Wednesday, March 23, 2005

50 Years ago and it's still in "there"

I was doing my daily blog rounds and found out Redleg 07 cracked a bone in his ankle on a night jump last night. He blogged about it in "Dumbass Cherry Move." I recalled a time back in 94 when a guy showed up to make a static line jump. I posted this story in Redleg 07's comments section, but it's a little piece of history to share here: In about July 94, I was hanging out at the DZ, catching the rays, waiting for the 1st jump class to get done. When they got out, I got assigned a plane load to take up for static line. One of the new jumpers was there to make his first jump in 50 years, a Normandy Vet. This spry old guy did all his "Arch Thousand, 2 Thousand, etc, etc" practices on the ground just fine, even his practice hangings from the Cessna 182 strut was fine. Because he was the smallest of the jumpers, I put him out last. He climbed out fine, hung out there, looked at me, I pointed at his face and said "GO!" Off he went, into a perfect Airborne body position for exit, hands on his reserve, chin tucked, legs together and slightly forward. He was stable, I recovered the static line, smiling, stowed in under the pilot's seat and did a front loop as I dove out heading aft. I had so many jumps at the time, I could maintain my own logs without a witness signature, but I had him sign mine. Good training is a beautiful thing, and the mind is a wonderous organ.

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