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Everything posted by riggerrob

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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!
  8. Contact Bomber Manufacturing near Sacramento, California. It is run by a former employee of Action Air, based at Yolo County Airport, near Davis, California.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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!
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Good point about the DZO writing nasty notes in his logbook detailing his sins and how long he was grounded. True A-holes will just "lose" the offending logbook, which should be a red flag to any other DZ they visit. The smarter ones will learn from their mistakes. For example, back in 1980 I hook-turned my Strato Star at Z-Hills. Fortunately an instructor took me aside and threatened to ground me. Ever since then I have made a conscious effort to look at wind socks before boarding the plane.
  17. I cried at the funerals of friends who died in the 1992 Beech crash in Hinckley, Illinois. We learned not to jump out of poorly maintained airplanes. I cried at Teresa Tran's funeral. We learned not to leave pilotchutes stowed when we jump off low cliffs. I cried on Bruce Geikie's memorial dive and learned that transitioning from a PD 210 to a Stiletto 150 is dangerous. I refuse to jump Stilettos and have drawn a chart about learning canopy flying skills. I wonder when SKYDIVING Magazine will publish it?
  18. One layer of blue matress foam is enough. Just ask your rigger to wrap it between two layers of Cordura and bind it, etc so it looks like the original Telesis 2 leg pads. I have some spare rolled edge leg pads at work. You can call me there (604) 465-7311 to discuss prices.
  19. They may be referring to a Safety Star. Para-Flite built these 180 square foot, 5-cell reserves before 1981. They are based on the Strato Star main that was popular back in the late 1970s, consequently they are built of pre F-111 fabric and pack pretty bulky. They also have a brake system even weirder than 5-cell Swifts! Since Safety Stars pre-date Swifts, don't waste your time on them.
  20. The last time I found myself hanging under a main with a line-over, I glanced at my altimeter and at the Fraser River directly below. Reluctant to lose my main, I remembered a trick that has worked for me many times with tension knots under Strong 425 tandem mains. The trick is to pull both toggles into a deep stall, then let both up quickly. When the canopy dives forward, the lines go slack and most line knots release. Luckily, this trick also cleared my line-over.
  21. To prevent the stability problem, PFF Level 1 students are taught to wave-off from the elbows outboard. With their shoulders, upper arms and elbows stationary, they rarely wobble. Later on, when they do completion dives with coaches, they arm taught to do full-arm wave-offs.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.