Keep an Eye Out

Container Lock

A jumper experienced a pilot-chute-in-tow malfunction after the stitching that held the main closing pin to the bridle failed. Consequently, the main closing pin remained in place after the pilot chute inflated. The jumper performed emergency procedures and landed uneventfully under the reserve parachute. To avoid this situation, frequently inspect your main bridle's pin-attachment point to ensure that the stitching and webbing are in airworthy condition.

Misassembled Reserve Soft Links

During a routine reserve canopy and container inspection and repack, a Federal Aviation Administration Master Rigger discovered that all of the soft links used to attach the reserve canopy’s suspension lines to the four risers were assembled incorrectly. The looped end of the soft link was slipped over the metal loop but had not first passed through the other end of the soft link and formed a lark’s head locking loop around the metal ring. Without the security of the lark’s head locking the assembly together, a soft link can come apart because the metal ring can easily slip through the loop. more »

Worn 3-Ring Locking Loop

An instructor found this damaged locking loop while inspecting the gear of a licensed jumper who was participating in a canopy course. When looking at the front of the riser and 3-ring assembly, the damaged loop was obscured from view. The instructor found it while looking more carefully at the back of the riser during a gear check. The damage likely occurred when the locking loop came into contact with a rough surface during a landing or during packing. Jumpers should check both the fronts and backs of their risers when inspecting their gear.

Accessories

When performing your gear checks, remember to check your accessories, too!

Dislodged Handle

During a formation skydive, the videographer noticed that this jumper’s reserve-ripcord handle had dislodged from his harness. As the videographer moved into position to warn the jumper about the handle, the group reached its breakoff altitude and the jumper tracked away and deployed his main canopy without incident. He later said that he could feel the handle flapping against his side right after the exit. more »

Misrouted Cable

Drop zone personnel discovered this misrouted yellow cutaway cable while disconnecting a demo canopy from a jumper’s rig. (A correctly routed cable would pass through the other side of the locking loop, avoiding friction and interference.) The jumper had connected the canopy to the rig himself and was responsible for misrouting the cable. The number of jumps made with the riser in this configuration was not reported. more »

RSL Misrouting

During a reserve repack, a Federal Aviation Administration Senior Rigger discovered this misrouted reserve static line on a rig used by the drop zone for student jumps and as a rental. At some point, someone created this routing error by disconnecting the RSL from the riser, passing it under the reserve riser and then reconnecting it to the main riser. more »

Torn Main Canopy Rib

A cell on the left side of this main canopy is deformed due to a large tear in one of the ribs near the tail. When the photographer noticed the bulge in the photo, he researched older photos of the same canopy and found that the problem had worsened over time and started when another jumper owned the canopy five years earlier. The current owner reported that the canopy was prone to opening off heading but never noticed anything else unusual about how it opened and flew in the more than 200 jumps he put on it. Because of the location of the damage and bulge, the jumper couldn’t see the defect when he was packing or flying the canopy. more »

Mis-rigged Reserve System

When the owner of this Skyhook-equipped Sun Path Javelin rig arrived at a boogie, he made arrangements with a rigger for a reserve repack since his last repack had been more than 180 days prior. Skyhook-equipped rigs incorporate a reserve ripcord that is separate from the reserve closing pin, and the reserve static line attaches directly to the reserve closing pin. The rigger at the boogie discovered that the previous rigger had not routed the reserve ripcord correctly—he had not installed it on the reserve closing pin—during the previous repack. more »