POPS 32 way

POPS are the “Parachutists Over Phorty Society”, which tends to be well represented at dropzones and boogies wherever they go. Criteria for membership is to have done one skydive – a tandem counts as a skydive, as always – and be over forty years of age.

Saturday, October 19 – at Toogoolawah, Queensland, for the Skydive Ramblers “Equinox” boogie – I was conducting a briefing for a couple of jumpers intent on completing their first nude skydive safely. Manifest used the PA to see if I could meet a video commitment at two waiting planes for a formation load.”Yes” is the only answer to that question… Archie Jamieson had his camera, and offered me a choice of plane – a generous man indeed. I elected to take the Skyvan, we discussed breakoff, the doors closed, and away we went.

For a big job like this, careful planning is my watchword. Pre-empt it with lots of careful considerations. Discuss it. Dirt dive, a lot, watching the formation build – who is on aircraft heading, where are the congested quadrants, where is the sun likely to be, etc. And I take /lots/ of ground footage, looking to make a production afterwards.But instead of this style of preparation, I assembled my camera helmet on the way up… The good news is that at least a ground shot was taken – by a lady POP who remains nameless to me, but I’d like to see her credited – and forwarded by Andrew Snow. Onya Snowy

It was a beautiful thing to film.

This is easily my biggest video commission – and I’ll take this opportunity to publicly thank Archie for making it so easy for me. And there’s definitely beer in it, but 32 doesn’t go nicely into a carton, and I’ve decided to do it individually. So: POPS on the load, I owe you a beer. Demand it from me next time the bar is open. And thanks for the skydive.

By Luke Oliver

I'm having an interesting life.You can contact me on 0429 020865.

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