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Everything posted by DrewEckhardt

  1. DrewEckhardt


    1. Dress for success. Skydivers whose nickname starts with "big" (like "Big Ben") or who refer to themselves as anvils need baggy suits sometimes with wings built in to bring their drag in line with their weight. You have the opposite problem and need a slick skin tight suit as opposed to the relaxed fit student suit you've been borrowing. Increasing your weight will also help. A weight vest/belt or pockets on your first rig for lead weights will give you some pounds that are useful skydiving but don't impact the rest of your life like what you get from beer and cheeseburgers. You could also get your normal sized coaches to wear baggy free fly suits, although for more than a 2-way flat jump people will want their regular suits with grippers. 2. Be more flexible and bend in half like a yogi.
  2. DrewEckhardt

    acceptable height differential?

    It depends on how much of both jumpers height is in their legs versus torsos. The rule of thumb is that the main lift web should be your height in inches - inseam (no shoes, feet flat on the floor, measured to your crotch) - 20. Ex: 5'10 = 70" - 30.5" inseam - 20 = 19.5 and my custom rigs are 19-20". A 6'3" guy with a 35.5" inseam would fit them well if he wasn't too heavy. A shorter guy probably wouldn't have stubby enough legs for a good fit. You can have some one take your measurements as needed for a manufacturer's order form, call them with those and the rig's serial number, and have them tell you how close it'll fit and what it will cost to make it right if you want to.
  3. DrewEckhardt

    Advice on this rig?

    No. Tempos made before 2001 do not have span-wise reinforcing tapes which makes them more likely to fail in over-speed deployments, like if you have a premature deployment freeflying or your AAD tries to save you after you get knocked out and are last seen on video in an unconscious head-low back track. (PD reserves of the same vintage do, Precision added them when they got to the R-Max, Aerodyne's Smart reserve always had them) Having seen a guy spin in under a reserve split into 2 and 5 cell pieces connected by a single tape at the tail I wouldn't choose to jump such a reserve except in limited circumstances (I'll bet against a high speed deployment when doing classic accuracy starting with a hop-and-pop). The price doesn't seem too good either. 1997 is about the time when $900-$1000 got you a brand new container and IIRC I paid $550 for a brand new Tempo.
  4. DrewEckhardt

    "Must know" skills for junior riggers

    All of the above.
  5. FIrst point of contact.
  6. DrewEckhardt

    Freefly Suit doing RW

    Sometimes. Many people need more drag for popular fall rates in vertical positions than flat and compensating for the extra drag can put you too far from a neutral position to have range left over. Depends on how tight it is, the material it's made of, how much you weigh, how flexible you are, aerodynamic belly enhancements from a few too many six packs...
  7. DrewEckhardt

    1 joint = 7 weeks grounded!!

    Marijuana consumption is fine in any situation where more than one drink of alcohol is not inappropriate since the effects are of the same order. Smoking instead of eating it is fine any place smoking tobacco is OK or marijuana is specifically tolerated. If drinking two beers would have gotten the kids grounded the punishment is consistent. If not it's especially stupid. The rationale is wrong. The detection of THC metabolites seven weeks later doesn't imply that the test subjects are still under the influence.
  8. DrewEckhardt

    how old is too old?!? (buying a used reserve)

    It's too small so the question is moot. Either you weigh over ~110 pounds and the wing loading is too high or you weigh less, should have a larger main canopy because smaller canopies are more sensitive to control input, and want a reserve matching its size. The age should be fine, although after 40 repacks (13 years if it didn't sit in a closet for a fraction of that and was jumped year-round instead of seasonally with two repacks a year not three) it's required to go back for an inspection and you'd want to have that happen before you bought it.
  9. DrewEckhardt

    Cypres2 pricing?

    Used units with a lower price tag can still cost more per year to own after the discount when it isn't enough to offset the reduction in time remaining on the lifetime and maintenance cycles (plus batteries for original units).
  10. DrewEckhardt

    when to buy first rig

    Probably although 1) Your drop zone is free to impose whatever requirements it wants. 2) As far as the USPA is concerned you'd be required to have an AAD and be jumping main and reserve canopies "suitable for students" which seems open to interpretation.
  11. Yup. Classic accuracy canopies and some other traditional seven cell designs have a range of glide ratios from about 2.2:1 in full-flight to straight down in a full-sink with 2/3 brakes providing a 1:1 descent that still produces a soft landing with a full flare. The canonical classic accuracy final approach tries for a 1:1 glide path aimed just past the target and terminates with a sink over the top (preferably onto a soft surface like a tuffet or pea gravel so you can sink from higher up). You make the glide path steeper or flatter to accommodate where your final approach started and finish it off where ever you need. Modern skydiving canopies have a flatter glide in full flight, get flatter still with some brakes, and pretty much stay there until just short of stalling. Instead of controlling where you land without wind brakes just determine how fast you get there. Contemporary skydiving wing loadings (about 0.7 is ideal for classic accuracy) wouldn't produce enough aerodynamic drag after they stop flying to land you softly after a sustained sink even if that was easy to get to. So accuracy with them is largely about turning onto final approach at the right spot + altitude. Some wind gives you control over the steepness of your approach and makes modern canopies act more like accuracy canopies. That's how it works. With contemporary canopies, no wind, and nothing bad happening when you miss (flying into a boulder/tree/stadium) an accelerated approach followed by popping the canopy up, stalling, and sinking when you get where you're going works well. OTOH, with extra speed getting that wrong makes it easier to break things.
  12. DrewEckhardt

    How many jumps in six weeks?

    5-10 a day are pretty reasonable after you complete the AFF program; so you could do 200-400 jumps although you'd do better spending some of your time and money at a vertical wind tunnel. iFly SFBay is probably a couple hours from Davis. Eloy is too hot in the summer. Utah isn't a destination drop zone and probably doesn't get enough loads off the ground during week days. California is the place you want to be.
  13. DrewEckhardt

    Advice on buying first wingsuit for boyfriend

    Nope - they're usually made to measure (and you get to pick colors too).
  14. DrewEckhardt

    a real bummer, but another question

    I don't think it's a good idea to do anything which risks a high impact (as with a tunnel wall or the net for any skydiver trying something new in the tunnel) if you're not cleared for high impact sports like running. You'll be out of commission a _lot_ longer if you do more damage than if you just let yourself heal.
  15. DrewEckhardt

    buy gear or wait?

    No. It's not the accuracy into a wide open field that you're worried about (that's easy). You're sizing your canopy for landing at dusk with a low turn to avoid unseen power lines to a down-wind landing on asphalt (think about what happens on the sunset load when the cute chicks flash the pilot for extra altitude and some one in your group gets hypoxic and gets their foot caught on the seatbelt so you take forever to climb out and have a long spot). Things seem to happen much faster, you may not stay flat enough in the turn to avoid a painful impact, and you won't get away with running out a landing where you didn't flare all the way. Buy used gear. Switch to a 150 after 100 total jumps if you're comfortable doing all of the things in Bill von Novak's checklist and still want to. Another 70.
  16. DrewEckhardt

    Out For The Count

    The only video I've seen had the jumper go head down (in a sortof back track) when he he left the jump (got hit by a deploying AFF student or his bag - it's been a while). The reserve split into 2 and 5 cell pieces connected by the single reinforcing tape at the tail and spun in so he probably stayed in a similar high-speed orientation. He lived.
  17. DrewEckhardt

    Size Main to Reflex R100

    Unlikely. R200 and R300 were made for 97 mains and 260/360 cubic inch reserves respectively. R100 sized for a reserve smaller than 120 square feet and main no bigger than a 97 would be consistent. riggermick designed and built them and should have the definitive answer Size chart here [URL] http://web.archive.org/web/20050307150002/http://www.tridenthc.com/ReflexSizes.htm [/URL]
  18. DrewEckhardt

    B-17 Skydive in New Jersey (Monmouth)

    I'd only write off $425 since a jump ticket is usually $25, but am not an accountant. IRS Topic 506 says
  19. DrewEckhardt

    Save as draft

    Use firefox with mozex so that you can edit text input using the editor of your choice.
  20. DrewEckhardt

    Pro-Track & computer connection

    Yes. The pro-track has an infra-red LED on back which lines up with an IR receiver in the cradle with a standard serial connection on the other end. It's not a standard IR protocol. There are other recording altimeter devices that have mini-USB or standard IR interfaces.
  21. DrewEckhardt

    Jumping With Eyeglasses?

    Over-the-glasses goggles. You only have to keep them tight for a few minutes. Prescription goggles are another option.
  22. DrewEckhardt

    Sinking: Z-Po vs. Lo-Po (F-111)

    ZP lasts for more pack jobs, has different failure modes, and takes more packing skill to get in the bag especially with tight containers. Otherwise there isn't a difference. George Galloway of Precision talked about this when he had an internet presence (rec.skydiving? dz.com? I don't remember) and was quizzed about the -MZ Raven reserves. Most ZP canopies have _very_ different planforms, airfoils, and/or line trim from most 0-3 CFM canopies. Most ZP canopies are jumped at wing loadings beyond where you'd be happy starting at the stall speed, dropping to zero forward speed, and just using the aerodynamic drag to slow you down over the last X feet. Comfort calls for converting your forward speed to lift (or even brakes in the forward direction) and with a slow approach to a pure sink there isn't any. Canopies which sink well have low aspect ratio planforms, big fat airfoils, wide open noses facing downward, and a nose-down trim. There's no intersection with typical skydiving canopies having tapered planforms with 2.5-3:1 aspect ratios, skinny low drag airfoils, closed off noses for nice openings and less drag, and flat trims to get back from long spots without using any controls. I don't know how much of that is technically relevant; some may just be correlated to sinking ability, things like wanting such canopies to recover more quickly when you do go too far with the toggles. Try a ZP topskin BASE canopy (I really like my Fox, and the Flik should be similar), ZP Lightning, or maybe a Raven -MZ for comparison purposes at under a pound per square foot. At least 3/4 brakes level from any altitude followed by a small flare close to ground level works great for comfy stand-up landings at reasonable wing loadings. Full sink (zero forward airspeed) from a few feet works with any landing conditions. I haven't tried a full sink from roof-top level or beyond all the way in (maybe once when the idiot I was jumping with flew himself into a cliff and I was paying more attention to him lying on the ground than landing before the end of the 50x100' landing area with no outs and I had to get down without over-flying after loosing half it to distraction). With a canopy that will steepen into a nice classic accuracy approach you just don't need to sink from roof-top height or beyond. This requires the F111 canopy to be fresh. A couple hundred jumps qualifies at reasonable wingloadings. 1000 jumps is dumpster or car-cover material. Old Pharts with Excalibur F111 cross-braced tri-cell experience say it was jumped out before 500 landings. "reasonable" is defined as under a pound per square foot, with .7 being a nice number that doesn't get too mushy on the controls. That wingloading is both a speed and control sensitivity thing. "sink" means gradually slowing down to zero forward airspeed and not going backwards. It's not good to go too far and fly backwards to an ass-first landing. Flying small ZP canopies in where your feet would be below ground level if extended, popping up to kill your forward speed, and sinking a couple feet works really well especially at moderate to high (1.9) wing loadings and density altitudes (9000 feet plus) where your short stubby legs may have problems running as fast as the canopy stops flying when flown all the way to the ground. This also disregards user interface issues. On canopies which sink nice adding brakes steepens your glide path (maybe 1:1 at 2/3 brakes) and past where the wing is stalled you still have control with too much brakes sending you backwards and the boundary between the two being a little like riding the clutch on a stick shift or motorcycle in traffic. Without good sinking ability the glide flattens and then remains pretty constant until it steepens around the stall point with little room before things get exciting.
  23. DrewEckhardt

    Buy now, pay later skydive shops?

    If you can't come up with that much money at once, you aren't well off enough to be buying gear that new. Especially for a rig you'll probably want to replace within 400 jumps. I paid $700 for my last container+reserve and have sold mains for $350. With some patience you can find something nice for half what you're having trouble coming up with.
  24. DrewEckhardt

    Closing my main container is a

    Measure your bag and ask jump shack how its dimensions compare to what they're supposed to be. Packing technique has a lot to do with how tight the fit is. Assuming you haven't been paying for your jumping habit by working as a packer you don't have enough experience to pack canopies as small as they could be, especially when new.
  25. DrewEckhardt

    Vent holes in ZP canopies?

    Just wait until you get 500-1000 jumps on the canopy. The stitching holes will open up so it's easier to get the air out and the surface coating will wear down so the fabric stays put almost like F111.