The week at Spring Fling in Florida
Spring Fling Questionnaire from Brian Pangburn!
Sunday, April 9th
The last day of Spring Fling started with a plan for Canadian/European 9ways to fly side-by-side: a friendship jump in the spirit of the last few days. So, national anthems guided us all the way up to 14,500 feet! Due to some technical ‘CReW stuff’ the formations did not build beside each other: it had something to do with the ‘r’ in CReW. So the initial “cross the ocean” of three Europeans to the Canadian side and vica versa could not take place. Thanks to Martin Dumas, the irregular attempt of your reporter to eventually join up with the Canadian formation was accepted under a loud protesting starburst call from the rest of the Canadian formation.
The second jump was a fully integrated Canadian/Europe/USA 20way dive. The 20way flew well and was broken up into a “Blackhole”. It was a nice formation for most to end this Fling, while some of us went for another dive. That was a 16way, which sadly involved Pasi tearing his white 1000-jump L160 on opening. Although his canopy flew, it out-sank the formation leaving the 4th place open for Frans to fill. Good CReW drill meant that slots were easily shuffled and we ended the dive with a smooth 15-way wedge.
In the meantime, Mike Lewis had officially titled himself the whiner of the event, not being able to find a real winning whiner of this week and yes… probably still whining a bit about not having flown the night record. So, that means we must have had a great team of CReW dogs this week if one of the hosts and organizers declares himself the crybaby.
Writing about organizers, I hereby thank Brian Pangburn and his team of load organizers, formation pilots and camera men for a well organized and executed event. Also, compliments to the Lake Wales staff. Jennifer, thank you for taking such good care of us, even serving during the debriefs, real class! Betty, thank you for hosting us and planning our loads as best you could, you run a nice Drop Zone. I’d also like to thank Sarah not only for her Florida host friendliness by serving us with healthy snacks and fruits to get us through the day, but also for re-editing my text. We thank the Americans for this optimal start to the CF-Season 2017, this great boogie and the hospitality for CReW dogs from all over the world.
Signing off from blue Florida skies,
Saturday, April 8th
Unfortunately, the night jump record was cancelled as it was interfering too much with the boogie. The number of participants was very high and therefore it was better to take care of the full organization for the boogie. The next possible date for night CReW with record attempts for those who qualify on the day jumps could be November 23-26 at the Vampire Boogie, Lake Wales, Florida.
This was the last full day of Spring Fling CReW for most of us, and for the crEUw dogs it was indeed a very good day as well.
Frans started the day with a balloon jump, a three-way balloon/CReW jump with Eduardo from Argentina and Scott from the USA. They are now claiming the world record-CReW balloon jump. But, balloon jumping in Florida is not just skydiving…. you are really getting the whole package when you have to drag the balloon basket out of the Florida swamps. Still, the effort seems to match the joy, especially if the balloon pilot treats you to a steak takeout meal afterwards.
During this swim-safari-expedition the rest of the CReW dogs were doing some hard-core CReW: filling the skies above Lake Wales airport with chevrons, blackholes, pieces-pieces and of course boxes and diamonds small and big. Although lots of slots where exchanged, due to brainlocks or to small misconceptions, we still flew our formations as planned. The day ended with a sunset 36way diamond flown for his first time by pilot Eric Gallan. A job well done. Of the other 35, 10 were crEUw dogs. Thanks to Pasi for his persistence in convincing the event organizers to plan this dive.
Tomorrow will be a short day for most of us because of traveling. For now most of us are satisfied and looking forward to our European season to come.
Blue Florida skies,
Friday, April 7th
The night jump world record was planned for tonight. Hard decisions had to be made to select people out of the available 50+ interested CReW dogs. The selected jumpers would have to perform well in the training jumps during the day to stay in the final selection for the night jump. 5 out of the 10 crEUw dogs were selected for the training jumps, so we can be very proud and satisfied. During the windy and turbulent day-jumps prior to the actual night record jump, Mike Lewis took charge of the training and final selection. The last training jump before the record attempt was to be a 36way. 6 people would have to be cut from that and thanked for their efforts as the planned record was only a 30way. During the long wait ahead of this jump, Jason prepared himself mentally, trusting me with his thoughts that his whole row would probably be de-selected.
But too bad, the forecast had been temperamental and the wind has remained strong and gusty throughout the day. So, the night jump and final practice jump had to be cancelled. Our crEUw dogs Szymon Chełmicki, Frans van Wijngaarden, Pasi Pirttikosky and Jason Hobbs were kept in suspense for the next 24 hours.
Thursday, April 6th
Today the Fling Spring event officially started. With almost 60 CF skydivers from Brazil to Canada and Europe, and some Americans still to arrive, it is the event to be at.
After bad weather in the morning the first load was up at one o’clock. Everybody made at least three jumps and many new contacts are made.
We are looking forward to tomorrow, especially tomorrow night when a new world night record might be flown.
Blue Florida skies!
Wednesday, April 5th
The shoe extractor on the left with his victim on the right. Fun is when you can still laugh afterwards.
Tuesday, April 4th
Florida mornings are very CReW friendly. Unfortunately the afternoon turbulence throws a spanner in the works. Yet we fall into a warm bath of friendship and good learning during the jumps and briefings. With the arrival of Marion and Andreas (Janky), we are now complete.
Dirtdive picture from Chico of the Euro group with Jim Rasmussen as Load Organizer. Air to air pictures from Szymon Chelmicki.
Blue Florida skies,
Monday, April 3rd
This is the third day Frans, Lennert and Jason are doing CReW
- Two Polish jumpers started yesterday, the others had too much sunburn from Miami Beach 🏖😂
- Pasi and I started today.
- Marion and Janky are still on their way.
Met vriendelijke groeten