SAEP wrote:Oh yes, airborne. My brother had a pretty good story.
First, for the legs out there (non-airborne) a few bits of terminology. A "streamer" is what happens if your chute won't open. Streams out behind you and doesn't do you a lick of good. Very sad. A "Mae West" occurs when one of the shrouds loops over the canopy, pulling it from a circle to a much smaller figure 8. With less area to catch air, you fall a good deal faster than you should. Again, very sad. Finally, a bit of technique. If you're not falling as fast as you might, and you need to deploy your reserve chute, your airspeed may not be high enough to reliably inflate the chute, so it's important to grab an edge of the chute to start it inflating. So.
After his third jump at Ft. Benning, my bother was standing around waiting to move out when another drop occurred. As luck would have it, one of the jumpers got a Mae West, and was coming down way too fast. The NCO with the bullhorn called out "Will the man with the Mae West activate his reserve chute!" Well, he tried, but the reserve streamered. As he approached the ground at speed the NCO called, "Will the man with the Mae West and the reserve streamer prepare for crash landing!"
As it happened , the jumper had been a circus acrobat before he ran away and joined the Army, and he executed a perfect PLF (parachute landing fall) and came up basically unharmed.
A hardcore bunch, those NCOs.
One of my favorites is......Shut up and crutch on!!
Lil was shocked, but the rest of us started laughing. A DI yelled that at one of his recruits limping behind the formation on crutches.
The Air Force was truly a kinder more gentle service......we are not allowed to watch any of Lil's friends video of AF bootcamp....because we always laugh.