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steve1 last won the day on February 15 2023

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    Stevensville, Mt.
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  1. I didn't know that Stinky ever flew jumpers. I jumped with him a lot during the early 70's. I hope he is still kicking. He was one of my best friends in the Osprey Parachute Club, back in the day. I heard his son jumps, but I've never met him....
  2. Back in the Spring of 1973 or was it 72.......I had about twenty jumps. I needed some gear bad. A friend of mine, named Randy, heard of a guy who was selling his gear, in Missoula. Randy had even less jumps than I did. Randy needed my advice on things. Since Randy heard of the deal first he had first dibbs on the gear. Well we found the guys house, and this salty looking dude pulls out this really great looking canopy. I figured it was one of those new fangled para-commanders. It seemed like a great deal for around a hundred bucks. I told Randy that if he didn't buy it, I would. So, Randy layed out his cash, and we went home happy. Well, the next day we went out to the airport to show all our buds Randy's canopy. We promptly found out that it was a crossbow and definitely not a P.C. I think someone added that we had just been screwed. We didn't feel so good, after that. I think that was the last time Randy asked me for advice.....
  3. Hod had one of the nicest funerals, that I've ever been to. At one point the preacher asked those who had jumped with Hod to stand up. About half the people in the church stood up. That added up to a lot of jumpers. B.J. knew Hod the best and he told numerous stories about him. Hod was a natural at skydiving. On Hod's first jump, an emergency chute opened in the plane with an open door. I heard that story many years ago. I think it was B.J's belly reserve. He was right next to the door jumpmastering.....Somehow they managed to keep the canopy inside the plane and they landed. Ten minutes later Hod was back in the air. He did a perfect job on his first static line, even after all that drama. B.J. moved to the Gulch, (Casa Grande) in the mid 70's. Most of the world's great skydivers were there, during that time. B.J. telephoned Hod, back in Montana to tell him the news. Hod was so jealous that he promptly quit college and drove to Arizona to be with B.J. Hod was a natural at skydiving. B.J. said he never messed up and he could fly like a bird. One day Hod reported to B. J. that he had actually talked to the great Jerry Bird. He was very excited to be able to do that. Later Jerry Bird became team mates with Hod and B.J. Before long Hod became famous too, but you'd never know it to talk to him. Hod would talk to anyone and his friendly nature never changed. Hod had eleven thousand and thirty- four jumps when he died. He was a three time World Champion. Jumping was his life. What made Hod so fun to jump with, was his great, cheerful attitude. Everyone liked him. Not everyone could come to the funeral. B.J. read about forty e-mails from former team mates and friends from all over the world. I forgot to mention that Hod was on the United States Navy Parachute team. For a while he and Tina were living in a tent, on the drop zone at Perris. B.J. was always calling Hod off, from his home and family to go some place to jump. That inacluded world record big-ways in Thailand. Tina put up with it, because it was so important to Hod. Hod named his first born son B.J. Hod's family and friends will miss him terribly...... Hod and Tina's son Jake said that his dad may have been a success at skydiving, but he was an even bigger success at being a Dad and Grandpa. No matter what happened, Hod's family knew that he loved them. There weren't many dry eyes after listening to all that. What a loss!
  4. I'm sorry to say that Gary "Hod" Sanders has passed away. He was only 63 years old. A heart attack is what took him. Hod had a great family and many friends. He'll be missed by all who knew him well. I don't know of all Hod's accomplishments. Maybe someone else can add to this. I do know that Hod was one of the greats in the world of skydiving. He was a World Champion skydiver. ( A member of the team "Mirror Image"). He jumped into the Olympics in Korea. (Remember those skydivers over Korea, who formed the rings on the cover of Life Magazine.) Hod, B.J. Worth, and Jerry Bird were in that picture. Hod was a member of the World Team and was on more than one world record big way, organized by B.J. You would never know that Hod was the great skydiver that he was. He was friendly, down to earth, and he never bragged about anything, ever. I loved jumping at his drop zone. You always felt welcome jumping there. Hod owned Skydive Montana in Ronan. He had over 10,000 jumps. I once asked Hod how many malfunctions he had. It was well over twenty. Hod and I started jumping the same year back in 1973. That was at the U. of M. in Missoula, Montana. Hod said that he watched some skydivers jump into the University Oval one day, and he told himself he was going to skydive. Hod was working on the green chain, in a saw mill, in Missoula, when I first met him. He'd jump during the day, and work nights at the mill. Our first jump course was $50, and that included your first static line jump. Our club, The Silvertip Skydivers, was short on jumpers, so it wasn't long before we were trying big ways out of a Beech or DC-3. We'd rent big aircraft from the smokejumpers back then, for cheap. A big way might have been an 8-way star. Hod was friends with Greg and Steve Nardi. I know he jumped with them at Roundup Montana. Later Hod , B.J., and Jeff Frangos went down to Arizona to jump. I saw Hod about a year ago. He was the picture of health. He was training up some tandem students. He took time to hug an old friend and wished me the best. Hod used to say that one day he would quit skydiving. I just wish it wasn't like this. I know his wife Tina will miss him terribly. So long, Hod! I wish we could have made just one more jump together......
  5. Thanks for posting this NSCR423. It brought back a lot of memories. I never got my ACE patch. I guess I should have asked B.J. to get one. I was in the first and second ACE star with Sully, B.J., and the others. That was at Star, Idaho in 73. I was the only "red neck" on the team, and the most inexperienced jumper. Most everyone in our group was hairy and freaky looking. Our team name was Nine and a Piece. B.J.'s sister was the only girl on the load. The Air Force Academy didn't think much of us until we beat them in competition. Those were the days. Sully has been gone for about 40 years now. He was one of my heroes in life. I was told that he burned in at Athol, Idaho a few years later.
  6. I was told that there was once a grease gun made that had a curved barrel. I guess it was used by WWII tankers to shoot out of the top of a tank without exposing yourself. I would imagine barrel life would be short with a weapon like that.....
  7. I was a weapons specialist in the army. We fired all kinds of old world weapons that might be considered antiques today. Anyone here ever fired a grease gun, Thompson machine gun, or BAR. I have to say I hated all three of them. The heavy weapons included recoil-less rifles, 60 and 80 mm mortars, 3.5 inch rocket launchers, and several others. I was really impressed with the 50 caliber. We fired it with tracers one day. It is truly a flat shooting weapon. I've never been a big fan of big magnum rifles for hunting but I own a 300 Win. Mag. I just bought a 7mm. Magnum. They both kick too much to be fun to shoot. Everyone says to put a muzzle break on them but the barrels are already too long in my opinion.....and they are plenty noisy enough already without a break on them. I've never worn ear plugs for hunting so maybe that is why I can't hear well today.
  8. Not all rounds are the same. I don't know when the para-commander was put in that category. It was a huge improvement over the others. I made my first jump out of a C-141 in 1970. The next four jumps were out of C-119's. Those T-10's had no modification at all. You pulled down the risers into the wind. It might be front, side, or rear risers. You were trained to not look at the ground, and wait to hit with feet and knees together. Wind jumps were no fun with that kind of gear. I started Special Forces training after jump school. There we made all kinds of night jumps with equipment, out of various aircraft. I also remember visiting more than one friend in the hospital who had been hurt on landing. Later in S. F. we started jumping a couple of new canopies that allowed more turning abilities. The last had toggles. When I started sport jumping, I thought that 7-TU's were a big improvement over the military T-10's. They were a smaller canopy that you could land softly enough, as long as you were young. and tough. and wore French Jump boots. I only weighed about 140 pounds in the old days. I usually stood my P.C. up. I even had a one foot landing one day. I still own a para-commander. I'm going to jump it again one of these days. Maybe when I get on Medi-care and have better insurance....
  9. I was not in the US Army & have never been Airborne rated. However, every rig used for this application that I have seen in over the last 50 yrs have had a pilot chute in the reserve container. The early ones had what we called a 'spider' pilot chute. It used a multi-spring system that folded up somewhat like an umbrella. I never thought that goofy pilot chute could ever pass any testing standard; but it was good enough for those Airborne folks. And from the lowest bidder. ....................................................... I remember seeing that pilot chute. It had, if I remember right, four wierd looking arms that sprang out. I'm not sure if it had a kicker plate. I didn't see many malfunctions in the military but occaisionally you'd see a May West. That anti-inversion netting probably helped with that.....The Army didn't have it in the early 70's. A buddy of mine, rode in a May West. He couldn't get his reserve deployed in time. I've heard of other soldiers doing the same thing.....usually without injury.
  10. You throw the reserve into the direction of spin. A combat jump might be at 400 ft. Most practice jumps are at 1250 ft. Military gear is adapted for that kind of jumping, where the reserve is on your front side. There isn't time to cut away safely at those altitudes. Soldiers are trained differently than sport jumpers. We used two-shot capewells back in 1970, for army jumps. They were a little harder to release your main, if you were getting drug.....Shot and a halfs are a lot better in my opinion. I'm not sure what year the military changed from two-shot capewells. For sport jumping in the 70's we used shot and a halfs to cut away with. The three ring release was a huge improvement for that....
  11. I'd bet Bob Sinclair has been jumping as long as anybody. About ten years ago, I made some loads with him at Lost Prairie. Here was this grizzled looking old guy, wearing a T-shirt. no jump suit, and no goggles, heading for the door. Then I saw him again jumping in Arizona. I hope he's doing okay. I've heard he might have serious health issues now, or he'd still be jumping somewhere....
  12. I guess the openning shock on a T-7 was awful compared to the T-10 deployment system. I think the old paratroops had to be made of tough stuff. I think jump school was tougher then too.
  13. Mike, I might look you guys up this summer. I haven't jumped in a while. Are you still called the Silvertips? Is Hod still up at Ronan?
  14. Hey, this sounds like my kind of boogie.....but alass, I've got to work right up til the 30th. Then I'm retiring....never to work again. If you see an old guy sitting on a porch whittling on a piece of wood it might be me. I know you've made more than one jump in 47 years, Amazon....
  15. Thanks for the interesting read.....I have several zombie guns, but not that one. I think the only long gun I ever jumped was an M-16. We'd let the sling way out and jump it over the shoulder, or use a weapons carrier. I recall seeing pictures of WWII (American) paratroops with grease guns. I never thought much of that weapon. It was not very accurate and was meant for short range use only. I loved shooting the M-1 garand, if only it wasn't so heavy. I guess, that (before weapons carriers) some soldiers jumped the M-14 with the muzzle up. I heard of a few cases where the static line might wrap around the muzzle causeing trouble. Some soldiers even jumped with skiis on their side. It seems like that would be really asking for trouble..... Being a rigger, I'll bet you have seen all kinds of equipment being jumped, and dropped.