chest-strap

chest-strap

Post by Thomas Kerle » Sun, 01 Dec 1996 04:00:00


Just curious how close I was:

 A couple of weeks ago I was on a 3-way, jumping the local
rental gear. The *** band for the chest-strap was missing,
so  I (foolishly) just tucked the end of the  strap under the
part across my chest. Everything looked fine in the airplane,
but after exit half of the thick end of strap made its way
through the buckle. Although it was still stuck in the buckle
it could have slipped completely through during opening shock.

 So to my surprise after the first point  one of my partners
tracked away, while the other, who was JM at the DZ, flew to
my right side fixed the problem.  Actually I got  a bit worried
because I didn't know what the matter was, and when this guy was
reaching in the direction of my cut-away I believed something had
gone badly wrong.

 So what I was wondering is, has it actually ever happened that
someone has fallen out of his/her harness during opening because
the  chest-strap has come off ? Close encounters are also of interest.

 Needless to say that my chest-strap is now  decorated with several
*** bands, thoroughly knotted and entangled with the end of the
strap. Some people suggested it looks save now to put a tandem on it.

Thomas
A-25590

 
 
 

chest-strap

Post by trying2.. » Mon, 02 Dec 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

> So what I was wondering is, has it actually ever happened that
>someone has fallen out of his/her harness during opening because
>the  chest-strap has come off ? Close encounters are also of interest.

I once watched a guy loose his altimeter in freefall. He routed his chess
strap the wrong way and stuck it to the velcro. It looked OK but wasn't.
I can remember thinking "he's dead".  On opening, the pressure from the
parachute opening keeps the shoulder straps tight in place, all the load
is in the leg straps.  I would guess that an extremely fast opening if you
were head down might send you frontlooping out of your harness, but I
doubt it.  

Quote:
> Needless to say that my chest-strap is now  decorated with several
>*** bands, thoroughly knotted and entangled with the end of the
>strap. Some people suggested it looks save now to put a tandem on it.

I'd be careful overdoing this. You might want to get out of the rig in a
hurry someday, like if you had a water or tree landing.

 
 
 

chest-strap

Post by Rogue Knigh » Tue, 03 Dec 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

> Just curious how close I was:

>  A couple of weeks ago I was on a 3-way, jumping the local
> rental gear. The *** band for the chest-strap was missing,
> so  I (foolishly) just tucked the end of the  strap under the
> part across my chest. Everything looked fine in the airplane,
> but after exit half of the thick end of strap made its way
> through the buckle. Although it was still stuck in the buckle
> it could have slipped completely through during opening shock.

========================================================================
Thomas,
I would hope to think that every skydiver in the world hasn't been close
to somebody who forgot to do their cheststrap but I know for a fact that
it has happened.

When I first started jumping, 2 other friends and I went to Eloy for a
boogie. After a long day of jumping the three of us were going to get on
the sunset load and just fall and enjoy the sunset. Jerret was really
rushed to make the call and get on the airplane... I can remember him
pulling on his gear as he was running out to meet the plane...pilot
chute in hand (uggghh).

To make a long story short, he got his pilot chute folded and put into
his leg strap...but in the rush he forgot to do his chest strap... On a
free flying exit he went into a tracking position to reach the other 2
of us and his rig slipped off his shoulders! Luckily he caught his rig
in his hands just before it slipped all the way off. He then got the rig
back on his back and flipped over and fastened his cheststrap. Needless
to say he didn't make the formation but it did teach me a few things:

1. COMPLACENCY KILLS SKYDIVERS- When you're tired or all to comfortable
in skydiving, sometimes you forget the little things. It's the little
things that can kill you. Respect for the sport and of gravity keeps me
just that much sharper in the air. Once we lose the fear factor we tend
to get lazy... mother nature isn't always as lazy or as forgiving.

2. CHECK YOUR BUDDY'S GEAR!!! There wouldn't have been a problem at all
if we had done a "pre-exit" gear check on him. Look around in the
airplane before exit...protect your handles, etc. when moving around in
the airplane... keep an eye out for malfunctions waiting to happen. I'm
certainly not saying to be paranoid about it but the life you save could
be your best friend, your team mate or even your own!

3. GIVE YOURSELF TIME FOR A PROPER GEAR CHECK- Check your elastics,
your  bridle routing, your 3-ring releases, your pins, closing loops,
etc. BEFORE you get on the airplane!

I really don't mean to get on a soapbox... but things happen and good
information from experience helps others.

I'm forwarding this to Bill Von Novak...maybe he could post an article
on gear-checks or something...  God knows it should be printed AGAIN in
Parachutist or Skydiving!

Be safe!

Rogue
D-16514

 
 
 

chest-strap

Post by Kevin-Neil Kl » Tue, 03 Dec 1996 04:00:00

Pardon my butting in and showing my ignorance, but...

Looking at the design of the chest strap and friction buckle, I'd be hard
pressed to understand how a properly routed strap, with the end rolled and
sewn (as per either USPA or FAA rules - I forget where I read it) could
slide through the friction buckle while under stress.

As near as I can tell, an end without *** bands may slap you silly,
give you pretty good sized welts, but shouldn't be able to come out of the
buckle.

        -- kevin --

--
Death is not a problem.  Fear of death is.

 
 
 

chest-strap

Post by Thomas Kerle » Tue, 03 Dec 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

> Pardon my butting in and showing my ignorance, but...

> Looking at the design of the chest strap and friction buckle, I'd be hard
> pressed to understand how a properly routed strap, with the end rolled and
> sewn (as per either USPA or FAA rules - I forget where I read it) could
> slide through the friction buckle while under stress.

Agree!   ... while under stress, I can't see how a properly routed
( mine was !) strap can slip through a buckle. The point is that if
there
is *no* stress on the strap and you are moving a lot, it is indeed
possible
to slip through the buckle. In my case I was crawling quite a bit around
the  plane just before exit (if you get on your fours, your chest strap
may be  dangling  quite loosely, although it is tight when you are
standing upright and even tighter when in an arch.) Moreover, when I was
already standing outside in the door, the pilot had to make some turning
and climbing. So there was a lot of rocking, moving and wind for some
time
before exit, while I occasionally bend forward (especially during those
left
turns), loosening the tension in strap. It must have slipped through at
some point then.
  Technically the gear seemed ok, too. It was just quite heavily used
rental gear,
so the  straps have become a little soft over time, which may have been
a
contributing factor. Also the strap didn't have any velcro ... older
type I guess.
         Actually, with this rig I also have to tighten my leg-straps
several times in the plane, which are much more loose when sitting than
when
standing upright or flying. ( on top  it is an art to fold the PC
 such  that it actually stays in that ragged spandex pouch ....  'guess
it's
 really  time that I get my own gear.)  

Watch those straps, routings as well as ends.
BS
Thomas
A-25590

 
 
 

chest-strap

Post by Charles Thoma » Tue, 03 Dec 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

>Pardon my butting in and showing my ignorance, but...

>Looking at the design of the chest strap and friction buckle, I'd be hard
>pressed to understand how a properly routed strap, with the end rolled
and
>sewn (as per either USPA or FAA rules - I forget where I read it) could
>slide through the friction buckle while under stress.

>As near as I can tell, an end without *** bands may slap you silly,
>give you pretty good sized welts, but shouldn't be able to come out of
the
>buckle.

Wrong!!  You'd think so, tho' wouldn't you?  I know I did.

This summer, we had a Level 8 student's chest strap come unthreaded
during his opening sequence dispite the strap being properly rolled and
sewn (this was on a Vector II) AND dispite being properly threaded
through the buckle.  

On the ground, we were able to reproduce this at will by pulling the
chest strap in a sharp motion (like that experienced during opening
shock).  It was like a magic trick.  With an elastic band on the strap
(as per the manufacturer's instructions), we were unable to get the
properly threaded chest strap to come unthreaded no matter how we tugged
on it.

The elastic band that's put on the chest strap is there for a reason.
The rolled and sewn end of the strap and the elastic band work together
to prevent a properly threaded chest strap from being pulled through the
buckle.  Especially if your rig has several hundred jumps on it, I'd
highly recommend it.  

NOTE:  If anyone has any questions on the above-mentioned incident, feel
free to contact master rigger Mark Kruse at Skydive City.  He can tell
you the specifics.
--
Charles Thomas
Member: Sky Knights SPC
USPA Licence: D-18226

SKYDIVING: GRAVITY-POWERED ADVENTURE!

 
 
 

chest-strap

Post by Colin Fitzmauric » Tue, 03 Dec 1996 04:00:00



Quote:
>Pardon my butting in and showing my ignorance, but...

>Looking at the design of the chest strap and friction buckle, I'd be hard
>pressed to understand how a properly routed strap, with the end rolled and
>sewn (as per either USPA or FAA rules - I forget where I read it) could
>slide through the friction buckle while under stress.

>As near as I can tell, an end without *** bands may slap you silly,
>give you pretty good sized welts, but shouldn't be able to come out of the
>buckle.

>        -- kevin --

The usual problem Kevin is with chest straps that are NOT properly
routed. That is the strap is passed though the buckle once and velcro'd
down instead of going around the centre bar and back through the buckle.

My oldest friend Rickerby once lost his chest mounted altimeter doing
that very thing and my, was he pissed off. It was extremely funny to
watch. If you haven't met Rickerby you won't know what I'm talking about
but those who know him and know how pissed off he can get will
appreciate the humour.

Check your chest/leg/everything strap routing before you jump. It's been
missed before and it will be missed again.

BSBD
--
Colin Fitzmaurice
The Parachute Centre
Tilstock Airfield
Whitchurch, Shropshire SY13 2HA
United Kingdom

Phone +44 01948 841111

 
 
 

chest-strap

Post by Michael Ursch » Wed, 04 Dec 1996 04:00:00

: Just curious how close I was

:  So what I was wondering is, has it actually ever happened that
: someone has fallen out of his/her harness during opening because
: the  chest-strap has come off ? Close encounters are also of interest.

While there's no case known to me where someone actually fell out of the
harness because of a poorly closed chest strap, it might happen though.
Just the shoulder- and legstraps DON'T prevent you from falling out of the
harness (at least not in every situation that might occur), so better
play it safe.

BTW : A jumper friend of mine said he nearly fell out of the harness because
of the same reason. He grounded himself  (or was grounded; i don't recall that)
for some time to think about it.

Michael

 
 
 

chest-strap

Post by efsp.. » Wed, 04 Dec 1996 04:00:00

<<While there's no case known to me where someone actually fell out of the
harness because of a poorly closed chest strap, it might happen though.
Just the shoulder- and legstraps DON'T prevent you from falling out of the
harness (at least not in every situation that might occur), so better
play it safe.>>

 I know of one, a Kiwi jumper at a boogie, he was diving out of a DC-3 and
had his chest strap pulled through and stuck to the velcro. He then dove
for the base and his rig peeled off, mannaged to grab the leg strap befor
it got away. He spent the rest of his life trying to get the rig back on.
Bummer

 
 
 

chest-strap

Post by Vince Ingra » Fri, 06 Dec 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

> The usual problem Kevin is with chest straps that are NOT properly
> routed. That is the strap is passed though the buckle once and velcro'd
> down instead of going around the centre bar and back through the buckle.

Do you mean to say Colin, that ppl have actually just passed the end of
the strap thru the buckle under (or over) the middle bar and then tied
it down?  That strikes me as 'loco' - surely anyone who has done the
training (ie any A license) knows how to thread a chest strap!!

I heard that a camera guy lost his rig a couple of years back, by not
doing up the cheat strap before getting on the plane, and then he jumped
in the heat of the moment without a quick gear check...the rig just
wasn't there when deploy altitude arrived.  (just what I'd heard or read
somewhere)

Vince

 
 
 

chest-strap

Post by Charles Thoma » Fri, 06 Dec 1996 04:00:00


writes:

Quote:
>Do you mean to say Colin, that ppl have actually just passed the end of
>the strap thru the buckle under (or over) the middle bar and then tied
>it down?  That strikes me as 'loco' - surely anyone who has done the
>training (ie any A license) knows how to thread a chest strap!!

The point is not to say that people don't know how to thread a chest
strap.  I imagine everyone out there who's mis-routed a chest strap
(myself included, about jump number 20 or something like that) KNEW how
it SHOULD be done, but was just in such a hurry to make that five minute
call (or whatever) that they did it wrong.

Fortunately, as my own experience and the stories othere have told show,
someone usually points it out to them.

As a point of fact, I'm quite glad I mis-routed my chest strap that time
so long ago.  Now my chest and leg straps are part of my pre-jump
equipment check that gets performed an absurd amount of times in the
aircraft before I leave it!!
--
Charles Thomas
Member: Sky Knights SPC
USPA Licence: D-18226

SKYDIVING: GRAVITY-POWERED ADVENTURE!

 
 
 

chest-strap

Post by Richard Fulle » Fri, 06 Dec 1996 04:00:00

I know it doesn't SEEM posible that a properly routed chest strap could
unthread its little self.  However, IT CAN!!!

Imagine the following senario:  

I'm gearing up for a jump.  As I tighten the chest strap I notice the
elastic keeper has fallen off somewhere not to be found.  "No problem,
I'll take care of that later.  It's still threaded properly.  At worst it
will probably just loosen up."  The end of the strap was not long enough
to tie off or to slap around much so, I just left it loose.  NEVER
AGAIN!!!

On the way to altitude I check my straps again with my normal gear check
as I ALWAYS do.  Everything looks good.  The skydive goes well and as I
am settling in the saddle during deployment, something feels really

strap had come completely unthreaded. Not just loose, it was UNTHREADED!

I did however gain some confidence from this jump.  My hook knife landed
dead center in the peas!  GREAT SPOT!

More strap stuff:  For those that are not aware of the difference, have a
rigger show you the difference between rolling excess strap over or
under.

Finally... with regard to the begining of this thread;  I seem to
remember a story of someone flying out of their harness in Hawaii several
years ago because they had not fastened their chest strap.  Any one
remember the details?  And as for the individual who witnessed an
unproperly routed cheststrap... Was this on the airplane or in freefall?
 and What did you do to make that person aware of it?

I hope my experience will help someone else avoid repeating it.

Blue skies... fly free,

Richard Fuller

 
 
 

chest-strap

Post by Michael Blit » Sat, 07 Dec 1996 04:00:00


Quote:
>I know it doesn't SEEM posible that a properly routed chest strap could
>unthread its little self.  However, IT CAN!!!

>Imagine the following senario:  
>On the way to altitude I check my straps again with my normal gear check
>as I ALWAYS do.  Everything looks good.  The skydive goes well and as I
>am settling in the saddle during deployment, something feels really

>strap had come completely unthreaded. Not just loose, it was UNTHREADED!

My worst experience (in a whole 24 jumps) was around jump 13 or so. I
was under a nice main canopy and when looking down to start making my
way to the LZ, I saw this silver handle*** from the rig by the
cable. I have no idea how it happened, but the reserve handle at some
point came out of its spot (where it is attached by velcro around the
handle). Needless to say, it was the scariest moment for me (rankes up
there with the first jump which was scary and exciting in itself
because I had never been in a plane before). I did a full gear check
and was also checked by a friend. It was there when I left the plane.
During my ride down, my left hand was hold up the handle while my
right was on the break-away handle in case I felt the reserve coming
out. Could only do right hand course corrections before flaring.
Michael Blitch
University of South Florida

Voice/Fax 813-651-3019  USPA 121596