Ben Nelson highlights a problem with RSLs incorrectly stowed, well spotted!
There are many reasons why experienced skydivers may choose to disconnect their RSL (Reserve Static Line) before going on a jump. Many camera flyers, CReW dogz, and XRW canopy pilots choose to jump with their RSLs not connected in order to help them not accidentally deploy their reserve prematurely should they have an entanglement resulting in a cutaway. If you want more information about rationale for disconnecting the RSL during those activities, talk to people who do those kinds of jumps and they can explain.
At any rate, there may be a time in your skydiving career where you don’t want to remove your RSL completely for normal jumping, but you want to disconnect it for certain activities. Regardless of why you would choose to disconnect your RSL, you need to make sure that it is stowed in a way that is not going to create more problems.
I noticed a rig the other day that had the RSL disconnected from the RSL ring on the riser and stowed on the main ring on the three ring system (above photo). I would NOT recommend stowing a disconnected RSL in that manner.
What can happen:
1. While the likelihood is relatively low, there is a chance that an RSL that is being stowed on the main ring could cause issues with having a safe cutaway (See attached photo). There is no need to add that risk.
2. The metal-on-metal contact between the RSL and main ring could cause dings and nicks to form on metal that is intended to be smooth.
What you can do:
I would recommend stowing your disconnected RSL on the hard housing of your cutaway or reserve handle cable and then giving it a little tucky-tuck behind your mud flap (above photo). This prevents it from getting in the way if you have an emergency that requires a cutaway, while also preventing it from flapping free in the wind, causing unnecessary wear and tear.
Images and article by Ben Nelson, written for the excellent Skydive Spaceland Dallas Students and New Jumpers Facebook Page
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