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Scary stories from the old days?

 

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steve1  (D 23640)

Nov 6, 2002, 2:35 PM
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Scary stories from the old days? Can't Post

I was just wondering if anyone had a scary jump story from way back when? Steve1


quatorze  (A 39233)

Nov 6, 2002, 5:54 PM
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Not me personally but my Dad tells of when he was jumping in Colorado. There was a fellow jumper who would gear up and ride his motorcycle to the DZ. One day this jumper was cruising along on his bike about 50 mph and decided to see how long it would take for him to slow down if he popped his ParaComander.... well everyone who just had a shiver and a snicker run through them is right. The next thing the guy siad he remembers is looking at his motorcycle between his feet as it rode on down the road with out him. Now I don't know about you, but once I realized that I survived the afore mentioned incident I would a have calmly packed my rig and let the secret die with me. Not our friend, the rocket scientist, he comes to the DZ and tells his friends, " No shit, there I was...."

Not a skydiving story, but related and always good for a laugh when my Dad drops by the DZ for a beer.

Cheers
Christian


ernokaikkonen  (D 12)

Nov 7, 2002, 5:15 AM
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> Now I don't know about you, but once I realized that
>I survived the afore mentioned incident I would a have
>calmly packed my rig and let the secret die with me.

Dude! What's the point of stupid fuck-ups if you can't share them with your buddies?? Of course you tell your friends. And proudly embellish the story a little.Tongue


Kirils  (D License)

Nov 7, 2002, 6:11 AM
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Back in 1969 My buddy and I took turns jumping from his fathers "borrowed" C-150. We shared an army surplus t-10 rig and did low altitude jumps.
We took advantage of every opportunity possible, which included poor visability and windy days. One overcast and windy morning I dropped out and pulled at 2G. The wind quickly took me over the nearby reservoir. I was terrified as I saw myself approaching the icy cold water. I did not know how to swim at the time! My boots touched the surface and stopped my descent in only 8 inches of water. I had landed on a small submersed sand bar! A fisherman in a nearby rowboat came to my rescue.


steve1  (D 23640)

Nov 7, 2002, 7:52 AM
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Quatorze,
I remember a friend who used to race his morocycle to the DZ with a rig on his back. I often wondered what would happen if it opened.

I think one of the stupider things I have ever done is try to kick a dead cat in the road going about 40 on motorcycle. I never claimed to be too bright. Steve1


steve1  (D 23640)

Nov 7, 2002, 8:11 AM
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Back in the olden days a really experienced jumper might have three or four hundred jumps. In fact I didn't know anyone in our club who had more than about 500. In the early 70's we were able to order up twin beach or DC-3 from the smoke-jumper center at a low price. All we had to do was give them a call when we had enough jumpers. I remember lots of big way attempts with a DC-3 load of people, where a lot of the jumpers had less than a 100 jumps. None of us had automatic openers. Remember now, a big-way back then was anything over about 12 people. The world record formation then was about 30 people. The exits were often so strung out that at times you had to really strain your eyes to see where the star was building. It wasn't uncommon to have someone slam into you as you tracked toward the star. But you know no one ever bounced in the twenty five years our club was in Missoula. There were plenty of close calls and one mid-air plane collision that killed several people, but it was a miracle more didn't die back then. Hot gear back then was a B-12 container with a para-commander, Some people had pig rigs, everyone wore motorcycle helmets, and french jump boots. (hows that for a scary story). Steve1


steve1  (D 23640)

Nov 7, 2002, 10:18 AM
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Back in the 70's our DZ was about a 1/2 mile from our hanger, at the airport where we packed and took off from. When a load exited we would often watch from a distance. One day a girl left the plane and kept falling and falling and no one saw a canopy open. Everyone knew she had just burned in. Everyone jumped into vehicles and went racing over there. Apparently she had opened in a dip in the field and no one could see her canopy. Her only reply was, "I guess I was kinda low, huh." I don't think she realized how close she had come to death's door. This is how the story was told to me. Hopefully it's true. Steve1


steve1  (D 23640)

Nov 7, 2002, 2:27 PM
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We had a jump pilot back in the 70's who was an all around good guy. One winter Craig (the pilot) was shooting coyotes out of a farmers cessna. He asked me one day if I wanted to go along and shoot a 12 gauge out of the door, while he flew. I couldn't make it that day, but wished him the best. A few days later I heard that he had crashed. Apparently he and another guy spotted two coyotes. They flew over the one and got him. They circled back and were just about to shoot the other one when they hit the side of the mountain. The plane was totaled and they both ended up in the hospital. Then the Fish & Game gave them a ticket for illegal shooting from an aircraft. The next time I saw him was at a jump party. He was standing there with a cane and had two black eyes. The first thing he said was, "You still want to go coyote hunting?"

But that's not the end of the story. I kind of lost track of Craig over the years. Then one day I read his obituary in the paper. All it said was that he was killed down in Texas. Come to find out he had been flying guns down into Mexico. Someone murdered him on a gun deal gone sour, and threw his body down an out house. Too bad, he was a great guy. I never would have thought he'd get tangled up in something like that. Steve1


wmw999  (D 6296)

Nov 7, 2002, 3:13 PM
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Steve, you've obviously done or been involved in far too many scary things.... But this is pretty scary:

http://www.dropzone.com/...i?post=271512#271512

------------------------------------------------------------
Also:
While I missed it, the pilot at Turners Falls SPC in the late 1970's flew the Beech under one of the bridges, legend had it. He was definitely crazy enough and physically skilled enough to have done it, too...

Wendy W.


(This post was edited by wmw999 on Nov 7, 2002, 3:17 PM)


billbooth  (D 3546)

Nov 8, 2002, 9:13 AM
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      Although I made my first jump in 1969 on a 28' round, with a front mount reserve, with no pilot chute in it, no automatic opener, no RSL, and only about two hours training, I wasn't scared a bit. (Probably because I was 18 years old, and invincible.) What did scare the hell out of me though, was when I found out some 30 years later, that my instructor only had 6 jumps when he trained me.

I hit the ground so hard, it knocked me clean out...and when I woke up, I was greeted with the unbelieable sight of my jumpmaster trying to get my canopy back from a cow, which was in the process of EATING it. We got it back, patched up the new holes with more duct tape, and packed it up for my next jump.

Students nowadays have it far too easy, if you ask me.


flyhi  (D License)

Nov 8, 2002, 10:43 AM
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Learned to jump with the Trojan Sport Parachute Club at Fort Devens, MA. Then, the Army supported us by giving us a Huey for one fuel load once a month. Not wanting to stay too long, the pilots would give us one sortie, but not shut down between loads.

There was usually only about 10 or so jumping and we wanted to maximize our number of jumps. To do this, we would pack club rigs in addition to our own. In that way, we could get three or four jumps.

I remember going to the club one Wednesday of the week for our monthly Huey and packing one of the club PC's for me. The last step was placing the ripcord in the harness pocket. When I got to that point, I realized that the elastic around the pocket was stretched so many times, that it would not hold the ripcord. Being innovative, I put the ripcord in the pocket, and picked up a roll of masking tape. I wasn't too worried since it was government masking tape and not that strong. Of course to compensate, I used two wraps of it around the harness and through the handle, basically ensuring it wouldn't come out.

Because it was a military drop zone (Turner DZ, if anyone remembers), we had to go through a JM equipment inspection. When he came to me, he looked at the tape and asked if I really thought it was good idea. I told him it was better than having the ripcord floating free. He agreed and sent me off toward the helo.

Climbed to altitude (7500 was all we got back then), spotted and went out. Got to 2500 feet and pulled. The tape tore easily and the parachute deployed. Never had any doubts. Things were different back then.


Designer  (D 5771)

Nov 9, 2002, 6:33 PM
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OH Man,mine would curl your hair!Some of the stuff we did,I personally saw people do on or before we got into airplanes would scare the crap out of ya,NO THANKS!


skypuppy  (D 347)

Nov 10, 2002, 9:52 PM
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There was a case in the old days in Ontario when the pilot stalled the jump plane on jump run... He was the first one out the door. The jumpmaster followed him, leaving a B-licenced jumper to dispatch the two students in the plane.... The plane recovered and did a slow descent till it crashed not far from the dz.


skypuppy  (D 347)

Nov 10, 2002, 10:22 PM
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I went up with some friends back in the '80's to do a back-to-back-to-back - something we thought had never been done. This meant a 3-way freefall formation, followed by a 3-stack, after which we'd cutaway and do another 3-way before dumping our (round) reserves...

We meant to follow the rules, and so wore 2nd reserves on our harnesses... Things went all right in the initial freefall but we were slow getting our triplane together... by the time we were flying where we wanted to be we were below 4k, but we decided to continue...

We cut away one after the other in order to ensure the top jumpers feet cleared the lines before the next cutaway... I was the bottom, cutting away last... the other two were quite a ways below as I dove down...

At one point I saw Anvil come out of his dive, almost stop and I thought maybe they're going to dump, but he kept falling, so I kept diving past at Hawkeye, the low man...

I realised Anvil had given up as we went thru 1500', but Hawkeye was still falling so I kept going... I mean, we were using our reserves anyways...

Around 1000' I came out level and in front of Hawkeye and I wondered if he really wanted to do this or not... Hawkeye had black hair and a full black beard, and as I looked over at him 15 or 20 feet away, all I could see was his white teeth gleaming amongst all that black hair... He wanted to hook up too!!!

We flew together and hooked up about 700' a little offset so we just kept on going past each other into a track... Looking at the rye field below me I saw we were real low, and reached to dump... The handle wasn't there!!! Glancing down, I saw the weight of the 2nd (front-mounted) reserve had dragged my harness down a little on the first opening, before we did our stack... I refocused and pulled the handle...

I felt the reserve go out (Strong Lopo, with a diaper), but it wasn't slowing me down... Looking at the field below, I saw one spot below me from which waves were radiating out like a pond after you toss a pebble into it... I thought this was it - I could hear the people back at the dz saying 'he bit off more than he could chew this time!'... I could see my girlfriend's face in that one spot on the field that wasn't moving...

Then the diaper released and the reserve cracked open... I heard all screaming 'Yee-haww!!! Did you see that rye field???' Looking around, he was about 75' above and behind me... I started to turn 270 degrees (away from the 4-bush and around into the wind) but I didn't quite get all the way around before I landed... We were about a quarter mile from the dz.

After landing I gathered up my reserve and tried to stop shaking... Al came up and said 'Man, are we ever going to get shit! But man! Skypuppy, that was some jump!'

We walked back to the dz... Everyone was abuzz talking about us - some rushed up to congratulate us - they seemed to think we'd planned to open low! I say again, we planned to do the jump safely, but we seemed to be always too slow at each step, and we kept deciding to go keep trying instead of giving up and dumping... Like I said, we knew we going to use our reserves!!!

The DZO was out walking the runway when we got back... He'd seen too many people from that perspective who hadn't made it to be able to talk right away... When he got back we were grounded for a month, but we had to continue coming to the dz on weekends anyway, just so we'd hurt... The whole jump was on ground-to-air video, and if he heard of us jumping at another dz before the month was up, the tape would be sent to the national organization for action... Otherwise it would be destroyed...

I often wished I had a copy of that tape... BTW I really got shit from my girlfriend after that... I thought she'd happy I was still alive, but she really tore me a new one...

I've done BASE jumps from lower then that opening, but I've never seen anything since that looked like that ryefield did at terminal at about 300', after you've pulled everything you can pull and it still hasn't happened....

Blue ones...

Skypuppy BASE92


pilotdave  (D License)

Nov 11, 2002, 8:30 AM
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I heard one which I don't think I'd believe except that I heard it from a guy that was there, so I'm pretty sure it's true. The guy that told me the story was a jumper at Orange, MA back in the 60s (and hasn't jumped since the 60s). On one jump he was on a load with his brother and a student. His brother went first and he watched. He saw him deploy, but the canopy just streamered all the way down. He landed in the woods and just went right through the treetops and out of site. Realizing that he just witnessed his brother's death, he was just a tad freaked out. The student asked what happened, and he replied that it was nothing and off the student went. He had the pilot climb a little higher, then jumped himself. He drifted away from the DZ and was aiming to land on a golf course. As he touched down, a car came flying toward him honking the horn. The peole in the car were yelling "he's alive! he's alive!"

Turned out what happened is his canopy snagged on a tree. It bent the trunk over and he literally swung all the way around it, shredding his jumpsuit. His helmet fell down over his eyes. Someone nearby heard the crack of the tree breaking and came running out. The jumper was hanging from the tree not moving. The guy yelled up to him "are you ok??" He replied, "Am I dead? I can't see anything..." The guy told him to take the helmet off.

He ended up with nothing but scratches. When his brother (the guy that told me the story) got to him, he asked if he wanted to go to the hospital. He said "No. i want to go to a bar!"

Times were different. Thank goodness they've changed!

Dave


(This post was edited by pilotdave on Nov 11, 2002, 8:31 AM)


steve1  (D 23640)

Nov 11, 2002, 8:32 AM
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Jim Ledbettor was one of the most experienced jumpers in our club back in the later 60's and early 70's. One day they went up to jump out of a cessna. He was sitting next to the door. A plane with a low wing came out of the sky above them and slammed into their jump plane. Jim and another girl were thrown free and ended up with open canopies. He didn't know if he had pulled or if the impact opened his chute for him. The girl had most of her head missing so the impact must have opened hers. Everyone was killed except Jim. He landed over the middle of Missoula in Loyola football field. Jim ended up in the hospital for several days, but was mostly unhurt. He was suffering from a lot of guilt though. Being the senior jumper he blamed himself somehow for what happened.

He again started jumping and things were going well until one day he had a hard pull and couldn't open his main. He opened his belly reserve going terminal and had a severely hard opening. He looked up to see his reserve full of holes. He rode this in and hurt his back. He ended up in the hospital again.

His wife finally talked him into giving up jumping, so he started flying his airplane a lot more than he had in the past. One snowy morning I remember waking up to a story on the news of a plane crash where all on board were killed. Jim was that pilot. He finally ran out of luck. Steve1


christoofar  (A 40633)

Nov 13, 2002, 1:37 PM
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In reply to:
Not me personally but my Dad tells of when he was jumping in Colorado. There was a fellow jumper who would gear up and ride his motorcycle to the DZ. One day this jumper was cruising along on his bike about 50 mph and decided to see how long it would take for him to slow down if he popped his ParaComander.... well everyone who just had a shiver and a snicker run through them is right. The next thing the guy siad he remembers is looking at his motorcycle between his feet as it rode on down the road with out him. Now I don't know about you, but once I realized that I survived the afore mentioned incident I would a have calmly packed my rig and let the secret die with me. Not our friend, the rocket scientist, he comes to the DZ and tells his friends, " No shit, there I was...."

Not a skydiving story, but related and always good for a laugh when my Dad drops by the DZ for a beer.

Cheers
Christian


And think...

If this happened BEFORE you were born... the little spermie he donated wouldn't have been there to create YOU!

You OWE your existence to a paracommander!!! LaughShocked


JDBoston  (D 26450)

Nov 14, 2002, 9:47 AM
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I think we have a winner.

Joe


jimmytavino  (A 3914)

Nov 17, 2002, 5:43 PM
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well...... No _ _ _ _ !! there I was....Shocked...
check out post # 10 under heading "the truth about the para commander...." ( I had a R 3... release on me,,,,, upon landing....)
I also did a night jump 2 years ago where due to low/no winds a North bound landing pattern
had been established at the briefing.........I
was set up on final about 100 feet or so off the ground,,, when I caught sight of a flashing light off to my right,,and slightly ahead of me , coming basically right at me.......
front risered and shot through the "airspace of conflict" about 2 seconds before the novice night jumper came through the same chunk of air...He ate some of my "vortex" but made it through and landed off to my left and rear... When reminded of our plan to land North bound,,, he said,,,, "I thought I WAS going Northbound" hahahaWink One of the instructors on the load barked at the guy pretty good,,, I was just happy that I resisted the impulse to crank a low turn,,,,,. I was moderately scared but the other dude must have been really shaken,,,,,,,He only had under 100 jumps and said he only saw me after I streaked "in front" of him.....NEVER have seen that kid again......hope he's still skydivin'UnimpressedUnimpressed


billbooth  (D 3546)

Nov 18, 2002, 1:51 PM
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Turn back the clock to 1970. We all jumped Para Commanders. To keep the heavy spring loaded pilot chutes and sleeves out of the "turn windows" on top of the PC, we used 30 foot long bridle lines. This kept the "glob" of sleeve and pilot chute trailing way behind the canopy.

It was a normal rainy day in South Florida, and I remember thinking how hard it was to pack because everything was damp. Anyway, however it happened, two guys made a close pass to each other under canopy, and as they turned off, the ends of their bridles got tangled. There they were, at about 1500 feet, 50 feet apart, slowly rotating around each other.

The wind was light, so from the ground we heard one of them yell, "Fred, we're tangled. You'd better cutaway," Much to everyones delight, Fred hollered back, "F*** You John, You cutaway!"

This dialogue continued as we watched this "dynamic duo", totally oblivious to where they were going, rotate right over the 128,000 volt, high tension lines that went down the road adjoining the DZ. As luck would have it, one went on the near side of the power lines, and the other on the far side... And when we all got there, were suspended about 5 feet off the ground by their entangled bridles...believe it or not, beating on each other, and yelling,"You should have cut away...NO, YOU should have cutaway!"

There was nothing we could do, because if anyone touched them, we would complete the circuit to the ground. "Guys", I yelled from a safe distance, "Cut it out, and take a look at where you are." They both looked down, and then up at their smoking canopies, in the buzzing wires. They immediately shut up, and gave each other great big bear hugs, holding on for dear life. It was obvious that both of them needed to cutaway simultaneously, and soon...or they were fried. (I think "crispy critters" is the term the power company guy who showed up later to retrieve the melted canopies used.) If one of them was ahead of the other, by even one second, they were both dead.

Now remember, there were no 3-rings yet, and Capewells took 4 separate motions to release both risers. We all knew that getting two risers to go simultaneously was hard...so four risers releasing at once was, shall we say...highly unlikely. But with no other choice, they very carefully opened the safety covers, and put both thumbs in the cable rings...For the moment, the best of buddies, for their lives truly depended on each other.

I said, "Alright, I'll count to three. "One...Two..."Wait a minute", John screamed, Do we go on three or GO?" As soon as we quit laughing, I said, "On GO". Fortunately, they both cut away perfectly, hitting the ground with a single resounding thud, as their recoiling canopies crossed the wires and exploded in a very expensive fireball, knocking out the power to half the town. It had to be the most interesting canopy relative work I've ever seen.


steve1  (D 23640)

Nov 18, 2002, 8:25 PM
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Bill,
Great jump story! The thirty foot retainer lines bring back memories. The only two malfunctions that I had on my para-commander were both caused by having too short of a retainer line. Just as you mentioned, my sleeve and pilot chute tangled up in the modifications. It took me a while to figure out what was wrong, but I put a longer line on it and didn't have any trouble after that.

The power line story reminds me of Fred Sands (Owner of Lost Prairie). Back in about 74 he had a malfunction on his para-commander. He cut away and opened his round reserve. I can't recall the size, but I think it was modified. At any rate he ended up going through the power lines. He touched one line but fortunately missed the other. On the older power lines two wires were close together and one was a little further apart. He went through the wider space. If he had touched both, he would have been fried. He really lucked out that day. Steve1


pack40  (Student)

Nov 19, 2002, 5:12 AM
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Scary stories from Hungary:

We have an old ex-instructor in our skydiving club.
Many years ago he was a jumpmaster in a load.
Most of the novice jumpers whom he had taken up had 5-15 jumps.
So, he opens the door (Antonov An-2) directs the plane, looks back to the jumpers and says: "Bye-bye guys, you know how to jump out!" and jumps out!

There was another story quite Urban (Skydiving) Legend but might be true.

Military jump from a helicopter (Mi-2 or Mi-8) in the 60s or 70s. One experienced sergeant sits next to the door and falls asleep during the ride up. However they cancell the jump. The helicopter lands, but the engines (rotors) are still running. Somebody yells at the sergeant:
"Comrade Sergeant, JUMP!" The man quickly wakes up and with the same motion throws himself out.
Landing on the grass runway in a perfect arch!

Might not be true but its funny.


skypuppy  (D 347)

Nov 25, 2002, 9:08 PM
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This one reminds me of something that happened back in - it must have been '81. We were using round Sierra canopies in Innovator tandem containers (that's two canopy containers, not 2 person systems) for our students on static lines... The risers were set up with an RSL to ensure that the student didn't just cut away the main without pulling the reserve, and they had sentinel AAD's, I believe...

This one student had a lineover malfunction of his round main parachute and opened up spinning, not real fast, but he couldn't control it... As he got lower the spin increased - somewhere around 1500' he seemed to wake up and decide he should do something, so he pulled the cutaway handle.

From his perspective, nothing happened. Watching from the ground though, things got real interesting... The RSL was routed between the two risers of the main, and under the reserve housing... When buddy cutaway, the RSL caught under the back of his hockey helmet, forcing it down over his eyes and putting all his weight on the chin strap... Not being in the exact centre of the RSL, the canopy was further distorted and began spiralling harder.

The reserve pilot chute came out, but still being attached to the main there was not enuf airspeed to pull out the reserve, and it flapped around behind him with the locking bight still holding the reserve flaps closed... He was coming down just on the other side of the driveway, maybe 250 feet from the clubhouse...

At below 200' he decided this wasn't right, grabbed the RSL and pulled it from under the back of his helmet, then letting go and dropping free....

I thought I was going to see a bounce - the only thing that saved him was that the reserve pilot chute somehow had wrapped around the RSL on the descent, and as he fell away from the main, the malfunctioned Sierra acted as a large pilot chute to pull out the reserve before releasing...

He was open under the reserve at the height of the telephone posts along the driveway, landing about 10 or 20 feet into the field... When we got to him he was lying on his back in the field, saying over and over again, "F**k, I'm alive... F**k, I'm alive."

His buddy, who got out on the pass after him, had a more successful jump, other than the fact that ground control forgot about him as the malfunction unfolded, and he ended up landing on the roof of Farmer Love's barn, and sliding down into a pile of manure...

I don't think they ever came back...

Skypuppy


ernokaikkonen  (D 12)

Nov 26, 2002, 3:33 AM
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ShockedLaugh

Oh god, these stories are entertaining to read... Keep 'em coming.Smile


Thom  (D 1903)

Nov 27, 2002, 11:32 PM
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Two from Viet Nam
I was in a group of crazies in 1966-67 called the Saigon Sport Parachute Club jumping at Ap Dong. We used H-34's which is strange cause when you spot you can yell "5 BACK!".

The first incident was a 10,000 footer and at about 4000' I noticed that the DZ was being shelled!!! I seriously wondered if it was worth it to open at all or just get it over with but I wasn't that young or that stupid.

Next was a few weeks later when the crew chief ordered everyone out for some reason. We were down wind over a jungle canopy to the east of the DZ and no way could we get back. I spotted a small clearing maybe 25' in diameter and started towards it with my 28' cheapo. I had to work the target and put my M-45 Swedish 9mm submachine gun together at the same time. I land in the clearing but the canopy was in the trees and I was dangling a foot or so off the ground. I heard people running towards me and I almost shot three kids who came after me to carry gear or whatever formoney or cigarettes. They got my gear out of the tree and when I went to put some ripstop tape on some small tears from the tree, I found two small caliger bullet holes! Don't know when I got them
THOM


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