0
baronn

AAD fires

Recommended Posts

They seem to be a lot more common than one would think. Cypress' website says ' The first life saved by a CYPRES dates back to April of 1991. Since then, more than 4,000 lives have been saved!'. Vigil reports 329 saves so far. Not sure how many MARS has.

I have not personally witnessed an AAD fire, but I've talked to a few instructors who have.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I looked up what seems to be the topic of discussion, for anyone (like me) who isn't closely watching USPA board meetings:

Quote

Other meeting highlights include:

  • To improve reporting of non-fatal incidents, especially those involving students, the board instituted the following new Basic Safety Requirement: “On any student jump, the supervising instructor, or both instructors if a two-instructor jump, must submit a completed incident report to USPA within 48 hours if any automatic activation device was activated on the jump. No disciplinary action will result from this self-report.”

Ref: https://uspa.org/Information/News/uspa-board-meets-in-dallas

Edit for sarcastic comment:
Although the rule hardly seems to be a BASIC safety requirement at all. Seems to be an administrative / data collection / reporting / paperwork requirement. Fair enough if the USPA is curious about the stats. (Is it just put into the BSR's because few bother with doing other incident reports? Are incident reports supposed to be mandatory in the USPA?)
'Before your jump, make sure to have some reporting forms stuffed in your jumpsuit, to make sure you have a safe jump! '

Edited by pchapman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, 20kN said:

They seem to be a lot more common than one would think. Cypress' website says ' The first life saved by a CYPRES dates back to April of 1991. Since then, more than 4,000 lives have been saved!'. Vigil reports 329 saves so far. Not sure how many MARS has.

I have not personally witnessed an AAD fire, but I've talked to a few instructors who have.

According to their website, they have an estimated 4000 saves. Out of an estimated 123,000,000 jumps (as of 2016), that equals approx. 1 save every 37,750 jumps. Hardly a "Problem" like the BOD and the new Safety and Training director are saying. Now, to be fair, we don't know how many of those were on a tandem or a training jump but, I'd be willing to bet very few

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got a reply from Aitec today. According to their rep, they've shipped 4750 replacement cutters to the US since 2011. This includes all their dealers and the military. The person I contacted felt the vast majority of these went to the military. That wude make sense. I find it difficult to believe 678 (average) per yr have been fired by sport use. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, baronn said:

I got a reply from Aitec today. According to their rep, they've shipped 4750 replacement cutters to the US since 2011. This includes all their dealers and the military. The person I contacted felt the vast majority of these went to the military. That wude make sense. I find it difficult to believe 678 (average) per yr have been fired by sport use. 

Airtec will also replace cutters that have been cracked or damaged where the wires enter the cutter body.  They provide a reinforcing stick on protector along with the replacement cutter.  This could account for a reasonable number of replacement cutters as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the last 10 years I’ve seen or been on the jump at big way events where at least 6 AAD activations have occurred because of low openings. In that time I know of at least 2 AFF students losing height awareness resulting in AAD activation whilst I was on the DZ. it does happen more often than reported.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched an AAD fire on a student AFF jump and I also witnessed one from the air while I was under canopy, watched a guy go by in free fall and he pitched his main the same instant the AAD fired. He claimed that he was not low and the AAD malfunctioned. Take it from me he was that low!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a rigger, over about the last decade, I've packed at least four Cypres saves, one of them a student on a level 1 AFF (many years ago - I don't know the specifics, nor would I tell you what they were if I did know, so don't ask). Two of the others were the same fun jumper. I feel like there was a fifth, but I'm not positive I packed that one (I did the repack and cutter replacement afterwards), so I'm not including it in the count...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, a few specific, witnessed fires, quite a few more "I heard, was told" references and a riggers experience. All told, 17 witness fires and possible 7. Total of 24 from this impromptu poll over 10 yrs that equals 2.4 per yr. I'm sure the number is higher than that as this doesn't reach everyone. Let's multiply it by 10 and put 24 a yr. Pretty low number. How many were instructor jumps? Hard to say. We teach students to be altitude aware, practice it, do our best to remind them on the jump and are told by the USPA to NOT chase a student below 2500'. IF we follow their rules and it still fires on a student, we are threatened with disciplinary action if we don't report it in 48 hrs. Nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure what "Skewed" means to you. I do agree that this poll does not represent what may be the total. I said that. I attempted to gather as many facts as I cude and use that to come to a reasonable conclusion. I put a hypothetical number on this for some kind of a base. Is it accurate? Doubtful. What it does represent is high probability of less than 1% of jumps done have an AAD fire. Is that number rite? maybe, maybe not. Is this a reason to mandate a report for an AAD fire and possible disciplinary action by the USPA? Not IMO....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Super simple - follow the rules, stay altitude aware.  If you having AAD fires on student jumps - whether the fire is an instructor or students then something went wrong.   Brushing it under the carpet does nothing to improve safety, allowing lessons to be learned and passed on to others to avoid repeats is probably beneficial.   

 As to the disciplinary action - I'd like to see that data on how often and for what reasons USPA disciplinary action has been taken over the past 20 years.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account. It's free!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
0