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Everything posted by DrewEckhardt

  1. MIchelle and Brian Germain told me you should be able to rotate both directions on all three axes while head-up: back flip, front flip, left cartwheel, right cartwheel, left turn, right turn starting and ending standing. Tamara Koyn's web page from 1994 is good: http://www.koyn.com/CloudDancer/articles/Surf.html Double wing sit suits providing more drag to stay on top of the board were common. You can have a channel sewn down the leg for the cutaway cable and velcro added for a pud. Some of us used to wear webbed swimming gloves to give our hands more input on our yaw axis. [QUOTE] A person or two said when it came out most people didn't even know how to free fly. They were belly jumpers who just threw it on and figured it out. [/QUOTE] Freestyle was fringe but well-established. Sit fly with double wing suits was not uncommon at the time. Head-down was a new thing kids were doing in Arizona and Florida.
  2. Many rigs fit airline permitted roll-aboards with a helmet around a top corner plus room for jump suit + extras. Most should fit with the main out of its pack tray if you can't get down to that size (I used to travel with a pair of 245 square foot base rigs in a carry-on). Larger rolling luggage is an option if you can't get down to that size with the main out of its pack tray. While you still don't want to deal with security and other issues dragging one everywhere, that makes necessary travel on foot more pleasant.
  3. I used a Givi Maxia 50L top case on a rack for one rig / jumpsuit / helmet / etc, adding an airline legal carry-on on the passenger seat under a cargo net for a second.
  4. Some BASE (Vertigo Dagger) and reserve (PD reserve) canopies fly more like contemporary skydiving mains and less like classic accuracy canopies. Without the ability to flare all the way I might stick with something more traditional which slows down horizontally and vertically with brake application and is more tolerant of not finishing a flare.
  5. Some sort of accuracy/demo/BASE (not vented) 7-cell around 300 square feet with the brakes set short to allow a full flare. If using a BASE canopy have a sail slider made to make the openings pleasant. Below 1000 feet at terminal you want them to be speedy, but at skydiving pull altitudes you have plenty of time.
  6. ***You're both right about accuracy canopies, though I wouldn't consider accuracy landings to be "good", rather they're acceptably shitty and it's your job to hit the soft target :). [/QUOTE] They can be great, even atop big boulders where you need to run to the front edge to keep your pilot chute out of the river (Don't get down-wind of a tight landing area when no place looks like a suitable alternative). Unlike more modern shapes which flatten out with a little brake and maintain a similar glide until just short of stalling, more toggle steepens the approach (even with no wind) from about 2:1 in full flight to straight down in a full sink. Normally you fly your approach at a 1:1 glide ratio using 2/3 brakes. Transition to a full sink high above a target and you won't have any lift left to provide a soft landing without padding from pea gravel or an inflated tuffet. Don't finish your approach with more than 3/4 brakes and there's enough flare to land softly. [QUOTE] But my impression was that demostalker1 was not asking for a classic accuracy canopy, but rather hijacking the original thread to ask about a canopy that will land softly in general tight spaces that aren't accuracy tuffets with limited brake range (I'm guessing for demos maybe? Or maybe just a very small LZ). For which a Parafoil is not necessarily the answer. But I might be wrong of course. [/QUOTE] Some form of accuracy/demo/BASE canopy with life left (a $100 1000 jump F111 car cover won't work) loaded around 0.7 pounds per square foot is the right tool for that application. With experience and consistent winds you can get frisbee-disc accuracy out of a sport canopy stopping within a step or two with full-flight or accelerated approaches, even at higher (~1.8 pounds/square feet, 8000 feet density altitude) wing loadings. Unfortunately, a 5 MPH wind change for 10 seconds of final approach is a 70 foot change in where you'll be landing with a contemporary sport canopy appoach. The huge range in glide with accuracy or BASE canopies means that's not an issue. It gives you a lot more latitude in approach precision - you don't need to be at a particular spot 1000' off the ground.
  7. Parachutes shaped (thick airfoil) and sized (0.7 pounds/square feet) for classic accuracy approaches land great on hard ground (you can use a big boulder instead of a tuffet) from about 3/4 brakes although you sacrifice pin-point accuracy by not finishing with a sink to a controlled crash landing.
  8. It's dangerous because it makes you unpredictable and could lead to a canopy collision. Not planned situations. At drop zones you don't need to be that accurate. In tighter landing areas you're prudently jumping a rectangular seven-cell canopy and can adjust the glide ratio with brakes for much better accuracy than you could achieve with S-turns. When you screw up and land out you might need to.
  9. No. The thin piece of spectra makes it harder to get the closing pin in than a pull-up cord, and decent technique closing each flap means tension on the pull up cord isn't high enough to require a better grip from a handle.
  10. Felco. http://www.amazon.com/Loos-Cableware-Felco-Cable-Cutter/dp/B0038YY3QC
  11. The Stiletto was introduced with a 1.3 pounds/square foot placarded maximum, lthe Sabre 1.0, and non-students were still adapting from the pound per square foot limit which was prudent on aging F111 canopies. People were evenly split on whether I should jump a 190 or 210 for my first canopy although I only weighed 150 pounds, with the F111 9-cell PD190 the preferred canopy choice. A 190 allows a slightly large 220 pound guy to stay within the upper limit, or a 165 pound jumper the 1.0 lower recommendation. Yes. They're more responsive to toggle input than rectangular canopies which can be enjoyable. Approaching the original wing loading limit the reduced stall speed is nicer at high elevations on hot summer days. Those are reasons every modern skydiving canopy has a tapered or elliptical shape, called "semi-elliptical" for marketing purposes to indicate less aggressive performance. .
  12. I manipulate the closing pin and pull-up cord so that the pull-up cord is beneath the metal pin and rubbing against it not the loop as I remove it.
  13. Yes. The Stiletto is the most responsive canopy PD ever built. PD made all of the following canopies (Velocity, Katana) less sensitive to toggle input because John LeBlanc observed jumpers having problems with roll axis stability when landing their Stilettos. Small control inputs will quickly put the canopy into a steep dive that is not recoverable at low altitudes whether or not that's what you intend. Here's a Stiletto 150 fatality with just a 1.2 wing loading and 480 jumps: http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=3709212 The control sensitivity (especially with the brakes stowed) also makes the Stiletto more likely to spin up if you don't stay level during opening and deal with any problems immediately. No, because landing safely in a straight line doesn't predict a good landing when things go wrong like low turns to avoid unseen obstacles.
  14. No. Your main should be sized to land you anywhere when things are going well - you're not unconscious, not suffering from a concussion, did not dislocate your shoulder, did not break your leg, and eyes are not covered in blood from a scalp wound (I've seen all of those happen on exit or in freefall). Your reserve should be sized to land you safely under any condition. Early in your skydiving career the two should be the same size, although later the limit past which it's imprudent to down-size comes first with your reserve. For instance, I have a 105 main and 143 reserve. If I was current and jumping a cross-braced canopy a 95-97 would be fine, although an even bigger reserve would be most prudent. Single canopy reserve rides are much more common and less preventable than two-out situations and therefore the situation you want to optimize for.
  15. No. While you probably won't spend 100-200+ jumps a size you still want to spend time at each intermediate size (190, 170, etc.) practicing survival skills like low turns, cross/don-wind landings, etc. Canopy response to control input is largely a function of size so making incremental steps towards your target size still makes sense.
  16. Single engined planes don't crash hard due to a Vmc roll after loosing an engine like this Queen Air twin (14 dead, dozens injured, 20 houses damaged) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqmomTUVsAw Exactly, plus the plane will be rubber side down for the emergency landing.
  17. Around that time PD Sabres were placarded at 1 pound per square foot, and even at elevation worked great through 1.3-1.4. PD Stilettos were marked for 1.3, and even at elevation worked great through 1.6-1.7. Applying the same logic to Micro Ravens wasn't without precedent. All three weighed more than 175 naked. Plus the rig and the clothing will put them around 200 lbs out the door. Sure, although those micro-ravens are older than some of the riggers packing them and they might not know the history.
  18. You do need to learn classic accuracy approaches where 2/3 brakes yields a 1:1 glide scope with more brakes making it steeper (straight down is possible) and less flatter (about 2:1). Modern skydiving canopies don't do that regardless of cell count - more brakes flattens out the glide until you're just short of a stall. You do need to learn how to land in deep brakes. BASE wing loadings allow for comfortable hard-ground landings flaring from 3/4 brakes. At skydiving wing loadings that's less likely to work well. How much of that most people would want to do for the number of skydives that are prudent before BASE jumping (500-1000 are a much better idea than the 200 minimum some first jump courses accept) is a separate issue. While you definitely want to get reasonably proficient (land within a couple feet of your target, not a couple centimeters) with classic accuracy out of an airplane before needing to use those skills in a BASE environment, skydiving and BASE jumping are different sports. Skydive, learn about weather and winds, learn about gear and rigging, and enjoy it for years. If BASE jumping becomes inevitable (it really is a dumb idea which will probably mean spending time in a hospital) get a handle on classic accuracy and BASE canopy skills (practice things like flying backwards and stall recovery) starting thousands of feet up in an airplane with a soft pea gravel pit to land in before you need to do those things in the less forgiving BASE environment.
  19. ***I am a level 5 aft and so far everything is going great except for my landings. I flare all the way and am pretty good with my plf but I'm affraid if I don't get this right soon I'm going to break something. Everyone at the dz says I'm starting my flare way to early. I was thinking of using a digital alti on my right to try and help. At what alti should I start my flare ? [/QUOTE] 1. Altimeters aren't accurate enough for that. 2. The altitude isn't too critical. To over-generalize you want to time things so that you finish pulling just before your feet reach the ground. If the ground is taking a while to arrive pull slower or even pause, if it's coming up quickly pull faster. If you can't pull any farther keep the toggles where they are and PLF because that will suck far less than letting them up which causes the canopy to surge forward and accelerate for an even harder landing This is the sort of thing you want people watching you to teach, like your instructors. Teaching styles and backgrounds vary so you might try a different one with more experience coaching canopy flight.
  20. 0.8 not my usual 1.8 (but not entirely bad - I was out of commission for the plane crash five weeks later)
  21. It turns quickly and accelerates towards the ground when you pull on one toggle whether or not that's best for the situation A long final approach straight into the wind landing in a wide open grassy field is absurdly easy. It doesn't get difficult until you have to correct problems like making a low 90 degree turn to avoid power lines for a down-wind landing on an asphalt road on the sunset load after cute chicks flashed the pilot for extra altitude, some one in the group got hypoxic and caught their foot on a seatbelt for a long climb out and long spot, and with the low light the power lines went unnoticed until the last second. If you don't have a history making out landings with low turns to avoid obstacles you don't know how you'll do and shouldn't be jumping that canopy. If you do you have bad judgement and shouldn't be jumping that canopy. Expert advise here is Brian Germain's (xx,xxx skydives, designs parachutes, teaches canopy flight professionally around the world, studied psychology in school and writes about sports psych, etc.) 1.0 + .1 (about; there are adjustments for higher elevations) pound per square foot per 100 jumps Wingloading Never Exceed formula to provide time to learn skills, develop muscle memory, and have an acceptable psychological arousal level when dealing with problems. You've been making front riser landings (you can unintentionally add speed and need to be ready for it), 180 degree flat turns from 50 feet off the ground, steering around obstacles after plane-out, making cross-wind landings, landing down-wind, landing up and down-hill, etc? And done the same on each of the previous sizes before down-sizing? If the answer is "no" you aren't taking learning to fly that canopy very seriously at all.
  22. It's bad but I think you'll probably get away with a broken femur or tibia/fibula and not die (spine and pelvis are also possibilities but don't happen as often). Things like this fatality at 1.2 pounds per square foot http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=3709212happen but are fairly rare. After that learning experience you should (I only know one guy who made two trips to the hospital without learning his lesson, and no one who died after breaking themselves once) be fine. Hospital time also isn't always bad. Five weeks after I broke my leg I missed the plane crash with no survivors. Live life, embrace the experience, and it will be what it is.
  23. Right. Loosing access to an employer plan may also be a qualifying event for getting subsidized insurance through the ACA exchanges.
  24. How about your entire hand through the toggle with your bottom two fingers wrapped around the toggle and just using your index and middle fingers in the dive loops? Works great and makes it much harder to drop a toggle.