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  • Main Canopy Size
  • Main Canopy Other
    Jedei 105; Sensei 81
  • Reserve Canopy Size
  • Reserve Canopy Other
    Microraven 120
  • AAD

Jump Profile

  • Home DZ
    Carolina Sky Sports
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  • First Choice Discipline
    Formation Skydiving
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    Senior Rigger
  1. Mf: Altitude Shop Anyone have links/info to manuals, SBs, etc on this rig? Thanks. JHL
  2. Advice: 1. Forget software for awhile; learn how to sew first. 2. Keep your first projects simple. Weight bags are good - either for main packing, or shotbags for reserve/BASE, velcro reserve line protectors for reserves, etc. 3. Realize that you WILL screw up. Become adept at stitch-picking in the process. 4. Use the right materials and machines .... our loft is open to you. We have lots of scrap for practice. 5. From what we've seen in this sport & rigging, most designs come from someone who had an idea, made a prototype, tested it/got input, refined it, then finally perfected it. As far as your gear bag, why re-invent the wheel? Find a bag or luggage design that you like, examine it very closely, deconstruct it (either in real life or in your head,) think through the steps of the manufacturing process, take a bunch of measurements and then reconstruct it with good materials. If you feel comfortable asking, get input from others. You may not be happy with it; may have to refine it. But, you might end up with the best gear bag ever. Good luck! Alpha Mike Foxtrot, JHL
  3. Love this thread. One of my favorite quotes from an awesome master rigger who's taught us a lot over the years: "Yeah, a 5 minute job. I have to take the main off, run over here, measure this, get the stuff, mark that, hotknife a piece, re-thread the machine, adjust tension, sew it and muck it all up, pick stitches and start over, while being interrupted 7 times. 5 minute job - right!" Another quote from the same guy: "I'm going to start charging people just to talk to them and give advice. I mean, lawyers do it!" Seriously, many good points brought up. We've been pretty lucky here, customer-wise. Things that set me off: Someone pencil packing/forging my signature. Especially when their Cypres was out of date when they did it. People who REALLY need their rig by the weekend ... then pick it up 6 months later and don't understand why they're out of date (and meanwhile I could have used that $45 they owed me.) Someone who gets pissy when I ground their rig due to serious/bad harness damage ... I mean, WTF - do you have a death wish? People who don't understand why I don't want to repack their original Safety Flyer, or their YAK trainer rig. Other than that, it's all in a day's work and we love our customers. We educate as much as we can. Apprenticeships -- I second what Sparky said IN SPADES. If someone wants to sit with me, be helpful, and learn ... it's all good. Our loft has a big open door. I haven't seen any real serious commitment w/our apprentices. It takes time spent + dedication + learning/studying to become a rigger. People seem to think they can just do their 20 and test out. The only successful apprentice I've had (besides Dawn, my partner) ended up taking Dave Dewolf's course. Alpha Mike Foxtrot, JHL
  4. THANK YOU for your efforts on this issue. We'd love to put soft links on as many reserves as possible. We've been (legally) putting SR-1's on PD and Prec. reserves for some years; looking forward to hearing the results of your inquirys to other manufacturers. Alpha Mike Foxtrot, JHL
  5. Awwwww; I miss you too, sweetie. Do good at dodgeball tonight. Your job is to be a "human shield." You must especially protect Dominick and Greg at all costs. And yes everyone, I'll collect the $$ for S and the S S's. (This will consist of relabeling the "Biff Fund" cup.) Eric - when I got home tonight, I found that my bad puppy had chewed up my travel CD case .... I think including all of my Rancid. So if you're game I might have some CD-burning requests for you in the near future. Man, if I keep posting like this I'll need my own profile. I'm open to user name suggestions. Anyone? Karen and Stuart - I really miss you guys. -Dawn #1 Alpha Mike Foxtrot, JHL
  6. HOLY CRAP - a party, have-fun-after-hours atmosphere at CSS???? People hang around after beer light on the weekends? REALLY??? I may have to join you ... (Rigger Dawn here; home today with a BAD cold. Otherwise I'd be working on your gear, not reading and posting here.) Marion - I blame you, fully and totally. You and your slide-out. OK, maybe the UNC kids had a little to do with it, but really ... what do they know? I'm not sure they're even legal. I've heard them referred to as "jail bait" more than once. Or maybe I should just blame this on all of the freaks. (Ellis! I missed you last weekend; did they tell you?) Dawn #2 - you're #2. Be proud, and say it loud. Plus it's easy to remember - Dawn 2, BK 2, etc. I thought no other credentials mattered - is this still valid? Don't be a hypocrite! Stay true to your principles, woman!! (E-mail sent regarding your intricate rigging needs.) Eric - thanks for the CDs and help in the store and all, but stop being uppity. BB gives out the BK numbers, and there will be no dissent. I really believe David should become BK #3 - what a gorgeous black, white an silver kit. What new soda flavors should we explore this weekend? BB- I had some new ideas for a team name; they all involve canopy choices. What do you think of: "GO BIG OR GO HOME!!" or "AIRLOCKS RULE!!"? ...that's what I thought. Joe & Mike - I think it would kick serious *ss to get Somebody (?) and the Something Somethings out here to play at Thanksgiving. Talk to Nancy, and if it comes down to collecting $$ I'll do it. Hey, it worked out for Biff. My cold medicine is kicking in, and I'm off to bed. Thanks to you all for making CSS a really fun place to work. Alpha Mike Foxtrot, JHL
  7. This is fascinating to me ... mainly because I've seen 16 low main pulls resulting in Cypres fires in the past five years. All resulted in 2-out situations (read - reserve fully deployed. Sometimes quite a delay after full main deployment.) The only time I saw trailing reserve PCs/freebags was on old student gear with large mains (VERY low WLs and slow speeds) and fXCs. Obviously it happens in other situations, and I realize my experience is limited. I believe the incident that Spizzarko referred to is here: http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=1096907;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed;;page=unread#unread While this was not an AAD situation, it's food for thought. I'm not saying that reserves will always open in 3 seconds, no matter what's going on. I am saying that I've seen them deploy pretty reliably after a Cypres fire, with the main fully open or in a state of deployment - except in the case of very large student mains and FXCs. I believe speed is a big factor. Above all I'd hate to see people down & dirty --doubting the ability of their reserve to open low if they're really having a bad day -- no matter what's going on with ther main, and no matter what happened in Russia. Alpha Mike Foxtrot, JHL
  8. OK, here's a question: From what you say in the other post, it sounds like the reserve containers stayed closed, how could they realize that their Cypreses had fired if their reserves did not deploy? more details would be appreciated Sounds like ALL of the reserves did not deploy but maybe SOME of them did partially ... at least with reserve PCs or opening reserve containers entering the picture, causing a little wake-up? Or maybe someone got ground rush? PURELY speculating here. Some credible sources are saying Cypreses did fire, and the incident did happen. This could have been easily verified after the fact by looking at the Cypres cutters and/or reserve closing loops. If a Cypres has fired, the used cutter will give definitive proof of that. That said, I'm glad I've never seen a reserve hesitation in real life. I've seen plenty PC lockups and hesitation the ground at I&R pull time on various containers. They have ALL been due to rigger error - specifically stowing PC material where it should not have been stowed. I wonder if this could be a factor here? Back to the OP - I'm glad to see Strong doing this. The stiffener they've always used in Quasar IIs reserve flaps seemed weak and prone to distortion. Hopefully this will help aesthetically, if not functionally as well. Alpha Mike Foxtrot, JHL
  9. Hey Michael - miss you, man! Medical status of students is difficult. Overall, I'm more concerned about about their mentation and cognizance of risks involved than with their actual physical condition. At our DZ we have a sharp young woman with severe Multiple Sclerosis who gets actual perscriptions written from her doctor to come out and make a tandem skydive. She's in a wheelchair, with very little muscle control. (Not sure if the perscription is for insurance or what.) She's fully aware that she could get hurt on a bad landing. She has a ball, it's cool for us at the DZ., and she writes about it to inspire others. A few weeks ago I was asked to a first-jump briefing on a paraplegic man in his 40s. He was talking crazy - wanted to take his wheelchair along, wanted to do all canopy control himself, etc. Obviously he had no clue, so I said "no" to this one. In this instance it sounds like this was a sharp woman, aware of her mortality with a "to do before I die" list, and maybe not much time to complete it. As for the medical waiver: Landing a tandem back in Iowa, I had a guy break his ankle. I was ready to sell my gear and leave the sport. Turns out he'd lied on the waiver - didn't mention all of the surgeries that he'd had due to football injuries, which left him unable to lift his legs. I agree with getting a doctor's permission if it's questionable. I'm glad you went with your gut and gave this woman the great experience she had. (I'm betting she didn't need any nitro either - after all these years Dawn still goes on about how you were the most calm and safe instructor she had.) Alpha Mike Foxtrot, JHL
  10. Rarely post- but have to respond to this one. As a rigger, when I sign a packing data card, I'm saying that I've inspected the entire harness/container system and reserve parachute, and have deemed them airworthy. Yes. Yep. This is the HARNESS we're talking about. The HARNESS and the HARDWARE. Not unless you have some criminally lazy riggers. Alpha Mike Foxtrot, JHL
  11. This improved line trim modification on your Triathlon is legit. It was developed by Aerodyne, to improve openings and landings. As I understand it, it involves more trim adjustments than just moving the brake lines inboard by one rib. If you send a Triathlon to Aerodyne for a reline, this is how it will come back to you. It just looks kind of funny at first glance, having no line attachment at the outermost corner of the tail. A few of our customers have had the mod done to their Tri's, and have been quite happy with the results. You might want to find out who did the reline, and/or contact Aerodyne to learn more about the mod. Alpha Mike Foxtrot, JHL
  12. Nice poem, Mike. "chunckers" - WTF??? As this post seems to reference the CRW event at CSS over the 4th weekend, John & Dawn would like to say "thanks." As riggers we always love to see a bunch of CReW dawgs show up at CSS. (And contrary to what Jackson might tell you, it's not just because we might get an increase in business.) We love what you bring - the atmosphere of teaching and learning, friendship, great skydives, intimate gear knowledge and overall good vibes. You do tend to be kinda weird, and you have way too much crap hanging out of your rigs, but you're more than welcome at our DZ and in our loft anytime. Come back soon, Toadsuckers! We'll be ready with plenty of 900# red dacron, velcro, ripstop tape, ZP fabric in PD colors to patch those Lightning center cells, and plenty of extra links for your trim adjustment needs. Alpha Mike Foxtrot, JHL
  13. ------------ Yeah, I'm genuinely sorry if my post offended you or anyone else; touched on a sore point, or stirred up some old news. The thing is: Many rigging errors are hidden and cannot be discovered by jumpers during the most thorough gear check. IMO, the basis of the rigging profession is accountability and trust. I'm all for keeping problems/errors between riggers & individuals -- been there & done that, many times. I was responding to Kevin's post & hoping to spread some knowledge. Lots of new riggers read these boards. Peace - Alpha Mike Foxtrot, JHL
  14. Hear, hear. The worst thing I've seen was a Javelin where the PC didn't launch after a 50# pull. All of the PC material was pulled up tightly to the top of the rig, and stowed VERY FIRMLY under the closing loop plate. That rigger is no longer in business (though not because of the incident we found.) So - New riggers: don't stow PC material like this on Javelins, and keep pull forces w/in limits. Also, "don't leave temp pins or molar straps in your pack jobs ... count your tools or have a system ..." etc. etc. I feel that as riggers we all need to help each other out, and we should go to each other and keep it among ourselves if we find non-lethal errors. We are all human. But ... people's lives are in our hands! I see more and more new jumpers who think riggers are infallible gods or something, and who think their reserve will work perfectly, every time. Maybe they've seen that orange label that basically says "shit happens" but I know many can't accept that. I'm with Kevin - I'm hoping this thread will expand and maybe someone will learn something from it. Sorry if the "shock value" offends some of you, or if it seems like rehashing old news. Many jumpers reading this board are new to the sport. Alpha Mike Foxtrot, JHL
  15. Looks like we're about average - $45, including new Cypres loop (every repack,) new main closing loop (every repack unless it's pristine,) 3-ring maint. and cable clean/lube, inspect main risers, d-bag and PC, pH and tensile test if applicable, band replacement on diaper or in container when applicable. We do charge $3 for a new safety stow if needed - material + time. We also charge extra for a Racer quick loop replacement, due to the shop-hour time involved. Cypres battery or Slink installation free when you buy them from us. We don't charge to uninstall or reinstall an AAD if we're sending it in for service. We're full service & fairly busy so it's simply less paperwork & bookwork to factor the overall price of Cypres loop spools, washers, silicon, paper towels, Type IIA, a retail markup on batts, shipping costs etc. etc into the basic repack & Cypres maintenance. For a full main inspection we charge $20 which includes 100% insp of the canopy, tensile tests, minor re-stitching/maintenance, and a full line trim check with recorded results. It puzzles me that a loft would be more likely to return a main disconnected and unpacked than an individual rigger. Like Rob & Terry, we are not main packers ... but we have an excellent packing staff to hand the rig off to for that. These are the same packers most of our customers use anyway. Sorry for your experience, Nightingale. Sounds like they should have been more clear when you dropped off your rig. Alpha Mike Foxtrot, JHL