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  1. Some people are cutaway magnets. One such guy, experienced people would watch him pack, and just shrug, “yup I can see why he cuts away a lot”. A single cutaway in a thousand or two jumps doesn’t mean anything diagnostically useful. Someone cutting away several times in a few thousand jumps has something going on. It could be packing technique, maintenance problems, or experimental or particularly edgy gear. People commonly want something to blame every malfunction on, but not every malfunction has a blame-able factor. Remember, you are throwing a wad of fabric and strings into a turbulent, high speed air flow. Shit’s gonna happen. The reverse scenario, is worth considering too...for uncommon events (cutaways for people who have none of the aforementioned risk multipliers) there will be cases of people going much longer than average between events. That doesn’t mean (necessarily) that they have anything special going for them other than the luck of the draw.
  2. darkwing

    New-to-market canopy

    Having a lot of experience building for the military market is a plus. Looking at the photos on the web site they have a range of models and sizes. Nothing about any of them looks exotic or innovative. I suspect they are very similar to many existing canopies, but you really need to have riggers and experienced jumpers have a look at them. You might ask them if you can demo the canopy. Or if a group of you can try it. If they want to break into the local market, then they should be eager to let people try them. Merely having good prices isn't enough.
  3. darkwing

    Beagle Boogie Boys Chant

    I semi-remember it from the 70's, and I probably remember more of the 70's than nearly any other Idaho jumper of the time. All I recall of it is the ending, "... we're the Beagle Boogie Boys, who the fuck are you?"
  4. darkwing

    Parachutist Magazine, September 1979

    I might be able to help you, as I think I have that issue, but I don't think I want to part with it. Is there something specific you are looking for? I was at the nationals that year.
  5. darkwing

    Odd parachuting activites...

    Pretty much any whacky thing you can imagine has been done.
  6. darkwing

    Introducing The Squirrel Snatch BASE Pilot Chute

    talk is one thing, data is another. Can we see drag versus speed graphs for this versus a same diameter traditional "two circle" pilot chute?
  7. This is a good discussion to have with your instructional staff. It is more complicated than you think. Having a solid idea of your main vs. reserve altitude is a good one. Many people would say 1500 feet, BUT... In many places I've jumped, my altimeter saying I was at 1500 ft, was misleading. Think about where the ground is. I have often been at "1500" feet but really been only 500 feet above the ground, because the ground we are flying over is much higher than the ground we took off from. Another issue is the well known one of making the intellectual decision ahead of time that you will use your reserve, but doing the emergency action of activating your main, because that is what you virtually always do. This is a well know phenomenon. Continue discussing...
  8. To make the most out of your first jump, make a second one. Don't think too far ahead.
  9. darkwing

    asimetric xaos toggle

    What did the manufacturer say when they were informed? I'm pretty sure they are a little embarrassed. I'm a realist, and stuff gets done wrong. Nobody died. Get it fixed, send them the bill.
  10. darkwing

    Skydive stories book

    It pretty much already exists in this forum as the "Scary stories from the old days" thread. Have you contacted the authors of some of those?
  11. darkwing

    From the Steve Morrell tapes, not so bad wrap

    Note to newbies-- NEVER try to grap a cutaway canopy or free bag. There is a significant chance things will go very badly for you. Of course a good teammate often would chase a cutaway, but not into danger.
  12. darkwing

    Mirror Image

    I wish I did. That was some great film. I watched it many times. I'm pretty sure when I saw it it was either BJ's copy or Rande Deluca's. I don't think there were many copies. Possibly only one.
  13. darkwing

    Question about incidents

    Historically it has often very difficult or impossible to protect the evidence or have qualified people inspect it. There are lots of cases where crucial information has been lost because the police took it, and refused to take advice on handling. I suspect these days things are often better, but there are still problems. Perhaps the most likely scenario is at a smaller, isolated dz which hasn't had a fatality before.
  14. darkwing

    Material for templates

    Glass would work, but I wouldn't recommend it for other reasons. When I built canopies I used a sharpie and could very quickly trace around a template made on almost anything that was fairly stiff. Then I would remove the template and cut with the hot knife. I think I had some templates made from tempered masonite (not transparent) and could cut those without tracing. I am a little curious why you need transparency? Pretty much any thing transparent is some version of plastic or glass. I don't know anything about high temperature transparent plastics. Part of the issue is how heavy your hand is with the hot knife against the template material. Cutting canopy fabric you can use a very light hand, but cordura and such require a heavier hand. Then there is the alternative of using a rotary cutter, much more expensive, but not hot at least. Generally used for stack-cutting. For one-off cutting I think a hot-knifed edge is better though.
  15. darkwing

    Russian D6 malfunction video

    For me this was a pleasant trip down memory lane. For younger jumpers it might be terrifying. I loved the casual toss of the reserve, and its leisurely inflation.