Do you know how to properly route your soft links?

Mike Patterson1

If not – we suggest reviewing the instructions thoroughly, so that you are able to a) do it correctly and b) recognize when something is amiss.

DeLand based rigger Mike Patterson was recently switching a main canopy from one set of risers to another. In removing the slinks, he noticed that two of the Slinks (on opposite riser groups) had had the Slink tab passed through the end loop and left that way. The tab had been tacked in place, which likely helped the Slinks stay put through the jumps already on the set.

The correct way would have been to finish routing the Slink by passing the loop end through under the Slink tab, feed the tab through the loop again, and tighten up.  This is a bit hard to explain in writing, but PD publishes easy to follow Slink instructions on their website (link below). Instructions are also included with each set of Slinks sold.

Below are links to instruction sheets for the most common types of soft links. Check out the one that matches your set (provided that you use soft links) and make sure your set is properly routed. Fly safe!



Pin through the loop – Official UPT Response

Photo by Keith Creedy

We shared this photo on our Facebook page yesterday, which sparked a great deal of discussion and comments.  Some of them spot on, some of them incorrect or based on misunderstandings of what is going on.

Photo by Keith Creedy

Photo by Keith Creedy

The container in question is a Vector, so we contacted UPT to get some advice and tips specific to this rig straight from the manufacturer. Below is their response.

“We are happy to hear that the jumper landed uneventful after the pilot chute in tow!
Here are our observations from the photo:

The main side flap location and grommet offset is correct.
The UPT Vector 3 container is designed and constructed to have the top 2 main grommets offset. This allows a low profile and better pin protection, allows the main pin cover to close correctly, and cosmetically  the container will look as designed. The correct offset is as pictured, with the binding tapes stacked touching the edge of the grommet.

The main bridle routing is not as per current UPT recommendations
UPT recommends routing the main bridle from the bottom up. What is pictured is the alternate older routing. The change was made in an effort to reduce the risk of bridle piercing.

Closing loop tension is unknown
When packing and/or jumping the container, care must always be taken to ensure that loop tension is sufficient to not allow the main closing pin to accidentally dislodge. Proper loop length, proper canopy configuration, and attention towards storage and use, all play into this matter.

It appears that the eye of the main pin has become trapped inside the main closing loop, from one of the following hypothetical scenarios:

  • Accidentally pushing the pin too far through the main loop during closing of the container.
    This has been observed and reported on rare occasions in the past, and has generally been caught on pre-jump inspections of the gear
  • Excess bridle incorrectly routed under the main pin, causing the pin to instantly flip to a standing position during deployment which allows the main loop to slide over the eye. This is a very unlikely scenario, although possible in theory and with some practical application.

Either scenario is preventable by utilizing correct methods during packing, and performing gear checks prior to jumping.
Please refer to the Vector 3 container manual p. 60-61 for current main closing method and bridle routing for the Vector 3 container.



Don’t Broke the Goat – the story of how a new tunnel competition was born: MXC

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 12.48.16

By Keith Creedy

It was 9am at Skydive Paraclete XP’s Up In Smoke event and the forecast was right, no jumping this morning. Participants and organizers (at least the ones who slept the night before) were loitering outside the team room and Dr. Tom was stuffing an inflatable goat’s unspeakable region with a coffee flask.

“Bro, don’t broke the goat” says Oscar (dear Lord may Oscar never learn proper English). And that’s where “Don’t broke the goat” came from, but that’s not what this story is about.

Shortly after, myself and Damien Germano, fueled with coffee and needing something to do, wondered if they could create a tunnel competition and dive pool combining movement, points, flipping stuff, head down and head up, performed in 4-way. We quickly created a hypothetical draw, walked it out with Devin Roane and Michael Brewer and BOOM, MXC was born.

MXC – Most eXtreme Tunnelfly Challenge:
Snake + Layout + VFS Block + Sequential Flip = The Draw. Players perform The Draw first head down then head up; best time wins.

Actually, the original way of scoring was that you begin the round with a dozen seconds on the clock and earn time after completing each move and earn zero time for busting a move. If you don’t complete enough moves and your time runs out, the tunnel shuts off, you fall to the net, and you’re judged on how far in the draw you completed. This was nixed for the sake of players getting to fly all the way through because the dive pool is too much fun to be laying on the net. But maybe we should add that again later… I think we just wanted to yell “Don’t. Get. Eliminated!”

Anyway, that night, 5 teams of 4 performed two random draws of MXC and wouldn’t you know it, it worked. When the first team completed the sequence successfully on their first try, everyone knew we had something here; there’s potential.

In all competitions, players look for the shortcuts to make their runs faster. So that night, even in the first rounds of MXC, players were finding ways of taking grips and making moves to shorten their time; amazing.

Fun was had by all and they all lived happily ever after… except the goat… we’ll come back to that.

Paraclete XP is including MXC as an event in this year’s Freefly Indoor Skydiving Championships, to be held on December 19, 2015.
As with any new event, we expect to be faced with obstacles to overcome. Defining the start and finish of moves is difficult, judging will be difficult (what if you’re busted by your peers using a mobile app?….), and I’m sure things that we haven’t even thought of will arise. But, hell, MXC is incredibly fun to fly. If you haven’t tried it, go to Paraclete XP’s Facebook event “2015 Freefly Indoor Skydiving Championships” and make yourself a draw and go fly it. You’re going to love it.

Oh, and we ended up doing three jumps that cloudy day, some of the most incredible freefly jumps ever, PLUS smoke.  Mhmm. Also, months later, somebody eventually “broke the goat” (dammit Tom!).

Jeffro Provenzano Rules the Living Room

Screenshot 2015-11-16 14.11.12

Eloy jumpers have always been somewhat prone to throwing stuff out of airplanes. Ideally located near the middle of nowhere, the desert around the dropzone provides a great playground for that type of antics.

Recently a group of highly skilled skydivers and cinematographers led by Joe Jennings gathered for just such a project – filming Jeffro Provenzano casually playing with his Nvidia Shield (Android TV Box for streaming, gaming etc) in his living room. In freefall. Mark ‘Trunk’ Kirschenbaum of Hypoxic was one of the camera coordinators. He shared that it was a fast paced highly energetic project on a tight timeline, only doable because everyone that came at it was a skilled professional.

The setup expertly built by Steve Curtis of (Arizona Arsenal) involved 3 replicas of the living-room, 1 with parachute and 2 without. Up to 20 GoPro’s were installed on some of the rig – including the one not shown in the ad, which was equipped with a GPS guided parachute. The stunt-cat you see in there is a highly trained one, and was handled by a service that specializes in working with animals. Jeffro on the other hand was left to pretty much handle himself, and did so admirably. But enough about that – check out the video!