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  1. Why don't cannibals eat clowns? They taste funny. The world has just changed, and not for the better. Dave was one of the greats.
  2. I know a Barry Bichler. Different guy?
  3. Update. The original story has video of the Santa's narrative, and it is pretty convincing. Since they gave the location of the guy's work, and said that he was at the ICU in 15 minutes, that really whittles down the number of possible hospitals (one). A search of obituaries in that area over the claimed time period yielded crickets, so that part doesn't ring true, nor does his running away afterwards. However, much of the rest is plausible. The claim that a kid can't be lucid one moment and dead the next is false. My sister called her husband when her condition went to hell, he made it there, and she died in mid-sentence. In any event, there is nothing quite as crushing as being helpless to save a little kid. An American who returned from serving as a Medic in Aleppo reported being particularly haunted by the kids who made it to the aid station for whom there was no hope. Don't get me wrong, I am trained in emergency services and will grab my first aid kit and fire extinguisher and run to the site of an accident if I am there before first responders arrive, but there is no way in hell I could handle working in a pediatric ICU. Regardless of quite how much of the story is accurate, it is not one that evokes my fundamental cynicism. BSBD, Winsor
  4. This article was hard to read. When my son at the age of three asked if there was a Santa Claus, I told him there was a person named Nicholas who was known for his benevolence, and that we commemorate his memory with traditions in his honor. I think the guy who got this assignment is a study in decency, and understand how devastating this experience must have been. One of the reasons I am not on a volunteer ambulance squad is because one is guaranteed to come across scenes that will remain etched in one's memory for life, and I'm not up for it. I have known very tough men and women that were destroyed by one horrific accident or another, and I no longer kid myself about how tough I am. Helping a 5 year old die is more than I could handle. BSBD, Winsor
  5. winsor

    Oh Canada!

    Anyone else get a mental image of Fidel on his deathbed whispering: "Rosebud"? For the record, 'Rosebud' was William Randolph Hearst's pet name for Marion Davies' clitoris, which she made the mistake of mentioning to her hairdresser. When Orson Welles et al. got wind of this, they wrote it into the script at every turn. This evidently caused WRH to wax apoplectic, and he never forgave them for their levity. Needless to say, the sled was simply a ruse to allow them to work the joke. Talk about your legendary ladybits...
  6. 347 IIRC, but I was a SP-4 by the time I got it (I dropped out of High School and joined when I was 17).
  7. I was at the birthday party of my niece and nephew on Saturday, which always brings me back to the trip to the hospital to say goodbye to Paul on the day they were born. It was always a joy to run into Paul (and his fellow Knights) at dropzones throughout the circuit, over the years. He was a class act, and he is sorely missed. BSBD, Winsor
  8. Then print this out and tape it to your helmet or better yet, tape it right beside the lights by the door. In order for this to work the pilot must give you the groundspeed while on jumprun. As has been amply demonstrated, ground speed in and of itself has precisely nothing to do with freefall separation. One can have zero ground speed (jumping from a tethered balloon) and have excellent freefall separation, and one can have great ground speed (jumping from a free balloon) and have ZERO freefall separation. In practice this not as egregious a misconception as is the "45 degree rule," but it is still wrong. BSBD, Winsor
  9. I hate it when so-called experienced jumpers trot out that BS argument, about PD canopies 'actually being more like a size larger'. By the same reasoning you could say that Icarus/Aerodyne/etc. is 'more like a size smaller'. [rant] Next time anyone tells you something like that, just smile and nod politely and go to someone qualified, like a rigger (which I'm not). Yes, there are different ways of measuring canopies. but unless you're a particularly high-talented competition swooper, you should view a 189 as a 189 and a 176 as a 176. Differences in size become more pronounced as the canopies get smaller. For instance, the flight characteristics between a 97 and a 120 of the same type are much different than between a 240 and a 190 of that same type. Aside from that, there should be no problem with a 176 as a reserve vs a 189 main. Though it is not all about size; the main is designed to have fun with, the reserve to get you home safely. [/rant] Agreed across the board, but I jump a smaller main than reserve unless the main is huge as well. I have landed reserves including 26' conical and 177 sf 5 cell (Swift), and have concluded that sizing the reserve is a matter of what I want over me if I'm incapacitated. Having your collarbone broken on exit can make using toggles effectively impossible, so you may want to keep your brakes stowed and steer by shifting in the saddle. Being unconscious for any reason - medical, injury, etc. - makes steering a non-issue. Having had an elbow to the nose in freefall that made seeing through all the blood problematic, it turns out that there are rather a few things that can make seeing where you are going difficult or impossible. You don't want to be under a reserve where being able to see clearly is necessary to avoid getting hurt. Regardless of what you jump as a main, a reserve is a whole different ball game, and should be treated as such. It's hard to look stylish in a trauma center. BSBD, Winsor
  10. Having landed 26' conical and 177 sf 5 cell reserves, I want a nylon overcast when I pull silver. When I cut away my Icarus EXTreme 99, I landed under a Raven II 218. I have never been under reserve thinking "ah, I could have gone a size smaller..." BSBD, Winsor Wow. Your rig can really handle a reserve 2x the size of your main? No sweat. This one is a squareback Racer, 400/400 ci. It works great.
  11. Having landed 26' conical and 177 sf 5 cell reserves, I want a nylon overcast when I pull silver. When I cut away my Icarus EXTreme 99, I landed under a Raven II 218. I have never been under reserve thinking "ah, I could have gone a size smaller..." BSBD, Winsor
  12. News flash: It's YOUR ass going out the door, not the person pushing the button. Stick around and you will see people come to grief by simply exiting when the green light comes on. As far as the 'rules' at one DZ or another, the physics do not change based on location. I have seen all too many DZs who relied on the aviation motto of "I'd rather be lucky than good" (look up the '45 degree rule'). If you pay attention, you will notice more near misses at places where the people in charge do not have a clue. Just because I have jumped at 100 or so DZs (16 in one day once) does not make me an expert in and of itself. However, I have a string of other credentials that do. BSBD, Winsor
  13. I'm impressed. Somebody who gets it. Can you explain it to me? Sure. It's your basic frames of reference scenario. The reference planes of interest here are at exit altitude and at opening altitude, certainly not the surface. The exit interval times the aircraft's speed with regard to the airmass at opening altitude gives the effective separation at opening altitude. Since this tends to be less than the separation at exit altitude when flying into a headwind, and since the potential for overlap due to freefall drift and tracking increases as groups decend, the greatest likelihood of interference between groups occurs at opening altitude. Thus, the difference between wind speed at exit altitude and that at opening altitude provides a key parameter for evaluating freefall separation. What happens between opening altitude and the ground should be under canopy, which is a whole different can of worms. BSBD, Winsor
  14. Without knowing what the wind speed and direction is at the deployment altitude, it is impossible to know what the acceptable exit separation time is. It's not the wind speed at the exit altitude (which translates to ground speed) that's important. It's the difference in the wind speed (and direction) between the two that dictates safe separation. I'm impressed. Somebody who gets it.
  15. winsor

    lowest pulled

    I don't know where I pitched, but I have been in the saddle at three digits. Many moons ago I watched as Steve 'Deadman' Morell hooked up a bright orange Interceptor he had just purchased. The ceilings had been low all weekend, but he convinced the pilot to take him up to test jump his new canopy. With just a little testosterone in the air, there was a discussion of "how low can you go?" Very shortly thereafter, the plane was coming over the peas at 250 feet and descending, with Steve on the step holding his pilot chute in hand. Since the bridle was flapping around, the guy inside the plane shooting camera reached out to hold his closing pin in place. With the pilot screaming "don't jump!," Steve left the step and I hit the shutter release with my camera on 'continuous.' After he hit the peas and came to a stop, I still had some of the 24 exposures left - well less than 10 seconds between step and pea pit. At the Convention in Rantoul a couple of guys decided to do brief RW during a hop an pop. After breakoff, one of them then took it down a bit - after which his canopy sniveled (go figure). In all fairness, he did manage to clear his brakes before landing, but he did not have a whole lot of room to spare. A good rule of thumb regarding low pull contests is that you can't set a new record, the best you can do is tie the existing. BSBD, Winsor