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Everything posted by betzilla

  1. this is great discussion - lots to think about. I have a pillow on my current rig, and that's what I visualize and practice for. As a rigger, I have lots of opportunities to pull handles, albeit on the ground, and I have found that because the pillow is what's in *my* mind, that's easiest for *me* to locate and pull. When I am puling handles on rigs that have metal d-rings, my hand tends to slip off it, because I'm not in the habit of hooking a thumb. The very-low-profile d-rings are even worse, and in one case, though I don't have particularly fat fingers, there was barely enough space between the harness and the edge of the handle to get a finger through the space. I recommended that customer practice gripping that handle a LOT before his next jump, and consider replacing it with one that's a little easier to grab. My only cutaway/reserve ride was on a rig with a big metal handle. I don't recall having any trouble at all finding and pulling that handle, but it was years ago, and not a violent malfunction. I will certainly add to my mental EP's, the possibility that my hand slips off the ripcord pillow after I chop, and I need to go hunting... Stay safe, y'all!
  2. Icarus Spain (CIMSA) would say absolutely not. I'm not sure what the boys in NZ have to say about it - I suspect they're ok with it.
  3. Wow, that's crazy! The VAST majority of my experience with soft links has been with the PD brand. While I knew metal on metal can cause problems, I've never seen anything quite like this.
  4. no, it's still a VX, with a JVX lineset. The main downside is that you're going to have to explain that, exactly, to whomever you sell it to
  5. The tacking serves to keep the ring (or tab) inside the riser instead of sticking out to one side or the other, and to some extent, this helps to insure that the link is loaded properly too. Once your soft links have taken a good "set" with the tab or ring where it needs to be, the tacking isn't important at all. BUT Aerodyne's instructions stipulate that they should be tacked, so if you want to be anal, they *should* be tacked (not so with PD Slinks, so don't trash a rigger who doesn't tack those every time!). In other words, it's not important for your safety, but it is important for the sake of following instructions I tend to tack soft links on mains only if the tabs/rings are poking out of the riser - I try to avoid poking sharp stuff through webbing if I can. I will only tack reserve soft links if the manufacturer's instructions explicitly tell me to. I am endlessly irritated by riggers who tack the soft links in such a way that I can't inspect them for proper assembly without cutting their inevitably tiny stitches and possibly nicking the riser in the process. If you're gonna tack it, do it in such a way that the next guy can still check the work, and so disassembly isn't a terrifying process! That was WAY more than 2 cents, haha...
  6. I did that to myself a couple years ago, after hundreds of main pack jobs and several years working in a rigging loft. It's a very easy mistake to make if you're the least bit distracted. Even easier for a new jumper who may not really understand WHY brakes are set the way they are. If the person is repeatedly doing it wrong, that's a pretty bad sign. But every jumper will space out and do it wrong now and then, I think. It's good to keep in mind that anyone can make a mistake
  7. I had a customer who had a Cobalt 150, who had several sets of spare brake lines in his gear bag because his cobalt opened so hard that he kept breaking them. No joke. One opening was so hard that it blew out a bunch of stitching on his fairly new Vector 3 container, which then had to be sent to UPT for big-money repairs. He thought it was normal. I only learned about the spare brake lines when I told him to fire the previous rigger, because hand-stitching the fingertrap on the lower steering lines was ghetto and he deserved better work than that. He blushed and said, "oh. that was actually me."
  8. Terry! I just packed that talon last week Those short little cables bother me every time I see them! I think it's more like 3 inches, but they definitely don't stay tucked into the housings, that's for sure! He swears they're long enough, and I suppose the manufacturer knew what he was doing (shorter than usual cutaway cables by an inch or so, and a longer than usual ripcord cable by another inch or so helps to insure that things happen in the right order). I know it works, but it does give me the willies... Always takes me sec to remember why there's no cutaway pillow on his rig, haha...
  9. you probably just need a reline on your Sabre2. Lines don't stretch. They shrink. And when they shrink enough (400 jumps could be enough - it is with the smaller ones, for sure), you won't get full flight anymore even with your toggles all the way up. If you aren't getting full flight, you aren't getting a full flare, and that *may* be why you aren't really slowing down at landing. If someone shortened your brake lines you to "help you get deeper into your flare," that probably just compounded the problem. Get a trim-check from a rigger who is knowledgeable about suspension lines and go from there. If you're also just really in the mood for a new canopy, good luck deciding! I jumped a CF2 169 loaded at about 1.1 several years back, and I loved it. I've never heard of one as big as a 189, and I might wonder how one that big would open. So do lots of research...
  10. only way that happens is brakes set incorrectly. He'll deny it (they always do), but that's the deal. Be gentle and remind him that everybody makes mistakes :)
  11. I was against the change at the time (but too lazy to submit a comment about it), out of worry that a stupid mistake left in someone's rig was more likely to cause problems if it had an extra 60 days to possibly be deployed. At that time I worked on a large DZ with exceptionally well-trained riggers who made few mistakes (even the campground riggers are pretty good there!). Now I work in a loft not on a DZ, where I'm seeing many more pilot rigs than I used to, and opening sport repacks from an entirely new group of riggers. I'm seeing more mistakes and general "stupid stuff," but the vast majority of it wouldn't really cause problems. So I feel as though my worry was unwarranted, and the 180 day cycle seems just fine to me these days.
  12. purchased (SCAM) from Para Gear; shipped to Germantown, MD
  13. betzilla

    pilot emergency rig

    brand new bailout rig, purchased (SCAM) from Para Gear; Shipped to Germantown, MD
  14. I'm curious if anybody is using TM/reserve Slinks on SigmaII mains, and what the pros and cons are...
  15. offer to pay the person who works there five bucks to do your measurements. I used to work in one (used to own it with my ex, actually), and we'd do that for people who want to not purchase through us for whatever reason, or who are buying some suits from companies for whom we aren't a dealer... good luck! hope you love your suit
  16. I have two of them - one with a heavy cotton front for more drag, and one with a supplex front. I love them both, and have lots of range with each. I'd recommend you order through the pro shop at your DZ -- they can help you choose the appropriate suit for you (for best rate of fall), and they'll know how to measure. And if you have any problems, they'll make sure you're taken care of.
  17. Hi Everybody, I am owner of Para Concepts, the Pro Shop and Rigging Loft at Skydive Chicago. On behalf of riggers everywhere, let me thank all the unsupecting novices out there who bring in their "amazing deal" used rig purchases for repair. I am happy to put money in my cash register, and am very grateful for your business. But man, do I ever feel sorry for you. DON'T take sellers at their word. EVER. Even me. You have GOT to have someone you trust look over any used equipment you purchase. A rig listed as "perfect for beginner" might just be "perfect for sucker." You might pay just $1000 for a used rig, but then you need to put hundreds of dollars worth of work into it just to get in the plane! And it's still old gear with no resale value even then. I don't know any rigger or instructor who won't try to help you keep from getting screwed on used gear! Stepping down from soap box. Don't get suckered. Spend your money on jumps, not junk.
  18. I have a teammate who does that, and I used to do it. If you become conscious of your legs as control surfaces, they'll calm down -- you'll actually be using them to fly instead of just letting them flap in the wind. Good luck! Betsy
  19. Think of caving in your stomach when you bend at the waist. Do the reverse of what you do when you're making fun of your buddies' beer guts. And turn your feet out. Good stuff
  20. I'm pretty sure I took one in the crotch last weekend. No nuts tho.
  21. 4-way is Sept. 8th and 9th, with the draw the evening of the 7th. That's all I know for now. blues, B
  22. betzilla

    Safire2 189

    Canopy has been found and returned.
  23. There were no "low cutaway tests" at Skydive Chicago. That was somewhere else. Our "crazy freaks" aren't that stupid. That said, those of us who are tired of losing friends and colleagues to preventable accidents are mighty happy about innovations that may save more lives. If you don't think your life's not worth the 185 bucks it costs to add a skyhook to your Vector3, borrow it from your mom. Hopefully it's worth it to her. As for Bill Booth wanting to get paid for his hard work. The man's gotta feed his family. If it was you, you'd do the same. Ain't nobody getting rich making or selling skydiving equipment.
  24. My first exit was stable, but my instructor said I looked like a sheet of plywood. After that I was awesome (humble, aren't i? ). I'm sure someone else said this, but just be sure not to "push off" of the wing strut. just release your grip. And don't feel bad. My husband says he had several jumps where he did "triple lindies" through his risers when he wa a SL student. And now he has 8000 jumps and is an amazing instructor. happy jumping! **