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  1. Actually we have 3 lines Sigma, Military and sport. The operators are all cross trained and and can assist the other lines when that product line is slow. Our biggest problem today is the shortage of nylon filament that makes up all our tapes, webbings, cordura, ZP, F111 and the rest. With regards to staff it takes a new hire at least one year to become productive and many years before they are capable off working one of the main lines. We use them for component parts initially. With over 77 000 rigs built so far we have to supply parts and service to keep them in the air.
  2. Hey Kelly The tests were done. We flew under a canopy with the brakes set and had a combined speed of less than 20 mph, the average was 17 mph. The average load measured on the lanyard was around 25 Lbs, far exceeding what is required to break the red seal thread (worst case scenario 20 Lbs to break if the hook is rough). The thread normally breaks at around 10 Lbs or less. You are welcome to review this any time you wish here in Deland. Actually anyone who wishes to look at this is welcome to come over and look at our testing and test data. The use of the seal thread was decided as the best option at the time. Yes, there are other methods but Velcro caused damage, electric controlled solenoid were too bulky and requires a power supply, magnets stuck to the reserve spring, servos were unreliable at varying temperatures, mechanical gates and levers were too complicated and easy to mis-rig, pins were not as fusible as we would like. In other words, we tried many types of fuses, but the thread was simple and reliable and also had some positive side effects like adding one more rigger check to the system. The system is reliable as is but why give up, we are always looking to do things better, that is called progress and innovation. We do have a possible way of replacing the riggers thread on the existing design, unfortunately the tooling will cost about $50 000 and might not work. Once we have this figured out we might move forward and bite the bullet on the tooling. But that is in the future.......
  3. Hi Bill I was in the same meeting and it was only that manufacturers opinion that more should be done as an explanation as to what was acceptable and what should be replaced with regards to damage to the plastic insert. Before the PIA Symposium was over the bulletin had been issued on the request of the manufacturer.
  4. Hi Chris Let me step in here. I was involved with this issue from the start. AAD produced a new style cutter to address the problems with the old cutter they previously produced that had a plastic insert. The plastic insert is sensitive to rigger technique while packing a reserve and can be damaged when using a positive tension device to close the container. The new cutters are less likely to sustain this type of damage. The new inox cutters are more robust and not prone to this type of damage. Jump forward to the incident that you heard about and is posted on AAD's website. The 1-pin cutter had no problems form the start. When the two pin cutter was manufactured the manufacturer of the cutter made a slight change in the requirement to activate the charge that fires the blade. This caused some of the cutters not to be activated by the Vigil unit hence the two failures during testing. This has been fixed by the cutter manufacturer and the new two pin cutters are now available.
  5. Ok, one step at a time. 1 grab the chest strap by the buckle where it joins onto the MLW. 2. Grab the main lift web with the other hand. 3. pull in opposite directions. 3. let me know how it went.
  6. The Sigma harness has a movable chest strap. And we will not use hiprings, they have no real benefit.
  7. This topic has been discussed over many a beer and I do not think there will ever be a consensus as to what is the correct thing to do. There are a lot of personal opinions and some hold more water than others. Most are not entirely wrong or entirely correct. You should weigh up all the factors and then base your decision on main and reserve choices. Do not only look at your reserve size, your mistake could possibly be in the choice of your main canopy size ( We never make the mistake in the choice of our main, right!) We at RWS do follow the general consensus published when PD did extensive testing on the two out situation (I am sure someone here can find the results of the test) There are other factors as well. A skydiver that is not comfortable jumping a small reserve should not jump a small main. The deciding factor here should be "can I land my main in a small or tight area". You have a much greater chance of landing your main of the DZ than your reserve. You use your main more often than your reserve therefore the law of averages state that you will land of more times on your main. In my skydiving career I can recall hundreds of jumps of the DZ on my main and not one on my reserve. I just did a quick poll in the office with some of jumping staff that are in today out of 46 000 jumps with 82 reserve rides. We had one off DZ landing on a reserve and 409+ off landings on a main canopy. I want my reserve canopy to have (as close as possible) to have the same flight characteristics as my main. ZP or F-III is not that much of an issue. Most modern day F-III has zero or close to zero porosity, 0 to 3 cfm is the new standard that most canopy manufacturers adhere to. I do a lot of tandem training and the results I see are amazing. Jumpers with larger personal canopies are able to land closer to the target and better than hot shot canopy fliers who are used to flying smaller high performance canopies. We also have skyHook equipped demos one with a PD 106R and two with PD 176R and I see similar results, if a jumper jumps a small main he gets less than desirable results on the bigger reserve.
  8. The new style student harness can be used with the both the old style Vector Tandem and the Sigma Tandem systems. Using it on other types of systems is up to that manufacturers approval.
  9. Hi Ron I never post on this forum and most probably never will again. But here are some facts. I feel AAD has addressed all the problems they have had in the past in a satisfactory manner. You are obviously not aware of what has been done. You do not own a Vigil. The reason you do not know what has transpired is that you are out of the loop. Ask a Vigil owner if they have been kept up to date on what has happened and how problems have been addressed. No one has been denied information concerning their Vigil's. AAD's actions have been above and beyond what we normally see in this industry. Their initial reaction to the static electricity problem once they found out that this was the reason the units were firing on the ground, was to replace the mother boards on all the units with one that had higher static electricity shielding. They then decided to replace the complete unit with one that included a cutter and control unit built to more stringent specifications. They did this as AAD were not 100% sure if the unit that fired in the air was because of static electricity or some other cause. The unit that fired on the static line jump was directly attributed to static electricity (an aircraft moving through the air generates static electricity hence those stringy little things that hang of the trailing edge of aircraft ) All the replacements were done at no cost to the customer. With regards to the sponsor issues. Deland Majic jump their units and switch them on. I know this as three of the team members are personal friends of mine that I have known for the last 16 years. They have no reason to tell me otherwise me. With regards, to the French Team I am not sure what they are doing and neither do you. I know they did not jump the Vigil during the world meet last year as the units were grounded by the French Federation (The french Federation have approved the Vigil since then). The French team is a member and is employed by the Federation. There were however other teams jumping their units. This is all a mute point anyway because those units do not exist anyway. AAD now know that there was a problem with the beta units. All Beta units in the field have been replaced as previously explained. My point is the issues have been addressed and resolved. AAD never responded to the skydiving community at large. They never felt they had to explain themselves to anybody except their customers and address the issues they were dealing with at the time. Any communication and explanations to the skydiving community would have been in the interest marketing the Vigil and to sell more units. Their focus was on the customer and getting them in the air with a reliable product at no additional cost. Which they did. I will ignore your comeback with time will tell. Time will tell in all aspects of our life, and I can think of 100 replies you can say to that as well. Regards Mark Procos
  10. It is possable to downsize your canopy in a Vector III container without affecting the function or looks. The container for a 170 would be the V348-M and it will comfortably hold a safire 149.