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Everything posted by OldGregg

  1. This is a bit of late reply, but for whatever it is worth. When I started wingsuiting the Havok was new. I did a lot of jumps on a S-Bird but wanted to back fly, so I found a used Havok. I also jumped a Swift, Funk, XBird, X2, Aura, Colugo and a few others over the years. What I found was that as "performance" increases, so to generally does pressure and sensitivity. That can lead to a lot of stress while you're jumping, esp if you're only doing around 20 a year. If you're big (like me) getting left behind is super annoying, so there is a lot of internal pressure to upsize, I get it. So as you go about making your decision. If you're light-ish i.e. <170lbs/80kg then smaller will serve you longer. It also depends on who you're jumping with, if everyone is in the Colugo/Jedei/Strix range, then you're going to have a hard time keeping up no matter what. If it is a mix of suits then you'll be in a better position. That said, if fast is something you HAVE to do, there is only one way to do that, and it is big suits. If it isn't, then you have a lot more options. Jumping as little as you do (not an insult, I have been for most of my skydiving a 200/yr jumper), something more forgiving is probably going to be more fun, and safer. If you need to go big, then something like the ATC is probably your best bet, if not, then something like a Havok or a Funk. An ATC or a Freak are likely to be your reasonable limits at 20-30 WS flights a year. I've seen a number of people upsize too quick and spend 50 jumps just getting where they had enough control to fly in a group, not to mention some butt puckering flights in the process. I don't think you need to stick with entry level stuff though, the learning return on investment (and fun) diminishes for most people after 20-30 jumps on them. But if you're super light, I've seen someone XRW in a Swift (~130lbs/60kg), so it depends a lot on you. Hope that helped some.
  2. I put a couple hundred jumps on an original Havok, it remains one of my favorite suits.
  3. Yeah I see this too, it's a liability nightmare, you have to be really careful about what you write and know that there is no "context," i.e. every possible interpretation is valid (even if it is the opposite of what was intended). So the quality of what a professional can contribute basically degrades to the level of a decently informed John Doe, rather than actual "expert" input. Then people will inevitably challenge your credibility (because we're all pretty anonymous-ish online) in which case you'd have to double down on what you said/say and/or identify yourself, so more liability. I for one will venture into it a little bit concerning my scuba expertise but again stay several notches below my actual understanding in the "safe zone" of 99+% of the professional scuba community would agree with me and I would stand by my comment in court under any imaginable circumstance. But concerning medical or law, lol, I ain't touching that beyond what 30min on Wikipedia might teach you or just providing raw data. I think it's less of a troll thing and more of a learning how the internet might expose you to liability thing, kinda like not posting pics drinking heavily (or doing anything else socially questionable) on Facebook. I've even heard that while some paragliding stuff may be legal outside of the US that isn't within it (like dropping a BASE jumper from a tandem), some folks have gotten in hot water with USHPA (the hang gliding/paragliding version of the USPA) for that because the member agreement states you won't do things they don't approve of, and dropping BASE jumpers from tandems is one of those. So those folks who told me this have censored their social media accounts of those photos, despite it being legal where they did it. Kinda like smoking pot in Amsterdam I guess (or any of the other States that allow it these days), come back to the US and fail a drug test, that ain't an excuse.
  4. Welcome, it's a heck of a journey. Just as something to keep in the back of your mind. Listen as much as you can, in general if old guys tell you not to do something, there is probably a good reason for it even if they don't articulate it well. Be more skeptical if they say something that might be sketchy is "ok."
  5. Thanks for the update @mccordia So basically it is a student Cypress until it "switches?" So the feature is a Student to Pro on the fly change? If that's the case you may want to suggest they include such a description in their advertisements (I like to think I'm not stupid, and I read the website info on it and still wasn't 100% clear on how it works, esp if it doesn't switch for whatever reason).
  6. To each their own, and if someone wants to use the same EPs across the board there isn't anything fundamentally wrong with that, and an obvious benefit is doing the same thing all the time makes doing it correctly under stress more probable. But just as a reason why modifying it makes sense for some people (esp big suits). 1 - Vertical speed may be less than 1/2 belly speed (I can chug out a whole jump in the 40's mph vertical without much effort), so the relationship between altitude and time is blown way out of proportion compared to a belly jump. (Also I'm a big fella, so my relaxed belly speed is 140ish, hard arch and I can tap 160). This may incline people to pull lower (not me), but it's a thing. 2 - There exists the possibility of becoming unstable is such a way that it is difficult to correct and even get belly down quickly, in such a situation your vertical speed may be bellyish. So if that happens at pull time for whatever reason, you may not be able to get stable reasonably quickly and now you're worse off than if you were doing a belly jump (1 of the 2 reasons I increase my pull altitude). Also the whole, deployments in general aren't as clean or stable and more prone to line twists and such can be thrown in here. 3 - The suit is restrictive, that is just a sacrifice that has to be made, getting unzipped and situated takes longer, and/or getting out of line twists, and doing EPs fully zipped is less than desirable (done it zipped and unzipped myself, neither is ideal and each have their own drawbacks). This is the 2nd of 2 reasons why I increase my pull altitude. Even on a totally normal jump with a clean deployment, getting situated (at a comfortable/no stress speed) fully unzipped, visor up, slider collapsed, and brakes unstowed, takes me around 30 seconds, as opposed to 4 or 5 without a wingsuit. As fast as I can, maybe 10-15 seconds in a ws.
  7. Thanks for the update LJ I'm of the thought process that I definitely do not trust an AAD to save my life, if I ever do fire one and live to tell the tale, I'll probably stop jumping, because that is an epic f-up. I do however trust the big name ones in their decades long tested formats not to kill me during a regular jump. So for me an AAD is a hope and a prayer, not a life saving device I'm willing to lean on for assistance. But that's just my 2-cents. (Yes I do jump with an AAD, yes I always turn it on; so I'm not "anti-AAD")
  8. Just take this for what it's worth, I don't really care if you buy one or not Pros: 1 - Might help in a very rare event (among very rare events) that has only been documented a couple of times; and for which we can't be certain an AAD activation would have been effective (supine righ rate flat spin at slow vertical speed; reserve deployment likely "impeded;" and the scenario is basically untestable because of risk to the jumper). Cons: 1 - More bits = more things to break/fail/need batteries (lose your helmet (lost/stolen/etc) with the cypress dytter, AAD now temporarily useless. 2 - More complicated function of a device (all AADs) that aren't exactly error free. Also requires "user participation" i.e. you have to hear it to know it's working; I don't know about you, but I've missed an audible tone before. 3 - You can only ever sell it to WS ppl, smaller market, not everyone wants one, even smaller market. 4 - If I'm not mistaken, it is WS only, so if you ever want to do anything else, your AAD is useless because you have to turn it off (I'm not 100% sure on this one).
  9. Let's read it again, but slower "scuba diving ...after flying"
  10. Hey there, so as far as decision altitude, I increased it at first like everyone does, then went back to 2k deck and 3k pull, then had a PC in tow followed by a full flight reserve deployment. I didn't have as much altitude under my line twisted reserve as I would have liked, so back up I went. Several hundred WS jumps later and I am still pulling at 4k 9 out of 10 jumps. It also gives me a little wiggle room to take it a tad lower for separation or spot preference. I don't really have a hard deck, I have an audible set at 3k, that is my "hey buddy, can you fix this like now-ish or not?" As opposed to a hardcore "chop now if not fixed." I also have a 2k audible, I guess that would be my SHTF "hard deck" but if I hear that one I'm already a few failures into the jump. i.e. I'm trying to chop, but can't for some reason, in which case me hearing it doesn't help. Had one chop since, stable but severe line twists that I couldn't get out of (badly out of trim canopy that had been opening wonky for a while). I was fully unzipped with a SkyHook, basically was immediately in a snivel, I got to maybe a recliner like position before the reserve pulled me up. Had plenty of altitude thanks to pulling a bit higher.
  11. Hello there! A topic I can't not comment on! I'm a scuba instructor, both NAUI and PADI (44415 and 263934 respectively). As for the OP's initial comment, yeah it's different for everyone. For the students I had with similar issues, I would recommend practicing by putting their face in the shower stream and breathing through it for 30 or so seconds every day. Also, practice opening your eyes underwater in a pool and looking around. If you want to go hardcore, snort water in your nose. A lot of it is primal instinct, water+lungs = bad. Overcoming it and realizing that you can still breathe just fine with water on your face, in your mouth and in your nose is a "turning point" for a lot of people. The next part is "gear fear." If you don't trust your gear you'll never be comfortable. Same thing with skydiving. Learn the gear, get to where you can manipulate it blind, learn how it works, how it behaves, etc etc. On a parallel topic, diving and skydiving in close proximity. I had a gaggle of skydiver scuba students including instructors, so I had to time their checkout dives with their skydives. Long story short, I called NAUI, PADI, and DAN. The takeaway was for altitudes exceeding 8,000ft, there is NO DATA. All the don't fly recommendations are based on commercial aircraft (pressurized to 8k). So if you have a computer that tells you don't fly for 4 hours, that means "don't fly at 8k ft for 4 hours." What we ended up deciding on that I and all of the students were comfortable with was 1 gap day. So you scuba on Thursday, take Friday off, then you can skydive on Saturday. And because someone might ask, there was (as of like 6 years ago) no data suggesting scuba diving immediately after flying was deleterious. There are some anecdotal stories but they are insufficient for analysis or making recommendations.
  12. I believe it is legal to deny bail all together for a "significant flight risk." Also I did some digging, it is indeed legal to deny bail all together if the judge feels the defendant is a "flight risk." Also why they sometimes seize passports pending trial, and you can have assets frozen before trial. Also as of some time in the 1980s it became legal to deny bail if the judge felt the defendant was a danger to the public. Which makes sense in the case of terrorists like the Boston bombers or a school shooter, etc etc.
  13. I'm unaware of how this would really affect attorneys. It's not that I disagree, just that I don't get it. Could you elaborate? My impression is that most of the folks it would affect would be poor people awaiting trial for various crimes from check fraud to murder. The large majority of who would be represented by Public Defenders. But I could very well be mistaken, I'm not a legal expert. Also just as an FYI, apparently something like 70% of our prison population are people awaiting trial that haven't been convicted. I didn't realize it was that high. I very much do not endorse The Nation as a "news source" because they are pretty bias, but this article does a pretty good job of explaining the history and some of the current problems. e.g. I didn't know, but Bail Bondsmen will set up a payment plan and then charge astronomical interest that can often fall on relatives shoulders rather than the offender (even if the charges are dropped later). Pawn shops are an important part of our society and I've got nothing against them as a whole, but they are also kinda shady and that sort of loan sharkeyness shouldn't be associated with (much less an integral part of) our criminal justice system in the form of bail bonds. (Also to the point of it doesn't do much to deter flight risks, bail bonds are considered a "low risk" investment by insurance companies. i.e. the vast majority of people bailed out do indeed show up for court, even though they don't have any money to lose since they already paid a bail bondsman.)
  14. There was an article I read a while ago that was trying to look for a silver lining about Trump and his legacy; the hope was that it would cause significant concern for the ever increasing power of the executive branch (that Dems and Repubs have both proliferated immensely). And part of that increased power is what has lead to severe polar politics and POTUS meddling in State politics (again from Repubs and Dems). Curbs to discretionary spending, power of pardon, Presidential directives, etc may come, and bring more power back to the House and Senate; hopefully (fingers crossed) curbing some of the extreme polarization and stopping the 180 degree swings between POTUS's. Any way you cut it, and from any side "undoing" and pulling a complete 180 on the previous POTUS is a gigantic waste of money and time and doesn't serve the public. We've already seen it with Trump trying to erase everything Obama did, and if a Dem wins in 2020 the same thing will happen all over again, along with having to rebuild our institutions. Even if a Repub wins who isn't Trump, there will likely be a lot of walking back on Trump policy and the same amount of rebuilding necessary just to function properly. A quick search and I wasn't able to find the article, too much has happened in the last two years. But it was something like "Trump is teaching the American people a lesson they didn't know they needed" or something like that, and it focused on ever expanding POTUS power. THIS is not that article, but somewhat similar.
  15. Good point Bill, sometimes we get trapped in the "all good" or "all bad" cycle, when it is a mixture all around.#polorizedpolitics. To reiterate on the post on the previous page about wage discrepancies based on education, I think that is a good point too, it isn't the same across the board. The military is a good example. Take an E3 for example, ~ $25k a year, but housing, insurance, bonus if married or has kids. Basically 100% job security, and the good ol GI Bill that can be worth up $21k/year (actually more since most universities wave whatever the GI bill won't cover. "Yellow Ribbon" programs). For a 20 y/o HS graduate, that is about impossible to beat. Now going to a 4 year college degree, that can vary a lot but where the shift starts to happen. Take an O3 ~50k a year plus those other benefits, but there are a lot of 4 year degree civilian jobs paying more, and a lot paying less. With graduate degrees, it is pretty one sided, physicians are a prime example, in the military they get paid half or less than their civilian counterparts.
  16. OldGregg

    John Mc Cain

    Agreed, I didn't like his policies and didn't vote for him, but I respected him nonetheless.
  17. I believe it is legal to deny bail all together for a "significant flight risk."
  18. Not surprised, had to put some concessions in there and if there's ever a class of people who have zero support from society it's those in the limbo of being suspected but not convicted. Perhaps. I agree with the premise that you shouldn't have to be well off to be able to go home, but isn't that why judges have the latitude to set bail at their own discretion? Rich guy gets higher bail, poor guy gets lower or none? (Okay, ROR is not incredibly likely for low income, I get it). But the court must have some reasonable assurance that the accused will come back for trial. Cash or bond out of pocket, that is forfeit when the accused violates the terms, seems reasonable to me. What am I missing? Is there some kind of modern "mandatory minimum" type of bail reference California judges must apply? Institutional bias for low income suspects in play, that refuses ROR, that needs to be regulated? I'd be interested to hear the details. Yeah it's a tricky one, the big issue comes in with bail bondsmen. So you post bail yourself, you show up, you get your money back. You use a bail bondsman because you can't afford bail, you don't get your 10% back. It becomes a "fee" that is imposed on only those who can't post/afford their own bail. In a lot of cases it isn't a lot of money, a few hundred dollars, but a lot of these folks live in crippling poverty where a couple hundred is a very big deal. Not to mention, bail as a non-flight thing is kinda iffy. Say you get a 1,000,000 bail on a big ol charge, pony up 100,000 to a bail bondsman, you've already lost that money, what would keep you from fleeing? Nothing, only the legal penalties. Now say you're poor and you get $2,500 bail, you can go to a bail bondsman for $250 and get out. You lose $250; but is $250, or even $2,500 worth not fleeing if that's what you want to do? It just doesn't make much sense, especially considering living as a fugitive in the US is pretty difficult (and if you don't have $2,500 I'm gonna guess you're not fleeing the country). So basically, almost everyone bails out, poor people pay a "fee" and not-poor people don't. If someone is really a flight risk, then deny bail, don't just throw on an unnecessary financial burden for basically no reason. That's basically the argument as I see it. Great place for a few states to try it out and see how it goes.
  19. While I think everyone can agree that censorship is generally bad, no one likes having garbage on the forum either. And of course "one man's trash is another's treasure." But if there is a problem poster, that a number of people similarly think is a problem poster, just talk with each other, and concertedly ignore them completely, and ignore any comments referencing them completely; the problem will fix itself after that. A democratic solution as it were. But if people knowing full well that the poster is a problem continue to engage them, then you only have yourself to blame.
  20. I'll second that. They basically threw away everything else to make the opening more stable, which seems to be a newbie issue more than anything. Then I also know 3 ppl with Outlaws, they all hate them. SQ makes the best WS's in my opinion, but the canopies are sub par.
  21. I agree Jerry, if it is just to have some fun and learn something then by all means go for it. But I think he is trying to make an economic argument, that at least to me, doesn't hold water.
  22. Legality aside, because clouds and the FAA, lol (at least in the US). I also doubt much of anything WS related is patented. But let's just ignore it. You're making a lot of false assumptions. 1- Almost no sponsor is paid, and almost none get free gear, they usually get demo gear or dealer pricing on gear (I know several sponsored folks, dealer pricing is pretty standard). Also on the return dealers are getting, I wouldn't be surprised if R&D, setup, quality control, etc all ignored, a $2,000 WS from say SQ doesn't cost them close to $1,000 (or more) to build. 2- Some shop in Vietnam is willing to take on a complex project to sell a handful of units, with only one guaranteed. You won't find one willing to do that. They make money, they don't take on tinker projects with almost no quantity and poor return. 3- I know someone who has tried to reverse engineer a WS just for fun as a tinker project. It is a royal PITA. If you value your own time at $10 an hour, not worth it. Basic construction is easy, but these aren't old 9-cells where every cell is the same. Almost every surface has unique curves. 4- Which brings me to my next point, even if a manufacturer sent you all the cut pieces with instructions, it would be a royal PITA to put it together, even for a rigger. Material stretches under the needle, sewing is an art, and knowing what you're sewing and how it will react is a very big deal. Even with match marks, unless you've done it a lot, by the time you get to the end of the seam, they won't line up anymore (curves are the worst; and WS have abundant curves, like almost every seam would be a continuous curve). At best you'd end up with a shitty copy, and you'd have put more money and effort into it than it is worth. Also, wtf are you doing to your WS? I've put hundreds of jumps on PF, SQ, and Tonys, with minimal wear and only ever sent one in to get a tiny patch (old S-Bird). I've even seen all the coating peel off the inside of suits after 1,000+ jumps before blowing any seams. I would estimate the useful life of a modern WS at 1,000 jumps easily. And if you're making 1,000 jumps a year and burning $20k+ on jump tickets, yeah ok you might have to shell out 2k on a WS every year too. But if you jump that much, get sponsored and get that dealer pricing and shell out $1.4k...
  23. Nice! One step away from a HUD. Depends, how much do you trust your audible and your eyes? I use a BH mudflap too with a Altitrack, but like was previously mentioned, I probably only look at it once or twice. I have an audible set at 8, 6, and 4k (also 3 but that is my hard deck). 8 is find the DZ and make sure you can get back, 6 is start getting lined up for where you want to pull ("turn on final" (or final-ish) if you will; and 4 is start deployment flare. Works pretty good for me, I also have a Viso wrist mount but can't see it in freefall (at least not without destroying my body position; in extenuating circumstances I could take a peek). I've loaned my chest mount out a number of times and flown audible only, not too weird, only pulled high once because I missed my 8k tone so assumed my audible quit on me (ended up pulling visually at like 6k, knew I was high but wasn't sure how much).
  24. Very similar experience here too and I agree 100%. Started getting unstable during a terminal reserve deployment. Did a whole jump after that just touching my handels, 1 at a time, both at the same time, PC, etc. I'd also stop at the hand-on-PC stage during deployments for a few seconds for a number of jumps after that and just fly it. Felt a lot better about it after some practice.
  25. Kinda been beaten around the bush a bit but basically it comes down to what are you trying to do and what is likely to go wrong. With students, you teach them to start collapsing stuff basically to get super stable because you don't want them to roll or pitch head down when they pull. (I rolled once flying a suit too big for me; and I watched two different people pitch head down, suit was fine they were just new). So a "good student flare" is not necessarily a "good experienced wingsuiter flare," but as long as you aren't having problems, do whatever you want. So to answer your question, you have to specify who is pulling and what is their biggest concern? After a while stability isn't an issue anymore and you don't care about collapsing things or having a "wingsuit friendly" main for instance. E.g. Backfly deployment guy like 2 comments up. Personally I like max flare because it is soft; like softer than a hop and pop, so I fly>flare>pitch>go back to flaring. Arms and legs are mostly straight the whole time "It's all in the hips/shoulders." Anyway, I wouldn't recommend that for someone who stability might be a problem for. But someone who isn't worried about stability and wants a softer opening, then yeah, give it a shot.