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Hi,

Those are called static lines. Those training jumps are made at 1500ft. A combat jump is made between 500 and 600ft. and a soldier hits the ground in about 6 seconds from the time his feet leave that door. Each soldier is carrying about 100 extra pounds of kit and his or her individual weapons, rations and ammunition.

There is a small canvas deployment bag on the end of the static line that the folded chute is tucked into. When the pack is folded over the chute it is tied off with a piece of 500 lb. snap chord threaded through a ring at the top of the canopy known as a 'bridal loop'. The soldier jumps, his body weight pulls the S-folded static line out of it's rubber band ties until it reaches the snap cord. The snap cord breaks and the bag pulls the chute completely clear of the soldier and extends his suspension lines before the chute begins pulling out of the D-bag and inflates.

As soon as he checks his canopy, the soldier has to release his e-bag and release the bottom tie of his weapons carrier from his leg. The E-bag unravels on a 25ft. tether beneath him and hits the ground first. All of that has to be done in about 3 seconds and it leaves he or she another couple of seconds to get eyes on the horizon, turn into the wind and get into landing position.

The process ensures that nobody opens their chute prematurely and gets snagged by a stabilizer and everyone's chute opens the same distance from the aircraft and on the same line, so that when they hit the drop zone it's relatively easy to roll everyone up.

You can't get that kind of distribution with non-static-line jumps. HAHO and HALO jumpers have to be a whole lot higher and rely on the maneuverability of high performance canopies, their compasses and skydiving skills to put them where they want to be.

Regular combat chutes have a little bit of mobility, because of an H-shaped section of gores missing from the back of the canopy, which the soldier can use to steer left and right, drop rapidly through enfilade or turn and brake into the wind before landing. However, there's hardly time to get the weapon carrier untied let alone worry about turning before one is feet, ass and elbows all over the DZ.

That fellow directing each stick and leaning out the door to ensure nobody is being dragged behind the aircraft is the jump master. It's his job to oversee their preparation before boarding and the placement/organization of the sticks on the aircraft. As they approach the DZ he instructs them during approach, has to direct the pilot on final approach and then staggers the sticks at both sides of the aircraft properly and puts them out at the right moment to ensure they at least hit the DZ where they are supposed to.

Once every stick is off, he uses an electric winch to pull all of those static lines and D-bags back into the aircraft. If a jumper hangs up, he has to watch for the soldier to signify that he/she is okay by slapping the top of the helmet with his/her left hand while grabbing the rip-cord handle of the reserve chute with the other. When the jump master sees that, he cuts away the soldier's static line and it's up to the soldier from there. If the soldier is unconscious and isn't responding, the JM ties him or her off and they radio back and instruct personnel at the runway to foam the landing zone to try and cushion the hung jumper's impact when the aircraft hits the LZ.

Smitty, the bud who sent me this link, and I used to get keep track of who was jumping where and when. When we could work it out, as soon as we got off shift we'd grab our gear and go out to whatever Z had jumps going on and try to strap hang (borrow a chute and jump) with other units. Doing that, I managed to skeek in 51 jumps my first 16 months at Bragg after training, before I got sent overseas. Our unit only officially jumped 12 times during that time.

Like I said, it's a hoot.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

P.S.

I jumped only once without a static line. It was in Korea in 1977.

As soon as I got to Korea from Bragg, I joined the Indian head Sport Parachute club up at Camp Casey. I went through all of the necessary training and then the day came to make my first non-static-line jump. The jump was from a Huey and the jump master was brand new. Not Bragg trained, but sport parachute club trained.

The damned fool put us out well outside of the wind cone, and I had all I could do to maneuver that clunky T12 and hold it against the wind to try and at least stay on the compound. I came down over the motor pool.

At first I thought I was going to make the road along the edge of the parade ground being used for the DZ. Except, too late I realized that I was on a direct track to hit the damned power lines along the North side of the Z.

I stopped trying to fight the wind and pulled down on a steering toggle to try and turn the chute. It didn't respond. Now I'm sh***ing bricks, so I start grabbing big hunks of risers and pulling them in on that side to try and dump air and drop faster so I'll go under the lines. I was too close and it was too late - I wasn't going to make it.

Finally, just as I got near that line the chute started to turn and run with the wind. I pulled my legs up as far as I could underneath me and practically chinned myself to get away from those power lines. Finally, when I was about 6ft. from that line, thinking I was a cooked goose, the turning chute reinflated with the wind and snapped me in the other direction over the motor pool.

By this time the chute and I were on practically the same level and the chute was driving North with the wind at about 30 knots with me swinging down from near-horizontal in an arc. By then I was about 25ft. off the ground and headed for the top of an international loadstar with a box on the back. I thought I was going to swing down and hit the back of that truck box like a cartoon character. Nope, the chute was running good by then and my forelegs hit the top edge of the truck box and the chute dragged me across the top of the box on my face. Just as the chute dragged me clear of the front of the box, I tried to land on my feet on the hood but didn't make it. I ended up putting a helluva dent in that hood and somersaulted onto the pavement inside the locked motor pool. They had to call the MP's to come and unlock the motor pool so I could get out. By the time I'd limped back to the DZ I was pretty pissed. I went up one side of that JM and down the other and quit the club on the spot.

I'd barked both shins really bad and broke three metatarsal bones in my left foot. It put me off the road for 4 weeks. By then, I had cooled off and was ready to rejoin the club, but the C.O. forbade me to do any more sport jumping while assigned to his unit. I didn't jump again until 11 years later when I returned to Bragg to attend the SF Q course.

You know, those power lines scared about 10 years off my life, but it was still a hoot.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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Mike, fifteen years before you at Camp Casey, there was an engineer company just north of the Main PX and the 7th Medical Bat just north of that. The Medical unit had a building with a big red "X" on the roof and in a drunken stupor we shot for that as an LZ. Figured we would be close to medical attention, equipment for our burial and beer at the PX. I ended up over the mountain in a village "Chungmal?". We learned the hard way about thermal air and mountains and direct orders. Different time, but same place! Damn, I guess I'm old enough to be your DAD!

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Hi Les,

Like John said, very kewl!! Other than TDC and Pawbwani don't know the names of the villes around Casey. I was stationed down the road at Red Cloud and used to ride up there on weekends by bus to jump.

I don't envy you jumping out by Indianhead with one of those old T-9 or T-10 chutes without steering toggles. You practically have to reel suspension lines in halfway to the hem to make those things change direction and then they've got such a small diameter that you're decending at a rate of damn near 40ft a second. Ouch!

You wouldn't know Korea now. I left in '79 and returned in '93. When I left, it was an enjoyable 15 mile rented bicyle trip through countryside and farmland to get to Yongsan and Itaewon to bust loose for a weekend. When I returned, urban sprawl had spread nearly to Tongduchon and the hillsides and peach orchards around Red Cloud had disappeared and were replaced by high-rise apartment buildings. I drove around UiJongBu for nearly an hour trying to find the compound before I stumbled on the back gate. It took me even longer to locate my hapkido master.

One of these days, Americans are going to look West across the Pacific Ocean and in the distance see a gray object getting closer, and closer and closer. It's going to be the Koreans paving everything over and their urban sprawl advancing.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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  • 7 years later...

Hi Bob,

Yeah, back in '74 - '75 I was still twisting wrenches in New York State and trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. I joined in August '75 and didn't get to Korea until June of '77.

I've got some photographs of that day - a picture of the club prez and the girl who worked at the club bar - maybe even still have my club membershhip card. If I ever get a new scanner, I'll scan them and upload them. Guess the original link is broken. I'll have to find one to replace it.

If you're interested, I still get notices all the time froma bunch of SF and airborne guys who are on a list serve announcing various jump opportunities in foreign countries, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, etc.. It's basically like going hunting or mountain climbing if one is into those sports - you purchase a whole package, transportation, hotel, a refresher course, briefing on host nation aircraft, X number of jumps, a wings award ceremony and a bunch of beer swilling.

Shoot me an email at hausdok@msn.com and I'll make sure to forward the next one I get to you.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Very Kewl, Erby. Thanks.

Interesting the way they go out of that C17. Definitely different from jumping a Sherpa, Caribou, C47, C123 or C130. You have to plant your hands on either side of the door of those and simultaneously give yourself a good shove off as you jump up and out. If you don't, you end up counting the rivets down the side of the fusalage. With a C141 you just exit at a 45 degree angle and the suction just pulls you out. With that C17 they are practically running out the door.

It looks like they'd trained some foreign troops and they were at the beginning of those sticks as they went out the door in the first video followed by the Americans. That's typical. You normally put the greenies at the beginning of the stick. Once that go command is given, it's pretty hard for them to second guess their action with about a dozen guys shoving them from the rear.

Notice the second from the last guy on the 10th group ramp jump? He was nervous as hell. Kept checking his hand loop to ensure he had enough extra and he was worried he was going to snag his static line and deploy inside. That's why he kept dinking around with the static line position over his left shoulder.

See how the guy with the camera got his risers twisted? What you didn't see is him simulate peddling a bicycle with his legs to get himself unwound. The wood toggles you saw as his chute deployed are the steering toggles that allowed him to keep himself facing into the wind and on track instead of being blown off-course. You pull the right one down to close the right gore and steer right and the left one to close the left gore to steer left. He made a decent PLF. If he'd done a feet, ass and head that camera probably would have been knocked all over the place.

Les, still remember your jump commands?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I used to fly hang gliders. Got over 500 hrs air time. Last flight I almost busted my left knee off. Lots of bad stories at camp fires. When I looked down and saw that my knee was still attached I was quite happy. Gave all my equipment away right then and there. That was about 15yrs ago. Switched to mountain bike to recover.[:-paperba

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I used to fly hang gliders. Got over 500 hrs air time. Last flight I almost busted my left knee off. Lots of bad stories at camp fires. When I looked down and saw that my knee was still attached I was quite happy. Gave all my equipment away right then and there. That was about 15yrs ago. Switched to mountain bike to recover.[:-paperba

And then you broke your back. Go figure.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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