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Everything posted by Stearny

  1. Well.....this thread is interesting. Taking a step out of the past for a second. I actually have a question. What is your opinion regarding counting tunnel time towards ratings? What is your stance on the current requirements for ratings? In particular Coach and AFF? Sidenote: Jeremy was there on my AFF jump #1 and I have known him and jumped with him at Skydive Kansas ever since. Jen, Bill, and Jeremy have all been wonderful mentors that have made me the jumper I am today. Jeremy is an amazing mix of talent, humility, meticulousness, and just plain fun to be around. I traveled quite extensively for a previous employer and had the opportunity to visit quite a few dropzones around the country. I would say I have a relatively decent "feel" for dropzones. I'm very proud to call Skydive Kansas home. -Andrew Stearns Stearny
  2. The first question I always ask/lookup when I get to the DZ is find out what the uppers are doing. Stearny
  3. Might sound a little silly,but I personally "start" spotting after take off (and obviously on jump run). I mentally keep track of where the dropzone is at all times during climb. Luckily we have a lot of good geographical markers to help accomplish this. We don't have a green light, but do get "door" from the pilot. Green light, does not mean go. Also, we talk about the spot / jump run / landing direction after almost every load. Stearny
  4. Stearny

    Skydive Kansas

    I am a local upjumper and got my license at Skydive Kansas (so my opinions might be a tad bias). My mother, father, and sister have all made tandems at SDK. There is typically a nice mix between tandem students and experienced upjumpers. I have been to other dropzone across the country and have not found nicer people who genuinely care not only about your safety but also about you personally. Everyone that walks through the door is a friend. For experienced jumpers there are a couple of drawbacks that accompany a smaller dropzone (limited gear rentals, lower capacity, and rather strict WL limits). There is a dropzone about an hour closer to me than SDK, however; the people make the extra drive worth it. SDK is a great place to make a skydive! Blue Skies
  5. ABSOLUTELY! While you might not fully understand some of the topics or discussions it does a great job of at least exposing you to the vast disciplines and players in the skydiving community. I am gradually working my way through all the episodes Stearny
  6. First, is your problem gettnig it in the bag, or closing the container? I definitely experienced both, PM me if you want some of the tips I use for both. Here is what I generally did to overcome this issue. I had this exact same problem getting my safire2 189 into my mirage m6 bag/container. Here are a couple of packing tips I use. 1.) I use PD method of folding the sides underneath while laying down on the canopy. 2.) When making the S folds make sure to keep one need on oneside of the folds and the other directly behind where the slider is to keep the bottom S fold in place. 3.) After cleaning up the the last S fold I try to hold the the entire pack job together by placing my hand on the last S fold to hold it in place and kind of pinch it together. (This helps me get the first corner in the bag more easily). 4.) Make sure the corners of the packjob are in the corners of the bag. 5.) When putting the container in the bag make sure the corners of the bag are in the corners of the container. Then put your knees on the bag while its in the container and quickly close the first flap. Many blisters, lots of sweat, and many hours of work, and I can actually enjoyably jump and pack my gear
  7. I was at my DZ one day when a local jumper in for a reserve repack. This exact thing happened to him. He didn't turn off his vigil and jumped at a higher elevation DZ and had a reserve fire at about 7 grand. I ALWAYS turn off ALL of my gear at the end of the day. Why not right?! Stearny
  8. I have jumped all of the DZs in Kansas. That is plenty of landing area. Stearny
  9. Instructors should be your source numero uno. The important factors are wingloading (thus size) and canopy shape. I jumped a Voyager 220 WL=0.83 (similar to a PD Navigator) all through student status. Around jump 30 I tried a friends Sabre 190 WL=0.97, put around 10 jumps on it. Tried a friends sabre 170 WL=1.08 for one jump. While I felt comfortable with the 170 around jump 50, I ultimately choose to go with a safire2 190. I plan on staying in the sport for a long time and a conservative canopy progression doesn't hurt. Good luck in your gear search. Check everyday. That's what I did for a very long time. It will eventually work out. Cheers Stearny
  10. This is what you are referring to. The gopro lowprofile mount by delta gear inc. This is hands down the best gopro mount I have seen on the market. I have a lot of buddies that jump with the provided adhesive mount. It is so high above your head that you ocassionaly will turn off the device by bumping into the roof of the plane. Not to mention the extremely dangerous snag hazard. This is what I will be jumping when I get my jumps in to have a camera. Cheers. Stearny
  11. Stearny

    Viso II

    Lots and lots of cool stories like this. L&B are amazing. The sole reason I bought both optima and viso II Stearny
  12. Stearny

    Safire 2

    I bought my safire2 189 (WL ~ 0.97) used with 200 jumps on it. I have put about 10 jumps on the canopy thus far. The openings are as everyone has stated consistently extremely soft and on heading. I have not had an opening more than 500 ft with a normal pro pack (not messing with nose). Maybe I am just a shitty packer but I have a hell of a time putting the canopy in the bag / closing my mirage g4 m6 (mirage recommends a safire2 189 to be the smallest "soft" fit). You would think it would have no problem fitting??? I have also put about 15 jumps on a sabre2 190. The sabre2 was much more responsive to toggle inputs, and riser pressure was much lighter. However, the glide slope on the safire2 is much flatter compared to the steeper sabre2. Openings on a sabre2 are complete shit when compared to a safire2. Amount of flare was very comparable, not much difference. The biggest selling point of the safire2 to me were the amazing openings. I am a rather conservative pilot and don't plan on changing for a while. When I downsize to a 170 I will probably be going with more aggressive sabre2 or nitron.
  13. Nothing but open fields below. He said he wouldn't have let me get out if on the other side of the runway. Pulling higher than normal was in the original plan (first jump on new gear). note: canopy was not new to me. So becoming fixated on making it back wasn't really an issue. Really just wanted to commend all coaches and jumpers out there allowing new guys to make a learn from "safe" mistakes to become better and safer skydivers. Thanks for the responses especially the one about raising your kids
  14. Stearny

    tracking jumps

    Search bar is your friend. Stearny
  15. Agreed. Lessons I don't want to learn Stearny
  16. I did indeed pull high to play around with the safire2 190 (WL 1.0). Cheers Stearny
  17. Just wanted to share an experience I had this weekend. Went to the dropzone to jump my brand new (lightly used) gear for the first time (beer). Two way with a fellow fun jumper with significant jump #'s and a coach rating (has a coach mentality will all newer jumpers). I was spotting, which is nothing new, but I have always been very timid about giving corrections. My North/South was spot on but east west was lets say, horrible. I didn't give a correction and climbed out (partner allowing the error). We abandoned the dive plane about 7 seconds in and turned into a tracking dive to hopefully make it back. (note: we did both make it back). I feel I learn best by doing something wrong and having a reference of what I should not do. Anyways, here is my point: Just wanted to give a big thank you to all coaches and experienced guys out there who really do care about students/newer jumpers progressing in the sport. Cheers Gear Pic attached Stearny
  18. I have only had one dream involving skydiving at all. I was the first out and the first to land. I one by one watched everyone on my load bounce. Every single one was a no pull. Kind of weird. I woke up and had trouble going back to sleep. Stearny
  19. I made a jump last weekend (Sabre II 190 WL=1.1). Terminal opening, got sat up, grabbed risers and looked up. I saw my canopy still in it's roll (wrap lock I guess we are calling it now). It was locked for a second or two then had a very nice soft opening. It wasn't enough to make me want to cut away, but a few more seconds and that canopy was gone. I read this post a couple of weeks ago. First thing I thought when I landed was I needed to respond! It was packed by a packer so I don't know how many times they rolled. Stearny Stearny
  20. Geeze you guys are spoiled with weather. Took me almost a full year to get mine. Kansas is a windy windy place. Cheers Stearny
  21. Are you or have you used PCP? Stearny
  22. I got my license at Skydive Kansas with Jen. I think they way she runs her training program is amazing. The online ground school really helped me to overcome my gear fear I initially had while jumping. I packed my first aff jump and was cleared to pack unsupervised around jump 12. I am a hands on and visual learner. Having the pictures/videos was vital to me not losing currency (or more so fluency in the sport) when I couldn't make it out to the DZ. It helped to keep procedures/equipment/technique fresh in my mind simply by getting on my computer. I think in the end currency is one of the most important factors in mitigating risk when training. For me, it was a great system. Could there be improvements? Like anything else, sure. Is it the best online training I have come across? Yes. Addressing other peoples concerns about gear knowledge being taught too early. Instilling strong gear knowledge/safety fundamentals can't be a bad thing. I personally check and replace my closing loop more often than is probably needed. This is going to sound a little strange, but I actually really enjoy packing . Cheers Stearny
  23. I want an update!!! You make that first jump yet?!?!? Cheers Stearny
  24. Stearny

    First solid sit

    Got one after that day actually! Optima II. Love it to death. However, I have noticed that I look at my altimeter less than half the amount of time I used to without the audible. It is weird, but I feel less comfortable with a audible/visual combination than opposed to just a visual altimeter. In addition I did a 3 way sit fly with student gear that fit really tight on me with no free fly bungie. I thought it wouldn't be a problem, BIG MISTAKE. Leg straps fell down to behind my knees at 5k. Was in a back spin for about 1k fixing the issue. Normal track and deployment. Kind of scary. Looks like no sitflying for me again until I get my own gear with freefly bungies. Cheers Stearny
  25. Being nervous or scared is expected (you are jumping out of a plane for gods sake). One thing I would recommend to you is to really become knowledgeable about the gear. The place I jump is very hands on and your first aff jump you jump your own pack job (supervised by a coach of course). When I first started packing/jumping I definitely had a large gear fear. I wasn't fully comfortable with the entire process (take off/door open/exit/canopy) until around 12 solos. It is a leap of faith for sure. Don't feel bad that you chose not to jump. If it is something you really want to pursue discuss with your instructor what you feel uncertain about. In addition talk to licensed jumpers for their advice, they are typically very helpful to new and student jumpers. The most important thing is to relax. Cheers Stearny