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Bob Sinclair: What a Guy!

 

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steve1  (D 23640)

Mar 3, 2003, 11:36 AM
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Bob Sinclair: What a Guy! Can't Post

The last day, of our stay in Arizona. we went to Coolage to make some jumps and eat some supper with Dave Mahoney. It was very dark, as we stood around the bonfire, listening to the coyotes yip, when this grizzled, old guy (who looked about 80) comes walking up to the fire. I asked him how he was doing, and he replied, "Anything I want." I while later we started talking about jumping and the question came around to how many he had made. He replied, "2,800, but the last 800 don't really count because they were on squares." About then someone asked who he was, and he said Bob Sinclair. Apparently he started jumping in 1945, and never quit. (He still jumps). He told us stories of jumping and filming the Rip Cord TV series. When asked if he'd ever been hurt, he told us that he had screws here, and a plate there, and a rod in his leg, and on and on. Later he took us into his bus to show us some old scrap books. You couldn't help but be inspired by this old guy with M shaped visor on his cap. With bright eyes he showed us page after page of news clippings of his life. One was of the time he jumped into the Rose Bowl game (with a 28 ft. round), without permission, and stole the show.

Another was an article of a jump he made at an air show in Palmer, Alaska. Apparently the plan was for him to ride a bi-plane wing, while it made three loops. On the third loop he was to let loose and free-fall down before opening his chute. Everything worked according to plan, and his chute opened fine. About then the plane came around and looped through his lines, cutting all of them. He went to open his reserve, but it entangled with the cut lines. He fought with this almost to the ground before his reserve finally opened. Luckily he opened in a deep river gulch. If he hadn't he probably would have burned in. He didn't get canopy until about 50 feet, above the water, and below the D.Z. altitude. Luckily the water was only about waist deep, so he was able to gather up his chutes, wade out, and climb up to the D.Z.

Another story was how he took Johny Carson up for a 60 second free-fall on his first jump. It sounds like that jump was the start of AFF. All I can say is "What a guy!"...................Steve1


jlmiracle  (D License)

Mar 3, 2003, 1:48 PM
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Bob is great. You really need to do a jump with him and a do little accuracy wagering. He has had some incredible experiences. I've seen alot of the old video's and even the one where he taught Julie Newmare (Catwomen) to skydive.

I could go on and on about how great Bob is but I have to get back to work.

Judy


ERICCONNELLY  (C 32263)

Mar 5, 2003, 7:16 AM
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Letter from Bob

Quote:
Coolidge Arizona Drop Zone
January 2003


Ho Old Jumpers! You w have a Happy New Year
by the direct order of S--God!

This annual letter is going out to about 50 less people than usual which should be a shot in the arm for my beer/postage hind. My jump humming lifestyle changes so little that I am seriously thinking of using the same letter each year and simply changing the date.

Last spring, when it started to get warm here in Arizona, I headed north. I went up the west coast through California, Oregon, and Washington before heading east to attend the Lost Prairie (Montana). Rantoul (Illinois), and Richmond (Indiana) Boogies. Along the way, I spent some very enjoyable time with some of you 'older' people. Not wanting to write a book, I am forced to omit naming several dozens of you old farts, but here are a

Few names of jumpers/ex-junipers whom you might know or remember.

Phil Ward from the early 50's in Fairbanks looked inc up through USPA. He now lives in Sacramento, California and was an Air Force Special Operations type. Lyle and Jean Hoff also live in the Sacramento area but now spend much of their time in NE Washington only 6 miles from Canada. I saw them at both places. Lyle was on our first international team (to Moscow) in 1956. In 1958 Lyle and Jim Pearson made a baton pass at Abbottsford BC months before one was made in the United States.Jake and Clarice Rinard live south of San Francisco but have a summer place at an old logging town north of Shasta and damn near in Oregon. Neither has jumped for many years but they often show up at the DZs and I truly expect them to get back into the air sometime. Both of their SCR numbers are wider 20.

In Oregon, I saw 'Sky Squirrel' Chuck Pink who used to help me train students at BSSP in Southern California. Ralph Harttley of Western Parachute Sales is still at Eagle Creek. Ralph wheels and deals in gear and has an impressive stock of about 1 ,000 canopies in plastic bags on the shelves. At Klamath Falls, I saw Major Ralph Weekly (Special Forces, retired) and Ethel. They had their Christmas early as Ethel won a Harley Davidson Sportster hike and Ralph won a new Ford 150 pick up truck at a local casino. Ralph used to do Hollywood jumping with us in the old days. For example, he rode the ejection seat which we dropped off a C 30 tailgate so that I could film man/seat separation for an Air. Force training film. I suggested to Ralph and Ethel that they trade in some of their new and old 'toys' and get something practical that we could jump out of like a IS place (I know the specs say 12) Russian AN-2 hi-plane which I dearly love.

In Washington. I spent time at the Toledo DZ (one of my favorites), I missed seeing Gary and Joyce Young at Kapowsin but did see Gary's father Rick who flew my students at the Taft, CA DZ for many years. I also missed Ed and Barb Drumheller at Kent WA and Joan Person in Salem, OR. Ed used to jump with us in Southern California 40 years ago. Besides his ballooning, he is still actively working in aerospace. Joan was one of my earlier students. We made a winter jump at Fairbanks, Alaska in 1950. It was dark, cold (30 to 40 below zero), 24' unmoded chutes and she had a hard pull with a low opening. Joan's Christmas card says "Can you believe this? Over half a century ago, weird! ". I spent several days visiting with Dick and Fran Dunphy at Leavenworth, Wash. Dick was one of our Para Ventures jumpers and ex-army HALO jumper. They are now living a laid back, rural life in a very beautiful section of the state.

I saw Jack Pay (Fairbanks, early 50's) for only a few minutes in Post Falls, ID as I was running late on my way to

Montana. Lost Prairie, Montana is located in the middle of NO-WHERE (5 mires to the closest lake) hut Fred

Sands and the rest of the people there are "super". Larry Hill of Eloy and Sandy Reid of Rigging Innovations

both have summer homes at Lost Prairie and we had a Skyvan, DC-3, and an otter up from Eloy for the boogie.

482 jumpers made almost 7,000 jumps during die boogie. Injuries were few but two of them were to Washington

DZ owners who will remain nameless.

It took 3 days of driving in my van (At only 6 miles per gallon, my old converted bus stays in AZ.) to go from Lost Prairie to the World Free Fall Convention at Rantoul, IL. For the first year at this location things were not bad. (The airport is the old Chanute Air Force base.) But I hope for improvements next year like access to and maybe even billeting in some of the air conditioned buildings, a wider distribution of the chemical Johns and more and bigger road signs on the base. On the positive side there was a KFC chicken place just off the base. There were two stupid fatalities at this boogie. One was a pond swooper who didn't swoop right and the other was some dumb-ass guy who popped up out of a corn field to take a picture of the 412 helicopter taking off The chopper blades got him.

Due to the time spent in the North West, I didn't see or jump as many places in the Midwest as I usually do. Without digging out an old log book to check, I can't recall all of the specific DZs I jumped but I am sure that I jumped Skydive Michigan at Marshall and missed some other friendly DZs like Gobbles, Mi and Simpco, Ontario, Canada. I should mention that I jumped with sniveling Jim (Jay) Hughes at Skydive Penn. only because he will snivel if I don't. I also jumped with George Speakman, another of our old Hollywood jump crew at Lake Wales, Florida. I saw Jerry Hemming in Fayetteville, NC . Jerry is still big, maybe 6'6"? and is in good spirits but he has serious health problems. Jerry led one of our Am-Doc jump teams that jumped into the mountains of Peru after an earthquake many years ago. Milt Plait and I unexpectedly ran into one Les Hatfield at a little DZ in Florida (Coleman). Les has not jumped for the past 3 years.

On this tour, I got weathered out of about half a dozen states including Eastern Tennessee (where I was going to get Jim Plait back into the air). North and South Carolina and Texas. At Waller, TX I actually got chuted up and to the loading area when they brought the previous otter load back down due to dense clouds. What we call in our log books "Heavy" industrial haze".

Last spring, while Bob Phelps (Semper Fi) and I were heading for the NRA Convention in Reno, I tripped on a broken sidewalk near Fort Owl California and hurt my left shoulder. It is a rotator cuff injury and did not heal by itself so 1 am now taking pain pills and exercising two times a day to correct die problem. 1 have been careful to avoid doing any combat RW and not being able to properly flair my canopy has cost me a few bucks on target, but physical therapist Jim Hadley (3,200 jumps) at the VA Hospital in Tucson is supervising my program and things are improving.

Things are going well here at Coolidge DZ. Mike Mullins sold the operation to ex-Golden Knight Marc Hogue and the DZ is now open all year. Marc spends most of time working with the Navy Demo team is Southern California and is seldom here. But manager Nathan Dexter with a talented staff of 8 or 10 people run a smooth operation. Mike Mullins, Andy Anderson, Brad Callahan (Dirty Harry's brother) etc. are here for the winter months as is the Army's 4-way team, A new set of large doors have been installed on the hangar and both the swimming pool and hot tub are operational. Mike Mullins is still giving me free jumps (as he has been doing for the past 10-12 years) out of his Super King Air. I in turn, give him helpful tips on how he should fly his airplane. Mike's number 4 son Zach got into the air this past summer. He now has 50+ jumps and has his own chutes. Not a bad start for a 11 year old kid!


I am still old, broke, in debt, homeless, unemployed and crippled but my chutes are packed and my reserve is in date so I figure that I am way ahead of the game.


Bob Sinclair PULL,

Don't think he'd mind that I shared.


steve1  (D 23640)

Mar 5, 2003, 8:46 AM
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Bob gave me this same letter and some other interesting stories including one printed in Argosy Magazine. If I ever get my scanner figured out, I'll post them. Steve 1


murrays  (C 1285)

Mar 5, 2003, 2:28 PM
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Bob Sinclair sounds like a great old guy! Thanks for posting that.


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Mar 5, 2003, 11:46 PM
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In reply to:
I am still old, broke, in debt, homeless, unemployed and crippled but my chutes are packed and my reserve is in date so I figure that I am way ahead of the game.
Yeah. That is a skydiver!

I met Bob in 1991 or so when he and his bus dropped by my home dz. Saw him at Rantoul last year and while he may not have remembered me, he put on a good show of it. Wink He's a walking history of the sport; it's well worth spending time just listening to him talk.


skypuppy  (D 347)

Mar 6, 2003, 3:12 PM
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WOW! I'm speechless!! Except to say that if I'm ever lucky enough to run into Bob Sinclair I'll be buying him as much beer as he can drink for as many days as he can keep talking...


ERICCONNELLY  (C 32263)

Mar 6, 2003, 4:27 PM
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Re: [skypuppy] Bob Sinclair: What a Guy! [In reply to] Can't Post

Having had the chance to jump and talk with Bob I feel very lucky. You won't even have to buy beer, just hold still and listen.
He's certainly one of a kind and just keeps giving to the sport. I jumped with him for the first time when I had about 40 jumps or so, didn't have a clue who he was till we were sitting around afterwards talking about the jump. Still didn't really hit home till someone else told me who he was.

Good thing for me he likes my home DZ (Toledo, WA) and will usually drop by for a few jumps a year during the summer on his "tour".


skychic68  (D 20741)

Mar 6, 2003, 5:13 PM
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Re: [steve1] Bob Sinclair: What a Guy! [In reply to] Can't Post

Bob is a great guy. He shows up at our DZ a few times a year ready to jump. We have some old pictures of him hanging on our photo walls. I've seen a lot of those pictures - he and Jay Hughes did a lot of the pioneering, especially in hollywood. Bob worked with John Wayne as well in one of his war movies.
This is a guy who's seen it all and lives to tell about it. I've jumped with him a couple of times years ago and It was a trip. His gear is sometimes a little scary, but hey.....Cool


Brokeneagle  (D 27414)

Mar 16, 2003, 9:35 AM
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Yessiree, bob- Bob Sinclair is indeed a terrific person!! We were lucky enough to meet him at the last WFFC held in Quincy- he was bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and a veritable walking history book on our sport- enjoyed immensely the hour he patiently shared talking with us and showing us some of the photos and articles he kept in his blue van- he slept under the dadgummed thing in the 100+ degree temperatures we were suffering that year- didn't get to jump with him, but he took a photo with us and signed a previous Quincy jump in my log book- Friendly and talkative, he reminded me of a skinny, slightly dangerous and horny Santa Claus- what a guy!!Cool


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Mar 26, 2003, 8:19 PM
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Re: [steve1] Bob Sinclair: What a Guy! [In reply to] Can't Post

Bob is special. I first met him over twenty years ago and recently had the honor of jumping with him on my 2000 th. It was a loose load and he left the DC-3 7 or 8. I looked up and saw him coming, no jumpsuit, no gloves and no goggles. He closed 9 or 10 and I'll swear he winked at me. And by the way he has always looked 80, he is now in his late 70's.
Michael Owens
D-5476
In reply to:


steve1  (D 23640)

Mar 27, 2003, 7:20 AM
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Re: [mjosparky] Bob Sinclair: What a Guy! [In reply to] Can't Post

I was just watching last year's video of Lost Prairie. It show's an old guy jumping out of a DC-3. It looks just like Bob. I need to watch this again to tell for sure. If he has a rip-cord on the right side, it's got to be him......Steve1


ERICCONNELLY  (C 32263)

Jun 2, 2003, 2:28 PM
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BS update [In reply to] Can't Post

Just saw Bob on Saturday in Toledo, missed the oppurtunity to jump with him again.

He's still a HOOT!

Just wanted to bump this thread since I talked with him on this leg of his NW tour.


mikeat10500  (B 3715)

Jun 2, 2003, 9:07 PM
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Click if you please.

...mikeSmile


ERICCONNELLY  (C 32263)

Jun 3, 2003, 7:14 AM
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Thanks for the photo Mike.

Bob looked old then even...


EricTheRed  (D 26763)

Jul 31, 2003, 10:14 AM
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Here's a photo I took of Bob showing off his photo album. Man he's got some cool photo's and stories.
Attachments: Bob Sinclair, June 2003.jpg (50.1 KB)


kenneth21441  (B License)

Aug 7, 2003, 8:01 PM
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I had seen Bob in Battle Creek, MI a few weeks ago and that very weekend got the chance to jump with him for a dollar on the Target.. He of course won and I was glad to pay it.... A great man with lots of stories that you just hav e to listen to and learn from......

Thank you, Bob and see you soon...

Ken,,


docrw  (D 9831)

Apr 14, 2004, 11:34 AM
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Bob Sinclair: What a Guy! Looking for him [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm glad I was able to find this discussion on Bob. I've know Bob since the early 80's and have been able to run into him in the mid 90's a few times. He starting me as a camera guy and I still have the equipment he gave me from way back then. I was doing a search to find him again, and that's how I found this forum. Does anyone have any idea where he might be these days? Last time we saw each other was in Oregon.
Any help would be great.
DoCRW


skypuppy  (D 347)

Apr 16, 2004, 8:39 PM
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Re: [docrw] Bob Sinclair: What a Guy! Looking for him [In reply to] Can't Post

Look a little further down the page.

http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=1036820#1036820


efs4ever  (D 7014)

Nov 20, 2005, 11:51 AM
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Bob was out at Skydive Houston yesterday, 11 19 2005, and I snapped some pics from his traveling museum.

He trained Julie Newmar for a jump when she was a "Catwoman".

Here's a shot of his ff camera set up. Crazy
Attachments: Bob Sinclair training Julie Newmar to jump sixties.jpg (109 KB)
  Bob Sinclair training Julie Newmar to jump sixties w news clip.jpg (120 KB)
  Bob Sinclair ff camera set up.jpg (98.3 KB)


GeordieSkydiver  (D 105023)

Nov 20, 2005, 4:05 PM
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I've met Bob a couple of times, I had the pleasure of a two way with him at OFR6 last year in Joshua Tree. (and me an Englishman tooWink )

I think we were the 'oldest/youngest' jumpers there!

I saw him again at WFFC this year, he looks old as dirt. I suspect he always did.Smile

Nice old guy, I could listen to him shoot the breeze all night.
Attachments: Me an Bob sinclair.jpg (42.4 KB)


PeteS  (D 8230)

Nov 24, 2005, 7:20 PM
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A couple of years ago Bob turned Bill Dause down for a jump, so he could jump(his one jump a day) with me on my birthtday. The night before, when I asked him to make a b-day jump, he said "I don't jump with OLD GUY'S!Tongue "


jceman  (D 19212)

Nov 24, 2005, 8:09 PM
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At the Hog Flop this year in Palatka, Bob told me he thought there should be federal law restricting us to one or two jumps a day and that we should spend the rest of the day "drinking beer and chasing pussy"!


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Nov 25, 2005, 1:26 AM
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Here are a couple of pictures of Bob from a few years ago. It was my 2000th. at one of the Old Farts at High Desert A/P in So. Cal. I look up and here he comes, no gloves, no helmet, no jumpsuit, no goggles and hand tracking his way in. He was wearing a piggyback rig but it did have a ripcord main. Appropriately it was out of Skips DC-3, 6MA.
He is the one with the red dot.

Sparky
Attachments: BobS.jpg (48.2 KB)
  BSin.jpg (41.5 KB)


timber  (D 14846)

Nov 26, 2005, 1:02 PM
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       I have had the privilige of knowing Bob since I was just a young DZ brat at Taft California. He and my dad Mac McKinney formed an enduring friendship. Bob put me out on my first jump in 1985. I always look foreward to running into him on the boogie circuit or when he comes to Pensacola to visit my Dad. It is great to have these two wonderful old farts to hang out with. Bob has so many great stories !! I encourage any new skydiver who has never met him before to spend some time with Bob. (especially the young pretty skygoddesses !! Your welcome Bob !! See if you can beat him in accuracy ! I did: and I felt guilty for taking his money for about 10 seconds. I then remembered how he made me do PLF's until I was black and blue all over !!

Bob is a true skydiving gypsy ! He is blessed to have so many wonderful friends all over the country like Mike Mullins and Jay Hughes to name a couple.

Blue Skies & Happy Holidays !! Timber

Timber


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