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teason

Student Reserve canopies, Which is safer?

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I'm curious, with all the new advancements and approaches to student training, which is better to use as a reserve canopy; round or square?

We all know which is a better canopy but when it all hits the fan with an FJC student and two canopies deploy at the same time which is safer? Has training at your DZ changed if you has replaced your rounds with squares?

Love to hear the opinions out there!:)
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.

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>and two canopies deploy at the same time which is safer?

A round with anti-inversion netting and a freebag / free sleeve system. I don't know of any such system. However, for 90% of reserve deployments, a square reserve is going to be safer for many reasons, including ability to make it back to the DZ, slower descent rate, and no change in procedures.

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A round with anti-inversion netting and a freebag / free sleeve system. I don't know of any such system


Interesting but wasn't anti inversion netting more for T-10s going out of Hercs at high speed? The combination of the speed and gravity put the T-10 at an angle and therefore puts the inversion stage at an angle increasing the risk of partial inversion. Some out there from the days of rounds could probably give stats on the likelihood of partial inversions in a regular freefall situation.
Also the point on having a freebag/sleeve on the round may cause more harm than good. I have seen a round reserve pilotchute get wrapped in a main canopy in a dual situation and still inflate, a sleeve may keep the reserve contained while fouling the main and considering that it was most likely a student error that cause the situation, would he have the presence of mind to take corrective action?

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90% of reserve deployments, a square reserve is going to be safer



That's very true, Squares prevent off DZ and obstacle landings. Spotting considerations are much more important for rounds and you have far less injuries under squares.
The question kinda becomes are the benefits of the square worth the risks when it all hits the fan. I've seen at least half a dozen scenarios where a square reserve could have been an extreme hazard. At the same time I know there are round canopy horror stories. It has been my experience that rounds are safer in the long run but my experience is meager compared to the collective!
I crave external input! empirical or even anecdotal evidence. I'm also wondering if some feel (as I do) AAD choice would also play a role seeing that FXC12000 are more prone to dual descents than a student cypres.
***
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.

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>and two canopies deploy at the same time which is safer?

A round with anti-inversion netting and a freebag / free sleeve system. I don't know of any such system. However, for 90% of reserve deployments, a square reserve is going to be safer for many reasons, including ability to make it back to the DZ, slower descent rate, and no change in procedures.




The use of an over-inflation control line will accomplish the same thing as anti-inversion netting with out the increase in pack volume. The use of a diaper, to close off the skirt and stow the lines, will avoid most of the problem of using a bag/sleeve system on a round.
Sparky
My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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Square reserves are 100% superior.....the freebag will save you in many situations where a roundie will kill you....

I put squares in my student rigs way back in 1988/89......the grey hair factor instantly halved...

Makes training a lot simpler as well...You don't have to worry about different reserve procedures.....fly and land it like your main....
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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Which AADs have you used and what's your experience with dualies?

I used to instruct at a DZ with squares and they seemed so snug that often they stayed in the container with the reserve PC trailing behind (Javs with Tempo reserves)

Any square on square grey hairs?
With rounds, I've probably seen just almost as many dual descents as single reserve rides (IADs and a classic progression) I've even seen a student land their main with a round lying on top of the canopy, and one student who melted panels on thier reserve when it deployed through the main lines.
(by the way, I've seen a good 10000-11000 first jumpers in my day and it still isn't a regular thing)

just looking for thoughts out there as I'm debating on new student gear.
:)
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.

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Makes training a lot simpler as well...You don't have to worry about different reserve procedures.....fly and land it like your main....



good point but the opposing veiw may be that a rattled first jumper may fly thier square poorley where as the round will treat that jumper like cargo, they can't get to far away from where they are supposed to be(good spotting is, of course, critical).

I also have never, ever seen an FJ student try to flare a round canopy(I know that's anecdotal)

I have however seen someone with about 10 jump try it.... er .... it didn't work to well....go figure.:P
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.

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Reserve canopies Paraflite Orion 220 sq ft, AAD's FXC 12000, altimeters, radios, Telesis 2 containers, mains 290 sq ft 9 cells (PISA)....S/L training. Excellent student gear.... around 10000 first jumpers and a hell of a lot of them going to A licence....

.... Seen a few 2 outs, never had an injury. Seen a students fly with a biplane and stand up in the peas...

Squares far outweigh rounds safety wise, if you have a tight DZ, high winds, bad spot.....or mal, AAD fire into a main on a low dump....its not a contest if you want to compare.....the "broken leg from poor landing" scenario becomes a non event...

Trained with paracommanders and 26ft lopo's thru the mid to late 70's till 1986 when I got square mains (360's 7 cells) then put in square reserves as soon as they were approved, about 1988/89....

You can spend quite a bit of extra time training students how to fly the canopy because you save a lot of time because you don't need to emphasise PLF's, obstacle landing training etc so thoroughly.......because of the radio.....and you can teach them to "steer and avoid"....

If your training is good then a mal is not gonna freak out the student because they know what to expect.....a round reserve is a worry for them...students in control are far more able to look after themselves......they arn't all stupid!!..

The reasons why experiened jumpers jump squares are the same reasons why students should as well............They are safer....end of story...
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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If your training is good then a mal is not gonna freak out the student because they know what to expect.....a round reserve is a worry for them...students in control are far more able to look after themselves......they arn't all stupid!!..



I don't think it's about the quality of training or the stupidity of students. It's about managing a situation and being aware that some react differently than others. Fatality reports are full of people that made a poor choice, both student and experienced jumper alike.
:oCAUTION EXTREME EXAMPLE:o
I knew a DZO in Canada who dropped students on rounds with fused Capewells up until he retired in 2002. His arguement was that his high rate of injuries (lots of breaks every time he dropped students!!) was justified by the low fatality rate ... and he had the stats to prove it!
Now that is an extreme point of view and one that I do not agree with. The basis of the theory, however shouldn't be ignored.

Is the pro square arguement a "better performance=better for the student" arguement
Or is it that the high risk of hazardous and injurious landings under a round outweigh the low risk of problems that can result from botched dual canopy procedures.

The first arguement is supportted by the adoption of squares for students decades ago but is also weakened by the fact that we don't drop students on hp canopies for the better flare. There is a balance and that's what I'm hoping to find; what's the balance with reserve choice for students

The second is valid in my mind but needs justification. I have anecdotal evidence that supports rounds but that is a limited perspective.

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The reasons why experiened jumpers jump squares are the same reasons why students should as well............They are safer....end of story...


The arguments against students jumping square reserves are however unique to students and have nothing to do with experienced jumpers

Your experience with your students does ,however, lend lots of creedance to square reserves
:)
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.

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Every experienced jumper is a former student, and are the ones who choose student gear.....
so it is actually important.....I trained on round mains and reserves...did about 800 jumps before squares got reliable....I know what I prefer.....

My sole aim was to reduce student injury......i.e. to not hurt anyone....

There is no such thing as an "acceptable injury rate".....

Your two "arguments" are both valid.

Soft landings under squares are a big factor in choosing them...they're all gonna land, few will have a mal......the softer the landing the safer it is.......So I teach them to fly the canopy....and flare for landing....

With a lot of experience of a lot of different students I rarely found a student who freaked out in a stress situation.....I made them very aware that freaking out was the worst thing they could possibly do.........it almost guaranteed they would hurt themselves.....

Reliable radios are essential......especially with a student having a mal.....turns it almost into a non event....
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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Square reserves - large square reserves - are best for first jump students.
Tempo 250 reserves, Manta 290 mains, and AADs are packed into all the Sidewinder student rigs at Pitt Meadows.
Since becoming an instructor in 1982, I have dropped students with almost every combination of gear you can think of. These days I only drop students with square reserves. The primary reason I prefer square reserves is that they simplify ground school. Most of what you say about round reserves goes in one ear and out the other. They forget what you said about round reserves before they leave the classroom. I have watched several students try to flare round reserves.
Worse than a waste of time!
In the last 5 years, we have only had 4 dual deployments on student rigs. Two of them were by the same guy who lost track of altitude and deployed his main low. He landed his biplane safely in the correct field both times.
Anecdotal evidence spouted about round reserves being safer is usually spouted by DZOs who are too cheap to replace their 20-plus year old round reserves.
Has anyone heard about acid mesh?
Come on people, get with the 1980s!
Back in the 1980s we proved that square mains are infinitely superior to round mains.
Don't your students deserve equally reliable reserves?

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Anecdotal evidence spouted about round reserves being safer is usually spouted by DZOs who are too cheap to replace their 20-plus year old round reserves


I don't think that's really fair.
The debate here should be what are the pro an cons of each not the suspected motivations of the choices made.
When I bought my student gear some years ago, I had a choice with no additional cost. I went with rounds because that was what I was used to and was what I felt comfortable with. (I had seen a main reserve deployment that resulted in a Damaged round reserve. I felt that a square in the same position would not have been survivable.
That's my perspective and one that is really hard to shake.
When I opened a new DZ and felt that with all to stuff I needed to concentrate on, exploring changes to my FJC would not be a safe option. Changing the FJC takes more than a quick glance.
You may feel that choice to be wrong and that's great. people with opposing views are the only people worth listening to.

My motivations are always in the interests of safety and that's why I put up this post. Not to say rounds are safer but to get both views and opinions.
I'll change reserves if I feel it's safer but calling me cheap doesn't present that argument.
I know there can be emotion involved in safety so I understand but let's keep our focus.


I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.

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I felt that a square in the same position would not have been survivable.



This is exactly why our students have round reserves....and so do I. I would rather have some of a round over my head than some of a square.
An aircraft with one wing....does not perform at 50% efficiency. Square mains are so reliable when packed and operated correctly that I do not see students under reserve very often. I have never seen a broken bone from a round reserve landing yet. But I have seen a few from poorly executed square main landings. It takes a lot more training and good ground control to land a student under a square.
Think of it this way...without any training at all...no knowledge of parachutes at all. U dispatch a student static line/IAD. No ground control at all. With a round parachute the student will more than likely drift to the ground at a survivable rate. With a square....what do you think you will find on the ground when you get there?
I jumped my 25 year old lopo 26 last fall and as a life saving device...it still works just fine. When I get a hundred jumps on it, I'll buy a new one(with a full diaper).
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Mike Wheadon B-3715,HEMP#1
Higher Expectations for Modern Parachutists.

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If I hung a round reserve on a student, I would be a hypocrite.
I sold my last round reserve the same year I made my last military static-line jump: in 1986.

Last year round reserves were banned from Pitt Meadows because the DZ is too close to town and the Fraser River.

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Last year round reserves were banned from Pitt Meadows because the DZ is too close to town and the Fraser River.


Now THAT is a strong arguement!
The Hazards around your DZ pose a threat that make round reserves a poor choice.
I know a DZ that does west jumpruns with students over a crap load of obstacles. If they had an AAD fire on a long climb out ...:o
THEY should have squares based on there attitude toward spotting.
We don't have that issue to the same degree and on the rare occasion that we do, we quadrant spot accordingly.
It is still a consideration though, thanks.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.

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I have never seen a broken bone from a round reserve landing yet. But I have seen a few from poorly executed square main landings....U dispatch a student static line/IAD. No ground control at all. With a round parachute the student will more than likely drift to the ground at a survivable rate.


That's my experience too, no injuries except for the guy with the damaged reserve and that was just a sprain, he jumped the following weekend.
If a student malfuction starts in their brain, dumbing down the demands of canopy control may be a good thing. Just makesure they have good spotting!


I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.

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im still trying to understand the arguement. From what I can see, having no canopy knowledge whatsoever, is that rounds are inherently dangerous. They are dangerous because obstacles cannot be adequatly avoided, landings are heavy and its use complicates training . Whereas a square reserve will land you where you want and allows for a single method of canopy control to be taught. But in absolute safety, simplicity of education is irrelevant. Preventing fatalities should be the number one priority. Are you more likely to die as a result of having a square or round reserve? The only advantage i can see in having a round reserve is during a two out. For all other malfuntions, will rounds operate in the same manner as squares? That being the survival of the student. In absolute terms of preventing fatalities, are rounds safer? obviously excluding DZ's with lots of obstacles.

Pete
Pete
"In one way or the other, I'm a bad brother. Word to the motherf**ker." Eazy-E

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I don't think the difference is very significant. Most of the time the main function properly. And the few times it doesn't the reserve function properly and the student lands safely anyway.

About education. You will need to have special education whatever choice of reserve you have done. If you use square reserves you will have to know how to handle two-out. For round reserve you have to know how to maneuver it. In both cases you will have to know your PLF anyway - you can have a hard landing with squares too you know. As for obstacles you should probably how to land with a square too, the use of radio is no excuse to not teach the students how to avoid and land in obstacles - radio as all other equipment can fail and the use of radio may in fact make the student neglect the nessecity to learn to land safely on his own from first jump.

And no round reserves does not guarantee that the student lands in the right place given that he is dropped at the right place. A student may fly a long way under a low speed "malfunction" before he decides to cutaway. Again education is the key.

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teason,
I am having difficulty understanding your attitude. I am guessing that you are still using round reserves and are trying to justify an equipment purchase decision made a decade ago.
You also seem to get offended when I contradict you.
My opinions are based on seeing numerous improvements in student gear over my 22 year carreer as a jumpmaster.
Maybe you should listen to the grey beards who started jumping back in the 1970s. Better yet, listen to a grey beard who is still dropping students.
This grumpy old grey beard started jumping with round mains back in 1977. He felt like a hypocrite when he became a jumpmaster in the early 1980s because he wore a square main - packed in a piggyback container - but was still dressing students in fore-and-aft gear containing military surplus rounds.
Training at our DZ got simpler when we bought piggyback containers for students.
Ground school got simpler. while malfunction rates and injury rates dropped dramatically when we bought large docile square mains for students.
But we were still stuck with the awkward ground school about two different methods for learning how to land two different types of canopies. Since most students were on the brink of overload by the time they finished ground school, most of them instinctively "dumped" whatever the instructor said about round reserves.
Ground school got simpler when we bought square reserves for students, because now they only have to remember how to steer one type of canopy. Manta 290, Skymaster 290 and Tempo 250 all fly about the same.
The whole argument about two-outs being safer with round reserves is limited to freefall students who pull low enough to scare their AADs. This happens less than once a year at Pitt Meadows.
Sorry teason, but I cannot support your argument in favor of round reserves for students. I will quit skydiving before I put another student out with a round canopy.

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I am having difficulty understanding your attitude. I am guessing that you are still using round reserves and are trying to justify an equipment purchase decision made a decade ago.



I have no problem with the decision I made when I originally got the gear. I only brought it up to show that cost wasn't the issue in my choice as your previous post had suggested

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You also seem to get offended when I contradict you.



It was only the cheap comment, I didn't think it was a good road to go down or a fair statement to make, although I sure there are DZOs who wish they had the money to change over.

It may seem strange but I put up the post to listen to the "Grumpy grey beards".:P The sport is constantly advancing in the realms of equipment and training.
If we don't constantly challenge our own thoughts and ideas, we'll wind up like Llyod K. dropping students on gear that should have been retired decades ago.

I'm not here to say "I like round reserves and I'm going to spew dogma 'til you agree with me!"

What I am saying is I use rounds because of my experience with them and I think it's time to get other peoples' opinions and perspectives.
All I ask for is cogent arguments. If they are good arguments, then I say so but if I think there are holes in them, I'll point that out too.
I've seen some good points made so far and you have put across your strong belief in square reserves, that in itself is a strong case given your experience.

My attitude is about broadening my perspective and questioning my own approach to training.It's about listening to others and while I may challenge what is said I will not disregard it!
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.

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>From what I can see, having no canopy knowledge whatsoever, is
>that rounds are inherently dangerous.

Well, they're not inherently dangerous, they are just less capable than squares, and need different training, spotting and flying techniques if you're going to use them safely. If you do not take these additional requirements into consideration a round has some significant problems compared to a square. The one reason I could see considering them is if you use an old AAD (like a Sentinel) that misfires often; a round is the reserve to have if you have two out. But a better solution to that problem would be to replace the Sentinels.

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