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Page 78
AUSTIN EXECUTIVE AIRPORT
A History of Austin's Newest General Aviation Airport
R
on
W. H
enRiksen
Chapter 3
Becky's mother hadn't yet witnessed what
her dazzling straight-A grad student daughter
could do with 32 tangly lines and 270 square
feet of nylon floating through a cloudless sky.
So Becky and Dave hatched a plan. If mom
wouldn't trek out to Bird's Nest Airport to
watch her daughter jump, Becky would bring
the mountain to Mohammed--or, in this case,
to her mother's ranch near Gonzales, Texas,
about seventy miles south of the airport. The
idea was to rent an airplane, have Dave fly
over her mother's house, watch as she jumped
from the open door, land, and hightail it over
to the house in time to watch Becky touch-
down in the front pasture where the two of
them would join the family for Thanksgiving
dinner, and with any luck, polish off the day
with a hefty slice of green grape pie.
Only that didn't happen.
As a rookie canopy formation jumper,
Becky had recently adjusted her chute to give
her more forward speed, thus enabling her to
catch up with the boys during the coordinat-
ed jumps. The chute was so finely tuned that
if you gave her too much brake (if you pulled
on the steering toggles and collapsed the left
and right back of the canopy at the same time),
she'd slow all right, and then stall, the para-
1983. Becky Howell after landing her first skydive. Photo courtesy of Dave Mandot.
1983. Becky Howell after landing her first skydive.
Photo courtesy of Dave Mandot.