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Everything posted by fcajump

  1. fcajump

    Why Aren’t You Wearing Earplugs?

    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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. fcajump

    EPs: Look up before pulling reserve?

    I was taught one hand on each, to ensure you know where that reserve handle is before chopping. And that's exactly what I did during a spinning mal. After this long, I am not going to change my engrained proceedure. That having been said... on another occasion I had PIT and brought my hands in to "right-pause-left", but before I could pull, my main slammed me HARD. Looked up and found a good main, then heard my reserve inflating behind me. The opening had been hard enough with my left hand hooked on the reserve handle that it had been dislodged. Two out. Just as with total mal (chop first or not), two-out proceedures (do you land both or do you chop), I think this is one of those issue that will always have credible/possible situations (and fatal examples) where both options are either good, or go very baddly. For me, its a matter of learn one way or the other, then stick with it. Indecision is likely more fatal than either method. Plan the dive, dive the plan. Adjust only when things aren't following the script. JW
  11. fcajump


    I'm kinda hoping that PD (and any other canopy mfgs) will jump in here... we'll see. JW
  12. fcajump


    If you could (or pics if they're clear), I'd like to see that.
  13. fcajump


    Fair enough. I'm not 100% comfortable with the older style drawstrings on my Spectre for exactly that potential (though I've not seen it happen) and note that PD has since changed the design to be less likely to hang up. JW
  14. fcajump


    Space, Thanks for your input. The question at hand is: Is there a simple, reliable method to help ensure that the slider will remain high and in place to restrict the opening both during packing and the chaos of opening (including the reported occurance of a slider dropping through the burble of the jumper), that would be applicable/effective in both terminal and sub-terminal deployments on a skydiving main canopy? BASE jumpers suggested that there might be solutions from that side of the world that could improve the freefall equipment. (all of which is new to me... so I'm askin...) Some suggested that a slider attached tailgate might work, others mentioned stowing the slider on the center 'C' lines and others brought snaps to my attention (OK, the comp velo is not BASE, but still outside my toolbox and I don't know if BASE uses anything similar or not.) Someone also suggested magnets at the slider stops and slider, but personally I'm not sure that more magnets on the rig (in addition to some people having them on riser covers, post-deployment slider stowage, D-bags and for all I know holding the jockstrap on) in the chaos of opening couldn't cause more issues, so I'm personally discounting that option... I have been told that BASE jumpers use the tailgate to avoid lineovers during slider down deployments (not what we're addressing here), but I've also been introduced to some that attach it to their slider which implies using it slider up... which lead to the question of their applicability here... I get your notion that as a slider attached tailgate wrapped around the lines would be able to slide down the lines too easilly to avoid the problem being considered... though it seems to me the friction between the tailgate and suspension lines would keep it up until canopy expansion clears it... dunno. I wouldn't mind trying the bite of slider in a stowe band at the center 'C' lines, just wasn't sure if that would wear holes in the slider as the rubber can be abrasive over time. As to snaps, I'm willing to think on that too, but have only seen the one video on the comp velo. And of course, anything that would be designed to retard the slider might have the unintended consequence of keeping it up there too long for a low H&P. While the occurance of exceptionally hard openings is rare and often the cause is hard to prove, the impact on the jumper is very bad (fatal in some cases) and it seems to me that collectively we should be able to reduce the chances. Hence my desire to get y'alls opinions, experiences, etc. Just my $.02 JW
  15. fcajump


    The hangups to which I refer would be non-release or slow release. 1/2 my jumps are H&P's and usually below 3'k (nothing on BASE folks, but then I've always be a chickin-sh!t skydiver) In (mentally) comparing banding the slider to a 'C' attach point vs banding it (by use of an tacked-on tailgate) to the C/D/brake lines, it seems to me that either method would act to keep the slider up but that the canopy/lines spread would ensure that the tailgate disengages at that point. As to banding to the C attach point (Slider Control), has your experience been only with mesh sliders, or with solid (skydiving) sliders? Several have mentioned snaps, not familiar with where they're used... Can someone post video/manual/pics/links pointing to examples? Thanks, JW PS - I'm NOT set on one method or another, mostly trying to get/keep the discussion going for this off-label use.
  16. fcajump


    Thanks for that... Yes its slider control (concept not necessarily industry term... yet...) we're after. For me (having not used either technique) of a slider attached tail gate is it would seem less likely prone to hangup on subterm h&p. Also concerned about wear on the slider fabric of constant rubberband stowage.... Any problems w either of these issues using slider control bands? Jw
  17. fcajump


    Yep, my Set400 did that, but I think it was only to ensure the excess brakeline on the inner line didn't do anything of concern during the chaos of deployment. Though maybe a tailgate would have helped ensure that both sides released at the same time. (not that I ever noted an issue with that, just noted the potential) JW
  18. fcajump


    I numbered your questions to make it easier. 1. No not really. Snappy openings are part of BASE. 2. People have gotten them that didn't release/took too long to release. This has only really been seen on slider off objects with static line or pilot chute assist. 3. No, unless you were rapping the rubber band 1,000,000 times. 4. I use mine on hop and pops when I take my BASE canopy out of the plane. 5. umm, how you would install it on a slider? I dono, ask your rigger. Tailgates are designed to control your control lines. The inner C-D lines and the break lines go inside the tailgate. I suggested it in the other thread as a way to prevent the slider from coming out before the canopy is expanding. In my opinion snaps would work better and be more simple. 1. understood... my main is a spectre (800' snivel is normal) my motivation is rooted in thinking of how to minimize the chance of a slider induced hard opening (whether you argue that they get loose/lower during packing, or due to the random chaos of opening) Spectres, despite their normal opening reputation are included in the canopies that have hurt jumpers on opening. 2-4 OK, thanks for that. 5 For me, not a problem after refering to the video provided above. For readers who are not riggers, consult a rigger. Anyone else work with these things want to add more data-points? JW
  19. fcajump


    Wanted to break this out to fish for feedback... Background (for those reading along, like me...) I would be interested in adding one of these to my main attached to the slider, but having never used one and not connected to the BASE community, I'm curious to know what unintended consequences users might be aware of... Do they add to the snivel? Has anyone gotten one that didn't release? If you were looking over my shoulder when I'm stowing one where you'd say "wait a sec... you really don't want to do that... here, lemme show ya" When would you never think of using it? (planned low hop-n-pop?) What question did I miss? Tell me your stories please... JW
  20. fcajump

    Dealing with high shock loading

    Thanks for the tailgate vide reference... makes the discussion clear.
  21. fcajump

    Dealing with high shock loading

    Ok... you lost me on that one... anyone got a good description (pics would be best), not sure I've run across a tailgate before (insert pickup truck joke here). Or maybe its just too early in my day... JW
  22. fcajump

    Dealing with high shock loading

    Second concept: Noting that we already have a device that is primmed and ready to fire the reserve, lets see what you all think of this: Add to the cypres: - accelerometer - two additional cutters integrated into the cut-away cable housings at the riser end grommets - logic: if (above 1500'* and g-load above 6G's*) then fire cutaway releases, wait 2* seconds, fire reserve release. *numbers used in the logic portion are abitrary and made up, testing needed to refine what "appropriate" values would be... that's what R&D is for... With the speed that the current generation of AAD's can process, I think a G/load value could be found that would be high enough to cause us to want the system to immediately (3ms*?) "break" (release) and go to reserve. As to concerns over mis-fire releasing you under the wrong/bad conditions... well, most people have cypres' now and how often do we have misfires? And yet, by limiting this action to above 1500' it couldn't release the main "too low" Even if a high performance flier were able to exceed the G load limit (which we'd try to make high enough to keep from happening) the activation above 1500' should result in their being under reserve in plenty of time for landing. Anyone know if Helmut Cloth or SSK follows this forum? Personal comment - as someone who wishes to keep jumping long after earlier generations did, I know that we face new geriatric-jumper issues. There is a reason POP's focused on 40, that was an "old" jumper in 1966. Old round jumpers discuss openings hard enough to kick their own helmets, knock them out and do other damage... and that was when they were young and fit enough to jump that gear. As our skydiving population extends the "retirement" age, it is very important that we anticipate and address this type of issue. Even the most fit of us (and I'm not) can't continually take the occasional pounding we could at a younger age. Finally, while the 20-somethings know that they are imortal and immune from all things fragile, even the youngest/fittest of us won't survive the worst this gear can dish out.
  23. fcajump

    Dealing with high shock loading

    Bilvon - First comment: there are already some in the parachute industry using this type of load limiting... Butler uses a similar design in higher-speed PEP bridles to reduce snatch loading. But as you would correctly point out, this is a single attach point load, not multi-point as the canopy is on the risers... And yet, to me and barring a better solution, I'd buy into this concept for this reason... Lets assume you will have an openning hard enough to engage the safety on this type designed riser. I'll even assume that part of the problem leading to the unusually hard openning is that we are loading the risers unevenly. So freeze-frame at the point that the shock load is about to hit the harness, here's the three primary scenarios I see coming next: - shock loading causes a busted harness - OK, we're not having problems with this (currently), but it is an option to acknowledge. Outcome if this happens VERY Critical. - shock loading transfers to the jumper - this is where we are having the (admittedly rare) problem. And this is what we're wanting to avoid... broken neck, broken internals, or simply incapacitated long enough to not deal with the other aspects of the situation (i.e. broken lines, torn canopy, or simply landing a higher performance main) - shock load disipated through a weak link such that the jumper can deal with the emergency. Focusing on this weak link option... best case, all four risers "unzip" and you end up with risers 2-3 times normal... cutaway and use reserve since you would not be able to reach the steering toggles (as I envision the risers). Worst case scenario would be that one or two risers are longer than the others... canopy spins up, but the jumper having been spared the shock load is able to deal with the emergency. Best solution, no... but better than what we have now... so smart people, what else would you do... JW
  24. Or we can cycle back around to trying heavy duty solid rubber stow bands (i.e. 'O' rings or castration bands)... They have been proven before to out last rubber bands... including and especially when the lines are caught up on the bag. Trust them to keep the lines stowed all the way to the ground with little or now wear. Bands are supposed to break. With that, and use, they will wear out. They're a consumable item. And we've proven that trying to overcome that is at our own peril. With that in mind, several things to make life easier: - good quality natural rubber seems to work best and last - uniform bands (thickness, width) will last better - new bands last better (dry-rot/cracked should be avoided) - gear storage in hot conditions (trunk) will cause the bands to age - replace cracked/torn bands to avoid an out-of-sequence release - pre-stretched bands (before installation) will last better on the first few deployments - washing them (as someone else suggested... dunno... haven't tried it yet) - PD has MANY more packjobs/deployments than I have on a very wide range of lines/bags/band-types. They seem to feel double wrapped works best... I'm not against innovation, but a review of what has been tried and lessons learned should not be overlooked. Just my personal thoughts from a couple years in the sport. JW PS - used spectra and dacron (prefer dacron) and always double wrap my non-locking stowes... After PD's video, I'm considering double wrapping my locking stowes as well. FWIW - I also split-stow and keep the container slack to less than 1 bag width. Haven't historically had any issue with bag-spin during deployment.
  25. fcajump

    Falling out of a Harness

    Thanks for that. To continue additional related threads: If memory serves, the "-1" was added to the PS70101, when the original spec was updated to deal with sharp edges in the stamping process that could cut the webbing. Thread 1 - With that in mind, I'd be curious if the PS70101-1 would deform enough to pop the slid out before or after the sheer strength of the webbing as it goes around the (relatively) thin metal... (anyone have the equipment to test this?) Thread 2 - Is the 1" version of the PS70101-1 is a MIL/PIA spec? What is its proof tested load? Especially important since I'm guessing this is more common than the Mil Spec'ed PS70101-1. JW