The 3-ring release system is a parachute component that is widely used by sport skydivers and military freefall parachutists to attach the two risers of a main parachute to the harness that bears the load under the parachute.
A parachute is a device used to slow the motion of an object through an atmosphere by creating drag. Parachutes are usually made out of light, strong fabric, originally silk, now most commonly nylon. They are typically dome-shaped, but vary, with rectangles, inverted domes, and others found. A variety of loads are attached to parachutes, including people, food, equipment, space capsules, and bombs.
Invented in its original large ring form by Bill Booth,and subsequently scaled down for thinner Type 17 webbing risers the three-ring system allows a skydiver to quickly cut-away a malfunctioning main parachute with a single motion. Skydivers usually need to do this quickly during emergencies in which they need to deploy a reserve parachute. The three-ring system is simple, inexpensive, reliable, and requires fewer operations than earlier parachute release systems while reducing the physical force needed.
Bill Booth is an American engineer, inventor, and entrepreneur in the skydiving equipment manufacturing industry. His invention of the 3-ring release safety device has enhanced skydiving safety.
Cut-away is a skydiving term referring to disconnecting the main parachute from the harness-container in case of a malfunction in preparation for opening the reserve parachute. The 3-ring release system on parachutes allows a rapid cut-away in the event of an emergency.
The large bottom ring is securely attached to the skydiver's harness, the middle ring is securely attached to the end of the parachute riser, and the small ring is securely attached to the parachute riser above the middle ring. The middle ring is passed through the large ring and looped upwards; the small ring is then passed through the middle ring and looped upwards. Continuing in the same manner, a cord loop is passed through the small ring, loop upwards, and finally passes through a grommet to the opposing side of the parachute riser. A semi-rigid cable attached to a release handle then passes through this loop, securing the loop. Releasing the cord loop by removing the cable with a tug causes the three-ring system to cascade free and quickly disconnect the riser from the harness.
Each ring in the series multiplies the mechanical advantageof the loop of cord that is held in place by the semi-rigid cable (a Lolon-F or Teflon impregnated plastic coated steel cable, depending on manufacturer).
Mechanical advantage is a measure of the force amplification achieved by using a tool, mechanical device or machine system. The device preserves the input power and simply trades off forces against movement to obtain a desired amplification in the output force. The model for this is the law of the lever. Machine components designed to manage forces and movement in this way are called mechanisms. An ideal mechanism transmits power without adding to or subtracting from it. This means the ideal mechanism does not include a power source, is frictionless, and is constructed from rigid bodies that do not deflect or wear. The performance of a real system relative to this ideal is expressed in terms of efficiency factors that take into account departures from the ideal.
There are a few different variations of the 3-ring system. The original 3-ring release from the late 1970s is now known as large 3-rings. A version using smaller rings (mini rings) was introduced in the 1980s. The reasons for the development of the mini ring system and the associated smaller risers were mostly aesthetic; the mini rings do not increase safety but actually reduce the mechanical advantage inherent in the system thereby increasing the pull force a jumper must apply to cut-away. Tandem systems still use rings that are even larger than the original rings, and some tandem rigs even use four rings (e.g., Advance Tandem by Basik). Other variations have placed the rings under the risers facing back instead of forward of the risers facing front or varied the geometry of the rings for example using an elongated middle ringfor a claimed improvement in mechanical advantage on Aerodyne's miniforce system.
Tandem skydiving or tandem parachuting refers to a type of skydiving where a student skydiver is connected to a harness attached to a tandem instructor. The instructor guides the student through the whole jump from exit through freefall, piloting the canopy, and landing. The student needs only minimal instruction before making a tandem jump with the instructor. In the United States most skydiving centers and clubs require that you be 18 years or older to skydive whereas in other countries the minimum age can be lower or higher. This is one of three commonly used training methods for beginning skydivers; the others being static line and Accelerated Freefall.
Since the introduction of the 3-ring system, variations in the design have raised safety concerns. For example, the move to mini rings and mini risers caused riser failures on some designsuntil riser strength was improved. The failure of some manufacturers to include stiff riser inserts and other hard housing cable guides to allow the free movement of the cutaway cable when risers and webbing are twisted has caused difficulty in cutting away from malfunctions with riser twists or harness deformations. The tolerance in the manufacture of the fabric risers and their connection to the rings is critical in maintaining the mechanical advantage of the 3-ring system and this has been compromised in some designs. Reversed risers placing the rings under the risers has prevented the rings moving freely and releasing under some cutaway scenarios. Replacement of the Lolon-F coating with Teflon impregnated compounds has caused both cracking and cable stripping problems.
Regular maintenance of the 3-ring system and risers is essential.Manufacturers recommend that the risers be disconnected from the harness and flexed, the rings should be checked for cracks or corrosion and the cable should be removed from the housing, cleaned and lubricated, typically with silicone based lubricant.
An altimeter or an altitude meter is an instrument used to measure the altitude of an object above a fixed level. The measurement of altitude is called altimetry, which is related to the term bathymetry, the measurement of depth under water.
The trucker's hitch is a compound knot commonly used for securing loads on trucks or trailers. This general arrangement, using loops and turns in the rope itself to form a crude block and tackle, has long been used to tension lines and is known by multiple names. Knot author Geoffrey Budworth claims the knot can be traced back to the days when carters and hawkers used horse-drawn conveyances to move their wares from place to place.
Paragliding is the recreational and competitive adventure sport of flying paragliders: lightweight, free-flying, foot-launched glider aircraft with no rigid primary structure. The pilot sits in a harness suspended below a fabric wing. Wing shape is maintained by the suspension lines, the pressure of air entering vents in the front of the wing, and the aerodynamic forces of the air flowing over the outside.
In modern archery, a compound bow is a bow that uses a levering system, usually of cables and pulleys, to bend the limbs.
Sky surfing is a type of skydiving and extreme sport in which the skydiver wears a custom skysurf board attached to his or her feet and performs surfing-style aerobatics during freefall.
A Prusik is a friction hitch or knot used to attach a loop of cord around a rope, applied in climbing, canyoneering, mountaineering, caving, rope rescue, ziplining, and by arborists. The term Prusik is a name for both the loops of cord and the hitch, and the verb is "to prusik". More casually, the term is used for any friction hitch or device that can grab a rope. The word is often misspelled as Prussik, Prussick or Prussic, as it is a homophone with the term prussic acid.
A malfunction is a partial or total failure of a parachuting device to operate as intended. Malfunctions may require a skydiver to cut away his or her main parachute and deploy the reserve parachute.
The Skyhook is United Parachute Technologies version of a Main-Assisted Reserve Deployment system (MARD), a safety feature on skydiving parachute systems. It builds on the concept underlying an ordinary reserve static line (RSL), which uses the force of the departing main parachute to open the reserve parachute compartment after the malfunctioning main parachute is cut-away, by further using the force of the departing main parachute to extract the reserve parachute out of the reserve compartment. This greatly decreases the time, and hence loss of altitude, required to fully open the reserve parachute.
Sidemount is a scuba diving equipment configuration which has scuba sets mounted alongside the diver, below the shoulders and along the hips, instead of on the back of the diver. It originated as a configuration for advanced cave diving, as it facilitates penetration of tight sections of cave, allows easy access to cylinder valves, provides easy and reliable gas redundancy, and tanks can be easily removed when necessary. These benefits for operating in confined spaces were also recognized by divers who conducted technical wreck diving penetrations.
The Death of Stephen Hilder, aged 20, occurred on 4 July 2003 at Hibaldstow Airfield, England, in an incident in which Hilder fell 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) to his death when, during a 3-person team skydive, both his main and reserve parachutes failed. The investigation into the death, "unique in British crime history", revealed expert-level tampering with both canopies, but failed to determine whether the incident was murder or suicide.
Roger Warren Nelson was a skydiver and founder of Skydive Chicago, one of the USA's largest skydiving centers.
Target Skysports is a BPA affiliated parachuting centre and skydiving drop zone at Hibaldstow, in North Lincolnshire, England.
Banzai skydiving is a rumored form of skydiving in which the skydiver throws their parachute out the airplane door, waits, and then jumps after it. To be successful, the skydiver must catch the parachute, secure it, and glide to the projected landing zone. There is no known, credible evidence that a banzai skydive has ever really occurred according to its definition.
Parachuting is a method of transiting from a high point to Earth with the aid of gravity, involving the control of speed during the descent with the use of a parachute or parachutes. It may involve more or less free-falling which is a period when the parachute has not yet been deployed and the body gradually accelerates to terminal velocity.
A ripcord is a part of a skydiving harness-container system; a handle attached to a steel cable ending in a closing pin. The pin keeps the container closed and keeps the spring-loaded pilot chute inside. When the ripcord is pulled, the container is opened and the pilot chute is released, opening the parachute. On tandem systems the ripcord releases the 3-ring release system anchoring the bridle to the harness-container, allowing the parachute to open.
H. Truesdell Smith—known variously as "H. T. Smith", "Henry Truesdell Smith", "Harold Truesdell Smith", or "Daredevil Smitty" but best known as "Smitty the Jumper"—was an American exhibition parachutist and skydiver of the 1920s and 1930s—who made periodic returns to skydiving starting in the late 1950s, jumping in every subsequent decade until his death—becoming widely known as "the oldest living skydiver", a title he claimed until his death in 1995 at the age of 96.