Letters | Oct 01, 2019

Ski Chmielewski

Practicing cutaways in a hanging harness is a great exercise. However, it’s not perfect. Usually, the cutaway handle has been pulled so many times that the Velcro isn’t doing much anymore. The only way to really know what you’re going to be up against if you have a cutaway is to do it with your own rig.

Next time you get a chance, have your Safety and Training Advisor or an instructor help you hook your rig to the hanging harness setup. Don’t plan to pull your reserve unless it’s due for a repack. Put on your gloves if you wear them.

You might just be surprised at how well the Velcro holds that handle in place. I know, as I set up a spare set of risers in my garage. It’s a lot more fun finding out how important it is to peel the handle when you’re two feet off the floor rather than at 2,000 feet under a malfunction.

When you’re done, clean your cables, hook up your canopy, run a line check, pack it and get on another load feeling good about what you just learned. Maybe we won’t see your name in the incident reports.

Ski Chmielewski | D-1182
Tampa, Florida

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