A proud patch to wear was a Texas night 20 -way in the same era. Double white XX's on a black back ground. I was never in Texas but did a 16 and 12 in Michigan. My NSCR is 454 from 1974. With the faster squares later on NSCRs dropped down alot.
O.K. well, I have my Nomex flame suit on for this one. There were no other than round formations to speak of when I started jumping other than the ocassional Snowflake. About 1977/78 things started to change. Steve Fielding was the large load organizer back in those days and about the only other formation was a snowflake either on the legs or between the legs which led to other stuff and Steve started doing less and less of the Round Stars and more of the formations. I told Steve one Day that the formations were a lot easier to fly but that the skill level was going down on the ocassional 20 man that we were putting together people didn't know how to fly the rounds. He said that was true but we were getting a lot bigger formations. At that time the largest round star was the 32 man that was put together over Corona/Ontario for the Jerry Lewis telethon and that puppy was flying on five or six different levels and moving back and forth and was tough to keep together. The Night star over Perris in '75 was flying on about 3/4 different levels and was moving in and out really bad until we got it setteled down. It took a LOT of flyhing skill to fly those large round stars.
When Capt Hook got back from China They were doing a bunch of RW at Perris one weekend and I was home. I got a call from Dale Thurber on Sat eve. and he said "Larry, you got to get down here" I said "whats going on" He said "Capt hook is going base for anybody who wants to make a 20 man, I made three 20 mans today." I immediately headed down there for some serious RW. I made 4 round 20 mans that Sunday and I think we were only getting 10,500, How many do you think could be made like that today? Lets face it, it's true and I am not trying to belittle RW work but the air flows around the formations a lot better than it does the rounds.
I have my large fire extinguisher handy. Please send pics of me being hung in efigy.
Please forgive me for saying man" instead of "way" they were all "mans" wether there were men or women in them in the old days, i'm a creature of habit.
(This post was edited by SCS422 on Jan 23, 2012, 9:30 AM)
A twenty man star, back in the mid 70's, was big doings... We used to really look up to the jumpers in Elsinore and other parts of California.
Most of us didn't really know what we were doing, back in Montana. We had some big aircraft to jump, but none of us had much experience.
We built a state record of 15 in 74. B.J. and others were telling people to sit up, in those stars, to help keep it round and hopefully fly right. I don't think any of us knew much about how to keep it level. The only grippers you had, back then, was a handful of material....Sitting up put a lot of tension on grips.
That is a good point though...most people have probably forgotten how hard it is to fly a star...
The young "Whipper Snappers" may not even know what a "Star" is....
(This post was edited by steve1 on Jan 23, 2012, 2:57 PM)
O.K. well, I have my Nomex flame suit on for this one. I have my large fire extinguisher handy. Please send pics of me being hung in efigy.
Thanks for that explanation. I don't think Nomex of extinguishers are necessary. I agree that a 20-way round is more difficult to fly than other kinds of interconnected 20-ways. I was just curious why the focus on rounds, and now you've explained it!
"The only grippers you had, back then, was a handful of material....Sitting up put a lot of tension on grips. "
Yep the bigger they were the harder to fly. I remember when we took lengths of garden hose and sewed them into the arm sleeves to help with the grips, boy did that work well!
I remember when we did a 20 man for Jerry Kinleys wedding at Elsinore. We had it together by 10K and it was the best flying 20 man I have ever been in! Perfectly round all the way down, not a bobble. I will remember that jump (among others) till I pass away. I'm sure there are some guys here that were on that load and remember it.
O.K. well, I have my Nomex flame suit on for this one. There were no other than round formations to speak of when I started jumping other than the ocassional Snowflake. About 1977/78 things started to change....
Hmmm, I was in the first 16 man diamond and the first 20 man papallion in 1974. You sure things weren't already changing when 1977/78 came around?
I was also in a 21 man night round in 1975, I had no idea the largest night round was/is only 22.
"Hmmm, I was in the first 16 man diamond and the first 20 man papallion in 1974. You sure things weren't already changing when 1977/78 came around?
I was also in a 21 man night round in 1975, I had no idea the largest night round was/is only 22. "
I forgot about the Diamonds. Yes, they were already changing but not to the degree after the 77/78 period, it really started to change about then.
Yep, as far as I know the 22 man was/is the largest but as Steve used to say "no picture, no glory".
I agree with you. The formations like the diamond and papillon were rare at the time compared to large round attempts. Rounds are probably harder to build (or at least hold together) than other types of formations.
Hey Larry...It's me Sandy of Bill and Sandy...Anyway...I loved being in and watching rounds. They did kinda dwindle mid 70's. Bcuz I am color blind, that kinda put a kink in my RW days. Too hard to get assigned a slot on a certain color jumpsuit when I couldn't find the color. Oh well, I had fun doing my 997 jumps. Loved being on SCR loads and of course the case of beer was always a plus...Come on over to FaceBook, I'm Sandy Harper-Calliham there. I'm the only one with that name so it's easy to find me. I have about 200 Skydivers in my friend list. I'm sure you know most of them. B.Parson, B.Celaya, C.Wickliffe, C.Bennett, D.Handbury, D.Henley, B.Krueger, P.Krueger, H.Asciutto, J.Ballard, J.Wilkins, J.Brasher, J.Jennings, K.Lane, K.Crabtree, L.Chernis, M.Stage, M.Sheerin, N.Kent, N.Gruttman, P.Swovelin, P.Works, R.Piccirilli, S.Fielding, S.Troeller, C.Doss, G.Young, The Conatsers, P.Perkins...That's just a few of them...Come on over we're having lots of fun...
I don't think any of us knew much about how to keep it level. The only grippers you had, back then, was a handful of material....Sitting up put a lot of tension on grips.
That was the accepted wisdom, but of course if someone lost a grip, it went twang like a rubber band and flew to bits. Usually they went up and down and in and out, and then down the mine.....
OK who's the low man, base for the rebuild.....
Skydiving was a lot of fun back then, most roundies we tried were limited by the aircraft, most common were 10 mans, out of a couple of Cessnas in formation. It was always a race for the guys in the chase plane to get in before all the base plane jumpers.....
Al Krueger taught us a lot when he came down to NZ to run a few seminars....followed up a couple of years later by Craig Fronk and W.H.O.
Best things the old NZFPC ever did. I think those were the best days of skydiving....