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Creativity went crazy taking all kinds of objects into freefall. Photo by Cam Puttee

Object Boogie 2024

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What a week! Jumping objects for five days straight with no injuries and no mishaps!

Organizer Mason Corby describes the wonderful madness of the Object Boogie…

Mason Corby builds an entire event dedicated to jumping with objects
Photo by Cam Puttee

It’s insane to think we made so many object jumps without incident at an event that was purely experimental. The goal of the Object Boogie was to get everyone current with some ideas and jumps we’ve done before — being skyballs and keg jumps — then to move onto some more experimental jumps. 

Funny Farm has a long history of jumping objects at its annual event. When I first started, it was one of the events I always wanted to attend due to the nature of being able to do this. The property is owned by Roger Mulckey and is about 5 hours inland from Brisbane, Australia. The good old Aussie outback provides plenty of land to drop things from a plane without worrying about hitting anything. 

Flying with ‘Elaine’, the mannequin
Photo by Cam Puttee

Objects Galore

I had been urging Roger for years to host an event like this, and after plenty of conversations and gaining lots of experience jumping objects at the events myself, he was keen to let me make it happen. We originally planned it for September 2023, but the weather did not cooperate, and we had to postpone it to the usual Funny Farm dates at the end of April. This turned out to be a blessing as we had five days of flat-out jumping objects. 

The objects varied in many forms, from skyballs and kegs through to soccer, basketball, and footballs. BBQs, fire extinguishers, pumpkins, bottles of sand, mannequins (big and small), as well as a big smoker that I wanted to make fly at an angle. In addition to the free-fall objects, we experimented with canopy streamers, which we were eventually able to freefall past as well. Lastly, there were the wide range of tubie and streamer jumps that we were able to fly with, ranging from things like tunnel lines to good old pylon races. 

Classic skyball jump
Image by Cam Puttee

Fantastic Team

With so many objects and pieces of the puzzle to this event, it wouldn’t have been possible without the support and help from all those involved. Roger from Funny Farm provided the land and spotting skills, Brett Newman from Downward Trend put in hours of effort building, designing, and repacking the gear needed for recovery, even after a surgery on his neck only weeks before. Manufacture Apparel sent the media team out to do a fantastic job — Paddy Dunn and Cam Puttee from All Beef Productions, along with Conner O’Neil lending a hand.

CYPRES and Vigil supported us with units and cutters, allowing skydivers a great insight into the quality of their products. It was so awesome to see them being put to the test and the chutes opening. It’s nerve-racking just watching the objects hurtle to the ground and watching them open, the sound was insane even from so far away. Mee Loft provided all the rounds we used to recover the gear, and Jyro got Scotty Hiscoe to bring out some demo canopies. Brent from Dekunu, along with Helmy, helped us put all the equipment together in the Dekunu Shed. Skydive Aus provided the plane and iFLY Downunder sent Boags and let us test some of the stuff in the tube before bringing it out to the sky. 

Homemade streamers turned out to be a favorite
Photo by Cam Puttee

Day 1 – Getting comfy with objects

Day 1 saw us all getting comfortable with the equipment. Those who had jumped with objects before could start off with the kegs, and those who hadn’t were restricted to skyballs. All participants were signed off fully for the Free Fly Crest in Australia, which means you can fly head down in larger than a 3-way. After day one, everyone was starting to get comfortable and we started to play with some bigger balls and bring out the streamers.

After day two, everyone had jumped a keg and the boogie was starting to get in full swing. We spent Tuesday night building the mannequins, Elaine and her little brother Basil, with a couple of others learning how to build skyballs themselves.

Streamers galore
Photo by Cam Puttee

Day 3 – Intense!

Day 3, Wednesday, saw us testing out the freefall streamers that Rodney Banson was kind enough to make for us, first with canopies and him dropping a bunch from his flag while doing a demo jump for us. Then we came up with a way to throw 90 of them out of a plane to track past with a group, wingsuiters following soon after then the canopy pilots. The gap we found was too large for the canopy pilots, so we decided to switch that around later in the week to have them go first and the other two group types fly past them in freefall and then follow the freefallers down. Four plus cameras doing an angle around and down the streamers with two wingsuiters following behind them and with five canopy pilots dropping in on the line once they saw the wingsuiters pass them. 

The streamer jump was one of the most exhilarating skydives I have done. The planning and execution of it were intense as the streamers were home-made, so it was a complete experiment with a lot of prep but a bit of guesswork. Feeling the buzz from this jump when I got down kept me going all day!

Photo by Cam Puttee of All Beef Creations

Recovering the objects

Jumping the objects was one thing but we also had to recover them, so collecting 90 streamers was no small feat. We had a team on hand doing all the pickups and finding gear that may have landed near or in trees. This just takes time. Usually, we are restricted to very few object jumps at an event, so pickups are a bit easier as loads can keep going while people were out in the paddocks. At this event we could only do two loads, shut down, then collect what we needed to, re-rig, then do it all again. Luckily, we had Bretto from Downward Trend working around the clock packing reserves for the objects, so we had a good supply of kegs on hand at any one time. 

The flow of the event was amazing. By Thursday the participants were starting to get in the swing of things and get really creative themselves. We saw pumpkins, footballs, buckets of cement, fire extinguishers and even potted palm trees being thrown out. One of the other bigger hits besides skyballs and kegs was the pool noodle and tunnel line setup that Royce Wilson rigged up for us, being able to bring the tunnel to the sky. This for sure was one of my favorites. 

Mason takes the smoker out the door
Photo by Cam Puttee

Final day

Coming to the last day, we smashed out the final mannequin and took little old Basil on an angle flight, completed the final streamer jump with a whole group buzzing down the side of it, many keg jumps, a BBQ, and my dream jump of a smoker I had converted to try and fly at an angle through the sky. Bretto had previously helped us rig this up with a canopy to save it so we could jump it again. Brent and Helmy from Dekunu had helped me weld it all together and put a bar down the middle to slide weights on and off to shift the weight distribution on it.

To my absolute delight, it pulled off how I had imagined it! I tumbled out the door while riding it then got it stable to fly at an angle. After flying with it for a while, the line we had put on it for handles started to cut into my fingers and I had to let it go. It flew for 1,000 feet or so, then started a slow turn, eventually going into a flat spin. The smoker weighed 55kg, had a bar through the center of it with gym weights and 3D printed fins that I had been working on and testing for a good while before holding the event. 

Tracking with the smoker
Photo by Cam Puttee

Object boogie 2

I can’t thank all those involved enough for the great success of the event. I had a blast and can’t wait for the next one. We unfortunately didn’t get to test all the plans I had imagined. We missed out on all the 3D angle models I had created and printed out. We just didn’t have enough time to test everything and were limited by the distance they could travel. Well, we may just have to do this on Object Boogie 2 in years to come! Stay tuned! Thank you to everyone for all the support, interest, and help. If you would like to be involved with the next event, please get in touch and we can come up with some insane plans. 

Big thank you to Roger Mulckey and the Funny Farm crew, Noodle and Potter, Brett Newman from Downward Trend, Manufacture Apparel, Cypres, Vigil, XRG Flight Club, Mee Loft, Jyro, Skydive Aus, Dekunu, Deem, UPT, and the media team All Beef for bringing all the pics and videos.

Cheers for reading, 

Mason Corby 
Downunder Dynamics 

Roger Mulkey, DZ Safety Officer, explains the planning and safety protocol of the Object Boogie…

Dropping things out of a plane isn’t new for us at Funny Farm, but the idea of doing it every load for a week has never been done before. It was always just a novelty jump that took time to plan and set up, and a lot more time to pick everyone and everything up to get them back to the DZ. 

So, we originally thought that this would be the norm for this event, but we put some time and planning into how we would do our jump runs and how we would spot for the objects. As it turned out, we should have put this thought into it 20 years ago to save a lot of extra work over all these years.

Photo by Cam Puttee

Run-ins

The run-ins were paralleled to the runway and offset to the east of the DZ. The offset amount depended on the upper winds and of course how comfortable we were to drop the objects a certain distance from the DZ. The initial drops were done around 0.7 east, while we learned that we could land the objects in a very small area and make it back to the DZ reasonably comfortably. Luckily enough, we had easterly winds for the first few days to assist us drop a long way out and push us home for landing. Once we got used to this, we bought the jump run back to 0.5 east and watched the objects drift a bit closer to home after the AADs fired at 500 feet, as they were set a little lower to avoid long drifts. By the end of the week, we were down to 0.3, but we did have westerlies by then pushing the objects out further than when we were dropping at 0.5 with an easterly. 

The exits

The orange light was our sign to open the door, climb out and get the object ready to launch. The green light was “Ready, lift, go” as it was a bit more difficult to do the “out, in, go” while carrying an 80kg keg. This worked so well that we would pick up the objects that were generally within 100 meters of each other. Of course, that didn’t work all the time, but we did know roughly the area to look for them based on our previous runs. We landed two kegs in the trees – although that was a pretty acceptable amount considering how many we threw out.

Experimenting with everything
Photo by Cam Puttee

Freefall

Everything (almost) had an AAD and a roundy to land with. Brett Newman from Downward Trend Rigging had his hands full for the week packing reserves and fixing them to all the things that we decided we’d throw out. It was always a little tricky predicting the fall rate of a new object, which kept the jumps exciting. Faster rates where always more comfortable as the slower stuff could catch you out if you weren’t ready, then you’re on the wrong side of an object in freefall!! 

How we could do it

We followed the CASA CAO “Miscellaneous Dropping of Articles” to comply with the rules. We are fortunate enough to have a large area of land underneath to not to put anyone or anything in danger. I’m sure the CAO didn’t have kegs in freefall in mind when they wrote the order, but it gives us a very clear way of operating safely while complying with the rules. There are no airspace issues, and no neighbours close by, which keeps the daytime activities safe and the night-time activities from annoying anyone in the surrounding area, saving them the trouble of filing noise complaints. 

Coordinating the object rescue
Photo by Cam Puttee

The first few runs of the event were without any objects to ensure we got the spot right, and for all the participants to get used to how we were going to run the week. I must admit though, the first few days were quite scary as a DZSO because when you looked up at the plane on jump run, it didn’t look to be in a much different spot to what you would expect to see on a normal day at the DZ. Knowing that a keg was about to exit wasn’t the most comforting feeling based on the visuals. Watching the jumpers track off and open and hearing the noise of a heavy object in freefall still hurtling ballistically at the ground until the AADs fired just above the trees was something else. But it’s funny how used to it we got by day three. 

This sort of event couldn’t happen without trusting the team, and we had the best one.

Roger Mulkey 
DZSO, Funny Farm

Mason taking a grip
Photo by Cam Puttee

Participant Tim Golsby-Smith thought it was ‘ridiculously incredible’

I knew the week was going to be a banger when Mason opened the event brief with “So we’ve got every object we could think of to jump out of a plane with… but if anyone gets bored, just come and see me and I’ll think of something to keep you entertained”. As it turns out, no one got bored, not by a long shot!! The jumps mixed novelty objects with vertical sequentials, with the best swoop pond in the country thrown in for good measure. Despite the crazy nature of each jump, everything ran so smoothly, a testament to the huge amount of preparation Mason put in, and the setup that Roger has pioneered at Funny Farm. It’s hard to put into words how ridiculously incredible it was to spend a whole week running wild day and night with such an amazing group of people, and especially to do it with my boy Tommy. It’s going to be hard to even come close to topping the experience!

Tim Goldsby-Smith

Photo by Cam Puttee
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Meet: Mason Corby

All about self progression and the progression of others, the more people I progress the more I can learn and progress.

Skydiving since 2006 with experience in the sport as a Tandem master, Aff instructor, Tunnel instructor/coach, Military FF, Static line and tandems, night/day - land/water, Currently a Full time freelance coach world wide and event organiser in Australia.

Fell in love with freeflying early on, I was always welcomed and taught by those above me and just wanted to pass that favor on to the next generation.

Currently running tunnel camps at IFly downunder in Sydney Australia, a Freefly School at Byron Bay Skydive in Australia and providing educational Skydiving content on the Downunder Dynamics Youtube Channel.

Happy to be sponsored by Deem Flywear, Job Connect, NZ Aerosports, Aerodyne, LVN, Dekunu, Mee loft and Ifly Downunder.

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