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Everything posted by riggerrob

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. Try visiting the websites of BASE gear manufacturers like Basic Research, Consolidated Rigging and Vertigo.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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."
  8. If you are going to use a paper ring reinforcement stuck to your goggles, copy Steve Best's trick. Steve has a tiny laser pointer taped paralax to his camera. In the plane he dons his helmet and goggles, turns on his laser pointer, then wiggles things til the red dot on the wall and the sight line up.
  9. Tell the DZ your schedule ahead of time, then it should be possible to complete the program easily in one week. The first day plan on doing all the ground school and your first jump. After that, plan on doing 2, 3 or even 4 jumps per day. Once you have graduated AFF, hook up with a Skydive University Coach and do as many jumps per day as you can handle with the goal of earning you USPA A License before returning home. Whether you can maintain this pace depends upon how well rested and physically fit you at the start of your vacation. It also depends upon how well you handle stress. If you are the sort of person who can learn from your mistakes and move on, then you will easily complete all those jumps in one week. Good luck, and remember: the more you relax, the smoother you skydive.
  10. To keep up with Cypres maintenance, you have to replace the batteries every 2 years. This can be done by your local rigger and costs $70 to $100 depending upon international monetary exchange rates. When it is 4 years and 8 years old, it goes back to the factory for inspection. All Cypri - what is the plural anyways? - in the Western Hemisphere go to SSK in Ohio for inspections, all the rest of them return to Airtec's factory in Germany. Inspections cost about US$150 plus shipping. Technically, anyone can remove a Cpres from a rig, but it must be installed by a licensed parachute rigger. Finally, when a Cypres reaches 12 years old it is scrap. SSK has promised some sort of rebate when you trade in your 12-year-old Cypres, but they have not published any dollar figures yet.
  11. We jump at Pitt meadows Municipal Airport in British Columbia, Canada. The dropzone leases and mows two fields. The larger field in front of our hangar is where we land. The smaller field directly in front of our hangar is used for packing and camping. Most Saturday nights there are one or two tents on our lawn, but on busy weekends - during competitions and boogies - we often have a dozen tents. Both our lawns are separated from runways by fences and taxiways. A large part of our continued success at camping on the DZ is that the airport management recognizes how much we contribute to the airport in terms of aircraft movements and dollars to aircraft mechanics. The other side is that campers are quiet tenants. They party in the pub in town, or at least in the hangar until it is bed time, then they quietly go to sleep. It is too far a stumble for drunks to bother any other airplanes on the airport. In conclusion, the best approach is often low key. The town council probably did not know you were camping on the airport until recently. Often the best approach to camping on the airport is low key. Keep it clean, and keep it so quiet that none of the locals notice.
  12. Reminds me of the Siberian Husky we had when I was a teenager. No barking or growling, but he would always strain at his collar trying to get at Jehovas Witnesses and salesmen. Little did they know he only wanted to lick them to death! Ha! ha! ha!
  13. Hi, my name is Rob Warner. I quit my real job so long ago that I can't remember what it was. Now they pay me to jump out of a perfectly good King Air with tandem students. When we run out of tandems, they send me up in the Cessnas with PFF students. When the other lazy bums forget to show up for work, I drop IAD students out of the Cessnas. Finally, when it rains, I try to catch up with the backlog in the loft.
  14. Sounds like a reasonable combination, just make sure you do a few dozen jumps on intermediate-sized canopies. By intermediate, I mean enough jumps on a 230 until you can consistently stand up your landings near the bowl, then a bunch of jumps on a 190 ..... and a bunch of jumps on a 150 before you try the 135.
  15. Half the problem with the Dolphin is that it is not the latest fashion. The other problem with the Dolphin is that earlier Dolphins had a bit of Velcro. If your rig has Velcro, you have to pay your rigger to replace worn Velcro every once in a while. I say again, if your rig has Velcro, you have to pay your rigger to replace it every once in a while. Velcro is much easier to replace than frayed tuck tabs. Most Senior Riggers can replace Velcro, but it takes an arrogant Master Rigger with two or more fancy sewing machines to replace tuck tabs. Correction, the wear problem is on the top flap of the main container. The problem is that the bridle frays the right edge of the main top flap during opening. Eventually the plastic stiffener pokes through the Parapack - or is it Oxford cloth? - and risks catching suspension lines. Altico issued a service bulletin describing the fix. Before anyone starts using this as an excuse to trash talk Dolphins, remember that I have done the same repair on Javelins, Teardrops and older Talons.
  16. You can use a variety of lines for reserve closing loops. The old standard is nylon Type IIIA, aka. gutted 550 cord. 500 or 800 pound Spectra suspension line also works well. Lately, I have been using Cypres cord in most rigs. It is mandatory when installing a loop-cutter AAD. Cypres cord is a good idea even without an AAD because it reduces pull forces by 5 pounds!
  17. Vlad, Who started this silly rumor? At the 2001 PIA Symposium, Ian Bellis - a Performance Designs representative - stated that Psycho-packing works well with most P.D. canopies. Ian made this statement during a lecture on Psycho-packing given by BZ Shaw from Precision. Ian cautioned that Psycho-packing does not work well with the latest P.D. canopies that are designed to open slowly at terminal velocity. If you psycho-pack a Vengeance, it will open ridiculously slowly!
  18. Contact Bomber Manufacturing near Sacramento, California. It is run by a former employee of Action Air, based at Yolo County Airport, near Davis, California.
  19. The Racer sounds like a better buy. I would only offer $1900 for the Talon with the Falcon main. Talons are some of the best containers on the market. When I worked at the Talon factory we used to tease Sandy Reid by saying that the worst business decision he ever made was to make the early Talons so tough! Racers are also good containers, the tough part is finding a rigger who is good at packing them.
  20. Prices sound a touch high. I would offer $1900 for the rig with the Falcon main. More important, pick canopies that are the correct size for you. If a junior jumper is going to wear a PD 160 reserve, he/she should weight at most 160 pounds exiting the shower. As for wether Racers are good rigs, the answer is yes. Whether you can find a rigger who is good at packing Racers is a totally different question. The problem with packing Racer reserves is finding the correct tools. It took me 10 years of struggling with expensive, awkward steel tools before I finally developed my own Cypres-compatible temporary loops for closing Racers. I will cheerfully share my design with other riggers.
  21. Look in the gear reviews for my write-up of the Genera container. Since I had a hand in designing it, I am biased. Finally, this string has been covered several times already under Gear & Rigging.
  22. SkymonkeeONE You are so far behind the times when you say "You can apprentice under another rigger for free." Sorry, it took me 17 years to get to where I am today as a rigger. My time is worth more than $25 per hour. If you think you can have my time for free you are smoking rope!
  23. Word police report. miked used the wrong term when he referred to "constant aspect ratio." We suspect that he meant "constant chord," which means all the ribs are the same size. As for "quirky" openings on AR-11s ... They have a reputation for hard openings, slightly harder than normal for canopies of that vintage, but too hard for freefall photographers with heavy cameras. My buddy Tom Classen suffered a painful neck injury from an AR-11 opening.
  24. Stuffing the nose too deep can a bad habit. It slows the openings and if you stuff it way too deep can contribute to line-over type malfunctions.
  25. First of all, start with a human harness that has chest rings. Secondly, you are right to ask your local Master Rigger to sew the dog harness. Third, designing an extra reserve for the dog will create far more problems than it will solve. Finally, hook your canine buddy to you any time the airplane door is open.