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Found 265 results

  1. For the first time Skydive Perris is organizing a tunnel training camp for women only at SkyVenture Perris. Nina Kuebler and Synchronicity are the organizers. In addition to what the Perris Performance Plus already offers, we now are hosting an all female 4-way tunnel and skydiving camp. DZ.com: Why organize a women’s only tunnel camp? Nina: The tunnel as a training tool has changed the way we skydive, so the learning curve for individual flying skill is much steeper. I find that a considerable number of skydivers, particularly females, think that the tunnel is something for “serious 4-way freaks” only, and therefore never consider trying it out themselves. By getting more people interested in newer training developments we certainly help the sport overall, thus giving as many people as possible the chance to feel the exhilaration of flying their body aggressively. Many females are intimidated by the somewhat competitive atmosphere of the predominantly male clientele and staff of “traditional” camps. After hosting several camps at Perris using the successful formula of tunnel flying and jumping, we have experienced how different skydivers respond to different coaching, particularly how females respond fruitfully to female coaching. DZ.com: That sounds kind of like the same concept as establishing the women’s division in 4-way in order to draw more females in the sport. Nina: Exactly. Last year we had 9 all girl teams competing at the US Nationals, which was a great turnout. It was also my first time to compete with an all girl team (4something, thanks again ladies!!!) With the nationals being in Perris, we are expecting an even more exciting female competition. DZ.com: Does the girl only camp also refer to the staff? Nina: Watching another woman fly powerfully and aggressively is certainly the strongest inspiration and motivation to do just he same. In other words: Yes, this is a stricktly female coaching staff. DZ.com: Do you in general support all girl events? Nina: I do believe in 4-way, in physical flying and strong moves – of which both genders are equally capable. I have benefited from male coaches, and being on a male team, I have learned to push myself to the greatest extent possible. However, my flying style is different from my male teammate’s style; therefore I think a female student can benefit from a female coach. I believe that there are an infinite number of individual learning behaviors. Consequently in the coach/student–relationship is paramount for the coach to communicate (in the physical demonstration and the verbal explanation) with any student in an understandable way. I am very much looking forward to share what I had the chance to learn in 6 years of training 4-way and 8-way with other females.
  2. The AFF program was instituted in 1982 as an "accelerated" learning process as compared to the traditional static line progression. The AFF program will give you a true taste of modern sport skydiving. The ground training is a bit more extensive than S/L (~5 hours) because the student will be doing a 50 second freefall (that's right!) on his/her very first jump. The student will exit the aircraft at10,000-12,000 feet along with two AFF Jumpmasters (JM) who will assist the student during freefall. The jumpmasters maintain grips on the student from the moment they leave the aircraft until opening, assisting the student as necessary to fall stable, perform practice ripcord pulls, monitor altitude, etc. The student then pulls his/her own ripcord at about 4000 ft. The AFF program is a 7 level program. Levels 1, 2, & 3 require two freefall Jumpmasters to accompany the student. These dives concentrate on teaching basic safety skills such as altitude awareness, body position, stability during freefall and during the pull sequence, and most importantly- successful ripcord pull. On level 3, the JMs will release the student in freefall for the first time, to fly completely on their own. Levels 4, 5, 6, & 7 require only one freefall JM (less $$) and teach the student air skills such as turns, forward movement and docking on other people, frontloops, backloops, "superman" exits from the plane, etc. Each AFF level is designed to take one jump, and requires about 45 minutes of training. After successfully performing the objectives of each level, the student moves on to the next level. After graduating Level 7, the student enters a more free format stage called "Level 8" where they practice and hone their skills by themselves and in small groups until they obtain 20 freefalls and qualify for their A license.
  3. This method has evolved over the last ~30 years from its military origins into a successful method for training sport parachutists. The student gets 4-5 hours of ground training and is then taken to an altitude of about 3000 feet for the jump. The jump itself consists of a simple "poised" exit from the strut of a small single engine Cessna aircraft. As the student falls away from the plane, the main canopy is deployed by a "static line" attached to the aircraft. The student will experience about two to three seconds of falling as the parachute opens. Subsequent S/L jumps require about 15 minutes of preparation. After 2 good static line jumps, the student will be trained to pull their ripcord for themselves. The student then does 3 more static line jumps where they demonstrate this ability by pulling a dummy ripcord as they leave the plane (the static line is still initiating the deployment). The student is then cleared to do their first actual freefall. The first freefall is a "clear & pull", where the student initiates the pull sequence immediately upon leaving the aircraft. Next is a 10 second delay jump. Subsequent jumps go to progressively higher altitudes with longer delays. After 20 freefalls, and meeting certain other basic requirements, the student receives their A license and is cleared off student status.
  4. Aerodyne proudly announces the launch of a sponsoring program aimed at professional skydiving instructors and coaches around the world. The Aerodyne Sponsored Instructor Program, or ASIP, is a comprehensive program developed to offer unparalleled support to those who provide training to other skydivers and contribute to the safe practice of skydiving. "The ASIP program is designed to build longtime relationships that are beneficial to all involved: the individual instructor, their home drop zone, Aerodyne authorized distributors and our company. It was our aim to create an environment that encourages mutual cooperation between all those involved for the betterment and progress of each", explains Aubrey Easterlin, sales manager of Aerodyne Research in Florida. "It doesn’t stop with giving a good deal on equipment. We give our ASI’s the opportunity to actively promote our products and they are rewarded for the sales they generate. That way they become longtime partners and there is more to be gained by all". How does it work?Under the program an Aerodyne Sponsored Instructor will receive a full compliment of Aerodyne equipment at 50% of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. He or she will also receive a package of product information, a stock of promotional material, a set of referral cards and an ASI identification number. The ASI will use the identification number to refer interested customers to the selected Aerodyne distributor. For every order that is received as a result of such a referral Aerodyne will credit the ASI’s account with 5% of the cash value of the MSRP. The ASI can use the accumulated credit for future purchases of Aerodyne products. Who are eligible?The ASIP program is open to instructors that hold a current rating issued by or on behalf of their National Aero Club. Because of the nature of the program Aerodyne seeks to support individuals that demonstrate a positive attitude and professionalism in their relationships with people. "The idea is that an ASI serves as a sort of ambassador for Aerodyne, for our distributor and for the dropzone he or she works at. Therefore we require every applicant to submit a letter of recommendation by the distributor and by the dropzone manager or operator", says Arnold Collenteur, who is Aerodyne’s European sales manager and one of the initiators of the program. "Although we like to stress the fun side of the program, it is still a business arrangement and we must make sure that the applicant meets our criteria so that we may expect our sales to increase because of his or her contribution." Why the ASIP?Although Aerodyne may still consider sponsoring competition teams on an ad-hoc basis, the company feels it has better chances to promote its products via instructors, who are in direct contact with potential buyers. When choosing equipment most skydivers look closely at the products jumped by the best or most experienced jumpers on their dropzone. The ASIP program builds on these premises by creating a world wide community of Aerodyne sponsored instructors with a local reach. By offering to the ASI the opportunity to refer sales leads and generate additional earnings the ASIP also ensures that Aerodyne distributors benefit from the program. By helping Aerodyne to select the right individuals distributors create a small network of local ambassadors and increase their chances of selling to customers they might otherwise not reach. Furthermore, the ASIP program aims to facilitate communication between individually sponsored instructors, their drop zones, Aerodyne’s distributors and Aerodyne through a sharing of information, educational material and media. Aerodyne intends to make its website play an important role in this communication process. Enrollment Interested instructors may request an ASIP application package from an Aerodyne distributor, via our website www.aerodyne-int.com or via one of these contacts: North and South America: Aubrey Easterlin [email protected] Europe and Asia: Arnold Collenteur [email protected] Africa and Indian Ocean: Dave Macrae [email protected] For more information about Aerodyne and our products please go to www.aerodyne-int.com
  5. Jennifer Panicorp of Covington, Washington (USA) is the happy winner of a free complete Aerodyne parachute system, consisting of an Icon harness-container system, a Smart reserve and a main canopy of her choice. On January 6th Jennifer’s e-mail address was drawn as the winning entry in the tombola which Aerodyne organized on its Internet site over the Christmas period. The tombola was open to all website visitors and only required the submission of an e-mail address. The only rule to comply with was that the winner must show a valid parachuting licence in order to claim the prize. With a modest 50 jumps to her account Jennifer is a relatively newcomer to the sport. She received her USPA A licence in September last year. As one would expect Jennifer was quick to return a happy reply to Aerodyne: "OH MY LORDY THAT IS BEYOND COOL!!!! Thank you so much!!!! … I just can't believe this, I'm so excited!! ". Aerodyne’s marketing director, Edward "Bushman" Anderson stated: "The internet is a key element in our communication and we will continue to drive skydivers to our website with these type of events. Within the next month we will introduce a new and more dynamic version of our website. The new site will enhance user experience with a more intuitive user interface and navigation system, The new site is also designed for those users still using dial up connections and loads considerably faster than the existing site". For more information about Aerodyne and our products please go to www.aerodyne-int.com
  6. admin

    L-1 Vertical Wind Tunnel

    Initial tests prove that the L-1 wind tunnel is everything that it's fathers designed it to be... Under development for nearly a decade, dreamt about for 2 more before that, and the L-1 Vertical Wind Tunnel is NOW a reality. L-1 is not your typical wind tunnel facility, built by the most experienced wind tunnel flyers in the world, our forefathers of this sport. And by our forefathers I mean, those who flew before us, still fly with us today and who invented the maneuvers that today win competitions. These are the guys who do it because they LOVE it, it's a passion in life, they are drawn to it like a writer to paper, or a bee to honey, or a bird to the skies... L-1 is the ultimate playground and classroom for any participant at every level. The desire to build an L-1 type facility came immediately after experiencing the air quality Wright Patterson Air Force Base Military Tunnel. These poor underprivileged flyers who came from propeller driven tunnels, could now see an amazing change in the air that they relied so heavily on. But what could a couple of tunnel rats do about it? Remember our forefathers weren't always fathers, they started out as kids too :) Determination, intervention and devotion to the future guided them on the path to their destiny. Their dream so simple, to have smooth, quiet air at tunnels across the globe, they weren't motivated by greed or profit, but by a sheer drive to share their experience with the rest of the world. Generous assistance from world-renown aerodynamicists, scientists and engineers along side of the worlds most knowledgeable bodyflyers, yielded an amazing 1/12 scale working model of the future L-1 VWT producing laminar flow. The test section of this tunnel is an extraordinary 70ft in length and is able to create a new dynamic within the industry; multi-level flight platforms on a single column of air. The designing didn't stop there either, the aesthetic beauty of an L-1 will certainly leave you without words, other than perhaps "Wow" Unlike other facilities, the only interaction you will have with the mechanical systems is to know that they are there...somewhere. It's sounds so quiet, you can carry on a cell phone conversation 25ft away from a flyer. Additionally the catch net on this tunnel was built with aerobatics in mind, built like a trapeze net, it cradles the fallen flyer safely. Today, L-1 is a reality, built in the open air of North Carolina, it's a picturesque representation of future facilities across the globe. L-1 was also produced with the intention of reproduction, and full sales information will be made available to the general public by early spring 2004. Although you won't see any enclosures or tubes at this facility, those options are available to interested buyers. Prospective buyers can learn more about this facility and schedule a showing by visiting Bodyflight Concepts www.bodyflightconcepts.com
  7. admin

    Dive with ad'oh, not Dubya

    A poll conducted by a British charity has found that more people would rather participate in a tandem skydive with Homer Simpson than with George Bush. Twenty per cent of respondents said they would trust a skydive with the daft cartoon dad, compared with eight per cent for the US president, according to the poll for the Leonard Cheshire organisation. Eighteen per cent trusted Anne Robinson, host of the BBC game show The Weakest Link. Least trusted was Charles Ingram, a former army major convicted of cheating on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? at three per cent. "Homer Simpson might not be the sharpest tool in the box, but he has a good heart - and his laughter value alone would make him an invaluable skydiving partner," said TV psychologist Gladeana McMahon. Leonard Cheshire, a disability charity, commissioned the survey of 1,000 people across Britain to find out their attitudes towards different challenges. Its new fundraising initiative, called Challenge for Change, offers individuals the opportunity to try different sports - including skydiving.
  8. In fact, she got up before she fell-way, way up-11,000 feet above ground level to be exact. And it was no accident when the 72-year-old grandmother jumped from a 1957 single engine plane, Saturday, Nov. 29. She was making her well-planned first sky dive strapped to her son-in-law, Jay Phillips, a skydiving instructor with the Opelika Skydiving Association. "It was so much fun," Doyle said. During a tandem skydive, the student parachutist is strapped to an experienced instructor parachutist. The student wears a special harness, which attaches to the instructor's harness at two shoulder attachment points and two waist attachment points. The instructor wears the harness and container, which houses the parachute. The two hook together in the plane prior to the jump and exit together in "tandem." The pair then falls through the sky at approximately 120 miles per hour and deploys the parachute at 4,000 feet above ground level. The two then fly the rectangular shaped parachute to a pre-designated landing area. A videographer flew alongside Doyle and Phillips. "Cherry made a picture perfect skydive, flight through the air under canopy and landing right beside the camera man," Phillips said. "I didn't have to do anything," Doyle said. "I didn't get to work the controls." Doyle said the most exciting part of the jump was the 45-second free fall. She remembers lots of wind and noise and the cold. "The wind almost takes your breath away," she said. "It's cold because you're up so high." Once the parachute opened, the rush was over. "Once the chute opens, you just float down, like sitting in a chair," Doyle said. At no point during the dive did Doyle close her eyes. "I wanted to see what was going on," she said. "It was not as frightening as I thought it would be. I've been more frightened at amusement parks. I won't say it wasn't scary, but it wasn't terrible." Her practical outlook aided her attitude. "Once you get out there's nowhere to go but down," she said. "They do it every day." Although Doyle had heart surgery six years ago, her biggest concern about the jump was breaking a bone- especially her hip. But Doyle knew she was in good hands with her son-in-law, especially after her daughter and Phillip's wife, Ellen Doyle Phillips, M.D., threatened him that if anything happened to her mother she'd kill him. Another of Doyle's daughters, Amy, and her husband, David Emerson, M.D., also made tandem dives with Phillips that day. Doyle said she didn't have the opportunity to skydive when she was younger, although she had seen it on television and thought it would be fun. She "guesses" it's the most risky thing she's ever done, and something her deceased husband would not have approved. Doyle is the widow of Dr. James Doyle of Eufaula. "He would have said, 'you're not going to do that,'" she said. "He was more cautious. He would have thought it was crazy." Doyle is far from being the oldest person on record to skydive, but with the newfound enthusiasm she has for the sport, a record could be in her future. "I definitely would consider doing it again," she said. "I would recommend it (skydiving) to any adult." Doyle's jump, as well as her attitude, impressed her son-in-law. "I've never met anyone quite like Cherry," Phillips said. "She is the most outgoing, determined, optimistic and cheerful person I know. I think very highly of her. I don't think she'll ever get old.
  9. Skydivers will soon have a new way to improve their canopy flying skills. Members of the Performance Designs Factory Swoop Team and Skydive DeLand's Freedom of Flight Canopy School have joined together to create a new coaching project called Flight-1. The group will hold a series of canopy flight camps at Skydive DeLand beginning in February of 2004. The project is being lead by Shannon Pilcher, Ian Bobo, and Scott Miller. Pilcher and Bobo are members of the PD Factory Swoop Team, and Miller is the Freedom of Flight Canopy School's Course Director. PD Factory Team members Heath Richardson, Jay Moledzky, and Francisco Neri will also participate, along with Freedom of Flight coach Jimmy Tranter. Jumpers who attend Flight-1 Canopy Camps will make approximately fifteen jumps over three days, with classroom training and video debriefing sessions. Novice, intermediate, and advanced canopy pilots are all welcome to attend. The participants will be divided into groups based on their current skills, their experience levels, and the specific canopy skills they wish to develop. A separate coach will be assigned to each group. At the beginning of each camp the coaches will focus on developing "core" skills that form the foundation for the more advanced skills practiced later in the camp. The members of Flight-1 bring an impressive combination of skill and experience to the project. Heath Richardson won 1st place at six different PST and Red Bull swoop meets this year, and finished in the top five at four other competitions. Jay Moledzky finished in 2nd place at five different meets, and together with Richardson earned 1st place finishes at three team events. Ian Bobo won 3rd place in the Speed and Distance events at this year's IPC World Cup of Canopy Piloting in Perris Valley, and also finished 3rd overall at the meet. He finished in 1st place at the Red Bull Wings Qualifier at Skydive New England in July. Bobo also has extensive CRW experience, and was a participant in the 1994 World Record 47-Way Canopy Formation. Shannon Pilcher finished 2nd at the Red Bull swooping finals in Cleveland this past August, and won 3rd overall at this year's SkyQuest Fantasy Swoop in Florida. He still holds the official swooping distance record of 418 feet, set during a Pro Blade Tour competition at Perris Valley in 2002. Bobo and Pilcher are both accomplished Formation Skydiving coaches and competitors in addition to their achievements under canopy, and are experienced canopy coaches as well. Scott Miller opened the Canopy School at Skydive DeLand in 1999, and later joined with Jimmy Tranter and a group of DeLand's freefly coaches to form the Freedom of Flight School. The school has an impressive record of helping jumpers overcome problems with their canopy flying skills. In addition to running the school in DeLand, Miller has held over 25 canopy skills camps at other drop zones in the US and Europe during the last two years. He also spent five years working as PD's chief test jumper. The Flight-1 team is initially focusing on the first series of camps, and will continue their individual coaching and skydiving activities outside of Flight-1. However, they believe Flight-1 has tremendous potential to expand in the future. Flight-1 hopes to create an unparalleled coaching program that can meet the needs of canopy pilots across the entire range of skill and experience levels. They believe these camps will appeal to novice jumpers who are looking to develop good basic flying techniques, advanced jumpers who want to practice competition-level high performance landings, and anyone in between. For more information visit www.flight-1.com or phone Skydive DeLand at (386) 738-3539.
  10. Spaceland Anomaly, this year's silver medallist freefly team, is hosting its second annual "Insomnia Tunnel Camp" this coming January. Together with tunnel champions Juliana and Fabian Raidel and Joao Tambor, Anomaly hopes to again bring freeflyers of all experience levels to the SkyVenture tunnel in Orlando for an intensive 3 night camp. The camps are designed to be a low cost alternative to more traditional camps, while maintaining a very individualized progression for each student. As in last year's camp, the tunnel time is booked in the midnight to 6AM timeslots, which gives each student a total flying time of 2 hours over the 3 night camp. Not only does booking nights provide cooler temperatures for better air in the tunnel, but it also saves students the price of the daytime tunnel rates. After the first night's session (and many Red Bull cases), everyone adjusted to the graveyard shift schedule. Students slept their days away at the nearby Best Western while waiting for their 10PM warm up sessions at the tunnel. The coaching is the camp's strongest point, and primary focus. Each of the 3 coaches work with the same 3-4 students each night. This gives them the opportunity to tailor individual progressions based on the skill level and preferences of each student. By remaining with their students through all their tunnel time, coaches can see improvement over the 3 nights and pace the learning appropriately. Many of last year's participants started out with an introductory lesson in RW skills, both for safety reasons and to remind them of how much we all have to learn on our bellies. From there, the progression moved to backflying to sitflying, and, for some, an introduction to head down flying in the tunnel. At the end of the camp's 3rd night, students made their way to their respective hometowns with bags under their eys, smiles on their faces, and a lot more freefly skill than they came with. "It's kind of like being in another world, being in the tunnel at such odd hours, but the coaches are energetic and extremely experienced... I know I've improved 100%!" said returning student Jen Dembinski. The next Anomaly Tunnel Camp is scheduled for January 15th - 17th, with available slots going fast. Contact [email protected] for more information.
  11. Two 19-year-old men arrested in connection with the murder of skydiver Stephen Hilder have been released on police bail pending further inquiries. The men, understood to be Adrian Blair and David Mason, were taken into custody by Humberside Police on Wednesday. A force spokesman said both men, who were fellow cadets of Mr Hilder at the Royal Military College of Science, at Shrivenham, Wiltshire, have now been released from custody. Mr Hilder died on July 4 at Hibaldstow airfield, in North Lincolnshire when he fell 13,000ft to his death. Detective Superintendent Colin Andrews, who is leading the murder investigation, said: "We are in consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service and a file of evidence will be sent to them for consideration. "The investigation into Stephen's death does remain ongoing and officers are continuing inquiries. I'm still very keen to speak to people about Stephen's death and urge anyone who knows anything about the circumstances surrounding the events of Friday July 4 to contact me. "It is our belief that somebody out there knows exactly what happened to Stephen and that person must now come forward. I remain confident this case will be solved and the person or people responsible will be brought to justice." Mr Hilder, who was a veteran of dozens of parachute jumps, had been taking part in the National Championships of the British Collegiate Parachute Association when he died. He was part of the same team as Mr Blair and Mr Mason. Incidents Forum
  12. New School Flight camps blend all the major disciplines into to one training session over a four day period. Freefly, Fundamental RW, Tunnel, and Canopy progression camps dedicated to producing a more complete skyjumper. The camp includes 20 videoed coach jumps at The Florida Skydiving Center, one hour of coached wind tunnel time, and 4 nights stay at the Best Western Hotel right across the street from Skyventure, Orlando. A free video is also included. "These camps are perfect for any level. We concentrate on getting better fast and having a lot of fun. We concentrate on flying every surface: belly, back sitfly, head down, and tracking. The camp is a really good way to improve any landing approach you do while working on the rest of the skyjumping game. I supply a one on one coaching atmosphere to make sure the student gets the most out of the camp, " says Medal Winning Head Coach Steven Blincoe. Skyventure has revamped their windtunnel to produce 150 mph wind speeds. Perfect for freeflying. The tunnel went through various other renovations to produce a smoother air colom. The cost of the camps are $2990 and require a deposit. Camps consistently fill up 6 weeks in advance. Feel free to contact Steven Blincoe with any questions, 530-412-2078, [email protected], or blincoe.org. Steven Blincoe has more than 3500 skydives and 150 hours of wind tunnel time. He has coached thousands of students world wide. He is the President and founder of The New School Flight University in Lake Wales Florida.
  13. The SkyVenture wind tunnel in Orlando, Florida, has just finished adding bigger more efficient motors and a host of other improvements that make the world's best vertical wind tunnel even better. During a September 3-16 retrofit, the five 125-horsepower electric motors were replaced with 200 hp units, and the fixed-speed, variable-pitch fans replaced with a fixed-pitch, models mated to variable frequency drives. The result is both a faster and more quickly adjustable airspeed. "We're getting about 150 miles per hour now," says SkyVenture CEO Alan Metni. "This makes for an even more realistic training environment, especially for the freeflyers, and we can now change speed in two or three seconds - compared with ten to fifteen seconds before." A redesigned flight chamber and staging area adds to the tunnel's new efficiency. "The flight chamber staging area now has two doors instead of one," says Brannan Johnson, SkyVenture's director of marketing and product development who also oversees tunnelcamp.com. "Before, when one group came out, the next group had to wait to go inside. Now, there's an entrance door and an exit door, so that bottleneck is eliminated." Johnson says the motor and flight chamber changes, which will be standard on all future SkyVenture tunnels, will benefit both tunnel operators and users. "It will increase the ticketed customer capacity from 24 per hour to 28 per hour," Johnson says, "and jumpers buying time by the hour will get more usable time; they'll be able to get in and out faster, and ask for and get windspeed changes much faster, so they'll end up with more actual flight time per booked flight hour." Another major change is a complete rework of the flight chamber walls, designed to increase both customer and spectator pleasure. "The solid walls and small windows have been almost completely replaced with 9-foot high acrylic panels," says Johnson. "The whole thing is now open, so jumpers in training can watch their teammates more easily. In the Orlando tunnel, the other open sides make it easy for spectators inside the building to see the flight chamber; in the new tunnels, those sides will be visible to outside spectators and pass-by traffic." The final upgrade on the Orlando tunnel is a completely redesigned control room. Gone is the bulky, complicated analog panel, replaced by completely new software, two touch panels and a joystick. "One panel is for general tunnel control," says Johnson, "the other is for camera control during tunnel camps. The joystick is a one-axis unit for very simple control of tunnel wind speed." Metni say the Orlando upgrades raise SkyVenture's offerings to another level. "We've raised the bar again," he says. "This ensures that SkyVenture will not only be the fastest but also the most efficient in the world." Skyventure Web Site Tunnelcamp.com
  14. Dropzone.com users have formed a team to help with a world-wide effort to understand proteins and their role in certain diseases. It is called "[email protected]" and this effort is already producing results. Some of you may have heard about [email protected], and it's search for extraterrestrial intelligence by scanning the skies with radio telescopes and analyzing the signals they pick up from space. [email protected] ([email protected]) works much the same way, in that analysis of data is shared by many computers. Collectively, many computers become one, huge, super-computer. This "super computer" studies protein folding, misfolding, aggregation, and related diseases. Something much more meaningful to most of us than searching for extraterrestrial intelligence. To help in this effort is very easy. You simply download a program from http://folding.stanford.edu/. And install it on your computer. The program only runs when you are not using your computer, so it doesn't interfere with any work you are doing. When you install the program, you can also join the Dropzone.com team. Simply put "31515" for your team number. You can also do this later, or change to a different team at any time. Join the conversation in the forums
  15. Para-Gear is interested in photographic submissions that you may have for the 2003-2004 Para-Gear Catalog #68. We have taken the time to briefly describe the format and certain criteria that we look for, in order to help you to see if you have something worth submitting. We have included examples of previous catalog covers for your reference. Over the years Para-Gear has used photos from all of skydiving's disciplines. We do not have a preference as far as what type of skydiving photo it is, rather we look for something that either is eye-catching or pleasing to the eye. In light of the digital age, we are also able to use photos that in one way or another may be less than perfect and enhance them, removing blemishes, flipping images, altering colors, etc. The following are preferences. However what we prefer and what we get, or choose, are not always the same. If however we came down to a choice between two photos of equal quality, we would opt for the one that met more of our preferences. We typically prefer that the photo be brighter. In the past we have used sunset photos and even a night jump photo, although by and large most of the photos are daytime. We like the subject of the image to have contrast with the background. Subjects that are wearing brighter more colorful clothing usually stand out more. We prefer to have the people in the photo wearing equipment since that is what we sell. Headgear, goggles, jumpsuits, altimeters, audible altimeters, and gloves are all good. We also prefer to see skydivers wearing foot protection. We do not print any BASE jumping nor any Tandem photographs. Our basic criteria is as follows: Vertical Format. The front and back covers of the catalog are both in a vertical format. We can use a horizontal (landscape) shot, as opposed to a vertical (portrait), and then crop it as long as the image lies within a vertical cropping. Photo Quality. The front and back cover shots will be printed as 8 ½ x 11 in 300 dpi format. Any film that can hold its quality up to this size and print dpi is fine. Slide film is preferred. In the event of a final cover choice, we prefer to be sent the original slide for getting the best quality out of the image. Back Cover Photo. The back cover photo is no different from the front except in one respect. We need to have room on the left side of the image for the thumb index. In the past we have taken images and been able to horizontally flip them thereby creating this room. Originality. Anything that is original, eye-catching, or makes someone take more notice of the catalog covers is something we look for. It could be a photo from a unique camera position or angle, a scenic skydive, shots under canopy, landings, etc. We look for photos that have not been previously published and most likely would not accept them if they have, as we want a photo that no one else has seen yet. We also do not want any photos that are chosen as the front or back covers to be used for other non Para-Gear advertising for a period of one year. Para-Gear offers $250.00 each for both the front and back covers we choose. Our current deadline for catalog cover submissions is May 15th 2003. Sending sample pictures by e-mail or mail are both fine. We will return any mailed in photos or slides after we are done with them. Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions. Sincerely, Curt Bachman Para-Gear Equip. Co. Inc. [email protected]
  16. Tampa, FL -- Big Air Sportz, Inc., makers of high performance airlocked sport parachutes, has slashed retail prices on its Samurai and Lotus models of airlocked canopies. The new retail price of $1,499 US is the same for any size of Samurai or Lotus canopy. Add-on options are additional to this new low price. These new aggressive price changes serve to promote more factory-direct orders and more intimate contact with customers. Big Air CEO and Head of Research and Development, Brian Germain, also announced a shift from traditional "dealers" to a network of "Field Representatives." "The Field Representatives are the voice of Big Air out in the field… Quite simply, the Reps are our connection to the customer," said Germain. "This means that the educational materials published by Big Air Sportz are prerequisite reading," he added. Further, applicants must pass a written examination. A field rep is expected to be knowledgeable about canopy flight and the Big Air models of canopies to effectively promote and match customers to appropriate canopies and sizes. For more information on becoming a Big Air Sportz Field Representative, please contact Big Air Sportz at 813.788.4444 or [email protected] And, finally, effective March 1, 2003, Andy Frey comes on-board as the Marketing Director for Big Air Sportz, Inc. Andy has been flying Brian Germain's airlocked canopy designs since 1995. He can be contacted at [email protected]
  17. Big Air Sportz is proud to announce that their instructor discounts are back for a limited time. Big Air Sportz, Inc. is offering significant discounts on all canopies sold directly to current rated coaches and AFF, static line and tandem instructors. “We have recognized that students look up to their instructors for insight as to which canopies to buy,” says company President Brian Germain. Big Air Sportz is offering any size custom canopy for $1,399 until January 31st, 2003. Big Air Sportz is the maker of the Lotus, a 9-cell semi-elliptical airlocked canopy designed for beginning and intermediate jumper from 20 jumps up. The Samurai (the next-generation Jedei) is a 9-cell elliptical airlocked canopy designed for an experienced pilot with more then 300 jumps. The airlock design uses valves to seal off the cells of a canopy once it is inflated to provide stability and prohibit instantaneous deflation of the airfoil, thus increasing the safety margin when flying in rough conditions. More information about Airlocks is available here on Dropzone.com and on the Big Air Sportz site. In order to qualify for the discount, any current, rated instructor must fax a copy of his or her rating card to Big Air Sportz at (813) 977-5000. Valid ratings are coach, jumpmaster, instructor, and evaluator from any acceptable country or association. The applicant must present a current rating card to qualify for the discount. A deposit of $250 is required to confirm the order, with the remainder due upon the canopy’s completion. Retail prices on the Samurai and Lotus range from $1,905 to $2,048. Demo canopies are available for $50 for 2 weekends. Big Air Sportz also offers dropzones or clubs highly experienced speakers for a choice of seminars, with topics including Canopy Flight from A-Z, Freeflying, and the Psychology of Skydiving. To schedule a demo, a seminar or for any other information, contact Big Air Sportz at 8525 Bramwell Way, Tampa Florida 33647, or Tel.: (813) 788 4444, Cell: (813) 230-2161, e-mail: [email protected], and on the web at http://www.bigairparachutes.com About Big Air Sportz: Big Air Sportz was founded in 1998, but its founder Brian Germain has long been involved in the parachute design and skydiving industry. Brian designed his first airlock while recovering from a paraglider collapse in 1993 that left him in a wheelchair for months. From those first drawings and tests eventually came the Jedei canopy. Brian has won various medals in X-trials and various other freefly competitions around the United States. He has taught hundreds of skydivers everything from canopy flight to freeflying. Most recently, Brian and the Big Air Sportz team were freefly organizers at WFFC ’02. With current research projects including the Shogun, a 7-cell airlocked canopy; an as-yet-unnamed cross-braced airlocked elliptical ultra-performance canopy; CRW airlock canopies; and kite-surfing training kites and recreational ram-air kites (http://www.bigairkites.com); Big Air Sportz is ready to provide canopies for the future of skydiving.
  18. The Freefly Training Center (located at Skydive Sebastian, Florida) is incorporating a new program to benefit the freeflyers planning to go to the SkyVenture wind tunnel in Orlando to freefly. The new program is aptly called "FREEFLY THURSDAYS." Every Thursday from 6pm to 8pm starting in November 2002, the Freefly Training Center (or FTC for short) will be conducting training and group coaching for freeflyers willing to have fun and train in the two-hour long flying party. All bookings into the weekly "FREEFLY THURSDAYS" sessions are done directly with The Freefly Training Center ([email protected]). "FREEFLY THURSDAYS" is a combined effort by the FTC and SkyVenture to provide a safe, structured and educational environment for everyone from Florida residents and non-residents alike looking to learn or improve upon their freefly skills. The demand for this education comes from the large influx of freeflyers now visiting Orlando's SkyVenture wind tunnel with the goal of translating their newly formed tunnel skills to the skies. More often than not, however, when freeflyers arrive at the tunnel, they are not joined by other freeflyers and therefore have a hard time assimilating how to efficiently fly with the same body positions they would use while skydiving. By creating "FREEFLY THURSDAYS", the FTC is giving all who join them on Thursdays a way to learn freefly in the tunnel. FTC instructors are on hand to give basic coaching tips and a solid reference to practice maneuvers, grip-management and two-way dynamics. The cost for "FREEFLY THURSDAYS" is based on the time each participant flies. Time is offered to participants in 15-minute "blocks" which may be shared by up to two freeflyers to offset the cost. Participants of "FREEFLY THURSDAYS" also have the option of engaging in private, one-on-one coaching sessions with the FTC instructors. These sessions offer private pre-briefings, intensive in-tunnel coaching, and full video debriefing following the actual flight session. Wind tunnel training has become an integral part of the relative work training regime…so much so that if your team is NOT training there, then you are behind the power curve. This level of tunnel training is exactly what the FTC is promoting for freefly, citing the marked increase of each flyer's learning curve and the ability to accelerate beyond his or her current experience level. The tunnel training lends itself to noticeable improvement even after your first sessions. The FTC is actively involved in training, coaching and the continued development of flight programs for all levels of freeflyers at SkyVenture Orlando on a weekly basis. In addition to the weekly "FREEFLY THURSDAYS," the FTC has scheduled three intensive freefly tunnel camps in December, January, and March. Also, the FTC hosts private tunnel camps for individuals or groups that cannot make the pre-scheduled dates. The tunnel has proven to be a very useful tool to the FTC by incorporating tunnel coaching prior to their "in-air" coaching. The proven program accelerates the level the flyer can obtain by not only removing bad habits, but by also reinforcing presentation and balance in the relative wind. All this may be acquired during an intensive, 15-minute session (which is the equivalent of almost 20 skydives). This amount of training is very cost effective, one-sixth the cost of conventional in-air coaching for the equivalent amount of "air" time. Further information on booking, session arrangement for Private Tunnel Camps or to book into a pre-scheduled Freefly Tunnel Camp, contact the FTC at [email protected]
  19. Tis the season.... Summer for skydivers is the time that we let loose, enjoy the longer days, jump as much as possible, go to boogies, see old friends and meet new people. For The Freefly Training Center (FTC), this past summer was no exception. Following a successful and eventful season at Skydive Sebastian in Florida, these guys didn't slow down at all for the 'busy' summer season. Instead they tracked into the summer with a demanding agenda of skills camps, boogies, and competitions…and I got to be there for most of it, so here's my take on it. Intensified Skills CampsSkydive Sebastian was well represented at many different dropzones this summer, coaching and organizing at Skills Camps run by FTC instructors. They kicked off the summer, as many 'northern' dzs do, on Memorial Day weekend. Current National and World Champions, Mike Swanson and Rook Nelson, headed to Cross Keys, NJ, to organize with Monkey Claw during the annual Monkey Claw Jam, this year's theme being 'The Running of the Bulls'. Following that boogie, Mike met up with FTC instructor Dave Brown, in Orange, Mass. to hold an intensive skills camp at Jumptown. This is the second year for a skills camp at Jumptown, and again, it was a great success. Before going back to Chicago, to continue an arduous training schedule for the U.S. Nationals and the World Cup, Mike hosted successful skills camps at both Skydive New England and AerOhio. Rook, Mike and Dave, who spent the majority of their summer at Skydive Chicago, organized and coached freeflyers who were stoked to get in on the learning atmosphere. They also placed 1st (Rook) 2nd (Mike) and 3rd (Dave) at the3rd Annual Freefly Money Meet that Skydive Chicago hosted. 'Alaska Jon' Devore, who together with Rook and Mike, form team 'Alchemy', also joined the Chicago contingency to help organize and coach during Summerfest, the Midwest's newest large scale boogie. In late July, Dave and Mike joined forces once again and went up to Canada, for the 3rd annual Canadian Freefly and Film Festival, hosted by Skydive Burnaby in Ontario, and the Gravity Pilots freefly team. They kept the Otter flying all day for 8 days, with coaching, organizing and Atmosphere Dolphin (AD) tests. They held nightly seminars regarding safety, gear, group dynamics, an overview of how to get the most out of your dives. Dave and Mike also gave AD "A" tests for the first 3 Canadians to get their ADs on Canadian soil.... Congrats to Glen, Brent and John. Rook was busy organizing at the annual Richmond boogie in Indiana at the end of August, keeping the Skydive Chicago Super Otters turning all day every day of the event. And on the far East Coast, the New Englanders kept Dave busy during the Labor Day weekend coaching and organizing, as well as attending the coolest 'Tiki Bar' party of the year. On his way back down home to Florida, Dave enjoyed a 5 day stay at Cross Keys where he organized local freeflyers, and organized the pond swoop and chug which Thomas Huges from Sebastian XL eagerly took the first place prize and glory. Following N.J, Dave was in Orange, VA, for the last skills camp weekend of the tour na d was greeted by the always warm welcome of the locals. One on One coaching started off each day for registered partispants which by afternoon turned into group organizing and each night a big way sunset jump, followed by 'beer kicking' (a local dropzone tradition), and video debriefs. Swoopin' It Up Out ThereIn between all of the boogies and dzs that the FTC attended, they also were quite active in competing in some of the biggest swoop competitions of the season. It began with the 'Red Bull Wings Over Chicago' event, held on Lake Michigan, in downtown Chicago. Congrats to Rook, Mike, Dave and Alaska, who all placed in the top ten!! That was only the beginning of the 'swoop tour' for the summer, to be followed by the swoop event sponsored by GoFast at the World Freefall Convention, this year held in Rantoul, IL. Dave attended and had lots of positive feedback from the experience. The event was hosted by Jim Slaton, from the Icarus 'Team Extreme', and Lyle Presse, a local organizer and event manager from Skydive Sebastian. The combined efforts of these guys have led to the creation of the 'Pro Swooping Tour' (PST), which recently had its first event in Perris Valley, CA at the beginning of October. (ps. The Convention was a great time, if you didn't get there this year, you should definitely check it out next year!!) Less than a week later, Rook, Mike and Dave headed up to The Ranch, in Gardiner NY, for the Pond Swooping Nationals. Although a small injury kept Dave from competing past round 2, he kept the crowds entertained as the MC for the remainder of the event. Rook did very well, placing in the top ten, out of over 65 competitors, and taking home a cash purse, congrats! Dave and Alaska Jon went on to compete in the Pond Surfing Championships held at Skydive New England the following week. This was the first year that this dz has had a swoop pond/competition, and I think it left quite a favorable impression on everyone. The day after the competition was over there was a 2 jump 'demo competition', 2 rounds, 1000$ each, winner takes all, at Old Orchard Beach in Maine. The next stop of the swooping tour brought Dave, with teammates (PD Velociraptors) Vladi Pesa, Christopher Irwin and Sonic, to California to compete in the first ever Pro Swooping Tour Team Challenge. For never having jumped as a team in a competition, these guys finished fourth, closely behind the Icarus 'Team EXtreme'. Congrats again!!!! The FTC will be attending and hosting some swoop events coming up for the winter season, and is looking forward to seeing everyone out there pushing the sport further. On Top of the World MaWhile the summer was full of fun events, it was also a time for serious training. Team Alchemy, representing the USA, logged more than 800 team jumps together this summer, training for the US National Championships held in Chicago, IL, and the World Cup held in Vienna, Austria. Meanwhile, over in England, other FTC instructors Rob Silver and Chris Lynch, of team 'Sebastian Free Jive', trained for the British National Championships, with teammate Tim Porter. Chris and Tim formed 'Skyjiver', a freestyle team, to compete in the British Nationals as well. Here's what a lot of training and a whole lot of skill can produce....GOLD! Congratulations to all the teams.... US National Championships Freefly - Gold -Team Alchemy World Cup Championships Freefly - Gold -Team Alchemy British National Championships Freefly - Gold - Sebastian Free Jive British National Championships Freestyle - Gold - Stylejiver Also congrats to Chris Lynch, who won gold in individual accuracy on his PD Velocity 103, and to Sebastian Free Jive who also won gold in the team event. All of these world class teams will be representing Skydive Sebastian and the Freefly Training Center at the 2003 World Air Games this summer, held in Gap, France. Way to go guys!!!!!! Othere Worthy NewsThe IMAX movie 'Adrenaline Rush: The Science of Risk' recently had it's grand premier in Montreal, Canada, before being shipped to theaters worldwide. It was very well received by all those attended. Mike, Dave, Rook and Rob open the movie with a segment of freeflying over Sebastian, which was filmed with the IMAX film crew from 'S.H.E Entertainment' and director Carl Sampson last December. The film also has some of the most breath taking view's of BASE jumping in Norway , Wing Suit flying in the Florida Keys and Leonardo Da Vinci's parachute jump by Adrian Nicholas in the Mojave Desert. Check out your local IMAX theatre for showings-it's not one you want to miss! The FTC has also been busy planning out a packed season here at Skydive Sebastian, starting with the season 'opener' Halloween boogie (Mike and Dave/LO's), shortly followed by the Keys boogie (Dave and Rook/LO's), held in the Marathon Key. The FTC will also be holding tunnel camps, skills camps, the 'Pure Progression Program', Big Way Invitational Camp, and many other events. Drop Zones or individuals interested in having an Intensive FTC Skills Camp at their dz this upcoming season, contact [email protected] For any other info, or just wanting to get down on the new school vibe….go to www.freeflytrainingcenter.com or e-mail [email protected] Hope to see you soon!!! Erin Golden
  20. A daredevil vicar has raised more than £1,000 for his parish by parachuting from 13,000 feet over a Nottinghamshire airfield. Reverend Simon Foster, vicar of St Mary's Church in Anstey, Leicestershire, made his jump over Langar on Tuesday. "Just for one brief second I was very scared, but as soon as we were falling I thought: "I am going to do this'," he said. Clive Taylor, a friend who suggested and helped organise the skydive, said: "It is a good way of collecting money and he is a great guy. I hope he enjoyed the view." His tandem skydiving instructor, Chris Harrison, said it was a good dive. "He enjoyed the landing and was very happy. Before the jump Mr Harrison said: "He is going to see his boss a little closer than usual."
  21. A South African thief who stole a plane for a joyride had to land on a motorway when it ran out of fuel. He made the emergency landing on the N4 highway near Bronkhorstspruit, about 30 miles from Pretoria. Police say the aircraft was undamaged and the thief got away before he could be arrested. "We have no idea who the suspect is," police spokesman Capt. Piletji Sebola said. There was no apparent damage to the plane and there appeared to have been few cars on the road when it landed. One of the highway's two lanes was closed to traffic, Sebola said. The Cessna, used for skydiving, had been brought into Wonderboom airport in Pretoria on Sunday for a routine maintenance. The plane was stolen sometime Monday night or Tuesday morning. According to the flight instruments, it was flown for roughly one hour and 36 minutes before it ran out of fuel and was forced into an emergency landing. "I'm dumbstruck. He really knew what he was doing," said Carlos Garcia Cabral, the plane's owner. Police and airport officials were investigating how the plane was stolen.
  22. First things first. I assume they're giving you some sort of compensation in the form of a free slot (since you're just starting out) or maybe slot plus a small amount of cash (maybe to cover pack jobs). Understand that since they hired you, they probably expect you to do certain things, only some of which you're actually going to be able to deliver because ... you're just starting out. I can absolutely freekin' guarantee that your footage isn't going to look anything like the camera flyers at Arizona Airspeed can produce. You're just not going to do 1,000 jumps with your team this season, so nobody should expect the same results. Make certain at least the team captain understands this. If your team captain or the coach of the team expects otherwise, you may want to consider walking away right now. I'm not kidding. I saw a perfectly acceptable camera flyer get psychologically and verbally burned by his team last season because they just didn't have a freekin' clue as to how difficult "Airspeed-quality" camera flying is. If, on the other hand, they understand where you're at in your camera-flying career and are willing to work with you, then it can be a beautiful learning experience for everyone. Flying 4-way camera, you're not just flying the camera anymore. The team may decide you have other duties as well. Do they want you to handle the manifest duties? Do they want you to watch the clock so they can focus more on creeping? Are you going to be responsible for the spot? Will you have to dub tapes for everyone at the end of the day? This can be time-consuming. They're off in the bar having a cold one and you're in a debrief room makin' dubs for 40 minutes! Talk to them about it. Get that stuff understood so there are no surprises. Surprises cause arguments. Arguments are not conducive to good flying! One camera flyer I know has been at it so long and has been burned so many times that he has what he calls his "List of Demands" and when he talks to a team he gives them a printed copy of it and says "That's the deal, take it or leave it." Now, since you're just starting out, you probably can't do this just yet, but keep it in the back of your mind. At least with him, there are no surprises. Just a thought. The first day So it's the first day of training and time to get on the airplane. Make absolutely freekin' sure that everyone knows the break-off plan. Typical might be that at 4,000 AGL the team turns and tracks while you pull in the center. (Maybe 4,500 for a newbie group.) Make certain they all understand the consequences of not tracking -- you'll eventually come down to meet them and you'll both die. I shoot my team's break-off and freeze-frame it when I dub the debrief tape just to make a point of showing which person is leaving last. I've never mentioned it in those terms, but I think it does get the point across when you see the same person not getting away as fast as the rest of the team. Communicate to the team that's it's not only important that they turn and track, but it's also important that they do not pull high. Pulling high is where you are, not them. They shouldn't be pulling any higher than 3,000. This ensures they have separation from each other AND you. What's really nice about 4-way is that certain things can be somewhat consistent and therefore I feel a bit more safe. You shouldn't have to worry about what the break-off altitude is for this jump, if the team break-off plan is always 4,000. Pretty simple, we're doing 4-way, break-off is 4,000 -- period, end of discussion. We can now focus on other things and not have to worry about break-off. Simple. Same deal with most of the rest of the flow. Ten minutes to boarding the plane, check your gear, put it on and walk down to the mock-up. Five minutes to boarding the plane the team arrives at the mock-up and goes through the exit and does pin-checks. Board the plane in the same order, sit by the same person, check your camera at 6,000, do another pin-check at 9,000, handshakes at 10,000, put your helmet on by 11,500. CamEye II blue light on the red light, red light on the green light. OK, that's my routine, but you get the idea. Consistency will keep you on schedule, give you several opportunities to catch small errors and correct them. Not all camera flyers' offices on Twin Otters are created equal! Handles come in at least three distinct flavors and steps in at least two. Placement of handles and steps varies from plane to plane even on the same dropzone and even if the A&P; mechanic was really trying to be consistent! Door frames are also inconsistent in how much they have little bits poking out that can whack into your left knee or attempt to grab your reserve handle on climbout. It may piss you off, but them's the facts. Look the planes over carefully and learn which ones to watch out for. The exit For a camera flyer, there are basically two parts to the skydive: Exit and everything else. Blowing the exit can make everything else irrelevant, so I'll start with that. As I mentioned before, there are several version of handles and steps you'll have to deal with. Depending on the exact type of exit you're planning on doing, your hand and foot placement as well as your posture on the step will vary. There are three basic exits. Leading - leaving perhaps slightly before the 4-way team. This is the "classic" 4-way exit you'll see from Arizona Airspeed. There are a lot of timing issues involved with this exit and I'll go into some of them a bit later. When done well, it's a beautiful thing. When done poorly, it's a disaster! Try to learn this exit as quickly as you can, but I can guarantee you some spectacular disasters in the process. I do a lot of 4-way camera flying and even after three years of really trying to nail it, I still blow it from time to time. Trailing - leaving perhaps just slightly after the team; it's also known as the peel. Almost bullet proof because you leave the airplane in your own clean air, but teams and coaches don't like it because it's difficult for them to see exactly how well they were presented on exit. Semi-peel - also known as the 3 O'clock or 90. The team really has to launch away from the airplane for this to work and it has the same team/coaching issues as the trailing exit, but the camera flyer is a heck of a lot closer and it's very easy to see the grips so I think there are actually advantages to using this for competition, but like I said, teams and coaches might think differently. This is the exit you'll most likely see from The Golden Knights. For each exit, it's fairly important to know exactly what to expect from the team in terms of timing and their presentation. You're a fifth member of that exit and you want to place your body in an exact location just the same as the rest of the team -- you're just not taking grips. I think it's important that you go to the mock-up with the team, find out what formation they're taking out the door and do a couple of practice exits with them every time you go up. For a leading exit in particular, find out where the tail and inside center are going to be and plan on not being in their burble right off the plane. Depending on the team and their skill level, you could use any of the three basic exits. For coaching purposes, almost all teams will want you to give them a perfect leading exit. In reality, this may or may not be possible due to your experience level or theirs. It's definitely something to discuss with them. The team, the coach and you should understand that a leading exit is not always the best choice for competition purposes and may not always show what they wanted to see for coaching purposes either. Leading exits Get out on the camera step as best you can. Ideally, you'll have your left foot on the camera step and your left hand on the camera handle with your body hugging the airplane, right foot trailing and right hand maybe on top of the fuselage. At least, that's the way the boys over at Airspeed do it. Me? I can't do it that way and my guess is that depending on your body type, the handles, how much you can twist your neck and a bunch of other factors, you might need to do something slightly different too. Ultimately, your goal should be to be comfortable, stretched pretty far back with maybe just a little flex remaining in your left leg with which you can spring back off the camera step. You may find it a good idea to have your camera sight centered on either the left wheel of the Twin Otter or maybe the butt of the tail flyer. This gives the team somewhere to go in the video. If you can see the exit count, cool, but don't trust it. I usually watch for other subtle signs like a helmet popping under a head jam or maybe the tail flyer's butt leaving the plane. What is GREAT is if you can get the outside center to swing his left leg in time with the exit count -- of course, that's not going to work for all the exits, but it helps. Try to explain to the team that consistency on their part with the exit count means you'll be able to get them much better footage. Some teams do wacky things for a count -- I hate wacky. A nice rhythm of ready, set, go works wonders. For the leading exit, I go on go. That is to say, right with the team. Me -- I'm a fat boy. If I leave too early, it's a pain in the ass to try to get up in a position where I can still see all the grips. You'll know you've left too early if you can see a lot of the bottom of the airplane and they're still in it! You'll know you've left too late in a leading exit when you whack into the team. I try to leave on go, pop my wings to get another slight bit of separation and then track up and over them as they fall down the hill. For me, what I want to see is the center of the formation falling below the horizon as quickly as possible after exit. As the team falls down the hill, drive up and over them. When I exit, I shift my focus from the before exit picture to place my ring-sight on an exact spot in the formation -- maybe the center grip on a Meeker for instance. Each formation is slightly different and will all call for a slightly different spot. For the leading exits, look at the dive pool and think about how they might fly on exit. More importantly, think about how they might block your air on exit. Nice roundy thingies like Meekers aren't too much of a problem. Evil longy thingies like Monopods can be a huge problem depending on what the tail does. Some nice semi-roundy thingies like Satellites might look easy, but might have a tendency to "cut in" so that you can't see all the grips. It won't always be your fault, but you might always get blamed for it if people don't understand. Trailing exits In almost the exact opposition of the leading exit, don't lean back but try to stand up on the camera step and get your body high. Go ahead and put your focus on the center of the formation and don't worry too much about the count. Just keep the focus on the center of the formation and follow it down the hill. I try to think about placing my body in the 12 o'clock position just over the point flyer. Bingo, works like a charm. You don't really need to drive your body anywhere during this exit, the team will flatten out as they come down the hill and you should already be in pretty much good position. You will, however, be facing down jumprun as opposed to up jumprun for the leading exit. Semi-peel exits If you know the team will launch away from the plane, you can try a semi-peel exit. Almost the same as the trailing exit, but you don't really wait for the team to go by you. You leave just after the center has cleared the plane. Your body comes off at a 90 degree angle to jumprun and you may want to think about back sliding a bit under the plane. Everything else Once you've exited the airplane, there's pretty much nothing more you can do about the moment, so let it go. If you left too early on a leading exit, don't think about it -- do something about it! If you've left too late on a leading exit, you need to do something about it NOW! Keep working the issue until you've gotten things in hand. Keep focusing on where the sight should be, but keep working the problem. If you're going to whack into the team, keep trying to get big and maybe you'll be able to slide out of it. If you give up and put your hands in front of you to cushion the blow, you'll only speed up and hit them harder. Your goal should be to get close enough and steep enough to the team so that all the grips are visible. If the team flies apart during a transition, you must get higher and try to keep them all in the frame. As they rejoin, come back down so they don't look like ants! A nice secondary goal would be to keep on heading. Pick a road in the background and keep the teams original jumprun heading relative to it. This let's the team and coach look for things like unintentional rotations of the formation. As you get used to flying with the team, try to get closer and steeper. As you get steeper, you'll find that it becomes a bit more difficult to stay on heading. Teams have a tendency to move quite a bit horizontally as they turn pieces and make transitions. Obviously, if you're right over the top, you'll have to side-slide, back-slide and do all sorts of chasing. Breakoff and opening OK, you've exited, shot freefall and it's about time to breakoff. On breakoff (let's call it 4,000), I might give the wings a little pop and deploy as I continue to watch the team. As I said before, I usually watch to see who has left the formation last and will show that on the debrief tape just to subtly drive the point home. As the d-bag comes out of the container, I begin to sit up and shift my ring-sight to the horizon in an attempt to have my head, neck and back in a straight line as the canopy opens. I feel that this gives the best protection against neck strains, but obviously, this might not work for you. It does work well for me. No matter what your body position, you want to get your hands on your risers as quickly as possible between the time you deploy and full inflation. An additional benefit of looking toward the horizon during inflation is that in this head level position, you can watch out for team members doing short tracks and high openings. Individual team members probably have more than enough separation from each other, but if one dumps a little high and you maybe have a little bit longer snivel and they have a 180 opening, well, it can get interesting and you need to react pretty damn fast. Looking out toward the horizon lets you see what might be coming up to meet you, and you may even be able to shift your weight during inflation to avoid it. After opening, look around to see who in your team is where. Give 'em a quick head count and see if there were any cutaways. If there was a cutaway, first look to see if you can spot the reserve. If the jumper looks OK under the reserve, then check to see if anyone is chasing the main and freebag. Especially watch for the freebag -- they can be a lot harder to find than the main. Make sure that at least one team member is following each piece down; main, reserve freebag and jumper. Fill in where required. If everyone seems OK under canopy, then unclip your wings, release your thumb loops, stow your slider, turn off your camera, release your brakes and start flying back to the landing area. Since you're probably the high opener, you should have plenty of time and altitude to scan for traffic and fit in with the landing pattern. Usually, there's no need to rush and spiral down between canopies -- try to be predictable. With the ring-sight in front of one eye, you don't have the best vision so be a little more careful. Once you've landed, if you can, go over and do high-fives with the team, but generally keep your comments to yourself. Generally speaking, you're not a judge and you're not their coach. They usually already know if they brain-locked or went low so additional negative comments from you aren't helpful. However, positive comments about really cool jumps are almost always welcome. Wrapping up As soon as you get back to the packing area, put your rig down, head over to the debrief room and dub the tape. You don't need to stop to talk with anyone at this point -- just dub the dang tape. Teams seem to vary on exactly what they want dubbed on their tapes, but usually I slate the first jump of the day with a date and just give them a few seconds before exit until the last guy breaks off. During competition, usually you'll slate EVERY jump. Some teams seem to like to see a slo-mo of their jump from exit to the second point, but some do not, so you might want to ask about it for team training purposes. You'd never do this for competition. After you dub, pack and be ready to get on the next load before doing any socializing. The key point here is that the team should never have to wait for you -- not to pack, not to get to the plane, not EVER. I have to admit that when I'm doing team training I usually don't pack -- I hire a packer. This cuts into my profit margin, but I find that I have a heck of a lot more energy at the end of a +20 jump weekend! I also have two rigs so that if the team wants or needs to do back-to-back loads it's really no issue. Having two rigs also means that if I have a cutaway, then I can continue to jump with minimal impact to the training. At the end of the training day, typically the team members want dubs of the entire day. Ugh! Well, you can cut down on this particular chore by using one of the team members' tapes as the debrief tape during the day. I also cut this chore way down by having several VHS decks in my team room. I was able to pick up VHS decks pretty cheap ($75 each) and this also means that I never have to worry about having a back-up! Photos: © Paul Quade
  23. Marissa Partners, LLC and Aero Systems Engineering today announced their plan to open the world's most advanced design indoor skydiving facility. Located in scenic Lake Elsinore, the state-of-the-art complex will be the widest diameter commercial facility of its kind at 14 ft. and capable of producing wind speeds in excess of 150 mph. The Tunnel VS 1(TM) is a realistic skydiving simulation experience. Unlike some older technology wind tunnels that exist today, The Tunnel VS 1(TM) provides participants with the actual sensation of flying through the air just like a real skydive from a plane. "Our indoor skydiving facility will allow people of all ages to come in and experience the thrill of an actual skydive in a safe and controlled environment while also serving the training needs of recreational, professional and military skydivers throughout the world," said Bruce Federici, a managing partner for the firm. "Think of all of those people who would never jump out of a perfectly good airplane in order to skydive, but would love to experience first hand what it is like to be free to fly!" Indoor skydiving facilities have existed for some time for use by both the military and skydiving markets. Only recently have they begun to catch on as an affordable source of family recreation and entertainment. "The City of Lake Elsinore is a recreation and tourism oriented community that already has a strong tie to skydiving," said Marlene Best, assistant city manager. "A facility like this would be a great addition, and create synergy with the attractions already here," she added. Aero Systems Engineering Inc.'s President, Chuck Loux, said, "We are enthusiastic about this opportunity to work with Marissa Partners, LLC in providing this state-of-the-art wind tunnel." Aero Systems Engineering has more than 50 years of wind tunnel experience, including the successful Matos Military Freefall Training Facility, provided to the US Army at Fort Bragg, N.C. Aero Systems Engineering provides wind tunnels and jet engine test cells worldwide. Today's announcement is the first step in a new era for the entire skydiving industry and represents a major shift toward more family-based recreation. About Aero Systems Engineering ASE designs and supplies wind tunnels for testing in all speed regimes: low speed, subsonic, transonic, supersonic, and hypersonic. The company's primary wind tunnel business areas include turnkey projects (new facilities and facility upgrades), vertical wind tunnels/free fall simulators, automotive climatic wind tunnels, engine/rocket altitude test facilities, high temperature heaters, and design of all types of wind tunnels and associated systems and components. About Marissa Partners, LLC Marissa Partners is an investment holding company. The company's primary business is the development and operation of Vertical Wind Tunnels "The Tunnel VS 1(TM)" for recreational use. The company's focus is to create and market an exciting new form of recreational entertainment for the enjoyment of consumers and to provide a realistic skydiving simulator for skydiver training. CONTACT: Marissa Partners LLC Bruce Federici, 909/615-3052 [email protected] or Aero Systems Engineering Inc. Don Kamis, 651/227-7515 [email protected]
  24. There was a huge amount of review work that went into the documentation changes to the Skydiver’s Information Manual and the new Instructional Rating Manual. There were over a dozen people including volunteers from the membership as well as S&T; committee members who had given written input into the documentation being proposed and coordinated by the Director of Safety and Training (Jim Crouch), the Director of Publications (Kevin Gibson), and the Executive Director (Chris Needels). Even with all of this input which was collated into the proposed documentation where appropriate or explained adequately as to why it was not necessary in some circumstances, there were still sufficient further review tasks that the Chairman of the Safety and Training Committee (Glenn Bangs) asked us to come to the Skydive Chicago facility a day early to help with the review process. By having that many eyes and minds meticulously go over the documentation, at the end of over 600 person hours of work prior to and during the meeting, the S&T; Committee was finally able to present a motion to the BOD that the documentation, once re-corrected and retyped would finally be ready for the BOD’s approval. The BOD members who were not on the committee did not take this task lightly as they kept checking in on the S&T; Committee throughout the meeting’s progress, offering their own views on some items. To give you an idea of the meticulous nature of the review process, one single section of the BSRs took up more than 1.5 hours of Committee and full BOD time. This was the section dealing with age limitations. Very serious discussions on legalities and protection of the organization’s assets being exposed to liability were held with several motions being proposed with varying degrees of legal phrasing being utilized. What finally came about was actually a very simple statement that Tandem jumping must be performed only by persons who are of the age of legal majority, but the fact that three states have that age as greater than eighteen weighed heavily on the minds of the BOD members. I am sure the manufacturers of the Tandem equipment will soon be involved with DZs in those states, letting them know of the legal position of the manufacturer and the DZ in those cases. Other statements of importance are that the age limitations of the non-Tandem jumpers would remain as previously stated in the BSRs, but the waiver authority of that section would be changed from non-waiverable to waiverable by the full BOD. In further trying to address some issues of minors below the age of 16 being jumpers already in existence, it was discovered that there was a By-Law that prevented any permission to waive that was in effect, thus for anything to even be attempted to change that, the item for the change must be on the BOD’s agenda prior to the meeting. As such, people who are less than 16 years of age are still not permitted to skydive according to the current USPA BSRs. There are other ramifications to that situation and if you want to go into if further, I suggest you consult with your regional director as to those particulars. Here are some other important issues to make note of: The USPA will endeavor to work with the PIA and equipment manufacturers to obtain data, which will support a position of extending the repack cycle of sport reserve parachutes to 180 days. There is, however, still some concern about what will happen to the equipment if it is mishandled such as by leaving it in a car trunk or some other hot climate area, which will contribute, to the degradation of components of the parachute system. All of this needs to be researched under scientifically controlled conditions to get factual answers that will either support the proposition or show that the proposition is not valid. No additional AFF course directors were appointed. The existing instructional rating holder, regardless of the fact that they are not rated in an AFF program, will be enabled to make Integrated Student Program category E and F jumps in addition to the already permitted category G and H jumps once a student is signed off by an instructor for self-supervision in freefall. This means that USPA Coach Rating holders have gotten additional jump category privileges as well as allowing USPA Tandem and Static Line or Instructor Assisted Deployment rating holders those same privileges (because the privileges of their ratings includes working with students signed off for self-supervision). So, if you are a Tandem Instructor certified by a manufacturer and have not yet obtained your USPA Tandem Instructor rating, get with the program and get that rating if you want to have those privileges. (Yes, an S&TA; could still waiver that for you, but it sure would be nice to have that as an “automatic” rather than a “waivered” item.) A detailed progress report was made by the Finance and Budget Committee showing us exactly where we were in relation to market performance benchmarks and what our projected costs and incomes are. Due to increased insurance costs (premiums constantly going up due to claims increases), it is necessary to recover some of those past and projected cost of operation increases by an increase in dues which will be very reasonable in amount and will be very properly announced in all media formats used by the USPA. Skydive Lake Wales’ Betty Kabeller made the winning bid presentation for the 2003 USPA Nationals competition.Congratulations Betty. There are no changes to the Group Membership Program that I know of to report on at this time. The next BOD meeting will be in the Jacksonville, FL area in the timeframe next to the PIA symposium. I don't have the exact dates listed with me at this time but it is in the February 2003 timeframe. The meeting after that will be in the Fredericksburg, VA area in July 2003, close to the proposed site of the future USPA HQ and History of Parachuting Museum (I hope I named that correctly). Speaking of those future facilities, it is important to report that the initial work on the design phase of the headquarters facility was presented at this BOD meeting and showed much thought process of numerous parties. I can't give you folks the details of the finances yet (that will probably come out in the BOD’s minutes), but I can report that if things go the way they are planned, there will be a prime five (5) acre site shared by both organizations with a huge visibility to I-95 in that area. Folks might want to think about getting some tax benefits by donating equipment and money to the museum such that it will become a very important representation of our industry. Bill Ottley (who heads the museum’s organization) will always be glad to help you figure out what to do with your spare cash and materials. There was a disciplinary action taken against a member, but those proceedings were (properly) in closed session and the results will become evident when the USPA publishes the meeting minutes. There are other items that may be of interest to competitors, but rather than erroneously reporting on those from memory (which will undoubtedly lead me to make errors because I didn't write those items down), I will encourage you to look for the meeting minutes on the USPA’s web site in the near future. I think that is plenty for you folks to digest at this time. Blue, Clear, and Moderate-Wind Skies! Mike Turoff USPA I/E, D-5957
  25. Sixteen skydivers jumped into the world record books on Friday 31st May 2002 when they all skydived from one of the UK's largest hot air balloons, 10,500ft above Peterborough Parachute centre nr Sibson. The Cameron A300 hot air balloon was flown by 28 year old commercial balloon pilot David Fish who flies full time for Flying Pictures the countries leading commercial balloon operator. With two twin squirrel helicopters circling the balloon, filming the record attempt for national television, it climbed at between 500 & 800 feet per minute to the target altitude of 10,500 feet. After flying for twenty minutes the balloon was directly overhead Sibson airfield. With the skydivers all standing around the edge of the basket and a rapid decent established all sixteen skydivers exited simultaneously. With the loss of just over 1 tonne in weight the balloon entered a very fast climb, causing distortion and partial collapse of the envelope. Eventually levelling off at just over 11,000 ft. "It was quite a wild ride," explains David Fish, balloon pilot and project co-ordinator. "Pretty much as soon as they all left the balloon began distorting and spinning as it climbed rapidly and all I could do was hold on and wait for it to slow down." Velvet Toilet Tissue, whose hot air balloon was used for the record attempt, built a special softer than ever landing zone for the parachutists. The zone, a 10-metre radius circle covering more than 314 square metres, was made from more than 5000 rolls of softer than ever Quilted Velvet loo rolls. The zone could be seen from more than 10,000 feet and acted as a target for the skydivers. All sixteen made the landing zone, with some making good use of the toilet rolls to soften their landing! Team Members Skydivers: 1. Matt Lee 2. Ian Ashpole 3. Andy Bennett 4. Simon Ward 5. Giles Fabrisv 6. David Sawyer 7. Dorian Harwood 8. Martin Williams 9. Steve Springys 10. Stuart Meacock 11. Rose Leggett 12. Mark Harris 13. Chris Donaldson 14. Andy Guest 15. Dave du Plessis 16. Rhino Pilot: David Fish For further information please contact David Fish @ Flying Pictures Ltd. [email protected]flyingpictures.com Photos: DSCF Flying Pictures Ltd and Simon Ward