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Everything posted by jumpnaked69

  1. A stiletto will help because it covers tremendous ground in full flight. It is trimmed, according to PD since you hold their word so highly, much flatter than almost any other canopy out there and as a result, by applying the principles of aerodynamics, will cover more ground. Therefore, the student will get back easier. And, since you're nowhere near being an instructor like you mentioned, you probably havent been faced with the problem of getting out too early as a Coach doing a 2way or as an AFF-I getting out fairly late. Dropzones, no matter how benevolent they are, simply cannot afford in time and money to give go-arounds for 75% of the loads carrying mostly students. Again, I think many of your responses and those of Phreezone as well are ignoring the stipulation that using Stilettos as a student canopy only in a program where canopy skills are highly emphasized and well-developed leading up to an A-license where a jumper will then be able to make their own canopy choice decisions. Turn themselves into the ground in a panic? Isnt this possible with any canopy? A student could even use harness turns to fly their pattern with a stiletto! Again, this is extremely dependent on instruction. I'd also like to suggest that many instructors forget what it is like to fly some of those large canopies and therefore provide less effective instruction. The power of an elliptical nine cell and the power of a 7-cell boat are considerably different and they should be flown differently. If a student pulls at 4 and I pull at 3 and I can back flying directly into the wind some of that will have to do with the fact that I can cut through the wind because my canopy will have a high forward speed. Think about the Velos and VXs at your DZ that can land in 20+ winds but the student canopies that fly backwards. Justinb138, have YOU flown a stiletto in your 116 jumps to get a feel for what I'm suggesting? I would not have even considered this until actually flying one. I am NOT saying that I'm convinced but it seems that people are so attached to a dogmatic response that they refuse to consider why a choice has been made in the past and good reasons to change it. If you flare at 15 ft with a Skymaster you might break your legs, too. The much more powerful flare of the Stiletto is probably MORE likely to set them on their feet gently instead of a mis-managed Manta flare. Try it out.... Keep in mind that ANY canopy can be landed with a straight-in approach and that those with excessive forward speeds (Stilettos, Katanas, Velos, VXs, etc) are landable because their flare is so powerful and bleeds off that speed so well. You write: It's more sensitive to body position than a Navigator. It turns faster than a Navigator. It'll dive more than a navigator. It's less forgiving of an imperfect flare than a navigator. It'll stall easier than a navigator. It's not a student canopy. PD says so. I think we've established that being sensitive to body position is not a bad thing. Faster turns and a more aggressive dive will require more canopy instruction, this is true. Not sure what the stall has to do with any of this except the flare power and I think its clear which canopy will result in a better flare. An imperfect flare meaning...? If a student flies at half breaks on final on a Manta and a Stiletto the Stiletto is much more likely to result in a stand up landing because it still has more flare power. Why isnt it a student canopy? Maybe we've been making student canopies as a result of the instructional programs out there. This doesnt mean that we should dog canopies that are not "student canopies" if we treat them as big boy toys.... Oh, and PD says so is probably a terrible reason--while they are my absolute favorite skydiving company and I love their products and their professional ethics, take a look at the wingloading recommendations on their canopies--do you subscribe to them? Are you loading your canopy very lightly in accordance with PD recommendations? Maybe a student shouldnt be taught to be scared under canopy but that tends to be the result anyway! And those that are NOT scared in the beginning probably end up with casts and bandaids. But I'm not sure why we would teach students that a Skymaster is safe and very forgiving but a Stiletto is instant-death. Again, I am not convinced myself that we should use Stilettos as a student canopy, only considering. Are there any seasoned instructors out there willing to chime in? Come on Brad and Derek.... Alan
  2. OK it seems like we are missing the point here. I will totally accept that my friend was NOT flying a Stiletto 97 when he got his license. And no matter how you cut it, that would have been insane by normal standards. Yes, Justinb138, I am quite sure I know the difference between a Sabre2 and a stiletto. Thanks, anyway. Feuergnom has a good point. Why not a Pilot? It's still somewhat elliptical and they can get some good performance out of them, right? I've never flown a Pilot but I can tell you that a crossfire2 149 can catch up to and pass a Pilot210 and that the Stiletto 150 could almost certainly outglide that Crossfire2. Are some of the student landing problems perhaps the result of poor flare power from a Manta, Navigator, Skymaster, whatever. Thanatos, you point out that need for very good body position on deployment--well, why is that a BAD thing to emphasize? Spinning up on deployment? (Just to challenge this very common myth, Craig Girard of Airspeed and I were talking about the "Spinetto" and he said to forget about the spin ups--he had 12,000-13,000 jumps on Stilettos and only one cutaway. So, it CAN be done...with the emphasis on good body position and some well-trained EPs). So what if a stiletto (again, typically if you load a canopy a little less the tendency to spin up will be decreased, right?) will spin up? If you are using an instructional program that allows lots of time to emphasize canopy skills, body position, and EPs (instead of barrel rolls on jumps 5-7), then why exactly is it a bad choice for a student canopy? DJL, you call these solutions to a problem that does not exist. At my dropzone, and I imagine at many others as well, the students are dropped a good ways from the landing area and under less than helpful wind conditions they sometimes are on final approach all the way back (never flying a pattern) and even then sometimes do not make it back. The stilletto wont help them NOT land in a tree (only common sense can do this) but it WILL help them alleviate some of the get-home-itis that frequently results in hazardous off-dz landings. I can absolutely guarantee that the stiletto has a lot more flare power than the Manta, Navigator, or Skymaster--and even the Sabres, Spectres, Pilots, and Safires. Why should "the fuckers" (I'm not sure why they have to be fuckers, since they're the future of skydiving...) expect to PLF instead of learning to stand up a landing? Where do most injuries in skydiving come from? LANDINGS! To include poorly-executed PLFs that were attempted to respond to a poor flare from the canopy. Thus far no one has addressed the fact that the Stiletto will recover from any kind of diving turn almost immediately and the impact that this could have on Student injury rates. A large student canopy will not recover on its own from a diving turn very quickly and there is a much larger period of time that it will take for the pilot to be able to control what the canopy is doing. In a stiletto with a little bit of toggle pressure you can accelerate the recovery of the canopy. A low turn on a stiletto? 10:1 odds that the canopy will at least be planed out before the student hits unless we're talking extraordinarily low in which case the results are going to be the same for the large student canopy or the considerably smaller stiletto. And if they are making lower turns to the ground? Give them proper instruction and caution them agaianst attempting high performance landings if that is their intent. Also no one has addressed that the canopy will open IMMEDIATELY almost all of the time. As a student they're going to be pulling at slightly higher altitudes so the ability to execute EPs is not diminished. However, if they pull lower than expected then the fast opening will still benefit them. Personally, I'd prefer a slower opening for my jumps, but we're talking about students. So, while I will probably agree that the line of Sabres, Pilots, Spectres, and maybe even Safires out there will make good student canopies (all with their own problems, mind you), why not the stiletto? thanks again alan
  3. I recently demo'd a Stiletto 150 and began to consider the rumored Skydive Chicago policy (past, i believe) of putting students on lightly loaded Stilettos. A friend of mine who learned to skydive at SDC was apparently flying a stiletto97 by the time he finished his license and when he moved to the Colorado area up-sized to a larger canopy (most would call this a very smart choice). Now I'm not asking to debate whether this actually happened at Skydive Chicago but I'd like to discuss it here as an option in itself. As an AFF-I I think the question of student canopy choice is really important and probably not given the proper attention. I've seen AFF-Is put students on the same oversized canopy several times in a row because that was the only thing available and I've seen very little time spent on canopy training and flight as part of an AFF dive flow because the free-fall instruction is often thought to be the most important part of the skydive. So, here's the question--at a dropzone using an AFP-style program where the student will do 2-3 tandems and then 15-18 jumps with at least 1 instructor, what do you other instructors think about using a Stiletto (loaded at about .75-.85:1) as the student's canopy? The benefits, as far as I can tell, include nearly-instant openings, amazing flare power, great ability to get back from a long spot and it will recover almost immediately from a dive, turn, or harness-turn. The obvious downsides include the potential to spin-up and the incredible responsiveness during openings and flight. If you were spreading out freefall instruction over those 20 or so jumps, wouldnt that give you some more "time" to teach your student more about canopy flight and allow them to be super-current on emergency procedures and the importance of body position during deployment? Yes, I realize that any instructor SHOULD have infinite time to teach their student about EPs, body position, and canopy flight but we might as well discuss this in the real world where a first jump course is only so long and prep before each of the AFF levels is 20-30 minutes at best. What about the transition training needed for someone who begins flying a stiletto very early in their career? Would they be more conservative and heads-up about canopy flight? That same friend described his speculative take on the late Roger Nelson's philosophy--give a 14 year old a Toyota Camry and they'll wreck it. Give the same kid a Ferrari and there wont be a scratch because he'll be too scared and tentative to do anything wild with it. (Now again I'm not sure if Roger Nelson really felt this way, I'd just like to discuss how this sits with the other instructors out there.) Thanks for voting and posting. Blue skies... Alan
  4. jumpnaked69


    you could also try googling "smegma" for this sort of description. hehe
  5. I just completed my AFF-IRC with Bram (and Elly, of course) yesterday. It was FANTASTIC! He was tough (very tough), professional, thorough, team-oriented, and an absolute pleasure to work with. I went into the course with my friend tdog and an AFF instructor from Czech joined us. Al King (AFF I/E) also helped with the course as a DE. So between the three students, we had three awesome people to learn from. Going into the course tdog and I had done some training jumps and spent some time in the tunnel with very experienced AFF instructors and learned a ton (if you're in the Colorado area, we've got some great pre-AFF coaches we can refer you to for the tunnel or actual jumps). But the verdict on all of the training was that we were ready for the course and we'd do fine. After the first two practice jumps with Bram, I felt like I should maybe quit skydiving all together. Bram was very positive and showed us what we did right and wrong. That man can backslide-dive faster than I can track! The intensity level stayed up there for all of our dives and we became noticeably faster and more responsive. We went through several scenarios and the learning curve was steep. Bram has over 3000 AFF jumps and who knows how many AFF-IRC jumps under his belt so there's a lot to offer the course candidates. He told us at the onset of the course that we all (evaluators and candidates) were a team to help us learn and get our ratings--if we were ready. I felt as if Bram would have had no problem at all telling me I wasn't ready for the course or the rating. I would recommend this course to anyone who wants a TOUGH but COMPREHENSIVE instructor rating course. When you finish the course, you'll feel confident in taking out a real student. If you have any more questions, feel free to PM me. Thank you so much Bram, Elly and Al! Alan
  6. You all still havent answered my question... WHICH DZ HAS THE BEST LOOKING GIRLS?
  7. Come on guys, you're not really helping out here! It has to be somewhat believable! Ladies...please? It doesnt even have to be true!
  8. A couple friends and I are headed to Z-hills next week for an AFF course and some fun-jumping. My roommate, who has 2 AFFs completed, is thinking about coming with us. I've tried telling him that he wont have any problem finishing his LICENSE and hooking up with some pretty hot chicks, too. Can anyone chime in to help me convince him this is true? Thanks for the help...
  9. Anyone else got any ideas? Something that might combine skydiving and EMT or Wilderness EMT training into one very cool job?
  10. I'm in the air force and i wont be a PJ. But that's not really what I'm looking for either. Anyone else have any ideas?
  11. I recently read the article about RAM-Airborne and I'm really intrigued. I am unable to participate this year but the whole idea is very appealing. Does anyone out there know of any other rescue and/or humanitarian outfits that use skydivers to stabilize injured people, clear runways, assist in rescues, etc? Thanks for the help! Alan
  12. Tonight tdog and I did some AFF-I pretraining with Brad Cole and Chris (fill in last name here if you know it) at Skyventure Colorado. We worked on spin-stops, roll-overs, slot-flying, fall rate, and the bottom end sequence (aka the 8 second dance). We had a blast and learned a ton. I really love that tunnel and I highly recommend both guys as great AFF coaches. They both have a ton of AFF experience so if you're looking to get your rating, work on some of those skills with them in there. I'll let you know how the course goes--it's next month at Z-hills with Bram. Alan
  13. I personally know of some. I could make the same argument about freeflyers with D licenses or even isntructor ratings who have very feeble belly skills. And I agree, you shouldnt need to have a cutaway to teach EPs. Once again, I only suggest that it should take more than a D-license to jump with students. It should take a stringent coach course (and maybe we need to raise the minumum jump number, too).
  14. And I dont see how a D-license jumper without cutaways and without RW skills teaching someone is any different. Moreover, I dont think a person with 100 jumps and lots of personal coaching and tunnel experience and canopy coaching is going to be doing a bad thing. Neither system is capable of weeding out bad skydivers--we need to change the coach course--and then B, C, or D license jumpers can all go through it and prove that each person has the skill to fly and the skill to teach according to their merit--not to their jump number and not their license. And I agree with Carbonezone, it'd be great if I could afford to coach without asking people to cover me. I'd jump a lot more and they'd jump a lot more and there'd be a lot more learning going on. But in the meantime until I'm making 7 figures I'll just have to wait until people can cover my slot most of the time. What I do to make up for that is try to pack in as much information and value as possible. How much of a difference is there between someone with 102 jumps (with coaching and tunnel time and canopy coaching, etc) coaching and someone with 1200 hop-and-pops coaching? I think there's a lot. And on top of it, I think the person who has received coaching already is also a better coach because they've seen what works and what doesnt when passing on knowledge and skill. So why automatically assume that someone with 1200 jumps knows what they're talking about? And why automatically assume that someone 100 jumps doesn't know enough to help someone with 10-15 jumps? I think both of those assumptions are just as dangerous as the idea of a person with 100 hop and pops teaching someone with 10 jumps freefall skills. This is an old and somewhat boring debate however--quality of coaching, paying for slots, etc. I think we should refocus on the issue of the new change--D-license skydivers being OK'd to jump with students and do up to 4way group freefalls (2 d-license people and 2 students). I challenge anyone in the forum to tell me they cant think of 2 D-license wonders (I wanted to use the word Idiot here) who shouldnt be taking up students. Now what? You've got bigger problems on your DZ now than a 100 jump wonder doing a 2way.
  15. I dont really like posting on here but I think this issue is worth discussing. This new change, if I'm reading it correctly, would allow ANY D-license jumper to go jump with someone who has as few as 7 jumps and that they could do so in a 4-way (two d-license jumpers and two jumpers with 7 jumps). If this is the case I think the BOD should really reconsider. I'm not very experienced in this sport and I dont have a lot of fancy initials to back up anything I'm about to say--just trying to apply some common sense. A few years back (2003?) they changed the requirements for D-licenses from 200 to 500 jumps. I think this was a good change because when I reached 200 jumps I still knew I didn't have a clue what I was doing. The D-license SHOULD be the gold standard, the person to go talk to, the one with a safe record and some good advice to offer younger jumpers. That person should set the example. I happen to know of some folks who got their D-licenses before that requirement changed and even some folks who have gotten their D-license since that requirement changed that don't meet the standard I described above. I think that every skydiver can name more than one D-license holder who they find to be either irresponsible, unsafe, or unhelpful in the learning process that's critical to safe skydiving. I think another empirical example of why D-license holders are not the solution to all problems is the statistical accident and fatality list--I'm not sure what the numbers are for 2005 but I remember that in 2004 the highest number of accidents were attributed to D-license holders and the second-highest attributed to students. Do you really want to take the two most accident-prone groups in skydiving and enable them to hurt themselves that much easier? I've done fewer coach jumps than some of the AFF-Is posting on here but I've seen my fair share of dumb student stuff. Some of my favorites include--arching harder and pulling instead of tracking; "tracking" in a giant circle; "tracking" into a nearly head-down position below you and then deploying; forgetting about their altimeters altogether in freefall; etc. These are all free-fall related issues that would only become much more complicated and much more dangerous with extra jumpers in the area--D-license holders OR students. Should we expect D-license holders to exercise better judgment? Maybe so but it's a dangerous gamble. You have people who bust their butts to hit 500 jumps for tandem ratings or pro-ratings without ever developing good freefall skills and possibly not even any TEACHING skills. Having skill in an area doesnt mean that you're capable of passing that skill on. I recognize that you also have people who try to blaze to 100 jumps to be coaches and I dont think that's a good thing either. I think the best solution is to simply make the coach requirements harder. Having a coach course (COULD) accomplish several things. First, it would evaluate a skydiver's ability to fly their body. Second, it would evaluate a skydiver's ability to teach skills. And finally, and perhaps most important, it would prove that the candidate is interested in teaching to the point that they want to incur the extra cost (time and money) that it takes to be a teacher of skydiving. This requirement could be totally blind to licenses held and focus only on what the candidate is capable of doing. Is the current coach course way too easy? Yes, I think so (and I went through it). To reply to stratostar, I think the critera are too easy and we should make them more stringent. It shouldnt matter what license a person holds, it should matter if they're good enough at skydiving to teach it and if they're good enough at teaching to do it while skydiving. Just my two cents Alan p.s.--i think perhaps the better change (in my very humble opinion) would be for the USPA to develop a REALISTIC wingloading chart that accurately reflects the general level of wingloading; and a way to better develop canopy skills as part of a comprehensive trainig program for those that want to enter the sport. Canopy skills are the most overemphasized but underdeveloped skill in all of skydiving. This needs to change if we want to bring those fatalities and accident numbers down.
  16. To concur with our teammate Rich, Robi told you to stop whining, stop posting, and JUMP MORE. Sunday I'd like to rock my GPS to get a good reading. Also, I did one phantom jump with a neptune this weekend and found it to be very light and easy to use.
  17. What do you mean that's all you have to do in those hotel rooms? Dont they have the SPICE channel? I'm telling you, by the end of the summer you'll be outflying me in the suit, on your belly, and on your head and I'll have nothing to say then. In the meantime, it's my turn to gloat! Now hurry back to Colorado so we can go fly in the tunnel. I think Rich and I might go tomorrow night! el jefe
  18. Travis is just a bit upset because his teammates are hitting incredibly slow speeds (45mph) and he's off on business trips. I think what happened is that Phoenix Fly took the no-shoes measurements and then made the suit for someone wearing regular style shoes. Hiking boots could add up to a 1/2 inch or more of height and that will definitely affect the tightness of the suit. I think a lot of this could be resolved by just FLYING THE SUIT MORE, YOU WUSS! love always Alan
  19. I was the guy Travis was flocking with on Saturday and we had a blast. I've got some raw camera footage of him but there'll definitely be some more photos and footage to come in the future. On the pro-track issue, on some wingsuits flights before, my pro-track (even when set on SLO) would give me a half-chirp at 6K and then not work anymore after that. It seems to get confused sometimes when travelling at very low speeds. Someone mentioned that since mine is one of the older protracks out there that perhaps the software hasnt been updated yet. I'd like to check out a Neptune and see how it works. Does anyone know the prices on those GPS units? I have a GPS but I dont think mine would update fast enough in FF to keep up with us. The tracking derby at eloy seemed to be using some very cool stuff to get almost perfectly accurate assessments of their speeds and distances. Travis had to leave on a trip for work on Sunday so I flocked with my buddy Rich (the three of us are TEAM AVIAN FLEW. Not sure what the heck we're gonna compete in though) and we had a blast. I think I'm going to spend quite a few more solo flights to see what I can really get the suit to do because right now our flocking feels like dirty flying. Even though it's fun and we get some awesome footage, it could be much more once we're both capable of maxing out the suit's performance capabilities. In any case, I love my phantom. In my first flight in it (yes i bought beer, leave me alone) I got it down to 60mph as my average. I think this suit is MUCH easier to fly than the GTI was. I was bummed that it took so long to get my suit but I guess between Christmas and Quality control and using a middle-man, it's worth the wait. I'd like to say a big THANK YOU to Jay Epstein-Ramirez who was our local Phoenix-Fly rep. He met us at a gas station in the middle of the week on his way to the airport just to get us measured for our suits. He's really top-notch. Happy flocking everyone, photos and vids soon to come! ~alan
  20. Some buddies and I decided to order Phantoms back in November and we hoped to get our suits by Christmas. The lead-time warning on the website says 4-6 weeks so we were hopeful to get them before then but even after returning from winter break(we're students) they still werent here. Now we've talked to the manufacturer (actually their US partners Morpheus) and it sounds like our suits wont even ship until almost the end of this month. That means that lead-time back in November was actually more like 9 weeks. This is just a heads up to anyone ordering suits that the products are taking longer than expected and it's unfortunate. I've got no doubt that the products are top-notch I just wish that we would have known upfront that it would take 2+ months.
  21. I just got back from the Thanksgiving Boogie and I dont have enough good things to say about Airspeed coaching. At the Moab boogie I was lucky enough to get on 11 jumps with Craig Girard over a day and a half. Then when I showed up to Eloy this time I was even more impressed. Neil Houston, Eliana Rodriguez, Kirk Verner, and Craig were all doing load organizing throughout the boogie and it was fantastic. They're such nice people and great coaches that it goes a long way when someone of my limited experience gets to jump with them. We even got some tunnel time with Craig coaching us and it made a tremendous improvement in our flying skills. I wish the sport had more people with the sort of patience, insight, and plain-old flying skill that Craig and other the other Airspeed folks have. Now I just have to start saving up for an ultimate skills camp.... The dropzone as usual was great. The people were friendly, the weather was (mostly) perfect, the beer was delicious, and totally self-sustaining. From the time I arrived at the DZ to when I left for home, I didnt have to go into town for anything. I heart skydive arizona. Now I have to start saving up for a trailer.... The Tunnel down there is out of control. The size and power difference is great for doing real 4way and what the freeflyers are able to do in just unreal. I watched them do like a 7way sitfly in there. I think the fact that all the AZTC people are now tunnel-rats (tunnel instructors) is going to do so much for tunnel-coaching and skydive-coaching since the learning progression can be applied both ways. Now I have to start saving up for some more tunnel time.... All in all, a great weekend. I'll try to post some more pics and video later. ~Alan
  22. In my very humble and limited experience I've found the information suggested on PD canopy labels almost as ignored as the wing loading recommendations published by USPA. If we were to really follow those recommendations just about every jumper out there is flying at the ADVANCED or EXPERT level and beyond on every style canopy. Similarly, the wing loading recommendations by USPA could be considered ridiculous if you judged it by de facto standards. Almost NO ONE follows anything close to those wing loading recommendations at my dropzone and we're a mile above sea level. I think in the same way that speed limits on roads are updated every few years to meet the normalized behavior of drivers and still set a standard, wingloading and canopy-style recommendations, if they are to be made, should follow something close to what is already going on. I'm not suggesting that everyone out there is a safe and capable canopy pilot but the vast majority of jumpers are flying without injury or harm to others. All I suggest is that whatever standards are "established" in the industry, that they be something we can look at reasonably and expect people to follow. I think canopy selection is a very individualized choice. What I think we need is a set of skills and checklists similar to what Brian Germain and others have established. Land it downwind, crosswind, no wind, flare turns, limited CRW work, etc. Personal situational awareness and KNOWING your canopy and feeling like your canopy and you are totally on the same page are incredibly important in determining where you should be flying. Some people are totally on their game and others are far from it. It would be great if we all had a close friend that could call us out and say, "dont be a fool, stay with that canopy size and/or style." I've also found that a canopy's shaping is not the best indication of flight performance. Neither is wing loading. Neither is size. It changes for every canopy and at least two or three of the canopies for each of the "classes" mentioned above have wildly different flight characteristics that could mean the difference between a scared student and a competent pilot. Just my two cents. Alan