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Everything posted by riggerrob

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 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!
  11. 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!
  12. Sounds like your Unit has two points for bridle attachment. This would require a loop or y-shaped bridle. This old concept has recently been revived in the multiple (4) bridle attachment points on the latest BASE canopies from Basic Research. The bridle on your Unit is missing a pin because it was probably built before curved pins were invented. The canopy was probably initially equiped with a spring-loaded pilotchute. Alternatively, it may have been a throw-out without a curved pin. Back in the days before Hank Asquito invented the curved pin, we used bungee/shock cord as main closing loops and stuck a fold of main bridle through the loop to hold the container closed. Any rig that old should be updated with a curved pin or consigned to a museum.
  13. Try booking a week's worth of instruction with Tanya Garcia in Perris Valley, California. Besides being a world champion skysurfer, Tanya performed skydiving stunts for Charlie's Angels and she is a part-time school teacher. What more can you ask for, a world champion who knows how to teach?
  14. Aside form the whole acid-mesh problem, I believe that the primary reason round reserves have almost disappeared is because hardly anybody knows how to land them any more. Round mains disappeared during the mid 1980s, at the same time as serious PLF training disappeared. If solid PLFs are not second nature, you are going to bruise yourself or worse landing a round canopy.
  15. riggerrob


    The weight rating on Type 17 mini risers is easy to determine. Just glance inside at the bottom ring. If it has an extra piece of shiny Type 3 reinforcing tape, then it is rated for more than 200 pounds.
  16. SKYDIVING Magazine published my article on weight vests just recently: February or March 2001. Weight vests for women are made by Bev Suits and a few others. Assuming that you have small shoulders, wearing weights high on your back is probably the best bet. Womens' vests tend to have about three pounds of lead shot quilted into the shoulder yoke area with pockets lower down for extra weight bags. The other respondent was correct in saying that you will find weights in the container more comfortable in the long run, but dial in your weight requirements with vests first, before you spend the big bucks on custom container weight pockets.
  17. First of all, this is a biased review because I had a hand in designing the GENERA when I worked at R.I. The GENERA is the best of the low-budget new rigs. The previous respondant is correct in saying that the GENERA loks like a smaller version of the TELESIS 2. They were both developed over the autumn/winter of 1996/97. It took us 40 prototypes, but we managed to work all the bugs out of the tuck tabs. Tucks tabs are what make the GENERA better than its competitors. GENERA riser cover tuck tabs stay closed. The GENERA reserve pin protector flap tuck tab stays closed and the GENERA main pin cover tuck tab is almost idiot proof. The GENERA's main pin cover is better suited to freeflying than the TALON 2's. My first choice for a low-budget rigs would be a GENERA. In comparison, the South African-built NARO has always had tuck tabs, but they always "floated in loose formation" with the rest of the rig. NAROS work, but they are not as glamorous as American-built rigs. The other low-budget American-built rig is the DOLPHIN. Since the DOLPHIN was designed by Mike Furry - a co-founder of the Javelin factory - DOLPHINS look a lot like Javelins. The greatest difference is that early DOLPHINS had lots of Velcro but no tuck tabs. Now that newer DOLPHINS have tuck tabs and we can close the bottom flap over the reserve pilot chute, the gap between DOLPHINS and JAVELINS is narrowing. When purchasing a DOLPHIN you get a rig that is almost as good as a JAVELIN at almost half the price! though the Dolphin is catching up. One other option to consider when you are searching for a low-budget rig is the SIDEWINDER from Flying High Manufacturing in Canada. You can order a custom-colored SIDEWINDER for about the same price as a black GENERA, DOLPHIN or NARO. Deliveries are pretty quick. SIDEWINDERS wear like iron, just look at the dozen student SIDEWINDERS at Pitt Meadows, BC, Canada. Which reminds me, all dozen student SIDEWINDERS are due for repack this month, so I had best get to work. Sorry if this reply got long-winded.
  18. Just to clarify, reserve manufacturers consider 2 parameters when they placard weight limits on reserve canopies. First, the FAA says that all reserve canopies must survive opening at 254 pounds at 150 knots. Under TSO C23D manufacturers have the option of certifying canopies to heavier weights and higher airspeeds. For example, Precision certified the Raven Dash M series at 292 pounds at sea level. Secondly, manufacturers take educated guesses at what weight ankles will survive landing a specific size of canopy. The main reason that tiny reserves have become fashionable - I said fashionable, not wise - is because tiny mains have become fashionable and practical. The average skydiver buys a tiny reserve expecting it to turf surf exactly like his tiny main - NOT! Reserve technology has not changed significantly since the mid 1980s! How many modern skydivers have jumped a tiny, 7-cell, F-111 canopy? I believe that before a skydiver is allowed to buy a tiny reserve, he/she should have to jump a tiny, 7-cell, F-111 canopy as a main. Maybe we would let them cheat a little by jumping tiny ZP CReW canopies. That would really open their eyes. Can you say ouch? With my 3000 plus jumps fashion dictates that I jump mains in the 150 and smaller range. But I own an Amigo 172 reserve. Why? The smallest 7-cell, F-111 main I have ever jumped was a Firelite 176. Despite doing standing landings in the pea gravel bowl, my ankles experienced shooting pains hurt every landing! And the fashion police are trying to talk me into an even smaller reserve? Not likely!
  19. Para Mount and a couple of other companies will cheerfully sell you a camera mount that bolts onto a ProTec
  20. You folks are discussing two separate incidents. There was a tandem incident in Britain back in the late 1980s where the T/M wrapped the drogue around his neck and passed out. Fortunately the CCI - who was videoing the jump - flew in and dumped for them. I cannot remember which canopy the video man deployed. As soon as the pressure was off the T/M's neck, he regained consciousness and they landed okay. The second incident occurred at Perris, California sometime before 1994 - before AADs were required on all tandems. In the Perris incident, the T/M lost track of altitude. When the student realized they were considerably below opening altitude, he/she pulled the drogue release and saved them both.
  21. My record is 12 tandem jumps in one day. Naturally someone else was packing. Last summer I did 11 tandems in one day and packed half of them. Back in the days when I was younger and tougher I used to do 8 tandems and pack them all myself.
  22. riggerrob


    Chasers were built in Britain by Thomas Sports Equipment. TSE has a long history of Service Bulletins, recalls, etc. Chasers built in the early 1980s were pretty ugly, but their patterns and workmanship improved over time. See Poynter's Manual Volume 2, page 206. Also look at the long list of Airworthiness Directives, Service Bulletins, etc. published on the Australian Parachute Federation's website. There is also the question of whether anything built by TSE satisfies the American TSO requirements.
  23. Good habit Speedracer. Even if your pilot is proficient on the GPS, you should still hang your head out the door to check for other airplanes, or heaven forbid: your position relative to the DZ. One other thought: freebags are not free any more. A good spotter will land freebags on the DZ.
  24. Last year my old buddy TK Donle from the Relative Workshop posted an excellent opinion on the Pull-Out vs. Throw-Out arguement. TK reminded us that the most important thing is to throw your pilot chute out to full arm's extension to get it clear of your burble. TK said that the worst thing about a pull-out is that you waste half your strength just pulling the pin, consequently you don't have much strength left to extend your arm. Personally, out of 3300 jumps I have only made about a dozen with pull-outs, no problems, but I really have little experience. I made my first decsion on that issue when i purchased my first rig in 1979 with a belly-band mounted throw-out. In the early 1980s my decision was confirmed when we converted to throw-outs for all the students. Since then I have become a Master Rigger, etc, but still have not doubted my initial decision. On the other hand I have repacked a disproportionately large number of reserves after guys tired of searching for floating pull-outs. One last thought: when I worked at Rigging Innovations, only about 5% of production had pull-outs.