USPA Malfunctions Video Series

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The USPA VR Malfunction Series has been created to help prepare jumpers around the world by giving them the best training tools available

Some of the possible malfunctions and their solutions are presented below…

Videos by USPA

1. Line Over

On deployment, a suspension line is on top of the canopy, causing it to look like a bowtie.

Line Over Solution

Pull the cutaway handle and immediately pull the reserve ripcord by at least 2,500 feet above the ground.


2. Pilot Chute in Tow

You pull your main handle but only the pilot chute comes out. The main bag does not leave the container and the container remains closed.

PC in Tow Solution:

Look over your shoulder and tilt slightly to one side to increase the airflow across the back of your container.

If this doesn’t work, the Skydiverโ€™s Information Manual lists two different procedures. Discuss these with your Safety and Training Advisor to determine which version you should choose.

  1. Pull the cutaway handle and pull the reserve ripcord by at least 2,500 feet above the ground.
  2. Pull the reserve ripcord by at least 2,500 feet without cutting away first. In this case, be prepared to cutaway if the main canopy deploys.

3. Bag Lock

Your container opens and you have line stretch but the canopy does not come out of the deployment bag.

Bag Lock Solution:

Pull the cutaway handle and immediately pull the reserve ripcord by at least 2,500 feet above the ground.


4, 5. Horse Shoe

On deployment, part of the canopy snags on your body, such as your pilot chute wrapped around your arm. The shape of your partially deployed main and lines might resemble a horseshoe.

4. Horse Shoe Clearable

5. Horse Shoe UnClearable

Horse Shoe Solution (both types):

If the pilot chute and bridle is entangled with your arm, try to clear it by pointing up, allowing the flow of wind to help you clear it off your body. If the pilot chute is still packed in its pouch, try and locate it and pull it to clear the horseshoe. In either case, make no more than two attempts to clear the horseshoe malfunction, altitude permitting.

If this doesn’t work, pull the cutaway handle and immediately pull the reserve ripcord by at least 2,500 feet above the ground.


6, 7 Two Out

Some possible ways the parachutes fly together might be …

  • Biplane
  • Side-by Side
  • Downplane
  • Entanglement

Videos and recommended solutions…

6. Biplane

Two Out Biplane Solution:

Leave the brakes stowed on the back canopy. Steer the front canopy gently using toggles or leave the brakes stowed and steer by pulling on the rear risers. Perform a Parachute Landing Fall (PLF) on landing.

7. Side-by-side

Two Out Side-by Side Solution:

If the two canopies are not tangled, and clear separated, you may choose to cut away and fly the reserve to a safe landing. However, if they are touching, leave the brakes stowed on the smaller canopy. Steer the dominant (larger) canopy gently using toggles or leave the brakes stowed and steer by pulling on the rear risers. Perform a Parachute Landing Fall (PLF) on landing.

Two Out Downplane Solution:

Disconnect the reserve static line and pull the cutaway handle to release the main canopy.

Two Out Entanglement Solution:

Try to pull in the least inflated if you have time and ability. Perform a Parachute Landing Fall (PLF). The best advice is to avoid this complex and dangerous possibility by maintaining your gear, getting gear checks, being altitude aware, pulling on time, etc.


8. Streamer, Endless Snivel

You deploy then see your canopy “there” but not “square” yet, just hovering above you without inflating.

Streamer Solution:

Most modern canopies will take approximately five seconds to completely inflate after the deployment is started, some may take as long as 10 seconds. Altitude awareness is critical, and if the canopy is not fully inflated by 2,500 feet, pull the cutaway handle followed immediately by pulling the reserve ripcord.


9. Torn Canopy and Broken Lines

You may have a broken line, a rip in the fabric, a pilot chute entangled in the lines or other canopy damage or inconsistencies.

Torn Canopy/Broken Lines Solution:

Go with the standard evaluation process:

THERE ~ SQUARE ~ STEERABLE!

Evaluate steering and stability in turns and flare. If a broken line is a steering line, you might choose to use rear risers to steer and flare instead of cutting away, depending on your experience and knowledge of that particular canopy. In general, if there is more than one broken suspension line, it is a good idea to cut away and deploy the reserve even if the canopy seems to be flying correctly. If there is a hole in the canopy that is large enough to stick your head through, or you can see sky through any sized hole in the bottom skin, cut away the main canopy and deploy the reserve.


10. Pilot Chute Over the Nose

Your pilot chute after opening flies in front of the nose of your canopy and may even entangle in the lines.

Pilot Chute Over the Nose Solution:

Go with the standard evaluation process:

THERE ~ SQUARE ~ STEERABLE!

Evaluate steering and stability in turns and flare.


11. Line Twists

You deploy then experience the risers and/or lines are twisted above your head. Sometimes you are turning as well, and on medium performance canopies, you may be spinning violently, likely with the slider up high on the lines.

Line Twists Solution:

If the canopy has opened normally with no twists, but simply turns on its own, be sure both brakes are released. One toggle may have come unstowed on opening.

If the canopy is centered above your head, not spinning or diving, pull apart on the risers and kick, just like if you were in a swing in the park. You can also squeeze the risers together and untwist your body underneath, as if you were wringing something out. Keep looking at your altitude to gauge the amount of time you have to try and fix this, with your decision altitude in mind.

If the canopy is spinning, diving, and you are not oriented underneath it, pull the cutaway handle followed immediately by pulling the reserve ripcord by at least 2,500 feet.


12. Wingsuit Line Twist

Line twist while flying a wingsuit is similar to experiencing line twist on any non-wingsuited skydive.

The difference is in the forward throw of the jumper during the deployment, due to the inflating parachute slowing down the forward speed as well as the descent rate of the wingsuit jumper. Depending on the design of the wingsuit, it might not be possible for the jumper to reach the risers until the arms of the wingsuit are unzipped.

Wingsuit Line Twist Solution:

After inflation of the main canopy, if line twist exists and the canopy is spinning, it may not be possible to clear the line twist. If the wingsuit arms restrict movement to the point where the risers cannot be reached, unzip the wingsuit arms. Work to clear the twists either by spreading the risers, or pushing them together and twisting them in the appropriate direction. If the twists cannot be cleared by your decision altitude, collapse the leg wings by putting your feet and knees together, cutaway and pull the reserve ripcord.


Videos by USPA


Malfunction Series Creation

๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ USPA would like to give special thanks to those that made this Malfunction series possible:

Disclaimer: These videos were produced using highly skilled, highly trained professionals jumping canopies that were packed by an FAA Master Rigger intentionally configuring the openings to demonstrate some of the more common malfunctions solely for the purpose of providing these training aids. USPA provides guidance for handling these situations based on input from the industry and from historical accounts. Your specific experience and procedures may vary based on gear, preference, training, instructor guidance or other factors.


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