0
nwt

Look silver before or after pulling red?

Recommended Posts

Branching off discussion from this thread.

The EP I learned in AFF was this:

  1. look red
  2. grab red (both hands)
  3. look silver
  4. peel, pull red
  5. grab silver (both hands)
  6. pull silver

The reasoning, which makes sense to me, is that locating the handle before cutting away is more likely to be successful than after. However, it came out in that thread that some are teaching to look for the silver handle after cutting away instead of before. I can't think of a single advantage to that difference. Anyone else?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
(edited)
8 minutes ago, nwt said:

However, it came out in that thread that some are teaching to look for the silver handle after cutting away instead of before. I can't think of a single advantage to that difference. Anyone else?

From my reasoning, of those who practice it like you've initially described (...grab red, look silver, peel pull red...) I think most will not be doing that because it's unnatural to do it. People have a strong instinct to look and do stuff in sync and that instinct is reinforced each day many times through random things you're doing. The logic behind practicing "...look red, peel pull red, look silver..." then is, why would you practice something you'll most likely end up not doing, just practice the thing that's more realistic to execute as practiced.

In most cases, you'll have a functioning RSL (a defensive mechanism against not finding the reserve handle later) but looking for reserve handle before pulling the cutaway might cause you make an error of skipping the cutaway (because of the instinct I've mentioned) which is then a whole new problem.

This is not a pure random guess (how people execute their EPs) but is based on some experiences/testimonials, though I do not have a concrete study with statistics so let's call it an opinion without a solid ground.

It appears Perris is teaching it this way now (based on the information from the other thread).

Edited by Binary93

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Binary93 said:

I think most will not be doing that because it's unnatural to do it.

I haven't seen any data on that, but for the sake of discussion let's assume you're right and that 75% end up doing it wrong. The 25% that do it right are safer for it, and the 75% are no worse off. If you teach look after, then those 25% are less safe because of it, and the 75% are no better off.

I'll add that while I'm new to the sport, I do have experience in risk analysis in the medical device industry.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True, but not finding the reserve handle after pulling the cutaway handle is in most cases mitigated by having RSL. Skipping the cutaway because you looked at the reserve handle before can cause two-out.

I'm talking here only about students, FJC, etc. If you have loads of experience, you can triage problems better, have better awareness and decide what's right for you with the gear you're using and a situation you're in.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Binary93 said:

True, but not finding the reserve handle after pulling the cutaway handle is in most cases mitigated by having RSL. 

Sure, but that still does not suggest an advantage to pulling red before looking silver. Mitigated or not, if there are disadvantages to teaching it this way and no advantage, then it's objectively incorrect.

 

30 minutes ago, Binary93 said:

Skipping the cutaway because you looked at the reserve handle before can cause two-out.

I'll take this as an assertion that teaching "look silver before pulling red" (which I'll call the USPA method) will cause some students to have a two-out. If this is true, then you'd have to weigh:

1) [The probability of a two-out after teaching the USPA method] x [the severity of the consequences of a two-out]

vs.

2) [The probability of a no-pull after teaching the Perris method] x [the severity of the consequences of a no-pull]

I haven't seen it myself, but others have mentioned there are known cases of the no-pull error occurring. Do you have reason to believe that the two-out error is more likely?

Do you think the consequences of one are overall higher than the other? My first thought is that a no-pull is worse, but I think that could be debatable.

I guess I can see how the RSL could really tip the balance here, and I'm starting to see merit in the Perris method.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like to grab and peel red before swinging my eyes to look at silver.

Then I keep my eyes on silver as I pull red.

Toss red. #

Put both hands on silver and pull silver to full arms' extension.

Resume arch.

Look over shoulder to confirm that reserve pilot-chute is leaving.

 

Footnote# I teach students to toss red to confirm that they have pulled it to full arms' extension. 

The only difference with my personal gear is hanging onto red.

With tandems, I just toss handles with gay abandon until I have a landable canopy overhead. The School can worry about replacement handles.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, nwt said:

I guess I can see how the RSL could really tip the balance here, and I'm starting to see merit in the Perris method.

I remember my harness room instructor told me that the possibility of RSL deploying the reserve even before I grab the reserve handle is quite high. But I was also told to never rely on mechanism, and I must pull the reserve handle even after the reserve fully deployed. One possible explanation is that the school wants us to focus on one thing at a time and avoid messing up the sequence(It happened before) when there is a malfunction, they want to make sure we cut away the main successfully. I will definitely stick to this original method for now. I'm not even licensed. About changing EPs I may think about it when I have more experiences. :D(But I was also told that changing EPs after already forming muscle memories of the previous method is a bad idea, idk)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, David Wang said:

(But I was also told that changing EPs after already forming muscle memories of the previous method is a bad idea, idk)

i would say that most of the time, you won't be changing you r eps as much as reacting differently to emergencies.  you do that with experience i'm told, as i only have 120 odd jumps.  for example, if you pull and nothing comes out, you may look over your shoulder or smack your container before deciding to go silver.  maybe a better example would be going straight silver for a horseshoe.  the experience will give you a second to realize what it is and you may want to keep your main connected. 

now, it should go without saying but i will anyway for safety, you should decide this on the ground and not in the air. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You do what you practice, mentally and physically.

Being a rigger, I have abundant opportunities to practice my EPs (gotta disconnect the main and open the reserve to do the work, so....). My mental practice and physical rehearsal is, and has been since I moved away from student gear, one hand per handle, grab both; peel and punch cutaway, peel and punch reserve, with a 4-beat rhythmic cadence. The reality when opening rigs to pack them, is peel and punch cutaway, peel and punch reserve, *usually* bringing my right hand over for an assist with the ripcord. So... I get a hand on each handle before I begin pulling either of them.

For me, the most important thing is being mentally present EVERY TIME I either rehearse EPs or pull handles on the ground, so I'm both building muscle memory and paying attention to what the handles feel like, and the various ways the process can vary. For instance, some jumpers' gear has ultra-mated velcro on the handles, so peeling a handle is not always the same. Most of all, because I've been jumping a soft reserve handle, and rehearsing to use it, for almost 20 years (!!. Omg, I'm an old-timer, lol), I am surprised by the feel of a metal handle when I pull one. My hand used to sometimes slip off metal handles, because I'm not in the habit of hooking a thumb, but lately I've begun to react quickly when I feel a metal ripcord, and get a thumb around it.

I got off on a little tangent there.... Apologies to those who rolled their eyes, lol. But.... visualize and practice your EPs. Rehearse for all the scenarios you can think of, putting your mind into it -- total mal; spinner; horseshoe; lost handle. Do it a LOT. And when you drop off your gear off for a repack, pull your handles like your life depends on it! Because at some point, it will.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
(edited)
On 12/2/2020 at 2:01 PM, sfzombie13 said:

for example, if you pull and nothing comes out, you may look over your shoulder or smack your container before deciding to go silver.  maybe a better example would be going straight silver for a horseshoe.  the experience will give you a second to realize what it is and you may want to keep your main connected. 

Thank you! :D

I have learned in AFF that if it's a PC in tow, cut away and pull the reserve. If it's a horseshoe, pull out the PC, expect malfunctions and be ready for the cutaway. 

I'm still too inexperienced. 

However things may change when I gain experience I'm sure! 

Edited by David Wang
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a little time the other day so I called and had a chat with one of the managers at Perris' school. To my surprise, it turns out that indeed they have changed their EP's to what David describes. It does vary from USPA. The rationale was that some time ago they had an incident where someone had a malfunction. After grabbing red, they looked for silver but could not see it. The person I was talking to wasn't sure if it was due to a baggy jumpsuit or perhaps a well-endowed female. The person apparently spent some time looking for the reserve handle before pulling the cutaway, and ended up cutting away lower than desired. The school decided to change the EP's to ensure a more timely cutaway. I suppose I can follow the reasoning, but I disagree with the decision. I can not see changing well established, logical, tried and true procedures for everybody due to an outlier event. Cutting away and going back into freefall is certainly not going to make it easier for that person to find the handle, and will make it harder for the normal student. This places a higher reliance on the RSL, which I think is a bad idea.

I think the answer is more training. It should be stressed that initiating EP's in a timely fashion is crucial. For the person who might have trouble seeing the handle, whether it be a top-heavy female, or perhaps a larger, barrel-chested male, or a heavier person who wears a baggy suit to help with fall rate, I think that scenario should be predictably apparent. I think training should include that if one can't see the handle, they can still be familiar with where it will be and focus on that area at the appropriate time during EP's. For the baggy suit, part of the pre-jump routine can be to grab the suit by the armpits or inseam of the sleeves and pull the bagginess out from between the lift webs. If the bagginess were to return and indeed be covering the handle during EP's... Well, I'll borrow from Binary's knife-and-fork analogy: If you were sitting down for a meal, and your napkin was covering your fork, would you panic and think 'I can't find my fork, I'm going to starve to death!'? No, you'd simply move/reach under the napkin and grab the fork. So should be your reaction to suit material covering a handle. Skydiving requires the ability for that level of focus, even in the face of a high-speed spinning malfunction.

Binary's idea of training for what you're likely to do rather than what you need to do is a horrible idea. You should train for what you need to do, and train until it IS what you WILL do.

My advice for David or anyone else would be - While you're under the purview of a school, do what your live, in-person instructors train you to do. When you're licensed and on your own, think things through. Talk to several instructors and experienced people you trust, and decide what makes best sense, and adjust/re-train as appropriate.

Safety's a skill. Survival's an art. (JS)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks dudeman, I generally agree with everything you said. However, while I think that more training is THE solution, I'm not sure it's the one that can be realistically implemented. How much training does a student have before going for their first jump? Do you think this is enough to develop such muscle memory that will override the instincts you've built your whole life? Do you think it's realistic to expect students to spend months of rehearsing EPs before they make their first jump? I know this is what FJC looked like in the old times (spending months practicing EPs, jumping into sand to practice PLF, etc.) but I doubt that's something that we could go back to now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, dudeman17 said:

I had a little time the other day so I called and had a chat with one of the managers at Perris' school. To my surprise, it turns out that indeed they have changed their EP's to what David describes. It does vary from USPA. The rationale was that some time ago they had an incident where someone had a malfunction. After grabbing red, they looked for silver but could not see it. The person I was talking to wasn't sure if it was due to a baggy jumpsuit or perhaps a well-endowed female. The person apparently spent some time looking for the reserve handle before pulling the cutaway, and ended up cutting away lower than desired. The school decided to change the EP's to ensure a more timely cutaway. I suppose I can follow the reasoning, but I disagree with the decision. I can not see changing well established, logical, tried and true procedures for everybody due to an outlier event. Cutting away and going back into freefall is certainly not going to make it easier for that person to find the handle, and will make it harder for the normal student. This places a higher reliance on the RSL, which I think is a bad idea.

I think the answer is more training. It should be stressed that initiating EP's in a timely fashion is crucial. For the person who might have trouble seeing the handle, whether it be a top-heavy female, or perhaps a larger, barrel-chested male, or a heavier person who wears a baggy suit to help with fall rate, I think that scenario should be predictably apparent. I think training should include that if one can't see the handle, they can still be familiar with where it will be and focus on that area at the appropriate time during EP's. For the baggy suit, part of the pre-jump routine can be to grab the suit by the armpits or inseam of the sleeves and pull the bagginess out from between the lift webs. If the bagginess were to return and indeed be covering the handle during EP's... Well, I'll borrow from Binary's knife-and-fork analogy: If you were sitting down for a meal, and your napkin was covering your fork, would you panic and think 'I can't find my fork, I'm going to starve to death!'? No, you'd simply move/reach under the napkin and grab the fork. So should be your reaction to suit material covering a handle. Skydiving requires the ability for that level of focus, even in the face of a high-speed spinning malfunction.

Binary's idea of training for what you're likely to do rather than what you need to do is a horrible idea. You should train for what you need to do, and train until it IS what you WILL do.

My advice for David or anyone else would be - While you're under the purview of a school, do what your live, in-person instructors train you to do. When you're licensed and on your own, think things through. Talk to several instructors and experienced people you trust, and decide what makes best sense, and adjust/re-train as appropriate.

Safety's a skill. Survival's an art. (JS)

So they made a change because of ONE incident??? Pretty sure that's NOT how shit works...  NO student jumps without an RSL, PERIOD. IMO the change is "knee jerk" and not a good one. Well thought out plans tend to workout better... Can only speak from one chop. I pulled silver after red in rapid succession , but the main was already out... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
(edited)

Dear dudeman,

That guy - who had difficulty finding his reserve ripcord handle - was Rick Horn, a highly-experienced AFF Examiner.

Rick was wearing a harness with both hip and chest rings and his soft reserve ripcord handle had folded under his left main lift web. His spinning main malfunction pulled his harness off to one side, making it doubly difficult to see his ripcord handle.

Rick suffered that malfunction circa the year 2,000 just after he recently finished filming a training video for the USAF. Rick dis 30 intentional cutaways for that video!

Edited by riggerrob
add a sentence

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

timski is right, and even more so when you posted the details.  there is no way anyone should change a proven method for one outlier, especially an outlier that will not affect a student, since the equipment was non-standard.  glad i haven't learned anything out there.  that is just insane to me.

Share this post


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

That guy - who had difficulty finding his reserve ripcord handle - was Rick Horn, a highly-experienced AFF Examiner.

I'm familiar with this incident, but I don't think that was what they were talking about. It sounded like they were talking about a student they had that was trying to follow standard student EP's.

 

On 12/5/2020 at 12:42 PM, timski said:

So they made a change because of ONE incident??? Pretty sure that's NOT how shit works... ...IMO the change is "knee jerk" and not a good one. Well thought out plans tend to workout better.

Obviously I agree with that. I'm surprised that Dan BC signed off on it.

 

On 12/5/2020 at 12:42 PM, timski said:

NO student jumps without an RSL, PERIOD.

And an AAD. But the idea is that one should never be reliant on them.

 

On 12/5/2020 at 12:42 PM, timski said:

I pulled silver after red in rapid succession , but the (reserve) was already out... 

 

On 12/2/2020 at 1:36 PM, David Wang said:

I remember my harness room instructor told me that the possibility of RSL deploying the reserve even before I grab the reserve handle is quite high.

Actually the RSL WILL deploy the reserve before you pull the reserve handle. If it doesn't, you haven't sequenced it properly. But again, DON'T rely on the RSL, DO pull the reserve handle.

 

On 12/5/2020 at 2:06 AM, Binary93 said:

Thanks dudeman, I generally agree with everything you said. However, while I think that more training is THE solution, I'm not sure it's the one that can be realistically implemented. How much training does a student have before going for their first jump? Do you think this is enough to develop such muscle memory that will override the instincts you've built your whole life? Do you think it's realistic to expect students to spend months of rehearsing EPs before they make their first jump? I know this is what FJC looked like in the old times (spending months practicing EPs, jumping into sand to practice PLF, etc.) but I doubt that's something that we could go back to now.

I agree that we're not going to go back to several months or weeks of FJC before the first jump. But I don't necessarily agree that we're fighting life-long instincts. For most students, everything in parachuting is brand new stuff and they regard it as such. I think that training should stress not just WHAT they need to do, but WHY they're doing it that way. Then, when stuff happens, they're less reliant on remembering 'what did the instructor say?', and more that it will make sense to them what they should do. Also, especially with EP's, I think they should be trained to VERBALIZE the sequence as they do it. Then when they have a malfunction, they will find themselves TELLING themselves exactly what to do. And, of course, they should continue to train EP's for all the months and years that they continue to jump.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/5/2020 at 11:06 PM, Binary93 said:

Thanks dudeman, I generally agree with everything you said. However, while I think that more training is THE solution, I'm not sure it's the one that can be realistically implemented. How much training does a student have before going for their first jump? Do you think this is enough to develop such muscle memory that will override the instincts you've built your whole life? Do you think it's realistic to expect students to spend months of rehearsing EPs before they make their first jump? I know this is what FJC looked like in the old times (spending months practicing EPs, jumping into sand to practice PLF, etc.) but I doubt that's something that we could go back to now.

EPs should be practised before every jump, even if its just visualising the procedure and going through the motions with your hands. Easily done on the way to altitude in the plane. After training multiple students on their EPs, where they used the SOS system, I used to practice my EPs on every jump on the way to altitude, because they were different from student EPs. You don't have to spend months or weeks doing that. Putting on a training harness and going for a walk by yourself during downtime at the DZ, is a good way to practice your EPs 50 times in a short time. That kind of practice is what builds muscle memory.

And you should always be looking for your handles during a real emergency. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, obelixtim said:

After training multiple students on their EPs, where they used the SOS system, I used to practice my EPs on every jump on the way to altitude, because they were different from student EPs. You don't have to spend months or weeks doing that

Students going to their first jump (not all of them are on SOS) might need to execute EPs on their first jump (or first few jumps).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
(edited)
2 hours ago, Binary93 said:

Students going to their first jump (not all of them are on SOS) might need to execute EPs on their first jump (or first few jumps).

 And that is where the quality of their EP training comes in to play. They should not be going near the plane until they have demonstrated correct EPs multiple times in the training harness. 

 It is why I sometimes question the quality of their instructors and the quality of the training they have received. That should be consistent right through their training in EVERY aspect of jumping till they are licenced, but the doubt, questions and ignorance I see from some newbies tell me that in some cases, the instructors have done a piss poor job. 

And that is a problem. The standard and variation of instruction leaves a lot to be desired. This thread alone is a classic example of that.

 The SOS system is by far the simplest and best system for student training. No question about that. It is about as fool proof as you can get. The simpler it is, the safer it is. One pull does all. The transition to two stage EPs can come later, and is easier to manage when "A" licence holders have a lot more confidence and awareness in the air, and are not burdened by multiple tasks as they are during AFF. 

Edited by obelixtim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/2/2020 at 2:32 PM, nwt said:

Branching off discussion from this thread.

The EP I learned in AFF was this:

  1. look red
  2. grab red (both hands)
  3. look silver
  4. peel, pull red
  5. grab silver (both hands)
  6. pull silver

The reasoning, which makes sense to me, is that locating the handle before cutting away is more likely to be successful than after. However, it came out in that thread that some are teaching to look for the silver handle after cutting away instead of before. I can't think of a single advantage to that difference. Anyone else?

I think if you are going to do the two-hands-per-handle method, it is a good idea to look silver before punching the cutaway.

As a heavier guy with a floppier suit, I am also cognizant of moving the material behind the MLW and ensuring the handles are clear to grab.

For myself, I was taught and use the one-hand-per-handle method and I prefer it (and have needed to use it).  It means that I _know_ where the silver is before and after I cut-away.  It also means that when a PC-in-tow cleared and slammed me just as I was putting my hands on my handles... the reserve handle popped clear of its Velcro and I ended up with 2 out... so, there is that...

I would like to offer a few related opinions:
 - whichever method you learn, stick with it... your reactions will be quicker than second guessing
 - when you need a reserve repack, arrange with the rigger to let you pull the reserve _every time_.  There is nothing more reassuring than to KNOW what it feels like before you have to pull it in anger.  (and know that when you do pull it in anger... its generally much easier to pull... something about adrenaline)
 - get a real reserve handle (metal).  Remember you've got to be ready to have a hard pull, in the winter, with heavy gloves, when you're only 1/2 (physically and/or mentally) there because of the sh!t that went down bringing you to this point.  
 - practice them (physically and mentally) multiple times each time you don the rig.  And then practice with your eyes closed (your goggles flipped off during the exit or you visor fogged up), and then practice with one hand (do to the broken arm you experienced in the rush to exit the DC-3 to get into your slot in the big-way attempt) and then practice with the other arm (you know, because your other shoulder sometimes pops out of socket when dealing with a troublesome formation)...

Just my $.02
JW

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interestingly enough, when I first got a three-ring (I started in the days of Capewells, and "graduated" to R-2's when I got my first rig), I practiced one hand on each. Repeatedly.

Then when I had my first cutaway, there were both of my hands on my cutaway, and both of them on the reserve. I guess since I'd trained originally to pull my reserve with both hands once I had a piggyback, it just went that way.

So ever since I've just assumed I'll do it that way, and I haven't disappointed myself, or bounced, yet. I'm one of those chesty women who can't see her reserve handle while arching, but it still just works that way.

Wendy P.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, wmw999 said:

...and I haven't ... bounced, yet.

for which we are all grateful!  Please keep it that way.  (~2000 I met one "young" lady that had a new Javelin with capwells... said she'd had something like 17 cutaways on them and didn't trust herself to reach anywhere new, so she spend extra to get the old stuff she was used to)

For myself, I once told me instructor that between the out-board MLW main ripcord, a barrel chested build, and the over-the-glasses goggles I couldn't (and had never) seen the ripcord handle... he just about freaked...  and now we have students reaching for a BOC handle that they will never see before deployment.  (so, I was just a trend setter??)

But it did start my thinking that one should always know what they feel like without visual confirmation.

JW

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

0