markharju

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  1. What a loss, especially the lives of those on board. I had the opportunity to jump from it at WFFC and never did. No chance now. Anyone know if it was a joyride or a skydiving operation? From the news reports it looks like a joyride. Last year a Junkers Ju-52 went down nose-first in Switzerland leaving nothing but the tail sticking up (this one is noteworthy because registration number HB-HOT was used in the filming of "Where Eagles Dare" and "Valkyrie"). 20 fatal. We all love these old airplanes and jumping out of them but as they get older and older, I think the risks are greater that they're going to crap out.
  2. I met James Boole yesterday (Sat 14 Sep 2019) at Skydive Verona. The DZ was pretty busy with tandems and he was already scheduled to work with another student so I had a long wait. Nonetheless, his indoctrination briefing was very good, his training prep was thorough. I was as well-prepared as any wingsuit nugget could be. He got video of my wingsuit jump. Old bellyflyer habits asserted themselves and I found myself struggling with the suit most of the time. It was very unstable because of my body position and the way I was attempting to control the suit rather than letting the suit do its thing. I was doing flips and rolls and struggled to maintain stable flight. Good thing I had a ditter because I was totally preoccupied with flying the suit. Video here
  3. I'm meeting James Boole at Skydive Verona tomorrow for what I hope will be wingsuit familiarization and a time-before-the-second wingsuit jump
  4. Heh. Nope, not the plan. At my age I doubt I'll ever grow a pair big enough to do BASE of any kind (except maybe a place like New River Gorge WV). Besides, the aircraft wingsuiters whom I know personally over here have no desire to do proximity and neither do I, though one from Switzerland whom I recently met at Ravenna showed me a video he'd captured at Eiger. He launched from a helo, like Jeb Corliss did at the Matterhorn, but unlike Jeb he didn't fly down zipping between the pinnacles, he just flew alongside the notorious North face at a safe distance. Very, very cool and something which, given enough training and experience, I'd like to do too, especially because Eiger is in the Bernese Alps and only 5 hours by rail from where I'm sitting right now in Northern Italy. I left a voicemail for James Boole last night and am awaiting his reply. I told him I've got around 400 AC jumps w/no BASE and am interested in wingsuiting. I made no mention of doing BASE, just wingsuiting from aircraft. The weather forecast for this weekend is highly favorable so I might just drive over to Monte Brento and watch. Like most, I've only seen BASE jump videos and never in person (I was too lazy to drive over to Perrine Bridge ID and see for myself though I did get invited once, but that never panned out [no follow-up from the one doing the offering and I lost contact with him]).
  5. Lago di Garda is actually pretty darn close ~80km / 50mi). Monte Brento is about 160km / 100 mi.Thanks!
  6. According to both their website and Google Maps, Skydive Pull Out in Ravenna is currently open every day except Mondays-- https://www.pullout.it/orari-e-prezzi It's a pretty good DZ IMO. They fly a C208B Grand (call sign FOXI). €32 for full altitude as of last month when I was there.+39-348-760-6262.
  7. If USPA is collecting such metrics from affiliates in the US and around the world, and if one also includes one-jump wonders at tandem mills, then it (the 350,000 figure) does not seem that far off; it might even be conservative. I've always been curious about the source of those figures (number of skydivers and number of jumps overall per year) because it's often compared to the number of fatalities (~<30) to produce the "It's really safe! In fact, words cannot describe how safe it is!" claims which some espouse. Not here of course, we know the truth: statistically speaking, it's far safer than many activities, but that doesn't mean it's safer - it's just that the risks are well managed.
  8. Hey, After a lot of solo belly flight (400+) I've decided to investigate wingsuits. I was at the FAI wingsuit meet two weeks ago and met a Squirrel rep but I didn't get to follow up for personal reasons. I'd therefore like to know if there are any wingsuit coaches for novices (and vendors for brands like Squirrel) in Northern Italy. The area ranges from Skydive Verona in the West to Skydive Venice in the East; Aeroporto Tricolore (Reggio Emilio) / Skydive Pull Out Ravenna in the South. Alternate is Reichenbach in Switzerland (which I prefer to avoid because CH-CHING)...thanks!
  9. Just wondering if anyone else is going. I'm not a wingsuiter (yet), but I will be driving down to Ravenna Saturday morning, and staying overnight at an Agritourismo B&B about 5km from the DZ. Link https://www.fai.org/ipc-ravenna2019
  10. I'll just throw this out here. Expect to see more of me now that I'm done with Facebook. https://aviationhumor.net/kulula-a-south-african-airline-with-a-sense-of-humor/ mh
  11. Agree with below. Made one jump last Saturday (15 Jun 2019) before the weather turned. If there are clouds (in my case tops at 7k, bottoms at 5k and no visibility of the ground. The surrounding mountaintops aren't visible either, and Kandertal is a narrow valley), they spot with GPS and jump anyway (for real). Brand new C208B Grand with STOL kit, flown in from Wichita earlier this year. On the load I jumped (#5), they threw the tandems out at 10.5k AGL then went up to 12.5k AGL for the fun jumpers...nice. Tandem canopies are ~300sf and they hook them in. Every single time. I remarked to the DZ foreman that "At Reichenbach, hook turns aren't against the rules, they ARE the rules." Heh. Beautiful views. One jump was CHF 55, almost $57. Switzerland not be cheap.
  12. All, I've had a Parasport Italia Z1 for about 20 years. All the foam insulation in the neck curtain has broken down, and there is brown grit coming out of the drawstring holes. Does anyone replace worn-out neck curtains in the Z1? The liner pads seem to be okay....thanks!
  13. Just got a call from a primary care provider here in Italy. I was scheduled to have a sports physical ("Certifico Medico sportivo Agonistico" [sounds painful, don't it? It isn't though]) for Thursday, which is pretty comprehensive and includes a cardiac stress test and EKG. I did this back in early 2017. I just got a call from the provider saying that the laws changed in 2017, and BEFORE one can undergo the Agonistico, one must have THREE PRIOR EXAMS: Neurological Audiogram Electroencephalogram (EEG) Then and only then, according to the caller, can the Agonistico (cardiac stress & EKG) be taken. Cheese and Rice! I only wanna jump out of an airplane, not land it on a carrier deck! WTF!? Naturally I'd just jump on the good ol' Freccerossa and schlep over to a handy nearby country (like Germany, Austria, Hungary, Switzerland) but I don't know yet whether this BS is peculiar to Italy or if it's an EU thing. If it is, it's a huge overreach (yes, I know Switzerland is not in the EU. However, they have a lot of agreements with the EU, notably Schengen). I can understand a TM or pilot being compelled to jump through these hoops (along with whiz-quiz) because there are other people's lives at stake, but a fun jumper? Get real! Anybody in Europe dealt with this? mh