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.
After logging about 1,000 jumps, Tafralian dropped out of jumping in 1980 to pursue other interests. Thirty-four years later, he made a few jumps with some members of his old Beechnuts team at the 2014 Midwest Skydivers Reunion. He soon realized he was back for good. In November, he became the 2,300th member of Skydivers Over Sixty.
SOS, a subgroup of the Parachutists Over Phorty Society, came together in 1992 when jumpers made a 10-way formation skydive at a Florida POPS Meet. (The SOS FS record is now an impressive 75!) SOS supports the U.S. Parachute Team Trust Fund and has donated more than $26,000 to the cause since the organization’s founding. The group has also made substantial donations to the U. S. Skydiving Safety Fund and the Airport Access and Defense Fund, as well as the International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame. Jumpers can find more information on SOS or join the influential group at thepops.org.
Pat Moorehead | D-2962
Long Beach, California
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