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faller last won the day on September 4 2021

faller had the most liked content!

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  1. All too sad, and you are correct! Guys like him made this sport possible.
  2. I try to miss clouds when they’re wet, at least the really big gray ones. But I have to admit I love the walls on those tall, fat “Cumies”. “feel the need for speed”. This thread did go off course, probably avoiding some clouds.
  3. I’ve had a few “dangerous jumps”, most from self inflicted stupidity. But this one is weather related. Herd Boogie mid-late 70’s. Sky Van jump, weather was bad most of the day, solid low thick clouds and windy, occasional holes and some low jumps. Then a long hold for about 6 hours. A very large break in the clouds was coming our way, so everyone is looking to jump. The manifest hustles a few loads and 1 plane takes off. Our group figures a 20-way makes sense and now it’s our turn. As we’re climbing, the clouds roll in FAST, we’re in dark solid clouds at around 7K, we decide to split into 2 10-ways. The 1st group huddles near the door and literally disappears into the clouds, we can’t see the ground and decide to wait. The pilot has been descending and now we’re below 5k after a brisk go-around but still in clouds, we split into 2 5-ways and our group exits. We are immediately engulfed in dense clouds and never see each other till we break out under 3. To our surprise we’re right over the middle of the airport, YEAH BABY! I know it’s windy so I pull low, (for safety of course), around 1300’ w/ a Strato-Star. Canopy opens nice and I do a turn to check ground speed. I’m backing up & ascending, I go up to about 1500’, backing up as fast as I’ve ever gone downwind. I watch the airport quickly fade away & start looking for alternates. I now see my jump buddy’s doing 360’s looking for places to land, except for Al Jacobs jumping a Starlite,(round PC like canopy). He’s just backing up and goes by underneath me. We are fortunate that it is open country w/ lots of farm land. I turn downwind to look for a field and there’s a big one waaayy ahead of me and on my wind line too. I know this is my spot, I’ve now descended below opening altitude w/ some hard 360’s and “running” towards the field. I’m watching smaller fields on either side of me whizz by and I’m overtaking cars on the highway below me, I see Al in his Starlite going almost as fast. The field is huge and looks level, I figure this is cake! I’ll do a Qtr turn, crab into the field and then a deep, smooth 270 for landing. I’m now under 500’, start my crab before the upwind fence line and lose some more altitude. Thinking; this field is long I can’t miss it, there’s high trees and fences at the back end and I don’t want to mess w/ those. I snap a couple hard 360’s, losing more altitude and about half the field and now I’m low & going backwards really fast, plan A is scrubbed. I see Al off the field in the trees, I cheat a tiny turn to see what’s behind me and It’s fences and trees. I use the ol’ accuracy trick, deep brakes and full release. My canopy dives into ground slams me down face first, (despite a good PLF), then re-inflates goes back over my head and starts to drag me, twisting and bouncing me over 200’ into the fences,(split rail). The canopy starts to look like it’s gonna take-off but now I can at least cutaway. I’m beat-up but no serious injuries. My jump buddy's landed in the trees about another 1/4 mile downwind of me. We landed 5 miles away from the airport after we opened LOW, right over the top. The other load that took off just before got to 5K and aborted, landing at another airfield. The 10-way managed to land on the DZ/airport in high winds, most got dragged but had ground help and all OK. The 5-way behind us never jumped and the SkyVan had to land at the alternate airport. The winds had gone from 25 knots to 50+ when we exited / opened. No one got seriously injured but we all got beat-up pretty good and had repairs to do on our gear. Big Al finally bought a square :)
  4. Were you jumping with or near others, it’s possible you may have gotten “on top” of another jumper and had your air stolen(?).
  5. LOVE that bird! Mr D, was the “Cream of the Crop” among the jump ready DC-3’s of that era,(70’s-80’s). That clean paint job made it look sleeker & the tiny passenger “competition” door for No-show exits. I think my last jumps from that were in Deland, (mid 80’s). The DC-3 is still the best jump aircraft,(IMO). Maybe a bit slow climbing but just being in them was cool. The smooth rumble of those big radials, gentle drama free rotation and Big Fat huggable props. Standing up and running down that aisle when you got to go last. But especially the Fire Breathing sunset take-offs and landings. These aircraft had unique personalities.
  6. The USA has the FAA regulations ,(aka FAR’s). Very easy search.
  7. Read this: Bird Base Blues Bros..& THE CATERPILLAR FROM HELL
  8. How very sad, what a GREAT person, rigger, jumper and friend. We worked together for a couple of years at National Parachute. Test jumps, design refinement, PIA booths, rigging and lots of fun too. She was a truly liberated woman, long before the “activism” became fashionable. She was the “balance” in the Herd, (if that was even possible). ;(
  9. I’m beginning to dread logging-on anymore, too many friends being taken away. I first met John at one of the Para-Ski meets in the Northeast, probably mid-late 80’s. We would meet at various meets and boogies in our region. Then again (90’s?), while he was taking the AFF instructor course, I was one of the examiners and John was an impressive guy to meet. A tall, good looking and confident man. We both got involved as DZO’s in the same conference and of course stayed aware of each other. Whenever we met he always welcomed me w/ genuine respect and I felt the same about him. He was not an average jumper or individual. He worked hard, his efforts bore a lot of “fruit” and his accomplishments were widely known. He contributed a lot to our sport, elevated the quality of Drop Zone “life” for many transient skydivers and helped lots of young jumpers find a place to call “home”. My sympathy and prayers to your fine family, may God continue to inspire them w/ your life, so well lived. Blue Skies! (joeD)
  10. You are spot on; Tom was special in many ways. As a long time NE jumper, I met Tom at one of those Herd “thingys”, for such a disciplined man he was also at ease with us scoundrels and genuinely open to being a friend too. He let his actions do the “talking”.
  11. I was the “connector” slot on exit, 4th man on the 3 man chunk. Single file, no show exits and only a 3 way base permitted and viewed / verified by Telemeters. If the exits got sloppy,(as they did often), the trailing swoopers would hold on too long and my left shoulder would get hyper extended, (subluxation). Now,(45+ years later) it’s weaker & smaller but sounds like a piece of waxed paper getting crumpled along with pops & creaks.. Still worth it!! Anybody remember Jerry Birds “Saloon Door” exit?
  12. I remember at the Nationals, (maybe Muskogee or Talequah), The midwest guys, Exitus, would do door-jams on the way to altitude. At around 1500’, they would line-up tighten up and do their count with a healthy push. Pretty scary & not “pilot friendly” either.
  13. The Pieces of Eight I referred to were from the early 70’s… could be coincidence(?)