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skypuppy

Truth or Dare - skydiving legends

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Back when I started there were some stories that were told that may have been sort of like urban legends, you didn't know if they were true or not - but they were always fun to hear! I'm going to record a couple here in case someone at dz.com knows whether they actually happened or not...

Skydiving Legend #1 - THE GULCH

My favorite t-shirt is one I bought from Chet Poland in 1981, 'The Gulch Lurks', showing a disembodied hand reaching out of the pea gravel holding a ripcord... Legend had it that there was a jumper at the Gulch who had such an appendage that he carried around with him to show wuffos and pose in pictures, etc. ... Anyone know if this is true?

TRUTH OR DARE?

Skydiving Legend #2 - THE 'GREEN-TRAC'?

At the risk of libelling someone here I seem to recall a rig called the '/green /trac' that had a problem with the reserve risers coming off when people attempted to open their reserves... Legend has it that at a California Dropzone (Quade? Bill von?) some poor sucker cut away his main and went for the reserve only to have the risers peel off his harness and depart somewhere over the desert. As he was back into freefall and getting down to a couple of hundred feet above the clubhouse, people on the dz heard him yelling, 'TAKE PICTURES!'...

TRUTH OR DARE?

Skydiving Legend #3 - THE DOUBLE BOUNCE.

I don't remember if this was supposed to have happened in California or Arizona or some other sunny western state, but legend had it that two people streamered in one day on the same load, landing on the other side of the highway from the dz about 1/4 mile apart. What made this an endearing legend is that the way the story goes, one jumper died on impact while the other was still alive... Of course the first ambulance on the scene arrived and took the dead guy away, leaving the other jumper for a second ambulance, by which time he too had expired....

TRUTH OR DARE?

These are the only ones I can remember for now (the '70's and '80's are a little hazy for me) but if I can think of any more I;ll add them later...

Meanwhile, anyone else got any they wondered about?
If some old guy can do it then obviously it can't be very extreme. Otherwise he'd already be dead.
Bruce McConkey 'I thought we were gonna die, and I couldn't think of anyone

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Skydiving Legend #2 - THE 'GREEN-TRAC'?



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As I recall..
The GreenTrac Express...
The story was that if you modified the harness somewhat,
in the attempt to get a better fit, comfort...
Stiching was cut that was intergal to the reserve risers.












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

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It was the Green Star Express. The stitching on the mud flaps was also the harness stitching. If you took off the mud flaps, the risers looked like they were still stitched on, but they weren't.

I don't remember why people picked off the mud flap stitching, but it happened once or twice. No legend.

Wendy W.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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Skydiving Legend #1 - THE GULCH

My favorite t-shirt is one I bought from Chet Poland in 1981, 'The Gulch Lurks', showing a disembodied hand reaching out of the pea gravel holding a ripcord... Legend had it that there was a jumper at the Gulch who had such an appendage that he carried around with him to show wuffos and pose in pictures, etc. ... Anyone know if this is true?


Yup! Apparently it was some pilot who went in with his plane. His body disintegrated, but the right forearm was mummified or some other such thing.

Quack

But you have to understand, mental illness is like cholesterol. There is the good kind and the bad. Without the good kind- less flavor to life. - Serge A. Storms

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And the Trac part of the legend was because Green Star also made a rig called the Trac 2. But I don't think it had the same mud flap problem

Wendy W.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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That is the story that I heard....the arm was found out in the desert all dried out and mummified. That picture is great!!!!
--
Murray

"No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: the officious demands of policemen, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets." - Edward Abbey

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Skydiving Legend #2 - THE 'GREEN-TRAC'?



Quote


As I recall..
The GreenTrac Express...
The story was that if you modified the harness somewhat,
in the attempt to get a better fit, comfort...
Stiching was cut that was intergal to the reserve risers.


It was the Green Star. On of the people that had this problem, fired his reserve at Otay and went in screaming at the top of his lungs. He landed about 200 feet for where his wife and kids were sitting watching Daddy skydive.
Sparky
My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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OK, so it sounds like legend #2 is essentially true. Where is Otay.... California?

Skypuppy.
If some old guy can do it then obviously it can't be very extreme. Otherwise he'd already be dead.
Bruce McConkey 'I thought we were gonna die, and I couldn't think of anyone

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Wow, Otay is just a hop, skip and a jump from Doghouse Junction...I should move there..I'm always in the doghouse;)
--
Murray

"No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: the officious demands of policemen, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets." - Edward Abbey

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It was the Green Star. On of the people that had this problem, fired his reserve at Otay and went in screaming at the top of his lungs. He landed about 200 feet for where his wife and kids were sitting watching Daddy skydive.
Sparky



That was 1978. That fatality and another somewhere else pretty well destroyed the reputation of Green Star Systems and they soon went under. As a more humorous aside, Otay, or Borderland Air Sports as it was known at the time, had two Beeches, a blue one and a green one. We gleefully named them The Blue Coffin and The Green Star Express.

Your humble servant.....Professor Gravity !

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Legend number 1. The year was 1974. The place Wagoner Ok. 10 way speed star teams were practicing for nationals. The Aircraft was Bob Schaffer's ugly blue twin beech with the skull and cross bones on the tail. I was 1 year from skydiving(17, but at the airport watching.) A group from the Gulch were driving a hearse around. I know I met some of them, but cant remember any names except for Bob Schaffer. It seems there was a betty? They were playing with the mumified arm and taking pictures scratching themselves with it with the hearse in the background. The big rumor at the time was that it was Captain Hook's arm. I was told that they actually found it in a cave in some cliffs next to the desert. The Seventies were very good to me, but that is the way I remember it.

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As he was back into freefall and getting down to a couple of hundred feet above the clubhouse, people on the dz heard him yelling, 'TAKE PICTURES!'...



TRUE.

I'm not sure if this was the same guy that jumped the rig you spoke of, but I know a guy who was on a dz when a friend of his did this. He had a double mal, and a few hundred feet up, he yelled "Take a picture!!!". That was cool. The guy accepted his fate, and tried to make the best of it. Cheers to that jumper. B|

Wrong Way
D #27371 Mal Manera Rodriguez Cajun Chicken Ø Hellfish #451
The wiser wolf prevails.

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quack

Skydiving Legend #1 - THE GULCH

My favorite t-shirt is one I bought from Chet Poland in 1981, 'The Gulch Lurks', showing a disembodied hand reaching out of the pea gravel holding a ripcord... Legend had it that there was a jumper at the Gulch who had such an appendage that he carried around with him to show wuffos and pose in pictures, etc. ... Anyone know if this is true?


Yup! Apparently it was some pilot who went in with his plane. His body disintegrated, but the right forearm was mummified or some other such thing.

Quack



Actually a guy landed out and found it in the desert.

The Gulch
My shirt had "We fly. You die" under the hand.

They ignored the ground
That cardinal sin
Monte bounced
Link went in

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More Gulch Trivia:

Larsen said the only rule was if you scared him you were grounded. Apparently, Monte and Link were able to get grounded or so I was told. They would show up after the month and get grounded again. One of them had his hand on the ripcord before impact.

I can't remember who it was - went in on the runway with a partial. When they got to him he was hysterical screaming "I bounced and lived" Jumped again after recovery. The asphalt was far more forgiving in the Desert Heat than the ground.

A team looking for sponsorship went to a mortuary with a proposal based on how much business the DZ provided. Pretty much the last straw of many episodes for the city and ending the business license shortly thereafter.

Coolidge was already going on and the Ghouls moved a bit East.

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Hi Skypup & all,
Heard the stories too. As for the dude bouncing at Otay (O-die) he was not the one who yelled "Take Pictures!!" Rick Mazie was teaching the FJC and saw the whole thing and according to Rick when the guy realized his situation he was yelling something more to the effect of,"Oh Jesus, Oh Jesus....!!!!" Some Brits at a Perris Turkey Boggie told the story of a bounce back in UK where the dude went in just across the runway from the packing area and was heard to yell,"Take Pictures!!" right before he bounced. I think it was the Ducks' end farm road freefall club jumpers that told the story.
Pretty much right on about the Green Star rig. Never saw one up close so I don't know how the reserve risers were configured but they sounded,"Sport Death!" Sorry I don't have one of Bullet Bob's "Sport Death" T-shirts but I do have a Monty and Link Sport Death Skullcrest from Ghoulidge in my archives!
Yeah The Gulch and Ghoulidge are now history. Most all of the USFET are still around and still tellin' the tale. Pat Works chronicled a lot about those daze on "Air Trash" "Blast from the past" go read it!
I Don't know if there's more to it but from the Gulch the line goes,"They ignored the Ground that Cardinal Sin, Monty Bounced and Link went in."
Like a lot of those WWII training bases the runways were set up in a triangle form, ala the Gulch. The triangle formed by the runways was called the "Devil's triangle" and all loads were spotted over the center as nobody was to have bounced "inside" the triangle. The guy who hit the asphalt was probably the closest.
Never seen the "Arm" up close but did see the first B&W 8x10 glossy photo or two at Perris or Elsinore or both. Several stories prevail about the arm. Anyone know for sure it's history??
SCR-2034, SCS-680

III%,
Deli-out

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Hi Bill !

The real 'problem' with the Green Star Express IIRC, was that it wasn't the most comfortable rig going.

It was like a sheet of plywood on your back stiff.

The not so wise 'inside trick' was to stitch rip the threading that held the reserve risers down over the pack tray...loosened things up and let the yoke spread a bit.

That threading unfortunately was what held the risers to the harness...










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

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airtwardo

Hi Bill !

The real 'problem' with the Green Star Express IIRC, was that it wasn't the most comfortable rig going.

It was like a sheet of plywood on your back stiff.

The not so wise 'inside trick' was to stitch rip the threading that held the reserve risers down over the pack tray...loosened things up and let the yoke spread a bit.

That threading unfortunately was what held the risers to the harness...


Hi Jim,
'Bout as close as I ever got to a Green Star was lookin' at their ad in "Spotter" mag from the NE back when. 'Never liked "slaved on risers." Most all current (I think) rigs have the reserve risers come down the harness and become the main lift web to the leg straps as one continuous piece. Would be interesting to see the drawing (blue print) of the set up. Just like "Tapewells" they're history!!
PS, did ya' ever find that Orange handle "Hook knife??"
SCR-2034, SCS-680

III%,
Deli-out

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airtwardo

The real 'problem' with the Green Star Express IIRC, was that it wasn't the most comfortable rig going.

It was like a sheet of plywood on your back stiff.



A valuable post. The Green Star gets mentioned from time to time over the years, but I don't recall anyone ever actually explaining WHY people started mucking around with the stitching.

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I owned a Green Star Express I bought it from Charlie Brown in Richmond, Va. 1979. It was my first piggy back rig. It had a PC in a bag not a sleeve for a main and a Navy Conical round reserve. I took it to Dublin, Va. to make my first jump in my new rig. Since the rig was not designed for a PC nor was the PC designed for bag the Dublin DZ people took it out and re packed it on a packing table designed for T-10's. I will never forget them saying while scratching their heads " well it looks like it will work." Truly the dumbest thing I ever did was take it for a test jump from 7500 feet to see if it would open not knowing the rig had been recalled for the stitching coming loose on the reserve risers. Fortunately it opened. Later at a Nationals being held at Perris Valley, Charlie told he he had the rig sent back to the factory for restitching of the reserve before he sold it to me. Meanwhile my guardian angels were working overtime.
Tony Brogdon
D-12855

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