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  1. ghost47

    Beginner WL

    As pointed out above, billvon has a nice checklist, but to me, the question I ask is: you're flying to altitude and suddenly the pilot declares an emergency and orders everyone out. Now you have to land in a parking lot (or maybe a small backyard), and there are no indicators about how the wind is blowing. Are you happy with the size of your canopy and your ability to land without any major injury? If so, then okay. If not, maybe think about getting something bigger. In other words, think about what size you want your canopy to be when things are going to shit, not when landing on grass, into the wind.
  2. Perhaps I am misunderstanding the story, but where was the double malfunction?
  3. ghost47

    Family and friends advice

    People with a death wish skydive without a parachute. People with a life wish use a parachute.
  4. ghost47

    Monterey Skydive should be called out!

    I don't think it's just the wording. If you had come on and said, "I'm confused about something, and I hope someone can help me out. I recently read that Skydive Monterey had a safety issue with a guy called Geraldo Flores, but when I called to ask them whether there had ever been any injuries, they said 'no.' Why wouldn't they have told me about Geraldo Flores? Should I be worried that they are not telling me the truth?" I think that many more people would have had a different reaction, and tried to explain things. Instead, you came on basically said "Skydive Monterey is full of liars, and they need to be called out for being unsafe." What rubbed many people (certainly me) the wrong way was the assumption that, as someone who has made one tandem jump, you knew everything about everything. I don't know anything about welding, but how would you react if I went on to a welding forum and said, "Guys, RatelSquadron's welding business is a joke. He says he's safe, but he uses AN OPEN FLAME. No one should use him for welding because it's only a matter of time before OSHA shuts him down." That's how I think most of us read your post. If you do get into skydiving, I encourage you to ask more questions, and make fewer declarative statements. I think you'll go a lot further.
  5. Purely as to this part, it sounds like there was just one slot left on the plane, so they were seeing if they could fill it with a fun jumper. But they couldn't put you on the plane, because you essentially need two slots (you and an instructor). So that part doesn't seem wrong to me. But having you sit around for four hours, and being consistently told "next load" only to have that not be true, that part definitely seems wrong to me. I hope you're able to get a satisfactory explanation (and/or some compensation) from the DZ.
  6. ghost47

    Longest time spent in tunnel without breaks.

    To answer your stated question, I have never gone more than 2 minutes a session in a tunnel, and usually I am in there for 60 to 90 seconds per session. I believe most belly flyers are the same. To answer your unstated question, most of us do not book a chunk of time to fly ourselves --- usually we find others to split it with. For example, back when I was still actively training on a 4-way belly team, my team and I (or our coach) would find another team to split a block of 30 minutes with. The tunnel would be on for 30 minutes straight, but each team would rotate 90 second blocks actually flying, so that we had time to rest. After ten sessions each, the tunnel would shut off, we'd get out, debrief, then prepare for the next session. We'd do this 4 to 8 times a day. And we were TIRED. If you're planning on flying 20 minutes with 1 minute breaks, that's a lot of tunnel time you're paying for that you're not flying. Additionally, even flying 10 1-minute sessions with only a 1-minute break between, might be a bit ambitious if you've only ever done 7.5 minutes of tunnel in your life --- you don't fly well when you're tired. But regardless, try to find someone else to split the time with, unless money is not a concern for you (and even then).
  7. What if the tandem had a separate video flyer?
  8. ghost47

    Malfunctions below your hard-deck?

    I understand this is the prevailing wisdom, but I am wondering if this idea should not be revisited. If you're in a scenario where you're deploying a reserve into a messed up main, you're already in a very bad place. You're just trying to get more fabric over your head to increase your chance of survival. If you cutaway, your RSL or skyhook might fail, and you might go in with nothing out. That would suck. But it seems to me that you need to compare the chances of your RSL / skyhook failing to get a good reserve overhead in time, against the chances of you not surviving because you deployed a reserve into a messed up main.
  9. ghost47

    New UPT semi-stowless bag

    For whatever it's worth, I use a UPT semi-stowless (previous style) with dacron lines, and it works fine. Bulkier than before I switched to dacron lines, obviously, but I can still close my container.
  10. ghost47

    Deployment issue please help!

    I don't think there's any way for anyone to diagnose the issue without examining the gear, but two things that come to mind are: (1) your pilot chute is getting old and needs to be replaced; and/or (2) either your toss is lazy, or somehow the pilot chute is making it into your burble for a bit, before clearing and extracting the bag.
  11. Your landing experience is very like mine --- AFF 1, I flared too late, and crashed. AFF 2, I flared too early, realized it, let go, and then the canopy dove and I crashed. AFF 3 and 4, I forget when I flared, but I crashed. AFF 5 I landed on my feet, and was completely surprised --- I hadn't known a landing could be so soft. I wish I could say that AFF 5 flipped a switch in me, and I landed fine thereafter, but that didn't happen at all. It took many jumps and a canopy course before I even started figuring out how to land somewhat consistently. I still biff landings occasionally. But I can say two things that might be helpful: 1. It does get easier. The more you land, the more you'll be able to judge how high you are, and when and how you should flare. Try to look at the horizon, and not the ground. 2. Learn to PLF, and prepare to do it every jump. In fact, perhaps intentionally PLF the next 10 jumps or so, just so you can convince yourself that doing a PLF can easily save you from injury you might otherwise have sustained. Once you know that you can safely PLF, then perhaps rough landings will scare you less, and you can start working on standing up landings again, always ready to PLF at the first sign of trouble. Good luck!
  12. I had a less severe injury due to a hard opening on a Sabre 2 - compression fracture of the eighth vertebra of the thoracic spine. I decided it was okay to jump when my doctor said that I was as healed as I was gonna get, and that I looked pretty stable. In my case, that was six months after the injury.
  13. ghost47

    Favourite exit formation for 4-way?

    For an O exit, you have three outside: Outside Center is toward the front of the plane, Tail is in the middle, and Inside Center is in the back. Point is in a two-way with OC, IC has a sidebody on Point and is head-jammed, and Tail has his left hand on OC's leg, and his right hand on the bar. On exit, Tail takes OC's arm. At least, that's how I remember doing it. Most rookie teams I know use H. It's a pretty stable exit, and, as long as tail leaves more or less at the correct time, it's hard to funnel.
  14. ghost47

    Exits for Rookies

    H, P, B, M
  15. ghost47

    lower back: busted

    Someone who can do an x-ray of the area with the pain, and make sure nothing is broken. I suffered a compression fracture on a vertebra from a hard opening -- had I not had an x-ray done (followed by an MRI when the doc didn't like how the x-ray looked), I might never have known. Jumping before it stabilized would have been colossally stupid. The sky will always be there. Get medical advice and clearance. Hopefully it's nothing but some tweaked muscles.