Funnies - Sky Diver?
So there I was, flying along in the back of a large military cargo plane in charge of the worst looking bunch of ruffians you ever saw. Each was set up with two parachutes and the pilot had just told me we were slowing to 190 Knots. I deploy the air spoiler doors watching as these big perforated panels slowly swing out into the slip stream to let the jumpers get clear of the fuselage. Getting on the PA and thinking these guys are crazy, realizing most are reservists and can not believe their luck in being able to jump time after time and get paid for doing so. I know they are utterly crazy having taken my two mandatory jumps and writing the whole thing off to an experience I really did not want to repeat. Regardless, with all lined up to go just awaiting the green light from the navigator to make sure they are over the drop zone, I keep looking that bunch over. The fellow on the end is this big burly cocky guy that I kind of instantly measure real close wondering how long it would take for me to put him down if I had to. Although by nature I am a pretty peaceful person and have an incredibly long fuse, once set off I am rumored to not be one to mess with. Seems I was jumped by a gang in Southern California a couple of years before and put three in the hospital with permanent injuries before the police pulled me off them. Something about multiple advanced belts in marshal arts and having some of the fastest reflexes of all the people ever admitted into the Air Force Academy. Regardless, keeping an eye on this fellow who seemed to be doing about the same to me when the buzzer went off and the green light came on.
They popped out the door quick and orderly as the later out the more work to make a perfect landing. Each was wearing their civilian jump chutes plus a reserve making them more than a little bulky to fit through that small door. One of my jobs was to make sure each cleared just right. All went through clean except this burly fellow who appeared to get his reserve chute caught, so I stepped over to help him clear. He grabbed both of the shoulder straps on my parachute and fell backward taking me with him. OH SH as I went falling slowly backward doing somersaults with him. While looking at his name tag, I was seriously debating whether it would be better to pull out my 38 and just do Sgt. Slater in or to instead make sure his sex life was permanently ended when he pulled my rip cord. I was left hanging far above him as he vanished below laughing. I landed dead center on the X just to show those savages I could. That was no easy feat at all as my big round chute was a bathtub compared to their sport chutes. I then went looking for him, but he was long gone by the time I finally made it to the ground.
I would like to say that was the end of it all, but you know it is not over till the paperwork is done. In this case, as a senior flight instructor with tons of experience had fallen out of the air. None of my options looked good. I could just tell the truth and end up costing that fellow his career right on the spot. I could make up a story about being sucked out which would immediately ground all our planes until they figured out why. Seems the Air Force really got quite serious with people getting sucked out of their planes, or I could just sort of vanish and reappear back at the base a tad late. Not quite as easy as it sounds as I was sitting in the New Mexico desert and needed to get back to my base near San Francisco. I quickly grabbed the ground controllers radio and notified my pilot that I was on the ground and safe, but kind of needed a ride home. The ground controller in charge of his paratroopers handed me two fifths and thanked me for being a good sport. My pilot laughed and decided that training flight needed to make a touch and go approach as landing on that desert field was a no no. Well, the plane touched and was still rolling as I jumped in the crew door, handed my pilot his fifth, then went and laid down in my crew bunk where I belonged when in the air, which was sound asleep.