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  1. My Velocity 90 loaded @ 2.3ish lands wonderfully straight in. The Velo 84 @ 2.4ish lands beautifully straight in. In fact, every single modern ZP canopy I have ever jumped has landed exactly the same while doing a straight in approach...like it was designed to be able to land properly with no added speed for landing. What I have learned, however, is that most non-crossbraced non-fully elliptical canopies loaded greater than 1.8:1 suffer greatly and do not perform at thier best. Some do, but most, especially the semi-elliptical, aren't the canopy I would choose for a higher wingloading. I have only jumped 30ish different modern ZP canopies (some same planform in different sizes), though, so it could be a fluke. If someone tells you a canopy needs speed or a turn to land properly, they may not be the best person to listen to for canopy advice. While a canopy pilot might like the speed, the canopy doesn't need it. Consider this...if a canopy pilot completes a turn high, then they have essentially done a straight in landing. I have seen people who say a canopy "needs" speed repeatedly turn high and have a more than 10 second recovery after completing the turn (which negates almost all added forward speed in these cases) and then stand up their landing. Think about all the swoopers that plane out high and stand it up... In fact, the Stiletto Flight characteristics document specifically states: ": An aggressive approach should not be required on either canopy, with proper technique. The Stiletto lands nicely when making a straight, full glide approach and carefully executing the flare. The result is similar to what can be achieved with a Sabre, but is a little less forgiving of poor technique than the Sabre, especially in the case of over controlling." http://performancedesigns.com/docs/stiletto.pdf Please read this article from PD, specifically section V, before making a choice about canopy/rig sizes based on perceived comfort. http://performancedesigns.com/docs/packvol.pdf If you have an issue with mobility, perhaps the better option would be to look at different rig manufacturers or change your body shape/flexibility via working out or reducing bulk/adding flexibility in your workout routine. You may consider demoing a canopy such as the Pulse, which has a low bulk bottom skin. This, combined with a reserve made of low bulk fabric, would allow you to have a rig sized for a 126 reserve/135 main with a 143 reserve/150ish main. I personally didn't care for the Pulse that much, but I know many that love it. I believe Aerodyne also has a low bulk fabric, and there may be others.
  2. So the evaluator will be working about 35 hours at the dz... two 4 hour evenings (don't forget setup and breakdown time} plus 2 twelve+ hour days at the dz. they also have to drive to and from dz, arrange lodging and be away from home. The evaluator also has time invested in prepping for the course. In addition, s/he has wear and treat on thier equipment, plus taxes, food, and travel expenses. According to your math, the evaluator will take home about $70/hr before expenses. Cut that down to about $45/hr if they are paying another evaluator. Cut that even more for costs associated like travel, food, gear, ratings, now you are down to $35/hr. Now factor in the additional work involved that isn't done at the dz, probably 10 hours of planning, organizing, and answering emails that could be answered by reading the SIM, bringing it down to maybe $25/hr. As a grad student, how much do you feelba professional instructor should be paid per hour? My math is probably questionable, but my point should be clear. I have taken 2 coach courses, a cheap one and one priced where my instructor made money. Guess which one had the better instruction? Guess which one I learned from and which one I got just a piece of paper from? If you are worried about the cost of a course, then you are focusing on the wrong aspect. You should be concerned about the quality of your course, not the cost.
  3. Have you tried contacting the manufacturer? This is generally the best way to get correct answers. Paratec GmbH > Contact Paratec GmbH Flugplatz Saarlouis-Düren 66798 Wallerfangen Germany Email : [email protected] Phone: +49 (0) 6837-7375 Fax: +49 (0) 6837-74373
  4. This concept has always baffled me. Would you want your wife/husband/mom/dad/so/whatever taken on a tandem by someone who did a bunch of jumps quickly so they could hit the minimum number and get a rating? Why would someone want to only meet a minimum standard while taking someone else's life and livelihood (not to mention someone else's loved one) in their hands? It seems the more logical/intelligent approach would be: At which dropzone can I do a large number of jumps while focusing on my canopy skills and working towards attaining the necessary skills to safely take full responsibility for someone else's life? But I guess it makes more sense to just crank out a bunch of low-quality, non-learning jumps and then put both someone else's life and the livelihood of someone's business, as well as the reputation of the industry at risk so one can make a few bucks hauling cargo. BTW, the most effective way to make 2-300 jumps in a short time is to have a bunch of money and go to a dropzone that flies a bunch of loads. If one can't figure that out with "5 years in the sport", the likelihood of being a quality instructor is pretty low. Most individuals who have been in the sport for 5 years know that Eloy jumps approximately 355 days a year, more than most any other US DZ. In addition, said jumper would probably know how to google historical weather conditions, as that is the primary factor in making jumps (besides, of course, the dz being open). You do not need to be at a 7 day a week dz, or have multiple rigs. All you need is money and time. "Short time" is relative..does this mean 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 days?
  5. Point of order...this is a broad generalization that speaks to the organizational level of the dz and it's coaching/instructional program, not of coaches in general. Coaches that aren't that great are generally found where the AFF instructors aren't that great, or where the dz hasn't invested in their coaches. I've seen many coaches that can and do regularly outperform AFFI's in every measure. I know several coaches I would rather see doing AFF/AFP then many of the rated AFFI's I see out there. Please don't group all coaches together like this. "Student blues" also speaks to the level of organization of the dz and it's instructional staff. A dz doesn't have to leave students by themselves, they can keep them active and involved (and not charge them money) very easily. Any problem with "student blues" lies with the dz instructional program...if it's hard for student's to find someone to jump with, the staff didn't do their job getting them acclimated to the dz. Your example sounds like the results any dz with a good instructional and organizing program gets regularly, whether they use AFF or AFP.
  6. You can demo each of these canopies. This would give you a much better chance of getting the canopy you truly want rather than a poll on the interweb. http://www.performancedesigns.com/demo_sport.asp While it isn't free, a little money now may save you tons of heartache later.
  7. At the most recent PIA, Jim Cowan of CPS gave a presentation about 2 out scenarios. He's probably done the most research on the subject then anyone else. His opinion was that leaving the RSL connected affects cutaways/transfers minimally if at all, and that the shackle is not the problem, but the ring around the reserve ripcord. Most issues were caused with the older rigs with the 2-guide ring setup. The majority of 2-out situations occur at a relatively low altitude, typically AAD firing altitude, which will be around 1000' AGL, +/- 250'. This leaves a minimum amount of time available to even assess whether your main canopy is entangled or potentially entangled with your reserve; remember, you need to trace the path of ALL 8 risers, plus d-bag and P/C, verifying 110% they are not entangled before you cutaway/transfer. With the exception of the 2-out earlier this season that happened at deployment, total flight time for the ones I have witnessed (7) is about 2-3 minutes, with most being closer to 1 than 2 (descent rate depends on configuration). If you have a stable configuration above your head, your time is probably better spent finding a good landing area and preparing for a PLF rather than: looking for an RSL shackle, taking your hand(s) off your controls to disconnect (or trying to with toggles/gloves in the way), tracing your 8 risers and deployment system, looking for your cutaway handle, pulling your cutaway handle and then checking for a decent landing area, trying to get into the wind, and preparing for a PLF.
  8. How many fatalities have there been in the last 5 years from entanglement with helmets? Last 10?
  9. For the record, I have jumped both the PDR w/ Dacron and the Optimum. I've jumped the PDR 143/Dacron @ 1.3:1 and the OP [email protected]:1, the OP126 @ 1.6:1, the PDR 160 w/ microline @ 1.18:1. These weren't all reserve rides, I demo my current reserve size each season, unless I've had a reserve ride recently. I've had terminal openings on the each of these. Though the 143/Dacron had a softer opening shock, the OP143 was not a hard opening at all. I feel the OP143 is a "better" canopy. When I say that, I mean it flies like a more modern canopy, and has a stronger flare. Remember, this is all anecdotal recall, backed only by my experience. Unless the jumper was 220lbs+ (100kg+), I would recommend the OP. If the jumper was over this weight, I would consult the manufacturer and follow their recommendations. European demos: http://www.performancedesigns.com/demo_sport_europe.asp I know you aren't in Europe.
  10. I guess we should stop allowing tandems jumps, as they occasionally break an ankle and stop jumping. AFF students sometimes get hurt and stop jumping for a bit. Experienced and inexperienced skydivers jumping moderately loaded canopies sometimes get hurt and stop jumping for a bit. Experienced and inexperienced jumpers flying big canopies sometimes get hurt and stop skydiving for awhile. Hard openings sometimes require medical attention and force operations to come to a halt. The polite thing to do when flying a high performance canopy is to only pound in well away from the runway. By planning ahead, we can make sure there is easy ambulance access so it won't interrupt other's valuable time. In that thread, car accidents sometimes take up my time. Last night, it took me 4 hours to drive a normally 1.5 hour commute. Perhaps we should ban or restrict cars on highways as well. If you don't want your free time to be diminished or intruded upon by an accident, perhaps you should spend that time somewhere that doesn't include an inherently dangerous activity. Injuries in this sport are inevitable. Sure, high performance canopy flight does increase the risk of injury. However, it is not going away. If you see someone flying in an unsafe manner that may intrude upon your free time, it is YOUR responsibility to approach that pilot and try to help them with their knowledge and skill. I've paid for people to go through canopy courses because I thought they were going to bounce. I've given away multiple copies of Germain's books to "that guy". I've sat people down and gone over canopy flight and issues that often catch people by surprise and cause injury. Do you take the active approach to helping all jumpers be safer or the passive-aggressive just make a post about it but not do anything concrete to help the situation approach? The change in culture at a DZ comes from all the jumpers at a DZ. Peer pressure is very effective. Teaching and helping these jumpers through this phase is essential.
  11. While I understand that mentality with a dealer, it's not really true of manufacturer who you aren't actually buying the canopy from. That idea is especially not true of PD. Just because something costs more doesn't mean the dealer makes more profit. Manufacturer's in skydiving aren't exactly the same as others; they have an interest in keeping you alive and safe. PD used to recommend Dacron for 200lb+ or camera jumpers. Since the Optimum, they have dropped that and recommend the Optimum. PD tests and test jumps more canopies than probably anyone on the planet, and want to make sure their customers and skydivers are safe and happy with their product. If you knew the qualifications of the people responding, that would be one thing. However, these forums often have people who only regurgitate what they've heard and don't actually understand what advice they are given, or only give advice from their (limited) experience rather than a tested and retested hypothesis. By making a poll, you are simply having a popularity contest, not judging responses by the reputation or qualifications of the responder. For all you know, the majority of the responders may have under 100 jumps and have never jumped any reserve, much less a PDR w/ Dacron and and Optimum.
  12. You should call them or email them and ask. The manufacturer will have the answers to all your questions, and will likely be more knowledgeable with real proof then the anecdotal information you will get asking here. PD, along with most manufacturers (all in my experience) will be happy to help you and answer all your questions. PD=Ph: +1 (386) 738-2224 email: [email protected]
  13. It happens the same time every year, 365 days from the last time it happened. You could put it on a calendar, or sync it with your birthday/anniversary, do it at Safety Day every year (what I do), set it up where you send it in Jan 1, etc. If you can remember your anniversary date, or your birthday, or to send a birthday card, it's not that difficult. It's like a reserve repack. I've never understood why people miss the date, especially working skydivers. Make a google alert or something that reminds you 3 weeks, 2 weeks and 1 week ahead of time. PPPPP.
  14. This is the reply I got when I inquired about it: Jeff, USPA is in the process of revamping the SIMApp and has removed it from the store until the new version is released. USPA is only 15 people – none of which are app developers, so the process takes a bit longer than other, large commercial applications. Keep an eye our for the release. No eta at this time. Regards, Elijah Florio | Director of Communications | USPA Using a pdf is not the same as a nice, hyperlinked app.
  15. All Cypres 2's maintained or manufactured after Jan 13 have this feature.