Hidden Misrouting

As a jumper scanned the chest straps of other jumpers boarding the aircraft for a skydive, he noticed that he could not see how one was routed because the jumper had stowed the excess strap over the attachment point. He almost ignored it but decided to make the extra effort to approach the jumper and check the strap from above, at which point he discovered that the strap was indeed misrouted.

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Storing the excess chest-strap webbing over the friction adaptor (left photo) can conceal a misrouted chest strap (right photo)
With the excess webbing stowed away from the friction adaptor, a jumper scanning for chest strap routing can immediately see that the strap is traveling properly through the adaptor and should remain secure in freefall. Photos by Wayne Thompson.

When gearing up, jumpers should always be sure to route the chest strap properly through the friction adaptor to avoid forgetting to do so later. In freefall, a misrouted chest strap will likely come loose and the jumper may fall from the harness. Jumpers should always do a “check of threes” by checking the three handles (main, reserve and cutaway) and the three attachment points (two leg straps and the chest strap) three times (when gearing up, before boarding and before exiting) to help ensure that their gear is ready for a skydive.

Getting in the habit of storing the excess chest strap away from the friction adaptor can help others who may perform routine visual scans for the common mistake of misrouting. Storing the excess strap directly over the friction adaptor makes it much more difficult for others to catch the error.

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