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Everything posted by Shark

  1. If you have never been to a DZ I recommend that you go, hang out, watch some training, landings, and talk to the staff. Might be a good experience for you.
  2. Yeah, I hope that happens. I spent a week scuba diving, and while on the boat always looked to the skies and dreamed of a jump or two. It's gotta be on the leeward side, like Kailua-Kona. Shark PADI Divemaster #235531
  3. At sunset 17 November 2007, we took Tom up on his last skydive. N926MA was piloted by Karl Gulledge with 23 of his closest friends and family. The ash dive was primarily a 3 way base with Brandon Bletzacker, Phil Arca, and Melanie Curtis. Brandon had Tom's ashes while Phil and Melanie assisted in the release. There were also various jumpers with smoke canisters during freefall and canopy descent. Other friends participated by making tandem skydives. For myself, I had the honor of taking Tom's mom on her first skydive. We had no video, but yet had Tom in our thoughts during the freefall. Last out, I hesitated at the door as we banked towards the coast and the setting sun. I'm not even sure what was going through my mind, but yet smiled and told Lisa, "Here we go!" I made my exit count and arched, still watching the sun going down. I pitched the drogue, gave Lisa a "thumbs up" and made a slow left turn, taking in the beauty of the earth from above. I stopped with a heading towards the setting sun and thought of Tom... (He was one of my AFF students, along with Brandon and Phil. I did his A License Check dive. I watch the kids progress into good free fliers, leaving me high as I corked. He used my spare rig, while his was being repacked. I borrowed his gear for some demo jumps. Earlier this year I had the pleasure of being his Coach Course Evaluator. Tom and his buds have come a long way.) ...I take a peek at my altimeter, just as my Neptune is reminding me and I take Lisa's left hand so she can see the altimeter. Just then I remember she is wearing Tom's altimeter. She reaches back with her right hand and I guide it to the drogue release. I feel a slight trap door effect and #11 opens up smoothly, on heading, still towards the setting sun. I turn towards the DZ and see some smoke canisters still emitting what is left. I offer Lisa the toggles and have her steer a course towards the DZ where her family awaits. As we fly, I notice a kind of mist in the air, and I knew Tom was there. (As we make our descent, I tell Lisa a little about myself. Just as Tom, I was a Midshipman while in college. Although he was a Marine Option, we often spoke about similar experiences. In a way, I lived vicariously through what he was now going through, and what I have in the past. Tom would have made a good officer and leader.) As we make it into the pattern I take control of the toggles and set it down right by the others. Just then my emotions take over as I hug Lisa and Tom's sister in a group hug. The rest of the family comes over and I quietly gather up the canopy, while trying to hide my emotions and act professional. It was difficult, and could not hide the tears, even after all the hugs. We will miss you Tom Flynn. My best skydive was with you and your mom. Semper Fi. Shark out.
  4. Very nice. The pink is cool.
  5. Ditto! Hey Jim, That's why you see me on the ground most weekends. Then again I jump every day. Shark
  6. Yes, shit happens, and all we can do is minimize it, by good training and education. I'm still relatively new in my 1,600+ AFF jumps and I've seen a lot of stuff, both the good and bad. In a perfect world I'd have students do 10-15 minutes of tunnel prior to level 1.
  7. Blue skies, Tom. We'll miss you.
  8. I have one of the Ghostrider T's, in a 3 stack. It's old, and I probably got it from Paragear. Shark CCS-1242
  9. Dude, Check with the quack (flight sturgeon). I'm sure you've already jumped by now. Just don't land/hit the black Mercedes convertible. Shark out.
  10. How much time??? I have over 400 jumps on my current rig...since September.
  11. Congratulations, Devil Dog! At least you did not freak me out too much. If you want to make new friends at the DZ bring more imported beer, otherwise you will still be considered one of Uncle Sam's Misguided Clowns. You just need to work on your landings now.
  12. Practice, practice, practice with current evaluators and/or AFFIs. Be aggressive; real students will not always be stable a pull time. Your evaluator will at least be belly-to-earth. Level 1s are not always the easiest.
  13. I went from a Stiletto 135 to a Katana 120. I've read the other posts, but my Katana opens up much nicer and on heading than my Stiletto. In fact I feel it is the best opening PD canopy. Careful when doing your front riser turn to final. If you are used to the "lower" turn of the Stiletto you will find your self stabbing the Katana or worse. The Katana has a lot more stopping power than the Stiletto, but since it has a steeper glide it can be difficult to make it back from longer spots.
  14. Last year I averaged more than 1 FJC/week. Although I provide a PPT presentation for them to take home I do not use it to lecture. In 2003 created the PPT from the SIM using Cat. A guidelines. The original poster can create his own. He may even learn something along the way. He may buy one from me if he wishes.
  15. Imagine the time in hours/days one took to complete the project. Now imagine what a software consultant would charge as compensation. And all you will do is cite the developer?
  16. Even with tons of tunnel time, no one with 360 jumps is the "most qualified, most experienced and most capable" instructor. They might have great freefall skills, but there's more to it when you're dealing with "4 arms, 4 legs, 5 handles, and a pilot chute in tow". edit to add: I think TIs should make more than AFFIs because in the end if everything goes to shit, the AFF guy can just let go. TIs can't. TIs do earn more as they are the ones most likely to be tipped. As far as your AFFI statement goes, a newly minted AFFI will have tough time getting hired, especially at larger DZs. Jump numbers do count. Having an AFFI with ~360 jumps will not get you a job, nor will a TI with around 500 jumps. Well, at least not at any DZ here in SoCal.... Also, please do not disrespect the AFFI skills.
  17. Sorry for your loss, and hope you can get resolution. I have put over 500 jumps with one of the first Mamba FF helmets alternating between the regular Neptune and the Wave. No problems at all.
  18. Dude, That's a good excuse to get a new one! I love the floating lats on my new rig, and it's kind of a bummer when I need to jump my "older" Infinity. Guess I might have to upgrade that rig, too! BTW, when's your bro Leon going to get back in the air? Shark out.
  19. Ben, I have often jumped the next day after diving. My typical SI is 18 hrs. Of course, 24 is better. My dive profiles are fairly conservative and it's usually a 3 dive day. I work in the "sky" so my one day off each week is Dive day. Shark
  20. I know of one... I know of two....
  21. So by your reasoning UK AFF instructors are better than US AFF-I's? Some may pass the course, but not all will employ their new rating. Getting work at some DZs is difficult.