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Everything posted by wolfriverjoe

  1. #1 - Don't overthink it. That's really easy to do and you seem to do that some (not a criticism, just an observation). #2 - If you are stable on your belly in the tunnel, you are headed in the right direction. Keep in mind that's all you need to do a release dive (level 3?) Turns come later. I'm guessing your 'turn like an airplane' is dipping a shoulder and having that make you turn. It works, but there are better ways. As your instructors noted, it's kind of hard to explain. Turns using your arms & legs will be more controllable, more efficient and have less of an effect on your fall rate. Do you know what speed they were running the tunnel at? I don't have a whole lot of tunnel time, but I tend to run the tunnel a good bit slower than 'real' freefall. Partly because if I'm alone in the tunnel, I don't have to keep down with other jumpers. I tend to fall pretty slow.
  2. All very true. I'm not an owner or operator so I really don't know the numbers. Yours sound reasonable. As an aside, I know that a 'start error' by the battery box guy on an Otter can be expensive too. As can a takeoff over-rotation error. I don't expect to see any of these in the first few years after release (not sure how soon that will happen - certification is not a rapid process). But I don't think it's going to take 15 or 20 years for them to become viable jump planes. Yes, that's a lot of 'wiggle room'.
  3. His original name was Sangi. After he biffed, and ended up paralyzed for life, he came back under the name "Clipped Wings" and owned his mistake. The one Virgin Burner started asking for donations for books for Sangi to read while in the hospital: https://www.dropzone.com/forums/topic/30584-anyone's-got-a-spare-50$-for-our-friend-sangi!%3F/ There's a couple other threads, including the one in incidents, but I can't seem to find them. The 'member page' has ALL the content from the person. In chronological order. For some folks, that's a few hundred pages.
  4. #1 - Disclaimer - not an instructor. However, I've been doing this a while, and had to deal with stability (more accurately, lack of it) early on. Arching alone is not going to keep you from spinning. You need symmetry as well. If your legs, shoulders, arms or hips are uneven, you will turn. In fact, making some or all of those uneven intentionally is how you turn and maneuver. Tunnel time can help. Make sure the instructor knows you are an AFF student and is not just giving you a thrill ride. Floor or wall practice can help, but it will primarily give you the arch, not the symmetry. If you are doing floor arching, click your heels together to try to keep your legs even. If you are doing the 'boxman' student belly position, stick your thumbs in your ears to try to keep your arms even (the 'arms in front' position is also taught, but that's a bit different). If this is something that concerns you, discuss it with the instructors before the jump. Have them evaluate your position on the ground. Have them give you practical ideas how to ensure stability (they may suggest the stuff like heel clicks and 'thumbs in ears', they may have different techniques). Last, keep in mind that the instructors usually know what they are doing. They can tell if you are symmetrical and stable in your arch. They shouldn't release you unless they are reasonably confident that you will not 'spin off into the sunset'.
  5. Are you looking to become a 'real skydiver'? Or just wanting a 'one & done' tandem? The second is somewhat possible. The first is going to be pretty hard.
  6. You have the best job in the whole world.
  7. The door is impressive. And I would be a bit more optimistic about how soon it'll be jumped. The old "short haul airlines, cargo carriers, drug smugglers, then Drop Zone'" route isn't really how it goes anymore. These days, we have lease operators who buy the planes, and then lease them out to the DZs. New PACs, Blackhawk Caravans, that sort of thing. Sure, there are still a lot of King Airs that are basically worth what time is left on the engines, but the supply of those is not infinite (it is still pretty large).
  8. Yes, really. The "BSR" stands for "Basic Safety Recommendation". However, most DZs apply them as rules. There are reasons for that.
  9. Well, the seller should include them. I agree that it should be the call of the rigger assembling the rig, but I'm also a bit conservative on that. I wouldn't reuse slinks that came with a used canopy, unless they were in absolutely pristine condition. It's too easy to 'cheap out' and say 'well, they're used but they look ok'. I put new slinks on my used canopy when I got my rig. 8 years and maybe 400 jumps later, I put new ones on again when I got the canopy relined. The cost is minor. The consequences of a failure are not. So the 'slinks get tossed' comment is a reference to what I would suggest the buyer do. And not securing the bottom end of the lines with something is inexcusable. I've used 'twistie ties' (like from bread bags) and I've seen zip ties (cable ties) used.
  10. I'm not 100% sure if this should be here or over in the Bonfire forum. I'm not a moderator. If any of them have strong opinions, it may well get moved. As far as cost goes, a good place to put your feet is to figure $10k to get your A & all the gear. That's not buying brand new stuff, but also not buying ragged out 'gutter gear'. That's including repeating a few levels as you progress. It may be a bit high, but not by a whole lot. If you stretch it out and have to do a bunch of re-currency jumps, plan on more. How to convince your mom? That can be tough. A lot of people, particularly older people, view it as far more dangerous than it really is. Statistics may help some. Contrary to popular lore, it is a lot more dangerous than the drive to the DZ. However, it's approximately as dangerous as riding a motorcycle. One jump has about the same level of micro-morts as 30 miles on a cycle (IIRC, this has been discussed before, search micro morts for more info). What worked for me was to take my mom out to the DZ on a day when I wasn't jumping. She got to see the other guys jumping, how they prepped, how they took care of the gear, how they approached the whole process. She could look at it without any concern for my safety. So that the next time she came out, when I was jumping, she could put the perspective of the previous visit over top of watching me jump. That went so well that she would regularly come out to watch. My current DZ is a 2 hour drive, and she's only been once. Mainly because she doesn't enjoy riding in the car that long. One of the local DZs (half hour away) reopened this year. She enjoyed coming out again, and enjoyed seeing all the familiar faces. And watching us jump. She did enjoy going to the other DZ (apart from 4 hours in the car). She declined a ride along offer in the Otter (it was Mother's Day weekend, and the DZ offers moms a discounted tandem or free observer ride). Given how the Otter descends (straight down), I didn't push it. She enjoyed the welcome that everyone extended, the general atmosphere and vibe, even the typical silliness (the hangar manager offered to let anyone who showed him their balls go home early - at the top of his lungs - 15 feet from my mom). Your mom may or may not respond well to that sort of thing. You know her, I don't. But exposing her to the sport is a way that she doesn't have to actively worry about you is what I would suggest.
  11. Here in the US, if he's done a jump, he's very likely over 18. Very few DZs will risk taking a minor. Not 100% sure, but I think Perris is not one of the few.
  12. And directing a comment towards someone who's been perma-banned for a long time.
  13. It depends on the DZ. Some places will send everyone home, some will have the staff stay, hoping it will improve. It also depends on the forecast. I've heard it said that there's a 100% chance you won't jump if you aren't at the DZ. I've spent a lot of time sitting around waiting. Sometimes it gets better and I've gotten to jump, other times we've just sat around. That doesn't mean that time can't be constructive. I've seen: A USPA Board member and Tandem I/E grab the TIs and spend most of an hour going over Tandem EPs. The S&TA and head instructor grab all the students, along with recent A license grads and sit around going over everything. One thing he repeated was "is there anything you need or want a better understanding of?" A rigger go over gear with anyone who was interested (students and experienced jumpers). Same basic 'is there anything you want to know about?' The pilot sitting and answering questions about the plane, flying, all that (not everything was jump related, but it was still informative). There's also the opportunity to become part of the community. The DZO has said that anyone who makes their first AFF jump is part of the group and welcome to join in the 'non-jumping' activities (cookouts, parties, bonfires, ect). If you plan on continuing jumping, you will need friends to jump with. Hanging out with those people and getting to know them (and letting them get to know you) is important for that. Besides, in addition to the 'instructive' stuff, I've also seen throwing knives, a bull whip, balance rollers, BMX bikes, creeper bowling and a few other things I can't think of right now. Most were being used by people who had some skill, most were offered for anyone who wanted to try. We get a bit silly sometimes.
  14. Canopy includes slider. Toggles, risers, D-Bag, Pilot chute go with the container. Slinks get tossed. Get new ones.
  15. Stay teachable. By that, I mean don't ever forget that you know very little and have a lot to learn. Don't become the '100 jump wonder' who knows everything. Continue to learn. I've heard it said that some skydivers have 500 jumps, others have done the same jump 500 times. Keep showing up. Even if the weather is 'iffy', show up anyway. There's a lot that can be learned on weather holds, just sitting around and talking. Listen more than you talk. At this point, there's very little you can do to impress them with your skills. But you can show a good attitude.
  16. A pair of Carhart workpants and a jersey (one of the performance fabric ones that have become so popular lately). Yes, I'm serious.
  17. Yes it will be cold. Multiple thin layers is best. I won't go up if it's below freezing on the ground (I'm getting old), which can be as cold as -25F or -30F at altitude. If it's cold, I usually wear thermal underwear under jeans and warm socks. T-shirt, thermal shirt, long sleeved T-shirt, pullover sweatshirt (no hood). Jumpsuit over all of that. Neck buff (gaiter, warmer, whatever) and gloves. Gloves are critical. Too thick and you lose dexterity. Too thin and you lose sensation. I've used mechanic's gloves, baseball batting gloves and the 'skydiving gloves' you can get at the gear store. Some folks put latex surgical gloves under those to keep the wind out. On the flip side, you are only in freefall for a minute. Then under canopy for a few minutes. Then back in the hangar, which is hopefully heated.
  18. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You've taken a big step towards 'being an adult'. You are in an alien environment, one where you are a lot more on your own than you ever have been. Ever. You are being forced to make long term decisions with significant consequences, perhaps not understanding what your goals are. And I'm going to guess that it sure seems like everyone else around you has all their shit together (helpful hint: They don't). Toss in the fact that winter is almost here, the days are the shortest that the get (Seasonal Affective Disorder is very real) and add on the fact that you haven't jumped in a while and won't be able to for even longer, and depression (situational, not clinical) is a real possibility. Don't worry about that 'oblivion of mediocrity'. Even if you end up 'average', you'd still be better than half the people out there, right? Lots of people can find real joy in a humble life. Lots of things can make your family proud of you that don't involve 'commercial' success, big salaries, fancy houses & cars, ect. Find people you enjoy being with, things you enjoy doing, places you enjoy being. Try to avoid 'artificial joy', alcohol or drugs. They help for a bit, but not really. They are a poor substitute for real happiness. Not that you can't enjoy a beer or two under the right circumstances, but try not to use them to be happy by themselves. Maybe get some real help. I'd bet there's some sort of basic counselling available for students either free or cheap for a couple sessions. Don't be afraid or ashamed of asking for help (you did it here). Even the strongest of us need help from time to time.
  19. No. It doesn't really need to be posted at all. Cut aways are not quite 'routine', but unless something really unusual happens, they don't merit an 'incident' report'. If you have a cut away and wish to post it, what happened, what your decision process was, what you think you could/should have done differently, and ask for feedback, that's a bit different. But to simply post that a cut away happened, nobody was hurt and no more info is not really worth it. Dan BC's piece about EPs and complacency is definitely worth the read. It's been posted on here before.
  20. Well, my personal idea of a 'game room' would include a drill press, metal lathe, drilling & milling machine, shop press, several tool chests, air compressor... You get the idea. But that's not what you are after. Sooooo... Bar. Doesn't need to be fancy. Basic 'open in the back, closed in the front, decent top, kind of thing. Plans are readily available, materials won't run too much. Running water would be nice, but spendy if you don't already have it in the building. Bar stools are cheap at thrift stores. Card table. The octagon ones with recesses for chips and cup holders. Make it yourself or find a cheap one on C/L or at a thrift store. Video game. Console or computer, bigger screen for groups. A couch or a couple big chairs. If you want to go 'all in', old stand up arcade games & pinball machines are out there. Not cheap, but really cool. Dart board. The basic electronic ones can be found cheap on C/L or at thrift stores. You could go 'old school' and get the kind that use metal tipped darts. But drunk skydivers and sharp metal flying through the air can make for... Interesting outcomes. And on the 'sharp metal flying through the air' theme, a throwing knife target. That can be as simple as sections of 2x4 edge glued together to make a 3' square face. They get chewed up over time, but are simple & cheap. A set of knives is not expensive. It's an interesting skill to develop. Make sure the target is NOT near anything breakable or valuable (guess how I know this little tidbit).
  21. Well, as a point of reference, the Sept 2019 USPA Parachutist shows A license at ~91000, B ~51k, C ~ 48k, D ~ 38k.
  22. Some people don't finish AFF. Some people never get their license. Some people get their license and drift away soon after. Some people jump for a year or two and then disappear. Some do it until they decide to become 'responsible' and quit. That may be their own decision or they may have 'help' with it. Some jump until they realize how much time & money it takes to stay current and reasonably safe, or to progress beyond 'sorta good'. Some jump until they get hurt, or see someone they know get hurt or killed. The danger isn't 'real' until then. So they quit. Some become Tandem Instructors (or packers or even DZOs), then get burned out by the grind. Of course, some of us keep on despite all of the above and refuse to quit.