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Everything posted by fcajump

  1. (PD reserve pull test is at 30 lbs last time I looked, though the PIA standard is 40lbs... When first included as an annual test on their reserves, IIRC they said there was too much potential for fiber distortion past the elastic rebound at 40lb and they felt 30 was sufficient to prove suitable strength.) JW
  2. #1 PChapman has it right. BUT,,, keep asking this question, studying, learning, and talking with your rigger (especially if (s)he has experience with it...) I was right there with you when I started jumping, I was asking this exact same question. At this point (30 years later) have >12 intentional cutaways in addition to 3 real reserve rides. From my experience with both real and planned, I will echo some critical points: - can you, yes* (*start with PChapman's info and then seek out professional help) - any system setup to do so safely is by definition more complex and I would NOT hand it to a newer jumper (thinking 'C or D' license minimum) It DOES give you more chances to F-up and get hurt. - does it give you additional feel for what a cutaway is like and confidence? oh-yea... YES!! - does it tell you what an actual emergency is like? oh-H3LL no... For me, the journey was worth it, and I'm looking for more options down this road, but PLEASE proceed with great care and caution. JW PS - this is an unusual enough jump, you'll need to be prepared for several things beyond just getting the rig put together: - practice/practice/practice... know by feel each handle and the pull order for every possible scenario. If the rig design permits it, make a "normal" jump or two with the gear before the intentional. (I've seen designs that require the first canopy to be deployed/chopped (or landed) before the real main can be deployed. Mine allows the dummy canopy to be left undeployed. - who is going to gear check your one-off gear? prepare to train your DZ rigger/S&TA on how to pin-check your gear. - is the S&TA and DZO going to allow you to use it at their DZ? - what are the DZ procedures (if any) for doing an intentional (I literally wrote the manual for my local DZ - wonder if they can still find it? ;-) ). - make sure Manifest and the Pilot know what you're doing, good idea for manifest to announce it to those on the ground (some like to watch and it will keep other's from freaking) - be prepared for someone off DZ to call 911 on you (I've been met by the ambulance on one occasion)... another reason to make sure manifest knows before you go.
  3. Actually, it is not only not stupid, it is specifically correct and even what you yourself asked for... "express wingloading as pounds per square foot".... "1.2 pound per 1 square foot" is literally notated as "1.2:1" Often we use a short hand of "1.2" to express the same thing, but you _are_ being provided with _exactly_ what you're asking for... JW
  4. A friend still jumps a pair of Sweethogs... and they look factory fresh. (one was even retro'ed for a Cypres by SSK themselves) I'm thinking of putting my 1991 Vector II back in the air. On the other hand, I've known of some pilot rigs (same materials) that were forcibly retired by the factory after 2 years of use. ETA - these were a group of specific rigs, grounded due to condition (prolonged sun exposure) during inspection, not a categoric grounding of a make/model for age, etc... Example given to show how user treatment of the gear plays a critical role in how long they last. How old a rig I will inspect/pack for others, is a completely different question. JW
  5. for which we are all grateful! Please keep it that way. (~2000 I met one "young" lady that had a new Javelin with capwells... said she'd had something like 17 cutaways on them and didn't trust herself to reach anywhere new, so she spend extra to get the old stuff she was used to) For myself, I once told me instructor that between the out-board MLW main ripcord, a barrel chested build, and the over-the-glasses goggles I couldn't (and had never) seen the ripcord handle... he just about freaked... and now we have students reaching for a BOC handle that they will never see before deployment. (so, I was just a trend setter??) But it did start my thinking that one should always know what they feel like without visual confirmation. JW
  6. I think if you are going to do the two-hands-per-handle method, it is a good idea to look silver before punching the cutaway. As a heavier guy with a floppier suit, I am also cognizant of moving the material behind the MLW and ensuring the handles are clear to grab. For myself, I was taught and use the one-hand-per-handle method and I prefer it (and have needed to use it). It means that I _know_ where the silver is before and after I cut-away. It also means that when a PC-in-tow cleared and slammed me just as I was putting my hands on my handles... the reserve handle popped clear of its Velcro and I ended up with 2 out... so, there is that... I would like to offer a few related opinions: - whichever method you learn, stick with it... your reactions will be quicker than second guessing - when you need a reserve repack, arrange with the rigger to let you pull the reserve _every time_. There is nothing more reassuring than to KNOW what it feels like before you have to pull it in anger. (and know that when you do pull it in anger... its generally much easier to pull... something about adrenaline) - get a real reserve handle (metal). Remember you've got to be ready to have a hard pull, in the winter, with heavy gloves, when you're only 1/2 (physically and/or mentally) there because of the sh!t that went down bringing you to this point. - practice them (physically and mentally) multiple times each time you don the rig. And then practice with your eyes closed (your goggles flipped off during the exit or you visor fogged up), and then practice with one hand (do to the broken arm you experienced in the rush to exit the DC-3 to get into your slot in the big-way attempt) and then practice with the other arm (you know, because your other shoulder sometimes pops out of socket when dealing with a troublesome formation)... Just my $.02 JW
  7. Actually, I would figure that if the manufacturer was being driven by the lawyers the max weight in each category would be going down, not up. While I would never speak for PD, my _guess_ is that their comfort level has evolved over time as: - line trims have been adjusted to optimize (and are being replaced/fixed more often now?) - jumper's understanding of canopy performance is better (more experienced instructors, more industry knowledge at the DZ, canopy classes, etc...) for how these models perform. - factory's observations of how jumpers in the field are handling the limits (and over limit) behavior. - numbers of hours flown by x number canopies with minimal issues due to experience/weight combinations. Finally - maybe its just me, but I also never really correlated the canopy experience with license levels... However, if you do, then maybe you could argue that they were adjusting as the average jumper was conforming to the higher number of jumps/license. (ok, old folks... remind me cause I don't remember... when did they bump up the #jumps/license level?? I was already at 'D' and had 500 when they bumped it up to there...) JW
  8. (not a fan of slider straps of any kind... but...) So THAT's what the [email protected] ball in the beer is good for... JW
  9. Advice - get your rigger involved in this discussion from the beginning. JW
  10. (this might be a moot question, but...) Any idea if Rick had a "soft" reserve ripcord or silver handle? JW
  11. I'll have to take a look for the pic. Obviously the handle location you indicate in the pic is unacceptable, you'll get no argument from me on that no matter how it happens. I've got both chest and hip rings and can't envision how you get the MLW back there ('course I'm a bit sleep deprived, so I'm not envisioning much but a bed right now...). I will point out that I buck the trend on two items when it comes to harness adjustment that may make all the difference: 1. I prefer my chest strap (over?) snug. (and no, I don't loosen it until I'm on the ground or approaching a water landing... to me the marginal canopy performance is not worth security in the harness if sh!t goes bad low down... one of these days we're going to have an incident of someone coming out of their harness that was loosened under canopy and then they had a low collision/cutaway/issue... </soapbox> 2. Years ago I heard an interview with Bill discussing his liking belly bands (not for discussing his original throw-outs, if you're that old) but simply a belly strap like the chest strap which helps keep the harness in the correct location on your body. To that end, when I got my new rig with both rings, I also got an aftermarket belly band (https://www.chutingstar.com/swooper-belly-band) and put it through the lower rings to see how it changes the feel of the rig. Again I like it snug. (FWIW - I really like the feel and when my rig is next at Sunpath, I'll ask them to install a permanent belly strap that matches the chest strap and harness.) With those adjustments, a correct sized harness, and the leg-strap bungie*, I have great flexibility and yet the harness doesn't feel like its wandering around... things stay where they're supposed to be. *btw - for the inter-legstrap connector: a friend pointed out that if you already have the attach tabs on your leg straps for this purpose, the Vector Sigma staging loop (https://store.uptvector.com/parts/tandem/sigma/) is GREAT for this... larks head the loop on one leg, feed the free end through the other and secure with an overhand knot. Done. Just my $.02, JW PS - PEP: agreed... none of this is needed/advantageous on a Pilot Emergency Parachute. They don't need to be worried about turning points, freefly or head down flying (other than that the container should be secure with wind loads at any angle). They need to be secure in their harness. <period> And the heavier/more complicated/expensive you make it, the less likely they are to buy and wear it. IMHO
  12. Alright Jerry, I'll bite... why would _you_ not want to offer them on a sport harness? JW
  13. Call SE. (407-859-9317) Generally speaking, the problem can be a problem regardless of brand. JW
  14. Or is it pre-stretch, let relax, then tension for marking/cutting? (real question/speculation) JW
  15. What bothers me _most_ is seeing jumpers who have recommended to them gear that "just happens" to match what the local rigger/DZO happens to have on the shelf... As to looking on the Internet, I think some of that is the same caution instructors give over students listening to other (non-instructor) jumpers... often the most vocal/eager sources of information ARE the 50-200 jump wonders... you're right, there is some GREAT information on the Internet, but there is also some dangerous stuff out there. I would suggest to a newbie, go out and look/learn, then come back and talk through all what you think you learned. JW
  16. Been there, done that. Most notable when I got my first Rx for astigmatism... it visually "raised" the ground ~5' when I first started wearing them. Let us assume you are flying fine now with out them... Let us assume you are coming up on the winter season and jump much less during the "off season"... Then I would suggest, keep wearing them day-to-day, but NOT for jumping for now. When you come back full time in the spring, THEN follow our colleagues advice on how to get used to jumping with them and use them on EVERY jump from then on. That way, your eyes will get used to how they perceive stairs, curbs, etc... before you need to "see" when to flare (over the winter). Personally, unless you are already using a full-face helmet, I would also recommend something like "Bugeye Bobster" from SportRx. (I can't hit their site right this sec, but I think mine are the 2). Good luck and refresh your PLF training. JW
  17. I prefer the cheep foam plugs myself. Only weirdness was that in an older plane I jump, I'm very used to the pilot pulling throttle back after initial takeoff. Well the first time with them, the reduction in engine noise with the plugs after takeoff made me seriously wonder if we were about to head-back and land... One key point is, don't wait until you've been jumping for years (and have tinnitus), start with them early. JW
  18. I've learned a term to describe this type... "DiGIT" - Dead Guy In Training. Fortunately from what I've seen (on the outside of training), there aren't all that many and most get encouraged to go somewhere else. JW
  19. 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.
  20. 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
  21. (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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. "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
  25. 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