Have Haley's chute; Looking for Norton's.

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Just found this website. Was a jumper and pilot on a few DZ's in Cal back in the 70's and 80's. I have the custom-made double spectrum rainbow STRATO STAR and orange jumpsuit that Steve Haley used to pilot the World's first 8-Stack with the KNOW-SENSE PARACHUTE TEAM, as seen in the opening sequences of Carl Boenish's movie SKY DIVE.

Was kind of wondering if anyone knew what happened to Robert "Norton" Thomas' Orange and Black striped Strat. Last I remember, I think Gus Evans had it. I'd like to track it down. Think it would be cool to put together a nostalgia dive getting these two rigs back together again. These were the chutes that started it all, back when Bill Dause first saw Norton and Haley chasing each others pilot chutes and remarked, "You guys aint got no sense."

Anybody with information about these rigs, please send me an Email: rondo@dropzone.com


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Hi Rondo!

I'm glad you found us, and I hope that you will enjoy your time here in the Forums.

With regard to your post, I refer you to the Forum Rules, which specifically ask us not to advertise in the Forums. Sangiro, the creator of dropzone.com, established a most excellent Classifieds section for that. From my experience with the dz.com classifieds, your ad will get lots of exposure.

To maintain the nostalgic value of your post, both in support of your "quest" and for the edification of other dotcommers, I edited out the solicitation and left the rest intact.

I also moved the post to the "Skydiving History & Trivia" Forum, where it is not only a much better fit, but it will stay on the front page longer and get your "quest" more exposure.

Thanks, and good luck! B|
Arrive Safely


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Hey Rondo,

It was my 7-cell Rainbow Strato Cloud (all-white on top) at the top of all the Steve Haley-piloted 8-stacks from the world's first to probably a dozen or more.

I organized the world's first 8-stack (see signature line below) and when Haley realized I'd broken my neck on the second attempt, he swooped in and snagged my rig (claiming I wouldn't need it for a while!).

We had surmised that having a 7-cell Cloud on top would make for a more stable stack than having a 5-cell Star on top. Thing was, Haley had no money and the Strato Star was all he had, and he was always stack-pilot (Know-Sense "rules"). But once a 7-cell was at the top with Haley piloting it, the stack became way smoother and the first 8-stack was then completed.

I'm guessing Norton's rig went down with him over the ocean, which you are now aware of. Don't know about my rig either. Never thought it would have historical value so I think I sold it to a student when I quit jumping in 1982. It may have been Daryl Haberman in Redding, CA, but I can't be sure, and haven't talked to him in over 20 years.

Best of luck in getting the rigs together. Give me a reply and we can talk about the early days of CRW and of times in NoCal.
Tom Courbat
Organized World's 1st 8-Stack - Livermore, CA - Oct 22-23, 1977. Broke neck on 2nd attempt. CCR 9/CCS 35. Started CCR/CCS Program & sold to USPA. SCR 572/SCS 1000

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