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  1. LloydDobbler

    PT6-20 Cessna U206

    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.
  2. LloydDobbler

    Jump Plane Crashes Near Lodi

    Echoing what fcajump said, 100x.
  3. LloydDobbler

    Aerodyne Pilot ZPX or PD Pulse ?

    I've had friends who've had good experiences with both of them. I load my Pilot at about 1.4, so it's not an apples-to-apples comparison - otherwise, I'd chime in. My advice? Demo the both of them. Call both PD & Aerodyne, and see which one can get you the demo fastest. Then slot in the other one for a weekend or two later. Problem solved.
  4. LloydDobbler

    New Gear

    Hey, Joe - Your best bet is to talk to the instructors at your DZ. Without knowing your exit weight, what type of canopies you've been flying, etc, no one online can really tell you what will help you get the most "bang for your buck" as far as downsizing goes. (Ultimately, the most bang for your buck is going to be a canopy that gets you down to the ground safely.) Re: your other question, most dealers offer prices a little below the MSRP, and some offer package deals that are even less expensive. Talk to your local dealer and they can give you more info.
  5. LloydDobbler


    +1. A great event for all skill and experience levels. For those of you not in CO, we had a 'mini-boogie' this past Saturday at Mile-Hi - with demos from PD, UPT & Vertical Suits, along with load organizing by the tunnel instructors from Skyventure CO (who also supplied some free tunnel time to the first X people to show up, and were selling 15-minute blocks at a 'you-can't-beat-this' rate). After the day of jumping, we headed to the tunnel for an evening jam session where we divided by skill levels and flew. No serious 'drilling' allowed - just fun. To that end, my g/f & I were privileged to be part of the first (to my knowledge) 6-way belly formation to turn points in this tunnel (it was a *bit* tight). It was also rather cool to be able to walk up to someone you didn't know and say, 'Hey - let's go turn some points.' That's not the type of thing you get to do at a tunnel all too often. A few people even made their first flights in the tunnel that evening. Overall, it was a great day from start to finish. Much thanks to Frank, Bob, & the Skyventure staff for putting the full day together - and for donating the time and jump tix (prizes given away included jump tickets, tunnel time, and discounts from Vertical Suits and UPT/Vector). It was a blast. If you haven't flown the Colorado tunnel yet, you need to come check it out. Not only is it a beautiful facility...but the staff is top-notch. & I think they're going to be hitting some boogies this year, so if you see them, stop by and get in a jump or two (and buy some cheap time!).
  6. LloydDobbler

    Back or Sitfly requirements

    You say you have ~1 hr in the tunnel...what were you working on? All belly? Belly/back? I'll assume you've just been flying on your belly - correct me if I'm wrong. For the progression you want to make, your back is where they'll likely start you. It'll probably take a good bit before getting comfortable & making controlled turns. Unfortunately, the only way to shorten the learning curve that I've seen is just to listen to your coaches, watch the videos, and spend more time on it. It just takes a while. Then you'll likely move on to belly/back/belly transitions (on the pitch axis, as well as the roll axis)...or sitfly. You'll find it helps with your sit to be comfortable on your back (or at least, I did). As far as the front loop/back loop/barrel roll, if you've never flown on your back, you'll likely only get to the barrel roll portion of that (and then maybe only 1/2 barrel roll). Flips can be very tricky in the tunnel - I've never seen someone with only an hour's time doing them. Hopefully a tunnel instructor will chime in and offer some specific req's, but in my experience, at this point you'll get more out of practicing those in the sky, where there's not a big plexiglass wall 3 feet from your head (or a net to crash down on). Good luck!
  7. LloydDobbler

    Night Jump

    I can't tell you about the night jumps, but as for the trains from Boston & Sydney... Actually, having only made two night jumps myself, I must say - they were undoubtedly some of the most scary AND the most fun jumps I've made. (That was my 98th & 99th jump, BTW). I'm sure other more experienced night jumpers will weigh in, but here's my take: Not sure how they do it at your DZ - at Elsinore, all the first-timers exit first on their own pass as solos. An experienced jumper jumpmasters the load for them, and arranges exit order by wing loading and opening altitude (meaning you're assigned an opening altitude according to your WL, and have to open at that level). It feels a lot safer, knowing that there are only 4 or so more staggered canopies in the air during your first nighttime canopy flight. On that first jump, the exit & freefall were great - I just stepped out and watched the plane for a bit. Too cool watching it fly away at night. The place where things got scary was under canopy. In spite of the strobes & glow-sticks, on my first jump I couldn't discern other canopy pilots against the bright lights of the town below (which admittedly probably means people probably opened at the right altitudes. But still, I prefer being able to see things I want to steer clear of). On my second jump (which was a 4-way) I only saw one canopy. I *think*. Again, that was the freaky part, not knowing for sure - I didn't see a strobe, but it looked like a dark silhouette moving against the city lights (glow sticks are tough to see from a distance). Problem being, you can't focus on it for long enough to be sure, because you've got to keep your head on a swivel. Regardless, like I said, they were a lot of fun. There's nothing like seeing your buddies in freefall in the dark (& in my case, them watching little glow sticks coming loose from where they were taped on me and zinging up into the air). Just be sure you have a bright-enough strobe. I've seen some people use little bicycle strobes, and they won't cut it - you want people to be able to *see* you. It'll likely be kinda scary...but keep your head on a swivel, and you should come out fine, with a big grin on your face.
  8. LloydDobbler

    Square 1 Aviator

    Yp. You're right. I don't know the exact history of what happened to Arrow Dynamics, but they stopped making the Aviators a couple of years back. Square One purchased up the patents/rights/molds/whatnot to make the helmet, so it's now their baby. As for it being a good first helmet, know a number of people who fly it, and it works well for them. I tried it on and none of the sizes fit my head particularly well, so I didn't purchase one. This is why I highly recommend people trying on the type of helmet they want to buy beforehand, if that's an option. I opted for a Bonehead instead. The gear section on dropzone.com is woefully outdated. As far as other good 'beginner open-faced helmets' go, some other alternatives: - the Bonehead Guner/Allsport/Mindwarp (all ~$200) - Bonehead Echo (~$125) - Skysystems HR2 (~$200) - Pro-tec (~$35) I've tried all of these myself, and IMO, they're all decent. Some are quieter than others, and some will fit you better than others. All depends on the size of your noggin. & if you want to really protect your head the best, the Protec wins, hands down.
  9. LloydDobbler

    a dark day in the Israeli sky

    Bummer, Ori. I guess the only thing I can say is, hope someone else will step up to the plate and give the old DZ a run for their money (in spite of all the complications and grief associated with that...yes, for those experienced in DZ management, I know that tandems are where a DZ makes its money in the first place...). Best of luck.
  10. LloydDobbler

    Tunnel Pre/AFF

    I thin that's an excellent idea. I've seen firsthand how much better the tunnel can make you fly...but I think you hit the nail on the head - it's all about confidence. First off, you may correct any stability issues you might have had if you hadn't flown the tunnel...secondly, if you're less worried about the stability issues in the first place, your jumps will go that much more smoothly. You'll be able to focus more clearly on the objectives, instead of worrying so much about them. Of course, that's just my 2 cents...but I think most of the people on this board will agree that flying a tunnel can't hurt. If you've got the financial resources to get some time in, I say go for it.
  11. LloydDobbler

    Canopy, how to apply artwork?

    Hey, kpipes - First off, sorry to hear of your loss. Sounds like an excellent idea, provide ou can find someone who can do it safely. There are lots of different ways to transfer and image to another surface, from "analog" image/emulsion transfers to digital printing. The dilemma comes in, what's going to be the easiest way to do it without f***ing up the canopy fabric to the point it's unsafe. (Lines, etc, also cause a problem). That being the case, my recommendation would be to talk to the company that manufactured your canopy - tell them your situation, and ask what they'd recommend. Chances are, they have the most experience printing on their canopies...and most wll tell you if it's doable, or not, and can tell you what process to use. (Then you'll ust have to find someone who can print using that process, and get an estimate from them). Best of luck, KC
  12. An instructor/rigger would be able to answer this better than me, but it's my understanding that it's an option on ripcord-based (spring-loaded PC) student rigs (as you surmised). That way, the primary or the secondary JM can pull for the student if the student doesn't. At least, that's the way it was on the student rigs where I trained. Not sure how many places use a spring-loaded PC versus how many use a hand-deployed system on their student rigs these days...but I don't think it's uncommon on ripcord-based student rigs. If you look at the Vector SE ads in Paragear (don't have a copy handy, at the moment, to scan), you'll see that they offer (or at least at one point offered) a dual ripcord system, similar to the one in the photo. Now that I've rambled on about that...anyone who's an instructor or a rigger want to comment/add/dispute?
  13. LloydDobbler

    Skydive Arizona vs Skydive Perris, AFF Tunnel Time

    The AZ tunnel is a bit wider, but since you won't be flying a 4-way at this stage, it probably won't matter that much. Since you said "AFF", I'm guessing you're just focusing on getting better at the stuff you learned during AFF, getting more stable and confident, leveling, etc...in which case, either tunnel will do you well. I'd say go to whichever one is closest and most convenient. When you get ready to fly with a coach (as opposed to the standard tunnel instructor), then start thinking about how well you fit in the tunnel the last time you went. The staff at both tunnels is top-notch, and at this point, you'll get a lot out of it, no matter which one you go to.