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Everything posted by riggerrob

  1. Instead of installing a SMALLER domed slider, I would keep grommet spacing the same, but cut holes in the slider. Once you determine the best size of hole, you could sew mesh over it.
  2. riggerrob

    Proper way to seal reserve

    Sandy Reid invited me to “peer-review” the first version of the FAA manual. I “peer-reviewed” Eric Fradet’s manual ..... all 600 pages, in French ..... and found only one minor variation from Poynter, military manuals, etc. The French tend to use the term “pod” for all types of deployment bags.
  3. riggerrob

    Email from an attorney .

    Yeah! I have provided expertise in four cases. The first was when Dan Poynter asked me to inspect a student rig that hit a building on an airfield. Simple. The Second involved the RCMP asking me to inspect a rig involved in a fatal accident. Simple. The third involved analysis of the risk posed by wind turbines one statute mile from a DZ. Even though there have been no reports of any incidents, the project proved politically disastrous for me. The last involved a personal injury lawsuit launched two years after a plane crash. The case proved financially and psychologically disastrous when my secondary damages (knee surgery, lost wages, etc.) - during the trial - exceeded my losses from the crash. Eleven years later, there are still a variety of loose ends (e.g. wreckage still on public display). Disastrous! Out of four contacts, two proved disastrous! The next lawyer - that approaches me - will get a punch in the teeth!
  4. The simple answer is to only load your first rig at one pound per square foot. When calculating wing-loading, weigh everything you will be suspending under that canopy: yourself, shoes, helmet, clothing, harness, reserve canopy, etc. Err on the side of caution. When in doubt, buy a canopy slightly too large. Large canopies deliver you to the scene of the accident slower. Slower means limping away from a poor landing. Limping is cheaper than all the other alternatives. By the time you are bored with that canopy, you will have almost 200 jumps and will be contemplating wing-suiting. You will be to wear a docile canopy during your first wing-suit dive! Handling - at the same wing loading - really only changes below 150 square feet because their lines are so short.
  5. ......... That may be changing with the advent of 3D printing and rapid prototyping, because now if you post a 3d printer file to build a widget, and a million people download it, the license holder CAN lose money from lost unfulfilled demand ..... . —————————————————————————— In theory yes, but probably not in practice. The more likely outcome is a bunch of sloppy copies that perform poorly and deteriorate the reputation of the copier/forger. Sandy Reid advised me “If you don’t understand something, copy it exactly.” The problem is understanding all the critical dimensions, materials, manufacturing processes, etc. without access to factory patterns or the original design concepts. Sandy only shares design concepts when they help marketing. There are a lot of tolerances, critical dimensions, assembly procedures and patterns never shared outside the (patent-holder’s) factory. For example, I routinely repaired Talons - with factory patterns - while working at Rigging Innovations. Since they moved the factory out from underneath me, I have never seen another RI pattern. The best I have been able to obtain is bound, grommetex, etc. replacement flaps from the factory.
  6. riggerrob

    USPA Badges

    Some skydivers sew USPA badges on jumpsuits to hide holes.
  7. ........ Lone Star could live again. ......... Lee ——————————————————————————- Lone Star’s business model was based upon a giant silk screen printer. Unfortunately, the giant silk screen printer was not reliable, so both my Para-Kits were marked by hand. Fast forward 30 years and small CNC cutting tables are available down to even garage-sized models. Many can be fitted with lasers or hot-knives. Many “makers” are bright enough to fabricate their own vacuum tables. Down-load some cut files from the inter web and you can start cutting. For example: Chesepeake Light Craft are the industry leader in small boat kits: canoes, kayaks, sail boats, teardrop trailers, etc. CLC would love to reduce shipping costs by moving to the next stage of selling cut files over the inter web. Then hobbists could take cutting files to a local CNC cutting shop. The problem is that CNC cutting files are too easy to copy and the original designer earns nothing for the year or two it took him to perfect the basic boat. CLC also fears than some pirate will sell sloppy copies of a CLC design and CLC will get sued after someone drowns when their 4th generation sloppy copy sinks. Even if courts eventually decide that CLC is innocent, they still sunk hundreds of thousands of dollars into lawyers’ pockets. Finally, we need to consider the cost of materials. Buying fabrics, tapes, suspension ones, etc. in small quantities means paying retail. The retail cost of fabric roughly equals the retail cost of finished, certified canopies.
  8. riggerrob

    Military HALO opening altitude?

    The term HALO distinguishes it from HAHO. As an another poster suggested, typical HALO openings are in the 5,000 to 3,000’ similar to sport jumpers. OTOH High Altitude High Opening jumpers typically open within 10 seconds of exit (maybe 25,000’) and fly their open canopies towards their target. With strong tail winds, HAHO jumpers can cover 25 miles, creating too large an area for defending troops to search.
  9. riggerrob

    Age of active TIs

    It is difficult to set an upper age limit for earning TI ratings. The limit is more about flexibility of mind and body. Younger skydivers are still curious and mentally flexible enough to attempt new techniques. Physical flexibility helps surviving those first few awkward landings. Physical strength and endurance make those long days easier. I earned TI ratings at age 29 and still do tandems at age 61. These days I breeze through tasks (e.g. packing) that I struggled with when younger because - over the years - I have learned more efficient methods.
  10. riggerrob

    How old is too old?

    Dear Mark, A key point is that UPT is still selling PD360 reserves that are built exactly the same way as PD360s were built during the 1980s. Performance Designs has not changed those patterns. OTOH Early (1980s) Strong 425 reserves lacked a reinforcing tape across the tail and were built with a more porous fabric than 1990s-vintage 425R canopies. Strong issued two service bulletins. One SB was about reinforcing the tail and the second was about factory inspections and setting life limits on Strong tandem gear. A second motivation was wanting to get all the first-generation Strong tandems (Dual Hawks) back to the factory for a bunch of updates. Current production Strong tandem reserves are based on their SET 366 main canopy.
  11. riggerrob

    Shortening laterals

    QuoteI saw a rig with a situation like yours. I noticed that someone had put an "S" fold in the webbing and sewn it to shorten that horizontal back strap to see if it would fit better. Not sure how legal that would be. He said he had over 250 jumps on it. I suggest you send it to the manufacturer for proper fix.[/quote ------------------------------------------------------------- That is not a "factory approved fix." Like several other posters have recommended: mail it to Sun Path and pay the $150. Chances are, Sun Path will send it back with a completely new lateral strap because they cannot shorten it without leaving old needle holes exposed.
  12. riggerrob

    How old is too old?

    Is she (your rigger) retiring? When aerobatic pilots call about real king their old rounds, I mumble somethings not about no longer having access to a long table ...... bromocreasol, tensile-testing clamps, etc. Besides, most of the companies that used acidic mesh have issued service bulletins, limited canopy life or gone out of business. The last time I landed a round canopy was 1986. Most students - who learned to skydive in North America after 1990 - have only seen square canopies. Am I being cowardly or lazy?
  13. riggerrob

    How old is too old?

    20 years was a simple number for rigged to quote when refusing to repackage older/obsolete parachutes. After 20 years - in the California desert - containers get faded, frayed and filthy. There was a lot of progress during the 1970s and 1989s. For example, no modern rigger wants to touch round reserves made during the acid-mesh era of the mid-1980s. Our last major revolution in skydiving technology occurred around 1990 with the introduction of collapsible pilot-chutes, ZP fabric, zero stretch suspension lines, electronic AADs, ringed harnesses, free fly friendly, wing-loading a more than 1:1, etc. Since then we have only seen incremental improvements. Another difficulty - when maintaining older parachutes - is finding manuals and Service Bulletins that were published before the inter web.
  14. riggerrob

    Downsizing for first rig

    that's weird , you scare jumping somewhere new , but not scare of downsizing from 200 to 170 ? ——————————————————————————- That downsize might be huge for someone my weight (206 pounds before getting dressed), but less drastic for someone her size. She probably weights less than 130 pounds, so even the 170 square foot canopy will keep her wing-loading less than 1 to 1. As for being scared while visiting other DZs ..... the best vaccination is a thorough briefing by a local instructor.
  15. Aspect ratio is the key determinant in opening on heading. The farther apart end cells are, the greater the risk of one completely inflating before the other catches any air. Cross ports help reduce assymetrical openings. Off-heading openings should not be a problem with skydiving reserves. If you bought a reserve that is dangerous with off-heading openings, then you bought too small a reserve! As for stability ... the larger the end cells, the more stablity in roll. Seven-cells provide the best compromise. In comparison, the last time I jumped a 5-cell reserve, it turned allay but was unstable in roll. I did the bare minimum of turner to land on the DZ. OTOH, nine-cells have smaller ends cells = even less stable. Tapered nine-cells have even smaller end cells.
  16. riggerrob

    Using a Slink to attach bridle at d-bag?

    QuoteI'm pretty sure UPT is still using that same design, though it's been a few months since I've assembled a sparkly new Vector. This design requires a #4 grommet too (a good thing to know in case you're thinking of putting a UPT PC on some other manufacturer's d-bag). The type 4 stop can pull through a #5 when it gets broken in and softens up a little. ———————————————————————————— I have also seen a few bridles attached to d-bags with fat Dacron soft-links. These were the one-use-only soft links that pre-dated Parachutes de France’s re-useable soft links. Fat suspension line is the key to preventing accidental pull-through.
  17. riggerrob

    Q for Accuracy Jumpers

    Stick with canopies in the 280 square feet area. That will keep your wing-loading around the 0.7 pounds per square feet favoured by BASE jumpers and precision landing competitors.
  18. riggerrob

    Aircraft jumper capacity

    ...... 206 loads. ....... And all those times you'd feel your stomach lift then hear that "thump" as too many people squeezed into the back too soon and it went down on its tail. ————————————————————————- I HATE that sound! Even though I only heard it once when we stuffed 7 guys into a 206. The longest-lived jump-planes are those with the widest margins of error. If you think over-loaded airplanes climb slowly, you will enjoy their stall characteristics even less when they are unbalanced! For some silly reason, they always told me to lean over the pilots’ shoulders when the Beech 18 took off????????
  19. riggerrob

    AFF Level 1 with one instructor?

    ———————————————————————- Sounds like reasonable preparation for single-instructor accompanied freetalls. I would definitely want to hear the TI’s opinion - first hand - and view video of tunnel time before going one-on-one with a free fall student.
  20. riggerrob

    Canopy Size and Descent Rate

    A decent list. The only canopy I would avoid is the Cricket 145 because it is mid-1980s technology and was never meant to be loaded more than 1 pound per square foot. If you over-load any reserve, we will refer to you as “that stupid, fat white man!” PDs, Optimums and Smarts are all well-respected reserves. I have only packed one or two Icarus reserves. I only have one jump on an R-Max 188. I loaded it right to the corner of the chart, but it still set me down softly. I woukd never buy an R-Max 118, but woukd seriously consider buying an R-Max 170-ish.
  21. riggerrob

    Canopy Size and Descent Rate

    Wing-loading is the most important variable - when predicting rate of descent. Brake position (stowed or flared) is the second, with line trim being the third. Line trim is set at the factory when they cut suspension lines. Some canopies are trimmed more steeply (nose-down) than others. Modern reserves have similar opening and flight characteristics. You made a decent choice with a used Smart 150. I have packed hundreds of Smarts that saved a few customers. I have also packed hundreds of PD Reserves and a handful of PD Optimims. I really enjoy packing Optimums because the fabric compresses so easily. I can consistently pack an Optimum 176 into a container that was snug on a PD 160. PD set the standard almost 30 years ago and all other manufacturers struggle to improve reserve performance by a percentage point or two. The only way to buy a double-digit (say 15%) improvement is buying a low-pack-volume reserve like a PD Optimum, LPV Smart of Icarus Nano. They will allow you pack an additional 15 square feet of reserve into your existing container (175 vs. 160 square feet). If I were buying new, I would purchase an Optimum 190 or LPV Smart 190. If buying used .... a lightly-used PD 176.
  22. Funny! I encountered a similar situation yesterday. Not dangerous advice, just over-cautious. I eaves-dropped on a videographer/Instructor A briefing a free fall student on riser turns and riser flares. Perhaps he talked too much about high performance landings that started with rear-riser-flares but finish with toggles. He ended with “but I have never rear-riser-stalled my canopy.” That was the only point I disagreed with. After I finished harnessing my tandem student, I strolled over and ask “May I?” He nodded, so I threw out “I have rear-riser-stalled most of the canopies that I have jumped.” I was cautious to avoid contradicting the instructor, instead phrasing my advice as filling-in-a-gap. Then talked about variations on rear-riser-stalls for a couple of minutes. I said that rear-riser-flares might not be wise on the videographer’s sub-120 canopy, but were fine on larger canopies. The student had a Falcon 235. I concluded with “.... best to practice rear-riser-stalls shortly after opening, but finish the landing with a regular toggle flare.” to reinforce his instructor’s briefing. After we both landed, I mentioned to the student that I had just practiced rear-riser-flares - with my ICARUS 364 - and concluded that it stalled with my hands at chin level. My ego let me butt in because I have been jumping 35 years longer that the Instructor A and have 6,000 jumps more than him.
  23. riggerrob

    Top 5 Tandem Scams

    I am surprised that no tandem mill offers to sell souvenir ripcords or goggles. In pre-Sigma days, DZs that taught students to pull drogue releases routinely lost a drogue-release handle or two every weekend. If they drop their souvenir, manifest can always sell them a replacement souvenir. Similarly, students routinely drop goggles in the grass after landing. If they lose their souvenir googles, manifest can always sell them a replacement pair and they can wear them for the rest of the day. Skydiving googles are great for starting conversions ..... which often generate follow-on business.
  24. riggerrob

    Maule exit

    I only have 4 jumps from a Maule and they were all tandems. We removed the rear cargo door, sat on the floor and rolled out. The exit was similar to a cargo-door Cesnba 206, albeit more cramped. Because Maules are so narrow, I cannot recommend them for regular tandem jumping. The other option is removing the co-pilot’s door. Then you exit the same way as all the rest of the piston-pounding Cessnas. The first exit is diving towards the tail, simply lad to a tandem “seated” exit. Start by kneeling or sitting - facing the tail - in the co-pilot’s position. Put your right foot in the lower, rear corner of the door. Grab the wing strut with your left hand. Dive out and feel the wind on your belly. Your spine will be vertical for a few seconds, then you will start to flatten out. The third option is poised exits starting from the co-pilot’s position. I strongly encourage you to visit a Cessa DZ - in your current country - to learn the basics of (piston-pounding Cessna exits. As for airspeeds .... just ask the pilot to fly the same airspeed he flies during normal landing approaches with enough power to maintain level flight. Ask him to keep the flaps UP.