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  • Main Canopy Size
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    Ariel 150
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    SOS 180
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    Victoria Skydivers
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  1. riggerrob

    Russian paratroopers

    Russian paratroopers pull a drogue release handle a few seconds after exit. Dumber Russian paratroopers wait until they scare their KAP3 AADe. That drogue ystem softens openings when the jump plane flies faster than 130 knots. It also allows pseudo-free fall from high altitudes, with minimal training. American smoke-jumpers copies the Russian drogue system. Back in the early days of tandem, they used the same F-111 canopies as both main and reserve. Strong Enterprises was already sewing drogues for American smoke jumpers; so adapted a drogue to their Dual Hawk Tandem. Hard openings suddenly became a minor problem along with far fewer torn canopies, reserve rides, etc. An unexpected offshoot was the slower free fall allowed free fall photographers to keep tandems in frame and, a new revenue source for DZs.
  2. riggerrob

    Heli tandems - seeking info

    I have done a few tandems out of Jet Rangers and an Alouette 3. I have also skydived solo from Chinook, A Star and Huey. Start by asking the pilot to reverse the co-pilot’s seat (left side, front). Seat tandems as normal and fasten seatbelts. Belts work best with original seats installed. Above 4,000’ start your normal hook-up procedure. Slide the left door open a minute or so before exit. Slide your butts towards the door. Tell the student to cross their arms on their chest and try to kick you in the butt. Push off gently and wait until 4 seconds after exit before tossing frigid. Yes, you might be tempted to ask the pilot to hover as you exit, but he/she will burn far less fuel (and be able to fly higher) if he/she maintains at least 40 knots.
  3. riggerrob

    Three People Narrowly Escape in Tandem Collision (Video)

    Criticizing the TI for being too busy videoing to pull the reserve ripcord. Landing with a ripcord still in your harness is sloppy.
  4. riggerrob


    Sailtrite makes great little sewing machines. They will sew E-thread through multiple layers of Corduroy or webbing, similar to a Singer U20. I have been using a Sailrite for the last 4 years and live it!
  5. riggerrob

    Jumping in Europe

    Look at DZ listings in “Parachutist” magazine (USPA). Visit German DZs close to you and ask them about other DZs. Many well-educated Europeans speak two or three languages, so communication should be only a minor hassle. In the long run you will want to learn how to speak basic German.
  6. riggerrob

    Looking for some ideas

    A hurricane can dramatically increase tension. The aircraft carrier deck is rolling 45 degrees to the side. Exhausted sailors bounce off bulkheads ....., etc. Seas will need 4 or 6 days to calm enough for the cargo plane to land. Fighters might be able to land in rougher seas because their higher/heavier wing-loading makes they less affected by turbulence but no sane pilot wants to do near a hurricane. Perhaps our heroes are already in cloud when they blunder into the hurricane. Flying through the hurricane bounces them around inside the airplane .... breaking arms, etc. .... if they release seatbelts too early. Flying out of cloud - into the sunny eye - gives a moment of emotional relief but it also applies time pressure. They only have a minute or two to exit. If the last person hesitates and exits late, he will descend into the hurricane wall. In that scenario, I would take exit altitude down as low as 500 feet (150 metres) to minimize the risk of missing the target and reduce exposure time to winds. If a junior jumper hesitated, I would “muscle” him to the door and pull his ripcord as I shove him out the door .... easier to do if he/she is unconscious. The primary reason that we do not drop students in winds exceeding 15 knots is the risk of dragging after landing.
  7. riggerrob

    Looking for some ideas

    Deployment altitude depends upon velocity vector. ... er .... which direction you are travelling and how fast. If jumping from a military transport airplane you can take jump altitude down to 500 - 300 feet (150 - 100 metres) above ground. If the airplane is travelling 100 - 130 knots (160 - 200 kilometres per hour) horizontally, your parachute will open with hardly any altitude loss. If you pull your ripcord in the doorway, your parachute will open with hardly any altitude loss. That gives you less than a 30 second parachute ride.
  8. riggerrob

    AFF training in Canada - Quebec

    Accelerated Free Fall in the USA. Progression Accelere’ en Chute Libre = progression accelerated in free fall. Some Quebec DZs called it Accompanied Freefall ... which made the most sense to me. Progressive Freefall in most of Canada All similar programs and all tailored to how fast the student learns. I have done hundreds of PFF jumps as a reserve-side instructor (aka training wheel) where my primary task was holding the student stable until they recovered from sensory over-load ... usually 5 seconds after exit. As soon as they announced a (portable) wind tunnel was coming to Vancouver, I refused to do PFF jumps with students before they had a few minutes of tunnel time. Which brings us back to the OP’s question ..... one-on-one PFF/AFF/PAC etc. is fine as long as the student already has some experience in a wind tunnel. After that, the quality of the student is the biggest variable ... followed by the quality of instructor(s).
  9. I have used deep stall to clear a few tension knots on tandems and one line-over on a solo canopy. the technique requires pulling the canopy into a deep stall, straight ahead. When you let the goggles up rapidly, the canopy dives forward and - for a brief few seconds - there is hardly any tension on the suspension lines. This allows tension knots to untie themselves and - on rare ocassions - MIGHT allow a line-over to clear itself. MIGHT!
  10. riggerrob

    Eye Glasses

    Buy a sports strap for your glasses. Yes! the school might supply goggles that fit over eye glasses, but few students adjust them tight enough. Too often over the glasses goggles blow loose in freefall. In the long run you will want to equip yourself with prescription sports goggles: rracquetball, basketball, scuba, gas mask glasses, Wiley X, or any of the dozens of models marketed to motorcyclists, bicyclists, etc. Even industrial safety glasses provide better eye protection than "street" glasses.
  11. riggerrob

    New Reserves and Packing Data Cards

    FAA and PIA policy is for the old packing data card to go with the reserve canopy. All the other parts go with the harness/container. Conscientious sellers will ship a photo-copy of the card with the container. They might also send a photo-copy of the reserve packing data card with the AAD. Mind you, many AAD manufacturers now send separate cards specifically to record AAD maintenance: factory inspections, cutter replacements, Service Bulletins, etc. I disagree with Mark because I believe that all Service Bulletins, modifications, harness alterations, etc. should be written on the reserve packing data card. It is a professional courtesy to the next rigger.
  12. Tolerance - between the finger trap and first stitch is "minus zero or plus a half inch." Too close and the separate lines will tear stitches. Too far and most people do not notice. The primary function of the stitch is to hold lines in alignment until the finger trap is loaded. Almost any stitch will hold thing sin alignment. Once the finger trap is loaded, it will lock in place.
  13. riggerrob

    Using risers with RSL on other side..

    Once you hook it up, pull the riser in all possible directions to confirm that the RSL still has a bit of slack. Err on the side of a bit of slack in the RSL.
  14. riggerrob

    How much does slider size actually affect openings?

    Definitely start with an Icarus trim chart. Ask a local rigger to measure your line trim and compare it with the trim chart. As lines shrink out of trim, openings become more “interesting!” Altering the distance between grommets changes more than just the amount of slider fabric exposed to the wind. The old school solution was cutting progressively larger holes in sliders .... a job best done by a digger because it might need some reinforcing tapes sewn on.
  15. riggerrob

    Shelf life on containers?

    Mr. gunsmokex, Warehoused harnesses lose little strength over 20 years. OTOH In service, one summer laying out it the sun can ruin a harness. The simplest inspection technique is comparing fading on the front side and the back side of the same reserve riser. Yes, neon colours lose their “sheen” much faster, so fading is a less accurate way to measure their strength. I have seen neon rigs lose their sheen in as little as a single year (Southern California Desert), but they were still strong enough for another thousand jumps. The other problem with 20+ year old rigs is that they have fallen out of fashion. While they might still be relevant for belly-flying, they may not be for more recent styles of skydiving. I can show you a badly-torn Vector II. During a sit-fly jump, the main pilot chute snuck out of its pocket (leg strap) and the deploying main ripped the reserve container halfway off the backpad! Only stitching was damaged. I had the sewing machines and skills to sew it back together, but advised the owner to buy a newer design that was more free-fly-friendly. Fortunately the reserve free bag and canopy were undamaged, but by then its Raven III (249 square feet) had been superseded by a couple of generations of reserves designed to be loaded more than 1/1. We also salvaged its Cypres. Funny how we rarely hear the term “free-fly-friendly” these days. Once the problem areas were recognized, “fixes” quickly became “production standard” across the industry.