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  1. After coming back from a 25-year break one of the big differences I see is the skill level required. 30 years ago there was only belly flying, so you could easily get to a reasonable level just jumping with experienced skydivers for free, which is what everybody did. And that was enough to really enjoy yourself and jump with everyone on the DZ. Why people wanted to complicate everything by inventing free flying, I'll never understand. Now if you want to jump with everyone else you have to free fly and spend God knows how much time in a tunnel. At some point you will get fed-up of jumping by yourself, trying to figure it out and spending $$$ per jump and getting no better at it. It is at this point you decide it is cheaper to pay for coaching either in the sky or at your local tunnel.
  2. neilmck

    Cilliers Trial UK.

    For anyone in France, it is currently being shown on the Planete+ TV channel. However this channel is a PayTV channel and I don't have a subscription, so I guess I will have to wait.
  3. neilmck

    Packing tool

    I can't see the benefit of the power tool compared to a normal closing cord. I guess it might come in handy for removing broken rubber bands from your bag if you have recently cut your nails, but I just use the closing pin for that.
  4. There is no doubt that skydiving is a great way of removing stress however I'm not so sure it is a great treatment for depression. Depression isn't just about feeling down but can affect brain function impacting reaction times and decision making.
  5. neilmck

    "I hope this finds you well" - really??

    This is cultural. That was the type of reaction people in my office had. After a merger at work we had a training on how to work with Indians. Apparently, as opposed to many people here, Indians do give a fuck about you and if you want to work with them then is a good idea to show them that you give a fuck about them too. Since we started working with the teams in Indian the work environment here has totally changed. Colleagues take a genuine interest the lives of others and our bosses are starting to think about what work interests us instead of just blindly giving us orders.
  6. neilmck

    Full-face helmets

    In terms of protection in case of impact how do the G3 and G4 compare with the old fashioned and infinitely cheaper open-faced Protec?
  7. neilmck

    Nausea In Skydiving?

    I've never suffered from nausea but there were two tandem passengers vomiting under canopy at the DZ last Sunday. The weather was particularly hot and it was put down to dehydration. On very hot days we have regular tannoy announcements reminding everyone to stay hydrated.
  8. I'd recommend you speak with the Student's Union at your university, they will know if there are any regulations you need to follow. Thirty odd years ago I started the Parachute club at Birmingham University in the UK. I arrived at the University as a post-grad and didn't know anyone so during the first week of term I went into the room in the Students Union where the different societies had their stands, found an empty desk and a piece of paper and wrote "Parachute Club" on it. It was free to join and I told everyone interested to meet me somewhere for the first meeting the following Wednesday. About ten people turned-up and we managed to find a place for everyone on the committee. The club started off informally, basically helping people get organised for courses and getting to and from the local DZ, sharing cars, etc. We met up once a week for a drink. I believe the club is still running I guess laws and liabilities have changed and are different from country to country. Recently my daughter started an association at her Uni in France and boy was that legally heavy with significant personal liability for the president of the association. So I recommend to see with your student's union what you need to do (and if you can get some money off them) and also find out what personal liability you may be taking on.
  9. I recently came back after a 25-year break. I had previously 250 jumps. I found the free-fall bit is like riding a bike, I just picked-up were I left off. However flying the canopy was not the same story, I needed some help with that. I'd go with sundevil777's advice, that is pretty much what I did. I called the DZ told them the story and asked when would be a good time to pop down to speak with the DZO and what documentation I needed (medical certificate, etc). I arrived early at the DZ one Saturday morning with my logbook, license and old kit I was hoping to jump (that gave them a laugh), spent some time with an instructor and jumped the same day. Take it easy, start slow - there'll be some stuff you will have forgotten, other stuff has changed - stay safe. Above all enjoy yourself and welcome back.
  10. neilmck

    Skydive or BASE jump?

    How did you do the video? From the final frames I can see in a shadow that you have the camera on the end of a stick on the front of your helmet, but how is the image of the stick removed from the video itself?
  11. neilmck

    Jumping in metres

    Interesting. I'll look into that.
  12. neilmck

    Jumping in metres

    Yes, I agree this one is a weird one. I cannot understand how one ever started jumping in metres when their pilots have always used feet. I'd have thought they would have used feet just to avoid confusion with the pilot. At my home DZ one of our parachutists started jumping aged 16 and she celebrated her 80th birthday in January. If anyone knows why they switched to metres, she will. I'll ask her next time I'm at the DZ and report back.
  13. neilmck

    Jumping in metres

    So we are not alone then.
  14. neilmck

    Jumping in metres

    I use an altimeter in metres because all the other parachutists I jump with are agreeing on altitudes in metres and things would only get confused if I was using feet. The main issue I have is underestimating the time left to break-off. I have been using metres for everything without exception since moving to France over 20 years ago, and for most of the dive I will think in metres yet just before break-off when estimating how much time is left my brain subconsciously switches to feet. So for example I will estimate there are only 2 seconds left until break-off when there is in fact 6 to 7 seconds left. After a few more years if my my brain ever sorts itself out I'll have another look at digital altimeters.