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  1. I am very sorry to see that Mark Andrews died yesterday, 3 June 2023 in a BASE jump in Italy. British base jumper, 65, dies after plunge from side of Italian mountain (telegraph.co.uk) Brit base jumper, 65, dies after 400m fall - LBC I did many jumps with Mark in Kolomna, Russia, where he was well known, not least for his unusual hairpieces on his helmet, a pink mohican being preferred for most of our jumps. He was a top bloke, and will be missed.
  2. Some expert advice on landing without a parachute "when you pull the cord to open the parachute. Except nothing happens". Typical level of jounalism related to skydiving, with references to this case. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41883027 *********************************************** I'm NOT totally useless... I can be used as a bad example
  3. It might not be so strange. From my reading of events, it seems as though there would only be 9 jurors left, meaning that a unanimous decision would be required, instead of a majority. Reconvening with a jury of 12 makes sense, albeit the Easter timing / delay making it a very stressful wait for those involved. *********************************************** I'm NOT totally useless... I can be used as a bad example
  4. Sorry for the slight highjack but...absolutely do track up jump run if that is the direction you need to track to get away from your 16 way. No more and no less than is necessary to gain adequate opening separation from your group. Then fly your canopy off the line of flight until you see the next group open. There is no such thing as tracking "no more" than is necessary to gain adequate separation unless the breakoff is abnormally high. A typical group has 1,500 to 2,000 feet of altitude available to gain horizontal separation. Every inch of it should be used to track as hard and as far as possible. Additionally, a group should never exit so close that the group before has to restrict tracking distance to avoid interaction with them. If adequate separation is given between groups it is perfectly safe to track up the jump run (and down the jump run for the following group). Wasn't there a fatality / dual fatalities a couple of years ago attributed to a collision between jumpers from separate groups and one / both tracking hard and fast? I don't remember it involving people tracking up / down the jump run. My flawed memory suggests it may have been people tracking at an angle from the jump run, perhaps a little too far. I am sure someone on here will have a better recollection than I / will know how to find / link to the incident I have in mind. *********************************************** I'm NOT totally useless... I can be used as a bad example
  5. Just trying to understand how this would work... The low time jumper I saw at the boarding point playing with his shiny new camera but who had forgotten to put on his rig would not be reported as evidence of camera distraction because it was picked up before boarding? Is this correct? *********************************************** I'm NOT totally useless... I can be used as a bad example
  6. It was well over 100 jumps before I stopped being absolutely terrified of the door. Learning to pack helped (there was an unsolved murder - at a boogie so the perpetrator could have been from anywhere -at the time, involving both main and reserve parachutes being sabotaged, which did nothing to help calm my nerves - the relief I used to feel when seeing the canopy opening was amazing). The fear became a lot less during a skydiving trip involving 6-10 jumps a day over a 2 week period when I was pretty current. As mentioned, everyone is different. *********************************************** I'm NOT totally useless... I can be used as a bad example
  7. An American Fan of "Yes Prime Minister". I am seriously impressed! (with an assumption that you might be American) *********************************************** I'm NOT totally useless... I can be used as a bad example
  8. Well.. .that might be your opinion. I am not so sure. An attack within sight of "Big Ben" is likely to be strategically important in the context of potential impact on tourism revenues, which ought to be of significance to both terrorists and the affected country. Citizens of France, Romania, Australia, South Korea, Germany, Poland, Ireland, China, Italy and Greece were affected. Having lived in a number of cities subject to multiple terrorist attacks (London - the so-called freedom fighters of the IRA, Moscow - the Black Widows and the bombings of the metros and the airport, Nairobi - the Westgate Mall) I feel that they are generally pretty safe in the aftermath of a terrorist incident. Not everyone feels the same way. *********************************************** I'm NOT totally useless... I can be used as a bad example
  9. I was in Bahrain for less than 24 hours a week or so back and met up with a non-skydiving friend who lives there. He is convinced that skydiving has started there within the last couple of weeks. He is adamant this is skydiving and not the wind tunnel. Does anyone know anything about this? *********************************************** I'm NOT totally useless... I can be used as a bad example
  10. I have jumped probably a couple of hundred times in the UK. One of the issues I have seen at a few DZs is the military influence of the owners / staff. The can result in the mentality somewhat similar to treating customers as new recruits to the army ... so I have had a few bollockings for not complying with rules specific to a DZ that no one has ever mentioned to me. An example.. when I crossed the runway - which was clear - on foot but without waiting for everyone else in the load... because no one had told me that was the rule. This led to one of the owners of the DZ screaming at me until he was red in the face. Not really pleasant Another... because I plugged my mobile phone into a socket to recharge in the packing area as I did not know that customers had to use another area etc. A third ..although not directed at me... was the bollocking some of the newer jumpers got on a very windy day when they were helping to catch tandems and did not manage to be exactly in the right spot when the tandems landed. Generally I think that some of the DZs in the UK don't really understand that they may have jumpers who expect to be treated as the paying customers that they are. I do wonder whether this "military shouty.... follow my rules or else "attitude is prevalent within some of those in the BPA. Some of the DZs I have jumped at across the world seem to do a pretty good job of treating customers with respect and at the same time making sure the rules are followed. I think a few of the UK DZs could learn from this. *********************************************** I'm NOT totally useless... I can be used as a bad example
  11. Agreed - I have also done quite a few jumps where the ground temperature is minus 25 celsius or lower (minus 13F I think, and much colder at 13,500 feet) and always use an open face helmet, albeit with a motorcycle style face mask. And it's not just me - plenty of other jumpers do the same, so a full face helmet is not an essential item. Totally agree that keeping hands warm is the real challenge in such temperatures, especially under canopy. The cold really causes my hands to hurt, at times, despite winter gloves and liners (neither so bulky as to interfere with feeling for the hacky sack, getting my hands on handles etc). *********************************************** I'm NOT totally useless... I can be used as a bad example
  12. In Russia, it used to be that there would be a bottle of "champagne" taken onto loads to celebrate many things. 100 Jumps. 200 jumps. First mal etc. The bottle would be passed round the junpers on a Let 4 (think Twin Otter but a bit bigger). Probably the half bottle reamaining would go to the 2 pilots. On some days I would be on 5 or 6 loads where a bottle of "champagne" was passed to the pilots. (Multiple planes so multiple pilots). Over 100 loads a day in the summer. Although I did not notice any impact on the pilots, I was pleased not to land with the plane, especially towards the end of the day. I guess the DZ just let those pilots be adults. I am not sure it was in anyones best interest though. We all thought a few swigs of "champagne" would not really affect our judgement, but who really knows? (A few years back it changed - strictly no alcohol on the planes, strictly no alcohol when jumping - and I have been breathalised by the doctor in the daily pre-jump check...so zero tolerance nowadays). *********************************************** I'm NOT totally useless... I can be used as a bad example
  13. Sorry , but your response is entirely misleading ie BULLSHIT, Aerograd is no longer the place to go and bang out 10 jumps a day in the summer (as was the case for many years). I used to reckon on 20 jump weekends in the summer if the weather was ok. Last time I was there I got 3 jumps. Mainly because of the military. Many of the fun jumpers have gone to other DZs, partly as a result of the military operations having a HUGE impact on the ability to jump, and partly because of the totally different vibe caused by a load of military types on the DZ training for jumping in full kit with weapons etc. *********************************************** I'm NOT totally useless... I can be used as a bad example
  14. Transport by car can be comfortable but if it coincides with the traffic leaving Moscow (Friday afternoon / evening) may be very slow (5 hours to travel 120km is not unusual during the rush period). Travelling back on Sunday / Monday morning can also be slow. *********************************************** I'm NOT totally useless... I can be used as a bad example