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Gear

    Leadership change at Aerodyne

    Newarc AS announces the following changes to Aerodyne Research effective 12 May, 2008. Bill Legard has been appointed President and CEO of Aerodyne Research, manufacturer of the Icon container system, Smart reserve, and an array of cutting edge main canopies.
    Mr Legard has extensive management experience in Fortune 500 companies, leading business units with sales from $20 to $250 million. He holds a BA in Economics, and an MBA in Finance, both from the College of William and Mary in Virginia. Bill has also been an active skydiver and competitor for many years, with regional and national medals and several world records in freefall relative work.
    Under Mr Legard's leadership, the Aerodyne group will continue to bring innovative products and services to forefront of the parachute industry. Aerodyne is committed to continue to grow its business globally.
    Mr. Edward Anderson, who had served as President and CEO, has announced his resignation. He will be working with Mr Legard to assure a smooth transition of leadership and to ensure that our customers, distributors, and suppliers continue to receive quality support and service.
    Ole Petter Hjelle, Chairman of Newarc AS.
    (Dr. Hjelle is chairman of the Norwegian holding company that owns Aerodyne Research, and captain of the Norwegian 4-way team Arcteryx.)

    By admin, in Gear,

    Atair's EXO-Wing, the World's Smallest Human-Piloted Jet

    Atair Aerospace (Atair) was chosen by the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art to display two of its real-world innovations alongside high-profile superhero collections from Hollywood and the fashion industry. The Met exhibit includes Atair's EXO-WingTM, the world's smallest human-piloted jet airplane.
    Brooklyn, N.Y. May 14, 2008 -- Atair Aerospace (Atair) was chosen by the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art to display two of its real-world innovations alongside high-profile superhero collections from Hollywood and the fashion industry. The Met exhibit includes Atair's EXO-Wing™, the world's smallest human-piloted jet airplane. Exoskeletons for increasing human capabilities were once the subject of fictional comic book writers; now it has become real technology to enable human flight. This futuristic aircraft is constructed from advanced aerospace composite materials. The twin micro-turbine-powered EXO-WingTM is so small and lightweight that a human wears it like a backpack.
    The Met is also displaying Atair's AeroSuitTM, an engineered bat-like flexible wing suit constructed with advanced composite textiles. This high-technology garment allows a skydiver to glide to a target miles away from the drop point. The arms and legs of this garment include inflating webbed panels that form the elements of a wing which dramatically improves the aerodynamics of a skydiver, providing a safe and extraordinary flight experience. Both innovations are made from a new generation of composite textiles pioneered by Atair which are engineered to perform under extreme conditions.
    "I am a born and bred New Yorker and the Metropolitan Museum is one of the city's greatest assets," said Dan Preston, the CTO and Founder of Atair. "I am honored to be included in this exhibition and I am fascinated at seeing a parallel between fictional superheroes and the real technology we are developing." Although Atair has developed similar advanced products for its military clients, it declined to comment when asked for further details on its government projects.
    The exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art features approximately 70 ensembles including movie costumes, avant-garde haute couture, and high performance sportswear to reveal how the superhero serves as the ultimate metaphor for the ability to transform the human body. The exhibition will run from May 7 through September 1, 2008.
    Headquartered in Brooklyn, N.Y., Atair Aerospace (Atair) is a high-technology prime defense contractor dedicated to modernizing military and government logistics by creatively solving complex aerospace and engineering problems that integrate the state-of-the-art in parachute designs, and guidance, navigation and control (GN&C;) systems. Atair's inventive products include the Onyx™ precision-guided parachute system, the Long Endurance Autonomous Powered ParagliderTM (LEAPPTM) UAV, the CircinusTM GPS-Integrated Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), the Heli-ChuteTM, and 3DZTM Composite Parachute Technology. Atair's pioneering spirit and creative approach to research and development has resulted in contracts with the U.S. Army, DARPA, NASA, NRL, NSW, the Government of Israel, and many large defense contractors.
    For more information, contact Rick Zaccari at or visit the Atair Aerospace website at www.atairaerospace.com.
    Note: Atair's claim to having the "World's Smallest Human-Piloted Jet" may be questioned by the people at Birdman. Check out our article about the "First jet powered Birdman flight" ~ Ed

    By admin, in Gear,

    Strong Saves Small Irish Dropzone

    Imagine as a Dropzone Operator waking up at 7:30am on a sunny summer morning to discover that the dropzone has been broken into by thieves in the middle of the night and that all your student equipment is gone!
    On the morning of June 1st, 2007 Skydive Ireland received a serious blow when all of our student equipment was stolen in the middle of the night by thieves leaving us grounded and unable to take our customers skydiving. All of our Solo Student rigs and all of our Tandem equipment was gone just like that without trace leaving us completely disabled with very little options. I mean let's face it, in our industry the option of taking a trip to the local adventure store to replace your stolen parachute equipment just simply does not exist. Irish winters are really long and here we are having just arrived at the peak season of summer with the sun shining and an empty gear room with no manufacturers nearby and no friendly dropzone to offer assistance in our time of need, it is well and truly at that point you say to yourself…. We're F**ked!
    This is the type of scenario you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy and this disaster threatened the DZ's very existence since we were a new DZ and only a few months old at the time. We tried to remain composed and think of a clear plan of action to recover from this situation with our first instinct to go on the search for our brand new equipment that was lifted in the wee twilight hours of a summer's morning. The police were dispatched but the real truth of the matter was that the equipment was gone and our worst fear was that this was a specifically targeted job since no other valuable equipment was stolen. Whoever did it knew what they were coming for. There were mixed feeling as we found it difficult to believe another Skydiver could possibly be behind this hit. We figured if it was regular thieves that they would have found more value in expensive wide screen televisions and other similar types of equipment that would sell very easily on the street. With only two skydiving centers in Ireland who were these people planning on selling stolen student parachute equipment to?
    Having come to terms with the mornings events and dealing with the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach I knew that we had to figure a solution fast and turned to the Skydiving Industry for support. What I suppose was the standard thing to do I did and that was to call the manufactures of the brand new equipment and surely they would be willing to use their resources to rescue us. The Tandem rigs we had were Paratec Next Tandem since we are based in Europe I figured it best to deal more locally for my Tandem gear. So calls were made to Paratec and the situation explained and the consequences of what would happen to us were easily understood. In naive hope I never thought that there would be an issue of support but I was greatly disappointed beyond words to be told by Paratec that there is no equipment they could dispatch to us to assist their customer and fellow skydivers recover this emergency and that they cannot part with their one and only Tandem Demo rig. I wasn't impressed.
    A cold chill rand down my back with the shocking realization that we were now isolated from other Tandem Equipment Manufacturers who were now all based several thousand miles away and now in the month of June the parachute manufacturing industry was in peak demand with typical 12-14 week delivery schedules. I hurried to dropzone.com in desperate search of some used Tandem Equipment in the classifieds but there was nothing there that was suitable or easily accessible. The other dilemma of course was that all of my Tandem Instructors were rated under the Vector Tandem program so we didn't exactly have the option of just going with any Tandem rig that was available. I'm sure you can start to appreciate the nightmare situation we were now facing and running out of options.
    It was time to revert back to the manufacturers and try to plead for their understanding to help them understand how serious this situation had escalated. I mean seriously, does it get much worse than this?
    I made the best move as a dropzone owner that I have done to date. I picked up the phone and called Strong Enterprises based in Orlando Florida. I was greeted by a very friendly Sales Manager named John Makoski who immediately begin to work a plan to dispatch replacement equipment without delay to get us back in the air. I mean this guy dropped everything he was doing and put Skydive Ireland on his highest priority and he just couldn't believe that something like this happened to us. It was due to his concerned response to our situation and seeing lighting speed response to getting this situation under control that I was finally able to regroup and feel the weight of a thousand elephants lift right off my shoulders. Here was a manufacturer who I had never bought a single piece of equipment from or never benefitted their business in any way begin to treat my small company like I was their biggest client.
    Within a few hours John had gotten approval from Mr. Ted Strong who everybody knows is the owner of Strong Enterprises and was authorized to immediately dispatch 6 Dual Hawk Tandem Systems from their large inventory of stock and make the arrangements to get them to Ireland without delay. I couldn't believe it! This was incredible and I just couldn't express how grateful I was to be picked up in the hand of this Parachute Manufacturing Giant and begin to feel that everything was going to be alright.
    Then suddenly I had an anti climax when I realized that none of my Tandem Instructors were certified to use the Dual Hawk Tandem. With this piercing feeling in my brain another whole began to bore deep when I thought to myself that perhaps this company might take advantage of me and demand a higher than normal sale price since I didn't have any other choice and finally I began to wonder how am I going to afford 6 new Tandem Systems in light of our break in and something I haven't mentioned yet was that our stolen equipment was not even insured. This is not good.
    So now I am wondering how this is going to pan out and that I still have to get 6 Tandem Rigs each weighing about 65 lbs to Ireland as fast as possible and at a price I could afford and then find someone who could just fire up a Dual Hawk Instructors Course to get us rated to use the equipment. This is when Mr. Tom Noonan, Strong's Tandem Course Director was introduced to me and in a friendly and supportive voice over the phone said that he had taken the initiative and booked flights direct to Ireland and will personally deliver the equipment and spend the time here to qualify all of my Instructors on the Dual Hawk Tandem and that they will provide the new equipment to me at a hugely discounted price and that they will allow a few months for me to be able to pay for the vast majority of it all!
    If any of you reading this has ever experienced an immense rush of extreme and unquantifiable feeling of gratitude, relief followed by a dash of excitement and an overflow of amazement at this level of concern and support it was actually quite hard to digest and realize that these guys were willing to do all of this for me. What an incredible level of customer focused service. This is mind blowing stuff and every Dropzone Operator should be seriously paying attention to this. I can honestly say that this is something I have never heard of another manufacturer do in this type of situation in my 13 years of Skydiving. Lets be honest and say that this was a huge risk for Strong in that what if I went bust because of this situation and was not in a position to repay them for their equipment and I had it in Ireland. But they weren't one bit concerned about this and only cared about getting my little DZ back up and running and the deal Tom made with me was that I would have to buy him a few pints of the black stuff in an authentic Irish pub. That was an easy deal to agree I can tell ya!
    It wasn't long before I was at Shannon Airport shaking hands with the man who flew through the night across the broad Atlantic loaded with Parachute Equipment for delivery and to provide immediate expert training and certification on the Dual Hawks to get us back in the action. This was now all starting to feel very surreal. With his surname being Noonan and being from Boston it was evident Tom was from Irish descent and had always looked forward to visiting his ancestors home. As we sat in a typical Irish Country style pub with symbols of the old Irish culture and harder times of the past it was about 7:30am it was time to start cashing in on our deal. So I ordered a few pints of the black stuff and Tom, Darren and myself toasted to a new chapter and to recovering Skydive Ireland and feasted on a full Irish Breakfast till we were as fat as cows.
    Now beginning to show signs of a long night spent travelling and with a fully loaded belly and a nice few pints of Guinness we headed back to my house so Tom could refresh and get some sleep. Darren and I unloaded the car and all our new gear was in black gear bags and it felt really good holding Dual Hawk Tandem Parachute Systems in my arms and feeling like everything is getting back on track. I don't think I will ever be able to explain the feeling accurately enough so I won't even try or I'll end up just babbling. So with Tom now out for the count I was anxious to try on our brand new Dual Hawks so we pulled out two of them and immediately begin to start dissecting the rig to discover it's features and to see how it feels. As a certified parachute rigger for more the n10 years I immediately begin to admire the workmanship of this parachute system and to examine its components which at first glance had me realize this was not just another Tandem System. With features such as the dual loop main canopy closure to prevent a nasty horse-shoe and the anti-line dump line stows. Even the fine detail of the position of the RSL to deal with a possible riser breakage to avoid a premature reserve deployment. I really liked the feature of the Master 400 sqft Reserve canopy which is comforting to know this canopy is thoroughly designed to meet the most demanding Tandem nightmare. One of the really exciting things about it was that they were all equipped with the brand new development from Strong which is the superb all ZP material SET 366 Main Tandem Canopy configured with Single Brake setup. I was not getting really buzzed about flying this new toy.
    It was obvious that this rig was built for Tandem Skydiving from the ground up and was rugged to last the test if time. We now had a serious set of kit that made our stolen Tandem Systems look like plain old modified sports rigs. I couldn't get over the size of the Drogue and what I immediately liked was the simplicity of the main and reserve deployment sequences. On our other Tandem Systems there seemed to be a confusing amount of handles which offered a great risk of causing the Instructor confusion in a high stress situation. I had always thought the more handles the better because of more options but then thought that simple is better given the statistics that ALL Tandem Fatalities were due to Instructor error. I was now keen to complete the Strong Tandem Instructor Candidate Course which for us would be the cross over from another Tandem Rating so it meant less jumps to become certified on the Dual Hawk then if we were starting out as new Instructors.
    Later that day when Tom arose from the dead we made a plan to get going the next day with the Course Material and waste no time in getting it completed. Throughout the course I found Tom Noonan to be an excellent Examiner to work with and what was most apparent was that not a single ounce of ego was present in his natural ability to make a person feel comfortable and help us understand the functions of the Dual Hawk and was patient with all of our questions and comparisons and scenarios with the what we had been used to jumping and now getting excited about jumping the Dual Hawk. I was anxious to feel what freefall will be like with the position of the Drogue attachment at the base of the Reserve Tray unlike the Vector 2 style system which gives a really nice position in freefall and makes for an excellent Student freefall position for the Video and Photos. I can honestly say from going as passenger that the Student Harness is the most comfortable out of all the harnesses which makes for some very happy customers. Tom did an excellent job at completing the course qualifying myself and my Instructors. He worked very hard and was very committed to his very high standard of safety and awareness and we all learned a lot of valuable skills and information from him. He is a true professional and loves what he does and I was glad that with his proud Irish heritage he was able to visit Ireland and Skydive at my DZ with beautiful views of lakes and mountains Tom became attached to the place and has since returned again to Ireland to spend time with us doing further training to qualify a Strong Tandem Examiner to make us more self sufficient.
    Tom has become a great friend and I will always be grateful for what Strong Enterprises did for my dropzone. Without them we were well and truly hammered. I could spend a few paragraphs telling you what I thought about the other manufacturers lack of support in our time of need but it would just simple take aware from the value of this story but what I will advise from our experience is that when choosing your equipment especially when you're living depends on it is imperative you choose a manufacturer who can back you up when the shit hits the fan. I have only good things to say about the Dual Hawk and with almost a year of full time jumping the Dual Hawk and sweet soft opening of the new SET 366 and zero cutaways I can only say you will look long and hard for a Tandem System of this caliber. Once you see past the fluff of the other Tandem systems with other manufacturers competing to be the most inventive it stands to this day that the Dual Hawk is the most proven Tandem system in the world and was designed by a great man who was the true pioneer of Tandem Skydiving, Mr. Ted Strong.
    Thank you all the Team at Strong Enterprises in Orlando Florida. You saved our bacon and have been a huge source of support and inspiration to my dropzone and you are to be applauded for your concern and the dropzone rescue operation you handles so professionally and I hope one day I can repay you.
    I am glad to report that some of our stolen parachute equipment surfaced in Eastern Europe in the country of Lituania which we were able to retrieve. The gear had been in use at a Skydiving Center and when I discovered this I made contact with the Dropzone to inform them they were using stolen Parachute Equipment. Investigations are pending to source that carried out this terrible crime and to ensure they do not do it to another dropzone again.
    Blue Skies,

    David Byrnes

    DZO - Skydive Ireland

    www.skydiveireland.ie

    By admin, in Gear,

    The Tonfly Camera Converter

    Action sports camera helmets are more than just protective gear that hold a camera, they're tools of the sports trade and action videographer. Just any old helmet can be used to hold a camera, and many videographers do exactly that. For those that are a bit more serious about their action photography, a helmet designed specifically as a camera mount system is needed. Tonfly is the newest player in the camera helmet manufacturing world.
    Hailing from Slovakia, this small manufacturer may be new, but they've researched the needs of the typical action sports videographer very well and offer a wide lineup of products. The staff at Tonfly are predominantly from Italy, and the design of the helmet is Italian.
    In this review, we'll look at a Tonfly Converter (CC1), which I purchased specifically for the purpose of wingsuiting.
    The Tonfly Converter is brilliant in its design, given how the camera mounts to the helmet, and we'll examine those features in a bit. First we'll dig into the very important features like the fit, design, and safety functions.
    The helmet fits well. It's quite thin, and one of the lightest helmets in its class. It's also very sturdy in spite of the thinness of the helmet. The helmet slips on easily, and is snug all the way around for an average head-type. I have a ponytail, and this helmet doesn't lend itself well to my hair being tied up inside the helmet without the helmet being too tight. People with shorter hair won't have this problem, of course, and Tonfly do offer various sizes.
    The Tonfly Camera Converter helmet is one of the most innovative designs available to action-POV camera operators today.
    Light-weight, strong, form-fitting, and comfortable, this helmet offers the most peripheral eye-space of any helmet in its class.
    Another favored aspect of this helmet that is easily overlooked, is how far back the side of the helmet is cut. The sides of the helmet allow for much greater side-to-side vision than most camera helmets do, and this is particularly an important feature when flying camera for tandems when others may be joining in. Freeflyers will enjoy the wide peripheral view as well. Ski goggles will fit well in this wide-view cut, as the sides of the helmet won't interfere with the larger goggle sizes.
    Built in pockets can hold audible altimeters for the skydiving videographer. The audible pockets come pre-cut for the typical sized audibles. A small bit of gaffers tape will hold the audible altimeter in place until the foam lining is replaced with the audible device in the pocket.
    The Tonfly Converter comes with the audible pocket already cut to fit most popular audibles. (Photo)
    A cutaway system is critical for many action sports, particularly for skydivers. This allows the helmet to be immediately removed/cut free from the body in the event of an accident that involves some sort of entanglement. The Tonfly cutaway system is a bit different than most as it has the cutaway handle facing upwards, which feels very natural and ergonomically placed. Unlike other cutaway systems that use looped nylon to release the latch, the Tonfly system uses a metal button that is drilled out. On initial inspection, this was a concern, but the truth is that the cutaway system works and feels no different from any other cutaway system. The metal containment system may even last longer.
    The Tonfly cutaway system is unique in placement and method, but works identically to any other cutaway system. (Photo 1, Photo 2)
    What makes this helmet truly unique is the way in which the camera mounts are inserted. Entirely flush with the helmet, the receiver side of the mount is installed so that if there is no camera mounted, the helmet can be completely flat (Tonfly provides small inserts that stick out approximately .25, but are smooth and pose no snag hazard). With the camera box mounted to the side of the helmet, the camera box is flush to the helmet and poses no snag hazard. I ran a bit of Spectra line over the edge of the helmet and there was no sticking/locking point of the line due to this very tight connection.
    The mate point for a still camera is identical, however the top of the helmet isn't as wide as a Canon Rebel XTi, so it is possible, although not likely, that a line could snag in the area where the top plate isn't as wide as the camera body.
    Another aspect of the Converter Camera mount is the ability to rotate the camera box in small degrees to compensate for head position when freeflying, doing tandem camera, or RW work. Each of the base ring (male ring) has a series of small holes drilled to fit a pin in the insert link (female receiver side), that is spring-loaded. The spring is very tight, there should be no worry that the pin will release on its own.
    Note the spring-loaded pin in the female/helmet side of the connection, and note the three drilled holes in the male insert. These holes allow for user-positioning of the camcorder or still camera mount. (Photo 1 , Photo 2)
    The pin isn't entirely responsible for holding the base ring. there is a rotational cuff that holds tight when the male ring is inserted in the female receiver plate, and it requires a full 90 degree turn of the male ring to remove the camera box or stills mount from the system, assuring that even in the event of a pin/spring failure, the box or still mount would not separate from the helmet. The pin is released by pulling back on a small nylon loop found at the back of each of the camera mount plates.
    Tonfly has responded to another potential snag point problem with remarkable simplicity. Many camera helmets have a possible snag point in the ladder/clip attachment at the chincup. This leads some videographers to cut the ladder strap short, which is no big deal, other than it sometimes affects the ease of attachment on some helmets. Tonfly have addressed this challenge by opening up the chincup, allowing for any excess from the ladder strap to be concealed inside the chincup.
    Any excess from the ladder strap fits neatly inside the chincup. (Photo)
    The Flaws:
    The helmet isn't entirely perfect and some changes could be made on the part of Tonfly, or perhaps by users themselves. For example, some of the options Tonfly offers could be more readily identified as "important." For instance, most buyers should want the Carbon Look finish or at the very least, ask for a lacquer coat. From the model I received, it became immediately apparent that the finish will scratch quite easily, and all I was doing was mounting a Schumacher removable ringsight bracket. Drilling a hole for the HypEye Mini cable further demonstrated this.
    Mounting the Schumacher articulating arm, I realized just how easy it is to scratch the flat finish. (Photo)
    Another aspect of the helmet that users will want to be mindful of; until the helmet is worn in, a small amount of silicon lubricant will help with the mating of the insert ring to the receiver plate. On my helmet, I found that the pin release loop is a touch small for my large fingers. Using a pencil or pen inserted to the loop helped me get a better grip on it. I'm sure once the spring is more worn in, it won't be quite so difficult.
    Small challenges aside, the Tonfly helmet is very well designed for skydiving and other action sports, offering a width of view and light weight that is very impressive. With prices ranging from around $500.00 USD to as high as $750.00 with all options, these helmets are investments rather than frivolous purchases. Until the dollar rises again, it'll be a while before they're competitive with helmets manufactured in the USA in terms of cost.
    Congratulations to Tonfly for a very well designed, well-built helmet. This is one camera helmet model that any POV sports photographer should consider when choosing a helmet mounted camera system.


    Check out the YouTube stream that shows how the Tonfly Camera Converter works. Built for:
    Skydivers
    Ski photographers
    Kayaking
    Rock Climbing
    Chase bicycles
    Mountain cyclists
    BASE Jumping
    Paragliding
    Ground launching
    Other hands-free sport photographer Rock on!

    -douglas spotted eagle
    For more reviews, video, audio, streaming and surround training visit VASST

    Tonfy CC1 website

    Write your own review of a TonFly helmet

    By admin, in Gear,

    NeoXs - The new audible altimeter by Parasport

    Introduced last February at the 2007 PIA Symposium in Reno, the NeoXs Audible Altimeter is finally available!
    The new Parasport audible has been designed to be inserted directly in the inner pouch of a helmet
    without requiring any option. The small size and the reduced thickness of the aluminium case of this instrument allows a perfect fit in almost every helmet, full face or open face.
    The wide size LCD is protected by a polycarbonate screen thick enough to avoid damages to the display. The NeoXs offers up to 7 distinct alarms with different powerful audible signals:
    3 alarms for freefall warning altitudes
    3 alarms for canopy warning altitudes
    1 countdown timer The freefall warnings are set with 100 feet (25 meters) increments. The canopy warnings are set with 10 feet (5 meters) increments.
    The loud alarms can be adjusted to be clear in any condition. Freefall alarms and canopy alarms have different volume settings too.
    The NeoXs is easily programmable on the ground or while climbing to altitude. Even easier to switch among the 4 customizable preset user profiles, storing warning altitudes for different uses (formation skydiving, freefly, tandem, AFF, and so on).
    By using its intuitive user interface and the ergonomic Navigation Switch you can easily control all the functions of the NeoXs.
    The NeoXs is currently available in 3 different colors: Lava Red, Aluminium Grey, and Night Black.
    For any further information or documentation do not hesitate to contact us.
    Features

    Microprocessor based audible altimeter
    Wide size LCD
    Intuitive user interface
    Ergonomic Navigation Switch
    Aluminium case
    Real time altitude indicator
    Up to three separate freefall altitude warnings
    Freefall warning altitude set with 100 feet (25 meters) increments
    Freefall altitude warnings go off only at freefall speed
    Up to three separate low speed altitude warnings
    Low speed altitude warning set with 10 feet (5 meters) increments
    Powerful audible signals, distinct and easily recognizable
    Countdown timer
    Up to 4 customizable user profiles
    Self-calibration (manual reset allowed) self-test, no power-on, ultra-low consumption
    Easily programmable on the ground or while climbing to altitude
    Batteries: 1 x CR2450
    Size 39 x 55 x 12 mm
    Available in Lava Red, Aluminium Grey, Night Black

    By admin, in Gear,

    Service Bulletin - Quasar II

    SERVICE BULLETIN #26 - ISSUE DATE: April 18, 2007
    SUBJECT: Quasar II, P/N115100, Quasar II Trainer P/N115102,
    Military Quasar II P/N 115103.
    Quasar II Reserve pilot chute launch under conditions with main canopy still in
    main container.
    IDENTIFICATION: All Quasar II harness/container systems. Including both
    Quasar IIs with ‘Flinger/PRO’ (Positive Reserve Opening) assembly installed as
    original installation or modification, and those without.
    STATUS: Mandatory removal of ‘Flinger’/PRO assembly and replacement of
    inner sub-flap with pilot chute Base Plate and pilot chute before next jump.
    BACKGROUND: Recent on-the-ground activations of several Quasar II reserve
    containers with the main canopy still in the container, showed slow or impeded
    pilot chute activation. There have been no reports of in-air incidents. Repeated
    tests with the main tray open and riser covers off (simulating an open main to
    reserve cutaway), resulted in clean reserve pilot chute deployments clearing the
    reserve container. Further testing revealed the steel ‘Flinger’/PRO assembly may
    take a set beyond the designed acceptable range, restricting movement of the side
    flaps and reserve pilot chute.
    SERVICE BULLETIN: As a precautionary measure, Strong Enterprises requests
    that all Quasar II systems be returned to Strong Enterprises for modification, that
    includes:
    Removal of the steel ‘Flinger’/PRO assembly.
    Top sub-flap replacement (improved with a Base Plate.)
    Pilot chute replacement. STRONG ENTERPRISES

    11236 SATELLITE BLVD

    ORLANDO, FL 32837

    Tel 407 859 9317

    Fax 407 850 6978

    ted@strongparachutes.com

    www.strongparachutes.com
    Download the Service Bulletin (PDF)

    By admin, in Gear,

    RSL Removal on the Javelin/Javelin Odyssey

    This letter dated February 27, 2007 from Sun Path Products, Inc. addresses the issue of Reserve Static Line Removal on the Javelin/Javelin Odyssey. Download the Letter from SunPath.

    Reserve Static Line (RSL) and the Javelin/Javelin Odyssey
    Reference: This letter supersedes SPP letter regarding removal of the reserve
    static line (RSL) dated 16 May 2005.
    1. Is the RSL a part of the TSO’ed components of the system?
    YES
    2. Can any or all of the RSL components (RSL lanyard, hook Velcro on
    reserve riser, guide rings on pin flap and main riser RSL ring) be
    removed from a Javelin/Javelin Odyssey without voiding the TSO?
    YES, however the FAA determines this to be an "alteration". This means
    that only a master parachute rigger can perform this action. (Ref. AC105-2c)
    Once the master rigger removes the requested RSL components, the
    alteration must be noted on both the packing data card and the master
    parachute riggers log book.
    3. Does removal of the RSL void the TSO?
    YES, this only applies if someone OTHER than an FAA master parachute
    rigger or foreign equivalent removes any RSL components, or the removal of
    the components is not logged on the packing data card.
    4. Who can pack a reserve in a Javelin/Javelin Odyssey without a RSL?
    As long as a master parachute rigger has indicated the removal of the
    components, (i.e. lanyard, rings, Velcro) on the packing data card, any senior
    or master rigger or foreign equivalent can repack the reserve.
    5. Who can pack a main in a Javelin/Javelin Odyssey without a RSL?
    As long as a master parachute rigger has indicated the removal of the
    components, (i.e. lanyard, rings, Velcro) on the packing data card, any senior
    or master rigger or foreign equivalent, anyone under the direct supervision of
    the afore mentioned or the person making the next jump can repack the
    main.
    5. If I am a senior rigger and I get a Javelin/Javelin Odyssey to repack
    that has any or all RSL components removed, what do I do?
    The senior rigger will need to check the packing data card to see if the
    appropriate entries have been made. If yes, then the rig is "legal" to be
    packed by a senior rigger. If not, the rig will need to be taken to a master
    rigger who can approve the alteration and note the removal of the
    components. The master riggers data card/log book notation is only
    certifying the alteration.
    6. Who is authorized to remove the RSL and when?
    Only a Master parachute rigger or foreign equivalent can permanently remove
    the RSL components thus altering the TSO’ed system.
    The user can "disengage" the RSL lanyard by disconnecting the snap
    shackle, if in an emergency situation or to avoid a possible emergency
    situation ONLY. The owner/jumper (unless a master
    rigger) is not authorized to permanently remove the RSL lanyard.
    Sun Path Products, Inc. position on the removal of the RSL components remains
    unchanged. "Permanent removal of this part is highly discouraged and NOT
    recommended". However we do acknowledge situations that the user may wish
    to have the RSL components removed from the system or not have the system
    installed with the components at all. Therefore this guidance should serve as
    reference for fielded systems as well as new assemblies.
    Systems manufactured after Feb 2007, come with the RSL/Collins lanyard as
    standard items. This incorporates the Marine eye reserve ripcord, Curved
    Reserve Pin with lanyard and the RSL/Collins lanyard.
    The Skyhook can be added by the manufacturer as an option by adding the Red
    Skyhook lanyard to the RSL/Collins lanyard and corresponding skyhook on the
    reserve bridle.
    An alteration to the RSL/Collins lanyard on the post Feb. 2007 rigs will require a
    terminal pin reserve ripcord which must be replaced with factory TSO’ed
    components only. *** (reference Pg 6. of the Javelin/Javelin Odyssey Owners
    Manual Rev. 2 Issue 01 March 2007)
    Download the Letter from SunPath
    Dave Singer

    Engineer

    Sun Path Products, Inc.
    Derek Thomas

    President

    Sun Path Products, Inc.
    Sun Path Products, Inc. * 4439 Skydive Lane * Zephyrhills, FL33542
    Phone 813-782-9242 * FAX 813-788-3057 * www.sunpath.com

    By admin, in Gear,

    Argus AAD - Mandatory cutter replacement

    Product Service Bulletin

    Issue date: 2 December 2006

    Bulletin number: SB AMM021206/1

    Subject: Mandatory cutter replacement in Mirage rigs
    Argus Cutter PN# ARG001CUT manufactured for Aviacom SA by Nobel Energetics.
    Background:
    As part of our evaluation program, the Argus was installed in an RTS M7 Mirage and made 46 jumps.
    When opening the reserve container the loop was frayed around the area it was going through the cutter.
    The plastic insert was damaged at some point during closing.
    Further investigation showed that the damage was due to the typical set-up of the cutter on top of the
    concave pilot chute cap modification that the Mirage has since May 2005.
    This damage only occurred with the Mirage
    After consulting Mirage Systems we decided to replace the cutters in all Mirage rigs with a modified insertless
    cutter that has meanwhile been intensively tested and does not cause any damage whatsoever.
    Service bulletin:
    The "old" cutter with the plastic insert must be returned to Aviacom SA for replacement. The new cutter will
    be shipped as soon as we have received the old one.
    The new cutter is easily identified by the safety seal on the body. The date of manufacturing is November
    2006 or later.
    Any senior or master rigger or foreign equivalent can unscrew the cutter and replace the old cutter with the
    modified one. The connector must be locked hand tight in order to ensure the water resistance.
    Compliance date:
    Before the next jump, but no later than June 30th 2007.
    Comments
    In order not to create confusion, all Argus cutters manufactured before November 2006 and not sporting a
    safety seal on the body must be mandatory replaced before June 30th, 2007. The cutters will be replaced
    free of charge.
    You can download the full service bulletin: http://dbc.landingpage.be/475/SBAMM021206_1.pdf

    For a video clip of the new cutter check: http://www.argus-aad.com/media/Downloads/MVI_0552.avi
    Dropzone.com Editors Note:
    Please note that while the official subject of this service bulleting is "Mandatory cutter replacement in Mirage rigs" that in fact "all Argus cutters manufactured before November 2006 and not sporting a safety seal on the body must be mandatory replaced" as mentioned in the comments in the full bulletin. The subject as at very least confusing.
    Please download the entire Service Bulleting from the link above and read this forum post for a response from Mirage Syatems.

    By admin, in Gear,

    New ownership for Aerodyne Research

    As reported earlier our former owners eliminated the parachute business from their holdings. The factory in Durban, South Africa, was sold to the Zodiac group together with the military product catalogue.
    Aerodyne is happy to announce that we have organized new owners for Aerodyne Research and the line of Aerodyne sports products. We are pleased to welcome Vidar Antonsen and Ole Petter Hjelle (Ole Petter is the team captain of the Norwegian national FS4 team Arcteryx) as members of the Aerodyne team. Both are from Norway and active skydivers themselves. Although, they will not be involved with the daily management, we view this as a positive development for the company to have their support and assist Aerodyne Research to become an even stronger player in the parachute industry.
    President Edward "Bushman" Anderson reports: "Right now we are setting up a new manufacturing facility in the Durban area, in South Africa. The facility will be located in a brand new air-conditioned building and we are installing state of the art machinery. We are also very fortunate to be able to retain many key staff members. Our current Technical Director Dominic Hayhurst will be the Managing Director of Aerodyne Research Manufacturing.
    At the same time we have teamed up with Aero Tech in Florida for the production of the Icon harness-container system. Aero Tech is a very professional operation headed by Terry Pike who has more than 30 years experience in the industry. Thiago Muradas, who is a co-designer of the Icon and has been involved with production and R&D; from the start, will supervise training and production."
    Aerodyne expects that the changes in production can be implemented smoothly and swiftly but has taken measures to ensure steady supply to its distribution partners. Arnold Collenteur, director of European sales, explains: ". In addition to main canopies and Smart reserves, we now stock Icon container systems. These Icons come with a harness finished to the custom measurements provided with the order. This way our distributors are able sell complete systems to our customers this summer, and deliver in a matter of weeks. Aerodyne is one of the few sport parachute manufacturers that can supply complete systems to our customer's specific needs."

    By admin, in Gear,

    Mirage Ground Launch Systems

    Ground Launching is the newest and fastest growing sport in the swooping community! Foot launching parachutes is relatively easy but having the proper equipment and training will save you alot of time.
    After years of research and development Jim Slaton started the Ground Launching Center (GLC) and teamed up with NZ Aerosports in New Zealand to develop parachutes specifically for ground launching called the Daedalus GLX and GLS. Now Jim has teamed up with Mirage Systems to develop the Mirage Ground Launch system.
    The Mirage GLX is the top of the line fully loaded ground launch harness that is lightweight and reversible. The GLX comes in blue & black mini diamond material, adjustable harness, risers, multiple riser attachment points, quick link hardware, backpack system, extra pockets on outside of harness, extra padding on shoulders and the harness inverts to become backpack.
    The harness forms a seat and the risers can be conneted to the GLX's lower or upper attachment points. This gives pilots the option between flying in the hanging position like a skydiving harness or the siting position like a paragliding harness.
    The Mirage ground launch harness comes in two styles for all your launching needs. These models are kept on the shelf and typically shipped the same day. The retail price of the new Mirage GLX is $695.00 and available in small, medium, large and extra large. For more information contact Jim Slaton at mirageGLX@canopypiloting.com or check out http://www.canopypiloting.com/mirageGLX.htm

    By admin, in Gear,

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