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Everything posted by riggerrob

  1. Collins lanyards are only found on Tandem Vectors because tandems are the only rigs that suffer from broken risers. Back in 1992-93 we solved most of the problems with risers breaking on solo rigs. Now the only variable is sloppy packing. Tandems on the other hand have risers that will mis-route themselves unless humans intervene. Because the large rings on the harness do not flex, the middle ring on the riser can easily flip - through the harness ring - all by itself. If the packer doesn't notice the mis-routed riser and the instructor fails to check his gear before donning it and he forgets to look over his gear during the airplane ride, then the mis-routed riser will break on opening. Gee! That gets back to sloppy packing and sloppy gear checks! The reason that Collins lanyards are only installed on Tandem Vectors is because the Vector people were the first to address the problem and none of the other manufacturers have bothered to copy the Collins lanyard. I suspect there is a patent involved.
  2. If you are having problems with your Voodoo, send it back to the factory with a note explaining your problem. Most of the time they will fix it for free. As to Voodoo riser cover problems ... Yesterday Sandy Reid explained that in the process of redesigning the angled riser covers, some of them stayed closed too well. The short term solution is to lay the main risers on top of the inner flap. Gee! that sounds like the Vector III. Sandy & co. are still working on the long term solution, fine tuning patterns and doing more test jumps.
  3. You are referring to the Collins lanyard on Vector Tandems. The Collins lanyard differs from Racer RSLs because the Vector has two separate lanyards. Vector Tandems have the usual RSL mounted on the right shoulder. The Collins lanyard is attached to the right main riser and will pull the 3-Ring release cable for the left riser in the event that the right riser breaks. Broken main risers on tandems are usually caused by sloppy packing. A Collins lanyard will not create the same sort of hang up as a Racer RSL because the Collins lanyard is only attached to one riser.
  4. First of all flip on your belly for at least 10 seconds before deploying any canopy at the bottom end of a speed dive. Secondly, those stories about Triathlons opening hard are circulated by sloppy packers and salesmen for other brands. Triathlons only open heard if the slider is not all the way to the top of the lines or the rubber bands are loose. If you want a reserve certified for more than 150 knots deployment speed, you might want to wait until Precision releases their new line of reserves this summer.
  5. During the 2001 PIA Symposium, one of the guys from P.D. said that the main reason for rolling the tail is to ensure that the slider stays at the very top of the lines. The latest theory on hard openings says that slider rebound reduces the reefing effectiveness of the slider.
  6. Back in the good old days, before GPs and turbine engines, the aircraft owner often assigned a "spotter" to decide exit order, glance at gear and oh! yes! "spot" the airplane. Now that machines have taken over the spotter's duties, responsibility for gear checks has shifted to individual jumpers. It is in everybody's best interests to glance at their buddy's gear during the ride to altitude. And remember that spotting machines are built by men and therefore less than perfect. The first jumper and at least one person in each formation after that should glance at the spot before climbing out. Even if the spotting machine did its job, there is no way to predict if some Sunday driver is wandering around the sky placing total faith in his GPS and ignoring his map. Come on folks, lets be mature and take some responsibility for our own lives.
  7. Your new Hornet will be a bit quicker in the turns than a similar-sized Sabre and will turf surf slightly farther. When down-sizing to a smaller main canopy it is a good idea to think through your landing pattern long before you have to fly it. The key to surviving under any canopy is keeping your mind ahead of the canopy. A good place to start is the canopy control exercises in Skydive University's "Basic Canopy Flight 101" or CSPA's Coach 2 Manual. Do all of the exercises with your current canopy, then repeat them with your new Hornet. If you are serious about learning how your canopy flies, you will soon be better than most self-proclaimed "Stiletto pilots."
  8. In 3400 jumps I have ridden 17 reserves and landed a bunch of damaged main canopies. I know this sounds like a lot, but remember that I started jumping back in 1977 and did test jumps for both the Canadian and German Armies as well as more than 1,000 jumps on first generation tandem canopies. Someone else packed my first mal on my 45th jump. After the stabilizers knotted together, I dumped my 24 flat round reserve. That Crossbow was quickly retired. I packed my second mal and it was my fault. The main closing loop was too loose and the pin got bumped loose on exit. The resultant horseshoe malfunction didn't get any bigger even after I tossed the pilotchute. Another rigger packed my third mal. His packing method was unorthodox, but I trusted him. Bad judgement on my part. All the rest of my reserve rides were on first generation tandem canopies. Most were packed by a guy who insisted on side-packing and never figured out how to soften the openings. Consequently, we had lots of tension knots, broken lines and torn fabric. As soon as he left, the malfunction rate dropped dramatically! Knock on wood, it's been four years since my last reserve ride. These days the overall malfunction rate - including tandems and students - is about 1 per 300. Licensed jumpers are expected to go 700 to 2,000 jumps between reserve rides. Much of this depends upon gear maintenance. Ask your rigger to thoroughly inspect your main every 100 jumps or once a year. And pay him/her to fix small problems.
  9. Ther is a second scenario where Racer-style RSLs have created problems. Back in the 1980s several manufacturers tried this RSL configuration on student rigs. In two cases, the student cutaway from the main, but the RSL hung up on the back of their helmet! One student hung from his RSL all the way to landing. IMHO if you are going to use the RSL on a Racer, connect both Swedish snap shackles to the same main riser.
  10. Dave has a good idea there. My personal preference would be similar to the latest Wings, Javelin and Voodoo rigs where the sideflap wraps around to hide the bridle. I would sew a 3-ring release handle to the top of the pilotchute and secure it to the underside of the side flap with Velcro. Strong recently changed the BOC handle configuration on their tandem rigs. Now they have a stiff "beaver tail" on the handle that tucks into an elastic pocket just inside the BOC pouch. We will see how well it holds up in the long run.
  11. Strong Enterprises builds their SET 400 tandem mains mostly out of 0-P, but some of the ribs are F-111.
  12. i doubt that Ravens with Zero P top skins will fly significantly better than all F-111 reserves. Zero-P fabric is not significantly less porous that the best F-111. The best F-111 resembles Zero-P at first glance. For example: Gelvenor Fabric Mills claim that their fabric is only 0 to 1.5 cubic feet per minute. The MIL Spec calls for porousity of 0-3 cfm. As to ease of packing. I used to be afraid of Zero-P reserves until I packed a couple. Yes, they took a few minutes longer, but the end result was as neat.
  13. Chest rings may be uncomfortable on large chested women. At least that is what Brenda Reid says. Brenda is buxom and half owner of Rigging Innovations, the company that invented ringed harnesses. sorry I can't speak from personal experience. My chest is large and hairy!
  14. riggerrob


    How many of you have to listen to female students complain about orgasms after their first tandem jump? What is it about women and danger and orgasms?
  15. If you were having a bad day at work, consider the poor jellyfish! Have you guys tried a filter on the intake hose?
  16. Holding both toggles down in a deep stall can be fun. I used to do it with my Cruislite until I heard about an Australian dude whose steering lines knotted together and he had to cutaway at a ridiculously low altitude. Thrashing about in a deep stall seems to get worse with heavier wing loadings. As for canopy control exercises ... consult your local CSPA or Skydive University coach. Both can also provide you with books or video tapes. If you study the books and practice the exercises will soon find yourself lightyears ahead of many self-professed "Stiletto pilots." P.S. learning the corners of your canopy's performance envelope will prolong your life.
  17. Thanks cyberskydive. Now we have some FACTS to discuss.Thank God the FAA is finally going to legitimise tandems. Even with a relaxation of age requirements, most DZs will still insist on local age of majority. As to who can pack mains ... The FAA is probably saying "if it ain't broken, don't fix it." As long as main malfunctions only kill a few people per year, the FAA is not going to change the regs Concerning repack cycles ... I have to agree with the FAA retaining the 120 repack cycle, at least in the Southern United States. If you are hard-core and making more than 300 jumps per year, your gear should be inspected more than once or twice a year. The 120 repack cycle is an educated guess at wear patterns. The key is to catch wear problems while they are small enough for your local Senior Rigger to repair and before they become life-threatening. If you want to let things fray for 180 days, then you get to pay a Master Rigger, or the factory big bucks to do major repairs! A 180 day repack is practical in places like Norway, Canada and the Northern United States when people only jump 5 or 6 months out of the year. They just get their gear repacked once a year - in the spring. Speaking of repacking gear in the spring ... my packing table has disappeared under reserve canopies, so maybe I should go to work now. Blue skies .
  18. First of all, ignore most volume numbers published by canopy manufacturers. Secondly' only trust volume numbers published by container manufacturers. Thirdly, Bill Coe told me that PD measures their canopies by bottom skin span and mean aerodynamic chord. PD measures span across the bottom leading edge. They measure chord from top nose to tail of ribs. If the canopy is tapered then they average out the chord. Fourthly, Icarus used to use the PIA measuring system (top skin span and mean aerodynamic chord), but in 2001 they switched to PD's measuring method. This is all a capitalist plot to confuse consumers!
  19. riggerrob

    Sabre 2

    PD salesmen are promising a slightly tapered nine cell that is more forgiving of packing errors. Gee! Sounds like a Safire or Hornet.
  20. Similar-sized Tempos and Ravens have almost identical pack volumes. Because of different measuring methods and more reinforcing tapes, PD reserves always pack one size larger.
  21. As the other sting says: Sabres are less forgiving of sloppy packing. Aside from the flatter glider and more energy in the flare, the biggest difference when down-sizing will be the speed. The key to surviving under faster canopies is keeping your mind ahead of the canopy. Never let a canopy get someplace that your mind has not been five minutes earlier.
  22. The simplest way is to complete the program at Skydive Arizona before you try to jump anywhere else. To make life even easier at your next DZ, do another dozen jumps and earn your A Certificate
  23. Foreign-made rigs are not very popular in the USA for two years. First, the FAA requires that any rig jumped by an American citizen at an American DZ be manufactured under the TSO process, essentially a quality control process. In the old days only American manufacturers could earn TSO approval. Now more and more foreign manufacturers are earning TSOs so they can sell on the American market. Foriegn manufacturers who hold TSOs include: Flying High (Canada), Parachutes Australia, Parachute Industries of South Africa, Parachutes de France, the Chute Shop in South Africa plus a few others. The second reason foreign-made rigs sell poorly in the USA is fashion. Fashion dictates that clothes and gear catch the eye, but not clash with with what neighbors wear. So it is okay to wear a Javelin with ugly colors, but not a Parachutes de France ATOM in conservative colors. Go figure. Also resale value of unfamiliar gear tends to be low.
  24. The aluminum finger-trapping fids are available from some guy on the East Coast. Dave DeWolf will cheerfully share the name and address of that finger-trapping fool. Alternately, you can make your own finger-trapping wires. Start with music wire or aircraft safety wire. Apparently music wire is the best, but I use aircraft lock wire because it is free from my friendly neighborhood aircraft mechanic. Use 20/1000 for Cypres cord, 30/1000 or 32/1000 for most suspension lines and 40/1000 for thick Dacron steering lines.
  25. "Never let the airplane get someplace your mind has not been to five minutes earlier." is advice frequently quoted by flying instructors. Skydiving instructors should say: "Never let your canopy get someplace that your mind has not been to five minutes before." The key when down-sizing is to keep your mind ahead of your canopy. Look at the windsock and think through your landing pattern before you climb into the airplane. Review that landing pattern while riding in the airplane. Right after you have completed your control check, look at the windsock again and start look at each landmark in your landing pattern. This is the best way to prevent "hook turn" injuries.