A Great Suit Fit By The Numbers

    No-Punches-Pulled Advice From A Long-Time Suit Dealer
    Image by Joel Strickland You might think twice--or three times, or never--about dropping many hundreds of dollars on a dapper tuxedo. A skydiving suit, however? Shut up and take my money, dear manufacturer. Just make sure it’s in my colors and that the sponsor logos are right.
    When you’re slinging that kind of cash around, the last thing you want is for the object of your ardent longing to show up too loose, too tight, too short, or too long--and, due to a bafflingly high instance of improper measuring on the part of the buyer, that happens all the time. Take it from Joel Strickland, double British gold medalist (in both freestyle and freefly) and dealer for the venerable Vertical Suits. He’s been wrapping innocent skydivers in measuring tape for some years now, and he has excellent advice for the un- (or under-) initiated.
    1. Relax.
    “Measuring is not as difficult as people think it is,” Strickland soothes, “So, if you follow a few simple rules, it is pretty straightforward.” In other words: don’t get too nervous about this.
    2. Get someone to help.
    “While it’s technically possible to measure yourself,” Strickland explains, “It is not recommended. There will be some touching. Try not to make it weird.”
    3. Make it a dress rehearsal.
    Strickland advises everyone who comes to him for a fitting to wear what he/she would normally wear under a suit: base layers, thermals, underpants, jeans, whatever’s usually under there. You’ll want that suit to fit comfortably over your usual undergirdings, not strain over a pair of baggy, beloved chinos you didn’t wear to the fitting.
    4. Follow the video.
    “It is difficult to get it wrong if you use the talking pictures,” Strickland says. “We live in the future. Few people are ever more than ten feet from a device that will let you do this. No excuses.”
    He’s referring specifically to the Vertical Suits fitting video, of course, but similar helping hands are available from other suit manufacturers.
    5. Measure twice, cut once.
    “Always measure twice,” Strickland insists. “Maybe switch hands or stand on the other side and do it the other way around. Perhaps switch the limb being measured. See that the numbers match up.”
    6. Don’t tweak.
    “Suit design has grown into a very precise process using science and maths and brains,” Strickland says. “The manufacturers ask for a lot of measurements for a reason, and the best results come from sticking to the plan. If you mess with them, it can throw out the form of the suit and compromise its awesomeness.”
    7. Let the company know about your special needs.
    If you do require a specific area to be looser--for example, if you wear a brace--reach out to the manufacturer for advice instead of altering your measurements to suit what you think the suit requires. They’ve almost certainly seen your issue before and can give you the best advice.
    8. Don’t fudge the numbers.
    Your measurements now are what counts. “If you want your suit to fit,” Strickland sighs, “Do not adjust anything based the diet you just started or the gym membership you just bought.”
    9. Be gentle.
    “When wielding the tape measure,” he continues, “You should be aiming for tickle, not strangle.”
    10. Come as you are.
    When being measured, stand naturally. “Don’t puff out your chest or suck in your stomach or clench your buttocks or whatever,” Strickland explains. Your suit will feel better, fly better and look better if it fits you as you really are, right now.
    11. Look to the experts, if you really want to nail it.
    The best way to get all of this stuff done is to seek out one of your chosen suit’s stable of official dealers. “In and around all the places where skydiving is popular,” Strickland advises, “There are people who work closely with the company as boots on the ground to help.”
    These dealers have the benefit of many years of combined experience, as well as a direct line to the manufacturer for questions. They’ve generally tried and tested many different jumpsuits through the years, and can offer horse’s-mouth feedback on any issues or questions you might have. Sniff around at boogies or events--not just under the loudly-logo’d tents, but in the crowds, as well.
    “They will go on and on,” Strickland assures. “You will wish they would shut up about it after a while.”

    By nettenette, in Gear,

    Safer Ringsight Mounting by Brent Finley

    These quality swivel clamps were machined precisely to hold a ring sight in place. Most machine shop clamps are made to hold gauges, etc. and can't take the high torque that your sight goes through with random bumps and knocks. This clamp has a semi circle binding ring (see the arrow above) that ensures maximum holding power. The aluminum post is slightly longer than most hardware store posts, and milled to exact dimensions for precise fit.
    This design is NEW! We have improved the design to replace the old knurled thumbwheel with a low profile Allen screw. This makes the clamp less likely to snag a line during an unstable deployment. The clamp comes with an Allen wrench for your toolkit.
    Pricing is as follows:
    Mounting kit (Clamp and Post) $30 + shipping.
    Clamp without the post is $25 + shipping.
    Call Brent Finley at 480-855-7779.
    Send Check or Money Order to
    Brent Finley, 3102 S. Marigold Place, Chandler, AZ 85248
    Brent's Galleries

    By admin, in Gear,

    Icarus Release New Products for 2002

    Icarus Canopies are releasing 3 new products for the summer season. These designs incorporate new plan form shaping techniques that Icarus designers have been working on for the past 18 months. 7 years ago, Icarus designers pioneered a new plan form shape with the EXTreme FX. The Icarus Safire, Omega and EXTreme VX followed incorporating similar shaping techniques. The Icarus Crossfire expanded on that principle integrating additional surface shaping.
    These designs incorporated many innovations including full surface shaping, constant cell proportions, and lowered wing tips. All engineered to reduce drag, increase lift (at high and low speeds), increase rigidity and create even cell pressurization eliminating the perceived benefit of airlocks. These shaping techniques took parachutes beyond standard ram air designs and created true wing shapes with increased performance at both ends of the spectrum.
    A bi-product of this increased performance and control range was an increased toggle stroke making the toggle control range longer and flare point deeper than other designs at the time. While this longer control range was labeled a disadvantage by some rivals at the time, many have released competing designs with similar characteristics due to the increased efficiency these more precise wings create.
    With similar parachutes entering the market, our design team has been engineering plan form shapes which integrate the benefits of these designs plus further increasing the parachutes efficiency by incorporating precise and immediate toggle and riser control.
    Our 2002 products incorporate varying shaping techniques depending on the specific target audience of each design resulting from this program.
    Upon completion of this program these 3 designs have been undergoing market evaluation over the past few months. Specifically we have been comparing them with other products in the same target markets to ensure supremacy when compared with competing products. Now confident that we have once again solidly achieved this goal, we are releasing 3 exciting new designs.

    The Icarus Omni is the latest innovation in 7 cell canopy design. 7 cell canopies such as the Icarus Omega, PD Spectre or Aerodyne Triathlon gained popularity because of their ease of use and gentle characteristics. The disadvantage with 7 cells is their reduced lift making it difficult to get back from long spots and inferior flare characteristic when compared with 9 cell designs. While this is often no issue for beginners or at lighter wing loadings many seasoned skydivers also prefer the ease of use that comes with 7 cell canopies and are prepared to sacrifice lift and glide for this benefit.
    The Omni answers these issues offering the largest range of flight currently available on an all purpose 7 cell canopy.
    The Icarus Omni is a 7-Cell, Semi and lightly elliptical, Zero Porosity canopy. It has been designed as an all purpose canopy with soft on-heading openings, predictable flight characteristics, light toggle and riser pressure and with the added advantage of an increased glide ratio and greater flare power when compared with other 7 cell designs.
    The result, a 7 cell with an increase operating range, usable for all facets of modern skydiving.
    At lighter wing loading (below .9 PSF) it is a good transition or first canopy or for someone who likes to take it easy. At heavier wing loading (up to 1.5 PSF) it will have noticeable performance while maintaining soft openings and better landings than other 7 cell designs.
    We recommend it for wing loading from .75 PSF to 1.5 PSF.

    4 years ago we released the Icarus Safire. A revolutionary canopy, being the first all purpose 9 cell canopy to include a lightly & truly elliptical platform shape offering superior openings and flight characteristics compared to competing mid-performance range 9 cell designs at the time.

    We new that the superior characteristics of this design, such as a lightly & truly elliptical platform shape combined with constant cell proportioning would not be ignored by other canopy manufacturers. This style of design would become the benchmark for mid-range performance canopies and other manufacturers would build similar designs as we have recently seen.
    The Safire 2, like the original Safire is a truly elliptical canopy with a light shaping incorporating a constant cell aspect ratio which consistently controls the airfoil shape across the canopy, maintaining increased rigidity and reducing drag.
    The Safire 2 is an enhanced version of the original Safire incorporating new trim and plan form shaping techniques. Its openings are arguably the sweetest of any canopy in its class. So much so that you'd swear it was a 7 cell opening above your head. We have also integrated an even greater glide ratio, more nimble and very predicable flight characteristics, responsive flight controls both on toggles and risers, a shorter recovery arc to maintain a higher level of safety for mid-range jumpers and a powerful flare.
    The Safire 2 is designed to fly best at wing loading of .75 to 1.6. At the lower end, the Safire flies forgivingly and is an ideal transitional canopy. At the higher loading, it is a fast-moving smooth-handling ride that outperforms other canopies in its class.

    2 years ago we revolutionized what was possible with a 9 cell (non-cross braced) canopy.
    The Icarus Crossfire is categorically a step up in performance from any other 9 cell in the world. Its swoop capability almost rivals cross-braced canopies such as the EXTreme FX and Velocity while maintaining many other more desirable flight characteristics.
    Our target audience with the Crossfire has always been the many Stiletto pilots wanting the next step in canopy evolution. PD did a great job with the Stiletto and it remained un-rivaled for years. However, design concepts and construction techniques improve and we were able to release the Crossfire, a canopy aspiring to this market with increased performance characteristics, a longer recovery arc, an incredible swoop distance and with openings that are unparalleled.
    With our latest design innovations we are able to take the Crossfire performance even further. The Crossfire 2 has the same impressive opening and swoop capabilities with some of the most responsive toggle and riser turns of any canopy in the market. It has a light riser pressure and an incredible recovery arc.
    The Crossfire 2 is a highly elliptical, constant cell aspect ratio, closed nose, fully and surface shaped inflatable wing capable of unrivaled performance. It will out perform any non cross-braced 9 cell available; Openings, toggle turns, riser turns, dives, swoop distance and flare -period!
    Recommended wing loadings are 1.4 - 2.2.
    Icarus Guarantee:
    Icarus is the only company in the market to offer an unconditional 31 day satisfaction guarantee. Icarus guarantees that our products perform as advertised with superior characteristics to competing products.
    If for any reason a customer is not entirely satisfied we will replace the product or refund the customer, no questions asked. Refer www.icaruscanopies.com for details.
    Full details of these products will be available on Icarus Canopies website www.icaruscanopies.com from 10 May 2002.
    For additional information contact:
    Simon Mundell
    [email protected]
    (630) 562-2735
    Crossfire2, Omni – Steve Utter
    Safire2 – Mike Sanders

    By admin, in Gear,

    Action Products: Skydiving Toys

    My name is Nick Miller, and I'm 11 years old. I am on special assignment for Dropzone.com, reviewing a new line of skydiving toys by Action Products. The toys are for ages 5 and up and consist of four different three inch plastic skydiver figurines. Each one includes a detachable parachute and a target.

    Special Correspondent:
    Nick Miller

    They have cool names like Free Fallin' Fiona (my mom was really happy they included a girl), Hot Seat Harry, Sky Eye Skylar and Tailspin Tyler. Each one of them also has an extra detachable toy included. According to the packaging, Fiona and Harry are on the "high flying rescue team" and Fiona has a grappling hook with rope, and Harry has a shovel because he's a smokejumper. Skylar and Tyler are on the "extreme sports team" and Skylar has a camera and Tyler has a board.
    I played with the toys with two of my friends and my older sister. We played with the skydivers two different ways. First, my sister and I stood on the second floor inside our house and we tried to drop them onto the targets on the first floor. It didn't work very well! The parachutes did inflate a little, but we missed the target every time. I don't think we had enough room indoors to play with them properly.
    Next, my friends and I took them outside. It worked much better this way. First, we laid the plastic targets on the ground. The targets have a bulls eye on them and areas with different point values, so you can add up your scores against your friend's. Then, we folded up the parachute, wrapped the thick line around it, made sure it was attached well to the skydiver and threw it up as far as we could. If there was wind, the parachute did a good job inflating and it soared through the sky pretty well. When there wasn't wind, the parachute was a little bunched up and the skydiver had to do a PLF.
    Once we figured out how to make adjustments for the wind, we were able to hit the targets about half the time, just like in real skydiving!
    Some good things about these toys are the fact that the parachutes detach from the skydivers with just one click, so you can play with them in other ways besides just throwing them up in the air. The extra toys that come with them are cool too, and I even took the board with me to the pool to play with it there. Also, the head, arms and waist are movable on each skydiver, making them a little more fun to play with.
    I think it would be neat if they talked, but my mom said that being skydivers they would probably say too many bad words. The only bad thing about one of the toys was that the line became unattached from the parachute on one of the guys, but it is something that my mom can sew up if I ask nicely. In conclusion, I think they are fun toys to buy a kid who is under the age of 14.~ Nick
    About Action Products
    Since 1977, Action Products International, Inc. has been servicing museum and educational specialty retailers. This company is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the edutainment megatrend. Action has formed strategic relationships with many of the leading industry buyers, strengthened our lines of supply all over the world, and developed a range of products in the important educational themes which are of interest to this marketplace.
    The company is focusing on brand development, e-commerce strategies, and merchandising, including retail packaging and point-of-purchase display systems, designed to provide the retailers with the tools they need to present our product lines to the consumer in a consistent and effective way.
    Action Products is a member of the Toy Industry Association (TIA), American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), Museum Store Associsation (MSA), and the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA).
    Action Products International, Inc.
    390 North Orange Avenue Suite 2185
    Orlando, FL 32801 344 Cypress Road
    Ocala, FL 34472
    Call Toll Free 1.800.772.2846
    Fax Toll Free 1.888.232.9228
    Action Products Web Site
    Buy from Square1

    By admin, in Gear,

    Jump! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy

    I've been jumping for more than 20 years, but I still remember my very first skydive, and I'll bet you do too. Likewise, I remember the anxiety of trying to find a drop zone, and I remember my concern about the safety of the school, and my own ability to handle this exciting sport. In the years since my first jump I've earned instructional ratings in IAD, SL, AFF, and tandem programs, and am now the Safety and Training Advisor at The Ranch.
    Last spring I was approached by McGraw-Hill to write a book about skydiving targeted at beginners in the United States. That book, "Jump! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy" has now been published and should be available soon at local booksellers. It is already being shipped by major web retailers such as Amazon.com. "Jump!" has more than 128 pages and 86 illustrations, including images from 19 photographers. I think this is the first comprehensive book about skydiving training to be commissioned by a major publisher like McGraw-Hill.
    I'm really proud of "Jump! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy" and am confident it will appeal to our new students. "Jump!" is designed to answer all the common questions presented by prospective students, as well as offer guidance to those that have already made one tandem jump. While "Jump!" is designed for beginners, it will probably also be of interest to experienced jumpers for use as a gift…I think it's a great way to quickly handle inquiries from coworkers, family, and friends. "Jump!" is also a great book to share with local government and airport officials who might not otherwise understand our sport. I'm also betting drop zones that send a copy of "Jump!" to their local newspapers and television stations along with feature ideas will have an easier time arranging free media coverage. "Jump!" is loaded with statistics and includes lots of detail covering training methods, costs, regulation, drop zone evaluation, and much more.
    My hope is that "Jump!" will help to educate consumers about our sport, and drive interest in student training. Readers will find themselves excited by skydiving, but they will also be well informed about the risks of our sport. As I prepared to write "Jump! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy" I spoke with hundreds of instructors and students, and read a vast number of posts on this site and others. Likewise, I chatted with many drop zone owners, checked their web sites, and spoke with leading experts including TK Donle, Jim Crouch, Paul Fayard, Rob Laidlaw, Nancy LaRiviere, Bill Dause and (Dr.) John DeRosalia. "Jump!" is a significant collection of wisdom gathered from these experts. While the specific information in "Jump!" is based on USPA programs in the United States, it should appeal to many international jumpers interested in comparing programs across borders. It is also a great guide for prospective students from other countries who are thinking about doing their skydiving training in The United States.
    I hope you will have a chance to read "Jump! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy", and I hope you will recommend this book to beginners who are looking for basic information about our sport. "Jump!" with a list price of 14.95, is now on sale for 30 percent off at www.amazon.com, and is also available at significant bulk purchase discounts directly from McGraw-Hill. If you would like more information about those bulk discounts for resale through drop zone stores or web sites, please let me know and I'll be happy to coordinate the contacts with McGraw account executives.
    Blue Skies
    Tom Buchanan/D-8514
    Buy from Amazon.com

    By admin, in Gear,

    Atair Aerospace wins COMET Award

    Long Island, NY - April 24, 2003 - Atair Aerospace was one of five manufacturers honored by New York State’s Empire State Development and the Long Island Forum for Technology during their COMET expo and awards dinner at the Long Island Business & Technology Center on April 10, 2003. The event was created as a way to feature the numerous high-technology manufacturing companies of the Long Island area, with a particular emphasis on defense related companies.
    BAE Systems, EDO Corporation, Northrop Grumman, Empire State Development, Fleet Bank, and Margolin, Winer & Evans, LLP, judged the over 70 participating companies in five categories: Innovative Products, Precision Parts, Electronic Assemblies, Complex Integrated Products, and Unrestricted. Atair was honored with the 2003 Manufacturer of the Year Award for Innovation for their ONYX family of Autonomous Guided Parachute systems.
    Conflicts in Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq have demonstrated the wide spread use of inexpensive surface to air missiles by enemies. The United States Military has at the highest level recognized the critical need for the development of guided parachute systems to replace current, obsolete airdrop delivery techniques. A $3000 shoulder fired SAM can put in jeopardy aircraft flying up to 25,000 ft. Conventional military airdrop techniques release cargo under round parachutes from altitudes below 1,500 ft. At such low altitudes placing cargo at the intended landing target is accurate, but puts the carrier plane and personnel in grave danger. Using such airdrop techniques at altitudes of 25,000 ft. to 35,000 ft. provides safety for the aircraft and personnel, but makes delivering cargo to the landing target impossible.
    With funding for guided parachute systems now coming from the Secretary of Defense level, government and military agencies appear primed to dedicate serious resources to resolving this critical strategic military requirement. Having foreseen this need and begun the development of guided parafoil systems several years ago, Atair Aerospace continues to develop the state-of-the-art, advanced-design parachutes guided by Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites and Inertial Navigation Sensors (INS) for the precise, reliable and cost-effective airborne delivery of material and ordnance to remote locations in fulfillment of critical military, relief and rescue missions. Atair has been a pioneer in bringing forth new technological advances in military and sport parachute systems since 1992.
    For more information please contact Mark Montalvo at [email protected] or visit Atair Aerospace’s website at www.extremefly.com.
    Read more about Atair's Autonomous Guided Parachute systems

    By admin, in Gear,

    Mirage Systems - Soft Reserve Ripcord Recall

    Mirage Systems has received 2 reports of reserve ripcord pins breaking under apparently normal wear. Although the company and the subcontractor who manufactured the ripcord assemblies have not been able to identify the cause of the failures, Mirage has issued the following mandatory Product Service Bulletin:
    MIRAGE SYSTEMS - Product Service Bulletin
    Issue date: 28 April 2003

    Bulletin number: 280403-01

    Subject: Soft Reserve Ripcord Recall

    Status: Mandatory.

    Compliance date: Immediate.

    Identification: Mirage 27” Soft Reserve Ripcord, part #SH01-27, batch #M005128, mfd. 11/25/2001 – 5/10/2002
    Mirage Systems has received 2 reports of reserve ripcord pins breaking under apparently normal wear. Mirage Systems, working with the subcontractor who manufactured the ripcord assemblies, has not been able to identify the cause of the failures. Detailed microscopic and metallurgical examinations have been carried out with nominal results. Further investigation is ongoing. Both failures occurred in a single batch of ripcord sub-assemblies manufactured in November 2001. Other assemblies from the same batch were tested and were normal. However, because both failures occurred in the same batch, in lieu of the discovery of a definitive cause and in the interest of safety, Mirage Systems and the subcontractor, Capewell Components, have decided to recall all ripcords from this batch for inspection and possible replacement effective immediately.
    All Mirage owners with soft reserve ripcords should check the ripcord data panel, found on the soft handle opposite the attachment Velcro. Suspect handles are marked “S/N M005128”. Affected owners have 2 possible courses of action:
    1. Return the ripcord ONLY together with identification and rig serial number to Capewell Components
    ATTN: Mark M.

    105 Nutmeg Road South

    S. Windsor, CT 06074

    Capewell will conduct non-destructive testing and inspection and, if necessary, Mirage Systems will replace and return the ripcord assembly, free of charge. Assemblies which pass inspection will be so marked and returned, cleared to jump, by Capewell.
    2. Contact Mirage Systems with the serial number of their rig to place an order for immediate replacement at:
    Mirage Systems

    1501A Lexington Ave.

    DeLand, Fl 32724


    [email protected]
    Customers returning their old handles at time of order will be charged $15. Other orders will be charged $64, but will be eligible for a $44 refund upon receipt of the old handle. Customers shipping handles to either Capewell Components or Mirage Systems may use UPS account #E8E841 (Capewell Components) to cover shipping charges or use another service at their expense. Soft reserve ripcords bearing batch numbers other than M005128 and all metal handled ripcords are NOT affected. Because Capewell Components makes assemblies for other container manufacturers, all skydivers are recommended to check all hardware assemblies for unusual wear, cracking, scoring, marking or bending. All skydivers are reminded to check all their equipment for problems frequently.
    Daniel Thompson, President, Mirage System

    Jeff Johnston, QC Manager, Mirage Sysetms

    Mark Magdalenski, QC Manager, Capewell Components

    Distribution: FAA, Mirage dealers and customers of record, Parachutist, Skydiving, Int’l periodicals.
    Download the PDF

    By admin, in Gear,

    Gear Regulations for Parachutists Visiting the US

    Federal Aviation Regulations covering skydiving operations within the United States were updated two years ago. One of the key changes allows the use of otherwise unapproved equipment by foreign parachutists. The new rule has received very little official explanation, and has created confusion among foreign jumpers and United States drop zones. Some drop zones treat the equipment of foreign visitors with open arms and an "anything goes" policy, while other drop zones strictly apply the relevant federal regulation (105.49). United States drop zones and visiting jumpers should understand what Federal Aviation Regulations actually require with regard to foreign equipment, and should be prepared to comply with those requirements. USPA has published a paper that outlines the specific regulation covering equipment use by visiting jumpers, and the complete regulation is readily available in the USPA SIM, and in Federal Aviation Administration publications.
    Based on the USPA report, and original research, it appears that in order for a foreign jumper to use unapproved equipment in the United States the following FAA standards apply:

    The equipment must be owned by the foreign jumper.
    The jumper can NOT be a citizen of the United States, or a resident alien. A dual citizen (example: Canadian/US) must comply with the United States standards.
    Either the reserve or container must be UNAPPROVED. If both components are TSO'd and can be used in the United States by a United States citizen, then United States standards apply. So, a French citizen jumping a Javelin and a PD reserve in the United States must comply with all United States regulations, including a 120 day repack by an FAA rigger, with a seal applied to the reserve.
    If the reserve OR the harness/container is NOT approved for use in the United States AND the equipment is approved for use in the jumpers home country, it can be used by the foreign jumper/owner in the United States under his home country rules. Understanding The Regulation:
    FAR 105.43 requires that a reserve parachute and the harness/container must be approved by the FAA (TSO'd), and that the reserve must have been packed within 120 days by an FAA certificated rigger. This part governs parachute systems that are approved (reserve and harness/container).
    FAR 105.49 allows a foreign parachutist to use his own unapproved foreign parachute system if it is packed "in accordance with the foreign parachutist's civil aviation authority…" and if the foreign parachutist is the owner of that equipment. This part applies only to foreign parachutists, and only to unapproved equipment.
    FAR 105.3 defines a foreign parachutist as "a parachutist who is neither a U.S. citizen or a resident alien and is participating in parachute operations within the United States using parachute equipment not manufactured in the United States."
    FAR 105.3 defines an approved parachute as "a parachute manufactured under a type certificate or a Technical Standard Order (C-23 series), or a personnel-carrying US military parachute…"
    The key term to understand is "unapproved foreign parachute system"
    The regulation that allows a foreign parachutist to use unapproved foreign equipment (105.49) is based on exemptions that had been granted under a previous version of part 105. The change to allow this use without an exemption was proposed and published in the Federal Register on April 13, 1999. In the preamble to the proposal the FAA stated the following: "The FAA proposes to permit foreign parachutists to conduct jumps in the U.S. using their own equipment provided that they use single-harness, dual-parachute systems which contain a non-Technical Standard Order (TSO) reserve parachute or a non-TSO'd harness and container…" The FAA repeated this position in the section-by-section discussion of the proposed changes under 105.49, saying" This proposed section addresses equipment and packing requirements for foreign parachutists. Only single-harness, dual-parachute systems which contain a non Technical Standard Order (TSO) reserve parachute or non-TSO'd harness and container would be allowed to be used in the United States…"
    The FAA received several comments about the proposed rule, but incorporated the original proposal into law with only limited changes to the specific labeling of the regulation. The final rule was published in The Federal Register on May 9, 2001, and became effective on July 9, 2001. Thus, the stated intent of the FAA is to exempt systems from 105.43 that are owned by a foreign jumper and are at least partially unapproved, but to require the 120 day inspection and repack by an FAA certificated rigger if the equipment is entirely approved for use in the United States. There is some confusion in the language between the country of manufacture, and approval (TSO), but it appears that the intent of the FAA is to require the standard 120 repack by a rigger if BOTH the harness/container and reserve are approved under the TSO process, regardless of where they were actually manufactured.
    Making Sense of The Regulation:
    The FAA appears to be saying that if BOTH the reserve parachute and the harness/container are approved in the United States, then the FAA has knowledge of the equipment and believes packing should comply with 105.43. If either the reserve or harness/container is NOT approved, then the FAA does not know enough about the equipment to form an opinion about maintenance or packing, and thus the FAA defers to the jumpers home county civil aviation authority, as listed in 105.49.
    What it Means:
    Foreign jumpers visiting the United States with a reserve and harness/container approved for use in The United States (TSO'd) should be prepared to comply with United States packing requirements, including the 120 day repack by an FAA certificated rigger.
    Drop zones should adhere to the foreign jumpers home country rules only if either the reserve OR harness/container is unapproved by the FAA, and the drop zone has a solid understanding of the rules issued by the foreign jumpers civil aviation authority.
    Many drop zones are not familiar with FAR 105.49, and very few drop zones have direct knowledge of the civil aviation authority requirements of other countries. Visiting jumpers can assist drop zone owners by having copies of their home country requirements written in, or translated to English. The drop zone is responsible for making sure unapproved equipment is in compliance with the civil aviation authority of the jumpers home country under 105.49(a)(3), so foreign jumpers should be prepared to explain their local regulations and show at least this level of compliance.
    All skydivers and drop zones should understand that a violation of Federal Aviation Regulations can be levied against the jumper, the pilot, the drop zone, or just about any other entity involved in the parachute operation.
    Information Resources:
    FAR Part 105 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/cfrhtml_00/Title_14/14cfr105_00.html
    USPA Skydivers Information Manual with all relevant Federal Aviation Regulations and USPA policies: http://www.uspa.org/publications/manuals.pdf/SIM.2003.pdf
    Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Federal register): http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=1999_register&docid;=99-8753-filed
    Final Rule with Comments (Federal Register): http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2001_register&docid;=01-11726-filed
    USPA White Paper on Foreign Parachutes
    Tom Buchanan is a Sr Rigger, S&TA at The Ranch Parachute Club and author of the book JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy.

    By admin, in Gear,

    Preyor Pins Dropzone.com Closing Pin Necklace

    Russell Jackson from Preyor Pins recently launched a new closing pin necklace design especially for the Dropzone.com community. This small new company makes a beautiful line of quality skydiving jewelry. You can now order your Dropzone.com closing pin necklace straight off their web site.

    When you order the Dropzone.com piece, reference the coupon code "DZCOM" and it will give 4 dollars off the set price of $28.00
    Russell says: When starting out on the first design and team lines, I wanted to be absolutely assured that they were the best quality and most unique beads from around the world, finest Greek leather, first quality components, .925 silver, best quality fresh water pearls, and of course authentic parachute parts. That each of the pieces has great wearability, were jump safe and durable. As my Mom says: "We are proud of our quality and innovation in the design and production of our jewelry." I wanted first and foremost that each of the pieces "represented", and that they conveyed the expressiveness that all skydivers do in the air and on the ground. that the individuality and commonality that we all share can be easily seen by all.
    My day job is an Executive Chef in San Francisco, so I live by the creed of "Service, first and foremost", that ultimately we are here for you. I believe in my Mom, I believe in my skydiving family and will always look out for your best interest and be there to serve your fasionata needs. "Represent" with Preyor Pins.
    Preyor Pins web site
    Dropzone.com piece

    By admin, in Gear,

    Derek's Gear Tips

    Derek Vanboeschoten is a Senior Rigger, Tandem Master and AFF instructor with more than 3300 jumps. Derek also moderates the Gear & Rigging forum on Dropzone.com where he first posted this list of Gear Tips. It is republished here for your convenience.

    Use Performance Design's Slinks for the main and reserve canopies instead of Rapide links. Slinks are stronger, lower bulk, easier to install and remove, and won't damage the slider grommets.
    Clean cutaway cables every 30 days with Ace Pure Silicone Lubricant, sold at Ace Hardware stores, to keep cutaway pull forces low.
    Inspect cutaway cables every 30 days and replace nicked or kinked cutaway cables with a new cutaway handle/cables.
    Flex 3-rings every 30 days to prevent them from taking on a "set" and hanging up during a cutaway.
    Inspect Rapide links and bumpers or PD Slinks every 30 days. Always use slider bumpers with Rapide links to prevent damage to the slider grommets, "Lock-Tite" to keep the link from loosening, and nail polish to torque-stripe Rapide links.
    Use metal, capped, and tacked riser inserts for the excess cutaway cables, regardless of main size or type. They prevent difficult or impossible cutaway resulting from the channel "gripping" the cables or from line twists that include the excess cutaway cables.
    Replace the main closing loop early and often. Adjust main closing loop so that the closing pin is snug. Use a stainless steel washer thick enough that it won't bend when closing the container.
    Have Velcro replaced every 100-200 uses.
    Use a kill line pilot chute, regardless of the size/type of main canopy you have. Check the length of your main pilot chute kill line every 30 days. The kill line should have a little slack in it when the pilot chute is "cocked" and the bridle is under tension. If it doesn't, have it fixed.
    Replace a damaged or old kill line pilot chute with a new one.
    "Cock" a kill line PC after laying the cocooned canopy on the ground and just before putting the canopy in the deployment bag.
    Take the twists out of steering lines every jump or, at a minimum, after the last jump of the day.
    When setting the brakes, set them so that the steering line is to the inside (between the risers) and the excess is to the outside. This will put the excess to the bottom of the riser channels, helping to protect the excess steering line.
    Keep gear out of the sun as much as possible.
    Use Velcro-less toggles/risers. Velcro requires replacement every 100-200 uses, and Velcro damages the steering lines, risers and anything else it comes into contact with.
    Replace mini-risers every 500 jumps or less. Inspect them every 30 days for wear.
    While packing, check your line trim every 30 days or less. When new, all the "A" lines are the same length (on 'most' canopies, check with the manufacturer). Spectra shrinks from the heat from friction with the slider grommets, pulling the canopy out of trim. Pay special attention to steering/control lines. Replace line sets that are significantly worn or out of trim.
    Use the proper size rubber bands, 'Sky Bands', or 'Tube Stows' and do not double wrap them.
    Have your rig washed every 500 jumps or so, more if jumping in a sandy or salt-water environment. What to do After Landing Your Reserve:
    First, place the toggles back on the Velcro. This will prevent the hook half of the Velcro from damaging the lines. Second, daisy chain the lines. Use the slider to keep the daisy chain from unraveling. This will keep the lines neat and untangled. If you have an RSL, remove it from your main canopy and re-mate the Velcro to keep the hook Velcro from damaging your gear.
    Be very careful with the canopy. Get it out of the sunlight and into a large plastic garbage bag and then into your gear bag. Be careful when zipping the gear bag shut to not get any fabric caught in the zipper. As long as it is clean, put the reserve pilot chute and free-bag in the center of your rolled up reserve. This will protect the spring inside the reserve pilot chute from damage.
    Do not take the main canopy off of the risers to untangle it. It got tangled on the risers, it will come untangled on the risers. Taking the canopy off the risers, or worse, the lines off the links, will only make the job of re-assembling the main more difficult.
    Put the cut away cables and reserve ripcord back into their housings and the handles back in their pockets. This will prevent any dirt on the cables from getting on the reserve or the Velcro from damaging lines, the container, or the reserve. If you lost one, or both handles, order them and have them shipped to your rigger. Also, if the free-bag and reserve pilot chute was lost, order a new one and have it shipped to the rigger. Make sure when ordering handles or free-bag to order the correct size for your harness/container.
    In the gear bag, put a card with your name, address, phone number(s), and any special instructions, such as "install/replace soft links", "wash the container", "remove/install RSL", "I need the rig by this weekend", etc.
    If you have a Cypres, check your reserve packing data card to see when the scheduled maintenance and 2 year battery replacements are due. If the maintenance is due (4 and 8 years +/- 3 months (+/- 6 months for Cypres "2") from DOM), make arrangements with your rigger to ship the unit or have your rigger remove it and ship it yourself (your rigger will need the original Cypres box to ship it). If your batteries are due (two years since installation for the Cypres1), check with your rigger to see if they have new batteries or if they will need to be ordered. The batteries will have to be replaced if there is less than four months remaining in the two-year cycle, for a Cypres "1". Cypres2 batteries are replaced at the 4 and 8 year maintenance by the factory.
    Gear & Rigging Forum

    By admin, in Gear,