216th Anniversary of the 1st Parachute Jump

  Woolwell 11:19 22 Oct 2013

Google has produced a google doodle for the 216th Anniversary of the first parachute jump but not what I would call a parachute. Independent newspaper report

  john bunyan 16:13 22 Oct 2013

I used to do quite a lot of parachuting. This advert is difficult to find but my parachuting days sadly lacked participation in it!

Parachuting video

  Woolwell 16:58 22 Oct 2013

Occasionally used to have to take a parachute airborne but fortunately never had to use it.

  morddwyd 19:58 22 Oct 2013

Packed many, installed many more (ejection seats) never had a failure. Never used on though.

  morddwyd 20:00 22 Oct 2013

The RFC resisted using them for long after the Germans were using them for fear it would lead to "lack of determination" on the part of the chaps!

  flycatcher1 19:22 23 Oct 2013

I have sat on, worn and carried a few parachutes in my time but luckily they have not been used.

Many years ago it looked as though our crew was going to bale out in slow time. A Navigator, who started his WW2 operational career in Wellesleys in Eritrea against the Italian, started to check that very important piece of red thread in his parachute. A bit late I thought but luckily the baling out was decided to be too dangerous so we had a go at a ploughed field instead. A few ploughed fields actually.

Forgot to say, it was the Navigators last flight in the RAF, pre-flight he suggested that the Powers should meet him on landing with a bottle or two. They did.

  morddwyd 19:50 23 Oct 2013

"to check that very important piece of red thread in his parachute"

My God! That takes me back a bit.Used to be a vital after flight and before flight check on the earlier seats, 1s, 2s and 3s.

Once suffered the wrath of a pilot when I found the thread broken (the only one I ever found) and pulling the chute for repacking (a mandatory procedure).

Once unpacked they had to hang for two days, and since he had stopped just to refuel in Aden on his way for a two day jolly from Nairobi to the UK He was not happy!

Don't know when it stopped. I was still checking up to fifty a day in the late 70s.

  john bunyan 20:02 23 Oct 2013

In the days of "X" type 'chutes, we used ones that had failed the porosity test for water jumps; You had to "open the box" on the way down so you could swim away. Later, steerable ones were washable and had a "cape well" release so you could collapse it on entry. On the old ones we sometimes (foolishly) just held on to the (dangling) leg straps after opening the box. One guy was killed as he fell from 200 ft doing a similar thing. One could go on - I remember my first free fall from a RAF DH Rapide - you had to climb out, hold on to a spar betwixt the wings then jump backwards... Happy days, did quite a few hundred jumps, mostly OK but a few "hairy" ones...(Landing on a main road , etc)

A big thanks to the packers!

  morddwyd 08:34 24 Oct 2013

"A big thanks to the packers!"

Still a tradition, I believe, for a crate of beer to the Parachute Section and the Ejection Seat Bay (no longer called that of course) after a successful Martin Baker landing.

  michaelw 08:45 24 Oct 2013

My father was a parachute instructor in WW2. He started off as a wing walker for a flying circus. He dreamed of being a spitfire pilot but couldn't pass the maths tests.

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