Forums: Skydiving: Skydiving History & Trivia:
The Comet.

 


HiettEarp

Nov 9, 2004, 6:20 PM
Post #1 of 43 (4583 views)
Shortcut
The Comet. Can't Post

Anybody ever owned or jumped a Comet? A 228sq. ft. 7 cell made in the early or mid 80s.
Nothing good has come from anything named Comet. The Jetliners crashed, the car was junk, and the Canopy, at least mine was scary.
This pic was not all low turn, a turn I pulled off at the DZ many times, but this particular time the canopy really took a bad dive and never recovered. I finally recovered from a broken femur.Crazy
Attachments: broken leg jump.jpg (20.4 KB)


tonybrogdon  (D 12855)

Nov 9, 2004, 10:24 PM
Post #2 of 43 (4500 views)
Shortcut
Re: [HiettEarp] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

I had a Comet 228. It was a good parachute for me. I sold it and the person I sold it tolater sold it to my son who made 200 jumps on it.


crewdog2  (D 5770)

Nov 10, 2004, 7:05 AM
Post #3 of 43 (4464 views)
Shortcut
Re: [HiettEarp] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

We used them for CRW in the early '80s. Good canopy. -Russ Pinney
Attachments: 5 stack 1981.jpg (21.5 KB)


airtwardo  (D License)

Nov 10, 2004, 9:16 AM
Post #4 of 43 (4453 views)
Shortcut
Re: [crewdog2] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

THAT is a great picture! Cool


slug  (B License)

Nov 10, 2004, 11:04 AM
Post #5 of 43 (4440 views)
Shortcut
Re: [crewdog2] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

Nice stack and photo!

But your a crewdog and the person taking the pic was Mr Kent.

Thanks for shareingSmileSmile

R.I.P.

BTW In the pic of the hard landing was that a standard hand/brake position?


usedtajump  (D 6813)

Nov 10, 2004, 4:20 PM
Post #6 of 43 (4406 views)
Shortcut
Re: [HiettEarp] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

I hada Comet reserve in the early 80's, used it twice and lived.....both times.Laugh


mccurley  (E 663)

Nov 10, 2004, 10:25 PM
Post #7 of 43 (4385 views)
Shortcut
Re: [HiettEarp] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

Did many jumps on an X228, Australian clone of the comet, Great CRW canopy, several world gold medals were won with it, (not by me)
Used to OK for Accuracy as well,


skybill  (D 6009)

Nov 12, 2004, 7:46 PM
Post #8 of 43 (4302 views)
Shortcut
Re: [HiettEarp] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi-ett,
Made a couple dozen jumps on a 228 comet back in '83. Nice canopy for a 7-cell. Sounds funny that your chute was such a dud! Did you call Bill Gargano and see if he would do something about it?? Did you have one of Bill's canopys or one from Chuck Embry?? Willy handed off the Comet line to Chuck when he developed the Hobbit, Spirit and Wizard series. I had one of Willy's Wizards and it was a great canopy!!


johnmatrix  (D 9999)

Sep 29, 2011, 1:54 AM
Post #9 of 43 (3727 views)
Shortcut
Re: [mccurley] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

I have an X228 sitting on my floor right now, I'm thinking about giving it a go just cos I'm curious.
Problem is it doesn't have a slider. Do you reckon I could use it with a ZP slider?
Also, it's got a few big holes in the top skin, with broken masking tape around them. I was going to use some gaffer tape to patch them up but now that I've been reading up on it here it feels like I could be defacing a collector's item. Unimpressed
Any advice?


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Sep 29, 2011, 10:31 AM
Post #10 of 43 (3669 views)
Shortcut
Re: [johnmatrix] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I have an X228 sitting on my floor right now, I'm thinking about giving it a go just cos I'm curious.
Problem is it doesn't have a slider. Do you reckon I could use it with a ZP slider?
Also, it's got a few big holes in the top skin, with broken masking tape around them. I was going to use some gaffer tape to patch them up but now that I've been reading up on it here it feels like I could be defacing a collector's item. Unimpressed
Any advice?

........................................................................

Get a real rigger to sew on some real (F-111 fabric) patches before you jump it again.
Sticky tape patches fell out of fashion a long time ago.


fossg  (C 16560)

Sep 29, 2011, 1:30 PM
Post #11 of 43 (3644 views)
Shortcut
Re: [HiettEarp] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

I had a Comet 300. GREAT canopyCoolCoolCoolCool


tbrown  (D 6533)

Sep 30, 2011, 12:12 PM
Post #12 of 43 (3595 views)
Shortcut
Re: [fossg] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I had a Comet 300. GREAT canopyCoolCoolCoolCool

Never jumped a Comet, but I do remember them when they started showing up around Perris in 1980. Lots of people bought them and really liked them. The thing that surprised me was just how populat the 300 ft Comet was. Especially nowadays, when so many people have downsize mania. Back then the Comet 300 was extremely popular with a lot of the "hip" crowd.


dudeman17  (D License)

Sep 30, 2011, 1:27 PM
Post #13 of 43 (3581 views)
Shortcut
Re: [HiettEarp] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

I had a Comet 228. Loved it. I got my BASE # with that canopy. I jumped a couple Hobitts, too, even had one as a reserve in a Handbury rig. Bill Gargano TSO'd a system to pack it in a 2-riser 2-pin reserve container using a diaper, and Skybill used to pack it for me. (Tacos 'n Hobbitts, haha.) Had another one of Bill's canopies, a Lumen, made some base jumps on that one too.

Any chance of resurrecting the Nasgull? Tongue


(This post was edited by dudeman17 on Sep 30, 2011, 1:29 PM)


fossg  (C 16560)

Sep 30, 2011, 1:30 PM
Post #14 of 43 (3580 views)
Shortcut
Re: [tbrown] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

Hot damn!!! Now I can say I was hip back in the day. Seriously Bill Gargano made a great productCool


lekstrom10k  (D 3001)

Sep 30, 2011, 1:57 PM
Post #15 of 43 (3575 views)
Shortcut
Re: [HiettEarp] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

 I had a Comet 300 before sizing was was made the same for manufacturers . Actuall size turn out to be 288. Ididnt pack it when I demoed it. That was the only cutaway ever on it. It was the retired after 600 jumps


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Sep 30, 2011, 2:08 PM
Post #16 of 43 (3570 views)
Shortcut
Re: [tbrown] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Tom,

Quote:
they started showing up around Perris in 1980

Sometime before that I visited with Chuck Embury (RIP) at Elsinore as he was one of the 3-4 guys behind the Comet.

At first they could not sell them due to some patent problems but they eventually got that worked out.

He told me that they were an almost direct copy of Security's Unit but with 4 lines per rib instead of 3.

JerryBaumchen

PS) I seem to remember Chuck marketing an 'Elsinore Rig' that had a Handbury H/C, a Pioneer 26 ft Lo-Po & and a Comet Main.


howardwhite  (C 3896)

Sep 30, 2011, 5:47 PM
Post #17 of 43 (3549 views)
Shortcut
Re: [JerryBaumchen] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

I had a Unit and I knew both Chuck and Bill, so maybe I almost jumped one.

HW


usedtajump  (D 6813)

Oct 1, 2011, 6:06 PM
Post #18 of 43 (3520 views)
Shortcut
Re: [HiettEarp] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

I had a 228 Comet reserve that I deployed 3 times. Couldn't tell much difference in performance in it from my Cruiselite main.......except the Comet opened everytime.Laugh


aj4218  (D 4218)

Oct 3, 2011, 7:00 AM
Post #19 of 43 (3477 views)
Shortcut
Re: [HiettEarp] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

I jumped one for a couple of years and did all my BASE jumps with it. It was actually re-branded a 'Spirit'. This shot is the morning after I'd done my 'B' and 'E' during the previous night.

Al
Attachments: comet.jpg (67.4 KB)


joboulay  (D 1111)

Oct 3, 2011, 2:48 PM
Post #20 of 43 (3451 views)
Shortcut
Re: [aj4218] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

I did put more than 700 jumps on my Comet 228 that i still keep in a box in my basement. It was my first canopy and i did everything with it!! It was a great all round canopy but i agree that the openings were increasingly specials with the years..!!TongueTongue


pirana  (D 30661)

Oct 3, 2011, 5:32 PM
Post #21 of 43 (3447 views)
Shortcut
Re: [HiettEarp] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
. . . the car was junk, . . .

What's the gripe on the older Comets? I owned 4 early to mid-60's Comets. Awesome cars - cheap to buy, incredibly easy to work on, good mileage (all had either the 144 or 200 straight 6), and real metal that did not dent when leaned on. Solid cars; way, way better than today's lower priced pieces of junk.


captain1976  (D 7183)

Oct 3, 2011, 5:44 PM
Post #22 of 43 (3446 views)
Shortcut
Re: [HiettEarp] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow, am I glad you posted this. I flew a big green one and for the past 30 years I though it was a 5 cell.

I don't remember any bad flying characteristics but I was pretty conservative anyway when it came to close to the ground stuff.

It was actually owned by Jim Stoyas who died with it on an attempted canopy transfer in July 1982. I flew it a few times after that and as I recall it was considered by others as being a bit sluggish.


(This post was edited by captain1976 on Oct 3, 2011, 5:45 PM)


skybill  (D 6009)

Oct 3, 2011, 6:51 PM
Post #23 of 43 (3434 views)
Shortcut
Re: [dudeman17] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I had a Comet 228. Loved it. I got my BASE # with that canopy. I jumped a couple Hobitts, too, even had one as a reserve in a Handbury rig. Bill Gargano TSO'd a system to pack it in a 2-riser 2-pin reserve container using a diaper, and Skybill used to pack it for me. (Tacos 'n Hobbitts, haha.) Had another one of Bill's canopies, a Lumen, made some base jumps on that one too.

Any chance of resurrecting the Nasgull? Tongue
Hi Matt!!!!,
How well I remember Tuesday night "Tacos and Hobbits!!" Your mom's Taco Tuesdays were great! Not many people remember Willie's TSO'ed Diaper on the hobbit. You could use the diaper or stow it in a freebag if you wanted. I believe Willy was one of the first people to use a semisemetrical airfoil instead of the typical flatbottom that other ramairs had.


vanair  (D 8360)

Oct 3, 2011, 7:09 PM
Post #24 of 43 (3429 views)
Shortcut
Re: [captain1976] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

What went wrong on the canopy transfer?


captain1976  (D 7183)

Oct 3, 2011, 7:39 PM
Post #25 of 43 (3425 views)
Shortcut
Re: [vanair] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
What went wrong on the canopy transfer?

The reserve went right up into the main and tangled up and deflated whatever main he had.

He always preached cutaway and I guess he just got scared and pulled the reserve.

This was his first malfunction and he had 4,500 jumps which in the early 80's was quite a lot.


johnmatrix  (D 9999)

Oct 3, 2011, 8:33 PM
Post #26 of 43 (1286 views)
Shortcut
Re: [dudeman17] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Any chance of resurrecting the Nasgull? Tongue

Is this some other old gear, or just a LOTR reference? (nothing wrong with LOTR references obviously!)


aj4218  (D 4218)

Oct 4, 2011, 1:01 AM
Post #27 of 43 (1280 views)
Shortcut
Re: [HiettEarp] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

Forgot I stiil had this - an original Comet brochure! The cover is a shot of the late Frank Donnellan, BASE #12, at Netheravon. Chuck used it for the brochure and gave me one of his custom wallets as payment. The things he used to keep and that wheelchair ... Wink

Al Wink


(This post was edited by aj4218 on Oct 4, 2011, 6:19 AM)
Attachments: 1.jpg (131 KB)
  2.jpg (135 KB)
  3.jpg (119 KB)
  4.jpg (57.7 KB)
  5.jpg (70.2 KB)
  6.jpg (115 KB)
  7.jpg (105 KB)
  8.jpg (148 KB)
  9.jpg (231 KB)


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Oct 4, 2011, 12:32 PM
Post #28 of 43 (1257 views)
Shortcut
Re: [aj4218] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Al,

Quote:
gave me one of his custom wallets as payment.

He started out making wallets in his garage; the women would show up in the morning, cut & sew, and then go home.

The US Social Security folks dropped by one day and said that anyone working on his premises was an employee ( he had them as private contractors ). So he moved the sewing machines into their homes, then he had a truck that would go around each morning & deliver raw fabric, etc & pickup the finished goods from the day(s) before.

I visited him one time & he had just landed a contract with DisneyLand for something like 50,000 wallets. He was very busy.

JerryBaumchen


andrewhilton  (D 32371)

Oct 31, 2011, 10:01 AM
Post #29 of 43 (1202 views)
Shortcut
Re: [JerryBaumchen] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

I acquired a Comet and matching rig this weekend for the collection. The canopy is a Comet 228 ; the rig I think is a Pigmee and has markings from both Parachutes Australia and Embury Sky Systems on it. Some pics attached, not jumped it yet.

Anyone notice anything odd about the rig?
Attachments: comet1.jpg (296 KB)
  comet2.jpg (283 KB)
  comet3.jpg (279 KB)


pchapman  (D 1014)

Oct 31, 2011, 10:37 AM
Post #30 of 43 (1196 views)
Shortcut
Re: [andrewhilton] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

Pull left! Pull right!

Must have been that short period of time when companies hadn't yet standardized.


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Oct 31, 2011, 11:23 AM
Post #31 of 43 (1190 views)
Shortcut
Re: [pchapman] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Peter,

Quote:
Must have been that short period of time when companies hadn't yet standardized.

Nope, things were 'standardized' back in '64 when the CrossBow rig came on the market.

It is that there are some of us ( me included ) that believe that the handles should be as shown on that rig for someone who is right-handed.

We have just not been able to convince people to go along with us. Something about whistling in the wind.

Crazy

JerryBaumchen

PS) I did notice that the risers on the rig are of the 1-leg type. They were quite popular/fairly standard in the days of round reserves.


dudeman17  (D License)

Oct 31, 2011, 11:57 AM
Post #32 of 43 (1181 views)
Shortcut
Re: [johnmatrix] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Any chance of resurrecting the Nasgull? Tongue

Is this some other old gear, or just a LOTR reference? (nothing wrong with LOTR references obviously!)

I had to google LOTR to see what you meant by that, haha. Never read any of those books or saw any of the movies. BUT, the Nasgull was another (experimental) canopy that Bill Gargano was working on in that time frame (early 80's). Supposedly it flew at like 60 mph, and the few times it was test jumped it was flown, cut away and not landed. Bill described it as looking "like a malfunctioning Paradactyl".


andrewhilton  (D 32371)

Oct 31, 2011, 12:02 PM
Post #33 of 43 (1180 views)
Shortcut
Re: [pchapman] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

Well spotted. No one ever wanted to borrow this rig.

I think the handle configuration may have come from the fact that this rig was seemingly originally built with a single handle SOS system ; in configuring it back to having seperate handles on opposite sides, I'm speculating that a lazy / easy option was taken by whoever did the conversion and the cutaway system was left as it was with the reserve handle conversion added to the non-standard side.


dudeman17  (D License)

Oct 31, 2011, 12:18 PM
Post #34 of 43 (1177 views)
Shortcut
Re: [andrewhilton] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I acquired a Comet and matching rig this weekend for the collection. The canopy is a Comet 228 ; the rig I think is a Pigmee and has markings from both Parachutes Australia and Embury Sky Systems on it. Some pics attached, not jumped it yet.

Anyone notice anything odd about the rig?

Wow, stretch the memory banks, but I know that rig! Bill Gargano traded rights with PA so they could build his canopies there and he could build their rigs here. That blue/brown one you have was part of a set he built for a team we formed back then. And yeah, the cutaway/reserve handles could be in any of three configurations: SOS, normal or reversed like yours seems to be.

And I would strongly suggest that you have that canopy stress tested before you jump it. IIRC, there was a problem with a particular batch of that light blue material and it's integrity wasn't holding up.


andrewhilton  (D 32371)

Oct 31, 2011, 12:43 PM
Post #35 of 43 (1166 views)
Shortcut
Re: [dudeman17] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

This rig and main has been in Scotland since bought in Perris new in the early 80s......and the main was used for about 500 jumps over the years, I hope it'll hold for a few more with me under it.


jimjumper  (D 11137)

Oct 31, 2011, 4:56 PM
Post #36 of 43 (1141 views)
Shortcut
Re: [HiettEarp] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

The book "Skies Call 3" has a nice photo of a 2 stack over China and you can read the the Comet logo on the end cells of both canopies. The credits say that Andy Keech took the photo. (pg. 89)


councilman24  (D 8631)

Oct 31, 2011, 6:53 PM
Post #37 of 43 (1118 views)
Shortcut
Re: [JerryBaumchen] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

In 1982 I bought a new Northen Lite. I wanted a right hand throw out, and left hand cutaway and a right hand reserve. At the time, like you, I thought the reserve should be your strong hand and also alternating hands wasn't a bad thing.

They built me a COMPLETELY opposite rig with a left hand throw out. What the hell I kept it. I also had another Northern Lite that was a 'normal' rig with right hand throw out AND a Crossbow rig with a right hand main ripcord. I jumped all three interchangably. At the Nationals Boogie gear check in 1983 it might have been Bagley doing it. Anyway whoever it was, I showed them the left hand rig first. They asked "you left handed?" I said nope. They just looked confused. Then I gave them the right hand rig. The comment? "your going to kill yourself!" Tongue

I was throwing a lot of static line students so used all three rigs in a row. (the crossbow was a had a PC main) I only reached the wrong way once. And only moved my hand a few inches before realizing I was moving the wrong hand and switched.Wink

I converted the left hand rig to 'normal' before I sold it.Angelic


johnmatrix  (D 9999)

Oct 31, 2011, 7:37 PM
Post #38 of 43 (1114 views)
Shortcut
Re: [dudeman17] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I had to google LOTR to see what you meant by that, haha. Never read any of those books or saw any of the movies. BUT, the Nasgull was another (experimental) canopy that Bill Gargano was working on in that time

Awesome, thanks! - it's actually spelled 'Nazgul' in the books but from I can see the Hobbit was also his design as well. Sounds like Mr Gargano had good taste in literature.


Rover  (D 241)

Nov 1, 2011, 12:37 PM
Post #39 of 43 (1060 views)
Shortcut
Re: [andrewhilton] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

There was a container from that era called a Rapid Transit that had its handles in that configuration.


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Nov 1, 2011, 12:41 PM
Post #40 of 43 (1059 views)
Shortcut
Re: [Rover] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Rover,

Quote:
There was a container from that era called a Rapid Transit that had its handles in that configuration.

They would do that on request IIRC.

And that was because Silly was a 'believer' in that configurtion; as I am.

Angelic

JerryBaumchen


Trae  (Student)

Nov 3, 2011, 4:53 PM
Post #41 of 43 (1000 views)
Shortcut
Re: [HiettEarp] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

in reply to "Anybody ever owned or jumped a Comet?"
.................................

What a great canopy .
I've still got a fresh one stored nicely.
My original ( an ozzy X228 ) gave me over 1000 openings without fail although it got a bit porous over time.
The champ CRW guys were using them at the time and if you had one you got to go on all sorts of CRW pioneering records.
8 stacks for me with a couple of hundred jumps and 18 years old ....wow life was good. (thank you 'Plane Scared' for the incedible memories )
Wouldn't've happened if I'd bought a Cruislite or Unit.

A Comet/X228 was/is good for cliff soaring and mine gave me many 100's of flights and free hours in the air.
There was a cliff a few miles from home that was good in any easterly over 15 knots, 20knots perfect.
In nil wind it was possible to get inflation and launch for a 150ft accuracy approach down to the sand. The CRW guys were doing practice crossovers and stacks off the cliff.

The current base canopies owe a lot to this type of parachute, cause they were just so reliable and true all rounders and gave base jumpers something they could rely on.

Might get mine out take it down the cliff again Cool


tonybrogdon  (D 12855)

Nov 9, 2011, 11:35 PM
Post #42 of 43 (918 views)
Shortcut
Re: [HiettEarp] The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

I had a Comet 228

Great Canopy. Bought it from Jimmy Davis in a Handbury rig

I sold it to Jim kinopa and he sold it to older son Mike


johnmatrix  (D 9999)

Sep 17, 2012, 3:48 AM
Post #43 of 43 (667 views)
Shortcut
Re: The Comet. [In reply to] Can't Post

I just did 3 jumps on one of these for the hell of it and am limping already.
If I come in on front risers am I going to get more lift in the flare, or am I just going to pound in faster?

Aside from the landings, I like it. Cool



Forums : Skydiving : Skydiving History & Trivia

 


Search for (options)