On this day 60 years ago the first episode of RIPCORD aired on national television and today, The International Skydiving Museum pays tribute to the men who founded, created, and brought RIPCORD to life.
Dave Burt and Jim Hall, President and Vice-President respectively, of Para Ventures formed the Ripcord TV Series and oversaw its production. The original freefall cameramen were Bob Sinclair, Vern Williams, and Bud Kiesow. The original jumpers for the series were: Dave Burt, Brig. General Jim Hall, Jim Rinder, Denny Manning, Milt Platt, Bob Henry, Jim Hughes, and George Speakman. And finally, the “stars” of RIPCORD, actors Ken Curtis (Jim Buckley) and Larry Pennell (Ted McKeever). Happy Anniversary to a cast and crew that was ahead of its time, redefined innovation, and truly got our attention!!
The premise of the show centered around two skydivers, their private Cessna, and pilot as they chased bad guys or performed daring rescues during the weekly series.
INTERESTING FACT: In 1962, the filming of the series involved the transfer of a stuntman between two airplanes, which was being filmed from a third aircraft. Due to air turbulence, the transfer failed, and both aircraft touched and subsequently crashed. The pilots of both airplanes and the stuntman involved were able to parachute to safety. Later, the dramatic footage from this near-tragic event was subsequently used in two Ripcord episodes.
Ripcord aired for two seasons and featured 76 episodes!