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Everything posted by riggerrob

  1. Can anyone fill in the details about the student fatality in Beiseker, Alberta, Canada, this past Saturday? The whuffo press said: "SKYDIVER KILLED BEISEKER, Alta. - Witnesses looked on in horror as a skydiver plunged to his death in a parachuting accident Saturday night during his first-ever jump. "We saw the parachute spiralling down and then we heard a loud pop," said a 19-year-old witness, who also had just finished his first jump at the Skydive Ranch, which operates out of the Beiseker airport, about 50 kilometres northeast of Calgary. RCMP said there was initial indication of equipment failure." Can any skydiver fill in the details?
  2. To clarify: an FAA Senior Parachute Rigger is allowed to do simple patches in the middle of panels. Master Riggers are allowed to do major repairs that include seams and line attachments. However, some factories (ie. P.D.) insist that any repair requiring replacing a bar tack be returned to the factory. If the repair requires replacing a rib or an entire panel, the wiser riggers return canopies to the factory for major repairs. If a repair is done neatly, it will last hundreds or thousands of jumps. Properly done repairs do not affect the way a canopy flies.
  3. Short-lining never made much sense to me. Despite the fact that I started dropping static-line students back in 1982 with military surplus gear, I never saw the logic to short-lining until Jamie Woodward gave me his explanation. Jamie said that short-lining made sense back when they used 80 pound break-cord to close static-line rigs. Then a jump-master could yank a student back to vertical if the neophite back-looped off the step. Jamie abandoned the practice when he introduced hanging exits, piggyback containers, etc.
  4. Ramon, You are worrying too much. Keep it simple skydiver.
  5. We are all saddened to hear that John was the third freefall videographer to die this year from the same problem. We owe it to John's family to make sure that he did not die in vain. We should try to learn something from John's mistake. The best eulogy we can give John is for every freefall videographer on the planet to spend a couple of minutes this Saturday morning taping over that last possible snag point on his/her camera helmet.
  6. If you are going to try slope soaring, start with a big canopy that is easy to launch say 260 - 280 square feet. Secondly, pay a certified para-gliding instructor for a half-day of his/her time. That half-day's worth of instruction will prevent dozens of bruises and the occaisional fracture.
  7. Froggie, You responded correctly and logically. Students are given a much simplified version of reserve procedures. Most students are in "sensory overload" from the they walk on the DZ until days after they return home safely. That is why many schools teach them to cutaway from all problems. This reduces the number of decisions they have to make in the air and reduces the chances of them pulling handles out of sequence. For example, for many years USPA doctrine was to tell jumpers that if they had a hard pull or could not find the main handle, they should not waste any more time and immediately pull the reserve ripcord. The problem with this logic is that it requires a freaked out student to choose between two different reserve procedures. That is more than some of them can handle. About the time you graduate from student status, you should review reserve procedures with an instructor. This second lesson on reserve procedures should cover things like collapsible pilotchutes, collapsible sliders, front riser dive loops and other features not found on student gear. The second review should also go into more detail as to the whys and hows of reserve procedures. As an aside, even vastly simplified equipment is not enough to prevent freaked out students from making mistakes with reserve procedures. For example, some schools use student rigs that have the cutaway and reserve ripcord handles combined (SOS). In theory, only having one handle simplifies the decision-making process, but I have seen a student screw up even an SOS system!
  8. Language police here. "Air pockets" exist only in the minds of whuffos. You were more accurate in your assumption that you entered a down draft near that hill.
  9. I suspect that the problem with your Quasar II was caused by a loose loop. This problem could occur with any model of container if the loop is too long.
  10. Clean your cables at every repack or every month if your live in a dusty place like Arizona.
  11. You all missed the point " ... loaded at 1.28" When you start loading a canopy much more than 1:1, collapsible pilotchutes make a difference. For example, I load my Sabre about 1.29 and a collapsible pilotchute makes a noticeable difference in glide, flare and surfing performance. As for the arguement over kill-line vs. bungee: I have a kill-line on one rig and a bungee cord on my other rig. I have repacked a bunch of reserves for people who forgot to cock kill-lines, but have had only had one scare with my bungee. On a poorly-planned hop-and-pop I threw my pilotchute too early and got a pilotchute-in-tow. I just held my arch for three more seconds and the main opened fine.
  12. Every time Cypres batteries are replaced, the rigger is supposed to record the date on a chart inside the battery compartment. He is also supposed to affix a new orange label - with the new date - on the outside of the box. Finally, he is supposed to record his work on the reserve packing data card. Any fewer written records are a violation of Federal Air Regulations. As for the Rigger who keeps the same set of batteries in his personal Cypres for 4 years. Again, this is a violation of Federal Air Regulations. The FAA recently slapped a rigger for "failing to follow manufacturers' instructions." Airtec reminds us to replace old batteries becasue old battereis are far more likely to leak. Legalities aside, remember that a woman died with 3 1/2 year old Cypres batteries on her back! As for calculating the price of used Cypri ...here is one formula: the last time I did the calculations, a new Cypres cost US$1200. Expect it to depreciate at $100/year so it is worth $0 at 12 years old. These values only hold if you have followed the maintenance schedule. Overdue batteries or missed inspections reduce the value of used Cypri.
  13. Any light oil will loosen the grime on release cables. We have been using WD-40 for years. After the cables are clean, wipe them with a paper towel until they are dry. Release cables don't need lubrication, they just need to be clean. Release cables are like machine guns: if you leave too much lubrication on them, they will only attract dust.
  14. riggerrob


    Performance Designs charges about US$225 to reline a canopy. Shipping to and from the factory is extra. You would be better off posing this question directly to P.D. If you are pressed for time, then order a line kit from P.D. and ask your local rigger to install it. He/she will charge about US$100 to install a factory line kit.
  15. riggerrob


    jhus, You have to be specific about which year this Centaurus was built. The design has been through so many re-designs since Troy Loney sold it to North American Aerodynamics that current production has no parts common with earlier Centauri.
  16. Geeh! SkymonkeeONE, that sounds more like a trash pack.
  17. I jumped a Hornet 190 last month and really enjoyed it. Despite being bigger than my Sabre, the Hornet turned quicker and turf-surfed farther. I have packed dozens of Dolphins and think are perfectly airworthy at a fraction of the cost of name-brand rigs. I have packed hundreds of Tempo reserves and am always impressed with their quality of materials and workmanship. The only people who have to worry about tearing up Tempos are people who seriously overload them and deploy them far faster than they are certified for. Sounds like a decent deal.
  18. Emma, I would be glad to help with your anti-consumerist venture during the damp months. Around here it gets too damp to haul tandem students over the winter months, but I dread getting a real job!
  19. The difference between public images of scuba diving and skydiving are based on two concepts. First, the media had parachuting figured out in the 1920s and don't want to hear anything new. Secondly, scuba diving is a much larger sport with far more millions of dollars flowing through its coffers. I did a bunch of scuba dives 10 years ago and have made 3500 skydives, but do not believe there is much difference in risk between the two sports. Hiding the fact that scuba-diving is dangerous is largely a marketing ploy. There are so many millions of dollars flowing through diving resorts, dive boats, local dive shops, etc. that no-one dares scare away potential dollars, er cutomers by telling them scuba diving is dangerous. Skydiving instructors used to say skydiving was safe back in the early 1980s. But, then we had too many students do too many stupid things - mostly ignoring what their instructors told them - and too many law suits. Now skydiving instructors are legally bound to tell every first-time jumper that skydiving is dangerous and they might die! This should be common knowledge, but people don't want to hear it! As for the media, after a year in journalism college, I concluded that the media is all about sensationalism. They hate it when facts and stistics get in the way of a juicy, bloody, gory story. Most of what the media knows about parachuting came from barnstorming barkers back in the 1920s. Back in the 1920s - supposedly shrewd - journalists swallowed all the barkers' hype about how dangerous parachute jumping was and printed that hype verbatum. Most barnstorming jumpers survived dozens or hundreds of jumps. But the media wouldn't allow statistics to interfer with a sensational story.
  20. Plan on loading your first reserve around 1 pound per square foot and your first main not much more than 1.2 pounds per square foot. Sure those sound like light wing-loadings, but they will forgive your inevitable early mistakes. Sure, you will be bored with that main after a year or two, but think about the bright side: your legs will be intact! As for which brand ... oh boy! If you buy from the top half dozen manufacturers, you will get reliable gear with good resale value. Just try to buy something that is still in production. As for which model to buy, then we get into the opinions, sales pitches, BS and outright lies. For example, I have only made 3 jumps on a Safire 149, but I found it easy to land and really enjoyed that canopy. On the other hand, some people traded in their Safires because they still had not mastered landings after dozens of jumps. Why such a difference in experiences/opinions?
  21. Try visiting the websites of BASE gear manufacturers like Basic Research, Consolidated Rigging and Vertigo.
  22. How does an arrogant Master Rigger side with the packers on one issue, but disagree with them on another? On one hand, I don't believe that packers are being paid to inspect anything more than a quick glance at links, lines and rubber bands. If a jumper wants a more thorough inspection, he/she should pay a licensed rigger for the 1/2 hour labor that a proper inspection requires. If a packer does any more maintenance than replacing broken rubber bands or frayed closing loops, they should charge extra. If they miss a step-through they are shirking their job. Professional packers should not be held responsible for reserves being out of date or overdue service bulletins. The more conscientious packers will point out the omission and steer customers towards riggers who can fix the problem, but packers should not be held responsible for overdue maintenance. Hold the lazy yuppies responsible for keeping thier own reserves in date! Thanks for reading my rant! Packers are responsible for packing mains. Period! In the long run it comes down to attitude. If a person is curious and wants to become a good packer, they will get a license to learn. That license is called a Senior Rigger license. Bad precident grasshopper, Weekend jumpers will emulate the example you set, even if you set a bad example. Jumping with a reserve that is out of date is illegal, but I could give a flying [email protected]#$%^&*! about the lawyers. Having your reserve in date means that a professional has inspected it recently for wear and tear. Who cares how long the reserve canopy has been sitting there, the question is how much abuse the container has suffered.
  23. Donna, It was a freak thing. Triathlons only open hard when they are sloppily packed. Either your husband didn't have the slider all the way to the top of the lines or his line stows were really loose. Austin, Beg, borrow or steal .... Well maybe not steal. That would be bad for your karma. But certainly buy a copy of the "Pack Like A Pro" video tape. This excellent video tape teachs both flat and Pro packing in a professional manner. You can also learn to "Psycho Pack" or "Wolmari Pack" from their respective websites. Despite their odd names, both psycho packing and wolmari packing are just minor variations on pro packing. Back in the good old days, I used to flat pack my Strato Cloud. As soon as Pro packing came into to fashion, I stated Pro packing my Cruislite. Now I Pro pack everything, including reserves. It has been so long since I have flat packed a main that I have lost the touch. Wait a minute, I was never very good at flat packing to begin with! Thanks for reading my ramble.
  24. Talon T5s were originally designed for Sabre 150s. I packed both Sabre 150s and Sabre 170s into my Talon T5. The Sabre 170 was a snug fit. Packing a Sabre 190 into a T5 is going to be a struggle. Why anyone would want to work that hard is a mystery to me! Rob Warner Rigging Innovations Customer Service Manager Emeritus
  25. Herman Landsman was a tandem instructor at the Texel DZ on the Northwest coast of Holland back in the mid-1980s. Herman was also a member of the Mafia Brothers CReW Team that used to organize boogies at Texel. He became a TI several years before me, ergo pre-1986. The first few Vector Tandem rigs were built without drogues. Freefall was fast and so were the openings. "The good old days were not that long ago and not that good."