The link below has photos that show how our radio gear is mounted. You can click on the photos in this link to enlarge them and will see more hardware detail. Extreme care must be taken to be sure that radio gear cannot snag or interfere with main chute, reserve chute, or emergency cutaway hardware. A misrouted cable or strap can be fatal. We go though extensive pre jump inspections. Long written checklists are used. Non ham skydivers think we are nuts. We have never seen anybody besides our team use written pre-jump safety checklists despite their proven benefits. You really want to find gear problems on the ground, not in the sky. Even with extensive safety checks gear can malfunction. Mark AF6IM, who just turned 64, has had only two main chute malfunctions in his 45+ years of jumping. One was on old military surplus gear and the other was on modern sport gear. Both times he cut away the main canopy and safely deployed his reserve chute. A cutaway in the 21st century isnt done with a knife. Modern rigs have a reliable system that releases the main canopy when a cutaway handle is pulled. It was more complicated in the early days of sport parachuting when military surplus gear was used. A cutaway on the old gear involved a sequence of hardware release operations. The newer gear is far more reliable and safe.
Interview on day of BC 611 jump (10/12/13) can be seen in link below. Mark AF6IM is being interviewed by Michael Wright K6MFW who is also an experienced skydiver who has made several HALO jumps from 30,000 ft!
Exit video, AF6IM is in blue and gold (Go CAL) jumpsuit, KF6WRW is in black and yellow jumpsuit. This was shot on a different jump from the BC 611 one.
Here is a video of an earlier jump in which Mark operated 2M analog FM, 2M DSTAR and 1.2 GHz FM. Got QSOs in all modes.
Here is Bob Burmeister AG6QL at the dropzone listening for AF6IM
Photo below was shot on Saturday Oct 12, 2013 by Capt Jim Wilson RCAF. We exited at 13,500 ft from a Beechcraft King Air C90 operated by Bay Area Skydiving flying out of the uncontrolled airport at Byron CA. We did a few seconds of freefall to stabilize and then deployed our chutes. It was a nice day and temps aloft were not as chilly as usual. The views were just spectacular. I could see several aircraft below us during our descent but none posed a collision hazard. The entire Sacramento River Delta system was visible and it looked gorgeous.