Weed Whip

Finally had some good weather this weekend and we took that as a sign that the air should be filled with falling bodies.  Saturday the Northern Planes Skydiving League held a 4 way competition here at Skydive Twin Cities and ten teams battled it out over the Wisconsin countryside.  Despite an overcharging battery problem in the Twin Otter we managed to finish the competition in one day leaving Sunday open for big ways.  The jumpers put together some really nice formations and capped the day off with this beautiful fifteen way weed whip to celebrate Karen’s 300th skydive.

70 Years Between Jumps

Yesterday was the annual Special Forces day at Skydive Twin Cities.  Every year a group of old SF guys and assorted retired Army grunts come out to the drop zone to make a skydive and tell war stories, mostly to tell war stories.  Among the group of old men trying to one up each other with tails of daring do was a ninety year old ex-paratrooper named Ernie.  When I met Ernie I shook his hand rather gently so as not to break anything in his old withered hand only to have my hand crushed with a grip like iron.  “What kind of handshake is that for man?  I hate a man with a weak hand shake!”  Ernie said as I desperately tried to match his grip.  Ernie then went on to tell us about the last time he jumped out of a plane.  It was June 6th 1944 and he left the plane over a little town in France called St. Mere Eglise with his buddies in the 82nd. Airborne.  He went on to tell us about that long night and what it was like jumping under fire at night.  The weather yesterday wasn’t great and we had to wait for a few hours for the clouds to clear.  When we told Ernie what we were waiting for he gave us a look that was impossible to misunderstand, “PUSSYS!” We finally got him up and he had the time of his life.  When he landed one of my staff, a stunning twenty five year old blonde woman, came up to shake his hand and congratulate him.  Ernie brushed her hand aside, planted a big wet kiss on her mouth and left her blushing in his wake.  What a stud.

Arch Part ll

This is what happens when a student doesn’t arch.  At this point in the skydive the other Jump Master has already fallen off leaving me to try and get the student stable by myself.  It might seem like this is my worst nightmare, wrestling a two hundred pound man thirteen thousand feet in the air going one hundred forty miles an hour with the student’s life on the line.  But it’s the kind of challenge and adrenalin rush I live for.  It’s also why I get the big bucks.


































An arch is what keeps skydivers stable in free fall.  By the look of the first jump student picture above obviously wasn’t paying attention in class.  If you look at his legs you can see that his knees are down, giving him a body position one would not call aerodynamic.  Most of the time the two jump masters can control the student enough so that one of them can let go with one hand and give a few helpful hand signals to improve the situation.  But some times you have all you can do to just keep the student from flipping over.   Mark, on the the bottom, and I really had our hands full on the exit and things went steadily from bad to worse.  Tomorrow I’ll show you all what happened next.


Interesting shot of me a split second after letting go of the Otter.  It looks like the tail is going to smite me but I’m pretty sure it missed, I think, I don’t really remember.  I don’t even remember the dive..hmmmm.