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  • Home DZ
    Kolin (Czech rep.)
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    AeCR / FAI
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    Formation Skydiving
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    Formation Skydiving
  1. cocik

    North Korea skydiving?

    A friend of mine was jumping there (together with three other western skydivers) and he has put some pictures online... I have not been to the airshow this year, but I have been to the same airport (Wonsan) last year as a part of a group of aviation enthusiasts who were invited to participate on the first commercial flight to touch down there. The airport and its facilities are brand new and pretty modern, much better than many regional airports in the west...
  2. cocik

    Conveniently located tunnels for trip

    What about Prague? It's pretty cheap, you can get world class coaches (see the results of last World Challenge) and the town has better public transport system than anything in Japan (for a fraction of the price).
  3. cocik

    We all need to learn about the "burble"

    These are couple of good training methods to improve your stability and awareness. They may differ a bit from coach to coach, but they are all following this general guideline: 1) You fly in the center of the tunnel. Coach walks around you and pushes/pulls you (gently, but persistently - the idea is not to hit you). You need to adjust your body position to counteract the force. 2) You fly in the center of the tunnel. Coach walks around you and tries to partially steal your air with his hands below your body. Again, you need to adjust your body position to hold your spot. Later your can fly a bit high (7-8 feet) and let instructor quickly walk below you. It takes a bit of practice but at the end you will realize that it helps you build confidence. 3) Basic 2-way drills. It does not really matter if its grab-360-grab or sidebodies, because the important thing is to learn good RW practices. Each drill needs to be started in a neutral position (center of tunnel at a specified altitude) so if you are off or too high, take your time and get back to neutral. And each drill also has to be started by a confident eye contact (i.e. you get neutral, look at the coach, coach gives you OK, you perform the drill). By doing this you will understand how important it is not to "be all around the place" like the guys in the video. 4) Burble hopping. Once you've established rules about eye contact and being in the correct spot before starting a drill, you can move to the burble hopping classic. You and your coach get to opposing sides of the tunnel one guy is above, the other guy is below and you hop over each other. Apart from learning how to fly through the burble, you should also pay attention to awareness (eye contact, start only when you're ready) and confidence (once you start, you finish your move ASAP, otherwise you will hit each other). Later you can also add modifications like doing 180s or 360s while sliding to understand how your body responds to an uneven burble. One thing that cannot be easily learned through a drill and which actually needs general experience is understanding how and when to avoid when a beginner gets above you. This only comes with time, but at the end of day you will recognize that something is wrong and the guy is moving over you, so you have to back off a bit or slide to a different spot in the tunnel. Again, eye contact and awareness is the key. If such thing happens, the recommended thing is to stop the current drill, get to the neutral position, get eye contact and restart the drill. This helps "reset" the brain of panicked flyer and put him back on focus. Again, specific methods can differ from coach to coach, but I hope I gave you some general guidelines. I suggest you discuss them first with the instructors in your tunnel, as they will have much more experience with the particular tunnel type as well as your actual flying skills.
  4. cocik

    We all need to learn about the "burble"

    From what I see in the video, there are few lessons to be learned for inexperienced tunnel flyers: 1) Go through more individual stability drills before attempting 2-way in a small tunnel. Be able to hold your spot (both horizontally and vertically) with confidence even if the other person pushes you or steals your air. 2) Unless absolutely necessary, perform 2-way reasonably close to the net and never allow big altitude differences between individual flyers 3) Under all circumstances maintain visual contact with the other person. Throughout the whole video the guy in blue suit rarely watches where the red guy is. Especially when flying with beginners it will be fairly frequent for them to fly into your burble, so you have to be aware of them and avoid if necessary. They may be panicking so do not assume they will avoid you by themselves. Wish you a speedy recovery!
  5. cocik

    New wind tunnel in Shanghai

    Adam, you definitely have a point. Next time I visit that place, I will try to get more information about the construction itself. But my impression is that it's more like a DIY project... Anyway, to get the thread back on topic, I have attached few more pictures. This time they are from the other Chinese wind tunnel in the science park of Mianyang (photos were taken two years ago). Totally different tunnel design, but again - speed is quite slow (55 m/s maximum, barely enough to backfly) and some scary features like the ropes inside flying chamber or just a regular door that you enter through (no transition area either).
  6. cocik

    New wind tunnel in Shanghai

    You have to understand that extreme sports are not big in mainland China (if we do not count riding a bike through congested lanes as an extreme sport), so it's a bit unfair to judge the Chinese by the same standards. It would be the same as if we looked at the other side of the pond and made some general statements about US food & tea culture (or primary & secondary education system). The reason I have decided to move over to China was because in my industry (high-tech gaming industry and operations) Asia, and most importantly China, is about 3-5 years ahead of the rest of the world.
  7. cocik

    New wind tunnel in Shanghai

    I've attached a few pictures from our recent teambuilding so that you guys can get the idea. The interesting thing is that they have two flying chambers above each other. The lower one has larger diameter and thus slower speed, so we all flew in the upper chamber. It's a bit strange feeling to look down through the net and see the other chamber below you.
  8. cocik

    New wind tunnel in Shanghai

    Guys, I have good news and bad news... The good news is that the wind tunnel (or I should rather say wind tunnels, since they have both indoor & outdoor one) in Shanghai, right next to the F1 circuit, is finally open to public. End of good news The bad news is that the place is really strange. The wind speed cannot get over 40-42 m/s, which means you need to wear a wingsuit (I tried max speed with my standard RW4 suit and I could not lift myself from the net, even though I am a skinny guy). Also the wind tunnel technology is rather strange - it appears that they have rigged a non-recirculating tunnel to a recirculating building design, which means the air inside gets incredibly hot after 10-15 minutes of operation and the tunnel needs to be shut down for a few minutes (and I mean really hot, I even had first degree burns on my hands when I got a slot at the end of 15 minute interval). The last bad news is that even though the staff is super friendly, their flying skills are very limited (they can stand & walk, but they are not very stable on belly and they have never tried backfly). So here's the deal. If you want to have fun and try a different breed of wind tunnel (and you can speak at least some reasonable Chinese), this place can serve its purpose. But if you're looking for some serious flying and you happen to be in China, you need to go to Mianyang or get on a plane to Singapore, Dubai or Moscow.
  9. cocik

    Any dropzones in China?

    Forget China, nothing decent here (except for the cool wind tunnel in Mianyang, very cheap). It's easier to get on a plane and go jump in USA or Russia
  10. cocik

    Chasing your student into the ground!?!

    Just wondering - do you guys have a tunnel in your area? I believe spending 30-60 minutes in the tunnel drilling freefall stability can seriously help anyone who is coming back to skydiving after a long break. I know being unstable was not the only reason for such curveball, but it can make things easier.
  11. cocik

    iFly Singapore

    I completely agree. If I just need "bulk" tunnel time to hang out with friends, I can fly here in China for about 500 USD/hour. And if I need a coached time, it's still cheaper to go to the States or Russia. I may visit the place in Singapore just to get another notch on the barrel, but the prices are way too high for any serious training session.
  12. cocik

    Chinese military 5m tunnel

    That's pretty much right. The percentage of big young guys is high in cities like Beijing or Shanghai with wealthy population, but if you go further into the mainland, it's getting lower and lower. Even the coaches at the tunnel were not particularly big (again, think 5'8" and 130lbs).
  13. cocik

    Chinese military 5m tunnel

    Actually they are more like 5'8" and 130 lbs. The percentage of big guys is increasing, but they are far from being typical young Chinese.
  14. cocik

    Chinese military 5m tunnel

    I've just spent two days flying at the Mianyang wind tunnel and it indeed looks like a warp core of the Enterprise. The place is very different from any other tunnels I've been to (15+ hrs at Bedford, Airkix MK, SVCO, IFSF, Perris...), you can think about it as a wind tunnel version of China Town, but still lot of fun. Stay tuned for a full report, it's really worth to visit this place, if you happen to be in China...
  15. cocik

    From a Sabre 150 to Stiletto 150..

    OK, let's take it in a relaxed way. Maybe you will survive all your landings and have fun. Sounds good to me. Maybe you will get yourself in a situation that would be better handled with a more conservative canopy and you will die. Then this thread (together with the relevant incident report) will serve as a valuable tool to potentially save lifes of other jumpers. Sounds good to me as well. (I've already met a few fellow new jumpers with similar canopy progression. The good news is that those of them who went in usually just broke their legs or ankles. Only like 1 or 2 died due to pilot error on landing.)