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Song Parodies -> "Jumping Off a Prop Plane"

Original Song Title:

"Leaving on a Jet Plane"

Original Performer:

John Denver

Parody Song Title:

"Jumping Off a Prop Plane"

Parody Written by:

Susanna Viljanen

The Lyrics

I got my basic skydiving training finished 4th Sept 2015. I'm now allowed to jump alone under supervision.
All my rig is checked, I'm ready to go
I'm standing at the boarding door
Jumpaster calls now every girl and guy;
Now the loading's done, everyone's on board
The pilot's revving, the engine'll roar
Already I'm bit nervous but here we fly -

So knock me, wish luck for me
Tell me now it will okay be
Call to door and show me OK sign -
'Cause I'm jumping off a prop plane
Some folks do think I'm quite insane -
But I like it and I think I'll do fine

Now we're rising, gaining altitude
The red light will turn green quite soon
I'm first to jump and check the air outside
I jump in blast and I count to five
I'm feeling cool! I feel alive!
I take the boxman - it's the free fall ride

So knock me, wish luck for me
Tell me now it will okay be
Call to door and show me OK sign -
'Cause I'm jumping off a prop plane
Some folks do think I'm quite insane -
But I like it and I think I'll do fine

I am falling free, I'm falling fast
I wish this could forever last
I feel I have just touched the face of God
I pull the knob, and my main will deploy
I'm in the glide and the view enjoy
I steer the chute and soon I'l land - I'm awed!

So knock me, wish luck for me
Tell me now it will okay be
Call to door and show me OK sign -
'Cause I'm jumping off a prop plane
Some folks do think I'm quite insane -
But I like it and I think I'll do fine

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Voting Results

Pacing: 4.7
How Funny: 4.8
Overall Rating: 4.8

Total Votes: 18

Voting Breakdown

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    Pacing How Funny Overall Rating
 1   1
 2   0
 3   0
 4   1
 5   16

User Comments

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Rob Arndt - September 09, 2015 - Report this comment
Susanna, congratulations! 555! Didn't get into the last fights over your experiences, but I will remind the troublemakers that jumping even at 12,000 ft isn't so easy. You always have to make sure your chutes are properly packed, that you are familiar with the DZ, know what to do in an emergency, know to watch your altimeter, and know how to control your landing. Btw, German Fallschirmjaeger jumped via static line in Ju-52s from 400 ft or UNDER and then had to get to their ammunition canisters dropped separately!!! Often under fire from the enemy. Modern paras are more likely today to take an airport in vehicles off the C-130 after helos or gunships have softened the target up! They are flown in. German paras use Wiesel mini tanks with missiles and guns to put armor right on target!!! Don't know what Finnish paras do nowadays, but Susanna will fill me in, I'm sure ;-)
Susanna Viljanen - September 09, 2015 - Report this comment
My dad had applied to Parachute Rangers when he was young, but didn't qualify; he became a Combat Engineer instead. When I told him about my long-time dream of skydiving, he said: "Go for it, you'll like it". Parents can sometimes be really strange.

Finnish Parachute Rangers are the descendants of the WWII long range troops, and they operate on platoon to company level. They are dropped 50 to 200 km behind enemy lines, operate reconnaissance, sabotage, commando strike and guerrilla tasks, and are expected to walk, run, ski or steal a vehicle and drive to own lines. All Parachute Rangers do get full guerrilla and survival training, and must be able to run over 3200 m in Cooper test. They have a reputation of being slightly eccentric. Lauri Törni (Larry A. Thorne for American Am-I-Righters) is their patron saint.

I have packed my own chute since my 4th jump. Needless to say, I was first a bit uneasy, but having packed sails all my life gave me confidence. So far my main has opened every time. Skydiving is extremely addictive pastime, and I have so far encountered three of my old acquaintances at the drop zone. None of them were surprised to see me there.
Rob Arndt - September 09, 2015 - Report this comment
The Luftwaffe was testing the Gryphon flight suit in the 2000s. Haven't heard if they picked that up for Fallschirmjaeger or not. Most paras still do HALO with a compass board/altimeter to fly over borders. Hate to say it, but Russia still has most heavist load lifting capability and drops huge amounts of paras mixed with Spetz!!!
Patrick - September 09, 2015 - Report this comment
"So far my main chute has opened every time". A statement which, if not true, one would be unlikely to make. Congratulations. Celebrities and elderly people filling out their "bucket list" (Are you familiar with the concept?) frequently jump in tandem with an instructor. I would be afraid the extra mass might contribute to a hard landing. The Fallschirmjaeger, as well as most WWII paratroopers, used a round chute and dropped straight down. I notice you made a reference to steering your parachute. I have seen jumpers leave the plane several thousand meters in the air and steer to a perfect landing in a baseball stadium. This past August, the Golden Knights parachute team were scheduled to perform at the Kansas City Air Show, but cancelled due to a member being killed in an accident in Chicago the week before. He had collided with a Navy jumper, then struck a building. I must admire your courage, but, as you say, it is also a matter of skill, intelligence and discipline.
Susanna Viljanen - September 09, 2015 - Report this comment
Compared to modern skydiving gear, the WWII era rigs were insanely dangerous. The German RZ gear had only one riser, making controlling the chute in the air nigh impossible. Its harness was also difficult and slow to take off. It caused unnecessary casualties. Likewise, the American T-4 rig was heavy and cumbersome to use. The British had the best parachute gear in WWII

Modern wing parachutes have revolutionized the parachuting and they are essential to recreational skydiving. They are far safer than old rigs and far easier to control and steer in the air.
Susanna Viljanen - September 09, 2015 - Report this comment
Patrick: As the Airborne march cadence says: "If my main won't open wide / I got a reserve by my side". The skydiving rig actually contains, not just one, but two parachutes: the main chute and the reserve chute. I have experienced a line wrap on my second jump, but fortunately got my main flying in time, so no need to deploy the reserve.

The modern wing chutes are fully steerable, and as I have a pilot background, I found steering the parachute easy. The landing pattern is exactly the same as on any airplane, and I can already land within 25 m circle of any given spot. The usual jump altitude in Finland is 4000 m (13,000 ft), and usual chute deployment altitude between 1600 to 1000 m (one mile to one kilometre), while in US the usual jump altitude is 12,500 ft (3800 m).

.Modern rigs have made parachuting relatively safe compared to WWII era rigs, and fatalities are rare. They are usually due to either mid-air collisions or doing something stupid in the landing pattern, but only very seldom due to gear failure or malfunction. Yet I must admit I was somewhat frightened on my first exit. But I just managed to put me in the flow and follow the instructors' orders seamlessly. And there I was, in the empty air, before I even noticed. Now it al feels just fun.
Rob Arndt - September 09, 2015 - Report this comment
You forget Susanna that in WW1 German pilots had Heinecke parachutes and in WW2 had ejection seats for the He-219 and He-162. Further seats were explored for the Me-262. German paras also relied heavily on the DFS-230 glider for insertion. And by the end of the War had some control line chutes. Aircraft also got brake chutes!
Jonathan - September 09, 2015 - Report this comment
people tell me that I should try jumping out of a plane all the time! ...though for some reason they tell me not to use a parachute... kidding! anyway good work I especially liked that you used this version of the song as I vastly prefer it to Peter Paul & Mary's 455
Drogue - September 09, 2015 - Report this comment
I assume you wrote this hilarity while in free fall. "...just touched the face of God." I have to write that one down. Does He have a beard like He wears in the Sistine Chapel?
Rogue - September 09, 2015 - Report this comment
Drogue, you are an idiot! Everyone knows it's the Cystine Chapel.
Cleaning Lady - September 09, 2015 - Report this comment
When I get through with it, it's the Pristine Chapel.
Hal O'Gen - September 09, 2015 - Report this comment
Cleaning Lady, if you use Clorox the place smells like the Chlorine Chapel.
Rob Arndt - September 09, 2015 - Report this comment
Finnish Paratroopers courses in war time. 1. 3.-8.4.1941, 16 students , jump plane DC-2 Hanssin Jukka, place Luonnetjärvi 2. 23.3.-23.5.1942, 42 students, jump plane Junkers F 13, place Naarajärvi 3. 25.4.-8.5.1944, 22+ students, jump plane Ju 52 MS, place Utti 4. 10.-22.5.1944, 24+ students, jump plane Ju 52 MS, place Utti 5. 23.5.-3.6.1944, 19 students, jump plane He 59, place Utti Finnish combat jumps in war time 1. 2 louds, 30-31.8. and 31.8.-1.9.42, 13 jumpers (all Estonians), jump plane Ju 52, all died 2. 20.-21.7.44, one jumper, jump plane He 115, he died 3. 21.-22.7.44, 3 jumpers, jump plane He 115, they all return 4. 31.8.44, 3 jumpers (one Estonia), jump plane He 115, 2 died, one return
Rob Arndt - September 09, 2015 - Report this comment
Susanna, the British X-rig was superior to the German RZ series 1, 16, and 20... but not necessarily to the RZ36 triangular chute used in the Ardennes. Furthermore, the RZ had an advantage that no Allied chute system had- it was designed for extremely low altitude deployments. German line jumps from Ju-52s were normally 400 feet or LOWER! Crete jumps were as low as 250 ft which gave the Fallschirmjaeger less exposure time to enemy guns. This is vital to all paratroopers. Experiments were on with line controls and double canopy set ups but there was also work on the Himmelsturmer (Sky Stormer) jump device once on land. German Paras and Army Engineers could strap that on to jump bridgeless rivers, minefields, or leap to objectives over 60 ft away. German DFS gliders had nose braking rockets installed to land in less than 40 ft (used to rescue Mussolini at Gran Sasso) and they were also fitted with drogue chutes. Germany strapped parachutes to RATO units for recovery and also the Ba-349 Natter VTO interceptor. The Ar-234 jet Bomber and recon aircraft had brake chutes too. So IMHO Germany still led in chute tech overall.
Susanna Viljanen - September 10, 2015 - Report this comment
The refrain words "so knock me, wish luck for me" refers to Finnish skydivers' good luck salute. When the pane is in the jump altitude, the jumpers first slap their right hand fingers together, then knock their right fists together and then salute with "hang loose" sign. The jumpmaster then calls the person first to jump to the door. The plane has red and green signal lights inside; when the jump door is opened, the light is red. When the plane is on correct jump line, the red light will turin green. Once the jumpmaster shows OK sign, the first person at the door may jump, and after him or her, everyone on at least 8 seconds intervals. When I did my fist solo, I was the first to jump on my load. It was the sunset load (the last that day) and weather was calm and fine. After I had popped the chute open, I sang "Off We Go in the Wild Blue Yonder" aloud in the air - I was in extasy.
Susanna Viljanen - September 10, 2015 - Report this comment
Drogue: No, He has shaved since.

Rob: Having one single riser, like the German rigs had, increases the risk of line wrap, which can be fatal at low altitudes, and it makes it impossible to control the chute. All modern rigs have four risers, and the students are taught to control the canopy not only by the brakes, but also by the risers as well. Likewise, the WWII German jump and descent positions were dangerous, and the Fallschirmjäger suffered unnecessary casualties on rough landings as they did the landing roll forward, not sideways. The modern Bundeswehr Fallschirmjäger rigs are much better in this respect. The British X type rig was considered as the best jump rig; it was light, easy to undress (one single quick release) and could be deployed at almost as low altitudes as the German, with far better safety record

It is true that the lower the opening, the less exposure to enemy small arms fire, but also low altitude means the jump planes themselves provide far larger targets to the enemy fire, both small arms and anti-aircraft. It is easy to lose the whole load by losing the plane itself

I indeed did my student jumps at Utti. It is half-and-half civilian and military field; the civilian activities are located at the northern side of the field, while the military activities at the southern. Many of the DZ regulars there are Army lifers, though.

A piece of useless trivia: the Finnish and Swedish words for parachute, "laskuvarjo" and "fallskärm", are translational loans of German Fallschirm, "descent screen".
Rob Arndt - September 10, 2015 - Report this comment
Susanna, please do not misunderstand me. I fully agree with you on the superiority of the British X-rig and quick-release system compared to the RZ20 German rig which had numerous faults... the most severe of which was chute shock, no control in descent (because rigging was above and behind the Fallschirmjaeger with V connection to the hips), the impact speed, and 4 release buckles. But in retrospect, look at the successes of Norway, Denmark, Belgium, France, and even Crete (bad Intel, lost element of surprise). Crete is overdramatized. Out of 22,000 men the Germans lost 3,200 with 3,400 wounded but killed 2,500 and captured 30,000! Hitler decided on LW ground Ops after that in Africa, Italy, and Russia. Look at Cassino. Back to RZ20 and it again was necessary to dive head first to deal with chute shock and then fast descent to the ground to get to the weapons canister. RZ had benefit of keeping each Fallschirmjaeger in the air exposed for a much lower time than the Allied chutes because it allowed jumps from extremely low altitudes that the Allies never jumped from. As low as even 125 ft!!! Remember Operation Market Garden and Allied failure? The Fallschirmjaeger still made a few drops in the east and west, the last being in the Ardennes with the newer RZ36 triangular chute which was better than the RZ20. And of course there were the Waffen SS paras of the 500th Parachute Battalion that tried to kill Tito (missed him by 20 mins)!!! Germans looked into other chute, but due to the overall use of chutes for aircraft, weapons loads, RATO units, etc... more German tech went to them instead of the Fallschirmjaeger. KG 200 specialized in covert drops with spies and there was some effort put into a steerable ring chute VRZ45. I have no idea how that worked as conventional para books are inaccurate with just the RZ36 usage...
Patrick - September 10, 2015 - Report this comment
I have seen WWII photos of Germans practicing jumps from towers. Didn't the first British paratroops jump through a hole in the floor of the plane, rather than out of a door? That was said to result in head and facial injuries. Americans went out the door in the side of the aircraft.

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