Performer Flying - Peter Pan

Performer Flying Services

Performer Flying is one of the specialist services that we can offer, we have some of the latest equipment available and its all designed and certified specifically for performer flying. Its also always important to check when using an effect provider that their insurance specifically covers them for performer flying.
Our specialist team have over 25 years of experience working on all types of production big and small from school shows to opening ceremonies, so to see how we can help your production why not give us a call.


Now I can see

Ever wanted to get into a better visual position to run those hoist where you can’t quite manage it because of the cable length on the remote? Then we have the perfect solution our 8 and 12 way Wireless hoist controllers! Contact us for more details on our full range of chain hoist control solutions.


LDI 2016 – TSA

Some of the team from TSA paid a visit to this years LDI show in Las Vegas, good to see the EXE rise hoist with its integral load cell being shown with a practical demonstration. Load cells are becoming required in many more productions and venues, so to have an EXE rise hoist with a built in load cell is a good way to keep the required headroom to a minimum and get a readout actually on the hoist as well as the monitoring position.



One of the most important and abused pieces of Rigging Equipment

One of the most used items in rigging and possibly one of the most abused items has to be the ‘Screw pin Shackle’. They come in many different capacities and types, namely the Bow and D-type, the D-type is not so common in the entertainment industry due to it only being suitable for a straight in line pull, and as a bow shackle can do that it’s easier to keep just one type.


When using shackles for rigging the most important thing is to make sure the equipment is load rated and not a low grade commercial type that’s not suitable for lifting. It’s also important to know what the applied load will be, overloading any lifting equipment is forbidden in every country around the world that have any type of rigging or lifting regulations.

Bow shackles can be used in many orientations, but the most important thing is the direction of the force(s). The bow is designed to absorb a bridle force, where the pin side is to only be loaded perpendicular to that pin. When the bridle apex point is in the bow the shackle is loaded correctly. In the examples below the arrows marked in red are not acceptable.



When used in a straight pull, it’s important to ensure the forces are on the pin and the crown of the bow only, but it is also important to make the correct choice for the orientation. It’s important to understand that the Centre of Gravity (COG) in a shackle is always going to be closer to the pin due to the weight displacement of the shackle.

Therefore, it is wise to have the pin side facing down and the bow facing up, this will help prevent in a slack situation, the natural tendency for the shackle turning itself (the heavy part always wants to be downwards) ending up in a transverse load. This is a simple but effective and an example of good rigging practice.

Other good rigging practices when using shackles are:

  • Avoid Folding, bunching or pinching of synthetic slings, which will reduce the Working Load Limit of the shackle and sling.
  • Screw pin should be fully engaged but not tightened and should be moused.
  • Applied load should be centred in the bow to prevent side loading.
  • Multiple sling legs should not be applied to the pin.
  • If side loaded, the Work Load Limit shall be reduced.
In line 100% of WLL 45° from inline 70% of WLL 60° from inline 65% of WLL 90° from inline 50% of WLL


It’s important to note the maximum bridle angle should not exceed 120° (2 x 60°)

The first thing to make sure when using shackles is that they are designed and manufactured for lifting purposes. Most countries require a minimum amount of identification on the shackle. The picture shows the sort of information you should find on a shackle from a reputable manufacturer.

All lifting components safety can be affected as a result of use, abuse, wear and so need to be inspected at least once a year and should be examined prior to each use by a competent person and shackles are no exception.


Statistically indeterminate loads

In a recent post about D8+ chain hoists, an indeterminate load was mentioned and the need for load cell monitoring and we thought this would be a good point discuss a bit more about what a statistically indeterminate load is and what we can do to protect ourselves against it becoming a problem.

A “statistically indeterminate load” occurs when you have more than two loading points on a truss or three or more loading points on a structure, and this results in an unpredictable load distribution.

The simplest type of lift is a single point lift, for example, one chain hoist lifting a known load, and in this situation you can probably proceed without the need for load monitoring. Similarly, if you are lifting a truss on two chain hoists and again assuming you know the weight of the load your lifting, its evenly distributed and the total load does not exceed the capacity of a single hoist, then again you probably will not need load monitoring.

When you get to lifts involving more than two hoists we enter into the difficult territory known as statically indeterminate loads. Under “IGVW SQ P2” which is the German standard for electric chain hoists that forms part of the VPLT SR2.0 Code of Practice, there is a need to load monitor your hoists when using more than 2 hoist on a single truss.

To try and simplify how you get an indeterminate load, we will use an example of lifting a single line of truss on three chain hoists. Assuming that you’re using fixed speed conventional AC chain hoists of the same type and capacity from a single manufacturer, operating directly from a single controller, then in theory you hoist should run at the same speed when they are evenly loaded. But when those same hoists are unevenly loaded, for example the cables drop from one end of the truss, a group of movers in the middle of the rig, those same hoists can run anything up to 5% differently when unevenly loaded.

As you proceed with a lift, a hoist that is running faster will start to take up more of the load and a hoist that is running slower will be taking less of the load, and there is a chance of hoists becoming dangerously overloaded. In situations like this with an experienced operator who is not being distracted by others or under the pressures of time, it is unlikely to become a serious problem, but in less than ideal situations can quickly become an issue very quickly and just because a truss looks level it’s not always the case its load balanced.

The easiest way to monitor the situation is to introduce load cells into the rig one load cell above or below each hoist will monitor the load the hoist is taking and give a quick visual indication of what the hoist is taking. The load cells do not need to be connected to a complex control system it can be as simple as read outs for the operator to monitor. Although using a “semi-intelligent control” is one of the safest way to proceed as it does not rely on the operator spotting load difference which is harder to do on bigger and more complex rigs where each hoist may be taking different loads. Load cell monitors
come in different types, It’s possible to use a standalone unit that plugs into a hoist controller and many hoist controllers are now able to monitor loads being lifted and stop the procedure if the load shifts outside of a predetermined limit.

Load cells come in a variety of different types with both wired and wireless systems available and most hoist manufacturers have the ability to build them into the hoist. One of the easiest types to use is one that is built into it bow shackle although these are not necessarily the most accurate if the load is not sitting squarely on the centre of the shackle pin.

So to conclude, with the ever increasing complexity of the loads and equipment that is being specified for productions today and the need to meet the required safety regulations, one of the simplest ways to protect ourselves, the performers and the audience and be sure of what we are lifting is to include load cells into the system.

Should you want further information on the load cell systems available and the options open to you please feel free to contact us.


Performer flying for the Queensland Community showing of Wicked

Theatre Safe Australia prepared the performer flying for the Queensland Community premiere of Wicked. We had the opening night on Friday 29 July and played to a sold out audience. Be sure to catch this show before the finale on 14 August!
This July through August the Wicked story will return to Australia and defy gravity at the Redcliffe Cultural Centre, with the Queensland Community Theatre Premiere. Check out the exceptional line-up of local talent that fills the cast of Redcliffe Musical Theatre’s production of Wicked:

Exe Rise

What Is a D8+ Chain Hoist Specification and How Does It Apply to Me?

Within the entertainment industry there are often occasions where it is necessary to move or suspend loads above people. So let’s look at what is involved in selecting an appropriate motorised chain hoist for use in Australia, and how you can provide a safe working environment for the cast and crew who are working the show and a safe venue for the audience who are attending assuming it must be safe to be here… Continue reading “What Is a D8+ Chain Hoist Specification and How Does It Apply to Me?”