Who Are Your Skydiving Heroes/Mentors?

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I was fortunate enough to grow up skydiving during a very special time at a very special place. Nathan was one of those people who's enthusiasm was absolutely infectious and not a day of my life passes that I don't think about those people and that amazing period of time. And here I am, 9 years later, still hurling myself from aircraft on a daily basis. WOO-HOO!

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Hi Sheena. Ditto on the Carboney. Just one problem, if too many more posts about Scotty, his head might get so big and heavy, nothing left but head down. But you gotta love anybody that frickin crazy cool. Just don't want to whacked in the head by him again during FF. Another of my favorites was Nate, but that just goes with him being so much of a friend to everybody. Of course can't forget the great instructors-coaches like Jim, Mike, Jimmy, Jesse, JJ, Jack, Stewart, Kevin, Kenny, Chuck, and many more. Have had a bunch of fun with the whole crew of Gerogia RWers too. Great bunch. TJ has been a fantastic coach too. Learned some good stuff from John Suiter at AAC, "everybody has to learn to fly their own body". Can't forget Leone Riche and the old banana roll, so glad to have survived. Skydiving just has too many to list...

Just hope I can take a little part of everybody, make my own style, and be fun having a falling out.

Haven't seen you for a while. Looking forward to seeing you flare with a flair. Here's to another great year of skydiving and friends.

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Hi Sheena,

Ditto on the Carboney thing, Scotty and Tami are no BS, fun, and good friends. I just wish y'all would quit giving Scotty so many compliments. His head is already swollen up enough. And I wish he would quit smacking me upside the noggin in FF. That hurts.

Nate was another of my favorites, not because of his skill, which was great, but because of his attitude. A genuine caring guy. Quite a few times as I head out the door, I wonder if he will be hanging out on cloud with a big smile at my zany antics.

Lots of others, from instructors and coaches like JJ, Jim, Stewart, Jimmy, Chuck, Kevin, Kenny, too many to list. TJ is a fantastic coach and fun to watch. When I turned one of my old buddies on to jumping, I was really happy with the way everybody at the DZ had taken him under wing and made him at home.

Maybe one of the most enlightening things I have heard was John Suiter, "Everybody has to learn to fly their own body". Since then, I just try to take little things from everybody and blend them into my own thing, rather than learn THE WAY.

The local Georgia RW fliers have shown me what giving back what you get really means. It isn't enough just to learn to become a better skydiver, you have to be willing to share it too. Folks like Dave, Anthony, Doug, Brian, Allison, and others really live up to this. Dragging me along on a bigway was nothing but charity, but WOW that was fun.

And I can't forget Leon Riche, that crazy cajun. Banana rolling, rounds, and beat up 172s. Fun, but glad to be alive. I wonder where that lunatic is these days.

Haven't seen you for a while. I hope to see you flare with flair soon.

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THAT explains it!

DUDE.. he sold me that AWSUM Papillion with the 3 rolls of rip stop tape holding together the center of the canopy;)

It was in a surplus rig that had been dyed black... and had a C-9 belly wart reserve with this REALLLLY COOL panel with an aircraft altimeter and a stopwatch on it..
I cant remember what I paid for that rig. I know it was less than $300 . but.. I had it for a while and learned to fly in it. I also used it for my SL training.... and had to learn to pack it under supervision from my very first jump.. I had my first malfunction on jump number 5 requiring me to chop (Cutaway with the J-1 Capewells)and go to the C-9 belly wart...all due to my packing excellence. Chop #2 was around jump 60 or so... again.. packing excellence.

AH.. back in the day

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- Sandy Wambach ...for taking me under her considerate tutelage when I was but a wee fledgling.

- Jerry Bird ...Did my 1st successful 4-way w/me (insisted on taking me up) when I had only 30 jumps or so. I think at the time he had like 9,000 & I didn't even have the 1st clue at the time as to who he even was. He just saw me standing there & said "hey kid ...ya wanna make a jump?" Quintessential JB! ;)

And as a Mentor, one of the quickest "forgotten", and I think still to this day most UNDER APPRECIATED codgers to ever give back to this sport (and I think he did, if you ACCEPTED it from him that is, and listened):

- Martin Evans

There are MANY others, but I have to say as far as pivotal impressioning and "shaping" of the jumper that I am today, those 3 are who in particular stand out to me.

coitus non circum - Moab Stone

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After considerable time away from "consistent" jumping, I'd have to say:

Roger Nelson - For all the knowledge shared

Norge Roi - What can I say, this guy trusted my abilities and gave me the opportunity of a lifetime

Max Meijer - For organizing countless 20 ways and never axing me from a jump, even though I'm sure I deserved it a couple of times along the way

Ron Nowak - Always a positive attitude, such an important jumpmaster to me in my early years

Dave Cicciarelli - For teaching me the Jedi Mind Trick while playing pool, and for making me laugh at the size of his stupidly small power racer

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Bobby Rost- The guy that took me up on my first tandem.

Jim Cowan- Who taught me that skydiving is fun and always should be enjoyed no matter what. Jim took me up on my Level 3 (release dive) and was geeking me the whole time. It enabled me to relax and made the progression so much easier.

Chris Bryan- my level 4-7 instructor and who still gives advice till this day.

There's no truer sense of flying than sky diving," Scott Cowan

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Ward Hessig - For taking me under his wing at a baby dropzone, and showing me the ropes, even though he certainly could have thought that he was too cool for that. B|

Rook Nelson - Did a few jumps with me in Richmond and really helped push me into freeflying. Seeing that guy in the air is something else, try it.

Laurie Clark - On my first AFF jump, pulled for my sorry ass, and encouraged me to keep trying. Laurie, I pull for myself now! :)
Marcus Lasar - My instructor for most of my AFF jumps, and member of the 352-way world record belly jump. I say this now, I would not be a skydiver today if it weren't for this man.

Paul Meagher - I did one or two jumps with Paul as a student, but it was more his words on the ground that make me appreciate him.

Several others that I wish I had the time to write out how much they've meant to me in this sport: Sally and Tony Hathaway, Bo and Paula Coody, Billy Ransom, Bob Clark, Paul Russo (and all the other guys from Aerodyne), Egon from RW, Sangiro (for giving me/us the chance to network like this...I would not still be in this sport if it weren't for DZ.com), Justin from Mirage, Keith Fay (he should be at the top of this list), people on here that I've never met but have still influenced me a lot (AggieDave, JohnMitchell, Quade, there are TONS more that I'm drawing a blank on 'cause its 2:00 am), Tonto (that guy's awesome), Billvon, Brian Germain (for taking the time to talk to me a bit about meditation and not thinking he's too good for me - it's amazing how down to Earth all the big names in this sport are), John from the Ranch who works for Icarus and his girlfriend who I can't remember her name, the guy who makes the Axon canopy, April in Eloy (and her cool German husband who I can't remember his name either - damnit).

I shouldn't have made this list, because it's an injustice to all the wonderful people that I've left off of it due to human error.

Thanks everyone. :)
edit (alright I remembered some more): Phreezone (for just being so damn cool), Jason Yasuda from Richmond, Kelly Kinney (skygod7777 - for bein a cool guy and talkin' with me), Vern from Richmond (for that crazy ass road trip from SGC to Richmond), Robin from SGC (you are amazing - and so is your husband), Pip Redvers, Dave Elliot, John Theisen, Todd and Angie Lewis, Bob from Greensburg (and the rest of the Greensburg crew), Cora, Ron Hill (your words have kept my mind in focus on jumps), Eric Hilldebrand from ZHills, TJ Landgren, Chuck Blue, Jeffro Provenzano, Steve Curtis (I'm not sure I've met many people in the world nicer than Steve Curtis), Zack Mullins (for being the coolest 13 year old you'll ever meet - and his Dad for having the best plane on the Earth), ....that's enough for now.


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Heroes, I have a few, not saying who because it's my bitness...:P

Mentors, HELL NO. I have none. Not a one. If I had a mentor, I would not SUCK AT SKYDIVING!!! :)
Naming a mentor would forever shame the poor person/people associated with my lack of skills. B|
Do not believe that possibly you can escape the reward of your action.

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I had to add a couple names to my old post. My newest mentors are Airspeed's:

Christopher Irwin: for teaching me how to become a strong flier and an aggressive block mover and "tail gunner" on 4 way

Todd Hawkins: for his super professional coaching and setting a fine example of the type of coach I would to become

Eric Gin: for helping me become a more comfortable and keen tunnel rat ;)

I am proud to name some of the world's best as my mentors. Airspeed Rocks!
Roy Bacon: "Elvises, light your fires."

Sting: "Be yourself no matter what they say."

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Laurie Clark, Paul Meagher, Sally Hathaway - for teaching me to fly - safely!
Pip - for teaching me head down - that's the shit!!!
Bob Clark for the burn-out competitions at the bar...
The whole damn family at Z-Hills for the entire experience....the best things in life are there everyday!
The losers I jump with all the time - I love my retarded skydiving family and you guys are the best!!

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Liz - not directed at you . . . just using your original post because I removed the trash referred to below.

UTD - blatant trolling on your part to stir up JP. Your "I was just kidding" card has long ago expired. Your constructive contribution to this forum is infinitesimal - continue to post just to stir the pot for your own entertainment and you may find yourself with one less forum you can post to.

JP - your one warning for PAs. Don't let the bridge dweller push your buttons - it's his desired result.

Both of you - please take your personal differences to PMs.

I removed the garbage.
Arrive Safely


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My instructor MILKO, save my life several times and spent a lot of his time, train me
in ground and air, so I definitely be f...ing stable and keep me in Skydiving.

David and Angela Hickling and all Staff and local jumpers at Langar, UK the most brilliant people I ever met.

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Tim Webb
Carl Daughtery
Mike "Maddog" Maguire
Billy Weber
Scott Miller
Jerry Bird
Jim Captain
Karen McLarty
Martha Scott
Roger Ponce
Kate Cooper
Gus Wing
Bob Hallett
Solly Williams
Gary Smith
Mike and Patti Woods
Norman Kent

There are more, but I'm getting old and draw a blank right now.

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Oh man, this could be long:

I'm still a beginner, so I'm sure this list will grow over the next year, but so far:

Basically anyone and everyone at Mile-Hi who encouraged me when I was bummed about not passing my level 4 twice and everyone who kept me going through my AFF and who taught me how to become a better skydiver: These are the HEROES, the ones who dared to jump with me during AFF:
Brad, Russ, Nick, Miami, and Ron and also Travis. When i first got onto DZ.com, and I was pissed about skydives, he would always have my back and just give me tips and kept me going by encouraging me. That meant more than anything to me...

And there's just too many people at Mile-Hi to name. From Brady, Josh, Seth, Jeremy, Jesse, and any of the other packers that kept me alive. Chris, Billy, Josh, Keith, Dave B., Mike P., Justin, Tom, and honestly everyone else there who took me under their wings and answered every single question I ever had about skydiving or canopy or different disciplines or packing. I'm still in awe of all the stuff that everyone is involved in, whether that be freeflying, or an AFF instructor or a TI, I aspire to be all of those at some point in my future, so just to be allowed to hang out and watch and ask why....I learn a shitton from you guys...

Ok, after i got through AFF, I went back to school in Michigan and went to Tecumseh.

I was a little unsure on my first drive up to the DZ, whether the atmosphere would be cool, if the jumpers there would accept me, if I would EVER get my 'A' License.....those questions....
Man....what I found was an awesome DZ that I'm proud to be a part of now. I remember emailing Chrissy and Adrienne before I came out and they just kind of welcomed me. Then....I made my first jump there...it was an H&P from 5500' out of a Cessna which I had never jumped before.....

Through september to november almost, I got throught the majority of my jumps with Jimo, Adam, Travis, Goatboy, and Karl. Everyone always talked about how fast I fall and so when it came time for Fall rate changes, Karl stepped up. I intially learned how to pack from Jimbo and Mindy would give me tips too and Adam and Adrienne would help too when they weren't making fun of me for taking 45 min to pack.

Then I got to know Sporto and Marshall and Cheryll and Cindy and Mark and Alison and Sealy and Kip and Rex and Amanda and Mindy and TON of other people who I would just watch and take in so much. I remember watching videos of them Freeflying. It was definately during that period that I decided I wanted to get into Freeflying....that was only multiplied more aftere I watched those guys out here in Colorado with TJ Landgren in the tunnel...

Anyways, Finally winter passed and it was time to get recurrent. Travis helped with that and then I had to grow some balls and do my H&P's....after I did my checkout dive and last swoop and dock. I did the majority of my last jumps with Goatboy and I know I will never live down my last H&P from 3500'.....it was....special...

But I had to leave for CO before I got make my first official non-student status jump there, but I'm looking forward to getting back there in the fall to absorb everything they have to teach and say....

I love everyone who's taken me in and showed me some love and the way to go and can't wait until I'm on the same level that all these guys (and girls) are on....I can't even imagine...

Looking forward to meeting some more new peeps too at other DZ's...
Puttin' some stank on it.

----Hellfish #707----

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Not big into hero worship, but as far as highly respecting people;

Buck Whalley: Re-motivated me when I was becoming discouraged with my progression in the sport.

Norm Forbes: Generally always willing to give plenty of his time and attention to anyone who wanted help, even inexperienced skydivers who might feel shy around someone of his experience.

My biggest handicap is that sometimes the hole in the front of my head operates a tad bit faster than the grey matter contained within.

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Pretty much all the SSC instructors, who introduced me to the sport.

Cris: Jumped with me for all 9 of my AFF-jumps. Took me out to the windtunnel when I hit a wall in my training and still teaches me some really cool stuff.

Jeremy (now @ Aerohio): Taught my FJC and made some AFF jumps with me. Sorry to hear about this weekend's happenings at your DZ brother :(.

Dean: Gave me my first taste of freefall as my tandem-master. Also jumped with me during AFF.

Yoshi (now @ San Marcos): Jumped with me twice during AFF. His laid-back manner and love for the sport really put me at ease, esp for my levels 1 and 2 when I was really nervous.

There have been numerous others who have given me very helpful advice. In my 5 months of skydiving, I've come across some very knowledgible people who give very generously of their knowledge.

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