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timber

In memory of our friends on "Spikes Beech" 1982

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Many years have passed since the accident at Taft! Although I was just a 14 year old kid. I am forever grateful how Lea Van Pelt : Gary Kreibel and Brady Saunders befriended my Dad and taught him to jump. as a result my Dad and I became best friends. I can't imagine my life without skydiving and flying!

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I made my first jump out of Spike's Beech in 1963 and was fortunate enough to jump and party with Terry Ward and the Arvin Good Guys for several terrific years. Terry was one of the wildest and most generous characters I have ever met; and Spike, he loved the ambiance and was a very kind, gentle and gruff. I miss them all.

Fly High brothers.
SCR-21

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I learned to jump at Taft. I loved out trips from
Van Nuys, the round robins, when we could lure Spike from LethaMae. The loss of so many friends was beyond sad. I flew over Taft several years later, on a comercial flight. They were still there, still flying. Terry jumped ElCap in the 60's....was my inspiration in 1979. Blue Skies!

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Sorry for the loss of Mack..
Yes, that day at Taft we lost a bunch of guys...
Al Frisby was suppose to be on that load, but he was too hung over...I remember him saying, "Damn I never thought alcohol would save my life."
Spike flew many Demos for the team I was on. Great guy.
Terry Ward (Twitchy) was quite the character in his own right and a hell of a nice guy..
Gypsy Dave was a crack-up and lived right behind me in Quail Valley. He made me a ring with a Quail and some turquoise in it.

Yes, there is one hell of a party going on up there. I just hope they don't run out of beer...
Sandy

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Jumping with the Arvin Good Guys and the Old River Rats back in the 60s and 70s provided many memorable experiences. The Good Guys were sky gods back then but amazingly they were very approachable and friendly to nubies like me. Twitch was simply amazing - a very talented skydiver, a real character and a nice guy. Spike was the best pilot I ever flew with. He took us to dropzones all around California, Nevada, Arizona, up to Canada and down to Mexico.

Good friends and good times are missed but their memories linger on.

SCR 86

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Hello Mike,

Air Trash will be holding another Old Farts get together this weekend at Taft, like the one you attended a few years ago. There will be several of the Old River Rats and 3 or 4 of the Arvin Good Guys there also. The LA Latin club and some of the Rebels from AZ will also be there.
We have an Otter coming from Perris for the weekend.

Speaking of the Latin club, two weeks ago during the memorial for Kevin Donnelly at Eslisnore, Tommy of the LA Latin's said that they will be holding a Latin club 50th anniversary at Elsinore this September 17th & 18th. Paul and I jumped with Latin Club many times all over the west from the mid 60's to the late 70's. Manny of the trips with the Latin Club, Spike was up front for us. This is one party I will not miss out on.

We will miss you at Taft this weekend, and I am sure we will be talking about you, Spike, Twitch Ward, Brady and the others this weekend. Keep your eyes crossed for us.

Dennis
SCR-216

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Hello Tim,

Mike is fast on the keys.

Also checkout the video on the Air Trash site. It has a lot of your old friends from Arvin and Taft in it.
We had some of the Arvin Good Guys, Old River Rats and the LA Latin Club there. The weather was great. Well, not as good as the islands, but great for Taft standards.

Regards,
Dennis

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Hello, I recently came into a small piece of jewelry with the name of Gypsy Dave engraved on it. In doing some research I came across a post you made in 2011 that mentioned Gypsy Dave. Can you give me any information about any jewelry or anything else made by him? Thank you in advance, Kevin Coleman

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I was manifested and paid-up for that round robin, but I cancelled a couple of days before. I was told that it wasn't a problem, because there were several others wanting to get on that load.

I lost several good friends, and one of my best friends, Glenn Racich.

I have always wondered who got my slot.
lisa
WSCR 594
FB 1023
CBDB 9

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As I recall, Keith Jones & I were going to leave out of Burbank or Van Nuys, but Keith had something come up. We would have flown-in/jumped and repacked, and maybe been on the load that went-in. Either way bad as we would have witnessed it happen. So I drove up to Taft the next day in-route north, seeing the wood stakes w/ flags marking I assume, the jumpers spots on the deck.

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I was at Waynesville, Oh that day, jumping a Beech from a dirt strip. We'd just made a load and were packing when it came over the dz radio that was playing over the outdoor speakers. That was really of bizarre, it was like on some tv show when plot point radio announces something out of the blue that affects the listeners. I remember how quiet it got as we finished packing and on the ride up just afterwards. Nobody said a word, just kept their heads down and packed, like we've all had to do right after certain bounces.

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kcbooks

Hello, I recently came into a small piece of jewelry with the name of Gypsy Dave engraved on it. In doing some research I came across a post you made in 2011 that mentioned Gypsy Dave. Can you give me any information about any jewelry or anything else made by him? Thank you in advance, Kevin Coleman



I sent this guy a PM about this piece, hoping he'd send me a picture of it, but I haven't heard back from him. Has anybody else contacted him about it, and perhaps have a picture that could be posted?

When I started jumping in 1979, my mom visited the drop zone, and bought a piece from Gypsy Dave, a small gold skydiver that she wore on a necklace for decades until she passed. One time, many years ago, she and my dad were in Mammoth Lakes for a jazz festival or something, and a lady came up to her and asked her about it. "My ol' man made that", the lady said. MissBuffDiver said Karla had passed a few years ago, I'd be curious the circumstances.

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kcbooks

Hello, I recently came into a small piece of jewelry with the name of Gypsy Dave engraved on it. In doing some research I came across a post you made in 2011 that mentioned Gypsy Dave. Can you give me any information about any jewelry or anything else made by him? Thank you in advance, Kevin Coleman



i started in Perris in 81.
One of the first things I bought at the DZ, other than jumps and beer, was a "dangly canopy ear ring" from Dave.
Haven't seen him since ~ 1984

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Spike and I use to talk about the cost of operating our Twin 18's. After comparing operating expenses we both agreed that it was a break even operation. Spike just loved flying that 18. Although I fly only turbine aircraft now I would give anything to fly 18's and 3's again. Spike had stopped by Yolo to say high just before. After the accident I examined the airplane. As with the Helio my opinion as to the crash was different than the NTSB's. My opinion was based on 3,000 hours in 18's and a A&P, IA. And I new Spike.
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Last time I saw Spike and the Beech was when we jumped in to the Rudder Room bar on the beach in Oxnard a few weeks before the Taft accident.  I went up to Taft and saw Art afterwards.  It was all so very sad.  What an incredible loss.  RIP  

Alvin Autry, 42, D-4197 
Robert Brotnow, 44, D-7700 
Martin Estrada, 36, 
Richard E. Hayden, 36, D-6228 
Kathy Kinzer, 26 
Gary L Kriebel, 28 
David Lindeman, 41 
Michael Lombardo, 35, C-2523 
Glenn W Racich, 42 
Brady Sanders, 59, C-4129 
James K Sword, 22 
Etoula van Pelt, 38, D-6772 
Terry Ward, 40 
Monty H. 'Spike' Yarter, 65, pilot 

John   C-3344

 

 

 

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