Aviacom SA, the makers of the Argus AAD have issued a response to service bulletins that have mandated the removal of the unit from several harness/container systems in the past few days:
“We are sincerely sorry for the inconvenience that the Argus removal service bulletins may cause you. We were not consulted or advised on this decision. We are still trying to investigate the cause of a recent report from a U.S. drop zone.
The Argus is the most advanced, flexible and most compact AAD ever manufactured. We are proud to have saved 24 lives to this date. This is our life’s work and we completely believe in the technology and performance of the Argus AAD.
Just this week, a few manufacturers came out together to mandate the removal of the Argus AAD from their container immediately due to their personal conclusions on recent reports. These companies include Rigging Innovations, Mirage, Parachute Systems, UPT and Sunpath.
We believe that the decision to remove the Argus from service was taken well before the PIA Symposium. It was just waiting for the ‘right’ timing to zoom in for the kill. We sincerely believe this is a witch hunt.
At this time Skydive San Marcos still refuses to release the affected unit. Therefore, we can not investigate this incident and we cannot defend us. We asked the FAA to help us in this matter and that process begins on Monday, March 28, 2011.
Aviacom has provided the PIA with all the cutter-testing results. But they have refused to accept our testing results.
There is not one valid reason the ground the Argus at this time, but there are three million (3,000,000.00 USD) reasons of an instant replacement market that has been created on behalf of PIA members. And we are not a member.
This is about politics and not about safety.
Removing the Argus from service is not going to improve safety. This ban effectively shuts down this company. We suggest that you contact the harness/containers manufacturers to review their decision. It’s the only solution on a short notice.
We look forward to resolving this issue with hard facts asap. More information will follow as the investigation continues.
P.S.: We just received a report that Argus # 1 207011 102269 had its 3rd Life-Save in a Telesis from Rigging Innovations earlier this year.”
This is getting to be the most interesting service bulletin I have seen issued, and noticeably absent from the list of harness/container manufacturers are Velocity Sports Equipment (Infinity), Jump Shack/Parachute Labs (Racer) and Strong Enterprises (Quasar) – as well as several European manufacturers. We will keep you updated as we learn more.