Advance have published a safety notice concerning the reserve handle of Lightness 3 harnesses sold in 2018.
Lightness 3s sold in 2019 already have an updated reserve handle. The new-style handle can be easily identified as it has a white ‘LIGHTNESS 3’ label, as shown in the picture below. Only reserve handles without the white label are affected by this safety notice. Pilots should carefully ease the handle base a little way out of its pocket on the harness to check for the label.
The safety notice was issued as a precaution, in response to a report from a school who encountered a situation in a test reserve throw from a harness hanger, where the pilot had difficulty extracting their reserve with the old-style handle.
Advance recommend that any Lightness 3 owners whose harness has the handle without the white label, should contact their dealer and request a free replacement reserve container with the new handle.
Advance comment that they have extensively tested reserve throws, including under high G-forces, with this type of handle and did not encounter this problem, but they acknowledge that many individual factors such as reserve volume, G-loading, pilot’s arm length, pull direction, pulling technique etc. can affect how easily a reserve can be deployed.
“Despite the fact that we devote a lot of time to this very subject when developing a new harness, and also make many thorough tests in the G-Force Trainer on every new development, it can be, as now with the Lightness 3, that a particular combination of circumstances can make a reserve release difficult. In every case we recommend that pilots, after installing their reserve in a harness for the first time (irrespective of brand or model), carry out their own test release. This is an essential part of the compatibility test”.
Read the press release at Advance.ch.