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Everything posted by fcajump

  1. Recollection is that back in the paper catalog days, they had one that was about 2/3 of the Paragear catalog... a far cry from the dozen things on their current website.
  2. IMHO - its like the swoop mode on AADs... the image (or imagination) of the jumper is much more likely to drive their decision than any actual need. Don't get me wrong, there are the <1% who are at the top of the game for whom it may make a difference. But unless you are pushing the industry's envelope (not your own, but the sport's at large) you are more likely getting them because you WANT them, not because it actually makes a difference. Just my $.02 JW
  3. (understanding that the OP was not in the USA, just for sake of discussion) IIRC - In the US - 91.121 Altimeter settings. (a) Each person operating an aircraft shall maintain the cruising altitude or flight level of that aircraft, as the case may be, by reference to an altimeter that is set, when operating— (1) Below 18,000 feet MSL, to— (i) The current reported altimeter setting of a station along the route and within 100 nautical miles of the aircraft It is waverable for airshows and low-level aerobatics where you can set it to AGL. But you also need the pilot to understand that jumpers (except those planning a water landing) don't care flip about the sea level... we do care very much about the ground under us, and how far that is... JW
  4. I know of at least one person who builds (built) risers to spec for an unnamed factory, but would build his own Type-17 without the reinforcing strip for exactly this reason... he'd rather face the problems of a broken riser on opening than the overload situation. Years ago we figured out how to build parachute systems where the weakest link is the body in the harness. While I am grateful that we're not breaking/falling out of harnesses, as long as we are going to have the possibility of openings that overload the jumper's body, we need to figure out how to put a weaker link back in... I agree with Bill that the risers seem to be the best place for it. JW
  5. Not something I'm aware of currently in use, but my thinking is this: - With unreinforced Type 17, it would act as a weak link in the case of a very hard opening. - Currently, the Collin's lanyard is provided (mostly to my knowledge, in concert with Skyhooks) to ensure that, should the RSL side riser break, the other riser would be released prior to reserve activation. - If we had a release system similar to that on each side, such that a break of either riser would result in the release of the other, having weak-link risers would not be as bad a thing. (it would avoid the bad situation of single riser failure and the reserve being deployed prior to the second riser being released). No, I don't know how this would be setup as I'm now saying the "long" side riser needs to pull the "short" side cable... but we've got smart people here... JW
  6. "Well, in all my years I ain't never heard, seen nor smelled an issue that was so dangerous it couldn't be talked about. Hell yeah! I'm for debating anything. " - Stephen Hopkins (RI) "1776" As others have said before, don't let our nay-saying discourage you from trying (carefully) to find a new way... but also look at what has been tried before so as to not relearn lessons (especially those we've paid blood to learn). That having been said, I'm thinking that the simplest solutions usually are the best... how about this: Learn from the: Type 17 risers pre-reinforcing strap. Collin's Lanyards. Solution concept: Dual Collin's Lanyards with main risers designed to fail on overload, where the Collin's lanyard connection point is above the weak-link on each riser. If either riser experiences an overload, it fails, releases both risers and the reserve is free to be deployed (if not all ready by RSL/MARD). (notice, I said dual Collin's lanyards, NOT a single dual-connected strap like the Racer RSL) Hang-on ...let me get my kevlar on and adjusted... OK, FLAME ON!! ;-) Debate! JW
  7. I had a ~18y.o. closet-queen PEP brought to me once, table total (50-lb pull wouldn't dislodge it). Original factory pack job on it (seal matched card). Searched for SB's, didn't find anything but called the mfg. and found that there was a SB so old it hadn't been posted online (SB came out just after this rig was made) about a housing change that could cause exactly this problem. Remedy was to move the RC housing back a bit from the first loop. Simple, but had to be chased to ground. JW
  8. Normal practice is that the pack data card _should_ stay with the reserve canopy, though I have also heard of the other extreme attitude that "the pack data card need only show the most recent packjob, so who cares" Personally, I would like to have the standard phased in that each major component has its own service record. Yea.. I know, the devil's in the details on that idea... but still I think it would be nice to know where the container has been, and whats been done to it as well, even if the canopy changed. BTW - yea... links go with it. even if they're shot and need replacing (in that case, ya send 'em and note their deficiency). If for no other reason that keeping things neat. (edited to add... OK, this is what _should_be_ IMHO, but used... you never know if they don't say it) JW
  9. Difference between the rich slobs who pay you, vs the rich snobs that expect you to pay for their fun. Fortunately I learned early on as a rigger that if you are NOT rigging to earn a living, you can choose for whom you rig... I don't pack "expensive FAA required seat cushions". I inspect, repair, repack, and train my customers (primarily pilots) in the use of a lifesaving device. If they don't believe that's what it is, there are other riggers out there that are eager to take their money. Just my $.02, JW
  10. I know of one open-cockpit aerobatic team that was in part sponsored by a PEP manufacturer. They would leave their rigs in the cockpit all day/every day/all show season. As I got the story, the mfg pulled the sponsorship after the rigs proved shot (UV on the harness) within 2 years. They advised the team to at least cover them when not in use (even if they stayed in the cockpit), but no go. Mfg got tired of giving them new rigs every 2 years for such a non-reason, so they quit. JW
  11. Several started to indicate that they were going to, but it looked like a game of chicken... If you do, I'll advertise mine have a longer life than yours. I _think_ (Councilman would know better) that its why some looked to PIA to set a standard... that way everyone is in it together, no one is the bad guy with inferior products and it comes from one authoritative source. And if they do, that helps going forward, but does little for the ones already out there with the FAA seemingly saying "once they're certified TSO, you can't add a life limit..." JW
  12. Given that accidents happen, and lawsuits often look for anyone associated with the situation regardless of common sense... let me ask you this... Judge/jury/widow look to you and the prosecutor says "so, the very manufacturer that made the gear, and is needless to say, the MOST familiar with the workings of their equipment won't even service their own gear at that age, and yet, YOU, an independent field rigger decided, on your own, that you know their gear better than they and put it back into service KNOWING that they wouldn't have, and had specifically recommended against it. " Remember, it doesn't take an actual error on your part to get to that point. And it doesn't take much to move opinion from the fact that the pilot got out too low for any 'chute to work, to focus on the detail of your disagreement with the mfg on whether 21 years was too many... I'm not telling you what to do, but it is worth considering. Just my $.02 JW PS - if memory serves, some (all?) of the EU life limits emergency 'chutes to 15 years... can someone update/correct me on that??
  13. If just looking for a loft-rig (practice and cert) there are still some Starmaker's and mil types around. Ebay has been a great source for me. If you're looking for the market as a rigger, there is only one civ chest rig I'm aware of (Jump Shack to go with a base rig for use in planes), but there are several mfg's of seat rigs for the war-bird pilot community. Not sure if the new owners are making any, but Jerry's old company had gone through the process so that he was making lap rigs, and there are a handful of DPRE's that can test that as well. JW
  14. Jerry - From a US legal point of view, I completely agree, most especially when dealing with Racers/Reflex and Softie/Butler/Strong Longs, but changes after its left my hands can be made on most any rig. And inadvertent contamination/mishandling certainly can. However, from a rigging/learning/best-practice point of view, I'm always looking for the before/after and the why. jeanneretjerome - I find your numbers very interesting and contrary to my experience... most the time I find lower numbers upon return (180 day cycle, but many pilot rigs only return each spring). I attribute lower numbers due to canopy settling/compression and stretching of the closing loop(s) during wearing. The only situation I can immediately think of that would counter that (assuming your not dealing with a field adjustable system like Racer/Reflex would be if you were using the vacuum packing method*, in which there might be some expansion after the pack job is complete... Would be interested in seeing more of your before/after/conditions/system-type data and what you conclude... *not a technique I use or endorse, simply have heard of: When packed 99% (final temp pin in place, prior to ripcord) place entire rig in an appropriately sized vacuum storage bag and suck all the air out, let stand, then open vacuum bag and place ripcord. Note: There are warnings from the AAD mfg's about using this technique. Consult the appropriate mfg and others experienced in this method before attempting. My thought is, if you need this you may be working with too large a reserve for the container. I'll See your $.02 and Raise you $.01 ;-) JW
  15. I used a Cypres temp pin to catch/lock the deployment and it seemed to work fine for me. I'll look for some fine piano wire, but meanwhile the suggestion betzilla made to use dental floss threaders looks like it will work well to thread the pullup cord back in when/as necessary. JW
  16. I took this as sarcasm... (hope so). To the jumper in question... good job. fight for you life... you might just win. JW
  17. First -sorry for the footnotes here... I can't help but include many lessons learned for the young rigger out there... so they avoid stupid/honest mistakes I've done, seen or heard... I do a few things, none of which seem to cause issues (first priority) and seem to help (secondary consideration): First - when I clean*/lube* the cutaway cables, I then use the same cleaning/lube cloths on the reserve ripcord. Just as with the cutaway cables, the lube should be _thin_ coat... don't soak it. Second - I use the Cypres lube on the loop IACW the mfg instructions. Third - I run the center of my pullup cord* (cypres loop material) through the Cypres lube cloth (to help not remove the lube from the loop as its drawn through, reduces cord-on-loop friction) I do NOT use the Cypres lube or WD50 on the ripcord or cutaway cables as I believe they are too thick and too likely to attract dust. Just my $.02 JW *Lessons Learned/Heard/Observed: - per Booth's recommendation I clean with Ronsonol* Lighter Fluid and lube with Ace Hardware Brand Silicon Spray Lube* - Ransonol brand sells both Lighter Fluid and Multi-Fill Butane Fuel, both useful to those refilling the two (different) types of lighters, but to those of us who rarely use, must let refill lighters... they are different things. You want the yellow squirt bottle. - Silicon Spray Lube is in a can that looks remarkably like the Silicon Spray Adhesive. It is highly recommended that you make sure you know the difference before using... (this told me by a rigger of the highest level who made that very mistake) - Cleaning, and lubing with these items is simple, but can be f-ed up I'm sure... spray some lighter fluid on a clean cloth (paper-towl) and then run the cable through it. Repeat in a different wet part of the towel until you're no longer leading dark streaks on the cloth. Spray a second cloth with the Lube and draw the cable though it once to apply a _thin_ coating along its length. - If you use the Cypres loop material for your pullup cord, finger-trap ~6" additional loop material into the middle of your pullup cord (completely encased, so the middle section is thicker with no ends sticking out). It helps open the loop a bit to get the (temp)pin into the loop. SSK indicated that this is approved (per Cliff at the time). I do recommend shifting toward one end when moving it through the cutter, so that you're not trying to pull the full doubled u-turn through the cutter. - If you find that you are staining ANY part of the rig (flaps, risers, harness, D-bag, canopy) with the lube, STOP!!! You are using WAY TO MUCH!!! Get help from someone who can show you how to do this right.
  18. Agreed, but it is the mfg supplied part, and removing the scratches (if problematic) is better than not. I'd not advocate trying to apply any after market hardening. We've had problems in the past with metal components being processed/treated in ways that turned out to be bad in the end. I personally saw that part of his video as an appeal to the rig/pin mfgs to consider R,D&T into having a harder layer. If you are qualified and have the resources to do that R,D&T for the industry, GREAT... just don't experiment on customer rigs. JW
  19. PS - If anyone knows how to make (or where to get) the fishing loop he used to pull the pullup cord back through the closing loop, please drop a line. I used a pair for small forceps, but its NOT as easy a his tool.
  20. FWIW - used his technique for pull force test without full deployment this last weekend. Worked consistently and will be my standard going forward. For those unsure how he was setting it up, here is what I did and my results (packed Jav-Ody in for AIR, customer not present): - removed seal - routed a pull-up cord into reserve loop (as though it was just packed and pinned), leave it off to the side of the reserve pin (no tension on the cord, as though you were about to remove it) - place long temp pin (I used a cypres pin) _between_ the two sides of the pullup cord, sitting right next to the closing loop, parallel to the reserve pin. - tie the two lines of the pullup cord into a slip knot (see https://www.animatedknots.com/slip-knot) and cinch it down as close to the temp pin as possible, trapping the temp pin next to the closing loop. - attach you scale to the ripcord handle (removed from pocket) - test by pulling the scale handle. (make sure the shoulder of the rig is either worn by someone, or that you use something like your foot in the rig's shoulder to keep the housing as close to its normal arch as possible. The ripcord will (should) pull clear of the housing. Assuming you are using a scale that shows peak load, you now know what the pull force was. If you setup the system correctly, you should now find that the rig is held closed on the pullup cord and temp pin. NOTE: unlike when you are packing the rig, the temp pin is NOT holding the container closed on the closing loop, but on the knot in your pullup cord. If you release the slip knot before getting the knee board back in place, you will get to a pilot-chute in the face. Replace the ripcord, repin and seal (assuming your peak force was under 22 lbs.) If it was high, correct your problem and reclose/retest. On the rig I was planning to repack, I tested three times. Twice using the above method and once without the locking system. The pull force reported was within 1/4 lb each time. It would also be easy to use this technique to give your customer multiple "live fire" exercises, with minimal reset time. Its even simpler if you are testing a rig you just closed... if you remember to test before removing the pullup cord. Takes a minute, gives you the reassurance that its deployable and might save a life. JW
  21. First - check this, then come back for discussion, Q/A: (Thanks to Mr. Thompson for his video, if you're here please speak up as I think you've raised a GREAT point) I've long been an advocate with my customers that they should all have a first hand knowledge of how it feels to pull their ripcord. Can't tell you how many (especially pilots) tell me they had never pulled one. And when they don't pull it, I always put a scale on it and test. (and I've found some that table-locked, nothing I've packed, but always makes me nervous). But that only tells me how it was after the fact. To test before it goes out, I usually use this http://www.paragear.com/skydiving/10000161/M5995/PARACHUTE-RESERVE-RIPCORD-PIN-PULL-CHECK-TOOL. But it doesn't work on all rigs and it doesn't allow full deployment of the pin, only to move it. (it is still MUCH better than nothing) I'll be trying his technique (in video) on the next rig I do... I think I'll like it better. Any manufacturer wish to comment on his discussion on pin harness/coatings? At a minimum, his video should get riggers and jumpers alike thinking about this issue. Finally, I know that in a loft is different than in the air, but it really bothers me how many in the video hesitated, looked around and waited instead of using a two-hands and powering through their pull. Just my $.02, JW PS - I'd like to know more about his fishing-line tool (4:18) and the small temp pin (4:49)... it looks like a vector pin, but smaller.. I'm sure someone knows, but I'm not placing it...
  22. Disclaimers: I am personally opposed to unfastened/ultra loose chest straps. I don't like quick eject snaps. A snug belly band is a must here. I am a self-described chicken-shit skydiver. To address your question, with factory guidance, you could look at using the old Quick Eject snaps. The would need a modification to allow the installation of the matching Triangle ring. http://www.paragear.com/skydiving/10000175/H393/ These have been common on emergency bail-out PEP rigs where cutaway is not an option and you want a way to get out of the rig quick upon landing (drug in high winds, water landing). As I said, I don't like them for the possibility of inadvertent disconnect, but that's your issue. JW
  23. Tried hitting their website over the weekend - got "Error establishing a database connection" Tried sending messages here to their listed contacts - rejected that the individual can't receive messages. Anyone have more/better/additional means of contact (I don't have their phone# here)? Or did something happen to them that I missed?? JW Yes, I know there are many opinions on the Racer/John/PLinc/etc... Just a rigger trying to do his job.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.