Bob_Church

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Everything posted by Bob_Church

  1. Bob_Church

    Commercial balloon tandem skydives?

    "Just trying to understand the situation from a farmer's point of view -- Other than that balloons dropping in are clearly an annoyance. " The procedures I got from John when he took several of us for for rides and on one leg let me jump is that occasionally the property owner will shake their head or wave their hands and he then ascends before actually touching down. That way it's no big thing for either. He made it sound like it was pretty common for that area, but maybe he was just more considerate than most. Having a balloon land, then the ground crew meet with it and the pilot, in the middle of a field where you're trying to grow a crop could definitely piss a person off. And if you're not going to do those things there would be no reason to land. We had an ultralight land in a corn field across from where we normally land. Yes, we'd occasionally land there but we'd gather up our gear and very carefully walk out in a way that caused little if any damage. The ultralight crew drove a pickup truck to him and pretty much destroyed a lot of his crop and just kept going. What really bothered me is when the farmer came up to the airport yelling about us skydivers messing up his field.
  2. Bob_Church

    Commercial balloon tandem skydives?

    I was telling my dad one day about the World View Enterprises stratosphere balloons and how they can hold a commercial payload over the same spot for months by taking advantage of different air currents that go in different directions at different altitudes. If they start going off course, they just go higher or lower to catch a current in their favor. To my surprise, my dad told me that some hot air balloonists do the same thing. He had worked as a traveling ground crew for some balloon accuracy landing contest. They would carry a helium tank and occasionally release helium balloons to observe which way the air currents were going above them. While I get that there is a lot of special skill involved in that kind of accuracy landing, it does suggest that with the right experience even balloons don't HAVE to land in some random field. The helium balloon pilots can navigate from one continent to another and land where they want to. Usually. Well, close. Most of the time. Anyway. Kittinger has some great stories about it. I think they're in "Come Up and Get Me"
  3. Bob_Church

    The fear!

    This is just an idea, and I don't know what sort of aircraft you're jumping but is there a way to make it so that the climb to altitude is short? I think a few hop and pops where you get to altitude quickly, get out alone and just enjoy the sky might help. And it definitely can't hurt.
  4. Bob_Church

    The fear!

    "For many years; I've called this, "Hitting the Wall." It happened with many and pushing past it can be difficult. My own S/O hit her wall at about 30 skydives. The wall can be defined as being at that point where your sensory perception all begin to hone into all the things that "can" go wrong. It's like all the little bts of information you've learned become this huge bowl of holy shit, WTF am I doing? " I had it from jump 1. My first jump, which was also my first time in a plane, I was so terrified that I couldn't speak. Fortunately they trained us for hours so I just did what the JM told me to do. The exit is a blur from "go" until I was hanging under canopy. I looked around, saw the plane flying off, said "this is great" then finally pulled my dummy ripcord. I never had any fear once I left the aircraft but up until nearly a hundred jumps it was bad. On my first DC3 jump, I had a little over 50 then, I had a hard time standing up in the plane because my stomach hurt. But once I was out I was fine. I think the stress is your mind trying to talk you out of it but once you step out it knows it's not going to happen and relaxes. I eventually reached the point that unless I've had a really long layoff I don't really get butterflies, but it took awhile. Just keep on jumping.
  5. Bob_Church

    Commercial balloon tandem skydives?

    "Back to the original question. Which pretty much was asking "should I rat this guy out to someone?". No, but maybe you should say where this jump happened. And maybe you should talk to the people involved and learn about their system." Sometimes a person needs to sit down, alone in a quiet place, and do an honest evaluation of why they want to do this. I've known people, almost always low time jumpers, who thought they had some reason or right to tell me I should be wearing a helmet and even imply that they wouldn't jump with me if I didn't. I can tell you how much sleep I lost over that possibility. As I've often said, I think the sport gets a lot safer when we all spend our time worrying about our own faults rather than looking for them in others. And no, to the usual responder on this, this has nothing to do with taking care of each other. Watching out for each other has nothing to do with looking for reasons to go playing Kommissar and hoping to turn someone in for something.
  6. Bob_Church

    Commercial balloon tandem skydives?

    "I remember my briefing from a balloon pilot at a Dollar Daze boogie in Fort Dodge IA. He showed me aerial pictures and pointed out what beans and corn look like from above. Then he advised me "you don't want to land in the corn". As it happened the morning air was pretty calm and I was the first exit. I landed on the airport property. But most of us fully expected a high probability of landing in a crop. So yes, landing "out" would be normal. " Thanks, that's the part I was wondering about.
  7. Bob_Church

    Commercial balloon tandem skydives?

    "Yes. Landing out is normal. That's because, except at certain controlled places, they don't have a damn landing area. It's the Balloon way of doing things. Off you go and when you land wherever you must you just pull out a bottle of cheap Champagne and a few time worn apologies and you are good. We have the same get out of jail free card, you know. Read your case law. The example of trespass by necessity describes a skydiver "blown off course". Were are responsible for actual damages but that's it. If the farmer or neighbor harms you or you harm yourself escaping his wrath she is liable. And yes, DZO's, I know your jumpers are reading th" I don't really need case law, I helped with the successful defense at TAS from Farmer McNasty by printing out poster sized layouts of the area. The Judge liked them, they gave him a sense of proportion about landing areas. And as for balloons, I've only had one, but it was from John Firor's balloon, his first and more than likely only, time to have someone jump from his balloon after a glorious tour of Colorado just outside of Boulder. And the champagne wasn't cheap, but he had earned a good retirement. But the ads I read for some DZs imply they they take off and exit in such a way that most jumpers land at the DZ. I was wondering how realistic those claims are.
  8. Bob_Church

    Commercial balloon tandem skydives?

    It seems like you'd almost have to rig something up for launching backwards, like divers leaving a boat.
  9. Bob_Church

    Commercial balloon tandem skydives?

    In most situations, USPA members and rating holders are not in violation if they are following the rules in the country where they are jumping. Cloud busts are a good example. In countries where jumping through clouds is legal, USPA members and rating holders are allowed to jump through them. How often do jumpers exiting balloons at DZs or Boogies in the US land off? It it normal or does the balloon pilot judge the winds in a way that allows landing in the same place as the other jumpers? I only have one balloon jump. It was incredibly memorable, maybe even a bit of history, but not at a DZ or a boogie I have personally never known of a balloon tandem in more than 30 years of jumping, so I assume it's rare. That said, I'm sure there have been some. As for landing off, I would have no idea if that's the norm or if launch points are calculated to allow for on-field landings. I don't mean for tandems but for balloon jumps at DZs or Boogies. Is landing out normal?
  10. Bob_Church

    Commercial balloon tandem skydives?

    In most situations, USPA members and rating holders are not in violation if they are following the rules in the country where they are jumping. Cloud busts are a good example. In countries where jumping through clouds is legal, USPA members and rating holders are allowed to jump through them. How often do jumpers exiting balloons at DZs or Boogies in the US land off? It it normal or does the balloon pilot judge the winds in a way that allows landing in the same place as the other jumpers? I only have one balloon jump. It was incredibly memorable, maybe even a bit of history, but not at a DZ or a boogie
  11. Bob_Church

    Turbo-Z

    "I'm not knocking PD. I like PD. But dang, I think my Turbo-Z that is a quarter of a century old is just as good as a brand new Sabre2. Unfortunately most of you folks won't be able to offer an informed opinion, but a few will. Wendy Faulkner? " I had a Robo-Z, actually I still do, it's in a box in the garage and I've used it for a few water jumps, then went to an all purple Turbo-Z. It was a great canopy and helped me get my goal of Gold Wings before 2000 by being so easy to pack.There were many days when I made every load at TAS. These were both 180s and when I decided I wanted a larger canopy I gave the Turbo to a friend who is still jumping it. It's his only canopy and he gets stand ups on target every time. I miss Paraflite. I sometimes suspect that my Hornet is a retconned Cruiselite, which was the canopy I've enjoyed the most. Boy, I really do miss those easy pack jobs.
  12. Bob_Church

    Floater exit

    It might not be the pushing off. I had so much trouble with this that for awhile when going front floater I would deliberately do a 360 to the left as fast as I could rather than fight it. (I'd been jumping many years before I got a chance to regularly jump anything bigger than a 182 so it wasn't an issue but then we got a 411). I did a practice exit and just thought about my body position. Every aspect of it but especially my chest. I realized that my chest was angled just a little so that my left shoulder was pushing forward and twisting my upper body. It wasn't much but it didn't take much. I had to make a mental effort to twist my upper body so that I was presenting equally to the relative wind rather than one shoulder dipped. The good news is that it started working right away with my making a conscious decision to fly straight for a few jumps and then it just became second nature.
  13. One of the young woman at work had grown up around surfing but had no experience with skydiving. I have none with surfing. She thought Point Break's skydiving scenes were cool but the surfing ones were seriously wrong. I thought the surfing scenes were cool but the skydiving ones were seriously wrong.
  14. "My gold standard? Gypsy Moths" We used to argue over who had to wear the suit before a jump. And did you notice that after he bounced they just left him laying there with his canopy stretched out. Then it started raining. Then the ambulance ran over his canopy. He did a Rodney Dangerfield jump.... "No respect, I get no respect at all"
  15. Nicely put. There was a fun effortlessness to the PB Jonny U. skydive that made it pretty unique for the time. Like you said, so many other movie jumps are "life or death" struggles. (of course it started to get a little life or death at the end of the jump "You pull!!") PB II somehow missed that, just too serious. Skydive stunts in action movies are pretty routine, also in action TV shows, and commercials too. Tom C. doing the stuntwork gave it some extra punch, but if you didn't know he was doing it, you may have assumed just good special effects. I think some of the most realistic skydiving scenes were in "Fathom", a 1967 movie starring a tiny green bikini and Raquel Welch. There were a few times you could tell they'd pasted her face on a jumper but mostly it was straight footage of PC accuracy jumps. Another thing I like about it was that even though she's a world champion skydiver she pays her rent working as a dental hygienist. Being a champion level skydiver didn't mean she was rich. It's really not too bad a movie, check it out if you get a chance. Especially if you have fond memories of Paracommanders. Bob Church
  16. That's why I was so surprised at the time at the way it drew in first jump students, but boy it really did. And there was that underlying ancient skydiving joke. If Reeves character had already been jumping for awhile a lot of the movie would have made sense without sacrificing anything, but someone was going for the old California versus Ohio thing. I got a laugh out of that and thought it was the best part of the movie. Remember the old cartoon "great 10 way man! Not California, but still good!"
  17. "Lost Prairie in Montana. " This is one I really want to get to one of these years.
  18. Bob_Church

    Why is it necessary to pull both handles

    Every generation of skydivers has people who "create" truth. Whoever taught you that either created that truth or was provided it by someone else who did. I was taught to rotate the rings when I got my first three ring equipped rig. I have since taught myself not to rotate the rings. You have to be careful who you get your "truth" from.
  19. I think the boogies tend to spring up and grow then die off. Then another one comes along so keep an eye out, we're probably due for a new one soon.
  20. Bob_Church

    Does Alti-2 still service neptune 2 screens?

    Keep the damaged one. Alti-2 is good to work with and they may give you a discount on a new altimeter for it.
  21. Bob_Church

    First rig purchase sizing help

    I've always had very good experiences with "Call Ralph" Hadley. He says, and I believe him, that his first priority is to set you up with equipment that you like and continue to enjoy. Here's his website but I prefer just calling him. 503 630-5867
  22. Bob_Church

    EPs: Look up before pulling reserve?

    "The Australian Parachute Federation's Cutaway EP videos show the students being taught to pull the cutaway and reserve, then immediately look up and arch. Would it make more sense to look up and arch before pulling your handles since there is a strong chance that by the time you pull the reserve handle and start to look up to arch, the reserve will already be out? " If you're training students then you will have no way of knowing their altitude if and when they need their EP. Therefore I'd always go with pull the handles first.
  23. Bob_Church

    Selections by Mike McGowen

    It may seem expensive at first glance but between the limited audience and more importantly the quality and size of the photos I'm not sure how he did it for that price.
  24. Bob_Church

    EPs: Look up before pulling reserve?

    In my opinion, and that's all it is, my opinion, this reflects one of the most dangerous situations in skydiving. A lack of confidence in your reserve. It manifests itself in many ways and all of them bad, like giving that trashed main one more second because, well, what if my reserve doesn't open, then impacting during line stretch because you needed half a second more than that extra second left. I am absolutely confident that my reserve will work or I wouldn't leave the plane. But like I said, that's just me. Like I said, this is an old debate. But as a rigger, and the main rigger on my DZ, and the rigger for most of my skydiving friends, and the rigger who packs our tandem reserves, I can assure you I do not lack confidence in my reserve. I just know that reserve p/c and or bridles can entangle with a PCIT. Or other parts of a departing main. If mine does I prefer to have more options. I am not telling you or anyone else what to do in this situation. PCITs are a very different animal from a total, which is what I was referring to. On my fourth reserve I managed to somehow pack a total on a ripcord deploy. In my defense, not that it matters, the rig had been loaned to me and when I said I didn't know how to pack a square or that type of container they handed me a manual. I believe I crammed the pilot chute between the main bag and the reserve so as soon as I dumped the reserve the main came out and twisted all the way around the reserve. People on the ground that I was done, but the cutaway risers kept twisting around too and it cleared, though with some nasty burns on the reserve. But as for PCITs I'm in the same boat in that I hope I never have one.
  25. Bob_Church

    EPs: Look up before pulling reserve?

    In my opinion, and that's all it is, my opinion, this reflects one of the most dangerous situations in skydiving. A lack of confidence in your reserve. It manifests itself in many ways and all of them bad, like giving that trashed main one more second because, well, what if my reserve doesn't open, then impacting during line stretch because you needed half a second more than that extra second left. I am absolutely confident that my reserve will work or I wouldn't leave the plane. But like I said, that's just me.