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cjsitfly

Old 82nd Airborne Fatalities

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Incidentally, the handle is now in the middle in the event your right hand is pinned or immobilized, and they added a spring operated pilot chute eliminating a lot of the old heroics required to operate it. Good ideas but should it have taken 50 years to come up with them?



Soft loops, center pull handle, anti inversion netting... all sound good to me.

But using spring loaded pilot chutes on belly mount reserves, without cutting away? I though in the civvy world one wouldn't install a reserve pilot chute if one didn't plan to cut away. Or had thinking changed at some point? For airborne troops at low altitude did the saving in time outweigh added risk?

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I wonder too about that pilot chute. If a static line broke it might be a good thing for reserve deployment. It wouldn't help much for a line over malfunction.

Maybe my mind is going on me, but I recall another pilot chute that the military was experimenting with. It looked like a little umbrella with four spring loaded arms that came out. Yes, it was wierd looking. I think it came out, about the time the MA-1 chutes did. Probably mid 70's....

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I often wondered the same thing and am sure it has to do with time (about a 4 sec window to react on an 800’ jump)/something is better than nothing.

Personally, I kind of like the idea rather than pulling the handle and probably having to pull the chute out of the container and throw it myself while tumbling rapidly through 500’. As much confidence as I have in my ability to handle pressure, I’d rather take my chances with the pilot chute entangling with the main.

I know they experimented several years ago with the reserve in the main container and an RSL, but it never worked out. It’s a shame as that definitely seems like the way to go from a safety standpoint. I think I read it was just too much of an issue for rear PLFs, kinda of like falling over backwards onto a log, but I gotta believe that some enterprising person could have solved this problem.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93G27U_HdZY

Have ya’ll seen this? Pretty good. Note: The C-17 has an extra big jump platform – about a foot longer than the C130/141. Sometimes this is forgotten, resulting in some of the issues in the video. Ol' Sicily DZ is prominently featured.

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I wonder too about that pilot chute. If a static line broke it might be a good thing for reserve deployment. It wouldn't help much for a line over malfunction.

Maybe my mind is going on me, but I recall another pilot chute that the military was experimenting with. It looked like a little umbrella with four spring loaded arms that came out. Yes, it was wierd looking. I think it came out, about the time the MA-1 chutes did. Probably mid 70's....



Are you thinking of the A1 "spider"-type pilot chute that has been in military reserves since Christ was a Corporal? That's been used since WW II.

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Are you thinking of the A1 "spider"-type pilot chute that has been in military reserves since Christ was a Corporal? That's been used since WW II.


...................................................................

I'll bet that's it. I thought my memory was playing tricks on me again.

I wasn't in, back when Christ was a corporal. I didn't realize that Christ was airborne too, but I'll bet he was;)

When we first started Army jumping there was no pilot chute in our reserves. I faintly remember though, jumping a military reserve that had that spider pilot chute in it (during the 70's).....

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Hi Peter,

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But using spring loaded pilot chutes on belly mount reserves, without cutting away?



Back in the '60's - '70's one of the most progressive dz's that I frequented was Abbotsford in British Columbia and ran/later owned by Bill Hardman ( you may have heard of him :P ).

He came to the conclusion ( NOTE: this is only about gut-mounted chest pack reserves ) that students simply could not 'grab & throw' the reserve canopy properly ( have you ever tried it; I knew of some rather experienced jumpers who tried on a test & could not do it ). So he went to an MA-1 pilot chute in the reserve container and taught them to ONLY 'pull & punch' which meant that, in the event of any malfunction, they were to pull the reserve handle & then bring their fist back and punch the reserve canopy so it would get going.

Just for those who might want to know some of the thinking 'back in the day,'

JerryBaumchen

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Not long ago there was a legendary accident at Bragg involving a jumpmaster student. As I’m sure you all know, the reserve ripcord was on the right side of the pack. Now it’s in the middle with the handle pointing up. This particular student was executing a clear to the rear, and the side mounted handle caught on the door, activated his reserve, and pulled him up and out of the bird decapitating him in the process. So someone comes up with this $.10 plastic insert that goes underneath the handle when you’re doing a jumpmaster duty and supposedly makes it resistant to that kind of pressure. Problem solved! We can all sleep easy now!
.



What year did this happen?
Chris

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I am not sure if this is the right spot for this story but here it goes. Part of this tale I can personaly vouch for (the small part I play in it) and part I cannot. There might very well be someone out there who can verify it or "throw the bullshit flag" as it were. When I was stationed in Hawaii with the 25th Inf. I made many jumps with the military club that was there at the time. In the fall of 82 I stopped at the class 6 store for some liquid refreshment to be consumed after jumping that day;) As was my habit (and still is) I picked up a copy of the Army Times. In the front section was a small story about a paragraph or two long describeing a recent jump at Ft. Bragg that went wrong. A young soldier rode a streamer malfunction in but to everyones suprise he survived with only a few sprains and bruises. Well that paper was passed around and everyone agreed that soldier was one lucky SOB! Fast Forward to 1989. Yours truly was working at that time at a lumber yard called "84 Lumber". One fine cold winter day two gentlemen from Mojave drove in and purchased a garage package from me. As I was assisting them in building the load of lumber on their truck, I noticed that one guy was wearing a field jacket with a SF patch on it. I asked him if he was a veteran. He stated that he had been assigned to the SF in Bragg as part of the support company, and while not being "tabbed" as a full operator he was airborne qualified and as such on occasion he would get to do currency jumps with the teams. I asked him when he had been assigned there. He said "79 to 83" . I had a flash of recall and asked him if he had heard of the incident. He and his friend then started to laugh so hard that they had to lean on the side of their truck. I told the guy that he was on of the luckiest men that I had ever met. He looked at me while trying to get his breath and said"Dude, you don't know the story" This is what he told me. When he was loading up to do a jump with the teams one of the guys who had been in since Christ was a coporal smuggled on a pet. The pet was an orangatang. A rig had been modified and the idea was to put the unfortunate primate out on a jump. Well every thing went as scheduled until the orangatang was put out of the plane. The poor beast freaked out, started climbing the risers, spilled the air out of the canopy and SPLAT, scratch one ape. As the troopers were gathered around the dead pet/mascot they hear on the radio that another unit on a different part of the dropzone had witnessed the "accident" and a MEDDAVAC was enroute. To further complicate matters the ADC (assistant division comander) was out and about inspecting training and had heard the radio traffic and was also enroute. This was an "oh shit what the fuck are we gonna do now moment" The old MSG in charge did not waste time. He pointed at the young soldier and said "You have just survived a most catstrophic parachute accident" They put a rig on the young man and instructed him to hold on to bumper of on of the support vehicles commonly known as a "gamma goat" They drug him down a jeep trail with the orders to "let go when it starts to hurt" The young man did as he was ordered. They laid out his canopy and the NCOIC said "their coming son, make sure you moan REAL good" In a short time the medics arrived along with the ADC. They found the young man moaning for all he was worth and thus a maraicle was recorded. Whenever I tell this story it never fails to get a laugh. When I tell it to SF veterans that I run into from time to time they say "its just crazy enough to be true" You have to admit it makes for a great tale.

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I'm thinking this thread isn't complete until someone writes up "Operation Gallant Eagle" back in '82. It's not my story, so I won't tell it, but the men deserve remembering. Here's the link for those who can't wait for a "no shit, there I was" post: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,922840,00.html?promoid=googlep?iid=perma_share

It's great to hear about the low injury counts these days. Back in '84, we filled a deuce-and-a-half up with jumpers who couldn't walk after their first jump. Our class motto: "Where's the Beef?" We jumped T-10 and MC1-1B.

An airborne rigger friend of mine says their jumping MC1-1D's now.

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Not long ago there was a legendary accident at Bragg involving a jumpmaster student. As I’m sure you all know, the reserve ripcord was on the right side of the pack. Now it’s in the middle with the handle pointing up. This particular student was executing a clear to the rear, and the side mounted handle caught on the door, activated his reserve, and pulled him up and out of the bird decapitating him in the process. So someone comes up with this $.10 plastic insert that goes underneath the handle when you’re doing a jumpmaster duty and supposedly makes it resistant to that kind of pressure. Problem solved! We can all sleep easy now!
.



What year did this happen?



Not a hundred percent sure. Sometime during the early part of this decade.

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That center pull reserve sounds like a great improvement....On a military exit, we were trained to put a hand on each side of the reserve, with your elbows in tight to your sides. I always thought, it might be easy to have your right hand over the handle, (on the old style reserves). Opening shock might cause you to pull your reserve by accident....

Anyone ever hear of that happening? I often wondered about that. I went through jump school in 70. The training then might have been different later.

Another difference in training, may have been how to exit. We were trained to jump straight out, on exit, at 90 degrees to the side of the aircraft. After several jumps I learned that jumping out at about a 45 degree angle worked better, (on planes with a lot of prop blast). Is that what they teach now?

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We had several reserves deployed each month by the students. The students all used the excuse of "the wind pulled my arm on exit", or words to that effect. We had a few who counted real fast too;).

Matt
Black Hat and Master Trainer from Jan '95 to Feb '99

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

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I was in the 82nd from 91-98 and was on a 141 night jump over Sicily DZ where a female paratrooper died from being towed. I think it happened in 94 or 95.

She was a tiny girl with a full combat load. The strap that routes around the ruck and legs was not routed around her M1950 weapons case. When she exited, the weapons case flipped out and spun her up. She tumbled and the static line wrapped under the attachment point for the weapons case and then around her neck. I believe she died from blunt trauma from banging against the aircraft.

She was jumper #7 on the left side, I was #11 on the right. Both sticks got out.

They immediately took us to Greenramp and locked us in a building for about 12 hours. Later, some guys in suits asked each of us what we saw. I didn't see anything.

About a month later, an official report came out that stated the misrouted leg strap and the jumpers relatively low weight was to blame. After that, we all had to have both leg straps routed prior to walking to the aircraft which was a bitch.

I believe it was accepted to only route the leg strap around one leg at that time, so no JM's got in trouble. I may be wrong on that though.

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Incidentally, the handle is now in the middle in the event your right hand is pinned or immobilized, and they added a spring operated pilot chute eliminating a lot of the old heroics required to operate it. Good ideas but should it have taken 50 years to come up with them?



Soft loops, center pull handle, anti inversion netting... all sound good to me.

But using spring loaded pilot chutes on belly mount reserves, without cutting away? I though in the civvy world one wouldn't install a reserve pilot chute if one didn't plan to cut away. Or had thinking changed at some point? For airborne troops at low altitude did the saving in time outweigh added risk?


Hi pch,
Back in the mid 90's when I worked for scurvyirvin, we developed the "MIRPS" system for the T-10 reserve. I was the rigging dept. at the time, all the other riggers over time got fired, quit or went to jail ('another story). We utilized a 48" pilot chute with a "free spring!!" and a 13' free bag type bridle. There was also a 4 oz. weight at the base of the P/C to help the launch and orient it. I table fired it many times and the P/C went straight up 15+ feet dragging at least 3 feet of the canopy with it!! In a mal mode, the jumper fires the reserve straight out, the P/C anchors itself over 14 feet away from the garbage and pulls the apex of the reserve into clean air. Scurvy may still have some brochures in their archives, anyway the system worked great,"If you followed 'our' proceedures!!" But the Army didn't. They were hell bent on their old pile everything up like a pyramid and have bicepts bunny pull the 4 flaps over and pin it!! with all that pressure on the cones you had a cone lock!! SO! scurvy extended the container by an inch!! I have copys of the test program tapes, over 400 drops!! never saw the dummy ever have to beat on the container to get it open!!! If yer interested I'd be glad to toss out more info.
SCR-2034, SCS-680

III%,
Deli-out

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One person's recollection from the Air Force perspective. Assigned to Norton AFB from 1979 - 1983. I was one of the airlift operations officers on duty during Operation Gallant Eagle. This airdrop of troops from the 82nd Airborne was hailed as the largest operation of its type since the Normandy Invasion of 6 Jun 44. As I recall, this was approximately 60 C-141's from the 63rd Military Airlift Wing (MAW), Norton AFB, CA, 62nd MAW, McChord AFB, WA, and the 437th MAW, Charleston AFB, SC. I cannot recall if C-141's from 60th MAW, Travis AFB, CA or 436th MAW, McGuire AFB, NJ, participated since both wings did not have an airdrop mission as part of their operational mission profile. A week leading up to the operation, I recall the hectic pace of getting 25 C-141's repaired. Twenty aircraft needed for the mission and five back up aircraft. C-141's had a tendency to break at the worst possible moment which was usually just before mission departure time. However, the Assistant Deputy Commander for Operations, 63rd MAW, a Colonel Robert V. Woods was taking no chances as he had been appointed overall air ops commander for Gallant Eagle. I know he drove a demanding and blistering pace to see all the birds from Norton were fixed and ready to go. As I recall, the aircraft were to depart their bases and arrive at Pope AFB on 30 Mar 82. I further recollect that all aircraft were configured to ADP-3 (Air Drop - 3) configuration which required a "Comfort Pallet" which was an additional kitchen galley and latrines. While all contained in one unit, the latrines were of sufficient distance (on the other side) from the galley, which contained approximately 120 frozen meals and plenty of coffee for feeding the troops inflight. Aircraft departed for Pope AFB on 30 March, 1982, for a scheduled airdrop over the NTC DZ's the morning of 31 Mar 1982. I was on duty as all twenty planes departed and on duty working the grave shift as the aircraft departed Pope AFB. About two hours from scheduled drop, I received a call from the Norton Command Post (CP) that winds at the LZ had been gusting measured to be out of limits for peacetime training jumps. The contingency action of course was the real possibility that aircraft would be diverting into the West Coast airlift bases, Norton, Travis, and McChord. With 60 aircraft and approximately 30 – 50 jumpers on each aircraft, we had to make plans for accommodating about 2300 soldiers while recovering the aircraft, turning, and sending them back to Bragg or pressing on with the drop at a later date. Updated SITREPS at the LZ an hour prior was still reporting gusts up to 17 mph at one particular LZ. I cannot say there was a lot of pressure to execute the jump but a lot of Army and Air Force senior brass was at NTC to watch the drop. Further, this was during the Reagan Administration and one of the intended purposes of the operation was to clearly send a message to the Soviets that the US did have a long range air drop capability. I was in the Norton CP as the C-141 crews from Norton reported the drop back to the CP. Thus the contingency for troop recovery in the event of an abort was now moot. I went home an hour later to get some sleep to be back on duty later in the day from 1600-2400. When I woke up a few hours later and turned on the TV, it was reported that there were deaths and injuries sustained, particularly at one LZ that was sloped to the extent that the gusting winds had dragged landing jumpers and dashed them against rock formations. I learned later that the actual COD’s of the four soldiers resulted from two streamers, one off landing (due to high winds) onto some heavy equipment and one landing that resulted in being dragged by winds and dashed against boulders. That afternoon, I headed back to Norton and was involved in configuring two C-141's; one to med evac the injured and the other to take the four dead back to Ft. Bragg. The local press in Southern CA had a heyday with this accusing the military of gross negligence as they found out the winds were gusting three mph above limit. They sold a lot of advertising time and space. While we were not happy about the four deaths and injuries all of us understood and accepted the hard reality that military training of this nature is inherently risky and dangerous and if this had been an airdrop in an actual troop drop in wartime, the losses would have been considered more than acceptable and always thoroughly regrettable. The aforementioned is to the best of my recollection. If any of the facts I’ve presented conflict with others, please feel free to chime in as I understand this is offered from the distance of the actual location.

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He came to the conclusion ( NOTE: this is only about gut-mounted chest pack reserves ) that students simply could not 'grab & throw' the reserve canopy properly ( have you ever tried it; I knew of some rather experienced jumpers who tried on a test & could not do it ).



Back in the day when I was a student, I was one of the first students at our club trained to cutaway and use a spring loaded pilot chute.

One wet Saturday we decided to do a "hand deploy" exercise while we practised reserve packing. The typical method of stowing the reserve was to S fold it into the container, and trying to hold it all together while you decided which way to throw it, ususally ended up with the guts of the reserve falling out leaving you with the periphery and apex in your hands.

Very messy!

We then tried a roll pack method of packing the reserve, simply rolling the canopy up (just like a toilet roll) starting from the apex. It meant when you grabbed the reserve out of the container, you had a much more solid ball of material in your hands, which then unfurled itself neatly when you threw it. A much neater and more manageable way of dealing with it.

The reason we changed to cutaway and spring loaded reserves was because they decided to introduce the Paracommander as a student main, and it was considered too fast to hand deploy a reserve into if it malled, which usually meant a faster spin.

A cheapo was, of course, a lot more docile.

The change to using PC's as a student main came with quite a bit of scepticism, wailing and gnashing of teeth by the old farts of the time, who considered that a student couldn't handle such a radical canopy. Back then you needed about 50 jumps before you were allowed to jump a PC.

I never did jump a 28 footer, but did do one jump on a 35 footer after about 20 jumps.....it was a slug! Also got to ride a 24 ft twill reserve one time, but that was the sum total of military surplus canopies I jumped.

As a first jump student who was slightly heavier than most, I got to be the guinea pig who jumped the PC first.

I was quite glad that hand deploying reserves had been consigned to history.

It made me chuckle thinking back on it, when I banned the use of round main canopies for my students when I converted my student equipment to square mains back in 1986.

I did keep a couple of PC's, some of the guys who wanted to try them had never seen a roundie, so I made a rule that you had to hacve a C licence to jump one.....I mounted them in a student container (which is the only container that would fit one it, and the weird thing was seeing a rig with a round main and a square reserve.

The old farts of 74 would have choked on their beer to see that scenario.

Jumping a square back then was tantamount to certain death, in the eyes of some, but looking back, before the Strato Star came along, the malfunction rate for them was pretty high. One guy had a Sled, and he was guaranteed an audience every jump he did on it.......just to watch the cutaway.

I think it ended its days as a bed spread!!!
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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Hi CJ,
Hell of a way ta' die!!! Funny about procedures and "Safety Rules!" "Back when" I was in Navy Parachute Rigger's "A" School at Lakehurst, NJ, 'was said in one of our classes,"Behind every safety rule ya' have on the Flight Deck ya' can find a 'Dead Man!!!!!'" Nuff said! the sayin' goes across the board.

Got Gunz.....OUTLAW??!!!,
SCR-2034, SCS-680

III%,
Deli-out

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(edited)

There’s a few thing that brother he about this post and a few things right on.

 

Story 1:

 

Firstly, the main chute wouldn’t deploy until the man was well out of the plane, the statics lines were probably 30-40 feet. Reserves deployed near a door YNAK guys out! So the impetus of a decapitation is doubtful from a main chute, the guys way out the door.

 

Secondly, once at the door a jumper is two of three feet (in front) of the statics lines cable, a reserves deployed wouldn’t allow the jumper to move backwards.

 

Thirdly, Steve1 is correct they do stop jumps in the middle of the action, I’ve never seen it. Nor do I recall a yellow (yield) light, only red and green.

 

Fourthly, reserves aren’t referred to as “belly reserves” by anyone who’s used them, there simply called reserves.

 

Story 2:

Absolutely happened! The first instance of a cut static line was in Feb 1978, it happened to a guy in my battalion (2nd 508th) it was during a night snow jump in fort Drum New York, and he wasn’t even injured though, got his reserve out fine.

I was on a SD working on EIB testing and didn’t go on the jump, but was headed back to the barracks just before all 300+ of them left for Green Ramp, and I took a picture of them all in their snow suits and gear. I was on Bragg when ALL chutes were inspected after the first one was discovered. Does anyone think that all chutes wouldn’t of been inspected? They found one or maybe two static lines cut. And it turned out to be someone in the rigging system. So only one jump was actually made with with a cut line. They hipped that shit in the bud fast.

Edited by 2nd 508th Guy

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