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  1. Hmm. That's interesting. 'Gotta see if I can get hold of Ned Luker, who worked with PISA for years. Thanks for the reply, Nancy
  2. I'm looking at a 21 year old PISA Tempo Reserve that has crossports only up front, near the nose, none at all in the middle or end of the ribs. I don't recall whether there should be crossports in those locations. 'Anybody know for certain?
  3. Hi Greg, Yes, we are still making Racers (the 2K3 and the Classic Racer), with lots of new updates. The Racer is available with single or dual side RSL. It is still the strongest, most comfortable harness and most importantly, the the fastest deploying reserve with or without RSL. The fellow in the video that was referred to executed incorrect emergency procedures. Incorrect response to any malfunction is going to bite you. Skydivers need to educate themselves about their equipment and be taught proper procedures. I have had one actual cutaway using the dual side RSL and 40 intentional cutaways (test jumping), using the dual side RSL. Every reserve deployment clean and within 2 seconds or better. My email is [email protected] Contact me if you would like more detailed information about Racers or our line of canopies. Blue Skies, Nancy
  4. Yes, DOM would affect that. We changed certain materials about 9 years ago, that reduced pack volumes. The website is undergoing reconstruction, and that document hasn't been updated yet. Canopy Volume Chart.pdf
  5. The published volume of the AngelFire 150 is 338. As with all reserves, that number can be slightly greater or less from dye lot to dye lot.
  6. Typical openings are 300 – 400 feet to a fully opened canopy. The FireBolt is tuned for soft, comfortable openings. That is why it's a "cameraman's dream". Front riser pressure is relatively easy. The flare is terrific, and what I mean by that is, it’ll “pop you up” if you come in with a lot of speed and apply brakes all at once; or it will give you a sustained surf if you give it a little bit of brake as you enter ground effect. It’s a very effective flare. If you land conservatively (no front riser or hook turn), you’ll still get tremendous lift and consequently a good flare with the FireBolt. The current production FireBolt patterns and line trims has been refined since it was first introduced and since we started using Ultrasil 0-Porosity canopy fabric, FireBolts are wearing much better. The best thing to do is demo one to see how the NEW FireBolt performs.
  7. Yes. I love packing Racers, as I find them to be the easiest. I also love to teach other riggers how to pack them. After one of my lessons, riggers usually say things like, “Wow, I had no idea it was that easy to pack a Racer!” Every rig has its idiosyncrasies. It helps learn “the tricks”. All you must do, is ask someone who knows, then all rigs become easier. If a rigger tells you that this rig or that is hard to pack, it is evidence that he/she hasn’t bothered to learn. The adjustable closing loop means you don’t have to guess at the loop length. You adjust it after the loops are pinned, while kneeling on the pilotchute. If you have done a good job maintaining the division of the molar pack job, it is easy to get a good seal around the edges, and you will have a low pull force. The only time you will find a pilotchute standing up too high, is when too much canopy fabric is allowed in the middle of the bag. Rigger education is the best solution to this problem. There is the occasional problem of a rig being overstuffed. Put the correct sized reserve in your container. Overstuffing is unacceptable for all brands of containers, for a variety of obvious reasons. I can state categorically that there has never been a fatality or a delay in reserve deployment due to the SpeedBag. I personally have 41 intentional cutaways over the years, testing Racer components and canopies. Fourteen of these cutaways were on the SpeedBag. They were all sub-terminal deployments, probably the most severe test for any system. Any reserve can open quickly when the pilot chute has the advantage of high speed. Producing a 2-second reserve deployment at low speed is remarkable and is typical for a Racer. The SpeedBag does not slow reserve deployment. It ensures an orderly line deployment before the canopy hits the air. The SpeedBag performs the same function as a full stow diaper, for those of you who know round parachutes. Line dump is real, and yes, it has broken people’s necks, and destroyed parachutes. The SpeedBag is not just for the “head-down” community. Belly flyers have hard openings too. Not all manufacturers are still using the bungee stow method of locking the bag. At least one other manufacturer has gone away from the bungee and pouch to a bag with flutes to prevent line dump. The SpeedBag has never “locked up” as some believe (incorrectly). When you fall away from your reserve pilotchute starting at 18 feet per second – especially a high drag pilotchute with large hole mesh, like a Racer pilotchute – you are creating a huge amount of force. Think about your weight, plus gear, traveling 18 feet in one second, away from your air anchor (pilotchute dragging about 200 pounds). For me, that’s about 155 pounds running at 12.3 MPH pulling the lines off my reserve bag. Additionally, that bag is yawing and pitching slightly, and the velocity of the mass is increasing. The bag effectively controls the line dump, until the last stow, but will get snatched away from the canopy as the canopy exits through the path of least resistance. See As for the AAD cutter failure argument. Whether you have a 2-pin rig or a 1-pin rig, if a cutter is missing or fails you have no activation in either case. Once again, every time I teach a new young rigger how to pack a Racer they say, “Well that wasn’t so hard.” That’s especially true of student riggers, with no preconceived notions. Do drop in to Parachute Labs the next time you’re in DeLand, Florida. We’d be glad to share the knowledge!
  8. I PDF'd our Canopy Volume Chart, and our Dimension Control and Compatibility Charts. From them, if you're chart savvy, you should be able to determine what canopies fit in a given container. But the easiest solution is to give us a call and ask! (386)734-5867.
  9. I will be giving an updated version of "Everything You Need To Know About Ripcord Pins - But Were Afraid To Ask" class at the 2015 PIA Symposium. History, materials, design considerations, proper test procedures... It's pretty interesting and informative if I do say so myself.
  10. In 2000. It was called a Firecracker, and was the forerunner to the FireBolt. The canopies previously thought of as elliptical were actually tapered tip. In an elliptical design, every skin, every rib (from 0 out to tip), is a different pattern, and every line is a different length (1 - 5).
  11. Oh did I mention riser covers? Racer was first with those.
  12. Actually, John Sherman invented the Dacron/Spectra main and reserve ripcord with bungee core, for retractability in '78-'79. North American tried it for a short while on the Condor. Para Flite and Jump Shack both rejected it due to wear concerns. John also invented the Pull-out, the first integrated piggy back harness container system, Pro-Packing, first bag on a square parachute, Teflon cutaway cables, the first true (fully) elliptical parachute... it goes on. Not to mention the first 3-D skydives, and early ten-way speed star exit techniques. The list goes on...
  13. We're in the process of building a new website. Go to . The url will eventually be redirected to the new website once we've transferred the files that need to be moved over. Marcelo Garcia of the FreeFall shop can be reached at [email protected] for service in your area.
  14. Poland, as it turns out, was not one of the alleged incidents. Look at the attached pages containing pictures from that investigation. The loop is completely cut, and there is/was line stretch with the canopy partially out of the bag. There would not have been complete line stretch had the container been locked shut. Additionally it looks as if there MAY have been a bag bridle involvement/entanglement issue. Poland has apparently "reinstated" use of the Argus there. Just FYI.
  15. Fred, your comments are not entirely accurate and a bit unfair. 99% of the time when we ship a Racer to a customer the fit is right. Rarely, we get it wrong for various reasons. Sometimes a measurement can be inaccurate or a customer may have an atypical body type. Half twist of cutaway cables? This is not an issue and has no effect on anything. In fact having a half twist in one direction or the opposite allows for the cutaway handle to sit more forward or closer to the body, depending on your preference. If the RSL “ripped your helmet off” as you say, then it is the fault of the snaggable helmet, and not the RSL. The RSL did its job and saved your life! Besides, you’re supposed to keep your head forward when you cut away (eyes looking down at your reserve handle). I’ll give you that we should have anticipated the handles bumping up against the hip junction when the MLW was shortened by an inch. We usually provide our 3” Mini Helwedge handle in the instance of a short MLW on a ringed harness, rather than the standard 4” length handle. When your rig was shipped back to us, we repacked the reserve, I put two jumps on it myself, freeflying, back-tracking and sitflying. The riser covers stayed closed in freefall. When properly packed and maintained the Racer is more than suitable for all types of flying. We did not put “metal rods” on your Racer. We embedded some wafer thin magnets along a portion of the reserve side wall, and then bound in a flexible plasti-coated SS cable correspondingly in the riser covers, which attracts to the magnets. We always avoid stiffeners whenever possible as they are wear points and invite half hitching of lines. It’s my understanding that you have not even seen the improvements to your rig, and that it is still in the hands of your rigger. You really should wait to see and evaluate the change before you make such a mis-statement. Yes, the Racer is unique among harness/container systems. The Racer still has the best safety record of any H/C system to date. It’s the only one that is guaranteed to release its reserve within 100 feet after AAD fire or ripcord pull with the main still packed. That is still a huge issue with the so-called popular rigs. While other manufacturers are scrambling to fix the problem of jammed reserve bags that we anticipated nearly 25 years ago - and avoided, we are satisfied that Sherman did it right the first time.