Although it was very early this year, Easter weekend typically signals the beginning of spring in Northeast Pennsylvania. That is why the Above the Poconos Skydivers has their Safety day on Good Friday evening and has for the past twenty years. The freefall and canopy portion were run by Marie Baragona, Sal Trasente and Greg Semanoff. The equipment portion used an actual rig and was run by senior rigger, John Donahue IV. The aircraft portion utilized the mockup and was run by Darlene Kellner. The Emergencies portion used malfunction video footage projected onto the classroom ceiling above the walk in harness and also practiced procedures in the vertical suspended harness. This was run by Tony Guiliano and Lance Lippencott. Don Kellner, Harry Spriggs, and Mike Kulick supervised the evenings activities.
The sessions included briefings, discussion and hands on practice for all of the jumpers using a rotation between the stations which created a small group setting for the attendees. There was an excellent turn out including: Kyle Singley, Chuck Weber, Tom Klecka, Serena Gansz, Bill Lynch, Larry Greenberg, Cheryl Gramp, West Solloway, Tom Cussatt, Paul Mayza, Kathleen & John Snurkowski, Donald Stancheski, Scott Damanti, Dan Dieffenbach, Tony Baragona, Patrick Shield, Herv Breault, and Mike Zawodniak. A good portion of the jumpers stayed overnight to skydive the next day.
They were greeted by temperatures in the 30’s, light winds, 7000 foot ceilings, and a snow covered landing zone. This did not deter them and 15 lifts were made with the last two dropping into the farm. With jumping done for the day, the Easter/skydiving season opening celebration then began in earnest with the annual Easter Hunt. Several of the hidden beverages had prizes attached including a free lift ticket, video, stills, and goggles. A bonfire and cookout was enjoyed by all as they caught up with old friends, shared jump stories and met new friends. Easter Sunday’s weather was not as hospitable, so everyone headed home to do the other style of relative work.
Thanks to all of you who joined us this weekend. We are proud to have such a safety conscious group. I sent this report to USPA, so hopefully we will see a brief write up in the June issue of Parachutist Magazine. I was so busy on Safety Day that I forgot to take pictures. Sorry! But you can see pictures from the skydiving opening weekend celebration..
If you would like to use any of these Pennsylvania skydiving pictures, please e-mail us to get the appropriate permission of the skydiving photographer.