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PlaneFun

Abnormal Closing Loop Wear?

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(Newer jumper here) - Is it normal to wear through closing loops every 15-20 jumps? I'm running the recommended Pulse 190 on an almost-new Mirage G4 M5-1/2. I've been having it packed by a very experienced packer and she's had to change the loop twice in about 30 jumps-The last one broke in her hands as she was closing it. It doesn't seem overly tight but the pin does stick up from the container somewhat. Thanks for any advice.

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It's normal to replace the loop about every 30 jumps, but that assumes you're following the USPA rule of 10% wear max. If the loop is actually breaking every 30 jumps, something is wrong. The loop should never break. If it does, that means you let it wear out far too much. I'd have a rigger take a look. Check to make sure the closing flap grommets are not damaged, cut or otherwise abraded. When you close the rig, make sure you put the pullup cord under the pin and slowly pull it. If you keep the cord on top of the pin and yank on it really fast, you're going to wear the loop out quick.

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I lengthened my closing loop because I was having the same thing happen to me.  Contrary to popular belief, your hands should not bleed from your pull-up cord.  You should be able to move your closing pin with medium effort using your fingers once the container is closed.  Obviously, if it's too easy to slide back and forth, there's a problem.  Also, when you have to exert that much pressure to close your container, you're likely causing premature damage to your grommets as well. 

I never had a rigger say anything about this to me either, but I ran across a safety segment at my home DZ about this topic, and when I checked out my owner's manual for my container, I realized that it was initially put together with the closing loop way too small.

There's a lot of debate on this topic, however.  I wouldn't be surprised if someone blew me up on this topic.  It's definitely a good bonfire argument to have at the DZ.  All I can say is that you should be able to utilize your common sense on the issue.  The concern about closing loop tightness is premature openings, which are a huge deal.  If you can reasonably think of a situation where your closing pin can slide out unintentionally, you should probably shorten your loop.

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Inspect the pin, make sure it has no significant scratches, burrs, pits, etc. it should be very shiny and smooth.

I know the following is not a loop wear problem but while you are at it, you might want to inspect the washer that goes in front of the knot, some of them have a significant sharp burr on the ID (inside diameter) from the manufacturing process, I replaced a sharp edged washer for this very reason, I just didn't like that edge having the remotest potential to damage the cord.

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1 hour ago, TommyM said:

Inspect the pin, make sure it has no significant scratches, burrs, pits, etc. it should be very shiny and smooth.

I know the following is not a loop wear problem but while you are at it, you might want to inspect the washer that goes in front of the knot, some of them have a significant sharp burr on the ID (inside diameter) from the manufacturing process, I replaced a sharp edged washer for this very reason, I just didn't like that edge having the remotest potential to damage the cord.

Also good advice.

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11 hours ago, PlaneFun said:

Thanks everybody for the great suggenstions! I didn't even consider checking the grommet or pin for burs. I'll do that, maybe shorten the loop, and show it to the rigger if it continues.

Take it to your rigger first chance you have, rather than "if it continues". That level of loop wear is abnormal, and a rigger is the most qualified person to diagnose the cause and get you sorted with a good solution.

Worst case outcome if you go to a rigger: Some grommets and/or your closing pin needs to be repaired/replaced. Maybe a day's work and similar costs.

Worst case outcome if you don't go: your loop breaks while you're doing a floater exit in the door, and your canopy wraps itself over the tail of the plane. That rips it off, killing you and everyone else still in the plane.

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Showed it to the rigger and she said it's because it's packed in so tight. The interesting thing is that Mirage recommended on the phone to me that very container with the exact canopy I bought (a Pulse 190 [low-bulk] in a Mirage G4 M5 - 1/2...

I will be downsizing to a 170 pretty soon so that should fit better. 

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Look around the loft. There will be a bin of scrap line from the last few relines that your rigger has done. Ask him if you can have some scrap line. There will be enough 750 and 1000 lb line there for 10 life times of loops. If you don't know how to finger trap, learn, or just look for loop ends that are still good where they took them off the links. Their are up to 24 pre made closing loops in every line set. Or borrow a fid and make hundreds of your own. Each will last 100 times longer then the ones made from gutted type 3 that you are using now.

 

Lee

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I always withdraw the pull up cord when there is no tension on the closing loop. I put my thumb on the loop during the final pull through the final grommet, when it is pulled through farther than needed as the pin is inserted, and withdraw the pull up cord with virtually no resistance force at all. This has resulted in a closing loop that still looks absolutely new after about 90 jumps. I think that if you can't pull the closing loop through farther than needed to accomplish what I've described, then the loop is too tight. Others may think it means my loop is too loose, but I don't think so. So often I see people pulling their pull up cord very fast through a very tight loop, and even if they situate it under the pin before withdrawal, I think the potential for needless wear is great.

The modern, wide pull up cords with heat-sealed edges at the ends I think are particularly harsh on closing loops. The old-school gutted 550 cord were much gentler I think.

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