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Everything posted by billvon

  1. billvon

    Black Friday Deals - Post Your Finds

    From Aerodyne: Orders must be placed between Nov 29 and Dec 1st (midnight): *FREE 4 WEEK RUSH FEE ON ANY CUSTOM ICON CONTAINER OR MAIN CANOPY ($250.00 VALUE) + 15% retail DISCOUNT ON ANY STOCK ICON, STOCK SPORT MAIN, OR STOCK RESERVE. To sweeten the deal, if you order a stock main, stock reserve or stock container during the times stated above, you will receive a 15% retail discount (including options!) on that stock item. Bundle all three together and you’re looking at a potential savings of over $1100.00! Special order items (note under ‘order notes’) that will set your gear apart: - Black hardware - Split leg pads - Variegated embroidery options - FREE Aerodyne brand logos placed on either an Icon container, or Icon main sport canopy. Black Friday deals expire at midnight on December 1st.
  2. billvon

    Black Friday Deals - Post Your Finds

    From Eloy: BLACK FRIDAY/CYBER MONDAY DEAL! This beats Groupon Prices. Tandem Jump for $159 (save $40) CODE: HolidayTandem Tandem with photo/video package $238 (save $86) CODE: Ultimate Book Now, Pay Later --> use code as voucher! Buy a gift certificate --->use promotional value… Offer available now until Cyber Monday. Questions? Call us! (520) 466-3753 The skydive is redeemable at this price for one year after purchase!
  3. We do have a policy of no advertising on the forums. However, if you would like to talk about the experiences that led you to write this book, that would be great, and very much in line with what this forum is for.
  4. "Topping off" takes longer so they will likely avoid that. I don't know of any civilian skydiving operation that buys new airplanes for jumpers. (Ray Ferrell's PAC may be an exception here.) Given that, it's going to be a while before such aircraft are available to skydivers.
  5. Well a typical 206 engine is rated (sea level max) at about 220kW, so 130kW at 12,500. So average 175kW to match the performance of a C206, which means about 90kwhr for the climb. Add 10kwhr for a 30min reserve (that's OK to rate at best-economy speed) and you're at 100kwhr per load. That's one Tesla battery, so you'd probably be looking at an actual design of two of them (for redundancy and reduction in charge time.) Fastest current chargers charge at about 3C, so to get 100kwhr into a 200kwhr battery at 3C will take just under 10 minutes.
  6. Tesla batteries are lasting about 200,000 miles with frequent fast charging. That's about 3500 hours of operation. (For comparison, Lycoming recommends engine rebuilds after 2000 hours.) So it will be a tradeoff between recharge speed and lifetime.
  7. billvon

    Boeing 757 hard landing in the Azores

    At first they thought our system was interfering with the autoland system. So we pulled all our equipment and tried again. Same violent landing. Then they swapped out the autopilot avionics and voila! no more hard landings. But it was a tense (and somewhat painful) two days. For a while I wanted to get one of those super cushioned chairs that truckers use - although we learned that the farther you got from the landing gear, the less the impact.
  8. billvon

    Has run it’s course?

    Eh, people said the same thing about the previous overhaul. Things change.
  9. billvon

    Downsizing as a student

    The position of your upper body relative to your lower body, and the position of your legs, provide a far more powerful turning force than your hands do. Thus even minor problems with your body position will lead to an unstoppable spin if you are relying on the hands method.
  10. billvon

    Downsizing as a student

    Agreed. You can likely still find people choosing exit separation using the 45 degree rule with the permission of their DZ's as well, and you can find people turning by using their hands as little rudders. That does not necessarily mean that those things are a good idea.
  11. billvon

    Boeing 757 hard landing in the Azores

    I once spent a week in Tusla, Oklahoma doing flight test on MD-80's. They did some tests involving the autoland system that I swear didn't flare at all. We'd hit the runway so hard that the bins would pop open. (Fortunately it was just the five of us - three pilots, me and a tech.) For one landing I went to the very back of the plane and sat there for landing. You could see the fuselage actually bend down a few feet when we hit. But no permanent damage as far as we could tell.
  12. For the 50th anniversary of the Normandy invasion, we held an event where WWII vets could run through a static line program for next to nothing and make a jump on that day. Most of them did OK, although it was effectively impossible to train them to arch. It's something that almost any DZ can do. You can meet the USPA requirements for a course fairly quickly as long as they come in with basic skills, and it's likely the DZO could find volunteers to teach and/or JM the students - thus reducing the cost tremendously. This is getting pretty far from the topic, though, so maybe better to start a new thread on it.
  13. billvon

    San Diego 9/12-9/18

    If you are trying San Diego try either early in the morning right after they open or late in the day when tandems have thinned out.
  14. billvon

    rantoul lawsuit

    If it was their fault - yes. Note that that doesn't mean they were evil, or that they were bad people. It just means they made a mistake. I've made them - and gotten away with them. I've stopped my students from making fatal mistakes, like walking into the propeller of an Otter. I am sure you've made mistakes, too. If (god forbid) someday you make a mistake and it kills you, it will be your fault. Not because you are bad, but because you made a mistake.
  15. billvon

    Flip Colmer RIP

    That's sad. Flip was a great guy. I ended up sitting next to him on one of the Thailand World Team records. One one attempt, we took off, they opened the door, we stood up and got ready to go . . . and had a hold. After about 15 minutes they closed the door again; we were going to land with the plane. Fortunately we had plenty of oxygen. After a few minutes my altimeter started to unwind. I guessed we were landing. But the deck angle seemed pretty flat. And we were descending at something like 5000 feet per minute, which is a pretty screaming descent in an aircraft. Were we really descending? I looked at Flip, showed him my altimeter and said "are they pressurizing?" (Actually I yelled it as loud as I could; it was pretty loud in that plane.) He looked at his altimeter for a few seconds, then jumped up and waded up to the cockpit before the crew pressurized us right into a bunch of AAD fires. He got them to stop the cabin-altitude descent before we hit 1000 feet. Another aircraft was not so lucky, and there were a bunch of AAD's on those aircraft that either fired or shut down permanently because they detected something that shouldn't be happening.
  16. Complaining and doing nothing is bitching. Going to BOD meetings, proposing alternatives and working to implement them is not. We know what you have chosen so far. Will you change your approach? Time will tell.
  17. I am a sheeple! I love it! I've gone to USPA three times to get something I've wanted. I've created course plans, I've written articles for Parachutist on the topics, I've collected petitions and I've gone to BOD meetings - and organized trips for other supporters of my plans. The actual BOD meetings were important, but even more importantly was the opportunity to talk to BOD people outside the meeting, in the bar or restaurant before/after the meeting. And today we have an ISP and a rule that requires separating landing areas in the group member pledge. Oh, and USPA doesn't have a ban on mentioning BASE in the magazine any more. (And BTW I was far from the only person advocating for any of that. But together we got enough support to get those changes through.) You bitch on the Internet and do nothing else other than obediently mailing your check in, like a good sheep. Which one of us is a "sheeple" again?
  18. They are good stewards of their time, then.
  19. He can ask if he wants. I am hoping the BOD have better things to do than to humor an angry crank - but that's up to them.
  20. It's not being built yet.
  21. A skydiving museum.
  22. billvon

    Optimal flight time for learning

    A few random ones: 1) Get a good coach. (Sound like you already got one.) They will be able to see problems that you can't. Also switch them up occasionally, because everyone will see something different. 2) Spend at least 10x the time outside the tunnel going through the exact same dive before you go in. So if you have 60 seconds, spend 10 minutes on the floor or on a creeper going through the dive. Time outside is free and can make your time in the tunnel more useful. 3) Once you feel you are ready, find someone to fly with. Cuts tunnel costs in half and that's something you'll have to learn anyway.
  23. billvon

    Optimal flight time for learning

    We regularly do 15 minutes a night - 10 sessions, 90 seconds each - for informal 4 way training. But all of us are fairly used to the tunnel. For a "big" camp we might do 30 minute sessions, 4-6 of them over the course of a weekend. Intervals between flights is critical for those. You need at least 2 minutes for walking the next dive, and the more time to recover between flights the better.
  24. billvon

    Skydive or BASE jump?

    Apex used to make the Sorcerer as well, a two canopy BASE rig with a MARD. (In fact, IIRC it was the first MARD system out there.) However as far as I know it was never TSOed.