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Everything posted by riggerrob

  1. Dear gowlerk, Wealthy Canadians often take "medical vacations" when wait times at Canadian hospitals get too long. Some of those "medical vacations" are to hospitals in the Carribean where a handful of Canadian surgeons have operating room privileges. Like the False Creek Surgical Clinic, these are some of the best and brightest and most ambitious Canadian surgeons who are impatient with waiting two years for time in an operating room.
  2. With only a Class A, you have not practiced those skills the ten thousand times needed to burn them into long-term memory. Even skydivers who have long experience tend to do a bit of refresher training before resuming jumping. The Australian Parachute Federation has published some excellent training aids.
  3. Baking okalb: I grew up in Canada and did most of my travelling with the Canadian Armed Forces. Medical care was great when I was young, especially for my sickly younger brother. During my 30s and 40s, I worked in the USA and thank my lucky stars that I never got injured. After age 50, I moved back to Canada and am glad that I did because as I age, my medical expenses grow. The public purse paid for most of my medical care in the aftermath of a plan crash. I have already had a couple of surgeries paid from the public purse and am scheduled for another surgery next week. Growing old is not for the faint of heart.
  4. Joe, Are you implying that your farts contain noble gases?
  5. That initial advice was valid with student canopies, because you were never going to out-spiral a smaller, heavier-loaded canopy. At the other end of the scale, it can be to everyone's advantage if the tiny (sub-100 square foot), heavily-loaded pond swoopers land first. The challenge is for them to spiral down off to the side of tamer traffic. Spiraling in the pattern is discouraged for two reasons (below 1,500 feet and near the target). First, spiraling makes it difficult for others to predict where you will be 10 or 20 seconds later. They are trying to fly their landing pattern in a way that does not cross your landing pattern. It helps if you landing pattern is predictable. The second reason for discouraging spirals in the pattern is to discourage the radical turns (old school hook turns) that lead to radical pond swoops. Many DZOs have banned hook turns because they are tired of calling ambulances and attending funerals. Hook turns were the pre-cursor (circa 1990) to modern high-performance carving approaches. Hook turns often started with toggle-whipping at such low altitudes that the canopy barely had enough altitude for its recovery arc. If you were even a little late hook-turning, you were forced to slab your toggles again (late flare) or get a ride in an ambulance on the way to meeting nurses, surgeons, physio-therapists, etc.
  6. Looks like originator Tony Holmston started with the silhouette of an SD-1, single-seater kitplane.
  7. Both the USAF and Soviet Air Force did experiment with nuclear-powered bombers during the 1960s. The USAF even flew a much-modified B-36 with a cold reactor onboard, but concluded that nuclear-powered airplanes were too heavy, too expensive and too dangerous.
  8. The English-language "Heavy Metal" illustrated magazine was preceded by a French-language magazine called "Metal hurlant"
  9. After my father was diagnosed with Altsheimers' Disease, my brothers auctioned off his guns. They were sold through Canadian auction houses that regularly sell guns to competitors, hunters, collectors, etc. Those sales helped pay down some of his debts. Since he had competed on the Canadian Olympic Team, our father had hundreds of guns, but no AR-series. He was from an older generation that preferred .303 Lee-Enfields at 1,000 yard sover iron sights.
  10. Backing lippy, We will never drill for the last barrel of oil because it will be too deep and too far offshore. By then, only the rich will be able to drive petroleum-fueled cars. Hopefully by then we will have found enough alternate energy sources. No single source is perfect, so we will depend upon a variety of over-lapping energy sources. Just like those Germans who are now regretting their earlier fixation on cheap natural gas from Russia. Germany will need two or four years to wean their country off of Russian petroleum. One saving grace will be that our declining population will need less energy.
  11. Project Pluto reminds us of the Exocet missiles fired by Argentina during the Falklands War (circa 1982). One Exocet missile did not explode after it hit a British ship, but the remaining jet fuel created massive fires which eventually sank the British warship. Critics tried to blame the aluminum superstructure on the ship, but any metal will burn if you get it hot enough.
  12. American gun culture moved up to Canada bright and early Monday morning. My cell phone got an emergency alert text-message about a gun man in Langley, a suburb of Vancouver. He killed at least two homeless people and wounded a homeless woman near the Langley Bypass and 200th street, Willowbrook Mall, etc.. 200th Street leads to the Golden Ears Bridge and the former DZ at Pitt Meadows. RCMP eventually cornered and killed the gunman. One photo of a police SUV showed a tight row of 9 bullet holes across the windshield. The tight grouping implies a fully-automatic submachine gun (my interpretation). Machine guns are prohibited for civilian ownership in Canada, so only criminals have them. The Canadian Armed Forces retired most of their SMGS decades ago. The gunman and homeless victims were "known to police."
  13. This reminds me of my buddy J.P. who used to work as a body guard for the busiest abortionist in Vancouver. The doctor was 60-something years old and could not run because he lost a chunk of leg muscle during an earlier assassination attempt. Sorry folks, but I believe there need to be limits on public protests. Anti-abortion protesters need to stand "X" number of yards (meters in Canada) from abortion clinics. They should stand far enough back that they can be seen, but maybe not heard. Patients entering abortion clinics are stressed enough already. To much more stress might push them into a spontaneous miss-carriage. How would anti-abortion protesters feel about that sad train of events?????????? Wounding or killing abortion clinic staff is a SIN ... and should be punished by jail time. On the same note, protests outside the houses of public officials should be banned because they need a good night's sleep to allow them to think clearly while making public decisions.
  14. The problem is that English has two sets of rules and two or more sets of vocabulary. 49 percent of modern English vocabulary has French origins while much of the rest has Germanic origins. Celts, Picts, Gauls, Bretons, etc. were largely shoved aside when Romans invaded the British Isles around the time of Jesus Christ. When they Romans left a bout 400 years later, a series of waves of Germanic-speaking Angles, Saxons and Jutes invaded. Starting around 800 years after Christ a cold snap (see Little Ice Age or Younger Dryas) encouraged Vikings to seek warmer climates in the British Isles. In 1066, a bunch of French nobleman replaced the earlier British Kings. In 1066, William the Conqueror brought a Norman dialect of the French language. Mind you, William the Conqueror was a fifth-generation of a character called Rollo The Viking, so Norman French had been influenced by North German Viking dialects. French remained the language in the royal court for many more centuries even though most peasants only spoke an early dialect of German. Then after Shakespeare's time, the Great Vowel shift erased many of the Bard's raunchier jokes and hopelessly confused English spellings.
  15. In this country (Canada), a certain "group of motorcycle enthusiasts" who do not like to be mentioned in public live quiet lives most of the time. They live in quiet residential neighborhoods with very little petty crime. They drive clean cars, duly registered and rarely drive much faster than the speed limit. etc. Bottom line, they don't want petty crimes attracting police attention. For example, many years ago, a young skydiver became a "prospect" for "a certain group of motorcycle enthusiasts." After a skinny, petty criminal snuck into a hangar and stole 6 skydiving rigs, he got 5 of the 6 returned in short order, no questions asked. The only modern rig disappeared. If it was fenced, it was fenced out-of-province.
  16. "Marials" is a silly word that I invented to mean "marriage ritual" or "wedding ceremony" or "handfasting rite," etc. but rhymes with "burials" or "funerals" of "end of life celebrations." Call it poetic license.
  17. An RSL will always pull a reserve ripcord faster than a human. Back around 1990, AFF I/E Rick Horn made a training film for the US Air Force. The training film included a couple dozen intentional cutaways both with and without RSLs. Despite all his recent experience, Rick was never able to pull his reserve ripcord before his RSL did. The only way a human can beat an RSL is if the main does not release ... or is still inside the container as Wendy suggested. IOW an RXL will not pull your reserve ripcord during all types of malfunctions. All that being said, it is still a good habit to pull your release cables completely clear of your harness and promptly follow through with your reserve ripcord.
  18. Dear winsor, "God in the gaps" is a popular theological explanation. This reminds me of a Sunday sermon that I wrote a few years back entitled "Religion or Science, what is your best guess?" Back in the good-old-days whenever some one asked a question (e.g. Why is the sky blue?) the most common answer was "Because God wanted a blue sky." Over the centuries, humans gradually filled in the gaps in the "God" explanation with observations and measurements of the wave-lengths of various colors of sun light, etc. My sermon posits that science claims to explain all the mysteries of the universe, but much of what we accept as scientific fact today will be laughed off as poorly-informed speculation a few decades in the future.
  19. Armored vests and armored SUVs (think fancy, pimped out Lincoln Escalade with tinted windows, etc.) were banned for civilian ownership in British Columbia because only drug dealers were using them. The majority of shootings in Vancouver are done by or to people "know to police."
  20. I would like to see a link between red flag laws and psychological counselling. In comparison, in some states, if you accumulate too many traffic tickets, state laws compel police to suspend your driver's license, then you need to attend "X" number of hours of driver training before you can regain your license. This re-education often includes a few months learning how to ride a bus (aka. inability to drive a car).
  21. Aim for a wing-loading of 0.7 pounds per square foot. That is the wing-loading that most students start at along with BASE jumpers and precision landing competitors. BASE jumpers often have to land in tiny clear areas between rocks and hard places and cannot always do a full flare before landing. In practice, this means that most students start with 280 square foot canopies, though I have been known to hang small female students under 230 square foot parachutes. Also remember that USPA, CSPA, BPA advise students to quit jumping when winds exceed 15 knots because that is when lightly-loaded canopies start landing backwards, people get dragged and landing injuries increase. Even after thousands of tandem jumps in turbulent Southern California weather, I quit jumping when winds reach 22 knots because it gets too turbulent and I collect too many bruises. More than a 5 knot spread between gusts also increases the number of bruises during landings. By 22 knots, winds start developing weird and wonderful vertical drafts that can slam you hard during landings. The ideal winds - when you don't want to run out a landing - are around 10 knots. That way a less-than-perfect flare will set you down with minimal horizontal speed.
  22. Possible, with precautions. Try visiting an aviation medical examiner (doctor who examines pilots) to discuss vision limitations ... or an optometrist when routinely examines pilots. Also consider doing a simplified jump like IAD or static-line when your parachute will start to open almost immediately after you let go of the airplane 3,000 feet or 1 kilometer above the planet). S/L will reduce the number of variables you need to deal with. If BPA proves problematic, consider going to a DZ with fewer obstacles (rivers, lakes, wires, roads, alligator farms, etc. Even people with perfect vision have difficulty seeing wires from above. Perhaps visiting a desert skydiving school will further reduce the number of landing hazards you need to avoid. The better schools already equip students with radios and station an instructor - with a radio - at the target to talk students down. However, radios are not perfect and sometimes fail, so you need to understand the entire parachute steering process before you board the airplane for a solo jump. For back up, many schools also have a huge white arrow on the groudn beside the target. Few students can understand the arrow from 3,000 feet away, but it becomes clearer the closer you get.
  23. Large numbers. Since 1960, the majority of women in Quebec are on some form of birth control on a regular basis. The majority of people living in Quebec are still nominally Catholic, but only attend church during major high holidays, marials and burials.
  24. When packing pull-out pilot-chutes, the key is keeping most of the pilot-chute bulk in the lower right corner of the main container. That way, the first part of your pull only has to pull the pin. Then the second part of the pull extracts the pilot-chute. Kind of like a 2-stage trigger on a gun. Manuals from other manufacturers of pull-out containers: Javelin, Vector, etc. will provide good hints. Finally, take a close look at compatibility between the pull-out handle and the container. Flying High started with "fuzzy rat" all-Velcro handles, but eventually shifted to handles stiffened with a piece of plastic.