Articles posted in this blog are typically focused on the use and application of tools for the creation and development of products, and rightfully so.
In this case I would like to take the opportunity to focus on teamwork, one of the 5 core values here at Hawk Ridge Systems. One of our own, Paolo Olmos, (pictured here) recently got married and it was democratically decided that the best way to celebrate this momentous event would be to hold his bachelor party in Las Vegas, Nevada, and by jumping out of a perfectly good airplane at 13,000 feet above the desert… We had a magnificent plan guaranteed to result in a story to tell for a long time to come. What we couldn’t have known, and what our faces indicate in the photos of this blog article and associated video, is how each of us would react when faced with the reality of what we were about to do and just how much trust this adventure would demand of us all.
And so, on the morning of 8.23.2014 we headed out. This is a short account of that experience from my perspective. Edited video footage of the event can be seen here.
There were 7 of us: Paolo Olmos, his brother (and Best Man) David, Jared Conway, Chris Ma, Gabe Crisologo, Silvio Perez, and yours truly. (That’s me, climbing into the cabin.) Each one of us – with the exception of David – represent different parts of the Hawk Ridge Systems Team: Simulation Services, Applications Engineers, and Customer Service.
Several of the articles on this blog have been written by the young men on this adventure. Their field of study is responsible for making this experience possible. It is my hope that they apply that knowledge about their experience towards subsequent blog articles, because not only can they describe it, they can analyze it.
To be honest, when faced with the realities while filling out the paperwork on the shuttle ride to the tiny airport in the desert, siting in the small aircraft like sardines, exhibiting nervous faces, employing controlled breathing… I had serious doubts about the sanity of what we were doing.
“At 42 I should really know better than to be doing this…”
Hey look, Hoover Dam!
As Chris Ma was about to jump from the plane, I thought of something my mom used to say.
“If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?”
…“Sorry mom, but yes, today YES!”
And all of a sudden we were…
…Upside-down watching the bottom of the plane I was just in Hawks
… Screaming Hawks
… Laughing in the face of peril Hawks
… Holy $%&^! Hawks
… What could possibly go wrong? Hawks
… Flying high Hawks
… WooooHoooo! Hawks
…Touching the sky Hawks
… The greatest team I’ve had the pleasure to work, walk, run, dance, cross the sea,
fly above this amazing Earth, laugh, and cry with Hawks 😉
The same variability of chance that introduces the risk also creates the reward. Any number of things beyond our control and within it could fail at great peril to ourselves and others. A litany of reasons for why NOT to do something is always present. And yet we did it. For me it has to do with the group being greater than the sum of its individual parts in spite of the fear, and for all of us it has everything to do with the greatness of this team and the fact that anyone of us would do anything for each other.
Special thanks to:
- David Olmos, Best Man and organizer
- Elizabeth Kinsey, Hawk Ridge Systems Blog Editor
- Sky Dive Las Vegas and the skydiving instructors http://www.skydivelasvegas.com/