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DZ Talk

Incident #1: A visiting experienced jumper tells a seemingly content and happy skydiving student how he doesn’t enjoy jumping at the particular DZ they are at because of all the “bad vibes.” This jumper also tells the student to check out other DZs where the “vibes” are better.

Incident #2: A regular experienced jumper comes out on the weekend to tell as many jumpers who will listen that another experienced jumper at the DZ has probably stolen several hundred dollars from her. The “accuser” has not personally spoken to the “accused” about the alleged theft but chooses to instead take the accusation public in an attempt to ruin the other jumper’s reputation and gain support for her accusation.


PISA Improvements

ChutingStar riggers assemble several new rigs a month and the most recent popular reserve/AAD/container combination is Tempo/Cypres/Mirage.

We recently noticed that Parachute Industries of South Africa added spanwise (side to side) reinforcement to its Tempo reserves. This follows similar reinforcement (although not identical in design) of popular U.S.-made reserves manufactured by Performance Designs and Precision Aerodynamics.


Downwind Swooping

Landing or swooping downwind seems to be a continuing rage at many drop zones. Many of these jumpers are hoping to get a longer surf to finish a great skydive while some are the “high performance canopy pilots” practicing for upcoming competitions.

Either way, this is not setting a good example for students or less-experienced jumpers. And even worse, this is leading to some hectic traffic patterns and close collisions during landing. While jumpers are trained to check the windsock or tetrahedron for the landing direction they are also


Drop Zone International

A French skydiving magazine has recently started publishing a version of Drop Zone in English, titled Drop Zone International. This magazine is packed with high-quality, full-color, glossy photographs, in-depth articles and, of course, an international flavor to its articles and ads.


Mirage Unisyn Harness

Mirage Systems International recently released a 4-ring harness called Unisyn. The company is touting its design as being better than others on the market (and I will reprint their reasons later in this article), but what I really like about the design is the padding attachments under the four rings.


Gear Knowledge

It never ceases to amaze me the number of skydivers who have so little knowledge on how to pack, inspect, disassemble or assemble their main parachute system. I realize that some of the blame lies on the quick instruction systems in place at most DZ’s along with busy staff and riggers, but most jumpers seem to have little desire to seek out any additional knowledge on their container other than the closing sequence of the main flaps.


Flite Suit Booties

Last week’s “Rant” focused on jumpsuit booties that wear out quickly if not protected with a coating of Shoe Goo. ChutingStar received a response to that column from Ryan Gifford, General Manager for Action Air Parachutes, which works closely with the jumpsuit company Flite Suit.


Shoe Goo Booties

Booties have become almost standard even for a beginning skydiver’s first belly fly jumpsuit. Booties are extremely beneficial for formation skydiving and tracking.

But many skydivers quickly ruin their $300 jumpsuit by walking around in those booties every weekend at the DZ. And it only takes a couple of weekends to wear out the stitching on the sides, causing the bottoms of the booties to fall off.


Dolphin Tuck Flaps

Dolphin manufacturer Altico, owned and operated by Mike Furry, has recently released velcroless main riser tuck flaps as an option on its containers. The cameraman of Mr. Pink, Randy Cooke, was one of the test jumpers of the new tuck flaps. ChutingStar assembled the container and inspected the new tuck flaps after every 20 jumps for signs of wear. No signs of warping, wear or damage were found after more than 100 jumps.


Main Closing Loops

Skydivers spend around $1,000 for an Automatic Activation Device and hundreds of dollars in maintenance fees for that life-saving device but constantly overlook the condition of a $1 piece of material that if it fails could make that AAD worthless.


AOPA Web Site

Many Kudos to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, which updated its Web site every few hours during the recent shutdown of the United States airspace. The Web site at kept aircraft owners, pilot and skydivers informed of the lobbying AOPA was conducting to get private pilots and general aviation aircraft back in the air.


Fun Jumps!

Check out ChutingStar Wingsuit Athlete Oliver "Olee" Finkelde showing off what can be done in an wingsuit!

Wingsuit Video - Oliver Finkelde

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