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Everything posted by riggerrob

  1. riggerrob

    Packing Nightmare

    I do a variation on a “Windsor” pack. I lay the canopy on the floor and use my knees to secure the slider while gently squeezing air out .... with my belly. Then I fold the canopy in half (top to bottom) and stuff the middle into the d-bag. I keep my knees on the bottom of the canopy, firmly clamping it to the d-bag and to the floor. Once the top corners of the d-bag are full, I stuff the top quarter of the canopy into the bag. Finally, I stand the d-bag on it’s top end. I slide my fingers up the lines to confirm that the slider is all the way up, then stuff the slider and bottom of the canopy into the middle of the d-bag. I keep my weight on the d-bag until the first line-stow is fastened.
  2. riggerrob

    Packing Nightmare

    The “roll” is the most important innovation introduced by the psycho-pack. Rolling from the top squeezes out air while helping control the packed canopy. I never mastered S-folding ZP fabric. I learned rolling many years before hearing about psycho-packing.
  3. riggerrob

    Packing Nightmare

    Slider is the first part to catch air, making it the most important. Keeping the slider hard up against the stops is very important! Since the top skin is the last part to catch air, it is the least important.
  4. riggerrob

    a question about old cutaway systems

    “Packing those roles-and-rings Strato-Clouds .... my hands bled after every pack job, but we were damned glad we had those new-tangled pull-up cords.”
  5. riggerrob

    Veggie Reggie Hurlbut RIP, 2018 June 15

    Our skybrother Reginald C. Hurlbut died 2018 June 15 at Skydive Chicago in Illinois. He was 68 years old. Better-known as Veggie Reggie, he was a long-time member of the Kamloops Skydivers’ Club. An early-adopter of wing-suits, Veggie’ taught dozens of Sky divers how to fly them. If Reggie’s infectious enthusiasm for skydiving was not enough, he also enjoyed even more adventures on the ground. One time Reggie was recounting his earlier career felling trees in British Columbia. He concluded his lumberjack story with “Now that was an adrenaline sport!”
  6. riggerrob

    Top 5 Tandem Scams

    I used to work at a (sea level) DZ that offered 9,000’ standard edit altitude, plus “bonus” altitude for $20 or $40 more. That made sense when they flew piston-pounding Cessna 182s. It made less sense when they flew a (turboprop) Cessna Caravan during the busy summer months because the most profitable way to fly a turbine is a single pass at 12,000 feet. Another possible scam is offering “Canada’s highest skydives.” If you take off from Calgary, you are already almost 3,500 feet above sea level. If they take you up to 14,000 feet above ground level, that might equal 17,500 feet ASL. That gives students almost the same air time as sea level DZs, but I have done enough jumps from 14,000 to 19,000 feet ASL to know that it is a healthy practice because few skydivers - and non of the general public - recognize when they suffer hypoxia (shortage of oxygen). When I jumped from 19,000, we had no supplemental oxygen. My student was “woozy” by the time we reached 19,000’ so I had to carry the well-nourished lad the entire length of a Dornier 228. I was puffing like a locomotive by the time we reached the door. My vision was going grey and I was losing peripheral vision. Mind you, that was back in the days when I thought a 20 kilometre fun was a pleasant way to cure a hangover! Hah! Hah!
  7. riggerrob

    Why dont reserve PCs have limiter tapes?

    How wide is the hard red cap on the pilot-chute for 300 series Vector 3/Micron? Are red-cap pilotchutes compatible with Sigmas?
  8. Scoop-and-toss deployment - of chest reserves - was dictated by the wimpy pilot-chutes used before MA-1 was introduced. Ground training (e.g. suspended harness) practice reserves were usually old reserves sewn or wired together. Sewing the canopy kept them in the “flaked” stage of packing. Cords or wires bound suspension lines together. Often a few gores and lines were removed to reduce volume and speed re-closing. Discarding pack-opening bands also speeded re-closing. With all those modifications, many schools sewed large red ribbons on the outside of (ground only) chest containers and wrote “ground training only” around the outside.
  9. Look in the Eclipse Tandem manual for Precision tandem reserve packing details. Eventually container manuals dominate, meaning that most tandem reserves are PRO-packed with rolled noses.
  10. ——————————————————————————————— Completing your profile would help reduce confusion. Brits use “bungee” to describe bare rubber bands. OTOH the rest of us say “bungee” to describe rubber strands wrapped in a braided sheath (cotton or nylon). We call bare rubber bands “rubber bands” or “elastics.” Military specification rubber bands often fail after one use - especially with tight d-bags.
  11. Those 3/4” wide tandem rubber bands are exclusive to Vector Tandems with thick, Dacron suspension lines. They solve a problem created by heavy Dacron lines dumping prematurely. In the worst scenario, the drogue jerks the d-bag out of the container, but leaves all the lines in the container, creating a “spaghetti mess!” In the evening worst scenario, the slider remains in the container as the canopy fabric inflates! All the different tandem manufacturers have suffered line dump and they have all developed a variety of solutions. Strong added an Anti Line Slump Flap to their d-bags. Parachutes de France and Eclipse added extra locking stows while Racer developed their Speed-Bag where every line stow is a locking stow. RWS/UPT developed double-wide rubber bands for civilian tandems and triple-wide rubber bands for military tandems. Hint: military tandems like to start with barrels containing 500 pounds of cargo! Line weight seems to be the deciding factor because when you pack Icarus mains - with slender lines (HMA or Vectran) they open just fine with MIL SPEC standard-sized rubber bands.
  12. riggerrob

    Tandem TSO question

    FAA Master Riggers are allowed to “substitute similar TSOed Components” but questions about compatibility can get complicated. On the simple end of the scale, the Eclipse TSO-holder (Bill Dause) tells me to substitute Vector II Tandem components after eclipse components wear out. Similarly, last year I installed a Vector II reserve freebag in a Next Tandem. Substituting Vector II reserve components is easy because Eclipse and Next are close copies of Vector Tandems. OTOH, Sometimes components from the same manufacturer do not fit in different generations of tandems from the same manufacturer. Last year I learned that Vector freebags are not compatible with Sigmas because Sigma reserve containers are much deeper. And forget about packing a Dual Hawk Resrve Pilot chute into a newer TNT tandem made by Strong Enterprises! Hah! Hah!
  13. riggerrob

    Packing a new canopy ... flaking problem

    You are starting well. I do a variation on your technique but I concentrate on keeping D and steering lines centre rear. Once the canopy is flaked, I bundle all the steering lines, D lines and a few C lines centre rear. I pull the tail to teeth level and briefly hold the centre tail between my teeth. Then I reach around the outside - with my other hand - and clamp that bundle from the outside. My first hand rolls the canopy. Both hands maintain grips until the canopy is laying on the floor and I lay on top of it to squeeze air out. This extra step keeps the bundle of steering lines, D lines and C lines centre rear.
  14. Funny! Back during the mid-1990s, Rigging Innovations, Jump Shack, etc. are sewing specialized CReW containers for Canopy Formation competeitors with extra-wide riser covers, etc. Sloppy pack jobs are ........ well ........ sloppy! As for sloppy reserve pack jobs ..... most start with customers ordering the smallest possible container, but insisting on buying a medium-sized reserve canopy.
  15. Yes. “Pilot chute controlled slider” one of the many steps to a among openings. Just like ropes-and-rings, that long bridle had to slide through the middle of the canopy. Even with big grommets and thick cotton panels, sloppy packing caused canopy burns. A few Para-Foils and military HALO canopies got double-length PCCS. One end of the long bridle was tied to the Centre cell bottom skin. It was routed through a pulley on the X-slider, back up through the middle of the canopy and finally tied to the pilot chute. Theoretically, the longer bridle doubled the “pulley effect” but they were only briefly fashionable.
  16. Yes, Tail diapers were a phase in the transition from round to square reserves. I have packed a few Hobbit and X210R reserves with tail diapers. They primarily sold to jumpers discarding their (acid mesh) round reserves with square reserves. Neither Hobbit nor X210R required freebags. Neither diapered reserve required any sewn changes to the harness-container. Eventually, all the container manufacturers perfected free bags and diapered squares were no longer needed. Back in the day, I jumped Strato-Cloud mains with diapers sewn onto an end rib - at the Para-Flite factory. Stowing lines on end-rib diapers was easy. The hassle was straightening 64 feet of reefing line! These canopies were made before sliders were perfected.
  17. riggerrob

    Back/Chest/Lap/Seat - Why?

    The Strong manual shows the old military pilot-chute compression tool. I just wrap my molar strap around the Pop-Top, route pull-up cords through bodkins, etc. I also make my own adjustable bodkins out of Cypres cord ...... but those are more relevant when packing Cypres into Racers
  18. riggerrob

    Back/Chest/Lap/Seat - Why?

    Whenever I get the urge to swear, I stare at the pretty pictures in the manual. Councilman is correct in stating that 80 percent of warbirds use seat packs. A few civilian KITPLANES accommodate seat packs, but 80 or 90 percent of aerobatic civilian airplanes use back PEPs. Modern gliders have such cramped cockpits that they can barely squeeze in long backs. Low-volume modern canopies have encouraged many glider pilots to buy reverse wedge back PEPs (3” thick across shoulders but tapering to zero at the bottom). Seat packs were originally developed for open cockpit biplanes with deep fuselages, but small cockpit coamings/openings. Biplanes are especially tight between the seatback and instrument panel. When air forces transitioned to enclosed cockpits (fighters and trainers) they continued the tradition of issuing pilots with seat packs. Seat packs remained in service until ejection seats became standard. Early ejection seats required pilots to wear separate back PEPs, but modern ejection seats store parachute canopies in headrest boxes. Military-surplus containers really should be a separate certification category for civilian Riggers. Military-surplus PEPs have faded from Canada since the last intact military-surplus PEP was sold circa 1980. To clarify my earlier statement: CSPA certifies Riggers to pack 1-pin sport back reserves or 2-pin sport back reserves, etc. “Sport” differentiates modern skydiving piggyback containers from antique, military-surplus PEPs. CSPA only retains the “chest” rating for historical reasons.
  19. riggerrob

    Second Chantz

    FAA and CSPA only care if there is an accident or written complaint about quality of workmanship on type-certified parachutes. Hang-glider reserves, drag-chutes for hot-rods, etc. are rarely certified. While working for Butler, I helped test-fire a spin-recovery chute. Designers had to demonstrate spin characteristics before the FAA would certify their new airplane. Butler insisted that all repacks, explosive cartridge replacements, etc. be done at his factory in California City. Returning chutes for maintenance was easy because Cal. City is mere minutes away from Palmdale, Mojave, USAFB Edwards and barely an hour from USN China Lake.
  20. riggerrob

    Second Chantz

    Canadian rigging regulations are similar to American FARs. The only difference is that Transport Canada delegates responsibility for training and rating Riggers to the Canadian Sports Parachuting Association’s Technical Committee. The practical difference is zero. Yes, I was dancing on that razor’s edge of legality. First I have attended several of Betty’s PIA seminars on repacking hang glider reserves. Secondly, I have a stack of manuals for other emergency parachutes for hang gliders and ultralights. Thirdly, I have repacked dozens of similar reserves. Finally I copied a factory repack. On a similar vein, what do you think of me packing Talon 2, Telesis 2 and Aviator PEPs without the manuals? Hint: I wrote those manual for Rigging Innovations after packing prototypes dozens of times.
  21. Mighty brave vidiot to fly close to that mal and pull the reserve bridle! Next question: why did the TI forget to pull frothed release handles?
  22. riggerrob

    Back/Chest/Lap/Seat - Why?

    Good point wmw999, Canopy flaking varies big time between military-surplus and civilian seat packs. MILSPEC containers usually say the only long fold the canopy until it is the same width as the container. Fortunately young Riggers need not bother learning military packing techniques because the US military and (Canadian) Crown Assets Disposal quit selling intact surplus parachutes back around 1980. I rarely repack any parachute more than 25 years old. The last time an aerobatic pilot asked me to repack his back PEPs, I replied that I no longer had access to a long table. Nor do I have bromocreasol green or clamps for tensile-testing. The whole truth is that I wanted nothing to do with his Natonal Phantom reserve seen during the acid mesh era. OTOH Civilian PEPs require a wide variety of flaking and bulk distribution techniques. Most civvy seat packs need canopies long folded in fifths so the canopy goes into the container on its edge .... like a Wonderhog. Back PEPs require a much greater variety of packing techniques. Instructions usually start with long-folding the canopy to half the width of the container. Then bulk distribution changes depending upon whether it is a simple back container, long back or wedge. A few wedge, back PEPs start similar to seatpacks with the diaper laid cross-wise in the thick end and folds leaning more and more as you approach the thin edge.
  23. riggerrob

    Second Chantz

    There is another option. The last time I repacked a recovery chute for an ultralight (forget which brand, but the cpanopy was sewn by Free Flight Enterprises) I did not have the specific manual. Fortunately, the last repack had been done by FFE. We took a series of photos while stretching out the canopy. Since the old pack job followed industry best-practices, I just copied the old pack job. The biggest hassle was remembering which corner to rout le the bridle out. Reviewing photos reminded me of the original corner and I was satisfied with my second pack job.
  24. You are over-thinking the problem. Your first instinct was correct. It is okay to have two or three canopies flying parallel final approches provided everyone keeps their heads on swivels. Only one of you (usually the first to land) gets a clear shot at th bowl. Finally NOBODY CROSSES THE WINDLINE. This policy also discourages sashaying or significant turns while on final.
  25. riggerrob

    Back/Chest/Lap/Seat - Why?

    Can we agree that Americans have not been updated to accomodate 1980s-vintage skydiving gear? Every decade or so, the Canadian Sport Parachute Association updates our rigger training and rating program. CSPA issues separate ratings for round or square canopies. CSPA certifies Riggers to pack 5 classes of containers: 1-pin sport (Vector and Javelin), 2-pin sport (Wonderhog), Pop-Top (Racer and Teardrop), chest and pilot emergency parachutes. Canada has no lap rating because the Royal Canadian Air Force never issued lap parachutes. Many these different type ratings are included purely for historical reasons. For example, since chest-mounted reserves disappeared from Canadian DZs by 1990, no young Riggers want to waste time learning how to pack them. Similarly, after round reserves disapearred circa 2000, no young Riggers want to bother learning how to pack canopies they have seen in the air. Round canopies are now limited to PEPs. The PEP type rating includes seat and chest .... a bit broad for my taste, but when you consider that 80 percent of PEPs are backs or long backs ..... Modern seat type PEPs are easy to pack if you have already packed a bunch of rounds into 2-pin sport containers (Wonderhog).