Another Mirage Homerun
Review by: dinog3, 2003-10-14
I’ve been asked to do a review of the latest student skydiving assembly on the market- the “RTS”. The basis for this rig is the very popular Mirage G-3, a perennial best-seller, with the addition of all of the specialized goodies that an Instructor, school operator or rigger could care to have in one rig to fit the needs of all of their students.
By this time, most instructors understand that ‘one size fits all’ just isn’t true, especially when we consider the smaller skydiving student. Many operations these days have acquired one or more small student rigs, either custom-built (and sized) or modified from experienced jumper’s equipment. The effect of a maladjusted or ill-fitting rig, especially on freefall students, may be not merely an annoyance, but totally disruptive and potentially even catastrophic in the worst case scenario. There are features of the “RTS” that address this problem.
Over the passing years, skydivers have tended to view a bellyband as an anachronism and an unnecessary appurtenance. Not so in this application……..the “RTS” features a removable bellyband, which pulls the rig tighter into the smaller student’s back, and helps to ensure that the containers move with the student’s body, not contrary to it. For larger students, the bellyband may be laid aside.
Another useful touch is a carrying handle at the top of the yoke- quite handy, especially when moving several rigs about. Just below that is the clear cover pocket for the A.A.D. control unit mount (Cypres, Cypres 2 or Vigil) and a clear window on the reserve protector flap permits easy inspection of the rig’s reserve closing loop, reserve ripcord pin and seal, thus minimizing wear and tear from constantly being opened and closed. Having such components both accessible, as well as visible, is a point of reassurance for the instructor, particularly when performing the in-aircraft pre-exit equipment inspection of a student skydiver. The reserve’s packing data card pocket is also transparent- quick to check to ensure that the card’s not gone bye bye. A spare reserve flap ‘window’ is also thoughtfully provided, as this is a common wear and damage point.
Lots of manufacturers make loud claims of ‘rigger friendliness’- this claim seems accurate. The reserve and main protector flaps and tuck tabs are designed for relatively painless replacement, as are the telescoping legs pad covers (it’s good to be comfortable!). The attachment points for the main side flaps will prove much less of a chore than many other rigs when their replacement is required.
There’s a selection of main deployment options- ripcord or BOC pouch standard and a BOC with a reserve side pouch release handle or ripcord deployment with a reserve side handle as options.
The base price is $1450.00 U.S., which is quite competitive these days.
RTS? Whatever. Maybe they’ll have a contest……………