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skyjames

WFFC

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I miss waking up to this: [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_DKWlrA24k&feature=youtube_gdata_player[/url

Wake up to that song? Hell we heard it right smack in the middle of our party time:). We used to go in a DZ group of 20-25 people. 7 years in a row.
The "Other Quincy" gang would reorganise their vacations in a heatbeat for another chance to do a WFFC.

Too bad the "youngsters" will probably never know anything close...thousands not hundreds of jumpers all in one place...Jet jumps, the wild helicopter rides, corn fields... I hope they do.

What happens at Quincy/Rantoul stays at Quincy/Rantoul....

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I've only been to one WFFC, in 1997, and once was enough for me. It was quite an interesting and sometimes chaotic experience for me. I made a lot of jumps, by my standards anyway - 48. They included my 500th jump, jumps from Super Connie and the Martin 404, the Pitts bi-plane, a hot air balloon, and who could ever forget the Bell 412 helicopter? Good fucking times...

There were also the downsides... witnessing the infamous Dead Mike incident (how the fuck he survived the impact with the runway, I'll never know), and a fatality that occurred 20 yards from the Alabama Gang compound where I was repacking my rig off the end of the inactive runway. Also, a canopy collision just above the big top that sent at least one skydiver crashing on the big tent and sliding or bouncing off, and some stupid fucker breaking his foot damn near off landing on a taxiway when he had a huge empty grass area to land on just yards away. :|

Oh oh, anybody remember the big stuffed bear jump under a tiny parachute at sunset? It looked to me like someone went in over the cornfields. There were people looking through the corn for hours at night, and even the helicopter was enlisted with searchlights, only to find out later that the culprits had already retrieved the stuffed animal. >:(

There was also a tethered hot air balloon that some people were hoping to make short base jumps off it, but the winds tilted it enough that the burner lit the balloon on fire and melted it! :D

In the end, I felt it was too much madness for me personally. I felt like I had to keep my eyes open for anything no matter what time it was or where I was, on the ground or in the air. You just never knew what was going to happen.
"Mediocre people don't like high achievers, and high achievers don't like mediocre people." - SIX TIME National Champion coach Nick Saban

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I think the decrease in interest in bigway skydiving and the increased cost of travel are the two biggest causes for the demise of the WFFC.

Used to be, everybody wanted bigways, and the convention was where to get them. Bigger and bigger planes, load after load. But, with the advent of freeflying and smaller, faster RW jumping, the need for CASAs decreased. People could jump the size of group they wanted right at their home DZ, no more need to travel to the big planes.

To the second point: the golden age of commercial flight is over. Anymore it's just too much of a hassle to fly anywhere, ESPECIALLY with a rig, ESPECIALLY with a Cypres in said rig.

Elvisio "miss the convention bad" Rodriguez

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Is anyone here that was there when Don flew his MIG that night...the hundred foot fly-by over the big-top at over 500 MPH???



Yea I was in the back seat. ... Except it was an L-39 and we were only doing about 400mph.:|....:D


Rumor has it that Quincy really really missus us and our money. I mean credit cards.:D


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If it wasnt for WFFC I would not have met some of the most amazing people!!!



If it wasn't for WFFC, I probably wouldn't have gotten together with the best thing that ever happened to me. And Getting to meet, drink and jump with so many people I met on here and through work was awesome too.

I missed Quincy, only made it to Rantoul in '02, '03 and '04. But I packed a lot of memories into those weeks, most of which are either not suitable for a public audience or kinda blurry from the alcohol. ;)

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I think the decrease in interest in bigway skydiving and the increased cost of travel are the two biggest causes for the demise of the WFFC.

Used to be, everybody wanted bigways, and the convention was where to get them. Bigger and bigger planes, load after load. But, with the advent of freeflying and smaller, faster RW jumping, the need for CASAs decreased. People could jump the size of group they wanted right at their home DZ, no more need to travel to the big planes.

To the second point: the golden age of commercial flight is over. Anymore it's just too much of a hassle to fly anywhere, ESPECIALLY with a rig, ESPECIALLY with a Cypres in said rig.

Elvisio "miss the convention bad" Rodriguez



I fly a lot with my rig and have never had an issue.

I think there are so many more regional boogies now, and there is now a turbine within 100 miles of most every jumper in America, makes it less appealing.

I have a great central location in mind and have thought about hosting a huge convention like boogie, but I still have a bit of sanity left and have a wife that might shoot me if I take on one more boogie.B|

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Is anyone here that was there when Don flew his MIG that night...the hundred foot fly-by over the big-top at over 500 MPH???



Yes.

Was also there when they were manifesting for 'Mile-High-Club Initiation' loads on the Ford Trimotor. :D



So many good timesB|


.

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Is anyone here that was there when Don flew his MIG that night...the hundred foot fly-by over the big-top at over 500 MPH???



Yea I was in the back seat. ... Except it was an L-39 and we were only doing about 400mph.:|....:D


Rumor has it that Quincy really really missus us and our money. I mean credit cards.:D



Well, even if it was a mere 400 - it was one of the spectacular things I've ever witnessed;)

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I miss WFFC something TERRIBLE. It's just not summer without the trip to Illinois and the wild wild times. I am a propliner junkie so it was paradise for me, C 54, Carvair, DC 3, Twin Beech etc. I never did get to jump the Connie, damn. I made every load that the C 54 flew.

I liked the town, but fuck the Quincy Gestapo Police. I am sure they have armed up big time for the war on terror with Homeland Security grant money. Lots of cammo, Hummers, night vision gear, maybe even half tracks. After all, I am sure Quincy Illinois is high on the target list for Al Qaeda. I can envision an arnored vehicle attack on WFFC if it was held in Q again. We jumpers do meet most definitions of terrorist

Rantoul was pretty cool. The chief of police was on site a lot. He knew a mountain from a molehill and policed accordingly. The foks of Rantoul were really nice too. I had some business that had to get done during the convention and it required days of faxes, many notarized documents etc. I went to a local title company to do the work and they ABSOLUTELY REFUSED to accept one penny. I told them it was a lot of stuff and they said anyone with a blue WFFC wrist band was welcome and would get the same hospitality.

The only bad thing that happened to me at Rantoul was losing my reserve freebag and pilot chute when I cut away. I think some local kids ran off with it. We saw where the main and the bag landed but when we got there only the main remained. The main landed inside the WFFC fence and the bag outside. Glad I didnt lose the main.

Beth played a big role in organizing WFFC, maybe she can tell us if there is any hope of a revival. I think if they did a WFFC revisited, a single commmerative event, with a lot of advance publicity and some great jumpships, they could draw a big crowd again. Maybe it could turn into a semi annual event.

Getting interesting jumpships there is a big problem now with fuel so expensive. The CASAs are engaged in military contract work, The Carvair is dormant in Texas, The Connie hasn't flown in years, the C 54 is now hauling fuel in Alaska, and getting a DC 3 to Rantoul is an expensive proposition. The FAAs ridiculous rules (calendar based time out on an engine rather than operating hours) have grounded the Perris DC 9. Earl Cherry's C 130A is rumored to have found lucrative work flying for the CIA.

There is however a DC 7B that was just restored in Florida. What an insane classic jumpship that would make. Four big 3350 cubic inch radial engines. Sounds like a hundred Harleys when taxying.

Still, I'd go to WFFC even if it was just King Airs and Twin Otters. Oh, and at least one Reggae band.

377
2018 marks half a century as a skydiver. Trained by the late Perry Stevens D-51 in 1968.

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Is anyone here that was there when Don flew his MIG that night...the hundred foot fly-by over the big-top at over 500 MPH???



:)


Well...duhhh:P



You sure it was his MIG? I thought it was his L 39. His MIG 29 was still a hangar queen in 2006.
2018 marks half a century as a skydiver. Trained by the late Perry Stevens D-51 in 1968.

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I wanted to learn to skydive and a buddy told me to meet him in Ill for this event and I could learn there. So I paid for AFF in full in advance, showed up, slept in tents, did 9 skydives over the ten days, partied like a rock star, and left there with my A... I made it back for the following 5 years, Good Times!!

What a great intro to skydiving! I always considered Quincy my home DZ :) Funny thing, I thought thats the way ALL dz's were, what did I know, I hadn't been to a DZ prior to the WFFC.

I would go again no questions asked!!!

Doug

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What a great intro to skydiving! I always considered Quincy my home DZ :) Funny thing, I thought thats the way ALL dz's were, what did I know, I hadn't been to a DZ prior to the WFFC.
I would go again no questions asked!!!
Doug



Holy crap! that's like being born. You fall out the hole, and spend the rest of your life trying to get back in again.

"exit fast, fly smooth, dock soft and smile"
'nother james

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Right! I did my first aff off the rear deck of a Casa.

I had trouble with the speed of the Casa exit and remember thinking when i get back home im gonna getthe hang of these rear deck planes... The next time i jumped a Casa was the following year at the WFFC. I assumed every dz would have a Casa.

That was just the beginning of a long list of revelations in skydiving.

Doug

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Wow, this is definitely making me nostalgic.

Getting paid by Skydiving Magazine to write about the convention (and having the cover story about WFFC three times) was a lot of fun. The downside was covering the injuries/fatilities, and how poor the attendance was in 2005.

However, in my my three trips to WFFC (2002, 2002, 2005) I got to do HALO, Rod Tinney's helo, the Pitts, DC-4, and a couple of other specialty jumps (NO jet for me, unfortunately. It just wasn't there the years that I was, I'm afraid [:/]).

Miss it all, but have been overseas for going on six years now so it's very unlikely I could make it back anyway. Never been to Lost Prairie, either. [:/]

mh
.
"The mouse does not know life until it is in the mouth of the cat."

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I wanted to learn to skydive and a buddy told me to meet him in Ill for this event and I could learn there. So I paid for AFF in full in advance, showed up, slept in tents, did 9 skydives over the ten days, partied like a rock star, and left there with my A... I made it back for the following 5 years, Good Times!!

What a great intro to skydiving! I always considered Quincy my home DZ :) Funny thing, I thought thats the way ALL dz's were, what did I know, I hadn't been to a DZ prior to the WFFC.

I would go again no questions asked!!!

Doug



Wow! That's so cool. Where did you land as an AFF student at WFFC? Far away from the main area I hope.

377
2018 marks half a century as a skydiver. Trained by the late Perry Stevens D-51 in 1968.

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