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xijonix

Safety day mock rig

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We had a record number of students get licensed last year and seeing as this will be their first safety day I want to stress and test the importance of gear checks. I plan on piecing together some of the old gear I have lying around into a rig with every rigging mistake I can think of.

I'd like some ideas as to what I can do to test some of the more uncommon yet important errors that can be uncovered during a gear check. The rig will be on a mannequin in a "ready to jump" state.

Any additional ideas are appreciated.

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Don't try an over do it, the crazy weird stuff will cause problems anyway because even experienced people will miss it irl. Stick with the most common i.e. most likely to occur and therefore most dangerous.

It's better to learn a few things well than a lot of things poorly.

And totally my own 2 cents, "ready to jump" on a mannequin isn't great. If you put a rig on your body you should be ready to exit with it, and inspecting someone else's gear on their body is far less important than inspecting your own gear before you put it on. Just put it on the ground with some common mistakes.

Also, the best way to learn what is wrong is to learn what is correct. Make them hook up a main and thread the leg and chest straps. Then their understanding of how and why will be better. As opposed to "that looks funny, but I'm not sure what's wrong with it."

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Anachronist

Also, the best way to learn what is wrong is to learn what is correct. Make them hook up a main and thread the leg and chest straps. Then their understanding of how and why will be better. As opposed to "that looks funny, but I'm not sure what's wrong with it."



Agreed, but teaching people what looks funny and teaching them to speak out about it is also very important. You can only teach them so much about how something should be done, there's just too much to cover it all.

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riggerrob

Common errors include:
Mis-routed chest strap
Miss-routed 3-Rings
Release handle folded under harness
Miss-routed RSL
Miss-routed main bridle
Worn out BOC
Pins inserted too deep
AAD not turned on



how do you insert the pin too deep other than going all the way around the eyelet?
BASE 1519

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Quote

And totally my own 2 cents, "ready to jump" on a mannequin isn't great. If you put a rig on your body you should be ready to exit with it, and inspecting someone else's gear on their body is far less important than inspecting your own gear before you put it on. Just put it on the ground with some common mistakes.



Although I mostly agree with your statement I have seen too many times a jumper ready to jump that failed to notice a mistake that albeit should have been caught well in advance.

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wasatchrider

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Pins inserted too deep



how do you insert the pin too deep other than going all the way around the eyelet?for the main pin, yes, it has been done and documented already.
Reserve pin can also be pushed too far
scissors beat paper, paper beat rock, rock beat wingsuit - KarlM

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xijonix

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Release handle folded under harness



I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Could you explain?



----------------------------------------------------------------------

Back in the good old days, 3-Ring release handles were simple, floppy nylon pillows and were easy to fold under the harness while dressing.
I have embarrassed several jumpers - walking towards the plane - by asking them "Hey Paul! Where is your cutaway handle?"
They looked, fumbled, then straightened out their cutaway handles.

Modern cutaway handles are far more difficult to fold under because they contain stiffeners.

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There were two that I missed at DeWolf's course: bent reserve pin, where you can only see it if you look carefully from the side, and metal cutaway cable too short. In my defense for the latter, I've had less than a year in the sport at that point and only seen Spectra ripcords that were on our student rigs.

You remember mistakes like that and don't make them twice. Later that year, I saw a jumper who I thought had a ripcord cable that was too short and suggested that he talk to the master rigger at our DZ. A few months after that, I read an article in the Parachutist written by our rigger about an unnamed jumper whose reserve deployed due to a short cable as he was setting up in the door. Found out a bit later that it was the same guy. Fortunately, no injuries or damage to the plane.

Other suggestions:

The less visible parts of the 3-ring assembly. From what I've seen, very few people actually verify that the cable and the loop are routed correctly since they are often hidden under the riser. I keep meaning to do an experiment of not routing the loop through the grommet on the housing and then seeing how many gear checks it takes before someone spots it. Type-8 risers make this more of a challenge.

Closing loop too short/long/worn out. On the Vector, side flaps should overlap at the tapes, and the grommets should not be stacked. I'm sure we've all sat by the side of the packing mat and watched someone drenched in sweat putting every ounce of their strength to pull a bit more of the closing loop out. I usually give them five minutes before suggesting that the loop is probably a bit too short :D

Reserve loop too long may be another good thing to test. This is especially important on Vectors and other containers with fully covered RPCs due to increased risk of a container lock or hesitation with AAD activation. Seeing the outline of the RPC through the flaps is not a good sign and this is a problem that can develop gradually if the loop was not sufficiently pre-stretched.

Non-RSL-side cutaway cable not routed through the Collin's lanyard (on Skyhook rigs). Like the 3-ring, this is another thing that's easy to reassemble incorrectly when cleaning your cutaway cables. Saw a group of jumpers standing around a rig last winter and discussing whether the cable should be routed through the yellow loop or not. They finally decided to take one of the student rigs off the rack and compare. None of them knew what it was or why it was there.

Remove the reserve seal or misroute the sealing thread through the closing loop. Caught the latter issue once on a jumper who was sitting in front of me on the airplane.

Set the AAD to a -300 ft altitude offset. Use something that would look reasonable without the minus sign.

I would put in as many errors as you can. Experienced people can learn from this as well and if someone ends up missing 10+ problems, that might serve as a wake-up call to learn a bit more about their gear and maybe read the manuals. Doing a pre-jump check on a mannequin and checking a rig that's on a table are two different types of tasks and I think both would be useful.

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mxk



..............
Reserve loop too long may be another good thing to test. This is especially important on Vectors and other containers with fully covered RPCs due to increased risk of a container lock or hesitation with AAD activation. Seeing the outline of the RPC through the flaps is not a good sign and this is a problem that can develop gradually if the loop was not sufficiently pre-stretched.

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

Remove the reserve seal or misroute the sealing thread through the closing loop. Caught the latter issue once on a jumper who was sitting in front of me on the airplane.....



These two would be serious neglect from the rigger and frankly I'm not sure that your run-off-the-mill jumper is even qualified to assess those...

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Blis

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..............
Reserve loop too long may be another good thing to test. This is especially important on Vectors and other containers with fully covered RPCs due to increased risk of a container lock or hesitation with AAD activation. Seeing the outline of the RPC through the flaps is not a good sign and this is a problem that can develop gradually if the loop was not sufficiently pre-stretched.

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

Remove the reserve seal or misroute the sealing thread through the closing loop. Caught the latter issue once on a jumper who was sitting in front of me on the airplane.....



These two would be serious neglect from the rigger and frankly I'm not sure that your run-off-the-mill jumper is even qualified to assess those...

They should certainly be able to recognize a missing seal, and it can be harder to see problems of the "not there" type than "there but not correct." As for the other two, both are from my personal experience and serve as an important lesson that every jumper should learn at some point - riggers make mistakes. I keep a list of all the articles in the Parachutist that are just on that topic.

I encountered the RPC issue while still a student jumping the school's Vector SEs. The outline of the RPC was visible through the flaps and you could rock it back and fourth more than half an inch. Having received multiple gear checks from my instructors using the same rig, I didn't think much of it. Then one time, I was finishing packing the rig when someone saw the issue and called a rigger over to take a look. He decided to give me a different rig and repack this one.

The point isn't for all jumpers to accurately evaluate the problem and decide whether something needs to be done about it, but to understand that this particular area of the rig may have problems X, Y, and Z, and know just enough about them to ask for a second opinion when anything looks suspicious.

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^^ agreed. Noticing how the reserve pack is seated/distributed and any reserve closing loop length issues are pretty deep nuances that most jumpers don't understand (myself included) - though heads up jumpers might notice something looks different and ask a rigger to look. Also, some riggers pack better than others.

The riggers seal location and what to look for is taught from students on up and should be with all instructors, IMO.

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sammielu

^^ agreed. Noticing how the reserve pack is seated/distributed and any reserve closing loop length issues are pretty deep nuances that most jumpers don't understand (myself included) - though heads up jumpers might notice something looks different and ask a rigger to look. Also, some riggers pack better than others.

The riggers seal location and what to look for is taught from students on up and should be with all instructors, IMO.



Missing seal for sure but wrongly routed sealing thread is different thing (as a rigger if I misrouted the sealing thread I would be deeply ashamed and my instructor would probaply give me instant feedback)

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At our last safety day, I gave a demo on maintaining yellow cutaway cables and the system. The audience was glued to it! Run a 17 cal. flexible gun cleaning swab through the housing to remove lubricant from manufacture. This is what makes the cables black and part of the reason for reserve pulls up to 50lbs. Most rigs are due for repack in the spring. This year I may hang them by THEIR risers and have them pull cutaway handle to see what the actual feelings and forces are. Re hook them up and let them pull the reserve. Many will be surprised what they felt. Not to mention if it were an actual wild malfunction situation. Good luck. D-3411

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Good point about cleaning cutaway cables!
California desert dust can dramatically increase the tension needed to pull a cutaway handle.
I have noticed a difference of 25 pounds between dirty and clean cables.

A decade or so ago, Parachutes de France published a Service Bulletin about cleaning excess lubricant out of cutaway housings. Seems that their factory used plenty of oil while winding housings, but neglected to remove it from completed housings.

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You can add "mis-routed leg straps" since some people undo completely their leg straps and put it back the wrong way. In that case, the adaptor brake is not working and the leg strap slips easily when applying a force.

A good exercise is to dress somebody with a complete parachute student rig or sport rig with some errors on it and ask a student or beginner to do a complete check in front of an audience just like a preflight check.
If he missed something, you show it, explain the consequences and the student should likely remember his mistake for the rest of his life.
That exercise should be part of the self supervised/solo student ground practical test.
Learn from others mistakes, you will never live long enough to make them all.

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