Re: [DigitalDave] How hard was RW back in the day?
The 50's were way before my time. I do remember RW in the mid 70's. The formations we built then were puny by todays standards.
I remember my first three way like it was yesterday. These two guys came flying in out of nowhere and grabbed onto me. That was the first time I'd seen anyone in freefall and it blew my mind. I was hooked. All I could think about was skydiving and jumping again.
I worked all summer to buy a new rig. A new red para-commander and super-pro main container. This was state of the art back then. My hero's were people like Gene Paul Thacker. He was in nearly every parachutist you'd read. Of course there was the great Jerry Bird. He was building world record "Stars" with twenty some people. One of my instructors was B.J. Worth, but that was long before he got famous.
We'd jump twin beeches and DC-3's. Some formations were hard to see if you were out late. You learned to track down quickly or miss out on the fun.
Most anyone could afford to jump back in the day. You didn't have to be rich. The training and gear was easily affordable.
Nobody had automatic openners. Over the years you lost friends who burned in. That was no fun at all.
Being young and tough was an asset. Landing a round on a windy day weeded out the less hardy.
I think there might have been a greater since of comradery and respect then. The old salts helped the new jumpers learn. Most weren't too good to jump or hang out with newbies.
The new gear and skills people have now, would put us all to shame, back then....but to tell you the truth, I think jumping back then, may have been more fun!
(This post was edited by steve1 on Aug 20, 2012, 8:34 PM)