• Content

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Feedback


Community Reputation

0 Neutral


  • Main Canopy Size
  • Reserve Canopy Size
  • AAD

Jump Profile

  • Home DZ
  • License
  • License Number
  • Licensing Organization
  • Number of Jumps
  • Years in Sport
  • First Choice Discipline
  • First Choice Discipline Jump Total
  • Second Choice Discipline
    Formation Skydiving
  • Second Choice Discipline Jump Total

Ratings and Rigging

  • AFF
  • Tandem
  • USPA Coach
  • Pro Rating
  1. I don't know where he is or what the deal is, but I do remember the last time I saw him. Lost Prairie, about 5 years ago, did a four way with Late Jake and two others. The second point was a right hand donut, and Jake was on my right. We got there about 11,000 feet, no problem, and the next thing I know I hit line stretch and was under my main. Whoops! Why in the hell did Late Jake dump me out?? It was cold up there, but I enjoyed the view and the long canopy ride back to the DZ. I landed and found my group, and politely asked Late Jake what happened. All he said was "I don't know, we were going on to the next point and the next thing I saw was you deploying and I thought "I wonder where he's going?!?!"" All I could do was laugh. Turns out he took my pilot chute hackey as his grip rather than my leg gripper. Oops! But at least I can say I was once dumped out by Late Jake. --Q ----- Chris "Q" Quaintance D-23345
  2. Indefensible. ----- Chris "Q" Quaintance D-23345
  3. Amazon Aussie Matt BarryD9545 Bigsky Bob Moore Bolas ccq DBCOOPER and DEB Dr. Dive freeflir29 grannyinthesky Grimmie Happychick, Sky High Pendants hcsvader iluvtofly k-dubjumps Ladydyver Lastchance Lucky123 madjohn monkycndo NDfallrate NWFlyer Outlaws Pattersd rnicks Shell666 Skootz The Newlyweds (Larry and Laura) Zymurdoo & Mrs. Zymurdoo I'll be there. Duh. Probably solo again this time off for the girlfriend and I need her help if I'm gonna bring the dog!! --Q ----- Chris "Q" Quaintance D-23345
  4. Yeah, we were without power all day today at my place in Palo Alto - from 7:45am until about 6pm. It's a sad accident, although I have to question the judgment of the pilot (I'm a private pilot and instrument rated and own an airplane based at the Palo Alto airport). The weather at the time of the accident was extremely foggy - 1/4 mile visibility with a ceiling that was indefinite/100ft (depending on the report). We NEVER have fog like that that doesn't burn off, so he would have been wise to wait a couple of hours for the blue sky and 65 degree day we had or at least until the ceiling lifted a bit. However, he was IFR and legal to file and fly from all reports (there are no departure weather minimums for Part 91 operations). Doesn't mean it was a good idea, though. Strangely, he ended up crashing into the neighborhood off to the left of the departure end of 31. Every instrument clearance I've received from PAO had an immediate climbing right turn out over the Bay which is away from obstacles and terrain. My assumption is that he lost one or both engines and then clipped the power line while trying to deal with the problem while IMC - failing to maintain altitude or heading. Lots of coulda/woulda/shouldas: Should have not launched in the first place. Could have landed straight ahead or to the right in the open marshland or Bay with a much higher likelihood of a survivable landing. Should not have turned toward the populated area if he was going to try and come around for landing (you can just as easily make right traffic over the Bay for 31). Should have kept flying his IFR clearance. Maybe just had horrendous luck and had an engine failure at the exact wrong time on a low IMC day. I suspect answers may be forthcoming from the NTSB, but that will take a year to bubble up. A sad day, indeed. --Q ----- Chris "Q" Quaintance D-23345
  5. I hate to do this, but: Me, too! Be warned. --Q ----- Chris "Q" Quaintance D-23345
  6. No, I don't think it will be significant. HQ is predicting a slight decrease in both the number of new and renewing members. They are much better than I ever could be at forecasting membership. If we do go with a dues increase, I think the effect will be small on our membership numbers. That is pure conjecture, and I don't have any data to back it up. It may be useful to go back and look at each year we had a dues increase and look at the membership counts. I don't have those data in front of me, so I can't check. Last year, we have budgeted $130k in income from rating holders. A five dollar increase would raise about $30k and a 10 dollar increase would raise about $60k. I haven't the foggiest idea. I suspect there will be some contraction across the board. Interesting thought. Another one of the things we are considering is going to a semi-self insured plan, where the Organization would pick up any claims less than a certain amount. This would drastically reduce our insurance premiums, but expose us to some amount of risk depending on the number of incidents in a given year. Somewhat riskier when we have been drawing down our reserves in the last two years to cover operating losses. --Q ----- Chris "Q" Quaintance D-23345
  7. Do I think the Organization is as efficient as possible? No. But, I don't think it is as bad as you are implying. I like the idea of an across-the-board pay cut, but I'm not sure that's one of the more effective ways out of this mess. Postage is expensive and going up. What do you propose we do about it? Parachutist is currently monthly, and (in response to another post), we budgeted $600k last year for advertising income. By my math, it's a $150k loss as an entity. It has the status of a sacred cow - at my very first meeting four years ago I brought up the possibility of moving to online only publishing and that went over like a fart in church. However, I'm definitely ok with looking at cutting it to semimonthly or quarterly or only online. What is it that you think I'm doing with these posts? I'm soliciting input and gathering ammunition to fight against anything being shoved through in February without proper consideration. By my math, about $27k. The thought occurred to me that we should consider cutting back to just one meeting per year. But my guess is that it would cause more problems then it would solve in terms of BOD oversight of the staff, etc. I'd love to move to more virtual meetings, but so many of the BOD members are luddites that, again, I suspect it would be more trouble than it's worth to get everyone set up. Cheers, --Q ----- Chris "Q" Quaintance D-23345
  8. Yes, this is that Board member. I happen to believe that if people pony up the money to be lifetime members, that it should include rating renewals. Several of my constituents brought it up to me, and I brought it to the Board. The Board said no. Oh, well. Get off your high horse. I checked out a few systems myself and then reviewed and participated in the trial runs that were conducted, including the ones you organized. Your claim that I know nothing about the pitfalls of online voting is both incorrect and laughable. I made my living for many years doing online infrastructure and security at one of the world's largest websites. I'd hazard a guess that I'm far and away the most technically qualified member on the BOD to speak regarding online security. There are other downsides besides the technical challenges, of course. The impact on turnout is up for debate, and I'm willing to have a reasonable discussion. Perhaps not with you, though. I didn't say that was the only PR cost. I stated there was a line item for that in the budget that was up for renewal. And I also stated that it was potentially on the chopping block. So don't admonish me to pay attention to the budget and in the meetings. I concur that the ecommerce module is overpriced. Why is it you think I brought that number to light in public? I think it's a damned shame that the Organization spent huge money on what appears to be a pretty crappy piece of software to run the backend. Were I on the BOD when that vote came up, I'd have opposed it, too. I'm not even sure if I should dignify that with a response, but here you go. I'm disappointed, too, that there was not as much turnover as I had hoped for and anticipated. It would have been nice to see some more fresh faces like Eli and Charles. Far from throwing me under the bus, I had a bunch of great communication with the RB guys and was part of their platform. If Melissa had decided to run earlier, she might have had my slot on the RB platform and she might have won. Bully for her; and if that's what my region wanted, then I would have supported it (and probably been thankful for saving me the trouble of a third term! :). But, the results clearly show that enough people in my region thought I was the guy for the job. So be it. I'd be lying if I said I was disappointed that you missed the cut. But the people have spoken and such is life. I look forward to serving on a Board that actually spends more time getting work done serving the membership than wasting time on superfluous procedural ruts and the egos of the fragile few. I'm guardedly optimistic that things will get better after a string of pretty nasty and demoralizing Board meetings. And I hope you have the time to go and actually make some skydives and contribute to the sport in other avenues. Cheers, --Q ----- Chris "Q" Quaintance D-23345
  9. There's no need to guess that "something is about to happen" with regards to dues and fees. That agenda item is clearly listed in at least one of the public, published agendas for the upcoming BOD meeting. I, too, have been opposed to any dues increases in the past. I think this year they may be unavoidable, but we shall see. A couple of salient points, miscellaneous thoughts, and general ramblings: Last year, the USPA budgeted $200k in income from our investments, and that didn't happen due to market conditions. The actual number turned out to be an $80k loss (pretty good relatively speaking). We need to get away from relying on any investment income to be a bit more responsible. Any investment proceeds should be used for capital projects or other one time things rather than an ongoing backstop to the organization's operating expenses. So, that's $200k we have to find for 2009 right there, and we haven't even adjusted for the costs of doing business going up. What about any new programs? For example, online balloting for the next election is a pet project of mine, but I guarantee it will not be free. Fortunately, there's basically no expenditure in 2009 for the 2010 election. Let's just say we have a $300k shortfall that we need to address. What can be on the chopping block? We've already eliminated one full time position at HQ, so there's a savings of $50-75k. There's probably no more significant cuts to be had in payroll without seriously impacting services. We have a PR consultant on which we spent $60k last year that's up for renewal. Many are certain this was money well spent based on the national exposure the sport has received which has, in turn, increased I am less convinced of the true value of this. There's a proposed $70k expenditure on software to purchase the ecommerce module for the software HQ uses. This would allow true ecommerce (online renewals, etc). The system we have now only kicks a printout to the staff which is then entered by hand. It's very inefficient and costly, but we may not have the money to fix that this year? What else can we chop for significant savings? Competition and Safety & Training are each sacred cows in their own right. Would you rather the Association not support one or the other? Not a good choice! Parachutist is unlikely to go down much. We have to budget less for advertising due to the fall off in the economy, and we don't see any real costs savings by letting members opt out of the magazine unless we were to ensure a large opt out percentage or eliminate it entirely. We may see a decrease in our third party liability insurance premium, but that is currently beyond our control and in the hands of the insurance company. We can always look at reducing the exorbitant salaries paid to our pampered members of the Board of Directors. Oh, wait, that's right, that number is already zero. :) So, how can we increase revenue to cover some or all of the shortfall? Of course, there's a dues increase - that's already on the table. There's also increases in ratings and license fees. How about increasing group membership dues? Bad news is they have all renewed for 2009 already, so it would take an extra year to have any effect. Increasing ad rates in Parachutist would probably have a negative effect on our income there. Although, with Skydiving mag going under (bummer!), there's some potential upside there. So, there are more questions than answers. But this is not a simple problem and solution lies somewhere in the middle, probably with both spending cuts and revenue increases. Just some food for thought... See you in Reno, where we can hash it all out in person. Cheers, --Q ----- Chris "Q" Quaintance D-23345
  10. ................. I'm all up for the no show exit but but how big did you build it? how many on the load got in ???? If I remember correctly, it was something like a 12 way for Mad John's group and we quickly settled on a plan b: Speed Star, two back layouts required on exit! Who knows how many actually got in, but I remember it as a lot of fun with all but one or two in. --Q ----- Chris "Q" Quaintance D-23345
  11. 1998 or so, King Air at Marina, CA. Lost an engine on climbout at around 1,000ft with a full load and full fuel. We were at 600ft by the time everything was sorted out. Quoth Bill Gere, the pilot: "Sit the fuck down, shut the fuck up!" He brought it around and landed on one engine like it was cool. 2005 (I think) Lost Prairie. Sitting in the back of the Otter with Mad John and I looked at the port engine and saw a clear fluid dripping off the trailing edge of the wing. It didn't look right to Mad John, either, so we passed the word up to the pilot to warn him. Well, that word didn't make it all the way to the cockpit. About five minutes later, apparently the idiot lights started flashing and the pilot brought the airplane back towards the DZ, leveling about 8,000 or so. One pass, no show exits and all was ok. After the last jumper exited, he shut the offending engine down and landed it just fine. Larry and the gang had it fixed that night and ready for load one the next day. --Q ----- Chris "Q" Quaintance D-23345
  12. I would say that there is a lot more than luck involved in staying malfunction-free for as long as I managed. However, luck certainly played a part, because (as said before) shit does happen. And, if I had taken all of my own advice/suggestions, I would still be chop-less. I packed for myself for my first 2000 jumps. You get out what you pack in, and the only way to know what's truly coming off your back is to do it yourself. That being said, I mostly used packers for the last 1400 or so due to instructing, laziness, and various other reasons. A trusted, experienced packer is as good as you'll ever be, but they simply do not ultimately bare the responsibility for your pack job. You do. Specifically for packing, don't over think it. Run the lines, shake it out, clear the D's, lightly wrap the tail, and put it on the ground. Everything else is just window dressing. Keep the slider against the stops, make sure you have enough free stow, and you'll be just fine. Gear maintenance is huge. Stay on top of it and it will save you. Untwist your steering lines often or, better yet, don't let them get twisted in the first place. I reline my parachutes on a regular basis. I hang my rigs up and try not to beat them up and I change closing loops before they NEED it. Don't do tandems and don't jump highly loaded cross-braced parachutes. But, what would the fun be in that? I took up both of those in the same year and I was convinced I wouldn't get through the end of the year without a chop. Wrong! I managed to give up tandems batting 1.000, and any parachute that was subjected to the malfunction I had on my Velocity would have been unlandable. You pays your money and you takes your chances. Good luck, and be careful. --Q ----- Chris "Q" Quaintance D-23345
  13. It's possible that the PC had something to do with the slack risers. I don't think we'll ever know. Ah, Belize! Alas, I do not think I can make it down this year; I've got a broken girlfriend and an extremely light wallet. I'm aiming for 2010, assuming it happens. See ya at the Prairie, though. --Q ----- Chris "Q" Quaintance D-23345
  14. I do not have the mod of which you speak. After both my inspection and that of my rigger, I did have Gareth inspect the harness/container, and specifically the main closing flap. He indicated that the mod was not necessary with my rig and wouldn't have caused or helped this. --Q ----- Chris "Q" Quaintance D-23345
  15. Shhhhhh....quiet. There, there. The adults are talking. Yes, this was a packing error. Shit happens. I paid my $5, and I took my chances. Not that I'm pleased about it, mind you, but shit happens. I did have a chat with the packer about the possible causes and how he might avoid that kind of error in the future. --Q ----- Chris "Q" Quaintance D-23345