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Everything posted by riggerrob

  1. This morning, as I put on my shirt, a button fell off. When I picked up my brief-case, the handle fell off. When I tried to turn the door handle, it fell off. Now I am afraid to pee!
  2. Canada has few rigid rules about gear life beyond those specified by manufacturers (e.g. all Cypres 1 AADs should have retired more than 15 years ago). Also review service bulletins. This is really two separate issues. Fortunately, most parachutes wear out before they fall out of fashion. The more complicated problem is when gear remains in service long after it has fallen out of fashion. For example, round reserves should only be worn by POPs who have already landed a few dozen round main canopies. I may have started jumping round canopies - during the 1970s - but my last round landing was in 1986. If you ask me to repack a round reserve today, we will share a laugh! If you ask me to repack a round reserve made during the 1980s, I will explain that I no longer have the tools to test for acid mesh …. and the nearest museum is in Langley. An even greater problem is when junior jumpers want to jump older gear without understanding the limitations. For example, I have advised several skydivers about the dangers of loading Micro Raven 120s more than 1 pound per square foot because no one was loading mains that heavy when Ravens were introduced (circa 1984). As for free-flying with pre-1995 gear, that is just plain dumb because there are far too many opportunities for stuff to blow loose when wind hits it from weird angles. In conclusion, the simple answer is don't jump gear more than 20 years old. The complicated answer is that some 30-year-old gear is still airworthy, but you need a history lesson from a grumpy, old, grey-bearded master rigger to understand the limitations on older gear.
  3. All good points dear fcajump, May I add that clean cables are more important than lubricated cables when jumping in the desert? Too much lu do any traps grit on the cable, increasing pull force. That grey-black is oxidation see stainless steel from inside ths spiral-wound housing.
  4. Dear 20KN, PIA standards are considered “industry best practices” and anyone who does not follow them is considered annoying. As for canopy measuring methods ... a bewildering array of canopy measuring methods were used before PIA standardized on Para-Flite’s method. Para-Flite and PIA measure chord straight from the trailing edge to the top leading edge. That was easy to measure on end ribs of square canopies. But after tapered canopies were introduced (circa 1990) it became increasingly difficult to measure inner ribs and do all the math. Perormance Deaigns introduced a simpler method which uses bottom skin chord. By 2001 many other manufacturers (e.g. Icarus) adopted PD’s method, so now PD’s method is the defacto standard for measuring ram-air canopies. IOW that boat sailed 20 years ago. This caused confusion when PD started selling reserve canopies because PD reserves packed bulkier than preceding reserves for two reasons: greater top skin area (than PIA) and more spanwise reinforcing tapes. PD needed span-wise reinforcing tapes because their reserves were the first designed to be loaded more than 1 pound per square foot. IOW PD reserves fly “bigger” than old measuring systems suggest. As for canopy bulk measuring methods ... I used to work alongside Sandy Reid (Rigging Innovations) when he measured large numbers of canopies by the PIA method. Sandy compressed canopies into the PIA standard cylinder, then handed them to me to test-pack into the latest models of Talon containers. Canopy volume - same inflated size from the same manufacturer - varies for a variety of reasons: different thicknesses of fabric, different coatings, different humidity, etc. Bulk varied widely during the early 1990s as various fabric mills learned how to weave zero porosity fabric. Early Triathlons varied as much as 30 percent by volume as Gelvenor Fabric Mills (South Africa) learned how to calendarize and coat fabrics. The other issue is different canopy/container densities recommended by container manufacturers. That fashion has definitely gotten tighter over the last 30 years. Just because the best rigger - at the factory - can a 123-sized reserve reserve into a specific sized container does not mean that Joe Field Rigger can do the same, especially when all the subtle factory tricks are not written down. This becomes doubly difficult when the factory rigger packed in a humid loft while Joe Field Rigger struggles in a bone-dry desert. Humidity can decrease pack volume by easily 10 percent.
  5. Happy New Year dear Gowlerk, You, Transport Canada, CSPA, USPA, FAA and I all agree on the wisdom of wearing seat-belts/restraints in jump-planes. I refine Hooker belts to be the most useful. Since 2008, skydiving instructors have invented 3 or 4 more ways to anchor tandem students inside jump-planes. However, this Canadian DZO got tired of power-tripping CSPA Board members telling him how to run his business, so he affiliated with USPA a long time ago. He also is not interested in senior, licensed jumpers telling him how to run his business.
  6. Back during the 1980s(?) canopy manufacturers ganged up against harness-container manufacturers to write the PIA Standard that says that canopy manufacturers only need to supply: canopy, lines, links, slider, manual and reserve packing data card. If anyone tries to sell you a canopy missing those key items, demand your money back! The reserve packing data card goes with the reserve canopy, since reserve canopies often out-live containers. If the card includes notes about Service Bulletins done in the harness/container, then a photo-copy of the RPDC goes with the H/C. If the AAD battery replacement or factory inspections are noted on the RPDC, then a photo-copy of the card goes with the AAD. Sometimes selling a used container without risers, goggles, d-bag and pilot-chute is a blessing because those are high-wear items.
  7. If skybytch shuts up, then I also have to shut up. I did not jump in 2019, because of a disagreement with the local DZO about seat-belts.
  8. Call around an ask until you find a skydiving school that has a modified tandem rig for extra-large students. My largest tandem student was a 270-pound, retired rugby player. He had thighs the size of tree trunks! ... so I did not worry about breaking him. He listened well and helped me steer the canopy and we were all smiles as we slid to a stop in the wet grass.
  9. Parachutes de France Blue Track debuted around 1988, with Performance Designs’ Sabre in 1989. By the mid 1990s, you could not “give” away an F-111 main!
  10. Great video! I always encourage sport jumpers to pull their own reserve ripcords when they drop off rigs for maintenance. I also invite junior jumpers to pull reserve ripcords when school rigs are due for maintenance. Many are surprised at how little effort it takes to pull a ripcord. I like to turn it into a miniature review of malfunction procedures and I deliberately stand outside their field of vision. Ripcord pins can be polished, but only by a rigger, only with fine emery cloth and only after they are scratched.
  11. The old standard was ordering a chest strap that is way too long and simply loosening it after opening. Definitely keep your belly-band snug when you loosen your chest strap.
  12. I don't remember PISA publishing any life limit on Tempo reserves. I have packed hundreds of Tempo reserves and never heard of any problems. They are decent reserves, roughly par with similar-sized reserves made by Performance Designs or any of the major canopy manufacturers. More likely, Tempo reserve canopy life is limited by national standards in your country. Though you may have difficulty convincing a new rigger to pack any canopy older than themselves. Hah! Hah!
  13. I draw the line a naked streaking the runway after dark, but before the air traffic controllers went home.
  14. Also remember that Para-Flite designed the Swift Plus series before anyone routinely loaded main parachutes more than one pound per square foot. If you expect an old Swift reserve to flare as gracefully as a modern Performance Designs Optimum 145 … you had better pre-pay your medical insurance. IOW, anyone who loads a Swift Plus 145 reserve with more than 145 pounds is an idiot! … er …. not very bright …. er … poorly informed ….
  15. I disagree. Any time an AAD fires, you are too low. In my 40 years of skydiving, I have only seen one FXC 12000 mis-fire at 7,000 feet. All the rest of the AAD fires have been below 2,000'. Any time you are below 2,000' without an inflated main, you have made a mistake.
  16. Looks like it took off from the Flying Beaver Restaurant at dawn on Tuesday, 2019 December 10. The Flying Beaver Restaurant is on the South Fork of the Fraser River where it passes Sea Island and Vancouver International Airport. That dock is where you can board floatplane flights to Victoria, Seattle, Nanaimo and Vancouver's Inner Harbour. Great hamburgers too!
  17. I invented a new auto-homing golf ball. As long as you can putt the ball to within 4 inches of the hole, it will automatically drop in. Note to self: don't carry it in your back pocket!
  18. Pure brass grommets need a couple of years to badly interact with rubber bands. Fortunately, most modern brass grommets are nickel-plated.
  19. The best way to keep things fresh is trying to learn a new skill every year. I only made 4 static-line jumps my first year. Over that winter I earned a private pilot license. The next summer I flew a bit and only made two jumps. The third summer I made 60 jumps and earned my A license. The fourth summer, I did about 50 fun jumps. The fifth year, I passed the army static-line course and tried out for the Canadian Army parachute display team. The sixth year, I earned a static-line jump-master rating. The seventh year, I did another 50 fun jumps, plus a stack of exhibition jumps. The eighth year, I earned a rigger rating and started flying jumpers. The ninth year, I flew more jumpers and learned how to drop IAD students (1985). The tenth year, I earned an Instructor B rating and tandem instructor rating and did a couple of BASE jumps. I did not jump much while at university, but worked full-time in the skydiving industry for 18 years afterwards. Every year I tried to add a new rating or renew an old rating: Master Rigger, PFF instructor, Cypres installation rating, PIA Symposia, lecturing at PIA Symposia, wing-suit, Rigger Instructor, Rigger Examiner, Tandem Examiner Rating, etc. Eventually, I had to take a year off for knee surgery and cut back to only doing tandems on weekends. I finally quit jumping after the local CSPA DZ shut down and I disagreed with a non-CSPA DZO about seat-belts. If you try to learn something new every year, you will never get bored skydiving.
  20. Yes Gowlerk, I have had similar dreams many times. They started with pulling my main handle lower than normal, then a really slow opening. I usually impact at line-stretch, stand up, dust myself off and hope that nobody saw my landing.
  21. Those 4 ring risers remind me of Parachutes de France tandem gear. Geometry is a bit off, explaining the incomplete cutaway. However, the harness rings are not from Parachutes de France. P. de F. or Strong Enterprises who both use a single large forged 3D ring (Wichard) to connect main risers to student shoulder hooks. The pair in your photo are actually two different pieces of hardware strapped together, but not strapped the same way as RWS/UPT or Eclipse. The exposed harness webbing is also missing from the Type 12 external buffer (to prevent abrasion when dragged across a packing mat). I suspect that this tandem rig was made in Eastern Europe. The reserve ripcord is silver metal, in the same location as a Strong Dual Hawk ripcord. You are looking at it edge on. The loose end of the ripcord cable dangles just inboard of the shiny metal handle.
  22. May I suggest that you visit a doctor who examines pilots for the Civil Aviation Authority? I have sent several aspiring tandem instructors to the same doctors who do Transport Canada medicals for pilots, but I told them not to bother with the paperwork needed to get an official aviation medical certificate. Both Strong Enterprises and I were satisfied with a doctor's note saying that the TI was healthy enough to skydive. You will probably still have to pay out of your own pocket.
  23. Butt bungees only became fashionable during the mid-1990s. They became fashionable for two reasons. First: sit-flying became fashionable in North America. Secondly: this was about 5 years after Rigging Innovations introduced hip rings. Now ringed harnesses were being jumped by second owners who were different sizes than people the harnesses were originally built for. Hip rings allowed greater flexibility, making it easier for leg straps to slide toward knees. Butt bungees don’t prevent people from falling (butt first) out of harnesses) rather they prevent leg straps from sliding away from your buttocks.
  24. Few regulations, but you will score the best at classic precision landings with a large, specialized accuracy canopy like a Para-Foil, Eiff or PD Zero. Specialized PL canopies are usually low aspect ratio, 7-cells with huge stabilizers, keels, flares, vents, etc. The low aspect ratio reduces heading changes near the stall. Low wing-loading reduces the number of broken bones when you stall vertically onto the tuffet. By large, I mean wing-loading in the 0.7 pounds per square foot range. Suspended weight includes your body, plus helmet, clothes, harness, canopies, etc. Your second best choice is a large BASE canopy. Third choice is a large, 9-cell ZP canopy like those jumped by students. If you try to jump a small, 9-cell, ZP canopy at a serious accuracy competition, judges will politely suggest that you enter the sport accuracy category. With practice, any canopy can be landed, consistently within a metre of target centre, but faster canopies require far more practice. I earned my CSPA Exhibition Jump rating on a Stiletto 135.