2008 Invitational Wingsuit Bigway Event

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There are a bunch of wingsuits here, Justin Shorb, Scotty Burns, Norman Kent, Costyn, Tero, Jeff Nebelkopf, Taya, Valery, the Grays, Brian Drake, GreyMike, Purple Mike, etc....
Mark Harris' group got up three times with two jumps, Scott Campos' group got in three? jumps, and I think Rolf's group got in three before the winds nailed us down.
Gusts from 9 to 26 at various points in the morning, some of us had to ride the Skyvan down due to high winds.
BentProp/Skydive AZ had a steak and potato dinner tonight with some cool shades, wingsuit discounts, Tshirts, and other stuff given away. Was a good dinner, and great social opportunity.

Hope for lighter winds tomorrow. No one likes to see canopies flying backwards.

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Day two...much better than day one.
First day, winds were high.
Today, still high, still gusting in the 20-22 range, but everyone flew.
Lots of loads, lots of fun. Several people had left early for reasons varying from weather to travel plans between the Elsinore event and the weekend here.
Today the formations worked out very nicely (see pic).
Merging the two groups together went quite well, for my side of the formation, Purple Mike was solid. At breakoff, he left like a rocket. This was probably due to the threat of me, Callantine, and Chris Gray burbling him at breakoff. After all, this was probably the last really large/multi-aircraft formation in 2008....we wanted to have some fun, but Mike...we were really just kidding. We were so damn far out in the cotton fields....Veggie landed in the cotton and that poor guy musta spent 15 minutes pulling his lines and fabric outta that stiff, hard crap. And he giggled like a little girl at being in his slot hard and solid in his new TonySuit Raptor (Doesn't say "Veggie" on the ass like his Ghost does tho).
At least 3/4 of the load landed off, but it was a very cool jump from 16, 500. BTW, there really are some of us used to jumping from 19,000 MSL, so it wasn't really necessary to force oxygen in the trail plane :P
It was a pleasure to end the last two weeks of hard jumping at this event. There were several flyers that weren't able to be part of the Elsinore flock for any number of reasons that were part of this flock. 's always fun to fly with close friends, but it was equally fun to make new ones. Mark Harris, Costyn...you both are found in the dictionary under the definition of "Gentlemen."

Attached is a photo Scotty Burns took about the same moment the formation completed.

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I'm confused about this event...

How many jumpers were there in the end? Did you build small formations then put them together?

Is it all said and done now?
Phoenix Fly - High performance wingsuits for skydiving and BASE
Performance Designs - Simply brilliant canopies

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Sorry for the delay, I've been a bit busy but here it is. First off, I want to thank everyone who participated and to all the manufacturers who supported the event.

Day 1 was an early 0600 am show time and as people straggled into the hanger, it was apparent that many were tired but in good humor. DSE was kind enough to provide the morning coffee and pastries for everyone. After a roll call,safety briefing and group break down and some re-shuffling, the individual groups broke off with their plane captains and started the dirt diving. The day started off a bit windy and it didn't look like it was going to slow down any as the groups began jumping. Some people pulled themselves off the loads and after we had completed 3 jumps, after talking with the the other plane captains, I called everyone together and made the decision to call the day a wash as it was apparent the winds weren't going to get better. So after 3 jumps per group, we all stood down on the first formation. In the end, it was for the best and it gave people time to get cleaned up and rest a bit before the evening meal.

The South African's were quite happy with the evening meal and the piece of charred flesh that they insisted fell into the vegetable category by South African FDA standards. The free Pint glasses provided by PD were bottomless that night and a few people attempted to get to the bottom of their glass. Before things got too out of hand, the raffle was held and several lucky people walked away with some nice goodies. Birdman and tony suits both gave away a $500 off of one of their suits certificate. Alti-2 gave away several % off of Neptunes along with other Alti-2 products. Vigil gave away % off certificates for a Vigil 2 as well as some nice swag and Liquid eyewear gave away a boat load of their Aluminum frame sunglasses to lucky winners. The socializing went well on into the night and it was apparent many were having a good time.

Day 2 started out better, although it looked like it might get windy again but it calmed down and we were able to jump all day. The previous night was not without casualties, some of it self induced and others fell victim to sinus/ear congestion problems;) so the groups saw a little reshuffling and consolidation down to 2 groups. The second formation was flown by each group and we managed to get one jump from 16k as a combined group. Up until then, both groups were doing well by themselves but having some small issues so when it all came together it was quite nice to see everyone pile out of the airplanes and start to form up on their respective bases. The formations built and flew relative to one another and actually together at one point, which wasn't part of the plan but it just kind of happened and it worked. The purple base, who shall remain nameless, was supposed to fly at the only intersection with a wind tunnel north of it but it didn't quite work that way and the entire flock was a bit more to the east than originally planned. The break off went smoothly and pretty much everyone landed in the area surrounding the DZ and a few in cotton fields but not too far and they were soon policed up and brought back to the hanger. We probably could have squeezed one more jump in but it would have been pushing it so we called it an event.

I had a great time and enjoyed seeing a lot of familiar and new faces. Something that stands out in my mind worth mentioning is watching Brian D. land after every jump. Brian has a cast on one of his legs and cannot support weight on it. Brian was always the last man down and sunk his canopy in and landed in or close to the pea pit to make it look like he was at an accuracy meet. It was quite the site to see. I also want to thank John B and his wife for providing food/drinks and snacks for everyone during the event. No one asked them to do it but they went the extra mile and set it out for all to enjoy during the hectic day. Rolf B. and Mark H. both came through big as plane captains and with helping make things run smoothly, thanks guys. The camera men also did a fantastic job and I want to thank them all again for their hard work. Some of their pictures from the event can be seen here:

Scott Callentine's photos

Scotty Burn's photos

DSE's video and blogging

I don't have any pictures from Juan M. or Norman Kent yet but they also contributed and I want to thank them as well. Mark H. took some pictures on the last jump and I'll post them here since he doesn't have a web page. Last but not least, I want to thank Skydive Arizona and the entire staff, pilots, etc who made things run as smooth as they did.

"It's just skydiving..additional drama is not required"
Some people dream about flying, I live my dream

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