During a routine maintenance recently, canopy pilot David Bauer came across a nasty surprise. When removing the risers he found the cutaway handle nearly impossible to remove. Reason? A small point of friction between the cable and the inside of the hard housing, located about an inch up from the reserve handle (see picture).
David along with his rigger and a couple of experienced jumpers theorize that a small stone most likely made its way inside, lodged itself in place and contributed to creating a snag point.
This find was particularly chilling seeing that just last weekend David experienced some gnarly line twists under his Velocity, that he was thankfully able to kick out of. If he had not been able to clear the twists, there is no knowing how the cutaway would have gone.
Bottom line – a little bit of gear respect is a good thing, remove and inspect your cutaway system often. This might be especially true for swoopers as their gear certainly takes a bit of extra beating.