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Everything posted by riggerrob

  1. The other day, a cop pulled me over. "License and registration please sir." "Why can I smell weed?" "Because you are not demonstrating proper social distancing."
  2. Ripley's "Believe it or Not" published a published a sketch of Chinese soldiers marching, with the caption something like "If Chinese soldiers marched ten abreast through a gate, they would never all march through it … birthrate … blah ..blah … blah" Chinese will always out-number any other army.
  3. There are 3 reasons why the US Army won the battle of 73 Easting. First: Iraqi command was inflexible. Second: troops were so poorly trained that generals only trusted them to fight from hull-down, dug-in positions. Thirdly: US aiming/fire control systems were far more advanced, infrared, thermal imaging, etc. Iraqi armour and guns were almost as good, but Iraqi tankers could not see half as many targets as American tankers. Similar variables to the Israeli defense of the Golan Heights in 1973. Recently, the USSR decided that their latest Armata tank was too expensive to manufacture in large numbers. Instead, they decided to upgrade aiming systems on existing T-92 tanks. Even back during the Cold War, there was a huge market for upgrading existing tanks with more reliable diesel engines, automatic transmissions, bigger guns, better sights, applique armour, etc.
  4. Dear Gowlerk, Surely you remember how different the early 196os were from today. I grew up in a small, conservative, college town a 3-hour drive from Montreal (then the biggest city in Canada). Living-in-sin was … a sin against God. Divorce was frowned upon. Priests encouraged women to return to their abusive husbands. Single mothers were frowned upon. Abortions were definitely illegal. If an un-married woman got pregnant, she had to sneak a ride to Montreal for a back-room abortion. Complications from botched abortions killed too many women. Dr. Henry Mortganthaller was jailed repeatedly before abortion was de-criminalized. If a woman needed an abortion, she needed an alibi. Blame the blacks, ukranians, gypsies, polacks, migrant farm workers, sailors, etc. who left town yesterday. Heaven forbid that she admit to voluntary sex with a local teenaged boy! Fortunately, abortions are radically different during this century. My good buddy: J.P. Forest (retired military police) guarded Dr. Romalis - the busiest abortionist in Vancouver - for 6 years. The doctor survived a stabbing and a rifle shot to the leg. Sometimes, J.P. even "scrubbed in" to the operating theatre. He reported that the bulk of abortions were performed on married women who already had children. The primary motivation for abortion was malformed fetus. The last time a federal Conservative politician suggested re-opening the debate on abortion, I told him that boat sailed 50 years ago. I also told him that if he wasted Parliament's time re-opening the debate, I would wonder what other mischief he was doing outside of Parliament.
  5. Dear Tabouare, I stand corrected. Those videos show early war German paratroopers practicing in hanging harnesses. Thanks for sharing these rare videos.
  6. General comment: face masks should not be worn in freefall because they might slip up and cover your eyes ... obscuring vision temporarily. We have seen loose toques blow over jumpers' eyes. The best way to avoid obscuring vision is to secure your buff or neck-warmer snuggly under your chin strap. I have done that during hundreds of cold-weather jumps.
  7. All those fancy CIWS, Phallanx, etc. AAA systems can be defeated by large swarms of incoming missiles, airplanes, torpedoes, etc. Even if the first swarm does not sink the ship, tomorrows swarm has a better chance … especially if the swarm arrives before the AAA has time to re-load. Also consider that the most likely confrontation will be in the South China Sea with the USN at the end of a supply chain as long as the Pacific Ocean is wide. OTOH the Chinese Navy will be fighting in home waters. Who will re-load quicker? Communist China has always been able to out-number NATO or the Warsaw Pact, or any other conceivable enemy. With recent improvements in their weapons systems, Chinese weapons quality is getting closer and closer to USN capabilities.
  8. My 8, The City of Vancouver announced that they are no longer laying off 17,000 transit workers. Last month bus stops and Skytrain stations were ghost-towns, but ridership resumed in early May. Skytrains were only running two cars per train (versus the usual 4) and reduced schedules. By the second week of May, buses were starting to skip stops in an effort to maintain social distance. This week (11 May) transit is resuming many canceled buses, but drivers and dispatchers are confused. The Province of B.C. is hoping for a gradual, phased return to normal by the end of May. How fast the province re-opens depends upon the numbers of COVID-19 patients reporting to hospitals. I doubt if we will ever return to the old "normal." Last year we snickered at overly-cautious Chinese immigrants wearing masks in public. Masks are likely to remain fashionable until sheeple forget about COVID-19. Jump suit manufacturer "Vertical" has already introduced a new line of PPE masks. I fear that far too many mom-and-pop retail stores will close permanently. We also fear that too many single-Cessna DZs will close forever. That means longer driving times for those of us still jumping.
  9. 1 March 1986, National Parachute Industries issued a Service Bulletin requiring replacing the deployment diapers on all previously made Phantom round reserves. Both diapers were Type 3 Asquito diapers with two locking loops and all suspension lines stowed horizontally on the diaper. The first-pattern diaper was sized to the width of Warp III and PEPs. After a few pre-mature deployments/line dump, National changed to a narrower diaper. National mailed out hundreds of replacement diapers and they had to be sewn on by a Master Rigger. Packing procedures were pretty much the same. The diaper SB was after a National Service Bulletin called for adding Kevlar horizontal reinforcing bands, but before the acid mesh recall. During the 1990s, I tested thousands of round reserves suspected of containing acid mesh. By 2010, I refused to repack Phantoms or any other round reserve built during the acid-mesh era (early 1980s).
  10. Stop worrying about COVID-19 on your gear. The worst thing about being a TI is the double layer of snot on your goggles.
  11. Definitely order a container one size larger than your canopies. Pack volumes quoted by Florida-based manufacturers can be a struggle to pack in the desert.
  12. Relax, the RCMP detachment in Surrey, B.C. only has a 6-wheeled APC.It is a Canadian Army surplus Mowag Piranha. They removed the turret and added a bunch of steps and handles to the back. Looks like it was customized for busting into crack houses. Surrey has lots of crack houses. For comparison, the US Army call theirs Strykers and USMC call theirs LAVs.
  13. During World War 2, the British paratrooper school at Ringway used suspended harnesses. Students exited an airplane mockup - near the ceiling - and a fan slowed their rate of descent. Then they practiced PLFs on a padded hangar floor. I have never seen photos or film of their German predecessors training with suspended harnesses.
  14. Dear sfzombie13, If you survived more than a thousand jumps before gadget "A" was invented, you should be allowed to jump without it. For example, I made my 1,000th jump (1990) before the first modern, electronic AAD (Cypres 1) was invented ... ergo I should be allowed to jump without an electronic AAD. OTOH, when I work as an instructor, I am expected to provide a good role model for students, so I wear an AAD. Most of my last 5,000 jumps were with students. On the third hand, some one dying really disrupts DZ operations, so if some one suffers a heart attack, them landing under - an AAD deployed - reserve is the least outcome. As long as we see them descending under an inflated reserve, we don't worry much. Yes, I am old enough to have watched two people bleed-out on DZs. I was amazed at how upset some people got even though they were hundreds of yards from the deceased. I walked up to him as he took his last breath. I also have watched an empty harness descend under a fully-inflated Manta. When I saw that empty harness, I walked my student towards the Twin Otter waiting on the taxi-way. On the fourth hand, I survived a thousand jumps before seat-belts became fashionable for skydivers. I wore seat-belts for a few years after that. The last time I flew in a jump-plane - that suffered a shortage of seat-belts - I suffered multiple injuries. I no longer care what regulations ... or pilots ... or DZOs ... say about seat-belts because I now refuse to fly without belts.
  15. I have to read 4 to 6 news sources before believing a story: PBS, CBC, Fairchild Radio, Radio Canada, The Economist, Soldier of Fortune Magazine, Der Spiegel, Paris Match, Toronto Globe and Mail, etc. CNN does not match my attention span. Note that I did not name any main-stream Vancouver or Los Angeles newspapers. When I lived in Riverside County, I drove 90 during to visit a news store that sold the above mentioned magazines.
  16. yes dear 20kn, If you route the seatbelt through both loops (leg strap and MLW/lateral/back pad) you get the most secure anchor, with the least chance of wandering around the cabin during a crash.
  17. Dear Doug H, If tandem students wear hooked hiking boots, I reach for duct tape. Suct tape is considered the handyman’s helper in Canada. Canadian Comedian Red Green did a whole TV series and published a couple of books about the finer points of fixing things with duct tape.
  18. Dear evh, Extra-large RSL shackles would be better than parachute harness snap hooks, because they are less likely to accidentally snag a jumper. Wichard makes some mighty pretty stainless steel hardware!
  19. Dear dudeman 17, Your suggestion came up during the FAA/PIA seat-belt tests in 1997. Since Sandy Reid organized those tests, someone jokingly suggested that Sandy might “rig” crash sled tests in favour of the ringed harnesses (e.g. Flexon) that he owned the patent on. None of the crash sled tests used a hook clipped to a hip ring, but we still got a chuckle out of the suggestion. Hah! Hah! QE Snaps would have worked better on the original RW 0 hip-rings than the flat RW-8 rings that are currently fashionable on harness hip junctions. As an aside, Jack Hooker provided the test-sample belts for the FAA/PIA crash tales tests. Jack had prototype skydiver-specific belts in one of Hinkley’s Cessnas before their Beech 18 crashed on Labour Day 1992. Over the winter of 1992/1993, most American DZs installed Hooker-pattern belts.
  20. Over the weekend of 20 April, 2020, a madman killed 18 or more people in Nova Scotia. His pre-meditated rampage started with dressing like a cop and decorating his (civilian) car like an RCMP cruiser. He burned down at least two houses and killed at least one RCMP officer before police killed him at a gas station one he highway that passes Halifax International Airport. Police and firefighters are still sifting through the rubble of burnt-out houses. Canada’s Maritime Provinces were always a few years behind California social trends, but this is ridiculous!
  21. I remember long, rousing debates about whether a rigger could legally install soft-links (Parachutes de France) on a reserve from any other manufacturer.
  22. Your first tandem jump will provide a huge emotional and sensory over-load. That is why few schools still offer solo first jump courses (static-line, IAD or Accelerated Freefall). Worry about equipment details later. Your local instructors will spoon-feed new information at a rate that the average student can absorb. Local instructors will also quiz you frequently to confirm that must-know information has sunk into your brain. Take the learning process in small steps.
  23. Dear SethinMI, That article describes typical jerky control movements by a scared, over-loaded crew who are rusty on hand-flying. The long-term solution is more simulator time practicing manual control. The short-term solution is throwing the pilot under the bus. Insurance companies and airline executives always try to throw the pilot under the bus. Legally, the practice - of blaming pilots - dates back to the days of sailing ships when they were away from home for months or years at a time and the captain was ultimately responsible for everything that occurred onboard. This ancient law provides lazy lawyers with a easy-out to blame one pilot and absolve every one else of guilt. Truth is, modern airliners are far too complex for any single man/pilot/engineer to understand, which is why airlines overlay multiple people to schedule, screen passengers, brief passengers, maintain, navigate, calculate fuel loads, balance, clean, de-ice, inspect, herd passengers, etc.
  24. I have only flown on Air Cubana's Tupolevs for a single vacation. Airframes looked and sounded solid, but upholstry was 20 years older than Air Canada's.