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Pat Works-profile for USPA-UnCut + HTML (Re Done)


patworks  (D 1813)

Oct 6, 2012, 10:41 PM
Post #1 of 4 (1923 views)
Pat Works-profile for USPA-UnCut + HTML (Re Done) Can't Post

Pat Works-profile for USPA-UnCut + HTML

In reply to:
The not-formatted post was too Hard to read. This is better. (Ego? Yes, of course, The ego is the largest part of a skydiver's body)


Name: Pat Works [Madden Travis Works, Jr.]

Nicknames: “Pat” for being born on St. Patrick’s Day; Texas skydivers called me “Crazy Pat”. Now it’s “2-Cats” as in: “Works, you got more lives than two cats.”

Occupation: RWunderground Parachuting Publications (newsletter & books), 1970 to present.
Chief Technologist, Northrop Grumman Aerospace.
Adjunct Professor, the Claremont Graduate School.
Recently retired and loving it.

Education: BA in English, University of Houston, 1967
MS in Information Systems, Claremont Graduate University, 1992
MBA, Executive Management, Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management, 1995
Post Graduate Studies, Ph.D. School of Information Science, Claremont Graduate University, 1992 - 1996 [all coursework for Ph.D. in the Management of IS]

Transportation: ‘Z51 Corvette

Pet Peeves: dimwits and the U.S. Congress

Pre-Jump Superstitions: Eyes-closed touch handles hand-jive

Hobbies: Tai-Chi, art museums, poetry, philosophy, shooting, reading, being ….

Neat packer or a trash packer? Doesn’t matter. Parachutes don’t worry how they are folded. Me neither. Parachutes are bred to deploy and I’m averse to reversing that process by trying to close ‘em back up. I use a packer.

Did you start out as an AFF, static line, or tandem student? My Static Line 1st jump cost me $15.00.
Would you rather swoop or land on an accuracy tuffet? I don’t swoop. Low-pain landings allow multiple jumps where neither the paramedics nor the coroner need be called.

Jump Philosophy: Pull prior to impact.

Sponsors: Many generous sponsors … chiefly, Skydive Perris and the Conatsers who have been friends, patrons and supporters for 35 years.

Discipline(s): Fun jumping, RW, Formation Skydiving; Big Ways; Freefly; Skydance

Home Drop Zone: Skydive Perris

Year of First Jump: First Jump 1961 Houston
1st Para Commander jump 1965 Houston
first 5-way star 1964 Houston
SCR-561 1970 Z-Hills;
SCS#1 1971 Hinckley

B-1513 (1962 Texas A&M)
C-1798 (1963 Texas A&M)
D-1813 (1965 Houston)

1966 NCPL National Champion, Team Event, National Collegiate Parachuting League, 1966 (Univ. of Houston Team)
1970 SCR-561 - Z-Hills
1970s My 10-way teams won the California Rumbleseat Meet three times.
1971 Founder of the RW Council
1972 SCS-1, Hinckley
1972-78 Competed in 4-way, 10-way and 8-way RW at the USPA Nationals in ‘72, ‘73, ‘76, ‘78
1972 Founder of the CG GodFrog Good Vibes Award
1972 Founder of the National Champion of Combined RW Award
1972 Instrumental in introducing 10-way RW to USPA and competed at the first 10-Way Nationals
1972-74 Three-time Conference Champion in 4-way and 10-way RW
1974 Founder of the RW Council’s Certificates of Merit
Mid-1970s Team Captain of many skydiving teams, including multiple wins of the Chute-Out at the Gulch, a meet that featured free-form sequential maneuvers of your choice.
1976-77 Two-time Conference Champion in 8-way RW
1976 North American Sequential Sweepstakes, Original 8-way meet in Ft. Lewis, Wash.
1976 4 stack (#663) at Perris
1980s USPA National Director, three terms
1994 1st Exhibition Event of Sit Flying, Team World Skydance, Eloy Ariz.
1995 1st American Championships of Free Flight, Skydive Dallas, ESPN X-Games test event. (Entered on 2-teams: Perris vRW & World Skydance)
1995-97 Competed in the SSI Pro-Tour, Freefly X-Trials for X-Games in ‘95, ‘96, ‘97
1996 Perris Free Fly Championships, Solitary Birds, 3rd place, Perris, Calif.
1996 Pro Tour Free Flying X-Trials (Pre X-Games) event, Solitary Birds, 1st Place, Perris
1997 Pro Tour Freeflying, Monterey Calif.
1997 Universal Skydiver Award No. 2, Perris
1997 X-Games Judge for ESPN
1998 1st Place, National Championships, USPA Freefly US Nationals Competition Trial

Associations/Club Memberships:
SME Certified Manufacturing Engineer CMfgE (Life)
AIAA (past), NRA (current), SASS (current)
USPA, Number #189
GW, #845
DW, #358
12HR, #233
24HR, #118

Total Number of Jumps : 8,200

Total Number of Cutaways: 35-40

Going back to student status - what was your canopy progression? Over 1,500 jumps on round canopies starting with the 28-ft. “TU”; then PCs for 10 years: B4 harness, floating ripcord, sleeve, and double pilot chutes. In 1972 I switched to a piggyback. Went square in ‘76……I didn’t jump a square reserve until 1993.

Most people don't know this about me: People think that I am a dinosaur. However, in real life I am a fossil, and perhaps as much a myth as a legend.

Out of All of your skydives is there one particular jump that stands out the most? Yes – it was my first introduction to skydiving’s extraordinary eye-candy. Sunset jump, early ‘60s, Cessna climbing through flat-layered clouds interconnected by towering columns. Each respective layer had both floor and ceiling of cloud marble supported by alabaster cloud columns – a sky cathedral. Blazing sunset ignited endless chambers in enchanted light. That sun disrobed, exchanging her golden gowns with burning oranges in exploding red hues. In her glow, my airship toiled up, dwarfed in God’s crimson glory. My eyes inked phantasmagorical tattoos on my brain.

How long do you plan on skydiving? ‘Til death do us part – with a proviso that my polio relapse backs off.

What do you like most about the sport? Flying the wings I’ve won myself.

What do you like least about the sport? Parachute packing

Who, if anybody, has been your skydiving mentor? NA – My guide is sharing flight poetry.

What are your future skydiving goals? Fun jumps with good health.

What safety item do you think is most important and/or most often neglected? Remembering that safety is a religion and survival is an art.

How did you become interested in skydiving? Riding bulls at the Houston Rodeos paid $15 per ride. Easy money my high school buddies jumped on. Not me. Taunted, “Works got no balls…” Bulls are bad-ass mean and plan to gore and stomp you. Parachutes are dumb with no ill will. “Shoot,” sez me, “I’d rather jump outa an airplane than onto a Brahma bull!” So, I called every airport in the Yellow Pages, found a place to jump, signed Mom’s name to the age waiver, and leaped.

I skydive because… It scratches my itch to touch the poetry of perfection.

Any suggestions for new students? Have you jumped into the arms of earth-pushed air and snuggled there, lazy, letting the fall just happen? Most “make” a skydive. Can you simply “take” one? Relaxed in mind and body, give yourself over to wind and gravity? Relax totally into the air. Let the wind cradle you. Letting the wind give you a position is to accept a gift. Allow the wind to configure you into your natural shape. Drift along on the arms of the wind so that intensity used to control flight is freed. Released from the chores of flight, your self-awareness has energy available to let you sense feelings that were before obscured by your fixation to do. Thus, by not-Doing and exclusively Be-ing, you earn a treasure. You receive a boon – enlightenment about an aspect of the air which, like a love, you can call on as you need.

What's the most bad-ass thing you can do in the air? I can teach you to nail a head-down position in one jump.

If you could do a "fantasy 2-way" with anybody (living or deceased), whom would it be with and where would it take place? Ummmn…. Fantasy 2-way…. That’d have to be with a drop-dead gorgeous woman in heat in a $5,000.00++ per night hotel suite on the French Riviera.

If you could make everyone on the planet do something to make earth a better place to live, what would it be? have the children of our Abrahamic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – share mutual respect.

Most embarrassing moment while in freefall or at a drop zone: Shucks! Always thinking it to be the norm, I recently realized that I began as a Low-Puller! As a student, Ed Fitch (D-89) had us opening at 1,000 ft. AGL and at 800 feet for 20+ jump “experts”. Recently, Dr. Fitch’s dear friend, Lenny Potts, affirmed that our DZ’s BSRs were nonstandard. (Today I open by 3,000 feet. { Instead of using chalk, Ben went and painted “Pat Works” on that old low pulls ‘Warning Board” in your dinky “ticket booth” over by the by the packing tables…..Loooong ago. It was difficult for me to open high then. …. I’d get hypoxia easy and it made finding the DZ tougher}.

Someday I am going to own: A chunk of the hereafter.

The toughest thing to do in the sport of skydiving is: to keep having fun with it. Once the fun goes, every sky jumper moves on.

Out of all your thousands of skydives, is there one jump you would like to do over again? Please explain for your fellow jumpers: There is one jump I wish I hadn’t made at all. 1963: Jumping my too hot 28-ft. “TU” flat circular canopy (Scissors mod) on a windy day, gusts deflate my canopy. Eeeek!! I’d drop 50-70 feet and it’d pop open, and then snap shut again. Bam! OUCH! Injuries kept me ground-bound for months.

What do you consider your most significant life achievement? My triumph is that I am still alive.

While in freefall, what has been your strangest thought? That the ground was covered with phosphorescent green worms wriggling in a morass of bright purple muck.

Suggestions for the USPA: Keep on keeping on sustaining jumping for skydivers. Continue to keep our skies free.

Best skydiving moment? Getting back in the air after recovering from the car crash that paralyzed me chest-down at the 1980 Nationals. Notes from that reentry jump: “Landing is a piece of cake …The smell of the canopy as I gather it in my arms is like being with a lover from long ago. I bury my head and sniff. It’s nice to be back.”

Greatest competition moment? Winning the NCPL Nationals in ‘66; also winning the X-Games Freefly Xtrial at Skydive Perris in ’97, and Winning the USPA Freefly event in 1998 was nice.

Worst skydiving moment? Ground rush: free falling so low that your impact point explodes up at you, the horizon looms above you, and the landscape bursts out and rushes away instantly, replaced by sick fear, knowing death is here.

Weirdest skydiving moment? Doing formation skydives inside clouds gets weird and wonderful as cloud wisps strobe your vision on and off; you get the freeze-frame herky-jerky that strobe lights give to disco dancing.

Time for me to ask the impossible - explain "Pat Works" in five words or less: Outrider seeking mind-food, eye-candy, enlightenment.

What is your perfect day like? To pass the toe-tag-test. On awakening, check your feet. If your toes do not display a mortician’s toe-tag, it is a perfect day.

What drives your competitive spirit? Competing within myself to attain perfect speed, perfect flight, and perfect position. Relaxed aggression. Being good … being fast … being there.

What quirks do you possess? (Examples: “I like peanut butter on both slices;” “I jump only in Cessna aircraft;” “I partake in road rage;” “I fancy orange underwear, but jump in only pink boxers:” etc.) I am a black-belt Space Cadet. If aptitude conferred rank, I’d be a general.

What makes Pat tick like a cat with fresh catnip? New and different flight challenges that extend our borders and ignite our imaginations with new dimensions. Flight that tests us in the air and turns pages in our book of skills. RW formations – now Skydancing – is that. Skydive becomes Skydance when the flyers choreograph the levels, presentation and proximity to present aesthetically pleasing visuals. Any multi-person skydive having rhythm and choreography is a Skydance. In Skydance, flying movements are an end in themselves. Vertical, spherical and 3D air moves are involved. Beauty in motion is linked to rhythm so that the concepts of group aerial dance, video, and music merge. In traditional formation skydiving, the flying is a means to a grip – completing a formation with grips is the metric of goodness. In Skydance flow is more important than taking any hand-hold.

(specialty question) 50 years of USPA Membership! What are your thoughts on your membership then and now with all the growth in between? Hmmm… Back then, there was no organization to oversee the national scene. The old Parachute Riggers and Jumpers Association had a loose affiliation with low influence. In the mid-1960s, Dr. Ed Fitch and Gunby et al. created and then linked a federation of area-specific Parachute Councils: an example was the Texas Parachute Council (TPC) which was a federation of Texas Parachute clubs. These federations were organized groups of affiliated clubs who met and drafted constitutions to promote the health and well-being of parachuting. The same things were coordinated in other parts of the USA and as a result, the PCA became not just a small clique of individual sport parachutists but a nationwide federation of unified state councils that we now call USPA Regions. That move broadened parachuting’s influence as a bona fide sport and began to transform what had been East-coast fraternity into a nationwide organization predicated on the thought that all parachutists don their gear one leg at a time.

A schism developed in the early 1970s … “real” parachutists versus fun jumpers … and at that time I got involved.

(specialty question) “ The Art of Freefall RW ” has been to skydivers what Ben Hogan’s “ Five Lessons – The Modern Fundamentals of Golf ” has been to golfers. Looking back to when you were writing it, did you think it would have the profound impact on the sport as it has?

Yes and No.

NO! I was oblivious to anything but getting the book published. The worldwide adoption of my 1975 The Art of Freefall Relative Work (2 editions, 7 reprints and translated into four languages) startled me a great deal. The international respect and attention I was accorded as the master and professor was a surprise and honor. I was elated my books led to extensive world travels and a succession of training camps, including the first USA RW training camps. I was proud to have both the SEALS and the Army Parachute Team as my students. I had a knack for training by sharing discoveries: no-contact, Skydance, relaxation and attitude as sure paths to flight for the joy of flying. Unwittingly, Jan and I became jump-celebrities. But while it is agreeable to be respected, celebrity can be a less-than-pleasurable thing for this Texas boy. Admiration and high regard is hard to accept and tough to adjust to when all you’re doing is “your thing”.

YES! On the other hand, I’d expected some effect on our sport was assured because I had preceded my prescription for the “art” of flying with years of groundwork constructing a nationwide congress of RW alpha dogs to legitimize our pursuit. I called it The RW Council, and began publishing RWunderground, a subscription newsletter for which we had many contributors and that Jan and I produced on our kitchen table. The newsletter became a vehicle for articles and discussions surrounding the development and then promotion of formation skydiving as a competition discipline. Eventually the newsletter and its articles by various contributors around the country evolved into United We Fall, my second book. To my mind, United We Fall has had more relevance and impact on skydiving today because of its influence on the genesis of formation relative work.
The Art of Freefall RW was successful because of good timing. In the 1960s-early 1970s, an infant RW was disrespected and disdained as “just Fun Jumping, certainly not authentic parachuting” with a conviction that real parachutists did style and accuracy (S&A). All parachuting competitions were S&A events; fun jumps were not on the dance card. There wasn’t a word for relative work until the mid-to-early 1960s. Contact freefall parachuting consisted of baton passes or aerial grab-ass, and the lone book on parachuting technique was Russ Gunby’s “Sport Parachuting - a basic handbook of sport parachuting” (1960) which described the two basic-stable positions and how to make turns. Contact RW remained elusive. At any parachute club that you traveled to, finding enough fun-jumpers to make a three-way was a Big Deal indeed. One of my goals with RWunderground and then The Art of Freefall RW was to describe how to do relative work skydiving, make its participants feel like part of a fraternity, and promote it as a legitimate competition discipline.
The book, being the first recipe book which told would-be flyers how to be RW skydivers, evolved into “The Bible” for performing those skills. I am pleased that it has done much more than I originally anticipated.

(specialty question) What has been your primary motivator for 50 years (and counting) as a skydiver? FUN and sharing it, i.e. “the communication imperative.”
What goes around comes around for me. Learning what others know and then passing it on is a good path to keeping the fun in skydiving. Listen, learn and share with skymates, because learning skydiving in isolation takes a long time and costs a lot of money. More importantly, it can be downright dangerous.

Honor the Communication Imperative by being open to learning new things and then sharing what you’ve learned with others.

(specialty question) How did you cope with periods of burnout? Any advice for your fellow jumpers? Focus on skydiving’s fun and its glorious visuals; that’s the key to jumping continuity.

Any closing comments?
“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
Of all skydivers, scribes are but a splendid few.* Recall and respect those who capture our history with their words and art. Hail our scribes or else our history is but dust in a wind. Honor our traditions else respect disappears. Say your story else the world is dumb and trees fall silently in our forests.
* These writers, plus all emerging wordsmiths:

J. Scott Hamilton
Lyle Cameron (RIP)
Skratch Garrison
Dan Poynter
Uwe Beckman (RIP)
Matt Farmer
Roger Hull
Carl Nelson (RIP)
Roger Nelson (RIP)
BJ Worth
Howard White (RIP)
Bill Ottley (RIP)
Bud Sellick
Russ A. Gunby (RIP)
Tamara Koyn
John Schuman (RIP)
Brian Germain
Charles Shea-Simonds (RIP)
Michael Horan
C.W. Ryan
A.C. Keech
Gene Hunnell
Kevin Gibson
Brian Giboney
Robin Heid
J. L. Seagull

(This post was edited by patworks on Oct 6, 2012, 10:47 PM)


Oct 7, 2012, 2:53 PM
Post #2 of 4 (1832 views)
Re: [patworks] Pat Works-profile for USPA-UnCut + HTML (Re Done) [In reply to] Can't Post


Thanks for jumping with me!

airtwardo  (D License)

Oct 7, 2012, 3:44 PM
Post #3 of 4 (1827 views)
Re: [patworks] Pat Works-profile for USPA-UnCut + HTML (Re Done) [In reply to] Can't Post

Just imagine what you could accomplish in the sport Pat, if you were to ever become passionate about it! Wink

tonybrogdon  (D 12855)

Oct 10, 2012, 10:09 AM
Post #4 of 4 (1743 views)
Re: [patworks] Pat Works-profile for USPA-UnCut + HTML (Re Done) [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for sharing Pat!

I very much enjoyed it all.

Tony Brogdon

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