>> If your chest strap was not attached (for whatever reason) on a basic rig
>> doing a basic stomach to earth opening would you fall right out of the
>> when the chute opened?
>Over the years there have been a number of incidences of skydivers falling
>of their harnesses. I believe one year in Hawaii there were two such cases
>within weeks of each other about 8 years ago. Then more recently, in fact
>weeks ago a young lady in Louisiana with about 20 jumps did fall out of her
>harness due to an unsecured chest strap. I personally know of a number of
>jumpers who have admitted to exiting the aircraft with the chest strap
>or the leg straps loose. I believe the problem is more widespread than one
>would believe and I urge you all to make sure your equipment is secure
>you enter the aircraft and to ask for a gear check before jump run!
As a matter of policy I don't undo any straps on any of my rigs - even at
repack time. The primary reason I don't sew the chest strap in position is
so I can prepare for a water landing when required, and I can adjust for
extra sweaters in the winter or a weight vest if I'm trying to keep up with
something doing over 150 mph.
When donning my gear I simply toss it on like a pullover, then step through
the legstraps. A fast check that the main lift web isn't twisted, and a
quick check of the buckles, and I'm in business - nothing to forget. It's
also one hell of a lot faster than screwing with straps and buckles.
I've seen very experienced skydivers with chest straps flopping loose in
freefall (I have footage of it from shooting camera at the time), and
consider it to be a variable best eliminated. Skydiving is exciting enough
without having to wonder if you'll stay in the harness after opening.