G Dale decribes bailing out

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BoKu

Pundit
HBA Supporter
I think every sailplane pilot should watch this video. It's quite the eye-opener about how messy, chaotic, and stressful bailing out really is. It makes me think that more gliders (and airplanes) should have BRS.

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Well-Known Member
Log Member
**** that's some scary @#%*!!!

I had a midair once in a Hanglider when I was in a dual lesson. We were in a thermal in a tandem glider when another HG pilot saw us climbing and entered our thermal by bisecting it directly through the center. The instructor saw it coming and at the last second we pitched down and her wing hit the top of ours and luckily it was outboard away from the kingpost. Now as if this was not scary enough, we were about 300' above a descending spine of the mountain so would not have been able to get the hand tossed chute out fast enough and worse yet at the hang check we had a harness issue and the instructor and I switched so I the student had the parachute... This person who hit us had already crashed in powerlines and also got herself on the backside of a mountain once and landed in a catch reservoir... Needless to say I took a few month break from HG... Also the instructor shrugged it off likely to keep me from freaking out. When we landed I asked him if it was common and in 40 years of HG he said he had only one other and this was the worst.

Oddly enough, when I did return to HG on my first flight back with my gopro going, I caught a midair on film.. Head to head glancing blow luckily with no issue... We were all confined due to a low ceiling that day and the lift was everywhere so staying below cloudbase was a struggle.

The midair is in the video at around the 1:00 mark... Also in the video the same descending spine and reservoir mentioned above can be seen... Video is in 3D but in the setting near the resolution you can turn it back to 2D..

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BoKu

Pundit
HBA Supporter
...It also made me re-think my plan to mount a DG-style headrest on the canopy frame. Now I know why that DG300 owner was so glad to give his away!

dino

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
DG's had their headrest modified years ago . They also developed the Roeger hook latch to more effectively jettison the canopy and an inflatible seat bladder to elevate the pilot's body to canopy sill level during bailout. It took time, but from laggards they became leaders in cockpit egress.

https://www.dg-flugzeugbau.de/en/library/the-roeger-hook

TFF

Well-Known Member
The aerobatic guys talk a lot about bailing out. On another forum, two of the members had bailed. One lost elevator, one had locked ailerons. The locked ailerons guy jumped out LOW. No higher than 300ft. He was over water and someone from a boat had video. He said he made like Superman and sprung out of the seat; reaching for the sky. Looked like a stunt jump with the chute opening just above the water. The other guy had just done a bunch of engine work and got flying again. Move the stick and nothing happened. He was a bit higher. A Pitts was on the cover of the Sport Aviation last year and he put a BRS on it. I think Sean Tucker has a bail out video too.

blane.c

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
With the amount of time and money spent on everything else along with the probabilities, the ballistic chute is an alternative worth thinking about.

Foundationer

Well-Known Member
The bit where he goes nuts on the table is gold! Not sure how I missed this presentation - took me a while to realise he's at my club!

Aesquire

Well-Known Member
The local hang glider club used to do chute repack days, where you could get help getting the hand deployed parachute repacked. Rockets & air cannons were still in the future.

To repack, you have to deploy.... You can do this indoors with mood lighting, slowly, sensuous nylon smoothly running through your fingers, murmured words, a gentle caress........ But why?

We would hang a control bar triangle with the base, horizontal tube about five feet up from a tree. Then using a step ladder, hook each pilot in, have him close his eyes, all comfortable and secure in his harness, then violently jerk him around and heave him into a spin, with the command, "open your eyes". The pilot would then deploy, reach, grab, pull chute out of container, pick a direction, and throw.

Good training. One long packed chute stored in a hot/cold car trunk for ?? years, flew to the end of it's lines, stopped, then hit the ground like a medicine ball. Pretty much a solid mass of nylon & mold. Never would have opened. Never did.

You don't do that kind of practice with a ballistic chute. But you Must practice finding & pulling the handle regularly, AFTER doing enough repetitions to make it muscle memory.

In bed. Before you sleep. Every night. Isn't a bad idea. Skydivers with thousands of jumps will be seen with eyes closed, going through the motions for the Emergency Action their individual equipment requires.

It used to be all the jump operations used surplus Army parachutes. Modified to improve the safety. Modified DIFFERENTLY from operation to operation. Generally, the same for each location, but to go a different airport, and the Emergency Action might be completely different. Modern gear is even more varied. Know how to use before flight. Falling is the wrong time to learn, although motivation is quite high.

Full disclosure, I never had an emergency parachute deployment. I did jump out of an airplane with a broken engine, but since the door was already off, and I planned to jump, anyway, I don't qual for the Caterpillar Club. One serious malfunction skydiving, but I had room and fixed it, so didn't have to deploy the reserve. Just. A bit exciting, I admit.

pictsidhe

Well-Known Member
With the high price of BRS, I'm seriously considering a tandem paramotor chute for my 103. Possibly launched via a jack-in-the-box springy thing. An actuating handle/loop/lever between my legs military style seems a good thing.

Aesquire

Well-Known Member
I just bought & read Eric Brown's "Wings on my shoulders" an autobiography by the "greatest test pilot in the world", not an easy accolade to get, and one I don't dispute.

He describes his bail out from a burning Typhoon, where he was pinned half into the cockpit by the slipstream forces, and pushed the stick hard over to toss himself out. He landed in a shallow pond, and was trapped there by a bull, until the farmer came & led it away.

Skip the "Jack in the box" mechanism and just hand deploy the chute. That's worked since WW1. Anything extra, any possible snag point, spring, door, edge, you add to a chute deployment multiplies failure modes and reduces reliability. Often to zero.

The work required to design a snag free operating system is surprising, and to know an unproven system works means testing, which can/will damage the aircraft. Drop from a balloon, and analyze the damage to your text dummy in the wreckage.

Go with proven technology with emergency equipment. If budget means simple & fewer parts to go wrong? That's a win.

There is a reason emergency parachutes are round & not rectangular ram air. And it's not reliability of opening, since skydiving rigs may use either for the reserve chute. They use round chutes because gliding, maneuverable chutes introduce new failure modes that require additional training. Including landing an unconscious pilot at unbraked forward speed, and opening surge driving the chute into the falling plane. Other failure modes include...........

You get the picture. Simpler, smoother, the better.

The downside of hand deploy vs. Ballistic is time and altitude lost. ( assuming an open no cockpit Pt103..... Hand deploy isn't an option in a RV-x )

pictsidhe

Well-Known Member
My Hurricane will have a closed and rather snug cockpit. Yes, the canopy will slide back. well, it should do... I'd feel safer having a lever or loop to pull than try and throw a chute out of a tight cockpit. I am thinking of testing dummy chutes in the air as well as the ground. Activate the chute mechanism and check that a package the size and weight of a chute is properly 'deployed'. I can ground test real and dummy chutes and air test dummies. No, it's not perfect, but $4k for a BRS is not likely to happen. A$1k tandem reserve I'll wince at...
one of the tandem reserve chutes I'm eyeing up is square, btw.

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Back in the days of real Hurricanes, early canopies warped and jammed in the rails and frantic pilots had to wrench them open, when an early exit was required, which was why they evolved the red rubber ball jettison system, which pulled pins out via cables to free the canopy and allow it to slide back unrestricted.......regarding getting out of a cockpit in flight, I think most pilots underestimate how strong the airflow is, even in an open cockpit aircraft. Even in a slow aircraft such as an ultralight, you are getting out, or rather, trying to get out, against gale force winds. It's easy to get pinned in the cockpit, half in and half out, or trapped by cables or a door held closed by airflow.

N8053H

Well-Known Member
Rick Stowell speaks about baling out in his book Stall and spin awareness. Its a good read if you have not read it.

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
there's a very detailed account by a British Mustang pilot who baled out a couple of years ago when a Skyraider collided with his aircraft and crushed the tail section, forcing him to jump. he was bashed off the tail but survived. Very good video.

Aesquire

Well-Known Member
First, skip the "square" parachute unless you skip the Hurricane replica part too. That's for harness use as a reserve, and intended to be steered and flared for landing. Trying to run steering lines along with a single point suspension strap is just not going to work. There's a reason all the "chute on a string " hang glider/ultralight/Cirrus/GA whole plane reserves are non steerable round chutes.

Second, at the risk of sounding like a luddite, the effort, skull sweat, time, and cost of designing a deployment system, even if the chute itself is free, is probably more than you imagine. I bet more than the retail cost. And until you pull the big red handle in flight, uncertain to work. Even the professional designed and built systems have failed to function.

Even with a proven deployment system, brand name, New and shiny, you have to figure out how to attach it to your airframe ( does you no good receding into the distance after it snaps off the longeron it was bolted to ) route the straps to suspend the aircraft upright & nose down, ( does you little good if you land canopy first ) and make sure the exit path for the chute doesn't keep it in the airframe, or wrapped around the tail.

But by all means, if you go the harder, longer, more expensive and distracting from finishing your airplane route, post pictures and the math so we can learn from your hard win experience.

I've been wrong before, and will be again.

pictsidhe

Well-Known Member
A BRS needs attaching to the airframe so it will deploy properly and not snap off, too...

paraplane

Active Member
pictsidhe I think the tandem paraglider harness is an excellent way to go if used in a thoughtful and thoroughly tested manner. The square paraglider reserve I think is non-steerable but shaped in a way to optimize performance. Look at various paraglider reserves and the performance data regarding opening time and descent rate. Consider studying pneumatic launch paper rockets, water rockets, and pyrotechnic mortor shells. You may find that it would be not too much of a stretch to build you're own BRS. I think it could be done pneumaticly with little more than a small tank of CO2 and a redundant electric solenoid system. Though such pneumatic system would need faithful maintenance and as said before thoughtful and thoroughly tested includes thinking of things like expanding hot gasses from a BRS system could obviously melt and damage a nylon parachute and expanding CO2 release could likewise cause damage through extreme cold. Things like that to consider.

Riggerrob

Well-Known Member
Dear paraplane,

Just a word of caution: those para-glider reserves are designed for low-speed openings (less than 100 mph). They are also built light-weight, with few reinforcing tapes. If you deploy PG reserves at too fast an airspeed, they will shred!

Remember that energy and opening shock increase with the SQUARE of the velocity.

Why do you need a redundant electrical solenoid?
Can't you mount the system close enough to the cockpit that simply pulling a steel cable will activate it?

BJC