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    Published on Monday, April 1, 2019

    Brent Findlay | USPA# 244231

    By Brian Giboney

    Brent Findlay is a laid-back Kiwi who started skydiving in 1982. Since then, he’s become an iconic member of the New Zealand skydiving scene. He met his wife skydiving and raised a family around the sport. (His son, Dale, is also a skydiver.) Today, Findlay is an active formation skydiver who continues to set records, the most recent the 2018 New Zealand Competition Record for Most Points on a 4-Way Formation Skydive. By all accounts, Findlay is just getting better with age!

     

     

     

     

    Age: 58

    Birthplace: Tuatapere, New Zealand

    Marital Status: Married to Donna for 27 years, been together 35 years

    Children: Dale (son, 32) and Whitney (daughter, 28).

    Occupation: Tech communicator for Caterpillar New Zealand dealer

    Education: Qualified diesel technician, heavy equipment

    Pet Peeves: People who interrupt who possibly should be listening

    Life Philosophy: Try to say “yes” more than “no” to opportunities, even if it sounds difficult.

    Team Names: Method and Gravity Check (family indoor team)

    Sponsors: Gravitycheck.co.nz, Icarus Canopies, New Zealand Aerosports, New Zealand Parachute Federation, Skydiving Kiwis

    Container: Sun Path Javelin Odyssey

    Main Canopy: Icarus Crossfire 3 109

    Reserve Canopy: Aerodyne Research Smart 120

    AAD: Airtec CYPRES

    Disciplines: 4-way and big-way formation skydiving, canopy formation skydiving

    Drop Zone: Skydiving Kiwis in Ashburton, New Zealand

    First Jump: 1982, a static-line jump on army surplus equipment (T-10 roundy)

    Memberships, Licenses and Ratings: USPA #244231. Australian Parachute Association F license. New Zealand Parachute Federation D license; AFF, Static-Line and Tandem Instructor; and AFF Instructor Examiner

    Championships, Medals and Records: New Zealand Nationals: three-time gold medalist in 4-way FS open; silver 4-way CF rotations. North Queensland State Championships: three-time gold, eight-time silver and two-time bronze medalist in 4-way FS open. New Zealand record for most points on a 4-way. Australian 116-way record for largest formation skydive. New Zealand 35-way record for largest formation skydive.

    Total Number of Jumps: 5,480

    Largest Completed Formation: 119-way

    Total Number of Cutaways: Five

    Most people don’t know this about me: I traveled 460 kilometers [approximately 285 miles] round trip every weekend when I first started. There were constant poor weather conditions and I made very few jumps (wind limit was about 8 knots for students under round canopies). It was a Saturday, and I probably had about six or seven jumps at the time. I started to drive back home early and give skydiving away instead of going to the club rooms for the night. I got to the intersection to turn right toward home but instead made the decision to turn left and back toward the club rooms to persevere and continue the sport. And here we are. Just about gave it all away.

    Does one jump stand out? Narrowed it down to three: doing AFF with our son, Dale (16 at the time, 32 now); completing Arizona Airspeed’s logo at the 2018 AZ Challenge; and the New Zealand 4-way FS record jump with Method at the 2018 world meet.

    Who has been your skydiving mentor? I’ve loved the Arizona Airspeed model from day one, which is still very successful after all these years. There’s no speed like Airspeed.

    What safety item do you think is most often neglected? Putting yourself in the hanging harness to practice emergency drills at least once, maybe twice, a year and also whenever you purchase a new container.

    Do you have any suggestions for students? Spend time on the ground practicing new skills correctly before going for a skydive. There is so much useful information available, for example, the Rhythm 101 and new 401 apps and, of course, all the great articles for all levels by Lesley Gale on skydivemag.com.

    If you could do a fantasy 2-way, whom would it be with? My daughter, Whitney. She has never skydived and has no interest or intention to. She hates plane rides. We have done a couple of 4-way tunnel competitions together with the rest of the family, which makes up for it.

    What was your most embarrassing skydiving moment? Doing a demo in about 1992 in Dunedin, New Zealand, when the All Blacks, a New Zealand rugby team, were playing Australia. I was landing as the cheerleaders were still doing their routine on the field, and I ended up landing on one (in a very gentle way). I got a standing ovation from the crowd of 40,000 when walking off the field. This made the TV and newspapers and it was also used in an TV ad. (“Moments like these, you need Minties.”) Melanie, the cheerleader, made a tandem not long after. She loved it. 

    Is there one jump you would like to do again? Before I was married in the late ‘80s, Donna (now my wife) and three others were jumping in marginal conditions. The winds had picked up considerably after takeoff, and the plane ride was turbulent. When we opened, we were well off the drop zone and going backward. We all landed off the DZ in various farmers’ paddocks. Donna ended up landing behind some trees, which caused her canopy to partially collapse and re-inflate. She landed hard, breaking her pelvis and wrist. She made a full recovery after a few weeks in the hospital and rest.

    What is your most significant life achievement? Having a beautiful wife, partner and companion, mostly supportive, for 35 years and counting. And, of course, two unbelievable children, Dale and Whitney.

    Do you have any suggestions for USPA? Publish incidents, malfunctions and accidents, like the Australian Parachute Federation. The Australian federation leads the way here. Most skydivers will learn from others.

    What has been your best skydiving moment? All the great moments are special to that time and occasion. Making the video for the release of the new Icarus Crossfire 3 was a highlight, doing two early morning jumps over the snowcapped Southern Alp mountains, behind Mt. Hutt Skyfield in mid-winter, flying down the mountains.

    What has been your worst skydiving moment? In the mid-1980s, watching a friend cut away very low from a canopy wrap and having no altitude to deploy the reserve.

    What has been your weirdest skydiving moment? Doing a demo onto Magnetic Island for a full-moon party in the mid-1990s. The jump went to plan, but when we landed there were only about two people watching. We were a day late.

    You bought a share of Coral Sea Skydivers in the late 1990s and moved to Australia. What was your motivation for such a big move? We had an opportunity to go to Australia and work in the mining industry, so I said yes, and it was a great move. We lived in Australia for approximately 13 years. Donna and I shifted back to New Zealand in 2005; Dale and Whitney stayed in Australia and still live there today. It’s certainly one way to get the kids out from home life into the big, wide world.

    Your son Dale has become a solid skydiver. Any tips for other parents raising a potential skydiver? We never pushed any of our children to skydive. You need to let your children do what they choose for a career or activity. Your role as a parent is advice, support, understanding and love, in my view. 

    Explain Brent Findlay in five words or fewer: Quiet, respectful, competitive, listens.

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    Author: Brian Giboney

    Categories: People, Profiles

    Tags: April 2019

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    S&TA Waiver Form PDF   (Apr 2018) Downloads Forms Waivers
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    USPA Meeting Minutes

    2022 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Mar 2022) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2022 Winter Meeting PDF   (Mar 2022) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2021 Summer Meeting PDF   (Sep 2021) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2021 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Sep 2021) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2021 Winter Meeting PDF   (Mar 2021) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2020 Summer Meeting PDF   (Dec 2020) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2020 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2020) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2019 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2019) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2019 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2019) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2018 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2018) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2018 Winter Meeting PDF   (Mar 2018) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2017 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2017) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2017 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2017) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2016 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2016) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2016 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Jul 2016) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2016 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2016) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2015 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2015) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2015 Winter Meeting PDF   (Mar 2015) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2015 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Mar 2015) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    2014 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Jul 2014) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2014 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2014) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2014 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2014) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2013 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2013) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2013 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Jul 2013) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2013 Winter Meeting PDF   (Mar 2013) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2012 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Mar 2013) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2012 Summer Meeting PDF   (Aug 2012) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2012 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2012) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2011 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Aug 2011) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2011 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2011) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2011 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2011) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2010 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Aug 2010) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2010 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2010) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2010 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2010) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2009 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Sep 2009) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2009 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2009) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2009 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2009) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2008 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2008) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2008 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Apr 2008) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2008 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2008) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2007 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2007) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2007 General Membership Meeting PDF   (May 2007) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2007 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2007) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2006 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Nov 2006) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2006 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2006) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2006 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2006) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2005 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Aug 2005) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2005 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2005) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2005 Winter Meeting PDF   (Jan 2005) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2004 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Sep 2004) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2004 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2004) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2004 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2004) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2003 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Aug 2003) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2003 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2003) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2003 Winter Meeting PDF   (Jan 2003) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
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    BOD 2001 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2001) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting 2000-2005
    BOD 2000 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2000) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting 2000-2005

    Miscellaneous

    2013 DOT Opinion on Taxes PDF   (Jan 2014)
    Advanced Aerospace Designs Issues Reminders to Vigil Customers   (Dec 2019)

    On October 23, Advanced Aerospace Designs issued reminders of approaching deadlines for compliance with its last two service bulletins.

    After-market Tandem Risers MANDATORY – REPLACE BEFORE THE NEXT JUMP   (Sep 2020)

    PIA released Service Bulletin PSB-10092020 affecting after-market tandem main risers constructed with obsolete RW2 rings. All sport tandem main risers produced with RW2 rings, or equivalent sized rings, are affected regardless of the hardware manufacturer, the date of manufacture, the material type or the forging process used. This PSB does not affect "solo" main risers that use RW2 rings. Compliance is MANDATORY – REPLACE BEFORE THE NEXT JUMP.

    Article: 9/11 Aftermath Report PDF   (Aug 2016)
    Article: Angle Flying PDF   (Nov 2015)
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    Article: Gear Fear PDF   (Sep 2015)
    Article: Landing in a Tree PDF   (Mar 2015)
    Article: Safety in Numbers PDF   (Jan 2011)
    Article: The RSL PDF   (Jan 2014)
    Article: Water Landings PDF   (Mar 2015)
    Canopy Risk Quotient PDF   (Oct 2015)
    Canopy Risk Quotient LINK   (Mar 2020)
    Dermody Letter PDF   (Jul 2012)
    Dunn Letter PDF   (Jul 2012)
    DZO Memo PDF   (Jul 2012)
    FAA AC 105-2E PDF   (Dec 2013)
    FAA AC 90-66B CHG 1 PDF   (Feb 2019)
    FAA Airworthiness Directive for certain UPT reserve pin covers PDF   (Apr 2021)

    The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Uninsured United Parachute Technologies, LLC (UPT) parachutes. This AD results from reserve pin covers (RPCs) catching on the parachute container flaps and preventing the reserve parachute from deploying. This AD requires modifying the RPC before the next parachute jump and replacing the RPC at the next reserve parachute packing. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    FAA Proposal (07/03/12) PDF   (Jul 2012)
    Flight Planner   (Jan 2019)
    Huerta Letter PDF   (Jul 2012)
    Insurance Policy Summary   (Mar 2021)
    ISP Grid PDF   (May 2012)
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    USPA Hangar Policy Comments PDF   (Jun 2016)
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    SIM Translations into Other Languages

    Language Translation Disclaimer

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    Chinese-English (Bilingual Version) – January 1, 2021

    Spanish Version – January 1, 2021