• Content

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Feedback


Everything posted by billabx

  1. I can't help much with your dad's pre AFF history, but I was his primary cameraman in Deland during AFF development. I just have to say what an honor and a pleasure it was to work with him. The sport owes a very deep debt of gratitude to Ken. Bill Sutton
  2. I have many fond memories of Chet at both Xenia and Deland. How bad we all felt when Suzie wandered behind David's car. The most vivid though, was a rainy night sitting in his van next to Silly's shop in Deland. We were drinking "Chet Pops" and I excused myself to step out for a pee. Thought I was being very smart by standing under the overhang of the roof to stay dry. Would have been smarter if I hadn't been standing on that hill of fire ants! Chet thought that was pretty funny and offered me another Pop! (I think it was a double.) Bill Sutton
  3. Jim, I'll add my voice to the chorus encouraging you to stick around. Fact is, you were around and involved in a lot of the history (and more than a little of the trivia) that this forum is about. I'm constantly (and pleasantly, for the most part) surprised by the number of acquaintences that are active here. The internet and forums like this are, by nature, open to almost anyone and we get the bad (and banal) along with the good. You've spent a lot of time in chaotic war zones. Just think of this another one. To paraphrase, "Don't let the a-holes get you down!" Bill Sutton D9546, FB705
  4. Seems to me someone told me once that song was performed by one of the bands at the convention. I don't remember the name of the band, but I believe they were regulars for several years. "Hey, Freak soon as you arrive. You better get yourself on the manifest brutha, cuz were gonna flyyyy-iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!" Probably the Booze Brothers.
  5. I worked for Jay when I first moved to Deland sewing harnesses and setting grommets on MT-1's. Don't remember the exact date, but it would have been Winter of 79-80. (I'll have to check my logbooks when I get home from work later this week.) I had to sleep in my van for the first month or so and never thought when I moved to Florida that I be freezing my a$$ off and having to scrape ice off my windshield in the mornings before going to school.
  6. I didn't know Joe very well, but while I was living in Louisianna working in the oil business, I would occaisionally have the chance to go to Spaceland for a boogie. I remember going to one not too long before Joe died where he and Ron Mills were organizing loads. I wasn't particularly well-known at Spaceland (or anywhere else for that matter), but had jumped with Ron at a few events in Florida. It was about the most fun I ever had at an event. After the first load with them I would see Joe walking around with a piece of paper between loads I would nod my head, and the next thing I knew I was on a great skydive. (This photo is one of those skydives. I still keep it on the wall above my desk.) I'm glad I met him, and those that knew him well were very lucky. Bill
  7. Well done! I think the photos are fine. It's good to see someone preserving these pieces of skydiving history in jumpable condition! Bill
  8. Gawd, it was almost impossible then, long before 9-11 and today's security. When they first approached us about the demo, we didn't think there would be any way in hell we'd be able to get permission. All it took was a few phone calls from the DC Mayor's office to clear things. We were even told we could exit over the White House if necessary (unfortunately, it wasn't.) since the President wasn't in town that day. Bill
  9. That would be my foot on June 17, 1978 (my 173rd jump) . This was the first ever demo jump at the Washington Monument. I was still in the Air Force and jumping with the Marine club out of Quantico. The DC Recreation Dept was having an event for inner city youth and the mayor's office contacted us about doing a demo. We took off in a Huey from Quantico and flew low up the Potomac river (What a hell of a sightseeing ride!) at around a thousand feet and then climbed to altitude for the jump. Unfortunately, the ceiling was only about 3000 feet, so our plan to do a long freefall and build a star went by the wayside. I was jumping camera and REALLY wanted to get a shot of the monument in the center of the formation. As it was, we did hop and pops and landed right by the monument amidst hundreds of kids who had probably never seen a parachute before. I was able to do a spiral around the monument on approach to the landing area. I had to settle for a picture of the monument with my boot to prove I was there. This picture is one someone took of me just before landing. As an aside, this was when the USPA headquarters was in downtown DC and they had been trying to get permission to make a demo jump on the Mall forever. They couldn't believe we got INVITED to do one.
  10. But it worked which was a real surprise., well sort of. I was able to get about 5 or 10 seconds of good video before I went screaming by the formation and I mean i went so low that at break off the jumpers looked liked little ants tracking off. Scared the crap out of me. i didn't jump it much....Like never again.. Exactly why I went with the rear mounted deck. Made staying with the formations possible.
  11. I was acquainted with Carl and did some filming with him in the 70's. He was a real quality person and as nice as anyone I've met in the sport. As far as I know, he didn't work with video. His focus was a more artistic representation of skydiving. Early video systems lacked the quality of film and professional video editing facilities were quite expensive at the time. (The 3/4 inch system in the photos I posted was actually acceptable "broadcast quality" though just barely and none of the consumer systems were.) Another important advantage of film was the ability to "overcrank" the camera (i.e. shoot the film at higher than normal speed to achieve smooth slow motion when projected.) Carl usually used the N-9 gun camera which could be fitted with a 100 foot film magazine and could shoot at frame rates up (I believe) 64 frames per second (fps). Normal 16mm projection speed is 24 fps so shooting at 64fps would give almost 1/3 speed slow motion when projected. The "Holy Grail" for freefall film was the Photosonics 1-VN which could shoot up to 200 fps (again, to the best of my recollection) and yielded ultra smooth, ultra slow motion. Carl had a 1-VN on order when he died (There was quite a long waiting period for them) and the production company I worked with in Florida bought it from Jean when it was delivered. I jumped it several times and it was such a magnificient piece of equipment that it was like driving and working on a Ferrari compared to the N-9. Bill
  12. I came across this thread the other day. These two photos are of a video rig I jumped in Florida in the late 70's/early 80's. The camera was a Panasonic Industrial model with a seperate VCR and Camera control unit. I was working with a small video production company that had access to the 3/4 inch Sony U-matic recorder shown in the photos. It was strictly a record only deck (no playback feature) and as I recall it weighted about 45 lbs. When I first tried jumping it front mounted even a monster sized Silly Suit with balloon suit type vents wouldn't allow me to stay with the average Deland jumper of the day. Once I mounted it below my rig it was like jumping with nothing extra at all! (Photo by Charlie Case)
  13. No, the door on the right side was for boarding only. The jump door was on the left side and similar in size to a Twin Otter. Cessna actually had a factory designed wind deflector that attached to the front edge of the cargo door specifically for skydiving. This was before the advent of roll-up lexan doors, so they expected the plane to be used for jumping with the cargo door removed.
  14. I wondered if that was Raylene. Drew a blank on her name.
  15. I also knew Chris back in Maryland in the 70's. (Had what I thought was the ugliest f'ing jumpsuit and canopy in existence!) He was a real self-promoter and it's really hard for me to connect the Chris I knew with the gun-toting, badass in the ABC story. Sounds like a bad Hollywood movie script. BTW Here's a link to the ABC story. Bill
  16. Dave Arnequist (sp?) standing. Maybe Cheryl McGovern sitting crossleg. Can't say about the rest. Bill
  17. Me in the middle. Definitely not Tommy and not dead yet! And yes, Larry Riddle on the right. BIll
  18. I remember this incident too, as I was living a couple of blocks from the airport. The aircraft isn't an OV-10, but an OV-1 Mohawk. As Jack said the smugglers landed (a twin Piper, I think)about 1/3 to 1/2 way down runway 30, shut the plane down and beat feet for the bushes. The customs plane didn't see the Piper and pretty completely shreded it with their prop. We joked that the good news was there was a 100 foot long line of coke on the runway. The bad news was it was cut with jet fuel! I may have some shots of the Piper around somewhere. I'll post them if I can find them.
  19. That was before Tommy was around. The El Camino belonged to Gary Dupuis and it might be him in the vest. The guy with the curly hair and beard could almost be me, except I never had those clothes. Bill
  20. MI did jump Vectors. I have some shots of the sponser dive they did with Bill Booth and Elek Puskas that I'll post when I get a chance to scan them. Bill
  21. Here's one more shot of MI during the competition. Freefall cameramen were severely restricted during the meet due to concerns about interference with the ground based judging video. I was permitted to go on many of the jumps because I was working with a small video production company sanctioned by USPA. I stayed further than normal from the teams and my pictures suffered for it, but it was better than causing a bust for one of the home teams! Bill
  22. I knew it wouldn't take long for "Blue Skies, Black Feet!" to come up. For those who weren't there, the 1981 World Meet was the inauguration of the "new" Z-Hills" dropzone on the back side of the airport. New buildings,etc. The only problem was after clearing and burning the palmetto bushes that had previously occupied the area, then laying down sod for the landing area, the ash from the burning mixed with the sand and EVERYTHING was coated with black ash! I remember walking through the vendors tent where someone was selling commemorative mirrors and some wag had cut the ash that coated them into neat black lines.
  23. I reposted the photos in a little larger version. I'm still trying to figure out the best combination of resolution and jpeg compression to get the best and largest images and not bust the 300k limit on file size. Bill
  24. Here's a sequence of pictures I took on Mirror Image's last round of 8-way.