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Everything posted by betzilla

  1. I don't personally have an age limit, but my employer set a 20 year age limit on certificated components long before I started here. I've made a handful of exceptions, but for the most part, I'm grateful for the rule -- it allows me to decline to work on gear that is technically airworthy, but gives me the creeps. I've referred pilots with 21 year old gear to other area riggers several times - the skydivers obviously know where they can find other lofts, so that isn't necessary for them
  2. An OP 143 does not quite pack up as small as a PDR 126. As you get down into smaller sizes, the proportion of that sexy low-bulk fabric, to lines and reinforcement tape, gets smaller and smaller, so the "one size smaller" rule becomes a little less true. 126/143 is where you begin to notice the difference. I've packed lots of 308s with PR 126's, and a couple 308's with OP 143's, and the OP 143's are a total pain in the ass to close. It's doable, but you've gotta use everything in your bag of tricks to make it happen, and you'll really want a cigarette afterwards (this coming from a non-smoker).
  3. You can get a pair of the metal housings at Para Gear for seven bucks plus shipping (this is crazy-cheap. I used to work at a place that charged like $30 for this exact product, so what you pay will depend where they're sourced), and you'll pay another $5-10 to have them tacked into the channels on the risers.
  4. You need to meet some minimum amount of force required to extract your stowed line, or your deployment can get chaotic. This goes for line stowed in a pouch (stowless bags) and lines stowed the old fashioned way, with rubber bands. I think I recall the extraction force that PD recommends to be 12-15 pounds. If you can get that with a single-wrapped rubber band, great. But the people at PD have recommended double wrapping all stows you can with standard rubber bands ("medium rubber bands" are not a thing). Since I tend to think the people at PD know more than some random packing class teacher, and more than I do, I am inclined to take their advice and double-stow.
  5. That is hot, Jerry! Thanks for posting!
  6. Agree with your agreement . I've found that the PR126/OP143 level is really the last size where you can reliably say an OP "packs a size smaller." Once you get down into the smaller sizes, the low bulk fabric makes up little enough of the pack volume itself, that the one-size-smaller rule just doesn't hold true -- all that pesky suspension line and reinforcement tape take up just as much space in an OP as in a PDR. By the same token, the really big OPs pack up MORE than a size smaller than their PDR counterparts.
  7. um, not exactly. It's been out since at least 2003 (that is when the first user review was posted here on
  8. HA! I remember her telling me about this. Quickest wit around, that girl!
  9. I will let some customers watch, sometimes. In other words, it depends. If it's busy season, and the person is a talker, I will be honest and just say I can't afford to lose the time, and my company can't afford for me to lose the time. But if it's a slow time of year, and/or the customer is a long time customer of mine or my employer, I'm much more accommodating. And some customers are just fun to have around, so sure.
  10. hmmm. Maybe the one I saw was an '88...? It was definitely 80-something.
  11. I have. Dom was mid-80's at the newest (I'm thinking 1983, but it was many, many years ago that I saw it, so my memory of the exact year could certainly be screwy - it was for sale on consignment in a shop I worked in).
  12. I'm petty confident that an incompetent, creative rigger could fuck one of those up very badly too. Stupidity + confidence = a broadly frightening combination.
  13. this is similar to the way reserve lines are stowed in most reserve freebags. When I was a new rigger, I was really scared of the same thing - that somehow the lines would end up a tangled mess and the canopy wouldn't be able to deploy. But I have never heard of that happening, with one of my pack jobs or anyone else's either, for that matter. Just go slow the first few times you do it - be careful and methodical, and soon your fingers will have muscle memory that will make stowing your lines a literal no-brainer. Enjoy your new Vector!
  14. I second the recommendation for Sunshine Superman. It's so good!
  15. yup. They've gotten more conservative in what they'll recommend you pack into their containers. It's all good with me, because I'd generally rather do easy pack jobs than difficult ones (I did get a little annoyed the time I had to sign a release because I was ordering a Mirage for canopies that were listed as a good fit in the old sizing guide, but not recommended in the new one. I had packed that combination many, many times, and knew it to be good fit, so I signed the release, proceeded with the order, and made my customer happy).
  16. I was thinking (wishing? hoping?) something similar! Thanks for posting the video, Jerry. Very, VERY cool.
  17. Any DZ rigger can tell you that this error happens ALL THE TIME, to people/packers of all experience levels. To err is human, after all... Edit: Packers ARE people, of course, haha!
  18. get a vector. no circle. skyhook. short delivery time. your wish is granted.
  19. It can take an Optimum 176, not a PDR 176.
  20. A quick google search turns up this blog post about one of Edward D Hogan's subsequent jumps. Interesting! And here's another article, about E.D. Hogan's brother (apparently, daredeviling was a Hogan-family affair!):
  21. Invariably, when this has happened to my teams, the error happened in manifest (we give manifest a list of our personnel for the day, then manifest as a chunk of five people). I'm not saying that this is how every DZ does it, but... I'd vote bump the solo jumper (if he/she is willing), and the team thanks that jumper with frosty beverages or a packing ticket or some other nicety. ** I'm also not dissing manifestors - that's a thankless job. Sometimes mistakes like this just happen. They're pretty easy to work out when everybody acts like adults. No team I've been on would ever go do a three way when the plan was, until loading the plane, a four way training jump - that has zero value training value, and just costs money, if it wasn't the actual plan for the jump. So on one occasion, when there was a cluster in loading/manifest, and nobody else was willing to bump, all five of us pulled off and bumped to another load. Sometimes you've just got to be the bigger person (or, five bigger people ).
  22. Great post and really good info. But it's important not to conflate "brake setting," with the position of the toggle on the steering line. Brake setting is specific to each make and model of canopy, and determined by the manufacturer. The position of the toggle on the steering line, which is what @Gowlerk's post discusses so well, is recommended per canopy at the factory, but people often play with it a little to meet their own needs and flying style (I certainly do!)
  23. I just have this to say: Girls who can sew don't need servos to be happy.