Dan, I'm living proof that the ruck doesn't hit you in the f*#%*n' face! That's another one of those myths fostered and perpetuated by jumpers who don't know any better. That's another one of the things I've been arguing against on the last few posts.
Next time you have a T-10 and reserve rig strapped on with a ruck hooked on properly, adopt an exit position with your head tucked in, and ask another guy to see if he can whack you in the face with the ruck. Ain't gonna happen.
Now, I did have a loose reserve that did come up and knock me in the mouth when the T-10 inflated, but that wasn't a ruck, and if it's going to hit you in the face, it's going to do it regardless of whether it's empty or it's got 35 pounds of rocks in it!
Yes. Rick did hit it on the head. Sometimes we do things just because we've not done it before. Isn't it strange how it always seems like a good idea at the time?
Just for the fun of it, I jumped one of the first Parawing prototypes once. Just once. That was enough. It was a solid wing with no slots in it, and no reefing system, just a deployment bag. The designer, Steve Snyder, warned me not to take it down, but to be careful to do a quick hop-n-pop because the opening shock on this wing was horrendous. Well, against his advice, I took it down about ten seconds, just enough to get into terminal velocity before I hung it out. Man, was there ever a wallop! Steve saw me hanging limp in the harness and told me later that he thought I was dead. That was the roughest opening I've ever had, and I've got to tell you, we used to test openings with G-meters attached to the risers. We knew the wings would inflate. That was no problem. The problem that Steve was trying to solve at the time was that the inflation rate was far too rapid and the opening shock way too severe. That was the biggest hurdle in the development of the early wings, both the Parawing and the Parafoil - the inflation sequence was far too rapid and uncontrollable. Let me tell you, I've had a few rough ones!
So, as you can see, I can't fault you guys at all .... but let me ask you this - where the heck were you trained to do free fall for you to get into a situation where your main was deploying when you were on your back? And going down until the AOD fired? Man! You would have been grounded for further training or thrown off the course. Actually, you wouldn't have been allowed to get that far into trouble. I graduated from the British Army free fall instructors' course, and we would have been severely reprimanded had we allowed a student to progress beyond his ability in a manner that would have endangered his life and/or the life of a fellow jumper!