Monday, November 01, 2004

Lost a friend this weekend

Bad news came in this morning...

Skydiving center owner killed
TULLAHOMA (AP) — The owner of Tennessee Skydiving Center was killed in a skydiving accident over the weekend in Arizona, a family friend said Sunday.
Chris Martin, 46, of Tullahoma died Saturday while skydiving in Eloy, Ariz., friend Anne West said. West said she didn’t know any details about the accident.
A message left with the Eloy Police Department was not immediately returned.
Martin had 19 years of experience in the sport and had owned the training center, which is located at the Tullahoma airport, for about 15 years.
He is survived by his wife, Kristi; daughters, Hailey and Annabelle; and a son, according to West.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is very sad news for me. I learned to jump with Chris and made at least a hundred jumps with him. I would like to find more information on how this happened.

My most memorable jump was with Chris. It was about my 17th jump, and it was in the spring over Sparta-White County airport. We were still jumping round canopys at that time. The plane flew over the drop zone and two other jumpers got out of the plane, I think it was Gino and Tim. Then after the plane circled back over the airport, all we could see below was a layer of clouds. We flew around and around and were about to give up on jumping from a "high" altitude of 7,500 feet, and go below the clouds to jump. I was the "spotter" in the door of the aircraft and Chris was looking over my shoulder. Just as I was about to give Bobby, the pilot, the signal to go below the clouds, Chris shouted with the joy of a child opening a shiny red fire-engine on Christmas morning, "theres the runway, there it is!!!"

Through a hole in the clouds below we could see some black asphalt and a big white stripe at about a 30 degree angle away from us. Chris's enthusiasm overcame me and I dove out of the Cessna, and tracked towards the hole in the clouds. When I got to the hole in the clouds it was not straight, but was a corkscrew shaped hole through a thick layer of clouds. I made a slow spiral through the corkscrew shaped hole in the clounds and as I got to the otherside of the canyon I could see Chris chasing me. We flew our bodies around and through this canyon in the clouds for about 10 seconds before we emerged on the bottom side and pulled our parachutes and we were luckily right over the runway. We landed our paracommander parachutes safely.

I made about 600 jumps after that day, but that will always be my most memorable jump. I am sure that Chris is still out there playing in the clouds.


6:31 PM  
Blogger bkm said...

Check the message board on There is a detailed account of what happened there.

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