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"Paratroops, how tough are the landings?" Topic

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Bashytubits17 May 2020 8:31 a.m. PST

In games using air drops you ever regret your choice of landing zones?

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP17 May 2020 9:07 a.m. PST

X Force!

Robert le Diable17 May 2020 11:35 a.m. PST

You have just given me the idea for a very simple, very short, very addictive game, particularly suitable for children.
Now, will etotheipi have suitable diners?

""*[//]) {>

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP17 May 2020 12:53 p.m. PST

I knew some guys from the 101st who were inadvertently dropped off in the Ft Campbell artillery impact zone at the end of an exercise. Of course, instead of being parachuted in, they'd been air assaulted.

Still, I'm told they made good time on the march out.

ELJoeK17 May 2020 1:17 p.m. PST

Having almost 20 years on Jump status, I'd say if you follow your training all is good, in over 100 jumps I only had a hand full that was bad, never broke anything but did ring the bell in my head twice.

USAFpilot17 May 2020 2:02 p.m. PST

Only 5 jumps myself, but I remember that all but one of my landings was a very hard impact. I jumped at very high density altitude (thin air) in the heat of the summer with the standard round army parachute which resulted in fast speed at impact. That and the fact I missed the soft soil of the landing pit on my first 4 jumps. :-)

Personal logo Stosstruppen Supporting Member of TMP17 May 2020 4:08 p.m. PST

14 jumps, all but one were pretty straight forward, normal landings. The last jump I was in the doghouse, so the platoon sergeant made me jump with the radio. I hit so hard my helmet came forward and broke my glasses in half at the bridge…….I'm thinking, why cant I see????

repaint18 May 2020 12:01 a.m. PST

On my 4th jump, I close my chute to early and the landing was … brutal.

Never really enjoyed jumping out a normally functioning plane :)

GrazingFire18 May 2020 7:18 a.m. PST

If you are doing a low level combat drop with FULL gear at 600-800 ft. you get about 2 oscillations (swings in the air) after full canopy and you are hitting dirt. Not much time to drop your ruck line and pick a spot to fall on. Noobs panic and ride their ruck in for a potentially painful landing. If there is a lot of debris on or hazards around the DZ it can suck, often the first and/or last out have a harder time because they may be drifting to the edges or beyond the designated DZ….I have float over Powerlines, rivers and forests on a couple of occasions, first out, early green light, crosswinds, postage stamp size DZ etc… Night drops obviously up the "pucker factor". Used to be all US training DZs were surveyed/certified…but not necessarily when training with foreign friends. For training there is a DZ control party on site monitoring conditions etc, technically combat DZ "should" have Pathfinders checking and monitoring your DZ before hand. It's been a long time since I last dropped so what do I know? I know it is probably the riskiest way to arrive into a battle zone or start a mission with.

mildbill18 May 2020 9:10 a.m. PST

I have known a lot of paras over the years and all of them had back problems. Of course none of them had dropped since the 1980s so maybe the new parachutes are safer.

Korvessa18 May 2020 10:01 a.m. PST

1st of all, I admire the heck out of anyone brave/crazy enough to be airborne.
Some notes about my dad's (2 stars on his wings) experiences at D-day.
1) Re the old joke: Those planes weren't perfectly "good working" (his words) His plane got hit by AA (clean through) – wasn't anybody who wanted to stay in the plane after that.
2) He said they jumped at 400 feet – barely time for one oscillation, maybe one and a half. Certainly no time to "aim" (he broke an ankle landing half in – half out of a foxhole).

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP18 May 2020 2:35 p.m. PST

Being Parachute & Air Assault qualified in my long past youth, like many here. I have heard a lot talk I have not heard in decades ! old fart AIRBORNE !!!!!

Good to know there is a number of grads from Airborne school here ! thumbs up

Dragon Gunner18 May 2020 2:44 p.m. PST

In one game I had a high risk drop for a mission where the mission was considered more important than potential losses. There were lots of hazards, postage stamp sized DZ, water, swamps, trees, power lines, buildings and high winds. I then proceeded to make dice rolls for dispersion. There were troops scattered all over the place some were injured and some were out right missing / lost. Almost none of the heavy drop survived the drop. The players took stock of the situation and then the game started.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP19 May 2020 8:39 a.m. PST

I have known a lot of paras over the years and all of them had back problems. Of course none of them had dropped since the 1980s so maybe the new parachutes are safer.
I went thru jump school in the'80s. I have degenerative arthritis of
the spine and a recent hip replacement. But I am an old fart

Doc Yuengling19 May 2020 12:30 p.m. PST

A good friend of mine survived being a Ranger, and made at least a dozen jumps.

20 years later, he's had to have both knees replaced.

Dragon Gunner19 May 2020 1:04 p.m. PST

I have 43 jumps and had a couple of rough landings but I got up and walked from all of them.

My knees are shot and bordering on arthritic now. I attribute that less to jumping and more to marching countless klicks. I attribute that to being larger than many of my peers, I was selected to carry heavier loads on those marches (my knees are not stronger than my peers…). The other contributing factor was the countless 3-5 second rushes and whacking my knees on rocks, tree roots and other assorted stuff.

YouTube link

Maggot19 May 2020 3:56 p.m. PST

That was some sloppy 3-5 second rush in that video: did not use the butt of the rifle to break the fall, and no roll right/left before advancing. No EIB for that Joe…

In my 11B all the way days: saw one guy burn in (broke back), another get towed (minor injury) and had a cigarette roll that nearly killed me-but I ended up walking away with a concussion. Never did a jump where at least one or two folks did not get hurt.

And I only used the brown envelope once…..

Aethelflaeda was framed20 May 2020 12:32 p.m. PST

My very first jump(while still in ROTC) was conducted in January. An unlucky gust of wind made me come down in a small shallow frozen pond about 2 feet deep. Broke through the thin ice, and got completely soaked in down to the socks in muddy cold water. I don't think I even managed a proper PLF.

Personal logo javelin98 Supporting Member of TMP20 May 2020 2:21 p.m. PST

We had an NBC sergeant who came to us from the 2/75 Ranger Battalion. He had landed on a metal picket and suffered severe enough injuries to his butt and the back of his thigh that he was taken off jump status permanently. He even showed us the scars! It was absolutely as nasty as it sounds.

COL Scott ret22 May 2020 9:36 p.m. PST

I have 60 jumps and senior rated wings only 5 away from master rating. The two hardest jumps I had were from the 250 foot tower in training and into the desert in Ranger training. The best was from a balloon in Korea.

When I was a company commander my first sergeant had served in the Rangers in Grenada, they jumped so low no one took a reserve parachute- not enough time for it to open for a failure. He said that it was a rough landing on the airfield.

As for me aches and pains knees ankles and feet. Kinda the price of 30 years, but better then some of our brothers in arms who gave the last full measure of devotion.

Wolfhag23 May 2020 5:00 p.m. PST

On one jump (T-10 modified) I got caught in a thermal, got bounced around and then went up about 200 feet (had an altimeter on my belly reserve chute). Another time after I landed another group came over and I saw one of the jumpers go straight in without the chute opening at all. I thought it was a wind dummy. It wasn't. Helmets won't protect you when you hit the ground at terminal velocity.

When I was at Camp LeJeune I got a few guys to go make their first jump at the local club run by a Gunny. This was in 1974, before they had the tandem rigs. On the drive out there I started getting this weird feeling I should not jump. I wasn't scared or anything, something was telling me it was not a good idea.

When we got to the site the Jump Master told me to go first since I had the experience of jumping before. I declined despite the catcalls and accusations of being afraid.

The guy who took my place jumped static line from about 2800 feet and when his chute opened wouldn't you know it – he had a Mae West malfunction. We had one-way radios and the JM told him to deploy his reserve which normally you eject the main chute before deploying the reserve. So as we're watching, he deploys his reserve and it fails to inflate and just dangles below his feet. The JM tells him to pull it back up and throw it in the opposite direction he's spinning (yes, you spin like a top with a Mae West) to get air into it and pop it open. He failed on his first attempt but on the second attempt it popped open about 2 seconds before he hit the ground in a plowed up field, no injury.

I weighed about 90 pounds more than that guy and would have come down quicker and who knows how I would have performed that maneuver with the reserve.

Another time we were jumping from an old WWII Stinson V77. As we approached the jump zone the engine started to sputter. The pilot looked back with a confused look not knowing the problem. Then the engine stopped. I was going to be the first one out and was sitting in the doorway with my feet dangling out. When the plane started to lose altitude our JM said to Rudy, the pilot, "Sorry dude, we're out of here" and he shoved me out the door and everyone else followed. Fortunately, Rudy was able to glide back to the airstrip and perform a successful dead-stick landing.

I don't jump anymore.


Heedless Horseman Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2020 7:31 p.m. PST

I have never been in the Forces…all credit to you who were. But, a little anecdote about MY para experience might be amusing?
As a young teen, in the early 70's Cold War, it looked like, someday, I might have to jump from a plane…and so I jumped off flat roofs, bridges, etc. No alcohol/drugs involved…but teen brains do not fully form until the mid 20s…if ever! lol
At about 21, my local pub, (Brit of couse!), had a sponsored parachute drop and I managed to scrape up enough sponsors to pay fees…sadly not much left for the Charity! :(
Drop was at Sunderland (UK) Aerodrome…now a Nissan car plant. Nice day, moderate breeze and static line jump from a high wing Cessna, No worries apart from fear of doing something stupid…the height was 'unreal'…and when jumpmaster said "GO!" I wented!
"Chute out ok? Yeah…Hey this is great!"
Now, we had been advised that, due to breeze, we should not 'run' too much…in case we landed on the Hangars…so I dropped…until…the M1 MOTORWAY 'COULD be an ISSUE' so turned and ran…"ok, past that…HERD OF COWS! RUN!"
"Yeah, I'M GOING TO LAND ON THE AIRFIELD! …I'M GOING TO LAND…on the 8ft WW2 barbed wire perimeter fence!"
Feet together and 'Boing!', bounced off the wire nicely…but got the concrete upright RIGHT on the tailbone!!! LOL! ;)
I walked like John Wayne for a month!!!
I believe another from our party had the distinction of landing on a Vulcan Bomber that was parked as a museum exhibit…now, THAT would have been a class memory to have! ;)
I would have loved to jump again…but could not afford it as a hobby…and, in later years…I got a little bit more sense… thankfully before the Bungee jump craze…THAT was definite NO! Now, in late 50's, heights scare me. I think I could still DO a para drop…but, as I ain't got a reason to…I ain't! ;)

Wolfhag13 Jun 2020 12:02 p.m. PST

Another jump club at our field had an interesting accident. The next jumper was getting in the door to jump and his hand accidentally snagged on his reserve chute (belly pack) ripcord handle just enough to deploy the chute while he was still inside the plane. The slipstream sucked his chute out while he was still inside. The plane was going about 100mph when the chute yanked him violently out the cabin. On his exit, he caved in part of the fuselage and his body hit the left horizontal stabilizer separating it from the tail section. The chute partially deployed but some of the cords were severed and he was tangled up in them. He came down a little faster than desirable and was spinning. He landed and lived and the pilot was able to limp back to the airfield. The FAA closed the field (New Tamiami Airport in Dade County) to skydiving to investigate why there were so many mishaps, including a jumper that landed in some high power lines.


fabambina20 Jun 2020 5:53 p.m. PST

Two bad knees, 3 herniated discs, 8 bulging discs, broken collarbone.

That's the total bill for my years as a paratrooper. Only two hard landings, but one was a doozy.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2020 8:44 a.m. PST

OUCH !!!!!! huh?

wargamingUSA09 Jul 2020 4:08 p.m. PST

Does two titantium rods fixed to the spine by four titanium screws that look like drywall screws answer your question? That reality pretty much trumps the need to talk about the arthiritis in the spine. Knees are just fine though.

Okay, that is real life not a tabletop drop zone.

VonBlucher09 Jul 2020 5:48 p.m. PST

Bill, OUCH!!

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP11 Jul 2020 9:41 a.m. PST


wargamingUSA13 Jul 2020 4:18 p.m. PST

Krusty Old John von Blucher… and the ouch seems to to get a little stiffer each year!

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