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No reserve - a philosophy, a cost saving or what?
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BadExit

Sep 21, 2018, 12:47 PM
Post #1 of 64 (2614 views)
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No reserve - a philosophy, a cost saving or what? Can't Post

(From someone looking to get into BASE...)

There's a great YT video from way back showing a skydiver jumping from a bridge. He gets into difficulty, cuts away and just about has a reserve above his head before he hits the water. He gets roasted in the comments.

But he presumably survived.

There's another one of a multi-way off Perrine, with about four canopies deploying and some poor soul trailing a packjob all the way to the bottom.

So.

Does anyone BASE jump with a reserve? CAN anyone jump with a reserve? Should anyone jump with a reserve?

Why don't you?

GreenMachine

Sep 21, 2018, 12:57 PM
Post #2 of 64 (2606 views)
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Depends [In reply to] Can't Post


There is a Mirage SKY rig that could be jumped
by an experienced person off a few objects safely.

There was a double-canopy BASE rig called a Sorcerer.

BASER makes a BASE rig with a belly mountable reserve.

I have personally never made a BASE jump with 2 parachutes.

FYI - a well packed BASE rig is more reliable than a SKY reserve.

However, a SKY reserve works really well for a variety of
air speeds, where as an expertly configured BASE set-up
can be much more reliable, but only for a given air speed.

Example: 300 foot building BASE rig will not help you
much if you are flying Delta and the plane goes down.
While a rig set for a jet jump, would kill you at a span.

TomAiello

Sep 21, 2018, 5:31 PM
Post #3 of 64 (2550 views)
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Re: [BadExit] No reserve - a philosophy, a cost saving or what? [In reply to] Can't Post

It's a mistake to view a BASE rig as having no reserve. It's more accurate to say that it has no main.

Whenever you exit an aircraft, you are carrying a parachute that you rely on to operate 100% of the time, whenever you need it. You call it the reserve. You have another, "fun" parachute you mess around with first, but you don't rely on it to function every time.

BASE is the same way. Whenever you exit an object, you are carrying a parachute that you rely on to operate 100% of the time, whenever you need it. You just don't have another (less reliable) parachute that you mess around with first.

Think of a BASE rig as not having a main--it's a rig where you go to the reserve first, every time.


That also means that a BASE pack job should be viewed as a _reserve_ pack job. Something that was missed by the jumpers in the two videos you are referring to.

Dadsy

Sep 21, 2018, 10:04 PM
Post #4 of 64 (2511 views)
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Re: [BadExit] No reserve - a philosophy, a cost saving or what? [In reply to] Can't Post

If you are jumping low stuff and have a malfunction say a pin lock, there is no time to deploy a reserve, if you have a line over or other canopy related problem again no time
You would have to go through the fatality list but I don't think canopy malfunctions are the main cause of deaths for us

Skez

Sep 22, 2018, 5:06 AM
Post #5 of 64 (2446 views)
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Re: [Dadsy] No reserve - a philosophy, a cost saving or what? [In reply to] Can't Post

i only jump low shit so even if i had a reserve id rather ride a line over etc into the deck then cutting it away as there would be no time for a second canopy....in saying that ive thought about a design with maybe some shitty roundy as a reserve so u dont have to chop the main....like a paraglider they just throw the reserve leave the main attached and hope for the best..... if it was a true last resort the round could be small and breaking your legs would be common but still save your life...patent pending lol oh wait theres a belly mount...fuck that noise but thinks something better can be done for sure


(This post was edited by Skez on Sep 22, 2018, 5:08 AM)

BadExit

Sep 22, 2018, 9:05 AM
Post #6 of 64 (2392 views)
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Re: [GreenMachine] Depends [In reply to] Can't Post

TomAiello wrote:
Think of a BASE rig as not having a main--it's a rig where you go to the reserve first, every time.

That also means that a BASE pack job should be viewed as a _reserve_ pack job. Something that was missed by the jumpers in the two videos you are referring to.

Hi Tom,

Thank you for your thoughts. I think I see where you are coming from... I have always been told "need one, take two". Take the first example YT video (which isn't a great one, but it'll do) - the guy had a bad day with the main. But he did have a plan B. I think having a Plan B is kind of useful and...have reserves never failed?

Dadsy wrote:
<snip>but I don't think canopy malfunctions are the main cause of deaths for us
and
GreenMachine wrote:

FYI - a well packed BASE rig is more reliable than a SKY reserve.


That's reassuring! Is this why we don't need that Plan B, Tom? If I'm over-thinking this then that's cool, as long as I can work out why.

Skez wrote:
<snip>....in saying that ive thought about a design with maybe some shitty roundy as a reserve so u dont have to chop the main....like a paraglider they just throw the reserve leave the main attached and hope for the best.....
I fly a paraglider and have the reserves you mean. They are a bit primitive to deploy (chuck and hope). You get around 4 seconds freefall before they go out of spec (e.g about 78mph before mine could burst), that's only about 250ft.

But, you can get paragliding harnesses where a cut-away main deploys (via RSL) a BASE canopy as a reserve. Very expensive. I guess that's what the BASER rig is like?

So is the answer that you COULD jump BASE with a reserve but people don't because the pack jobs are reliable enough and/or there wouldn't be enough time on some jumps to deploy them?

TomAiello

Sep 22, 2018, 9:09 AM
Post #7 of 64 (2385 views)
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Re: [BadExit] Depends [In reply to] Can't Post

BadExit wrote:
I have always been told "need one, take two".

Skydiving rigs don't "take two" though.

They only take one reserve.

If you really wanted to go with a "need one, take two" philosophy, you'd be either skydiving with a reserve style canopy in the main tray or jumping a 3 canopy skydiving system.

Same with paragliders. When was the last time you went flying with two reserves?




Using a reserve in BASE has several big hurdles to overcome, including, but not limited to;

1) The reliability of BASE systems is a critical component of their success. Adding a second canopy and it's deployment system increases the complexity of the system, reducing it's overall success rate.


2) Reserves require a certain amount of altitude to deploy successfully. Unlike skydiving (or paragliding) deploying a parachute higher in BASE usually doesn't mean that the deployment is safer.

In fact, lower deployments are safer in most BASE situations because, among other things;

a) they increase fall rate, reducing the effect of actual wind, both by putting the jumper into the wind block and by providing relative wind to push the extraction angle closer to vertical and further off the horizontal (where horizontal extraction angles can asymmetrically load risers and generate off headings), and;

b) they give the jumper greater separation from the object because of the increased free fall time.

By encouraging higher deployment, a reserve could very well _decrease_ the safety margin of a BASE jumper at deployment on the _vast majority_ of jumps. Compare this to the tiny minority of jumps that could be made safer by a second canopy deployment.


3) Reserves require additional inspection, maintenance and re-pack. Every human has a finite amount of time, money and energy, and it's better to spend them on the primary parachute system. This is the basic issue that led to the Xaver Bongard fatality. Xaver Bongard went in under his malfunctioning reserve off Staubachfall, after cutting away a first canopy that he probably could have dealt with, had he focused on corrective action instead of relying on his "reserve."


(This post was edited by TomAiello on Sep 22, 2018, 9:21 AM)

TomAiello

Sep 22, 2018, 9:23 AM
Post #8 of 64 (2374 views)
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Re: [BadExit] Depends [In reply to] Can't Post

BadExit wrote:
...have reserves never failed?

There have been double total fatalities (failure of both main and reserve canopies) in skydiving, as well as the (previously mentioned) Xaver Bongard fatality under a second canopy on a BASE jump.

yuri_base

Sep 22, 2018, 9:56 AM
Post #9 of 64 (2368 views)
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Re: [BadExit] No reserve - a philosophy, a cost saving or what? [In reply to] Can't Post

I think having a 2-parachute system makes more and more sense now for WS BASE. Both BASE canopies and reserves got lighter and more compact (thanks to ultralight fabric). So, a skydiving rig without an AAD with 2 ultralight canopies won't be significantly heavier and bulkier than a BASE rig.

A bird strike breaking the pull arm is a very real scenario. I personally almost stroke a goose on a WS BASE jump. The goose was flying very fast almost parallel to me, same heading, and I couldn't see it till the last second because it was coming up at me from the bottom, not from forward where I was looking at. In the last second when I discovered the bird and realized that our paths might intersect, I immediately pulled since I instantly thought it's better to pull now while I still have my pull arm than risk a chance of having it disabled by impact.

Also, several experienced WS jumpers went in because they couldn't find the pull. If they had a reserve, they could have saved their lives. In these cases, the reliability of the BASE rig itself played absolutely no role.

A conservative WS jumper who only chooses jumps where the pull altitude is at least 500-600ft, considering slow fall rate, still has some reasonable amount of time to activate a reserve in case of a no pull find or bird strike, or a problem with the "main" canopy.

Skydiving rig with BASE canopy as a main is very, very reliable system, which also gives you a second chance. I've been skydiving my BASE canopy for several years now and can't be happier about this setup. (Even landed with a broken steering line, with one toggle and rear riser; it would definitely be a chop if it were a skydiving canopy.) I see no issues why this setup couldn't be used in WS BASE. In fact, I'm planning to make my next skydiving rig my dual-purpose rig and WS BASE with it all the time. Shit happens, and sometimes you do need that second chance.

As for 100% reliability of BASE rigs, that's not true - any system has less than 100% reliability. The reserves greatly reduce the chance of two consecutive random processes with nearly 100% reliability, failing. For example, if main has 99.9% reliability (1 malfunction in 1000 jumps) and reserve (or BASE "main") has 99.99% (1 in 10K jumps), then the chance of both consecutively failing is 0.001*0.0001 = 1/10,000,000 (one in 10 million). While if only reserve was used (like in BASE rigs), the chance would be 1 in 10 thousand. (The high number should not, however, convey the sense of confidence: as a random process, it doesn't happen after 9,999 jumps; it can happen on the 100th or 10th jump, and then with 1-canopy system, it's Game Over.)

TomAiello

Sep 22, 2018, 10:16 AM
Post #10 of 64 (2362 views)
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Re: [yuri_base] No reserve - a philosophy, a cost saving or what? [In reply to] Can't Post

To clarify, I did not say that the system was 100% reliable. I said that the jumper relies on it 100% of the time--which is true in both skydiving (reserve) and BASE.


(This post was edited by TomAiello on Sep 22, 2018, 10:16 AM)

BadExit

Sep 22, 2018, 10:34 AM
Post #11 of 64 (2349 views)
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Re: [TomAiello] Depends [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks again Tom. Lots to think about.

In reply to:
Same with paragliders. When was the last time you went flying with two reserves?

In paragliding, it's really only acro pilots who fly with two, and mainly where it's a requirement for taking part in competitions. Even then, pilots have died where they have become entangled, which echos your comments on complexity.

(Randomly, I do actually fly with two reserves, but that's only because my new reserve (a steerable rogallo-type) is huge and front mounted and I couldn't be bothered removing the side-mounted round! Laugh)

Thanks again Tom.

yuri_base

Sep 22, 2018, 10:44 AM
Post #12 of 64 (2347 views)
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Re: [TomAiello] No reserve - a philosophy, a cost saving or what? [In reply to] Can't Post

TomAiello wrote:
To clarify, I did not say that the system was 100% reliable. I said that the jumper relies on it 100% of the time--which is true in both skydiving (reserve) and BASE.

Yes, but I think that saying that we jump a reserve in BASE and implying that it is the most reliable way of doing it, is not always correct. The 2-canopy system (provided that the main is a BASE canopy) is still overall more reliable than a 1-canopy one. I'm not talking about jumping a pocket rocket swooping canopy and chopping it every time there's a linetwist. Provided that the skydiving rig is proven with time as not having any issues with, for example, main pin flap hangups, or reserve corners line hangups; and having everything maintained well, 3 rings, emergency handles, pins, etc; and having a BASE canopy as main and reasonably sized reserve (no more than 1.4 wingloading), the skydiving rig, I believe, is a more reliable option for WS BASE. (For that fatality off the bridge mentioned in OP, there would be time only for the reserve PC to pop, that's it. Reserves are useless for low objects.)

GreenMachine

Sep 22, 2018, 11:17 AM
Post #13 of 64 (2331 views)
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To: Bad Exit ---- Every Choice Has A Risk [In reply to] Can't Post

Now you can see why I named my first reply: Depends Wink
Every choice in Economics, Physics, Life is a cost benefit analysis.

I SKY jump with a Sabre2-120 & a PD143R, both packed by me.
My main is less reliable than my reserve, but so much fun to fly!
My BASE jumps have been on canopies 230 to 305 square feet.

The reliability of a parachute is dependent on many variables.
However, ceteris paribus, in my experience: big, square, lightly
loaded 7-cell canopies are more reliable than jumpers or drivers.

yuri_base

Sep 22, 2018, 9:29 PM
Post #14 of 64 (2258 views)
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Re: [GreenMachine] To: Bad Exit ---- Every Choice Has A Risk [In reply to] Can't Post

GreenMachine wrote:
Every choice in Economics, Physics, Life is a cost benefit analysis.

Interesting. Any examples of choice in physics as cost-benefit analysis? Is there even choice in physics? I thought physics is like a dictatorship. F=ma, OBEY! E=mc^2, OBEY!

BadExit

Sep 23, 2018, 3:13 AM
Post #15 of 64 (2220 views)
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Re: [yuri_base] To: Bad Exit ---- Every Choice Has A Risk [In reply to] Can't Post

yuri_base wrote:
Is there even choice in physics? I thought physics is like a dictatorship. F=ma, OBEY!

<pedant /on>
F=ma is Newtonian physics - I think it breaks down when you get to Einstein's stuff.
<pedant /off>

(This is super-important when it comes to parachuting, obviously.)

Wink

Skez

Sep 23, 2018, 4:25 AM
Post #16 of 64 (2206 views)
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Re: [BadExit] To: Bad Exit ---- Every Choice Has A Risk [In reply to] Can't Post

If it was to work u would have a reserve for slider down speeds and another to swap out with for one suitable for high speed....still think a roundy could work as a last resort and I hope I never have to use this hard landing pos style backup ...

GreenMachine

Sep 23, 2018, 4:39 AM
Post #17 of 64 (2204 views)
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Cost Benefit Analysis or CBA [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, the trade-offs in most Choices are based on
Economics and Physics, like driving a motorcycle
versus a 'safer' Volvo or an expensive sports car.

Think of all the different type of lines available
skydiving, BASE jumping, paragliding canopies
and consider the pros and cons of each choice.

Or maybe the space race between USA & USSR.
The former focused more on miniaturization to
reduce payload and requisite fuel requirements.

Fledgling

Sep 23, 2018, 5:29 AM
Post #18 of 64 (2191 views)
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Re: [BadExit] Depends [In reply to] Can't Post

BadExit wrote:
But he did have a plan B. I think having a Plan B is kind of useful

Not having a 2nd canopy does not mean you have no Plan B. For example, I can jump and land any size canopy with no trouble at all but when I go BASE jumping I choose to use large docile canopies because my Plan B in the event of a malfunction is to control that malfunction as best as possible to landing. Something that is probably not possible on a skydiving size reserve.
Another Plan B is to use the terrain to your advantage. If you can pull over water or possibly a stand of trees it might save your life in the event of a partial malfunction. Plenty of documented cases of those exact 2 scenarios.
Obviously this only helps with partial malfunctions, not totals.

Fledgling

Sep 23, 2018, 5:32 AM
Post #19 of 64 (2188 views)
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Re: [yuri_base] No reserve - a philosophy, a cost saving or what? [In reply to] Can't Post

yuri_base wrote:
I see no issues why this setup couldn't be used in WS BASE.
I agree. Especially with the amount of exits we have now that take little to no effort to access. Things like gondolas and shuttles and heli rides that eliminate the hiking also eliminate the need for ultra light gear to carry on said hike.

yuri_base

Sep 23, 2018, 9:55 AM
Post #20 of 64 (2149 views)
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Re: [BadExit] No reserve - a philosophy, a cost saving or what? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd also like to debunk the perpetual dogma that skydiving rigs are so complicated and thus so unreliable and BASE rigs are so simple and thus so reliable.

Compare a skydiving rig with: BASE canopy as main; your standard non-collapsible BASE PC; your standard non-collapsible BASE mesh slider; no AAD; no RSL; no MARD,

and

a BASE rig with: 3 rings and cutaway handle, same canopy, same PC, same slider.

Where's the extra complexity? Other than the self-contained unit of reserve, with its extra handle, nothing else is different. If all skydiving rigs were equipped with BASE canopies and non-collapsible PCs and sliders, there will be virtually no cutaways in skydiving, and the fatality rate will be dramatically reduced as well. Skydiving rigs are very, very reliable and have a huuuge test base of hundreds of millions of jumps. Every possible gear issue is well known and gets resolved quickly. Compare this with BASE, where test base is much much smaller, and with recently discovered/demonstrated ways that almost any BASE rig can have a pin lock, as well as various virtually unavoidable malfunctions such as tension knots and PC bowties and bridle wrap around the tailpocket - and you have no 2nd chance with these - BASE rigs don't seem to be so reliable anymore.

Yes, if we compare a skydiving rig with a small swooping canopy, collapsible slider and PC (which can be forgotten to be uncollapsed), AAD that can accidentally fire, etc. - all these complications make the reserve rides more frequent than necessary. But I'm talking about comparing apples to apples, BASE canopy to BASE canopy, and no collapsible stuff.

Also, I'm talking about stable WS flight, with at least 10 seconds to impact at pull time. Obviously, in non-WS, low BASE, reserves are useless.

And another factor in favor of a skydiving rig in WS BASE: familiarity with gear. This is especially important for seasonal jumpers like me. After several months of not jumping a BASE rig, it feels very different from skydiving rig, the pull is different, steering through opening is different, even the toggle reach distance is different, which makes the control inputs and flare be a bit different (even if you skydive this same BASE canopy). Always jumping the exact same setup is great for safety. (I even sometimes skydive with my stashbag, water, hiking poles, extra clothes, etc. stashed in WS, just like in BASE, to get used to all these inconvenience factors, so that the difference between skydiving and BASE is minimized as much as possible. Nothing is worse than coming to a BASE exit after several months and putting on all this stuff and feeling all the stiffness and bulk from the extra gear. It feels like you've never jumped before, this is your 1st jump! Better have exact same setup, skydiving and BASE.)

PS. Forgot: no D-bag, just a BASE canopy free-packed, with standard BASE pack job, just couple of extra folds to make the stack fit the main tray. And cut corners for WS.


(This post was edited by yuri_base on Sep 23, 2018, 10:41 AM)

TomAiello

Sep 23, 2018, 10:15 AM
Post #21 of 64 (2146 views)
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Re: [yuri_base] No reserve - a philosophy, a cost saving or what? [In reply to] Can't Post

yuri_base wrote:
I'd also like to debunk the perpetual dogma that skydiving rigs are so complicated and thus so unreliable and BASE rigs are so simple and thus so reliable.

You're creating a straw man there. I hope you're doing that unintentionally.

All of those "so..." and "so..." imply that people are using some kind of absolutes. No one is.



Any system that is more complicated is, as a result, less reliable than any system that is less complicated. This is certainly true when we are talking about extremely complicated mechanical systems operating in inherently chaotic environments.

The simpler the system, and the less chaotic it's operating environment, the more reliable it will be.

That's why, for example, deploying at higher airspeed is generally more reliable than deploying at lower airspeeds. The increased (relative) airspeed of the jumper and the movement into the wind block reduces the (chaotic) influence of the absolute wind (and it's turbulence).

All of this is happening at the margins. We are stacking the odds up (one way or another) with various decisions we make.



We're also kind of talking past each other, because you are mostly discussing wing suit deployments, and several other people are not, which complicates the issue further.

I don't think that _anyone_ (unless you want to volunteer to take that position) is arguing that one specific system is going to be safest for _all_ deployments.

Thus, we are either talking about;

a) the average "safest" system to use for an average user on an "average" BASE jump;

b) the average "safest" system to use for an average wing suit pilot flying a wing suit directly away from an object and deploying with good altitude and lots of clear air around them;

c) the average "safest" system for an average jumper to use on a slider down solid object jump;

d) the average "safest" system for an average jumper to use on a slider down jump from an object which is not solid;

e) the average "safest" system to use for any of dozens of other very specific scenarios (still specifying an average jumper)...

And the list goes on--especially if you want to start specifying a particular jumper, or a particular style of jumping (or specific wing suit, presence of terrain, etc)....


I think that if we really want to keep the discussion going in the direction you're headed, it would be most efficient if you specified which of these you are discussing.



Personally, my assumption (based on the OP being a not-yet BASE jumper) was that he would not be engaged in wing suit flight terribly soon, and that he was asking questions about an average set up or a new jumper to be used on beginner type jumps from beginner type objects.


One of the specific jumps he referenced was made from my local object, and I would argue, both in general for this object and in specific for that accident, that the use of a reserve would not have increased the safety level. In that specific accident, the best safety equipment the jumper could have used was a solid 48 hours of sleep, to dissipate his massive BAC (post-mortem BAC tested more than double the legal limit for operation of a motor vehicle in this state) and allow him to make better decisions (both packing and jumping).

yuri_base

Sep 23, 2018, 10:52 AM
Post #22 of 64 (2122 views)
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Re: [TomAiello] No reserve - a philosophy, a cost saving or what? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm only talking about conservative WS BASE, intermediate or more experienced jumper.

yuri_base

Sep 23, 2018, 11:15 AM
Post #23 of 64 (2110 views)
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Re: [TomAiello] No reserve - a philosophy, a cost saving or what? [In reply to] Can't Post

TomAiello wrote:
Any system that is more complicated is, as a result, less reliable than any system that is less complicated. This is certainly true when we are talking about extremely complicated mechanical systems operating in inherently chaotic environments.

Not if the only complication is the subsystem that mitigates the failure of the primary system (provided there's opportunity to use the reserve subsystem, as in conservative WS BASE). And especially because we're dealing with the inherently chaotic environment with random malfunctions, even with properly maintained, state of the art, gear. It's just stupid to die because, for example, bridle wrapped around the tailpocket, being at 1500ft above LZ. There should be plan B.

I'm sure many of those wingsuiters who went in with no pull find or PC chocked by bridle, thought in their last seconds, "what if I had a reserve?"...


(This post was edited by yuri_base on Sep 23, 2018, 11:21 AM)

TomAiello

Sep 23, 2018, 12:16 PM
Post #24 of 64 (2090 views)
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Re: [yuri_base] No reserve - a philosophy, a cost saving or what? [In reply to] Can't Post

> I'm only talking about conservative WS BASE, intermediate or more experienced jumper.


It sounds like your argument is basically:

"Deployments in skydiving-like deployment conditions are better done with skydiving rigs. The safest possible skydiving rig is one with a BASE (or reserve) canopy packed as both the first and second parachute."

Is that a reasonable summary?

If it is, I don't think anyone is going to argue with you. There's a reason that skydiving rigs (not BASE rigs) are used for skydiving.

yuri_base

Sep 23, 2018, 12:21 PM
Post #25 of 64 (2086 views)
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Re: [TomAiello] No reserve - a philosophy, a cost saving or what? [In reply to] Can't Post

TomAiello wrote:
"Deployments in skydiving-like deployment conditions are better done with skydiving rigs. The safest possible skydiving rig is one with a BASE (or reserve) canopy packed as both the first and second parachute."

Is that a reasonable summary?

Yes.

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