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Found 154 results

  1. Hi, I have gotten mixed answers to this question so I wanted to ask here. Hopefully someone who owns one of these can chime in or a rigger who has experience with them I was told that the TSO may be written in a way that some riggers will pack it and others will not. Another source told me it has a TSO and there is no problem. The one I'm looking at was manufactured on 1999 if that makes a difference Anybody have any experience with this?
  2. Kobus Jnr Pretorius

    190 Stilleo +-300-400 jumps

    Time Left: 21 days and 11 hours

    • FOR SALE
    • USED

    I've got a spare stilleto 190 canopy that I got with my rig, but never jumped. The previous owner added 300-400 jumps on it. Not sure how many jumps the lines have on. Price slightly negotiable. Buyer pays shipping

    $400.00

    Kempton Park, Gauteng - ZA

  3. “SAME SAME, BUT BETTER-ER”. The JFX 2. She's kinda familiar, but she has that shiny new kid appeal with her modern flair and style. Powerband, mini-ribs, all the bells and whistles. Take her for a ride, baby! We’ve done it again! We released the new version of our beloved JFX canopy, the JFX 2, on the 17th of January 2019. The original JFX was already a great canopy to fly with beautiful openings, great flight and the opportunity to land it gently or with a full-blown hissing swoop. Version 2.0 has not been a radical redesign: the JFX 2 stays true to all the things a canopy pilot loves, but now has all the kickass features they know and want in a modern cross-braced canopy: a powerband, mini-ribs and sail loaded ribs. This canopy is all about cross-braced performance with ease: cranking turns, raging swoops, gentle touchdowns! The JFX 2 is the go-to canopy for someone wanting to start their swoop journey, or for someone who wants a “do-it-all” wing with power which will maximise the good times and minimise the risk with plenty of playfulness. This canopy is the smoothest transition into flying high performance, cross-braced wings from an elliptical wing. It can be loaded light of heavy for consistent delivery in flight. JFX 2 | Icarus Canopies NZ from NZ Aerosports Ltd on Vimeo. The original JFX was the last of our canopies to be designed purely by Paul “Jyro” Martyn’s keen eye and 35+ years of experience. With the JFX 2 we’ve added a touch of fancy French Aerodynamic genius to the mix from our head designer Julien Peelman, and the result means incredible aerodynamics, refined performance and uncompromised aesthetics. Key features of the JFX 2: Powerband: debuted on the “Petra”, the Powerband lets us control the shape of the top surface of the wing more accurately, especially at the crucial leading edge where around 90% of lift is made Mini-ribs: These little additions in the tail are also a legacy from the “Petra” and “Leia” canopies. They decrease trailing edge drag, which has the function of increasing glide and flare performance - both things you can never get enough of “Minybrid” construction: A low-pack-volume take on our hybrid construction “Leia” canopies, the JFX 2 pioneers the minimal hybrid (Minybrid) wing. The loaded ribs - the ones the lines are attached to that experience the highest amount of stress and distortion - are made of sail fabric. This reduces rib distortion, helping the wing maintain its shape through all flight profiles, increasing glide, stability and responsiveness 21-chamber design: The JFX 2's sleek fully elliptical 21-chamber design captures the smoothed staged openings of the traditional 7-cell. She's crisp and responsive, yet it does not feel tense and edgy and packs some punch at the bottom end Closed Center Chamber: Inherited originally from the “FX” and “VX”, then redesigned for the “JVX”, the closed center chamber nose was the innovation that allowed cross-braced canopies to become popular by softening the openings, controlling distortion and improving aerodynamics. It's not the latest but probably one of the most important of Jyro's contributions to modern canopy design! Images by Chris Stewart/NZ Aerosports Key flight characteristics: Openings: JFX 2 openings are predictable, soft and not scary! Reliable, consistent and stunning as always, openings are the ace card of this canopy Harness inputs: inputs are light and instinctive, and very responsive. She can be flown entirely on harness with ease - we actually prefer to fly a lot of harness with the JFX 2 Toggles: Powerful and responsive even at the bottom end - even more so than the original JFX Stall point: The slow flight characteristics are hugely improved from the original JFX. The stall point is slower and lower - get plenty of feedback and warning, both on toggles and rears Fronts: Loaded high, lightly and even underloaded; the feedback of the fronts will be great. A bit of slowing down needed before a bigger turn to reduce the pressure on the fronts, but they are very effective for getting into the dive Dive & Recovery: The dive on the JFX 2 is longer than the original JFX, but not as long as on the Leia. With a slow, predictable (and easily adjustable) recovery arc, the JFX 2 is ideal to get those bigger rotations dialled in.
  4. Do your suspension lines have a noticeable five-o'clock shadow? Maybe it’s time for your gear to spend the weekend with your friendly neighborhood rigger. If you’re unsure, you’re not alone--plenty of skydivers hem and haw about this particularly important aspect of canopy maintenance. Looking for a little more convincing? Here’s a brief education on line maintenance by Karen Saunders, one of the few (and one of only two women) to hold the lofty Advanced Rigger ticket from the British Parachute Association. Karen has seen enough fuzzy line sets to give any sane canopy pilot the night sweats, and she wants to make sure it’s not you that gets to live the nightmare of a mid-swoop snap. 1. Go with your gut. “Trust your instincts. If you think that maybe your lines are looking a bit shabby, they probably are. Most people will look at their line set and say, That looks a bit shit, but I’ll do something about it tomorrow. Tomorrow turns into a week, and then a month. Before you know it, you’ll have a line snap or an off-heading opening. Fix it before you create yourself some problems.” 2. Know what you’ve got. “The most important thing is to know what type of line is on your parachute. Most people don’t--and if they don’t, then they won’t know how many jumps they can expect to get out of that line set before it needs to be replaced. And they also won’t know whether to expect to have line shrinkage or whether it is going to go the other way and simply snap when it reaches the end of its life cycle. Vectron and HMA will do just that if you don’t take care of them: Snap. They won’t give you a warning aside from the fact that they will start to fray as they age. The other thing to think about is where your line set actually comes from. Most people will buy their line sets from manufacturers, but there are riggers out there that will make cheaper line sets themselves. I can spot a manufactured line set from anything else in a flash, but most people couldn’t--and maybe that’s the line set have got on your canopy that you bought from somebody in good faith. It is always best before you buy anything to get it checked out.” 3. Get some visual reference. “Once you know what line type is on your parachute, look at Performance Designs’ line wear charts for your lines to get an idea of what wear actually looks like. It may surprise you. Using that reference as an example, you can see how deterioration looks over a given period of time and what percentage of strength you lose. You can test your new knowledge immediately by looking at the bottom part of your brake lines and the stabilizers. Those lines are always going to take the brunt of the wear. Generally, having the bottom part of your brake lines replaced at the first sign of wear is going to save you a whole world of problems.” 4. Watch for the warnings (if you have a line type that broadcasts them). “If your lines are made of Spectra or Dacron and you need a reline, you can expect to get some bad openings: an off-heading or big surges after opening. That’s generally because the slider is moving up and down your lines, heating them up and shrinking them. If your parachute opens and it is not on-heading, then it is generally an indication that it is going out of trim. You need to get somebody to look at that. When you do, they might look at it and tell you that the lines are okay; maybe it’s just your body position causing the problem. If they look at your lines and go holy shit, man, you need to replace straight away, then you have your answer. Either way, you’ll have peace of mind.” 5. Don’t get tunnel vision. “Don’t just look at your lines. Your lines are suspended by some binding tape which needs checking as well. Especially after a hard opening, be sure to look at the tape where each line is attached to your canopy, as well as the fabric around it. Kill lines are another thing. Everybody forgets that a kill line wears out in the same way as a suspension line, except a lot more quickly. If your kill line is made out of Spectra and has shortened, then you’re going to start having problems with your openings. The dead giveaway is finding that your pilot chute is turned virtually inside out every time you land. A kill line wears throughout the bridle. The weakest point doesn’t have to be at the bottom or top--it can snap right in the middle--so make sure you pull it through from both ends when you check it. Pull it as far as you can from one end and then pull it as far as you can from the other end to have a good look. Finally: If you’re getting a new line set, please, please, please replace your slinks as well. Don’t put a new line set on it and put an old set of slinks on it. That defeats the object of this exercise. They are not infallible. They do fail, and the last thing you want is for a slink to fail at 200 feet, because you’re not going to survive that.” 6. Remember: The integrity of your lineset isn’t a good place to save a few bucks. “The costs to reline aren’t as bad as you might think. I can tell you roughly what I charge, but I can’t speak for other riggers. That said, I will always look at something for free, and if someone asks me for it, I will always give my advice for free, and that’s also the way most of the riggers I know like to work. I charge 15 pounds, which equates to about 20 U.S. dollars, to replace both lower brake lines. If the lowers go from the cascade all the way to the toggle, I charge 40 pounds--which is something like $60. If you compare that amount of money to losing a brake line when you’re flaring--or when you are at 100 feet--you see the value. You have to weigh the cost of your own safety. If you don’t happen to have a rigger on your dropzone, then go to an experienced jumper. See them and say, Hey, I’m a bit worried about this. What do you think I should do? If they look at it and start laughing, you have your answer.”
  5. ISSUE DATE: 11 th MARCH 2005 STATUS: MANDATORY - To be actioned before next jump by a qualified Rigger. IDENTIFICATION: ALL ICON HARNESS / CONTAINERS PART NUMBERS: C125 BACKGROUND: Ground testing of a ICON Harness Container revealed a Hard Cutaway. The Hard Cutaway was attributed to Dirty Cutaway Housings and Dirty Cutaway Cables. The incident is localized to and individual Drop Zone. The individual Drop Zone is in an excessively sandy (fine beach sand) and windy environment. SERVICE BULLETIN: CLEANING THE CUTAWAY CABLE AND CUTAWAY CABLE HOUSING. Fit the Container as per normal and completely remove the Cutaway Cable checking for any abnormality. With the Cutaway Cable removed pass a thin line up thru each Cutaway Housing. Now once the piece of line has passed thru the Cutaway Housing attach a suitably size (± 1” x 7” / 25mm x 175mm), piece of clean cotton cloth soaked in paraffin to the end of the piece of string and pull thru the Cutaway Housing. Perform this to both the left and right hand side Cutaway Housings. Clean the Cutaway Cable (Yellow Cable) with Paraffin. Ensure that the Cutaway Cable is completely clean and all the dark marks on the Cutaway Cable are removed. Refit the cutaway cable. Fit the container as per normal and perform 3 Cutaways completely removing the Cutaway Cable each time. Clean the Cutaway Cable with Paraffin between each test. Ensure Cutaway Cable is routed and fitted correctly. If any queries or questions please contact manufacturer AUTHORITY: AERODYNE SYSTEMS AEROSPACE (Pty) Ltd 29 Duiker Road Canelands 4340 South Africa Tel +27 32 533 0333 Fax +27 32 533 0262 e-mail d.hayhurst@aerodyne-int.com web www.aerodyne-int.com Service Bulletin SB 110305 Download Service Bulletin SB 110305 (PDF)
  6. After Mirage Systems released the Product Service Bulletin in December of 2004 our customers have been contacting us regarding the cosmetic appearance of our container after the cutter modification had been performed. We have had a great amount of feedback informing us that the reserve top flap that covers the reserve pin was gapping and bulging considerably after their riggers had performed the modification. The cutter being located on top of the pilot chute does require some additional tips and tricks to be done during the pack job to alleviate this problem. If the rigger manages bulk properly on the pack job then there is no noticeable difference then before the modification. But we at Mirage Systems want to design the highest quality, most rigger friendly, and best looking container on the market. That is why we have listened to our customers and have designed a new reserve pilot chute cap that addresses this issue. How it works Figure 1 is of a Cypres cutter resting on top of the reserve pilot chute as mandated by our service bulletin. The Cypres cutter is between the pilot chute cap and the number 3 reserve flap after packed. With the cutter resting on top of the pilot chute cap it does not allow the number 3 flap to rest flush upon the pilot chute due to the thickness of the cutter and can cause a noticeable gap if the bulk of the pack job is not distributed properly. Figure 2 is a picture of the new concave pilot chute cap from a direct side view. The cutter rests on top of the cap, but lower than the edge of the pilot chute cap and nestles down in the pocket of the coils allowing the number 3 flap to close flush with the cap. Before and after Figure 3 picture is of a G3 MZS packed without the concave pilot chute cap and with the reserve canopy bulk poorly managed. The length of the closing loop had to be lengthened 1/4 of an inch to accommodate for the Cypres cutter. Figure 4 is the exact same rig with the same pack job with the bulk poorly managed with the new concave pilot chute cap. The closing loop had to be shortened 1/4 of an inch and as you can see the top flap rests very flush against the pack job. But you said... We stand by our statement that it is entirely possible to make the pack job look normal without using the new pilot chute cap. The concave pilot chute is simply an aid designed to make the riggers job of making your container look as good as possible much easier. The new pilot chute cap is not absolutely necessary to achieve a pleasing appearance but we think it will help riggers in the field that are having difficulty doing so. Your old pilot chute will still be perfectly acceptable for use and it is a good idea to have a spare reserve pilot chute and deployment bag in the event of a malfunction where you lose your equipment so you won't miss a single weekend while waiting for your new parts. How do I get one? These are now our standard pilot chute that comes with each new rig order. If you purchased a Mirage container in 2005 you are eligible for a 20% discount off the cost of the reserve pilot chute. The price of the pilot chute is $100.00 We are not exchanging out old pilot chutes for the new design as it is not a necessity but only an aid. You can order your new pilot chute by clicking the link below to be directed to our spare parts order form. Simply fax in your order and we will get the pilot chute out to you or your rigger immediately. Mirage Systems
  7. admin

    Alti-Force Sensor Pack - GoPro Addon

    With the increased popularity of action cameras over recent years it's not surprising that we've seen an increase in the manufacturing of third party hardware that makes use of the GoPro camera to add additional value to users. Hypoxic recently released their Turned On product, which allows skydivers to see whether or not their camera is recording or whether there's any errors, without having to ask their buddy. The company Alti-Force has just released a product of their own that attaches to the GoPro camera and like the Turned On device, will seek to add some extra value to skydivers. When in use the Alti-Force Sensor Pack will be able to overlay information about your flight over the video. The device is able to record and display both altitude and the acceleration/G-Force of your jump. The visual representation of Gs can be useful for those looking to maximize performance, by using the information to identifcal optimum body positioning and technique. Features Subtitled video playback for your GoPro® camera Altitude subtitles selectable as feet or meters Acceleration G-force subtitles selectable as X-Y-Z axes or total magnitude Compatible with GoPro® Hero4 Black and Silver, Hero3+ Black and Silver, or Hero3 Black Fits in GoPro® cases with BacPac™ backdoor² (not included) Compatibility GoPro® Hero3 Black – YES – firmware v03.00 GoPro® Hero3+ Silver – YES – firmware v02.00 GoPro® Hero3+ Black – YES – firmware v02.00 | v03.00* GoPro® Hero4 Silver – YES – firmware v02.00.00 GoPro® Hero4 Black – YES – firmware v02.00.00 All efforts will be made to maintain compatibility with future firmware versions but cannot be guaranteed *v03.00 disables camera’s USB mode, use of memory card reader is required Any that support .SRT subtitle files (check your player’s specifications) Includes most TVs and VLC media player (for all OS platforms) Video must be played via USB mode or memory card reader If copied off camera, video .MP4 and subtitle .SRT files must be copied to same location Note: Windows® Media Player and QuickTime do not support .SRT subtitles Camera Modes The Alti-Force Sensor Pack records data/subtitles in Video Mode only. All standard video resolutions and frame rates are supported. The Alti-Force Sensor Pack does not support Time Lapse and Looping video modes, and is disabled in all Photo modes. Mechanical Size: 2.36 x 1.38 x 0.40 in (60 x 35 x 10 mm) Weight: <1 oz (18 g) Electrical Standard camera voltage: 3.6v (powered from camera) Minimal current draw: <2 mA typical Accelerometer Tri-axial | ± 16 G’s | 0.1 G resolution Barometer Absolute Pressure: 300 to 1100 mbar | ~0.1 mbar resolution Altitude range: -2000 to 30,000 feet | 1 ft resolution Pressure to Altitude conversion assumes standard conditions. Sampling RateHero 3/3+: approx 4.5 samples per second Hero 4: approx 6.5 samples per second Subtitle Settings Altitude: Feet | Meters | Both | None Acceleration: XYZ axes | Total magnitude | All | None G-bar: On | Off Temperature: °F | °C | None — Additional options — Data CSV file (saves all raw sensor values): On | Off Altitude offset: Feet only More information on the Alti-Force Sensor Pack can be found on the Alti-force website.
  8. admin

    Bird-Man introduces PHI

    Story of PHI Phi is the golden ratio of antiquity, (1.6180339887), a never-ending number. Phi is also claimed to have been crucial in the design of the Great Pyramids, the composition of the Mona Lisa and the construction of Stradivarius violins. It has shown a propensity to appear in the most astonishing variety of places, from mollusk shells, sunflower florets, and rose petals to the shape of the galaxy. Psychological studies have investigated whether the Golden Ratio is the most aesthetically pleasing proportion extant. It is believed to feature in works of art from Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa to Salvador Dali's The Sacrament of the Last Supper, and poets and composers have used it in their works. PHI is also the new state-of-the-art-wing-suit from BIRD-MAN International. PHI introduces a new era in sky flying with it's wind tunnel tested design, looks and innovation. Hours of flying in various speeds and angles gave us even better idea how to make a wing suit that is at the same time easy to fly and control, thus giving you power you need whether you were flying on your belly or back, making acrobatics or just cruising around. This was made possible only by mixing science and art, technology and vision. The qualities which made Bird-Man a legend and the leading wing suit manufacturer of the world. Dynamic-Wing-Technology Imagine if you could adjust the size of your parachute when you really needed to, in the middle of the flight? Well, you can just do that with PHI. Increase the wing-area when you need to go slow and decrease when you need to go fast. This allows wing to be in the best aerodynamic position in respect your flight and the surface area needed. It's pure Ying and Yang in the sky. Double Action Quick Release With our new double action cut away zipper you are allowed to free your arms using additional technique. That gives you another chance if you need one. Be smart. Semi-Rigid Large Wings As tested in the windtunnel semi-rigid wings using Mylar in selected ribs gives you that extra performance and keeps the larger wing area in just the correct shape and ideal for the best glide. Airlocks on every Air-Intake Our new air-lock technology gives PHI it's beautiful flight characteristics whether you are flying on your belly, upside down or making the most artistic maneuvers. New Materials PHI is made of new high-tech Trevira Micro material called Action Mistral. The fabric is made by using membrane technology, it is Teflon protected giving the product better endurance, durability, comfort and 100% wind proof with maximum breathability. Attention to Detail PHI is truly a new design concept paying attention to every detail. Higher collar with ultra comfortable material that protects skyflyers throat during the cold flight is just one example. L.Q.R.S. (Leg Wing Quick Release) and airlocks are standard features of this state-of-the-art wingsuit. ISO 9001-2000 Manufacturing Last but not least. Both PHI and S.5 BLADE are made under strict standards of standardized ISO 9001-2000 quality certificate. The quality of these suits is the same as diver suits, bullet proof west's for the special-forces, hiking clothes made for Mt. Everest mountain climbing expeditions etc. In fact, they are all made in the same place. Introducing PHI PHI is made in stock sizes and in dynamic and exiting pre-made color combinations. BIRD-MAN is taking pre-orders now Through authorized BIRD-MAN dealers and the first PHI's will be out June 2005. For more information go to: www.bird-man.com
  9. admin

    Service Bulletin - Quasar II

    SERVICE BULLETIN #26 - ISSUE DATE: April 18, 2007 SUBJECT: Quasar II, P/N115100, Quasar II Trainer P/N115102, Military Quasar II P/N 115103. Quasar II Reserve pilot chute launch under conditions with main canopy still in main container. IDENTIFICATION: All Quasar II harness/container systems. Including both Quasar IIs with ‘Flinger/PRO’ (Positive Reserve Opening) assembly installed as original installation or modification, and those without. STATUS: Mandatory removal of ‘Flinger’/PRO assembly and replacement of inner sub-flap with pilot chute Base Plate and pilot chute before next jump. BACKGROUND: Recent on-the-ground activations of several Quasar II reserve containers with the main canopy still in the container, showed slow or impeded pilot chute activation. There have been no reports of in-air incidents. Repeated tests with the main tray open and riser covers off (simulating an open main to reserve cutaway), resulted in clean reserve pilot chute deployments clearing the reserve container. Further testing revealed the steel ‘Flinger’/PRO assembly may take a set beyond the designed acceptable range, restricting movement of the side flaps and reserve pilot chute. SERVICE BULLETIN: As a precautionary measure, Strong Enterprises requests that all Quasar II systems be returned to Strong Enterprises for modification, that includes: Removal of the steel ‘Flinger’/PRO assembly. Top sub-flap replacement (improved with a Base Plate.) Pilot chute replacement. STRONG ENTERPRISES 11236 SATELLITE BLVD ORLANDO, FL 32837 Tel 407 859 9317 Fax 407 850 6978 ted@strongparachutes.com www.strongparachutes.com Download the Service Bulletin (PDF)
  10. Re-run with USPA permission. After years of effort by USPA and the Parachute Industry Association, the FAA has approved a new final rule that will lengthen the parachute repack cycle from 120 days to 180 days. The final rule appeared in the Federal Register last month, and will take effect on December 19, 2008. The effort had more twists and turns than a funneled 20-way, but the change happened when PIA and USPA joined together and finally convinced the FAA to grant a 180-day repack cycle. USPA initiated the first run at the change in 1998 when its board of directors approved a motion authorizing USPA to petition the FAA for the rule change. At the time, the FAA was preparing to revise Part 105. However, the FAA declined to include the lengthened repack cycle as part of its Part 105 revision in 2001, saying the initiative didn't have full industry support. In early 2005, Allen Silver, a well-known rigger and PIA’s Rigging Committee chair, initiated discussion with the FAA about accepting a petition for an exemption that would allow a 180-day repack cycle. Getting FAA agreement, PIA and USPA formed a task group to develop the petition language. This resulted in an effort in which all aviation groups, whose pilots used emergency parachutes, including the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Experimental Aircraft Association and the Soaring Society, among others, to join PIA and USPA in jointly petitioning the FAA for an exemption to the regulations addressing those parachutes. The exemption requested a 180-day repack cycle for the emergency parachutes worn by pilots, as well as the sport parachutes used by skydivers. The joint PIA-USPA petition was submitted in July 2005. Ironically, while the FAA saw good cause for a lengthened repack cycle, the agency said its own rules prevented it from granting an exemption to so many beneficiaries; exemptions were intended for small groups. The FAA denied the petition for exemption. However, acknowledging the support of so many pilots, riggers and skydivers, the FAA declared that it would publish its own Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to lengthen the repack cycle, which it did on May 22, 2007. At urging by USPA and PIA, nearly all of the hundreds of comments to the docket were in favor of the proposal. The end result is a final rule published this week granting the lengthened repack cycle. "This result shows what can happen when two organizations like USPA and PIA decide to work together on common goals," said USPA Executive Director Ed Scott. "We look forward to doing even more together for the benefit of skydivers." PIA President Cliff Schmucker said, "The 180-day repack rule change is a fine example of what PIA and USPA can accomplish working as one. Together we will endeavor to continue improving safety for parachute users.” For answers to frequently asked questions about the new Rule, please visit either the USPA or PIA (.pdf) online.
  11. admin

    Aerodyne - New season, new website!

    The Skydiving season is starting to come to life as spring approaches and boogie calendars start to become published. New canopies & gear, new drop zones and new faces... What's more, there will be another change in 2004: You will now discover a whole new www.aerodyne-int.com. The actual version of the website appeared in 2002 and gave us the opportunity to increase our audience by offering complete news coverage and interesting features. Now is the time to introduce an improved version of the website, giving you faster access. A more user friendly version with optimized features that lets you browse more easily on the new and improved aerodyne-int.com. Check it out! www.aerodyne-int.com
  12. admin

    Squirrel Releases SUMO Tracking Suit

    Squirrel Wingsuits have just released the latest addition to their inventory. The SUMO is a tracking suit, the first to be manufactured by the company. The suit is aimed towards both BASE jumpers and skydivers, and catered towards all levels of experience, from beginners through to advanced trackers. It was the decision of Squirrel to opt for a 2-piece tracking suit system as opposed to a single piece suit, aiming to bring the comfort and ease of use found in 2-piece systems while providing the performance of a 1-piece suit. The driving concept behind the SUMO was for a tracking suit that balances both volume and stability, while making internal pressure and quick inflation vital points in its design. The SUMO has an included “No-Wobble System” which secures the pants to the knee area. This feature, which can be toggled to be active or inactive, helps prevent movement while tracking, giving you better performance and is recommended for proximity BASE jumps, multiways and flights that demand only the best performance. It is attached to the area using Velcro, which can then be easily left unfastened, should one not wish to fly with the No-Wobble system. The suit is tapered slightly from waist to ankle, to increase the ease of handling. It is also quick to inflate after exit and is said to provide excellent forward speed with simple and intuitive control. Squirrel have built the SUMO tracking suit with the same high standards that have made their wingsuits such a success. It is highly advised that BASE jumpers first practice jumping with the SUMO from by skydiving it until they have become comfortable with the way it flies. SUMO Tracking Suit Features Force Feed The majority of power in a tracking suit comes from the pants, and the SUMO benefits from an array of mylar-fed inlets which rapidly inflate and maintain pressure inside the suit. Quick Starts The SUMO's oversized arm inlets provide immediate control after exit. Upper arm inlets allow early inflow after exit, and the shoulder inlets maintain pressure in flight, through all angles of attack. No-Wobble Inside the pants at the knee, Squirrel have added a Velcro enclosure which anchors the pants to your leg, reducing pant-leg wobble and increasing control and performance. This is one of the most crucial features of the SUMO, giving the pants a more precise and solid feel when maneuvering in high speed tracks. Air-Tight A high collar, cinched wrist, and extra-long torso help in reducing leakage and maintaining jacket pressure. Plenty-Pockets There are four zipped chest pockets which provide plenty of space for phones / emergency electronics / gear storage, and the jacket is lined with airmesh and lycra/fleece for comfort and structure. Reinforced The knees of the SUMO are heavily reinforced with Cordura, with 5mm of closed cell foam padding for protection and structure. Toe-Tension There are three toe-tension settings available , which use a lightweight and simple buckle/strap adjustment to maximize fit performance. Zips Highly durable and custom colored 10C YKK zips run up both legs.
  13. Image by Juan Mayer When are you going to be alone in the sky with a useless bag of laundry and two little handles? If it hasn’t happened yet, it’s going to. Sure, there are skydivers with thousands of jumps who have never had to make alternate nylon plans. But don’t be fooled: your first reserve ride is not a question of “if.” It’s a question of “when.” If you don’t feel ready, you’re not alone. Here are ten proven ways to boost your confidence and safety. 1.Stay current Long lapses between jumps are dangerous. Time on the ground dulls skills, sharpens apprehensions and weighs down your jump with the clammy fog of unfamiliarity. Most importantly, it unravels the easy muscle memory you’ve spent so much time and effort to develop -- and muscle memory is of primary importance in the event of a reserve ride. Especially at the beginning of your skydiving career, you’ve got to make the effort to jump at least every couple of weeks. 2. Give ‘er a spin Do yourself a favor and deploy your reserve for every repack. You’ll learn the unique direction of pull for your gear, and you’ll be able to feel out the force you’ll need to exert. If your rigger watches the process, he/she can keep an eye on the deployment and identify potential problems. (Even if you have deployed your own reserve, a repack is an unwasteable drill opportunity for a refresher.) 3. Just touch your stupid handles, Mr. Bigshot, OK? Sheesh Touch your handles in sequence before you enter the plane. It is not beneath you. Being blasé about basic safety doesn’t make you more awesome -- it just makes you more blasé. While you’re at it, check that your reserve handle is seated (so you don’t end up on a reserve ride without the yeehaw fun of a malfunctioning main). 4. Don’t overthink it It’s simple, really. If you believe that your main is unlandable, you’re going to have a reserve ride. Sure -- lots of skydivers have landed under reserves only to realize in hindsight that they could have solved the problem. However, lots of skydivers have gone in while striving to sort out malfunctions that did not improve. If those are the choices, which would you rather be? 5. Get your priorities straight Do not worry about stability. This is the very least of your problems. Worry about altitude. cutaway) handle no lower than 1,000 feet. Initiating a reserve ride below 1,000 feet isn’t always deadly, but it has an unnerving tendency to be. Don’t take the chance. 6. Hold on tight After you pull your handles out completely, hold on to ‘em. You’ll save some money, and you’ll save face when you land. 7. Make sure it’s out This is kinda your last shot at nylon, so you’ll want to be sure it’s working. Arch and look over your shoulder for the reserve pilot chute. Reserves deploy fast, so this head position is gonna butter your bread – but if the pilot chute is somehow caught in your burble, this should either shake it loose or make it clear to you that you need to do some burble intervention, stat. 8. Don’t chase after your ex(-parachute) I’m going to go out on a limb here and tell you not try to run after it and grab it in the air. (People have, y’know, died doing that.) You broke up with each other for a reason, after all; you can reconcile after everybody’s had a little time to cool down. Instead, get your head together and use landmarks to identify where the gear is headed. Then take a deep breath, leave it to the fates, and work on navigating your meat to a safe landing. 9. Tell the peanut gallery to sit and spin When you land a reserve, you’re going to be the talk of the DZ (for about five minutes, usually). During that five minutes – longer, if the loads are turning slowly – you’ll probably be approached by a receiving line of would-be mentors. They’re gonna question your malfunction, and they’re gonna be eager to discuss your decision to cut away. My advice: speak to your trusted mentors and co-jumpers about your little adventure in private, and tell the rest to go suck an egg. You were there. They were not. When you need to save your life in the sky, you are absolutely alone. In the entire world, there exists only you and two handles. Your cutaway is your business. 10. Go to the liquor store Buy a bottle of posh booze for the rigger who packed the reserve you rode. It’s tradition.
  14. admin

    New ownership for Aerodyne Research

    As reported earlier our former owners eliminated the parachute business from their holdings. The factory in Durban, South Africa, was sold to the Zodiac group together with the military product catalogue. Aerodyne is happy to announce that we have organized new owners for Aerodyne Research and the line of Aerodyne sports products. We are pleased to welcome Vidar Antonsen and Ole Petter Hjelle (Ole Petter is the team captain of the Norwegian national FS4 team Arcteryx) as members of the Aerodyne team. Both are from Norway and active skydivers themselves. Although, they will not be involved with the daily management, we view this as a positive development for the company to have their support and assist Aerodyne Research to become an even stronger player in the parachute industry. President Edward "Bushman" Anderson reports: "Right now we are setting up a new manufacturing facility in the Durban area, in South Africa. The facility will be located in a brand new air-conditioned building and we are installing state of the art machinery. We are also very fortunate to be able to retain many key staff members. Our current Technical Director Dominic Hayhurst will be the Managing Director of Aerodyne Research Manufacturing. At the same time we have teamed up with Aero Tech in Florida for the production of the Icon harness-container system. Aero Tech is a very professional operation headed by Terry Pike who has more than 30 years experience in the industry. Thiago Muradas, who is a co-designer of the Icon and has been involved with production and R&D; from the start, will supervise training and production." Aerodyne expects that the changes in production can be implemented smoothly and swiftly but has taken measures to ensure steady supply to its distribution partners. Arnold Collenteur, director of European sales, explains: ". In addition to main canopies and Smart reserves, we now stock Icon container systems. These Icons come with a harness finished to the custom measurements provided with the order. This way our distributors are able sell complete systems to our customers this summer, and deliver in a matter of weeks. Aerodyne is one of the few sport parachute manufacturers that can supply complete systems to our customer's specific needs."
  15. nettenette

    How To Show Your Three-Ring System You Care

    Three-ring systems look pretty tough. They’re made of thick, heavy metal, after all – what could possibly go wrong? Bad news: lots. The rings are husky little guys, that’s true. However, they depend on the webbing behind them–and the cutaway cables that fasten them in the ready position–in order for them to work. It behooves you to know when and how to maintain the system. How Sloppily Maintained 3-Ring Systems Can Cause a Bad Day Nylon webbing, the material used to make skydiving (and BASE, for that matter) risers, stiffens over time to conform to the position in which it’s usually stored. Sometimes, they “set” so firmly in that position that the risers can’t flex the backing nylon–and can’t detach from the harness when the jumper engages the cutaway system, especially during a low-drag malfunction (such as a streamer). This, of course, is a very bad thing. The B-Sides You’ve probably gotten used to looking at the little snowmen of your three-rings during your preflight gear checks. Great! How often do you look behind them? The loop that connects the cutaway cable to the three-ring system can get dangerously abraded over time. You should peek at it every time you pack. The Deep Tracks To keep your three-rings in proper working order, the three-rings need to be manually disassembled, the cables checked and the webbing treated to a little massage. For skydivers, this is the stuff of riggers. According to Federal Aviation Regulation Part 65-111, skydivers “must be under the supervision of a rigger when performing any maintenance on a parachute system.” Don’t let your rigger have all the fun, though. Having a hand in the process has the significant benefit of familiarizing you with the operation of the system and increasing your confidence that it’ll be there when you need it. The best advice is to go through these steps every three months, whether or not you’ve been jumping the rig. Check your user’s manual for specific instructions. You can always find this on the manufacturer’s website. Pull the cutaway handle. Set the cutaway and connected cables on a clean surface. (Do not pull the reserve handle – unless you need a repack, of course.) Inspect the Velcro on the cutaway handle and the seating on the harness. You may need to use a stuff brush to “fluff” the Velcro and clean off any adherence-preventing dirt, especially if you jump at a dusty drop zone. Check the ends of each cutaway cable to be sure they haven’t developed any kinks or rough edges. Run a microfiber cloth over each cable. While you do, check for smoothness. Disassemble the risers. Carefully check each riser for signs of wear. Look especially carefully at the white loop that “locks” the cutaway cable to the three-ring system. (You should be checking this loop each time you pack the rig, but this process gives you a better, closer look.) Twist and flex the webbing of each riser near the ring system. You can safely be vigorous. You’ll likely feel the problem-causing stiffness as you do this. Reassemble the system. Refer to your user’s manual to ensure you’ve done it correctly. Before your next jump, have an experienced jumper or a rigger confirm that the system is correctly reassembled. Enjoy a little more gear confidence, dear reader. You’ve earned it.
  16. Fluid Wings is a new and innovative company based in DeLand, Florida - which is aiming to close the gap between the parachuting, speed flying and paragliding. The company was born through a love of human flight, and focus on an engineering-based approach. Fluid Wings draws from the expertise of Scott Roberts, a skydiver with over 15 years experience, who has been competing for more than a decade; Kevin Hintze, an active pilot, paraglider, speedflying instructor and test pilot; as well as Shane Shaffer, chief test pilot and production lead. From the first of June this year, Fluid Wings will begin production on their newest main - The Prime. The Prime will be a 9-cell hybrid main, available initially in sizes from 150-190 square foot in a combination of ZP and low porosity nylon. The canopy is aiming to provide pilots with a fun and predictable flight, with focus also being placed on how easy it is to pack. The Prime will look to cater to jumpers of all experience, being easy enough to handle for newer jumpers, while still being responsive enough to be fun for the more advanced skydivers. Stock colors are Royal Blue top skin and stabilizers, with a white bottom skin and ribs. Please note that bottom and rib colors are limited to white due to color section of low bulk fabric. The canopy ships with Vectran lines and soft-link connectors, with a low-bulk option packing up to a size smaller is also available. “The Prime is responsive and playful, while still easy to manage. It has a good glide for those long spots, with a nice strong flare for tip-toe landings,” said Scott Roberts of Fluid Wings. “We like her a lot and think jumpers will too!” The Prime will retail for $2090 with all options. You can contact Fluid Wings at info@fluidwings.com for more information, purchases or demo requests.
  17. admin

    S-Fly Introduce 'The Hawk' Wingsuit

    With the Hawk, the S-Fly team were looking to design a suit that maximizes manoeuvrability and agility in the skydiving and BASE environments. By maximising the pilot’s abilities to perform rolls, flips and precision carving from both back and belly with smooth transitions, the Hawk allows the pilot to creatively express their flying style. While extremely maneuverable, the Hawk still provides the lift and power while flying on your back or belly, to allow dynamic acrobatics without dropping out or sacrificing excess altitude. The result is a really fun, very fast and powerful freestyle acrobatic wingsuit designed for intermediate to expert level pilots. The Design The high performance and maneuverability of the Hawk was achieved by building upon the already successful Verso platform. S-Fly increased the surface area of the arms, extended the leg wing, adjusted the profile and sweep of the arm wing to maximise speed. Additionally, in classic S-Fly style, there are no grippers allowing free wrist and hand movement. The inflation and pressurization of the Hawk is where the guys at S-Fly feel the suit really stands apart in the modern wingsuit market. The suit remains inflated while transitioning through all maneuvers and positions, but with a smooth unhindered feel. This smooth and consistent inflation of the Hawk is powered by the specific design and placement of the inlets and the four independently fed elements of the wing. The Airfoil The Hawk’s arm and leg wings are fully pressurized in flight. The two arm wings are fed by wide mesh valves located along its leading edge. The leg wing is fed by three pronounced and reinforced inlets located on the front and three on the back. This system ensures optimum distribution and pressurization while minimizing drag in all positions. The “body” is comprised of a single cell that runs from the chest, down the circumference of the legs and to the ankles. The “body" is an evolution of the original mono-wing design from S-Fly. Through the extensive testing phase, it was found that this design allows unique and total freedom to move the pelvis, giving the pilot unencumbered and precise lateral movement without compromising performance. Through the mesh valves located on the arms, and two inlets placed high on the back, the “body” is effectively inflated while flying on the back and belly. The Hawk is constructed with Parapack light which is much lighter, has the same aerodynamic properties and is equally durable to normal parapack. The suit is surprisingly light and strong the fabric feels and how much faster it feels in comparison to other fabrics used during the prototype phase. Options *Quick Zip Cut arm wing release system Textured BASE soles Chest zipper port for camera access Fast leg zipper opening strap
  18. PRODUCT SERVICE BULLETIN 2016-01 (PSB # 2016 - 01) ISSUE DATE: 4th January 2016 SUBJECT: Stainless Steel Mini Base Ring STATUS: Ground Equipment Until Further Notice IDENTIFICATION: PSB # 2016-01 Affected Vortex Rigs: To be updated ASAP. Subject to a notification on Saturday, Jan 2nd, 2016, from our dealer in Holland that a stainless steel mini base ring presented with a problem on a Vortex container on its fourth jump (DOM October 2014), we are immediately advising all customers with a Vortex that has “DSF” stamped base rings (flip the base ring over and if its stamped DSF) to ground their equipment until we can ascertain which batch is impacted and obtain more detail from the manufacturer. We are diligently pursuing this information in as quick a time as possible. We will post serial numbers of potentially affected Vortex's as soon as we have the manufacturers’ confirmed information and steps that need to be taken to resolve this issue. Please be assured that Parachute Systems will make all efforts as quickly as possible to resolve this issue. Discussions regarding this issue are being discussed on Parachute Systems' Facebook page. This bulletin will be updated as more information on the affected containers are provided. UPDATE - Permanent Grounding For All Vortex Harness Containers With DSF Ring An update has been provided by Parachute Systems that has seen the permanent grounding of all Vortex containers with the affected DSF ring. "While the hardware manufacturers believe the compromised stainless steel ring could be an isolated incident, and expert opinion has confirmed this is very possible, in the absence of being able to test every single ring quickly and efficiently, both companies have decided that they will not risk the possibility of even one Harness Container in the field with a potentially faulty stainless steel ring. It has been decided, therefore, that every Vortex Harness Container with the stainless steel hardware as referenced in the Bulletin and stamped “DSF” BE GROUNDED PERMANENTLY" This grounding does NOT pertain to the Vortex Harness Containers that do not have the referenced stainless steel hardware per the Bulletin and stamped “DSF"> It has been further agreed to by both companies, that EVERY Vortex harness container that has the stainless steel hardware as referenced in the initial Bulletin, will be replaced with a brand new identical Harness Container as the original order. The replacement phase (VORTEX REPLACEMENT PROGRAM) will commence immediately and the closing date for the receipt of claims under this program is December 31st 2016." More information available in the Service Bulletin They have also made a recall form Available on Their Website
  19. admin

    Turned On by Hypoxic

    In May of 2014 the skydiving-focused electronics company Hypoxic began a Kickstarter campaign that sought out a goal funding of $30,000 in order to develop a status indicator for the GoPro action camera. Despite dominating the market for several years, neither GoPro or its primary competitors come with a feature or piece of hardware that allows the user to easily determine the status of the camera or its recording. For sports where the GoPro is mounted out of sight, such as the popular helmet mounting method, this can often cause hesitation when trying to remember whether you may have pressed record or whether you put the SD card back. Hypoxic's goal was to try and provide a useful and easy way of determining whether the camera is functioning as it should, while also removing that hesitation from the minds of the jumper. As quoted from the Kickstarter page: "In our sports, these uncertainties are not just unsettling: they’re dangerous. As an athlete, you know: before riding down this line, starting this race, jumping out of this plane, launching down this mountain, you need an absolutely clear head. Nothing good can happen when personal safety takes a backseat to a blinking light." By the end of June last year, the Kickstarter campaign had raised $43,049, more than $13,000 over the original target amount. Incentives for backers ranged from stickers for those that pledged $5 or more, to Turned On units with early shipping for backers that pledged over $180. Over the past 6 months the Kickstarter units have been sent to the backers of the campaign and were well received. The Turned On units have now begun shipping to outlets and are available for public purchase. What Does It Do? The Turned On unit makes use of 3 colored LED lights to provide information as to the status of the camera. When the camera is recording, the light will be solid red. When it is on standby a blue light will be displayed. When an error is present it will display either a solid yellow or a flashing yellow light. When the light is flashing yellow, it indicates a potential impending interruption to recording, such as low card space, low battery or high temperature. A solid yellow light indicates an error and in this case, the camera will not be able to record, such as in situations where the card is missing or corrupt. The device will work in all modes, and show the active recording light whether you're recording video or shooting a series of images in burst mode. What separates the Turned On indicator from other indicators on the market is the detailed level of information provided. Most other indicators simply use an on/off system that will display whether or not the camera is recording or even just whether the power is on, which is often unreliable - especially in cases when the camera may be in stand by mode. Compatibility and Support Currently there is limited compatibility with the Turned On, and will require one of the following GoPro cameras: GoPro Hero 4 Black, GoPro Hero 4 Silver, GoPro Hero 3+ Black, GoPro Hero 3 Black. Supported Versions GoPro Hero 4 Black - v1.02.00 GoPro Hero 4 Silver - v1.0.2.00 GoPro Hero 3+ Black - v1.04.00 GoPro Hero 3 Black - v3.00.00 There are two build of the Turned On available, the H3+/H4 and the H3. The H3+/H4 is designed for use with the GoPro Hero 3+ and GoPro Hero 4 cases, while the H3 model is for use with the GoPro Hero 3 case. Hypoxic are already looking to expand the development to include more of the GoPro models and claim to be exploring compatibility that goes back to the GoPro Hero 2. Where to Get One? Dealers that are listed with selling the Turned On units are as follows: Chuting Star - Skydive the Farm, GA Patrick Kaye - Skydive Dubai, Dubai, UAE Para-Gear - Skokie, IL Ranch Pro Shop / Tonfly USA - Skydive the Ranch, NY The Drop Shop - Skydive Chicago Gold Coast Skydivers - Gold Coast Skydivers, LA Sunshine Factory - ZHills, FL Rock Sky Market - Chicago Skydive Center, IL Xtreme Video - Skydive Carolina, Chester, SC HYPOXIC - Chandler, AZ As of the release of this article, the MSRP for the Turned On units was listed as $99. More information and installation guides can be found on the Turned On Website.
  20. admin

    Strong Saves Small Irish Dropzone

    Imagine as a Dropzone Operator waking up at 7:30am on a sunny summer morning to discover that the dropzone has been broken into by thieves in the middle of the night and that all your student equipment is gone! On the morning of June 1st, 2007 Skydive Ireland received a serious blow when all of our student equipment was stolen in the middle of the night by thieves leaving us grounded and unable to take our customers skydiving. All of our Solo Student rigs and all of our Tandem equipment was gone just like that without trace leaving us completely disabled with very little options. I mean let's face it, in our industry the option of taking a trip to the local adventure store to replace your stolen parachute equipment just simply does not exist. Irish winters are really long and here we are having just arrived at the peak season of summer with the sun shining and an empty gear room with no manufacturers nearby and no friendly dropzone to offer assistance in our time of need, it is well and truly at that point you say to yourself…. We're F**ked! This is the type of scenario you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy and this disaster threatened the DZ's very existence since we were a new DZ and only a few months old at the time. We tried to remain composed and think of a clear plan of action to recover from this situation with our first instinct to go on the search for our brand new equipment that was lifted in the wee twilight hours of a summer's morning. The police were dispatched but the real truth of the matter was that the equipment was gone and our worst fear was that this was a specifically targeted job since no other valuable equipment was stolen. Whoever did it knew what they were coming for. There were mixed feeling as we found it difficult to believe another Skydiver could possibly be behind this hit. We figured if it was regular thieves that they would have found more value in expensive wide screen televisions and other similar types of equipment that would sell very easily on the street. With only two skydiving centers in Ireland who were these people planning on selling stolen student parachute equipment to? Having come to terms with the mornings events and dealing with the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach I knew that we had to figure a solution fast and turned to the Skydiving Industry for support. What I suppose was the standard thing to do I did and that was to call the manufactures of the brand new equipment and surely they would be willing to use their resources to rescue us. The Tandem rigs we had were Paratec Next Tandem since we are based in Europe I figured it best to deal more locally for my Tandem gear. So calls were made to Paratec and the situation explained and the consequences of what would happen to us were easily understood. In naive hope I never thought that there would be an issue of support but I was greatly disappointed beyond words to be told by Paratec that there is no equipment they could dispatch to us to assist their customer and fellow skydivers recover this emergency and that they cannot part with their one and only Tandem Demo rig. I wasn't impressed. A cold chill rand down my back with the shocking realization that we were now isolated from other Tandem Equipment Manufacturers who were now all based several thousand miles away and now in the month of June the parachute manufacturing industry was in peak demand with typical 12-14 week delivery schedules. I hurried to dropzone.com in desperate search of some used Tandem Equipment in the classifieds but there was nothing there that was suitable or easily accessible. The other dilemma of course was that all of my Tandem Instructors were rated under the Vector Tandem program so we didn't exactly have the option of just going with any Tandem rig that was available. I'm sure you can start to appreciate the nightmare situation we were now facing and running out of options. It was time to revert back to the manufacturers and try to plead for their understanding to help them understand how serious this situation had escalated. I mean seriously, does it get much worse than this? I made the best move as a dropzone owner that I have done to date. I picked up the phone and called Strong Enterprises based in Orlando Florida. I was greeted by a very friendly Sales Manager named John Makoski who immediately begin to work a plan to dispatch replacement equipment without delay to get us back in the air. I mean this guy dropped everything he was doing and put Skydive Ireland on his highest priority and he just couldn't believe that something like this happened to us. It was due to his concerned response to our situation and seeing lighting speed response to getting this situation under control that I was finally able to regroup and feel the weight of a thousand elephants lift right off my shoulders. Here was a manufacturer who I had never bought a single piece of equipment from or never benefitted their business in any way begin to treat my small company like I was their biggest client. Within a few hours John had gotten approval from Mr. Ted Strong who everybody knows is the owner of Strong Enterprises and was authorized to immediately dispatch 6 Dual Hawk Tandem Systems from their large inventory of stock and make the arrangements to get them to Ireland without delay. I couldn't believe it! This was incredible and I just couldn't express how grateful I was to be picked up in the hand of this Parachute Manufacturing Giant and begin to feel that everything was going to be alright. Then suddenly I had an anti climax when I realized that none of my Tandem Instructors were certified to use the Dual Hawk Tandem. With this piercing feeling in my brain another whole began to bore deep when I thought to myself that perhaps this company might take advantage of me and demand a higher than normal sale price since I didn't have any other choice and finally I began to wonder how am I going to afford 6 new Tandem Systems in light of our break in and something I haven't mentioned yet was that our stolen equipment was not even insured. This is not good. So now I am wondering how this is going to pan out and that I still have to get 6 Tandem Rigs each weighing about 65 lbs to Ireland as fast as possible and at a price I could afford and then find someone who could just fire up a Dual Hawk Instructors Course to get us rated to use the equipment. This is when Mr. Tom Noonan, Strong's Tandem Course Director was introduced to me and in a friendly and supportive voice over the phone said that he had taken the initiative and booked flights direct to Ireland and will personally deliver the equipment and spend the time here to qualify all of my Instructors on the Dual Hawk Tandem and that they will provide the new equipment to me at a hugely discounted price and that they will allow a few months for me to be able to pay for the vast majority of it all! If any of you reading this has ever experienced an immense rush of extreme and unquantifiable feeling of gratitude, relief followed by a dash of excitement and an overflow of amazement at this level of concern and support it was actually quite hard to digest and realize that these guys were willing to do all of this for me. What an incredible level of customer focused service. This is mind blowing stuff and every Dropzone Operator should be seriously paying attention to this. I can honestly say that this is something I have never heard of another manufacturer do in this type of situation in my 13 years of Skydiving. Lets be honest and say that this was a huge risk for Strong in that what if I went bust because of this situation and was not in a position to repay them for their equipment and I had it in Ireland. But they weren't one bit concerned about this and only cared about getting my little DZ back up and running and the deal Tom made with me was that I would have to buy him a few pints of the black stuff in an authentic Irish pub. That was an easy deal to agree I can tell ya! It wasn't long before I was at Shannon Airport shaking hands with the man who flew through the night across the broad Atlantic loaded with Parachute Equipment for delivery and to provide immediate expert training and certification on the Dual Hawks to get us back in the action. This was now all starting to feel very surreal. With his surname being Noonan and being from Boston it was evident Tom was from Irish descent and had always looked forward to visiting his ancestors home. As we sat in a typical Irish Country style pub with symbols of the old Irish culture and harder times of the past it was about 7:30am it was time to start cashing in on our deal. So I ordered a few pints of the black stuff and Tom, Darren and myself toasted to a new chapter and to recovering Skydive Ireland and feasted on a full Irish Breakfast till we were as fat as cows. Now beginning to show signs of a long night spent travelling and with a fully loaded belly and a nice few pints of Guinness we headed back to my house so Tom could refresh and get some sleep. Darren and I unloaded the car and all our new gear was in black gear bags and it felt really good holding Dual Hawk Tandem Parachute Systems in my arms and feeling like everything is getting back on track. I don't think I will ever be able to explain the feeling accurately enough so I won't even try or I'll end up just babbling. So with Tom now out for the count I was anxious to try on our brand new Dual Hawks so we pulled out two of them and immediately begin to start dissecting the rig to discover it's features and to see how it feels. As a certified parachute rigger for more the n10 years I immediately begin to admire the workmanship of this parachute system and to examine its components which at first glance had me realize this was not just another Tandem System. With features such as the dual loop main canopy closure to prevent a nasty horse-shoe and the anti-line dump line stows. Even the fine detail of the position of the RSL to deal with a possible riser breakage to avoid a premature reserve deployment. I really liked the feature of the Master 400 sqft Reserve canopy which is comforting to know this canopy is thoroughly designed to meet the most demanding Tandem nightmare. One of the really exciting things about it was that they were all equipped with the brand new development from Strong which is the superb all ZP material SET 366 Main Tandem Canopy configured with Single Brake setup. I was not getting really buzzed about flying this new toy. It was obvious that this rig was built for Tandem Skydiving from the ground up and was rugged to last the test if time. We now had a serious set of kit that made our stolen Tandem Systems look like plain old modified sports rigs. I couldn't get over the size of the Drogue and what I immediately liked was the simplicity of the main and reserve deployment sequences. On our other Tandem Systems there seemed to be a confusing amount of handles which offered a great risk of causing the Instructor confusion in a high stress situation. I had always thought the more handles the better because of more options but then thought that simple is better given the statistics that ALL Tandem Fatalities were due to Instructor error. I was now keen to complete the Strong Tandem Instructor Candidate Course which for us would be the cross over from another Tandem Rating so it meant less jumps to become certified on the Dual Hawk then if we were starting out as new Instructors. Later that day when Tom arose from the dead we made a plan to get going the next day with the Course Material and waste no time in getting it completed. Throughout the course I found Tom Noonan to be an excellent Examiner to work with and what was most apparent was that not a single ounce of ego was present in his natural ability to make a person feel comfortable and help us understand the functions of the Dual Hawk and was patient with all of our questions and comparisons and scenarios with the what we had been used to jumping and now getting excited about jumping the Dual Hawk. I was anxious to feel what freefall will be like with the position of the Drogue attachment at the base of the Reserve Tray unlike the Vector 2 style system which gives a really nice position in freefall and makes for an excellent Student freefall position for the Video and Photos. I can honestly say from going as passenger that the Student Harness is the most comfortable out of all the harnesses which makes for some very happy customers. Tom did an excellent job at completing the course qualifying myself and my Instructors. He worked very hard and was very committed to his very high standard of safety and awareness and we all learned a lot of valuable skills and information from him. He is a true professional and loves what he does and I was glad that with his proud Irish heritage he was able to visit Ireland and Skydive at my DZ with beautiful views of lakes and mountains Tom became attached to the place and has since returned again to Ireland to spend time with us doing further training to qualify a Strong Tandem Examiner to make us more self sufficient. Tom has become a great friend and I will always be grateful for what Strong Enterprises did for my dropzone. Without them we were well and truly hammered. I could spend a few paragraphs telling you what I thought about the other manufacturers lack of support in our time of need but it would just simple take aware from the value of this story but what I will advise from our experience is that when choosing your equipment especially when you're living depends on it is imperative you choose a manufacturer who can back you up when the shit hits the fan. I have only good things to say about the Dual Hawk and with almost a year of full time jumping the Dual Hawk and sweet soft opening of the new SET 366 and zero cutaways I can only say you will look long and hard for a Tandem System of this caliber. Once you see past the fluff of the other Tandem systems with other manufacturers competing to be the most inventive it stands to this day that the Dual Hawk is the most proven Tandem system in the world and was designed by a great man who was the true pioneer of Tandem Skydiving, Mr. Ted Strong. Thank you all the Team at Strong Enterprises in Orlando Florida. You saved our bacon and have been a huge source of support and inspiration to my dropzone and you are to be applauded for your concern and the dropzone rescue operation you handles so professionally and I hope one day I can repay you. I am glad to report that some of our stolen parachute equipment surfaced in Eastern Europe in the country of Lituania which we were able to retrieve. The gear had been in use at a Skydiving Center and when I discovered this I made contact with the Dropzone to inform them they were using stolen Parachute Equipment. Investigations are pending to source that carried out this terrible crime and to ensure they do not do it to another dropzone again. Blue Skies, David Byrnes DZO - Skydive Ireland www.skydiveireland.ie
  21. Concept Leia is born from a simple idea: bringing the Petra technology to the open market! After bringing Petra to the CP competition scene three years ago, we have had many more orders than we could reasonably deal with. Everyone wanted one! But as I was going through the infamous ‘list’, I realized that about half were not the original target market of Petra. People were asking for bigger lines, insisted on a ZP version¹... They wanted the fun of it but were not planning to compete. It became quite obvious we would have to go back to the (computer aided) drawing board to infuse some of the Petra DNA into a more accessible canopy and create Petra’s little sister. She would have to fit in a small Freefly container and be jumpable every day and so we could see her first curves appearing: ZP No hassle Good openings She also needed to keep Petra’s epic flight characteristics such as a high roll rate, a very long dive, high harness sensitivity and the widest speed range ever covered by a parachute (Petra can fly with a tandem or a wingsuit without trims). The picture was getting clearer: High ellipticity Powerband² Steep trim Compact aspect ratio Development 1. Bridget We first decided on a 7 cell format and we couldn’t wait to learn more so we cut two cells out of a big Petra. Bridget was born. This was a fun experiment but it wasn’t quite right. The aspect ratio was too small, the toggle range was weird and the flare wasn’t powerful enough. Why Bridget? In a nutshell, this prototype was a little frumpy looking, but still kinda hot! Her low aspect ratio gave her some luscious curves. And while we love curves, we reckon a sleeker wing might suit our purpose better for this project! 2. Candy We gave it more thought (and more computer simulations) and used our secret recipe… a mix of science, beer, experience, overheating computers, head scratching, experiments, overheating sewing machines and beer. And finally went back to the dropzone with a much better design. We gave it a more reasonable aspect ratio and ditched the Mini Ribs³ that appeared useless on this type of design. She was awesome and the test jumpers were looking for excuses to keep jumping her. When they couldn’t find any more, they started fighting to get her in their personal rigs. And so she started to go around... a lot! We thought that was a good sign. She was truly flying like Petra so we thought about calling her Petra Lite but she deserved better than being her little sister forever. She needed a personality of her own to grow big in this world. We called her Candy, for her acid drop colors and sweeeeet openings. 3. Leia We knew we were onto something so we kept looking for things to improve. We changed the lineset, refined the panel designs, put more beers into it and made sure every detail was worth her surname... Here is Leia... We invited TJ Landgren, Katie Hansen and Nick Batsch to try it while they were visiting NZ this summer and they all loved it. Nick did an impressive 175m swoop on it on his first jump (nil wind and at sea level) confirming the awesome potential of the canopy! He didn’t say much straight away but his smile left us confident that she is better than any other ZP competition wing on the market. Target We said everyday, not everyone... Leia is a very high-end design targeted to the most experienced jumpers out there. The way we see it, Leia will NOT be the best choice for: First Crossbraced canopy Distance world record Wingsuiting But will be an awesome wing for: Awesome swoopers who want to fun jump, work and play with their canopy, and swoop the shit out of it too – competitively or not! Zone accuracy (currently tested by some of the very best pilots) Everyday canopy that flies similar to Petra to stay current while working Competition wing Mountain flying XRW Something you guys will come up with. Specs Cells: 7 Chambers: 21 Structure: Crossbraced Tip chord to Center chord ratio: 0.4 (!) Aspect ratio: 2.65 Wing loading: 2.2 to ? Features: No stabilizers, Integrated slider stops, Powerband², No Mini-Ribs³ Deployment system: Normal slider, RDS available on demand Materials: ZP (maybe a hybrid version later on) Lines: Black HMA 400 (maybe HMA 600 later on) Sizes: Any Price: The price hasn’t been decided yet but it will be around 3100USD. Availability: Leia is our current project and we are proud to share it with you but this is not an available product at the moment. We hope it will become available sometime in 2014 or 2015. 1. Petra is only made out of Sail fabric. This is a generic and misleading name for a range of Polyurethane coated nylons developed for paragliders. It gives more rigidity and a better controlled shape to the competition canopies thanks to its low stretch characteristics. Unfortunately, it also packs bigger and doesn’t last as long as our good old ZP (Silicone coated nylon) so it needs to be treated with much more precaution. To learn more about how to increase its life span, contact Julien@nzaerosports.com. 2. We call the Powerband the black part on the top leading edge. It is visible on Petra and makes it easily recognizable. It helps defining and controlling the shape better in this critical area where lift is created making a real difference in performance. 3. The Mini-Ribs are partial ribs covering about 20% of the chord starting from the tail. They allow better shape control on the tail and a sharper trailing edge decreasing the wake turbulence and form drag. This is a design feature commonly found on paragliders and on some wingsuits but Petra is the first parachute using it. Keep checking this space or our Facebook page to check the new stuff we are working on!
  22. Prompted also by the sale of the Durban based factory, Aerodyne Research Corporation in Tampa, Florida, has decided to move forward and find new investors for its expanding sport parachute business. "The previous owners were operating at a distance and could not provide us with the support we need to channel the growth of our sales", reports President Edward "Bushman" Anderson. "We have found a positive group of investors who are actually interested in developing Aerodyne Research into a stronger and more cohesive unit with a concentrated focus on sport parachute products." Anderson sees this change of ownership as an opportunity to put together a new and modern manufacturing facility, which will not have a mix of military and sport products. This means both engineering and production can focus on common goals and objectives. "It will allow us to concentrate our efforts and become one of the bigger players in the sport market", predicts Anderson. Aerodyne's sales so far this year have been above projected forecasts and the company attributes this to the ability of providing stock canopies at a lower price than custom, as well as to the carefully maintained stock levels. Over the summer the company will run a pilot program to sell stock Icon harness-container systems. These will have fully articulated (hip and chest rings) harnesses, which will be custom finished for the customer's body size. Anderson: "We believe we are one of the few manufacturers capable of doing this due to the unique geometry of the Icon harness. It is also important to recognize that the Icon comes standard with all popular features, so there is no need to order additional options. These stock Icons will have everything from stainless steel hardware to spacer foam back pads." For the most part it is business as usual. Aerodyne anticipates strong sales of stock over the summer again, as experienced in past seasons, and this will give the possibility of ramping up the new facility so as to address custom orders later in the year. It would seem that in the summer, when the weather is good, people want their gear as soon as possible and only "now" will do for them… We believe that our typical Pilot, Smart & Icon combination from one source and with a single order from stock, will present customers and distributors with the best alternative when choosing their new equipment this summer.
  23. admin

    Mirage Ground Launch Systems

    Ground Launching is the newest and fastest growing sport in the swooping community! Foot launching parachutes is relatively easy but having the proper equipment and training will save you alot of time. After years of research and development Jim Slaton started the Ground Launching Center (GLC) and teamed up with NZ Aerosports in New Zealand to develop parachutes specifically for ground launching called the Daedalus GLX and GLS. Now Jim has teamed up with Mirage Systems to develop the Mirage Ground Launch system. The Mirage GLX is the top of the line fully loaded ground launch harness that is lightweight and reversible. The GLX comes in blue & black mini diamond material, adjustable harness, risers, multiple riser attachment points, quick link hardware, backpack system, extra pockets on outside of harness, extra padding on shoulders and the harness inverts to become backpack. The harness forms a seat and the risers can be conneted to the GLX's lower or upper attachment points. This gives pilots the option between flying in the hanging position like a skydiving harness or the siting position like a paragliding harness. The Mirage ground launch harness comes in two styles for all your launching needs. These models are kept on the shelf and typically shipped the same day. The retail price of the new Mirage GLX is $695.00 and available in small, medium, large and extra large. For more information contact Jim Slaton at mirageGLX@canopypiloting.com or check out http://www.canopypiloting.com/mirageGLX.htm
  24. admin

    Birdman Ninja Wingsuit Revealed

    Seven months ago, Birdman re-entered the world of gear manufacturing with a new website, new products and what was almost a completely new team. Birdman took a hiatus in 2010, when the company went through a change in ownership structure. Earlier this year their website was back up, boasting a new look and advertising some new products, which included the branching out into watches designed specifically for BASE jumpers and skydivers. They immediately released the names of three new wingsuits that would be in development: The blade III, the Ninja and the Samurai. For more details on the resurrection of Birdman, check out The Return of Birman which was published in March. When the site went live they had only given information on the Blade III, while both the Samurai and the Ninja were said to be 'coming soon'. The Ninja has now been made available for purchase, along with information about the suit. The Ninja is selling at Birdman's online store for 149, 800 Yen, or $1527 US (at time of publishing). This is about $200 less than the Blade III. The suit seems to be aimed towards the intermediate to advanced flyer and is sold as a suit of high agility. Birdman's online store provides the following details for the Ninja: "NINJA is a brand new wingsuit concept from BIRDMAN®. It’s been designed to be the master of aerobatics, which means it has sharp and accurate turns, agility, easy recovery from all flying positions and ability to accelerate faster than any other suit in it’s class. Just like a true NINJA. This power is created from it’s drag decreasing quatro-wing design while the agility comes from it's aggressive profile and superior air-inlet / air lock design.. All this sums up to the best performing & funaerobatics wingsuit you have ever flown.. and, it’s BIRDMAN® *Recommend to try after completing FFC. The NINJA comes all included; Quattro-wing drag reduction, 9 large air-inlets with air-locks, semi-rigid ribs, mini-ribs, two large pockets, inner lining, high collar, easy access leg zippers, extra soft kneepads, extra sturdy booties & 10 mm YKK zipper and over the shoulder zip for easy dressing. It will be offered in 4 color scenes. FRONT Leading edge: Aerodynamically shaped, transparent reinforced sail material Emergency cut-away arms 10 mm YKK zippers Five (5) reinforced air-intakes with air-locks Hook knife pocket outside Two inner pockets Reinforced 2 mm thick leather bootie High collar with NINJA and BM logo 210D double coated extra sturdy nylon Semi-rigid long ribs made from BoPET Semi-rigid short ribs made from BoPET Full, fully breathable inner lining inside Thick protective & reinforced knee & bootie area Mini-ribs BACK Thick moisture absorbing spandex backpad Large air-inlets with airlocks Back deflector with air-pass Reinforced and soft shoulder blade Semi-rigid shaped leading edge Extra long 10 mm YKK zipper with QR pull tab Snaps for booties and leg wing" Also of interest on Birdman's websites is that there is another product on the webstore called the Katana which is said to be coming soon, though there is no mention of the Samurai. It's unclear at this point as to whether the Samurai and the Katana are two separate wingsuits we can be expecting the company to release, or whether there was perhaps a renaming at some point that hasn't yet synced up completely. Have you tried any of the new Birdman products? Comment below and let us know what you thought.
  25. admin

    Apache Wingsuit Modifications

    8 February 2013 - Editors Note: After this article was published, TonySuit released a Service Bulletin regarding the Rebel and Apache Wingsuit that addresses the concerns raised below. If you use the Apache or Rebel for skydiving, TonySuits offers a free modification that will relocate your harness and emergency handles to the outside of the suit. See the image below. Download the full Service Bulletin. Wingsuiting is a new discipline that is ever-changing in terms of equipment, general DZ knowledge, and practices within the discipline. This can lead to a great deal of confusion about what is what, and how the equipment operates. One such example is the Apache series wingsuit, manufactured by Tonysuits Inc. This series of wingsuit is advertised as "for BASE jumping"and as the "biggest wingsuit in the world", the manufacturer "observed that placing the parachute harness inside the suit improved performance by reducing drag." This wingsuit places all components of the main lift web (MLW) inside the wingsuit, making the chest strap invisible, and leaving handles inaccessible unless modifications are made to the suit, parachute system/rig, or both. The manufacturer’s website also indicates: NOTE: This suit is for BASE jumping only. Having the harness inside the suit excludes it from being used for skydiving. Expert wingsuit skydivers could choose to modify the Apache to mount the emergency handles on to the suit itself under the guidance of a qualified rigger but TonySuits does NOT recommend any modifications! The process of jumping this system in the skydiving environment requires one of three actions; Rig Hidden In The Wingsuit The first option is to do nothing and jump the suit as it is with the rig entirely hidden within the wingsuit system as seen in this image below. Handles are entirely covered, and inaccessible without first unzipping the wingsuit. This is a legal means of jumping the wingsuit/rig system. Whether it is an ideal or safe method is determined by a pilot or S&TA.; The above method is not addressed in the FARs nor PIA Technical Documents. Various DPRE’s (Designated Parachute Rigger/Examiners) commented "No one at the PIA or FAA level ever anticipated we’d have jumpers covering handles with a jumpsuit; we now need to address this topic." Emergency procedures in this system: Unzip wingsuit. Crossdraw handles (Left hand to cutaway release, right hand to reserve ripcord). The "fully covered handles" method may be the only method not addressed in a FAR or PIA Technical Document, yet this method fails to take into account situations such as: Aircraft emergency requiring instant access to a reserve handle Missing hackey/handle, requiring a straight-to-reserve deployment Pilot Chute in Tow Hard pull Canopy collision requiring a cutaway High ground winds, where a cutaway is necessary Adding "Chicken Handles" Another method has been to put "chicken handles" on the wingsuit, essentially Rapide links attached to the cutaway release and reserve ripcord system. This changes the angle of cable travel (inducing a double 90 degree bend in the relevant cable) significantly increasing pull force. TSO (Technical Standards Order, administered by the FAA) requires that pull force be not greater than 22lbs of pull. In testing, the cutaway release required approx 45lbs of pull force, and the reserve system would not release with 60lbs of pull force applied (this was the limit of the scale used for the pull test. The "Chicken Handle" system was discussed with several rig manufacturers, Technical Chairs, former Technical Chairs, Rigging Chairs, and former Rigging Chairs of PIA. All agree this system is a violation of manufacturer TSO as expressed in FAR 65.111, and PIA TS 135 4.3.3 Table 2. In order to legally use this deployment system, the system must be tested and certified according to FAA TSO specification as set forth by the PIA. The definition of testing for certification requires: "4.3.3 HUMAN FACTORS AND ACTUATION FORCE TESTS: An anthropometrically diverse group of individuals (consisting of a representative group of no less than 3 males and 3 females) from the intended user group shall be employed for all human factors tests in 4.3.3. All individuals shall be able to operate the subject device without any undue difficulty. Table 2 lists the required test conditions and number of tests for each particular component. Additional information for the component tests is listed below. TESTS: Under normal design operating conditions, all devices tested under this paragraph shall result in a positive and quick operation of the device within the following load range applied to the handle: (a) a load applied at the handle of not less than 5 lbf (22.2 N), applied in the direction giving the lowest pull force, (b) a load applied at the handle of not more than 22 lbf (97.9 N), applied in the direction of normal design operation, (c) for chest type parachute assemblies, the maximum pull force shall be 15 lbf (66.7 N), (d) the primary actuation device shall be tested in accordance with Table 2, (e) the emergency/reserve drogue release (if used) shall be tested in accordance with Table 2." Table 2 includes standing, hanging in harness etc. The above system was never tested prior to being put into the marketplace. The challenges with this system were discovered in the field, as seen in the video link below. Pull tests were performed at various angles and configurations, with a Master Rigger in attendance. As of March 2012, the manufacturer has recommended that skydivers immediately discontinue use of this system. Moving Handles from the Rig to the Wingsuit A third modification requires moving handles from the parachute rig system and relocating them to the wingsuit body via the use of Velcro. The rig is then connected to the wingsuit via ties/cords that are tied above and below the cheststrap/handles of the rig. Due to pull forces and the random/chaotic nature of a deployment, this system has suffered multiple two-out scenarios across the country. Multiple dropzones have banned this wingsuit system from being jumped from their aircraft. Tony Uragallo of TonySuits has responded to concerns, saying: "I am changing the Apache system to be similar to the Squirrel suit system." Squirrel suits have found a novel way of dealing with these risks by adding zippers that allows the rig to worn inside the suit (for BASE jumping) as well as outside the suit, with handles fully exposed. (for skydiving) The vast majority of skydivers often don't give much thought to TSO's or FARs, and most have likely have never heard of PIA TS 135. These are the "rules of the road" for parachute gear in the skydiving world. These rules regulations and laws are there to protect skydivers from unsafe practices equipment, to provide standards of performance, and the safe operation of a dropzone and to prevent problems within the skydiving and non-skydiving community through standardized rules, laws and industry practices. The FARs put aircraft pilots directly in the crosshairs when a problem occurs; this is why skydivers must demonstrate repacks when visiting a dropzone, for example. Should any incident occur, it falls on the pilot-in-command. Yet most aircraft pilots are unaware of what is or isn’t legal, as the dropzone assumes responsibility for equipment being legal and reserves in-date. In this instance, a wingsuit designed specifically for BASE being used in the skydiving environment and requiring modifications to a rig or the rig operation is a violation of TSO and by extension, the FARs. This creates a legal headache for dropzone operators, S&TA;’s, rig manufacturers, and other skydivers on the lookout for standard equipment. Wingsuits designed for BASE jumping are exciting, fun, and provide an added edge of adrenaline. Some skydivers may take the approach of "So what? It's an individual choice." Any reasonable jumper, base or skydiver, will conclude that skydiving is a different environment than BASE (which has no rules). In the skydiving environment, the manufacturers assure the FAA and the DZO that gear meets safety standards via the TSO certification. DZO's in turn, assure the pilot that equipment being used in the skydiving environment is legal, in-date, and approved. As skydivers, we assure each other's safety by using equipment that is legal, safe, and approved for the activity. If you are considering jumping any product that may involve relocating handles or other modifications, first contact the manufacturer of the harness to verify the legality of doing so - and check with your DZO or S&TA; for any local policy.