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Everything posted by riggerrob

  1. "No smoking or vaping" signs are common around public buildings in Vancouver.
  2. Near my home town, farmers traditionally moved their out-houses 2 yards (2 metres) forward just before Halloween.
  3. That photo was taken during the late 1930s and shows early Soviet paratroopers jumping from a Tupolev TB-3 bomber. TB-3 was the first, all metal, cantilever, 4-engine bomber built in the Soviet Union (1930s). Soviets formed the first paratrooper units in 1930. They wore conventional, back-type, pilot emergency parachutes (Irvin pattern with vertical harness). Their parachute canopies were non-steerable rounds or squares. Early Soviet square parachutes were axi-symmetric, similar to modern US Army AT-11 static-line parachutes. Paratroopers climbed out of a roof hatch, then clung to wings until an officer waved a flag ordering them to jump. Once clear of the airplane, they pulled their ripcords.
  4. My younger brother and I took the first (static-line) jump course together 43 years ago. He made a couple of jumps, then wandered off. The following summer, my older brother made a S/L jump, but broke his ankle on landing. Both my older brother and I earned private pilot licenses, but then my brothers moved on to other earthly pass-times. I jumped for a total of 40 years and more than 6,600 jumps. I became a S/L instructor to support my weekend habit. Eventually I earned all the instructor and rigger ratings and worked full-time in the sport for 18 years.
  5. Hip rings make a huge difference in flexibility, especially when stuffing big guys (e.g. me) into small Cessnas. Hip rings also significantly improve flexibility in freefall and under canopy. If the lower lateral back strap is tool long, the container will flop around - in loose formation - behind the jumper. This is most noticeable with second owners who are smaller than the original owner who had the harness custom-made to fit him precisely. Loose harnesses can allow the hip junction to slip too far aft, creating the same loose fit and belly bands are the easiest way to rectify miss-fitting harnesses. Belly bands are most helpful when small people wear harnesses that are too big for them. Look at tandems where student harnesses substitute for belly bands for instructors. This becomes doubly important when fitting large containers to small jumpers, like small women or any military freefall jumper with rucksack, rifle and snowshoes. Finally, belly-bands are a MUST for pond-swoopers who loosen their chest straps after opening ... to prevent them from falling out of their harnesses. OTOH chest rings only add a little additional flexibility. Originally, chest rings were thought to be an advantage because they allowed tightening chest straps to prevent shoulder straps from sliding off of shoulders, but over the last 30 years, most skydiving harness manufacturers have introduced a variety of shoulder yoke widths and lengths (e.g. Javelin A, B, C and D shoulder yokes) that fit so snug that chest straps are almost a luxury. United Parachute Technologies does not offer chest rings because they perceive chest rings as a major increase in the cost of manufacture with little improvement in flexibility. Finally, Rick Horn told a scary story about spinning under a malfunctioned main, but not being able to see his reserve ripcord, because it was tucked under his main lift web between his chest ring and hip ring. Rick was realllllllly glad he was wearing an RSL that day! Rick had also recently done 20 or 30 intentional cutaways while filming a training video for the United States Air Force.
  6. The Aviator Pilot Emergency Parachute comes stock with hip rings for two reasons. First, Sandy Reid wanted to invent a new piece of hardware that incorporated a ring and a friction adaptor. The hip ring is the same size as an RW-0, RW-1 or RW-10 harness ring of the 3-Ring release system. Thsi hardware reduces then number of stitches and wear points at the hip junction. The second reason is to allow two different attach points for B-12 snaps to clip onto the hip rings. B-12s can snap on inboard, the same as regular harnesses ... or they can be snapped on outboard where they do not interfer with the complex seat-belts worn by aerobatic pilots. Any extra inboard hardware (crotch) can be painful when aerobatic pilots "push" negative Gs during outside loops. Back during the 1980s, a few skydiving manufacturers (Roger Sport and Rigging Innovations) offered harnesses with outboard hip buckles. "Style" competitors found that outboard hardware made it easier to "tuck." P.S. Jerry, Outboard hardware can simplify dressing when donning a lap type parachute.
  7. First off: the term is "planform." Planform describes the canopy as seen from directly below. Rectangular canopies have the same chord (front to back measurement) all across the wing span. These days, BASE and skydiving reserve canopies are still rectangular because they provide the most consistent, on-heading openings. Tapered canopies have smaller wing tip chords than their centre cells. Semi-elliptical, elliptical, fully-elliptical, clipped rear corners, swept-wing, Schumann, etc. are just some of the different tapered planforms. A dozen other variables also affect canopy handling: turn speeds, malfunction rates, stall characteristics, landing characteristics. OTOH most main canopies designed over the last 25 years are tapered. Some student canopies are only tapered a little ... primarily to reduce control pressures. The smallest, fastest, pond-swooping canopies have significantly smaller end cells to permit faster turns and flatter swoops. The disadvantage is the seriously tapered canopies some times "spin up" so badly during opening that the only solution is releasing them and opening your reserve. May I suggest touring the Performance Designs or Ikarus or Aerodyne websites and read some of the articles that compare their various models of canopies. John LeBlanc (vice president at Performance Designs) has given several good lectures about canopy design and choice. Also review some of Brian Germaine's videos on www.youtube.com.
  8. Even if the cost of batteries flattens out, petroleum prices will still continue to rise over the long run. Eventually electric airplanes will be less expensive to "fuel." Also consider how many hangar roofs can be converted to support solar panels. Most hangars have enough spare room for a battery of batteries along the back wall. Municipal airports might even turn a profit!!!!! Heck! Some of those huge warehouses/logistics hubs in Surrey are bigger than DZs! Since the average Cessna jump-plane only flies 1/14 of the week, they might break even by selling electricity.
  9. Hi folks, The lease on my apartment expires in January, so I have to find a new place to live. The scary part is that rents have risen dramaticly near Vancouver. Single bed-room apartments now start at $1200. per month! That equals half my take-home pay! Yikes! The next alternative is living in a van. Van living is becoming increasingly popular in Vancouver. I did live in a VW Westfalia camper van for a couple of years while I was in Southern California. Back then I worked 8 days a week at Elsinore, Perris and Hemet with the occasional trip up to Cal. City. Now that I am older, I need more room than just a bed and a hot-plate. I cannot afford $189,000 for a new, fully pimped-out, Winnebago, bordello-on-wheels. The low end of the scale starts with a boring shop van and installing the basics for solo living. I already have the hammock, camping stove and bucket to P%$#@! in. How much fancier than that depends upon how much I can afford for upgrades. One limit is that my bank will only grant me a loan for a vehicle less than 3 years old. Three year old vans start at $24,000. Any suggestions?
  10. Yoga, martial arts and swimming all help with general physical fitness. As for mental preparation, your instructors will rehearse the dive with you several times on the ground. Then they will encourage you mentally review the dive plan two or three times during the airplane ride. All of these mental rehearsals should visualize the perfect skydive. A few slow, deep breaths - just before the door opens - will help get your head in the game. After landing, walk back, drink some water and mentally-review the dive that you just did before de-briefing with your instructor.
  11. Dear Krista0140, Welcome to the sky. First trust that your local instructors will loan you a parachute that is appropriate for your weight. For example, I primarily dress male first (solo) jump students with main parachutes in the 270 to 300 square foot range. If they weight more than 220 pounds (100 kilograms) I try to find them an even larger parachute. OTOH My school had some 230 and 190 square foot parachutes for rent. When small students ... near your weight ... took the first jump course, I tried to fit them with a 230 square foot parachute. This gave all the students a wing-loading of around 0.7 pounds per square foot. Remember that suspended weight includes your weight, plus your harness, plus your helmet, plus your shoe-laces, etc. Once a smaller student had a few good landings (without radio) we transitioned them to 190 square foot parachutes. You will notice that woman skydivers tend to down-size much slower than their testosterone-inflamed male colleagues. This is partly because women tend to mature younger and they feel less need to show-off along the "bleeding edge." By the time you step down to a 150 square foot canopy, they all have short suspension lines and turn quicker than many junior jumpers need. Be cautious about down-sizing too quickly because it is far better to be bored under canopy than bored in a hospital bed. Not everyone feels the need to down-size. If you plan to compete in precision landing or BASE jumping, down-sizing to a wing-loading of heavier than 0.7 pounds per square foot is totally irrelevant.
  12. Dear bokdrol, The only dumb-ass question is the one you don't know the answer to as you hurtle towards the planet. As long as students' question are closely related to the first jump course, I try to give them a simple, honest and respectful answer.
  13. Replying to the general thread about abortions .... One of my (Canadian-born) supervisors is severely anti-abortion, so I did a little research. If you start at the bottom of the list of abortion-rates-per-country (per year), Russia is the worst with more than 30 abortions per 100,000 women. Then a series of former-communist countries, then Communist China, then the USA at 20 abortions per 100,000 women. Then some second and third world countries. Only 15 Canadian women ... with the European Union, Five Eyes and First World withprogressively lower abortion rates. The Russian problem is poor access to: health education, birth control (pills, IUDs, condoms, etc.) and pre-natal care, but free abortions. Most of the people on this thread agree that using abortion as you primary method of birth control is a bad idea. Abortion is essentially free in Canada, but so are health education, birth control, pre-natal care, etc. A skydiving friend used to work as a body-guard for the busiest abortionist in Vancouver. Most of those women were married and already had two or three children, but the last wias likely to be born de-formed.
  14. Some tandems and canopy formation guys wrap veterinarians' tape around the bottom of their suspension lines, links and the top of their risers. Veterinarians use this cloth tape to wrap horses' ankles to protect them against re-injury. As for "slow removal of RDS" ... may I suggest inspecting your slider grommets for rough edges?
  15. Let's return this discussion to prepping. How many beans, bullets and bandaids should I stock? How many bottles of bleach should I stock? Is powdered bleach better than liquid bleach (longer shelf life)?
  16. Judges should have to retire by age "X" or when they are suspected of senility, failing eye-sight or failing hearing. There are already a variety of tests to decide whether old folks are too senile to drive. Apply those same standards to judges. Judges sitting on the Supreme Court of Canada face mandatory retirement at age 75. P.S. When police suspected that my father was senile, the suspended his driver's license and required him to re-test. Since he never passed the drivers' test, he never regained his license. This was the first step in diagnosis of Altsheimer's Disease at age 84. He died at 89.
  17. Dear Neilmick, The planet was divided between metric countries and imperial countries until the United States Army Air Force won the Second World War in 1945. Since the USAF won the war single-handedly, they forced the rest of the planet to fly in feet. A few of those silly communist countries continued measuring altitude in metres, but they slipped out from under the Soviet yoke circa 1990. Sarcasm alert! Please do not tell the USAF anything different as you might damage their delicate egos. My key point is that students should only be asked to learn one system of measurement. If the student has only learned metres in elementary and high school, it is silly to teach them feet when they start skydiving. Telling students to open their main parachutes (aka. "pull handle number 1") at 1,000 metres is easy to remember.
  18. Dear IslanderO, I still prefer to sit facing the tail, with my student between my knees. For hook-up, I prefer to slide aft until my side rings are clear of the pilot's seat ... which gives me plenty of elbow room. If an outside cameraman is jumping with us, he gets to sit with his back against the instrument panel, open the door and "spot." Once the door is open, we scoot our butts forward until we lean firmly against the instrument panel, then swing our left feet out ... onto the step.
  19. Ceiling bars are a great idea! Even ceiling straps would ease moving around in the cabin and discourage jumpers from touching exposed aileron cables.
  20. American Air Regulations can vague, especially how they are written for fiercely competitive, capitalist market-place. I tell young riggers that they are not required to repack any parachute older than they are.
  21. What? Nobody thought to collapse the parachute before they left the plane over-night? All you need to do is pull in one suspension line and knot the top to the bottom. That will prevent it from full re-inflating.
  22. Dear iranianjumper, The last thing you want is students fixating on mathematical calculations as they rapidly fall towards the planet. May I suggest reducing confusion by loaning wrist-mounted, metric altimeters to your students? Instructors can wear two altimetres: whatever they like on their wrist along with a metric altimeter on their chest strap. Their student should be able to read an instructor's chest-mounted altimeter if it has a big enough face. If you want to simplify discussions with your pilot. stick an extra metric altimeter to the dash board and ask your pilot to "zero" it before take-off. Your pilot will keep his/her regular altimeter set to feet above sea level because that is what other pilots and air traffic controllers understand. When I used to jump in France and Germany, I still wore my "feet" altimeter and did rough calculations (3 to 1) to confirm that I was "singing from the same sheet of music" as my companions wearing metric altimeters. In the end, it makes little difference whether you pull at 1 kilometre or 3,300 feet or 3,000 feet because the canopy ride lasts about the same number of minutes.
  23. Hint: if you quit smoking. your bones will heal quicker. The problem is that carbon monoxide (found in smoke) kills the tiny capillary blood vessels that supply nutrients to all of your cells. The fewer your capillaries, the slower you heal. One of the scariest things I ever heard was a surgeon wandering around the room mumbling "You are 53 years old but you do not smoke ... you are 53 years old but you do not smoke ...." Fortunately he decided to operate on my knee bone and it has not dislocated since.