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.
In early December, the British Parachute Association unveiled its new identity—British Skydiving—and introduced a new logo and website.
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.
On October 23, Advanced Aerospace Designs issued reminders of approaching deadlines for compliance with its last two service bulletins.
Mile High Hub recently released a worldwide skydiving event calendar for jumpers looking for the next boogie, competition or specialty event.
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 July 26, the International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame announced that it intends to break ground on its museum building within 18 months.
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.
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.
In September 2009, 181 women set the Féderátion Aéronautique Internationale World Record for Largest Women’s Formation Skydive at Skydive Perris in California.
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.
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 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.
The International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame is honoring the Canopy Formation World Record Team with its Path of Excellence Award.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(More articles being added every day!)
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