f r e e k f l y - s h o e
the shoe story:
october 21st, 2000 over lincoln, ri.....the shoe incident occurred.
we launched a 5 way tube dive out of the caravan. to my right, and rear float was jeff. i guess with the tube and the way the bar is on the outside it got a little crowded in the door and somehow he caught his ankle on the door jam. it was one of those things you could feel during the exit how it just didn't go off smoothly. when i released the tube and looked down to check it i could see his right shoe flying away. after making sure the tube was ok, i burst out laughing and turned to him as he was doing the same. i've seen several people loose shoes over time but this one was just perfect so it made it that much funnier.
after we broke the round i was flying the tube and was trying to get over to jeff and dock on his foot. really in the back of my mind i was either going to steal his sock or take his other shoe, but i never could quite get to it. it was funny when all of a sudden he realized what i was trying to do and i just watched him get away quick shacking his head....oh well.
so in the back of your mind right now you're saying that this story really isn't all that interesting. let me mention a few more things about the jump before you start drawing conclusions......it was quite windy that day at lincoln. actually, it was one of the longest spots i've ever (intentionally) had. i know because i spotted the plane since i was jumping the tube. for those of you who know the layout at lincoln, we were half way between 295 and bryant college. a good few miles out and very windy, right down to 3 grand. the funny thing about that day was that the winds aloft were fairly consistent from 12 grand to 3 grand. when i opened i was still on the other side of 295. no worries, plenty of wind to get me back home.
here's where the story gets interesting. as i was on my downwind leg setting up for landing i was just about to pass over the packing tent which is at the corner of the landing area. as i was scanning the sky for canopies i caught something out of the corner of my eye. when i focused in on it i realized that it was jeff's shoe!!! so what did i do other than start laughing hysterically. then it dawned on me that the shoe was headed straight for the packing tent. picture that, one of my packers hears someone laughing out of control directly above them and when they step out from under the canvas to look up at all of the noise they get a boot to the head from 14,000 feet! now wouldn't that just suck! i don't think i'd want them packing for me after that ;-)
so the shoe that left the plane more than 2 and half miles up and probably just as far away to the south west, found a nice strong breeze and caught a lift home. no, it wasn't too good for it's home, it knew just where home was........
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