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Old July 5th 04, 01:13 AM
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Cheers, Dudley. As if I didn't have enough things to worry about!!

Spent Sunday briefing and doing a small bit of formation work with a former
Red Arrow pilot. If I get hit by a bus tomorrow, as least my log book will
show that I flew in formation with a former Red Arrow! I couldn't get the
grin off my face while it was happening. I think I'm going to enjoy working
with this guy! We went through a lengthy brief down at the local pub (where
all briefings should be held, if you ask me - very civilized approach to
flying, that!) where we discussed my mate's and my intentions, background,
and set out our stall together. We put together a basic framework of our
work then went into the details of safe formation flying to include
communications, formation placement, joinup and break basics, essentially
all the safety and practical issues associated with the business.
Thoroughly enjoyed it and it was a lot to take in. Some of it we knew, most
of it we didn't and even the stuff we knew we weren't entirely sure how to
apply. Talking to a guy who does it for a living (he still flies Jags) was
an eye-opening and extremely motivating experience.

On the parachute side, have decided on a Softie after talking to thier man,
Jim, for quite a while last week. He's going to make up a seat pack rig for
me with an aerobatic harness, based on your advice about the location of the
hardware (thanks for that, by the way)

It's also become time to replace the surplus bag I've been wearing for 3
years. I've looked at Flightsuits in California but are there any other
shops where guys in the community tend to go for good quality and good
prices? Any tips, as with the parachute advice, greatly appreciated!

Hope you had a good 4th weekend!


"Dudley Henriques" wrote in message
About the negative stuff; the only reason I mentioned it was for you to
make sure whatever harness you bought was comfortable on the negative
side of things. The aerobatic harness is usually much more comfortable
in this respect.
One thing to keep in mind if you're going to be doing formation in a
Pitts, and unfortunately it's not a very pleasant thought :-) Remember,
if you DO make hard contact and have a wing failure, the flying wires
will probably hold on the top wing and the wing will literally beat you
to death before you can get don't get too close!! :-))
"ShawnD2112" wrote in message
Sound advice.

Negative stuff isn't the reason I've decided to get a chute. I've

done a
bit of negative but I'm staying away from any of the real stuff until

I get
some inverted spin training. No, what's really made me decide were

things. One is that I've started doing some basic formation work with

mate. While we're taking it slow and investing in some training,

always the risk of something going wrong and someone's airplane

someone else's. It's that scenario that makes a chute seem like a

idea. I've also got a bit of a phobia about fire in the cockpit.
The other thing was a long term re-evaluation of the risks. When I

started flying the Pitts, I thought about a chute but initially ruled

it out
(they're not required for aerobatics in the UK, and, in fact, a lot of

don't wear them). I ruled it out because I figured that to open the

exit the aircraft, deploy the chute, and get one swing in before

hitting the
ground, I'd need to be about 2,000 feet up. Well, when competing
andpracticing, I only ever got up that high at the tops of aerobatic
maneuvers, not during the bulk of my flying. So, I figured, if I

rarely fly
high enough for a chute to work, what are the chances of being able to

that altitude if I needed it? Pretty slim, I reckoned, so I thought a

was a comfort factor more than a real safety option.

Now, that all said, I'd feel like a real tit if I found myself with an
unflyable airplane and no means to get out of it. So screw all that
misguided analysis above, I'm getting a bailout chute. I guess this

is a
case of experience and age teaching one a bit of wisdom? It seems

silly to
deny myself an option based on some flawed logic applied in the


Thanks for the tip on the Softie. I'm going to give them a call


"Dudley Henriques" wrote in message

"Dudley Henriques" wrote in message

Forgot to tell you. Whatever you buy, try it on first and make at

one flight in it with the Pitts. Don't baby the flight either. Take

out sustained both ways and see how it feels, especially inverted.

Do a
half roll, stabilize there and just hang for a bit and feel it on

back. You'll know if it's going to do the job for you.