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-one years. The freefall and canopy portion were run by Marie “Pooky” Baragona and Lance Lippencott. 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 Rich Vose. The Emergencies portion used malfunction video footage projected onto the classroom wall and reviewed in the walk in harness and also practiced procedures in the vertical suspended harness. This was run by Tony Guiliano and Dan Dieffenbach.
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, Bill & Kathleen Lynch, Cheryl Gramp, Paul Mayza, Kathleen Snurkowski, Patrick Shields, Tom Espinoza, Kristin Buchholz, Ben Wallick, Rich Saldan, Tammy & Frank D’Andrea, Dean & Nancy Williams, Mike Kulick, Tim Noggle, Art Sherry, David Faust, Mike Zawodniak and of course, Don & Darlene Kellner. A good portion of the jumpers stayed overnight to skydive the next day.
They were greeted by a beautiful sunshine, but turbulent winds. This put a damper on the solo student jumps, but the experienced jumpers and tandems made several lifts. Amanda and Bill Wallick made their first jumps. Congratulations!!! Midday a jump was made into the ranch to gather fire wood and at the end of the day three lifts dropped 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. Sunday’s weather was a bit better, and Mandy and Kristin got up for their solo jumps.
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