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  1. has anyone ever heard of using two main closing loops? friend is jumping in mexico at the moment and emailed a cool thing that the local jumpers just taught him... putting two closing loops on the main closing loop grommet and then feeding them both through the main container grommets and then inserting the pin through both loops.... not sure I like the sound of this procedure.... idea is that if one breaks, the other is there... what if you just maintain your closing loop properly in the first place? just wanted some thoughts, he can barely pack his own main and thinks that this is the best thing since sliced bread, I think that at the very least it's useless and at worst it's a recipe for a pilot chute in tow...
  2. lots of good points brought up in this thread and a few cases of thin skins... people need to look at the observations as points to pay special attention to, if it applies to them, great, learn and get better, if it doesn't don't sweat it. I've seen some really weird stuff come past me... things that the previous rigger missed... no big deal, someone caught it and fixed it... sometimes a call to the previous rigger is an appreciated "thanks man" and other times it's a defensive diatribe... if you're professional and really care about what you're doing... ie, saving people's lives, if you make a mistake and get called on it... it's not a matter of someone having a dick measuring contest, it should be seen as a fellow professional helping you to improve.... another comment about the skydiver knowing when his equipment is due... I think skydivers should keep track of this stuff, but the reality of the situation is that they don't in many cases, many skydivers have fallen for this line of marketing bullshit about how this is safer than driving your car.... bs... you're jumping out of a plane for the love of god, yes we have good equipment etc... but you're still jumping out of a plane... have respect for the risks and learn your equipment... at our last safety day we had 3 jumpers go through emergency procedures in reverse and then argue the point with an S&TA... they had started at a ripcord dropzone with a single point cutaway... then bought modern systems and never, no even once, thought to ask what the difference was in the two handles... just figured that since they learned on a rig with one handle on the left side that they should go ahead and pull the silver first and then the extra one for good measure... actual quote by the way... I hate to say it, but it's our job to keep an eye on these kids... they want to play but want someone else to pack it, clean it, maintain it and fix everything for them.... product of our spoiled society... that's why we can make the big bucks.... another point about the rigger mills, I agree that short courses don't produce quality riggers immediately, it's just impossible to cram expereince into that amount of time... there's nothing wrong with that as long as they know their limitations and work with a more experienced rigger and continue to improve their knowledge base.... I have a serious prob with those that walk out after a week and a half and actually believe that they know it all, they are dangerous... I got lucky and was in a position where I had a master rigger and a seriously over qualified senior rigger willing to spend months with me filling my head with information and walking me through everything, from the tricks of getting a racer or a wings or a reflex pop top to snuggle down, to how to deal with several different types of diapers, to dealing with ballistically spread military canopies..... I got lucky, some don' t have this luxuary and the only way they have to go is through the's all of our duties to police ourselves and help each other out--- if someone calls you and tells you of a mistake that you made, don't get pissy, say thank you and learn from it... i was once told that all riggers make mistakes, the good ones learn and improve and the great ones catch the mistake before it gets out the door
  3. very nice... thanks for posting this.... it seems like finding manuals and service bulletins is some kind of scavenger hunt that up and coming riggers must go through..... this is a big help and a great resource.
  4. excellent point on packing things "outside of the box" to improve your skills.... in this case, I looked at it and laid the other free bag over the rig... it extended 5 inches on either side.... I know that the V3 has a long ass bag and I probably could have gotten this thing in if I had really wanted to... as a matter of fact I know I could have... basically, there were four thoughts going through my head at this time... 1. people at my DZ and perhaps everywhere else in the world for all I know have been progressively stuffing more into less, now, I applaude them for having an adequate reserve, the rig must be appropriately sized... I was taught that a rigger is required to follow all manufacturers recommendations and due to the way the TSO process is written, breaking a manufacturer req is the same as breaking a FAR or exceeding/deviating from the specs outlined in the TSO, thus making said rig unairworthy... (think cypress battery, the reserve is in and to specs, but you can't close it due to the fact that airtec says you need a battery every 2 years even though everything else is within specs, you still can't close it and seal it)... just to be on the safe side, I called RW and asked them what to do and the manufacturer specifically stated that the reserve volume in this case was incompatible with the rig size and that it was their recommendation not to pack it and furthermore, if I did I would be in direct violation of the manufacturer's recommendations... thus making the rig unairworthy....and then carrying this a bit more... if I pack an unairworthy rig, seal it and sign it... it's my pee pee on the chopping block 2. jumpers continually bring in these rigs with big reserves, little containers... the other day a master rigger spent over 3 hours trying to close a wings with a reserve about 4 sizes too large-- he will no longer pack a wings container... no matter the size or the amount of money involved.... apparently it was a signifigant emotional event for him... someone has to stand up and stop the insanity... as a general rule we charge the same amount for every rig and have up to this point avoided the urge to charge different amounts for different rigs... but I'm afraid that's going to have to change... time is money and when you spend 4 times the time and expend 10 times the energy on a rig, someone's going to have to absorb the cost 3. Not to sound too self centered or callous on this point, but if this guy were to bounce, the FAA could very easily say, hey buddy, you packed a reserve that is incompatible with the manufacturer's max volume... hand me your ticket, we'll get back to you on the fine because my calculator doesn't have that many zeroes on it and there's some lawyer in the hall talking about you selling your kidneys and indentured servitude or something... 4. and finally and most importantly, I know I could get it in the container and close it... but what I don't know for 100% no shit sure is if that reserve, packed in there, will separate from the container in the manner that RW intended it to, with the pull force it was intended to have, and in the distance the manufacturer intended it to .... I know with a pretty high degree of certainty that if I were to pack a reserve with the appropriate pack volume, into the rig designed to those specs, there's more than a 98% chance that it would function to the manufacturer's specs... sometimes I'm utterly floored by the lack of knowledge displayed by your run of the mill skydiver on what is attached to his back... they order rigs, canopies etc... and want a rigger to make it work... apparently, riggers have a shrink ray or something... people, it's not magic... we're just following instructions and carrying out processes in accordance with established specs and requirements... it's your rig guy, you're the one who is betting your life on it...learn what makes it work, for the love of god, show some interest in what goes on in there.... I decided to become a rigger, not because I lust for the high dollars and rock star lifestyle that riggers all enjoy, but because, I hate not being in control of my destiny... I can change my oil, tie my shoelaces, brush my own teeth and pack my own reserve and main.... I'm not saying that every jumper should be able to pack his main, but jesus, they ought to know the color of it... and generally how the only thing between them and pizza sauce city functions.... oops started a bit of a rant there.... maybe I'm a bit on the anal side, and I'm not saying that I've never packed a reserve that was a bit bigger than the manufacturers recommendations in the past... but what I'm saying now, is that for my own piece of mind, from now on, I'm going by the book and if they dont' like it, they can find a rigger that is willing to fudge things for them or perhaps be a little less anal on the manufacturers req's.... I don't want someone going in on one of my pack jobs... and certainly I don't want to have to ask myself for the rest of my life.... what would have happened if I would have made a stand? (not to be too melodramatic)
  5. This weekend I was handed two rigs... guy had a dolphin and wanted to put his main, reserve, and slider into a gently used Vector 3 container that he had just bought at the gear store... didn't seem like a big deal, rigs were accepted by a staff rigger that I'm training under and he wanted me to do the nug work on it.... anyway, pull the AAD and am going to install it in the V3, guess what? there's already a cyres there... gear store manager forgot to pull the old one out in his haste to make the sale... quickly remedied that... took aad back to gear store to relieved clerk... then got around to installing the reserve... I say, gee, this looks like a really tight container...rigger trainer says, no problem it's a bit tight, I've packed that rig and it's snug but you can do it... without really looking, I say, no, it's really a tight container.... pull out the pack card (that the gear store left in the container instead of keeping with the reserve) rig had a PD 126 in it.... guy wants to put a tempo 170 in it... rigger says, hmmm that is going to be tight--- I say, how about we look it up... pull out the para gear... find out that the pack volume for the reserve is 395 cu in... the max on the container is 305... call RW this morning and ask them about it... guess what? it is out of manufacturers recommendations... call customer, he is pissed at me, I tell him to talk to gear store guy that sold it to him... guy says can't you just shove it in? you're the rigger, it's you job to make it fit... I say, sure, I could get it in, but not too sure about it coming back out.... he says, it'll be fine.... I say, get another rigger, the manufacturer says it's a no go and I'm not putting my ding dong on the chopping block because you want an itty bitty rig.... I tell him, get a smaller reserve or a bigger rig... he says that he doesn't want to WASTE the money on a new reserve.... I tell him have a nice day and work it all out with the gear store guy....when asked, the gear store guy says that he didn't think to ask about the reserve size because the skydiver who bought it should know better.... it seems sometimes that jumpers don't understand what really is going on in that reserve tray or what consequences there are to asking a rigger to do something outside of manufacturer specs... they just figure, he's a rigger, he knows magic, it'll all be okay--- this seems like common sense, but it occured to me that others might run into a situation like this and wanted to share
  6. reading between the lines here, it sounds like something might be in the works over at jumpshack- god i hope that they go away from the two pin system- having looked at a large variety of rigs, I've always come up with the same question.... why doesn't any manufacturer get it ALL right... by saying this, I mean, every rig out there seems to have something that could be improved with it... everyone sees everyone else's rigs and sees the improvments-- I'm no genius, but it seems to me that given a list of features on a variety of rigs, the ultimate rig could be built, with every feature covered... but noone seems to nail every feature. of course, at 3 am on a saturday night, get a couple of riggers in a loft talking and we ALL just know that we could build the perfect rig where everything is addressed... I'm just wondering when a rig will come out that is so over the top well-designed that nothing will be able to compete with it.... and while I'm waxing philosophic here, what is it with reserves getting more and more difficult to pack... when the guys who design these rigs sit down to draw the plans, don't they ever think about the poor slobs who have to make 10 pounds of poop fit into a 5 pound bag? or perhaps have to figure out how to snug down a pilot chute with an impossibly wiggly spring? I know that the rigger friendly features are not what sells rigs, but jeez guys... i know that the trends are increasingly towards tiny itty bitty rigs, but I'm afraid if we dont' watch it , we'll start seeing mals caused due to overly tight containers... already I've seen certain rigs (the ones that don't seem to understand that the pop top hanging over the sides of the reserve container might be an indicator that maybe you might want to have a smaller pop top for your itty bittiest rigs) that if not packed with the main bag standing up will open into line twists due to the bag catching a bottom corner on the way out during deployment... we've talked about some of the rigs that we see around here and have started to boycott some of them due to packing difficulty, both main and reserve... some of these tiny rigs with mains or reserves 2 or 3 sizes too large for the size of the container are ridiculous... we've ever talked about making a rule this if someone buys a rig without consulting the staff riggers as to proper sizing, they will need to find someone else to pack it. There's one rig in particular that noone on the dz will pack anymore... the reserve is a true nightmare that I can't even describe without having flashbacks.... the main requires a 550 cord pullup with an iron bar cheater to close.... it's a two man operation, one man plants his feet on the rig and does a row using every muscle group in his body to get the closing loop through the grommets and then someone else has to force the pin through.... he's got a 135 in a bag rated for a sub 80 canopy... now he's jumping his second rig, because noone will pack it and he can't get it closed..... just some observations
  7. generally, I dislike racers... having said that, the other day a jumper came in from Kansas with a brand new racer and it didn't look bad... as much as it pains me to say it.... he positively raved over the customer service and response times... they have made some serious progress in the coverage arenas- velcro is at a minimum, fairly well thought out tuck tabs, still a bit on the weirdly overengineered side, but not bad. I pack them and can make them look good, but as a general rule dislike dealing with them... until recently, I never could figure out what was going through Sherman's mind when he devised this medievel torture device for riggers, until I packed an elite with a round reserve... now I know what he was thinking... it was a joy... prob seems to be that he figured round reserve, square reserve.... whatever, no need to change the way we do things... from what I have heard about the new manager over at jumpshack, I'm really curious to see what is going to happen with the much maligned racer in the coming years.... for that matter after packing a few wings, racers don't seem so bad after all.
  8. speaking of being hit in the mouth by that godawful wiggly spring... has anyone here come up with a good way to compress that sucker and get it to sit even as it's designed? I have no idea how many I see walk in the dz from other places with the cap sitting cattywompass... when I open it up, sure as shootin, one or more of the coils is turned sideways... another question... wings makes some really itty bitty rigs, but don't seem to have adapted the size of the pop top.... we've got a rig at the dz that we call the waffle rig, it's so tight and small, the joke is that you have to use a waffle iron to get the reserve in... the pop top diameter is only about 1 1/2 inches smaller than the width of the reserve container... leaving about 3/4 inch on either side of the poptop... has anyone ever suggested to them how nice it would be to make a little bit smaller pop top for their smaller rigs? just a question...
  9. sorry, that wasn't directed at you. it was directed at an earlier post that was edited to remove the offensive remark... sorry for the misunderstanding and thank you for coming to my defense.
  10. oh yeah, so far as fit, he agonized over the brand and model of helmet, so he was fitted serveral times... since he got it a master and 4 or 5 senior riggers have looked at it trying to figure out why the air is coming in and why he can't see his handles... we all tried it on and none of us can see our handles either.... may just be a body style/ head shape issue here.... there is no way the air is coming up from underneath.. the only thing that we can figure out is that the air is coming out of the blow hole, talk hole... whatever you call that vent in front of the mouth , or perhaps it is coming through one of the seams ....I know that when I got an A3 out of the gear store for him to try on, he was amazed to be able to see his handles... who knows.... this next weekend, I'm going to get him to jump a loaner A3 or Z1 to see if the wind problem goes away. btw, the reason I call it Darth Vader's helmet is because while walking to the plane or on the ride up... everyone on the drop zone entertains themselves with various renditions of "Luke, I am your father.." etc... he has even started to play along and go with the impression
  11. I wasn't badmouthing the helmet and I dont' really appreciate being categorized as ignorant... let's see, 1. can't see handles and can't properly do emergency procedures due to the limiting factors caused by the helmet. 2. wind blows through the helmet causing him to have to wear goggles under the full faced helmet in my ignorance it just seemed that perhaps this is not the helmet design for him... maybe I'm ignorant in thinking that a helmet should properly fit, not obscure vision and form a wind free zone around the orbital arcs... but then again I must be ignorant due to the fact that I didn't know that you had one and therefore it must be cool... sorry for the acerbic tone there, but my point is, I don't have any care as to what he wears (brand, appearance or model) only that he wears a helmet that is suited for him, doesn't have a ton of unneccessary snag points, shields his eyes and works for him. I am concerned with the functionality of the system and in my humble opinion, in this particular case, this particular model, on this particular person, this is not the deisgn that is working for him. as a matter of fact, he came in the other day and stated (with a bit more than a little surprise in his voice) that he'd done what I sugessted-- I suggested that since he couldn't see his handles and if he was going to continue to jump to do practice touches of his handles in both free fall and under canopy... he found that the handles were in a different position when under canopy... to you and I this is obvious but to him it was an epiphany, he said it took him something like 10 seconds to find them again .... that's a long time under a spinning mal.... once again I told him to get something else.... I don't care if it's a pro-tech with 2.00 goggles..... safety is the concern here, not looking cool for the chicks on the walk to the plane....
  12. as far as I've always known, it is known as the airborne hymn.... it's very common amongst drinking paratroopers.... it's calmed down some in the past couple of years with the "deglamourization" of alcohol campaign and tailhook... but it's still an airborne staple.... since many of the original skydivers were ex-military it would seem logical that they brought it with them.... along with the line, "No shit, there I was..." while training at the National Training Center, at the end of a rotation, the leadership of a battalion has (or had) an after action review that was held at the officer's club and the NCO's club concurrently and all stories had to start with that line... kinda like jeopardy
  13. speaking of funny stories, the other night we were sitting around the fire drinking beer and got into a "Tom Bishop" story loop... this is kind of a texas thing... so any of you Texas jumpers weigh in with your favorite stories.... one of my favorites ( I will relate as best I can as I got it about 5th hand without embellishment) Tom was flying and wanted to put an AFF Level 1 (I believe) student out on the last load, the instructor and him had argued about the visibility (right at sunset) all the way to altitude the instructor kept trying to look out of the windscreen to see where the sun was, every time he tried, Tom would pull up the nose so he couldnt' see or something to that effect... finally, the instructor with the reservations said I'm not jumping this student and they get in an argument about it... the instructor is not going to win an argument with Tom and knows it and just says screw you and jups out the back door... now the AFF level 1 can't jump as there is only one other instructor left on board... everyone else hastily exits the plane as they know what is coming next... the remaining instructor frantically is strapping this student in with every seatbelt in sight as Tom noses the plane over and dives straight toward the ground... every AAD on board pops... the instructor lands off and is picked up by an off duty pilot and taken back to the dz... wear immediately him and Tom get in a fist fight... before long, it turns into a small brawl with about everyone at the DZ taking part, to include Tom's (then pregnant) daughter jumping on the instructor's back and beating on him while yelling "don't you hit my daddy" or something to that effect... well anyway, the fight winds down and a bunch of the involved go to a Mexican restaurant in town and eat... when they walk out , there's a sheriff's car sitting there with two deputies who stop them and say that someone reported that an assault had taken place and that they had something to do with it... one of the jumpers says "well, let me explain... we work out at Skydive Texas and...." he is cut off by the older of the two deputies who says..."okay, what's Tom done now?" I believe the instructor was Bobby Potter, but not 100% sure of it... apparently, from someone who witnessed it, the funniest thing was the two students sitting on a couch with this all out brawl going on in front of them, holding their logbooks up with that , first jump still overwhelmed look on their faces waiting for their debriefs...
  14. when I first started packing, my cigarettes kept disappearing... I was convinced that some other bastard was stealing them... after all, I'd left them RIGHT THERE, pointing at the packing floor... then one day someone walks in and says, hey, you smoke Marlboro Reds, right? I say yes and as a matter of fact I'm out at the moment because some asshat just stole my pack again... then he says, no I didn't want one, I just wanted to let you know that I left them out over the corn field about 3K.... just happened to notice them fly out of my canopy as it was deploying.... I keep my smokes on a table now.... another one that was just recently told to me over some beers and verified by 5 or 6 others, so this one is real... a first jump student gears up and while wandering around waiting to get on the plane starts wiggling around like a dog trying to catch it's tail, of course someone says, what are you doing? their answer is, somethings buzzing in my back pack (their words not mine) the instructor does another full gear check, nothing wrong, just first jump student psychosis ... okay time to get on the about 10k, the student starts freaking out, wiggling around and trying to get out of his rig.. the instructor is now convinced that this guy does not need to get out with the rest of the jumpers.... somethings buzzing in my parachute.... loud squealing follows... needless to say they land with the plane, the instructor is sure that the student is a nut and the student keeps swearing that something was vibrating against his back... the conversation continues, I've got a zillion jumps etc... etc... nothing in that container buzzes.... they open the rig and out falls a pager that's on vibrate..... as soon as it hits the floor, another student who is watching all of this play out, steps in and goes, hey, that's where my pager went, I couldn't find it.... the nut got on the next plane (sans pager) and as well as could be remembered did just fine
  15. wasn't sure where to post this, but decided here would be best due to the reasoning involved... a jumper at my dz (really nice guy), very low time jumper has been in the phase of buying all of his new gear after getting his A license... he agonized about every purchase and bought what he felt was the top of the line in every category... he bought a bonehead havok helmet... one day I was joking with him about his concerns about a pack job and used my standard reply of "look, grab, look, grab, pull, pull, arch and you'll be okay" line to which he answered that he couldn't look because his helmet precluded him from looking down.... I didn't believe him, but when he demonstrated... no kidding, he couldn't look down due the the oversized face shield on this monstrosity... I then asked him why he had on goggles underneath the face plate, to which he replied that do much air passed through the seals that his eyes watered to the point of not being able to see in free fall.... here's the question..... I replied, if you can't see your handles and you have to wear goggles under a full face helmet... get rid of it and get something else I'm wondering what others out there would have said in the same situation... for that matter what advice would some of you have in that situation? he's a great guy and I want to make sure that he stays safe, but seems to have been infected with the new and shiny disease thanx