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parachute question.................


gizzard
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Giz

Sounds just like I remember. Yes, once the chute was deployed you pulled on the looped red cord and it did the cut. The hook knife was to be used IF the lines didn't cut. Trivia -- the hook was supposed to be the "switch blade" not the knife edge. However, when the manufacture looked at the design they decided there was a mistake and made the standard switch blade knife.

Skip

Skip, I don't know where you went to survival school or if you've just got CRS. The four-line cut was made on four lines that were marked with red tape. You were supposed to look up and pull them and cut them with the hook blade on the knife. In fact, there was a knife sewed into the riser for just that purpose. I don't think they had even come up with the four-line cut when they started issuing the switchblade knife. I got mine in 1964 when I went on flying status but quit carrying it because I had a hunting knife. There was also a small metal survival knife in a pocket on our survival vests. They showed a film at survival refresher showing how to make the four-line cut.

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Chutes are not used by LMs on airdrops any longer. They can be, but part of the "weight reduction plan" removed them. The knife you're talking about isn't issued either. If I remember my training correctly, it's called a four-line PULL now. I guess they don't want people fumbling with the knife and cutting something they shouldn't. The lines are red 550 chord.

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Yep remember it all good job men,

Now here is one for you all, when the chutes were hanging in the aircraft and I had a maint. w/o I was one of the dirty guys that would work two fingers into the left side shoulder flap to reach the survival kit that had a neat little knife amoung other things.

Don't worry the chutes were inspected monthly and were carried on local pro training flts.

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That monthly inspection by Life Support was basically a visual inspection. The missing minimum survival kit would have been discovered when the chute was broken down for repack. By tampering you took government property, and placed an aircrew member at risk in the event the chute was needed. On some versions of the chute, a ELT beacon was also in the risers. That could have been activated as well.

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Charlie helpme here, since you worked on the chutes...back in my era, we had no ELTS, we did have an orange knob, that I think was on the left side near the waist,, that was the barometric opener, right???? I remember something about checkin' some pins on a steel cable for something and we did so ething to disable the baro-opener for HALO ops ? I also seem to remember that the four lines that made the canopy mod could either be cut, or had some form of loops that you could pull them out of some fancy stitching...all this from 1974 back

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The automatic opener changed over the years. The one you remember mechanical. It was set by the riggers ,and checked by L.S. with a tool similar to a skate key. They later changed to an actuator with an explosive charge and a booster. Basically a 38 special blank, the booster changing it to 357. To check the pins you had to unsnap the comfort cushion. The pins and the nylon loop held the chute closed. The pins were pulled when either the manual release was pulled or when you got to the altitude the auto actuator was set to after bailout. i don't know why, but something was removed from the orange knob you remember. It may have been a TCTO to remove an unsafe feature. The red loops in the risers were used to make the four line cut. It was supposed to give you improved control during your descent. The shroud line knife was in the riser in case the loop cutter failed, or you had an older canopy without the red loop mod. What I don't understand is when troop drops were being done, the Army jump master wore one of these chutes, not the chute the jumpers were using.

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The drops at Pope were from around 800' AGL, which is plenty of altitude for a parachute to open. Crews always wore parachutes on formation and tactical missions. The only mission we wore restraint straps on were PLADS, which were flown at about 400' as I recall. We wore parachutes on LAPES. The reason we used straps - which were actually 5,000-pound tie-down straps hooked to the parachute and to a D-ring, was because we were back on the open ramp making the drops. The bundle was pushed to the end of the famp and hanging over with a piece of webbing holding it in and the loadmaster cut the webbing to let it go.

Sam: I'm not sure of which chute we had on the C-119, but it was designed for low altitude and did not have a canopy sleeve. Word was that if you pulled the handle just as you left, you could get it open from 500' or so. Parachutes on C-119s were worn at all times and used fairly frequently.

By the late 60's when I got on C-130's we had the BA-22 which was essentially the same chute used in the T-38 and other ejection seats of the day. Complete with automatic opener at 14,000 feet and a sleeved canopy to prevent blowout on high altitude/high speed deployment. All that was well and good and we routinely wore them on 600' AGL CDS drops.

One year during annual refresher training at Life Support, the parachute guy was at the chalk board illustrating the deployment sequence of the parachute. When you pulled the handle the pilot chute emerged which then pulled out the main chute still in its sleeve. Once the canopy/sleeve was fully extended, the sleeve pulled off allowing canopy deployment. All this time you were slowing down to a safe deployment speed. I think he also mentioned how many seconds this took. This temporarily woke me out of my bored stupor, (how much more of this is there before we can go to Happy Hour at the NCO Club Stag Bar......god, who even remembers Stag Bars now a days..... or NCO clubs for that matter, but I digress), long enough to ask parachute guy how much altitude was lost from the time you pulled the D-ring until you had full inflation. He had the number right on the top of his head 1,2000 to 1,600 feet depending on how quick your hands were. Not much good on a 600 foot CDS drop, so goodbye parachute, hello restraint harness. Sometime later they took them off altogether since the 30 day inspections and regular repacks took a lot of manpower in the life support shop.

Like most, I don't know anyone who used one on purpose from a Herk. It's my understanding that the gunship IO was leaning half off the ramp spotting ground fire and was thrown out of the aircraft when it was blown up.

We never even carried them on C-123's or C-124's when I was on them (mid to late '60s). No way to keep them dry on the C-123 in Vietnam. Got wetter on the inside than the outside when you flew through a rain shower.

Never could figure out why none on the C-124 since there were several scenarios in the Dash One on the Engine Smoke and Fire Identification charts that stated, "No corrective action possible; abandon aircraft". Always wondered how to do that in the middle of a 16 hour trans-pacific leg. Ditch, I guess. Fortunately the only advanced induction system fire I had actually put it self out by the time we turned around and put it back on the deck at Guam. Its not supposed to do that but, hey, I'm not going to argue with success.

Edited by jflimbach
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Now you are really stretchin' my memory, I think the box is somewhat familiar, but the knob I remember as being more flat, not round....... And I still cannot recall how we would disarm or whatever the barometric opener on HALO's so they would not acccidentally deploy when the pressurization dropped off..............Damn gettin' old sucks your brain dry!!!!!!!!

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We didn't have seat packs in my time, Dan, but I can assure you the last line is 100% factual. and it hurts like hell,especially when you stand up to try to collpase the chute by pullin' the front risers. How do I know??? well I got one more takeoff than landing in an aircraft............

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  • 2 weeks later...

Gizz, you remember the older automatic release.

It was orange, metal and flat, about two inches around

I was assigned to a SAC tanker wing in mid-1974. Then to AWACS in 1978. I remember the orange knobs on the BA-18/22 chutes. There was hole in the bottom of that knob. I think there was a TCTO that removed something. Giz, Was there a cable that reeled out of the knob ?

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I was assigned to a SAC tanker wing in mid-1974. Then to AWACS in 1978. I remember the orange knobs on the BA-18/22 chutes. There was hole in the bottom of that knob. I think there was a TCTO that removed something. Giz, Was there a cable that reeled out of the knob ?

Not that I can recall. All my mind allows me to boot up is that, number one, pulling the ornage knob activated the barometric opener, which I think opened the chute around 10k feet, but I could be wrong, and we did something to the barometric opener itself to diable it for HALO, I have a fuzzy image of maybe a hairpin looking thing? I can't say for sure

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Reckon when you are up to your ass in 'gators, it's too late to drain the swamp, huh?????? I know when I hit, it felt like a gator ate my ankle..........................But the goofy part is, I would like to make another jump, but don't think my ancient old bones would respond well to that........

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  • 1 month later...

Towed Paratrooper Retrieval System. When it first came out, I knew it as the "Canadian Sling." Basically, a pulley attached to two straps which you hooked to the anchor cable (hooks when aft of the center anchor cable support bracket) and a strap you could attached to the retrieval cable and wrap around the static lines. Made for a smoother recovery because it kept the static lines in the center of the paratroop door opening and put less strain on the winch.

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It is the C-9 canopy, within the BA-22 parachute. Imagine you are clear of the aircraft and have deployed your parachute. At the back of the risers you will red parachute cord with loops in the end. Pull down on the red loops. That will release the 4 lines. Use the risers to steer the chute. The switchblade knife has always been a controlled item. I understand there have been problems with them opening while still in the pocket on the flight suit.

The switchblade would not open in the pocket of the flight suits. It had a locking slide in addition to the button. If you had the slide locked the button would not open it. I carried one the whole time I was flying and never had one open accidentally.

Schrade_MC-1.jpg.JPG

There may have been some other models of the knife without the slide lock, but the ones I was issued always had the slide and button.

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Mask

Helmet

Parachute (check the canopy)

four line mod

seat kit

stear into the wind

prepare to land

scream obscenities when you realize you broke your ankle

I think this is how it was supposed to go, been a couple of years since I had my refresher.

Very close to what I remember too:

Canopy (Check for malfunctions)

Visor (raise - unless a tree landing)

Mask (remove)

Seat Kit (jettison the seat kit onto its lanyard)

LPU (if water landing and you had them on)

Four Line (pull and release sharply)

Steer (turn into the wind)

Prepare (to land)

PLF & scream

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