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  1. Congrats on your return! I also took a long break from 92-2007. I got back in and have wondered how I ever stayed away. Have fun and jump often! Chris
  2. Hey, has anyone noticed the new web link for Bill Booths Relative workshop? I am certain I used to google United Parachute Technoligies. Now it comes up as Uninsured UPT. Anyone know what is up with this? Is this coming out of the W. VA fatalities? Just curious. My new Vector is in and being setup this week. It has a Skyhook. Chris
  3. Bill bixby is alive and well and living with Elvis and DB Cooper. Regardless of DB's fate it's nicde to have our own Elvis in the skydiving world. Sorry, no factual info to offer, just love that DB is alive and well in the forum! However, $200k from 1971 is probably gone so if he is alive he is certainly working somewhere, maybe your local DZ. Chris
  4. you call that cold? pffft u wanna see cold come on up here to Wisconsin and jump with us this winter. I have never stopped jumping on any given day until the sun went down...........until yesterday. I love Wisconsin and went to school in Chicaco, however, I moved to California for a reason. That being said, if I lived in WI I would do whatever to keep jumping year round. give me some boot warmers and a heated face mask and I am there. Chris
  5. Its called droge and typically happens with tandems in freefall. On a serious note, good to hear everyone was okay! My bad, I am aware it was a droge and it is usually in tow. When the TI went to deploy it didn't happen. The gentleman that I spoke to said it might be possible that the bridle (I am not up on the tanden terms) might have been routed wrong which led to the non-deployment. Are you saying that it is typical that this type of malfunction happens, or simply that all or most tandems have a drogue behind them. I heard another TI say to this TI on a later jump, "Ihear you had a pretty wild ride earlier" (of course it was aid quetly and away from students. Chris
  6. Was anyone out at Perris Valley yesterday (Sunday 12-14)? Holy cow was it cold at altitude (11 below with 55 mph uppers). Anyway, I believe someone threw a reserve on a tandem jump around noonish. In speaking with an experienced jumper he said he saw a P/C in tow. Just curious if anyone saw it or could confirm. Everyone was safe but there was lots of actiivity around the landing area when they got down. Thanks Chris
  7. This was back in the early 70's before larger aircraft were being jumped. Back then there were rumors that the C-5A might be used for dropping jumpers. I've heard tell that even bigger planes than that are being used today. We always jumped both doors when the MC1's came out. I imagine it took some accidents to change policy on that..... When I was on Bragg we jumped C-141's almost as much as C-130's. I remember many two pass loads in those days. They tried jumping the C-5A while I was there, I was not on one, but they were having problems slowing it down enough to allow a jumper to deploy with damaging his canopy or spanking him into an injury. I spoke with my friend Charlie Brown, golden Knight and 82nd and he said they did eventually jump the C-5A but dropped it as not being an efficient use of the jet. Indeed when I was at Bragg we jumped both doors with the MC-1. As I mentioned in a previous reply they were phasing them in while I was there so everything was experimental. The thought of staggering jumps between doors never came up. That must have come later after they realized how many people where being injured. Chris
  8. (Special Forces may have been the first to use steerable canopies in mass exits. In 1969 or so, the army came up with a crude version of a steerable canopy. ) I have been told how to use the quote feature but only twice. It takes me three time to commit things to memory...........pychs say that is normal. During my time with the 82nd in 77-80 they were phasing in the MC-1 steerable canopy.(please correct me if I am wrong). I say this because through Benning and then the first 6 months on Bragg everything was a T-10. I remember the special traing we received for the MC-1 (I really don't remember what the name of it was but my good buddy Charlie Brown, Golden Knight says so and if charlie says something I go with it.) Nonetheless I do remember the accident rate went sky high when they introduced the steerable canopy. As I mentioned in previous comments most of the guys I knew in the 82nd weren't that into the jumping. Hell, I knew one guy who was terrified of jumping but wanted the extra money. Anyway, someone mentioned herein that the 82nd went back to a T-10 style parachute. I would like to know if that is the case? PS - did anyone go to Panama for jungle traing? Do you remember the prostitutes that would swing out the windows when the GI's were in town? Prostitution was illegal, imagine that, so they would swing out the windows on ropes to avoid being picked up on the street. It was the funniest thing. Imagine walking down a staright street and seeing all these women swinging in and out of the windows totally nude..............as david Lee Roth would sau...where have all the good times gone Chris
  9. I hope this thread has started something for those who want to share their time in the airborne units and also for those who might enjoy the stories . I have many memories of my brief time with the 82nd in the late 70’s and am excited to share them, hopefully you are too. Before I share the next story I certainly want to say that the sport as we know it today is so much safer than it has ever been. In mid 1980 I made a simulated wartime mass assault into Ft Walton Beach, Florida (I think it was Ft Walton) in what was named “Bold eagle”. Unlike typical assault jumps or fun jumps on Bragg this was intended to be the REAL DEAL. For anyone out there that sat on a plane ready to go to Iran during the failed rescue attempt that went south in the dessert you know how much equipment we had to carry. On this particular jump I had the distinct pleasure of being right in the middle of the stick….not a great place to be. As fast as we would exit it is amazing what the mind and eyes can take in in a split second. As I ran out the door on the man in front of me I was awe struck by the number of C-141’s in the air, much less all the canopies, it seemed like an endless sea of parachutes. Now for all of you who have seem the military videos, or personal videos, of 82nd jumps over the DZ’s at Bragg I am certain you haven’t seen anything like this. When the 82nd does a wartime mass assault training exercise it is usually unannounced and out of state to ensure few to no spectators (at least back then). Our jump altitude was said to be 900 feet AGL, although I swear it seemed lower. It was a minimum of a battalion exercise (I was in the 1st battalion 319th FAR) although it included many others from the division. As I said I piggy backed the man in front of me in an almost fetal position. I had a relatively uneventful opening although a little slow. My feet planted right on his T-10 or MC-1 (I don’t remember) as my own parachute reached deployment. I had been told how to walk off a parachute but never thought I would experience a situation like this. I pulled a hard right riser to slip away and then proceeded to………………………..walk off his canopy. Holy sh#t did I really just do that. Out of the fire and into the furnace….As I slipped right with a slow right body turn I was immediately confront with another canopy. Hum… what now, oh yea spread eagle, which I did and it worked. I bounced off his canopy lines about a body length above him and slid right by. I encountered two more near misses just in time to do a BMA (should be a PLF-Parachutist Landing fall, not BMA-Bust My Ass). As I recovered from my landing I looked to the sky and was absolutely amazed at what I was watching. Parachutes everywhere and many, many entanglements and certainly injuries in the making. Nonetheless, as I experienced and watched this exercise take place I was humbled by the thought……….what if this was war. Can you imagine what it was like for our troops during real wartime? Bullets flying everywhere! I think about this every time I jump at my home DZ which has a gun club right on final approach. Thanks to all the airborne war vets! Chris
  10. Bear with me as I am new to this site and am unsure where I should post information such as this. If it needs to be moved that is fine. This information is historical however it holds value as it relates to some posts I have read herein. Since I am new to the site and have never posted this information I wanted to do it at least once. I spent three years with the 82nd airborne 319th Field artillery division from 1977 to 1980. During that time I witnessed, or was aware of, two incidents that I believe have some significant value to share. One day in 1988 we were on a routine drop over one of the four DZ’s at Fort Bragg. We made our first pass allowing jumpers to leave the plane until the red light came on and then circled to make another pass to allow the rest of the jumpers to exit. Standard procedure at that time was the yellow light would go on and the jumpmaster would yell to the first jumper, “Stand in the door”. Upon the green light going on the Jumpmaster would then yell “go” and start grabbing static lines as jumpers exited until the red light went on. At this point he would extend his arm across the door and not allow any more jumpers out. After this particular flight, and I will never forget it, things changed forever at Ft. Bragg. As we finished the first pass and the red light went on the jumpmaster extended his arm across the door but caught his left thumb in the belly reserve handle of the next jumper in line (I was on the right side of the plane, as you face it, so the jumpmaster would place his left arm and partial body across the door). The force of his arm movement was enough to start the deployment sequence of his reserve. The reserve immediately sprung out and inflated outside of the plane. The soldier was immediately pulled and slammed hard against the door (the impact of this probably killed him even though he had a steel pot on). His static line was still attached which eventually deployed his main also. However, for anyone who knows the C-130 it used to have a steel cable that ran from the upper fuselage to the upper tail (it still might). This gentleman was dragged across the cable and decapitated. The fact that he had two-out is irrelevant here, obviously. I was the seventh man back on the stick when this incident took place. There was blood all over the door and the jumpmaster. Our C-130 went immediately back to Pope AFB and we were offloaded. I did not here anymore about this incident other than a man had died in a training incident (The 82nd did not release much detail in those days). A friend in the riggers division shared the decapitation details with me later. However, after this incident the 82nd Airborne changed their protocol to never interfere with a jumper going out on a red light. It was better to have misdrop than a potential injury or fatality. The other incident(s), that I did not witness, but was there for was the static line cutting scare of “78-79”. Someone who had access to the parachutes from the time of rigging thru transport to Pope AFB was cutting the static lines inside the bag. On Ft Bragg in those days they moved parachutes around like cattle. I have no idea how many people had access to the rigs. You showed up at Pope and where given a rig and off you went. There were gear checks but only external checks. By the time it ended, or by the time I left, 7 people had been identified as potential victims of this saboteur. I am not sure if anyone was ever arrested for these crimes although a close friend who joined the 82nd soon after I left said he believed they did. If you’re wondering why these victims did not pull the reserve please understand we were jumping from anywhere from 900 to 1200 feet. The majority of these guys were there to collect an additional $75 dollars a month by going airborne. All the training in the world did not prepare these teenagers to execute a belly reserve rip cord pull, slip your hand into the reserve container, grab the canopy and throw it in the direction of your spin (gosh I hope I got that right, I can’t remember now its been 30 years), and prepare to land. Some just freaked out and let’s face it, by the time you know you have a problem, i.e. 1001, 1002, 1003 and 1004 you are practically on the ground from those altitudes. So what is the point……. As I said I have been away for many years. As I reenter the sport I am very excited about the advancements made in the equipment we are using. The % of no pulls and total malfunctions is very encouraging for our sport. However, the number of fatalities of experienced jumpers just making poor judgment can be so much better. This forum is hopefully a place we can evaluate fatalities and make changes as needed, i.e. the 82nd changing their protocol for red light jump runs. Take time to do proper gear checks. I have been amazed at how fewer total gear checks are done prior to boarding the plane. When I started freefall in 87 it seemed like everyone was adamant about having someone else perform a gear check for them. Are we getting over confident with the equipment? The other day a tandem was boarding the plane and his rear flap was up and his drogue pin was exposed. When I pointed it out I got a response of, “oh it doesn’t matter it will be out in a minute anyway”. Well I am not anywhere near a rating for tandem, but I still think I want my stuff in neat order if I am taking someone else on a ride, especially when I am about to bump around against a bunch of people in the plane. For those of you who can’t decide whether to check your rig or carry it on a plane I ask you this. Will you reach your destination and take that checked rig and jump it as is? Are you F%$#ing nuts? If your rig leaves your side and is in the hands of non-skydiving individuals for any length of time, especially airport personnel, you put yourself at risk, i.e. the static line incidents herein mentioned. Sorry this is so long and I won’t post anything like this again. For those who just say, well the sport is dangerous and deaths will happen I say even one death avoided is a triumph for us all. I have a young son and daughter who will appreciate the next person who does my gear check. Thanks. Chris
  11. I just came across this Cal City thread and had to post. I did my AFF here in 1987 and hung out with Jay, ursella, Danny, Bob and Judy, etc. I was there when we laid Danny at the end of the runway. Talk about fun stuff. Their was another night that we were hanging out late in the hanger (the old hanger) playing some stupid drinking game. Danny lost a round and started jugging, before he was done he had thrown up in the cup and still finished it all off, vomit and all...NS I have it all on tape. later that night about 30 of us pursued into a pie fight that left the place an absolute mess. Leave it to Mark Hewitt to get things started. Sorry to hear about Danny. Another time Mark Hewitt, Mike Brown, Paul Stagner and myself left the DZ in two cars after a fun jump weekend headed back for LA. We started playing bumper tag in our cars driving along highway 14. we had our lights off in the dark and the object was to sneak up behind the other and tag the car, hence your it. Things got out of control and we started passing one another while the passenger would try to do stupid skydiver stuff to impress the other car. Mike and I beat out Mark and Paul when someone in our car got out on the hood buck naked at 100 miles per hour as we flew by the other car. Good thing we have all grown up over the last 20 years. Chris
  12. You are right in that it has been allowed to slip through on many occasions. However, my understanding is that this loop hole is going to close fast. Most weight belts made of lead shot cannot be xrayed all the way through. Therefore experienced screeners are not letting them through because they can't see through it. If you can't see through it then you don't know what is possibly in it. There is a post on this forum of someone who just had to go back and check their weightbelt in Orlando, I think, because it could not be xrayed. So do what you want, I just don't see a need to take unnecessary chances, especially for items that can be replaced so easily. Chris
  13. I will never ever check my rig........period. Its not that they might loose it, it's what goes on out of your view. It's one thing to leave your rig in the packing area with other experienced skydivers, but to allow it to possibly be handled by alot of people who do not understand the equipment is just scary. remember, what makes skydiving just a little safer is to remember it is a dangerous sport. I was with the 82nd Airborne in the late 70's when a rigger was cutting static lines inside the pack. 7 people died as a result before it stopped. You just never know so don't risk it. Chris
  14. I just posted a thread last month on this issue so don't feel bad. It has been beaten to death but unless you want to search endless threads it is always safe to ask again. I went through sacramento airport on my way to Denver and had absolutely no problems. I had my rig, and rig only, in a rig backpack. On my way back from Denver they did do an explosive test on my rig but it passed and off I went. My recomendation is keep your rig seperate from anything else. If you pack other strange items (strange to the screener anyway) it only adds confusion. Not that you might need a weight belt but if you do it has to be checked. I have been placing my altimeter and helmet (with audible) in my check in. Even if it's lost the carrier will cover that cost normally. Far better than missing the flight, you can always find a helmet and altimeter where you are going if your stuff is lost in flight. And what ever you do............ if you get alot of questions and looks at screening don't start shaking, sweating and looking disoriented (like your first skydive) as this tends to draw unwanted attention.. Chris