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    Snohomish, WA
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  1. markharju

    Parasport Italia Z1 Curtain Replacement

    Thanks for the tip!
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. markharju

    Why Aren’t You Wearing Earplugs?

    Yup. Always. Fortunately I see more people wearing them these days than in the past.
  7. 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.
  8. markharju

    How Sigma & Burble’s Tech Are Changing Skydiving

    My logbook and USPA membership card don't need a battery or an Internet connection but I can foresee the day when those credentials will no longer be accepted. DZOs who place their reliability upon technology out of their immediate control do so at their own risk (read: unforeseen consequences). As for the punk who didn't bring his logbook and card to the new DZ - he's SOL. Let the other 14 behind him manifest. I miss Skydiving Magazine, wherein articles weren't just shills for products. mh
  9. markharju

    Rapid International MOHOC camera

    I like the design (it looks as though it almost cannot snag), but man, is it ever pricey. The ParaGear page selling this says that it "cannot be exported" Is this gizmo under ITAR (arms control) restrictions or something? mh .
  10. I succeeded (after much effort and swearing) to get the chinmount product on my Cookie G3. I had to give up on the rubber bands because they kept getting sawn through when attempting to remove the pull-up cord (there was a dinky one supplied with the product made from 550 cord but it was way too short. I had my own 550 cord but I opted not to use it. My mistake). Anyway, after about two hours of effort I gave up on the rubber bands and grabbed a Tube Stow from my kit bag. I tied a knot in it to shorten it, then pulled it through the center louvers of the G3 and pinned it in place with a pair of needle-nose pliers. This held the band in position so that the locking tab/cutaway handle could be inserted. One this was done I was able to remove the pull-up cord without sawing through the elastic. I have a GoPro mounted on it and was going to try jumping it this past weekend, but Skydive Verona was closed (see Incidents forum). Pluses: Good communication with seller, fast shipping and good information about how to install / use the product (pics and video on the website). Deltas (suggested improvements): Would like to see an installation one-sheet included with the product (since the inventor is from Sweden I thought it might be cute if he did an Ikea-style pictographic - hah), and/or an installation demo using common household items like I did because I don't own and don't know where to obtain (aside from ParaGear, I guess) a rigger's packing tool as was used in the demonstration how-to online. It shouldn't be necessary to purchase a specialized tool to install something on one's own, though I guess one could ask a packer or rigger nicely to allow one to use a packing tool. In short: although I'm satisfied with the product (really good design and kudos for including a cutaway method) and at $25 plus shipping the price absolutely can't be beat (the inventor said he wanted to keep the product cost around that of a lift ticket - he succeeded admirably), I found it a bitch to install and I'd really not want to do it in the field if I had to take the chinmount off my Cookie G3 for some reason and needed to put it back on again. Edit to add: Although there is obviously still a risk of snagging, the chinmount concept seems to me to be a much safer approach than the "Teletubby" mounting scheme (where the GoPro is sticking straight up off the top of the helmet, complete with that huge mounting screw, which practically begs "Snag me!") I see a lot of people using (I replaced the mounting screw on my GoPro mounts with a 5mmx20mm Allen head. Yes, I also pack an Allen wrench in my gear bag ) .
  11. markharju

    Dropzone Reccomendations for Switzerland

    Hey gang, I'm working in Northern Italy these days and travel by rail to Switzerland frequently (at least once per month), and would like to have recommendations about DZs in Switzerland. I've been through the find-a-dropzone list here on the site, and of course one can see "Skydive Switzerland" (Reichenbach) from the railway line (must change trains in Spiez to get there, though). ...I also want to know if any of the other DZs in Switzerland are worth the trip. I've already purchased the "extra" insurance...thanks! mh .
  12. I like it. I just bought a Cookie G3 and am keen to mount my GoPro on the chin. mh .
  13. markharju

    Any SAFE full-face helmets out there?

    I think most people aren't making fashion statements. They just prefer not to have the wind in their face. (Something that I don't understand myself) I agree. Full face helmets may have been a fashion statement 20 years ago but now they are just mainstream. It's all a matter of risk/benefit analysis, and it will be different for different people doing different disciplines. I used to pooh-pooh full-face helmets until the day I was in a formation that funneled and I left toothmarks on someone else's container....made a believer out of me. I went right to ParaGear and bought a Parasport Italia Z1. And yeah, full-face helmet not be cheap but just as in motorcycling - how much is your mug worth to you? mh .
  14. markharju

    Are Earplugs Dangerous to Use in Freefall?

    No, they idea is to block noise, not air. Foam ear plugs are not air tight. 18,000 feet is about 1/2 atmospheric pressure. So that would be about 16 feet of water. Depending on the plane, I wear them for the ride up and take them out before exit. I have jumped them before, without any issues. Derek V Haven't been on for a long time so I'm wondering whether anyone in the medical field who also happens to be a skydiver has ever done an impromptu study of hearing loss among skydivers. I'll bet it's a LOT. It's come up from time to time. I enjoy jumping out of airplanes but I absolutely cannot stand all the noise from the aircraft and from windblast, but then I, like a skydiving brother of mine, have a low tolerance for noise. Something about Asberger... What's that? Ass-burgers? Is that from the rump of the steer, or did I simply not hear you correctly? .