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Have You Seen my Parachute: Jumping With Nothing at all.
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Have You Seen my Parachute: Jumping With Nothing at all.


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Astonishing stories of those who have bailed out without a parachute and survived the fall. Trace the events of seven who landed with pieces of an aircraft and three who survived the fall with nothing …

Astonishing stories of those who have bailed out without a parachute and survived the fall. Trace the events of seven who landed with pieces of an aircraft and three who survived the fall with nothing at all.

Next, discover the astounding story of tail gunner Nicholas Alkemade who bailed out in 1944. Unable to reach his burning parachute, he jumped without it—and survived. Falling through trees and landing in snow, he lived to tell his tale.

The story does not end there, it is only the beginning. “Where did you bury the parachute?” demanded the interrogator. Discover how he convinced the Gestapo that he was a combatant, not a spy (who could be shot). See how he was honored by the Luftwaffe and made a hero by flyers on both sides.

This is a “feel good” presentation on vertical aviation history and it is absolutely fascinating.

Which, naturally, leads us to the discussion of wing suits and the possibility of the human body being able to land without a parachute.

Dan Poynter is past president of the Parachute Industry Association, past chairman of the Board of the U.S. Parachute Association and past president of the International Hang Gliding Commission. He has written more than 120 books; seven on parachutes and skydiving. A pilot, skydiver and master parachute rigger, this Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) is a frequent speaker at aviation and other events.

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  • March 6, 1943. Germans explore a British Lancaster bomber,downed during a raid on Berlin. More recently, the Brits and the German have exchanged information to identify the planes and the crews.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Dan Poynter’s Jumping with nothing at all © 2010
    • 2. Many Stories Begin Fairy Tales Jump Stories
    • 3. Aviation, 1903 - Horizontal  Vertical 100+ Years of Challenges
    • 4. Poll  How many are pilots?   More than 100 hours? How many have made a parachute jump?  More than 100 jumps?
    • 5. Vertical Aviation
    • 6. To Honor Vertical Aviation
    • 7. My Books 7 on parachutes and skydiving 3 on hang gliding 100+ on other subjects
    • 8. London - 1802 Andre Jacques Garnerin
    • 9. Lea Green - 1837 Robert Cocking
    • 10. How Many Have Survived a Great Fall? More than 100,000 saved by parachutes
    • 11. Many with Partial Canopies
    • 12. 7 Wreckage Riders
    • 13. 3 With Nothing at All
    • 14. Having a Bad Day? Some days are worse than others
    • 15. Surviving the Fall Nicholas Alkemade, Flight Sergeant, RAF.
    • 16. Nicholas Alkemade joined the RAF in 1940 and served with Squadron 115
    • 17. The Lancaster Bomber “This was to be the sixteenth and last major attack on Berlin by the Royal Air Force Bomber Command. A thundering wave of three hundred aircraft poised to bore through the cold substratosphere and finish the job of pulverizing Berlin's war potential.” —Nick March 1944
    • 18. The Lancaster’s Specifications Engine: Wingspan: Length: Height: Wing Area: Maximum Speed: Cruising Speed: Service Ceiling: Maximum Weight: Empty Weight: Fuel Capacity: Range: Armament: 4 Rolls Royce Packard Merlin 224 V-12's 102 feet 69 feet 6 inches 20 feet 4 inches 1300 square feet 275 miles per hour 185 to 225 miles per hour 20 000 feet ( maximum weight) 61 500 pounds 36 500 pounds 2154 Imperial gallons 2530 miles with 7000 pound bomb load 1730 miles with 12 000 pound bomb load 1550 miles with 22 000 pound bomb load nose turret -two .303 cal. mid-upper turret -two .303 cal. tail turret -four .303 cal.
    • 19. The Bomb Bay A two-ton blockbuster and six thousand pounds of incendiaries. The Lancaster was designed to carry lots of bombs a long way.
    • 20. The Armament Nick Alkemade was a tail gunner
    • 21. Crawling Back to the Tail Turret
    • 22. Bombing Berlin
    • 23. Attacked by a Junkers 88
    • 24. The Tail Turret Four-30 caliber machine guns
    • 25. Protected Part Way by Spitfires
    • 26. Fighters Did Not Have Enough Range to Protect the Bombers Bombers could fire back at aircraft but not at Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AAA)
    • 27. The Location of his Parachute
    • 28. His QAC (chest) parachute could not be worn in the cramped turret. It was stowed nearby.
    • 29. The Equipment Irvin in Letchworth Herts Note how the parachute pack is attached to the harness
    • 30. His Parachute was on Fire Half of the British airman were lost in these raids
    • 31. The Freefall The Sky is Not the Limit. The Ground is the Limit.
    • 32. Next
    • 33. The Landing
    • 34. The Physics of Freefall
    • 35. The Physics of Freefall
    • 36. Drag Area v Speed Speed Range 170-280 kph 115-170 mph Drag can be altered. Weight remains the same.
    • 37. Freefall Table for Various Fall Rates Speed Range: 110 – 190 mph Speed Range: 170 – 280 kph
    • 38. Fall Slower 170-kph or 115 mph 280 kph or 170 mph Slower in Prone Position
    • 39. Go head-down to fall faster
    • 40. To Survive the Impact  Fall as slowly as possible   Locate best landing area   Spider position – increase drag Snow not water or earth Dissipate impact forces  Hillside Look for terrain slanted & soft
    • 41. Disperse Energy over Maximum Body Area “Abrupt Ground Deceleration”
    • 42. To Decelerate from Terminal Velocity Spider position  Steep hillside  Deep snow 
    • 43. Parachute Landing Fall
    • 44. Freefaller #1 He hit the edge of a snow-covered ravine and rolled to the bottom. He was badly hurt but survived. Russian Lt. I.M. Chisov, 1942. Bailed out at 21,980 feet (6699 m) and attempted to freefall to a lower altitude to escape German planes. He blacked out. He landed on the steep bank of a snow-covered ravine and slid to the bottom.
    • 45. Pepperell Skydiving Center My personal experience
    • 46. Aerial View of Airport
    • 47. 1972, Pepperell, MA, USA   Student, first jump, static line. Top pin broke and trapped the  (soft,  Snow bank on edge of road  (from  elastic) cone. snow plow) Suffocated in snow  Only had a broken wrist
    • 48. The Soviet ANT-6
    • 49. Russian Parachutists
    • 50. Wingsuits – The Future
    • 51. History: New Canopies were for Experienced Jumpers Only
    • 52. Did not Know we Could Land Them
    • 53. Prediction  Next: Skydiving centers will build prepared landing areas    Soft “runways” Slanted/on a hillside Someday: Easily repeatable on level ground.
    • 54. Prepared Landing Areas
    • 55. Who will be the Pioneer?    Chuteless Jump: Rod Pack CN Tower, Toronto: Bill Cole Many other “Firsts”
    • 56. Now, Back to Freefaller #2 Alan Magee, 1943. A ball-turret gunner in a B-17. Was tossed out of his burning aircraft at 20,000 feet/6,700 meters. Then he lost consciousness and crashed through the glass roof of the St. Nazaire (France) railroad station. The Train Station in St. Nazaire Alan Magee
    • 57. Now, Back to Freefaller #3 Nicholas Alkemade, Flight Sergeant, RAF. The story continues
    • 58. Saved by Trees & Snow
    • 59. Found by Farmers
    • 60. Picked up
    • 61. The Interrogation Was he a spy dressed as a downed airman? Spies can be shot. Combatants become POWs. Was he alone or were there more spies in the area?
    • 62.
    • 63. Durchgangslager der Luftwaffe “Dulag Luft”: Transit Camp & Interrogation Center
    • 64.
    • 65.
    • 66.
    • 67. Solitary Confinement Cell at Dulag Luft
    • 68. Latimer House in the UK Where Axis Airmen Were Interrogated Rudolf Hess was kept here for a while
    • 69. The Basement
    • 70. The Cells Beneath the Building
    • 71. The Interrogation Continued Hans Scharff, One Interrogator
    • 72. The Prisoner Explained
    • 73. Proof He Jumped Without a Parachute The hand tackings on the risers were not broken
    • 74. The Germans Loved the Story (All Were Airmen)
    • 75. The POWs Loved the Story
    • 76. Writing Paper? Flyleaf from a Bible. The only paper available.
    • 77. The Dictated Letter Dulag – Luft It has been investigated and corroborated by the German authorities that the claim of Sergeant Alkemade, No. 1431537 R.A.F. is true in all respects, namely, that he has made a descent from 18,000 feet without a parachute and made a safe landing without injuries, the parachute having been burnt in the aircraft. He landed in snow among young fir trees. Corroboration witnessed by Signed: F/Lt H.J. Moore (SBO) F/S R.R. Lamb F/ST. A. Jones 25/4/44
    • 78. Meanwhile, in the Pacific South China Sea - 1944
    • 79. Alkemade’s Travels 3 1 2
    • 80. Stalag Luft 3
    • 81. The Great Escape Steve McQueen
    • 82. The Barracks
    • 83. 5 Home With his wife and daughter
    • 84. Please Tell Others About this Program See Program Details on the Website
    • 85. 2 Questions If God wanted us to stay on the ground, He would have given us roots.
    • 86.
    • 87. My name is Dan Poynter And I don’t want you to jump without a parachute--yet.
    • 88.