Profile - Blake Robinson | D-15810

Tag: Profiles, July 2014

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20147Like many in the 1990s, Blake Robinson started jumping after the release of the movie “Point Break.” In contrast to the rule-breaking, bank-robbing characters in the film, Robinson became a respected drop zone manager who runs Skydive San Diego in Jamul, California, by the book. Robinson is a USPA AFF and Static-Line Instructor, Tandem Instructor Examiner, Safety and Training Advisor and PRO-rating holder. In addition, he’s an FAA Private Pilot and Senior Parachute Rigger. He uses his myriad skills and knowledge to create the safest environment he can. more »

Profile - JaNette Lefkowitz | C-35536

Tag: Profiles, June 2014

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20146JaNette Lefkowitz earned a degree in mechanical engineering from MIT (the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge). She then became a professional skydiver, proving that smart people do, in fact, jump out of airplanes. She’s now a world-class 4-way formation skydiving competitor on team SDC Rhythm XP, an AFF instructor and an active organizer and 4-way coach. She has a closet full of medals and is certain to accumulate more in upcoming years. more »

Profile - Warren Cleary | D-29052

Tag: Profiles, May 2014

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20145PRO-rated skydiver, AFF instructor and camera flyer Warren Cleary was a world-class canopy-piloting competitor when he burst his L1 vertebrae during a competition in 2011. Although he suffered severe spinal damage, since that day he’s become an FAA-certified private pilot and master rigger, a Paralympic swimmer and has begun skydiving again. He’s also used his positive attitude and motivational skills to help others as a counselor and video producer at a spinal rehab facility. more »

Profile - Juan Mayer | D-26130

Tag: Profiles, April 2014

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20144Consensus is that Juan Mayer is one of the nicest people in the sport (if not the nicest). Mayer began flying camera in his native Argentina, and his talent opened doors for him around the world. He travels extensively to photograph boogies, competitions and big-way formation skydiving record events, and he is also a wingsuit instructor, as well as a USPA AFF and Tandem Instructor. more »

Profile - Joe Abeln | D-28755

Tag: Profiles, March 2014

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20143After serving a tour in the Middle East as a member of the historic 82nd Airborne Division, Joe Abeln tried out for the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights and made the cut. Since then, Abeln has flown video for President George H.W. Bush’s tandem jump and taken actor Vince Vaughn on a high-profile tandem into the city of Chicago. Along with being an instructor and videographer, he’s an accomplished canopy piloting competitor, demonstration skydiver and freeflyer. Dedicated and driven, Abeln is everything one would expect from a member of the U.S. military. more »

Profile - Russ Manhold | D-2216

Tag: Profiles, February 2014

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20142Russ Manhold started jumping in 1966 and continues to be active in the sport organizing Parachutists Over Phorty Society (POPS) and Skydivers Over Sixty (SOS) big-ways. As a skydiver, certified flight instructor and commercial pilot (with more than 12,000 flying hours as a drug-interdiction pilot for the U.S. Customs Service), Manhold has spent much of his life in the sky. more »

Profile - Brittany Sanchez | D-24752

Tag: Profiles, January 2014

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20141With apologies to the gentleman in the beer commercial, Brittany Sanchez, D-24752, may actually be the most interesting person in the world. She’s won national championships in gymnastics, golf and skydiving; is finishing up her PhD at Texas A&M University (her thesis is on gene and sequence variants as determinants of body weight fluctuations); and has made hundreds of BASE jumps and ground launches. In addition, she’s earned several state skydiving records and is an FAA Senior Rigger. more »

Profile - Ben Lowe | D-28763

Tag: Profiles, December 2013

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE201312Ben Lowe, recognizable by the Mohawk haircut that he first received at age 8, is a respected skydiving instructor who is dedicated to his students and growing the sport. Though his appearance suggests a rebel, he is a very approachable person who holds multiple USPA ratings, is an FAA Master Rigger, TonySuits Wingsuit Examiner and a Strong Enterprises and United Parachute Technologies Tandem Instructor Examiner. In 2012, his commitment to skydiving instruction earned him USPA’s Chesley H. Judy Safety Award. He’s even written a children’s book, “The Summer I Became a Skydiver.” Lowe is now using his years of experience to run Skydive Canyonlands in Moab, Utah, with Melissa Nelson. more »

Profile - Niklas Daniel | D-28906

Tag: Profiles, November 2013

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE201311Niklas Daniel is a formation skydiving, vertical formation skydiving and canopy piloting coach at AXIS Flight School, which he owns and runs with Brianne Thompson at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. He is also a wind tunnel instructor, freefall photographer, regular on the boogie circuit and member of VFS team Arizona Arsenal. more »

Profile - Mary Goetsch | D-9749

Tag: Profiles, October 2013

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE201310Mary Goetsch comes from a family with a rich skydiving history. Her parents, Philip and Carol, were active demo jumpers, competitors, instructors and early proponents of the AFF program. In fact, Goetsch started jumping before she was born: In 1964, her mother made 24 jumps while Mary was still in the womb. In the 1980s, Mary began jumping on her own and now carries on the family tradition as an active demo jumper and instructor. She is a USPA Safety and Training Advisor, Coach Examiner, and Static-Line and AFF Instructor Examiner and holds a PRO rating. Additionally, Goetsch is a private pilot and an FAA Master Rigger, as well as a BASE jumper. more »