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Everything posted by winsor

  1. QuoteRSL debate again?!!! This topic is like a merry-go-round. Poping every two months. I started skydiving in 1968 and SCUBA in 1971. Equipment was simple and not really that reliable. The sports were small in participants because they were restricted to those with the skill, talent and balls to do them. Now the wonder of science has allowed the half-wits, stoners and incompetents to enter our sport. Look at the fatality advance is giving us diminishing returns. reply] I started SCUBA in 1968, parachuting in 1971, and have seen what you describe. I say let Darwinian selection prevail. Safety equipment precludes natural selection. Blue skies, Winsor
  2. Rather than going to a museum, I need only go into my gear room. I have a good 60 years covered. Actually, I doubt if anyone is going to do much better than Bob Sinclair's bus. A tour of his collection of artifacts takes HOURS (no fooling), and the anecdotes behind each item make it time well spent. I think a museum is fine, but I can't see what it has to do with the business of tending to the needs of the club. I can see where having the museum joined at the hip to the club could do severe damage to our ability to function, should the museum prove to be a white elephant (it wouldn't be the first time such a thing has occurred). As a stand-alone entity, fine. As any part of USPA, not so good. Blue skies, Winsor
  3. It can't hurt to disconnect the RSL, but on a one-sided system it isn't one of your primary worries. If you have two canopies out, I strongly suggest that you don't simply chop the main while in a stable biplane. There you can go from two good canopies to none in a heartbeat. Talk to a veteran CRW dog and do some CRW (to include initiating sideplanes on demand) before you even think about including it in your emerrgency procedures. The time to learn CRW is not when you have two canopies out at 500 feet. I know a couple of people who discovered how to do a downplane that way. Blue skies, Winsor
  4. Agreed, and the larger amount of time you have during your window of opportunity on jump run allows you to build in more separation between groups. The critical speed for horizontal separation is the speed of the jump aircraft with regard to the air at opening altitude. Since the winds at altitude can vary by both magnitude and direction from those at opening altitude and on the ground, you hit the point of diminishing returns fast when trying to be too exact. Building in as much separation between groups as is feasible, and avoiding complacency regarding separation, tend to keep us out of trouble. Blue skies, Winsor
  5. I'm sick of people getting in over their heads and getting hurt or dying. I've seen people get busted up under everything from T-10s to Class-5 canopies, and I've seen canopy pilots that I think are nothing short of awesome prang. Yup, broke my foot landing a 7-TU. Damn straight, and I try to keep them surviveable. Uh, yeah. No, I don't do anything to augment my landings. What was that all about? I don't begrudge people who know what they're doing taking risks for which they're prepared and fully understand. None of the world-class canopy pilots of my acquaintance got that way because it was a goal unto itself. It was an incidental byproduct of developing their very extensive skillset. FWIW, you really don't have any idea of how and why I fly, and you are merely demonstrating that you don't know what I'm talking about, either. That's one reason I jump a pullout - no horseshoe mode. I strongly support such a policy. You know, you just might be right there. Wait a minute - are you suggesting that _I_ am not immune? I demand a recount! Boy, you sure got me there. If I had not used any equipment at all, and simply done a PLF like I was trained to do, I would have been just fine. Do I have it right now? You think maybe I use the highly pressurized canopy to minimize the effects of turbulence and rotors when jumping a larger, slower, less pressurized canopy presents a greater risk? Nah, the only reason to jump such a canopy is to impress the chicks and whuffos. "Hey, y'all, watch this!" You can only make it so safe, but you can make it downright fatal in a hurry if you are cavalier about risk management. That has been demonstrated time and again, and you might as well benefit from the lessons to be learned, since the tuition has been steep. I hate to break it to you, but the stakes are just the same at a gun club as they are at a DZ. You only get to point a loaded gun at someone's chest once, and you are persona non grata for life. We fire millions of rounds a year without incident, even though a 12 ga. target load has twice the energy of the vaunted .44 magnum. A botched swoop/hook/high performance landing can kill a bystander just as dead as a well-placed bullet. I'm not as sensitive as you might imagine to someone who took an innocent with them when they went Darwinian on us. Blue skies, Winsor CYa
  6. hja, einige hier sprechen richtiges amerikanisch, aber die meinsten sprechen jungle-englisch-jamaica-americanisch-blurb Doch, es tut mir leid. Blauen, Winsor
  7. Here is a situation that few talk about but I have witnessed: Groups always need to give adequate time after the prior group to allow for adequate (1500') separation. If uppers are strong, say 60 mph, you have to allow more time than if uppers are light (assuming an upwind jump run) I believe that you also need to allow for more than 1500' horizontal separation. Here's why: A plane traveling at 90 mph air speed is going 30 mph ground speed with a 60 mph head wind. To get 1500 feet of horizontal separation (assuming same vertical speed) you need to wait about 34 seconds between groups. A canopy from the first group flying towards the drop zone after opening and flying at 30 mph will cover about 1500 feet traveling towards the second group in the 34 seconds left between groups. A malfunction, long snivel, inattention to proper opening altitudes, attempted suicide, etc., will put the second group through the space where the first group are flying their canopies. The problem is compounded if the first group opens high becase of bad spot, or if the first group were freefliers, who tend to open higher because of their lesser experience (just pulling your chain there, Apoil). Also, ground winds are often 180 degrees from uppers. The remedies I can think of are: to allow adequate time to ensure greater horizontal separation, or to run a crosswind jump run. Neither solution seems optimal, but you can't not jump because of uppers, for crying out loud! Any thoughts? Brian Your problem here is failing to distinguish the pertinent frame of reference under consideration. As a Physics instructor I found this concept to be particularly frustrating. Students that got it, got it, and students that missed the point would be coming up with the same misconceptions time and time again. I suggest you go to Tamara Koyn's website and go over the seminar notes that she so graciously put into HTML (to include animating the "window of opportunity" graphics). The punch line is that separation in the air is not a function of what the ground is doing, period. Separation in the air is relative to the air itself. The significance of groundspeed on exit is where you land, or, put another way, how much time you have between the first and last exit on a given pass. Blue skies, Winsor
  8. Hey, I do the best I can. Quite the contrary - been there, done that, got the tee-shirt. If you're oversensitive, perhaps there's a reason you should be. Stick around, try to talk folks out of hurting themselves, and deal with the aftermath a few times. Maybe you'll get it. If you can phrase that as a coherent question, I'll be glad to address it. Blue skies, Winsor
  9. Warum sollte ich? Ich bin Amerikaner, und hier sprechen wir nur Amerikanisch! Blaue Himmel, Winsor
  10. Okay, guilty as charged. I'm about 210# out the door, and I jump a 282 sq. ft. main. And a 240. And a 220. And a 215. And a 200. And a 175. And a 150. And a 120. Not to mention my primary main, which is a 99. I'm just sick of putting people on backboards and helping get them into life flights. I've watched far too many botched attempts at high performance landings, and have seen the best in the business come to grief. The last two pond-swooping events where I was in attendance had something less than a 100% safety record - one guy femured and another was DOA. If you want to swoop, cool. Just don't kid yourself about the ramifications of your actions. Blue skies, Winsor
  11. Bad plan. The whole idea of exit order is to maintain separation in the air. If you come up with a plan that gets everybody back to the DZ, but includes the risk of collision, it is not an optimal solution. If you jump enough, you will have your share of close calls when trying to avoid them. You cease to make avoiding collisions a priority, you do so at your own risk. Blue skies, Winsor
  12. 1st - couldn't find a handle; 26' LoPo. 2nd - tension knot; Bogy200 => Swift Plus 175 3rd - broken lines (Kevlar); BT50 => Swift Plus 175 4th - spinning mal (probably lost a toggle); BT50 => Swift 177 5th - lineover; BT50 => Swift 177 6th - lineover; BT50 => Swift 177 (I have a lot of jumps on Blue Tracks, and own three of them)
  13. Now that you mention it, that was where they took him. He was looking pretty good in not much time - given how badly he was busted up. That's one more reason to pick Laurel! The place where swooping can be surviveable! Blue skies, Winsor
  14. Makes sense, but doesn't the timing of the exit affect the separation at pull altitude, effectively negating forward throw? Sure, but you have built-in separation with bellyfliers first, and you have to overcompensate for the overlap with freefliers first. The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. That is, however, the way to bet. Blue skies, Winsor (See Quade's post for Doctor Kallend's web page URL)
  15. I just short of require customers to fire their reserves before repack. I pack emergency rigs for glider pilots, and some of those guys are amazingly blase about their last-ditch safety equipment. I also prefer to have the owner stick around for the inspection and repack. Some people have the idea that a reserve has magical qualities that a main does not, and I think it is a good idea to demystify it as early on as possible. Know your equipment, and use your main as though it's all that stands between you and disaster - since it may well be. The reserve is just another parachute, and it may malfunction too. Blue skies, Winsor
  16. Laurel, DE is located just a short Life Flight ride from Johns Hopkins Medical Center, which has one of the better Trauma Centers around. Pell City, AL can have you at UAB Medical Center in minutes as well, and their Emergency Medical Service unit is outstanding. Some of the bigger boogies (WFFC, etc.) have Life Flight helicopters on hand, but you have to hope that someone else isn't paying tuition for their swoop lesson when you need it. I hope this helps. Blue skies, Winsor
  17. Mike Igo runs one of the best DZs in the business. I hope to get down there in the very near future to give him some business. Blue skies, Winsor
  18. John Kallend's website has quite good treatment of the subject, to include an online simulation. A Google search, or Skydive Archive should provide links to it (Bill, do you have its address handy?. Some of what he has came from a seminar I gave at the Convention in which he participated, and the subject is addressed rather exhaustively. The basic principle is that of throw on exit, as well as the fact that "vertical separation" becomes irrelevant in the event of an inadvertent deployment. In general, the faster your terminal speed the farther downrange you will be thrown by the forward motion of the aircraft. If you put a pair of head downers out, wait some 4 seconds and launch a RW pair, when the freefliers open the bellyfliers will be directly above them. Put another way, if you have a belly flier group launch on one side of the airplane at the same time a freeflier group launches from the other side of the airplane (it's a Fokker 27 or C-130 or something), the freefliers will open something like 500 feet down the line of flight from where the bellyfliers open, and will be at opening altitutde quite a bit sooner. The optimal exit order, as described by Bryan Burke when at Skydive Arizona was slow fallers first, in large to small groups, fast fallers next, in large to small groups, AFF, Tandems. Blue skies, Winsor
  19. My PC and my Sierra (packed in Wonderhogs) have D-bags, as did my T-10. My 7-TU is sleeved. My conicals are all diapered. My 28' bellywart uses a quarter bag typical of a B-5 type container. The '70s vintage military rigs I jumped, both US and British, were D-bagged. The standard pack job of a C-9 canopy into a B-4/B-12, as well as most anybody's bellywart, is an unreefed canopy with lines stowed in the pack tray. I don't have a copy of Poynter at work, but I wouldn't be surprised if the author got a few facts garbled. I'll look it up when I get home. Blue skies, Winsor
  20. We played the tape that came from the camera someone was wearing before he left the DZ in a body bag. It was surreal. The policy of keeping pictures of incidents on hand makes sense to me, since it is very effective to take someone aside and show them while saying "this guy did just what you did all day long - until this jump. We miss him." Much of the injuries and deaths in the sport seem to come from the kind of denial that can withstand the odd anecdote, but is hard to maintain in the face of the grisly details. Better to have someone leave the sport when they find out that things can REALLY go wrong than to have them leave the DZ for the last time feet first. Blue skies, Winsor
  21. Tommy did not have vital signs when they got to him, but he impacted in the right place for continued survival. He had EMTs and physicians on him within seconds, and it is the only case I've seen besides Mike Vederman where CPR was successful. Since his reserve managed to stand him up, his legs and pelvis served as a crumple zone. One of his ankles was described as "mush," and he was broken up pretty badly below the waist. The last I heard of him, he had been on the road to recovery in a VA hospital when he contracted osteomyelitis. He apparently showed up at a DZ to do a tandem, and was described as pretty badly crippled. I had expected to make a jump with Tommy on the day he impacted, and was standing behind Mike McGowan when the incident occurred. I haven't managed to get in touch with him since, and hope he's doing well. Blue skies, Winsor
  22. I'm my own rigger. I make my living as an Engineer (I gave up flying for the airlines a few months back). I have no instructional or other professional parachute ratings, and have no intention of making a living in the sport. I stay busy keeping my gear in shape and up to date (I have maybe 20 sport and emergency rigs around - I haven't inventoried recently), keep the emergency rigs in date for a glider club, and pack the odd rig for other skydivers. I have three primary sewing machines (301 stitch, 304 zig-zag and compound-feed walking-foot), and a number that I don't use as much. I jump canopies that I have completely rebuilt, as well as a few that I have relined. About half of my saves have been me, and the others have been during someone else's misadventure. I prefer that my customers fire the reserve while wearing it, to get an idea of what to expect, and stick around for the repack. If they are going to stake their lives on the performance of their gear, I think it behooves them to understand it as fully as possible. In any event, for me parachutes are a hobby. FWIW, there is no link between "professional" and "expert." Blue skies, Winsor
  23. It's worth a shot, but isn't likely to work. IIRC, a parachuteless pilot attempted a Mr. Bill with one of the jumpers after exiting an inop airplane. Though they were both holding on as best they could, opening shock separated them. Blue skies, Winsor
  24. You may not regret it if you buy new gear while still a beginner, but you would be the first in my experience if that wasn't the case. I have known DZs that had starter rigs that were passed down to newcomers by people who had used them to gain enough experience to know what they wanted when they chose to upgrade. We're talking gear that's well maintained, airworthy and reliable as hell - but not stylish and pretty. Gear that will save your life every time and bring you to a nice landing where you want to be has a beauty all its own. Even though I make something over minimum wage, I wince at the prices people bandy about blithely for gear of which they will shortly tire. I've seen someone drop close to $1,800 on a container that turned out to be unusable by them, only to take a major thumping when selling it. My recommendation is to find a container that fits properly with a reserve that's big enough to survive a landing when unconscious and a main large enough that you can land it in someone's back yard without injury if you have to exit the aircraft unexpectedly (engines have been known to fail spectacularly with no warning at all). A severely underloaded main (e.g., a 110# jumper under a Manta) is not optimum for learning to fly a canopy, and a main that is too fast and unforgiving won't allow you to make mistakes and stay out of the ICU or morgue. It is axiomatic among photographers that the limits of the Brownie camera have yet to be fully explored, yet people buy Nikons in the hope that equipment will make up for a lack of talent. So it is with parachutes - people are getting gee-whiz canopies who couldn't do justice to an F-111 7-cell loaded at 0.7 psf. If you can find a good, serviceable rig that's fully assembled, take a couple of jumps on it before you buy it. You may want to keep it as a backup later, when you get equipment according to your improved skillset. Remember, if it is good enough to keep you out of trouble as a neophyte, it should be able to do that when you are more experienced. Blue skies, Winsor