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Opening altitudes for main canopies have been rising in the last several years for safety reasons. There has been a general upward trend for more than a decade, due to canopy opening characteristics changing as designs develop. C and D licence parachutists are now required to open higher if they jump at USPA or BPA drop zones.
Because of these changes, there is an interesting new feature has been added to the Cypres AAD, whereby you can now increase the activation altitude, according to your personal preference. The normal height of 750 feet can be raised in steps of 100 feet up to a maximum of1650 feet.
For many years it has been possible to adjust the activation altitude of the Cypres, when jumping into a location at a different height, for example for a demo. This is illustrated below. This option (set for different elevation, higher or lower) has been in all Cypres units since 10 January 10th 1991. Changing the elevation is an easy operation. It will be used for a temporary, short term period.
Now it is possible to raise the activation height (at which the unit will fire and begin the reserve opening sequence if its downward speed is greater than 78 mph), to a higher altitude (illustrated below) This is a permanent operation, until it is canceled or re-set.
To avoid unintentional settings the procedure needs to be done twice consecutively. The change will then be set permanently (until the next new setting). This procedure takes about 2 minutes. The normal height of 750 feet can be raised in steps of 100 feet, 200 ft, up to plus 900 feet (ie, activation height of 1650 feet). The result of a higher activation altitude is that the vertical distance, respectively the activation window, where the Cypres is prepared to fire the cutter is enlarged. The standard activation window reaches from 140 feet up to the standard of 750 feet. The new window is from 140 feet up to (750 ft + addition).
NB: A skydiver who increases his CYPRES activation altitude has to also increase his main canopy deployment altitude to avoid a two canopy out scenario. As two canopies can entangle and cause fatalities, the main canopy must always be fully open and flyable far well above the reserve activation height.
A skydiver who increases his Cypres activation altitude should increase his main canopy deployment altitude as well, to avoid a two-canopy out scenario, as two canopies can entangle and cause fatalities
It is possible to adjust to another elevation and the new permanent activation altitude adjustment at the same time, if desired.
On every Cypres 2 unit that undergoes maintenance, the new feature will automatically be implemented without extra charge. This has been the normal procedure since the start of this year. Other Cypres 2 owners can have their unit updated immediately if desired, but there will be a cost involved.
Because of the development in the sport there is a lot of discussion about activation altitudes. The United States Parachute Association decided in July 2013 to raise the main canopy minimum deployment altitude for C and D license holders from 2000 feet to 2500 feet. The British Parachute Association made a similar change to 3,000 feet. That is very smart and we at Airtec really appreciate this very much as it makes skydiving a lot safer.
The new feature enables every skydiver to increase his activation altitude if he feels the need in relation to his equipment, his habits, his actions, etc. The change is easy to perform, is reversible and can be executed whenever and wherever.
Airtec kindly asks you to pay attention and to ensure to take all related circumstances, advantages and disadvantages into account when choosing the user selectable activation altitude feature.