0
peckerhead

25 years ago...

Recommended Posts

I hope the mods don't mind. I posted this in the bonfire and it dawned on me that I might have been in this sport long enough to be considered "history"

I made my first jump at Hot Spur Paracenter Inc. in Littleton Colorado. I was barely 18 and scared to death.

I found my old faded first jump certificate in an old photo album. I can't read my Instructors signiture but I think it says Bob something. He was D-5465. I never talked to him again after that day.

Bob, if you are out there somewhere I salute you!

My Jumpmasters signature looks like Martin Something....C-11707 I salute you as well.

I skillfully landed a t-10 out in a field of cattle and prickly pear with the help of an arrow I saw off in the distance. I walked for about 20 minutes before I saw another human being but I didn't give a shit. I was well trained how to pick up the equipment just in case.

The attached photo is my second jump 3 months later in Oregon. Nobody had a camera for my first one. Back then if you wanted a picture you had to bring a friend with a camera.

My how times have changed....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Where abouts in Oregon, did you jump? Are those two shot capewells? Those were the days!.....Steve1



Eagle Creek
Harrisburg
Scravel Hill
Beagle Sky ranch
Mollala
Bend
Cline falls
Madras

And all points in between. I have about 1600 jumps in the great state of Oregon.

One shot capewells, we did not cutaway on static line jumps. No pilot chute on the reserve. Stay with what you got and throw the reserve by hand.




Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Quote


One shot capewells, we did not cutaway on static line jumps. No pilot chute on the reserve. Stay with what you got and throw the reserve by hand.



It's been so long since I've seen one shot capewells or even two shots, that I'm having trouble recalling what they looked like. I think there's also been a big transition in the design of capewell's. I quit jumping in about 75 so there were numerous changes after that.

The two shots I jumped in the military had a metal cover over them. They may use the same ones today for military static line jumps.

The para-commander I jumped a year ago had some type of one shots held together with velcro. They looked scary to me, but I jumped it anyhow.

The one shot's (that I recall back in the 70's) looked similiar to the shot and a half's, but one pull on the cover and you were free. At least that's how I remember them. Maybe I'm off a little on that. Most of us had shot and a half's.

I quit jumping for twentyfive years, so there were all kinds of gear changes during that time period.

I jumped some in Mollala in the early 70's. Do you remember Jack DeChristopher? We were on a ten way team together put together at a jump meet in Idaho. I heard he is racing cars now.

I heard "Elevator" is still flying planes. I remember when he was about 15, and flying jumpers out of Mollala's beech....Steve1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Those are definitely two shot capewells.

Two shots had a “T” shaped top cover. Pull it down and then the “squeeze the two buttons” were exposed. Squeeze them and pull down on the lever mechanism and bingo, cutaway.

Shot and a half’s had a more triangular top cover. Pull it off and the cable loop under springs out horizontal. Thumbs in the loop and pull and bingo, cutaway.

One shots looked much like shot and a half’s from the outside, but no wire loop showing below. Simply grasp the cover and pull down, bingo, cutaway.

Aaaaah, then came the main “interim” devices. The R2’s, R3’s, tapewells, etc. What a pleasure – drill out the rivet at the bottom hinge of the covers and hinges and substitute the hinge / Velcro / webbing combos. How easy was it then to cutaway – peel the Velcro and pull down on the webbing. Bingo, cutaway. Made us all believe that Velcro was a wonder drug.

Although I made millions of suspended harness cutaways on two shots and shot and a half’s, in actual skydives I only made “real” cutaways with one shots and tapewells (an Aussie knock-off of the R-2) – one cutaway on each. Both worked as advertised. As the tapewell was the modern piece of hardware at the time I guess I sang it’s praises at the time – this was mid late 70’s. Sure was relieved when the sport went to a single pull-one-handle technology. For me, that was not a 3 ring, it was a webbing S-wrap device that came in about same time as the 3-ring. I still have a rig at home with this, but haven’t jumped it for many many years.

Oh well, that’s my trip-down-memory-lane for the day. I must add, though, that the simplicity and rugged reliability of gear today is literally light years ahead of those heady days of the distant past. But that distant past isn’t really all that long ago. But I salute all the developers who have put us where we are right now – the Bill Booths, Ted Strongs, etc.

Blue Skies,

fergs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sorry guys, those are two shot Capewells in the photo. Squeeze the cover open, squeeze the buttons and pull down. One and a half shots currently in use by the military - pull down the cover, hook your thumb into the cable ring and pull. One shots were never very popular but activated by just pulling them down...instant seperation. First developed and used on the old Security Cross-bow dual backpack rig in the mid-60's. Most people considered the one shots unsafe and converted them to the 1 1/2 shots.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Hi steve1,

Elevator did not fly a Beech out of Molalla at 15; he was flying for Ted at Sheridan about that age.

Today he owns an aircraft repair facility located on the McMinnville airport.



..............
Of course, My mind is going on me. It was definitely Sheridan. Mollala wasn't even a drop zone back then. At least I think not.

I do remember Elevator well though. A ballsy kid who loved to talk, and he flew extremely well. I heard that Ted still lives at Sheridan and was on the city counsel. You couldn't help but like both of them....Steve1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote


D-5465 doesn't show up in the USPA database.
C-11707 belongs to Martin Fawcett. His membership expired in 2003. Last shown in the Mountain Region; UT, WY, CO, southeastern ID.
Jog any braincells?

ripcord4 is correct in his Capewell discriptions. You had two shots in your photo. The reserve container looks big enough to hold a 28' reserve.

"I found my old faded first jump certificate in an old photo album. I can't read my Instructors signiture but I think it says Bob something. He was D-5465. I never talked to him again after that day.

My Jumpmasters signature looks like Martin Something....C-11707.

The attached photo is my second jump 3 months later in Oregon."

www.SkydiveLostPrairie.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It may be hard to see in that old grainy scanned photo but there are no covers.

I have two cutaways on shot and a halfs and one on R-3's
Two of those were on back to back loads at Ralphs.

Anyway, we did not cutaway on the rig shown in the picture. We started cutaways once on freefall with shot and a halfs. That is when we started using spring loaded pilot chutes on the reserve.
On static line jumps it was direct bag deployed t-10s with break cord on the apex. If you had a malfunction you opened the reserve container and reached between the lines and the canopy and threw it out. No pilot chute...





Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ralph also operated out of Donald- Aurora during those years. He had an active DZ at Mollala up to 1976 and then moved to Eagle creek. I think Beaver Oaks started in 1977.

There are numerous stories of farmer McNasty in Oregon and some of them are true.

There are also stories of jumpers pulling guns on farmers. But that is another thread.


Those assholes did burn 68 Charlie to the ground and they were never prosecuted. That plane I am leaning on in the photo.......
Some dirty rotten sonof a bitch that hated skydivers doused it with gas and burned it.
[:/]








Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Bob Vance. I heard rumors he was killed on a demo doing crew



With out digging out my old newspaper clippings and double checking the first name.
Yes there was a 3 stack that wrapped at a demo in littleton/arvada and Vance was one of them.
It has been a long time, we all called him bobby, so I'm sure it's the same guy.
That was a fucked up day, they landed in the crowded street of carnival goers.
If I remember right it was in 84.
I have the news photos and stories in a scrap book some where.
And was at the service for them.

~
you can't pay for kids schoolin' with love of skydiving! ~ Airtwardo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Quote

Bob Vance. I heard rumors he was killed on a demo doing crew



With out digging out my old newspaper clippings and double checking the first name.
Yes there was a 3 stack that wrapped at a demo in littleton/arvada and Vance was one of them.I have the news photos and stories in a scrap book some where.



Wheat Ridge, Colorado, August 18th 1984

My Aunt and Uncle where there at the street carnival. They watched the whole thing, then sent me the article .hoping I would quit jumping.

bozo


bozo
Pain is fleeting. Glory lasts forever. Chicks dig scars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yep that is the one Wheatridge is next to Arvada so that is why I was thinking it, I looked for my scrapbook but I'm not sure where it is right now.
That was a messed up deal for anyone who saw it.
Thanks for setting the record stright, it has been a long time ago and repressed in the memory bank.
They are gone, but not forgotten.

~
you can't pay for kids schoolin' with love of skydiving! ~ Airtwardo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Steve1 & Peckerhead,

Yup, Ted Mayfield owned the dz at Donald (Ralph never operated out of Donald or Aurora).

And yes, Farmer McNasty would pull out his trusty rifle on you if landed on his property. He confiscated a number of canopies, etc that would land on his property.

At one rather infamous boogie Lennie Aikens (or so 'rumors' have it) blew up the guy's barn on Sat nite with dynamite. You might ask his daughter Jessie Farrington just how true that 'rumor' is.

Ah, the good ole days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote



And yes, Farmer McNasty would pull out his trusty rifle on you if landed on his property. He confiscated a number of canopies, etc that would land on his property.

At one rather infamous boogie Lennie Aikens (or so 'rumors' have it) blew up the guy's barn on Sat nite with dynamite. You might ask his daughter Jessie Farrington just how true that 'rumor' is.

Ah, the good ole days.



Back in the early 70's I was in a Special Forces National Guard Unit. Our guard drills were on the weekends and were more or less a big waste of time. One of our fellow guardsmen became disgruntled and started missing some of these weekend drills. Our Sgt. Major got pissed and activated him to active duty status. He somehow survived a year in Nam on a Special Forces A-team.

Our Sgt. Major was also a pig farmer on the side. When this guy returned home from Vietnam a few weeks passed before his barn suddenly caught fire in the middle of the night and burned to the ground. Everyone knew who did it, but there was no proof....Steve1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account. It's free!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
0