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  1. My Cypres is up for its 8-year in at the end of 2004. I figure that gives Vigil about 5 years to prove itself before I'm in the market for an AAD. By then, it should be apparent if there are any major issues. If not, then I'll likely get a Vigil. The maintenance requirements for the Cypres are annoying and expensive. It's not that I'm price conscious about something that could save my life, but if the Vigil does the same job for a lower price, then I'll switch.
  2. The SR-71 ejections happened at such great altitudes that the drag experienced by the pilots was equivalent to something like 400 knots at sea level. So a great deal, but not nearly as much as the poor individual who survived the supersonic F-15E ejection (his weapons officer was not as lucky). The Soviets had an ejection seat that was actually designed for supersonic ejection. I think the most interesting fact about ejection seats is that they leave one fractionally shorter due to compression of the spine during the rocket burn.
  3. I have a Blue Cross account that I pay out of pocket. It costs $48/month with a $1,000 deductible. Of course, that's up from the $35/month it cost when I started the policy. It doesn't exclude skydiving. I've heard lots of people talk about policies in the hundreds of dollars per month and I just don't understand how that happens. If you are young and healthy, you don't need massive coverage. You need to be covered in case of an emergency for extraordinary expenses. If you have chronic health problems or lots of expensive prescriptions, then it might make sense to get a plan with coverage of things like doctors visits and drugs, but otherwise it makes zero economic sense.
  4. I fill up at's a $1.64 here in SoCal. At regular gas stations, it seems to be in the $1.95 range. My car is relatively thrifty, so it isn't so bad. I'd hate to be driving something thirstier at the moment.
  5. What altitude is low enough that you would go out on the reserve? I've observed that I don't use a lot of altitude opening when I do a hop n' pop. However, even a couple of hundred feet and a control check would be pretty close to hard deck. It's good to know that the main is ok at 2K, though.
  6. Formula One will get more exciting when they change the rules to no longer favor aerodynamic grip over mechanical grip. This year has been more exciting than the last few, but it's still a bit of a parade. The first corner and pit strategy determines the winner. The wings need to get smaller and the tires need to get bigger. Then we'll see some better racing.
  7. Did you go out on your main or your reserve? I'm curious as to what the proper procedure is in this sort of situation. If you go on the main, you might be at or below your hard deck when your chute is deployed. OTOH, there is no second chance if your reserve fails. I think at 2K, I would go with the main, but the reserve any lower than that.
  8. I have a Kurupee freefly suit. I bought it because I was cheap (it was $119 at the time). It came out pretty cool, but it it had a big, ugly Kurupee patch on the leg. Thankfully, that came off cleanly with a razor and now the suit looks great. The stitching has come out a little in places because of the velcro on the cuffs. All in all, though, it was worth the money. That said, I realized this weekend that it wasn't working out. I'm a low-time jumper with a rig closed by velcro, and I really have no business doing freeflying just yet. I thought I should get a RW suit just so I didn't look silly constantly wearing a FF suit for belly-flying. I didn't realize how much difference a RW suit would make. I went into the gear store thinking I would order a custom RW suit. However, there was a brand-new Tony swoop suit in my size and colors on the rack. Seems someone had ordered it and then decided to get something else. It had cordura-reinforcement and big booties. It was perfect. The suit makes a huge impact. According to my pro-track, I'm falling a bit faster than in my FF suit. In addition, I can track faster than before. I have to bring my legs back a bit just so I fall straight down. The booties give my legs a lot more authority for turning. I'm still getting used to it. Basically, if you're going to be on your belly, get a RW suit with booties. My FF suit will go into the closet for a while.
  9. I saw a Cessna take off, fly over me, then crash behind a line of trees a few hundred yards away. A few weeks later, I was driving to work past the end of the runway at MIA and a 707 cargo plane had just crashed on takeoff. A skydiver managed to land in a turn about ten yards from me. Luckily, he survived. I do have a story that could have qualified me (or more accurately, my friend) for a Darwin award. When we were young, we liked to shoot bows and bb guns in his back yard. For some reason, Ed decided to shoot an arrow straight up. Immediately, he realized the stupidity of his action and we got up to flee. Before we could actually run, the arrow hit the ground right between us!
  10. Scoby

    name that plane

    That's the Douglas XB-43A Jetmaster, which was a jet conversion of the XB-42A Mixmaster. I think there was only one. It was actually more interesting as a propeller plane.
  11. At the risk of sounding pedantic, wouldn't 1,000 aches be a kilohurts?
  12. Scoby

    name that plane

    It's an Li-2. I knew that Russia built a DC-3-alike, but I had to Google for the designation.
  13. Er, I lost my logbook too. I haven't seen it since I moved about two months ago. I've been keeping a temporary one, but I'm still hoping it will reseurface. Otherwise, I'm going to have to track down instructors and try to reconstruct mine... I guess it will be a while longer before I have my B...
  14. From what I understand, the slider was upsized at some point in the Hornet's production. I have a 170 and it opens softly consistently. Perhaps a slider upsize would have the same effect as a pocket slider? Perhaps Aerodyne (formerly PISA) could recommend a size to tame it?
  15. I think that Dralion was about $60...I paid $71 each for Varekai. I think that O is the most expensive, at like $99. It costs the most to put on, though. Zumanity is the new Vegas Cirque show, at the New York, NY. It's supposed to be racier and adults-only.