| Neighborhoods

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Norwin's sky-diving Santa identified

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Barbara Flynn
Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, 8:56 p.m.

I love when readers reminisce with me.

In my last column, I mentioned the sky-diving Santa who used to parachute into Norwin Towne Square.

And now, with thanks to Joe Mochar of North Irwin, who was nice enough to fill me in, now I know who he was.

He was Charles “Chuck” Bryant, who flew out of Bouquet Airport, outside of Jeannette and worked at the Elliott Co.

Chuck sadly died in June 2003 when the plane he was in crashed shortly after take off.

Several others were killed in this Father's Day tragedy.

Chuck's son, Rodney, was kind enough to talk to me.

His father had flown for more than 30 years at the time of his death, had made more than 3,000 jumps and had operated Chuck Bryant's Skydive Bouquet in Greensburg for about 10 years.

Although Chuck jumped into the shopping center for many years, Rodney thinks it was in the late 1970s when his father made the jump that left him slightly injured.

Although it was widely reported that his dad broke his leg, it turns out he merely sprained an ankle.

In fact, Rodney said, he and his dad had jumped together years ago in the Lockhaven area with his Dad as Santa and Rodney as an elf.

His son is in the process of returning to a family tradition of offering sky-diving Santas.

Watch the skies next Christmas!

Barbara Flynn is the children's librarian at the Norwin Public Library.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Police: Escaped Armstrong County inmate armed, dangerous homicide suspect
  2. Pirates’ Burnett endures another poor start in blowout loss to Reds
  3. Pirates bolster bullpen by trading for former closer Soria
  4. Steelers’ reserve quarterbacks vie to secure spot behind Roethlisberger, Gradkowski
  5. Inside the Steelers: Rookie linebacker Chickillo continues to excel
  6. Steelers stress improved conditioning in attempt to play past injuries
  7. Warrant issued for man accused of killing Brookline woman
  8. Emails among Governor Wolf’s aides reveal concern over AG Kane
  9. Memories of Steelers fan from Beaver Falls go beyond simple recall
  10. Pirates notebook: Blanton introduced; Worley designated for assignment
  11. Peduto blasts Wolf’s plan to borrow $3B to shore up pensions