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    Skydive City, Palatka, Titusville, Sebastian
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  1. wardhessig

    Mirage Frustrations

    I know this has been a hot topic for quite some time from everyone on the forums and I have refrained from saying anything as it just blows up in our faces but I will give a bit of insight for you guys. Well at least as much as I can. The DRX is and has been ready for quite some time. It's not an issue of trying to make it work or getting it just right. It has been just right for quite some time. There are many factors behind the scenes that have delayed us from putting it out including waiting on the super slow FAA to give final approval (which we don't actually need and other manufacturers didn't actually have before release), waiting on some crucial hardware tooling and pieces to be made (often times it is a 20 week wait for tooling and a 12-14 week wait for parts), and several other factors to include the fact that we are running at max capacity even before offering a product that will surely put us at delivery times that are far too unaccapetable to us. It WILL come out, i promise. And when it does, all rigs in the field will be able to retrofit with the DRX. It is the best system on the market and we have in my opinion solved all the shortcomings of the other systems on the market. As soon as all these pieces fall into place we will release it. I'm hoping it's very soon but many of the final puzzle pieces are out of my control so please bare with us. We know you want it, we want it too. We're working as hard as we can to get it out for you guys. Thats all the super secret stuff I can clue you in on at the moment. Ward
  2. wardhessig

    New Mirage ad...

    Hello All, I rarely get on here to say anything as it usually just ends up in everyone bashing anything we say, good or bad. But.....this ad has seemed to create a lot of controversy and I wanted to chime in on it. I am in charge of creating and publishing our advertising. If any of you know me I am a lighthearted person with a good but off sense of humor. When I joined this sport it was full of people that could laugh at a dirty joke and then tell one even dirtier. That's what I loved about the sport. I see so many boring ads in the periodicals and I refuse to be boring when I advertise our rigs. Let's face it, no one really buys a rig because of the advertising that they put in the magazines, they already have their minds made up for the most part and read the magazines for pure entertainment. That is why I try to make the ads entertaining and lighthearted, for the entertainment value. True, I do want Mirage to be a topic of conversation and to stay on the tips of peoples tongues and it seems to have worked quite well with my advertising campaigns. To OlympiaStoica.....I am not targeting only male jumpers. If you recall I have done ads featuring the badass female flyers in our sport that jump Mirage in ads as well. We appreciate the females in our sport greatly and in no way are singling out our demographic just to males. However, as a smart marketing man it is silly to not realize that 90 percent (or close to it) of our sport is male dominated so it's just simple logic to target the largest part of our buying market. To make your buying decision based on our advertising campaign seems pretty ridiculous to me. It should be based on our products and services. Our ads and the products we produce are two separate worlds. The team that builds our rigs take great pride in the outstanding product that they produce and I don't want my somewhat edgy sense of humor to detract from the outstanding product they make. Like I said, they are two different worlds. As for this last ad..... I have gotten a lot of hate mail on it. I've even been asked for a full refund on a 4 year old container because they were embarassed to wear the rig in fear that they thought people would think they bought a Mirage so women would drop their pants. Thats one of the more ridiculous ones. The ad was just a tongue in cheek ad that was meant to get a chuckle and keep us on the minds of our jumpers. There is a term in today's social networks called "panty droppers". For example, a Ferrari is a panty dropper because it's such a damn cool looking car and it makes the women go crazy. That's what I meant by the ad. That the Mirage is such a sexy rig it is a "panty dropper". I in no way meant that it will help you get in girls pants. It saddens me to hear some of these replies because when I got in the sport almost 13 years ago the crowd that made up the skydiving population was a bunch of lighthearted people that had a sense of humor and liked a good laugh now and then, where has that crowd gone? I really think people need to lighten up and realize that it's just an ad in a magazine, nothing more. If I have offended anyone by the ad I apologize, but I do not apologize for continuing to stay edgy and running entertaining ads and I will not quit doing that. And yes, I did misspell a word in the ad, it was late and I was on the boogie circuit and was under a deadline and fired it off before I got much of a chance to proofread it, my bad. Thats my two cents worth everyone, it wasn't meant to single anyone out or to offend, it's just keeping our sport fun like I remember it being. I would appreciate anyone that has nice things to say regarding the ad to drop an email to info@miragesys.com to offset all the complainers. There, that's my two cents worth. Don't let the advertising campaign affect your buying decision, if you need to be mad at someone be mad at me, not the hard working people of Mirage. Let the bashing begin. Ward
  3. wardhessig


    Hello to all, I figured I should chime in on a few things to clear the air about this post that has seemed to get a lot of attention and a lot of mis-information surrounding it. Firstly, the "gap off your back while sit-flying" issue is not an issue that is only on Mirage containers, it can be an issue on all containers when sitflying but I'll get to that later. In this particular picture there are two major things contributing to the excessive gap between the jumpers back and his rig. 1. The rig is not being worn properly at all!! The hip ring junction (and yes our hip ring is inline with our stabilizers, and yes we do make "cut in" or "inset" laterals (stabilizers)) should be on the very side of the body at the highest part of the hip bone where you pivot when you bend over or pick your legs up. In this picture it is almost sitting on the jumpers lower back. The legstraps should be rotated as far forward as possible, pulling the hip ring and the stabilizer, and consequently....the rig attached to those two items tighter into the jumpers back. The leg strap hardware should be low in the groin on the front hip of the jumper when worn correctly and as you can see in this picture the leg strap hardware is rotated around so far to the back it is almost where the hip ring should be. 2. The sizing on this rig does not look even close to being right for this jumper. The measurements may have been taken incorrectly. Even though it was a custom fit rig it doesnt mean we were given the right measurements to work with. We may have even sized it incorrectly with correct measurements but not to the extent that this rig is fitting improperly. It does happen and we do occasionally make mistakes with sizing harnesses since it's not an exact science but again, not to this extent. (a.)The main lift web on this rig is way too long which is contributing to the problem significantly. The stabilizers may be too long but it's hard to tell with the hip ring on his lower back. (b.) It also appears that he has too long of a chest extension (the material that runs from the yoke or neck of the container over the shoulders and down to the chest ring). Your chest ring and chest strap should be going over the nipples and it appears that this jumpers chest strap is 2-3 inches below his nipples. When you're looking at a properly fitted rig the yoke should be no more than 1.5 inches or so below the knot on the back of your neck, the chest ring and chest strap should be directly over your nipples, the large ring of your three rings should sit directly in your shoulder pocket, and your hip ring should sit directly over your hip bone (you should be able to touch the highest and most center part of your hipbone through the ring). Now getting to the part where it is not just a Mirage issue.... When properly fitted a rig should be snug to your lower back when standing erect. When you arch or push your pelvis forward that hip ring will rotate forward with your legs and pelvis pulling the stabilizer and the rig tighter to your back. When you de-arch (or sitfly) your legs come up, your pelvis and legs go towards your rig, and that hip ring junction rotates backwards as well while the stabilizers and the container attached to them go to the rear allowing the rig to gap off your back. It is an issue with all containers that have the container attached by stabilizers to a main lift web (WHICH IS ALL OF THEM), it is not the container it is the orientation of the jumper. If the container is snug to your back when standing, it will be more snug when arching and less snug when de-arching or sit-flying. We have a feature that helps to alleviate this problem that I wrote about in this past issue of a newsletter.http://www.miragesys.com/media/supportarticle/November%2007%20Newsletter.htm Also, just to touch on a few other posts...I disagree that chest rings or too many rings make rigs fit improperly. Chest rings or articulation just make the harness conform much better. The rig has to come over your shoulders and then has to go to your hips on the side. There is a definite point that the webbing must change it's course and head to the hips and that is where the chest ring comes in. True, the harness will do that regardless but it's much more comfortable with no kinks in the webbing when there is a ring there as a junction allowing the harness to change directions. When fitted and worn properly it doesn't make it fit worse but only allows for a better harness geometry. Thank you for the users that posted to contact the manufacturer and we would do everything in our power to help you, it's true, we will. But you have to contact us...we don't spend much time on the forums (we're too busy building rigs) and if we never know of the issue there is little we can do to help alleviate it or to educate people on it. Please feel to email me at ward@miragesys.com with any questions or if there is anything I missed as this post is now going into the 45 minute stage and I'm tired of typing. Blues Ward
  4. wardhessig

    did I get a bad Mirage??

    I'm sorry, in my haste to get off the forums I left out a key reason as to why the webbing is R treated with polyvinylbuterol. MIL-SPEC 27265 requires additional abrasion resistance for the webbing to comply and the coating provides the additional abrasion resistance needed. Don't quote me on this but I believe that all manufacturers either use Polyvinylbuterol, Solucoat, or Spraylat coating on their webbing for this reason. We use the Polyvinylbuterol. If you have any questions please feel free to email me at ward@miragesys.com. Please don't message me or PM me on here as I rarely check mail or messages on here. Blues Ward
  5. wardhessig

    did I get a bad Mirage??

    Hello All, I don't usually spend my time on the forums so I don't get to see the posts by users about our containers but again I stress, if you have a question about your gear contact the manufacturer, not dropzone.com With that said, the "scuffing" you see on the webbing is from a resin coating that the manufacturer puts on it. It is used to stiffen the webbing and is an industry standard. From time to time they are a little heavy on the resin and when the rig is new it will show scuffs more noticeably. This will go away in a short time as the resin is worn off and the webbing will look normal again. You can also rub the scuff marks with your thumb until they disappear. I hope this answers your questions and if you are unhappy with the result please contact us at the manufacturer, NOT DROPZONE.COM You're questions normally fall on undereducated, deaf ears here as we don't live on these forums because we have rigs to build. Blues Ward
  6. wardhessig

    Mirage Sizing Chart

    Hello All, I rarely post on dropzone.com as I don't have the time to check all the forums but again I urge anyone that has questions about their equipment to contact the manufacturer, not dropzone.com Blues Ward
  7. wardhessig

    What does 1/2 mean in Mirage size?

    Actually, the minus 1/2 means that the overall circumference of the main tray is shortened by 1/2 of an inch. Imagine your main d-bag as a circle looking at it from the side when packed. If the length of that bag entirely around is 16 inches and say it is an MX, then an MX-1/2 would be 15.5 inches around. It is just a uniform way to make the main tray smaller without simply making it shorter or thinner but rather making it smaller all the way around I hope this answers your question. Blues Ward
  8. wardhessig


    For all of you Mirage fans out there we have released a new website with a ton of great features. You can subscribe to RSS feeds to stay up to date with the latest goings on at Mirage, design your new container online with our new 3d color picker, buy apparel and parts directly online, watch videos, view gallerys and much, much, more. So take a look at the site and give any feedback or suggestions as they are welcome. Bare in mind that it is new so there will surely be some bug fixes in the near future but we're pretty proud of it. Check back often as there will always be new content and items for immediate purchase featuring the most popular logo in skydiving. Blues The Mirage Team
  9. wardhessig

    Parachutist back page

    Hi Everyone, Hopefully this will be the end of the confusion, wonder, and this thread. There was not a mistake on the part of USPA nor their printer for the upside down ad in the back of parachutist. I submitted the ad to USPA that way. I didn't intentionally do it but nevertheless that's how it got submitted and that's how they had to print it. The ad was submitted by me to them with about 2 hours left until the printing deadline and they couldn't get in touch with me in time to have me change it. They also didn't have the original artwork from me to change the ad around either. The ad's have to be submitted to USPA with room allowed for the address label AND in the correct place and I, if anyone am to blame for it being upside down. Sorry if this puts an end to all the conspiracy theories but it's the simple truth. Ward
  10. wardhessig

    Problem with Mirage G4 – can anyone help?

    We do certainly apologize for the length of time it has taken to get this resolved but rest assured we are working diligently on finding a solution to your problem and making sure you end up a happy customer. We were contacted by Square 1 who is the dealer in this particular instance who told us of this problem. We received the rig to measure the volume of the main tray and to also do some pack studies on this certain container to be sure that it was not a problem with the container itself. The container is well within specifications and should hold a pilot 150 with ease. We were speaking with Aerodyne to get another Pilot 150 to pack into the container in comparison but that has taken some time to get coordinated. We have packed a Sabre 2 170, spectre 170, sabre 2 150 inside of this container with ease so we are quite certain that the problem lies with the bulk of the canopy. As you may know, occasionally there are some mystery bulk issues with different canopies due to fabric, construction, and because of several other scenarios. We do believe that this is the case on this particular container. I personally drove to Tampa to meet my good friend Karl from Aerodyne on it last week and we are now sending the canopy to them to measure the canopy and it's volume. Once they are finished with it they will send it back to Square 1 with their findings and with their solution but it is definately a canopy issue and not a problem with our container volume. We would be more than happy to build a new container for the customer if it were our issue but unfortunately the new container would fit this canopy exactly the same way that the current rig does. You are correct that Aerodyne has nothing to do with the sizing of their container but they do have a little to do with the size and bulk of the canopy. I'm sure Square 1 and Aerodyne will be able to make sure you end up satisfied with the outcome. Please feel free to contact me with any concerns. Blues Ward
  11. wardhessig

    Experiences with buildarig.com?

    I thought I would chime in as I know Richard well and work with him very closely on our containers. Any off color comments that some of you may have received were all in jest I assure you. Richard is a very interesting guy and may come off as being offensive but he is not that way at all. He provides excellent customer service and always has the customer's best intentions at hand. If you don't know me I am the Marketing Manager at Mirage Systems and I personally stand behind Richard. You'll get a fair deal and great service going with him. I get several calls a week from him asking about sizing and if this rig is right for a customer or not. He genuinely cares about the skydiving community and is not just in it to make a buck. He wants to see you get in the right equipment at a fair price and you will end up happy with your dealings with him. Just my two cents. Ward
  12. wardhessig

    Trading Bag and Pilot Chute

    I apologize to everyone for this rant but I get so tired of seeing so many questions about Mirage's posted here on dropzone.com. As good of a resource that this website may be for information, there is still no substitute for contacting the manufacturer. When I was going through my rigger training I probably heard that if we had any questions to....."contact the manufacturer" a million times. We are just skydivers just like everyone else on here, and personally I we are a pretty personable bunch of folks that are anxious to answer your questions in as timely of a manner as we can. So with this said.....why do I see questions on this site every single day about our rigs that can so easily be answered by us directly from the manufacturer.......without a chance that any misinformation is being handed out? Please feel free to contact the manufacturer with any questions you may have. As good as this site can be for info, there is no substitute than the creators of your product. Feel free to contact me directly at ward@miragesys.com for any questions regarding your Mirage harness container. Blues Ward
  13. wardhessig

    Biggest Reserve in A Mirage G3 (Size M5)

    Please always feel free to contact me directly at ward@miragesys.com with any questions you may have regarding your Mirage. Yes, our sizing on the website is a little dated but we will soon have a completely revamped site with better sizing details on there in the very near future so stay tuned. Blues Ward
  14. wardhessig

    Wrinkles in Mirage g4.1 M5

    Hello, Where do you call your home dz? I do most of our factory rigging and am also our tour rep and will be all over the country for the rest of the season. I would be more than happy to repack your rig for free with you watching to gather tips if you like. 99% of the time it is bulk distribution of your main and reserve canopies as we hold very tight tolerances in the construction of our rig and very seldom is it due to the construction of the rig. If we can't meet up sometime to have that repack done while you watch, feel free to send the rig in for a free repack and you can see how I distribute the bulk in packing. Keep in mind, fabric will gather a memory just as a shirt will hold wrinkles, so will cordura so the longer it goes without being corrected the more memory will set in. Feel free to contact me directly at ward@miragesys.com and we'll get this straightened out. Thanks Ward
  15. wardhessig

    swoop armor?

    Hello All, Swoop armor is a term that we use for 1680 Denier Ballistic cloth that can be used on our rigs. It comes in only black and we are making slip on leg pads out of them. These leg pads are made up of the 1680 denier ballistic cloth and have spacer foam padding on the inside. I am posting some pics of them for you to see the material and the swoop armor leg pads. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at ward@miragesys.com thanks ward