One of my passions in life has been parachutes for some reason. I first jumped off the back of my uncle’s truck with a trash bag overhead when I was about 5. I suppose the fascination comes from the fact that parachutes involve flight.
Parachutes occupied a significant portion of my life around age 12. I lived on a 1000’ hill that was sloped 10 degrees. I wanted to be able to rollerblade all the way down, but was a bit scared so I figured a parachute was the perfect solution.
They were rather rudimentary at first, consisting of 33 gal trash bags and cotton cord. I eventually graduated to vinyl tablecloths. They were much sturdier, looked cooler, and could be joined by ironing. Backpacks became a slight obsession at this time out of necessity. I think I had 8 or so.
Rollerchuting, as I called it, was really fun. Skate to the top of the hill. Begin rolling down. Deploy. Cut away if there is a car. Deploy reserve after car passed or if main didn’t open. It wasn’t long before I had rigged up collapsible pilot chutes, deployment bags, tandem chutes, static lines (for beginners), and many other things. Duct tape and trash bags became my two best friends from then on. Here are some of my endeavors with parachutes.
I bet a guy in the dorm $20 that I would have new lines attached and fly by the end of the month. Hello Andrew Jackson! This is why surplus chutes always have their lines cut.