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During the weekend of March 4-7, many of the earliest pioneers of sport parachuting converged in Felicity, California, for yet another grand reunion.
On St. Valentine’s Day weekend, February 14-17, many of our sport’s founding members and innovators reconnected with lifelong friends in Felicity, California—the Official Center of the World (as declared by France’s Institut Géographique National in 1985)—during the Pioneers of Sport Parachuting Reunion. The event also included a celebration of USPA President Emeritus Jacques-André Istel’s 90th birthday (or, as Istel referred to it, his “100th birthday rehearsal”).
USPA has sent more than 60 of the most accomplished U.S. skydivers to Siberia to compete in the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale World Parachuting Championships-Mondial. The action starts August 10, and the competition runs through August 20. To follow along behind-the-scenes, follow our Instagram page where we are posting daily stories from the event: https://www.instagram.com/skydiveuspa
Each year the International Skydiving Museum inducts a select few men and women who have “defined, promoted, inspired and advanced the sport at the highest levels” into its Hall of Fame.
In the beginning, there was accuracy or, as it was called at the time, “spot jumping.”
It was 8 a.m. on the first day of the year 1984. I was a young guy outside a hangar in Stow, Massachusetts, hooked into a 151-foot-tall tower of helium balloons that I called “Aprealis.”
A hard-opening parachute is certainly not a new phenomenon. Skydivers have been dealing with hard openings throughout the history of sport parachuting—particularly during the early 1970s when the first ram-air main canopies and the various devices used to try and tame their openings were developed.
Skydiving didn’t really change my life, it was my life. It started at a very young age, even though I didn’t make my first jump from an airplane until I was 18.
In 1962, I was in winter training with the U.S. Navy Parachute Team, the Chuting Stars, in El Centro, California. One day, we were quite surprised to see Jacques-André Istel, president of the Parachute Club of America (USPA’s predecessor organization), arrive in his shiny new Cessna 182.
On Saturday, August 15, more than 40 military veterans around the country took to the air on tandem skydives during the 6th Annual Freedom Freefall event.
From June 25-28, after months of quarantine and little to no jumping worldwide, the participants of the P3 (Perris Performance Plus) Power Play appreciated these things more than ever and promised never to take them for granted again.
Over the past six months, COVID-19 restrictions have paused the active and busy lives we lead. This, of course, has extended to skydiving.
Photo by George Katsoulis | USPA #93010
On their return to the sky after the lifting of lockdown orders, Bob Compton, Terry Dauplaise, Eric Knight and Celine Pelletier launch an open accordion at Skydive Perris in California.
The Spring Fling at Skydive Sebastian in Florida, traditionally held each year in early March, is a big deal for both experienced and aspiring canopy formation skydivers from around the world.
Karen Lewis Dalton flies a smoke chain during the Women’s Skydiving Network PRO Camp at Skydive Arizona in Eloy.
The 50th anniversary of my first jump is next month and I can’t tell you how much fun it was to watch the 1969 film “This is a Sport?” that you included in the recent USPA Update!
This year will mark the 53rd anniversary of the start of one of the most popular and enduring skydiving performance awards—the Bob Buquor Memorial Star Crest Recipient (SCR) award.