John Hanson Schuman January 19, 1951 to March 21, 1998
The JHS Internet Jump Report
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July Jump report

filed 8/15/97

Everything came into alignment for me in the last 30 days and now I lie stunned in a parachuting reality way beyond even Smitty's wildest fantasy.

Two weeks before my 4-way VRW Camp scheduled for July17-20, I ran into the guy whose rig I had jumped for my last 800 jumps at the DZ. We were officers in the KSUPC in the 70's. Later, he became part of the roots of the WFFET, an early 20-way team featuring Byrd and Worth. Eventually, he became a doctor and gave up skydiving for OB/GYN in Hollywood in the early '80s. I commandeered his rig from a loft where he had left it in storage for over 5 years in 1990. I had modified his black and gold wonder hog for freestyle but he recognized it any way as we stood talking. I told him to take it and make a jump. He refused politely and didn't ask for the rig back so we left it at that. He had flown into the DZ airport in a 450 mph turbo low wing aircraft to visit his parents who were elderly. He said he usually landed at a more refined airport down the road, but decided to try a different airport at the last moment....strange chance meeting....

On the weekend before the 4-way VRW camp, Roger Nelson wanted to ferry an Otter through our DZ and said we should use it for the weekend. Everyone had known about this for a month, but, at the last moment, he called the DZ and canceled the Otter. With his next breath, however, he offers to do it the next weekend cut-rate since management would only have 5 days time to promote. When I found out, I started to boogie because I realized we had an Otter for the camp.

I took 4 days off from my day job and picked up Pat, Jan, and Shaylan from LA-la land at KCI at midnight on the 17th. The next day we took off for the DZ around noon and made 3 jumps from the Cessna 206. The first one we just played around to test each other, and and then Rob showed up and we started in on 4-way stuff. The last dive on the day we had a near miss 4 way as one grip broke opposite the last grip and I thought I saw the formation intact for an instant, ...2 people standing and 2 head down, (what I call a 50/50 round ). It built from a no grip exit from 11 ft agl. I shot video and did a so-so job of flying my slot and filming... you could see everyone together and real close for a long time.

Friday didn't go so well, but we got through it and everyone had a day. Rob couldn't be there but Wade showed up. On the last jump of the day, the first jump out of the Otter, we had another close call on the 50/50 round with him and Marion who just showed up. The fourth flyer got in his head-down slot but couldn't close. I shot some stills and got a nice silhouette of the 3-way compressed accordian with heavy clouds. Curious gold, amber and black arrangement...

On Saturday we went after 4-ways again out of the Otter. The weather turned hot and still. I had predicted it weeks before. In late May, Japan had a serious typhoon and I knew a sweet wave set would sweep over over KC in late July six weeks later. Another sur-real weather alignment too strange to comprehend. Saturday evening we tried a 6-way 50/50, but couldn't get the base together. We got the inner ring of upright players close and the outer ring of head-down grouped up but no one could take a grip because of fall rate vibrations. Everyone close together made for a spectacular view.

On Sunday, we did it all over again in the Otter until rain stopped us at 3pm. The last 4-way jump of the weekend, I got the still pictures Iwanted. I followed a head-down launched harness grip thing, which opened up into some kind of drill bit looking formation. It slowly turned as they flew it. I managed to stay with it on my head and captured some good stills of the action. As the dive progressed I worked on orbiting the formation sequence attempts from top to bottom. I managed to get around it twice. First in a dive, then on my back as I went underneath followed by a transition to upright as I went up then momentarily prone as I went over the top and back into the head-down. This wheel orbit was elliptical and when I got close I snapped pictures. What a thrill.!!!!

Later , as the rain continued we all sat around and watched videos and finally I got home in bed by midnight. Just before I went to bed, Pat decided to sell me his extra rig, a Javelin 4. so cheap I had to say yes. I had been waiting for such a deal.

The final piece in my month of Parachuting alignments came the last weekend of the month when I got to jump my new rig into a large airshow. I had to do a 10 way prone-mode snowflake with smoke plus shoot video. I flew my 8th slot perfectly, and later in the video I realized I had instinctively used some head-down action to shorten my glide path to the formation. We landed by the Navy Blue Angel aircraft and later got to sign autographs and hang out with the pilots.

I've made 1000 jumps since July of 1990. 800 out-of-the box...(150 freestyle and then the rest in the vertical position, mostly up right). I know it ain't shit compared to the high rollers and sponsored players, but I'm getting there now and it feels goooood. I did it with a lot of cross training and a lot of 24 hours a day for the last 5 years. My vertical adventure has taken me deep into the 3rd dimension. It's spilled over into my daily life as a carpenter and a husband and elderly care-giver.. It's like a Zen thing.

I started a 2 month vacation from skydiving the 1st of August just to sort things out and to catch up on my credit card. I'm looking forward to this fall. My next big project will be in Eloy at the freefly festival. I'm hoping to get in on the first ever Fallball tournament with Peter sky jhs

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August 96 Jump Report
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December 96 Jump Report
February 97 Jump Report
March 97 Jump Report
April 97 Jump Report
May 97 Jump Report
June 97 Jump Report
July 97 Jump Report
October 97 Jump Report
November 97 Jump Report
December 97 Jump Report
January 98 Jump Report
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Web Site Posted in 1998.