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Automatic Parachutes



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 3rd 04, 05:53 PM
John DeRosa Sky Soaring Chicago IL
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Default Automatic Parachutes

I was looking at my new-to-me glider on Saturday and noticed a 1" hole
just over the pilot's left shoulder with a red stripe painted above
it. See http://www.dg-flugzeugbau.de/grosse-piloten-e.html for a
picture of the hole.

We stood around and pondered what the hole was for. No one had much
of an idea. The manual was no help. I wrote to DG and they said it
was for the static line of an automatic parachute, which DG said are
very popular in Germany.

My question is, why aren't automatic parachutes popular in other
countries? I can understand the advantages. What are the
disadvantages (besides getting out of your glider when back on the
ground after a long flight and forgetting to unbuckle!)?

Also, how long is the static line?

Thanks, John DeRosa
  #2  
Old May 3rd 04, 10:33 PM
Markus Feyerabend
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Default

Hi John,

don´t know much more about the downsides (you named the only one I know
already).
I have one with a "back-up" manual release, but use the automatic release
everytime (in fact, I can hardly remember what time I removed my chutethe
last time form the cockpit). The static line on mine is about 7 meters
(afaik) or about 20 ft.

Many happy landings,
Markus

John DeRosa Sky Soaring Chicago IL schrieb in Nachricht ...
I was looking at my new-to-me glider on Saturday and noticed a 1" hole
just over the pilot's left shoulder with a red stripe painted above
it. See http://www.dg-flugzeugbau.de/grosse-piloten-e.html for a
picture of the hole.

We stood around and pondered what the hole was for. No one had much
of an idea. The manual was no help. I wrote to DG and they said it
was for the static line of an automatic parachute, which DG said are
very popular in Germany.

My question is, why aren't automatic parachutes popular in other
countries? I can understand the advantages. What are the
disadvantages (besides getting out of your glider when back on the
ground after a long flight and forgetting to unbuckle!)?

Also, how long is the static line?

Thanks, John DeRosa



  #3  
Old May 4th 04, 03:53 AM
Ulrich Neumann
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Posts: n/a
Default

(John DeRosa Sky Soaring Chicago IL) wrote in message . com...
I was looking at my new-to-me glider on Saturday and noticed a 1" hole
just over the pilot's left shoulder with a red stripe painted above
it. See
http://www.dg-flugzeugbau.de/grosse-piloten-e.html for a
picture of the hole.

We stood around and pondered what the hole was for. No one had much
of an idea. The manual was no help. I wrote to DG and they said it
was for the static line of an automatic parachute, which DG said are
very popular in Germany.

My question is, why aren't automatic parachutes popular in other
countries? I can understand the advantages. What are the
disadvantages (besides getting out of your glider when back on the
ground after a long flight and forgetting to unbuckle!)?

Also, how long is the static line?

Thanks, John DeRosa


John,

the only disadvantage may be if you had to bail out at extreme
altitudes or after your glider suffered a structural overload in a
cloud. In either case, you would not be able to free-fall to lower
(=breathable) altitudes. The prospect of being sucked up into a CuNimb
and to experience first hand what it is like in there, doesn't appeal
to me. Other than that, I think there is no real disadvantage for the
static-line chute. I have seen two guys bail out of a Blechnik and
they were glad that they didn't have to fiddle around with the
rip-chord.

The line should be somewhat longer than the fuselage, otherwise the
chute begins to unfurl next to the tail and could get caught.

Uli Neumann
Libelle 'GM'
  #4  
Old May 4th 04, 08:28 PM
Jon Meyer
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

This one I don't know about. In the U.S. it's pretty
common
wisdom that it's worthwhile practicing the egress with
a
chute, instead of always unbuckling the chute and leaving
it
in the aircraft. I don't know if unbuckling under
emergency
stress is a real concern. I think practicing egress
while
wearing the chute *is* a good idea, as it's harder
than you
think.


Our ex-CFI nearly baled out of an open cirrus having
removed his straps AND parachute. Fortunately (or unfortunately
depending on whether you liked him or not) he realised
when he was only half way out and put it back on before
jumping.
The local newspaper report said:
'Club members watched in horror as his parachute opened'




  #5  
Old May 4th 04, 09:09 PM
Eric Greenwell
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


Jon Meyer wrote:
This one I don't know about. In the U.S. it's pretty
common
wisdom that it's worthwhile practicing the egress with
a
chute, instead of always unbuckling the chute and leaving
it
in the aircraft. I don't know if unbuckling under
emergency
stress is a real concern. I think practicing egress
while
wearing the chute *is* a good idea, as it's harder
than you
think.



Our ex-CFI nearly baled out of an open cirrus having
removed his straps AND parachute. Fortunately (or unfortunately
depending on whether you liked him or not) he realised
when he was only half way out and put it back on before
jumping.
The local newspaper report said:
'Club members watched in horror as his parachute opened'


Sounds like an interesting story the did he routinely remove the
parachute before getting out of the glider after a normal flight, and
what was the situation that allowed him so much time to do things right,
and would the clubs members have been equally horrified if the parachute
didn't open?

--
Change "netto" to "net" to email me directly

Eric Greenwell
Washington State
USA

  #6  
Old May 7th 04, 06:13 PM
John DeRosa Sky Soaring Chicago IL
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and comments.

Todd Pattist's comment #2 (below) seems to echo a common thread in
this posting. To paraphrase…

"Pilots who use automatic parachutes (with static lines) may be in the
habit of exiting their ships at the end of each safe flight by
unbuckling their seat belts *AND* unbuckling their parachute, leaving
the parachute behind in the glider for the next flight.
Unfortunately, this long held and reinforced habit might lead (in an
emergency situation) to unbuckling the parachute before bailing out."

Not good. I believe that the lesson learned is that each and every
time you exit your ship you should *ONLY* unbuckling your seat belts,
leaving the removal of the parachute for after you are standing
alongside your glider. First, this will build up some reinforced
training in how to exit your ship with your parachute on (not so easy)
and, more importantly, might save your life.

As a pilot who is new to "high" performance sailplanes (three flights
total) I have only recently started wearing a parachute. I did have
the habit of unbuckling everything before exiting but this is one
habit I can ill afford to learn.

Back to the thought of my only now (after several hundred flights)
begun wearing a parachute, what are your thoughts on the general (US
only?) practice of not wearing parachutes for the majority of (club)
glider flying. I have been told that in England, 100% of the pilots
wear parachutes for all flights. I understand the disadvantage of
requiring parachutes (increased costs mainly) but the disadvantage(s)
are more fearful. What does a place like Minden/Estrella do for their
commercial operation in high(er) performance ships where weather
conditions can be incident inducing (at least more than here in the
Midwest where I fly)?

An interesting comment was made about not liking automatic parachutes
for the situation of a high altitude bailout and the potential of
oxygen deprivation while hanging below an open envelope. I always
weigh the risks and benefits when making decisions like this. This
seems a little like the argument not to wear seatbelts in automobiles
for fear of not being able to get out quickly in case of water or
fire. Obviously the important thing is to survive the crash so that
you CAN get out quickly. I propose that the risk of being at altitude
long enough to suffer detrimental hypoxia is low, not just here in the
Midwest but in the vast majority of soaring locations. Certainly the
number of incidences that require bailing out is directly proportional
to your altitude. There are simply more hours flow over the course of
the year (averaged across the US) at lower altitudes. Flying in the
Midwest? Automatic is good. Flying in the Andes? Automatic might be
bad. Your mileage (altitude) may vary.

So this leads me to how to retrofit a non-automatic parachute for
automatic operation. I will start another posting/thread for that,
"Automatic Parachutes & Retrofitting".

Thanks Again, John DeRosa

(John DeRosa Sky Soaring Chicago IL) wrote in message . com...
I was looking at my new-to-me glider on Saturday and noticed a 1" hole
just over the pilot's left shoulder with a red stripe painted above
it. See
http://www.dg-flugzeugbau.de/grosse-piloten-e.html for a
picture of the hole.

We stood around and pondered what the hole was for. No one had much
of an idea. The manual was no help. I wrote to DG and they said it
was for the static line of an automatic parachute, which DG said are
very popular in Germany.

My question is, why aren't automatic parachutes popular in other
countries? I can understand the advantages. What are the
disadvantages (besides getting out of your glider when back on the
ground after a long flight and forgetting to unbuckle!)?

Also, how long is the static line?

Thanks, John DeRosa


Todd Pattist wrote:


Other disadvantages a

1) the pilot who climbs out without releasing the static or
removing the chute and deploys his chute on the ground;

2) the pilot who bails out under emergency stress conditions
and disconnects the chute before getting out of the
aircraft, just like every other time he has gotten out of
the aircraft.

  #7  
Old May 7th 04, 08:04 PM
303pilot
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

"John DeRosa Sky Soaring Chicago IL" wrote in message
om...
Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and comments.

Todd Pattist's comment #2 (below) seems to echo a common thread in
this posting. To paraphrase.

"Pilots who use automatic parachutes (with static lines) may be in the
habit of exiting their ships at the end of each safe flight by
unbuckling their seat belts *AND* unbuckling their parachute, leaving
the parachute behind in the glider for the next flight.
Unfortunately, this long held and reinforced habit might lead (in an
emergency situation) to unbuckling the parachute before bailing out."

Not good. I believe that the lesson learned is that each and every
time you exit your ship you should *ONLY* unbuckling your seat belts,
leaving the removal of the parachute for after you are standing
alongside your glider. First, this will build up some reinforced
training in how to exit your ship with your parachute on (not so easy)
and, more importantly, might save your life.

FWIW, when I land and get out of my ship I look at and touch the rip cord
handle. Only then do I take off my chute.


  #8  
Old May 7th 04, 09:53 PM
Markus Feyerabend
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


John DeRosa Sky Soaring Chicago IL wrote....

Not good. I believe that the lesson learned is that each and every
time you exit your ship you should *ONLY* unbuckling your seat belts,
leaving the removal of the parachute for after you are standing
alongside your glider. First, this will build up some reinforced
training in how to exit your ship with your parachute on (not so easy)
and, more importantly, might save your life.



That is exactly what I do (and was thaught to do) since my very first flight
and never had any problems so far.


Back to the thought of my only now (after several hundred flights)
begun wearing a parachute, what are your thoughts on the general (US
only?) practice of not wearing parachutes for the majority of (club)
glider flying.



Don´t know what type of gliders you fly, but all I´ve flown so far are
either designed to wear a chute or are much more comfortable to sit in with
one on your back/bum...


I have been told that in England, 100% of the pilots
wear parachutes for all flights.



In Germany they do. I have yet to see a gliderpilot in Europe flying without
a chute.


An interesting comment was made about not liking automatic parachutes
for the situation of a high altitude bailout and the potential of
oxygen deprivation while hanging below an open envelope.



That´s why I always had an emergency O2 bottle strapped to my chute harness
when flying high (waves). Primarely not because I was worried about haveing
to bail out at too high an altitude to survive, but more so because the
regulator could ice up and not being able to decend fast enough (a check
ride in a decompression chamber thought me a thing or two about that).
Anyway, the emergency O2 bottle would have helped in either case I guess
(never had to use it though).

Happy landings,
Markus


  #9  
Old May 8th 04, 02:55 AM
S Schwartz
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

(John DeRosa Sky Soaring Chicago IL) wrote in message . com...
Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and comments.

Todd Pattist's comment #2 (below) seems to echo a common thread in
this posting. To paraphrase?

"Pilots who use automatic parachutes (with static lines) may be in the
habit of exiting their ships at the end of each safe flight by
unbuckling their seat belts *AND* unbuckling their parachute, leaving
the parachute behind in the glider for the next flight.
Unfortunately, this long held and reinforced habit might lead (in an
emergency situation) to unbuckling the parachute before bailing out."

Not good. I believe that the lesson learned is that each and every
time you exit your ship you should *ONLY* unbuckling your seat belts,
leaving the removal of the parachute for after you are standing
alongside your glider. First, this will build up some reinforced
training in how to exit your ship with your parachute on (not so easy)
and, more importantly, might save your life.

As a pilot who is new to "high" performance sailplanes (three flights
total) I have only recently started wearing a parachute. I did have
the habit of unbuckling everything before exiting but this is one
habit I can ill afford to learn.

Back to the thought of my only now (after several hundred flights)
begun wearing a parachute, what are your thoughts on the general (US
only?) practice of not wearing parachutes for the majority of (club)
glider flying. I have been told that in England, 100% of the pilots
wear parachutes for all flights. I understand the disadvantage of
requiring parachutes (increased costs mainly) but the disadvantage(s)
are more fearful. What does a place like Minden/Estrella do for their
commercial operation in high(er) performance ships where weather
conditions can be incident inducing (at least more than here in the
Midwest where I fly)?

An interesting comment was made about not liking automatic parachutes
for the situation of a high altitude bailout and the potential of
oxygen deprivation while hanging below an open envelope. I always
weigh the risks and benefits when making decisions like this. This
seems a little like the argument not to wear seatbelts in automobiles
for fear of not being able to get out quickly in case of water or
fire. Obviously the important thing is to survive the crash so that
you CAN get out quickly. I propose that the risk of being at altitude
long enough to suffer detrimental hypoxia is low, not just here in the
Midwest but in the vast majority of soaring locations. Certainly the
number of incidences that require bailing out is directly proportional
to your altitude. There are simply more hours flow over the course of
the year (averaged across the US) at lower altitudes. Flying in the
Midwest? Automatic is good. Flying in the Andes? Automatic might be
bad. Your mileage (altitude) may vary.

So this leads me to how to retrofit a non-automatic parachute for
automatic operation. I will start another posting/thread for that,
"Automatic Parachutes & Retrofitting".

Thanks Again, John DeRosa

(John DeRosa Sky Soaring Chicago IL) wrote in message . com...
I was looking at my new-to-me glider on Saturday and noticed a 1" hole
just over the pilot's left shoulder with a red stripe painted above
it. See
http://www.dg-flugzeugbau.de/grosse-piloten-e.html for a
picture of the hole.

We stood around and pondered what the hole was for. No one had much
of an idea. The manual was no help. I wrote to DG and they said it
was for the static line of an automatic parachute, which DG said are
very popular in Germany.

My question is, why aren't automatic parachutes popular in other
countries? I can understand the advantages. What are the
disadvantages (besides getting out of your glider when back on the
ground after a long flight and forgetting to unbuckle!)?

Also, how long is the static line?

Thanks, John DeRosa


Todd Pattist wrote:


Other disadvantages a

1) the pilot who climbs out without releasing the static or
removing the chute and deploys his chute on the ground;

2) the pilot who bails out under emergency stress conditions
and disconnects the chute before getting out of the
aircraft, just like every other time he has gotten out of
the aircraft.


Your seat belts are quick release....You parachute is not.
However, the glider is not the best place to store the chute,
so why not climb out with your chute on?

It is a good idea to go through a Bail-Out procedure as part of your
preflight.
I do it before every flight. I want to know that first I can find the
Glass Lid Release with my eyes closed. The seat belt is second nature,
but I release it anyway & push myself up as if I was bailing.
Do this before every flight.
 




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