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Mass skydive to honor 2 killed in biplane crash

As many as 100 skydivers from across the country will gather in Longmont on Saturday for a commemorative jump and memorial service to honor a colleague who died in a plane crash over the weekend. "It's a special kind of memorial that skydivers do for one of their own," said Gary Sands, brother of Jeffrey Sands.

Jeffrey Sands, president of the Mile-Hi Skydiving Center in Longmont, was a passenger in a Pitts S-2B stunt plane that went down in a hayfield northwest of the city on Saturday. The pilot, 57- year-old Thomas Bullington of Boulder, also was killed.

Gary Sands of Golden said Monday that his brother was an adventurous free spirit who logged more than 4,000 jumps since 1984. He was one of 300 skydivers to set a world record with a simultaneous formation jump in December.

"Jeff was a thrill-seeker," Gary Sands said. "He lived life at full throttle. He loved the adrenaline rush, but in spite of that he was known as the consummate perfectionist."

Sands, 49, had to work hard to get his skydiving school off the ground, but his perseverance built it into one of the best, his brother said. He was a safe, able instructor who introduced many to the sport.

Jeff Sands also was known for his annual landing at Folsom Field during the Bolder Boulder race. After much practice with weights and tests, he perfected a method of carrying a giant American flag in by parachute, his brother said.

Sands is survived by his mother, two older brothers and a sister. He was not married and had no children.

"He was married to skydiving and flying," Gary Sands said. "He went the way he would have wanted to go, doing something that he loved."

~ Special to The Denver Post

By Eric Schmidt on 2003-04-29 | Last Modified on 2017-01-30

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