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One of Many Ways to Fold Your PC

Video by Matt Gerdes

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Matt Gerdes shows his method of packing the pilot chute for Wingsuit BASE

THIS IS NOT AN INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO OR DESCRIPTION
– PACK AND JUMP AT YOUR OWN RISK

This pilot chute folding technique is based on the simple premise that your bridle should be stored inside your BOC instead of inside your pilot chute during deployment and extraction.

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There have been several BASE fatalities resulting from bridle / pilot chute entanglements. Although it’s very difficult to say for certain, the likely cause of these malfunctions is the pilot chute tumbling with the excess bridle in the burble behind the wingsuit. If the pilot chute is deployed with 9 feet of bridle all at the same time, then there is a chance that the pilot chute could become entrapped in the slack bridle before it is fully inflated and acting on your pins / canopy.

One opinion is that pilot chute / bridle entanglements are one of the only possible malfunctions for which there aren’t well established safeguards. For line-overs, we have tape and tailgates. For slider control, we have rubber bands. But for the pilot chute / bridle entanglement malfunction, there isn’t much.

To the best of my knowledge, this technique was created by Loic Jean-Albert and Stephane Zunino, two of the most talented and well respected wingsuit pilots and BASE jumpers in the world. When Loic speaks, one should listen.

Loic endorses this technique and he also mentioned the following points which should be a reminder to anyone who has read The Great Book of BASE or followed articles on the website:

  1. A longer than standard bridle is unnecessary for Wingsuit BASE, and only adds to the chances of bridle / PC entanglement. 9 feet is plenty, more is dumb.
  2. PC deployment should be executed with the proper flying position for wingsuit jumps – at the correct speed, and with your body presented to the airflow in as efficient a manner as possible. Inefficient flight means a larger burble, and a larger burble means a poorer deployment.
  3. Toss your PC like a man, but don’t throw it so hard that it ruins your body position or causes the PC to pull your canopy off-axis. It is imperative that you get the PC into the clean and turbulence-free air to your side, not directly behind you.

I AM NOT RECOMMENDING THIS TECHNIQUE or stating that it is better than another method. I am only presenting it to you with the hope that we can all continue to improve safety in our sport by communicating our ideas effectively with one another.

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