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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When something happens and you have to disconnect yourself from your main parachute and use your reserve, how do you get rid of your main chute? Is there a release and you are left with the main harness around your body? Do you physically have to cut each line with a knife? Are there 2 guidelines you cut?

How is your reserve parachute attached? Is it attached to your main body's harness? Is your reserve attached to your frontal area? Do you fall faster with a reserve parachute?

How many feet above the earth do you need to pull your parachute? Your reserve parachute?
 

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Captain Obvious
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i think you can generally release the main, fall away, then open your reserve. opening your reserve with the main flapping around can be very bad as they get tangled.


disclaimer-- i don't know a damn thing
 

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Loves to Suffer
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If you are thinking about skydiving, go to the dropzone and talk to some folks. There are many different systems in use. Generally, as a student, in an emergency you will pull one handle that will release the main and deploy the reserve parachute, probably using with a reserve safety line. This is a line attched from the main to the reserve, to help it deploy faster. As a student you will not have a knife.

The reserve on a modern parachute system is carried in the container on your back. Chest reserves are used only in very special circumstances.

Students generally must pull by 3,500 ft (I am fairly sure) and make a reserve decision by 2,000 feet. I haven't jumped in 2 years.... so like I said, ask at the drop zone.
 

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Failboat Captian
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I'm not a jumper, but I think the way they work, is that the main is attached to the "back" portion of the harness, and the reserve is attached to the front. Or at least a separate pocket. They both attach to the same harness. There is a release that completely releases you from the main if it fails. Then you pull the cord for the reserve (and plummet to your death)
 

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Banned
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You might want an expert's opinion on this before you go

I haven't jumped in 30 years, but back then you released your main by opening the Capewells (specialized parachute release latches made by Capewell Components, https://images.google.com/imgres?im...rev=/images?q=capewell&gbv=2&hl=en&sa=N&um=1). The main drifts away and you plummet like a stone until you open your reserve. Standard altitude for a military jump is (was, anyway) 1250 feet, and they opened by static line attached to the plane.
I don't remember the minimum alt you needed for the reserve, and it may have changed anyway as the chutes have improved. Unless they're shooting at you, though, I'd err on the side of caution.
 

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Lemur-ing
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I've always wanted to try skydiving, but I'm kinda afraid, you know....
 

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Premium Member
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i've only done a tandem jump but quizzed the instructor all to hell.

They're both on your back, and yes you "cut away" the primary chute with one pull - no sawing at ropes. The instructors have to voluntarily cut away the primary, free fall again, then pull the reserve as part of their testing. Thats some balls.

I was scared as **** getting out of the plane, but the freefall was really anticlimactic - no sensation of falling really, until we popped our chute and slowed, only to watch the videographer disappear towards earth since he would wait til the last minute to deploy his. Jesus that was dramatic.
 

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Lemur-ing
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Hollywood said:
i've only done a tandem jump but quizzed the instructor all to hell.

They're both on your back, and yes you "cut away" the primary chute with one pull - no sawing at ropes. The instructors have to voluntarily cut away the primary, free fall again, then pull the reserve as part of their testing. Thats some balls.

I was scared as **** getting out of the plane, but the freefall was really anticlimactic - no sensation of falling really, until we popped our chute and slowed, only to watch the videographer disappear towards earth since he would wait til the last minute to deploy his. Jesus that was dramatic.
Was the sensation of falling just at the initial point and then well, you probably got used to it and it's negligent?

That's what I feel when I take drop type rides, especially the really high ones. Of course, yours involves a few thousand feet of falling so....

I'm tempted to try it one of these days. Will you be my tandem partner?
 

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hold my beer n watch this
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I have dropped those crazy folks a few times. I know there is some quick release mechanism to release the main otherwise your reserve just tangles up with it and you have a bigger pretty streamer to the bounce. But that was your second mistake.
 

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your text here
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I went and didnt plan on it. I was in college and had my mtb on the roof of my car headed out to ride some trails for a day. my old tree farm boss pulled up next to me on the highway and asked what I was up to. He had me pull over on the shoulder and asked if I wanted to go jump. He didnt just run a tree farm, but was also a private pilot and had a skydiving outfit as well. So I went.

I didnt feel any sensation of falling. It was all pretty much a blur. I worked at the dropzone all day, packing chutes (yikes), checking fuel and oil in the plane, and rigging up a new camcorder to a helmet for the videographer.

When I jumped, tandem, it was from over 10,000 ft. the door opened, the caerma guy walked out and hung on the strut, then I stepped on the smallest step I have ever seen. As planned and practiced, we rocked forward (1), backward (2), and forward (3). We then did a summersault out, into a twist, and then opened up. All I could hear was wind rushing . It didnt feel like falling after we opened up.
when it came time to pull, I misread his signal. On the video you can see him yelling, "pull now! Pull now!" I turn my head and shout, "what?" he waved his hands and I pulled. the next part was fun.
Once on the ground I called the chick I had a date with and told her I would be late. I thanked my jump partner and took off.

from what I recall, the reserve is packed once and is almost like its part of the harness. The main chute is packed and stuffed in its own bag over the reserve. If you are tangled (happened to the cameraman on the jump) but cant get untangled, you cut away. This is pulling another ripcord handle. The main chute disconnects, you freefall again, and pull the reserve.
Everyone at the dropzone had an unplanned cutaway at least once. My boss had gone through three.
 

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Zaphod Beeblebrox
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Your body only feels acceleration, the first and second derivative are not noticed thank to Newton's Second Law.
 
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