Gus Wing

Lydia Wing c/o Skydive Deland
1600 Flightline Dr. Deland, FL 32724

In Loving Memory Albert "Gus" Wing III

In one respect our friend Gus has gone on - his essence has left this physical place and he has returned Home to begin the Dance of Light. He is not absent however - he will always live as a part of us ..... just as we are all a part of each other.

The outpouring of support and love has been overwhelming - more than words can say. This is truly an example of humanity at its finest. Do not wait for times like these to express the higher emotions of the heart. Use this energy which flows through us from a higher source, and give it freely every day to those whose lives you touch.

Irene Hessling sent me a message part of which reads: "This incident has given people the opportunity to feel unconditional love in their Beings." Gus has given us so much - with his presence, by his words, and through the art he painted with his camera. But this energy - this love - is his finest gift.

Gus in Switzerland at Bodyflight AG.  Circa 1994

Thank you all -
and Gus .... Excelsior my friend.



I can't believe this happened to you.  I wish you could tell us all what happened, I wish I could understand.  I'm sick to my stomach, twisted up inside, I can't believe that your not here anymore.. I can't just walk over to the bus & see you... Our lives will never be the same again.  I learned so much listening to you, and I could never thank you enough.  There are just not enough words....

Lydia, be strong, and remember that we are all here for you.

Dawn Marie Suiter

I had the privilege of flying with Gus on his last flight. Yesterday was my very first skydiving experience. As I was watching the training video, he came and approached me with a huge smile and instantly put me at ease. I only knew him for a short time, but in that time I saw the passion that he held for skydiving and his kind soul for other people. During the jump I had asked him how long he had been skydiving and he replied... "I did it a few times and I knew this is what I was supposed to do, this was me.... and now I have been doing it for thirty years..." I only knew Gus for a short while, but in those 25 minutes he made a life lasting impression. I was lucky to have ever met him and my heart goes out to everyone that knows him. The world lost a good man.

Megan Trombino

I went to University of Virginia with Gus, and worked at the student photo lab with him in the late 1970s.  We used to pal around a lot.  He began skydiving at the field in Orange, Virginia and fell in love with the sport.  I remember one day he ordered a stripped-down 35mm SLR from out of the back of a photo magazine. When it arrived, he immediately disassembled it, mixed up a batch of liquid plastic, and filled the inside of the brand-new camera with it, covering every part that wasn't supposed to move.  Then, he cut the wiring from the shutter release and added a homemade switch he could hold in his hand.  He mounted that camera to this helmet, and soon bought another one, so he would have one for vertical and one for horizontal aspect ratios - two cameras on one helmet. Then he began studying the light - how he could best position himself in relation to his subjects for the best images. Every Monday morning he would come to the photo lab with a bunch of rolls of undeveloped slide film, and I'd hang out with him as he processed it. Somewhere I still have a sheet or two of his skydiving slides from back then.  Gus graduated in 1979 and left Charlottesville a year or two later to pursue his skydiving career, and I haven't seen him since. However, from time to time, I have picked up a Skydiving magazine and have seen Gus Wing Juggling Snowballshis photos, and more recently have kept up with his contributions to skydiving on the web. From an old friend and pilot who has never jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, CAVU, Gus.

Here is a shot of Gus juggling snowballs behind the student photo lab at UVa circa 1979, about the time he started skydiving.  I called a mutual friend from back then and we did a little reminiscing. You know, Gus majored in art and he drove a handpainted MG which was well known around Charlottesville. From time to time he would throw a car-painting party, and put out a bunch of paint cans and brushes alongside a keg of beer.  Gus would never paint his own car, and his only rule was not to paint on the windows. Other than that it was fair game. Most of the time it was purely abstract, but once he got a great classic nose with full shading painted on the hood by a fellow art major. If anyone wants to get in touch with me, please do.

Jim (they called me "Jamie" way back then)

Your Listening To:
- Israel Kamakawiwaole -
Somewhere Over The Rainbow & What A Wonderful World

Available at

Tony Hathaway contributed this photo of Gus Wing

Gus Wing

Louis Armstrong

I see the trees of green,
red roses too

I see them bloom
for me and you

And I think to myself,
what a wonderful world

I see the skies of blue
and clouds of white

The bright blessed day,
the dark sacred night

And I think to myself,
what a wonderful world

The colours of the rainbow,
so pretty in the sky

Are also on the faces,
of people going by

I see friends shakin' hands, sayin' "How do you do?"

They're really sayin "I love you"

I hear babies cryin',
I watch them grow

They'll learn much more
than I'll ever know

And I think to myself,
what a wonderful world

Yes, And I think to myself,
what a wonderful world

Oh yeah

Submitted by Martin,
Gus's Father-in-Law

I'm reeling. Gus and I started (he slightly before me) at the same DZ in Virginia--West Point. I remember him always fiddling with cameras and helmets and watched with joy as his talent took him onwards and upwards in the sport. I saw Gus a few weeks ago in Deland and, as always, exchanged hugs and conversation with him. I can't believe he is gone. April is the cruelest month....

kate cooper

My son, Casey, a college student, was on Gus' last flight. In fact, Gus was videotaping him! This was Casey's first time skydiving and he told me how Gus put him and everyone else right at ease. During the course of their conversation, Gus looked right at Casey and told him that he's the one he wanted to photograph! They were together for a brief amount of time, but Casey was inspired by him--by his outlook on life, his love of skydiving and videotaping, his concern for everyone's safety and his overall respect of life. From what Casey has relayed to me about Gus' accident, Gus did indeed maneuver to land away from the group in order to spare them a horrible memory. A professional and caring individual to the end.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and the skydiving community.

Carolee Steelman

Gus Wing 2001 photo by Diana GuirlingerHere is a photo of Gus I took during Sky Quest at Fantasy of Flight in November 2001. I was out at the DZ at DeLand today and saw a couple of people gimping around on crutches. I was reminded of the time Gus ruptured his achilles tendon playing basketball and gimped around for about 6 weeks before acknowledging that he might just have to go get medical treatment. Gus is one of the most genuine people I have ever met. He was adamant about safety under canopy and could land his canopy anywhere he wanted. He will be greatly missed - he was part of the fabric of Skydive DeLand. My heart goes out to Lydia. I am praying for her and I know that God will watch out for both of them.

Diana Guirlinger

I am listening to the music that accompanies the Photo Taken by Gus Wingcollection of tributes Dawn created for Gus on his "new" website. I am finally able to allow the sadness to replace the denial that it ever happened. I must thank Dawn for helping to me let "trouble melt like lemon drops...somewhere over the rainbow."

The dropzone was subdued today. Some of us made a jump and some of us just passed. I passed due to low energy from a sleepless night. The wind was definitely taken out of our sails. Gus video'd my hubby's first tandem jump last year. He was comforting, kind, and most of all classy. I will watch the videos of that jump "through Gus's eyes" many times.

I knew Gus many years as well. He was one of the old gang from that early 80s. Back from the days of Eustis Paragators and "Pelicanland." Gus was a pillar of the skydiving community and one of the "nicest" skydivers on the planet.

Thanks for your gift Gus!

Photo Taken by Gus WingThis is what Gus did (see photos)! He gave us lasting memories of the best times of our lives. His work captured the sheer joy humans are capable of. There was only one time in mine and my husband's life, where we could ever experience the joy of his first skydive together. Gus captured this for us forever! He WAS the typical selfless skydiving videographer...never in the picture but always ensuring he captured the happiness of once in a lifetime events like these. I can't tell you how many thousands of smiles I personally witnessed him give. I sat in the perfect spot numerous times and watched him play a tandem video for the first time for family and friends of the tandem passenger and witness the overwelming feelings of the effect of human flight. His gifts defined Photo Taken by Gus Wingmeasurement. He is personally responsible for generating more smiles and happy tears than any other human I know. All the while he just did his magic, quietly, unassuming....knowing the film would say what he wanted others to hear. His work was an unselfish gift of love to others.

Fly free Gus!

Elizabeth May

My God, this is the first time I have ever been in tears about a fellow skydiver.  I have met several over the years that have died from stupidity or from doing something that they knew they weren't supposed to. But, this is Gus.  He was one of the best reasons to go to Deland.  I learned so much from talking to him over the years.  Every single tandem I brought up there I made sure Gus was doing their video. Part of me cannot accept that he's gone.

Fred Lackey
Orlando, Florida

Our daughter Kelly Boyce lives in Lake Mary Florida. A couple of years ago my wife Doris and I drove from Indiana to Deland to make our first skydive. We arrived early and sat outside and I was starting to feel the jitters coming on. Gus happened to walk by. He stopped and explained how the jump and video were going to work  to 2 perfect strangers from out of town. He didn't know us from Adam and wasn't even our videographer.  We made our jump and left thinking what a nice guy. We are so sorry to hear of his death. He will certainly be missed by Skydive Deland and our heart goes out to his family.

Dennis Maxey
Anderson Indiana

Gus was one of the first people I met when I made my first jump way back in 1979 at Buckingham Parachute Center in Orange, Va. We made many memorable jumps together. On one when I was jumping a belly wart rig, this was a really long time ago, one of the elastic bands that pull the pack open somehow came loose and hooked onto Gus's riser. As I was falling on my back desperately trying to do a hard arch and thinking that these people have lied to me about a hard arch always working, Gus was pulling on the elastic band until it broke and we separated. I had no idea what had happened until he told me on the ground. The first video camera that Gus used was a JVC two piece unit that belonged to me. I have many wonderful memories of those years of jumping with Gus before he became famous. I have heard he lectured people on their landing technique. This may be because he watched me break my back by making a dumb mistake on landing. I was lying in the hospital in a body cast and he was berating me for being so stupid.

Blue Skies Gus. You will be missed.


He will truly be missed by many.

Randy Thurston

My condolences to Gus' family and friends.

Bill Obst

Hamba Gashle Gus... Bushman


Thanks for all the fun 'n' laughter, giggles, smiles, inspiring conversations, silly jokes and putting up with all my monday-morning-one-liners and going through Angel Falls:))

You'll be missed!

C Ya at the rainbow.........


Gus, thank you for all the laughs and the serious late-night conversations. You will not be forgotten. I'm glad to know that these last few years were good to you with the love you and Lydia obviously shared.

Blue Skies
Kerry Dobson

I loved that song. [Israel Kamakawiwaole - Somewhere Over The Rainbow & What A Wonderful World] That's a great song. It's so perfect for Gus. I'm gonna miss ya buddy! I met Gus a couple times at Deland. I got to fly with him twice. I remember one day when it was windy, and I got backed up under my canopy, he was telling me that a friend of his died because he jumped on a very windy and gusty day. He told me "If you want to live long in this sport, you gotta know when to stay on the ground". Thanks Gus! Who would have known that his adage would be my cardinal rule that I stick to till this day. You're the best there ever was Gus! I'm angry and sad at the same time! Thank you for having such a positive impact on my life man! I'm glad that I got to meet you. I'm glad that you inspired me. I'm glad that I got to fly with you. Rest in peace buddy. I will never forget your words of wisdom and everything that you taught me. See you soon Gus! This is a sad tragedy. We will all miss Gus. My condolences to his blood family and his skydiving family in Deland. Let's all be happy for him that he left this world to go to the holy land, where he's enjoying eternal peace. God knows that he deserves to be up there. We'll all miss you Gus! Rest in Peace.

Superkat a.k.a. "Windsock"

Photo by Gus WingWhat an amazing man!!  I went skydiving for my birthday last July and Gus did my video.  He made me feel so comfortable with what I was about to do. He was the most alive person I have ever met. He had everyone on the plane singing to me and made it like the most normal thing in the world was to be jumping out of an airplane. I only knew him for a brief time but he will me in my heart forever.  He absolutely loved doing what he did.   My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

Angie Percy

Sending prayers to all!

Dani Bridges

Gus was one of the sweetest guys I've ever known. I haven't seen him in many years but I have always remembered him fondly.  And now he is gone....

"For certain is death for the born
And certain is birth for the dead;
Therefore over the inevitable
Thou shouldst not grieve."
- The Bhagavad Gita

"Let us not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless in facing them. Let us not beg for the stilling of the pain but for the heart to conquer it.
-Rabindranath Tagore

"Be of good courage and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord."
-Psalms 31:24

Fly forever in the Light, Gus!


Forever in my thoughts.....

Vrank Le Poole

I am still in shock and disbelief; I am glad I got to see you on Friday, Gus (smiling as usual with the infamous "life is good"), the day before you left this 3rd stone from the sun in physical form.  We'll all miss you, Gus; my best goes out to Bill Buchman, my friend for 30 years - it was an accident Bill, there is no sense or logic to this incident

Frank Arenas

Damn it feels good to be a gangsta! (sorry, it was an inside joke, Gus would get it).

Blue skies, wherever you are, Gus.


 "A true friend is the one who grabs your hand and touches your heart" and this is exactly what He did. he knew how to reach people. He wanted everyone who came to skydive to feel at home, he wanted them to be part of our world, not just visitors!

I canīt really say bye to Gus, because i never did. Throughout the years, everytime i arrived at the DZ, it was as if i had not left at all. I would continue to tease him as he would tease me. When it was time to leave, i would only say: "see you soon Gus".

Juan "Pablo"  Iragorri

I met Gus in 1989 in Lebanon Me. I was a jumper with 400 jumps bit young and no fear. Those were the days before 0P canopies and all of the high performance landings.
However Gus was on the cutting edge of swoop landings. He was so dialed in. I tried to perform these landings under my PD 190 and would not pull it off very good to the point where I face planted in the mud. Oh my I was covered.
Gus would not stop telling me that I was a "Shmuck" to the point that I wanted to have it out with him.
I did not realize that he was only thinking of my safety and he was concerned that I would get hurt. He was truly genuine.
After that he would watch, analyze and teach me on all my landings and I credit him with saving me. He did teach me to swoop a canopy.
We became good friends and worked together for 3 years as full time staff in Lebanon, Me. Gus was a man that was always concerned for doing the right thing in the sport and thinking everything through. We lost a heavy hitter.
My thoughts go out to his wife and all of us who knew him. He will be truly be missed.

Marc Tripari
Skydive Newport

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