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  • Main Canopy Size
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  • AAD
    Vigil 2 Control Unit

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    Skydive Alabama in Cullman Al.
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    Master Rigger
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    Senior Rigger

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  1. I started sport jumping in '73 using surplus military rigs. I vaguely remember seeing some old pictures or films of military trainees in a hanging harness. So it was probably WWII or Korea era film. I was trained in a hanging harness in '73. As far as sex swings, you could do far better back then making your own(not speaking from experience, mind you). The harnesses did not have individual leg straps like we have now. There was a full saddle under your butt and 2 straps came off of that to snap in the front. Also, the webbing was heavier and stiffer than you are used to today. I personally had several rides with my nuts stuck in that crap. So I applaud anyone that was determined enough to have sex with one. :-) Don't know if that helps you, but it's a little of my history.
  2. I ordered my Vortex last year about the exact time as you and it was delivered on time in Feb but not early. I haven't jumped a Volt canopy but I have seen many of them and get good reviews from friends. The Vortex is excellent and built as well as any rig I have seen. You should expect no problems at all. I am very glad I bought mine. But my situation is very different than yours. I am older and have a good deal of experience. I don't expect to be changing canopies any time soon. I am 62 and probably won't buy another rig in my life, so re-sale is not an issue for me. The only negative thing I can say about Parachute Systems gear is that the resale values are very low. That being said, you are a very new jumper according to your profile. So you will undoubtedly be downsizing at some point in the near future and the re-sale value will probably be low. Don't let that be a downer though. Just a heads up for the future. Jump it and enjoy it. You will be safe and happy with the gear.
  3. I am a retired coder and long time skydiver. I just wanted to thank you for publishing your code. It will give me something fun to play around with.
  4. Thanks for the update. I received my new Vortex end of Feb and have about 50 jumps on it. I love it and the workmanship is superb. Would highly recommend Parachute Systems to anyone. Mine is one of two at my home dropzone. I was pleased to see tons of them at CarolinaFest this year.
  5. Moderator, Can you help this pour soul?
  6. Great Report. I guess it is like learning to ride a bike. It is really hard until you finally get it. Sounds like you've got it! Blue skies.
  7. My daughter bought the one you have listed for me for a Christmas gift. It is good quality paper and printing. It has all the dropzones I have jumped at or am interested in. But I haven't tried to cross-check it with databases from here or parachutist mag. It would be a nice map to frame and hang in your office. She also bought me one that has all the tunnels on it. It is a good map also. But I don't plan trips around tunnel locations. So I don't like it personally as much, but it is just as good of quality printing. I am only speaking to the paper and print quality. I know you are also asking about the accuracy and currency. I can only say that every dropzone that I am personally aware of is listed on my map. For me, it was a nice gift and I enjoy seeing it on my wall.
  8. I still love seeing young jumpers progressing. You look great on your A license check dive. You seem very comfortable. I hope to see you at CarolinaFest this year. Keep up the good work and the enthusiasm. BTW, are you selling any of those 3-ring necklaces you make? Maybe at CarolinaFest. I like them and I know my daughter would love one.
  9. I can only comment from my personal unscientific experience. I put about 100 jumps on a pilot with loads from 0.85 up to 1.15. I think the flair really blows below a loading of 1:1. At .85 I just can't get it to plane out and flair. However, at 1.15, I have enough speed that I can even get it to lift me up several feet if I want. The only time I don't stand up easily is when I personally mess up the timing of the flair. You probably could benefit from a two stage flair where you stab the brakes down from full flight to NO more than 1/4 brake. The canopy quickly increases the angle of attach (begins to flair) but mainly just quickly goes into level flight with very little downward velocity depending on conditions. Then the proceed with a progressive deeper toggle until you finish the flair. Brian Germain talks about this a lot and it really works for me. I think the Pilot is a fantastic canopy and you could jump one up to any experience level and have fun with a little wing loading. That being said, I think the Pilot is by far the worst flairing canopy of the ones I have experience on. The Sabre2 and Stiletto are my favorite. You may not be ready for a semi-elliptical or elliptical wing yet. But even though they are faster and steeper glide, The landing flair power is very strong. Sorry to go off topic. I know you are interested in the Pilot. But thought a little more about comparing it to others might help. Good luck with those landings. Remember that a stand up landing is not always a good landing. You can absorb a lot of shock when younger. But I am 60 yrs and now I like to tip toe out. Repeated hard stand up landings will hurt your joints over time.
  10. Too many to count have come back. Personally I left for 30 yrs and started back and loving it at 61 yrs old. I have always loved jumping and had over 1,300 jumps when I quit. Life, work, 2 kids, a disapproving wife, all added up to quiting in the 80's. I had a super hard time because I severely injured my shoulder in a motorcycle accident and several of the shoulder muscles were paralyzed for 8 yrs. Until 2016. A year ago, I was blessed with some nerve regeneration but very limited use. I wanted to go skydiving!!!! Since I was already experienced, my instructors agreed to give it a try even though I am pretty disabled. My recurrency progression: 1. I did a tandem and could control my arm in freefall. 2. Next they had me do 10 minutes in an iFly tunnel, which I love BTW. This was to demonstrate freefall control especially pitching the PC since it is my Right shoulder effected. (Just practice touches. No real Pilot chutes in tunnel ;-) ) 3. The tunnel video was good but my DZO wanted more. I next did another tandem with my instructor allowing/requiring me to pull the Sigma ripcord and fly the canopy to make extra sure my shoulder could handle the pitching, reaching the toggles, and flairing for landing. 4. Finally a checkout dive, which is where you might get to start since you don't apparently have any physical limitations like I have. The recurrency dive was typical. Looking for a stable exit, right turn left turn, backflip, front flip, barrel roll. We finished early as I still have good freefall skills. The did a 3 way with instructor and camera man. It was way cool, and I highly suggest you return. It has been a great thing for me. This year I have hit my 12th hour in freefall. Got 80 jumps and will hit 1,400 dives by the end of 2017. You can do it.
  11. Thank you for posting about this. I think everyone has some fear. I have 1,350 jumps but I started in 1974 and made almost 1300 of those by the end of the 1980's. This year, at 61 years old, I retired from work and began skydiving again. With my experience level, I did not really fear the equipment, the sky, or dying. But I had a lot of performance anxiety since I had not jumped in a long time before getting recurrent. I was probably more worried about going low or funneling an RW formation than you are about just jumping. But the emotion of fear is the same for humans no matter what the root of it is. For me, the desire to skydive was greater than my fear and I moved on. A few dozen jumps and a little introspection solved it for me. I found an expert skydiver on youtube named Brian Germain. He specializes in many things in skydiving, and FEAR is one of them. I recommend that you listen to some of his video posts and see if it helps you think it thru. He also has books he has authored, although I have not read any. He is a very good public speaker and videographer on Now I am comfortable again and really enjoying the sport after a long layoff. I hope the same for you.
  12. I am an old experienced skydiver with 1300+ skydives in the 1970's and 80's. What's that got to do with me you ask? :-) Well I am now 61 and getting back into the sport. It was intimidating to me to just walk up to a dropzone after 30 years because I didn't know what to expect, what time had changed, etc. and I am outgoing and have a lot of experience in the sport. That experience helped me strike up conversations and getting people to jump with me. But I am still a newbie to everyone until I prove myself. Just like you. I ran across some videos by Melanie (Mel) Curtis of on youtube. I would highly suggest that you look her up and the Sisters In Skydiving (SIS) group that she really supports by setting up events like the CHICKS ROCK Boogies. She will help you through the hard parts of getting through the social pressures of skydiving. You are right that there are more men than women in the sport. But, honestly, this weekend at Skydive Georgia, there were more women than men most of the day on Thursday and Friday. Very Cool, I thought. So don't give up yet. Hope this advice from an old guy with two adult daughters will help you get into this "Man Sport" :-) Please trust me when I tell you that once you get over this little hump, you will find yourself welcomed on about any dropzone in the world because skydivers are mostly all great people and look after one another on the ground as well as in the air.
  13. Mentioning Palatka, FL in the late 70's. I jumped that one there and we got them to come up to Eutaw, AL for a boogie weekend. Bigways in Alabama back then were generally in single digits. But I seem to remember that we broke a record. It was either a 16 way or 20. Long time ago. I don't think we held the 20 for 3 seconds??? People came from Louisiana, Mississippi, and even further. Great fun but I wasn't a pilot then, and didn't have a clue about planes except that it was more fun to jump out of them than land them. The Lockheed Lodestar was very fun for us in Alabama and Palatka, FL. I guess we survived by dumb luck. :-)
  14. Jon , I was looking on here because I can't find anyone from the 70's, 80's era from Alabama. I have been to Cullman, Skydive Alabama, to jump and to Atlanta iFLY tunnel. Ask everyone I see about old guys but not much of anything yet. My home dropzone was the little one in Eutaw, Al. run by the BAMA Skydivers College club at the time. But I jumped all over the South. Your name is so familiar and my memory is so bad. :-) Did we jump together in Alabama or at Georgia or Florida boogies?