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In the days of belly-mounted reserves, baggy mustard-colored jumpsuits and scuffed white plastic helmets, jumpers dreamed only of flying relative to one another.
Brought to you by Sharon Har-Noy Pilcher of Modern Skydiving Concepts at Skydive DeLand in Florida. Photo by Gustavo Cabana. More information about MSC’s courses and seminars is available on the group’s Facebook page.
Photo by Gustavo Cabana | USPA #80952
Franck Eloffe carves around a hybrid (Sharon Har-Noy Pilcher and Steve Curtis on their bellies with Pepijn Swint and Tom Feng hanging) during Tsunami Skydivers Exotic Boogies’ Party on the Playa 2019 in Tambor, Costa Rica.
On November 4, Sharon Har-Noy Pilcher and Luis Prinetto, longtime organizers and coaches with years of experience organizing movement jumps, held a Leading Workshop at Skydive DeLand in Florida. The program gave attendees the tools to make informed decisions when leading and participating in any type of jump in which the jumpers fly away from a single column of air. These include tracking and angle jumps, as well as wingsuit skydives.
In the beginning, there was accuracy or, as it was called at the time, “spot jumping.”
Doug Barron, D-30343 and a member of 4-way formation skydiving team SDC Rhythm XP, made an amazing comeback in the sport after being severely injured in 2018.
On Sunday, October 27, five parachutists safely landed at 20,200 feet MSL (with a density altitude of 22,700 feet MSL) on the West Col in the Nepali Himalayas.
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.
“When can I downsize to a smaller main canopy?” This is probably the most commonly asked question at every drop zone around the world. It seems like everyone—from newly licensed jumpers to those with thousands of skydives—wants to jump a smaller parachute. The answer to the question is tricky and can mean the difference between an uneventful experience and a serious injury or even fatality.
Whether we realize it or not, we are all trying to find balance between risk and passion. Have you ever thought about why it is you do what you do? What it is that you love about it? Well, part of it is the unique state of mind that comes over us. It feels unlike anything else we do.
In the film “Crosswind” by Patrick Passe, Omar Alhegelan is mind-blowing as he elegantly whizzes around the sky on his feet. (If you consider yourself a freeflyer but have never seen “Crosswind,” put down this magazine for an hour and go online to do your homework.) When the film came out in 2001, you could count on one hand the number of people who could pull off something like that, but today it’s common to see feet-first angle jumps at most events.
Remember the days when it seemed like all everyone wanted to do was learn to fly head down so they could join the cool kids on jumps? Well, the cool kids have flipped it right side up and stepped it up a notch. Head-up angle jumps and sit-flying formations seem to be spreading like dust devils in the Arizona summer. And big-way head-up jumps are becoming more popular than ever.
It's a topic that nearly all skydivers face at some point in their skydiving careers: downsizing. And it's a discussion that the Performance Designs staff has had with numerous skydivers of all experience levels over the years. Now, with the majority of incidents in skydiving occurring under fully open (and fully functional) canopies, it’s that much more important to talk about when it is and is not appropriate to downsize.
Photographer Michael McGowan took this shot of DeLand Fire over Perris Valley Skydiving in California during the 2005 USPA National Skydiving Championships, where they earned the right to represent the U.S. in 4-way at the world championships August 5-11 in Gera, Germany. With their new cameraman, Jonathan Tagle, they won a hard-earned gold in the meet and are now world champions. The team in 2005 included Ian Bobo, Natasha Montgomery, Shannon Pilcher, Gary Smith and camera flyer Eric Taylor.
Photographer Craig O'Brien took this shot of members of the Performance Designs and Icarus Canopies factory teams flying their cross-braced canopies together over Perris Valley Skydiving in California. PD canopy pilots, top to bottom: Shannon Pilcher, Jay Moledzki and Heath Richardson. Icarus canopy pilots, top to bottom: Jim Slaton, J.C. Colclasure and Clint Clawson.