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History of Skydiving in SA

I cannot remember the time .....maybe it was around 1987 I think. We were out at the Mmabatho boogie. We were jumping out of a Herc. Which is always great. Unfortunately I was on a load that was put up at the front of the plane - this is a no no for me as I cannot keep up when we exit. That was always a good reason to jump on Dave's load. I was kindly always put at the ramp for the first out.

Up we went and climbed fast as only the Herc can do. When we came on jump run "On" went the red light - everyone up and final preparation with the oxygen bottled passed around one more time. Get bunched up and green light on for "GO" Exit was pretty fast with the run-in speed of the Herc and no-one wants to miss the DZ. I have two speeds and that is slow and stop. I was at top speed slow and lagging behind by about three metres when the rest of my group exited and I just went out at my usual dead slow pace!

The formation was a long way away from me and I was in a fast track (now I move as fast as anyone) but alas ......not fast enough. I just went and went and went but to no avail and I did not make it to the formation and we were all a long way from the DZ. Everyone in a track now I turned and tracked away from the others that were now under me. I open and realised that I have a long walk ahead of me.

Coming down I saw the fence and thought I could go over it. I could not change direction or I would have frapped so I was to ride it in or nothing . Down....down I came and the fence came closer and closer and me coming to the terrifying realisation that I was going to hit the fence which was three metres high .........WHAM I hit it and my peg leg went through and there I was hanging upside down.

Great - now what !! I could not get my leg off. I would have fallen and broken my neck. So I just hung there. There was no-one around. Everyone in my group had done a better job of tracking in the right direction and moved faster under canopy. I hung there for about half an hour until other jumpers realised that I was missing and came to my rescue and got me out of my precarious situation.

A long walk back and pack up for another jump .....but this time on the ramp first!!

SUBMITTED BY: Dave Barr D319

Hi All

The ball has been put in motion for the 2009 SA Skydiving reunion / celebration which is going to generate awareness, images and content for our book !

March 7th is the big day, and the place to be is the Pretoria Skydiving Club (Wonderboom Airport) starting from around midday. Unlike the smaller club reunions of the past, this is going to be a gathering of skydivers and ex-skydivers from all over the country and, hopefully, all over the world. Apart from the current generation of skydivers, it is our hope that we will be joined for the day and night, by the men and woman that filled the skies during the 60's, 70's the 80's and 90's, and who have now stopped.

By the nature of reunions, the more that confirm, the more others will join in, and before long we will have a day that will in itself go down in history as the biggest get together of South Africa sky people ever ! It is an opportunity to make contact again with friends from some of the very best times of your life !!

Please help us to make this day huge. We are working on having historic gear on show, a canopy swoop demonstration from some of the top canopy pilots ....and more ! Details to follow.

We look forward to seeing all of you. In the meantime please keep those stories rolling in.

Please use only one address:

Those registered with Facebook can search "2009 SA Skydiving Reunion" to view the growing group.

Blue Skies !

Terryl (Cliffe) D 342 and Jeff (Ayliffe) D 374

World Cup ’74 Programme Cover:            Ashley Leach D46 (blue helmet) SA Airforce
                                                                 Jakkals de Jager D32 (Red helmet) SA Army
Photo:                                                       Greg Sinclair David D126