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Everything posted by riggerrob

  1. How many of us are tired of politicians making grandiose promises during elections, but having them crushed by the Treasury Board a year or two later?
  2. Yes, electronic Automatic Activation Devices (e.g. Cypres) were introduced circa 1991 and we saw a dramatic increase in two-out malfunctions (biplane or side-by-side). A few skydivers died after they made too-vigorous control inputs which converted slow two-outs into fast down-planes. I have only experienced one two-out malfunction and that was because i - stupidly - spiraled below 1,000 feet, fast enough to scare an FXC 12000 AAD. The reserve inflated behind me and formated in a docile biplane. I tried steering the leading/main canopy, but it kept trying to separate into a side-by-side, so I reduced control inputs to the bare minimum. It took me 500 to make my last turn into the wind and I slid out my landing on wet grass (normal landing field). My two-out descended much slower than a Solo 270 student canopy, so there was little risk of injury when sliding the landing. Lessons-learned: A - only minor control inputs below 1,000 feet. B- Bare minimum of control inputs when you have two canopies out. As long as you are headed for an open field, that is good enough. Up-wind,down-wing or cross-wind is less important than keeping both canopies overhead. A few sk
  3. Sounds like you need a different instructor who will give you feedback from a different angle. Speaking of different angles .... was your last jump videoed? Often a few seconds of video will teach a "visual learner" more than a hour of talk.
  4. Funny! I am 6 feet tall and a long way from the tallest FF Instructor that I know. Though we must admit that skydiving allows medium to small people to score as well.
  5. Lawyers follow the money and cast their nets wide in search of "deep pockets." The only "deep pockets" in the skydiving industry are parachute manufacturers. In my case, lawyers representing WorkSafeBC named something like a dozen defendents including: the pilot, airplane owner, one overhaul facility, a separate mechanic, the engine manufacturer, the pump manufacturer, Transport Canada, etc. They really wanted to sue the American Federal Aviation Administration, but US law prohibits that kind of lawsuit. As lawyers learned how little money most defendants had, they were dropped form the lawsuit. It took Transport Canada 9 years to convince a judge that they were innocent! Nine miserable years! A dozen years after the crash, there are still a few loose ends. What a miserable process!
  6. Over the last decade, it has been scary watching the polarization of mass media. Even scarier is that there are enough: cable TV, youtube, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, etc. channels that people can chose to only watch those channels that agree with their pre-conceived notions. Almost 30 years ago, I drove half-way across the USA with Manley Butler, who turned out to be a hard-core Rush Limbaugh fan. He had the Limbaugh Letter, Limbaugh cassette tapes and lists of every time Limbaugh broadcast on any American radio station. By the end of that trip, I had listened to my lifetime quota of Limbaugh! Now my dilemna is remaining courteous to my Conservative co-workers while also biting my tongue around some of the hard-core Liberal ... who are we kidding ... New Democratic Party ... tree-huggers at my church. Bottom line, I need to read a half-dozen sources before reaching my own conclusions.
  7. Skydiving certainly helped me retain my sanity through depression, alcoholism, divorce, career-changes, etc. Now I am on proper medication and don't need as much adrenaline to help keep me sane. .. either that or I have passed my 60th birthday and start to understand my mortality.
  8. Dear DougH, I strongly disagree because my experience is that personal injury lawyers create more problems than they solve. Tort lawyers are greedy, self-centered, lazy and willfully ignorant. A dozen years after a plane crash, I have more problems (15 months lost wages, starvation, PTSD, heart murmurs, etc.) than before I ever talked with a lawyer. At one point I had to explain a 30-year-old legal precedent set by a 16 year-old girl who was paralyzed during a static-line jump in Ontario! Why did a lay man have to explain a 30-year-old legal precedent? Another lawyer was gob-smacked when I mentioned the jump-plane crashes in Perris Valley, California and Hinckley, Illinois back in 1992! Even the lawyer representing Transport Canada was clueless about those two crashes!
  9. Arcus Fire just announced two new single-turbine airplanes for fire-fighters. They announced an upgrade to PAC 750 to carry 2500 kg of fire-fighting fluids. This modification of the popular PAC 750 jump and agricultural airplane is currently being tested with its new under-belly water tank and drop doors. Most of the airframe will still be built by Pacfic Aero. Arcus Fire also announced a completely new, high,fire/cargo/passenger airplane called Firecatcher. It has tail feathers similar to PAC 750 but a completely new fuselage that looks like a fat Cessna Caravan. Like the Skycourier - that Cessna is currently test flying - the fuselage is sized for 3 LD3 shipping containers, which should make it popular with courier companies. Like most light turboprops, Firecatcher will be certified to carry 19 passengers ... just short of the requirement for a stewardess. hey hope to fly Firecatcher by 2024. Arcus Fire specializes in leasing fire-fighting aircraft. Pacific Aero specializes in manufacturing agricultural airplanes based on the earlier Fletcher and Cresco patterns dating back tot he 1960s. Flight Structures specializes in designing and certifying aircraft components to New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority standards. Hopefully skydivers will start jumping out of Firecatchers within a decade. Those lucky jumpers will enjoy stand-up cabins and economical single turboprops made by Pratt & Whitney of Canada.
  10. Larger canopies are also heavier, which might break rubber bands prematurely. Look at all there out-of-sequence openings suffered by early tandems and all the different solutions invented by tandem manufacturers. Strong stows most their suspension lines in standard rubber bands, the wraps an Anti Line Slump flap over the stowed lines and closes the ALS flap with a trio of bungee cords (rubber elastic wrapped in a nylon sheath) to lock the d-bag closed. UPT uses 4 double-wide rubber bands to close their d-bags, plus a bunch of regular rubber bands to stow lines. Jump Shack/Parachute Labs uses almost a dozen locking stows. I vaguely remember Parachutes de France using 6 locking stows.
  11. Try looking at it from a legal perspective. Personal injury lawyers follow the money. Drop zone owners and parachute manufacturers have the most money to lose. USPA has few assets but has wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars defending against lawsuits ... many of which were frivolous. USPA does not want the hassle of any more lawsuits. Trust me, a decade ago I got dragged into a personal injury lawsuit that named a dozen defendants. As soon as (WorkSafeBC) lawyers realized how little money some defendants had, they were quickly dropped from the lawsuit. Then lawyers focused on the three defendants who might have enough money to make it worth their time. After 6 years, a judge found the owner/pilot guilty. Nine years after the crash, a judge decided that Transport Canada as well as Pratt & Whitney of Canada (engine manufacturer) were blameless. Meanwhile, lawyers left me to starve during knee surgery.
  12. Sadly, personal injury lawyers ruined skydiving for 16 and 17 year olds.
  13. Dear sfzombie13, May I suggest having the instructor hand-deploy the drogue (aka. Instructor Assisted Deployment)?
  14. If you wanted to invent a drogue - to reduce opening shock - you need some sort of speed-sensitive link. ... maybe a drag-sensitive link. Basically, if you toss your drogue/pilot-chute ate more than 130 miles-per-hour, it would remain firmly attached to the harness until you decellerate to slower than 100 mph. Then the drogue dis-connects from the harness and drags your main to line-stretch. Engineers have devoted many millions of dollars to perfecting similar systems for ejection seats.
  15. It caught on the reserve, preventing the reserve from opening. Back around 1990, Ted Strong was trying to develop a new training program that started with tandem jumps, then progressed to droque-stabliized solo freefall, so he installed a drogue on Strong Combination Student container. The drogue was based upon a far more complex design that originated with Soviet Air Force ejection seats, was simplified for Soviet para-troopers, was dumbed down for Russian smoke-jumpers, then dumbed down again for civilian tandems. The solo drogue system worked okay until a student went into a violent spin - in freefall - over Hinckley, Illlinois. When the FXC got scared, it pulled the reserve ripcord, but the round reserve wrapped around the drogue and never opened. End of that idea!
  16. Perfectly normal reaction the first time you do any new scary thing. For most people, the nausia disappears after a few more jumps. Altitude sickness ... errrr ... low oxygen density is rarely a problem during skydiving because few jump planes climb more 14,000 feet above sea level. For comparison, airline cabins are pressurized to 5,000 maybe 8,000 feet ASL, but much of that is to accommodate grandmothers with weak lungs. Time also affects hypoxia (shortage of oxygen), but jump-planes rarely fly more than 5 minutes above 10,000 feet, so that is not an issue for people with healthy lungs. Yes, clearing your ears (Valsalva Maneuver) can reduce sinus pressure, reducing the risk of head aches, nausea, etc. I usually clear my ears two or three times on the way up and once after opening. Low blood sugar can cause nausea ... even fainting ... after opening. We did not understand this until we had been doing tandems for a few years. Basically, any scary sensation causes your body to produce huge amounts of adrenaline and burn through blood sugars at a rapid rate. Once the skydive slows down ... after opening ... you relax, maybe even pass out. The cure is nibbling on snacks and sipping water all day. Also consider that fear levels drop by half during every one of your first few jumps. Fear will never go away, but the curve will flatten out in a logarithmic way. If you get too relaxed, and no longer fear skydiving, then you should quit, because you have lost track of how dangerous the sport really is. Smart skydivers are always a little afraid, but learn how to channel that fear into equipment checks, pre-planning, altitude checks, etc. Older (pre-2000) tandem harnesses were more likely to put too much pressure on your stomach. Modern tandem student harnesses have lower belly bands, so are less likely to cause nausea. If you feel nauseous under a tandem, simply ask your instructor to loosen the belly band a bit after opening. Many tandem students complain about leg straps being too tight, but fail to realize that all their weight is resting on those leg straps. Tough! OTOH loose leg straps can bruise during opening shock, so better for your instructor to tighten leg straps a bit too much ... rather than lose you at opening time.
  17. Hello Ron, If you are treated by the Venterans' Adminstration, then you are on a form of socialized medicine. That is how Canada developed our current MediCare programs. It all started after the First World War when Ottawa established the Veterans' Affairs Department to attend to wounded soldiers' long-term medical problems. After WW2, they extended those benefits to the children of retired soldiers, then the wives of retired soldiers, then eventually every Canadian citizen. Recently, even refugees from Syria have gotten free medical benefits upon arrival because Canadians understand that early medical intervention can prevent chronic illness or disability. Fore example, my church recently sponsored a Syrian family and we donated heavily for dental care because the children had never visited a dentist in their homeland and their teeth were in rough shape.
  18. Agreed Ron, For the last few years, I have visited a medical clinic owned by a pair of Coptic Christians who immigrated from Egypt. They recently hired a third Coptic Christian general physician. One time they had a Nigeria lady doctor working for them temproarily. The most helpful doctor was a South African Boer, so I suspect that he was a Dutch Reformed Christian. I cried when he retired.
  19. Agreeing with most of the posts above PLUS, Dacron lines create more surface friction against each other and slider grommets, because they have a rougher weave. The extra friction could abrade grooves and holes in brass grommets in as few as 400 jumps. The worst case scenario is old, fuzzy Dacron lines that have been jumped too many times in the Southern California desert. The greater the friction, the more likely the tension knots ... more slider hang-ups ... more collapsed end cells ... more broken lines ... more hard openings ... more torn fabric ... etc.
  20. Dear Phil111, Russian population decline is a complex problem with multiple causes. Ripple affects from wars and famines still echo today. Meanwhile, your comments about: abortion, aging and alcoholism are seen as short-term causes. The end result is that Russian population continues to decline, even long after World War 2. Immigration is a further cause. Russia is a cold climate. Far more Russians leave for better lives in First World Countries. Immediately after the USSR collapsed (1989) many Russian ex-pats returned home from former Soviet Republics (Kazackstan, etc.) After that, Russians emmigrated to the First World in increasing numbers. Now, few people want to immigrate to Russia. Part of the problem is white-supremist, skin-head gangs who hassle non-Russian immigrants. The ironic thing is that there is no single, white-skinned, Russian gene pool. Over the centuries, Armenians, Bulgars, Caucasians, Estonians, Finns, Germans, Huns, Jews, Poles,Kazacks, Latts, Mongols, Russ, Scandinavians, Tartars, Turks, Ukrainians, etc. have contributed to the "Russian" gene pool.
  21. Early response to drought/famine is far less expensive than trying to rehabilitate survivors.
  22. Russia would suffer in any trade war involving Russia, China and the USA, because Russia has the smallest population and their population is in decline. One of the causes of Russian low birth rates is ripple effects from all the millions of Russians who died during the Great Patriotic War.
  23. This is silly. I believe in giving credit to inventors. If Uncle Ben invented a rice recipe, then he deserves to have his name on the label. If Aunt Jemima invented a pancake recipe, then she deserves to have her face printed on the box. I do not care about the skin colour of the inventor, because I only care about the taste of the food. If Jack Hooker invented a new type of seat-belt, then I will refer to them as "Hooker Belts. Transport Canada's sissified, limp-wristed, bureaucratic terminology be damned!
  24. 18 years? Wow! My divorce only lasted 7 years.