UPT Service Bulletin 2015-01: Spectra Reserve Ripcord

UPT has issued a service bulletin for rigs equipped with a Spectra Reserve Ripcord manufactured during 2014 and early 2015. Please view the bulletin attached below for information of lot numbers affected and detailed procedures for interim solutions for owners of affected rigs, until a new ripcord can be obtained.

UPT has released a video demonstrating the lubricating procedure outlined in the service bulletin, to ensure the reserve ripcord glides smoothly. This procedure should be performed before the next jump and monthly thereafter until a replacement ripcord has been installed. This can be done by the rig owner or a rigger.  The reserve does not need to be opened.

 

Inspecting your Risers

Ohio Rigger Mary O’Reilly Whitehouse shared a couple of photos showing a pair risers  on a rigging group last week. Mary wants to encourage jumpers to inspect the components of their equipment before the summer sets in, to include the white loop on the 3-ring assembly.  In this case, she was concerned about the length of the white loop, which if of incorrect length can result in the cutaway system not working as designed, and encourages users to inspect their loop and its condition as a part of their monthly 3-ring check.

 

We reached out to a couple of manufacturers for input and suggestions.

T2A-loop_Blue_SkiesUPT gives this as inspection reference:

The white Type-2A loop may vary slightly in length, depending on the risers in question.
The best reference is to use the bottom edge of the Type 4 square weave, that holds the small ring.
When placed flat, the fold of the Type-2A should be even with the bottom edge of the Type 4 square weave. (Please keep in mind that there are tolerances that allow for up to 1/8” of difference)
This is true for all UPT sport risers, including tandem. 

Sun Path noted that in building risers they follow specifications published by UPT.  Loop length changes that have been made over time are noted as product improvements based on research and feedback from the field.

Both companies recommend replacement of risers as needed – neither specified a number of jumps that dictated a replacement. Both encourage container owners to check in with their riggers during reserve repacks – or more frequently if needed. If you have concerns about your equipment, including the main risers, don’t hesitate to give your rigger a call or approach the manufacturer directly.

Velocity Sports Equipment also mentioned that they prefer to work with the condition of any given component of the equipment, rather than a set replacement schedule, as it can greatly vary through use and environment the equipment is used in. They did note that any items that come into contact with the loop should be smooth and free of any edges that may cause premature wear.

So there you have it!  Safety day might be over – but now the real fun begins. Be safe, look out for yourself and each other, and give that gear a good one-over before going full blast into summer.

Holiday Shutdown for 2014

For those of you planning on doing some skydiving business over the holidays, keep in mind that many manufacturers and some shops have shorter hours or close altogether around that time. Check the list below to see when they are or aren’t available. Many will have representatives at events or boogies over the holidays, ready for your onslaught of questions (and requests for FREE stuff).

Aerodyne Research, DeLand, FL: Closed December 24 – January 5, 2015.  During that time most of the staff will monitoring email periodically. In case of an emergency, please email info@flyaerodyne.com.

Blue Skies Magazine, DeLand, FL: Closed December 24 – January 5, 2015. During that time we will lightly monitor email, so drop us a line with anything urgent.

ChutingStar, Marietta, GA and DeLand, FL: closed on Christmas Eve,  Christmas Day and New Year’s Day (Dec 24-25 and Jan 1, 2015). ChutingStar.com is always open for business!

Cookie Composites, Australia: Cookie’s sales and customer service departments in Australia will be closed 22 December to 5 January, 2015.

Icarus USA: Closed Dec 24 – Jan 1, 2015.

Mirage Systems, DeLand, FL: Closing at noon on December 24 – 26. Open on Monday and Tuesday (Dec 26 and 30), closing at noon Wednesday December 31, back open January 5, 2015.

Performance Designs, DeLand, FL: Closing on Wednesday Dec 24 and will reopen on Monday Jan 5, 2015.

Sun Path Products, Raeford, NC: December 19 – January 5, 2015
If you need immediate assistance during that time, please contact Chris Talbert (910.603.2390). Orders placed via online store after 3:00 PM North American Eastern Standard Time 9th December 2014 will be processed and shipped after our holiday shutdown.

United Parachute Technologies, DeLand, FL: Closing at noon Thursday December 18, returning Monday January 5, 2015.

Velocity Sports Equipment / Infinity Rigs, Bend, OR: Closed entire week of Christmas and on New Years Day.  Return to office on January 5th, 2015. In case of an emergency, please email Nicole Fulk.

Vigil America, DeLand, FL: Closing at noon Thursday December 18, returning Monday January 5, 2015.  For immediate technical assistance during that period, contact service@vigil.areo.

HolidayShuffle2015

 

This list is as comprehensive as we know it – but we might have missed someone.  If you would like your skydiving business added to the list, drop us an email with the dates you are closed, along with any special notices you wish to share. 

Container Lock Compliments of Closing Pin Through Bridle

Sandy Grillet has been skydiving since roughly the days of the wooden parachute. As a matter of fact, he’s been jumping since some of you reading were in diapers! (looking at you, Nick Grillet!!)

This past weekend a wingsuiter jumping a Javelin container experienced a pilot chute in tow malfunction, as a result of his pin piercing through the bridle after he tossed the pilot chute. This locks the container up pretty solidly, so the next step was to go for the silver handle. The wingsuiter landed without an incident, thankfully. This prompted Sandy to write-up a little note to educate his fellow skydivers on an alternate method of closing containers, in order to prevent that from happening again.

Sandy was kind enough to allow us to share his note and photos with the readers of Blue Skies Mag (originally posted on his personal Facebook page).

This happened, over the weekend, to a wingsuiter on the West coast. 
The closing pin penetrated the bridle before it was extracted from the closing loop, resulting in a pilot-chute-in-tow-malfunction. This can happen to anyone who routes the bridle from the top but it is more likely in a wingsuit, due to having a lot of forward speed at bridle extension.
Everyone, please STOP routing the bridle from top to bottom over the pin. We don’t need to put Kevlar on our bridles or task the manufacturers to fix our packing problems. We simply need to use some common sense and critical thinking skills to evaluate our container closing technique and evolve ourselves out of 80’s and 90’s mentality.

Oh – and maybe 1000 jumps on one PC and bridle might be enough – don’t you think?

I’ve been trying to spread the word and slowly, but surely, I’m making headway – including the professional packers with whom I speak. The last two pictures are of my rigs showing how I’ve been routing my bridle for the past 15 years. It works on any container and with a little thought, regardless of pin/window configuration, you can make the window face up – allowing someone to pin check you without having to touch anything. If you have any reason to disagree please send me a PM and we will have a civil debate on the merits of this bridle routing method.

Please help me and others spread the word. It is my belief that – together – we can eliminate pilot-chute-in-tow-malfunctions caused by pierced bridles. 

Click on photos for a larger view. The 4 first photos are courtesy of Ed Pawlowski who met the wingsuiter in the landing area and snapped these (that container is a Javelin). The 5th and last is taken by Sandy himself, demonstrating on his personal container (Vector). 

This has been a known (albeit rare) occurrence across the disciplines – it is not something only wingsuiters have to worry about. The rigs pictured here are Vectors, but this has happened on other containers as well that utilize the same closing sequence.

More and more jumpers seem to be opting to close their containers the “new” way (which really isn’t new, this is how the Racer has always been closed). Here is a video from 2011 made by at the UPT  rigging loft, featuring Pablito closing a rig with a camera on his head. This gives a great vantage point and shows the entire closing process. If you are only interested in the pin/bridle business, skip on to the 3 minute mark. We spoke to tour rep Greg Rau to confirm that as far as UPT is concerned, this method is sanctioned and approved by the factory (instructional sheet from UPT).

We have reached out to other manufactures for their comments and input and will amend this post as we get feedback. If you have a rig made by a manufacturer we have not listed here and want to look into a closing sequence not detailed in the manual, contact the manufacturer to make sure by fixing one problem you don’t create another one!

Here another photo courtesy of Ari Perelman, showing the way he closes his Vector container (fresh from a trip to Arizona, how can you tell?!).

AP1

Photo by Ari Perelman

 

9/7/2014 – Update:  Click here to view an alternate closing sequence on Rigging Innovation containers.
9/8/2014 – Update: Click here to view the bulletin from Parachute Systems for the Vortex container.
9/8/2014 – Update: Click here to view a note from Velocity Sports Equipment, for the Infinity container.

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