Skip to comments.Fort Bragg death leads Army to suspend parachutes
Posted on 07/13/2011 6:14:25 AM PDT by markomalley
The Army has suspended the use of its new square parachutes because of problems found after a Fort Bragg soldier died during a training jump.
The Fayetteville Observer reported Wednesday that the T-11 parachutes initially were praised as safer. Tests had shown the new parachutes provide a slower, more stable descent than the traditional mushroom-shaped style.
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Well I hope they get this resolved....Paratrooper Jr is on orders to 82d
My son is stationed at Bragg as well. I don’t like reading things like this.
Don;t worry, Dad. He’ll be STRAC
The canopy in question.
The 82nd Airborne Division still mainly uses T-10 parachutes, said Connolly, the division spokesman. The suspension of the T-11 won’t affect the division’s ability to conduct airborne operations, he said.
The new parachutes are supposed to replace the old ones in about five years.
Parachuting is inherently dangerous. In 1989 the 2-star commanding general of Walter Reid died from a liver laceration after a jump.
Sounds like an issue with the people packing the chutes, or their procedures, rather than a design flaw with the chutes themselves.
Somewhat, but packability is part of the design process, too. They don’t create the chute and then consider the packing configuration later.
That sure as hell loks like it was designed by a committee of government bureaucrat dumba$$es
as a PHYSICIST I cannot see any benefit here (unless they thought it “holds more air” (which would only help if they heated it)
My son’s not part of 82nd Airborne but he has done a few jumps.
Fixing things that aren’t broken again.
More so than a deficiency in the canopy/deployment system...
Pack it right.... it'll open!
Is this still a widely used tactic in the field?
Obviously, the slower rate of decent will result in fewer injuries, but doesn't that also give the bad guys a better opportunity to blow you away if the DZ is not 100% secured? Probably not very good if it's windy either, since you are more likely to be blown off the DZ. Oscillations do tend to be a problem with the T-10 and this seems to be more stable in that regard.
My son withthe 173rd mentioned the new chutes and seemed to like them. Never really had a problem with the old ones myself but I did not do that many jumps.
I’ve jumped with the old PA-TU-32 (civilian) and this one looks like might be more steerable and oscillate less.
The round ones were fairly easy to pack, no idea how to deal with the corners and mushrom shape of this one.
You are quite right. I suppose most of us don’t realize it because we don’t do it.
My son is a paratrooper with the 82nd and I asked him once, shortly after he got there, how was your jump? He responded by saying something like, “Any jump you can walk away from is a good jump.”
He then went on to tell me of a JOAX that he was part of where all over the drop zone there were many paratroopers calling for medics. Apparently after every jump there are injuries. Many are “simple” injuries like twisted ankles, but some are more severe like broken hips, arms, and backs. If I remember correctly, he said that they tend to hit the ground anywhere from 20 to 30 mph (depending on wind and if someone “steals your air”).
The risks and pains that so many people take on a daily basis to provide for our freedoms is mind blowing when you really begin to look into it. I say this as a Navy submarine veteran who has forgotten how soft I have had it for the last 20+ years.
As a side note, he jumped the next day after the paratrooper was killed using the T-11. I asked my son if he has used the T-11, and he said not yet.
I thought the state-of-the-art was the para-sail type?
They are highly maneuverable but need to be “flared” at landing to reduce speed and decent rate. Too much chance IMO of plowing into the ground, particularly at night, rough terrain, trees.
I think that is it ... the slow descent leaves a lot of time for the enemy to aim well.
I admit that I have never jumped out of a perfectly good airplane. However, as an engineer trained in fluid flow, my first guess on the subject of the chute descending slower is this: As the T-10 chute descends, the air trapped in the chute spills over the edge, whereas the T-11 chute may tend to corral that air a bit better and give a slower ride. This presumes equal plan areas, and is just a first thought.
once it is ‘full’ it is back to the surface area and the spill over the sides.
If it slowed his rate then make a rectangular ‘box’ 20 feet longer. Or 50 or 100 ft, to catch more air.
The parasail was a huge improvement ove the plane curcular in that it had incredible control.
But for pure safety the circular one is most efficient at catching the air
I may be wrong, i really dont know- I have a BS. in Physics though so I am trying to think it through. It seems it boils down to surface area alone.
Maybe there is something to it- I just tried to imagine a boat pulling a circular chute in water- it would be hard.
But a long similar diameter cylynder would be even harder, because you would have to drag that whole mass of water.
When I was in the USAF, a brigade of the 82nd jumped into scrub pine on our base’s reservation before dawn. It was dark and a little windy. I happened to be the Medical Officer on duty in the Hospital’s Emergency Department that morning and saw 18-20 jump casualties, mostly ankle and knee sprains or fractures. There were two more serious injuries involving spine and head injuries.
I also had the opportunity to care for more than my share of USAF personnel injured during ejection and parachuting after aircraft mishaps. Those are even more serious since you add the shock of being fired by a rocket from an unstable aircraft going hundreds of miles per hour.
I agree with you about the risks of military operations. Even the most mundane of tasks like refueling an aircraft on the ground can turn into a blazing inferno if things go wrong.
The ideal thing would be to have different sized chutes depending upon your weight, but that would probably cost too much money.
I think the “spill over the sides” is likely the major issue, if the two chutes have the same plan area. Think in terms of Extreme System Parameters (ESP), and picture a low speed wind tunnel with smoke streams passing over the chutes. Chute #1 will be a simple flat circle that is kept flat by extra guy lines. All of the air it encounters will spill and the chute will be nearly impossible to control due to its oscillations. Chute #2 will be a tall thing with the same plan area. Proportionately, very little of its air will spill and there will be almost no oscillations. [No controllability either.]