Dan had some professional training as an actor earlier in life, and had several routines he would do in the airplane to entertain the tandem students (and their instructors). He was an excellent pilot and a blast to be around. I will miss him.
I wish you a windshield full of breathtaking sunsets forever, my friend . . .
I didn't ever get to meet Dan, but I heard some really nice things about him. The folks at Skydive Virginia were very sad to hear the news last night. Our condolences to Dan's family and the Hartwood family.
Damn.....Dangerous Dan was a cool guy (that's just what I called him -- in reality, he was a very safety-concious pilot). He could always crack me up, and even let me steer the Otter a few times at Raeford. It was alway "his pleasure" delivering jumpers to exit altitude. I missed him a lot when he left Raeford.
It's sad to hear this.....my best to his extended family. I know all the Raefordites (and myself) thought highly of him.
I will miss Dans ever present smile behind the controls. He passed many a merry evening of nignoggery in the CML&S after a hard day of flying jumpers. Blue skies my friend!
Dan was one of the most enthusiastic pilots I have ever been around. I was there and saw the entire event. It will forever be burned into my memory. I had just finished having a few laughs with Dan a few minutes before his fateful last flight.
Dan was warm and friendly to everyone. He was usually the first person to welcome a new jumper to Hartwood. He would show you around the DZ and let you know he was the pilot who would be taking you to altitude. He really had a true, genuine inner warmth.
All at Hartwood will miss him. The Skydiving Community has lost a bright light.
Dan was warm and friendly to everyone. He was usually the first person to welcome a new jumper to Hartwood
I met Dan about a month or so ago...he was the first face I saw in the parking lot and he had a huge smile on his face, came up and introduced himself and welcomed me! He also hung out that night and over some adult beverages welcomed me to "the family", as I had started shooting video that day.
My deepest condolences to the Hartwood family. From the few hours that I spent in his presence, you could just tell he was a hell of a guy!
Sadness. One fond memory is when Dan painted a compass rose on the concrete by the manifest building. It is still very helpful in teaching young students and others about run-in headings, wind drift, etc.
Funny how Dan rememberd my name every time I was there even if it had been 6 months. He always had a smile and a hug for me. What a great man.
Soar free Dan. You will be missed terribly.
Does anyone have info on where to contact family with condolences?
We are in the early stages of planning a Memorial Service for Dan at Hartwood. He has a brother and family in Ohio and they will probably take him back there for burial. You can call the DZ in a day or so if you are interested in details.
Unfuckingbelievable. Dan was a really nice guy. Do any of you know that his college degree was in Theatre? He was a very smart guy and would always have something interesting to discuss. I am proud to say that I killed many a braincell partying with Dan. He was a good pilot, too. Dan was well liked at Raeford and I hated to see him go. He was quirky, but then so many of us are. Still, we kept in touch and he seemed to like what he was doing out in California after leaving us. He was incredibly stoked to be involved in the re-opening of Hartwood!
Dan was an incrediable man, i think the memory that comes to mind is in the early mornings when i would show up at the DZ he would already be there, pipe in his mouth ready to tell one of his stories. Im just saddened that i didnt get to hear them all. Take care friend.
I am very very sad at this news. I remember Dan when I had less than 20 jumps and he would hang out with the skydivers on a Sunday evening. He would light his pipe and sit around and tell stories with the other skydivers. This is one of my most fond memories in skydiving - sitting around in a circle - all walks of life - to include pilots, newbies like me, and world class skydivers. Oddly enough, another of that group is missing as well.
We kept in touch while he was in California and would send me the bills for stage shows with his name in them when he would design the lightshows. He was so incredibly talented.
I'll miss him and the smell of his sweet moustache when he offers up a warm hug.
I just met Dan while passing through from Fayetteville to MD for some work. He was one of the first people to greet me when I walked into Hartwood DZ. With a Big smile, and then a welcome, and I told him I was visiting from Raeford, now a even bigger smile, and the mention of needing to return to Raeford for some long needed Nignogery!!!!! I made one jump that day from the Otter, and had to get to MD. It was a pleasure to have met Dan, made a Raeford conection, and then go our way, I could tell from his friends just how much he will be missed. My condolences to his family!!!