Sunday, July 03, 2005

Yet Another 4th

Went to Skydive Chicago yet again this year, for their annual 4th of July extravaganza. As usual, we enjoyed the intimate setting of sitting so close to the fireworks you get ashes dropped on you if the wind even hints in your direction. The food was pretty good, the pre-game show was good (people dropping out of the sky every 10 minutes and landing not 50 yards away from you, watching the plane take-off and land on the runway 100 yards away) the show was wonderful, etc etc etc.

This year's fun take-away moments:

1). The twin-engine aircraft buzzing the spectators on his final pass before landing, and then just landing it in the grass after he circled back around because it's shorter than actually using the runway and taxi-ways. "Negative, the pattern is full."

2). Watching one of the swoopers (when you come in extra-fast intentionally so you're flying horizontally over the ground) screw up his swoop over the swoop pond (you dip your feet in the pond as you glide over it), and wound up going in for a very fast drink, and skidding up onto shore.

3). A newbie student landed "the wrong way" and wound up landing like 500 yards out downfield. Had to take the "walk of shame" back to the hangar. I didn't laugh, though. I'm sure if it was me I'd land in Indiana.

4). Being so far out in the country, you could actually look up into the sky and see the dividing line between night and day. On one horizon, it was sunset, with pink clouds and a peach/golden glow, then blue sky eventually faded almost at a line into pitch black night with stars showing on the other horizon.

5). During the lulls inbetween the fireworks, realizing that the Big Dipper was the backdrop to the night's big show.

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