0
okalb

Too quick to cut away

Recommended Posts

Quote

I'm just thinking that statistically, my chances of a safe landing under a slow mal are pretty small, and that my chances with the reserve if I cutaway at reasonable altitude are close to 100%.
.



I'm just a noob too...but trusting a reserve 100%?
This is why we have a hard deck, and while you don't want to be still making decisions after you've reached your hard deck, you might not want to take the attitude of "Screw it, my reserve will open."

I remember my first jumps and how even line twists scared me to the point of wanting to cut away. It seemed like *every* little thing was scary or dangerous. As I gained more experience, I gained more confidence in my ability to deal with less than optimal scenarios. In one instance, I allowed two broken lines to remain, and landed the canopy anyway (got my butt chewed, but landed just fine).
I dunno, I see my reserve as my absolute last chance, and reserves do fail on occasion. I trust my rigger, he has hundreds of saves, but...I don't wanna go there unless I'm out of control at 2500.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not saying 100%, if you read my post, I'm saying CLOSE to 100%. And that's better than "high probability of injury" that I would have landing some "slow" mals.

Of course I would work with some, not all slow mals down to my hard deck (which BTW is where my instructor set it for me).

I'm just saying that I'd cutaway a toggles fire on unfamiliar gear that I had no idea how to land safely without my toggles. I won't know it's stall point, and that could be a real problem if I have to keep the canopy straight by holding one toggle. Low altitude stall wouldn't be any fun. The toggles fire is for me still a "maybe I can land it without breaking myself"-situation, and that calls for EPs by my book.

No, I haven't had a toggles fire yet, but I think it's a good idea to know what to do about different mals on the ground. My time and altitude up there will be limited. I'm listening to what my fellow jumpers on my DZ and my instructors are saying.

If you read my original post, you'll notice that I've had line twists too. Lots of them. without having to use my reserve.

In the end it's really the individual jumper's decision. It's a question of safety and cost.

So maybe something that would really improve safety in the sport would be better canopy training? And maybe that's the point of this thread, that people have no clue about landing a less-than-perfect canopy in less-than-perfect conditions, which means they cutaway something completely landable?

Too bad the only organized canopy control course that's going to be held where I jump this summer is a course in high performance landings. :S
Relax, you can die if you mess up, but it will probably not be by bullet.

I'm a BIG, TOUGH BIGWAY FORMATION SKYDIVER! What are you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote


In the end it's really the individual jumper's decision. It's a question of safety and cost.

So maybe something that would really improve safety in the sport would be better canopy training? And maybe that's the point of this thread, that people have no clue about landing a less-than-perfect canopy in less-than-perfect conditions, which means they cutaway something completely landable?

Too bad the only organized canopy control course that's going to be held where I jump this summer is a course in high performance landings. :S



It should never be a question of cost, but I'm guessing you didn't mean it in the way you've worded it. A 100.00 ripcord is cheap compared to a broken leg or worse.

I'm not understanding the analogy of "less than perfect canopy in less than perfect landing conditions." They're not related. Either your canopy is functioning (three S's) or it's not. The landing area isn't going to change regardless of which canopy you choose to land.

I'm sure you've got folks in Oslo that can teach you canopy control, even without an organized class.

edited for spelling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think the point that's getting lost here is that the OP is pointing out that a toggle fire is often a fixable mal, one that could possibly be assessed and fixed above your decision altitude.* If you don't have it assessed and fixed by your decision altitude, I don't think anyone here would criticize you for choosing to chop it, and in fact choosing to keep a bad canopy beyond your decision altitude when you're still not sure what's causing the problem is, IMHO, poor decision making.


*In the interest of full disclosure, I had and chopped what was most likely a toggle fire because in the 700 feet I had to assess it prior to my decision altitude, I was unable to correct the problem so I chose to honor my decision altitude.
"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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
With less than perfect canopy, I mean, as some people talked about, with one or both toggles loose. So you have to steer with risers. It would be useful to be able to land that canopy.

With less than perfect contitions, I mean cross wind, downwind and out. Also really useful.

All decisions that has to do with cost has to be done on the ground. I pack properly, so I won't have to pay for a reserve repack.

I mentioned the high performance landing course because it seems like everyone seems to want to learn to swoop, but classes in basic canopy safety aren't as popular.

Sorry about my language, I've got a norwegian accent even when I type.
Relax, you can die if you mess up, but it will probably not be by bullet.

I'm a BIG, TOUGH BIGWAY FORMATION SKYDIVER! What are you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
;)I've got a western accent even when I type.
Seriously, I'm *sure* you can find an instructor on your DZ or in your area, that while it might not be an "organized" canopy control course for non-swoopers, he/she could organize one for you. If you have questions, chances are that several others do too.
Back to the original point of the thread, I think you're right, learning more about canopy control techniques would help folks have more confidence in a less than perfect canopy that doesn't *need* to be cut away, and they'd try to land it.
Trying to land an unfamiliar, and potentially smaller reserve (my reserve is larger than my main, but many aren't) in crosswinds, downwinds, etc concerns me more than landing a canopy that isn't perfect but that I can control. This is part of why you're required to demonstrate rear riser landings for USPA licensing.
Bottom line no matter what though, is that just as you should fight to fix your main above the deck, you should be equally trained and prepared to cut it away by the decision altitude, and don't let anyone give you crap about it if you do, because it was *you* and only you in the situation that called for a cutaway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This isn't to say any such 'trend' is to be ignored. But I've always wondered how much one can criticize if someone chops and lands safely. It's a blurred line.

I'm curious as to the orientation of the term 'brake fire'. It's always been known as an 'unstowed toggle' to me up until the past few years. Which is a much more descriptive term I must say. 'Brake fire' just makes things sound more impressive than they are. There is no fire involved. If there was, it would probably be called something else.
"Any language where the unassuming word fly signifies an annoying insect, a means of travel, and a critical part of a gentleman's apparel is clearly asking to be mangled."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's an important point that's taken up in this thread, and as I said in my previous posts, I think I have an idea why there are so many chops on toggles fire.

Because people don't have a clue what to do about it except chop.

I know many people who's only had one cutaway, and that was on a toggle fire.

Good that we finally understand each other, DSE!

:)
Relax, you can die if you mess up, but it will probably not be by bullet.

I'm a BIG, TOUGH BIGWAY FORMATION SKYDIVER! What are you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wait, what exactly are we talking about here?

In a 'toggle fire'/premature brake-release, why does one have to use rear risers to flare? The answer to the problem is to release the stowed toggle. Am I missing something?

Also, I think some people never really take the time to look at the situation. I've seen numerous jumpers cutaway when their canopy made a "wicked turn" during opening but they never looked up.

I'm also not sure if people really understand the differences between canopies. We recently had a jumper proclaim she "nearly cut away" during her first jump on an elliptical. She freaked because it made a sharp turn and dove more than she was used to during opening.
"Any language where the unassuming word fly signifies an annoying insect, a means of travel, and a critical part of a gentleman's apparel is clearly asking to be mangled."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I'm on the same page as you Pulse, perhaps I misunderstood as well. I thought by "toggle fire" or "brake fire" people were referring to when one toggle comes unstowed on deployment. All that needs to be done is to release the other toggle.



That was one of the points I was trying to make from the start. If one of your brakes comes unstowed on deployment, all you have to do it unstow the other. This has happened to me many times over the years. Nowadays, I keep hearing of people cutting away because of this. Occasionally on a very high performance canopy I can see it spinning you into line twists that may require a cutaway, but under most circumstances (especially under a big square), this is not a reason to cut away.
Time flies like an arrow....fruit flies like a banana

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GREAT! Sounds like we're in agreement. Where did the riser thing come from?

And where's the 'fire'?
"Any language where the unassuming word fly signifies an annoying insect, a means of travel, and a critical part of a gentleman's apparel is clearly asking to be mangled."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Nowadays, I keep hearing of people cutting away because of this. Occasionally on a very high performance canopy I can see it spinning you into line twists that may require a cutaway, but under most circumstances (especially under a big square), this is not a reason to cut away.



I haven't been around long, but I haven't heard of many people cutting away just because one toggle was unstowed. I've seen several posts here about cutting away when one toggle wouldn't unstow, though. Having one toggle unstowed and the other stuck is something most new jumpers who are uncomfortable or inexperienced with landing on rear risers might justifiably cut away.

It's not just HP canopies that can be a problem when it really is just a case of one toggle being unstowed, either. My first chop was a sabre2 loaded at about 1:1 that managed to spin me on my back with one toggle loose on opening.
Owned by Remi #?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I haven't been around long, but I haven't heard of many people cutting away just because one toggle was unstowed.



I hear about it and see it very often. That is what prompted me to start this thread in the first place.

Quote

I've seen several posts here about cutting away when one toggle wouldn't unstow, though. Having one toggle unstowed and the other stuck is something most new jumpers who are uncomfortable or inexperienced with landing on rear risers might justifiably cut away.



That is an entirely different situation. If one is unstowed and one is stuck, I strongly recommend NOT attempting to land like that. I lost a very good friend to a landing accident caused by that exact situation and he had over 1000 jumps on that particular canopy at the time.


Quote

It's not just HP canopies that can be a problem when it really is just a case of one toggle being unstowed, either. My first chop was a sabre2 loaded at about 1:1 that managed to spin me on my back with one toggle loose on opening.



If you look at all of my posts above I never said it can't happen, but it is extremely rare that a premature brake release on a big square will cause a situation that can't be fixed and requires a cutaway.
Time flies like an arrow....fruit flies like a banana

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm wondering ... and this would likely apply almost solely to those on rental/student gear, since it's not tailored to them ... if some of those cases are situations where the person finds they can't quite reach the loose line readily, rather than not knowing to just release the one that remained stowed? I've seen students hanging in gear where they could reach the toggles to release them, but not a lot above that point without some contortions. It might not occur to them to pull down on the risers to bring it within reach. I can also see where a person with really low #'s might look up and just see it is not in place, and not see the line trailing the toggle behind them for them TO grab.
As long as you are happy with yourself ... who cares what the rest of the world thinks?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
in the times I've had it, the fired toggle is not "loose" and dangling about. It's in the same position as the stowed toggle. The difference it no longer is securing several inches of the brake line and is instead flying full open. The other side remains at half brakes and thus the turn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

in the times I've had it, the fired toggle is not "loose" and dangling about. It's in the same position as the stowed toggle. The difference it no longer is securing several inches of the brake line and is instead flying full open. The other side remains at half brakes and thus the turn.



If the unstowed toggle IS loose and dangling, you've got something else wrong! That means you might not be able to steer the canopy with that toggle since the line is anchored somewhere besides the trailing edge of the canopy.
"Any language where the unassuming word fly signifies an annoying insect, a means of travel, and a critical part of a gentleman's apparel is clearly asking to be mangled."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

in the times I've had it, the fired toggle is not "loose" and dangling about. It's in the same position as the stowed toggle. The difference it no longer is securing several inches of the brake line and is instead flying full open. The other side remains at half brakes and thus the turn.



okay ... maybe I'm really confused here ... but how could the slack that is normally trapped when it's stowed be gone with the toggle still stowed,unless the loop the butt of the toggle is put thru gave way? If that was the case, that would mean the line itself would be flapping, but it would be from a much higher point (the canopy) than the ring on the riser as would be the case if it just came unstowed. Woudln't it no longer be considered to be "stowed" if the top of the toggle slipped out of the loop and allowed the slack to go out but the bottom of the toggle stayed in place??
As long as you are happy with yourself ... who cares what the rest of the world thinks?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey Oren,
How are you? Interesting post. I've had 2 cutaways that were the result of a brake line releasing prematurely. Both times the canopy was spinning enough that I was getting dizzy to the point that I was extremely disoriented. Despite the fact that I knew what the mal was, the g-force was strong enough that my arms were pinned and I could not reach up to release the other toggle or grab the risers.

I've probably had about half a dozen premature brake releases since I've started jumping. Most times I fixed the problem quite easily but twice I could not. Cutting away was not a decision I made lightly, especially since the second time I was borrowing a friend's brand new canopy, but I felt that I was at my decision altitude, spinning, and just could not control the canopy.

Did I cut away too quickly? I don't know. I was harshly criticized for it, and received a 2+ hour lecture from the DZO on what I could have done differently. While I learned a lot, it was confusing to some newer jumpers who were eavesdropping on the conversation. What kind of message is that? I still stand by my decision. I think we do the best we can, with the information we have at the time. And I think the more we learn about our parachutes and flying them, the better equipped we are at responding to emergencies. No matter what, there will always be criticism.

For what it's worth, I'd rather cut away and miss a weekend of jumping, then not cut away and end up a statistic with a post in the Incidents forum titled "Why Didn't She Cut Away?"

Then again, people have chopped because the slider was making too much noise, or the wind was pushing them and they were flying backwards, so what do I know.[:/]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
in the brake fires I had - probably due to riser strike on my face (ouch) during a sloppy deploy, the inflating canopy pulls the toggle until it gets to the eyelet. There is considerable pressure on the line to take up the slack. If it fails, as Pulse mentions, there is something bad, like a tension knot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My personal opinion, not backed by any hard evidence other than the canopies I've jumped (Spectre 190, Samurai 170):

Brake fires are just a nuisance, as long as you deal with them promptly. If you wait a couple of seconds before reacting, they become much more difficult to sort out. It's usually easier to haul down on the opposite rear riser to stabilize the canopy before finding the blown toggle and pulling down on it to put the canopy back into deployment brakes. Then you have time to release the stowed brake as normal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If like others you are having several breakfires,so much so that they are now a "nuisance" surely a specific gear inspection is required or look at packing cos its opening too quickly and a break is kicked off by a slamming slider.
Changed my risers to WHAT WAS!! Relative Workshop TRULOCK risers.Works for me.
:)
Swooping, huh? I love that stuff ... all the flashing lights and wailing sirens ... it's very exciting!

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