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Everything posted by LloydDobbler

  1. BSBD, Gary. I always appreciated your transparency and willingness to help. Your insights on this board were phenomenal - you'll be sorely missed.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. She's supposedly returning to the skies no later than September. (But for how long remains to be seen.) Signatures are the new black.
  6. 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).
  7. 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').
  8. Echoing what fcajump said, 100x.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. While I agree with this...there are a lot of 'Cal City Refugees' still around those parts. (I was one myself, for a bit.)
  13. 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.
  14. ^^ Well-said. Signatures are the new black.
  15. Agreed with the other poster that the bit about the GPS never making mistakes is a bit laughable. I'm guessing your eyes aren't the best altimeter, either? That's a pretty broad generalization. It also sounds like you're almost never one of the experienced FS skydivers at the door. Otherwise, you'd know how it goes. (Or maybe it's different in Canada). Almost all of the experienced FS skydivers I know screw themselves over more than others - the freeflyers always make it back, seeing as how they get out right over the landing area, while the first FS jumpers out often find themselves hanging on the rears to get back. Those who know how to spot know that you spot for the entire load, not for yourself. (And more importantly, if your spot is screwed by the "cunt at the door," who said you have to get out of the plane? Go-arounds happen (they shouldn't happen regularly, but they happen). Goes back to trusting your eyes, rather than the green light.) Signatures are the new black.
  16. IMO, GPS is one of the best and the worst things that's happened to skydivers. Like AggieDave said, there does always seem to be someone nowhere near the door screaming at you to 'GO!!' as soon as the light comes on. As an AFF-I who's done a lot of 4-way FS (as well as a lot of freefly and wingsuit), I've seen the perspective of all parties on the plane...and my general rule is that people should STFU unless they're looking out the door. There's nothing like sticking your head out the door to spot a 4-way FS jump and realizing you're a mile from the DZ, and the green light just came on early. At the same time, I do also see a lot of what you're talking about - usually amongst newer skydivers. When they land off, I generally try and meet them back at the DZ to talk about "What have we learned here?", and re-iterate that green does not mean GO. When you leave the plane is *your* responsibility. Don't get out unless you can make it back to the airport safely. The experienced FS skydivers, on the other hand, tend to not go until they can get back safely. I'd vote them "Most likely to take off their helmet in the door and cup an ear at the folks yelling from the front." The experienced freeflyers and wingsuiters are usually the ones doing the hollering. They should know better...but most of the loud ones probably went straight from A-license to freeflying, and then to wingsuiting, thus never having to sit next to the door when the pilot turns on the green light a long ways out. Long story short - trust your eyes. Don't screw the spot...but don't screw yourself either. (But sounds like you already get that.)
  17. Now thats just messed up. Didnt want to exit the bomb bay? It was tricky getting down in there cuz it was so dark but I cant imagine wanting exit any other way. it was a total blast. Clouds came in but they were above 5500, so we got about 5200 ft. Two passes, I was on second pass and got video of the whole last 15 minutes. Most fun I've had in a LONG time :) and its $450 now but was worth every penny! Some of its kinda boring, some of its kinda dark (in the bomb bay before the doors open) but here it is.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LgjR_NSSv4 Congrats, dude...you've just made 100% of Dropzone.com (including those who've done it before) jealous. Freakin' awesome. Still on my to-do list. Like @peregrinerose said, looks like it would be worth every penny just to fly in that beauty! Love me some radial engines...
  18. This is a very interesting thought - I'm interested to hear more discussion on the matter. @billvon, @skyjumpenfool, @normiss, @twardo, others - thoughts? Signatures are the new black.
  19. Again, I point out - Twardo (the OP) - You - If this has little to do with tailstrikes (and as has been pointed out SO many times, a huge number of the reported tailstrikes were from those who are no longer considered 'novice wingsuiters'), then why keep banging the drum about it? Evidence seems to dictate there are better ways of preventing tailstrikes than requiring someone to have gone through a single first flight course 500 to 1000 wingsuit jumps ago. If this proposal isn't here to prevent tailstrikes, let's do what Twardo suggested and talk about it on its merits. Signatures are the new black.
  20. I know I'm a little late to the party here, Bill (just reading through the thread)...but it seems interesting to me that, in a post where Twardo is saying "This instructional rating isn't solely about stopping wingsuit tailstrikes," you appear to be arguing once again that it's all about stopping wingsuit tailstrikes. ...and people are wondering why some of us keep on pointing out that it's not the lack of proper training for new wingsuiters (of which there is a great deal), but rather complacency amongst experienced wingsuiters that led to the vast majority of tailstrikes (which now seem to have dried up, thanks to increased awareness). Signatures are the new black.
  21. Perhaps someone honors their commitment to DZO's that have asked for confidentiality as they wish to remain "on the down-low." Given how USPA headquarters manages safety conversations, probably a good thing. -Outside of that, public details are: -What kind of aircraft -Suit model -Experience level of wingsuiter -Injury type (where known) -Cost/damage (where known) to aircraft A circulating rumor says that the strike chart includes "a foot hitting the door on exit." This is not accurate. A wingsuit tailstrike by definition is "A portion of a body or rig striking a horizontal stabilizer." It can't be defined by "exit" as there are also one confirmed historical strike (not on the charts) where the vertical stab was struck through a combination of pilot error and wingsuiter error after launch had occurred. Repair cost was nearly 100K$. While I understand your reasoning behind confidentiality agreements, Spot...I'm sure you can understand that it opens the door to the perception that the information you're relaying is hearsay. (Not suggesting that it is...but as I'm sure you know - and as anyone with a scientific of legal background knows - it's important to be able to verify the facts of claims.) Again, not saying you're doing this, but I could easily come up with a list of false incidents where a deployment in the door nearly took down a plane, put them in a spreadsheet with non-identifying details, and talk about the rise of closing loop-related incidents over the past year. While I know you and don't think that you're doing that, I'm sure you can understand why some people would question why you're not forthcoming with this information, if it's so important. If you need to maintain that confidentiality for the sake of protecting DZO's, or protecting your ability to jump at certain DZ's, I understand...but you should probably accept that doing so means not everyone is going to take you at your word, without some hard facts to back it up. --- That being said, I think where the misconception about the "foot hitting the door on exit" comes from this Wingsuit Tailstrikes list that you posted previously. Line 8 lists an incident in which someone exited a Caravan flying a Stealth2: "Bad Exit opened full in doorframe. Hit back of doorframe with ankle." The injury was a broken ankle. There was no damage to the aircraft. At first glance, that reads to me (and obviously, a lot of other people) like someone hit the doorframe and broke their ankle. --- Back to my previous point, directly above that entry, there's also an incident that was from a "Dornier or Caravan," for which the injuries are uncertain, which reads a lot less like a verified incident and more like a story told by someone who watched a video on Youtube. If it was verified, wouldn't the type of aircraft and the injuries be known? What does "verified" mean, anyway? I know it sounds like I may be drawing conclusions here - I'm not. But I am questioning (it's what I do - I've been burned by rumor mills and the telephone game before). And I think if you're leading this charge, you would do well to try and look at it from the other perspective, and question it as well. It will help you make a more compelling argument, without leaving things like this open to interpretation. Because until I have something to back it up, all I can do is question it. I can't draw a conclusion either way (as much as I'd like to). --- tl;dr - Human communication is flawed. And when only one person has access to the primary sources, we all potentially set ourselves up to be the victims of omission...or of flawed communication. We're all, in essence, playing the telephone game. Edited for grammar. Signatures are the new black.
  22. Not sure, but I think he was just suggesting that it be made a requirement for students to have, instead of just a 'suggestion' that they purchase it or download it. As it is, it's similar to going to class at school, and being able to buy or download the book "if you want to." Signatures are the new black.
  23. Agree with what Bruce said. Your best bet is to get to the DZ however you can, then post something on the bulletin board next to manifest. Also, talk it up with some other jumpers there. There are a ton of people who live in Boulder who come to the DZ every weekend. (I don't remember who all is a Boulder person right offhand...but there are plenty of them. Trust me.) Good luck! Signatures are the new black.
  24. I usually agree with you, Twardo, but here I respectfully disagree with your assessment. Here's why: I'm not sure that you have evidence that what we're doing now is not correcting the problem. (Hear me out): In 2011, we reportedly had one wingsuit-related aircraft strike every 28 days. I'm not going to harp on the fact that those stats were apparently worldwide statistics, and included things like people catching their foot on the door while exiting - for our purposes here, let's just assume they're all legitimate. For a few months now, the thing I've been asking for has been an accounting of wingsuit-related tailstrikes in the U.S. in the year 2012. Since Spot seems to be the only person who receives reports of such things (or Rich Winstock as well, perhaps?), I wish they would furnish those in the interest of transparency. I suspect we'll find a drastically-reduced amount of strikes. Worldwide. Why? Because of awareness. Awareness is the only thing that can trump complacency. We've been discussing this thing so much that people have become aware of it. Let's keep that awareness going. What I want is the same thing that the insurance company wants (as evidenced by Jeff's letter to Robin): for tailstrikes to stop. I think that's what we all want. And if our increased awareness has led to a great reduction (or elimination) in the amount of tailstrikes, I'd much rather keep growing that awareness, because it's working. In the wingsuit forum (IIRC), Lurch had a great recommendation for an information campaign - I think we should make that a much higher priority than a new bureaucratic program to require every skydiver who wants to fly a wingsuit have someone read them the SIM. ---- I just want to see these things stop. If I had a guarantee that a USPA-sanctioned wingsuit instructor program would stop them, I'd be much more likely to be for it. As it is, I've taken a step back to try and take a balanced, objective look at the pros and cons of a mandatory WSI program. And from where I sit, the cons far outweigh the pros. For me, the legal implications and the added bureaucracy far outweigh any potential gains we might see - particularly if awareness is truly the key to stopping tailstrikes (which, it would seem based on the lack of 2012 reports, is the case). If we're doing a lot better on tailstrikes this year, it seems that a mandatory bureaucratic program isn't the solution we're looking for. So I'll ask again - can anyone give me a report of how many wingsuit-related tailstrikes we've had in the U.S. since the start of 2012? Signatures are the new black.