CTSkydiver

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Gear

  • Main Canopy Size
    103
  • Main Canopy Other
    Icarus Tandem 330
  • Reserve Canopy Size
    143
  • Reserve Canopy Other
    VR-360
  • AAD
    Cypres 2

Jump Profile

  • Home DZ
    The Blue Sky Ranch, Gardiner, NY
  • License
    D
  • License Number
    18461
  • Licensing Organization
    USPA
  • Number of Jumps
    6000
  • Tunnel Hours
    2
  • Years in Sport
    24
  • First Choice Discipline
    Freefall Photography
  • Second Choice Discipline
    Formation Skydiving

Ratings and Rigging

  • AFF
    Instructor
  • Tandem
    Instructor

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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. CTSkydiver

    Random and crazy

    Why not go whole hog and skip the rig, too? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feVQXqvBZx0
  3. CTSkydiver

    Do you have my goggles?

    And then they insist on trying them on, sweat all over them, get fingerprint smears on them, and you have to clean them again before they put them back on. Yes, I have your goggles. No, you don't need to wear them to get on the plane. Trust me, I will let you know when to put them on, and make sure they fit. Unless you use the really tiny flex-zs, they always put them on too high on their head anyway.
  4. CTSkydiver

    BOD election 2018

    Are you running?
  5. That doesn't look like a turbine to me. Dang it.
  6. 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)
  7. Tertiary. As in Primary (1st), Secondary (2nd), Tertiary (3rd).
  8. 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."
  9. 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).
  10. CTSkydiver

    GoPro Session

    Yup.
  11. CTSkydiver

    GoPro Session

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

    Any SAFE full-face helmets out there?

    I jumped a very similar ski helmet for a while after misplacing (ok, dropping from altitude) my previous skydiving helmet. It did the job just fine, and was likely the safest helmet I've ever worn jumping (with the exception that it wouldn't protect me from direct blows to the face or chin — same as any other open-face design I've jumped). The ear covers even had pockets for audibles — I have no idea why ... maybe they were for heating pads or headphone speakers or something. I started in the early '90s and never wore helmets (kids my age never wore bike helmets or ski helmets growing up, either). I realize now that going helmetless — even though I loved the sensation — was then, and still is — foolish. These days I won't ride a bike, skate, or ski without a helmet ... so it doesn't make much sense to skydive without one, either. I certainly would never ride a motorcycle without one. Have the sense to protect your common sense! That said, it took my hair significantly thinning (sucks getting old) and watching videos of myself slowly going bald to get me to invest in an 'every-day' helmet — one I'd wear when I wasn't strapping cameras to my head or teaching AFF students. Nowadays I wear a full-face. Not only does that style provide better all-over protection, but it also prevents me from getting facefuls of sinus blow-out from my tandem students, which is nice both from the 'ick' and the 'not getting sick and losing work opportunities' factors. As a side-effect, your face flaps around a lot less. If you are 20 and everything is nice and tight, no problem. If you are significantly older, it may or may not be a vanity thing for you. One funny thing though — when I first started diving out and (attempt to go) no-lift in a full-face, I couldn't do it to save my life. I simply couldn't get stable and kept wiping-out; winding up looking back up at the plane. Something about not feeling the wind on my head and face (or maybe just different aerodynamics) screwed me up and I basically had to re-learn how to swoop. I don't know if anyone else ever encountered issues transitioning like that, but I'd be a bit surprised if I was the only one (but only a bit).
  13. 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.
  14. CTSkydiver

    USPA wants to increase your dues

    Here's a thought: If there is no print magazine, getting your photo on the cover would be a lot more "meh".
  15. CTSkydiver

    HYPEYE Alpha Shipping

    This is outstandingly awesome news! I'm very happy today. Great job, Trunk! Ordered one of each (standard, flipped) ... AX-53, A-6300 / X3000. Can't friggin' wait.