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NickDG last won the day on January 28

NickDG had the most liked content!

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  • Main Canopy Size
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    BASE Jumping
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    Formation Skydiving

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    Senior Rigger
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  1. NickDG

    The Sponsor Monster

    No Fear . . . At an early 1990s Bridge Day in West Virginia I was kind of shocked to see the first inroads of corporate tentacles into the sport of BASE jumping. Among the booths set up in a Fayetteville school gymnasium by a fledgling BASE equipment industry there is a new non-BASE related company called "No Fear" hawking their popular line of t-shirts. Most old school BASE jumpers who were there, including me, saw this as a sacrilege. They tried to give away a few shirts for free just to get the ball rolling. But when someone tried handing me one I said, "Get me one that says, "Big Fear," and I'll wear it. I wanted to say more, but it would have been pointless. These were just kids who answered an advert to come work for some "dynamic" new company. BASE jumping was still very much an underground activity in those days, and there was no graphical internet and certainly no YouTube. And except for Bridge Day we were still being chased in the middle of the night by cops and security guards. Or so we thought. The next day two BASE jumpers were handcuffed and arrested on the bridge for outstanding (BASE related) warrants. Believe me, if "Anonymous" masks were available in those days many jumpers would have been wearing them as BASE was still very much a combination of parachuting and bank robbery. But that wasn't my main beef with No Fear. Nobody owns BASE jumping. You can't rent it, bottle it, or sell it. Each of us during our active years as BASE jumpers are merely stewards of a pretty spectacular human endeavor. And it's a legacy stretching back to the 15th century when crude but effective parachutes are being jumped from tall stone towers in Europe. These devices were marketed as a way to escape the fires that often engulfed these towers which were filled with straw furnishings and where flaming torches provided the lighting at night. In more modern times like the 1980s and 1990s that legacy was bolstered by every BASE jumper who broke a leg (or worse) trying to learn something new from a piece of gear or a new technique. And those lessons were passed around the BASE community mostly by word of mouth. There was email in those days and internet bulletin boards were starting to appear but not many BASE jumpers were computer savvy enough to be using them. The very first email I sent was in about 1986 and it was to another BASE jumper. Our legacy includes many things which also means talking about Carl Boenish. And in the thirty years I've been writing about BASE jumping I seldom fail to mention him. I know many of the younger jumpers roll their eyes but in my way it's how I was paying Carl Boenish back for all he did for us. So it was in that frame of mind I stood there in front of that No Fear t-shirt booth and wondered, is this right? Is it something we should embrace or reject? What would Carl think if still alive? But this is almost ten years after he died and there were plenty of BASE jumpers on the scene who didn't care much for history and/or didn't worry about where BASE jumping was going. And I understood that way of thought. To many of them BASE jumping was just another cool thing you could do with parachutes and nothing more. So it was inevitable that corporate sponsors, for good or ill, would come into our world eventually. There's an old adage in advertising. You don't sell the steak, you sell the sizzle. And in a world going bonkers for extreme sports we had the sizzle. But we could stave it off for a while and that was the consensus of the staff manning Bridge Day that year. No Fear was just using us and the sport of BASE jumping for money. And it seemed dirty. So we fired the bridge day organizer who took it upon himself to allow them in. And that was his first and last year in that position. Now here we are all these years later so let's look back at how things turned out. (This is fun, isn't it?) BASE jumping isn't the sport it used to be, but neither is skydiving or anything else for that matter. And except for a few bumps, like when Redbull callously took axes to way more than a few trees at an exit point to get better film in the can, it hasn't hurt us as much as helped us. And we knew a long time ago that BASE jumping would never grow and progress if it remained underground. So it that regard its helped a lot. It used to be if you wanted to organize a BASE jump with permission you had to first explain what BASE jumping was, and that's no longer the case. I know Redbull, and other companies like them, use BASE jumping to sell their swill to teenagers, and I felt some joy when No Fear went bankrupt but in the end, I think it worked out for both these corporate entities and BASE jumping as one hand washes the other. NickD :-) BASE 194
  2. NickDG

    Another Who, Where, When?

    Hank Asciutto! NickD
  3. NickDG

    Hand Cams, "Only" ?

    First they get rid of the Camera Flyers, next the Manifest Girls (or Boys) will be replaced by ticket dispensing machines, and then they'll take aim on getting rid of the Instructors . . . NickD
  4. NickDG

    USPA website hacked?

    Hope Turk Efeler fixes some shit while he's in there . . . NickD
  5. NickDG

    What is this?

    Looks too short in the cables to be from an intentional cutaway set-up where the cutaway main is d-bagged from the aircraft. Might be from a flag bag or a really over-engineered ash bag . . . LOL NickD
  6. I've mentioned it a few times over the years . . . Across the street at you can use embedded photos? I might be wrong but wouldn't embedding use less bandwidth (if that's the issue) as the images reside on Photobucket's (or some similar site's) server? There is one advantage to the current method. And that's the content stays intact over the years. Look at any forum that's been around a long time using embedded images and a lot of the early stuff disappears when people lose or close their photo hosting accounts. On the other hand doing it via attachment may legally give Namemedia some ownership/use rights over images that are posted. Haven't read the fine print so I'm not sure about that one. NickD
  7. NickDG

    The day the Arava left Otay

    I remember that plane at Otay. It looked sort of like a flying football . . . NickD
  8. I can't figure out if you are talking about one guy, or two guys, but if two I guess the first guy would just be in the Lucky Club. The second guy that had some part of his reserve out would be a member of the Caterpillar Club . . . NickD
  9. NickDG

    Gear Stolen in San Francisco

    Keep an eye on the local pawn shops. When wuffos steal gear that's where it sometimes shows up. Also get the word out to close by DZs. Thieves don't realize how small the skydiving community is and they'll walk onto a DZ trying to sell gear and their story is, "I gave up jumping," or "I don't jump anymore," or, "It belonged to my uncle Bob and he doesn't jump anymore." Once at Perris a guy showed up trying to sell a BASE canopy that belonged to me. But it wasn't exactly stolen. The guy was a security guard who caught me right after I landed in the street in front of his building. He grabbed my bridle and pilot chute as I tried to get away from him. When the tug of war began I cut him away and took off. A few weeks later he showed up at Square One trying to sell the canopy I left behind. A few of us chased him off and I got my canopy back . . . NickD
  10. NickDG

    Engraving a closing pin?

    I'm guessing a Jeweler could do it. They engrave the inside of rings that aren't much wider than closing pins. Probably going to be spendy though . . . Sounds like a cool jump, have fun! NickD
  11. NickDG

    NTSB and Skydiving

    Never heard of anything like this in the past in the USA. In wondering what may have prompted it I'd say it's either the increase in aircraft incidents and crashes, or possibly all the swoop deaths, we chose to accept, and they might say we ignore, coming home to roost . . . (Note to Nervous Guy: Take heart, the government is on the job.) NickD
  12. I'll take a stab at it . . . I'd say some part of the running end of the left lower lateral strap became caught between where the backside door frame meets the bottom runner. I'm not saying the TM didn't stow the running end as it probably came undone as they brushed it against the door frame. And you can't totally fault the TM for not using the center of the door as his passenger wasn't the easiest to move around. There is usually a hook knife stowed on the back of the passenger harness right below the yoke. And it looks like the TM used that to cut themselves free. It's the green thing in his hand in the second photo. And in the first photo it does look like something is caught in the corner of the door. Nice job by the TM all in all . . . The only funny part (maybe sad really) is the jumpers still in the plane yelling for a knife. I wonder if any one even had one . . . NickD
  13. NickDG

    Photo Album 1966 - 1976

    Thanks, that was great . . . NickD
  14. NickDG

    Fresh Water Jump - Potential Damage

    It would depend on the type of coating on the canopy, or more so what kind of shape its in, with ZP. It also depends how long it's in the water. Land next to the boat, or shore, and getting plucked out right away is always better. But even in the case of "fresh water" a later rinsing of the gear in a clean trash can with clean water is usually a good idea. However, it's the load tapes in the canopy that can be affected most by water and also the lines. And the more your ZP canopy depends on trim to fly properly the more water immersion can effect it. Most of this effect would be brought out by improperly drying the gear later and having the load tapes and lines dry at different rates. But in any case just like with us men and water - some shrinkage will occur. Another point is what is fresh water? To me that means you could dip a straw in and drink it. If not than who knows what's in there. When we do BASE type water jumps it's either with a round, or an older F-111 square. And with those whatever the water does isn't too noticeable later on as far as performance. There's also the gizmo issue, but I'm sure you thought of that already. But you certainly don't want to intentionally soak an AAD even if it claims to be waterproof. Containers are pretty tough so as long as the plating on your hardware is intact, and you dry it off properly, you won't get any rust. It's been my experience that most people who do intentional water jumps use their "B" gear. If you don't have "B" gear I've seen folks use the opportunity to jump some older round gear, but I'm hesitant to suggest that if you've never done it before. Jumping non-familiar gear can always be dangerous and I'd rather you use what's familiar to you, even if you have to throw the canopy away and buy another - if it comes to that. Lastly, to be perfectly honest, if you ever sell the canopy you should cop to the fact it's got a water jump on it. And that might scare off some folks unless you drop the asking price enough. Have fun and wear a floaty device not matter what! NickD
  15. NickDG

    Green Star Express

    While none happened there I remember they were counting off GSE fatalities on the wall of a hangar in Lake Elsinore. It's hard to imagine now but it was a lot harder to make sure everyone got the word in those days . . . NickD