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Everything posted by tbrown

  1. Bigways, like BIG Bigways usually get a waiver. Also days with low cloud ceilings to allow hop & pop loads, as the freefall is short and sub-terminal. As I recall from Parachutist Magazine, the waivers can even just be verbal, but are only good for a day at a time.
  2. I do know two people who literally femured from slammer openings on Pilot canopies. It caused both of them to give up the sport. I had a wicked slammer myself on a 210 Pilot that wrecked the canopy, even damaged the risers. Had to chop it. Fortunately I didn't break any bones, though I was bruised from my neck down to my knees. Lines were Spectra. Aerodyne said the canopy was totaled and they gave me a sweet deal on a brand new 188, which never gave me any problems. Also owned a ZPX 188 Pilot with no problems. I've always done my own packing and after the slammer I religiously checked that my slider grommets were all the way up 2 or 3 times while packing. Skydiving's a dangerous sport - you pays yer money and takes yer chances.
  3. Mark Brown was one of the pillars of Perris Valley Skydiving. When I returned to the sport after an absence of 22 years he was my mentor - and remained my mentor for the next eleven years. I can't even imagine how many hundreds, maybe thousands of jumpers of all experience levels Mark shepherded to their next level of accomplishment. He was there rain, wind or shine and had a heck of a sense of humor. I'm grateful that I got to see him one more time last month, if only for a minute or so. I will always miss him.
  4. Lisa was the sweetest loving of people and a bright spot at the Elsinore dropzone. At the time of her passing she was waiting for a liver transplant and had actually passed and completed all of her necessary tests as a transplant candidate. She is the second dear friend to leave us while waiting for a transplant, the other one being Mike Gerwig. Probably many more that our members knew by name. All the more reason to be an organ donor, so that others may live when we pass away.
  5. I once attended a basic canopy course where the instructor was teaching the newbies to make their turn onto final with their front risers. To do otherwise was "wasting the canopy's energy". Utterly irresponsible for teaching jumpers at the novice level.
  6. I'm surprised they let your friend jump at all. At one dropzone there were two young women who were treating the entire class (with other students) like it was just a wild hoot. The instructor (also a woman) came over and told them to go back to the office and get their refund, she was kicking them out of the class. End of story. Considering that this is a sport that can actually kill someone, I think instructors have a duty to not allow a student to jump if they just don't get it or act like they just don't care.
  7. 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.
  8. Jimmy was one of my JMs in my student days, back in 1975. He helped me learn about the wonders of freefall. We've been fast friends ever since, give or take a couple decades. I will even put him on our prayer list at (Episcopal) church tomorrow. I know Jimmy will be doing all he can to fight his way back. Much love to all.
  9. Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter has died at the age of 78. No cause of death has yet been given. Hunter was one of the most brilliant lyricists of rock's greatest generation. His lyrics left one's mind open to questioning and interpretation in so many ways. Just a few years back Hunter accepted for himself and Jerry Garcia when the two were named to the American Songwriters' Hall of Fame. Fare you well Robert Hunter.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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 !
  13. 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 !
  14. 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 !
  15. 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 !
  16. Ron Tarnow's two books; Hamilton, and George Washington, a Life are both must reads for anyone who wants to go digging into the earliest days of our country. Without both of these two founders, America as we know it might well have never existed. Hamilton established the financial foundations of America, starting with addressing and consolidating our national debts that came from the Revolution. Washington navigated our country through the political pitfalls and hazards of the earliest years under our Constitution. He was often vilified as a closet royalist in the press, especially during his second term. Both books make clear what a fragile and vulnerable country the U.S. was in those days, something that is not taught in our schools. Washington at the Constitutional convention even took Hamilton aside and told him he didn't think the whole thing could last twenty years. By the way, the Washington bio does not shy away in the least from the contradictions of Washington's owning over 200 slaves, or his unrealistic belief that slavery would somehow wither and die of its own accord. Your humble servant.....Professor Gravity !
  17. 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 !
  18. 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 !
  19. 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 !
  20. "If you don't stop that crying, I'll give you something to cry about !" Your humble servant.....Professor Gravity !