Forums: Skydiving: Skydiving History & Trivia:
Know anything about this Lodestar?

 


JDutton  (C 10094)

Apr 20, 2009, 5:47 PM
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Know anything about this Lodestar? Can't Post

Does anyone have any idea what happened to this Lodestar?

Probably some of the best skydiving I had was out of this Lodestar out of Freemont County (Canon City) Airport in Colorado. I think it was the Lodestar in the photo. From what I remember it was all brown. It arrived on the scene in the middle of '75.

I learned a lot about RW that year, and earned my SCR out of that Lodestar. They would pick us up at an airport near Denver and fly us down and we'd jump in. Sometimes on the way back we would do zero-G stars inside the plane. I loved that plane. I'd heard of a couple of stalls by Lodestars, but we weren't really worried about it. Cool

Jeff
Attachments: CanonCityLodestarc60.jpg (6.36 KB)


SWhiplash  (D 29626)

Apr 20, 2009, 6:33 PM
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Re: [JDutton] Know anything about this Lodestar? [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know anything about this Lodestar but I am curious about your Littleton, CO DZ. I live in Parker and am curious about the airport you used to operate from. Did you guys fly out of Centenial airport?


Usetawuz  (D 2747)

Apr 20, 2009, 7:22 PM
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Re: [SWhiplash] Know anything about this Lodestar? [In reply to] Can't Post

The Littleton Airport DZ was just north of Sedalia on US Hwy 85. It was really more of an 'Airstrip' than airport. It's gone now but Airport Rd is still there. I lived in Colo Spgs so we usually just drove to Canon City but the Lodestar would pick those guys up at Arapahoe Country airport which, after a lot of years and a lot of improvements, became Centennial Airport. Right Jeff?


JDutton  (C 10094)

Apr 20, 2009, 8:45 PM
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Re: [Usetawuz] Know anything about this Lodestar? [In reply to] Can't Post

That's right, though I didn't know the name of the Arapahoe Countyy Airport had changed. Littleton Airport, sadly, is gone, but I can still recognise the dropzone on the other side of the road using Google Earth.

Once or twice we jumped into Littleton at the end of the day so they wouldn't have to use the fuel to land at Arapahoe Airport.


beenthere  (D 5729)

Apr 20, 2009, 9:20 PM
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Re: [JDutton] Know anything about this Lodestar? [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember that Brown Loadstar had come to Casa Grande for a boogie, (maybe Thanksgiving). It had come from or was headed to somewhere in Colorado. We were watching it from the ground, it was on jumprun, when it looked like it wobbled. I immediately knew what we had just seen was a stall. Earlier the year we experienced a stall in our Loadstar. We had gone up to 15,000 feet for BJ's birthday jump with a load of 20 jumpers. I was at the back 17th I think. When the floater started to climb out, the plane started to feel odd. I didn't recognize what was happening, but Jim Heydorn who was last in line yelled "GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT OF MY WAY" I'll never forget those words. Or the sounds the engines were making, full throttle while falling backwards As Heydorn was saying his words the tail was starting to drop. Far enough that we went weightless and started to float toward the rear of the plane. We floated weightlessly for a few seconds. Our weightless trip ended abruptly when we were pinned to the floor. Several jumpers were able to get out.The first 6 or 8 people including the floaters left the plane and went up in relation to the stalling aircraft. Rande Deluca had an amazing sequence of photos where there were 6-8 jumpers above the plane which was in a nose dive below the jumpers. I used to have one of those photos, and would love to get a copy of that moment. Several of us were still in the Loadstar while it was pointing straight down, and like I said were pinned to the floor. It started to recover and we were able to crawl along the cabin floor. Then when it returned to a nosedown position, we were pinned onto the floor again. My hand reached the door frame, and the more I pulled, the deeper the cuts were injuring my fingers. Our good fortune was there were two pilots flying that day. Randy "Roach"Kempf and Steve Graas. We started at 15,000 and they pulled us out of the dive at about 12,000 or so.I got out of the plane about 12,000and found BJ and Hod Sanders in a two way.I grabbed onto them and we flew our three wayto break off. I had got blood on HODs new jumpsuit from the cuts in my fingers.

They saved our lives because there were two pilots in the cockpit. Randy said that he didn't have the strength to pull the plane out of the dive without the help of Steve Graas.

From the on, They lowered the landing gear on those high loads which moved the CG forward. Also used some more flaps as well a higher jump run speed.

A few years later when there was a Loadstall in Washington, and only about 7 or 8 jumpers were able to get out and I believe that 14 were killed. It brought back the same feelings that we went thgough. The sound of the screaming engines, the weightless before being pinned to the floor, and the helplessness of the situation.

That's a bit of a long answer about the Brown Loadstar, but if anyone of the jumpers are around I would like to hear from anyone who survived those stalls, and especially if anyone has Rande Deluca's photos from that load at the Gulch we were on.


riggerrob  (D 14840)

Apr 20, 2009, 11:41 PM
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Re: [beenthere] Know anything about this Lodestar? [In reply to] Can't Post

Our dear departed buddy Tom Classon was in the door of the Washington Lodestar when it stalled.
He told me how it flung him out and broke his leg on the way out.
Later that night - after helping clean up the mess and explaining the accident to police. Tom drove himself home with a broken leg.


beenthere  (D 5729)

Apr 21, 2009, 5:13 AM
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Re: [riggerrob] Know anything about this Lodestar? [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't know that Tom had passed away, very sorry to hear that. We jumped together in the 90's and did a TV show for Evening Magazine and a show called Watch This. We hung out together many times, but I don't remember either one of us ever talking about the Loadstalls.


piper17  (D 3362)

Apr 21, 2009, 6:15 AM
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Re: [JDutton] Know anything about this Lodestar? [In reply to] Can't Post

http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?do=post_attachment;postatt_id=94134;

Is it the same one as the one in the foreground here?


JDutton  (C 10094)

Apr 21, 2009, 6:34 AM
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Re: [beenthere] Know anything about this Lodestar? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm pretty sure I remember Scott Brady talking about a being on a Lodestar over Casa Grande when it stalled. Either he went over the horizontal stabilizer or he saw someone go over. I'm not sure if it was "our" Lodestar or not.

Do you happen to remember if the Colorado Lodestar was solid brown, or did it look like the one in Piper17's post?


(This post was edited by JDutton on Apr 21, 2009, 6:40 AM)


JDutton  (C 10094)

Apr 21, 2009, 6:38 AM
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Re: [piper17] Know anything about this Lodestar? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Is it the same one as the one in the foreground here?

You know, it is a possibility. Unfortunately, 33 years has taken its toll on my memory. I really don't remember if it was solid brown or if it had that trim. I do know that the interior was originally very plush, so that would seem to go along with a fancier exterior than just solid brown.


howardwhite  (C 3896)

Apr 21, 2009, 6:51 AM
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Re: [piper17] Know anything about this Lodestar? [In reply to] Can't Post

That one was the Variliner. Other pix of it here.

HW


JDutton  (C 10094)

Apr 21, 2009, 7:41 AM
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Re: [howardwhite] Know anything about this Lodestar? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Howard,

Do you have any idea if it was in Colorado in the mid '70s?


howardwhite  (C 3896)

Apr 21, 2009, 7:48 AM
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Re: [JDutton] Know anything about this Lodestar? [In reply to] Can't Post

No clue.These pix were from the old Spotter magazine and were, IIRC, taken in Wisconsin.

HW


Usetawuz  (D 2747)

Apr 21, 2009, 5:32 PM
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Re: [JDutton] Know anything about this Lodestar? [In reply to] Can't Post

I think it had trim but my memory suffers those same years as yours.


diverdriver  (D 19012)

Apr 26, 2009, 4:55 AM
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Re: [JDutton] Know anything about this Lodestar? [In reply to] Can't Post

I think there's an old Loadstar parked at an FBO in Richmond, VA. I never see it move so I don't know if it's still airworthy. I'll see if I can get a picture. Any time I hear the name Loadstar I get chills from the stories I've heard. Can't imagine living the memory. I've been pinned to the ceiling and floor (same flight) in a Cessna 206. Once the pilot stopped trying to fix things the plane recovered on its own. Gotta hand it to you guys who jumped in decades past.


steve1  (D 23640)

Jun 7, 2009, 9:14 PM
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Re: [beenthere] Know anything about this Lodestar? [In reply to] Can't Post

BeenThere,
I talked to Hod the other day. He said he remembers that jump (with the stalled Lodestar) well. After he got on the ground he found blood and guts all over his new white jump suit. Those must have been some wild times at Casa Grande....


RandyRoach

Mar 19, 2012, 3:44 PM
Post #17 of 19 (2456 views)
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Re: [steve1] Know anything about this Lodestar? [In reply to] Can't Post

You guys got it all pretty close!
Attachments: Lodestall300kb.jpg (292 KB)


RogerRamjet  (D License)

Apr 20, 2012, 6:39 AM
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Re: [RandyRoach] Know anything about this Lodestar? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
You guys got it all pretty close!

That's a great shot! And as can be seen, 500lbs of landing gear is 6 feet aft of where it would be if lowered. The best lodestar pilot I ever flew with, Bill Buchmann, told me that it is imperative to have the gear down on jump run for this reason.


Premier Remster  (C License)

Apr 20, 2012, 12:55 PM
Post #19 of 19 (2122 views)
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Re: [diverdriver] Know anything about this Lodestar? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I think there's an old Loadstar parked at an FBO in Richmond, VA.

There's a shinny one parked at Eloy too.



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