Keep An Eye Out | Damaged Three-Ring Retention Loop
Keep An Eye Out | Jan 26, 2024
Keep An Eye Out | Damaged Three-Ring Retention Loop

USPA Staff

Above: Photo by Eddie Phillips.

A jumper noticed this severe damage to the three-ring retention loop on his risers when cleaning his cutaway cables. Closer inspection revealed that the grommet that the loop passes through on the riser was not seated completely, leaving a rough edge exposed. This rough piece of metal sawed into the fabric of the loop when it was under load. It is likely that this damage occurred fairly quickly over the previous few months, since the rig owner inspected his gear regularly, including his risers.

This situation reinforces the wisdom of inspecting your gear regularly and thoroughly between reserve pack jobs. If this component had failed while the skydiver was under canopy (the most likely time for it to happen), it would have released the three-ring system on that side. Close to the ground, the results would have been catastrophic. In addition, the damage occurred on the riser that held the RSL connection, meaning that in a failure, the released reserve would have had to fight for air with the half-attached main. Fortunately, this jumper carefully inspected his gear and caught the issue before it caused problems during a skydive.

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