By Jim Crouch
Reprinted from November 2005 Parachutist magazine
As president of the Relative Workshop, Bill Booth has spent decades testing
different types of cutaway systems. All that testing and research eventually led
to the development of the Skyhook RSL system, which is mandatory on the
company’s tandem and student containers and an option on its Micron sport rig.
Skyhook goes two steps beyond a normal RSL system. It automatically releases the
non-RSL riser in case the riser with the RSL releases prematurely (ensuring the
reserve will not deploy with half the main canopy still attached). The Skyhook
then uses the departing malfunctioned main canopy as a super pilot chute to
deploy the reserve canopy, taking about a half second from breakaway to reserve
line stretch (reserve canopy out of the bag). This is three to four times faster
than a pilot chute alone can do, and the average sport reserve can inflate
within 75 to 80 feet after a breakaway, according to Booth.
originally developed the Skyhook for tandem systems to speed the reserve
deployments, adding a greater margin of safety against the tandem pair’s
fouling the reserve deployment after a cutaway.
For more information, visit Relative Workshop's website.