RDS Malfunction

Visit Us

If you jump a removable slider, it’s only a matter of time before this happens to you…

Austin Thomas shares his video of this RDS (Removable Deployment System) malfunction.

His toggle excess makes a lark’s head around the slider rings after he takes the slider. By sharing his problem and listening to a range of advice, Austin discovered some ways to prevent and fix the problem.

“I realize now that I could have brought the slider below the toggles before taking it off to prevent this OR just push the ring back through the wrap to fix it. I practiced fixing it on the ground, stow my toggles differently to lock the excess with the pin, and pull my slider past my toggles before I take it off now.”

Austin Thomas


Let’s look at the solutions in more detail:

  1. Slider below brakes – Bringing the slider below the brake lines before removing the RDS reduces the chances of this happening.
  2. Being careful – Take care when removing the RDS to not create this problem.
  3. Fixing it – The knot can be fixed by unhooking the larks head. It is a good idea to recreate the problem on the ground and practice releasing the knot, to be better prepared if it happens in the air.
  4. Stowing toggles – Using a method to secure the excess line on the brakes reduces the probability of a knot with the excess line.

Toggle Stowing Methods

The above photos illustrate two ways of stowing the excess brake. The method on the left is for toggles with a pin. This also means that if the top of the toggle comes out, most of your brake line remains stowed, decreasing the rate of turn. 

Video – Toggle stow method

Jacob Edgar shows a method of stowing the excess brake line to prevent it making a knot and to minimize the effect of a toggle fire. Note, it is still possible for the excess to loop around the toggle itself and cause a toggle lock when unstowed so it’s important to pay attention when releasing the toggles.


Below is some advice from top level canopy pilots …

Pulling the slider down is a good practice,  because it prevents the slider from flapping against your lines and causing more wear. I pull mine down and it doesn’t prevent this tangle thing from happening. It may cut down the rate of it happening but it DEFINITELY won’t eliminate it. I have this happen quite a bit. Once you figure you how to unhook the larks head it’s a quick and easy fix every time. Maybe recreate this on the ground so you can practice fixing it. You don’t even need to lift the ring up (which is a good fix as well). I just grab the loop against the ring and pull it to loosen it and it comes out easy.

Curt Bartholomew

The biggest thing that worked for me is to take a breath, and then clear the rings and excess. The breath really makes me mellow out and focus on the task at hand before I cause a mal. This also saved me from line-excess induced malfunctions.

Mark ‘Trunk’ Kirschenbaum

I find myself staring at the system above my head for a few seconds and make sure everything is clear before removal. I pull the slider up and back to make sure it doesn’t come anywhere near excess (which is also neatly stowed.)

Jesse Weyher

To Chop or not to chop?

Austin did a good job of landing on rears in a pressure situation. Only land this type of problem if you are confident and practiced at landing using rear risers.

 Video: Tip Tuesday – Removing your RDS

A handy video where Performance Designs and Beau Riebe show how to remove and stow the RDS.

Note: Austin would like to thank everyone who gave input, especially those quoted above and canopy pilots Ian Drennan, Beau Riebe and Jake Jensen.

Visit Us

Meet: admin

View All Posts