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  1. 7 points
    Hello To ALL..... Just checked in here, to find this thread.....Thanks to Each of your for your posts and good wishes......The worst Is now Over. I was discharged on Oct 20th.. " They turnt me Loose " " said I was Well " …. And I AM.... I had gone to Skydive The Falls on Saturday September 14th and after a bit of a wind hold it calmed down and they started sending up loads. I enjoyed a Nice 2 way from 12 grand with a long time buddy....The view of Niagara Falls during the climb to altitude was Fantastic . While Packing my rig afterwards, I found it to Be, a bit of an effort.. and I had to stop 3 times and sit to rest...… Hmmmm. Got home that night and was just feeling wrung out... No real pain, no numbness, but I felt lousy..It was around 10 or 11 pm and Nancy had already gone to sleep. I saw NO value in waking her and having her SIT in an E R waiting room, wondering and Waiting,,,, so I wrote her a note , left it where she could Easily Find it. and said " I am going to the hospital " Got there in a few minutes because it is only a couple of miles away. It was NOT busy and they took me in quickly. They did an EKG on me. and the next thing I knew they were calling for an anesthesiologist AND a surgeon !! Yikes !!!! Well they did a big time bypass on me , had me on a heart pump and a respirator throughout... I was out of it for a few days... and feel terrible about putting my FAmily through those first few days, post Op... I got great care from the doctors and nurses and a few in particular were top shelf, in their encouragement and insistance that I "get UP and get Moving"... I was walking around and improving each day, by about 2 weeks post op and little by little they removed the trach... and the drainage apparatus and the nasal feeding tube and got me back onto swallowing and a bit of a sense of normalcy... I have been Home now for 10 days or so, and I am pain free and no longer need the walker I had been using. Kind of glad we are coming into the end of the year as I am on a hiatus from work and will be doing Physical therapy and building up my appetite the next few weeks. I lost 22 pounds and was Under 170, for the first time since high school..... Anyway things are improving. I am proud that I Did NOT ignore my sense of malaise and instead sought medical care...... I was told I was getting close to a cardiac arrest..... Follow your instincts my Friends No One is bulletproof and certain issues CAN sneak Up on us... I feel blessed that in addition to Great Friends and Family, I also have a Guardian Angel or Two... sitting on my shoulders... Thanks skymama,,, for initiating this thread. I am glad that I checked in here,,, to Find it.... skydive often, skydive safely, skydive with friends . jimmytavino uspa # 9452 A3914 D12122
  2. 7 points
    I have an update from Jimmy's daughter (October 19th). She said he is making great progress. He is eating solid food now and his trach is out. He is able to walk with the help of a walker. He is anxious to leave the hospital and go home but he still needs some rehab. They are hoping he can head to rehab next week!
  3. 5 points
  4. 4 points
    I did not want to be limited to just one hand when I was trying to get out of the situation alive...
  5. 4 points
    Yup. Hey lady, not unlike you; I'm getting a little long in the tooth. Couple of major surgeries and a back and knees that has just crumbled into pieces from years of military jumping. Many of us dinosaurs contributed countless articles on safety, training, etc. to this site in its infancy to help the young'uns. Not unlike you, I don't tread in the skydiving community too often anymore and when I do it's relevant no matter what the timeframe. EP's target fixation, etc. I think the information given here would be more focused from dinosaurs who've been there, done that - than what they'll get from the land of facebook. Respect, Keith
  6. 4 points
    Some people don't finish AFF. Some people never get their license. Some people get their license and drift away soon after. Some people jump for a year or two and then disappear. Some do it until they decide to become 'responsible' and quit. That may be their own decision or they may have 'help' with it. Some jump until they realize how much time & money it takes to stay current and reasonably safe, or to progress beyond 'sorta good'. Some jump until they get hurt, or see someone they know get hurt or killed. The danger isn't 'real' until then. So they quit. Some become Tandem Instructors (or packers or even DZOs), then get burned out by the grind. Of course, some of us keep on despite all of the above and refuse to quit.
  7. 4 points
    Lawyers have a high rate of misery compared to other professions. A 2-second google search revealed that attorneys have the 11th highest suicide rate by occupation. I'm sad that people immediately piled on the OP. I suspect skydiving has saved a LOT of people from depression, and I think there is HUGE value in people sharing openly about their struggles with mental health. That's undermined when people are jerks to each other when they could just as easily say nothing.
  8. 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.”
  9. 3 points
    HIPPI CHONKER ADVARNING Oof. This is a big topic. Hits me right in the chonkeratøs. When I was in my 30's I decided to tell the "fuck offs" to a well paid and "highly respectable" career path, went back to college, sold my city apartment and moved my shit back to my parents house. Wish there was some kind of training on this. There isn't. You want advice on how to determine the future. You can't have it. You won't know. You might do 100's more. You might do 1000's. Who cares. Just exit the fucking plane. Do what you enjoy. Feel it. Appreciate the sensation, the people you meet, the places you visit, and those you connect with. Tell them. Accept what you cannot control but take charge of what you can. And if you ever get caught up in a waterboarding situation, good luck with that.
  10. 3 points
    A "little" late, but I wanted to provide some insights for everyone, to learn / improve nonetheless. The mentioned hesitation did not leat to a fatality, I am still alive and came out of it with just some bruises... After opening I recognized a flip-through malfunction, which was caused by myself due to packing directly on a field after an outside landing the jump before. In hindsight, I could have most likely landed it without issues, but in that moment decided otherwise as the canopy above me was not "good". As practised, I grabbed both handles with one hand. I pulled my right hand until full arm extension and tried to pull my reserve handle after that but I was unable to pull the handle at all, it did not move even a little. I turned my head to the left and saw my main still attached by something and my reserve pilot chute being out. My first thought was, that it might be that I did not pull the cutaway cable all the way, so I cleared the cutaway cable from the housing completely. But I was still hanging from my main by something I could not identify in that moment. I instinctively grabbed that thing from what I was hanging, tried to pull up and just before I wanted to pull on my reserve bridle to get my reserve out, the hangup cleared. I saw and recognized that I was no longer attached to my main but due to my body orientation and possibly low speed, my reserve could not be extracted. I turned back to my belly and waited for the reserve to come out, which it thankfully did after a moment. Basically my reserve cable and pin was not able to pass the RSL ring to which the extension cord was attached. It looks like the edge of the pin got stuck at the back of the knot of the extension cord and due to the tension locked there. So I was still connected to my main by my reserve cable and RSL. I just grabbed whatever I was hanging from and thankfully the pin cleared the ring possibly due to me grabbing the pin or releasing some tension. Trying to find the root-cause for this incident myself, I also tried misrouting the reserve-cable through the knot, but this does not happen easily. You have to put way more effort in misrouting it, than in doing it the right way. In the end, Sunrise Manufacturing issued this service bulletin for it.
  11. 3 points
    Less youtube. More actual jumping or tunnelling.
  12. 3 points
    The best way to keep things fresh is trying to learn a new skill every year. I only made 4 static-line jumps my first year. Over that winter I earned a private pilot license. The next summer I flew a bit and only made two jumps. The third summer I made 60 jumps and earned my A license. The fourth summer, I did about 50 fun jumps. The fifth year, I passed the army static-line course and tried out for the Canadian Army parachute display team. The sixth year, I earned a static-line jump-master rating. The seventh year, I did another 50 fun jumps, plus a stack of exhibition jumps. The eighth year, I earned a rigger rating and started flying jumpers. The ninth year, I flew more jumpers and learned how to drop IAD students (1985). The tenth year, I earned an Instructor B rating and tandem instructor rating and did a couple of BASE jumps. I did not jump much while at university, but worked full-time in the skydiving industry for 18 years afterwards. Every year I tried to add a new rating or renew an old rating: Master Rigger, PFF instructor, Cypres installation rating, PIA Symposia, lecturing at PIA Symposia, wing-suit, Rigger Instructor, Rigger Examiner, Tandem Examiner Rating, etc. Eventually, I had to take a year off for knee surgery and cut back to only doing tandems on weekends. I finally quit jumping after the local CSPA DZ shut down and I disagreed with a non-CSPA DZO about seat-belts. If you try to learn something new every year, you will never get bored skydiving.
  13. 3 points
    I have no idea how this got so complicated. I'd just do it. There are some basic rules like don't use a slider with grommets significantly wider then your cell. Depending on the length of your stabilizers your slider should not be setting on your bottom skin when packing. If it's so much wider that it's just crumpled on the bottom skin the fabric will not be holding the grommets up the lines till they slide low enough to lift the fabric off the bottom skin. Only then will the wind be holding it up. That's a fairly extreme limit but I have seen people make that mistake. Don't people futz with there gear any more? Lee
  14. 3 points
    Well please hurry and put the correct manual on the website. As a rigger I can assure you my customers never supply me with the manual that came with their product. I always have to find the manual on my own.
  15. 3 points
    Show up, ask at the front desk if there's anyone looking to jump with other newbies. It might be a newbie, and it might be an old fart who likes jumping with newbies. Slow days increase your chance of jumping with the same person twice is more likely, and doing that will really make it easier for you to figure out what you're doing, so that you can either do more or less of it. But slow days decrease your chance of having someone at all -- ask at the front desk if there are people whom you normally should be looking for. Be honest that you can't afford to pay for coaching right now. And if you can afford to stay at the end of the day, do so, listen, and feel free to contribute beer if it's needed. There's no guarantees, but it beats nothing. Wendy P. (old fart who likes jumping with newbies)
  16. 3 points
    jump. as much as you can afford. be honest with the folks at the dz and you will gain experience by doing it. log them all and don't downsize too early. be safe.
  17. 3 points
  18. 2 points
    Many people dont last 5 years, Very few last 10 years. On this site you'll find people who have been doing it a long time (18th year for me) but we are not the majority.
  19. 2 points
    I made my first jump in 1980. still not sure if I like, so I better keep trying.
  20. 2 points
    <s> Clearly no need for a Sarcasm tag in this thread. <\s>
  21. 2 points
    Probably, that would be best. Your personal sense of right will never let you be quiet if you see a dangerous thing. Obviously, if it's an immediate thing you have to speak up, even at the risk of being wrong. If it's not or if it's being offered more for your ego than anyones benefit and safety then inform staff or the most experienced and current local jumpers you can find. The reality is that after a few, or several, thousand skydives and decades in the sport currency is a different thing. But one or two jumps a year shouldn't be emulated. And, really, even if it's at the same DZ you'd be a transient jumper at best. Sure, just like back in the day, we still have a cutaway handle, a reserve ripcord handle, a reserve and a main and, maybe, an AAD. But it's not all the same, including how we use the things. As I see it, it's not about you or me or any other old timer. Pass the torch and the authority to the ones who are current and there every day. It's their turn to be senior now, give them their due and their turn to earn respect.
  22. 2 points
  23. 2 points
    I haven’t jumped in 7 years. Doing a recurrency jump tomorrow. Wish me luck and some blue skies!
  24. 2 points
    The average skydiver only remains active for 7 years so a lot of times we "reinvent the wheel" because there is no history of what has already been done experimentally. I see and hear novices all the time using and doing things that they were told is the most modern technique without any clue of the actual mechanics involved. It is important to keep that information available. I no longer do any rigging or instructing (beyond a little impromptu coaching) but I when I see a novice struggling with something simply because they are trying to keep up with "what's cool" I am happy to point out any known solution that might already exist. Sometimes thats amusing, such as the time a fellow instructor asked to use my unpacked rig to demonstrate some things to his FJC class. My SOS, no RSL, bungee pilot chute, B12 snaps, equipped rig didn't quite fit the bill for what he needed to teach and he himself was confused with some of those features. For info this occurred in '99. There is a post on here right now, talking about lubricating the soft loop of the 3 ring to prevent hard cutaways. Ever since mini rings and risers came out, hard cutaways have been a topic of discussion. My last new rig, they called to make sure I actually wanted standard rings and risers and not the "cool" mini's. For a new gear buyer, I could see them accepting what their gear dealer recommends and not what is best for them in the moment. We are seeing it all the time now with jumpers flying canopies that they cannot land and the community response has been mandatory canopy training. Go out and watch a big-way land during no-wind conditions and you'll see from the circus carnage that that hasn't worked! But it keeps the jumpsuit repair people in a job. I recently had an old-time jumper, that was returning to jumping, ask me what happened to the days when you pulled down the toggles and the canopy stopped. He referred to it as the "golden age of parachute landings" and he was referring to the mid to late '80's when grass stained, dirty jumpsuits weren't the norm. I see novices with fall rate and tracking problems because they didn't learn the basic body positions before throwing in mega-booties, weight belts, and competition grips. I got my AFF rating without booties and am still one of the few at my DZ that does FS, up to 40 ways, without them. Yes! Keep offering your advice and opinions even if some may think they are outdated. If nothing else it will keep the "skygods" grounded in reality and points out the differences of what really works and what is the latest faddish technique. Sorry, long post. Rant over!
  25. 2 points
    Man, you're a sour little bitch. Take a break buddy..smile a little.
  26. 2 points
    Oh, Ken, you do huggable so good!
  27. 2 points
    Betty's face was one of the kind faces I always looked forward to seeing at Lake Wales when I went through my student progression there in the early 2000's...She will indeed be missed.
  28. 2 points
    He may be a legal adult, but it sounds like actual adulthood deferred. You are obviously living under your parents roof, and the discussion about not having access to the funds makes me wonder whose money it actually is. Maybe I am off base, but that is how I interpret your comments. Skydiving is an adult sport for adults that sometimes like to act like children, but for the most part we are all living under our own roofs, or on friends couches, and we get to make the choice to waste sums of money on a awesome yet needless expensive and dangerous activity. it isn't going anywhere, when you are actually living like an adult you will be free to follow your skydiving dreams.
  29. 2 points
  30. 2 points
    You must not be aware of the Helium Blend now available in limited markets.
  31. 2 points
    No video recording for 2019 but the 2018 talk is here:
  32. 2 points
    Love it. Years of both Harley & skydiving shit would go in mine. The "Last Load Lounge" would HAVE to have the requisite cable spool table for ambience. My only question is - Where ya gonna put the stripper pole?
  33. 2 points
    You hit it on the nose Joe. Those are accurate and legit scenarios I have seen. My dad was a jumper in the 70's into the late 80's and was a static line instructor for the last 8 years in the sport. So it did burn him out. The other side of that is some of the people he jumped with are still in the sport and now I jump with some of them, and they are in their 60's and 70's. Bud Lewis jumped in to his late 70's (79) to be exact. Pat Moorehead made 80 jumps in a little over 8 hours in one day for his 80th birthday and that was in 2015 if memory serves me right( I was part of the ground crew/support) and he still jumps, and packs for himself. He started back in the 60's. His wife also still jumps. So it is up to the individual to find ways to keep it interesting.
  34. 2 points
    I am always surprised how fast time goes by when one is having fun lol.. I didn’t mean to go this long without an update, so I will bring everyone up to speed. My team and I have been focused on the military AADs (Static Line and Manned Free Fall) fine tuning the hardware and firing algorithms, and I am pleased with how each AAD is turning out. I am trying to be mindful of the workload, as I do not want to burn my team out, so the evolvement has been slower but steady. Now that my confidence in the military AADs is high, I will be turning my attention to the Sport AAD hardware and firing algorithms. It was my initial intention that the military and sport hardware would be the same, but the features that the military is asking for require hardware and software that is not of value to the sport market, and in an effort to keep the cost of the sport AAD down and reduce power consumption, dedicated sport AAD hardware is needed. Fortunately, the changes are mostly elimination of components, such as the BLE, and changing out the 32MB Micro SD-card with smaller but less power hunger onboard memory, so the revision design effort will not be bad. It just takes time to make the changes and have them reviewed, update based on the results of the review, resubmit for design review, yada yada.. Very important process, but can take some time. I also have been making some changes to little things from a “fit and finish/feel/perception” perspective. So far the changes have increased quality feel and performance while reducing the cost. Details are important to me and I am glad we are taking our time to get it right. After taking with many jumpers of varying backgrounds, it is very apparent that the skydiving industry is not ready to embrace some of the things that I wanted to carry over from the automotive industry, mainly the remote monitoring of the AAD self test results. Infrastructure challenges aside, jumpers are just not ready for that, so I am shelving that feature for the sport AAD. One positive side to doing that is I can eliminate the BLE circuitry and code; however there will still be a Micro USB connector in the interface. As if all that is not enough, I am also looking at different business models in an effort to identify which ones make the most business sense as we come closer to going to market. There are a lot of moving parts and the right strategic partner can increase the success dramatically. I keep telling myself “if this was easy everyone would be doing it” lol..
  35. 2 points
    For judges, grips are much less visible when using suits with grippers. Especially with figures where on flyer is on the back, and the other on the belly, the actual dock tends to be occluded by the gripper. In our experience, the added 5 to 10 seconds freefall a bigger suit gets in comparison to Havok-sized suits, is not worth the almost 50% working speed in docks/maneuvers you when compared to small/mid sized suits. Tight fit, and clean lines are important on acro suits. Loose fit around hips/arms tends to result in more sloppy flying, especially when it comes to lateral motion. Regardless of brand, make sure you get a suit with a good tailor-made fit. Havok/Magister is the combo our team flies (weight related difference, dress for succes)
  36. 2 points
    His son Gary had 6969... Wendy P.
  37. 2 points
    Steve Kalvelage is presented with a statue by Dick Nazarro recognizing his selection as the 1980 Soldier of the Year for A/1/11th Special Forces Group, Fort Devens, Massachusetts"
  38. 2 points
    Hi OWB, For the trivia folks: Nate got that D number when you could request any number that had not been already taken. In other words, that is the number that he wanted. Jerry Baumchen
  39. 2 points
    I have heard that tying the chest strap around & through the reserve handle will prevent this sort of thing. There are other ways, but the potential of locking the reserve handle in place is reduced by using the chest strap.
  40. 2 points
    I've always carried mine on because I'm afraid of what could happen if TSA has unsupervised access to my handles. I have a rig sleeve, usually remove my hook knife but forgot last time I flew (about a month ago) and made it through both Denver and San Diego without any issues. About 6 years ago at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway a TSA agent attempted to lift my old rig by the metal reserve ripcord as it came out of the scanner. The reserve pilot chute hit the floor but the free bag didnt move and I was able to carry it on in a trash bag. Thankfully i was heading home from Eloy or that really could have been a trip spoiler. The agent apologized and the supervisor had me fill out a form that got me a check to pay for a repack. I have a Curv now with pillows and the rig sleeve has velcro stretch covers that wrap around the cutaway and reserve handles.
  41. 2 points
    Be aware security may demand you open the main and reserve. It does not matter if you have the X-ray cards and USPA letter and all, they can demand it and you can't expect to change their mind. Be aware that carrying your rig around exposed might cause some nervous Nellie to get security involved. No matter how cool it might seem to get on a commercial flight with your rig on your back, it draws unwanted attention and could result in skydivers being treated worse in the future.
  42. 2 points
    Spoken as the true Airtec lover and defender you have always been here. Two points. Airtec no longer requires, only recommends 5 year servicing on the new units. Which means that almost no one will bother, making one of your points moot. And the other thing is that the demand for used AADs far exceeds the supply. This makes buying a new one the cheapest option on a per year cost basis.
  43. 2 points
    My wild guess for PISA is Parachute Industry of South Africa
  44. 2 points
    Hi everyone, Firebird is an US owned and based company since 2017. We are headquartered in Eloy and many of the people here and around the US jump our RUSH or other products with positive feedbacks. We can name Steve & Sara Curtis, Jason Peters, Sean MacCormac, Andy Malchiodi, Kim Winslow as satisfied users. The RUSH has a TSO c23D and has no service life limit. Same for other Firebird products We did realize that the old version was still on our website and the new manual will be uploaded shortly. We apologize for that mistake as we are working on a new website. Every product comes with the new manual on an USB stick, so that actual customers have the latest version. usa@flyfirebird.com
  45. 2 points
    I guess that depends on the motivation of the coach/instructor. My husband is a USPA AFF IE and coach examiner and a Master Rigger with a shit ton of experience. He is happy to talk with, advise, pass on useful information to anyone... for nothing. A beer is a nice offering but not required. He doesn't need to be paid to share what he knows with others. It's not about his pocketbook, it's about helping people become better, safer and more knowledgeable skydivers. Not to mention that it makes newbies feel like they are a part of the dz and not a wallet to empty. I know I'm a dinosaur, but I think It's pretty sad that jumpers now expect to be paid to talk to newbies.
  46. 2 points
    One problem with debating the 'legality' of going against Mfr's recommendations is the liability issue. I wouldn't pack something the mfr says is 'too old'. My 'fear' wouldn't be issues with the FAA. It would be with the ambulance chasers who could convince the family that I should be held responsible (financially) if something went wrong. "Ladies & gentlemen of the jury. My client's father (son, daughter, mother, husband, wife, whatever) trusted the so-called 'certified' rigger to safely inspect and pack his reserve. Instead, the rigger ignored the manufacturer's instructions to not pack one that old..." Perhaps I'm overcautious. But I would not take the chance.
  47. 2 points
    glad to hear you are getting back to normal Jimmy. You had us worried. Love you brother. Get lots of rest and take care of yourself.
  48. 2 points
    You know there are a lot of facets to the sport. I've found my self drifting from one to the next over the years. skysurfing, freestyle, CRW, base jumping, rigging, manufacturing, now I'm working on rockets and it looks like we are going to get the money to expand it into an orbital system. I don't think I could have done any one of those things for thirty years. Life is really more about growth. Some time that means turning in a new direction but in the end you may find that all of these things are interconnected. What you do is informed by all that you have done before. Every thing you have learned will carry over into what ever you do next. Maybe you'll build a container next. Maybe a pilot rig. One with low pack volume fabric. A better smaller canopy for them. Don't want to deal with a TSO? Maybe build a base rig. Want to do some thing new? Maybe build a modern version of a Sorcerer for the wing suiters. They jump slider up all the time. Maybe it's time they started carring a reserve? Or if you want to stick with canopies, how about doing some thing commercial. High percesion cargo is a thing. Militaries are investing large amounts of money in it in all sizes. There is a contract for a powered one to extend cross range. How about a high altitude eye in the sky, an air deployed aero stat. High altitude balloon. You can shoot down a drone even a big one at 30,000 ft but it's a lot harder to hit some thing at 80,000 feet. Who know were life will take you. Right now I'm actually taking an on line course. Fundamentals of space vehicle guidance, control, and astrodynamics. It's been a while since I stretched my brain cells this hard. Loving it. Getting into math I'd never dived into before. The only real secret in life is to not allow your self to become stagnant. And I still say the solution to all of your problems is to take out an ad in Parachutest or what ever you have over there selling canopies. You are now "Manufacturer" and blow a big fat raspberry at them. They don't want to run your ad, fine put it in parachutist and sell them here. Let me know and I'll renew just to have a copy of your ad to frame. Lee
  49. 2 points
    Sorry for the lack of updates in the last year everyone. I finally got my rigger rating in December and made another ZP canopy. Here's the video from earlier this year. https://youtu.be/fpTBNnXoY9U It actually flies alright. Unfortunately, despite spending several years and really big chunks of my own money getting my rating, I've still found it difficult jumping homemades at a few dropzones. That, a long with a few other factors, means I'll probably be winding up my jumping for now. It's been an amazing journey, and I've met some great people ( a lot of them are in this thread). I've made some great experiences and I'm happy to be moving on in a relatively positive way.
  50. 2 points
    Do not change your decision altitude. You should not depend on the Skyhook or any other MARD to open your reserve canopy more quickly. Most of the time they do, but sometimes they don't.