• Content

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Feedback


Community Reputation

0 Neutral


  • Main Canopy Size
  • Reserve Canopy Size
  • AAD
    Cypres 2

Jump Profile

  • Home DZ
    Byron, CA
  • License
  • License Number
  • Licensing Organization
  • Number of Jumps
  • Years in Sport
  • First Choice Discipline
  • Second Choice Discipline
    Formation Skydiving

Ratings and Rigging

  • USPA Coach
  1. This turns out to be sort of a complicated deal. FAR 61.113 says that a private pilot cannot act as pilot in command for compensation or hire, and then defines some exceptions: glider towing, aircraft sales demonstrations, search & rescue operations, charitable events, etc. 61.113(c) further says that a private pilot must pay their pro-rata share of the operating expenses for the flight. For example, a private pilot decides to fly some friends to a boogie. The pilot contributes his flying talents, and everyone else covers the cost of the plane, fuel, and oil. This is against the rules: the pilot must not pay less than their pro-rata share. Also, you can only do the cost-splitting measure if the pilot and passengers share a "common purpose." This is not defined in the FARs -- it is established administrative case law. For example, if the passengers on a trip just want to get from San Francisco to Los Angeles, and the pilot is just driving the bus, then there is no common purpose. If the pilot derives any economic benefit, then they are in violation of 61.113(c). So as long as you do it for no economic benefit whatsoever, then yes, this is okay.
  2. My point was merely that it is very difficult to comply with the letter of every regulation, especially with regard to maintenance (note that both of my examples involved maintenance). I think there is a fundamental difference between "trivial" violations, like failing to make the proper logbook entry for swapping out a burned out landing light and "serious" violations, like exercising privileges you don't hold the certificate for, regardless of whether you can do it safely. Drawing that line is sometimes hard, and I don't know that most people in this sport have the background (or inclination) to make a safe determination. That is what the FSDO is nominally for, right? To serve as an arbiter of the rules and to protect the ignorant from the malicious?
  3. Aside from 91.3(b)? I will point out that some FARs are busted pretty frequently (written logs of GPS navigational database updates... properly placarding deferred maintenance...). Skydiving operations tend to play fast and loose with the rules, perhaps in keeping with its historical perception as a "lunatic fringe" sport. After all -- how many skydivers have punched an IMC layer in freefall? don't fasten their seatbelt before taxiing? jumped with a reserve that's a day out of date? It's bogus, but there is a culture of tolerance -- and there you go....
  4. You can take it a little farther if you like. Even if the pilot's properly licensed, how do you know their medical is valid? How do you know the aircraft's been maintained properly? What about the guy who did the last oil change -- were they properly supervised and was their work inspected? At some level, you have to trust that the pilots and operators of the aircraft are doing their job.... However, FAR 61.3 says that to act as pilot in command, you must have in your physical possession the following 3 items: a valid pilot's certificate, a medical certificate, and photo identification. So you could always ask your pilot to see them. At a minimum, you would want to see a commercial (or airline transport pilot) certificate for single-engine aircraft, land (or multi-engine if appropriate), plus a Class 1 or Class 2 medical. Type ratings are not generally required for skydiving aircraft. Both would be valid for Part 91 operations for 12 calendar months. If you took a Class 2 medical today, 11 June 2008, it would be valid through 30 June 2009. (A pilot may have a Class 1 medical, which is only valid for six months -- but it is valid as a Class 2 medical for a year or as a Class 3 medical for two or three years, depending on the pilot's age.)
  5. I found the Katana demo I had to be quite packing-style sensitive. When I packed, I got some wild rides that ended up settling out; when I handed it over to a rigger for some tips, it opened soft and on-heading with no misbehavior at all. I cleaned up my sloppy packing and got a few more good openings out of it. I wasn't doing anything special at all: no rolling, just a normal, very ordinary pro pack.
  6. It varies from canopy to canopy, but it's relatively easy to work out. When you are flying along under canopy, one spot will appear to be "constant." The ground closer than that will look like it is sliding towards you; the ground farther than that will look like it is moving away from you. Given constant winds and control inputs, you will impact on the "constant spot." So, try adding control input and watch the position of the spot move. As you add brakes, for example, it will probably move farther out (you've lengthened your glide), then start to come back in. The control inputs that give you the best distance are the ones to use when you're trying to get back from a long spot. Try it going both into the wind and running with the wind, obviously.
  7. There shouldn't be any measurable performance improvement. Paint is really about corrosion control, so maintaining the paint in good shape has a long-term positive impact on structural integrity. Regretfully, paint is expensive. A good strip & repaint around here (northern CA) is $10-15K. Be careful in picking your shop, too: quality differs wildly.
  8. Go buy a book called "Stick and Rudder" by Wolfgang Langewiesche. It was written in 1944... but it is the single best book about the act of flying I have ever read, bar none. Learning to fly is not a race. You will hit plateaus and get frustrated. Do not let this screw with you: don't compare yourself to anyone else. Your objective should be to be the best pilot that you can be, not to be a better pilot than someone else. Prepare for all your lessons, and keep at it. The learning process will be much easier if you can fly frequently (at least weekly). It will take you a long time and cost you a small fortune. Fast is slow, slow is fast. Relax. Stuff you have learned about skydiving does not necessarily apply to aviating. You are starting over. Most pilots will have absolutely no understanding of why you would ever want to leave the aircraft. That's okay. Most skydivers also have no idea why you would want to stay inside, right? Do not, under any circumstances, buy an aircraft. Good luck and have fun!
  9. Congratulations! A funny story... I soloed at Oakland International on 27L. General aviation (27 L&R and 33) are on the northern half of the field; the air transport ops are on the southern half (29). Now, the traffic pattern for 27L is left, which puts you pretty close to the departure end of 29: you're actually required to squawk standby when in that pattern (reputedly to avoid alarming the TCAS devices in the SWA 737s). So there I was, nervously holding short of 27L, and I call for a takeoff clearance. The tower controller (who had been advised I was soloing) said... "Archer 4319Y cleared for takeoff two seven left, squawk standby in left closed traffic... and don't hit the big jets." Once I stopped laughing my ass off, you bet I read that back verbatim.
  10. I have a few quick questions before I render a decision. First, have you given any thought to setting a personal hard deck? If so, what did you decide? Second, how many jumps do you have on your current main, and what is it loaded at?
  11. I quite like Aviation Safety Journal -- but it's not exactly light reading....
  12. I've been jumping at Byron for several years. The landing area is big and unobstructed, the King Air is fast to altitude, and there's a great vibe. Some of the nicest people you'll ever meet -- really a great crowd. A nice balance of world-class RW and freeflying, so whichever floats your boat. About the only downside is that it can sometimes get pretty windy. I'm very happy to call it home. Can't recommend it high enough.
  13. It's kind of neat to look yourself up on the USPTO website, huh?
  14. I'm a pretty big fan of Woodford Reserve -- also tasty and worth a try is Jefferson's Reserve.
  15. Once upon a time I foolishly went to a local boogie two days after having a root canal. There was some air trapped beneath the temporary filling. I still made three jumps, but boy was I glad to get out of that airplane....