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  1. This is a good article. The only thing I would strongly caution against is the following: " would be beneficial for DZO's who compete in the same markets to have an annual meeting to discuss promotions as to prevent under-cutting." In anti-trust law, this falls under the realm of Price Fixing, which is illegal and can get a lot of folks in trouble. NEVER discuss prices with competitors.
  2. camgon

    Chambersburg Skydiving Center

    I visited Chambersburg during their CASA boogie and had a great experience. I showed up to the boogie not knowing anyone, but had no problem meeting new people. The fun jumpers were very friendly and welcoming, and the Instructors were professional. I noticed the Tandem Instructors were actually instructing their students (image that!) and not simply taking their students on a wild carnival ride. The facilities were decent, and indoor packing a plus. Right now their King Air is down, so on a normal weekend they are running only 182s. However, don't let that deter you, they are still well worth the visit. Next time I'm in the area I will be sure to visit them again. Blue Skies!
  3. camgon

    Skydive Space Center

    One day my friend and I decide to try something different, so we go to Space Center so we can do a jump from 18,000. After signing the typical waivers, we then got to read and sign this very friendly list of things telling us what we'd be banned from the DZ by doing: "If you open below 2500, we'll ground you! That means fully open!"; "Exit order is freeflyers first, period! If you don't like it, you can leave!"; "The green light means go! Don't spot, don't worry about clouds, just go!"; etc. During the entire day, not a single jumper approached us to say hi, nor did they even acknowledge us. Apparently they all had important Sky God things to take care of and were too busy. The King Air is amazing. But most of the jumpers didn't seem to care about exit order in relation to group size and pull altitude. As long as freeflyers went first, that's all that mattered. The result was people in freefall passing others under canopy. Also, here is how jump run works: everyone get out as fast as they can with the least separation between groups so you have at least a somewhat decent chance of making it back to the airport (they refuse to do more than one pass). Combine that with the complete disregard to a safe exit order, and you have jumpers in freefall falling Very close to people under canopy. It was also not nice to see the King Air flying about 4000 ft directly below me during one of my jumps. Perhaps the only "safety feature" I liked was the fairly large landing area. Picture Z-Hills without the peas. The result is that you don't have 15 people all trying to cram into the same area during landing. But overall, I hardly felt safe in the least bit throughout the entire day. On the plus side, the manifest lady was very nice. She worked with my friend and I so we could get on an 18000 load, even though their weren't any tandems on that load. The view is gorgeous as well, right along the coast line. Overall, it definitely was not the most fun day we'd ever had. The 18000 jump was fun, but not worth the constant feeling of being in danger. Unless we have an absolute, burning desire to jump from 18000, we probably wont head back to Space Coast again.
  4. camgon

    Skydive Palatka

    Skydive Palatka is an excellent DZ! Everyone is extremely nice, and they are always getting loads up, at least 15 or so a day, even during the summer season. There are no cliques and you are always invited into organized jumps, no matter what your experience level. Whether you want to do RW, freefly, wingsuit, and anything in between, it's all there! The only downside is on really busy days it's sometimes difficult to find some space to pack. You'll have to wait till someone is done. Also when the wind is from the west, it's a bitch to pack: although the packing area is roofed, it is not enclosed on 3 sides, so excessive wind can be aggravating while packing. Art, the DZO, is a great skydiver, rigger, and overall just a cool guy. He is the type of guy that runs the DZ, not for profit, but for the love of skydiving. Had a cutaway? Don't worry, because unless he's up to his neck with tandems, Art will have your reserve repacked by the end of the day. If your a University of Florida student, you receive great benefits! Discounted tandems, plus free coaching (you don't even have to pay the coach's slot!) and free gear use, courtesy of the Falling Gators! Art will sometimes even buy pizza for everyone for dinner. And at night, the beer flows generously: usually someone owes beer for something! Oh, and did I mention the newly repainted, sexy Grand Caravan...?
  5. camgon


    I tried the Sabre on three jumps...that was all I could handle. The openings were so hard, I hurt my neck. I tried stuffing the cells when packing, but that didn't help much. However, Sabre II is amazing!