riggerrob

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Everything posted by riggerrob

  1. "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.
  2. Start by deciding what type of jumping you will be doing: accuracy, stacking/CreW or turf-surfing. Secondly, decide what size of main you can comfortably next week, not next year, but next week. Thirdly, choose a reserve that you will load at about 1 pound per square foot, when you are fully dressed for a skydive. Finally, ask your local rigger or dealer what size of rig will comfortably contain those canopies. Then you can argue over which brand is most fashionable.
  3. The ideal steering line length varies from one model of canopy to the next. PD says to tie the steering toggle on at the factory marks. The problem is that the guy who designed them has arms way longer than most. When I relined my Sabre, I tied the toggles on at the factory marks, but this resulted in a lot of slack in the steering lines which required large arm movements to turn, and I could not stall the canopy. Over the course of a dozen jumps, I gradually shortened the lines by six inches. This took the slack out of the steering lines, improved responsiveness and it still turf surfed much farther than with the old lines. One caution, if you shorten the steering lines much more than six inches, your landings will suffer, because you will fly final approach in what amounts to quarter brakes.
  4. To date, only PD and Precision have approved Slinks on their reserves. They will probably work on most other reserves, but that opens a huge can of worms from the legal perspective. In the short run I will only install Slinks on Raven and PD reserves, and will double-check that I am using the Slinks specifically built for reserves. Remeber, PD builds two different types of Slinks. You are free to install Slinks on any main you like. The only technical problem we know of with Slinks was a guy who jumped with rough slider grommets that cut one of his Slinks. So what else is new? Years ago we knew that rough slider grommets prematurely aged lines.
  5. Tell SunPath that you want a replacement pilotchute that flies straight. The twisting will only get worse as the pilotchute ages. We expect twisting on tired, old pilotchutes, but this is not acceptable on new gear. SunPath is a reputable manufacturer and they will send you a replacement pilotchute in short order.
  6. End cells close more often as line sets wear out and the canopy gets out of trim. Dependign upon wing loading, etc. we only expect a line set to last 300 to 600 jumps.
  7. Just to add to Mike's posting ... Double-sided BOCs are available on Student Dolphin, Javelin, Reflex and Telesis rigs. Double-sided BOCs have an extra handle on the lower left corner of the container. When an instructor pulls the extra handle, the left and top edges of the BOC open, allowing the pilotchute to fall out, catch air, etc. This feature comes in handy when a lone instructor finds himself docked on the student's left side as they approach the "hard deck" and the student cannot be bothered to pull. This spring I converted all 16 Telesis student rigs - at Perris Valley Skydiving School from main ripcords to double-sided BOC. Rigging Innovations supplied the parts. Hand-deploy pilotchutes for students are an old idea that originated in Georgia or Tennessee in the late 1970s. USPA squashed that idea, so it moved North. Gananoque, Ontario, Canada started dropping students with throwout pilotchutes back in 1979. By the mid-1980s most Canadian DZs had converted to throw-outs on all their student rigs. this made life easier for the packers, because they packed exactly the same way whether a student was planning to do an IAD jump from 3,000' or a PFF from 10,000'. Throw-outs also reduced the workload for riggers and aircraft mechanics. Americans did not clue in until the late 1990s, now they are converting to throw-outs in a hurry. Sometimes it is amusing to watch the political machinations within USPA. As for which system has a technical advantage ... we can argue this until the cows come home. Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages. In my opinion, the only advantage of main ripcords is that you can install a pin-puller AAD on the main container, but this creates another series of head aches and they are not compatible with extra instructor handles. In conclusion, USPA DZs are following the Canadian lead - in converting their students to BOC throw-outs - because it makes life easier for everyone involved.
  8. Last year one of our local jumpers tried to catch a wandering skytube while he was under canopy. The next thing we knew he was hanging under his reserve! Then we spent a couple of hours searching an apartment complex for a skytube, a couple of mains, a couple of freebags and assorted handles. Far better to keep an eye on loose bits and land in the field closest to your wandering bits. Far better to walk a bit than be carried a long way.
  9. First ask your local rigger to take a tuck in the Spandex near the mouth. If it is still loose, ask him/her to replace the entire BOC. Most of the time replacement is the quickest and most graceful solution.
  10. Basically the center cell inflates first and some time later the other cells catch air. Frequently as the center cell surges forward, the top skin wraps down over the nose, closing it and delaying inflation of the other cells. One other factor is that side loads during turns try to push the air out of end cells, collapsing them after a normal inflation. Manufacturers have invented many cures for closed end cells, the most important cure being cross ports that allow pressure in the center cell to blow sideways and fill the end cells. Small stabilizers also reduce side loads in turns, thereby reducing end cell closures after a normal opening. If you want to see the latest tricks for inflating end cells, look at a new BASE canopy like a FOX.
  11. Back in 1995, the Australian parachute Federation published a great pamphlet "High Performance Canopies." Six years later it is scary how few skydivers are still ignorant of basic aerodynamic principles so clearly illustrated by the Aussies! There are plenty of canopy skills exercises in the Canadian Sport Parachuting Association's Coach 2 Manual. Skydive University has published an excellent video and manual entitled "Basic Canopy Flight 101." finally, some of the bigger DZs are setting up canopy pilot schools. For example: Jim Slayton, J.C.Colclasure (how I spelled his name correctly), Clint Clason and Luigi Peni (check spelling) have established canopy pilot schools at both Perris and Elsinore. Jim said that one obstacle that he faces is that young jumpers just want to have fun because they are tired of being "students after graduating AFF. It isn't until their second season and 300 jumps that they start to wonder if there is more to canopy than just left turn, right turn and flare.
  12. To avoid further embarrassment - how does one play the digeredoo?
  13. Great angles/composition on the canopy pics
  14. Kirshan, most of those nasty rumors about Reflexes were spread by dealers who sell other brands. Every design has its good points and its bad points and I defy you to name any rig that has not had problems over the years. Sure early Reflexes had a few glitches, but they have been ironed out. Most of the reserve deployment problems on Refleexes were caused by brain dead, red neck riggers who lacked common sense or telephones!
  15. Ignore most of the pack volume numbers published by canopy manufacturers. Stick with volume numbers published by Altico - the folks who made your Dolphin. They are the ones who know best which canopies will pack gracefully into your D3.
  16. Astar helicopter - giggles and free Grand Marnier Alouette II - love falling backwards off the skid! Beech 18 - I love the smell of hot oil in the morning! a classic! Beech Queen Air - almost as good as a King Air! Breezy - the seat gets 1" narrower with every 1,000'! C-130 - paid jumps from 1,000'! Cessna 172 - 5,000' on a hot day and all the fresh air you could ever want! cessna 180-185 workhorses Cessna 182 narrow body - great climber and no room for fat fat chicks! Cessna 182 wide body - work horse Cessna 205 with a big engine - comfortable workhorse Cessna 206 - love that cargo door! Turbine Cessna 206 - spoil me rotten! Cessna 207 - can you say leg room? Cessna Caravan - Cessna's best, but my butt aches on the dozenth jump of the day! Cessna 421 - fast climb with a narrow door Cariboo - DeHavilland's best with radial engines and a ramp! Cherokee Six - is this the best you can do Piper? Chinook - fuselage twists in a funky way! Dornier 27 - lots of time for sightseeing out of those huge windows Dornier 228 - can you say "hypoxia" at 19,000'? Ford Tri-Motor - giggles Huey - paid jumps from 1000' King Air - workhorse Kockertal Bridge - best sunrise on the planet! Maule - elbow room, we don't need no stinking elbow room! Porter - love that huge sliding door! Skyvan - you can stand on your hind legs like a white man! Twin Otter - workhorse
  17. Whether or not to joke with students is a question of how well you can read their personalities. For example cracking "dumb blonde" jokes in front of a radical feminist could result in a broken jaw! On the other hand trading a few "dumb nigger" jokes with the local clansmen will loosen them up better than a swig of Jack Daniels! Start out prim and professional. If the student cracks a joke, then take that as an invitation to swap laughs. Begin with a mild joke about something that nobody likes, say the BC New Democratic Party. If they laugh at that, then you can let loose!
  18. That reminds me of a jumpmaster who used to work at a major Southern California DZ. After a night in the bar, he reported for work just a touch hung-over. Halfway to altitude he turned to his student and said "Hand me your helmet," and filled it. "Heavin Steven" no longer works there.
  19. I prefer pull-outs because every year a couple of them ask me to repack their reserves after they lost their puds. It is also lots of fun to watch them spin their Stilettos after they put so much muscle into pulling that they deployed one shoulder low. Pull-outs are lots of fun for riggers!
  20. Two things to check. First, are you stowing your risers, links and first few inches of line straight along the edge of the main container? Secondly, does it have tiny main riser cover tuck tabs? The first few Reflexes had tiny triangular tuck tabs that were subsequently replaced by the factory. Rob Warner FAA Master Rigger
  21. The Sigmas on display at the PIA Symposium looked great, but I want to know how they will hold up after a couple of years being packed and jumped by brain-dead red necks.
  22. Hint, only use canopy volume figures published by container manufacturers. They are the ones who "eat it" if a canopy does not fit. Numbers published by canopy manufacturers are derived from a variety of measuring methods and rarely make sense to riggers in the field!
  23. If you insist on jumping a round reserve, please do yourself two favors. First, learn how to spot very well. Secondly, learn how to do Parachute Landing Falls. Hint most armies take 2 or 3 weeks to drill PLFs into young soldiers.
  24. Sure looks like the Austrian-based Pink Skyvan. I did a bunch of jumps from it back in 1986-1987. Great plane, lots of fun and it flies the boogie circuit in Europe. In the USA: Perris Valley, CA, Skydive Arizona and a couple of East Coast dropzones fly Skyvans. Their official excuse is that they allow competitors to train for world championships where the air lift will be military transports with tail gates. The real reason some US DZs fly Skyvans is because they are FUN to exit! As for the photos of skydivers exiting an inverted Skyvan ... I doubt this was planned. Back in 1987 we discovered that if 20 skydivers jam an exit, and if all 20 of them are aft of the wing, a Skyvan will stall and spin and do other funky maneuvers. We also know that if 20 skydivers jam aft of the wing on a Twin Otter, it will stall, spin and do other funky maneuvers! Then again, if you jam all 6 jumpers aft of the wing on a Cessna 206, it will stall, spin and do other funky maneuvers! Pilots tend to land all white-faced and shaky after those maneuvers! One other caution, twice I have seen 20 skydivers try to jam a Skyvan exit on the ground, on both ocaissions, the Skyvan tilted back on its tail and required expensive repairs. Geez! Maybe if an exit does not work on the ground, it won't work in the air! In conclusion, the photos show the famous Pink Skyvan and it is a lot of fun to exit!
  25. Let's be mature here. We have heard a few rumors circulaterd by salesmen about Tempos blowing up/being inferior/etc. but no facts. Until these critics are willing to make signed public criticisms, I will ignore them. Kate Cooper, here is your opportunity to make your rumors public. Over the years I have probably packed a hundred Tempo reserves and have always been impressed with their quality of materials and workmanship. The only complaints I have heard from Tempo users were from big guys jumping small Tempos and wondering why they did not flare like elliptical, Zero-P nine cells. DoH! By the same token, Jim Slayton has complained to me about his Raven 109 not flaring very well. At least Jim was bright enough to trade it for a larger Raven. Speaking of Ravens blowing up ... all the damaged Ravens I have heard of were over-loaded! For example, the Raven 282-Ma that was damaged at Perris over the winter was rated for 292 pounds at sea level, but the jumper weighted more than 300 pounds out the door! TSOs include weight limits for a reason. If jumpers insist on exceeding placarded weight limits they are going to get hurt sooner or later. Period!