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  1. although packing lessons aren't offered at my dz, we have a rigger right down the road who offers them for free. i spent a rainy afternoon at his place, learning how to pack, and he signed off right away for my A license. in return, i just give him my business. i'm also fortunate to have a number of very helpful packers at my dz, always offering tips and hints and asking nothing in return... but i usually throw them a few $$$ anyway. spiral out...keep going...
  2. also, if visible, check for indicators such as: which direction the leaves on the trees are blowing, where the ripples are on bodies of water, if there is any visible smoke traveling in a particular direction... if the leaves on the trees aren't moving, then a downwind landing probably won't hurt too badly... spiral out...keep going...
  3. was that at skydive twin cities? do they jump year-round? spiral out...keep going...
  4. he's really a terrible influence, isn't he??? spiral out...keep going...
  5. just wait until you try a belly jump after your internal clock is set to sitflying! you swear you've been in freefall forever, you look at your alti and you're still at 8,000! one time the internal clock almost got me into trouble... i'm used to getting 14,000, but one time due to cloud cover, we only got 10,500. let me tell you, we were at deployment altitude and i was SO not expecting to already be there! (for the record, i ended up pulling low and landing off. no real harm done, but a lesson learned!) spiral out...keep going...
  6. some buddies and i were discussing these incidences one day at the dz. we decided the acronym, SHAGG, listed in the SIM should be changed to SHRAGG: Shoes Helmet Rig Alti Goggles Gloves spiral out...keep going...
  7. i do believe they were stolen from the ranch. there was even a posting on the ranch website forum asking whoever took them to please return them. spiral out...keep going...
  8. hey! the links to the articles are in the thread on this forum titled "Helpful Freefly websites with colorful pictures" i thought there was some really great stuff in there... spiral out...keep going...
  9. i'm just finally getting stable in my sit. there was a link to an article somewhere here about a week ago that was so helpful...i don't have time to search for it right now... the one thing that it mentioned that REALLY helped me is to keep your elbows bent at a 90 degree angle. it seemed odd when i first read it, because i swear i've never seen anyone sitfly like that, but when i tried it, it made a world of difference. i felt so much more in control, even though i was wearing baggy pants and i was positive i was going to be flipping all over the place! another thing to remember is to keep your hips pulled a bit forward - don't let your back arch when you try to sit up straight. keep the whole "center of gravity" concept in mind. i'm certainly no pro - but i tried these things and WOO HOO!!! there was my sit! spiral out...keep going...
  10. sometimes "drogue" is misspelled as "drouge" spiral out...keep going...
  11. dida

    PC options

    thanks, babe! you're a superstar. i love learning new little tricks. makes me feel like i know what i'm doing spiral out...keep going...
  12. dida

    PC options

    sure, a standard pc will do the job for you. my first rig actually had one of those EVIL bungee collapsible pc's . since i never had to worry about cocking it when packing, now that i do have a kill line pc, it happens that i'm half done packing and realize i didn't cock it. what a pain in the ass it is to go back and cock the pc and watch your packing job go to shit for the same reason that many drop zones changed student gear from ripcord to BOC (create habits that you will continue to use), might i recommend the kill line? spiral out...keep going...
  13. heya - i watched this happen on a helicopter jump from 2800 a few weeks back. he cut away his main and landed safely, but it sure drew a crowd. my $.02 on the original question: i did my first 50 solo jumps on a rig without a cypres. i got so used to it, now that i have a rig with a cypres, most days i forget to turn it on for the first couple of jumps (i always think about it on the ride to altitude...oops! a little late now...) i do a lot of things that people might find foolish or risky, but it's my life that i'm living and the choice is mine. the same goes for you - you know where your comfort zone is and how far you're willing to push the boundaries. if you truly in your gut feel you shouldn't jump without the cypres, then don't. spiral out...keep going...
  14. you don't HAVE to plf on EVERY landing, but it's a good idea to be prepared to plf on every landing. if you're ready to plf, you're flaring, and everything looks and feels good, go ahead and put your feet down. if anything seems amiss, you're far better off rolling out of it than landing on your face...or your ass..or with a bone sticking out the side of your leg spiral out...keep going...