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  1. Photo credit goes to Luciano Bacque.
  2. I must say, I agree with you. I've been concerned for some time that our society has lost much of it's personal relationship skills and has become desensitized due to the internet. In our need to feel important and relevant, our empathy and compassion is all too often reduced to that of a keyboard. My prayers go out to the family and friends of yet another of our lost brothers. I can't say ditto strongly enough to this! And this includes dzo's talking to the media and giving interviews. When my fiance went in, the news were airing interviews with his name and picture complete with the dzo talking about how much Todd loved skydiving before we could notify family, including his children, who were about thirty feet from finding out that their dad had died through the TV news. I cannot stress enough how important and valueable it is to allow family and very close friends to be notified in a caring and private manner. I'd say that also goes for the media too but we all know they don't give a rat's ass about doing the right and moral thing.
  3. I look at it more as I'm paying to go have a kick ass vacation. Between airfare, lodging, car rental, the cost of an event or camp, and food, I get to spend time having some awesome skydives, visiting with friends, improving my skill set, and I don't have to work manifest, pack for students, making sure the next load is meeting the airplane, answering the phone, etc. What does it cost to go on a cruise, or go to Disneyland, or spending a week on a beach someplace? IMO, one should not look at it as what's it cost per jump, but rather what would your vacations cost if you weren't a skydiver.
  4. I sprained my ankle pretty bad a few days before leaving for a state record. I was on crutches putting very little weight on it until the day I left. A physical therapist that also skydives and knew how important this event was for me that I consulted told me to keep doing the ABC's with my foot, and then for jumping to "tape the fuck out of it". I wasn't going to miss a state record because of "little" ankle sprain. I sucked it up for exit, slid in most of my landings and was sure footed walking forward and backwards for dirt diving. I iced and elevated it every night, and babied it when I could. I told myself that if it kept getting worse I would throw in the towel, but it got better over the course of the week, and we got the record! Tape the fuck out of it, and if it gets worse, well, then you have a decision to make. Good luck!
  5. In past years my dz shut down so we could all go to Couch Freaks. At first it was a given because of the NPSL meet. And then it was a weekend for us all not to have to work while we jump. The last two or so years, attendance was down but yet there was long waits to get on a plane (land and go right to manifest to get a 80 minute call), even though there were plenty of aircraft tied down. And the belly LO's were either non-existent or limited. This year, a lot of us decided to stay home (we would have rather made 10 Cessna jumps than 5 turbine jumps), and our dz stayed open, but closed down for one day to go visit the neighboring turbine dz. It was the first Couch Freaks that's missed me since I started skydiving. I definitely missed seeing those that I saw only one time a year at Couch, but I didn't really miss the Couch. And I definitely didn't miss trying to manage a few hours of sleep with music blasted (yes, I am getting old). Maybe it's time for another attempt at the Iowa State Record. Maybe do a 4 way money meet?
  6. Amen! Except, more accurately, "Dija c me?!?! I was awesome!"
  7. You bought it in 2000, but year was it made? Strong puts a 18 year (I believe) year life span on their tandem rigs no matter what condition they are in (I believe, you'll probably want to confirm with Strong). So regardless of the condition, the life span is going to be less than 5 year or so. The 18 year life span is ridiculous. I'm from a small Cessna dropzone in the midwest. We jump in grass, and only do tandems during the "warm" months. We just retired one of our Strong rig because of the life span in FAR better condition than the used one we purchased to replace (although it is still airworthy and safe). Edited to include: From the Strong website: 1.2 Operational Limitations The Strong Enterprises Dual Hawk Tandem System is specifically designed for two people with total loads of up to 500 lbs and opening speeds up to 175 knots IAS. The use of unapproved parts and components is prohibited and a violation of both Service Bulletin #22 (Appendix A) and FAA FAR 65.129 (Appendix F). All Dual Hawk Tandem Systems are authorized to use for eight years from date of manufacture (+/- 6 months), at which point they must be returned to Strong Enterprises or an authorized Strong Enterprises Recertification Center for required updating and recertification. After inspection, and if necessary reconditioning of the system, it may be placed back into service for five more years. At the 13th year from date of manufacture (+/- 6 months) the system must again be sent in for necessary reconditioning/recertification and may be returned to service for an additional five years. At the 18th year from date of manufacture the container/harness, risers and student harness will be taken out of service, however the Master reserve canopy may be recertified one more time for an additional 5 years after which it will be taken out of service. COMPLETE SERvICE LIFE OF HARNESS/ CONTAINER & STuDENT HARNESS: 18 yEARS COMPLETE SERvICE LIFE OF MASTER RESERvE CANOPy: (23) 18 http://www.strongparachutes.com/docs/Tandem/DHT_2012.pdf
  8. http://www.skimmersuits.com/The-suits.html I own three Skimmer Suits. Made to last, if you take care of them. As long as Skimmer is making attire, you'll be hard pressed to find me in someone else's suit. Customer service is top notch too!
  9. Dear Tandem Instructors, It's not your jump. It's their jump. Stop doing stupid shit! If you want the video to be all about you, start doing free style. Thanks, Lynn
  10. Since I've been in the sport: Number of people I know saved by their AAD: 1 Number of people potentially saved by having an RSL: 1 Number of people that would have lived, would still be to walk or walk unassisted, or would still be able to jump if they weren't trying to swoop: 6
  11. Ditto this. We have three 182s and the most comfortable mat is the one we got from a high school that was replacing their gym floor mat and we picked up their old one. The second best one is the similar to this one, and the most uncomfortable one is basically cheap foam with a nylon cover.
  12. That's the one! Thanks!! Much appreciated.
  13. Thanks for that link but not what I was thinking of. My memory may be failing me, but I seem to recall an incident or two when the white loop that the cutaway cable goes through broke, releasing the riser on that side, causing a very low malfunction where the jumper didn't have time to cutaway and deploy the reserve in time.
  14. Can anyone help me find info on incident(s) that were or may have been caused by the cutaway loop (the loop on the risers that the cutaway cable goes through) breaking? My brain has me thinking that it was with an Infinity rig? I tried to use the search function but must not be coming up with the right string of words. I'm not looking to stir anything up but just looking for info for research and learning purposes. Any help will be appreciated!!!