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  • Home DZ
    Blue Sky Ranch
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    Wing Suit Flying
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  1. I've had a handful of jumps on my squirrel. I don't have experience with other large suits so as for flying characteristics I will leave those comparisons to others. I did want to mention, however, that the customer service was of an entirely different level than my last purchase. Every promise they made was met or exceeded and they reached out to me to see if I was having any fit issues. A+ service makes me happy that I chose Squirrel.
  2. http://www.theblueskyranch.com/events.php http://crosskeysskydiving.com/skydiver_events.php http://skydive.skysthelimit.net/experienced/events.htm Quick google search shows that all the major dropzone's in the area have their event schedules posted online.
  3. Following is a list of considerations that all balloon jumpers should think about. 1. There is no established pattern when multiple persons are landing in the same landing area. 2. There is no jump run separation. I have been witness to experienced jumpers forget about the balloon above them and turn and fly directly underneath the balloon even though more jumpers exiting after them. Clear the airspace below the balloon quickly after you open. 3. Balloon pilots know nothing about skydiving, and haven't been briefed in any of the skydiving specific risks. They don't even know what they could do to undermine your safety. Expect that they will pressure you to get out of the balloon when they decide its the right time. Your ability to make an objective decision will be hindered when everyone is saying "get out". 4. Anxiety associated with landing out and potentially trespassing will make your landing skills much harder to execute. Be prepared not to jump if the balloon operator is asking you to get out, and you do not see several possible landing areas. 5. A basket load of jumpers and riders will increase the odds of pins being bumped, pilot chutes being moved, handles being jostled. Pay special attention to your gear in the balloon and have a buddy check it before you exit. 6. Spotting obstacles low will test your commitment to not making low turns. Do enough balloon jumps and you will end up identifying obstacles too low to get away from them. Look around after you land, did you see all the obstacles from the sky? How was your choice of landing areas? How close did you land to where you intended to land and at what altitude was your last decision about landing area made? 7. Its not uncommon to have low lying fog in early morning jumps which prevents you from being able to spot and assess landing areas from up high. Every one of the previous comments should scare you and you should be intensely focused on the danger presented by the jump. The most important concept is to be prepared to ride the Balloon down. If anything doesn't seem right default to riding it down. Do not jump because others on the load do. You must critically assess your own capabilities and make your own determination to jump. A skydiver who exhibits anything but 100% respect for someone who decides not to jump just demonstrated that they don't care if you get hurt. Stay away from those people. Lastly, think about what you have just read. Do you think that you are now a safer jumper? The above list is anything but comprehensive (although its not a bad start). If you hadn't already considered all of the issues above, and planned the jump to minimize those dangers, then you were not ready to make the jump. Do you think that everyone on the load is aware of all of those dangers? Are you prepared to let someone elses fuck-up kill you? Subsequently, reading this post does not mean you are ready to jump. If you do not have a background in alpinism, paragliding, whitewater kayaking, or some other sport that has forced you to build the mental faculties necessary to be responsible for your own safety in uncertain environments, you are probably not ready for this jump. I did my first balloon jump at your level of experience. At that time I had spent every weekend for a decade in the mountains rock and ice climbing, and I was still wholly unprepared for the jump. I was lucky to not be injured, and was pretty damn close. I ended up turning downwind because of obstacles and was moving faster under canopy than I had ever before. So fast, in fact, that I didn't commit to PLF'ing due to fear although I should have. I ran it out and could have easily broke my leg. I wrote the following last year after a local jumper was injured following a balloon jump. A jump at Bridge Day pales in comparison to the technicality of a balloon jump where you don't know your landing area. There are stringent requirements for training and supervision in order to do the former. There are none for the later. This lack of any standard framework for preventing inexperienced jumpers from gaining access to these jumps requires that we adopt a strong unified stance that unseasoned jumpers should not be jumping balloons. When they have been indoctrinated with the seriousness of balloon jumps, and been around long enough to witness the carnage we see just trying to land in a massive open field, they will be able to make their own informed assessment of the risks versus the rewards. Are you making an informed assessment or just gambling with your safety?
  4. Alex was a real special guy. Energetic, enthusiastic, positive, personable, fun loving, self deprecating, honest, loyal... You got Alex raw and unfiltered 100% of the time. Left no doubt that he was happy, and that he valued his friends and family above everything else. You will be missed big guy.
  5. Something to think about: Being anxious PRIOR to doing something is an indicator that you are about to go outside of your comfort zone. This is a good thing as being outside of your comfort zone is the only way that you can engage in learning. Being anxious WHILE doing something means that you have not fully committed to the experience and are squandering the attention you have to devote to the task at hand. It is a bad thing because attention is the source of your personal power in action and affects your ability to perform. Spend your time seriously considering whether or not you intend to commit to a course of action. Once you truly commit to a course of action, your anxiety will go away. Take your time watching others, witness their preparation, learn about your equipment, and spend serious time and effort on preparing your emergency procedures. Recognize your preparation and commit to a course of action.
  6. I really enjoy skydiving (the people, the knowledge, the experiences) but the following things have me spending much more time away from the DZ this year: 1. The fact that skydiving helps me rationalize being physically lazy (i.e. a false sense of physical accomplishment on my weekends) 2. That I exhibit weakness when it comes to limiting my own alchol consumption around the campfire. 3. That I don't have in mind a real goal for my jumping and lack appropriate ways to measure progress towards that goal now that I've run through my "firsts". Things I miss about the DZ: 1. The interesting personalities of the regulars and the constant influx of new people to meet. 2. Witnessing other people have incredible jumps and be on top of the world. 3. Hearing stories of the DZ history and being 100% infactuated with people I'll never meet.
  7. Because people that watch TV are too braindead to recognize their own inferiority?
  8. I couldnt disagree more with your conclusions regarding hiking alone. Its not your place to determine other peoples tolerance for risk. Extend the same courtesy to the fallen hiker that you would want wuffos to extend to you. Endless summits TJ.
  9. There just arent enough students who: 1. Have inadequancy issues that drove them towards lucrative careers and helped develop an extreme type A personality 2. Have social dysfunctions that allow them to completely disassociate with their friends and family to pursue a whole new lifestyle at the dropzone. 3. Have historic substance abuse issues and have recognized adrenaline to be a workable substitute. One of the previously aformentioned students is worth 20 of your normal, well adjusted variety.
  10. Welcome to the Ranch! The IAF program is a load of fun. Take your training seriously but remember that you are jumping because it is fun. Having fun will make everything MUCH easier. As a student you are 100% reliant on the weather and you have to be jumping when its good if you want to maintain your momentum through the program. Downtime spent hanging out at the Ranch and talking with everyone will help you appreciate the finer points of skydiving that cannot be self taught by reading. Reading as much as you possibly can will allow you to ask better questions and get the most out of peoples time with you which is important as well. Again, welcome. ENJOY! Jeff - Ranch Rookie
  11. anyone care to expound upon these ideas?
  12. Welcome Steve. Glad you enjoyed your jump at the Ranch and that you are coming back for more. Best, Jeff
  13. Please accept my apology for being blunt. My own personal experiences coming from a climbing background, where the community has suffered at length from legal issues brought about by the absence of personal responsibility, makes me especially vitriolic in these types of discussions. Hope to share a load and learn something with you someday. Maybe I can show I'm not just some asshole with an opinion on the internet. Blue skies.
  14. Speuci, You have decided you want to jump out of airplanes but you refuse to proactively take responsibility for your own safety. If you aren't taking responsibility for your own safety then you are also ignorant to fact that you can do something that ends up hurting others. Nobody owes you a damn thing. Your fabricated notion that people are trying to withhold important safety information from low number jumpers is absurd. It shows that you have not connected with your instructors or the experienced jumpers at your DZ. Your propensity to shoot off your mouth when you don't even know the context of the conversation gives insight into why this may be. However you ended up being indoctrinated into skydiving without picking up on the requirement of self responsibility is beyond me. If I were you I would be embarrassed by the things you posted in this forum. I surely hope you take some time to think about the hazards of skydiving and the responsibility that comes along with the decision to jump, not only to yourself but to the people around you. You and the person involved in this incident appear to have a lot in common. I wish for you a more fortunate outcome. Jeff