jerry81

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Everything posted by jerry81

  1. > 1. Can you/should you however use BASE gear when doing a low altitude heli jump? Or would there be specific gear for this. BASE gear would be fine, provided your characters don't care about the legality of it, have their asses covered or do it in a country that doesn't care that much about the rules. > 2. What is the lowest possible jump that you could do from a helicopter. (100ft, 200, 300, more?) Plenty of BASE jumps are done from 200-300ft. (Note - if you're having your character jump from 200ft, they'll want to deploy the parachute immediately. 300ft, you can give them a sec or two of freefall ) > 3. Could you/would you have a reserve to do another low altitude jump (350ft) immediately after doing the heli jump? If you're asking about landing on a 350ft bridge and jumping off it with another parachute, then no, not really. You could use the same parachute, but it would be an unpacked jump (hanging the parachute off the edge and doing a rollover, for example), which probably wouldn't work for #4. > 4. Would you be able to jump from a bridge right after someone jumped and catch up to them on a 350 ft. jump and still have time to open a reserve at 80-90ft. (I've seen online this is the lowest recorded) (I realize it’s pushing critical limits for deployment) – or is this beyond the realm of reality? This will be into a river. I expect one character to (likely) die and have no problem giving the other one broken bones. How about tackling them just as they let go and drop? If your character is the calculating type, he or she may then get a hold of them with one arm and wait 2-3 seconds before using their free hand to deploy the parachute, because they realize there's no way they'll be able to hold on to the other person through the opening, but they might just slow down their fall a little bit, and give them a chance of surviving. We've seen Hollywood do much worse than that...
  2. When I worked in NZ, I noticed pretty much every dropzone was offering 'the most scenic skydive' in the country. Not quite the same thing, since your definition of 'scenic' might differ from mine, whereas the definition of 'highest' is less debatable, but the point is, it's just marketing. 18.000' is higher than most commercial tandem jumps. Not the highest in the world, as you've figured out, but calling it so doesn't really indicate the business is shady or that you should avoid it. Oxygen, on the other hand, is a good idea at that altitude. A requirement, too. I always told my customers that we had it to comply with the rules, and that a fast-climbing plane means you're not really spending enough time at altitude to feel the effects... but if you need to move around or put some effort into getting a student hooked up, having that hose to suck on definitely helps. If you want to do one of those jumps and are concerned about safety, call up the dz and ask if they provide oxygen in the plane... and don't worry about the claims of the 'world's highest tandem jump'. If it's your first skydive, your time perception will very likely be totally off, and you won't be able to tell the difference between freefalling from 13.5 or 18.000 feet, anyway.
  3. That will really depend on the weight of the tandem and how it's flown. Most of the ones I've filmed where they were deliberately taken to terminal, I could keep up on my head. About 160mph, tops. Deliberately taking a tandem to terminal is not a good idea, to be clear. I'm sure they can go a lot faster, though...
  4. This is from the TI's handicam. Since all my jumps are video+photos, different angles are a must. I'll normally do half the jump on my back/head, half on belly to get some shots from above and from in real close. Still, backflying is nice for people with ground fixation and for really light passengers, since you're dearching the right way to keep things in frame. It just doesn't work on overcast days...
  5. Here's my question: have you ever messed up on that 150? Or anything larger? Like seriously, ground-rushing, toggle-stabbing-to-save-your-ass messed up? Because you will mess up eventually. Everyone does, even the guys with 1000s of jumps and the pro-level swoopers. The smaller you go, the lower your margin for error. I had a very similar progression to yours... 150 followed by a new rig and 135 at
  6. Don't know what problems you were having, but you can actually fit a GoPro 2 battery pack on the 3+ as well, did you know that? I really love the Pivot Pad, the ease of use and the protection it gives. My only gripe is the sound level (related to changed microphone location on the 3+ that requires another hole to be drilled). I would also love for the camera to be sitting more forward on the base so it wouldn't capture as much of my hand and arm (especially in superview), but there's not much that can be done there, considering the design.
  7. I've had that happen once or twice when I turned it on and immediately pressed the shutter button - it looked like it was taking the shots, but it wasn't counting the pictures and froze with the red light flashing. Had to take the battery out to get it functional again.
  8. I use a pair of cheap cold storage double-knit, rubber-coated gloves called Ninja Ice. We jump the year round and the temperatures at 15.000 are often in the negative 20s. Numb hands are only a problem on the very coldest of days. I reckon I can get up to 500 jumps out of a pair. I've tried the latex glove trick this past winter... didn't work for me, plus it made putting on the regular gloves a lot harder. I'm getting some thin glove liners for next season to see how they hold up.
  9. Possibly, but I've also had mixed results. Pictures are usually not a problem. I've recovered video files before, but they were corrupted. I could actually fix a few of them with a gopro video fixer script of a sort (basically it checks and rewrites the file header), but if I remember correctly, sound was missing from all videos longer than a few seconds, and the 1minute+ files were either completely unrecoverable, full of artefacts, or randomly freezing up. Have a go at the card with a recovery software, and best of luck to you! :)
  10. I wanted to go there when I was in Malaysia in August - unfortunately, the theme park is undergoing some major works and the wind tunnel is one of the rides that are closed at the moment. A local told me it would be reopening next year, but that's just hearsay.
  11. Yes. One of the reasons I just upgraded my handicam glove (I was using a GP2 before). I think it looks great in freefall. I'm not a big fan of sticking the handicam in front of the passenger's face and keeping it there the entire time, and the superview let's me get even more creative, since I can capture the entire body even jumping with people taller than me. It does distort the image more, so I tend to look weirder on these videos, but I don't think that matters much. I do change the settings around, though - interview and plane shots are done on 720 wide, then I might switch to 720 medium for scenery shots and change to 720 superview before exit. Ideally, the landing interview would be done with 720 wide, but that would mean fiddling around with the settings under the canopy (can be done, but I much rather look where I'm going). I was a bit apprehensive switching to the GP3+ Black for outside video last year, but (knock on wood) I've never had any issues with it so far.
  12. It had an issue with the exposure at that setting - it would lock it on the first shot, meaning if you turned the camera on inside the plane before exiting, all the freefall shots would be overexposed. To the best of my knowledge, this has been fixed. Some GoPro3+ models had focus issues, which was acknowledged by the company and the faulty cameras replaced. I'm currently using my Balck+ for video, but I've also tested it a few times in photo mode and was quite satisfied with how the pictures turned out.
  13. No height requirements. It helps to be at least moderately fit, though. I'm no giant at 6' and 170lbs, and the largest I've taken was a football player that was about 6'3 and 260lbs.
  14. Back to the original issue... I received my NZ work visa for contracting my services as a TI and photographer, so at least over here, being a contractor as opposed to a regular employee is not a problem. Getting all my paperwork done took about a few hours of online exams, 1-2 weeks of waiting and around 400-500NZD. I basically had to get everything, from a regular parachutist D license, tandem instructor (with Vector/Sigma endorsement) rating, to the newly invented 'Commercial Parachutist' license. The medical (sure, my EU Class2 holds no weight here) was an extra 300NZD... however, a few months ago, the CAA changed its rules to include a paperwork fee in addition to the doctor's fees, bringing the cost up to approximately 600NZD. In the most recent classifieds ad on this site, the dz where I work was accepting applications from people with a minimum of 1000 tandems and 500 camera jumps. Requirements for other places may vary, of course. Getting back to the visa: I researched both New Zealand and Oz - the former seemed a lot simpler to get. The whole process took just about 4 weeks, but that was helped along by the fact that my employer had an 'Approval in principle'. Otherwise, I would say 2 months would be a more realistic estimate if you're going for a long-term work visa where medicals and police checks are needed. From what I hear from friends who only spend the summer here, the shorter 6-month visas take less time. Finally, although outside video is still alive and well, handcam experience is a must, especially if you're looking at any of the smaller operators, and having multiple ratings (say, Sigma and Strong, to cover the most common used systems) can only mean more opportunities for you.
  15. Legal issues aside (since US laws don't apply where I'm jumping), the youngest passenger I've taken was 10 and the youngest I've seen was 6. Both seemed quite cool with the idea of jumping, but neither of them looked really 'there' during the actual jump. Then again, two months ago I jumped with a 12 year old who was rocking it. I think a part of what makes jumping exciting for adults is the overcoming of fear that goes with it. Kids, in general, still know they're immortal and nothing bad can happen if an adult says it's OK. So that part of the experience may be lost on them. On the other hand, the freefall rush can cause even grownup minds to shut down, partially or completely. I'm not sure that this is a completely pleasant sensation, but at least adults know a bit better what they're getting into. With children I'm not so sure, and I don't really like the thought of hurting a child in this way. I'm sure there are exceptions, and older kids are a whole different thing altogether. If I had to draw a line somewhere, I'd say 12 is my personal minimum.
  16. jerry81

    TI Q

    Thank you, sir! Just what I needed to hear before heading out to the dz again. Seriously though, I am soo stealing that quote!
  17. I would definitely recommend eating at least a light breakfast before heading out to the dz to do your tandem. One of my more memorable jumps was a fellow who did OK in freefall, was happy to take over the controls under canopy and do some turns with me, then, at around 1500' just drifted off into unconsciousness. I landed with him hanging limp in the harness and slid it in with no big problems. We unhooked him, loosened up his leg straps and lay him down with his legs up high. After about 15 seconds, he popped up yelling: "That was the craziest thing I ever did!!" I don't know if he was conscious of what was happening or what. But... he admitted to not eating anything that day because of the nerves! (The system was a Sigma with his harness properly adjusted after opening, so I'm positive his leg straps weren't an issue).
  18. We bid farewell to Dave on Friday at the Wanaka Airport. I heard a few stories that I still can't quite reconcile with how Dave was as a DZO (just about the safest, most meticulous one I've ever known, that is). At the end of the ceremony, Dave was carried to his orange jump plane to the sound of Steppenwolf's 'Born to Be Wild' and flown off. Blue skies, Dave. You have my utmost respect for all you accomplished.
  19. I'm clear on that. I was saying he actually started the spin by grabbing his legs and, yes, arching the upper body. I've never really analyzed how I bring a tandem that has tipped sideways on exit the right way down again..I just turn my body belly to earth and bring the passenger along.
  20. A friend posted this video on FB yesterday. I don't know when or where it happened (the plane is based in Italy, though), but apparently the main was deployed somewhere around 700meters, after a spin of 2500m. (Never mind the cloud cover) To me, it looks like the TI caused/exacerbated the problem by trying to control the passenger's legs with his own, starting the turn that continued into a spin. In my opinion, a hard arch with the arms and legs spread out wide would have been much better than doing that thing with the legs. That's not to say that I'm a firm believer in jumping out, arching and expecting to end up in the proper position- I think a tandem exit should be flown from the moment you leave the plane, same as any other skydive. Of course, I'm a relative noob with about 600 tandem jumps so far, but I've jumped from slow planes and fast planes, side doors and tailgates, and I haven't always exited poised right into the airflow, either. It just seems to me that if you have the passenger attached correctly, moving their mass around while you fly your body is not that big an issue. Oh, and I've also been taught that you should deploy the drogue if you're spinning right side up. I have no idea if this TI couldn't do it or if he thought he could still rectify the situation and toss it in a stable position.
  21. You can apply for a work permit at that yahoo address, then see what they ask of you. My guess is they will tell you there's a fee that needs to be deposited to a certain account... As for sending out a scan of your passport- oops! This was not a very good move. Of course there's a slim chance that I'm wrong and there really is a commercial skydive center about to open in China- why don't you try calling Mr Ling on the phone and see who answers, just to make sure?
  22. I considered this as well. No way I'd be sending someone a copy of my passport like that. But I guess I did get their hopes up for a moment when they thought they could get my fiancee's identity as well...two for the price of one!
  23. Thought I'd share this, especially since the ad is still up: ____________ Wanted: Jump pilots, Instructors and Videographers Price: We are setting up a drop zone here in Shenzhen China and we require full-time jump pilots,Tandem Instructors and Videographers to complete staff.Multiple ratings are always a plus but not necessary. Great pay with incentives and bonuses and free accommodation for our expatriate staff. Immediate start. Send resume, copy of DL, ratings and medical to chanmingskydivecenter@yahoo.com ____________ I sent them an inquiry, just for the hell of it. I mean, a commercial dz is bound to open in China sooner or later, and Shenzhen is a big financial hub, right next to Hong Kong... This is the reply I got: ____________ Hi Jerry Sever, After careful review your Resume/CV, Videos skydiving license, medical and tandem rating: we have decided to take it further. Pls find attached here the Application for Employment Form for you to fill and return to us. Just open it up, fill it out, and send it back to us by Email atachment. Also Include a scanned copy of your international passport (Front page and Photo page). Will appreciate it if you can do it within 48 hours. The position will start in 3 weeks, so there is really no time to waste. Our Planes: We have Cessna Caravans and DHC- 6 Twin Otters. We also have one brandnew brand-new Quest Kodiak. Salary: $49,000 minimum annual salary guaranteed plus any additional earned. On-DZ housing available. P.S: If you are not interested in the job please let me know no later than Wednesday so I can look at other candidates. Sincerely, Jin Ling Admin Manager CHANMING SKYDIVE CENTER 55 Fuhong Road, Futian District, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China 518000 Tel: +86-2229265518 Fax: +86-2289407895 ________________ Now, as if the first paragraph weren't suspicious enough, they also want a scan of my 'international passport'. Within 48 hours, because there's 'really no time to waste'! The payment is pretty awesome, as is the number of planes they have, especially since the dropzone is not even operational yet. Another big red flag right there - anything that sounds too good to be true probably isn't. The application form was either drawn up in MS paint or had the original business name replaced, I can't quite decide. Let's just say this Chanming Skydive Center is in desperate need of a logo. I exchanged some more emails with 'Mr Ling'. He never told me where exactly the skydive center is located, only that it's 'in Shenzhen China and it is yet to get off the ground and that is why we need to put the crew together asap to get it off the ground.' He also told me I'd be doing 10 jumps a day, 5 days a week with 2 months off each year and confirmed that they have 'a lot of reservations already'. I should also mention that the originating IPs of all his emails were on a dial-up server in Lagos, Nigeria. He did offer to pay the visa proceedings for me and my fiancee ('So you should send her intl passport too'), but I imagine sooner or later I'd be asked to deposit some money for 'license validation' or something similar. I reported the ad already and I really doubt anyone would actually fall for it, but anyway: we are apparently a target group now. I thought it was mostly basketball and golf coaches these guys were approaching. Here's my last email to Mr Ling: ____________ Hello Mr. Ling, I tried to call you today on your number but wasn't able to reach you. Then I noticed that all your emails are coming from Nigeria, so I guess you must be on a business trip... Please let me know when you get back to China so we can talk. Jerry ____________ I'm still waiting for his reply...
  24. Those models have all been discontinued, so finding new ones will be difficult. I got a refurbished cx105 on eBay.co.uk last month for 200€. There were also some cx115s (used and new) for about 300€. If you don't mind NTSC and have someone who can bring stuff from the States, I'm sure you can find one even cheaper.
  25. I've seen an improvised video handle made of webbing that was passed through a handle (wood, metal or a piece of plastic tubing) and then attached inside the plane, at the top back corner of the door. It makes it slightly easier for the vidiot to get in position with left foot in the door, right against the fuselage, one hand on the handle and the other on the door frame. Not much easier, but definitely easier than hanging onto the door frame with both hands.