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Everything posted by riggerrob

  1. If you cut a spar-sized notch in the bottom of the bench, it will fit over the spar and can extend all the way forward to the co-pilot's instrument panel. Alternately, you could make the starboard bench in two pieces and remove the front part (forward of the spar) when the pilot's seat is occupied. Rob Warner Private Pilot Retired Air Force technician FAA Master Rigger Rigger Instructor and Examiner IAD, S/L, PFF Instructor Strong TIE TI for Racer, Sigma, Strong and Vector
  2. Sadly, I was Vancouver Skydive's Navajo for its last load on 2017 September 23. An overly-ambitious airport manager and under-ambitious air traffic controllers collaborated to ground the Navajo too often. As for seats, start with hard foam blocks 12" wide and 10" to 14" those dimensions work well in King Airs but the lower ceiling in Navajo will probably need to install only 10" of hard foam with a thin layer of plywood topped with closed cell camping matresses. Wrap the whole thing in vinyl or Cordura or carpet. Make the co-pilot's side bench the full distance from the co-pilot's instrument panel to the front door frame. Cut off the pilot's side benches couple of feet short of the door. As for seatbelts: call Hooker Harness. Leave the cargo rings in because they are handy for anchoring tandem students' side hooks.
  3. My experience was back in 1984, when I sewed a Jack the Ripper sheath to the left fore-arm of my jumpsuit. It had the standard snap on a short piece of para cord. The next jump, a jumper knocked it loose as he docked on my left arm. As I reached up to grab my toggles, I nicked my left riser! I promptly sewed another knife sheath onto my thigh and never had any problems with it falling out.
  4. Yes, twins almost double maintenance costs. Every time you split a PT6A's main casing, the bill starts at $100,000! King Air maintenance is even more expensive with their retractable wheels. $45,000 every time you send a KA strut out for mandatory inspections every 5 years. When my boss bought a 1960s-vintage KA, I asked him why he did not buy a smaller single. He replied "KA is the least expensive turbine." We eventually agreed that a 10-seater turbine single would be the perfect size for that DZ. Consider that the oldest KA were built in the 1960s when they were the launch customer for P&WC's shiny new engine. That makes the oldest KA 90 series 50 years old! Many third-rate cargo carriers buy old King Airs based on the instrument panel number of hours remaining on the engines. Some fly them until engine hours/cycles time-out. Similarly, I saw a FLEET of tired, old Beech 99s based in Las Vegas and flying tourists over the Grand Canyon. This was many years after Beech 1900 replace 99s on the production line. Or they strip the old airframe for spare parts. I remember an engineless orange twin (Bandiarante or Gulfstream 1) sitting around Perris Vallet, CA for years! They robbed the engines to keep one of their jump-planes (Twin Otters and a Skyvan).
  5. If you are talking about the angle of attack relative to the wind, pulling down in front risers decreases the angle between the bottom skin and the wind: If you are talking about angle of incidence, then you are talking about the canopy's angle relative to the horizon. Finally, greater speed may increase but I suspect that the "step" created by pulling front risers) adds more drag and disturbs airflow over both top and bottom skins. So pulling front-risers is primarily about increasing forward speed. When you release front risers the canopy smooths out and returns to an angle of attack close to is best glide ratio. The extra speed translates into extra lift and more forward momentum at the start of the flare.
  6. Agreed. The optimum configuration - for handling turbulence - depends upon the canopy. For example, my Strato-Cloud handled turbulence best with 1/4 brakes because that improved pressurization. My Nova was different because it was trimmed so steep that any front-riser input pulled the nose down so far that it promptly folded under. I quickly learned never to touch front rises on a Nova!
  7. Back during the glory days of skydiving (1990s) only a handful of the busiest American DZs flew 30-seat CASA 212s. Those CASAs also flew at a few of the larger boogies. These days twin-engined jump-planes have largely been replaced by single-engined turbines: Cessna Caravans, PAC 750s and Quest Kodiaks. My favourite is the Kodiak because it has a door almost as big as a Twin Otter, but does not need a boarding ladder. These singles carry almost as many jumpers (18) as a Twin Otter (up to 24) but cost perhaps half as much to operate and can be turned with fewer jumpers.
  8. Definitely take it gentle for the first few months and carefully follow your physio-therapists' advice. More than 9 years ago I dislocated my shoulder bring a plane crash. I tore my acromia-clavicular ligament and the top end of my biceps. I made the mistake of packing 14 main parachutes only 3 months after my injury. BIG MISTAKE. Packing set my recovery back by several months. 4 months after the accident WSBC sent me a letter allowing me to return to LIGHT DUTIES. It was a full year before I could use my shoulder without pain. 9 years after the accident, my ACL started to hurt again and I had to resume physio-therapy.
  9. Skydive Arizona honours CSPA Solo Certificates during the Canadian Invasion every January. Since the Canadian Invasion usually includes several CSPA coaches and instructors, Solos can jump with instructors and coaches from their homeland. Similarly, some Florida DZs allow British students to jump with BPA instructors.
  10. To avoid inserting fingers too deep in pilot huge handles: rednecks use duct tape while electricians use gaffers' tape and snobs use wine corks.
  11. One caveat: don't try to freefall from a helicopter hovering at 200 feet. That low means tossing the pilot chute immediately and a high risk of entanglement with the jumper in the turbulent airflow immediately below the helicopter. You could do something clever like have your character hand his pilot guts to a helicopter crew member and yell "Here. Hold this!" Buddy falls out of the helicopter and stretches out the parachute. The helicopter crew holds onto his pilot huge until it is ripped out of their hands (line stretch). A couple seconds later our hero is hanging under a fully-inflated parachute. This is sometimes referred to as "pilot-chute assist." The chute will probably be built specifically for BASE jumping with the configuration and packing method tailored to the altitude. After buddy lands on the bridge, he scuffles with the bad guy - who falls off the bridge. Our hero pulls his ripcord. The spring-loaded reserve pilot-chute leaps out. Our hero ties his pilot-chute to the bridge railing and jumps off. The reserve chute deploys similar to the first chute, with the pilot-chute and bag left hanging from the bridge. Reserve parachutes open almost as quickly as BASE canopies because they are packed almost the same way. For exact details, contact a BASE equipment manufacturer like Apex BASE. They can also provide stuntmen for your film.
  12. How big are those containers? LD1, LD2 and LD3 baggage containers all stand 63 inches (163cm) tall. Which means ceilings high enough for our shortest skydivers to stand upright. How high is the door sill above ground? Will we still need an extra ladder? Can we retrofit an external step like a Kodiak or Porter?
  13. Yes. I have suffered a couple of tandem at locks. I cut them away. They separated and I deployed my reserve normally. The bags landed within less than a mile of the dz and were easily retrieved from the desert.
  14. Also allow your data base to SAVE the names of new gear.
  15. .... - a loop that slides out of a channel tied to the reserve top when either side is released (finally someone who gets what I've been talking about!). I didn't think of tying one end down ....... Have you presented this info and testing to Jumpshack? ---------------------------------------------------------------- No. John Sherman resists anything not invented by him. OTOH Nancy Lariviere has recently commented on this forum and she listens. The next question is how fast she is allowed to change things at the Racer Factory?
  16. Seems to me that this configuration could be designed so that the loop length could be adjusted at the anchored (I.e. tied-down) end. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Exactly! My prototypes looked like really long adjustable loops for Reflex. They tail hung out where they met the free-bag. I still have my old prototype kicking around. If I had a Power Racer (small diameter spring) pilot-chute, I might build another prototype over the winter. Recent advances with magnets would solve several of the side-flap problems that I encountered with my first prototype. Does anyone have a spare Power-Racer pilot-chute? The fabric does not need to be airworthy, just the spring. Please.
  17. One cutter is enough to open a Racer pilot-chute IF it has a CYPRES-style sliding loop. The key difference is that Cypres-style loops are not sewn to the pilot-chute and are free to slide out if there is uneven pressure. The Cypres-pattern loop sides through a tape channel that is sewn to the pilot-chute inner cap. That sliding adds a variable when packing, but it reduces the risk of hesitations.I usually hand-sew around the top coil of the spring to prevent the channel from wandering. When John Sherman (Racer designer) banned Cypres-pattern loops, SoCal riggers asked why? So we rigged an old Racer with a Cypres-style loop and two separate ripcord pins. We deployed it on the table dozens of times. We tested a variety of sequences and the pilot-chute never hesitated. Most of the time we only pulled one pin before the pilot-chute hit the ceiling. It did not seem to matter if we pulled the top or bottom pin. In the end, all we had to show for our research were dents in the ceiling! A decade later, I repeated those table tests with a Pop-Top reserve container of my own design. I used a wimpy, worn-out MA-1 pilot-chute. The difference was that I tied my Cypres-style loop near the bottom flap and only installed one ripcord pin ... the top pin. Later tests deleted side flaps and tied the closing loop to the freebag (near where a bottom loop would penetrate), Again, lots of dents in the ceiling. My table tests confirmed my thesis that you can build a single-pin Pop-Top without a hard pilot-chute cap. Speed-Bags make perfect sense for tandem main deployment bags. Apparently the factory jumped Speed-Bags on mains a few thousand times before they tested Speed Bags on reserves. It make take an extra minute to stow lines on a Speed-Bag, but no longer than an Atom or Icon. Those elastic line stow loops inside the pocket serve the same function: they BALANCE line stows and reduce the risk of line dump during high-speed deployments. As Manley Butler said: you can use rubber bands up to 250 knots, but faster than that you need flutes. Not sure why I saying good things about Racers when it takes me an extra half hour to pack them. My biggest hassle is preventing canopy fabric from crossing the centre-line under the pilot-chute. Any fabric crossing the centreline changes bulk distribution, requiring changing the closing loop length, etc. That hassle could be vastly reduced by sewing the bag together at the grommets (Dolphin, Javelin, Wings, Sidewinder, Vortex, Voodoo, etc.) to reduce that variable. A molar bag would also vastly simplify the process of routing closing loops through the d-bag. The other reason that I dislike Racer style free-bags is that they allow reserve canopy fabric to rub against closing loops. I have had to patch two reserves because riggers used more muscle than skill. Two damaged reserves is too many!
  18. Trying to answer multiple questions ..... A sliding (not hand-sewn) Racer reserve closing loop was recommended by Airtec when they first approved Cypres installation in Racers. John Sherman did not packing sliding loops, so he banned them from being packed by FAA riggers. Cypres-pattern loops require an extra step to prevent them from sliding out prematurely, but are waaaay easier to replace. Lodi loops are just half of an adjustable Racer reserve closing loop. LL are copied from TSE 1-pin Teardrop which was approved during the early 1990s. Teardrop uses a domed, aluminium pilot-chute cap on its 1-pin Pop-Top (exposed pilot chute cap). There is only 1 reserve ripcord pin and it lays against the wearer's spine. Reflex received its FAA TSO during the late 1990s with the same closing loop as Teardrop and a domed composite PC cap. The domed shape is the secret to creating sufficient volume for pilot-chute mesh and fabric while keeping ripcord pull force less than 22 pounds (10 kg).
  19. That is why I no longer repack round reserves built during the acid-mesh era (1980s). This is more about refusing to repack older GENERATIONS of equipment. Heck! I don't even have the tools (to test for acid mesh) any more. Similarly, I don't pack rounds without diapers. I do not pack any pre-Swift square reserves and the numbers of Swift (both 5-cell and 7-cell) are dwindling in my area. I rarely see square reserves built during the 1980s. Micro-Ravens fell out fashion(around here) after a young, stupid, fat white man loaded one at 1.6 and broke several bones! Sometimes manufacturers publish life-limits (e.g. 20 years on pilot emergency parachutes) as a quiet way of saying that their older gear had a few flaws (e.g. no riser covers on early Softies) and that they now build better gear (e. g. modern Softies have riser covers). If the older gear has been in service for 20 years, sunlight has probably faded the risers to the point that we worry about strength. Few PEPs (from any manufacturer) are still airworthy after 20 years in the California desert. Maybe we should change our standard to "generations." For example, the last major revolution - in parachute materials - occurred around 1990: kill-line pilot chutes, ZP fabric, zero-stretch suspension lines, collapse able sliders, mini risers, electronic AADs, hip rings, etc. So that moves the bar to 27 years ago for closet-queens, but any gear that has been jumped on a regular basis has worn out long before it reaches 27 years old.
  20. Yes, I pack Racer reserves. I had to develop a variation on Ghost Loops before I got the tool count within reason. Now my steel T-bodkins gather dust. Holy thread-drift Batman! Hint: the less we talk - about bumbling amateurs tightening reserve loops - the less likely they will hear about it. I suspect that is why Lodi Loops are banned in Canada. I have repacked Racer reserves with 3 different types of freebag: rubber bands, Safety-Stow and Speed Bag. They all work. I suspect that Speed-Bags work best towards the high-speed edge of the envelope. The only risk is that rubber bands will rot out (after 2 years) in the California desert. I suspect that Speed-Bags were developed to prevent line-dump (especially heavy Dacron suspension lines) on tandem mains. All the tandem manufacturers have experienced problems with line dump and they have all developed different solutions (e.g. Strong Anti Line Slump flap). As for other rigger's opening a pack job (only replace AAD without a full inspection) then re-closing it with their seal ...... why worry. They just took responsibility. They just re-certified that reserve as airworthy. Now their licence is on the line if there is an accident.
  21. Backing councilman on this debate ..... but from a different angle. New jumpers never learned how to fly older designs. For example, back when (mid 1990s) Micro Raven 120 and 109 were introduced, (the dear departed) Al Frizby sang sarcastic songs about "stupid fat white men" jumping tiny reserves. I sang back-up in the choir. A decade later, tiny Micro Ravens were popular with fun jumpers in Pitt Meadows. A young jumper wanted to load a Micro Raven at 1.6 pounds per square foot. Since the reserve was airworthy, I repacked it, but warned him about the risks. He dismissed me as a dumpy, old, gray-bearded Master Riger. A few months later, he made an entire parade of mistakes and broke a bunch of bones. Micro Ravens fell out of fashion faster than a greased anvil! May I suggest an alternative solution? Only pack gear that is younger than the user. Only pack 5- cell reserves for people who have a hundred jumps on 5-cell mains. If they had a bunch of jumps back when leather Frap-Hats were fashionable, they should be allowed to continue jumping with a leather frap-hat. If someone had a thousand jumps before electronic AADs were invented (1991) then they should be allowed to jump without an AAD. Etc. This attitude allows POPS, SOS, etc. to continue jumping familiar gear, but also ensures that year will fade from the DZ over the next decade.
  22. Which shape of skull fits best in ICE helmet: round and wide???? ...... or long and narrow?
  23. United Naions sanctions were busted when that PAC 750 was sold to North Korea. A New Zealand court has convicted Pacific Aerospace Limited executives of violating UN sanctions against illegal trading. After reading a series of e-mails, the NZ court is not buying the alibi about a Chinese trader committing all the sins. Now the NZ court is deciding whether to fine PAC executives or imprison them or both. The UN imposed sanctions on NK in an effort to convince NK to halt their development of nuclear bombs and Intercontinental Ballistic Missles. NK has recently test-fired missiles to demonstrate their ability to strike countries thousands of miles away. South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Guam, Canada, USA, and dozens of island nations are afraid the NK will detonate nuclear bombs over their countries. PAL is only prolonging the misery by selling hardware to NK. It looks like NK is using that PAC 750 to develop hardware for military drones. Scary! I just hope that PAL emerges from this intact and continues to build one of the better jump-planes on this planet.
  24. Abbottsford, B.C., Canada still has a Porter. It is ex-Australian Army and has the ugliest desert camouflage paint job I have ever seen! Abby's Porter is assisted by a Quest Kodiak and a gaggle of piston-pounding Cessnas.
  25. Why are you upset? This is standard legal practice. No lawyer wants the jury or judge to hear "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth." Lawyers always manipulate witnesses to limit testimony to less than half of the truth and only the half of the truth that supports their side of the argument. I have been shouted down by a lawyer ("I ask the questions here ") who refused to answer my question. He was clearly trying to limit the amount of evidence that I could reveal in court. He also asked some preposterous leading questions that could only have been answered by an octopus. That lawyer was later implicated in "contempt outside the court." Sometimes justice delayed is worse than no justice.