Jun 20, 2011, 2:23 PM
Post #1 of 2
Recap of a Madcap CRW weekend in Madison WI
Just a brief - well not so brief - update on the weekend crw activity.
First the numbers:
We had 18 Midwest crw jumpers.
10 Wisconsinites 3 Iowans 2 Illinoisans 1 Minnesotan 1 Michigander and 1 Canadian, Ryan Drew (making this an International Event for the first time, and yes, of course he bought good beer).
We had four formation pilots:
Jason Smith, John Bechtel, Brian Martin, and myself
April Schuldt shot video.
I taught five in the crw class on Wed night.
We had 18 crw loads over four days of mostly nice weather (Sunday being the only really marginal day). Jumps ranged from two way coaching dives to 13-Ways with video - which was the limit for the aircraft.
We had two cutaways.
The Rest of the Story:
The first day, Wednesday, brings rain and cloudy skies. Really great weather for teaching a crw class and hooking up canopies.
Thursday brings much better weather and the PAC 750. We make four crw jumps of increasing size as more crwdogs roll in.
Friday brings more perfect weather and we get in five jumps.
But, Friday also brings a few mishaps.
First incident; Joe Thompson loses his wallet on breakoff from a post-stack. A few heads up crwdogs and the video person (April Schuldt) notice the something flying off. Nobody knows what it is at the time, but several people comment on it in the debrief. It is only later when Joe can't find his wallet, that we put two and two together and concluded that he lost his wallet on the dive.
Lesson learned - don't leave your wallet in your back pocket on a crw jump. Crwdogs will steal it every time.
A few of us point out the field where we think he lost it, and console him with the idea that maybe he'll be able to find it in the field, while secretly thinking, "there is no way in hell he's going to find a brown wallet out in a huge bean field. But, Joe, being the eternal optimist that he is, heads out to the field to look. The rest of us feel bad for him, but being realists, we're not going to waste the rest of a beautiful day on a perfectly hopeless task.
Second incident: Diamond formation builds to six, it's flying poorly, when the right row three wing (John Bechtel) comes around, wrapping the right side row two (Paul Peterson). A line or part of John's canopy snags Paul's cutaway handle, cutting him away from his main canopy. Paul falls out of the formation and out of the video frame wrapped in John's main canopy, taking John along for a fast ride. Meanwhile, the remainder of the formation explodes, with the other row two wing (Andi Bongart) coming around and wrapping my left leg, a few seconds after I manage to kick Paul's cutaway canopy off of my right leg - losing my right shoe in the process - it's always the right shoe - always.
Paul has the good fortune to fall safely clear of the formation and John's canopy. He deploys his reserve.
After a few tense moments Andi's canopy stables out below me, she gets light and the canopy comes off of my left foot, easily, nearly taking my left shoe with it, but not quite - never the left shoe - never. I drop Andi, fully expecting her right end cell to pop back open - like they nearly always do. After six or seven really fast rotations, it becomes clear that the right side of her canopy isn't going to clear. Getting light headed, she decides to chop. Everyone does a great job of following mains, and freebags, and fellow jumpers. No one thinks to follow my shoe.
After collecting the jumpers and gear that landed out, and viewing a couple dramatic videos of the jump, we all conclude that it was a few less than perfect row three docks that started the 4-way base oscillating, and from there it was downhill, with the wings fighting to stay on and only making things worse.
Lessons learned: Both row three wings should have asked to be dropped, to let the base settle down. Also, I should have hung onto Andi's wing for a bit after I got my foot free. There was no need to drop her immediately, after I got my foot free. Heck, I probably could have walked over to the center cell and flown around with her, while she worked on clearing the right side of her canopy. If nothing else it would have bought her more time to work on it, before cutting away.
Not wanting to end the day on a sour note, we decide to go up on one more crw jump, to end the day. Paul is kind of sore, so he elects to stay on the ground. While we walk to the plane he walks out to the bean field to bring Joe a bottle of water, since Joe's been out the looking for his wallet for awhile, now.
The last dive goes well. When we get down, Paul walks up to me and hands me my right shoe. Joe found it, in the field, while looking for his wallet.
Now, I'm starting to feel guilty about not helping Joe look for his wallet, even though I know there is no way in hell we'll ever find it. So, I'm talking to another club member about how we really should try an organize a search party for Joe's wallet. Sunday morning the weather is supposed to be bad, and after all, "if he can find a shoe in that field, maybe, if we got enough people walking it, we just might get lucky and find a brown wallet." While we're discussing it, Joe walks up, with his wallet.
So, net result, no lost shoes, no lost wallet, no lost gear - not even Paul's cutaway handle, which was still attached to his rig after it got pulled by John's canopy.
Paul wound up with a sore leg, Andi had a sore arm from the wrap, and I ended up with a bruised right ankle and a slightly tweaked left knee.
Saturday brings some wind and a few clouds, but we still managed to get up five crw formations and a couple of coaching jumps. Ryan Drew is finally able to get up in the air, for his first crw jumps, after making the 12 hour drive from Canada, and then suffering for a two days from an excruciating stomach ailment.
Sunday morning does indeed bring bad weather - rain and low clouds. It clears up in time for a couple crw jumps before folks have to start heading out.
Thanks everyone for a great time, good flying and entertaining jumps. We got a lot of great comments from the other jumpers at the DZ and a few more who are interested in trying out crw.
Thanks everyone for heads-up flying and following gear and jumpers after the wrap.
Congratulations to Ryan Drew on making his first crw jumps. Ryan is in the market for a used L126, if anyone knows of one that is available. He is a motivated buyer.
Congratulations to Joe Thompson for finding everything he was looking for this weekend, and more.
Congratulations to Andi and Paul on becoming full fledged crwdogs this weekend.
Jun 20, 2011, 8:10 PM
Post #2 of 2
Re: [sabre1700] Recap of a Madcap CRW weekend in Madison WI
[In reply to]
Thanks to all for chasing gear and concern for my well-being. Looks like my arm is just a strain as I have regained strength and pain to the area. The weekend was spectacular as always when in the presence of the CRW family. And don't worry, I'll pay my beer next time we are all together!!