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  1. I like Icarus tandems. I jumped IT-365/330/300. All of them where in single steering toggle configuration, which I like a lot. All canopies provided a stable, soft openings, a smooth flying, a good control and a nice landing. IT canopies handled well gusty winds, turbulence and thermals. I landed with them on various restricted landing zones (soccer fields, baseball fields, narrow strip beaches). My favorite tandem canopy is IT-300 in a single steering toggle configuration. I would call it a "Ferrari of tandem canopies". Of course, a IT pilot must possess certain knowledge and canopy control skills, but "Ferrari" never is driven as go-go mobile .
  2. Hi everybody! Recently, I encountered with a challenge: the DZ wants to use C-172 as an alternative plane for tandem jumps (when just one tandem passenger). I am 6 feet (1.8 m) tall, around 200 pounds. I tried to find a position for me and for a passenger. When I sit on a floor facing a tail, it is difficult to hook up a passenger and check a drogue and handles: I feel really squeezed between a door and a pilot seat. When I kneel, my container messes with the aircraft controls (some knobs and a fuel switch (as the pilot said). Q: does anybody have an experience of making tandems from C-172? If Yes, how big you are and how you did it? Appreciate any input in advance.
  3. I am 65 right now and I keep going. I pack myself when the DZ does not have packers. Last year my best day was 9 tandems with an own packing.
  4. I jumped close to 1000 jumps from A-350. It is a little bit squeezy: the left front seat was removed. Aircraft that we used where not fitted with a sliding door. So, the left side door was removed at the beginning of every jumping day. Two tandem pares were sitting on the rear seat. Passenger harness was secured by a seat belt. The trick was to put a passenger on my lap for hook up procedure when you exit first (you are sitting next to the open door). I experimented with side connectors but that did not work. Finally, I just hugged my passenger with my left hand and did not wast my time in hooking the passenger right side connector. The exit was not a problem. I learned to step with my left foot on the landing rail (I am 1.8 m (6 feet) tall). Passenger was hanging on me. The exit was nice and easy. TI's that were shorter as me jumped from the door edge. The chopper itself is very fast in climb and descent. Have nice and easy operation!
  5. O-o! I hear the voice of a wisdom! The instructor who turns 180 degrees is not instructor... I think that an instructor is one who knows how walk from the landing spot under any circumstances, at any weather...
  6. 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.
  7. This means that you still did not meet your worst customer. If you will jump tandems long enough, you will...
  8. The old Wall Street rule says "Have a fact - buy, have a rumor - sell"...
  9. 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...
  10. 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...
  11. 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.
  12. 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...