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BobxMarley

Broken Riser to Double Malfunction

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betzilla


I'm actually really surprised that whoever assembled the main didn't notice those stitches weren't there when he/she hand tacked the soft links. Your eyes are pointed right at the missing stitches at that point.


To notice that you'd have to lack at the back side. If you just lay risers in their normal orientation that stitching would be hidden by dive loops.

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yoink


And for the manufacturer - the solution is simple. Don't tack stuff with glue before sewing. If you eliminated that step it is pretty much 100% certain that this defect would not have made it passed inspection.



I am not a mfg, so will let them clarify/expand on this if they will.

You are correct that eliminating this step would make missing stitches easier to detect.

However, it is a common industry practice for a good reason. It helps ensure that the two sides of the gear (or two risers in this case) are symmetrical prior to sewing. Comparing the two after one is done is misleading due the the shrink involved when an item is sewn. By tacking the junctions in place prior to sewing, the two can be compared, changed, flipped over (if initially placed in the wrong place/direction). It is itself a tool in ensuring quality control.

That comes with the trade off of having to be 100% on your post-sewing inspections.

Other similar things that have cropped up in decades past include line cascades or finger-traps that are set but not bar-tacked, missing stitches/parts, missing bobbin thread (top of the seam looks fine, but pulls out easily) wrong parts assembled, parts incorrectly assembled (soft-links), parts not fully assembled, grommets not fully set, hard links not tightened or over tightened/cracked, etc...

If it can be done wrong, or not done at all, it can and probably has happened in the past. The trick is to understand that it will happen and to put the proper checks in place to catch it.

I am very encouraged by the mfg's response to you. Hopefully they will follow through.

It was just such a QC problem (on a larger scale) that was followed up by denials and poor response/follow-up that killed a very good/promising sport harness/container mfg some time back.

JW
Always remember that some clouds are harder than others...

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This is a very interesting discussion. While some might want to run away from the company involved, after this their risers are probably going to be the most carefully inspected and safest in the industry.

Before reading this probably 90+% of riggers would have missed this problem. If next week the same set of risers passed through our lofts what % would miss the problem? How about next year? Hopefully it's caused some net improvement.

-Michael

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No way. 90% of riggers are not that unobservant. For that matter, 10% of riggers are not that unobservant.

It's a bit hard to comprehend actually hooking a main onto that riser but clearly it happened.
My grammar sometimes resembles that of magnetic refrigerator poetry... Ghetto

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Quote

To notice that you'd have to lack at the back side. If you just lay risers in their normal orientation that stitching would be hidden by dive loops.



:|

exhausting to turn those babies over, isn't it? That's why we nylon technicians get paid the big bucks.

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Hi

I'm glad you are fine.
Does a Rigger inspected the canopy & risers before you attached it to your h/c ? It should be inspected & found at:
1. The Mfg. Sewing station, Q.C & Final Inspection process.
2. By the Rigger who attached the main canopy to the risers.
Rule #1: Always let a Rigger to inspect any part of your skydiving system even if it come new from the Mfg. & that's including any part, even if it is a NON TSO part to be used with the main canopy system.
Rule #2: Mfg. are not Holy & items can left the factory with an issue even after Final inspection.

Thanks for the info. & again I'm glad you are fine & doing well.

Cheers

Shlomo

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BobxMarley

Newer skydivers are generally overwhelmed with the amount of information they receive. Many of us don't know that we should be inspecting the stitching on our risers



Not just newer jumpers. I can't say I have ever seen anyone inspect the risers on a canopy they were demoing... ever. I would like to think that my rigger inspected my risers when he assembled my first set of gear, but odds are he probably didn't either.

I have had a canopy go through inspection by two master riggers and both of them missed a patch on its tail in their inspection.

It's easy to point the finger at the end user because as skydivers that is what we are trained to do, but there should have been multiple much more informed parties upstream who should have caught this mistake.

Glad everything worked out.

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Does anybody notice that the slink was super tacked into the riser? I'm sorry but how do you pass a needle through that area at least 3 times and not notice that???.

I'm a little ocd, and I've built my last 4 sets of risers myself, at home, so I guess I know what to look for but I find this very hard to believe that at least 4 people missed this. The seamstress, the qc person, the rigger who tacked the slink and hooked up the canopy and the end user. Well the end use can't really be held a fault here, but either way.

When I started rigging, I didn't really know what to look for. But since building canopies and other gear, I've noticed and now look for different things, and know why they're supposed to be there.

As for the risers, the only thing I use hot glue on is the confluence wrap before sewing. That's it. Period. One, it looks shitty and gets everywhere if you're not crazy careful and secondly, shit like this. I build the rear riser first entirely. Then measure and add shrinkage and boxW the front riser, then tack the dive loops. And then double check, then triple check, then again. Put weight on your risers and look at the front and back lengths... For some reason, well shrinkage is the reason, but almost all production risers I've seen are off front to back. The back is almost always shorter. My first set of risers (aerodyne) were 1/8th of an inch off on one side and almost 1/4" off on the other side. I figured I could do better and made my own.

The response is good in at least they owned it and reimbursed you, but I'm really having an issue with the now we'll physically inspect them, or again or whatever. If the inspectors missed it the first time, then why won't they again. Working in production I can see how stuff gets missed but at least where I'm at, we have no less than two people do each inspection at multiple stages of the build, measure and check everything. When you're sitting there looking at 20 sets of risers, one could have slid into the wrong pile or who knows what. It becomes a contest to see who can find more shit. And we get really picky. Even a couple stitches with weird tension gets sent back and reworked. If it doesn't look perfect, it's no good.
I was that kid jumping out if his tree house with a bed sheet. My dad wouldn't let me use the ladder to try the roof...

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I did not have a rigger inspect the Aerodynes demo canopy. The canopy was already attached to risers when it was sent to me, so I hooked it up to my system, did a continuity check on the lines, but missed the fact that there was no stitching in the right front riser.

After this incident, I ended up buying a Safire 2. I had a rigger do a full inspection on the canopy and do the hookup. I will now always ask for a riggers help when buying new gear or using someone elses gear. That includes demo canopies. ;)
Klaasic

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i wouldnt expect someone with a demo to look over every stitch... its a fucking demo. its the companies attempt to woo you and get you to buy their product. Demos should be on point. period. I was talking about the slink tabs being sewn through the risers to keep the tab tucked in a prevent it from coming out. That means someone has to do that by hand with a large needle and thread. That person is usually a rigger. or should be. and since its a demo, its aerodynes rigger that had to finger fuck each riser and pry open and sew through and tie knots by hand literally less than an inch from where it wasnt sewn. oh well, glad you pulled out fine and now you got a hell of a story
I was that kid jumping out if his tree house with a bed sheet. My dad wouldn't let me use the ladder to try the roof...

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Pretty surprising that the rigs aren't shock loaded in the factory. Ie the chest strap, leg and shoulder harnesses and risers can take 50% more load than design without letting go. I dont think Il be jumping a rig that isn't properly tested. I realise this was aerodyne but No wonder upt call themselves Uninsured upt.
The reality is they are liable for negligence as its their call to produce these products and sell them for cash.

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I am glad you are ok and thanks for posting so everyone can learn from this. I have a few comments that are relative and can expound on each.

1. I was dealing with this exact scenario last week: a manufacturing omission.
2. I have had this exact malfunction: a riser release on opening.
3. As great as MARDs are: they do have a downside.

Number 1: I was inspecting a reserve last week and discovered a missing reinforcing tape on one of the panels. I called the manufacturer and they took ownership of the problem, corrected it immediately, and did an internal review of their processes. We are all human and make mistakes, how we deal with them is what is important. Some of the best people I know work in the parachute industry. The inspecting rigger doing the 180 day inspection (me in this case) is the last line of defense in discovering a problem like this. There is the manufacturer, the person that assembled the rig (needs to be a trained rigger) and the rigger doing the periodic inspection. You as the end user, are untrained and cannot be expected to notice a flaw such as missing stitching.

Number 2: When I had this same malfunction decades ago, it was due to an untrained jumper (me at that time) misassembling the riser release system on one side. When it opened into a streamering mess I cut away, rolled over from my back, and deployed my reserve at 1000 ft. No MARD or RSL and the deployment was clean, crisp and on-heading.

Number 3: MARDs and RSLs are great innovations and have saved countless lives but they do have a downside. They are designed for low-level use. There is a saying in aircraft design that goes like this: “Everything is a compromise”. The same applies to gear design. Do we want fast and unstable reserve openings or slower and stable ones? Because we can’t have both. In your particular case if you did not have a MARD or RSL, you could have cut away the malfunctioning main, turned a few points with your friends, and then had a nice clean (and crisp) on-heading reserve deployment at 3000 ft. Without line twists. (I’m not suggesting the nonuse of MARDs or RSLs but simply pointing out the differences for those that may not have considered them.)


I would also take slight exception to the title of the thread. I would not consider line twists on a reserve to be a double malfunction. And, you owe your rigger a bottle. :)

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betzilla

Quote

To notice that you'd have to lack at the back side. If you just lay risers in their normal orientation that stitching would be hidden by dive loops.



:|

exhausting to turn those babies over, isn't it? That's why we nylon technicians get paid the big bucks.



You have to turn over and inspect both sides of any stitching for the inspection to be valid. Just because there is a beautiful row of top stitches that you can see does not mean there was bobbin thread in the machine to finish the stitch. There are places on harnesses where you can not see the whole stitch pattern holding the harness together unless you take apart leg pads. I have a small flash light that helps me see into dark places, but the possibilities scare me sometimes.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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