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  1. admin

    Altitron

    The Altitron Digital Altimeter is an advanced instrument offering new functions, but has been designed for ease of use. Its backlighted, high contrast display has been specifically developed to be clearly readable in all lighting conditions, while the compact and ergonomic case allows the unit to be used on wrist, hand or inside the transparent arm pocket of your jumpsuit. Using a common type of battery, easy to find everywhere, the Altitron is able to store information about the last 300 jumps, as well as statistical information including the number of jumps and total freefall time. It also serves as a watch/calendar and ambient thermometer. Always ready to jump, its low power consumption stand-by mode allows months of operation before you need to change the battery. The Altitron can be configured to show altitude or speed while in freefall. When used as speedometer, the instrument will switch automatically to altimeter mode below a user selectable break off altitude. The Altitron is designed to be strong and well protected by a 2mm sturdy and thick anti-scratch and anti-shock methacrylate glass, offering no optical distortion. Units of measure, mode, date format, are all user configurable to adapt the unit to skydiver’s habit.
  2. admin

    X-Fire

    The Crossfire 2 has set the standard for high performance elliptical 9 cell canopies… until now. The X-Fire is completely redesigned to excel in all areas important to you- the pilot: openings, harness input, swooping, and packing while remaining your ultimate “everyday canopy.” The X-Fire openings are smooth and consistent as ever. Through the application of our Shape Correlation for Inlet Distribution (SCID) recently debuted in the S-Fire and the TX2, the result are fluid on-heading openings. At terminal speeds the X-Fire takes between 800-900 feet to give you that perfect opening every single time. And the best part? It doesn’t need to be packed with meticulous skill! This wing wants to give you soft on-heading openings effortlessly. The X-Fire has adopted the Schuemann Planform (elliptical on the leading edge and less so on the trailing edge) that allows for great lift and reactivity, which is why this planform has been used in paragliders, speed wings and other high performance wings. When this planform is adopted the stall speed is lowered; therefore you can swoop further than with the Crossfire 2. This is also why the X-Fire has a minimum requirement of 400 total jumps and 200 jumps annually.Currency is mandatory. However, at this level of reactivity and performance 800 jumps is what we believe to be the benchmark to really experience the caliber of performance the X-Fire can offer. The X-Fire is above and beyond the Crossfire 2 when it comes to harness inputs, so flying with leg pad input alone is done with ease. The recovery arc has been lengthened, but remains shorter than cross braced canopies- which is exactly why this is the ultimate gateway canopy. The reactivity of the X-Fire translates to awesome front riser pressure, and dramatically easier rear riser control than the Crossfire 2. It takes little effort to land on your rears and experience a powerful flare. Toggle control is improved as the X-Fire has a much stronger low end flare than the Crossfire 2, which results in the ability to shut it down on no wind days even in a tight landing area. Now let’s talk innovation: SCID gives the openings but the performance of the X-Fire demanded elevated Parabolic Reinforcement Tapes (PRT). A full parabola of reinforcement is visible on load bearing ribs, a great deal more than the S-Fire or TX2. A canopy like the X-Fire needs absolutely no drag from distortion of the top skin, so even though it is more time consuming in the production line, the end product is worth it, and when you swoop the X-fire you will understand.
  3. admin

    Mirage G4

    Exactly 4 years after the introduction of our innovative G3 container, Mirage Systems is very proud to introduce to you the latest generation of skydiving technology, Mirage G4. During two years of development we looked at every minute aspect of the G3 with a skeptical eye. Our goal, as always, was to present to our customers a product of uncompromising quality, functionality and value. The results are major advances in comfort, safety, ease of use, aerodynamics, fit and rigger-friendliness.
  4. Written by Laura Jane Burgess There’s excited chatter on the mat, the rustle of nylon fabric being packed, the buzzing hustle and bustle of a busy day. Canopies zip overhead. Squinting, mesmerized, though you’ve seen it near a hundred times, you watch the initial glide across the grass, the slide of flat-soled swoopers, and the quick-legged staccato steps as each jumper comes to a stop. You’ve never seen a more perfect day to skydive. Waiver signed you file in line behind a queue of shuffling feet and exasperated sighs—a 15-person traffic jam. Daylight’s burning. Loads should be turning. What’s the holdup? It’s the fellow at the front. A jumper far from his home drop zone (558.9 miles, ± .1 mile to be exact). His innocent intent was to check in and manifest. Except, he doesn’t have so much as a shred of physical documentation to his name. No logbook to verify currency and no physical, tangible evidence of USPA credentials. What’s to be done? His lack of documentation dismissed or ignored? Certainly not. Exhaustive, time-consuming attempts made to secure a paper trail. Undoubtedly. If everyone’s lucky, the ordeal will take 10-20 minutes. However, if you consider that at a busy drop zone you’re likely to encounter the same issue any number of times on any given day. The wasted daylight adds up, cutting into profit margins and the amount of time jumpers spend in the air. Imagine for a moment that the futile task of trying to sleuth down credentials could be avoided, and the check-in process could be made significantly easier—for everyone involved. As luck would have it, this is precisely what the Sigma / Burble integration aims to do. In the late spring of 2019, when the integration launches, skydivers who frequent any one of the many drop zones utilizing Burble software can grant those drop zones access to view their Merits on Sigma. In case you’ve been ignoring those emails the USPA sent you or still feel a little in the dark, Merits aren’t patches to be stitched on a Cub Scout sash. Rather, Merits refer to things like USPA credentials, UPT ratings, corresponding coursework and even your most recently completed skydives. At the close of the day, drop zones taking advantage of the newly integrated systems can send out shareable Merits for completed jumps, whether it be to tandems, fun jumpers, or staff. For jumpers, the Merits can serve as a “digital signature” to verify their most recent skydive. Instead of relying on illegible, potentially forged, physical logbook entries, there will be a traceable, authenticated digital entry. Drop zones can also attach video clips and other media to the merit badges. This creates hefty possibilities for Merit use with student training programs. No matter where a student roams (or if their logbook follows suit), instructors at any Burble drop zone can see exactly who and what they are working with. For jumpers, the integration process requires no real technical finesse. In around three minutes, skydivers can link their Sigma account to their BurbleMe profile. Jumpers can then authorize the Burble drop zone(s) of their choice access to their Sigma Merits. Every time they check in at the preferred Burble drop zone(s), their Merit information auto-populates into their jumper profile. The result? A streamlined shortcut from check-in to freefall. The first time a jumper grants a Burble drop zone access to view their Sigma Merits, they can enable an auto-update feature. From thenceforth, whenever changes to Merits occur, it automatically uploads into the drop zone’s Burble DZM Account and the jumper’s BurbleMe profile. Practically applied, this looks like convenient, real-time access to see as credentials expire, are renewed, or are updated, without the need to request additional physical documentation. After the Sigma / Burble integration, drop zones can have instant access to verified information without having to waste time or manpower on multiple sources. After the integration takes effect, staff will no longer need to manually input jumper information or search the USPA database with the Group Member lookup tool. Fewer steps and less manual data transfer mean less opportunity for error. The instant access to verified, up-to-date information, makes it much easier for drop zones to verify the standing of visiting jumpers and instructors in a shorter amount of time. For DZO’s, in particular, this integration offers untold peace of mind: no more worrying about the legitimacy of jumpers on your aircraft, fears of forgery, concerns over invalid credentials, or issues with input errors. Come spring 2019, you might catch the audible sigh of relief coming from the staff buried underneath the mountain of (soon to be obsolete) paperwork, see the sheer joy of jumpers spending less time at check-in and more time on airplanes, and agree, with the Sigma / Burble integration, t here’s something for everyone to celebrate! Featured image credit: SkydiveTV Vimeo
  5. admin

    TX2

    Years of testing and innovation have been assembled in this completely new TX2 design that will be the top choice for instructors, riggers, DZOs, packers and passengers alike. The TX2's innovative design features Parabolic Reinforcement Tapes (PRT), 2ⁿᵈ generation of Enhanced Ram Air Stabilizers (ERAS²), and Shape Correlation for Inlet Distribution (SCID). ICARUS has integrated these elements of using the elasticity of the fabric to its’ advantage which in turn eliminates upper surface distortion and airfoil deformation, and eradicating panel flutter while simultaneously reducing the wing tip vortices are just the beginning. The Reduced Drogue Loading System is one of the highlights of this system. It is an intelligent design to carry the loads generated by the drogue, while bypassing the canopy structure itself. Two lines routed through the canopy actually transfer the load directly to the central suspension lines, which avoids stressing the canopy fabric during deployment. Less stress on the wing and less reinforcement of the drogue attachment point results in more durability and decreased canopy weight and bulk!
  6. admin

    Volt

    Slightly tapered airfoil with reliable on heading openings. Great for wingsuiting, with a flat glide and easy landings this canopy is ideal for intermediate pilots and jumpers who want a reliable and easy to fly canopy Soft on heading openings; Light toggle and front riser pressure; Not easy to stall in full flare; Maintains good lift on landing, even at low airspeed; Long flat glide good for coming back from deep spots; Small and easy to pack and made with new microfiber fabric; Very responsive without being radical; Make sure you select the right size canopy for your experience level and weight;
  7. admin

    Kiss

    Bringing innovation and precision engineering to full-face helmet design, Square One presents the KISS. A multi-discipline, state-of-the-art, high-performance helmet, the KISS features a 2mm thick polycarbonate lens with full mouth exposure, panoramic visibility and Square One’s NEW patent-pending anti-fog ventilation system. Whether your aerial pleasures find you belly-to-earth or head-down, this unique vent system will greatly reduce fogging in all conditions. The KISS also features a NEW Quick-Tight Latch Closure System utilizing two levers to tighten or loosen the helmet on the user’s head. Simply pop the levers closed prior to exit and your helmet is secure! Square One went one step further and integrated dual audible altimeter pockets with exterior access. Dual pockets allow for critical instrument redundancy and exterior windows simplify the motions of accessing your instruments to set altitudes, recall information, or simply power the device off and on. These technologies combined with our proven Quick Change Lens System render the KISS the most advanced helmet in skydiving today. FEATURES: NEW Patent Pending anti-fog ventilation system NEW Quick-Tight Latch Closure System Dual audible altimeter pockets with exterior access Full mouth exposure Panoramic visibility 2mm thick polycarbonate lens for superior protection
  8. admin

    Top 5 RSL myths

    I keep seeing the same arguments made against RSL's, over and over. Many of them are just myths, word-of-mouth anecdotal stories passed down for so long that their original meaning has gotten lost. I figured I would list them here: 1. You should get stable before you open your reserve, and so you should disconnect your RSL. First off, you should _not_ be stable face-to-earth when you open your reserve. The Racer manual spells this out explicitly - you should be head-high if possible to ensure a cleaner reserve deployment. Fortunately, you are head high the instant you cut away from your main, and that is the point at which an RSL will open your reserve. Secondly, there are two universal truths in skydiving - you won't do it if you don't practice it, and you _will_ do what you trained to do. If you practice "cutting away and getting stable" you _will_ do that in the air, even if you someday cut away at 500 feet. If you do that, the only thing that will save your life will be your RSL. Finally, before you decide that it's a good idea to cut away and then get stable, I'd recommend you do an intentional cutaway from a rapidly spinning canopy and see how long it takes. (Hint - it does not take just a second or two.) 2. You only need an RSL if you're going to forget to pull your reserve. Rick Horn, one of the three people in the US who trains all AFF-JM's, once needed his RSL due to rig distortion. He could not find his reserve handle. If you are more current at cutaways than a man who teaches them every month, and have more jumps than him (6000?) that might be a valid point, but I think few people are. 3. If you cut away on the ground on a windy day and you have an RSL, your reserve will inflate. Simply not true. Try it next time you need a repack - go outside in the wind and pull your reserve handle. The PC will come out, the freebag may fall on the ground - and that's it. Unless you have decided to jump in a hurricane, even 25kts of wind (way more than most people will jump in) won't inflate a reserve. Of course, you can disconnect your RSL once under canopy to prevent the reserve from opening at all if you have to cut away on the ground. That's a convenience issue, not a safety one. 4. You can practice cutting away on the ground, so how hard can it be? RSL's are not for normal cutaways. They are for madly spinning mals where you can barely see one of your handles. They are for mals while wearing a wingsuit, where you have fabric flying in your face and you can barely see. They are for cutaways at 600 feet when someone sets up a hook right into your canopy and destroys it. These are the situations where RSL's save lives. If you will never be in such a situation, great. But I have discovered that those situations find you, rather than the other way around. 5. You have to "fall away" from your main to guarantee you won't entangle with it. Simply untrue. I've watched an awful lot of rig testing, and the physics just doesn't let that happen. Even in a malfunctioning canopy, the forces work to separate the main and the jumper/reserve. And if you postulate a bizarre scenario where the reserve PC can somehow entangle with the main? The reserve will simply open faster. All that being said, there are still reasons not to use an RSL. We disconnected all our tandem RSL's a while back because there had been some problems with broken risers, and that's a risk when you use a one-sided RSL. If you're doing something bizarre (like jumping a 46 sq ft canopy and opening at 5000 feet) an RSL will probably not help you much, and if you're doing intentional cutaways or CRW, it makes sense to simplify your gear and be able to fall away from something before you open your reserve. But for a lot of people it makes sense. Personally, I recommend everyone use one until they get to 200 jumps and/or have their first cutaway from a spinner. At that point they will have the experience to make a good judgement on their own. -bill von
  9. admin

    Swift

    The Swift is the product of a long and focused development process, and is perhaps the most versatile wingsuit in our range. Although its primary purpose is to be a beginner suit for talented new wingsuit flyers in the skydive and BASE environment, its capabilities are not limited to beginner flying. Our mission for the Swift was to create a suit that was forgiving enough to be flown in an arched "box-man" position, but with enough performance range to jump a wide variety of objects in the wingsuit BASE environment, and to flock comfortably in the skydive environment. This is a suit that is simple enough to put your first jumps on, and yet you will never outgrow it - even when you move up to a larger, high-performance suit, you will still want to keep your Swift around for acro, backflying, or just some high-speed cloud-carving with your friends. The Swift is designed for talented beginners and experienced pilots of all abilities. Back-fly inlets are offered as an option, making the Swift a fun and agile suit for freestyle flying and steeper, more advanced, formations.
  10. admin

    NeoXs

    It is lightweight, sturdy, accurate, reliability and accuracy in a small unit. The NeoXs is the latest in the family of audible instruments designed and built by Parasport. It is directly born from the experience of the Skytronic GFX, completing it when the GFX is used as visual altimeter installed on the wrist mount. Main features of the NeoXs include freefall signals, canopy warnings, countdown timer, real time altitude display while climbing to altitude, and the simplified programming of warning altitudes, using 4 user programmable profiles. The NeoXs has also been designed to be easy to inexperienced users too. The ergonomic Navigation Switch allows an intuitive use and an easy programming of the different altitude warnings on the ground as well as climbing to altitude. The unit has aluminium case and has a wide LCD display protected by a polycarbonate shield, being therefore highly shock resistant. It has been designed to be inserted into the inner pocket of a helmet without using any specific adapter. It's compatible with any helmet, full face or open face. Because of the small size and the 12 mm of thickness of the lightweight aluminium case, the NeoXs doesn’t affect helmet fit and comfort once inserted into the inner pocket. The NeoXs is available in 3 colors: Lava Red, Aluminium Grey, and Night Black.
  11. admin

    Advance OUT

    Advance OUT system has been cretated in 1997 and have been introduced in the market in August 1998. Since its birth a lot of details have changed but the main structure and ideas are still the same. The most important feature of the Advance OUT, is its no reserve side flaps concept, what you see is the reserve bag. This concept allow you to have your reserve bag out of the container faster than any other brands. When time count it is a hit and you can count on it. Advance OUT is a state of the art, perfectly manufactured under a PART 21/G production certification. The Advance OUT is TSO-C23d and E-TSO-C23d approved. It is delivered standard with: stainles steel hardware, new terminal ends concept, ring harness, unique soft back pad, lateral cut webbing, kill line or bungie pilot chute, secured throw out handle, z-knife, leg strap junction and all bags, pilot chutes and handles as well. All these fetures are including in our price, no bad surprises. Available in 10 container sizes including student and Tandem versions Full custom harness (7 measurements) Parapack - Cordura 500 - Cordura 1000 are your choice Over 5500 possibilities choice (colors, sizes, materials)
  12. admin

    Hurricane

    Known for its consistently soft on heading openings; Not prone to spins like most elliptical; Very solid airfoil – stable and predictable; Flatter glide than most other elliptical parachutes in its range, giving it further reach; Known for its long dives on front risers, snappy turns and quick responses, with long flat swoops; Powerful flare without the need of radical turns to generate lift; Small pack volume and easy to pack; Available in sizes: 95, 105, 120, 135, 150, 170; Strung with vectran lines; Custom colours available;
  13. admin

    Side by Side - A Two Out Story

    April 1st is typically a day for trickery, but the only fool this year was me, and the only trickster was my main canopy! I decided to make a last-minute trip to Skydive Perris with friends to make a balloon jump, but when it was winded out, the generous CReW Dawgs at Elsinore came up with all the gear my friend and I would need to make some beginner CReW jumps. The first jump on borrowed gear went great, but as we packed up my coach informed me the gear I was borrowing was a pull-out, and briefed me on how to use it. We planned a four-stack and lucked out with a camera jumper. As we get out of the plane, I pulled weak and ended up with no canopy. I knew from previous coaching that it’s a bad idea to take a Lightning terminal, so I went straight to reserve. As the reserve came out, I was kicking myself that I wasn’t going to be able to participate in the CReW jump, and would have plenty of time to think about how I got into this mess as my teammates got to play. I decided to fly over and watch, and that’s when I noticed the pilot chute bouncing around on my back. “I should get rid of that,” I thought, and reached for my cutaway handle. I didn’t even have a grip on it before my main came out and settled gently next to my reserve. Next thing I know, the camera flyer is in front of me, pointing and laughing. “What do I do?” I screamed, and he just laughed harder. “Well,” I thought, “if he’s not freaking out, why should I?” So I didn’t freak out. Instead, I worked to get back to the dropzone. No easy task, as I’d soon find out. A west-blowing wind was sending me back over the Ortegas, and with twice the fabric over my head, I was struggling to get any forward movement at all. Unbeknownst to me, my coach flew under me, shouting at me to chop. I tried to force some separation between the two canopies to do just that, but I couldn’t trust myself to hold the reserve away from the main long enough to go for my cutaway handle. Because the two canopies were trimmed so similarly, they really wanted to fly together, although the particular configuration I was flying really wanted to fly south. Considering the town of Elsinore was south, I spent a whole lot of time and energy just keeping the pair flying straight. Image by David Sands (D29444) Imagine pulling straight out of the plane under a large canopy, unable to do much besides try to keep your canopies flying straight and think about the sequence of events that got you here. Imagine looking down and going through your tree-landing procedure, and then multiplying that by two. Imagine trying to figure out how you’re going to steer the two canopies onto one of the small access roads on the mountains. With 1,000 feet to spare, I made it to the field I was aiming for, just at the foot of the Ortegas. I tried the usual landing-out procedure, transposing my pattern onto the field, but my canopies kept wanting to steer to the right, into the small neighborhood next to the field. So instead I just aimed my canopies at a small patch of grass in the field, and hit it gently without flaring. My legs were shaking and I couldn’t stop laughing nervously. It took me three tries to daisy chain my lines, and one of the Elsinore staff members had come to pick me up before I even made it out of the field. My coach, feeling responsible for me, landed in the mountains and called Elsinore to let them know what had happened. It took some time, but they found him, having landed without incident. Once I got back to the dropzone, I cracked a beer and waited for the shaking in my legs to go away. Lessons Learned The main takeaway from this is to know your gear. I was briefed very thoroughly by my coach on how to use a pull-out system, and practiced multiple times on the plane. Yet when it came time to pull, I didn’t fully extend my arm, and ended up with a pilot chute in tow. To me that was always one of the scariest malfunctions there are, because there are two schools of thought on how to handle it. One is to go straight to reserve, as I did, and one is to cutaway and go to reserve. In hindsight, I stand by my choice, because cutting away could have fired my main directly into my reserve. The other scary thing about this particular malfunction was that it was a two-out that was flying stable. One school of thought is that you should cut away to avoid a downplane, and the other is that if you’re flying stable, you can pilot it to an open area, which is what I did. If I had downplaned, I could have cut away my main and flown my reserve down, but I wasn’t convinced I could keep the canopies apart long enough to get to my cutaway handle. The problem with this scenario is that, under different circumstances, a dust devil could have blown my canopies into a downplane close to the ground, and I might not have been able to chop my main at all. One last thing I would change is that I would have taken my cell phone. If I had gotten hurt in the mountains without any way to access emergency care, things could have been a lot worse. I’ve since invested in a small prepaid phone to keep in my jumpsuit pocket. In the end, I stand by my choices, and acknowledge that there was a lot of luck that kept me from disaster that day. I regret that my coach got stuck in the mountains, but I’m grateful that he was willing to look out for me. I faced the two malfunctions I feared the most on one jump and managed to walk away with a swollen ankle and a wounded sense of pride. Will I still do CReW? Every chance I get! And I’d trust the riggers, CReW Dawgs, staff, and other jumpers at Elsinore any day.
  14. admin

    Nano

    The ICARUS NANO has revolutionized the low pack volume reserve. With the NANO you get the same low pack volume as its competitor with the added piece of mind that your NANO is made with a more dense low volume fabric that is more resistant to line friction and thereby a safer, more structurally superior last resort. Even with a more dense fabric, we maintain 30% lower pack volume than our conventional reserve. We have tested the NANO above and beyond the specifications required by the FAA's TSO C23d. The NANO offers the same unparalleled opening, flight and landing characteristics as the ICARUS Reserve, now with a much lower pack volume. With high technology, low pack volume, and dependable durability, the NANO is the clear choice. We offer the NANO in sizes ranging from 99 to 253 square feet." 20 DENIER FABRIC vs 30 DENIER FABRIC IN RESERVE PARACHUTES The goal of manufacturers within the skydiving industry is to produce quality products that offer athletes the tools to progress, but also increase the safety of our sport. As the demand for smaller high performance canopies has increased, the size of containers have followed suit. Few companies have succeeded in manufacturing reserve canopies that pack small enough to allow skydivers to carry large reserves in small volume containers. We at ICARUS Canopies recognized the merit of this idea and devoted resources to find a solution of our own. Before we looked for the ideal way to build such a reserve, we began researching low bulk products currently in the market. We discovered that thinner material with less energy absorbing capability was being used in place of the traditional reserve canopy fabric. Technically, the volume of the reserve was reduced because 30 denier fabric was replaced by 20 denier fabric. So what is a denier? In simple words: Weave Density. Parachute fabric is woven from nylon yarn. A single yarn consists of a thread made up of 10 parallel fibers. Denier is the weight expressed in grams for 9,000 meters of yarn. For example: 9,000 meters of 20 denier yarn weighs 20 grams; and 9,000 meters of 30 denier yarn weighs 30 grams. Bottom line: 30 denier fabric is actually 50% more material than 20 denier fabric. Before thinking about the why denier matters, we need to understand why structural integrity is important specifically regarding reserve parachutes. Using your reserve is never the result of an ideal situation, therefore it is important to prevent as many unforeseen outcomes as possible if it must be used. After a cut-away or direct deployment to reserve, a skydiver could be under unusual stress and possibly in a less than desirable pre-deployment attitude (ex. spinning, head down, back to earth etc). The reserve parachute deployment will be affected by such circumstances. Line twists, line overs and faster deployment speeds could all occur and would lead to additional friction between the suspension lines and the canopy fabric. Generally, parachutes are over-designed for nominal conditions to ensure they meet all TSO requirements. Nevertheless, it has been proven time after time that nylon strength diminishes as temperature increases. Friction is detrimental to nylon and suspension lines can produce a great deal of it. When equal loads of friction occur, 20 denier fabric will reach a high temperature faster than 30 denier fabric. This is due to the fact that 20 denier fabric consists of less material, therefore it heats up faster than 30 denier fabric. If this temperature reaches nylon melting point, structural damage called “line burn” occurs. This can make a huge difference in a canopy’s structural integrity after opening. 30 denier is more resistant to this kind of stress but it packs larger. This is a tough decision- pack volume or more friction resistant fabric? ICARUS wanted both. ICARUS has put years of research into weave design into finding a way to have the best of both worlds. The new ICARUS NANO reserve is made of specially woven 30 denier fabric which packs just like 20 denier fabric. Working within the specifications defined under the standard PIA-C-44378-T4, with smaller than required tolerances, we have reduced the pack volume by 30% compared to our Standard Reserve. This superior technology allows the ICARUS NANO to provide structural superiority and the lower pack volume that is being demanded by skydivers around the world. We are proud to present the first of its kind, the new durable low volume ICARUS NANO!
  15. admin

    The Legend of Roger Nelson

    Roger Nelson: If you're a skydiver, chances are you've heard the name. If you're not a skydiver, chances are you've watched one of the few movies that were inspired by this man. While the tales of Roger's life have been passed around to keen ears, mostly between jumpers, as a kind of folk lore, the words that have been spoken have often been words bound in mystery. The lines between truth and exaggeration, as with most stories passed through word of mouth, can get a little blurry at times. However there is no doubting the colorful nature of Roger Warren Nelson's life. Skydiving Career Roger began skydiving in 1971 at a dropzone in Hinckley, Illinois. He was always a bit of a rebel and never quite fitted in with the then aesthetic standard that prevailed within the skydiving community at that time. In the beginning of the 70s recreational skydiving was still in its early days, with many of the then participants coming from military backgrounds, and both Roger and his brother Carl stood out from the crowd. It's said that the term 'Freak Brothers' which was given to both Roger and Carl stemmed from their less than ordinary presence at the dropzone. As skydivers, Roger and Carl were pioneers. They both laid the groundwork for what is known today as Freeflying. At the time, skydives were done belly down, in a standard practice, but the 'Freak Brothers' threw a spanner in the works when they started what was then known as 'freak flying'. Freak flying was the Nelson brother's own unconventional freefall style, which was described by Roger in 1978 as any body position that saw the flyer's stomach facing up and their back down, towards earth. So while Olav Zipser is recognized as the father of freeflying, the 'Freak Brothers' were already laying the groundwork for unconventional freefall positions years before. In the mid 1970s the brothers started a "zine" called the Freak Brother Flyer, which ran from 1973 until 1976. Freak Brothers became more than just a term for him and his brother Carl, after a while Freak Brothers became an organization and a community with thousands of followers around the world. The Freak Brothers Convention was later organized with the help of Jeanie (Roger's wife) and Carl. These boogies were some of the largest around at the time and drew in over 600 passionate skydivers. In 1979 the Freak Brothers suffered the loss of Carl, who died in a skydiving accident. From 1986 to 1989, Roger ran the Illinois dropzone "Skydive Sandwich". Later in 1993, he went on to found Skydive Chicago, which is now recognized as one of the world's leading dropzones. Roger spent much of the 80s partaking in world records, while spending much of the 90s organizing them. Between the years 1999 and 2002, he won 2 silver and 2 gold medals as Captain of the Skydive Chicago STL 10, in the 10-way speed event. The Other Side of Roger Nelson What separates Roger's story from the average accomplished skydiver's, is the other side of his life. While Roger was a well loved individual with much support, particularly in the skydiving community, during the 1980s, he was dealing in some rather shady operations, to put it lightly. Roger used aircrafts to smuggle drugs into the United States, while also working as an informant for the US government. After he was arrested in 1986 on charges that included racketeering, conspiracy to distribute drugs and currency violations, his life would become a enveloped in court dates and uncertainty. He pleaded guilty and in 1987 was sentenced to 10 years behind bars, but was released after serving half of his prison sentence. After his arrest, Roger called out the DEA on not acting to tips he had provided them, that would have helped capture Carlos Lehder, who at the time was considered one of the largest cartel leaders in the world. Despite the information Roger provided to the DEA with regards to being an informant, the DEA would later shrug it off, saying that Roger had not played any significant role in slowing down the influx of drugs into the United States. In 2003 Roger was killed in a canopy collision incident. There was more to Roger than just criminal controversy and skydiving, he was also a family man. His eldest of two children, Melissa recalls in a recent piece of writing, how her and her father wouldn't always see eye to eye, but in his death, has come to realize the leadership he instilled in her. She continued to say how her father had taught her to stand on her own feet, and create her own legacy as opposed to living in her family's. Sugar Alpha This is all but just a fraction of Roger's life and the reality is that it's hard to summarize such an eventful life. Roger and Melissa have authored the newly released book entitled "Sugar Alpha: The Life and Times of Senor Huevos Grandes". A description of the book offers some insight in what to expect: "Skydiving and drug smuggling pioneer Roger Nelson lives life out of the box. Fueled by a love for adrenaline and adventure, Roger goes after everything he wants with gusto. But now Roger is ready to retire from smuggling. With a parachute center to run and a family to raise, Roger knows it is time to stop the cat-and-mouse games he has been playing with the authorities for years. He and his longtime partner, Hanoi, plan one final run to Belize, where they intend to fill their Douglas DC-3 with enough cannabis to set them up for life. But then Hanoi dies in a plane crash in an attempt to make some "legitimate bucks" flying fish in Alaska while they wait for the growing season to end. Left without a partner or plane, Roger remains determined to return to his family for good. To do so, he decides to stay true to himself and follow through with his retirement run. Roger must rely on a colorful cast of characters and the most unlikely airplane for a gig ever-Sugar Alpha, the legendary DC-3 with the secret fuel tanks and not-so-secret paint job-to help him complete the most daring run in the history of smuggling." With extremely positive early reviews, this book is a must for any skydiver, though you definitely don't have to be one to enjoy it. Get your copy from Amazon.com
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    Evo

    Many new extras make this rig safe, freefly friendly and incredibly comfortable. Special padding is throughout the harness and leg pads. Inside the main container are flaps that make it impossible for lines to stick under the reserve tray. Easy closing main container with excellent bridal coverage. Standard features: • Harness quick-fit ring with adjustable length control • Stainless-steel hardware • HD pocket BOC • Type-17 Riser • Main deployment bag • Reserve bag & springloaded pilotchute • AAD setup with inspection window • Quilted back pad
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    Atlas

    Atlas is an electronic altimeter with a digital display which can be used as either an audible or visual instrument. Atlas has the following features: Case Ruggedized machined aluminum case with reduced edges and corners Improved USB charging & data transfer through waterproof Micro USB Raised easy-push buttons with protective case recess Waterproof up to six feet for up to one hour Alarms Eight alarm groups; Includes both free fall and/or canopy alarms Customizable through Paralog & Neptune Maintenance Utility (NMU) Canopy alarms include approach alarms preceding each selected alarm altitude Canopy alarm volume is adjustable for those who wish to hear alarms from their wrist Logs Logs over 200 jump Profiles and over 2,500 jump Summaries Jump odometer for fast-paced training days Up to 32 dropzone and aircraft names can be entered using Paralog-NMU Time under canopy and free fall time are logged Display Time can be set to 12 or 24 hour format Date can be set to USA or International format Temperature can be displayed in F or C Speed can be displayed in mph or kmh LCD may be flipped Menu scrolls and wraps Atlas has all of these features and more!
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    Tandem Skydiving

    What Is Tandem Skydiving? Tandem skydiving is an extremely popular form of skydiving and an excellent introduction into the sport, it allows one to experience the adrenaline and excitement without having to commit excessively to the activity at hand. While AFF training and static-line jumping consists of hours of training prior to the jump, going tandem only requires around 30 minutes of ground preparation prior. The reason for this is that while both AFF and static-line skydives require you to learn how to control your canopy and establish a deep knowledge of maintaining specific body positions in free fall, with tandem skydiving you only need to know the basics about how you should position your body relative to your tandem master. The fact that your tandem instructor will be responsible for your chute leaves you with the ability to spend more of your effort focusing on the sheer excitement of the jump, as opposed to what procedure who'll be doing next. You, the tandem student, will be strapped to a tandem instructor by use of a secure harness system which makes use of a shoulder strap on either side, a chest strap which secures across your chest, as well as leg straps. You will be strapped onto the chest, or front side of the tandem master, so you can be sure that you'll have the best view in the house. While tandem jumps are most common as once off introductions to skydiving, they are also sometimes used in conjunction with training courses, specifically in the early stages of a course. Using tandem jumping in training methods when you want to learn how to skydive can be extremely effective as it allows the student to experience both freefall and canopy flight without the feeling of being thrown into the deep end, so to speak. There are also students who look to perform several tandem skydives prior to their training course in order to familiarize themselves with the environment. A tandem freefall generally lasts between 45 and 60 seconds, followed by a four minute canopy ride to the ground. Where To Start? For starters, you want to make sure that you are going to be skydiving at a drop zone that has a good reputation. There are over a thousand drop zones around the world and each offer a different experience, some good and some poor. Dropzone.com has been developed around helping you to find the best drop zone in the area of your choice, and providing you with user ratings and reviews to help you make your decision. Look for drop zones with large volumes of positive reviews, and take the time to read through them and see what issues other users may have experienced at any particular drop zone. Unlike static-line progression for example, tandem skydiving is done at almost every drop zone, so you should be fine in that area, but be sure to check and make sure. When comparing drop zones it's vital to make sure you that you understand what you will be receiving with your jump. A tandem skydive can take place between altitudes of anywhere from 10 000 to 14 000ft, if free fall time is of importance to you it's certainly worth querying this topic with the drop zone. Another important question is, if you're paying a lot for your jump, are they offering you the best services for the amount you're paying? Does your jump include video footage or still photography, most have this as an extra cost - so be sure to check what the drop zone is charging for their video services. And if it does offer video services, is this filmed from a mounted camera attached to the tandem instructor or are they pulling out all the stops and having a separate photographer joining the jump solely to take some quality photographs of your jump. These are all aspects which should be examined and considered when you're scouting for the best drop zone in your area. Once you've located a drop zone near to your destination, give them a call or send them an e-mail, they should be more than willing to address any questions you may have about your jump and guide you through the booking process, setting you up with a date to jump. Some Advice To Consider Before Making Your Tandem Jump While you're likely to be walked through the correct dos and don'ts during your pre-jump ground briefing, it doesn't hurt to prepare prior to the day for what you should be doing and what you shouldn't be doing for your jump. Remove jewelry and accessories prior to Tandem Skydiving. At 120mph, it begins very easy for loose jewelry or accessories to come loose during free fall and get lost. It's a good idea to leave the jewelry at home on the day of your jump. Remove piercings, specifically nipple rings. When the canopy is opened during flight, your chest strap will pull against you, and there have been cases where people have had nipple rings pulled when this occurs - learn from their mistakes. Remember that there are also harness straps around your legs, so be sure to remove all piercings that may be impacted. Removing all piercings leave less gambling for something getting snagged, but nipple and surface piercings are definitely best removed. Tie up your hair. Whether you're male or female, if you have long hair it is a wise idea to tie it up in a manner that makes it least likely to get caught in the harness at any stage - and also remain out of the TIs face. Tucking it into the helmet once tied is also not a bad idea. Stick close to your tandem instructor. Once you're leaving the manifest for your jump, be sure to remain close to your tandem instructor. Always listen to your tandem instructor. They are the ones that know best, despite what you think you know - as an inexperienced tandem skydiver, your tandem instructor should not be questioned when it comes to anything related to the procedure of, or the jump itself. Be respectful and polite. While you may be frustrated at things like weather holds, it's important to remain calm and realize that these events are often out of the control of the instructors and the manifest staff. Image by Lukasz Szymanski Tandem Instructors The tandem instructors or tandem masters are going to be the ones in control of your skydive. The fact that the tandem instructor has control over the safety of the jump has prompted strict rules and regulations, especially within the United States, as to who can lead a tandem jump. The current requirements set in place go a long way in providing peace of mind that you're going to be in excellent hands when in the air. Before a skydiver is able to be the tandem instructor on a jump, he has to go through several procedures. First he has to be an experienced skydiver with a minimum of 500 jumps and 3 years of skydiving experience to his name, secondly he must possess a 'master parachute license' which has to be issued by an FAA-recognized organization, such as the USPA (United States Parachute Association). Furthermore, they are required to undergo training and acquire a certification related to the canopy they are going to be flying. On top of these requirements, the USPA has a few more of their own. Up until late 2008 in the United States, one was able to either be a tandem master with a manufacturer's rating or a tandem instructor which required the USPA training, though this was changed and now requires all those leading tandem jumps in the United States to hold a tandem instructors rating. The details of the ratings systems and the requirements vary between countries. One thing that separates the best drop zones from a bad drop zone for those doing a tandem jump, is the attitude and behavior of their tandem instructor. Luckily, if you've done your research and found yourself a good drop zone, this shouldn't be a worry and you may well end up making a new friend in the process. A good instructor is one that is able to answer any questions you have, while at the same time making you feel comfortable and relaxed. The best instructors find a perfect balance between safety and professionalism and humor, after all the jump is pointless if you don't enjoy yourself. Should I Be Nervous About Tandem Skydiving? It's completely normal to feel nervous about skydiving, even those of us who seek adrenalin constantly have some level of nervousness at times. Jumping out of a perfectly good plane, whether it is while experiencing a tandem jump or even the thrill of wing suiting, is not something natural to us as humans, and you can be sure that you're not alone in what you feel. With that said though, as with many areas where what you're facing is foreign and unknown, your fear often tends to turn to excitement once you're in it. I have seen a countless number of first time tandem skydivers being a bit unsure in the beginning but once their feet touch the ground their mind set changes completely. These are often people performing a bucket list jump with no intention of ever skydiving again, but after they've experience the feeling of free fall, they are hooked - and often end up booking their AFF courses to become a licensed skydiver just a few days later. Tandem skydiving has an excellent safety record for most parts of the world and you can take comfort in the fact that according to the United States Parachute Association, around half a million people each year choose to tandem skydive in the US alone. How Much Does A Tandem Jump Cost? The price of tandem skydives vary between drop zones, generally you're looking in the price range of about $70 to in excess of $300. This cost can either include or exclude the cost of things like a camera man and a DVD copy of your skydive. We highly recommend that you look into the prices and the specifications at each drop zone. For more information read below... Things To Know About Tandems There are typically restrictions on age when it comes to performing a tandem jump, the exact age varies depending on country and drop zone. The typical requirement from most drop zones is 18, though some drop zones do allow for 16 to 18 year olds to perform a tandem jump as long as they have parental consent. It is best to speak to your local drop zone about their age policies. When booking a tandem skydive it's important to know what to expect, often once off tandem jumpers go in without knowing what a skydive entails, how drop zones operate and what to expect. Understand that skydiving hinges on the weather conditions, when the winds are too strong or it's too cloudy, or if there's fog - you may well find yourself on the end of a weather hold. This is an aspect of skydiving that no one is free from, and the experienced jumpers get just as disappointed when they don't get to head out. Weather holds can last anywhere from 5 minutes to 5 days, depending on the conditions. Because of this it's best to plan your skydive around your local weather, if you're in an area with lots of summer tropical rainfall - it may be best to book in the autumn or winter months when rainfall is less likely, otherwise booking for an earlier time in the day before daytime heating causes the development of thunder showers. In areas of winter rainfall, summer is obviously your best bet, though nothing can ever be guaranteed. There are areas where weather holds are rare, and if you're in one of these areas that sees little annual rainfall, you're likely to see your jump happen without any hassles. It's highly recommended that you discuss deposits and payments with the drop zones prior to booking. While most DZs will gladly discuss openly and honestly with you their rules and restrictions in regards to deposits and refunds, many fail to bring up this topic prior to finalizing their booking and they end up upset when they find out that there is no refund issued for deposits on jumps that are postponed due to weather holds. How Safe is Tandem Skydiving? A common question asked by those intrigued by the idea of a tandem jump, is whether or not it is safe. And just how safe it truly is. We've long tracked fatalities in our database and can help in easing some of the anxiety you may have around tandem skydiving safety. The reality is that as with any high risk sport, there is the potential for death, though with that said - tandem skydivers remain the least likely to suffer at the hands of a fatality than other jumpers. Between the years 2005 and 2017 there were less than 100 tandem fatalities, with our records pointing closer to around 60. In that same time frame, our records indicate a total of just more than 700 fatalities, meaning that less than 1 out of 10 skydiving fatalities were tied to tandem skydiving. The important thing to remember is also that tandem skydives are extremely popular and on average there are an estimated 250,000 tandem jumps performed each year in the United States. So while calling tandem jumps safe may be a bit of a subjective statement, the truth is there are a number of aspects of your daily life that hold more risk than completing a tandem jump. The Technical Side And Skydiving Gear There are a few things you should remember when you are looking at the more technical side of your skydiving gear. Skydiving canopies are designed specifically for certain disciplines of skydiving, for speed and immediate response smaller canopies are used - such as those designed for swooping, these smaller canopies are also more dangerous, allowing for less margin of error. For tandem skydiving, where safety takes priority, the canopies (parachutes) used are much larger than those that you find in swooping for example. This is both because the canopy is going to need to carry twice the regular skydiving weight and because of the desired gentle nature of the canopy flight. The rig that is used by your tandem instructor is set up so that it will provide optimum safety for you on your jump. The rig contains an AAD (automatic activation device) which is a safety device that is designed to automatically fire the main chute after a skydiver descends past a certain altitude and has not yet fired the main canopy. There is also the special tandem canopy, which will be the parachute that is deployed during freefall, also known as the main. There is also a reserve canopy, this is a backup that exists in case of a failure on the main, an example would be, if a main canopy opens with a line twist and one is not able to recover from it - the main would be cut and the reserve deployed. These are packed into what is known as the container, the backpack looking item on the back of the tandem instructor. The instructor will also be carrying an altimeter on him, usually around the wrist, which can provide visual or audio information on the progression of the descent, so that he can release the main canopy at the correct time. During free fall, you can expect to reach speeds of up to 120mph (180km/h). Once you've done your skydive, remember to come back to dropzone.com and let us know what you thought of your experience, by rating the drop zone you jumped at. Safety and Training Forum Find a place to jump in your area.
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    Colugo 2

    The Colugo 2 release was delayed until after the RedBull Aces event, where new technology in this exciting suit made its debut and was tested by Squirrel team pilots. Andy Farrington took first place flying a prototype that included key innovations present in this new design, including leading edge mini-ribs and a new hybrid leading edge construction. The new Colugo 2 is significantly smaller in surface area than its predecessor. It features a new arm wing profile and leg wing design, new planform, and a new type of Dacron coated leading edge construction, with a flexible segment at the wrist. We are very excited about this new suit and the delay in releasing it is a direct result of us having a bit too much fun with the testing, and wanting to push the progress as far as possible before releasing it. The core mission for the Colugo 2 is to provide a fast and agile suit for advanced-intermediate to expert pilots. The Colugo 2 is now available for pre-order. We expect the first orders to ship in late August and early September. Please scroll down for more information.
  20. Do your suspension lines have a noticeable five-o'clock shadow? Maybe it’s time for your gear to spend the weekend with your friendly neighborhood rigger. If you’re unsure, you’re not alone--plenty of skydivers hem and haw about this particularly important aspect of canopy maintenance. Looking for a little more convincing? Here’s a brief education on line maintenance by Karen Saunders, one of the few (and one of only two women) to hold the lofty Advanced Rigger ticket from the British Parachute Association. Karen has seen enough fuzzy line sets to give any sane canopy pilot the night sweats, and she wants to make sure it’s not you that gets to live the nightmare of a mid-swoop snap. 1. Go with your gut. “Trust your instincts. If you think that maybe your lines are looking a bit shabby, they probably are. Most people will look at their line set and say, That looks a bit shit, but I’ll do something about it tomorrow. Tomorrow turns into a week, and then a month. Before you know it, you’ll have a line snap or an off-heading opening. Fix it before you create yourself some problems.” 2. Know what you’ve got. “The most important thing is to know what type of line is on your parachute. Most people don’t--and if they don’t, then they won’t know how many jumps they can expect to get out of that line set before it needs to be replaced. And they also won’t know whether to expect to have line shrinkage or whether it is going to go the other way and simply snap when it reaches the end of its life cycle. Vectron and HMA will do just that if you don’t take care of them: Snap. They won’t give you a warning aside from the fact that they will start to fray as they age. The other thing to think about is where your line set actually comes from. Most people will buy their line sets from manufacturers, but there are riggers out there that will make cheaper line sets themselves. I can spot a manufactured line set from anything else in a flash, but most people couldn’t--and maybe that’s the line set have got on your canopy that you bought from somebody in good faith. It is always best before you buy anything to get it checked out.” 3. Get some visual reference. “Once you know what line type is on your parachute, look at Performance Designs’ line wear charts for your lines to get an idea of what wear actually looks like. It may surprise you. Using that reference as an example, you can see how deterioration looks over a given period of time and what percentage of strength you lose. You can test your new knowledge immediately by looking at the bottom part of your brake lines and the stabilizers. Those lines are always going to take the brunt of the wear. Generally, having the bottom part of your brake lines replaced at the first sign of wear is going to save you a whole world of problems.” 4. Watch for the warnings (if you have a line type that broadcasts them). “If your lines are made of Spectra or Dacron and you need a reline, you can expect to get some bad openings: an off-heading or big surges after opening. That’s generally because the slider is moving up and down your lines, heating them up and shrinking them. If your parachute opens and it is not on-heading, then it is generally an indication that it is going out of trim. You need to get somebody to look at that. When you do, they might look at it and tell you that the lines are okay; maybe it’s just your body position causing the problem. If they look at your lines and go holy shit, man, you need to replace straight away, then you have your answer. Either way, you’ll have peace of mind.” 5. Don’t get tunnel vision. “Don’t just look at your lines. Your lines are suspended by some binding tape which needs checking as well. Especially after a hard opening, be sure to look at the tape where each line is attached to your canopy, as well as the fabric around it. Kill lines are another thing. Everybody forgets that a kill line wears out in the same way as a suspension line, except a lot more quickly. If your kill line is made out of Spectra and has shortened, then you’re going to start having problems with your openings. The dead giveaway is finding that your pilot chute is turned virtually inside out every time you land. A kill line wears throughout the bridle. The weakest point doesn’t have to be at the bottom or top--it can snap right in the middle--so make sure you pull it through from both ends when you check it. Pull it as far as you can from one end and then pull it as far as you can from the other end to have a good look. Finally: If you’re getting a new line set, please, please, please replace your slinks as well. Don’t put a new line set on it and put an old set of slinks on it. That defeats the object of this exercise. They are not infallible. They do fail, and the last thing you want is for a slink to fail at 200 feet, because you’re not going to survive that.” 6. Remember: The integrity of your lineset isn’t a good place to save a few bucks. “The costs to reline aren’t as bad as you might think. I can tell you roughly what I charge, but I can’t speak for other riggers. That said, I will always look at something for free, and if someone asks me for it, I will always give my advice for free, and that’s also the way most of the riggers I know like to work. I charge 15 pounds, which equates to about 20 U.S. dollars, to replace both lower brake lines. If the lowers go from the cascade all the way to the toggle, I charge 40 pounds--which is something like $60. If you compare that amount of money to losing a brake line when you’re flaring--or when you are at 100 feet--you see the value. You have to weigh the cost of your own safety. If you don’t happen to have a rigger on your dropzone, then go to an experienced jumper. See them and say, Hey, I’m a bit worried about this. What do you think I should do? If they look at it and start laughing, you have your answer.”
  21. StarLog Skydiving & Rigging Logbooks Price: $12 Brand new line of Skydiver and Rigger Logbooks. All spiral bound for easy logging and fit inside all standard size logbook covers. StarLog Skydiver holds 304 jumps StarLog Pro holds 1456 jumps StarLog Rigger holds 684 logs Available at ChutingStar Power Tools Price: $19.95 Want a great stocking stuffer with a low price? Give your loved one a Power Tool packing tool in holiday colors! Available at Para-Gear Hanging Handcrafted Wood Swooper Dude Price: $20 Made of mahogany, coconut and jute, the details on this handcrafted swooper includes a canopy, lines, rig on the back, hair, determined swoop face and skirt. Available at ChutingStar Rig Hangers Price: $42 With these colorful hangers you can hang your skydiving rig wherever you want. Whether it's on a rack at the dropzone hangar, on the back of a door, in your closet or anywhere else you can think of. These powder coated hangers make it easy to spot your skydiving rig, as well as give it a nice accent. Available at Para-Gear The Summer I Became A Skydiver, Children's Book Price: $25 Skydiver Ben Lowe wrote this children's book that tell's the story of a boy's introduction into a summer of skydiving. This 29-page hardcover book is a great short story that also helps explain skydiving to youngsters. Available at ChutingStar Glow Face Alt III Galaxy - $169 Meters and Black Only. The phosphorescent face provides a background glow to assist in low light conditions. The glow lasts over 2 hours in complete darkness, and is perfect for either night jumps or those sunset loads when it starts to get dark. The Glow Face Altimaster III Galaxy features a field replaceable lens. In case your lens gets scratched or cracked you will now be able to replace it yourself instead of having to send it to get serviced. Available at Para-Gear Selections Skydiving Photo Book by Michael McGowan Price: $43 This giant, hardcover photo book from McGowan is the perfect coffee table book of some of the most amazing shots in skydiving. Packed with more than 100 large, full-page photographs. Includes forward by Michael McGowan as well as liner notes from Angie McGowan and Tom Sanders. Available at ChutingStar Para-Gear Parachute Gear Bag Price: $85 Durable fabric and heavy duty zippers make this bag ideal for storing and carrying all the gear needed for skydiving. ID sleeve for personal information Dual zippered main compartment with zip protector Back pocket with additional inner zippered-pocket for storing accessories and documents up to size A4 Rubber handle on top and side Heavy duty metal buckles and comfortable-shoulder straps Durable, easy to clean, splash proof material. Available at Para-Gear
  22. Para Gear is interested in photographic submissions that you may have for the 2019 - 2020 Para Gear Catalog #82. We have taken the time to briefly describe the format and certain criteria that we look for, in order to help you to see if you have something worth submitting. We have included examples of previous catalog covers for your reference. http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.290693934285998.71336.290673160954742&type=3 or http://www.dropzone.com/photos/zArchive/Article_Photos/Para_Gear_Covers/index.html Over the years Para Gear has used photos from all of skydiving's disciplines. We do not have a preference as far as what type of skydiving photo it is, rather we look for something that either is eye-catching or pleasing to the eye. In light of the digital age, we are also able to use photos that in one way or another may be less than perfect and enhance them, removing blemishes, flipping images, altering colors, etc. Front cover of catalog 81 Back cover of catalog 81 The following are preferences. However what we prefer and what we get, or choose, are not always the same. If however we came down to a choice between two photos of equal quality, we would opt for the one that met more of our preferences. We typically prefer that the photo be brighter. In the past we have used sunset photos and even a night jump photo, although by and large most of the photos are daytime. We like the subject of the image to have contrast with the background. Subjects that are wearing brighter more colorful clothing usually stand out more. We prefer to have the people in the photo wearing equipment since that is what we sell. Headgear, goggles, jumpsuits, altimeters, audible altimeters, and gloves are all good. We also prefer to see skydivers wearing head and foot protection. We do not print any BASE jumping nor any Tandem photographs. No submissions of these will be accepted. We are not interested an any photos of individual or groups of skydivers standing on the ground. Front cover 2016 Back cover 2016 Our basic criteria is as follows: Vertical Format. The front and back covers of the catalog are both in a vertical format. We can use a horizontal (landscape) shot, as opposed to a vertical (portrait), and then crop it as long as the image lies within a vertical cropping. Photo Quality. The front and back cover shots will be printed as 8 ½ x 11 in 300 dpi format. Any film that can hold its quality up to this size and print dpi is fine. Digital format is preferred. In the event of a final cover choice, we prefer to be sent the original digital image or slide for getting the best quality out of the image. Back Cover Photo. The back cover photo is no different from the front except in one respect. We need to have room on the left side of the image for the thumb index. In the past we have taken images and been able to horizontally flip them thereby creating this room. Originality. Anything that is original, eye-catching, or makes someone take more notice of the catalog covers is something we look for. It could be a photo from a unique camera position or angle, a scenic skydive, shots under canopy, landings, etc. We look for photos that have not been previously published and most likely would not accept them if they have, as we want a photo that no one else has seen yet. We also do not want any photos that are chosen as the front or back covers to be used for other non Para Gear advertising for a period of one year. Para Gear offers $500.00 each for both the front and back covers we choose. Our current deadline for catalog cover submissions is November 16th 2018. Sending sample pictures by e-mail to curt@paragear.com, If you are sending sample digital pictures please note that they do not need to be in a very large format. If we like the sample picture we will then ask you to send the higher quality original. Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions.
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    Longest Indoor Freefall Record Set

    New video captures two freefall enthusiasts from Siberia break world record by 'skydiving' indoors for more than 8.5 hours. The longest indoor freefall Guinness World Record has been jointly achieved by two Russian adventurers, Viktor Kozlov and Sergey Dmitriyev, in the city of Perm on Tuesday, 10 July 2018. The record took place at the innovative FreeFly Technology wind tunnel. The skydivers flew uninterrupted for 8 hours, 33 minutes and 43 seconds to beat the record of indoor freefall set before. The result was made official by a representative of the Guinness World Records Association. Each minute of indoor body-flying is the equivalent of one skydive, and the whole 513 minutes is the same as falling 1280 miles continuously or the distance from New York to Cuba. This unprecedented record has been captured in a short video produced by the FreeFLy Technology team. About Freefly Technology FreeFly Technology is an international technological company producing innovative wind tunnels for recreational and entertainment purposes. It comprises more than 30 people responsible for design, production and sales of wind tunnels. Comprehensive understanding of aerodynamics and needs of the target customers make FreeFly Technology uniquely capable of designing and manufacturing cost-effective wind tunnels, which outperform the analogues available on the market. About The Wind Tunnel FreeFly Technology wind tunnel is built on a technology allowing the air to move upwards at approximately 270 km/h (167 mph or 75 m/s), the terminal velocity of a falling human body bellydownwards. It can provide the wind speeds and the feel of real skydiving. Such kind of vertical wind tunnels are frequently called “indoor skydiving” tunnels due to their popularity among skydivers, who report that the sensation is extremely similar to skydiving. WEBSITE - www.freeflytechnology.net/ FACEBOOK - www.facebook.com/freefly.technology INSTAGRAM - www.instagram.com/freefly_technology/
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    Vigil Service Bulletin - 19 April 2018

    Issue Date: 19 April 2018 Bulletin Number: PSB-01-2018 Subject: Firmware Update and High Altitude Jumps Status: Mandatory Prior to the next jump with any aircraft altitude exceeding 27,000 ft MSL Identification: All Sport Vigil II and Vigil 2+ with firmware versions 05.05, 05.06, 06.01, 06.02 This product service bulletin does not apply to Military Vigils Background: Due to an internal calculation algorithm, units with firmware versions 05.05, 05.06, 06.01, 06.02 will enter protected CTRL-ERR mode when the measured pressure is less than 300 hpa. (Approximately 30,000 ft MSL). Compliance: Vigil II & Vigil 2+ (does not apply to Military Vigils). All Vigil II and 2+ units with firmware versions 05.05, 05.06, 06.01, 06.02 MUST be updated to a new firmware version. The current firmware version MUST be checked in the info menu during the startup of the Vigil. (See Road Map - Parameter Sequence Flow Chart in the User's Manual). Compliance Date: Compliance is the mandatory before any jump during which the aircraft is anticipated to reach, or reaches, any altitude above 27,000 ft MSL. DO NOT MAKE ANY JUMP IF THE AIRCRAFT, AT ANY TIME ON THE FLIGHT, EXCEEDS 27,000 ft MSL WITHOUT HAVING FIRST FULLY COMPILED WITH THIS PSB. For all users NOT making, or planning to make a jump with an exit altitude above 27,000 ft MSL, or planning to make a flight above 27,000 ft MSL, compliance is still mandatory for all affected firmware versions, however compliance may be at the user's convenience during any repack between the date of this PSB and 31 May 2020. This is to prevent risk of possible future high altitude use by a new owner or user, without compliance with, or awareness of this service bulletin. Compliance Procedure and Costs: Please follow the return RMA procedure online at https://www.vigil.aero/servicing The unit update, maintenance and return shipping from AAD Belgium or Vigil America to the customer will be at no charge to the customer. The shipping cost to AAD Belgium or to Vigil America will be the customer's responsibility. Repack costs and expenses are solely the customer's responsibility. No claims for repack costs and expenses will be accepted. Authority: Jo Smolders Managing Director A.A.D. nv/sa Bd.A. Reysers, 193 1030 Brussels - Belgium - Europe Tel: +32.2.732.65.52 Fax: +32.2.736.06.27 www.vigil.aero - rma@vigil.aero Vigil America, Inc. 1400 Flightline Blvd., Suite C Deland, FL 32724 Tel: +1.386.736.8464 Fax: +1.386.736.8468 www.vigil.aero - candace@vigil.aero Distribution of this Advisory Product Service Bulletin shall include, but is not limited to: All AAD dealers. Parachute Industry Association. All identified parachuting publications. All identified parachuting Federations and Associations. All National Aero Clubs, Parachuting Section. IPC Technical Committee