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Everything posted by kelpdiver

  1. Why don't you go ask the CDC (which is gov't) and then get back to me. They may or may not keep stats but they do report them. There is a difference. In any case, do you have a point? If you have stats that contradict the gov't stats, go ahead and post them. to risk (or participate) in beating this dead horse: your citation did not give CDC stats. The top of it shows the CDC's list for leading causes of death, but the rest came from a variety of sources, some more useful than others. I'd say they spent more time on the snarky graphics than in collecting the information. That skydiving rate of 1 in 101,083 looks to be an estimate for risk of dying in a single jump, measured by dividing the approx number of jumps in a year by the number of deaths. But the risk of an active skydiver dying in a year has routinely been around 1 in 1000. 20 some people per year out of 2x,000 active USPA members. With the average annual jump count around 100, the two figures back each other. Motorcycling as a mode of transportation also sees a death rate around 1 in 1000 per year. Not racing, as indicated in your cite. Scuba diving is probably about half as dangerous per dive as skydiving, though it's very difficult to measure the dive count, and a significant portion of the deaths are cardiac types that were likely to happen anyway. Having already identified 3 suspect numbers, the prudent person dismisses it entirely. Skydiving isn't safe, and you've spent enough time in the sport to know this. Ask a planeload of jumpers for recommendations for a physical therapist or orthopedic surgeon. Do the same on a dive boat and count how many fewer answers you get.
  2. did you make a decision? You're right to look for gear - particularly at small places (and even at larger ones when we're talking about suitable rigs for the 215lbers), relying on rentals means waiting longer between jumps. Students often get precedence since their jumps have to align with their instructors (and they're paying a double hundred bucks a jump!). I was your weight when I got to your situation. It was hard finding a complete package - I ended up buying a new container, but found a Triathlon 220 used, and then later moved to a new Tri 210 ,and finally a Pilot 210. When I stepped away, I had absolutely no trouble selling it at an excellent price. It was a bit remarkable - nearly no depreciation after 5 years. There's a key thing to keep in mind - newish rigs for 'big boys' will always sell easy. So you shouldn't worry too much about multiple downsizes in the same container. If you get to that point, get a new container. Potentially with the thinner fabrics that came out in the last 10 years, you can get get bigger canopies into a smaller space, and then downsize to the regular fabric. to the gear vendors. But again, don't optimize for a future maybe over the current. I found a pretty big difference in difficulty between a WL of 1.1 and 1.2, though I'll say I was a poor flarer. I think the 1.1 target is a more sensible one for the first rig. 1.2 + one other factor (hot day, DZ at altitude, zero wind) can equal a bad tumbling landing, or worse if you misread the wind direction.
  3. Looks like rather obvious agenda driven messaging. Can't blame the reporter for this one - that person relied on USPA as an authority and Ed takes advantage of this. He didn't cite specifics, just put out a vague "don't know" scare message. And given a long history of not really sanctioning USPA DZs for safety violations, is "You don't know what you're getting" even correct? We have a second active thread going about a nearby USPA member DZ.
  4. Getting to the solo jump status would be a good break off point (and you could travel south if really necessary to continue with the cheaper post AFF student jumps). But if your budget doesn't allow for a failed AFF level, you could still fall short of that solo jump. Tough call here, since currency and continuity is a key to success. But if you haven't done any AFF levels yet, how do you know this is what you want to do? You might be a bit annoyed at yourself if you scrape and save all winter and then find at AFF4 or 5 that you're losing interest in the risk/reward balance.
  5. I knew one that did exactly that. You got that pack job when you picked it up, pay for it at the end.
  6. good chance you won't feel the cold until afterwards - your mind will be focused elsewhere. And it will warm up as you descend. But when you book, ask for advice on how much/what to wear. I usually wore running shoes with cotton socks that are appropriate on the ground, and that doesn't cut it up there at speed.
  7. You're watching an event sponsored by an energy drink company... one with a long history of sensationalizing stunts, like motorcycle or snowmobile jumps over rivers and such.
  8. Those canopy shots were examples of great execution - keeping them nice and taut while keeping the model from drowning yet having no bubbles in frame. Underwater models + photographers are a team that generally spend a lot of time getting good together. I don't think any of these guys had very extensive experience doing this.
  9. as experienced by anyone that has tried to organize a tandem outing for their friends or workplace. You start with 10 or 20 enthusiastic sounding folks but as soon as you ask for that $50 deposit for next Saturday, it's crickets.
  10. however, it's on par with buying a not high end motorcycle - say 6-8k to get trained and get a rig, and then a couple thousand per year. If you can swing the first part, the ongoing costs can be very manageable. Of course, you can spend a ton more, going to farflung boogies and jump out of exotic craft, but you don't have to. 1-2 weekend days per month at 4 jumps in a day = 60/year, a reasonable participation rate floor. The USPA averages were in the 70s, iirc, but I'm sure that's bimodal with a lot of people at 100+/yr and less active people in the 30-40 range.
  11. Drew - motorcycling has roughly the same 1 in 1000 annual risk of death as skydiving. Not sure what the injury level is like - I suspect biking has a greater risk of a bad crash like mine, but that's just a gut feel. I do remember being a bit taken back by the number of people in crutches I would see at the DZ. Obviously swooping versus not and other choices (canopy selection) affect the risks substantially.
  12. heh - based on my history with off landings on night jumps (3 of 4) or 24k jumps (1 of 1), I probably would self select out, or open high, or pick an LZ with a big margin for error. In the right place, such a night jump would be neat, but others, missing the gain.
  13. Actually the DZ can lose money if the student buys one of the packages that is all 25 Jumps for an A then fails repeatedly. Instead of doing cheap solo jumps and coach jumps, they are paying those cheaper rates for more expensive AFF jumps. Its a situation where no one wins, the DZ is stuck honoring prices when a student is progressing and putting money into the student and the student is unhappy they are not progressing. Its a rare situation, but it does happen. If those were the terms, yes, that would be true. But is it? My AFF package, and many like it, got me 1 jump at each of 7 AFF levels, plus one repeat (or free jump tickets when cleared for solo). I thought I was committing to 8 AFF jumps, which would tell me if this was something I could do and wanted to do. But really is one jump at L4 (or one + the repeat + $199), followed by one at L5, one at L6.... It is a true cash cow - there is the carrot of the prepaid levels outstanding.
  14. It's not an indictment. It's a belief, a conclusion that the free repeat AFF level or the 10 jump tickets after isn't worth the opportunity cost of paying up front and committing to that DZ. And it was hardly just my experience that lead to this. Pay as you go. When you consider the cost of AFF and the first rig running on the higher end of the 5-10k range, $200 is worth the open choices.
  15. That's sad and unfortunately true and understandable in some cases but not true in most cases I would venture. One major thing is that the student doesn't know what he is getting into and few ask the right questions before they sign up. They don't know what questions to ask. And even if I did, would the DZO have answered: "We're a tandem mill that barely tolerates upjumpers and the typical window of student acceptable conditions is 4 hours per day. But since your AFF-I will immediately get back on the plane for a tandem after your jump (and maybe 2), he won't debrief you for at least an hour, so at best you could do 2 jumps in the day, but sometimes none." I tell you, for a long time after that I couldn't take seriously the weather reports of any DZ I called. When I took my break and then went to the new tunnel at Perris to get the stability issue fixed and did got to one jump short of solo freefall, I go back and my prepurchased AFF levels were only good for the specified level - could not use them as L7s or coach jumps or anything but what they specified.
  16. First off, remember that it takes 10 seconds to drop through the first 1000ft, so there's no rush. If you leave at 5k, you have 10 seconds to get stable and pull by 4k. Also, remember that the longer you fall, the easier it will be to get stable. You'll be building airspeed the whole time, and your arch will be more effective the closer you get to terminal velocity. With the above in mind, start doing some hop n pops this weekend, and arrange for one of the jumpers on the load to film your exit. They can film it from the door and still continue on to do their own jump, so that's free video. Once on the ground, get a copy of the video and pin down one of the staff members to review it with you. It won't take more than 2 min or so, and that's free coaching. Be sure to look at things like where you're looking, the alaignment of your shoulders and hips with the relative wind, and your overall body position (are you even arching? are you holding the arch, or breaking it when you go a little off kilter?). You should be able to locate the source of your problem, and then have some things to focus on for your next jump. So free video, free coaching, and nothing to focus on but the exit as there's no freefall to follow. You'll get more jumps in, and be able to work on canopy control with no traffic as well. You might be intimidated by exits and hop n pops, but this is how you can turn that around and make those your strong point. Didn't want to chop any of this out - Dave's posting is perfect advice for you. I did want to comment on the not rushing. I had a lovely experience on a HnP out of a side door (as opposed to rollup) Cessna where I felt a bit cramped by the height, hurled myself out into a full loop, but tossed the PC before I came about - it hooked around my foot. Fortunately I was able to toe point like in a track and let it slip free to deploy, but it did burn some altitude. In a rush exit, or even just a lower 3k HnP, that would have been a low opening. This was during a canopy class so I got several more tries at it in that particular plane. Your canopy class will be a great opportunity to get better at this, and once you've got it, you can get to the point where you can exit and open within a couple hundred feet, which Pops points out is a rather important skill to have. I am one of those who learned the dive far sooner than the poised exit. Part of it I think is the height of many of the doors coupled with me being a bit stiff and inflexible after the ride up in steerage class. The King Air was much easier than the otter or the really short Pac, as the curved fuselage meant I could stand 6' tall inside. Or it may be my trouble with stepping out sideways, but wary of hopping up with that tail stablizer behind me, without imparting a twist. They taught me the dive for my HnPs out of a 182 and it stuck immediately for me. I could watch the prior exit, count off some time, and already be in position to dive out.
  17. there are so many potential problems that can come up that I can't recommend anyone buy an AFF program upfront. The potential savings over pay as you go just don't warrant the buy-in. The would be jumper cannot reliably identify a DZ that might have weather issues, prioritize tandems, or just have a bad mesh with the instructors. I learned it the hard (well, the $$) way.
  18. aye, but accidents are equally devastating to small DZs. In a coin flip situation, they'll certainly take the conservative approach. A key lesson for the DZs to consider is the timing of that message. I suspect one of the reasons you took it badly (not like one would ever take it well) is that you spent the morning driving out there and getting jacked up in anticipation, only to fall flat. I was pretty angry when a wind hold cancelled my AFF1 jump. They didn't tell us the winds would build...certainly wouldn't want to rush us, but while we sat around trying to suck up the courage, the window closed. I was ticked off for days.
  19. Did you schedule this C1 jump, or just arrive at the DZ? If they knew you were coming, they could have, should have done this over the phone. If they didn't, perhaps they presumed from the last jump that you would self select yourself out and save everyone the unpleasant experience of 'the talk.' No one at the DZ wants to boot a newcomer. Hopefully the prior jump had a proper debrief...busy DZs like the one I did much of my AFF at had a tendency to schedule instructors for back to backs and occasionally B2B2Bs and debriefs suffered as a result. If it went badly enough to lead to a TUB speech, there should have been something said that day. hopefully one other DZ for AFF, and then the other two after you were cleared for self supervised jumps? Did the wind tunnel come into use as well? I'm one of many that the tunnel was a good fix for - allowed 'flying time' to first fix body positioning issues and then let me get back to the other essential skills in the air.
  20. Not really (though I found Dave's reply that it shouldn't really matter interesting). Pressure varies in the day, and in locations. Thermals. windsheer, rotors, turbulence are all factors that you can't go back and get. I think you can only generate the data to create your models by going out and collecting it. Although ultimately the problem remains that our altimeters all rely on the barometer - we don't have lasers or radar bouncing beams off the ground to get a true distance.
  21. this is my gut conclusion - for the experienced aggressor swooper, the margins are likely smaller than the predictive abilities of such a device. Can't have too many false positives before it just gets turned off. And if it is feasible, will the secondary consequences outweigh its usefulness? One person's reflexes are faster than another, and the same person's reflexes vary based on amount of sleep, food, fatigue. But if Canuck is finding useful data from existing visual altimiters, it does seem worthy of an experiment. I earlier suggested a grad student, perhaps an EE type. In my mind, it would be unethical to test right away with a prototype; instead it should just be a black box that records the flight data and silently decides when it thinks the dive is going south. When someone like Dave notes it was a 'close call,' he would detail his recollection and the engineer can compare to what the device thought of it. This gets you a baseline for accurate and false positives and indicates the potential of the end product.
  22. the lag on these devices are considerable. The older ones had to - they were mechanical. The electronic ones can be faster, but they still need some sampling time. How long does it take to spiral from 400 (?) ft to pull out? And do you reach terminal before point of pulling out? If not, the logic could presume you will keep accelerating so it can get ahead of the curve. However, a likely consequence between that and needing a safety margin to deal with changes in the barometer is that it always sounds the alarm and one quickly stops using it. It may not be impossible, but I can't see someone like Cypres wanted to take on that sort of responsibility. More likely would need to be a competitor. Build a silent prototype with a data collector and have a bunch of swoopers use it for a season and have the jumper record each jump's impression (conservative, scary, right on) and compare to the telemetry. Sounds like a good thesis project for a grad student.
  23. Due to the metalwork in the shoulder, I can't even get an MRI to diagnose the cuff. We did the surgery based on the presumption that something was wrong when I didn't respond to PT. And yes, partial tear, plus impending tendon tear.
  24. I'm sure this bias is a portion of it. That and the lower life expectancy for men born in the 30s. You have to get past that to see if there really is a difference in desire. From that generation, there was a much greater notion that 'women don't do these sort of things' and it wouldn't surprise me if the grandmas are rebelling against that now. I've been on planeloads with 3 generations of men (son, father, grandfather) and others with 3 gens of women.
  25. you can breathe 100% O2 @ 1atm for well over 24 hours. It's not a concern for skydivers. I'd be much more concerned about fire risk, or the biggest, not keeping it sealed up. If you are a certified scuba diver, you should ask your training agency for your money back. The military and science divers (NOAA) are trained not to exceed a 1.6PPo2 limit. Recreational divers are trained to not exceed 1.4 limits. At 100% o2 at 19 feet, you will be at a 1.6 PPo2 limit and at a much higher risk of oxtox. The US Navy, years ago used a 2.1 PPo2 and with invent of the doppler and thier high incident rate of oxtox, they rethought thier dive charts. Well, shit, in that case, your high school should ask for it's diploma back? Are are you really so eager to prove to us you know something about diving that you don't understand that 33ft = 2atm of pressure, 0ft = 1atm? I said 100% at 1atm. If you really have a clue on the subject, it's obvious that would be the PPO2. IOW, sea level, where the skydivers will be prebreathing. If they dug a really deep mineshaft, they might get over 1.1, but that is not a likely scenario, is it? BTW, my nitrox card has 1996 on it, and a 4 digit #. And it wasn't some coddled training that had recreational diving segment from "scientific" or "military" diving.