A malfunction is any failure of the system to provide a normal rate of descent and this includes loss of canopy control. Malfunctions are normally caused by one or a combination of the following: bad packing, poor body position during canopy deployment and/or faulty equipment. There are some malfunctions, however, that just happen (Acts of God); parachutes are good but not perfect.
The recommended procedure for responding to all kinds of malfunctions is this
Failures of the main parachute can be divided into two types.
- Total malfunction (parachute not activated, or activated but not deploying):
- Partial malfunction (parachute deployed but not landable)
The difference between them is correct work of RSL system. If you have total malfunction your RSL doesn’t work.
A total malfunction includes deployment handle problems (unable to locate or extract the main parachute deployment handle), pack closure, and a pilot chute in tow.
In the case of no main pilot chute deployment (missing or stuck handle), jumper can simplify Emergency Procedure and deploy the reserve directly.
A partial malfunction is characterized by deployment or partial deployment of the main parachute and includes, horseshoe, bag lock, streamer, lineover, line tension knots, major (not landable) canopy damage, and other open-canopy malfunctions.
This classification is based on the difference of descent rate (vertical speed) and includes 3 types of malfunctions:
- High speed malfunctions
- Routine problems and low speed malfunctions.
- Two canopies out
High speed malfunctions
Don’t give you much time to think. You have just a couple of seconds to realize what is going on and make a decision.
Low speed malfunctions
The jumper can usually correct routine (minor) problems and low speed malfunctions. He has enough time to determinate the problem and fix it.
Two canopies out
The jumper has two deployed canopies. It usually happens if the AAD fired during your main deployment or if the reserve pin was placed incorrectly. If you can see two canopies out you need to correct it or to steer it.