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hackish

Old Gear: Are you crazy I wouldn't jump that @#$@#$

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You better find the oldest, crustiest, hardcore, live-on the DZ in a an old leaky RV, perhaps ex-airborne, back-in-the-day round jumper and learn how to do real PLFs on all sides from about a 6-8 foot platform... not that twice bunny hop land on the pussy pad golf clap shit they teach today.



AHA!! We found him!!! Here's your PLF Instructor!! :o:D:D
Nobody has time to listen; because they're desperately chasing the need of being heard.

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Fortunately I do have years of aikido and have done an aweful lot of breakfalls but it's just not the same when you're semi-suspended by something. Maybe I'll just have to saran wrap my nice clean rig before doing any PLFs :)

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BTW I wasn't exagerating. The DZO did have them/us jump off the roof backwards.



I have no doubt, Brother. Even with my spanky new Airborne certificate in 1980, being in a unit that jumped more than regularly, my skydiving Instructor in 1981 and (a former Black Hat) was Curly Roe and the motherfucker still tortured me with high altitude PLF's. "Now, show me a right rear, now show me a left rear, now show me a... IS IT OVER?!!??! :D
Nobody has time to listen; because they're desperately chasing the need of being heard.

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Back in the day, I did a bit of Jap-slapping. I can tell you from personal experience that the forward breakfall does not work well in a parachute landing. I found it hard not to do one, and to PLF instead when required.

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My first malfunction was on a 28 foot diameter C8 main canopy packed into a 4-pin military-surplus container.
After the usual four tugs on the main ripcord, I got it out and felt opening shock. But wind was roaring past my ears so fast that I knew there was a problem even before looking up.
When I did look up, the stabilizers - on a Crossbow - were knotted together.
I tossed my main ripcord, closely following it with the reserve ripcord and started hand-feeding the reserve out.
The 24 foot flat, miliatary-surplus reserve was torn out of my hands and inflated NOW!
I did not bother trying to open Capewells as they were rusted shut.

If you brought that same gear to me today, I would laugh and point you towards the museum, maybe the trash can ... and my third response cannot be repeated in polite company.

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I never did like Capewells. When R-2's and similar "tapewell" alternatives came allong around 1977, I converted over as fast as I could. There was a fatality in upstate NY in 1974, at a demo jump at a county fair, where the guy's chest mounted reserve snagged an open capewell. The other thing about capewells was that they wouldn't always pull at the same time like you wanted. One friend could only get one of his capewells opened, so he went streamering down to about 500 ft, where he pulled his round reserve in desperation (main was a Strato Star, the rig was a pre-Racer SST). His reserve cleared and opened for a VERY short ride.

I think a lot of people who say they'd only jump old canopies over water are full of it, that or they've gained a few pounds since the old days. But if you're young and just average weight, you'll do fine with a PC. They're lovely canopies. And I've never, never, ever had to chop a round. Never.

Your humble servant.....Professor Gravity !

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There are a number of people around here who have collections of well-maintained old gear and jump it regularly.



Yup:)
I even let other people jump a Papillion or a Para Commander of mine once in a while...and I DO teach them the EP's to go along with it.




I have 5 cutaways on Capewells...never had a problemB|

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And if you think there is/was big controversy nowadays over AADs and RSLs you should have been around when half the sport was in the cutaway camp and the other was in the hand deploy camp. And those arguments sometimes became heated,



The military took an even dimmer view of cutting away... but as a skydiver with two sport cutaways as well ......I sure as hell was not going to dump a good reserve into that spinning piece of shit c-9 when I had a perfectly good reserve sitting there....eeesh...

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What you will go for, a bmw from 1980 or brand new bmw?
Is exatly the same in skydiving...



People own and love classic cars, but they don't usually commute to work in them.

The same in skydiving...

I love my ParaCommander but don't jump it on a regular basis. Besides, it kind of takes over the whole DZ packing mat...

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The other thing about capewells was that they wouldn't always pull at the same time like you wanted.



Funniest capewell story I heard was a guy who had popped the covers and had his thumbs in the rings. He had one eye on his streamering ParaCommander, and the other eye on his altimeter, planning to give the old PC until 1000' to clear, else he was going to chop it.

Suddenly it cleared and banged open cleanly; And guess what the opening shock caused his arms to do? Yep, both arms flew downward, activating both capewells.[:/]
"There are only three things of value: younger women, faster airplanes, and bigger crocodiles" - Arthur Jones.

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Curly retired from skydiving about 6 years ago; moved in the apartment over the kid's garage in Florida and is happily playing with the grandchildren.
Nobody has time to listen; because they're desperately chasing the need of being heard.

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I was on a load yesterday where a guy jumped a paracommander that was last jumped in 1975.

No WDI and he damn near landed in the DZ's PRO circle. They had pictures of the gear at the 1975 Nationals in Muskogee, OK and Smitty the Jumper was in the middle of the picture wearing an Evil Kenevil style jumpsuit.

Pretty bad ass in my book. They exited at 7k and I went on up to 10k and told the pilot to give me the exact jump run as a guy on a 24 round makes the perfect WDI.
It's called the Hillbilly Hop N Pop dude.
If you're gonna be stupid, you better be tough.
That's fucked up. Watermelons do not grow on trees! ~Skymama

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This is the response I get from a lot of people when I speak of jumping some older gear. I understand how capewells work and I do recognize that it's quite possible to catch lines in them from your reserve (belly mount).

I wonder from the old-timers how dangerous they really feel the old gear is given a proper briefing and familiarity with the old EPs? It seems to me that the stuff worked properly 40 years ago and still has a very reasonable chance of working today. In fact it seems to me that a PC Mk2 probably has as good or better chance of working than today's squares.

Opinions?

-Michael



I have no issues with jumping old canopies, but I personally draw the line at out-dated harness/containers and cutaway systems. The thing about capewells is that they really DIDN'T work that well 40 years ago. They'd get stuck, or people would pull only one, or they'd fumble with the covers, and they'd end up dead or under the reserve very, very low. Or they'd be forced to give up and dump the reserve into the malfunctioning main. If you find somebody who's got hundreds of jumps on that stuff back in the day, I guarantee you they can tell you some oh shit stories related to gear failing to work correctly... something that is extremely rare today.

The other thing to consider is that almost nobody is truly qualified to give a "proper briefing" on the old EP's! yes, they can tell you how it works, but even if the briefing is given by an old-timer who's been there and done that, it was still 30 years ago... they are not going to remember all the details and all the weird shit that could go wrong back then. on top of that, there is so much more subtle variation in the systems back then vs. today that there may not be anybody who has ever been familiar with the particular old system you're using. The difference between the 1-shot, 1 1/2 shot and 2-shot capewells and how you work them is significant... and there are other systems as well.

As an aside, I don't really see the point of jumping the old H/C systems, other than to say you did it. When I was a new jumper, a few people were trying to get me to jump some real old stuff, and I told them I'd happily jump an old canopy if they put it in a container that had 3-rings. One guy eventually put a PC Mk3 in a strong hawk, and yes, I did take it up. The novelty (to me) is in the experience of jumping a round, not in the additional risk incurred by jumping a belly wart with pins and cones, pack opening bands, and shot-and-a-halfs.
"Some people follow their dreams, others hunt them down and beat them mercilessly into submission."

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