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Everything posted by benlangfeld

  1. benlangfeld

    Storing training videos

    First up, I did search the forum and found mostly references to storing miniDV tapes, so maybe it's time to bring this topic up again I have a growing collection of video (both inside and outside) of training jumps currently stored on a 1TB USB hard drive. That the drive might get lost or damaged concerns me, so I began looking into options. First up, the things I'm looking for are: * Indefinite storage - not looking to delete these * Cloud-based (a-la Dropbox/iCloud/Google Drive/Amazon S3/etc) * Doesn't occupy space on my devices' local disk * Cached locally for re-watching in the short term * Easily ingested * Easily indexed and viewable from various devices (iPad, iPhone, someone else's computer) Dropbox and similar services don't cut it because they simply mirror part of the contents of a local disk, and I don't anticipate having enough disk space (at least continuously attached to a computer) for these videos. Typical backup solutions fall in a similar bucket, and don't do a whole lot for making individual videos easy to find and watch without doing some sort of restore operation. Uploading to YouTube might be an option, but it's a very slow and manual process, and simple things like grouping the inside and outside video from the same jump is onerous. The best option I have found so far is the Apple Photos app, which has an "optimise local storage" feature which holds only low resolution versions of media on local disk, and full resolution on iCloud storage. The collection of images is available on a Mac, in a web browser, and on iOS devices and the full resolution versions are downloaded on demand and cached locally for some period. On the other hand, the downsides of this are that one is somewhat locked-in to Apple's product (there's no metadata export function), and the iOS apps don't permit viewing or editing metadata (eg jump number in the video title). So, what does everyone else do to store their hundreds or thousands of training jump videos? Are there any better options out there?
  2. benlangfeld

    EPs: Look up before pulling reserve?

    I know I'm getting into heresy here but I've always pulled my cutaway then went to my reserve. I've never done the one hand on each handle thing and I've never understood any advantage to it but plenty of disadvantages. But then I've never looked at a handle. I took Pat Works' advice and practiced until I knew where they were. On my fourth malfunction I'm convinced I'd have bounced if I hadn't broken two rules. One, never cut away a total. But I did and when the reserve launched the main released. It wrapped around the reserve but the risers were disconnected to they just sort of wound that way too and were tossed aside. It left some pretty good burns on the reserve but I was ok. The second was looking at the handles. I was going through a grand and head down terminal. If I'd had to tear my eyes off the ground to find my handles I'd have gone in. No two ways about it. As it was while my mind was being overloaded at the sight of treetops flying away from each other my hands pulled my R2s then the reserve. Always cut away a total. Always cut away a pilot-chute in tow. Reserve opening shock is highly likely to dump the main d-bag out and if it's not cut away it will unstow all the lines as it falls away and then tangle with tension and cause a problem. If it's cut away it will fall away with risers and lines together and not reach any line stretch. Even if it entangles it won't have any force and won't affect the inflated reserve. A friend of mine has only just got back in the air after having this exact scenario which had him in a wheelchair for almost a year. He pitched his reserve with a PCIT without chopping and the reserve opening shock dumped his main which inflated and tangled around his foot. The asymmetry of the pull on his body sent his reserve into twists from which there was no recovery possible. It's simple. Execute your EPs exactly as you've learned and practiced and don't try to rethink the decades of accumulated experience and knowledge when you have a mal. Any advice to the contrary is bad advice. I don’t think you should be so confident about that. I am Aware of at least one case of a PCIT to reserve deployment where the reserve did not fully inflate, but the shock did let the main out. Two partially inflated canopies saved the guy’s life. Had he chopped his PCIT he would have died.
  3. benlangfeld

    Altimeter Combos

    What kind of helmet mount? I've heard of the color-light based altis but I get the impression you are talking about something else. Take a look at the attachment.
  4. benlangfeld

    Collapsed Slider Still Noisy?

    The flatter wing.
  5. benlangfeld

    Collapsed Slider Still Noisy?

    You'd still have to pull the rings down, at least on rears. At least that's what I see (I don't jump with an RDS) The last time I tried to stow the slider I accidentally pulled a toggle in the process, and the grommets got hung up making it difficult to fix. I feel it just adds additional risk for no reward in my application. I fly a slow, large canopy as I'm getting into WS. There is no performance difference with a stowed slider for me. I fly a Pilot 188 at 0.95 and can feel a difference in lift when flaring with the slider stowed. If you’re popping toggles when pulling it down, you’re either rushing too much or need to tighten your toggle stows up.
  6. benlangfeld

    Tunnel to AFF training BSR change

    Hi [mbailey465], can you explain more please? I am a tunnel flier, not really planning to skydiving per say, but I find it super curious to read about how skills can be translated from sky to tunnel or from tunnel to sky. What do you mean by "flat body position", I arch when belly flying in the tunnel quite a bit, isn't it the same in the sky? thanks! Tunnel coaches will quite often encourage a flatter (arms and legs extended) position in order to keep wind speed down and therefore reduce risk. This is contrary to “arch like a mofo” that you typically hear from AFF-Is.
  7. benlangfeld

    BOD Meeting July 2018

    Actually, the SIM only recommends a C for flying a camera. It is not a BSR.
  8. benlangfeld

    How soon did you start buying gear?

    You could try the Altitrack (, which has an analogue face but is in-fact digital (with the precision benefits of digital) and behaves as a log. As for an audible, yes they are all digital, but you can't see them during the jump so your preference for an analogue face has nothing to do with it. I'd encourage you to try on various models of helmet in various sizes. I tried two or three sizes of both the Cookie G3 (just didn't like the shape of it at all) and the KISS (which fit great). I bought a helmet, altimeters (Viso & Brilliant Pebbles audible), jumpsuit and gloves when I got my A. The jumpsuit and helmet are the most important, because student gear is disgusting. It's normal to buy several jumpsuits as you progress through different kinds of jumps. I bought a short (sleeves and legs) freefly suit to begin with because I just needed something that has been washed this century and I jump at a DZ that is regularly 35C and I was bored of dripping. I then got into FS and bought a suit with booties and big grippers. I use both all the time. If I get into freefly at a cold DZ I'll buy a full-length FF suit, and if I get into camera work, a jacket with wings.
  9. benlangfeld

    BOD Meeting July 2018

    And to stand any chance of doing so you have to significantly exceed the C license requirements in terms of belly skills, so it’s no problem in your case to require them.
  10. benlangfeld

    BOD Meeting July 2018

    As per my question above: if one doesn't intend to compete or become an instructor, why is a C license important? What's wrong with "average fun jumpers" just getting a B license and hanging out?
  11. benlangfeld

    BOD Meeting July 2018

    Why would one be screwed if one is not near a tunnel? The announcement says: There is no requirement for tunnel training, but simply clarification that it is acceptable to the USPA to consider freefall stability demonstrated in a wind tunnel as sufficient to make the second instructor unnecessary (effectively skipping AFF levels 1-3). Are you concerned that this is a threat to students' learning opportunities or instructors' earning potential?
  12. benlangfeld

    BOD Meeting July 2018

    I'm genuinely interested in contributing to some mutually agreeable understanding here, so please bare with me for a few questions: To those who either don't want to, or believe they cannot complete the belly formation requirements for a C license: * Why do you want a C license? * Why is not having a C license a problem for you? To those who defend the license requirements at each level: * Are licenses explicitly intended to demonstrate competence as a well-rounded skydiver, or competence in some specific discipline? * Does the USPA/FAI consider progression in the sport to be linear, or acknowledge that there are multiple paths that may be traversed? * Are the license levels considered to be a convenient shorthand for quickly assessing an individual's experience, or intended to be keys to unlock particular privileges? * Is there an established mapping of privileges to the specific experience requirements to unlock them, without the generalisation of license levels as an approximation? * Is there the potential for a more flexible licensing program to replace the existing rather coarse scheme, such that progression in particular disciplines may be recognised and may unlock relevant privileges without the necessity of demonstrating competency in seemingly unrelated disciplines, or is the A-B-C-D scheme sacred? * Is there a licensing scheme in some other sport from which inspiration is taken, or is the existing scheme entirely home-cooked within the skydiving community?
  13. benlangfeld

    Downsizing for first rig

    What will your wing-loading on the Safire be? What does your instructor think? How are your canopy skills?
  14. benlangfeld

    LB Ares II digital altimeter

    Figuratively. I just meant sell mine and buy an Ares. Nothing official that I know of.
  15. benlangfeld

    LB Ares II digital altimeter

    Thank you! The Ares is quite a bit larger and clearer. I think I might trade in my Viso.
  16. benlangfeld

    LB Ares II digital altimeter

    Does anyone have a photo of one next to a Viso II+ (switched on) to compare the size of the figures on the display?
  17. benlangfeld

    Aerodyne Icon harness sizing

    And for anyone who finds themselves approaching a similar situation: it's never a bad idea to run a serial number and *your* measurements past a manufacturer before committing to a used rig purchase. I have done this and it helped me avoid bad purchases, and the manufacturers don't seem to mind.
  18. I'd argue that before you've been through ground-school and done a few jumps, you're unlikely to understand everything in the SIM. A lot of it will seem like Greek until you have a bit of practical experience. If I would you, I would focus on the BSRs and the first few levels of student progression, but ignore all the later chapters; you're not exposed to most of those things (camera, wingsuit, etc) and your instructors are taking care of others (spot, cloud clearance, wind limits, etc) for your first few jumps. Don't overload yourself; it may make you more nervous if you're trying to deal with things you don't need to yet.
  19. I've watched those, as well as the Australian Parachute Association videos. They only cover serious malfunctions, and not common "opening mishaps" like this, with the exception of line twists, which were easy the first time I encountered them. This time the canopy failed the first visual check; it wasn't there (*points up*), it was _there_ (*points forward*). Intellectually, sat on the ground, it's obvious, but on this first time it happened to me, I just couldn't see what was wrong; the canopy was mostly inflated, riser input did nothing, it sped up in very short order, and my reaction was more instinctual than logical. I think this is probably something of a gap in training: not really a malfunction, but surprising enough to be tricky to deal with. The only videos of toggle fire I can find through Google are cases where the human was smart enough to pop both and get it under control; am I the only one who has ever chosen to cut away in this scenario?
  20. I figure now I've been through it once, am now confident in my ability to execute EPs quickly, and have seen a reserve above my head already, the next time I have anything abnormal, I'll be able to deal with it more calmly and clearly. Thankfully, this was my last jump on rental gear before receiving my own rig, which I will get to know intimately. That's a fantastic idea. I'll be spending a whole weekend on canopy drills on my new rig, and will include this on a high-pull. When I've switched rental rigs in the past, I've done normal drills (everything Brian Germain suggests pre-downsizing, which includes all the B-license progression card stuff), but I've never attempted to simulate this particular situation. I'll do this and some other drills that get me scared in the same way and practice a calm response (high, on my own pass).
  21. benlangfeld

    Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

    Having a turbine DZ in the city that I could get a taxi to would be awesome. I hear the shutdown was mostly to do with noise complaints from residents, but I havn't confirmed it. Getting a NOTAM filed so close to two busy commercial airports might also have become more difficult.
  22. benlangfeld

    Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

    There's occasional helicopter jumps done in Barra, and rumours of a Cessna 182 returning, along with an annual boogie at new year (Caravan heads in from São Paulo), but there's not a regular dropzone in the city any more.
  23. I had my first cutaway today on jump #66, with a Silhouette 190, rented rig. On opening (pitched at 5k, where video shows me stable and horizontal), I encountered line twists that seemed to bounce me from one side to the other before winding out of their own accord after a few seconds. As soon as the twist was out, the canopy got into a sharp left spin, which I tried to control with rear risers without success. After 3 or 4 seconds the canopy went to the horizon and I stopped looking for ways to recover it, and went straight to EPs (no RSL, lost the cutaway handle when the reserve handle seemed not to want to come out from the pocket and I added my right hand to help). I did not look at my alti once open, because everything happened very fast. I have seen a bunch of incident reports citing failure to execute EPs early enough as contributing factors, I was stressed and my heart was racing and the problem wasn’t obvious, so I cut away without a second thought. Once I established my reserve was functional, albeit with the appearance of a postage stamp (PDR 160, having never jumped anything less than a 190 despite much encouragement), I began to focus entirely on traffic avoidance and eliminating any action that might put plan B in jeopardy. In that process, I lost sight of the main. Once on the ground and sat down, I became very disappointed in my response to the situation. It was very likely a popped toggle, and I feel like I should have been able to identify it, at which point the solution is trivial, but in the heat of the moment in unfamiliar territory (never had more than low speed line twists before) I decided that I distinctly did not like what was happening and didn’t want to give it much time to find out how much worse it might get. I was under my reserve by 3k, my normal pull altitude, and so was easily able to land in the normal landing area with light traffic. From those who have already encountered a bunch of malfunctions, I’d like to know this: is there anything I can do to improve my response to this situation, in order to prevent a potentially unnecessary cut-away like this in the future? I’ve done hanging harness drills with positive feedback from my instructor, with the exception of executing EPs before she could tell me to wait because she wanted to show me one more photo before I actually did it and had to re-set the gear. The main is potentially lost, having been spotted heading over houses, and I feel guilty for having caused a fuss that could potentially have been avoided if I had been calm enough to spot a popped toggle (if it indeed was that). How can I improve for next time something feels this badly wrong?
  24. benlangfeld

    Canopy alternative for Spectre 150

    PD say the Pulse 170 packs about the same size as the Spectre 150 (see You might also consider a Pilot 168 ZPX.
  25. benlangfeld

    Good skydiving songs

    I've never seen it. I think most people want to enjoy the jump and not drown it out with noise they can get on the ground.