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    Snohomish, WA
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  1. markharju

    Wingsuit Coaching Northern Italy?

    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
  2. markharju

    Wingsuit Coaching Northern Italy?

    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
  3. markharju

    Wingsuit Coaching Northern Italy?

    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]).
  4. markharju

    Wingsuit Coaching Northern Italy?

    Lago di Garda is actually pretty darn close ~80km / 50mi). Monte Brento is about 160km / 100 mi.Thanks!
  5. According to both their website and Google Maps, Skydive Pull Out in Ravenna is currently open every day except Mondays-- 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.
  6. 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!
  7. markharju

    Any thoughts on Krutitcy (Russia)?

    "In Russia DZ finds YOU!"
  8. 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
  9. markharju

    Parasport Italia Z1 Curtain Replacement

    Thanks for the tip!
  10. markharju

    Skydive Switzerland / Scenic Air

    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.
  11. 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!
  12. 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
  13. markharju

    Skydive Verona

    I just called this DZ, which told me I would need € 1.3 MILLION worth of insurance to jump there (and they would not have time to do a reserve repack). They did not specify if it was liability insurance or what. According to, it's a non-USPA DZ, so I guess it's a tandem mill.
  14. markharju

    The Importance of Ear Protection While Skydiving

    Yup. Always. Fortunately I see more people wearing them these days than in the past.
  15. markharju

    3D printed Camera Mounts?

    I got one (chin mount) for my Cookie G3 from a garage manufacturer in Sacndinavia. It was (iirc) ~$25 shipped. (Youtube link). It was a bitch to mount, but IMO it's a lot safer than the "Teletubby" (top of helmet) mount one sees so often. It seems to me that having a GoPro on the chin with a chop handle is much safer than Teletubby-style without a chop handle. At least it's visible. On top of your helmet...nope.