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Posts posted by ctrph8

  1. Wow! I think your post went up as I was typing mine. Didn't intend to look like I was flaming you, or Racers or... well, anyone. Just giving my opinion about the things I liked and my perceptions of the sport. No. I don't think the manufacturers have any way of knowing about every malfunction on their system. I think they DO pay attention when reports of an issue come up and try to work that out. I really do like the advancements that have come along over the years. I don't ever want another belly band rig or a round reserve (outside of some special jumps) but I was grateful for them at the time. I think construction techniques and the little refinements that go along with years of producing something have gotten better and better. I would much rather jump my current rig than any of my previous rigs even though I really liked them at the time.



    The reserve systems all work well. The bigger manufacturers obviously have more rigs out there and therefore more reserve activations. That means they have more data to study for what works and what doesn't and have incorporated that into their designs.

    Well..let's say, all of 'em work most of the time & some of 'em work all the time. But to say they all work well may be a stretch.

    Manufacturers collect data on all their reserve activations? I did not know that! :ph34r:;)

    From a more critical viewpoint, one could speculate that 'some' design changes & configurations might be being incorporated to temper the problems incurred from the form over function demands of the skydivers today. RSL yanks the pin but the tapered & tight lay out of the reserve added to the full length F.F. side flaps tends to make the pilot chute struggle a bit at times - lets connect the departing main to the free bag, Hell THAT'LL pull 'er out...sure it's a bit complicated but they'll pay for it to have a good looking rig! :P

    Suppose we COULD figure out a way to put the reserve pilot chute outside of those flaps...like the high dollar, no 2nd chance, low level bail-out rigs those airshow pilots trust their lives to - but then it would prolly look like, oh god no, a RACER! :ph34r:

    Hey I got an idea...let's make the EP handles small, slick and hard to grab, they'll LOOK cool and cost a fraction of what metal handles do to make - but we'll charge the same or heck, put cute sayings on them and charge MORE! Tell 'em they're 'safer' because some CReW dog hooked a hard ripcord in a wrap couple decades ago...:$
    Most of those guys have AAD's anyway, handles are damn near a secondary afterthought...:)

    Bet we can increase profits by...using cheaper thread through hardware on the leg straps! We'll market it as a weight saver, then sell 'em a weight belt...name it something cool & different like step-in harness...

    'cause everybody knows cool is always better. Tell 'em the snap hardware that the military has been using for 100 years is no good because it breaks ALL THE TIME, even if they don't really. - I know these people, who wants to pay attention to what they're doin' when they put on a parachute?

    Who cares if ya can't get it off in a plane crash or when you hit a lake because nobody can spot...:D

    I can go on...but ya REALLY don't want me to. Makes the kool-aid taste funny when I do. >:(

  2. In general, rigs have been getting better and better. Most of the manufacturers have been tweaking and upgrading their designs so you have a bunch of good options and a couple of great ones.

    The reserve systems all work well. The bigger manufacturers obviously have more rigs out there and therefore more reserve activations. That means they have more data to study for what works and what doesn't and have incorporated that into their designs.

    I really like the low bulk reserves. More canopy overhead in the same space that it would take to pack a smaller one is a great innovation. I have an Optimum but I really want to demo a Nano by Icarus.

    A MARD (Skyhook, RAX, DRX, Boost, etc) is a very cool feature. I repacked mine last night and was marveling at the ingenuity that went into it. The reality is that an RSL is still a very good thing and they work great too.

    I recently purchased a semi-stowless D-bag. Mine is from UPT but there are other good ones out there. I like packing it and I also think I'm liking the deployments a bit more. It's still a new toy and I don't have all that many jumps on it though.


    It's probably been done but I was just wondering, from a riggers point of view, what do you like and don't like about any of the rigs on the market today. IOWs, If you were to design your own harness/container system, what things from other rigs would you put in? What would you leave out/do away with? What would you add that isn't already out there?

    Reserve systems, closing sequences, harness styles, looks, construction, cutter location, etc. Would love yo hear what people have to say.

  3. Tandems were considered "experimental" by the FAA until not too long ago. They were definitely TSOd.


    ***Experimental airplanes are not TSO'd for example and they have an Airworthiness Certificate issued by the FAA.

    On the other hand, ultralights do not have Airworthiness Certificates. I agree that if there were such a thing as an experimental reserve, it should have some sort of Airworthiness Certificate.


    Airworthiness is defined as basically being able to maintain flight and does not divide between a main or certificated canopy.


    You need to show me and the others this in writing!;)


  4. I love hearing stories like that. Good Job PD!!!


    I bought a used rig with a saber 2 190. Not many jumps on it when I took over. Long story short I had progressively harder openings culminating in a damn scary slammer. I sent the chute back to pd for test. After three line sets and many test jumps they retired the chute much to my relief actually. Despite being the second owner pd is letting me test a variety of chutes for free and selling me a new one of my choice for a ridiculously low amount of cashola. Special call out to Donna Wagner who has been the essence of charm itself. Way to go pd!!! Love you guys. You could teach a lot of companies what customer service is really all about.

  5. That's pretty clever! I made a set using his instructions and they came out great. Are your nails 8" apart?


    ***Hi Chris,

    PM sent.



    I started with Jerry's instructions, then I made a jig.
    The jig is merely an old wooden board (maybe 2 feet long). I drove 2 nails into the board a precise distance apart. Then I wrote on the board:
    "1,000 pound Spectra suspension line."
    "Cut twice this long."
    "Loop over nails."
    "Finished length = the distance between the nails."

  6. I think it is MOSTLY unenforceable. If someone who was not a rigger was charging people for canopy repairs and got someone killed because of his shoddy work, I can see where they could throw some federal charges at him. It would be tough but theoretically possible.

    That being said I've never heard of anyone ever being questioned about it. In the 90s I was questioned about packing mains... which is sort of in the same ballpark but our Master rigger was close by and was able to show that I was under supervision.

  7. I've been making soft links for years and have tried all kinds of different designs and styles. I got some new risers and was going to knock out a set when I got to thinking that every set I've made has been a little different and that I could use a standard procedure to do this. I can do tabs or rings.

    Does anyone have a really good design (with accompanying instructions ;)) that they have been using?

  8. Yep. Getting one that is bigger might not be a great idea. Not saying you can't do it but there are tradeoffs. Your main container tray is a certain shape. If you buy a bag that is a different shape than that tray, you end up with lumpy spots and soft spots. You also end up with more stress on certain parts of your container than other parts.

    The 348 has a specific length, width, height and depth. Looking at your container, which of those dimensions would you increase and by how much?

    Here is the UPT chart. You can take a look at which sizes are larger and smaller and in which dimensions.


    Call Mike Maguire at UPT and discuss it with him. When I was ordering mine (for a Javelin) he helped me come up with the most effective solution that still worked well in the size rig that I have.


    I have a Vector V348 with a brand new Crossire 149. I am thinking of getting a semi stowless bag for it. My question is. The parachute is a real SOB to get into the bag. Would it help me to move up one bag size to ease my pain? I realise the bag is made for the container but would it harm to put it in a slightly larger bag?

  9. On a typical skydive I like to be open by 3000. I also like the option of doing a low hop & pop if that is what is available. The rule doesn't really affect me that much but I'm not seeing the benefit, just the restriction.


    To inform discussion in the USPA BOD thread, I thought it might be interesting to try and gather some data.

    So for C and D license holders only - On your typical skydive will this mandatory increase in container opening height change your skydive?

  10. I saw this in LAX. It all makes sense now.

    [inline IMG_1685.jpg]


    On a serious note, know the rules for TSA (as they were told to me, I haven't confirmed these independently):
    1. A supervisor is required to be present if they want to open your rig;
    2. They must provide a secure area big enough for you to repack your main;
    3. They must provide an FAA licensed rigger to perform the repack (emphasize "FAA", this tends to help);
    4. If this causes you to miss your flight they will have to rebook your flight and they incur the costs.

  11. This is entirely guesswork on my part.

    I owned a Samurai for a little while that I was jumping in a second rig. I didn't put very many jumps on it but it was a decent canopy. I sold it because my Crossfire just did things better. The openings were more consistent. I preferred the flight and landings.

    My thought was that the Samurai (and by extension, the Vengeance) were decent canopies at the time but the designs that are out now have better opening characteristics, flight characteristics, pack smaller and are not as complicated to sew and maintain. I suspect that the technologies that are built into newer canopies are just more refined. The fewer little parts, the better.

    I'll also say that my openings were perfectly acceptable but I've known people who got seriously spanked by them and I was always a little nervous about it.


    I've done some research and read the reviews and I found mostly nothing but good things about them. Some people compare them to the Samurai because they're both airlock. I'm flying a Sam now and I would love to have something available to me immediately when I feel ready to downsize. Maybe your Vengeance was a rotten apple. A friend of mine had a bad Sabre 2 that was slamming him and sent it to PD for them to check out. Apparently the opening on it put the test jumper out of commission for a while.

  12. MEL could make you a lineset if you needed it. I'm sure he'd have the specs.



    do you know where i can find trim specifications for my synergy 135?
    Link below don't work:

  13. Nice find! I hadn't see those before. I've been playing with a few different designs over the last few months.

    Is that just binding tape? I like the way the taper at the bottom creates a smaller loop. The ones on my canopy right now have rings and do three wraps but I put one on my bridle attachment point and didn't like the extra ring floating around in there. Now I have a SLINK style link on it.


    Look's like russian made RusPara (http://www.ruspara-net.1gb.ru/products/6/41/). It is the previous version. They have to wrap 3 times. Personally i'd like to replace with PDSR. But nothing wrong with them, lots of accuracy rigs in russia have them inside.

  14. Could be other things too. Line trim, pilot chute issues, body position, slider issues and condition of the canopy all factor in to it... But yeah, I think they have their own personalities. Some canopies are just drama queens.


    I'm starting to think that individual canopies have their own personality. I was at a dropzone a few months back that had two jumpers both with more than 1000 jumps on Stiletto canopies. One had zero problems with his, the other had something along the lines of a dozen cutaways or hard openings. Both used the same packer and both were very experienced.

  15. The Party bag is VSE's semi-stowless deployment bag. The SPEED bag has many stows, closes a little differently than their original bags and is meant to prevent line dump. Most manufacturers are going the other direction with really good results.

    My semi-stowless should be in my mailbox this week!


    maybe this is a stupid question, buy why not get a party bag from vse? you know it will fit right.

  16. It would work but it might look like crap if you don't do your homework. You would need to get one that is the same dimensions as your current bag. The Racer main pack tray is probably a different shape than your Infinity and might not sit as neatly as your current bag. The folks at Jumpshack are really nice. Give them a call. If they don't already make one that is similar to yours, they might be able to make a custom bag that is the same dimensions as the one that came with your rig.

    I just ordered a semi-stowless bag from UPT and we spent quite a bit of time measuring things to make sure it would fit right.


    Any compatibility/technical/functional issues with that?


  17. Everything that folks just said about fit is true. If it doesn't fit, don't keep it.

    That being said, I see more people jumping and tunnel flying G3s than anything else. I love mine! Call any of the major dealers and talk to them. I used Chuting Star. Most of them will allow you to return it (unused of course) if it doesn't fit and will talk you through the process of figuring out which size is best for you. There are plenty of good helmets out there so if for some reason the G3 doesn't work for you, keep shopping.

    Also, if you need parts like a visor or something, you will be more likely to find it with the G3 than with anything else just because they are so widely used.


    Hi guys, hope you can give me some advice about a topic which really got me lost.

    I was thinking about buying a full face skydiving helmet. I asked an online shop about the Square Phamtom X helmet which I had very good reviews as far as I knew.

    They repplied that although they still have it on their webpage, they were not selling this helmet anymore because of its problems with the visor system openings

    Have you heard or read about these problems? Is it really a good option to spend my money on this item? Or is it better if I change for the G3 Cookie helmet?

    Have you further information about other options?

  18. I have been shopping for a rig and had it narrowed down to the Curv and the Javelin. I ended up ordering the Javelin mainly because of the Skyhook. Also, I really loved my last Javelin and a friend showed up at the DZ with a tricked out Odyssey that made me fall in love all over again. These are great rigs.

    That being said, I had the order form for the Curv filled out with colors and measurements. Every single person I've talked with that jumped them LOVED them. No one ever just said "I like it". They gushed about it. They are priced right. Javelins... Not so much. I don't know anything about the MARD that RI is developing but if they put one out, it will be a good one.

    I have an Infinity that I like but don't love. It's a good rig but IMHO not my favorite of the 3 you are looking at. The new ones really do look cool though!


    Ok I'm having a hard time deciding. I'm a free flier that has hours in the tunnel but not a lot of time in the sky. In my view this is how I've stacked up the 3 containers I'm most interested in:

    Voodoo Curv:

    All inclusive - no options to mess with
    Super freefly friendly
    Supposed MARD system in the works

    10 weeks ( i know it's no that bad )
    Can't downsize as easily as other rigs
    No real track record
    No current MARD system
    No semi stowless D bag??


    Very simple and tested rig
    Floating laterals
    5 weeks for fully custom rig!
    Can pick up the rig with two fingers under the pin protector flap

    No MARD
    Not a huge fan of the closing flaps


    Magnetic Riser covers
    Tried and tested
    I can hae one in 2 weeks with a fully customized harness!

    A little pricey


    Unknowns on all:
    I'm having a difficult time between ordering something with a Skyhook (Javelin) or a standard RSL. I am usually pulling around 4.5K and while there is never a guarantee I try to be one of the last out of the plane (single or small group free fly).

    I've spoken to a few DZ guys, some of whom swear by the simplicity of the RSL and even speak out against new conditions that the skyhook introduces and others who are sponsored jumpers by companies that don't offer the skyhook but fly a skyhook configured rig.

    This controversy has me at a loss. Help me decide!

  19. I'm guessing a PDR 143 if I had to choose from that list. I think the others are made to open a little more reasonably. This is all coming from the guy who has exactly zero jumps on any of these canopies but I own two of them and am looking for a Nano.


    ***Thanks! I couldn't get Icarus' website to load earlier.

    Now what I'm curious about, is to compare similar pack volume (since there's no "the same") reserves for airspeed with brakes stowed. Example: PR143, OP160, NANO160?, Speed 170?, all with a 200lb suspended weight ... what are their relative airpseeds? Which one will pound you in hardest unconscious? Which one will pound you in least hard?

    Which one OPENS fastest (snivels least)?

  20. Last year I bought an old seat container that was manufactured in 1951 and last packed in 1966. We opened it up and it was perfect. The seal was still on it but with different thread than our red break thread. It broke. There were rubber bands and with a couple of exceptions, they were perfect too. They were made out of different material than any that I've seen on a rig and were wider. The canopy came right out and the pilot chute still had some kick to it.

    It would have worked!


    Hi out there in G & R,

    It has been a number of years since I received an email from Mike Truffer about him using his reserve that had been packed for about five years. Everything worked perfectly.

    I have a good friend who now has surpassed Mike's 'record;' he went six years, four months and seven days and had to use his reserve, which also worked perfectly.

    I think I've got a jug of booze coming. Or does that tradition have an expiry date. :P


  21. I think that answer depends quite a bit on the owner of the rig. On my personal rig, I'd think that a year or two might be OK... But I'm messing around with my rig all the time and as a rigger and am constantly checking and tweaking things. This has to be done for the lowest common denominator. This is for the person who doesn't pack much and really can't/won't evaluate what is normal wear and tear vs what is a safety concern that needs to be fixed. These folks rely on others to check that stuff for them. Most of the people reading this forum are pretty nerdy about gear and rigging. We are at one end of the spectrum. The cycle is for the folks at the other end.

    I think the 6 month inspection/repack cycle is just about right.


    But the repacking the reserve causes wear. I shocked at the amount of skydivers today that do not/ can not pack their own mains or even could rig a main on risers.

    That being said it's not the rigger, it's the skydiver that is at risk and should be smart enough to check their own gear. But then again we have the uspa saying we must pull at 2500 for our own safety.

    Terry if there were no regs on repacks how long would you go on your own rig before repacking the reserve.

  22. I saw a demo of Mark's system back in the mid to late 90's. We knew he was planning to cut away but he got so low that I had long since decided that he'd aborted and was going to try again later. It was amazing! He cut away lower than I ever dreamed you could cut away, the reserve opened perfectly and he landed. To the best of my knowledge, it was not a "Skyhook" yet. It was a BASE specific MARD. There were issues that needed to be worked out for skydiving gear.

    I watched him pack his reserve once on his skydiving rig and can say that at least on that rig, there was no MARD.


    *** Mark had the skyhook in the early '90s. He sold it to Bill for, I think, some cash and a 7 class sewing machine.

    I'm trying to improve our understanding the history of MARDs as we know it here on DZ.com.

    Did Hewitt have the disconnect mechanism worked out for skydiving? Was his MARD tested in the shop or the sky or just a cool concept for future development?

    In one online video about the skyhook, the text shows that Bill wondered about the concept during the first years of experimenting with tandems. (Holding the pilot chute for a test jumper jumping from the front of a tandem -- thus allowing the tandem pilot to "fly the jettisoned canopy" back to the DZ in effect.)

    In the video he mentioned '20 years and 3 false starts' later, before having the Skyhook, but doesn't go into the details.

    I can't recall what Bill has written over the years on the Skyhook history here but someone should go through the posts.

    Still, a search for posts by "billbooth" show zero that include the word "hewitt".

    The Sorcerer rig has often been mentioned, but Hewitt's role at Relative Workshop less so.

    (My opinion is that Bill Booth will be a little like Edison: Not everything that comes out of his shop is 100% personally invented, even if he had a significant hand in design / development / popularization.)

  23. OK, I'll bite. I think the real answer is the age old cop-out "It depends".

    I know a guy who had a canopy in a couple of days under some seriously unusual circumstances.... OK, he SAID he had one in a couple of days under seriously unusual circumstances... But I think it could have happened.

    Realistically though I think it depends on how many canopies they have in production and how many people work on different aspects of a canopy and what kind of manufacturing facilities they have. Any snag in the process slows things down. If you factor in staff irregularities, maintenance, paperwork snafus, complicated color patterns, the two different 8 way teams that need matching canopies in different sizes for the next big event and issues with the materials, it's a miracle that they can get one out as efficiently as they do.

    I'd guess, and this is totally guessing, that all of the different aspects of producing a canopy happen in about a week.


    *********I bet the mfg's websites or phone numbers would be a great place to start...

    Spent a couple hours googleing this subject, although I could have missed it...thanks for the obvious brother.

    I think what JM meant was: call the various manufacturers up and ask a real person. Otherwise, the info that you will be getting is what people remember the wait for theirs was two or five years ago.

    LOL, I realize I can call manufacturers next week, just asking if anyone here on DZ,com "has a ballpark" knowledge of the process time.

  24. NorrinRadd

    Has anyone here done this? Were you involved with the Burning Sky theme camp? What were your experiences like?

    Back to the OP. Contact the Burning Sky folks and set it up. I personally purchased a handfull of tickets that could be used for jumps or for gifting a firefly ride to someone who was particularly cool. Buy them and if someone does something worthy of a free flight, gift them with it. I've even arranged for tickets for folks when I could not be there.

    The camp is full of great people and is an excellent place to camp. I ended up working with a different group too so I camped with them. It was a lot of work working at both camps though. You will work but it is loads of fun.

    Read up on the Burning Man website. Take them very seriously about being self sufficient. If you would like a particular amenity (food, water, shelter, sunscreen, unicorn outfit, etc.) you need to bring that. Also, don't bring your shiniest skydiving gear. Bring the stuff that can be permanently scarred from the dust. I used a Stiletto that will never ever be the same.

    When I look back on my life, that experience stands out over most of the rest of them. Definitely do it!