Valinda Mitchell and her husband, John, are vacationing in France. These lovebirds travel a lot … a month in Ireland here, a long stint jetting around Australia there. When your childhood sweetheart and the mother of your four children says her final goodbyes to the family from a hospital bed and manages to claw her way back, such forays are understandable and maybe even necessary. Wandering hand in hand around Paris is the only way to respond, n’est-ce pas?
Photo by Michael Tomaselli | D-18530
At Skydive Lake Wales in Florida, canopy formation skydivers Chris Gay, Scott Lazarus, Ihab Mahmoud and Greg Meadows make a triple flag jump.
I truly miss the sport and its inherent camaraderie, but above all, I often think of those whom Tom named and the many close friendships formed during decades of jumping in Southern California.
Photo by Guru Khalsa | D-32694
From left, C.J. Roane, Cody Edgeworth, Laura Wagner and Steve Downey fly a head-down flower at the Looking to Build event at Skydive Spaceland–Houston in Rosharon, Texas.
On April 19, 132 members of the Parachutists Over Phorty Society (and subgroups Skydivers Over Sixty, Jumpers Over Seventy and Jumpers Over Eighty) made the trek to the rural drop zone for the 14th POPS World Meet, temporarily increasing the town’s population by 11 percent.
The subject of wingsuit exits—specifically, in what order wingsuit flyers should exit and how to conduct the exits—seems to cause a lot of confusion and worry among wingsuit flyers themselves, as well as other jumpers at the DZ. Much of this confusion and worry can be resolved by simply doing a little pre-planning before boarding the aircraft.
The record series kicked off on April 20. First up was the three-day JOS world record event. Thirty-two skydivers in their 70s from Canada, Germany, Sweden and the U.S. participated.
Canopy manufacturer Performance Designs would love it if every time you needed a canopy you'd buy a brand-spanking-new one. Of course, that's not always possible, and without a doubt there are some great deals on used parachutes in the marketplace. Many people choose to buy used, especially for their first or second sets of gear. If you do choose to buy used equipment, particularly a main canopy, you’ll need to do your homework.
AFF Instructors Anastasis Sideris and Dimitris Sourlis fly with student Christos Tsoros at USPA Foreign Affiliate Skydive Athens in Kastro, Greece.
Photo by Ioannis Vlachiotis | D-31871
Skydiving coaches, instructors and instructor examiners would much rather spend time in the air skydiving than on the ground handling paperwork. While this is understandable (hey, nobody likes to fill out forms, right?), each rating holder’s administrative responsibilities are extremely important.
“When can I downsize to a smaller main canopy?” This is probably the most commonly asked question at every drop zone around the world. It seems like everyone—from newly licensed jumpers to those with thousands of skydives—wants to jump a smaller parachute. The answer to the question is tricky and can mean the difference between an uneventful experience and a serious injury or even fatality.
After landing, a jumper set his brakes and left the rig for a packer. The packer noticed that the jumper had stowed the left brake incorrectly by placing the toggle through the cat’s eye above the metal guide ring, which will not secure the brake line. The brake line would have released during deployment and resulted in a spinning main parachute if the other brake remained stowed. This common packing error is easily preventable by paying attention and stowing your brakes correctly.
Brought to you by Niklas Daniel and Brianne Thompson of AXIS Flight School at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. Photos by David Cherry. Information about AXIS' coaching and instructional services is available at axisflightschool.com.
Jumpers angle fly at the March Fly4Life Flight Camp at Skydive DeLand in Florida.
Photo by Norman Kent | D-8369
Andy Beck and Jarod Thompson sit fly at Oklahoma Skydiving Center.
Photo by Zack Line | D-36774
Organizer Jason Brigmon (bottom) makes a 2-way freefly jump with Neal Wiggs at Skydive Paraclete XP in Raeford, North Carolina.
Photo by Elliot Byrd | D-32251
Competing in 4-way formation skydiving can be a lot of fun and also very challenging. It’s the kind of sport you can enjoy casually on the weekend or devote your life to (like the members of SDC Rhythm XP do)! If you’re thinking of participating, you’ll first need to learn a little about the formations and the five positions on the team.
For skydivers, two things keep us in the sport—our passion for human flight and the amazing friendships we build with others who share that passion.
Photo by Norman Kent | D-8369
Richard Scheurich (foreground) and Luis Prinetto from Team Fly4Life fly their Performance Designs Valkyrie Hybrid canopies in formation after a jump during the Fly4Life Flight Camp at Skydive DeLand in Florida.
This is an election year for USPA, meaning that each of the 22 seats on USPA’s board of directors is up for grabs by any USPA member who is qualified to run.
“The Perfect Nightlight”
Aluminum, brass and steel rotating sculpture with LED lights
Timothy Uhl | A-79945
Walden, New York
Danji “DJ” Marvin, D-22292, is an influential and safety-conscious AFF Instructor Examiner, Tandem Instructor Examiner and Coach Examiner who owns and runs The Ratings Center instructional ratings school. Marvin, along with co-host Nick Lott, also shares his enthusiasm and passion for the sport on Gravity Lab Radio.
Photo by Tom Sanders | D-6503
Jumpers fly a round over the Great Blue Hole, a large submarine sinkhole in the Caribbean, during the Boogie in Belize.
Melinda Ray was a 35-year-old wife and mother of three who was suffering from a disease that was quickly destroying her liver. She didn’t score high on the transplant list to qualify for a liver from a deceased donor; she had to find a living donor. She was desperate.
“One Temporary Escape”
Kayla Perron | B-47722
Winter Park, Florida
Jeannie Bartholomew is a dedicated professional canopy pilot who (along with her husband, Curt Bartholomew) has put everything she has into the sport of skydiving. She is a member of Team Alter Ego Fastrax and travels the globe to teach canopy piloting skills and compete in events. Prior to skydiving she was a competitive cheerleader, and jumpers feel her positive attitude and energy wherever she goes.
(More articles being added every day!)
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