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Everything posted by BASE841

  1. Funny thing, in my experience women lie the most often about their weight. But the person who lied the biggest (more than 50 pounds) was a guy. Go figure...
  2. In response to the "Strong Tandem Letter," I'd like to clarify a few things. No "bad information" was put out by us at PIA. Everything I said both at PIA and to individuals who have contacted me is true and correct. Wings Tandem neither mandates nor forbids any particular canopy in our tandem rigs. With Wings Tandem, there are no "approved" canopies. As stated in the FARs, the assembling rigger decides if a canopy is appropriate for a particular harness container. As a factory, we share our experience with riggers to help them make an informed decision. We have extensively tested our rig with Precision main and reserve canopies. We have test packed and jumped other tandem main and reserves, and can tell you what fits in which container, how they perform, and any tips or tricks that made it easier to install and use. As to the Strong 425 reserve, I called Strong as soon as I heard of their concerns. They were worried about people using the Master 425 if it was pro-packed, rather than flat packed as the factory directs. I immediately removed mention of Strong as makers of a canopy that would work in our tandem rig from our web and Facebook page. We know of a single rig owner who has that canopy in his older Plexus (the predecessor to Wings Tandem.) We advised that owner to ground his rig until he packs it in the manner Strong describes. We at Wings Tandem have the utmost respect and admiration for Strong and all of their pioneering accomplishments. Personally, I jump the Strong Dual Hawk (when I'm not jumping my Wings, of course.) Safety is our primary concern. When a parachute manufacturer tells us they have a concern, we listen. If any of you have questions about the Wings Tandem and what canopies work in it, feel free to contact me, either here on, or at my work email of [email protected] David Strobel Wings Tandem Project Manager
  3. This applies to tandems, but I thought you might like to know: Wings Tandem approves the Tandem m2 in our rigs. So you can use the Cypres, the Vigil and now the m2. I'm assembling three demo rigs that each have a different AAD (and different canopies, but that's for another post.
  4. If you are a Plexus tandem instructor, or if you own a Plexus, please contact me. I do not yet have a complete list of instructors and owners, and I need that information to properly support you. David Strobel [email protected] 813-417-8666
  5. I have some interesting news about this new tandem. It's now Wings Tandem, and I'm managing the project. I'll soon send an email to everyone I know who is a Plexus TI or IE about the change, but here's the short version: Since the rigs were made in Zephyrhills by Wings, we're now handling the whole show, including training. Plexus TIs and IEs are grandfathered for Wings Tandem. The rigs we're selling are basically Plexus, but updated with several small but important improvements. You can put any canopy you wish in the rig, and I've tested a few to make sure they work. I can offer a special good deal on Precision and Aerodyne canopies, and have a great deal on the m2 AAD. For a limited time, I can offer a complete rig for $10,544.00. If you already have a component that you want to use (main, reserve, AAD) contact me and I'll make you a deal. Probably the biggest change is customer service. If you want to know anything, make an order, check on an order, find out about the history and development of the system, have a problem... contact me. I'll always either answer my phone or get back to you fast. And I'll make sure you have a complete answer. How to reach me: David Strobel Project Manager [email protected] 813-417-8666 6520 Fort King Road Zephyrhills, FL 33542
  6. Yup, it's over. Jay's ok, but we're done for this attempt. Here's what I wrote for his blog: Jay Stokes record attempt for 700 jumps is over. Skydive Indianapolis owner Bob Dougherty spoke with one of the pilots who described turbulence he encountered on the descent after dropping Jay 2100 feet above the airfield. That roiling air meant that after growing and dodging around Frankfort for the past hour, the storm was now too close. Bob made the decision to temporarily halt jumping until the storm passed. Jay was on the way down from jump number 292 when he ran into the same turbulence close to the ground. The unstable air caused Jay to have a rough landing, another reason to pause the jumping. After reviewing the radar with Jay and the pilots, and watching the lightning gradually move closer, Bob terminated the attempt. “We looked at the situation,” said Bob. “After the storm would pass, the ceiling,” or the height of the clouds above the ground, “would be too low to jump. It wouldn’t clear in time for us to break Jay’s old record, much less reach the 700 jump target.” As the rain fell, Jay addressed the volunteers in the main hangar, a scrape on the bridge of his nose the only outward sign of his rough landing. “I apologize for the short duration of this event,” he said to the gathered jumpers and support staff. “This is not my idea of a good time, but we do appreciate the fact you all gave it your all.” One person called out to Jay, asking, “What time do we start in the morning?” The gathered volunteers laughed, and Jay told them, “If my wife gets wind of that, I‘m done.” Jay said he plans to get a good night’s rest, then return to the drop zone in the morning. He didn’t guess how many jumps he plans to make.
  7. I do have my rain coat! Hope I don't have to use it, but it's better to be prepared. The weather is threatening, but it's weird... the clouds are forming a crescent around Frankfort, looming to the north and to the east and west curving around us, keeping our skies clear for jumping. The weather gods are on our side. For now.
  8. Jay just did #147. Since you're part of the team is there a checkpoint or cut off time that if he doesnt have X jumps by X hour they quit? Or is he going through with the whole 24 hours whether he beats his old record or not? Sorry about the delay. I'm also doing rig inspection and press escort. Jay makes the call, in cooperation with the pilots. If it's unsafe, we stop. Rain won't stop the jumps, but lightning will. If it's a short time, we'll take a break and resume. If Jay wants to stop for any reason, we stop. As to his cycle time, now that the sun is down and the temperature is dropping, climb time will steadily shorten. Fingers crossed.
  9. Not B12, but quick eject hardware. He did use B12s in the past, but he had to loosen the straps first to get them unhooked, and that cost too much time. When Jay touches down, he releases his toggles and immediately reaches down to pop open the leg straps, then steps away from the rig. Most of the rigs (all Javelins except for three backup Vectors) came with quick releases. The few others that were more traditional step-throughs had bolt-on quick release hardware attached.
  10. I'm blogging from the site. You can read it here: I summarize his jumps by the hour.
  11. The safety stow does keep the container closed if the main closing loop breaks. I jump tested it myself about a month ago. As for wear, it doesn't show much if any wear under normal conditions. I don't think packers will skip this important step, as it only adds seven seconds to my pack job. One thing I noticed during the testing. If the closing loop breaks and the safety stow is used to keep the container closed, the bungee shows a little wear. I'm advising people to replace it then. Let me know if you have any questions about the rig. David
  12. Corollary to #3: Don't make jokes on the forums that can be misconstrued. (...and they ALL will be misconstrued.) Keep up the good work in the sky, and we look forward to seeing you back at the DZ. David
  13. You may have seen the news reports about pilots now allowed to use antidepressants such as Zoloft or Prozac. I called the FAA medical folks in Oklahoma (our local FSDO didn't have the info yet) and asked how that affects tandem instructors. I was told that the new rule applies to anyone who needs a medical certificate from the FAA. So, yes, this applies to tandem instructors. But there are restrictions. Only four medications are allowed... Prozac, Zoloft, Celexia and Lexapro. Also, you can only be on one of these at a time. If you started taking one of these now, you would be grounded for a year to see if you have any ill effects on the medication. After that year off, you would need to apply for a special issuance. The federal air surgeon's office in DC would then review your case. Plus, you would still need a review (including psych exam) every six months. So, good for the feds to finally recognize modern psych meds. But you'll still need to jump through some serious hoops. David
  14. (Here's a cautionary tale, something that happened to me November 1994, jump #226.) My in-laws hated me. I was never sure why, but they hated me. So spending Thanksgiving with them at their home was uncomfortable and distracting. At the first opportunity, I escaped to the front yard to hook up my new canopy. Precision Aerodynamics let me use one of their demo parachutes to see if I liked it. It was made out of a fabric new to me, "ZP." Jumping it for the first time was a big deal. I set up under my in-law’s oak tree, relieved to be away from their glares. Lines straight, fabric to the outside, s-fold everything into the bag, and close ‘er up. It looked good. That weekend, I climbed into the Cessna 182 at the Anderson dropzone, rode to 4500 feet and jumped. I took a few seconds delay and pitched (my first jump with a collapsable pilot chute, too.) Three seconds later, my parachute opened, but it felt weird. I looked up and saw a fully inflated rectangular canopy, but my steering lines went to the front of the canopy! Oh damn, I attached this canopy BACKWARDS, and on my first ZP jump! I looked again. The parachute was properly inflated. I popped my toggles and tried to steer. No problem there. Everything was fine, except I was flying backwards. I turned my head to see where I was going. That was a little uncomfortable. I grabbed my risers and twisted them halfway around. Much better. Now, I could fly facing the same direction as my parachute flew. The only trouble was that I could only turn one direction, into the twist of my risers. When I turned the other way, I untwisted my risers, flipping be around and facing me rearward again. I tried a landing flare. It was a little awkward, but I could flare about half way. That would get me slowed enough to land safely, so I decided I didn’t need to cut this away (and pay a rigger $25 for a pack job.) I’d land my first ZP backwards. I flew around a bit, getting the hang of the new canopy. Looking down, I decided to land it way out it the open, instead of right next to the hangar and packing area. At a thousand feet, I flew my pattern, setting up for my landing in a freshly-plowed field. A dozen feet above the ground, I flared and touched down softly, but with a rolling landing (just in case.) On the long walk back to the hangar (“Why did you land all the way out there, Dave?”) I decided to never again pack while distracted.
  15. Here’s an overview of what we’re planning for this year’s Safety Day. It’s still in the works, but it should be close. 8am to 10am, we’ll have five stations. Go to each one as you wish. We’ll have a gear check by a rigger, emergency review and drills, “Find the Mal,” packing tips and competitive blindfolded packing (fasted with a safe pack job gets a free jump.) From 10 to 1, we’ll have lectures. First, we’ll get an update on what’s happening at the DZ; where we are in construction of the new DZ, planned operations schedule and upcoming events. Then we’ll get an overview of the new landing areas, and review landing patterns and canopy flight. Our chief pilot will talk about aircraft safety and how to maintain our outstanding safety record from a pilot’s point of view. DZO John H. will give the 2007-2008 fatality report and show “Fly to Survive.” After lunch, where we’ll eat pizza thanks to John and hit any stations missed, Mike A will share his experiences on staying safe while shooting freefall video. Then master rigger Jerry MacDonald will tell us fun jumpers how to keep our rigs in good flying condition, how to recognize problems before they get serious and when to find a rigger. Paul McGowan will talk about safety from the FAA’s perspective, and Joe and Amber will show us what first aid skills we as fun jumpers need. At the end, we’ll have door prizes (jump tix and more) and water training for those who want to advance beyond an “A” license and land in the closest landing area. I hope to see a lot of folks at the Manchester Inn on Saturday. We will have a fun time, even if we can’t jump.
  16. I was an officer in the USAF, Combat Camera. Fairly fun and decent pay, but severe political restrictions. (PM me if you want the details, as I don't want this post to be a book.) I got out and continued my career in the civilian world. Then Iraq invaded Kuwait and I looked into getting back in. The officer options open weren't too interesting (running the cleaners!?) and I asked the recruiter if there was anything in my line of work. "We need a journalist, but that's enlisted. You wouldn't want that." Oh yeah? So I got back in, but in the Army as an E5. I had a blast, earned recognition and got promoted. I didn't make as much money, but I was way happier. And if anyone showed me disrespect, I'd challenge them to a game of Trivial Pursuit (no one did.) Like Icon said, you wouldn't do it. And not many people do so. But I did, and I'm glad.
  17. Here's another:
  18. WHAT!? A fellow Tandem Instructor thrown behind bars? Anyone know what DZ Clifford Harris jumps? And then I read the rest of the story. Seems some rapper in Atlanta is trying to give skydiving instruction a bad name: Yup, I think that made it official. I'm out of touch with pop culture.
  20. Just got back from a few days at the Farm, looking for warmer weather so I could jump my new wing suit. Wonderful place and people! I highly recommend it to students and up flyers. I'm planning on a return trip this Feb. Thanks to Hans and the gang for such a welcome.
  21. Last weekend, I heard about a recent skydiving video. It was supposed to have been shot by Peter from Colorado, of his coming quite close to a firefighting plane while he was in freefall. I checked but didn't find it. I also sent a note directly to Peter but he hasn't answered me yet. I tried Youtube but didn't get anywhere there, either. Any suggestions?
  22. HA! Got four jumps in here in Ohio... three tandems and a flag. Yes, the temp was a bit low, but it felt fine with the proper cold weather gear.