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Ron

USPA BOD... Nothing more than a mouth piece for manufacturers

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Ron

***In other words, the USPA and PIA have collaborated to increase safety margins and reduce liability industry wide. Wether we like it or not.

Sorry bro. Not seeing the big conspiracy here.



The USPA is acting to reduce *manufacturer liability*.... The USPA is not the PIA. That is a conspiracy, even if you don't want to see it

So these proposed changes to AAD firing heights have come about because of experience - we've got data that shows 750ft is still too risky? I just want to check that assumption?

If so, what's the other side of the coin? That the AAD manufacturers raise their lower limit to 1000ft to increase the safety margin and trust skydivers to alter their behavior appropriately and risk the increased liability if they don't?

I tell you what - I wouldn't do that if I owned a company. Would you? Why would I assume all the risk when I was trying to make equipment safer based on increased understanding of how it's being used in practice.

and even if they DID that, then got sued out of existence or started having multiple misfires that ruins their reputations because of people who DON'T alter their behavior voluntarily, how does that help our sport any? Awesome. Now we go from 2 AAD options to 1, or none...

It's not a case of not seeing collusion. I sort of do. I just don't see it as collusion to just benefit AAD manufacturers or reps.

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faulknerwn



To me this is the real problem and the bumping up of AAD firing altitudes is trying to get around that many of the modern tight systems wouldn't pass a TSO test. I mean - how many years ago did many of these manufacturers do the TSO testing on their rigs? I bet most are anywhere from 20-30 years ago ( or more!) when rigs were very different.



This is a really good point.

Is a TSO good for the life of a container? Is there no need to renew it ever?

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faulknerwn

But how many people going in pulled at 2k? I know that most of the reports I've read of people going in with partial reserves had people pulling much higher than that but just taking too long on procedures. I don't think this will do much because young jumpers all seem to be terrified below 3k, and the old farts are going to do whatever anyway. It very well may stop demos from occurring however.

The real problem is that these modern tiny tight containers aren't getting a reserve out in 300 feet like they are supposed to.

To me this is the real problem and the bumping up of AAD firing altitudes is trying to get around that many of the modern tight systems wouldn't pass a TSO test. I mean - how many years ago did many of these manufacturers do the TSO testing on their rigs? I bet most are anywhere from 20-30 years ago ( or more!) when rigs were very different.



I guess what they're trying to achieve is if people take too long on procedures, the aad can fire higher, which MAY allow it open the reserve before they bounce. But the only way to get the aad set higher is if the manufacturers are assured that people are deploying their mains high enuf that they will have no more liability after changing the activiation altitude.

I still disagree with making EVERYONE comply with a rule that only some might benefit from.
If some old guy can do it then obviously it can't be very extreme. Otherwise he'd already be dead.
Bruce McConkey 'I thought we were gonna die, and I couldn't think of anyone

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skypuppy

***But how many people going in pulled at 2k? I know that most of the reports I've read of people going in with partial reserves had people pulling much higher than that but just taking too long on procedures. I don't think this will do much because young jumpers all seem to be terrified below 3k, and the old farts are going to do whatever anyway. It very well may stop demos from occurring however.

The real problem is that these modern tiny tight containers aren't getting a reserve out in 300 feet like they are supposed to.

To me this is the real problem and the bumping up of AAD firing altitudes is trying to get around that many of the modern tight systems wouldn't pass a TSO test. I mean - how many years ago did many of these manufacturers do the TSO testing on their rigs? I bet most are anywhere from 20-30 years ago ( or more!) when rigs were very different.



I guess what they're trying to achieve is if people take too long on procedures, the aad can fire higher, which MAY allow it open the reserve before they bounce. But the only way to get the aad set higher is if the manufacturers are assured that people are deploying their mains high enuf that they will have no more liability after changing the activiation altitude.

I still disagree with making EVERYONE comply with a rule that only some might benefit from.

Seems like all (at least most) the issues with the rigs not opening in time is with the main still in the container. It is the deployment procedures, not fighting a malfunctioning main down low, that is to blame for those.

Changing the firing altitude will not help with people who fight their malfunctioning main down low. They still have to reach firing speed after cutaway before the AAD will fire.

The risk of having the AAD set higher is more two outs. Two outs are a pretty big crap shoot too. Frankly I know of quite a few two outs. None were from planned altitude deployments below 2500, they were all from losing altitude awareness--all planned to deploy by 3000. I don't think raising the deployment altitude will change that.
"What if there were no hypothetical questions?"

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quade

I'm curious if any suggestion has been made for stronger penalties against unintentional / loss of altitude awareness AAD fires?

Isn't that really the issue?



I'm curious of the number of reserves that had their loops cut at or near terminal speeds that the reserve didn't fully deploy prior to impact.

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quade

I'm curious if any suggestion has been made for stronger penalties against unintentional / loss of altitude awareness AAD fires?

Isn't that really the issue?



That is a great question.... I'd bet the answer is no.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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If so, what's the other side of the coin? That the AAD manufacturers raise their lower limit to 1000ft to increase the safety margin and trust skydivers to alter their behavior appropriately and risk the increased liability if they don't?



It is not the job of the USPA to reduce manufacturer liability.

Back before the manufacturers started making super tight reserve pack trays with multiple flaps.... This was not an issue.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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This is what people seem to be ignoring when they bitch about higher pull altitudes. I don't think it's incorrect to say that every single jumper who went in with a partially deployed reserve will still be alive today if they had another 500 ft.



And your point would be valid if all if those people pulled their main at 2k. But you and I both know that is not true.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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The problem is not Main Canopy opening altitude. The problem is gear made for Marketing Fashion not Function. Lots of flaps covering a reserve container that’s too tight and restricts the reserve no matter when the AAD fires.

We have incidents where the tight cool looking (Gucci Gear) container kept the reserve from opening before impact. Test results from SSK showed the AAD's fired at 750 Feet every time, plenty of room for a reserve to open.

Right here on Dropzone dot com there was a video of a jumper with a Reserve Pilot chute in tow, he reached back and pulled his reserve out.

Pay Attention! :S
I Jumped with the guys who invented Skydiving.

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The stu was deployed around 2200 or so. I knew where I was and wanted a little more separation before deploying. 1500 was and still is my hard deck for student emergencies. For fun jumps, I have no friends under 2K. I'll have to rethink it if the AAD minimums go up.
The brave may not live forever, but the timid never live at all.

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And your point would be valid if all if those people pulled their main at 2k. But you and I both know that is not true.



Of course it's not, but none of them were scared enough high enough to make a difference. If you bump up the min. pull altitude, suddenly 2.5k becomes 'low' and 2k becomes an emergency.

It's nothing more than a learned behavior. New jumpers will believe anything you tell them. You could tell them that 1500ft is a good pull altitude, and if they don't have an AAD or snively canopy, a good number of them could get away pulling at that altitude for many years. If you compare their impression of being in frefall at, say, 1600ft, to the impression of a jumper who was taught that 2k is the lowest they should ever pull, you would see that one of them would simply be doing 'business as usual' and the other would be in a panic for being so 'low'.

Like I said, this may not make much of a difference today, but in time it will become the new 'normal', and in a few years jumpers will start to see their definition of 'low' start to change, and also when they feel like it's time to react to a problem. The physical act of getting people to pull at 2.5k (or higher) is one thing, but the shift in the psychological impression of what is 'low' is another, and in this case I think it's the more important.

Again, people continue to mention that 2k has been working for decades, but ignoring the changes to the gear that has taken place during those same decades.

Where I learned to jump, when it was really low skies, we got out the T-10 and did static line jumps from 1000ft (or less). Good fun when we couldn't be jumping our 'modern' rigs with square canopies. Was it dangerous to do so? Not really because those rigs were designed to be operated from those altitudes, so that was 'safe'.

A rig from the 80's might have also been 'safe' to ride down to 2k on every jump. Much bigger canopies that opened faster, malfunctioned slower, and were generally easier to handle. The containers were nowhere near as tight, and the reserves were also much bigger.

Rigs today are different. Not bad, not wrong, just different and require a different set of operating parameters. If you want to fly a fast, small canopy, and you want it in a rig that will be 100% secure in any freefall scenario at any speed you can achieve, you need to account for that. It's not a 1980 rig, so don't try to operate it like one.

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>I'm curious if any suggestion has been made for stronger penalties against
>unintentional / loss of altitude awareness AAD fires?

What "stronger penalties?" The BSR's are largely unenforced as it is. When has the violation of a BSR ever been enforced against a jumper by the USPA itself?

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Of course it's not, but none of them were scared enough high enough to make a difference. If you bump up the min. pull altitude, suddenly 2.5k becomes 'low' and 2k becomes an emergency.



Or someone thinks that they have extra time because they are now higher and now take longer to act.

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Rigs today are different. Not bad, not wrong, just different and require a different set of operating parameters. If you want to fly a fast, small canopy, and you want it in a rig that will be 100% secure in any freefall scenario at any speed you can achieve, you need to account for that. It's not a 1980 rig, so don't try to operate it like one.



Then the jumper would adjust for THEIR gear. It is abut educating jumpers.

Besides, you seem to have missed the point of this thread.... It is not the rule itself, but how the USPA BOD seems to be serving the manufacturers and not the jumpers more and more.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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The USPA has banished a few jumpers to the sin bin in the past.
IIRC, the late Pat McGowan was given a game misconduct and had to sit out half a season many moons ago.



Key words, "many moons ago."

I'm aware of two wingsuits in two different regions being taught sub 100 jumps in the past year. Neither RD wanted to do anything with it.
I suspect this'll be much the same.
That said, I've had a private conversation with BOD members that voted in favor, and I do believe this was a good action *if* it's worded correctly in the final write up, and *if* it's waiverable for those unique situations.
For example, no one could possibly ever take on Mr. Stoke's 642 jumps in 24 hours, Pat Morehead's 80, etc without a waiver allowing 2K openings. Demos and AFF come to mind as well.

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Dave,

I completely agree with your analysis and it makes sense. What I'm interested in though is whether it is the right solution? We know that gear has become slower, and it would seem it has become slower to the point that it no longer complies with the original TSO specifications.

If we don't fix the root cause, the manufacturers will simply continue to drift and the problem will recur in the future won't it?

BTW in Australia the altitude is 1800feet and in many places AAD's are compulsory - just a side point.
Experienced jumper - someone who has made mistakes more often than I have and lived.

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We know that gear has become slower, and it would seem it has become slower to the point that it no longer complies with the original TSO specifications.

If we don't fix the root cause, the manufacturers will simply continue to drift and the problem will recur in the future won't it?



It may or may not, and that's something to consider. However, the fact remains that there is a community full of gear that just makes more sense to open higher than 2k, and that's the current reality that we have to deal with.

Let's say that there was no problem with tight reserve containers, we're still jumping smaller, faster canopies that take longer to open than when the min pull altitude was originally established. We're also jumping smaller reserves, so when you stack all that up and figure on what kind of altitude you need to have mal, cutaway, and get under an open reserve in time to set up for a landing in a clear area, 2k is just cutting very close, much closer than when 2k was chosen as the rule.

Lot's of things in skydiving will change, this is just one of them. I have never heard of an extra 500ft doing anyone any harm, but there are many, many incidents where it appears that an extra 500ft would have made a huge difference in the outcome.

Those who argue that people will just take longer to cutaway are making the assumption that the people who went in with partially inflated reserves were altitude aware. I would argue otherwise, that they were not, because I find it hard to believe that anyone would intentionally wait until they were below 500ft to cutaway. I would suggest that they lost altitude awareness, and were just acting according to their own personal time line. Be it due to slow reactions, improper procedures, or simply lost track of time, I would suggest that they acted based on something other than an awareness of their exact altitude, and that they would have the same reaction and the same time-line to a malfunction that occurred higher.

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Besides, you seem to have missed the point of this thread.... It is not the rule itself, but how the USPA BOD seems to be serving the manufacturers and not the jumpers more and more.



I disagree with that point. I don't see how this doesn't benefit the community.

What's your angle, that the AAD companies want to limit their liability by raising the firing altitude to 1k, and this change will enable that?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but that 'liability' only comes into play in the case of injury or death, so what the USPA has done, according to your theory, is limit the occurrences of injury or death resulting from the use of an AAD, and I can't see how that's a bad thing.

Watch any of the Cypres save videos, and you'll see that there is very little room for error in the successful firing of an AAD. If everything goes according to plan, you're under an open reserve at under 500ft, and that's close.

Factor in the changes to the sport since 750ft was set at the altitude, such as the higher airspeeds of freeflying and smaller reserve canopies that might take more altitude to get control of and pointed toward a safe area, and you're cutting it even closer.

I don't think it's wrong to assume that 750ft was chosen as a compromise between 'reverse engineering' a reserve deployment from the ground up, and 'forward engineering' a high-speed mal from 2k on down. Ideally you want to be open at some point above the ground, and you want a shot at dealing with a high speed mal without an AAD fire.

Last time I checked, you can't make the ground lower, so if the application changes (like the gear and freefall activities) your only option is to go up in order to give more of a buffer to the proper operation of the AAD and reserve/container system. Again, just an assumption, but if the min pull altitude has been 2.5k back in 1991, I feel strongly that they would have chosen a higher firing altitude right off the bat.

While I can see where this change 'may' have some benefit to the manufactures, I can also see how it has benefit to the jumpers, and I don't see how that's a bad thing. What exactly is the harm to the jumpers the BOD inflicted while bowing down the manufacturers? I just don't see it.

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Those who argue that people will just take longer to cutaway are making the assumption that the people who went in with partially inflated reserves were altitude aware. I would argue otherwise, that they were not, because I find it hard to believe that anyone would intentionally wait until they were below 500ft to cutaway. I would suggest that they lost altitude awareness, and were just acting according to their own personal time line. Be it due to slow reactions, improper procedures, or simply lost track of time, I would suggest that they acted based on something other than an awareness of their exact altitude, and that they would have the same reaction and the same time-line to a malfunction that occurred higher.



And if in their mind they have that extra 500 feet, then that will lead them to think they have more time. Thinking you have extra time is one of the major factors in cutting away low. No, no one thinks chopping at 200 feet is a good idea, however 700 feet might be ok (and I have done it).

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What's your angle, that the AAD companies want to limit their liability by raising the firing altitude to 1k, and this change will enable that?



Yep. They wanted something to limit their liability. They stated thy wanted to raise the fire altitude to 1,000 feet but they would not do it till the USPA raised the pull altitude. The USPA acted on the manufactures interest. It was a side benefit to jumpers.

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While I can see where this change 'may' have some benefit to the manufactures, I can also see how it has benefit to the jumpers, and I don't see how that's a bad thing. What exactly is the harm to the jumpers the BOD inflicted while bowing down the manufacturers? I just don't see it.



The reason is the USPA should support the jumpers, not the manufacturers. Another example is the class three medical to do tandems. It is not needed, but the manufacturers wanted the USPA to take over that program, but insisted they would not allow it unless the USPA kept the mandate to get a class 3 medical. The USPA should of told the manufacturers to pound sand. They didn't, they bowed down once again. What benefit to the jumper is a class three medical? The AOPA EAA and even the FAA think flying can be done without them.

The harm is that the BOD is doing the manufacturers bidding as a primary motivation. This makes the USPA nothing more than the PIA2. Where is the organization for the jumpers?
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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I just want to clairify one point here:

Cypresss, because the public wanted and requested adjustable firing altitude's has incorporated this into its' product line.

The Vigil people are still officially mum regarding adjustable firing altitudes. This is not the same as an offset.

Bill Booth, Billy Webbber, Mr Sherman and others have been debating pull altitudes and testing equipment from before most of us were alive! They are the most experienced nuts on the planet as far as actually inducing and living thru emergency procedures, for real! If Booth and others want to raise altitudes it's for a reason.

And if you have meet Bill you are aware he is a mouthpiece for no one!

I would listen carefully to what is on the table and leave the personalities out of this or yo are all free to run for the USPA BOD and join the cluster fuck that passes for meetings and see for yourself the complexities of the issues that the representatives bring to the table. Bill Booth's reach doesn't extend to these meetings....

Trust me, the manufacturers want draconian rules, (some peoples interpertations.) Your USPA is consedeerably more liberal than you are aware of....


The rules are an attempt to increase safety for the majority of divers. The majority....

And I too wish more was done for training, training of any and all sorts...but you should hear the shit storm every time that subject comes up...

Thanks again for the good fight!
C
But what do I know, "I only have one tandem jump."

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