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  1. Was doing a little research today to see how often fatal tail strikes occur in skydiving when I discovered this extremely interesting article from the New York Times circa 1993: 4 Die After Their Plane Collides With a Sky Diver By The Associated Press Nov. 23, 1993 A sky diver collided with a plane more than a mile above the ground on Sunday, causing a crash that killed the four people aboard the aircraft, the authorities said today. The parachutist was hospitalized with a broken ankle. Mary Culver, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said the parachutist, Alfred Peters, who had not yet opened his parachute, hit the upright part of the tail section of the Cherokee Piper Warrior II and damaged the single-engine plane "so severely that it went into a tailspin." It crashed in woods near the Connecticut River, about a mile from Northampton Airport. "The odds against this happening are absolutely astronomical," said Dave Strickland, owner of the airport's sky-diving operation. State police identified the dead as Elliot Klein, 49, of Rhinebeck, N.Y., the pilot; his son, Jonas Klein, 18, a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; another M.I.T. student, Christina Park, 18, of Auburn, Wash., and Jean Kimball, 45, of Pine Plains, N.Y. The accident occurred in midafternoon in sunny weather as the Piper flew at 120 miles an hour about 7,500 feet over Northampton Airport, en route to Boston from Poughkeepsie, N.Y. State police said Mr. Klein was taking the two students to school. Mr. Peters, a 51-year-old Westfield resident who had made 37 jumps, told the authorities that he had leaped from a single-engine Cessna at 8,000 feet above the airport. He said he saw the Piper heading at him moments before the collision, Jeff Guzzetti, an inspector for the National Transportation Safety Board, said. Mr. Peters told the authorities that he had been flipped over by the force of the blow but had managed to open his parachute at about 4,000 feet. Investigators said they could not immediately determine why the pilots of the Cessna and the Piper were unaware of each other. Mr. Strickland said it appeared that the Piper had been behind and below the sky-diving plane. Investigators said the sky-diving plane, which was carrying a pilot and four other jumpers, radioed controllers to alert other planes of the jump. But it was not known if Mr. Klein had heard the warning. Flight rules require pilots flying through the designated jump zone to keep their radios tuned for such warnings. The zone extends three miles in all directions from the airport. Mr. Peters, who was listed in stable condition at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, declined to speak to reporters. But his wife, Joyce, said: "All he keeps talking about is seeing that plane coming at him. He tried to get out of the way as best he could, but there wasn't much he could do."
  2. Scott was a cool guy and long-time old school Texas skydiver. He owned his own little playground known as Skydive Cowtown at Rhome Meadows airport. He had a hell of catch phrase too-- when flying jumpers right before he would open the door he would always grin and say, "It's show time!"
  4. I bought a used wingsuit here on using PayPal from a guy over in the U.K. and it went really well. However, I also used PayPal to buy a different used wingsuit from a guy on the Facebook Used Gear Group and it went really bad. The guy on the Facebook group claimed to be wingsuit flyer from South America traveling in Europe. He said that the suit was with his friend in another European country and that the friend would be shipping it to me, and had me send the money to his South American girl friend's PayPal. After I sent him the money he informs me that its going to cost $150 to ship the suit to the U.S. and that I need to send him another $150. I told him that $150 was too high for shipping and that the deal was off. He ended up refunding most of my money, but still kept around $100. At first I wasn't sure if this was an honest mix up as it really could cost this much to ship if you try and go through DHL or someone like that. But a few weeks later the guy changed his name on Facebook! So I don't know. Guy was either some sort of scammer or just incompetent. Either way, I'd say avoid overseas sellers and don't spend too much. But hey, I've had a similar awful experience buying used gear from skydivers offline too. It would be nice if everyone could just start using eBay. I'd feel much better buying gear off eBay personally. Maybe people will start cross-listing their gear on eBay and
  5. How does tracker maintain communication with your smartphone without LTE? I would imagine that a cutaway canopy would be too far away to maintain contact via bluetooth. Just wondering as I was interested in creating something like this to track skydivers in the event of off-airport landings. My idea involved Android smartwatches with LTE service, but I gave up on pursuing it any further after calculating how much it would cost.
  6. My buddy and I did our skydiver training at Skydive Eagle's Nest and Skydive Westex (both in west Texas). Adam (my friend) had a two out situation on jump number 8. He cutaway his ram-air skymaster main parachute and landed in a cotton field under a round reserve. This was around 2009-2010. Skydive Westex has since shut down and I imagine those rigs are no longer in service. These rigs were likely some of the very last round canopies still being used in sport parachuting here in the United States. In the end, the dropzones that can't afford to upgrade their student rigs end up not being able to afford maintaining their aircraft either, and eventually go out of business. The aircraft are usually then sold to another dropzone. Seems to be a reoccurring pattern: The Death of the Cessna 182 Dropzone.
  7. Dallas jumper here. Wind is just part of the game. I remember I didn't get to jump the day I took the static line course because it was too windy. Just came back the next weekend and jumped. Once you get a license the wind is less of a problem because you'll be allowed to jump when its somewhat windy. But for students, there are restrictions to keep them from going out and hurting themselves. If you can, try and be at the dropzone when it opens so you can jump on the first load as winds tend to be lower first thing in the morning .
  8. Well upon you all's reassurances I went ahead and purchased some gear here off the classifieds. Hopefully it all works out! Thanks everybody.
  9. Hey thanks for the replies everybody. Hmm maybe I should go ahead and make this purchase!
  10. I've been checking out gear in the classifieds, and I keep coming across sellers with old accounts with 0 forum posts. Are these people all scammers? Who registers an account with 6 years ago, never makes one post, and then decides to head back to six years later to sell some gear? Any tips on avoiding scammers, and how to find real sellers in the classifieds would be appreciated! Any tips on how to actual go about purchasing equipment would be appreciated as well.
  11. Anybody else seen the footage of Roy Halladay's low turns over the gulf just prior to his crash? Do you suppose he didn't know any better? As a skydiver I know that we lose altitude in turns, and apparently Icon A5s do too! What do you guys think?
  12. The "tracking device" would need to have LTE & GPS for it to work. I originally wanted to develop something for the Android Smartwatch because it's smaller than a phone, but it looks like it's still a pain in the ass to try and get cellular service for smartwatches. Also, the "tracking stickers" that someone mentioned use bluetooth, which wouldn't work if your stuck in a field. It would only work if you were very close.
  13. Thanks for the feedback. It looks like people might be interested if the app could be run on jumpers personal phones. The only problem with that is that I'll have to find someone to help me write the iPhone version =\.