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    Cypres 2

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  1. I travel to Japan once a year. After the wheather was bad last year I made another atempt this autumn. You have to write them an e-Mail latest one week in advance with all your details allowing them to register you (requirement by the government). Besides that you need an insurance which is payable in advance (5000,- Yen incl. club membership. Aikiko was very helpful answering all my questions, doing the formalities and sending me a good description of how to get there. If you take a bus from Okegawa Station, it may take about 1.5 hours from central Tokyo to get there. After getting off the bus, you can call them to pick you up. Otherwise it is a 20 minutes walk. Seemingly I was very unlucky that the government (first time for them) refused to approve my application after there was a bad (non fatal) landing accident a week before (low turn). Still I could not consider anything better to do and spent the day at the dropzone watching them. The insurance was paid back and they gave me a free ride on the co-pilot's seat. If you go there make sure you get a good instruction about the signals in the plane - pretty confusingly flashing a lot. On the loads that I watched a second run was done to get all out. This time consuming and thus expensive practice is not common on most dopzones I visited. People are very friendly and it is easy to get into contact. Don't forget to have some food with you. There was no restaurant or snack bar. Luckily I had a Noodle cup with me and there were vending machines (as everywhere in Japan) for drinks. There is rental gear (for e.g. Sabre 170 and 190). One of the previous reviews says that there are seats in the Caravan. They weren't anymore when I was there, but he was right regardin the white gloves. I was offered to stay overnight in their house near the dropzone and I would have done, if I had a chance to do one jump. Next time I am in Japan I will definitely give it another try. Looking forward to see Mt. Fuji in freefall. Markus Bartels
  2. I fully agree with the above positive comments. I only ask myself, whether I do something wrong as the openings of my x-fire 119 loaded at 1.6 are no as good as descibed by others. Yes they are soft, with a long snivel - very much comparable to my previous Stiletto 135. After about 65 jumps now I still don't get constant on heading openings. During the long snivel it starts dancing left and right to end up randomly on one side after a final quick strike. About 40 of those jumps I let it be packed by very experienced packers. Some of those openings even resulted in line twists. My own packjs were generally better. Since I have it very much focus on my body position, making sure that it is not me causing this.
  3. Stiletto5

    Aerograd Kolomna

    After being there in 2006 I wrote a 90% positive review. We went there again this year to do 4-way training. Now I feel that I have to correct my first review. Still Kolomna is a very professional dropzone and you can still easily make 10 jumps a day, but there are a few more cons now: Their ticket prices are raised. Due to two days bad wheather we didn't manage to make the 50 jumps ticket price level - so we had to pay all our 36 team jumps (x5) as we would only make one jump. Calculating all the extra costs for the ride from the airport, visa + airline ticket we came to the conclusion that we may as well jump in Spain for less and warmer (in May). The other reviews are right regarding the restaurant. The quality and the service don't match the price level. As for the accommocation we again stayed in the cosy wooden bungalows for a reasonable rate. Meanwhile Aerograd has some helpful girls taking care of typical foreigner problems. Anyway regarding service one cannot compare Russia with Japan. Knowing how service usually can be in Russia Aerograd staff is to be considered very friendly. Alhough having thousands of jumps they don't behave it. Having to cut away on our last day the rigger repacked the reserve nicely within an hour. As my reserve is quite big for my container size, I didn't even expect him to get it in properly. Conclusion: If you want to make as many jumps as possible within a limited time with very professional staff at hand you are at the right place. If you go there to save money - make sure to include all side costs into your calculation. Markus Bartels
  4. I've been at Kolomna in Oktober 2005 for one day and I will go there again with my 4way team from May 19 to May 18th. So I hope to see you there. We already booked one of the new bunkhouses. They are very nice and new. Unfortunately there are no sanitary rooms or in the bunkhouses yet. For this you have to walk about 50 meters. But the common ones were very clean and well equipped. There are always very experienced people on site. If you want to make sure to have one reserved for you, you should write them an e-mail. The answer usually takes a few days. The wheather end of May is usually ok. It should be somewhere above 20°C at least. There was a rigger on site, as well as enough packing people, a small shop and rental gear. What I liked most was that they just get another machine started if there is enough demand. So you shouldn't wait long. It is easy to make at least 8 jumps per day. If you have more questions yu may write an e-mail to me: [email protected] Markus