Knot in a brake line – hello reserve

On a fine Arizona day following a nice skydive, Trunk from Hypoxic turned and tracked, waved off and pulled.

TrunkAfter an uneventful opening, was time to pop the toggles. Some of the excess brake line stowed on the back of his risers had moved around during or before deployment resulting in the toggle being pulled through a loop of sorts.   Reaching up to release the brakes, the excess was knotted up (shown at the end of the video).  Being an experienced skydiver that knows his canopy well, Trunk quickly decided that he would not be able to clear the tangle below his hard deck – if at all – so he went for the reserve and landed uneventfully.
The canopy was a Velocity 103 and it was a balmy, no-wind day in Eloy, AZ

PD New Beginning

Back in the days of Velcro, the excess brake line was tucked up nice and tight. But Velcro and lines tend to not get along, so by popular demand, manufacturers have moved away from the Velcro to different methods – and some don’t even bother. What works for you? Ever had this happen?

Trunk plans on revisiting his procedures for stowing the excess to minimize the odds of it happening again.


  • But how necessary actually was it to cut away a canopy, that seemed to have no problems maintaining its direction? There were multiple options to control the canopy even with a not on the brake line..

    • Alexey, Trunk felt that in this case it was not the best idea to bring it into a busy landing area in that configuration. There are other instances where people have landed a similar malfunction. Some landed fine, others took a bit of a beating.

  • With a canopy that small, achieving full flight and having flare power is important. He had no ability to flare on that toggle, and it appears that it was in the braked position which prevents him from achieving full flight.. Chop is preferred. That was lighting fast reserve deployment from the RSL. Skyhook?

  • Nice job Trunk!

    Alexey, I will never second guess someone’s choice to cutaway. If there are any questions about if you can land the canopy safely then get rid of it at an appropriate altitude. The things to be considered here are how busy was the air traffic? What kind of winds were there that day? How tight is the landing area? The wing loading of the canopy and your ground speed. If when all of these are factored in and there is even one question about if the canopy can be landed safely then by all means get a canopy over your head that you can fully flare rather than using a rear riser landing.

  • I had the same malfunction and did cut away as well. It might be landable but in my case I was flying canopy I did not have many landings on and it was a very thermal active day.
    When in doubt…

    Funny to see the second cutaway on a cutaway video – lucky shot! :)

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