Safety notice for Spitfire, Mirage and Hybrid
Recently an incident occurred in Switzerland involving a Spitfire 2. While in use one splice of an A-Mainline at the Mainline Lock turned loose. Thankfully the Pilot was unhurt.
The subsequent check of the Mainline in question revealed that the safety-seam, fixing the splice, was missing. The job of a safety-seam is to prevent loosening the splice if the load is not sufficient. Under load the splice is inherently safe.
Almost simultaneously a second incident, this time in France, was reported involving a faulty splice with a Spitfire 2. Swing could not get further information as of yet. The reason for a missing safety-seam, despite multiple quality controls of every single chute, is currently under investigation.
Because both chutes were delivered during the same week, we can’t entirely rule out that more Speedflyer were delivered bearing the same faulty splice during that time period.
We precautionary ask every pilot to visually check their Miniwing before next flight. You need to check the presence of the black safety-seam on the splice with all lines. Miniwings which may be affected are the models “Spitfire” “Spitfire 2”, “Mirage” and “Hybrid” respectively. Serial number 50001–50208.
The check can be performed by the pilot himself. A detailed description can be found in the next pages. If the missing of a safety-seam can be verified, please contact SWING as soon as possible.
Alternatively you can send your affected chute for a check free of charge to SWING or its selected point of service. If you choose to do so, please contact SWING before sending the chute off.
We apologise profoundly for delivering possible faulty products and their accompanying inconvenience. As an immediate action we installed additional controls.
Non-coated lines are usual spliced.
At this juncture the open end of the line will be slid back into its own and create a line- eye. The solidness of the splice will be created because the line, based on its structure, will tighten around the slid-back end and hold it thereby.
However, depending on its structure and material, a basic load will be required.
To prevent the slipping-out of the splice, while experiencing low loads or alteration of loads, a safety-seam will be placed over half the length of the splice (see figure 1). This will fix the splice until it holds itself.
Please check the presence of the grey or black safety-seam.
It may be that the ends of the thread stick out and could even be pulled out a little bit. The reason for that is because, due to its heat-sensibility, the Dyneema-lines can only be very carefully heat-sealed .
Open thread-ends are therefore not necessarily faulty. However, the thread could partly loosen if it will be pulled out. If min. 3 cm of the safety-seam are in good order one can cut off the loose end and get heat-sealed .
Please don’t pull on the possible sticking-out end of the sewn threads. Those are not processing defects. The thread could loosen or declamp itself unnecessarily.