Profiles

Profile - Donald “Ski” Chmielewski | D-1182

Tag: Profiles, August 2015

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20158Donald “Ski” Chmielewski, D-1182, made his first skydive in Zephyrhills, Florida, in 1963 and is still active in the sport today. His love affair with skydiving—and with his wife, Donna, whom he’s been married to and jumping with for 47 years—is as strong as ever. The Chmielewskis have skydived together for decades, becoming involved in Parachutists Over Phorty Society (POPS) events and, later, Skydivers Over Sixty (SOS) and Jumpers Over Seventy (JOS) events. The pair is currently organizing the JOS formation skydiving world record attempts scheduled for November. Go, Chmielewskis, go! more »

Profile - Zach Lewis | D-21616

Tag: Profiles, July 2015

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20157Photographer Zach Lewis took to the skies in 1997 and naturally gravitated toward camera flying. Attracted to the precision and engineering of formation skydiving, he became a successful camera flyer for nationally competitive FS teams in his native Texas. In addition to contributing many remarkable photos to Parachutist , he authors a popular photo-interview series in Blue Skies Magazine that combines his good-humored inquisitiveness with his photography talent. more »

Profile - Olav Zipser | D-11733

Tag: Profiles, June 2015

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20156Olav Zipser, D-11733, spearheaded the freefly revolution of the early 1990s. Zipser founded the Space Games freefly competition and has earned numerous championships and records, as well as an Emmy award for his work on ESPN’s “X-Games.” He has traveled extensively for decades teaching jumpers all over the world his art of freeflying, and his students say he has a Zen-like presence in the sky. more »

Profile - Mark Brown | D-16235

Tag: Profiles, May 2015

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20155Mark “Green Hornet” Brown began skydiving in 1991 after losing an office bet, and he fell in love with the sport. Twelve thousand jumps later, he is still in love with skydiving and the people in it. This makes him excel at bringing people together as the head formation skydiving organizer with Perris Organizers at Skydive Perris in California. He also has the rare ability to fill any slot on a load and nail the jump. Whether an AFF jump, a 10-way, a 150-way or a 300-way, the Green Hornet is always there for his friends in the sky. more »

Profile - Roberta Mancino | D-29203

Tag: Profiles, April 2015

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20154Professional model and skydiver Roberta Mancino, D-29203, is one of the most beautiful people in the world, but she is also an amazing, world-class athlete. Thankfully, the world is taking notice of her skill at jumping from planes and fixed objects, flying in wind tunnels and diving with undersea creatures. She has appeared on the TBS talk show “Conan,” and Men's Fitness magazine named her the World's Sexiest Female Athlete. As a skydiver, Mancino first focused on freestyle and then dedicated herself to wingsuiting. Through it all, she’s had a dramatic positive influence on the sport and proved that skydivers are not just crazy people, they’re beautiful people, too. more »

Profile - Tony Uragallo | D-29801

Tag: Profiles, March 2015

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20153Tony Uragallo, D-29801, started jumping in the United Kingdom in 1972. Since then, he’s earned medals in formation skydiving, freeflying (in the second X Games, televised internationally) and wingsuiting. Even with all his in-air accomplishments, Uragallo is perhaps best known for his innovations in jumpsuit design. He made his first jumpsuit on his mother’s sewing machine in 1976, founding Tony Suits, and moved to Florida with his company a few years later. Now, Tony Suits has produced more than 75,000 jumpsuits of all kinds and is on the leading edge of wingsuit design. To this day, Uragallo still actively participates in—and often wins—international wingsuit competitions wearing his own suits. more »

Profile - Amanda Festi | C-37891

Tag: Profiles, February 2015

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20152Amanda Festi was a professional ballerina who had always wanted to skydive. Seven years after her first jump, she won the 2013 USPA National Freestyle Championship by taking her graceful moves to the sky as the flyer for Animare. This past year, her team successfully defended its national championship. Although her first love is freestyle, Festi is also a talented belly-flyer, freeflyer and camera flyer and is a USPA AFF Instructor and a Federal Aviation Administration Senior Rigger. more »

Profile - Mark Kirkby | D-14701

Tag: Profiles, January 2015

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20151Mark “the Shark” Kirkby, D-14701, has made more than 26,000 skydives and is the most decorated formation skydiver in the world. He was a founding member of Arizona Airspeed (with Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld, Jack Jefferies, Kirk Verner and camera flyer John Leming), a team that redefined excellence in 4-way and 8-way competition. After the 2014 USPA Nationals, Kirkby retired from competition, the last founding member on the team he joined more than 20 years earlier, and will now concentrate on coaching future champions. more »

Profile - Zach Schroedel | D-29163

Tag: Profiles, December 2014

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE201412Zach Schroedel is an accomplished wingsuit flyer, organizer and photographer who developed a framework for 4-way wingsuit formation competitions. Today, he’s refining the discipline and working on having it added to official national and international competitions. Additionally, Schroedel runs a website called Wingsuit Media, which serves as a portfolio site for his and others’ photography and videography. more »

Profile - Kim Winslow | D-28140

Tag: Profiles, November 2014

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE201411According to her friends, when Kim Winslow started skydiving, she “took to it like a duck to water.” Now, more than 10,000 jumps later, Winslow is a professional skydiver who loves taking tandem students on their first skydives. She also trains military personnel, competes in 4-way vertical formation skydiving, organizes world record jumps, flies camera, instructs AFF students and is a Big Sister with Sisters in Skydiving, a tunnel instructor and an FAA Senior Rigger. more »