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anj4de

Paracommander...need advise

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Hello everybody

I recently got back into the sport...am on my way now to get my full license back and hopefully will have it in hand by the end of the year. The mail reason for getting back to parachuting for me was to be able to participate in static line memorial jumps being held here in Europe one in a while in Normandy, around Arnheim and elsewhere. But I also want to pick up regular "skydiving" again with normal, modern day gear of course. One of the dreams I have had ever since I was a young boy was to jump a Paracommander. Now I have read quite a bit in the forums here and it looks like is is very well doable. First I as concerned about the age of the canopies but when my current rigger told me he also still has one from 1970 in airworthy condition the "wish" started turning into a plan. My current though would be to only use a PC for static line jumps since all it matters for is the canopy ride nowadays...and it would be less stressful on the material. Before searching for a chute I would like to know what models were available and the "tech data" around them. I have heard of Mk1s, Mk2s, Competition PCs, Jumbos, MC-3...Could someone help me to put a spread sheet together that shows all the different Mks, when they were made, how big they were and if they had special issues?
Next thing then is to rig it up...I so far think of a MC-1 rig with a T-10R MIRPS reserve...would that work? Any advise from people with PC experience is very welcome.

thanks a lot
Uwe

PS: I know about PLFs and round chutes, have around 70 jumps on T-10s, TTs (T-10 with double L mod), MC-1Bs ,and XL-30s. My futures round for the memorial jumps is a SF-10A
For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.

-Leonardo da Vinci

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Gosh, you don't want much. :S

How much do you weigh? That will affect a recommendation on what size of PC to jump.

You don't need an old-fashioned rig for it. They can be packed in modern deployment bags, and put into modern rigs. You just need a rig with enough cubic inch volume to hold it.

The jumbo's had a higher malfunction rate, from what I remember.

The standard 24' Mark I should suffice for just about everyone.

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MK 1 is your best bet if you aren't really heavy.

Many were "shortlined" ie modified post purchase to reduce line length. It helped in accuracy jumping. For what you are doing a stock MK 1 is the way to go.

Have fun.

377
2018 marks half a century as a skydiver. Trained by the late Perry Stevens D-51 in 1968.

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Hello again...

Ok...so the first problem just came up...weight! I have 220 naked...:o From your experience, is the landing of a Mk1 harder or softer then that of a stock T-10. T-10s I can handle ok...but I would not like it harder a lot.
About the harness...I was thinking about the T-10/MC-1 harness since most PC canopies I have seen so far have risers with the same quick release system as the T-10, also the harness I personally think is very comfortable to "sit" in and the container is easily big enough for any round out there.
Could someone post some data around the "jumbo" PCs please? What diameter does it have? Is a jumbo the same cut as a Mk1 just bigger? What exactly is the military MC-3 like? Questions...questions...I know.
Since I am not in a hurry with all this I might even be able to drop some weight until it becomes reality. I am aiming for mid next year. Until then I will have my license back, I will also have a number of SF-10A jumps hopefully and I will of course only do a PC jump (or more) if my rigger has ok-ed all components and the circumstances around such jumps. I have no intension to ever jump a PC manually...for the free fall experience the large PD 260 I jump is more then sufficient.

thanks
Uwe
For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.

-Leonardo da Vinci

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If you've never jumped a PC before, it's likely to land you harder than a T-10. A PC can be flared, you have to use the rear risers, but it takes a bit of experience to know just when to do so. DON'T try to flare a PC with the toggles, you'll descend a bit FASTER rather than slower.

You know, there was a 27' PC. If you get really lucky, you might run across one of those.

You can download a manual here -> http://www.parachutemanuals.com/index.php?option=com_remository&Itemid=43&func=fileinfo&id=308

The manual mentions all the different models, gives packing instructions, and methods of flying and landing. Also gives some information on accuracy -- if anybody still does that!

Everything I've put here is from memory or else directly from the above-mentioned manual. My last PC jump was perhaps 30 years ago, but I DO have about 40 jumps with it. Sure wish I still had mine. :S
I'm a jumper. Even though I don't always have money for jumps, and may not ever own a rig again, I'll always be a jumper.

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Ive jumped a T 10 and several types of PCs and PC clones. The T 10 landed me softer than any PC. I never jumped a Jumbo PC. My guess is that a Jumbo would give you a decent landing at your weight, but that's just a guess. I wouldn't recommend a regular sized PC for your weight.

I was recently offered a chance to jump a PC and reluctantly turned it down. I am 62 and want to keep jumping for a long time. It's all about managing risk. With reasonable luck you'd likely have an OK landing with a PC, but there is a chance your luck might not be good. My Triathlon 190, if flown conservatively, lands me softly every single time.

I know one old timer who made a nostalgic PC jump and now has some titanium where bone once dwelled. He was sure he could make a landing in the pea gravel but didn't with bad results.

377
2018 marks half a century as a skydiver. Trained by the late Perry Stevens D-51 in 1968.

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I was recently offered a chance to jump a PC and reluctantly turned it down. I am 62 and want to keep jumping for a long time. It's all about managing risk. With reasonable luck you'd likely have an OK landing with a PC, but there is a chance your luck might not be good. My Triathlon 190, if flown conservatively, lands me softly every single time.

I know one old timer who made a nostalgic PC jump and now has some titanium where bone once dwelled. He was sure he could make a landing in the pea gravel but didn't with bad results.

377



Sure glad you posted that. I'm 56 and I've been daydreaming of finding a PC or even a Paradactyl to give it another go. Suspect that would be a bad move.
I'm a jumper. Even though I don't always have money for jumps, and may not ever own a rig again, I'll always be a jumper.

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Hi kd5xb,

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A PC can be flared, you have to use the rear risers,



I do believe that we both can only offer our opinions. Therefore, I could not disagree more.

I made my first PC jump in Nov 64 & went to make ~500 PC jumps. My first PC jump, I landed into a very slight wind & barely bent my knees with the easiest standup anyone the dz had ever seen. :o I just used the toggles to bleed off the forward speed and was at ~ zero when I touched down. To this day I can still remember it very clearly. My very first impression was of amazingly easy toggles to pull down, absolutely nothing compared to the cheapos. B|

The 'flare' on PC is completely different than a flare on a square canopy. With the PC you have to time it virtually perfectly or you will fall backwards at a faster rate of descent. This is probably why people feel that it will come down faster than a cheapo.

I made two T-10 jumps & ~25 jumps on a 28 ft C-9 and then went to the PC. The PC came down a lot slower than either of those cheapo canopies.

IMO It is all about experience.

To the OP, if you do make a PC jump IMO the best conditions are with about a 5 MPH wind & land INTO the wind using the toggles to just let you stop slowly; it can be done.

Just my thoughts,

JerryBaumchen

PS) To the OP: I would recommend that you stay away from a Mark II, a Comp PC or a Russian PC ( Pioneer did try their best to copy the Russian design ); a jumbo would probably work best for you but not many were made.

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Hi kd5xb,

Quote

A PC can be flared, you have to use the rear risers,



I do believe that we both can only offer our opinions. Therefore, I could not disagree more.



Perhaps you're right. Oh shucks, with ~500 PC jumps, you GOTTA be right! :)
Truthfully, I tried the toggles and SLAM! So I tried the risers and things went much better for me.

But you're right -- everything here is opinion.

Hope everybody's having a great weekend! I'm at home this weekend -- which is why I have time to be on DZ.com!
I'm a jumper. Even though I don't always have money for jumps, and may not ever own a rig again, I'll always be a jumper.

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The T 10 landed me softer than any PC.



I'm amazed to be hearing this kind of comment. I'm a survivor of 40 T-10 jumps, and a veteran of 450 Paracommander jumps. My T-10 landings were all thumped in like a sack of potatoes. The T-10's had the TU cut for steering. Paracommander landings usually stand-ups. I'd usually just face it into the wind, prepare for a PLF, and take the stand-up. I only learned to flare it much later, and never saw much difference from that.

Maybe the T-10's at my student drop zone were ragged-out or something... But in my experience, I'd take a Paracommander any day over a T-10, for both maneuverability and softer landings.

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You could be right. I only had a few T 10 jumps but each one was a feather soft landing. I had my share of bone cruncher ragged out (porous) C9 landings. The T 10s were very low time, just bought from surplus when I jumped them. I only weighed about 147 at the time so that might have been a big factor.

I wouldn't advise anyone who weighs 220 stripped and is over 50 to jump a regular PC. It probably will be OK with a PC but with a modern ram air properly sized and flown it will almost certainly be OK.

377
2018 marks half a century as a skydiver. Trained by the late Perry Stevens D-51 in 1968.

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Hey, I just ran across this thread -> http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=3636433;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed;;page=unread#unread

It links to a video of someone landing a PC here -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yN-ESHjzGNo&feature=related

It's at least interesting to watch. He landed it pretty softly.
I'm a jumper. Even though I don't always have money for jumps, and may not ever own a rig again, I'll always be a jumper.

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The T 10 landed me softer than any PC.



I'm amazed to be hearing this kind of comment. I'm a survivor of 40 T-10 jumps, and a veteran of 450 Paracommander jumps. My T-10 landings were all thumped in like a sack of potatoes. The T-10's had the TU cut for steering. Paracommander landings usually stand-ups. I'd usually just face it into the wind, prepare for a PLF, and take the stand-up. I only learned to flare it much later, and never saw much difference from that.

Maybe the T-10's at my student drop zone were ragged-out or something... But in my experience, I'd take a Paracommander any day over a T-10, for both maneuverability and softer landings.



This is exactly my experience, too; except Back In The Day, after I got off the S/L (T-10s), I was so light that I jumped a 28' C-9 for about 50 jumps. Stand-ups under C-9s (albeit with feet & knees together - "land & squat") were not uncommon for me. The MK1 PCs and French Paps were like a Porsche compared to the cheapos. No, they weren't ram-airs; but for rounds, they were superb. Every time I hear/read someone bad-mouth PCs, I want to smack them.

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Hi A

I think the peeps unhappy with the PC were the big guy's and gals.

I wouldn't smack a 220 man or womenB|. If their unhappy about anything.. especially when their jumping a overloaded PC.

Whats a wag for max reasonable weight on a std size PC type canopy. Exclude peagravel or water landings.

220# B|B|
One Jump Wonder

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Whats a wag for max reasonable weight on a std size PC type canopy. Exclude peagravel or water landings.

220# B|B|



The manual I referenced earlier quotes a rate of descent for a Mk 1 of 15.7 FPS with 190 pounds. I'd say that the maximum allowable rate of descent is based on what the individual can tolerate.
I'm a jumper. Even though I don't always have money for jumps, and may not ever own a rig again, I'll always be a jumper.

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I do believe that we both can only offer our opinions.


I was 240 lbs when I started jumping with a T-10 in '69. Six months later I was 180 lbs (Tired of making dents in the planet). I have about 25 jumps on the same T-10 (it was old and we packed outside then) during this period and remember the landings as brutal. I got a little lighter then jumped a C-9 for a while. From '70 I have about 250 jumps on a PC Mk1 which I loved.

I last jumped that PC 10 times in Aug, '79 at 200 lbs. Most of the landings were standups and I never did the flare thing on landings. A PC has never hurt me but the T-10 has. My PC started out standard but I shorted the lines about 36" right after I got it because it reduced the amount of oscillation after turns. I agree with the age thing. I'm 62 y/o and wouldn't jump it now (except maybe a water jump and I would do the spot) even for nostalgia reasons.

Regarding suspended weight considerations, I think I would be more concerned with opening stress on an old canopy with unknown history than area loading.
My experience with these canopies and opinion.

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The T 10 landed me softer than any PC.



I'm amazed to be hearing this kind of comment. I'm a survivor of 40 T-10 jumps, and a veteran of 450 Paracommander jumps. My T-10 landings were all thumped in like a sack of potatoes. The T-10's had the TU cut for steering. Paracommander landings usually stand-ups. I'd usually just face it into the wind, prepare for a PLF, and take the stand-up. I only learned to flare it much later, and never saw much difference from that.

Maybe the T-10's at my student drop zone were ragged-out or something... But in my experience, I'd take a Paracommander any day over a T-10, for both maneuverability and softer landings.



Me too. The amount of sheer mythology and misinformation about Paracommanders simply astounds me ! The PC I owned and jumped for about two years was an old ragged out 1964 original. I probably shouldn't even have been jumping it at all, but it seemed to hold up with liberal amounts of duct tape, but then that's the way things were back in "the day". I got consistently soft stand up landings with my PC, so many that I stopped wearing leather para boots and switched over to sneakers for the first time. Also switched from a motorcycle helmet to a hockey helmet. But I only weighed about 160 lbs in those days. Nowadays at 204, I'm not so sure I'd want to jump one again. I'll just settle for many fond memories.

If the Paracommander was such a bone crusher, it would have never lasted on the sport market. There were plenty of sport designs that came and went because they didn't fly or land nearly as well (Crossbow, Thunderbow, Piglet, ad nauseum...). But it had a long run, as long as 10 - 12 years, as the most popular sport canopy in the world. It finally got pushed aside by squares only when the slider came along and made square openings acceptably soft and consistent.

Your humble servant.....Professor Gravity !

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I downloaded the PC manual....
the author notes that test jumpers with intentionally packed streamers took 1200 feet to cutaway ( with capewells ) and get the reserve out
( and they knew they were going to have a streamer ! ). Obviously a real streamer if you pulled at 2K would be very interesting, to say the least.

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Hi dks,

Quote

Obviously a real streamer if you pulled at 2K would be very interesting, to say the least.



In ~1972, on a slow, overcast day at the dz we decided to do some team accuracy competition jumps. Mick Bevens ( '74 US Team ) got out first at 3500 ft on a 3-man team, pulled at ~2,000 ft & had a streamer. He had his fingers in the shot 'n' halfs when, at 1,000 ft, his PC opened. He took it in stride and toggled in for a dead center; as calm & cool as you could be. :o

JerryBaumchen

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The T 10 landed me softer than any PC.



I'm amazed to be hearing this kind of comment. I'm a survivor of 40 T-10 jumps, and a veteran of 450 Paracommander jumps. My T-10 landings were all thumped in like a sack of potatoes. The T-10's had the TU cut for steering. Paracommander landings usually stand-ups. I'd usually just face it into the wind, prepare for a PLF, and take the stand-up. I only learned to flare it much later, and never saw much difference from that.

Maybe the T-10's at my student drop zone were ragged-out or something... But in my experience, I'd take a Paracommander any day over a T-10, for both maneuverability and softer landings.



Me too. The amount of sheer mythology and misinformation about Paracommanders simply astounds me ! The PC I owned and jumped for about two years was an old ragged out 1964 original. I probably shouldn't even have been jumping it at all, but it seemed to hold up with liberal amounts of duct tape, but then that's the way things were back in "the day". I got consistently soft stand up landings with my PC, so many that I stopped wearing leather para boots and switched over to sneakers for the first time. Also switched from a motorcycle helmet to a hockey helmet. But I only weighed about 160 lbs in those days. Nowadays at 204, I'm not so sure I'd want to jump one again. I'll just settle for many fond memories.

If the Paracommander was such a bone crusher, it would have never lasted on the sport market. There were plenty of sport designs that came and went because they didn't fly or land nearly as well (Crossbow, Thunderbow, Piglet, ad nauseum...). But it had a long run, as long as 10 - 12 years, as the most popular sport canopy in the world. It finally got pushed aside by squares only when the slider came along and made square openings acceptably soft and consistent.



All I got to say.. is if you have the gear.. ya just gotta jump it Tom :)

Now.. you know I am not exactly "petite" and in the last 8 years...I jumped a T-10... yeah.. that landing sucked.. It certainly convinced me I was no longer wanting to jump my old canopys onto Terra Way Too Firma... WATER JUMPS.... thats the ticcie:D

I jumped my Papillion( the one I got from Viking) and my PC Mk II( $30 bucks off of eBay I thought I was buying a surplus t-10 and an OD Green SOG marked PC-Mk II was actually in the bag) ... just had to jump it into the lake 4 years ago... nice splash... ( not that big a splash either) beats the hell of of big THUD as you return to the planet.

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You never mentioned the Russian 23 or 27. the 23 was a brisk landing ,the27 was also tolerable. The jumbo came in 28and 32. The competition had large steering slots and a big drive window, best to land in peas. The RW-PC was better material that packed smaller BFD. Mark II needed the hook knife slash out drive hole conversion. It was made for "Airborne" for steering but caused more canopy bumping. If all canopies drifted off somewhere to land with the grace and dignity of a case old hand grenades falling off a deuce and a half bed. that was ok but give them the ability to crash into each other was not good.this was 1966 to 1968. In 1969 Mark I were back

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I too am an old( 56 yo)PC jumper and have treated my nostalgia needs at our annual water boogie and jumped the PC into the lake. Last year (water-boogie 23) I reluctantly put away my b-4 container(PC main,C-9 reserve) because the reserve attachment points were so low on the harness.If I needed my reserve (God forbid a total) I would have been bent in half like a taco during opening shock.
" 90 right, five miles then cut."---Pukin Buzzards

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My 13th jump was my first (of many) PC jumps. It was also my first reserve ride. [:/] It cost me two cases of beer and a bottle of scotch. I made many PC jumps and didn’t see another reserve until after switching to a square main. B|

I would also like to jump one again someday. I’ve decided to do just that as soon as I weigh 150 lbs. again??? ;)
Birdshit & Fools Productions

"Son, only two things fall from the sky."

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Interesting thread considering the timing. I just put together a PC with a mini system last weekend.

Some young guy at our DZ expressed an interest in actually jumping one, so I dug a couple of rigs out of my hanger loft. After installing some risers that would work (it had the capewell lugs for a B-4), remember the ones that we had to cut off the tabs on?, and actually went on and actually packed it.

First time I packed one since the 70's, but it was like I did it yesterday. Put it in the mini-system and its ready to jump.

Now all I have to do is train the guy on how to use it.

I'm also going to drop a wind drift from a 182 and spot for him.
You live more in the few minutes of skydiving than many people live in their lifetime

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