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Tiny BroadwickBorn: April 8, 1893 Died: 1979
Georgia Broadwick was nicknamed Tiny because she weighted 85 pounds and was only four feet tall. Tiny made her first jump in 1908 at age 15.
"I was never afraid. I'd go up any time, any place. The only thing I hated was getting back to earth so quickly." she said.
Most of Tiny's jumps were with aerial barnstorming shows. Tiny was billed as "The Doll Girl", a name she hated with a passion. Tiny wore a silk dress and ruffled bloomers while jumping.
Tiny broke bones, dislocated a shoulder, landed in swamps, was dragged by her parachute and leapt from a burning balloon with barely enough altitude to open her parachute. She kept great enthusiam no matter what the adventure.
In the early barnstoming days, jumpers sat on a trapeze type swing attached to flat circular silk parachutes. You literally were at the mercy of the wind. Her perspective was: "If you landed in a tree you were all right- but if you landed on a rooftop and rolled off, you were hurting."
Tiny Broadwick after a jump with her connector link. It was special light weight one.
Tiny was the first woman to make a jump from an aircraft on June 21, 1913. Glenn L Martin flew her up to 2000 feet above Griffith Park in Los Angeles, CA. Later she was the first woman to make a jump from a hydro aeroplane and first woman to make a water jump from an airplane.
In 1914 Broadwick gave the first demonstration of a parachute jump to the US government. The first four jumps were static line jumps. On the fourth jump the static line tangled with the aircraft so on the fifth jump she decided to not use the static line. She cut the static line so that it was long enough for her to pull the parchute pack open after she was clear of the airplane. This was the first premeditated FREEFALL jump by anyone. The US Army Signal Corps ordered its first Broadwick coatpack and initiated a new era in aviation safety.
Tiny's retirement from jumping did not come easily. She said: "It was terribly hard for me to settle down. I had so much pep and energy. I was lonesome for my work and occaisionally made a few jumps."
She accumulated over 1100 jumps, including jumps at the 1915 and 1916 San Diego World's Fair. She made her last jump in San Diego in 1922.
On Nov 16, 1972, the Adventurers Club of Los Angeles, CA held a "Tiny Broadwick Night". Norm Heaton of USPA presented her with her Gold Wings for her 1000+ jumps.
Broadwick is holding one of her 1920 parachutes. It has a California static line and a pilot chute assist. The parachute and pack were presented to the Smithsonian Institute.
In 1973, Broadwick celebrated her 80th birthday at Perris Valley Airport in California. After watching everyone else land she commmented, "Boy, I always landed in trees, swamps, rivers and mud holes - sure is something else seeing all these kids land right where they want to!" (photo by Russ Jarrett)
Tiny Broadwick with Bill Booth.
Pioneer Award in 1953
Member of Curtis Hall of Fame.
Aviation Organizations: Early Birds (solo before 1916), OX5 Club, Southern California Aviation Breakfast Club.
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