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  1. Ah. Both PD Optimums and PD Reserves (after a certain date) have, on their data panels, maximum operating weights well above 1.3 WL. I just saw a photo of one for a PD-R 106 with a maximum weight of 220 lbs, which would be over 2.0 (I would not want a reserve loaded the high, personally).
  2. I've "heard" that there are waivers, but never seen them. Perhaps it's an interpretation of the rules. There's the maximum weight the gear has been rated at, and then there's the maximum weight that will put a canopy faster than 24 feet per second descent rate, 36 feet per second total speed (usually around 1.3 WL) which would be significantly below the tested load weight (i.e 254 lbs). As an example, the PD Reserve 143 size has a maximum weight of 254 lbs, which would put it at about 1.8 WL. An Icarus Reserve 149 reserve has a maximum suspended weight listed of 199 lbs, which is about 1.3 WL. Is a waiver required by PD to list a maximum weight above 1.3 WL? I don't know. That's the regulatory part of it, so what of the actual performance? I don't think there's a significant difference in descent rate between the PDR, PD Optimum, Aerodyne Smart/SmartLPV, etc. with the same wing loading and canopy size, so I don't think that's a relevant factor in choosing between them. I think that there was the idea that there was, based on Optimums having some time of waiver, and PDRs not. But I don't believe that's actually the case. And of course what's the safe thing? Most, if not all of the C23 testing standards (NAS, SAE, PIA) list a maximum 24 ft/s descent rate and 36 ft/s total velocity for a deployment configured (i.e., brakes stowed and no flare) landing, and that roughly translates to 1.3 WL. Does that mean you're safe below 1.3 and dead above 1.3 if you land unconscious with no flare? Of course not. The higher the WL you are, the more danger there is. There's also the issue of canopies getting aggressive, regardless of the design, when loading them highly. But in choosing between the various reserves, I don't think descent rate variability given the same size and wing loading is an issue. That would be interesting to test.
  3. I think there was a misconception that PD Optimums descended faster than the PD Reserves, which is why I brought it up. I don't believe that's the case. I believe that there's no real difference in descent rate given the same size and wing loading. The only difference (again, as far as I can tell) is some companies have maximum recommended weights well above 1.3 (Aerodyne, PD) and some don't (Icarus World). Whether that involves an FAA waiver, I don't know. I've never seen it. And I've never gotten a firm answer from anyone on it.
  4. I know this is an old post, but in doing some research on the subject, I believe this to be incorrect based on the information I've obtained. Both the PDR and PD Optimum both have waivers (though I've never been able to find a copy of the waivers). Same for Aerodyne Smart and Smart LPV. Anything over 1.3 WL is going to exceed the maximum descent rate as specified in the various TSO standards (C23b/c/d/f). If you look at the maximum recommended weights of the PD and Aerodynes, they clearly go over this. Icarus World, however, you'll note that their maximum weights for the Icarus Reserve or Icarus Nano are pretty much exactly at 1.3. They don't have a waiver and specifically mention the ~1.3 WL limit in the reserve manual. I talked to an Icarus representative at the 2019 PIA regarding this. I don't know what other reserves have or do not have them, other than the 3 listed above.
  5. A couple people I know have Dacron lines on their canopies. Another benefit seems to be, even in tough environments like Perris, they last longer than the canopy. One guy had Dacron lines on a Pilot 96, close to 2.0 WL. Another on his Spectre (much larger). Neither seemed to have any complaint on how the canopy opened or flew (one is a camera flyer) or wear on the gear. When my Pilot 150 comes up for a re-line, I'm probably going to put Dacron on it.
  6. I put a video together for people looking for their first canopy:
  7. Question is the topic. Getting some details for a video. What year was PISA purchased by Aerodyne?
  8. One thing that I find that trips people up (myself included) is the terms "tested to TSO specifications" such as "TSO C23D tested" and "receiving FAA TSO authorization", the latter being required for being legal in the US and the former being useless as far as US legality is concerned. Unless there's a treaty with another country regarding foreign authorizations translating to an effective TSO authorization. It appears the Airforce Reserve does not have a US TSO authorization from the database search (though the model numbers in the database are... weird.) Whether its Australian certification translates to an effective TSO, I don't know. But I would assume at least at this point that it's not legal for a US citizen or foreign resident to jump in the US unless a treaty document can be verified (I couldn't find anything with a quick search).
  9. hmmm, according to their site they seem to imply the NexGen did not come out until May 2017. They have two manuals differentiating between the two. The first says "Icon Manual May 2017 (neXgen)" Anyway, I have an I5 Nex Gen (2018) and I have a 175 Smart LPV in there. It fits well and the rigger said that there would be room to go up one size if I wanted, which is what the manual also says. You said your Optimum 160 was a medium-tight fit and implied a 176 would be too large. Well my 175 Smart LPV fits fine in my I5. It's not overstuffed at all. A 160 LPV would probably be a bit lose. 2017 was when the NexGen manual was updated. As pchappman pointed out, they came out in 2013. They did start with their A and V recently, but as far as I know they're just updates of the Nexgen model and aren't considered a different rig. I wonder if my i5 is built more like i4s. It seems everything fits that way. At Perris they have several i3s for the load organizers, and they all have LPV 135s in them. Optimum 143s fit better I think.
  10. No, they're both NexGen. And I've seen their pre-Nexgen charts, they make more sense from what I've seen with both my NexGens.
  11. I own two Icons, an i5 (2014) and an i3 (2015). I enjoy them both. I've found Icons, at least in the Pacific Northwest and desert areas, are ambitious to what they say can fit. For instance, my Icon i3 can barely fit a 135 from IPT, where it's supposed to hold a 140. In more humid conditions, a 140 might be easier. In my i3, I've normally got a Crossfire 3 109 in there, and it's a good solid fit. It's supposed to bottom out at 120, but I think I could fit slightly smaller than a 109. I had a ZPX Pilot 117 in there as well, and my next canopy will probably be a Pilot 111 ZP. Currently it has a Pilot 132 ZP for big ways, and it's a rather firm fit. Not too difficult, but the closing loop is pretty long and the loop is still quite tight. My i5 currently has a pilot 150 in there, and I've had a Crossfire 2 129 (I wouldn't recommend a 129, but a 150 is pretty solid). Crossfires tend to pack a little bit bigger (not a full size, maybe not even a half size, but they have more material I believe from the way they're constructed compared to a traditional nose). When I got my i3, I had a SmartLPV 150 put in. A master rigger with over 10,000 reserve packjobs had a hard time getting it in there. I swapped it out with a Optimum 143 and it's a much better fit (I think the Optimum material packs smaller than the SmartLPV material). I pack it now as a relatively new rigger and find it works great. I've got an Optimum 160 in my i5, and it's a medium-tight fit. I don't know that I would try an Optimum 176.
  12. I also recommend a Pilot 168 ZPX, however if you demo keep in mind they do fly very differently. A pilot is a lot flatter and the flare is quite different. If a Pilot's brake lines are too long, you'll miss out on a good amount of flare, so you'll want to try some test flares up high and you might have to take a wrap or two.
  13. I've had two chops on a PD Optimum 143, loaded at ~1.3. I don't think I noticed any harness sensitivity. It flew pretty boring and was a mostly one stage flare, but I stood up both in little wind. On my first cutaway, I had line twists in the reserve but it flew straight and was easily able to kick out of it. Both deployments were skyhooks.
  14. I experienced a Vigil failure on a jump at 30,000 feet. In May 2016 I did a 30,000 foot jump at Skydance. The night before I was sure to turn my AAD off, since I'd just turned it on when I arrived at Skydance for a last load or two. In the morning, I turned it on and did the hour of pre-breathing. The jump went as planned. Despite it being -40 (same in F as it is in C) I was relatively warm, except for my fingers which were burning from the cold. I opted to pay for a packer and they packed it. When the packer handed me my rig, my AAD was off. I knew I turned it on. I tried to turn it on, and got Control Error 9. I sent it in, and they sent me a new unit. They promised to get back to me on what happened, but never did. Thankfully, I didn't need it.
  15. I did a quick video on patterns, feel free to steal :)