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  1. Was very sad to hear this last week. Brought back lots of memories of a part of my life when I spent a lot more time on this board. Jarno was a positive force for wingsuiting, and (to me) just an all-around fun dude to be around. We only met at a couple of Flock and Dock events and perhaps a couple of record attempts, but had the same dynamic in person as we did on this board. He'll be sorely missed. Fly free, Jarno. Thanks for all the great jumps (and a couple of really ill-advised ones that are fun to read about in the old logbook...). BSBD.
  2. Yep - I do think the OP is planning on keeping their distance. And glad to hear you say that - thanks for clarifying. I've lost 3 friends to jumps from a helicopter over mountain terrain in Europe. Which is probably why @mccordia & @Bluhdow jumped in with their warnings - it seems like every few years more people reach the point where they have enough skills to do these things...and many aren't aware of the lessons (and dangers) exposed by some exceptional (top of the game) pilots who've paid the ultimate price. Hope you get in some great jumps when you get out there, and fly safe!
  3. BSBD, Gary. I always appreciated your transparency and willingness to help. Your insights on this board were phenomenal - you'll be sorely missed.
  4. For years, they've demurred on the subject of the jet. However, over the past few months they've been teasing it a lot on social media - which to me is a good sign. Maybe they're planning something. (That being said, the jet is a red tape magnet. So who knows? Anything could happen, in spite of any plans.) And IMO the $100+ price tag is certainly worth it, for a once in a lifetime-kinda jump. Plus you get a bag of peanuts on the way up (such a deal!). They used to. Talk to Scott Smith about it - he's made a few wingsuit jumps from that jet. (I never did, as I wasn't yet into wingsuiting at the time. But would love to take a small wingsuit formation out of it - unlike a belly formation, a wingsuit group would have lots of extra working time to get back together after the wind blew us 50 yards apart).
  5. Just an end-user perspective - I had the privilege of jumping this bird at the Cal City reunion a few months back. It was LIGHTNING fast to altitude. I can't speak to the dollars and cents of it, but just in cutting down turn times, I'm pretty sure a small DZ could do well with one of these. Thanks again for coming out and flying, Van. It was awesome to finally meet you - couldn't have been in a better place. Signatures are the new black.
  6. Agreed. Your first suit is a lot like your first rig - you need something that's not obsolete, but that can be a stepping stone to get you where you ultimately wind up. A P3 is a great suit - particularly if it fits you well. Spend the extra money on jump tickets, and really learn to fly it. You'll be glad you did. At some point, you'll get the itch to buy another suit (or 7). And you may even decide you don't like PF as much as you do Squirrel or Tony Suits. Or you may decide you really like it, and just want an updated model (I still fly my first suit, a PF Shadow, regularly, and am now finally itching for an upgraded model almost 10 years later). Regardless, nothing wrong with a Phantom 3. Get it, and start putting in the reps to learn how to fly it. Once you're ready, you can move up to an Edge (or whatever their latest model is at that point) or move to another suit. Or you might just keep flying it forever... :) Signatures are the new black.
  7. She's supposedly returning to the skies no later than September. (But for how long remains to be seen.) Signatures are the new black.
  8. No... Gibbs has no clue how foolish she is. She doesn't understand what a complete idiot she has shown herself to be. She will find a new avenue for her fight, regardless what the court says. In fact, my guess is she rushes out to buy a bigger shovel!! $100 says she is already asking her attorneys about how to appeal to SCOTUS. There are times I feel sorry for Weiner & Osofsky; It must be a PITA having a fruitloop for a client. ...but fairly profitable (so long as they get the money up front).
  9. No more stair stepping in all the recent records I've been a part of. The rationale is that adding levels tends to lead to looser flying. You want to encourage participants to look for the chest strap of the person in front of them to keep things on level. As for sighting the base, it's more important to localize your references (even in a 'teenager-way').
  10. Echoing what fcajump said, 100x.
  11. They may sometimes be in that position, yes. And they may be not in that position. But if they find themselves in that position, rest assured, it's a choice they make of their own free will. Regardless, here's the thing: speaking as a very close friend of one of the deceased (and an acquaintance of the other two), I can tell you for a fact: these guys were not doing this because "we live in a very material world." They were pushing limits, yes - but pushing them because they wanted to. And when a sponsor went and titled a video "the lowest a wingsuit flyer has ever flown - you have to see this to believe it," I can also guarantee you they weren't the ones who wrote that title - nor did they feel responsibility to go do something else similar as a result of that title. (I had that exact conversation with them - did you?) In my discussions with them, these three jumpers wanted to use their skills to do things that we never before thought possible. That's why they were in this sport. They loved pushing the boundaries - just like Chuck Yeager loved flying the X-1A. And they would have continued to do it without sponsors - again, just like Yeager did, when he saw that Slick Goodlin had demanded $150k to break the sound barrier. Now, from your lack of a profile, obviously none of us know who you are. And if you are an acquaintance or relative of one of the jumpers in this incident - from what you're posting, I imagine you didn't have much discussion with them about why they were proximity flyers. Or at the very least, you never came to an understanding of it. So I wish you peace in trying to cope with this loss. Those of us who knew them can all understand your grief, as we're going through it, too. It sucks. It sucks bad. But I can tell you that once you're done looking for someone to blame, once you've barked up all the trees out there, you're still going to have to deal with the loss. No amount of misguided regulation you manage to pass is going to bring them back. So I wish you peace in your search - the sooner you realize that the only people to blame in this are the jumpers themselves, the easier your mourning will be. The three jumpers made a mistake. A big mistake. They could have mitigated it by pulling when they found they were on the wrong route. Or not getting in that helicopter. Or not moving to Europe. Or not getting into BASE. Or not flying wingsuits. Or never starting skydiving to begin with. But they didn't. They knew the risks, and they accepted them. And based on my knowledge of them, they would be extraordinarily disappointed that someone was trying to use their deaths as a platform to advance some sort of agenda. Signatures are the new black.
  12. There's a difference between hatred for a person and disdain for a person's actions. The mistake Bones made wasn't flying head up on a delicate, fast head down jump. His mistake was having the extremely poor judgment and the complete lack of respect for the safety and success of his fellow jumpers to do it in the first place. That's what drove him and THAT'S the problem. I've seen things like this happen a few times in the sport... NOW is when the true character come out. Some guys hang, work hard & regain trust, some head for the hills and are never heard from again. Some ignore the lashing and just keep keepin' on, never addressing the situation...often they're still a pariah in some circles. Heck one guy I know did a dime in the Fed-Pen & half the sport was horrified at how 'bad' he made us all look - did his time, came out a better man and changed the sport for the better forever! Simon has given a lot to the sport, now he 'boned' some people in a big way...time will tell, but I'd bet he can make it right...I hope he's 'that' kind of guy. ^^This. Well-said, Twardo. I think most of us are hoping that. (& at the same time, I couldn't blame anyone for not inviting him on a jump - much less a record attempt - again. Were I on that jump, it would take a loooong time for me to come to terms with it. Forgiveness for something like this is more likely to be earned than it is to be given blindly.) Sad. Time will tell how it pans out, on all sides - but it starts with Simon first. Signatures are the new black.
  13. Oooh, I missed the Thursday-Friday part. Yeah, that might slow some people down. But if there's the option of a 'once weekend a month' thing, I bet there would be a turnout. Signatures are the new black.
  14. While I agree with this...there are a lot of 'Cal City Refugees' still around those parts. (I was one myself, for a bit.)
  15. So the thing is, it's a lot like packing. Everyone has their own preferences. The things we can all agree on: 1) Layer up. Make sure your core is protected...as well as your extremities. 2) Gloves. 3) If you're wearing a full-face, watch out for fogging. On the 'things everyone has their own feeling about' bit... 1) Layering up. Keep your core warm. A neck warmer is also a good thing to have. You never realize how cold the wind is on your neck until you've jumped when it's freezing on the ground. 2) Gloves. Some people recommend using summer skydiving gloves with a surgical glove underneath. This technique has never worked for me. The best I've found are Square One's winter gloves. Fleece-lined, very tactile, tacky fingers, and literally "fit like a glove." Worth every penny. 3) Full-face helmet. If you're wearing a full-face, your face will definitely feel better in freefall...but you need to be wary of visor fogging. The best stuff I've found are wipes made by Fog-Tech. They come in little individually-wrapped packets, and you can find them online at REI. Seriously - don't scrimp on this one. If your visor is known to fog on occasion, add some anti-fog every day. Finding yourself unable to see your altimeter at 9k kinda sucks. Good luck! Signatures are the new black.