May 28, 2008, 12:29 PM
Post #1 of 11
Where and when?
Too easy for "What is this plane?" So: Where and when? How many jumpers? (count 'em) How big a formation resulted? What was the (unofficial) record for the largest #of jumpers from this kind of plane before this (and when and where was that?)
Your collection of rare propliner jumpships is downright amazing. Even Air Britain's Peter Marson, who is the undisputed top Connie historian, doesn't know about this Connie jump event. I hope you will post an album online. I know you are saving them for the Skydiving Museum, but don't make us propliner junkies wait that long. I made a donation to the museum, so give us a peek.
This CATAIR Super G Connie has no radar nose, so it's an old photo for sure, but the gear says that too. Can you imagine what it costs to fly a Connie now with avgas around $5 a gallon? Consider yourself very lucky to have jumped from one and paid only 2-3x a normal jump.
Here's the whole story, from Sky Diver, October, 1972. ----- Many jumpers have dreamed of jumping out of a big airplane from a maximum altitude without the necessity of hijacking the plane at the same time. Bernd Irrgang from Freiburg (West Germany) had this chance and wrote the following story.
The idea was born at the Para Club of I'Aisne (France) — a mass jump out of a Super-Conny. To rent such an airplane is very expensive. On the other side the organizer couldn't take every student to fill the list up with about a hundred jumpers to make it rentable. An ad was published in the French magazine "Les Hommes Volants" and 103 jumpers paid 100 Francs (about $20.00). The drop zone chosen by the organizer measured 7500 x 3500 meters (4 miles by 2 miles) as the flight speed was 70 m/sec and they had only one small door for dropping one jumper per second. When all difficulties had been managed, ninety-six jumpers met on a beautiful day in autumn (1971) at Le Bourget (near Paris), as expected by good organization. After license-control, a very careful briefing was held. All freefall-work (flash, etc.) was strictly forbidden and before pulling the ripcord between 1000 m and 700m every jumper had to turn a full (360 degree! turn and to wave two times. After a snapshot in front of the plane (see photo) the jumpers entered the plane and took places on the floor, where it was very narrow. After the take-off, at 1500 feet, the jumpers were allowed to stand up. Twenty minutes later the plane arrived at the drop zone near Laon, at 12,500 feet. One turn and the pilot took the cut. The jumpmaster opened the back door and the jumpers ran to the door and got out. After 70 seconds the plane was empty and weighed ten tons less than before. What a beautiful scene to see 100 jumpers in freefall at one time. Because of the high dropping speed, the jumpers were about 150 feet apart. When the canopies were opened, it looked like pearls on a chain. There was no case of hindrance among the jumpers. Ed. note: Prior to this, the previously known civilian mass freefoll record was the Pacific Coast Sport Parachute Club's Connie loads of 61 at Taft, California, on May 31, 1965.) --- My "collection" consists largely of access to old magazines such as this one, and a good scanner which lets me steal photos from them. The Museum collection includes a pretty complete set of Sky Diver donated by Tony Fugit. But 100 one-ways seems a shame -- no "freefall-work (flash, etc.)" allowed. What's "flash", anyway?
(This post was edited by howardwhite on May 30, 2008, 6:33 AM)