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steve1

Scary stories from the old days?

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hcsvader

Fucker, you had me excited.

Twardo, tell us a story :)




:D:D


I ran into my ole buddy The Mighty Kaptian K few weeks back when I was up north - it's been probably 20 years or more since I've seen him.

Reminiscing over a few chilly ones with him, later sparked a story about the circumstances surrounding his no longer flying.

Wrote it but didn't post it - Gave K a ring & asked if he'd mind... kinda would prefer I not, which I can certainly understand. :)B|:ph34r: (nobody was killed except his flying career)

I'll have to get something else down instead...but gonna have to wait until I finish drywalling the garage - unless one of you guys want to finish it so I write! :$:ph34r:










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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hcsvader

Fucker, you had me excited.

Twardo, tell us a story :)



Hi Vader

Got any scary stories, from the newer generation of jumpers or boogies?

You've jumped all over the world been there done that.

Can't speak for Mr T but he could be taking a nap;)
One Jump Wonder

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One scary jump story that comes to mind that occurred on the way back from the drop zone. In the 70's while in college quite a few of us forestry majors jumped at Southern Cross in Downsville, MD. On the way back to campus one evening and after a few alcoholic beverages we decided to conduct an experiment to see how fast reserves really open. Right about State Line, PA on I-81 we pulled over and rigged up two of the college club's 24' chest mount reserves, one without a pilot chute and one with a pilot chute to the rear bumper on our classmates 1967 convertible red Cadillac securing them with a static line through the D-ring snaps tied around the bumper securely. While this fledgling rigger was going about his handy work several more alcoholic beverages were consumed by all. We then took two more static lines and snapped them onto the reserve ripcords for activation. The case of alcoholic beverages began to run low so it was time to assign duties and put our experiment into motion. There were five of us, ages 18 to 22, so we had one to drive, two guys to time with their watches in the front seat and two of us in the back seat to activate the reserves when the drive called out 90 mph. What could possibly go wrong testing parachutes on the ground? With the last of the alcoholic beverages consumed we accelerated north on I-81 commencing this wise and noble experiment to benefit all of mankind. It didn't take long to get up to 90 mph but we had to wait to pass two tractor-trailers and reach a nice straight stretch of highway. The last thing I remember of the experiment was the driver yelling "pull'em" and a flash of white nylon and then black. What I recall next was an intense pain in my side and pressure on my neck as I came back to consciousness under the dash board with one buddy on top of me, the driver unconscious slumped over the wheel. Fortunately we were not seriously hurt other than a concussion for the driver and cuts and bruises for the rest of us. When we pulled the static lines, evidently from witness accounts, one parachute immediately deployed pulling the car's rear to the left and off the ground and then pulled the bumper from the car as the car careened over to the grass on the side of the interstate. The funniest thing I remember about it was the State Trooper on the scene saying, “ Were you all drinking or something”, after hearing our account of how and why. We all walked away from that one counting our lucky stars for not getting fined and nursing our bruised bodies as well as wallets having to pay for two club reserves.
www.geronimoskydiving.com

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Never was a drinker even in college but that day I did have a few with the other guys. We had speculated that there would be a rapid deceleration but instead it was a virtual dead stop. Seemed funny at the time but we were damn lucky not to have been seriously injured or killed. To this day I ask myself "what was I thinking".
www.geronimoskydiving.com

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Hi

In my unqualified opinion I would rate this a solid 9 out of a 10, of scary stories.

Based on my military experience from 67-70 of droping all kinds of big stuff from C-130s, using extraction chutes to get the stuff out the rear end. The extraction chute basically acted a anchor, and the plane flew away from the load.

As I was reading your narrative, I was almost afraid to hear the final result.B| But I couldn't resist.

WAG the bumper being the weak point, probably saved everyone from more serious injuries. Glad everyone walked away from that one.

Bumpers can be replaced, people can't.

Thanks for sharing:)
One Jump Wonder

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Quote

Your great story about ripping off a bumper through misadventure, gunpaq, is really not all that different from one scene in Fandango!

Seemed like a good idea at the time...



The bumper did not come all the way off but rather partially torn off from right to left with damage to the rear. Just was amazed at the amount of stopping force from the 24' canopies.

The "seemed like a good idea at the time" scenario is why we have guardian angels.
www.geronimoskydiving.com

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Cars & Parachutes never mix well!

Back in the 70's a bunch of us n00bs were hanging out at the clubhouse during a scattered showers and low cloud Sunday that kept most of the wiser and seasoned club members at home.

After some lengthy beer fueled discussions, we figured out that we could get some accuracy practice in despite the low ceiling.

One guy had told about seeing something called 'Para-Sailing' down in Florida where they were pulling a parachute up behind a boat ~ we could surely do THAT with a car.

What could POSSIBLY go wrong?! :)


Rifling through all the stuff in both the clubhouse and the hanger, we put together an obviously foolproof, well thought out and safely designed 'ground launch' setup that would get us up to a few hundred feet AT LEAST...!

Plenty of altitude to make a run at the peas.


We hooked two static lines to the frame on my GTO, coming out to make a central 'Y' attachment a few feet behind the car.

Then we attached 500' of tubular nylon somebody found in an old box in the hanger to the 'Y' on one end ~ and to a pair of shot and a half risers on an old pig-rig with an empty reserve tray. L linked the main to the reserve risers and...easy peasy - - - @ 500' pop the covers pull the rings and head for the pit! :)
Spread out a longline Paraplane on the ground after removing the pilotchute & rope from the reffing system ~ then put the smallest guy in the harness for some testing. B|

The first test 'run' could have gone better...:$

We figured out that in order to get the canopy flying quickly & symmetrically... one guy holding up each end cell would insure proper inflation. On cue I would would drop the clutch in the 'GOAT' and everybody would take off running.

Yeah well...being 500 feet down the grass strip in a 475 horsepower muscle car with headers & glasspacks - doesn't necessarily make for clear communication.

As the line went taunt I started accelerating what I considered to be fairly slowly...of course being rather new to the world of the dynamic uses of nylon, we hadn't factored in the rubber band like stretching 500' of tubular has. :o

I was probably up to 20 mph when I 'felt' an increase of load behind me, which I figured was the inflated canopy fighting back...so I punch it!

The actual difference in the load being pulled was in fact the recoil of the stretched out line slingshotting our crash-test dummy out of the hands of the launch holders - onto his face where he got to play 'slip&slide' on the wet turf for a hundred feet or so - @ 45mph!

OKAY then...Plan B ~ :D


This time I got somebody sitting on my trunk lid facing backwards watching and relaying instructions...unfortunately, I think the injuries and exhaustion from the first attempt factored into the similar carnage of the 2nd...apparently - a pair of scraped and sprained knees tends to hinder one's ability to run very fast. :S

Who knew? :)


Plan C...


Since the 'running' thing was clearly the weak link in the process - we ascertained a better configuration would be to launch from a MOVING platform.

Enter the Dodge long bed pickup. B|

Dumping the double static line attachment in favor of a single point anchor in the bed for the tubular...we rigged up a figure 8 descending ring to the tailgate and theorized paying out the line on the canopy once it was up & flying would be an effectively safer method.


We DID find that we were correct in assuming symmetrical opening of the wing would be a real plus...also found that achieving that was extremely difficult from the back of a moving pick up truck while in a drunken haze.

A few sudden 'drag-offs' with an end cell closed resulted in what amounted to a low hook turn moving laterally across the ground...B|

Since we were rapidly running out of crash-test-dummies, we all went back to the clubhouse to reinvigorate the creative flow with some chilly refreshment...and ponder the Plan D possibilities.

It wasn't until half an hour later that our initial inventor had the epiphany quickly spotlighting the original error...a small thing, which no doubt was an instrumental variable quite likely the root cause of our continued failure.

"Come to think of it, them Para-Sails wuz ROUNDS"












~Fortunately it was getting dark so we put off rigging a PC...wasn't until much later we figured out - Para-sails aren't parachutes AT ALL! :|










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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Quagmirian

***What could POSSIBLY go wrong?! :)

Funny you should say that Twardo...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hfz34gy15tw

Tow lines and closed end cells. A good idea never dies eh?


I told that story one night at Perris back in the early 80's.

Guy named Hal looked at me kinda crosseyed sayin' he wished he'd have known me a couple years earlier.

Seems he & his brother tried something similar and Hal lost an eye getting pulled into a tree!

He was wasn't crosseyed - just a broke skydiver making due with a 2nd hand glass eye!

Come to find out...ya could at one time, get quite a deal on used teeth & eye balls from funeral homes! :D










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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LMFAO at gunpaq's and your stories. Those were awesome. :D:D:D

The only stupidity I had the presence of mind to do was with a friend early in our skydiving careers (young and stupid), was to get the base pilot chute that I bought but never used, set up to where I was holding the end of the bridle with the PC trailing behind my car while my friend drove. We didn't get past 10 mph before I told him to stop. Damn, that hurt. :S
"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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Heading back to Houston one day after not getting enough jumps at the Galveston DZ we pulled off the Gulf Freeway onto a Farm Road and hooked the PC up to the back of Steve Hazen's VW square back with 500' of climbing rope. The wind was out of the SE like it is most of the year and we turned around to head south on the FM. I was in the harness and Steve was driving. We found out that the east component of the wind was strong enough to drag the ass end of the VW off the road. We made a couple of runs, stopping at the feeder road of the freeway and going back a mile or so and having another go. Well, we apparently attracted the attention of some motorists/wuffos and a Highway Patrol officer. The traffic had backed up a few miles to watch and the DPS officer wasn't impressed. He told us he was going back to his patrol unit to get on the radio (1972, pre cell phone days) to find out what laws we were breaking and if we were not packed up and out of there by the time he figured it out we would be going to the pokey. We got the shit into the VW and got the hell out of there before he got done. I'm sure he noticed that funny smell coming from the VW anyway and cut us some slack. A PC is much more radical, with the steering slots, than the Parasails they tow behind the boat in Cancun and we were lucky no one was hurt.

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A Para Sail is actually an 'ascending' rig...they vents are configured to keep it inflated & climbing when pulled.

You can use a paracommander type parachute - but like you said, it can get to be a handful & it's takes considerably more pull to get it airborne.










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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Hi Mr T

One of the most dangerous times at the dz, is bored jumpers and bad weather.

Add a little booze, a safety meeting, what could possibly go wrong B| :D:D

Amazing you guys made it to plan c or d.

Maybe we just had a small club, but I don't recall ever trying anything after plan A failed. B|

At least for a few months ;)
One Jump Wonder

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On a snowy day at our little DZ we sent 3 people to the hospital without ever getting the airplane out of the hanger. Snow boards had just become the rage and my girlfriend gave me one for Christmas. We tied a rope to the back of a Honda 3 wheeler and started the carnage. 2 broken collar bones and a dislocated shoulder later, we figured out that this was a bad idea and returned to our more accomplished bad weather activity of drinking. Nothing else got injured that day except some brain cells.
We also did some Parasailing with PC's and a couple of times with squares. It was always a drunken activity and we were lucky no one ever got killed.

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No shit, there we were, thought we were going to die... of boredom.

Windy day, too windy to jump. Wide open airport all to ourselves. Plenty of grass in all directions. We had this brainstorm idea to tie an old round chute to a piece of 4' x 8' plywood, and make a wind-pulled toboggan (sled) out of it. We cut slots in the front edge of the plywood, and attached the risers there.

Piled some people on top of the plywood, inflated the chute, and off they went! Yee haw!

Problem: The front edge of the plywood kind of digs into the grass and dirt, scooping up enormous amounts and throwing it back onto the riders. Solution: wear goggles.

Problem: How do you stop this thing? When the fenceline approaches at the downwind end of the field, everyone just rolled off the plywood, and the chute no longer had enough resistance to keep it inflated. Better solution: Attach a cutaway system to the risers.

Load it all up into the back of a pickup truck, go back upwind, repeat.

Good times, and no one was hurt, except for some scrapes and splinters.

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I think I may have told this story before. I'm not sure though, so here goes again. Don't you just hate old farts who tell the same story over and over again!

I bought a new para-commander back in 1972 for three-hundred bucks. It was solid red, and I just loved that canopy. Somebody said that you could para-sail with one. I couldn't wait to try it out.

So, one day, I dug out 150 feet of climbing rope. I figured I'd give it a go. My friends and I found a lonely stretch of highway. There was also a set of powerlines on one side of that road. The road was paved.

I gave those power-lines a second look. I decided that they didn't scare me none. After all I was 21 years old, bullet proof, and really really stupid.[:/]

We strung that rope out and tied it onto the back bumper of a car. All three of my buddies had been drinking. The drunkest one of all, said, "I get to drive!"[:/]

Well, I might have been young and dumb, but I wasn't going to have him drive. I dispatched a different friend to get behind the wheel. He wasn't quite as drunk.

I wasn't sure how to tie the rope onto my harness. I think I tied it low on the front risers. After all I had never seen para-sailing done before.

I strung my brand new para-commander out on the pavement behind me. There was absolutely no wind. I quickly found out that para-sailing doesn't work too well without a head wind.

Somebody shouted go!....and off we went.:( I'll bet I was running forty mph, when I fell over and got drug. When I got up I tried to pretend that I didn't hurt all over. After all, not only was I young and dumb, but I was young and tough.

We thought for a minute, about why this wasn't working.....We decided to give it another go. The driver decided he needed more accelleration.

Well that time, I was taking 15 foot bounds and had my legs pumping for all they were worth. We must have been going at least 60 before I fell over again. I'm not sure how much hide I lost on that stretch of pavement before I came to a stop. Maybe I should have dressed in leather.....My Bell helmet probably kept me from getting nocked unconscious.... One side of my face had skidded down the pavement. I had this huge piece of face that was now bloody.

The first thing I noticed was that my heels hurt like hell. Both of them were bruised terribly. I walked around like a ballerina for a couple weeks after, but none of that kept me from working the next day as a construction worker. I guess the good news was that nothing was broke.....except my brand new para-commander. All that dragging on the pavement had ruined several panels.

I decided then and there, never ever to para-sail again....It was just too rough of a sport.:S

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If there were more bad weather days back then, there would be a lot less old skydivers. Young, dumb, and full of rum, killed it's share of skydivers that never left the ground when they died. Everyone of my skydiving buddies who were killed in unusual ways (not skydiving) were high on something at the time of their death.

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Most of the time when we parasailed with a pc it was on very windy days. We would tie off a couple of hundred feet of rope to a telephone pole, tree, or car bumper and let the wind lift us like a kite. I only remember actually towing up with a truck once and that was in the eighties with a 288 sg ft manta. One time in the early seventies when I was just a kid the guys tied off the rope to the back of a chevy van and it started to lift and drag the van. My hero, George Whittington was under the PC getting tossed around like a rag doll. Everyone on the ground had to grab a hold of the rope and walk it out to pull him down. It was way to windy to be parasailing. I even remember them parasailing with a 7tu t-10. it didn't climb near as high as a pc but they did get off the ground. George also parasailed with a Paraplane Cloud in the early seventies. It had no stabilizers and was a hand full for him to keep flying straight. I was 13 years old the first time they let me try it. the winds were starting to die down and there wasn't enough wind to lift a 150lb adult so they put me in the harness. I got about a 45 second flight and several high hops before the wind petered out. I was on cloud nine for weeks after that. When it was windy I would be the first one to start the "let's parasail" idea into motion.

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Our DZ was located on an airport that was surrounded by corn, soy and peanut fields. We put a LOT of students into those fields. We also had about 10% of our students who were military and came from Beaufort, Perris Island and Fort Stewart.

Just about every time we had a group of military students and one or two would land in the crops they'd come back with a rattlesnake or two.

I wonder just how many near misses our other students had with those snakes!

jon

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