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Everything posted by pchapman

  1. I've seen it done and am OK with it. The mechanics of the RSL pull shouldn't introduce any forces too much different than normal. Have to watch the RSL routing though. Depending on where the RSL is situated (on the reserve risers or under or inboard of them), someone might route the RSL UNDER the reserve risers instead of over top, to get to the outboard side instead of inboard. (Might still work despite dragging the RSL under the risers before the reserve is released. Even weirder and scarier if a MARD were involved.) Plus it just looks weird and is confusing to anyone who is helping with a gear check. So I tend to recommend it as temporary only, until one gets some new risers shipped in...
  2. For others: Skip to 2:25. And turn your volume down. Nice job getting out of spinning line twists. And then dealing with the popped toggle. The video is kind of good in that it shows less than instant & perfect reactions too (not a "See I'm great" video), as it takes a while to reach up far enough to get to the toggle. (Sunk in harness a bit from G's? Wingsuit restricting arms?) Actually he happens to get to the stowed toggle just before the popped toggle. Whatever works!
  3. I thought Branch did pack lines to bottom... since it was bridle towards the "bottom of thereserve container", which is bridle towards the head. Anyway, whatever the confusion over a lack of consistent skydiver terminology regarding directional axes, that sounds like a super tight main if one has to pull up at 25 lbs on the bridle to rotate the bag out... Edit: ninja'd
  4. 'Deep' is relative to whatever the stall point of the canopy is. Which could be with toggles past full arm extension, or chest level, or whatever applies to you and your arms in that particular harness with that particular canopy. So you can fly with no brakes, shallow brakes, moderate brakes (or medium or whatever term you want), or deep brakes. There's no specific definition (eg, "75-99% of the usable brake range before the first pre-stall rocking"). It's just "a lot of brake, getting closer to the point where you would stall the canopy or have arms fully extended". In deep brakes the canopy will fly a steeper line towards the ground, a steeper descent. The canopy might be dropping vertically faster than in moderate brakes, although possible less than when in no brakes, if it is a ground hungry canopy with a high descent rate in normal flight. It is easier to hit a target on the ground when coming down steeply, rather than skimming by at a shallow angle. Deep brakes is good for that. If too deep, you are getting closer to a stall, and thus susceptible to added danger from turbulence or accidentally stalling the canopy. You also won't have much energy left in the canopy for a flare, which isn't a big issue if doing accuracy with a big canopy onto a soft tuffet. If you do need to descend steeply (e.g., landing into a small field surrounded by trees), but would hit the ground too hard without much flare, you might need to have the room to pick up some speed again (out of deep brakes) before doing a flare with more effect. You might also fly in deep brakes when learning about and practicing approaches to stalls and doing stalls, while up high. Flying in deep brakes is therefore something with some added risk if not done appropriately, and not generally needed for normal flying and landing (excluding the dynamic activity of the flare), but is useful in specific situations.
  5. Students don't need to deal about buying a jumpsuit -- that's normally supplied by the dropzone. When you are going off student status, then you can start worrying about all that. Jumpsuits for flying on one's belly also have grippers so one can dock for formations. Still useful for students, if doing AFF, or learning to fly one's first formations with an instructor or coach.
  6. True, stuff happens and the focus is on your jump, not getting the camera footage. Still, at the DZ I'm at, I'm used to the idea that on most AFF style jumps, at least one of the instructors will always plan to have video. These days one expects to have video as a training tool that greatly improves feedback for the student. It is part of the whole teaching process. All video gets uploaded to the computer system where students can review it (and bring a USB stick to download their own at their leisure). So occasionally a student doesn't get video of a particular jump, but ideally there's a copy of every jump available to the student.
  7. Ok I'll bite, you do present an interesting case! If the DZ has some good rental gear for downsizing, maybe you can at least convince them to allow a rapid downsizing. Back in the old days, early in the zero-p canopy era, if you were good you might do a couple jumps on a particular size canopy, then downsize a size, and repeat. If going to a sportier canopy, have a few jumps on a more docile canopy of the same size. Anyway, that was my experience in the early 1990s as someone who also thought they were a special case -- a pilot in my case. Try to borrow rigs as well, if needed to help with the downsizing. At least then you might have an idea what works for you before you spend money on gear yourself. If you're already on a 180 at 2 jumps that's just one 1 to 2 more downsizes to a 150 anyway. I'm not a great source of advice as I don't speedfly (only paraglide). I'm not sure of the glide ratios current speedflying or riding canopies are built for, but I'd warn you to be careful of the more ground hungry skydiving canopies until you worked your way into them. At the same wing loading, there can be canopies of widely varying flight characteristics. I guess they aren't really common at say 150 size, but at 135 and under they start to be more common. They have a steep descent (say, glide ratio of under 2.5) and dive sharply in turns. So be careful of the model of canopy and not just size. Whether you end up buying a 150 or whatever, it is just very difficult to know what to look for (in a rig, reserve, and main) when you've only barely started skydiving. You could probably fly and land smaller than a 150 easily enough, but you would also be learning to deal with packing, body position on opening, and dealing with other skydivers on opening and in the landing pattern. So who knows, maybe a 150 at 1.25 loading or thereabouts might be reasonable to stay at for a little while.
  8. This is a decent design I jump. The key here is that there is a downwards facing tuck tab just below the main tab to hold the brake line. It is resistant to coming out when simply pushed in one direction along the riser -- like by a slider grommet slamming down. Too many toggles have only upwards facing tabs. (Source for mine is a Canadian rigger, Al MacDonald at Flying High. He was already making these 15 years ago.) Mirage for years had toggles with up and down facing tabs but a later one I saw had both facing up. The Racer design with the snap fasteners seem like they would be even better at avoiding accidental release. @gb1 who wrote " they elected to install the ones with an inside diameter of 15/16 in. Real bright. The old style #8's have an ID of 1 1/6 in. ". I had figured that diameter was all that was available for lightweight stainless grommets. Otherwise the full #8 size would certainly have been preferable....
  9. Interesting (and annoying) that they want to enforce their rules by Nationality and not simply by Residency. Someone might not have set foot in the homeland of their passport since they were a kid, or since they started skydiving, and suddenly would be required to get all the local licences -- even if just visiting for a weeked and not moving to the country permanently. I wonder to what degree they actually check passports, if you show up and say, "Guten Tag, I'm from Amerika and want to jump!".... but it doesn't sound like the DZ or national organization are very flexible...
  10. Just ask about your weight. It may or may not be an issue depending on the school. Each will have their own student weight limit. Some gear (harnesses, emergency parachute) is only certified to 254 lbs for example, and that's person plus all their gear. That used to be a common standard, which also means that plenty of people technically overloaded their gear. But nowadays there is more gear that's rated to a higher value, so ideally you would find a place that has such gear. It can also depend on the instructors available. For example, for the AFF method of instruction, if they don't have any big burly instructors (or maybe super high experienced ones), they might cap the student weight at a level below yours. An instructor might have a personal limit on how big a fellow they want to try to move around in freefall, especially in the rare occasions when things aren't going all smoothly...
  11. 20 years of heavy use, getting fuzzed up from wear or heavily faded from sunlight, sure one could have webbing lose half its strength. Look for the "Wilcox Webbing Tests". (Old Skydiving Magazine article and also a PIA presentation. Might still be kicking around the web. ) But there's also data from government and military testing suggesting that one might lose only say under 2% of strength per decade, if not stored in too hot conditions. That's the closet queen scenario, without sun and dirt and wear. (This has been in older threads I've been involved with, but I'm not dredging up the data right now.) Nylon does degrade and oxidize over time, and the chemical processes are speeded up with heat. But it is a slow, slow process.
  12. Good point. Although first the rule is given, then it talks about voluntary compliance. So it is a bit vague on what exactly is voluntary -- the rule, or the compliance. E.g., "Murder is a crime. Voluntary compliance with this law will protect everyone."
  13. Ok. Even there it just talks about applying to "all jumps" from aircrat, except military or emergency. While that technically sets no limits to location or time, it is still really only USPA's interpretation if they expect it to apply globally 24/7. Mike Mullins seems to believe it does, so as a director, his opinion has some weight. I would want to see it clarified what the USPA really want. Most organizations' rules are intended only to apply to activity relating to that organization. But I've spent enough time on this issue that really doesn't affect me anyway, although it would for other jumpers I know....
  14. To go back to the origin of all this, where is it stated, that USPA members must always follow the BSR's, as Mike Mullins suggested? Any argument depends greatly on what the actual rule happens to be! It really is supposed to apply all over the globe, 24/7? Or is it mainly aimed at the USA? I can see why the USPA might have done it, to try to fight back against non USPA DZ's, sketchy or not, within the US. I can see the USPA not wanting someone to have fun at a USPA DZ (where the USPA membership is needed) but also teach at the sketchy Pecos Parachute School at other times. One might or might not agree with that. So if a BASE jumper with a BASE rig has some fun from a balloon or ultralight in the US, yeah that's violating the FARs. But if he is a USPA member, should the USPA consider it a violation of their BSR's too? He has to maintain his squeaky clean USPA standards 24/7? Thanks. So I'm not quite as concerned as I initially was. If the USPA is attempting global 24/7 control of a jumper, there seem to be some exceptions. It's easy to misunderstand the "follow the FAR's" rule. It isn't about following the TEXT of the FAR's but about not actually committing an FAR violation -- which can't normally happen when in another country. So it doesn't stop a USPA member from jumping from an ultralight aircraft with a BASE rig, in another country. Whether or not that is legal in another country. The BSR's are good that do try to take some account of foreign operations, such as allowing jumps below age 18 outside the US, if OK with the local rules (although a USPA license won't be granted until 18). What specifially would let one interpret all the USPA student training BSR's to only apply to students being trained in the USA? And thus try to control USPA DZ's, plus non-USPA DZ's (even if FAA legal), but not foreign DZs? The BSR's after all say "All student training programs must be conducted under the direction and oversight of an appropriately rated USPA Instructor until the student is issued a USPA A license". If so, it would stop a CSPA instructor from instructing CSPA students, if the instructor happened to have a USPA membership. Or does one wave ones hands around and say, "Well, the USPA doesn't really mean to shut down training around the world if someone happens to have a USPA membership, so don't worry about it. "?? But if one does that for outside the USA, why wouldn't that apply inside the USA too, and thus not interfere with non-USPA DZ's? The BSR's don't have that many other requirements once one gets past the student stuff -- Much of it is stuff like no alcohol, opening altitudes, max winds, and deployment altitudes. The details of those rules tend not to be too restrictive compared to many countries in the world. So there this USPA-global-control idea doesn't actually cause that many problems. Still, conflicts will occur: In Canada, a jumper not jumping under voluntary CSPA rules, but jumping over some farm field, could legally pull low. But the USPA BSR's would try to restrict him from doing that. Or, a while distances to obstacles are similar for the USPA and CSPA, the USPA happens to be stricter than the CSPA for a C licensed jumper. So the USPA wants its rules to apply, even on "a CSPA jump" if the jumper is dual rated? And the water jump question is still open. Again, unless one waves ones hands around and claims some common sense exception, "Well, there are no USPA S&TA's at most places elsewhere in the world so that doesn't really apply." The whole issue could still use some clarity about what exactly the USPA requires in its rules, and what it really intends the rules to do.
  15. I'll kind of agree with you here Westerly. Pitching in a track isn't inherently bad. It can be, and might OFTEN be, depending on the tracking situation, but isn't necessarily so in all cases, so it can be perfectly fine. Now if one has a fairly short track, as is typical in a quick breakoff from an RW jump, then one might not be slowing down all that much vertically, and one is adding horizontal speed -- so the total velocity might be higher. And some people don't track all that efficiently. And dumping in a track means the opening starts with one 'less upright' or body in line with the canopy deployment -- so it can be snappier on the neck and feel worse, if the canopy is already snappy to begin with. So there are many cases where yes slowing down from the track before pitching is the right thing to do. But on the other side, I've done long tracks where my vertical speed went way down. (Measured by Protack, with data on a computer so I wouldn't be fooled by any short term data fluctuations from body position changes.) With a canopy that opens reasonably well, pitching from that track tended to produce nice smooth openings, at least as smooth as normal. I love pitching in a track on that canopy! Even though I had some decent forward speed going, I think my total speed was lower or no faster than in normal freefall.
  16. This is always fun. NZ Aerosports are the "designers and makers of Icarus canopies" as they state, yet but don't make the "Icarus Reserve" or the "Icarus Nano" as they are called on the Icarus World website, names that don't include the World part. The companies don't help in reducing the confusion.
  17. Someone else may have a better take, but I'll take a stab at the issue, although I don't personally know of any cases: Some MARDs disconnect from the pilot chute with almost zero force, and some companies think that is a positive feature. In contrast, the UPT Skyhook MARD is tacked in place, so it takes some pounds to disconnect. That can also be seen as a positive, by preventing unwanted disconnections when the reserve bridle is whipping around in the burble as it starts to pay out. That makes the MARD feature more reliable. I'll now leave that argument aside, whether a MARD should best disconnect at say 0 lbs, 1/10 lbs, 5 lbs, or something else. It may also help in cases of an accidental reserve opening after a main opening -- The Vector pilot chute might not disconnect from the MARD RSL, which in turn is solidly velcroed to the harness, keeping the pilot chute from dragging out the freebag. That's good if you don't want a two out. But in case of a slow speed mal at very low altitude where you did want more nylon out, would that connection hinder reserve deployment? I would expect it to only be an issue in certain rare situations, where the airspeed isn't too much. The Vector PC, while it has worked just fine in huge numbers of uses in some of the world's most popular rigs, is also one that has particularly low drag, so when on a shortened bridle (just to the Skyhook) in the burble of a jumper, it might have a slightly harder time popping the Skyhook seal thread and then extracting the reserve bag from the container and reserve from the bag. How much force it actually takes to disconnect, and what happens in practice under slow speed flight under a main, I'm not sure. (Force to break the seal thread on the Skyhook will depend on actual geometry and knot strength reduction factor, and isn't simply a matter of taking the tensile strength of the thread alone.)
  18. Well yeah but it takes time. Thanks. One can use the awkward web interface there, or download / extract / filter the MS Access database as I did. The only Parachutes Australia items to show up are: ArticleNumber 6111-( ) [# my edit: that's the Talon 2 licensed copy#] P15 Pigmee S-7 Piggyback Thinpack Parachute Assy S5 and P8 Tandem dual pack S18 Slimpack S3 Trimpig S11 Slimpack II S3 S15 The Talon 2 is under C-23c category B, the rest under C-23b. As you were finding, this does confirm our suspicious that the Airforce reserve isn't TSO'd. As we already know from the bulletin, its life is now considered indefinite. So unless I missed something, an Airforce reserve of any age is jumpable in the US by visiting Aussies, visiting Canucks ("we don't need no steenkin' TSO"), but not resident 'Muricans.
  19. Thanks Jerry. That gets at the 'terminology' issue I had -- how to describe something where the design has a TSO but a particular item, although built to the TSO plans, isn't TSO'd because it wasn't built through production facilities currently approved to build that TSO'd design...
  20. Which makes it sound like it is not actually TSO'd (although I can't tell for sure from this info). It sounds like they used the TSO list of requirements, and did drop tests etc. to satisfy Australian requirements. That could be reassuring to an Australian customer. BUT... the gear wasn't actually entered into the US TSO system. Nor is there any sign that an Australian part 103.18 certification is automatically accepted as equivalent to a TSO by the US. Then you get into the issue, "But what if one is talking about a PA rig that was a license built copy of a US TSO'd Rigging Innovations rig?" That's certainly worth something to a jumper, but if it isn't actually produced in a TSO approved production facility, then it still can't count as having a TSO even if the design is TSO'd. (As a similar example, for one Canadian rig that was TSO'd, it was done through Transport Canada according to bilateral agreements with the FAA, so the FAA accepts it. So it has a real FAA TSO. Then the production plans and facility were approved & inspected so that it was run on a TSO approved production line. Years later, the company owner gave up the formal TSO certification as he wasn't selling many to the US anyway, so it wasn't worth the money to pay for the inspections the Canadian authorities were doing for the production line. A jumper can be reassured that the design actually went through all TSO tests which were accepted by the US, even if a current production rig doesn't actually have a TSO. An earlier rig could be jumped by a US resident, but the current ones can't.) Correct me if I'm wrong about TSO'd production lines -- I'm a bit hazy on that aspect and what formal terminology applies.
  21. I notice digitized copies have been going around. Very handy to have backups to my paper copies. At least the copies are free, even when not legal.
  22. This has been hashed out before in big arguments on dropzone. Someone did get a statement from the FAA that it is perfectly legal to pack a rig where the AAD expires before the end of the pack cycle. As others are saying, it is absolutely 100% clear that as a rigger you are not certifying a rig for 180 days, you are certifying a rig to be airworthy at this very moment. If you have liability concerns, then you might as well give up rigging. "I'm sorry, I won't pack for you because you're a bit of a goof. And you might try to deceive your DZ about your rig's airworthiness at some point. And your gear is kind of old; you should buy new stuff, through me. And I don't like the brand. Plus it is ugly. And you have kids and a spouse who might sue if you bounce."
  23. PD is a company that has done a lot of fiddling or research with slider design, and while they have some domed sliders, the variety of slider designs they use suggests that domed sliders are not the answer to every problem. Most PD sliders are flat, but PD uses domed sliders on the Sigma tandem mains. They also have Katana canopies of certain sizes with mesh at the outside of the slider, divorcing the grommet spacing from the actual sail slider fabric size. Those sliders are also domed. They also have canopies with I guess flat sliders, that have snaps to hold the slider in place, and that's whether it is a high end swooping canopy or a giant-nosed accuracy canopy.
  24. Probably pretty hard to find that kind of information, especially in first world-ish English speaking countries & many others. Unless it is some company-internal data at Cypres. Cypres kind of lets people go past the inspection dates and expiry lifetime (and I'm not talking about the newer units with different lifetimes), but I get the impression that was more to accommodate far-off places where such stuff was going on anyway, or units would get stolen when shipped for service, due to a bad postal system. It would be very rare to have past-maintenance or past-expiry units be used in the US / Canada / UK etc as 'here' the company recommendations are considered strict rules. In one publication in 2014 Airtec wrote: " "Airtec, the manufacturer of CYPRES does not recommend to keep out of date CYPRES units in use for life saving activities subsequently and therefore limits the warranty to 12.5 Years (CYPRES-1 - 12,25 years) in total, according to the present knowledge base and safety standards" " Note that is says "recommend". Anyway there may be some places in the world where a few more Cypres' are used past 4 yr maintenance or 12.5 yrs life, other then the ones now authorized to do so. The only accident I can recall that someone once died because their Cypres 1 battery was way overdue for its 2 year replacement and ran out of juice. Not sure of the details but that's hardly relevant now in an era with lower-power electronics and thus batteries that last 4 to 15 years. (Accident was in Canada, mid 90s maybe, novice screwed up. Not sure of how Cyp1's handled low charge, but I guess the device booted up but didn't quite have enough charge to fire.)
  25. Hop and pops count. You are still 'free' as you exit the aircraft, even if you initiate deployment as soon as you clear the aircraft. (Static line, direct bagging, Instructor Assisted Deployment, and drag-offs wouldn't count. But some of that is pretty esoteric and not an issue for you to worry about.)