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Everything posted by riggerrob

  1. Forget about resale price. At best, the MARD will make it sell quicker. You need to be alive to sell this rig a couple of years down the road. A MARD slightly improves your chances of surviving the next couple of years. The way to improve your 2020 survival chances is participating in Safety Day refresher training.
  2. Black-coated cable is stiffer, ergo better with spring-loaded pilot-chutes. Black-coated cable is stronger than needed for S/L. Most S/L rigs use flex-pins made of clear-coated cable.
  3. http://Did you hear about the British woman who tried to sue the Natioanl Health Service. She claimed the NHS ruined her love life. She said that she used to sex with her husband - on a regular basis - until he had surgery at the local hospital. Surgeons removed two things from his body: cataracts!
  4. We are all anxious when we jump. The only skydivers who are not anxious are stupid. Stupid skydivers don’t survive very long. As a junior jumper, your challenge is to convert your anxiety energy into “safe” routines, like studying the winds, planning your landing pattern before boarding the airplane, pin checks, looking over your shoulder before turning, etc.
  5. Flex pins are the most idiot-proof way to close static-line rigs, but they are not perfect. When I maintained the gear at a S/L school, I always made sure there were a few spare closing loops and a few spare flex-pins and encouraged packers to replace them at the first sign of significant wear. Key point: flex-pins and closing loops are cheap, but airplane tails are expensive. For tools - as important as hook knives - wise operations double-up or triple-up.
  6. To all those gun-toting, camp-wearing, wannabe soldiers: “You, me and rucksacks ... once around the airfield.”
  7. Cypres 1 should have retired from Canadian DZs a long time ago because Airtec put a 12 year life on them. Airtec quit building Cypres 1 early in this century. Similarly, Canadian skydivers are expected to maintain their gear in accordance with manufacturers' instructions. That includes all Service Buletins, Special Inspections, etc.
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. When you die, the electrical energy in your body slows down, passing through gaseous, liquid and eventually solid states. When a new organism (worm) consumes your mortal remains, it converts some of those solids and liquids into electrical energy and the cycle repeats.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Dear Gowlerk, "Turtle Island" was the best guess explanation that native Americans could come up with based on their limited knowledge of geology/astronomy/cosmology, etc. When they lacked measurable knowledge of plate tectonics, that used the "Great Spirit" to fill in the gaps. As human knowledge increases, those gaps get progressively smaller, ergo less need for "God in the gaps." The danger is when a religion/shared world view stagnates and clings to an old belief after that climate/society, etc. have changed around them. Organized religions tend to stagnate, while scientists are constantly challenging old views, peer reviewing and testing new theories. For example, modern surgeons perform operations that were considered "miracles" only a few decades ago.
  14. Not being able to prove - that something is physical - has been a problem for most of humankind's existence. It is only within the last few hundred years that we have developed instruments to measure the smallest things and the largest things. Even so, scientists still speculate on things smaller than we can prove/see/measure. For example, I can understand Newtonian physics, but Quantum Physics are too bizarre for me to grasp. Heaven is a human invention to ease their fears of death and the fear that friends and family will forget them as soon as they die. Telling people that if they live a good life, they will go to heaven is a way of moderating their behaviour on earth. Initially "good behaviour" only needed to include your own immediate family and extended family. If you were to stupid to share and cooperate, your genetic line died out after a few generations. As clans and tribes and villages and kingdoms grew larger, it became increasingly important for everyone to behave the same way (e.g. not pissing in the public fountain that provided drinking water for the entire village). Initially these morals/standards/ethics were imposed by the village leader. To ensure some continuity when the old leader/king, etc. died off, his son inherited the kingdom and also inherited the same set of behavioural expectations. After a few generations, these shared behaviours became central to the family, clan, tribe, village, kingdom, etc. To simplify the process of passing these shared behaviours on to successive generations, stories about these behaviours were retold around the fire every night. Rhyming schemes helped ensure consistency over the generations. Then these epic poems were put to music, another step in ensuring consistency. Then travelling poets/musicians/entertainers spread these poems/origin stories to other villages. Eventually the wisest poets started to claim that they could predict the weather, etc. When they could not point out clear evidence/prove a theory, they used God to fill in the gaps. That was the origin of organized religions. It is possible to absorb these behaviours without ever attending church, just by listening to your neighbours. But it is not possible for a single generation to learn all these behaviours, ergo humans retell stories from their grandparents. Grandparents hold the collective knowledge of a tribe. Eventually those shared stories about good behaviours get written into books. Even later, those good behaviours are codified in holy books. After many more centuries, those good behaviours become the "law of the land." These days, if commit most of the sins (bad behaviours) mentioned on the Ten Stone Tablets given to Moses, you will be arrested, tried and punished. Origin stories do not have to be 100 percent accurate as long as they are easy to remember and encourage good behaviour. Hence: organized religions.
  15. Oh! The "positive" side of organized religion. Well, the Catholic Church did a lot of good things in Quebec until I was born. They ran orphanages, schools, universities, hospitals, charity for the poor, psychological counselling services, etc. That began centuries before Canada had a central government, much less gov't bureaucrats to administer all those programs. If you go back a thousand years, you will find that Irish monks preserved thousands of ancient documents by copying them (laboriously by hand). See the book "How the Irish saved civilization" by Tom Cahill. In the majority of European villages only one or two men could read or write and it was usually the village's Catholic priest. Monasteries and convents didn't just sit around and pray all day, rather they were economically self-supporting agricultural communities that sold grain, fruit, fish, cheese, wine books, etc. Many monasteries also provided lodging for travellers. Perhaps you have heard of the monastery at Grand Saint Bernard Pass in the Swiss alps? Back during the Middle Ages, the Pope mediated between feuding Christian kingdoms to minimize bloodshed. Catholic churches also provided most of the live entertainment, many centuries before electronic media. I say this as a descendant of a long line of Protestant Christians. That is "Protestant" with a capital "P." My grandfather would cheerfully pass a Sunday afternoon regaling all the sins committed by the Roman Catholic Church. Too long-winded for my young ears, but we could not change our old grandfather's attitudes. But my family are also Universalists who look for the good in all religions. And search for common values. Perhaps my grandfather was miffed at tiny amount of food shared by Roman Catholics: barely a stale wafer and a sip of wine!
  16. and The difference between religion and science is that religion is frozen at some point (e.g. when a holy book is published) whereas science is constantly tested and challenged. Religion is fine for busy people and generally provides good advice on how to get along with your neighbours, etc. However, most holy books were written hundreds or thousand of years ago in a much simpler society. Then the teachings are frozen and can only be challenged by heathens, infidels and other sorts of mal-odorous perverts. For example, "go forth and multiply" made sense up until about 1970. After 1970 we realized that human population had grown to close to the maximum capacity of this planet. Since the 1960s, birth control has become available for millions of women allowing them to still have recreational sex with their husbands, but not be burdened by a dozen children. This reminds me of a conversation after Thanksgiving dinner. We were sitting around chatting about the dozen children in a grandmother's family. One of my teenage, girl cousins, once-removed was horrified at the thought of one woman (my great grandmother) raising a dozen children! When I suggested "birth control" as an alternative, she was shocked! Then we got into a discussion about infant mortality rates a century ago, etc. I wondered if I had over-stepped the bounds of good taste, but my cousin told me to relax because his wife is an obstetrition who leaves textbooks laying around the house. We both agreed that teenagers should understand the basics of birth control and various methods of avoiding sexually-transmitted diseases. Some of those STDs did not exist when I was a teenager! Which means that sex ed. textbooks - from my teenaged years - are obsolete. Anyone dogmatically following those old textbooks risks dying of recently-introduced STDs. Unfortunately, several organized religions have dogmatically stuck with equating birth control with "though shalt not kill." Part of their motivation may be to increase the number of faithful by out-breeding other religions. That "revenge of the cradle" worked well in Quebec until the 1960s, then people realized that did not need to be burdened with a dozen children. Only recently has the Pope murmured something about birth control being okay. OTOH Scientists constantly review and critique and questions each other. If a scientist wants any credibility, they need to publish articles, papers, thesis, etc. in peer-reviewed scientific journals and lecture about their findings at scientific conferences. What was gospel 50 years ago is scoffed at now. For example, the whole concept of continental-drift (aka. plate-tectonics) was scoffed at until geologists collected massive amounts of seismic data starting in the 1950s. By the time my school started teaching geography (late 1960s) plate tectonics was accepted as fact because any elementary student could glance at a globe and quickly see how the Brazilian and African coasts meshed together so gracefully.
  17. Good points Gowlerk and Wendy, I remember the whole argument over abortion in Quebec during the 1960s. Abortionist Dr. Henry Morganthaler (sp?) was repeatedly sentenced by courts and repeatedly challenged the written law. Eventually abortion laws were abolished. Then Prime MInister Pierre Elliot Trudeau said: "Government has no place in the bedrooms of the nation."
  18. Dear Ron, You are getting confused. Since Judaism, Christianity and Islam share common roots (Jewish Torah/Christian Old Testament), that must mean that Islam is based upon fact ... er ... a similar mono-theism. How can Islam be completely wrong if it is based upon Judaism and Christianity? I will admit that too many modern Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Hindu, etc. extremists have distorted God’s intents to inspire their violent actions.
  19. History does not repeat itself, but it often rhymes.
  20. Good riddance! Persia/Iran has been meddling with Middle Eastern regional politics for something like 5,000 years now. The sad part is that their meddling has caused immense amounts of misery for Middle-Eastern citizens since the last Shah was deposed in 1989. Funny how Americans only got upset after their pet/puppet Shah was deposed in 1989.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.