At Nagambie DZ this morning, Pete “Gags” Gagliardi impacted the ground in a turn, and did not survive the impact.
Gags was a mature age jumper, who found skydiving after a highly successful representation in competitive martial arts. With some 1300 jumps in under two years, he completed six jumps yesterday in addition to his freefall video work in the Open competition at the recent Australian Nationals. He bought his family to the sport as well, and quickly carved a niche for himself; his professionalism and methodical nature touched everything he did, whether it be cooking bacon and eggs, welding frameworks at the DZ, or instructing students.
Behind a seemingly gruff exterior, Gags hid an inquisitive mind and a highly developed sense of right and wrong – scratch the surface, and you would quickly discover a heart of gold. A participant in virtually anything, he would quickly rise to the challenge if competition arose – and usually excel.
Gags is survived by wife Sherene (100 jumps), and sons Clinton (D license) and Nigel (A licence).
There will be no more breakfast barbecues lit because he could see the hangover in your eyes.
No more pom-pom dances at the foosball table.
No more wide-ass smiles in freefall.
Vale, Pete Gagliardi.