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HangTen

Carabiner and Mailion failures

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Hello,

I was today reading of an incident where a PPG pilot was involved in a fatal accident and while the exact cause has not yet been determined or published, some suspect carabiner failure.

My question is, it is possible (or safe) to use more than one Carabiner where the risers attach to the PPG frame or attaching points?

Could you use two carabiners on each side for example?  Would it be physically possible?   My reasoning may be faulty, but explainable.

If a carabiner fails at low altitude, you will have little if any chance to deploy a chute.  Having at least two would ensure that even if one failed, a second should still hold.   Also, if there are two, the stress on each one would be theoretically halved.

 

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Best bet would be to change them every 5 years as per manufacturer specs. I wonder how many are in the air that are older?

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Been flying over ten years and never ever heard that you need to change your  carabiners .

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Well, even though few have failed, would you want to be that one?   I Googled Carabiner failures and they are frequently reported with climbers.   It would be my guess that hanging a full grown person plus a 40-50lb paramotor and the jerks and jars that go with them also puts a lot of stress on them.

So, is there any reason you could not double them up and use two instead of one per side?

Seems like really cheap good insurance if so.

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2 hours ago, andyy said:

Best bet would be to change them every 5 years as per manufacturer specs. I wonder how many are in the air that are older?

Someone died two weeks ago in Arcadia Florida USA and eye witness reports say that the paramotor took a violent fall on one side before plunging to the ground from 300 - 400 feet.  No time to deploy a reserve unfortunately.   Still under investigation but one person who saw the wreckage seemed to suggest he also thought it could be a  carabiner failure.

Stop for one moment and in your mind, go through what would actually happen if ONE carabiner suddenly failed.....you will fall from the sky in a hurry.

Perhaps this thread will encourage someone to check theirs and potentially avert a disaster.

There is absolutely no guarantee that any given Carabiner will not have a manufacturing flaw or other weakness that causes sudden failure, even if it is a rare occurrence.  Again, I certainly wouldn't want to be that ONE.

Edited by HangTen

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I check mine for any hairline marks every month or two and replace them every couple of years regardless. Ensure you use carabiners specific for flying. Check the gates function properly on every preflight. If you drop them on a hard surface, or there's any visible damage, replace them. 

They're very unlikely to fail but you can do stuff for peace of mind. If you are concerned about your carabiners then you should be equally aware of your shackles and webbing. 

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No answer to the question re using two.

 

I was told when paragliding never to use two because of the odd strains on the loops and the abrasion between the Two caribinas. But I still think two is better than one and i remain unconvinced by the arguments against. 

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Rather than double up on carabiners it would make more sense that if a backup is required, to use a backup that will last a short while.....such as a webbing loop. If a carabiner failed the webbing loop takes the load. A webbing loop will not chaff against the carabiner.

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10 hours ago, HangTen said:

Someone died two weeks ago in Arcadia Florida USA and eye witness reports say that the paramotor took a violent fall on one side before plunging to the ground from 300 - 400 feet.(possibly not equipment failure and more lack of pre flight checks)  

No time to deploy a reserve unfortunately.   Still under investigation but one person who saw the wreckage seemed to suggest he also thought it could be a  carabiner failure.(correct about reserve and leave the rest to the experts its their job) 

Stop for one moment and in your mind, go through what would actually happen if ONE carabiner suddenly failed.....you will fall from the sky in a hurry.(depends what height and what causes the failure)

Perhaps this thread will encourage someone to check theirs and potentially avert a disaster.(i was trained to inspect and clipped in properly on pre flight check)

There is absolutely no guarantee that any given Carabiner will not have a manufacturing flaw or other weakness that causes sudden failure, even if it is a rare occurrence.  Again, I certainly wouldn't want to be that ONE.

And climbers open and close carabiners more than we ever will so yes they have more failures.

As previously said doubling up could cause a different or premature problem, you could always go soft link but rated lower but less parts to fail.

I don't see many serious failures due to material faults more user error caused accidents.

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2 hours ago, AndyB said:

Rather than double up on carabiners it would make more sense that if a backup is required, to use a backup that will last a short while.....such as a webbing loop. If a carabiner failed the webbing loop takes the load. A webbing loop will not chaff against the carabiner.

Andy i'm guessing your referring to soft links like more used in Paragliding.

 

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16 hours ago, kiwi k said:

And climbers open and close carabiners more than we ever will so yes they have more failures.

As previously said doubling up could cause a different or premature problem, you could always go soft link but rated lower but less parts to fail.

I don't see many serious failures due to material faults more user error caused accidents.

ok.  Still waiting for the final report on the PPG death 2 weeks ago in Arcadia Florida USA.   I know it's rare, but so are plane crashes yet they happen.  And too often it's due to something that got overlooked.   A failed carabiner under 1000 ft is probably one of those non-survivable catastrophic failures.   Your life literally hangs on their integrity.  Maybe someday a double carabiner system will become standard as a safety backup.  Redundancy.   It's actually the exact reason air travel is as safe as it is.   Food for thought.

Edited by HangTen
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All large aircraft only have one hydraulic power unit for the rudder. The one that failed was said to have had a design life of over 500,000 hours. It didn't! Large aircraft rely on very, very careful design of components that don't have any redundancy. Your life is in our (Engineer) hands. Flying in big planes scares me, no reserve and no helmet! :)

 

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24 minutes ago, AndyB said:

 Flying in big planes scares me, no reserve and no helmet! :)

 

Andy sit at the back they never ever reverse in to mountains :P

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8 hours ago, HangTen said:

 A failed carabiner under 1000 ft is probably one of those non-survivable catastrophic failures.   Your life literally hangs on their integrity.  Maybe someday a double carabiner system will become standard as a safety backup.  Redundancy.   It's actually the exact reason air travel is as safe as it is.   Food for thought.

1000ft easily survivable, under 300ft Not.

Look at the opening times and flying stability and descent rates for most reserves on the market today, yes the lower the ground possibly the more injuries incurred but high chances are you'll survive

But IMO if your that safety driven and worried about equipment failure then maybe this is Not the sport for you go find something safer with your feet firmly on the ground :?:.  

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3 hours ago, kiwi k said:

1000ft easily survivable, under 300ft Not.

Look at the opening times and flying stability and descent rates for most reserves on the market today, yes the lower the ground possibly the more injuries incurred but high chances are you'll survive

But IMO if your that safety driven and worried about equipment failure then maybe this is Not the sport for you go find something safer with your feet firmly on the ground :?:.  

The expression "overly concerned" is extremely subjective.   Who decides how much concern is too much or not enough?

That's not a healthy attitude imo.  I also am a private instrument rated pilot for 35 years with a commercial sign off in my logs.   NEVER would I take that attitude for myself or my passengers.  I'm "that" pilot who would question de-icing ground procedures and recheck fuel after filling up.  And I'm not ashamed of that thoroughness.  Each flight is proceeded with an extensive pre-flight check of every possible variable and in depth weather analysis of the planned route.  I also snow ski, am a motorcyclist, scuba dive and work in a potentially hazardous industry.....and in all of those and my nearly 60 years my "safety driven" attitude has been a part of it.   So far so good.

As for PPG, I would offer the opposite advice.....if you are NOT that safety driven, and NOT that concerned with equipment failure then this is not the sport for you.   The more fatalities and injuries, the worse for the sport overall.  Overconfidence kills more pilots than their "over concern" for safety.

There are old pilots, and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots.  (I would add that there are few old pilots who disregard or diminish safety).

I may be new to this sport, but certainly not new to aviation.  And just for kicks, I'll add that Aerospace Engineering was my minor.  It could well be the "engineer" in  me that is the root of my concerns. 

Just my opinion.....we all have one 😎

Edited by HangTen
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It's better to be on the ground wishing you were flying than be flying wishing you were on the ground.

Commercial flying is not a sport IMO, i drive for a living and we also have a rigorous pre-drive check list even on hand over or exchanges.

Motorcyclist all my life and done Skiing and only had 1 accident my own fault many years ago because i learnt from others mistakes.

And at No point did i say that i'm against safety checks.

But your questioning 1 small part of our equipment saying " if ONE carabiner suddenly failed.....you will fall from the sky in a hurry ".

Some Acro pilots carry two or more reserves not because of equipment failure but because of the situation and possible incorrect deployment needing to deploy another, most normal pilots carry a reserve but Not all choose to is that right or wrong?, Our safety and others is ours as we are the pilot in command but to try and cover "but if what" incidents we would need so much extra equipment were does it stop?.

Mechanical, Non mechanical, electrical the list goes on. 

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Someone possibly died not far from me 2 weeks ago due to a failure of a riser or carabiner.  Investigation ongoing.

This thread was simply offered as a discussion on that in the interest of gathering information.   it was not offered as a do all end all demand you add more carbiners.

Seems rude when someone suggests you should "not participate" because you ask questions or try to gather information.

Stating someone else is "Overly Concerned" and should therefor stay away from the hobby is highly subjective and of little value to the discussion.

Edited by HangTen

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30 minutes ago, HangTen said:

Someone possibly died not far from me 2 weeks ago due to a failure of a riser or carabiner.  Investigation ongoing.

originally you said carabiner now you include riser, CAA possibly with help from BHPA are there to determine most causes and always put up report findings.

This thread was simply offered as a discussion on that in the interest of gathering information.   it was not offered as a do all end all demand you add more carbiners.

yes i understand original post but the way i see it your were possibly blaming carabiner failure before any investigation or findings have been published.

Seems rude when someone suggests you should "not participate" because you ask questions or try to gather information.

I apologize if you think i'm being rude but just looks like your putting scenario's up before necessary. 

Stating someone else is "Overly Concerned" and should therefor stay away from the hobby is highly subjective and of little value to the discussion.

Tactful never was my best subject but to me you were showing a big concern to a possible safety situation should or could it arise

And to be honest i think everybody should at least have a flight be it Tandem or Solo as we get the most gorgeous of views, but its not for everybody and i respect that.

And possibly your back ground may of not helped you with you insight into our sport, but look thru crash records of us slower users of the sky and the percentage of material failures i believe is low, more crashes caused thru pilot/s error or wrong equipment advice given or misuse.

 

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The only ppg riser failure I know of is the one that was incorrectly rigged for tandem, over-stressing it due to the low angle. In fact I don't think I can recall a failure of equipment where there was not some direct cause to it.

I think because we are a sport where equipment is not normally (I rule out all those pulling 8 g spirals etc) highly stressed, it does not just break. 

 

 

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On 04/06/2019 at 23:36, HangTen said:

 eye witness reports say that the paramotor took a violent fall on one side before plunging to the ground

 

I bet that wasn`t a carabina failure, more likely to be a weightshift-style chassis swingarm fracture or associated fixing.

I really don`t like those swingarms, they look very vulnerable to me.

Those type of failures are known about and have been the failure mode on quite a few reported accidents..........

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17 hours ago, Hann__ said:

I bet that wasn`t a carabina failure, more likely to be a weightshift-style chassis swingarm fracture or associated fixing.

I really don`t like those swingarms, they look very vulnerable to me.

Those type of failures are known about and have been the failure mode on quite a few reported accidents..........

It was a quad so I'm not sure it had these swingarms at all or if they would be a factor.   Usually, if I'm not mistaken (always possible), the carabiners attach to a frame point on trikes and quads.

Unknown since the investigation results are not out yet.   Not trying to make a big deal of carabiners and mailions, just reflecting over the recent crash near me and someone who knew more about the crash than me mentioned that it looked like a carabiner failure. .   I do realize carabiner failures are rare.  But I also realize life literally hangs on their integrity especially in low altitude PPG ops.

 

Edited by HangTen

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On 06/06/2019 at 05:17, AndyB said:

All large aircraft only have one hydraulic power unit for the rudder. The one that failed was said to have had a design life of over 500,000 hours. It didn't! Large aircraft rely on very, very careful design of components that don't have any redundancy. Your life is in our (Engineer) hands. Flying in big planes scares me, no reserve and no helmet! :)

 

https://www.quora.com/What-design-safeguards-in-airplanes-prevent-loss-of-hydraulics

Most systems on  large aircraft do indeed have redundancies.  But as far as the rudder itself,  Planes can be easily steered by other means.  Unless the rudder locks in an acute angle, it's not critical.   So unlike a carabiner failure at low altitude, a rudder failure itself is not generally a big problem.

Edited by HangTen

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2 hours ago, HangTen said:

https://www.quora.com/What-design-safeguards-in-airplanes-prevent-loss-of-hydraulics

Most systems on  large aircraft do indeed have redundancies.  But as far as the rudder itself,  Planes can be easily steered by other means.  Unless the rudder locks in an acute angle, it's not critical.   So unlike a carabiner failure at low altitude, a rudder failure itself is not generally a big problem.

The one failure caused hard lock over at beyond normal maximum travel....and was on a 747-400 if my memory is correct (might not be).

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