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Around the world, October is the month dedicated to breast-cancer awareness. For many years, the skydiving community marked this month with Jump for the Cause, an event that brought women together to raise money for breast cancer research and set women’s world record formation skydives.
PRO-rated skydiver Mary Tortomasi of Bodyflyers.com recently organized a PRO-rating course at Skydive Elsinore, where seven participants had the privilege to learn from two of the most experienced demonstration jumpers in the world: Jim Wallace of 21st Century Skydiving and Rich Piccirilli of Just in Time Skydivers.
When some of the best skydivers in the world learned that Kids for Peace was launching the Do It for Peace campaign to inspire people worldwide to take action, they just had to be part of it! On September 27, 34 world-class skydivers with a combined total of 195,000 jumps united and accomplished a peace-sign formation at Skydive Elsinore in California.
In 1997, Patty Chernis, newly elected to the USPA Board as a regional director, suggested that USPA create a special day to get jumpers current and prepared for the upcoming skydiving season. Now in its 25th year, Safety Day has grown increasingly popular, morphing from year to year to address current trends.
Michael Kearns, D-16816, began jumping in 1976 while in the military. He made more than 200 special operations jumps in 14 countries, including night jumps wearing tactical gear, and also became involved in sport skydiving.
On December 16, just days before the start of the USPA National Collegiate Skydiving Championships at Florida Skydiving Center in Lake Wales, beloved DZ Manager Betty Hill succumbed to cancer after a battle of 20 years.
For the past several years, the U.S. Naval Academy Parachute Team has been in a building phase, and 2019 was a banner year.
Afternoon rains, gusty winds and low clouds greeted the competitors who arrived at Skydive Pretoria in South Africa in the weeks before the 10th Fédération Aéronautique Internationale World Cup of Canopy Piloting.
October 2019 proved to be a banner month for sequential skydiving, as two separate groups of jumpers achieved world-record performances, one in full-break sequential formation skydiving and the other in canopy formation skydiving.
Marylou Laughlin, D-12418, started skydiving in 1988 and soon became heavily involved in competition, first as a competitor, then as a judge.
At the USPA Drop Zone Operators’ Conference this year, attendees heard from presenter Jeanice Dolan, a CPA and DZO of Ocean City Skydiving Center in Maryland, about a growing enforcement issue that is changing the landscape for DZs: worker classification. Increasingly, state and federal departments of labor are auditing businesses—including DZs—to determine whether they are correctly classifying workers as either employees or contractors. Two things are driving this government scrutiny: 1) a growing gig economy where businesses classify their workers as contractors and 2) governments’ need for tax revenues.
The January issue of Parachutist made a big deal about celebrating 100 years of freefall skydiving and Leslie Irvin’s key role in it. I’m not saying he didn’t play a key role, but a recent article in AOPA Pilot and a letter to the editor in its February issue by Bruce Smith, grandson of James Floyd Smith, suggests there is more to the story.
On Saturday, January 26, California DZs Skydive Elsinore and Skydive San Diego held a friendly competition revolving around the Bob Buquor Memorial Star Crest Awards. Jumpers earn an SCR—an award conceived of by Bill Newell in 1965—by participating in a star (aka round) formation consisting of eight or more jumpers.
Some say that aging gracefully is hard. But on Saturday, November 10, Skydive Elsinore in California showed that time is on its side and age is just a number as it celebrated 60 years of top-notch skydiving at the drop zone’s home, Skylark Airfield. Current, former and aspiring jumpers flocked to the event. Among them was Larry Perkins, the son of the drop zone’s founder, Cy Perkins, who on March 1, 1958, took a skydiver (whose name is lost to time) up in his Cessna 172 and let him fall out.
As trustees of the International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame, we would like to thank the members of the USPA Board of Directors for their vision in providing continuing support. While USPA and the Museum & Hall of Fame have different purposes, one place where their missions clearly align is in promoting skydiving.
On September 27, USPA Director of Competition Steve Hubbard called Greg Windmiller, D-20004, to the podium during the awards ceremony at the USPA National Championships of Canopy Piloting to receive a gold medal. It was not Windmiller’s first gold. In fact, it wasn’t even his first gold that day, as he had just won the canopy piloting speed event with a perfect-300 score.