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Everything posted by skyfox2007

  1. Hard openings are no fun and more than one ended my day prematurely back when I first started packing my own chute. You problem might be in packing method and I would suggest getting with your rigger for some advice and filming some of your openings if you have sufficient jumps to mount a camera. I can't speak to a Safire, but a Spectre shouldn't be giving you hard openings and so would encourage a packing technique review. Packing technique can make the difference between a good day at the DZ and a bad one and each chute has slight peculiarities in method that a rigger can help you identify. Hard openings are something that you'll want to fix and quickly - before you get spanked sufficiently enough for an injury. See John Leblanc's videos on hard openings on You Tube. -JD-
  2. That's a fallacy... I'm kidding with you =) But in all seriousness, I don't think Carl Boenish would agree with your definition. The climb is an integral part of base jumping and is often enjoyed for its own sake, not as just some obstacle to overcome on the way to the "jump off point." -JD-
  3. 1. Weather 2. Gear-related issues - replacing line sets or a pilot chute; modifications to a suit or helmet; mounting a camera; etc. 3. Time spent driving to and from the DZ. I'm hours away from my happy place
  4. Lived just outside St. Louis for a few years and occasionally go back to see friends and family. Lots of DZs in this area, but only a few that cater to fun-jumpers. Festus (just south of STL) and Gateway (Greenville, IL.) are both "tandem only" at the present time. My fingers are crossed... The Flying V ranch in Missouri caters to tandems mostly, but they accept fun jumpers. Bring a friend if you go here or you'll be jumping alone. Their jump plane is a rocket that will have you to 13K in a few minutes. You can buy tickets up to 17K too! The DZ, however, is the size of a postage stamp with obstacles on the DZ itself and no outs. You'll want to shore-up your landings before going out here. SEMO and Taylorville regularly host fun jumpers, provide training programs, and are your best options. -JD-
  5. Do you want to talk philosophy? Or do you want to talk about the issue at hand? And tens of thousands of dollars isn't a small amount of money. Our not caring or not speaking up is probably why this happened in the first place. -JD-
  6. I stand by my opinion on this matter. Five years, tens of thousands of dollars, and nothing. -JD-
  7. I'd be content to see a museum built for far less cost that the USPA is quoting, provided the USPA hold the museum builders accountable and the latter get a move on. The delays aren't exactly inspiring any confidence. But do you think our folks would be interested enough to spend the money to visit it? I'm content to spend my money at the DZ on the weekends, not on a plane ticket to Florida. -JD-
  8. No-wind landings are tough and standing them up consistently is a good test of canopy control skills. Head winds allow for softer flares and even incomplete ones when the winds are high enough (a bad habit that I used to have). I haven't seen your landings, but it sounds like you might not be using all the canopy has in the control range with the toggles. Your hands should be all the way down before your feet touch down - especially in no-wind situations. Most coaches and instructors would discourage down-sizing any canopy unless no-wind landings weren't a cause for concern. Same could be said with cross-winders and down-winders, at lower wind speeds. In addition to varying wind conditions, canopy responsiveness and flight characteristics vary by design and wing-loading. You'll want to be cautious on new canopy variants and sizes - that "sweet spot" during the landing flare isn't the same on each chute. Also, be direct with your instructor about your concerns. I wasn't there and can't opine on his/her methods, but it sounds like you're not ready for a smaller canopy, you feel like you're not ready, and this is something you need to tell them. It's not worth the bumps and bruises, or worse, to downsize too quickly. -JD-
  9. Gowlerk is right about where you stand. You'll need to stop by the closest DZ, talk to the DZO/instructional staff and go from there. Jumping is a perishable skill. Bring any certificates - license proficiency card, AFF grad cert, etc. - and your old log books with you so the staff have the information they need to correctly place you within a training program. If you own any equipment and haven't jumped it since, you'll certainly want to have it checked out by a good rigger. -JD-
  10. Lots of legal battles have been fought over similar scenarios. Four cancer charities were taken to court in 2015 for misappropriating donations. Government officials have also found themselves in deep water for the same. So you don't have to steal money or be a thief for the act to meet that definition, only misuse it. In this particular scenario, we have seen $87,000+ go into a project that has produced absolutely nothing over a long time period. If the USPA isn't misusing these funds by blindly giving them to another organization to build something that has yet to materialize since 1999, where is the proof? The BOD has kept largely mum about the accountability of those monies. And then come the comments about the USPA not being responsible for donated funds. Wrong. Take a gander on a reputable, legal website and you'll find a plethora of examples where organizations were grilled about where their money went. I've led large organizations for most of my professional life and money is something you must be careful with or people will grow suspicious and start pointing fingers. At the very least, this situation amounts to a bad optic with disastrous potential. Why not spend that money on something that will actually benefit skydivers? Like efforts to reduce canopy-related deaths or fighting to keep dropzones open at airports who have suddenly terminated their leases? Our sport just saw yet another canopy-related death (see parachutist). And several dropzones have been given the hook this year by their host airports. Yes, there is money going into related counter-efforts, but not enough. The USPA also has a mandate to "promote our sport." A museum that hasn't broken ground after five years and tens of thousands dollars isn't in keeping with that mandate. I'd go one step further to say that most skydivers neither give a hoot about a museum, nor want one. Our sport isn't on par with the likes of the NFL or NBA and much discussion about including several of our disciplines in the Olympics has thus far been for not. We need to be more realistic about our sport's goals. Why not promote it by funding AFF programs for college students - like I saw at one DZ a few years back - or something similar for service veterans with jump ratings to transfer to a civilian license after separation or retirement? I've witnessed DZ's funding such programs in the past, but what about the USPA funding something similar on a larger scale? Thoughts? Let's actually have a discussion about it rather than label one another. As far as my vernacular goes; yes, I feel I've chosen the correct word in light of the known facts. Having said that, I'm open-minded to any proof (facts) anyone might have to the contrary. -JD-
  11. Is what I said a fallacy because you don't agree with it? Or is there some valid reason why you think my comments amount to as much? Rather than use labels, why not open your mind a bit and engage in some meaningful discussion?
  12. Let's do some more math: what's $.75 multiplied by the USPA constituency of $39,827 (end of 2018)? $29,870.25 So it's OK for the BOD to "pass the buck"? How about $29,870.25 bucks? That's money we could have used for something that would actually produce something tangible, not some pipe dream that no one seems to "give a poop about." -JD-
  13. Really? Who? I think "lots" of BOD members - those in office at that time, anyway - supported this project. The mumblings I've heard at my previous dropzone, my current one and the one's I've visited on the road haven't been supportive in the least. And that bit about "complaining": it all depends on where you sit. I'm sure the BOD members and previous BOD members who supported this project would call it complaining. I would call it "speaking up." Bottom line: what the USPA is doing amounts to nothing less than embezzlement and we need to clean it up. 5 years and nothing? What a bunch of crap. -JD-
  14. It should. It's our money their spending on this project that has - thus far - achieved nothing. -JD-
  15. Size doesn't matter so much as the wing loading. The advice I was given by all of my instructors in student status was to remain at or below 1 lb/sq ft for the first hundred jumps AND can consistently stand up your landings in all wind conditions. I'm a big boy with an exit weight of 240 and so it took me some time to work down to the size I jump currently. -JD-
  16. All the more reason to carry a hook knife... The only trouble with this option would be the diligence required in locating the right line and under a chute that is unstable and bucking you every which way. Line overs create canopy asymmetry - unless it's right down the center of the middle cell - and make for a wild ride, don't they? -JD-
  17. That's what the military taught us in freefall school. Reserve line-over = "pump it for the rest of your life." (The toggles/risers) -JD-
  18. Ghostdog, Learning to pack is a PITA, but you have the right idea. Practice makes perfect and I'm encouraged to see someone applying that adage to something that demands time and effort. A good pack job and can make all the difference in your jump-to-jump experience and save you money and time from losing a parachute in a cutaway or save you from injury. I learned to pack the same way: bought puzzle mats at Walmart, put them together in my garage, and had at it for an hour or so a few nights each week two summers ago. It took me about 25 pack jobs or to get to a point where I felt comfortable about the safety and consistency of my pack jobs on my 210 sq. ft. nylon monstrosity. But do rid your technique of any bad methods before they become bad habits. Get with another skydiver - or better yet - a good rigger and ask that they watch a few of your pack jobs before you get too far along. As for videos, I'd recommend PD's packing video (packing a large canopy, parts 1 and 2) with Nick Grillet. I got a great deal out of that video when I first learned to pack. -JD-
  19. All, This thread originally started as a conversation about last year's summer BOD meeting's decisions. One of those decisions was an increase in the RW requirements for B and C licenses. I made a number of comments about how much harder it would be for skydivers at small DZs jumping from Cessnas to meet said requirements: 5 formation skydives with at least 3 participants to attain a B-license and 10 formation skydives with at least 4 participants to attain a C-license. I’m still not in agreement with it and in light of some recently acquired perspective. We recently moved to a new area where only small Cessna-equipped drop zones are available. Our aircraft fits a max of six jumpers, but only three are capable of fitting on the outside of the aircraft – two on the step and another in the door. But this exit configuration is hard on the aircraft and pilot and places the aircraft, pilot, and jumpers still inside at risk. That many jumpers hanging on the outside of such a small aircraft creates so much asymmetrical drag that the aircraft begins to lose lateral stability, oscillate, and approach stall speed at a high-power setting – all of the required ingredients for a spin (I’m about 20 hours away from a Private Pilot’s License). The lower altitude at which these small drop zones carry their jumpers also presents an obstacle. Like I said before, we can only fit three in the door. The number four jumper must remain inside the cabin and exit a few seconds later – after the jumpers in his group are already several hundred feet behind and below him/her. Turning even one successful point in a four-way from a Cessna at 10K is a beer-worthy feat! I have also starting hearing experienced jumpers encouraging younger, aspiring jumpers to visit larger drop zones that are better suited to completing the RW requirements. And during a year when the weather isn’t cooperating and DZs large and small are experiencing some tough times, can the latter really afford to be losing business because the USPA wants to live up to some international standard that only benefits the very small percentage of our community that wants to compete at large international venues? Many of these folks are sponsored, jump for a living, and already possess advantages and are afforded opportunities that we mere mortals only dream of. To be clear, I love my new drop zone and prefer the atmosphere and slower pace to any of the larger DZs in my log book. But the USPA needs to revisit this one. Yes, it’s only 5 or 10 jumps, but that’s easier said than done and the second and third-order effects are a net negative. Let’s put the emphasis where it really belongs: on the more dangerous canopy phase of parachuting. -JD-
  20. I'm having trouble updating and editing reviews.  How do we update an old review or post?


  21. Leeroy, Way to pull apart and minimize someone's legitimate concerns. You'd make an excellent politician. And how much do you know about this project, other than that you disagree with Barron? What are the aliens telling you that they're not telling us? -JD-
  22. Wow, I don't even know what to say to your previous comment. Bottom line, any financial transaction (non-investment sale) in this country requires one of two things on part of a seller, per US consumer law: 1. The good or service I paid for 2. A full refund The money that I pay USPA is NOT an investment. So no, technically they can't use my money to investigate a potential project. The decision to dump an annual sum into this "future" museum amounts to nothing less than robbing USPA members of a few dollars that would most certainly be better spent promoting our sport in other, more feasible ways.
  23. I'm not arguing with you in that many skydivers may not care. I'm arguing that they SHOULD. Policy analysis? Rather than than attempt to analyze or describe why skydivers don't much care, why not prescribe how we might engage greater participation from our members? Accepting our community's status quo on this subject is setting us up for a great deal of drama later. And you don't mind that the USPA is taking a few of your dollars every year to spend on the building of a museum that has yet to break ground? That's not ethical. It might be a few dollars, but it's still my money. Rather than just accept things why they are - which is cynical - why not invest some energy in moving the community into a better direction? -JD-
  24. Sad. Ours is a sport that doesn't forgive ignorance or cynicism...they can kill you. We invest hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars into initial jump training, airworthy gear, our respective disciplines, chute packing, etc. But then many of us turn a blind eye to the goings on within an organization that the FAA has legally authorized to oversee our sport? Maybe you don't care, but you SHOULD. And by turning a blind eye, you made an unwitting choice to condone whatever it is that the USPA chooses to do. Sooner or later, the USPA will make a decision that does affect you that might not have been made had those in a position of responsibility known they couldn't get away with it. -JD-