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Everything posted by IJskonijn

  1. Not all EU countries have a 1-year repack cycle. For the Netherlands, the repack cycle is 6 months. However, if you are a foreign visiting jumper (not a member of the Dutch KNVvL) with your own gear and your own association has a repack cycle of 1 year, that 1-year cycle will be honoured in the Netherlands.
  2. Call me conservative (you'd be right) but I feel that the step from a Spectre 150 to any crossbraced 135 canopy is a very big one, and likely to get you hurt. Better to step down in size first (Spectre 135 or similar) before moving into crossbraced canopies. And have a plan for what you want to do and achieve with it. In my opinion, downsizing for the sake of downsizing is overrated. My personal experience with a Sabre2 150 is that it's boatloads of fun (I'm at exit weight ~95kg so only slightly higher WL). Long recovery arc & good flare. I find the openings slow and twisty but my point of reference is about a thousand jumps on the Lightning which has never heard of that new-fangled thing called snivelling, so take that with a lot of salt. But because they are rather popular they tend to be pricey and quickly gone on the second-hand market.
  3. There's a better way than "blindly" chopping your main in a two-out scenario. For one, if you are unlucky enough to have the main and reserve risers entangled, chopping it can be certain death. I've had the luck to sit through Jim Cowan's Dual Out briefing recently, and his breakdown of possibilities and options is top-notch. It's also on youtube, so I highly recommend everyone to watch it. As for the specific effect of a much larger reserve than main, I would guess that the reserve is much higher over your head (providing more lift) while the main flies a lot more twitchy. My gut feeling would be that you might have to rein in the main flying it in deep brakes or rears (if half-brake is still set) to keep the two cooperating. Cutting the main away IFF it's not entangled would probably be your best bet, secondary to keeping both canopies nailed together down to landing.
  4. IJskonijn


    Do you have photo's of this particular situation? If the RSL is installed wrong in its entirety it should go back to the rigger rather than try to field-solve it. In general I'd be worried about the RSL shackle or tab interfering with a proper disconnection of the 3-ring system. This gets worse if the shackle is hooked to the harness D-ring (then it WILL be in the way) and exponentially worse if connected to the riser in any other way than the RSL-ring on the riser. I hardly ever use the RSL on my rig, doing mostly CRW and flag jumps. Mine is tucked away deep below the reserve risers, in the same space where the RSL lanyard runs (Paratec Next rig). Often I see RSL shackles connected to the release cable housing below the 3-ring system and tucked away behind the mudflap cover.
  5. I haven't had much luck with portable machines, even with the old fashioned cast-iron ones with a very loose definition of 'portable'. I still have two of those, Pfaff 332 and Pfaff 260, that both are in dire need of some electrical work and a good squirt of oil due to insufficient use. My sewing machine woes all but disappeared when I bit the bullet and purchased a Pfaff 138-6 machine. It cost me 550 euro, but that one machine has done everything I asked of it so far. Very reasonable straight stitch, good zigzag, easily handles e-thread and has managed to punch through 6 layers of square weave (for toggle manufacture), albeit with some difficulty. Bartack imitation is also quite good, I typically first do a straight stitch, then turn the work around and do a zigzag overstitch. I found one with a good clutch motor, but one with a servo motor should be possible. The motor connects via external V-snare to the machine head, so if you're handy enough you could change out the motor yourself. My only beefs with the clutch motor are the noise and higher difficulty with fine control (if I want just one or two stitches, I prefer to handcrank it).
  6. I disagree. If learning high performance landings is the goal, a turn rig is a NoGo in my opinion. You can get the same harness type and harness size yes, but not the same canopy. Sure, same type and size canopy is doable with enough money, but no two canopies will fly EXACTLY the same. It's all a bunch of fabric stitched together, and minor differences exist. It's unlikely people notice it in normal day-to-day jumping, but we notice it in CRW with different Lightnings flying ever so slightly different. And with swooping having a narrow margin of error, I fear the difference between two same-by-label canopies could well increase the risk of unintended lithobraking.
  7. Time in the sport is also valuable. Raw jump numbers aren't everything, but being on the DZ and paying attention to what happens, listening to the stories and advice of other jumpers is also a good way to learn and get better. Typically I see turn rigs being used for higher-level competition teams that want to knock out 10+ training jumps per day. At 115 jumps I honestly doubt that a turn rig is worth it.
  8. It's quite interesting how quickly this thread derailed from someone asking for cloud regulations in different nations towards a general FAA bash-fest... Anyway, to add something relevant to the original question: The regulation in the Netherlands is based on the "Regeling Valschermspringen 2010" https://wetten.overheid.nl/BWBR0027968/2022-01-01 (note, in Dutch so you might have to use online translators). Specifically article 3.1.d, which boils down to VFR only. No formal jumping through clouds allowed.
  9. For me, size is a big factor. I do lots of CRW, and having something on my hand or arm that can easily have a line snagged on it is no good. So my choice for a viso 2 (with elastic wrist-mount that I carry practically near my elbow) is primarily for its very small size. Maybe the altitude takes a fraction longer to read than an analog dial, I wouldn't know. I've never had issues with it, even on the sporadic freefall jumps that I did.
  10. There is no way specified in the manual to clear the flight counter. All other variables (DZ offset, activation offset, unit, etc.) can be freely changed. If you want to keep track of your own jump numbers with the unit, write down the displayed flight counter before your first jump with it, and subtract that number from any later reading. If you wish to start from zero, buy a new one.
  11. For the first-time CRW coaching jumps (always 1-on-1, occasionally with an experienced CRW camera flyer behind us), I use a hard-deck of 3000ft for accepting docks, and 2000ft lowest break-up altitude. This is with Lightnings, I flat-out refuse to do CRW coaching without using proper equipment. If my student is heads-up, flies nicely controlled and predictable, and feels up to it, I might fly a 2-plane down into the landing pattern by the time we reach jump 5. Of course, with more experience & trust among the jumpers involved, these minimum altitudes become more fluid. Especially with @Baksteen we've routinely flown a plane down to near flare-height. And because we know each other and each other's skill well, I will happily accept a dock below 2000ft from him. But by the time we reach pattern altitude ~1000ft, I'll keep what plane we have but not accept anything new.
  12. Usually a DZ has a lot of old crap lying around (unless the DZ manager is a clean-up freak). I have literally been given an old reserve once (Mayday 5 I believe) with the comment: "Either you take this now or I'll dump it on the fire-pit." Old shit is great for all sorts of repeat practice work, with the exception of inspections. There it's good for one go (and very good at that, because what makes that particular piece of old stuff no longer airworthy?) but after that you've seen it already and repeat practice inspections are a bit useless.
  13. Mindless spiralling isn't good, but then again being mindless in the sky isn't good no matter how one chooses to express that. In my opinion there's nothing wrong with spiralling down as long as the spiralling pilot is aware of their surroundings, high enough, knows where all others are, and knows that they are not in the way of anyone trying to fly a neat pattern. Whether or not fun is involved is not for me to judge. For me, those criteria are easily met at my C182 home DZ, but not often at a C208 (or bigger plane) DZ. For students, spiralling is rightly discouraged in general because they are not likely to have enough awareness of their surroundings yet.
  14. All sorts of accommodations can be made as long as the DZ is aware and willing to do it. However, to fully assess the impact of your visual conditions on the ability to perform a safe skydive is likely beyond anyone on this forum. My advice: seek out an aeromedical examiner that is familiar with skydiving (bonus points if the doctor is actually a skydiver as well). Such a person has the skills to assess the impact and the necessary adjustments. Calling individual dropzones asking for suggestions on where to find such an aeromedical examiner is a good starting point.
  15. In my opinion: It can be worth it, depending on what you value most. I started my rigging course in 2019, basically apprenticing for a Master Rigger in his loft here in the Netherlands. Last fall I have taken and passed the Dutch examination for senior rigger. It is worth it for me because my technical knowledge of equipment vastly improves. And even so is the stuff I know that I don't know. As a CRW-dog, I was already more-than-average interested in equipment prior to 2019, but I now know that I knew next-to-nothing back then. It is worth it for me because it gives me good satisfaction to do a job properly, and to make and fix things. My sewing machine skills have improved and are still improving further. It is not worth it for me because the money earned isn't stellar. As a technical person, I make more money in less time and effort in my day job than I can ever make with rigging. You can earn a living as a rigger, but don't expect to become rich doing it. And the training is long and costly. So it boils down to what you find most important in your life. For me, the first two points definitely outweigh the third. And I agree with previous remarks that currency as a rigger is important. In that sense, I am lucky with the Dutch labour possibilities, as I have a 4-day/week day job and spend the fifth day of the week rigging and the weekend relaxing/skydiving.
  16. This seems to be the video of that competition, although without the judging overlay: Based on the scores listed here: https://www.skyleague.com/events/151050/ it's the first round.
  17. That sure sounds like the reverse S-fold technique. The only advantage I've ever seen with that technique is that it's 'easier' to bag a brand-new slippery canopy that way. But given the lack of care with which people stuff it all in, I'm not surprised that it occasionally leads to slider displacement and adventurous openings. Especially since the same people are more likely to not care enough to put the canopy down gently after flaking, but let it fall to the ground while keeping the lines sorta tight...
  18. While there might be a bit of difference in the toggle pressure (and thus the force required to flare it) between a larger and smaller canopy, the difference is fairly minimal. In my experience, different canopy types can vary more in the required toggle pressure than a step down in size will generate. In general, I would recommend against downsizing. It's overrated, especially to 'solve' landing issues. The effect of small errors in asymmetry is magnified when you are under smaller canopies, and doing it right is a matter of technique much more than force. If it's an issue that pops up only after ~5 jumps that day, and combined with general body fatigue, it might be your body saying that it's been enough for today. Listen to it, you won't get hurt by not doing the final jump of the day. (Or plan ahead if someone is organizing an awesome sunset jump, and take a breather in the middle of the day).
  19. There are thousands of possible reasons for a reserve hesitation that are NOT the fault of the manufacturer. I'm not saying that it cannot possibly ever be the fault of the manufacturer, but I AM saying that you're jumping to conclusions awfully fast. And Aerodyne does indicate why an excessive long closing loop is bad: it doesn't compress the pilot chute fully and reduces its effectiveness significantly. If we as riggers in the world are to improve the safety of skydiving equipment everywhere, we need to keep an open mind AND be thorough, detailed and open in our analysis. Baseless accusations are worth less than the electricity used to transmit them. If you want me to take you seriously, show what that rig is exactly. What reserve is in it? What main is it in? What AAD is in it? What length is the closing loop? What size exactly is the rig? How was it packed? How was it tested? What exactly did you observe in the failures? Where did stuff catch that wasn't supposed to catch? It's like high school math, just writing down the final number is not enough, you've got to show the work done. Pretty please with sugar on top, show the f*ing details. Otherwise, I'm bringing the beer to Baksteen's popcorn party.
  20. Agreed, the vector issue is different in a subtle way. And in these cases, the devil is in the details. As far as the Icon stuff going on here, with three newly-made accounts all offering unsubstantiated photo's/videos of icons not properly working, I'm smelling either a hidden agenda or a big pile of bullshit. Cough up the details, or get the f* out.
  21. More of a hesitation than a total malfunction, but it's not a pretty sight... Any idea on what exactly caught on what and prevented the flaps from parting?
  22. Outside camera is much better anyway, you get to see your own face when you realize there's nothing below you for 3km other than air . And it's likely still cheaper than the Spitfire ride.
  23. Canopy control is always worth the time and effort. Whatever you do high up in the air is just fun and games, but safely landing a parachute is a necessity. Knowing how to handle your canopy is essential, and gets more essential the more 'aggressive' your canopy gets. For the fun and games part, choose whatever discipline you want to maximize the fun (while keeping it safe). And the choices you make now are by no means permanent, switching to another discipline is always a possibility once your current chosen type of fun ceases to be fun enough. Then, within that discipline find someone to teach you the basics and the discipline-specific safety requirements. Use their advice to determine whether to learn A or B or C first. And don't forget to smile =).
  24. You and me both, bro. But with the pandemic lockdowns happening all over the place (at least on this side of the pond) there's likely not much jumping this winter. Let's hope next summer season is better!
  25. Nobody is suggesting you do 200-300 jumps on rental gear. I bought my own first rig at 150 jumps, which is a long time before buying own gear. Typically, at ~50 jumps you can expect instructors to start suggesting you get your own gear. And right after you've done AFF, you are in no position yet to decide for yourself what canopy you need. AFF teaches you the bare basics required for safe skydiving (emergency procedures, dealing with the sensory overload, altitude awareness, basic stable body position, etc). Up to (and likely beyond) your A-license, your instructors will have the final say about whether a canopy is fit for you. If you're OK with doing the first 50 jumps on rental gear, then there is no reason to go buy your own rig before that time. And by then you'll have a MUCH better idea of what you do and do not need, based on practical experience rather than on reading webforums and manufacturer size charts. I'm not trying to discourage you from skydiving, far from it. I am trying to prevent you from becoming a statistic, or from wasting several thousand euros on the wrong stuff. So again my advice: do your AFF, enjoy your AFF, listen and learn as much as you can during that time, and start thinking about your own rig around the time you get your A license.