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  1. I was shocked though over the summer when we visited one of the biggest and most well known DZs in Southern Europe that even there they insisted on the 45 degree rule. As a visiting jumper it was not my place to question this approach but I made sure to ask at least 4 different people there and each and every one insisted on the 45 degree rule. On one lift, our group (3 way flat) left 14s after the group before us (4 way flat) and on breakoff I literally had to pull 2s into my breakoff track because I could see a canopy open just off to the side. 45 degree rule doesn't work but it is still being widely used and TAUGHT... Personally I'd like your permission to John to show your presentation at my local DZ, it won't be easy though to convince people with triple my jump numbers and years in sport that this concept needs to be eradicated. P.s. Typed this on mobile so apologies for typos Quote
  2. Thanks for that, really enjoyed it. Especially since I never knew about it and I live in Cyprus. Any idea when this was filmed?
  3. Following the events of the past week I felt compelled to give two thumbs WAY up to Aerodyne. I received my new rig (actually my first ever rig) just over a week ago. This was a complete Aerodyne setup: Icon Pro neXgen I4 with a Pilot zpX main and smart reserve. Unfortunately after just a couple of jumps there was some unacceptable wear on the deployment bag. The point of this post is not to hash out what the issue was but to point out the unbelievable response from Aerodyne. I mailed them on Monday with pictures of the damage, by Tuesday they had manufactured another D-Bag for me and by the next Monday I had it in my hands half-way round the world along with a few goodies (tshirts, caps, stickers & pull-up cords). I've heard from a few people that they wouldn't choose Aerodyne because of bad aftersales service but my experience has left me extremely satisfied. It's important to get the good stories out along with the bad. A big thank you to J and Debbie for getting all this sorted out so quickly. You guys rock!
  4. Thanks for the input guys - I've spoken to Bodyflight and unfortunately there are no camps running on that specific day. It is looking likely that I will have another trip in the first week of October with 3 free days to choose from so hopefully there will be one then. In terms of posting on UKS - Any recommendations on specific coaches to get in touch with? Also on a more general note - there has been no feedback on the idea of spending a few minutes solo in there. I was thinking along the lines of drills such as: Neutral hover, turns in place (accuracy and speed), tapping each 'end' of the wall in sequence... Thanks again, Chris
  5. Hey all, I have a business trip coming up soon and have arranged for 1 free day which will be dedicated to the wind tunnel (Bodyflight Bedford, UK). I have a bit less than 200 jumps, all belly flying. I would like some advice on how to make this trip as cost-effective as possible. I have a couple of options available to me. Option 1: 1 hr but has to be on the same day. Option 2: 30min block in 1hr. Option 3: 3 or 4 10min blocks taken over 4-5 hours. I've read through various threads that anything more than 30-40 minutes in a day for a first time flyer will be tiring and you start getting into diminishing returns which isn't worth it. For this reason I am tempted to toss Option 1 out the window - comments more than appreciated. Option 2: 30 minutes in a 1 hour block. This seems a bit like overkill to me with almost no time to debrief and reflect on what went wrong how to improve - however I have no experience in tunnel flying so some feedback on this would also be helpful. For this reason I am tempted to go option 3 - picking up 10 minute blocks at a more relaxed pace in order to (I think) get the most out of the experience. This is where things start getting costly - coach time is charged per hour regardless of flying time so if I spread out my sessions over 3-4 hours then £££££. I was considering taking an un-coached first 10 minutes in order to get comfortable alone in the tunnel with just hovering in place and working on simple FS1 drills. My thinking was to get comfortable before spending money on the coach to work on more advanced belly flying. I say this because I've read a lot on how tunnel flying can be daunting at first to even very experienced skydivers (different visual cues, quality of air etc.) So in short, there's no one specific question in here but any advice would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance, Chris
  6. I'm with Lisa on this one - if you're looking at cost-effectiveness then simply insuring your rig and all components under your home policy is the best option. I've just insured mine and the total cost comes out to an extra EUR150 per year for all risk worldwide cover. That means, damage, theft, misplacement etc. (as long as you state it was unintentional ) With the total cost of a rig upwards of EUR 5.000 that gives me complete peace of mind for way longer than the useful life of the individual components.
  7. Guilty as charged. That was too easy I can see why you came on here for info - can't make out too much from their website. Seems like a tandem factory at first glance?
  8. Looking to add another DZ to your already impressive list?
  9. My plan is to get a used 150 precisely for the reasons you mention but having scoured various sites they seem to get snapped up pretty quickly. Almost impossible to get a bead on them :)
  10. I know there's another thread about buying a first rig but I feel that our situations may be different enough to warrant a new thread. Forgive me if I am mistaken :) Also apologies for the long-ass thread which follows, for those not bothered to read all of it I would appreciate input on the following question. Container - Buy direct from manufacturer or go through an online shop (paragear, chutingstar etc.) First off - I have made the decision to buy a new harness/container system. The reasons are multiple: 1. I'm very small so a good-fitting 2nd hand is hard to find. 2. I'll be putting a 150 main into it loaded at 1.05:1 so next step will be a 135 after about 300+ jumps. At a rate of 100-150 jumps per year (small weekend DZ) I feel that a container will last me a good 6-7 years. 3. I have the available cash-flow so this will not affect my jump numbers. Having made the decision to buy new though I find myself with a question I cannot seem to find the answer to. We have no suppliers on my island so my only option is to buy off the net. Would you recommend going direct to the manufacturer or going through one of the well known online shops? I'm thinking more in terms of price and whether or not this affects delivery time. Canopies - Again I am looking to go down the new route for both the main and reserve. I am currently jumping a Sabre2 170 loaded at 0.9:1 and will be downsizing to a 150 loaded at 1.05. I am a pretty conservative canopy pilot and do not foresee swooping in the near future. I do however plan to start WS sometime soon (around 10-20 jumps per year) but will mostly be doing RW jumps. My local DZ is overloaded with PD canopies and Javelin containers so there is not much exposure to other manufacturers. My current plan of action is to go for a 143 PD Optimum with a Sabre2 150 as Main. Instead of a Sabre2 my other options are a Storm or a Safire2. From what I have read the Storm and the Safire2 will give me more stable on-heading deployments with a similar performance envelope to the Sabre2. Is my understanding incorrect? Any comments on this would be a great help. Coming back to containers - as mentioned above the local DZ is loaded with Javelins so opinions on other containers are few and far between. Having looked at some prices online the Javelin seems to be on par with the Mirage G4 in terms of price. Voodoo Curv & Wings seem to be slightly cheaper along with the V3 Micron but out of the 5 the Vector is last on the list due to recent videos depicting reserve deployment issues if the packjob is bulky near the top. So for now my list in order is as follows: Curv, Javelin, Wings, Mirage, Micron I find myself leaning towards the Curv but I'm not sure if it's just because it's new and seems to have a lot of bells and whistles. So I'd like to learn a bit more about it. Unknowns regarding the Curv: How many flaps are there on top of the reserve? Where is the cutter and reserve closing loop located and can I fit a Skyhook? The Javelin drops to second merely due to the fact that the main pin cover tends to flip open if the rig is not 'packed' and I plan to downsize to a 135 in due course. I would also like to have a rig that is freefly friendly in CASE I opt to do some FF in the future (seeing as I plan to keep the rig for a few years). Wings & Mirage my knowledge base is a lot lower as, to be honest, I will most probably be going for a Curv or a Javelin unless someone points out some feature which will improve safety and does not exist on these 2. By the same token the Micron seems to have rave reviews but as mentioned above - that reserve worries me. I have also looked at the Racer but unfortunately (and I am ashamed to say this) the ugliness has put me off slightly. Once again apologies for the long post - for those of you that have bared with me I thank you for your valuable input. Needless to say that this is just crowd-sourcing for opinions but any final decisions will be discussed in detail with my rigger and DZO. Chris
  11. My old man started his AFF 2 months shy of his 60th birthday. 28 jumps so far so yeah - 33 is not late at all
  12. Was good to meet you today. Thanks for the beers! Sorry I got there late though for the drinks - I'm a very slow packer
  13. For what it's worth my situation is similar to Whamie. I'm 5"4 at 125lbs and think it would be good for the OP to hear my experience too. It may help to provide a point of view she can relate to. Experienced skydivers and instructors alike tell me tha I have very good canopy handling control. This is due to the fact that I used to fly gliders solo before getting under a parachute. I've only ever had to PLF twice and one was my first jump. Every other landing has been super smooth. As such I was fully confident in my skills to downsize. Just go give you an idea of my progression which I consider to be too quick at one point. 290 - 16 Jumps (lots of fun landing backwards with light winds) 260 - 17 Jumps 230 - 18 Jumps 200 - 5 Jumps 190 - 4 Jumps 170 - 56 Jumps I feel I went from a 230 to a 170 pretty quick but I am 95% confident on this wing currently and it worked out ok. Many people (instructors included) believe I am ready for a 150 but it's that last 5% that worries me slightly and has kept me from downsizing. The following two factors made me think I'll spend at least another 100 - 150 jumps under this wing. I had an incident 3 weeks ago where 30 feet from the ground in high winds a gust caught my parachute and semi-collapsed 2 of my end cells. My reaction to this was immediate and still pulled off a very soft landing. That gave me a LOT of confidence in my skills. But then a week later in no-winds I flared a fraction of a second later than usual and my first step was a little heavy on the ground. I could feel that shock in my lower back for about an hour. It was at this point that I realized that had this been a 150 the impact would have been harder and probably caused some slight damage. Like everyone said - you know your own skills. I would strongly advise against skipping the 150 wing for this reason...but that's just my 2c. Chris
  14. Is it bad that I feel proud to have seen that one coming?
  15. Ok folks - here's a couple of pics to give you an idea of the location. Be warned though - I only have pics off a couple of jumps so I'm not doing the DZ justice but will see if I can get some off other people. The first one 86-04 is a picture of our old lady Hotel Delta's underside. The next two are just to give you an idea of what the area looks like - oh yeah, did I mention that all these pics are from the first weekend of December? We don't really get downtime due to it being too cold :) And that's me in the black helmet and blue jumpsuit.