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At the 2018 DC-3 10-Way Speed Money Meet at Skydive Arizona in Eloy, an all-female team called Seek This!—comprised of some of the most accomplished female skydivers in the U.S. and headed up by Ellen Monsees—chalked up an impressive victory.
While making a tandem skydive with instructor Iain Guthrie at Pepperell Skydiving Center in Massachusetts, Greicy Hoepers accepts a marriage proposal from Eliseu Matos, B-34200.
Dalton Carvalho | D-25058
Tandem Instructor Francisco Nieto y Torres, D-37152, celebrates his 1,000th jump by taking his mother on a skydive at USPA Foreign Affiliate Skydive Cuautla in Mexico.
On October 23, Advanced Aerospace Designs issued reminders of approaching deadlines for compliance with its last two service bulletins.
In December, Advanced Aerospace Designs, manufacturer of the Vigil automatic activation device, issued reminders to Vigil owners about battery replacement.
In April, Advanced Aerospace Designs released Public Service Bulletin PSB-01-2018 regarding certain Vigil 2 and Vigil 2+ automatic activation devices.
On September 14 at Kapowsin Air Sports’ Fun Jumper Weekend in Shelton, Washington, Northwest Regional Director Luke Aikins presented John Mitchell, D-6462, with the USPA Regional Achievement Award for the Northwest Region.
Joe Kelly, Tyler Moran and Cathy Leone, all members of the U.S. Air Force, make a patriotic hybrid jump at Skydive Arizona in Eloy.
Labor Day weekend in Central Texas means a lot of different things to different people: a tasty plate of barbecue with friends and family, another fun outing to the lake or one last trip to the coast. For skydivers, the lure is Skydive San Marcos’ once-a-year Jump Your Ass Off event. For almost a decade, the DZ has dedicated the first weekend in September to the pursuit of fun jumping (with the emphasis on fun). The terms are simple: Pay $99 and jump as many times as you wish on Saturday and Sunday.
More than 30 years ago, the Jumping Ambassadors, a U.S. Army military freefall detachment from the 7th Special Forces Group performed demonstration jumps across Latin America.
After having great success in Europe over the past four years, the LSD (Level, Slot, Dock) Skills Camps made their way to the U.S., landing at Skydive Spaceland–Houston in Rosharon, Texas, in July.
The 2018 edition of the American Revolution Boogie at Skydive Spaceland–Dallas in Whitewright, Texas, is in the books, and judging by the reactions, feedback and word on the street generated by the almost 200 jumpers who attended, it was a resounding success!
Photo by Steve Shorten | D-27932
Robert Camire, Tom Camire, Paul Cochran, Art Cross, Kim Groves, Daryl Harmon, Phil Lamm, Mike McCormick, Dick Pigg, Audrey Tobias, Nick Yoder and Ed Zell set an Indiana Skydivers Over Sixty Record for Largest Formation Skydive at Skydive Indianapolis in Frankfort.
Carl Chittim of Aerial Extreme Skydiving Team leads the way into Levi’s Stadium for the San Francisco 49ers’ first home game of the season.
Four-way vertical formation skydiving team Arizona Anthem hosted its first Freefly Scrambles at Skydive Arizona in Eloy February 21-23.
This year, when Skydive Arizona in Eloy hosted its annual Easter Boogie, the event proved to be quite busy. Three hundred-plus people made the trip for the promise of “more sun, more jumps and more fun,” and the desert drop zone did not disappoint.
Skydive Arizona in Eloy held its Elemental Easter Festival April 19-21. During the event, attendees played with the four elements: water (a swoop ‘n’ slide and Zorb ball), fire (a full-moon bonfire and fire dancers), wind (an LED night huck in the onsite SkyVenture Arizona wind tunnel) and earth (planting flowers in recycled art vases).
Skydive Arizona in Eloy hosted its Rookie Round-Up—Diamonds in the Rough event March 14-15.
On February 17, Skydive Arizona in Eloy hosted a mixed formation skydiving scrambles meet, which paired participants with a new partner in each of the five rounds.
Jumpers say goodbye to their friend Vern McGarry, D-7054, during his ash dive at Skydive Perris in California.
Gary Mancuso flies a 1,000-square-foot flag into the 1940’s World War II-Era Ball, a community event and fundraiser at the Boulder County Municipal Airport in Colorado.
Tracy Barrett, the author of many books for young readers, recently turned her attention to skydiving by penning the novel “Freefall Summer.”
The Aviation Trail Parachute Museum in Dayton, Ohio, joined other aviation organizations at the first Festival of Flight at Wright State University on October 5.
In January, AXIS Flight School announced the release of a new app following three years of development in partnership with Good Goblin Games.
In February, AXIS Flight School introduced the ChronoPrism stopwatch tool for use on computers and mobile devices. This tool provides a new and creative way for formation skydiving, vertical formation skydiving and mixed formation skydiving teams to visualize their performances and streamline the analysis of training and competition jumps. ChronoPrism generates a performance analysis that tracks data including a jump’s pace; points scored; penalties incurred; and best, worst, average and median times per point transition.
Jake Cormier and Jarod Orrell orbit one another over Skydive Carolina in Chester, South Carolina.
This year’s Heroes Skydiving big-way formation skydiving and benefit event for Wings for Life, a nonprofit that supports those with spinal-cord injuries, had big ambitions and a lot to celebrate.
Kevin Kierce leads the base down the hill during the Top Flite formation skydiving event at Skydive Perris in California.
Bay Area Skydiving in Byron, California, held its Oktoberfest Boogie October 12-14 and saw an exceptional turnout of more than 150 experienced jumpers and 100 tandem students. The Central California drop zone, which is near Silicon Valley and offers breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay area and the Northern California Hills, has been in business for more than 25 years.
Beautiful Day | Photo by Timothy Parrant | D-34622
Matej Sakej lands his NZ Aerosports Petra 72 during a sunny winter day at USPA Foreign Affiliate Skydive Empuriabrava in Spain.
Gian Franco Malinconi Reyes kneels down to greet his loyal companion, Frankie, in the landing area after a jump.
T.J. McGrath (center), D-3581, and his sons Tom (left) and John—who have both made tandems with their dad—get matching “blue skies” tattoos to celebrate T.J.’s retirement from the sport.
n March 16, the International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame announced that Bill Wenger, D-3774, joined its board of trustees.
What should a demo team do when two of its members will soon hit the 5,000-jump mark? Plan something a bit special, that’s what!
Blue Skies Physical Therapy, owned and operated by Dr. Nancy Grieger, C-44952, has assisted the skydiving community with physical therapy assessment and treatment, injury management and strength and conditioning training at boogies and events for years.
On January 31, at its winter meeting, the USPA Board of Directors elected Al King as a national director to fill the vacancy created when Shanon Searls joined the USPA staff. The board chose King from a slate of candidates nominated by other board members. King previously served two terms as Northeast Regional Director and was chairman of the board for the 2016-2018 term. A full report on the winter board meeting will appear in the April issue of Parachutist.
The USPA Board of Directors has postponed its summer meeting and USPA General Membership Meeting.
In April, the International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame announced Bob Lewis as the recipient of its 2020 Trustees’ Award.
Body Fly University in Reggio Emilia, Italy, hosted a high-performance-canopy-flight camp March 2-3. Mario Fattoruso, a member of the Performance Design Factory Team and multi-time Italian national champion canopy pilot, taught the course. The drop zone believes that the camp—which was very popular with attendees—was the first high-performance camp of its kind in the country.
Skydive Elsinore in California hosted its hot summer boogie, the 11th Karlfornia Boneanza—Trailer Trash Bash, July 26-28.
Tribe of The Traveling Tiki held its Beach Boogie—officially a three-day demo event—July 10-12 in Melbourne Beach, Florida.
Lenny Botak made a tandem jump a couple of years ago. When he landed, he knew he wanted to skydive some more, but as so often happens, life got in the way.
The country of Botswana is stepping up as a leader in big-way formation skydiving and is opening new doors for skydivers on the African continent. To help this cause, event organizers Thabang Segaetsho, Eugene Potgieter of Johannesburg Sky Events and Munyaka Makuyana and Cyril Nfila of the Parachute Association of Botswana hosted the Makgadikgadi Epic formation skydiving event July 13-16. The event, which the Botswana Tourism Organization, Botswana Defence Force, Johannesburg Skydiving Club and the Parachute Association of Botswana supported, featured world-class organizers Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld and Milko Hodgkinson.
The British Parachute Association recently appointed Angel Fernandez to the new staff position of communications manager. Fernandez, who began skydiving in 2017, has more than 20 years of communications and marketing experience in a variety of industries.
Anticipation is high for the 2019 British Parachute Association Skydive the Expo after record crowds attended the 2018 event. The event, hosted at the East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham, U.K., will feature seminars from leading skydiving experts, a large exhibition hall and BPA’s annual awards ceremony, as well as after-hours parties. More information is available at skydivetheexpo.com.
Marian Sparks (center) founder of the breast cancer charity Jump for the Rose, makes a pink-bra-clad skydive with (from left) Marshall Madden, Greg Armstrong, Patie Duttlinger and James Davis during the Jump for the Rose Pinkfest Boogie at Skydive Spaceland–Houston in Rosharon, Texas.
In early December, the British Parachute Association unveiled its new identity—British Skydiving—and introduced a new logo and website.
British Skydiving, formerly known as the British Parachute Association, hosted the executives of USPA and the Australian Parachute Federation at its annual Skydive the Expo in Nottingham, England.
Sigma, the company USPA uses to provide digital credentials (such as the USPA membership card), is in the process of integrating with Burble, a manifest program used by 130 drop zones worldwide. The integration will allow skydivers to grant access to DZs that use Burble to view their merits on Sigma (including USPA credentials). The drop zone will then instantly see verified, auto-updated information—including a record of currency—as a member checks in, which should make check-in times shorter and manifesting more efficient.
On August 10, Mid-Atlantic Regional Director Chris Wagner presented Jim Burriss, D-9540, with the USPA Regional Achievement Award.
USPA is looking for 15 remarkable photographs for the 2019 USPA Skydive Calendar. Photographers must submit entries by July 31 for consideration.
USPA is looking for 15 remarkable photographs for the 2020 USPA Skydive Calendar. Email submissions to email@example.com or visit parachutistonline.com/p/submissions. If emailing, please indicate “calendar submission” on the subject line. Photographers must submit entries by July 31 for consideration.
In August, Matt Fry and Melissa Nelson Lowe hosted a Vertical Sequential Camp at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois.
While many people go to the East Coast to see the fall colors, canopy formation skydivers know that the West Coast is the place to be for a truly incredible display, because that’s when Skydive Elsinore in California hosts its annual Fall From Planes event.
Skydiver James Bauer recently introduced Pack Monkey, a tool to help jumpers put their canopies in deployments bags easily. The tool is designed to help those who have slippery canopies, small hands or just want to pack more quickly. Pack Monkey is designed for canopy sizes from 120 to 250 square feet but can also work on larger or smaller canopies. A video of how the product works and ordering information are available at packmonkeydesigns.com. It retails for $35.
While her skydiving accomplishments were incredible, it was her humanity and her love of friends and family that made her such an icon in the skydiving world.
On February 23, Jane Haynes celebrated her 100th birthday at Skydive Arizona in Eloy by making a tandem skydive (as did her daughter and granddaughter).
USPA Central Regional Director Gary Peek, D-8884, passed away in his home in St. Charles, Missouri, on August 13. Authorities cited natural causes. He was 65.
The International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame is honoring the Canopy Formation World Record Team with its Path of Excellence Award.
Troubador Publishers recently released “Body-Flight Basics,” an encyclopedic book that breaks down the mechanics of skydiving and wind tunnel flying.
The dynamic duo—Julie Kleinwort and Amanda Kubik—organized the annual Sisters in Skydiving event at Chicagoland Skydiving Center in Rochelle, Illinois, June 7-9.
Chicks certainly rocked this year at Skydive Elsinore in California during its 19th annual Chicks Rock Boogie.
Although she has been gone for nearly two years, Carolyn “The Queen” Clay remains ever present in the hearts and minds of those who knew her.
Mile High Hub recently released a worldwide skydiving event calendar for jumpers looking for the next boogie, competition or specialty event.
On March 8, skydiver and award-winning TV and film composer Kim Planert released his first solo album, “SKYLIGHT: Notes From a Logbook,” featuring the Budapest Scoring Orchestra and vocals by established artists such as Keeley Bumford, Lisbeth Scott and Waterson.
In “The 2018 USPA National Skydiving Championships” by Steve Hubbard in the November issue:
• The winner of the 2017 10-way speed event was Arizona Airspeed.
• The advanced wingsuit performance flying guest competitor from Moldova was Iurii Cartev.
• In 4-way intermediate formation skydiving, SDC Rhevolution XP was a guest team. TSC Cadence, SDMW X and Hands Free took gold, silver and bronze, respectively.
Raymond Adams took the photo on the cover of the March issue of Parachutist at Skydive Georgia in Cedartown.
Corrections from the January 2019 issue of Parachutist.
In the photo by Jeff Donohue on the cover of the June issue, Scott Callantine is on the left, Kyle Lobpries is wearing the gray wingsuit and Wes Sandler is backflying below.
In “Wings and Things” in the June issue, Greg Marcinkowski, D-31253, received his 96-Hour Freefall Badge.
On May 16-19, Skydive Elsinore in California—one of the few drop zones with a lakefront view and enough outs to host canopy formation events—hosted its Kick Off to Summer canopy formation (aka canopy relative work or CRW) boogie.
At Skydive Phoenix in Maricopa, Arizona, Mark Sunman, D-24493, celebrates the 20th anniversary of his first jump by getting current after eight years out of the sport.
In May, the CYPRES Demo Team received the official Guinness World Record for Largest Flag Flown While Parachuting. The team set the record when member Ralf Grabowsky flew a 2,607.21-square-meter (28.063.76-square-foot) German flag on July 11, 2017, at the opening ceremony for the CISM World Military Parachuting Championship 2017 in Warendorf, Germany.
Lew Sanborn, D-1, celebrates his 90th birthday at Mid-America Sport Parachute Club in Taylorville, Illinois, where friends held a cookout in his honor and presented him with a certificate proclaiming him the 23rd member of Jumpers Over Ninety (a subgroup of the Parachutists Over Phorty Society).
The annual Sisters in Skydiving boogie blasted off June 30-July 1 at Skydive Spaceland–Dallas in Whitewright, Texas. For the event titled “SISters in Space,” the star-studded organizer lineup included skydiver and astronaut Mary Ellen Weber, as well as Lacey Breaux, Erin Kruth and Genifer Oliver for belly flyers and Nicole Black and Vanessa Meyer for freeflyers. Weber, a former NASA astronaut and one of only 59 women to have gone into space, detailed her career progression, NASA training and missions (one in 1995 while sending a satellite into orbit and a second in 2000 to the International Space Station). Weber illustrated the importance of mentoring, and the women left feeling inspired to follow their dreams.
After rain and clouds shut down the DZ multiple times, the gang at Skydive Danielson in Connecticut decided to host a Onesie Chili Cookoff October 6. Everyone enjoyed comfort food in comfort clothes, forgot about the horrible-weather streak and spent some time with their sky family around the fire. The group hopes that the weather gods got enough of a kick out of the event to bless the DZ with a few weeks of skydivable weather!
Skydive Danielson in Connecticut held its third annual Chicks Freedom Boogie June 30-July 4, which included discounted lift tickets for women. The yearly boogie focuses on getting more women into the sport by welcoming skydivers of all levels to join in on the fun.
Longtime parachute rigging instructor and skydiver Dave DeWolf, D-1046, passed away late in the evening of Wednesday, May 22, at age 86. DeWolf was known to nearly everyone as “Handsome Dave,” and his friends, students and colleagues remember him not only for his extensive knowledge of rigging, but also for his playful personality and sense of humor.
Johann Kruger, Rashid Abdullah and Darren Burke fly their wingsuits at the Skydive Dubai Desert Campus in the United Arab Emirates.
Canopy pilot Junior Ludvik and wingsuit pilot Calin Dobos fly together at the Skydive Dubai Desert Campus in the United Arab Emirates.
In December 2017, Luther Kurtz, DZO of the Phoenix Skydive Center, prevailed in his Federal Aviation Administration Part 16 formal complaint against the City of Casa Grande, Arizona. Kurtz alleged that the city’s denial of access to his skydiving business was discriminatory and thus violated the city’s FAA grant obligation to accommodate all types of aeronautical activities.
For the past two years, USPA has held Learn to Skydive Month, where drop zones offered one free first-jump ground school sometime during the month. The goal of the program is to introduce more people to skydiving without obligating them to jump (in the hope that they will not only make a first jump but continue to pursue the sport).
When firefighter Austin Peck wrote his last wishes before passing away after a four-year battle with occupational cancer, he instructed his family to spread his ashes in a “cool way.”
For 10 days in December, 450 jumpers from around the globe descended onto the Eloy desert for the annual Skydive Arizona Christmas Boogie.
Jumpers had a lot to be thankful for at Skydive Arizona in Eloy over the course of the Thanksgiving Boogie. The weather was perfect, and participants were able to jump from sunrise to sunset.
Dueling DZs—a 6-way formation skydiving competition between California DZs Skydive Elsinore and Skydive Perris—took place on July 21 after a two-year hiatus, and the rivalry was intense!
There aren’t many drop zones located within 20 miles of one another, and of those, there are even fewer that support each other. But California drop zones Skydive Elsinore and Skydive Perris have set an example of neighborliness for many years. Every year, they host Dueling DZs, a friendly competition where 6-way formation skydiving teams (handicapped for parity) take off from their home DZ and land at the opposing DZ.
On Saturday, January 26, California DZs Skydive Elsinore and Skydive San Diego held a friendly competition revolving around the Bob Buquor Memorial Star Crest Awards. Jumpers earn an SCR—an award conceived of by Bill Newell in 1965—by participating in a star (aka round) formation consisting of eight or more jumpers.
Skydive Elsinore in California held its annual Poker Run—the only competition that brings together skydiving, poker playing and tequila drinking—on June 16.
Skydive Elsinore in California held its 22nd annual Poker Run on June 29. This year’s event saw five teams participate in the combination 6-way formation skydiving meet and tequila-fueled poker game.
What do skydiving, poker and tequila have in common? It’s Skydive Elsinore’s Poker Run!
PRO-rated skydiver Mary Tortomasi of Bodyflyers.com recently organized a PRO-rating course at Skydive Elsinore, where seven participants had the privilege to learn from two of the most experienced demonstration jumpers in the world: Jim Wallace of 21st Century Skydiving and Rich Piccirilli of Just in Time Skydivers.
In 2001, a jumper who worked at Skydive Elsinore in California convinced DZO Karl Gulledge to host a boogie centered around women. And so began the Chicks Rock Boogie, which celebrated its 18th anniversary October 4-7 this year. Although the boogie attracts many men, it emphasizes female empowerment and creates an environment where jumpers learn from some of the leading ladies of the skydiving world.
Skydive Empuriabrava in Spain hosted a fundraising event for the Sky Family Fund, which raises money for victims of skydiving and BASE accidents, on November 16. The Sky Family Fund is part of the Care-All Foundation, whose mission is to give people the possibilities for better lives. Founded in early 2018, Care-All has already provided educational and business funding for recipients in Nepal, Kenya and Zambia, helped support an orphanage in Kenya and—through the Sky Family Fund—assisted two people injured in air-sports accidents.
It’s true what they say: Everything is bigger in Texas. On Memorial Day weekend, a group of 45 jumpers converged on Skydive Spaceland–Houston in Rosharon, Texas, with the intent of setting a state record for largest head-up formation skydive. Sara Curtis, Steve Curtis, Matt Fry and Konstantin Petrijcuk organized the attempts.
On June 17—Father’s Day—expecting parents Jared Jorgenson and Julie Girard announced the gender of their baby during a jump at Skydive Kapowsin in Shelton, Washington.
In a big win for skydiving, the Federal Aviation Administration ruled in favor of USPA Group Member DZ Phoenix Area Skydiving’s complaint to the FAA that the management of the Casa Grande, Arizona, airport was unfairly denying access to skydiving. Like many municipal airports, the Casa Grande airport has received federal funds for airport improvements.
The Federal Aviation Administration ruled in favor of a USPA member who sought airport access for his skydiving business in Romeo, Michigan.
In December, the Féderátion Aéronautique Internationale announced that it has cancelled the 2022 FAI World Air Games, which were to take place in Turkey.
On April 18, The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale announced that the World Games 2021 in Birmingham, Alabama, will include canopy piloting.
In December, the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (the governing body for world air sports) announced that it appointed Markus Haggeney as acting secretary general following the departure of Secretary General Susanne Schödel.
On April 15, the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (the World Air Sports Federation) announced that its Executive Board named Markus Haggeney as the new FAI Secretary General.
In March, Johannes Bergfors, a videographer and wind tunnel instructor from Sweden, launched a series of videos titled “First Perspective” on the skydiving YouTube channel Fallrates.
In mid-June, freefall photographer Mike McGowan released “Selections by Mike McGowan,” a fine-art book that documents more than 50 years of skydiving history through more than 100 of his finest photographs.
Four skydivers in Eloy, Arizona—Sara and Steve Curtis, Jason Peters and George Reuter—recently purchased Firebird Skydiving, maker of the EVO harness-and-container system (and previously, the Omega sport and tandem harness-and-container systems and the Contrail, Demon, Cayenne and Chilli canopies).
Firebird, maker of the EVO harness-and-container system, has issued a product service bulletin after a pillow-reserve-ripcord cable separated from the reserve pin during assembly on a newly delivered EVO. Although Firebird says it is confident that this is an isolated incident, the company has taken additional steps to ensure the safety of its users.
Quickly getting to a formation of friends in freefall is fun!
Skydive Puerto Rico in Arecibo, a two-year-old USPA Foreign Affiliate DZ, hosted the island’s first USPA Coach Rating Course in April.
On December 30, three Kuwaiti Army officers and USPA members, Salem Almail, Nasser Alsabah and Fahad Alyaqoub, set the Guinness World Record for Largest Flag Flown in Freefall with a 63-square-meter (approximately 678-square-foot) flag at USPA Foreign Affiliate Skydive Qatar in Al Khor, United Arab Emirates.
USPA Foreign Affiliate Skydive Empuriabrava in Spain hosted Flock Yeah!, a skills camp for highly experienced canopy pilots, September 18-20.
Team Fastrax practices advanced flag-flying techniques at Skydive Sebastian in Florida.
Fluid Wings began taking orders for its newest wing, the Echo, on February 14. The company produces the canopy, which it aims at intermediate jumpers who are looking for more performance than a basic entry-level wing, in 107-, 120-, 135-, 150- and 170-square-foot models.
Canopy manufacturer Fluid Wings recently released the Gangster, a nine-cell, partially cross-braced wing with a tri-taper leading edge and mini-ribs at the trailing edge.
Photo by Raymond Adams | D-30158
Kyle Stubbs swoops in for landing during the Fitz Boogie, an annual St. Patrick’s Day event in Fitzgerald, Georgia.
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced closure of the many DZs located at the Aeroporto de Boituva in Brazil, approximately 50 parachute packers found themselves out of work.
A herd of unicorns (Michelle Hart, Karla Katherine, Jeannette Copeland and Marina Prokopenko) takes to the skies at the Aeronautrixx Unicorn Boogie, a Sisters in Skydiving event at Skydive California in Tracy.
Canopy formation skydivers fly a 16-way at the Freeze Your Buns Off Boogie at Skydive City Zephyrhills in Florida.
At Skydive San Diego in Jamul, California, instructor Patrick Woodruff takes Rachelle Babler for a tandem skydive to release the ashes of her father, 28-year Navy veteran Stanley Ljosdal. Ljosdal never got to make a jump, and Babler said, “That’s why I had to do it for him.”
All USPA Foreign Affiliate memberships of non-U.S. drop zones that did not submit their annual renewals expired December 31. USPA is in the process of removing any non-renewing Foreign Affiliate’s listing from Parachutist and the USPA website. If a DZ renews after membership has lapsed, it may take several months for the listing to reappear in the magazine due to publication deadlines and print cycles. Foreign Affiliate DZs that wish to renew should contact the Group Membership department at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
Dave Lunardi releases the ashes of longtime jumper Terry Zimmerlin, D-12981, at the Cleveland Skydiving Center in Garrettsville, Ohio.
During the Carol Clay Birthday Boogie at Virginia Skydiving Center in Petersburg, jumpers celebrate the life of the jumper known to all as "the Queen" by making her honorary 20,000th skydive.
Garrett “Snake” Shaw, D-2600, passed away May 3 after an illness. He was 80 years old.
David Waight, D-3070, died at his home in Boyertown, Pennsylvania, on August 1. He was 77.
Claude Gillard, an inductee to the International Skydiving Hall of Fame in 2012, passed away in his native Australia on August 3 at age 92.
What an improbable occurrence took place June 13. No, dogs didn’t lie down with cats. No, Yankee and Red Sox fans didn’t decide that it didn’t matter who won the game, as long as everyone had fun.
Jumpers of all levels are invited to the Lookin' to Build event at Skydive Spaceland-Houston.
The International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame Board of Trustees gives its Trustees’ Award to thank those who contribute services or make other gestures of goodwill to the museum. The board of trustees recently chose Doug Garr, D-2791, to receive this award.
In September 2009, 181 women set the Féderátion Aéronautique Internationale World Record for Largest Women’s Formation Skydive at Skydive Perris in California.
After nearly 30 years as a skydiving equipment retailer, Square One passed the torch for retail sales to a new company, Gold State Gear.
While at Mile-Hi Skydiving Center in Longmont, Colorado, celebrating the 50th anniversary of his first jump, Bill Boles, D-2907, poses in the landing area with his daughter, Kristin, who is an AFF student and accompanied her father in the plane for the occasion.
In July, the U.S. Army announced the retirement of Specialist First Class Matthew Davidson.
The Golden Knights Alumni Reunion recently brought alumni and current members of the United States Army Parachute Team to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to enjoy four days of camaraderie among teammates old and new.
At Skydive Paraclete XP in Raeford, North Carolina, the U.S. Army Golden Knights 8-way formation skydiving team trains for the World Championships.
Photo by Elliot Byrd | D-32251
When chess grandmaster Timur Gareyev won the 119th edition of the venerable U.S. Chess Open over almost 400 other players, Chess Life magazine knew that it had to do something special with the adventurous player for its November 2018 cover. As an ultramarathoner, yoga enthusiast and blindfold-chess Guinness World Record holder, the Kansas-based player who was born in Uzbekistan could inspire a potentially exciting photo. But it was when his manager Jennifer Vallens told the magazine’s editors that Gareyev is also a skydiver with close to 150 solo jumps that U.S. Chess—the 501(c)3 non-profit that publishes Chess Life—knew a cover was born.
The weather was perfect for the 10th Annual Halloween Carnivale hosted by Skydive Arizona in Eloy October 26-28. Skydivers enjoyed three beautiful days of jumps from the drop zone’s fleet of aircraft, including the DC-3. Vertical formation skydiving team Arizona Anthem organized Crazy Eights, an 8-way VFS event, while Thiago Gomez and Niklas Hemlin of formation skydiving team Arizona Airspeed organized the belly groups. Saturday’s costume contest was spook-tacular, and Danielle Lakota Barlow took home the grand prize, a Rigging Innovations Curv container, for her fortune teller costume. The boogie was a great start to the winter season in Arizona.
At Skydive the Ranch in Gardiner, New York, Laszlo Andacs (blue jumpsuit) celebrates his 10,000th jump with friends (clockwise from right) Tom Falzone (15,000 jumps), Max Cohn (11,000 jumps), Steve Webb (15,000 jumps), John Kieran (13,000 jumps) and Guy Wright (18,000 jumps), who along with camera flyer Igor Shpino (18,000 jumps) have more than 100,000 jumps and 215 years in the sport between them.
USPA Executive Director Emeritus Norman Heaton, D-565, recently published “My First 1,000 Jumps—The Evolution of a Skydiver and the Organization That Became His Life,” a nearly 800-page, coffee-table-sized memoir that gives a comprehensive account of the events surrounding the world of skydiving, the Parachute Club of America (USPA’s predecessor organization) and USPA from 1961-1975.
Each year for well over a decade, Larry Henderson has invited two plane loads of his friends to come to Whitewright, Texas, for his Big-Way Invitationals event.
Planning and organizing multi-point big-way formations is not as easy as you might think. Even with a first point already designed, coming up with a challenging but doable second point—much less one that is visually attractive—is tough. But Larry Henderson is someone who can sit down and create smooth dives and make it look easy.
At Skydive Perris in California, John Miller releases the ashes of his newly discovered half-brother, Randy, whom he met through DNA tracing for the first time last year and who died of natural causes before being able to make a skydive with his sibling.
On October 3, a historic 74-year-old Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress known as Nine-O-Nine (after its military serial number 42-31909) crashed and subsequently caught fire in Connecticut during a living-history flight, killing seven of the 13 people on board, including the pilot and copilot.
Members of Skydive Suffolk in Virginia pose for the camera after performing a demo jump into a Toys for Tots event, where they also donated more than $150 worth of toys to the cause.
Jumpers honor longtime formation skydiver and rigger Jim Tafralian, who died in an August plane crash, by building a “JT” in the air at Midwest Freefall Sport Parachute Club in Ray, Michigan.
Photo by August Haeuser | D-32152
In May, USPA promoted Steve Hubbard to director of the competition and records department, which is responsible for the USPA National Championships, the U.S. Parachute Team, competitive events and skydiving records.
On February 8, Seven Hills Skydivers of Madison, WI, which is located in York Center, hosted its third annual Ice Jumps event.
Cookie Helmets recently announced the release of its G4 helmet, which passed impact and snag-resistance testing to Skydiving and Wind Tunnel Helmet Standard XP S 72-600.
Julie Kleinwort makes a freestyle training jump at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois, in preparation for the USPA Nationals.
From left: Matt Congdon, Keith Jones, Chris Haslam, Colin Conway and Scott Robinson enjoy a canopy flock at Skydive Midwest in Sturtevant, Wisconsin, the weekend after quarantine lifted.
In 2017, when USPA made it clear that indoor skydiving was outside its mandate, it created a vacuum in the world of air sports. The International Bodyflight Association assumed some of the responsibilities for the sport on a temporary basis but didn’t want to assume the mantle in the long run. From this vacuum, U.S. Indoor Skydiving emerged as the new National Aeronautic Association-designated Air Sport Organization that will support the sport in the U.S.
The International Skydiving Museum and Hall of Fame recently announced the names of those it will induct into its Hall of Fame class of 2018.
On February 14, the International Skydiving Museum and Hall of Fame announced its 2019 inductees. The museum will induct the 10 skydivers—Irena Avbelj, Chuck Collingwood (posthumous), Kate Cooper-Jensen, Patrick de Gayardon (posthumous), Alan Eustace, John Higgins, Andy Keech, Tom Sanders, Deke Sonnichsen and Lofty Thomas (posthumous)—at its Hall of Fame Celebration at Skydive Perris in California October 17-19. More information on the weekend event is available at skydivingmuseum.org.
In May, the International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame announced the creation of the Path of Excellence Award, an honor it will present to groups, companies or teams that have played a prominent role in the growth and development of the sport.
In November, a team of formation skydivers and night-jump enthusiasts gathered at Skydive Arizona in Eloy to build large, multi-point formations with complete breaks between points.
The Invasion boogie at Skydive Sebastian in Florida December 28-January 1 was a spectacular success and provided something for everyone: an array of camps (including the SDC Core head-down camp and SDC Rhythm XP 8-way and big-way formation skydiving camps), the Coach for a Day program, organizers for jumpers of all skill levels, courses through the Women’s Skydiving Leadership Network and Alter Ego, novelty aircraft, beach jumps, tube jumps, hot tubs, music, an island party on a private island and a New Year’s Eve celebration.
John Dobleman, affectionately known as “Mad John” or “M.J.” in skydiving circles, received his USPA Regional Achievement Award for the Pacific Region from DZO Shaun Fenner at Bay Area Skydiving in Byron, California, on September 2.
Photo by Mark Kirschenbaum/Hypoxic | D-28515
During a Sisters in Skydiving event at Des Moines Skydivers in Winterset, Iowa, new A-license recipient Kari Spethman (purple helmet) enjoys a 4-way with mentors (clockwise from right) Amanda Kubik, Jeanine Bonvin and Julie Kleinwort.
Setting a world record with a team of only Italian skydivers may seem impossible, but that’s just what a group of nine jumpers did on July 15 in Cumiana, Italy.
The eighth annual Jump for the Rose Pinkfest Boogie in the fall of 2017 was the best so far! The skydiving community raised $31,000, which it presented to the Rose—a non-profit clinic that provides breast cancer care to all, regardless of their ability to pay—on December 13.
In April, a longtime skydiver at Vermont Skydiving Adventures in Addison read the article “Why Marian Sparks Jumps for the Rose (and Why You Should Too, No Matter Where You Live)” by Annette O’Neil in Parachutist. Inspired, he contacted JFTR founder Marian Sparks, who lives in Texas, and began fundraising efforts on behalf of the organization, which provides mammograms and other breast cancer services to those without insurance. Before long, the money began to pile up and he started sending her envelopes full of checks!
Jump for the Rose donated a record-shattering $70,000 to The Rose—a breast-cancer facility that provides healthcare to insured and uninsured men and women—at The Rose’s Christmas party on December 12 in Houston, Texas. Since 2010, Jump for the Rose has raised more than $230,000 for the facility.
Milko Hodgkinson organizes a pyramid-shaped formation over the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt.
On July 7, jumper Eric Proctor made a 24,000-foot HALO skydive as a fundraiser for the family of New York Air National Guard Master Sergeant Christopher “Goose” Raguso, who died in action on March 15 when his helicopter went down during a night mission in Iraq.
On Saturday, June 20, organizers Jeff and Karen Bodin, with assistance from John Verley, held a 16-way sequential formation skydiving training camp at Bay Area Skydiving in Byron, California.
One hot summer day back in 2008, Karl Gulledge, the owner of Skydive Elsinore in California, decided it was time to throw a party. He wanted a big celebration with a water slide; hoop, banana and rubber-chicken jumps; a Slip ’n’ Slide in the landing area; and a party in the evening with a luau theme. And that’s just what the Karlfornia Boneanza—this year held July 27-29—has become.
Wayne Cross and the staff of Meadow Peak Skydiving in Marion, Montana, played host to the 51st Annual Lost Prairie Boogie August 4-12. Three hundred skydivers made the annual pilgrimage to northwestern Montana for nine days of skydiving magic and a family reunion that is like no other.
In July, four students made the first known civilian AFF jumps in Iran.
May 25-28, past and current members of 4-way formation skydiving team Arizona Airspeed organized the Arizona Challenge, an event at which participants attempt complex and unusual large-formation skydives.
Matt Fry and Konstantin Petrijcuk (filling in for organizer Melissa Lowe) led the Vertical Sequential Camp—an event that gave jumpers a chance to try unique, non-traditional formations—at Skydive Sebastian in Florida February 20-23.
In July, Southwest Regional Director Jack Pyland—flying a 2,032-square-foot American flag—headed up a group of 12 skydivers who made a demo jump into the annual Kaboom Town fireworks display at Addison Airport just outside of Dallas, Texas.
For the fifth consecutive year, Contadora, a 54-square-mile island in the Pearl Islands archipelago of Panama, hosted the Pepe’s Island Boogie, a tropical retreat that included paddle boarding, scuba diving and, most importantly, skydiving.
Grace Dobosz, C-47029 and a video editor, founded the Wild Women Film Collective to spread the word about women in skydiving and other extreme sports. The group officially launched during the Chicks Rock Boogie at Skydive Elsinore in California on October 5. The collective announced its upcoming film festival and debuted its first short-film submission—“Moms in Skydiving” by Sophee Hillyard—at the event.
It was cold in the early morning of Friday, November 1, at Skydive Spaceland–Houston in Rosharon, Texas. Sixty skydivers from seven countries gathered to dirt dive bundled in many layers.
April was a rainy month in Texas, with almost every weekend either too cloudy or windy to jump. Fortunately, the last weekend in April was crystal clear at Skydive Spaceland–Houston in Rosharon, Texas, just in time for the third annual Spaceland XRW Skills Camp.
On July 14, friends and colleagues of Kellie Infante, B-46875, performed a memorial series of jumps at Skydive Perris in California, her home drop zone.
Pat Works, D-1813, made his first jump in Texas.
Members of Fly Team Evil exit a balloon during the suicide-prevention event.
Editors Doug Garr, Michael Kearns, Tim Long and Jan Works recently released “More Skydivers’ Stories: Close Calls and Epic Feats Above Planet Earth,” the sequel to “NSTIWTIWGD” (“No, S***, There I Was, Thought I Was Gonna Die”), a 2015 compendium of scary jump stories written primarily by old-school jumpers and compiled by Long.
There were lots of smiles and lots of tears the weekend of July 14-15 at Skydive Spaceland–Dallas in Whitewright, Texas, as friends, family and skydivers from across the country came to pay their last respects to Ryan Risberg, D-22873, an amazing personality who passed away in June.
These days it often seems that everything is described in the extreme. Simply fun outings become “epic,” everyday good things are “amazing” or “awesome,” and everyday good people become “legends.” However, that which is truly epic, amazing or legendary clearly stands out as the genuine article. Thomas Jenkins was absolutely such a legend.
There is an old saying about death that states: “They say you die twice. Once when you stop breathing and the second, a bit later on, when somebody mentions your name for the last time.” If that’s the case, Carolyn Clay will never truly die. On Friday, June 29, approximately 350 of Clay’s friends gathered at Virginia Skydiving Center in Petersburg to say a final good-bye to their beloved Queen of Skydiving.
On Tuesday, April 17, jumpers made history at USPA Foreign Affiliate Skydive Cuautla in Morelos, Mexico. At 2 p.m., 49 jumpers exited three planes flying at 16,000 feet and built the Mexican Record for Largest Formation Skydive.
On January 10, Hermogenes Barcia, B-49962; Jose Barcia, C-47417; Robert Duenas, D-33370; Ernesto Gainza, D-30033; and Santiago Vallejo, D-30990, set the Guinness World Record for Most Number of Equatorial Crossings During a Parachute Jump by a Team.
On June 30 at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois, jumpers from five countries came together in hopes of setting head-down sequential world records. Led by organizers Matt Fry and Melissa Nelson Lowe, the team first set out to accomplish a three-point formation.
Yong Chisholm, a longtime California skydiver of Korean descent, dreamed for more than 20 years of building an all-Korean freefall formation. It was a daunting task since skydiving is not common in Korea, and most jumpers there need to travel to the United States to have access to drop zones where they can improve their skills.
At Skydive Arizona in Eloy on October 18, Thomas Beranek, Joseph Bourke, David Dow, David Harper, Dirk Janssen, Gyorgy Kiss, Scott Macario, Corey Mendoza, George Nisson, Douglas Pinkham, Mauro Ravanelli, Sergey Sergienko, Jonas Siksnelis, Derek Thomas, Vladimir Ursachii, Kevin Vetter, Jose Villa and Stephen Woodford set the U.S. Record for Largest Four-Point Formation Skydive at Night with an 18-way.
On October 8 at Skydive Perris in California, Team Elite organizer Guy Wright put together a 33-way formation skydive that broke the Parachutists Over Phorty Society World Record for Largest Four-Point Formation Skydive.
In November, demonstration team Skydiving Innovations had the opportunity to make jumps over downtown San Francisco as part of a guerilla marketing campaign by Freshworks, a software-development company.
On June 6, Bridget Mahoney and Greg Nore were united in marriage in Winterset, Iowa, at the Des Moines Skydivers drop zone.
Our sport has seen many innovators who pushed the limits and made the impossible possible. In the canopy formation community, one of those was Paul “Q” Quandt. A charming, kind and wild soul who left the world too soon in a motorcycle accident, Quandt was a superb CF competitor and formation skydiving camera flyer.
Jack LaLonde, D-6875, made his first jump on Saturday, October 6, 1968 at South Florida Parachute Inc. in Clewiston. On Saturday, October 18, he made his 50-year anniversary jump at Skydive Palatka in Florida. The 79-year-old LaLonde and seven friends flew an 8-way formation skydive (snowflake to round, then LaLonde flew to the center) to celebrate the milestone
On April 2, the International Skydiving Museum and Hall of Fame announced that Marylou Laughlin and Gill Rayner have joined its board of trustees.
On November 4, Sharon Har-Noy Pilcher and Luis Prinetto, longtime organizers and coaches with years of experience organizing movement jumps, held a Leading Workshop at Skydive DeLand in Florida. The program gave attendees the tools to make informed decisions when leading and participating in any type of jump in which the jumpers fly away from a single column of air. These include tracking and angle jumps, as well as wingsuit skydives.
Chazi Blacksher and John Blackburn put on their dancing shoes at Skydive Arizona in Eloy for a local magazine piece promoting a children’s nonprofit event.
Levity, which launched in June, is a line of littleto- no waste hammocks, swinging chairs and more made a lmost entirely of donated and upcycled parachutes and gear.
At Start Skydiving in Middletown, Ohio, Cheryl Compton watches her husband, Larry Compton of Team Fastrax, bringing home a 7,800-square-foot flag during the life-celebration jump for Fastrax team member Larry Lemaster, who died in the June crash of a King Air in Hawaii.
Jumpers fly head down during the Sun Path Sequentials freefly event at Skydive Midwest in Sturtevant, Wisconsin.
Photo by David Cherry | D-33500
Niklas Daniel of AXIS Flight School at Skydive Arizona in Eloy demonstrates his edge-flying technique.
Stan Shepherd, D-28911, released the book “Skydiving Full Flight” in August. As a memoir of Shepherd’s 50 years of jumping, the book relates his worst mistakes and close calls, as well as the joys of the sport. He describes the lure of skydiving, his experience jumping both round and modern parachutes and his ideas on how to improve the sport. The book is intended for the average fun jumper of any experience level who want to gain from another jumper’s experiences in the sport. The book is available for purchase at Amazon.com at a price of about $7 for the Kindle version or $10.50 for a paperback.
In early July, 11 classic accuracy competitors gathered at Skydive Toronto in Ontario, Canada, for the third meet of the AmeriCup North American Classic Accuracy tour.
On March 7, Marty Jones, D-6397, celebrated 50 years of continuous skydiving by making several skydives with friends and family (including his wife, Selena Jones, and his stepmom, Carol Jones) at Skydive Arizona in Eloy.
A brave team gathered at Skydive Spaceland-Houston in Rosharon, Texas, March 12-16 to do something extraordinary: attempt a 42-way Fédération Aéronautique Internationale World Record for Largest Head-Down Formation Skydive at Night. Adding to the visual display, each jumper wore pyrotechnics.
Maytown Sport Parachute Club in Marietta, Pennsylvania, honored founding member Dick Gochenaur, D-1404, at its February club meeting. The club presented him with a plaque and a check in recognition of his many years of selfless service dedicated to the continuing success of the club.
The Maytown Sport Parachute Club held its annual Fun Meet on August 17, about two months later than usual due to poor weather in June.
The Maytown Sport Parachute Club in Marietta, Pennsylvania, held its annual Fun Meet June 16. The competition included three rounds of accuracy landing in two classes, one round of 4-way speed formation skydiving scrambles and, for the first time, a blindfolded packing competition, which was very entertaining to watch.
The Lost Prairie Boogie is a time to tune out from the daily hustle and bustle of email and social media and tune in to yourself and those around you. It’s a time when 300-plus close friends journey to a small prairie in Montana for 10 days of adult summer camp, skydiving included.
Two memoirs—“D.B. Cooper & Me: A Criminal, A Spy, My Best Friend” by Carl Laurin and “Getting the Truth: I Am D.B. Cooper” by Joe Koenig—and the documentary film “D.B. Cooper: The Real Story” assert that military parachutist and convicted criminal Walter Reca, who died in 2014, was the 1971 hijacker known as D.B. Cooper.
Each year, the Colorado Aviation Business Association and the Colorado Department of the Veterans of Foreign Wars arrange for aircraft to collect tens of thousands of pounds of canned food and toys at Centennial Airport near Denver and distribute them to distant towns across the state where volunteers distribute them to veteran families in need.
Jumpers at Skydive Paraclete XP in Raeford, North Carolina, fly a missing-man formation in honor of Justin Lowell Goff, who passed away April 21.
On July 26, the International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame announced that it intends to break ground on its museum building within 18 months.
The International Skydiving Museum has rescheduled its Hall of Fame Celebration for the class of 2020, originally planned for October 8-10, to April 22-24, 2021.
At Skydive City Zephyhills in Florida, Doug Cross reveals the source of chem trails as Marcie Smith looks on.
The National Aeronautic Association updated its process for issuing Fédération Aéronautique Internationale Sporting Licenses, which anyone participating in an FAI World Championship, World Cup or World Record must hold. Applicants must apply for their sporting licenses and pay their fees electronically at naa.aero/membership/membership-application. Processing time is five business days.
Photo By Steve Shorten | D-27932
Jumpers Paul Cochran, Art Cross, Tim Guy, Daryl Harmon, Mike McCormick, Jim Nelson, Dana Parker, Dick Pigg, Bob Summers, Jim Trimby and Ed Zell set the 11-way Indiana Skydivers Over Sixty Record for Largest Formation Skydive over Frankfort, Indiana.
This year’s USPA National Skydiving Championships at Chicagoland Skydiving Center in Rochelle, Illinois, September 4-18 will feature changes to the vertical formation skydiving and wingsuit flying disciplines. USPA is adding an intermediate VFS test event and replacing the intermediate performance wingsuit flying class with an advanced class.
There was something noticeably different about the December 27-January 1 Invasion boogie at Skydive Sebastian in Florida this year: the weather! It was phenomenal. With temperatures in the 80s, it was easy to forget it was the middle of winter. Of course, it wouldn’t be Sebastian if there wasn’t at least one minor cloud hold, but the weather gods got that out of the way on the morning of the first day. And the organizers made the most of the short hold by providing seminars in the packing area.
Melvin Brewing, a local microbrewery in Alpine, Wyoming, holds an annual beer festival, Madness Days. The brewery asked local jumpers Bill and Carol Jones to organize tandem skydiving for this year’s event, which it held July 19-21. The result was a beer boogie featuring skydiving rather than the usual skydiving boogie featuring beer!
For one of its season’s final events, Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois, welcomed freshly licensed jumpers from all over the country to its ninth annual Rookiefest, a Nationals-style competition for beginning skydivers. Jumpers with fewer than 200 jumps or two years in the sport qualified to participate, and this year’s competition enjoyed a record number of 78 Rookiefesters, nearly double that of previous seasons.
December 8 dawned chilly and gray at Skydive Spaceland–San Marcos in Fentress, Texas, the newest location in the Spaceland family of drop zones. Twenty-two jumpers gathered for a weekend of fun and challenging formation skydives deep in the heart of Texas. (Yes, where the stars at night are big and bright.) Led by caffeine-fueled organizers Scott Latinis and Mark Pharr, the participants were ready for some awesome skydives! DZ Manager Thomas Hughes gave a speech welcoming everyone to Spaceland San Marcos, and the jumpers excitedly prepared for the first jump.
March 15-17 was a memorable weekend at Skydive Arizona in Eloy, as the Rookie Round-Up brought novice skydivers from around the country to learn from local professional teams. Members of formation skydiving team Arizona Airspeed, freestyle team AZ Dream and vertical formation skydiving teams Arizona Anthem and Arizona X-Force provided coaching in the sky, as well as the onsite SkyVenture wind tunnel. On Saturday, the rookies had lunch in one of the DZ’s Skyvans as the chief pilot discussed safety precautions and taught them how to open the door of the tailgate aircraft.
At the Big O Boogie at Skydive Orange in Virginia, (from left) Nancy Koreen, Zachary Hoffman and Grayson Hoffman enjoy a head-down skydive.
Photo by Craig O'Brien | D-19294
Oh My! | Photo by Karen Lewis Dalton | D-24575
At Skydive Perris in California, the drop zone’s organizers, a few world champions and some friends build two formations to celebrate the 12th anniversary of the Chinese company My. The team built the formations on the first attempt and then built them again on the second attempt for good measure.
Simon Whittle skysurfs above the World Islands at Skydive Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Operation Wings of Freedom—an organization to help veterans battle post-traumatic stress disorder through skydiving—launched in January. The group hopes to help eight veterans achieve their A licenses in 2019. Wings of Freedom believes that skydiving can help veterans since it helps build a bond through shared experience, is highly intense and helps to develop powerful skill sets through the sport’s extreme demands.
As part of a new privacy initiative beginning January 1, new USPA members must specifically designate that USPA can share their accomplishments (licenses, ratings and awards) and contributions (donations to one of the four USPA funds) in print in Parachutist. New members must now also opt in for USPA to share their accomplishments and display their membership cards digitally through Sig.ma. Previously, members did not need to opt in before USPA listed their credentials but had the ability to opt out.
Skydive Orange hosted its Liberty Boogie: Sisters in Skydiving 2019 July 4-7. A stellar cast of organizers chased away the forecasted bad weather and everyone enjoyed a weekend of great jumps.
Orange Skies Free Fall Center launched its opening weekend at Fort Morgan Municipal Airport in Colorado April 20-21.
Organizers Matthew Fry and Melissa Nelson Lowe recently scheduled attempts to set the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale World Record for Largest Two-Point Head-Down Formation Skydive for June 25-28, 2020, at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois.
Ryan Bolohan carves it up at Skydive Georgia in Cedartown.
Photo by Juan Mayer | D-26130
At Skydive Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Adbulrahman Mohammed Almaamari flies over Bluewaters Island and its famous Dubai Eye Ferris wheel.
The organizers of P3—Perris Performance Plus—know that it’s spectacular when a large formation comes together. So, each year in May they host a trifecta of four-day formation skydiving events—the P3 Big-Way Camp, 100-Way Camp and Spring Fling—at Skydive Perris in California.
From July 1-31, USPA members in the Pacific Region have the opportunity to vote in a special election to fill the vacancy created when previous Pacific Regional Director Brett Martin relocated out of the region.
The Performance Designs Factory Team began 15 years ago as a 4-way formation skydiving project composed primarily of PD employees. It later became a high-performance canopy piloting team. For 2019, PD is expanding the team to include classic accuracy.
On June 8, canopy manufacturer Performance Designs released its latest canopy, the Sabre3.
Pepperell Skydiving Center in Massachusetts delivered a smash-hit Barefoot Boogie this summer. Led by DZO Fran Strimenos and boogie-meister Iain Guthrie, PSC’s crackerjack staff and pilots scored the grand slam of nonstop flying, fabulous food, fine entertainment and fun, while Bobby Goldman reunited New England’s formation skydiving brotherhood on the ground and in the air.
Michael Sean Washburn and Reza Moradi of the Skytrash wingsuit team make a jump at the Skydive Dubai Desert Campus in the United Arab Emirates.
Katie Hansen and Roberta Mancino teamed up to host the no-stress Ladies Sequential Weekend April 7-8 at Skydive Perris in California. With help from Daniel Croft, Bryan Gile, Chad Ross and David Wybenga, 18 ladies formed three groups on day one to fly freefly formations just for fun.
What makes a great holiday boogie? Blue skies and perfect temperatures? A line up of all the Skyvans and Twin Otters you can use? Top-notch facilities and awesome parties? How about hundreds of skydivers from around the world and fantastic organizers of nearly every discipline, all sharing the skies, keeping it safe and having the holiday of their lives? The Party in Perridise Holiday Boogie at Skydive Perris in California had all that and much more.
In early April, USPA’s Executive Committee voted to allow the Phantom Airborne Brigade to jump at Group Member drop zones. The Phantom Airborne Brigade is one of several groups that performs military-style static-line jumps using round parachutes.
Phil Mayfield, D-2629, first joined USPA in 1969. He made his first jump on March 9 of that year with four of his teenage buddies in Cedar Hill, Texas, and never stopped. Exactly 50 years later, he made a 2-way formation skydive with his son, Aaron, at Skydive Spaceland-Dallas in Whitewright, Texas, to celebrate the occasion. In the past, he’s also had the opportunity to jump with his other son, Jake.
The Parachute Industry Association recently announced that it established a new award, the PIA Mentor Award, to recognize people in the parachute industry who have contributed to the knowledge and skill sets of others in a classroom environment, through seminars or by performing on-the-job or individual training. The PIA Awards Committee will approve up to 10 recipients per year for the award. Recipients may receive the award—an engraved medallion in a presentation box— at any skydiving or parachute industry event from any PIA member in good standing. Those interested in nominating a mentor for this award can find the nomination form and additional information about the award at pia.com in the Standard Operating Procedures document in the Public Documents tab.
The European Skydiving Symposium is inviting the skydiving community to attend its conference for skydivers, instructors and gear specialists at the Mazurkas Conference Center and Hotel near Warsaw, Poland March 5-7.
The Parachutists Over Phorty Society held its 49th annual SpringFest April 4-7 at Skydive Lake Wales in Florida. Longtime POPS member Dave DeWolf—who passed away the month after SpringFest—supported the event with a generous donation.
In late February, while most of the East Coast was covered with snow and rain, a group of Parachutists Over Phorty Society members enjoyed warm but occasionally windy weather at the 50th POPS SpringFest at Florida Skydiving Center in Lake Wales.
Florida Skydiving Center in Lake Wales once again hosted the annual Parachutists Over Phorty Society SpringFest meet. The February 28-March 4 event brought jumpers from around the country together for friendly competition. It also gave POPS members a chance to remember Bob Rhyne, TopPOP #5, who had recently passed away.
On January 1, the Parachutists Over Phorty Society launched an updated version of its U.S. website at pops-usa.com (which jumpers can also access by clicking on the American flag at thepops.org). The organization is going green, and members can now correspond with POPS and access all forms and applications online.
The temperature was chilly but hearts were warm as women from the Parachutists Over Phorty Society met on December 22 to set records during the Skydive Arizona Christmas Boogie in Eloy. During the one-day event, the women set numerous POPS records, including the Tiny Broadwick Memorial POPS World Record for Largest Five-Point Formation Skydive with a 12-way.
Jason Gonzalez and Viviana De Jesus of Xtreme Divers West in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, hosted the 16th Puerto Rico Freefall Festival February 7-11, an event many thought impossible after the island suffered a direct blow from Hurricane Maria last year.
Some of the best and most talented formation skydivers in the world attended the annual P3 Power Play event at sunny Skydive Perris in California June 27-30.
Tyler Buffington swoops in for landing at Skydive Arizona in Eloy.
Actor Wade Williams, best known for his role as prison guard Brad Bellick on the TV series “Prison Break,” makes a tandem skydive with instructor Ryan Clough and jumpers Ryan Mari and Eric Salas at the Fitz Boogie in Fitzgerald, Georgia.
In order to help save highly endangered rhinos, Red Bull sent its athlete Jeff Provenzano to Limpopo, South Africa, to help the Eco Defense Group (EDGE) raise awareness of its efforts in the area.
A 14-way flies over the Pyramid of Khafre during the Sky Seekers Boogie in Giza, Egypt.
Photo by George Katsoulis | USPA #93010
On their return to the sky after the lifting of lockdown orders, Bob Compton, Terry Dauplaise, Eric Knight and Celine Pelletier launch an open accordion at Skydive Perris in California.
At Skydive the Gulf in Elberta, Alabama, Leigh Miller makes a tandem jump with DZO Luke Church to raise awareness of sexual assault survivors.
Rattlesnake Mountain Skydiving is a new USPA Group Member drop zone located in Prosser, in the heart of Washington, a place that has been dubbed the birthplace of the Washington wine industry. Seated in the eastern foothills of the Cascade Mountains, Prosser boasts more than 200 days of sunshine each year and, from full altitude, offers views of three of the Pacific Northwest’s most recognizable mountains, as well as the Columbia and Yakima rivers below.
Photo By Ellen Morris | D-26655
Neither wind nor the threat of a late-season snow storm could dissuade DZO Ole Thompson (second from right) and other intrepid jumpers from Vermont Skydiving Adventures in Addison from attending Safety Day, which the DZ traditionally holds in April rather than March due to the climate.
Red Bull is hosting the fifth edition of its Illume Image Quest photo competition—which incorporates all manner of imagery, including skydiving and BASE jumping—and is accepting submissions now through July 31.
The incredible team at Lincoln Sport Parachute Club hosted its annual Redemption Boogie July 19-22 with Skydive Arizona’s Super Otter. Jumpers enjoyed the best weather in eight years, delicious food, cheap registration, even cheaper jump tickets, fun organizers and ridiculous nighttime activities, all on the grass strip at the DZ’s home in Weeping Water, Nebraska.
Registration is now open for the 2019 Drop Zone Operators’ Conference, scheduled for Sunday-Monday, February 3-4, in Dallas, Texas, at the Hyatt Regency Dallas. The conference will take place in conjunction with the USPA Board of Directors meeting February 1-3 and the Parachute Industry Association Symposium February 4-8.
At Skydive Perris in California, jumpers release the ashes of longtime California jumper Linda Hardesty, D-15263, and her father, Ted Hardesty.
Nineteen jumpers do one last jump with their friend, Ray Capa, C-17275, releasing his ashes over the skies of Chicagoland Skydiving Center in Rochelle, Illinois.
After deciding to retire from the sport, Andy Tuman (blue jumpsuit, purple grippers) makes his farewell skydive with friends at Skydive the Ranch in Gardiner, New York.
Photo by Laszlo Andacs | D-22468
The Parachutist staff has discovered that substantial portions of the interview on which the article “Children of Fallen Heroes—Skydiving Angels” (August Parachutist) was based are not accurate and that at least some of the published photos, including the opening photo, did not depict the correct organization.
Canopy formation skydivers (from top) Mike Roy, Mark McManamay and Dale Maddox release the ashes of longtime Skydive Tecumseh staff member, instructor and pilot Harold “Buster” Walenski over Honey Acres Airport in Clinton, Michigan.
Darren Johnson | D-23069
On July 1, members of the Rhode Island State Senate performed their fourth annual skydiving fundraiser at Skydive Newport. This year, the senators raised money for a memorial to the Rhode Island Eight who died in the bombing in Beirut in 1983.
Formation skydiving team SDC Rhythm XP recently launched a new 4-way FS app, Rhythm Skydiving 401, for iPhone and Android operating systems. The comprehensive tool is suitable for novices, as well as the hardcore 4-way FS junkie.
On February 24, Sun Path Products and Rigging Innovations announced the planned merger of their business operations under the Sun Path Products brand.
USPA selected Ron Bell as its Director of Safety and Training to succeed Jim Crouch, who served in the position for 18 years. Bell’s first day was October 29.
At Skydive Palatka in Florida in March, Round Canopy Parachute Team, a nonprofit military-static-line demonstration team, hosted its second More Than a Jump event for veterans.
Jumpers at Skydive Perris in California release the ashes of longtime skydiver Bud Krueger, D-3664.
USPA recently promoted Stephanie Seidel to become director of its Membership Services department, the department of five that has the most interaction with USPA members.
Advanced Aerospace Designs released Public Service Bulletin PSB-02-2018, which requires owners to send all Vigil II automatic activation devices with serial numbers from 16,000 to 21,999 to the manufacturer for inspection. After an AAD malfunctioned, the manufacturer traced the problem to an unreliable electrical connection. The company has inspected 200 units without finding a similar problem but has decided to check all of the affected units as a precaution. The PSB describes the process required for each affected unit. The inspection is mandatory, and owners should complete it at the next reserve repack or by no later than December 31, 2019. The company will also update the software and replace the battery, since the affected units are within two years of a required battery change. More information is available at vigil.aero/service-bulletins.
On February 10, Seven Hills Skydivers of Madison, WI, located in York Center, Wisconsin, revived a tradition when it hosted ice jumps onto Lake Mendota, just five blocks from the Wisconsin State Capitol.
Seven Hills Skydivers in Marshall, Wisconsin, once again hosted its annual ice jumps onto frozen Lake Mendota at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison. Sixteen jumpers participated this year, more than double the number of jumpers in 2018! Jump conditions were good (albeit brisk), with temperatures peaking at 16 degrees Fahrenheit in the afternoon.
On Friday, June 21, Seven Hills Skydivers of Madison, Wisconsin, which is located in Marshall, and veterans’ organization 4th HOOAH (Helping Out Our American Heroes) held the 5th Annual Freedom Freefall event in conjunction with the club’s Head to the Hills Boogie.
On Friday, June 15, Seven Hills Skydivers of Madison, WI, (which is located in Marshall) held the 4th Annual Freedom Freefall event in conjunction with its Head to the Hills Boogie. The veterans-help organization 4th HOOAH (Helping Out Our American Heroes)—which aims to reduce the number of veteran suicides a day from the current 20—started the event in 2015 to give those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder a coping mechanism through skydiving. The organization funded tandem skydives, as well as inside and outside video, for 35 veterans this year.
Marie Clark and Jessica Maviano created the She Flocks event so women could fly, learn, share and meet others who share a passion for the discipline.
On June 14, Sigma—the company that provides electronic membership cards and credential verification to USPA members—announced that it has changed its name to Merit.
With the support of Larsen & Brusgaard, event organizers Amy Benton and Chazi Blacksher of the Working Girls brought together a party of 85 jumpers to learn and laugh at Camp Yahawannafly (yeah-I-want-to-fly), a Sisters in Skydiving event at Skydive Arizona in Eloy January 25-27. They kicked off the event with an evening huck jam at the SkyVenture Arizona wind tunnel on Thursday, the day before official check-in.
The energy and warm buzz at Skydive Perris in California on Easter weekend was so tangible you could gift wrap it! The drop zone’s Full Moon Masquerade—a Sisters in Skydiving event—drew Big Sisters, Little Sisters and even some guys.
The American classic movie “The Wizard of Oz” laid the (yellow) brickwork for a one-of-a-kind Sisters in Skydiving event at Skydive Arizona in Eloy January 26-28. Amy Benton and Chazi Blacksher (affectionately known as “the Working Girls”) collaborated with Larsen & Brusgaard to bring more than 90 women together for a weekend of sharing, giving, jumping, tunnel flying, winning prizes and dressing in costume.
The weekend of April 28-29, Skydive Suffolk in Virginia hosted the Magical Neon Rampage, a Sisters in Skydiving event. Load organizers Carlye Barto and Chazi Blacksher focused on individual skills in group settings. The ladies earned sweet jerseys and leggings from Kua Sky and scored a neckie courtesy of Kua Sky in their boogie bags. A few participants met for dinner after jumping on Saturday and enjoyed talking about the day’s jumps over wine and chocolate chip cookies.
Six USPA members who reside in the Central Region are on the ballot for the special election to fill the vacancy on the USPA Board of Directors created by the passing of Central Regional Director Gary Peek in August.
Jumpers (clockwise from top left) Eric Bjorn, Mark Dorminey, Alan Stephenson, Trixie Stephenson, Nuno Merino and J.D. Colley successfully launch a 6-way chunk out of a PAC 750XL over Skydive Tennessee in Tullahoma.
With the assistance of some fantastic fall weather, Sky’s the Limit in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, made the end-of-year Mystery Boogie on October 19 a hearty slice of skydiver heaven.
When it came to having fun, the Bahama Beach Boogie 2018 in the island nation of the Bahamas delivered! The event, hosted February 3-11 on the west end of Grand Bahama island by Sky’s the Limit in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, attracted 60 attendees for more than a week of jumps from a 900-horsepower Super Caravan.
Skydive Arizona in Eloy kicked off its busy fall season with the Dia De Los Muertos Halloween Boogie October 25-28.
Skydive Atlas in Holdrege, Nebraska, recently won the Visionary Rising Star Award from the Holdrege Area Chamber of Commerce. The award goes to a Chamber member who has been in business five years or less and has demonstrated business success and community leadership.
At Skydive Carolina in Chester, South Carolina, Sisters in Skydiving members Amy Milhorne and Christina Horner added a new activity to the drop zone’s SIS events: Dive-Flow Bingo!
The weekend of June 1-3, the drop zone hosted the first New England CF Introductory Camp.
USPA Foreign Affiliate Skydive Empuriabrava in Spain, one of Europe’s largest drop zones, is now offsetting its carbon dioxide footprint by supporting certified climate-protection projects.
The skydiving community and Rotarians really came through for the world’s children.
Sixty skydivers of varying skill levels from four countries headed to Skydive Midwest in Sturtevant, Wisconsin, June 22-24 for the first Sun Path Sequentials vertical skills camp. Participants in the three-day camp split into groups of 3 to 12 flyers to work with one of the 11 rotating organizers, all Sun Path-sponsored athletes.
Skydive Mountaineer held its inaugural weekend May 18-19 at the Maley Field Airport in Shinniston, West Virginia. The new DZ is operating a Cessna 182, taking off from North Central West Virginia Airport in Clarksburg and landing at Maley Field.
More than 60 skydivers played in the skies over Skydive San Diego in Jamul, California, on December 2 during the DZ’s first Sisters in Skydiving event, Women of the Sky.
Skydive Spaceland’s sport accuracy competitions have long been a fun way to focus skydivers on safe, accurate landings and introduce newer jumpers to competition. With free canopy coaching and three classes of competition to provide jumpers of all experience levels an opportunity to compete for prizes, including a free day of jumping, the meets usually draw a good crowd.
July 13-15, Skydive Spaceland–Houston in Rosharon, Texas, hosted its second annual Pre-Nationals Competition, a Nationals-style meet with Nationals-quality judging for competitors to tune up before the USPA National Skydiving Championships.
Out of all the jumpers, staff and organizers in Rockmart, Georgia, at Skydive Spaceland– Atlanta’s Third Birthday Boogie April 27-29, the MVP was Mother Nature herself!
On October 13, Skydive Suffolk in Virginia partnered with the Combat Wounded Coalition from nearby Chesapeake to host Jumping for a Purpose, a day for wounded veterans to take to the skies. Dozens of military veterans attended the event and made skydives, including Norwood Thomas, a 95-year-old veteran of World War II who jumped from a plane to fight at Normandy.
Skydive the Falls in Youngstown, New York, hosted its first Skydive the Falls Fest September 13-15.
June 1 marked the official inaugural weekend for Skydive the Falls, located at Shear Airport in Youngstown, New York, just minutes from Niagara Falls
Over Easter weekend, Skydive the South—a small, homey drop zone in Tuskegee, Alabama—transformed. The hustle and bustle of people, parachutes and airplanes brought about by the DZ’s first Easter Boogie (and fundraiser for two charitable organizations) was astonishing.
James Rick Highsmith, D-5863, recently published “In Search of Christmas,” an illustrated children’s book that touches on Highsmith’s love of skydiving.
On March 9, a bright and sunny day, 90 skydivers and their friends and families gathered at the Museum of History in Granite in Felicity, California, to make some skydives, to enjoy a reunion of the Pioneers of Sport Parachuting and to attend a dedication of monuments.
On August 24, Circle W Restorations hosted the second annual Operation Wings & Wheels event at the Circle W Airfield north of East Berlin, Pennsylvania.
The skydiving community’s ability to rapidly innovate in response to this health crisis is the perfect representation of our unique sport and is evidence that our industry will adapt and continue to thrive.
Over adult beverages at Tsunami Skydivers’ 2019 Party on the Playa boogie in Costa Rica, photographer Bruno Brokken was talking with a group of friends when he had a question: How would they like to make a jump over Meteor Crater in Arizona so he could photograph it?
Skydivers Over Sixty had planned to hold its 20th annual Record Week at Skydive Perris in California in May.
In May, Carl Rosander from Hayesville, North Carolina, became the 2,400th skydiver to join the growing ranks of Skydivers Over Sixty.
More than 400,000 spectators gathered in the town of Addison, Texas, on July 3 to celebrate Independence Day by watching one of the most spectacular air shows and firework displays in the country.
The National Aeronautic Association selected the four-point 42-way head-down world record as one of its most memorable aviation records of 2018. The skydivers set the record on June 30 over Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois, surpassing the previous record of 33 set in 2014.
On March 3, the International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame announced its 2020 class of inductees.
In January, the International Skydiving Museum and Hall of Fame launched its new website at its previous address, skydivingmuseum.org.
Nathan “Nate” Pond, D-69, passed away at his home in Andover, Vermont, on November 3. He was 87.
Radoslav “Slavo” Mulik, who passed away in 2016, would have turned 75 years of age on September 4. On that day, in the town of his birth—Nalepkovo, Slovakia—family, friends, city dignitaries and retired paratroopers gathered to honor Mulik’s devotion to his country and countrymen, as well as the sport of skydiving.
Karen Lewis Dalton flies a smoke chain during the Women’s Skydiving Network PRO Camp at Skydive Arizona in Eloy.
In mid-April, like the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano, members of Skydivers Over Sixty, Jumpers Over Seventy and Women Skydivers Over Sixty returned to Skydive Perris in California. The event kicked off on April 19 with the JOS formation skydiving record attempts.
On February 3 at Skydive Arizona in Eloy, 18 jumpers set two Skydivers Over Sixty state records, one of which also qualified as a Parachutists Over Phorty Society record.
Jim Tafralian, USPA #1298, started his jump career in 1971 at the age of 20 at Midwest Sport Parachute Club near Monroe, Michigan. Early in his jump career, Tafralian became interested in formation skydiving and competed in 10-way speed on the Beechnuts team. In 1974, he was part of the groups who built a 28-way round and a 20-way night round at Zephyrhills Parachute Center (now Skydive City Zephyrhills) in Florida. He also became a Federal Aviation Administration Master Rigger and Commercial Pilot.
At Kapowsin Air Sports in Washington, (clockwise from top) Kasha Farrington, Zach Archer, Andy Farrington and Braden Roseborough fly over the Puget Sound at sunset with Mt. Rainier in the distance.
Everyone enjoys a good speedstar competition, and Spaceland’s fifth annual Transitions event on June 2 was a great example!
Coronavirus slowed but did not stop the Skydive Spaceland 3-Way Formation Skydiving Competition!
In early October, Skydive Spaceland celebrated the fifth anniversary of its now biannual Sport Accuracy Competition with its biggest one yet!
Members of the Parachutists Over Phorty Society and its many subgroups gathered at Skydive Spaceland–Houston in the quaint Texas town of Rosharon October 2-6 to compete in the annual POPS National Championships and Jumpers Over Seventy Record Attempts.
Skydive Spaceland-Houston in Rosharon, Texas, hosted its third annual Pre-Nationals Formation Skydiving Competition July 20-21. Five teams battled it out in 4-way and 8-way and gained a unique opportunity to get a feel of what it’s like to compete on the national stage.
Todd Scrutchfield lands at Skydive Spaceland-Houston in Rosharon, Texas after practicing for night jumps during the Max Pyro event.
Following the annual TeXXas 20-Ways event at Skydive Spaceland–Houston in Rosharon, Texas, 20 talented women from around the state completed this 20-way Texas star on their second try, impressing the female air traffic controller on duty in the process.
Photo by Alan Levy | D-18332
Sometimes in life, things just click. Almost like the universe decided that, yes, you will be successful this time and not too many ordeals will be placed in your way.
Each year over the New Year’s holiday break, USPA hosts the National Collegiate Parachuting Championships, the longest-running collegiate skydiving competition in history. This year’s Collegiates will take place at Skydive Arizona in Eloy December 28, 2018-January 2, 2019. Collegiates brings together nearly 100 students from colleges and universities across the country for friendly competition in multiple disciplines—2-way, 4-way and 6-way formation skydiving, 2-way vertical formation skydiving, sport accuracy and classic accuracy.
On August 12, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao swore in Stephen Dickson as the 18th administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration.
On August 18, USPA Tandem Instructor Jen Stewart took her mother, Janell, on a skydive at Mid-America Sport Parachute Club in Taylorville, Illinois. Janell was marking the day when she would’ve been married to her late husband, Dennis, for 50 years. It was a memorable jump for both mother and daughter, and to make the skydive even more noteworthy, Lew Sanborn, D-1, joined them for it.
After 42 years, Strong Enterprises moved to a much newer and more ergonomic facility about seven miles northeast of its previous location. Effective October 1, the new address is 6448 Pinecastle Blvd., Suite 104, Orlando, FL 32809. Phone numbers and email addresses remain the same.
On the weekend of July 28-29, jumpers at Skydive Suffolk in Virginia worked to set head-down and head-up state records.
Fellow jumpers at Sky Knights Sport Parachute Club in East Troy, Wisconsin, say goodbye to John Sullivan, D-25601, on an ash dive held during his memorial service that more than 100 of his friends, family and coworkers attended.
Coach Jeannie Bartholomew of the Alter Ego Project comes in for landing while leading a canopy skills camp at Skydive Tennessee in Tullahoma.
Sunrise Manufacturing International, Inc., maker of the Wings harness and container system, has issued a mandatory service bulletin for rigs equipped with an RSL with Reserve Boost MARD (Main-Assisted Reserve Deployment).
Seven teams consisting of 31 competitors braved the 100-degree Texas heat on August 10 to participate in the 2019 Annual Dallas Super Cup hosted by Skydive Spaceland–Dallas in Whitewright, Texas.
Sweet 16 | Photo by Zach Lewis | D-21616
At Skydive Arizona in Eloy, 16-way formation skydiving team Dallas Disturbance attends a training camp in anticipation of the upcoming skydiving season.
Levity founder Leah Levy product tests her company’s Pocket Swing, which is made from upcycled parachute fabric, underneath a Droplyne balloon flying over Arizona City, Arizona.
March 2-4, 32 expert formation skydivers from drop zones across the length and breadth of the United States and from as far away as Brazil, Canada, Norway, Russia and the United Kingdom gathered at Skydive Arizona in Eloy for three days of phenomenal formation skydives.
On March 1-3, Guy Wright and Arizona Airspeed’s Niklas Hemlin joined forces for the third installment of Eloy Team Elite. Once again, jumpers traveled from all over the United States and beyond for a fast-paced weekend of challenging multi-point 36-way skydives from 16,500 feet.
World record events take a number of things to be successful—talented team members, capable leadership, a strong video team, experienced pilots, lots of large planes, tireless ground support and favorable weather. Team Ripcord had all but the last component when it gathered at Skydive Perris in California October 11 for a four-day effort to set a Parachutists Over Phorty Society World Record for Largest Formation Skydive.
Approximately 120 jumpers, 40 of them women, attended the 2018 West Tennessee Skydiving Sisters in Skydiving Boogie May 11-13. DZO Mike Mullins flew 40 14,500-foot King Air loads, as well as a 23,000-foot high-altitude load with oxygen, and 11 inverted bi-plane loads. Attendees also had the opportunity to get on two helicopter loads. Everyone had a blast at the 1980s-themed lip sync contest. Event organizers Elizabeth and Christian Young and the drop zone staff put on an amazing show.
DZOs Mikeal Stevens and Angela Alley decided that a great way to celebrate Stevens’ 40th birthday would be to fly a 40-way formation skydive at their drop zone, JumpTN in Greeneville.
One of the classic forms of formation skydiving competition is experiencing renewed popularity. Ten-way speed—in which 10 jumpers work to build a formation in the shortest time—is making a comeback. The DC-3 10-Way Speed Money Meet, hosted by Skydive Arizona in Eloy during the last weekend in December, is an indication of the new energy surrounding the discipline.
On December 1, the Texas skydiving community said goodbye to Bob Hunter, D-15030, who passed away of natural causes in October. Hunter, a USPA Tandem Instructor who had made more than 8,000 jumps, was an integral part of the Texas skydiving community.
Learfield IMG College, a brand-management firm, hosts an annual evening to recognize success within the company with awards known as “the Clydes” (named for founder Clyde Learfield).
In celebration of their recent engagement, Adam Elkin and Amanda Kubik exit from a balloon over Van Horne, Iowa.
Executive Director Ed Scott presents former Director of Membership Services Clint Vincent, who served as USPA staff member in various positions for more than 20 total years, with a retirement plaque from all current USPA employees at his retirement party at USPA Headquarters in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Skydive West Plains “the Ritz” in Ritzville, Washington, hosted a great Memorial Weekend Boogie May 24-27. Weather didn’t allow jumping on Friday, but the evening potluck, karaoke and bonfire made up for it.
The Women’s Skydiving Network, an international network of more than 3,000 female skydivers, recently announced the launch of the WSN Pro team, an all-female skydiving demonstration team founded by professional skydivers Amy Chmelecki and Melanie Curtis.
This past May, USPA held its third annual Learn to Skydive Month.
Four-Way Formation Skydiving World Champion NMP Pch HayaBusa trains at USPA Foreign Affiliate DZ Skydive Empuriabrava in Spain.
Photo by Juan Mayer|D-26130
Rashid Abdullah and Michael Sean Washburn of the SkyTrash wingsuit team train at the Skydive Dubai Desert Campus in the United Arab Emirates.
At Skydive Spaceland–Dallas in Whitewright, Texas, Debbie Bohannon, the wife of the late Richard “Bo” Bohannon, releases his ashes during a tandem skydive with instructor Ernie Long and friends (from left) Dave Eisele, Gary Haas and Scott Kucel.
Zach Lewis | D-21616
Cheryl Stearns celebrates her 64th birthday by making her 21,000th jump at friend Gene Stoughton’s property in South Carolina.
July 17-18, Air Sports Group and the General Sports Authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hosted the inaugural Swoop Freestyle International Open in downtown Jeddah. The first professional skydiving event in the kingdom featured 18 competitors from 15 countries.
Jeffery Kuhn says goodbye to pilot and DZO Mike Mullins as he drops from an inverted biplane at West Tennessee Skydiving in Whiteville.
At Skydive Paraclete XP in Raeford, North Carolina, (clockwise from left) organizer Ashley Goldstein, Silas Davis, Ty Swansboro and Courtney McCarthy make a freefly jump.
United Parachute Technologies and Sun Path Products are joining forces to co-sponsor the development, training and sale of the Mutant supine harness, which is geared toward highly experienced canopy pilots. This is the first time the direct competitors have worked together to this extent in the sport market.
United Parachute Technologies recently introduced its Mutant harness-and-container system, which the company designed to maximize performance in canopy flight. In contrast to familiar systems, the Mutant suspends the pilot in the supine position—resting back with the feet stretched forward—which is an efficient flying position resembling a paragliding pilot’s. This position reduces drag, thus allowing for more speed and range, and is also very comfortable, according to UPT.
Due to the everchanging landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic nationally, USPA has been adapting its plans for events such as the 2020 USPA National Championships and the USPA Board Meeting long after Parachutist goes to press.
During its recent meeting in Dallas, the USPA Board of Directors voted to support a major airport-access win for skydiving by Luther Kurtz, DZO of the Phoenix Skydive Center in Casa Grande, Arizona, under Part 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Kurtz will receive a $24,156.76 as a reimbursement for a share of his legal expenses through the Airport Access and Defense Fund. Details about the case are available in the article “DZO Wins Part 16 Appeal” on page 16 in the February issue of Parachutist.
The USPA Membership Services Committee is currently seeking nominations for three of its service awards: the Lifetime Achievement Award (a maximum of one recipient annually), the Gold Medal for Meritorious Service (up to three recipients annually) and the Regional Achievement Award (up to five recipients annually).
Now that summer is well underway, there’s a good chance that many jumpers are reaching milestones in their skydiving careers. USPA issues two types of awards so jumpers can commemorate these milestones: achievement awards (for number of jumps and time of freefall) and performance awards (for canopy formation performance).
On May 23, the USPA Board of Directors’ Executive Committee voted to allow USPA members to jump with the U.S. round parachute groups that are recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration. USPA members may perform static-line jumps with these groups using the groups’ equipment at their own airport locations, at FAA-approved airshows and demonstrations, and at events in foreign countries governed by those countries’ aviation authorities. USPA specifies that these static-line jumps must be at a minimum altitude of 1,500 feet above ground level.
In late October, just before the end of the board election, then-Pacific Regional Director Ron Bell accepted a position at USPA, which made him ineligible to serve on the board. In a special meeting in November, USPA’s board of directors convened to decide how to treat the Pacific Regional Director election since Bell, who received the most votes, was ineligible to be elected. Because Brett Martin was on the ballot and received the second-most number of votes, the board declared him to be the Pacific Regional Director when the 2019-2021 board begins its term on February 1.
On June 1, USPA begins the process of having its members elect its 22-member board of directors for the 2019-2021 term.
Results are in for the 2019-2021 USPA Board of Directors election, which concluded October 31.
The USPA Board of Directors rescheduled its summer meeting and USPA General Membership Meeting, originally set for July 10-12, to September 18-20.
The USPA Board of Directors will hold its summer meeting July 13-15 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
For decades, USPA has provided members with third-party liability insurance.
When USPA receives a complaint about an individual member or a Group Member drop zone violating rules or acting in an unsafe manner, the USPA Board of Directors’ Compliance Group investigates the allegations using a specific process that the USPA Governance Manual outlines.
In February, USPA emailed its 308 members who live in Hawaii to ask for their assistance in the fight to save Hawaii’s Dillingham Airfield for skydiving.
All USPA Foreign Affiliate group memberships expire December 31. Drop zones that have not already submitted renewal applications should do so as soon as possible.
DZs that have not yet received a packet should contact the Group Membership department at email@example.com as soon as possible.
All USPA Group Memberships expire March 31. U.S. drop zones that have not already submitted renewal applications should do so as soon as possible. After March 31, USPA will remove any non-renewing Group Member’s listing from Parachutist and the USPA website. If a DZ renews after membership has lapsed, it may take several months for the listing to reappear in the magazine due to publication deadlines and print cycles. USPA mailed renewal packets to Group Members in mid-January. DZs that have not yet received a packet should contact the Group Membership department at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
On Saturday, July 14, the U.S. Parachute Association became the official Host Country Affiliate of the International Skydiving Museum and Hall of Fame. The USPA Board of Directors made the decision to become a partner of the museum by committing to donate $25,000 per year for the next six years to the museum’s fundraising efforts.
Nancy Koreen has announced her resignation as USPA Director of Sport Promotion, effective December 31. USPA is searching for an individual to fill the position immediately.
Due to numerous requests, USPA has decided to email Foreign Affiliate renewal packets rather than send them via the postal service as it has in previous years.
Veterans Day is a time to thank those who have served our country through military service. So, on a brisk, sunny Veterans Day weekend in November at Skydive Arizona in Eloy, Team Elite and Arizona Airspeed joined forces for an invitational 42-way sequential skydiving event that paid tribute to those who have risked life and limb for their country. Organizers Niklas Hemlin and Guy Wright and skydivers from all over the world enjoyed early morning takeoffs, great vibes and extra altitude to accomplish their celebratory jumps.
In February, Velocity Sports Equipment introduced its main-assisted-reserve-deployment system for the Infinity harness-and-container system.
Suicide among veterans returning from war has become an epidemic problem in the United States. To help combat this, skydiver and Navy veteran Jim Osterman is making a cross-country motorcycle ride to multiple drop zones in an effort to raise awareness of the issue of veteran suicides
On January 2, Yvette Walter, D-22592, received the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service for her exceptionally meritorious service to the Department of Defense and the U.S. Special Operations Command Demonstration Parachute Team, the Para-Commandos. Walter received the presentation, made on behalf of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for her immeasurable contributions over 12 years as parachute coach, media coordinator and team photographer for the Para-Commandos and for enhancing their mission as ambassadors for USSOCOM.
Bradley Meyer prepares to make a hot-air balloon jump over Skydive Arizona in Eloy just before the DZ’s annual Christmas Boogie.
On August 11, the Vertical Elite—a team consisting of some of the world’s best skydivers—gathered at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois, to attempt to set the world record for largest head-down formation. After a rigorous selection process spanning over nine tryout camps beginning in October of last year, more than 250 jumpers received an invitation to attempt a 200-way head-down formation to replace the 164-way record set in 2015.
During the Turkey Boogie at Skydive City Zephyrhills in Florida, McKenna Knipe looks on as Per Bjorn Poulsen and Kimberly Bailey practice a jump that they’ll make during their upcoming wedding.
In remembrance of the events that took place on September 11, 2001, U.S. Marine Corps veteran Chip Schultz purchased a 3-foot-by-5-foot nylon American flag on a wooden pole and now travels with it coast to coast where numerous public figures have posed with it.
On Memorial Day, West Tennessee Skydiving in Whiteville joined forces with the Forever Young Senior Veterans and WREG News Channel 3 to honor four military veterans.
From June 19-21, Sisters in Skydiving members had a phenomenal weekend at West Tennessee Skydiving in Whiteville’s 5th Annual SIS Boogie.
The weather was terrible, but everyone had a blast May 10-12 at the Sisters in Skydiving Leading Ladies of Skydiving boogie at West Tennessee Skydiving in Whiteville.
Apollo Brands CEO Troy Widgery, who founded the successful Go Fast energy drink brand, recently introduced Fly Gum, a spearmint gum with a liquid caffeinated core. The gum is aimed at skydivers, pilots and travelers who are looking for a portable, fast energy source. Fly Gum retails for about $5 for a five-piece pack and is available at airports, gear stores and online at flyenergygum.com.
As the winter skydiving season came to a close, Skydive Arizona in Eloy hosted state wingsuit flying record attempts in conjunction with a training camp for the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale World Record attempts scheduled for November 16-20 at Skydive City Zephyrhills in Florida.
On January 18-20 at Skydive Arizona in Eloy, local wingsuit organizer Cameron Stiles hosted Project Desert Skies, an exclusive invitational event for wingsuit flyers. This was the second year for the event. Stiles gathered a talented team of more than a dozen accomplished flyers and led them across the desert skies in one formidable formation after the next.
Executive Director Ed Scott presents departing Director of Sport Promotion Nancy Koreen with a personalized gift thanking her for her years of service to USPA.
On February 9 at Skydive Sebastian in Florida, 26 jumpers set the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale Women’s World Record for Largest Two-Point Head-Down Formation Skydive.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (which provided women and men with equal voting rights) and the global women’s suffrage movement that swept across the world in the early 1900s, the Women’s Skydiving Network (formerly the Women’s Skydiving Leadership Network) is launching Project 19. The project is a four-stage plan that will culminate in the 100-way women’s head-down world record attempts at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois, in the summer of 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.
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.
It’s no secret that more and more people are turning to giving gifts of experiences instead of material things.
Strong Enterprises issued Service Bulletin #35 mandating inspection of the 3-ring attachment on tandem drogues manufactured between June 22, 2020, and February 2, 2021 whose last three digits of the serial numbers between 625 and 714. Status is MANDATORY. Compliance is IMMEDIATE – before the next jump.
USPA 5401 Southpoint Centre Blvd., Fredericksburg, VA, 22407 (540) 604-9740 M-F 9am-5pm Eastern (540) 604-9741 email@example.com