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Everything posted by redshift

  1. A friend is interested in AFF and is considering Santa Cruz Skydiving. Anyone have any experience with their AFF program?
  2. I think this would make an ideal jump ship:
  3. I second that. I had to land with rear risers a few jumps ago when a brake line snapped. I landed it ok (I'd done quite a bit of practice flares and stalls up high with rear risers, and the landing conditions that day were perfect), but all in all I would've been more comfortable if I'd had some practice landing on rear risers before it happened.
  4. Also try the "French roll" described in
  5. Even better: supposedly, some test pilot back in the X-15 days forgot to put his landing gear down, bellied it in, and then decided to lie and say that he thought he'd put it down. So to support his story, he flipped the gear-down switch... whereupon the plane climbed up on its gear like some huge insect getting to its feet. Nice hydraulics, if true.
  6. Get a GPS-enabled cell phone, attach a teeny drogue chute to create a bit of drag, drop it from exit altitude, and monitor its position via phone (might need a little code here). When the vertical coordinate stops changing (i.e. it hit the ground), you should have all the data you need to figure out correct separation. Now you just need to find the phone. Er... does GPS even report altitude? Better strap a Neptune to that puppy.
  7. Sounds right. Ok, that's obvious (now that you've pointed it out!) I have no idea, I don't look up that soon, since I'm wanting to stay in a flat, symmetrical position until inflation begins. On the main, I don't actually know. At least 500, I'd say, maybe more. Clay's checked out the main and the lines (etc) and figured both are about halfway to replacement. I don't use the very last stow, there's not enough line. For you d-bag designers out there... this all makes me wonder if having two sets of stows, one on the left for the left set of lines, another on the right for the right set, would help solve this problem, the theory being that the bag, being under tension at both ends simultaneously (instead of alternately) would tend to stay oriented correctly.
  8. Down the sides. I use small bands on my bag, single-wrapping the first two (center) bands, then double-wrapping the outers, because they're always a lot looser for some reason. Maybe I'm packing so that the main is fat in the middle and making the bands in the middle tighter? It's a somewhat small pilot chute; 23" for a 190 Triathlon. Lots. I'll do that, but don't know why that would cause line twists.
  9. I know the subject has been recently discussed, but I'll ask again anyway. I think I'm packing my Triathlon pretty consistently, but I got two unpleasant line-twist situations in a row yesterday. So far, the reasons I've heard are: - bad body position - not enough free line between risers & d-bag - different sizes of rubber band stows For jump #2 yesterday, I had about 14" of free line between risers & d-bag, and I think I was in a good, symmetical position during deployment (but don't remember clearly). Result: 2 line twists. For jump #3, I left about 24" of free line, and was very careful about body position on deployment. Result: 1-1/2 twists. I hate line twists and would like to prevent them. Any more ideas?
  10. 1. Take up a relatively safe sport that your spouse isn't interested in. Do it long enough that he/she gets used to it being just something you gotta do for/by yourself. 2. Next, take up a moderately risky sport like scuba diving. Do that long enough for your spouse to realize that it's not that dangerous if done well (remember to do it well). 3. Then start doing something that's definitely risky, like motorcycle riding (or even racing). Do it until your spouse's fear diminishes (if you get injured or killed, you'll have to start over from the top). 4. Finally, take up skydiving. If your spouse's response is "yeah, whatever...", congratulations. If not, rinse & repeat. This is only partly about dulling your spouse's interest in your well-being; it's also about your credibility as to the real risks involved. So don't lie.
  11. Let me rephrase: "Dude - you missed the point - whether the Nazi's ascension to power was a far-right initiative when it started out is no longer important. A coup d'etat is a hostile take-over by a faction without the people's involvement or consent. This is clearly not the case here; no, The Nazi party came to power democratically, with the full backing of a populace looking for strong leadership bearing simple, comforting answers to fears about the economy and the influx of foreigners". Don't think it can happen here? Neither did they. Do you think this is really about the popular will? Don't make me laugh. It's a cyncial manipulation of the public's insecurity and ignorance. Do you think Schwartzenegger is going to be the one making policy? Please... why do you think he met with Ken Lay already? And don't misunderstand me... the historical Nazi analogy has nothing to do with Schwarzenegger's national origin.
  12. What in the HELL are you talking about? California Republic? It's a state of the union, bound by the Constitution, which says that recalls are reserved for cases of criminal wrongdoing. Ok, fine, throw in some cheap ad hominem attacks. Let me know where you live, so I can make some crude generalization about your politics.
  13. My version of brain lock happens during exit. I visualize and visualize and visualize the exit on the way up... and then the interval between being in the door and getting stable is pretty much a blank. I've gotten to the point where my exits are decent, but really, it'd be SO much easier if I was a little more present during the exit. Maybe I should meditate on the way up.
  14. Let me get this straight... you're happy because a rich, pretty, ignorant, know-nothing, manipulated-by-the-right, misogynistic movie star is put in place by a cyncial Republican operation that's bypassed the democratic process in a constitutionally invalid coup d'etat? That's what you're happy about? Well, I'm glad someone's happy. I'm unhappy. I'm unhappy because the people of this state have just demonstrated their ignorance of history, their ignorance of the basic tenets of democracy, their ignorance that there's a difference between a leader and someone who plays one in the movies. But it'll all work out... I'll stay unhappy because I know that Arnold is just a figurehead for the same interests that fucked California in the energy scam; you'll be happy because you have no idea that's what's really going on.
  15. Now, I'd like THAT. I've read "Another Look at Descent Kinematics" 2 or 3 times, and I get it, but I'm just not going to be able to calculate optimal separation delay while on jump run. Even if I could, I don't always know the current uppers speed, I'm not spotting so I can't look out to estimate the ground speed, and I don't know exactly what those exiting before me are really going to do in freefall. Therefore, I need either 1) a good spotter who knows the exit order (preferred and actual), knows the uppers speed, is capable of figuring the optimal separation, and is willing to communicate it to the jumpers on the load; or 2) a rule of thumb that works. I suspect the difficulty of getting the former results in dubious instances of the latter (i.e. the 45-degree or 8-second rule).
  16. I just bought a used Triathlon 190 for my first canopy (at 35 jumps) and like it a lot. Yesterday I got a slightly hard opening, with a turn to the right that corrected itself after a few seconds. Sorry, I'm a new packer... can someone explain how to roll the nose?
  17. Tried this out this weekend... sweet! It's cool that it naturally has you looking forward (toward your hands), so you watch the horizon spin as you go around on your axis. I suggest this be called a "baguette" (a French roll with a long axis).
  18. Since this thread's already deeply pendantic, I thought I'd throw this in: the word is "bight", not "bite". A bight is a loop, as in a rope, or a river. And before I get slammed for correcting folks' language, note that "bite me" is another usage altogether....
  19. Pilot goes to the doctor, says he's not feeling too well. Doctor checks him out, can't find anything wrong. "Hmm", he says, "let's see... when was the last time you had sex?" Pilot thinks for a second, then says, "uh, I'd say about nineteen forty five". Doctor says, "My god man, that's terrible!" Pilot looks at his watch and says, "Well, gee, it's not THAT bad... it's only twenty fifteen right now!"
  20. Yeah, it's strange... I had one of those myself recently: a freefall right into the ground (a runway, actually), got up and started *teaching* other people how to do it (is there an instructor rating for this?) I guess just because you're dead doesn't mean the dream's over, so you gotta invent something to keep the story going.
  21. What, exactly, distinguishes people who like to skydive and people who are completely freaked out by the very idea of it? I showed a video of my 18th jump to my wife, and she just about threw up -- interrupting my excited narrative of the high points of the jump. She said "it looks like someone committing suicide". A friend of mine decined, with a shudder, to view it at all. Is it a difference between our levels of survival instinct? Unnamed, visceral dread vs. heedlessness? Love of risk vs. caution? Differences in risk assessment due to more and/or less information? I tell my wife that I like skydiving because it's an experience you can't get any other way, and the risk is just what you pay to get that experience. But is the risk an intrinsic part of the reward, and if so, how much? On a less existential note, how do experienced jumpers explain their motivations to those near and dear to them?
  22. I had to repeat my AFF1 because the JM pulled for me. One JM wrote in my logbook that I was "confused", and the other took me to task for not recognizing the pull signal. Well, I protest. I did my AFF1 with different JMs than I did my ground school with (did GS and AFF1 on two subsequent weekends). When I was about to go up, JM#1 told me to do a "5-5" signal before waving off. I hadn't been told to do that before. And he said he'd help me find the pull handle. Ok, hadn't heard that before either, but sounds good. Exit was good, arched, counted, checked alti, checked in/out, did 1st practice pull with JM#1 guiding my hand to the handle. Check alti, another practice pull, JM guides my hand again. Third time the same way. Then I check my alti & heading every few seconds down to 6000, do the "5-5" signal and start to wave off... JM#1 points to the horizon. I think, did I not check heading? Oh well, better pull. JM#2 gives me a kind of "pistol" sign with forefinger and thumb (that's how I saw it), and I'm not sure what he means. Well, I'm pulling, baby. Arch, reach... before my hand gets to the handle, JMs fall away, main opens. Good canopy, excellent approach, good landing. What the hell? AFF1 repeat, this time with different JMs. Slight tumble on exit, upside down, I arch hard, we all flip back over. I do the whole drill, in practice pulls I find the handle by myself every time (no guidance this time), have enough altitude so I do one extra (four total), check alti down to 6K, wave off, pull, perfect deployment, flight, and landing. I pass AFF1, but JM says I gotta look at my altimeter, not just enjoy the ride. Well, I looked at it at least four times, he just couldn't see it because I just glanced over at it like I was taught, and he was on the other side. So now I'm feeling a little bugged... I practiced a lot, remembered everything I was supposed to do, but feel like I wasn't allowed to do it. So, should JMs automatically guide the student's hand to the handle, or not? And should students jump with whoever happens to be around, or the person that taught them procedures and signals?