Aug 17, 2003, 3:50 PM
Post #1 of 5
The day B.J. Worth almost died.
Back in 1972 B.J. was a static line jumpmaster with around two or three hundred jumps. He was jumpmastering a load of students who were going up to make their first jump. The pilot was Bob Smith. On the load, making his first jump, was Gary (Hod) Sanders who was later one of B.J.'s team-mates on Mirror Image.
Anyhow, the first student got in the door and exited and his canopy openned fine. The problem was that the sleeve and pilot chute were still attached to the end of the static line. Apparently the break cord attached to the pilot chute didn't break and the retainer line connecting the sleeve to the apex of the 28ft. round canopy came unattached. At any rate, B.J. was doing his best to wrestle all this back into the plane. About then something snagged B.J.'s reserve rip-cord. The pilot chute sprang out and bounced off the door frame. About then Bob Smith quit flying the plane and jumped on the pilot chute before it flew out the door. B.J. was unaware of what was happening and was still trying to pull all the crap in that was now banging on the side of the plane. Hod was sitting in the back and knew something was wrong. I mean there was a whole lot of swearing and yelling going on with the plane now in a steep dive. After grabbing the pilot chute, Bob kicked the rudder which immediately slammed the door of the 180. They landed the plane with the static line mess dragging behind the plane. After that our club quit wearing chest mount reserves when putting out students.
I guess B.J. still has nightmares about that load. He sometimes dreams that the door is open and his guts are streaming out into the wind. If any part of this story isn't true, blame Bob Smith. He's the one who told it to me and a honest guy. I think B.J. wrote an article about this incident back in one of the old parachutist magazines.......Steve1
Aug 18, 2003, 8:05 PM
Post #4 of 5
Re: [kallend] The day B.J. Worth almost died.
[In reply to]
Actually these guys look quite clean cut and very sober compared to other jumpers back then. There's a recent picture of Hod in this month's parachutist, for 5,000 jumps. I think he has closer to 6,000 now, and around 25 malfunction cut-aways. He owns one of the few dz's in Montana. You'd never know he was a former world champion. He's really a soft spoken, nice guy........Steve1