PMID: 708345Oct 1, 1978Paper

Ripcord release capability of female parachutists

Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine
M I Bullock


With the growth in popularity of skydiving as a sport has come an associated increase in parachuting accidents, some of them due to failure to deploy the main or reserve parachutes. The absence of appropriate strength data has prompted a study of the pull force capabilities of female parachutists on a ripcord release in varying positions. Pull forces exerted for periods of 0.25, 1, 1.5, 2, and 2.5 s during a 5-s pull are presented in percentile form. A substantial percentage of female parachutists could not exert the maximum ripcord release pull force permitted by the relevant parachute specification. The relatively low level of strength exhibited by the weakest groups of the population emphasizes the need for such basic information in equipment design.

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