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    Strato Star
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  1. Maybe I can contribute something about the Antioch Jumpers at El Cap.... I remember just before they went: I was laying in the pea gravel at Antioch watching Steve Haley make a jump. He just kept falling. He got so low, I could darn near see the red spot on his altimiter before he dumped. Perry Stevens called him aside afterwards, and talked to him very quietly. Perry used to get very quiet when you did things he considered unsafe. Steve told Perry he had trouble finding the hand deploy. I knew that was bullshit, because I watched him do it. He had it in his hand for a while as he fell; he tossed it when he was ready to, there was no fumbling around at all. Perry knew it was bullshit, too; and walked off shaking his head. Shortly thereafter, the Antioch jumpers went to El Cap. On film that was subsequently published for public viewing, Dave Correia looks back at the camera and says, "This is the ultimate!" before he runs off the mountain. You also see and hear the camera crew scrambling and shouting as one jumper falls, and falls, and becomes almost obscured (from the ground level camera's perspective) by the treeline before he finally dumped. That was Steve Haley. Apparently, the earlier practice at Antioch was put to good use. From the top of the mountain, it went like this. There was an experienced jumper up there giving advice. "Run off, stay head up as you go, stay stable, and whatever you do don't tumble or you'll never make it." Steve just kind of said, "Fuuuck youuuu." (Not with hostility, but with a sort of laughing, mocking disdain he always had for that "For God's sake be careful!" attitude people sometimes projected.) Then he ambled slowly over to the edge with an animated stride; stopped and posed on the brink with his hands in prayer fashion in front of him, like a little kid about to dive into the pool for the first time; bent his knees, looked back with that familiar "tongue in cheek" thing he used to do, and hopped over the edge. I don't recall how many intentional flips he did, but it was at least one and at this moment I'm thinking it was more. Then he just kept falling until the ground-based camera crew were crapping in their pants, before he pulled. Now, about that "Norton made the illegal jump" thing. Not so. Haley wasn't a legal member of the USPA at the time. (Let's just say, politics.) So he didn't have clearance to jump El Cap. When he got down after that low pull, the Rangers asked him for his name and he said, "Paul Landry." (Sorry Paul, but after all these years, the statutes protect you.) Landry was legitimately signed up to jump, so the Rangers checked his name off the list. Steve went to the parking area, got into his van, and split. A bit later, another jumper came down claiming to be Paul Landry. "Wait a minute, we got too many Paul Landrys here!" the Ranger discovered (probably between donuts). Paul produced his I.D. and Useless Parachute Association (that's what we called it back then) card, and nothing could be done to him. Haley would have gotten clean away, but he drove back into the parking lot and the Ranger's caught up with him. Busted! Anyway, I wasn't there; and for all I know, those involved will probably deny everything I've just said, and I wouldn't blame them if they do. But I used to jump with those guys, and that's the way they ran it down to me over beers at Antioch shortly after the fact. VBR, Pat P.S. Norton was lost at sea in December 1982 whily ferrying a Piper Navajo to Hawaii enroute to Australia with his business partner Bob Grantham. Both were presumed dead. Sonny Barger hired a boat to look for them, but nothing was ever found. And his HAMCO club name was actually "Norton Bob" because his first name was Robert. I know he had a first year shovelhead, same as mine. When he was at Antioch he had a new Superglide. I never knew him to have an Indian, but wouldn't doubt it. He had lots of toys. Haven't read Sonny Barger's book, but will some day. BTW: Norton brought Sonny to Antioch after his release from prison in the 70's, where the president of HAMCO made two static line jumps under T-10;s and got to the pea gravel both times. SCR-8872; USPA-JM; CFIASME; Jump Pilot; Bare-Handed Wolf Chokers and Pterodactyl Breeders Association (Retired)
  2. Yup! Got the pics of Norton and jeannie. Many thanks. VBR, Pat SCR-8872; USPA-JM; CFIASME; Jump Pilot; Bare-Handed Wolf Chokers and Pterodactyl Breeders Association (Retired)
  3. Wow, Mad John and Bob, that's great news: especially that Perry is still alive. (No joke: I'd heard a rumor to the contrary and was totally grounded by it. So glad it aint true. Now to go find the sucker that said that and punch his lights out...) Anyway, here's one for you, D-51: "HEAD???!!!" (He hated it when we did that one on the DZ...and we loved it. We were so mean back then. But all in fun, bro. Ya know we luv ya. ) 'Course, good to see you guys are still truckin', too. I'll check out the references you gave, and attach an email addy to my profile in case anybody wants to waste their time talking to my worthless ass. Thanks again. BS/BD Pat SCR-8872; USPA-JM; CFIASME; Jump Pilot; Bare-Handed Wolf Chokers and Pterodactyl Breeders Association (Retired)
  4. Actually, I was just funnin' around. But thanks for the straight up and informative reply. VBR, Pat SCR-8872; USPA-JM; CFIASME; Jump Pilot; Bare-Handed Wolf Chokers and Pterodactyl Breeders Association (Retired)
  5. I think this website should have a section dedicated to skydiving-related photographs containing nudity: (1) so children won't accidentally stumble upon it; and (2) so I can find the goodies without so much searching. (Won't be surprised if this has been suggested before...) SCR-8872; USPA-JM; CFIASME; Jump Pilot; Bare-Handed Wolf Chokers and Pterodactyl Breeders Association (Retired)
  6. Does anyone have any pictures they'd care to share of the Antioch DZ from, say, the mid-1970's through early-80's? Looking for images of people like: Perry Stevens, Steve Haley, Robert "Norton" Thomas, Gene Ballard, Linda Ballard, Debbie Willet, Norm Ross, Larry Arcadie, Paul Landry, Gus Evans, Dave Correa, Neil Baker, Luke Morlan, Merle McCoy, Jim LaJunesse, Carl Randal, Tom Jones, "Little Bob" Norman, Jerry Johnson, Bob Beaver, or...? Would really like to revisit those people jumping, flying, and partying together back in the day. Maybe you could post some on this website? Or, if you have a collection of JPEGs on disk you might sell at a reasonable price, please let me know. Thanks. VBR, Pat Regan SCR-8872; USPA-JM; CFIASME; Jump Pilot; Bare-Handed Wolf Chokers and Pterodactyl Breeders Association (Retired)
  7. Forgive me for bringing this thread back on topic, but...talking about jumping a StratoStar... Back in the 1970's I was off work on a WC claim, so I spent my weekdays skydiving with Steve Haley, Robert "Norton" Thomas, and others at Perry Stevens' Antioch DZ. Damn good times!! Steve had a double-spectrum Rainbow Strat; and Norton had one that was orange and black (Harley colors, since he was a bonafide Hells Angel). These were the chutes they started doing CRW with; and Steve's rainbow was at the top of the World's First 8-Stack and First Night 5 Stack. (Check it out in the opening scenes of Carl Boenish's movie Sky Dive! ) Steve needed money to go to the Turkey Meet in Florida, November 1977, so he sold me "his baby" (the rainbow Strat) for $400. Steve always told me to "roll the nose" when I packed it, so the Strat snivveled disconcertingly on just about every opening. But that sucker would riser turn like a ground-seeking missile! Landing on a windy day was fairly easy; but when the winds were down, it could be very unforgiving. I hammered a bunch of times. I finally figured out I could not ride the brakes at all on the way in. What worked was let it fly in at full speed, and flare it at just the right point. Too late and you augered; too soon and you did the "stall and fall" thing. The "sweet spot" was very narrow, and only found by hard-earned experience. But when it was flared just right, it landed nicely. I've still got the rig. Last I heard, Guthrie "Gus" Evans bought Norton's orange and black Strat. Don't know where it might be now. If the photo-insert gadget works, I'll attach a pic of the chute with this post. VBR, Pat SCR-8872; USPA-JM; CFIASME; Jump Pilot; Bare-Handed Wolf Chokers and Pterodactyl Breeders Association (Retired)