Dear APCO,

I pulled my 9 year old Mayday 16 in anger last month over Lake Annecy France, in a spin aboard Advance Sigma4.

I’ve never deployed before, but it did the business perfectly.

Many Thanks,

Dan Ashworth
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From: Justin Kyllo
To: apco
Sent: 01 October, 2000 07:56
Subject: Reserve deployment

I just wanted to thank APCO aviation for the excellent design of the mayday reserve. This summer while flying in Golden BC Canada, I had gotten into a situation where my glider went into a spin after I flew low over some cliffs near the top of Mt.7. There was no time to sort out the glider, so I threw my reserve for the first time in a real life situation. I did not land in any trees but in a clearing. I landed completley unscathed with not even a scratch. The APCO mayday saved my life! It took 3and a half hours to hike down to get help, but I was soon with my wife and three children at our campground. I know that they are thankful for the performance of the mayday. I could see the tears on my wifes cheeks when she saw me after the incident( she watched it happen from a distance ). I would reccommend an APCO reserve to anyone looking to get a new one or getting into the sport. I bought mine from my instuctor Jim Reich of Fly BC airsports of Vancouver BC Canada. As I am just getting into tandem instruction I will definitley try to find a tandem reserve made by APCO.

Thank you for a great product! It saved my life.

Regards, Justin Kyllo
North Vancouver BC Canada
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Reserve Deployment

From: Carlos Fernandez
To: apco
Sent: Wednesday, June 02, 2004 11:59 PM
Subject: mayday

Dear Sirs

I would like to report you the use of a Mayday emergency parachute Serie 424787. It happend on June 1st. 2004 during a flight from the top of the Pichincha mountain in Quito Ecuador. The altitude was 3.800 m at 11h15 in the morning. An irregular wind was blowing from South creating a rotor of which I was aware. However I never realised its strenght and after twenty seconds in the air I started to suffer a great turbulence which provoked my wing to go out of control. I tried to recover it but the air conditions were so bad that every effort I made was useless. At that moment I had 30 meters of altitude above the ground and I made use of the emergency system. It opened quite fast and I had a few seconds left to recognise the situation and act accordingly. I landed on my back and putting aside a little neck pain I am OK and despite I am an 11 years experienced pilot I am grateful that I always use an emergency parachute.

Carlos Fernández
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From: Matthew Key
To: apco
Sent: Tuesday , July 27, 2006 8:34 AM
Subject: mayday

Dear APCO Team,

I am sending you an incident report on my reserve deployment in North Cyprus in September 2004. I have done 80 flights, 59 of these from 750mt. On the day of deployment I had been thermalling for about 20 minutes in thermals that were a bit punchy. I started to desend and tried to sratch around for more thermals though there was a bit of turbalance. I was about 100mt from the mountain slope when I felt I wasn’t in control (I didn’t realise at the time but I was in deep stall) though the glider was still inflated. I pulled my reserve but didn’t throw it correctly.
It opened instantly, my main glider was still flying and didn’t pitch forward, while my reserve inflated above.
I came to land unhurt, still able to have some control of my main wing. I thankfully landed on my feet, even though I didn’t have the height or time to retrive my wing on desent. I realise now that I over reacted, I should have tried to correct the situation, though I now know how to open a reserve.

Thank You.

Matthew Key
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From: Mustafa Senem
To: apco
Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2005 10:55 AM
Subject: Reserve Deployment

Dear Sirs

Your Mayday reserve is a beautiful piece of equipment. It did everything as advertised and saved my life this weekend – THANKS!!!!!

Mustafa Senem
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Reserve Deployment

From: Jeffrey Hillman
To: through Carlos Rafael
Sent: Tuesday , Nov 18, 2006 15:52
Subject: Reserve deployment

Hi Carlos, Just to let you know that my purchase of a Mayday 18 earlier this year turned out to be a good idea. I flew into a dusty at the De Aar fun comp at about 70m and suffered two major assymetrics; the second one being on the side that I had weight shifted to in order to counter the first collapse and so the glider (Aspen2)then went into a very strong spiral dive. I realised in a somewhat detached fashion that I did not have the height to recover so I threw my rag. I was amazed at how quickly I felt the reassuring “jerk” and even more so at how soon I landed afterwards, fortunately out of my harness and in a good PLF
position. I suffered no injury in spite of landing on the side of a road embankment and having no time to collapse the glider. Witnesses on launch about 400m away reckon that the chute deployed sideways (because of the g force that I was experiencing) and that as it swung above me, I landed! Height of deployment was less than 50m so there is always a last chance! Do I now get a low save T-Shirt!!!!

Kind regards, Jeff

Professor Jeffrey C Hillman
School of Mechanical, Industrial & Aeronautical Engineering University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
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Reserve deployment

From: “Michèle Baptist”
To: Apco Aviation
Sent: Friday, September 05, 2008 1:03 AM
Subject: Rescue in free fall

Bonjour APCO,

Following ower conversation, to survive to this incident I had a lot of luck,
good reflexes, but mainly an efficient reserve chute Mayday 16 SLT and solid resistance from the reserve,
the harness, and my old body… I have a few more grey hairs but I’m happy to be alive!Michèle Baptist

THANK to YOU to have build this little reserve strong enough. It saved my life.

A lot a persons feel concerned and discuss without to have all the information. I decided to send back the glider to…….., the harness to……., the GPS to….. ., and the reserve to Xavier Beauvallet, and I am going to write an article describing my story, a witness for the other pilots. The goal is not to incriminate any material but encourage the pilotes to check lines and connections and to prevent other accidents because … I’m not the only one to have fine lines, not bright new, and people having walk on them.

It happened at Sederon (site: Buc) in front of pilots folding their wing at sunset. After a short restitution flight (18min), I did barely one 360 on the right (71,5km/h horizontal speed) when the lines broke on the right side, 2 lines first, then all, then all the left side… the whole thing in less than 3sec. I react as quickly as I could to find the handle before loosing my balance, fortunatally the reserve was attached to my Karabiners because the shock at the opening was enormous… the force and the noise let me think the chute was going to break (or the harness) but … it resisted the very brutal deceleration. Before the opening, I was falling at 212km/h of vertical speed, sitting down in my harness profiled by the airbag (the analogic memory flight of my Compeo indicates a max vertical speed of -58,8m/sec…, more than skydiving). … I arrived in a gully (the grande Combe) preparing myself for a really hard landing and I’m happy to have not broken a leg.

I estimate the chute opened at between 80 and 60m height, the vertical speed was higher than my former reserve (with a pull down apex)… it means it was a question of 1,2 second, to die or not. I can be happy to have only a little physical injury (heel injured, and sore back) and hope I will continue to have fun flying (it’s a big part of my life). I will certainly be very careful with the material I chose to fly with.

The reasons of the rupture on the glider are still to be analysed … as usual the accident was an accumulation of risks; an addition of different factors – fine lines of a demo Mercury, aging of the lines, deterioration from heating when I had a frontal last year or possibly from damage when somebody walked on the lines, on a stony take off, the flight before …. or other explanations yet to be explored.

The rupture started because the increasing load into a 360 (but I did a series of 360s descending 11m/sec at Chamonix 2 weeks ago, longer and stronger without rupture)…..

My very best regards

M i c h e L L L e
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Rescue in free fall

From: “Surfair”
To: Apco Aviation
Sent: Saturday, March 14, 2009 11:49 AM
Subject: One more life saved by Mayday

Hello Apco Factory,

One of your Mayday 18 saved one of my customers. Two days ago, he was flying in the Pyrénées, hard conditions, on lee side, violent collapse and instant rotation with dive, at 60 m from the ground ! He throwed his rescue and landed soft and safe (all in flight 103 kg)… Nothing dramatic, just another story, thanks to the Mayday.

Fly safe,
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One more life saved by Mayday

Posted by “Vulcan”
SourceParagliding Forum
Date: Monday, Feb 10, 2014 06:32 AM
Subject: Finally used my reserve…

After 15 years of XC flying around the World I was beginning to think that carrying a reserve was a waste of time. Especially as nearly all the reserve throws I have seen were unnecessary i.e. the wing wanted to fly but the pilot did not let it.
Sunday last week I was flying at Manilla. Australia is in drought at the moment and I have never seen Manilla so dry and brown…this makes for some big and, at times rough, air.
I had flown about 140 klms and it was the roughest flight I had ever had at Manilla. But it was about 5.00 pm and the air had calmed down quite a lot so I wasn’t expecting anything.
I was about 1000 m above the ground and flying towards another wing in a climb. I had just reached the edge of the lift when I had the biggest, fastest collapse in my flying career, without any noticeable warning. The wing pitched back behind me and then dived down below me.
I tried to brake the surge but obviously was too slow and did not give enough input. Then I was weightless and catapulted between the risers. I hit the left lines and luckily did not go through them. Next the wing started to turn quickly and I thought it was going to wind up into a big spiral.
I reached for the reserve handle but the wing stopped turning so I didn’t throw. It quickly became stable and the descent rate was not high. At some point I looked up and realised that I had a 50% cravat and about 4 riser twists.
I reached up and could just touch the lines above the twists but could not get the risers to untwist.
After some consideration I decided that this was not something I was likely to be able to resolve and so decided to throw my reserve.
Interestingly my descent rate was only about 4.5 mps at that point so could have ridden the wing to the ground but as I could not be sure it would stay in this configuration I thought it better to throw. The reserve, which I had repacked in about October, came out very easily and I watched it start to open. Then grabbed one brake I could see in the mess above me and pulled it in which effectively killed the wing as it pitched down.
I continued to come down quite slowly and in a very stable configuration.

My 15 year old (yes, made in 1999!) APCO Mayday 20 worked perfectly.

However, I was drifting around a lot due to large changes of wind direction at different heights (which may well have been one of the reasons for the rough air) and kept drifting backwards and forwards across the Gwydir River. This gave me the biggest scare as there was a good chance I was going to land in the deep, very cold and fast flowing river. I decided I need to prepare for this and initially let go of the wing but it immediately started to re-open so I grabbed the lines again with one hand and unbuckled my flight deck and pod with the other. Eventually I was over the far side of the river and seemed to be coming down very slowly. I just wanted to get on the ground at that point in case I drifted back over the river, the big gum trees along the bank or into power lines.
In the end I landed in the middle of a ploughed and relatively soft paddock about 150 metres from the river. Just before I hit the ground I saw my retrieve vehicle stop at the edge of the paddock (nice work!). Even though I felt like I was coming down slowly and my vario later confirmed I was descending at only about 4.1 mps I hit the ground very hard.
I had bent my knees in preparation for a PLF but basically it just felt like I was thrown at the ground! I had fractured 5 vertebrae in a flying accident back in 2008 and it really hurt when I hit the ground this time! So, I lay there for a few minutes trying to decide if I had damaged anything badly.
As I did my retrieve drove up beside me and I could see 3 wings approaching above me. One was a paramedic who started to wind down to land (thanks Paul) but he was advised it was unnecessary.

1. APCO Mayday reserves are very good!
2. Get the reserve that is going to give you the slowest, most stable descent possible.
3. Don’t relax late in the day when you think the air has calmed down!
4. Maybe consider a steerable reserve – but at the time I felt like I had my hands full without having a reserve to steer. Certainly I would only consider a steerable reserve that has little forward speed unless you release the brakes
5. When purchasing equipment choose carefully on the basis of the fact that it is reasonably likely you will need to use its safety features one day (e.g. get very good back protection in your harness and a very good reserve).

So, I have decided to retire my reserve given its age and the fact that it has done its job…on the other hand I’ve given it a good test! Shocked
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Finally used my reserve…

From: Customer
Sent: Monday, May 23, 2016 6:05 PM
To: apco

J’ai surv?cu un accident de parapente avec votre parachute de secours “Mayday 16 Superlight (SLT)” Le parachute n’a rien et a pu tre repli !
Un grand merci votre quipe !

I survived a bad paragliding accident with your parachute “Mayday Superlight 16 (SLT)” The parachute opened perfectly and descended slowly, safely and stable !
A big thank you to your team!

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Mayday 16 Superlight (SLT)