F-35 Pron

I’ve never been a fan of the F-35 (Too expensive) but it is a pretty cool aircraft.

Gravity Check

I already posted one of the great shots of my son Connor’s first tandem skydive with me but I couldn’t resist letting you all see this snapshot of us just leaving the plane.  Connor wanted to do back flips on exit but as you can see his form needs just a little bit of work.

More Oops

Wow, was that dumb!  The plane was over loaded with four big adults, dirt runway in the mountains, hot mid-day and a high density altitude.  Doesn’t get much worse than that.  Oh, except that he had the mixture knob all the way in (full rich) a definite no no when operating at high altitude.   When the plane lifted off, settled back on the runway then lifted off again that should have been the pilots clue to abort, but no he just had to keep going.  Lucky they’re not all dead.

 

Demo Time

Getting ready for another demonstration jump into a “Tee it up for the Troops” event.  I’ve been bringing in the American flag for a number of these golf events this summer because it’s the least I can do to help support our veterans and their families.  Seeing the flag brought in under canopy really makes the event special but nothing beats the time that a Bald Eagle flew with me for a few minutes while I towed the flag over the spectators.  When I landed everyone was amazed that I was able to train an eagle to fly with me like that.  As tempting as it was to take credit for it I admitted to everyone that it was just a coincidence.  The veterans thought that made it even more amazing.  If you’d like to help support the cause go to    teeitupforthetroops.org  for more information.

Season Two!!!

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Well, it’s official.  the Discovery Channel show in on has been picked up for season two!  We start filming in September and are supposed to be done by January.  My daughter Claire has been signed on to be my co-pilot on at least one of the trips and maybe more if she does a good job and looks good on camera, as if there’s any doubt.  I really can’t wait to do a ferry flight with my daughter.  She grew up being bored to death listening to my stories about flying over the ocean and now she’ll have some boring stories of her own.  Circle of life and all that.  Hopefully my son Connor will be joining me next year.

Vertical World Record

Sorry for the lack of new posts the last week but I’ve been at Skydive Chicago getting checked out to fly the Twin Otter.  While I was there a large group of jumpers were attempting to set a new world record for the largest linked formation of skydivers in vertical flight.  Which means they were all falling head first holding hands, not as easy as it sounds.  The plane I was getting checked out in was part of the six plane formation used to haul 142 skydivers up to 18,000 feet for the record attempts.  As a rookie Otter pilot I wasn’t allowed to fly the formation loads but I did get to ride along on one of the attempts.  Actually the view from the ground was spectacular, and the sound of 142 skydivers falling through the sky at 180 Mph was incredible.  On Friday they successfully linked 142 jumpers together but when the judges reviewed the video they found that one jumper had the wrong grip, it must be perfect.  The next day the organizers cut a few of the jumpers that weren’t doing so well and went up with 138 for one more try.  With just seconds to spare the last jumper took his grip and set a new world record.  The party that night was epic.

 

Black Betty and the jumpers landing after one of the sunset record attempts.