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Raising Minimum Deployment Altitudes

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It is part of the upcoming agenda ...

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3. SIM Section 2-1 G. Minimum Deployment Altitudes: A request has been made to raise
the C and D license minimum deployment altitude from 2,000 feet AGL to 2,500 feet
AGL.



... and I don't like it. What do others think?
"That looks dangerous." Leopold Stotch

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It is being discussed in the BOD Winter Meeting thread, seems no one is real keen on it as proposed.

Matt



Glad I got done with the AFFIRC before they possibly institute that, I would've been screwed.
"I may be a dirty pirate hooker...but I'm not about to go stand on the corner." iluvtofly
DPH -7, TDS 578, Muff 5153, SCR 14890
I'm an asshole, and I approve this message

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It's not an enforcable rule, unless you force them to hand over a Protrack or Neptune. The difference between 2,500 and 2,000 isn't easily determined by sight



No it's not, but they might be after the secondary effect of making such a rule. Once 2500ft becomes the hard deck for everyone's main deployment, it will work it's way in as the new 'standard'. Eventaully, it will become accpeted as the standard, and people will begin planning jumps around it.

It's not that bad of an idea given the changes to the sport since the 2k rule was instituded. Canopies have shifted toward slower openings, and at the same, become more HP and are flown at higher WLs, making malfunctions that much more violent and/or with a higher descent rate. Both situations make more altitude a good thing.

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It's not an enforcable rule, unless you force them to hand over a Protrack or Neptune. The difference between 2,500 and 2,000 isn't easily determined by sight



No it's not, but they might be after the secondary effect of making such a rule. Once 2500ft becomes the hard deck for everyone's main deployment, it will work it's way in as the new 'standard'. Eventaully, it will become accpeted as the standard, and people will begin planning jumps around it.

It's not that bad of an idea given the changes to the sport since the 2k rule was instituded. Canopies have shifted toward slower openings, and at the same, become more HP and are flown at higher WLs, making malfunctions that much more violent and/or with a higher descent rate. Both situations make more altitude a good thing.



My ditter is set for 3,000 ft AGL so I always plan on opening higher then 2,500 ft AGL. So this wouldn't have any effect on me. Over 90 percent of my jumps in the last 5 years have been team training jumps so I might be a little out of touch with what the average skydiver is doing.

Is there really a problem with skydivers taking it down to 2,000 ft?

Just to add, I think it's a good idea to open higher. But I don't think it's necessary to make it a rule.

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If you can't deal with a mal in 5 seconds what makes you think you can in 10? If you raise the minimum hieght will the AAD hieght also be raised? Will there be an increase of two outs? The basement is also sometimes a safe place and by raising the minimum hieghts you are decresing this 'safety' area. Opening high gives people a false sense of security and can creates traffic issues as far as I am concerned/have seen ...

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IYO, What would the FAR and BSR conflict look like then?

I think one should Educate themselves about the time needed for their canopy to open and plan accordingly, it is far better than regulating each persons particular canopy/weight/density altitude etc.

Matt
An Instructors first concern is student safety.
So, start being safe, first!!!

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If you can't deal with a mal in 5 seconds what makes you think you can in 10?

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Umm.....Experience? ;)

You need to get rid of even a 'possible' problem immediately if you're in the cellar...if you have a bit more air you can let things play out and evaluate better.











~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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The basement is also sometimes a safe place and by raising the minimum hieghts you are decresing this 'safety' area. Opening high gives people a false sense of security and can creates traffic issues as far as I am concerned/have seen ...



You lierally took the words right out of my mouth. I was just beginning to post that remark. Good post.
-Richard-
"You're Holding The Rope And I'm Taking The Fall"

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True, but what I am trying to ask is if there really is a problem?

Are we having lots of people pulling too low? Are they pulling at 2k because that's the minimum? And is it causing any major close calls?



Honestly...I don't see a problem currently. The trend seem to be higher deployments generally overall anyway.

IS there a need to raise the mins?

If the USPA is trying to address the current pack open to canopy flying differences (significantly more than when the rules were written) then this is the way to do it...is there a need for that??

I don't think so...but on the other hand, I also don't think it's a good idea to 'encourage' lower deployments than are seemingly the norm by suggesting it's 'better' for whatever reason.










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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If you can't deal with a mal in 5 seconds what makes you think you can in 10? If you raise the minimum hieght will the AAD hieght also be raised? Will there be an increase of two outs? The basement is also sometimes a safe place and by raising the minimum hieghts you are decresing this 'safety' area. Opening high gives people a false sense of security and can creates traffic issues as far as I am concerned/have seen ...




The "basement" is never a safer place. If you intend to go low you are increasing your risk no matter how you look at it. It might be a trade off between going low and avoiding someone else. But it's definitely an increase in the risk factor. Opening high gives you more time to deal with any potential issues. If you can't deal with the traffic then maybe you should learn some CRW or better canopy control or learn to track better.

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True, but what I am trying to ask is if there really is a problem?

Are we having lots of people pulling too low? Are they pulling at 2k because that's the minimum? And is it causing any major close calls?



The USPA has identified a potential problem with low reserve openings. If the problem is more than statistical noise, it may be caused by low reserve deployment initiation.

A low reserve deployment may be the result of a sniveling main canopy, or AAD firing altitudes set too low for softer-opening reserves. (There have been some suggestions that newer reserves open slower than older ones, not because newer ones don't meet TSO certification requirements, but because older ones opened faster than required.)

Raising deployment altitudes would allow a longer time for emergency procedures and also would allow AAD firing altitudes to be raised.

Of course, raising deployment altitudes would penalize those who are jumping faster-opening canopies and those jumping without AADs. I would prefer the BSR be stated in terms of "planned altitude for canopy functionally open" rather than "pack open."

Mark

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>A low reserve deployment may be the result of a sniveling main canopy, or AAD
>firing altitudes set too low for softer-opening reserves.

Although I have seen incidents caused by AAD fires followed by slow reserve extractions, I have not seen any incidents caused by AAD fires, followed by a normal extraction, followed by a slow reserve opening. Have you?

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Raising the minimum deployement altitude would not directly affect reserve deployment altitude.

Last year I watched a guy do a hop n pop and have a step through malfunction that he rode down to my guestimate of around a 1,000 ft AGL. He then finally cut it away and ended up having his AAD fire his reserve for him. I thought for sure I was watching a fatality.

You can't legislate away stupid.

I don't see low reserve openings as being a result of having a 2k minimum opening altitude.

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It is part of the upcoming agenda ...

Quote

3. SIM Section 2-1 G. Minimum Deployment Altitudes: A request has been made to raise
the C and D license minimum deployment altitude from 2,000 feet AGL to 2,500 feet
AGL.



... and I don't like it. What do others think?



This is what I plan to post on the USPA forum where the BOD agenda was announced....

3. SIM Section 2-1 G. Minimum Deployment Altitudes: A request has been made to raise the C and D license minimum deployment altitude from 2,000 feet AGL to 2,500 feet AGL.

I disagree with this proposal. Container openings of 2,000 feet AGL are no riskier than those at 2,500 feet when performed by appropriately skilled jumpers utilizing appropriate equipment such as faster a opening canopy in a rig not equipped with an AAD. BSR's are supposed to be minimum safe limits, not minimum safe limits for some people under certain conditions. Creating a BSR limiting everyone's practices when only some (even if most) people are effected would blur the lines of BSR's as a concept.

I believe minimum container opening altitudes should be addressed as gear and situation specific, and various scenarios would be better included in the SIM in the "equipment" section as recommendations for various gear configurations and experience levels. A note could be included in the "deployment altitudes" section of the BSR's referencing the more detailed discussion in the equipment recommendations section.
Chuck Akers
D-10855
Houston, TX

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It's not an enforcable rule, unless you force them to hand over a Protrack or Neptune. The difference between 2,500 and 2,000 isn't easily determined by sight.



Generally true but it would be enforceable on low hop-and-pops. Couldn't get out below 2500. I am against it on that basis.
"What if there were no hypothetical questions?"

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I don't see low reserve openings as being a result of having a 2k minimum opening altitude.



I think it's to do with the fact that at the current AAD firing altitude you're only a pilot chute hesitation away from bouncing if you're at terminal speed when it fires. If you wanted to give your reserve a bit more time to open after an AAD fire, you'd need to raise AAD firing altitudes. This puts you at more risk of a two out, unless you raise minimum main deployment altitudes. Obviously raising main deployment altitudes and getting it to be the norm has to come first before modifying the AAD's parameters. This is probably ground work for raising AAD firing altitudes.

It's a good idea that would save lives but it will be unpopular, mostly because the old school skydivers can't deal with change and secondly because in the heat of battle, no one really gives a flying fuck about AAD activation heights. They're more worried about real stuff they can actually see like decent separation from the other people in their group and how big the planet looks, not by theoretical shit like what some gadget buried deep in their rig thinks.

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Although I have seen incidents caused by AAD fires followed by slow reserve extractions, I have not seen any incidents caused by AAD fires, followed by a normal extraction, followed by a slow reserve opening. Have you?



I do not have personal knowledge of such a case. The anecdotes USPA has collected do not seem to have a common thread. Low reserve openings might be statistical noise, or might be a result of smaller containers (since some components don't scale), tighter containers (design issue), rigger error (such as a too-long loop resulting in insufficient pilot chute compression), slower reserve opening (design issue resulting from customer demand for softer openings), or maybe something else.

If there is a problem with delayed openings, then regardless of the origin of the problem, raising altitudes is a defensible response.

Mark

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