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skydiverek

Vigil service bulletin from Nov 9

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My choice of the most relevant bits:

Quote

All Vigil AAD cutters with Date of Manufacture from 01 March 2015
through 31 July 2015. (3-15, 4-15, 5-15, 6-15 and 7-15) (mm-yy), whether
or not the cutter is actually installed in a harness-container AAD system.


Quote

Upon investigating a report of a severed closing loop, it was determined
that a rough edge inside the cutter abraded the loop fabric, causing it to fail.


Quote

We do not expect to find that every cutter in this range of
cutters has an issue, but in the interest of saftey we are requiring that every
cutter in this range be inspected


Quote

After inspection of the returned subject cutter by A.A.D. nv/sa, a blue
paint dot will be placed on top of the cutter to indicate that the cutter has
been inspected and approved by A.A.D. nv/sa. A cutter will be returned,
which will be accompanied by a new service card, dated and signed with a
special stamp, confirming the inspection of the cutter.



Where "on top" is the circular end of the cutter.

[edit to add compliance dates]
Quote

Time for Compliance:
(1) For equipment in which the cutter is located above the
pilot chute, compliance is MANDATORY, PRIOR TO THE NEXT JUMP.
(2) For equipment in which the cutter is NOT located above the
pilot chute, compliance is MANDATORY, AT THE TIME OF THE NEXT
RESERVE REPACK.
(3) For cutters not installed in a harness-container-AAD system
and which are on List B, compliance is MANDATORY, AND NONE
SHOULD BE INSTALLED IN ANY SYSTEM PRIOR TO COMPLIANCE WITH
THIS SERVICE BULLETIN.




Personal thoughts:
Oh FFS. For a long time things were so nice with Vigil
... once we got past that era where you had to check "everything" -- iffy controllers, playing with magnets, and various cutter bulletins of different date ranges.

(Of course technically you want to check for missed SB's but in the past few years things have been much easier.)

As a rigger I don't normally keep track of customers' cutter info, but I guess I can check who has a new Vigil with a date of March onwards and see if I can inform them. [Edit: and if anyone replaced a fired cutter recently...]

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Quote

Time for Compliance:
(1) For equipment in which the cutter is located above the
pilot chute, compliance is MANDATORY, PRIOR TO THE NEXT JUMP.



Anyone with a list of containers with the cutter located above the PC?
I can think of Mirage, Icon, Infinity...
What else ? :S


Any guesses on why it is more critical when the cutter is located above the PC?

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charshakh

Quote

Time for Compliance:
(1) For equipment in which the cutter is located above the
pilot chute, compliance is MANDATORY, PRIOR TO THE NEXT JUMP.



Anyone with a list of containers with the cutter located above the PC?
I can think of Mirage, Icon, Infinity...
What else ? :S

Any guesses on why it is more critical when the cutter is located above the PC?




I'd like to know how the position of the cutter makes any difference too. You'd think it's the closing loop inside the cutter tube that's the issue.

My Vigil 2 is on the SB list DOM week 10 2015 but my rigger assures me that my cutter is below the PC in my Javelin so it can wait till the next repack. I wonder if Vigil will cross mail a new cutter out to minimize downtime. Being in Canada and having everything getting held up in customs is such a pain.
"Now, why do witches burn?"
"...because they're made of... wood?"
"Good. So how do you tell whether she is made of wood?"
"Build a bridge out of her."

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Can I delay this check to my next I&R if my cutter is on the bottom of the container? (edit: clearly yes from the bulletin).

So much for choosing Vigil to avoid having to return the AAD for service every 4 years. 6 months and 1 repack after installation.... :-/

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lomcovak


I'd like to know how the position of the cutter makes any difference too.


I suspect that higher cutters = potential for more loop & cutter movement movement = more abrasion.

Quote


my rigger assures me that my cutter is below the PC in my Javelin so it can wait till the next repack


Great :-)

Quote


I wonder if Vigil will cross mail a new cutter out to minimize downtime..



They say they will return your cutter marked with blue, this has downtime written all over it if you're unlucky. Playing cutter mix & match would open a bigger can of worms (dates, provenance).

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charshakh

Quote

Time for Compliance:
(1) For equipment in which the cutter is located above the
pilot chute, compliance is MANDATORY, PRIOR TO THE NEXT JUMP.



Anyone with a list of containers with the cutter located above the PC?
I can think of Mirage, Icon, Infinity...
What else ? :S


Any guesses on why it is more critical when the cutter is located above the PC?

Parachutes de France
scissors beat paper, paper beat rock, rock beat wingsuit - KarlM

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charshakh

Quote

Time for Compliance:
(1) For equipment in which the cutter is located above the
pilot chute, compliance is MANDATORY, PRIOR TO THE NEXT JUMP.



Anyone with a list of containers with the cutter located above the PC?
I can think of Mirage, Icon, Infinity...
What else ? :S


Any guesses on why it is more critical when the cutter is located above the PC?



The Infinity before 2009 had the cutter below the PC, it was relocated to the top of the PC after that. I prefer the older version.

http://www.velocityrigs.com/media/site/supplement-cypres-cutter-location.pdf
Onward and Upward!

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SStewart

***

Quote

Time for Compliance:
(1) For equipment in which the cutter is located above the
pilot chute, compliance is MANDATORY, PRIOR TO THE NEXT JUMP.



Anyone with a list of containers with the cutter located above the PC?
I can think of Mirage, Icon, Infinity...
What else ? :S


Any guesses on why it is more critical when the cutter is located above the PC?



The Infinity before 2009 had the cutter below the PC, it was relocated to the top of the PC after that. I prefer the older version.

http://www.velocityrigs.com/media/site/supplement-cypres-cutter-location.pdf

See Mirage service bulletin of December 04, see if you still prefer the older version :-)

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So Vigil is on the market since 2003 and already has 7 SB's regarding the cutter. In average a new SB every 1.7 years! It's a bit high for my taste!
"My belief is that once the doctor whacks you on the butt, all guarantees are off" Jerry Baumchen

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Deyan

So Vigil is on the market since 2003 and already has 7 SB's regarding the cutter. In average a new SB every 1.7 years! It's a bit high for my taste!



Can I dig them all out of all the Vigil related pdf's on my hard drive? It's so hard to remember them all. So let's list 'em since we want to be diligent little riggers:

===================

(SB-1 2004
not cutter related - early electronics boards & static electricity)

SB-2 2006
Beware of plastic inserts cracking, can wear loop, replace if there's damage.

2006: Also published a pdf showing photos of cutter plastic issues, to show what damage was acceptable and what was not.

PSB-3 2007
New naming scheme -- but one could use SB and PSB interchangeably.
If early cutters with the plastic are damaged, replace.

PSB-4 2007
Type 2 cutters produced in March 2007 may have sharp steel edges, has caused loops to break. Stop using the cutter if damage found.

2008: Information bulletin showing and describing the 3 cutter types.
Type 1 has plastic insert that sticks out and is easily crackeed - only built thru July 2006.
Type 2 built only Aug 2006 to Mar 2007
Type 3 after that. All Vigil 2's supplied with the Type 3

Note that while this is not a bulletin, it has new, mandatory information, not seen in bulletins!
- Type 2 must all be replaced
- Type 1 ok if not cracked, except must be replaced if above pilot chute

(Not from Vigil: In 2008, the French government grounded Vigils built before Aug 2006, and all cutters without the vinyl interior sleeve. That may by type 1 and 2, not sure off hand.)

PSB-5 2009
Type 3 cutters produced Dec 2007 recalled. One cutter failed to work, breaking apart due to a bad crimp.
(Supplementary pdf's were produced showing lists of Vigils with those cutters)

PSB-6 2011
issued, superseded by #7

PSB-7 2011
issued, superseded by #8

PSB-8 2011
Missing cutter - no-pull skydiver died. All Oct 2007 (10-07) cutters must be replaced. Test all cutters earlier than Jun 2008 (06-08) with a magnet & mark data card. Technically according to the SB, all Vigils with later cutters also need to have the card marked so one knows without checking. But in practice I don't think anyone bothers nowadays if they encounter a brand new Vigil.

(2011: Not cutter related. Correspondence supposedly between Vigil and APF surfaced on dz.com. Vigil 1's with serial numbers below #6600 -- made before Aug 2006 --have a slightly higher risk of activation by static electricity. Later ones have s/w and h/w improvements.)

(Information bulletin 2012 LCD v2.20 may freeze or lock. Replace if that happens.)

(PSB-9 2013 Not cutter related. The 'waterproof' Vigil II must be returned for inspection if it gets wet.)

(PSB-10 2013 Not cutter related - about turning off Vigils at end of day, but v.2.50 onwards has auto switch off)

PSB 01-2015
A new numbering scheme so we aren't reminded of them all?
The new bulletin. Cutters Mar-July 2015 may have sharp edges, has cut a loop. Recalled for inspection, before next pack job or next jump depending on location above or below PC.

======================
I only count 6 cutter Service Bulletins, not counting the superseded ones that were all part of the same incident, nor that Information Bulletin pdf that adds further info on what is and isn't grounded, nor whatever particular countries (ie, France) may choose to do on their own. Thanks Deyan for the inspiration to count. :P

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Choosing a life-saving device based on the service requirements...amazing...

You service your car regularly, right? Why wouldn't you want to do the same for something you're depending on to save your life...? You update your phone, PC, etc with the latest software occasionally, right? Why wouldn't you want to have that done for your AAD as well...?

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cjdskydiver

Choosing a life-saving device based on the service requirements...amazing...



If it cuts the loop when I fail to slow down, its all the same to me. And, then yes, I prefer the one that does not require more service. Amazing right? :S
Parachute gear garage sale at :http://www.usedparachutes.eu

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rastapara

***Choosing a life-saving device based on the service requirements...amazing...



If it cuts the loop when I fail to slow down, its all the same to me. And, then yes, I prefer the one that does not require more service. Amazing right? :S

Operative word being "If"...

Re-read my second paragraph...components age, software is improved, environmental conditions affect electronics, things can happen that you can't see and may not get detected during POST (power-on, self-test), etc...

AAD/Vigil has done a great job marketing, telling people what they want to hear..."No scheduled maintenance"..."Max. 20 years life expectancy"...the company hasn't even been around that long...

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Actually the service costs of the Cypress' 4-year checks came as quite a disappointment to me.
I figured I had already paid for a fully functional AAD - so why the unit had to be shipped back to the company for mandatory testing (on my expenses) was quite beyond me. Of course I had a lot less experience back then.

Currently, I like the MARS M2.. Perhaps in four years time when my Cypress II is put out to pasture I'll get me one of those. For one thing, it'll be better field tested then. :)
"That formation-stuff in freefall is just fun and games but with an open parachute it's starting to sound like, you know, an extreme sport."
~mom

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devon and pc chap. Me too. After all of Vigil's cutter service bulletins, we now get one that says,"...rough edges in the cutter...abrasion... etc..".

Vigil makes a great product, but dang. I seems like after all of the other cutter product service bulletins regarding the loop being abraded or cut or whatever, that they would have set up a final quality control inspection procedure that would catch something so fundamental as sharp edges or whatever in the cutter hole. Sheesh. Getting a bit tired of this steady march of product service bulletins regarding their cutters.

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cjdskydiver


Operative word being "If"...



Well "If" there were heaps of bodies and heaps of data to support the claim that the aad that requires more service has a far far greater likely hood of doing what its designed to do, well then the safety factor would outweigh the cost factor. So either the sample size is to small or that is just not the case, I tend to think the latter.

cjdskydiver

components age



Yes they do. Technology and quality of components on the other hand improves. Remember that the vigil entered the market 12 years after the cypress did.

cjdskydiver


"Max. 20 years life expectancy"...the company hasn't even been around that long



When the first cypres came out the company existed shorter then the life time of the product. So... :S (oh and fyi the company that is behind the vigil has been around since 1986, not that that makes any device more or less reliable, but just a fun fact)
Parachute gear garage sale at :http://www.usedparachutes.eu

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I'm in no way a cypres fanboy nor am I sponsored by anybody (sad but true)
But I wouldn't buy anything else either. My decision was purely based on my own first hand experience with both cypres and vigil.
On the dropzones in my area most people jump Cypres of course. There are however also quite a number of Vigils around. During the last 4 years I have experienced and heard of literally zero problems with any of the Cypres AADs. They work flawlessly.
With the Vigils around it's a completely different story. I can't recall one month in that period of time were we didn't have at least one or two Vigils with faulty control units, different types of errors shown at the screen, missfires (non user error) cutter problems and recalls, units that needed 4 attempts to get turned on without shutting themselves off in the progress, some that simply froze and didn't respond to any input, some that just didn't turn off no matter what ect ect, you name it...

I'd trust my life on a fully funktional Vigil and I have on many jumps.

But when I book a $6000 jumping holiday in a remote area the last thing I want to have is a faulty AAD. They should be nobrainers and, at least in my experience, Vigils just aren't.
Problems occured from Vigil 1s up to recent Vigil 2+ models.

So 5 weeks ago we sent another crazy behaving unit back to Vigil as we were told by them. We have neither heard or received anything back yet. The same postman carried my Cypres that needed to become a Speed version. Needless to say that I got it back within 2 weeks just as promised and advertised.

YMMV and I truly hope so because I like competition and to have a choice. I don't really see one in that market, though.
-------------------------------------------------------

To absent friends

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Well maybe I am a fanboy, because I do admit to have lots of vigil tshirts and keycords and patches :$

But yeah, if that was my first hand experience with them I'd consider not buying from them. Yet I have had more positive experiences with the particular unit (accept a cutter replacement and a dead battery, but that comes with the game right).

However, the point I was trying to make is, I dont think that the lack of service routine makes the vigil inherently less reliable (in cutting the loop at met parameters) then any other aad.

I was talking with my dad about this today, and he compared an aad (tech wise) with airbags. You do send your car out for maintenance for the parts you actually use (brakes, tires, gears, whatever) but a safety feature like the airbag usually never really gets tested. But in functionality it is comparable (ie measure parameters, send a shock to a canister and blow up a bag of air)

He told me a story that took place preforum dates and pre vigil days (1996 ish) where he had a tandem cypres go off at 2 grand when returning on a cessna 206. When emailing with airtec about it they said the pilot was probably flying with the meters in the red (knowing the pilot I, nor He thinks this was the case), and the cypres could not be at fault. Yeah, thats what I would say in a world where I was the only electronic aad manufacturer. :ph34r: Point in case, no aad is perfect, but as long as it saves my life when I fail to, and sort of works like almost all the time, its all the same to me.
Parachute gear garage sale at :http://www.usedparachutes.eu

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cjdskydiver

Choosing a life-saving device based on the service requirements...amazing...

You service your car regularly, right? Why wouldn't you want to do the same for something you're depending on to save your life...? You update your phone, PC, etc with the latest software occasionally, right? Why wouldn't you want to have that done for your AAD as well...?



You wash your car occasionally too, so do you give your AAD a good soapy scrub and wax coating too?

I know a bit about electronics, calibration, firmware and test procedures and I've seen inside a Cypress. By all means wallow in the comfort of your marketing tropes, but don't pretend to know more about my AAD decisions than I do because you combined an internet post with your assumptions. I'm happy with my informed choice.

Yes the downtime, expense and inconvenience of mandated service cycles was a factor in my decision, and I stand by that decision.

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cjdskydiver


AAD/Vigil has done a great job marketing,



Based on the FUD you've posted I'd say others have done the better marketing job.

I know jumpers who jump without an AAD for 180 days when their Cypress is in for service, (the horror). Which is the greater risk? I'm certain you don't know.

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rastapara

***
Operative word being "If"...



Well "If" there were heaps of bodies and heaps of data to support the claim that the aad that requires more service has a far far greater likely hood of doing what its designed to do, well then the safety factor would outweigh the cost factor. So either the sample size is to small or that is just not the case, I tend to think the latter.

cjdskydiver

components age



rastapara

Yes they do. Technology and quality of components on the other hand improves. Remember that the vigil entered the market 12 years after the cypress did.



cjdskydiver

My point about components aging is that Airtec replaces them as necessary during the 4 year maintenance, at no add'l cost. Also, the quality of some components has diminished over the years because the mfr was trying to save money by reducing the tolerances, etc. So a company like Airtec either has to get the mfr to remedy that or source from another mfr, if they even can. I found this out at a recent PIA Symposium.

Also, the material used to fire the cutter degrades over time. Further, the Cypres cutter requires maintenance/inspection like the rest of the system. It also expires as well. Do you trust that a 20 year-old cutter will fire...?



cjdskydiver


"Max. 20 years life expectancy"...the company hasn't even been around that long



When the first cypres came out the company existed shorter then the life time of the product. So... :S (oh and fyi the company that is behind the vigil has been around since 1986, not that that makes any device more or less reliable, but just a fun fact)

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For those skydivers who jump a repack cycle without an AAD when the 4-year service rolls around that represents a 12.5% lack of AAD coverage, if all other things were equal that would be the statistical equivalent of poor reliability rate, but because it's couched as an informed choice and part of the service plan the risk that represents is never mentioned.

Service is not as black & white as it might appear and is affected by jumper conduct in the field.

Jump your favorite AAD, and I hope you never need it.

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