Carabiner Recall on Moyes and Woody Valley Harnesses

Please tell what happened and how it might have been avoided. Names should be ommitted. This forum should help others learn from mistakes that caused or nearly caused a mishap.
greblo
Posts: 435
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 11:22 am

Carabiner Recall on Moyes and Woody Valley Harnesses

Post by greblo » Tue Nov 18, 2014 3:22 pm

I recently sent out notices to local Woody Valley harness owners regarding a recall notice on defective carabiners. It turns out that Moyes also uses these carabiners on their harnesses. ANYONE WITH A MOYES OR WOODY VALLEY HARNESS, and anyone with an AUSTRALPIN carabiner must check their carabiner and the following Moyes web page to see if it has been recalled. DO NOT FLY WITH ANY OF THE AFFECTED CARABINERS! IF confused, call me at 818 367 2430.
The website is www.moyes.com/au/images/newsletters/REC ... abiner.pdf
or
http://www.moyes.com.au/images/newslett ... abiner.pdf
Safety is a book, not a word
Michael Robertson

greblo
Posts: 435
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 11:22 am

Post by greblo » Tue Nov 18, 2014 3:29 pm

I'd recommend every pilot check their carabiner, regardless of which harness you have. If it's an Austrialpin brand carabiner, then don't fly with it until you confirm with me that it has not been recalled by the manufacturer.
Joe
Safety is a book, not a word
Michael Robertson

User avatar
Frederick
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 11:24 pm
Location: Altadena, CA

Post by Frederick » Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:42 am

My 2005 Mosquito harness came with one of those. We tossed it out (replaced with Stubai) cuz it had a little line on it near a corner, after a little bit of use.

Carabiner pictured in my Avatar photo, left - learning to launch from flat ground : )

vannoppen
Posts: 132
Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 11:02 pm
Location: Laguna Hills
Contact:

Carabiner

Post by vannoppen » Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:34 am

Until recently I always flew with two carabiners as any carabiner can fail. Climbers know this especially. Usually From dropping them repeatedly on t ground or against rock
. It is not recommended to fly with two if you are at risk of a water landing.

I think I'm going back to two as a chain is only as strongest / you get it. Maybe they should make a double bener one an aluminum one one steel joined for easy of hook in. Steel is stronger but more apt to crack from use, I think, help me here. More drag blah bb. Use a back up that is not locking. I haven't flown in so long I'll hook in w a shoestring

vannoppen
Posts: 132
Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 11:02 pm
Location: Laguna Hills
Contact:

Carabiner

Post by vannoppen » Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:37 am

Until recently I always flew with two carabiners as any carabiner can fail. Climbers know this especially. Usually From dropping them repeatedly on t ground or against rock
. It is not recommended to fly with two if you are at risk of a water landing.

I think I'm going back to two as a chain is only as strongest / you get it. Maybe they should make a double bener one an aluminum one one steel joined for easy of hook in. Steel is stronger but more apt to crack from use, I think, help me here. More drag blah bb. Use a back up that is not locking. I haven't flown in so long I'll hook in w a shoestring

User avatar
stebbins
Posts: 607
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2005 9:02 am
Location: Palmdale, CA

Post by stebbins » Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:17 pm

I have one of those "quicklink" carabiners that need a tool to tighten or untighten between my harness and my chute. (Not one of the little ones, but a big beefy one.) This is in addition to my main carabiner. The idea is that on the off chance my biner breaks, then I'm still hooked to my chute... That's not true with the normal arrangement. And a piece of bike inner tube is used to hold it out of the way of the main biner and alongside the harness main.
Fly High; Fly Far; Fly Safe -- George

nzlinus
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:23 pm
Location: United States

Post by nzlinus » Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:16 am

stebbins wrote:I have one of those "quicklink" carabiners that need a tool to tighten or untighten between my harness and my chute. (Not one of the little ones, but a big beefy one.) This is in addition to my main carabiner.
Good idea...

Note that not all quick links (and biners) are created equal... Buy a trusted and tested brand... http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/threa ... id=1787466

Buy steel. We're not concerned with ounces of weight like climbers. Steel is stronger and less prone to cracking than aluminum.

And even then, it's obvious from this thread that regular inspection is critical, regardless of brand or material.

Cheers,
Lin.

User avatar
BudRob
Posts: 333
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 6:40 pm

Post by BudRob » Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:48 pm

My 2 year old Moyes Matrix had one of the recalled caribiners. I bought a Stubai to replace it. I won't fly with 2 biners - just one GOOD ONE.

User avatar
Busto
Posts: 506
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2008 6:59 pm

Post by Busto » Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:03 pm

To each his/her own. They are all good until they fail. How long had these carabiners been used before the recall. I'm sure when harness makers used these carabiners, they were under the trust of "absolute" when it comes to the quality of the carabiner.

Since absolute quality has yet to be proven concerning certain carabiners, it might be best to use your own conscious mind on what is safe for you.

One? Two?

Hmmm!
Last edited by Busto on Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
JD
Posts: 1695
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:05 am

Post by JD » Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:36 pm

Busto wrote:To each his/her own. They are all good until they fail. How long had these carabiners been used before proven to fail. I'm sure when harness makers used these carabiners, they were under the trust of "absolute" when it comes to integrity.
The has never been a failure of these biners. Not even close. Austrialpin discovered a defect in a new biner during routine quality testing and decided the bend radii were too tight to avoid possible cracks if the material wasn't homogeneous. But you already knew all this didn't you?

Flying with two biners may lead to unforseen issues of its own. Common sense and intuition can be fatal but nobody wants to point out the emperor is really naked.

User avatar
Busto
Posts: 506
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2008 6:59 pm

Post by Busto » Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:42 pm

I had not heard of any deaths from these recalls, but that isn't the issue. Their actions are what stands out. If the quality of the carabiner was not an issue, then why send out recalls.

If the product cannot stand up to unforseen issues, then possibly the consumer should think about another approach on how they fly, and the equipment they choose to use.

They did what they should when finding an issue, which may cause any problems concerning their product. If people want to continue using these carabiners... then do so.

That is not my beef. I have the ability to change my carabiner, use two, or continue using the recalls.

Since no one has been killed, why change?
Last edited by Busto on Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
JD
Posts: 1695
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:05 am

Post by JD » Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:35 pm

The biners in question have never been proven to fail, contrary to your assertion Robert.

Our club has experienced a number of in-flight glider failures due to pilot maintenance failures. Why not discuss this?

Austrialpin did their due dilligence and stand tall in this regard. I hope others follow their lead. I know Wills Wing does. They test every single carbon crossbar which is a stand out in the industry.

I'd consult the biner manufacturers with specifics before putting them side by side only to discover some unforseen ramification the hard way.

User avatar
Busto
Posts: 506
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2008 6:59 pm

Post by Busto » Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:44 pm

"DO NOT FLY WITH ANY OF THE AFFECTED CARABINERS!" this is a statement, which the host of this thread used. My assertion may be strong, but my opinion is based on this statement, and the fact there is a recall.

Austrailpin should be the poster child of integrity. Through testing, and quality control they used assertion to recall a produce, which could cause a possible problem; maybe Murphy's law is driving this recall... in either case, the recall should not reflect on Austrailpin's other products, but it should be taken seriously.

"Our club has experienced a number of in-flight glider failures due to pilot maintenance failures. Why not discuss this? "

When you become Safety Officer... you should Discuss this.

User avatar
JD
Posts: 1695
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:05 am

Post by JD » Fri Nov 21, 2014 7:24 pm

Busto wrote: .....When you become Safety Officer... you should Discuss this.
You'll have to write me in. I'm not on the ballot.

User avatar
stebbins
Posts: 607
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2005 9:02 am
Location: Palmdale, CA

Post by stebbins » Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:20 am

There can be issues with two biners. They can get in each other's way, and impede unhooking when you need it. (Water, wind, etc..)

What I was talking about was making sure that if the biner failed my harness (and I) were still attached to the chute. I have the D-Ring going down (not up) and held that way by a cut-up bicycle inner tube. (Like a giant rubber band.) The point is to make sure that if the biner fails (highly unlikely, it is true) I can throw my chute and still be attached to it. It is not to have two carabiners attaching me to the glider. Doing that, with current biners, increases the odds that you'll get injured or die some other way when you need to detach quickly.

Only you can decide the relative merits. I've decided that I want to be able to disconnect if need be without two biners jamming up the works. But I still want to be attached to the chute if the biner fails. Hence the D-ring, held out of the way of the main biner.

Good discussion. Glad to see folks talking about this.

By the way, many years ago, I talked to a pilot who claimed to have had a steel biner fail. However, he claimed it happened when he did his hang check. He also claimed that he remembered dropping it at some point prior to the failure. I did not witness this. He was quite clear that he was talking about himself, not relaying a story from another pilot (as I am doing.) Take it for what it is worth. (I didn't know the pilot well enough to have an opinion of his honesty.)
Fly High; Fly Far; Fly Safe -- George

greblo
Posts: 435
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 11:22 am

Post by greblo » Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:37 pm

I always found it odd that I could not find information on "the useful life of a steel carabiner". I've noticed some pilots flying with Stubai Super 5000 carabiners that are over 20 years old. While it's true that this particular carabiner is not a cheap carabiner (around $40.), has a particularly good reputation, and is very strong (chrome vanadium steel with a 11,000 lb load limit), it seems prudent that even it be replaced periodically. If anyone has info, as to when this carabiner should be replaced I'd love to hear it.
Safety is a book, not a word
Michael Robertson

User avatar
JD
Posts: 1695
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:05 am

Post by JD » Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:37 pm

greblo wrote:... If anyone has info, as to when this carabiner should be replaced I'd love to hear it.
Good question Joe! I did a quick search and what I found was pretty interesting.
Kyle at Roll Global wrote:With proper storage and no wear and tear carabiners should last indefinitely. Of course we don’t buy PPE to store, so given varying degrees of use how long can you expect to trust your carabiners?

Madrock says there is “no limitation to the life of the carabiner.� But that the “useful lifetime depends on environment and use.� A carabiner should be “retired if it has any of the following: a crack, burr, sharp edges, gate rivet that is loose or bent, weak gate spring, significant wear, or any deformity.�

Edelrid mentions that carabiners can last an unlimited amount of time under proper storage conditions. With occasional use and no wear and tear they should last 10 years. With frequent use and load catching you must check often. There are no specific time limits when you use your gear regularly.

Black Diamond reiterates that the lifespan for metal products is indefinite. Although with normal use and proper care, the typical lifespan of a metal product is three to ten years. Not to mention the actual lifespan of your gear can be longer or shorter depending on how frequently you use it and on the conditions of its use.

Here are their specific suggestions from their FAQ page on what to look for when retiring aluminum carabiners:
1) Check for good gate action: The open-gate strength of carabiners is roughly 1/3 of the closed-gate strength. If a biner has a gate that rubs or sticks open, it should be cleaned and lubed. If this does not improve gate action, the biner should be retired. The same holds true for any gate locking mechanism.

2) Check for excessive wear: If you can feel that the rope-bearing surfaces of the biner are significantly worn (wearing off the anodization is normal after a few uses) the biner should be retired.

3) Check for deformation: If a biner has been loaded such that the body or nose has deformed—or the carabiner gate rivets have been bent (this usually results in poor gate action)—the biner should be retired.

4) Check for nicks or deep scratches: If a biner has nicks or deep gouges beyond the normal light scratching that occurs in use, it should be retired. Carabiners are more susceptible to surface damage near the nose hook or within an inch of the bending radii of the body.

5) Has the carabiner been exposed to extreme heat? If a biner has been exposed to “extreme heat� (i.e. a fire) it should be retired and destroyed due to possible negative affects to the heat treatment the carabiner underwent when it was made.

6) Has the carabiner been exposed to harsh chemicals or excessive corrosion? If your carabiner has been exposed to aggressive chemicals (like battery acid, petroleum-based fuel, ect.) its a good idea to retire the biner. Likewise, any corrosion beyond the normal thin gray/white oxidation layer that forms on exposed aluminum should be grounds for retirement, especially if it starts to affect gate action (see #1).

In closing: Keep in mind that only YOU know what your gear has been through. If your instincts tell you that the gear is dubious, retiring it is a good idea. Confidence in your equipment is not only key to climbing at your limit but helps you stay relaxed and having fun.
http://www.rollglobal.org/2010/11/qdreplacement/
The Staff of Challenge Options, Inc. 2010 wrote: CARABINER RETIREMENT

Austri Alpine: No defined Life Span. Retire based on condition.

Black Diamond: Conservative estimate given normal use and proper care is 10 years. No defined Life Span. Retire based on condition

Climbing Technology: 10 years max use

Kong: Lifetime of metallic products is theoretically unlimited

Mammut: 5 years max use

Omega: No defined Life Span. Retire based on condition

Petzl: Indefinite lifespan on metallic products

Items such as the William Ball Carabiner have plastic parts and fall under the textile retirement guideline - 10 years from date of manufacture
http://www.ropesonline.net/index.php?op ... -and-links

greblo
Posts: 435
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 11:22 am

Post by greblo » Wed Nov 26, 2014 7:01 pm

Great info Jonathan

Thanks
Safety is a book, not a word
Michael Robertson

User avatar
JD
Posts: 1695
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:05 am

Post by JD » Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:52 pm

greblo wrote:Great info Jonathan

Thanks
I was wondering about it myself.

George mentioned about using a Maillon Rapide as a backup connection to the reserve bridle. I'm personally reluctant to attach a bridle loop to both the caribiner and then to the harness riser. In the event of a deployment with a mostly intact glider, the reserve bridle loop will be pulled in two directions at once, possibly tearing open a portion of the stitching. When I have mocked up the forces in my hand it gave me concern. I have not asked Betty, Steve or Mike Meier about this.

greblo
Posts: 435
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 11:22 am

Post by greblo » Thu Nov 27, 2014 9:08 am

That's an interesting observation. I carry Maillon Rapide s/s links for those pilots that desire them. I order them from Betty so I'm certain that she endorses their use. Ever since the hang gliding industry changed from aluminum to steel carabiners in the 70's, I've pretty much stopped worrying about carabiner failures or parachutes becoming separated from the harness, and I've never heard of a reputable steel carabiner failure in hang gliding. George's story above is identical to one that I'm aware of years ago, but it was aluminum, not steel.

I seem to recall the results of studies to determine the loads associated with early powered ultralight parachute deployments were around 3500 lbs. If that's true, I can't see hang glider loads exceeding 5,000 lbs w/ today's faster gliders.

I've always felt confident with any popular steel carabiner because they are all stronger than that. I've been fond of the Stubai 5000 Kg carabiner because it's a standard bearer. I also like the fact that it has no gate pin gap at the nose. This prevents any possibility of the slow, incessant work hardening common with aluminum biners.

Now, there's always a small diameter pin at the bottom of the gate and
this is subject to wear, abuse, and corrosion, so I like the idea of retiring a carabiner after some period of use. I'd just like to feel good about what that period is. 10 years seems reasonable to me, although I believe it's probably unnecessary. It's recommended people change their car tires when there's still tread on them, change their oil every 3,000-5,000 miles, and replace their brakes before they wear out, so why not replace your carabiner every so often (it's far less expensive).

Perhaps an even more pertinent discussion is when to replace your harness mains since they deteriorate much more easily than a steel caribiner.
Safety is a book, not a word
Michael Robertson

Post Reply