the canopy to fly straight using a riser rather than fighting all the way down to 1100'. BTW did you have an opener on this jump?
As far as second guessing your choices, get used to it. During the FJC we try to boil every conceivable situation down to 0/1 choices. The more we jump the more we realize that it is just not that simple. Kinda like the rest of our lives.[:/]
Glad you made it.:)As for the particular issue of your risers and toggles, why don't you get a rigger or senior instructor to hold them tight above your head while you are wearing the rig. Maybe the risers are too long for you (maybe the harness is too long for you). Maybe you just need some advice on how to unstow these particular toggles that will become obvious. Might save you a few bucks on an unnecessary equipment change.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You know I did have a cypress and never considered it firing. I'm not sure if it would have. I always read incident reports to lesson the chance of having some ball of shit over my head and thinking, WOW! Never thought of that one! Well I never thought of this one. I always think of entanglements happening with an unstable pull or a bridle. Not this way.

The toggles were easy to reach, but hard to pull. When stowed I have to work to get 3 fingers in them. Then you have to kind of lift them up and out. The system is brand new and stiff. And I only have four jumps on it. Each time they were difficult to unstow. Maybe just because it's different than my habit of pulling straight down.
"I'm not sure how it's going to turn out, except I'll die in the end, she said. So what could really go wrong? -----Brian Andreas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

You know I did have a cypress and never considered it firing.



Please read the Cypres manual. Depending on the speed of the malfunction at which you pass thru the firing range - it may not fire.
Nobody has time to listen; because they're desperately chasing the need of being heard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have an expert cypress. But, I'm not even wingloaded at 1:1. I suppose I should bury a toggle for 1000' and count seconds to see how fast I lose altitude when I spiral? I'll look at the manual too.
"I'm not sure how it's going to turn out, except I'll die in the end, she said. So what could really go wrong? -----Brian Andreas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I have an expert cypress. But, I'm not even wingloaded at 1:1. I suppose I should bury a toggle for 1000' and count seconds to see how fast I lose altitude when I spiral? I'll look at the manual too.



it's only very recently that swoopers have been exceeding the parameters for an Expert model. Don't see a bigger canopy spiralling keeping up with a 1.5+ canopy in a 270+ dive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree. I don't believe I was going fast enough. But, I think I should be aware of how much altitude I do lose when my canopy is in a spiral.
"I'm not sure how it's going to turn out, except I'll die in the end, she said. So what could really go wrong? -----Brian Andreas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
you couldn't get free your finger due to tension on the line..

1. use the other freehand to pull down(above the trapped point) more of fingertrapping line.
2. with less tension on your finger you'll be able to simply slip it off.

i've done it only once when i was student and i had big canopy NAV 240.. even than when i pull down further to release tension it started spinning and took me atleast 2-3 360 turn before clearing the line from my finger..
Bernie Sanders for President 2016

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks. It was because of tension. That's probably the first thing I should've done. A lot of things crossed my mind, but that's not one of them.
"I'm not sure how it's going to turn out, except I'll die in the end, she said. So what could really go wrong? -----Brian Andreas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

It's a Quasar II. This was my 4th jump on it.



Earlier, you said, "The toggles were easy to reach, but hard to pull. When stowed I have to work to get 3 fingers in them. Then you have to kind of lift them up and out. The system is brand new and stiff. And I only have four jumps on it. Each time they were difficult to unstow. Maybe just because it's different than my habit of pulling straight down."

I'm not familiar with Quasar II but it seems odd to me that you should have to push/pull toggles UP to unstow them.

Have you read the Quasar II service bulletin?
(Not related to toggles)
My reality and yours are quite different.
I think we're all Bozos on this bus.
Falcon5232, SCS8170, SCSA353, POPS9398, DS239

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I sent it back for the service bulletin. No one at my DZ has a Quasar, but I commented on the toggles when I first packed it, that they were hard to release. Nobody else has toggles that stow the same way. This might not be the correct terminology. But the toggles have no tab on the back. There is a keeper on riser for the top of the toggle and elastic or spandex for the bottom.You put the top in and then have to bend it to get the bottom in. The bottom of the toggle itself slides down into the spandex. If you pull really hard sometimes you can stretch it enough to release, otherwise you need to pull up first. I don't know if I explained that very well. I wonder if other Quasar owners have had similar problems.
"I'm not sure how it's going to turn out, except I'll die in the end, she said. So what could really go wrong? -----Brian Andreas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Glad youre ok. Bonus days. Regarding hook knives , the hook on my vector 3 is in a pouch on the left leg strap. Its not accesable by my right hand. Just out of habit ( not forethought) I have one of the plastic hook knives on my chest strap on the right side. From your latest experience I clearly see the benefit of a hook knife accesable to EITHER hand. Good luck with the toggle question. Be safe..............J......
" 90 right, five miles then cut."---Pukin Buzzards

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"There is a keeper on riser for the top of the toggle and elastic or spandex for the bottom.You put the top in and then have to bend it to get the bottom in. The bottom of the toggle itself slides down into the spandex."

Sounds like the bottom spandex is for stowing excess brake line, not stuffing toggles into it.
My reality and yours are quite different.
I think we're all Bozos on this bus.
Falcon5232, SCS8170, SCSA353, POPS9398, DS239

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The keeper on the Top is so loose It would never keep the breaks from firing.I don't know the name of the material, but it's pretty rigid. The elastic is the only thing to hold the breaks in place. I wish I had a picture to show you. I'll checkout Strongs website and see if they have anything
"I'm not sure how it's going to turn out, except I'll die in the end, she said. So what could really go wrong? -----Brian Andreas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That's information worth sharing. My hook knife is on my chest stap(not out of an forethought either)
The scenerios I considered a hook knife for were, unstable deployment resulting in lines around my legs. Canopy wrap with someone. Line over on my reserve. Never considered having one hand immobile and not being able to get to my hook knife.
"I'm not sure how it's going to turn out, except I'll die in the end, she said. So what could really go wrong? -----Brian Andreas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

it seems odd to me that you should have to push/pull toggles UP to unstow them.



It's the same with some of the PdF risers where the brakes are set using 2 snaps. You pull up and back to release these, although the first time I encountered them on hired gear after student gear, I managed to pull one free while pulling down :) then it was easy to release the other one: "huh? no velcro..? oh wait."

One girl at our DZ chopped after being unable to release these brakes on hired gear. And then got mad about having to pay for the repack.

I liked em, they never get undone unless you step on the snaps and break them (seen that).... i like em except for the fact that if you stow your slack the way it's intended the riser is too wide for the slider to pull down so I had my rigger put a regular tape thing on for stowing the slack.

ciel bleu,
Saskia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I had brought it to the attention of the more experienced jumpers around me. Some instructors, some riggers. No one had seen this type of set up. A rigger with 6000 jumps said shit can the risers and toggles. My AFF instructor thinks it's a good set up I just need to get used to. I value both their opinions. And maybe just a few jumps from now it won't be a big deal. It just seems like an extra step.
"I'm not sure how it's going to turn out, except I'll die in the end, she said. So what could really go wrong? -----Brian Andreas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The toggle keepers on your Quasar sound similar to the toggle keepers on Strong Dual Hawk Tandems.
I have more than three thousand jumps on Dual Hawk Tandems.

The secret to releasing Strong toggles is pulling them sideways, outboard to release them.

Pulling sideways also works well for toggles that are snapped (metal press fit fasteners) to risers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I got a quasar 2 years ago and have a couple of hundered jumps on it. My daughter also has a quasar and we have not had this issue. The brakes do stow diffferently but at least for me the set up does seem functional. The set up is similar to the set up on a SET 400. However, sewing a keeper on the back of the riser is pretty simple. My daughter had this done and she prefers it. I'm sure Puester could do it for you pretty easily next time he is up there.
Think of how stupid the average person is and realize that statistically half of them are stupider than that.



Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

0