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Everything posted by lyosha

  1. Here's the post:
  2. Detach MARD connection to reserve bridle. i.e. if you go straight for silver, or get a pilot chute in tow.
  3. As far as I can tell: a) Way more skyhooks out there, meaning the guy that packs your chute will probably have seen a few already over the past ~10 years. Basically better odds that whoever packs your reserve will pack the MARD correctly. b) It may take more force to unhook the skyhook in case you have to go straight for silver. When I asked the "Skyhook vs. Reserve Boost" question on here, a rigger claimed to have measured the force to do so, and for Skyhook it was >20 lbs. For reserve boost it was 2 lbs. I read that as less pilot chute hesitation and better reserve pilot chute deployment. I can't vouch for the credibility of this having never tested any of it, but you can find my thread from a few months ago and read for yourself.
  4. Tightly close your nose with your fingers and blow (pressurize ears from inside... no air should be escaping while you do this or you're doing it wrong). Used to be real bad for me. First student jump couldn't hear the radio... lol Jumping with a sore throat/runny nose/a cold will make it worse too, as will later dives in the day. Got cleared up by jump 20 for me and last few so long as I don't have a sore throat it's fine. So hang in there, your ears do adjust.
  5. I was expecting some metric units in the mix at least... like kg/m or something... a little surprised Europe got stuck with our ass-backwards American ways on this one. :P
  6. When I was going through levels I had an involuntary wait of 3-4 weeks once or twice (weather at DZ historically not student friendly...). Here's what I observed: First jump of the day you will be rusty, but I was fine after that. When I got to solos, first jump of the day I would relax, arch and just "go down the tube", so to say and enjoy the foliage. When I got the feeling back and stopped resembling a piece of plywood falling through the air, I would do some light tracking or something for the remainder of the jump. Try to string together 4-6 jumps in a single day if you can. If you don't succeed at a level, that just means you weren't ready to move on and needed an extra jump to knock the rust off, which is fine. Just remember - you're not the first person to not succeed on a level because of rust - I didn't get stable enough on one of my levels to get released following a layover. I fixed the things my instructor told me to do and redid the level that same day and passed. Once you get to solos you can go at your own pace and should be good. Hope this helps. Cheers.
  7. As indicated above in a post and in one of the links in another post; it is not possible to obtain TSO-authorization in Ukraine. Just a little word-smithing to show that it has been tested to the TSO standard. That is not the same as having been issued a TSO-authorization. I do know that they are working on obtaining a TSO-authorization at this time. JerryBaumchen Any idea how long that process takes?
  8. and have cloud cover information. The first one has cloud cover in percent. It's pretty good. I've found that if it's 50% or less I could get a jump or two in as a student. If its 25% or less, 5-6 jumps.
  9. So in practical terms, what does this mean? I can't get on a load in the USA wearing one of their rigs?
  10. I don't know how things are at your dropzone, at the one that I just got an A license at, the students are very duly warned that the student gear is absolutely NOT freefly friendly. Furthermore, we are taught to examine our gear prior to putting it on (and re-routing the bridle as part of that check just to be sure that it's routed securely and properly), as well as to check the gear on the other students around you. If I had to guess what happened I'd guess that your pilot chute dislodged somewhat out of the BOC, or wasn't secure in the first place. I've seen it a bunch of times - students getting on a plane or getting ready to exit with an inch or two of PC hanging out. Either someone didn't check to make sure before putting the rig on, or they sat down and the hackey gets caught on the bench and pulls a little out. Happens. This is what I do, feel free to think it's excessive or to borrow: Before every jump, check AAD to make sure it's on and no error messages. Check rings. Jiggle cutaway cables to make sure they move freely. Undo bridle, and then re-do it. When in plane, touch each handle once at 6k in the order you would use them (make sure they're still there!), and at 1k before jumping. Feel the hackey and make sure it's still on the edge of the spandex and that the pilot chute isn't hanging out (ask someone to adjust you if it is, then check again). Check your riser covers (on student gear these like to undo themselves). If feeling cheeky, ask someone on the plane to take a look at your pins and AAD (I've heard stories of a student's AAD turning off on the plane ride up.) Seems like a lot of things to check, but takes 10-20 seconds really. And it might save you a hard opening or even your life. For me it's now a ritual.
  11. Yeah wow I just tried finding a non-nav in 280 sq. ft and the smallest other parachutes go is 260 :X
  12. Grain of salt warning: I'm a recent A License recipient and this post reflects my at this point limited experiences. While you do have 50 pounds on me, I do have 50 pounds on your garden variety skydiving student. Try it before you buy it. Your local DZ likely has multiple sizes of Navigators. The first dozen jumps I made were on a NAV 280, and it felt like I was driving a school bus. I was technically safe, but turns were a pain and flaring didn't do much of anything. Then I started working my way through my DZ's stock of student gear. 260's felt a little better. But it wasn't until I jumped a 240 and then a 220 that I felt like I was flying a parachute. When I pulled toggles, it felt responsive. And landings actually felt like landings and started being run/slide-out and stand-up landings because suddenly flare became more effective. The lack of control in the larger Navigators actually made working with it more difficult and landings worse, albeit safer for the first X jumps (needless to say on my first AFF jump I didn't exactly bury the toggles on the flare and got some nice PLF practice out of it... lesson learned...). Now, I'm not saying grab the Nav-200 from the shelf yell "Jeronimo" and jump out of the plane. But I am saying is if you're gonna commit $7000+ to a brand new rig that will likely lose $2000 in value the moment you touch it, wouldn't you want to know if it was the right rig to buy? Also, once you get your A license, go to your local rigger and rent a Sabre2 or Spectre at some obscenely large size. Try and fly it for a day. See if you like it better. It'll have more control than a Nav. And who knows, maybe it'll change your mind about what kind of rig you want to buy. Or even better demo the Nav and sabre/spectre from PD. You'll have a side-by-side comparison.
  13. I bought an FX freeflying helmet from Square1 on ebay for $35 + 16 shipping. Looks like a decent skydiving helmet, certainly better than the crap I was wearing as a student and has altimeter pockets which should come in handy. On the down side, def. not a $200 helmet. All the velcro peels off in a heartbeat, and one of the pieces is attached to the wrong side of the chin strap (!!!). But hey, $35, for a pretty comfortable and functional helmet that looks like it could take a punch or two. Can't complain for too long.
  14. There's a RAX system too? What makes it different from reserve boost and skyhook? What manufacturer offers it?
  15. So wings reserve boost is better than skyhook? (and you actually measured how much force it takes to get the lanyard to slip off of both?)
  16. You are right, I am confused, thanks for setting me straight. Chutingstar doesn't have them as an option you can click on and that threw me off... whoops :X Well before PC can pull on the bag it has to clear the lanyard, right? (otherwise the PC will be attached to the main risers) It's that detachment mechanism that's giving me a bit of pause - in the skyhook it's very apparent how it functions - the lanyard just slips off the thing with (I would assume) not a whole lot of effort. Reserve boost has some sort of small spectra line that passes into a grommet, through a metal ring and back to the other side of the grommet. When I look at it, I see a lot of spectra-grommet-ring friction which looks like it could be increased if there is adequate tension in the system. Does this release as easily as the lanyard hopefully does on the skyhook or does it cause more reserve PC hesitation? Am I asking a stupid question? :-/
  17. Also - as far as wings containers go, they don't offer them with magnetic riser covers. Are those as useful as the sales pitch for them makes them out to be? I've seen wings containers have problems with tuck tabs coming undone on the ground which makes me a little uneasy... Also, looking at their MARD design from their reserve packing instructions, how does the RSL lanyard get released if risers are still attached and reserve handle is pulled (lets say plane is going down at low altitude, for the sake of a scenario)? It's pretty straight forward for a skyhook, the lanyard slips off of the metal bit, but for a reserve boost it almost seems like it would want to hold on to the lanyard. Can someone please explain how it works? Has someone tried to pull a reserve handle prior to a repack on one of those systems? Does the reserve pilot chute still fly as far back or will it have trouble clearing my burble?
  18. Thank you all for the replies. How can I figure out what size of MLW do I need? I do have a longer torso (I think). Inseam is about 37 inches
  19. What do I look for in the mirror? How close they sit to my face?
  20. So nay on the wayfarers, but what should I look for in $10 sun glasses? Like is there a way to tell which of the ones in the gas station near my DZ won't cause tons of air to rush in to my eyes?
  21. Please excuse the novice question, but as a novice who is considering what to do in the post-goggles... What evil things would happen if I were to say, ditch the goggles for a pair of non-skydiving company (that also doesn't want absurd quantities of green for their otherwise not particularly special sunglasses) glasses such as wanna-be wayfarers or something (PD's $10 knock off wayfarers would do fantastic for this example)?
  22. Hi there, I'm a recent A license recipient that happens to be of a tall/skinny stature (~6'6", 200 lbs). In a few months when things up north defrost a bit I am hopeful to continue my progression through the sport. That will likely involve purchasing a container and some canopies and the such to cut down on the running costs of my newfound addiction. I've been watching classifieds for the past couple of months and 6'4" and 30 pounds of gut on me (guessing this will not fit properly) is doable, but 6'5" is already an elusive beast... So, with my dimensions, I'm used to purchasing custom-made or hard to find stuff. Will the story be the same with containers? Are there some kind of dimensions on containers that can actually be adjusted or should I not bother? Should I ask extra questions when looking for used containers to make sure they'll fit me properly post-adjustment? The student containers really fit like @$$ and I'm guessing the rentals at my local rigger will fit similarly. Is it worth it to purchase a new container custom made for my uncommon body? Also, being newer to the sport and concerned with safety, a skyhook seems like a really good idea, which makes used rigs even THAT much harder to find and somewhat limits my selection... To that end, does anyone have any recommendations of containers that work better for individuals with my body type? I don't want to dislocate a shoulder going for the BOC on a short container... am I correct to just give up on classifieds for containers? Also, if purchasing a new container, I would prefer to knock out as many bases as I could for as long as I could so I don't have to purchase another container two years from now. That means if I want to learn to start freefly a dozen or two jumps from now, I won't have to get a whole other container. And if a couple hundred jumps from now I want to try a wingsuit on, the container will work as well. I was thinking of starting out with something like a Vector V349, which will hold an OP193 and stick something docile and easy like a Pulse 190, with room to go down from there whenever I'm ready, in a year or maybe two. I've worked my way down to flying Nav 220's and 200's as a student and my landings have been pretty good. Does this sound reasonable or am I doing something silly? Also, Vector containers take like 8 months to manufacture. Which seems very excessive. But none of the other containers even publish container dimensions (is there even another container that will hold a pulse 190 at its upper bounds with a OP193 as a standard fitting reserve?)! How am I supposed to know if it will work for me at all? :-/ I'd love to have more choice, but the other manufacturers don't seem to want to release information that I would consider important :-/ Ohhhh the dilemma of being tall... I guess the bright side of ordering a Vector would be that by the time it actually arrives I'll definitely be ready for the size of parachutes that can go into it... Is there anyone else out there that has to pay extra for custom tailored suits like me because no store carries anything that fits you or anyone with experience with such a man that would have some advice for me? Thank you so much in advance!
  23. lyosha

    Blue Sky Ranch

    I can only give the perspective of a first time jumper and a student, since I'm still working on my A license at the moment. And maybe I'll modify as needed next year when I (hopefully) complete the requirements and begin fun jumping. The Ranch was the place I went on my first skydive, and I've stuck around it for the AFF progression and student solo dives. My first jump (tandem) was amazing. The tandem instructors here are a lot of fun to be around and really know how to turn the anxiety of a first jump into adrenaline and happiness, and how to teach you just enough so that you have an enjoyable experience without clouding your mind with the intricacies of skydiving that they take care of for you. The Student instructors are super experienced (several being in the "sport" for I think 30+ years, five digit jump counts, etc.) and approachable for even the dumbest of questions, so long as they're not busy briefing or debriefing another student. They are super attentive to each student they teach, and make sure that each student receives all the proper instruction, which they never rush, even in busy times. The student gear looks like it has been used to teach a great many students already. In popular jump times, there are sometimes backlogs of students waiting for instructors, and you may get fewer jumps in than you want. However, a lot of that is caused by students having a "favorite" instructor that for whatever reason blends well with their personality. To their credit, the student training procedures at the Ranch are super transparent, so you always know how many people are ahead of you, how many want the same instructor as you, etc. Once you are done with your level jumps getting on a load as a solo student diver is super hassle-free. Two twin otters (or a twin otter and a Cessna caravan) going at once means there is always an extra spot on loads and planes take off every ~15 minutes. I would suggest taking a day off from work on a good skydiving day or two (depending on how fast you progress) and coming up to the ranch to knock out your levels jumps. The other people are great. There is lots to do at the dropzone after skydiving ends with many people camping out in the adjacent woods. Bonfires, food, drinks, etc. I've met a lot of people there and they're all a ton of fun. From what I've seen, people don't clique up too much. The experienced skydivers are very helpful and approachable by students. The scenery is beautiful. Apparently there is some famous rock climbing mountain range just there. On a very clear day you can even see the Manhattan skyline off in the distance. The weather can be a pain in the ass as a student. There is no "great" weather forecast, even as far as weather forecasts go, for the area. They rely on data from Albany and JFK airport for winds aloft, both of which are a little ways away. I've come up on a clear day with what seemed as adequate winds only to be grounded as a student because of strong wind gusts. There is a "dive bar" that's basically a mini restaurant that serves pretty decent food at very reasonable prices and amazing homemade blueberry kombucha (if you're lucky enough to get some before they run out). No Michelin stars, but way better than anything I've heard of at any of the other area drop zones. All in all, the weather can be a bit frustrating at times, but the instructors and other jumpers back up the reputation of this place as the best to learn to skydive in the NYC area. As a side note, I've looked at the other drop zones in the area, and they all seem to have many fewer "fun jumpers" (experienced skydivers jumping for fun) and fewer spots in smaller airplanes.