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Everything posted by Andy9o8

  1. ===================================== [in reply to] When I was jumping in Upstate New York, the pilot would be at the nudie bar in Canada every friday and saturday night. At the time I didn't know any better, but now I'm happy to know that this guy isn't flying jumpers anymore. ===================================== I wonder if you're referring to a certain pilot I also knew from Upstate New York-near-Canada. If so, we all felt he was a pretty squared-away pilot, and I still think he was. I don't want to get into an argument with you, but I think you're going overboard on this.
  2. Of course, then you risk getting beaten up by the regulars around the pool table when they see 2 know...
  3. Hey! This thread raises an interesting idea for a poll: Do you wear earplugs when you bowl?
  4. See? This is what happens when you DO stay in the sport for 42 years. You get lots and lots of wisdom, and the chance to pass it on. Pay attention.
  5. We all share your outrage at this tragedy being shown on TV. But after reading the Guardian article, I think Ofcom was condemning the broadcast by saying that a TV broadcaster is required to have "exceptional justification" in order to show graphic images of a person's death, and that a mere "entertainment context", as was the case here, did not qualify as an "exceptional justification".
  6. Yes I realize that's an option, I was just wondering if one of the mods might have a suggestion. Thanks.
  7. First S/L jump was in 1975. First freefall was jump #6, the minimum required at the time, and that was required to be on the same day as my previous S/L with DRCP. Did fine until the 10-second delays came, then lots of stability problems. (Mostly I stiffened up & didn't "relax".) Seemed like I was stuck on 5 & 10 second delays forever. There really wasn't much coaching back then, either, just "Go back up & do it again, and try to relax this time." It was discouraging for a while, but it eventually clicked -- I learned how to "relax" in an arch and I got off student status somewhere between jumps 35 & 40. Looking back, I think I would have benfited from AFF-type jumps once I got off the S/L. I still think S/L is good for at least the first 1 or 2 jumps to get past the worst of the door fear & sensory overload. After that, had AFF-type jumps been available back then, the longer freefalls accompanied by an in-flight instructor would have been just the thing to get me (and lots of other students) squared away in freeefall much sooner than it took by doing it alone, bit by bit.
  8. You think so, eh? Since you're 3 years out of HS, you're probably around age 21. From your remark, I doubt you have children yet. You certainly don't have any that are close to military age yet. There's something that happens to you when you become a parent for the first time. It re-hardwires your brain, for a lifetime, to kick-in the parental instinct to do anything, anything at all to protect your child. (Hint: it's what keeps us alive until we can fend for ourselves.) You never really know what that's like until you become a parent yourself, no matter how old you are when that happens. People who are parents understand this. As parents, we don't just protect our children from physical harm; we also (try to) protect them from being taken advantage of by others (who have their own agendas) while they're still very impressionable and lacking in mature judgment. If you disagree with those parents' views or their tactics, fine - disagree with them. Call them "wrong" if that's what you believe. But don't demean them by casually dismissing them as "bored". P.S. - 20 - 25 years from now, when you have your own kids who are military age, the issue may not seem quite so black & white to you any more.
  9. Sometimes when I sign on to directly from the AOL browser (instead of using the computer's separate Internet Explorer browser), when I try to access certain categories in the Forum, I get "web site not responding". I then have to log off, get onto the separate Internet Explorer browser, and then log back onto in order to get access to the Forums. This had happened to me several times on different computers at different locations, so it seems to be an AOL compatability issue. (AOL's pain in the ass browser is notorious for compatability problems with lots of websites, so this comes as no real surprise.) Are you familiar with this problem, too? Is there some solution to this to be able to access all features thru AOL, or is one's best bet simply to avoid using AOL's browser when accessing Thanks for your advice!
  10. I'm not chopping a main unless keeping it seems likely to kill or seriously injure me. Rule #1 on every jump is always saving your life, which means getting (or keeping) a survivable canopy over your head. Reserves are dependable, but they're never 100% guaranteed, and they're always your last chance at staying alive. When my main deploys less-than-perfect but still seems survivable and flyable, I ride it down and do the PLF.
  11. I carry my main to save my life with a nice ride. I carry my reserve to save my life or avoid serious injury, first and foremost; anything beyond that, while nice, is really just gravy. When I'm at decision point, comfort is not an issue. A survivable yet imperfect main over my head is a known quantity. An undeployed reserve is always still just a maybe, even if it's the best reserve in the world, packed by the best master rigger in the world. If I think a "questionable" main might be bad enough to corkscrew me in, or might turn from "fair" to "really bad" too low to do anything about it, I chop it. But if it's survivable and flyable, I ride it down and do the PLF. I've sprained an ankle and blown out a knee using that rule, which is fine by me compared to even the very slight chance of a serious mal on my reserve after a clean cutaway.
  12. You told your, mate...almost exactly what I tell my non-jumper friends who ask me the same thing. For what it's worth, I stayed out of the sport for a number of years when my wife got preggers with our first kid, and got back into it once they were older. (skies call, after all...) (My older kid's driving gives truth to the myth that you're more likely to die driving, etc...). I'm completely non-judgmental about people who choose to either keep jumping or take a hiatus from the sport while they have younger kids. I think you told him the right things, the right way.
  13. OK, Derek, here's the deal: if you wind up doing this, you attach your final paper to a link and post that link up here for all of us to read. We want to see a proper academic study: a hypothesis, a thesis, and analysis and a conclusion. There's also a touch of irony: you'll get to buy beer for the DZ, but you won't get to drink it. But first you better get Mom's permission.
  14. This is due to drag coupling. OK, now you have me intrigued. I'm gonna research this more. One of us will owe the other a beer. Stay tuned.
  15. I didn't major in physics but I'm pretty sure the rate of downward acceleration (i.e., the rate at which you lose altitude) is unaffected by the forward speed of the aircraft; you accelerate earthward at the same rate no matter whether you're in a forward-moving aircraft or a stationary balloon. Any engineers out there want to weigh in on this?
  16. I look forward to seeing those numbers next to your name, too. I love to see new people come to the sport. Having said that.....I hope you're not just dismissing Amax's message; it's a very important one which is a good response to the question you asked. Your response to his post leaves me a bit all means, Welcome! -- but go into this with your eyes, ears and attitude OPEN -- or it can bite you hard.
  17. 18, S/L jump about a week after my birthday. They put us out in 35' T-10's. I was all of 118 lbs back then (I'm 165 now..heh), so I drifted, drifted with the wind, and the landings under those weren't really all that hard for the skinny kids like me. All they had back then was S/L progression. I would have benefited from AFF if it had been available. I like to joke that as a student I "turned style" early. In other words, when I was learning freefall I had a few [ahem] "stability issues" at first, several times dumped while spinning & on my back (no, not on purpose). Often got barber poles; I wonder why? Once the lines turned into such a tight barber pole my head was pinned against my chest & I couldn't look up to check my canopy until some of the twists unwound. And that's why they used to put students out on cheapos until they were A-qualified, those canopies were pretty forgiving of back-asswards openings.
  18. When I took my FJC there in '75, I specifically remember my FJI (you know the 2 who were doing it back then; you probably had one of them) telling us that they taught "the stand-up landing method there". There was absolutely no teaching or even mention of PLF, at all, of that I'm certain. Yes, the student gear was decent for the time (especially when they remembered to give you the rigs with the Sentinel and the Stevens system); my only reason for mentioning the military surplus canopies (which we all know were universally nicknamed "cheapos") was just to note the fact that they landed hard enough to warrant teaching PLFs to FJC students. If you don't think they were a "mill", ok, I think you spent more total time there than I did, so I'll defer to your judgment. I was 18 & 19 at the time, so I'm still looking at it through those eyes. OK, in fairness to the DZO, I do remember hearing about him disciplining jumpers for dumping low, but I also know that he had 4 fatalities there within about 3 or 4 years (which one may or may not think was a lot for a medium-size DZ in the '70s), so I guess he was a little touchy about it. (ROFL - yeah, I heard at least one "wife" story, too...something about a gun I think...sheesh...). But the shitty attitude he and some of the up-timers had toward novices that I recounted was absolutely there, and as I told you in PM, I think it probably contributed to driving away some novices who might otherwise have stayed with the sport. I also strongly suspect that it contributed to that fatality. All history has lessons that last a long time; so after 29 years, what's to be done about it? What we're doing now - talking about it and hoping it just might help the people in the sport today. I can only echo what you say: Students, don't let anyone intimidate you out of watching out for safety. I'm heartened by the responses the up-timers who've responded to this thread have had, and I hope all the other up-timers (and those who soon will be) will keep this in mind, too. Blue skies, Nick.
  19. Another story about the same DZ I mentioned at the beginning of this thread. Take it for what it's worth. This place was a student S/L "mill" before "tandem mills" existed. Back when all their student rigs were cheapos (round military surplus canopies), which don't give the softest landings, they used to teach S/L first jump course students, "We teach the standup landing method...", which translated to: they only taught the students to keep their feet and knees together at landing, but unlike most other DZ's, they never taught them how to do a PLF, or even mentioned it. That's how they taught me. And it worked fine, as long as you were backing up. But if you mis-judged and did a downwind or sideways landing (as students will do...), knowing how to do a PLF would have come in handy. When a jumper friend of mine who knew how to do a PLF advised me that I ought to learn it (I was still a novice), did I ask the guys at the DZ to teach me? Hell no. I got myself a skydiving book, read the chapter on PLF's and practiced jumping off the picnic table in my back yard. (Dad, through the window: "What the hell are you DOING out there??" Me: "Uh....nothing, Dad." Dad, to my mom: "That kid's ready for the funny farm.")
  20. Orange1 (Chantal), thanks for the question, and thanks Tom and the rest of you for the very useful input. There was no DZ rule violation. The DZ rule at the time was if there's an in-flight aircraft issue, obey the pilot's instructions, whether it be jump immediately, jump on next jump run, ride the plane down, or make your own decision on the next run. In this case, it wasn't a major emergency, it was just low oil pressure, the pilot was comfortable making one more pass at 1,500 & jumpers having the choice to either jump or ride it down. I'm sure if the pilot had told the noobs to get out, they would have jumped, but they were the last ones left on the plane, and he gave them the choice. If they went out on their mains, that's low if they needed a cutaway. If they went out on reserve, that only gave them the "one chance" of the reserve, so they chose what they felt was the safest of the 3 options -- they rode it down. But the real point is, they used their best judgment under the circumstances on how to stay safe, they had a succesful outcome, but they were dumped on by the DZO and a couple of up-timers, basically for not having the "guts" to jump, and that was just wrong
  21. If you had a collapsable testicle it wouldn't-a ruptured. Your rigging loft can help you with this.
  22. For years, when lens styles were bigger, I just wore my regular glasses or prescription sunglasses with a sport strap holding them on snugly. No problem. More recently (now that lens sizes are smaller) I got myself a couple of pairs of prescription sport glasses -- the kind that basketball players wear that are held on with the elastic band -- one clear & one tinted. They're great -fit snugly, good eye coverage, fine field of vision. I swear by them now.
  23. About half of the fatalities these days are under fully-inflated, perfectly functioning canopies. Gee, I wonder why...
  24. In another thread I saw someone tell about a time when he was a newbie and clouds kept his jump plane at 1,900 feet, so while the other jumpers got out at 1,900, he decided to ride the plane back down because it was below his personal hard deck of 2,000 feet, but he was worried that doing so would get him labeled as a pussy at his DZ. I think that warrants a new thread about whether students and low-number jumpers should feel free to speak up about safety issues, even if they are "just newbies". (The examples I mention below happened years ago, so that's why this doesn't belong in the Incidents section.) I think that jumper absolutely did the right thing by deciding not to jump below his personal hard deck. Even if you're a student, only you are ultimately responsible for your own safety; but fear of not being "accepted into the group" at the DZ sometimes intimidates newbies into not speaking up about safety issues. Years ago I was at a DZ where there were 2 newbies with about 20 jumps each, not yet "A" qualified (under the S/L progression system) but starting to self-supervise, who were on an 8-jumper load on a DH-4 Beaver. The 2 newbies were each planning to do low solo jumps, but at 1,500 feet the plane had engine problems, so the pilot said he'd give everyone 1 pass at 1,500, and then land. The more experienced jumpers got out at 1,500, but the newbies decided to ride the plane back down, because it was just too low for their experience level. Afterwards the DZO and a couple of up-number jumpers mocked them about "just taking airplane rides", and basically made them feel like shit. Another time at the same DZ I saw the same DZO give a hard time to a newbie freefall student (who started on S/L & had maybe 10 jumps total) who was given a rental rig that wasn't equipped with an RSL or an AAD and asked to exchange it for a student rig that did have them. The DZO gave him the different rig, but made it clear he wasn't happy about it, and started bad-mouthing this newbie around the DZ. All the low-number jumpers at this DZ knew about these incidents, and learned quickly to keep their mouths shut and not "bother" the DZO or experienced jumpers with "dumb questions". Third story, also at this same DZ, a few months later, a FF student who was just starting to self-supervise (had about 25 jumps, also S/L progression), and had a very timid personality (and probably wasn't ready to self-supervise), packed his RSL INTO his main container instead of hooking it onto his reserve handle. He did a solo 30 second delay; and when he dumped, the RSL snared the main bag and caused a hi-speed bag lock. He either froze or lost altitude awareness and didn't cut away; and when his AAD fired, the reserve entangled with the main, didn't inflate, and he went in. If he been supervised by an experienced jumper, or felt comfortable asking an experienced jumper to give his gear a quick look-over before he boarded the plane, that fatality would probably been avoided. (This DZ is no longer in business, I wonder why.) Most experienced jumpers I have seen are just superb toward newbies, but for anyone out there who forgets when they were just starting out and thinks newbies are just a pain in the ass, remember, your attitude may have effects that can last........a lifetime.
  25. This is pretty much what I do, too. I use 3 to 5 secs for hop-n-pop.