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300 way day 5 and 6

 


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Dec 13, 2002, 9:35 AM
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300 way day 5 and 6 Can't Post

Wednesday

The first jump Wednesday was a disaster. We started at 8am, and jumped at 9. The pilots thought they were doing us a favor by taking us to 23,000, but exit temps were -34F and about twenty people had their visors freeze instantly. As you might imagine blundering blind into a 300 way is not that safe, nor is just stopping. Most people dealt with it by ripping off their visors/helmets/goggles - I saw things flying off the formation for the first 20 seconds of the dive. Kate Cooper put her goggles on her forehead, got to her line, then put them back on and docked. I had some freezing, but I popped the front of the lens on my FP1 out a bit and that cleared it up.

Also, -34F is just damn cold. I'll bet there's not a wind chill scale in the world that goes to 120mph wind at -34F.

With all the distraction no one did very well. We also had the skyvan go down just before takeoff, but they managed to swap it for an otter in 8 minutes. Not bad.

The second jump had massive fall rate problems with the base. The base 32 way _can_ set fast fall rates but unless they are reminded they seem to go back to their 'old ways' and fall slow. I could barely stay with it, but the people I was supposed to dock on (and the people they were supposed to dock on) fell out. Billy Weber ended up sliding under me and taking me out. Not even our plane captain or sector captain could stay with it.

The third dive went well, with only a handful of wacker problems, despite a 20 minute ATC delay. I had a scare on breakoff - George pulled and had a PC in tow for a few seconds. He pulled, waited a second, then turned and looked behind him to see what was going on. If looks could kill, his pilot chute would have been dead instantly. This raised the question - if George never got extracted (which was the breakoff key) how long would people wait before taking off on their own? Fortunately it cleared itself and we broke off just a few hundred feet low.

The fourth dive had part of the black base drop out and fly under the blue base, taking out about ten people. Three never made it back, including Dan BC. I sat there and waited for the chaos to subside, which was probably the wrong thing to do, since the white wacker behind me ran into me. It was the usual you-funnelled-me, no-you-did discussion back in the hangar, but since there were more of them than there were of me, they 'won.'

I was pretty depressed Wednesday night, because although I didn't cause the problem I felt like I could have handled it better. On the plus side we had passed a threshold - every sector had done their job at least once, we just all had to do it at the same time.

Thursday morning they announced they were going to make some changes. Tony and Poo walked over to Roger Allen, who I dock next to, and said "Roger, we're gonna have to ask you to sit down, and head over to the alpha team (alternates.)" He was really bummed - he had made only a minor mistake the day before, docking with momentum and swinging the line around.

Then they both walked over to me. Oh shit. "Bill, we're gonna ask you to move further back in the plane again, since we're replacing Roger." Phew. (For those non-RW types out there, being moved further back in the plane is actually a compliment.)

All told they made about two dozen changes, some replacements and some just moving people around. Tony warned us that they were going to cut people for _anything_ from this point on, and matching base fall rate was now more important than pushing up the base fall rate. After I heard that I put a sweatshirt on over my jumpsuit. I'm one of the few people in the base without booties so I had a fallrate disadvantage to begin with, and just sleeves weren't cutting it.

Jack had us wait an hour to let the air at 20,000 feet warm up a bit. We then went up and had an excellent dive, completing to 295 or so. Only the outer wackers weren't complete. We landed all over the desert (again) and ran back to pack, since we were on a very short call for the next load. We packed, dirt dived once and went to the planes, but missed our ATC 'window'. We hovered at 7000 feet hoping for a break but ended up landing with the planes.

The second jump finally happened around 2pm, again a good jump, but with two red wacker people having collisions. One almost took me out. The second one was downright comical, with one red jumpsuit flailing his arms and legs in classic out-of-control AFF level I style. We decided he was going for an "it's not my fault" look.

The third jump happened around 4pm. I was in the plane, just hoping no one got hurt - we had been having problems on the last jump of the day with low-angle sun causing aircraft and approach problems. I exited like normal, flew through the usual obstacle course of people approaching the base, docked on Bruce, and felt Viktor dock on me. I flew there, noticing two things that were unusual. First, I couldn't see any of the opposite wackers. That meant that either they were all missing or were perfectly on level. Second, I was getting a lot of static shocks through my grip on Bruce. I assumed this was because my sweatshirt was flopping around and rubbing against my jumpsuit, but it hadn't happened on the previous dives. I saw George looking around and nodding. That's a good sign.

At breakoff I looked down and had a shock - we had a good spot! This was also a first - I was able to land in the main area in front of the hangar. (It's not my assigned area, but it was the area I could land in without doing a 360 and hosing the pattern.) I landed next to Tony and Julie, which was also cool. Usually I see people I don't know. I was starting to get the feeling that we had gotten it, although I didn't want to believe it yet and get disappointed later when someone had a broken grip. Then the word came through - "Norman Kent said we got it!" He was one of the few people able to see the whole dive from his position beneath it. We all went nuts, running around and hugging each other. There were a lot of tears and a lot of laughing. There were about 200 spectators including a grade school class, and they were all cheering. There was even an announcer saying things like "Let's have a round of applause for these dedicated endurance atheletes!" I wasn't sure when we had gotten promoted to athletes, but hey, I'll take it.

I packed on the grass, just because I could, and we headed back to the hangar to await the official result. I had made a promise to myself not to drink at all until we had gotten it, and so after a short hunt I found a beer and Mark's $50 bottle of tequila. Everyone was celebrating. Mary Pat was wearing her leather victory pants, and Julie was walking around with three cups of alcohol at once. We waited for about an hour while Sherry 'certified' the record, and then we all headed to the bent prop. We saw Guy there, a guy from San Diego who was out just to see the record. He was really jazzed too. We stayed for a long time, then drove back to the hotel playing music very loud on the radio.

And now of course I have a headache. Today we start at noon, putting together a 330 way attempt. I find myself wishing we had a day off to recover, but we promised the alpha team that we'd move on to the bigger attempts with them.


evilivan  (D 100593)

Dec 13, 2002, 10:08 AM
Post #2 of 21 (3022 views)
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Re: [billvon] 300 way day 5 and 6 [In reply to] Can't Post

HUGE congratulations and respect to all of you.
And thanks VERY VERY much for keeping us all posted this week billvon, yours was the coverage I was expecting from 300-way.com (I understand Jan had connection issues).
Thanks again


jhus

Dec 13, 2002, 10:17 AM
Post #3 of 21 (3006 views)
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Re: [billvon] 300 way day 5 and 6 [In reply to] Can't Post

Windchill = 35.74 + .62(T) - 35.75(V^0.16) + .43(T)(V^0.16)
where T = temperature = -34F
and V = wind speed = 120mph

= -94F


And you had people taking off their goggles/ visors... You all are crazy!!!


diverdriver  (D 19012)

Dec 13, 2002, 5:15 PM
Post #4 of 21 (2825 views)
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Re: [jhus] 300 way day 5 and 6 [In reply to] Can't Post

While I don't know the formula, I believe that it is now thought that there is no increase in wind chill after 40mph. The wind has already wisked away all the heat that it can from you. So....any airspeed over 40 makes no decrease in perceived temperature.

Also.....if -34F is a problem why isn't -20F? That's what the temp was ALL the time at 20,000 feet. I think the actual problem came from the low ambient temperature at take off. An object that is heated (goggles, helmets) before takeoff will carry a certain amount of heat with it to altitude before exit. If the object is colder before exit then more moisture will condense on it before exit. Once in freefall, the increased airflow will dry out the air inside the helmet or goggles. I think it is a coincidence that we went higher on that load and a lot of people had problems. During the day, there is almost no temperature change at such high altitudes so the organizers decision to wait for "warmer temps aloft" was a bit of misunderstanding of the problem.

Here's one more picture of the record formation that I had.
Attachments: 300-way formation.JPG (42.2 KB)


Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Dec 14, 2002, 1:50 PM
Post #5 of 21 (2656 views)
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Re: [diverdriver] 300 way day 5 and 6 [In reply to] Can't Post

Simply outstanding........


BikerBabe  (D 18644)

Dec 16, 2002, 9:02 AM
Post #6 of 21 (2489 views)
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Re: [billvon] 300 way day 5 and 6 [In reply to] Can't Post

LOL...they had the announcer every day...it was Duffy from San Diego. What a hoot! I've decided it takes a rare talent to be able to spew constant BS without missing a beat in a velvet-toned voice.

The whuffos were eating it up.

Watching it from the ground...we knew. Seemed like all the participants knew when they landed, too. Everyone was yelling and screaming, and they all were talking about the static electricity (literally) they felt. The formation flyby was cool, too. I'll tell you, the vibe around the DZ was absolutely incredible.

The party later was fun, too!

The grade school class was there for a field trip...they go on one every Thursday, and they kept asking fun jumpers for autographs! I got to sign a few, something I haven't done since my demo days.

(note: did anyone here get to go on weekly field trips as a kid? Did you ever go to the DROP ZONE??? What lucky kids!)

All in all...an incredible experience, even for those who didn't get to participate.


kallend  (D 23151)

Dec 16, 2002, 10:28 AM
Post #7 of 21 (2460 views)
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Re: [diverdriver] 300 way day 5 and 6 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
While I don't know the formula, I believe that it is now thought that there is no increase in wind chill after 40mph. The wind has already wisked away all the heat that it can from you. So....any airspeed over 40 makes no decrease in perceived temperature.

Also.....if -34F is a problem why isn't -20F? That's what the temp was ALL the time at 20,000 feet. I think the actual problem came from the low ambient temperature at take off. An object that is heated (goggles, helmets) before takeoff will carry a certain amount of heat with it to altitude before exit. If the object is colder before exit then more moisture will condense on it before exit. Once in freefall, the increased airflow will dry out the air inside the helmet or goggles. I think it is a coincidence that we went higher on that load and a lot of people had problems. During the day, there is almost no temperature change at such high altitudes so the organizers decision to wait for "warmer temps aloft" was a bit of misunderstanding of the problem.

Here's one more picture of the record formation that I had.


<nerd alert> The wind chill formula has recently been revised by the NWS. You are correct in saying that the windspeed ceases to be a factor once it exceeds a critical value and the new formula takes that into account. Wind chill relates to the rate of heat loss from exposed skin, too. Doesn't effect inanimate objects (like helmets or goggles).

Another issue is that people wear their helmets in the plane at high altitude to (a) keep head warm, and (b) hold oxygen tube in place. This results in the helmet lining becoming moisture saturated, and when you exit you get instant icing as the moisture freezes.</nerd alert>


diverdriver  (D 19012)

Dec 16, 2002, 4:53 PM
Post #8 of 21 (2405 views)
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Re: [kallend] 300 way day 5 and 6 [In reply to] Can't Post

[nerd argument]
Hmmm.....well I know we can debate this one until everyone is crying. It certainly was interesting to have people freezing over on certain jumps and not others. Again, I think this had to do with the low ambient temp at take off and not any decrease in temp at jump altitude since it was always below freezing.

One bit that may help is what happened with ice on the windshields. We had problems with sun and ice on one sunset load. I have plenty of heat going on in 10EA but I froze over too. Luckily I had Kate Cooper in the right seat to pull the side window down so I could see. On subsequent loads we would open the window to try and dry the air out once the ice started to form. After a few more loads I left my side window open about half an inch right from take off. We never had icing problems again. I think this was due to evacuating the humidity all the way up to altitude rather than holding everything in and then trying to dry it all out at once. Not sure what was done on other aircraft but I know we all discussed how to get the moisture out before we built it up.

I also did not see anyone wearing helmets and gogles more or less than any other load than the one with the most freezing problems. Again, I think this had to do with these helmets and gogles being colder than other loads to begin with. When the jumper put them on before jumping there was a greater chance of condensation. Once they hit the cold air outside the moisture froze instead of evaporating. On later loads when the ground temp was higher the helmets were warmer to begin with so were less likely to cause condensation when put on. When the jumper hit the cold air outside there was little or no condesation to freeze and what was there was blown away with the freefall airspeed blowing through the helmet. At best this is only a guess on my part since I didn't go in freefall with them but I do know what was happening with our windshields.

[/nerd argument]


katecooper  (D 7333)

Dec 16, 2002, 5:11 PM
Post #9 of 21 (2390 views)
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Re: [diverdriver] 300 way day 5 and 6 [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey Chris
thanks for being the bestest pilot! I was proud to sit right seat on Jump 2 and look forward to more in the future. I'm back in CA now and it's PISSING down rain. I miss the icy cold but BLUE skies of Eloy.
kate


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Dec 16, 2002, 5:14 PM
Post #10 of 21 (2382 views)
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Re: [diverdriver] 300 way day 5 and 6 [In reply to] Can't Post

>Hmmm.....well I know we can debate this one until everyone is crying.

We would certainly never do that.

>Again, I think this had to do with the low ambient temp at take off
> and not any decrease in temp at jump altitude since it was always
> below freezing.

Well, I think the lower the temperature, the greater the problem. We exhale air at, say, 80% humidity at 85-90F; the lower the temperature is, the more water the air has to unload before it is 'stable' again. That's a lot of hot, moist air to dispose of, especially in the small volume of a helmet visor, across a 124 F temperature differential.

>I also did not see anyone wearing helmets and gogles more or less
> than any other load than the one with the most freezing problems.

Around jump 9 Jack read us the riot act on visors vs goggles and rougly 50% of the people on our aircraft switched out their visors.

> On later loads when the ground temp was higher the helmets were
>warmer to begin with so were less likely to cause condensation when
> put on.

I don't think this is the case. I noticed no difference between the beginning of the week, when I had my helmet on from 12K on, and the end, where I would put it on at 18K. I'm also pretty sure that the helmet temperature was equalized within 5 minutes of getting on the plane. There's not a lot of thermal mass in them.

However, there was a huge difference in how I breathed. When I was able to remember to breathe in through my nose and out my mouth, I had no problems. On the 'bad' dive Tues morning, it took only one breath to fog 75% of my visor, and about 30 seconds of correct breathing to clear it. On other dives, I could take several breaths through my nose before I noticed any fogging at all. (I couldn't always remember to do the nose-in mouth-out thing, since I had other things to worry about.)

I could also fuss with the visor closing. I have an FP1 that I could leave open just a bit, and that solved the problem 100%. It also made it hard to see.

On the last day I switched to goggles and had no problems at all.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Dec 16, 2002, 5:18 PM
Post #11 of 21 (2377 views)
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Re: [katecooper] 300 way day 5 and 6 [In reply to] Can't Post

>I was proud to sit right seat on Jump 2 . . .

Lucky woman. We were banished from the cockpit the entire event, even though we had 23 base sized people in our plane. We had to carefully coordinate everything from putting oxygen on to scratching our heads.


marypatavery

Dec 16, 2002, 5:20 PM
Post #12 of 21 (2373 views)
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Re: [katecooper] 300 way day 5 and 6 [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Kate,
Barbara Duke and I are trying to figure out how to respond. You're our (my - she's still logging in) first attempt. Smile

What an awesome time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
I'm still on cloud 300.


marypatavery

Dec 16, 2002, 5:23 PM
Post #13 of 21 (2370 views)
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Re: [billvon] 300 way day 5 and 6 [In reply to] Can't Post

Bill, this is such an incredible website you have. I was so touched to read all the replies from everyone on the record day. In fact, I printed them out to save them for all time. To pass on to my kids (uh- well- hopefully some day!)

Thank you thank you thank you for doing this. What fun.

Blue skies!!!


katecooper  (D 7333)

Dec 16, 2002, 5:30 PM
Post #14 of 21 (2365 views)
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Re: [billvon] 300 way day 5 and 6 [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, i was very pleased the Chris allowed me to come up front. I know that not all of the Otters did that. What a view! I got to wear a headset also so I hear the communications all the way to the 2 minute call (when I moved back). This really helped make the jump even more special (if possible) for me.
For the record, I wore my freefly helmet (nvertigo) and goggles and only had icing on one of the jumps, the same one most people had problems on. The rest of the jumps were just fine. I brought my full face, but was happy to jump my "regular" helmet instead.
kate


Spy38W

Dec 16, 2002, 5:44 PM
Post #15 of 21 (2351 views)
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Re: [katecooper] 300 way day 5 and 6 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
For the record, I wore my freefly helmet (nvertigo) and goggles and only had icing on one of the jumps, the same one most people had problems on. The rest of the jumps were just fine. I brought my full face, but was happy to jump my "regular" helmet instead.
kate

I thought I remembered reading on the site how everybody had to wear a Go Fast helmet or something, or am I thinking of something else (JFTC maybe?)


Skylovin  (D License)

Dec 16, 2002, 6:13 PM
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Re: [Spy38W] 300 way day 5 and 6 [In reply to] Can't Post

WinkCoolSmile
There were not enough helmets to go around, so GoFast encouraged people to use their own helmet if possible. (I used my own fullface). I myself had the fogging problem on the infamous cold jump, but could see through an inch at the top that remained clear. I opted to keep my visor, and never again had a problem. On the only other early morning jump we did, I kept my visor up until the door opened (a bit of a luxury being in the middle of the lineup and not right at the door). A good blast of the outside air on the inside of my visor, flipped it down and it was good for the jump. As Bill, I also tried to breathe through my mouth and not my nose.

MP


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Dec 16, 2002, 10:19 PM
Post #17 of 21 (2292 views)
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Re: [marypatavery] 300 way day 5 and 6 [In reply to] Can't Post

>Bill, this is such an incredible website you have.

Mary Pat!! Wow, everybody's here.

I would take credit for the website, but it was actually all Sangiro's idea. I just help out with stuff.


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
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Dec 16, 2002, 10:22 PM
Post #18 of 21 (2291 views)
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Re: [Spy38W] 300 way day 5 and 6 [In reply to] Can't Post

>I thought I remembered reading on the site how everybody had
>to wear a Go Fast helmet or something . . .

There were several 'rules' like that, but they became optional as circumstances demanded (not enough helmets, some people got moved without the right color jumpsuit etc.) Ironically one of the most useful things we got were the long sleeve T-shirts - they came in red and white, and were useful out in the wackers when the fall rate slowed down.


Skylovin  (D License)

Dec 17, 2002, 6:29 AM
Post #19 of 21 (2262 views)
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Re: [billvon] 300 way day 5 and 6 [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey Bill, it's me again. (Mary Pat). I just changed my username. So, how do include the part of the person's message that you are replying to?

Do you have any more pics of the line behind you? (You know why I'm asking!!)

MP


Michele  (B 26874)

Dec 17, 2002, 7:04 AM
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Re: [Skylovin] 300 way day 5 and 6 [In reply to] Can't Post

Morning, MP (and all you wonderful 300-way'ers!)

To quote someone's words...if you look directly below the reply box, there will be several buttons. Copy the quote you want to use, click the "quote" button, paste the copy you took, and then click "/quote " again.

It should look like this...

Quote:
So, how do include the part of the person's message that you are replying to?

There are lots of helpful things under the "FAQ," which is located up on the top navigation bar on the right side. Hope this helps!

And huge congratulations to everyone. I mean, really! You ALL RAWK!!

Ciels-
Michele


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
Dec 17, 2002, 8:05 AM
Post #21 of 21 (2224 views)
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Re: [Skylovin] 300 way day 5 and 6 [In reply to] Can't Post

>Do you have any more pics of the line behind you? (You know why I'm asking!!)

I'll look and see if there are any of you.



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