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Everything posted by riggerrob

  1. Good point dear d123, Some people instinctively "retreat" to false optimism. OTOH some people instinctively over-react. ... fear the worst ... My ex-wife used to get furious at me if I scared her (e.g. driving on ice). Her fear hormones, adrenaline, dopamines, etc. rose much faster than her logical mind could invent solutions. Ergo scary emotions dominated her mind during potential accidents. I had not planed to scare her, nor was I happy about sliding sideways down an icy road, but I maintained my cool and avoided a collision. It helped that I grew up in a climate with plenty of snow and ice and had briefly lost control dozens of times on slippery roads. But I had also learned how to quickly regain control on icy roads, so I expected to conclude, upright, in the middle of the road, with no dents, dismemberment or deaths. Yes, something scary happened, but she was the one who chose to be terrified. I - on the other hand - was too busy avoiding a collision to get scared. It was only afterwards that I acknowledged that I was scared. We hope that is the difference between the general public and skydivers. We hope that skydivers are too busy solving problems (fight or flight) to relax into "freezing" in the face of danger.
  2. I worry about Tibetans because they live in the water-tower of South-East Asia. Han Chinese are rapidly-mining lithium from Tibetan dry lakes. Since Chinese mining practices are quick-and-dirty, they contaminate Tibetan drinking water. If a few thousand Tibetans are poisoned by contaminated drinking water, no one seems to care. It is only a matter of time before those same pollutants flow down into the Indus, Ganges, Irrawaddy, Mekong, Yellow, Pearl, etc. rivers. All those low-cost lithium batteries are only "clean" from the perspective of western consumers. The pollution caused by electric automobiles just settles on the other side of the planet. ... specifically the drinking water of billions of Asians.
  3. Holy thread drift Batman! This thread started with markharju quoting a recent arrest near Bellingham, Washington. Then the thread rapidly devolved into personal attacks about whether the saboteurs were communist or anarchist or fascist or ... I don't really care what their political bend is because tampering with public transport - in a way that might injure innocents - is a crime! No different a crime than Viet Cong killing civilian farmers, Pol Pot killing Cambodian urbanites, Stalin killing Ukranians, Hitler killing Jews, Stalin exiling Tatars, etc. all those acts of public violence are crimes. This alleged sabotage happened near Bellingham, Washington, little more than a hour's drive from where I type my response.
  4. OTOH I rather enjoy when police publish video from body-cameras. Video footage cuts through BS pretty quickly. Like the George Floyd case. George knew that the shop owner had just refused counterfit currency. Why did George stick around in front of the store? A professional forger/criminal would have promptly left the scene.
  5. Good points Nataly, Sometimes other people's expectations are absolutely ridiculous! For example, last year I fell on the Skytrain and cut my forehead. The next thing I hear is worried people asking "Are you okay! Are you okay?" I sarcastically replied: "No I am not okay. I fell and I am bleeding from my forehead."
  6. Dear pchapman, Lawyers are at best: monday morning quarterbacks. At their worst, lawyers are self-centered, greedy, money-grubbing, etc. who do not care if the wounded live or die. Or would you prefer to hear the whole truth? Hah! Hah!
  7. Talk to your local tandem instructors because many of them wear full-face helmets - minus the visor - after getting hit in the chin too many times.
  8. Dear Meso,

    I have written for dropzone.com before and will cheerfully write some more. What sort of articles would you like?

    Rob Warner,

    Master Rigger, Tandem Examiner, jump pilot, historian, military jumper, etc.

  9. Dear dudeman, That guy - who had difficulty finding his reserve ripcord handle - was Rick Horn, a highly-experienced AFF Examiner. Rick was wearing a harness with both hip and chest rings and his soft reserve ripcord handle had folded under his left main lift web. His spinning main malfunction pulled his harness off to one side, making it doubly difficult to see his ripcord handle. Rick suffered that malfunction circa the year 2,000 just after he recently finished filming a training video for the USAF. Rick dis 30 intentional cutaways for that video!
  10. Dear mdrejhon, Aviation electric motors will not be maintenance free. The first batch will require inspections every day, week, year, 1,000 hours etc. As they prove trouble-free operation, 1,000 hour inspections will be extended to 1,500 ... 2,000 ...2,500 ...3,000, etc. ... similar to ETOPS. Transport Canada will be super-cautious about extending inspection intervals. Aviation quality control might have been the best back in 1945, when my grand-uncles returned from serving in the RCAF, but we have major improvements in automotive quality within my lifetime. Now we routinely see new automobiles run 4 years and 100,000 kilometres without maintenance. Cars can only run that long if they are built precisely. Manufacturers build modern cars precisely because they don't want to lose money on warranty repairs. For example: My friend only recently replaced the Toyota Prius (gasoline-electric hybrid) that he owned for 17 years. He replaced it with an all-electric Chevy Bolt. His wife still drives a middle-aged Prius. I am currently driving a 13 yeaar old Toyota Matrix, that I bought second-hand 9 years ago. Since then I have only replaced oil, spark plugs, windshield wipers and tires. It has driven 600,000 kilometres with plenty of remaining life. So I believe that electric airplanes can fly safely with only slightly-modified electric automobile components. With electric automobiles soon to be manufactured by the millions, economies of scale will soon drive down manufacturing costs.
  11. Dear olofscience, I do not know the take-off weights of the electric Beaver or electric Caravan that MagniX have flown recently .MagniX will need another year or two to determine exact weights of their electric conversions. The first batch of electric Caravan conversions will sell to short-haul airlines like Harbour Air and courier companies like UPS. Electric airplanes may become the most efficient way to move passengers and cargo between islands or across mountain ranges. ... but numbers on certified, production airplanes are always quoted at gross weight, standard atmosphere, sea level, 50 degree Fahrenheit temperatures. Jump planes routinely take-off at gross weight juggling fuel loads with passenger loads to extract the maximum number of dollars per hour of operation. Similarly, the majority of airliners take-off at gross weight ... juggling fuel, cargo and passengers to generate the maximum number of dollars per flight.
  12. Dear Frogger, How big a hangar roof do you need to collect enough solar energy to fly a Caravan 3 days per week? ... assuming 25 loads to 12,000' per day .... Is that a 182-sized hangar roof/ A Caravan-sized roof? A dozen Caravan-sized roofs? Remember that the majority of hangars at DZs are occupied by privately-owned, single-engined Cessnas that only fly 1 day per week.
  13. Within our lifetimes the petroleum industry is going to stop refining 100LL aviation gasoline. Then we need an alternative to keep flying. Consider the Romanian Air Force's dilemma back in the early 1990s. After the fall of communism, Romanian refineries stopped making 100LL and it was prohibitively expensive to import 100LL gasoline from Greece, so the RAF grounded their fleet of I.A.R. 823 trainers. Those trainers were powered by the same Lycoming IO-540 engines as Cessna 182 and 206. Those airplanes sat idle for a decade or so, then were bought up an American dealer and sold on to the warbird crowd, who were wearing out their similar-sized Beechcraft Mentors. Debate all you want, but DZOs are going to need new a fuel source within the next 20 years.
  14. May I suggest that a wise DZO will invest in a half-dozen sets of batteries and re-charge them mid-week? By re-charging batteries during off-peak hours, the DZO can save money on electric grid rates. With solar cells on the hangar roof, the DZO might be able to save even more money .. or sell surplus electricity to neighbours. Finally, with those half-dozen sets of batteries fully-charged by Saturday morning, they can swap battereis and fly until noon before worrying about re-charging. Also the time spent swapping batteries might be needed to allow packers to catch up. I used to work at a DZ that had too much lift capacity with a King Air. After three or four loads, we would run out of tandem rigs. So we stopped jumping for a half-hour while packers caught up, TIs trained and dressed the next batch of students and the pilot refuelled the airplane. The other reason we flew three or four loads back-to-back is that it costs hundreds of dollars to shut down a turbine engine .... wait for it to cool ... then re-start. Every hot-cold cycle costs hundreds of dollars worth of life to a turbine engine. The number of hot-cold cycles becomes increasingly expensive as you approach the end of the over-haul cycle since turbines were originally designed to take-off-cruise-land only two or three times per day ... nothing like 3 to 5 cycles up-down per hour.
  15. Dear sfzombie 13, I am not quite sure why you hate "Hillbilly Elegy" before watching it. We all agree that HE does not describe every hillbilly family accurately. Every family is slightly different. Yes, stereotyping is a risky pass-time. We do know that Appalachia has been plagued with "Hillbilly heroin" aka Oxycontin. Oxy is a powerful synthetic opiate that has ruined many lives and many families. I have consumed plenty of prescription Oxycondone, but weaned myself as soon as pain abated enough to let me sleep through the night. Much of HE is about hillbillys locked into out-moded mind-sets and traditions: addictive drugs, blood feuds, multi-generation poverty, etc. Sorry folks, but the boom days of the Detroit auto industry are never going to return to North America. These problems are not confined to Appalachia. A big city like Vancouver suffers dozens or hundreds of deaths per year caused by impure street-drugs like Fentanol and Oxycontin. Fentanol was a frequent head-line story until COVID hit Vancouver. Fentanol is still a problem ... just not Vancouver's biggest problem.
  16. I like to grab and peel red before swinging my eyes to look at silver. Then I keep my eyes on silver as I pull red. Toss red. # Put both hands on silver and pull silver to full arms' extension. Resume arch. Look over shoulder to confirm that reserve pilot-chute is leaving. Footnote# I teach students to toss red to confirm that they have pulled it to full arms' extension. The only difference with my personal gear is hanging onto red. With tandems, I just toss handles with gay abandon until I have a landable canopy overhead. The School can worry about replacement handles.
  17. If DB Cooper had a genuine USAF or USN pilot emergency parachute, it was probably a 28 foot diameter, flat circular canopy with a 4-line-release that gave it a bit of forward speed and some ability to turn. 4-line-release just releases the rear 4 suspension lines. To activate 4-line-release, the jumper pulls down on two red suspension lines that hang behind his ears. Pulling releases the 4 rear suspension lines and gives maybe 5 mph) forward speed ... enough to miss a tree, but not a lake. Once the 4-lines are released, the parachute can be steered by pulling down on a rear riser ... strap going up from the shoulder. This allows the jumper to steer away from small obstacles and face into the wind for landing. Descent rate is roughly 1,000 feet per minute and the canopy becomes more stable after the 4-lines are released.
  18. Plenty of good advice above. I did my first static-line jump back in 1977 on a military-surplus round parachute. Four years later I did the Canadian Army's Basic Parachutist Course (static-line). Then I earned a civilian instructor rating and dropped students with a variety of static-line and instructor-assisted-deployment systems. I did my first tandem jump in 1984. Even strapped to Rob Laidlaw (world champion 8-Way Team) is was still scared to jump without a ripcord or altimeter! A few years later I earned tandem and freefall instructor ratings. Then I worked full-time as a skydiving instructor for 18 years. When they moved a portable wind tunnel to Vancouver, I insisted that my students have a few minutes experience in the wind tunnel before I would do harness-hold jumps with them. Bottom line: no single method is ideal for learning how to skydive, because each method is "best" at teaching specific skills. I recommend that students do their first jump as a tandem. However, the teaching value of tandems diminishes after the third jump. Then a few IAD jumps - from 3,000 feet (1,000 metres) are the best way to learn the basics of steering a parachuite and landing on the correct field. Then a few minutes in the wind tunnel to learn the basics of freefall stability and control. Finally, combine all those skills during a few harness-hold jumps. After a few more coached dives, you are ready to write your A license exam.
  19. Thirty years ago I surveyed manufacturers for a similar rig. I ended up getting a Mirage with a large maple leaf. The maple leaf patch was only on the reserve pin cover. I have only seen one rig (A British-built Teardrop) with stripes on four or five separate panels. When the main container was closed, those stripes combined to form a Union Jack flag. Keep in mind that it is difficult consistently align all those stripes unless you use the exact same length of closing loop - every time. You will also need to pack consistently.
  20. riggerrob


    Many restaurants near Vancouver insist on writing down my name and phone number before seating me. It is part of their - Provincial gov't imposed - clientele tracking program. They would not care if I gave them the Easter Bunny's phone number! Hah! Hah!
  21. Invite all your local skydivers, all your local pilots, the local Experimental Aircraft Association, your local soaring club, and a few hundred campers to the meeting in February. Remind them to wear: skydiving, flying, AOPA, EAA, Soaring Association of America, etc. T-shirts. I once attended a pilot/skydiver's funeral where one mourner wore his best US Army dress uniform, but half the mourners wore bright red skydiving t-shirts.
  22. Dear ryoder, I watched the film in a Canadian cinema. Sometimes Canada is a better place than the USA. With luck, the USA will improve to our level under their president-elect Biden. Part of the reason that I was curious about Hillbilly Elegy is that I grew up in the North end of the Appalachian Mountains, just across the border from Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont .. and not too much farther from upstate New York. Many of my ancestors are United Empire Loyalists, Scots, Irish, Scots-Irish and Dutch who landed in New England hundreds of years ago. I wonder how my family avoided abject poverty while struggling to grow a living on soil that is not much better than soil in Southern Appalachia.
  23. Last year I read J.D. Vance's book "Hillbilly Elegy" and last night I watched the movie. Main-stream critics hate the movie because it is a sad story. OTOH I liked the movie because of painfully realistic performances by Glen Close and Amy Adams. Close plays a profane, chain-smoking grandmother who struggles to hold her family together while Adams plays her heroine-addicted daughter who repeatedly loses control. Young J.D. is the grandson and son of these two fiesty women. The film is so well acted that audiences quickly get lost in the drama and family struggles. The film ain't pretty and it ain't polite, but it is well-done. HE is an awkward portrayal of the white, lower-class voters who believed Trump's promises to "Make America Great Again." When Amy is in the depths of her heroine addiction, she reminds me of all the Oxycondone that I chewed while staring at my infected knee.
  24. Dear Doug H, There but for the grace of God go I. Turbulence slammed me into California's hard pan desert more times than I care to remember. During one of those landings I heard (via bone conduction) bone-breaking noises. Thankfully I stood up and walked away. My friend Brian agrees with your advice about knee crutch/trolleys. A few years back he crushed his heel when turbulence slammed him into a beach. He visited the DZ a week later on his knee crutch/trolley, but it was most of a year before his heel bones were strong enough to jump again.
  25. Funny! Last week we had a shouted argument about whether Donald Trump is a bully. I got the final say: "bully!" The difference between Hitler and Trump was that German voters gave Hitler free reign after 1933. OTOH Americans voted Trump out after a mere 4 years in power. If Hitler or Stalin or Pol Pot or Mao Tse Tung or Juan Peron or Bashir al Asad or Saddam Hussein or Ghengis Khan had been voted out of office earlier, there would be fewer, embarrassing mass graves.