Scott was a friend of mine and a part of the Xkeys family. I saw him last week and he told me he was leaving for Florida for the weekend. On Friday I had jumped the first 3 loads and was packing to make load 4 when Scott and his best friend Rick showed up. They had taken up the sport last Summer and were very enthusiastic about it, jumped often and spent a lot of time at the DZ as well as traveling to jump and do wind tunnel time. I walked over to Scott gave him a hug and asked how Florida was. I said to Scott and Rick,"We have never jumped together, lets do a 3way on this one." Scott replied,"Let's do the next one, Rick and I are doing hop and pops on Load 4." I finished packing and we boarded. No one told the pilot we had two out at 5K, so Scott and Rick decided to do a 2way from full alti, instead of solo hop and pops. I was also doing a two way belly with a friend, and the four of us talked and joked about their weekend in Florida on the way up. Scott was the same as always, a huge smile and laughing, he loved life, loved skydiving, loved motorcycle, loved fast cars, loved his friends, loved his family. He asked to be first group out. I spoke to him last, gave him a pound and they climbed out. Rick was in the door of the King Air and Scott pushed him out. I watched them fall away linked for about 5 seconds, then climbed out onto the "step" on the King Air, my friend launched, and I chased him. After I pulled I noticed Rick's and my friend Elwood's canopies but did not see Scott's canopy anywhere. When I landed people were flying towards the woods in a truck, so I hopped on my bike and headed out. When we found Scott, none of his handles (BOC, cutaway, reserve) were pulled, but his reserve was out and stuck in the trees over his head. He looked like he was sleeping. Scott was not the type of guy to go in with no handles pulled. A large cut on his neck was not bleeding and he had not pulse. We are sure he died of natural causes in freefall. If he was in any way conscious or semi conscious he would have pulled main or reserve. NO doubt at all in my mind about this. We are all very sad about Scott's death, but at the same time we are glad that the last thing he did was what he loved most. A fun jump with his best friend of almost 20 years. The jump went as planned and they broke off at 7K and tracked away. Fly Free Friend.
(This post was edited by dennispcoltrane on Mar 28, 2011, 6:38 AM)