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Flip Colmer RIP

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Sad news times 2: It is reported that a small plane crash took the lives of two old-school skydivers, Flip Colmer and Jim Taffralion near Howel MI this morning.  The aircraft was a Rockwell Commander single-engine plane.  No other details are available at this time,  Our hearts go out to Skip's wife and family.  Here is a very brief article: https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/2019/08/small-plane-crash-reported-at-airport-near-howell.html

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That's sad.  Flip was a great guy.

I ended up sitting next to him on one of the Thailand World Team records.  One one attempt, we took off, they opened the door, we stood up and got ready to go . . . and had a hold.  After about 15 minutes they closed the door again; we were going to land with the plane.  Fortunately we had plenty of oxygen.

After a few minutes my altimeter started to unwind.  I guessed we were landing.  But the deck angle seemed pretty flat.  And we were descending at something like 5000 feet per minute, which is a pretty screaming descent in an aircraft.  Were we really descending?  I looked at Flip, showed him my altimeter and said "are they pressurizing?"  (Actually I yelled it as loud as I could; it was pretty loud in that plane.)  He looked at his altimeter for a few seconds, then jumped up and waded up to the cockpit before the crew pressurized us right into a bunch of AAD fires.  He got them to stop the cabin-altitude descent before we hit 1000 feet.  Another aircraft was not so lucky, and there were a bunch of AAD's on those aircraft that either fired or shut down permanently because they detected something that shouldn't be happening.

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On 8/28/2019 at 3:48 PM, billvon said:

That's sad.  Flip was a great guy.

I ended up sitting next to him on one of the Thailand World Team records.  One one attempt, we took off, they opened the door, we stood up and got ready to go . . . and had a hold.  After about 15 minutes they closed the door again; we were going to land with the plane.  Fortunately we had plenty of oxygen.

After a few minutes my altimeter started to unwind.  I guessed we were landing.  But the deck angle seemed pretty flat.  And we were descending at something like 5000 feet per minute, which is a pretty screaming descent in an aircraft.  Were we really descending?  I looked at Flip, showed him my altimeter and said "are they pressurizing?"  (Actually I yelled it as loud as I could; it was pretty loud in that plane.)  He looked at his altimeter for a few seconds, then jumped up and waded up to the cockpit before the crew pressurized us right into a bunch of AAD fires.  He got them to stop the cabin-altitude descent before we hit 1000 feet.  Another aircraft so lucky, and there were a bunch of AAD's on those aircraft that either fired or shut down permanently because they detected something that shouldn't be happening.

That's an awesome story.  I didn't know either of the guys, but apparently they're both considered OG's at my home DZ.  I didn't get into the sport until memorial day weekend 2018, and wasn't licensed until last September, so I am sure that's probably why I didn't get the pleasure of knowing them.

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On 8/29/2019 at 5:17 PM, yobnoc said:

That's an awesome story.  I didn't know either of the guys, but apparently they're both considered OG's at my home DZ.  I didn't get into the sport until memorial day weekend 2018, and wasn't licensed until last September, so I am sure that's probably why I didn't get the pleasure of knowing them.

Not to cross post here, but has any info been shared about the cause? Still sucks for all. I'm just curiois because Flip was a fantastic pilot and a consummate professonial. 

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19 hours ago, riggermick said:

Not to cross post here, but has any info been shared about the cause? Still sucks for all. I'm just curiois because Flip was a fantastic pilot and a consummate professonial. 

On August 20, 2019, about 1118 eastern daylight time, an Aero Commander (Meyers) 200D airplane, N200HS, impacted terrain shortly after departing the Livingston County Spencer J Hardy Airport (OZW), Howell, Michigan. The pilot and pilot rated passenger received fatal injuries and the airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to Southern Aircraft Consultancy, Inc, Trustee, Norfolk, United Kingdom, and operated by a private individual. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 maintenance test flight.

According to initial reports, the airplane had recently undergone maintenance, including the installation of a new field overhauled engine and a 3-bladed propeller. The purpose of the flight was for a maintenance test flight for the airplane. The pilot-rated passenger, seated in the right seat, was also a mechanic who had performed the recent work on the airplane. The pilot, seated in the left seat, owned a similar airplane make and model.

The airplane was flown earlier in the day. The airplane was then fueled with 34.4 gallons of fuel. It is unknown if any adjustments or maintenance items were accomplished before the second flight.

Witnesses reported that the airplane departed runway 13 at OZW; they added that when the airplane was about 200 to 300 ft in the air, the airplane appeared to stop its climb and was silent. One witness reported that it looked like the airplane tried to turn back to the runway, before entering a rapid decent.

The airplane impacted terrain and came to rest about 600 ft beyond the departure end of the runway. The responding Federal Aviation Administration inspector, the NTSB Investigator-in-Charge, and a technical representative from the engine manufacturer examined the airplane wreckage on site. The examination found the engine air filter element was displaced and in the engine intake tube (see figures 1 and 2).

image.jpeg.8f0be96f6128f1fb260b267cd8e36fe7.jpeg

Figure 1: Air intake

image.jpeg.26c610508f1281f2d70b06549e0845c4.jpeg

Figure 2: Air intake and air filter element

 

 

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19 hours ago, riggermick said:

Not to cross post here, but has any info been shared about the cause? Still sucks for all. I'm just curiois because Flip was a fantastic pilot and a consummate professonial. 

I overheard some conversation about it this past weekend at the boogie, but I'm not "in the know" enough to really comment at all.  The above posting is the prelim report on NTSB.

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Hey Folks.

If you are interested there is a Celebration of Life Event being help at the Chelsea Rod and Gun Club on Oct 12 2019 @ 5:30 PM.

Here is a link to the Facebook event  https://www.facebook.com/events/616515138873753/  If the link doesn't work cut and paste.

Please check it out and if you can attend click on "Going" so that Rebecca has a head count.

We are also hosting a Boogie in his Honor at Skydive Tecumseh on the Napoleon airport starting @ 9:00 Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There will be a Twin Otter on site to support this and all are welcome to come jump.

Here is the FB link for that https://www.facebook.com/events/391083248149531/   Again, If the link doesn't work cut and paste.

If you can attend, click on "Going" so the organizers have some idea of head count.

Mark

PharrSide/FlipSide

flip standing bleachers.jpg

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(edited)

Hey Folks,

The past weekend we had the opportunity to release Flips's ashes- one more skydive for him.

Skydive Tecumseh was a wonderful host, the weather cooperated, and we had friends of his from all over the country paying respects.

 

Flip flew well as the crowd of friends and family watched from the ground. 

His ashes formed a column that morphed into a cloud than he floated across the sky, visible for all to see until the final jumper touched down.

 

Organizing credit goes to Ray Ferrell, and the attached videos were shot by Steve Kenet and Alan Merhar 

Blue Skies my Friend, Blue Skies

Mark

Edited by skypharr
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I enjoyed jumping with Flip.  I met him at a World Team record event in Thailand.  So sad to hear he passed, but knowing the little I do about him, it was at least aviation related, which was a passion of his.  Blue skies, brother!  -- Dave

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https://vimeo.com/396836758?fbclid=IwAR0MvbO7TsgbH3Uteogft4WwB-z3sVrfD-NYAvtik82FNa6xl3X9lDhpoBI

For those that are interested Flip made another stop on his Blue Skies Black Death World Tour.  This time in the Maldives.

Thanks to Sam King for doing the video edit, Ray Ferrell for traveling with Flip and including the Oreos.  

You were and are still truly loved and respected Flipper!

Mark

shirt with extra.JPG

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