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mcordell

Vortex Product Service Bulletin

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This is very impressive level of customer service, but wouldn't manufacturing detachable rings like UPT did with RW-6 be a cheaper and ultimately less painful option for everyone involved?
"Skydivers are highly emotional people. They get all excited about their magical black box full of mysterious life saving forces."

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So... I guess DSF hardware isn't going to appear on future Vortex rigs? :S

While everyone is stepping up and taking a huge hit, it is particularly unfortunate for DSF, and this all makes it sound like they have no clue how this happened.

While some problems are very difficult to trace, and one can't have records and data on everything, the situation would be so much easier if they would point to some goof up, some error or omission in a particular month.

It hasn't been explained whether any other bad parts have been found, whether they had some items from different production runs that could be pull tested (for material deficiency) or x-rayed (for cracks) or whatever. Nor what the problem was on the one part we know broke.

As it is, they have basically condemned years worth of production back to at least 2011 (from my experience, but not specified by the companies involved).

Wonder what DSF is doing about all the military hardware they make for, presumably, the South Korean military.

Tough situation.

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pchapman

So... I guess DSF hardware isn't going to appear on future Vortex rigs? :S

While everyone is stepping up and taking a huge hit, it is particularly unfortunate for DSF, and this all makes it sound like they have no clue how this happened.

While some problems are very difficult to trace, and one can't have records and data on everything, the situation would be so much easier if they would point to some goof up, some error or omission in a particular month.

It hasn't been explained whether any other bad parts have been found, whether they had some items from different production runs that could be pull tested (for material deficiency) or x-rayed (for cracks) or whatever. Nor what the problem was on the one part we know broke.

As it is, they have basically condemned years worth of production back to at least 2011 (from my experience, but not specified by the companies involved).

Wonder what DSF is doing about all the military hardware they make for, presumably, the South Korean military.

Tough situation.



DSF is in agreement with the decision to recall the rings. They could not determine with 100% certainty what caused it and narrow it to a particular batch. Everyone agrees it was likely a flaw in a singular ring, however without extensive testing of every ring on the market it would be impossible to say for certain this could not happen again and so in the interest of safety they are recalling them. I do not know which rings they manufacture for their military contracts or how this affects that aspect of their company.
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mathrick

This is very impressive level of customer service, but wouldn't manufacturing detachable rings like UPT did with RW-6 be a cheaper and ultimately less painful option for everyone involved?



This was an option that was considered however those rings were somewhat unattractive, these rigs have up to 6 of the same rings, and the by the time the new rings were manufactured, tested, and approved they could have rebuilt the rigs with the proper rings which is what is in the best interest of the customer.
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mcordell

The replacement process is not a disassembly and rebuild of your existing container system. This is a completely new container being built and shipped at no charge to the consumer. As such, this is an opportunity for you to change your color scheme at no additional charge if you would like, however please note that changes to the container sizing will carry a fee of $150 as this will also require additional components to be manufactured that are not subject to the recall (i.e. deployment bag/pc assembly). You can also add rsl, skyhook, and custom embroidery for a fee.



Hey Mike, question: Is the $150 fee for changing the canopy sizes or the harness size? Just asking because if nothing else this is a decent chance for people who bought their Vortexes used and could use a small harness size change, which shouldn't cost PS anything extra as long as the canopy sizes are the same.

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Hey Mike, question: Is the $150 fee for changing the canopy sizes or the harness size?



The $150 is for container size change from 150 to 135 for example. Change on harness size ought to not carry cost, but waiting on a reply to confirm this.
Fly Your Soul, Free Your Mind!

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photognat

***The replacement process is not a disassembly and rebuild of your existing container system. This is a completely new container being built and shipped at no charge to the consumer. As such, this is an opportunity for you to change your color scheme at no additional charge if you would like, however please note that changes to the container sizing will carry a fee of $150 as this will also require additional components to be manufactured that are not subject to the recall (i.e. deployment bag/pc assembly). You can also add rsl, skyhook, and custom embroidery for a fee.



Hey Mike, question: Is the $150 fee for changing the canopy sizes or the harness size? Just asking because if nothing else this is a decent chance for people who bought their Vortexes used and could use a small harness size change, which shouldn't cost PS anything extra as long as the canopy sizes are the same.

This charge is for cobrained size changes only. Harness adjustment is free. The reason for the additional charge is because a change in container size requires manufacturing a new components for the different sized container. Components from a 170 rig such as free bag and d-bag are not compatible with a 150 container.
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Does anyone have any information about the defect? Was it a crack or an inclusion? Surface breaking or subsurface? I'd be interested in the failure report but I guess it'll never see the light of day.

You could run an eddy current probe over it if it was a surface breaking defect. It might also be possible to detect subsurface flaws in an austenitic stainless but I'm unclear as to the actual material used.

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My comments in no way are directed to this specific HW manufacturer, however I will say that in working with a number of asian based companies it is very common to have metal samples advertised and certified as 304SS yet when analyzed in a lab they were a completely unknown alloy that wasn't even close to the advertised spec.

This sort of problem has also existed in aircraft hardware and I remember once reading about a crash caused by "fake" hardware used to attach a tail. So in the parachute industry I think we also need a level of vigilance to keep people safe.

Chong Ching Enterprises in China can sell you hardware "certified" and "tested" at 1/4 the price. If their hardware fails and someone dies, the company vanishes and in 2 days re-opens at the same address as Chingy Chongy.

-Michael

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hackish

My comments in no way are directed to this specific HW manufacturer, however I will say that in working with a number of asian based companies it is very common to have metal samples advertised and certified as 304SS yet when analyzed in a lab they were a completely unknown alloy that wasn't even close to the advertised spec.

This sort of problem has also existed in aircraft hardware and I remember once reading about a crash caused by "fake" hardware used to attach a tail. So in the parachute industry I think we also need a level of vigilance to keep people safe.

Chong Ching Enterprises in China can sell you hardware "certified" and "tested" at 1/4 the price. If their hardware fails and someone dies, the company vanishes and in 2 days re-opens at the same address as Chingy Chongy.

-Michael



Exactly, when working with asian suppliers YOU need to have very strict quality control protocols that include and are not limited to testing every single batch and having periodic on-site inspections... Besides those issues you can source very high quality parts from asia but they end up costing almost as much as locally produced parts....

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Each harness container must have its reserve, main, and AAD removed. All accessories should be removed and retained
EXCEPTthe following SHOULD BE RETURNED
with the harness container: RSL (if there is one),
Risers IF there is an RSL, Reserve freebag, Reserve Rip Cord
and CutAway Handle



Do I understand correctly that skyhook should not be removed?

What the hardware will be supplied with the new containers? DSF hardware again?

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adamUK

Does anyone have any information about the defect? Was it a crack or an inclusion? Surface breaking or subsurface? I'd be interested in the failure report but I guess it'll never see the light of day.



About the actual defect? No idea. There is at least one picture of the broken ring in the wild, however...maybe one of the folks closer to the problem will post it...

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voidlizard

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Each harness container must have its reserve, main, and AAD removed. All accessories should be removed and retained
EXCEPTthe following SHOULD BE RETURNED
with the harness container: RSL (if there is one),
Risers IF there is an RSL, Reserve freebag, Reserve Rip Cord
and CutAway Handle



Do I understand correctly that skyhook should not be removed?

What the hardware will be supplied with the new containers? DSF hardware again?



Daesung forge has been great at accepting responsibility and incurring expenses in the remedy of this situation. New, different hardware has been ordered and will be included with the new containers however I have been asked to not post brands and for good reason that I have discussed with the owners. The hardware will be stamped and it will be apparent what brand is used and I'm happy to answer that question privately but would not want to do anything to drag daesung forge through the mud when they are clearly as concerned for the safety of the jumpers as Parachute Systems is. I will pm you to talk about it and will gladly discuss it with anyone concerned about the hardware on the new rigs but understand that the hardware will be fully tested and from a reputable manufacturer.
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I think the good folks at Vortex should have specifically allowed for the use of the separable links as was done so long ago.

Perhaps master riggers in the US and equivalents in other countries are able to do this on their own?
People are sick and tired of being told that ordinary and decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I’m certainly not, and I’m sick and tired of being told that I am

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sundevil777

I think the good folks at Vortex should have specifically allowed for the use of the separable links as was done so long ago.

Perhaps master riggers in the US and equivalents in other countries are able to do this on their own?



None have been produced for about 30 years. Don't you think they would need to test this fix before approving it? Where would they get the rings from? Not just the riser attachment rings, but also the hip articulation rings are affected. The large size rings may not be suitable there.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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What you're saying makes sense.

Still, maybe sundevil was thinking of an AMOC style thing, an alternate means of compliance that won't be for most people. Guess one could always contact the factory if one wanted a plead a special case.

Might even fall under US rigger discretion, but I'll leave that to others to argue. Just a US rigger replacing one legal base ring with another legal base ring, if you happen to have a pair of RW-6's kicking around. (Leaving hip & chest rings out of the discussion.)

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sundevil777

I think the good folks at Vortex should have specifically allowed for the use of the separable links as was done so long ago.

Perhaps master riggers in the US and equivalents in other countries are able to do this on their own?



any modification to the system just requires manufacturer approval and a proper rating. An alternate means of compliance could be to take your rig to a local master rigger and have them completely replace the harness, rings and all. All it takes is approval from the manufacturer. I don't know if they would approve it or not and I believe one thing they want by rebuilding the systems for every customer is to physically receive back the old rig to ensure they are out of the field. This keeps people from ignoring the service bulletin and continuing to jump something that is possibly unsafe. By physically receiving them back they know they are no longer in circulation. That's speculation on my part as I have only discussed the process for the recall with the owners and not alternative options or possibilities.
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any modification to the system just requires manufacturer approval and a proper rating.



True, but the FAA also can grant an approval. I am speaking in terms of any rig and any condition, not specifically this issue alone.

Not saying this is the thing to do,( I think what PS is doing is the right way to begin with....) but can just that it could legally be done without a manufacturer's approval.A Master Rigger would have to follow the appropriate FAA steps though.

MEL
Skyworks Parachute Service, LLC
www.Skyworksparachuteservice.com

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gowlerk

***I think the good folks at Vortex should have specifically allowed for the use of the separable links as was done so long ago.

Perhaps master riggers in the US and equivalents in other countries are able to do this on their own?



None have been produced for about 30 years. Don't you think they would need to test this fix before approving it? Where would they get the rings from? Not just the riser attachment rings, but also the hip articulation rings are affected. The large size rings may not be suitable there.

As others have said, perhaps they aren't actually so far "out of production" as would be assumed - 2007 was mentioned.

I am guilty of not appreciating that so many also have hip rings, as I don't have them. I'm not such a fan of the cost/benefit of hip rings except for the advantage they give for replacement of leg straps.

However, I believe it is a much easier job to replace hip rings than the main riser rings and therefore could get done at many well equipped lofts with master riggers.

Anyway, we don't know what the replacement time for the Vortex factory to do the fix (new container) is now or what it will be in a couple weeks. I'm just thinking that the downtime will be significant and that alternative ways to get un-grounded at least temporarily are worth discussing
People are sick and tired of being told that ordinary and decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I’m certainly not, and I’m sick and tired of being told that I am

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