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Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013

 

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sornyd  (D 9856)

Nov 8, 2013, 2:04 PM
Post #151 of 210 (4231 views)
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Re: [sornyd] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Teaser for tonight's Dateline with more interviews including lead pilot.
Dateline NBC 8pm/7pm Central

- Dave in 'Go


dqpacker  (D 32043)

Nov 8, 2013, 5:04 PM
Post #152 of 210 (4032 views)
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Re: [fcajump] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

fcajump wrote:
dthames wrote:
flyhi wrote:
Two questions:

1. It has been a long time (thank God) since I jumped a 182. Is it now common/acceptable for someone to position themselves in front of the strut on climbout? Seems like in a situation just like this one, that could have gotten very ugly, very fast.

For someone to lead a tracking dive on their back, I have seen that position often.

I've also seen this position, and 'sitting in the V' used for exits off a Cessna... Both of which do have the potential for, and history of, removing limbs when things go wrong.

He clearly had the potential of swinging into the prop arch when things broke. (glad he didn't)

Its been quite a while, but I know I've read at least one case of someone coming out of the 'V' backwards and loosing a hand.
(edited to add... it may have been precipitated by a stall...? old memory... anyone recall this?)


Becareful out there...

JW

Can you point us out to these incidents or are you just tell bonfire stories?




lanceav8r  (D 13892)

Nov 8, 2013, 9:00 PM
Post #154 of 210 (3738 views)
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Re: [chemist] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Guys,

All of this debate for why? The video clearly shows the cause of this accident. The trail plane above the lead plane. The trail plane closer than necessary for the Jump. The trail pilot loses sight of the lead plane and doesnt break off of jump-run with obvious results. This is not ever how it should be done. Makes no difference to the qualified pilot which side to position the trail. What side does the airplane break to if it stalls? You are kidding right? Don't have a pilot that can't keep the airplane from stalling.

Fly on either side that the jumpers need based on the door position and their ability to see the lead plane. Pilot NEVER loses sight of the lead plane. Never fly over the top of another airplane. Trail plane is never above lead plane.


rsh01  (A License)

Nov 8, 2013, 9:18 PM
Post #155 of 210 (3719 views)
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Re: [DBCOOPER] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Not being facetious, just asking:

When does the least experienced pilot become experienced at trailing?

Is it practised with empty planes? Or is 'experience' learnt on the job, so to speak?


ualhammer  (D 17040)

Nov 8, 2013, 10:19 PM
Post #156 of 210 (3698 views)
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Re: [dqpacker] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been out of the skydiving game for many years, but still live vicariously through this forum from time to time.

I made my living flying skydivers for a very long time. I have traveled all over the US and the world flying you guys. I've flown all of Roger Nelson's world record attempts, WFFC, Richmond Revisited, Nationals, big ways, small ways, and flown in formation with every possible skydiving aircraft imaginable.

Quite honestly watching the video of this turned my stomach.

A simple briefing about what they were going to do, and where the planes were going to be positioned would have made this a non event. Make no mistake, the majority of the blame on this is going to fall on the trail pilot. He was in the worst possible place imaginable to fly a formation load in a Cessna, high and to the left. He could not see or react to the lead plane.

Not all of the blame goes to the pilot. Did any of the jumpers have experience in formation loads? Did the jumpers know what and where they wanted the planes? Guys (and I am talking to all of you jumpers), if it doesn't look or feel right, do something about it. Call for a go around. If I was jumping on that load, there is no way that I would have opened that door and climbed out seeing where the other plane was. You may think that your pilot knows everything, but obviously in this case he didn't. Never assume.

I think I read that one of the pilots had 400 hours. Anyone with 400 hours can put a plane where it needs to be on jump run. Keeping that plane where is needs to be in reference to another plane is an altogether different matter. There is a certain skill set that can easily be developed 'on the job.' That's why a briefing before the flight is absolutely necessary. Think of it as a dirt dive for pilots.

As for the comments about which is harder, lead or trail. It is much harder to fly lead. Heading, altitude, airspeed need to be held constant, even as the jumpers climb out. All other planes react to the lead. Flying trail is simple.

I fear that this is going to be bad for skydiving. And that makes me sad. Although I do not fly skydivers and more, or jump, I remain very grateful to what skydiving has given me over the years. You all need to take care of this sport. Random acts of stupidity (both pilots and skydivers) are going to be your downfall. Since the beginning, skydiving has been very lightly regulated. The FAA does not take fatalities, shoddy aircraft maintenance, or crashes lightly. You never know when they are going to decide to clamp down, and when they do it is going to suck for everyone.

Drop your egos in the parking lot. Use your brain and don't forget common sense. And never, ever climb in from of the strut on a Cessna. That is just stupid.

I am happy that no one was seriously injured. There are so many lessons to be learned from this.


otterboy

Nov 8, 2013, 10:33 PM
Post #157 of 210 (3684 views)
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Re: [Skydivesg] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey Sandy,

Stopped by the forum after I heard about this from my Dentist this morning.

Guess it has been a while since we have talked much. Didn't know you have gotten into driving the bus....

I agree with most of what you have posted.

1. Trail should always be BELOW and offset from lead. Allows trail pilot to maintain view of lead if they overtake them, and gives them the turning descent for an out. Yes I have flown high trail, but NEVER on jump run. It has an extremely high potential for problems.

2. Most experienced flies trail (with the exception that lead eventually needs the opportunity to move to trail, and unless the pilots change that would put less experienced in trail, but with a known level of capability) Egos too often get in the way of this.

3. Allow lead to fly trail on climb for exposure prior to being moved there. (Of course after being lead a lot and becoming reliable, NOT the second load)

4. Radios: In my opinion there needs to be little, to no chatter. It drives me nuts when pilots run their heads on the radio like school girls in the cafeteria in 5th grade. (Although it happens all the time) The program should be known, and anticipated. If much talk is required it means someone didn't pay attention, is changing the plan, or just wants to hear themselves talk because they have little confidence, or too much nervous energy.
a) lead transmits 2minutes, door, climb out, exit. (As well as the required ATC calls) what else is there to chat about? If you are chatting it blocks urgent calls.
b) only time trail should ever talk is when they need help getting into position, (pull x amount of power off, speed up or slow x knots, etc.) If lead asks trail if they are there they are not doing their job, and don't think Trail is either.
c) By all means transmit if you have a problem.

Jumpers should not have to verbally speak to the pilot much at all. Yes some to a new trail guy getting them higher, lower, closer, back more, etc. but that is it. Short statements x feet lower... Stop. X feet closer...stop. Then shut up, not all pilots can handle having someone bark in their ear and fly formation. It is demanding. And besides, their breath stinks, chain smoking, coffee drinking, close talkers.... Lead jumpers should never have to speak. (Exception of pointing out if trail is having an emergency that can only be conveyed with words) spot with hand signals if your pilot can't do it themselves. Too many jumpers think they should fly the plane by voice commanded autopilot. If the pilot needs that much help rethink the pilot, or the pre-brief was woefully inadequate.

Personally I do not ever recall flying a Cessna right trail. If a jumper gets in the pilots line of sight the pilot is out of position (too far forward) and the jumper is an idiot for needing to put their body so far forward in the windshield while climbing out. I will think more on your right trail preference, but my current gut reaction is no for a simple two plane shot. Like you said, things should not go south, but if they do with people still on the step, that is exactly where they are going.

As far as this particular accident goes:
1. I am happy all survived.
2. I would really like to see more footage of jump run and the position of the airplanes when they were "in the position they intended to be". (If they ever were) Because what I assume I see is trail above and behind lead. How, and why was he there? Was the 185 lead and things went south long before the video picks up?
3. I'll leave it at that.

Mark Lamberson


otterboy

Nov 8, 2013, 11:00 PM
Post #158 of 210 (3676 views)
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Re: [ualhammer] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

ualhammer wrote:
I've been out of the skydiving game for many years, but still live vicariously through this forum from time to time.

I made my living flying skydivers for a very long time. I have traveled all over the US and the world flying you guys. I've flown all of Roger Nelson's world record attempts, WFFC, Richmond Revisited, Nationals, big ways, small ways, and flown in formation with every possible skydiving aircraft imaginable.

Quite honestly watching the video of this turned my stomach.

A simple briefing about what they were going to do, and where the planes were going to be positioned would have made this a non event. Make no mistake, the majority of the blame on this is going to fall on the trail pilot. He was in the worst possible place imaginable to fly a formation load in a Cessna, high and to the left. He could not see or react to the lead plane.

Not all of the blame goes to the pilot. Did any of the jumpers have experience in formation loads? Did the jumpers know what and where they wanted the planes? Guys (and I am talking to all of you jumpers), if it doesn't look or feel right, do something about it. Call for a go around. If I was jumping on that load, there is no way that I would have opened that door and climbed out seeing where the other plane was. You may think that your pilot knows everything, but obviously in this case he didn't. Never assume.

I think I read that one of the pilots had 400 hours. Anyone with 400 hours can put a plane where it needs to be on jump run. Keeping that plane where is needs to be in reference to another plane is an altogether different matter. There is a certain skill set that can easily be developed 'on the job.' That's why a briefing before the flight is absolutely necessary. Think of it as a dirt dive for pilots.

As for the comments about which is harder, lead or trail. It is much harder to fly lead. Heading, altitude, airspeed need to be held constant, even as the jumpers climb out. All other planes react to the lead. Flying trail is simple.

I fear that this is going to be bad for skydiving. And that makes me sad. Although I do not fly skydivers and more, or jump, I remain very grateful to what skydiving has given me over the years. You all need to take care of this sport. Random acts of stupidity (both pilots and skydivers) are going to be your downfall. Since the beginning, skydiving has been very lightly regulated. The FAA does not take fatalities, shoddy aircraft maintenance, or crashes lightly. You never know when they are going to decide to clamp down, and when they do it is going to suck for everyone.

Drop your egos in the parking lot. Use your brain and don't forget common sense. And never, ever climb in from of the strut on a Cessna. That is just stupid.

I am happy that no one was seriously injured. There are so many lessons to be learned from this.

We must know each other, but I'm not 100% by your screen name. I flew in the '98 record, and 2000 attempt.

I agree with a lot of what you say, except which is harder. Lead or trail. We are both experienced, so for us lead is more difficult because our mind wants to be entertained and we really have to focus not to let it wander and be a solid lead. However for the less skilled pilot trail is extremely difficult because they have not mastered the fine hand movements of small adjustments, and the eye tos percieve small changes. An inexperienced trail pilot can sometimes look like Sean Tucker during an airshow, and work as hard too.

Mark




akjmpplt  (D 13733)

Nov 9, 2013, 4:34 PM
Post #160 of 210 (3080 views)
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Re: [otterboy] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Do we know for sure that the "trail" plane was in fact the trail plane? Any chance the 182 was supposed to be -2 and slid out front?




Liemberg  (Student)

Nov 10, 2013, 1:53 AM
Post #162 of 210 (2924 views)
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Re: [dqpacker] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
Can you point us out to these incidents or are you just tell bonfire stories?
I can point you out to the spinning prop that is nearer to your body there, with no 'bar' between it and your body... Crazy

When boarding the aircraft that is firmly on the ground with the prop standing still everyone learns from jump one on to approach the C182 / 185 / 206 door from the tail side of the strut, since longer than I care to remember.

"DO NOT GO NEAR THAT PROP - unless you are the pilot and have the aircraft keys in your pocket is what the puppies learn in first jump courses - everywhere.
Before boarding always touch the tail for good luck, even if that is superstitious - at least it will keep you away from the front of the AC

Yet however on the climb-out side of things, in midair, with the prop spinning, where stalling aircraft have seen to be capsizing and where canopies have seen to be opening turning relatively safe situations in absolute apeshit in seconds - all of a sudden it became a perfectly safe idea to position yourself there when you do these fancy modern 'atmonauti' type track dives?

Djeezzz...


megamalfunction  (B 35178)

Nov 10, 2013, 2:20 AM
Post #163 of 210 (2911 views)
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Re: [Liemberg] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

I've sat in the "V" before... won't be doing it anymore! haha


gowlerk  (C 3196)

Nov 10, 2013, 6:20 AM
Post #164 of 210 (2813 views)
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Re: [megamalfunction] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

megamalfunction wrote:
I've sat in the "V" before... won't be doing it anymore! haha

I know someone who had a main pin fall out and a bag drop while sitting in the "V". He is small bodied and was only bruised up when he was extracted from there. The aircraft was unharmed. I exit from there often for 4 way.


Liemberg  (Student)

Nov 10, 2013, 7:42 AM
Post #165 of 210 (2748 views)
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Re: [gowlerk] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, in all fairness, when the plane is flying normally, and you fel of from there backwards with the strut/your ass as a pivot point and your legs fully stretched at the moment they pointed at the prop then unless you have the legs of a giraf, your feet still would stay clear from that meat grinder more than two foot, which in these days of mountain proximity flying could be regarded as 'perfectly safe' for some. If for any reason you were launched with momentum in that direction however, that is how far away it is, give or take a foot. Tongue

For those that really want the exact answer , the actual C182 dimensions can be found on the internet nowadays, here...

YMMV...


lmchurch  (C 37124)

Nov 10, 2013, 7:47 AM
Post #166 of 210 (2743 views)
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Re: [akjmpplt] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

In my experience the trailing plane will NEVER be on the Right Side of the formation. The Trailing plane should always be to the LEFT and windscreen view of the lead plane.


ChrisD  (No License)

Nov 10, 2013, 10:49 AM
Post #167 of 210 (2617 views)
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Re: [ChrisD] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

ChrisD wrote:
This is kind of already been said, I just wanted to say this a little more simply and clearly with out a lot of the interpretations:



I clearly see in the vid, the pilot watching the exiting skydivers.

C


You tend to go where you look, which is what happened. Jumping, flying, and or driving a vehicle, all the same, happens every day.

"Eternal Vigilance..." 1790, ...

Yikes, this thread has turned into a internet lesson on how to fly formations?????Crazy

HERE is how this is going to play out:


"FAA:

Mechanical defects found: 0.

Weather conditions a factor: NO.

Fuel: Not a factor.

Conclusion: Pilots failed to maintain adequate separation."


C


Allow the possibility of a shared fucking responsibility for this debacle....key word in findings of fault: "Pilots." (Plural.)


otterboy

Nov 10, 2013, 4:49 PM
Post #168 of 210 (2432 views)
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Re: [ChrisD] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:

Yikes, this thread has turned into a internet lesson on how to fly formations?????

Certainly pertains to the accident.....

I'm willing to bet that every one of them wishes they had some of this information before this accident. This incidents section is to learn from unfortunate prior situations so we hopefully never, ever, repeat them.

Skydivers don't need to know the particulars about how to fly formation. But I'm willing to bet that they talked these inexperienced pilots into high trail not knowing that experienced formation pilots frown (to say it extremely lightly) on the practice. I have been flying and jumping since '90 and have never heard of, or witnessed high trail exits. I have asked around and it did use to happen back in the DC-3 days. This was because of the visibility issues for the skydivers with that particular aircraft. Also, DC-3 pilots have historically been experienced, and could handle the challenges.

Mark


(This post was edited by otterboy on Nov 10, 2013, 6:15 PM)


feuergnom  (D License)

Nov 11, 2013, 2:06 PM
Post #169 of 210 (1910 views)
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Re: [ChrisD] Airplane Collision - Skydive Superior - 2 November 2013 [In reply to] Can't Post

you will not like it, but this thread contains more usefull, well-thought, high-strung info coming from a side (pilots that is, my dear) that rarely posts on dizzy let alone in incidents, than many other threads.
unbelievably this hasn't turned into a poor pissing contest, everybody tried to play it cool and professional and keep a calm head. I really appreciate all the pilots posting their thoughts here, the more the better. because it's them hauling my and your ass up to alti, so it's more than appropriate for them to discuss their thoughts here

If you do not like it, move on, read another forum, another post, and put your comments there. or even better: think not only twice, or three or four times but an hour before you hit the "post" button again








theonlyski  (D License)

Nov 12, 2013, 4:27 AM
Post #173 of 210 (1590 views)
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Re: [airtwardo] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

Not directed at you, you're just the last post here.

AOPA has a little bit of info on their website (may need to be an AOPA member):

http://www.aopa.org/...T.mc_id=131108epilot

(bolding mine)

Quote:
Matt Fandler had no idea what hit him.

Fandler, 23, was the pilot of a Cessna 182 preparing for a formation skydive drop with a Cessna 185 in trail 12,000 feet above the airport in Superior, Wis., on Nov. 2. Fandler, in a Nov. 7 telephone interview with AOPA, recalled the moment chaos erupted, just as he was about to key the mic and announce “jumpers away.”

“It was a loud bang and the windshield immediately shattered,” Fandler said. “It came out of nowhere.”

Suddenly, Fandler was plummeting out of control. The impact and its aftermath, captured on helmet cameras, almost instantly sheared off the right wing of Fandler’s airplane, a fireball erupting from the ruptured fuel tank. All nine skydivers and both pilots on board the two aircraft escaped that fireball, and the flying debris, with their lives. Ten of the 11 people involved told their story exclusively on NBC’s Today show Nov. 5, their video—sold exclusively to NBC—going viral around the world. Fandler had his own NBC interview Nov. 6, to be aired on NBC’s Dateline.
Matt Fandler aslo spoke to AOPA Live This Week, an interview that will be included in the Nov. 14 edition.
Matt Fandler aslo spoke to AOPA Live This Week, an interview that will be included in the Nov. 14 edition.

Recalling the seconds after the Cessna 185 flown by Blake Wedan struck Fandler’s 182 from behind and above, as shown on the helmet camera footage, Fandler said it took time to get his bearings and figure out what was going on. He knew he was descending, fast, and the windshield was gone, but little else.

“Immediately I thought this is not right,” Fandler said. “I needed to try to regain control…I pulled the yoke back as far as I could. Everything was just all jumbled back and forth.”

Fandler scanned the panel and saw his airspeed and vertical speed increasing rapidly, and realized the stricken Cessna was not responding to any control input. He made a decision:

“It’s probably in my best interest not to be in this airplane anymore,” Fandler recalled. He was wearing an emergency parachute, and reached back to grab hold of something solid and pull himself toward the open door. Only then did he realize that the right-side door, and the right wing, were both absent. Gripping the empty door frame, “I took one step and just kind of jumped out of the airplane.”

Fandler had made training jumps, but this was his first solo skydive. Above him, experienced skydivers now clear of the wreckage were searching for him, accelerating their freefall in an attempt to reach the stricken Cessna, a part of the story they told NBC’s Today show on Nov. 5.

Fandler said he didn’t pull the ripcord immediately, knowing that he could wind up drifting miles away if he opened his canopy too high. He concentrated on arching his back and stabilizing his body, and worried about where his airplane would fall. Neighborhoods north and south of the airport are densely populated, he said, and he lost sight of his Cessna about five seconds after jumping out.

With no altimeter to guide the decision, he made his best guess and grabbed the ring at what looked like an altitude between 4,000 and 5,000 feet.

The canopy opened quickly, and Fandler realized, for the first time, that both of his hands had been badly cut. With no means to steer his round emergency parachute, he drifted down toward the approach end of Runway 14 at Richard I. Bong Airport, where the skydiving flight had begun.

Fandler began flying for the skydive operator, Skydive Superior, in May, he said, his first paid gig as a pilot, though he previously gained experience working with another operator. Fandler said he has flown well over 100 drops, including a few formation drops, though the Nov. 2 mission was his first formation drop with Skydive Superior.

Circling above, Wedan was still able to control his Cessna 185, though it, too, had been significantly damaged. Wedan told NBC that he kept the engine at idle and scanned for canopies. Wedan would not know for sure that everyone had survived until he landed.

Fandler said he knew he was falling too fast to land squarely on his feet, and did a “kind of half somersault” as he touched the ground about 50 feet from the approach end of Runway 14. He got to his feet, unstrapped the parachute, and began to wrap his right hand, which would eventually require 21 stitches. (The wound in Fandler’s left hand needed four stitches, he said.) He saw emergency vehicles rush onto the airport grounds, and onto the runway that Wedan was preparing to land on. Fandler started to run and wave, warning the emergency vehicles to get clear, the stricken 185 now on final approach.

The skydivers, by now safely on the ground, were able to warn the emergency vehicles away in the nick of time, Fandler said. It took a few minutes before the ambulance got to him: Emergency responders looked for him first in the wreckage, which landed in the county fairgrounds just west of the airport.

All 11 pilots and passengers survived, and no one on the ground was hurt by falling aircraft pieces.

“In my opinion, that’s probably the most miraculous thing about this whole ordeal,” said Fandler. “After I jumped out, I had no control of where that airplane was going to go.”

Fandler said he has been interviewed by FAA officials acting on behalf of the NTSB, and his main concern, now, is the outcome of the federal investigation. He plans to make a career as a professional pilot, and preferred to avoid any comment about the possible cause of the accident while the investigation is under way.

Fandler said the media response took him by surprise. He expected to see a picture and a story in the local paper, but nothing like the dozens of stories that have been written since.

“I never imagined that it would go viral all over the world like it has,” Fandler said.

Skydive Superior did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment; all of those involved in the flight, except Fandler, had traveled to New York for the Nov. 5 NBC interview.

Fandler said he’s eager to fly again, and even willing to make another (planned) skydive, though he “would really prefer if it was with somebody else.”

Sounds like the pilot that bailed had some tandems under his belt and didn't completely freak out when he had to bail.

It also seems to confirm that the 185 was supposed to be in trail and overtook him. Lucky man that 182 pilot is, just think about how close his head was to the prop on the 185.


skygypsie  (B License)

Nov 12, 2013, 4:49 AM
Post #174 of 210 (1564 views)
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Re: [theonlyski] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post


Sounds like the pilot that bailed had some tandems under his belt and didn't completely freak out when he had to bail.

It also seems to confirm that the 185 was supposed to be in trail and overtook him. Lucky man that 182 pilot is, just think about how close his head was to the prop on the 185.
-----------------------------------------------------------------

Matt had 1 tandem, 2 AFF jumps, previously !


theonlyski  (D License)

Nov 12, 2013, 4:53 AM
Post #175 of 210 (1554 views)
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Re: [skygypsie] Skydive Superior [In reply to] Can't Post

skygypsie wrote:
Matt had 1 tandem, 2 AFF jumps, previously !

That's good to hear! We do try to get our pilots at least one tandem but sometimes it's kind of hard since well.. who's gonna fly the plane?! Laugh

Also glad that he doesn't seem too deterred to continue to fly or jump.Smile


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