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I believe his name is Dallas Whitenfield (not sure of the spelling). I think he was from around the Decatur Ind. area in the 70’s. Apart from just doing demos back then, he occasionally came out and jumped with us at Para Sport, just south of Ft. Wayne at the Lazy K Airport.


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Hi Sky,
Back in the early 70's at Borderlands Airsports Center Otay Ca.(McDonaldland as we called it) we had a Stinson Gullwing Reliant with a 450 hp Pratt on it. We named it ,"The Bodacious Thunder Chicken!!" I believe it even flew some jumpers at the old Lakeside DZ NE of San Diego.
SCR-2034, SCS-680


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I was thinking the other day as i was driving. When i was real little my parents taking me to a festival in my town and they had a guy called Thunder chicken dressed up like a clown jump in. does anyone remember this guy or where he was from etc.

Blue skies!

Hey, Sky!

It was a guy named Dallas Wittgenfeld - I jump with him here in the DeLand area. I have some older photos and articles about him - send me your e-mail address and I'll send them on to you. They are too large to upload here.

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Here's a missing piece of this story. I have just a few minutes ago posted a photo of myself and my then-girlfriend standing next to the Bodacious Thunderchicken , a Stinson V77, on August 27th 1972.
I posted it in the "Vintage" category.

What the previous posts regarding Thunderchicken didn't reveal was this:

When they were starting that monster radial engine they had a CO2 fire extinguisher right near the cowl.
Because when it started, a small fire sometimes (often?) would start up in the drizzled fuel in the bottom of the bottom end of the cowl, and they'd calmly blow it out with the extinguisher, as if that was perfectly normal "nothing to worry about" and get us newbie jumpers into the plane. Honest. It really did catch fire that day. Hooked up to our static lines, and took off.

As we were taxing the jumpmaster said something like "If the engine quits and we're over 800 feet you're all jumping out." Gave us newbies the idea that we were safer outside the plane than in it. A little extra incentive to climb out on that strut and let go. ;-)

This was my first date with my girlfriend, Karyn (in the photo with me). First jump for both of us. We had WWII surplus chutes, boots with all the shock absorbance of a concrete block (in hindsight should've worn my running shoes. You hit the ground hard with those chutes. It was static line jumps. None of this softy duel jumping with chutes that flare to soft landings you folks have.

Came back and did one more static line jump the next week. Decided skydiving was going to be too rich for my then very limited budget.
Was 30 years old at the time. Next year took up a cheaper and just possibly safer sport... hang gliding. These days I fly a light sport aircraft, and if I want something a little wilder I fly with the doors off. ;-)

Think I'll scan and post my vintage jump certificate after I post this.

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