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    Orange, VA
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  1. I vote not to require for both; HOWEVER, there are certain caveats. DZO can decide if he lets no-AAD jumpers jump. Remember, someone dying or getting injured doesn't just affect that person, but the DZ jumpers, staff, owner, etc. Split the insurance pools. Those who wear/use some minimum level of gear/protective equipment/safety devices and those who don't. Costs would adjust accordingly. No dragging everyone who chooses to be safer down. I'm not sure what the legal ramifications are, but I'm not sure why this isn't already done. Coverage dependent upon compliance. If you sign up with a company that says you'll wear a moto helmet every time you're on a bike and you wreck without one on, then they don't have to cover anything (breach of contract). I'm all for the freedom to make your own stupid choices, but the argument that only the person making the choice is affected is thin at best. At least take the responsibility and admit that you are making a choice that is worth the potential consequence to you AND those that care about you.
  2. Missed out on this thread! I have been riding a few years, but now only ride track days. My recommendation for the BRC is the opposite. Pick the hottest, sunniest day you can, and get used to sweating through your clothes. You're only in a long sleeve and jeans anyways, so it's nothing compared to what you should be wearing on the street. Get quality gear when you get your bike, and wear it all the time. No sneakers, board shorts, or any of that stupid crap I see out on the road. Wear quality leather or textile gear with pads/armor. Wear real motorcycle boots, and a full face helmet. Trust me on this. Been in two crashes so far on the track, none on the street, but gear is an absolute must. For those that will rock the 3/4 helmet, yeah it's nice to have wind in your face, but not nice to have asphalt there. Look at the statistics of impacts to the chin area in street crashes. It will make you reconsider. What kind of bike are you looking to get? What kind of riding do you plan on doing? My recommendation is to avoid sportbikes unless you plan on tracking them. I rode an R6 for a year on the street and it was boring and uncomfortable. Take that same bike to the track and it's worlds of fun. My next street bike will be a Triumph Tiger or something along those lines. Oh yeah, and the box is easy so long as you remember, you go where you look. You will think you are turning your head to look through a turn but you are not turning it enough.
  3. Jump #5, I was about 800 ft turning onto base - "way too high," I think and decide to kick out the base leg a bit. Turn in on final a bit high still but I'm a good hundred yds plus behind the treeline (small trees) and a fence. I start slowing down, point of impact keeps creeping back towards the trees. I have a good 20 seconds or so to decide to heck with this, make a braked turn and land in the wide open field before the fence. Nope. I think, "no low turns, no low turns, no low turns" from ~400 ft up all the way into one of the trees. Busted my ankle up and took me a year to get back to jumping. On the plus side, I did pick up motorcycling that Summer because I didn't have to put much pressure on my heels.
  4. Not sure on the Army side, but unless there is a newer version out, OPNAVINST 5100.25B: d. High-risk recreational activities. This identifies those non-mission related activities that may present an elevated risk of serious injury or death to the participant and bystanders, and could receive a risk assessment code (RAC) of 1 or 2 based upon the individual circumstances of each undertaking. Examples of recreational activities that may be considered high-risk, based upon individual circumstances of each undertaking, include, but are not limited to: skydiving, rock and mountain climbing, cliff diving, scuba diving, hunting, bull riding, racing motorized vehicles, boating, boxing, bungee jumping, air ballooning, motorcycle riding, and parasailing. Operating a privately owned vehicle for local transportation purposes and routine home auto repairs generally does not fall into the category of high-risk recreational activities. NOTE: All recreational activities should be reviewed to determine whether they fall into a high-risk category. Appropriate safety precautions should be implemented for those that do. Members shall consult their command policy on high-risk recreational activities before engaging in any recreational activities that are high-risk and receive a RAC 1 or 2 per reference (j). Ref (j) - OPNAVINST 3500.39C - ORM policy This gives the guidelines for how to do ORM. While it doesn't explicitly cite an individual requirement for ORM submission for things like skydiving, it establishes commands as having the authority for requiring such. I still think it's simply a matter of submitting your ORM plan to your chain of command and then you're done. I think the CO can generally say no to whatever you are going to do, but he had better have a good reason, and a quick perusal of the instructions suggests he shouldn't. My advice - best to submit the ORM chit as your notice of intent and a "cover your butt" in case something goes south.
  5. Ray, Recurrency isn't that big of a deal - I'm stateside and I have probably a dozen recurrency jumps in my total of about 65 now. I just don't get down to the DZ as often as I'd like, but it's good having a coach/instructor jump every once in a while anyway. As for keeping your A-license, pay your USPA membership every year and you keep it for good. As far as talking to your command, my recommendation is to be above board and notify your command of your intent. I simply sent in a memo up the chain of command that was my ORM plan. It said that I intend to train under instruction to earn a license, will follow the USPA regs, and avoid jumping in hazardous conditions. I highlighted some risk factors such as weather and equipment failure and stated that the above plan mitigates these risks appropriately. Never had to do anything more and never heard a word to suggest I shouldn't go jump, even after I hit a tree on #5 and had to go get seen multiple times, including an MRI to make sure I got fixed up right. If they tell you no, you can always ask why, and it may be due to some misinformation. I'm not suggesting to buck the system, but oftentimes a statistical comparison between skydiving and motorcycle riding does the trick. I also put up my chit for riding a motorcycle and never had issues there either. To me, it's worth covering my butt in case anything bad happens. I wouldn't want there to be some reason that my family has to get into an argument over SGLI payout while they are dealing with the fact that they have to bury me. Thanks for your service, V/R Thomas
  6. Have you seen how awesome the world looks from up high? In the words of Ferris, stop and look around once in a while. Canopy flight lets you take a respite and just look at things. Yes, be watching for traffic, make sure you aren't drifting too far away, etc., but also appreciate that you are dangling from a piece of fabric thousands of feet up in the air. That's astounding. Go back a thousand years and someone would have killed for the chance to experience it the same way we do. My best canopy ride was the last jump (sunset load) in a flight-1 course. We were running two loads low-pass, but the pilot didn't fly level for the second load - instead he kept climbing so we got about 10,000 ft. It was cloudy all day, raining in the morning, and the gloom would not go away. When I exited, I saw a hole in the clouds near the horizon with purple and orange sky shining through, with rays of light piercing clouds at the bottom in 6 or 7 distinct shafts. It was amazing. I was the last one out, so I deployed around 6000 and turned towards that sight and just sat in brakes for a while. Nobody above me, plane was already heading down. It was just me and God. A minute of heaven.
  7. As I recall, Stukas sometimes were equipped with sirens on them as well to augment the sound, for psychological effect. Now I really want one, but I'd probably get too involved in pretending to divebomb the enemy airbase...err...runway and then become a real hazard rather than just an imaginary one.
  8. Newer Pulses (ones with the "landing upgrade" - really just some changes to a few line attachments) are much easier to land than the old ones. Don't let someone give you misinformation about how you can't flare them. My openings with a 210 are generally on heading, fairly soft, and quick - I wingload around 0.85-0.9 depending on average monthly doughnut consumption.
  9. Well it sounds like you got the hardest part out of the way - first couple had me scared (well, every jump has me a bit scared, I won't lie). It does get a lot better. 3500 would still probably make my eyes go big, but I feel plenty confident about being able to jump out even a bit lower and having no issues. After a while, you've been practicing your poised exits enough, sometimes you just have to make the brain relax and let the body do what it knows how to do. I heartily second talking with an instructor. They can usually come up with one or more variants of making you look at the plane, like counting how many fingers they are holding up after you exit, or telling you to stare into their eyes after you are out the door.
  10. Edit. Failed to see pg 2 on my phone. All is well.
  11. How sensitive are you to lens-induced distortion? If you throw on a $5 pair of sunglasses from the gas station, is it a problem? I can't really notice much distortion on the G3 - it probably is there, but I'm never trying to call out azimuths or declination when I'm jumping. The only time you will likely notice anything is when using your peripheral vision, but in that case your vision is only really good for motion anyways and not accurately establishing location/distance. I haven't jumped other full face helmets, but I like the G3 and haven't had any issues with vision. Having tried on a couple others, I think the G3 has a great field of view and I don't feel as constricted as I do in my motorcycle helmet. Be sure to check sizing. I am a 7.5 hat size and run an XXL G3.
  12. I've had no issues deploying the main subterminal with the full/normal fit combo, but I'm now questioning how reserve extraction would be with this setup. I'm assuming your comment about needing the larger PC is for the main. I am up for a repack soon and plan on going over this with my rigger and asking him to do a little testing.
  13. Spiffy, I was in a similar range to you - flew 220s by the end of my time as a student. I opted for a Pulse 210 and an Opt 193 reserve in a V350. No kidding about the full fitting description - the main is tough to pack in, even though it's a hybrid canopy. If I could do it again, I'd probably go for a slightly bigger container, but as it is now, I can pack it reasonably well and I love the pulse. As for sizing the main, I wouldn't have started on a 170 from the 220s if someone gave me the canopy. I just finished the B-lic canopy course and was one of the guys who was standing up each landing without any problems. Some of the others were on canopies that were smaller and they were all over the place with flare timing, dumping themselves on the ground. I got comments from some of them about how I was making it look easy. Not once did I get ragged on for flying a boat, and I'm doubting anyone even noticed how big my main was. Personally, I really like my 210 and don't think I'm going to downsize anytime soon. I love canopy flight and the larger sized pulse lets me float a lot longer than everyone else. I am usually the last one to land. In fact, I have to talk to the TIs on each load to let them know I'll be in the area and have no issues with staying out of their way. I figure I'm paying $25 either way, so I might as well get the most of it.
  14. This place is awesome - second week in a row I've had a particular question and there is already a discussion ongoing that I can jump into and start asking questions. I normally jump in Aasics running shoes. I've been wondering lately about the sole and how good it is for jumping. The cushioning is relatively good, and there aren't very prominent ridges. I normally go out to the LZ before a jump and slide my feet around on the ground, just to check that they aren't grabbing too much for some reason. Lately, I've been wondering if there aren't even better choices for footwear. It seems the hip thing to do these days for walking and running is to go to a minimalist type shoe. Admittedly, I actually like them for cruising around town (about to get a set of merrel trail shoes), but I started thinking about how it would be jumping in them - my conclusion was, fun, but not prudent (especially at my level of experience), considering there isn't much benefit other than novelty. With the potential compressive forces on a bad landing, it seems like more cushion = better, and skate shoes have been mentioned in many circles. Is there a consensus on which shoes or shoe types offer the utility for jumping? One thing I don't hear much about is ankle support. Skate shoes don't offer much, and any non-hightop tennis shoe isn't much better. It almost seems like a set of chucks with a fatter sole would be ideal. Thoughts?
  15. Good perspective on the permutations - and that's just an illustration without including all the variance each element adds (how many different ways can something significantly change the way you fly?). I am very interested in this topic, being an aspiring camera flyer. I'm still very new, so not even to the 200 jump minimum to start considering it. I'm not sure I'll even have the requisite skills by the time I get to 200, and then what the progression is that I should work on. Obviously, I will be talking to camera flyers at my DZ, but I would like to start understanding all the different aspects of jumping the different camera types. Ultimately, I would like to run a DSLR and try to take photos of other people under canopy on flocking jumps, but my thought was that starting out with a much smaller action camera doing simpler stuff would be the way to go. It sounds like the safety precautions for both should be roughly the same. At the very least, even if not quite as necessary for the small camera, it would be good to get into the practice/training for the larger camera.