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Jeth

Thoughts on training with a suspended harness

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Another post got me thinkng. Actually, I have wondered about this before. My school doesn't use a suspended harness. We learned our EP's in an old harness with an empty container. We just slipped the straps around our legs and shoulders and then did the pulls.

I was thinking that a real cutaway situation will feel a lot different. I'm just wondering how people feel about suspended harnesses? Is that much better to learn on? How does that work, are you hanging from the risers or actuallly belly down like in freefall? Do most people learn on one of those?

It would be nice to feel the procedure on an actual rig. Since I am now the proud owner of my own gear, I will definitely be trying it on my rig. (On the ground before a repack, of course. ;)) But I still think perhaps the school should have a suspended harness for the students to learn in. Your thoughts?
"At 13,000 feet nothing else matters."
PFRX!!!!!
Team Funnel #174, Sunshine kisspass #109
My Jump Site

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I have never been in a hanging harness and was taught EP with a containerless harness. The main thing to remember is LOOK for your handles, as they can move or can be covered by clothing.

FWIW, the one place I have seen that used a hanging harness used one that suspended you by the main risers and when you cut-away let you drop slightly so I guess it had two attachment points. It was seemingly the most realistic method I have seen to date.

When I first got my gear I fired my reserve off since it showed up packed and it was only the second rig I had used with a soft reserve handle. I wanted to make sure that I could pull the handle one handed. It was amazingly easy IMO, but I'm not exactly a small guy.

edit: if you talk to your local rigger he(she) might be inclined to let you fire off someone's (or your own if it's due) so you can feel the pull force required.

Good luck!
NSCR-2376, SCR-15080

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I think a hanging harness is a big plus when learning or practicing EP. The one I have seen and others I built are pretty simple.

The harness is just like a regular harness, but instead of risers hooking to the harness with a harness ring, the risers are part of the harness. I make them 4' long and about 6 to 8" from the harness attach the large ring. About 15/18" inches above that I sew in the 2 riser rings, loop and a tab with a grommet. Then it is just a matter of routing the cable and housing for the cutaway and the reserve ripcord.

When rigged and then pulled, the jumper drops about 8". With someone shaking the shit out them from behind and screaming at them it is a little more realistic.

Sparky
My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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IF you can use one it is a big plus, but not a show stopper.

For tandem instructor training (it is part of the RWS course I attended) or even maybe a high performance pilot doing a few hard cut aways on a hanging harness will allow them to get a "before it happens" idea planned. (for tandems have 2 on the rig and for a high performance canopy twist it up real tight and don't let them out while trying to chop).

I personnaly used a hanging harness and try to teach with one when ever possible, but there are planty of jumpers out there who never have used one and we are no less safer with or with out a hanging harness.

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

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I recently had a friend show up from out of town and dropped off a rig to do just this(thanks Twardo!). I currently have it suspended in my garage via the risers and I use it multiple times a week just for "peace of mind" knowing all well that the "real thing" will be much different and more traumatic.

I had asked the same ? @ the DZ and got a couple "no need to do that" type answers. My buddy said BS and dropped the rig off and it has made a world of difference in my confidence in the gear I use as well as understanding the fundamental mechanics of the whole system.
Anvil Brother #69

Sidelined with a 5mm C5-C6 herniated disk...
Back2Back slammers and 40yr old fat guys don't mix!

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Another low tech option... My DZ has the hanging harness... It worked well... But - every time we showed up for AFF we had to put on a dummy vest with the handles and show the EP NOT hanging before we could jump...

Well, on one day an instructor sneaked up behind me as I was pulling and scared the s*&^ out of me as he grabbed the vest and spun me around... While trying to maintain balance on my feet, completely caught off guard, I still found the handles in the right order... It was then, and only then, that I knew I could do it when I had to... The hanging harness did not give the the confidence because I EXPECTED them to throw me around... Just an example of how thinking out of the box worked good for me.

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we have 3 at our DZ and I really like them for student training... you can put them into line twists and make them kick out, or shake em around as they do the pulls.

plus when they pull the sos handle they cut away about 4 inches... makes a loud bang and really scares em. of course we don't tell them that will happen :)

MB 3528, RB 1182

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Though the use of a "hanging harness" is good for the student, it's not very realist when they are shaking you and YELLING. :S

Cutting away a canopy on a malfunction will not shake you violently, with hard movements back and forth, and there will not be YELLING except maybe in your own head.

Staying calm and knowing how to THINK with a clear mind on EXACTLY what to do, is the best procedure you can do in the case of a canopy malfunction. ;)

Just knowing to LOOK at the handles, remembering to arch before cutting away and pulling them in the correct order is what you want to focus on.

I have my students practice the emergency procedures on the ground before every jump, and make sure they do it correctly, without ANY second thoughts.

I tell my students can/should simulate a cutaway on every jump while under canopy, after they have identified the canopy is good and controlable to land safely.

I always tell my students to be ready for an emergency situation from the time you get on the plane, and to try and make your cutaway emergency procedures the 2nd thing that runs thought your mind after you have thrown your pilot chute on every jump, and be ready for a malfuction on EVERY jump. ;)

Just my .02



Ed
www.WestCoastWingsuits.com
www.PrecisionSkydiving.com

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I recently had a friend show up from out of town and dropped off a rig to do just this (thanks Twardo!) .
I currently have it suspended in my garage via the risers and I use it multiple times a week just for "peace of mind" knowing all well that the "real thing" will be much different and more traumatic.



Quote



Hey Slider...:)
My pleasure to do it...
of course it was YOUR beer!;)

I don't understand the thought process of instructors
that actually discourage the 'hanging harness' drill.

If nothing else it gives the student an idea
of how the gear works,
...and...
as in Slider's and Grandpa's case, showed them
both first hand that in fact the handles 'may not'
be in the same place they were when looking at them on the ground.

Good luck on the next level! B|












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

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handles 'may not'
be in the same place they were when looking at them on the ground.



Exactly! :)
This is why I teach my students to do a simulated cutaway after they open (after making sure the canopy is contrlable and landable) on every jump while under the REAL gear.
Most of the time the student hanging harness is NOT ever close to a student rig. :S


Ed
www.WestCoastWingsuits.com
www.PrecisionSkydiving.com

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This is why I teach my students to do a simulated cutaway after they open (after making sure the canopy is contrlable and landable) on every jump while under the REAL gear.
Most of the time the student hanging harness is NOT ever close to a student rig. :S



I still do this, usually atleast on the first jump of the day.. Those handles are definately NOT in the same place as they are when I do my daily pre-jump practice on the ground [:/]

FGF #???
I miss the sky...
There are 10 types of people in the world... those who understand binary and those who don't.

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Cutting away a canopy on a malfunction will not shake you violently, with hard movements back and forth, and there will not be YELLING except maybe in your own head.

Staying calm and knowing how to THINK with a clear mind on EXACTLY what to do, is the best procedure you can do in the case of a canopy malfunction.



When I did my RAPS it was normal procedure at our centre to shake and shout at the hanging student (one course student would do this to another in the suspended harness), the idea was not to simulate a malfunction but to try and distract the student practicing thier suspended EP's. It teaches you to remain calm & react to the situation correctly DISPITE the distraction a mal. may cause. A similar technique is used in training/preparing people to control stress/fear/panic etc. in other aspects of life. As long as it is constructive & not distructive then it does work.

Suspended harness training can also help to teach the art of kicking twists out. We did not put twists in the system but as it was attached to the bracket via a swivel the student, by performing a 'bicycle kicks', could turn full circle. Try doing that on the ground!

The cutaway could also be rigged to drop the student 2-4 inches on their last practice cutaway.

Quote



I tell my students can/should simulate a cutaway on every jump while under canopy, after they have identified the canopy is good and controlable to land safely.



My thoughts on this are that a student on his/her first few jumps may be quite stressed out and MAY DO the EP rather than just practice it. Is this a good thing to teach? Is it wise to practice a procedure that could result in a perfectly good canopy being chopped by mistake?


Get out, Land on a green bit. If you get the pull somewhere in between it would help.

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Is this a good thing to teach? Is it wise to practice a procedure that could result in a perfectly good canopy being chopped by mistake?



I can tell you in the 11yrs I have been doing AFF, I haven't had a student accidently cutaway a good canopy. ;)


Ed
www.WestCoastWingsuits.com
www.PrecisionSkydiving.com

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Quote

handles 'may not'
be in the same place they were when looking at them on the ground.



Exactly! :)
This is why I teach my students to do a simulated cutaway after they open (after making sure the canopy is contrlable and landable) on every jump while under the REAL gear.
Most of the time the student hanging harness is NOT ever close to a student rig. :S


Ed



The handles are very seldom in the same place under a good main that they will be under a malfunction. The reserve handle will definitely change positions after the cutaway. So simulating a cutaway under those conditions is a far cry from being under and bag lock that is kicking your ass.

If the hanging harness is not even close to the student gear, build one that is. It is fairly simple and will do one important thing, get the student's feet off the ground which makes everything different.

Sparky
My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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The handles are very seldom in the same place under a good main that they will be under a malfunction.



Then you might be putting your student in the wrong size harness. [:/]
The handles will be in a more simulated postion then the cheap hanging harness some DZ's may have unfortunatly.


Quote

The reserve handle will definitely change positions after the cutaway. So simulating a cutaway under those conditions is a far cry from being under and bag lock that is kicking your ass.



This is why I teach to LOOK, grab cutaway handle AND reserve, arch, pull cutaway then pull reserve.

Quote

If the hanging harness is not even close to the student gear, build one that is. It is fairly simple and will do one important thing, get the student's feet off the ground which makes everything different.



After doing AFF for 11 yrs, and speaking with past students of mine that have had to cutaway a main, or have to resort to an emergencey procedure during freefall, they all have told me they never had a second thought nor had any problems finding the handles when needed, but thanks for the advice as to the training method you think is best. :)
Be safe
Ed
www.WestCoastWingsuits.com
www.PrecisionSkydiving.com

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but thanks for the advice as to the training method you think is best.



I am not saying it is the "best". I am not qualified to make that judgment. But like all things, if the harness is built right it can be an effective addition to in training and practicing EP for students and experienced alike.

I used to be involved in a bit of testing and I would always go to the harness to become comfortable with a new test item.
My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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I am not saying it is the "best". I am not qualified to make that judgment. But like all things, if the harness is built right it can be an effective addition to in training and practicing EP for students and experienced alike.

I used to be involved in a bit of testing and I would always go to the harness to become comfortable with a new test item.



That would be awesome if every DZ had a rigger like you, that could build a hanging harness that resembled the student gear they jumped.

Unfortunatly most I have seen don't even come close. [:/]


Be safe
Ed
www.WestCoastWingsuits.com
www.PrecisionSkydiving.com

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I have only seen a single hanging harness, the one I used during my student training, but it requires the user to also be wearing a rig. The hanging harness covers up the real handles with training handles, but does not drop the user on a cutaway (although that would probably take about 20 minutes to modify if they wanted to).

Do most other hanging harnesses work the same way, or is this system somewhat unique?

Thanks,

Mike

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I have only seen a single hanging harness, the one I used during my student training, but it requires the user to also be wearing a rig. The hanging harness covers up the real handles with training handles, but does not drop the user on a cutaway (although that would probably take about 20 minutes to modify if they wanted to).

Do most other hanging harnesses work the same way, or is this system somewhat unique?






Could you post some pics? :)


Ed
www.WestCoastWingsuits.com
www.PrecisionSkydiving.com

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My DZ has a RD-Trainer http://aerostore.com/Shopping/Images/Items//RDtrainer.jpg that works by cliping onto the harnes rings. Its got a velcro handel that you put in place of your cut away handel. Pull it and it lets you drop by about 6 inches. When I tought some FJC's years ago they were using an old student rig that was beat up for the hanging harness drills. I see old junk rigs going for $200 any more on here.
Yesterday is history
And tomorrow is a mystery

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Years ago we had lots of students (okay several) cutaway from good canopies. We spent so much time on emergency procedure they automatically counted to 5 (SL) checked, looked grabbed and pulled (SOS). Just like we had them practice on the ground:P We started making sure the last few pactice run throughs were good canopies. And remided them that they probably would have a GOOD chute.;)
I'm old for my age.
Terry Urban
D-8631
FAA DPRE

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Well I still do wish that my school had one I could try. I agree with the people that say being off your feet is better preparation than just standing there pulling handles. I also like the idea of the shaking/yelling. When we were taught, there was none of that. She just said "ok, go ahead" and we did it. Doing it with some distractions would definitely be good. (Especially if you don't know its coming)

But since I don't have access to one, I will just keep practicing on the ground. I like that suggestion of running thru it under canopy, too. I have never looked at my harness once I'm under canopy, so I don't know if my straps move. I will check next time.

But I think the most important thing I will remember is to LOOK for the handles before going to pull them. Hopefully when the time comes I will keep a cool head and it will go just like I have practiced.

Thanks for the comments everyone. :)
"At 13,000 feet nothing else matters."
PFRX!!!!!
Team Funnel #174, Sunshine kisspass #109
My Jump Site

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Years ago we had lots of students (okay several) cutaway from good canopies.



I have had only 2 cut away a good canopy.
And it wasn't ever because they did the "practice emergency procedures" after they opened.

The first one was because she didn't remember that the slider was supposed to be there, and couldn't push it back up, so she chopped it! :S:D

The second was because I wasn't STILL HANGING ONTO HER after she opened! :D



Be safe
Ed
www.WestCoastWingsuits.com
www.PrecisionSkydiving.com

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>We started making sure the last few pactice run throughs were good canopies.

Yep. One of the most important parts of training (I think) is to make sure that the final runthroughs are of the skydive you WANT to have happen. That's what will be freshest in their minds.

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