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kkeenan

Mirage Sizing Confusion

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I would like to preface with the fact that I love Mirage gear. I think it's the best-designed and manufactured harness and container system out there. I own multiple Mirage rigs for freefall and CRW, and love everything about them.

That said, there's a big difference between designing / building a great product and operating a company in the optimum way to give the best service to its customers. I have some issues with the latter and I hope these can be viewed in the constructive spirit that I offer them.

It seems that the sizing guidance for fitting particular models of containers with particular canopy sizes has changed. I'm not sure whether or not this is in response to a perceived "tight fit" issue with reserve containers, which has been talked about for a long time. Mirage seems to have changed all reserve container size recommendations up one size for each reserve size. For example, the M1 size, which always listed the PD143R as "optimal" fit, now recommends the PD126R as the proper canopy with no "tight, loose, or optimal" judgements. Further, they recommend that no deviations be made from the listed canopies. The models in the Mirage line have not changed sizes, indeed there are plenty in use worldwide for many years. New canopies are being built all the time, but some, like the PD-R have been around, unchanged, for equally many years.

It's certainly the prerogative of a manufacturer to change things like the philosophy of "tightness" regarding a parachute container. Considering the trend of a few years for many manufacturers to (IMO) push the envelope of reserve tightness, I applaude Mirage's move to loosen their reserve fit and to make their spec.s not quite so vague.

The problem comes in the dissemination of their Manufacturer's Specifications to the public. Please pardon my Old Guy point of view, but I don't think that Facebook should be the primary source. (I also don't think that U. S. Government policy should be administered via Twitter, but that's a different subject.) The official Mirage sizing and other data is currently listed on Facebook, while the entire set of original (Outdated?) data is listed on the Mirage Company website. The explanation given to me by the company is that it's taking a long time to fix the site. Apparently, the "Under Construction" graphic on the site is official notification that anything stated there as company policy isn't really to be believed, including many pages of technical data. It also says to check FB for updated data. I'm no Webmaster or HTML wizard, but I've heard of people making changes to websites fairly quickly and this situation has existed for over a year.

As riggers, we (at least a lot of us) are trained to research and comply with manufacturers specifications. I think that the manufacturers should also be obliged to present their data in accessable form (preferably not two different sets at the same time). As I said, I am a big fan of Mirage gear. It saddens me that a company of this stature and reputation should have as its public presentation such a bizarrely goofy and confusing set of information.

Kevin Keenan
Titusville FL
_____________________________________
Dude, you are so awesome...
Can I be on your ash jump ?

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Posting to FB is easy. Running a web page requires someone with knowledge. Most companies don't have people with those skills. But that's no excuse. Hire a freelancer. They advertise in a lot of places and they are not that expensive.

Start by using this Google search:

https://www.google.ca/?gws_rd=ssl#q=freelance+web+page+content+writer&*


Or try Fiverr:

https://www.fiverr.com/categories/graphics-design/web-plus-mobile-design?source=side-menu&page=1&filter=rating


I know FB and mobile is now the first point of public contact. But webpages are still where you need to be for any serious depth. Relying on social media does not cut it.
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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kkeenan

Please pardon my Old Guy point of view, but I don't think that Facebook should be the primary source.



It's not an Old Guy point of view. My DZ has a well-designed website with an "Events" page and a Google Groups mailing list for all members. Take a guess as to the only place where you can actually find the registration link for Safety Day.

Sadly, this entire sport and a good chunk of the Internet as a whole have been consumed by the cancer that is Facebook. "Likes" and "social" matter more than longevity, standards, open access, or accuracy of information.

kkeenan

The explanation given to me by the company is that it's taking a long time to fix the site.



Translation: We don't want to pay someone competent to maintain our website, and the son of one of our employees who's "good with computers" is busy with schoolwork.

Happy to see companies being shamed for this crap.

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The new sizing chart is ALL WRONG!! I have been packing Mirages for 18 years and I know the sizes off the top of my head. Let alone when we were a dealer and one of their best dealers 10+ years ago, I can honestly say I have packed close to 1,000 of them. We are no longer a dealer because the service and product has become horrible. Them putting out this chart is more proof that they now have people running their business that have no clue what they are doing. Some of the sizes listed would be DANGEROUS to pack. Let alone the main sizes are WAY WRONG as well. I recommend going by their original chart on the website. They have also had an issues with AAD's fraying loops, do to the location and orientation of the cutter. We have tried to reach out to Mirage with no response, EVER. The customer service people and owner have been extremely rude to us and refuse to hear what we have to say. I even heard rumors of them going out of business, so I would stay away from them. There's my 2 cents.
Kamuran "Sonic" Bayrasli
The Ranch PROshop
Buy Baby Buy!

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They have also had an issues with AAD's fraying loops, do to the location and orientation of the cutter.



That's quite a statement, and I have no comment. But I'll take it under advisement. But I want to know, is this about the original cutter location on the kicker flap or the new one after it was moved above the p/c??
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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It's for the newer location above the PC. Its on the bottom reserve flap on a 45 degree angle. All AADs were designed for the loop to come out on a 90 angle to the cutter (perpendicular). This is what happens on ALL rigs except the Mirage. We have contacted them when we were a dealer and nothing was done and now since we are no longer a dealer, I've had to go to the PIA Technical and Rigging committees.
Kamuran "Sonic" Bayrasli
The Ranch PROshop
Buy Baby Buy!

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TheRanchPROshop

We are no longer a dealer because the service and product has become horrible.



Thanks for saying that.
As a rigger I've seen a couple examples in recent years where a customer had big problems with Mirage. Nice rig though, and they do want to stay current -- eg, with their innovative MARD solution.

Although someone off the original topic, I'm also concerned about Mirage's performance. Skydiving is a small industry so I don't want to be too tough... but still want to hold companies accountable.

In 2016 I had a rigging customer with a Mirage rig, who needed spare parts after a cutaway, and was looking to buy a new Mirage too. After the hassles he had, he went to another company.

He tried to buy a split main bag like they used to have. Mirage doesn't normally now make them that way, but agreed to make him one. When it arrived, the alignment of grommets and center stow (that goes through a grommet to pull the split together) was all wrong. It was like a junior rigger's error -- looked nice at first but showed a complete lack of understanding of how to build a split bag. Some corporate memory had been lost.

He bought a new Mirage main pilot chute through a dealer website. It arrived with the reinforcement sewn along the lines of the mesh, instead of along the 45 degree bias. An email to Mirage bounced; a web form submission got no reply; only after posting on dropzone.com did someone from Mirage get back to me, saying they had been having website problems. They did confirm the pilot chute was built the wrong way and would be willing to replace it if the customer sent it back.

In another thread in the last couple years, someone showed pics of main toggles that had a particular easy-open design that he liked. Mirage denied that they were from Mirage, but I pointed out that they were the very same design Mirage showed off proudly in 2002 when they improved their velcroless toggles. Again, corporate memory seems to have been lost.

From other posts I've seen on dz in recent years, when I started looking whether anyone else had had problems:

Quote


Everyone's opinion is different. My general opinion of Mirage has definately not been great customer service. Slow responses when parts are ordered, Nothing in stock for handles. Wrong parts being sent despite being provided with serial number, main risers sent without rsl ring and then not wanting to replace them.


Quote

That fits with my recent experience. I phoned to order an RSL for a customer, provided them with all the information they needed (serial number etc). They said they'd email me a payment link that day, and have the RSL in the mail the next day. Every couple weeks I'd get an email asking a question that I had already answered (hey, what's the serial number? hey, do the main risers have an RSL ring? etc). Email queries would take a week or two to get a response - then they'd say something like "we'll ship it today" (but then they wouldn't). It took 2 months before they actually shipped it.

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This is Mirage responding to the issue.

We agree that the website being under construction is frustrating. Unfortunately we don’t have access to the code in some areas of the old site. This leaves us in the difficult position of either leaving the site up with some out of date information or shutting the entire site down until the new one is finished. We apologize for the confusion.

In addition to the new website construction, we have updated our internal computer systems. We are committed to being able to provide quality customer service and we sincerely hope most of the hiccups are behind us.

We want to thank you for your patience and are grateful for your support over the years. Mirage will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year. We’re a mechanical, hands-on group; not particularly techy.. Perhaps we’re also a little old school because sometimes our front office misses using a stapler and a filing cabinet instead of the computers and the cloud.

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And AGAIN, Mirage decides not to speak of the danger with their rig and AAD situation. Keep burying your head, it will definitely solve the issue. God forbid if some one dies because of this, it will be proven that you knew and did nothing about it.

Another reason why, we are no longer a Mirage dealer is because they STOLE, yes stole orders from us. Orders for Mirage rigs, that they said, because the customer had "emailed" them first that they were 'Mirage' customers and that they should take the orders. This is after the customers had paid us and WE sent the orders to Mirage. I asked Mirage (Eric)"Did the customers pay you?" He said no. I said well they paid us, so who's customers are they? It isn't like a took a person that wanted a Mirage and sold them a different rig. You ask how does that happen. I have multiple emails I should publish, but for now I wont.

This is all because the owner is running the company into the ground the way she did her last company in the skydiving industries.
Kamuran "Sonic" Bayrasli
The Ranch PROshop
Buy Baby Buy!

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This is all because the owner is running the company into the ground the way she did her last company in the skydiving industries.



What company was that?
Always remember the brave children who died defending your right to bear arms. Freedom is not free.

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In response to your post Sonic, we have endeavored greatly to not comment in public or private about why we cancelled your dealership. We have no desire to bad mouth you or your business. Your ongoing crusade to bash us is inappropriate. Since you are no longer a dealer you tell everyone that our product is terrible and that we will go out of business. We politely ask that you stop slandering us.

We know of no loop issues with Mirage. The only issue was with 1 rig to one of your customers. Despite repeated inspections with no problems found, we replaced all of the reserve grommets (twice) and reserve parts at no charge. You later told us that there was a defect with the AAD cutter and that you were addressing it with the AAD manufacturer. Then, a while later the customer came to us saying you told him it was still a Mirage error. In an effort to take care of the customer who told us that he loved his Mirage but was concerned about the loop, we took his rig back and built him a brand new one at no charge. He asked to make changes to his colors and we accommodated. Although we could find nothing wrong with his old rig other than dented grommets, we destroyed it so that no one else might inherit the mystery problem. To our surprise we saw his brand new, unjumped rig listed a few weeks later on a Facebook gear for sale page so that he could buy another brand that you recommended instead.

You recently went onto the Mirage Facebook page when we said that our harness is designed to be put on leg straps first to post “WRONG!.” Why are you still following our Facebook page? Why do you care if we advise someone to put on their Mirage legstraps first?

There are other incidents, but there is no point re-hashing them. We know that there will be strong and lengthy response to our post, but we will not be responding further. We would like to leave it that we politely agree to disagree. We simply wish to stop arguing with you in private or public.

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