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    Published on Tuesday, October 1, 2019

    Marylou Laughlin | D-12418

    By Brian Giboney

    Marylou Laughlin, D-12418, started skydiving in 1988 and soon became heavily involved in competition, first as a competitor, then as a judge. During her time as a competitor, she won five gold, seven silver and seven bronze medals in para-ski and the classic events of style and accuracy at the USPA Nationals, earning a spot on eight U.S. Parachute Teams (three para-ski and five style and accuracy). Laughlin is also an accomplished formation skydiver and canopy formation skydiver who has set several state records. She joined the USPA Board as Northeast Regional Director in 1999 and served through 2012, part of that time as the chair of the Competition Committee and delegate to the International Parachuting Commission. Currently, she continues to give back to the sport as an Accuracy Landing and Canopy Piloting Judge Examiner; an Accuracy Landing, Canopy Formation, Canopy Piloting, Formation Skydiving and Style National Judge; and a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale Canopy Piloting Judge, as well as by serving as a trustee of the International Skydiving Museum.

    Nickname: Lou
    Age: 63
    Birthplace: Philadelphia
    Marital Status: Divorced
    Children: None
    Pets: Two Abyssinian cats, Simah and Lubaya
    Occupation: Reiki teacher, photographer
    Education: Miss Porter’s School in Connecticut and Parson School of Design in New York City
    Pet Peeves: People saying, “I’ll try.”
    Life Philosophy: Live every day to its fullest.
    Did you start out as an AFF, static-line or tandem student? Two tandem jumps, because they were required at Connecticut Parachutists Inc. in Ellington, and then I went on to AFF.
    Would you rather swoop or land on an accuracy tuffet? Land on an accuracy tuffet for a dead center and judge swooping
    Sponsor: Parachute Systems
    Container: Parachute Systems Vortex
    Main Canopy: Parachute Systems Hurricane
    Reserve Canopy: Precision Aerodynamics Micro Raven
    AAD: Airtec CYPRES 2
    Disciplines: Formation skydiving, canopy formation, style and accuracy, para-ski
    Home Drop Zone: The world is my DZ, but I learned to skydive at Connecticut Parachutists Inc., so I call it my home.
    First Jump: July 17, 1988 (and I don’t remember dates)
    Licenses: A-10137, B-13738, C-19660, D-12418
    Total Number of Jumps: 4,375
    Accuracy: 2,500 FS: 1,500  CF: 200  Helicopter: 100  Freefly: 20  Demos: 30  Tandems: Six  Balloon: Four  Biplane: One  BASE: One
    Largest Completed Formation: Two-point 128-way formation skydive
    Total Number of Cutaways: Two, one at about 100 jumps and one at about 200 jumps

    Most people don’t know this about me:
    I have always had a passion for animals. Twenty years ago, I learned to be a reiki practitioner and teacher for animals, as well as people. I am also the founder of a 501(c)(3) charity, Reiki Wildlife International. The mission of RWI is to teach, educate and share reiki with animal sanctuaries, conservation groups, rescues, caregivers and communities around the world.

    Who have been your skydiving mentors?
    Brenda Reid and Larry Bagley. I was extremely lucky to have both amazing individuals take me under their wings and freely share their vast knowledge with me.

    What safety item do you think is most important?
    Automatic activation devices, absolutely!

    If you could do a fantasy jump with anybody, whom would it be with?
    My dream jump is a 4-way with B.J. Worth, Roger Ponce de Leon and Louis Tommaso with Andrey Veselov doing video. We attempted to do this jump for three days at [Skydive] DeLand [in Florida] following the 2018 International Skydiving Hall of Fame Celebration, and it just never happened for numerous reasons. My dream is that one day we will all be in the air together.

    Were you a hard child to raise?
    Not really, because I lived in a convent for school from the 4th through 8th grades, because my parents were getting divorced. The experience taught me how to get along with many different people, and that has helped me in life.

    If you could make everyone do something to make Earth better, what would it be?
    Make decisions from their hearts.

    The toughest thing to do in the sport of skydiving is:
    Turn a clean style set. (Reminder: a style set is a dive to gain speed, pull up into a tuck and turn, turn, turn, back loop, turn, turn, back loop.)

    What do you consider your most significant life achievements?
    Receiving the FAI’s Leonardo Da Vinci Parachuting Diploma and being named an Honorary Golden Knight.

    Do you have any suggestions for USPA?
    Keep making the tough decisions. Being a USPA Board member is not easy.

    What was your best skydiving moment?
    Being the super floater [during a big-way] and stepping off the tailgate before everyone else and looking up at all the other skydivers falling out of the planes like confetti. Then flying to join up with everyone else and docking on the formation. That is truly flying like a bird.

    What  was your best competition moment?
    Finishing eighth in accuracy in Japan at the World Parachuting Championships. I was absolutely in the zone, and nothing existed except that incredible place. My world was perfect!

    What was your motivation for being on the USPA Board for as long as you did?
    I felt like I was a positive part of the process and that the board as a whole group made a difference.

    What was your road to becoming an FAI Judge?
    I was told back when I first started competing that competition is a game and the rules are part of the game. Learn them and use them. I was still competing and decided to become a judge to be a better competitor. I started judging at the Collegiate Nationals. I did that for years and enjoyed the entire Collegiates experience, especially the competitors! I got my FAI Accuracy Judge rating to learn even more, and I was invited by the Golden Knights to be their judge at CISM (the military world championships). Since I have stopped competing, I now judge at international competitions, as well as for world records. I also teach national and international judging courses and love to open the judging side of competition to competitors, as well as others who want to learn.

    Explain Marylou Laughlin in five words or fewer:
    Energetic, fun, positive and loving life.

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    Author: Brian Giboney

    Categories: People, Profiles

    Tags: October 2019

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    Manuals

    Forms

    2021-2022 Instructional Rating Manual (IRM) Evaluations Forms PDF (fillable)   (Mar 2021) Downloads Manuals Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
    2021-2022 Instructional Rating Manual (IRM) Forms PDF   (Mar 2021) Downloads Manuals Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
    A-License Proficiency Card (1 page) PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Licenses & Proficiency Cards
    A-License Progression Card (ISP; 2 pages) PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Licenses & Proficiency Cards
    Application: B-D License PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Licenses & Proficiency Cards
    Application: Canopy Formation Award PDF   (Apr 2021) Forms Awards
    Application: Judge Rating PDF   (May 2015) Forms Judge Rating
    Application: PRO Rating & High Performance Endorsement PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings Demos
    Application: Tenure Award PDF   (Apr 2010) Forms Awards
    Application: USPA Membership & Rating Renewal PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
    Application: Wings & Badges Awards PDF   (Apr 2021) Forms Awards
    Canopy Piloting Proficiency Card PDF   (Sep 2019) Forms Licenses & Proficiency Cards
    Demo Insurance Application and Notification Form PDF   (Nov 2020) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings Demos
    Incident Report Form PDF   (Apr 2019) Forms Incident Report
    Initial Application as a Foreign Affiliate Group Member (Non-U.S. Only) PDF   (Apr 2019) Downloads Forms Group Membership
    Initial Application for College Clubs (U.S. Only) PDF   (Oct 2021) Downloads Forms Group Membership
    Initial Application for Group Membership (U.S. Only) PDF   (Feb 2020) Downloads Forms Group Membership
    Proficiency Card: AFF Instructor PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
    Proficiency Card: Coach Rating PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
    Proficiency Card: Examiner PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
    Proficiency Card: IAD/SL Instructor PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
    Proficiency Card: Military Transition PDF   (Sep 2021) Forms Licenses & Proficiency Cards
    Proficiency Card: Tandem Instructor PDF   (Mar 2021) Forms Instructional & PRO Ratings
    S&TA Waiver Form PDF   (Apr 2018) Downloads Forms Waivers
    Waiver Request PDF   (Nov 2019) Downloads Waivers

    USPA Meeting Minutes

    2022 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Mar 2022) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2022 Winter Meeting PDF   (Mar 2022) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2021 Summer Meeting PDF   (Sep 2021) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2021 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Sep 2021) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2021 Winter Meeting PDF   (Mar 2021) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2020 Summer Meeting PDF   (Dec 2020) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2020 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2020) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2019 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2019) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2019 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2019) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2018 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2018) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2018 Winter Meeting PDF   (Mar 2018) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2017 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2017) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2017 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2017) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2016 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2016) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2016 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Jul 2016) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2016 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2016) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2015 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2015) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2015 Winter Meeting PDF   (Mar 2015) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2015 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Mar 2015) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    2014 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Jul 2014) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2014 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2014) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2014 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2014) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2013 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2013) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2013 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Jul 2013) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2013 Winter Meeting PDF   (Mar 2013) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2012 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Mar 2013) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2012 Summer Meeting PDF   (Aug 2012) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2012 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2012) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2011 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Aug 2011) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2011 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2011) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2011 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2011) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2010 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Aug 2010) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2010 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2010) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2010 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2010) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2009 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Sep 2009) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2009 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2009) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2009 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2009) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2008 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2008) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2008 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Apr 2008) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2008 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2008) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2007 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2007) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2007 General Membership Meeting PDF   (May 2007) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2007 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2007) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2006 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Nov 2006) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2006 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2006) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2006 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2006) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2005 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Aug 2005) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2005 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2005) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2005 Winter Meeting PDF   (Jan 2005) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2004 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Sep 2004) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2004 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2004) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2004 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2004) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    2003 General Membership Meeting PDF   (Aug 2003) USPA Meeting Minutes Gen. Membership Meeting
    BOD 2003 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2003) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2003 Winter Meeting PDF   (Jan 2003) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2002 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2002) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2002 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2002) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2001 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2001) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting
    BOD 2001 Winter Meeting PDF   (Feb 2001) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting 2000-2005
    BOD 2000 Summer Meeting PDF   (Jul 2000) USPA Meeting Minutes Board of Director Meeting 2000-2005

    Miscellaneous

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

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

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

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

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

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

    FAA Proposal (07/03/12) PDF   (Jul 2012)
    Flight Planner   (Jan 2019)
    Huerta Letter PDF   (Jul 2012)
    Insurance Policy Summary   (Mar 2021)
    ISP Grid PDF   (May 2012)
    Parachute Landing Area Update PDF   (Aug 2012)
    Skydiving Makes the Perfect Experience Gift   (Dec 2019)

    It’s no secret that more and more people are turning to giving gifts of experiences instead of material things.

    Strong Enterprises Issues Service Bulletin for Tandem Drogue PDF   (Apr 2021)

    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 Hangar Policy Comments PDF   (Jun 2016)
    Wingsuit Instructor Draft PDF   (Sep 2012)

    SIM Translations into Other Languages

    Language Translation Disclaimer

    Translations of the Skydiver’s Information Manual (SIM) are prepared by third-party translators in an effort to make USPA documents accessible to those who may not read English. The official and binding documents which govern USPA are the English versions. While good faith efforts are made to provide accurate translations, portions may be incorrect and may conceivably communicate incorrect safety standards. In addition, some terminology when translated may not be completely accurate due to language differences and limitations. The United States Parachute Association (USPA) shall not be responsible or liable for any errors, omissions or ambiguities in the translated versions of documents or for any consequences of any such errors, omissions or ambiguities, including personal injury or death. Any person or entity who relies on translated content does so at their own risk. USPA shall not be liable for any losses, damages or harm, including personal injury or death, caused by reliance on the accuracy or reliability of translated documents or information. If you would like to report a translation error or inaccuracy, we encourage you to contact us.

    Please note the revision date of any translated copy you are reviewing and verify that it is no earlier than the revision date of the corresponding English version. Any edits made to the original English version after the translated version’s revision date would not be reflected in the translation.

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

    Spanish Version – January 1, 2021