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RogerRamjet

Slammer Openings

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Ok, over and over again in the incidents forum I read statements like "Any canopy can slam you." Is this only a recent thing or is my memory of the original RW squares (Strato-Star and 7 Cell Foil) really bad?

I have more than 600 jumps on a Strato-Star and another 150 on various other squares of the mid 70's. I NEVER had a slammer opening on a Strato-Star or 7 Cell Foil. Nor do I remember anyone else ever saying they did (and I jumped at 3 of the busiest drop zones around, Z-Hills, Deland, and Hinckley). Starlight rounds, yeah!, but not my ever so reliable Strato-Star. The only hard openings I had back then were on the original Para-Plane and Para-Cloud when taken to terminal. They opened, eh, briskly.

Is it that we didn't have zero-p yet, smaller squares, foil shape, or???

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Roger "Ramjet" Clark
FB# 271, SCR 3245, SCS 1519

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My typical opening procedure for my Strato Star (bottom rope and rings) was;
Track, wave off, clear above and behind, pitch, continue tracking until I sloooowy went feet to earth.
“The only fool bigger than the person who knows it all is the person who argues with him.

Stanislaw Jerzy Lec quotes (Polish writer, poet and satirist 1906-1966)

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Some of the new designs open more like ropes and rings (so I've heard, I never jumped ropes and rings.) They take forever. We used to call their openings streamers and cut them away.;) So when someone gets what I call a 'normal' opening they think it's a slammer.

Some are really killer openings and I remember some from the early 80's. One opening on a vulcan broke the jumpmasters ribs. (testing a student rig) I had one on my Cirrus Cloud that left me hanging in the harness for 1500'. Wasn't sure if I was hurt or not.

But I'm still convinced what some of the newer folks call slammers are normal 300' openings to me. My sabre and triathlon open just fine. And if I grunt at the end of the opening that fine too.
I'm old for my age.
Terry Urban
D-8631
FAA DPRE

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My typical opening procedure for my Strato Star (bottom rope and rings) was;
Track, wave off, clear above and behind, pitch, continue tracking until I sloooowy went feet to earth.



I only put about 50 jumps on mine with the rings and ropes and yes, you could dump in a track with that system. The slider made the openings comparable to a PC in opening time though a bit softer than the PC to me.

My Strato-Star with slider opened reliably and on heading every time and I could one foot it if there was even 3mph of wind (of course I only weighed 135lbs at the time).

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Roger "Ramjet" Clark
FB# 271, SCR 3245, SCS 1519

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The type of reefing makes a huge difference.

My experience was similar on a Strato-Cloud equipped with ropes-and-rings. When I did the diamond cross track (with the Skyhawks) I routinely tossed my pilot chute while still tracking. It opened comfortably, even while tracking.

When I later bought a Strato-Cloud Lite - with a slider - I had to laern how to roll pack it to soften openings at terminal at higher elevation DZs like Claresholm, Alberta (3,500 feet MSL).

Similarly, my slider-equipped Strato-Star opened firmly, but no big deal.

My worst openings were on a Delta II (Rogallo) with the original Opening shock Inhibitor. Even though I wrapped that (Teflon lined) wide strap around the suspension lines as per the manual, three out of my four jump son it HURT! And most of those jumps were sort delays form a slow airplane!

On modern canopies, most hard openings are caused by loose rubber bands that allow out of sequence deployments. See the picture of the bag-stripped Racer Tandem in the latest issue of PARACHUTIST Magazine.
Similarly, many young skydivers complain of hard openings after they lose control of their sliders while bagging canopies. Even an inch - between the slider and slider stops - can cause hard openings.

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Similarly, many young skydivers complain of hard openings after they lose control of their sliders while bagging canopies.

I used to rubber-band the slider to the tail of the canopy on my Viking. I think, though, that the snivel-snivel-snivel-snap opening that seems to be popular now isn't any improvement. You can have a fast opening, that as long as something is changing the whole time it's opening, isn't hard.

Of course, I liked my Starlite, too :D

Wendy P.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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I had some rather 'sporty' openings on my para-plane which was my 1st square.

The guy I bought it from had removed the rings & ropes, put a slider on it...from a stratostar, which was likely a bit too small in retrospect.

I also had some, what I WOULD consider 'slammer' openings on my HW 252, the pull out PC was quite a bit smaller than the spring-loaded types that the reefing system was designed for, roll packing worked well, stack packs were iffy at best.

The absolute hardest openings I've ever had were on a RW PC that was incorrectly shortlined, the larger/heavier apex center lines were supposed to be 6-8 inches longer than the other suspension lines, on mine they were not...great canopy for sub-terminal hop n' pops shooting accuri, but taking it to terminal at my size & weight was a once or twice a weekend adventure only.

I actually lost my shoes on a jump once...several times I think I was knocked out, suddenly I would find myself at a grand going away from the DZ with no idea how I got there! :S:ph34r:;)










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

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Ok, over and over again in the incidents forum I read statements like "Any canopy can slam you." Is this only a recent thing or is my memory of the original RW squares (Strato-Star and 7 Cell Foil) really bad?

I have more than 600 jumps on a Strato-Star and another 150 on various other squares of the mid 70's. I NEVER had a slammer opening on a Strato-Star or 7 Cell Foil. Nor do I remember anyone else ever saying they did (and I jumped at 3 of the busiest drop zones around, Z-Hills, Deland, and Hinckley). Starlight rounds, yeah!, but not my ever so reliable Strato-Star. The only hard openings I had back then were on the original Para-Plane and Para-Cloud when taken to terminal. They opened, eh, briskly.

Is it that we didn't have zero-p yet, smaller squares, foil shape, or???

I remember reading the same thing. Maybe he meant that if you keep the slider down while packing, or of course with loose line stows, that a hard opening will ensue. I've only been "slammed" by my canopy, Falcon 265, a couple of times. Once, I deployed right out of a long track, my fault. On student status in '93, I jumped a 7-cell on Static Line and it slammed me. After that the instructor put me under a PD 300. Much better. I had a rigger sew a pocket onto my slider and it took out the initial shock, but snivelled a really long way. My hips are bad, so of course my next canopy will be a Spectre. I've never read or heard from anyone getting slammed from a Spectre. I have PD's packing video on my computer. I think that I would be wise to PRO pack it just like they recommend. I'll let you know whenever I get my new canopy and how it opens.

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Just my opinion, but it does seem that older equipment normally never had the really sharp edged, snappy opening behaviour like in the zero P and Spectra era. While I can't quantify how much difference zero-P makes, or slick & unelastic Spectra vs. rougher & stretchier Dacron, it does seem the modern stuff can have openings with a more rapid onset of G's.

Modern canopies can also have a much worse shaking motion. Older canopies didn't have that rapid hunting left and right that can occur with modern canopies, whether the opening is fast or not. A fast shaking is particularly tough on one's head and neck.

It isn't that old stuff can't open rapidly, but the rise and decay of the G forces seems smoother. Openings on things like ParaCommanders and Paradactyls are that way -- openings can be really 'heavy', sinking you in your harness and making you grunt, but they just don't have that 'whack' regular jumpers expect out of a bad opening modern ramair.

And if you know the canopy opens hard, then you should be prepared for it, unlike when a modern softer opening canopy has a rogue opening.

(These days you pretty much have to warn people if lending them an F-111 canopy, as they'll think a normal opening is surprisingly hard...)

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Never had a memorably hard opening on a strato star, but with an early rings & ropes Cloud I recall that there were two separate styles of packing. One for terminal and one for hop & pops. Had my worst slammer on a hop & pop and put some nice bruises on my legs.
You live more in the few minutes of skydiving than many people live in their lifetime

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Never had a memorably hard opening on a strato star, but with an early rings & ropes Cloud I recall that there were two separate styles of packing. One for terminal and one for hop & pops. Had my worst slammer on a hop & pop and put some nice bruises on my legs.



I have several jumps on both a Para-Plane and Para-Cloud using the top rings and dual reef bag (one way for sub terminal, another for terminal. If you did a hop & pop with it reefed for terminal; bag lock (usually). Take a sub-terminal reefed bag to terminal; probably broken ribs. I was oh so careful with those!

Rings and ropes (bottom of canopy) on the Strato-Star opened softer than my cheapo; slider opened about like a PC of the times and I much preferred it to the rings.

-----------------------
Roger "Ramjet" Clark
FB# 271, SCR 3245, SCS 1519

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I had one real shitter of an opening, about 77 on my strato cloud (Eddie Grim) from which I still have a sore neck.
After opening I could only turn my head to the right.
Looking left was not an option.
Ever since then, every once in a while my neck locks up and I can't look to the left.
X-Rays showed an allmost non existant cartalige in one of the joints in my neck.

It was the white canopy in this photo
Watch my video Fat Women
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRWkEky8GoI

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Similarly, many young skydivers complain of hard openings after they lose control of their sliders while bagging canopies.

I used to rubber-band the slider to the tail of the canopy on my Viking. I think, though, that the snivel-snivel-snivel-snap opening that seems to be popular now isn't any improvement. You can have a fast opening, that as long as something is changing the whole time it's opening, isn't hard.

Of course, I liked my Starlite, too :D

Wendy P.



Small world! The Viking was my first canopy.

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I had some rather 'sporty' openings on my para-plane which was my 1st square.



My first square was also a "Baby" Para-Plane (200 sq.ft.), only mine was with the original reefing system. About every 5 jumps or so, I'd get an opening that was like a ball bat to the head. I don't think I ever got knocked out, but I sure saw stars a few times - and once got a bloody nose from the altimeter panel on my chest-mount reserve.B|

Kevin k.
_____________________________________
Dude, you are so awesome...
Can I be on your ash jump ?

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I have over 3000 jumps on my 3 Spectres, a 170 and 2 150's, different ages. While I love the openings and will continue to buy them as long as John makes them, I do get an occasional slammer, whether I packed it (flat pack) or a packer pro-packed it. So I go along with the post that any canopy can slam you.

madjohn

Main goals in life: Be on the "Jumpers Over Eighty" (JOE) World Record and attend the Lost Prairie Boogie once after I'm gone.

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