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Mixing manufacturers in your tandem rigs, and manufacturers ratings

 

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skydived19006  (D 19006)

Jul 21, 2004, 9:26 AM
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Mixing manufacturers in your tandem rigs, and manufacturers ratings Can't Post

  I was talking with another DZO about trying an Icarus tandem main. She informed me that since she uses Strong rigs, she couldn’t use anything but Teds canopies. She said that as she understands it we are still “required” to do what the manufacturer requires I order to comply with the FARs. I looked and could find no such “requirement”; I think she’s getting this information form Ted Strong.
Also in the latest S&TA news form USPA, there’s an item regarding the USPA tandem rating being “stand alone”, I take this to mean that we are no longer required to maintain manufacturers ratings at all. We do have to do the initial training according to the manufacturer, but I could find nothing requiring us to maintain a rating with the manufacturer.
BTW I jump Eclipse. Since there is no manufacturer anymore it’s not an issue for me.
I can’t see why people will not eventually migrate away form Strong if they don’t like/agree with Teds policies. Bill Booth does make a damn nice tandem system!


diablopilot  (D License)

Jul 21, 2004, 10:12 AM
Post #2 of 29 (2107 views)
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Re: [skydived19006] Mixing manufacturers in your tandem rigs, and manufacturers ratings [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I can’t see why people will not eventually migrate away form Strong if they don’t like/agree with Teds policies.

I wish it were so, but the school I work for is concerend with liability. So they use only manufacturer specific componats in their two brands of tandem rigs. I would far prefer to be flying the Icarus Tandem main as I think it's the best performing least trouble prone tandem main currently avaliable.

Quote:
Bill Booth does make a damn nice tandem system!

The only one I want to jump anymore!


nightjumps  (D 23385)

Jul 21, 2004, 11:36 AM
Post #3 of 29 (2085 views)
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Re: [skydived19006] Mixing manufacturers in your tandem rigs, and manufacturers ratings [In reply to] Can't Post

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I jump Eclipse. Since there is no manufacturer anymore it’s not an issue for me.

Me too. I was under the impression that SMB had purchased the Stunts Eclipse and was producing about 25 Eclipse rigs per year for explicit use. It would appear they rotate their stock annually as I get a picture and listing of what is for sale.


skydived19006  (D 19006)

Jul 21, 2004, 1:04 PM
Post #4 of 29 (2071 views)
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Re: [nightjumps] Mixing manufacturers in your tandem rigs, and manufacturers ratings [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
I jump Eclipse. Since there is no manufacturer anymore it’s not an issue for me.

Me too. I was under the impression that SMB had purchased the Stunts Eclipse and was producing about 25 Eclipse rigs per year for explicit use. It would appear they rotate their stock annually as I get a picture and listing of what is for sale.

That's news to me. I just did a little looking at the Skydive Monterey Bay site, the contact email address they give is jrbar@aol.com (Jess Rodriguez). I did know that Jess Rodriguez (Regional Director, Pacific Region) was one of the current owners of Stunts Adventure Equipment. I would be interested in picking up another good condition used Eclipse rig. I'll drop him a line, although he's notoriously hard to reach (I hear)


(This post was edited by skydived19006 on Jul 21, 2004, 1:07 PM)


diablopilot  (D License)

Jul 21, 2004, 3:31 PM
Post #5 of 29 (2045 views)
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Re: [nightjumps] Mixing manufacturers in your tandem rigs, and manufacturers ratings [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I was under the impression that SMB had purchased the Stunts Eclipse and was producing about 25 Eclipse rigs per year for explicit use.

Not quite.

Bill Dause of the Parachute Center (Lodi) has bought the leftovers. I believe they built up a stock pile of rigs to last a LONG time, and then tabled the matter. Sound's like a cheep way to keep yourself in gear.


AggieDave  (D License)

Jul 21, 2004, 4:16 PM
Post #6 of 29 (2039 views)
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Re: [diablopilot] Mixing manufacturers in your tandem rigs, and manufacturers ratings [In reply to] Can't Post

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I would far prefer to be flying the Icarus Tandem main as I think it's the best performing least trouble prone tandem main currently avaliable.

I don't agree with you, I prefer the Sigma main, but then again that's why there are choices and I have no problems with the heavier toggle pressure of the Sigma main. We could digress, but I think it would be a battle of opinions.Tongue


diablopilot  (D License)

Jul 21, 2004, 4:30 PM
Post #7 of 29 (2034 views)
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Re: [AggieDave] Mixing manufacturers in your tandem rigs, and manufacturers ratings [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
We could digress, but I think it would be a battle of opinions.

As to flight and performance, yes.

As to durability and longevity, no.

I have witnessed far more damage and failures of Sigma Tandem canopies that I saw with Icarus/Eclipse Tandem canopies.

The Sigma 370's have a weak bridle attachment point, IMO.


(This post was edited by diablopilot on Jul 21, 2004, 4:34 PM)


nightjumps  (D 23385)

Jul 21, 2004, 5:25 PM
Post #8 of 29 (2022 views)
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Re: [diablopilot] Mixing manufacturers in your tandem rigs, and manufacturers ratings [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Not quite.

Bill Dause of the Parachute Center (Lodi) has bought the leftovers. I believe they built up a stock pile of rigs to last a LONG time, and then tabled the matter. Sound's like a cheep way to keep yourself in gear.

Well, what I do know is if I need parts or equipment I call Bill, if I need to renew my rating or other administrative "stuff," I contact Jesse.


nightjumps  (D 23385)

Jul 21, 2004, 5:27 PM
Post #9 of 29 (2021 views)
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Re: [skydived19006] Mixing manufacturers in your tandem rigs, and manufacturers ratings [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I just did a little looking at the Skydive Monterey Bay site, the contact email address they give is jrbar@aol.com (Jess Rodriguez). I did know that Jess Rodriguez (Regional Director, Pacific Region) was one of the current owners of Stunts Adventure Equipment. I would be interested in picking up another good condition used Eclipse rig. I'll drop him a line, although he's notoriously hard to reach (I hear)

PM Sent


Premier LouDiamond  (D 25931)
Moderator
Jul 21, 2004, 7:41 PM
Post #10 of 29 (2010 views)
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Re: [skydived19006] Mixing manufacturers in your tandem rigs, and manufacturers ratings [In reply to] Can't Post

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Also in the latest S&TA news form USPA, there’s an item regarding the USPA tandem rating being “stand alone”, I take this to mean that we are no longer required to maintain manufacturers ratings at all.

What this means is that once you get a USPA TI rating,regardless of the manufacturer and/ or their recommendations/rules, they can't revoke your rating becasue they can't revoke a rating they didn't issue to you in the first place. This will make it easier for those DZ's who want to allow 16 yr olds with notary consent to jump and not have to worry about Tandem masters loosing their "rating"


flypunk  (D License)

Jul 22, 2004, 8:40 AM
Post #11 of 29 (1974 views)
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Re: [LouDiamond] Mixing manufacturers in your tandem rigs, and manufacturers ratings [In reply to] Can't Post

Ok I have a question...

The USPA rating is independent, and manufcturers cannot revoke it, but they can revoke theirs, if they do wouldn't htat be the equivalent of jumping a tandem rig you are not "qualified"/rated for?


Premier LouDiamond  (D 25931)
Moderator
Jul 22, 2004, 11:09 AM
Post #12 of 29 (1952 views)
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Re: [flypunk] Mixing manufacturers in your tandem rigs, and manufacturers ratings [In reply to] Can't Post

It would mean you could have your "factory" rating revoked but as far as the USPA is concerned you would still be a rated TI capable of jumping the system you are trained on.


tspillers  (D 21601)

Jul 23, 2004, 6:51 AM
Post #13 of 29 (1913 views)
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Re: [diablopilot] Mixing manufacturers in your tandem rigs, and manufacturers ratings [In reply to] Can't Post

They have made some changes to the Sigma Canopy Drogue Attachment Point (they even changed the name a bit).

calling Egon.....He should be able to explain....

Todd


tspillers  (D 21601)

Jul 23, 2004, 6:54 AM
Post #14 of 29 (1912 views)
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Re: [flypunk] Mixing manufacturers in your tandem rigs, and manufacturers ratings [In reply to] Can't Post

With Sigma at least, you still have the user agreement. I believe you sign that they can fine you $1000 per incident of breaking that agreement (ie jumping after they revoke a rating, taking and under age student, etc.)

20 or 30 jumps could get really expensive. They have a lawyer on retainer too.

Todd


Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Jul 23, 2004, 7:42 AM
Post #15 of 29 (1904 views)
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Re: [tspillers] Mixing manufacturers in your tandem rigs, and manufacturers ratings [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't see ever replacing a Sigma main with anything other than a Sigma main under normal circumstances, but we have had TWO 370's at Raeford lose their deployment systems because of failure of the bridle attachment point. Both were on brand new rigs.

I would not hesitate to put a better main (like a Firebolt 350 or a Sigma 370 or an Icarus) in an older Vector, Eclipse, or certainly a Strong. There is no reason in the world to be jumping shitty mains these days. The requirement to keep your rigs "all one manufacturer" died when the exemption did.


tspillers  (D 21601)

Jul 23, 2004, 8:15 AM
Post #16 of 29 (1900 views)
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Re: [SkymonkeyONE] Mixing manufacturers in your tandem rigs, and manufacturers ratings [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, my understanding is that RWS doesn't have a problem with you mixing. They do however become less interested in helping you with opening issues when you are mixing items they did not test in their system. That is understandable though. I personally love the Sigma mains. I haven't had a problem (knocking on wood). I don't mind the toggle pressure and I love the openings and get great landings.

Todd


livendive  (D 21415)

Jul 23, 2004, 8:35 AM
Post #17 of 29 (1897 views)
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Re: [SkymonkeyONE] Mixing manufacturers in your tandem rigs, and manufacturers ratings [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I would not hesitate to put a better main (like a Firebolt 350 or a Sigma 370 or an Icarus) in an older Vector, Eclipse, or certainly a Strong. There is no reason in the world to be jumping shitty mains these days. The requirement to keep your rigs "all one manufacturer" died when the exemption did.

Outside of the multiple manufacturers issue, aren't there some TSO problems? e.g. Everyone's talking about how great the Sigma harness is. Would it be legal from a TSO perspective to use it with an older model Vector? What about combining the issues...i.e. using a Sigma harness with an Eclipse rig?

Blues,
Dave


egons  (D 24231)

Jul 23, 2004, 9:50 AM
Post #18 of 29 (1889 views)
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Re: [SkymonkeyONE] Mixing manufacturers in your tandem rigs, and manufacturers ratings [In reply to] Can't Post

Chuck my friend... I appreciate you questioning the two Sigma 370 that had issues with PC attachment points.
The fact is that we are dealing with this - you know how passionate I am about the tandem program and the RWS tandem systems. Most tandem instructors understand that our canopies are built by PD. Why? They are good and have a long standing reputation for building a quility product.... now when I receive the customer complaint the first thing is to evaluate the situation and take it from there. Now a meeting has been had between RWS and PD regarding this and the engineers are working on a fix for out in the field and for canopies on the production floor. Noone is trying to ignore a problem here what so ever.
I will let you in on another situation - we have experienced Drogue Snatch - solution - we have built prototypes and are in a evalution period on these. We must all keep in mind that the gear is constantly improving. If we did not want to improve we woud still be jumping the Vector 2's with the inner tubalar drogue bridle.

Now, in understanding that each and every tandem operator or owner has spent allot of money on their gear... this gear is to make them money and have as little down time as possible. MY job is to ensure that this indeed happens with RWS's tandem program. I have never ignored a problem and have always gone out to find a solution for it, even if it has meant I must get out of the office and physically go and test jump the system a number of times personally!Wink

RWS is commited to building the best and safest system on the market - sales pitch... not! I jump tandem and I want to know that I have the best equipment on my back.

Now there are many canopies out in the market - I have jumped most out there. Am I biased - hell yes of course. I have done thousands of tandem jumps and I am certainly not going to sell a friend of mine a product that is not up to standard. I stand 100% behind the Sigma 370 main canopy and I am sure the sales world wide speak volumes for themselves.

Not every Tandem system is perfect out there... critism is good and I appreciate it and you know what we will look into it and work with it. The Sigma... is it constantly getting looked at from Engineering? Yes! It has been out on the field now for 4 years and by the sales very successfully - we are constantly monitoring wear on the systems and making sure we update construction techniques, etc.

RWS is not afraid of sending out a safety bulletin. I might have gone off the deep end on this one, but basically folks we do not ignore customer issues and certainly Chuck those two instances with the PCA points have been noted and is currently underway for a solution.

Todd Spillers is a DZO with Sigma's - he is a proud DZO to say that he has the safest tandem system on the market, and Todd knows that all he needs to do is phone me if he has a concern.

Chuck you owe me a beer my friendTongue


skydived19006  (D 19006)

Jul 26, 2004, 8:25 AM
Post #19 of 29 (1851 views)
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Re: [egons] Mixing manufacturers in your tandem rigs, and manufacturers ratings [In reply to] Can't Post

  I’m a little DZO out in “fly over country” Kansas, and I don’t own any Vector equipment. That just happens to be an issue of fate more than anything, with regard to my tandem gear, we went with Eclipse a few years ago, and at this point there functioning just fine. I do understand that it can be argued that Eclipse was a Vector knock off (As Bill informed me at WFFC a few years ago). If I had it to do all over again, I would have most likely went with Vector. I did say in my first post that I can’t understand why people wouldn’t migrate away form Strong if they disagree with Teds policies. I do think that the Sigma is the best system ever constructed for the purpose!
The point of this post was that after reading Egons post, I thought he owes me a beer for promoting the Uninsured Relative Workshops equipment; I have no interest in RWS, and am unbiased.
Egon, you can drop by with the beer next time your in or passing through Kansas!

Martin


egons  (D 24231)

Jul 26, 2004, 8:33 AM
Post #20 of 29 (1848 views)
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Re: [skydived19006] Mixing manufacturers in your tandem rigs, and manufacturers ratings [In reply to] Can't Post

Certainly will bring the beer next time I pass by the areaTongue


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Jul 26, 2004, 8:34 AM
Post #21 of 29 (1848 views)
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Re: [SkymonkeyONE] Mixing manufacturers in your tandem rigs, and manufacturers ratings [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with Skymonkeyone on the issue of substituting tandem mains.
Long, long ago, at a DZ far, far away we tried a variety of tandem mains, from a variety of manufacturers in Strong tandems.
In the interest of compatiblity, we only used Strong drogues and d-bags.
All the different mains worked great!
... far better than the Strong F-111 mains we were planning to replace.

On a related note, TK Donle (from the Relative Workshop) told me that we could hang any student harness on the front of a Vector/Sigma tandem rig. But since the Sigma student harness is the best on the market, what is the point?

As for instructor ratings. Americans need to hold BOTH USPA and manufacturer's ratings.
CSPA is in the process of developing a generic TI rating, but Canadian TIs will still need to complete - the last 20% of - their knowledge by making a few jumps with a factory examiner and learning how to pack that specific rig.


matthewcline  (D 21585)

Jul 26, 2004, 8:47 AM
Post #22 of 29 (1844 views)
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Re: [egons] Mixing manufacturers in your tandem rigs, and manufacturers ratings [In reply to] Can't Post

Egon,

Does the RWS track the Golden Knights Tandem Teams jumps? I am talking just numbers. Since I think they may be the largest individual buyer of your product and make maybe the most jumps ayear from your systems they may provide a HUGE amount of enginiering data.

I know that the Knights using your equipment was a large part of our teams decision to but a Sigma. It was also Why I got my USPA T-I and RWS E/I ratings.

Matt


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Jul 26, 2004, 8:52 AM
Post #23 of 29 (1838 views)
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Re: [matthewcline] Mixing manufacturers in your tandem rigs, and manufacturers ratings [In reply to] Can't Post

Maturity is tough to measure.
Requiring a minimum of three years experience helps.
Losing a few friends to accidents, helps, etc.
The three year requirement is based on statistics. Since your average recreational skydiver only lasts about three years and 400 jumps, we do not want to issue them instructor ratings. We are only interested in issuing instructor ratings to people who will stick around for the long haul.

If you carry that logic to the extreme, you end up with BPA policy requiring junior jumpers to spend 8,000 rainy weekends on the DZ before they can earn their A Certificate!
Hee!
Hee!
Hee!
(demented laughter)


egons  (D 24231)

Jul 26, 2004, 9:08 AM
Post #24 of 29 (1829 views)
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Re: [matthewcline] Mixing manufacturers in your tandem rigs, and manufacturers ratings [In reply to] Can't Post

RWS does not track the Golden Knights Tandem Team Jumps. As for being the largest individual buyer out there - mmm, you will be suprised to see how many Sigma's some individuals and dropzones own.
As for Engineering - we constantly get feed back and suggestions from all sorts of individuals including the Golden Knights. This is one of the best things about jumpers who are passionate about a product.
RWS is always striving to improve and make gear safer and without all the input given we would not have the Sigma.
The Golden Knights are a fine example and RWS is extremely proud of the fact they are Loyal Sigma Tandem Jumpers... one person that comes to mind is the late Raff who was a very big supporter of the Sigma.


matthewcline  (D 21585)

Jul 26, 2004, 9:51 AM
Post #25 of 29 (1821 views)
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Re: [egons] Mixing manufacturers in your tandem rigs, and manufacturers ratings [In reply to] Can't Post

Egon,

I probably would be pleasantly suprised, but after all it is an outstanding product and a well enginiered.

Our Sigma now has 150 jumps on it. Not much I know, but it is only used for our teams training and VIP's.

Matt


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