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Posts posted by cpoxon

  1. Been there, done that, share your embarrasment!
    It too occured with me when exiting from a Caravan. It wasn't that long ago and probably had 40-odd jumps on my GTi at the time (I currently have 48). It was a solo jump from 13.5 and I was last to exit. I'm usually pretty strict about waiting until I've dropped below the plane (around a second) before inflating my wings. For some reason I wasn't really thinking. I guess I was getting overly comfortable exiting and maybe even slightly blasé. As I exited I spread my wings pretty quickly and I had a fleeting vision of staying level with the plane as it pulled away from me. The thought of the proximity of the horizontal stabiliser flashed through my mind and I collapsed my wings instinctively, although it would have already been to late if I was on course to strike the tail. It shook me up and I sought the pilot out as soon as she had landed and was out of the plane. I apologised for getting close to the tail on exit but she said she hadn't noticed anything unusual from where she was. She also said that she was flying slightly nose down. This may have raised the tail somewhat but could it also have caused the plane to be descending a little?
    So, maybe I didn't get that close, but it certainly felt closer than I was comfortable with and gave me a wake up call. Extra care should certainly be take when exiting a Caravan with a wingsuit. If it were upto me I'd do all by wingsuit jumps from a tailgate, but we don't often get that opportunity in the UK anymore!
    Jamie, any chance of getting the video captured and available on the web for download somewhere? If people are going to learn, you may as well go the whole hog!

  2. I did a few speed jumps in a shorty wetsuit as you can see in this picture
    I'm sure that because it was tight it reduced drag and was generally slicker than an RW suit, it was certainly less stable, but it had a tendency to inflate slightly and at high speeds, the material wasn't tight enough and it would oscillate very rapidly, warm up a great deal, and sometimes whip my skin. Very bizarre! And I'm sure you are all getting excited at the prospect! My J&F gimp suit is very tight(!) and doesn't exhibit this feature. So, if you are going to use a wet-suit I'd recommend a very tight one!

  3. Barry still provides the information for the page but Eric Denney provides the web services. I presume either Barry has administrative access to the site (if Eric is clever) or he just forwards them to be uploaded.
    Barry works for Microsoft and is a pretty busy guy. The page at skydivenet have never been the most up to date, probably due to the reasons Donna stated as well. If you want to find out about the latest incident it certainly isn't the place to go looking for information. It may take time, but the value of Barry's service comes from his analysis, where he often iterates the simple rules that so often get forgotten.
    For some time, I've run my own database driven website but since that drew on a site (with Barry's permission as it replicated the content) that is no longer updated and another such site exists, it will probably be no longer updated.
    Due to the time lag that happens with investigations into incidents, the time delay isn't really a major issue and that maybe the only improvement to the service you could provide. Unless you have something better to offer (maybe you could give him access to a Fatatities system here but I don;t think that would speed things up, or get the moderator(s) (Bill Von?) to comment on incidents), or Barry has relinquished his role, I think you'd be doing him a diservice by trying to recreate what he's done.

  4. >So, are ya guessin' or can Eminem possibly have this much respect for the past?
    he does
    >You wouldn't happen to know the name of the artist and track that you're refering to would ya?
    Malcolm McLaren, "Buffalo Girls". Reached number 9 in the UK in 1982. The same malcom McLaren who formed the Sex Pistols and recently worked with Leftfield.

  5. I think BallonZP is more popular because this is the one BirdMan recommend "for a more continuous wing" (or words to that effect). Some unscrupulous people I have jumped with speculate that it's a cheaper material and increases their margins :-P I have no idea if there is any truth in that!
    My suit is the ZP but if I was to order another GTi I would be seriously tempted to get it in Atmotex. My suit is on the tight side (I don't know if it was measured wrong, if I've put on weight or whether they are cut for a tight fit) but some of my seams are showing signs of distress (no funny comments Fordy!). Because it's ripstop, the material hasn't torn, but it is 'stretched'. It's difficult to describe. I'll see if I can get a digital still of it to upload. Anyone seem something similar? The original Classic wingsuits were incredibly well-made and robust. The sheer number around and the condition they are in is testament to that. I'm not sure my suit will survive so well. The GTis I've seen made of Atmotex seem to have a similiar durability tot he original Classics. They are generally a lot tougher and hold up better to the abuse, which, to me, may outweigh the slight (anyone have any practical observations?) performance gained from having a suit made out of ZP.
    Being ZP, the suit is a good windstop and since there isn't a lot of room in my suit I've tended to only wear a single layer of thermals underneath, and even during fairly cold British winter (albeit in a heated planes) this has been adequate.
    My friends and I have noticed that the wrist measurement is quite tight on our suits and would add an inch to be more generous with that. I'd also take and inch of the arm length and add an in round the thighs but that just may be me :-)

  6. This one?
    It's a zoomed in still shot filmed from almost directly underneath as the canopy is deploying. I'm looking down at the cameraman giving the peace signs and the tandem master is looking up at the canopy. The legs are a bit difficult to make out and confusing, eh?

  7. Correction, it will only indicate 19,999 feet on the display since that is the limitation of the LCD matrix but it will correctly record (and download to JumpTrack) altitudes equal to or greater than 20,000 feet.
    Actually, just checked the manual and it says the Maximum Logging Altitude for the Datalogger is 19,999 feet.
    However, my other half did a HA jump from the King Air at Quincy last year and this is the graph of here jump with the exit altitude correctly reported.
    This bastard system won't let me make a link out of this
    http://www.speedskydiving.org/WebJumpTrack_ui.asp?id=272&db=Caroline Hughes&Speed=mph&Altitude=feet&Airspeed=TAS
    It keeps replacing the percent20 (I can't even put the sysmbol in!) with a space which breaks it so you'll have to copy and paste manually.

  8. I did one "familiarisation" jump on a classic on my 505th jump under the supervision of an experienced wingsuit flyer and instructor before ordering my GTi. My second Birdman jump was with my GTi. I noticed very little difference (not surprising with only one jump on the Classic). In fact, if anything, the flight on the Classic was more efficient! Though I'm sure there are some who will verify that I'm not flying the GTi to it's limits so maybe I haven't found the difference. However, good flyers on Classics can easily outfly poorer flyers on GTis (and maybe even Skyflyers, but if one is a poor flyer, what is one doing on a Skyflyer?).
    I'd compare it to how some schools put first time students out on ZP canopies these days rather than F1-11. The Classic was the first edition, things move on. With your experience you *should* be okay on a GTi and it will have more future. Try doing a couple on a demo Classic before ordering. I've not flown a Skyflyer but from what I've heard there is a distinct difference between it and the GTi unlike between the GTi and the Classic so it would probably be unwise to do your first 'few' (<50?) on a Skyflyer.
    I'm not an instructor, Birdman or otherwise, so consult with one or the manufacturer. Just giving you an idea of the path I took and I'm not an exceptional jumper.

  9. > and from the highest (23,000'+ Birdman suit jumps... can you say 4 minute flight?)
    Hey Chris,
    I've been pondering the feasability of HA Birdman flights recently. Would you have bail-out oxygen with you? I've never done a jump above 18,000 and I'm not a physician or pilot but wouldn't a wingsuit flight from 23,000 without supplemental oxygen on the way down be dangerous? If it is without extra oxygen, at what altitude would you consider you'd be back into air with a safe concentration of oxygen? i.e. how far do you have to descend in the suit whilst risking hypoxia? Say it's 18,000 feet. That's a descent of 5,000 feet. Close to the ground that could take a fairly skilled flyer up to a minute (although higher up where the air is less dense it would probably be significantly shorter). Even so, say 30 seconds between 23,000 and 18,000 whilst working a wingsuit without oxygen sounds dodgy to me. I hope I'm jumping the gun here, but I thought I'd get all my thoughts down rather than going backwards and forwards.
    4 minutes freefalls? What did Adrian do? 4 minutes 55 from 33,850 feet? He had an extra 10,000 feet of albeit rapdily thinning air over you guys. It will be interesting to see how you fair. Don't forget that a ProTrack's memory is full after 120 seconds so you may want to contact Airtec or L&B for a box of tricks that will better help you time your flight.
    Should be interesting :-)

  10. Bugger, meant to try that out this weekend but I had other things on my mind during my one and only Birdman jump :-)
    Should also work on a GTi since the wing drops down before cutting in to the body unlike the Classic which is a straight line to the body. Anyone tried it on a classic?
    Will let you know how I get on. Might ask you to mod my suit too Andy if it works out?

  11. Eddy and I did a 2-way Birdman jump out of a Bell B206 Jetranger III from 6,000 feet yesterday. Eddy exited from in front of me on his back to film me. Neither of us are strangers to still air (the chopper was running in at about 20 knots) and Eddy only intended to stay on his back long enough to get some video stills of me but he was surprised how quickly he flipped over and I went head-low, flailing for a second, so it didn't go totally to plan! See the attached still of me taken by Eddy on exit.
    Thanks to Mike and Linda for agreeing to exit at the same time on their more traditonal skydive from the other side of the helicopter so the weight loss would be symetrical, and also putting up with a couple of flailing birdman zipping around them. Thanks to the chopper pilot for the ride. Thanks to BPS Langar for getting the chopper in for the boogie. I've only been in a R22 once before and I landed with that one too. Thanks to Birdmen for the suits. Thanks to Icarus for my canopy and thanks to Rigging Innovations for my container. Okay, getting a bit silly now. Finally thanks to my mothers! :-)

  12. Stan,
    > According to new rules two ProTracks should be mounted on the sides of the rig.
    How exactly are they mounted ?
    The plastic brackets that come with the ProTrack have bungees encircling them and are cable tied the the "lateral" webbing (the bit between the hip junction and the container). The bungees are used for a bit of extra security and obviously need to put around the bracket before the zip ties are tightened. If you are not doing a speed dive I would recommend either removing them or taping over them as they (and the cable ties) pose a (very slight) snag hazard. You can release the ratchet in the cable tie with apin to reuse them.
    >Will average values taken from two ProTracks mounted
    both inside of the helmet be accurate ?
    Not really. In fact, having two in your helmet (on opposite sides) will indicate how differently they can read. The differences would (probably) be too wide - an indication of inaccurate readings.
    > I'd rather have them both in my helmet for
    training just for safety reasons.
    Very sensible. In competition we are provided with loan units very kindly supplied by Larse & Brusgaard so we can use or our units (usually two) in our helmet.
    > And since we are on the topic, what's your opinion on booties for speed dives ?
    I seem to be more stable with booties
    My first speed dives were done in a tight RW suit and I felt I had more control wearing booties
    >and I remember seeing Mike Brooke's pic where he was wearing J&F suit with booties,
    Mikes booties are made out of the same material so are probably more to reduce the drag from footwear rather than provide extra stability.
    >but I didn't find any info on booties on J&F web site.
    Mike is sponsored by J&F and has a special relationship with them, in as much as they have done extra work to some of his suits such as the booties. I don't believe these are options though there would be no harm in asking. Mike also has a test suit which has fins on the back that the rig sits between providing some deflection.

  13. Stan,
    Where is your ProTrack mounted? If it is in your helmet it may be very unreliable when doing Speed Dives. Having a second ProTrack can help determine if the data is relatively clean.