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Douggarr

Hard Deck for C's and D's

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It would be interesting to break down the price of a $25 jump ticket now to see how much goes to liability insurance. As with skiing, this has increased dramatically as the years have gone on, in part due to ambulance chasing tort lawyers. Bill Booth has said that he's spent tons of cash defending lawsuits. And I think most skydivers will agree that his innovations have saved many, many jumpers from their ash dive. I'm wondering how many of those attorneys could prove that his designs were flawed; likely, there was negligence involved in using the gear and not the manufacturing of it.
SCR-442, SCS-202, CCR-870, SOS-1353

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stratostar

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(c) A parachutist may drift over that airport with a fully deployed and properly functioning parachute if the parachutist is at least 2,000 feet above that airport's traffic pattern



Psssst............... what is the traffic pattern altitude?




im guessing the ground lol
Never give the gates up and always trust your rears!

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bob.dino

Out of curiosity, anyone know why the rule isn't phrased as 'must be fully open by'?

Pitching a Sabre1 with a big PC at 2500ft will have you open (and sore?) well before 2000ft, but pitching a Crossfire2 with a worn PC will have you around 1500ft before you're ready to collapse the slider. Seems like the rule as written will add more safety margin* for those jumpers on faster-opening canopies.

this was the reason it was raised. with 1200ft opening and AADs with new opening specs you would get a ton of two out. so uspa went up so this wouldn't happen


* if you've been jumping over 20 years, feel free to change that to "goddamn pencil dick bureaucrats taking away my right to pitch down and dirty" :P



just doesn't make sense to me. AAD company's should have been on there own on this. changing their instructions on how to use there produce... Change to me is cause there is a problem with the way its being done.
Never give the gates up and always trust your rears!

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Bluhdow

The real issue is H/Cs are too tight and it's messing with the reserve deployment sequence. The AADs are fine, the reserves are fine. How about you go after the problem (the H/C extraction forces) rather than the symptom.



The real issue is people performing the wrong actions (eg. pulling and cutting away) too low.

IMO there is no need to be pulling at anywhere below 3,000. The risk is too great to get a few more seconds of freefall or another point.

I think they should have set container opening at 3,000.
"The ground does not care who you are. It will always be tougher than the human behind the controls."

~ CanuckInUSA

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IMO there is no need to be pulling at anywhere below 3,000. The risk is too great to get a few more seconds of freefall or another point.

I think they should have set container opening at 3,000.



Says the man who mostly (exclusively?) does solo canopy flight. For those of us who regularly fly with other people, and who sometimes do so in large groups, 3K to 2.5K (or even 2K) might mean the difference between clear air for deployment and a canopy collision on opening.

Of course, that puts the onus on jumpers who *do* regularly jump in groups (and especially those who do bigger-ways) to have an appropriate tool for the job in a canopy that opens reliably (which tends to mean a non-high-performance wing).
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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DocPop

***The real issue is H/Cs are too tight and it's messing with the reserve deployment sequence. The AADs are fine, the reserves are fine. How about you go after the problem (the H/C extraction forces) rather than the symptom.



The real issue is people performing the wrong actions (eg. pulling and cutting away) too low.

IMO there is no need to be pulling at anywhere below 3,000. The risk is too great to get a few more seconds of freefall or another point.

I think they should have set container opening at 3,000.

Might as well make it 8K, then we would have tons of time to do some in-air rigging, make sure you truly have a malfunction, have time to mentally review your EP's, drop your hook knife, do a few practice touches on your handles, cutaway and turn a style series, deploy your reserve and line up for a hot swoop on the pond.

I don't really care about the change of opening altitude, but the reason for that change and implementation seem odd. Unlike issues that have generated lots of comments and were contentious, this one seems to have just slipped in. Wonder if this will get enough negative feedback that the BOD will suspend this BSR.

Would it be nice if our "official publication" actually published something official like this so members could discuss it BEFOREHAND!?

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Jump more, post less!

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grue

Hopin' for the sake of y'all that the US doesn't go mandatory-AAD. It's a pain in the dick if you're jumping on a budget.



I can't see AAD's being mandatory, but there is no question they do save lives. If somebody can justify spending $800 on a jump suit... over a life saving device... $1,400 is a lot of money... but people here in the US spend $114/month with Verizon Wireless on a cell phone plan. It's a bit silly to spend so much on a phone but not on something that can potentially save your life.

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thevasc21

***....Jumpers have been pencil packing reserves...



What is pencil packing a reserve?

Updating the reserve data card to show a repack without actually inspecting and repacking the rig.
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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thevasc21



I can't see AAD's being mandatory, but there is no question they do save lives.



And sometimes take them.

thevasc21

If somebody can justify spending $800 on a jump suit... over a life saving device... $1,400 is a lot of money...



Jumpsuits: Improve your flying. Look cool. Also most people aren't paying $800 for 'em.

thevasc21



but people here in the US spend $114/month with Verizon Wireless on a cell phone plan. It's a bit silly to spend so much on a phone but not on something that can potentially save your life.



That's a stupid comparison. If you can't understand why, I'll peg it out:

1. Obviously a communications device has nothing to do with skydiving. Skydiving is a hobby for the overwhelming majority of participants, and they have a real life outside of it, and communications are part of that.

2. You CAN pay $114/mo on a phone. Most people, myself included, do not.

3. Phones are a monthly payment and in most cases use quite a bit. AADs are something you buy all at once, and hopefully never actually get a single use out of.

4. If I could buy a Vigil for $114/mo over the course of a year without having to get a credit card I'd happily do it, but they don't offer that option.

5. It's SKYDIVING. We know it's dangerous. Know what would make it safer? Not doing it! Know what else would make it safer? Banning front riser input and initiating more than a 15° turn below 300 feet. Banning CRW. Banning tracking dives. Requiring helmets to conform to a safety standard. So on, so forth.

For the record, I like AADs and think they're a great idea and most of them are great products. But they're a fucking expensive gizmo in an already expensive sport, and requiring them is shitty.
cavete terrae.

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Douggarr

Just heard that the USPA raised the hard deck to 2,500 feet for C and D license holders at the summer board meeting. I'm waiting for the wave of protesters to weigh in. But I'm in favor of it, even though those who are against it will certainly ignore it. The ST&A can waive the requirement at a given DZ, I think.



Some jumpers have "Deployers" to do it for them, Doug!

I have a photo somewhere....:P
...

The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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the percieved rights of those that want to pull low.



Hold your breath (figuratively) for a few months, and the whining from those people will fade away. Wait a year, and you won't hear a peep. Wait 5 years, and pulling at 2k will be a story 'old timers' tell around the bonfire.

Anyone remember when they upped the D license requirements to 500 jumps? There was an uproar from anyone within 50 jumps of the old requirement (200 jumps), and the rest of the sport sort of looked at it and said, 'Probably a good idea'.

When was the last time you heard anyone complain about needing 500 jumps for a D license? Years for me, and I'm sure the same for everyone. This too, will pass.

Like it or not, the sport and the gear is constantly changing, and if you take a 20 year break, you'll see a lot of changes. I know that 2k has been the D lic pack opening altitude for at least 20 years, and look at the differences in that time. Smaller faster canopies that open much slower. Freefly friendly rigs (meaning tight and secure) with more tightly packed reserves. Like it or not, these are the facts of what the vast majority of skydiving rigs looks like today, and we need rules that reflect those realities.

So you jump an older rig, with an older canopy, and you can dump at 2k all day with no problems? Good for you, you're in the minority and can't reasonably expect the USPA to cater to you when there are 14 other people on the plane with you DON"T match that description, but more closely match the description of the rig/jumper I described in the previous paragraph.

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im guessing the ground lol



And you would be wrong.... try reading up and get educated.

http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/atpubs/aim/aim0403.html

http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgAdvisoryCircular.nsf/list/AC%2090-66A/$FILE/AC90-66A.pdf
you can't pay for kids schoolin' with love of skydiving! ~ Airtwardo

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billvon

>IMO there is no need to be pulling at anywhere below 3,000.

An outer ring pull altitude of 2600 feet is an excellent reason to pull below 3000 feet.



Indeed.
...

The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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bob.dino

Out of curiosity, anyone know why the rule isn't phrased as 'must be fully open by'?

Pitching a Sabre1 with a big PC at 2500ft will have you open (and sore?) well before 2000ft, but pitching a Crossfire2 with a worn PC will have you around 1500ft before you're ready to collapse the slider. Seems like the rule as written will add more safety margin* for those jumpers on faster-opening canopies.


* if you've been jumping over 20 years, feel free to change that to "goddamn pencil dick bureaucrats taking away my right to pitch down and dirty" :P



Or bein in the base on big ways with dumbasses who don't know how to track in the groups leaving at higher elevations and are STILL right over your freaking back.

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I routinely pull between 2000 and 2500 feet as the spot allows, mainly to get out of the way of as much canopy traffic as possible (and partly because ground rush is fun) and I will continue to do so. This "rule" is as much voluntary as any other, there are no altitude cops out there.

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What is truly worrying is the reason that this is needed in the first place.

Our top end is limited by various regulations, but primarily oxygen and hypoxia. I think that the engineering of harness's has got a bit screwed up where the emphasis has been on freefly friendly and less on getting your reserve out quickly. Similarly main canopies are sold on having lovely soft snivelling openings.

I believe we are also seeing a rise in low cutaway fatalities as the whole hard-deck concept is getting blurred by people believing MARD's are magic solutions.

Let's not lose sight of the fact that all this is stacking up towards more of your skydive being unsurvivable. At present somewhere between 500 and 1000 foot your odds of surviving a malfunction approach zero (malfunction being canopy collision or self induced line twists as example). This is creeping upwards and that scares me.
Experienced jumper - someone who has made mistakes more often than I have and lived.

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nigel99

What is truly worrying is the reason that this is needed in the first place.
At present somewhere between 500 and 1000 foot your odds of surviving a malfunction approach zero (malfunction being canopy collision or self induced line twists as example). This is creeping upwards and that scares me.



Funny you mention that, because the reason it's "needed" is, again, because of the god damned AADs that are being shoved down our throats (especially here in Nannystralia). Make them optional for everyone not on student status, and have the manufacturers make it clear that you need to change your personal deployment altitudes upward if you have one. Then those of us who don't have and don't want them can continue on with our lives as we are (or were) happily doing.
cavete terrae.

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07/29/13

This past weekend the USPA BOD passed a change to the Minimum Opening Altitudes for C & D licensed skydivers.

The old rule was 2000 ft AGL.

The new rule is 2500 ft AGL, with an option to waiver it to 2000 ft AGL by the S&TA.

I voted against this change.

This change has been brought up for many years. Until this weekend, it was always defeated.

It was previously defeated because
- there are many jumpers that jump in areas that have low cloud coverage during a significant part of the year - 2k is all they are going to get,
- demo jumpers occasionally need to jump in low ceilings - 2k is all they are going to get
and
- there was no 'position paper' put forth by the parachute industry or a manufacturer.

This position paper that was presented at this recent meeting has PD letterhead on it. I am unsure about whether it was sent to certain USPA BOD members via PIA or via PD. I did not get the missive until this morning, the day after the meeting, from Jay Stokes. We do have a PD employee on the BOD now, so I do not know the official path this document took. I do know it was not distributed to all BOD members before the meeting, no matter where it came from or how it was distributed.

PD, as usual, presented a well written and accurate document. I do not have issues with anything in the document except that it does not tell the whole story.
PD claims and/or slants the story about several fatalities of jumpers whose AAD fired at the appropriate altitude, yet their reserve failed to deploy fully before impact, to be the result of not enough altitude between AAD activation altitude and the ground.

The whole story concerning this group of incidents includes equipment issues. Some of there are, and are not limited to:
- location of the cutter along the closing loop
- length of closing loop
- flap closing sequence
- number of flaps
- geometry of flaps, especially in the corners of the container
- pilot chute performance factors
- whether the main is in the container
- offset grommet distances
- compatibility of canopy and container pack volumes
- packing technique
- etc

What I object to is that PD explicitly implies that if you raise the activation altitude of the AAD then these fatalities will go away. That is an incorrect assessment of these fatalities and conclusion by PD.

This was the 'reason' that many on the BOD used to justify raising the minimum pack opening altitudes for USPA C & D license holders.
Mind you, that other parachute associations also have the same opening altitude as USPA, some even have lower altitudes. BPA allows display (demo) jumpers to open as low as 1500 feet AGL.
To my knowledge, those organizations have not been approached to change their rules.

This rule change is also wrong for other reasons.
There are many places that have cloud cover and can only get 2000 ft AGL for significant times of their jump season. This new rule places additional liability upon the S&TA, when previously there was none, if the S&TA grants waivers to the new rule. Skydivers have been doing hop & pops from 2k for years and years and years with no problems. Now, all of a sudden, it's an issue?? It's only an issue if you jump certain equipment. If you use the proper equipment, there is no issue.

I will work to have the implementation date of this change delayed so that more information may be given to the BOD. With the additional information, the change may be rescinded.


Please write a Letter to the Editor (uspa@uspa.org) and copy the full board (fullboard@uspa.org) with your comments.

.
.
Make It Happen
Parachute History
DiveMaker

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thevasc21

Who seriously thinks 2k is good hop and pop altitude?



I don't think you'll find many who think 2k is a good hop-and-pop altitude. But there are many, including me, who think it can be an adequate altitude.

Mark

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