Forums: Community: Blue Skies - In Memory Of:
Lake Erie tragedy-1967

 


chuteless  (D 41)

Aug 15, 2012, 8:05 AM
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Lake Erie tragedy-1967 Can't Post

It was likely before you started in the sport, when 16 jumpers drowned in Lake Erie on August 27th 1967.

To think that they all would be in their 60s or 70s of age now.

Bill Cole


(This post was edited by skymama on Aug 15, 2012, 9:50 AM)


bluskidave  (D 23569)

Aug 15, 2012, 9:48 AM
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Re: [chuteless] Lake Erie tragedy [In reply to] Can't Post

When teaching ground school I always use this tragedy as one of the reasons we don't jump through clouds!


(This post was edited by bluskidave on Aug 15, 2012, 9:54 AM)


cocheese  (D 24000)

Aug 15, 2012, 9:38 PM
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Re: [chuteless] Lake Erie tragedy-1967 [In reply to] Can't Post

It was the year I was born and a lesson I was taught my first year in the sport 18 years later....a lesson that has saved a lot of lives in 44 years.


airdvr  (D 10977)

Aug 16, 2012, 9:33 AM
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Re: [chuteless] Lake Erie tragedy-1967 [In reply to] Can't Post

I was 9 at the time this happened and living an hour south of the lake. We keep learning through other's mistakes even today.

http://bulk.resource.org/...2d.626.73--2231.html




StealthyB  (D 9851)

Aug 16, 2012, 2:16 PM
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Re: [chuteless] Lake Erie tragedy-1967 [In reply to] Can't Post

As an active Instructor, and one who has always learned from the experiences of others, I still find the opportunity, once in a while to remind people of the lesson from this tragedy, I'm fortunate enough to skydive in environments that let us punch complete cloud cover from time to time, and in coastal areas, I have never lost site of the lesson from this tragedy, even today in the age of GPS. I have found myself in situations many times in my Skydiving career when this tragedy has come to mind. Thanks to all who have led the way, RIP.


dks13827  (C 9293)

Aug 16, 2012, 6:22 PM
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Lake Erie tragedy-1967 [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember well reading about that bad incident. while many things have improved re: drownings, we still had too many photographers drown, even after the danger was known. :(


BillyVance  (D 18895)

Aug 17, 2012, 7:55 PM
Post #8 of 22 (5665 views)
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Re: [bluskidave] Lake Erie tragedy [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
When teaching ground school I always use this tragedy as one of the reasons we don't jump through clouds!

It was also well before the age of GPS....


Periapt  (D 3017)

Sep 11, 2012, 8:09 PM
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Re: [StealthyB] Lake Erie tragedy-1967 [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
As an active Instructor, and one who has always learned from the experiences of others, I still find the opportunity, once in a while to remind people of the lesson from this tragedy, I'm fortunate enough to skydive in environments that let us punch complete cloud cover from time to time, and in coastal areas, I have never lost site of the lesson from this tragedy, even today in the age of GPS. I have found myself in situations many times in my Skydiving career when this tragedy has come to mind. Thanks to all who have led the way, RIP.
I have punched clouds on only two jumps, once in April, '73 at Elsinore and the other in southern Ilinois in April,'75. Neither episode was intentional (being back from the door in a twin beech, I had to rely upon the spotter!?). Both resulted in landings far from the DZ (No GPS back then). Elsinore also had sailplanes in operation and where do you think they are? Answer: Under the clouds where the lift is. So, the first thing I saw on opening was a Sailplane at 12 o'clock level doing a near-wingover to avoid flying into our opened mains. This could have had tragic results, and it would have been entirely our fault.

The other was a night jump over farm country. No one was hurt, but one jumper landed in power lines and blacked out a farm. I think we got lucky. Night landings beneath an overcast are interesting enough without wondering if that dark patch is a field or a pond.

Skydiving is a VFR activity and, even with GPS, there may be something down there that can kill you if you can't see it.


deadwood  (D 9930)

Nov 16, 2012, 5:59 PM
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Re: [chuteless] Lake Erie tragedy-1967 [In reply to] Can't Post

A good friend on mine here in Albuquerque was on the load. He and another elected to get out on a different pass where they could see the ground.

I believe he is now 79.




lekstrom10k  (D 3001)

Nov 19, 2012, 2:12 AM
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Re: [chuteless] Lake Erie tragedy-1967 [In reply to] Can't Post

I started jumping on Sept .* right afyer that. As advice of a Sky diver I met and said "Start as soon as possible as FAA will be cracking down on us". I did .


Superfletch  (D 26145)

Nov 20, 2012, 9:53 PM
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Re: [chuteless] Lake Erie tragedy-1967 [In reply to] Can't Post

The last guy found was one of my dad's best friends.


dthames  (B 37674)

Nov 21, 2012, 10:30 AM
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Re: [chuteless] Lake Erie tragedy-1967 [In reply to] Can't Post

I wonder why were so few able to survive.

Were they not able to get out of the gear and work on water survival?

Or was help just too long getting there?


JerryBaumchen  (D 1543)

Nov 21, 2012, 1:33 PM
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Re: [dthames] Lake Erie tragedy-1967 [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi dt,

Quote:
Or was help just too long getting there?

IMO mostly this; no one knew they were out there.

JerryBaumchen


chuteless  (D 41)

Nov 26, 2012, 10:22 AM
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Re: [dthames] Lake Erie tragedy-1967 [In reply to] Can't Post

Most of the guys got out of their gear. Norm Allard had put his altimaster ( altimeter) on his wrist, over the wrist bands of his 2 jumpsuits, and he got out of his gear, then got his jumpsuits off, but they were pinned to his wrist, and that is how they found him.

The last guy found, was my good friend Joe Malarik, who originated from Pittsburgh, Penna.

There weren't many boats on the lake due to the high winds, waves three feet high, and dark clouds, but one boat drove right around Al Omstead and they got a close up look at him, , and then drove away.

It was supposed that boater was either smuggling or out with someone elses wife and didnt need the publicity.


chuteless  (D 41)

Nov 26, 2012, 10:25 AM
Post #17 of 22 (4403 views)
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Re: [deadwood] Lake Erie tragedy-1967 [In reply to] Can't Post

I was about the same age as many of those guys. I just turned 80 in October 2012, so they would all have been getting on too.


rss_v

Nov 27, 2012, 2:55 AM
Post #18 of 22 (4366 views)
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Re: [chuteless] Lake Erie tragedy-1967 [In reply to] Can't Post

Here in the UK we jump through near-solid clouds quite routinely. Even when only ~6 miles from the coast.


chuteless  (D 41)

Nov 27, 2012, 7:27 AM
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Re: [rss_v] Lake Erie tragedy-1967 [In reply to] Can't Post

I have jumped in 100% cloud cover a few times as well. We would pss over where we thought the DZ was and the pilot would gun the engtie and then throttle back a few times. someone on the radio would tell the pilot that we were directly over the DZ and we would bail. We always managed to land on the air port. The B25 aircraft that the guys jumped from into Lake Erie was 16 miles north of the airport. The Radar operator had a blip over the field, but it was a Cessna 180 and he thought it was the B 25.

The second pass brought the B 25 over the field and the Cessna 180 had landed by that time. The two guys jumped from the B 25 on its second drop, and they landed on the airport, wondering where all the other jumpers were.

The pilot had given them a free jump for doing an air show, and he had chicken dinners awaiting for each man in the hangar.


lekstrom10k  (D 3001)

Nov 30, 2012, 2:15 AM
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Re: [dthames] Lake Erie tragedy-1967 [In reply to] Can't Post

 There were boats in the water but didnt help. If you arent familiar with the area Canadas border is close. The guys in the boats might have been illegally there. Not to incriminate them selves they did nothing. We had an incident north of there in Lake St Clair . The fisherman were asked why they didnt help the jumper on a cutaway. They said the bastard was scaring away the fish.


chuteless  (D 41)

Aug 11, 2013, 12:32 PM
Post #21 of 22 (3308 views)
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Re: [chuteless] Lake Erie tragedy-1967 [In reply to] Can't Post

It will be 46 years ago on Aug 27th 1967, when 16 friends drowned in Lake Erie, after jumping through 100% cloud cover. Two other jumpers were rescued.

Remind your self to stay safe. Let the students in on that tragic episode, and make sure they know what they can do in emergencies like that one.

" Above all " ( pun intended ) FLY SAFE, Stay alive.

Bill Cole


chuteless  (D 41)

Aug 26, 2013, 8:08 AM
Post #22 of 22 (2860 views)
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Re: [chuteless] Lake Erie tragedy-1967 [In reply to] Can't Post

It was 46 years ago tomorrow ( August 27th 1967 ) that the 16 skydivers drowned in Lake Erie. I think about those guys every year, and think how it should never have happened.

Take a minute and reflect on what happened to them, and don't think it couldn't happen to you. I sure could. On a jump last week, I looked down at a water course below as the aircraft climbed to altitude, and realized if any jumpers of today with their dumb leg strap modifications ever went into that water, they would surely drown, because they would never get the leg straps undone while trying to stay afloat. Those step in leg straps are the dumbest invention ever made in the sport.

Bring back the quick ejector snaps....or do we have to wait until more jumpers drown?


Too many people lost recently....do try to stay safe. Try hard.

Bill Cole


(This post was edited by chuteless on Aug 26, 2013, 11:10 AM)



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