• Content

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Feedback

  • Country

    United States

Community Reputation

1 Neutral

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. I don't know if anyone is still "listening" to this old thread, but in February 1979 I had both main and reserve plastic ripcord handles break on one jump. I had no idea why the main totaled, I had the handle (broken off) in my hand. When I went for the reserve it wasn't there; I thought I had a floating reserve handle (which had actually fractured when I first grabbed for it). All that was left was a plastic stub on the swaged end of the reserve cable, sticking out the end of the cable housing which I had followed down to pull, deploying very close to Sparta IL airport beacon. 11 second reserve ride on that 26' LoPo. I didn't know the cause until after I landed. I'm holding the main ripcord handle, but the rest is still tucked in its pocket. Someone ran up to me holding the reserve ripcord, shouting "Look, there's no handle!" Fragments were later recovered when snow melted. I still have what's left of those handles, after having submitted them for inspection. The replacement plastic main handle the company sent me lasted three years, breaking on a winter dive in '82-83.
  2. After a dozen T10 jumps I purchased the hot canopy, a ParaCommander in a military B-12 rig from Para Gear, and a 26' LoPo in a belly mount reserve. After 186 jumps, and watching squares with rings and ropes malfunction regularly, they came out with the Strato-Star/SST rig with shorter lines and a factory slider. I was all-in, and absolutely loved that canopy. Custom colors Black and yellow stripes with red highlights. I put many hundreds of jumps on that canopy, until one boogie, when three of the cells blew out at the tail. I chopped away the two-cell spinner and rode the 26' LoPo down. Getting the reserve repacked was no challenge at the boogie, but what to do for a main? Someone more intoxicated than me said, "just use 100 mile an hour (Duct) tape on it." I found a roll of silver Duct tape, sealed the tail of the three cells, packed it up, and jumped it. It worked just fine! I continued to jump that canopy for years, eventually developing a minimalist pack job I could do in under three minutes (and then organize another load and get back on the manifest). I ditched the bag and all rubber bands. I'd lay the canopy on its side, stow the brakes, pull the slider up, roll the nose to the middle, roll the tail to the middle, coil the lines in a circle into the pack and s-fold the canopy over it. Then shove the pilot chute on top of the mess and close container. The openings weren't much different than standard, just a bit faster, with the occasional BANG opening. After several more years and hundreds more jumps, one day that canopy just blew up on opening. Another 26' LoPo ride. But retrieving the cutaway, lo and behold. It was the OTHER two cells that blew out the tail. The Duct Tape still held the first three together intact! I saved that canopy in a garbage bag and still have it as proof! About that time I was studying for my medical Boards, coloring in schemes for my new PD230. Bill Coe and I were buddies back then. An odd fellow, he was jumping a Hornet (the half-celled canopy that flew horribly) and experimenting with it. He eventually founded Performance Designs and their line of magnificent flyers, and I enjoyed the next 500 jumps on the PD230, never again resorting to the reserve. But the best story with my Strato-Star/SST was when BOTH RIPCORDS BROKE. Its a story for another time, but suffice it to say I was pleased when the reserve opened at 200' after pulling on the swaged end of the ripcord cable (all that was left). John Sherman kindly sent me two replacement plastic ripcord handles in compensation. Although I replaced the reserve handle with metal, I jumped with the plastic main handle, which also broke four years later!