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Max Ciccarelli learned to look at his brakes before taking the reins of control, here’s why…

I had a totally avoidable cutaway and thought I would share in case it helps someone else. 


Before un-stowing your toggles look to make sure everything is in order.

What happened

The bottom of my right toggle and the excess line had come un-stowed and the toggle found its way through the loop of excess line.  When it was time to un-stow my toggles, I just reached up and pulled without paying much attention. If I had taken a second to look at the toggles (after clearing my airspace, of course) before pulling on them, I would have seen the problem and could have easily fixed it.  

Instead I got a knot that I was unable to untie before I had to cut away. The really stupid part is that I realized that it had come partially un-stowed – it just did not occur to me to make sure the toggle had not gone through the excess line.

In the photo above, you can see that the toggle found its way through the loop of excess line. And you can see my fingers about to open the toggle so that I can grab it. Had I taken two seconds to focus on the situation, I could easily have solved the issue before it became a problem.

Altitude is our best friend whatever incident we have in this sport! 

We need to be ready every jump for a malfunction
Photo courtesy of PD

Another good reminder

I also remembered why it’s a terrible idea not to un-stow your brakes immediately after opening. It would have been bad to have this incident 900 feet above the ground, for reasons that are easily understandable. Altitude is our best friend, whatever incident we have in this sport! 

In any event, I hope it helps someone else prevent an avoidable cutaway.

Thanks to Max Ciccarelli for sharing this event in the Skydive Spaceland Spaceland Dallas New Jumpers group

Photo by Sergey Aleseevich

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