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kcogletree

Trouble in the Sky-van

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So let me step up to the plate and say that I am the one who opened and latched the door. I am an experienced jumper and have operated the Skyvan door many times. An assistant and I lifted the door, I swung the latch the full 90 degrees, then we both shook it up and down to verify its security. We exited as normal. When we landed I was informed (to my surprise) that tree was hit by the falling door. After first checking on his status, I checked in with the DZSO/ S&TA to verify the doors current status and that I had, as I thought I operated it properly. We went out to the Van together before the next load. I demonstrated the procedure that I had used at altitude. He verified that it appeared correct. Contrary to another post, the door did suffer another malfunction that day. (one pin came loose not causing the door to fall but close) I know this because talked to the DZSO/ S&TA at the end of the day. I as the door man felt terrible about any injury
sustained by a fellow sky family member weather by my own negligence or mechanical failure. So setting the story straight from the culprit. flame, criticize, what have you especially ,100 jump wonders who have probably never even been in the van before.

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First I'd like to say "good on you" for coming on here and admitting to being the door operator. It very well may not have been your fault.

Being a load organizer at multiple events every year with Skyvans I have to open and close the doors 40-50 times each year.

I have noticed on several of them that the latches you turn 90 degrees to insert the pins into the holes are getting loose. In fact one this year opened up several times during take off and the door opened up a couple of feet.

We could sit there and watch the latch vibrating as it slowly loosened up and turned itself enough to release the pins.

I spoke to the pilot about it while on the ground and he told me they were aware of it and it was on the schedule to get fixed.

I was nervous about it happening after we latched it open for exit but it never did (on any of our loads at least).

I was very careful about making sure it was in the holes and latched as tight as the latch would allow.

I've also seen on several Skyvans where the holes that accept the pins have been reamed out over the years. I've suggested to the pilots to replace the strike plates and they've always said they would.

If you think you will ever jump a Skyvan, find a person who knows how to open and close the door and ask if he/she will teach you. I've been offering this training for years with few takers.

Pride??

.
Be the canopy pilot you want that other guy to be.

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Those 3 guys must be Larry, Mo and Curley Joe. A van door opens up and all 3 of them were stomping on it. As soon as it hit the slip stream it was gone. What amazes me is that the whole plane load stood there and watched them do it. You can take a 4 hundred pound steel ball and skydivers will figure out a way to break it.

Sparky
My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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Those 3 guys must be Larry, Mo and Curley Joe. A van door opens up and all 3 of them were stomping on it. As soon as it hit the slip stream it was gone. What amazes me is that the whole plane load stood there and watched them do it. You can take a 4 hundred pound steel ball and skydivers will figure out a way to break it.

Sparky



I was not on the load that it happened on but I was on the first load the next day without the door. I have to say that was probably the most memorable take off for me to date. What a rush it was on take off let me tell you, especially when the pilot banked to the left about 80ft off the ground. Here is a pic of myself and two friends sitting on the floor on take off during that first load the next day. :)

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I as the door man felt terrible about any injury
sustained by a fellow sky family member weather by my own negligence or mechanical failure. So setting the story straight from the culprit. flame, criticize, what have you



I don't see any cause for flames or critisizm to head your way. All you did was remove one possible casue with your first-hand story. If you did the job properly, with a full swing of the handle and subsequent wiggle to ensure the pins were seated, then we know it wasn't user error.

It's possible that the door was bumped by someone in your group, or a following group, on exit and the door just happened to drop 10 or 20 seconds later. It's also possible that the pins or mechanism was loose, and was not 'secure' even if you follow the correct door procedure.

The up and down pitching of the aircraft as groups leave can load and unload those pins, and if one of of them was loose, or the handle was bumped, each group that leaves will get the door that much closer to falling.

Thanks for chiming in and setting the record straight (or straighter).

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Those 3 guys must be Larry, Mo and Curley Joe. A van door opens up and all 3 of them were stomping on it. As soon as it hit the slip stream it was gone.



I was more worried about the apparent lack of separation between groups. I'm assuming/ hoping at least that the camera guy and the girl before him had some kind of agreement, although I couldn't figure out what his intention was. Oh, and did anyone else get the impression he had a very firm opening? Wait, wait, waveoff... full canopy!

Regarding the Skyvan door, I'm always amazed by how often it's taken for granted that it'll be operated correctly. Nobody wants to ask on the ground, either on the assumption that someone else will do it or for fear that they'll be volunteering themselves!

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I was not on the load that it happened on but I was on the first load the next day without the door. I have to say that was probably the most memorable take off for me to date. What a rush it was on take off let me tell you, especially when the pilot banked to the left about 80ft off the ground. Here is a pic of myself and two friends sitting on the floor on take off during that first load the next day. :)



Were you guys wearing SPRs or seatbelts?
You are not now, nor will you ever be, good enough to not die in this sport (Sparky)
My Life ROCKS!
How's yours doing?

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is there Any reason why the latching procedure can't Also include a secondary ( back up ) method??? such as a Bungee wrapped securely to keep the door UP... if for some reason the "pin" comes free???

I am guessing that the door stays OPEn for the entire descent and so it would matter little if there are 2 points of connection.....
When the next load boards... if they HAVE to release the pin anyway....to Lower the door.... can't the back up system also be released at THAT time???

yes?? No???

just wonderin'

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is there Any reason why the latching procedure can't Also include a secondary ( back up ) method??? such as a Bungee wrapped securely to keep the door UP... if for some reason the "pin" comes free???



While a back up device is a fine idea, a bungee is not the way. There are currently bungees on the door that prevent it from 'crashing' down when it's released. These bungees are loose enough that the door can be lowered all the way to allow for latching closed, but not so long that the door can reach the closed position without some deliberate downward force from an operator.

A simpler alternative would be a 'catch' for the door handle itself. It's a lever type handle that rotates 90 degress open/closed, and if there was a spring loaded catch that would hold the handle in the 'latched' position, it would prevent accidental release of the pins.

Of course that solution does nothing to prevent the pins or mechanism itself from failing, all it would prevent was accidental release of a properly operating and properly used existing latch mechanism. It is, however, a simpler solution because a true 'back up' system that is sperate from the existing latch would need to be able to support the door fully on it's own, and this is no small job.

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I was not on the load that it happened on but I was on the first load the next day without the door. I have to say that was probably the most memorable take off for me to date. What a rush it was on take off let me tell you, especially when the pilot banked to the left about 80ft off the ground. Here is a pic of myself and two friends sitting on the floor on take off during that first load the next day. :)



Were you guys wearing SPRs or seatbelts?



Seatbelts

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I as the door man felt terrible about any injury
sustained by a fellow sky family member weather by my own negligence or mechanical failure. So setting the story straight from the culprit. flame, criticize, what have you



I don't see any cause for flames or critisizm to head your way...



Really?

When has anybody on here needed cause for flaming or critcizing someone who openly admits that they were part of a situation like this?

Note that I say "part" not "cause" because I agree with you. It sounds like it wasn't his fault.

But c'mon man!!!

It's Dorkzone!!!

;)
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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I as the door man felt terrible about any injury
sustained by a fellow sky family member weather by my own negligence or mechanical failure.



Yo Bro, you know I don't blame you or anyone else and I hope you don't blame yourself. You and me talked about this and I still say it was just one of those freak accidents. Though after hearing from a couple others here, that have seen the door come down, tells me that we (up-jumpers, pilots, dzo's) need to do something to get this problem resolved before someone else gets hurt or worse.
O-kcsmm-aka-'tree
American Warchild

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I as the door man felt terrible about any injury
sustained by a fellow sky family member weather by my own negligence or mechanical failure.



Yo Bro, you know I don't blame you or anyone else and I hope you don't blame yourself. You and me talked about this and I still say it was just one of those freak accidents. Though after hearing from a couple others here, that have seen the door come down, tells me that we (up-jumpers, pilots, dzo's) need to do something to get this problem resolved before someone else gets hurt or worse.



Yep... Sounds like there is an issue with, at least, that door. I know I'll take a closer look at our Van door when we exit.
Remster

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Those 3 guys must be Larry, Mo and Curley Joe. A van door opens up and all 3 of them were stomping on it. As soon as it hit the slip stream it was gone. What amazes me is that the whole plane load stood there and watched them do it. You can take a 4 hundred pound steel ball and skydivers will figure out a way to break it.

Sparky



I was not on the load that it happened on but I was on the first load the next day without the door. I have to say that was probably the most memorable take off for me to date. What a rush it was on take off let me tell you, especially when the pilot banked to the left about 80ft off the ground. Here is a pic of myself and two friends sitting on the floor on take off during that first load the next day. :)



In the early 80’s Perris had one of the first Sky Vans. They always flew it without a door. Jumpers sat on the floor without seatbelts and no carpet on the floor. On takeoff you could hear the assholes slam shut for the packing area.

Sparky
My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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In the early 80’s Perris had one of the first Sky Vans. They always flew it without a door. Jumpers sat on the floor without seatbelts and no carpet on the floor. On takeoff you could hear the assholes slam shut for the packing area.

Sparky



We use to wire the door open on a Van in Nebraska in the early 80s only we put 30 jumpers on board. Yeah stupid - I know.

We came to believe that our assholes slamming shut actually created some suction to the floor and helped keep us from sliding out during rotation.

.
Be the canopy pilot you want that other guy to be.

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In the early 80’s Perris had one of the first Sky Vans. They always flew it without a door. Jumpers sat on the floor without seatbelts and no carpet on the floor. On takeoff you could hear the assholes slam shut for the packing area.

Sparky



It was a glorious thing!B|

On take off, we'd be holding to anything on the plane that was bolted down. I remember that the bottom 12 inches or so would "fold" up. We'd brace our feet on it. The views! :)
None of the planes had doors, except Cessnas.

Seatbelts scared the crap out of me. They just seemed like a snag hazzard on the few planes that had them. No one used them, then.
lisa
WSCR 594
FB 1023
CBDB 9

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In the early 80’s Perris had one of the first Sky Vans. They always flew it without a door. Jumpers sat on the floor without seatbelts and no carpet on the floor. On takeoff you could hear the assholes slam shut for the packing area.

Sparky



We use to wire the door open on a Van in Nebraska in the early 80s only we put 30 jumpers on board. Yeah stupid - I know.

We came to believe that our assholes slamming shut actually created some suction to the floor and helped keep us from sliding out during rotation.

.



Yea, you've been there. ;)

Sparky
My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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In the early 80’s Perris had one of the first Sky Vans. They always flew it without a door. Jumpers sat on the floor without seatbelts and no carpet on the floor. On takeoff you could hear the assholes slam shut for the packing area.

Sparky



We use to wire the door open on a Van in Nebraska in the early 80s only we put 30 jumpers on board. Yeah stupid - I know.

We came to believe that our assholes slamming shut actually created some suction to the floor and helped keep us from sliding out during rotation.

.

I remember that plane. I also remember riding at the back end of the ramp, door open and ramp down, my first boogie, my first turbine ride, wrapped in a sleeping bag, holding on to the seat belt with both hands under the bag (cool jumpers didn't wear seat belt) up to 1500'. And yes, rotation was very intense.
This is the paradox of skydiving. We do something very dangerous, expose ourselves to a totally unnecesary risk, and then spend our time trying to make it safer.

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On the Perris Skyvan they removed the normal metal door and still used it for jumps before the Lexan one was installed, it had seatbelts during a portion of that time, not all of them latched, like the one in the first row by the door on take off while I slid toward the runway.

What a fantastic way to get to altitude hanging your legs in the breeze.

The great Scotty Carbone was summoned to show us how to load the aircraft to avoid stalling and then later in the day teach us how to destroy brain cells and offend woman!

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In the early 80’s Perris had one of the first Sky Vans. They always flew it without a door. Jumpers sat on the floor without seatbelts and no carpet on the floor. On takeoff you could hear the assholes slam shut for the packing area.

Sparky



What does "On takeoff you could hear the assholes slam shut for the packing area." mean? Confused how a plane without a door could be slammed shut in the packing area on takeoff????

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Still waiting on the Skyvan door vs Skydiver video!


Out of respect for the DZO, plane owner and the other people in the video, it is not yet uploaded for public view. Once all parties have had a chance to review it, I plan to post it, for the the good of all jumpers as a educational viewpoint of of how s%!t happens. Meanwhile, anyone can check out my other videos by going to youtube and typing in treefly2...BSBD
B|
O-kcsmm-aka-'tree
American Warchild

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