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Everything posted by riggerrob

  1. 20-way out of a Skyvan. Everyone jammed close to the ramp. As we started the exit count, the airplane shuddered and fell off to one side. The formation flew great, but the pilot landed white as a glacier! He explained that the Skyvan stalled then spun one and a half turns before he recovered control. That was the last time anyone jammed an entire 20-way on a Skyvan. The only thing worse is dirt-diving a 20-way from a Skyvan. I have seen two Skyvans bend their tails during that foolishness. Now do you understand why many Skyvans have that extra rail under the ramp?
  2. Okay Ian, Who is operating Skydive Extreme Calgary these days? My last update was from Al Christo shortly before he closed Pitt Meadows, two or three years ago.
  3. Call Skydive Calgary at Beiseker, Alberta.
  4. The Washington Red Skins recently announced that are re-naming the team to a more politically-correct term. ... can't call themselves "Senators" because Ottawa already has a team with that name. How about Washington "Congresscritters?"
  5. Wow! Holy distortion of priorities, Batman! Protest movements usually start when a nation has an excess of young people and a shortage of jobs (see Nazi Germany, 1960s Peace Movement, Arab Spring, etc.). During the Great Depression (1930s) the Canadian and USA governments recognized the problem and set up civilian works programs to convert unemployed labourers in civil infrastructure (TVA, Hoover Dam, etc.). This year, jobs have been limited by the COVID-19 quarantine. The short term solution is bullying protestors into silence while the long term solution is providing more jobs to keep people too busy to protest.
  6. I strongly disagree with westerly .... but I made 1,000 tandem jumps before modern wing-suits were invented (circa 2000). UPY wrote those guidelines to discourage recreational jumpers from chasing tandems after a few collisions killed TIs. Most of the recreational skydivers who ask permission to chase tandems do not understand the extra risks involved. For example, the last time I gave a wing-suiter permission to fly past us under canopy, he passed at a safe and predictable distance. When I pointed out the wing-suit, the student did not seem to care. Shortly after that, the DZO banned wing-suits from "buzzing" tandems. Basic tandems are complicated enough without junior jumpers cluttering up their airspace. I would much rather double my TI work-load by strapping a camera to my hand than trust some unknown skydiver to freefall close to me. This comes from the first hand-cam TI in Canada. I taught myself how to do hand-cam after reading one article in SKYDIVING Magazine. The article described how Australians invented hand-cam. I even sewed my own hand-mount months before I ever saw a hand-mount.
  7. Dear wolfriverjoe, You made a good point about 20 million Russians dying during WW2. Russians are still suffering echos from that miserable war. A Russian man born in 1920 had a 20 percent chance of surviving until the end of WW2. They lost a generation of young men. Which means that Russia never experienced the sort of "Baby Boom" that expanded populations in Canada, USA, etc. 20 years later, the unborn sons of those soldiers did not father any more babies during the 1960s. Twenty years later (mid-1980s) Russia suffered another slump in birth rates. .... another slump in birth rates during the early 2000s, followed by another slump during the 2020s. Four generations later, Russian birth rates are still lower than replacement, so Russian population is still decliniing. Couple this with white-skinned Russians' xenophobia and the country is doomed to declining population. The Great Patriotic War (1939 - 1945) was not "good" from the Russian perspective.
  8. My ex-wife asked why I tried to drive my car over her. I replied that I doubted if I had enough gas to drive around!
  9. My apartment is cluttered with 40 years worth of old parachutes, old manuals, etc. Which museum should I donate then to? Last summer I visited the Canadian War Museum and the Aviation museum at Rockcliffe. More recently, I visited the small museum of aviation in Langley, B.C. I used to jump near the aviation museum in Victoria, B.C. (Pat Bay / Victoria International Airport). Please note that I am a Canadian citizen, living in Canada, who would prefer to donate to a Canadian museum.
  10. Shop-lifting and petty theft. Smoke marijuana and hashish. I started drinking under-age in Saskatchewan and at least 2 other provinces, plus the Northwest Territories. I drove myself home - drunk - hundreds of times. Conversations with 3 different cops when I was DUI, but they never ticketed me. Driven without a license. Driven without insurance. Driven with expired license plates (brief conversation with a police constable, but no written record). Driven a fuel truck with no formal training. Speeding. Roaring through stop signs (got a ticket). Trespassed. Trespassed on a bridge before I fell off. Luckily I wore a parachute. The stupidest thing about that was walking on the autobahn! Crossed a few borders without proper documentation. Fondled and fired a variety of machine-guns after they were prohibited for civilians. Done exhibition jumps from 2,000 feet above sea level. Free fallen through clouds. Flown my canopy through clouds. Done a few night tandems ... er late sunset. Did tandems with under-age girls before they were banned. Done exhibition jumps with tandem students ... before they were banned. Continued VFR flight in miserable visibility. Flew across the Strait of Northumberland, too low to glide to shore .... ' cus of low clouds. Landed after official sunset. Stole an entire car off the side of Burnaby Mountain and am whittling away at the second wrecked car.
  11. Hah! My hand would be on my car's gear shift lever .... as in REVERSE lever. No need for me to stick around while people wave guns in public. Open carry is banned in most parts of Canada .... except in rural areas .... during hunting season.
  12. When catching tandems, I just stand quietly on the edge of the pea gravel bowl until just before they touch down. Then I grab one toggle and run into the wind until the canopy collapses. If steering line cascades get pulled through steering guide rings ... so be it. The primary goal was accomplished by not dragging across the DZ. When I am in the TI's seat, I usually ask students to grab toggles and wait until told, then pull them down to crotch level and continue holding them down. Meanwhile, I reach back, over my head to grab another yard (metre) of steering line to collapse the canopy even quicker.
  13. It is quite common for common criminals to surrender or sell weapons to their lawyers at the start of criminal cases. That allows the accused to claim that he no longer owns any weapons, but with a reasonable chance of regaining the weapons if he wins the trial. Rest assured that lawyers charge a pretty penny for "holding" weapons.
  14. Remove the twists from your left steering line. Were you sitting perfectly calm in the harness, with your feet crossed?
  15. Good question quagmarian, I started skydiving the same time I started pilot ground school. I completed my pilot license over that winter, but it was a few more years before I made enough jumps to earn my first skydiving license. By then, many things like reading wind socks ... were second nature. It still baffles me why so few skydivers understand the "rules of the air" much less their nautical origins. Maybe it is just my odd learning style, but - with a bit of theory - I can quickly grasp a concept .... much quicker than months of rote learning. OTOH many skydivers have attention spans shorter than "weasels on crack" meaning that they can rarely learn more than one tiny fragment of info at one time. They need to hear the same information - from a dozen different angles - before it sinks in. Different skydivers learn by different methods. For example, I am a visual-learner who can grasp a concept from one diagram. OTOH some skydivers cannot read maps, but learn quickly when listening. There are a dozen different learning styles. Instructors are constantly challenged to find which method works best with every different student.
  16. Dear wmw999 made several good points. I too am suspicious of photo-evidence during the age of photo-shop. However - if video evidence of the wife pointing a gun at trespassers with her finger on the trigger is valid - then she is guilty of poor gun control and deserves a whack on her pee-pee .... or the female equivalent. Like many retired soldiers, I have zero tolerance with bumbling amateurs randomly waving firearms. WI home-owners sprayed protesters with a garden hose? WI home-owners threw smoke cannisters at protesters? WI home-owners threw tear gas cannisters at protesters? WI home-owners siced a guard dog on protesters? WI home-owners siced (human) private security contractors on protesters? Just to be clear: I am not supporting the lawyer/home-owners in this case. Anyone who knows me well knows how much I fear lawyers. Both sides made mistakes during this video. We will have to see ALL the video before making our own conclusions.
  17. The first video shows protesters walking on the front lawn of that mansion. It also shows a broken gate = trespassing. We will have to see all the video before reaching our own conclusions. Back in the good-old-days, protesters waited until the mayor arrived at City Hall before protesting. Picketing the mayor's house is so "tacky." I understand why the mayor released names of "defund police" protesters. Why anyone would get upset about publishing names of protesters is a mystery to me. If you participate in public protests, you can expect your name to be published in open press. But publishing protesters addresses was going too far.
  18. The first life limits were imposed by the US Army ... for two reasons. First, they wanted to remove obsolete parachutes from their warehouses. Secondly, they were under pressure - from the military-industrial complex - to buy more parachutes. The first civilian parachute life limits were published in the after-math of the acid-mesh problems that occurred during the 1980s. A couple of American manufacturers (GQ Security and Pioneer) left the skydiving market and told customers not to jump any of their equipment more than 15 years old. It was a subtle way of grounding round reserves suspected of suffering from acid-mesh degradation. Now that those suspected parachutes are something like 35 years old, you would be .... silly .... to still jump them. Some young riggers refuse to repack older models of parachutes because it is difficult to find Service Bulletins that were published before the inter-web was accessible to civilians. While I may have earned my rigger's license before the acid-mesh problem reared its ugly head, I have not touched any of them in a decade. If you bring me a round canopy sewn during the acid-mesh era (early 1980s) I will tell you to donate it to that fine museum in Langley. Hah! Hah! Parachute harnesses and containers get dragged around a lot and fade in sunlight, so few are still serviceable of 20 years of steady use. Pilot emergency parachutes are generally retired after 20 years because they are faded, frayed and filthy. OTOH, the certified reserve canopies packed into those PEPs often look near-new after 20 years. Only your local rigger can tell you if a parachute is still airworthy.Good riggers err on the side of caution.
  19. I have done plenty of skydives while suffering minor back pain, minor leg pain, minor shoulder pain, etc. Most of the time, I ended the day with only slightly more pain in my shoulder .... but a few times I had to rest my sore back for a week before I could return to work. When in doubt, be cautious ... slow ... in returning to the sky. The sky will always wait for you.
  20. If you want to exit from a sitting position, you need to attach side hooks before closing the door. If you want to exit from kneeling, it is easier to attach your student. The only safe exit procedure involves putting one foot on the step and diving towards the tail. As for the cost of operation, only the higher-powered Hawk XP or Rheims Rocket have enough power (180 hp.) for a reasonable climb rate. The last time I flew a stock Cessna 172, it sometimes topped-out at 5,000' MSL on hot and muggy days with three jumpers onboard.
  21. Sounds like you pinched a nerve that controls your left arm. I suffer similar symptoms after damaging a pair of spinal discs in my neck. I suffer tingling and loss of control - in my arm(s) - if I sleep with my neck at the wrong angle. Delay any further jumps until your neck and arm have been checked by a medical doctor. A chiropractor may be able to help straighten out your neck. Good luck!
  22. The only new thing I see is mandatory annual refresher training for jump-pilots. Having written procedures and adhering to engine manufacturers' recommendations gets my vote. If USPA is smart, they will write generic jump-plane manuals and distribute them to USPA Group Member DZs. BPA ans APF complied generic jump-plane manuals more than a decade ago. A long time ago, Beechcraft and P&WC insisted that "operation on condition" was not allowed for King Airs employed as jump-planes because jump-plane mission profiles are so much different than the corporate transport mission originally intended. I suffered numerous injuries when a King Air jump-plane crashed. The comedy of errors ... er .. chian of errors started with a lazy mechanic who decided to skip and inspection. A fuel pump failed and then things got worse.
  23. I will repeat myself: when Slinks are properly hand-tacked, they have just enough slack to allow you to swing the tab towards the edge of the riser and confirm that it is attached with the correct Lark's Head knot. Not being required to hand-tack ... just because you are in the UK sounds odd. Hand-tacking links is considered best-business-practice in most countries. When forced to chose between 2 or 3 different standards, always work to the highest/tightest standard. Even if Performance Designs were the only link manufacturer to insist on tacking links, I still hand-tack soft links when assembling canopies from every manufacturer.
  24. I share your weight issues. Most of my adult life, I weighed 180 or 190 pounds, but an accident left me sitting on the couch too long and my weight ballooned up to 230 pounds. My relative work (belly-flying formation) skills suffered badly from my faster fall rate. When my doctor encouraged me to lose weight, I ate less and hiked more and got my weight under 200 pounds, but the last 20 pounds are going to require lots more hard hiking. As for life insurance, a while back I chatted with a life insurance agent who told me that if I made fewer than 50 skydives per year, I was a low risk, but increased my risk the more I jumped. Since I was also an active jump pilot back in those days, so I countered by quoting Transport Canada's statistics and accident rates for Private Pilots. PP who fly less than 50 hours per year are considered high risk, whereas PP who fly more than 50 hours per year are considered low risk. USPA, CSPA have similar standards for skydiving instructors in that they consider busy instructors to be low risk, but require refresher training if they made fewer than 50 jumps last year. As an aside, refresher training is good for everyone, which is why USPA, CSPA, etc. host Safety Day every spring. I never did buy insurance from that agent. Speaking of hard hiking ... it is sunny out, birds are singing and God told me to take a hike. See ya!