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    Skydive the Farm
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  1. Sadness does not convey the feeling I have. Although Reid was very young, I could see in him great potential as a skydiver and a man. He was bright, caring, and warm. What he could have accomplished in the rest of his life, we will never know, but my bet is he would have been great. I am posting a photo of Hambone, Reid, and friends in happier days. Reid is left front row. Reid, thanks for the little bit of time I got to spend with you. I will always remember that first drill dive we did together, running into you at various times and events, and the enthusiasm you carried with you. I am honored to call you friend and I hope to see you again in a better place. Blue Skies, Bob qoq
  2. Thank you so much. Yes I am in the 3rd pic, on Marnie's left leg alone. Boohoo... qoq
  3. I just found out what happened and just feel terrible. I only met Marnie (and Fletch) two times, at the Z-Hills Christmas Boogies 2006-7. Marnie was just plain out one of the nicest, truest people I have ever met. When I first met Marnie, we were doing 8-20 ways and I thought she made a great reference point in the formation with her colorful jumpsuit. The picture in May's Parachutist doesn't do it justice. She lit up like a neon sign. We laughed about that. She laughed a lot about a lot of things. I like that. To me, skydiving is a lot about laughing, and I think Marnie thought the same. In 2007, I had just got to Z-Hills, and from nowhere, somebody tackled me, giving me a big hug. It took a second to remember Marnie, but then I got on a big smile on to match the one I was getting. We jumped on a lot of the same jumps that day, and laughed some more. She got a leg cramp and I helped her massage it out. We talked about the knee brace she wore, and I asked her if it was hard for her to track with it. I don't really remember exactly what she answered, but more the feeling I got from her answer. "I don't care if it is hard, I am gonna do it". Well the last I saw of her, she had just landed from doing the end of day 30way and she had this big smile from ear to ear. When I saw her picture in Parachutist, I thought, "Wow, I know her. What a sweatheart. I am glad she is in there." Then a friend told me what had happened, and I felt something like a spin myself. I have never understood why the FAA discontinued spin training, but that is a topic for elsewhere. Fletch, I am so sorry for your loss. She was a great girl. Marnie, I barely knew you, but I liked you a lot. I admire your spirit, your courage, your humanity, and your determination. The next time I am at Z-Hills, I am gonna take a moment and remember someone who's soul lit up like a neon sign. qoq
  4. I met Lee 2 years ago. He was instantly likeable. The jump that day was tragic, and old news, but that day and every day since, I have seen what Lee was made of. He was caring, funny, crass, and lovable. Not to mention English. I have quite a few good memories of Lee, but that first time we met really stuck with me. Our friend Bo was killed and Lee was the camera man on the jump. Needless to say our little group was devasted. At some point, Lee walked over in the hanger to give us news. His eyes were as red as I have ever seen anybody's, and I have seen a lot of red eyes. I am pretty sure he had been crying for the some time. Anyway, his news was that Bo's body had been found naked in the woods. Then he proceeded to tell us "This was Bo's first tailgate jump, his first solo jump, and his first naked jump. Some people will do anything to get out of a beer debt." I don't think think I have ever laughed that deeply in my life. But somehow it was just the right thing at the right time. I figure that Lee is collecting that beer debt right about now, downing a most excellent brew with Bo. It would be just like the bastard to drink it all before the rest of us get there. see you later buddy qoq
  5. DuckDodger

    Skydive The Farm

    I jump here pretty regularly, but still enjoy visiting other dropzones. Can only describe the Farm as very cool. The DZO will make every effort to make sure everybody has someone to jump with and have a great time. Everybody tries to follow that lead. Just one of the great things about this place. The facilites and folks are great, so even going to the DZ and hanging out on a weather day is fun. The rigging services are excellent. The natural setting, cleared woods and ponds is good for the soul. Great place to pull up an RV or a pitch a tent. The landing area is also excellent, but on a wind day, be careful near the hanger. Land out in the open instead. There are now seperate Hi Performance and normal landing zones, which I really like too. The bus ride to the airport, about 5 miles, does add a bit of time, but who gets tired hanging with friends? After hours at the Farm is always a good time. Everybody but the bus driver gets to go out and party. I have noted a very real effort to educate and establish safe procedures on the DZ. Th Farm is all about the Georgia I grew up in and love. If you have never been to Georgia, come check it out. Like I said, this is what skydiving should be. My thanks the whole skydiving family at the Farm. I been jumping here since I wrote the previous review about 4 years ago, and all I can say about the Farm is it just keeps getting better and better. If you are a fun jumper you will love this place. I recently brought several tandems out and they all loved the place too. The boogies are great. There is plenty of free fly, swoop, and RW action going on. Camping here is not bad either. Keep on getting better and better !
  6. First, my heart goes out to Bob and Danny's family and friends, including all of us. Tragedy barely describes. I met Danny 2 years ago at Dublin as part of the dives that ICON posted about earlier. It has always been my sincere belief that Danny was one of the most talented people I know. I cannot help but feel angry with him for pulling such a bonehead stunt, but also feel very grateful for the fun we had together. And yes, I cracked up when Danny told ICON he had never seen anyone funnel themselves. I was on the first POPs jump Saturday and had the opportunity to hang out with Danny, and to meet Bob for the first time then. Bob seemed like a great guy, a very cool calm dude, greatly experienced, and willing to help others. I am grateful for the little bit he was able to pass on to me on that jump. I couldn't help but be impressed with him on several levels. Danny in the second row of the zipper, was docking on me in the first row. Every time we would dirt dive the jump he would pop the bunjee on my butt and laugh before docking. I would salute him, one finger style and move on. It was great fun. Well when we did the dive for real, he popped me one more time at about 10,000. I couldn't hear him laugh, and didn't want to mess with the formation with a salute, but made sure to have a little chat on the ground. He laughed and told me, "I took my sweet time docking on the base". I replied, "I thought that was the idea". Silly me, I had gotten the idea that Big-Ways were about consistency, patience, and doing it exactly right. You know just like a brick in the wall. His answer: "Yeah, but it looks so much better to get there fastest". Well, I guess that just about says it all. I was in the hanger getting ready for 4-way when I heard there was a wrap and possible fatalities. I wanted to run out and try to put the pieces back together. Crazy huh? Soon I found out who was on the ground and felt sick. I had just spent the last few hours with these guys. I wish we could get a do-over on this one, but I guess life just doesn't give us second chances very often. We can't do anything for Bob or Danny. We can remember them for who they were, human beings just like any of us. For all their experience, just as vulnerable, just as flawed, and filled with the same love of the sky. I sincerely hope they are in a better place and that someday we will all stand around another bonfire drinking green beers, laughing, and giving Danny a very hard time about this. Blue skies friends, Bob qoq
  7. That was beautiful. For 20 years I have been wondering about this. Please keep the good info coming. I realize I need to upgrade some of my practice drills to include being better prepared for a collapse. We fly locally (ATL) at some sites with topography that makes for interesting winds. Knowledge is the power to stay out of the hospital or worse. Blues qoq
  8. Great thread. There is a lot to learn here. I see you mention manuevering speed and this got me thinking about a question I have had for years. I was a pilot long before a skydiver, maybe something to do with going to Rhinebeck Aerodrome back in '75. That was cool. Anyway, manuevering speed increases as you increase weight/loading, which to me seems absolutely backwards on the surface. I thought that maybe this had something to do with inertia, that generally, increasing weight made the aircraft more stable, or less likely to move to a critical angle of attack and overstress the wing. On the other hand increasing weight, should actually increase loading on the wing, so not wanting to stress my little mind, like we seemed to be doing with the wing, I left it there. A few years later, a good friend of mine said the reason manuevering speed increased was totally dependent on the testing of aircraft. In respect to my friend, I didn't tell him this sounded like crock to me. Then I thought about our dear Gov and thought, maybe so. Doesn't seem to be much parachute application, other than the thought about inertia, like a more heavily loaded boat crushing through heavier seas. The parachute translates weight to the lines so that sort of makes sense to me, but it might just be acid flashbacks. What do you think? qoq
  9. Gee. Well I am glad I have stayed out of this discussion. Too much emotion wrapped up in all this. Please do not misunderstand. My comment refers to anyone that has been hurt in all this. That would include anyone that might have worked at other DZs or just plain folks looking to do a Tandem. I have friends that work(ed) or jump(ed) at ASC. I personally will be OK whether ASC is there tomorrow or not. But just one example of many: I have one friend that has worked his butt off packing to build staff jumps. He got hurt. I know he planned to use those jumps to further his own skills and become an instructor. I put the odds at pretty darn good that he will never see those jumps. I know for a fact, that he is a person that would not hurt anybody else. There are others that have emotional reasons for their loyalty to ASC. We all have lost friends skydiving. It just isn't so simple. You may be 100% right about the owners. As I have said, I don't know. All I would ask is that all of us remember that people get caught in the gears when stuff like this happens. If you are correct about the business practices, and I consider the courtroom the proper place to determine that, then I hope that justice is done. To make it simple, I try do what is right, but keep my heart too. It ain't always easy. And maybe I will keep my big mouth shut about this from now on. Seems like the right thing to do. qoq
  10. Just to clarify, I don't make my living skydiving. I do make myself very happy skydiving and I get to meet some of the greatest people I have ever known hanging out at various DZs. Some of my friends are getting hurt in all this and that really saddens me. I don't dispute that there may have been wrong doing and other people got hurt too. I feel bad about anybody getting hurt. I guess I am a wimp, but there it is. Frankly, I don't know the truth. I don't think the truth is all black and white. For instance, if you work at ASC are you bad, and if you don't are you good? Am I bad if I jump at ASC? If I jump at Skydive AZ am I good? By the way, I have, and I love that place. Should I check the history of everybody that worked at every DZ I jump at? Of course not. It boils down to this: (1) is it safe to jump? (2) am I going to have fun? (3) am I going to meet and jump with some cool people? Those are my priorities. USPA and have given me some more stuff to think about, but in the end, my priorities are not likely to change. And that is all I have to say. Thanks for discussing with me. See you next time I jump at the Farm, which is a really cool place too. Wild blues... qoq
  11. After being quiet about all this for some time, I am glad that somebody remembers that some good folks are getting hurt in all this. I have jumped at ASC and plenty of other places too. Been jumping at ASC mainly because I had friends that jumped or worked there. If Ben and Cary have done all the things that have been spelled out so clearly here, I hope that it comes to a just ending. It isn't my place to say whether they are guilty or innocent, or what that just ending should be. If there is smoke, there is usually fire, and it will all play out. It is a shame that the Skyride idea hasn't worked out to the benefit of skydiving and all of us in general. It could have been so much different. Believe it or not, I have met people from some small drop zones that actually like Skyride because it has helped keep them going. But after reading so many threads, they must be in the minority. Finally a word to everybody: Please don't forget in your anger that some of the folks getting hurt are our friends, free and good spirits that have tried to live a dream the best they can. Let's get back to having a good time. qoq
  12. Hi Sheena, Ditto on the Carboney thing, Scotty and Tami are no BS, fun, and good friends. I just wish y'all would quit giving Scotty so many compliments. His head is already swollen up enough. And I wish he would quit smacking me upside the noggin in FF. That hurts. Nate was another of my favorites, not because of his skill, which was great, but because of his attitude. A genuine caring guy. Quite a few times as I head out the door, I wonder if he will be hanging out on cloud with a big smile at my zany antics. Lots of others, from instructors and coaches like JJ, Jim, Stewart, Jimmy, Chuck, Kevin, Kenny, too many to list. TJ is a fantastic coach and fun to watch. When I turned one of my old buddies on to jumping, I was really happy with the way everybody at the DZ had taken him under wing and made him at home. Maybe one of the most enlightening things I have heard was John Suiter, "Everybody has to learn to fly their own body". Since then, I just try to take little things from everybody and blend them into my own thing, rather than learn THE WAY. The local Georgia RW fliers have shown me what giving back what you get really means. It isn't enough just to learn to become a better skydiver, you have to be willing to share it too. Folks like Dave, Anthony, Doug, Brian, Allison, and others really live up to this. Dragging me along on a bigway was nothing but charity, but WOW that was fun. And I can't forget Leon Riche, that crazy cajun. Banana rolling, rounds, and beat up 172s. Fun, but glad to be alive. I wonder where that lunatic is these days. Haven't seen you for a while. I hope to see you flare with flair soon. qoq
  13. Hi Sheena. Ditto on the Carboney. Just one problem, if too many more posts about Scotty, his head might get so big and heavy, nothing left but head down. But you gotta love anybody that frickin crazy cool. Just don't want to whacked in the head by him again during FF. Another of my favorites was Nate, but that just goes with him being so much of a friend to everybody. Of course can't forget the great instructors-coaches like Jim, Mike, Jimmy, Jesse, JJ, Jack, Stewart, Kevin, Kenny, Chuck, and many more. Have had a bunch of fun with the whole crew of Gerogia RWers too. Great bunch. TJ has been a fantastic coach too. Learned some good stuff from John Suiter at AAC, "everybody has to learn to fly their own body". Can't forget Leone Riche and the old banana roll, so glad to have survived. Skydiving just has too many to list... Just hope I can take a little part of everybody, make my own style, and be fun having a falling out. Haven't seen you for a while. Looking forward to seeing you flare with a flair. Here's to another great year of skydiving and friends. qoq