Apr 10, 2009, 6:45 AM
Post #1 of 3
Remembering Brian Shelnutt
Brian Shelnutt was 27 when he died, April 11, 1993 at Atlanta Skydiving Center, Jenkinsburg, Georgia. His 135 Nova collapsed while turning to land.
He was a jumper, our pilot, and our friend. He was at the end of his college education and looking to a bright future which I have no doubt he was going to get and enjoy.
Brian was a great guy, a good skydiver, and enjoyed beer-thirty with his friends. Brian was a good pilot - a very good pilot. I remember his pajama-like jumpsuit which he was wearing the last time I jumped from his plane. He loved Metallica. He had a full life which included skydiving.
He and I were planning a Zephyrhills trip for a few days of fun jumping turbines. I jumped on Saturday (he piloted) and had some beers afterward. On Sunday, Brian was going to call me after jumping to let me know where to pick him up.
I was surprised when he didn't call but I figured something came up and he just couldn't make it. So I went to Zephyrhills and had a great time. When I came back to Atlanta the following Thursday I stopped by the DZ. I was ready to rag on Brian because he didn't call or make the trip.
Elly was in manifest and after saying hello the first thing I said to her was, "Where the hell is Brian? I thought he wanted to go to Z-Hills but the son-of-a-bitch never called!" I was ready to bust his chops!
Elly said, "Haven't you heard? Brian's dead."
I'll never forget that moment, or how shitty I felt while she told me what happened. I had been prepared to rag on Brian and have a big laugh, but he was dead and being grieved for.
I enjoyed the beer with Brian on Saturday, April 10. That's my last memory of him and it's a good one.