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Twists and Tangles

It's quite common for equipment to become tangled and twisted so the line sequence is no longer correct. This is usually caused when a jumper picks his canopy up after landing or when putting it down. A lot of skydivers shy away from removing twists and tangle because they don't want to look like they don't know what they’re doing. This is because it can be a messy job if you haven't learnt a good method to succeed without putting more twists in. People rely on trial and error so they only do it when they have to. The reality, however, is that twists and tangles are easy to remove if you follow a set method that’s been proven to work without making it worse. The first rule is that you must always separate the left riser group from the right riser group first. Take hold of the two line groups one in each hand, and walk towards the canopy. If the two line groups are not clear then look for the line group with the majority of lines going in the same direction. Keep hold of those lines and with your other hand grasp all lines that go over the top of that group of lines. Keep hold of these lines and pass the container underneath them. Now straighten the lines out and do the same again until the two line groups are untangled.

Now do a six line check by taking hold of the front riser group, rear riser group and control line on both sides. Now you have the six line groups walk towards the canopy and look for any tangles. At this stage, if it's not clear, you will have either a front loop or a back loop below or above the slider. If the problem is below the slider look at which direction the lines are twisting towards. If they are going towards each other then drop the lines and go to the container. Make the container do a front loop and straighten the lines again. Repeat if it's not clear. If the lines are going away from each other do a back loop with the container. If the problem is above the slider then the only difference is that you have to move the slider towards the container and do either the front loop or back loop by passing the container over the slider as well. Put this into practice and after a short time it will become instinctive and a quick problem to solve. I've taught this too many AFF students so they can make qualified instructors look like amateurs. I like to turn this into a drop zone competition on bad weather days. Put the exact same twists into two, three or more rigs and see who removes the twists first. It's a fun way to learn and it keeps everyone current.


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