Many questions are asked in this forum about skydiving gear, and there are many highly qualified folks who can provide excellent input. You may notice that most of them add the comment "contact the manufacturer."
Reading all such posts here, I find that many folks would rather post their question in these forums instead of contacting the people who made the gear in the first place. Instead of scratching my head wondering why, I decided to stick this post at the top of the Gear and Rigging Forum hopefully making a few skydivers better informed.
Did you know that there are a large number of Dropzone.com members that own or work for companies in the parachute industry? I have posted a list below of the ones I have been able to round up. Please, if you know of more that are dotcommers, let me know. I will continually edit this list to keep it as up-to-date as possible.
In my experience with manufacturers, they are all very approachable and work very hard to answer my questions. Through my experience, I have some tips for those who want to ask them a question:
-read the manual first. It might answer your question by itself. If not, you may only be calling the manufacturer for a clarification instead of a complete explanation.
-read all related manuals. If the component is used in conjunction with another, read both to understand the full picture.
-use email. I get better results with email because it can be forwarded to exactly the right person to answer my question, and the issue it contains can be addressed when that person is focused on it, rather than having a phone call interrupt them.
-be clear and concise. Stay away from the "story" unless it is specifically relevant to your question. Focus on the specific issue.
-use their manufacturer homepage email address. That address will give your question more visibility. Bear in mind that some manufacturer dotcommers will read their PMs, others may not.
-provide as much information as possible: your full name, phone numbers, best time(s) to call, email address, the component serial number (SN), date of manufacture (DOM), and model.
-just buy a used rig? Ask them to fax you the production sheet. It will provide you with much useful information such as when it was made, who it was sold to, all harness measurements, what canopies it was built for, and even clear up whether an unusual feature was incorporated during manufacture or during a later modification in the field.
**Reflex H/C Information - riggermick - Mick Cottle (former VP of Fliteline Systems)
**Reflex H/C Info & Parts - skydance - Ray Ferrell
Please reply to this thread only to provide me updates for the above list, or to provide your own feedback about personal interaction with particular manufacturers. That will help those who are shy about making contact feel more confident in doing so.
(This post was edited by slotperfect on Jul 25, 2013, 6:35 AM)