Johan de Wet of Rooiplaas USA Canopy sent the following report.
Five South African parabats (Derek Greef, Edward Jeffery, Tony Deering, James Buckley, and Johan de Wet), currently residing in the USA, attended a refresher and retraining jumping course during the week of 17 – 22 October 2022 at the Marion county airport in Dunnellon, situated on the West Coast of Florida. Parachutists who are current or recently completed their training jump here once a year. The refresher training was done on Monday (17th) and Tuesday (18th) in harnesses hanging on blocks and tackles, which included emergency procedures in the harnesses. Our initial jumps were out of a Cessna, and the later jumps were from a Dakota. As long as you jump once in two years and your logbook is signed, you don’t have to redo the training.
Our ex-SADF Parabats are highly esteemed and favored due to our intensive training – even the Chief in Charge referred to our experience. We were treated like celebrities! The SA bats jumped first, and the newly qualified students jumped the day thereafter. We jumped with the SF-10A parachute, which is quite steerable and nice to jump with, and even the landings were soft – much better than any of the chutes that we ever jumped with in the past. We packed our own parachutes under supervision. You had to jump with your own packed chute – a bit stressful, to say the least. We gladly paid the $25 to the chute packers for the remainder of the course! On Thursday afternoon (20th), Friday (21st), and Saturday (22nd), we jumped from the Dak. It was an absolutely awesome week, with great memories, camaraderie, and the jumps were phenomenal.
The USA canopy is quite active, with 24 ex-bats who are proudly Rooiplaas members.
EX ALTO VINCIMUS!