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Everything posted by QuietStorm

  1. Hi! I am going to be working full time in sales for one of the major parachute manufacturing companies in Deland, FL. They would like me to start end of July. RV park at Skydive Deland is completely full with a long waiting list and no openings anytime soon. Wife and hounds need to stay behind in Phoenix, AZ to get the house sold and all those pesky details wrapped up. I need to find a reasonably decent and safe place to live for 6 months around the $400 / per month range to stay in budget so I can go to work and also scout out the area where my wife and I will move to long term. I'm Googling away looking for RV parks or "Fish Camps" within 1/2 hour of Deland where I could take my 5th wheel RV . Does anybody have any inside track or anything place local you know about that may be small and not coming up on Google ? Money is going to be very tight and single bed apartments are coming in at $600 - and simply out of our budget. "Alternate" idea is to sell RV, pack up the truck and look for a room to rent which takes me to the sketchy world of Craig's List. I'm a 47 year old, responsible, "boring" and stable adult. No drugs or partying. Married family man who is professionally employed and now gets to work in our industry ! If you have a room to rent at your house please send me a PM.
  2. Hi! I am going to be working full time in sales for one of the major parachute manufacturing companies in Deland, FL. They would like me to start end of July. RV park at Skydive Deland is completely full with a long waiting list and no openings anytime soon. Wife and hounds need to stay behind in Phoenix, AZ to get the house sold and all those pesky details wrapped up. I need to find a reasonably decent and safe place to live for 6 months around the $400 / per month range to stay in budget so I can go to work and also scout out the area where my wife and I will move to long term. I'm Googling away looking for RV parks or "Fish Camps" within 1/2 hour of Deland where I could take my 5th wheel RV . Does anybody have any inside track or anything place local you know about that may be small and not coming up on Google ? Money is going to be very tight and single bed apartments are coming in at $600 - and simply out of our budget. "Alternate" idea is to sell RV, pack up the truck and look for a room to rent which takes me to the sketchy world of Craig's List. I'm a 47 year old, responsible, "boring" and stable adult. No drugs or partying. Married family man who is professionally employed and now gets to work in our industry ! If you have a room to rent at your house please send me a PM.
  3. Folks here are my "thoughts and concerns": Do you remember when we were school age kids and we would fight, fuss, bitch, and argue with our siblings or classmates? The bickering went on to a point until "authority over us" parents or teachers got tired of the noise, problems, and disruption into thier world and said to us; "if you don't work it out amongst yourselves - I'm going to step in and fix the problem; and if I do - your not going to like the result". I'm a very "independent / libertarian" type of person so I'm the last one who raises my hand and invites regulation, rules, and authority - I like to take care of things myself. As a supervisor and leader I've learned that people are more willing to follow an agreement / understanding that they came together on - rather than having something forced onto them. So in the past I've had to say "if you guys don't figure this out amongst yourselves - I'm going to step in and settle it to stop all the problems and noise" ; Its never a good thing. We had better stop in-fighting and figure this out ourselves - QUICKLY. All I want is for new wingsuit pilots getting trained correctly based on our "combined" experiences / lessons learned to date and NOT HIT THE TAIL OF THE AIRCRAFT ! But even "structure and regulation " to training is no 100% guarantee to prevent a tail strike. As "experienced" wingsuiters we need to remind ourselves and each other on each jump of the tail strike danger. We need that "sticker" of Avoid The Bite - Wingsuiter Public Awareness Campaign; we need to bring this into our Safety Culture ....commonly found in Aviation. We are more than just skydivers; as wingsuiters we are aviators. We need to rise above and act as such. I'm 45; and what I've learned in life and business so far is money, lawyers, and insurance companies are the tail that wags the dog and calls the shots. Aircraft owners / operators are BUSINESS MEN. Dropzone owners / operators are BUSINESS MEN. Business is about increasing your sales, controlling your costs, and making PROFIT. A dropzone is no different. If Insurance Companies who underwrite these policies and thier Lawyers ( The Big Money ) "Risk Management" decide that it is not worth the "Risk" of having wingsuiters continue to exit poorly and damage aircraft they insure- they can simply tell the Aircraft Owner / Operator that they will not cover any claims resulting from wingsuit tail strikes; or forbid it in the policy. If you don't like it - your policy is cancelled - have a nice day! It is done out of financial interest. Much easier for a DZO to capitulate and say "OK Mr. Big Insurance company and your Risk Management Lawyers....no more wingsuits out of my airplanes on my dropzone." No smart businessman in the dropzone business is going to provide the option for a wingsuiter tto sign a waiver / release allowing the DZO to sue the wingsuiter for physical damages to aircraft because of the associated legal costs of the civil suit and low probability of even getting the money back from a "broke" skydiver. Just like parents and teachers stepping in and "solving the problem between bickering children " for them - and they won't like the end result GAME OVER PEOPLE ! It's that simple. I want you to stop and think about how many products, services, or activities are influenced by or have literally been "ruined" over liability issues, litigants, and insurance. It runs the world folks. As a wingsuiter I feel powerless; like I'm caught is some sort of crossfire in a 3rd world civil war. When it comes to discussions about "standardization" of Safe Operating Procedures, consistency in training ....that can help but a major stop to these tail strikes all I hear is a big noisy war of "bickering children" and a complete soap opera. Personal vendettas and selfish agendas, flaming on this board, and individual who formed a petition with forged signatures trying to stop progress at the USPA Board Meeting. Bickering, pissing, moaning, fighting, arguing ; personal agendas - it just never ends - for years - it just never stops; its just keeps going on and on and on.......with no end in sight for the "kids to stop arguing and fighting" Circa 1987 when I first jumped I "dreamed" of wingsuiting; the dream of human flight has now come true. I think if the FAA steps in from an incident; and the " Light Goes On " at Insurance Companies of the "High Increased Risk of Aircraft Damage" from wingsuiters - We will become and Endangered Species. And it is very well possible that if the wingsuit civil war and infighting does not stop so we can get our shit together; insurance companies ( Big Money ) are going to end wingsuiting for us. My biggest fear is showing up to my DropZone and being approached by the ST&A or DZO who have know me as responsible wingsuiter for years say "Sorry - no more wingsuits on this Dropzone - Aircraft Insurance Policy says so" And I'm willing to bet that if this happened; the wingsuit "community" would spend its time on the ground with no wingsuits on with Dropzone on the laptop......bitching, fussing, arguing, fighting; pointing fingers and blaming so and so. People I think we are "there" and "on the edge" right before AUTHORITY ( Mom-Dad / Teacher ) steps in.....and solves thier own problem we created for them.
  4. http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?do=post_view_flat;post=4372794;page=1;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;mh=25 You seen this? You heard about this?
  5. +1 on Squirrels comments; because honestly......I've become sick and tired; of being sick and tired.....of all the shit slinging on this forum. This is a postive contribution that puts everything a step forward
  6. +1 on the comments made by Matt Hoover and Scott Callentine. Key qualifier is "how low" and "how much" do you need to get up; how much "time" you will need to do gain the "distance back up" ....back; in relation to how much to how much "time the dive has left"; and finally what is your relation to others in a formation. If I find myself "low" but "fixable"; I make sure I'm OUTSIDE the formation. Then I "overcompensating" to be flat trying to go "beyond flat" into as much 'hug the beach ball" and "get the ass up"; keep head flat and looking to the side and making sure I can see the formation. Only then do I try to get back in. The last think I want to do is "cork" under a formation. At some point in my mind; I must decide if the distance / time to accomplish this is too great; and the SAFEST thing to do is VECTOR OFF toward the planned opening area and planned altitiude for container opening. Usually I've got my head sideways and I'm keeping my eye that formation above me in my periphial vision so I don't fly right under it.
  7. I can't sleep, I'm bored, and have only been READING this forum for a long while.......holding back a lot of what of what needs to be said.....on a number of things. OK...FINE; I'll be your Huckleberry and step into this one. @ Scott Callantine - I like what you said and how you went about saying it. Miss ya buddy. @ Virgin Burner - OK; you have 300 some odd jumps and started 4 years ago....somewhere around 2007 right? Good for you! Read on Virgin Burner......because I really don't think you have done your homework. Would you like some "documented historical origins" of wingsuit training and instruction? I just pulled off my bookshelf "SkyFlying - Wingsuits in Motion" PUBLISHED/COPYRIGHTED in 2005 by Scott Campos ( Lou Diamond on this forum); Get a copy; you'll like it! Its a 200 page high print quality, extremely technical well written and color / photo illustrated book. Scott also gives contributing credit to Chuck Blue. Photo acknowledgements to some "big names" other folks you may have heard of in your 4 years with us including Jari Kuosma who founded Birdman, Boris Pecnik, Jarno Cordia, and Ed Pawlowski to name a few; others are given credit in the book. All of these folks mentioned are regular / postive contributing members in this forum. All of these folks contributed to this book. So in the "spirit" of who did what first, whose better than who, how knows more than the other guy and why you should listen to "me" the Latest Rock Star that DOMINATES this forum; I continue....... The 2005 COPYRIGHT in Scott Campos' book says the following: " All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the publisher. All photos, illlustrations, and graphical representations are the property of the author or have been used with permission. They are not to be used, removed, modified, or used in any way, shape or form without the express written consent of the author in accordance with copyright law. OK.....so we have something "officially in print and documented"; A WRITTEN AND COPYRIGHTED BOOK; on wingsuiting and we have been at this wingsuit thing for how many years now? When I started flying a wingsuit in 2005; I met Scott Campos at my home DZ in Eloy and that is how I found out about Birdman Wingsuits. Later on I also "heard" of another company called Phoenix Fly Wingsuits from other wingsuiters who got trained by people......who sold Phoenix Fly Suits. Back then we had a "manufacturing / go sell the suit based training system" But even back then I heard "grumblings" that Phoenix Fly "stole / duplicated" what Scott Campos/Birdman had put together so they could train people who were sold suits......and we kicked off our little WINGSUIT CIVIL WAR / HOSTILITY Does this mean that people now get "sued" over using copyrighted material? NO! Absolutely not! C'mon realistically nobody can "contain / restrict" knowledge and training unless your the military or government. We have had people training others....who go on to train others, who go on to train others for years; but the information had to have its "origins"...its "Genesis" somewhere at least; right? I can GUARANTEE YOU; that Justin Shorb, Jeff Nebelkpof and thier little "Flock University" crew did not put the first pen to paper and magically create wingsuit instruction out of thin air. Justin copied the information from somebody else, repeated what he had learned / was trained from somebody else, basically copied the ESPN U logo into the Flock U logo for "branding", hooked up with Tony Suits, and along with Jeff Nebelkopf basically opened up a "third war front" going after Scott Campos / Birdman in our little wingsuit civil war. Jeff and Justin went all all over the country pushing Tony Suit wingsuits and everything I heard Justin Shorb and Jeff Nebelkopf say and do for students in training was EXACTLY like I was taught by by Scott Campos circa 2005. And the "newbee" who encounters them circa 2011.....thinks that "its Flock Universities system, knowledge" BULLSHIT .....when in fact they put on wingsuit for the first time and had to be trained by somebody else. Justin Shorb and Jeff Nebelkopf; I'm calling you to the microphone. Who is the person who did your First Flight Course, what program, where, and when? Who do you give credit to teaching you and where to do your trace your "wingsuit origins" DSE; Douglas Spotted Eagle; you know him....he is a forum moderator all over this forum commenting on everything, advising on everything, all the time, as if it is a full time job. I met DSE at the Eloy Holiday Boogie 2007; and guess who did the Birdman FFC for DSE? Scott Campos! Time moved on and a year later DSE got involved in "Flock University" - Justin Shorb and the Tony Suit crowd. Time moved further on....and DSE got involved with Phoenix Fly and DSE started up his own school in Lake Elsinore, CA. FFC student shows up at DSE's school in Elsinore and the student look up from the creeper thinks "All this came from Spot, Spot created all of this, NOPE DSE learned from Scott Campos. Newbee shows up on this forum asking questions and suddenly the one time "students" are now the "masters", somebody's huge ego has to be "more right" at the expense of somebody else being more wrong .....and the pissing contest starts all over again. Same questions / issues just change the screen names; boring...... Your Right! NONE of this shit is new or exciting; NONE OF IT.
  8. Who are you, why are you here, and what do you seek? You have an anomyous profile telling us nothing about yourself and you don't even know what those above abbreviations mean; only to ask with a follow question. Do you even jump at all and what are you trying to understand?
  9. uh....uh; I've been raping the "replay" button on this one
  10. I did something "similar". I found some very small carabiners typically used on key chains that would fit through that little nylon tube on the legstraps and just tied the bungee between the two carabiners. Easy on....easy off. Never had any snag or comfort issues. Sorry...... no pictures.
  11. "Found" this a few weeks ago; if things get REALLY cold or depending on your own personal "discomfort" threshold; Gerbing Heated Gear. They are known better for heated underclothing gear that plugs into a 12 V system of a motorcycle, ATV, or Snowmobile. But they also make a HEATED VEST THAT RUNS ON a SMALL BATTERY POWER PACK THAT YOU HAVE ON THE VEST. Not only could you use this for skydiving but perhaps skiing or other prolong cold exposure in outdoor activities. The reason our hands ( and other extremities ) get cold is because your body is noticing your core temperature starting to drop so it reduces blood circulation to your hands to keep your torso warm; keep you torso warm and you keep blood flow ( hence warmth ) to your hands. Frank Thomas "Anti-Freeze" Baklava is really thin; is designed to fit under all kinds of helmets well; and seals out the cold wind around my neck between my helmet and wingsuit. If I need extra "insulation" a I have found a fleece neck gaitor works well and still allows me to keep my head on a swivel and not feel like how momma used to "bundle me up" before going out to play in the snow as a kid. I have found Uncle Mikes Neoprene Motorcycle Police shooting gloves give great finger dexterity to operate firearms even when the gloves get wet under cold winter conditions and work parachute handles / equipment quite well in cold weather. "Funny" thing is I have never felt "bitter chilling cold" zipped up in my "sweatbag wingsuit" sitting up by the pilot and the adrenaline in flight over rides any cold I might feel; but many times I have found that its does feel cold hanging outside in the weather all day on the DZ all day in winter between loads
  12. I clicked "other"; it say's "explain" I say 500; just my opinion and feeling on the matter
  13. .....not an idiot; i was thinking more along the lines of douchebag. Everybody here ( myself included ) has at one time inserted thier foot into mouth .....and usually in some sort of fit of "over passion." Sangi; you have not been there personally and you have no accurate form of reference, facts, or personal knowledge of all the people involved, how and who were involved in the current situation; and the diplomacy now under way to try to sooth some nerves and put things on a positive path. From this day forward; your CALL SIGN ....in the sky.....SHALL NOW BE "DOUCHE"
  14. Awesome! One you have totally "debugged" and gone smooth I wil buy two, one for me and one for the wife.
  15. Not bad at all! Overall nice work. Purple has a valid point / request. Other thoughts for future revisions under the advanced section. High Altitude Wingsuit Jumps Night Jumps / Small Flock Under Wingsuit.....ask Cate and Brian.....green glow sticks in the wings of my SM1 made for a beautifully lit up reference for a small flock out of the DC-3 on New Years Eve Circa 2008. Water training / Ditching in a large body of water and getting out of the suit and harness container. Personal Question: Circa 2008 / 2009 you were "All About " Tony Suits......pushing Tony Suits; and all "hooked into" that crew and scene; now its Phoenix Fly.....what gives....what happened? Just Curious.
  16. He is a masochist. Johnny is also into American sport bikes that vibrate and have "clunky clutches". As a matter of fact I still own my 1977 Triumph TR-7; I blew out the alternator three years ago but skydiving and motorcycles consumed me so much; the TR-7 still sits. I'm looking to sell it to get my bikes paid off. I like Erik Buell's designs and innovation; my Buells are the first motorcycles I ever bought and I have only been into motorcyles since early 2009; my wife and I now own 4 Buells between us; all purchased in the span of one year. So how did all of this happen? Because of wingsuiting and many of the things you have pointed out over many threads over the months. I have been monitoring the forum....but not posting or offering much. Straigh up honest. My wife and I got sick and tired of being sick and tired of all the drama, bullshit, antagonism, hyper egos, conflicts, agendas; and us getting caught in the middle when all we wanted to do was just grow in our flying, be part of something bigger than ourselves, make new friendships, and enjoy a sense of common bond, commraderie, and "esprit de corps". Wingsuiting just was not fun anymore and to us there is no reason to jump if you can't fly a wingsuit. We were very passionate about something that personally and spiritually meant a lot to us and got so turned off by an "organization" in combination of what we saw the "community?" doing to itself. So we simply took our big pile of money; said fuck it......and went somewhere else. We vote with our time and money. It kind of sucks because there are people out there who we miss dearly and enjoy thier company; but at the same time we don't want to spend our hard earned money and have to "put up with" some people who have given us genuine reason not to like them as people or spend any time around them. The skydiving / wingsuit "economy" / dropzones lost our support and participation by the tens of thousands of dollars. That is the past; regurgitating the who did what and said what to whom only adds fuel to conflict and does not bring the peace and leadership our community so desperately needs right now. My only motivation in saying all of this is to provide a real example of the level of damage we are doing to ourselves as a "community." As Chuck Blue says...I am not going to "motherfucker" these individuals or thier organization in public on this forum; I am going to address them privately behind closed doors in person when the time is right. We made many new friends in motorcycling who all had various "brands" of bikes without the antagonism, agenda, petty squabbles, competition, or somebody needing to be king of the hill all the freaking time no matter the topic or activity. And so more and more of our time and money simply followed the good times and better vibe we found with other folks on motorcycles. So how about a good ol wingsuit........Wah, wah, waaaaaaahhhhh? A lof of our disposable fun money went to skiing in Telluride as well. Many a wonderful day on the slopes with the joy that accompanies learning something new again and being proud of your accomplishment....and not to forget some unforgettable hot nights with the wife and one of her hot cougar friends. Lets see.....spend lots of money to travel to a wingsuit event only to encounter drama, a particular brand of gear shoved in my face, and opinions I didn't ask for nor want to hear.......or rolling on Ecstasy naked in bed with the wife and one her hot girlfriends in Telluride. Hmmmmm; not a hard choice to make. I went from making 250 plus jumps a year in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and traveling by air to boogies to just making 50 jumps a year in 2009 , staying at my home DZ, and focusing on quality jumps with some other winguiters coming out of the ground at Eloy. Hey....you have been elluding to Eloy in your other posts. Things are really picking up big time for wingsuits at Eloy now that Scott Camos has retired from the Army, lives in Casa Grande, and can be at Eloy full time. Ash White left back in 2007 for personal reasons and I did the best I could to "hold down the fort" with no manufacturer support or help from anybody else while Scott was in the Green Berets probably blowing up and killing who knows what in the middle east. I am grateful my friend did not come home in a box with an American Flag on it. From my experience and how I have been treated by a specific group of wingsuiters......it seems to me the "biggest mistake" I ever made was moving to Phoenix in 2004 to recover from a nasty divorce, start skydiving again after a 13 year marriage to a starter wife; meeting Scott Campos in October of 2005 and putting on a wingsuit. Flying a wingsuit brought me deep joy and enabled a lot of of internal healing I needed to do after some personally painful shit went down. I have had more than my share of drama in life.....I don't want any more; I can't take or tolerate any more drama. Life is too short. Many of us on this forum have buried our friends; people are important. Perhaps my experience would have been different if I had chosen another region of the country to start over. So if moving to Phoenix, finding Eloy, and earning the friendship of Scott Campos was the "biggest mistake" I made in wingsuiting......I will gladly repeat this "mistake" over and over and over again. We all have lots of fun, all are welcome, and there is no drama with wingsuits at Eloy. For example at the Christmas Boogie in 2009 we had Sir Richard and Monkey who fly Phoenix Fly teaching FFC to students in Birdman Suits provided by Scott Campos and my wife Anne took off her Tony Intro and offered it to another smaller frame gal so she could do her FFC course. All kinds of folks in all kinds of suits just flying together and having a good time with no drama or people talking trash. I made my 1,000th jump and started to feel good again about wingsuits. Easter boogie 2010 was awesome as Zune brought his French S-Fly posse with him and I got to try out an S-Fly. I decided to stick with my Super Mach and stay currrent with my skills. Eike; the gentleman took off his Birdman suit and flew the S-Fly suits the whole boogie. The vibe was great and everyone had a good time. So the wingsuit future at Eloy looks really bright! I am remotivated and got the "shot in the arm" that is long past overdue.....maybe I just needed the break and a change of pace and scenery . Speaking of passionate wingsuiters that have gone cold, dark and quiet ; off the radar....are the Brothers Gray; Scott and Chris. I can't help but wonder if they share some of my thoughts? Now I need to sell even more loading racks to pay off the bikes and start jumping more like I used to as things are getting much better! Seven Twin Otters and Five Skyvans...the potential of Eloy is HUGE! Yeah, Buells are kind of "quirky" but they are unique. Knowing what I know now and given the opportunity to buy all over again; I would own Ducati and BMW. My wife has her eyes set on a Triumph Bonneville. As for being a "masochist" ; I don't know....maybe its a Citadel thing; but I have always taken the road less traveled by....and that has made all the difference. With warmest regards I wish you Blue Skies and Smooth Asphalt I am yours truly; The "Quiet Storm"
  17. Unless you happen to live in the same city/town as the manufacturer, sending off an item is the same hassle for 500km as it is for 5000 miles (that’s 310miles or 3100miles). We’re in a minority sport, so if you want to buy the best selection of equipment, you’ll be dealing with multiple countries. Example (my views): best canopy/container = US, best altimeter/audible = Denmark, best helmet = Slovakia, Best ADD = Germany, etc The world outside of the US is not such a “scary place”. To note: - US leads the world in credit card fraud - US is only industrialised country not using chip/pin credit card security - Measurements?? WTF, US is one of only three countries on the planet not using the metric system (only others are Liberia and Myanmar) English usage? I find I encounter better command of the English language from persons in the Netherlands, Germany or France than southern Florida. Phone costs? International calls are extemely cheap now if you use a service. Living in one of the most expensive places in the world, I can call the US or Australia for 1p/minute - it costs me more to ring my local pizza delivery. Awesome Reply!
  18. Thank you for providing this answer; I will consider it in the future if I ever decide to buy another wingsuit. Its OK if you don't have anybody over here in the colonies; so long as I know that I can reliably have a Phoenix Fly suit repaired competently by the factory in the future and be able to talk to somebody; then I suppose everything will be alright.
  19. Glen wrote the statement: The wingsuit market is tiny. There is no room for factory hype. corporate sponsored instructor programs or room to tolerate bad quality products. I think what Glen is trying to say is that compared to other industries that must generate a profit in order to survive....that wingsuiting / parachuting equipment manufacturing is small and minute by relative comparison. In other industries with more broad customer base ( example video cameras and still cameras ) "hype, marketing" brings in customers or the business is so broad that there is enough customer base that a poor product or poor customer experience is lost like a grain in the sand and may not come into play in the overall scheme of things and determine whether the manufacturer fails. While there may "appear" to be more wingsuiters; its still a form of "equipment" and is right there next to a parachute harness/container assembly. So in a "broad context" our parachute industry is very small, and the customer base very limited, narrow, and specialized. I think what Glen is trying to say is that there is a "high degree of deep vested personal involvement" in parachute products and what matters most in this specialized segment is a high degree of product quality and a high degree of service based on the money you put down....and the equipment you put on your back. Its way different for our products than say other products that are marketed. We are skydivers so we have a different standard of rules and accceptance criteria that we apply to our equipment .....that is way different than other things we buy. I hope this makes sense.
  20. Glen; You make some valid points. Unlike a few; I have not built my entire end all be all and center of my existance around wingsuits; and never had an "ax to grind" against any particular manufacturer of wingsuit, canopy, or container system; nor anything to personally gain from promoting any of the above for my own benefit. I make my living selling a highly engineered and custom fabricated product that is very expensive in a mature market category with 3 major competitors in a heated bloodbath stealing share from each other. The company I work for literally went from 2 guys in 2005 to $30 million is sales last year, 200 employees, and a factory in just 5 years. We manufacture a great product but our rapid rise to success really came from taking better care of our customers than our competitors. My direct response to your opinion comes more from my "business perspective". For anybody who wants to make a living in a "tiny" skydiving economy/business category....there are some valuable lessons to be learned here. Wingsuits and parachute equipment are engineered products custom fabricated to the owners needs and desires. For most of us skydiving is a hobby and discretional dollars are being spent so there is a lot of "high personal involvement" by the buyer when it comes to product. A customer is everything; they are your lifeblood. If you want to do business in the United States in a competitive market place you have to be able to support your product with direct hands on technical service from a local factory person who can fix a problem and really help you when you need it. Recently and over time there have been posts from folks who needed a Birdman wingsuit repaired looking on the internet for help. Years ago; I needed my old Birdman Firebird repaired and the best I could do was find a local rigger that felt he was competent enough to pull things apart, fix, and charge ...........for all the time he took to fix things. My other option was to call a phone number 1/2 across the world, hopefully speak to somebody good with English, and ship off my "treasured and most favorite toy - my wingsuit" in a box.....wait....and pray. From a consumer point of view.....not good. In engineered and fabricated products; sometimes things go wrong despite everybody's best efforts, mistakes happen, nobody and nothing is perfect. It happens in my business. But when this happens how a manufacturer and the reps respond to support the product and customer make all the difference in business success or failure. As a company and businessman you have to be "boots on ground" next to your customer, take care of things, correct the problem, support the product, give good service and make your customer happy. It does not matter if your are selling loading racks, parachutes, wingsuits, etc. As a manufacturer you have to be there for your customer. You can't support any product in the U.S. from overseas without direct in country technical help and fabrication and repair facilities. I own a Birdman Blade, a Tony Suit Super Mach 1, and the wife flies a Tony Intro. When your spouse skydives just take your budget and double it. Careful for what you wish for! If something on our Tony Suits gets ripped, torn, screwed up, or needs fixing I can box my suit up, overnight UPS, track that package with a 1Z tracking number, see who signed for it, and speak with somebody who speaks English only 3 time zones away from me. I can discuss the problem, negotiate a price, have it fixed quickly, and track my package back to my doorstep via UPS. Bam! Problem solved. Can Phoenix Fly provide this level of US Domestic Product Support ? I am very curious as this weighs very heavy in my decision matrix and acceptance criteria if I ever decided to buy another wingsuit. Birdman was aware of realistic US domestic business threat presented by Tony Suits via "service" and did not adjust its business model. Most likely they lost a lot of share, sales, and failed to maintain critical mass cover production and make a profit; game over.....business closed.
  21. Well......we are all waiting. Start another thread. Take the thoughts and ideas that you feel have "de-railed" the dialogue from its intended subject matter. Do what you say you are going to do. Follow through.
  22. You live in D.C.? Wanna save some gas? Why not consider getting up with The Brothers Gray Wingsuit Academy? www.thebrothersgray.com I know Scott and Chris; they are good guys and very well capable plus they live in your area ( Maryland ) and last time I talked the jump in at a DZ in Northern Virigina. Scott Gray is former 82nd Airborne. Raeford, N.C. is a cool and laid back "mid-size" DZ that runs Turbine Aircraft and Chuck Blue is a Former US Special Forces "Green Beret" ; HAHO, HALO; and all the high speed low drag high risk stuff that Special Forces eats, lives, breathes, and sleeps. So Chuck is highly professional and very competent. You can't find a better instructor; especially when they are former U.S. Special Forces. http://www.dropzone.com/interviews/ChuckBlue-SkymonkeyONE.shtml Best of Luck!
  23. Thank you for sharing! As the biker sying goes....If I have to explain...you won't understand. Niiiiwwwwsshhh!
  24. Elias....I'm going to respond; but first. Hey Gang; I scanned in the photos of my water training for everbody's amusement and "roasting"; April 2, 1989; in Columbia, S.C. by Burke Fitzpatrick; USPA #D-8367 - 36 Degrees outside ambient temperature at 07:30 per my logbook. No wingsuits back then and you "learned" around the campfire over beer at your local DZ from the long time jumpers and not where some "new rock star" could post what they wanted on something called the internet. @ Scott Campos: I volunteer. I've got a "water rig" old Sharpchuter 245, TSO "B" rated Paraflite Swift Plus Orion Reserve and an old NAA container. If we can find a Cessna jump plane ( as all we have "handy" are Twin Otters and Skyvans ), run the FAA paperwork I will be more than happy to lace on my Blade, fly it, deploy, unzip; and intentionally land into Lake Pleasant, Lake Bartlett, or Lake Roosevelt. My Super Mach1 with full length two way zippers will be way to easy to unzip prior to ditching in the water. I'll have plenty of friends with boats for a retrieval crew. Jump with me or SAR swim in case things go bad. I am willing to add this experience to our collective body of knowledge. Anybody else care to join this summer in Arizona if we can pull the logistics off? Bring it matha flockers. It will be fun! Elias: With this topic at 2,677 views worldwide from an entire wingsuit community...NOBODY has offered up any "actual, live, REAL, EMERGENCY, Water Landings into a large lake, ocean, or swift current river while wearing a wingsuit; yet many of us have flown our wingsuits over, near, and around bodies of water that could drown us. ( See attached picture of my wife and I at the Rocky Point Boogie; April 2007 ). Note - my PFD is under my wingsuit. Why not? Because nobody WILLINGLY wants to do this because we are humans, not fish and the REAL danger of drowning exists. I can assure you when I was flying my wingsuit over Rocky Point or Cabo San Lucas...or my buddies were flying thier wingsuits over in Hawaii recently; the very "ugly idea" of a water landing in the ocean was "processing" in the back of thier minds on every jump as something to be avoided at all costs simply due to the high risk. Oh yeah, and really nice modern gear is very expensive. Who wants to willingly put thier personal gear into salt water. I noticed in DSE's video simulations and training the rig being used is not his nice and pretty blue and gold Rigging Innovations Talon, or PD Storm, or PD Reserve. Nobody wants to put thier gear into the drink; willingly. Let me ask you this question: Would you crash your car head on into a barrier wall just to see how your airbag and seatbelt "might" save your life? Or how about this - Stick a shotgun in your mouth, safety on, and pull the trigger just to see if the safety works? Uh...I don't think so. Some actual live situations are just flat out dangerous and potentially life threatening simply due to elevation of variables that contribute to higher risk. . Look at the posts from Chuck Blue who lost a fellow Special Forces soldier in a parachute landing into water. Or Skipbelt; a U.S. Navy aviator who offered a summary of his knowledge and training when parachutes and water mix together. Many of these "lessons" are written in blood. So we really can't blame anybody for "not doing this for real" because your really,ramping up the level of risk...and maybe taking unneccary risk. So why "bust" on Scott? Why not go "bust" on Chuck Blue as well...or anybody else who has contributed to this knowledge base? Scott Campos spent 20 some odd years, getting paid as a soldier in the US Special Forces, jumping out lots of airplanes, and many...many times into water with a whole hell of a lot more gear on than just a wingsuit. And so did Chuck Blue; some of these guys actually carry SCUBA gear on the jump then submerge and thats a lot more to deal with than a wingsuit. Special Forces soldiers specialize in training other people, in other countries, how to do dangerous stuff. I think in this forum comes some form of personal responsiblity of the knowledge, past experiences, or opinions that are offered. In my opinion guys like Scott Campos and Chuck Blue have training far beyond what we have ever experienced exercise this responsibility when putting out information or offering opinions in this forum. Now, I'm glad that DSE has taken the initiative in our wingsuit academic pursuit of knowlege and performed experiments and SIMULATIONS in the well controlled environment of an indoor pool. Nothing wrong with that at all; golf clap! Even in DSE's video title he says; "Conclusions have yet to be drawn, but we've got what we think are some good ideas and planned approaches." And in his "current pool" simulation he experiences getting wrapped up in lines. A wave pool can't even come close to simulating the nice 4 to 6 FT surf you see on the beach landings at the Puerto Rico boogie. So before this "post" even came up I'm sure all of us wingsuiters where thinking in our heads; "better have some good ideas and planned approaches if I land in water with this wingsuit on" But you know what? DSE is getting prepared; he is doing something.....not talking...not posting...DOING. "Be Prepared" I would not be suprised if DSE was an Eagle Scout. If DSE lands in water, his odds of survival are much higher because he is doing, he is training, he is preparing. We all should. By training and simulations as realistic as possible of high stress emergency situations; we train our minds so stress levels will be lower and the odds of our survival increase due to practice and trained response. So who really cares about arguing over what I would call "technical semantics". Somethings you just have to do. So what we all need to do...is get wet! Lets go train! Summer time; lets do lots of water training. Because I don't care how much you want to say "step #1..step #2"; nothing every goes as similuated in the real world and sometimes you just got to "get'r done" and being trained and prepared is going keep your mind calm and not spazzing out. Especially if you ditch in the ocean with the sun setting, decent wave swell, wind; and the panic monster beating on your back door as the sun sets and you don't see a boat coming.
  25. SkipBelt: Thanks for your valuable input to our discussion involving parachute landings into water...... from the Naval Aviation side on water survivability John K. Bast Lieutenant - Surface Warfare Officer USS Sides FFG-14 1990-1994