A tandem jump, an accident, and a bond that will last forever.
August 1, 2014 3:37 PM Subscribe
There are thousands of things that can go wrong during a sky dive.
posted by ApathyGirl (26 comments total)
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Usually, Dave Hartsock packed his own parachute. He could just about do it with his eyes shut: straighten the lines, roll the canopy, fold in the outside, press out the excess air, then crease it into a package and carefully place the fabric in the deployment bag.
That was for solo jumps, though. Leading tandem sky dives was different. The canopies were so big, and the pressure so great to move one load of customers after another, that instructors rarely packed their own chutes.
And this Saturday afternoon, Aug. 1, 2009, was crazy as always. For the crew at the Skydive Houston drop zone in Waller County, Texas, it was all they could do to get customers up and back down in time to keep up with demand. Dave had made his first jump at 9 a.m. and five more since. Now, at 4 p.m., he was getting ready to clock out for the day when Todd Bell, the drop-zone manager, approached. Do us a solid, he said. Can you take up one more jumper?
Dave was tired and sweating intensely; the Texas air was still above 100º, even late in the afternoon. But he was game. He took a slug from a bottle of Gatorade, grabbed a pre-packed parachute off the wall peg and turned to his final jumper of the day, a blonde, grandmotherly type. With his broad shoulders and close-cropped brown hair, Dave could be imposing. Which is why, as always, he deployed his best smile upon meeting the customer.
The smile told her that she could relax. That he had this. That everything was going to be O.K.
from CBS Evening News.
, from DailyKos.