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HeatherObscura

backwards canopy?

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So a sticky situation i heard about recently and id like to get some input on how you would handle it..

My buddy was testing out a canopy that he was interested in buying and the dude accidentally connected the canopy on backwards...it opened beautiful, and then he realized the pilot chute was in front of him and he was moving backwards..OOPS..decided to cut away and fly the reserve.

my first question is..would you try to land a backwards canopy and if you were..how would you go about doing it

second question..if you checked out your risers during your gear check wouldn't you be able to tell that it was hooked up backwards??

because if i were in the situation i think i would be hesitant to cut away and i would try to land it but id be afraid to break my neck or something on landing

either way, this has to be the dumbest and most avoidable mistake ive ever heard

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It wouldn't be the first time that happened. I've done it, and landed the canopy after a cross-country. But that was another decade, and a different generation of canopy. (thinking further, and reading others' comments -- that was a .6 loaded canopy on a fairly windy day -- but I did stand it up).

The right answer is probably to cut it away, unless you're very experienced and it's pretty big (i.e. less than 1.1:1)

The second part -- nope, a gear check pre-boarding would not catch the mistake. Unless you write R and L on your risers (I've seen it done), there's no difference from the outside. Yeah, if you know the risers there's the potential of noticing the RSL ring, but I sure wouldn't count on that.

It's really, really not smart to hook up a new canopy without going through the whole pack job. Maybe if you have those pockets that companies use (and manage for you) on the bag. But I'd repack regardless. That's the lesson of experience -- you know, that thing that you get when things didn't go the way you thought you planned :P

Wendy W.
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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my first question is..would you try to land a backwards canopy and if you were..how would you go about doing it



Not at a skydiving wingloading. Might be fun to try under a big accuracy canopy with a beach landing.

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second question..if you checked out your risers during your gear check wouldn't you be able to tell that it was hooked up backwards??



Not if the risers came from a different rig. I have sets of risers where both have an RSL ring, and some rigs have the RSL connection on the other side so just hasving the RSL ring on the right side isn't a guarantee things are setup right.

You also have to worry about twists in the risers which you can't see.

Any time you swap canopies you want to unpack (I chopped one where I just moved over the risers and packed D-bag), use your D-bag, and do a continuity check.

Laying the canopy out on its side (like you were doing a flat pack) and running the outer lines up to the canopy is the most idiot proof. Repeat with the nose pointing left and the nose pointing right.

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because if i were in the situation i think i would be hesitant to cut away and i would try to land it but id be afraid to break my neck or something on landing



.7 pounds per square foot are enough to give you a spiral tibia/fibula fracture, nerve damage, and if you're unlucky (I avoided this one) put your leg bones through your skin. On a straight-in landing going forwards. You don't want to complicate things by flying backwards.

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because if i were in the situation i think i would be hesitant to cut away and i would try to land it but id be afraid to break my neck or something on landing

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When in doubt whip it out.

Even on my 1:1 canopy I wouldn't land it backwards, I can repack a lot faster than I heal. ;)











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

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I chopped the one I had on backwards. And here's how it happened. A rigger removed the bagged canopy and stowed the risers in the bag. I watched him do it. I put the canopy on top of a locker. It sat there for a few days. Once the rig was repacked, I put the bagged canopy back on. Well....it opened very nicely but bass-ackwards. I'm pretty sure the bag was messed with....in that the risers were swapped so when I put the bag down and hooked it up, the risers were on the opposite sides. There were no RSL rings to go by. There was no way I was gonna land it though I gave it a VERY quick "hmmmm, can I?". I did get it on video.
my pics & stuff!

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I heard a story from a guy once about him reconnecting his canopy wrong and finding out it was backwards. He landed it that way but was SO lucky he was okay.

And to this day it terrifies me!!

(Note: I heard this story at a boogie, at night, after a bit of drinking so I'm aware I could have misunderstood it or it could have been played up.)

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there are people who have hooked up and subsequently landed their canopies backwards. But all the ones I have heard of have been done intentionally, by experienced jumpers and with larger canopies.

I would say that unless you planned on landing backwards from the time you got on the plane - don't chance it.

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I've landed one and chopped one... I have tertiary rings on several rigs of mine, and one Saturday summer afternoon a few years back, we hooked up a nice 375 square foot canopy to my tertiary rings and up I went. Well somehow between the time we packed the canopy and when I jumped it, the risers had gotten reversed..

On this jump (I weighed 130) I planned to just spend the afternoon under canopy :-) I had a couple beverages packed, a sandwich and a radio. I hopped out of the plane, deployed and looked up at the backwards canopy. and went huh.. It was 375 square feet after all, so I decided to have a drink (of diet coke of course) while I contemplated this... About 5000 feet I unstowed the toggles and started playing around trying to see if I could land this. The fact that I had to pull a toggle to my ankle to initiate a slow turn made me think I could. Did a nice stand up landing several miles off the dz going backwards.... (Was doing a minor correction into the wind at 30 feet with a toggle at my hip thinking this should kill me on my canopy but man was this thing slow!)

5 years later - to this day I have no explanation of how it happened - one no-wind Friday afternoon I opened to a Triathlon 99 backwards. Landing the 375 backwards was challenging enough that I did not even blink an eye at chopping! No way in hell was I gonna try that!!!

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In the world of CRW, it is very common to switch canopies, adjust rigging, and generally mess with stuff enough that marking the risers (R - L) is a very good idea. It made enough sense to me that marking my freefall canopies was also a good idea. This is a very simple measure that can avoid a very dangerous problem.

Of course, these days there are a lot more folks, with what you might think is a lot of experience, who would have no idea of how to disconnect and re-connect their 3-Rings without the help of a rigger.[:/]

Kevin K.
_____________________________________
Dude, you are so awesome...
Can I be on your ash jump ?

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Id put a 180 twist in my risers, reach down and sacrifice a shoe lace as i tie a super secret knot to hold my risers in the 180 twist and proceed to fly the crap out of it.




So if you we wearin' tevas you would just go in?! :ph34r:










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

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Thats why i always have a pull up cord on my utility belt.

Don't you worry about me old man, i have this thing sussed out :D



Alright there Batman (utility belt:S)

If you can i think most people would chop it if hooked up backwards and learn why.Thing i keep thinking is did he not notice anything strange when he was running up the lines to the slider where the brakelines where ? on packing !

Billy-Sonic Haggis Flickr-Fun


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are there any stories of a backwards canopy and a person trying to get out of their harness and turn around to put their rig on the front of their body and land it that way? I know Ive seen footage of someone climbing out of their harness and hanging from his legstraps then getting back in, so it seemed like someone could have tried it. Sounds like a bad idea to me, but Ive heard of dumber things being done...

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