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  1. jonathan.newman

    Blue Ridge Skydiving Adventures and Training Center

    Come out to Blue Ridge and you'll find me teaching tandems, AFF, and shooting video. I've worked at DZs all over the world. Blue Ridge is among a rare breed of dropzone that is not focused on money. The focus is on skydiving. The place is so friendly, that before I even moved to the DC area, I was invited to come out and jump, check the place out, and see if I wanted to join the staff. It's the same thing when a student walks through the door. Everyone is greeted warmly. First timers can get lost in a 20 minute conversation before they even get to registration. Experienced jumpers will quickly find new friends to jump with. I really like that they schedule and jump with AFF students first thing in the morning. Most of the time, this means that AFF students can get a jump in before the tandems start arriving. Victor only does AFF and Coaching, so there is always an instructor to talk to, even if other instructors are busy with tandem students. The scenery is some of the most beautiful I've ever seen. As soon as you take off, you can see the Shenandoah mountain range, the Massanutten, and another range in West Virginia. The staff is (ahem) top notch. The DZO is also an AFFI, as well as an instructor pilot and tandem instructor. The manager is an AFFI, a tandem I/E, a master rigger and a pilot. The packers are all riggers and jumpers. If you are looking to learn how to skydive, this is definitely the place. If you want to do a tandem, this place is NOT a tandem factory. If you're a funjumper, come out and hang with other funjumpers. There's always a cold (soft)drink in the fridge.
  2. jonathan.newman

    Split DBag

    My first rig had a split D-bag that someone had sewn shut, so obviously it wasn't all that desired. Velcro near suspension lines is a bad idea because of the wear it adds over time. Yes, practice makes perfect, but even better is to learn and practice a good technique. Look around for "Psycho pack" and "precision pack". Both involve folding the canopy into a cocoon rather than stuffingshovingcrunching. It's neater, packs tighter, and wants to reinflate less. Once you s-fold, it's less likely to puff up and get away from you. Forget the split bag. Learn how to pack better or learn a better way to pack.
  3. jonathan.newman


    This dropzone has two operational areas. The Chame airport DZ is about 25 mins from the Nitro City DZ. Most of the tandems and the student training happens at Chame from the 206. The VIP tandems and beach jumps happen at Nitro City. Facilities at Chame are adequate. Covered packing, A/C, bathroom. Facilities at Nitro City are incredible! Land on the beach, pack indoors, drive to the airport, and do it again. Then get a massage, a beer, food, go ride a jet ski, or wakeboard, kitesurf, swim... Crash in Pastrana's room, and do it again tomorrow! The views are incredible. You can see both oceans on a clear day, lush greens, deep blues, lots of beach.
  4. jonathan.newman

    Bridel Extension

    How does your packing method relate to your bridle length? Why are you thinking about extending your bridle?
  5. jonathan.newman

    Typical fees for a SB?

    Hi Michael, For the inspection part, I couldn't see charging more than $10 to $15. (That's $9.89 to $14.76 CDN). It's opening and closing a rig. As long as it isn't a pop-top -- those cost more to close. For the toggle repair, consider that a free replacement is available. You could remove the toggle without twisting the line and take it to your machine. For the cat-eye, it takes maybe 10 mins to unpick a bartack and restich it in a different place. I'd remove as much line from the freebag as needed and triple- or quadruple-wrap rubber bands to keep them from slipping. I'd definitely try to save the pack job. Use rubber bands and hemostats to keep things neat. Don't take the brake line out of the guide ring, etc. If there is any question that something got twisted, I'd do a line check and repack. Long answer short, $10 to 15 for the closing, $10 for the toggle, $10 to 15 for the bartack. $30 to 40 bucks, tops, with maybe a repack. Unless it's just the inspection, moot point if you can't get a master rigger to sign off on it. Jonathan