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  1. The attached article discusses why risky activities, such as skydiving, are part of a life well lived. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/12/avoid_danger_prolong_life_at_w.html Although the author is not a skydiver, he provides a thoughful rejoinder to those who say the risks of skydiving, mountain climbing, etc. necessarily outweigh the rewards. Enjoy.
  2. I posted Miss Kinney's opinion on this forum but, before that, she published her column on the World Wide Web. Having shared her views with an international audience, Miss Kinney can hardly complain when people from far-off places share their reactions with her. I do agree, however, that people who write to Miss Kinney or the Inquirer should be polite. The woman wrote a half-baked opinion piece. For that, she deserves honest criticism, but no more.
  3. After acknowledging that skydiving at Cross Keys began when the area was rural, and that there have been 27 fatalities in the last three million jumps nationwide, Monica Yant Kinney calls skydivers "nuts" and essentially calls for Cross Keys to be shut down -- because it is a threat to the people who decided to live near a dropzone. http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/news/15495852.htm But at least that was an opinion piece. Here is what passes for news: http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/news/15495868.htm The headline in the print edition is "Deaths of 2 men are brief interruption at skydiving school." The editors of the on-line version wisely toned down that headline, but the subtext of the article is the same: skydivers at Cross Keys are callous to the deaths of their own. The reporter did not quote one experienced skydiver who criticized the decision to jump on Sunday after the fatalities, probably because few would do so. As John Eddowes said, the ethics of the sport dictate otherwise. That may be difficult for those who do not jump to grasp (heck, sometimes it's difficult for me to grasp), but I doubt that many drop zones would have made a different decision. Today's Inquirer illustrates how some who have never jumped perceive our sport as the province of the callous and the deranged. One almost gets the sense that these people do not understand that, life being a series of calculated risks, the surest way to waste a life is not to take any of them. For many, the risks of skydiving outweigh the benefits. I respect that. There is no sense in making the gamble that skydiving entails if you don't enjoy it. For others, myself included, there is a beauty and truth in 65 seconds of freefall that justifies taking the chance that something will go horribly wrong. I wish the Inquirer respected that, but it doesn't.
  4. I graduated from the static line course at Great Lakes in 2004. Dennis's steady competence and enthusiasm for the sport made training at Great Lakes a lot of fun and were important factors that led me to make skydiving a part of my life. Blue skies, Dennis, and my condolences to the Great Lakes community.
  5. An understandable response, but perhaps you posted in a moment of anger. The article is, for the most part, correct. The reporter doesn't come across as somebody who has an axe to grind. Yes, she mentions that Cross Keys suffered several other fatalities. That's an unpleasant reminder, but it's something that people considering the sport should consider, in context. I can see where you're coming from, but I don't think it was fair to call the reporter a bitch.
  6. The Philadelphia Inquirer just published an article on Cross Keys: http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/news/12102488.htm
  7. I'm not 100% certain, but it is hard for me to picture myself having done that. Then again, I packed this rig five weeks before jumping it, so my memory is not very good.
  8. Hmmm. So I may not have done anything wrong after all. A thought that is both comforting and disturbing. My rigger is inspecting the rig this week. It may be. Thanks.
  9. QuoteAgain, did you unhook the 3 rings. Quote No, I didn't unhook the 3 rings.
  10. Neither do I. In any event, I separated and walked through the lines, etc.