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Everything posted by IJskonijn

  1. It's not just 20k for two jumps, it's 20k for an 11-day holiday, that includes two skydives. The only other thing you gotta pay is a ticket into Kathmandu, your visa and some hiking equipment. Too bad I don't have the money, because I think it would be an awesome holiday, especially if you're also into trekking/mountaineering. Hmmm, I wonder if there's ever been a CRW formation over there..?
  2. Wraps tend to happen due to a few known causes: 1. Weather: I've seen a formation wrap due to an air gremlin, which resulted in a pretty nasty cutaway (everyone walked away without more than a few small cuts though). The weather that day was iffy and a bit turbulent, with generally high winds. If you absolutely positively don't want a wrap, don't jump in that type of weather. 2. Poor formation engineering: A poorly engineered formation typically wraps because the wings outrun the centerline. So a properly engineered formation has slightly faster canopies in the centerline, and slower ones on the wings to ensure the formation bulges forward at the center. Getting this right is a matter of experience and practice. Figure out how fast people fly and put them in the right slot of the formation. Try it out and tweak as necessary. 3. Poor docking skills. If you dock the formation like a garbage truck on steroids, guess what's gonna come out... Exactly. This is down to the skills of the flyers. To minimise the chance of a wrap, they must know how to approach for a soft dock, and must know how to abort and reset if their approach looks iffy. All this can be practiced and optimized before you do a demo-jump with fireworks and stuff. Also, the firework rigs can be optimized. Get a thick steel pipe, weld it shut on on end and fix it on a properly designed harness. Now firework has only one way to go, and with a proper harness that one way is always away from you, even if the pyrotechnics inside malfunction. These type of jumps are not planned with "lets just hope nothing goes wrong" in mind. We CRWdogs do think thoroughly about the risks, how to minimize them and how to handle them should it happen. But if you plan everything for the absolute worst case, the only sensible plan is to stay on the ground. Also, if you're in the US, there's a pretty active CF scene going on over there. I think the Raw Dogs do CF-coaching mainly in the new england area, or you can join us in Florida for the Spring Fling in March 2016. In europe, we also like our CF. We occasionally have events in the Netherlands, and I know there are groups of CRWdogs in Germany and Poland active as well. Try to contact Henk Lunshof via Facebook, he might be able to help.
  3. Given the two camera's are slightly offset, my guess would be he wants a piece of that sweet sweet 3D video action.
  4. how did your stows look after the hard opening? Were lots of them broken? Even if not, it can't hurt to replace them all. If you have serious doubts as to the airworthiness of your gear, look it over together with a rigger. They know how to look to find faults which may not be noticable to you and me.
  5. Yes, but neither should there be a witch hunt. Hard proof should be provided together with putting the names out in the open. If no hard proof is available, report them to the correct people and have them investigate it. Rules should be followed (as a rule), but that goes both ways. Good care must be taken to ensure you name, shame and punish the correct person, not just someone who happened to have made a few enemies here and there.
  6. I agree with the always-carry-on thing, but I think it's smart to have your rig and ONLY your rig in that carry-on suitcase. Personally, the bare minimum I have in carry-on is rig and papers, since I can always get jumpsuits (not that I really need them as a CRW-dog), helmet and altimeters at the DZ. Some airlines allow you a second hand-bag as carry-on (usually much smaller than the suitcase). In that case, feel free to also take along things like altimeters etc on carry-on. Also, include the cypres/vigil X-ray card whenever flying. If flying into the USA, I think there's also a TSA letter on their website stating a sports rig is safe to carry on. Never hurts to print and take that along with you. Ninja edit: don't forget to put hook knives etc in your check-in luggage. The less reason security has to check out your luggage in detail, the less can go wrong.
  7. Last year at the Spring Fling (Sebastian, FL), there were also a few first-time CRW-jumpers. If I recall correctly, they were flying in a nine-way formation by sunday. Try to get into contact with either Brian Pangburn or Kirk Vanzandt for more info, although it should also be posted tot the crwdogs group. This year, it's around the end of march.
  8. Even with a radio, you aren't guaranteed to flare at the correct time. And learning to flare correctly all the time isn't done in 20 jumps either. Training your PLF (together with a correctly sized canopy) is by far the most important tool in your box to prevent you getting hurt. It's much better to do a PLF and think afterwards: "that wasn't really necessary", than the other way around. So practice it ad nauseam and beyond. It's a skill you'll never regret learning to perfection. I still use it occasionally (after >450 jumps) to prevent getting f*cked on iffy landings.
  9. I jump a Lightning 160 in the same rig as my Silhouette 190. The difference is actually so small I don't even bother switching loops (easier than lengthening/shortening it every time I switch canopies). Most CRW-canopies get nowhere near as large as accuracy canopies, even though Lightnings have a reputation for packing big. In general though, if I cannot get a proper fit by adjusting my closing loop (Vector II V5, so it's attached to the reserve container bottom), I'd be very Very VERY hesitant to do it before talking it thoroughly through with my rigger.
  10. Congrats on your A! There's plenty to do in crappy weather. For example, you can read some theory (Brian's The Parachute and the Pilot comes to mind), chat with fellow skydivers about their adventures (always try to learn from their mistakes, so you can make novel mistakes yourself ^_^). Always practice your emergency procedures on the ground. Shower-time is excellent for this, and practicing it at least once a day ensures you don't forget it when you get back to jumping. And yes, it's normal to feel a little rusty after being away for a while, especially if you don't have that many jumps in total. Just plan accordingly and have fun. You'll learn quickly enough. Also, get coaching in whatever interests you. Canopy control coaching is always time and money well spent, as landing the canopy is something you MUST do every single jump. Better do it right =).
  11. There is for tandem farms. They charge ridiculous prices for solo skydivers and students, and I fear nothing will change after the sale. It's a shame, New Zealand is a fantastically beautiful country, but it has very slim pickings when it comes to sports-jumper friendly DZ's.
  12. Adding the rings to the top skin should be a relatively simple job for any competent rigger, same goes for making a bridle, as that's just a couple of correctly sized fingertraps and some feature to hold the pin in place (should be on the lower part where the bridle is connected to the canopy, to ensure the bridle tugs on the pin before it tugs on the rig causing a pilot in tow malfunction).
  13. I may still have a few lying around. They're all stuck to zero though...
  14. I disagree. I think it's a good idea to get your own canopy, if chosen properly. As said above, learning a two-stage flare is important, but that can also be taught on very conservative canopies. I personally fly a Silhouette 190 at a wingload of 1.15-1.20. My experience is that the Silhouette at that wingload is no longer a student canopy, but is a very conservative canopy with lots of options the other way around. It's snappy and fast enough to be fun, and is a great tool to learn advanced skills on. At the same time, it's conservative enough to get you out of shit creek if needed. Another advantage of having one's own canopy rather than renting is consistency. Flying the same canopy every single jump allows you to learn much more, because you know the canopy much better. Having a rental requires you to get a feel for the basics every jump (how does it turn, how does it flare, how does it glide), leaving no time to explore the more unusual aspects of flight (long flight in deep brakes for example, or the perfect brake input for a flat turn, or the fastest way to turn if needed to avoid collision). I still find new and better ways to fly my Silhouette 190, even after putting ~150 jumps on it (out of my 450 total jumps), and I have no plans to sell it any time soon. In summary, I'd advice OP to go get his own canopy, after having gotten (and listened to) advice from especially his instructors on the best type and size, both for conservative handling and for future learning opportunities.
  15. There is no good reason why he can't get a paypal account. Really??? Getting a paypal account in some parts of the world is not as easy as you might think. Indeed. For me, getting a paypal account would be equivalent to getting a foreign bank account. A metric excriment-ton of hassle (not to mention banking fees to get money into it or out of it). Plus, I also read the customer experiences people have with them. Not a snowball's chance in hell I'm ever getting a paypal account.
  16. If you mean an RDS system, hauling that in after opening takes a lot of time. No problem for swoopers where their focus is on the final part of the flight, but for CRW-dogs (where the competition clock starts ticking 30s after exit) it's too long. All Lightnings (I believe the Storm as well, unsure about Triathlons and Matrix') have a reefing system on the canopy roof with a ring on the center cell and two offset cells (I believe cell 2 and 6) hauling the bridle back in, and the pilot chute ends up on the roof instead of trailing behind. There are two usual methods of bagging the canopy and choking the pilot chute. The first is freepacking the canopy, with the lines stowed in a tailpocket and a killcone (basically a round piece of fabric with a #8 grommet) on the bridle that chokes the pilot. The second is a normal bag, but also with a #8 grommet. It also slides down the bridle and chokes the pilot after opening. Either way, there's no housekeeping necessary after opening, so total focus can be given to preventing collisions at opening time and getting in a good position for doing the CRW-dive. Also, go talk to a seasoned CRW-dog/Rigger. They're usually more than willing to explain a lot, especially if lubricated with their favourite beverage.
  17. Linesets and wear have a very strong influence on how the canopy flies, although I don't have personal experience with the Silhouette regarding this. My experience is mostly with the Lightning, where flying a sequential trim left me way above big-way formations (unless I buried my fronts below my chest-strap), while switching to a world-record trim gave me much better matching to the rest. If you want, you can use the PD linetrim chart (can also be found here: http://www.performancedesigns.com/silhouette.aspx) and measure the linetrim. This will tell you if it's the original one, and how much out of trim the lines are. My own Silhouette has fairly old lines, with a guessed ~500 jumps on them. Even though it's about due for a reline, I don't notice unusual behaviour in her.
  18. I'm also flying a Silhouette 190 (at ~1.2 wingload), and have done for well over 100 jumps now (with lots of Lightning-jumps in between for the real work). In my opinion, although the Silhouette is very similar to the Navigator (different name, different size is all the differences I've found so far) it's a great canopy even for intermediate jumpers. It's responsive enough to afflict me with some serious enjoyment (helicoptering down for example ^_^), but conservative enough to get you out of shit creek if necessary. And due to this conservative behaviour, it's excellent to learn many advanced techniques on (braked final, rear-riser flare, stall behaviour and recovery etc.) At nearly 450 jumps, I'm nowhere near willing to switch to another general-purpose freefall canopy.
  19. Not anymore, Brother.... not anymore. It costs about as much as a religion...
  20. I've got a feeling that people in general, not just tunnel rats, spend way too little time and effort mastering basic canopy skills. Even in my short time in the sport, that development is visible. Unfortunately, I have no real idea what to do about it...
  21. I'm not an instructor, but I do have a (former) student opinion on this. For me, seeing inside camera footage of my AFF jumps supported me in remembering the details of the jump, regardless of optical distortion and what-not. For me as a student, AFF was a big lesson in sensory overload (along with a huge bag of other essential skills). I did what I had to do only because it was rehearsed extensively by my instructors on the ground, and my memory of the details of the jump were often less than clear. Video helped me with filling in the gaps during debrief and getting everything in the correct order. This in turn helped me with getting the maximum educational value out of each jump. With that in mind, I think it's a good thing when AFF instructors use inside video during a jump, provided it is mounted in a snag-free (or highly snag-resistant) manner. Optical distortion is a distant second issue, but only very distant.
  22. I fear the snagging is going to be the major issue, especially with the style of bike helmets I'm thinking about, no visor (separate goggles) and sunshield on the top. They look to me to be rather snag-happy. As for canopy, there is nothing wrong with jumping a big canopy for a long while. I can recommend the Navigator. It's a student canopy available in student sizes, but it still handles like a sports canopy (but with plenty of margin for error). Also, talk with your instructors about this, they know your proficiency and flying better than a bunch of random people on the internet. In my personal opinion, downsizing is overrated. There are two main goals a canopy should meet. It should bring you to the ground safely, and it should be fun (not scary) to fly. How much emphasis you put on each of those goals is a personal preference, but neither requires you to downsize like a maniac. There's often much more fun and learning to be gained from big canopies than you initially think.
  23. Check the line-trim. Depending on the type of lines (I'm not familiar with the Pilot), they could well have gone out of trim enough to cause wonky behaviour. Microline is especially susceptible to this problem, even after only 300-400 jumps. That is assuming nothing else (body position, packing technique, typical deployment velocity etc.) has changed significantly.
  24. Are you assuming terminal velocity or exit-at-3000ft velocity? If he's dropping static liners it could very well be the latter, after hauling in the bags and thanking the pilot. At my home DZ we train a lot of static line students (not me personally, I'm not an instructor), but they are taught that 10 seconds takes you the first 1000ft, and after that it's 1000ft per 5 seconds.
  25. I saw a t-shirt (I think at Skydive Sebastian) that said it made no sense to jump into a perfectly good airplane. Makes sense. The only other questions I find annoying are the too-many-times repeated ones. Even my own dad can't seem to figure out you can breathe perfectly fine in freefall.