History

Skydive Ramblers History

The History of Skydive Ramblers

Back in 1966, Bob Morrison was the original Rambler. He trained up Instructor Dave McEvoy in the late 60s. Dave carried the Ramblers torch and founded Ramblers Parachute Centre in 1974 and started training new students professionally. He also founded the successful Australian parachuting magazine ‘Rambling On’ to communicate with jumpers nationwide.

In 1979, Dave purchased the land at Toogoolawah and built the drop zone from the ground up. In the same year, Ramblers became the first Parachuting organisation in the world to use modern sport parachute equipment for student use. In 1982, Ramblers was the first organisation in Queensland and second in Australia to adopt the Accelerated Freefall (AFF) method of student training.

From the very beginning Dave realized the need for an independent skydivers club for qualified recreational parachutists and their families so the Toogoolawah Skydivers Club (TSC) was formed. The Club continues to support all jumpers who take up this new and exciting sport.

During the 80s Ramblers Drop Zone was the host of two international skydiving competitions, the South Pacific Championships and the World Cup of Canopy Relative Work. In the late 80s, the drop zone hosted three consecutive Australian National Skydiving Championships.

In the early 90s, Ramblers was the first operation in Australia to use the Tandem Assist (TAF) method of training students.

In 1994, the drop zone hosted the first Equinox Boogie, which is regarded as Australia’s premier international skydiving event. The Equinox Boogie continues to draw skydivers from across Australia and the world every second year.

In 2000, the Australian National Skydiving Championships were again hosted at Toogoolawah and were held there for another two consecutive years.

In June 2010, Ramblers purchased their first brand new Cessna 208 Caravan aeroplane, another monumental milestone.

Skydive Ramblers is the longest running and most experienced skydiving institution in Queensland. To this day, Ramblers continues to grow and reach new heights in the Sport and in the Industry. Ramblers is undoubtedly Australia’s most progressive parachuting and tandem skydiving organisation – a leader that has set the standard for other drop zones to aspire to.

Timeline of Ramblers

Dave and John McEvoy (1970-ish)

In 1971/72 Ramblers jumped at the Caloundra Downs Drop Zone, at Caloundra airport.

In 1973/74 Ramblers jumped at the Aroona Drop Zone.

1978

Ramblers jumped at the Kingaroy Drop Zone, before David McEvoy bought the land on 7353 Brisbane Valley Highway and the council built the airstrip.

1978 was also the year that Macca first jumped into the Ekka.

Ramblers are the first in the WORLD to start students on piggy back rigs, instead of the traditional belly reserves.

1979

Ramblers Drop Zone at Toogoolawah in the Brisbane Hinterland was established in 1979. First jumps were made on the 2nd Saturday in February from the Bonanza plane. Jon Kent was the first to land, just before Macca himself.

The Clubhouse

The original Club House was moved from Brisbane and erected at the drop zone for the weekend jumpers to have a home.

Today, the drop zone has grown into a style of Country Club – a Resort for skydivers! It is now regarded as one of the Top 10 drop zones in the World, for the facilities, the training courses, the weather, the aircraft, the people and the fun. Ramblers Drop Zone at Toogoolawah is an excellent place to Learn to Skydive and to do Tandem Skydives, as well as for fun jumping action, team training, Learning Curve Camps, and Instructor Rating Courses.

1979 – Grand Opening

Grand Opening, Queens Birthday Weekend – Monday 11th June 1979 (Video by John Grieg, Jas Shannon, and Karl Sporogis)

Phil Whatmore (insert) 1970s. Photo provided by Andy Hunter. With Jim Cox, David McEvoy, Faye Cox, Phil Whatmore, Bob Morrison, Tony Muller and Bob Barry.

1980 – The Canteen was built.
1981 – South Pacific Champs & Airshow
1982 – Commonwealth Games, Brisbane Station Demo

1984 – Pool Official Opening

Pool Official Opening, 19th Feb. 1984. Photo provided by John Meara.

Ramblers were the first in Qld to start AFF – Accelerated Freefall Courses, in addition to the traditional Static Line progression.

1985 – The huts for accommodation were moved to the Drop Zone.
1986 – Gatton World Championships, Macca competes in CRW 8-way stack “XXXX – Early Openers”.
1986, 87, and 88 Toogoolawah hosted the National Championships.
1988 Macca competed in 8-way FS at the World Meet in Vichy, France

1994

First Ramblers Post Equinox Boogie!

1995 – The Rigging Loft was built.
1999/2000 – Nationals at Toogoolawah
1999 – Alan White’s Airsuits hut was built on the DZ.

2000

2001/2002 – Nationals at Toogoolawah
2004 – 10 years Equinox Boogie!

2005

First Skysisters Female Skydiving Convention SS1.
The 47-way female formation skydiving record was set.

2007

The 2nd Skysisters Female Skydiving Convention saw a new female wingsuit flock and a CRW record being set.

2008

April: 9th WPMC World POPS Meet & Championships

50-way POPS, photo by John Donatiu.

October: Equinox Boogie 2008

Hybrid 9-way, photo by Wayne McLachlan

2010 – June

On the 11th of June, Dave McEvoy purchased Ramblers own jump plane from Aeromil Pacific at the Sunshine Coast Airport – our Cessna Caravan VH-DJV, aka “Homer”.

Sunshine Coast Airport, 11th June 2010

David McEvoy, aka “Macca”

2010 – Oct

Guitar jumper: Justin Frame – Photo by Steven “Belgy” Geens. 

2011 – Apr

3rd Skysisters Female Skydiving Convention – SS3


Toogoolawah Drop Zone – Photo by Norman Kent, SS3

2012

April: APF National Skydiving Championships at Toogoolawah DZ.

October: Equinox Boogie

2013

April: APF National Skydiving Championships at Toogoolawah DZ.

2014

June: 35th Ramblers Anniversary Reunion, Queens Birthday long weekend.

October: 20 years Equinox Boogie!

Hi everyone, if anybody is thinking of skydiving, Skydive Ramblers is the perfect place! They have awesome and experienced instructors. You can complete a number of courses or just came for a tandem jump. The area is amazing!!!!

JAZZ C

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