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Hi,

Kewl, Richard. Not that place, I'm afraid. The last time I went sport jumping was decades ago in Korea. Broke 3 metatarsals in my right foot bouncing off the hood of an International Loadstar 1600 after I narrowly missed the power lines along the north side of Indianhead field at Camp Casey.

Ah, to be young again!

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I can't remember any good looking girls at Fort Gordon, just a bunch of 18-19yr old guys thinking they didn't need no stinking 'chute.

Mike is not telling you all about the air around Camp Casey! Very difficult to manage, especially in spring and fall. We were chuting for the parade field and ended up 3/4mi away on a mountain side by 7th medical battalion's aid station!

Never did it for fun, just wanted my $55 per month!

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Hi,

You're exactly right, Les. The air off Indianhead is a b***h and is constantly changing direction! Just hitting that damn parade ground is a tough exercise. The JM was new and we were jumping a UH1. He put us out 30° outside of the wind cone and I had to drive like crazy cross-wind to try and hit the field. I didn't realize until about 150 ft. off the ground that I wasn't going to clear those wires. If I hadn't been flying a modified/steerable T10, I would have been fried 45 ft. off the ground in those damned high tension wires along the south side of the motor pools.

I got the damned thing turned around at the last second - had to pull my legs waaay up to avoid those wires; then the chute started running with the wind and took off horizontally. I hit the box on the back of that truck, slid along the box on my face for about 16ft. and then just managed to get my feet under me as I cleared the roof of the cab - only to land on the friggin' hood! I bounced the last 8ft. onto the asphalt. Limped back out to the parade ground to report that I'd put a huge dent in the hood of one of those trucks. Then, to avoid them losing their insurance 'cuz a guy had gone into those wires the month before, I went back to Red Cloud before I went to see a doc and told 'em that I broke that foot in a hapkido bout. Had to take my damned promotion board photograph wearing a cast on one leg - pretty humiliating!

Didn't jump again until 1989 - 11 years later - when I went through the Q-course at Bragg. Being older and a little wiser, I was scared sh*tless for the first couple until I got my air back.

Steven, once you've done it once, that feeling is a perfectly good reason to jump out of an airplane! When I was at Bragg, we'd actually stow our gear in trunk of the patrol cars and go out to the DZ's when units were jumping and then call out of service, beg them to allow us to strap hang with them, and we'd take turns going up while the other guy listened to the radio. Those were the days!

Hell, I've gained so much damned weight that today I'd need a pair of cargo chutes - they'd call it Operation Dumb Boy Drop. [:-smile_g

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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What a shot!! Back when I was a smidgen over 30 ('bout 28 years ago) I fulfilled a Walter Mitty dream to jump out of an airplane (on purpose).

Did it twice and that was enough. I was an 'exec' with The Associated Press at the time and my VP found out about it and said: "no more".

I didn't argue. Main reason I didn't continue jumping was watching another fellow's main chute fail and (thank goodness) his reserve opened and he was safe. Watching that was just a bit traumatic.

One of my assistants told/asked me that only two things fall out of the sky: 1) Bird$hit and 2) A$$holes. Which one are you?

I just grinned and bought him another beer.

It's a great thing to reminisce about, but too 'mature' to try it again.

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Originally posted by Nolan Kienitz

I didn't argue. Main reason I didn't continue jumping was watching another fellow's main chute fail and (thank goodness) his reserve opened and he was safe. Watching that was just a bit traumatic.

Yeah, myself and a fellow named Dave Wright got all tangled up on our 4th jump at Benning. We were so involved trying to get level with one another to do the roll different directions thing that we didn't hear the black hat yelling over the megaphone "G*dd**nit jumpers, look at the f*****g ground!" When we finally did hear him, all we had time to do was get our feet and heels together and we went in like a pair of rocks. Jeez, that hurt! No broken bones but on the way down we'd broken 3 suspension lines - 1 on his rig and 2 on mine - by sawing against one another. When two jumpers are tangled up, one or both chutes will dump air faster and your rate of descent is increased - sometimes waaaay too much.

That blackhat was pissed. I must have done a thousand pushups before he let us up to walk off the DZ. Then he stuck us on chute shake detail.

We were so giddy at having not burned in that we were all wound up with adrenalin and kind of shrugged it off. If that had happened in that first jump in the Q course 11 years later I would have crapped my drawers for sure.

At Ft. Devens in 1981 I was NCOIC of the Military Police Investigations (MPI) office and twice, because of my experience with military jumping and packing chutes with a sport club, had to assist CID with the investigation of jumpers that died. One was a 20-year old ROTC 2LT who was jumping during her weekend training in order to maintain her jump status. Her rig never opened and she burned in - hard.

The other was an SF Master Sergeant who was making his retirement jump. He rode a Mae West all the way in. He tried to deploy his reserve but it went right up into the MW and got all snarled. His wife and kids were out on south post with his entire 10 SFG battalion, standing by to do an in-field retirement ceremony.

That was a bad one - that battalion C.O., a Colonel, wanted to police up the chute and get the body off the DZ, 'cuz the family was sitting there freaking out. A paradeath is a crime scene; he knew that, but he kept trying to interfere with our processing the body and scene. He ordered two troops to police up the chute and told his medics to police up the body. We damned near had to apprehend the guy and for a second there I thought we'd end up throwing down with those troops.

It was more than two hours before we could get the ME there to pronounce and could finish processing the scene and get him moved to autopsy. I felt pretty bad for the family but it couldn't be helped.

The memories - some good, some bad, all dear.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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