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Posts posted by Andy9o8

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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    you lose less altitude because of the forward speed of the aircraft and the lack of vertical speed.

    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?

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    I think its time to stop dwelling on it and just let it happen

    I'll soon have a number by my name next to jumps ;)

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.")

  • 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

  • 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.

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    wanna bet... :P

    I have a friend that, after his last reserve ride, wanted dive loops added to the reserve risers so he could get a better swoop out of it. :D

    About half of the fatalities these days are under fully-inflated, perfectly functioning canopies. Gee, I wonder why...

  • 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.

  • Letting anyone skydive under the influence of any alcohol at all is a really bad idea. The guy who hammered in NJ while twice over the legal limit was a fatality waiting to happen, and it did. Same goes for people who jump stoned. People, even experienced jumpers, who jump drunk or stoned shouldn't be tolerated. Even if the FAA "changed the rules" to allow a tandem customer to jump with 1 beer's worth of alcohol (not very likely), the DZ's legal liability if that passenger got hurt or worse on a jump would STILL be so high that it would take your breath away (and maybe take that DZ away). Many whuffos in local governments are hostile to dropzones for any excuse at all. What if the local town or county says you've violated zoning laws and tries to shut you down? And how are you going to be sure how much alcohol is really in that person's system? Because you only see "1 can"? That just means you saw the LAST can. Because they "tell" you how much they've had? As a DZO, or TI, are you willing to stake your legal liability or your ability to keep operating your DZ, or your TI cert on that? Also, some medications greatly enhance the effect of small amounts of alcohol, and vice versa. Are you going to give your tandem customers breathalyzer tests before they jump? Blood tests to see if they've taken meds that combine badly with alcohol? No, it's just too much of a risk. A tandem customer is a student skydiver, always -- not the same thing as a passenger on an airline. An airline passenger would have to gain access to the cockpit to do many things (ok, not all things) that might make the pilot wreck the aircraft; a tandem passenger is IN the cockpit -- for crissakes, they ARE the cockpit -- why take a chance that they're going to do something stupid or dangerous if whatever combination of chemicals that is in their bloodstream makes them unpredictable?

  • Yea, what he said

    That was reason I went to the tunnel in the first place before I ever jumped to remove that exact stress AFF. Being able to maintain stability and turn without thinking much about it, frees the mind to concentrate on the tasks of the dive flow


    "Tunnel time" is a great idea in theory, but just not practical for a lot of people. Unfortunately, there aren't that many tunnels in existence, and lots of people live way too far away from a tunnel to be able to commute to one on a driving day trip.