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Everything posted by IJskonijn

  1. Good luck to you. You're going to need it to recover that main. My personal experience (and road to it) might help you, although I was unsuccesful in the end. I chopped my main on a jump last year while it was still in the bag (pilot chute malfunction). Chopped it at 13kft (CRW jump) in conditions of very light winds (5kts uppers). My freebag was found approximately 1,5km downwind of where I chopped, and I estimate that the main fell down pretty much in a straight line. Unfortunately, I was over a piece of forest with pretty severe undergrowth, so no luck even after extensive searching. If the drogue was operational, then it will have drifted some more, but I still suspect it won't drift very far at all. Likely no further than the freebag. I would start with trying to gather as much info as possible. Where (as accurately as possible) was the chop? How high was the chop? What exactly where the winds doing on that day (local met office maybe)? From there, estimate a most likely area where it's in, and start searching.
  2. True, but the line length differences will still likely make the 169 react much more aggressive than what she's used to. A canopy course on the 169 wouldn't be out of order, maybe combined with a canopy course on a larger canopy first. And for visiting another DZ, it's always more fun to go there together with someone else. Try to find an experienced jumper at your home DZ to go with you to the other DZ.
  3. I think you are confusing NRR rating with SNR rating. These are different ratings. . My mistake (or: stupid americans for using another rating than us europeans ^_^). The moldex spark plugs that I have (bought a box before I switched to corded plugs) have an SNR rating of 35dB, while the 3m earsoft FX (corded) plugs that I currently use have an SNR rating of 39dB. But aside from the question which plugs are best, I still stand by my statement: It is safer to wear earplugs for the entire jump (takeoff to landing) than to not wear earplugs. The mental clarity afforded by wearing good earplugs more than offsets any potential danger due to reduced hearing. Again: use your eyes to avoid canopy collisions, don't rely on hearing.
  4. The moldex plugs give a SNR rating of 33 dB, I have found a pair of corded ones (use them for CRW, where I can pop them out on exit without worrying where they end up) that have a SNR rating of 39 dB. And freefall noise is LOUD. Your beeper doesn't sound earsplittingly loud when in the air (where it is pressed against your ear), but if you let it make a test sound on the ground with it pressed to your ear, that sucker will hurt. It's still outputting the same amount of energy.
  5. Tried it, didn't work. With how deep I insert them (foam earplugs, rolled up when inserting), the cord pulls at them from such a weird angle that I just pulled out the cord, with the earplug staying in my ear. Plus, I see no reason. I can still hear fine enough under canopy with earplugs in, and prefer to rely on my eyes anyway to prevent a collision.
  6. Wearing earplugs during freefall and canopy ride is safer than not wearing them. Yes, hearing is reduced (more on that shortly), but so is mental distraction! The first time I jumped with earplugs (on the ride up and on the jump down), the effect was staggeringly huge! All of a sudden I had MUCH more mental clarity in my head. There's a joke floating around about finding your way in an unfamiliar city (driving a car), and turning down the radio so you can read the signs better. It works, precisely because your brain has less junk to filter out before it gets to the useful sensor data. Same with skydiving. Sidestep: hearing under canopy is severely overrated anyway. I jump CRW a lot, and even without earplugs under canopy while touching end-cells (i.e. WAY closer than an average freefaller would be comfortable with), it is difficult to understand each other clearly. Rely on vision and situational awareness to prevent canopy collisions, not on hearing. I personally use earplugs 100% of the time on the ride to altitude, and only when I do CRW I take them out before exit. For anything else (freefall, hop & pop, video, etc.) I leave them in until after landing. And even with earplugs in, your ability to hear someone shout under canopy won't change drastically. Earplugs are not racists, they reduce all sound equally (generally speaking, but there's some small frequency variability in it). They don't fully block any sound, they just reduce the amplitude. They equally reduce the amplitude of the wind noise, of the other canopy shouting at you, and of your beeper going off. So if a sound (say: your beeper) is loud enough to hear without earplugs, then it will be loud enough to hear with earplugs. Signal-to-Noise ratio (SNR) is what is important here. As long as you reduce everything to below the pain threshold, you can still hear everything almost as good as before.
  7. This feels about right. My L160 fits neatly in my Vector II v5 rig, that also fits a Silhouette 190 neatly without even adjusting the closing loop. L176 fits neatly with a longer closing loop, and L143 is the smallest I can get in it, and in that case the closing loop is the shortest it can be before the grommet thickness prevents me from closing the rig.
  8. I have my Viso II set on STU, since I do mostly hop & pops (CRW). My logbook currently outpaces it by about a hunderd jumps, and I notice it sometimes detects a jump from 2000ft because I made a quick spiral to get down... The logging part is probably reliable enough for FS or FF jumps, but anything else it's accurate enough to use for logging. On the other hand, it has always given me the proper altitude, and its backlit feature worked a charm on my night jump. Plus I can wear it higher on my arm, reducing snag hazard near my wrist (always an important consideration when doing CRW).
  9. Agreed, tunnel time is a great way to become more familiar with at least part of the dive. I did some tunnel time during my own AFF course, and it made a world of difference in my stability in the air afterwards. Worth every penny, and I would not hesitate to reschedule the AFF jumps for doing this, and pick up the jumps afterwards. The mental picture also becomes much easier once you know you are able to do all the individual pieces. Tunnel teaches you to fall stable and controlled, and you already said you're good under canopy. Exit is overrated (especially if you can get stable in freefall), so that sounds like the whole puzzle to me.
  10. [dark] Great, so you can have an open casket service! [/dark] Skydiving fullface helmets don't offer anywhere near the amount of protection you need in any serious crash. Just compare the amount of padding material in a motorcycle helmet vs a skydiving helmet. The motorcycle helmet manufacturers don't put the padding in because they like it, they put it in because they NEED it to meet the minimum safety standards for such helmets. And a motorcycle crash isn't that much faster than someone crashing while swooping something
  11. For me, it's a primary requirement (if I were to be shopping for a new rig now). But that's because I do lots of CRW, and I don't want any chance of stray lines getting stuck behind my reserve pilotchute during a wrap or something. For the generic jumper, it won't matter much above personal preference (I know some that like to have it external, using the "less stuff in between the pilot chute and clean air" argument).
  12. I agree, the jumper him/herself need to be on top in terms of sizing and measurements, or find a capable rigger to help with that. I'm not specifically referring to a certain type of rig (although I am aware of some problems with some rigs in that respect), but I'm also referring to getting the correct size. Overstuffing the reserve tray and/or the main tray is very unlikely to improve the openings. This is both on the jumper (to know what canopy type and size they want to jump) and on the manufacturer, to know what size rig conforms to what types and sizes of canopies. Pack volume might be good to know, but unless we can get a globally uniform and reproducible way to define and measure pack volumes, it isn't going to be useful.
  13. As already said, it needs to work and it needs to fit you properly. All the features, colours, trim and other crap on a rig won't help you one bit if the rig lands in a different place than you do. Also, if the corners are so sewn in ("dynamic" corners) that the reserve freebag is having a tea party on your back after you punched it, that's no good either. There's no colour scheme in the world that looks good with lots of blood on it. Only once those are all taken care of, then you can go to town with all the nice little features and gimmicks and colours that they offer.
  14. Which is, incidentially, what you risk doing yourself more and more if you downsize too agressively...
  15. Does downsizing solve a problem you currently have? If not, there is no reason to downsize. If it does, go ahead and downsize, but try not to create other problems down the road. Possible problems to consider can be: Being bored out of your skull under your current canopy (image you flying a Navigator 280 for 500 jumps). Not being able to jump in certain weather conditions (higher winds being one of them). Stopped learning under your current wing (with the wing being the limiting factor, not your mentality).
  16. I think there are quite a few mounts available that make it more snag-resistant. No camera mount is fully snag-free, and for that matter no helmet is fully snag-free! I got in a wrap (CRW) a while ago, where the lines of the other guy's canopy got stuck in my neck behind my half-shell helmet, not even on the camera mount. Since I had a camera on it, I had a cutaway system on it as well. And because I was able to cut away the helmet, we could solve the wrap without the bottom guy chopping. Don't rely on adhesive mounts to break off in case of shit happening. Rely instead on some system that is DESIGNED to release easily and quickly when necessary.
  17. In that respect, I'm less worried about people with a camera and two DSLRs on their helmet than about people with a gopro. You don't slap 3kg of glass on your helmet without thinking hard and deep about the consequences and its effect on your jump...
  18. If I understand canopy flight correctly, trimming it like that would put the canopy in a minimum sink configuration, which would mean maximum airtime, and thus maximum decision time. How was the stall behaviour on toggles? Did it stall immediately or did it need quite a bit of toggle input for quite some time before stalling?
  19. An easier solution (if you want a good binding) is to get a logbook with the cheap plastic binding, and then take that to a copyshop and pay them to put a metal spiral in it. If they can't do that, they're not worth your money anyway. Or, if you want, I can send you the basic files I used for my logbook. Adjust as desired (you might not want photo's of crazy-awesome CRW formations on the covers ^_^), and go have fun. Seriously, designing a half-way decent logbook isn't rocket science.
  20. In the past, I've had plastic spiral bound logbooks. They suck indeed. My last two logbooks are of my own design with all the space I want, precisely how I want it. I like logging, so I rather spend time to design a good logbook for my purpose and money to have them printed and spiral-bound with a metal spiral at a copyshop. The metal spiral hasn't failed me once, and the booklet contains 5 jumps per double page, 200-ish jumps total. The whole printing and binding part was surprisingly cheap as well. With fullcolour front and back (some nice photo's went on those pages) and the rest black-white, using heavy (150gr/m^2) paper and a metal binding, cost me somewhere around €20 for two booklets A5 sized. Totally worth it. I'm going to adjust it a little bit, and have some more printed soon since my current one is almost full.
  21. Good plan. I can think of very few situations under my reserve where I would want LESS fabric over my head, rather than more...
  22. I can't speak for the other clubs, but at my home club only the pilot uses a radio. There is a big-ass T indicator (bright orange, 8 meters long) on the landing field, and there are good landing fields all around for a LONG LONG way. Before the jump, students get a thorough briefing on the supposed pattern, wind direction, exit point and the land marks around them and where they are in relation to the landing field. And yes, we occasionally have a first-jump student take a cross-country jump because they forgot to look down between their legs, but those instances are few and far between. I don't think you solve that with radios, given the amount of stories I heard where the ground instructor heard the student radio just fine, but the student claimed he didn't hear anything! Some levels of stupidity are just unsolvable. We mostly solve the lack of radios by good thorough briefings before-hand. And even dropping just three students out of a C182, most of our instructors tend to take two passes to put them out.
  23. Radios have plenty of downsides as well, so it's not something that no student should be without. In fact, I know of no DZ here in The Netherlands that still uses radios for their student training. Rather, I think no student should be without an instructor watching out for them either from ground or from air, up to and including until they are properly debriefed and back in the hangar. My home club has a club rule that there always needs to be an instructor or assistent instructor at the DZ when students are jumping, since the DZ is off-site from the airfield.
  24. Just had a ride on my PDR 193 this weekend. No linetwists on opening, slow, steady, never heard of harness turns, sinking like styrofoam on water, feels like a battleship when turning. Stood up the landing easily. All the things I want in my reserve.
  25. Wave the PSB in their face. Any skydiver that thinks any part of their equipment is truly maintenance-free and without any possible fault is either an idiot or has just woken up from whatever rock they lived under. And if you don't plan on exceeding 27.000ft, compliance is mandatory at any opportune moment between now and 31 May 2020. With Dutch 6-month repack cycles that's two or three repacks before that deadline passes.