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Posts posted by DougH

  1. I have been jumping since 2006, and I got my TI rating back in 2012. All that time I had a full-time salaried job in Public accounting, so I literally worked 7 days a week for most of the year, with no down time unless you count sitting around on a weather day.

    That was 7 day weeks during busy season while the staff was on their 5 month off-season going on cool trips or going down south. A mix of great days at the DZ when I wasn't at the office when the weather and students were awesome, but also days spent wasting my time with bad weather. During the summer Saturday and Sunday could be longer "work" days than my full-time job.

    At first what kept me going in the beginning was that I was one of only a small group of instructors. There was three of us on the weekend, and as a result there was zero flexibility, but I could expect to get 30 jumps on a weekend if the weather was good. I got to be a legend in my own mind, and walk home with a bunch of bonus money.

    Then later on I kept things going because the DZ was purchased by new owners that are awesome people who respected my time. I didn't drive out days with bad weather forecasts unless I just wanted to hang out. I love working for them, and the flexibility has made it work.

    This January my Son was born, and then COVID hit. I still haven't been out to the DZ because work has been nuts, and for now I let my ratings lapse, but I think this year will be another time where my involvement changes. Wanting to have some time for my son is probably the best way to motivate change after so many years.

    I think you need to respect your time. If the DZ isn't respecting your time you need to evaluate whether you can make change in that area, or if you need to beat feet.

    • Like 1

  2. 19 hours ago, sfzombie13 said:

    it does exist and i am getting near the age where a hard opening could kill me.  i rather like the idea of someone looking into it.  it does not make a difference if it rips unevenly or even one side and not the other.  it prevents your torn aorta and allows a cutaway and reserve deployment, even if the canopy starts spinning wildly right away.  it may induce one to pass out very quickly, but i like that idea much more than just dying right off the bat without getting a chance at all.  of course, all this depends on whether it would work or not.  even if it weren't cost effective, it would be nice to have the option if i want to pay for it.  like an aad.

    So I assume that right now you are jumping a slow opening canopy like a pilot, with an oversized slider, and dacron lines?

    If you aren't, why aren't you first gathering up all of the low hanging fruit that will reduce your risk.

  3. 58 minutes ago, accumack said:

    It seems a more reliable solution would be something like a urethane bumper in maybe a metal sleeve (think shock absorber) the urethane is available in different hardness / compression would make it tunable and reusable and wouldn't cause uneven risers. With stitching it would degrade with jumps and be difficult to know it's strength was degraded.

    They have that technology already. They are called dacron lines. xD


    • Like 1

  4. My apologies. I guess I thought you had a point to make when you posted after a 11 year hiatus, and you selected this particular link to break your silence, and you titled your post "Jump Pilots Behaving Badly".

    I should have known that you were making a completely neutral post, that is very clear to see now. xD

  5. 8 hours ago, riggerrob said:

    The problem is protecting that tear-strip until it is needed. Protection is easy inside a sealed ejection seat or reserve container, but more difficult on main risers that are expose during every jump.

    Perhaps you add a tear-strip just below the 3-Rings and protect it with a fabric cover. ???? Mind you, the most painful openings tend to force all the opening shock onto one side of the harness.

    This challenge requires a brighter mind than mine.

    Hi Rob,

    Some fall protection for industrial workers has the shock dissipating device encased in a heavy plastic shrink wrap.

    It sounds like you are suggesting it be below the three ring on the harness, that raises TSO problems, but maybe I am misreading what you wrote.


    To the OP

    I see few problems myself.

    The main one is balancing the risk of a fatal hard opening, against the risk of a fatality cause by uneven activation from a hard opening that still manages to incapacitate the jumper but would have be survivable without the device. If you tear one side only the canopy is going to dive the rest of the way to the ground in a turn.


    This is going to be a bulky device.


    Also the potential need to have it vary by weight it problematic from a cost perspective. Now you need risers of different lengths, and different weights. There is going to be no economy of scale here, and what happens when the fat guy grabs the skinny guy's rig? 




  6. 3 hours ago, FixFly said:

    Stick with skydiving, you've peaked.

    It sounds more like you are are the one peaking and are getting more crotchety as you are heading over the hill.

    We get it, you are a pilot, and this is very serious business.

  7. I listened to the first 4 or 5 minutes. What is the complaint here?

    Clearly communicating all necessary information, clear jumpers away, providing updates about the location of parachutes in the air.

    Should he be more robotic, or is he missing a mandatory stick in his ass or something?

    I wouldn't mind hearing this on the radio, sounds like a good time.

    • Like 1

  8. On 5/1/2020 at 2:07 PM, 20kN said:

    Several DZs are opening this weekend. Even more plan to open within two weeks. For sure people will get infected. It will happen. It's just a question of how long and who gets it first.

    Unless you are running a POPS or SOS event an argument could be made that most people at the DZ either wouldn't know they became infected there, or would be minimally impacted. The bigger question to me is how many of them are going to visit Grandma at the nursing home. :dead:

    • Like 1

  9. I guess I should have expected this thread to devolve into this typical exchange by page 74. And we started off right.

    This is why SC can't have nice things.

  10. We have an active glider club at the airport. The pilot and the DZO discuss the spot with the club and update them on changes during the day. We don't knowingly exit over the gliders, and the gliders try to avoid soaring into the area around the spot. 

    It has never been a problem. I actually really enjoy seeing them looking for thermals when I am flying under canopy with a tandem. Just another great visual to add to their experience.

  11. I don't think a full face will do shit! Most are vented to keep the visor from fogging. The airflow in freefall is going to be coming up from the student. I have cleaned some nasty snot off my full face visor from students that didn't have the common sense to reschedule their jump despite being sick, or the courtesy to disclose that extra information to me.

    Jump with a full face and a customer who chain smokes cigarretes, or has a unique body odor due to ethnic food, and you will still smell it in freefall, sometimes more than when you were sitting in the plane. Blech. >.<

    You also have to consider the plane ride to altitude.

  12. Just now, turtlespeed said:

    I agree - so in those areas where there isn't any overwhelming cases - loosen the restrictions.  

    This isn't a black or white issue - it needs to be done responsibly, and with forethought.

    New York should have the tightest restrictions, where small towns in rural areas should have the loosest.

    Re evaluate the process continually.

    I don't have an answer and I see both sides to the argument.

    Surely there are more variables than population density alone. I don't want to be the one doing the trigonometry to figure it out.

    A rural area, far from a metro area with a more developed ICU infrastructure, could get absolutely hammered if you have a large social event where mass transmission occurs. Everything is an anecdote, but look at some of the spread that resulted from Church choir groups, or large funerals.

    You need to constantly adjust, but we don't even have the infrastructure in place to do a good job at testing and contract tracing.

  13. 12 hours ago, turtlespeed said:

    Flatten the curve approach prolongs the time line.  that has NO guarantee whatsoever to reduce total deaths.

    It is only there to, as you say, keep the healthcare system from being overwhelmed.

    My assumption is not flawed.  We will eventually reach numbers of total dead due to corona virus in the millions.

    Fatality rates are lower when the hospitals aren't swamped for infected individuals, and other critical medical conditions.

    It avoids people lying on the floor in hallways instead of in a hospital bed, like we saw during the surge in Italy. It allows for a better standard of care, and more achievable infection control measures.

  14. 13 hours ago, riggerrob said:

    Dear Doug H,

    If tandem students wear hooked hiking boots, I reach for duct tape.

    Suct tape is considered the handyman’s helper in Canada. Canadian Comedian Red Green did a whole TV series and published a couple of books about the finer points of fixing things with duct tape.

    We have a bucket of shoes that they can dig through to find a pair that fits. That is normally a good sign that my student isn't going to listen well, since they couldn't read the blurb on the website of what to wear. 

    Here is a hint for you, it doesn't list hiking boots as acceptable footwear.:blank:xD

    • Like 1

  15. What happens if the snap comes free of its pocket and snags a line on deployment.

    It may be a small risk of that happening, but the result would be disastrous. Horseshoe that can't be cleared with a high chance of a reserve/main entanglement.

    We saw the footage from the mexico fatality when a side connector, that wasn't reattached after opening, caught a steering line. Also the older video of the vidiot doing a back flip through his risers only to catch a line on his boots.

    I always reattach the side connectors, and I never allow students to have hiking boots with hooks. This seems like another deadly snag risk. I don't want any snags on a solo fun jump either.

  16. 11 hours ago, tidewater scot said:

    I am seriously considering my first jump as a tandem of course. It naturally follows that I am looking at gear. The choices and types of gear is staggering. Hopefully I will know much more after my tandem jump. Has anyone else dealt with this problem of too much information?

    No it doesn't naturally follow that you are looking at gear. Cabin fever has me being overly blunt so here it is. It is super awesome that you are excited about skydiving, but you need to chill the fuck out, otherwise it will naturally follow that you will progress to be a student that is hard to teach and abrasive to other jumpers and instructors alike.

    You don't need to read about gear, you don't need to read about anything else about skydiving other than reading the drop zones website to understand what to wear the day of your jump (athletic sneakers, comfortable clothes that can get dirty, layers depending on temperature).

    There isn't too much information, because none of it is intended for you to be reading at this point in your progression. Learn as you go, from the DZ and its instructors. 

    Have a wonderful time. Limit your reading for the next 20 jumps at least.



    • Like 1

  17. 53 minutes ago, kallend said:


    Jebus! Take the ventilator! 

    Very glad to hear your Son is making a steady recovery!

  18. 9 hours ago, JerryBaumchen said:

    Hi Joe,

    While I doubt he meets your criteria, our only hope now is Joe Biden.

    Everyone who wants to save this country needs to get behind him in our hour of need.

    Jerry Baumchen

    PS)  No, Joe was not my first pick.


    What a shitty hope. Yet again we are living in the South Park Vote or Die episode. We have Giant Douche and Shit Sandwich to pick from.

    I am amazed that Biden was the best the Democratic party could come up with. This was a great opportunity to raise up a great candidate, instead we have to choose between a misogynistic racist drug addict that is actively undermining our standing in the world, and a senile groper who is 10 years too late and whose only qualifications now are being Obama's Vice President.  

    Our two party system continues to suck.

    • Like 1

  19. 10 hours ago, PlaneFun said:

    Mark-Maybe I misunderstood your comment , but why would a DZO or instructor who hasn't been making any money for 1-2 months not look forward to doing $120-150 re-currency jumps with already-licensed jumpers? 

    Hate to tell you this, and I am just going to be rude and blunt, but your DZO is fucking you in the ass if you are getting charged 120 - 150 for a recurrency jump as a licensed jumped. Maybe you are getting confused with an AFF jump to get recurrent as a student?


    Most dropzones in New England offer free recurrency jumps at the start of the season. The uncurrent jumper pays their slot, and the dropzone covers the slot and the compensation for the instructor. Why? Because it is the non dickhead thing to do.

    • Like 2