TomAiello

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TomAiello last won the day on May 9

TomAiello had the most liked content!

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Gear

  • Main Canopy Size
    310
  • Main Canopy Other
    Vision
  • Reserve Canopy Other
    n/a

Jump Profile

  • Home DZ
    Perrine Bridge
  • License
    D
  • License Number
    22400, 579
  • Licensing Organization
    USPA, USBA
  • Number of Jumps
    6000
  • Years in Sport
    20
  • First Choice Discipline
    BASE Jumping
  • First Choice Discipline Jump Total
    5000
  • Second Choice Discipline
    Wing Suit Flying
  • Second Choice Discipline Jump Total
    700
  • Freefall Photographer
    No

Ratings and Rigging

  • USPA Coach
    No
  • Pro Rating
    Yes
  • Wingsuit Instructor
    No
  • Rigging Back
    Senior Rigger

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  1. I don't think that the location of manufacture creates quality issues. I know lots of Americans who think that 'Slovenia' is some kind of third world sweatshop (it's not--I've been there) and yet some of the world's best canopies are made there. Parapex is a huge operation, and is very good at following instructions. I think that 'check that the trunk line isn't twisted before sewing in the branch lines' just wasn't on the instruction sheet when that canopy was made. I'm not sure if it is now or not. The major issues with Asian manufacturing are about communication, not quality. You have to be incredibly explicit about every single step in the process, to make sure they follow your exact procedures. I've spent many hours writing up spec sheets and then had products made that found every single possible way to screw something up that I hadn't explicitly specified. We tend to have this weird view that you can just send things off to Asia and get them made for nothing. But there is actually quite a lot of work involved with setting up that supply chain and maintaining it. The back and forth prototyping on a new product, especially if you aren't physically flying to the factory, is insanely tedious.
  2. It's a well understood risk, and something you should check for during assembly of the rig, and any time you open the links. If the canopy is assembled to the links properly, the lines will not twist unless you open the links. I don't think I've ever seen a suspension line with a sewn in twist. With traditional control line cascades, there is no risk of improper assembly, but the lines can twist during the jumping process (usually after landing), which is one of the reasons you should check your control lines for twists (and continuity) regularly--preferably on every pack job. So, no, definitely not a new idea. I think the first time I heard that twisted lines could cause tension knots was in the 90s, but I'm sure it was understood even before that--I just wasn't jumping in the 80s to hear about it.
  3. Was there any data to support the thought that the Hayduke had more tension knots? I saw a tension knot on an Outlaw here last week, and on inspection it was found that there was a pretty good set of twists (probably three full twists) sewn into the control line that tension knotted. It was factory original, so I'm pretty sure that the twists and been there the entire time the canopy had been in service. The 'Trunk and Branch' cascade system made it so that it was impossible to untwist the control line during normal packing or inspection, and we had to remove the bar tacks to the branches to untwist the trunk line, then re-attach the branches once we were done. It's possible that if there is a higher incidence of tension knots on those canopies, the cause is not the design, but rather the quality control at Parapex, in Vietnam. I haven't inspected any other Haydukes or Outlaws for the same quality control issue but I would be interested in hearing from anyone else who has one and can inspect both control lines for twists, to see if the problem we saw here is relatively rare or relatively common.
  4. Try here: https://www.dropzone.com/contact-us/
  5. I don't think so. You have a great set up for slider up (and generally all) BASE. The reason to get a slider up specific rig would be to reduce weight and size, not to improve performance. You already have the smallest/lightest general purpose setup on the market though, so I'm not sure you'll really gain much in terms of weight and size by going to a slider up specific rig. The same is true of spectra lines. They aren't going to make your openings any better--they're just going to reduce pack volume. They'll make the canopy fly marginally better, but even the highest performance BASE canopies are basically boats, so I don't know that you'll notice much difference. I have spent a lot of time under a pair of Atair Visions, one with spectra and one with Dacron lines, and if you put me under one of them without me knowing which one it was, I don't think I'd be able to tell the difference from the flight characteristics. And that's the the highest performance general purpose BASE canopy ever made. I do think the ZP is worthwhile, but mostly as the canopy ages. If you're looking at buying a new rig for a slider up trip, it's going to increase the pack volume, and probably isn't worth the extra expenditure on a new rig. I also vastly prefer the loop style brake settings, but I can easily change out the brake settings on my Apex canopies, so that's not a big deal to me either.
  6. Ease of maintenance and use mostly. If you need to replace lower control lines at home (or in the field) it's substantially easier with the traditional style cascades. It's also somewhat easier to find a customized deep brake setting with the traditional cascades. That might be one reason that Apex has stayed with them. Apex canopies have old style (two pieces of Dacron finger trapped in and out) brake settings, where everyone else has gone to the new loop style (loop of spectra brought back around) settings. The loop style settings appear to have a much greater service life (approaching infinite, in our use--we have yet to need to replace a loop style setting at the school).
  7. If you prefer the old standard line cascade, I know that Atair has made them that way on request for several of my students.
  8. That looks basically the same to me. There are variations within the manufacturers, having to do with line type and junction location. Simon put his junctions at fairly wide intervals, where Atair has placed their junctions all within a fairly close spacing. Virtually all BASE gear involves adopting ideas from other fields. Slats came from aircraft wings, loop style brake settings were first used on tandem rigs...the list goes on.
  9. Basically, we're all grasping at straws trying to find a fix. Anything promising gets tried, and anything that you customers think might work will get added in, in an effort to keep the customers happy. Tension knots are the last great unsolved malfunction in BASE. I know tons of people who would love to find an answer for them. I know good, knowledgeable, experienced jumpers and riggers who think that; Thinner lines tension knot more often Thicker lines tension knot more often New lines tension know more often (because they are stiffer) Old lines tension knot more often (because they are fuzzier) I know a master rigger who squeezes beeswax into his lines so that if they tension knot they will 'slip out'. I know a leading European jumper who sprays his lines with food grade silicon lubricant, for the same reason. I even know a jumper who replaced his upper control lines with a giant triangle of mesh (no lines = no tension knots). The 'trunk and branch' system was created by Simon Perriard for the prototype that became the Squirrel Outlaw, and then added to and refined as it was replicated by other manufacturers. I think there is some good thinking there--I just haven't seen any evidence that it is actually effective in reducing the malfunction rate. I think everyone is still working on the problem, though, which is good.
  10. I have no evidence that they reduce tension knot risk. I have clear photos and video of a canopy with this style of control lines experiencing a tension knot. I have also seen some evidence that the use of a different line weight in the 'trunk' line focuses the force of opening more on the 'trunk' line attachment. I have seen three different canopies with this style of control line that experienced structural failures (tearing) at the line attachment point of the 'trunk' line. Basically, on this one I agree with Apex. I have no problem with personally jumping lines of either style though. Also be aware that the 'trunk and branch' style control line creates the possibility for a new problem with discontinuity of the control line. If you drop your toggle at landing and do not clear the control lines from canopy to toggle on each pack job, it's possible to have the toggle flip through an upper cascade and compress the canopy tail in flight, resulting in an apparent 'built in turn' until you correct the discontinuity. I have seen multiple jumpers who did not perform this check and complained of out of trim canopies until someone else corrected the problem for them and explained what to look for.
  11. I believe Apex BASE sells a ready made system. We teach how to make and use the systems in our Fundamentals course, and experienced jumpers are welcome to audit at no charge, so if you can come to Idaho, I can show you how to make and use static line systems.
  12. NPS is the National Park Service in the USA, which is a government organization that has spent considerable time (and taxpayer monies) chasing after BASE jumpers. To people who've never had to deal with them, old school American jumpers may seem paranoid. But to those of us who've had the pleasure, it honestly seems pretty warranted. I know for certain (i.e. we had a phone conversation in which one admitted it) that NPS law enforcement employees have made logins on this forum to track jumpers, then followed links to videos to find sites to arrest jumpers.
  13. I'm pretty sure they're Russian, so they probably haven't ever had to deal with the NPS.
  14. The traffic on the site was very low, and it didn't make financial sense to maintain it separately. The owner of the sites (both DZ.com and BASEjumper.com) made the decision to shut that one down and move the BASE conversations here. It also has the benefit that skydivers who are curious about BASE have an easier place to ask questions and get answers.
  15. Hi Ivan, and welcome to the forum! You are correct that you need to start with jumps from aircraft. If you want to jump the big mountains in your country, you are going to need to do a fair amount of skydiving to learn tracking skills--even more if you are hoping to fly wing suits in the mountains. I know some Russian jumpers who have traveled there for BASE. Have you met any local BASE jumpers? Or is it all people traveling there to jump? I know several people who have jumped there while traveling for work (in the oil industry), but none who are there now, unfortunately. How able are you to travel? The easiest thing to do is to travel to the USA or Europe and take a training course, but I'm not sure if that's within your budget.