After taking advise on buying a canopy to go into the container that ive bought (see here http://digidude.co.uk/my-own-rig/) the general advise was to keep hiring club kit (at £15 a jump) untill i was in a position to get a 190 canopy. As the club kit is generally in high demand, i worked out that if i could get a 210 canopy for around £300, this would be what id pay out on hiring kit for 20 jumps, id be guaranteed to have the right size canopy to jump, and, when im ready to downsize to a 190, id still be able to sell the canopy on. After discussing my thought process about this, a few people agreed that it was actually a good idea, so i started trawling the facebook and forum pages looking for a bargain. A few were offered, that were too far out of what i was prepared to spend, i was sent one to look at that turned out to be smaller than i wanted, but then, a ‘FURY 220’ for a little more than half of what i was planning on spending.
I quickly got some advise about the canopy, and while it is an older canopy, after having it inspected, its another good buy, which once im done with it, could easily be sold on, and work out to cost me very little overall 😀 as im currently jumping a 230, and asking the right questions, im also allowed to go straight onto this 220, so, as soon as everything is put together, and ‘live’ ill be jumping my own equipment, and saving around 45% on the cost of each jump. All thats needed to complete the kit, is an AAD.
An AAD is an Automatic Activation Device. This is a small computer, that measures barometric pressure, altitude, speed and a few other things. It has a small device called a cutter, this attaches to the main loop that keeps your reserve canopy in place. This cutter has a tiny explosive charge attached to a blade. The computer makes hundreds of calculations a second when you are in freefall, and if something should happen, like you get knocked unconscious for example as you leave the plane, then the computer will detect that you have not deployed your main canopy, and at a preset altitude, will send a signal to the cutter, firing the small explosive charge, sending the blade through the loop holding the reserve canopy closed, which will fire open the reserve parachute, meaning that youll land unconscious under a canopy at about 15mph, instead of slamming into the ground unconscious at around 130mph and have to be scooped into a few buckets ready to be poured into your final resting place.
Because im incredibly cheeky, Ive managed to get one of these fantastic life saving bits of equipment, worth over £1000 on loan, and have had it sat here for over a month, waiting for a main canopy to make my own rig complete, whilst at the same time keeping a lookout for a used bargain. luckily, by always taking advise, ive managed to avoid a couple of close calls where i thought i was getting a really good deal, but, for now, ive got a complete rig, thats been all checked out, the reserve packed, my new main canopy fitted, and all i now need to do, is pack it, and jump it, but…………………
Since passing my packing course, over 7 months ago, i think ive packed twice, once as i asked to go and pack as ive not done it for so long, about 3 weeks ago, and stuffed it right up, and another time about 3 months ago, which i also failed to finish, so, before i pack and jump my ‘ready to go’ rig, ill need a refresher in packing, otherwise, on my first jump, ill be paying for my reserve to be repacked where my main wasnt packed properly and had to be cut away due to a malfunction, and, i dont want that to happen
Ive packed the main canopy into the rig, for the simple reason, ive not been able to try it on since i bought it a month ago, and when you dont have a lot of packing experience, youre house is only 26 feet long, and you have laminated floor, and youve managed to pack in those conditions, then you know that it = ‘death in a bag’ if you jump it, so, i got it packed up, and actually tried the rig on, for the first time today 😀 but, itll be getting pulled out, and repacked, supervised, before i jump it, and even then, ill be scared, but excited, my own rig, my own pack job, probably get beer fined as well, itll be a good jump 🙂
Jump 60, maybe jump 59, and ill be posting all about it, check back soon to see what happens :p