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  1. Prepare for the worst. You never know when you'll become victim to one of those 'random security checks' ;)
  2. Mr17Hz

    Skydive Chicago

    This used to be my home DZ. Now it's my home.
  3. This is all very serious. It should be made a sticky. Here is a link to where to find the contact information from your house representatives. Some do not accept email unless it is made through their web form, others will, but writing a letter is sometimes the best way to get through. Print the letter four times and drop one in the mailbox once a week. Hands write the address and it's more likely to stand out. Here is the link to find your Senators: REMEMBER THAT IF YOU WANT ANY WRITE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT, IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO COMMUNICATE WITH THEM. Whether you're talking about the senate, the house, or just the USPA - unless you communicate your opinions they go unheard. A single letter can make a difference. It gives senators that are already on your side more firepower and drive. It also has a chance of changing the mind of a senator who would otherwise be 'impartial' because he heard no reason for complaint. The authors of this bill probably don't have any idea how it will negatively effect skydiving. It was clearly written to try to get more money from airline companies for homeland security. Skydiving operations should not have the same responsibility as airway corporations in paying for security. One suggestion that could be made is that the tax is only made for flights that take off and land at different airports - this would exclude most 'recreational' uses, such as skydiving, gliding, and tours. Size of aircraft and amount of fuel on board could also be considered for exclusions that would allow skydiving to continue to exist in the USA. Our sport is at risk. This is your opportunity to make a difference, let your voice be heard. Don't wait until it's too late.
  4. Mr17Hz

    Why Downsize?

    Great post. I have seen peer pressure towards people that have canopies that are too large, although in at least one case I feel that it was called for. Landing off the airport 1 out of 5 landings because you can't cut through the wind can be dangerous. This person had a wing loading that was much lighter than 1:1.
  5. If your intent is to travel cheap, Skydive Chicago does have a bunk trailer available. If you decide to go that route I would suggest packing a space heater along for the trip, there is no heat in the bunkhouse but there is electricity. Make sure to bring layers - it can get COLD in chicago in november. You shouldn't have a problem finding people to jump with you at SDC, expecially at the very end of the season when less people are around... it's less chaos which gives everyone a little more time to be friendly :)
  6. Mr17Hz

    airport access

    To quote the entire article: I'm not a pilot. I wonder what this FAA manager's definition of "uncontrolled traffic patterns" is. Perhaps this airport had no designated flight patterns like others ussually do? Could somebody educated on this matter fill me in to what "uncontrolled traffic patterns" are and how they're different from "controlled traffic patterns" around airports? Before we go and get upset about the quote we should consider it in context.
  7. I think that the major reason for the drop is the increased fuel prices and other economical pressures. One more thing to consider may not be new people entering the sport, but loosing some of our old-timers to retirment. Remember, the baby boomers are retiring right now - maybe we're loosing membership from the other end of the age group faster than we're gaining members; but new members are still increasing year by year? The USPA has the facts to be able to answer this question. It is also worth mentioning that the number indicated reflects USPA membership. It may be true that some of the political issues regaurding certain dropzones being removed from USPA membership have lowered some skydiver's priority on sending in yearly fees. I personally hope this is not the case; does anybody have any solid numbers on non USPA member dropzone's and their participation? If a non-traveling skydiver has been skydiving at a dropzone, maybe those dropzones are allowing them to continue jumping without renewing USPA membership?
  8. Mr17Hz

    Jumps to A Licence

    You'll be fine jumping at a different DZ, Provided that you have your log book you'll probably do one low level jump to prove your recurrency / ability to fly stable, and then start up where you left off. Just make sure you jump at a USPA DZ.
  9. I got these clipits off of