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JeffCa

Should reserves (2-parachute system) be mandatory in skydiving?

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I made this thread to divert a conversation away from an incident thread in which a poster is advocating for single-canopy rigs to be allowed for jumping at DZs.

Go for it.

"So many fatalities and injuries are caused by decisions jumpers make before even getting into the aircraft. Skydiving can be safe AND fun at the same time...Honest." - Bill Booth

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Thats an odd question. I personally don't see any reason why a person would want to jump without a reserve. I understand the reasoning behind single parachute systems in BASE, but there is no reason to take one of those up on a plane. Plus without reserves deaths in the sport would spike up dramatically I would imagine with main malfunctions not being that uncommon.

Either way I can't think of a DZO that would allow someone to jump without a reserve. Everywhere I go they want to see your repack card. Never looked up if they were mandatory by the FAA or USPA, but even if they aren't good luck finding a place that will take you up without one.

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I'm surprised more people don't try to take advantage of it because it is technically legal in Canada... but not through the CSPA.

National law doesn't stop it, since some of the typical skydiving rules here are only through the CSPA (or USPA) and not through Transport Canada, our equivalent of the FAA. Same goes for exit and opening altitude rules -- there are no national laws!

Many of us have heard of BASE-gear jumpers exiting from ultralight aircraft, powered and unpowered paragliders, and so on, especially in Europe where it is sometimes legal, while in the USA the FAA are way behind the times in allowing any of that sort of fun.

The problem with Canadian 1-parachute operations is that most jump planes are owned by DZOs who are in the CSPA or USPA and will generally want to avoid the issue.

But one could theoretically rent a jump plane and do BASE rig jumps somewhere interesting. (I have however seen a DZO's rental agreement specify that jumps be done under CSPA rules.)

I'm not hopeful that a DZO would advertise to US and Canadian BASE jumpers to come on up and offer them special rates for 1000' passes over the DZ -- with the DZO designating particular loads to be ones conducted outside of his role as a CSPA dropzone operator.

It would be a little odd, as if a USPA DZ were saying that a particular load were not a USPA load and thus the jumpers were not following USPA rules, only FAA ones.

(Who knows, I could be missing some snag that I don't know about, some interplay between company operations manuals and Transport Canada operating certificates and who knows what, but I don't know of any such thing. )

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Plenty of it happening in Europe, think of HeliBASE, jumping paragliders etc.

I have heard of some people doing balloon jumps and pitching at 300ft with BASE gear on in Europe too.

Does that mean it is a smart idea - no.

I personally have no issue with people doing stupid shit off DZ out of a friends plane etc. The BASE guys are up to that already.

I do not think it is appropriate for normal DZ operations though as the risk is increased and the chance of show boating increases. I think the low pull fans and BASE jumpers would like it but not something you want an AFF getting ideas about

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GAjumper84

Either way I can't think of a DZO that would allow someone to jump without a reserve. Everywhere I go they want to see your repack card. Never looked up if they were mandatory by the FAA or USPA, but even if they aren't good luck finding a place that will take you up without one.


At the risk of your post being a troll, how did you ever get A-license and 108 jumps without ever being told about FAR 105.43?

DZs ask to see your reserve packing data card for some combination of the following reasons:
- FAR 105.43
- Liability if they don't set and follow some reasonable minimum safety standards
- Don't want to scrape your icky remains back off the runway
- Don't want to deal with the paperwork
- Oh, and not wanting to lose any more friends if they can possibly help it

(>o|-<

If you don't believe me, ask me.

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grimmie

Not a problem, if everyone jumps BASE canopies, keeps their gear in tip top shape and leaves the velcro rigs (hey, I still jump one) at home... But we all know that will never happen.



So in other words, the margin for error is now razor-thin, and the equipment is much less forgiving of any problems or anything that isn't perfect. This would be a big pro for 2-canopy rigs.

I'm not familiar with BASE gear. Will anybody argue that a BASE rig is statistically safer than the (incredibly reliable) standard skydiving configuration? If it isn't, then using BASE gear is just more likely to result in the DZO needing to take care of your body and deflect bad publicity.

"So many fatalities and injuries are caused by decisions jumpers make before even getting into the aircraft. Skydiving can be safe AND fun at the same time...Honest." - Bill Booth

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"But we all know that will never happen." The punch line you missed.

However. Single parachute systems are jumped thousands of times per year without incident. BASE jumpers know WAY more about their gear and take WAY better care of it than most newer skydivers. IMHO

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grimmie

Single parachute systems are jumped thousands of times per year without incident.



Thousands? Contrast that to the millions of times a year that standard skydiving configurations are jumped. Do you have the figures on this? If we were jumping BASE rigs, what would the annual fatality rate be, given the number of skydives stays the same?

"So many fatalities and injuries are caused by decisions jumpers make before even getting into the aircraft. Skydiving can be safe AND fun at the same time...Honest." - Bill Booth

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I answered yes to this questions for 2 main reasons.

The first being heliBASE and the second being that the SIM and FAR do not actually say you can't use a single parachute system. It simply doesn't mention it at all. The language used in the SIM is ambiguous. It uses word like "for", "if" and "should". The main reg I'm referencing 5-3D "The FAA requires the harness of a dual parachute assembly to be approved." It doesn't have anything for single harness, single parachute systems. I've looked many times when I was trying to not lose an argument but found nothing. If one of you guys know where there are any regulations for single harness single parachute systems post the link. All of that being said you would still be hard pressed to find a DZO that would let you do it even if there is no regulation for/against it.

P.s. To safe someone the time form making the same mistake I did when trying to dispute my claim I'll use a quick example. From the sim section 5-3C "All skydivers should use a steerable reserve canopy." Is says "should" not that it is required. I will admit the way it is wrote they want to imply that its required but no where does it say it is.

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JWest

I answered yes to this questions for 2 main reasons.

The first being heliBASE and the second being that the SIM and FAR do not actually say you can't use a single parachute system. It simply doesn't mention it at all. The language used in the SIM is ambiguous. It uses word like "for", "if" and "should". The main reg I'm referencing 5-3D "The FAA requires the harness of a dual parachute assembly to be approved." It doesn't have anything for single harness, single parachute systems. I've looked many times when I was trying to not lose an argument but found nothing. If one of you guys know where there are any regulations for single harness single parachute systems post the link. All of that being said you would still be hard pressed to find a DZO that would let you do it even if there is no regulation for/against it.

P.s. To safe someone the time form making the same mistake I did when trying to dispute my claim I'll use a quick example. From the sim section 5-3C "All skydivers should use a steerable reserve canopy." Is says "should" not that it is required. I will admit the way it is wrote they want to imply that its required but no where does it say it is.



The "should" refers to "steerable" not the reserve itself.

Thats how rational people read that bit.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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Its not so much the USPA that has a rule prohibiting it. It's the FAA. They do not allow jumping from any aircraft (plane, balloon, ultralight, chopper) etc.. without the use of a dual container parachute system. If you want to jump a base canopy out of an aircraft just pack it into a dual container without a d-bag. Seen it done, problem solved. Also, as the jumper don't really have anything to lose (besides your life, and maybe your gonads from a snappy opening at terminal) It all comes down to the pilot getting screwed.

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JeffCa

***Single parachute systems are jumped thousands of times per year without incident.



Thousands? Contrast that to the millions of times a year that standard skydiving configurations are jumped. Do you have the figures on this? If we were jumping BASE rigs, what would the annual fatality rate be, given the number of skydives stays the same?

But those millions of skydives has all been done with flat nice ground and no obstacles to hit.
If you want to compare use apples on both sides.
How many landing injuries are there if everything else is equal?
An offheading has nothing to do with the canopies performance to make a soft landing.

I'm not saying I think it's a good idea to jump with only one canopy on a DZ, but BASE canopies are (if packed correct) much more reliable than sky mains in my opinion.
The reason I think it's not a good idea is because I think people will pack faster and faster after each jump because they can't keep up with their friends.
To sum it up, not because of the equipment but because of the human.

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Hi Peter,

Quote

it is technically legal in Canada



It is in the USA also. Every TSO standard REQUIRES that live jumps be made on the equipment being tested. Every TSO standard only says that you 'may' alter the equipment to attach a reserve.

If you are testing a rig for certification, you can jump it as a single parachute system.

Jerry Baumchen

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JeffCa

I'm not familiar with BASE gear. Will anybody argue that a BASE rig is statistically safer than the (incredibly reliable) standard skydiving configuration?



I'll argue that sh*t all day long.

Unless you have a good understanding of BASE gear, and experience with it, your "ahhhhh I need my reserve!" response is simply a knee-jerk reaction supporting what you're already comfortable with.

The vast majority of BASE fatalities don't result from the gear. Same for sky gear. It's the pilot that usually does themselves in, not the plane.
Apex BASE
#1816

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grimmie

Not a problem, if everyone jumps BASE canopies, keeps their gear in tip top shape and leaves the velcro rigs (hey, I still jump one) at home... But we all know that will never happen.



This is about as strong of an endorsement as I can get. A DZO, experienced BASE jumper, and with more sky jumps than the rest of the posters combined.

But hey, the FAA is just as resistant to change as the rest of you. You're in good company, kids! :P
Apex BASE
#1816

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It will never happen. I really would rather fly my Katana on a skyjump than my Mojo. But I'm not jumping the Katana without a reserve. And I really don't think it's that great of an idea for students and newbies, body position and no AAD as such.

The FAA will never buy off on it of course, nor should they ever.

My main point was, there is nothing to fear about jumping a BASE rig. I'm trying to think of a BASE fatality that happened from a hook turn or line twists (without an object strike).

If we really wanted skydiving to be safe, we would all be doing solos, one pass at a time, from 13,000 feet with a minimum pull altitude of 6,000 feet, wearing a seven cell 250 sq ft main, an AAD on the reserve and a belly mount round.:P

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I'm not saying it should be an option right out of AFF. But maybe a rating or something that would allow for someone to choose to jump approved BASE gear would be appropriate.

I don't expect it will ever happen, which is unfortunate. For many of us it would be a much more enjoyable (and safer) experience. I'll always deploy my Sabre 135 at 3500 feet, with a reserve. But if I had the option of flying my Flik down to 800 feet I'd do that all day long, with much less risk of hooking myself in at the end of the jump.

This isn't a real campaign I'm kicking off here. I just get irked when anyone immediately runs to their comfort zone when presented with something unfamiliar (if only to themselves).
Apex BASE
#1816

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