by Frank Matrone
The Skydive Dallas dropzone is well run, well staffed. It is one of skydivings premier facilities. Dr. Lee and his crew happily go out of their way to accommodate patrons and guests whenever they can.
Diamond Quest held a successful camp there Memorial Day weekend. Nasser handled most of the Friday night lecture and ground instruction Saturday. His presence was really appreciated when some late comers showed up Saturday afternoon and needed the lecture and canopies. The Friday night lecture is a must. In the future late comers will be asked to attend another camp. This is only fair to the other participants. Ted and Frank attended from PA, Scott from CO, and Peter, Lee and Jeff from TX. Having enough experienced people show up really helped the camp run smoothly. The new instructional video developed by DQ staff debuted Friday night. This tape is a big help in covering all the bases.
Eleven novices or first timers showed up and (as is the custom on the range) seldom was heard a discouraging word. It was great to witness the accelerated learning curve experienced by the attendees. Everybody learned from one jump to the next.
Only one jump was made Friday night but it was significant. It showed that the new Prodigy 150 could plug a slot between two 200s with no problem. The 150 adds more advantages than disadvantages with regard to the next record formation. Thanks go to FCI for the time and effort to develop the 150.
The first two or three jumps Saturday went better than expected. The usual problems were experienced by jumpers becoming used to the Prodigy and learning DQ technique. Several smaller sequential dives were completed and a few larger dives were attempted with only one or two docks short. Sunday was hampered by low clouds and wind but two CReW loads did get off and the rest of the time was used wisely with impromptu lectures and one bounce. Those who were able to stay for Monday were treated to two more training dives, lots of good vibes and para-hiking demonstrations.
This TX camp was well worth the travel time. There were good times and good people, no wraps and no cut-aways. Texas is becoming a new hot bed for CReW. It certainly will continue to grow and can only get better!!
by Michael Masterov
It wasn't a weekend for big formations. The camp started out with 14 on Saturday morning, with two more joining that afternoon. The weather cooperated that day, and we made 5 jumps. Sunday was very windy, with lots of jumpers scared by the low altitude collapse of a Nova. We only made two jumps, and people were starting to drop out. By Monday morning we were down to 8, making two more jumps for a total of 9.
The successful dives of the weekend were 4-way diamonds. These were completing almost every time, despite the fact that some novices to offset CRW (myself included) were learning to fly offset pin and hang a wing. More than once the diamonds were broken down to a stairstep and the lockup got his chance to hang a wing, but a second completion proved elusive.
Some bigger formations were attempted, but were usually one or two short of completion. There were absolutely no incidents that weekend - no mals, no cutaways, no wraps, no injuries.
We did have a bit of excitement on the first dive Monday, as the pilot had a toggle wrap around the riser on opening. But the pilot and pin swapped slots, and the 8-way built to 6, with one out by only inches as breakoff was called. On the second attempt the dive built to 7.
A good time was had by all, and those of us new to offset CRW got to learn a lot. I'm definitely coming back.