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"Harvey Soss at Angel Falls in Venezuela"

December 15, 2005

Harvey Soss was one of my students back in 1972 or 1973. He made his first jump at Rip Cord Paracenter at the Burlington County Airpark in New Jersey which was near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He told me that he did so poorly on his first jump that they told him not to come back.

I coached him from his second  jump all the way through to his C-license. Harvey moved on from my DZ to the United Parachute Club. It was always a pleasure to attend the Herd Boogie and visit with Harvey. He always made me laugh and his take on the world was different than most. Anyone who ever met Harv will tell you he was special. What a guy!

In this photo, taken by Tom Sanders, Soss can be seen falling down the face of Angel Falls in Venezuela. Angel Falls is 3200 feet high and the tallest waterfall in the World. By comparison, the water of Niagara Falls has a drop of only 190 feet. Angel Falls is 15 times taller than Niagara Falls.

Sadly, after over 7500 skydives and over a hundred BASE jumps, Soss was killed while on his motorcycle by a drunken driver who ran a stop sign. At least he died doing something which he loved almost as much as skydiving. When he wasn't jumping out of airplanes he was driving his Harley.

On my first visit to Harv's house in Festerville, PA I was surprised to see his motorcycle parked in his kitchen. When I asked him why he had the bike parked in the kitchen he replied, "No room in the bedroom."

Soss was a super person and a very good friend for over 30 years. Hundreds of people, mostly skydivers and motorcyclists, attended his funeral services. I'm embarrassed to say that I was so choked with emotion during the services that I felt I couldn't speak about him without breaking down in tears...as many other people did.

Harvey Soss was one of my favorite people. And this picture of him BASE jumping Angel Falls is one of my favorite pictures.


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