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  1. No idea where you are jumping. You just need to jump more, with other instructors. Scoliosis isn't the issue, numbers are. You can fly flat-ish, and I'll bet you learn to arch yet. Cheers, -Harry "Sometimes you eat the bar, and well-sometimes the bar eats you..."
  2. Several DZ's have been doing this for a few years now. It's not really "an experiment" at this stage. At Raeford/XP we've been transitioning students with a tandem (or two) and 10-20 min of tunnel time to single instructor jumps since 2015. There have been zero issues to my knowledge and in the case of students who "didn't get it, or seemed sketchy" instructors have the option of taking the student up with two instructors (and do). I was initially opposed to it, but the results have been hard to argue with. Students in the XP PSP program are earning their A license having done 4way (with supervision, as opposed to going and doing it with 27 jumps and limited guidance). The program sets students up to start doing FS after earning their license. This limits the "I got my A, and now I'm adrift doing solos or trying to teach myself how to freefly" issue. USPA didn't try to hide this or sneak an agenda by, they just made it "acceptable" for the DZ's that have been evolving their programs using the tools available. It's a natural progression of things. Tunnels are here, have been for awhile and they are changing the way things are done. Look at the 4 way numbers from this year's World Meet. Blame the tunnel for that too. Jump numbers are essential vs. tunnel time when it comes to advanced/instructor ratings. It's hard to substitute the entire process of a jump (prep, a/c procedures, exit, freefall, opening, canopy flight, etc.). There is no substitute for the experience of the whole process. As it stands, no one has lowered the 25 jump cut off for the A. Which is as it should be. Cheers, -Harry "Sometimes you eat the bar, and well-sometimes the bar eats you..."
  3. So.... Troll? "Sometimes you eat the bar, and well-sometimes the bar eats you..."
  4. Mesquite is the main fun jumper DZ in NV, but it's a bit of a drive (80 mi or so as I remember). The DZ down in Jean is mainly a tandem factory, but they're way closer and will let you fun jump there if you're reasonably experienced (20 mi South of Vegas). They do require an AAD and they usually put fun jumpers into the DZ out in the desert so you'll lose time taking the bus ride back between loads. I think they recently started landing tandems at the airport, they will let some up jumpers land there, but the experience requirements are robust. Cheers, -Harry "Sometimes you eat the bar, and well-sometimes the bar eats you..."
  5. Good call on the WS specific technique for bag orientation. I forgot about that one. -Harry "Sometimes you eat the bar, and well-sometimes the bar eats you..."
  6. Raeford got wet, lot of trees went down but fared pretty well. Fayetteville got pretty jacked up. AFAIK the tunnel is okay. Cheers "Sometimes you eat the bar, and well-sometimes the bar eats you..."
  7. Cloggy, The idea is that the pilot chute has leverage on the grommet side of the bag. It is similar to why a shrivel flap is used with velcro BASE rigs (shear vs. straight pull). As was mentioned earlier, the main d-bags of rigs made 10-30 years ago were more rectangular and were designed to be rotated into place to fit the container. Back when canopies where huge, pilot chutes sometimes struggled to get the bag off the jumper's back. This was especially problematic when ripcords and springloaded PC's were in vogue, as the PC tended to bounce around in the jumper's burble before launching. AFFI's occasionally see this today: usually it involves a small-ish jumper, huge student rig, inappropriate PC size and it happens on a Cat A or B jump where the PC is struggling to find clean air above 3 jumpers flying in close proximity. Personally-I prefer (and teach) to roll the grommet down into place at the bottom of the reserve container because (if done properly) it forces excess line AWAY from the bottom corners of the reserve tray, helps to put good tension on the main risers routed over the shoulder and improves your ability to force the canopy into the bottom of the main tray. This ensures better distribution, easier closure and improves the aesthetics of the packjob. All that being said; some of the newer rigs are being designed to have the bag placed grommet side towards the flaps and lines against the jumpers back. An example of this is the Sunpath Military Javelin. When it was originally designed it was deployed with a springloaded PC. The bag was pretty square, it made sense to reinforce the bottom of the bag as a soft "kick plate" and isolate the bridle, mesh and coil spring from the lines. Many of these rigs have been modified to use throw out PC's, but the rig is still packed with the lines down. Cheers, -Harry "Sometimes you eat the bar, and well-sometimes the bar eats you..."
  8. Short suits are a relatively new thing. I would recommend getting a full suit. Short suit is nice in the summer, some people like wearing them in the tunnel, most do not if they are spending a lot of time in the tunnel. Full suit is going to give you more protection if you biff a landing, scrub against the wall or net in the tunnel, etc. Wearing short sleeves in the tunnel can be a touch painful at higher speeds, particularly if there's sand or dust circulating. It's also really nice to protect the knees and elbows in the aircraft. Full suit, depending on the bagginess can potentially give you more range (if you're a heavy jumper, more drag can be helpful). Lastly, if you get your suit loose enough, you can wear long underwear under it and drastically extend your jump season if you jump in the cooler months. For the warmer months, there's nothing wrong with jumping in shorts and a t-shirt, so long as the shirt doesn't interfere with handles, etc. A lot cheaper than a short sleeve suit as well... Cheers, -Harry "Sometimes you eat the bar, and well-sometimes the bar eats you..."
  9. Looking at going to HI this December and planning on bringing a rig. Of the three DZ's on Dillingham which one is most fun jump friendly? Is there camping/crash space available near the airport at reasonable rates? Is it possible to rent a 172, piper, etc. on the field? Or does someone on the field have a recommendation? Any chance a DZ would need a drogue tossed, AFFI or video shot to help offset cost of getting there? Any info appreciated! -Harry "Sometimes you eat the bar, and well-sometimes the bar eats you..."
  10. Liquid Sky will build you a baggier suit on request, as will Ouragan. I think Kurupee and Merlin are still making suits, they will build baggier as well. Another option is the Deepseed design for instructors that hav zippers over extra fabric to add more "bagginess" on demand by opening zippers. Liquid also has this option. -Harry "Sometimes you eat the bar, and well-sometimes the bar eats you..."
  11. Mbohu, The baggier style suits were the standard for awhile because it was comfortable and the extra drag on (legs) especially made up for some slop in flying styles and gave people more range. I personally think some of this came from sit suit design, some of it came from 90's fashion of baggier clothes and some of it was there for function. Today's suits are form fitting for a couple of reasons: Most serious freeflyers spend a lot of time in tunnels that are very powerful. Baggy suits made of heavy materials beat you up when worn for long periods of time in the tunnel. They also tend to self destruct. Turbine DZ's also get a vote, back when many jumpers were routinely only getting 9,500-10,000ft a 30 sec jump vs a 50 sec jump was a consideration. Now that most turbine DZ's are going to 14,000 and flying skill has evolved to allow more to be done in a shorter period-that's less of a concern to many jumpers. Early freeflyers were different than the current guys who place a premium on flying style, precision, athleticism and "body flight". Being able to develop range without the crutch of a suit is considered to be of importance. Modern freeflyers are trying to go faster because they have more precision and control with speed. Just like belly RW suits going from the "balloon" suits of the late 70's to streamlined spandex-backed bootie suits of the late 90's-speed helps when the flyer has better technique. Fashion is also a big component. 90's jumpers wouldn't have been caught dead in hipster pants, now it's the rage. Suit materials and craftsmanship, what people are willing to pay for a suit now also factors in. in 2005 I ordered a custom suit for $200. Now you'll pay $650-$1000 for something that has stretch panels, padding, Cordura knees, etc. So-what does that mean for you? Go with what works. If you are like I am and you're trying to fly with the 125-170lb hipsters recreationally (meaning you're not going to start eating lettuce all the time, doing tons of yoga, start dropping $$$ in the tunnel,etc./make a major lifestyle change)- use what works. I prefer a straight leg suit made of medium weight material, but I have a freefly suit that is super baggy and helps me slow down for jumping with the featherweights. My lifestyle/career requires me to have muscles in my legs and I will never have the range of an ultra bird bodied tunnel rat. I also don't care for the skinny jean look. Am I using a suit as a prosthetic for lack of flying skill or am I using tools to achieve a result? I'm using what works for me, do what works for you. Cheers, -Harry "Sometimes you eat the bar, and well-sometimes the bar eats you..."
  12. Deyan, I stand corrected on compliance being mandatory within the next two years. AAD's are computers we (choose) to add to our systems. That being said- YOU HAVE 24 MONTHS TO FIX THIS. Truthfully, it doesn't matter if you don't exceed really high altitudes. AAD wants you to fix it, so that the guy who buys your AAD 4 years from now isn't walking into a bad situation. Computers have hardware requirements (cutters, wires, connectors are a few (of the MANY) failure points as are batteries) AND software requirements. Software has kinks and gremlins in it. Hardware and Software require maintenance to run optimally. Any skydiver born after vacuum tubes should recognize this. Anyone who was told that "X AAD requires no maintenance for 20 years" and decided they could reliably jump their gear forever needs to take a step back and realize this isn't the case. If your customers need education-that's an issue you can fix. If you told them they can run hardware/software in a pretty varied and demanding environment forever to be cheap, that's on you. Would like to jump with you and not spar in faceless internet land, -Harry "Sometimes you eat the bar, and well-sometimes the bar eats you..."
  13. Deyan, The update is for extreme high altitudes. It hasn't been an issue for 99.9% of the skydiving community who choose to use Vigil AAD's because most of us don't go up there. Furthermore, the SB is only mandatory if you plan on exceeding 27,000ft. Using an SB post as a platform to ridicule a company's marketing strategy (and clearly without reading what the SB is for) doesn't make a lot of sense. Brand war posts are ridiculous, particularly on a subject like AAD's. There are pro's and con's to ALL AAD's and choosing to use any of them adds complexity and variables to a skydive. I for one appreciate when folks post SB's for equipment on dropzone. What is frustrating is when someone responds in line with witch hunt finger pointing at the manufacturer in question for identifying and addressing a problem. Cheers, -Harry "Sometimes you eat the bar, and well-sometimes the bar eats you..."
  14. Not really a big deal, just make sure you get a positive drogue set as the drogue is bigger and the BOC pocket is not. Aside from that the Tandem Instructor probably won't notice much difference. If your DZ has outside vidiots, they'll notice the difference; especially if a lighter passenger winds up under that drogue. Fat vidiots will hate it, unless they have wings. Cheers, -Harry "Sometimes you eat the bar, and well-sometimes the bar eats you..."