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Freeflysmiley

Low cut-away

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>A slight tangent, but am I right to think that even in a case of high
> altitude cutaway (12,000ft), it is preferable to go for the reserve while
>at sub-terminal fall rate?

Depends on the situation. I think it's almost always a good idea to follow your training and get a reserve over your head as quickly as possible, but it's not as critical to do it immediately if the mal happens just out the door. I don't think there's any additional risk in opening your reserve at 3000 feet instead of 12000 feet, especially when opening it at the higher altitude will result in an off landing in a bad area.

Note that if you _do_ choose to get stable after some sort of high altitude malfunction, some manufacturers (like Jump Shack) advise you to be head-high when opening your reserve to avoid pilot chute hesitations.

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When you are talking about pulling the reserve after a low cutaway, you are already past the right altitude and taking the time to get stable in not such a hot choice. So that leaves "PULL". Don't count, don't look for the ground, don't think about missing your mother, 'PULL".

Sparky



I agree with Sparky on this.

The rational for waiting a few seconds to get stable after cutting away is so that one can avoid inducing a reserve malfunction/entanglement.

The actual risk here is fairly low. Due to various aspects of reserve design, ie: Non-eliptical and free bag, they're pretty forgiving of unstable deployments.

There are proportionately few examples of unstable reserve deployments causing significant problems.

In contrast, there are a disturbing number of fatalities wherein the deceased managed to cut away, but never pulled the reserve or pulled it too late to help.

-Josh
If you have time to panic, you have time to do something more productive. -Me*
*Ron has accused me of plagiarizing this quote. He attributes it to Douglas Adams.

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I agree with Sparky on this.

The rational for waiting a few seconds to get stable after cutting away is so that one can avoid inducing a reserve malfunction/entanglement.

The actual risk here is fairly low. Due to various aspects of reserve design, ie: Non-eliptical and free bag, they're pretty forgiving of unstable deployments.



My post was in reply to a spinning mal. No one can say in what orientation you will be when thrown of a spinning mal. It is therefore posible that if the reserve is deployed immediately that you could induce line twists of worse still get wrapped up in the lines. It is for this reason I suggested that a slight delay (1 or posibly 2 seconds) to get stable (or at least reduce the spinning effect) would help PROVIDED you have the altitude. Bear in mind that your vertical speed could well be below terminal as you would have some canopy above your head. If you do not have the altitude then 'owt is better than nowt' then go silver and ARCH after. I did not suggest a minimum altitude, below which you should not delay, that is up to the individual based on experience and/or advice from instructors.
If you are you advising that after chopping a spinning mal and being flung off in a VERY unstable position above 2k you should go straight for silver regardless' then I personally would prefer not to follow that advice.

I hope that, if ever I am in a 'mal' situation, I react to it in the best way I can to suit the situation.

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In reply to Sparky's post

1. Pull
2. Pull at the right altitude
3. Pull at the right altitude while stable

Maybe you should leave giving advise to the instructors.



I agree to 1, 2 & 3 100%

Regarding the 'advice', the first part was a suggestion, the second part was advise & I don't need to be an instructor to tell people to relax & enjoy it.

In reply to Jimbo. Yes 2500+ jumps does mean something & I do trust the information given to me by instructors with upto 6,000 jumps.

I have read & learned from the advice given by the likes of Billvon, mjosparky & others, most of which confirms or adds to/improves what I was taught and would always recommend that low timers seek the advice of the instructors at their home DZ as the instructor is more able, in a 'face to face' briefing, to assess whether the recipient has fully understood the advise/procedure explained to him/her. That said the amount of information on DZ.com is vast, mostly good and can serve to educate.

PS. I HAVE seen a spinning mal where going for silver immediately after the chop had well over a 50% chance of a serious (potentially fatal) reserve mal. A delay was necessary for safety, luckily he had the altitude & knew it.


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

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PS. I HAVE seen a spinning mal where going for silver immediately after the chop had well over a 50% chance of a serious (potentially fatal) reserve mal. A delay was necessary for safety, luckily he had the altitude & knew it.

How did you arrive at that percentage of likelyhood? I've seen some pretty gnarly reserve pulls that went just fine.

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After the chop he ended up under another jumper and rolling. Track & deploy reserve gave clearance.

He had the altitude to do this, Reserve may not have mal'ed but other jumper so close that he could well have went into reserve.


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

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He's a very lucky skydiver then to have had the altitude after a spinning mal to be aware of others in the air and had time to track, recover and deploy his reserve and not go in.
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That's why I say, there are ocassions when a second or 2 delay MAY be the safest option. It all depends on the circumstances.

I once saw a Cypres save, I was on the ground & I was scared. At that height it's a 'do or die' situation. No time to blink never mind think.


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

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I once saw a Cypres save, I was on the ground & I was scared. At that height it's a 'do or die' situation. No time to blink never mind think.



If it was a true Cypres save, it was to late for the jumper to have any effect in the outcome.
My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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If it was a true Cypres save, it was to late for the jumper to have any effect in the outcome.



It was a true Cypres save, my point was I was scared & I was on the ground not jumping that day. Just seeing it was enough to make me think again about what I would do under a main mal. For that & other reasons deployment height is still 3k. Also reminded me that altitude awareness is very important (not that I needed reminding).


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

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It's an odds game and a skyhook changes the odds, no I wouldn't plan on relying on it but I might chop lower if I knew I had a skyhook.



That's an incredible contradiction you got going there. Sounds to me like you are counting on the skyhook.



Perhaps, poor wording, :( but I could equally say I'd never count on a reserve not entangling a spinning main and be hoist by the same petard. In a bad situation you might find yourself counting on a lot of things you don't want to. I meant I'd never plan on getting in that situation but actually meant it a bit more strongly (i.e. I really wouldn't want to be counting on it) but ultimately I'd rather count on a skyhook than count on a reserve not entangling a main at that kind of altitude.

I think I made my views clear in the body of the post, if you have an alternate view I'd like to hear it. Bottom line you're in a bad place and faced with two unattractive options. So indulge me, overlook my poor choice of words and tell me which would you choose and would you act exactly the same skyhook or not? It seems to me this is one of those situations where the skyhook excells and one reason I would consider it.

What would you bet on, a skyhook working or a reserve not entangling/giving you enough cloth out to save you? The central issue here is would you act exactly as if you don't have a skyhook because of some doctrine that says it might fail when your only other option probably has a greater chance of failure?

These are very personal decisions I understand, I'm just throwing my thoughts out there because someone said this is the wrong approach and it would be interesting to hear it thrashed out in more detail, by more experienced jumpers.

It does seem that the skyhook introduces a low altitude zone with low speed mals where it actually makes sense to rely on it, unlike previous technologies. I'm not saying you don't pull but you are relying on the greater chance of a fast main assisted reserve deployment that changes the altitude at which you'd only pull a reserve for 2 out with no cutaway.

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So indulge me, overlook my poor choice of words and tell me which would you choose and would you act exactly the same, skyhook or not?



I'll chime in here, if that is okay with you! ;)
I don't jump with a skyhook. Nor do I jump an RSL either. Even if I did (with ANY of the options) I think I would react identically, which is to say I would pull cut-away, then pull silver, in as close to one, fluid, muscle-memory ingrained reactionary motion (or set of motions) as possible. The ONLY difference as to having either a more traditional RSL or a skyhook for that matter would be whether it could be argued if either had "beaten me" to the reserve pull (which in either case.... no matter how fast you think you are, it most assuredly WILL)!

The only "argument" I still see going on in here is (and it needs to be SETTLED) is the one with ANY advocation of thinking you have to get stable after ANY sort of low (and what I mean by that is sub 3k AGL) cut-away, and subsequent thinking of HESITATION before making your follow-up/follow-through reserve pull ...which is entirely BUNK! -Do NOT do this, do NOT think this!! The arguments FOR this, are specious (at BEST).

Post #'s 52
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The rational for waiting a few seconds to get stable after cutting away is so that one can avoid inducing a reserve malfunction/entanglement.

The actual risk here is fairly low. Due to various aspects of reserve design, ie: Non-eliptical and free bag, they're pretty forgiving of unstable deployments.

There are proportionately few examples of unstable reserve deployments causing significant problems.

In contrast, there are a disturbing number of fatalities wherein the deceased managed to cut away, but never pulled the reserve or pulled it too late to help.



and #44
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The only time I would ever advise this is if you have a premature opening and a resulting malfunction, say at 12,000 feet.



Say it best. Take the time to RE-READ those, and DIGEST them.

As far as LiveLifeGoJump's observation, and then "conclusion" that his witnessed someone delaying from under a spinning mal chop is the ONLY THING THAT SAVED HIM, is specious as well. That is just a BUNK assertion, and I would submit rather, that jumper probably survived that one in part, DESPITE themselves!!

Multiple tests and HARD EVIDENCE has SHOWN that the likelyhood of a reserve mal, as a result of an IMMEDIATE (or RSL) deployment following chop from even a WILDLY SPINNING/DIVING/TRASHED main is EXTREMELY LOW!! Yet the likelihood of you losing your altitude awareness under such mal is instead EXTREMELY HIGH.

The "concerns" being portrayed by some (and just look at the comparitive experience/jump numbers between the camps, and make up your own mind as to which you want to put more "faith" in is all I can say) ARE COMPLETELY UNFOUNDED, and IMHO do NOT need to be perpetuated!
coitus non circum - Moab Stone

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Thanks, but the issue was over no cutaway and pull though, at what alti? Say you had a main collapse at 650 ft for whatever reason. At some point you're going to want to avoid cutting away. It was stated that this altitude at which you don't cut away should not change reguardless of gear. Others have already stated they'd *always* cutaway, in my game of fantasy skydive that would be a bad idea at certain altitudes, but that would depend on the gear, but reality has a way of shattering these kinds of fantasies. :)
P.S. it may be this is a new issue, SkyHook is relatively new technology.

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Yeah.
1: If all else fails 'grab the grass 'cause it's the bounce that kills'.
2: Pray.
3: Flap arms.
4: Blow hard (or suck if you are on your back).

Seriously. If things are bad you'll try anything but best NOT to let it get that bad.



For my students who have ever asked "What happens if my Reserve doesn't open" I alwasy give the same reply. "LOOK". If you pulled and nothing has happened, visually connect with the reserve handle, and "PULL". More than one person has gone in after a cutaway while despiratly pulling on a lateral or Chest strap. "LOOK"
=========Shaun ==========


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Thanks, but the issue was over no cutaway and pull though, at what alti?



Sorry, I missed that in my "taking time to get stable after a chop" ferver (if not downright FEVER, eh?). :)

I have posted on another thread, a link to a video of a cut-away 1st, then reserve pull, confirmed to have been @ 600ft. I think THAT is probably about "pushing the limits" as is. I have seen a demo of the skyhook, and you are correct that it is "impressive". So far, in "controlled" circumstances anyway. You pose an interesting inquiry in that, say I did have one of these in my rig and were (obviously) aware of it. Would that change my thinking any in a low sudden mal (say a canopy collision) situation? I honestly don't know.

That being said, I have also seen (witnessed 1st hand), and practiced (theoretically ...in my head) the option of a "canopy transfer" in such a scenario. The one I witnessed was also quite impressive as well. At @300ft I witnessed a canopy get literally shredded from above by another jumper initiating a hook turn and tearing right through the middle of it, creating an instant and EXTREMELY LOW unrecoverable/unlandable mal! The next thing I saw was reserve PC launching off this jumpers back, and just as the reserve was JUST begining to inflate/exit the freebag, the jumper chopped his main, which cleared CLEANLY. There was next to no loss of altitude in this event, and the jumper now under his reserve even had time to set up into the wind, and land without any further incident.

Theoretically, sub 6-700ft, I think that is what I would do. Above 750, I'm putting my hands on BOTH HANDLES and pulling in bling-bling rapid fire succession (also hoping that my hand does not slip off my cut-away pillow ...a real "fear"/consideration as well). If the main was spinning wildly, I THINK I would just have to dump my reserve, and hope that the extra silk hitting the breeze would save my ass. I've seen this actually work too.

Maybe once I've received evidence that the skyhook has actually worked successfully at altitudes lower than this, IN ACTUAL SITUATIONS, would this change my thinking? I dunno. Maybe. You bring up valid food for thought there. Remember though, that the extremely low "test" that we all know about & was published in either Skydiving or Parachutist magazine(s) was a "BANDIT JUMP" (and "set up" ...meaning packed specifically for this jump, slider down -etc. which normally would NOT be the case), and further is NOT reccomended by the manufacturer.

I believe the inventor/manufacturer himself posts here to these forums fairly regularly though. So maybe he/they would like to comment?

Those are my 2 cents though.
For exactly what that's worth! ;)

Blue Skies,
-Grant
coitus non circum - Moab Stone

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I'll chime in here, if that is okay with you! ;)
I don't jump with a skyhook. Nor do I jump an RSL either. Even if I did (with ANY of the options) I think I would react identically, which is to say I would pull cut-away, then pull silver, in as close to one, fluid, muscle-memory ingrained reactionary motion (or set of motions) as possible. The ONLY difference as to having either a more traditional RSL or a skyhook for that matter would be whether it could be argued if either had "beaten me" to the reserve pull (which in either case.... no matter how fast you think you are, it most assuredly WILL)!



Maybe I'm missing something something from your statement otherwise why don;t you have an rsl?Camera?
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Practise the 6 P's!
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***I think you got the wrong idea of my question, I'm not talking about fixed rules, and I know we shouldn't go low.

I wanted advice on a perfect main canopy, with a perfectly safe deployment height, suddenly going to shit at low level. There are three actions, ride it to the groud, chop, or just pull silver ( not necessarrily a canopy transfer not at that stage anyway).

People must have a rough idea of what height, they say who, to low for a chop (for me at least 1000ft) , and may decide to go for fabric overhead, instead and just put out their reserve?***

Sorry to go back in but no one really asked this question? All advice appreciated thx
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My post was in reply to a spinning mal. No one can say in what orientation you will be when thrown of a spinning mal. It is therefore posible that if the reserve is deployed immediately that you could induce line twists of worse still get wrapped up in the lines. It is for this reason I suggested that a slight delay (1 or posibly 2 seconds) to get stable (or at least reduce the spinning effect) would help PROVIDED you have the altitude.



I'm well aware of the nature of a spinning mals, having chopped 4 of them. One tangled toggle and three line twist induced spinners. I didn't wait to get stable on any of them, and had no troubles. My comments were written with exactly those concerns in mind.
The risk you are basing your decision on is small, and as stated, reserve deployment systems are designed to be forgiving, even under those circumstances.

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If you are you advising that after chopping a spinning mal and being flung off in a VERY unstable position above 2k you should go straight for silver regardless' then I personally would prefer not to follow that advice.

I hope that, if ever I am in a 'mal' situation, I react to it in the best way I can to suit the situation.



You do what ever you feel is best, it's your life.
I'm simply pointing out that historically, your plan of action does not tend to stack the odds in your favor. Mine does.

Far more people have cutaway with plenty of altitude, and then never pulled the reserve.
Since they are all dead, we can't ask them what happened.
One theory that makes a lot of sense to me is this:
You've chopped a spinner, and are arching, and waiting to get stable. However, the fluid in your inner ear takes a bit to settle down. So you wait for the rest of your life for your inner ear to tell you that you're stable.
Is this what happens? I don't know for sure, but bunch of very experienced skydivers have chopped and not followed through with a reserve pull. I don't want to be one of them.

You mention reacting in the best way you can to "suit the situation". I think this is where people get into trouble.
You've made your decision tree more complicated.
You're assuming that in a high stress, violent spinning malfunction you're going to be able to stay focused, think clearly, take the time to assess the sitiuation, weigh all of your options, cutaway, and freefall for just a "second or two" longer, and then pull your reserve. All while your body is pumping adrenaline through your veins. Remember, adrenaline is known to distort your sense of time and impair your judgement.

Is your approach reasonable if you know your really high? Sure. However, on the vast majority of your jumps, you probably don't open too far above the hard deck, so your standard emergency procedures should be based on the assumption that you're pulling at a typical altitude.

You will likely do what you've practiced regardless of how high or how low you are.

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PS. I HAVE seen a spinning mal where going for silver immediately after the chop had well over a 50% chance of a serious (potentially fatal) reserve mal.



How did you come up with those odds? I'm sure they're way off, or we'd see these dreaded reserve entanglements in the incident reports.
Hell, I would've experienced it twice!
Assuming I somehow survived the first one.:P

-Josh
If you have time to panic, you have time to do something more productive. -Me*
*Ron has accused me of plagiarizing this quote. He attributes it to Douglas Adams.

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Actually, I thought I had posted for you, precisely the (well, maybe not "THE", but at least "an") answer to this. Several times, and in several ways too! With my post #10 HERE, and then again with my post #'s 61 & 64 on this very page, did I not? ...To which you have also asked me now, about my logic for NOT having an RSL personally.

I'd be happy to also answer that for you too, if I had any confidence at all that you were actually listening! :P

The reason I personally choose to not have an RSL at this point in my career is that I have seen several incidents and scenarios where an RSL MAY have made the situation worse. I feel that weighted against the benefits, my feelings as to my potential exposure to the situations that would call for the benefits that the RSL might provide being actually NEEDED, and the relative exposure to it's potential consequences being all considered, that I -personally- just don't want one.

I do not want to "hijack" this thread and divert it strictly into an RSL debate. That has been done several times throughout these forums. Let's just say that I've made this as my own, informed, PERSONAL CHOICE current decision. No, I do not routinely fly camera. Nor do I fly a board. But those are not the only reasons, once you have become more experienced, to decide not to have your rig RSL equipped.

That being said, I have been looking and reconsidering some of late too... based on early indications of the potential efficacy of the skyhook system. In that regard though, I consider myself maybe in "Ron's" camp. (LOOKOUT! ;)) If you don't know what I mean by that, let's just say I'll let others in ACTUAL SITUATIONS "try it out" maybe for a year or 2, and I'll observe before I formulate any final decision for myself there. Until then, I am fully comfortable in jumping (again just my PERSONAL choice) entirely without one.

Your questions answered yet?
I'd be happy to go to PM's too, as well with you if you feel still, somehow that they are not.

...And I thought I was dense? ;) :)
(that's just a long running joke, BTW)

-Grant
coitus non circum - Moab Stone

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You just don't get it. You have averaged 30 jumps a year over 7 years and you are debating EP with people who do that a month. People who have been in the situation, sometimes more than once. People who are instructors and have trained jumpers for years. You seem to think you are the one who is going to be able to "handle it". There is a reason EP are set up like they are. People died trying other ways and the smart ones learned from it. The ones that rode in on the short bus didn't and they were the next ones to die. jmo

"You can't learn if you won't listen and you can't listen if you are talking"

Sparky
My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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No one can say in what orientation you will be when thrown of a spinning mal.



Actually you can. You'll be trown away from the canopy, feet into the relative wind. A perfect orientation for deploying a reserve canopy.It's kinda like cutting the string you're swinging a rock around on.....you know?
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You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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:oWhile I acknowledge your experience and appreciate your advice, no I don't think you or anyone else has precisely answered the question. You referred me to a video ( of a cutaway at 600ft which I don't think many people would do), and have talked on not delaying between chop and reserve pull. My question was:

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I wanted advice on a perfect main canopy, with a perfectly safe deployment height, suddenly going to shit at low level. There are three actions, ride it to the groud, chop, or just pull silver ( not necessarrily a canopy transfer not at that stage anyway).

People must have a rough idea of what height, they say who, to low for a chop (for me at least 1000ft) , and may decide to go for fabric overhead, instead and just put out their reserve?



I'll post it again if I have any confidence you were reading the question?;)(Joke!)
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Practise the 6 P's!
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Freeflysmiley, it was me who hijacked your forum with the introduction of the question of whether to disconnect RSL, get stable and then go silver to prevent a spinning malfunctioning reserve.
That could/should have been introduced as a new thread - and your question may have been answered:)Following the discussion from you highly experienced jumpers, it's abundantly clear and obvious that the danger is MUCH MUCH greater in waiting to get stable after cutaway, than the danger of a spinning reserve due to poor body position.

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***No one can say in what orientation you will be when thrown off a spinning mal.

Actually you can. You'll be thrown away from the canopy, feet into the relative wind. A perfect orientation for deploying a reserve canopy. It's kinda like cutting the string you're swinging a rock around on.....you know?My only cutaway so far has been from spinning twists. For half this thread, I've been wondering why people were referring to unstable reserve pulls in this situation. It's a stable stand-up, and it made for quite a nice reserve opening for me. Maybe there is a point to freeflying ;)
Johan.
I am. I think.

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>I wanted advice on a perfect main canopy, with a perfectly safe
>deployment height, suddenly going to shit at low level. There are three
> actions, ride it to the groud, chop, or just pull silver ( not necessarrily a
> canopy transfer not at that stage anyway).

If you have a perfectly good main canopy that becomes unlandable but is still flying just fine (let's say you realize that it's going to disintegrate completely at 20 feet but will be fine until then) then a canopy transfer might be a good idea. The advantage there is that at least you'll be under a good canopy until 20 feet while your reserve is trying to inflate. The drawback is that it may not work at all. We had several FXC fires on students after main inflation, and on two the reserve didn't open - it just towed the reserve PC for a while. Often, the relative wind under canopy (especially with a large main) will not be enough to launch the freebag, thus limiting the usefulness of just deploying the reserve.

Personally, I'd cut away as low as 400-500 feet. But (and this is a big but) that means pulling the cutaway and reserve handles at 500 feet, not first noticing the problem at 500 feet. If you're setting up to land, and just turning final, the last thing you're thinking about is the location of your cutaway and reserve handles. How will you know that your main is unlandable? Will you look at it and take a moment to see what's going on? Will you just chop at the first bump? (bad idea) Will you look at your altimeter? Do you think your altimeter is actually accurate to within 200 feet? How long will it take to get your hands out of the toggles? How long will it take you to cut away from a spinning or other nasty mal?

In cases of very low mals, it's often a good idea to just deploy the reserve. It may not inflate, but it's likely that landing under a malfunctioning main will be more survivable than landing under your reserve freebag as it starts paying out line. This partly depends on your gear, of course - if you have a large reserve and a small main you may decide to make that decision altitude lower because landing under a malfunctioning main is less survivable. Likewise, if you have a skyhook, you may make the call to cut away instead of just opening the reserve into the mess. But even a skyhook won't help you if you start the whole process at 300 feet and actually carry it out at 50.

>People must have a rough idea of what height, they say who, to low for
>a chop (for me at least 1000ft) , and may decide to go for fabric
>overhead, instead and just put out their reserve?

That's a reasonable altitude, and one I use with my students i.e. under no circumstances ever cut away below 1000 feet.

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