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  1. Has anyone had to deal with MCL / ACL / reconstructive knee surgery? If so, how long post opp. did you stay out of the tunnel? Also, presume they won't let you fly with a brace, right? There's about a 0% chance my brace would go under my tunnel suit lol. Any advice would be really appreciated. I've lost surfing / skiing / skydiving / kitesurfing for the next 10 - 12 months so I'm hopeful the tunnel is not the same situation.
  2. I know its not much - but since I've started flying in June I've been able to get 1.75hrs in. I've spent 30 minutes working on back and the rest of the time has been on sit. Learning to sit has been a struggle but a few more sessions and I think I'll feel as good as I do on my back. https://vimeo.com/70453081
  3. I met you last night standing at the counter. I was filling out the Packing Data card for that brand new Infinity you saw sitting there. If you have much time set up in there, let me know and I can come push you around a bit. It really helps to have someone in there to sort out all the new habits you will develop. Congratulations getting back in there. Walls are weird at first. You'll pick it up quicker than you think if you have a bit of guidance. Thanks for the offer, Hookit. It was nice to meet you. I'm going to grab 1.25 hours to take advantage of the "weekly pass" - so hopefully sort out a few more things and start moving to sit fly soon!
  4. Got in the tunnel tonight for the first time since 2001... and got my @$$ kicked on my back. I think I learned a lot but was humbling while indeed fun. Thanks for the answers guys - I can see this isn't a fast progression. Dave
  5. Hey guys, I'm in the SFBay area for work through August, staying in Newark and noticed the tunnel is rather close . I've been wanting to learn headdown in a tunnel for a few years now - through a quick search I didn't find answers to my questins below - any guidance would be awesome! - How many minutes / hours does it take someone to be able to fly head down in tunnel? - Do people go with tunnel or external coaches in the Bay area? (hope this is loaded question - seriously know nothing about this) - Any pre-tunnel work that can be done? (such as learning to do to an unassisted hand stand?) Experience: 3200 jumps, 8 years, mostly tandem video, tandem - only about ~ 200 freefly jumps (can sit fly, and back fly at an intermediate level) Thanks guys, Dave
  6. That's an interesting argument. A Sabre/Safire loaded at 1.4 versus a xf2 loaded at 1.4 makes for an easy argument but I think in this case you have to dig deeper. On the Xf2 linetwists (to some extent), packing, turbulence, low turns and accuracy will be important areas of consideration. On the Safire class canopies - - everything would be milder except for slamming into the ground (IMO) - smaller canopy, less drag and probably more speed when in the power zone so the consequences of gross pilot error will be magnified. Chances are - if someone doesn't think a person is ready to jump a xf2 at 1.44 then that same person will not be able to make the argument they can jump a safire at 1.55. Tough call with a lot of subjective input I'm sure but any semi elliptical canopy can still be a bear - as far as I'm concerned Sabre2, Safire2, Ntiro/Nitrons are all high performance canopies at the right wingloading. And remember: once you get below 150 every canopy is a high performance parachute because of the shortened lines and reduced drag.
  7. I think Drift cameras are a Great product with Lots of innovation but a NZ guy I jumped with this summer had a lot of trouble with his. He went through 3 cameras in 4 months before getting a full refund and buying a gopro. That said, assuming the manufacture fixes the few bugs that we've seen it will be an AWESOME piece of equipment. Def. on the right track.
  8. Any extra speed with a Velo will hurt. On tandem video I'll slow down before they open if it's a big TI & student. I rarely go freeflying with my velo because I can't slow down fast enough - I'm a bigger boy . The only thing I recommend doing (and at that only with camera wings) is backing up ie putting your feet up and your hands out before pulling. It promotes a cleaning opening and then does a gentle 180. I had the most trouble on a 96. My 96 and I just did not get along but my 90 is incredible. The smaller the velo the better the opening at least compared to a 120, 111, 96 and 90. If you have a small velo spread the risers to keep the slider up. Don't pull and don't pop your break or you're fucked. If you're spreading your risers and it starts fighting you lean into the turn to keep excess tension from pulling the risers out of your hands and flinging you into linetwists. Never been spanked by a velo when I opened slow - so slow down a bit more and you'll be fine.
  9. I have over 2000 tandem camera jumps and never found myself entangled on a drogue however I witnessed a camera flyer becoming entangled. Porter exit, sigma system and experienced camera flyer with many camera jumps. Situation: It was a late leave with a somewhat early drogue throw. Separation was there but the video flyer was right on the drogue path and was hit in the face by the drogue at line stretch. The drogue hooked the ringsite and stayed with the camera flyer for a number of seconds. The camera flyer's ring site eventually broke off. The camera flyer flew their body during the duration of the event and plastic screws broker off the ringsite (if I recall correctly) and the drogue cleared. It was over before it started. Here is the thing - as a TI if my camera flyer is flying stable with the drogue and I am stable with the student I am inclined to give them some time to clear the drogue. Its far more dangerous for me to deploy a reserve below a wrapped camera guy then to give them some time. A drogue entanglement will most likely come from a camera helmet - dump your gear and clear. If they are caught by another part then their helmet there are a lot of problems coming up fast. I tried to disconnect my RSL in freefall the other weekend as a TI with a fullface Z1 on. It was fucking hard. Clearly, I didn't disconnect it but with gloves on and a Z1 full face it took over 3K feet to confirm I had the pulltab in hand. This situation requires briefing for both instructors and video guys. A TI needs to understand when they are in imminent danger or have some time to allow their camera guy the chance to clear. Obviously, I don’t have any answers. Just some though while thinking through the situation myself the other week.
  10. The posted video is the one in question. A few points - I fly two velos 90 (2.66 :1) and 96 (2.4 :1) unless faced with an emergency situation I would never open at 2,0K with them. The canopy I was on was my nitro 120 (1.8 :1) - which is a "docile" canopy that I NEVER previously had trouble with but the video clearly shows even a semi elliptical canopy will screw you. With respect to my altimeter - I recommend against using a Suunto Core for skydiving operations. I have 1000 jumps on my Core but it refreshes noticeably slowler. While it looks nice the altimeter is not the best for skydiving. I recommend the Altimax, X-Lander and Vector as altimeter replacements – you have to make the decision why you want to jump a Suunto, a digital altimiter or a traditional altimeter for yourself. Since my 300th jump all I've used have been Suuntos and I currently use an Altimax. My Suunto Core is now my water watch for kiting and surfing. With respect to being stupid for opening at 2K... I'll agree but let’s keep in mind our BSRs say we can do that. I'd advocate for a minimum opening altitude of 2,5K in a second. However, though I normally do not open this low, it was my opinion that you should always be comfortable to open at 2K which is what I was practicing after this fun jump (it was just a fun jump.) You never know when you'll be forced low especially on a big way skydive. I would generally open with my least performance canopy at 2,000 feet every 200 or so jumps either on a hop and pop or solo – it just so happened my mal occurred on a opening I do maybe less than 4 times a season. I was in the PEAK of my currency when this occurred and just after a very extensive personal EP review which included reviewing a low altitude deployment to breakaway. Reserve - I fly a 90 velo and a Smart 150. You won't find my ass under anything smaller. I've had linetwists on 3/7 sport reserve rides and I don't want to have a malfunction like the one I cutaway from. Also, it was nice to have a slow canopy to land in a tight spot. I’d advocate RSLs for everyone but the most unique cases. I’m weighing the pros and cons of having an RSL on my velo rigs right now. Was it dumb? Yes. Did it suck? Yes. I hope people in the minimum opening altitude threads look at the video and reconsider their opinions. I am proud of the way I handled the situation and I hope low jump number low pullers take a moment to stop and think about what they are doing. Thanks, -DK
  11. Phil - Thank you for the letter in USPA's Parachutist. While I regrettably inform you that your letter contains material inaccuracies your point is valid. I'll save correcting your letter and skip to why the video is on youtube - may I politely suggest you review the accuracy of your letter. The "low cutaway" video posted on youtube is there as a safety and training reminder that no matter how many jumps you have (in my case +2,000 when the video was filmed) things can and will go wrong; more importantly, at the most inopportune time as evidenced. I was opening at 2,000ft AGL, while holding my D license, and decided to make the video public in response to a number of deaths due to low cutaways since my time in the sport. If you analyze the video you'll see that from the moment my canopy starts spinning to the time I cutaway I'm attached to my canopy for less than three seconds. In my review and in my personal emergency preparation this is how a low deployment malfunction needs to be handled. Moreover, I clearly demonstrated that altitude is KEY over stability and while it was rather scary kicking out of linetwists flying away from the airport my decision to open unstable was contributing factor to being able to negotiate a difficult landing safety. The aforementioned decision provided me with the altitude and time to set up a good pattern, confirm my obstacles and instill confidence in my approach. I hope everyone who has viewed, commented or debated & discussed the video in question has made note of material S&T points. In the unlikely event people view this video as a cowboy post in lieu of a learning tool I’ll provide my personal points now. Most IMPORTANTLY: 1) Know your rig - be proficient with your emergency procedures. A fast, clean breakway was material to my safety. 2) If faced with an emergency know how to react. I.e. rehearsing a low cutaway mentally many of times before helped me take action quickly. I knew I had less than 5 seconds to make a decision and act all the while understanding that a clean, calm break away was important. 3) Below 2,500 feet deploy your reserve immediately after breakaway regardless of a skyhook, rsl or camera helmet. I had my camera helmet on and no RSL for the deployment. I hope my video ends the altitude versus stability arguments. Line twists on a reserve may not be pleasant but impacting at line stretch or less is far worse. 4) Forget about your handles and get your reserve under control - especially if you have a feeling you’ll be negotiating a difficult landing. I had no qualms about the ribbings I received for loosing my handle. 5) Decide and commit to your landing zone early. Confirm your winds. Check for hazards and get into the landing zone safely without a low turn. Phil, thank you for your understanding and I hope you found some educational value in the video. In the unfortunate event you feel there is no value please refrain from posting negative remarks and let those that do get something out of this video process it. If I saved one life with the video or provided one new jumper with a "what not to do" then I am proud of my decision to post the video and I am happy to have provided some positive influence. Thanks. - DK
  12. Listen dude. You’re fucked for information on here so cut the shit, yes? If you want to jump the canopy you want to jump then do it with the understanding you’re getting in over your head. You are more likely to get killed, hurt or die tomorrow under your current canopy than one that is one or two sizes larger and that's a fact, that goes for everyone. So stop posting and make your own decisions and understand what they are. Most importantly, just don't hurt anyone else. I followed your progression; not as aggressively but aggressively. I was under a XF2 1.4 : 1 @ 320 jumps and under a velo at 860 jumps. But - at the end of the day I got lucky a couple of times. I had close to 3,000 jumps when this happened; I got real lucky to have a bummed ankle and the world’s most painful grass rash: https://picasaweb.google.com/Kramar.D/DonTGetInTheCorner# Everyone misses - the question is when you miss do you have enough margin for error to get out alive and walk again, get lucky or just become dead. To add: And right now, you do NOT have that margin.
  13. Are you flattop or side mounted most of the time? I have a Velo 90 2.6 : 1 and a Velo 96 2.4 : 1 and both work great for video. Your biggest problem (depending on your DZ) will be canopy traffic below you. I tend to brief people who will be landing in the same landing area as to what type of turn I will be executing and my landing direction. Also I explain to them if I see an opportunity to pass and go low on them to view it as a safety thing rather than me cutting in front of them in the landing order, which obviously they agree with. My experience is usually with no more than 3 other video canopies and 5 sport canopies in the air with three distinct and separate landing areas; any more canopies and I don’t feel comfortable swooping for landing. We have a dedicated experienced pilot landing area which helps traffic a lot. So assuming canopies won’t screw you I don’t think it’s a problem. With the preceding said I had my first entanglement last year after four years of jumping velos and it was some scary shit. Video is on youtube you can search for KramarD “Main Camera Helmet Entanglement.wmv” to find it. I was able to keep my helmet after it cleared the main by biting my tongue switch. A fried of mine lost his full setup two years ago when a FX 2.3:1 riser slapped his chin cup release.
  14. Those are money. Nice shots. Exactly why I like the 8mm but not as aggressive and no vinyetting. Very cool.
  15. Pentax K-7 Sigma 15MM seems to not be as wide as I would like. 7ft down and away from the tandem pair I have trouble getting the pair in frame with the drogue. I LOVE my 8MM lens but no AF (infinity after 3ft I believe.) But it is pretty darn wide and takes some getting used too. Could anyone post a sample picture or two of 10mm results? The K-7 has a crop factor of 1.5X. Attached is a Sigma 15MM @ 1.5X factor.