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Collins' Lanyard and Uneven Cutaway Cables?

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So I noticed that most manufacturers trim the RSL slide cutaway cable longer than the non-RSL side. The benefits of that are obvious--less likely to cutaway the RSL side before the non-RSL side and end up with a main-reserve entanglement due to a partial cutaway.

But with the case of an RSL that has a collins' lanyard, would it make sense to trim the cables the same length or possibly make the non-RSL side longer? The collins' lanyard is designed to cutaway the non-RLS side riser and so the advantage here is that by making the RSL side cutaway first (or both at the same time), there is no chance of accidentally cutting away the non-RSL side and leaving the RSL side still attached.

This is just theoretical. I have an RSL Skyhook and the cables are trimmed as shown in the manual for the container, but I am curious why the manufacturers trim the cables that way if the rig has a collins lanyard.

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One reason that comes to mind is that it's extremely easy to misroute the Collins lanyard, also with current way we have some redundancy because 2 different techniques are used to prevent main-reserve entanglements.

Making cutaway cables even would eliminate this redundancy and increase the risk of partial cutaways due to misrouted Collins lanyards. Also it would lead to having different cutaway handles because not all rigs have MARD and/or Collins lanyard. KISS principle is at work here...

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Here's sumthing that makes more sense.

Seek out and find any leftover rig or make it mandatory to have those cables your speaking about be in hard housings.

It really should be a mandated FAA and PIA effort to ground, until any leftovers have been modified to include hard housings for the cutaway cables.

Not a debatable point IMO.
Brett Bickford Did Not Commit Suicide.

He is the victim of ignorance and faulty gear. AND as in the movie: "12 Angry Men," of an ignorant and callous jury.

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JerryBaumchen

Hi Chris,

Quote

should be a mandated FAA and PIA effort to ground



Neither of them have the authority to do so.

The housings, soft or hard, are not a certificated product.

Jerry Baumchen



How many issues are like THAT?

And yes I completely get the point and frustration we all feel.

But there is a right and wrong here, there is a better way, we all know what it is. And on this issue, hard housings save lives. Spend time advocating for that as well as putting pressure on any one with containers that don't use them. I really don't care about the cost, I care about using gear that works when you need it to work.

Basically thanks for the reminder that safety takes a back seat to the confusion, willful ignorance, and the fact that the "playas" in this game constantly play stupid and use each other to advance individual agendas. Basically again, we do not have a national organization that actually looks out for the membership as much as looking out for itself.

But I get your point.
Brett Bickford Did Not Commit Suicide.

He is the victim of ignorance and faulty gear. AND as in the movie: "12 Angry Men," of an ignorant and callous jury.

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ChrisD2.0

***Hi Chris,

Quote

should be a mandated FAA and PIA effort to ground



Neither of them have the authority to do so.

The housings, soft or hard, are not a certificated product.

Jerry Baumchen



How many issues are like THAT?

And yes I completely get the point and frustration we all feel.

But there is a right and wrong here, there is a better way, we all know what it is. And on this issue, hard housings save lives. Spend time advocating for that as well as putting pressure on any one with containers that don't use them. I really don't care about the cost, I care about using gear that works when you need it to work.

Basically thanks for the reminder that safety takes a back seat to the confusion, willful ignorance, and the fact that the "playas" in this game constantly play stupid and use each other to advance individual agendas. Basically again, we do not have a national organization that actually looks out for the membership as much as looking out for itself.

But I get your point.

What the hell are you talking about?

Stay on topic or piss off.

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Bill Booth's original patent explicitely states that the disconnection needs to happen simultaneously, which means that the cables should be even.

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=4337913.PN.&OS=PN/4337913&RS=PN/4337913 (hope this works... Otherwise, search for US patent number 4337913 and see the third-to-last paragraph of the detailed description)

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You are talking about the 3 ring release patent. The thread is about Collin's lanyard. Completely different thing.
"My belief is that once the doctor whacks you on the butt, all guarantees are off" Jerry Baumchen

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I agree that the three-ring system and the collins lanyard are not the same. But the relative length difference of the cutaway cables has a direct influence on the workings of the three-ring system (see the patent), in addition to the question whether or not they should or could be uneven or even when a collins lanyard is installed.

And yes, I'm starting to think the cutaway cables should be even. A collins lanyard would be a useful addition, as it provides additional security in case of a riser break on the RSL side (below the RSL attachment).

Then again, I'm just starting on this whole rigging thingy, so I'm definitely willing to change my opinion in light of solid arguments ^_^.

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Then again, I'm just starting on this whole rigging thingy, so I'm definitely willing to change my opinion in light of solid arguments ^_^.




Since you are just starting this rigging thingy I will just start with the most solid argument out there. The manufacturers instructions. Period. Don't try to out think them. They have been around for a long time and have forgotten more things than you or I will ever know.

Now, my opinions. And they are nothing more than that. And worth every cent I'm charging. The original three ring patent was made before RSLs were a factor. So they are not all that relevant in this matter. With an RSL it is important that side riser not be released before the other side. I'm pretty sure you understand why. Having the RSL side release later by making the cable longer helps to lessen, but not eliminate the chances of an RSL reserve deployment into a still attached main.

A Collins Lanyard mostly is there to eliminate the same disaster, but from a different cause. Namely a broken riser. With a MARD system a partial cutaway on the RSL side only will result in near certain death. For that reason I will never recommend or use a MARD that does not employ a Collins Lanyard. And yes, at the current time that means Skyhooks only as far as I'm concerned.

But a Collins Lanyard can easily be mis-routed. Especially in the field when a user is changing a canopy or even just cleaning the cable. For that reason it is better to be safe and leave the RSL side cable longer. Like the manufacturer says in the manual.

As a rigger you should do your best to understand the system. But you don't need to absolutely understand the reasons for every instruction. YOU DO NEED TO FOLLOW THEM.

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JerryBaumchen

Hi Ken,

Quote

at the current time that means Skyhooks only as far as I'm concerned.



In a discussion with an employee of the US Patent Office earlier this year, he informed me that the patent on the Collin's Lanyard would expire in Sept of this year.

Jerry Baumchen



That could be good news. I've yet to hear of anyone taking advantage of that though. The only non licensed Collins lanyard I've yet to see is the one I made and installed on an Eclipse tandem a few years ago. :$

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gowlerk


That could be good news. I've yet to hear of anyone taking advantage of that though. The only non licensed Collins lanyard I've yet to see is the one I made and installed on an Eclipse tandem a few years ago. :$



SIFE and SWS use both collins lanyards with pin based MARDS.

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A recent fatality in Brazil came down to an RSL without a collins lanyard. In this case, an RSL had been added as an after-market modification to a rig from the 90s which never had one. For some reason, it was added to the left riser. The housing through which the cutaway cable passed across the yoke became detached from the yoke and worked its way down through the reserve container until such a point as the left riser became detached, and the user of the rig left the aircraft with it in this state. When he pulled, the main activated the left-side RSL, with the right riser still attached, through which the reserve deployed. As a result, the user disconnected the main, which climbed the reserve lines and choked it. The resulting impact was of course fatal.

By my understanding, cable length differences would not have helped avoid this, and since the RSL was on the left riser, a collins lanyard could not be installed. What possible reason is there for a left-side RSL?

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benlangfeld

What possible reason is there for a left-side RSL?



Purely speculating here: the installing individual may have reasoned that; given the left side's longer run and the possibility of channel stretch/compression, the left side may release after the right (given equal amounts of "extra" cable above the riser loop).

I believe it is the case that, prior to MARDs/RSL's/Type-17 risers, the RSL location was far from standardized... inboard/outboard/left-side/right-side/both-sides were all used by various mfgs.

Once you add the Collin's lanyard, it seems to me that one standard (inboard/right-side) should suffice for everyone... but maybe not.

RIP to your country-mate.

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

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Almost all non-skyhook RSLs are installed on the wearer's left side, Vectors being the biggest exception. I suppose because that is the side the reserve cable housing is on. Early Javelins had it on the right side, but they switched sometime in the 90s.

In this case I would imagine whoever did the modification installed the housing incorrectly. Do you know what kind of container it was? That housing normally passes through a channel that is integrated in one way or another with the yoke.

This can not happen without a rigging error or a gross lack of maintenance and/or basic inspection. Although a riser break on opening could cause a similar scenario.

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Almost all non-skyhook RSLs are installed on the wearer's left side, Vectors being the biggest exception. I suppose because that is the side the reserve cable housing is on. Early Javelins had it on the right side, but they switched sometime in the 90s.



I remember Bill Booth saying that he chose the right side because many people look over their right shoulder to see the PC pulling the bag out, therefore the left side risers are lower, therefore more load on the left risers. If the left riser is consistently loaded more, then it makes sense to put the RSL on the right. The Infinity also has the RSL on the right riser.
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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gowlerk

Almost all non-skyhook RSLs are installed on the wearer's left side, Vectors being the biggest exception. I suppose because that is the side the reserve cable housing is on. Early Javelins had it on the right side, but they switched sometime in the 90s.



Is it not the case that a Collins lanyard requires the RSL to be on the same side as the cutaway handle? Is a Collins lanyard not useful with a basic RSL and no MARD? If that’s the case, why are all RSLs not equipped with a Collins lanyard and mounted on the right hand side, MARD or not?

Quote


In this case I would imagine whoever did the modification installed the housing incorrectly. Do you know what kind of container it was? That housing normally passes through a channel that is integrated in one way or another with the yoke.

This can not happen without a rigging error or a gross lack of maintenance and/or basic inspection. Although a riser break on opening could cause a similar scenario.



It was a Flightline Systems Reflex R460. The incident report states that approximately 12cm of the left side cutaway cable was extracted because of the movement of the housing.

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benlangfeld


Is it not the case that a Collins lanyard requires the RSL to be on the same side as the cutaway handle? Is a Collins lanyard not useful with a basic RSL and no MARD? If that’s the case, why are all RSLs not equipped with a Collins lanyard and mounted on the right hand side, MARD or not?.



You seem to be lacking information about the Collins lanyard. I understand it is patented and only on modern UPT rigs or those that licensed it (eg Aerodyne), or is in some place far away not selling to the US market. The lanyard only started to show up in conjunction with the Skyhook MARD.

If you had some rig without a Collins lanyard, it would be difficult for the average rigger to retrofit one. One would have to buy new shorter cutaway housings to provide a break between them, and generally redesign things.

When many modern rigs (and their RSL setup) were first designed, the Collins lanyard didn't exist. RSL's existed long before the Collins lanyard started to be seen.

So there are tons of rigs out there that were never built or designed for a Collins lanyard.

So for the accident you mentioned, one should ask, "Why wasn't the cutaway housing tacked or clamped down properly?", rather than, "Why did the rig fail to have a Collins lanyard?".

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Is it not the case that a Collins lanyard requires the RSL to be on the same side as the cutaway handle? Is a Collins lanyard not useful with a basic RSL and no MARD? If that’s the case, why are all RSLs not equipped with a Collins lanyard and mounted on the right hand side, MARD or not?



Yes, and the first use of a Collins lanyard was on Vector II Tandems. (pre- Sigma) It was not set up the same way, but it functioned the same. Tandem risers have a higher failure rate and I'm certain the Collins lanyard saved more than a few lives in this application. I recall Bill Booth stating that he wanted to use this a test bed for several years to ensure it's effectiveness and safety before developing a MARD. As to why they are not universal. first of all it only very recently came off of patent protection, and secondly the overall rate of riser failure is pretty low. That said, I personally will not use or recommend a MARD without one.



Quote

It was a Flightline Systems Reflex R460. The incident report states that approximately 12cm of the left side cutaway cable was extracted because of the movement of the housing.




I don't have a Reflex here to see how it secures the housing. I do have the manual. It shows a simple left side RSL. You have said it was an add on, but it is hard to see how this would be relevant if whoever added it followed the original layout. And this would also be the easiest thing to do. There would be no need to disturb either housing. In general, cutaway housings are fastened together and attached to the harness near the handle end. In 90s era rigs they are usually hand tacked with super tack, a heavy waxed thread. It is VERY common to need to re-do this. Riggers need to check the condition of this at repack and inspection time without fail. They usually just float the rest of the way. But the left one passes through a channel that should not allow what happened here. There are two types of housing. Extensible and non extensible. (one can not be compressed, the other can not be extended) each has advantages and disadvantages. In order to be flexible they have to do one or the other. This one must have been of the extensible type. When it was stretched out the cable became too short.

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pchapman

When many modern rigs (and their RSL setup) were first designed, the Collins lanyard didn't exist. RSL's existed long before the Collins lanyard started to be seen.

So there are tons of rigs out there that were never built or designed for a Collins lanyard.

So for the accident you mentioned, one should ask, "Why wasn't the cutaway housing tacked or clamped down properly?", rather than, "Why did the rig fail to have a Collins lanyard?".



Sure, I understand that. My question was more along the lines of: if one were designing a rig from scratch today, and patent licensing were not an issue, but one did not wish to include a MARD, but only a traditional RSL, is there any reason not to include a Collins lanyard? Assuming one is included in the design, is it true that that forces the RSL to be on the right hand side (assuming the cutaway handle is put in the usual position)?

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Sure, I understand that. My question was more along the lines of: if one were designing a rig from scratch today, and patent licensing were not an issue, but one did not wish to include a MARD, but only a traditional RSL, is there any reason not to include a Collins lanyard? Assuming one is included in the design, is it true that that forces the RSL to be on the right hand side (assuming the cutaway handle is put in the usual position)?




My belief is that you are correct on all these points. But I am not a rig designer. I can think of ways to make a Collins lanyard work with a left side RSL, but it would be very awkward and likely would cause problems I have not thought of. But I will say this. Any of the workable RSL systems without Collins lanyards will save more lives than the number that will be saved by adding one. In other words any RSL is better than no RSL in most applications.

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As to why to not have a Collins Lanyard - there were two incidents about 10 years back which show issues with them. One was a tandem which pulled low - had a good main but the AAD fired. The reserve freebag fell out and down (instead of up like it would on a normal cutaway) and it pulled the Collin's Lanyard which released one main riser only. The instructor cutaway but by this point the reserve had bag-locked and the tandem died. UPT added a staging system on the reserve system after this to ensure that the pilot chute was pulling before the bag would come out.

A second case had a Skydive Chicago student if I remember correctly have an incident. He opened normally at 5500, but some stitching broke causing the rig to stretch on the RSL side. It popped the reserve pilot chute which trailed behind the student for the canopy ride. As the student turned to final (this part was on video) the bag came out and the Collins Lanyard cutaway one riser. The student (low as @(*^@&#) cutaway and that let the skyhook open the reserve in time. It was sketchy!

So manufacturers might have to add staging devices on their reserve containers or design their rigs to make it harder for the reserve to come out accidentally (which also makes it harder to come out when it is on purpose.) Some may not want to do that. I personally am not a fan of a device which can cutaway one riser of my perfectly good main.

Like most inventions - they have good and bad points. Whether the good points outweigh the bad is an individual call. The Collins Lanyard was originally designed for tandem risers that broke, but the only time I have heard of risers breaking in the past 15-20 years was a guy who knew his risers were so junky that he had a brand new pair in his gear bag that he had just been too lazy to put on..

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Hi Ken,

Quote

I don't have a Reflex here to see how it secures the housing. I do have the manual. It shows a simple left side RSL.



I have not had a Reflex here for over a year. I seem to remember that the reserve ripcord housing was in two pieces with about a 1 1/2" ( ~40 mm ) space between the two housings where the RSL ring went around the ripcord cable. The RSL ring/cable intersection was located just below the top of the left side shoulder.

Very similar to how a ParaFlite EOS RSL system worked.

Maybe Mick can add to this.

Jerry Baumchen

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I think you are correct Jerry. But I was wondering how the left side cutaway housing is secured to the yoke. According to the report it somehow did not stay in place and ended up sagging down into the area behind the pack tray.

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