Keep an Eye Out | Missing Reserve Ripcord
Keep An Eye Out | Dec 01, 2020
Keep an Eye Out | Missing Reserve Ripcord

USPA Staff

When a jumper inspected his United Parachute Technologies Vector after receiving a reserve repack, he noticed that his rigger had neglected to secure the reserve ripcord to the reserve pin. Photo 1 shows the incorrect configuration, in which only the reserve-static-line lanyard (white lanyard) is attached to the reserve pin. If the jumper had used this rig and experienced a partial malfunction, the SkyHook main-assisted-reserve-deployment device would have activated his reserve in the event of a cutaway. However, if the jumper experienced a total malfunction and pulled only his reserve handle, the reserve canopy would not have deployed. In that case, the jumper could have tried to manually activate the reserve by pulling the RSL, but he may not have had the time to think through and execute the maneuver successfully during what would have been a high-speed malfunction.

Photo 2 shows the correct configuration of the RSL lanyard (white) and the reserve lanyard (blue) on a UPT Vector. Other harness-and-container brands will have different configurations. This circumstance highlights how important it is to both inspect your equipment and understand how it works. Jumpers should know what each component does, how they work together and what would happen if one fails or is improperly installed. Most riggers are eager to share their knowledge, so talk to yours if you have any questions about your gear.

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