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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/28/2019 in all areas

  1. 5 points
    Hi guys, I'm developer of Skyduck - the new mobile app for skydivers. I'm trying to make the best app for skydivers, so I need your help. First of all I need your feedback. Now it is in open beta test and available for iOS devices (iPhone 6 and higher except iPhone SE) DOWNLOAD FROM APPSTORE What it is now? • Easy-to-use automated skydiving logbook • Jumps digital signatures • 3D visualization of jump • Detailed statistics on a graph • Vertical/horizontal speeds Blue skies, Igor
  2. 5 points
    Kind of like saying "Bless her heart" in the South... Wendy P.
  3. 5 points
    I went home today. Hop and pop from 6k with my awesome hubby. Almost got blown off the plane because I forgot about the prop blast. Perfect exit, perfect deployment, almost perfect landing. If only the winds hadn't gotten all weird, I'd have done at least one from full altitude. But that's okay. There's always next weekend. Life is good again.
  4. 4 points
    It’s Not What You Do (Or the Size of Your Dropzone): It’s How You Do It Jen Sharp -- since 2017, the Director of IT for the USPA -- is a woman of note for a long list of reasons. Jen’s a font of wisdom, a truly badass skydiving instructor and a businesswoman of uncommon strength and clarity (proof: she spent 21 years owning a successful small drop zone in Kansas). When she speaks, one should do themselves the favor of listening. If you don’t already know her story: Jen has been jumping since she was 18 years old. She opened Skydive Kansas directly after her college graduation, when she had a full-time teaching job and only 300 jumps. (Even then, she’d already been working as a static line jumpmaster, instructor, packer, rigger and radio-wrangler. Supergirl, basically.) Since then, she has traveled extensively as a jumper, an instructor and a public speaker. It was 1995 when Jen opened her dropzone: the days of saving up your vacation days for the World Freefall Convention; of spending Friday night to Sunday dinnertime on the dropzone; of single-plane 182 dropzones all over the place and, like, eight places you could go to fulfill a turbine craving. The close knit of those intimate little club-format dropzones has, of course, steadily unwound since then in most places. Adding skydiving to the schedule has become much more of a surgical strike: you get to the DZ at 10am and manifest immediately so you can make it to Crossfit by 4. You sift through regional skydiving events on Facebook, few of which require more than a handful of minutes’ worth of planning. You drive hours for a turbine. Jen takes on her alter ego, “Stu,” as a student (get it?!) on an AFF eval jump. It would be easy to mourn the loss of the small dropzone as an entity -- there are precious few of them left, proportionally to their previous numbers -- but Jen refuses to. For her, the “small dropzone feel” is the culture we should all be striving for, even if there happen to be seven Skyvans in the hangar archipelago. “The best vibes are at the places that keep the actual perspective, not just the party line, that we are all just people and all just want to have fun,” she begins. “The ones that embody safety in the active choices to care for each other. The places that assume the best in people. Luckily, that’s really simple to do.” Simple? Yes. Easy? Not necessarily, but according to Jen, that’s what we are really going for here: an inviting culture. Example after example proves that business success will follow that beacon significantly more reliably than it will follow volume. “What that culture is not,” Jen clarifies, “is the culture of the burned-out tandem instructor, hauling meat; a culture where an instructor never connects with their student; where they don’t even call them students, but passengers. If you call them a passenger, they are one-and-done. They know their place with you. But if you call them a student -- and you truly think of them that way -- the whole dynamic is going to be different.” How do you change the dynamic? By changing the way you see the person in the harness. “The public we meet is awesome,” she continues. “And we forget that! We totally forget this as instructors -- especially, tandem instructors. We forget that the person we’re taking is amazing. Why? Because they are not on the couch. A normal person is just sitting there on the couch on the weekend or maybe vacuuming or making snacks, drinking beer and watching TV. But this person is okay with being uncomfortable; with putting their life in your hands. They are excited about it, and they are trusting you. That already makes them a really cool person.” Doing an interview at PIA 2015. “If you want to see the average person, go to Walmart,” she laughs. “That’s the ‘average person.’ The person walking on a dropzone for the first time is not the average person. They are already living on a level that we should resonate with, especially since they’re new and they need our guidance.” For Jen, in fact, the “passenger” moniker is no less than a dishonor. “Homogenizing everyone who walks in the door into a ‘passenger’ has a couple of outcomes,” Jen explains. “It burns tandem instructors out. It burns the public out against skydiving when we make the assumption that they don’t know anything. Where did we even get that idea in the first place? Sure, they don’t know anything about skydiving, but they probably know a lot about something else.” “When I would take tandem students, I didn’t know who they were, necessarily,” she muses. “I would always ask ‘why are you here today,’ but they weren’t always going to tell their life story. I would find out later that we had just taken a brain surgeon, or the senator from some western county in Kansas. You never know who that person is. They’re just walking around in their sweats because you told them to dress comfortably. So -- if you’re starting to feel the burnout, try allowing yourself to be curious about them. And, if you’re a dropzone owner, strive to instill that curiosity in your instructor staff.” Who knows: That curiosity, manifesting as totally authentic friendliness, could end up defining a regional dropzone’s niche. “If drop zones realize how many kinds of niches there are to occupy,” Jen says, “I don’t think we’d ever talk in terms of ‘small,’ ‘medium’ and ‘large’ dropzone. You can occupy a really strong, functional cultural niche without being the biggest DZ around, or having the most airplanes, or doing the most tandems. As a dropzone, your niche really comes from whatever it is that you want to bring to the table -- and your resources and your passions -- and you succeed when you fulfill that to the max. I think a lot of places are figuring that out, and that’s contributing to the fact that we now have more of a variety of dropzones than we ever have before.” Y’know that bit about a cultural "niche"? Jen insists that it’s not just about feels. It’s about returns, too. A strong niche can turn into a marketing advantage. “Not every dropzone should compete on price,” Jen notes. “It's conceivable for a smaller DZ to actually make more profit by doing less jumps. Profit is not the same as gross.” “It’s as straightforward as reaching the fullest manifestation of what you’re capable of doing,” she adds, smiling, “and, of course, always trying to get better.”
  5. 4 points
    I am one of those hands that Dave trained...Was working on a rig- and i got stuck... I pulled out my phone and started to call Dave. Than it hit me again... I hope that am half the rigger he was. Don't have the heart to remove number. Until the next life Dave...
  6. 4 points
    World Meet Z-Hills 1981..... the boogie between competition jumps I got grounded for a low pull (gee seemed normal to me) and Dave noticed that scene. Grinning and on the sly, he pulled off his boogie wristband and gave it to me. "Keep jumping, I'll get another." One of a kind, ol' Dave. Miss him. R.I.P to a good man. In pic, he's on far right in younger days.
  7. 4 points
    Dave had many "saves" himself and when you multiply that by all the riggers he trained the numbers would be in the thousands. A life well lived.
  8. 4 points
    I am 69 years old and in my 51st year of skydiving. I had two cutaways, one over Pope Valley CA in 1972 using military surplus gear and one over Rantoul Illinois using modern gear in 2005. I see skydiving as a very risky sport and see myself as a lucky cautious participant. Perry Stevens D-51 taught me how to jump in 1968. One bit of advice he gave me was: "when something looks marginal to you, take a pass on it, ALWAYS." Marginal planes, marginal gear, marginal jump plans, marginal weather etc. I've done nearly everything I can to mitigate risk. I jump with an RSL and a Cypres AAD. I don't swoop, wingsuit or BASE jump. I practice emergency procedures. I get gear checks before I board. I was a very early AAD user, buying an SSE Sentinal 2000 as soon as they hit the market. Back then experienced jumpers who wore AADs were ridiculed, but I didn't care. When I could finally afford a square canopy, I bought a conservative one (Triathlon) that would put me at 1.2 to 1 wing loading and never downsized even on subsequent buys. My reserve is almost as big as my main. If steady winds exceed 18 mph I wait for better conditions. I passed on manifesting for Twin Beech jumps on really hot days with loads that clearly exceeded max gross limits. I passed on really green Cessna piston jumpship pilots. I passed on having beer with lunch at a DZ where it was SOP. I could go on but you get the picture. I am not gloating or saying I am better than people who take more risk than I do. My point is that there are many things you can do (or more accurately NOT do) that will substantially reduce risk and still allow you to participate in the best sport on the planet. You won't be sharing granite skimming wingsuit videos with your friends but you can still have a great time.
  9. 4 points
    So funny clicking this link all these years later to see that Squirrel completely and utterly dominate the PPC charts... Hahahaha
  10. 4 points
    I know I sound like an old man yelling at kids on his lawn, but is this the picture that should be on the cover of the official publication of the USPA? Should the USPA really be promoting lighting your canopy on fire? It gives it a sense of legitimacy and may even make some people think they can go to the SIM to find out how to do it.
  11. 4 points
    You need a real rigger. A rigger that puts a 20 year life span on a reserve is a rigger to run away from.
  12. 3 points
    A few comments: 1) Yes, it can be hard to get an advanced license with a small aircraft. I started skydiving at a small DZ with one, then two, then one C182's. We were lucky to get in one "fun" jump (i.e. an actual 4-way) a weekend, and that's only if we showed up at 7am and made sure a pilot was there, too. This is not a bad thing - it means that if you don't get experience you can't get an advanced license. Because you don't have enough experience. Which is how licenses work. Licenses aren't "you've been in the sport for two years and you deserve some recognition" - they are both indications that you've reached a level of experience (based on jump numbers and types of jumps you've done) and that you are ready to learn something new (like getting an AFF rating or learning to do demos.) 2) It sounds like you are saying that it's hard to get experience/freefall time from a C206 that only goes to 10K. Keep in mind that many DZ's only have C182's that go to 8500 - so you have some benefits there. 3) There have been hundreds of thousands of 4-ways launched from 182's and 206's without much increase in risk. If your pilot is uncomfortable with them, then by all means don't do them - but learning to do 4-way is a pretty basic skill. Once you get a new pilot and/or go to different DZ's you'll have that opportunity. 4) There has been no time, ever, when DZ's haven't "been experiencing tough times." And right now we are in the middle of a booming economy. DZ's make money on students, not upjumpers - so losing a few upjumpers to other DZ's doesn't hurt DZ's financially very much. It does hurt them in the long run because those jumpers tend not to stick around. But that's because they have one C206 and a conservative pilot, rather than "USPA makes them leave." As another data point, when I started at that aforementioned one-182 DZ, we'd often go to the Ranch on Mondays (when our DZ was closed) to take advantage of their "$13 to 13,500" deals during the week. We had to, to get enough jumps to get licenses and ratings. And going to a different DZ taught me a whole lot more than just getting some extra high altitude jumps did. It meant I met new people, had new coaches, saw new gear, learned about new aircraft, had to learn new outs - and all of that is critical to someone who wants to be considered an "expert" skydiver (which I believe is what the C license used to be called.) Finally: 5) "Turning even one successful point in a four-way from a Cessna at 10K is a beer-worthy feat!" - Nonsense! Why, one year at Lost Prairie we turned 7 points from 4K! They even wrote a song about it. Although come to think of it that might not be a good feat to try to duplicate . . .
  13. 3 points
    First fifty or so jumps on my new canopy, I psycho packed it. Seemed to offer more control. Here's a video that may help, but always discuss with a rigger, never take advice off of the internet, go to the PIA conference before you do anything new, yadda yadda yadda
  14. 3 points
    Tipping everybody is an American thing...
  15. 3 points
    Dave was one of the greats in skydiving and parachute rigging. Always cheerful. Always helpful. I'm going to miss him.
  16. 3 points
    Actually, you get more honeys being fly. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  17. 3 points
    That's so cool. Can I be on your ash dive?
  18. 3 points
    Wolf is right about staying Hydrated an well fed. Stay healthy and stretch often. You will be suprised at how sore you can get after a few jumps. Bring a lunch an bunch of snacks. Lots of water. If im not picking some jumpers brain for advise im either eating,stretching, or sleeping. Above all else once you get over the I could die doing this thought you will start to have so much fun either during freefall or under canopy. They are 2 totally different experiences..Enjoy them both. Listen to your coaches and don't over think anything. Stay loose an hold your arch.
  19. 3 points
    Let me update my answer. The DZO is closing in on 50 and I'm 64 with 3000 tandems. Heck I have over a 1000 tandems on my new knee. Age is a hell of lot more than a number! STEVEMACHINE!
  20. 3 points
    20kN has it right. I will add if the plane is not depressurized, you won't be able to open the emergency doors. If it is depressurized, but still at high altitude, you will have to stay on oxygen to function, and so it would be hard to get to a door unless you are right next to it, and it would have to be an over-wing hatch door. I do think you could get out of a hatch with your rig on. So you need two events: 1. A plane that is depressurized 2. A plane that cannot fly If both of these are true, there has probably been a catastrophic air-frame failure, most likely a terrorist attack or a really bad engine failure that damaged the wing / tail and the fuselage, so in addition to having to deal with oxygen and getting to a hatch and opening it and getting out into a very high slipstream (300+mph?) the plane could be spinning or tumbling as well, a very challenging situation. You would want to stay on oxygen until below 20k ft, or try to hyperventilate on oxygen before exiting.
  21. 3 points
    Hi Ken, Last year Derek Thomas ( formerly of Sunpath ) told me about the work that Kyle Collins did for them. He said it was a fair amount of very small changes to the rig; i.e., things like a change in the radius of a portion of the yoke pattern, etc, etc. It was about '03, at the Symposium, that I was talking with Derek ( he & his then wife Pat, bought Sunpath about '94 ) and he said that, from the original, it had over 135 changes to it. Now, some of those would be to the TSO'd portion of the H & C and some would be to the non-TSO'd portions. Just some trivia for those who like this stuff, Jerry Baumchen PS) The Javelin was originally TSO'd under C23c where you select what Category ( weight - speed, make a selection ) you want to certify it under. Later, they did the three Strength Tests per C23d, where you select what weight - speed you want to certify it under; then the FAA granted them certification under C23d, or so I was told. ETA: My error, I was talking with Derek at the '07 Symposium.
  22. 3 points
    I realize Americans don't see Canada as any more than a State they need paperwork to visit, but we actually are a separate country that is not AAD mandatory.
  23. 3 points
    I have read your posts, I just think you are overreacting here just like half the people on this forum do anytime anyone even whispers something about the USPA. The USPA makes a small change and all of a sudden BIG Parachute is out to get everyone and destroy skydiving. Having to send in a form in an effort to learn trends in AAD fires is not a big deal. Collecting statistical data to determine safety trends is literally one of the USPA's core functions, as is the core function of anyone who works in any industry involving safety. It's a basic principle of determining risk.
  24. 3 points
  25. 3 points
    "Dear Sir: My standard fee is $600/hour for time spent in court or depositions, regardless of whether I am actively involved. Other time is billed at $300/hour, exclusive of additional expenses including but not limited to travel and lodging. In all cases, the minimum billable time is 1 hour, which resets daily. Please let me know where I should send the invoice for the time you have required so far. Best regards, ..."