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Everything posted by riggerrob

  1. All the other posters were correct when they advised wearing harnesses so snug there is just enough room to arch. Secondly, Viking & MM have the right idea about foam rubber sleeves. They are standard on the Telesis 2. I suggested the idea during an R.I. brain storming session in 1996. Sliding leg pads with a teardrop cross section were standard on the Genera, Talon 2 and Telesis 2. They soon fell out of fashion on the Talon 2 because they looked too "cheap." I have subsequently retro-fitted these round-edged leg pads to my old Mirage and some tandem rigs as well as Vectors and Javelins jumped by my friends. The secret is to build them out of the same blue foam as camping matresses. It feels too bulky the first few times, but soon breaks in. The big advantage to rounded edge leg pads is that they gently push your "naughty bits" out of the way before they can get squeezed.
  2. In the Progressive Freefall program we start students waving off - during PFF Level 1 - because that is what they will be doing in the long run. Granted, many students forget to wave off on Level 1, but at least they are waving off by the time they finish their fifth level.
  3. The main function of all that rolling is to keep the slider at the top of the lines as you stuff it into the bag. Tight rubber bands are also very important. I have hundreds of jumps on a Sabre 170 - loaded about 1.3 - and have not been slammed since I sewed on slider pockets.
  4. History lesson: Dan Poynter designed the first Pop-Top as a chest mounted reserve when he worked for Strong. He assigned the patent to Strong Enterprises who subsequently built chest, back and seat versions. The seat and back Pop-Tops are still in production as pilot emergency parachutes. In the mid 1970s John Sherman got a license to use the Pop-Top reserve in one of the first piggyback skydiving rigs. Sherman's SST skydiving rig evolved into the SST Racer and eventually the Racer Elite Tandem. Innumerable companies built licensed - and otherwise - Racer copies called: Excaliburs, Sod Shit, Chasers, early Teardrops, etc. All the early Pop-Tops had two pins. Sherman experimented with one-pin Pop-Tops but was never able to transfer the load from the central loop to the circumference without ridiculous pull forces. In the 1986 a South African named Snowy Dickinson built a copy of a Vector Tandem with numerous detail changes. The most important of those changes was a single-pin Pop-Top with - what looked like - an aluminum pie plate to distribute the load to the circumference. The secret was the domed cap which distributed the load without requiring ridiculous pull forces. From this point onwards we can no longer legally call them "Pop-Tops", but it is a convenient term. Dickenson never put his rig into production, but his idea was copied and improved by my German buddy Stefan Ertler. Sorry Stefan, I know the following statement will hurt your feelings, but the truth will ultimately win out. More than two years after I published an article - and photo - about Dickenson's rig, Ertler applied for a German patent on the one-pin Pop-Top. Ertler subsequently licensed his patent to Thomas Sports Equipment of Britain who built large numbers of single-pin Teardrops with aluminum caps. Circa 1994, Micky Cottle of California decided to copy the single-pin Teardrop reserve design when he started building Reflex containers. Cottle's biggest modification was to build his caps out of carbon fibre composites. Personally, I don't believe all the advertising hype about Racer reserves opening significantly faster. That advertising hype conveniently ignores the 12 grommets, plus two Cypres cutters the loops have to clear before the pilotchute can launch. In comparison, a Javelin's loop has to clear 3 grommets before the pilotchute can launch. As to whether Pop-Tops are easy to pack, it depends upon who you ask. It took me 10 years to get good at packing Racers. Along the way, I scrapped a series of metal bodkins and developed an adjustable temporary loop that is Cypres compatible.
  5. That looks like Jim Slayton playing with a tiny Icarus Extremely Extreme kite. It looks too small for today's jumpers.
  6. Reversed 3-rings were invented by Parachutes de France back in the early 1990s. They were one possible answer to the problem of broken mini risers. The problem started with canopy manufacturers introducing Spectra line, 0-P fabric, high wing loadings and Tube Stows all at the same time. That combination was woefully intolerant of sloppy packing. Since then we have gotten neater with packing and newer canopy designs open softer. Harness manufacturers responded by adding Type 3 reinforcing tapes to the bottom end of mini risers to solve the strength issue. I am still jumping reversed risers. I will continue to jump reversed risers until my current pair wear out, or I a read an incident report of them jamming. Please don't clutter up this web site with third hand rumors. In conclusion, reversed 3-Rings are a solution to a problem that has largely disappeared.
  7. Yes, rubber bands can deteriorate inside your container. I have seen it many times in reserves that were left packed for two or more years.
  8. With luck your DZ learned a lesson from losing a plane. For example, many years ago my DZ lost an airplane when the pilot ran out of gas and landed it short of the runway. The resulting low speed flip over damaged the airframe beyond economical repair. That pilot was promptly fired. Our DZO is now more careful about who he hires to fly his airplanes, but I still glance at fuel gauges before takeoff.
  9. First of all, stop trying to displace fault to your instructors or equipment. AFF/PFF instructors are good, but not perfect. Every once in a while, we encounter students that we cannot match fall rates with. It is embarrassing, so we try to minimize the risk, but we are not perfect. Secondly, whoever told you that the student canopies had no original fabric left was full of [email protected]#$%^. Anyone who has sewn patches on canopies knows that opening seams and replacing panels is a lot of hard work, best left to the factory. Ghee! Hard work and factory repairs ... that sounds like well maintained. Thirdly, it does not matter what you call an AFF jump. it is just a number. Forthly, if you really distrust one instructor, then ask for another. Finally, relax. It was only a skydive. The more you learn to relax, the smoother you will skydive.
  10. Velcro works great for free-flying provided it is properly maintained. Replace pile Velcro every 200 jumps and replace hook Velcro every 600 jumps. Keep your main closing loop tight. Hint, if you can pick up your rig by the main bridle, the loop is too tight. Another option for the main pin cover tuck tab would be installing a shark's fin similar to those on Reflexes and Sidewinders. I have retrofitted shark's fins to several Sidewinders, but have not tried it on a Vector yet. Just be sure that your local master Rigger understands tuck tabs before he does the modification, or heaven forbid, you could even phone the factory!
  11. May I think out loud for a minute? I was wondering if some of those people who blew-up re-sealed F-111 canopies were sloppy packers to begin with? Fat Dacron lines and porous old F-111 fabric forgave many bad packing habits, but when they re-sealed their canopies, their sloppy habits caught up with them. Let's hear more from people who jump re-sealed canopies.
  12. Funny, last year I picked up a used Nova 150 for $100, put 50 jumps on it and enjoyed it. My Nova 150 flies much like a Sabre 150. It was re-lined at the factory before I bought it. The only thing I didn't do with it was radical hook turns close to the ground. Mind you, I don't do radical low hook turns on any canopy. A co-worker did more than 800 (or was it 1600?) camera jumps with Novas in the violent desert turbulence of Hemet California. He only twisted his ankle once, when he admitted to messing up his approach. What is the fuss?
  13. Who started this silly rumor? During the 2001 PIA Symposium, a P.D. spokesman stated that it is okay to Psycho Pack most P.D. main canopies. Ian Bellis made this statement during a Precision lecture on Psycho Packing.
  14. NAME BRAND SYNDROME is a dumb salesman's technique for selling his brand of gear. He is not bright enough to point out all the advantages of his brand so his trash-talks the other brands. Psychologists call people like this "invalidaters." Life is too short to waste on invalidaters. PISA, Performance Designs and Icarus all build good canopies, period. I have jumped and enjoyed canopies form all three manufacturers. As for Mr. trash-talkers statement that it will be hard to re-sell Brand B .... That is true on his DZ, but with the internet and all, you should be able to re-sell it for a reasonable price somewhere else. Personally, I would mail order a Brand B canopy just to rile Mr. trash-talker!
  15. "It seems like most people I talk to associate skydiving with death." Most of the people you talk to are ill-informed whuffos. Most of what they "know" about skydiving comes from biased mass media. Secondly, since they lack the stones to skydive they displace their fears by claiming that every skydiver is crazy. A little honesty would be nice here. Finally, "whuffo' is a derogatory term applied to people who shoot their mouths off about subjects they don't understand. In answer to your original question. Yes, skydiving is dangerous. Done sloppily, skydiving will kill you. Done properly, you can survive thousands of jumps, travel to exotic locations and share your joy with hundreds - maybe thousands - of new friends. Don't allow other peoples' fears to limit your lifestyle. It's your life, make the most of it!
  16. Every few years someone else invents a new scheme to re-seal F-111 canopies. Sometimes it works and sometimes it results in painfully hard openings. None of these companies seem to stay in business very long.
  17. Look in the gear reviews for Lotus reviews.
  18. Not that I would recommend loading any F-111 canopy beyond 1.3 pounds per square foot ... and loading a Tempo at 1.5 is just plain dumb! I feel more comfortable overloading reserves that have spanwise reinforcing tapes: Amigo, PD and possibly the latest Ravens. I weight about 220 pounds out the door and wear an Amigo 172 reserve. As for Swift Plus construction techniques. Yes the cold-cut edges will fray sooner, but your canopy will fall out of fashion long before that becomes an issue. A more important issue is the exposed hot-cut edges of the non-loaded ribs in the Swift Plus. These will start to fray after a few hundred deployments. Non-loaded ribs on early SET 400s also have exposed hot-cut edges and they start to fray after about 300 jumps. Mind you, if you plan on putting a few hundred jumps on your reserve, I question your packing techinque!
  19. If you are jumping a Strong tandem harness, ask your instructor to leave the belly band loose. too much pressure on your upper abdomen can make you nauseous.
  20. It really depends what you want a canopy to do. I have jumped a Hornet 170s and 190s, a Triathlon 160 and repacked dozens of Dolphins. Triathlons are mid-range canopies - originally designed for canopy formations - that will allow you to do CRew, sport accuracy or a little turf surfing. The Hornet is primarily a turf-surfing canopy that will allow you to do a little sport accuracy. Dolphins are decent low-budget containers. Their Velcro won't last forever, nor will they win you many fashion points, but they will get you in the air for a minimum of dollars.
  21. Correction: ASTRAs are electronic AADs built in Santa Anna, California - a suburb of Los Angeles. This is the same factory where FXC builds all its mechanical AADs.
  22. A reserve can take any where from 150 to 500 feet to open depending upon your airspeed and direction of travel. TSO drop tests are routinely done from 250 - 300 feet. Most test canopies are open several seconds before they land. The low altitude makes it really easy to see if test articles passed the FAA's 3 second rule and you don't have to chase the test articles very far. On the other hand, if you are at 500 feet exceeding the - placarded airspeed limits - you might get a reserve open before impact.
  23. F-111 and 0P fabrics are about the same when they come off the loom. Then they go through a series of calendarizing and coating processes to reduce permeability. 0P fabric gets an extra coating of silicone that seeps in between the threads to seal all the gaps between threads. When comparing the best new F-111 fabric with 0P you have to look twice. It has a porosity/permeability of 1.5 cfm and is almost as shiny and stiff. New canopies made of both fabrics fly about the same. The difference is in durability. By the time the 0P canopy is getting its third set of lines at 600 - 800 jumps the F-111 canopy is being retired. F-111 has the advantage when it comes to easier packing and softer openings. Most reserves are built of F-111 fabric because that was the best fabric available when they were certified in the 1980s. F-111 has almost disapeared from main canopies and I expect that ten years from now most reserves will be built of 0P as well. But by then we won't need parachutes because we will all be landing our wing suits! Ha! Ha!
  24. Just to clarify, all Infinities have 1 reserve pin. The same company used to build a 2 pin container called the Northern Lite. To further confuse you, the company that currently builds Infinities has gone through a bewildering series of owners since it started in the late 1970s. Early Teardrops were straight copies of Racers and had 2 reserve pins. The current production Teardrop Superfly has only 1 reserve pin. Yes, most older reserve containers had 2 pins, but most of them have disappearred since the inception of Cypri. The only popular rigs with 2 reserve pins are Racers and Strong Tandems. Mind you, Racers are losing market share and Strong Tandem owners have been bugging the factory for years to simplify/update their tandem rig. Finally, this discussion should really be on the rigging forum.
  25. Hey Hotload, First of all, clumbsy instructors and riggers get flushed out of the system because: A: experienced skydivers stop trusting them B: DZOs cannot afford the liability. As for the rest of you opinionated @#$%^ Ha! ha! ha! The first post was really about some loud mouthed WHUFFO saying he was too cowardly, but phrasing it more eloquently! Give him bonus points for eloquence! As for listening to WHUFFOs spout off about what they don't understand ... the best you can do is smile politely and change the subject. If too many WHUFFOS apout off for too long about things they don't understand, then it is time for you to move on. For example, I quit a job this spring because I ran out of the patience required to listen to my boss spout off on subjects he didn't understand!