1964: Pre-PC Cutaways from a malfunction

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by Pat Works

Pre-PC Cutaways From a Malfunction

Prior to the adoption of Pioneer's Para Commander sport parachute -PC Cutaways from a malfunction were uncommon. Some DZ's banned cutaways from malfunctions.

Before the high-performance PC, the flat-circular docile C9 canopy malfunctions required neither Cutaway nor reserve pilot chute. Many "cheapo" Mals were low speed line-overs. Few died. Much debate. per Part 105, Reserves had no pilot chute and displayed a large Tag, "Pilot Chute Removed for sport Parachuting only."

That changed fast After the PC came. Violent Spinning malfunctions and Darwin forced cutaways. Throwing out a reserve under a spinning Malfunction gave you a wrap and often a frap. Survivors cutaway to survive. Pilot chutes on Reserve's became a smart Move. No debate then. This was around 1965. Direct experience.

The military added 2-shots to backpack emergency B4-C9 rigs to lower the death-injury rate for Emergency landings in high winds. Very difficult to collapse a flat canopy in winds over 20 MPH. Very. Chronicled in USAF films from the 1950s.