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nigel99

Training conversion from standard to SOS system?

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What are peoples thoughts on a jumper with 8/9 jumps going from the standard cutaway and reserve handle system to an SOS system?

I haven't seen an SOS system before, but the dz that will be nearest us only uses the SOS for student gear.

As a non-instructor I am not happy with conversions, although I have used rip-cord mains, ROL system and BOC so I have been able to convert.
Experienced jumper - someone who has made mistakes more often than I have and lived.

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The dz I trained at used SOS rigs for students, once you got licensed there was a BOC Conversion course you hads to take. If my memory serves me right there was intensive review of malfuctions and cutaway procedures, practice with the mock up BOC Harness which meant practicing throwing the pilot chute and practicing cutaway procedures with dummy cutaway and reserve handles with the instructor shouting out different malfunctions. Then 3 coach jumps where on each jump you had to get stable, then while maintaining stability check reserve and cutaway handles, then touch the hackey (minimum of 3x per jump) and at the same time demonstrate circle of awareness and altitude awareness.

Once you successfully passed the 3 coach jumps and the verbal malfunction quiz you were cleared for BOC. :)

"The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it." - Michelangelo

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You asked for other people's (not instructors) thoughts. So...

I've jumped an SOS-equipped rig a few times. I wasn't crazy about it. It adds complexity. You still have both handles. You have extra hard housings, & longer cables, though (w/extra slack). I was told I could do my EPs the same as before, if needed. More slack & a possibly harder pull left me less than enamored. That particular container is also >20 yrs. old...

If it's all that's available near you? Obviously, the system does work. Especially if still a student, though. I'd opt for driving a little farther.

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SOS to TAS should take some good training as '604 mentioned. Anyone at an SOS DZ has to learn that at some time, so it isn't insurmountable.

TAS to SOS should be a little simpler. One handle, pull it. He'll still want to practice a bunch of times on the ground not to be groping on the wrong side of his chest.

Edit:
SOS adds complexity? Sure, for building the rig. Not for the jumper. Sort of like saying adding an AAD adds complexity.

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You still have both handles.



SOS stands for "single operating system." Single as in "single handle." True SOS systems don't have a separate cut-away handle. Maybe Nigel will speak-up here and clarify the exact system to which he refers.



Sorry at this point I don't have more information. I will know more in a month or so.
Experienced jumper - someone who has made mistakes more often than I have and lived.

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That particular container is also >20 yrs. old...



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I'd opt for driving a little farther.



I'd opt for the DZ that had the best training program, not necessarily the one with the newest equipment. "Best" means dedicating the most time and personal attention to student training and producing the most-competent graduates. Of course aircraft and gear must be well maintained.

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The real question is, are they going to be staying on that system or only using it a few jumps and then going back to a two handled system? Also is the rig a true sos or is it a two handle sos system?

IMHO, if the answer to question 1 is yes, then no they need to stay on the two handle system and switch back and forth if the answer to question 2 is no, it's a true sos.

If the answer to question 2 is yes it's a two handle sos system, then there should be no problem because the ep's are the same as a non sos two handled system.
you can't pay for kids schoolin' with love of skydiving! ~ Airtwardo

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You haven't seen that container. I have. It's right at the service limit of what I'll jump. I've no doubt it's perfectly safe. It's just that it has lived a full life...(disclaimer: I'm not a rigger, but am a Newbie).

I don't think introducing change during the student period is a good idea. I initially stood over this rig & questioned what the different components were. If I had still been an AFF student @the time. It would have scared & distracted me. Extra hard housings stuck into the rig. Extra cables, including the extra slack in the cutaway cable (ball-ending was below the D-handle), all looked a bit scary. I'm a firm believer in the KISS approach.

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The real question is, are they going to be staying on that system or only using it a few jumps and then going back to a two handled system? Also is the rig a true sos or is it a two handle sos system?

IMHO, if the answer to question 1 is yes, then no they need to stay on the two handle system and switch back and forth if the answer to question 2 is no, it's a true sos.

If the answer to question 2 is yes it's a two handle sos system, then there should be no problem because the ep's are the same as a non sos two handled system.



Basically my wife did AFF in the US. She'll need to get to A license using the SOS system. This means about 10 to 15 jumps. Then she'll likely start jumping my gear which is normal 2 handed system.

When I get out to the DZ I will have a proper chat with the instructors there, but not being familiar with the SOS systems I wanted some opinions.
Experienced jumper - someone who has made mistakes more often than I have and lived.

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I don't think introducing change during the student period is a good idea.



While not the most convenient situation, it may be unavoidable when a student relocates or a DZ shuts down; I've seen both. Are you gonna tell a student the his best option is to quit skydiving if he can't find his first choice of equipment within traveling distance?

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I initially stood over this rig & questioned what the different components were.


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all looked a bit scary.



Fear is often based on ignorance; if you don't believe this, talk to a whuffo for 5 minutes. The cure for fear of the unknown is training. Sound procedures have been established for equipment transitions.

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There's nothing inherently wrong with SOS. I was trained SOS over 20 years ago, and had no problem converting to 2 handle system at jump 15 or so. The fact that a rig is SOS does not mean that it's old.
I work with 3 different DZs, one uses SOS for student jumps through 10 sec delays (S/L DZ) and the other two use 2 handle systems, and all 3 DZs have equipment 5-10 years old, with some of the SOS rigs being much newer than some of the 2 handle rigs. A good argument can be made for either.
SOS is much simpler for student training; "look silver, reach silver, pull, arch. count" rather than; "look red, reach red, look silver, pull red, reach silver, pull silver, arch, count".
Also, SOS adds no complexity to the rig, just that the cutaway cables and the reserve ripcord are all attached to the same handle rather than on separate sides.
A two handle system, although more complex for initial training, means no retraining later.
There is nothing wrong with either system.
If your wife completes her training with SOS, just be sure to get adequate retraining for conversion back and forth. I recommend EP review and practice at the beginning of every jumping day while doing her remaining student jumps and for the first few weeks/months (depending on frequency of jumping) after going back to a 2 handle system.
This is the paradox of skydiving. We do something very dangerous, expose ourselves to a totally unnecesary risk, and then spend our time trying to make it safer.

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I posted to the OP, Stan, not you. I also reaffirmed my Newbie status again so as not to ruffle most feathers... I never suggested quitting if they can't find a non-SOS student program. You inferred that for your own gain. By your rationale, a Newbie could jump a GoPro no problem w/a suitable amount of instruction. The modified SOS I saw looked a bit scary. A new student doesn't need to be distracted by thinking about anything other than the jump. I've seen that posted here many a time by instructors. I agree w/it. As someone who is still very close to their AFF days, I can tell you. Were I handed that rig not even halfway through my training? It would have scared an already scared student. Even if nothing went wrong on the subsequent jumps. I'd have been thinking about the different configuration & slack in the cables. Argue w/someone else.

To the OP, I'd be curious to see a couple of pix of their SOS harnesses. I want to see if they're modified the same way.

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Once you have recieved your initial training on any system it becomes ingrained in your mind.
When the "Stuff" hits the fan, latter in your jumping career you revert to you initial training. If your EPs have changed you are prone to forget the change and go all the way beck to your first jump trainning. We found that out when Tandem was introduced. Many TM went back to their solo training EPs, tragically.
Another point about the SOS. It was developed by PA and several years after they released a poster showing how to pull it. It showed pulling the handle with one hand and then grabbing and pulling at the middle of the cable with the other hand to complete the cable extraction and release. This makes it a 2 handed process on a single handle release.
If you can't complete the release process and pull the cables out of the housings with one hand then go find a rig where you can. I only know of one.

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This makes it a 2 handed process on a single handle release.



My FJC students (and typically others) were trained to pull their SOS handle w/ both hands, just as students are often trained on the 2-handle system. It's a single-handle system, not a one-handed system. Although the pull is slightly longer w/ SOS, anyone with close-to-normal length arms can achieve full activation by arm's length. This can be verified on the ground for any student in question. I worked at a DZ where many thousands of jumps were made on SOS w/o any incidence of failure to deploy the reserve. We taught to follow the pull with a cable-strip and handle-throw to assure that the reserve pin was pulled in case the student short-stroked the handle. Not that different than how some FJC students are taught to throw their handles on a dual system.

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See John Shermans post and this was the point I was getting at:

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Once you have recieved your initial training on any system it becomes ingrained in your mind.
When the "Stuff" hits the fan, latter in your jumping career you revert to you initial training. If your EPs have changed you are prone to forget the change and go all the way beck to your first jump trainning.



It is stupid to back and forth at low number and very risky as well, even for experienced jumpers it can be as John points out. IMHO you would be better off keeping her on the gear she trained on for FJ, that means borrow or rent one from someone for those needed training jumps because it's not many over all.
you can't pay for kids schoolin' with love of skydiving! ~ Airtwardo

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Once you have received your initial training on any system it becomes ingrained in your mind.
When the "Stuff" hits the fan, latter in your jumping career you revert to you initial training. If your EPs have changed you are prone to forget the change and go all the way beck to your first jump training. We found that out when Tandem was introduced. Many TM went back to their solo training EPs, tragically. ...

"

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You need to practice (emergency procedures) dozens ... maybe hundreds ... of times - with the new system (on the ground) - to break old habits.
Which is why the conversion should only be done once in a skydiving career.

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... Another point about the SOS. It was developed by PA and several years after they released a poster showing how to pull it. It showed pulling the handle with one hand and then grabbing and pulling at the middle of the cable with the other hand to complete the cable extraction and release. This makes it a 2 handed process on a single handle release. ...



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

Parachutes Australia published that poster after a couple(?) of students died after they did sissified girly, limp-wristed, half-hearted pulls on SOS handles.

I saw a similar scenario (from the jump-master's seat) when student pulled the SOS handle part-way, but quit pulling "when I felt resistance" (quoting student). The "resistance" was the reserve ripcord pins!!!
Thankfully, Saint Francis Xavier Chevrier was on duty that day!

The solution was to teach students an exaggerated "full pull" , stripping (all three of) the cables with both hands and throwing the handle away.

To miss-quote Yoda: "Pull or don't pull. Try is not an option."

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Canopy transfers fell out of fashion a long time ago.



My students would tell you...

2011 (USPA) SIM section 4 category B quiz:

Q #7: "What is the appropriate action if below 1,000 feet without a landable parachute?"

A: "Immediately deploy the reserve parachute, but not below 1,000 feet with an SOS system. (Category A and B outline)"

2011 (USPA) SIM section 5-1, E (page 104):

"At some point during descent under a partial malfunction, it becomes too low for a safe cutaway and you must deploy the reserve without cutting away."

It might not be "fashionable" nowadays to call these "canopy transfers," but that is in fact what they are. Anytime you deploy the reserve while the main is still over your head, you are making this transfer with the intent that the reserve will save your life instead of, or in addition to, the main. Of course the main can later be chopped (or not) as needed if the reserve is successfully inflated.

edit to add: Poyner's PMII defines "canopy transfer: Deploying the reserve canopy prior to jettisoning the main canopy..."

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I was talking about how on the two handled SOS system, some mfg's make, both handles, do both jobs, this keeps those who pull in the wrong order safe and is the point of having both handle on the rig set up to work as an SOS.
you can't pay for kids schoolin' with love of skydiving! ~ Airtwardo

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So I had a dyslexic moment this morning, obviously did not have the caffeine levels high enough to read things correctly. I thought the op was asking about SOS to 2 handle cutaway process.

Sorry for any confusion:P

"The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it." - Michelangelo

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Rob,

I have seen it on the ground in a demo.
A girl (master rigger/D license, gold wings) donned an SOS rig. The rig was fitted and she immediately pulled the reserve/SOS handle. As she was standing there with her pull arm at full extension, handle in hand, and nothing happening, the demonstrater said (simultanious with her pull) "Don't pull it" she replied "I Can't".
Scarry!
I believe there was a very recient fatility where the cutaway handle was not pulled all the way out before reserve deployment, resulting in an entanglement. If you can't pull any handle out with one hand Fix it

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... I've jumped an SOS-equipped rig a few times. I wasn't crazy about it. It adds complexity. You still have both handles. You have extra hard housings, & longer cables, though (w/extra slack). ...

"

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

You are referring to the "Universal" cutaway system installed on some Dolphin student rigs.

A "Universal" cutaway handle has two yellow cutaway cables installed. If you only pull the cutaway handle, it will cutaway the main canopy and (hopefully if there is enough drag created by the departing main canopy) the RSL will pull the reserve ripcord.

A "Universal" reserve ripcord handle is attached to the reserve ripcord cable and an extra set of cutaway cables. In this manner, the "Universal" reserve ripcord works like a RSL, in that a short pull releases the main risers and a long pull releases the reserve ripcord pin.

The extra cutaway cables require extra grommets through the main risers and special, double-ended white loops. You usually lose the loops during a cutaway.

"Universal" is simpler - bordering on idiot-proof - for a student, but it can be a "rigger's nightmare." I would never trust a mere jump-master to assemble a "Universal" system correctly.

When Parachutes Australia sent their first "Universal" prototype to Rigging Innovations, my response was "too many moving parts."

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