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Everything posted by riggerrob

  1. Politicians like to tell us that the playing field is level. For example, B.C. politicians like to tell us that the medical care playing field is level. I call B.S. because the rich have always been able to buy whatever level of medical care they like, including "medical vacations" to resorts in the Carribbean that grant surgical privileges to the best Canadian and American surgeons. We also have the False Creek Surgical Clinic in downtown Vancouver. Secondly, Workmans' Compensation Borad pre-pays for time in operating rooms, with the goal of returning injured workers to gainful employment as quickly as possible. Thirdly, the general public gets an "average" level of care, frequently waiting 2 or 3 years for knee surgery. Finally, the poor get whatever level of medical care remaining.
  2. Unfortunately, the Pope is not powerful enough to change the minds of every Catholic on the planet. Sometimes he has to wait for an entire generation to die of old age before he can slowly change Catholic dogma. The same thing happens in every other large organization: churches, royal families, political parties, CSPA, Transport Canada, etc.
  3. Thanks for informing us about this new book. The bigger debate reminds me of a church sermon that I wrote a few years back. The sermon's title was "Religion or science? What is your best guess?" The sermon starts with the notion that the Bible is a "best guess" based upon human knowledge at the time it was written by early Jews. When they lacked an explanation, they just added "God in the gaps." Over the years, geneticists, archeologists, climatologists, biologists, astronomers, etc. have added to this knowledge and confirmed some of the basic concepts written in the Bible. I want to be clear when I state that there are few errors in the Bible, rather there are large gaps in the knowledge of the original authors. As scientists dig up more evidence, we slowly fill in gaps in the that knowledge. Much of what we believe as "scientific fact" will be laughed at a few decades in the future. Every year scientific "fact" has to be re-written in light of new evidence. During my lifetime, I have seen the introduction of plate tectonics, genetics, the Big Bang, quantum mechanics, home computers, etc. My studies of climatology (see Bryan Fagan's numerous books) confirm the basis for the biblical story of Noah's Ark. There is ample sedimentary evidence from Lake Winnipeg to the Black Sea confirming a huge flood roughly 7,000 years before Jesus Christ. For example, I don't believe that the Big Bang is the total explanation of how our universe was created, rather, it believe that the Big Bang is just one phase of a constantly recurring cycle of expansion and contraction of our galaxy. Those celestial cycles last so many billions of years that they are too big for the human mind to graps, so we settle for the much shorter and simpler "Big Bang" Theory.
  4. 3 Ring confluence wrap is easy to inspect on most rigs. Just pull the wrap part-way out of its protective "mud flap." If I can't do that, I slide a finger inside to feel the stitching. I have sewn a few hundred WMW stitches and know what they feel like with my eyes closed. Otherwise, most of the harness joints that are covered (e.g. back straps) are inspected at the factory before the back pad is closed. Given the wrap-around configuration of most back straps, even neglected stitching would make little difference. There is a good reason that hip junctions are covered by fabric leg pads: to protect them against abbrassion when you slide landings.
  5. Most cliff-jumping instructors will want you to show logbooks filled with at least 200 skydives before they will teach you the finer points of cliff-diving. Cliff-diving is often called BASE Jumping: buildings, antennas, spans (bridges) and earth (cliffs). Frankly, it will take you most of 200 jumps to learn the packing and precision landing skills needed to survive higher-risk BASE jumps. I mentioned precision landing skills because many popular BASE sites have tiny landing areas hemmed in by trees, railroads, large rocks and fast-flowing rivers, so your only safe option is landing on a small sand bar.
  6. Yes! Dust devils make jumping waaaaaaay more exciting. We saw plenty of them during California summers, especially near the hills in Hemet. I have even seen dust devils as far North as Pitt Meadows, Canada (49 th parallel).
  7. I just watched the latest film in the "Kingsman" series. "The Kingsman" 2021 is a pre-quiel tothe previous films and a swash-buckling romp through through Europe during the early 1900s. It stars Ralph Finnes and his merry bunch of private spies before and during World War One. The plot mixes in a variety of factual historical figures like the King of England, General Kitchener, Kaiser Whilhelm II of Germany, the last Tzar Nicolas of Russia, Rasputin, etc. Two flying scenes include a B.E.2 biplane and the second scene includes a freefall parachute jump. The airplane is depicted accurately and so was the parachute ... considering the crude stage of development of pilot emergency parachutes during WW1. The oddest part was a pseudo, chromed, Martin-Baker ripcord handle. Why they could not use a real MB handle is a mystery. CGI footage of the silk, hemispherical parachute looks realistic, even if slightly ahead of the times. Fight scenes could have been slightly more realistic, but overall, it was an funny romp through the back doors of history.
  8. Dear riggerlee, Sandy Reid did that 30 years ago. Circa 1990, he did all the TSO drop tests with a Flexon harness that was only sewn together with E-Thread and a whole bunch of long bar-tacks. Flexon was the first sport harness with hip rings and it passed all the heavy-weight and high-speed tests. Bar-tacks did not become the production standard because Sandy could not find sewing machines durable enough to bar-tack harnesses all day. Maybe some modern bar-tacker is strong enough to do the job.
  9. Plenty of military contracts insist on contrasting thread just to make it easier to inspect. As for time lost while changing thread color .... not a problem if you are sewing a hundred risers at a time. It is also a way to use up odd-colored batches of thread/cord only used on a single custom-colored rig. As for banning hot glue ... the old methods involved E-thread or metal staples to temporarily bast harness webbing together before sewing it with 5-Cord. Metal staples scare me because they often have sharps edges that can damage webbing.
  10. Whether you stagger the hip joint is determined by whether your backpad is longer or shorter than your Main lift web. Small skydiving rigs tend to have staggered hip joints because the container (think 100 square foot canopies) is shorter than the MLW. OTOH pilot emergency parachutes tend to be longer than MLWs. PEPs range in (back-pad length from 60 to 100 cm (40 inches), so sometimes, they work better with horizontal back-straps sewn BELOW the upper leg strap (see PEPs made by Flying High Manufacturing in Canada). Sewing the HZ below the ULS reduces the risk of the wearer falling out of the harness buttocks first. Also consider that most skydiving and BASE containers bottom out at belt level, while PEPs need to extend down to the seat bottom to relieve the load on the pilot's shoulders.
  11. Yes riggerlee, Adding the extra layer of webbing halves or thirds the shear stress on any individual stitch. The more layers of webbing, the lower the shear stress at any given joint. 2 layers of webbing put 100 percent (1/1) of the shear on a stitch, because there is only one shear face. 3 layers of webbing put 50 percent (1/2) ... 4 layers of webbing 33 percent (1/3) ... 5 layers of webbing 25 percent (1/4) ... 6 layers of webbing 20 percent (1/5)... etc. Ultimately the number of layers of webbing is limited by your sewing machine. The higher the presser foot can lift, the more layers you can sew at one time. Also consider that Mike Johnston (sp?) told me that when he tested harnesses made of multiple layers of Type 8 webbing, they were slightly stronger because Type 8 stretches a bit more than stronger, thicker webbings (e.g. Type 7).
  12. 90 degrees is not the perfect angle for upper leg straps (ULS) to meet the main lift web (MLW) and lower leg strap (LLS). The angle changes with loading as the leg straps try to equalize the load ... meaning that they both share half the load. This puts the greatest load on the top, forward stitch. That is why Vectors and Talons double the stitching along the forward edge of the hip joint. "Ved" leg strap junctions (e.g. Softie pilot emergency parachute) end up more like 60 degrees a part. 70 degrees is the angle between the upper leg strap (with hardware) and the (longer) lower leg strap on the Voodoo Curv hip joint. The Curv also has hip rings which allow the lower leg strap to self-adjust its alignment with the MLW.
  13. Agreeing with what riggerlee and Gerry Baumchen said ... but may I add a bit more? Many years ago, John Sherman found that a short WMW stitch pattern like yours was not the best. Sherman was using Type 13 to make his SST Racer harnesses, but found that sometimes a stitch would break at the corner, so he added an extra piece of webbing to the back-side and sewed a 4 inch WMW stitch pattern. No more broken stitches because the greatest load was in the middle of the stitch pattern.
  14. The older posters are familiar with Bill Booth's theory about risk homeostasis. Bill states that - in order to keep adrenaline levels up - skydivers often wan to add new risks to keep skydiving exciting. During my 40 years of jumping, I have seen skydivers add: canopy formations, bigger freefall formations, squential freefall formations, sit flying, wing-suit, etc. But what if we look at it from a different perspective. What if - as one risk is reduced -another risk begins to dominate? What if we look at it from the perspective of risky jump-planes? Back when I started jumping, we used 1950s vintage Cessnas that were barley 20 years old. Fast forward and some of those old Cessna 182 s are still hauling jumpers, but now they are approaching 70 years old. Fortunately, Cessnas are durable and easily maintained. Twin-engined jump-planes have proven more risky. When I started jumping (1977), the only affordable, twin-engined, civilian, jump-planes were World War 2 surplus Beech 18s, DC-3s and Lodestars. As freefall formations got bigger, Lodestars got a dangerous reputation and disappearred from the larger DZs. During the 1980s, a few tired, 40-year-old Beech 182 and DC-3s crashed, so they were replaced by old turbo-prop commuter planes (Beechcraft King Air, DHC-6 Twin Otter and Shorts Skyvan). Those turboprops worked well until a few poorly-maintained, 40-year-old King Airs fell out of the sky. Somewhere along the way, parachutes became so reliable that they were no longer the greatest risk during a skydive. Then poorly-maintained airplanes became the biggest risk. Then forced landings without seat-belts became the biggest risk.
  15. I have sewn freefly bungees to hundreds of harnesses ... from all manufacturers.
  16. I have packed hundreds of Tempo reserves and at least a dozen were deployed during emergencies. All but one user reported that they opened fine, flew fine, turned fine and landed fine. The only user who complained about his Tempo not flying straight, started with a student harness that was adjusted (for height) asymmetrically. Not the fault of either his main or reserve canopies. The last couple of years of Tempo production had span-wise tapes sewn onto the bottom skin.
  17. Sounds like the National Directors act more like the Senate ... if you compare Regional Directors to Congress or the House of Commons. National Directors should take a "sober second look" at any proposed changes. Back in 2013 CSPA eliminated Regional Directors and it became a flaming disaster form my perspective. Since we no long had a regional director representing B.C. and the Yukon, I did not know who to contact on a delicate political matter.
  18. Victoria Cilliers recently published a book about her accident. "My husband tried to kill me. I Survived." by Victoria Cilliers (Pan Books, London, 2020) ISBN 978-1-5290-6411-7 The book is well-written and mainly deals with her emotional trauma both before and after the accident. She also had to testify during 2 jury trials. Her ex-husband Emile Cilliers was sentenced to 18 years in prison. I will mail my copy to the first person that sends me their mailing address.
  19. Roger Kotanka was an old-time skydiver who jumped at Simcoe, Ontario during the 1970s and 1980s. Roger was an avid skydiver and canopy formation flyer when the concept was first introduced. Police shot Kotanka- 3 November, 2021 - in his gunsmithing shop during a raid. Kotanka was a licensed master gunsmith well know to police. The Toronto police officer who shot Kotanka has refused to share his notes with police SIU investigators. Police are being slow in releasing details of the shooting. Police drove more than an hour to Kotanka's home and brought an ambulance. This mysterious shooting reminds me of Alfred Pinisch's death during a robbery at the Montreal gun shop where he worked. The shooting occurred during the August 1964 when Montreal banks were frequently robbed by gun-totting criminal gangs. However, this robbery was an attempt by the FLQ to arm violent separatists who had been planting bombs around Montreal. Police shot Pinisch mistaking him for a robber. I met Alfred many times when he competed in rifle matches matches with my father (Major Edson Warner, CD, 5 x Queen's Medal and 2 x Olympic competitor).
  20. How many children did Cathy leave behind?
  21. You just have not read the bloody accident report that initiated that rule. I read USPA Accident Reports religiously for 30 years. After that AR started to blur together. Ho! Hum! Another low turn. Yawn! But I had to be very careful to not simply quote old rules to young skydivers, because they jsut perceived me as a boring old fart who did not free fly. Unfortunately, young skydivers also lacked the patience to listen to the long version of the accident report.
  22. I suspect that the bigger problem is pilot chute springs remaining the same diameter while containers get narrower. Back when I started rigging (in 1984), 24 or 26 foot diameter, military-surplus, round reserves were the norm. They had about the same pack volume (600 cubic inches) as the PD 253 square reserves now only worn by skydiving students. That was when Mirage, Vector, Talon, Javelin, etc. designed their modern, piggyback containers. Since then they have kept the same basic configuration, but built progressively smaller versions. As containers get narrower and narrower, the old 6 inch diameter pilot-chutes springs are squeezed into progressively narrower and narrower containers. At some point, the narrower container begins to interfere with pilot-chute springs' launches. Parachutes de France was the first to address this problem with reserve pilot-chute caps shaped like race-track ovals. They were packed with the narrowest dimension across the narrow width of the reserve container. Rigging Innovations addressed the problem with their "Stealth" reserve pilot-chute introduced in 1991. When Mirage was revived during the 1990s, their first batch got Stealth pilot-chutes, but then they switched to their own narrower spring. UPT introduced a smaller diameter spring for the their smallest V300 version of the Vector 3/Micron. The smallest Vector 3s will only hold reserves with 99 to 109 square feet. Javelin was one of the few containers to retain its original, large diameter spring, but because it is outside the side flaps, is far less likely to hesitate. Mind, you narrower Javelins are more difficult to pack neatly because the entire container is not much narrower than the pilot-chute cap and it became more difficult to conceal pilot-chute fabric and mesh. The South African-built Vortex looks like a Javelin clone from a distance, but the smaller Vortex also have smaller diameter pilot-chute caps. Racer had a similar problem with their narrowest Racer containers, so Micro Racers got narrower pilot-chute caps to better match the proportions. The usual caveat allows ambulance-chasing lawyers to copy any or all of my post, but they must pay me $1000 per word.
  23. Dear Jerry, We "barracks lawyers" could debate this "until the cows come home." In my interpretation, FARs and CARs always loop back to "in accordance with manufacturers' instructions." meaning that any time a rigger ignores a manufacturer's instructions, he/she is also ignoring/violating FARs.
  24. In the USA, USPA has no say in parachute certification or performance standards. Instead, the Federal Aviation Administration regulates parachute performance and certification standards. FAA Technical Standard Orders (C23-? for parachutes) are based upon old military specifications and have been gradually updated to reflect advances in civilian skydiving technology. The FAA used to issue Special Inspections, but they have been replaced by Service Bulletins issued by parachute manufacturers or foreign governing bodies (British Civil Aviation Authority or Australian Parachute Federation). SBs carry the same weight of law as FAA issued Airworthiness Directives. USPA often reprints ADs, SBs and SPs in "Parachutist" Magazine.
  25. In December I walked into work sporting a bushy white beard along with a red and white Santa Claus hat. I greeted my co-workers with a rousing "Ho! Ho! Ho!" One of them replied "Are you calling me a ho?" This sparked a rousing debate about what she does at her part-time job.