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Everything posted by topdocker

  1. "starring at static on tv for hours at a time, listening to washing machines, Did you really think these stories wouldn't get out?" ----"I was looking for patterns in the chaos, come on!" "It doesn't matter anymore! It's a joke to them..." Gold star to whoever can name that movie/book. conspiracy theory Jump more, post less!
  2. My gosh.... it's been five years already. Like dust in the wind, time flies. Miss her too. top Jump more, post less!
  3. 42 Now you just need to know the question. top Jump more, post less!
  4. People are still under some strange delusion that their actions, in this case possible death at a DZ, will affect nobody but themself. I just cannot bring myself to think in that manner, and I have a hard time understanding how anybody can. Would any of you "don't regulate me" people care to go on the threads of the latest no-AAD fatality's friends who are grieving with his death and tell them that it's none of their business that he died? That it was his decision and they're nanny-staters who should just get over it? They seem to be suffering right now, it has clearly affected them. And again, another person who makes no distinction between giving up skydiving completely, and doing exactly the same skydive with a small safety device hidden in their rig. Completely baffling that it makes sense to some people. We're going to skydive, so let's see what practical and simple measures we can take to improve our safety. Driving? Wear a seatbelt and drive. Riding a motorcycle? Wear a helmet and ride. Climbing? Use ropes and climb. Skydiving? Use an AAD and jump. How do you get from there to giving it up completely? I'm gonna weigh in here on this one a bit. If you are really looking at the cost/benefit ratio of safety in our sport, better canopy flight education is the best deal. An AAD might be used in a very small set of circumstances over a period of skydiving for one person, but better canopy skills will be benefit everyone on every jump. Before you make AAD's mandatory, make canopy piloting courses mandatory at each license level. top Jump more, post less!
  5. Last paragraph says it all. Yay Wendy! top Jump more, post less!
  6. I can't even call you the name I want to because I will get banned.... You want to scare everyone into thinking your way of skydiving is the only way. That your way of thinking is the only way. You are wrong on so many levels it pains me. First, I don't jump with an AAD. Why? Because 99% of my jumps are CF, where an AAD is of minimal help and can probably cause more problems than it can fix. AAD's are not compatible with every type of jump. Second, I have kids. They are fully aware that I might die from skydiving. I have also talked to them about not jumping anymore and they both thought it was important that I live my life in a way that I am happy. They are comfortable with the level of risk I take and are supportive of my jumping. Yes, both have made tandems and both are now adults. Third, I have watched my friends go in right in front of me, and no AAD would have prevented it. I have seen others where the AAD fired and still didn't prevent their death. They are not magic. I have stood at more than my fair share of funerals over the years, and hate being at every one, but I do not have the power nor the time machine to stop death. I have also seen cancer take many of my friends, drugs and alcohol too. No one here seems to rant about that..... Lastly, I have been in the situation where I was convinced I was going in. I can tell you honestly I was at peace with my self and my choice to skydive that day, to take the risk. I choose my fate and knew the risk and I accepted it totally. So yes, I am okay with dying, but I will be pissed off if its because some asshat like you who thought he could fly a crotch rocket any way he wanted took me out on final. If you are so hell bent on saving yourself and your friends, stop down sizing and doing hook turns! No pulls and low pulls are a shrinking percentage of the fatalities, and perfectly good canopies with imperfect pilots are killing more and more. (The stats don't even talk about how many more are injured beyond repair and don't jump again.) AAD's are fine for those that choose them. And maybe as I do more belly flying I will invest in one, but not for now. Oh..... Most people should invest more than "free" in a hook knife. They can save your life or all those in the plane, so maybe that plastic piece of shit that you got eight years ago and couldn't cut butter on a hot day should be replaced with a real knife that could save your ass. For thirty-five dollars. top Jump more, post less!
  7. Not everything is competition or big way. I haven't done either, but I've done around 200 CRW jumps; mostly demo jumps but also some casual CRW just for fun. All small groups, 2 to 4 ways. How about a dragplane without cross connectors? I didn't say everything was comp or bigway, those are just the two areas I see CF these days. Demos probably next. There is just very little recreational pick-up CF. At our demos, we did all of our drag planes with stacked formations. Just easier to control the formation and less likely to be weird during the drag transition portion. Also, its easier to drop the bottom two into a downplane at some point if you are stacked. I don't think I'm ever gonna ask a question in this arena again. top Jump more, post less!
  8. There just aren't any competition formations that require them. Eight way is gone. Rotes you can't get your feet in and out of stirrups fast enough for rotes so no one uses them. Sequential hasn't had planed formations since the 80's. Two way is about kicking lines and pretending its a grip. Big ways build diamonds mostly, maybe some other offset stuff, but not much is planed up. That's really why I asked what someone was doing with them.... dile curiosity because they have been out of the norm for at least a decade. Maybe someone was gonna build a quadraplane diamond again!! top Jump more, post less!
  9. To have something secure to hook your feet in. Really!?! Thanks, Captain Obvious. top Be a dick if you want to. Makes no difference to me. Wow..... I bet you spent hours coming up with that retort! So scathing! Guess I won't make any more comments or suggestions here then. top Jump more, post less!
  10. To have something secure to hook your feet in. Really!?! Thanks, Captain Obvious. top Jump more, post less!
  11. I gotta ask the OP.... Why cross connectors? What are you doing that requires a cross connector? Not a criticism, just curious... top Jump more, post less!
  12. We finally have hit on the real answer for low-time jumpers.... If you are really interested in improving your skydiving skills, buy a GoPro and have an experienced jumper video you with your camera. Then you can learn something, see first hand what is involved in having a camera on, and have a nice video to show your momma. top Jump more, post less!
  13. Another somewhat tangentially related issue is we have gotten away from round reserves. Those things my put you down a little harshly, but they opened right now with very little airspeed. That left jumpers with a little more leeway. Also, one round reserve could land two jumpers if need be. It wasn't nice, but it wasn't lethal. Also, jumpers aren't taught things like "canopy transfer" or "just get more shit out" or what to do in the event of a canopy collision in todays' classes. Students are taught how to perform basic EP's, but that process needs to be refined over time. Lots of factors.... I'm sure more people will chime in with others that I haven't thought about. top Jump more, post less!
  14. I think we are looking at several factors converging here. First, faster canopies. Flat out, we are getting to our meetings sooner. The canopies are smaller, zippier and many cannot think as fast as their canopies can go. Second, quiet sliders. Flapping gear used to give you a bit of a heads up that someone was in proximity. Not so much anymore. Also, people are spending time "housekeeping" when they should be paying attention to traffic. Third, full face helmets. Limit the sounds you can hear canopies do make around you. Also, while they may have wide open field of vision, some helmets are difficult to turn past the risers to effectively look next to you before a turn, let alone down and behind. Fourth, AFF concentrating students on freefall skills has finally disseminated to the AFFI level. When AFF became popular in the early 90's, most of the AFFI's were static line Instructors as well. SLI's were all about canopy control and taught that way. But as times passed, more and more AFFI's were only that and had only seen that method. We get a generational loss of focus on canopy flying skills by the students who eventually become the Instructors. Fifth, more mixed loads. Back in the day on the DC-3, everyone was doing belly and had a big, dumb F-111 canopy. Now, an Otter load can have a couple of tandems (big slow canopies) with video (small zippy canopies), a AFF student (one slow big canopy, maybe two small zippy canopies), some wing suiters (smallish, slower canopies), some head down (full range of canopies there), and some belly fliers (full range of canopies). All of these people are opening at various altitudes and times with varying speed of canopies and descent rates. Sixth, some people insisting that regardless of how full the pattern is, they have the right to bust out a 720 over the landing area and show off. Maybe the pattern is empty or they just missed seeing that one other canopy. Back in the day, someone doing something that endangered that many people sometimes was talked to, but usually got the crap kicked out of them in the parking lot. Usually led by the DZO. Lastly, many DZ's just do not have a great pattern for jumpers to follow. This results in jumpers flying in conflict with each other all the way until final. Eventually, someone is gonna miss something and run into someone else. We are taking steps to mitigate some of this, but it takes time and changing of the culture of being a skydiver. Canopy control classes and the B-license canopy card will help. I would like to see a new canopy proficiency card at each license level, that would really help things more. top Jump more, post less!
  15. Anything can be admitted as evidence in court, especially civil court. It does not mean it has merit or bearing. And as I remember, the right to Freedom of Speech exists in this country and as long as I stay within Forum guidelines, on this forum as well. If Mz. Gibbs and her band of seven or whiners had not started this fight, had not continued this fight, had not brought this fight from the airport authority to the courts, her name would not be mentioned by any skydiver anywhere. But she continues to make her name known in the media, then she can expect some derision. If comments on this forum are the deciding factor in the judge's decision instead of the facts in the case, then the DZ was screwed anyway. There is no evidence that those comments aren't made by members of CQS themselves. Anyone worldwide can register on this site and make comments. even CQS members. Lastly, if destroying a business and past time for many people doesn't raise the ire of a few people, then that business was doomed anyway. It is that very passion for skydiving that drives this sport and the jumpers themselves in ways that most people cannot understand. Kim and her cronies are a bunch of addle-brained twits who have nothing better to do with their time but make those around them miserable for no other reason than they are miserable themselves. They should be ashamed of themselves for the waste of time, money, and energy. top Jump more, post less!
  16. ditto. Tandem was a bike built for two. top Jump more, post less!
  17. I never thought I'd be able to put a price on skydive safety... I was wrong, it's $15 a jump. I think everyone that jumps there understands that part of the deal. I like Lodi, some of the locals are dicks, but it's ok. When did this become a contest about who has the safest dz? I pointed out that you might be overestimating the ability of a seatbelt to save your ass. Wear your seatbelt, but understand the limitations of the design and engineering, and the laws of physics. Wear your seatbelt in a way that may help save you. Understand it may not. This is not about which DZ has the better planes or the better gear (Lodi will clearly win that), it is about informing jumpers that the equipment they are using (the aircraft single point restraint) is not designed to work as it is used in many aircraft and may fail even in an accident. top Jump more, post less!
  18. If you think seatbelts are really going to save you in a serious accident, read this: Skip ahead to pages 24 and beyond. The seatbelts failed in a crash the FAA determined to have forces in the survivable range. The way most jumpers wear their seatbelts conforms to the letter of the law, but in reality they might as well put them around their necks. top Jump more, post less!
  19. I don't see rig manufacturers sticking their collective rear ends into the aircraft crash liability pile. They are so worried now that some one is going to sue them out of existence, there is no way they are going looking for more ways to get named in a lawsuit. top Jump more, post less!
  20. The level of indignity that you speak with does lend credence to my argument. What is bought... the ability of the manufacturers to have rules brought before the BOD and they pass. Three BSR's in the last few years. The underage jumper rule is about liability pure and simple, not about safety. The fact that the BSR is written for within the US and outside the US shows its not about safety one bit, but covering the asses of manufacturers with USPA's assets. These latest two BSR's came up and passed quickly. What was paid... Almost everyone on the BOD has an interest in equipment as dealers, or as sponsored jumpers, or as employees. When someone who sets your price or determines if you get sponsorship makes a request, it probably receives a little more attention than if Joe Jumper requests it. After all, there is a relationship there. Someone does not have to receive cash in an envelope to be influenced, there are way more perks than cash. And the fact that it is so hard to prove makes it even more dangerous. The problem is that this situation isn't discussed by the BOD in the meeting before votes are cast is an issue. In many states, this would violate or Not-for-profit status. By not even having a frank discussion of the relationships between BOD members and how they serve or are served by the manufacturers puts the very viability of our organization at risk. You want the TI's to be better, to be more professional, to be honest in their evaluation of their own abilities. Then set the example of how to be professional and self aware by admitting the PIA has a real influence on our organization. It has been happening and it continues to grow. You can state over and over again how its about safety, but ultimately it is about the PIA being so fearful of lawsuits that they are sucking in USPA to cover them. You work for UPT in the tandem operations department. Your very livelihood relies on UPT being viable. Are you telling me the fact that if UPT gets sued and you loose your job never enters your mind? A standing member who has served on the BOD is calling a question that may or may not have some validity. Other members have raised this same question, but to no avail. Instead of denying this exists, show how those relationships are and how BOD members are working with, for, or sponsored by manufacturers and then the decision process will at least be more transparent. Every BOD member fills out a form that states these, but it is not made available to other BOD members or members. Obviously, those are a matter of form, not function. I don't really have the time or energy to discuss all the issues here. I have two real jobs, plus I am going to have to spend more time at the DZ watching tandem videos so I can strictly enforce these new rules. As the guy in the trenches fighting to keep those jumpers I can safe, I just feel chucked under the bus. Between GoPros on low time jumpers, people down-sizing too rapidly, self-described coaches teaching licensed jumpers poorly or wrongly, and tandems needing more supervision it may just be too much. Maybe the real problem is the SnTA system was great back when you just policed jumpers, but we are powerless to really intervene in the money making machine that tandem operations have become. top Jump more, post less!
  21. "Who is bought and paid for?" You cannot deny that DZO's and those involved in instructing students are often times dealers for equipment. Even getting a ten percent better deal on equipment than a competitor is a huge edge in the business when selling gear. Buying just a few new tandem rigs a year, one can save thousands of dollars with a "super-thank-you" dealer discount. While these relationships may or may not exist, the proliferation of rules that aid and protect manufacturers and the expense of members calls into question those relationships. And without ANY disclosure whatsoever, it calls into question the very core belief that the BOD is working in favor of the membership. The last three BSR's are all about tandems. While the age restriction affects all of us, it was the tandem manufacturers that pushed that one hard. And now these two show up at a BOD meeting held in conjunction with the PIA meeting. How many more are in the works? Honestly, the real problem now is any dweeb with five hundred jumps, a logbook of lies, some cash, and the ability not to die on a few training jumps can become a TI. Twenty years ago, a TI was one of the best skydivers on the DZ, someone who was seasoned beyond reproach. Now you are having to make rules because the competition between Tandem I/E's creates a "don't fail candidates because it will hurt my business" attitude. Train better, tougher examiners, you will get better, smarter TI's, and we wouldn't need these rules. But then there wouldn't be as big a market for tandem gear.... Oh wait.... I see the issue. Essentially, you are telling the S&TA's to clean up the mess you have created. S&TA's everywhere are now going to get to look at hours of video looking for handle touches and small turns because the training system has failed to weed out those that just couldn't follow your commandments. Very simple commandments. When an S&TA grounds a fun jumper for a BSR violation, it just means someone can't have fun. But if I go out as S&TA and ground a TI for a 100 degree turn at 300 feet, he/she loses his/her job. In some states that can have serious legal ramifications. Again, sticking the unpaid volunteer out there in legal limbo. But there is more....Just imagine how much fun its going to be in places where two DZ's are next to each other!!! Instead of sending video to the FAA of cloudbusting, all sorts of videos of landings are going to be coming to the RD's. You have elevated the feuding to a much higher level. Please don't get me wrong. I don't disagree with the idea of safety or the intention of these rules, but it just seems USPA and the manufacturers have become too cozy at the expense of our membership. That USPA has handed enforcement of micromanaging TI's to the lowest rung of enforcement without thinking of the ramifications completely. That this behavior will continue blindly unless some of us say something. BSR's are so important, so sacred, that they should be passed or modified only with a roll call vote of the BOD after being open to member comment since the last BOD meeting. top Jump more, post less!
  22. I am not saying it was the right or wrong thing to do. I am saying it puts our organization in the forefront of lawsuits if this is not strictly enforced, makes a national organization micromanaging TI's decisions, and (as my attorney bluntly put it) makes any non-enforcement by an SnTA a valid pretext for including him or her in a lawsuit in the event of an injury. Essentially, the SnTA is negligent if he or she does not strictly enforce this rule.... It's a BSR! It's like the underage skydiver rule. Not one member came in and ask for that. That was strictly to keep the manufacturers happy. You and I were both on the BOD when a certain owner came in and yelled at us for not having passed it already! And amazingly, he was not asked to stop, speak politely, or asked to sit down even. He was given pretty free reign to speak his mind. And eventually, that BSR passed with NO DISCUSSION ALLOWED. A major policy change, a major rule, and that change passed with no discussion. You cannot deny that there is a certain lack of disclosure as to the relationships that the BOD members have with financial interests in our sport. The fact that the BOD does not reveal these relationships is disingenuous, violates every code of ethics, and most likely violates our non-profit status. I have no doubt that members of the BOD think the are working to protect our sport, they are not mean-spirited people. They work hard, go to long meetings, listen to lots of gripes, and get very little reward for it. But, that does not absolve them from their duty to protect our organization from undue influence and to be honest with the members. top Jump more, post less!
  23. Yay! An FAA enforcement list! top Jump more, post less!
  24. And here you are absolutely wrong. 1 DUI is not a death sentence. As Mr. Mullins pointed out there is a road to redemption. And as far as anyone could make that mistake you are absolutely WRONG. It is a conscience decision to drive drunk. We are all grown ups we know the ramifications of driving drunk. A TI or a Pilot KNOW they will those their ticket if they take that chance which shows POOR decision making skills. And that is why it is part of the medical. If you are willing to put innocent peoples lives in danger with no regard then you have no business flying paying passengers. How you can justify that is mind boggling. And yes I am for a 90 day jail term for the first offense. I do not know the recidivism rate for drunks so I wont make up numbers but use my own circle as reference. Those I know with DUI's all have at least 2 because the first one wasn't painful enough they had to try it again. My brother is one of those and when his friends called me on the second one to see if I wanted to bail him out I said thanks for calling but I'm going back to bed. He got their by himself he can get out by himself. Something my mother told me the first time I was arrested. You see my history is one of amends and redemption. By the grace of God I never killed anyone or even got a DUI. More so because I am a really good Liar/shit talker not because I never drove drunk. And if you know anything about FAA medicals, you would know how wrong you are. One DUI means a denial of your certificate. To get it after that you have to go through more physicals, evaluations, hearings, and jump through lots of hoops. That DUI conviction could be thirty years ago! There is no reasonable explanation for how the FAA determines fitness of pilots based on ancient events. And if you have ever been prescribed medications on their list, you had better be prepared for a long fight. I would venture to guess most people unwittingly answer these questions wrong too. If you have ever been prescribed Valium or any benzodiazapams, you can lose your med cert. Those can routinely be given pre-operatively to patients with or without their knowledge. You may have gotten Valium the night before your wisdom teeth were extracted or a vasectomy. Guess what, that could be reason to deny your med cert. You have been prescribed meds for psychological reasons. Lastly, it doesn't matter if Mr. Gittins is a Group member anymore or not. Since this is a BSR, any MEMBER involved in ANY BSR violation can be disciplined by the organization (see USPA governance manual, Section 1-6.B.1 and .2). That means the DZO, DZM, pilot, packer, manifestor, SnTA.... anyone involved. And not just at Group member DZ's, but any member anywhere. Mr. Gittins is spot on here. USPA has way exceeded its constitution by trying to regulate liability of business with age restrictions for jumpers and now flight restrictions of tandems. They have effectively voided their disclaimer (that they spent tens of thousands of dollars having an attorney draw up) by entering into the regulation not of its members, but of businesses. I would not be surprised if some TI who can't work files an anti-trust lawsuit against USPA someday. Remember, most of the people on the BOD of USPA work for manufacturers or are dealers for their equipment. In the last ten years, the BOD has repeatedly shown they are willing to put USPA and its members at risk to protect manufacturers' interests. By violating the disclaimer on the SIM, any and all protections that disclaimer ever brought are null. top Jump more, post less!
  25. When everyone is bought and paid for.... top Jump more, post less!