coldsteel

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  1. I have one ride on this girl. She was solid, well-built, reliable, and forgiving (in the flare/landing)...just what I wanted in a .....reserve. Absolutley no complaints with this product.
  2. coldsteel

    Sentry

    I am pleased with the sturdy construction and performance of this FC product. It flys almost as well as a PD Silhouette.....similar performance and nearly as easy to pack. Those qualities make it a solid choice for some looking for a reasonably priced mid-performance-range canopy. Excellent choice for someone transitioning from rental gear to first rig. Red at Flight Concepts does a pretty good job with customer service....... if you keep after him.
  3. I checked out this DZ when I was in Vegas earlier this year. Given that it is your standard Tandem oriented paracenter, the staff was remarkably friendly to the two of us. I enjoyed rubbing elbows with some of their clients on board the aircraft- I think they were some sexy Vegas showgirls with fantastic anatomy- and the skydiving was just great as well. I was not pleased with their paracenter business competitors on the same DZ...stay away from those guys! I stayed at Gold Strike hotel/casino right next door @ $45/night, had a great time in the casino and at the bar/dining room. They gave me coupons for a room and meal discount. Well worth the 30 min drive from Vegas.
  4. My anti-virus software is blocking a virus "Blackhole Exploit Kit (type 1889) when I logon to the dropzone.com website. What's up? You guys infected?
  5. I spoke with Rusty at PD today via email. Presently, PD doesn't have a TSO for the larger Optimums and it will take 4-5 weeks at the "earliest" to get FAA approval. There may be some interaction between PD and the FAA at the PIA meeting this week, perhaps the FAA will give them some idea where they want to go with this process. My guess is that we won't see a TSO'd Optimum for months. Mine has been on back-order for the past 10 months.
  6. coldsteel

    Pilot

    The Pilot has always had a solid reputation as an all-round good canopy but the ZPX fabric makes this an exceptional canopy. I jumped a Pilot ZPX 190 today loaded at 1.1. I packed it with a Precision style "psycho" pack job which gave me a nice orderly on-heading terminal opening. The ZPX fabric makes the Pilot way easier to pack than a traditional ZP canopy...suprisingly so. My Wings W-21 main container designed to take a PD 190 ZP was almost too large despite shortening the closing loop to a couple of inches. In flight the ZPX flew and turned in both full flight and braked turns with suprising speed, flat glide and precise handling. Near no-wind landing was an easy standup with a two stage technique. This is a great product! Well worth the ordering wait and the extra $200.
  7. I demo'd a PD Optimum reserve recently. I jumped the OP 193 loaded about 0.9. The reserve canopy opened just fine at terminal, very firm but quite acceptable. The flight characteristics were similar to other modern F 111 reserve canopies I've flown. I was not able to stall it at altitude to test it's stall characteristics......despite taking a wrap on the brake lines. I think the brakes where set a little too long.....perhaps PD wanted them set up that way. I was hoping for a little stronger flare on the bottom end but I think I may have under loaded it and degraded it's performance. The outstanding qualities of this canopy are it's small pack volume and ease of packing. It packs at least a size smaller than a comparable, similar size PDR canopy. I wish I could buy one of these to jump as a main canopy. Why? Easy to pack, really small pack volume, and good performance. This PD reserve is well-worth the premium price. I think PD should market as a main as well....it's that good.
  8. Mr. "Carlos Vela" tried to scam me today. Thanks for the "heads up".
  9. coldsteel

    Falcon

    I think this is a legitimate choice for a "first canopy" or "transition canopy" for several reasons. First it's easy to pack....it packs small and packs ridiculously easy compared to snot-slippery, frustrating ZP canopies. It's relatively easy to slip this puppy into a Javelin J-4 bag, and I stuggled to put a new FCI Sentry 210 and PD Silhouette 210 into the same container. Secondly,the Falcon 215, loaded 1:1, zips right along with the similarly loaded non-elliptical ZP designs. Flying today, I experienced a full blown, breath-taking but controllable, dynamic stalls at altitude that ZP's won't do, and deeply braked turns were accompanied by very interesting accelerated stall behavior that you won't see with similar-size ZP's. At the bottom end of the dive, I found that I could accuratly do standups in the hoola hoop target that I just glided over with ZP's. The flare was just fine. This is not a serious disc stomping accuracy parachute but I wouldn't hesitate to do "Demo Accuracy" into a tight DZ with it. Did I mention that this canopy opens nice and soft without snivelling? I use the standard Precision "psycho pack" techique and it works well. I have also flat packed the canopy with similar success. Precision built the canopy that I jumped to military standards, Dacron lines and bullet-proof fabric construction. Finally, George Galloway at Precision has a nice supply of these silver brutes that he built for a foreign military (who in turn, backed out of the contract). You might be able to get a great deal on one! Loaded 1.0 or more these canopies would make excellent student canopies.
  10. I am pleased with the sturdy construction and performance of this FC product. It flys almost as well as a PD Silhouette.....similar performance and nearly as easy to pack. Those qualities make it a solid choice for some looking for a reasonably priced mid-performance-range canopy. Red at Flight Concepts does a pretty good job with customer service....... if you keep after him.
  11. coldsteel

    Start Skydiving

    John Hart directs an extraordinarily well run DZ with a truly outstanding AFF program for OSU and other college students. Kip's AFF ground school instruction at the OSU campus was interesting, educational, and entertaining. On jump day I was impressed with the attention to safety exhibited by the staff, the high quality equipment & turbine aircraft, and the superb instruction/coaching abilities of the freefall instructors. After my son's successful freefall, I was so pleased with the Start Sky Diving operation that I decided to enrol my Miami U. freshman daughter in one of Kip's AFF courses....and I plan to jump with both of them too!
  12. coldsteel

    Dolphin

    The Dolphin does it's job well in a simple unobtrusive fashion. It packs up easily, fits most bodies comfortably and holds up against abuse. The rig comes in one basic color... black... goes with everything. What more do you need? Other reviewers have mentioned that Altico updated the Dolphin to modern standards including: full bridle coverage and the reserve and main flaps are securely closed so freeflyers can keep everything securely stowed in vertical flight. No-velcro brake keepers, and no-velcro risor covers are pretty much standard as well. Those qualities make it a very solid choice for those transitioning from AFF/student gear into their own rig. True, you can't get hip and chest rings but my Dolphin fits just fine without them. The Dolphin is just comfortable as the Javelin(s), Wings and Icon rigs I've owned over the past several years. I would say the quality of the Altico product is similar those other rigs...very good. I talked to Mike Furry on the phone before I bought the rig, he build my rig specifically for me, it fit great, and he got the rig to my door in less than 2 weeks! I don't think there is a better value on the market!