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    Cypres 2

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    Perris Valley
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  1. Perris and Elsinore are both terrific dropzones. I was mainly a Perris jumper, but used to jump at Elsinore sometimes too, especially for their annual Chicks Rock boogie. I used to tell people that the two places offered "different flavors" of skydiving. I haven't jumped in five years and things always change. Lately I've seen where some Perris staff are now staffing at Elsinore, so the mix and flavor are always changing. Go jump and enjoy both places, one will probably start to feel more like home after a while.
  2. Square 1 preaches that you should never try a new canopy AND downsize at the same time (in fact they don't allow it). You do one or the other. That would be an especially good idea here because the Crossfire 2 (or the newer 3) is a fully elliptical canopy. The Sabre 2 is a semi elliptical "medium" performing canopy, so when you go Crossfire you're going to get more performance right off the bat with the same size. You need to be more careful with a full elliptical. Don't be in such a hurry - and get some solid coaching.
  3. I remember the Strato Flyer was popular with little guys and little women. It was notoriously hard to flare. Also, it was released so the jumping public could do the test jumping for the Safety Flyer reserve version, only Para Flite never told anybody about that part. Safety Flyer was the first TSO'd square reserve, released in 1978.
  4. In April of 1974 I was eighteen years old. I had always wanted to jump, ever since I learned about parachutes. My dad made me a parachute with a clothes pin, some cellophane and string when I was five years old. Then in 1962 there was this Friday night skydiving adventure show called "Ripcord". That was the first film of freefall I'd ever seen. It confused me because they didn't look like they were falling. But I knew with great resolve that I would do this someday.I was hooked right then and there. So that chilly Saturday morning I went up and made a static line jump with a 32 ft T-10 main canopy from a Cessna 182 at 2500 ft. It was the first of many jumps to come. But the silence after opening has never quite repeated. Your humble servant.....Professor Gravity !
  5. With reserves being on a 180 day repack cycle, I recommend paying your rigger to do a complete examination of your entire rig, including your main and main pilot chute. If your rigger recommends some work or replacements, get them done. Don't ever forget that your rig saves your life every time you use it. Whatever the work costs is just the price of having fun and staying alive. But apart from caring for your rig, I have a basic disagreement with the deployment method being taught nowadays. This is the method of grabbing your pc by the handle and whipping it out of the pouch with an aggressive throw. It works most of the time, but can also fall victim to an accidently lazy throw. This can flip the p/c over your back, where it will collapse and crawl around your back like an evil jelly fish. It's happened to a number of friends and it's happened to me - once. It's a really dangerous situation and simply rolling on one's side doesn't always clear it, aside from wasting time and altitude. Since my one malfunction with this problem, I reverted to the old school method of pulling my pc to full arm's length and letting it go. I am NOT advocating holding onto the pc for any length of time, this is one smooth pull and release, with no foolin' around. At arm's length, that sucker will not flip over your back. If you've maintained it properly and remembered to cock it, your release will get the job done. Your humble servant.....Professor Gravity !
  6. What about wearing them on the way down? That's the concern I see. Not much point in wearing them on the way up anyway. I think the idea is to keep the noise low in freefall. I've felt my ears pop several times in freefall and that's with nothing in them. I would think putting in ear plugs would make that a whole lot worse. I always wore them all the way up and down. Between the engine and freefall noise, your hearing needs protection. I used the soft foam kind you'd usually find in a factory. The foam is porous, no problems with pressure equalization. It also mutes the shrill piercing sound of an audible going off next to your ear. I could hear mine just fine without the drama. Whatever your age, we all need to protect whatever hearing we have. It's precious and when it's lost, it's lost. Your humble servant.....Professor Gravity !
  7. Final note - I still have a video from an AFF level 2 I did years ago. Student pulled, I turned to leave, got about 5 feet away. The PC launched, arched over him towards me, landed on my back, then finally caught air and deployed. All I felt was a little tap. PC's do strange things. I might just add that a few of us started jumping before hand deploy came into widespread use - I first saw a hand deploy rig in 1976, after having started two years earlier. In those days, we regarded hesitations as a fact of life and frequently talked about them and our own methods of avoiding or dealing with them. Today's generation of jumpers know only hand deploy and never even pull a ripcord until they're already in trouble. There is a real knowledge gap in the art of ripcord deployment that needs more attention. Your humble servant.....Professor Gravity !
  8. I assume we're talking about terminal openings here. Back forty years ago we'd breakoff 8 - 10 Ways at 3500 and for something bigger, like a 16 Way we'd break at 4 grand to be on the safe side. I was once on a 36 Way that broke off in 3 waves, at 4500, 3500, and 3 grand, with everyone told to track to 2 grand. It was all by the book too, pretty much. I'm not jumping anymore, but in this century I was comfortable with the 4500 ft breakoffs and 4 grand for 4 Way. Usually my pull alarm (set for 3 grand) would go off at line stretch, as my canopy was shaking itself out. On some of the bigger ways (24 - 40 Way) we were told not to pull above 3 grand and that was fine with me. I'm fine with the 2500 ft. minimum too. Even in the old days I didn't like the size of mother earth at 2 grand. My second time around in the sport I only pulled below 2 grand once, but that was another story... A month later my wife gave me an audible for a birthday present. Your humble servant.....Professor Gravity !
  9. Did you have this canopy inspected, or even talk to a rigger before you bought it ? I'm really tired of hearing about older jumpers selling crap from yesteryear to newbies. Like F-111 mains and Micro-Raven reserves. I do know a few jumpers who still jump old F-111 canopies. But they have a lot of experience and know what they're doing. You don't. There is simply no reason on earth for you to buy anything but a ZP canopy. There are tons of good ones on the used market. I think you've been screwed by someone who knew exactly what he was doing. As for size, go easy and put some jumps on a 210. THEN, a 190 size ZP canopy should do you just fine. ZP fabric really does make a huge difference. Your humble servant.....Professor Gravity !
  10. I've heard that the Paradactyl (not sure by which manufacturer) was actually TSO'd for use as a reserve. There were a few people who jumped really tiny "double Dactyl" rigs. Your humble servant.....Professor Gravity !
  11. Definitely a PC. Local popular mythology was that the jumper was Owsley Stanley, but I don't believe that. It is quite possible that the jumper was an associate of Owsley's. Also known that Owsley cooked up a special batch of "White Lightning" acid, specifically for this event and that gobs of it were given away for free. So the jumper may well have given away or tossed many hits. Plenty of open space to land on the Polo Grounds. Aerial delivery of LSD was a popular stunt in those days, there was a large load of Orange Sunshine dropped from a low flying airplane over the 1968 Newport Pop Festival as well. Your humble servant.....Professor Gravity !
  12. I knew Tommy during my college years in Cortland, NY when I first started jumping. Tommy was a terrific friend and a great supporter of college kids skydiving. He used to come to some our film nights at the student union and helped with some of the carpooling up to the old Seneca Falls dropzone. My very first jump on a high performance canopy was on Tommy's Papillon, in his Mini System ( a very classy comfy sport rig with chest mounted reserve - first rig I ever wore that actually felt good). Tommy used to tell me I should get a Strato Star and a pig rig, "like all the young guys at Elsinore". Sorry to hear this Doug, but I guess sooner or later we're all going this way. Fly free Tommy. Your humble servant.....Professor Gravity !
  13. I'd say he had it coming. No problem there. Your humble servant.....Professor Gravity !
  14. I think the "acid mesh" episode in the 1980's accelerated the move to square reserves. A lot of jumpers had been perfectly happy with their reliable rounds, until some of them started to tear apart at repack time. Some reserves even got their TSO's cancelled, forcing people to find an acceptable replacement. Your humble servant.....Professor Gravity !
  15. Excellent article. I returned to the sport in 2003, after a 22 year layoff. The ONLY thing I would add to Larry's list would be to get signed up for a canopy course as soon as possible. Canopies nowadays blow the doors off anything we had in the 1970's or '80s - even the student canopies. They're a lot of fun, but they demand respect and it only takes one mistake to put you in the hospital - or on your pals' next ash dive project. Learn how to fly today's canopies !