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katzas

WILL AADS BECOME MANDATORY?

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At the risk of starting a verbal riot I think this question needs addressing. In light of the recent fatality in Eloy during the big way attempt--and many others--are we heading toward mandatory AAD requirements? Should we? I have no idea at this time why that sister died in Eloy. Initial reports said she cut away too low which implies no AAD--but until more info is released about that tragedy we don't know for sure. If the manufacturer's claims are to be believed there are hundreds of us walking around today who wouldn't be if they didn't have an AAD. Some DZs, particularly in Europe, require them. The Golden Knights require one. So--thoughts? Before you start ragging on me--I am the one asking the question--not promoting an agenda--ok?

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katzas

At the risk of starting a verbal riot I think this question needs addressing. In light of the recent fatality in Eloy during the big way attempt--and many others--are we heading toward mandatory AAD requirements? Should we? I have no idea at this time why that sister died in Eloy. Initial reports said she cut away too low which implies no AAD--but until more info is released about that tragedy we don't know for sure. If the manufacturer's claims are to be believed there are hundreds of us walking around today who wouldn't be if they didn't have an AAD. Some DZs, particularly in Europe, require them. The Golden Knights require one. So--thoughts? Before you start ragging on me--I am the one asking the question--not promoting an agenda--ok?



There is no thinkable practical reason for jumping w/o an AAD in my mind, and I believe they should be reqired. An AAD would not have saved the jumper in question though, but a Skyhook most definetly would have. Probably also a regular RSL.

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Larhsw

An AAD would not have saved the jumper in question though, but a Skyhook most definetly would have.



(Emphasis mine.)

A lot of people assume that the skyhook will act as a MARD every time.

This is not the case.

The Skyhook will disengage, as it is designed to do as a safety feature, if forces are in certain directions during deployment. If this happens, then it functions in precisely the same way as a normal RSL.

If you ride your mal down to 500ft, then chop and trust your Skyhook to work like it does in the ideal situation in that video with the BASE jumpers, then you are rolling the dice bigtime.
--
"I'll tell you how all skydivers are judged, . They are judged by the laws of physics." - kkeenan

"You jump out, pull the string and either live or die. What's there to be good at?

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It would be difficult the make the requirement universal with the number of people that have been hurt or killed by them. And please note that Although I do not jump one my self I am not fundamentally anti AAD. I know that all sounds strange and contradictory but bear with me. AAD's have become extremely reliable and can be depended to do EXACTLY what they are designed to do. Please pay attention to how I phrased that. The problem is that they are not designed to save your life. They are designed to fire a cutter when they experience certain conditions of static pressure and pressure change. And they will do it whether you want them to or not. What follow may save your life, it may not, or it may kill you. And it has on numerous occasions done all of the above. AAD fires have saved a hand full of people. They have also saved a much larger group of idiots. But they have also played a part in a number of incidents and accidents, read fatalities. On top of all this there has been some controversy about the cutters even inhibiting the normal operation of rigs. Pinching loops and locking containers closed. I don't think it's a huge issue but it is out there. So with all of this it might be hard to make it unilateral.

Lee
Lee
lee@velocitysportswear.com
www.velocitysportswear.com

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Larhsw



There is no thinkable practical reason for jumping w/o an AAD in my mind, and I believe they should be reqired. An AAD would not have saved the jumper in question though, but a Skyhook most definetly would have. Probably also a regular RSL.



What about for Canopy Piloting? Some of the more HP canopies are able to exceed the firing speeds of Speed Cyprus....

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HUPRA

***

There is no thinkable practical reason for jumping w/o an AAD in my mind, and I believe they should be reqired. An AAD would not have saved the jumper in question though, but a Skyhook most definetly would have. Probably also a regular RSL.



What about for Canopy Piloting? Some of the more HP canopies are able to exceed the firing speeds of Speed Cyprus....

What cypres/vigil/whoever REALLY needs to do is to make the activation speed completely custom - configurable at startup. It's not THAT difficult.

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There is no thinkable practical reason for jumping w/o an AAD in my mind, and I believe they should be reqired.



Money.

I'm not saying it's a right reason, I'm just saying it's some people's reason. Also, bear in mind that if your chance of dying is 1 in 100,000, but not having an AAD doubles that, it's still a pretty low chance, enough for people to take the odds.

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AADs are mandatory at most DZs and I think ANY risk that an AAD carries for the skydiver outweighs the security it gives for any unplanned problema in the skydive.

As for RSL/MARDS I have the exact same opinion. But in a few cases I woul not want to have it "armed" in you container (canopy formation, water landing, for example). Personnaly, I think that it should be mandatory to have an RSL or a MARD. It's a backup device that in most cases it is needed it will save you. Personally, I think this devices shoul be mandatory the same AADs are!

I do not understand how so many 1000+ J jumps skydivers still insist on using any of theese devices

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RSL's and skyhooks, the answers to all skydivers problems.. :S

how about you pull at reasonable altitudes and make your decisions before ants look like fucking cows!?

just for the record, i'm a basejumper too and in skydiving i pull around 1200 meters!
“Some may never live, but the crazy never die.”
-Hunter S. Thompson
"No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try."
-Yoda

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Honestly, I'm cheep. It's not an inexpensive devive to buy and maintain. I did a lot of CRW. The probability of it helping me was relatively low. Note: there has been a save on a CRW dive and I had a friend that hit his head on exit that one might have saved. A helmet would have been even better for him. Still the need is a lot lower. And I have on occasion borrowed rigs that had AAD's in them when I was doing something... weird and felt the need for one. But I could never justify the investment too buy one my self.

Lee
Lee
lee@velocitysportswear.com
www.velocitysportswear.com

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lyosha


What cypres/vigil/whoever REALLY needs to do is to make the activation speed completely custom - configurable at startup. It's not THAT difficult.


But it will be much more difficult to teach the users to make the right decisions.
It is a simple device, let's keep it simple. For some it is already too complicated :S

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virgin-burner

RSL's and skyhooks, the answers to all skydivers problems.. :S

how about you pull at reasonable altitudes and make your decisions before ants look like fucking cows!?

just for the record, i'm a basejumper too and in skydiving i pull around 1200 meters!



Well, there are times when you simply can't pull at 1200 meters… On bigways I often pull at, or even below, 2000 ft for safety reasons.

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Larhsw

***RSL's and skyhooks, the answers to all skydivers problems.. :S

how about you pull at reasonable altitudes and make your decisions before ants look like fucking cows!?

just for the record, i'm a basejumper too and in skydiving i pull around 1200 meters!



Well, there are times when you simply can't pull at 1200 meters… On bigways I often pull at, or even below, 2000 ft for safety reasons.

then adjust your decision-making accordingly.. and here i was thinking minimum pull altitudes were 2500ft, guess i was wrong or bigway-jumpers are "breaking the law" regularly.
“Some may never live, but the crazy never die.”
-Hunter S. Thompson
"No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try."
-Yoda

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As is always the case a hypothetical question is presented due to a certain incident (eloy). What always follows are varying examples and opinions that don't apply to the reason the question was presented.

Often it takes me more time to write a reply than it takes to complete a skydive and land.

Friday Freakout: Low Cutaway, Open By 650 Feet!

This video below is a perfect example of how jumpers believe cutting away, getting stable and then deploying a reserve are their EP's. In the event of a low cutaway this jumper would have ran out of TIME and ALTITUDE

Friday Freakout: Sketchy Cutaway Fly-By

With the latest Eloy Incident it appears to me from the facts presented that an AAD would have been of little help. However the use of a Skyhook may have. Again I say "may have" because the facts have only been hinted at with no real official report.

Time is the killer, when there are fatalities it seems jumpers have run out of time although they attempted to do what they were trained to do in the time they had.... they simply ran out of time and it comes down to seconds or less.

Anything that shifts the odds in my favor such as an AAD, an RSL or a Skyhook improve my odds.

I can't believe the subject is even debated here. Look at the fatalities over just the last 12 months of jumpers who deployed their reserve to low for it to be of any use. From what I am aware of none of these jumpers used an RSL or an MARDS.

Bill Booth makes a very intelligent case regarding the activation height of AAD's and the use of RSL's and MARDS.

As is often the case personal opinions are presented which contradict proven facts. :S

I simply don't get it.

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virgin-burner

RSL's and skyhooks, the answers to all skydivers problems.. :S

how about you pull at reasonable altitudes and make your decisions before ants look like fucking cows!?



This.

I've always had an AAD and an RSL. I think they're smart choices for the overwhelming majority of skydivers on the overwhelming majority of skydives. I think some (but certainly not all) of the arguments against them rest mostly on the I'm too cool to use one factor, the I'm too smart to need them factor, the I'm old school factor, or some combination of those factors. I think those are all fairly silly arguments for not choosing a backup device.

All that said... I don't think we (and who is "we" anyway, but a collection of national skydiving associations/aeronautical regulators who make rules for skydivers in their country) should move towards mandatory use of such devices (other than for pre-licensed jumpers, as they currently are in the U.S.). Of course it's the right of a DZO to decide how he/she wants to do business and manage risk and if he/she wants to make them mandatory (or mandatory up to a certain experience level), that's their business.

Instead, I think we need to wake the fuck up and learn what we need to learn from these incidents - that altitude awareness (and taking action based on that altitude awareness) is your #1 job from the second you leave the airplane till the second your feet touch the ground. Everything else is gravy. And we need to constantly reinforce it - as instructors, as mentors, as friends. We need to have the tough talks with people who lose altitude awareness and are fortunate enough to get away with a close call. (I had just such a conversation with a jumper with 53 jumps just a couple weeks ago... I was busy training 4-way but she scared the shit out of me and I talked to her as we walked in from the landing area, and later asked the S&TA to follow up. That's the kind of mentoring we all should be doing on a regular basis... but so often we don't because we get way too caught up in our own shit.)

Arming yourself with the best available backup devices is a great thing, and I'd recommend it to pretty much anyone who asked me for advice. I've had friends saved by AADs - I strongly prefer to visit friends in the hospital than in the morgue. But making them mandatory isn't going to solve the problem of low cutaways.
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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NWFlyer

I had just such a conversation with a jumper with 53 jumps just a couple weeks ago...



Same here. I had a conversation a couple months ago. Jumper was new and had 94 jumps. Cutaway and reserve deployment barely over the tree tops. The conversation gave me chills.

This persons decision making was influenced by the seller of used gear who didn't have an RLS and didn't feel like "they" needed one.

I see this a lot. People influenced by others into making poor choices. The fact that they were still alive reinforced the poor choice they were influenced into making.

It's as easy as telling a new jumper.... "come on you're not stupid are you"? .... (new jumper) uh, well no I'm not.

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virgin-burner

******RSL's and skyhooks, the answers to all skydivers problems.. :S

how about you pull at reasonable altitudes and make your decisions before ants look like fucking cows!?

just for the record, i'm a basejumper too and in skydiving i pull around 1200 meters!



Well, there are times when you simply can't pull at 1200 meters… On bigways I often pull at, or even below, 2000 ft for safety reasons.

then adjust your decision-making accordingly.. and here i was thinking minimum pull altitudes were 2500ft, guess i was wrong or bigway-jumpers are "breaking the law" regularly.

Well, I guess you have never been on a bigway with jumpers ahead, to the left, right and even above and/or below at deployment altitude. This is not about "breaking the law" but to avoid a potentially serious situation for everyone. It is all about reading the situation correctly and making good judgment calls for the benefit of everyone, not only yourself

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(Not necessarily in reply to NWFlyer but you mention the same point others did.)

I think the issue here is that a true two-pronged approach is necessary. RSLs and AADs shouldn't necessarily be mandatory, but I think we should be strongly encouraging their use as backup devices. At the same time, we should be doing exactly as NWFlyer says and be much more active in mentoring etc. regarding altitude awareness.

Compare it to driving. How many people say "we should stop telling people to wear seatbelts, what's important is that we learn to be better drivers!" By enforcing this false dichotomy we're missing the point. We should equip ourselves with whatever tools we have at our disposal to enhance our safety. At the same time, we should teach better habits and help people learn better altitude awareness and to respect their hard decks. Both parts are important--perhaps not equally, but even then, we should not be disparaging one in favor of the other.

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We could probably save the most lives by making it mandatory that nobody skydives. Imagine if skydiving was illegal, just think how much we could charge on the black market for tandems!




Hey hey hey let's make it mandatory to put FXC's or manual pin pullers on people's mains (also no more hand deploy, go back to spring loaded main PC's) so nobody ever forgets to pull again.
=========Shaun ==========


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I sometimes have two rigs. My primary rig has a Cypres. I like it (although I'm going to dump it and get a Vigil some time this summer... but that's a different can of worms). If I have a secondary rig up and running, it doesn't have one. I'm fine with that.

I am of the opinion that it is my job to save my own life every time I jump. The AAD (and the skyhook and the gear choices and the packing and the decisions I make while skydiving, and my attitude towards safety) all help nudge the odds in my favor. Ultimately though, it's up to me.

I like that students are all required to have one. I also like that if a licensed skydiver can afford a cheap rig to get started but can't afford an AAD, they can keep jumping. I'd rather be in the air with someone who is current and heads-up than someone who is not but has an AAD.




ianyapxw

I'm not passing judgement, but why don't you jump with one (legitimately curious).

Would you jump if you had an AAD for free?

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