Forums: Skydiving: Gear and Rigging:
Non TSO'd gear (SWS Fire) and EU dropzones

 


MonsterMo  (C 111819)

Dec 24, 2013, 8:33 AM
Post #1 of 17 (4439 views)
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Non TSO'd gear (SWS Fire) and EU dropzones Can't Post

I'll be buying a new container in the new year and had initially narrowed it down to either a Mirage G4 or an Infinity, leaning towards the former. However, one of my former instructors told me to maybe give the SWS Fire some consideration.

This will be my first container and I'm looking for something to take a low bulk / 7 cell 170, with scope to eventually downsize to a 135 / 120 and a 160 reserve (before anyone says anything, I'm 5'3", weigh less than 150 lbs out the door and have consulted with my instructors and CCI).

Whilst the price of the SWS Fire is appealing, it isn't TSO'd. Whilst I know this isn't an issue in the UK or if I visit the US, could anyone shed some light on Europe? I've been in touch with an old instructor of mine in Spain who just said he didn't recommend a non TSO'd rig, but nothing about the legislation per se. I plan on visiting Madrid, Seville and Algarve next year.

Some things to consider: My landings whilst fairly accurate are still sometimes grassy (not been particularly current as of late) and that I plan on doing in the region of 80 - 100 jumps from 2014. The way I see it, the container should last me at least five years on the probable assumption I won't want to be on anything smaller than a 135 before then. I've even been told the containers I'm looking at might be OK with a 120.

I'm still leaning towards the Mirage as I've been offered an excellent deal on a new stock container, but then again, the SWS Fire is a good 600 cheaper - more money for coaching and jump tickets.

Any help appreciated and happy holidays!

Ash Smile


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Dec 24, 2013, 12:10 PM
Post #2 of 17 (4271 views)
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Re: [MonsterMo] Non TSO'd gear (SWS Fire) and EU dropzones [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Mo,

One additional thing to give consideration to is that the Fire does offer the RAX System MARD.

You can see the RAX here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqxjHOSKTT0

JerryBaumchen

PS) That is my old, no longer valid email address at the end of the video.


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Dec 24, 2013, 12:25 PM
Post #3 of 17 (4259 views)
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Re: [MonsterMo] Non TSO'd gear (SWS Fire) and EU dropzones [In reply to] Can't Post

The Mirage and the Infinity have a proven track record which is something to consider. Whichever rig you do decide on avoid over packing or under packing it. Stay within the manufactures guide lines. They are there for a reason.

If you do some research I dont think you will find a container that will accept a 120 and still fit a 170.

Just some things to think about.

Sparky


Rover  (D 241)

Dec 24, 2013, 12:28 PM
Post #4 of 17 (4257 views)
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Re: [MonsterMo] Non TSO'd gear (SWS Fire) and EU dropzones [In reply to] Can't Post

Don't come to New Zealand with a non TSOed rig.


(This post was edited by Rover on Dec 24, 2013, 12:29 PM)


MonsterMo  (C 111819)

Dec 24, 2013, 12:43 PM
Post #5 of 17 (4234 views)
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Re: [Rover] Non TSO'd gear (SWS Fire) and EU dropzones [In reply to] Can't Post

JerryBaumchen wrote:
Hi Mo,

One additional thing to give consideration to is that the Fire does offer the RAX System MARD.

You can see the RAX here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqxjHOSKTT0

JerryBaumchen

PS) That is my old, no longer valid email address at the end of the video.
Hi Jerry,

I am indeed aware that they offer RAX, or DRD as they call it, and that you and Kelly of VSE were central to the development of the original system.

With regards to that aspect of things however, I think I'd stick with a simple RSL. Whilst I'm not someone who'd order a system without an RSL, I'm also one who'd always pull the left handle regardless. My main concern about RAX (in this country anyway), is the unfamiliarity of the system (and the Fire container for that matter) to riggers over here. In this case, I'd probably err on the side of caution and stick to the KISS principle. By no means is that to be misinterpreted as I don't trust RAX. I think it's an excellent alternative to the Skyhook.

mjosparky wrote:
The Mirage and the Infinity have a proven track record which is something to consider. Whichever rig you do decide on avoid over packing or under packing it. Stay within the manufactures guide lines. They are there for a reason.

If you do some research I dont think you will find a container that will accept a 120 and still fit a 170.

Just some things to think about.

Sparky
Hi Sparky,

I was looking at the Mirage G4 M2 in conjunction with an Optimum 160, which should be fine with a Storm 170 and any ZP 150 and 135 according to the Mirage sizing chart, although I was advised a 120 *may* work as well. Not that it'd be a dealbreaker if it didn't, but I know someone with a Crossfire 120 in an M2.

Rover wrote:
Don't come to New Zealand with a non TSOed rig.
Presuming the rules are different to those of the USPA down there? How about Australia?

Thanks for all the help so far.

Ash :)


RiggerLee

Dec 24, 2013, 2:39 PM
Post #6 of 17 (4175 views)
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Re: [MonsterMo] Non TSO'd gear (SWS Fire) and EU dropzones [In reply to] Can't Post

Why an G4? This is just my opinion but I prefer the G3. I don't like any of the changes that they made between the G3 and the G4. Again this is totally my opinion but I think they let some marketing guy dictate all of the "improvements" made to what was a very good container. Many of the bells and whistles are non functional and some of them are detrimental such as the change to the reserve bag which serves no functional purpose and reduces the volume it may contain. I also do not like some of the changes to the pattern set that they have made to try to offset there errors. I could go on but you get the idea. This is just my opinion but get a G3. It's one of those cases of them getting it right the first time.

Lee


Blis  (C License)

Dec 25, 2013, 12:46 AM
Post #7 of 17 (3961 views)
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Re: [MonsterMo] Non TSO'd gear (SWS Fire) and EU dropzones [In reply to] Can't Post

SWS has a solid track record in europe from what i've heard and I actually know people who have or are going to get SWS rig and i've heard no complaints about them...

Also TSO means nothing in europe so it wont be a problem for jumping...


skytribe  (D 9403)

Dec 25, 2013, 8:28 AM
Post #8 of 17 (3831 views)
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Re: [Blis] Non TSO'd gear (SWS Fire) and EU dropzones [In reply to] Can't Post

No-one I think has doubted SWS as far as quality goes.

The issues with TSO / or not are political ones which while it may be ok to jump in certain places, it may create problems when you travel to other countries.

If TSO didn't mean anything why do you think SWS advertise that there gear is tested to a TSO standard. We know that they can't get a TSO as it stands but I believe it does mean something to buyers.

The sooner PIA along with local agencies get a grip and come up with a set of standards that are acceptable around the world the happier many skydivers will be.


mark  (D 6108)

Dec 25, 2013, 9:43 AM
Post #9 of 17 (3793 views)
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Re: [skytribe] Non TSO'd gear (SWS Fire) and EU dropzones [In reply to] Can't Post

skytribe wrote:
The sooner PIA along with local agencies get a grip and come up with a set of standards that are acceptable around the world the happier many skydivers will be.

Could you say more about what you have in mind?

Thanks,
Mark


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Dec 25, 2013, 2:05 PM
Post #10 of 17 (3707 views)
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Re: [mark] Non TSO'd gear (SWS Fire) and EU dropzones [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Mark,

Quote:
Could you say more about what you have in mind?

I will not speak for skytribe.

I am 100% for the US gov't. getting out of the certification & oversight of parachutes.

Based upon my personal experience, their involvement does not give us better gear. The marketplace does that.

Also, IMO their oversight is zilch. The vast majority of them that work in the various ACO's & MIDO's around the country would not know a ripcord handle from a leg adjuster.

The FAA only stifles innovation & improvement.

Again, from my personal experience, the TSO system here in the US is, in reality, a self-certifying program. Not once does any FAA representative ever come out to watch any of the testing for certification.

I would prefer a self-certifying system where the mfr could select from which TSO standard he builds his gear to. He then would label his gear to the TSO standard that he has selected.

He then would have available:

- All of the test reports from his testing
- All of the drawings that he builds his gear from

I really wish the PIA would take up such an effort.

JerryBaumchen

PS) Hmmm, maybe I can still flag down Santa and get this onto my wish-list. Wink


Deyan  (D 322)

Dec 25, 2013, 2:59 PM
Post #11 of 17 (3675 views)
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Re: [JerryBaumchen] Non TSO'd gear (SWS Fire) and EU dropzones [In reply to] Can't Post

JerryBaumchen wrote:
PS) Hmmm, maybe I can still flag down Santa and get this onto my wish-list. Wink

It's a bit late for that Jerry! Santa has a "flat tire" Tongue

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CX7BJaptphA


mark  (D 6108)

Dec 25, 2013, 3:17 PM
Post #12 of 17 (3662 views)
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Re: [JerryBaumchen] Non TSO'd gear (SWS Fire) and EU dropzones [In reply to] Can't Post

JerryBaumchen wrote:
Based upon my personal experience, [the government's] involvement does not give us better gear. The marketplace does that.

I agree.

Quote:
I am 100% for the US gov't. getting out of the certification & oversight of parachutes.

I disagree. What I value is the FAA's recognition of skydiving as an aeronautical activity. If the FAA got out of the certification and oversight business, we would have all the influence the BASE community has with the National Park Service.

Quote:
From my personal experience, the TSO system here in the US is, in reality, a self-certifying program. Not once does any FAA representative ever come out to watch any of the testing for certification.

This is good, isn't it?

Quote:
I really wish the PIA would take up such an effort.

I'll include the rigging portion on the agenda of the PIA Rigging Committee at the next meeting. The libertarian in me is definitely in favor. As a practical matter, though, we need to have a plausible (and affordable) alternative in mind.

Mark


RiggerLee

Dec 25, 2013, 3:54 PM
Post #13 of 17 (3639 views)
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Re: [Deyan] Non TSO'd gear (SWS Fire) and EU dropzones [In reply to] Can't Post

Ever here the joke about how Gene Bland showed up on Christmas Eve and made Santa go through a bi annual check ride? Santa's doing his preflight check list preparing for take off when he looks over at the right seat and sees Bland closing the breach on a double barrel shot gun, as he says, "You're going to lose one on take off."

Lee


RiggerLee

Dec 25, 2013, 4:28 PM
Post #14 of 17 (3617 views)
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Re: [JerryBaumchen] Non TSO'd gear (SWS Fire) and EU dropzones [In reply to] Can't Post

I have very mixed feelings over this. I've seen self government work and I've seen it fail.

The base industry has actually done fairly well but I think that's because it's a very direct descendent of the FAA controlled rigging and skydiving industry. I don't think it could have started on it's own or even continue to exist if it could not piggy back off of the certified parachute industry.

Let's take another example which nearly failed. Ultra lights. Do any of you remember how fucking scary the early ultra lights were. Even today I've seen some really fucked up, scary, what the hell were they thinking? mistakes. Bad, bad designs. Bad construction. Bad maintenance. All from the lack of proper testing and over sight. About once a year they would all come out of the wood work and we would pack their reserves and inspect their gear. You wouldn't believe the shit I've seen.

I don't buy the idea that it's the market that drives improvement in our gear. The market drives it's evolution but it does not push it to wards true improvement or safety. We've seen the results of market driven design over the last few years. There have to be standards of performance based on function, reliability, and safety. If any thing I think I would like to see more stringent testing requirements and standards because clearly we have at times fallen short.

I'm not sure I would want to see what would happen if the riggers tickets were dissolved or repacks no longer required. I don't think most skydivers are qualified to pack their mains much less their reserves. And I've seen what happens in countries where they do try.

The FAA is with out a doubt a mixed blessing but as much of a pain in the ass as they are I think that we are better off for having had them in our sport.

Lee


MonsterMo  (C 111819)

Dec 25, 2013, 4:50 PM
Post #15 of 17 (3591 views)
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Re: [RiggerLee] Non TSO'd gear (SWS Fire) and EU dropzones [In reply to] Can't Post

This has turned into quite an interesting discussion with lots of good information and suggestions.

Lee, with regards to why the G4 as opposed to the G3? Simply because Mirage has a stock G4 M2 that should fit my small frame (need to confirm with them) and I quite like the look of the container. However, I was considering ordering a custom M2S if the dealer would let me do so at the same price he was offering the stock container. If this is an option, do you suggest the G3 over the G4? I'm still considering the Infinity, even the SWS for that matter (although the waiting time is the highest of the three and this whole malarkey with the lack of TSO).

Bearing in mind that I'm new to the sport and am not knowledgeable as most (any?) of you, apart from PDF, Basik (I think they have a TSO) and TSE, are there any other non-US rigs out there that are TSO'd? I agree with Jerry's earlier sentiments of a self-certifying system. If only it could be as simple as implementing a new international standard that equipment must be made to. The whole TSO system seems like a barrier to entry as far as our Ukrainian friends are concerned.

Hope you've all had a good Christmas. Look forward to hearing back!

Ash :)


(This post was edited by MonsterMo on Dec 25, 2013, 4:51 PM)


RiggerLee

Dec 25, 2013, 5:40 PM
Post #16 of 17 (3572 views)
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Re: [MonsterMo] Non TSO'd gear (SWS Fire) and EU dropzones [In reply to] Can't Post

I do prefer the G3.

You just said small frame? I do like the infinity rigs. I think they have some really nice pattern sets. But be advised, most of their rigs tend towards longer reserve trays and wider thinner rigs. If you are small framed and a young jumper then they might not be the best fit for you. The bulk has to go some where. Mirage tends towards thicker rigs and might fit a small frame better then an infinity for the same size canopies. Deffinantly check the actual dementions of the container length, width, thickness before buying.

Lee


MonsterMo  (C 111819)

Dec 25, 2013, 6:06 PM
Post #17 of 17 (3561 views)
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Re: [RiggerLee] Non TSO'd gear (SWS Fire) and EU dropzones [In reply to] Can't Post

Young and small framed indeed. I was (still am) the lightest person my instructor has jumped with at 5'3" and 122 lbs without gear. I have noticed Mirage at least tend to have some sizes in "short" versions ie M2 and M2S, aimed at smaller jumpers. You wouldn't happen to know if there is indeed a significant difference in fit/comfort between such containers? I know Mirage say so, but wondered if anyone had some first hand experience. If I do go the Mirage route, it might be better to wait a while and get an M2S built to order as opposed to jump on a stock M2.

Thanks

Ash :)



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