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Everything posted by IJskonijn

  1. Honestly, if your body can't handle the occasional quicker openings (I'm not talking the out-of-the-ordinary slammers), then I should at least think twice before skydiving. Because any high-speed malfunction (pilot-chute in tow, or just unable to pull it, or whatever) will result in your reserve opening while you're at terminal velocity. That opening won't be soft and snivelly by any stretch of the imagination. There is an element of risk inherent to this sport. You can do many things to reduce it like get a canopy designed and known for soft openings, get dacron lines, pack super-duper-well (or super-duper-trashy, sometimes that also depends on the canopy), and several other things alluded to in this thread. You cannot completely eliminate the risk of either canopy opening like shit. If you want to reduce the risk of hard openings as much as possible, I suggest you also talk to some riggers. Plural, each rigger has their own experiences, and none of them is godlike and all-knowing.
  2. I agree that the three-ring system and the collins lanyard are not the same. But the relative length difference of the cutaway cables has a direct influence on the workings of the three-ring system (see the patent), in addition to the question whether or not they should or could be uneven or even when a collins lanyard is installed. And yes, I'm starting to think the cutaway cables should be even. A collins lanyard would be a useful addition, as it provides additional security in case of a riser break on the RSL side (below the RSL attachment). Then again, I'm just starting on this whole rigging thingy, so I'm definitely willing to change my opinion in light of solid arguments ^_^.
  3. Bill Booth's original patent explicitely states that the disconnection needs to happen simultaneously, which means that the cables should be even. http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=4337913.PN.&OS=PN/4337913&RS=PN/4337913 (hope this works... Otherwise, search for US patent number 4337913 and see the third-to-last paragraph of the detailed description)
  4. If I understood some of the US teams that used them correctly, she flies like a dream but opens like a nightmare. A real specialist's canopy, useless for anyone who doesn't want to squeeze the absolute maximum amount of points within the working time.
  5. I'm not sure there even exists such a list. But on a per-country basis you should be able to figure it out by diving into that country's regulations. If I understand the Dutch regulations correctly (I should, since I've just been tested on them), foreign rigger ratings are accepted directly only when used to pack equipment for foreign visiting jumpers (so a US jumper here should be able to jump his rig which was inspected and packed by an FAA rigger that does not hold a Dutch SR or MR rating). For those cases, some of the foreign rules apply instead of the Dutch rules, especially with respect to time validity of the repack and use of a seal on the reserve packjob, but not with respect to the use of an AAD (mandatory here in the Netherlands for all jumpers). For any other case, a holder of a foreign rating can ask the board of the RNAA parachuting section to issue him/her the equivalent Dutch rating.
  6. In four years of visiting the USA for jumping, I have never heard of practical examples where a foreign jumper was not allowed to jump their own gear while it was complying with their home regulations. This includes my own equipment, which is a Vector II rig, with PDR-193 reserve (both obviously TSO'd), which were packed by a Dutch master rigger who did not hold an FAA rigger rating. Furthermore, I know of at least one company (SkyWide Systems, based in Ukraine) that manufactures rigs without a formal TSO rating. They state their rigs have been tested according to TSO C23d standards, but they don't have the formal rating due to a myrad of legal international relations issues. Several European friends of mine are jumping their rigs, and to my knowledge none have ever had any issues jumping at a US dropzone with their equipment. Dutch law regarding skydiving operations do not put any requirements on the equipment used by jumpers, and deals almost exclusively with the pilot responsibilities regarding class of airspace, ATC contact, flight conditions etc. All skydiver-related regulations are handled by the RNAA (KNVvL in Dutch). Their regulations state that the jumper himself is responsible for ensuring their equipment is up to scratch (except for sub-A license jumpers who are not jumping their own equipement, in that case the instructor responsible for them is responsible for the equipment). Airworthiness and periodic inspections are regulated to be done only by Master Riggers and Senior Riggers respectively. Several regulations state explicitely that for foreign visiting jumpers, the relevant regulations of their home country apply instead. If I remember tonight, I'll email you a list of my own interactions with US dropzones, none of which resulted in an FAA rigger having to repack my stuff.
  7. I personally use a leg-mounted flagbag. It holds a flag that attaches to my foot on the bottom end (via an easily released connection), and can hook into my risers on the top end. Added advantage is that there is no weights to deal with. This bag can be taken to terminal without issues (as long as it is tight enough, so don't understuff it). Made of parapac, binding tape, webbing, chest strap hardware and a main cutaway cable. Any rigger with some sewing experience and the ability to set grommets can sew it for you.
  8. The best thing I found to prevent the feared ball-under malfunction is to tighten the leg straps as tight as possible on the ground. The tighter they are on the ground, the more comfortable the rig will be in the air. And if the rig presses down on your shoulders hard as you tighten the leg straps, then the MLW is likely too short. Best way to figure out: try it.
  9. And what's the problem with that? Skydiving shouldn't be about license progression but about having fun in the air. Wanting to get better at it is natural, but stressing out that it's going to slow your license down is focusing on the wrong parts. And the best way to get better at flying is to try lots of times, and make good use of coaching. Jump with someone experienced who can see (and maybe video) your exits in real-time, and keep practicing. And above all, don't forget to keep having fun!
  10. Height of the lines is something we use already, but is not foolproof (for example, the steering lines with toggles set are about the same length as the C-lines). I might prefer using cotton instead of nylon. The marking thread won't have any load-bearing function, and I would rather that it brakes if it somehow does come under tension.
  11. Unfortunately, it's not that simple because I'm not the only one who has to make the decision (to be precise: this is about me wanting to improve the way our students learn packing, but I'm not the head honcho in charge of our clubs equipment). So with the restriction that no markers can be used anywhere, even on non-loadbearing parts, what are other ways to more easily differentiate lines into the different linegroups are possible?
  12. Quick search through these forums result in many different opinions about marking line attachment points for ease of identification during packing. Some of you are absolutely convinced marking with [favourite-marker-type] can do no harm, some of you are already lighting the torches to burn people at the stake for doing it. That got me thinking: would there be a method for non-permanent marking of line attachment points without using any marker or pen or anything liquid based, thus sidestepping that whole rabbit hole. Do any of you have any experience with tying small pieces of coloured string through the line attachment points (no piercing of the actual tape) for this purpose? Does it actually help packing? Does it show any extra wear on the line attachment tapes? What exact material did you use for it? I'm thinking something nylon, since the tape is already nylon so I wouldn't expect any adverse material/material interactions.
  13. Skills, much more important than canopy type.
  14. Piecing some stuff together is a perfectly valid way. Especially if you're kinda picky about your reserve type/size, main type/size etc, it's a better road than waiting for the perfect complete rig to float by on the classifieds. However, do get in touch with a local rigger about this. For one, he/she usually has an idea of what's for sale in the immediate vicinity (and might even have something directly for sale), and secondly the entire assembly needs to be compatible. Not a huge issue, but a rigger is the perfect way to ensure that main/reserve/AAD/rig are indeed going to play nicely together. Also, start reading these forums about mains, reserves, AADs, rigs etc. For example, reserve size is something you'll have to think about. There are some schools of thought, from "reserve should be similar in size to the main" (makes them play nice in the event of a two-out), to "reserve size should be as large as will reasonably fit in the rig" (my preference, because I'd rather have more fabric than less fabric over my head in case of an emergency). And talk about it with people (especially instructors/riggers) at your own DZ.
  15. Yet I don't remember any mention of jetstream in that book. Big-ass thunderstorms, cumulonimbus and a side dish of hailstones, yes. But no jetstream unless my memory has really gone downhill...
  16. And if you have a rigger that doesn't want to teach you something about your own equipment, find another rigger.
  17. My advice to you: don't jump. This sport can get you killed, or worse: injured for life. If you are unwilling to accept that, and unwilling to accept the knowledge and expertise already gained by the skydiving community in the past 50 or so years with regards to making the sport safer, this sport is not for you. Take up chess, since even bowling can get you injured. The only useful thing you can do on these forums is provide us with comic relief, but even that act is wearing thin.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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).