Skybear

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Everything posted by Skybear

  1. Numbers don't mean a lot. When I take jumpers on a First Flight Course 200 is okay if I know them, jumped with them already and feel good about letting them fly. If I don't know them, never jumped with them before and have no idea how to feel about it, I insist on doing one check jump together first. This can be tracking or RW, just to make sure their awareness is well enough. However 200 jumps are the pure minimum and would apply even for best friends who I jump with every weekend.
  2. Drifting a little off-topic? Maybe the link proves bad business practices, but there is no proof of a bad Cypres cutter in it. About the recalls: Misfires due to bad sensors in March 2008, and then a recall in April 2008. Did I miss something or when have they hidden a problem for over a year?
  3. Dynamit-Nobel makes the Cypres cutters. I got the info first hand from Airtec. But the cutters of Cypres and Argus are not identical. The most obvious difference is the design of the blade. Beyond that there are some "secrets" in the design of the Cypres cutter, which are patented by Airtec. So the other manufacturers have to order cutters to their own specifications, including their own "secrets".
  4. Interesting. The loops shown in the videos even seem to be a little frayed. The loop which was attached to the water bottle isn't shown. It would be more interesting to see loop than the water bottle. I saw several loops which were cut by other cutter types, and all provided a clean cut without any frays, no matter which load was put on the loop. I can't really judge the cutter without more knowledge and facts, but I would feel bad jumping it. Imagine you go to the dropzone, turn on your AAD, do some jumps and then have a misfire on the ground without noticing it. While being on lunch your Argus decides to fire in the packing area, but the container stays closed because the loop is not entirely cut. Then, on the next load you need your reserve, pull the handle and nothing happens, because cutter and loop keep the container closed... I'd rather jump without an AAD then jump with one that I don't fully trust. Maybe this discussion is because so many of today's jumpers, including me, did not experience the good old times where mechanical AADs were state of the art. Many jumpers didn't like them at all for good reasons. They were difficult to handle, unreliable and expensive in maintenance. After the death of a friend Helmut Cloth decided to design the "perfect" AAD. While knowing that perfectionism can never be reached he put every effort in the development, to come as close as possible to it. He wanted an AAD that was easy to handle, with fixed costs and last but not least 100% reliability. There are more points in the design philosophy which make a difference to other AADs, but I don't want to go into details right now. I justed wanted everybody to be aware of what I wrote down here. I don't want us to get back into times where AADs were less reliable than Cypres 1 or 2, and with Argus I have the feeling that it is still a long way to go.
  5. Central Europe sloooowly recovers from the volcano eruption. Crisis management by the german government is crap. We are operating now VFR below FL200 on all flights. Somebody in Berlin seems to believe that pilots can circumnavigate the ashes when in VMC. Everybody who enjoyed the bright blue skies last weekend knows that this is bullshit. Either the government closed the airspace without reason, or they are now putting the passengers lifes at risk. If flying was safe we could also fly IFR.
  6. The german airspace is closed until sunday evening. But that does not mean a lot, it can even take way longer. Does anybody know about two PC-6es with ash damage in France? I heard some rumours about it, but no confirmed facts until now.
  7. VFR operations in Germany are not affected. You are welcome to jump from ANY altitude you iike, provided the jumpship can deal with the volcanic ashes. Just called my supervisor. Langen FIR is closed until 12UTC. Further decisions will be made by 08UTC. Belgium is closed until 18UTC. Looks like I will be skydiving instead of being on late shift.
  8. I am working as an air traffic controller in Frankfurt, and today I had the laziest early shift ever. The airport was shut down at 8 o'clock, and when I left work at 1 p.m. (took a half day off :-)) only Munich was serviceable in Germany. No IFR flights were permitted in the most parts of Germany. The situation is continously monitored and evaluated, and every four hours a new decision is made. But right now there is not much hope to re-open the airspace before Sunday night. If I get any more knowledge I will post it here, hoping to help traveling skydivers or friends of them.
  9. Skybear

    Argus

    Thanks for claryfing this, Bart. The translation in fact is misleading, maybe the Polish Parachute Association can contact the authorities to make it better?
  10. Skybear

    Argus

    That is the reason why it is only grounded for use in student and tandem rigs. Any licensed skydiver does not have to use an AAD, at least here in Germany, and he should be able to base his choice of AAD on a educated opinion. The loop was an original Cypres loop.
  11. Contact [email protected] He is listed on the Birdman-Homepage. Have Fun!
  12. Contact Airtec respectively SSK for the serial number. If it was there they will know who shipped it in and they should know who is the owner. Even if they don't know the owner it should be possible to reduce the amount of possible serial numbers to a small number if you roughly know the date when it was shipped.
  13. I do not know if it can be justified by the following, but it is at least worth to spend a few thoughts on it: With the Cypres 2 you get a full 12,5-year warranty. If the unit quits working for whatever reason, except obvious mistreatment, it will be replaced for free. With the Vigil 2 you get a one-year warranty. Thereafter youe have to pay for every repair that might become necessary within it's ESTIMATED life-span of 20 years. Comparing costs means putting a bet on the Vigil versus a guarantee on the Cypres.
  14. Thank you for that video. If you ever held a PC out of the window of your car at 40km/h you can hardly imagine that a PC won't open your container. However I had a PC-in-tow last year when jumping a BLADE 2, and this video seems to explain a lot about it.
  15. Definitely not. Airtec gives a full lifetime-guarantee on Cypres 1 and 2, as long as it was serviced within the last four years before such an incident. Under these conditions each repair is FREE.
  16. Something went wrong here. The Cypres 2 Service costs 160 Euros fixed price, plus a small surcharge for shipping and handling through your dealer. If someone ripped you off it was your dealer and not Airtec. Please let me or Airtec know who this dealer was.
  17. Okay, that makes sense. Maybe my pilot education got me into this way of thinking. One last question: On page 12 they recommend to check the calibration, but on page 35 they say if the calibration is off limits the Vigil needs to be checked. Why is this necessary, if the checking is only an option? I don't know how to say it, but somehow it is strange.
  18. Well, 10hPa equals 300feet at MSL. The pressure does not decrease at the same rate with rising altitude. That 's plain physics and is part of the meteorology lessons for skydivers.
  19. Hi Jerry, thanks for mentioning, I did not really realize that. However, such a recommendation about what is sold as a life-saving-device lets room for philosophical questions. But I don't want to go into this. Blue skies Sebastian
  20. Sorry, I mixed this up. Please look at page 12. It explicitly says: "AAD NV/SA recommends that the local atmospheric pressure be checked and compared to the pressure indicated by the Vigil® once a year, if more than 10 mbar difference is noticed, then a new calibration should be performed by a Vigil® qualified expert." I really wonder how many Vigil users read this and comply with it.
  21. But now you are only focussing on the modes. Hope you let someone qualified check the altitude calibration regularly (see page 35 of manual).
  22. Very good statement, thank you. That is why I always prefer the "switch it on and forget it"-Cypres. How many people have read the manual and know that they must check the altimetry calibration of their Vigil once a year, using a certified barometer for that? Guess none. What's even harder: Vigil allows an offset of 10 hPa which equals 300ft altitude difference. That means it may fire in 450 feet instead of 750 feet. If you are not comfortable with that, or the difference is greater, you have to sent it back to the factory for recalibration at your own expense. So the cost advantage is getting a little smaller. We are not all electronics engineers, but maybe some of us have them as friends and can ask them about their opinions about the lifetime and longterm-accuracy of electronic sensor components. During days with rapid pressure changes, i.e. thunderstorms in the vicinity of the aerodrome, you must switch it off and on again to make sure the altitude calculation is correct. If you use rental gear, or after switiching AADs between rigs, you must check the mode, otherwise what happened to a friend of mine might happen to you. His Vigil fired at 2500 feet on a camera jump. It was still in Tandem mode after switching it from a tandem rig. By the way, mode changes are possible with Cypres too. Airtec does it for free at the factory. I don't say the Vigil 2 is bad at all, but it, needs a lot of attention from the user, what the Cypres 2 does not.
  23. Regarding to your attachment: Yep, that can happen to any AAD. The point with scheduled maintenance is, that many flaws are discovered and dealt with, even before an unwanted activation takes place. If you ask Airtec they will tell you that they fixed some serial errors over the years that were detected during maintenance. Some units were called back to the factory immediately, some minor problems were solved at the normal inspection. With a Vigil you will ALWAYS detect the error when it fires when it is not supposed to, or when it does not fire when it has to. The nature of the question might look philosophical, but if you are unconscious in freefall how many % do you want to be sure that your AAD will work? Each of the 135.000 Cypres build until today fired when it had to. The Vigils also did, but it is kind of a long-time-test which is running.
  24. Skybear

    Cypres 2

    Until today I saw my Cypres 2 only twice, once when it was new and once when I removed it from the rig for service. No need for battery changes, no defects, no bugs and no damages. That 's why I consider the Cypres 2 as the best AAD on the market. All you have to do is switch it on and then forget it. The 4-year service is worth its money, as Airtec guarantees that all expenses are covered by the fixed service fee. And they guarantee the 100% working condition over 12,5 years, which means 100% reliability without hidden extra costs in that period of time. The maintenance shows the ultimate degree of perfectionism in saving our lifes: Everything is checked, calibrated and replaced if necessary: -temperature stability -air pressure sensors -power consumption -new batteries -functional check -cutter check -electronic shielding check -Softwareupdates -Hardwareupdates The absence of different jump modes is no problem for me, as I don't change the AAD between student, experienced and tandem rigs. It also results in less risk, because I don't have to care about me or other people which might change the setting by accident. When I have to change the mode sometime, maybe for swooping, Airtec will do it for free at the factory.