davelepka

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Gear

  • Main Canopy Size
    103
  • Main Canopy Other
    Velocity
  • Reserve Canopy Size
    113
  • AAD
    Cypres

Jump Profile

  • Home DZ
    Aerohio
  • License
    D
  • License Number
    21448
  • Licensing Organization
    uspa
  • Number of Jumps
    5800
  • Years in Sport
    19
  • First Choice Discipline
    Freeflying
  • Second Choice Discipline
    Freefall Photography

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  • AFF
    Instructor
  • USPA Coach
    Yes
  • Pro Rating
    Yes

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  1. davelepka

    Toggle Grip

    This is a bad excuse for a bad idea. Dropped toggles are a huge problem, and your best chance for avoiding them is all of your fingers through the toggle with the thumb locking your fingers closed - period, end of sentence. You won't drop a toggle when things are normal and going as planned. It's when there's some sort of unusual situation on landing that you drop a toggle, the very time when what you think is 'ok' becomes very far from 'ok'. Your rigger, with 35 years in the sport is a liability in that sense. He's been jumping long enough to remember when toggles were made of wooden dowels, and meant to be held that way. This is also when canopies were MUCH slower, and a dropped toggle was far less of a problem than now. There's a reason that EVERY SINGLE MANUFACTURER ships their rigs with full-loop fabric toggles, and it's because they're good and they work. Adjusting your steering lines is not hard or time consuming. Either make the drive to your riggers house and watch him do the work, give your rig to your rigger to take home for the week to do the work and bring it back to you the following weekend, or find another rigger to do the work. You're making a stupid mistake by using a Band-Aid fix (a shit one) for a small problem that's easy to fix, and can also easily become a huge problem. Get your gear straight, and properly configured for your body type before your next jump.
  2. See if you can find the 35mm equivalent focal length for your video camera zoomed all the way out. Sometimes it's in the manual somewhere. Now take that number and split it in half to account for your .5 wide angle lens, and that's the focal length you want for your still camera. You want them to match as closely as possible so your framing is the same for video and stills. You're asking some pretty basic questions. If you don't have camera flying experience, ditch the still camera and spend some time shooting fun jumpers with just the video camera. Get used to the idea of using your body to fly around and frame shots, and just build some general 'camera awareness' before adding the weight and complexity of the still camera.
  3. Downsizing would not be a solution in this case. If she is having trouble flaring, going faster is not a good idea. Exercising is key, and she needs to be doing it in such a way to build strength. Higher weights and lower reps are going to get her the results she needs, she is looking to build muscle for power, not endurance, she only needs to fly a canopy for a few minutes at a time, and only needs to flare once. That said, work on her technique as well. I've worked with several ladies who have had this problem, and one solution that helped them was to keep the toggles close to their bodies and rotate their elbows upward for the last part of the flare so they're pushing straight down on the toggles. They have more leverage/power in that position, and can generally finish the flare better as opposed to what most jumpers do which is holding the toggles out away from their body and flaring with a straight arm.
  4. Some hard work, and some low prices afforded by not doing required maintenance on his aircraft for long, long periods of time. Aircraft in his ownership were flown for 1000's of loads beyond the factory mandated life limits on control cables, and without factory mandated inspections of critical structural portions of the airframe. Aircraft in his ownership and maintained by his staff have had engine failures caused by incomplete maintenance when simple inspections of critical components were not performed. Yes, it's a fact he's been in business for a long time and he does turn a lot of loads, but if we're going to post the facts, let's be fair and post them all, yes?
  5. davelepka

    IS this safe/legal ??

    Your premise is retarded. So just because the fatality rate is close to that of other sports, the poster you replied to should not be upset that some jumpers are engaged in clearly stupid and dangerous behavior? I'm sure if I dug long enough, I could find a sport with a much lower fatality rate than skydiving, that would make skydiving look terrible. I'm sure I could also find one with a higher rate that would make skydiving look great. Neither one would justify the stupid behavior in the photo that spawned this thread. Here's the other MAJOR difference. There is very little stopping 'anyone' from buying a kayak or a rope and going out to paddle or climb on their own. Rivers and rocks are just there for the taking, and it's not tough for people to access them. Compare that to skydiving. At a minimum, you need an airplane owner and a pilot, both of which have a lot invested in being an airplane owner and/or pilot, and don't want to see that harmed by being a part of someone making an amateur skydive. Then you need a rig, which not something you can just pick up at the local outfitters. A lay person would have a very hard time getting a hold of a rig, having assembled, and having the slightest idea how to operate it. So the end result is that that VAST majority of jumps, like something on the high side of 99.9999999%, are made at a DZ which has it's own interests to protect, and thus is going to be keeping a fairly close eye on the actions of all the jumpers. Given the fairly strict controls over jumpers, and the severely limited access to jumping, it's not surprising that the fatality rate is similar to that of other sports. Can you imagine the safety record of paddling if every river was privately owned, and every paddler had to go through a training course in order to paddle there, and then was watched over before/during/after every time they got in the water?
  6. davelepka

    Tile App - Find Your Gear?

    Yep. Corn eats gear like there's no tomorrow. It's hard enough to get yourself out 8ft high corn, let alone finding anything that landed there. I'm not saying that this tech in the OP is workable, just that 100ft range could really simplify the idea of a grid search in a corn field.
  7. That seems like an odd statement. Wouldn't a lens with a wider FOV offer more of the 'scenery', more of the time as opposed to a narrower lens? Beyond that, how does the FOV of the lens relate to the 'suckiness' of the camera flyer? As long as their framing is good, what difference does the FOV make? Truth be told, there are quite a few aircraft or step/handle configurations that do not allow good pictures in the door prior to exit without a wide angle lens. Sure, if you have an Otter with a large step and camera rail, you can climb way back and be able to frame them up nice in the door without a wide angle lens. but short of that a wide angle lens offers you a more complete FOV in the door, and like I mentioned above, provided you adjust your flying to the lens and your framing is good, what difference does it make?
  8. davelepka

    Tunnel Equipment ?

    Keep in mind that you have to 'prove' yourself in the tunnel before they'll crank up the speed and let you freefly in there. Time on your belly, time on your back, time spent on the net 'freeflying' with low airspeed, etc, all before you'll be really 'freeflying' in the tunnel. Nothing you can do about it, just a heads up. You'll get further, faster in the tunnel with a coach. Find one ahead of time, and talk to them about the progression so you know what to expect in terms of how much time you'll need in there.
  9. davelepka

    Whats a video guy/gal make these days?

    Yeah, probably a better deal for the DZ, but I know we have trouble finding and keep good editors, so the per-video deal seems to work out better as they have more earning potential. When they can edit themselves into $100+ per day on a busy day, it's easier to get them to show up and sit there all day. As an aside, I also share tips with my editor. There's no real formula, but I'll generally just give every 3rd or 4th tip straight to the editor. If we get an editor who works the whole season, shows up every day, and really puts a good effort for the benefit of the 'team', I'll take up a collection from the video staff and we'll tip them at the end of the season. It's usually good for a couple hundred bucks.
  10. davelepka

    Noob questions

    You did mention that you thought it was an expensive sport, so I figured that might a something to keep in mind. If you buy used gear that's considered 'modern', and don't hang onto it for more than 2 or 3 years tops, you can get most of your money back out of it (of course, provided you take care of it). So what you do is buy your first rig, then pay for (mostly) your next one by selling the first one. This way, you make the one big investment, then just cash it out when you want to jump something else. Now the end-game is another story. One mistake people make is that they quit skydiving slowly. They stop jumping, but are in denial and keep insisting that they'll be back. Good for them, but bad for the value of their gear. If you buy a 3 year old rig and jump it for 2 seasons, you have a nice 5 year old rig you can sell. If you stick in your closet for 5 years, while you insist that you're going to jump again, now you have a 10 year old rig and the value is going to be way down. The long and short of it is that if you manage the situation properly, you can jump and own used gear for not too much dough. Yes, you do have several thousand dollars you need to tie up in the whole thing, but you can get the bulk of that back out in the end if you play your card right. Again, the AAD is another story. It's just a cost to own one and the extra layer of safety it provides. Again, figure about $125 per year to have an AAD in your rig, but you may have to tie up the full $1300 while you're jumping to make it all happen.
  11. davelepka

    Noob questions

    That's a valid point. However, what exactly you're going to need in a first rig will have nothing to do with the price. You can put together almost any sort of used rig for between $2500 and $3500 without an AAD (the AAD is the little computer that cuts the reserve closing loop if you're in freefall at too low of an altitude). If you want an AAD, you might be able to find a used one and the price will reflect the age of the unit. The Cypres 2, the one you want, has a 12 year life span, so it loses value every year. You might find a 10 year old one you can buy for $200 or $300, and jump it for 2 years. The other option is to buy a new one for $1300/$1400, and plan on it losing about $100 in value while you jump it, but you can sell it easily for the remaining value without too much trouble if you get out of the sport. If you keep jumping for 12 years (or more), the AAD can be installed in any rig you buy in that time frame. But in terms of the harness/container (these are one component), the main canopy and reserve canopy, $2500 to $3500 is a good budget for a 'nice' used rig with fairly modern components. There are rigs for less, and rigs for more, but if you can work within that range, you should have no problem setting up a rig. One other thing to keep in mind, if you spend $3000 on a used rig and you pay a fair price for it, you can jump it for a year or two and 100 or 200 jumps, and then be able to sell it for $2750 or better. A used rig that has already depreciated in price from new won't really depreciate all that much more while you jump/own it, so it's really not a bad 'investment' in that sense.
  12. davelepka

    Whats a video guy/gal make these days?

    $20 to $40 refers to the pay for the video guy. Sometimes the video guy is also the editor, as they have to edit their own videos. In the cases where there is a separate editor, they usually get between $5 and $10 per video. I would guess that most DZs charge about $100 for a video. Sometimes that's video only with stills being an added cost upgrade, and sometimes that's for both video and stills. In terms of how much the video guy gets paid, if it's on the low end, I would hope that the DZ is providing everything short of a camera helmet. Their memory card, editor, edit suite, DVD, thumb drives, etc. If it's on the higher end, maybe the video guy needs to provide his own media and edit suite, and do his own editing.
  13. davelepka

    Container Differences?

    That one? Have you contacted the seller and confirmed that the harness and container will fit you and the canopies you can safely jump today? Not much detail in that ad. No sizes, no serial number, no pic........
  14. Again, you're making the mistake in thinking that your final purchase price will be that much less than the price that 'joe jumper' off the street could get from a dealer without a certificate. In order for you to make any profit, your asking price would have to be so close to the 'market price' that any buyer would just order their own new rig for $100 or $200 more, in the exact colors and sizes they want.
  15. The actual 'value' of those certificates varies from deal to deal, but most of them are good for about $200 or $300 off the final price. When they say '50%' off, that's generally off the list price. There's not a dealer on earth who charges list price, most of them give you 30% or 35% off, or something like that. So when you really sit down and do the math, design your rig and price it out with all the options, using the certificate only saves you a couple hundred bucks vs just buying one through a dealer. I'm not one to balk at saving a couple hundred bucks, but the 'value' of those certificates are just not what they appear to be. I always get a kick out of the guys trying to sell them in the classifieds here, and they ask something just shy of the 'face value'. Unless you're in the market for a new rig, or in a position to order one anyway, I can't see any reason not to just pass it on to someone who is. The certificates are often given away as door prizes, so the winner has nothing in it besides being lucky. Easy come, easy go.