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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. This year marks the organization’s 11th class of honorees.
We asked 16 camera flyers—those who have consistently contributed dazzling images to this magazine over the years—to send us one photo that speaks to what skydiving means to them and that would inspire our readers upon their return to the sport they love.
Tyler Buffington swoops in for landing at Skydive Arizona in Eloy.
In October, the International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame held its 10th annual Hall of Fame Celebration at Skydive Perris in California.
After college I wound up in an unhealthy relationship. I was depressed and needed to do something about it. One of my coworkers, Ray, had recently started skydiving and was always encouraging people to come to the Ranch in Gardiner, New York, to try it. I was pretty desperate, so I figured, “What the hell?”
Travis Mills, D-27249, is a world-class canopy pilot who flies competitively for the PD Factory Team and is a canopy coach for Flight-1. He is also talented in freefall and has been on numerous world-record-setting big-way jumps and medaled in freestyle and vertical formation skydiving at the world championships. The most recent of his many accomplishments are winning the first meet and taking silver overall at the two-meet 2018 Swoop Freestyle World Championships and taking bronze overall at the 2018 USPA Canopy Piloting Nationals.
Photo by Mike McGowan | D-5709
Ben Barringer, cadet wing commander at the U.S. Air Force Academy, bears down on the tuffet during the open classic accuracy event at the USPA National Collegiate Parachuting Championships
Mike McGowan captured this photograph of Arizona Airspeed concentrating on winning gold in the 4-way open competition at the USPA Nationals.
Guy Wright, D-7958, exits from the tailgate of a DeHavilland Caribou over the United Parachtute Club in Gilbertsvill, PA. Photograph by Mike McGowan.
Mike McGowan, D-5709, gets his second cover in 1992 (see feature on page 25). This time, he captures Team Pursuit practicing over Skydive Arizona. Members include (top) Kevin Vetter, (right wing) Chris Knight, (left wing) captain Joe Lambright, and (bottom) newest member Paul Joseph. McGowan flew into the top of the formation, flipped upside down in his risers and released to position himself for this shot.
Mike McGowan, D-5709, captures Pam Godwin's smiling Fly-by over the Paragators DZ in Umatilla, FL, during the annual POPS winter meet. Pam's parents, Jimmy and Wilma Godwin, run the meet.
Mike McGowan, D-5709, flies in behind a giant U.S. flag carried by his wife, Misty Blues team member Nancy Auge, during the teams's training camp last spring at Flager Aviation in Bunnell, FL. (See related story on page 24.) McGowan became entangled with a similar flag while trying to get this shot last winter and had to resort to reserve procedures to get clear.
Mike McGowan captures the graceful and daring Sandra Williams suspended on a trapeze below her teammate Marsha Buckentin. The two Floridians perform with the Misty Blues skydiving exhibition team nationwide. According to Buckentin, how to perform the trapeze trick is a "team secret."
Mike McGowan, D-5709, submitted this point of view of Brigitte Hallett, D-9375, (foreground), and Mike Raible, D-5495, exiting the Freefall Express Twin Otter in formation with DC-3 Mr. Douglas and the Pilatus Porter Turbo Mingo over Skydive DeLand, FL. (See story on page 22.)
Mike McGowan, D-5709, was hanging outside one of Skydive Arizona's Twin Beeches when he took this shot of a multi-plane formation exit on one of the 64-way diamond attempts in Coolidge, AZ at the end of last year. More large diamond attempts are scheduled in both Arizona and Florida over Easter.
Mike McGowan, D-5709, got this shot at the 1986 Turkey Meet in Zephyrhills, FL. McGowan headed a team of a dozen freefall photographers who provided air-to-air video coverage; their tapes were used to judge all four events. More information and final results of the meet appear in this month's At Presstime section.
Mike Homer, Esther Bick, Ernie Long, Phyllis McCauley and Steve Dramstad check out cameraman Mike McGowan over the Aero Country DZ in Texas. McGowan is a frequent contributor to PARACHUTIST whose work has also appeared in the annual USPA Calendar. (For more information on ordering the 1986 USPA Skydive Calendar, see page 34 of this issue.)
On the morning of September 2, 9-year-old Dessa Blaine looked up above the small town of Page, Arizona, and saw her father, David, become a tiny dot in the sky.
Coronavirus slowed but did not stop the Skydive Spaceland 3-Way Formation Skydiving Competition!
Tandem instructor Mike Hennessy gears up a tandem student at Connecticut Parachutists Inc. in Ellington.
Mike Brewer, D-33350, is a skydiving filmmaker, instructor and organizer who has a huge international presence as a part of Kinetic, an organization comprised of creative athletes dedicated to exploring the world together.
Pablo Hernandez, D-29869, is a highly accomplished Spanish canopy pilot whose father taught him how to jump at a young age.
Photo by Tom Sanders | D-6503
Plane owner Marcus Bastruck, pilot Oliver Wermann, camera-wing-mount fabricator Mike Bess and camera assistant (and wife) Denise Sanders helped Tom Sanders capture this photo of freefall camera flyer Bruno Brokken filming a formation skydiving group exiting a Super Caravan during Tsunami Skydivers Exotic Boogies’ event in the Maldives.
For the past several years, the U.S. Naval Academy Parachute Team has been in a building phase, and 2019 was a banner year.
Max Cohn, D-20252, made a name for himself in the 1990s as an East Coast freefly talent when most of the evolution of the discipline was occurring in the West and in Florida.
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.
Mike Scotton (red, yellow and black rig), D-33933, makes his 1,000th jump with friends at Skydive the Ranch in Gardiner, New York.
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.
On December 26, 1959, Dr. John Gaffney (“Doc” to his skydiver friends) led the Central Florida Sky Divers Club to the DeLand Municipal Airport to jump from a Tri-Pacer flown by the airport manager, Bob Lee.
Jeffery Kuhn says goodbye to pilot and DZO Mike Mullins as he drops from an inverted biplane at West Tennessee Skydiving in Whiteville.
Rod Leisure | D-18726
DZOs Mike Bohn and Leland Procell skim across the landing area at Orange Skies Free Fall Center.