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Everything posted by Scubadivemaster

  1. As a professional tandem instructor, whose job is to provide a safe experience for my student, I wonder why you would think this? I am able to easily communicate with my student in the airplane, I am protected in freefall, I have a logical place for my audible, and I am easily able to open my full face helmet to communicate during the canopy portion of the skydive. I am also able to close my helmet in the unlikely event that the student is sick or has body fluids streaming from them during the canopy portion, so I can land them safely without distraction. I have done tandems both ways, and after thousands of tandems, my belief is that the full face is the professional choice, though I understand others choose differently. What are your specific issues with using them? Other than “total bullshit”? And your level of experience would be interesting as well, just to see how that might play into your thought process? Not being argumentative, just truly curious. Edited: Just looked at some of your other posts. Nevermind, sorry to feed the trolls.
  2. No, but I will be watching this with interest. The 7 is a great camera, but is difficult to fit into our application, so must of us are still jumping well worn 4s.
  3. For those still using SLRs, can anyone suggest a tongue switch other than Conceptus? Failures on their switches are just too common to be using them as a professional, even though their customer service is great about replacing them. Replacement doesn't help the student who didn't get any photos of their jump because the switch failed, again.
  4. Thank you for taking the time to consider this and reply.
  5. This may not be technically possible, but here is a suggestion. The Incidents Forum is an important place to share information and to learn. However, in many, if not most, of the threads, the discussions move off point as posters bring up their favorite topics and try to insert them in a place that they know others will be reading. There are some members that post their opinions in every incident thread, whether relevant in any way or not. There is no "cost" to posting, so many seem to interject their thoughts without taking the time to think them through or decide if they are contributing anything. If it were possible to limit the number of times a person could post, maybe people would spend their posts more wisely. Whether the limit is one post per thread, 5 posts per month, or 20 posts per year, maybe it would encourage people to start another thread in the appropriate forum rather than hijacking the original thread. My thought has always been that the Incidents Forum was a place to READ, unless you had specific information about the incident, or something to contribute that was well thought out, to the point, and that simply could not be posted anywhere else on I think of it like testifying at a trial, where you shouldn't be called as a witness unless you actually have something to say. Or like speaking at a funeral, where your words and thoughts should have the gravity that the situation calls for. My intent is not to diminish the forum, but to focus it. Submitted respectfully and politely, with no intended insult to anyone.
  6. Here is one of the three pieces of advice that I give to every student when I sign off on their A-license: Make every decision in this sport based on the primary goal of "I want to be able to continue to skydive for many years."
  7. To address your initial concern, most everyone knows Paul. If he told you he will do something, you can bank on it. He may be travelling or not chained to the internet for some reason right now, but he is well respected and trustworthy. Try another call or email and give it a few more days. As an aside, pin protection through careful movement in a small cockpit is always a good idea.
  8. I've always been okay with the plastic cases because until now I believed the oft-repeated story that L&B would replace or repair their products if they were broken, even under exceptional circumstances. Their policies may have changed from people abusing the system, but the price/quality/support equation is less in balance now than it was before.
  9. My recent experience with returning a Pro-Track to L&B: The device started going through a set of batteries within a couple of days, sometimes less. I went to the website, noted their repair and return policies, then emailed them as their site requested. I have never received a response. As I am a working skydiver who uses his audible all the time, I went ahead and followed their instructions to ship it in a padded mailer, registered mail. That cost $25 USD. Without emailing or contacting me, they promptly shipped the broken Pro-Track back to me with a photocopy that says "Old model Pro-Dytter, Pro-Tracks that are more than two years old, first generation Solo, Optima, and Viso will no longer be repaired/replaced/upgraded." Note that their site does not mention that Pro-tracks are not eligible for service after 2 years: First Generation SOLO, OPTIMA and VISO as well as Pro-Dytter are now EOPL (End of Product Life) as replacement parts for these units are no longer available. Broken and/or defective SOLO II, OPTIMA II, VISO II, QUATTRO, ARES and VISO II+ will be repaired and/or replaced with the same model as long as the part(s) is/are available. The site has one policy for repair and replacement in the "Repair" section (LARSEN & BRUSGAARD has stopped servicing the old model "DYTTER" and "Pro-Dytter".), another in their "Happenings" sections (quoted above), and a third that they mailed to me. Your mileage may vary. It appears that if you have one of the newer products, AS LONG AS IT IS NOT THE VERY EXPENSIVE PRO-TRACK they are still offering their very good replacement service. Older products have been understandably deemed beyond "End of Life". Besides my old Pro-Dytter, I have bought three Pro-Tracks new over the past 8 years. One my wife still uses, one that was lost when it fell out of the pocket on a Z-1, and this one that I sent back for service. I don't mind paying to have the unit fixed, even though it rides around in comfort in a padded helmet and I can't think what would have caused it to break. But knowing that they will only support Pro-Tracks for 2 years will keep me from replacing this $325 audible with another L&B product. And I perceive the lack of email responses or even a note besides the photocopy of the "repair policy" as rudeness or lack of willingness to interact with the customer. Either way, not a positive experience.
  10. Have the updated models reached the market?
  11. My wife and I are traveling AFF instructors. We have an opportunity to help crew a sailboat from Norfolk to Savannah and are looking for a place to park our car or store our Skydiving and climbing gear for 10 days, starting this Friday, Oct 26. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Stephen 270 792 37ten Gravitycoaches AT gmail DOT com
  12. In my opinion, WTS would be far and away your best choice in this area of the country for what you are proposing. I was visiting a couple of years ago when a kid from Spain was there burning through AFF and his A License jumps before returning home. The large number of instructors and the quality of the facilities, coupled with the quick ride to altitude allow the student to progress as quickly as he or she is capable of. And as someone mentioned, the free coach jumps through the A license are a real benefit. But why do you want to wait until April? Plenty of winter jumping as well!
  13. I ended up buying the Outdoor edition and a "Chesty". I like the look and feel of the chest mount. I would have gone with the Motorsports Edition but Best Buy only stocks the Outdoor and I needed something to put under the tree. Still, after buying the camera and an SD card (NOT from Best Buy), along with a low profile mount, you end up with $400 in it. Since I can get a CX150 for $400, a Bonehead box to fit the camera and her All Sport for $200, a wide angle lens and Hypeye for another $200, I think I will give her the option to take the GoPro back and spend the additional $400 to have a more traditional camera helmet setup. Damned GoPro still just looks like a huge snag hazard to me.
  14. What kind of mount was she using? I assumed we would mount it with nylon hardware so that the hardware would break off there were a snag. I've also seen someone with a visor mount that allowed the visor to be raised. Nonetheless, good information! Thanks!
  15. Never having been a fan of the small format cameras, I have paid zero attention to what others are using. Today when I sat down to buy my wife a camera for filming fun jumps and AFF, I find that the video produced by the GoPros seem to beat the hell out of my old tape format Sony HC that has served me so faithfully. As she is willing to accept the loss of the Cameye, sight, etc for non-critical jumps she will be using it for, it seems it is time to order a GoPro Hero2. My question is which version others are purchasing, the Outdoor, the Motorsports, or the Surf. She will be mounting it on a Z1 and Bonehead All-Sport. Advice on mounts for those is also appreciated. Thanks!
  16. In my more ignorant days, I bought my wife a Javelin that had just been repacked. Everything looked good and the guy I bought it from was solid. I did pull out the main and repack it, but that was mainly in excitement at getting the new rig and wanting to see it. A few months later at repack time she pulled the handles and . . . Nothing. The rigger had trapped the PC in its own fabric / mesh and it would not launch. Our rigger was standing behind her to catch the PC and he turned white. I did call the guy I bought it from to let him know since he was using the same rigger to pack his new Javelin.
  17. Sorry you had a bad experience. Someone leaving the DZ with bad feelings isn't a good thing for any of us and I hope that you do return and have more positive experiences in the future. I will begin by saying I have never jumped at MWO, though I jumped at Start when they were at I68. I agree with you that they are nice people. A little history- A photographer was hit and killed in the landing area of a prominent dropzone within the last couple of years. He stepped in front of a landing jumper while looking through the camera. It was an emotional nightmare for the jumper he stepped in front of and a warning to us all to keep people as far from landing jumpers as possible. Spectators have walked into running props, forced skydivers to seriously injure themselves in avoidance maneuvers, and angered the other residents of the airport by wandering around unescorted at many dropzones. Most any jumper, staff or not, who sees someone without a rig on headed to the landing area will stop them. I saw a jumper ask the airport manager at I68 not to drive his golf cart across the landing area while jumpers were landing, which earned the jumper a cursing from the airport manager, and earned the airport manager my lasting disdain for his immaturity. As far as FAA guidance goes, in 2007 the FAA made a real push to have all airports work towards eliminating vehicle/pedestrian incidents. The FAA requests that GA airports follow the requirements of Part 139 airports and: (a) Limit access to movement areas and safety areas only to those pedestrians and ground vehicles necessary for airport operations; (b) Establish and implement procedures for the safe and orderly access to, and operation in, movement areas and safety areas by pedestrians and ground vehicles, including provisions identifying the consequences of noncompliance with the procedures by an employee, tenant, or contractor; (Sec. 139.329) It sounds like the people who approached you may not have dealt with you as tactfully as possible. But remember we are concerned for the lives of ourselves, our friends, and you. It is much easier, and preferred buy the FAA, to keep people out of the movement areas than to allow them in and expect them to stay out of the way. . Finally, please believe me that it isn't about the money. Even the DZs that are really just in the business to get every dime aren't concerned about ground based photographers, because as you say, they are never going to capture the shots from the ground that can be had from the air. Again, I am very sorry you have a bad experience. The aviation community is small and we all have shared interests to preserve. Alienating our fellow pilots is certainly not in our best interests and I am sure was not anyone's intention. [Edited for spelling]
  18. You seem to be asking a serious question about minor injuries, bumps, bruises and sprains. Despite the distracting and irrelevant title and account of your radio miscommunication, I think that it is a fair question. In general, your first few jumps are more likely to produce some bruises and sprains than your future jumps will. You are more likely to land off, not land into the wind, not flair correctly at the correct height, etc until you get the basics down. While only a very few are seriously injured while on student status and on their first 25 jumps, I would advise you to expect some minor injuries (those requiring no or very limited medical attention). I would say that most skydivers incur a minor injury that requires at least a healthy dose of ibuprofen at least occasionally when starting out. Somewhere around 100 jumps, there is another spike in injuries. As one get more comfortable, one may neglect some of the basics or push his limits a little too fast/far. A lot of more significant injuries seem to occur around this time. A lot of us got a wake up call from a good bounce somewhere around 100 jumps and spent at least a few weekends on the ground watching others jump while we worked the kinks out of our back/arm/leg/butt/etc. After that, I think the risk of minor injuries diminishes until you try to add a new discipline, be it wingsuits, high performance landings, classic accuracy, etc. Then, you become a student again and your risk goes back up. All this is addressed at minor injuries. Fatalities and major injuries and their frequency have been parsed numerous times and can be viewed by age, license, experience, sex, etc in old issues of Parachutist, and are well worth studying so see where the statistical spikes occur. Finally, a note on Three good rules to keep from looking foolish now and feeling foolish later on in your skydiving career: 1. Limit yourself to one post or less per jump you log, 2. Until you have some years in the sport or a few hundred jumps, post only questions, not statements or opinions, and 3. No matter how tempted you are, never post in the Incidents Forum unless your post contains all of the information available, firsthand, and you are 100% sure of everything you are posting or you are the designated representative of the DZ where the incident occurred. Post whoring in the Incident Forum is tacky and cheap, and will alienate you from people you haven't met yet, but certainly will. See you in the skies over Ohio soon. Steve
  19. I'll be singing that all day. EDIT: Just realized I responded to a four year old thread brought back from the dead.
  20. Nicely presented. I just had a very heads-up newer jumper ask me to explain to his 150 jump, 88lb girlfriend that she would be fine jumping a Nitro 108 because her geared up wingloading was only .98 to 1. He was surprised when I told him absolutely not. He was operating on the limited information that is readily available that wingloading is the most important (or only) consideration. We are failing new jumpers by giving them incomplete information. The "Non-linear Nature of Parachute Performance" should be required reading for every new jumper and anyone who advises jumpers on the canopy they should fly.
  21. A year ago today was the last time I saw TJ alive. Spent the holiday weekend unsuccessfully scouting and driving around Western Kentucky and having a couple of legal beers since he could actually order a drink in a restaurant and it was fun to watch the waitress card him because he looked about 17. Blue Skies.
  22. I know, my friend. All in fun, all in fun.
  23. I'm sorry, Andy, I'm laughing too hard to control myself: Remember that guy? Hell, we all do stupid shit, this guy just compunded the stupidity by posting it on Skydivingmovies.