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  1. Spot on Pops! I cannot stand that one. I wasn't much of a reader at all as a kid either, however, developed a love for it later on. Either way though, in a sport / activity where knowledge is paramount to survival, as well as a real enjoyment of the sport, how the HELL could you not read everything you can get your hands on about it? Blows my mind, completely...
  2. Uh yeah, I had to tuck it in for you Sat prior to boarding, same one was loose...
  3. Think that was frustrating? Just wait until you have about 50 seconds of working time from a perfectly good airplane... Don't over think this. It's iterative, each experience building on the last. Just when you think you got it? You'll have a horrendous experience. It is what it is. This takes time, and patience. The tunnel is amazing and will teach you a lot. However, a skydive is on it's own level as well. Not only do you have body flight to consider but everything that follows it. You don't relax when your not 100%. You have an off day, period. You go back and hit it again. All the tunnel time in the world won't fix this just like sometimes mondays just SUCK. Enjoy it, shake it off when it's not perfect and don't wait for some golden egg before you start AFF. Just go do it. Peace
  4. LOL, Chris we really need to do something about your tension factor. I think the OP is being forthright, and has answered some of the questions. Though I do see your angst and validate it. OP, I'd also suggest one other thing? I've seen so many times, requests for info from "Experienced Skydivers" then saying "It doesn't matter how many jumps you have". One cancels the other out. For instance, I've got 124 as of an hour ago. While it may look cool to my whuffo friends it doesn't count for much. Aka, my "advice/knowledge" is based on a few minutes of actual skydiving. If you really want good solid advice, at the least make a cutoff, aka, there are people out there, here, with thousands. I'd say make a baseline like people with a thousand or more skydives. It's a reasonable number and typically at that point they've gathered a whole shitload of experience. I've had a few mal's, zero cutaways and scared the shit out of myself a couple times. Not a lot of experience there. Lastly I'd say if you really want good info for your homework. Do it at the dz, and buy the person a beer/softdrink. You'll get there attention and they'll be more willing to answer when you are face to face and you are the one doing the writing. It is a tight knit group of people, protective of the sport and one another. We'd be friendlier to media if they'd just get it right sometimes. Jack P.S. Chris, deep cleansing breaths, you are starting to worry me
  5. Thanks Wendy, Agreed wholeheartedly. Your posts and many others here are what make dz.com "worth it". Despite the fact that we all are guilty of being asshats now and then(yourself exempt, never saw it out of you :). Per Remster it may not be base but I'm sure it's a close second or third. Either way I'm not a nums guy I just know every time I go that it isn't forgiving and I have to be on my best game from packing to pre-flight, ride up, exit, free fall, deployment and landing. On top of that, I know that sometimes even the best laid plans go to shit. I'll add, take note from your Seniors, not only in age but experience. Many many come into this sport and don't get the relevance of jump numbers. Many see it as a pissing contest. Reality is, everyone will share their experience if you only shut up and listen. Great bunch of people. So sad when we lose anyone. BSBD, Jack
  6. Agreed, you have a valid point. However, this manufacturer has it's SPONSORED TEAM flying cross braced canopies, one just died, with less than a few hundred jumps. So, while what you are saying is valid, they aren't the cops, should they be sponsoring a team of tunnel rats, and providing them with cross braced canopies to fly out of the hole. It's not a matter of looking at who to point the finger at. At the end of the day anyone that jumps out of a plane is responsible for THEIR choices. It's a matter of we are evolving and should someone with a couple hundred jumps be flying a cross braced rocket? This isn't about re-selling, etc.... Icarus isn't to blame anymore than anyone else is. What people are searching for is how to stop the high rate of death when people have a perfectly good canopy over their heads. Period
  7. I agree, I think people have the right as well. The thing I'd like to see is more formalized instruction in "getting there". Yep, more expensive, someone would have to pay, etc... However, I think more work on canopy control (B license) to move on to the next level, is necessary. There are quite a few courses, this area has been growing. I think it just needs more work and a little more framework built around it, and lastly our association applying it to the SIM, etc... Not doing so, just isn't smart.
  8. Agreed wholeheartedly Wendy. I think though it's apparent SOME KIND of direction were taken beyond "Hey you can't jump that". Life evolves, what used to work, doesn't work anymore, etc... It's called evolution and with the sport growing, canopies getting even faster, it's time to do SOMETHING. I have years to invest to even reach the knowledge level many of you have. By numbers alone I'm a nobody. However, that said, I'm smart enough to see a problem and notice that nothing innovative has been applied to resolve it. Taking the same track on this that's been taken for the last twenty years is not a solution. Period. When it comes to the fine details, executing on a plan/solution, well there's a hell of a lot more work to put in. However, doing nothing is ridiculous. It makes the sport look ridiculous and us look ridiculous when all we can do is stand over the body and say "he shoulda listened to someone". More can be done, more should be done. I don't want a police state but I think it's a joke that someone can strap on a velo that has NO business doing so. Period.
  9. http://www.pcprg.com/hardop.htm I have a ZPO 190. It opened hella hard (it liked to took my head off, compressed C1-C3, ripped out lines...). Ted bult me a pocket slider. End of story, opens well. Read Gary Peeks research, link above. Sabre's can be fixed with a change in slider size. Take a look, review with your rigger, execute. Problem solved. [Edited to Add] No amount of rolling the nose, changing packing technique, nothing solved my problem. The pocket slider did. I'd recommend one for your sabre however Gary's research shows (imho) that simply a larger slider will do the trick. So, there you have it.
  10. Thanks Big Mark, definitely! It's on my list for summertime completion. A helicopter as well.
  11. Jan, thank you for the well thought out proposal. Even at first glance it's something I see as a positive. I think the key element to success is the program being structured as a path to success for those that get in the sport and get bit by the swoop bug. Regulation and rules turns off a great many in the sport due to the whole fly free mantra. They see our sport and us in it as free spirits willing to cross the lines to experience what we do. In many ways it's true, it takes a special person to lay it on the line, every time for the love of the sport. However, even so, as John Mitchell says, enforcing the "no stupid shit" rule can be wildly interpreted. DZO's, S&TA's at many dz's rule pretty harshly to that. Some it appears to be non existent. Reasons vary, sometimes it's simply a matter of volume and people slip through the cracks. Either way, that alone won't contribute to solving this problem. The program, built in a fashion that provides a clear path to their goals, is now not about regulation, but education and training. Hey, I want to swoop! "Well, come here and let's go over it, and lay out a plan for the next 36 months, what have you, and begin your training and education to do so. We have it, loosely coupled (mentoring, tunnel camps, coaching) in many areas of the sport. It works well, but the thing that hits home about swooping is, if you drop a few slots on four way, you can just go up and try again. If you screw up on your sight picture, you may not get another shot at it... Aka, I really feel it's a great event/area of our sport. The big boys/girls that compete in swoop pull of some of the most beautiful moves there are and it's breathtaking to watch. However, I don't think ANYONE can argue it's the most goddamn dangerous maneuver in our sport. Lack of an structured training and education program, that implements requirements for getting their is simply sad. Back to the driving license comment brought up earlier, to that poster? You can't drive a formula one car without years of training and advancement through the sport, simply won't happen, period. Why are we still letting people drive formula one cars in our sport, without the same? It's not about preventing death. It's about developing the programs and practices that build a stairway for those that want to get there. Then, taking them there step by step. I gotta admit. I have "that personality"... I've fought it my whole life. I want something when I want it and I never want to work for it. This is serious shit though, miss a beat, drop a toggle and you are screwed. I went to SDC over the weekend. I want to jump wingsuits. I'm happy there is a program in place. I went to FlockU, met Greg and discussed next steps. When my jump numbers support my state of readiness, I'll take my FJC with him. Will I stop after that? Hell no, I want to fly well, I want to flock and dock and so many other things after. From that perspective I see a long path ahead of coaching, training, education, practice, etc... Keep moving with it Jan. My only request is structure not as a limitation or gatekeeper type thing, structure it as "here is how you get there from here". My hats off to anyone that gets the swoop bug. Done right, it's a hell of a thing to watch and must be ten times more exciting to execute. I don't know that I'll ever have the guts to try but if I did I'd seek training, take my time, and follow the line. That's for damn sure. Again, nice work Jan, go for it. In the end it should create better canopy pilots period. That's a good thing.
  12. Just remember whatever you choose to do in regards to this sport, like so many other things it's not always the obviously gnarly stuff that'll punch your ticket. Diving out of planes, plain vanilla skydiving, is still gnarly enough at the end of the day.
  13. When I was down there in February Manny was on every load there was... Incredible hard worker, totally in the game with an eye out for everyone. My last jump I did a solo tracking dive and he spent a few minutes with me briefing, discussing line, etc... You could tell the man was on his game. The next time I go I'll be opening my wallet to get some quality coach time with the dude. Talented, focussed, heads up. Good stuff. Between him and Luis I'd say you'll get just about the best coaching you could ask for. Edited to add: http://www.teamflyforlife.com/about-2/
  14. When I was a young man, I showed up to a family funeral, dressed in jeans (nice ones) and a button down. My father approached me, and said "Every man should own at least one good suit, for occasions such as this." I took it to heart, heeded his advice and acted accordingly. One black suit, a tie, white shirt. Years later I have a few more as business warrants but I never forgot his words.
  15. I've had the same thought. With only a hundred and some change on jumps I've been working really hard at break off, and pull time to look and develop my sight picture. Checking altimeter and the scenery to build in that view. I'm assuming it takes a lot of jumps and awareness to get that picture locked in though I do feel like i'm getting better at it. I've been low, real low, three times. I don't ever want to be again. Especially not with a malfunction. It was scary enough to be that low with a good canopy. Which in my estimation was luck, not skill.