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lintern

Safire 2 - strange openings even with new line set

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Last summer I started having strange openings and end cell closure on my Icarus Safire 2 149, so at the end of the season I decided to get the lines replaced as they had nearly 800 jumps on them.

However, the openings are as bad or worse since the new line set.
About half way through the deployment, I can feel the canopy start to dive/turn and I have to kick my legs to counter-act the turn. I feel that if I didn't do this then I would end up with twists. The turn ends up being between 180 to 360 degrees. Sometimes the slider gets hung up (it only comes down 2/3rd of the way) so I have to pull on the rear risers or pump the brakes to get it to come all the way down.

The canopy has about 800 jumps on it, unfortunately the serial number and D.O.M have worn off the label. I bought the canopy (with the rig) in 2004. I think the new lines are Dacron (I will double check with my rigger) - they are thicker than the old lines and yellow.

Icarus have increased the line length which was immediately noticeable when I first jumped it with the new lines (the canopy looked further away). I also found that toggle turns were a lot less responsive, it felt more like a student canopy.

The rigger who fitted the lines is very experienced and has checked the line lengths 3 times and they meet the specifications. He has also put silicone on the lines to prevent the slider hanging up, but this has made no difference.

I have done less than 10 jumps on the new line set but I have been through video footage and slowed it down to see what's happening - refer to the link below. I don't have any video footage of the worse openings but notice how the left and right lines cross each other...

https://www.dropbox.com/s/40j5e04p638bpqo/CanopyOpening.png?dl=0

I also noticed that I sometimes grab both front and rear left risers during deployment (I wasn't aware I did this so I need to work on that).

Does anyone have any idea what could be causing this ?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ao8596o3l8dy464/CanopyOpenings.m4v?dl=0

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Well, there are two common things that could be causing problem - canopy or jumper.

If this is new lineset and has been double checked for trim as well as an inspection on crossports to ensure nothing internally is damaged that should reduce down the idea it is the canopy causing the problems. I may also check the pilot chute/kill line at the same time.

As minimal input as possible during canopy opening. Grabbing the risers during the opening especially early in the opening when the slider is up can cause problems - grabbing both/grabbing one asymetrically. This unbalanced grabbing of risers can cause the openings to turn off heading. There is a difference between being able to get on the rear risers quickly after opening to avoid collisions and influencing the opening by grabbing hold of the risers before the canopy is inflated.

Try eliminating things 1 at a time - have someone else pack you gear, have someone else jump you canopy. Are they seeing the same issues or is it only happening when you are jumping the canopy.

If it's happening on multiple jumpers then you may want to have the manufacturer take a look.

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Thanks skytribe.

The rig has just had an inspection during its repack and its also had a new bridle and kill line.

I vaguely recall that I might have had issues a long time ago caused by my chest strap being too tight, could that be another potential cause ?

I bought the rig second hand (almost new) but it is a little bit big for me so I have to wear it quite tight. For example, if I don't have the leg straps tight then I have to really stretch to reach the slider when collapsing it.

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Last summer I started having strange openings and end cell closure on my Icarus Safire 2 149, so at the end of the season I decided to get the lines replaced as they had nearly 800 jumps on them.

However, the openings are as bad or worse since the new line set.



If you have noticeable line length differences between the old line set, then you have the wrong line set on that canopy.You probably have a Safire I and now have a Safire II line set on it.

A Safire I has shorter lines than a Safire II. Also the Safire I USTs are all the same length where as the Safire II has uneven USTs.

JFYI; USTs are Upper Control Lines or Upper Steering Lines which ever you prefer to call them.

I just ran across a Hybrid that had the Safire II suspension lines and the Safire I USTs. This canopy came from the Spain factory this way. It was evidently one of the transitional canopies to the Safire II.

MEL
Skyworks Parachute Service, LLC
www.Skyworksparachuteservice.com

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Does this give any clues ? When did the manufacture start for Safire II canopies ?



Well they started mid 2002, so it could be either one.

Measure the distance between the double row stitching on the center bottom skin.
This would be inside stitch to inside stitch (across the skin) at the nose. Then do the same at the B line attachments.
Lastly measure the bottom skin length wise in the center, from nose to tail.

Safire I should be:
First width - 66.9 cm
Length -213.0 cm

Safire II should be:
First width - 68.3 cm
Length - 223.6 cm


MEL
Skyworks Parachute Service, LLC
www.Skyworksparachuteservice.com

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Thanks MEL, I shall check this now.

Ive just got back home after doing 2 jumps and its getting worse - I would have done another jump but the openings are putting me off.

When I landed after my second jump, a skydiver came over to me to ask if I was the one who had a violent 180 turn. He said the right side of my canopy didn't look inflated, he then saw the violent 180 turn and was expecting it to be a mal. I had to kick really hard to stop the canopy spinning up. Take a look at the video below (the files on the Go Pro were corrupted so I had to use a software tool to repair them, but some frames are still corrupt). Keep in mind that the video does not show my legs kicking hard to try and counter act the spin.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/yc7pgyqnic3prbd/CanopyOpenings2.m4v?dl=0

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MEL, assuming my measurements are correct (?) then the canopy isn't a safire 1 or a safire 2 !

I measure the inside stitch to inside stitch (across the skin) at the nose as 61cm...

https://www.dropbox.com/s/plveee75918sypa/IMG_5927.JPG?dl=0


I measure the bottom skin length wise in the center, from nose to tail as 200cm...

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jmhxfyt832oth2d/IMG_5930.JPG?dl=0


https://www.dropbox.com/s/xzx5j5ubsn2j4ev/IMG_5929.JPG?dl=0

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Well first you were measuring the neighboring cells non-loaded rib to the center cell non-loaded rib.

You need a helper to measure and measure from one center cell "A" line attachment seam to the other pulling it snug when you measure.
The same goes for the length.

First look at the length measurements makes me think it is a Safire I.

Can you remember if the USTs were the same length when packing/pleating the tail?

The Safire II has a longer #1 UST than #2 and #3.
#5 is even longer than #.


MEL
Skyworks Parachute Service, LLC
www.Skyworksparachuteservice.com

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I have received a response from Icarus and it appears that my canopy is a Safire 1.

I do recall the USTs looked very different with the new lines when packing/pleating the tail.

The problem is, I paid £375 for this new line set and I now refuse to jump the canopy. This is a lot of money for me and I dont have the finances to replace the canopy (as suggested by Icarus!).

I am trying to contact my rigger to find out how I can resolve this - after all he ordered and fitted the new line set.

The response from Icarus is below:


Quote

This was a good one, had us scratching our heads for a while! Here's what we think is going on:

Was the person you bought the canopy off the original owner? Is that where you got the Safire 2 149 info from? From your centre bottom cell measurements and the max gross weight specified our best guess is that this canopy is actually a Safire 1 145. Do you still have the old lineset? This would help us 100% confirm that canopy type.

The line length of Safire 2s never changed, but they are longer than Safire 1s, so if you have put a Safire 2 149 lineset on a Safire 1 145 they will be about 20cm longer. This scenario would also explain the weird openings and less than stellar flight characteristics you are experiencing.

That you were experiencing degraded openings before the line-change is probably down to the age of the canopy. This is a 15 year old canopy now and has shrunk considerably, likely not evenly also. At this age it is also likely to be quite porous, both of these factors degrade opening and flight characteristics.

So, options: You could try re-lining the canopy with a lineset for a Safire 1 145 and see if this helps, though we wouldn't expect this to fully fix your problems (new linesets often reveal how badly a canopy has aged). However we think probably the better option is to consign this canopy to the history books and get something new(er). Would you consider a new Safire 3 or Crossfire 3?

How many jumps do you have total? What's your exit weight? How many jumps have you done in the last 12 and 6 months?

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to be honest your openings don't look too bad if you ask me. They seem to be very soft, only problem is the heading performance. this can be easily controlled by working with your rear risers as you have already demonstrated in your videos.
If you don't mind the change in flight charakteristics keep jumping it, no? You might want to open a little higher than usual, though :P
If money is that much of a concern that a new lineset is out of the equation I'd say go for it, whats the worst that can happen?
-------------------------------------------------------

To absent friends

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The opening may not look too bad on video but it certainly feels bad - the footage doesn't do it justice and you don't see me fighting (by kicking hard) to stop the canopy from spinning up. Take a look at the same videos in full speed. Notice that at one point I am on my side as the canopy tries to throw me with my back to earth (this is where it could spin up) but with a very hard aggressive kick I manage to throw my body weight to bring myself back on heading again and stop the canopy from spinning up. It might explain why my neck and shoulder have been hurting for the last week since I started jumping again (I put it down to old age!) ?

It happens at about 5 seconds into this clip...

https://www.dropbox.com/s/153jeru7uexae61/GOPR0960.MP4?dl=0

And it happens at about 9 seconds into this clip...


https://www.dropbox.com/s/qrbwlg0lfw2ln3n/GOPR0962.MP4?dl=0

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I have received a response from Icarus and it appears that my canopy is a Safire 1.



Well, you sort of got one earlier when I replied since I have been working with those guys for over 17 years.

You (your Master Rigger equivalent,etc...) can always have those lines shortened to the Safire I dimensions.
It will take some time, but it can be done pretty easily.You have to remove the lines and re-install them.

1. First remove the B,C,and D Stab attachment bartacks (6)
2. Remove the UST Bartacks at the loop (8)
3. Remove the A-B and also the C-D bartacks at the junction of each (20)
4. Remove one line at a time. Put each line on a table with a peg, then tension with 8kgs of weight. Mark and cut each line as described in the file I will send you.
5. Re-Install that line and repeat.
6. After all the lines are resized,insert the B_Ds into the appropriate A or C Line.
7. Cut the USTs to length
8. Cut the LST to length
9. Re-Install USTs
10. Bartack the A-B, C-D, USTs and Stab attachments

What line type do you have?
Spectra or Vectran?

MEL
Skyworks Parachute Service, LLC
www.Skyworksparachuteservice.com

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Thanks MEL, I very much appreciate your help and advice :)

My rigger has suggested converting the new Safire 2 lines to the Safire 1 lines just like you suggested, he just needs the information on the Safire 1 line lengths which it sounds like you have :))

The new lines are Vectran 750.

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masterrigger1

Great I will send the file via PM.

MEL



Thanks very much for the line spec MEL :-)))

I have passed the information (and my rig) to my rigger this evening who will use it to modify the lines.

Is there any reason for the spec being in Spanish by the way ?

Also, (correct me if I am wrong) were the Safire 1 sizes in steps of 5 sq ft (e.g. 145) and the Safire 2 sizes in steps of 9 sq ft (e.g. 149) ? The line spec states its for a Safire I 149.

My rigger said that he thought the canopy was a Safire 2 because it has tabs on the stabiliser which the Safire 1 apparently doesn't have (see attached picture).

He also told me that the Safire I canopies are rubbish and were soon replaced with the Safire II.

So when I bought my kit 14 years ago and it was advertised and sold as a Safire II, I now find out that its actually a Safire I (or some kind of hybrid) !

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Is there any reason for the spec being in Spanish by the way ?



The files were produced in both English and Spanish.Since they were made in NZ,USA, and also Spain.

Quote


Also, (correct me if I am wrong) were the Safire 1 sizes in steps of 5 sq ft (e.g. 145) and the Safire 2 sizes in steps of 9 sq ft (e.g. 149) ? The line spec states its for a Safire I 149.



They are available in any size, i.e. 156 sq.ft. if so desired.They are stocked usually in "9"s though.

Quote


My rigger said that he thought the canopy was a Safire 2 because it has tabs on the stabiliser which the Safire 1 apparently doesn't have (see attached picture).



Only the USA made canopies did not have the Type III Stab attachments or have a slider stop on the C Line.

The USA built canopies were the ones with issues. The other ones were fine.

MEL
Skyworks Parachute Service, LLC
www.Skyworksparachuteservice.com

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Have you let anyone else jump it to see whether they experience the same problem?

The openings look OK to me.

Try and stop looking at it. Focus on the horizon, relax and try and just stay level in your harness. When the canopy is sniveling and thrashing you about, it's really hard _not_ to try and correct it with your harness. If you do, the odds are you'll over correct and send it off heading. Just stay neutral.

Be a shame if you bought a new canopy and it still happened :D

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hodges

Have you let anyone else jump it to see whether they experience the same problem?

The openings look OK to me.

Try and stop looking at it. Focus on the horizon, relax and try and just stay level in your harness. When the canopy is sniveling and thrashing you about, it's really hard _not_ to try and correct it with your harness. If you do, the odds are you'll over correct and send it off heading. Just stay neutral.

Be a shame if you bought a new canopy and it still happened :D



The thing is, I have had this canopy (the whole rig in fact) for 14 years and I have put 700+ jumps on it. I've not jumped other kit during that time so this canopy and kit is all I know. I never had any issues until the lines were changed, which are now longer and evidentally the wrong lines.

The nearest thing I can compare these openings to is when I had a brake fire many years ago. The canopy performed two separate hard turns during the deployment, then the lines spun up and the canopy started to spiral in a dive.

I considered someone else jumping it and mentioned it to a few people but I did not get any serious volunteers.

I've had two different people pack it (one was a rigger) but the result was the same.

There is no chance of there being a new canopy, I dont think I can afford a used one never mind a new one. How much would a suitable replacement second hand canopy cost, £800 ? I plan to have a look just out of curiosity, it would also depend how much I could sell mine for but I guess its not worth much if anything?

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And the latest response from the manufacturer does not feel me with confidence.

Quote

We make all canopies in any size requested by the original customer, so a Safire 2 145 does exist, but like I said going by the measurements you took and the Max recommended weight we think this is a Safire 1 145.

We're sorry you're having problems and have wasted money. We can offer you a discount on a new Safire 1 145 lineset, however we have our reservations about this. Currently the canopy is unairworthy, and since we cannot ascertain 100% the canopy type and size we cannot guarantee that the canopy will be airworthy with a new lineset. Even if we knew 100% that this is a Safire 1 145, we cannot guarantee that this canopy will be airworth with a new lineset, unfortunately this is the nature of old canopies.

I'm sorry you've found yourself in a shit spot. I have attached a safire 1 145 trim chart if you decide to have a rigger modify your existing lineset. Again we deem the canopy unairworthy as it is, and stress that any further jumping on this canopy after a re-line is at your risk.

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They are just covering their asses.

Get the line set modified to the proper trim and jump it.

You said it flew well prior to installing the Safire 2 lineset on the Safire canopy.

There is no reason to think that it won't go back to flying well with the proper lineset. If it doesn't have any structural issues like blown out cross ports or torn ribs it should go back to normal.
"The restraining order says you're only allowed to touch me in freefall"
=P

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DougH

They are just covering their asses.

Get the line set modified to the proper trim and jump it.



This is my intention and possibly my last resort, hopefully with the correct line length it will be back to as it was.

My only other concern is I am now wondering what this canopy is. The advert on dropzone.com 14 years ago said it was a Safire 2 145.

Well its fairly clear now that its not a Safire 2. Now I am questioning whether it is even a 145 ! I only have the advert to rely on.

I have the line spec for a 145 and a 149, but there is 4 to 4.9cm difference between the lengths.

Is it simply the case of measuring the width x length to work out whether its a 145 or 149 (or even something else!) ?

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do you happen to know where else one might find a serial number imprinted on the canopy? The unreliable label can't be the only way to identify this canopy, or is it?
-------------------------------------------------------

To absent friends

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