michaelted57

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Gear

  • Main Canopy Size
    96
  • Main Canopy Other
    Xaos 21-93, Crossfire-99 & 125, Crosfire
  • Reserve Canopy Size
    143
  • Reserve Canopy Other
    PD 126
  • AAD
    Vigil

Jump Profile

  • Home DZ
    Skydive Oregon
  • License
    D
  • License Number
    16891
  • Licensing Organization
    USPA
  • Number of Jumps
    8300
  • Tunnel Hours
    25
  • Years in Sport
    35
  • First Choice Discipline
    Freefall Photography
  • First Choice Discipline Jump Total
    4500
  • Second Choice Discipline
    Formation Skydiving
  • Second Choice Discipline Jump Total
    3000

Ratings and Rigging

  • AFF
    Instructor
  • USPA Coach
    Yes
  • Rigging Back
    Master Rigger
  • Rigging Seat
    Master Rigger

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  1. michaelted57

    Do Skydivers Care About Safety

    I LOVE to see this article. As someone who has been around for 36 years in the sport, I have seen so many silly and stupid decisions by people just as Bill describes. I hate to point out that I started in this sports 36 years ago, and Bill was already a gear manufacturer, had already invented the hand-deployed pc and 3-ring release, and was making rigs that would accommodate square reserves. He says he's only been in the sport 35 years... Sorry Bill. Most of us know it's been longer than that!
  2. michaelted57

    Hearing Safety For Skydivers: It’s A Thing

    Very good article! I have been skydiving for 36 years and working in high-noise environments for most of that time as well, and I now wear hearing protection on all my jumps. but I didn't start wearing hearing protection until it was too late... Now it is difficult to understand what people are saying and I have a constant ringing squeal in my head that is loud enough to drown out the sound of the motor running in my car. One thing that the author didn't mention is that freefall (even with a full-face helmet) is well over 100 decibels. In order to protect what hearing I have left I wear earplugs with a string between them so I can pull them out after my canopy opens. These cost about $0.25 a set when you buy them in bulk. Trust me, it is well worth it. I tell all my students to wear hearing protection as soon as they are off the radio, and to keep wearing it for their skydiving career.
  3. michaelted57

    Skydive City - Z-Hills

    I was at Skydive City for the first time this last March for the Z-team sequential jumps. This is my new favorite DZ! Anything you need to survive and jump is on the DZ. You literally NEVER have to go into town if you come relatively well prepaired. The staff of the DZ is friendly and competent. It is a real pleasure to jump in a place like this.
  4. michaelted57

    PD Reserve

    An aquaintenct of mine at our DZ happens to be a sponsered PD canopy flyer, and so he gets all the cool stuff. This weekend he brought the new 126 Optimum Reserve (set up like a main) to the DZ for those of us who might want to try one out. I had just jumped a standard PD-126 last summer when the PD Tour came to our DZ, so I felt I could make a fair comparison. This new reserve packs up tiny! It looked equavalent to a 109 in pack volume when I put it in my rig. This is great for those of us who like the idea of a bigger reserve; with an Optimum Reserve we can get more parachute in our container than we could before. For reference, I weigh 180 lbs without clothes, and about 205 out-the-door, and I have about 4300 jumps. This loaded the 126 to about 1.6 to 1, which is way high for a reserve. I took the Optimum 126 on a relative-work jump with a recently graduated student because I wanted to see what the opening shoke would be like at terninal. I make a lot of camera jumps, and the opening shock at terminal is a big concern for guy (or gals) with a lot of weight on our heads. I watched my digital altimeter when I pitched to check my altitude loss during opening. I pitched at 3400 ft exactly. The opening was very firm, but not uncomfortable at all; certainly not any worse than some popular mains. The interesting thing was that as soon as I saw an open canopy over my head, I checked my altitude again, and it read 3150 ft! The opening felt like a very firm, STEADY pull on my harness, but there was no real "shock" as I expected. So this translates into a 250 ft opening with no trauma as is usually associated with such fast openings. NICE! We had a very stiff upper wind, so we had drifted a long ways in free-fall, and I found myself thinking I probably would not nake it back to the field (even if I had jumped my regular main). I did my CCC and was pleasantly surprised with the powerful flare and responsive turns. I went into half brakes to try to stay aloft in order to get closer to the DZ. The canopy floated very nicely, and I realized that I would make it back easily, so I tried to find the stall point so I could get a better feel for the canopy. I am 5' 10" tall, and I had to take a wrap of brake line on my hands to cause a stall. This thing could be landed in a very tight space if needed. Very quick recovery from the stall too. . . I then applied some rear risers to try to gain some of the lost distance from the stall and to see how the canopy flew in that mode. Rear toggle pressure was not light, but the amount of float gained was impressive. After I got back over the landing area, I decided to not turn into the wind because I was really too low to be making 180 turns on an unfamiliar canopy, so I landed downwind off to the side of the Dz out of the landing pattern. This parachute has a very fast forward speed for a reserve! This could be bad if you have a high wing loading and land unconcious, but you would probably still have the brakes set, so it would be slower than if you had released them. I was able to land the canopy standing up with only about three or four steps out of the landing (downwind with a wind speed of about 4 knots). I am confident that if I had landed into the wind it would have been a one-step landing. The only thing about this reserve that concerns me is that some will buy an even smaller container thinking they can get a very small packing reserve in it. This will make for some very fast landings under reserves. The idea should be to stay with the same size container, and be able to fit a bigger reserve in it. Remember, this is a FAST parachute. I would jump this parachute as a main, and like it (alot). It performs more like a main than a traditional reserve, the openings are fast, but not hard, and it packs up very small. This would be a GREAT main parachute for wingsuit flyers or for people who do a lot of big-ways (those of you who do big-ways will understand). The cost for this reserve is about $300 more than PD's traditional reserves. In summary: Packs up VERY SMALL, fast but not uncomfortable openings, POWERFUL flare, practically stall proof, fast forward speed (at least at high wing loadings), Slows down in toggles and floats wonderfully, flies like a main, lands more like a main than a traditional reserve, costs about $300 more than a traditional reserve. When Can I get mine?
  5. michaelted57

    Crossfire 2

    I have parachutes like some women have shoes, and I jump everything I can get my hands on whenever I get the chance, so I feel my input may be more valid than someone who has jumped only one type of canopy for a long time. The Crossfire2 is a step up from the original Crossfire, which is also a fine canopy (I have three original Crossfires in different sizes, as well as a Crossfire2, a Sabre2, a Safire, a Spectre, a Velocity, a Falcon, a Triathlon and a Cruiselite, and I have jumped almost every other parachute that is out there on the market right now). Toggle pressure is remarkably light, as is riser pressure, while response to input is much greater than it was with the original Crossfire. Response is not as quick as a Stiletto, but the recovery arc is (much) longer and the flare power is in a different league altogether. There seems to be no end to a well timed dynamic flare, and a jumpers arms are not as long as the available flare. Done right, the landings come to a dead stop before lift is lost. The Crossfire2 is not as fast as a similar sized Velocity, but what is? I make mostly work jumps (Camera, AFF, Coaching, etc.) and I do not like having to pay more attention to flying my parachute than to watching students or traffic, and I find that me Crossfire2 affords me a good balance between high performance and predictibility. This parachute does not exactly fly itself, but it does not require as much attention as some of the other high performance 9-cells out there. One of the best things about the Crossfire2 is the consistant, on-heading, soft opening. It does take about 700 to 1000 feet from pitch to CCC (canopy control check; What? You don't do that anymore? Shame on you!), so you Sabre lovers will have quite a surprise, and should probably throw out a bit earlier than you are used to. For the experienced canopy pilot, this is a very good, well balanced, fun to fly parachute. Go Get one!
  6. michaelted57

    Vigil 1 Control Unit

    While I certainly agree with Airtec that an AAD should be 100% reliable, I would remind readers that the Cypres went through some problems in it's earlier stages. Some have faulted the Vigil for the problem they had with static electricity causing a premature activation on the ground (while the reserve was being packed on nylon carpet in cold, dry conditons), it should be noted that the Cypres also had some accidental activations due to radio interference. The Vigils that were affected by this problem were fixed by the factory, and subsequent versions have had no problems to date. I personally like all the things I listed in the "Pros" section at the beginning of this review, but my favorite feature of the vigil is the way it determines if it should activate or not. Unlike the Cypres Expert, which decides at 1000ft to activate at 750ft if the parameters have been met (a person who deploys at a low altitude and snivels through 1000 ft at a speed greater than 78 mph will get a reserve opening at 750ft even if their main canopy is fully deployed at 900ft), the Vigil measures the speed of descent and calculates the estimated time to activation altitude every 8th of a second. The result (as I understand it) is that the situation that would result if a two-canopy-out situation in the example with the Cypres above, would not have the same potentially desaterous consequences with a Vigil. This wold have eliminated at least three two-canopy-out situations that I have witnessed over the years. This feature alone makes the Vigil a better choice in my opinion.
  7. michaelted57

    Skydive Oregon, Inc.

    In the summer this is a great place to be for the experienced skydiver or the newby. In the winter the level of individual attention almost outweighs the long waits between jumpable weather days. The staff is very professional and competent. There are several world record holders in several disciplines who call this DZ home, and they are always available to help. With my job I could live anywhere and jump anywhere, and I choose to live here because of this DZ.
  8. michaelted57

    Altimaster Neptune

    I love my Neptune. I just put it on and forget it. It turns itself on in the plane, changes to Freefall mode when you leave the plane, and turns itself off after a few minutes on the ground. Big numbers are easy to read in freefall. Canopy mode (comes on automatically at opening) shows feet above take-off point not in hundreds, but in feet! This is great for canopy pilots who want consistant start altitudes on their turns. I have been trying to edit my earlier review of the Neptune and Paralog software, but am having some difficulty. The software writer and I had a misunderstanding early in a correspondence regarding a problem I had with the program, and I wrote a review that was harsh on him and the software before I understood that he had misunderstood what I was trying to convey to him, probably due to my not being clear enough. We have since figured out the misunderstanding and he (Klaus) was willing and able to help me fix the problem. I would recommend this altimeter and the Paralog program to anyone who wants to log their jumps with a computer.
  9. michaelted57

    Safire 2

    I normally jump Crossfires and a Sabre 2, and I was evaluating the Safire 149 for a friend of mine. I made a few jumps on it and was favorably impressed by the consistant on-heading openings and very light toggle pressure, but especially by the very nice (and fun) landings. This canopy has the very powerful, and seemingly endless flare I have come to love in my Crossfires, albeit with a little more civilized manner. The Safire seemed not quite as fast as the Sabre 2, but it did not have the tendency to turn on opening that the Sabre 2 has, and the flare is superior in my opinion. Toggle pressure is light and riser inputs are easier than with my Sabre 2. For those wanting a little flexibility in thier canopy flying style, this is a very good choice. As an AFF-I and Camera flyer, I have come to appreciate canopies that allow me to concentrate on my job and not worry about the parachute, but I also like to have fun when I can afford more attention to the canopy flight. The Safire is a very good parachute for this kind of flexibility. I like the soft openings too, but they consistantly take 1000 ft. So if you like to do a lot of hop-n-pops from low altitudes, you may have to consider a higher exit altitude.
  10. michaelted57

    Infinity

    When ordering the rig for a certain canopy size, you are limited to about one size up or down from the size it was designed for. The custom fit rig is very comfortable, and the workmanship is excellent. Being a rigger, one of my main concerns is ease of packing. The Infinity is as easy to pack as any other rig out there, and much easier than some that are touted as being "rigger friendly". As a long-time jumper who has had many reserve rides, I really appreciate the great pilot chute launch and the high-drag reserve pilot chute. The Infinity is a very nice looking rig with lots of thought going into the design and production of the details as well as the general function of the system.