Forums: Skydiving: Skydiving History & Trivia:
Jeannie McCombs

 

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cabernet

Nov 4, 2010, 3:00 PM
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Jeannie McCombs Can't Post

i was thinking of Jeannie today. i lived with her and her boyfriend for a few months in the late 70s in San Francisco. although we were in touch for a few years after i moved back to the east coast, we eventually lost touch. i thought of her many times in the years since and "googled" her just today. i was stunned to read that she died in the early 80s, apparently while skydiving, and i wonder if anyone knew her and the circumstances of her death. also anyone have an email for her daughter?


BillyVance  (D 18895)

Nov 4, 2010, 4:33 PM
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Re: [cabernet] Jeannie McCombs [In reply to] Can't Post

Not a whole lot of links, but at least its something to start with:

http://www.dropzone.com/...p;sb=score&mh=25


jbrasher  (D 5166)

Nov 4, 2010, 6:04 PM
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Re: [BillyVance] Jeannie McCombs [In reply to] Can't Post

jeannie (always w/ a small j) died in the late 70's (1977?) at Elsinore jumping a pull out.

(as I remember) The pud had come undone/unvelcroed and she spent the rest of her life looking for it.

She's been ridiculed for having a couple of low openings for the same thing during the past couple of weeks :-(

She was a pioneer of the sport.


skypuppy  (D 347)

Nov 4, 2010, 7:58 PM
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Re: [jbrasher] Jeannie McCombs [In reply to] Can't Post

  I believe it was '80 or '81


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Nov 4, 2010, 9:34 PM
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Re: [skypuppy] Jeannie McCombs [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi puppy,

I believe that you are closer on the date.

I was talking to her at Elsinore about two weeks before she went in. Unsure

JerryBaumchen


patworks  (D 1813)

Nov 6, 2010, 8:27 AM
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Re: [JerryBaumchen] Jeannie McCombs [In reply to] Can't Post

Nice lady. Good Friend. jeannie had an all-girl professional demo team that was hot. She had a good record in classic style + Accuracy and RW. Lots of life-energy; good to be around. Brasher has a better memory + more remaining brain cell(s) than I. I just remember she was a very experienced jumper who bounced from a no pull at Elsinore. Her death put a shock-wave through us all.


jdobleman  (D 7790)

Nov 6, 2010, 10:07 PM
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Re: [jbrasher] Jeannie McCombs [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd always heard that it was a belly band, interesting to hear this new info.

madjohn


hangdiver  (D License)

Nov 7, 2010, 6:34 AM
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Re: [cabernet] Jeannie McCombs [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
also anyone have an email for her daughter?


Her daughter is my next door neighbor. PM me your email and I'll give it to her and see if she wants to contact you. Sincerely, hangdiver.


stratostar  (Student)

Nov 7, 2010, 8:46 AM
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Re: [jdobleman] Jeannie McCombs [In reply to] Can't Post

Well in fly over country, I remember hearing she was jumping a unit and rode a streamer to long before cutting away and hit at line stretch. I also remember it as the late 70's and not the 80's. Oh course none of that matters she is still gone.


airdvr  (D 10977)

Nov 7, 2010, 9:35 AM
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Re: [skypuppy] Jeannie McCombs [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I believe it was '80 or '81

It's gotta be later than '81. She was still jumping when I started in '81.


RobertMBlevins

Nov 7, 2010, 10:00 AM
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Re: [airdvr] Jeannie McCombs [In reply to] Can't Post

I've heard something about Jeannie McCombs working on the film 'Private Benjamin' shortly before she was killed.


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Nov 7, 2010, 12:33 PM
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Re: [stratostar] Jeannie McCombs [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi strato,

The 'story' that I heard not longer after it happened was that a couple of weeks earlier ( maybe more but who is counting ) she had lost her pud and ended up pulling her reserve quite low. On the last jump ( it is speculated ) that she lost her pud again and continued to chase it until just before impact. The 'story' going around was that she simply knew she was dead and quit trying.

Maybe some truth & maybe not,

JerryBaumchen


skypuppy  (D 347)

Nov 7, 2010, 8:52 PM
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Re: [stratostar] Jeannie McCombs [In reply to] Can't Post

Look at the '81 fatality report in July '82 Parachutist ==

"last year two skydivers with over 3000 jumps each lost to the earth in low pull contests.... The first could not locate ger hand deploy handle and made no attempt to pull her reserve. The second took a student out by himself, at 10,000 feet, apparently lost track of altitude in clouds (no altimeters were worn), became preoccupied with saving the student's life and ran out of air."

I believe these two were Mike Steele and jeannie mccombs (both of whom were kicked out of uspa at the time, I think). I could go through the individual magazines for 1981 to see what month they were reported in, but that's too much work right now.


airdvr  (D 10977)

Nov 8, 2010, 8:12 AM
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Re: [skypuppy] Jeannie McCombs [In reply to] Can't Post

Your provbably right. Lots of people went in that year. Wasn't it some kind of record?


377  (F 666)

Nov 8, 2010, 11:31 AM
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Re: [skypuppy] Jeannie McCombs [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Look at the '81 fatality report in July '82 Parachutist ==

"last year two skydivers with over 3000 jumps each lost to the earth in low pull contests.... The first could not locate ger hand deploy handle and made no attempt to pull her reserve. The second took a student out by himself, at 10,000 feet, apparently lost track of altitude in clouds (no altimeters were worn), became preoccupied with saving the student's life and ran out of air."

I believe these two were Mike Steele and jeannie mccombs (both of whom were kicked out of uspa at the time, I think). I could go through the individual magazines for 1981 to see what month they were reported in, but that's too much work right now.

Mike Steele was a high school classmate of mine. He died (according to reports) in a pirate AFF jump at Fremont CA. I've read all I could find on the accident. Sounds like cloudy conditions, neither Mike or his student had an altimeter, no AAD. Student tumbled, Mike caught him at low alt, Mike pulled student's ripcord then his own. Student was saved and landed OK, Mike impacted before line stretch (on main).

Mike jumped into a night football game at our high school on a pirate demo. That wasnt an easy one either (right under the approach to SFO) and no good outs. Mike was an amazingly good gymnast too and helped our team win a lot of competitions. He was a nice guy in high school, not stuck up liike some of the star athletes.

I couldn't find anyone who would train me to jump under age 18. Mike obviously figured out a way around that. I made my first jump within days of my 18th birthday in 1968 and still jump regularly.

I was on a load with jeanni in the 70s. I knew she was a star in the sport and I was too shy to even say hello to her.

377


(This post was edited by 377 on Nov 8, 2010, 12:11 PM)


skypuppy  (D 347)

Nov 8, 2010, 12:13 PM
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Re: [377] Jeannie McCombs [In reply to] Can't Post

How old was Mike was when he died?


stratostar  (Student)

Nov 8, 2010, 5:24 PM
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Re: [skypuppy] Jeannie McCombs [In reply to] Can't Post

I was trying to say I was right about any of that info, just pointing how the telephone game in how word got around back then, 1981 was not a kind year in my "skydiving circles" 85 hotel went in.

I think the reason the story going around in fly over country about her riding a streamer to long may have been the jumps a week or so before? Who knows..... Like I said none of that matters now dose it.... she is still gone.


MakeItHappen

Nov 9, 2010, 1:57 PM
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Re: [cabernet] Jeannie McCombs [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
i was thinking of Jeannie today. i lived with her and her boyfriend for a few months in the late 70s in San Francisco. although we were in touch for a few years after i moved back to the east coast, we eventually lost touch. i thought of her many times in the years since and "googled" her just today. i was stunned to read that she died in the early 80s, apparently while skydiving, and i wonder if anyone knew her and the circumstances of her death. also anyone have an email for her daughter?

jeannie went in the weekend before March 14, 1981 at Elsinore.
This was the weekend before I did my first jump. Everyone at Perris was talking about the accident.
What I heard, was that she had two previous totals on a Racer on the same day and was admonished/teased.
On the 3rd one, she apparently did not pull the reserve because she was getting teased about not knowing how to pack a pud.

About a year later when I bought my first Racer, I was shown how she packed her totals and how to pin-check for it.
From what I was told back then she wrapped the short pud bridle line around the base of the PC.
That creates a total in most cases.
Why she could not check this, is beyond me because it is very easy to check.
In those days, only students had packers.

.


stratostar  (Student)

Nov 9, 2010, 2:05 PM
Post #19 of 60 (6812 views)
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Re: [stratostar] Jeannie McCombs [In reply to] Can't Post

There is a typo, it should read, "I wasn't trying to say I was right"


SCR216  (No License)

Nov 10, 2010, 12:09 PM
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Re: [MakeItHappen] Jeannie McCombs [In reply to] Can't Post

jeanni was a great person to travel with. When So. Cal jumpers were staring to branch-out a van load of us would drive up from LA to the SF Bay area, picking up people on the way. jeanni would open up her place in SF for us to flop down for the night before we went up to Calistoga to jump at the old downtown DZ. Yes, the DZ was right smack downtown. You could land, repack and walk about 100 yards from the packing tables to the store or to a hotel.

At Taft during the first 10-way meets jeanni found me sleeping in my sleeping bag between cars in the hotel parking lot. She stuffed my head down in my sleeping bag, held it closed and kicked me in the butt and then told me to get my butt up and go sleep on the floor in her room with the 10 other people that were also trying to save their money for jumps the next day.

One weekend at Elsinore jeanni, my brother and I jumped into Elsinore from Taft. The winds were very high. We ended up landing going backwards about 1/4 mile south of the DZ. Man we sure got a lot of flack from Gary Douriis that night at the Elsinore Rumbleseat.

I could go on and on, but I think you get my point. jeanni McCombs was one special person and her friends will always remember her for that.


(This post was edited by SCR216 on Nov 10, 2010, 4:38 PM)
Attachments: Jeanni McCombs.jpg (80.8 KB)


33zulu  (D 6267)

Nov 11, 2010, 4:26 PM
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Re: [SCR216] Jeannie McCombs [In reply to] Can't Post

 
jeanni got her start in old El Paso, where she was originally from. Out here in the early 60's in the northeast part of town was a dusty dirt runway and DZ loosely named "Rattlesnake Flats." jeanni jumped there and was known for her low pulls.

One day, nearby workers were busy laying down a road parallel the runway when they saw someone go in on a parachute jump. That was jeanni who'd opened so low, the mesquite and sagebrush blocked the view of her opening. Legend says from then on the street was known as McCombs, and that's how it still officially stands.

Truffer's old "Skydiving" magazine had the write up on her death in issue #19, 5/31/81.


(This post was edited by 33zulu on Nov 11, 2010, 4:27 PM)


SCR216  (No License)

Nov 11, 2010, 7:04 PM
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Re: [33zulu] Jeannie McCombs [In reply to] Can't Post

jeannie got her way most of the time. While jumping at Yolo a CH34 landed with some National Guard on it. jeannie said to my brother and I, "lets make a jump on the governments dime". We got on and the crew chief said, "you guys had better get off because we need to get going. jeannie told him that we would get off but not until that puppy was at 2000 feet or better. They took us up and we did our thing. A 3-way from 2000'. They landed again and said they would let us jump one again but they didn't have much time. My brother and I cut away our mains and we went up again and did a 2-way with only our reserves.
Remember what Forest Gump always said, jumpers are what jumpers do....


dks13827  (C 9293)

Nov 11, 2010, 7:38 PM
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Jeannie McCombs [In reply to] Can't Post

  
jeannie wrote back to me twice about some Security gear ( she was a dealer ) while I was stationed in Germany ( US Army). I met her later in Tahlequah and I thought highly of her and her jump history. very sad to hear of her accident at the time.. ( as I well recall the story she couldnt get her main out and never went for reserve )> :(
a funny story is that I sent her a money order
for a Security Lopo 26' conical and she later wrote me
'in a panic' that she lost the money order !!! I got the money back okay and found a navy conical instead.... thanks to my trusty Strato Star that was one reserve that I never had to use. :)


(This post was edited by dks13827 on Nov 11, 2010, 7:45 PM)


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Nov 12, 2010, 3:55 PM
Post #24 of 60 (6547 views)
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Re: [MakeItHappen] Jeannie McCombs [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Jan,

Quote:
she had two previous totals on a Racer

OK, this has been bugging me for too long.

When I was talking to her at Elsinore a few weeks before she went in I could swear that she was packing a Security rig.

Right/Wrong????? Shocked

Or is the old memory really that shot? Pirate

JerryBaumchen


skybill  (D 6009)

Nov 12, 2010, 4:41 PM
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Re: [JerryBaumchen] Jeannie McCombs [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Jerry,
I think yer right 'bout the Security rig. If memory serves meWink, she, Kevin Donnely and 2 others I don't remember were doing some filming for the "Chips" TV show. BTW the rig was tan.


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