Forums: Skydiving: Skydiving History & Trivia:
Jerry Bird ?

 

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jumpwally  (D License)

Jan 2, 2008, 8:31 AM
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Jerry Bird ? Can't Post

 Roger Nelson and Jerry Bird were my hero's when i started jumping,,,any one know what Jerryis up to? still jumping,hanging out ?


stratostar  (Student)

Jan 2, 2008, 9:11 AM
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Re: [jumpwally] Jerry Bird ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Jerry had to quit jumping for many reasons, you can still find him cutting grass and hanging around Z-hills now and again.


happythoughts  (D License)

Jan 2, 2008, 9:58 AM
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Re: [jumpwally] Jerry Bird ? [In reply to] Can't Post

He is doing well. He stopped by a couple of times last weekend during the Christmas boogie and socialized at the dz.

He said he is going to travel some this year.


jumpwally  (D License)

Jan 2, 2008, 1:19 PM
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Re: [stratostar] Jerry Bird ? [In reply to] Can't Post

thats great,,,goodto hear he's ok....


-db-  (A License)

Feb 29, 2008, 9:52 PM
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Re: [jumpwally] Jerry Bird ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Last i heard he is in Hawaii somewhere


lodestar

Mar 2, 2008, 10:10 AM
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Re: [stratostar] Jerry Bird ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey Stratostar,
Saw your post about Jerry Bird, I knew him when I was flying jumpers and rigging in z-hills back in the late 60's....
If you see him, say hello, he will remember me as Tuna from those days...


stratostar  (Student)

Mar 2, 2008, 12:19 PM
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Re: [lodestar] Jerry Bird ? [In reply to] Can't Post

I only see him once and a while when I'm in town, you would have much better luck in contacting him if you were to call and talk to TK or the manifest @ Z-hills.

I think he is still in Hawaii for a few weeks, last I knew he was going to be there for a few.


cutaway1  (C 3355)

Mar 4, 2008, 9:48 AM
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Re: [stratostar] Jerry Bird ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Jerry is in residence at Skydive Hawaii and looking and doing very well.


Rookie120  (D 22748)

Mar 3, 2009, 4:03 AM
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Re: [cutaway1] Jerry Bird ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thats where I met Jerry at the Party in Paradise. Great L/O and all around great guy to jump with.


Premier SkymonkeyONE  (D 12501)

Mar 3, 2009, 6:39 AM
Post #10 of 39 (15439 views)
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Re: [jumpwally] Jerry Bird ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Roger Nelson and Jerry Bird were my hero's when i started jumping,,,any one know what Jerryis up to? still jumping,hanging out ?

Jerry Bird is on the DZ at Z-Hills at least twice a week drinking beer with us and just generally visiting and screwing around. He has an old Studebaker that he drives around now. Jerry Bird is awesome.

Chuck


steve1  (D 23640)

Mar 3, 2009, 7:39 AM
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Re: [jumpwally] Jerry Bird ? [In reply to] Can't Post

It seems like yesterday when Jerry Bird was on top. I remember when Jerry Bird's All Stars were setting world records. I saw them jump when they came to Montana in around 73 to jump at our jump meet.

Hod Sander's still talks about Jerry Bird when he was on their team with B.J. Was that Mirror Image?

Wasn't there a Jerry Bird, pop top reserve at one time?

I hope Jerry Bird is still getting the respect he deserves. I've heard there were some health problems in his immediate family. Hod said he was driving a taxi for a while, in Florida, to make ends meet.

Jerry Bird is still my hero!


howardwhite  (C 3896)

Mar 3, 2009, 8:07 AM
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Re: [steve1] Jerry Bird ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Wasn't there a Jerry Bird, pop top reserve at one time?
The Jerry Bird reserve was not a pop top but a front-mounted reserve held closed by Velcro. It was developed when Jerry and The Wings of Orange spent the summer of 1974 in Orange, MA.
It had a handle on the closing flap which you pulled up to open the container. The attached picture was posted on Flickr by Jon Guignard, who worked with Jerry on its development. It will bring back memories of the team, some of whose members are no longer with us.
I talked with Jerry on the phone last week and will do so again this week.
And he used to have lots of Studebakers. Somewhere I probably have a picture of maybe a half dozen of them at the old Z-Hills.

HW


(This post was edited by howardwhite on Mar 3, 2009, 9:35 AM)
Attachments: Wings.jpg (91.6 KB)


kirkverner  (D 11059)

Mar 3, 2009, 11:22 AM
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Re: [steve1] Jerry Bird ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Jerry Bird will always have respect....he earned it. Some of my most memorable jumps were when Jerry was the LO. He is the ultimate Hall of Famer.


Skydave103  (D 22664)

Mar 3, 2009, 11:48 AM
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Re: [kirkverner] Jerry Bird ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
He is the ultimate Hall of Famer.
there used to be a display in the Smithsonian! Not sure it is still up.

About 2 years ago Jerry came into the bar I was working in Atlanta.

Surprised the shit out of me. Of all the skydivers that have come in, he is one I never expected! You are never going to know what you get with Jerry.

We started talking about the jumps and good times we had in So. Fla and he remembered more of the jumps and jumpers than I did!!

Came in with Julia and I fed them drinks until we closed. I think they hated me the next day. haha

I look forward to the next time our paths cross.

Dave


Skydivesg  (D 10938)

Mar 3, 2009, 11:52 AM
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Re: [jumpwally] Jerry Bird ? [In reply to] Can't Post

I had the privlege of organizing at Z-Hills for several years with Jerry Bird as the head organizer.

Jerry taught me a lot about organizing and getting the best out of people. All on a 25 minute call.

I also helped organize a "Horny Gorilla" and we invited Jerry. If my memory serves me I think it was his birthday.

It was when Hooper still had the DZ by the golf course. Jerry told us it was his first "Horny Gorilla" and he didn't really care for it.

To this day I'm not sure I believe it was his first HG, because I figured he'd already done everything possible. But I definetly believe he didn't like it.

He was across from me and I saw the look on his face. He was not having fun.

Jerry deserves all the kudos people can give him.

He may not have started RW but he certainly led the charge for as long as he was in the air.

Who ever sees him next, give him a pat on the back for all he's done for our sport.


howardwhite  (C 3896)

Mar 3, 2009, 12:28 PM
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Re: [Skydave103] Jerry Bird ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
there used to be a display in the Smithsonian! Not sure it is still up.
Not for a long time. It is Bird (wearing a Jerry Bird reserve) with Bill Ottley, Dick Fortenberry, and Mike Johnston, representing generations of skydivers and disciplines.
I believe it's now in San Diego, but not on display.

HW


(This post was edited by howardwhite on Mar 3, 2009, 12:31 PM)
Attachments: Museum.jpg (96.6 KB)


jonstark  (D 8298)

Mar 3, 2009, 12:58 PM
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Re: [Skydivesg] Jerry Bird ? [In reply to] Can't Post

I forget what the entire dive was but there was a backloop somewhere along the way. Jerry did such a completely shitty one that we were all in stitches for hours after. After hearing that he really disliked the horny gorilla I'd have to say he just doesn't much care for going tits-up in freefall.


bozo  (D 10154)

Mar 3, 2009, 2:58 PM
Post #18 of 39 (15281 views)
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Re: [howardwhite] Jerry Bird ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
there used to be a display in the Smithsonian! Not sure it is still up.
Not for a long time. It is Bird (wearing a Jerry Bird reserve) with Bill Ottley, Dick Fortenberry, and Mike Johnston, representing generations of skydivers and disciplines.
I believe it's now in San Diego, but not on display.

HW

Last time I was at the San Diego Aerospace Museum that display was still hanging there, from the ceiling.
Its been a couple years.


happythoughts  (D License)

Mar 5, 2009, 5:07 PM
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Re: [bozo] Jerry Bird ? [In reply to] Can't Post

He has been tinkering with a '49 Studebaker lately.
He cruises around town in it.

There is a rocker under the carb that lets heat up
from the manifold. It has stainless steel bearings.
It is stuck. We tried vise-grips and tapping it.
Any ideas ?

It starts ok when the motor is cold, but hard to start
when hot.


jimmytavino  (A 3914)

Mar 5, 2009, 5:34 PM
Post #20 of 39 (15148 views)
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Re: [happythoughts] Jerry Bird ? [In reply to] Can't Post

ran into Jerry Bird
this past january

he seemed happy and well. talked proudly about his sons...

and about times from the past...Smile

very knowledgeable guy, as pertains to LOTS of subjects, especially skydiving

pic attached
jmy
Attachments: Z Hillls 2009 403~2.jpg (156 KB)


DavidB  (C 18138)

Mar 5, 2009, 6:30 PM
Post #21 of 39 (15135 views)
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Re: [happythoughts] Jerry Bird ? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
He has been tinkering with a '49 Studebaker lately.
He cruises around town in it.

There is a rocker under the carb that lets heat up
from the manifold. It has stainless steel bearings.
It is stuck. We tried vise-grips and tapping it.
Any ideas ?

It starts ok when the motor is cold, but hard to start
when hot.

Jerry was one of my heroes when I was jumping back in the mid 80's-mid 90's. Still have my 1987 Bird Suit!

For the heat flapper, I'm afraid it probably has to come apart. If he gets it free, anti-seize compound is the best lubricant I can suggest. I wish him the best of luck with his orphans & can relate as I've been involved with AMC cars lately (they're LOTS less expensive than the muscle era Mopars I've been playing with for the last 25+ years).


Douggarr  (D 2791)

Mar 10, 2009, 2:44 PM
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Re: [jumpwally] Jerry Bird ? [In reply to] Can't Post

When I was in France in 1974, I stopped in to La Ferte Gauche, the drop zone about 40 km out of Paris, if I recall. The first question every skydiver asked me: "Do you know who Jerry Bird is?" He was a legend everywhere and probably did more for the advancement of large formation skydiving than any single other person during his prime.


steve1  (D 23640)

Mar 11, 2009, 8:17 AM
Post #23 of 39 (14910 views)
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Re: [jumpwally] Jerry Bird ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Pardon my rambling here, but I always thought it would be cool to jump with the great Jerry Bird.

In about 74 two team mates of his came through Missoula and wanted to jump with us. I can't recall their names, but they were on Jerry Birds All Stars.

So we gathered up all the local yocals who had more than a couple hundred jumps. B.J. Worth was one of them. I think he had around 500 then.

Then we ordered up a D.C.-3 from the Smoke Jump Center. These two guys, from California, were like Gods to us. There was dead silence when they organized our load. This was serious shit!Unsure These guys weren't as cool as Jerry Bird....but almost!

To make a long story short we built a new state record star that day, for Montana. It had a whopping 15 people in it. My how things have changed since then.

At any rate, I quit jumping for about 25 years after that. Whenever I'd run into a jumper who still jumped I'd ask about Jerry Bird. Usually they'd say, "Yep he's still on top, He's still the king."

Then they'd say, "have you heard about old B.J. He did this famous thing, and that famous thing, and he's doing stunt work in James Bond Movies, and the list goes on and on.

So, maybe I never did know Jerry Bird, but I did jump with B.J. back in the day.Smile.....


JumpUpMyAss  (C 11562)

Mar 13, 2009, 9:07 AM
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Re: [howardwhite] Jerry Bird ? [In reply to] Can't Post

I saw it at the Air Space Museum in DC back in 1979. Must have been fairly new exhibit. Looked current then - archaic now. Come to think of it - just like ME.


Tidlof  (D 6691)

Mar 19, 2009, 10:11 PM
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Re:Jerry Bird and tits up freefall ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
After hearing that he really disliked the horny gorilla I'd have to say he just doesn't much care for going tits-up in freefall.

Oh, I don't know about that. I was on a 4 way team with him for a Boise upside-down meet in the late 70's. No horny gorillas, but tits up flying was the goal. We won and enjoyed the prize in the back of a van. He looked like he was really enjoying himself that weekend.

Anyway, count me in as another fan. He made quality RW look and feel simple enough for us common folk. Rock on Jerry.


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