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wmscott

Fake Student Ripcord?

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Is the ripcord for the student to pull on a tandem rig fake? I did a tandem jump at Eloy and was asked if I wanted to pull the ripcord. I said "Of course!" (This was not my first Tandem) At pull time I was given "the finger" and reached and pulled. The deployment handle was attached to some sort of bungee?? I pulled, nothing happened. Still holding the bag I pulled again....HARD. It stretched out 9-10 inches or so, but I did not feel the drogue release or the container open. I yanked it like a mad man three or four times and then put both my hands up in front of the instructors face as to signal "WTF"? I then felt the drogue release and could hear the deployment. I assume he release the drogue.

Are the handles for the student on a Tandem rig just for muscle memory and NOT actual release handles?

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Thanks. I have been studying very hard on the equipment and terminology. But my searches have come up empty on how this handle on the Tandem rig works or not. I should have asked at the DZ.

My question is.....should it have opened the container?? Did I have a malfunction? Or are there Tandem rigs that have "dummy" handles?

(What does good trolling mean?)

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Thank you for your reply. I wish I asked when I was there as to what happened. Is it possible or common for the drogue release handle to NOT work on the student side for some reason?

I joined this forum 10 years ago when I "first" thought about getting into skydiving. 10 years later I decided to give it another shot. This was the first time I was asked or given the option to open the chute. Naturally, I was stoked and said yes.

Now that I've had my first malfunction on my very first opening attempt, I'm not sure skydiving is for me. Sounds like someone is trying to tell me something....

(I was so hoping it was a "dummy" drogue release handle) :(

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Typical Sigma system has two handles, one on right and one on left.

Both are attached to bungee cords so that people don't lose them.

In the past handles where connected to taflon cable and people had to hold on to them, like the old Ripcord system. Back in the day student were taught to hold on to the ripcord or they were charged beer fine. Newer tandem system eliminated this by bungee cord and slightly different routing. As for the student rigs goes, they've got rid of ripcord system by introducing BOC system. That one you need to THROW and not hold on.

You can learn about the system by looking at Sigma Tandem Vector manual. You can google it and you can download PDF for free.

A lot of student hesitate when given signal to pull for various reasons. I've had people not pulling because just simply they wanted longer freefall, or they simply didn't pull hard enough.

You gotta pull it with some strength and pull it far enough so that the pin disengage and release the drogue, pulling out the main d-bag.

It is kinda like working with a firearm. You can not cock your firearm, when you baby the crap out of it. You gotta be delicate but you gotta handle it with some authority.
Bernie Sanders for President 2016

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It's not a malfunction, and you didn't do anything wrong. (That I can see) The two drogue release handles are a redundant back up system working as a pulley, they are both hooked up to the same piece of line to pull the same pin. If you reached in and pulled on time you did good. If it didn't work the first time and you tried again you did even better. They are on bungees and you just needed to pull a little harder, some ground practice would help.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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Thanks for the great information! I went on Sigma's sight and downloaded the manual. I love to study things in depth. Wow...that manual explained a lot! But opened another can of worms...

After reading the manual, it is possible that something else happened. First of all, there is no way that system can fail on one side and not the other. I pulled it SO HARD I was jerking the instructor and could feel him and the rig moving with each pull. Good thing he was attached.

After reading the manual.....I think I experienced something MUCH different! The safety pin was in?? While on the tram to the plane, the instructor showed me the pull again and pulled it out far enough and hard enough to demonstrate how to correctly pull. I can only assume now that the safety pin was in at the time he was showing me and not removed. When does the instructor REMOVE the safety pin??

If the instructor forgot to remove the safety pin, that would explain everything that happened including the time it took him to open the chute AFTER I had both my hands up in his face giving him the "wth" sign.

1. Can the instructor open the chute with the safety pin in?
2. Can the instructor remove the safety pin in freefall?
3. Is there a way to tell if we were under the reserve?

Oddly enough, I feel MUCH better if it was something like the safety pin still being in. It was a long day for the instructor and I was the last one of the day. They had to put together another load just for me because they forgot about me. And "if" the safety pin was in, he did an OUTSTANDING job of remaining calm and executing the proper EP.

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....okay....scratch that. I just read further in the manual and it appears that after drogue deployment, the safety pin system is deactivated.

I'm still confused as to why it didn't open when I pulled.....

After reading the system manual, I have to say it is an ingenious system!

Thanks for all the help, I really appreciate it.

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I really can not figure that out.

When you can pull one side, the other side pulls.

Only thing that I can think of is,

1. You were not pulling on the handle, you were pulling something else and you were thinking that you were pulling the handle. Lots of students do this, we train them on the ground for hours and still some percentile just can not find where the handle is during AFF jump. (sensory overload)

2. You were not pulling hard enough, or you didn't pull it enough so that the pin wasn't pulled.

I used to guide students hand to the release handle by putting my hand over their hand, and I would grab the release handle with the student's hand in my hand ......... and that started feel creepy and gay so I stopped doing that.

3. Last case scenario. When the system was packed, the closing pin was flipped in a fashion which it might have caused a hard pull. In that case if you were yanking the shit out of correct handle, then you might have helped the situation by loosening up the pin.

Most likely 1 or 2.

Did you land with the main or reserve?

And if that one little thing freaks you out, you definitely should not skydive. You can have mal-function on your very first jump or you may not have mal-function for 1000's jumps. You can make 1000 of skydives without getting hurt or you may end up dying on your very first jump. The risk is real. Even if you do everything correct, there can be some other retard flying their canopy into yours.
Bernie Sanders for President 2016

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I am confused as well. Only two possibilities come to mind. The first is the direction you were pulling. If you were pulling at a 90 degree angle to the housing it could be difficult to pull the pin. And the other is the very unlikely possibility that the drogue was not actually out and that you and the instructor were falling without it. Then he deployed the drogue afterward. But it's pretty hard for me to imagine that an SDAZ tandem instructor would be doing that. Did you not talk about it on the ground afterward, or was he in a hurry to be on the next load?

EDIT

After re-reading your answers, and seeing how quickly you read the manual, and all the terms you used, I would say that you are a skydiver. Probably a TM and you are jerking us around. You got me.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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No jerking anyone around. Not a skydiver or TM. I am however, very educated. And when I research something, I research it all the way. Hundred's of hours educating myself. 10 years is a very long time to learn everything you can about something. I'm sure I know as much, if not more, than most licensed skydivers. I like to study. I just don't have the jumps. I have two tandems and 10 minutes tunnel time from 10 years ago.

I didn't have to read the entire manual. It had an appendix. Section 2: Equipment • Chapter 1 of the manual has some great color pictures of the deployment system and explains the system very well.

I guess I'm going with "didn't pull hard enough". After all the help and information I learned today, that seems to make the most sense.

I pulled "out to the side". Not sure if that was the best or proper direction. I pulled it in the direction the instructor demonstrated on the tram. Out and parallel to to bottom of the container or straight out to the side.

Is there a simple way of knowing if we were under the reserve? I didn't notice anything different about it. And after reading about the Sigma system today, if the container was locked, and the reserve was deployed, wouldn't we be trailing the drogue and bridle?? Would I be able to see it trailing behind us? I didn't look for one but didn't notice one either.

It was the last jump of the day. Everyone was gone. The instructor was in a rush and I didn't really have any questions. He gave me a certificate and left. Everyone was gone by then anyway. This issue only came up after I started reflecting on the event. I always assumed it was just a dummy drogue release for training. It wasn't until today that I learned otherwise.

I am still very interested in the sport. I absolutely love the feeling of falling. (was a little disappointed how little "falling" you actually feel)

I really appreciate all the help and information. If I decide to become a skydiver, I will have to make sure I can pull hard enough to open the system.

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Are there any actual tandem instructors or tandem masters on this site? Or educated skydivers that can give some intelligent input as to any and all possible scenarios that may have caused the situation I experienced?

And please.....2000 post "wanna be's" pretending to be an instructor need not post a reply. Like those of you with USPA Ratings like "F-111" or "Lo-Po" or "Zero-P". I would prefer A, B, C or D rated or equivalent licensed skydivers.

Thanks

(I was really hoping I didn't have to use terms like "thingy", "do-hicky" and "thing-a-ma-jig" to get an intelligent answer or to be taken seriously)

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Stayhigh is not representative of skydivers, he's not a current skydiver and likes to feel big by putting others down.

In fact he is banned from several drop zones and run out of Hawaii for despicable behaviour.

Ignore him.

And keep asking questions.

And go skydiving!
My computer beat me at chess, It was no match for me at kickboxing....

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wmscott

I guess I'm going with "didn't pull hard enough". After all the help and information I learned today, that seems to make the most sense.



I too, think that is the most likely explanation. I tell my tandem students that the "pull" needs to be a sharp tug on the drogue release. (UPT Sigma)

And far as to how you have been treated in response to your questions, well, internet forums allow people to be anonymous and overly critical if they want to be. The internet is about "filtering" information.

I suggest that you ignore those people, and use information from the helpful people, of which there are plenty. If you hang out here long enough, you will figure out who they are. Years from now, if you become an experienced skydiver, you will look back at some of these posts and laugh.

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Quote

Is there a simple way of knowing if we were under the reserve?



Ok then. I'll choose to take you at face value. The simplest way I can think of to know for sure after the fact and from this distance is the type of steering toggle after deployment. If they were yellow and/or had loops for both your hands and the instructors hands, it was the main canopy. If on the other hand they were red, and/or had no place for you to grip, only the instructor, it was a reserve.

Yes I am a tandem instructor and a rigger. The nature of your questions and the detail of some of your knowledge made me suspect a game was being played. Games like that are not at all uncommon here.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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I'm banned from one dz.

get the facts right.

and the other fact you have it correctly.

I no longer skydive anymore, I just troll on dz.com, until I end up selling my velo, and I have no usage for dz.com any longer. I have found much better place to troll.


Abstract
In two online studies (total N = 1215), respondents completed personality inventories and a survey of their Internet commenting styles. Overall, strong positive associations emerged among online commenting frequency, trolling enjoyment, and troll identity, pointing to a common construct underlying the measures. Both studies revealed similar patterns of relations between trolling and the Dark Tetrad of personality: trolling correlated positively with sadism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism, using both enjoyment ratings and identity scores. Of all personality measures, sadism showed the most robust associations with trolling and, importantly, the relationship was specific to trolling behavior. Enjoyment of other online activities, such as chatting and debating, was unrelated to sadism. Thus cyber-trolling appears to be an Internet manifestation of everyday sadism.

That pretty much sums it up. :P
Bernie Sanders for President 2016

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And most likely the instructor would have mentioned something to you if it was a reserve ride. And in all likelihood there would have been a bit more fuss on the ground as someone is going to have to go find the freebag and they would probably be over to chat with the instructor when you landed.

Does it really matter for a tandem students jump. They have there job and the instructor has his. If you pulled your ripcord then your job done. After that its the instructors job. And clearly you got down under a parachute so he did his job.

As to what happened. Give the DZ a call and chat to the instructors. If it was a reserve ride I'm sure he will remember. That way you will know for sure rather than opinion of people on the internet based upon some information that is 50/50 on whether its real or trolling.

And yes I am a very current tandem instructor and rigger.

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Honestly when I first read it I figured you pulled and everything went fine just the moment between pull, the drogue collapse and the extraction of the bag to deployment and being seated, which only takes a couple of seconds, felt much longer to you (3 sharp pulls and throwing your arms up in frustration could, in my opinion, be done in the same amount of time if over amped/excited) giving you the feeling that something was wrong when there wasn't (not a dig or anything just a guess)

0.02c

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Thank you guys for your posts! Things are starting to make a whole lot more sense now based on all the events "after" the jump.

A couple of things....

When it was time to pull, I crossed with my left arm and reached with my right for the pull. I found the release instantly and pulled it out as far as it would go. (felt like 8-10 inches or so). I held it there. I did not feel or hear anything. I relaxed it and pulled it again HARD and held it out. I still felt nothing or heard nothing. Now I gave it three hard "totally pissed off" type pulls that were hard enough to yank the instructor as I felt him move. I then put both my hands in front of his face. There was a solid "two" count from there where it was calm and nothing was happening. I then felt a "pop" and heard the container open and the chute start to deploy. I didn't feel the drop I did the first tandem jump though.

As it was deploying, I reached up for the risers and watched. (I watch tons of videos and was doing my best to pretend I was a skydiver). lol We were both looking up at the chute as the slider was still against it. It was taking FOREVER to open (over three seconds seems like forever) and I even had time to say "damn that thing sure is sniveling!! After I said that it very slowwwwwly slid down and opened. I don't have anything to compare that to, but it sure seemed slow and ridiculously soft. I would say we were vertical and watching for a good 4-5 seconds.

After it opened, we did a slight turn and he announced that he was going to do a stall. He did two in a row. Then some turns. Then he put his feet together for me to stand on and said he was going to "give my balls back to me" and unhooked something on the harness that lowered me like a foot but was WAY more comfortable.

The chute had ONE set of toggles. He had me reach up and put my hands in the loop with his hands and then had me take the toggles. He instructed me to do some turns and then had me pull them all the way down and stall the canopy a third time. Those were my first stalls and a lot less exciting then I thought they would ever be. He then took the toggles back from me.

If it is a FACT that only reserves have single toggles, then it was definitely a reserve.

Landing was a slide in on our butts. The flare was not much of a flare at all and more of a round out. All I thought was "dang we seem heavy".

As soon as we stopped he unhooked me and said "you can go over there now" pointing to the patio as another jumper came up to him instantly. Like I said earlier, it was like everyone disappeared after that but I didn't think much of it because it was well past closing time.

I will look on the certificate they game me an see if I can contact the instructor. All of this is only for my personal knowledge and understanding of the sport and what had happened. I am a nut when it comes to my thirst for knowledge and understanding.

Thanks again for all the support and information. A reserve ride seems to make the most sense. It doesn't change how I feel about anything as everything did as it was designed to do except for the main if that is in fact what happened.

Gotta say....it sure was fun!

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You're definitely one of those "I want to know everything!" detail oriented students. Sometimes a pain in the ass, who has to be asked to quiet down, and needing correction for wrong ideas picked up .... but better in the long run than those who can't be bothered to learn and study or care about their gear.

Anyway, on the Sigmas if it was the reserve there would be one loop each, the toggles would be red. If you could reach up into the toggles, both your and your instructor's hands would be in the same loop. No drogue or pilot chute would be trailing behind the canopy.

If it was a main, the toggle would be yellow and have a loop for your hand lower down, and a loop for the instructor's higher up. The drogue would be trailing behind the canopy but you might not be able to get your head up high enough to see it.

(For the main, there might be tiny secondary toggles too, black, that the instructor would use in addition to the yellow ones for landing, with some but not all canopy types.)

It would be pretty unusual for a decent hard pull on the drogue release handle to not release the drogue. Hard pulls -- one's which don't have the desired effect of pulling out the pin -- are very rare on the system.

Still hard to tell what the situation was on your jump.

Edit: OzzieDave could of course be right too -- based on your postings, you might be just a little overamped in the air too. :)

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Couldn't agree with you more. There is nothing more of a pain in the ass than a student that "thinks" he knows everything. Especially if he is running his mouth instead of listening.

Being a sponge for knowledge, I understand the value of listening. My ears are open and my mouth is shut.

Posting here was solely for the purpose of knowledge and understanding of "possible" scenarios. It's informative to pick the brain of those of you with actual experience.

I will contact the DZ and see if I can talk to the instructor. All in all, it doesn't really matter what exactly happened. The instructor did an outstanding job. The only thing that keeps sticking in my head was how dang hard I had to pull the release. I mean DANG! If that was normal, I'm not strong enough to skydive. In which case I will need to work out or stay away from jumping.

I'm really only trying to find piece of mind for what happened or didn't happen when I pulled. I'm harder on myself than any instructor would be.... (I'm working on this)

1. I pulled correctly and it opened correctly. Time it took to deploy and open was within normal limits. (most likely)
2. I didn't pull hard enough and the instructor deployed the main. (also likely, but hard for me to accept)
3. The container didn't open and the instructor deployed the reserve. (prolly the least likely, but easiest for me to accept at this point)

I will follow up with the DZ and see if I can come to a conclusion. The instructor is the only one that really knows what happened for sure. And I am solely at fault for NOT asking. Can't learn if you don't ask.

Thanks again for all the excellent expertise.

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Tandem skydives and equipment do not equal sport equipment. IMO, you are asking valid questions that should have been asked day-of with your tandem instructor (not always possible with busy instructor schedules who may need to shuffle quickly to another student). Your limited experience with the equipment means you probably dont know how to differentiate between a main or reserve or to identify double toggles or what a hard pull actually feels like. There is information that you don't know that you don't know.

If you choose to pursue skydiving, take a first jump class and focus on what you need to do to save your own life and meet other goals for each jump. After you jump, accept that your novice perception may be different than what actually happened and you should listen to your instructors if you want to learn.

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