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Everything posted by skybytch

  1. :( Lots of good memories with her! RIP Joan E!
  2. I love this. It's okay with you to spend an undetermined amount more on each jump. But you have no idea what that increase will do to others who maybe don't have your financial resources. Because it won't cost YOU much in the long run doesn't mean anything to the sport as a whole. Regardless, what is scary here isn't the increase in costs to DZOs and jumpers and tandumb passengers... What is scary is that these regulations are a foot in the door for the FAA to end self regulation of the sport of skydiving in the US. And THAT is why skydivers should be against this. Not safety, not money. Your freedom to skydive without governmental interference.
  3. "Here are a couple more areas we agree: A BSR for WL restrictions is impractical. What’s an S&TA gonna do, make someone get on a scale and declare a canopy size before manifesting? Further, the liability for a DZ and USPA is too great if someone were to operate outside the WL restrictions. Also, a ban on swooping won’t work either. There are too many people within the skydiving political structure who are financially entangled with swooping for a ban to get any support. So, the only thing to do is to call on those with influence to change the culture the same way they did with low pulls." Disagree strongly that a WL BSR for low experience jumpers would not be practical. Get a new rig/main? Get on the same scale used for students. Signed off in logbook, good to go. Show up at a new dz, it's part of the waiver process, same as showing a data card and seal. Prove you have the experience and you can go auger yourself in all you want under whatever canopy you choose. If the DZO is cool with it. The culture won't change because those with influence also have a financial stake in the continued sales of said canopies.
  4. This was argued long and hard here 15 years ago. The problem was USPA doing nothing for hundreds of deaths and injuries over the preceding decade and then doing as little as possible to "fix" the issue with "education" when members were asking for changes with teeth that would create measurable positive results. It appears that they have continued to do as little as possible in the realm of education ever since, and those who cared 15 years ago gave up. (I did)
  5. Better on average... Fifteen years of education should have resulted in a large measurable reduction in the number of injuries and deaths related to swooping. Remember, it's not just landing. Add in canopy collisions involving high performance approaches and improper EPs with swoop canopies and those rates are higher. The question remains. What has USPA, the organization tasked with safety and training in the sport, done over the past 15 years to reduce the number of injuries and deaths attributable to swooping? If USPA has done little to nothing, should they be promoting the activity in the ways that they are?
  6. Fifteen years ago, this was the argument used to keep the dreaded regulation of wing loading and canopy types from limiting the freedoms of jumpers in the US. You remember that, right? Education, not regulation! Fifteen years to prove that point and yet it seems to be the same argument today. Educate, educate, educate... and still die. Perhaps a point has been proven. What exactly has USPA done in the past 15 years to educate jumpers to swoop in a way that limits the obvious dangers? According to the report in the May Parachutist, 58% of nonfatal incidents were landing related In 2022. Is this better or worse than when they started the B license canopy course requirements a decade or so ago?
  7. Me: When do I get my kitchen? Him: I thought you wanted another pinball machine. Me: I want both Him: How's it feel to want?
  8. ME: I want to drive across the country and buy another pinball machine. HIM: Okay.
  9. MAD, Cracked and National Lampoon here. Every month. Could explain parts of my sparkling personality.
  10. Got a Spectre 150, less than 400 jumps, Dacron lines (original), no damage, d.o.m. 2004ish. I've been out of the industry so long I have no clue what it's worth. Anyone? Thanks!
  11. A few years prior to this mess,, another jumper from Lodi was caught signing off multiple students without any ratings. He was "disciplined" by USPA by being allowed to get an AFF rating. Consistency and transparency are top of the list when one thinks of USPA. /s
  12. Sentencing decision, yes. Original jury found the defendant guilty but deadlocked on the penalty so we got it. The legal standard may be reasonable doubt, but sitting in that jury room making a decision of that gravity there needed to be no doubt at all for any of us to go home and sleep well.
  13. I was one of 12 who made a life/death decision in a capital murder case. Gut feeling of all of us was the POS pulled the trigger. The DA didn't prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt. The science didn't show what we needed to see to decide anything other than life without possibility of parole. We were all white and so was the defendant. He grew up in the same middle class suburban white world most of the jury did. We could see the wrong turns he took. There was even some compassion expressed for his family and their "loss " of a son. I wonder how many prisoners he's shanked since then. He'd only paralyzed one before our decision was made. I like to think we'd have made the same decision if he had not been white. That's the thing that makes me uncomfortable about capital punishment in the US.
  14. Thanks Wendy! The Science and Industry Museum looks like a winner - hubby's eyes lit up when he saw that one.
  15. We'll be arriving at Union Station sometime Saturday on the California Zephyr. Scheduled for 3pm arrival, but this is Amtrak so it could be midnight. If we arrive on time,, there's a barcade we want to hit that evening (they have the new James Bond pinball machine!). Going to a hockey game Sunday evening. Flying home Monday. So... what should we do all day Sunday? Any recommendations for an awesome hotel near the train station and United Center? What's best for ground transportation - taxi, Uber, light rail? TIA!
  16. Indeed. For without their efforts to tame the wild wild west that the pattern was in 2005 or so, a lot more skydivers would be extinct. And yet the same stupid shit that they worked so hard to stop is still happening. Why is that?
  17. skybytch

    Years Ago

    Me too. Except for the Monkey Fries. I don't make those.
  18. Good luck understanding why the USPA BOD does anything. A WL BSR was requested repeatedly by USPA members 20 years ago after far too many people died under perfectly good parachutes they shouldn't have been under. But "education is better than regulation". "Sure, Joe, you're my buddy, I'll sign that off for you, you don't really need that canopy control course." You must pull by 3k and have a current USPA membership but you can fly whatever canopy you'd like at 25 jumps, because you have been educated - you have a piece of paper that says so.
  19. Husband has been an AFF I for 20 years, I/E for over 10. We've talked about this stuff quite a bit. BITD, the cert course was a test and you best not fuck it up. You likely weren't at your home dz, you probably didn't know the evaluators (who's job description included being assholes) and they ramped up the pressure to 11. Your only jumps at the course were evaluation jumps. With rare exceptions, if you went home with a rating you earned and deserved it. Yes, there were flaws in the system, but it produced excellent AFFI's. Today the courses are usually held at the candidate's dz. Often one or more of the evaluators are local jumpers.The first few days are practice jumps. A candidate doesn't start doing actual eval jumps until they are "ready". A candidate could do all of their practice jumps and all of their eval jumps with the same evaluator. While the course material may be exactly the same, the pressure put on the candidate is far less than 20 years ago. I'd submit that in many cases the candidates are too comfortable throughout the course. Being an AFF instructor isn't always comfortable and fun. Becoming one shouldn't be either. Practice jumps and evaluation jumps should be done with different evaluators. Each evaluation jump should be done with a different evaluator. Evaluators should not be from the candidates dropzone. Perhaps a return to the old method of the cert course being the test - if you need practice beforehand, take a pre-course. Show up at the cert course ready to have your ass handed to you. Candidates flying skills.There's a big difference between belly fliers and freefliers, Belly fliers can usually pull an exit without funneling it; linked exits to belly are challenging for those who primarily freefly and you can't learn or practice exits in the tunnel. What wasn't so obvious to me is that many freefliers and those who have been primarily camera fliers or TM's have issues closing on a spinning student and even with staying close enough after release - they aren't used to being that close to anybody in freefall. There are some folks who are chasing the AFF Examiner rating primarily to have it - as in I have all the other ones, this is the last and most prestigious one to have. Others are doing the bare minimum to keep the rating (one course every two years). Neither of these groups add anything to the examiner pool in terms of quality - if you aren't doing at least a couple courses per year, are you really current at skydiving like shit? (that's a joke btw - it's way harder than it looks to skydive that bad) Can't blame the examiners for rating a candidate who meets the standards. Even if the examiner has a bit of a question in the back of their mind, the minimums were met. Can't pass Bob and fail Steve if they both met the same performance standards because you think Steve might not has what it takes in some intangible way. C's get degrees. How does an examiner keep the "got a feeling about this one" candidate who meets the minimums from being rated without it looking political or personal? Every skydive has video. These things can be checked. I'd hope that all examiners have zero desire to rate someone who they don't think has what it takes. I'd hope that all examiners have the ability to tell when someone doesn't have what it takes. Regardless, they have to rate someone who meets the minimums. If you know an Examiner, talk to them about your concerns. It's likely they share some of them.
  20. Doing a downplane with Jamie. He wouldnt let go. I had enough time to flare so I guess it wasn't too low when he finally did, but yeah. Lesson learned.
  21. Nice! Missed one by a few hours awhile back. Still waiting for one (or a Freefall or a Sky Kings) to pop up semi-local.
  22. Exactly! But I came back home and drove across the country to buy the equivalent of two complete new rigs instead of just ordering one. And made the mistake of playing a few others while I was buying it. Speaking of which, anybody looking for a good used Tacoma, Corolla, and/or Yamaha XT225? Godzilla is calling me...
  23. We have! Our visit there was one of the things that convinced the husband to get our first machine. :)
  24. Absolutely. The videos, animation, artwork and music are awesome for old farts who remember the TV series fondly (Adam West is Batman, there is no other!). The game play is totally different than our other machines, much more laid back than the adrenaline packed fast playing madness of the Black Knight series - different designers. Unfortunately I got to play the seller's other machines... and now I might want a Jurassic Park...