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Everything posted by richwilk

  1. Gear checks are NEVER optional. 15K tandems, 20 tandem reserve rides, 11 different work locations, rigging consistently since 1985. NEVER assume the gear is in good order. Working knowledge of the DZ gear safety and functionality is basic responsibility. No one has ever questioned this attitude or the common sense reasoning. Slack and lazy don’t care for themselves and others. Your personal safety is equally as important as the customer/student/passenger. Equipment life and standards are all recommended. Generally in each jurisdiction there is a default adoption of manufacturer recommendations along with FAA standards. Airworthiness is an opinion as far as inspection. My attitude towards equipment life is largely influenced by a combination of use, age (which relates largely to UV exposure), original design and the state of current equipment design and expected performance. 25 years on a reserve is about time to retire it. At the very least performance and design has significantly improved to produce better and essentially safer products. I have a similar attitude with harness/containers. Recommendations are just that. They aren’t referred to as design limits unless specifically stated.
  2. PA has a service life on some equipment, the Airforce reserve is TSO’d and has the same life limits as the US- providing the rigger is prepared to certify its airworthy, there is no in service limit. Check the Parachutes Australia website. The other source for information is the Australian Parachute Federation website Australia. Cheers. PA BRAND DESCRIPTION PART NUMBERS SERVICE LIFE 26 ft Lopo Reserve Parachute P008 ( ) Indefinite Aerolite Reserve Parachute P015 Indefinite X300 Reserve Parachute P004 Indefinite X228 Reserve Parachute P003 Indefinite Hobbit Reserve Parachute P010 Indefinite Airforce Reserve Parachute P036R ( ) Indefinite Hang Glider Backup Chute P030 Indefinite Talon 3 and Talon FS Dual Pack & Harness Systems Serial Number 10533 onwards Container: 4111(2) Harness: 5111(2) Assembly: S025 Indefinite Telesis Dual Pack & Harness System (all models) Container: 4113(2) Harness: 5113(2) Assembly: S026 Refer SB9502 rev.3
  3. In the last 10 years I’ve seen or been on the jump at big way events where at least 6 AAD activations have occurred because of low openings. In that time I know of at least 2 AFF students losing height awareness resulting in AAD activation whilst I was on the DZ. it does happen more often than reported.
  4. Had one a bunch of years ago. The two outside locking stows on the bag were too short (packer related problem). Both stows let go at the same time and one line hooked over the D Bag dead centre next to the drogue attachment (that was the scariest trap door acceleration). The canopy eventually came out of the D Bag after the chop. The canopy and D Bag were lost however I've seen quite a few bag lock chops with sport mains and expect the drift after chop to be somewhat faster to the ground than dropped handles.
  5. More information is needed to give a comment. Was the drogue still attached? Had the closing loop broken? Had the pin been dislodged/pulled (a potentially fatal bag out situation)? Gear checks are paramount. Handle checks and gear checks on climb and during exit are essential. Throw the drogue like your life depends on it. Don't allow yourself to be distracted. Never allow yourself to assume you know what's happening and DONT get complacent.
  6. 'Straight up comparison on flight handling (I have 17 tandem chops), The PD 360 flys like a square parachute, the Precision canopy is like a square round ( a bit like a master 421).
  7. I have a P1, however you need a substantial background to justify any visa application and approval. I have extensive instructor and professional background combined with competition experience and plenty of high profile references. Its expensive as well (I used a lawyer and the whole process for the first approval including the lawyer cost me US$4000) Good luck.
  8. richwilk


    I work professionally and wanted a digital with better bigger display. I have used 3 Viso's. They last about 2000 jumps however display size is an issue with the 6000' and 5000' altitudes. Viso reliability is excellent. Both of the Altitrons I have used (one was replaced shortly after breaking, broke as a consequence of being dropped onto carpet covered cement floors. They are a nice unit with plenty of potential however the display is very fragile and breaks easily.
  9. It may be a guiness book of records record. however Skydive Cross Keys, 2005, 407 tandems...... Red Bull event, unfortunately not recognised/submitted to be recognised. 286 is a long way short but congratulations on a good effort.
  10. It happens. Sitting at the door of a caravan, doing a tandem (had around 10000 tandems at this point). Something happened and changed my routine. Forgot about it, sitting exit, hanging from under the plane. Was about the disconnect the restraint (lift buckle) and pulled back in by camera people. Have a routine and if something changes it, triple check and be sure. Distractions are a part of the scenario.
  11. Never be afraid to give positive criticism. Word it in such a way that they understand its not a ride, its a learning experience and you have to work as a team.
  12. call the manifest ask about one of the trailers on the DZ Quote
  13. After 10000+ tandems on Sigma/Strong/Vector/Eclipse, I have a bit of experience. Your arching isn't going to do much for you if your student isn't working with you. Its primarily a questiion of presentation to the relative wind and maintaining control (or luck of it) initially on exit and drogue throw. Your flying surface is your student, your arms and legs are simply surfaces that will give you directional control. Its better to leg lock to stop them flying the thing for you when your in drogue throw (providing its not progression training of course). Every exit, every plane, every student is different. Learn to get comfortable and calm and control your student and exit. Good luck, its a hell of a journey.
  14. I have exerienced this problem with the sigma harness and stainless 2 piece hardware a number of times and it seems the simplest fix is to ensure your elastic webbing keepers are tight on the harness and secure against the hardware. In addition ensuring the excess leading down the main lift web towards the leg strap junction is secured by the same tight elasic keepers. Since ensuring the keepers are in place, I haven't experienced this problem. Good luck, its very unnerving feeling the harness loosen up during the opening wiggle. By the way, cleaning and checking the hardware geometry isn't a bad idea either. Cheers
  15. Its about time there was action on incidents of this nature. The fine is minor considering the huge potential for death. Our sport and industry constantly teters on the edge of scrutiny. The fact the FAA took action is extraordinary in its self. This kind of action may well lead to more intervention by the FAA, which would be unfortunate. The incredulous comments from Bill Dause and the obvious actions that took place in the video concerning the actions of the Tandem Master and student speak for themselves.
  16. Unfortiunately your statement clearly displays your ignorance on this subject. Duty of Care and professional responsibility. Tunnell time is not free fall experience and they are completely different. Sometimes equipment doesn't work, sometimes people don't work. A life lost is a life too many lost. My statement to the USPA as a dual rated international AFFI/Tandem I (USA and Australia), having instructed for over 20 years and jumped for over 30 years:freefall experience covers all aspect of safety and responsibility, Aircraft safety, exits, spacial awareness and canopy control. There is no substitute for expereince and exposure.
  17. I had an interesting experience with shoulder pain doing tandems-8000+ and still working in the game. It got to the point that I seriously believed I would have to stop, get surgery and change my approach to working in the industry. I do have a slightly bulged disc between my shoulder blades and have muscle spasms working from time to time across under my shoulder blades. With this knowledge getting massage and chiropractor adjustments seemed to help but the problem was getting worse. The greatest problem appeared under canopy flaring and turning to the left. I got cortirzone to alleviate the pain in the shoulders as the pain was manifest in the left shoulder at the front. I eventually saw a sporys physio and apparently I had a weak small muscle up under my shoulder blade on the left side. I was given exercises and eventually after a couple of months still working and exercising, the pain disappered. In conjunction with this I worked out that the way I was sitting in the harness and flaring and turing was exascerbating the problem. As I was giving input to the canopy, I was standing up on the harness, causing pressure against my front shoulder/tendon/harness and causing what I believe was scar tissue to develop. I now sit lower in the harness and it has become a habit to give canopy input with out pressure against the harness and my shoulder. What I am saying amongst many things is seek some alternative advice through sports medicine, surgeons mean well, and surgery isn't always the best way to go. Good luck.
  18. I'm current and on both Sigma and Strong and have about 4000 on each. Put it simply, check your harness before emplaning and before exit. Stuff moves, people play with stuff. Correctly adjusted or not before exit, check it. Slightly tightening the lateral back strap, slightly loosening the belly band, slightly tightening the MLW will help most when it happens; opening and landing. A good arch in freefall is nice but having a passenger who can comfortably sit in the harness and get the legs up for landing is a great deal more important in an effort to reduce the likelyhood of landing injuries and litigation.
  19. I really hope you have grown up and lost the obvious arrogance of this type of behaviour. For the sake of luck, no fatalities happened....Quote
  20. The best visa for being legal is either a P1 or if you have skills and a willing prospectrive employer, go for a full sponsorship with a H1/H2. Check the Department of State website for more information. It can be a minefield to try and understand but its the place to get information. I got my P1 visa approved last year. Changing over ratings is pretty easy, get onto the U.S.P.A. and read the Skydivers Information Manual (its available as a download from the USPA website). As for getting qualified for USPA ratings you have to get onto an AFF evaluator and do the same for the Tandem rating-involves some ground preparations and evaluation jumps. If you have the Factory Tandem tickets already that will help, however you will still have to get them as well. Good luck. I've been at the U.S. thing for a while now and one of the first things you really need to do is get over there and meet people. No one will hire you as an unknown (generally)
  21. I have been using the JVC series of memory card cameras (GZ-MC200 and MC500) for the last couple of years. The cameras came standard with a removable mini disc drive. Removing the mini disc and installing a CF flash card means the video will record with out the known problems of disc based memory systems and freefall. I have made about 300 jumps using this system and it works fantastically. The cameras are no longer available domestically in the U.S. and I have been investigating the latest collection of next generation cameras (Sony CX series and the Canon VIXIA series), and they appear to be similar with higher level video recording in 1080i. The problems with the next generation cameras is not the flash memory recording but the use of Optical Image Stabilisation. OIS doesn't appear to be able to cope with camera buffet in freefall that well. The next Sony camera (CX12) may be a different matter however generally the flash memory works really well.