Keep an Eye Out

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 »

Master Rigger Mistakes

The owner of this rig (who is a drop zone owner and rigger) picked it up after a Federal Aviation Administration Master Rigger employed by the drop zone had repacked it. The owner noticed that the reserve flaps were closed in the wrong order. Even more bizarrely, the master rigger had renumbered the reserve container flaps by writing new numbers on the flap edges with a black magic marker. The rig owner brought the errors to the attention of the rigger, who was indifferent and unconcerned about the mistake.

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Fouled Toggle

After deployment, this jumper collapsed his slider and started to release his brakes when he realized that the excess steering line was loose and had wrapped around one steering toggle. Had he pulled the toggle through the loop of excess, the steering line would have locked onto the guide ring on the back of the riser. This would have resulted in an uncontrollable main canopy and required a cut away and reserve activation. The jumper moved the excess steering line out of the way before grabbing the toggle and releasing the brakes. Properly stowing the toggles and excess steering line can prevent this problem. more »