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Everything posted by riggerrob

  1. Agreeing with pterodactyl!1986 How they challenge their youths is a measure of the maturity of a society. All teenagers want to challenge themselves physically and mentally to prove that they are capable of the greater challenges in life. Back in cave-man days, chasing a pack of wolves off a deer carcass might mean the difference between starvation or survival. Modern society - with steady food supplies - presents fewer live-or-die challenges ..... so societies invent other challenges: cattle rustling, warfare, exploration, mountain climbing, deep sea diving, barroom brawling, marathon running, skydiving, etc. Skydiving offers a rare opportunity to scare your self to death but still have a reasonable chance of survival .... IF ..... you follow the plan. Whenever I hear that old saw: "Why would you want to jump out of a perfectly serviceable airplane?" I rely: "You haven't seen our airplanes!" If they persist in their obnoxious ... I offer them a long, painful, bloody story about my last ride in a particular King Air. If they doubt my story, I point them towards the wreckage laying in the middle of Pitt Meadows Airport. If whuffos switch to asking "Do you have a death wise?" I reply 'Yup! But I must be the clumsiest suicide in history becasue I have failed more than 6,000 attempts."
  2. Hee! Hee! Your comment reminds me of a DZO who offered junior packers $5 to do 25-jump inspections. None of the riggers showed any interest for those wages. .... considering that a 25-jump inspection takes me at least of couple of hours on a Dual Hawk .... and by the time I have re-sew a few popped stitches .... I have been at it for half a day.
  3. The FAA Parachute Riggers' Manual is the best English-language book. Strong's "25 Jump Inspection" Manual (Dual Hawk Tandem) is excellent for teaching inspections. Also tell them to start copying manuals for all the gear that is popular on their DZ. To that end, I usually start a rigging course by asking students to name popular gear on their DZs, then tailor the course to match the gear they are most likely to work on. Following that same logic, I start the lecture on AADs by asking which AADs are most popular at their home DZs. If apprentices only mention modern electronic AADs, then I teach Cypres-centric course with brief mentions about how Vigil differs. More often, I assign a student to research a technical question and report back to the class tomorrow morning. The Australian Parachute Federation's master list of Service Bulletins, Airworthiness Directives, Technical Bulletins, etc. is the best single source for post-production fixes. French-speaking apprentice riggers should start with Eric Fradet's book: "Materiel d'au jour d'iu" (sp?).
  4. By your logic, everything is a copy of everything else on the market because you can always find another rig that shares the given design element. It's a stupid jab useful only when you have no actual arguments. ..... ------------------------------------------------------------------- Plagiarism is rampant in the parachute industry. For example, Charlie Broadwick used soft connector links circa 1910. Does that mean that everyone else copied Broadwick's use of suspension lines to make soft connector links?????
  5. 1. Perfectly aligning grommets varies from one container to the next. Some rigs can overlap grommets if: A - they were designed to overlap. B - they contain smaller canopies than original. If grommets don't overlap, they require longer loops with "serpentine" routing. In the worst-case, grommet edges pinch down on the loop, delaying openings. This is only a problem with spring-loaded pilot-chutes. Fortunately main spring-loaded pilot-chutes have disappearred from modern skydiving schools. But loop-pinching can still create problems - in reserves - if reserve containers are over-stuffed. 2. Smily-face curved pins [email]versus frowny-faced .... is superstition. Pin orientation only made a difference back when pin covers depended upon Velcro to hold them closed (1980s).
  6. Door open while taxiing is a tiny risk. Definitely keep it closed from take-off to 1,500 feet. Depending upon the type of door, you might be able to open it a little for half of the climb. Then keep it closed until jump run. If a door opens accidentally, I scan for loose pilot-chutes, then resume breathing and relaxing. Two other factors affect when you can open the door. First, some doors will be damaged if opened when the plane is flying too fast. Secondly, in busy airspace, the pilot needs to wait - until air traffic control approves the jump - before opening the door. The pilot opening the door is the signal that ATC has approved the jump.
  7. Depends ........ upon how much experience I have at that DZ and how much experience I have with that pilot. My first static-line jump was delayed - for a week - by a solid low layer of clouds. To this day I will not tell a sub-A jumper to exit over solid clouds. OTOH I did my 100th jump when a small, lonely, puffy, cumulous cloud prevented us from seeing the airport. Fortunately, we still had plenty of slant vision so that we could see enough landmarks to conform that we were near the airport. For the following 30 years, those "spotting around clouds" skills - learned in Nova Scotia - have proven handy at a dozen other DZs. Now I depend more on "pre-spotting" than looking straight down. For the last 5 minutes before exit, I like to keep my eyes outside the airplane, checking for bridge "A" and bridge "B" and bridge "C" to tell me that we are close to the DZ before I open the door. From a legal perspective ...... rules were written after a disasterous jump during the 1960s that saw a dozen(?) jumpers drown in one of the Great Lakes. That disaster caused a rigid rule about all jumps needing to stay VFR. Fortunately, ADF, VOR, VORTAC, LORAN, INS, radar, GPS, etc. electronic navigation aids have improved so much that they exceeded the accuracy of the human eye around the turn of the century. Now modern jumpers blindly trust GPS. The ideal spotting technique involves trusting GPS but confirming with landmarks around the dropzone.
  8. A more positive response would be for TIs to share tips and tricks for different airplane types. For example, I like to do SITTING EXITS from single-engined Cessnas. I do all the hook-up and briefing with my butt firmly planted on the floor, facing aft. During jump-run, I can lean my head out far enough to confirm the spot. Then I put my left foot on the outboard (right) end of the step and tap students' legs to remind them to copy my example. Then I place student's hands on their chests. I shift my right foot to the aft corner of the door (toes outside). I lean out until I am sitting on my right heal. Pull students' head back and exit. I fully extend my arms overhead and tuck my feet onto my butt. This usually results in a stable, head-down exit. I hog the "old man's seat" behind the pilot because it allows me to spread my knees wide while tightening lateral straps. If you hog the old man's seat, you are obligated to haul the bigger/wider student. OTOH if I am stuck in the front (co-pilot's position) - of a narrow-body Cessna 180 series (as old as me) - I attach lateral straps before closing the door and ask my student to sit on my lap while tightening side straps.
  9. 1. Stiff fabric is usually MIL SPEC/PIA SPEC ballistic cloth. However, since it is purely a stiffener, a dozen other bulky, stiff, heavily latex-coated fabrics will perform the same function. Maybe ask a luggage repair shop. Look in the Para-Gear catalog. 2. Cypres window clear plastic is available from automobile upholstery shops, Para-Gear, etc. It is similar to the clear plastic used to make windows on convertible tops for cars, boats, luggage tags, etc. Just remember to buy a grade that is flexible enough to allow you to tap Cylres buttons.
  10. "....... I was planning on doing a jump a week until I complete my license, but I think it would be better if I saved my money and did my license in a week or two. This will also give me time to bring the weight down to a moderate level as well" ---------------------------------------------- Best plan is scheduling a week's instruction at a busy skydiving resort .... with clear weather ...... ------------------------------------------------------------------- " ........ So theoretical question: If two jumpers are equal skill level but different weights, the heavy jumper could fly and track faster but would have a more difficult time varying fall rate?" Variables also include height, arm length, leg length and suit. With the proper suit, a hefty skydiver should have a similar fall rate range to a slender skydiver.
  11. Which specific model? ..... part number? ..... year of manufacture?
  12. Relax. I was 6' tall and weighted 180 pounds when I started jumping. I weighted 190 pounds for most of my jumps .... got as fat as 220 ..... but now weigh 215 pounds. At my peak, I jumped a 135 square foot main parachute, but then up-sized to a 150 and just bought a 169 because I am old and fat and don't need to fall that fast anymore. My smallest reserve is 172 square feet. Student parachutes range between 230 and 300 square feet. You should start on one of the larger student parachutes (280 - 300). Since most parachutes are only certified for 254 pounds, you do want to get your weight down to the 220 pound range. Remember that maximum suspended weight includes your harness, reserve parachute, shoes, helmet, etc. A typical set of skydiving gear weighs 25 to 35 pounds. The lightest equipment is only for highly-experienced skydivers who weigh less than you. A few newer designs are certified for more than 254 pounds, but finding them will take you an extra few days of shopping. A big, loose-fitting suit should be enough for you to match fall rate with all but the lightest jumpers. As for weight-loss methods .... may I suggest long walks (more than 30 minutes) on steep hills. Steep hills burn plenty of calories, but don't pound your knees to mush. Hiking is still a weight-bearing exercise that encourages greater leg bone density in the long run (apologies for the pun).
  13. Please allow me to correct a spelling error in my previous post. " 4-6 September, 1888. First parachute descents in Canada. Canadian-born Edward D. Hogan, of Jackson, Michigan, performed hot air balloon ascensions and parachute descents at the Great Eastern Exhibition, Sherbrooke, Quebec. Ref: le Pionier, Sherbrooke, Que., 6 September, 1888." Quoted from: 125 Years of Canadian Aeronautics, A Chronology 1840 - 1965. by G.A. Fuller, J.A. Griffin and K.M. Molson. Published by the Canadian Aviation Historical Society, 1983. It has been 30 years since I have seen this book. I met Mr. Molson when he was curator of the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum in Rockcliffe.
  14. ........... You are ignoring the Biblical definition of the Antichrist. ........ ----------------------------------------------------------- What is Ron's definition of the "anti Christ?" Please be specific.
  15. Tempos have unusually long lower brake lines (cat's eye to toggle). Sorry that I do not have the trim chart in front of me but most Tempos need toggles tied on about 25 inches below the locking eye. This prevents most jumpers from stalling the canopy when they flare. I have packed hundreds of Tempo reserves - and have more than dozen saves - and only heard one customer complain about how his Tempo flew. Despite the fact that he ...... Meanwhile most other reserves have lower steering lines closer to 21 inches long.
  16. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- May I suggest a different approach? That reminds me of my third reserve ride ..... and dozens of incident reports. They all start with the jumper forgetting about arching as he/she feels line-stretch. If you continue arching during deployment, you halve the chances of a spinning malfunction. I learned this during my first dozen wing-suit jumps. Some TIs habitually "control" students' legs for the same reason.
  17. ............. If you insist on using clutch motors then do as someone else suggested and get used to "tapping" the pedal.
  18. Not sure if any civilian DZs are willing to spend that much money on ground training aids because jump towers and PLF Pits are specifically designed for round parachutes. Meanwhile modern civilian skydiving schools only jump steerable square parachutes. Maybe ask one of the veterans' groups or historical recreators if you can attend one of their training camps. Back in 1979, I did a static-line jump with the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion reenactors and enjoyed their company. As for recreators' groups jumping "gutter gear"..... Hah! Hah! Historical reenactors may jump old-pattern rounds, but the parachutes are recently-manufactured and well-maintained by modern riggers. Many of those riggers are recently-retired military veterans who are familiar with the finer points of packing rounds.
  19. How many jumps do you have? Early in the learning process it is easy for all that adrenaline to deplete blood sugar reserves and leave you exhausted. Snacks help, but the long term solution involves learning how to control your arousal levels. As for MS specifically, the latest issue of "Economist" magazine recommends COPPERTONE sun block for its ability to delay onset of MS symptoms.
  20. Similarly, get the A licence qualification card (or whatever they call it these days???). Ask your local instructor to do a few more jumps with you to complete the card. If he/she is too busy, ask him/her to recommend a local coach to help you complete the card. Also, take a lunch and spend the day at the DZ, watching jumping. You can learn a lot by watching wind socks. landing patterns, packers, etc. Cold lemonade is a great ice-breaker on hot days. Even the busiest skydivers will pause long enough to chug a lemonade. If you don't have a long drive home, consider hanging out at the bonfire in the evenings. Beer bribes are a great way to loosen the tongues of Parachutists Over Phorty. If you listen carefully, you can learn from POPS mistakes without the scars. Keep a sleeping bag in your car in case you enjoy a few too many wobbly pops with the POPS. Stir and repeat.
  21. I saw a partial eclipse in Vancouver ..... now I can only see spots!
  22. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Ah! Religion as entertainment! From many peasants' perspective - for thousands of years - religion was the only form of entertainment in most communities. Most music and sculpture contained religious themes. This was before the inter web, before recorded music, before television, before radio, before print media ....... Similarly, holy days frequently included freasts. One statistic says that during the Middle Ages, Polish peasants ate 25 percent of their calories during religious feasts and holy day food was often of higher quality than their normal boring diets. As for the debate between religion and science ....... remember that we currently live in a society with more scientific explanations than all previous societies. When earlier cultures could not scientifically explain a phenomenon (because they lacked satellites or electron microscopes) they used "God in the gaps" to complete their explanations of the natural world. Finally, tithing was a form of taxation back in the days when churches provided most of the social services: entertainment, marials, burials, bar mitzvas, orphanages, hospitals, schools, etc.
  23. Impending shortages of 100 octane, low lead aviation gasoline will accelerate retirement of older, piston-pounding jump-planes. In many parts of Africa and the Arctic, av gas is either frightfully expensive or impossible to buy. As for the rest of general aviation ..... it is only a question of "when?" My guess is over the next 20 years. 40 years from now, not even warbirds will be able to afford av gas, because refineries will have stopped "finishing" av gas. The first to go will be high-compression, turbo-charged, 6-cylinder engines that require higher octane fuel. A couple of companies are developing 300 horsepower diesels to replace the Continental O-470 and TIO-520 engines currently powering Cessna 206 jump planes. Development is slow, but there are thousands of privately-owned Cessna's, Mooneys, Pipers, Beechcraft, etc. that will need to convert engines over the next 20 years.