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  1. Skydiving is one of the more expensive methods to partake in excessive consumption. Mostly because it involves burning Avgas or Jet A. The call is yours- it's a lot of money, and not a lot of benefit... except for personal entertainment. It's a leisure actuvity... like rock climbing, or kayaking, or mountain biking... but we burn excessive amounts of oil in pursuit of thrill. It's like burning $20's to watch the cool colors... but, we do it anyways. And don't look back.
  2. Oh... and just before I forget and the thought becomes lost forever... There's also that curious point that a moving object which you are on a collision course with will have no relative motion to your eye... ...that's always fun to think about.
  3. A thought on Tom's first comment- To begin with, I agree that specifically looking for aircraft needs to be a priority in spotting; especially as more and more planes take to the sky flown by pilots with less training (LSA's come to mind). In the end, it's your and my neck on the line when we exit... so it's worth the extra effort- if for nothing else, a little peace of mind. But... I think that expecting to spot a majority of potential traffic conflicts from 13g' is a little on the unrealistic side. To begin with... it takes an experienced eye to see another aircraft in the air, from the air, at all. Trying to spot a white dot moving through a smog filled sky is not a simple task. Often times, the conflict needs to be either highly contrasted, or close enough that the eye picks up the definite movement of the object. Looking down from above gives an advantage that the viewer will have a larger, more contrasted, better illuminated object to focus on. A plus for spotters no doubt, but in reality it can help little- from experience it takes one of two things to see a small plane from two miles away in the current day atmosphere... intense concentration, or luck. Generally, the first pays off, if you know where to look. In a spotter's case though, they have no clues (radio) to work with, and thus know that they are looking for something- but do not know what direction to look, what distance to try to focus on, or what color/ shape they should expect to see. All they can do is use a 'quadrants' method to try to pick up movement. (Which might trun out to be a bus, or truck and trailer) After all of this is said, there's the fact that the traffic that will be a collision concern is going to be anywhere from 3/4 of a mile (Light sport type) to 2 miles (120 mph cruise) or more horizontally at exit. Is it realistic to expect to see a small plane ten thousand feet below, at a horizontal range of two miles? Eagle eyes onboard very well may... but for the average jumper, traffic is a lesser concern when nearing the door. Spotting the traffic earlier is possible, but I think just as unlikely, as when you're climbing through 10 000' that traffic is anywhere from 3 to 10 miles away. In the end... there's always luck to try... it's worked in the past and will work again- I mean, all of us who think about such traffic will keep our rubber necks- proactivity is more help than not; but the most helpful thing to teach students may just be to speak up when luck chooses them... Happy New Year... time for the night to begin.
  4. But what about beforehand, on a turn to final at... 250'... ok- I'm seeing a corner here- the canopy may plane out before the excess speed becomes useful. Have there been instances of swooper's canopies collapsing due to turbulence? In the interest of discussion, though: Wouldn't a higher airspeed induce a greater airpressure within the cells, which would force a greater change in airspeed (gust) to be necesary before a collapse could occur? Even if the canopy is in the process of collapsing, would applying more weight on the front risers not only increase the airspeed (air pressure) that is inflating the canopy, but also reduce the canopy's angle of attack, allowing a better angle for more air to enter? Granted, this could not be done at 'close-final' altitudes... seems that there's a critical window where Murphy could get you just because youre in the wrong lace at the right time.
  5. I'd make a case here that if the jumper is competent, a diving approach (front riser) to final could increase the safety margin in times of thermal activity/ turbid air/ general. More velocity^2 means more capability for Lift (N).
  6. Initial training covers parachute procedures. Whether the A's remember them come flight time is another matter. ...I'd venture a guess that the last thought through the A's minds are parachute procedures. The bailout window in the launch phase is narrow to say the least. The launch is an accepted risk on the part of the A's. Bailout rigs or none- they'd want to go anyways. Parachutes for launch are like a cell phone in a dark alley. Not really good for anything, but it makes for a warm fuzzy feeling. Hey! Beamer's on the flight! Have a great one!
  7. I figure I get 50 to 80 feet at about 1.15 on an Icarus
  8. Some flaps do in crease area, some don't: Fowler flaps will increase area to a certain extent (guess, 2-8%); Split flaps... don't. I don't know that the flap does any 'tricking' at all. Nor do they reduce angle of attack. Lowering a flap over a portion of the wing will actually increase the effective angle of attack that the flapped portion of the wing is subject to compared to the non-flapped portion. That is to say, the unmodified section of your wing will be flying at an AOA of 7 degrees while simultaneously, the flapped portion will be at an effective AOA of 8.5 degrees (ballpark, the idea is there at least). Deploying a flap increases the camber of a wing, which increases the wing's coefficient of lift, which means that it is capable of producing greater lift for a given airspeed. That's why you can plane out and swoop two feet off the ground for a hundred feet, while decelerating- because you're continually deploying more 'flap' with decaying airspeed, thus keeping your lift force at 180lb ...or whatever number you happen to weigh.
  9. ...what they said... Thanks guys Blue skies
  10. The reasoning behind the 'upwind wheel first' is... A pilot who touches down with the upwind wheel first exhibits three things: (in no particular order) -a keen situational awareness; a firm understanding of aircraft control; and finally, proof that they are 'ahead' of the airplane- which is a very good thing. ...a lot of guys just plunk'er on and ride it out... it works most of the time, but it sure is ugly... ... ...In general, passive is not a good thing to be in an airplane.
  11. I agree that there may be some 'crappy' pilots out there, especially at Cessna Dz's... In fact, it's probably more likely that if you jump a Cessna, you'll run into a 'crappy' pilot, or already have. A jumperdumper job is one of the bottom rungs of the aviation career ladder. So naturally, it's where pilots go to build experience. Generally they do not come to such a job as a hotshot with 5000 hours and two engine failures under their belt. If they had 5000 hours, they'd be flying something that goes roar instead of put-put-put-put.... (hence here I exclude turbine dz's). In short... a cessna dz is where an inexperienced pilot (ie what you may call a 'bad' pilot) becomes experienced (ie what you may call 'good'). It's just the way it goes. DZ owners know this- it's what their business depends on... jumpers, probably not so much. In regards to thinking fast on their feet- you're absolutely right. Some pilots do it better than others. Some pilots can't do it at all- and some end up in accident reports. I also agree that a pilot who knows their stuff when questioned makes their passengers a lot more comfy. Speaking of which... a good question to quiz your new pilot with is: "400' on the climb out, engine quits dead; where's your out?" They should be able to rattle off a field or road off the departure end in about two seconds. To go back to the origional topic: traits of the pilot type I enjoy flying with are: 1. Goes about their work confidently 2. Touches down with the upwind main wheel first on landing 3. They do not have trouble saying 'no' to a flight when they feel uncomfortable with certain aspects, or wwhen conditions are unfavorable. --You wouldn't believe the number of pilots who don't do this. A recent example is a certain incident north of the border here where a diverdriver flew into a thunderstorm.
  12. I especially like the opinion that a 'good pilot' is one who can find 'holes' [in a cloud deck]. ...nothing like a pilot who's willing to break the law for ya'
  13. This engine mod is also available for the 172, although in a lesser horsepower. The advertizing pitch is a funny one: "Put our $250,000 conversion on your $50,000 plane and save money!" ..I'd imagine that the cost of updating a 206 would be slightly restrictive. Might as well lease a Twotter.
  14. Careful with this attitude... it'll make ya popular in all the wrong ways within local pilot circles. No-one likes the slut. There's no easy and fast way to get into flying for hire. Any way you look at it, its going to take a lot of time, and a lot of work (which equals money, IIRC). Best of luck