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  • Main Canopy Size
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    Icarus Tandem 330
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  • AAD
    Cypres 2

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    The Blue Sky Ranch, Gardiner, NY
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    Freefall Photography
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    Formation Skydiving

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  1. CTSkydiver

    How to sight in a ringsight

    You can use TVs or Phones hooked up to your cameras and adjust based on that live output, or attach a laser to your helmet and point the laser at the center of whatever shows up in your camera viewfinders and then later set your ring sight based on the laser, which is probably easier; or just trust a friend to keep moving your head around until they get bored of helping (that process can be tedious). In a pinch, you can just find a mirror and do a fairly decent job of it on your own. Stand comfortably far away from the mirror but close enough you still have a good view of your lenses. Point your primary camera directly at your eyes, and adjust your ring-sight so that the frame of the sight circles your ring-sight eye and the target point (center dot or cross pattern) is centered either exactly between your eyes (or, perhaps. on the iris of your ring-sight eyeball). If you set up the sight so that if you look in a mirror, the camera points at your eyes when the ring sight is centered on your eyes, it's the same as if you were filming someone else and the camera was centered on THEIR eyes. For me, this method is quicker and easier than trying to look sideways at a monitor while attempting to adjust my sight while focused on something elsewhere. Obviously, make sure the helmet is tight and secure when you adjust your sight, and if you've got the time, take the helmet off and put it back on (a few times), and make sure everything still seems the same. Check your work by shooting some sample footage and review. If something is off, figure out if it is because your ring-sight isn't properly adjusted or you failed to account for the cameras being on a different vertical plane from your eyes. For example, if there are eight inches between the center of your lenses and your eyes; did you fly eight-inches lower and aim eight-inches below your target? (See Verdi's and Evh's comments, above.)
  2. That doesn't look like a turbine to me. Dang it.
  3. CTSkydiver

    Medical bill burden, SDAZ Chong

    Is there a dropzone anywhere in the United States today that still puts its instructors (and photographers) on the internal payroll? Was there ever? Seems even generating contractor 1099s has become too much a burden (or liability) these days ... with some dropzones moving instead to having a staff that is paid in cash, before every transaction, by the clients themselves. I get it. Skydiving is inherently dangerous and operating a dropzone is hella expensive. Even a small dropzone has capital resources enough to be seen as a juicy target in a civil lawsuit, and it might only take one of those to bankrupt a place. I can certainly see why a DZO would want to put as many legal safeguards and bulwarks in place between their 'business' and 'their staff' as possible; if the arrangement can somehow help get them off the hook if one of their instructors screws up and hurts themselves ... or someone else. Better for the community that one easily replaceable instructor goes down than everyone at the DZ lose their livelihood, yeah? My guess is there aren't a lot of independently wealthy folks with great health insurance plans volunteering to do this kind of work seven days a week. The rest of us know they are probably just one bad day from financial ruin — if they aren't there already. Sure, we could choose not to do it ... and go get a crappy but higher-paying job with good benefits working in some cubicle somewhere ... but that's just not the way we are wired. We all know the system sucks and that it's hardly fair to us; yet, we still choose to do the work because life isn't fair to LOTS of people, and because we recognize that on a good day, this job, at least, definitely does not suck. And should we finally opt out, it won't really matter ... there is no shortage of eager newbs salivating for the chance to take our slots. I am wondering if perhaps the move away from 1099s wasn't a DZO inspired thing but a jumper inspired one? If you aren't 1099'd, and are paid exclusively in cash, then I guess it is up to the individual jumper what he declares as his or her income when it comes time to pay his or her taxes, and secure some sort of insurance. Could be pretty sketchy ... but, after all, isn't owning your own business and being able to cheat on your taxes the true American Dream? (Sigh)
  4. Tertiary. As in Primary (1st), Secondary (2nd), Tertiary (3rd).
  5. CTSkydiver

    Malfunctions below your hard-deck?

    The more relevant concern is which type of reserve deployment (terminal or sub-terminal) results in an open reserve parachute with the least amount of altitude loss from the activation point. A reserve PC (all other things being equal) will extract a bag FASTER (and with more force) as airspeed increases. But altitude loss also happens a whole lot faster at freefall terminal than it does right after a cutaway. Regardless of airspeed, a reserve PC ought to launch far enough off your back to extract some bridle; but extracting the freebag containing the canopy and stretching out the lines between it and you is going to take some airspeed — exactly how much I can't say; but I'm pretty sure there are probably a lot of variances in that figure based on the specific PC design, specific container design, if the main container remains packed and closed or not, and just how tightly the reserve has been shoehorned into the reserve container. I imagine someone has already done the testing, though; so I'm sure an answer must be out there. Anecdotally, over the past 25 years, I've seen plenty of reserve deployments on the ground, both intentional and accidental. Indoors or outside, I've never seen a reserve ripcord pull result in a freebag extracted from anyone's back. Outdoors on a windy day, though, I've seen cutaway main canopies (meaning main parachutes cutaway after a normal landing was completed) on MARD equipped rigs (where the RSL was still engaged, or somehow snagged by a departing riser) quickly and completely extract the jumper's reserve freebag, stretch out all the reserve lines, and strip the freebag from around the now fully extended reserve parachute. I don't think you'd need anything in excess of 20mph of wind to replicate that. I do think you'd need a lot more than that if you were only relying on your reserve PC. Skyhooks and other MARDs (as with RSL's in general) aren't intended to replace normal emergency procedures; but when they work as designed — using your open (or even just partially open) main parachute to extract your reserve — they will indeed save a very significant amount of altitude for you; especially after a low-speed cutaway. Does this allow you to cutaway lower and get away with it? Probably ... if it works as intended. Should you change your procedures — lower your "never cutaway below" altitude if you have one? I wouldn't. But I'd be happy to have one if I ever found myself having to take drastic action at a very low altitude. That said, I don't have a MARD on my sport rig, and I don't even have an RSL on it (though I do have an AAD). I've done fine pulling both handles every time I've needed to, to date. Because I've taken pretty good care of my rig, and it is still in really good shape (considering we built it in 1999 — before MARDs were a thing), I haven't yet needed to replace it. My next rig (which I'll jump in addition to, not in place of my current rig) will certainly have one, however. Personally, I find using a specific altitude as my "never cutaway below" hard deck troublesome; as that would require me to first check my altimeter before deciding how to act after a low-altitude collision or canopy failure of some type. The act of checking an altimeter (and processing the information learned from it) will eat up time better spent DOING SOMETHING to save oneself. Far better skydivers than me have suggested associating your hard deck altitude with a specific point in your canopy flight ... such as beginning the downwind leg of your landing pattern, for instance. That way you'll know, without having to look, if you are too low to cutaway or not. "I've begun my pattern, so I'm too low to cutaway. I'll go straight to my reserve."
  6. CTSkydiver

    solo jump requirement

    Doubt it. But I'd definitely recommend it to keep your sanity (and remember why you love the sport and want to share it with others in the first place).
  7. CTSkydiver

    GoPro Session

  8. CTSkydiver

    GoPro Session

    Session lenses are easily replaceable. No other protection is required. Battery life is exceptional. Nothing else comes close.
  9. CTSkydiver

    Sony A6300 Cropping/Rotation

    Are the photos rotated on your computer after import, or just on the camera's display? There is a setting under the 'review' (play button icon) section to turn display rotation on/off. Try turning that off.
  10. CTSkydiver

    GoPro "The Strap" handmount.. experiences?

    In my experience, any camera mounted that close to your hand will get way too much of your hand, wrist and arm in the shot (filling as much as 1/3 the frame depending how much inside bend of elbow and outside bend of wrist you are able to fly with). I've gotten world's better results when elevating the center-point of the camera lenses a few inches above my hand. I started with a dual-session pivot pad because I'd never done handcam and was worried about snag potential; and this seemed nice and low-profile. But the angle was shit. Soon modified the glove, and the results have been stellar. And I've found (as many before me have with bigger cams and taller mounts) zero issues with snagging, handle checks, breakaways (on the one actual I've done with handcam), or interference flying or landing the canopy (ymmv). My opinion is the GoPro glove pictured is nowhere near stable and secure enough, nor positions the camera high enough to give you good results. * Edited to add: Since I took that photo of my modified glove, I've added some small bits of industrial strength velcro to sides of the cams and the locking mechanisms of the GoPro camera mounts. After a few hundred no-issue handcam jumps, I had a couple of jumps in quick succession where students would accidentally unlatch the left-side session box as I was handing them the toggles, and the damn camera promptly fell out. Luckily sessions only cost $200, but still, it was pretty annoying, and easily fixed once I was aware of the potential.
  11. CTSkydiver

    Stolen Rig

    Got a copy of that small print?
  12. CTSkydiver

    TI wearing camera setup?

    Rotated. Because, OCD.
  13. CTSkydiver

    In Flight Maintenance?

    Record attempt of some sort. Shots I took at the Smithsonian:
  14. CTSkydiver

    .avi mystery

    Was going to suggest Gspot to see if the necessary codecs were installed but apparently that program has been abandoned since 2007. You can try this: https://mediaarea.net/en/MediaInfo Or try installing the GoPro software on the computer that doesn't work and maybe that will update the codec required?
  15. CTSkydiver

    New Video (creative play)

    Beautiful. Love the cinematic aspect ratio.