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All_Wrapped_Up

First Cutaway/ First Canopy Wrap

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This past Saturday was exciting for myself and Jumper B. Jumpers B, C, D and I were going to do a cross country sunset load, exiting about 14k AGL 7 miles out from the DZ. Winds were in the range of 50kts. 4 uneventful deployments lead to a great cross country full great sights from altitude. Jumpers B, C and I have bumped end cells in the past and in preparation for this jump, B and I unhooked our RSL’s. Everything was great until just over 8000 feet when, as I hang on my rear risers, jumper B makes an aggressive maneuver to come in for an end cell bump and overamps the approach. The right third of my canopy (SabreII 150) collapses as jumper B’s body impacts and sends me in an uncontrolled dive to the right. I’ve never turned or dove so fast under canopy before. During this dive, in a split second, my canopy made a full 180* turn and Jumper B passed through the lines on the right side of my canopy and returned through a separate set. As B came through the lines, my canopy’s dive ceased but I was spinning very hard and very fast. My friend was stuck above me in a forest of lines and completely formless nylon. I traced my risers up into B’s lines above my head and realized that my lines did not cross his body. I yelled “(B’s NAME) I’M GOING TO CHOP,” to which he responded, “OK,” and I rebutted, “BYE!” Reach red, pull red… SNAP goes the rubber band holding my slider to my reserve flap and I’m ejected to the side of the spinning beast. Reach silver (pillow) pull silver still subterminal but stable and I am now in love with my PDR160! I’ve never seen anything more beautiful. As I cut away my risers flew up into the lines of Jumper B’s main which had then partially inflated. He decided that it was not landable and had an otherwise uneventful chop and reserve deployment of his own. I followed the canopies down, but both freebags landed in suburbia.

The cause of the incident was stupid skydivers with inadequate coaching and gear which was not mated well for close proximity canopy flying. I am one of the stupid ones. Jumpers C and D were busy waving from a respectable distance and they landed on the DZ without incident.

This was by far the most intense moment of my skydiving career… I’m sure that my involvement in the wrap lasted 10-15 seconds maximum but I replay it in my head as if it was 10 years long. It was as if I wasn’t even there, like I was being operated by remote control. The training works though, we played it by the book and the book is damn right.

Jumper D was so nervous about our condition that she made her first cell phone call from under canopy! Everyone thank D for the beer she’s gotta bring!

The mains landed just off a main highway exit… 4 separate carloads pulled off the road to make sure I was OK, but I had already called the DZ by that point. Thanks to the concerned wuffo’s… if I hadn’t stood up my landing they really could have saved me.

Someone called 911 and said a skydiver had gone in; I had to be interviewed by the state police and let them know that I had not, in fact, bounced. They were very interested to hear the story though… they wanted to know what kind of vitamins I take in the morning.

All in all, we’re out 2 freebags and pilotchutes, but it could have been a lot worse. I can’t thank jumper B enough for the short conversation we had during the wrap because it probably saved both of our lives. I can’t tell all of you how happy I was to see him fall away from that mess.

I made another jump today using borrowed gear to ease my head and I would recommend it to anyone after a cutaway. Thank you very much to the person who lent me the gear!

I learned a lot this weekend…

(edit 'cuz I'm not an english major)

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Regarding "inadequate coaching" -- Not that many jumpers learn CRW these days, so they don't get used to the finer points of maneuvering canopies near each other. Yet then people like to do things like bumping end cells, which is a reasonable thing to do, but are left to learn the lessons on their own...

Large rates of closure when two jumpers aren't flying perfectly parallel, I found that's something that can surprise someone new to CRW style flight. When both jumpers are perfectly parallel, the lack of relative motion may make one feel one is just floating along. But as soon as a component of one's fast forward speed is converted to sideways motion, things can happen quickly.

It was nice that the other jumper went right through the lines (technically an 'entanglement') instead of getting his body wrapped up in lines & canopy (a 'wrap'). The standard entanglement procedure is for the top person to chop first, as when you chop at the bottom, your risers could recoil up and entangle the top jumper. (I've also been in an double chop, but with dacron lined CRW canopies.)

I'm not sure how jumper B's conversation with you saved your lives, but in any case it is normal to communicate so both jumpers are OK with whatever the plan is.

As for the other jumpers continuing to the DZ instead of following gear, that can be questioned, but they were there and know better about the terrain (eg, the suburbia), skills, what gear they had in sight, etc.

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I can confess to being jumper D, is that okay jumper A?

Jumper C and I played with bumping end cells and flying parallel. Our wing loadings are very similar. Jumpers A and B were quite a bit below us very quickly (Jumper B was at a 1.4/1 WL under a 150 Spectre). About 9K, we separated to play solo and enjoy the view. We were also slightly off the wind line with about 3 miles to go to the DZ, so didn't want to be forced to land off.

Jumper C had no idea that jumpers A and B had a problem. As jumpers C and I turned to put some distance between us I saw jumper A under a reserve and following a large and messy looking hunk of fabric. At that time, I was about 9K, he was at least 1000 ft below me, and quite a bit of horizontal distance as well. I could not see jumper B, so my phone call from under canopy was back to the DZ... partly to make them aware that there was an issue, just in case it wasn't noticed, and partly because I was afraid that jumper B was under that wad of shit jumper A was following. (Fortunately, jumper B had already landed, I just didn't see it).

Jumper C didn't follow gear as he was oblivious to the situation completely. I didn't as I had not seen the chop and even if I had, was too far away at the time to be able to spot and follow free bags.

Do or do not, there is no try -Yoda

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obviously you know more about this than i do, but if the top jumper chopped first wouldnt he simply fall into the mess and lower jumper? or is the forward speed enough that top jumper falls behind the mess? and if the top jumper is entangled mightn't he end up being towed by the bottom jumper? im having trouble picturing all this, help (or pictures...) would be a appreciated

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if the top jumper chopped first wouldnt he simply fall into the mess and lower jumper?



The standard idea is that the top jumper will chop only once he's clear of lines & canopy. Nobody normally chops if they're still caught up on something, which would tend to lead to having even less 'canopy overhead'.

I'm not that experienced with CRW so I won't get into more detail, but there are ideas in CRW basics articles here:
http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/safety/detail_page.cgi?ID=39
and here:
http://crwdog.servebeer.com/CRWdog/CRW%20Emergency%20Procedures.html

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I'm curious. Is there a reason that you feel that you must be anonymous to this group ?

In a constructive vein, putting your name and phone number on your freebag or bridle will help to get it back if it lands in a populated area. However, this may not fit in with you needs to protect your identity and your personal privacy. ;)

Kevin Keenan
_____________________________________
Dude, you are so awesome...
Can I be on your ash jump ?

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Alright, I guess it really doesn't matter... I'm jumper A. Now you know my terrible secret.

UPDATE! A wuffo brought in my freebag today! He found it while he was on a walk in his neighborhood and brought it to the DZ. My reserve is getting repacked as I type. A 25$ finder's fee really beats paying 250$!

Also, the other jumper found this article online:

Sometimes the entanglement will start spinning, with one jumper hanging downward and the other one orbiting the entanglement. In this situation the orbiter should cut away first. This will fling the
orbiter clear of the entanglement without changing the other jumper's orientation. If the jumper hanging downward releases first, it will change the
orbiter' orientation to the mess and could make his situation worse.

From http://crwdog.servebeer.com/CRWdog/CRW%20Emergency%20Procedures.html
--- and give them wings so they may fly free forever

DiverDriver in Training

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The only thing I would add is that after Jumper A cut away, my canopy started flying normally with his main entangled with my lines. I grabbed his risers and started unwrapping them from around my lines. About 15 seconds later, his canopy started catching air and the whole thing went in to a spin that just got faster and faster. I chopped it after a couple revolutions.

A Sabre2 with a 1.1 WL and a Spectre with a 1.4 WL is not a good combination for CRW. Also, if you borrow a friends rig, make sure you know what size reserve they have in it.

Jumper B

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I've usually seen it done with a big Magic Marker on the bridle.

I heard a story once about a rigger who wrote his name & number on customers' bridles. When they were returned, they went into stock to be sold as used gear to other customers. But, that was in the old days, when there were were sleezy riggers around.

Kevin
_____________________________________
Dude, you are so awesome...
Can I be on your ash jump ?

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I've usually seen it done with a big Magic Marker on the bridle.

I heard a story once about a rigger who wrote his name & number on customers' bridles. When they were returned, they went into stock to be sold as used gear to other customers. But, that was in the old days, when there were were sleezy riggers around.

Kevin



On the other hand, when I got a rig in for repack with a freebag/bridle that was marked with a name that didn't match the "owner" I called the number on the bridle. Turns out it was ligitimate, the person whose name was on the bridle had sold the rig, but thanked me for calling to see if it had been stolen.

Some of this generation's riggers do actually check things like that... B|

Jim
Rigger
CReW-dog wanna-be...
Always remember that some clouds are harder than others...

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What kind of marker would one use to write on the pilot chute bridle? Any chance of the chemicals in the ink hurting the bridle?



There was a thread on that, maybe a couple years back. Technically it sounded like markers of various types could cause damage, and only specialty milspec (or something) markers were guaranteed safe.

On the other hand, in practice plenty of bridles get marked, nobody has heard of failures, and few worry about the type of ink. Probably pick a permanent marker to avoid running ink if the rig gets wet or even just damp.

One sees the occasional old 'starter rig' that's been kicking around the DZ forever and has 3 or 4 names on the bridle...

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Jumper A -

I hope you don't mind, but I copied your story over on the CRW Forum. Several CRWDogs I've told about it were very entertained. They said they were laughing with you. They also said they're glad you're OK.

I know a lot of people who teach jumpers to do CRW, and even a little training can make people safer and more comfortable near others under canopy. (But then some of those CRWDogs are so comfortable, they get in wraps all the time)

Now that you've had a little sample of the excitement of the Dark Side, you may want more.;)

Kevin K.
_____________________________________
Dude, you are so awesome...
Can I be on your ash jump ?

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As for the "phone call while under canopy" I presume that:

1. You have some kind of lanyard attached to the cell phone or its case so that it cannot be dropped from the sky in violation of FAR whatever-it-is ?

2. You have put in the DZ phone number as a "speed dial" choice so that there is no need to fumble with gloved(?) fingers, etc. ?

Good story with happy ending....


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