BMAC615

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BMAC615 last won the day on April 4 2023

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  1. Here’s a video with a pretty good summary of electric aviation accomplishments in 2023.
  2. I agree. Just wondering if the issue is container bulk or size of the reserve PC Cap. In other words, is this a flaw with the recommended canopy sizes or is this a container design flaw?
  3. Is there any information whether or not the reserve and main were “full fit?”
  4. The tunnel Havoks are not exactly the same as a commercially available Havoc.
  5. Yeah, this was a solid cost cutting measure. I support it.
  6. Most docile with lowest pack volume are Epicene Pro and Horizon. They are both basically reserve canopies with ZP nose. Would recommend WL <1.3. If you want to load more or want a longer recovery arc and more powerful flare: Omicron or WinX hybrid. Highest pack volume and sportiest flight is full ZP WinX or Pilot7. You didn’t ask, but I’ll offer it anyway: don’t rush to the ATC. Master all flight controls, pitches and orientations in the Swift first. You’ll be a better pilot as a result.
  7. This is a rhetorical question, but, “Why was a top level pilot coaching this person?”
  8. This comment about USPA was made by @NickDG in 2008: Before forums on the internet completely imploded into anonymity and incivility we urged the USPA Board to use the net to open a dialogue with its members. They didn't, and it was a combination of some not being computer savvy enough, or if they were, thinking it a severe breech of USPAs bunker mentality. And by bunker mentality I mean a combination of hiding most of the year in a cold weather state, allowing their RDs, ST&As, and (as we see here) their candidates to shield them from the heat on a day to day basis. And when they do make a public appearance en masse they use secrecy to shroud their inner workings. Now I'd think secrecy is sometimes called for in cases like fatalities so board members can speak frankly without the worry of offending long time friends or the deceased's families. But they surely abuse the secrecy thing and they use it for every hot button issue. Now a word or two on the first time candidates and the threads here where we're supposed to ask them questions. To the folks asking the questions - ease up a little bit. The candidates are the least culpable in anything the USPA has done in the past. And the candidates, even though they realize there are issues and problems, may think of the USPA like a benign and friendly member association when it's really more like the Mafia or the Hells Angels. What will happen is once elected the hierarchy of USPA will endeavor to convince them it's not them against USPA, it's USPA against the great unwashed, which is us - the rank and file members. So like freshman Congressmen they will either drink the kool-aid and get onboard or life will be made miserable for them. And being onboard means survival of the USPA is job one. And believe it, the board does hears us when we say things like we should drop USPA and go with AOPA, and it scares them. I suppose like many long time members I have a love/hate relationship with the USPA. In my first few years of the 70s, I loved them, I devoured every word in the magazine, and USPA was my hero and champion. Then slowly and through the 80s I saw the cracks began to appear, the nepotism, the old boy network, the don't rock the boat, and the propensity to hang individual jumpers out to dry when that was the easiest thing to do. And while I didn't realize it at the time USPA was becoming less a member's representative and more a trade group for people in the business of skydiving. So when we write long, pointed, almost accusatory posts, asking questions and demanding answers of our candidates we are already starting them down the road where it becomes easier for them to believe USPA and its methods are more sanctuary then adversary. And a lot of people here help that along by saying, "run for USPA office or shut the hell up!" That's B.S. It's like saying run for Congress or you have no right to voice opposition to your government. Yet, where we do fail is we don't confront the USPA enough with our concerns. So where the candidate's forum could work is in just listing our concerns for new candidates to become familiar with. Such as pure tandem mills getting association protection and benefits while excluding up-jumpers, a group member program that should be strictly a member to member program, and the fact USPA pretty much pulled the covers over their heads concerning the swoop death rate issue. I'd also like to see groundings come back. And not on a DZ level, but on a USPA level. People do get kicked off DZs these days, but it's usually for wacky ground antics and not wacky air antics. And anyway the offenders just move on to another DZ. I think any ST&A or Instructor should be able to document a jumper who's an accident waiting to happen, and if they prove their case, the aberrant jumper's USPA card would be flagged as grounded, not for 30 or 60 days, but if warranted for six months, or even forever. One thing that we accomplished when we grounded people all the time is sometimes it kept them from killing themselves in the next few jumps and it matured them a little bit. Another issue is USPA HQs very location. When they moved from San Francisco to the DC area many many years ago it sort of made sense. It was to be near the seats of power, and indeed Bill Ottley like to portray himself as running down to the halls of Congress (sometimes through the snow) for a beat down every time legislation that could possible affect skydiving popped up. But that was flawed reasoning and if you go along with it then USPA HQs should really be located across the street from FAA HQs in Oklahoma. But even that's a stretch in these days of instant communication and cheap airfares. USPA should be where the members are. I believe USPA HQ should be located in a Sunbelt state and next to a large DZ like Eloy, Perris, or Deland. A place where many members rotate in and out of, a place where the most members can knock on USPA's door year round with their concerns. As it is now it seems to me like they're hiding out in the DC area during the winter. Besides that there are other issues. I've watched USPA sit by and watch Instructors have their power stripped away, I've watched the various methods of instruction, the product of years of research and refinement turn into a hokey hodgepodge of hybrid programs designed to favor a DZOs bottom line rather than students and teachers. We totally allowed our AFF certification courses, once a flagship program copied the world over, to be dumbed down to the point of being toothless. There were I know issues with it but the answer was making the AFF cert course real schools on instruction and not just cert courses. But they skipped over that and just made the cert easier to get. Another thing I hear people say all the time is, "I'd rather have the USPA regulating us rather than the FAA." So let's examine that for a bit. This is a USPA scare tactic that works and they count on it. But the FAA, or more specifically the FARs, already does regulate the sport of skydiving, and also more importantly, they protect it. The feds recognize skydiving as a legitimate aeronautical activity and it's the reason we can't arbitrarily be banned from airports that accept federal funds (and that's the majority of GA airports.) Generally, Part 105 of the FARs is all we need to regulate skydiving. The USPA is just a façade built upon those federal regs. And if the USPA did all of sudden disappear and the FAA felt the need to get deeper into skydiving it would not be the end of the world. I'm sure like they do in other areas they'd hire experienced parachutists to oversee things and I could finally get my dream job. A skydiving instructor with a badge! Besides, rarely does an entire week go by without a General Aviation accident that results in fatalities. And most of the time it's not only a licensed pilot who dies, but they take one or more innocent passengers with them. The FAA understands well that when people fly people die. So I doubt they would overreact and start strictly over regulating skydiving. And seriously, if the FAA tried to do anything detrimental to skydiving there is actually more of a re-course already built into federal rule making system, and even more so than what we have with USPA. Thirty five or forty thousand of us could actually get the FAA to do something we wanted in the long run. They are bound by law to consider our concerns. Thirty five or forty thousand of us can't get the USPA to do anything. They can simply throw our concerns in the shitcan and there's nothing we can do about itl. I know many will say, "Who cares about all this?" And don't think the USPA doesn't count heavily on that. They know most of their members stay in the sport for seven years or so and those members just want to go to the DZ on weekends and make some jumps. And that's fine and dandy but who's watching the store? It used to be USPA printed a detailed line item budget every year in the magazine and any member could see where every penny went. They still run it but now it's so general in nature you really can’t tell where the money goes. There's no doubt Bill Ottley saved the USPA in the 80s when they didn’t have two cents to rub together. They were actually cancelling general membership meetings for a time because they couldn't afford them. But through some good real estate and investment deals Bill turned all that around. But the down side is now we have $100,000 per year Executive Directors camping out and collecting that money for years and years. The Executive Director slot shouldn't be a Pope for life position. Term limits should be in place and I'm not so sure letting the Board decide who gets the ED position is all that wise. But I don't know how to fix that as the general membership is too apathic to cast an informed vote in that regard. One thing maybe we could do is let any member run for the job of ED, and have the board vote rather than just decide like they do now. (BTW, I pretty sure that's the way it works so let me know if I'm wrong). And as it stands now the job of ED surely calls for someone who's not necessarily a very experienced jumper but more someone who's an experienced administrator. And in our ranks at large we have plenty of those folks. I've learned and taught others to always end a critique on a high note so here goes. The new website is great, a big improvement, and Shirley has made the magazine into a thing of beauty. But it's just lipstick on a, - Whoa, almost blew it there . . . NickDG August 7, 2008 https://www.dropzone.com/forums/topic/138544-example-of-uspa's-problems/page/2/?tab=comments#comment-3090631
  9. Just learned this has been an ongoing thing for quite a while. Found This thread from 2009 that discusses USPA’s response back then.
  10. John LeBlanc talks about it in This video recording of a seminar he gave.
  11. Wingsuit specific canopies like the WinX, Epicene Pro and Omicron are designed to pack 2+ sizes smaller than same size ZP 9-Cell canopies so you can use the same container and lower your WL on a 7-cell to reduce (eliminate?) chops from line twists.
  12. Canopy sq ft. It’s also an estimate as when you order, you’ll let them know the exact main/reserve you’ll be using and they will size according to their experience with those canopies.
  13. I’d put ATC, Low-Ki and Barracuda 4, all in a similar category as the wing is connected to your ankles as compared to a beginner suit like the Swift or Piranha where the wing terminates just below the hip. Being connected to the ankle vs hip puts more fabric behind you at pull time as well as restricts arm movement after deployment. Small suits also let you make bigger mistakes when flying with the wings as big inputs mean less drastic movements. Being connected at the ankle means leg movements and lower body position is more critical. I wouldn’t say the B4 is any more or less beginner friendly than the ATC or Low-Ki. However, if you’re picking from those three, you probably won’t notice much difference unless you put some serious time in the tunnel with each one. If you’re just flying around the sky with friends and learning, you can’t go wrong with the B4. However, I’ll restate that you might want to also consider what your friends are flying for compatibility. Adjustable internal wing pressure is just a zipper in the arm wing that you can open or close to make the suit more or less pressurized. More pressurized is slightly faster. Most people just keep them zipped up. I don’t know anyone who uses them to adjust for anything specific. I once flew a Havoc in the Stockholm tunnel and didn’t notice one of the wing zippers was zipped and the other wasn’t. I felt something was slightly off, but it wasn’t a huge problem to correct with minor body position change. After that session, I got out and checked the suit and zipped it back up. I probably wouldn’t have noticed if I weren’t in the tunnel.
  14. You won’t find many who have flown the Low-Ki as it’s fairly new. Probably the only people who would be able to answer this question with authority would be Patrick or Arvid who are coaches at the Indoor Wingsuit Wind Tunnel in Stockholm. They helped with the R&D of the Low-Ki and have experience with nearly all the current wingsuit designs. I’m sure they’d give an unbiased answer if you reach out to them. Without much tunnel time of your own, you might not notice much difference between the two. As for my opinion, it depends on who you will be flying with. In the US, most people’s progression is flying a Swift, then an ATC, and then a Freak. How many flights they put on the Swift and ATC before transitioning to the Freak will be dictated by how eager they are to upsize their suit. You might be a little aggressive going to a Low-Ki or ATC after only 30 flights, but that’s for you to decide. You might want to rent a Swift 4 or 5 and put 25 or 30 flights on it before transitioning to the Low-Ki, ATC 4 or Barracuda 4. I know Intrudair is a little more popular in Europe, so if the people you are flying with fly Intrudair, go with them.
  15. I think we are, at the core, in agreement: Downsizing prematurely is bad and skydivers should seek competent canopy instruction before learning to “swoop.” What I think this conversation has highlighted is that there are many opinions, even amongst “professional canopy coaches,” of how to approach “swooping.” Heck, most skydivers can’t even agree on “what is swooping.” Also, the high performance canopy culture encourages aspiring skydivers to “swoop” and, regardless of if they are getting instruction from “professional canopy coaches,” they are getting injured and killed. Lastly, there is no instructor qualification program to help aspiring skydivers to identify who is and who is not qualified to give advice regarding canopy gear and flight progression.