dninness

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dninness last won the day on January 31

dninness had the most liked content!

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Gear

  • Main Canopy Size
    170
  • Reserve Canopy Size
    160
  • AAD
    Vigil 2 Control Unit

Jump Profile

  • Home DZ
    Pepperell Skydiving Center
  • License
    D
  • License Number
    19617
  • Licensing Organization
    USPA
  • Number of Jumps
    1300
  • Years in Sport
    24
  • First Choice Discipline
    Formation Skydiving
  • First Choice Discipline Jump Total
    950
  • Second Choice Discipline
    Wing Suit Flying
  • Second Choice Discipline Jump Total
    30

Ratings and Rigging

  • AFF
    Instructor
  • USPA Coach
    Yes

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  1. dninness

    Dropzone Template Upgrade

    There was something going on with the "hamburger" and the responsiveness of the site (I navigated to several other sites to make sure it wasn't my connection or my device, and it didn't *seem* that way). Took on the order of 3-7 seconds to get a drop down to display. The forums, it seems to me, as too much flash or chrome where none is needed. Reading the forum on mobile shouldn't require me to scroll 2-3 times more than on the desktop because we're taking up far far more precious real estate with white space.. Any thought to a Tapatalk plugin for the forum? All the forums I participate in are Tapatalk enabled, except DZ.com. Which is why I have participated less and less. The modern mobile audience wants that "app-based" experience (ie. the various reddit apps)
  2. dninness

    Dropzone Template Upgrade

    The site is basically unnavigateable (Is that a word?) on a mobile browser. The forum is clunky as fuck now. Speaking as a guy who has run several websites like this with forums, I get "user resistance to change." This isn't that.
  3. so you want the USPA to .. issue a statement ... about the individual actions... of one TI? Is that what I'm reading? Do you also want your state's DMV to issue a statement every time someone causes a DUI fatality? Do you want the FAA to issue a statement every time a pilot makes a mistake (individually, not systemicly) and crashes a plane? Let the investigation play out before you start demanding action based on little, no, or incorrect information that we have here. BTW, and this sort of reinforces your point: I know a number of pilots who have First Class medicals because they're airline pilots and I'm pretty sure they have undiagnosed, or at least untreated, mental illnesses. Bipolar disorder, depression, etc. Why would they not admit such? Because to do so would jeopardize their livelihood. So a guy who wants to keep hucking drogues for a living smiles and checks "none" under "depression" on the form. Otherwise its time to find another line of work. Not a real good way to prevent that from happening. Nor is there a real good way to prevent this incident from happening, if what is postulated did indeed occur, without, say, mandating a "two-man" rule. Lets watch while Bill Booth invents the side-by-side instructor (pilot/co-pilot) tandem system, for just such an emergency. Right. 14,000 posts on DZ.com tells me you have a lot of time and energy on your hands, and you like an audience. 20+ years on internet forums, I've seen the type. Lots of opinions, love to tell everybody how it is and how its going to be. Never mind things like information, data and facts. Pass. NIN D-19617, AFF-I '19
  4. About 20 years ago at my DZ's Casa Boogie it was too OVC to put up full altitude loads. The Casa pilot (also a jumper) and I decided we should at least put up a couple hop-and-pop loads. I stepped off the 182 right after he did at a shade over 2000 and immediately threw my PC. "Hmmm, thats odd," I thought, "it doesn't feel like anything is happening back there.." Looked over my shoulder to see my collapsed bungee pilot chute dancing in my burble. "awww, shit.." Just then, it caught air and I opened. Geez. I'm not sure, but I think I wasn't in the saddle until 1600 ft. I bought a Cazer kill-line collapsible immediately thereafter. NIN D-19617, AFF-I '19
  5. I think the 2500 ft rule of the new BSRs is probably a good thing. No, I know its a good thing. That said, I didn't really bat an eye when I would hear "OK, we're gonna break at 3500, pull between 2500 and 2000.." Crikey, my logbook is rife with jumps that *started* pulling a 4 way off the step at 3.5. (and we all went away within 500 ft and were in the saddle by 2.5) and none of that really freaked me or anybody else out. (mid 1990s, C-182s, low ceiling days..gotta hone that 4-way exit technique!) I think back to the AFF course, where we're leaving the "student" around 3500 ft and you have to gain 200 ft of separation and deploy by 2K. There were a *couple* times when, yes, the pin was out of my container by 2K, but my deployment didn't finish until 1600 ft. Extra sketchy, for sure, and at least once I looked over my shoulder to be sure my Cypres didn't decide to randomly make things more complicated. Today? No, I'm glad we've built in 500ft more of buffer. But if someone said "Yeah, I had traffic at break off and went a little low, pulled at 2.3.." I wouldn't be like "Holy jesus, do you @#$% want to die?" Now, sub 2000 ft pulls? Screw that and anybody who thinks thats even remotely safe. *especially* with today's soft opening snivel rides. (My Sabre I hasn't let me down yet...) NIN D-19617, AFF-I '19
  6. People tried. NIN D-19617, AFF-I '19
  7. dninness

    USPA Acts to Ensure Proper TI Qualifications

    surely, other tandem fatalities have occurred, yes. But I suspect that the subsequent investigations didn't turn up irregularities in certifications and qualifications. I've never seen a USPA action like this that came right out and named names. (there have been suspensions and such where there were names in the minutes of the USPA meeting) That kind of surprised me. From what I read, I suspect there are a couple parallel tracks to the situation: - A tandem examiner had his examiner privileges suspended but kept right on conducting rating training. -- It looks like anything after July of last year was in the definite "He didn't have examiner privileges, so if you got a rating from him, its bogus" and anything between Feb 2011 and the rating suspension was "suspect" likely, it seems, due to potential documentation issues. -- Someplace (here?) I saw that there was a concern for "forged" documentation. Someone was signing someone else's name, or conducting a rating course and having someone else pencil whip the documentation to get it past USPA? - The DZ where the these potentially bogus tandem rating courses were held probably knew that they were bogus, or should have known they were bogus. - Additional looks into the qualification of any of the TMs at the affected operation uncovered discrepancies and serious FAR/BSR/Manufacturer-related violations. Even though Lodi isn't a USPA Group Member DZ, the DZO and TMs are individual USPA members. Just because the DZ isn't a GM DZ doesn't mean you as an individual member can get away with ignoring or skirting around the BSRs, the license rating process, the FARs and the manufacturer's requirements at a whim without risk to your personal membership (and probably serious legal action, too). This is kind of my two cents, to be sure. I'm not an examiner or in the USPA hierarchy apart from being an instructor at a GM DZ. But I've seen things like this in other organizations I've been a part of: something happens, minor or otherwise, and that incident or infraction opens to the door to a "more than cursory look" at the local operation from the regional or national governing body. Suddenly, its not just Minor Infraction A or Accident B that is at question, that "closer look" reveals other things: ignored regulations, incomplete documentation, outright malfeasance, etc. Now everybody's tits are in the ringer, so to speak. NIN D-19617, AFF-I '19
  8. dninness

    In Flight Maintenance?

    As a crew chief on Chinooks, I worked with some people who were not exactly carrying their entire lunch to work with them every day. One day, I'm "running the ramp" (responsibilities were for the aft section of the aircraft and the left-side, working from the rear of the aircraft), and this [email]flight engineer is "on the door" (responsible for the nose, right side of the aircraft, from the forward cabin door). I was doing a "ramp check" (checking the aft transmission area, on the ramp of the aircraft, which we did every 30 minutes) and I hear the FE say something over the intercom and it sounds all choppy and weird. I look up toward the front of the cabin and he's not there! WTF? I run up to the cabin door and spot his intercom cord and the tail for his restraint harness (think "tandem harness with a 10 foot strap to keep you in the aircraft) snaking out the top half of the door. I stick my head outside and there he is, like spider man, crouched on the top of the fuel tank, holding on to the "kick steps" on the outside of the aircraft, grinning like an idiot. Some people. I swear. NIN D-19617, AFF-I '19
  9. dninness

    Best thing you've ever seen a student do....

    Had a guy last weekend, 29 jumps 16 years ago. Apparently the rigs at my DZ were equipped with ripcords then (I'm pretty sure they weren't, but OK). I trained him in an FJC 3-4 weeks ago, no indications of having any odd tendencies to be trained out of him, etc. He's pretty solid, maybe a little slow to integrate things (getting older, like me), but seems to have the right moves and answers. We did him a Cat B instead of a Cat A, and he was fine, if not a tiny bit stiff. Nice turns, good leg extension, solid altitude awareness. Here's 6k, lock on.. 5.5, wave off. And as he's reaching back for the handle, I reach up to grab his hand and put it on the handle when ... he folds in half in the middle, trying to LOOK for the hip-mounted ripcord. So here we are at pull time, student trying hard to front loop us. My reserve side is our S&TA and he's got a legstrap and sinks quick to counteract. Meanwhile, I'm trying to get his hand on the handle while at the same time trying to backslide and prevent the frontloop. Never saw a tendency to look down for the handle in any of the pre-training. It worked out, but he got an hour of practice on the horizontal trainer afterwards. Geez. NIN D-19617, AFF-I '19
  10. I was going to say, I thought D was "Master" Then I checked mine :) NIN D-19617, AFF-I '19
  11. In most circumstances, inside video *can* be helpful. I have a CX100 with an Opteka .3 "Baby Death" lens inside an Exit Equipment XQ-010 box (http://www.exitequipment.com/boxes_xq010.html) on top of my helmet, with a cutaway and no ring site or other protuberances. I built my helmet rig almost specifically with inside AFF video in mind and the potential for a "PC & bridle in the face" situation. There is a tiny gap (1-2mm?) between the lens bottom and the top of the helmet that *could* get a bridle in it if the bridle went in completely edgewise, but you'd have to be trying pretty damn hard (not saying it might not happen, but its a pretty slim possibility). With a normal arm's length sort of AFF grip, I can get the student from the knees to fingertips no sweat, or from elbows to toes, no sweat (I can pretty much see the student end to end with normal minor head movement). Work great for debriefing body position and such. Based on this video, however, my DZ has made the decision that we'll have no more inside AFF video. Honestly, that instructor's GoPro mount is frightening from the standpoint of "high snag factor" NIN D-19617, AFF-I '19
  12. dninness

    Advice for juding a students fall rate

    Fairly early on as a new AFF-I, I wound up on a Cat C with a small young lady and another experienced AFF-I from another DZ who I knew but had never jumped with. I asked around and was told the student was "floaty", so I dressed for success and prepared myself for her to slow down on release. (I also weighed probably 40lbs more than I do now and had some initial problems with fall rate in Cat C jumps, so I tended to expect a student to be too slow for me. That led to a lot of issues before I got more skill and lost more weight) On release, her fall rate went up, and I probably over anticipated a fall rate change, and I found myself 15+ ft above them in an instant. Before I could even curse my piss poor decision making skills, they slid a little my way (or I slid their way while trying to get down) and *bam* I'm in the burble. I managed to go right between her and the main side and only bumped a foot on her rig on the way thru. Talk about an embarrassing n00b mistake and possibly dangerous situation. Great way to show you have your AFF shit together to someone from another DZ, too. She admitted on the ground that she does yoga and is "really bendy". I ask that question in advance now. NIN D-19617, AFF-I '19
  13. dninness

    sleeping on the ride up

    1995 or so, I had about 70 jumps and was at Z-Hills for the Turkey Boogie. As the plane was ready to taxi out, one of the video people ran out and hopped on, clipped her seatbelt (rear bulkhead) leaned her head back and was (to me) asleep by the time we were wheels up. Now, in retrospect, may not "alseep" but "resting her eyes" and "relaxing." As it was 1030 in the morning, it seemed odd to be "asleep," but then Z-Hills is a busy place and who knows what kind of partying went on the night before. I nudged a guy I was jumping with who was local and said "Is that normal?" and he said "Yeah, this is probably her 3rd or 4th jump this morning, too.." And I remember thinking at the time "I don't ever want to work so hard at skydiving that I have to sleep on the plane." Now, 1100 jumps later, if I'm not supervising a student on the plane, my eyes are closed before we taxi away from loading. :) And my two jumps out of Mr. Douglas at that boogie in 1995 taught me the value of some shuteye on the way to altitude. NIN D-19617, AFF-I '19
  14. I had a whole nice reply all jimmied up, and TK went and basically stole it from me. LOL. Well played, TK. Well played! At the end of the day, its going to come down to money. Plain and simple. As do many other decisions in this sport. If a/c owners are passed an increased premium from the insurers to continue to allow wingsuiters, they're going to either pass it along to their customer (the DZ) or disallow it altogether. Depending on their experience with wingsuiters, it could go either way. An a/c operator who has more than one dent in his horizontal stab from a wingsuiter's helmet is probably going to say "Yeah, uh, no more. Here's why." DZOs, who are notoriously cash-strapped as it is, will not absorb a cost premium to allow wingsuiters that gets passed on to them from the a/c owners. They will say "My aircraft provider now says that wingsuiters will cost me more than RW jumpers, tandems & freeflyers. Yeah, fuck wingsuiters." So you have a choice: A) A sign over the manifest window that says "Due to insurance concerns, wingsuiting is no longer allowed from any aircraft owned and/or operated by Truman Sparks Aviation LLC dba The Pecos Parachute School"; or B) A sign that says "Per our aircraft owner, effective immediately, wingsuit slots will incur a $10 surcharge per jump to cover increased insurance premiums." Honestly, would a little increased oversight/guidance/guidelines from the USPA and/or some BSRs around wingsuiting be better than the potential alternative of _not_doing_it_at_all_? NIN D-19617, AFF-I '19
  15. I had to re-read it (and see the original, which I have) to get that there are two points: wingsuits in formation with aircraft (holy smokes, anybody doing that here in the US?) and wingsuit tail strikes. (Not 100% sure where the formation take off thing comes from, appears maybe it was in "last week's email"? Not sure, not clear) The insurer(s) are saying "don't fly your plane in formation with wingsuiters. It would be bad, and uninsureable." And then they're saying "We're looking at the increase in claims [damage claims, I'm assuming, to the aircraft for aircraft repair, not liability claims] surrounding wingsuit tail strikes. We might have to charge you out the ass if you keep allowing wingsuiters to jump out of your planes AND wingsuiters keep colliding with the empennage. Can we stop the wingsuiters from colliding with the tail? Please?" Insurers can tell the insured pretty much whenever that certain kinds of actions will void their coverage. Example: My ex-wife worked for a company that did collections for Avis rent-a-car. Apparently, if you drive on a dirt road, you're in violation of the rental agreement, and any insurance you have doesn't cover you if you violate the rental agreement. So someone would drive onto a dirt road, go "Whoops, gotta turn around, wrong place.." and put the car into a culvert or a ditch or something, causing damage. The Avis insurance that you paid extra for is void if you're in violation of the rental agreement. Your insurance apparently is too. And _everybody_ is sure their auto policy covers them when driving a rental, but judging by the conversations I heard the collectors have with people, is likely NOT the understanding that your insurance company has... So they were substantially collecting from people who had driving down a dirt road, totaled the car, and Avis said "See, right here, says you can't drive off the paved surface.. (or whatever it says) Pay us." Insurance is a big racket and controls the purse strings. A badly handled insurance claim could put an owner/operator or DZ out of business. NIN D-19617, AFF-I '19