David, are you in the US? Noted the AFBs where you took flight training.
Well, all I can say is that I'm totally amazed at what you "commemorative" jumpers do, and what you guys spend hard-earned money on. Amazing ... Like jumping with 5-gallon water cans. Beats me. In real life, in real military life, things are often quite different ... like this night jump in '64 ...
We were doing C-130 conversion training shortly after I'd joined 2RCR in London, Ontario in 1964. They put me on the manifest for a night equipment drop at the last minute, so I had to run back to the BOQs to grab my web belt, canteen, compass, pistol, and a large pack. There was no gear packed and no time to dig out all the items that normally go into a small pack, so with great ingenuity, I grabbed one of the pillows on my bed and stuffed it into the pack. That was reality. A quick fix. The pillow filled the pack. A large pack stuffed with a pillow for a night equipment jump!
Now, you'd never know by looking at the photos .....
- That's me on the left with two of the corporals. Unfortunately, their names escape me, so if somebody recognizes them or if they see the photo themselves, I'd appreciate it if somebody could ID them.
Real life airborne: No five gallon water cans ... that's a pillow stuffed in the pack to fill it out. Will my gung-ho, young grandson be disappointed?
Arnhem. So the military canceled the mass drops and the Pathfinders soldiered on. Now it explains why you guys had so many injuries. It wasn't just the physical conditioning of those portly, middle-aged jumpers. Pushing it. Who made the call? The guys who paid to jump?
David, guess I've been nit-picking a bit but your terminology tends to foster misconceptions among the uninitiated. For example, you mentioned the jumper "stalling" the canopy when he pumped the risers upon landing. As a pilot, (got a pilot's cert myself) you're obviously knowledgeable about stalls. Well, you can't stall a round canopy. It does not fly. When the risers are pumped, it's really like a slip, so if the wrong risers are pulled down, the canopy can accelerate downwind and increase the landing impact, especially in the high wind conditions you described.
On the other hand, it's not difficult to stall a square canopy, and just like an airplane, it's awfully nice to have altitude beneath you and not above when it happens. The old Rogallo wings had a brutal stall! The wing would drop off to the left and spin. The only way to recover was to let it accelerate through a full 360, eating up a lot of altitude. Brutal!
Lastly, you must be right about the British parachute, the PX4. Although the Brits referred to it as an X-Type, they did have cloth harnesses without Capewells and reserve D-rings, so they must have been what you refer to as a PX4.
Why don't you start a thread and post some photos of your jumping activity? I'm sure that many on this forum would love to view them. I for one would.