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  1. Hi everyone, and an especially warm Howzit to our fellow skydivers from SA!!! I travelled once through your country, before I started skydiving, and fell in love with it. Now I'd like to return, and put in some fun jumps as well! So... where to go? Ideally, I'm looking for a DZ with 7/7 operation, high turnover, scenic area, aircraft climbing to 13.000ft (4000m) and rental gear available! Oh, and lots of friendly South African skydivers willing to jump with me :-) Any suggestions are appreciated! Andrei (A licence / 100 jumps)
  2. And how much does it cost to have this done? (With Cypres it's 250 euros, here in Europe; that includes batteries but not the shipping.)
  3. Hi Kat, this is from a low jump number, low skill n00b with almost no talent, so you may as well discount it right away ;-) Just thought of asking, are you sure you're not overly critical? How bad are your landings exactly? I could probably flare a little better on every one of my landings, but as long as I'm landing standing up, don't have to run, and nothing hurts, it's fine. Having your depth perception checked by a doctor or optometrist is definitely a good idea. Also (and I bet I'm not alone on this) some people have an altered depth perception when wearing sunglasses or tinted goggles. I have to use clear goggles only, I've noticed that the tinted ones (or sunglasses) make it harder for me to land a parachute, a light aircraft, or to hit a tennis ball. Oh and, yes, have some people on the ground film your landings - that's probably worth the beers :) Good luck! Andrei
  4. Do you jump all winter? (NOv-Feb) Every day of the week, or just weekends? WHat are typical winter weather conditions? THanks, Andrei
  5. Hi IJ, thanks for chiming in. I'm new to this sport (~60 jumps) so please bear with me :) I've done a couple of jumps more on the Sil 170, and also on a Pulse 170. The Pulse is touted as a more agile canopy by the PD marketers, yet to me it felt noticeably more sluggish than the Silhouette. I was just about to post a question regarding this :) but I think I now know why... an instructor at the DZ mentioned that the Silhouette has got some sort of tune-up, shorter & thinner lines, possibly altered angle of attack, particularly shorter toggles. I guess that must be the reason why this particular one is more fun. What is your experience, can changes of the line setup dramatically change a canopy's behaviour? Cheers, Andrei
  6. Jumped one since... 190 (I'm at 180 lbs exit wt)... twice, in light winds. Maybe weak flare power, maybe I wasn't doing it right. Maybe the controls were a little too long for my body size - it also turned rather slowly, I got the impression that one needs to pull the toggle halfway down before it starts turning. Very hard to toggle stall (again, maybe controls too long). Enormous front riser pressure... Did some pull-ups on the front risers without any effect on the canopy. (Does front riser pressure get lower on higher wing loadings??...) Glides nicely. Lovely for relaxing after your freefall, enjoy the landscape etc. Who's this canopy actually marketed for?
  7. Why does John LeBlanc recommend lighter wing loadings on the Pulse? (In a recent speech he mentioned flying, among other canopies, a sub-100 Velo and a 210 Pulse.) Several posters in this thread seem to have found that the Pulse flares more powerfully and is easier to front riser when loaded higher. Any ideas?....
  8. Here's the video I was talking about.... showing a high flare, and a very un-dramatic touchdown: It's out of an online article by Scott Miller: Have fun! Andrei
  9. Hi Matt, and thanks for your reply. Yeah that clears it up :) They also have a Sabre2 170 at the DZ, I'll try that one after another 20 jumps or so on the Silhouette. Cheers, Andrei
  10. Hi acho, I also started AFF at 38 - last year :) I'm obviously still a beginner, so my comments come from knowing what it's like, not great expertise or experience. First of all, congrats for not giving it all up after your accident. Yes, carry on if you feel you want to :) I had to move to different dropzones during my licence training, it made matters more complicated. (Divergent advice etc.) Try to stay at one DZ, you may achieve greater consistency. I also had to avoid an unexpected obstacle one (barbed wire fence) so the flare right after clearing it was weak and I broke a bone in my foot. (Nothing like your injuries, though.) Winter came, it healed... come spring I was nervous as hell but started jumping again. As long as you're flying large student canopies you needn't be afraid of flaring a little too high (too early) - better than not at all or too little (too late). Hold the flare and you'd just float down! Happens all the time. There was a great video out there on the internet showing this, but I can't find it right now. By contrast, I found myself starting the flare slightly too late sometime, so I couldn't use the canopy's full flaring power - resulting in landing hard or too fast. Someone suggested landing with a PLF intentionally for a couple of jumps, just to get practiced. I guess that's sound advice. PLF's are actually quite fun! (Just don't do this if you're coming in fast on a no-wind day - you'll end up rolling on the ground very fast.) I may get flamed for this, but don't do S-turns on final. It messes up everyone's landing pattern, and you'd be at a high risk of collision - at very low altitude too. There are other, better solutions if you're coming in too high, and the many experienced people around here can surely offer some good technical advice. That being said, it's great to have you going on! Happy landings, Andrei
  11. Hi there, here's a beginner's question. I'm around jump #50 and the chief instructor at my home DZ recently encouraged me to move from the Navigator 200 to the Silhouette 170. I jumped it 3 times so far, in strong winds as well as in no-wind conditions, and it was great. Now, here's my question: while I completely trust the instructor's assessment and have indeed encountered no problems with the Sil 170, I'm puzzled by PD's "official" wing loading chart (here it is: which would suggest that I fly at least size 230! (My exit weight is 180 lbs.) I've already read other people's comments on this forum stating that "the Silhouette flies small" - which only puzzles me further. Shouldn't it be desirable for a canopy to "fly big"? what's the use of 170 sq ft of canopy in your backpack if it flies like, say, a 150? Thanks for your time & your thoughts, Andrei
  12. John, you are not alone :) in fact I'm doing much worse, having managed only 4 or 5 stable exits out of my 52 jumps so far, and these were all dive exits towards the rear. All attempts at a stable floater exit (or, for that matter, any exit "into the wind") were thwarted by my brain "locking" the moment I jumped off. The results (as seen on video) reminded one very much of a chicken's flapping and kicking right after having its head cut off :) I would always stabilize after 2-3 seconds, but exiting is still a psychological threshold for me, and a source of constant frustration. I feel that I need to get it right in order to do formation jumps, and also hop'n'pops for canopy practice. Anyway, keep us posted about how it went this Friday. Cheers, Andrei