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Everything posted by JohnRich

  1. Well, after that recent "Parachutist" cover photo, I can understand how someone might think that to be true.
  2. In skydiving you can move in three dimensions. In most other sports, you only get two. If you can't think of ways to keep from getting bored with that, then you just need more imagination.
  3. Suggestion: Give it back to your husband.
  4. That would indeed be unusual, but not unheard of. It's happened several times, unfortunately...
  5. With no way to log off, that leaves a session hanging out there, which somone else could intercept. As it is now, killing a session within your browser doesn't actually terminate the session. Because if you re-activate, you jump right back in to your previous active session. The only way to actually kill the session is to kill the web browser, and then re-boot it to continue your work. This interferes with other work going on at the same time. Give us a means to log off cleanly. Somewhere.
  6. That's probably one element of it. He states that if he didn't write his own story, that someone else was going to do it without his permission. So he decided to go ahead and do it himself, his own way, to tell the story the way he wanted it told. I can't blame him for that. There can always be a second edition with corrections.
  7. What do you think is "unusual" about it?
  8. That's just asking for trouble. Have you ever seen one of those novelty radiometers? Link: When solar particles hit that white helmet they'll be reflected off the surface, and then Newton's third law of motion comes into play, which says that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So all those solar particles bouncing off your white helmet will send you into an out of control spin. The only way to stop it will be to pop off your helmet to save yourself. Even worse, if you get into a formation with someone who has a black helmet, then his helmet will absorb the solar particles, while yours is reflecting them. And then you'll spin even faster, just like that radiometer. Have you ever wondered why Twardowski is always spinning towards the ground under canopy making spirals with smoke? It's that damned white helmet of his. I wouldn't advise it...
  9. How come the home page no longer has anyplace to log in? Oh, and there's no place to log off either... Doh!
  10. Yep, you picked up on the poor writing in that small excerpt. The whole book is like that, and doesn't impress me. However, the story itself is gripping. How about how he said that you fall slower in freefall than on static line? I'm sure what he meant was under canopy, because it would be a ram-air versus a round, but he didn't explain that. In one sentence he talks about pulling the "cord", and in another he calls it the "chord". "Chord" is a wing design term, and not something you pull to deploy a parachute. Re: "Ropes". I don't know how much of this was his own writing, or his co-author, which may be a whuffo person trying to translate Kyle's story into language understood by the masses, but botching it.
  11. I'm sure that is true. Chris Kyle is also appearing on the TV show "Stars Earn Stripes", in which famous people get training by military experts in performing a competition involving military skills. Kyle seems like the real deal, and a humble guy too. He explains in his book that he isn't a particularly good sniper, and only graduated in the middle of the pack in his sniper class, almost failing the stalking phase. He attributes his record to the simple "luck" of being assigned to the battle of Fallujah in Iraq, in which the enemy was everywhere, and he had plenty of targets. It's not that he's a better sniper, just that he had more opportunities to take shots.
  12. This question has been addressed many times in the past here. Since you're doing "research", I suggest you use the "search" function to find the answers to your question.
  13. I'm reading the book "American Sniper", by Chris Kyle, the Navy SEAL sniper with the record for the most kills, which he achieved in Iraq. I started out #105 on a waiting list for the book from my library, so apparently it's very popular. After several months of waiting I finally reached the top of the list and got my hands on it. Now don't go getting your panties in a wad - this isn't a thread about guns or war that would belong in Speaker's Corner. My purpose here is to provde an excerpt of the two and a half pages in which he talks about his parachuting experiences. See if you can spot the odd stuff that doesn't sound quite right. Here it is: Begin quote AMONG OUR MORE NORMAL ROTATIONS WAS A RECERTIFICATION class for parachuting. Jumping out of planes-or, I should say, landing safely after jumping out of planes-is an important skill, but it's a dangerous one. Hell, I've heard it said the Army figures in combat, if they get 70 percent of the guys in a unit to land safely enough to rally and fight, they're doing well. Think about that. A thousand guys-three hundred don't make it. Not a big deal to the Army. Oh-kay. I went to Fort Benning to train with the Army right after I first became a SEAL. I guess I should have realized what I was in for on the first day of school, when a soldier just ahead of me refused to jump. We all stood there waiting-and thinking-while the instructors tended to him. I'm afraid of heights as it is, and this didn't build my confidence. Holy shit, I wondered, what's he seeing that I'm not? Being a SEAL, I had to make a good showing-or at least not look like a wimp. Once he was taken out of the way, I closed my eyes and plunged ahead. It was on one of those early static jumps (jumps where the cord is automatically pulled for you, a procedure usually used for beginners) that I made the mistake of looking up to check my canopy as I left the plane. They tell you not to do that. I was wondering why when the chute deployed. My tremendous sense of relief that I had a canopy and wasn't going to die was mitigated by the rope bums on both sides of my face. The reason they tell you not to look up is so that you don't get hit by the risers as they fly by your head when the chute opens. Some things you learn the hard way. And then there are night jumps. You can't see the land coming. You know you have to roll into PLFs-parachute landing falls - but when? I tell myself, the first time I feel something I'm going to roll. The first. . . time. . . the f-i-r-s-t . . . !! I think I banged my head every time I jumped at night. I WILL SAY I PREFERRED FREEFALL TO STATIC JUMPING. I'M not saying I enjoyed it, just that I liked it a lot better. Kind of like picking the firing squad over being hanged. In freefall, you came down a lot slower and had much more control. I know there are all these videos of people doing stunts and tricks and having a grand ol' time doing HALO (high altitude, low opening) jumps. There are none of me. I watch my wrist altimeter the whole time. That chord is pulled the split-second I hit the right altitude. ON MY LAST JUMP WITH THE ARMY, ANOTHER JUMPER CAME right under me as we descended. When that happens, the lower canopy can "steal" the air beneath you. The result is . . . you fall faster than you were falling. The consequences can be pretty dramatic, depending on the circumstances. In this case, I was seventy feet from the ground. I ended up falling from there, and having a couple of tree branches and the ground beat the crap out of me. I walked away with some bumps and bruises and a few broken ribs. Fortunately, it was the last jump of the school. My ribs and I soldiered on, glad to be done. OF COURSE, AS BAD AS PARACHUTING IS, IT BEATS SPY-RIGGING. Spy-rigging may look cool, but one wrong move and you can spin off in Mexico. Or Canada. Or maybe even China. Strangely, though, I like helos. During this workup, my platoon worked with MH-6 Little Birds. Those are very small, very fast scout-and-attack helicopters adapted for Special Operations work. Our versions had benches fitted to each side; three SEALs can sit on each bench. I loved them. True, I was scared to death getting on the damn thing. But once the pilot took off and we were in the air, I was hooked. It was a tremendous adrenaline rush-you're low and fast. It's awesome. The momentum of the aircraft keeps you in place; you don't even feel any wind buffeting. And hell-if you fall, you'll never feel a thing. End quote Note: "Spy rigging" is where ropes are thrown out of the helicopter and the soldiers on the ground clip themselves to the ropes and are lifted up dangling on the end under the chopper and carried away.
  14. Ask some old timers if they'll make you a cake.
  15. So what are you buying that is "just like a skydiving canopy"?
  16. A finger-trap is a method of joining one line into another, by passing one line through the weave of the other and into the hollow sheath inside that line. It's named after the Chinese finger-trap toy in which you insert a finger in each end of a woven tube, and when you try to remove your fingers, the weave just tightens up and your fingers are trapped. This same principle is used for joining many parachute lines, because the tension on the line helps hold the joint together. You secure the finger-trap joint in position by sewing a bar-tack over it, which is a zig-zag stitch in a tight pattern. You have to be careful to make sure the needle is passing through the line tucked inside the other, by not making the stitch length too wide. Chinese finger-trap: Finger trapping: Bar tack:
  17. If the slider sits on top of links at the top of the risers, and there is a tube protecting the lines and links at that point, it can be a tight fit for the steering line to pass through all that. And then when you get to half brakes you hit the "cat's eye" finger-trapped in the brake line, though which you pass the toggle to stow the brakes when packing. That thick lump at the cat's eye can bump up against all that stuff up there with the grommet, slider bumper tube, lines, etc. I'm in the habit of pulling the slider down over the riser bumpers to get it out of the way of all that, and allow for free travel of the steering line. If all my terminology doesn't compute, get an experienced jumper to show you with the rig.
  18. Replies: Just to clarify, this was not a wing suit tracker, but a guy in a regular jump suit practicing tracking. Don't know about the barrel roll - never saw him in freefall. The six-way never saw him either, until his canopy popped open underneath them. They were lucky he didn't pull high. There are load organizers, and one was on the plane, organizing that 6-way. That's another reason I thought everything must be okay, because he would know better than me - he's a regular there, and he's not afraid to speak up if something isn't correct. He gave the talking-to to the jumper on the ground after-the-fact, so it's been handled, and hopefully won't happen again.
  19. That's funny, coming from someone with one year in the sport, calling another with 37 years of experience "ignorant". But hey, with these new-fangled teaching methods these days, maybe you really do already know it all. You're right. I forgot that critical thinking skills are related to the years I've been skydiving. I don't care if the proposal passes as stands or nothing happens. I think that a response in the middle could be in order. The information he was asking about is in the proposal he's slamming. It seems clear that he didn't read it. It's funny that someone who is likely half your age has to explain this to you. (see I can be an asshole too!) Thank you for setting me straight, young fellar. When I need advice on skydiving, now I know that you're the go-to guy to get the right answers.
  20. I jumped at a DZ this weekend at which I have not spent a lot of time lately, and don't know everyone there. My group, an 8-way, boarded the Otter 2nd to last, with two jumpers behind us who we thought were doing hop 'n pops. Behind us in the plane was a 6-way, and some tandems. On the climb to altitude a jump run was made for the hop 'n pops, but only one exited. The other guy stayed in back on the floor, riding the plane to altitude. He said he was going to do a tracking dive. I thought to ask him what the heck he was doing back there, because now the exit sequence is screwed up, with some solo going first, followed by the bigger RW groups. But since I didn't know the guy, and since no one else on the plane who are regulars at the DZ questioned him, I figured he must know what he's doing, and everyone is okay with it. Who am I to question him? A lot of these young kids these days have more jumps than me, and it can be embarassing to question what they're doing, only to find out they have plenty of experience and are a national champion at something. So I kept my mouth shut. Surely he knows to track downwind or perpendicular to the line of flight, right? Not to worry! Well, jump run came at 14k, green light on, the solo tracker exited. My 8-way climbed out and exited, followed by the 6-way and the tandems. Lo and behold, at opening time, the solo tracker ended up underneath the six-way group that exited third! How did that happen? The friggin solo idiot did a tracking dive all right, he tracked UP THE LINE OF FLIGHT! Yep, passing right underneath my 8-way, and continued on under the 6-way. He got a talking-to on the ground afterwards, after it was figured out who that red canopy was, since there was also one other red canopy on the load. I hope he's learned his lesson. And the lesson I've learned, once again, is that if things don't look right, don't be afraid to speak up and question them. Even at the risk of looking like a grumpy old fart. I'd rather be a grumpy old fart, then a dead old fart who fell through someone's canopy because they didn't know what they were doing and tracked and opened underneath me. That solo tracker should have been moved back in the line-up, after the RW groups, and before the tandems. And he should have been asked which way he intended to track. I'm guilty of not questioning all that, which could have set things right and eliminated the danger right up front.
  21. That's funny, coming from someone with one year in the sport, calling another with 37 years of experience "ignorant". But hey, with these new-fangled teaching methods these days, maybe you really do already know it all.