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Everything posted by fcajump

  1. fcajump

    Cypres in pocket wires first

    Comment from SSK on the Airtec reply:The rig manufacturer has the TSO so they give the final word, Airtec can only offer suggestions, but it doesn't seem to be a problem for them or SSK.
  2. This is being reposted here from the FB group "Parachute Rigging for Dummies" because I think it would be of use/interest here as well. I'll start with the original posting below and include the replies from SSK and Airtec --------------------------- FB User: CrashTallman posted: Just removed the Cypres from a micro sigma container. The filter was facing the right side, with the wires going into the pouch first. It actually seems to route the excess wires better, but I’ve never seen it done this way in any of the manuals, nor in any rig I’ve ever unpacked. Is this an acceptable method of installing the Cypres AAD?
  3. fcajump

    Cypres in pocket wires first

    Reply from AirTec: We can say what can damage the CYPRES and this should be avoided, and we can say how to handle and use the CYPRES in the correct way, but the installation is actually up to the container and harness manufacturer. And also, we will give suggestions to the H/C manufacturer how the CYPRES setup needs to be positioned in their containers in the best way to get the best possible result and the fastest reserve openings after the cutter activation. I also want to raise the awareness of the riggers to think about certain facts / things in order for them to draw the right conclusions and make the right decisions. We explained in our rigging tips booklet how to handle excess cable stowage. (page 22) https://www.cypres.aero/.../991205_CYPRES_Rigging_Tips.pdf However, this is a recommendation and if someone is happy to turn the whole processing unit 180 degrees then it is the riggers responsibility. We, from our side can only give suggestions and recommendations. They e.g. can use the rubber band, but they don't have to. Turning around the processing unit, shouldn't be a problem in itself, as long as there is no tension of the cables (especially on the exit and entry points) also after the repack is done and all container flaps are closed, but please also consider that in this position, the filter is located on the open mouth of the processing unit pocket and in this way it is not protected very well from dust, dirt, sand or any other debris entering into the reserve container during use or any zero porosity fabric (from who knows where will be able to block / clog up the filter hole. This is actually the only issue I can think of why I personally would position the filter side towards the inside of the pouch. The filter needs to stay clean in order to have the correct air pressure reading. If your rig usually keeps the dirt out of the reserve container then it should be not a problem. I hope this helps in order that everybody will make the correct decision. If there are any further questions please let me know.
  4. fcajump

    Cypres in pocket wires first

    My personal thoughts: While I don't do this on any other rigs, I do on one of my own. The cables are too short to make a full 360 around the unit (they "fit" until the freebag goes in and then they are under too much tension. Using no wrap leaves a lot to be stowed, or to provide a snag point. The 180 turn puts just the right amount of cable in the pouch _for_this_rig. As long as the unit is not pressed to the back of the pouch the cables don't have any sharp bends. Orientation of the unit/filter/air-intake is not going to affect the operation. Now, do NOT get me wrong, I am NOT suggesting to do this on a customer's rig. I believe in following the mfg instructions. But I ALSO believe in providing mfg feedback and questioning whether alternative methods are also equally viable. (I have sent this question up the line...)
  5. Its been quite a while since I looked into logging software, and a quick search is not coming up with any recent discussions on it... Recollection is that, despite several sites still selling L&B's Jumptrack, L&B has dropped support for it. (yes?) I've been reading up on Paralog, but have not used it. (will pull the trial version soon) Anyone using anything else for computer/phone logging of jumps? JW
  6. fcajump

    Logging Software - revisited

    FWIW - I am moving forward with Paralog (at least for now). I'm also drafting notes on how to convert jumps from JumpTrack to Paralog. Not too bad, but it is frustrating that there is little instruction provided in the details that matter. Now if I could find my Protrack data cradle/cable... Got a couple hundred jumps on there during the time my Altitrack was laid up. (anyone got one they don't need??) JW PS - if you have one, drop me a line..
  7. fcajump

    The Importance of Ear Protection While Skydiving

    Echo all of the above, wear them everytime. Jumping since 1990, only been using earplugs for a few years. And the ringing is annoying. Fortunately, like many things, attitudes are changing and (for example) my DZ provides them for free to anyone. If you're doesn't, ask why not and meanwhile go get your own. JW
  8. fcajump

    Built in turns

    FWIW - A customer/friend of mine had a canopy with a built in turn (not bad, just annoying). Canopy had a few years and maybe a few hundred jumps on it, and the lines weren't _exactly_ to spec, so we sent it in for reline/adjustment at the factory. Long/patient story later, they informed me that they had adjusted it multiple times and couldn't get it to fly straight, though there was no obvious issues with the canopy itself. (they put it down to the various variations in the seam/material/measurement tolerances that cause every canopy to be a little different... put enough inexact but within tolerance variations and you get a canopy that just doesn't fly right) They offered a trade-in deal on a new canopy for very little cash. Customer took them up on it and has been happy ever since. Don't forget to include the mfg in the diagnosis if you (owner/field-rigger) can't seem to get it to work right... some of them just don't. Just my $.02, JW
  9. fcajump

    Shelf life on containers?

    I know you were asking about condition and much ink has been spilt on that both here and elsewhere... But another aspect of this to consider... Over 20 years there are many changes to what people do with their rigs and the average knowledge of the jumper/DZ staff and riggers... Freefly friendly, AAD support, factory support (they have staff-turnover too), techniques needed that aren't in the older manuals (both packing and use). I know a rigger that still jumps his prestine Sweethogs (look it up ya pup). But he isn't sit-flying either (and had the original mfg retrofit it for Cypres). Would I still jump my Vector II, yea... but I know its limitations. Would I recommend that EBay closet-queen special Strong Hawk, FXC, 26' Lopo with a Nova in it to a newbie who wants to freefly at a "young DZ"... that's a different story. Just sayin' JW
  10. Kinda, but not quite... it is not TSO'ed, and they don't exert any other control over it other than stating that if present, you have to follow the mfg requirements. (since we're all getting picky) FWIW - I take a middle road on the question - I agree that the rig is airworthy until the moment it leaves my loft. Then it is 100% up to the owner/operator. BUT, in the interest of protecting the health (physical, mental and legal) of both myself and my customer, I work with them to ensure we don't need to put the Cypres in if it will go out of date+6mo, within the next FAA mandated I&R cycle. (it helps I'm mostly working with repeat/regular customers who believe that this is a life-saving device they might need on a bad day, not a DZ mandated money pit) JW
  11. fcajump

    Bought a new container and reserve

    Not when some manufacturers are no longer servicing their own gear past 20 years. For myself, it became as much a question of where I drew the line on liability as much as function. I jump with a reserve that's over 20, but I've also had a long talk with that mfg and its on my back (no one else's). And FWIW, while I have helped folks purchase gear, and technically Strong has me on their books as a dealer, I am not in the business of selling gear. Just my $.02 JW
  12. fcajump

    Color the line attachment points on the canopy

    Not strange at all. As others have said, after a few (dozen/hundred) you'll not need such aids, but when starting it is a great help. A couple thoughts: - don't do anything to a canopy that isn't yours, and strongly discouraged on any reserve. - accept that if you do anything, it can have unintended consequences. - while I like the notion of marking the attach tabs (I bought a used canopy marked this was with sharpie and have had no issues), I note that the line itself is more easily changed than the attach tabs, lines are often changed during the life of the canopy and takes the same strain as the attach tabs... so maybe marking the top end of the lines would be better?? (different color sharpie stripe on each line set?) That way if there is a problem it can be corrected at less expense. (I have NOT seen this, just speculating) - DO talk with your rigger before doing anything. Finally, on a related notion: IF you are buying a NEW canopy as I did for my first, your choice of color pattern can be a great packing aid... for mine I designed it to have: no two adjoining cells the same color, symetrical colors left and right, and a unique color for the center cell. Made knowing where I was at from cell to cell VERY easy. It might also be possible when ordering a new canopy to request that the attach tabs be different colors for the A/B/C/D/br lines... (at least asking questions is cheep) _I_ wouldn't have any problem using a sharpie on _my_ canopy this way... but I won't tell you what to do with yours. Just my $.02 JW
  13. Vectors (at least pre-MARD) didn't tack the handle end. JW Always remember that some clouds are harder than others...
  14. fcajump

    Wings / Javelin / Vortex

    True that. But I think a useful discussion... Hey MODs, how about slicing off the NOVA and related canopies part of this discussion off into a "Flight Concepts/Glide Path" thread... JW Always remember that some clouds are harder than others...
  15. Purely speculating here: the installing individual may have reasoned that; given the left side's longer run and the possibility of channel stretch/compression, the left side may release after the right (given equal amounts of "extra" cable above the riser loop). I believe it is the case that, prior to MARDs/RSL's/Type-17 risers, the RSL location was far from standardized... inboard/outboard/left-side/right-side/both-sides were all used by various mfgs. Once you add the Collin's lanyard, it seems to me that one standard (inboard/right-side) should suffice for everyone... but maybe not. RIP to your country-mate. JW Always remember that some clouds are harder than others...
  16. fcajump

    Wings / Javelin / Vortex

    Mind you this is my recollection of what was being discussed at the DZ at the time about a "high performance ZP" canopy about the same time that I had
  17. fcajump

    Wings / Javelin / Vortex

    My recollection is that the market's perception of the company response to the Nova problem was unacceptable and sales crashed for all of their products. Bankruptcy followed. To resolve the issue, the company closed and all assets other than the Nova were sold to a newly formed company which happened to be largely comprised of the former employees. The reserve lineup included* the FCI (130), Cricket (145), Firelite (170), Maverick (200), Fury (220), and Sharpchuter (245). I found the Fury to be a very reliable canopy that I’ve had the good fortune to safely land twice on what had suddenly become challenging days. They also had the option to be hooked up as a main if you wished (to save that expensive investment in ram-air canopies in case you decided to revert to the tried/proven round reserves like the rest of your sane friends). *the current company lists them all together, and my recollection is that this entire lineup was from GlidePath, but I’m open to be corrected… JW Always remember that some clouds are harder than others...
  18. fcajump

    Racer by Jump Shack

    Not that I've seen. It would sort of be redundant now. They have not been made in at least 10 years. For the record, I have no particular problem with that aspect of either container. The Reflex was a very good rig, with a company problem. IMHO - It was not any aspect of the design but the company response to a (potentially fatal) manufacturing flaw that turned the buyers away and subsequently killed the product/company. Its one of two example that come to mind where a sport skydiving company failed (and failed fast) due to its response to a problem, rather than the overall design of their product line. As to the field adjustable loop, yes the Reflex did have one. And its the ONLY aspect I didn't like as the rigger (after I made sure my customer's grommets were seated correctly). I only packed one or two, but I KNEW/TRUSTED the customer and he agreed not to have it adjusted by anyone but myself. This is also when I came to understand that my signoff that the rig is airworthy is ONLY valid at that day/time... everything after that is up to the customer. As to the seal... I don't believe that either the Racer nor Reflex can be opened and reclosed without busting the seal, though as mentioned above there are some PEP's that can be. The seal is a good faith effort to indicate prior to deployment who the last rigger was to close the rig. There is no guarantee that it will be there after deployment. I believe that they keep the mostly honest, honest. I.e. the “helpful” individual that’s just going to open it to do some small thing and then close it up for ya. (the truly honest don’t need it to affect their behavior) There will always be those who choose to pencil-pack, seals haven't stopped that, but it makes them a little easier to catch. And if someone really wants to damage the system without leaving evidence, there mystery-writer's mind explodes with options. JW Always remember that some clouds are harder than others...
  19. fcajump

    Racer by Jump Shack

    ^^^^^^??? really? Which rigs use Lolan cables on their reserve ripcords... never seen that.... FWIW - Had a chance to ask Booth a few years back what HE cleans/lubricates his (Lolan) cutaway cable with and he told me that he cleans with Ronsonol Lighter Fuel, and then lubricates with Ace Hardware Silicon Lubricant https://www.williamsacehardware.com/products/13oz-silicon-spray%7C12293.html*. Don't know if he's changed to something better/different, but he has more experience with the stuff than I ever will, so that's what I do. *he did warn me that the Ace Hardware Silicon spray adhesive can looks very similar, but is... um... not recommended for this application. Hadn't heard of cleaning the housings... anyone else up on that? JW Always remember that some clouds are harder than others...
  20. fcajump

    Racer by Jump Shack

    I've got to say, of all the "Racer" threads I've seen over the years, this one has the most meat and least fire. Don't know if Para-Labs will choose to make any of the changes suggested, but I know they are listening. Those considering the Racer will have a better resource for evaluating the pro's/con's of the industry outlier. I'm NOT against them, but you definitely need to be a more-informed owner/jumper with one. Thanks Guys! JW Always remember that some clouds are harder than others...
  21. fcajump

    Racer by Jump Shack

    Sure I'm forgetting something... but these come to mind... Not saying these are exclusive to the Racer, but things I don't see on some other rigs: - Comfort of the harness - pop-top - the ease of freebag extraction once activated - Use of type 13 webbing (not simply strength, but I've had issues with other rig's legstrap hardware slipping... not with the Racer) - harness junctions designed to hold despite hypothetical stitch failure. - main bridle pin attachment design and bridle routing - open bottom corners of the reserve container (dont' think flat open like some main containers, but openings with tuck covers that allow the reserve risers to be snugged down after the contianer is closed/pinned) - pin location - price Things I don't like: - speedbag hasn't gained my trust (yet?) - adjustable reserve loop - double-ended RSL - lack of MARD option - reserve ripcord design doesn't facilitate use of a pull tension tester to validate pull force (especially on a field adjustable reserve loop) - discussing Racers with cult members (not everyone who jumps a Racer is one, but they are the most vocal...) JW Always remember that some clouds are harder than others...
  22. fcajump

    Racer by Jump Shack

    (edited to add: sorry its long, but mine is not a simple experience/opinion, and I don't think that short "sound-bites" would due it justice) I have mixed feelings about the Racer, and they are not made better by some of the responses from the company... I grew up with Vectors (and like them), I own a Jav Ody (and like it alot) as well as a Racer 2k3. I have been a rigger for almost 20 years and wish all the good items could be combined in one rig (haven't found it yet)... IMHO - The Racer has several good points: - comfortable (very) - heavier webbing and locked in construction (less/no hardware slippage issues) - poptop with adjustable loop* - main pin bridle design And the rig has several points that raise concern: - double ended RSL with its out-of-sequence deployment/cutway failure mode when the jumper follows industry standard training. Owners with a double ended RSL MUST educate themselves on this issue. - loaning the rig to other jumpers can be problematic. - poptop with adjustable loop* - somewhat non-standard reserve closing proceedures - very non-standard freebag that will appear to bag-lock during floor deployments.** - a non-rigger owner MUST ensure they have a rigger who is experienced with the differences in this rig. - manual is a patchwork of the very old, old, new, vague, specific, etc instructions and pictures. Yes, I know doing a completely revamped manual is work (I've assisted on some, done others), but its long overdue. (the video they provide on packing the reserve is reasonably well done) * the poptop itself is, I believe a good thing in that there are NO flaps restricting its movement. The adjustable loop means that its length can be tailored to the pack conditions after its pinned, rather than reopening the rig and adjusting the loop as with other rigs. The problem I have is two fold: One is that someone other than the rigger responsible for the repack can cause an impossible pull without having to open (break seal) on the rig. Second is that it is very hard to test the pull force without poping the pins on this rig. These two issues combine to make for a bad situation. **I'm not the only one to experience this, but the factory says while they've seen it on the floor, it doesn't happen in the air... My bigger problem is with some aspects of the company: #1 The public impression of their attitude - by definition, its not our rig/ staff/ packing/ design/ manual/ attitude/ website that is the problem, it is the jumper/ rigger/ packer/ someone else that is the problem. - our way is the only way to do it right, all others will kill you. (I think Nancy is a moderating force in this, much of the time, when you talk to her personally...) #2 Personal customer experience: As a rigger, I wanted to learn the Racer and after talking at length to Nancy placed an order. I emphasised that as I was new to the Racer I specifically wanted them to provide me with one of their own reserves with the two sized for a light packjob. (i.e. NOT tight pack) The rig arrived from the factory with their reserve packed in their rig by their staff with a pull force over twice the legal limit. Upon inspection it was found that one of the pins had been bent. Sent it back. When it returned, the pull force was still in the upper 20's. Subsequent repacks by the local Racer experts (including long-time riggers, Masters and a DPRE) the conclusion was that the reserve/container pairing was a VERY tight combination, and the best they could manage was a marginal 22-lb pull (after it settled for a few days) with the pop-top rim lightly seated. Due to personal/family issues, the process of determining that this was unresolvable took way too long on my part to insist on a refund. But the factory feedback was always "its fine, it just needs to be packed correctly... try again" Ultimately I've paired the rig with another reserve that fits it properly and put the AngleFire in a new Javelin. PS - When the Javelin arrived, packed with the AngleFire to which Sunpath was ask to build it, it was again a very hard pull... Sent it back to Sunpack and got a VERY swift response. Their senior staff communicated with me directly about how they analized the packjob, (videoed the opening/unpacking), determined the fault was one of their staff, took corrective action to ensure it never happened again and packed it several times with measured test-pulls to ensure there was no fundimental issue with the rig or reserve pairing. This was a very different experience and gave me great confidence in continuing to use the Jav with the AngleFire. Bottom Line: - I REALLY like many things about the Racer over an above other rigs. - I will NOT pack a rig with an adjustable loop unless I trust the owner not to F with it, but bring it to me if there is an adjustment that needs to be made. - If you are getting a Racer, first make sure you have a trusted rigger that knows the Racer. - 90% of the issues I have with owning a Racer are corporate response and attitude/customer relations/ public facing issues. These are the same issues that have killed other parachute companies and I believe is keeping this one from being the major player in the market that it once was, and could be again. Just my $.02, JW [Firesuit] Always remember that some clouds are harder than others...
  23. There is no argument that with a no-pull fatal, the only difference made by such a system is reducing (maybe) the time to find the body and know that there is nothing else that can be done for that jumper. KNOWING where they are and that there is nothing else that can be done can be of high value to friends and family. There is little agrument that impack of someone not checking in after jumping at a location with such a system is costly to the DZ until the culture is changed and everyone checks-in out of habit. For me, this topic is VERY similar to seatbelts. When I started, (almost) no one had them, they were going to be expensive to install and impossible to enforce. Now (most places in the US) has them standard and most jumpers understand that having such a system in place helps to increase their OWN safety. Your inconvenience of being belted helps keep me safter since you are less of a meat-missle if we have a hard landing. And a couple years after their use as made standard, we were (mostly) all using them all the time without issue. AAD's - same basic issue... They're bad -> you should -> you must use them. If _I_ don't make it back, I'd like SOMEONE to take a look as to why, and as many of my jumps are solo, there has to be someone who would notice... If its fatal, well, I'd like to think that they could tell my family why I didn't show up that night. But MUCH more important to ME is if I'm hurt, it would be nice to think someone might be looking to see why I haven't returned. Don't we tell students that if they're hung in a tree or powerline, wait for help, don't try to climb down on your own? A tight out-landing years ago sent me to the hospital (not bad, but could have been)... fortunately it was near a road AND the DZO sent drivers out to find us because he paid attention to the loads and who did/didn't make it back. I have been at DZ's where they wouldn't even ask for drivers when they KNEW someone landed off. And yes, I've left DZ's because of attitudes like this. So, like seatbelts and AAD's. I'd like to see this kind of system, not just because I worry about you, but because I'm selfish!! I want someone to look for me when I'm having a bad day. All this system needs to succeed, is for more people to realize that its in their own selfish interest to have it, and insist on everyone using it (the only way its going to work). ?Maybe a voluntary self-service board at first... "if my tag is on this board 15min after the load lands, please look for me" type system?? Just my $.02 JW Always remember that some clouds are harder than others...
  24. fcajump

    Easiest Stability Exits

    It would help to know which plane you're jumping... And your instructor is a better first resource... but meanwhile, here's some thoughts... FIRST: If larger plane (otter/king/queen/porter/etc) - face forward and while initially bracing with the inner foot/hand, "move" your body into the wind, leading with the outer foot/hand. Smoothly extend yourself into the wind, letting go just before full inner arm extension. If Cessna with a wheel step, a full hang from the strut usually works. If tailgate (my experience) learn to enjoy to a full flip on exit. :-) Why else would you jump a tailgate anyway? (unless you're launching a chunk) Second: learn to briefly ignore your eyes and their perception of which way you "should" be falling... because you're not... FEEL the wind and extend your belly/hip arch into the wind. It was thinking about this aspect of "the hill" that finally got me to the point of making controlled turns on the hill.* Finally on a personal note - I've recently been to DZ's that have Cessna 206's with rear doors (my least favorite door setup) and I'm just rolling/falling out from positions that innevitably are complete de-arched from being in the tail of a small plane... With the tail right there, I'm not all that eager to get too efficient too soon anyway... So I get to fall/tumble/flail and work on sub-terminal unstable exit recovery... *PS - for slightly more experienced jumpers: next time you exit solo try this... controlled left and right 360's stoping on each 90, start immediately after exit and try to finish within 8-10 seconds (within 1000' of exit alt). Fun little exercise to start a dive. To do this, one almost has to completely ignore what their eyes say and start really feeling the air. Keep practicing... each and every exit/jump/deployment/flight and landing is a chance to learn and improve. Have fun too, JW Always remember that some clouds are harder than others...
  25. fcajump

    EPs: Look up before pulling reserve?

    I've seen that, I've done that, and I've yet to see/concieve of a problem with it, but always wondered if anyone's ever had an issue with it... JW Always remember that some clouds are harder than others...