Profile - Carl Daugherty | D-5809

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE201410Carl Daugherty, D-5809, is a speedstar legend. His teams won 12 gold medals in the 10-way speed formation skydiving event at the USPA Nationals, including six in a row from 1985-1990. Daugherty also holds eight large-formation skydiving world records and is one of just six people who flew on all of the 100-way, 200-way, 300-way and 400-way world record teams. Daugherty is also a longtime instructor and was one of the jumpers who helped develop the accelerated freefall training method. He earned his AFF Jumpmaster rating (now the AFF Instructor rating) in 1984 and continues to share his knowledge of the sport with AFF students today.

Age: 69

Birthplace: Wuppertal, Germany

Marital Status: Single

Children: One, Ailes Brolly

Occupation: AFF Instructor at Skydive DeLand in Florida

Education: Bachelors degree in marketing

Life Philosophy: Live hard, die hard

Team Names: High-Altitude Star Habit, Delray Aerial Circus, SLOTS are For TOTS, Slots Eight, XTZ, Hold On I’m Coming, Excalibur, Excalibur 2, Barely Legal, Rush Roll the Bones, Modern Times, Modern Times Revisited, Know Fear, Chicago STL

Sponsors: Advanced Aerospace Designs, Merlin Suits, National Association for Professional Training, Performance Designs, Skydive DeLand, United Parachute Technologies

Container: United Parachute Technologies Vector

Main Canopies: Performance Designs Stiletto 120

Reserve Canopy: Performance Designs Optimum

AAD: Advanced Aerospace Designs Vigil

Home Drop Zone: Skydive DeLand in Florida

First Jump: A static-line jump out of a Cessna 182 at 2,000 feet in 1971

USPA Licenses, Ratings and Appointments: C-8528, D-5809, AFF Instructor, Safety and Training Advisor

Championships, Medals and Records:
World Records for Largest Formation Skydive (72-, 100-, 144-, 200-, 246-, 300-, 357- and 400-way); 10-way speed gold medals at the USPA Nationals in ’85, ’86, ’87, ’88, ’89, ’90, ’92, ’94, ’95, ’96, ’97 and 2002 and many other silver and bronze medals in 10-way speed; gold, silver and bronze medals at national competitions in 8-way, 16-way and 20-way FS; two-point 110-way sequential FS world record; two-point 60-way POPS sequential FS world record; 113- and 120-way POPS FS world records and 60-way SOS world record

Total Number of Jumps: 17,848
FS: 15,000
Camera: 4,500
Tandem: 700
CF: 300
Freefly: 250
Wingsuit: 150
Accuracy: 150
Demos: 25
Balloon: Four

Total Number of Cutaways: 25

What do you like most about the sport?
I like teaching accelerated freefall students to skydive safely. I teach theory of the ideal; I make them practice what is real and light the fire of desire, which is the exponential multiplier.

What do you like least about the sport?
Sport death.

Who have been your skydiving mentors?
Bill Booth was my first jump instructor; Jerry Bird and Captain Hook were my 10-way idols.

What are your future skydiving goals?
Continue with coaching and training AFF students. And more multipoint world records.

What safety item do you think is most important or most often neglected?
Cut away above 1,000 or just pull reserve if below 1,000 feet.

How did you become interested in skydiving?
While I was in the military I tested armored reconnaissance airborne assault vehicles out of a C-130 while in Panama from 1965-1967. A high-school friend of mine there got me interested in skydiving. He was a military parachute instructor in Panama from 1966-1967. He advised me to wait until I got out of the military to skydive because civilian jumps were way more fun.

What's the most bad-ass thing you can do in the air?
Chase down an out-of-control AFF student spinning on his back, catch him and return him to a stable belly-to-earth position for a safe deployment.

If you could do a fantasy 2-way with anybody, whom would it be with and where would it take place?
With Mick Jagger at Skydive DeLand.

Is there one jump you would like to do over?
On a 10-way speed-star skydive during national competition, we went from first to last real fast when an exit funneled, and I dislocated my shoulder on exit.

What do you consider your most significant life achievement?
Being the father of a little girl. Annie Brolly and I have a beautiful little girl named Ailes Brolly who has survived a kidney transplant and multiple surgeries. Yet she remains in great spirits, happy as can be in spite of all that she has been through. Ailes is a real trooper.

What has been your best skydiving moment?
The 400-way world record.

What has been your worst skydiving moment?
Canopy wrap at Z-hills (Skydive City Zephyrhills in Florida). I crashed on a roof and broke rafters, dislocated my shoulder, broke my knee, got stitches on my face and ended up getting a shoulder operation and a hip-joint replacement.

What has been your weirdest skydiving moment?
Back in 1974, I was on a night naked dive. I landed off-airport and needed a ride back, wishing I had a belly mount.

Explain Carl Daugherty in five words or fewer:
Dazing, blazing, fazing and simply amazing.

Was speed star cut from Nationals because your teams were too dominant?
Why, of course speed star was cut and replaced by speed formations because we were too fast. Our competitors would have to time warp in order to beat the speed of our teams.

You have been on some serious big-way world records. How large of a formation is possible?
Thousand-ways are possible with the right aircraft.

Is it accurate to say that AFF is what is feeding your soul these days?
Yes. I was there from the beginning of the accelerated freefall program. Before USPA gave formal approval of AFF, we were jumping with skydivers who had progressed from static-line jumps to 30-second delays. We launched harness-hold 3-ways out of Cessnas. That was with Ken Coleman, Hoot Gibson and Rocky Evans. I became an AFF Jumpmaster on January 2, 1984. One of my AFF students, Laura Rhine, won a gold medal with my 10-way speed-star team at the 1987 National Skydiving Championships.

Do you have any closing comments?
Skydiving is one of the greatest pleasures in my life. I especially enjoyed training Qatar para-rescue skydivers and demo jumping with them onto an island in the middle of Doha Bay for their national holiday celebration.

The toughest thing to do in the sport of skydiving is:
Land alive without a good parachute.

What drives your competitive spirit?
Winning is grinning; everything else is sinning.


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Dan Andrews
Mon, 06/01/2015 - 20:43

Hi Carl: I am now living in Dunnellon, Fl, give me a call sometime 352-872-6123. If you see Rocky Evans say hello for me and Becky Lee Danny Andrews

Harvey Starin
Tue, 10/27/2015 - 21:08

Carl, glad to you're still flying..,and still alive. Been over 40 years since So Bell in Miami. Keep on truckin'

Jason Sinick
Sat, 07/09/2016 - 10:09

Paddling my shoes off in StPete. Glad to tell my wife of our adventures

Amber warby
Wed, 07/19/2017 - 15:51

My dad used to parachute at deland in 80/90s
We are trying to get in contact with rocky as they're very good friends and we have lost details
Anything would be much appreciated thanks

Thu, 07/27/2017 - 09:42

You can find him on Facebook.

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