Flying a Stairway to Heaven
Features | Aug 10, 2021
Flying a Stairway to Heaven

USPA Staff

The spiral staircase. The corkscrew. That crazy 3D formation. Whatever you call it, it’s clear that the jumpers of the P3 Power Play have done it again.

The annual Power Play at Skydive Perris in California is the most advanced event that P3 (Perris Performance Plus)—the DZ’s premier formation skydiving organizing group—puts together. The attendees—all of them highly accomplished formation flyers—split into mid-size groups for smaller ways on Thursday through Saturday, and then on Sunday, the whole gang gets together to attempt amazing, complicated formations conceived of and designed by P3’s Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld.

Heading into this year’s June 24-27 event, Brodsky-Chenfeld admitted that he was having a hard time coming up with something completely new for the big Power Play formation. But when he saw the results of the Elsinore Echelon Paradigm Shift freefly event, organized by his friends Andy Malchiodi and Matt Fry in April, he was inspired. That event produced some amazing, never-seen-before 3D jumps.

Brodsky-Chenfeld realized that it was time for formation skydivers to make a paradigm shift of their own and take ideas from the freeflyers, who had traditionally looked to the world of FS for inspiration and tips. He decided to bring a 3D jump to Power Play, designing a spiral, multi-level 54-way formation. He experimented with 18-way spiral jumps on the first days of the event before trying it with the big group. For the 54-way, he borrowing a technique that Malchiodi had used for the freeflyers: Build the formation on level first and then stretch it out. And did it ever stretch!  P3 estimates the 54-way formation was at least 75 feet tall from top to bottom. 

It will be very exciting to see what happens next. What? Did someone say “hybrid”?

Photo by Craig O'Brien.

Photo by Craig O'Brien.

Photo by Craig O'Brien.

Photo by Craig O'Brien.

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