AFF students doing "The Richard Branson"

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>Ripcord - Right hip.

We had several cutaway handle pulls when we had this arrangement on our systems. It largely went away when we went to BOC ripcords. Does SA require the hipmount location, or that it is a ripcord? (BOC doesn't have to be a throwout.)

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As this is my first post on Dropzone.com, allow me to introduce myself:

I am a current PASA S/L and AFF Instructor, and ply my trade, full time (16 years out of 25 total and counting), at Skydive Cape Town. Although SCT is a Cessna operation, it is the only true 7 days a week DZ in South Africa.
I work with S/L and AFF students, and the equipment they use, on a daily basis.
In the past, I spent some time in the USA, and held a USPA AFFI rating. I have also assisted on a USPA AFF certification course as an AFF Evaluator.
I am a current PASA Instructor Evaluator for S/L, AFF and Tandem (also for RWS), and hold the PASA equivalent of an FAA Senior rigging rating.
As a competitive FS skydiver up until a few years back, I have travelled extensively and met many good skydiving friends, some of whom are instructors, I maintain contact with many of them.

For a few years, I was the National Safety and Training Officer (NSTO) for PASA, and am now a member of the current National Safety and Training Committee (NSTC).
We are tasked with, amongst other things, the maintenance of the PASA Manual of Procedures (MOPs- the equivalent of the USPA's SIM), and also with keeping an eye on the equipment used, especially by students, in the country.

In short, I am one of the "Old school" Instructors, that run the sport at national level, of whom Tonto gives the impression of having little time or respect for.
I would like to reassure him, and other readers of Dropzone.com forums, that far from being out of touch and ultra conservative, we do try and keep up with best practices world wide.

All DZs in SA are members of PASA, and voluntarily subscribe to adhering to the PASA MOPs.
As a fairly small community, we do have fairly standardised training methods and equipment countrywide. As mentioned this assists students, and others, who may travel around. We feel it makes things easier, and safer.
We are however open to change if it is properly motivated.

The NSTC encourage all members of the Association, local manufacturers, and especially rating holders, to participate in this process by communicating with us via the available channels. If they have suggestions, ideas, or proposals for change etc, they are more than welcome to forward them, with motivation, to the NSTO. We would prefer members be involved this way, rather than making unsubstantiated, incorrect comments via forums such as this.

Many changes to our MOPs and equipment have come about due to this. Other changes have happened due to progress in techniques and knowledge in other Skydiving Nations. I am sure this will continue.

I have some comments on statements made by Tonto, and would like to correct the impressions he may have, and may have created in other peoples minds, of the PASA, especially the NSTC.

Ripcord - Right hip. BOC is not yet allowed for AFF or freefall progression in South Africa.



In Reply To

Hopefully JSC will be able to transition to BOC even if it's a BOC ripcord.


It won't happen for a long, long time.

PASA (Parachute Association of South Africa) regulates student gear so that it is standardised throughout the country. Any student changing DZ's will always be familiar with the gear. There are 15 DZ's offering student training of which only one doesn't offer Static Line progression. The Practice pulls on SL require a hip mounted ripcord due to the fact that the container is open during the practice touch sequence - making BOC positioning tricky. JSC shares the rigs used for AFF with those used for the freefall part of the SL progression.

Since the sport is often run by the "Old school" instructors at a National level, many feel the ripcord is better for those (very rare on AFF) occasions that the student pulls unstable.


This gives the impression that the PASA NSTC is against BOCs for AFF, and is entirely incorrect:

The NSTC has never been opposed to the BOC ripcord, or pure BOC system, being utilized for AFF students, in fact we have actively encouraged it.

1. BOC Ripcords:
There are 13 active student DZs in SA. Of these, 8 offer AFF, 2 of them exclusively so (no S/L). One of these two currently uses the BOC ripcord system with the full approval of the NSTC.
We have made it clear we think that if "exclusive for AFF use" rigs were available, and with the appropriate control over rig issuing (a problem at some DZs, based on actual incidents of incorrect equipment being issued to students), then BOC ripcords are a good idea.
Therefore it is the DZ's themselves, including JSC, that have chosen to remain with hip mounted ripcords for AFF, in order to have their equipment available for both AFF and S/L to FF progression students.
At the instigation of the NSTC, one of the local manufacturers has looked at designing a S/L system that would retain the shape/stiffness of the main container after deployment, thus allowing the placement of a BOC dummy ripcord. However, with the small market size, this perhaps would not be economically viable to pursue.

2. Hand Deploy BOC:
In conjunction with one of the two local manufacturers, one DZ in SA has already run a 6 month session of hand deployed BOC on AFF, this again with the full approval and participation of the NSTC.
The DZ that is currently using BOC ripcords, will soon, utilizing the other manufacturer's equipment, be switching over completely to hand deployed BOC on AFF, once again with the full approval and active involvement of the NSTC.

The fact that Pilot chute hesitations and even PC in tow situations are almost routine on AFF bothers them little, since the AFF I's deal with those issues equally routinely.

This again is untrue:
We would be extremely worried if PC in tow incidents were routine.
The complete lack of incident reports to the NSTO, from any SA DZ, listing these kinds of malfunctions, does not indicate that they are. Perhaps it is the AFFIs who are little bothered?

Pilot Chute hesitations are another matter, from my own experience and observations, they do occur, but not routinely, and more frequently on the two instructor levels. They happen, I think, mostly due to the larger burble around three people. With the same rig, I have seen them on dual levels, but not on single levels.
We have found that replacing old, possibly worn-out PCs helps. So too do Instructor techniques, such as the RH Instructor leaving as soon as the ripcord is pulled, among others.

By the way:

We teach "Reach - touch - feel" for practice touches and "Reach - touch - pull" for the deployment. There is no look, and hasn't been for about 10 years for all the reasons you gave. Arch is a given.

The PASA AFF manual gives the count for practice touch as:
"Arch, touch/feel, arch"
and for the pull as:
"Arch, touch, pull, arch"

Once again: The PASA NSTC looks forward to the positive contributions from all members, and other interested parties, who are genuinely interested in assisting us to keep up with modern skydiving trends.
The correct communication channels exist, for those on SA DZs, chat with your local CI, or feel free to contact me or the current PASA NSTO, Mark Bellingan.
[email protected]

Here’s hoping for Blue Skies! (rain in Cape Town)

Long Pete

Peter Mauchan
Skydive Cape Town
[email protected]
082 888 9681

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At the instigation of the NSTC, one of the local manufacturers has looked at designing a S/L system that would retain the shape/stiffness of the main container after deployment, thus allowing the placement of a BOC dummy ripcord.


Back in 1995, I built a prototype Telesis S/L rig with extra plastic stiffeners in the main container to address this problem (the main container going slack just as S/L students reach for their practice handle).
Rigging Innovations sent the prototype to the British Army parachute school in Bad Lipspringer, Germany for testing.
I never did hear the conclusion of those tests
Try asking Sandy Reid (R.I.) or Bill Sharp (rigger at Bad Lipspringer).

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