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Everything posted by lyosha

  1. Interesting. I never made it to an Enzo/acro level, but hard for me to imagine flying the punchy, sharp-edged thermals of southern california without active piloting. But I'm not a top-level PG pilot, so what do I know? I go hands up in skydiving. Try kiting the wing and see how easy/hard it is. At least the wings I jump which are all the typical semi-eliptical ones most skydivers jump, they're twitchy and the inputs are unbalanced. It was very straight forward how to fly my paraglider half-collapsed. Literally zero effort. I cannot imagine doing that with my sky wing. I'm convinced it would fly like dog shit and would be extremely difficult to control. So I stack the odds in favor of not getting a collapse - I try not to fly in conditions where I'll encounter mechanical turbulence or strong thermals, I fly hands up to maximize airspeed, and check wing surges, but that's about it. I don't feel confident in what would happen if I tried to actively react to minor deflations. And we all know to keep the wing flying straight and level as much as possible and flare (or try...) before you hit the ground in the case of a major event. Kite your skydiving wing in some turbulence - see if it handles alright. In my experience most don't because the manufacturers don't care and don't measure. Their research $$$ is going into maximizing swoop distance, minimizing forward riser pressure, not into making a safer, more predictable and more refined (control-wise) wing. In skydiving wings, "swoop" sells, "safer" does not.
  2. This is a complicated question that you won't find an answer to in a skydiving forum because the paraglider equivalent of an A license obtained in the mountains had spent more time in "turbulence" than almost all skydivers. The reality is as skydivers we jump in ideal conditions with virtually no turbulence. And as such do not understand it, do not measure our wing response to it, and have no basis for knowledge on how to react. To get a real answer you need to understand the technique. Google "active flying". There is a black magic to maintaining the half pound of brake pressure and why it helps manage your wing. But that is for a paraglider. Compared to paragliders, skydiving wings are poorly designed and twitchy. Active piloting takes hours of flying in turbulence to get the muscle memory to not over control the wing and do more harm than good on a paraglider. Having kited a sky wing before I was left pretty dejected at the prospects. I think stick to plan A: don't fly in turbulence.
  3. It's a good sentiment but I can also see why piggy backing off of a nationally recognized program for health verification is convenient and severing those ties carries legal and reputational risk. For sure TIs have died mid jump due to health reasons. While infrequent how many are actually on the sidelines waiting for medical? As a pilot my sense is most class 3 medical problems are due to chemotherapy or mental illness. The FAA is a pain in the ass for sure. But looking around the world I don't see a better system for high tail risk environment. Curious to know how you intend to get skydivers to care about USPA and it's mission.
  4. Well that's a frightening scenario. I'd be more worried about a jumper not doing gear checks (most don't) and the issue happening on the ground...
  5. +1 vote for canopy coaching. At your experience level you really should be on a 150. If you want to consider a faster progression make sure you are getting tons of coaching and mentorship so you know what you are doing. Everyone here has a friend or several that got hurt by downsizing too quickly that looked great until they didn't. If you are worried about the state of your canopy, get another used 135.
  6. So first off, the first and absolutely best piece of advise with regards to anything related to any embassy ever is to avoid any interaction if at all possible. Every embassy for every country I have ever dealt with was bad, arbitrary, illogical, self serving, for every country. A couple of times for a couple of first world countries I was flat out told they don't care what the laws of the country they represent actually are. If at all possible, find a travel agent that has experience with the embassy and contract the interaction out to them. Travel agents will know what to put on the forms to not create any suspicion. The embassy knows who the travel agents are and ask fewer questions. The travel agents typically know someone in the embassy in case things get dicey in the process (ask me for some horror stories over beer...) But if you still decide to forge ahead on your own, dealing with visas in my experience less is more. Pretend you are a generic tourist. Purpose: tourism. Going on a backpacking trip. Going to try to spend as much time with the locals as possible. Create yourself an itinerary. Hotels can be cancelled for free. Typically what they'll care about with tourism is that you have an exit ticket booked, a place to stay booked for the first couple of nights, and have enough ties to your current country that you won't want to overstay your visit.
  7. There's another angle to this too. The VFR cloud clearance exists to separate VFR and IFR traffic, not just to ensure visibility. There might be planes in those clouds talking to a different air traffic controller who may not know that the plane flying 10000 feet above them is dropping skydivers.
  8. I would hope by the time people are trying to swoop ponds they are not seeking altimeter advice from an Internet forum
  9. How many people go swimming in their skydiving gear? You might be one of the exceptions. I sure hope an AFF student isn’t thinking about how waterproof their first gear is…
  10. I’ve owned a viso2, optima2, N2, currently have an N3 and aon pebble and Aon X2 and Galaxy for good measure. They were all fine. Here are my notes. There is barely any difference between Neptune series and Viso series. You are fooling yourself if you think there is. Neptune has a slightly bigger screen which didn’t make a difference. Viso has a jump replay mode that I used once to debrief a cutaway. If you are choosing between those two pick the one that is cheaper or that you can find used. X2 I’m a big fan of. It’s the first altimeter in a while that adds value with GPS and distance/direction to DZ (super useful on moving jumps, especially if you go on your back or into a cloud or 5000 feet of cloud). But it costs more and it’s harder to get one. For audible I use a pebble after my optima died. Again - for most people whatever is cheapest will be best. I had the pebble laying around and it’s been great. Optima was great too. Just cost 3x as much.
  11. Taft claims to have the most jumpable days a year. When we lived in LA it was the more fun DZ to be at.
  12. Do yourself a favor and never look up the statistics for cameras. You will instantly be shunned in this place as a heretic.
  13. Not super Impressed with that particular tool either. It seems to say I'm in more risk by upsizing because my canopy courses and familiarization with canopy mechanics were with previous, smaller size. And 1.3 WL is the same as 1.7. There is no semi elliptical category of canopy (the one most jumpers are in). That alone will turn newer jumpers off and make it seem like the test was created to intimidate newer jumpers, not educate them.
  14. The only thing I've seen actually work is close mentorship by an experienced local canopy coach. I've long since stopped telling people what they should and should not do and instead encouraged people to get good mentorship from a local expert. People who want to rush into things unfortunately need to a higher frequency of feedback on their shortcomings from someone who paints them as areas of improvement towards a grand goal. This is not exclusive to CP. Whoever suggested a system of endorsements, I support the idea. Seems to work for the FAA with pilot licenses. And we already have one in the B license canopy course which is effectively an endorsement.
  15. With all due respect, who appointed you czar of how all things work? My answer, as well as the other topics from the realm of canopy selection, is thoroughly covered by any canopy course worth their salt - mandatory for a B license these days (in my opinion a good thing). Not sure whether you got your B license already, but if you can't think of a reason someone would want to increase their wingloading as a safety measure, it's time to re-up. In the mean time, if you have gaps in your understanding of fundamental mechanics of ram air canopies, I humbly request you remove yourself from a conversation about shoving "safety" down people's throats with regards to that topic. Wendy, BASE jumpers are dropping like flies. The topic of wingloading, it's effects, and what the "appropriate" wingloading is are areas of robust discussion in that community. There are various arguments that can point someone towards one hazard or another. You should talk to someone that runs BASE courses or a gear manufacturer about it if interested. I only understand the high level points, and probably not all of them, but enough to understand that it's a fluid decision and not my place to tell someone what their wingloading should be. I'm not sure what your point there was :-/
  16. ? I'm not the one trying to force my personal view of safety and danger onto someone. If I answer your question, will you never again suggest wingloading be regulated? The bargain should go both ways.
  17. You tell me. You're the one advocating for severe restrictions.
  18. Good thing I got my D license already. What a mess this would make... Lots of high and mighty going on here. What works at your DZ may not work at others. I have plenty of friends who broke themselves underloading a canopy. There's already enough people on here screaming a GoPro under 200 jumps will kill you because USPA says so. I don't think further undermining credibility of USPA recommendations with this idea is necessary.
  19. Having been to a few places some DZs are like that, and some are family. Each DZ has it's own culture.
  20. Wait, there's seriously only one company that can make skydiving rubber bands?
  21. I would definitely add transitions, backflying and upset recovery to that list.
  22. Probably something with more drag and less glide such as a 7 cell. Maybe a Pilot7 or a Spectre? The down side is less flare power. Personally I liked my Sabre2 landings. I have a Pilot9 and I love the openings, but landings aren't as nice.
  23. I got harder openings from a larger size PC. At one point I had two canopy setups that I juggled gear between and same canopy with a newer larger PC consistently opened harder. It's definitely a factor.
  24. Here is a handy guide by the German equivalent of USHPA: Keep in mind - I am not a PG instructor - just a guy that's most of the way there to his P4 (D license equivalent) and that has a D license and at one point had a coach rating. I know that I should not be teaching anyone active piloting. But I believe it is a useful application of first principles of canopy flight - especially for larger canopies. This is why I said "you should reach out to USHPA". I absolutely do not know everything there is to know. I can recommend some instructors for you if you want - they are much more qualified than me to discuss the topic. Specifically a few instances - when you fly out of a thermal/rotor/turbulence and your wing surges, you should "check" the surge with some light braking. This one several friends and my wife have broken themselves over. Also - if you find yourself low and in a turn, don't release the turn, apply counter steering. This one is taught in canopy courses (at least it was in mine). But the general gist is exactly that - keep the canopy overhead, square, stable, and in approximately in the same place over your head. That means you check your surges, release toggle pressure (or front riser... good luck with that on a skydiving wing though) on the drop backs to keep the wing in the place above your head it is happiest and producing valuable lift. And if you find yourself in a situation where you need to make emergency maneuvers, make sure to keep your wing flying and producing lift and not surging towards the ground in a turn. With regards to rears in high winds - what is currently in the SIM sucks and I have the video from landing in high winds that picked up suddenly at Burning Man to prove it. I pulled one brake, my canopy literally did a 360 without touching the ground, locked itself into a line twist, and kept inflated while pulling me at a 30-45 degree angle. I was along for the ride with literally nothing I could do except watch my now locked-in brake line dangle in the wind when I realized I made a mistake and tried to release the pressure - and it did absolutely nothing. It took a few random passer-byes jumping on the thing for it to finally deflate. It just kept producing extra lift due to the toggle input and dragging me. Later, I learned about rear risers and it all just clicked. What you want to do in high winds is stall your canopy. The reason is simple - a stalled canopy produces no lift and therefore only the fabric drags you. Additionally, stalled canopies fly backwards (something that absolutely needs to be added to the SIM as well - not just for high winds, but also for canopy collision avoidance), which in most scenarios means the canopy flies back into the ground, pinning it to the ground and reducing the surface area actually dragging you and promoting deflation and distortion. In almost all modern canopies, a rear riser stall requires much less effort and range of motion than a toggle stall. This is why "trust your rears" is a joke on sofpidarf. You will accidentally walk into a rear riser stall with no warning - but in the case of collapsing a canopy in high winds - that's exactly what you want to achieve. I'm no swooper, but I have yet to jump a canopy that stalls at full brake deflection - and I've jumped most semi-ellipticals and am currently on a Pilot loaded at 1.4-1.5. That means if I pull a toggle to full deflection, it will only cause the canopy to produce more lift, dragging me more - and not collapse the thing. Rear risers collapse canopies. With large modern canopies - it's much more dramatic of a difference.