Diamond Quest Camp Journal

Skydive Dallas, TX Jun. 27th

by Ricardo Castillo

In certain meteorological conditions, such as those, which favor strong surface heating and high humidity, there is much upward movement of the air accompanied by the formation of cumulus clouds towering to considerable heights. In the vicinity of such clouds flying is usually rough or bumpy. Thus is Texas CReW, so Texas Turbulence is what we are.

This weekend there were no new students. Lee had one of his friends, Carter Wilson, from Skydive Dallas come play with us. Our first jump on Saturday which only produced a 4 way diamond, in which I was pilot with Peter Schaller and Lee Hardesty as wings and Steve Petto as lock up. On this jump Wendy Faulkner, Tina Femea, and Carter did not dock. Our second jump I was pilot again and Carter was left wing pin. Peter docked a very late right wing. [ Wendy said that Peter can only pilot and can't dock. Peter was going to give me money to keep this out of the camp journal, but I left Skydive Dallas before Peter could give me any money.] Carter and I were high on Peter and I should have taken the offset down to Peter. Tina locked up the wedge and Lee and Wendy hung row three wings. Steve was there but out. Carter got a taste of Texas Turbulence on this jump. Carter did a good piece of flying by staying with the formation. This was Carter's last jump with us; he had to go to work at the DZ.

Our third jump put Peter back on top with Wendy as right wing and Lee as left wing, and I locked up the wedge. Steve docked a right wing on me to form the letter 'Q' . Peter rotated and hung a left wing on me to form the letter 'X'. Lee and Wendy were now on top. They rotated to form the letter 'Q' again. Now I was on top. When I rotated this left Peter and Steve on top. The formation was in a slow right turn. I docked a left wing on Lee to form the letter 'X' again.

The next jump we lived up to our new name (Lee came up with the name) Texas Turbulence. Lee was on top with Wendy on left and Peter on right wings, and I locked up the wedge. Steve hung a left wing on Peter and Tina locked Steve and me up. Lee rotated from on top and then top docked Steve in not so smooth air. This formed the letter 'W'. Tina was dropped and Wendy was bounced off and came back to lock Steve and me up.

The last jump of the day found us doing the same jump, almost. This time Steve was to top dock Lee. Steve made an approach and aborted. His second approach was a little inside and Steve got sucked into Peter's canopy and aborted behind the formation. After Steve was gone I made the sound of a train whistle. That's right, that was the mid-night special coming across. Lee got a kick out of this.

Sunday found us chasing a freebag and following Peter with Tina's main wrapped around him and Tina under her reserve. Peter said that this was his doing by not letting Tina go on the first go around with her main. This put Tina out of action and gave her a chance to leave early and fly back to Houston around some thunderstorms. Peter mentioned that our record of no cut-a-ways at a DQ camp at Skydive Dallas was broken. Both Tina and Peter were all right.

Dan Briggs was able to play with us, and on the first jump he was able to catch the freebag.

Our second jump put Lee on top, Wendy left wing, Peter right wing and I locked up the wedge. Steve hung a right row three wing on Peter and Dan locked Steve and me up. Lee rotated and top docked Steve again and we formed the letter 'W' again. Peter rotated and we now had an inverted wedge. Peter never redocked.

During some of these jumps Wendy was taking 360 deg. panoramic pictures without a camera. On one jump Peter was pin and Wendy was still taking pictures. That was OK because Peter was having a good laugh.

On this jump Peter was on top with Lee on left wing, Wendy right wing and Dan as lock-up. I hung a left wing on Dan and Steve a right wing. Peter rotated and Texas Turbulence showed up again. Our formation was being bumped around and Peter was there and then he was gone. Peter reset and put the dock on Steve and me and then Peter was gone again. On his last dock Peter ended up center docking Steve and then Steve and Peter were gone along with Wendy and myself. Lee and Dan were still in an offset. Peter docked on Dan's left and I on his right. Lee piloted the wedge down a corridor of clouds (one of many this weekend) and rotated as Steve locked up the wedge. Lee hung a right wing on Steve. After this jump we decided to let all the bad air go away.

The last jump of the day put Peter back on top with Wendy on his left and Lee on right wing and Dan as lock-up. Steve hung a right wing on Dan and I a left wing. Peter rotated and locked Steve and me up. This put Wendy and Lee as captain and first officer again. Wendy and Lee rotated and docked on Peter. Dan was now pilot, he rotated and the tongue of his left tennis shoe hung on my canopy and pulled me forward and out. This bounced Steve and me off. Dan was able to lock up the wedge. I also was able to dock on Dan's left. As Steve was on approach we starburst the formation.

So my sisters and brothers of the darkness, lets fly when we can. Lets show that DQ is not only big diamonds.

Jeff Cornelius, Kyle Cornelius - flat lining, Mike is on medical leave, and Dudley Tew.

Blue Skies and Big Diamonds