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rocketscientist

chest strap under canopy?

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> but loosening the chest strap under canopy does make harness inputs
> easier for slight corrections.

Definitely true. You are freer to lean to one direction or the other, and thus weight or unweight one side of the harness. You can do the same thing with your legs, but leaning is easier for many people.

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> but loosening the chest strap under canopy does make harness inputs
> easier for slight corrections.

Definitely true. You are freer to lean to one direction or the other, and thus weight or unweight one side of the harness. You can do the same thing with your legs, but leaning is easier for many people.



I don't lean, per se but lift the opposing leg - I don't loosen the chest strap all the way up, just until it's slightly slack (if that makes any sense).
Mike
I love you, Shannon and Jim.
POPS 9708 , SCR 14706

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All theory and formulas put aside and considering most of us in this discussion actually do what we're talking about I propose this challenge:
On your next jump leave your slider up and your chest strap tight and then report back on the performance of your canopy ride in general. My guess is won't like it.



I conservatively estimate I have 140-150 hours or more under canopy and know quite well the theory, formulas, and canopy flight behavior, in addition to actually doing that which I'm discussing. Ironically perhaps, my slider is up and chest strap tight more often the not. I prefer it that way for reasons I choose not to get into. Just because one thinks something is or isn't happening doesn't make that the case. The lack of understanding of canopy [aero]dynamics doesn't mean it suddenly doesn't apply.

Bob

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Bill,

I definitely won't argue that the benefits (performance wise) are negligible for most pilots.

I do think though that there's another good reason for opening the chest strap and stowing the slider......it makes it MUCH harder to get into unintentional line twists. Of course the obvious answer is don't fly in a manner that will do that, but, case in point: I saw a jumper at Raeford during Danny Page's ash dive get hit by some UGLY turbulence at 1000 feet. Having this chest strap wide, and slider stowed was the few inches of benefit he needed to not get into linetwists (it was VERY close). Given that the jumper was under a velo 96 it could have been very nasty.

Of course, I'm not going to say that everyone is safer with their chest straps loosened and, like you said, the slider MUST be stowed otherwise there is zero benefit to loosening the strap - but I think there may be more pro's than cons.

Just my opinion, but if they can do it safely, why discourage it?

Still it's funny to read this thread today as I just spent the day doing hop and pops and the items discussed here (especially the debate about WHEN to loosen the strap) were on my mind during each descent. I see pro's and con's to both methods, but as the canopies get smaller, loosening the strap first will become more and more necessary IMO. If nothing else, this thread has made me pay extra close attention to my brakes before I loosen my cheststrap that I can be as sure, as possible, that there will be no issues when I release them.

Blues,
Ian
Performance Designs Factory Team

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Feel free to ask Brian about that one



I did.;)

Just to make it clear the suggestion is to check for and be clear of traffic, collapse and then stow the slider, release toggles and perform canopy control check and then finally loosen the chest strap. I can't see where any other way would make sense.[:/]



You're wrong on this one. Chest strap should be loosened BEFORE popping the toggles (for a number of reasons).

Ian



I am bumping this thread up because of the recent incident in Elsinore.
It seems to be apparant that a loose chest strap may have been a significant factor in the death of this skydiver. He loosened the chest strap before popping the toggles.
I have to ask specifically what Ian's response is to his personal suggestions and how it relates to an incident such as this one.

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Feel free to ask Brian about that one



I did.;)

Just to make it clear the suggestion is to check for and be clear of traffic, collapse and then stow the slider, release toggles and perform canopy control check and then finally loosen the chest strap. I can't see where any other way would make sense.[:/]



You're wrong on this one. Chest strap should be loosened BEFORE popping the toggles (for a number of reasons).

Ian



I am bumping this thread up because of the recent incident in Elsinore.
It seems to be apparant that a loose chest strap may have been a significant factor in the death of this skydiver. He loosened the chest strap before popping the toggles.
I have to ask specifically what Ian's response is to his personal suggestions and how it relates to an incident such as this one.



I'm not going to speak for anyone else, but I always loosen my chest strap before I unstow by toggles because I use my hands to loosen the strap.

After I unstow my toggles, my hands stay in them.
I would not want to try to pull my toggles down to my chest and mess around.

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Just out of curiosity, when a chest strap is loosened and the wing therefore flies flatter and more efficiently, could the same effect on the wing not be achieved by certain lines of the canopy being manufactured longer to make the wing flatter?

Think I am missing something as I would imagine a canopy is set up to fly at its most efficient but if the outer lines were lengthened then it would make the wing flatter as would loosening the chest strap.

Bloody physics.

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I asked the same question in a similar thread in the Video forum - but..

why not unstow your toggles before loosening the chest strap? (not to you Bill, it seems clear you loosen the strap with your toggles in hand, as do I)

I've experienced a stuck toggle....I wouldn't want that with a loose harness. It didn't require a chop as I was able to get the toggle out with two hands.
Losers make excuses, Winners make it happen
God is Good
Beer is Great
Swoopers are crazy.

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Feel free to ask Brian about that one



I did.;)

Just to make it clear the suggestion is to check for and be clear of traffic, collapse and then stow the slider, release toggles and perform canopy control check and then finally loosen the chest strap. I can't see where any other way would make sense.[:/]



You're wrong on this one. Chest strap should be loosened BEFORE popping the toggles (for a number of reasons).

Ian



I am bumping this thread up because of the recent incident in Elsinore.
It seems to be apparant that a loose chest strap may have been a significant factor in the death of this skydiver. He loosened the chest strap before popping the toggles.
I have to ask specifically what Ian's response is to his personal suggestions and how it relates to an incident such as this one.



My response hasn't changed.

1) the incident in question is under review - we'll see what comes from it.

2) I have actually altered my procedures slightly. I spend a lot more time inspecting the toggles before releasing them AND I leave enough of my chest strap to grab and re-tighten should I need to.

Do I think it's perfect? Nope, but I think it's better than zipping around on a 79 with toggles in hand trying to undo a chest strap.

The best safety solution is to not release the chest strap at all if it's such a concern.

Blues,
Ian
Performance Designs Factory Team

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I just read the incidents and I see they're pretty much concluded it was due to complications from the harness not being in the usual spot.

Pilot-One, if you have enough time to fly back to the DZ, you have enough time to retighten the chest strap. It IS part of my procedure for a toggle hangup.

Reality is, this sport can kill us, there are no 100% safe solutions. Do what you can, as safely as you can.

Blues,
Ian
Performance Designs Factory Team

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I just read the incidents and I see they're pretty much concluded it was due to complications from the harness not being in the usual spot.

Pilot-One, if you have enough time to fly back to the DZ, you have enough time to retighten the chest strap. It IS part of my procedure for a toggle hangup.

Reality is, this sport can kill us, there are no 100% safe solutions. Do what you can, as safely as you can.

Blues,
Ian



I'm not arguing any of your points. You do it your way and I do it mine.
The reason I do it my way is to help to prevent exactly what seemed to happen with Shindig.
Of course nothing is 100%. Just because you don't find something wrong before you pop the toggles doesn't mean something won't happen later.
If you're going to loosen your chest strap I think it's very important to have retightening your strap as part of your EP's. This is a circumstance that has always remained in the back of my mind. It's not any different now in terms of my procedures but because of this incident it's at the front of mind.
Of course an RSL probably would have saved his life. In this instance however having a camera on his head among other possible personal reasons precluded this option.
We agree about the reality of skydiving: it can kill us without notice.

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I personally collapse & stow my slider, then look at both toggles to make sure the slack lines are not wrapped around anything (and that I dont poke a finger/hand thru the loop) before I pop the brakes. I pull both toggles down to full brakes to make sure that they can actually go that far, then on the way back up I stop at half brakes and grab my harness on eiter side of the chest strap. I then push the harness together to take the tension off the strap, then open the buckle with my left hand as I let the tension back up and the chest strap slides as far open as I allow it to.

I've found no problem thus far doing this without having to look at the strap, and while looking for other traffic and making harness corrections as needed.



When this thread first came up I felt that I was comfortable doing it this way, now in light of the recent incident I really cant see any good reason to *not* do things in this order. That is to say, if you are going to collapse/stow a slider and open a chest strap, I cannot come up with a valid counter-arguement to following this order... I already know that, at least at the time of opening, my canopy can fully flare before the strap gets adjusted. Once I know this, loosening the chest strap in theory will help prevent self-induced linetwists by increasing the distance between risers.


Being pretty new to all this, can anyone critique my method and/or bring somthing to the discussion that I may not have considered?
Good judgement comes from experience, and most of that comes from bad judgement.

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Will it never help with confort? Probably in some cases it would. But again, IMO, its not a factor.

That might be due to you being predominantly a Belly flier. Rel workers typically have a moderately loose strap anyways.
Freefliers tend to have a much tighter chest strap.
When i am freeflying my chest strap is quite tight for flying head down. it is a fair bit more comfortable under canopy when i relax the chest strap open.
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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