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runandjump

Odd malfunction twice in a row

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So I had a weird situation occur on two jumps today, both exactly the same way. On both jumps, I was part of a 3-way belly group. We broke off and tracked away at 5K, and I deployed at 3.5K. Upon deployment, I saw the canopy snivel for a couple of seconds, and then I was sent into a sharp right turn that resulted in 7-8 line twists on the first jump and 5-6 on the second jump. The canopy was at maybe a 35-40 degree angle from normal, and I was seriously ready to cut away. However, I eventually managed to kick out of the line twists. After kicking out of the line twists, I looked up and noticed that I had a right end cell closure, which I fixed by pumping the brakes. After I dealt with the above, I was around 1,500 feet and landed without incident.

I'm not sure why the above occurred, and two times in a row. I pack for myself and have never had this happen. In fact, I was extra careful packing on the second jump since I wanted to avoid any potential packing errors that may have caused the first incident.

I guess I was hoping I might get some input from the DZ.com crowd, either explanations or advice. Thanks in advance!

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runandjump

So I had a weird situation occur on two jumps today, both exactly the same way. On both jumps, I was part of a 3-way belly group. We broke off and tracked away at 5K, and I deployed at 3.5K. Upon deployment, I saw the canopy snivel for a couple of seconds, and then I was sent into a sharp right turn that resulted in 7-8 line twists on the first jump and 5-6 on the second jump. The canopy was at maybe a 35-40 degree angle from normal, and I was seriously ready to cut away. However, I eventually managed to kick out of the line twists. After kicking out of the line twists, I looked up and noticed that I had a right end cell closure, which I fixed by pumping the brakes. After I dealt with the above, I was around 1,500 feet and landed without incident.

I'm not sure why the above occurred, and two times in a row. I pack for myself and have never had this happen. In fact, I was extra careful packing on the second jump since I wanted to avoid any potential packing errors that may have caused the first incident.

I guess I was hoping I might get some input from the DZ.com crowd, either explanations or advice. Thanks in advance!



1,500 is really low for not having a canopy you know you can land. Was that the first time you looked at your alti during all of this? Do you know when you came out of the line twists?
You stop breathing for a few minutes and everyone jumps to conclusions.

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You could rule out everything except body position with a rental rig. Rent a rig you didn't pack, jump it, see if it happens again. If it does, there's your answer. You were tracking when you had that problem, so maybe do a bit of that before deploying.

If it doesn't, you've more testing to do. I'd start with a quick canopy inspection to verify there's not a physical cause with your canopy, and then have a packer watch you pack to see if there's something you're doing that might cause that.

Also, review your hard deck. It's difficult to remain altitude aware through deployment, especially when you're in a malfunction. You have a bad canopy over your head. Do you have the altitude to mess with it? If you deployed at 3500, you must have burned a lot of altitude resolving the malfunction. At what point would you have thrown in the towel and cut away if you weren't able to resolve it? Would you still have had room between you and the ground to safely do that?
I'm trying to teach myself how to set things on fire with my mind. Hey... is it hot in here?

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check your stow bands! are they the same type and size on both sides of the deployment bag? are you double-stowing some or all of the lines? Are the stows even?

when I get line twist on opening, that's the first place I look. I do not double-stow any lines. I do prefer tube stows as they always have even tension and seldom break.

Review your emergency procedures! Know where your hard deck is and stick to it. From deployment to land-able canopy, 2000' is far too long!

You had a low speed malfunction that you cleared, had it been a smaller, higher performance canopy, you may have died!

My personal hard deck is a factor of time - from the time I release my pilotchute, the canopy has 3 seconds to open; spinning with line twist - cutaway, bag lock - gone in 2 seconds.

Time is NOT your friend when you have a mal!

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This sounds to me like a tension knot on the right side. The 4 brake lines coming off the trailing edge tend to get spun and twisted after a few jumps. (Some more so then others). Left unchecked it causes the knotted up side to get shortlined and your symptoms happen. Few pumps has fixed the few I had, but of course you cant do that with line twists. I had this happen a few times on my new canopy

Since then I'm in the habbit of checking every pack job, and walking my brake lines every 3-4. Since getting religious about it ive had no more of those type openings on my Trialthlon 160.

Pro Tip from a friend: Look up under canopy once in clear air and if you see twists, deal with them in flight. Under load they untwist easy.

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Thanks for the replies. To answer a few questions, I admit that I was preoccupied dealing with the situation and did not look at my altimeter until I had resolved the problem. Had I pulled lower or been on a smaller canopy as julius suggested, I could have been in real trouble.

As to how I stow my lines, I single stow the locking stows and double stow the rest of the way (this is how I was taught). I've been doing this since I started packing on my own and have never had problems before yesterday (this is a rental rig, but I have a semi-stowless bag for my own gear, which should be ready to jump in a few weeks). I've been jumping the same rig and canopy for over 1 month and haven't had any problems prior to yesterday.

The tension knot theory suggested by ronkhensley seems plausible, but interested in other theories as well...

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When's the last time you un-twisted the brake lines?

More importantly: revisit your emergency procedures. Your actions are much more important than "what is this malfunction".

At what point do you plan to stop fighting a mal and go to reserve? How do you make that happen? Counting, checking altimeter, 2 tries 2 seconds, whatever tools you want to use...

If your plan was 'fight a malfunction until 1500 ft', consider you need more altitude to safely stop fighting, cut away, deploy reserve, and have an inflated reserve over your head to navigate to an acceptable landing area.

If you did not have a plan to save your life in the event of a malfunction, consider that you should make one.

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There has been a continuous debate about double wrapping line stows and I suspect it will never end.

Since our lines have been getting smaller over the past 20 years, most of us have come to the conclusion that using larger bands and double wrapping all the stows - works best. I personally have been double wrapping all my line stows including the locking stows for more than 15 years.

For some additional education on why - take a look at this video by Performance Designs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Nsca5add8g&index=5&list=PL45E3B7998E49283E

And to help your canopy open on heading without line twists, stop looking up during the deployment process. The next episode of Jump Twenty Six pod cast will address this very subject in a couple of weeks. Look for it.

https://www.facebook.com/jumptwentysix
Be the canopy pilot you want that other guy to be.

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