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Posts posted by RiggerLee

  1. The video I saw was on a guns channel on YouTube. It appears to be a big thing with higher end air soft events. I'm not talking kids in the back yard I'm talking grown was men that fly across the world to play glorified paintball at international events with a thousand attendees. They apparently go through 10 of thousands of these grenades in one event.

    Apparently this is a big thing. Did not know that.

    So you are a very small part of the market. As always we are riding on some one else's coattails. It sure is nice to have smoke so the audience can see the demo teams. But if this market collapses, we are not enough to keep it afloat, you might have to say good by to affordable smoke.

    Depending on how this goes you won't be able to buy it any more. The FAA might not allow you to use what you have on demos any more. Every one in possession of it right now is by deffinition breaking the law. I don't think any one is going to come hunt you down but if you got into trouble for something else in theory they could add it as a charge. Let's say there was a fire at your house and they found "explosives" in your garage. Now your looking at federal charges.

    I checked paragear. They were still selling... Something? Didn't look like what I think of as a smoke grenade. Maybe a "pyrotechnic"? Say your budy gets a demo and needs to buy a couple of grenades off you. Selling transfering transporting storing conspiracy... It sounds silly but every thing with the ATF is silly. Say your friend shows up at the airport to jump into his local school and is talking to the FAA and he asks something like... What have you got there..

    I had not seen this mentioned but people should be aware of it.



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  2. Had trouble posting. At first I thought it wouldn't let me use the word grenade turns out it wouldn't accept a simple YouTube link. WTF? I was going to post a link to a discussion about this rule change. But I guess you'll have to go search for it your self.



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  3. Had trouble posting. At first I thought it wouldn't let me use the word grenade turns out it wouldn't accept a simple YouTube link. WTF? I was going to post a link to a discussion about this rule change. But I guess you'll have to go search for it your self.



  4. I heard something about this. Finally got around to watching a couple of the videos on it.

    I've never used smoke grenad. Never liked doing demos. I'm curious where this will fall. If the products you are using fell under these exemptions then you will now need an explosive license to reorder. Furthermore if you are currently in possession of them then you now fall under the storage requirements.

    Apparently there is at least one company claiming that their products fall under the category of "pyrotechnics". Note how I phrased that. I'm curious what your using who makes it and whether it fell under the exemptions?




  5. It's a base canopy. Vertigo-basic research-apex canopy.

    To be clear vertigo was Marta's company. They got buddy buddy with Basic Research and formed Apex. Marta was contracting with different people to build canopies for her. At different times PD, Jump Shack, Precision. At that time I think Precision was doing it for them. At the time. If I could look at the construction I could tell who made it.

    Once they merged with Basic, I think basic built everything in house.


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  6. My first reaction is to ask why you would want to do this? It's a small industry with a limited market. I would not pick this as a high ROI opportunity. Most people that persue this are all ready involved and do it out of passion. That is why they tend to fail. They are skydivers not business men.

    Getting your rigging certificate is not the answer. I'm not saying that it's a bad idea just as general background and in theory could help you legally with the FAA. It's a weird gray area where all you have to do is say you are a manufacturer and you are. But in theory you need to be a rigger to do any kind of repair. But manufacturer trumps rigger... The logic gets convoluted and weird. Can you build it but then not fix it? In the end it doesn't matter. Half of your employees will be riggers.

    A rigging course has very little to do with what you will need to learn. Here is the real truth. There are lots of different types of riggers. And this isn't a senior vs master thing. Master means they can sign more paperwork. In theory they are more experienced and can do alterations, etc. In reality it just means they can sign things. But manufacturer tops master. A master can perform alterations approved by the manufacturer or can apply for an approval through the FAA. This gets into whether it's a TSO'd component. Non TSO'd, people just go to town on them although in theory some of these rules still apply. There are some very good master rigger manufacturers on here that will be happy to delve deep into that rabbit hole.

    Here is the honest truth as to what you need. You need a business degree. Or a degree in accounting. Running a business is a business in it self. Taxes payroll book keeping accounts receivable accounts payable suppliers PO's tracking records marketing finance. These are the actual skills that you need. You are going to hire someone to run production. That's a completely separate issue and the small of the two issues.

    Who do you need to hire. Remember I said there are different types of riggers. There are riggers that pack, there are riggers that sew, there are riggers that build, and there are riggers that design. There are ones that work in the sport industry. They pilot rigs are almost their own separate industry with limited crossover. Military is it's own thing. These groups have been cross pollinating but they are still very different from each other. Most riggers are glorified packers, and that's fine. A lot of them really are not comfortable doing even basic repairs or sewing. This is what all the classes turn out. You don't really learn to see and prepare things till you work in at least a medium size loft under the supervision of a master rigger. Some people get really into that and just live at a sewing machine. Note that they are probably not master riggers. You just need a master rigger around to theoretically be "supervising" and maybe sign something now and again. There are people that get into building things from scratch. Batches of risers jumpsuits sliders toggles pilot chutes etc. This is a different skill set. You mostly develop it from working for a manufacturer or in a larger loft. You don't learn all the secrets and esoteric knowledge from any course. There is a smaller group that delves deeper into the why rather then just the how. Designers are mad scientist with a sewing machine. You'll know them by the kackle in their laugh.

    All of these people have way over inflated egos for what they are. We are all a pain in the ass. There is another related category. Let's be polite and call them workers. The more common name that we often use is slaves. These are non skydiver non rigger 9-5 workers that set at machines doing repetitive tasks all day long. They are actually very valuable. If you get good ones treasure them. They come in diffrent varieties. I think Koreans are the best but any one (xxx) will do. LOL's (little old ladies)  are very good if you can get them. The problem is that they are by definition old and tend to die. They are almost extinct. Wet backs are I think the last option but they can serve with enough supervision. 

    Sewing machines. It has gotten progressively harder over the years to source good used machines. And you will need some one to work on them. I don't know what your going to do but you will be surprised at how many machines you will wind up with.

    Her as a thought. Don't start a company. Buy one. None of these companies are big. You might be surprised at how low an honest evaluation of their value would be. Some of these guys are getting old. Sandy Reed as an example. Or the dolphin rig. Or some one in a financial bind because they don't know how to run a business. You could pick up not just a turn key operation but maybe a TSO. That's fucking gold. All the old shit is grand fathered in and it's only getting harder to meet the new standards.

    Again my real advise is to go open a McDonald's or some shit like that. Any thing but a loft. If your not already married to this industry why would you dive into this water?



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  7. Descending rapidly from altitude is not an aclimitazation problem. The only issues you might have are if you had some kind of sinus problem. That can be really uncomfortable. You might have to take some Sudafed.

    The real question is can you launch it? You are going to have to run pretty fast to get it flying. Is there a suitable slope? Can you out fly the contours? What is the weather going to be? You might be walking down any way. 

    Don't get me wrong. I'm all for this. Most accidents happen on decent. There is a lot to be said for a quick way down.


  8. And by the way. I beleive it's based on their own 7 cell firelite. Good seven cell often used as a reserve. It was 172 sqft. If you expand that to a nine cell you get 221 sqft which I believe is what the Raider is.



  9. I believe she is referring to the Nova.

    The Raider was one of their f111 nine cells. I want to say that it was around 220 sqft but don't quote me on that. It was a solid canopy. I knew several people that had them. They were very much on par with the other canopies of that period. It's equivalent to a PD 210 or a Falcon 235.



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  10. The original vector 3 patterns before the micron m series tended to be longer. I also second the Infinity rigs. I hate to say it but... Racer also has some longer designs. You can also fudge this in the harness construction to some degree. If you minimize or remove the stagger at the hip and make the MLW long enough you shift the container lower on your back. That also meant that your shifting the curve of the shoulder down lower on the yoke. Some riser covers can handle this better then others. Some designs will become less secure over the shoulder and you may be choosing a longer yoke to place the chest strap where you want.

    To be clear in not advocating this as a solution I'm more warning of the risk of trying to fudge it this way. Your on the right track of thinking about a container pattern set that will fit your back rather then a harness. Some companies will extend the main tray that might give you that extra inch and more room for that 170.



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  11. Probably the same accident. I was told this story, had it explained to me by an FAA guy from the FSDO in Dallas. Guy named Gene Bland. Pilot broke the plane in some way. Took wings off? He had good radar plots giving him speed across the ground. He had video and impact data showing the impact angle. From that he calculated the air speed of the lawn dart. They had video of the opening of the canopy. He believed that he had good numbers on the deployment speed. He knew the pilots weight. Based on those numbers he thought that the loading should have been not within what it was certified for but he believed that it was within what it had supposedly been tested to. Bland was like a dog with a bone. He wanted to force them to redo the heavy drop test. No one else cared. He lost that fight.


    You could see from the canopy how the lines failed. It's easy to understand the mechanics if you just play with the diaper. The phantom was never the strongest canopy out there. You could argue whether it would have survived or not. It never got the chance. It did not blow out it's crown. It did not split a gore. It did not fail in any of the ways that canopies blow up. The diaper failed to stage the opening and it broke in a very predictable way because of it. 


    To be clear, I like Ashudo phantom stile diapers. It was just a failure of imagination. Thinking of the folded canopy as one solid thing rather then as a dynamic flexable object capable of moving and shifting. All you would need is a loop in that crown line. A peace of tape with a loop. An eye in the line. Maybe a heavier tape on that seam. I've been caught out on that as well. I snapped a tape above a diaper on a canopy I built. It was a pain to sew that thing back together and when I did you can bet it had a heavier tape on that gore.


    Don't confuse it being a bad design with it being an incomplete design. It's just missing a small element. Full stow choaker diapers put the same stress on that tape. I think all canopies should have heavier tapes on that seam. The military apparently agreed on the C9 with the quarter bag.



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  12. There are a lot of variables there. For example slider down is more abrupt but the total amount of kinetic energy is much lower. The size of the canopy can also be a factor. A larger canopy is a bigger wall hitting the air on a slider down opening. 


    Terminal openings are at the other end of the spectrum but are moderated by a slider.


    In both of these classes you have the ability to exercise a lot of control over the situation and the system you are jumping. There is no law saying you can't swap out your mesh for a half or three quarter or full sail slider. You can change PC. The bottom line is I've had way harder openings skydiving then in base. All the openings that have layed me up have been from airplanes.


    Just be smart. Stupid hurts.



  13. In defense of half stow diapers.

    Although it's a less intuitive system and there can potentially be issues with it, I will say that it also has advantages. A lot of it centers around mass and weight of the lines. Problems show up in both high and low speed deployments. 


    I'll start with low speed stories. The dz I started at still had round reserves on the student rigs. On the whole this wasn't a bad thing as it made two out's relatively benign in most cases. The rigs had a mix of reserves. We had FXC's. I noticed that the half stow strongs deployed a lot smoother and cleaner in low speed two out sinarios. The weight of the lines was in the tray. As the pilot chute deployed the canopy there was never a sudden weight of a heavy diaper with full stow lines. On the other hand I watched a malfunction where a phantom deployed beside a low speed malfunctioning main. The pilot chute and canopy went up but when the diaper fell out of the tray it stalled struggling to lift the weight of the diaper. It just floated beside the main actually sinking lower as the main turned wrapping the lines of the reserve around every thing till the pc caught enough air to finish in showing the diaper and the reserve started to fill and deploy at which point every thing started to unroll. It all turned out fine. The lesson I took away from watching that was first the importance of an adequate PC. Second to not disregard the weight of the diaper.


    High speed. On high speed higher then normal terminal deployments the sudden mass of the full stow diaper can put a lot of strain on the canopy. We had a failure where we snapped a tape on the radial seam that the diaper was attached to. Wound up adding a heavy tape on top running up to the apex with a loop on the end to support the weight of the diaper during deployment. Please note that the military did the same thing, or similar, with the adoption of the quarter bag. They found that they needed a 1" type 4 tape just to lift the weight of all those lines. I'll give you another example of a high speed failure caused by a full stow diaper. This was on a phantom at an air show. And yes it was the tighter diaper. It doesn't matter it's the nature of the design. When it tried to lift the diaper the crown line for the seam that held the diaper acted like the rope in a pulley with the PC bridle. It pulled the #1 seam out of the fold in the diaper. That gore caught air and snapped the line off at the canopy. The inflating skirt pulled out the next two Gore's and snapped them. This continued all the way around the canopy breaking the lines at the skirt till the last one broke at the link. Pilot went in under just the lines. All of this could have been avoided it there was an independent tape or a loop in the crown line. Based on the radar data the canopy should have survived if the diaper had not failed. 


    No one's denying that a full stow diaper is much better staging for deployments. But it's also a significant weight concentration which can add it's own issues.


    As to packing it. Lack of knowledge of how it functions is a failure of the rigger not the system.



  14. I've seen stories of the reverse. Skydiver calls up the manufacturer and asks if it will fit. The answer is always yes. It gets here to the local dealer and he struggles to get it packed. It looks like shit. He disinharits the rig. Refuses to ever pack it again. Now the guy is shopping around for another rigger after the first master rigger declared it an unairworthy combination. This wasn't a one time thing, I'm looking at you Wings! So we had all these guys down sizing to smaller reserves that were really too small for them.


    I did crew for a long time. We stuffed some really big canopies into some main trays. You can get away with a lot... But. Maybe you permanently stretch out the container. Damage the riser covers. Have less then secure bridle routing. Damage the main flap. Have pilot chute in tow issues. I could go on. You can do a lot of shit. Why make your self miserable? As some one who has packed some egregiously tight rigs I can tell you that this can be done, and that you'll regret it.



  15. I had a similar thought. I was reminded of some volcanic lakes that have out gassed on calm nights and formed a big enough cloud to kill entire villages. I wonder if on a nasty water day with warm air above and no wind if the cave would fill up with nasty gas.


    But what I was actually referring to in the post was that I had never heard of the cave it self. Little baby cave of the swallows. It would be slider down but a lot less intimidating to jug out of.



  16. Jeff Wagner did a few for... The guy that used to run the WFFC. Mostly eastern European seats. While I was there I spoke to a guy from the operation in Las vagus. There is a company there that does a lot of mill surplus aircraft. They are the only people I know of that do ejection seats on a regular basis.


    It was really interesting talking to the guy about all that was involved in dealing with them. Interesting technology.



  17. I built my container for my first base jump. Did not build the canopy. You've got me beat.


    I remember later when I traveled to norway. I and one of the friends traveling with me were jumping ribs I built. The guy that was checking us in and giving us intro at kjherag kept asking me what type of rigs we were jumping. I kept saying that they were my rig. Finely he caught on. I built them they're My Rig. They didn't have a name so I just decided to name them My Rig.



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  18. One thought is the crotch. If it has booties, the tow to crotch measurement is kind of critical. The leg straps pull the crotch up tight and the length to the tow must make the booty tight. In a tunnel that can be based off the shoulder and the crotch can just float where ever it winds up. So the measurements can key off different things.


    This is just a guess.



  19. I assume it's a 110 motor. Any thing out of a shop will be 220. It's a $100 problem. It's a light weight garment machine. I like them but it's $400 maybe $500 if it's 110 and the clutch is in good shape. Back in the day baught them for $300.



  20. It does look good. I hope you had fun with the project. Your skill set is rounding out very nicely. I wonder if you realize how much you've learned in the course of all this and how far youve come with these projects. 


    One thing I think you should look at. I don't know where you would find it at this point. It may not still exist but there was a series of threads on base jumper. They grew out of an accident at perion. It was a pilot chute in tow/pin pull hesitation? I don't think it was ever really resolved but it developed into a series of conversations about flap and cover flap designs. It dug into dimensions for pin clearance, rotation, pin orientation, orientation of the pin attachment to the bridle, even pin design and geometry. They did identify some potential failure modes. It's worth preserving if any one is smart enough to go back and find it. I think it was spread out over a couple of different threads.


    But the rig looks great. Now you need to go and start testing it... Do they still run a ferry from Newcastle to stavanger? Just a quick ferry ride to lysebotten and kerage.