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Raising minimum deployment altitude

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I've heard from a few people that there may be a change in minimum deployment altitides. Changing things up to 3000'

what are your thoughts on this?

Myself, I think it is a good idea. I am mostly a bigway jumper where specified deployments are sometimes around sub 2500'

with the canopy I jump, should I have any type of malfunction this could easily put me at sub 1500' before I have to make a decision.

I agree that minimum deployment altitudes should be raised to 3000'

The extra seconds to deal with shit could save lives.
Have you seen my pants?
it"s a rough life, Livin' the dream
>:)

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Not every canopy is compatible with every discipline or position. If you jump bigways, you need a canopy that opens straight, and preferably reasonably quickly. I've managed to get a Diablo to open (fairly) consistenly straight and in under 500' for about 1000 jumps. It's possible.

I'm from the old days, and so my thoughts are colored by the fact that I don't really get scared by the ground until I"m below 2000'. I never got into a low pull contest or anything, even in those days.

Raising the opening altitude to 3000' to me, at least, is a "waste" of valuable freefall time. Not of the jump itself, but of tracking time at the bottom.

Wendy P.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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On the few bigways (100+ jumpers) I have seen there was always that one fucker that opened below 2000 kinda made me cringe a little bit watching from the ground. Atleast at the DZ I go too I know a lot of the big ways are done from 18k, would it be that big of an issue to raise exit altitude to 18,500 to get those few extra seconds of free fall time?

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Atleast at the DZ I go too I know a lot of the big ways are done from 18k, would it be that big of an issue to raise exit altitude to 18,500 to get those few extra seconds of free fall time?



Depending on ATC and airspace restrictions, then yes, it may be a federal case for that extra 500'.

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I agree that minimum deployment altitudes should be raised to 3000'

The extra seconds to deal with shit could save lives.



I disagree. This feels like a knee-jerk reaction to the recent fatality in Perris. Given how much we don't know about why it happened, there would seem to be more argument in favour of an RSL than for higher deployment altitudes. While I personally do jump with a skyhook RSL, I wouldn't be in favour of making them mandatory and I don't think there would be that many bigway skydivers who would.

In my experience, most dirty low deployments on bigways happen due to traffic issues during break off. Extra altitude may help with that, but it also may not.

To the comment about going to higher altitude - aside from regulatory issues that may preclude the use of higher airspace, that also brings with it different risks. For 100-ways being done from 16.5k, it's probably not too big of a deal to go up to 17k in terms of hypoxia risk. For larger formations done from higher altitudes, such as 18/19/20k, the hypoxia risks start becoming more important. A mildly hypoxic skydiver who's off their game as a result and funnels the formation can put lives at risk.

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I've heard from a few people that there may be a change in minimum deployment altitides. Changing things up to 3000'



USPA? Who?

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what are your thoughts on this?



Not a bad idea if everyone had a slow opening canopy, but there are plenty of people that have canopies that open quickly, and also do clear and pulls. They could be open in a couple hundred feet. It might keep them from doing that accuracy jump on a low ceiling day.

I think the preferred thing is to get people to use good judgment about what altitude to pull depending on the conditions.

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This feels like a knee-jerk reaction to the recent fatality in Perris.



You think? ;)

And I think the people suggesting it should take a deep breath and re-read the entire incident thread, especially the post from someone who was on the jump, and reported that jumpers were told to open just below 3k. It's not like the jumpers were told to suck it low, like in the old days (and by old days, I mean a couple years ago only)
Remster

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I know that Bill Booth is an advocate for this so that the AAD's can be programed to fire at 1100-1200 agl. He suggests the extra time is needed in case of a reserve pilot chute delay. I was told a 1 second delay could mean the difference between life or death.

One problem I see is all instructional deployment altitudes will have to be raised so instructors do not bust the deck. That will take valuable ff time away from students. Now instructors are requirred to have a student open by 3500. Small cesna DZ's will not be happy about it.

Like all other knee jerk reactions maybe we need to step back and really see what the issue is. Maybe put it out to the membership to get a better feel. Once we go down that road it will be hard to travel back.

If you think of any AFF evaluation course; the instructors to be are tracking away by 3400 or so feet and deploying right around the 2000 hard deck. I do not like being down there anymore than most but the time may come when you have to. It would be hard to have a BSR that had exceptions to it.

Keep in mind if you choose to deploy higher you can absolutely do that. Most skydivers I know do indeed deploy between 3-3500, myself included.

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And I think the people suggesting it should take a deep breath and re-read the entire incident thread, especially the post from someone who was on the jump, and reported that jumpers were told to open just below 3k. It's not like the jumpers were told to suck it low, like in the old days (and by old days, I mean a couple years ago only)



In addition, both P3 and World Team have been working on improvements to break off procedures for bigways to try to reduce the problem of traffic around deployment, which should further mitigate the need or motivation for the low deployments that do happen.

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what are your thoughts on this?



You are free to do anything you want.

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I am mostly a bigway jumper where specified deployments are sometimes around sub 2500'

with the canopy I jump, should I have any type of malfunction this could easily put me at sub 1500' before I have to make a decision.



1. Get a different canopy
2. Don't go on jumps that they require you to pull below your comfort zone.

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The extra seconds to deal with shit could save lives.



Mandatory hanging harness drills every day would save lives as well.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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I've heard from a few people that there may be a change in minimum deployment altitides. Changing things up to 3000'

what are your thoughts on this?



Sucks for BASE. ;)

For skydiving it sounds like a great idea. Higher pull altitude could also have positive effects on canopy collisions in the pattern as the greater altitude would also cause greater separation between the fast, "sinky" canopies and the slower, floatier ones.

To me, sacrificing a bit of freefall time for a bunch of extra safety sounds like a great trade-off.
"The ground does not care who you are. It will always be tougher than the human behind the controls."

~ CanuckInUSA

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Jumping an appropriate canopy for the situation is a better idea.


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Myself, I think it is a good idea. I am mostly a bigway jumper where specified deployments are sometimes around sub 2500'

with the canopy I jump, should I have any type of malfunction this could easily put me at sub 1500' before I have to make a decision.

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Jumping an appropriate canopy for the situation is a better idea.


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Myself, I think it is a good idea. I am mostly a bigway jumper where specified deployments are sometimes around sub 2500'

with the canopy I jump, should I have any type of malfunction this could easily put me at sub 1500' before I have to make a decision.



Ding Ding Ding!

Why should an organization make new regulation holding all its members to certain standards just because some people need someone to hold their hand? You ALWAYS have a choice.
"If this post needs to be moderated I would prefer it to be completly removed and not edited and butchered into a disney movie" - DorkZone Hero

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what are your thoughts on this?



I find it interesting how the dynamics of the sport are changing. I jumped at a high altitude dz with a lousy plane. We were generally lucky to get 8k AGL for ALL jumps. Now that is just about the time to start thinking about ending the skydive.

I think there are a couple of issues and minimum deployment is more of a symptom than a cause.

Firstly there is a trend towards skydivers high performance canopies. Higher speed parachutes bring a whole bunch of problems that don't exist on a T-10 so separation at break-off, landing patterns etc are all more important. The very fact that the most prevalent form of training is AFF shows where the focus lies in terms of training. I'm not sure what the answer is but I strongly suspect that much more attention needs to be given to canopy flight than is currently the case.

My point is if you are going to go to the trouble of changing the minimum deployment altitude, then you should be looking to the root of what is causing deaths.
Experienced jumper - someone who has made mistakes more often than I have and lived.

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My point is if you are going to go to the trouble of changing the minimum deployment altitude, then you should be looking to the root of what is causing deaths.



To the best of my knowledge this is not being considered by the BOD. I have heard concerns similar to this thread but nothing officially.

On the other hand, I know we are currently addressing canopy education and looking at every incident closely to see if we can do anything better in the way of education.
I know that we are currently discussing requirring a canopy proficiency card to obtain a B license. This is just being discussed and nothing is set in stone. I think membership input on that topic is critical.

I am opposed to any knee jerk reaction to any one incident without a full debrief and fact gathering mission. Just my thoughts.

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A noob here, but I did watch the video where Bill Booth explained why he was making that suggestion (so I'm just contributing what I think are facts): He was stating this change as a way to cut down on the number of incidents (not many but there are some) where an AAD fires, but the jumper still did not get a survivable canopy out in time.

Either due to pilot chute hesitation or other very slow opening (and I suppose in some cases perhaps the AAD a bit off in its estimate of what the altitude actually was). So by backing up minimum deployment altitude 500 ft, the AAD can then be programed to fire at 1100 to 1200, giving an extra safety margin for those situations where the AAD comes into play. (And even if extra time was not needed to deploy, the other benefit would be more time for those under a AAD fired reserved to find a safer landing spot.)

In that video, he also expressed his personal discomfort deploying as low as 3,000 ft, but it is clear that that is not the reason for his suggestion. Anyone is free to deploy higher as their comfort level permits. But he notes that the AAD firing level can only be changed safely if the minimum deployment level is increased, or else there would be a big increase in "2 out" incidents.

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I've heard from a few people that there may be a change in minimum deployment altitides. Changing things up to 3000'

what are your thoughts on this?

Myself, I think it is a good idea. I am mostly a bigway jumper where specified deployments are sometimes around sub 2500'

with the canopy I jump, should I have any type of malfunction this could easily put me at sub 1500' before I have to make a decision.


I agree that minimum deployment altitudes should be raised to 3000'

The extra seconds to deal with shit could save lives.




You should jump a different canopy when doing big way and let everyone else worry about themselves.

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I know that Bill Booth is an advocate for this so that the AAD's can be programed to fire at 1100-1200 agl. He suggests the extra time is needed in case of a reserve pilot chute delay. I was told a 1 second delay could mean the difference between life or death.

One problem I see is all instructional deployment altitudes will have to be raised so instructors do not bust the deck. That will take valuable ff time away from students. Now instructors are requirred to have a student open by 3500. Small cesna DZ's will not be happy about it.

Like all other knee jerk reactions maybe we need to step back and really see what the issue is. Maybe put it out to the membership to get a better feel. Once we go down that road it will be hard to travel back.

If you think of any AFF evaluation course; the instructors to be are tracking away by 3400 or so feet and deploying right around the 2000 hard deck. I do not like being down there anymore than most but the time may come when you have to. It would be hard to have a BSR that had exceptions to it.

Keep in mind if you choose to deploy higher you can absolutely do that. Most skydivers I know do indeed deploy between 3-3500, myself included.




Yup.

Keeping in mind that 70% of last years fatalities were under open and flying canopies, I don't see a need for extra free-fall regulation and the implementation of dreaded altitude police.










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

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You should jump a different canopy when doing big way and let everyone else worry about themselves.



Definitely!

I believe that at every bigway event I've been to at Perris Valley, somewhere in the initial briefings Dan BC has made a comment along the lines of:
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If your canopy takes a thousand feet to open, Square 1 is right there.



I know a lot of skydivers who jump different canopies at bigway events than they do when jumping in smaller groups at home. This is precisely because of their opening characteristics. If you're uncomfortable with your canopy's opening under bigway conditions, perhaps you should be joining this group.

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I agree that minimum deployment altitudes should be raised to 3000'



Here's a radical idea: How about letting everyone determine for themself what their appropriate pull altitude at or above the existing 2,000' level should be, based upon their own personal experience and canopy opening characteristics.

There should be no one-size-fits-all limit other than what we've already got.

If you want to open at 3k, do it. But don't make it against the rules for me to open at 2.5k.

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Why should an organization make new regulation holding all its members to certain standards just because some people need someone to hold their hand? You ALWAYS have a choice.



Yeah, it's funny that way.

When I moved to my last canopy and my opening sequence took longer, I just CHOSE to open higher. Silly me.

I had NO IDEA I was supposed to wait for USPA to tell me to.

Is my face RED.

...
Driving is a one dimensional activity - a monkey can do it - being proud of your driving abilities is like being proud of being able to put on pants

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