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sheeks

Have you ever seen someone get slammed super hard by Aerodyne’s Pilot?

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Posted (edited)

I know that the repeated mantra is “any canopy can open hard unexpectedly”, but obviously canopy design is a huge factor in that. The Sabre 1 is living proof of my point without much more needing to be said.

But regardless, people still occasionally die because of the openings on modern canopies that usually open soft and snivvely.  I’ve heard good things about PD’s Storm, but Carolyn Clay was alao allegedly flying one when she passed away. So my point remains.

 

I was thinking of getting my first rig soon, and i’m honestly tied between getting an F111 canopy or an AD Pilot, with dacron either way, because my #1 main focus is gonna be on trying to avoid a hard opening. 

 

Assuming the lines are kept in trim, the slider is up, and all the stows are double-wrapped in the correct sequence to about 10-12 pounds (and sprayed with silicone to avoid baglock), and I pull stable, does that pretty much cover all the elements in terms of being realistic about staying soft? I’m fragile as fuck.

 

Would having a master rigger add a slider pocket to a Pilot or switch the slider out for a domed one be an acceptable precautionary practice on the offhand chance of something getting screwed up during deployment as an added security measure, or would it cause more harm than good? (Assuming the extra 200-500 feet of snivel from a slider mod would be kept in consideration during tracking and pull altitudes)

Edited by sheeks

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(edited)

I have about 100 jumps on a Pilot 7 and it pretty much always opens soft and snively. Too snively for a WS canopy sometimes honestly. I mean yea, you can put a larger slider on. But that can cause issues in itself. You might have a cutaway from a hung-up slider if you go too overboard. Also, putting on a massive slider does not guarantee you wont have a hard opening. Consider very small canopies. They have sliders a half to a third the size of larger, student canopies, yet there are plenty of people who have had hard openings on 210s, 230s, ect while their friends flying 90s and whatever are not having issues. Tandem canopies have massive sliders and again they can open hard on occasion too.

Also know that slider shape, size and the like are not the only things that affect how hard the canopy opens. Brake setting have an effect and even the upper control lines can change how hard the canopy opens if you change the length of them. Even relatively small changes can have a noticeable impact. Canopy trim plays a role as well. Dacron is a bit more elastic than other types of lines, but it also goes out of trim which causes its own problems (including possible hard openings).

I'd say if you're really worried you could get a Safire 2. That's one canopy I have never heard of a single person ever having a hard opening on (although I am sure it's probably happened at some point).

Edited by 20kN

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If soft openings are your goal, F111 should not be in consideration. All modern canopies made from F111 all open harder than their pure zp counterparts. That's why people like them for wingsuitting.

 

I have a pilot 9 right now and openings are always great thus far(about 100 jumps on it). Haven't heard of anyone getting slammed by one.

 

I'm not a pilot fanboy by any means, my favorite canopy to  date was my sabre2... but it did open uncomfortably on occasion. I'm a guy that switches canopies every 100 or so jumps just to try something new.

 

I've also put a bunch of jumps on a Sabre1 with a pocket slider. I wouldn't put one on a pilot. I already get 1000 foot snivels out of it on occasion. Any more and it will be ridiculous...

 

Both of the instances where a canopy opened hard enough to damage itself, the canopy was a safire2.  Haven't come across similar from a pilot yet, but could also be that sample size is too small and events too uncommon. But if you're trying to avoid the tail cases to the point of paranoia... In my jumps on it it behaved fine.

 

Hope this helps.

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(edited)

Honestly, if your body can't handle the occasional quicker openings (I'm not talking the out-of-the-ordinary slammers), then I should at least think twice before skydiving.

Because any high-speed malfunction (pilot-chute in tow, or just unable to pull it, or whatever) will result in your reserve opening while you're at terminal velocity. That opening won't be soft and snivelly by any stretch of the imagination.

There is an element of risk inherent to this sport. You can do many things to reduce it like get a canopy designed and known for soft openings, get dacron lines, pack super-duper-well (or super-duper-trashy, sometimes that also depends on the canopy), and several other things alluded to in this thread. You cannot completely eliminate the risk of either canopy opening like shit.

If you want to reduce the risk of hard openings as much as possible, I suggest you also talk to some riggers. Plural, each rigger has their own experiences, and none of them is godlike and all-knowing.

Edited by IJskonijn
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I made almost 1000 jumps on my Pilot 168, almost all of those openings were super nice and soft and comfortable.

Except for one. That one hurt. A lot.

Probably something I did wrong, or just plain bad luck, but even a Pilot can open very hard.

 

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PD Spectre...  If you pack it right it'll snivel for 1,000 ft and open like falling into a feather bed.  The snivel will, on occasion, freak the everloving $%^& out of people watching you...  But, iof you plan for the snivel its a great canopy for fragile folks.  :)

 

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On 3/3/2019 at 3:23 AM, sheeks said:

Assuming the lines are kept in trim, the slider is up, and all the stows are double-wrapped in the correct sequence to about 10-12 pounds (and sprayed with silicone to avoid baglock).

Wait, what ? Please, don't spray the lines with silicone ! That is your problem, friction is needed for normal slow opening,...

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I have a Spectre 190er mit Vectran Lines and put 200 jumps on it. Almost always very soft and plenty (maybe a bit too much) snivel, soft and steady openings, except for one time. Therefore also a Spectre can have hard openings.

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13 minutes ago, Timxx said:

I have a Spectre 190er mit Vectran Lines and put 200 jumps on it. Almost always very soft and plenty (maybe a bit too much) snivel, soft and steady openings, except for one time. Therefore also a Spectre can have hard openings.

The difference is Vectran (or Spectra - also called microline) versus Dacron. I had one nasty opening on a Spectre with microlines, and nearly all of my jumps on it had a bit of a snap at the end (I am blanking on what that is called). Dacron? Nope.

Dacron stretches. Vectran and Spectra do not. The stretch in the dacron is what eliminates the snap at the end.

The only downside to Dacron is pack volume.

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I used to have a Pilot 168. Most beautiful, slow, snivelly openings. Except every so often, BAM. CRACKER. Hard to enough to make me see stars and need advil. We couldn't figure out why, didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it (nothing noticeably different about pack jobs, body position etc. on those particular jumps). We eventually just figured it needed to remind me who was boss every so often.

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On 3/14/2019 at 2:12 PM, ILUVCHUTERS said:

I used to have a Pilot 168. Most beautiful, slow, snivelly openings. Except every so often, BAM. CRACKER. Hard to enough to make me see stars and need advil. We couldn't figure out why, didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it (nothing noticeably different about pack jobs, body position etc. on those particular jumps). We eventually just figured it needed to remind me who was boss every so often.

What kinda lines do you use

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On 3/14/2019 at 1:19 AM, skybytch said:

 

The only downside to Dacron is pack volume.

That’s not the only downside. Dacron does not maintain trim well which negatively affects all aspects of flight. In fact, an out of trim lineset can directly cause a hard opening. 

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23 hours ago, 20kN said:

That’s not the only downside. Dacron does not maintain trim well which negatively affects all aspects of flight. In fact, an out of trim lineset can directly cause a hard opening. 

<shrug> Neither does Spectra or Vectran, thus the suggested relines at 300 jumps.

On a lower performance canopy like a Spectre, I see no reason other than pack volume not to have Dacron and lots of good reasons to have them.

Imho of course.

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22 minutes ago, skybytch said:

<shrug> Neither does Spectra or Vectran, thus the suggested relines at 300 jumps.

On a lower performance canopy like a Spectre, I see no reason other than pack volume not to have Dacron and lots of good reasons to have them.

Imho of course.

Be careful, you are spreading false information. Vectran is considered dimensionally stable. A Vectran lined canopy stays in trim. If anyone is confused and wants to better understand line material characteristics they should go to the PD website and read their excellent article explain it.

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(edited)
8 hours ago, skybytch said:

<shrug> Neither does Spectra or Vectran, thus the suggested relines at 300 jumps.

On a lower performance canopy like a Spectre, I see no reason other than pack volume not to have Dacron and lots of good reasons to have them.

Imho of course.

Spectra is crap for trim, yes, which is why I dont use it. Vectran maintains trim fairly well. I use Vectran on one of my canopies and after 400 jumps the lines were all still mostly in trim. Most of the lines were at their factory lengths with only a couple differing more than 1/2".

I cant comment on the Spectre, but there was an issue with another well known docile canopy where the factory lineset was out of trim/ specification and it was causing hard openings on almost every jump. There is a poster who mentioned it on DZ.com. Trim can affect the canopy in ways that are not obvious, such as stability in turbulence. I am not telling anyone to or not to use any particular lineset, but every type of line has drawbacks and bulk is not the only drawback.

 

Edited by 20kN

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4 hours ago, 20kN said:

Spectra is crap for trim, yes, which is why I dont use it. Vectran maintains trim fairly well. I use Vectran on one of my canopies and after 400 jumps the lines were all still mostly in trim. Most of the lines were at their factory lengths with only a couple differing more than 1/2".

I was incorrect. Vectran does not go out of trim quickly.

But it still needs to be replaced at about the same jump numbers as the others, depending of course on what environment it is jumped and packed in, because Vectran does wear. In trim or not, a broken line can really suck ass.

But back to the topic - openings.  My experience - my Spectre with Spectra lines opened harder than my Spectre with Dacron, and my Safire with Vectran opened harder than either Spectre, all when they had less than 100 jumps on them. The other Safire with Vectran that I jumped was ready for a line set and had started to open like shit, with visible wear less than what PD calls medium.

YMMV of course.

Great discussion guys! I learned something today.

 

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On 3/21/2019 at 6:13 PM, 20kN said:

That’s not the only downside. Dacron does not maintain trim well which negatively affects all aspects of flight. In fact, an out of trim lineset can directly cause a hard opening. 

That is the opposite of my experience! What is that based on? What canopy? What era, etc.? Me and some friends have some older Flight Concepts canopies lined with Dacron, and have 500-1000 jumps on them, with little to no change in the lines.

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(edited)
On 3/2/2019 at 9:23 PM, sheeks said:

 (and sprayed with silicone to avoid baglock),

WTF? DO NOT DO THAT! Get a Safire 2 or 3 if you want a slow, soft opening, although there is nothing wrong with a Pilot. Where did you get the idea to make your slider useless by spraying the lines with silicone?

Edited by Croc

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