I am thankful Jim Crouch of Virginia Skydiving Center invited me to participate in the DARE demo again this year. BONUS...Matt was jumping too! Before we went to the airport, we stopped to check the ground winds at the landing area. I didn't want to come up short this year.

Waving Good Bye To Jim The police were setting up the cones when we got there. We'd have a 150 foot square - about 1/2 of a football field. Sweet! Based on the winds, I decided I'd fly a pattern with the river on my left.

We met Jim and the other jumpers at the Shannon Airport home of the Fredericksburg Skydiving Center. It wasn't long before we were in the plane. A fellow jumper was at the landing area with a wind indicator and he put an X on the field to let us know when it was time to exit.

Matt left the plane first followed by Ben and Vince. Since I have the lightest wing loading, I was last out of the plane. I waved goodbye to Jim as I was leaving.

Landing Area DARE Demo

I was surprised to see the crowd gathered at the end of the landing area. Before we got on the plane, we were under the impression that the crowd would be along the river side of the landing area. I watched as the other jumpers landed crosswind and parallel to the crowd.

Under CanopyWhile I was under canopy, I could see more kids running over to the landing area to get a closer look. In lieu of following Matt's pattern, I took my time and flew a pattern over the crowd to add an element of excitement for the kids.

As I flew over the kids, they started cheering and when I landed, I could hear the entire crowd behind me. It was awesome! 

Over the next 30 seconds, I had some mixed emotions. I could see Matt kneeling down next to Vince. Silly Vince was lying on his stomach. I wasn't sure exactly why.


A few people came on to the field and walked past me. It turns out they were EMT's. Apparently, Vince had a bad landing. Yikes!

I took off my rig and went to meet the kids. While the EMTs checked out Vince, Matt, Ben and I signed autographs. The kids were so excited to meet us.

DARE demo picture

A few of them wanted to get their pictures taken with me. They made me feel like a rock star!

One of the parents emailed the picture of me under canopy and also this one of me with a few of the girls. Awesome!

When we finished, we went back to the airport to drop off Ben and Clint. Since we had an extra driver, Matt drove Vince's car over to the hospital. While Matt was inside dropping off the keys, I picked up lunch.

When I got back with the food, Matt was ready to go. On the drive to Orange, we traded text messages with Vince. He was getting a CT. While we were at the drop zone, I kept checking to see if he had the results, but there wasn't any word.

I managed to get 4 jumps in before we had to leave. When we were packing the car, Matt realized we forgot to call the Wyoming balloon pilot! I was supposed to call him in between the demo jump and Orange. Oh no! I am usually so responsible!