Forums: Skydiving Disciplines: Swooping and Canopy Control:
So I want to swoop...

 

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Quagmirian  (A 110392)

Aug 18, 2012, 5:58 PM
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So I want to swoop... Can't Post

Ok guys, I know you might hate me for posting this, but nevermind. I'm a very recently qualified jumper (I wouldn't even qualify for a USPA A licence), and after trying a few disciplines, I've decided that canopy flight is probably my favourite thing. I've done a bit of formation coached jumps, but I didn't really enjoy them. I can't see myself getting into freeflying either, as it'll be like FS but upside down and more difficult. All my cool peers are banging on about tube exits, hybrids and jumping with some guy called 'Dan BC' (I know, kill me), and I'm not sure if this is what I came into skydiving for. I don't like long plane rides, I love getting out low, and I've enjoyed a little bit of accuracy recently too. Anyway, I think I've decided I want to be the world's best canopy pilot (not necessarily the coolest swooper), and I'm looking for things to occupy myself with the 120 jumps before I can even think about high performance canopy flight. Anything I can work on?

I've got my B licence stuff to sort out, but I should complete that fairly soon. For people familiar with the BPA system, I also need a grade 1 for my C licence, any ideas? As I said before, I was turned off by FS.

As far as equipment goes, I'm on rental kit at the moment, with no rush to downsize. I've jumping 210s for pretty much all my jumps and my favourite was the Triathlon followed by the Spectre.

tl;dr I need stuff to occupy my next 100 or so jumps


(This post was edited by Quagmirian on Aug 18, 2012, 6:24 PM)


dqpacker  (D 32043)

Aug 18, 2012, 6:13 PM
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Re: [Quagmirian] So I want to swooper... [In reply to] Can't Post

best troll ever or the next sangi?


Quagmirian  (A 110392)

Aug 18, 2012, 6:25 PM
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Re: [dqpacker] So I want to swooper... [In reply to] Can't Post

Forgive me for taking canopy control seriously.


dqpacker  (D 32043)

Aug 18, 2012, 6:27 PM
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Re: [Quagmirian] So I want to swooper... [In reply to] Can't Post

next sangi it is!


castrodavidd  (C 33299)

Aug 18, 2012, 7:50 PM
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Re: [dqpacker] So I want to swooper... [In reply to] Can't Post

Where's the like button?


DrewEckhardt  (D 28461)

Aug 18, 2012, 8:08 PM
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Re: [Quagmirian] So I want to swoop... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I don't like long plane rides, I love getting out low, and I've enjoyed a little bit of accuracy recently too. Anyway, I think I've decided I want to be the world's best canopy pilot (not necessarily the coolest swooper), and I'm looking for things to occupy myself with the 120 jumps before I can even think about high performance canopy flight. Anything I can work on?

tl;dr I need stuff to occupy my next 100 or so jumps

There's more to canopy flight than landing fast.

Classic accuracy is its own thing. You could upsize and do that.

Those skills are very useful in a BASE environment where a 5 meter miss means flying into a cliff or trees not landing outside a pea gravel pit. Landing on thedownstream edge of a 10x10' boulder top so you can pull in your pilot chute before it lands in a fast moving river is pretty exciting.

In that sport you can get out really low, as in 100 meters not 1000.


(This post was edited by DrewEckhardt on Aug 18, 2012, 8:39 PM)


excaza  (C License)

Aug 18, 2012, 8:20 PM
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Re: [Quagmirian] So I want to swoop... [In reply to] Can't Post

Take some canopy courses.


AggieDave  (D License)

Aug 18, 2012, 9:02 PM
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Re: [Quagmirian] So I want to swoop... [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm going to take your post seriously and see where it goes.

You can learn to swoop. It isn't hard and it isn't anything 1,000 jumps won't teach you. Sound like a lot? Well, you can probably cut out about 20 of those jumps with some canopy coaching.

First of all, you have to realize that swooping is 100% about learning to fly the canopy you have to the absolute limits of what that canopy is able to achieve. That doesn't mean yoinking on risers or downsizing too quickly, since that is actually the exact opposite of what an accomplished swooper strives for.

Would you rather be on a Katana 120 and be scary or be on a Sabre2 170 and out swoop the assholes on smaller canopies? Personally I would rather be on the big "slow" canopy and out swoop the others. That shows true skill and understanding. Anyone can go fast on a small canopy, not everyone can swoop the piss out of a bigger canopy. Only a real canopy pilot can do that.

A real canopy pilot understands that the landing pattern is the foundation a swoop is built on. With out accuracy in the pattern, a swoop can not happen consistently. Who wants to be the guy who throws an air-ball sunset pond swoop? Not me, that's for sure! I want to be the guy who goes dirt-water-dirt while tossing a ghostrider blindman.

So you can go get coaching on the canopy you have and be the king of your DZ swoopers or you can downsize too quickly and "walk" with a wheelchair the rest of your life (and have a limp dick because of it). Your choice.


BMFin

Aug 19, 2012, 7:20 AM
Post #9 of 88 (8917 views)
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Re: [dqpacker] So I want to swooper... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
best troll ever or the next sangi?

Someone asking for guidance for becoming a better canopy pilot and this is your answer? The next guy is pressing the like button..

What the fuck is wrong with this community.


trigger  (D 101390)

Aug 19, 2012, 12:52 PM
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Re: [Quagmirian] So I want to swoop... [In reply to] Can't Post

See if you can get hold of Chris Lynch. Wingtips CH1, CH2


DocPop  (C License)

Aug 19, 2012, 4:47 PM
Post #11 of 88 (8827 views)
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Re: [BMFin] So I want to swooper... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
best troll ever or the next sangi?

Someone asking for guidance for becoming a better canopy pilot and this is your answer? The next guy is pressing the like button..

What the fuck is wrong with this community.

I agree.

Snide remarks here and "mad skillz" references are adding to the problem IMO, not helping it.

AggieDave, Ian Drennan and a few others are genuinely committed to helping young jumpers progress along the right path, but they are the minority unfortunately.


jdfreefly  (D 24037)

Aug 19, 2012, 6:45 PM
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Re: [AggieDave] So I want to swoop... [In reply to] Can't Post

Good advice from Dave.

In reply to:
A real canopy pilot understands that the landing pattern is the foundation a swoop is built on. With out accuracy in the pattern, a swoop can not happen consistently.

Given the OP's experience level, I think this is where they should be focused for the next 50 jumps. Accuracy in the pattern, not just the final 5 feet, is just so important for a consistent and safe approach.

Dave, maybe expound a bit more on what is meant by accuracy in the pattern?


AggieDave  (D License)

Aug 19, 2012, 7:33 PM
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Re: [jdfreefly] So I want to swoop... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Given the OP's experience level, I think this is where they should be focused for the next 50 jumps. Accuracy in the pattern, not just the final 5 feet, is just so important for a consistent and safe approach.

Dave, maybe expound a bit more on what is meant by accuracy in the pattern?

To swoop safely and accurately you have to make your regular turn to final at the right spot over the ground and within your "window of opportunity." You strive to hit your "golden altitude" for your turn, but more often than not you're just making your window, which is the range of altitudes top and bottom that you can do your standard turn in. When you vary from that, when you miss that window or you miss that spot, that is when you get hurt or killed.

Read on to learn how to start the process to get to that point with your skillset. I'm not going to lie to you, this process takes thousands of jumps to master. The very top pro swoopers are still refining that skill on every training jump because conditions change.

Accuracy in the pattern is three dimensional. It doesn't mean that you hit your altitudes for your turns or you hit your turn way points, it means that you hit your turn way points at the altitudes you planned.

Down the road you will learn how to plan your pattern for wind directions that are different than standard (for setting up on a quartering downwind course, for example) and so you hit your "window of opportunity," but for now we have to build the foundation of knowledge and more importantly the foundation of skill to build to that advanced point.

The first thing to learn is how to set your pattern properly for the skydive you are about to do. You dirt dive your freefall, you must also dirt dive your canopy flight. In fact I would argue that it is MORE important to have a solid plan for your canopy flight, since if you have a plan you can adapt that plan if you need to, if an unknown variable pops up (get cut off in the pattern, the spot it long, etc). If you don't have a plan, then your decision making process is already at least two steps behind, add an unknown variable and you are now relying on luck. I don't want to rely on luck.

There are three things you have to know to plan your pattern: 1. where are you going to land, 2. where (and what altitude are you going to open) and 3. where is the exit spot. To know all of that you have to know what your winds aloft are from the ground to altitude.

If you know those three things then you are simply connecting the dots at the beginning. I'm going to land in the peas, and I'm opening over the north end of the packing hanger with the spot further north on the corner of the airport property. If you know what the ground winds are doing, draw your pattern appropriately. If you know where you are going to open and what the winds at 3k are doing, then you can mark your holding area. If you know where the spot is, then you can mark that as well. Now you have your three vectors and you know that if something is wrong, assuming the wind conditions don't drastically change, you will be along one of those three vectors.

Knowing those vectors you know where your outs are along that path. You know what your pattern should look like, you can slide your pattern over your out. Fly your pattern in your out and you'll be less likely to end up in a fence or tree (or worse, make a panic low turn).

Now that you have your path and you have your pattern, you have your turning way points for your pattern and their altitudes. In the beginning you'll typically have 3 basic patterns that you fly: 1. no wind/light wind, 2. medium wind and 3. your personal wind limit/high winds. By having those basic patterns built, you have the ability to learn how to apply them and then learn how to refine those patterns to make them accurate. If you miss the right altitude to get into your holding area or miss the altitude to hit the downwind waypoint, then you're having to play catch up for the entire pattern. Sometimes you are too far behind to safely get to your initiation point at the right altitude.

Some neat "tips of the trade" that can help you hit your waypoints at the right altitude is understanding your body position and flight configuration and how it effects your canopy flight. Eventually you will find yourself trying to lose or gain altitude in the pattern to make your way point at the right altitude.

You can "gain" altitude by getting your canopy to float the downwind leg. Cleaning up your body position and adding even toggle input will help you conserve altitude to make your base leg way point. If you need to "lose" altitude you can go to full flight and "get big" in the harness to slow your forward speed down. Personally I've found that if I fly my downwind leg in about 1/4 brakes I have the most room to move either direction. If you are already in 1/2 brakes or full flight in your downwind leg, you don't have much more, if any, canopy left to use to gain or lose for your base leg way point.

"Why don't I just sashay back and forth, or cut the corner or extend the corner and crab back on the base leg?"

First of all we're trying to have the least effect as possible on our canopy's recovery process. Every input, however minor effects your canopy's flight. On a big canopy loaded at .75:1 you may not be able to detect that change. On a small canopy loaded north of 2.5:1 it can be exceptionally obvious. So doing rocking movements, s-turns or other variations means that you're now causing the pendulum of your body to swing back and forth. Your canopy is going to have to go through the recovery process to re-achieve neutral flight. You can make adjustments to quicken that process, but you still have to lose energy to make that happen. The energy loss on your downwind leg may not be all that important for your turn to final, but it will create a problem for your accuracy coming into your base leg and hitting the way point for your turn to final.

Furthermore, erratic movements in the pattern is not safe nor courteous canopy flight. You can cause a canopy collision, even if it isn't you and another jumper, the jumper 4-jumpers behind you in the "school of fish" coming in for landing may not have the time or ability to react to the others having to react to you.

Eventually, when you're on a heavily loaded swoop monster you'll try to keep your movements in the pattern as small as possible, flying with more of a flat turn between your way points so you can retain and carry as much energy into your turn to final as possible.

If you plan your landing and fly your plan (assuming it is safe to do so) and you fail to land accurately, then you have a base plan to modify to make your next jump more accurate. So if you landed 40ft long, you can slide your whole pattern back 40ft and on the next jump it should be a more accurate landing. If you don't plan your pattern and fly your plan then you are really just throwing darts at the dartboard, you will never be able to refine your flying to make the landing accurate or your pattern accurate.

If you never make your landing point accurate and you never make your pattern accurate, then you will never be able to consistently swoop. Learning this process after you downsize makes it harder and it takes more jumps. If you learn these skills now, before you downsize, then the transition period to your new canopy will be shorter.


To make that all happen you need to learn about stalls, toggle stalls, rear riser stalls, the accuracy trick/magic spot, body position under canopy and how it effects your flight, flat turns, spotting...and well, there are many more, but this is a start.

Print off an aerial photo of your DZ from Google and get it laminated. Buy a dry erase marker and put it in your gear bag. Now you have your pattern planner tools with you so you actually do it.


dqpacker  (D 32043)

Aug 19, 2012, 8:07 PM
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Re: [BMFin] So I want to swooper... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
best troll ever or the next sangi?

Someone asking for guidance for becoming a better canopy pilot and this is your answer? The next guy is pressing the like button..

What the fuck is wrong with this community.

the Dropzone.com community. everything. the real skydiving community. a few things.


DocPop  (C License)

Aug 19, 2012, 11:09 PM
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Re: [AggieDave] So I want to swoop... [In reply to] Can't Post

AggieDave - awesome post.

Thankyou. This post alone should be a sticky. A reference guide for anyone setting out on this path.

I know that for me flying the pattern is my biggest challenge. If I can hit my IP at, or close to, where I want to, then the turn becomes much easier and in turn much more powerful.


Premier faulknerwn  (D 17441)
Moderator
Aug 20, 2012, 9:48 AM
Post #16 of 88 (8629 views)
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Re: [Quagmirian] So I want to swoop... [In reply to] Can't Post

You might look into doing crw too. It's all about flying your parachute but with friends :). England has some good crwdogs for sure.


EFS4LIFE  (D 31885)

Aug 21, 2012, 6:02 AM
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Re: [AggieDave] So I want to swoop... [In reply to] Can't Post

Awesome post Dave!!!

To the OP some on here are going to give you shit because of your lack of experience. Some are doing it, because they have seen the blood and guts first hand. They have seen friends die or end up crippled. Swooping is dangerous.

And some are just assholes and take every oppurtunity to display it online....

As DocPop stated Dave and Ian are some of the few that take to heart helping younger guys do it right. The key is RIGHT.

I am not qualified to give you specific advice in swooping. What I will say is take it slow and get coaching. Coaching really is worth its weight in gold so to speak. Just makes sure your "coaching" is from a qualified sorce, like a proven competive canopy pilot, not just some guy from your dz.

Dave is spot on when he tells you it will take thousands of jumps. If it is something you want to pursue one thing I know is you will pursue it anyway. Just make sure you pursue your goals the right way. Get coaching and take it SLOW.

I would highly recommend you search for Sangi in the incidents forum. Watch the links to his videos. After that, drill in to your head that if I take it too fast this WILL happen to me!

You COULD have the skill within you to be the best. I don't know you and have no idea. In fact, with your level of experience no one knows yet. Nick Batsh came from my area. When he was starting off everyone thought he was nuts and going to kill himself. Now look at him. Unarguably one of the best, in my opinion he is the best, but I am a "homer" lol. You will never find out if you can dethrone the best if you break yourself before your time.

The skills Dave described for the pattern are essential before ever getting to turns. You can't build a skyscraper without a strong foundation. It will just come crashing down, like Sangi. Seriously go watch, and yes it CAN happen to you. Be sure to read the descriptions too.

http://youtu.be/tF578oSkrKk

http://youtu.be/9YZHpdtQVMw


Fast  (D 28237)

Aug 21, 2012, 8:50 AM
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Re: [Quagmirian] So I want to swoop... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
...

I don't like long plane rides, I love getting out low, and I've enjoyed a little bit of accuracy recently too.

...

I'm looking for things to occupy myself with the 120 jumps before I can even think about high performance canopy flight. Anything I can work on?

...

tl;dr I need stuff to occupy my next 100 or so jumps

Couple more things to think about. Riding the plane to altitude and doing a hop and pop from there is more flight time for less pack jobs and in most places, it's more efficient flight time to money.

You're going to learn the most about how the parachute works if you have people to fly around with so find a friend that likes doing hop and pops (Wendy mentioned CRW, yeah... that stuff Smile... but it can also just be flying around relative.) That's gonna help you learn a bunch about how the canopy works and you still get to land it.

Swooping, like a few other disciplines doesn't have a method for "cheating" (wind tunnel) your way to advanced skills quickly. You just have to get out there and make the skydives.

I just want to second what Dave said, don't expect to be very good at this till you have another 1000 jumps. For me, swooping was something I have learned along the way as I enjoyed the other aspects of the sport, but that doesn't mean it has to be that way. Just don't get it in your mind that you can do it quickly, it just plain takes awhile to build the kind of experience you need. So if you want to do it, just commit yourself to that up front and have realistic expectations.

It's not about occupying jumps, canopy control starts now. There has already been a great post on stuff to work on, and I second them with saying the idea is being able to safely land wherever you want, anytime, in any conditions with a very high level of consistency.



edit to add: People acting like jerks is what's wrong with the world and it hurts this sport, jumping the gun and assuming everyone is a troll is a really crappy attitude.


(This post was edited by Fast on Aug 21, 2012, 8:51 AM)


Quagmirian  (A 110392)

Aug 21, 2012, 9:18 AM
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Re: [Fast] So I want to swoop... [In reply to] Can't Post

>Just don't get it in your mind that you can do it quickly, it just plain takes awhile to build the kind of experience you need.

>experience

If you'll excuse my French, I really fucking hate that word. It's a word that doesn't really mean anything. It's just a word that's used to patronise newer jumpers in my opinion. Please don't tell me or anyone else that I need more 'experience' or 'x amount of jump numbers' to start swooping. Don't get me wrong, I admire your wisdom and your input.

Edit: Thanks to everybody in this thread for the advice by the way. Smile


(This post was edited by Quagmirian on Aug 21, 2012, 9:19 AM)


missbrz  (B License)

Aug 21, 2012, 9:27 AM
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Re: [Quagmirian] So I want to swoop... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
>Just don't get it in your mind that you can do it quickly, it just plain takes awhile to build the kind of experience you need.

>experience

If you'll excuse my French, I really fucking hate that word. It's a word that doesn't really mean anything. It's just a word that's used to patronise newer jumpers in my opinion. Please don't tell me or anyone else that I need more 'experience' or 'x amount of jump numbers' to start swooping. Don't get me wrong, I admire your wisdom and your input.

Edit: Thanks to everybody in this thread for the advice by the way. Smile

No it's really really not. Just like you wouldn't expect a brand new ice skater to be able to do a triple axle nor would you suggest them to even try one. You have to learn how to perfectly skate before even trying a jump. And then start with small jumps and turns before learning how to do the big ones. Same goes for flying a canopy. You need to learn how to do the little things perfectly before even trying the big things.


I really hope you listen the the great advice already listed in this thread to help you get to your goals safely.


davelepka  (D 21448)

Aug 21, 2012, 9:33 AM
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Re: [Quagmirian] So I want to swoop... [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
If you'll excuse my French, I really fucking hate that word. It's a word that doesn't really mean anything. It's just a word that's used to patronise newer jumpers in my opinion. Please don't tell me or anyone else that I need more 'experience' or 'x amount of jump numbers' to start swooping.

Ok, so think back to the first time you drove a car, how did that go? We're you able to keep it between the lines, play with the radio and talk on the phone at the same time? I know I couldn't when I was 16, but I can't count the number of times I did just that yesterday without incident. Think 20 years of dirving experience has anything to do with that?

How about the first time you fucked a chick, how was that? I'll admit that my fist time was pretty pathetic, and am I'm not sure either one of us really had a great time. Again, more recently I can report different results, with the young lady having several good times followed by myself doing the same. Wonder what changed between then and now?

Truth be told, this last post of yours just made you sound like a douche, and probably lost any ounce of good will you had with anyone here.

How arrogant of you to make such a judgement about jump experience when you have no idea what it's like to have said experience. How can you claim to know the importance (or lack thereof) of experience when you yourself have none? That's like claiming that choclate ice cream is better than vanilla ice cream when you have only tried chocolate.

However, in this case, the risk is not a mouthful of ice cream you might not like, it's the possible loss of your independent mobility or your life.

So you don't need experience, and I guess you also don't need the advice of experienced people. Have at it sport, and keep the GoPro rolling so we can all see how awesome you are (or whatever the reality of the case may be).


phoenixlpr  (D 3049)

Aug 21, 2012, 9:43 AM
Post #22 of 88 (8399 views)
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Re: [Fast] So I want to swoop... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Swooping, like a few other disciplines doesn't have a method for "cheating" (wind tunnel) your way to advanced skills quickly. You just have to get out there and make the skydives.

Do you consider ground launch as cheating for swoop? You can have a landing without a jump.Wink


davelepka  (D 21448)

Aug 21, 2012, 9:52 AM
Post #23 of 88 (8380 views)
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Re: [phoenixlpr] So I want to swoop... [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Do you consider ground launch as cheating for swoop? You can have a landing without a jump

That's true, but you typically don't get to fly the same set-up and approach as you would with a swoop performed out of an airplane.

Dedicated GL canopies are also not trimmed as steep as swooping canopies, so that would be another difference.

That said, if you had a launch point where you could launch a skydiving canopy, and then fly it to 800/1000ft over the LZ for a swoop, that would be effective swoop practice without a skydive. Even then, it's not a 'cheat' like windtunnel where you can get much more practice per session than you can per jump, even with a GL swoop, it's still only one landing at a time.


EFS4LIFE  (D 31885)

Aug 21, 2012, 10:00 AM
Post #24 of 88 (8372 views)
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Re: [davelepka] So I want to swoop... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Quote:
How about the first time you fucked a chick, how was that?

+1,000,000

Laugh


buff  (D 30567)

Aug 21, 2012, 10:07 AM
Post #25 of 88 (8367 views)
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Re: [Quagmirian] So I want to swoop... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
>Just don't get it in your mind that you can do it quickly, it just plain takes awhile to build the kind of experience you need.

>experience

If you'll excuse my French, I really fucking hate that word. It's a word that doesn't really mean anything. It's just a word that's used to patronise newer jumpers in my opinion. Please don't tell me or anyone else that I need more 'experience' or 'x amount of jump numbers' to start swooping. Don't get me wrong, I admire your wisdom and your input.

Edit: Thanks to everybody in this thread for the advice by the way. Smile

Wow! Shocked
Pulled off the condescending post in most French fashion. No pardon granted dude as your attitude is already in the corner and really is not welcome as it just will get you or someone else hurt or killed.


Can I have number 133 pleaseUnsure


(This post was edited by buff on Aug 21, 2012, 10:28 AM)


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