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  1. If you are hooked on big planes and big formations, this is not going to be your DZ. If you are in the area and looking to make a few jumps with good people and younger jumpers eager to learn then you will not find much better. The airport is in the upper left corner of SC. That means moutian views and lakes at the start of the Blue Ridge. Jim and the crew spend most of their weekends teaching students (Mostly from Clemson University) to jump and just enjoying the day. I had my first cut away there 8 years ago on jump number 120 and had a nice out to land in, and a ride waiting by the time I could pick up my free bag that landed 100yds away.(Pin Lock)I have run into Jims students at Skydive Atlanta, Cross Keys, and the home DZ at Raeford.
  2. I am 5'11" and about 190lbs my background is about 300 jumps on a Safire 139, and 150 jumps on a Stiletto 135. I got a Katana 120 to demo this past weekend and she is sweet. I made 8 jumps with her and as time went on I became more impressed. Openings were not bad but I had 90 to 180 degree off heading openings half of the jumps no mater how I packed. The control lines came set from PD and I think I would have been more impressed from the first jump if I had tuned them in for me. I didn't want to change the setting and the lines had about 3 to 4 inches of slack in them. Once I got used to that it was off to the races. The canopy is very responsive in toggles or risers. She dives for the ground when you tell her and she will recover from that dive slower than a Stiletto but when she planes out you can expect 25% to 45% longer swoops. She also saves a bit more energy than the Stiletto on the end for that last little pop of the toggles and tipsy toe walkouts. (Found myself 4ft up instead of 1ft more than once.) Over all I would have to agree with what I have read form other reviews. This should not be a first canopy for anyone!!! She was like a date with the singer Pink. Fun, Fast, and Sexy, but if you are not careful she can hurt you.
  3. I just read the clip from Paul’s hometown newspaper posted by bobseld92. I already knew about most of the things it said about Raff and what he did over the years. It paints a small picture of how extraordinary he was. Sadly there is only one way to know who he was and how the guy affected the people around him. I fell honored to have known him and I wish more of you could have had the chance. W. Brian Kirby SSG, USA Ft. Bragg, NC
  4. No words can fill the void or ease the pain. Can anyone let me know what state to put on my leave form (Army paper work) to go pay my respects. Brian K.
  5. As I jump on to to check on Raff, I am uplifted by the support for a skydiving buddy. What is even more uplifting is the news that Paul is staying strong and fighting the way he is. If you think about it this strength is not something that should shock those of us who know the Rafferty Brothers. (Paul and Bill) Over the years both have had such a positive impact on beginner skydivers and thought some of us that have been her awhile some things as well. Since Sunday you can see it in the face of almost every skydiver around Raeford, Paul is on a lot of peoples minds. Stay strong Paul, Prayers, Thoughs, Well wishes, and good vibes to you buddy. Side Note: Bill… When things happened with my Mom, you pulled me into a corner at Aviators and said some things that helped. Try to remember what you said to me now. Lots of love to you Brother. I am here if you need me. Brian K. "What do you mean you don't do RW?"
  6. Thanks for the update Chuck. You Da #1 Monkey Bro!!! Our thoughts and hearts are with you, Bill and everyone at Raffs side. This is one FUBAR situation. If you or Bill need anything Chucky let me know. I am checking the up dates here 3 times a day. Brian K. "What do you mean you don't do RW?"
  7. A Golden Knight, World Champion Skydiver, Coach, and all around cool guy. Last time I saw Paul we were hanging out in the viewing area at Aviators Pub on Raeford DZ watching the last load of the day land. I had bought him a RedBull and GrayGoose and asked him about his plans after retirement that was coming up. Paul you never said anything about jumping over cars buddy. Life has a funny way of throwing a curve ball at you when you are not looking. Paul can flash that grin he is so well known for and make you feel like he was a long lost friend. Paul be strong friend, my thoughts are with you, Bill and all your loved ones. Brian K. "What do you mean you don't do RW?"