Fall 1996
Volume 3.3


'96 Recap

Anniversaries, festivals, and records! This year has been one of high visibility for CReW. In addition to the regular (almost) weekly camps conducted through the year, DQ was a part of a couple of significant events this spring and summer: USPA’s 50th Anniversary and the Ballunar Festival. In addition, our Texas DQers set a new state record and CReW Challenge established two new world records in Germany. More details on all these events follow.


DQ will be holding another world record setting event next summer, from 28 June to 6 July 1997, at Skydive Dallas. Much has been happening behind the scenes in preparation for DQ97. The selection of participants has already begun, with preliminary inviations being mailed out in early November. Final selection will be completed by April 1997.

Our host DZ, Skydive Dallas, has considerable experience in staging similar events: a world class facility, highly professional staff, and owner and operator, Dr. Lee Schlictemeier, who is a very enthusiastic supporter of CReW and DQ.

Once again, the Prodigy by Flight Concepts International will be the exclusive canopy used for the record jumps. This time we will be using four canopy sizes: 225, 200, 175, and 150. Seventy participants will be invited to achieve our goal of building a world record 64-way diamond.

DQ Organization

The new year brings a change in the organizational makeup of DQ. Nasser Basir is the President, while Frank Matrone is Vice President and Treasurer. Laura Ausel is Secretary, and Scott Fiore (current world record holder) is a Board Member and is Camp Coordinator. Joe O’Leary continues as the Training Coordinator.

Significant Events of 1996

USPA’s 50th Anniversary

USPA held it’s 50th anniversary celebration in Manassas, VA, near Washington, DC over the Fourth of July weekend. Ten DQ members helped celebrate by flying diamonds over a cheering crowd. Other skydivers included the U.S. Accuracy Team, as well as other freefallers. This was a great public relations event for USPA and skydiving in general.

Texas CReW Record

On 24 August, over Houston, Texas, DQ members established a new state record, while putting on a great show. The event was the annual Ballunar Festival, held over Johnson Space Center. The new record was completed when the cameraman, Chuck Smith, docked 25th. Ten dives were made over that weekend, and all were spectacular for the crowd. For a finale, the last dive was a 16-way, which broke into four 4-way diamonds, and each diamond in turn did a starburst. We expect to be invited back next year.

53-Way CReW Record Set

CReW enthusiasts from around the world met at Kassel-Calden dropzone in Kassel, Germany over the week of 1 September 1996. This event was organized by Stephan Hauser from Switzerland and Mike Lewis from the U.S. The group flew Performance Design Lightnings.

On the 4th day of the event a 49-way diamond with a stinger set the new world record at 50. The following day, a 56-way was built, but held for only 2.3 seconds. On the last day of the event, the group built a new world record 53-way with row 8 wings docked and locked. Congratulations to all who made the new world record possible!

The following members of DQ92 and DQ94 were on these records: Chas Bunch, Vern Bates, Scott Fiore, Lilian Goodin, Alan Gutshall, and Pasi Pirttikoski.

’96 Camps

Although there were no record attempts this year, DQ has been working hard on promoting CReW and getting team members ready for the next record attempt. Since January, DQ has held over 24 novice/training camps at DZs around the country. Attendance at the camps varied between 9 and 25 skydivers. Between March and October, monthly camps were held at Peachstate Skydiving in Georgia, United Parachute Club in Pennsylvania, and Skydive Dallas in Texas. DQ also held camps in Clewiston and Palatka in Florida; San Antonio, Bryan, and Houston in Texas; Rifle and Longmont in Colorado; and Baldwin in Wisconsin. There have been many firsts for both novices and seasoned CReW dogs in 1996. DQ is currently in the process of finalizing the camp schedule for early 1997 as we work towards another record.

Upcoming Camps

One of the most successful aspects of DQ is the introduction and dissemination of knowledge throughout the skydiving community. The training received at the camps is vital for developing new talent and also for preparing participants for new world records.

A schedule of new camps is included with this newsletter. With the winter months approaching, we will hold the camps in areas with warmer climates. Large turnouts are expected for the Eloy camp in December and the Florida camps in January and February. Plans are also in the works for 36-way practice in early spring in Georgia and possibly in North Carolina. Please call the camp leader for any camps you plan to attend.

Video/Photographers Wanted

Good video/photographers are always in demand for both the camps and the record attempts. If you or someone you know is interested in making a commitment to DQ, please contact Nasser Basir. DQ will contract these services for upcoming camps and DQ97.

Tragedy at the Nationals

The CReW Nationals held at Eloy, AZ in mid October this year turned out to be the most accident prone and fatal in history. At the end of one jump, a competitor decided to do a low riser turn on landing and ended up running into another jumper who was on final. Their canopies entangled and both ended up striking the ground without inflated canopies. One smashed his heal and broke his leg, the other had a severe concussion.

On another jump, Steve Morrel and Jim Koontz collided when Jim opened with a 180� off heading opening. Steve was killed on impact; Jim died after being in a coma for several days.

Our deepest sympathies go out to the families and teammates of both Steve and Jim.

Safety Reminder

In the event of a malfunction or cutaway, at least one person must always follow the person(s) under reserve. Second priority goes to the cutaway canopies. And finally, someone should follow the reserve free bag and pilot chute.

Put yourself in the cutaway jumper’s position. Consider how appreciative you would be to have someone follow you in case you have to land a reserve in a hazardous area, and also to know that someone is following your canopy.

Last modified : Friday, November 22, 1996 - 11:52:24 AM