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Everything posted by winsor

  1. winsor

     Dave Dewolf

    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. winsor

    Barry Bischler

    I know a Barry Bichler. Different guy?
  3. winsor

    There is a Santa Claus

    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. winsor

    There is a Santa Claus

    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. winsor

    Paul Rafferty - post vibes here

    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. winsor

    Reserves Smaller than Main

    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. winsor

    Reserves Smaller than Main

    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. winsor

    Reserves Smaller than Main

    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. winsor

    Exit Separation Chart

    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. winsor

    Exit Separation Chart

    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. winsor

    Exit Separation Chart

    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
  16. winsor

    Sandy Wambach RIP 7-19-98

    She took my slot in the formation after I got axed. I had refused to dive blindly at the formation to keep up with the guy ahead of me, and was thus like 3 seconds late; he got a foot print on his face for getting there on time (for real). Sandy is one of too many people who have vindicated the hard way my decision to chicken out. I have done enough really dangerous things that, by the time it scares me, it is likely a very bad idea. The tuition is steep, and it has already been paid in full. I got a hug from her the last time we said goodbye, and I wish she had been willing to get axed as well. BSBD, Winsor
  17. winsor

    GoPros right off of student status?

    Maybe the sport, and human nature, has changed significantly since I was a neophyte, though I doubt it. The reality is that the distraction provided by having a camera on hand is the killer. I have lost too many friends who got preoccupied with things other than saving their life at the wrong time, and cameras have been the problem all too often. Sure, swooping makes other parts of the sport look safe by comparison, but playing Russian Roulette with a revolver, rather than an automatic, is not a fundamentally safe activity. Any professional cameraman (for news orgs, etc.) can tell you that, while the camera is running, their world exists through the viewfinder. Regardless of what is happening, one's perspective is geared toward getting the shot. Thus, you have footage of people being maimed or killed, well framed and in proper focus, when the cameraman did not stop to render aid. Similarly, I have watched footage showing the last things viewed by the person shooting camera, where they might have flared or whatever if they had not been preoccupied by getting the shot. Having made rather a few camera jumps over the years, ranging from 35mm and Super 8 to GoPro, I can attest to how much discipline is necessary to ignore the camera when things get dicey, and thus have footage of a couple of pretty hairy cutaways. Be advised that the dangers attendant upon increased complexity are not limited to cameras. Jumping flags, wingsuits, skyboards (remember them?) and the like increase the likelihood of an "interesting" outcome exponentially. As far as being a safety nazi goes, I would not dream of telling what to do. Hell, I'd be honored to be on your ash dive. BSBD, Winsor
  18. winsor

    Paul Rafferty - post vibes here

    I had just left the hospital, where I went to say goodbye to Paul, when my cell phone rang. My brother said to make a beeline to another hospital where my sister had just given birth. Every year now, on the way to the twins' birthday party, I think of that short drive between the end of one life and the beginning of two others. Paul was a Mensch, and he is sorely missed. BSBD, Winsor
  19. Pretty much all of them do. The rub is if the jump is "intentional." If, of course, you were to wear a single parachute because you are simply terrified of flying, that would be entirely acceptable. If, in your highly agitated state you have a communications problem, where the pilot said "nice weather, eh?" but you thought he said "OH MY GOD, WE'RE GOING TO CRASH!," it would be perfectly understandable for you to jump immediately. When the pilot lands and says "has anyone seen my passenger? He got upset and jumped," nobody could blame him. "That parachute is for emergency use ONLY!" "Well, it was an emergency to me..." BSBD, Winsor
  20. winsor

    Blue Track BT60 canopy

    I lost track of how many jumps I have on Blue Tracks, but it's somewhere between 500 and 1,000. The BT-50 is 150 square feet and the BT-60 is 175. It is claimed to be ZP, but it is not the slick ZP or the stuff used in Triathlons and so forth. A couple of notes: Being a first-generation elliptical, it was not detuned so its handling is twitchy. If you bury a toggle in full flight, you will put the canopy between you and the ground (literally - I have pictures of the event). If you do a panic turn on short final, you WILL die. It is also sensitve to packing. If you know how to pack it, there is no problem at all. However, DO NOT simply hand it off to a packer and hope they will get it right. You may have an opening that loosens your fillings, or one that takes about two or three rotations to settle out before you realize that it is simply a funky opening and not a mal. Needless to say, I will not jump someone else's pack job, considering it worth the time to repack it myself. In any event, my primary canopy is a BT-60. It opens great and flies beautifully, but I would not recommend it to someone without a lot of experience. It's a brilliant canopy, but it certainly is not for everyone. Blue skies, Winsor
  21. winsor

    Why Groundspeed?

    But Einstein emailed Pres. Roosevelt about it, right? At the urging of Leo Szilard et al. No, it wasn't Al, it was Wigner, Teller and Sachs Einstein is reported to have said "Daran habe ich gar nicht gedacht!" when told about a nuclear chain reaction. Richard Rhodes' "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" had Szilard penning the letter and Al signing on with Wigner, Teller & Sachs. As you note, Einstein took no credit for the work. BSBD, Winsor
  22. winsor

    Why Groundspeed?

    But Einstein emailed Pres. Roosevelt about it, right? At the urging of Leo Szilard et al.
  23. winsor

    Paracommander work drawings

    I have an RWPC, and I love it. It is basically a short-lined MK-1 constructed of 1.5 Ripstop with 325# dacron lines. Openings are great and landings are much softer than with taffeta MK-1s. I have mulled over the prospect of making a ZP version with microline to see how it packed, opened and flew, but I do not have all the machines necessary to do the job properly without undue effort (and a few other excuses). I think a PC made with modern materials would be a great canopy, but the reality is that packing it would never be as simple and convenient as with a ramair. D-bagged into a Wonderhog, mine takes about twice the time to pack, but Packing Cathy would do it for the same price at the Convention (just to give her people the experience, I suppose). My guess is that a ZP PC with small enough pack volume to fit into (some) modern rigs would have enough of a market to justify its manufacture. Frankly, if on a big way I would prefer it if everyone had PCs than 2:1 loaded crossbraces. I have lost too many friends to canopy collisions - and still have the scars from my own - and would like to load the dice a little more for survival, but that's just me. Blue skies, Winsor
  24. winsor

    ripcord para center in n.j.

    This is the link to the place. The geodesic dome was there into the early '90s, but now not even the slab remains. The airport bears only a slight resemblance to the way it was when Ripcords was open. If you're in the neighborhood you may stop in, but it might be hard to figure out what was where from all the remodeling. Blue skies, Winsor
  25. winsor

    seat belts

    Having had a canopy collision, I am kind of a chicken. I still have scars from the line burns - and I got off easy. I was a load organizer at a boogie where the most experienced person in my group was near the door. We were all in agreement that, if he did not see sufficient openings in the clouds at breakoff to opening altitude, we would ride the plane down. A couple of tandem masters kept yelling "GO!" when our spotter kept shaking his head. To which I replied "Fuck you!" We then let the tandems jump and rode the plane down. While we were ready to eat the jump tickets (I would have paid for the group to avoid having yet another near-death experience at the very least), the aircraft owner put us an another load when it cleared up. He approved of my decision to err on the side of safety, having had to deal with the aftermath of too many bad decisions over the years, but took me to task for doing anything to freak out the tandem students/passengers. He was right about my reaction to the TM, and I greatly appreciate his support of a safety-related decision. If you want to jump and I do not, and the pilot has turned on the green light, I will do nothing to impede your safe exit. After that, you are on your own. BSBD, Winsor