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  1. Late 2017 and early 2018, I heard from two different TI’s with respectable experience a similar statement “Icarus tandem is crap (it was expressed in stronger words). It collapses in turbulent conditions” That statement was followed by the sentence “But “Sigma” is really cool! It never collapses!” After some considerations, I decided to say something about Icarus tandems too. I did my first tandem in 1993. Since that time I jumped Vector-1, Strong DH, Sigma and Racer Tandem systems. Through that time tandem canopies have progressed from a huge 500 sq.ft Goliaths to agile (if this word can be applied to tandems) 300 or even 270 babies. I am of the old school, which blessed the skydiving with ““More cloth above your head is better” wisdom, and reluctantly changed to smaller canopies. But I have to admit that Icarus changed my view on small canopies in general and Icarus tandems in particular. One day the CI gave me a plastic bag containing bright new Icarus-330. 2200 jumps later I disconnected it, put it into plastic bag and gave to our rigger. In the span of said 2200 jumps I had a lot of pleasant openings and the said pleasure was not spoiled by any trouble or malfunction. It, like an old horse, safely brought me to the ground through gusty winds, turbulence and occasional no-winds on wide variety of restricted LZ’s: soccer field, baseball field, a narrow strip between said fields, narrow beaches. That IT-330 canopy was replaced with IT-300 which I loved even more. I had chat with a lot of TM’s that worked in similar or even worse conditions and they shared my few on Icarus Tandem canopy. So, now one can understand my astonished when I heard the mentioned above statement. Early 2018, my personal circumstances brought me to DZ that utilized Sigma-340, Icarus-365 and even Icarus-400 (!). All canopies had controls set in 6+2 configuration. So, I had an opportunity to compare both canopies on the jump to jump basis. Sigma tormented me with its funny openings the major feature of which was a collapsed central cell. I know that there will be comments “watch your packing”. I have to admit that I had a few normal openings when I packed myself (on a hook), but collapsed central cell did not go anywhere. Icarus openings were much more stable. To be fair, I have to say that periodically Icarus has a “butterfly opening” – you see the central cell behind the slider. This happens when canopy got out of deploy bag and assumed a pear-like shape but upon deceleration everything comes back to normal. As for control setting 6+2, I would like to tell that main (big, yellow etc.) toggles provide very limited control of either Sigma or Icarus. Because it engages the end cell(s), it is impossible to redistribute the canopy internal pressure (you cannot “pump” the canopy). The turn on this toggle is slow and shallow because small area of an air break (OK, an aileron). With two toggles on a hand, the canopy does not become agile because nearly a half of a trailing edge of the canopy engaged as the airbrake that located too close to the center of the canopy. This makes me think that quoted at the beginning of this post sentences commented Icarus in configuration 6+2 that forces TM to fly long straight approach making canopy the most vulnerable to wind gusts, turbulence, and thermals. This is the most non-Icarus tactics. As I said above, I made thousands of jumps on Icarus-365/330/300 canopies that were in 6/1 configuration that allowed me to control the canopy on opening, make energetic turns that gave me good horizontal speed that was converted into a lift on landing. I use the landing pattern of 270-degree turn with a toggle pulled down to the top of my shoulder. This turn provides me with the speed that is the best treatment of winds, turbulence, and thermals. Relatively low vertical speed allows to stop turn and any moment and flare. So, in my opinion (a personal one of course) Icarus tandem is the good and reliable canopy.
  2. This means that you still did not meet your worst customer. If you will jump tandems long enough, you will...
  3. The old Wall Street rule says "Have a fact - buy, have a rumor - sell"...
  4. In 1987 our 8-way broke off for opening. One guy that opened at the upper level had a chop. Before his reserve opened, he hit the guy from the low level. The guy that was hit did was smacked before he released steering toggles. So, he landed knocked out on main (around 240 sq.f) with stowed breaks. Luckily, we opened above a plowed field. He suffered concussion and many bruises. He never recovered from that hit (it was the mixture of past traumatic syndrome and disruption of a fine coordination) and was not able to continue RW on competition level...
  5. CFR 14 Part 105.43 Tandem jumps: "(i) Has a minimum of 3 years of experience in parachuting, and must provide documentation that the parachutist— (ii) Has completed a minimum of 500 freefall parachute jumps using a ram-air parachute, and (iii) Holds a master parachute license issued by an organization recognized by the FAA, and (iv) Has successfully completed a tandem instructor course given by the manufacturer of the tandem parachute system used in the parachute operation or a course acceptable to the Administrator. (v) Has been certified by the appropriate parachute manufacturer or tandem course provider as being properly trained on the use of the specific tandem parachute system to be used. (2) The person acting as parachutist in command Follow it or you will in trouble with feds...
  6. Wow! That was a gust! Among important factors I would mention the wing load factor. I know DZ that utilize Icarus-270 and they jump at 27 knots. In steady wind and on small canopy I would go 24, maybe 25 knots. (and I would make money selling adrenaline :) ) In turbulent conditions 15 knots would be enough.
  7. M-m... Vasily Mladinov (Guam) Yuri Griaznov (Guam) (both actually close to 20k) Vladimir Ursachi (Snohomish, USA) I think that some guys on Hawaii have 10K tandems. I know ozzie guys with 10K...
  8. Islander-O

    Top 5 RSL myths

    Well, I have 17000+ jumps and I had to chop my mine canopy around 40 times. I have mixture of fast spin and, nearly, relaxed low speed mals. I have done 9000+ tandems and I do nOt disconnect the RSL when I jump tandem. I know that the fear of broken riser(s) is widely spread among Australian TM. I have experienced hard openings (believe me they were hard one). I saw video (analog camera) of one tandem hard opening: frame #1: deploy bag lift off; frame #2: the slider on risers. Even at that time neither risers or canopy were broken. I scared to think about a hard opening that causes a riser destruction! If a riser can be destructed by the opening shock, maybe better to look into the canopy design or the packing manual? I agree that CRW is total different issue. If it is not, I would prefer to have as many chances as I can on my side and RSL is one of them...
  9. Thanks to everybody for suggestions. I just answer on my own questions in case that someone would have the same issue. We inserted a platform that was in level with the door edge. It was laminated for better sliding. FAA did not approve our request for step. First passenger had to seat facing engine with feet under a pilot seat. First instructor seat at the door facing engine. For gear up, instructor moved close to passenger. After gear up, instructor and passenger slide backward till passenger reached forward door edge. Such position allows to spot looking under wing. With knowledge of surrounding DZ area it is doable. With 20 seconds call, pilot changed engine setting to a descend mode and put flaps in second position. It gave us 90-85 knots exit speed. With Let's Go call, instructor moved back and right to let passenger bring legs on the door edge. During this operation, instructor let passenger sit on the edge. Arms Cross, Head Back; after that TI continues to slide outside until passenger hangs on TI. After that just roll forward. Second pare just slides toward the door and everything the same.
  10. Yes, maybe skydiving scenes in 1991 Point Break were not the best, but they perfectly conveyed the spirit and adventure of skydiving. Soon after Point Break was followed by Terminal Velocity, Drop Zone, Dead Center (maybe I missed the name) that were stuffet with skydiving but the spirit was missed. In 1994-95 I worked in Autralia. Drop Zone was realised DZ expected similar to Point Break effect but it did not happen.
  11. I have to take my words back after looking at those pictures. I missed Pivot with different design... Sorry
  12. Last November I turned 60. I still do tandems. Personally, I think that instructors should be as old, sorry experienced, as it is possible. Instructor has to devote him or herself to the student (passenger). Young guys enrolled for the instructorship to support their fun skydiving and sport ambitions. They can be good, but a teaching for them can be a burden. As for the age, I would like to tell that I was blessed to meet a man that did his first(!!!) jump and the age of 76, his 900-th jump(!) at the age of 90. He liked to say: "I am not old, I just was born long time ago..."
  13. I have to agree that Precision looks as Icarus is it is not the same. Eventually, I have learned it by own expense. :( So, if your DZ is not elevated very high above MSL and the wearther does not featured high winds and turbulence, you can go for what is more affordable, easy to ship etc. If your DZ requires some skills to handle ragged weather, Icarus would be the canopy of the choice. I know it from my own experience Icarus-360/330/300 at very restricted DZ with high winds and turbulence. Blue Sky