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Cathbern

Gear Check!

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Hey guys,

Just did a video on how to do a good gear check including the #1 tip to never fail it...

http://bit.ly/2sELC80

I started this YT channel to share as I learn and share our passion to the woofos. ;)

Let me know what you think!
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Hello Cath

I have seen your You Tube presentation on how to perform a gear check. This is a excellent idea.I have myself a Vector 3 like you, therefore it was easy for me to follow you.
However, I have noticed few things you may have to consider.

1) Your cut away handle seems twisted. The two yellow cables cross each other just above the handle. Not really serious.

2) Your Vector bridle routing method is not the one recommanded by UPT Vector anymore for several years now. Check on Vector site for the new method.

3) you didn't verify the routing between the pilot chute pocket and the pin. ie. Is the bridle able to pull the pin out ??? In your configuration, the brildle coming from the pilot chute pocket could go by mistake under the left flap first (seen from behind) appearing at the top of that flap and going to the pin resulting in a total malfunction. This is why UPT Vector is recommanding another method. It is tricky because everything seems OK just looking at it. Do not hesitate to get the brilde out from under the flap to check the proper routing.

4) you didn't check if your spectra ripcord was moving freely between the pin and the reserve handle. To be done too for steel cable.

5) you didn't check if the two yellow cables were moving freely in their housing between the cut away handle and the 3 rings locking loop.

6) you didn't check your AAD switched on

7) when you have geared up on the ground and again in the airplane you should also perform a gear check since things may have been moved and/or not thighten or misrouted when putting the gear on.

check :

A) Leg straps tight (2)
B) cutway handle and reserve handle in place (2)
C) main handle in place and secure (1)
D) chest strap routed OK (1)
E) helmet secured (1)
This is a 7 point check. It takes few seconds.

If not clear, you can contact me via dropzone.com

Cheers
Learn from others mistakes, you will never live long enough to make them all.

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erdnarob

1) Your cut away handle seems twisted. The two yellow cables cross each other just above the handle. Not really serious.



Actually, that particular twist could be deadly.

Look closely and you will see that the direction of the twist is such that there could be torque pulling the cutaway handle toward the jumper. This can and has caused handles to get folded under the main lift web. That in turn can make finding and gripping the handle difficult or impossible. Let's hear it for gear checks.

Years ago a friend who was having a problem with his cutaway handle laying "too flat" against his body came up with the idea of putting an intentional twist in the cables that would create torque away from his body and it worked quite well. While not something I would teach or recommend, his technique did work. His cutaway handle always turned slightly outboard and efforts to fold it under the main lift web proved difficult.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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Thanks for the feedback. The goal of that video was simply to do an overview of how I do it. I wasn't about to jump it. ;)

Quote

1) Your cut away handle seems twisted. The two yellow cables cross each other just above the handle. Not really serious.



Thanks, I am gonna check that put it might be simply a point of view.

Quote

2) Your Vector bridle routing method is not the one recommanded by UPT Vector anymore for several years now. Check on Vector site for the new method.

3) you didn't verify the routing between the pilot chute pocket and the pin. ie. Is the bridle able to pull the pin out ??? In your configuration, the brildle coming from the pilot chute pocket could go by mistake under the left flap first (seen from behind) appearing at the top of that flap and going to the pin resulting in a total malfunction. This is why UPT Vector is recommanding another method. It is tricky because everything seems OK just looking at it. Do not hesitate to get the brilde out from under the flap to check the proper routing.



I was informed by that recommendation, this is mainly for avoiding mistake when doing the routing. If you are doing it properly the other way, it is still a good way to do it. It's simply an "idiot proof" technique. This is what I have been told when it was time for me to ask about that new way. They said as long as you are aware of the potential error and you do it right... that's fine.


Quote

6) you didn't check your AAD switched on



I did mention it. (I didn't actually put it on in the video though)

Quote

7) when you have geared up on the ground and again in the airplane you should also perform a gear check since things may have been moved and/or not thighten or misrouted when putting the gear on.



That's the last part of the video when I say you should do it 3 times:
- Before putting the gear on,
- before boarding and in the plane,
- and before jumping. :)

Quote

check :

A) Leg straps tight (2)
B) cutway handle and reserve handle in place (2)
C) main handle in place and secure (1)
D) chest strap routed OK (1)
E) helmet secured (1)
This is a 7 point check. It takes few seconds.



Exactly what I want to showcase in the video. ;)

Thanks a lot for the feedback.
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Continuing to spread the myth that people need to spin their rings is a little silly. When I saw that at the beginning of the video the presenter lost credibility with me.

It was talked about on the forums a few times but the definitive answer comes from Bill Booth, the guy who invented the 3 ring system

http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=995974#995974

Bills says "Spinning the rings was never necessary. All you do when you spin the rings, is put salt from your hands on the hardware. By the way, each opening rotates the rings a little anyway. If you will look at cadmium plated middle rings with over 100 jumps on them, you will see a slight "compression" of the plating evenly all around the "back" side of the ring. Flexing the webbing was a good idea when we used 1 3/4" Type 12 webbing to attach the smallest ring on "large" 3-ring systems. (We've used 1" square weave for over 20 years now.) On mini-rings, flexing the webbing was never really necessary. We left it in the generic 3-ring instructions only because not all risers are made with the correct webbings, and it doesn't hurt anyway. "
"Where troubles melt like lemon drops, away above the chimney tops, that's where you'll find me" Dorothy

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Good point IanHarrop...

I am starting to think that what we are taught on different DZ isn't always up to date or it's left at the discretion of everyone...

I will review the video for sure and look for the recommended procedure from Vector.
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Alright, after further research I agree with you guys that the video is not a good resource and that I need to raise my game up concerning my gear check!!! ;)

All is noted and I did remove the video off of Youtube until I am able to do an update and make it according to the UPT & USPA recommendations.

I'll keep you posted.
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Cathbern

I am starting to think that what we are taught on different DZ isn't always up to date



You are absolutely right

Check the date on Bill Booth's comment... he posted that in 2004 ;-)
"Where troubles melt like lemon drops, away above the chimney tops, that's where you'll find me" Dorothy

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When showing a video on parachute equipment safety, that implies a responsibility toward the readers. Thanks for the remarks on the twisted yellow cables. About turning the rings to compensate them becoming oval, it is actually unnessesary. I have had the harness ring tested at 2500 lbs, and the measurements of the diameter upward and sideward before and after the test were the same at near 1/1000 th of an Inch. On the other hand undoing the ring and work the ring webbing for suppleness should be done every month. Thanks to all participants
Learn from others mistakes, you will never live long enough to make them all.

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Cath

I think its noble that your trying to cover info on a gear check. You may want to run any stuff you create with a couple of experienced instructors/riggers before posting and make adjustments.

erdnarob


2) Your Vector bridle routing method is not the one recommanded by UPT Vector anymore for several years now. Check on Vector site for the new method.

3) you didn't verify the routing between the pilot chute pocket and the pin. ie. Is the bridle able to pull the pin out ??? In your configuration, the brildle coming from the pilot chute pocket could go by mistake under the left flap first (seen from behind) appearing at the top of that flap and going to the pin resulting in a total malfunction. This is why UPT Vector is recommanding another method. It is tricky because everything seems OK just looking at it. Do not hesitate to get the brilde out from under the flap to check the proper routing.



The original method is still in the current version of the UPT manual. They now have multiple methods of routing - ie. out the bottom, out the top. I'm not getting into a pissing match but both methods are acceptable.

IMHO I don't feel the original method is unsafe - It has millions of jumps done on it without any problems - the change as a result of a few bridle piercing incidents resulted in the change but most manufacturers determined the original and alternate methods as acceptable.

As with all things in this sport - read the manual, understand how it works and if in doubt ask, people that know the answer (riggers, instructors, manufacturers).

If the manufacturer came out and said DO NOT pack with the original method, this is the only acceptable method then my opinion would obviously be different.

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I have always tried to impart to my students that knowing how the specific equipment you are jumping works is vital. I have had people try to drag me back in the plane, refuse to pack the reserve, and be totally befuddled trying to pack for me. That was because at the time I was jumping an SOS system with a bungee pilot chute! There was no cutaway handle, I was told by a new rigger the cutaway cables were too long and that they needed to be changed out (even after demonstrating why they were that long), and watching a packer try to cock a bungee was hysterical! It's as important for a jumper to know how his specific gear works and then it's easier to know what to check. In this day and age gear is becoming more standardized but there are still quirks to individual rigs.

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Hello Skytribe

I was routing my Vector bridle "out of the top" way as it was the original method and that since my first Wonderhog in 1977. But Murphy's law says : If it can happen, it will.

Soon or later, a skydiver will have his rig packed by a packer. In boogies you don't have always the time to debrief, see your jump video, to brief for the next jump and to repack. Then you ask a packer to do it.

In 2016, this happened to me. My Vector 3 was packed (by a packer) but was laying on the picnic table while I was waiting for the call. Another jumper looked at the bridle routing which "looked" perfect (out of the top). By getting the bridle out of the bottom of the flap, he saw that the bridle would have pulled on the flap instead of the pin. Unfortunately this jumper said that would result in a total malfunction while the packer was still there. The young packer obviously was mortified.
I let few minutes go and went to the packer telling him to take it as a learning and that was OK for me. He stayed away from the DZ for few weeks. Now, he doesn't want to pack my rig anymore.
But I am sure that he will never forgot that incident.
Therefore, as I said it, when checking my gear, I extract partially the bridle from the bottom of the flap to check the proper routing.
Learn from others mistakes, you will never live long enough to make them all.

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erdnarob

Hello Skytribe

I was routing my Vector bridle "out of the top" way as it was the original method and that since my first Wonderhog in 1977. But Murphy's law says : If it can happen, it will.

Soon or later, a skydiver will have his rig packed by a packer. In boogies you don't have always the time to debrief, see your jump video, to brief for the next jump and to repack. Then you ask a packer to do it.

In 2016, this happened to me. My Vector 3 was packed (by a packer) but was laying on the picnic table while I was waiting for the call. Another jumper looked at the bridle routing which "looked" perfect (out of the top). By getting the bridle out of the bottom of the flap, he saw that the bridle would have pulled on the flap instead of the pin. Unfortunately this jumper said that would result in a total malfunction while the packer was still there. The young packer obviously was mortified.
I let few minutes go and went to the packer telling him to take it as a learning and that was OK for me. He stayed away from the DZ for few weeks. Now, he doesn't want to pack my rig anymore.
But I am sure that he will never forgot that incident.
Therefore, as I said it, when checking my gear, I extract partially the bridle from the bottom of the flap to check the proper routing.



I wasn't saying an incorrect routing was acceptable - more that both methods of routing are acceptable. Partially extracting or simply following the bridle from the pilot chute to the pin to ensure that it was free is a good idea.

The other thing to note here is - who was supervising the packer. If they were'nt being supervised by a rigger then take a look at that decision - if they were being supervised then I'd question how much direct supervision was actually being done.

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Cathbern

Alright, after further research I agree with you guys that the video is not a good resource and that I need to raise my game up concerning my gear check!!! ;)

All is noted and I did remove the video off of Youtube until I am able to do an update and make it according to the UPT & USPA recommendations.

I'll keep you posted.



Well played, lady. Can't wait to see the finished product!
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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Cathbern

Thanks for the feedback. The goal of that video was simply to do an overview of how I do it. I wasn't about to jump it. ;)



If you wouldn't jump it you shouldn't put it in an instructional video. It sends the wrong message.



It's great you're excited about skydiving, but personally I don't think videos like this are a great idea unless you're an instructor and you're absolutely certain about the information you're imparting. The routing of the bridle not being to manufacturer specs is a good example. You need to have a good reason to suggest an alternative.

We've seen people come through here who are absolutely certain that either they can learn skydiving from stuff they've read online, or that their instructors are wrong because of similar.

What's your goal of creating this channel?

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yoink

***Thanks for the feedback. The goal of that video was simply to do an overview of how I do it. I wasn't about to jump it. ;)



If you wouldn't jump it you shouldn't put it in an instructional video. It sends the wrong message.


It's great you're excited about skydiving, but personally I don't think videos like this are a great idea unless you're an instructor and you're absolutely certain about the information you're imparting. The routing of the bridle not being to manufacturer specs is a good example. You need to have a good reason to suggest an alternative.

We've seen people come through here who are absolutely certain that either they can learn skydiving from stuff they've read online, or that their instructors are wrong because of similar.

What's your goal of creating this channel?

I agree. Its a good idea, but it has to be totally comprehensive, as in how it would be done by a master rigger who knows all the small things to look for. It isn't that difficult, and a printed check list (maybe in poster form) should be prominently displayed at every DZ.

I once found a packing pin under a reserve flap that had been in place for 4 - 5 months, on a rig which had been jumped about 60 times, by a guy who was just learning to do CRW. Potential for a chop was huge, and would have resulted in a total on the reserve.

His face changed colour several times when we showed it to him, and the rigger responsible had his rating revoked on the spot.

The ribbon had torn off the pin when he removed it, leaving the pin in place and he had not checked and counted his tools in on completion.

That rig had been checked before every jump, and no one had picked up the hidden pin. You couldn't see it unless you turned the rig on its side and looked at the overlapping reserve flaps.

So you need to know where, and how to look for things that may not be obvious.

At meets, a group of us riggers would inspect every rig before kick off, and sometimes we would test each other by intentionally creating a problem, and seeing if it would be picked up. That was a bit stressful, even though you knew something was amiss and were looking for it. Wasn't good to fail those little tests, but it kept us on our toes.

Such a video, while a good idea, should be made with advice from a variety of riggers, to make sure everything is covered.

Missing something could be problematic for someone who thinks the video covers everything.

And such a video needs to be viewed and understood by everyone who straps a rig on who has attained an A licence.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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Ensure the cable ends are even? Quite the opposite if you have an RSL. (I didn't check if the rig in this video has an RSL or not, and the video is blocked here at work)

With an RSL, the RSL side should have more excess cable through the loop so that it releases after the non-RSL side. Otherwise you risk the reserve pin being pulled while the second main riser is still in place. In the event that the second riser hangs up, could be bad news.

I believe the RSL side is typically about 2" longer than the non-RSL side, but someone may be able to correct me on that number.

While we're on the topic, though, it's not a bad idea to check the ends of the cables for burrs or edges that could damage the loop. I'd check it after a cutaway, repack, or any time the cables are taken out and exposed, but it's not part of my daily gear check.

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erdnarob

... About turning the rings to compensate them becoming oval, it is actually unnessesary. I have had the harness ring tested at 2500 lbs, and the measurements of the diameter upward and sideward before and after the test were the same at near 1/1000 th of an Inch...



Please tell me this wasn't in the video.

If you have to "compensate" for the rings ovalling, then you need new rings.
This goes back a long time (before my time) where there was a batch of soft rings. They would pull to oval under stress and lock up the 3 ring. Oval rings won't flip through.
People would check for oval rings by rotating them.

This was caught and fixed and hasn't been a problem in a long, long time.

OTOH, making sure the 3 ring releases properly by pulling the handle and checking it occasionally is recommended by the manufacturers.
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flying_phish


I believe the RSL side is typically about 2" longer than the non-RSL side, but someone may be able to correct me on that number.



1/2" on Mirages.

https://miragesys.com/support/g4-owners-manual/#11931L

"Mark cables for cutting

Measuring the cables from where they exit the end fittings, we recommend that you mark the cables at:

For non-RSL equipped rigs, 6” (both sides).
For RSL equipped rigs, 6.25” for the RSL side, and 5.75” for the NON-RSL side.
The minimum length for any cable is 5.5”, and the maximum is 6.25”.
"

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I think this thread went sideways.

There are multiple levels of gear checks, your pre-jump routine is different from your routine when purchasing gear, from what your rigger would do while performing a repack, or after you had a bad landing that could have damaged the harness.

If you're doing another video, I suggest you limit the scope of your gear check to what's expected of a sport jumper with their familiar gear, similar to what an AFF instructor is expected to perform on a student rental rig.

Then make a comment like "Periodically and for any extraordinary situation, make sure to have a rigger of trust inspecting your gear"

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Thanks again for all that constructive feedback. I agree that I am not a rigger or instructor so the scope of the video was mainly for a pre-jump routine covering the essentials.

I am about to re-do it with all your good comments and specifying the scope of the video better and tell viewers to always refer back to a certified instructor, a rigger or the manufacturer.

I learned a lot myself reading you guys. Do you think I should start a thread on this forum with all the new videos I post to make sure we all share proper feedback on them?

I will try to avoid as much as possible the safety videos and do entertaining & fun videos. ;)
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