• Content

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

  • Feedback


Everything posted by billvon

  1. billvon

    BOD Meeting July 2018

    Wow, you must have worked really hard to come out of USPA courses learning nothing. Yep. There are unethical people out there. The right solution is to call them out on it - not to blame a few thousand people for what one person does.
  2. If you are more interested in freeflying, then a suit without booties. If RW, booties. Get the cheapest used suit you can find that fits you - you will destroy it quickly. Then use your experience with that suit to choose one you will like better.
  3. To put some numbers to this: The fatality rate in skydiving is between about .25 and 1 fatality per 100,000 jumps; we'll take .5 as an average. Let's compare the risks of a working skydiver to some common occupations. The most dangerous occupation out there is commercial fishing - 99 fatalities out of 100,000 workers every year. A working skydiver who averages 10 jumps a weekend (which is on the low side for someone at say Eloy, a bit high for Pepperell) will see a 252 out of 100,000 odds of getting killed. Let's say you are twice as safe as your average skydiver because you are so current. Now you are at 126 out of 100,000. So a working skydiver will see a higher risk of being killed than someone in the most dangerous (tracked) profession in the US. "But it's more dangerous to drive to the DZ!" Nope. Driving deaths happen at 1.25 per 100 million miles driven. Let's say your average skydiver drives 100 miles to and from the DZ to make 10 jumps. Odds of dying while driving: .125 out of 100,000. Odds of dying while skydiving: 5 out of 100,000. 40 times more likely to be killed skydiving. "But I don't jump that much" you say. OK, then your risk is a lot lower. But then you have to compare it to other things you do at that low rate - AND you are uncurrent, which increases your odds of getting killed. So skydiving: 1 in 200,000 odds of getting killed per jump. Bungee jumping: 1 in 500,000 per jump. Scuba diving is similar to skydiving; 1 in 200,000 per dive. Now, if you BASE jump or free climb, congratulations; you have found something that is actually more dangerous than skydiving. But for the vast majority of people, skydiving is far more dangerous (using real odds) than anything they normally do.
  4. billvon

    On opening, grab toggles or rear risers?

    Most of my canopies will do the same. However, I still grab the rear risers as the slider starts coming down, because I figure if I open 20 feet from someone, I'd rather deal with line twists than a collision.
  5. Not unless you're an embassy guard in Syria or something. Skydiving is a dangerous sport. It can injure you or kill you. There are very few other sports out there where NOT taking very definitive action will kill you, and where you are so dependent on something you can't see (the atmosphere, traffic above us.) I will give you three examples that disprove that - Pat McGowan, Bob Holler and Roger Nelson. All three were doing everything right. Then someone hit them under canopy and killed them. And that can happen to ANYONE no matter how safe they are trying to be. You can be doing a 20-way with the best in the business and someone forward of you in the exit can have a premature deployment. You can be in the plane, ready to do a solo on your own pass, and lose an engine on takeoff. You can be clearing your airspace every ten seconds, and someone can turn into you from above your canopy where you can't see. You can be flying the pattern all by yourself and get taken out by a dust devil that formed over the grass. You can cut away from a spinner and get reserve lines trapped in your rig. You can have a rogue opening on a perfectly good, well maintained, properly packed parachute that is hard enough to kill you. Current training programs - and modern equipment - do wonders to reduce the risk. They will never be able to make it safe.
  6. billvon

    Commercial Flight

    Nope. In all the air disasters I have looked at, only two that I can think of (TWA 800 and JAL 123) would there even be a slight chance of getting out and making your situation any better. And you'd have to be wearing your rig when the incident occurred (with no warning) and be VERY lucky to be able to exit without getting killed or incapacitated. Keep in mind that for that parachute to do any good you have to have: 1) a situation where everyone is certainly going to die (if not it's always better to stay with the plane, just based on the odds) 2) a way to exit (a big hole or a blown hatch or something) 3) a stable enough aircraft that you can use that exit.
  7. Answers from the other thread: (forum bug prevented moving these) Interstellar_court: Please tell me you are joking. You can have the MOST skill, the MOST training, the BEST critical thinking skills, the BEST equipment, and NONE of that makes it safe. These precautions only make it safer. It is a very much dangerous sport that can be done safely. I think you might have the risks of skydiving and the risks of a sport like bowling confused. I think that failing to acknowledge the risks associated, or becoming complacent, can only increase the risk overall. Dudeman17: You could not be more wrong. Your profile doesn't state your experience, but I'm coming up on 40 years in the sport, 30 of them as an instructor, and I'm not saying that I disagree with you, I'm telling you you're wrong. Dan BC is among the most experienced, respected, and wisest people in our sport, and you, I, and anyone else would do well to heed his advice. So much so that part of his profession is that people in and out of our sport hire him to give it. You should re-read his post and anything else you can find of his about 58 times or whatever it takes to penetrate your skull before you make your next jump. Meat_missile: Compared to what? The only sport I can think of that is more dangerous than skydiving is BASE.
  8. Mike Mullins recently made this statement in the Incidents forum: ======================= Any person who is a USPA member must follow the BSRs at a Group Member DZ, at a non-Group Member DZ, in a farmers field, in someones back yard, does not matter where you are jumping. If you are a USPA member you are required to follow the BSR, period. As USPA members were involved in this jump they were definitely required to follow the BSRs. Someone who is not a USPA member, jumping at a non-Group Member DZ, needs only to comply with the FARs. ======================= This is the first I have heard of this. I've jumped in a lot of places throughout the world, and while I use the BSR's as the default, there are cases where they don't seem applicable. One example is while I worked for a military freefall training program; the course instructor was not a USPA rated instructor (although he was certainly rated as such by the military.) Another example were water and demo jumps made in another country - they were made without "the advice of the appropriate USPA S&TA, Instructor Examiner, or Regional Director" (but again, with much advice from the local equivalent.) I've intentionally jumped through clouds while at a foreign DZ after the chief instructor briefed us on how to do it, and told us it was both legal and customary there. Are all those things really considered no different than doing them at a USPA DZ?
  9. billvon

    USPA rule applicability

    Agreed - but the BSR's don't say that. It's common sense that you would use the rules/advisors of the country you are jumping in when it comes to demos and water jumps, but the BSR says you have to get "the advice of the appropriate USPA S&TA, Instructor Examiner, or Regional Director" before making them, period. My assumption has always been that they apply to US parachute centers (hence the name, USPA.) Mike, however, recently said it doesn't matter what country you are jumping in, you ALWAYS have to follow the BSR's. I worry that an approach like that will lead to less respect for the BSR's. "Well, heck, you can't _not_ break the rules. What's the difference if I break one or two, if I have to anyway?"
  10. billvon

    PD 190 not flying straight

    Could be a lot of things. Misrigging of the canopy. One line length wrong. Gross asymmetrical loading of the harness. Like JR said give PD a call. They will tell you what to do next; most likely it will be to ship the canopy to them and they will test jump it and fix/replace as needed. If you don't want to do that, you could have your rigger check line lengths and/or have a local canopy expert do a test jump on it. But PD is the best way to get a reliable answer.
  11. billvon

    Preventing Hard Openings

    Nope. At most, include the slider in the tail roll (so it is kept under control a bit longer) but do not expose it. Exposing it exposes it to all the manipulations you do to the parachute to get it in the bag - and many of those will try to push the slider away from grommets.
  12. No - but that's the wrong question. Does a reserve repack that goes 181 days instead of 180 affect the rig or the pack job? Not really. Several manufacturers (including PD) have stated that if the repack interval were extended to 360 days they would be OK with it. It's not whether or not the rig is safe; that's a separate question. I can give plenty of examples of 100% legal and hideously dangerous gear vs. a system that is illegal to jump, but is perfectly safe. The question is - are you following the FAR's?
  13. Of course. But even if you refuse to pack an AAD that is within a _year_ of going out of date, that same attorney can still sue you and a sympathetic jury can still find you liable. The best you can do is follow the FAR's.
  14. billvon

    Canopy burn

    I don't think they are promoting it, any more than the pictures of BJ Worth doing movie stunts on the cover are "promoting" jumping with SCUBA gear. It's just a cool picture of a stunt done while skydiving.
  15. billvon

    USPA Board Meeting

    Great idea. If you do those things, you will accomplish far more than you will with your "bitch fest" as you call it.
  16. Problems: 1) I have owned canopies that opened almost _too_ slowly - 500 foot snivels on one. Making that into a 1000 foot snivel would not be an improvement. 2) Domed sliders are harder to build and wear out faster. (There is a lot of force on those not-straight seams.) Thus they'd be more expensive - and more likely to fail. Domed sliders are one way to "fix" a problem canopy. (There are many other ways.) But it's probably not a good overall solution.
  17. billvon

    USPA Board Meeting

    Have you talked to everyone on the BOD? Or are you just making shit up? But you have time to post thousands of words of gripes. I work hard too. I've had problems with USPA twice. Both times I made the effort to get the change I wanted. Once it actually required travel to a BoD meeting (o the horror.) Both times I got something at least close to what I asked for. If you had done that and failed I'd have more sympathy for your plight. I think the cheap, lazy way to handle it is to sit on your butt and complain about what other people did - specifically, what you couldn't be bothered to do. Why thank you! The facts here are that other people are doing what you couldn't be bothered to do.
  18. billvon

    USPA Board Meeting

    So why didn't you implement any of them? You seem to think such methods would be simple and easy. Why not just do it, and remove the need to add a BSR? You haven't been to many DZ's, then. Some DZ's/DZO's DO simply ignore anything that doesn't cost them money. But you're not standing up. You are sitting on your butt and complaining after the fact. It's easy to bitch on the Internet. It's harder to effect real change - but again, easy to bitch about the people doing that. So if you do feel like getting off your butt and standing up, then I support that 100%. Call your RD and talk about alternative ways to do collect that information. Talk to the rest of the BOD and get ideas. Implement them. At the next BOD meeting, propose rescinding that BSR because you can get the information without it. Show them the information you gathered with no BSR needed. I guarantee they will listen to you. If not, you are just another Internet complainer.
  19. billvon

    USPA Board Meeting

    And almost no one would have heard about it - and almost no one would have complied. Any AFF JM who has an AAD fire on a student jump DOES need retraining. If your DZ does not concern itself with such incidents - seek a different DZ. Because when a competent instructor does a good job no retraining is required. I assume you do not make such foolish claims in real life, and you are now just angry and trying to "win" the argument.
  20. billvon

    USPA Board Meeting

    Of course it is their job. And they can still sue you. Anyone can sue you for anything. An AFF student could sue you because they flared at 30 feet and broke their leg. They could also sue you because they were female and they feel they were harassed, or that you discriminated against them by making them buy their own lunch. Whether or not they win, of course, is another matter - and usually they don't, because Hulsey vs Elsinore set a pretty good precedent when it comes to skydiving accidents.
  21. billvon

    USPA Board Meeting

    Lots of reasons. It would be good to spot trends before they turn deadly. If the rate of AAD firings of AFF JM's is going up, due to pursuing a student too low? Then we change the training syllabus NOW before they turn into fatalities. It would also be good for student safety to see how much the industry is relying on AAD's. Are student AAD firings an incredibly rare thing, as they seem to be? Great. Do some DZ's see a student AAD firing once a month? Then the only thing standing between a student and a fatality is a fallible device. Bad. Also people often wonder whether or not to use student or expert AAD's on students, with good arguments being made for both. Do student AAD's result in a lot of firings in less than emergent situations? Then USPA could advise DZ's to use expert AAD's instead. Or do student AAD's really save more students in emergency situations than an expert model would? That's another very important thing to learn. Right now no one. And that is EXACTLY why we need more data - so we do know. "Who knows?" is a poor reason to set a specific training policy. Yep. And many on the board have earned my trust.
  22. billvon

    Canopy transition for downsizing

    If the rears are going slack, then you are _definitely_ changing the canopy's trim.
  23. billvon

    USPA Board Meeting

    If the S+TA was there. If the S+TA knew what happened. If the DZ has an S+TA. If not, you'd need the people involved to report it.
  24. I will start with two minor notes from posters: 1) No way to chronologically order search results 2) No way to post a poll
  25. billvon

    USPA Board Meeting

    >Please let me know how you would interpret this new BSR. You have to send a report to USPA if anyone's AAD fires during a student jump.