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mccordia

BASE pouch and skydiving

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A short note to people who make it regular practice to fly their wingsuits in a skydive enviroment with use of the pilot-chute BASE pouch.

Rolf Brombach emailed everyone on his mailinglist the following incident:

Quote

a wingsuiter with BASE-pouch left a Pilatus Porter thru a slide-door, which wasn't fully opened: somehow the door-handle caught the bridle of the pilotchute and created a premature deployment! Main went into tail, plane went headdown, but then the main cleared the wingstructure and the pilot could keep flying and landed uneventful. Plane went to service for closer inspection. Bridle, POD and pilotchute got ripped of the main entirely, jumper faced a reserveride and landed safely.



Though Rolf correctly notes the growing lack of proper instruction and adhering to set rules and recomendations, the actual use of the BASE pilotchute pouch isnt really touched on more.

Just some points to be aware off.

  • Skydiving pilotchutes tend to be smaller, and thus increase the chance of premature deployments by the pilotchute slipping out.
  • The pilotchute and bridle potentialy dragging over the floor, coming out half/fully and then getting caugh on airplane parts (as above mentioned incident) is a real posibility. DO A GEARCHECK BEFORE EXIT!
  • The location and orientation of the Pouch also make a premature opening on a group jump/exit a real big posibility due to another jumper sliding over/past the pouch (which usualy happens in the same direction/orientation as pulling the pilotchute would). NEVER use the basepouch in anything else but a solo.
  • Pulling from the normal pouch is very possible on even the biggest suits. Though can take a few extra seconds. Just pull a bit higher if flocking if your game, or resort to solo if you are seeking BASE practice. Preferably, dont mix the two and put others at risk by using the BASE pouch on flocking jumps.

    Look through skydivingmovies and dropzone.com for a spectacular list of premature deployments, all resulting directly from use of the BASE pouch if you need more incentive to become aware of the dangers...
    JC
    FlyLikeBrick
    I'm an Athlete?

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    Quote

    Look through skydivingmovies and dropzone.com for a spectacular list of premature deployments, all resulting directly from use of the BASE pouch if you need more incentive to become aware of the dangers...



    These types of accidents do happen and have happened on BOC pouches without the pouch itself catching the flak for the cause. IMO, the cause in both BOC and leg pouch incidents is user error. It is true that skydiving students aren't formally trained on the use of the leg pouch so this may require us to acknowledge leg pouch use requires tapping rare, sophisticated powers of common sense and continual inspection/maintenance of the gear.
    "The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction you give it. " -John Galt from Atlas Shrugged, 1957

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    Could the base pouch be modified to be safe in a skydiving environment? Perhaps sewing some elastic into the pouch to help keep things snug.

    I haven't had a chance to look at one myself so I'm just thinking out loud here.
    The future belongs to those of us still willing to get our hands dirty.

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    Even with proper fit and use, the BASE pouch poses a lot more (and real) dangers to premature openings.

    For people doing training for BASE jumps, getting used to the pull position/placement for developing muscle memory its an option.

    But for any further use in a skydiving enviroment, refer to the opening method/placement designed for that use on your rig.

    Its just a lot more delecate in use, and even with proper rigging/setup can cause unwanted openings endangering pilot, aircraft and fellow jumpers.
    JC
    FlyLikeBrick
    I'm an Athlete?

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    Could the base pouch be modified to be safe in a skydiving environment?



    Yes...by sewing it shut and not using it on a normal skydive.

    If you insist on using it for BASE practice, hire a balloon.

    Like Jarno said, pulling is possible on any suit. Not comfortable? Pull higher. Still not comfortable? Get a smaller suit.

    I don't buy the BOC argument. BOC issues stem from loose, worn out elastic. BASE pouches come from exposed bridle snags. Even with velcro, 3-4 inches of exposed bridle is an unnecessary risk for the skydiving environment.

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    If you want to skydive your BASE setup, just get a larger pilot chute. I used a 32" PC with 12' bridle on dozens of skydives before my first WS BASE jump. Nothing even near a premature deployment issue. In fact, the PC actually got *stuck* once (reserve ride) when packed sloppily -- which is why I would actually recommend the set up in the sky before BASE-ing it.

    Just be sure to use a collapsible, assuming you're jumping a canopy that is much smaller than what you'll use for BASE. An inflated 32" PC is a really bad idea on a sub-or-near-100 canopy.

    If you aren't planning on BASE jumping with your wingsuit, then you're better off just using your BOC on all skydives.

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    I think the concern is with the bridle not the PC, so switching PCs would solve nothing. But that's moot since agreement on this won't be reached anytime/anyyear soon.
    "The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction you give it. " -John Galt from Atlas Shrugged, 1957

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    I agree. It's perfectly manageable, providing it's done right.

    I have, from time to time, used the BASE pouch in a skydiving environment; I happen to have a freefly pad on the rig I used (it's an Icon) which has a flap I can secure with the elastic. I would always check that my PC was secure before exiting (or opening the door on a Porter), and I wouldn't do any acro or multi-ways using this set up.

    The system can be perfectly fine, providing the restrictions around its use are known to the jumper and appropriate precautions taken: if not, it should not be used!
    --
    BASE #1182
    Muff #3573
    PFI #52; UK WSI #13

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