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Everything posted by riggerrob

  1. Great minds think alike! A "nobody undergraduate" and the French military-industrial-complex both came up with the same concept. Your idea has already been tested. Back around 1997 a French research & development corporation mentioned a similar leg strap configuration for military HAHO (High Altitude High Opening) jumpers. These extreme users typically open at 25,000' or 30,000' and glide downwind for 30 minutes or so. Thirty minutes sitting in the same harness combined with freezing air and poor circulation are gaurranteed to give you a numb bum. This experimental French harness closely resembled your concept except that the second set of French leg pads were worn loose, outside of the original leg pads. After opening, the user was supposed to slide the extra leg pads towards his knees, then adjust buckles just below his 3-rings. Another radically different idea was patented by a Quebec inventor and used by U.S.Army HAHO jumpers. This idea is beautiful in its simplicity. The U.S.Army jumpers simply tied a couple of yards of cord to chest rings. After opening, they released the cord from its rubber band stowage and STOOD on the cord. This method transferred the load from their thighs to their boots. Another problem is that leg pad design is highly subjective. Pads that are comfortable on skinny people are uncomfortable on fat people and vic versa. For example, many people with wide thighs swear by double-wide leg pads. On the other hand, people with skinny thighs - like me - often find double wide leg pads uncomfortable because the hard, bound inner edge rubs against our "naughty bits". I am far more comfortable with narrow, rounded edge leg pads. If you want to see rounded edge leg pads, look for pictures of Rigging innovations Telesis 2, Genera and some Talon 2s. Finally, consider the latest generation of tandem student harnesses. These harnesses are a noble attempt to make "one size fit everyone." They differ from previous generations of harnesses in that they are supposed to be adjusted so that students are suspended from the front of their thighs and hang in the harness with their thighs horizontal, this helps them raise their feet for landing and reduces the incidence of sliding in on the student's face.
  2. < there is no one out there charging hundreds of dollars for a big way RW license. Maybe not hundreds of dollars, but have any of you heard of the Bob Buquor Memorial Awards? Star Crest Recipient SCS Night SCR Canadian Ten Man USPA's Falcon and Eagle Awards La Clube des Grands Etoiles etc.?
  3. You probably "know" all the important stuff, so refresher training just helps "stir it up" and bring things to the front of your brain so you can use them "now."
  4. Take a close look at your slider grommets. These days most sliders are made with #8 brass grommets or stainless steel grommets almost as big. Larger grommets are difficult to find at DZs. What size are your connector links? You need to install #3.5 Maillon Rapide links or slinks if you wnat to be able to pull your slider down behind your head. It also helps if you have 1 inch wide risers made of Type 17 webbing. Other minor points include toggle hoods to make it easier to pull the slider down past the toggles. If you end up installing new risers, also pay attention to riser length. I am pretty tall (6 foot), so 24" risers work well for me, but shorter people need risers as short as 19" so they can grab their sliders.
  5. Even better than asking a rigger is to read the Cypres owners manual.
  6. As a bare minimum, I would wipe/shake off any obvious water and leave any damp AAD to dry over night. FXC recommends - something like - leaving a damp AAD in a 100 degree fahrenheit oven overnight to bake out any moisture. Then I would do a chamber test, or at least the start-up routine. Remember that all the manufacturers recommend returning damp AADs to their respective factories for inspection. Oh, and moisture is unlikely to affect the air pressure sensor in a Cypres - because it is solid-state - but who knows what the water did to the tiny wires leading to and from the sensor?
  7. As for that arguement about "What if you open a door in flight?" The person asking that question knows nothing about cabin pressurization. Airliner doors and windows basically plug into their frames and are held there by cabin pressure. As soon as the pilots turn on the cabin pressurizsation system, it requires super-human strength to open an airliner window. Many pilots start pressurizing the cabin before they push back from the gate. This eliminates the whole hassle of little Johnny opening a window to wave good bye to grandma, the window falling on the taxiway, calling a technician to pick up the window, inspect the window, re-install the window and fill out a ton of paperwork. Busy airlines just don't have time for that sort of foolishness! Most of the latches and hinges are formalities. So the next time someone asks you about getting sucked out of the open door of an airliner, just tell them that if they have enough muscle to open that door, then they deserve to get sucked out!
  8. There are two drawbacks ot waterproof Cypri. First of all water proof Cypri are more bulky. Secondly the filter has to be changed every time you get it wet. So if you "score poorly" in the first three rounds of a pond swooping cometition, your rigger gets to dry out your reserve three times and you get to pay for three new filters. Oh joy!
  9. In the United States and most other countries the reserve repack cycle is 120 days. In Canada and Australia the reserve repack cycle is 180 days. Before you get too clever, just remember that when in doubt, DZOs will enforce the 120 day cycle.
  10. Did you guys hear about the little old lady who was arrested at Vancouver International Airport on Friday? Security guards found an 18 inch long pair of knitting needles. Guards laid a Rodney King style beating on the 81 year old Vancouver resident. "We were afraid she might knit an afghan," said YVR Security spokesman Harry Shin.
  11. First of all, I have installed Performance Designs "slinks" on a dozen mains and a couple of reserves and really cannot see what the fuss is all about. Secondly, PD manufactures two different versions of "slinks." One version is clearly labelled for reserve use. Since I don't know enough to make a decision, I will stick with installing reserve slinks on reserves and main slinks only on mains. As to whether there is any difference in installation procedures. No. Installing PD slinks is a simple process. You don't even need to understand english, just look at the pretty pictures on the instruction sheet that comes with every set of slinks! I suspect that the main objection to installing slinks on reserves is the inate conservativism of skydivers. Most skydivers want to see a new piece of hardware survive 4 or 5 years on mains before they will install it on their reserve. Slinks slightly reduce weight and bulk inside a reserve container. Slightly being the oprative word here. Also soft links result in a soft, soft, soft load path, eliminating a wear point. Truth is, soft links have been around since the 1980s, with very few recorded failures. The one disadvantage with old-style soft links was they could only be used one time. Any time you took a canopy off risers, you had to cut the old soft links. Reuseable soft links are a comparatively new concept. Circa 1996, Parachutes de France introduced the first reuseable soft link with a small metal ring on the end. P. de F.'s soft links worked well, but they were still a bit bulky. More recently, Performance Designs figured out that they could get by with a lump of Type 4 tape at the end. P.D. also added an extra step to the installation process that makes their "slinks" more secure. I am wondering if the next step in soft link development is simply a large, ugly knot at the end. Hey, if you can't tie knots, tie lots! Ha! Ha!Ha!
  12. fonz and geoff got it right. laserq3 missed the point. Solo jumpers practicing tracking can cover a lot of ground in 50 seconds, so they should track perpendicular to jump run. This prevents them from tracking over or under another formation. Relative workers should track like banshees away from the center of their formation. Since relative workers are only tracking for 5 to 7 seconds, they won't cover much ground. They will barely cover enough ground to get clear of their buddies. In 5 seconds RWers are highly unlikely to get any closer to any other jumpers. By that same logic, if RWers realize that they are a long way from the DZ, tracking for 5 seconds will not bring them appreciably closer. You will cover more ground in 5 seconds under canopy than during a minute in freefall. Especially if you are a long way upwind of the DZ and pull around 3,000' and sit there in deep brakes. That will expose your canopy to the upper winds for up to a minute more than your buddies who opened at 2,000'. At Pitt Meadows, most jump runs are to the West. Conveniently, the prevailing winds come from the West. When junior jumpers are learning to track, we tell them to practice perpendicular to jumprun, ie. track North.
  13. I would purchase the container last. Start by choosing your reserve. A reserve should have roughly as many square feet as you have pounds. Secondly, choose a main that you can land on a bad day. Finally, pick a container that matches the size of those canopies. As long as you buy from a major manufacturer, then you will get a container that works. After that most decisions are based on fashion, specifically local fashion. Local fashion is often dictated by which rigs the local rigger likes. For example, if the local rigger likes Javelins, then you should buy a Javelin or Javelin clone (Wings, Dolphin, Vortex, Advance or Concept. If the local rigger likes Vectors, then you should buy a Vector or Vector clone (Infinity, Sidewinder, Naro, early Talon, etc.). Be warned that not all riggers have mastered all types of containers. For example, it took me ten years to get good at packing Racers, and I had to invent my own Cypres-compatible tools.
  14. I preferr the old PIA measuring method which involves measuring span along the leading ege and measuring chord from tail straight to the top leading edge.
  15. Remi, For comparison, a buddy lost the freebag and reserve pilotchute off his Voodoo earlier this summer. The bill for replacement parts came to almost $300! Ouch! Fortunately Sandy tossed in a T-shirt and a better-fitting top flap for free. Vector spare parts are not much cheaper.
  16. I have been wearing basketball glasses for the last 2,000. Most of those jumps were with students, so I have been smacked in the head more times than I care to remember. The basketball glasses only came off my face once, during a PFF evaluation dive. I flipped the "student" stable, and just as I was starting to figure out the next step, the elastic strap around the back of my head flipped my glasses back into place! These basketball glasses are similar to racquet ball glasses, with thick clear plastic frames, just a bit bigger. The larger frames keep most of the wind out of my eyes.
  17. Sorry to add a negative note here, but some personality types do well in the military and other personality types don't. After 13 years in uniform, I quit the Canadian Armed Forces in disgust! I just could not handle the B.S. any more. I was tired of senior NCOs lying to me and f***ing me over. I lost all respect for Canadian Armed Forces policy on drugs and alcohol. Written regulations said one thing, but it was vastly different in practice. For example, on two different ocaissions military police pulled me over when I knew I was too drunk to drive, but they let me go! So much for the written regulations! In practice, you were obliged to develop addicitions to the three official drugs, but if you did any other drugs, they promised to throw you in jail. Cigarettes gave me a sore throat. Alcohol aggravated my insomnia. Caffeine aggravated my insomnia. After I figured out that they were feeding me B.S. I lost respect for the Canadian Armed Forces.
  18. What do I think of police? It really depends upon how competent they are. What do I think of German police? The German cop who gave me a ticket for an illegal turn was polite and professional. He even explained in his halting English why he was giving me the ticket. I respect German police. What do I think of Quebec police? That is a totally different story! When I was a teenager, several of Quebec police officers pulled a bunch of cars over in front of my grandmother's house. After half an hour it became clear that my mother tongue was totally useless in communicating with police officers in my home town! That has to be the heighth of incompetence! Did I mention that my grandmother's house was originally built by the Molson family of Molson beer fame? I solved that problem by fleeing that racist province and learning a couple more languages.
  19. Last month a tiny KR-2 homebuilt airplane was intercepted near Point Roberts, Washington and "escorted" out of American airspace. This occurred shortly after September 11 and the USAF was a little nervous! I heard the story first-hand from a pilot who is based in Pitt Meadows, at the end of the same row of hangars occupied by Pacific Skydivers.
  20. Two year anniversary, congrats. Sure wish I could remember what day of October my 24th anniversary is! I did my first static-line jump sometime in October 1977, at Valcourt, Quebec. Who else can remember their anniversary?
  21. Funny, stane must be using Performance Designs' measuring method, because when Rigging Innovations measured a Tempo using PIA methods, it came out to more like 125 square feet. In the future I challenge all manufacturers to specify which measuring methods they used when they publish canopy data. And if I hear any more volume numbers based on the weight of "one fat Sherman," I am going to hurl!
  22. During the 2001 PIA Symposium, Icarus announced that they were changing their measuring method to match Performance Designs. I am so confused!
  23. cobaltdan, I challenge you to explain - in lawmans' terms - how to measure a cobalt canopy and come up with the same numbers as the factory. Secondly, I disagree with your claims that Tempo reserves are smaller than the numbers advertised by PISA. When I worked at Rigging Innovations, we measured dozens of canopies according to the PIA method. Only PISA and Para-Flite canopies matched advertised numbers, all other manufacturers had some sort of discrepancy. We have been comparing apples and oranges since 1980, and I am really tired of this silly process!
  24. Judging by the advertisements, Mirage's new Unisyn harness is a copy of the Multi-flex harness introduced by Rigging Innovations in 1991.
  25. I never attended Dave DeWolf's rigging course, but Dave did test me for my FAA Senior Rigger rating. Dave was nurturing, pushy and funny. Part way through the test, Dave took the time to teach me an easier way to sew canopy patches.I thoroughly enjoyed the long day I spent in Dave's loft. I have spoken to several graduates of Dave DeWolf's course. They reiterated the importance of pre-study, including books, sewing and packing. They all said that it was a long 9(?) days, but they learned a lot and graduates were competent riggers. Similar Senior Rigger courses are also given by Kathy Schlater and Tom Dolphin.