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While out hunting for a rental unit today, my travels took me past both Flagstaff Point Wollongong and Sydney Skydivers at Wilton - at just the right time to see several jumpers. I've never given skydiving a second thought, but seeing so many parachuters close up has inspired me to at least whip out to Wilton on a weekend and get some good photos. Anyone else been inspired?

 

 

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Burbles1........ You mean to say you won`t be taking the photos on your way down from the aircraft?022_wink.gif.2137519eeebfc3acb3315da062b6b1c1.gif

 

Frank.

 

 

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Yes I had a similiar inspiration at Wilton around 1970 and ended up doing around 500 jumps there, plus I had the opportunity of throwing Ozzie put of a perfectly good aeroplane, when he was a student !...How time flys !.........................Maj...024_cool.gif.7a88a3168ebd868f5549631161e2b369.gif

 

 

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I completed 33 military jumps in the '89-'90 whilst in the Army. I was lucky that most of my jumps were what we called "Hollywood" jumps in that they were during the day and without a pack, webbing and rifle. I managed to pickup my American parachute wings while posted to RAAF Base Richmond. Parachuting is great fun and really lets you know you're alive. Would I do it today? No - I've ticked it off the bucket list and am enjoying other things.

 

Cheers, Mathew

 

 

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Yeah Major, just where did all those years go?

 

You will have good photo opportunities at the "swoop pond". Jumpers flying high speed canopies thru a series of gates, skimming over the water to try and land on target on the other side. wipe outs are very spectacular. DO NOT put yourself in the path of them, several cases of spectators getting hit and killed.

 

Freefall photography is a very exact science that can be very rewarding for the dedicated.

 

Good luck.

 

 

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Mathew Ker, Interesting that you managed to grab the US para wings. I do remember them doing some combined jumping at Richmond. Was that out of the C141 Starlifters ?.....Whilst in the Air Force based at Williamtown as a Parachute rigger (Safety Equippo), I managed to weasel my way onto an Army basic parachute course. Wasn't that hard as I regulary skydived on weekends with most of the Army Instructors from the Army Parachute school, then based at Williamtown.

 

I placed second on the course to an army Major who got first of course, and recieved my Army parachute wings which I proudly wear on Anzac day. I believe I was the last air-force non-officer to do the course at Williamtown, as they eliminated the opportunity shortly after.

 

Most on my course were SAS or wanna be SAS (they needed the para wings), so I met some interesting folks.

 

When I skydived in the States later, I met and became friends with many US Special Forces jumpers who were based at Fort Bragg, (82nd Airborne) and jumping on weekends at Raeford. NC. Some were in the secret 'HALO" commitee, (high altitude, low opening ) and I was given one of their patches which was very dark, being only dark green and black. They were doing night jumps out of specially equipped C141s on oxygen from 40'000 Ft or so, practising secret insertions which they had used in Cambodia during the Viet Nam war. Interesting people for sure !. They each had two sets of gear one completly sky blue (boots and all), and one completly black for night jumps.

 

I had never heard the term 'Hollywood jump' which I find quite amusing !........................................Maj...024_cool.gif.7a88a3168ebd868f5549631161e2b369.gif

 

 

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Gees I must be a whimp! I`ve only done one tandem jump.....but Man.....I would have done a lot more had I been able to afford it!!!

 

Maj,Mathew,Ozzie! You guys realy impress me!!!

 

Frank.

 

 

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My partner gave me a tandem jump for my birthday in January. It was a huge thrill, a great experience and one I'm glad I had. I don't think it would become a regular thing for me though.

 

But flying is another thing entirely. Got a TIF for last year's birthday and signed up immediately.

 

Mick

 

 

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Never tried the tandem jump, I like to be in charge of my own destiny, not tied up to somebody else. I havn't jumped since 1972, when I went to Cobar and saw the others counting their fingers when they landed to see if any had frozen off. I took up gliding then. I do have what is an unusual first. my first jump was made with a chute I packed myself. It is so long ago I forget what it was called, 28TU I think, but nowhere near as fast responding as current rigs.

 

 

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Yes Yenn, that probabily was the standard ex-miltary 28 ft dia canopy with either a 5-tu or 7-tu modification cut in the back, to give it some foward speed (not much !) and some steerability. The 'tu' used to roughly describe the shape of the areas cut out of the back of the canopy. They were generally pretty reliable come opening time !!...........................

 

Farri, No doubt we all had different opportunities available to us in our younger days, depending on circumstances, and where we were at the time !. I have no doubt you were just as busy persuing your areas of crazyness and adventure also, and I know you are still activly involved in doing so !!..................Maj...024_cool.gif.7a88a3168ebd868f5549631161e2b369.gif014_spot_on.gif.1f3bdf64e5eb969e67a583c9d350cd1f.gif

 

 

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I had the pleasure of doing an accelerated freefall course years ago over in WA and the first jump was at Lake Clifton....what a blast...after the jump we had a nice session at the pub there and my wife reckoned it took at least a week for the smile on my face to disappear..016_ecstatic.gif.156a811a440b493b0c2bea54e43be5cc.gif.

 

 

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Thats it Major, a 7TU. The only time I have been worried about my safety in an aeroplane was on what was supposed to be my first jump. A group of about 8 of us all learnt together and I was picked to be the first to jump, so I got to sit beside the pilot in the C172, no seat belt, nor any means of securing myself in the case of an accident. I wasn't happy until we got to 500' and then the drop zone ceiling was too low, so we came back and landed in the plane.

 

 

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My first canopy was a 28ft 7TU that had been dyed purple. Looked pretty cool for the seventies. The dye had helped close the porosity of the material. Made for easier landings. The Major patched it after i snagged a branch. I counted up the number of jumps on different canopies and have 99 on cheapos. Would have been an even hundred except one (no.15) didn't work and landed under a 24ft reserve. Glad thos days are gone.

 

ozzie

 

 

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American Wings

 

Maj, We had some American riggers who were on a brief exchange to Australia and that's how the opportunity arose. A couple of things I remember of these jumps are that we had to complete three jumps using the American rigs and we had to jump from the C141 "Starlifter".

 

The Australian parachutes are a "T10B-D" whereas the American are a "T10B" (no D). This means they are exactly the some 'round' canopy with the only difference being the Australian ones have a small patch of lightly padded canvas under the chest strap and two groin straps. There is also a small canvas strip that runs across between the groin straps, forming a small 'seat'. These changes make the Australian parachutes 'Deluxe' - hence the D. They may not seem terribly significant but they do make everything a lot easier to get properly positioned in the first place. Once you have exited the aircraft, it is too late to tuck any of the block 'n tackle away if it is in the wrong place! 037_yikes.gif.f44636559f7f2c4c52637b7ff2322907.gif

 

The other thing of significance is the ride in the C141. It is a huge aircraft. I seem to recall it is about the same size as the C130 Hercules, just about three times longer. Prior to one of the jumps at the Londonderry Drop Zone (Western Sydney and I hear no longer used for parachuting), we spent about 45-60 minutes Tactical (Tac Flying) around the Blue Mountains. Fantastic fun to be flying at what seemed to be ridiculously low heights around the mountains. No lunches were lost but it would have been interesting if it were at night!

 

For those not aware, most military jumps from the larger aircraft like the C130 are from the side parachute doors. We were trained to take a 'driving step' out from the side doors so we wouldn't "count rivets" down the side of the aircraft. The C141 side doors are equipped with wind deflectors that help reduce the impact of jumping into a 140kt windstream. The idea is that a small pocket of still air allows you to step into this space, drop away from the aircraft so you don't "count rivets". Of course some of my peers were over trained, couldn't help themselves and still managed a driving step out of the starlifter and into 140kts. They reported it as being the quickest left turn they ever did. :black_eye:

 

I did my training at the Parachute Training School, at HMAS Albatross. Many of the older riggers enjoyed sharing stories of their time at PTS Williamtown.

 

Cheers, Mathew

 

 

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Mathew, Yes I remember the C-141 Starlifter well. When I was at Richmond they would come in almost weekly, and we loved to watch them take off, and from the back watch the wings lift themselves up, and be almost flat at rotation, as opposed to drooping down like a chooks wings when parked.

 

They were packed to the ceiling with aluminum caskets of dead US servicemen from Viet Nam. Don't know how many each carried, but there were a lot. When they opened the big clamshell doors after parking, it was like a refrigerator inside. Don't know what height they had been cruising at !!. They would then hang an American flag at the back, and the pilots would dissappear for a couple of days. When they departed Richmond there were enroute to Hawaii.

 

Ah 'counting the rivits'...I was always afraid of doing that out of the Herc being a little guy, but never did as I always made a 'forcefull exit'.................................................................................................................Maj...

 

 

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