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  1. UK television 1 hour documentary showing next Wednesday 17th October - "The Parachute Murder Plot" ITV at 21.00
  2. Mucho kudos to Mr Cruise for doing the jumps himself - it would have been easy, and understandable, just to use Milko for the actual jumps. Can you imagine what the insurance premium hike must have been ... ? Yikes !
  3. At my old dropzone, Sunderland in the UK, we set the club formation record in the early 80s by doing what was probably the world's first ever 8-way out of a 6-place Cessna 207 (unless you know differently...) It began with me asking a question of the pilot - how is the 6-person limit decided, when those 6 people could weigh 200 pounds each, or 125 like me? His reply was that the 6-jumper limit was just an average, based on the aircraft's overall weight limit. So my next question was fairly obvious - if we weigh our two 4-way teams including all equipment, and it adds up to less than the aircraft limit, could we put 8 jumpers in? He said yes, in theory - but only if we could get those people far enough forward to not violate the CofG limit. Most jump planes in those days didn't have a red line, but that's what he was talking about. So we got him to draw a line - then put our gear on and squashed everyone in. Most of us were light and fairly small, but it was still pretty tight and uncomfortable. One person was almost out of sight under the dash. But we did fit - so off we went. It did take a LONG time to get to altitude, and we had to be careful on the run-in not to move too many people back at once, so it was a quick and strung-out exit. But we did it - the first 8-way over Sunderland. Some weeks later, someone overheard the BPA office staff dealing with our SCR & SCS applications say "Oh, have they bought an Islander at Sunderland?" Nope, we just used what we had to its maximum capacity - and as far as I know, didn't violate any FAI rules. BOB
  4. Around 1980, when I passed the BPA's qualifying mark of 200 jumps for wearing a non-motorbike helmet, I tried on a friend's frappe hat. I slapped my head with the palm of my hand - and it hurt. That was the only test I ever needed to do - it failed. The other "cool" helmet at that time, which hasn't had a mention yet, was the Cooper. I think they were originally made for ice-hockey. But those had hard lumps of polystyrene inside, which I found uncomfortable. So I bought a Pro-Tec , which was wonderfully comfortable, and used that for about 20 years until someone eventually made what I had been advocating for years - a full face helmet with a visor that you can flip up, like putting your goggles up on your helmet stud. Thank you, SkySystems, for making the Oxygn.
  5. "...maybe thats where the name really comes from - the sound of a riser "frapping" ears" They were originally a French design. "Frappe" is the French noun for a hit or blow.
  6. "1979 36 Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA 1980 40 Davis, California, USA 1983 45 DeLand, Florida, USA 1983 72 DeLand, Florida, USA 1986 100 Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA " I may be misremembering, but this list seems to miss out a few. I thought that Carl Boenish's famous movie "Skydive" shows the world's first 50-way, a penta-wedge done around 1978. I'm sure I remember a 60-way photo, published in Parachutist in the very early 80s (maybe at Perris?). And I think there was a 90-way between the 72 and 100, a couple of years later... But maybe they didn't meet the old "technical" rules, i.e. not held for x seconds. Another good reason to go look out my old mags ... BOB
  7. "Does anyone know if there is a copy of who was on that record jump,,old parachutist maybe ? I seem to be missing that entire year of my collection of Parachutist " I remember the Parachutist article very clearly, because it began with a memorable single-word sentence : "Finally." They had reported on the numerous previous attempts, including one where the vacant 100th slot was filled by a cameraman after some poor sod went low - but it still didn't count because the judge required names, and all the named people had to dock. I probably have that edition stored away, along with the other "landmark" editions. If you PM me with an e-mail address, I should be able to send you scans of the article. BOB
  8. I guess the "buy a tiny main then uber-load it" brigade will tell us that packing tabs add drag. Maybe someone who is good at maths and aerodynamics can tell us what percentage ... ? Then we can compare that figure with the major amount of extra cussedness it caused when manufacturers stopped fitting 'em.
  9. Like jimmytavino, I've been flat (or side) packing all my life (39 years in the sport). I never saw any reason to change, although when asked, I have to concede that it's a little more likely to result in an off-heading opening. But if you're so close to someone else for that to matter, you're not tracking well enough. The other disadvantage is that in a crowded packing shed, I do feel like an obstruction when people drop their kit either side of me and I have to ask them to give me more space. From a safety/reliability aspect, I believe it is better. When pro-packing started to become popular, I asked an experienced instructor about it. He said that flat packing (almost) can't go wrong, provided you do a basic line check at the start ; after that, there's not much you can do to stop it opening. So it is (almost) fail-safe. But with pro-packing, you have to remember to do certain things ; otherwise, it will malfunction (ie non-fail-safe). As a trained risk assessor, that's a no-brainer choice. BOB Oh, I forgot - the other (3rd) disadvantage is that as you get older, your knees and ankles start to hate flat packing. And the 4th disadvantage (nobody expected the Spanish Inquisition!) is that it is really hard to flat-pack a zero-P canopy ; especially if it doesn't have packing tabs. So I still use F-111 canopies.
  10. I also recommend that you (and everyone else) read this excellent article by Mr LeBlanc : It cuts through many widely-held but wrong beliefs and assumptions about wing-loading and flight performance. BOB
  11. "I would also add that this was NOT a Skyhook save" The pilot-chute comes out so fast that I find it very hard to believe a first-timer or novice could pull the reserve handle so fast after pulling the cutaway pad. If it isn't a Skyhook it must surely be an SOS or other single-point dual action system...
  12. One of these just came up on Ebay : item 183008222745. I have no idea whether the price is reasonable, or wildly optimistic. Could it still be used, if it passes a rigger test? Would anyone WANT to use it, even if it did pass?
  13. There were actually two movies. It's over 30 years since I saw it, but as far as I recall "Mirror Image" featured the team's training jumps for the 1977 world meet, and was about 40 minutes long. The opening scene showed a jumper with his arms crossed being thrown bodily out of a DC3 door, as if being "cast to the winds" - at least, that's how I interpreted it as a novice jumper. There was a load of great music, including Bowie's "Starman" and some Steve Miller tracks. "Rainbow Magic" was much shorter, and showed the training jumps for the 79 world meet. You can watch the whole of this movie on YouTube, here - It's a different world, from the days when you could win the world meet with a 6 or 7 point average and 2 yards of separation between points. Those guys had great control, not because of but in spite of (as we now know) huge winged jumpsuits. Call me old-school, but I still think that freefall footage looks more "real" with lots of suit material flapping in the breeze. So - anyone got a copy of "Mirror Image" to upload? Please, BJ .... BOB
  14. RIP Brian - truly one of the good guys. I don't think I ever saw you without a smile on your face. Wherever you are now, it'll be a happier & better place, now that you've arrived. I will really miss you mate. Blue skies, BOB