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Manufacturer Contacts On dropzone.com

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Many questions are asked in this forum about skydiving gear, and there are many highly qualified folks who can provide excellent input. You may notice that most of them add the comment "contact the manufacturer."

Reading all such posts here, I find that many folks would rather post their question in these forums instead of contacting the people who made the gear in the first place. Instead of scratching my head wondering why, I decided to stick this post at the top of the Gear and Rigging Forum hopefully making a few skydivers better informed.

Did you know that there are a large number of Dropzone.com members that own or work for companies in the parachute industry? I have posted a list below of the ones I have been able to round up. Please, if you know of more that are dotcommers, let me know. I will continually edit this list to keep it as up-to-date as possible.

In my experience with manufacturers, they are all very approachable and work very hard to answer my questions. Through my experience, I have some tips for those who want to ask them a question:

-read the manual first. It might answer your question by itself. If not, you may only be calling the manufacturer for a clarification instead of a complete explanation.

-read all related manuals. If the component is used in conjunction with another, read both to understand the full picture.

-use email. I get better results with email because it can be forwarded to exactly the right person to answer my question, and the issue it contains can be addressed when that person is focused on it, rather than having a phone call interrupt them.

-be clear and concise. Stay away from the "story" unless it is specifically relevant to your question. Focus on the specific issue.

-use their manufacturer homepage email address. That address will give your question more visibility. Bear in mind that some manufacturer dotcommers will read their PMs, others may not.

-provide as much information as possible: your full name, phone numbers, best time(s) to call, email address, the component serial number (SN), date of manufacture (DOM), and model.

-just buy a used rig? Ask them to fax you the production sheet. It will provide you with much useful information such as when it was made, who it was sold to, all harness measurements, what canopies it was built for, and even clear up whether an unusual feature was incorporated during manufacture or during a later modification in the field.

The list (updated 25 Jul 2013):

Company - dropzone.com username - Real Name
[UL]
[LI]Aerodyne - sanzlk - Sandy Kimball[/LI]
[LI]AeroSports USA - jerrybaumchen - Jerry Baumchen (Owner/Operator)
[LI]Airtec GmbH - airtecjuergen - Juergen Sennert[/LI]
[LI]Atair - cobaltdan - Dan Preston[/LI]
[LI]Aviacom (Argus) - goorts - Karel Goorts [/LI]
[LI]Aviacom (Argus) - trojanhorse - William van Heerden [/LI]
[LI]Basik Air Concept - bkr - Jerome Bunker[/LI]
[LI]Basik Air Concept USA Service Center - marinho - Gus Marinho[/LI]
[LI]Big Air Sportz - briansgermain - Brian Germain [/LI]
[LI]Birdman - jari - Jari Kuosma [/LI]
[LI]Birdman USA Service Center - tso-d_chris - Chris Dembowski [/LI]
[LI]Bonehead Composites - hottamaly - Linda Hardesty [/LI]
[LI]Firebird - kimblair13 - Kim Reuter-Winslow[/LI]
[LI]Firefly Suits - fireflyunltd - Sherry Jasnos[/LI]
[LI]Flite Suit - skydance - Ray Ferrell[/LI]
[LI]HiPer - lavielle - Pascal Lavielle [/LI]
[LI]Hypoxic - trunk - Mark "Trunk" Kirschenbaum (Owner)[/LI]
[LI]Icarus Canopies USA Sales - [LI]Jump Shack - nancyj - Nancy LaRiviere [/LI">
[LI]Jump Shack - sid - Peter Draper [/LI]
[LI]Jump Shack - tmpattersonjr - Mike Patterson[/LI]
[LI]Liquid Sky - YM4 - Julio Ruiz (Owner)[/LI]
[LI]Lunatic Apparel - Jungstie-[/LI]
[LI]Mirage Systems (Authorized Service Center) - chutingstar - Mike Gruwell[/LI]
[LI]Mirage Systems - vidiot - Klaus Rheinwald[/LI]
[LI]Paratec - fandango - Stefan Ertler[/LI]
[LI]Paratec - speed2000 - John Cranston[/LI]
[LI]Performance Designs - berchtoldaj - Al Berchtold[/LI]
[LI]Performance Designs - isaiah85 - Isaiah McCauliffe[/LI]
[LI]Performance Desgns - tomnoonan - Tom Noonan[/LI]
[LI]Phoenix Fly - robibird - Robert Pecnik [/LI]
[LI]Precision Aerodynamics - precision - George Galloway [/LI]
[LI]Rawa Helmets - radirawa - Radir Macedo [/LI]
[LI]Skylark - olga_inet - Olga Usanova[/LI]
[LI]Strong - rinaldi524 - Mike Rinaldi (Sales Manager)[/LI]
[LI]Sun Path - f1freak - Travis Flint[/LI]
[LI]Sun Path - upndownshop - Jerry Schrimsher II[/LI]
[LI]Sunrise Rigging - freeflajankie - Ankie Berry [/LI]
[LI]Tony Suits - tony-tonysuits - Tony Uragallo[/LI]
[LI]United Parachute Technologies - billbooth - Bill Booth [/LI]
[LI]United Parachute Technologies - pablito - Pablo Perazzoli[/LI]
[LI]Utility Aircraft Corp. (PAC 750XL) - skydance - Ray Ferrell[/LI]
[LI]Velocity Sports Equipment - kellyf - Kelly Farrington [/LI]
[LI]Vigil USA - vigilcandi - Candace Murchison-Procos[/LI]
[LI]AAD (Vigil) - popovitch - Bronnec Yann [/LI]
[LI]**Reflex H/C Information - riggermick - Mick Cottle (former VP of Fliteline Systems) [/LI]
[LI]**Reflex H/C Info & Parts - skydance - Ray Ferrell[/LI]
[/UL]

Please reply to this thread only to provide me updates for the above list, or to provide your own feedback about personal interaction with particular manufacturers. That will help those who are shy about making contact feel more confident in doing so.
Arrive Safely

John

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It would be nice though to post it on the forum also, or at least the answer you were given. This way we inform each other and keep each other educated.
The trouble with skydiving; If you stink at it and continue to jump, you'll die. If you're good at it and continue to jump, you'll see a lot of friends die...

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Hey, thanks for posting this. Even though I don't post on the forums all the time, I actually really love getting questions from other skydivers. It is usually a welcome distraction, and it does a number of things:

one, keeps me fresh on what is going on out there.

Two, if someone asks me a question I don't know the answer to off hand, it gives me the opportunity to research it and learn something new. (I will be the first to say I don't know 80% of what people ask, but I usually know WHO to ask that does, this way I can get back to the person with the correct answer, or best answer possible if it is a subjective question)

Three, it gives me a great excuse, if my boss walks in and I'm looking through Dropzone.com, I can say "No, no, no I'm not goofing off I'm working, look"

It is true what he said about PM's though, I check those about once a week, but I have my business email up and running most everyday (for instance I'm sitting in a hotel room in south america as i type)

all questions are welcome, but rember your third grade teacher was lying, there are stupid questions, so leave my '72 Pacer wagon out of this.

a.easterlin@aerodyne-int.com
"Those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those who are doing it"

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Hi Guys,

One clarification: to honor the forum rules about advertising, and the guidance from Sangiro on signature lines, I ask that we keep this list focused on manufacturers and not gear dealers.

The intent of this post is to provide dotcommers with a contact list for seeking answers, problem solving, or educating themselves about particular items of skydiving equipment - straight from the source. Doubtless, there are gear dealers here that are highly knowledgeable and can provide sound advice as well. My intent is not to discount that knowledge at all.

The list I posted, with a recent improvement by HH (thanks!), links directly to individuals that are in one form or another factory reps for skydiving gear manufacturers. I purposely did not link to the factory websites, since they can be found in the "Gear" section of this site, and I did not want to encroach upon the forum advertising boundary.

Individuals that own or are employed by gear dealers that are factory reps in a more direct capacity than sales are absolutely welcome in the list. I will however list the manufacturer name and not the dealer name.

Thanks,
Arrive Safely

John

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I don't suppose you know of anyone who has worked on or can answer any questions about parachute de france gear?

I realise that they don't deal in North America but I've managed to aquire a new line set for a PdF Merit 190 and the line lengths differ significantly in length from my exisiting lines. I've read a post stating that there may have been an upgrade but getteing info from the company is quite difficult. There is also only one mark on the end of the lines unlike the red and black mark on PD line sets. The lines are also numbered different from the normal ABCD 12345. If you can help me it would be greatly appreciated.[email]

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I emailed relative workshop, mirage and Aerodyne for some questions I had about my rig I'm planning to buy. Only Aerodyne took the trouble to email me back (and very quick I my add).

ps...I'm planning to buy an all Aerodyne rig now :)

This is just a great place for info...

_______________________________________

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