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Everything posted by IJskonijn

  1. 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 =).
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. I may still have a few lying around. They're all stuck to zero though...
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Not anymore, Brother.... not anymore. It costs about as much as a religion...
  11. 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...
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. A pair of strong pull-up cords tied securely between front and back hardlinks should do the job. That's what I had on my old L160 (rental), but I haven't gotten around to fixing it on my new (for me) canopy. Just be sure not to make them TOO short, ideally they should be nearly tight when flying the canopy.
  18. I never did a tandem before starting skydiving, so you're definitely not alone in this. In my opinion, there are three main possibilities: 1: You are already sure you'll like skydiving as a sport. In that case, do AFF or static-line and start jumping. One tandem is a waste of the money that could be put towards four jumps as a student. 2: You are not yet sure if you'll like it enough to do as a sport. Get a tandem to find out. 3: You'll just want to tick it off your bucket list. Get a tandem. I was squarely in the first group when I started out, and never even considered doing a tandem jump.
  19. This, tunnel time is pretty useless if you're going to be a full-time CReW-dog. That said, a good canopy course is always money well spent, no matter your discipline.
  20. We had this last weekend with a full load on the Otter, and we sat right there on the tarmac until all the jokers had sorted their shit out. It's not rocket science... Lucky bastard. One of the DZ's I frequent has seatbelts in their planes, and requires you to use them (at least, there's a sign at the manifest that says you must use them). But few people give a fuck, and even less are willing to wait boarding until you've managed to properly secure the seatbelt. The problem with it is that it only works if at least those in power care enough to get nasty. At that DZ, they don't and people routinely don't have seatbelts, don't secure helmets and all that shit. Plus, they board the plane while you still need the room, preventing you from securing the seatbelt. Nobody gives a fuck, and that's the fastest way to stop giving a fuck yourself. Especially new jumpers, who still view the old-timers as all-knowing. all-perfect, all-capable skydivers, get a very wrong impression by this. Please tell me, where can I order a pilot (C208-qualified) that actually cares about this?
  21. Is the non-skydiving status of the third party necessary? I know here in the Netherlands our standard third-party liability includes any third party. A friend of mine did his first CRW-coaching jump a while ago. The instructor slapped a radio on the side of his helmet, and his Lightning came with a complimentary riser strike on opening, ripping off the radio (property of the instructor). Insurance covered it completely.
  22. One of the best, most experienced jumpers I know, many cutaways, movie experience, very good swooper, etc. said that all wingsuiters should use RSLs. A very expert opinion, IMHO. I don't know about wingsuiters, but I know of a lot of dead skydivers that probably would have been saved by an RSL. Here in the Netherlands, use of an RSL/Skyhook is mandatory for the first 50 wingsuit jumps.
  23. That's nearly half an hour worth of CRW-time! A bit less probably due to the density of the air up there. On a more serious note, Skydive Abel Tasman in New Zealand does 16.5kft (at least when I was there). Special training required though, so I could only jump from 13kft.
  24. Please, do think about how you can cross that bridge well before it happens. Knowing what your options are (and what isn't an option) is very valuable, because you do not have the time to thoroughly think through every possible case when it actually happens. As for me, I've made basically the same decision. My rig has a Raven II reserve (218sqft), and I alternate between a Silhouette 190 and Lightning 176 (thinking of switching to a Lightning 160). In a two-out situation, I'll ride it down if I think it's stable enough. Only when it feels wrong and unstable, I'll try to go into a down-plane and cut away the main, provided the risers appear not entangled and altitude is plentiful.