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pchapman

used my 34 year old bellymount reserve yesterday

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There I was…
… with a fore-and-aft rig and a streamered ParaCommander because the right main riser had released on deployment.

I was testing out a vintage rig that I had just assembled for a friend. I took about a 5 second delay from the C-182 at 4500'.

When I pulled, the right riser released at the R-3 release (modified Capewell), streamering the main.

What I think had happened was that when I reached for the high mounted outboard facing ripcord, I was sloppy and reached and grabbed all in one motion, sweeping my hand across the harness as I did so. I must have peeled the R-3 release as I got to the ripcord. D'oh! The velcro in it is old but was holding fine so I hadn't tried to replace it.

I released the other R-3, and by staying in a sitting position -- well dearched -- fell onto my back as I pulled the belly mount ripcord, trying to cover the canopy releases with the other arm. (Although it shouldn't be nearly as important with R-3's as with the much snaggier full Capewells).

The MA-1 pilot chute pulled out the 26' LoPo cleanly, for a smooth opening. The cross connector did bump my chin cup but caused no other problem.

I had tried to save my main ripcord, yet get it away from the belly reserve, by stuffing it between my knees before chopping, but lost it on reserve opening. Under the reserve one could watch the kicker plate tumble away, and the balled up ParaCommander drop behind me, descending much faster than I was.

The LoPo was a Strong design, but built under license in 1977 by the short lived M+S company of Montreal. The canopy used one of the old 2 grommet Strong line equalization diapers.

With light winds I was able to fly & drift back to the DZ. I should have rolled out the landing but stood it up for the small crowd, but in so doing pretty much compressing all the way down, butt to heels, causing a little ankle sprain. I'm 155 lbs so the descent rate isn't bad under a round reserve.

I hadn't previously had the chance to deploy a belly mount reserve, so going those reserve procedures had some of the excitement of a novice having his first mal. All in good fun. (Plus I had been envious of Beatnik, who used his bellymount reserve a few years back when another jumper spiralled into his canopy. Not many sport jumpers get to use a bellymount these days.)

The timing on my helmet video shows the cutaway at 8 seconds after first seeing the main -- which included time to identify it clearly as a mal with one riser off, at 4 seconds saying to the video that I'd have to go to the reserve, stowing the main ripcord, and putting my left hand on the remaining R-3. The reserve pull came a second later, and full reserve another 3 seconds later. Seems like decent timing.

I have attached a few of the stills taken from the ground, showing the reserve deployment and then flying the reserve.

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CONGRATULATIONS ! Glad youre ok,except the ankle.
A few questions if you dont mind; What was the main container ? A stylemaster? Was the reserve attached hi or low on the harness(cant tell riser lenth from the photo)above or below the chest strap? is the pc ok? Where were you jumping? sea level ? I quit jumping my conventional(b4)rig in the water fearing the lo mount reserve opening shock would snap my 57 y/o self in half if I needed it.
" 90 right, five miles then cut."---Pukin Buzzards

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WOW (a second look at the photos) That was your pretty camo pc ! I have a camo pc like it. It was called pizza-puke. From the rigger who sold it to me (years ago) he said it was Israeli desert camoflage pattern.
" 90 right, five miles then cut."---Pukin Buzzards

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Thanks for remembering my pizza puke PC, Longtall. In this case though, it was a different PC, a boring all yellow one. I was getting the rig together from different sources to give to a friend in Latvia, who had gotten me Russian UT-15 and D-6 rigs to jump.

There's no damage to main or reserve; I have a spare kicker plate; I just need to build a new main ripcord.

I've attached a couple pics of the container, plus frame grabs from my helmet video showing the main and then the opening reserve above me.

Andrew Hilton kindly found the container for me, so it is likely of UK origin. It has no markings on it, but is a nice example of a conventional sport rig that was starting to evolve away from military style rigs. It is a 2 pin rig with closing loops instead of cones. It also has a semi split saddle -- structurally there are two separate leg straps, but they are tied together with sewn webbing.

I guess the reserve attachment points would be called low mounted. The reserve opening wasn't hard at all. Maybe it was masked a little by adrenalin, but it was softer than a PC at terminal.

With the initial main pull 5 sec out the door and the PC catching a little air even with just one riser, I don't think I ever accelerated near terminal. Also, some of the hard opening stories of long ago applied to unreefed rounds, and this one had a diaper, avoiding canopy inflation until the lines were taut.

Even with a diaper for initial control, the opening of a round reserve is messy when looking at it in slow motion. The "capture4" photo (from time code 46 and 26/60ths seconds) shows the reserve mouth in an "X" shape as some parts of the skirt fold outward before the others.

I had fun writing up the CSPA Accident / Incident / Malfunction form, particularly the parts where the gear components are listed! The head of our Technical and Safety committee has been around a while so he should be able to understand.

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Wow. Congratulations.

Were there no cross-connectors between the risers on the Paracommander?

Those are interesting photos of the reserve opening. It's a good thing it all happens too fast to see that while it's occuring, because then it would scare the bejeebers out of you.

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Hi Chappie,
'Sumptin' to say for old (34yrs.) taken care of nylon!! Too bad you weren't doing a demo at an Antique Airplane Fly-in!! A leather helmet, thin pencil moustache, white shirt n' tie, cordury pants with oil stains and brown and white wing tip shoes would have topped off yer' outfit!!
SCR-2034, SCS-680

III%,
Deli-out

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Were there no cross-connectors between the risers on the Paracommander?


Quote



Not on a high performance canopy like THAT~:o

Cross connectors were for n00bs using a Stevens line, on a PC ya needed to pop the chest strap and sling the reserve to get ALL the horsepower out of it. ;)

To the OP~ Nice job on the old stuff! B|











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

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Mr T


Old is a relative term. I'd prefer to call the gear used by Mr Chapman as Classic, third generation, any thing but OLD.;)

The OP's form on cutaway looked perfect (classic) to my fuzzy eye's. Reverse archB|.

I hope OP and Beatnick have some of the first generation altimeters to go along with their belly warts. B|

IMO It would be great for display purpose's ONLY. WARNING red tag it for diplay only.:)
Do not jump it.Getting slaped in the mouth with a full size acft altimeter would be a dentists, plastic surgeons dreamB|B|

R.I.P
One Jump Wonder

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Mr T


Old is a relative term. I'd prefer to call the gear used by Mr Chapman as Classic, third generation, any thing but OLD.;)

The OP's form on cutaway looked perfect (classic) to my fuzzy eye's. Reverse archB|.

I hope OP and Beatnick have some of the first generation altimeters to go along with their belly warts. B|

IMO It would be great for display purpose's ONLY. WARNING red tag it for diplay only.:)
Do not jump it.Getting slapped in the mouth with a full size acft altimeter would be a dentists, plastic surgeons dreamB|B|

R.I.P



Not to mention a stopwatch impaled in your cheek! ;)










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

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Wow. Congratulations.

Were there no cross-connectors between the risers on the Paracommander?

Those are interesting photos of the reserve opening. It's a good thing it all happens too fast to see that while it's occuring, because then it would scare the bejeebers out of you.



Cross connecters were a no no on a PC, could turn into neck breakers. Only on the reserve.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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Hi all.

Thanks for the cross connector info guys; I've never seen one on my or my friends' ParaCommanders. I have made sure to have one on belly reserves.

A dashboard of big alti & stopwatch would look cool atop the reserve, but yes, only for showing off on the ground. It would seem a little hazardous in the air.

The reserve canopy had come out of an ancient Racer to which it had been assembled in 1983. Zero repacks until I moved it to the belly container, and packed it up in the last couple weeks. It passed all my tensile tests.

Although the reserve attachment points seem to be classified as "low", I now realize I wasn't tipping back at all under the reserve. Just a nice comfy seat, no need to hold lines to avoid dangling back. That was an issue with some old rigs they say?

When one 'sits' in the harness on opening, one is in a nice dearch for using a belly reserve, especially when one doesn't have the forward speed of a ram air. I don't know exactly what cutaway position you guys practiced in the old days? The old Canadian guidelines showed legs straight and together, kicked out in front.

My body position after the one sided chop wasn't perfect initially (rolled somewhat to the side), but overall the seated position worked well. I could see that with legs' greater body area, and arms in to work Capewells and the reserve, one might go somewhat head down on ones' back after a chop. Was that common? Still, probably better to send reserve fabric a bit more towards the feet than up towards the shoulders if one had those snaggy Capewells.

I wasn't there back in those days, but it seems that skydiving actually had gear more snaggy than a GoPro!

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Hi PC

Sorry the dashboard instrument panel was even before my time:)
I feel confident one of our fellow senior jumpers might have one.:) If you get hold of one please treat it with the respect it "reserves";)

Since your getting into the belly wart era if you don't already have one you might give a shout out for a nice dash panel made to mount a SSE alti, or alti and watch, or SSE double alti.

Wrist mounts for SSE type alti watch's went thru some variations. I think I remember a leather type wrist mount that para gear $$$.

Snag factor? We studied the fataility reports like our life depended on it. Don't remember to much noise about the snag factor of the 1.5 shot capewells it was a known problem, hanging harness time would get a person to use a arm to cover the capewells.

Glad to see you didn't use the rubber band/lead weight trick :Sto prevent you from losing your Rip cordB| I 'v e read that little trick caused a couple of fatalities.

The reverse arch position legs together was the way we were taught (i think). I think It's also the way paratroopers are taught to exit.

A reserve with a diaper, designed for sport jumping or at least a bail out rig etc, sub terminal opening, Being sharp on your EP 's I think might have all added up to your quality experience.;)

I forget if beatnicks reserve ride was a 24' military surplus round. Since I never experienced one I'll let some of the folks that had to use them comment.

Ripcords are cheap, Don't worry be happy!!!!!B|
One Jump Wonder

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Feet together and forward was the position to adopt for a chop. With a centre pull reserve handle you had both hands on the handle and pulled straight up together to about your chin, this meant the forearms covered the capewells which would be hanging out after the cutaway.

Often you would be left hanging backwards a little under the reserve, the drill was to push both arms between the reserve lines, and then cinch them back so the reserve lines travelled under your armpits, and you were then suspended by the lines emerging behind your shoulders, pulling you into an upright position for a good PLF on landing.

If you want to go further back then we get into NOT cutting away, and hand deploying the non pilot chuted reserve.

Of course when the PC came along this went out of fashion, simply because a malling PC usually spun out a bit more than an old cheapo would. This kind of spin was considered violent, so most people were not allowed to jump a PC untill they had quite a few jumps under their belt first. ( I was the first student to jump a PC on a first jump in NZ, apparently it created quite heated discussion at a national T & S meeting at the time).

A PC was considered way too dangerous for a first jumper to handle.

The old two shot and one shot capewells were more difficult to deal with as well.
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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If you want to go further back then we get into NOT cutting away, and hand deploying the non pilot chuted reserve.



Not that much further back, I had one in '78. Throw in the direction of the spin! :o and pray :)



You missed spit to determine direction of spin.
I don't care how many skydives you've got,
until you stepped into complete darkness at
800' wearing 95 lbs of equipment and 42 lbs
of parachute, son you are still a leg!

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Peter,
Are you still using speed links?

If so, you might want to use the "L' bars instead. Just for kicks and giggles....I never have trusted the Speed links and change them out whenever I find them installed.

Also, I have two rigs with R3's on them. I recommend two turns of seal thread just behind the plastic handle to keep the things secure.

It does not really interfer with the operation of the R3 and offers just a little more security than without.

Just my.02 worth,

BS,
MEL
Skyworks Parachute Service, LLC
www.Skyworksparachuteservice.com

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Thanks for the speed link thoughts. I had still accepted them for main canopies (inspecting for cracks in the corners and confirming the screw is not backing out), but I can see the point to replace them if possible.

I like the seal thread idea. I have used a little extra seal thread on belly mount reserves before (e.g., tying each pin separately), as even a really tight container can have very low force needed to move the handle, in my limited experience.

The R-3's do have the steel rivets, which is good, but I still have to replace the pins (on which the Capewell Clip rotates) -- they are the long type that leave a little play. As Poynter says, that opens up a greater possibility of the Clip spreading and not engaging the Slider properly.

I have seen the long pins used but with an extra washer at one end, as an alternative if the short pins aren't available. That was on an R-3 copy and seems a reasonable alternative way to ensure there's no play.

Always good to hear the 2 cents worth from people with experience with the vintage stuff.

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I've been wondering about those R-3 capewells. They look a little scary to me. I made a PC jump a few years ago that had them. The jump went well, but I was a paranoid the whole time, wondering if that velcro would hold.

I bought a new, old stylemaster rig, with a PC, a few years back. It has R-3's too.

I always felt safe with my old shot and a halfs. I do remember one opening, when my arm pulled the cover open on one of them(back in the 70's).

Some guys jumped one shot capewells back then. They scared me too....

Maybe I'm just a scaredy cat.[:/] Sometimes that can keep you alive, though....

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Great photos from the ground! Telephoto lens or were you a little LOW?



Big telephoto plus cropping the many megapixel shots!

From my video, it looks like an exit at 4400', main opening shock about 4000', and an open reserve by maybe 3200'. Rate of descent to the ground under the reserve averaged 18 fps. (for 155 lbs + gear) About 3 minutes under the reserve, so no fear of getting grounded for a low opening! :)
A short video from my camera helmet is up on youtube now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpxZ_0js8eM.
I do sound a little amped up for some reason!


Edited to add:
As for Beatnik's belly mount reserve ride a few years back, the other jumper who caused the canopy collision landed under a 26' Strong LoPo, while Beatnik landed under a swinging 26' Guardian, possibly cracking a rib in the hard landing.

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