Forums: Skydiving: Skydiving History & Trivia:
Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships

 


377  (F 666)

Feb 13, 2006, 9:38 AM
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Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships Can't Post

Does anyone know when and where the last Lodestar jumps were made? I saw one working one weekend at Pope Valley CA in the mid 1970s. Never saw one hauling jumpers after that. They got a bad reputation after one stalled on jump run and spun in with jumpers in Washington. It was a Bill Lear modified go-fast Lodestar called a Learstar.


nitrochute  (D License)

Feb 13, 2006, 2:07 PM
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last one i saw was at the herd boogie at united. mid to late 70's


RogerRamjet  (D License)

Feb 13, 2006, 2:29 PM
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I'm pretty sure one went in at Casa Grande as well and another almost went in there (saved by the just retired from the Air Force test pilot at 4000ft after stall at 12,500ft).

It was one of my favorite jump planes, but only in the hands of the right pilot (like Bill Buchmann for example).


Amazon  (D License)

Feb 13, 2006, 3:59 PM
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I am pretty sure there was one at the Richmond Boogie... circa 1976...


howardwhite  (C 3896)

Feb 13, 2006, 5:24 PM
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There was a Lodestar for one summer in mid-seventies at Turners Falls, MA, mostly flown by Nate Pond, D-69. Though Nate's a fairly wild guy, he was very careful to warn jumpers against crowding the back of the airplane on jump run (stall city.) I will ask around to find out the year, as I can't find a logbook at hand for that period.

Earlier and maybe at the same time, a Lodestar was standard fare at the Stormville, NY, DZ, flown by Bobby Sweet. (He was the brother of Willie Sweet, the DZO at Stormvile, and much later, he went in on a jump in Maine.)

As others have noted, the fatal accident in Washington state pretty well killed the Lodestar as a jump plane. I knew one or two of the people on it (they had been on Jerry Bird's '74 Wings of Orange team).

HW


efs4ever  (D 7014)

Feb 13, 2006, 5:37 PM
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I jumped one on July 9, 1983 at Lakewood NJ. Here's a picture of me, my ex and my 23 year old kid near the plane. (Well, she's almost 24 now Crazy)



______________________
Attachments: rw jenny webb and spw by Loadstar 07 09 1983 copy.jpg (112 KB)


Hammitt  (D 4233)

Feb 13, 2006, 6:59 PM
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I jumped from the Loadstar that weekend at Pope Valley. There was some sort of 10 way meeting going on. It was a great jump plane. Climbed like a bat out of hell. I never experienced a stall in one, but we all knew not to croud the back of the plane. I remember Jeanne McCombs told me about her experience in a Loadstar that stalled at 12.5 and didn't get control back until about 5 grand. I believe that was at Elsinore, but I could be wrong.


jonstark  (D 8298)

Feb 13, 2006, 7:42 PM
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Last jump I made out of one was Nov 77 in the Hills. Bill Buchman at the helm.


377  (F 666)

Feb 13, 2006, 8:38 PM
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Re: [jonstark] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Webb's 1983 Lodestar jump surprised me. I thought they were all out of jumping by then. Wonder if we could get one to come to WFFC 2006? That would sure be a rare one to add to the logbook. Does anybody remember the VERY derelict Lodestar that was at Antioch CA in the early 70s? I heard it flew out, amazing considering that it looked beyond economical repair. I heard they were superb drug runners. Heavy payload and good short field performance.


efs4ever  (D 7014)

Feb 13, 2006, 10:39 PM
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Re: [377] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Webb's 1983 Lodestar jump surprised me. I thought they were all out of jumping by then. Wonder if we could get one to come to WFFC 2006? That would sure be a rare one to add to the logbook. Does anybody remember the VERY derelict Lodestar that was at Antioch CA in the early 70s? I heard it flew out, amazing considering that it looked beyond economical repair. I heard they were superb drug runners. Heavy payload and good short field performance.

Had I known what I now do about L Stalls I wouldn've been caught dead on it. There was some rich guy there at that boogie (near the site of the Hindenburg crash) who bought lotsa lobster for all to eat. Anyone present who remembers that????

Oh, yes. Here's my kid NOW along with her sister who had not yet been born.


___________________


(This post was edited by efs4ever on Feb 13, 2006, 10:42 PM)
Attachments: spw and meri 2005.jpg (68.1 KB)


debonair  (D 11192)

Feb 14, 2006, 8:06 PM
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Re: [377] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

During the summer of 1983 there was a lodestar flying jumpers out of Arlington, WA airport. In August it went into a death spiral and took 9 jumpers and 2 pilots with it. The local skydiving community was never a large one and that was a horrific blow. We all lost friends that summer.

http://www.airdisaster.com/...ts/ntsb/AAR84-06.pdf

.


RogerRamjet  (D License)

Feb 15, 2006, 7:36 AM
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Re: [efs4ever] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
Webb's 1983 Lodestar jump surprised me. I thought they were all out of jumping by then. Wonder if we could get one to come to WFFC 2006? That would sure be a rare one to add to the logbook. Does anybody remember the VERY derelict Lodestar that was at Antioch CA in the early 70s? I heard it flew out, amazing considering that it looked beyond economical repair. I heard they were superb drug runners. Heavy payload and good short field performance.

Had I known what I now do about L Stalls I wouldn've been caught dead on it. There was some rich guy there at that boogie (near the site of the Hindenburg crash) who bought lotsa lobster for all to eat. Anyone present who remembers that????

Oh, yes. Here's my kid NOW along with her sister who had not yet been born.


___________________

You're not jumping from skyvans then are you? According to Bill Buchmann, they have exactly the same problem. The Deland skyvan has a stripe painted on the floor that the jumpers are instructed not to go aft of until the pilots say they are ready (according to Bill).

When Palatka got a loadstar, they brought it over to Z-Hills to learn to fly jumpers with it. Bill flew right seat on the first flight, I was in the rear of the plane. On takeoff, the aircraft entered the steepest climb I had ever seen. I was sure we were going in when I heard the engine power reduced and shortly thereafter the nose came back down. Bill had saved the plane and all of us by knowing what to do and when (the pilot's first reaction was to increase power). Of course it's been 30 years, so I could have that all wrong, have to ask Bill next time I'm in Deland...

It was that incident that made me take a good look at who was at the controls of any future Loadstars I jumped from....


jimjumper  (D 11137)

Feb 15, 2006, 8:27 AM
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The one at Lakewood blew a jug on a load about Aug of 83. There was a television camera crew on-board that didn't participate in the emergency bailout. The plane landed over at Monmouth? airport and never flew jumpers at Lakewood again. It sat at that airport till I left Jersey in mid-84. All the Lodestar veterans at Lakewood had oil spots on their rigs and jumpsuits from the emergency bailout. I never got to jump it because I wasn't off student status till Sept of that year.


usedtajump  (D 6813)

Feb 15, 2006, 9:25 AM
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There was a Loadstar at Rosharon, close to Houston, in the late 70s. A friend of mine was seated on it about midship when it stalled on jump run. He said he went weightless and floated back and out the door.


377  (F 666)

Feb 15, 2006, 11:19 AM
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Re: [debonair] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

That crash analysis report is chilling to read. What a tragedy. Wonder why they couldnt arrest the spin and recover? Perhaps CG was too far back towards tail. The Learstar is reputed to have nasty stall characteristics, worse than a stock Lodestar. There is only one Learstar still airworthy. Still quite a few Lodestars. See: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/m.zoeller/Learstar.htm


debonair  (D 11192)

Feb 15, 2006, 6:26 PM
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From conversations with jumpers who managed to exit the aircraft prior to the crash itself, it was almost a matter of chance who got out. Some jumpers near the door were thrown back inside towards the pilots and others who were late divers miraculously found themselves outside the plane. I had spent most of the summer watching as a near whuffo (I had made 1 jump earlier that year) and actually rode in a small jumpseat behind the pilots on a few loads. I wore an army surplus rig that I would have fallen out of if I had ever had to jump it. I didn't know any better and of course everyone was so confident and sure of the pilots and the aircraft. Lessons learned early. I didn't start seriously skydiving until a couple of years later.


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Feb 16, 2006, 10:15 AM
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The last time I saw a Lodestar haul skydivers was at the 1980 Easter Boogie at Z-Hills. It was down for repairs most of the week and did not fly until the last day of the week.
Then the last Lodestar crashed in Arlington, Washington in the early 1980s. Ton Classen told me how he was crouching in the doorway when the Lodestar stalled. I spit him out and flipped him over the top. He broke a lower leg when he slammed onto the top of the fuselage. Then Tom hobbled around on his broken leg, cleaning up the mess, assisting police and briefing news reporters, etc. until late in the evening.
A very sad day.
I have not seen Tom since 1999, but would still love to chat with him.


tbrown  (D 6533)

Feb 16, 2006, 2:31 PM
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Re: [riggerrob] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Z-Hills had a beauty of a Lodestar in 1977, called 3-Lima Mike. It had a really plush interior and the outside was painted in "Howard Johnson" shades of orange, blue, and white. I think later that year it was up in Ganonoque when somebody forgot to lower the gear for landing and it sort of got wrecked bellying in.

I remember another Lodestar at Perris in '79 once or twice, it supported the '79 Rumbleseat Meet and was there for the Thanksgiving Boogie too.

I've heard that Skyvans can be just as twitchy, I know the one at Perris has a line that no more than 8 jumpers are supposed to cross. Between that and how you'd ever get the damn ramp to open in an emergency I'm thinking I'm in love with a dangerous airplane.


SkydiveJack  (D 6486)

Feb 17, 2006, 9:13 AM
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I recently jumped a Lodestar in October 2003. It was at a get together with some pilots and skydivers in Tenn. The owner flew a few loads for fun. As I recall we only flew with 10 jumpers. What a blast from the past! I never thought I would ever jump one again. Now that I think about it, that was probably the last I will ever jump one.

Jack


377  (F 666)

Feb 17, 2006, 2:01 PM
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Re: [SkydiveJack] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Jack,

Sure wish I were there for that load. I was sure that the last Lodestar jump load was flown in the 80s. Now I have to recalibrate. If you ever hear of another chance let me know. I'd travel for a chance to jump a Lodestar in the 21st century. Do you know the N number of the plane?

See: http://tinyurl.com/cw8rg


(This post was edited by 377 on Feb 17, 2006, 2:04 PM)


diablopilot  (D License)

Feb 18, 2006, 8:32 AM
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Re: [tbrown] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I know the one at Perris has a line that no more than 8 jumpers are supposed to cross.

The scary bit is not many of the jumpers know or adhear to that rule.


SkydiveJack  (D 6486)

Feb 19, 2006, 1:28 PM
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In reply to:
Jack,

Sure wish I were there for that load. I was sure that the last Lodestar jump load was flown in the 80s. Now I have to recalibrate. If you ever hear of another chance let me know. I'd travel for a chance to jump a Lodestar in the 21st century. Do you know the N number of the plane?

See: http://tinyurl.com/cw8rg

It was really just a one off fluke. The owner is from Mississippi and flew it in for the get together. I spoke with him last summer and he said that it was down right now with a bad engine. I doubt we will jump it again. And I'm sorry but I don't remember the N number.

Jack


strange  (D License)

Feb 21, 2006, 1:44 PM
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Re: [SkydiveJack] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

The boys in Casa grande did have a Load stall. Ran out of trim and didn't have the gear down and foward for more foward CG. I think that the US freefall Ex. team was aboard when it stalled on J-R. They all got an education in zero g exits. Later the 'Veriliner' loadstall from Kansas showed up. New guys (flying divers)were at the controls. I was standing in the door over our base guy with 18 others behind me. Don't remember actually initiating the exit. Just remember being in freefall next to the aircraft as it dove towards the ground. Tracked away from it, got lucky and missed the tail. Third guy behind me got his knees taken out. From 12 down to 4 everybody else except 1 got out. The pilots gained control and flew back to the gulch. Three years later at Z-hills I put up a 22 way. Out of all the DC-3s there in Nov. 76 we get the Veriliner again! On the way up to altitude fear becomes contageous. I get up off the floor at 10 Grand to get ready, and I notice several familiar faces from the load 3 years earlier. Some one yells jump run! Someone else yells No! No! No! sounded like GO! GO! GO! So we went went went. 20 miles from the DZ. Last jump from a Loadstall I ever made. Strange


ParaskiChamp  (D 631)

Feb 26, 2006, 9:05 PM
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From the analysis segment of the report;

one likeiy reason is the intrusion into the cockpit area of one or more jumpers who could
have fallen into the area during the rolls or subsequent dive. If this did take place, the
pilots cwld have been prevented from taking action to recover fron the dive.


Thunderbow  (A 47220)

Mar 2, 2006, 9:14 AM
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We had one in Sturgis, Michigan in the middle seventies. My dad told me to stay away from it. Never did jump it, we had a DC3 there the same weekend.


RogerRamjet  (D License)

Mar 2, 2006, 2:25 PM
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Re: [Thunderbow] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
We had one in Sturgis, Michigan in the middle seventies. My dad told me to stay away from it. Never did jump it, we had a DC3 there the same weekend.

Was it a special weekend there? If it was the east coast record attempts, I was there with the Loadstar (it was Z-Hills' plane piloted by Bill Buchman). Seems like we had 2 DC-3s and the Loadstar. Roger Nelson was organizing that weekend. If you were there, maybe we met?


drjump  (D 2785)

Mar 8, 2006, 8:08 AM
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Re: [strange] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

That story sounds like a load that I was on in Casa G. in December of 1974.


strange  (D License)

Mar 8, 2006, 5:32 PM
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I have no doubt that you may have indeed been on one of the 2 stalls that I remember. I was the rigger at the gulch 74 thru 75. One stall was out of the gulches loadstar. The 2nd was out of the Veriliner, a tan ship with dark red stripe and lettering. I can still look it up in my log book for the exact date. Strange Dave FB232


goldwing  (D 5326)

Mar 16, 2006, 9:13 AM
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Re: [SkydiveJack] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

The attached image is a Lodestar owned by a Wisconsin pilot in the mid to late 1970's. He owned and flew a C-182 primarily for the Sky Knights in East Troy, WI. As the demand for larger jump ships increased he bought this plane from Continental Can Company in Alaska. It had a gorgeous interior. It hurt him financially to ferry to longer paved runways that were required. He sold it about 1979/80 or so. Made several dozen jumps out of it with no problems. The pilot was well aware of the stall stories and always maintained good airspeed during exit. Don't know what became of it.
Attachments: WI Lodestar 2.jpg (24.0 KB)


377  (F 666)

Mar 23, 2006, 9:36 PM
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copied from the LOCKHEED TWINS website:

GIL HALPIN:
Jumper
"We hauled 16 parachutist's on Lodestar N43WT (2565) to 15,000ft 6 to 8 times a day every weekend(1973/1983), as well as operating out of a 2800ft runway! She was quite the celebrity around the local township and many people would come out just to see her take to flight!"


Thunderbow  (A 47220)

Mar 28, 2006, 7:16 PM
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Re: [RogerRamjet] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

That was the weekend. Sorry about the delay, haven't checked this forum in a while.


RogerRamjet  (D License)

Mar 28, 2006, 7:36 PM
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In reply to:
That was the weekend. Sorry about the delay, haven't checked this forum in a while.

Were you on the attempts? I would have been hanging out with Roger and Carl Nelson, Bill Buchmann, Jim Whiting, and others. I had a Canary Yellow and black jump suit at the time.

A shot of me from back then:http://www.dropzone.com/...jpg&img=&tt=

If you look at the next picture in the sequence, I am on the left. In fact, if you look at my gallery under the title "Under Canopy," you will see a shot of me under my Strato Star at Sturgis that very weekend!

Hard to tell from your avitar what you might have looked like then... :)


(This post was edited by RogerRamjet on Mar 28, 2006, 7:41 PM)


flajumper  (D 9437)

Apr 16, 2006, 4:31 PM
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Re: [RogerRamjet] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

My logbook shows my first lodestar jump in Palatka around Apr 76. Last one was in early 78 from the same lodestar. Showed up one Sunday morning in 78 and it was no where to be found, and never to be seen again apparently.

It was probably the cleanest looking lodestar I think I'd ever seen, and more fun to jump from than any other aircraft I've jumped since.


lekstrom10k  (D 3001)

Jun 21, 2006, 4:48 PM
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Re: [Thunderbow] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

The one you were talking about was owned by Steve Felloes of detroit .We used to jump it Marshall and Lima Ohio , when it was still running. It had taken a few one way trips for boogies. then broke down . You hoped someone would let you cram in their van for a ride home. Steve flew it solo from California and landed instrument conditions in Denver with a student pilot ticket . It had sat for years on runway 25 at Detroit City airport waiting to be used at the A&P school .Fellows told me some of the other guys already loaned him money to buy it . Not checking I loaned him some to find out later iwas the only one, of course that was 30 years ago and I stiil havent got it all back.There is the Yankee Air Force museum in Willow Run Airport Michigan that had it on display in side for years until last year a fire destroyed it along with other jewels . I have been to Wright -Patterson to see alot of planes that are type I have jumped out of. How many can say that was the actual plane ? Nate Pond was the pilot flying for Fellows. I remember him standing on his head on a bar table with his feet on the ceiling ,which was pretty astounding for someone his height. The Lodestall was17G [Garbage] but Nate did his job and we survived . Ialso jumped Sweets at Indian town Florida at Poppenhagers. I also jumped it at Stormville NY,where you were told not to land anywhere near the prison. If you were at Sturgis it was probably Branches DC3 from Indiana. It was also at Athens, but the other Locheed was a 12 owned by Doug Kelly not an 18 there. Zipper hills had a 10Ethe same style as Emelia earharts. I made a few out of the Super Connie at WFFC at Quincy I also have some out of regular and stretched C130s. Never did a Hudson or a 14. So all in all I never had a bad Locheed jump


fastphil  (D 5801)

Aug 14, 2006, 7:10 PM
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Re: [usedtajump] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

"Cow Palace" was the DZ near Rosharon TX that we jumped the Load Toad (N59720 ?). This was during a boycott of Spaceland, and Svec, showing his usual testosterone, had found and set up our airship, pilot, grass runway, and local friendly law enforcement. The DZ was quite cool, by the way.

I made at least six jumps, I see right away in my logbook, and that may have been all the jumps out at that location. I don't remember any stalls, but the pilot, who had not flown for jumpers before but seemed very cool with his plane (He had cleaned all the pot smell out from the last haul, also) would keep airspeed at about 120 knots on jump run with the nose down. I was the only floater (ragdoll) to ever hang outside the aircraft in that breeze...


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Aug 14, 2006, 9:15 PM
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In reply to:
boycott of Spaceland, and Svec,

Did you ever know a guy that ran with Svec that went by the name Tenafly?


fastphil  (D 5801)

Aug 15, 2006, 5:41 AM
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Oh yeah, would be hard to forget a name like Tenafly...


Duster  (C License)

Nov 28, 2006, 2:34 PM
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Re: [SkydiveJack] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Jack and Hoop
1974 ZHills locals gather here before an SCR attempt for the new guy out of Sweet's Loadstar.
Rick
Attachments: SCR Attempt at ZHills 001.jpg (107 KB)


RogerRamjet  (D License)

Nov 28, 2006, 6:20 PM
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In reply to:
Jack and Hoop
1974 ZHills locals gather here before an SCR attempt for the new guy out of Sweet's Loadstar.
Rick

Rick, wow... long time no talk to. You don't happen to have any more shots from 73-75 do you? I know most of the faces in that shot, but not all. I just heard from Ski (of Ski, Ski, Moore, and Moore fame) that Peanuts (far right in the shot for those that don't know him) is still lurking around somewhere. Saw them, Scotty Carbone, and Carl Daugherty at the Marathon Keys boogie a couple of weeks ago.

If you happen to have any shots that I'm in, I'd sure love to get a copy. I have only a few from those times...

What are you up to these days?


377  (F 666)

Dec 2, 2006, 3:16 PM
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Re: [SkydiveJack] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

I wonder if there is any possible way we could convince the owner to come to WFFC 2007? A Lodestar would be such a rare catch.

www.freefall.com


SkydiveJack  (D 6486)

Dec 2, 2006, 4:02 PM
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In reply to:
I wonder if there is any possible way we could convince the owner to come to WFFC 2007? A Lodestar would be such a rare catch.

www.freefall.com

I really doubt it. It is his personal toy and it has a nice interior. Definitely not skydiver proof!


howardwhite  (C 3896)

Dec 2, 2006, 4:19 PM
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Re: [Duster] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

And this is Sweet's Lodestar at (I think) Z-Hills.
HW
Attachments: Lodestarzh.jpg (46.7 KB)


riggerrob  (D 14840)

May 29, 2007, 8:41 PM
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Re: [howardwhite] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Getting off topic ...

It is rumored that some Calgary investors were designing a prototype of a new design also called a Lodestar/Loadstar/?
It is rumored to have one turbine engine and a cargo ramp under the tail.
Perhaps designed to compete with Cessna's Caravan?
It is also rumored that the project was backed by some of the same guys who owned the last Lodestar to crash in Washington State.
Apparently the project has been dormant for a few years.

Can anyone confirm the rumor?


maggott  (D 5964)

May 29, 2007, 9:48 PM
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Re: [377] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

I made several jumps out of the ill-fated Learstar (aka: loadstall; aka: colonel killer) that went down in Washington in 1983... the day of the crash was not my day to die... a wuffo friend called me to go see a movie so I missed the first Saturday of jumping since I started in 1977. The guy who took my slot never got out of that plane. He was a good fiend...as were many who went in that day. I know that the last time that I did (or ever will) jump out of a load star was august of 1983.
Rick "Maggott"


377  (F 666)

May 29, 2007, 10:51 PM
Post #45 of 90 (3200 views)
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Re: [maggott] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Maggot,

That was a close call. I had a similar thing happen, interestingly involving a Lockheed PV2 Harpoon, kinda like a Lodestar. I was bumped from a ride to buzz a seaplane meet at Clear Lake CA. I had helped the owner pilot with some electrical work on the plane and he promised me the ride. A couple of days before the event asked if he could give me a rain check because he had to take the sister of the guy who was doing his annual inspection. He stalled it during a low level zoom climb and push over. It went down into the lake killing all seven aboard.


howardwhite  (C 3896)

May 31, 2007, 6:22 PM
Post #46 of 90 (3119 views)
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Re: [maggott] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, just to drag this out some more Tongue...

Some Lodestar exit pix.

The plane is still registered, to a corporation in Texas.

HW

(This post was edited by howardwhite on May 31, 2007, 6:27 PM)
Attachments: LS1s.jpg (50.7 KB)
  LS2s.jpg (53.6 KB)
  LS3s.jpg (64.5 KB)


fastphil  (D 5801)

Jun 1, 2007, 4:58 AM
Post #47 of 90 (3079 views)
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Re: [howardwhite] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Good shots, Howard. That's the kind of exits I remember, at 120 knots or so...


drjump  (D 2785)

Jun 1, 2007, 7:18 AM
Post #48 of 90 (3060 views)
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Re: [howardwhite] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Have you noticed the change in pitch attitude between the three shots? I wonder how close to stall speed the plane is in the second shot?


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Jun 1, 2007, 3:58 PM
Post #49 of 90 (3027 views)
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Re: [drjump] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

That is exactly what I noticed.

Stay away from those birds,

Jerry


howardwhite  (C 3896)

Jun 1, 2007, 4:31 PM
Post #50 of 90 (3021 views)
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Re: [JerryBaumchen] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

It's probably not safe to think that a scan from a 30-year-old magazine accurately represents the pitch.
When I find the magazine again, maybe I can tell better. Maybe it will turn out that I actually took the pictures.Tongue
Meanwhile, if it makes everyone feel better, substitute the attached for the original middle picture.

HW
Attachments: LS2r.jpg (24.1 KB)


Zing  (D 6343)

Jun 1, 2007, 5:48 PM
Post #51 of 90 (2882 views)
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Re: [JerryBaumchen] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Randy DeLuca took this photo at The Gulch in Arizona sometime in (I think) 1974.
A few folks managed to get out, including the guy just above the tail, and the rest of the load rode it down to about 7000 feet before the pilot got it back under control.
They don't call them Lodestalls for no reason.
Attachments: GulchLodetarStall copy.jpg (11.3 KB)


howardwhite  (C 3896)

Jun 1, 2007, 6:29 PM
Post #52 of 90 (2874 views)
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Re: [Zing] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Hmm, full flaps?

In my pix, it doesn't appear that flaps are used at all.

Remember this Rande pic in a Gulch ad?

HW
Attachments: Gulch Ad.jpg (95.2 KB)


bozo  (D 10154)

Jun 1, 2007, 7:00 PM
Post #53 of 90 (2871 views)
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Re: [howardwhite] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Hmm, full flaps?

In my pix, it doesn't appear that flaps are used at all.

Remember this Rande pic in a Gulch ad?

HW


Three out of four Canadians prefer The Gulch.

great t-shirt.


Zing  (D 6343)

Jun 1, 2007, 9:08 PM
Post #54 of 90 (2863 views)
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Re: [bozo] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

The three out four Canadians was a Ghoulidge t-shirt ... after the Gulch closed down. I don't know if any of the bounces at the Gulch were Canadians.
Seems like there were 7 at the Casa Grande Airport and 3 on demos in Phoenix during the two and a half years the Gulch was open.
Ghoulidge had 4 bounces already when I became manager, and 3 more after I left. I had a few injuries happen while I ran Ghoulidge, but nobody (amazingly) died. The only trouble on a demo was the time I bounced up at Fountain Hills.
I don't remember any fatalities while Larry Hill was there from 1986 to 1992.
I know of 2 other bounces at the Coolidge Airport since Larry Hill moved his operation over to Elroy.
CPS has a training jump operation at Ghoulidge now that isn't open to fun jumpers, and I heard a rumor that there is a tandem operation going now at Casa Grande.

Howard, yeah, those flaps at near full down were begging for trouble. After this one, which I believe was the second of two pretty scary rides, they changed to dropping the gear to move the CG forward and used just the first notch of flaps. I think they also stopped trying to slow that airplane down on jump run.
There are rumors the pilots flying the Gulch Lodestall were self-taught Lodestar pilots and didn't have the type-rating for the aircraft.
There is an infamous tale of the feds looking for the pilot of that Lodestar after an aborted takeoff at Elsinore when it blew an engine right at rotation.


poppenhager  (D 47)

Jun 2, 2007, 5:58 AM
Post #55 of 90 (2852 views)
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Re: [Zing] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

On my Learstar II (modified Loadstar) I used full flaps and gear down for jump run at 90mph w/29 jumpers.Jumpers stayed forward until told by me to move toward the door.I only had a booboo once when I forgot to lower the gear on jump run!!N789F round trip to 13,500 and back was 15min!!!A great flyer.........Pop D47
In reply to:
The three out four Canadians was a Ghoulidge t-shirt ... after the Gulch closed down. I don't know if any of the bounces at the Gulch were Canadians.
Seems like there were 7 at the Casa Grande Airport and 3 on demos in Phoenix during the two and a half years the Gulch was open.
Ghoulidge had 4 bounces already when I became manager, and 3 more after I left. I had a few injuries happen while I ran Ghoulidge, but nobody (amazingly) died. The only trouble on a demo was the time I bounced up at Fountain Hills.
I don't remember any fatalities while Larry Hill was there from 1986 to 1992.
I know of 2 other bounces at the Coolidge Airport since Larry Hill moved his operation over to Elroy.
CPS has a training jump operation at Ghoulidge now that isn't open to fun jumpers, and I heard a rumor that there is a tandem operation going now at Casa Grande.

Howard, yeah, those flaps at near full down were begging for trouble. After this one, which I believe was the second of two pretty scary rides, they changed to dropping the gear to move the CG forward and used just the first notch of flaps. I think they also stopped trying to slow that airplane down on jump run.
There are rumors the pilots flying the Gulch Lodestall were self-taught Lodestar pilots and didn't have the type-rating for the aircraft.
There is an infamous tale of the feds looking for the pilot of that Lodestar after an aborted takeoff at Elsinore when it blew an engine right at rotation.
Quote:


Zing  (D 6343)

Jun 2, 2007, 1:08 PM
Post #56 of 90 (2829 views)
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Re: [poppenhager] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

You'd know better than I do about Lodestars. I've only flown on one as a co-pilot, and that aircraft was not being used for skydiving.
I have jumped out of a couple Lodestars in bygone years. I seem to recall one at Z-hills during a turkey boogie that got real close to stalling when a bunch of jumpers packed the tail way to early and the plane started wallowing in a nose high attitude, causing the pilots to start yelling at the jumpers in the door to go and for the rest of us to stay as far forward as we could.
Like any other airplane, a Lodestar has to be resapected for the physical limitations of the aircraft's capabilities.


allenfperos  (C 17830)

Jun 9, 2007, 9:09 PM
Post #57 of 90 (2751 views)
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Re: [Zing] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Lodestars, very, very LOCKHEED!! It demanded just alittle respect. I believe there was one for sale at Deland in the 80's. Tongue

It's actually a beautiful plane. Wink


tbdavis1  (D 7719)

Oct 13, 2007, 10:38 AM
Post #58 of 90 (2596 views)
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Re: [howardwhite] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

I know this is way after your post but I was on the Loadstar (learstar) that went in 8/21/1983 and when I let go and spun around to look at the plane it was nose up far more than that. Luckily for me I was a more experienced at CRW (Eclipse and Considerable Difficulty 1980-1886 3 time national champs) than free fall so I was front floater in the base. After the first 10 or so exited things went crazy and the plane flipped and began a flat spin at that moment time seemed to slow way down and it appeared that I was watching a movie in slow motion as it seemed to just waffle and fall past me with little horizontal separation from me and I could see people exiting from around the the aft end of the plane. Then everything went back to real time (it was 23 sec. stall at 12.5 impact) and I cleared my self and dumped. During opening I could see the fireball at impact and under canopy I heard it. I quickly counted open parachutes and I knew we were missing 9. This may sound selfish but I instantly looked for my CRW teammate's canopies to see if they got out, they had. Then I noticed one that had exploded on opening. Not a team member but a childhood Friend who I made my first jump with a lived with while we learned to skydive. He had struck part of the empennage on exit and that is what deployed his canopy some estimates were 250-300 mph at opening he did not survive. I lost 9 family that day I think about them often. That was the first day and last day I ever set foot in a loadstar and when the news flashed last weekend about the caravan that Jeff and Jessie owned my heart just stopped, we are a small community and most people don't understand the bond we have whether we know each other personally or not I made very few jumps in my career at Snohomish but my thoughts go out to each and everyone of those skydivers and and their families. I hope I haven't bored you with my rambling but this last week has made me appreciate the fact that I am still here and maybe shouldn't be.


debonair  (D 11192)

Oct 14, 2007, 9:44 PM
Post #59 of 90 (2515 views)
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Re: [tbdavis1] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Tim - good to see your post. We've missed you at the Paraphenalia BBQs. When the news broke, quite a few of us connected via email and phone calls and were taken back to the terrible memory of the Lodestar crash. Watching the story unfold about the caravan crash was almost like living it all over again. What horror, disbelief, loss. I didn't know anyone on board this time, but the pain was sharp nevertheless. My prayers go out to their families and friends.

Tim, you lived because you were supposed to. There's no doubt about that.

{{HUGS}}
Deb Henry


tbdavis1  (D 7719)

Oct 15, 2007, 8:23 PM
Post #60 of 90 (2445 views)
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Re: [debonair] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Deb, sorry I didn't connect with you directly, I saw some of your posts when I first found this site after the news about the caravan was released but I really wasn't sure how to navagate through it (I am computer challenged). I haven't made a jump since our Eclipse reuinion dives back in 1996 during the diamond quest thing but when I heard that a kapowsin plane was missing I had the worst flashback and I think fear that I would know most of the people (Farringtons and friends) and the to hear they are from Snohomish and all so young kind of like all of us in the day at Issaquah I just surfed until I found what I thought would be a site that would understand how we feel.
Wow on a different note this is the 20th year since Jamey lost the battle and Issaquah closed I can't believe there is not a recognition or something. Also I am still married to Pat its our 25th this year!!! hope to hear from ya soon.


RogerRamjet  (D License)

Oct 16, 2007, 8:51 AM
Post #61 of 90 (2399 views)
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Re: [Amazon] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I am pretty sure there was one at the Richmond Boogie... circa 1976...

Ok, I was just re-reading this thread and came across your post. I was with the Z-Hills Loadstar at the Richmond Boogie in 1975. I don't think it went back up in 76, but I don't know that it didn't either.

Now, I think you and I HAVE met (contrary to our previous PM's). Smile


Bsquared  (D 6294)

Oct 17, 2007, 2:33 PM
Post #62 of 90 (2337 views)
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Re: [RogerRamjet] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Greene County SPC Xenia had a Lodestar in the early 80's but it did not fly too much. It ended up inverted a few times with a load of jumpers on board.... but I think that it was intentional. Wink Attached photo is me getting ready to pin the base. (photographer John Conklin, deceased). The pilots were Jim West and Dennis "Dudley" Downing.
Attachments: Lodestar exit.jpg (40.3 KB)


howardwhite  (C 3896)

Oct 17, 2007, 2:59 PM
Post #63 of 90 (2330 views)
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Re: [Bsquared] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's Jerry Irwin's fisheye photo of N7070 at ZHills, with anther Lodestar in the background -- probably the Stormville one, 43WT

HW
Attachments: 7070ZHills Irwin.jpg (80.9 KB)


piper17  (D 3362)

Oct 18, 2007, 5:51 AM
Post #64 of 90 (2281 views)
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Re: [howardwhite] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Howard,

Wasn't 7070 the Loadstar that Nate Pond flew at Turners Falls, MA one year ....1977, I think?


piper17  (D 3362)

Apr 21, 2009, 7:34 AM
Post #65 of 90 (2069 views)
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Re: [Zing] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Sounds like the one I was on at the Hills with Nate Pond flying and yelling at us to get out as the A/C was stalling. I was "semi-weightless" as I tried to get to the door....but those Lodestars could really climb.


howardwhite  (C 3896)

Apr 21, 2009, 7:52 AM
Post #66 of 90 (2062 views)
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Re: [piper17] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Yup. I already posted that story here.

HW


skybill  (D 6009)

Apr 21, 2009, 8:04 AM
Post #67 of 90 (2058 views)
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Re: [Zing] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The three out four Canadians was a Ghoulidge t-shirt ... after the Gulch closed down. I don't know if any of the bounces at the Gulch were Canadians.
Seems like there were 7 at the Casa Grande Airport and 3 on demos in Phoenix during the two and a half years the Gulch was open.
Ghoulidge had 4 bounces already when I became manager, and 3 more after I left. I had a few injuries happen while I ran Ghoulidge, but nobody (amazingly) died. The only trouble on a demo was the time I bounced up at Fountain Hills.
I don't remember any fatalities while Larry Hill was there from 1986 to 1992.
I know of 2 other bounces at the Coolidge Airport since Larry Hill moved his operation over to Elroy.
CPS has a training jump operation at Ghoulidge now that isn't open to fun jumpers, and I heard a rumor that there is a tandem operation going now at Casa Grande.

Howard, yeah, those flaps at near full down were begging for trouble. After this one, which I believe was the second of two pretty scary rides, they changed to dropping the gear to move the CG forward and used just the first notch of flaps. I think they also stopped trying to slow that airplane down on jump run.
There are rumors the pilots flying the Gulch Lodestall were self-taught Lodestar pilots and didn't have the type-rating for the aircraft.
There is an infamous tale of the feds looking for the pilot of that Lodestar after an aborted takeoff at Elsinore when it blew an engine right at rotation.

Hey Zinger!!,
The Elsinore Loadstall was at the 'Stumbles of '75!! I was standin' at the old packin' tables when it went by the gas pumps (headin' from the lake to the hanger) with the brakes smokin!!! 'Have to dig into the archives but I have some photos of the jumpers bailing out of the plane and doin' a "Ground Star!!!" 'Engine blew at Vmc and thank the Eternal that it wasn't 3 seconds later!!!


JDutton  (C 10094)

Apr 21, 2009, 10:02 AM
Post #68 of 90 (2035 views)
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Re: [skybill] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

That was the only "Stumbles" Tongue that I ever made it to. My "team" had jumped from the Lodestar earlier. That aborted takeoff was quite a sight. I think it barely stopped short of a fence.

I would LOVE to see some photos of that.

By the way - we had a small panic on that load. Someone on our team was near the door - I think we were on jump run - and somehow his reserve opened. I remember seeing several guys crowd around him and gingerly walk him up to the middle of the plane where they stuffed it all back in. We got back on jump run and away we went!

We only got 7 in the star. The pin man fell below, so everyone went for him instead of the base. So, everyone except the base was in - and IIRC he had always flown base so he didn't have much flying experience (not that I was any skygod myself). Well, he made a valiant effort to get into the star, but landed on someone's back and it funneled.

Boy, that was fun!

Jeff


fastphil  (D 5801)

Apr 28, 2009, 11:00 AM
Post #69 of 90 (1924 views)
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Re: [usedtajump] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
There was a Loadstar at Rosharon, close to Houston, in the late 70s. A friend of mine was seated on it about midship when it stalled on jump run. He said he went weightless and floated back and out the door.



Here’s the Lodestar we jumped at Cow Palace (pic), which was near the current Spaceland. At that time the population base was primarily cows, hence the name Cow Palace. Jumping was invitation style, and we usually just brought enough to fill the plane for a few loads…
Attachments: cow palace.JPG (44.7 KB)


stormville73  (C 15267)

Jun 17, 2009, 6:31 PM
Post #70 of 90 (1829 views)
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Re: [howardwhite] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Bobby Sweet was Willie's nephew. His father (Willie's brother) was Sandy Sweet. Bobby died in the ninety's in a jumping accident. The Lodestar N43WT was taken from Z-hills by the Confederate Air force, put on display for a few years as a WW2 transport ship then sold as scrap.

To see what it looked like as scrap go to: http://www.airport-data.com/aircraft/photo/152677.html .

Makes me want to cry.

Marty T (Stormville 1973 - 1984)


stormville73  (C 15267)

Jun 17, 2009, 6:58 PM
Post #71 of 90 (1817 views)
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Re: [stormville73] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

This is what Stormville's Lodestar looked like in 1974.

Marty T
Attachments: N69-23.jpg (21.4 KB)


poppenhager  (D 47)

Jun 17, 2009, 7:29 PM
Post #72 of 90 (1809 views)
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Re: [stormville73] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Made my 5000th jump from that ship 12/31/72 Bill Sweet was flying.

POP


stormville73  (C 15267)

Jun 17, 2009, 7:43 PM
Post #73 of 90 (1806 views)
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Re: [poppenhager] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

You beat Willy's D license by 401. He was D-448. Smile

Here is a photo of Willy & Sandy Sweet 1982.
Attachments: N69-27.jpg (41.9 KB)


dks13827  (C 9293)

Jun 22, 2009, 2:06 PM
Post #74 of 90 (1728 views)
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Re: [377] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19830821-0


377  (F 666)

Jun 24, 2009, 10:11 AM
Post #75 of 90 (1662 views)
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Re: [dks13827] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Wasn't the one that spun in in WA a Learstar? Is a Learstar (go fast Lodestar mod) just viewed as a Lockheed 18-56 Lodestar by the FAA and NTSB?

377


stormville73  (C 15267)

Apr 25, 2010, 9:50 AM
Post #76 of 90 (1707 views)
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Re: [stormville73] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Here is the Last Photo of N43WT ever taken


davidlayne  (D 3102)

Apr 25, 2010, 10:10 AM
Post #77 of 90 (1703 views)
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Re: [stormville73] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Here is the Last Photo of N43WT ever taken

Excellent picture!


jimmytavino  (A 3914)

Apr 25, 2010, 11:12 AM
Post #78 of 90 (1686 views)
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Re: [stormville73] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

The lodestar from stormville ny was the first airplane i ever experienced a LANDING in.....
I had about 150 jumps...
I was never in a plane until i started jumping.....and never rode a plane back down... so i had 150 take offs and Zero LandingsUnimpressedCool

while visiting family near Stormville in '73 i headed over there to make some cessna loads...They had a pea gravel target accross the road.....
Willy saw a good handful of jumpers were there, that day, and declared... "let's drive over to Poughkeepsie, to the airport, and "get the big plane"...LaughSmileWink
"who want's to go, " ???/
so i and maybe 5 others piled into the back of his pick-up truck,,,with cap,,, and rode the 15 minutes or so, to Dutchess County Airport.....
We flew back, with the plane,,,,, a short hop..Laugh No rigs, no seatbelts, no problem!!!TongueCrazy

i recall looking out the windows as the trees were flashing by,,, and the runway seemed to be yet Miles,,, ahead of the windshield.....
figuring that we'd never even GET close to it... But we did , and all was well..
Stormville Ny was fairly big time for those days.. and did lots of RW jumps........ Smile
a few years later... It was no more...UnsureFrown
and word spead of a NEW place,,, a better place... a place with a gravel runway,, on the OTHER side of the Hudson River...
some called it The Ranch, some called it Gardiner,,,,I thought of it as Billy and Kays' place... many called it home....and so THAT story Began !!!

thanks for the pictures. i certainly DO remember that split rail fence up near the airport building, which is shown in the background of your photo.. of the Lodestar with the red car....
The DZ building(s) was further west at That end of the runway....
wow such a long time ago.. yet still vivid in my minds eye...



jmy
a 3914
d 12122
nscr 1817


377  (F 666)

Jul 8, 2010, 11:00 AM
Post #79 of 90 (1527 views)
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Re: [jimmytavino] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Someone just bought Duncan Baker's Howard 500 in the UK and will be ferrying it to the US. The Howard 500 is a Lodestar on steroids, R 2800 engines, pressurized, and FAST (338 kts)! This particular 500 had been sitting idle in a hanger for a decade, but was made airworthy with no major trouble.

http://home.comcast.net/....cgi-home.html-.html

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/m.zoeller/H500.htm

377


(This post was edited by 377 on Jul 8, 2010, 11:02 AM)


RogerRamjet  (D License)

Jul 9, 2010, 12:35 PM
Post #80 of 90 (1460 views)
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Re: [Zing] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Randy DeLuca took this photo at The Gulch in Arizona sometime in (I think) 1974.
A few folks managed to get out, including the guy just above the tail, and the rest of the load rode it down to about 7000 feet before the pilot got it back under control.
They don't call them Lodestalls for no reason.

The photo tells it all; no gear down. That's 500lbs about 6 feet aft of where it would be when down. Bill Buchmann used the same setting Poppenhager eluded to, about 90 kts with gear down and full flaps.

If the story that got back to us (at Z-Hills) was correct, the pilot of the aircraft in the photo was just out of the Air Force as a test pilot. He got the aircraft under control after lowering the gear on the way down. We heard the recovery was at about 4000 ft.


beenthere  (D 5729)

Jul 10, 2010, 9:23 PM
Post #81 of 90 (1370 views)
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Re: [RogerRamjet] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

It seemed like we were in a dive for a really long time, but I think the plane recovered at nearly 12,000. Jumprun was just over 15,000. Randy Kempf and Steve Graas (RIP) were in the cockpit. One of them told us that it took the strength of them both to pull the plane out of the dive.


RogerRamjet  (D License)

Jul 12, 2010, 6:13 AM
Post #82 of 90 (1326 views)
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Re: [beenthere] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
It seemed like we were in a dive for a really long time, but I think the plane recovered at nearly 12,000. Jumprun was just over 15,000. Randy Kempf and Steve Graas (RIP) were in the cockpit. One of them told us that it took the strength of them both to pull the plane out of the dive.

Thanks for that; it could well be a different stall that my story eludes to.

I was not aware Steve Graas had died, do you know from what?

Do we know each other (you've been in the sport long enough)?


beenthere  (D 5729)

Jul 12, 2010, 6:05 PM
Post #83 of 90 (1281 views)
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Re: [RogerRamjet] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember you, our paths probably crossed a few times. I was in Florida for a while w/Mirror Image etc.

Jim Captain


beenthere  (D 5729)

Jul 12, 2010, 6:13 PM
Post #84 of 90 (1278 views)
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Re: [RogerRamjet] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not sure when Steve died, it must have been at least 20 years ago, maybe someone knows.

He did help save many of our lives that day of our loadstall.


RogerRamjet  (D License)

Jul 13, 2010, 4:38 AM
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Re: [beenthere] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I'm not sure when Steve died, it must have been at least 20 years ago, maybe someone knows.

He did help save many of our lives that day of our loadstall.

I met Steve in Hinkley when Bill Buchmann and I flew the Loadstar up from Z-Hills for the summer of 75. I was building Bill's Eagle rigs for him at the time.

Roger Nelson wrote about Steve and me (among others) in Pat Works' "United We Fall" book. Here is a link to chapter 5 of the book. If you scroll down to "Pre Stars, Hey man, you're late," you can see what Roger had to say: http://users.cis.fiu.edu/~esj/uwf/uwf5.htm


trebilco  (D 4172)

Jul 19, 2010, 6:18 PM
Post #86 of 90 (1156 views)
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Re: [RogerRamjet] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Steve died flying a Lear Jet out of Denver. If I recall correctly it was overgross and lost an engine just after departrure. This had to be in the late 70's.maybe 1980. Steve was a great jumper and pilot.


RogerRamjet  (D License)

Jul 20, 2010, 4:35 AM
Post #87 of 90 (1121 views)
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Re: [trebilco] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Steve died flying a Lear Jet out of Denver. If I recall correctly it was overgross and lost an engine just after departrure. This had to be in the late 70's.maybe 1980. Steve was a great jumper and pilot.

Thanks for the update. Sad to have lost yet another friend. Yes, he was a great guy, excellent pilot and skydiver. He was also the first person I ever heard use the term aarrrggg. We had a rig back from Jim Hooper to resize the harness a bit and Bill had just completed cutting all the stitching that holds the container to the harness about the time Steve walked through the front door at Overton's Airport (a small house with an airstrip in the back yard we lived in during the summer of 1975). Just as Steve was saying hi, Bill ripped the container from the harness at which time Steve let out a loud AAARRRGGGG. Bill must has looked like superman or something; it was pretty funny and I still remember the moment like it was yesterday.


patworks  (D 1813)

Jun 25, 2013, 5:28 PM
Post #88 of 90 (552 views)
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Re: [RogerRamjet] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Waz there.... The LoadSTALL falling was fearful. ... Jump Run. Guys Climbing out.... Floor tilts crazy up then down. Then just falls out of the sky, FAST. Like a bad-ass roller coaster making that first high-dive. Your footing & balance go away. Your stomach freaks. Huge G-Forces pin you to where ever you is. OH! SHIT! Oh Golly! Exit,! Your brain says get out! No chance. ~ 6,000 feet of altitude fall away at Mach speed. The floor whomps up as you as Gravity returns to "down." You act "Mr. Cool" while your heart and nerves jangle your frame. Your cool diminished, you've earned a new respect. You've met a dark friend. Real Big Guy. Mr. Fear. Oh! Dear!


dpreguy  (D 835)

Jun 30, 2013, 6:58 PM
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Re: [goldwing] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

Goldwing "You haven't lived till you almost died"

Reminds me of Ian Fleming's (James Bond) line in book,"You Only Live Twice":

"You only live twice; once when you are born, and once when you look death in the face.........."


patworks  (D 1813)

Jul 2, 2013, 12:26 AM
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Re: [patworks] Lockheed Lodestars as jumpships [In reply to] Can't Post

"Get out! Get Out! GET OUT OF MY WAY!'
Still in commercial use today, the Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar was a World War II era. passenger transport
Aug. 21, 1983--Eleven, including nine jumpers, died when a Lockheed L-18 Lodestar stalled and plunged 12,000 feet at Silvana, Wash. The 15 survivors included 11 who jumped before the plane went out of control and four who escaped on the way down. [ Stanwood, Wash., UPI --, Aug 22, 1983]




“After the first 10 or so exited things went crazy and the plane flipped and began a flat spin... at that moment time seemed to slow way down and it appeared that I was watching a movie in slow motion as it seemed to just waffle and fall past me with little horizontal separation from me. I could see people exiting from the aft end of the plane. Then everything went back to real time and I cleared myself and dumped. During opening I could see the fireball at impact and under canopy I heard it. I quickly counted open parachutes and I knew we were missing nine.” Their average descent rate was 550 ft/sec (it was 23 sec. stall at 12,500 ft. to-impact.) [Survivor tbdavis1 (D 7719) In Dropzone.com, ]

“I’ve got pieces of people everywhere in my barnyard.” Said McGuire whose property borders the crash site.
Excerpts from the FAA Accident Report,
Lockheed Learstar L - 18, Landry Aviation, NI16CA, August 21, 1983, Silvana, Washington

About 1832 p.d.t.. on August 21, 1983, a Lockheed L-18 Learstar, N116C.4, operated by' Landry Aviation crashed in a farm field adjacent to a State highway after uncontrolled descent from 12,500 feet. The airplane had carried 24 sport parachute jumpers and 2 pilots. Fifteen parachutists successfully parachuted from the airplane during the descent. Nine parachutists and the two pilots were killed.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the failure of the operator and the pilot-in-command to assure proper load distribution during the jumper exit procedure.
Surviving parachutists stated that takeoff and climb, to the jump altitude were normal. All the parachutists remained in the positions occupied at takeoff until jump altitude was reached. Surviving parachutists also stated that none of the jumpers seated on the floor used the available seatbelts. About 1 minute before the airplane arrived above- the drop zone, two jumpers moved aft to the door to spot the airplane for the jump run. ,,,, the drop zone, the jumpers moved to their prejump-positions. ….. as they jumped, One of them observed the airplane was in a steep right bank, that it then rolled over, the nose dropped, and that it entered a steep dive during which it made one or two slow spirals as it continued the steep dive until it struck the ground. Descriptions of the descent offered by several other jumpers were similar. that they felt the aft end of the airplane drop, then oscillate slightly up and down, after Three jumpers, the 9th, llth,and 12th in the planned jump sequence….
the airplane rolled to the right before the jumpers were able to reach the door. One was killed and two were seriously injured when they struck the tail. Sixteen of the 24 jumpers were able to leave the airplane.; 13 were uninjured.
Witnesses on the ground, stated it rolled to the right, entered a steep dive, and rotated slowly during the dive. They described loud “screaming” engine* sounds which continued until the airplane struck struck the ground in a steep nosedown attitude.”

* * *
* “screaming engine* -- “…the aircraft was in a dive at full power… over 400 knots. you could hear rivets popping out of as the airframe gave way … sounded like a machine gun…” JW (Witness).




Excerpts from a similar but not-fatal incident at “The Gulch”

Michael D Larson, Owner-Operator Casa Grande DZ posted, “Closest I've ever come to getting snuffed was in that old Lodestar. “This is the Rande DeLuca photo of the Casa Grande “Lodestall” with Randy (Roach) Kempf flying at the Gulch. About 6 of us got out before the G's held everyone on the floor until Randy recovered. “That's where the term, "Get out, get out, get out of my way!' was coined. ….. Randy was (is) one of the best pilots we ever had and not everyone could recover a stalled Lodestar. It took somewhere between 3 and 6 thousand feet to get back to level flight. The Lodestar just was not designed to be used as a jump plane and took a very specialized procedure to do that safely. ….. Somehow we survived thanks to guys like Randy and Steve Gras.”

. . . OH! SHIT! Oh Golly! Exit,! Your brain says get out! ~ 6,000 feet of altitude fall away



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