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NSEMN8R

Weird Mal

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Had a weird thing happen that I've never heard of happening to anyone else and I thought I'd share it here.

I just got Sigma cross-trained and I was helping out at a dz I'd never been to before so I hadn't had much chance to inspect the gear.

I pull the drogue release at 5500 and it comes completely loose and floats away leaving the dbag bouncing around in my burble. I didn't know what was going on yet and as I'm thinking "wow this is a long trap door" and trying to look back there to see wtf is going on, the canopy deploys into line twists and the left side golf ball is stuck in the lines and still attached down by my ass with the line between the handles running over my left shoulder. So I grab ahold of the line with my handcam hand as I reach for the hook knife with my right. I gave it a good hard yank as I was farting around trying to get between me and the student to grab the hook knife wishing my altimeter was on my left hand where it belongs. Somehow I guess I pulled hard enough that the line snapped at the connection in the middle between the two balls along with the elastic before I even got my knife out. We kicked out of the twists and landed fine. Crazy shit, huh?

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I don't own Sigma any more [:/] but, I always claimed that those golf balls are snagpoints. Any you may want to check kill line lenght on that drougle also (if it schrinks too much long, long trapdoor can cause more problems). http://www.unitedparachutetechnologies.com/PDF/Support/Rigging/INSTRUCT-0-6-Drogue-Kill-Line-Calibration.pdf

What I also don't like @Sigmas is cutaway handle size. It is huge, has insert inside and it is sticking out, just waiting to be snagged by right toggle if student decides to drops it from certant position. B|
Much better for cuttaway handle is this way : http://www.rawa.hu/img/p/201-356-thickbox.jpg

I meen Sigmas are great but those 2 things always buged me.
And Bill Booth thank you for: disk release system, safety pin, skyhook and magnetic riser covers.
Those things I like very much :)

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That tube webbing looks like the same stuff they use for the Y-line on Strong drouges. As often as those things break, I'm surprised UPT chose to use just 1 loop of that stuff to attach their drogue to the rest of the system.

You're right though. It must have been hanging on by a thread to break loose before it even unstowed the lines. Seems like it should have been caught by the packers/riggers before this happened.

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I am curious if the (golf ball) deployment system is engineered to have a certain breaking point so that it will fail in a scenario like you had. Would love to hear Bill's thoughts on that- as I also have always been concerned with the snag risk of those handles.

Glad it worked out ok!
BASE 1384

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parachutist

Packers probably had plenty of warning seeing fraying at that area before it finally broke.



NSEMN8R

Seems like it should have been caught by the packers/riggers before this happened.



As a TI, you are responsible for both your life and that of your student. If you are too busy to do a thorough gear check on your rig (especially an unfamiliar one) you should refuse to get on the load. Never expect your PACKER to do it for you, and notice all the things that might kill you and your student; that's YOUR job. And it really doesn't take that long to look.

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JWest

Doesn't the manufacture require/recommend the tandem system be inspected every 25 jumps?




Yes... it's pretty obvious there was a failure in the maintenance program here. It would seem that the OP went to work for a DZ that was not quite as professional as he was assuming. Lessons for everyone here. UPT has a pre-flight checklist for TI's in the manual. Following it would not discover the problem. Tandem packers should be riggers or working under the supervision of a rigger. It is not strictly speaking, the TI's fault. He could easily follow the correct procedure as laid out in the manual and still have this problem.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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Thank you for sharing this incident. Based on the pictures that you have posted, specifically the one I am reattaching here, this incident most likely was caused during the closing of the container.

if you look at where the golf ball is in your picture (just above the risers). When the packer brought the bagged canopy over the container, and placed it down to go tuck the risers into the side of the container and close the riser covers, the loose line, between the left riser and last stow, was on the ground around the blue golf ball. When the bag was then placed in the main pack tray, one of the excess lines wrapped around the blue golf ball/cable housing, and the main pack tray was closed in this configuration. With the flaps closed, it would be hard to see a single line wrapped around the cable housing, but that is 99.9% what happened.

When you deployed, the wrapped line was caught around the housing and it impeded the deployment long enough for the bridle attachment to rip free. (Probably also a warn attachment as stated above due to maintenance.). And the resulting deployment issues you described occurred.

That is why you see the golfball where it is up in the suspension lines, just above the riser, which is the same place it would have been when on the on the ground during the packing process that I described.

This anomaly in packing is incredibly incredibly rare, but it can happen, usually during a quick turn to get rigs packed.

Hope that helps to understand what most likely occurred.

Tom
Namaste,
Tom Noonan

www.everest-skydive.com

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pchapman

Hang on, aren't we talking about the bag to bridle connection on the Sigma, which is invisible when the rig is already packed?



Ah. Thought we were talking about the main closing pin attachment (where the golf balls are connected). Wasn't clear to me in the OP that it was the drogue which departed; and not simply the drogue release (golf ball). I gotta stop reading this stuff at 4 a.m.

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Sounds like 2 different issues if I'm reading correctly. The first being the drogue release bunji has broken maybe prior but atleast during this deployment. This might have been caught in a good pre jump inspection. The main bag and drogue departing on deployment is the second and hard to catch prior to deployment al though is sounds like the general condition of the gear might have been a clue. Definitely need to have a maintenance program.

Uncle/GrandPapa Whit
Unico Rodriguez # 245
Muff Brother # 2421

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TomNoonan

Thank you for sharing this incident. Based on the pictures that you have posted, specifically the one I am reattaching here, this incident most likely was caused during the closing of the container.

if you look at where the golf ball is in your picture (just above the risers). When the packer brought the bagged canopy over the container, and placed it down to go tuck the risers into the side of the container and close the riser covers, the loose line, between the left riser and last stow, was on the ground around the blue golf ball. When the bag was then placed in the main pack tray, one of the excess lines wrapped around the blue golf ball/cable housing, and the main pack tray was closed in this configuration. With the flaps closed, it would be hard to see a single line wrapped around the cable housing, but that is 99.9% what happened.

When you deployed, the wrapped line was caught around the housing and it impeded the deployment long enough for the bridle attachment to rip free. (Probably also a warn attachment as stated above due to maintenance.). And the resulting deployment issues you described occurred.

That is why you see the golfball where it is up in the suspension lines, just above the riser, which is the same place it would have been when on the on the ground during the packing process that I described.

This anomaly in packing is incredibly incredibly rare, but it can happen, usually during a quick turn to get rigs packed.

Hope that helps to understand what most likely occurred.

Tom



Awesome forensic analysis! If only more 'Incidents' replies were like this.

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TomN.'s idea is an interesting scenario, and I guess one that has actually happened?!

But in this case with the drogue apparently ripping off completely, one doesn't need stray lines during packing to be the explanation for a line dropping down and catching the handle. It can just be explained by the bag bouncing around in the burble on its own, with lines "everywhere".

(The thing about the drogue disconnecting completely is something one might miss if one isn't reading the thread carefully. It was mentioned in a somewhat ambiguous manner in the original post. I nearly missed it myself. When he meant the drogue floated away.... aha, he meant it floated away unattached from the whole system off into the sky.... and not just 'floated' as in a slow bag extraction. I think!)

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Hint: now that we are entering the slow season, DZOs have run out of excuses for not doing 25-jump inspections.
Strong Enterprises has written an excellent manual on how to do 25-jump inspections. It even has lots of pretty-coloured pictures (photographs) for illiterate inspectors.

Sure Sigmas wear slower than Strongs, but the slow season is the best time to do 25-jump inspections and order replacement parts. Factories will cheerfully sew replacement parts over the winter and charge only snail-mail shipping rates ... so that all your gear will be shiny and fresh and ready to work hard in the springtime.

Which reminds me ... enough goofing off on a sunny Saturday morning because I need to deliver a (recently repaired) Sigma to the DZ and give them a sales-pitch about replacing slack drogue pouches.

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pchapman

TomN.'s idea is an interesting scenario, and I guess one that has actually happened?!

But in this case with the drogue apparently ripping off completely, one doesn't need stray lines during packing to be the explanation for a line dropping down and catching the handle. It can just be explained by the bag bouncing around in the burble on its own, with lines "everywhere".

(The thing about the drogue disconnecting completely is something one might miss if one isn't reading the thread carefully. It was mentioned in a somewhat ambiguous manner in the original post. I nearly missed it myself. When he meant the drogue floated away.... aha, he meant it floated away unattached from the whole system off into the sky.... and not just 'floated' as in a slow bag extraction. I think!)



Yup I meant it floated away unattached to the rest of the system. The 4th pic is of the broken attachment point. In the video you can see it float away right when we pulled.

At first I thought the same thing you said above but the more I think about it I kind of like Tom's theory. Maybe the ball hanging up gave it the extra bit of force it needed to break the worn webbing.

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