Gearing Up - June 2017

Ed Scott

In "Five Minute Call," you'll read of the Oklahoma DZ owner whom a court ordered to pay a substantial sum to a 16-year-old injured in 2014 during a static-line first jump. Coincidentally, during that period, USPA's board of directors was once again debating what the Basic Safety Requirements should state as the minimum age to skydive. more »

15 Minutes of Fame

Fifteen minutes of fame. Everybody will have it once. I had mine in 1987 because I saved a life while skydiving.

Andy Warhol, the iconic 1960s American artist, is credited with the creation of the concept. This was long before the internet and YouTube. Back then, a person’s 15 minutes of fame depended on newspapers, a few broadcast TV channels and magazines. But even with the lack of today’s instantaneously streaming video, some events caught the attention of publishers and found their way to the public in a firestorm of media attention. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - John Cheesmond

 “It’ll change your life!” How often do we hear skydivers say this while trying to describe the indescribable experience to potential flyers? I often find myself looking out the door of the airplane, nodding at the beauty of the sky in a private moment that you all unknowingly share with me, then get back to focusing on the skydive and the incredible moments that the next few minutes hold. more »

Profile - Lisa Mazzetta | D-30274

by Brian Giboney

Lisa Mazzetta is a badass freeflyer who has been on four world record jumps, most recently the 65-way Fédération Aéronautique Internationale Women’s Head-Down World Record at Skydive Arizona in Eloy in November, as well as the 138-Way Head-Down World Record in 2012. Mazzetta is a big supporter of USPA’s Sisters in Skydiving program, which helps women develop networks to support each other in the sport. At Skydive Arizona in 2012, she co-organized the first SIS event and has put together a SIS event at the drop zone every year since. more »

Gearing Up - May 2017

Ed Scott

The Federal Aviation Administration operates the largest and safest aviation system in the world. How large? Of the 32.9 million air carrier departures worldwide in 2015, the U.S. had the most with 8.7 million. China was a distant second. Of an estimated 370,000 general-aviation aircraft worldwide flying an estimated 35 million flight hours, more than half those aircraft and hours are flown in the U.S. more »

Stranger (DZ) Danger

At the 2015 Turkey Meet at Skydive City Zephyrhills in Florida, my canopy collapsed at 20 feet as I was coming in on final. I broke the fibula at my left ankle and dislocated and fractured my tibia. The abrupt plunge also caused intense fear and anxiety about skydiving. Mechanical turbulence caused the accident: I landed close to the hangar and the wind rolling over it and into the landing area collapsed my parachute. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Nicola Cullen

How did skydiving change my life, in 700 words or fewer? I could more easily succeed at the task if I were to go with, “How did skydiving not change my life?” There wouldn’t be much to say on that subject. As for explaining how it turned my entire world upside down and gave birth to a brand-new me, I’ll give it a shot.

My skydiving journey began, as has so many others’, when I was given a tandem jump for my (we don’t need specifics!) birthday. I ventured out to Taylorville, Illinois, one Sunday for the jump and had the time of my life. By Wednesday, I booked my first-jump course. I began AFF training that very weekend. more »

Profile - Omar Alhegelan | D-16239

by Brian Giboney

Omar Alhegelan was a pioneer in the discipline of freeflying in the 1990s as a member of the Freefly Clowns with Charles Bryan, Stefania Martinengo, Mike Vail and Olav Zipser. Known for being Zen in freefall, he has won 11 gold medals at national and international competitions and has performed stunts and acted in numerous commercials, TV shows and movies. An international traveler who is fluent in Arabic, English, French, Italian and Spanish, Alhegelan has skydived in numerous places, including the North Pole and Mount Everest. Most recently, he organized a skydiving excursion to Antarctica. Along with skydiving, Alhegelan is now giving motivational speeches and Facebook Live talks on happiness and other topics. more »

Gearing Up - April 2017

EdScott

Here's a jump story. Or rather, a story about a jump that didn't happen. But first, do you believe that things happen for a reason? Or alternatively, do you believe that a bad outcome can later be viewed as a good outcome? more »

Profile - Trent Alkek | D-24348

Trentby Brian Giboney

Trent Alkek, D-24348, along with teammates Jed Lloyd and Stephen Boyd, set the USPA Nationals on fire in freefly from 2003 to 2007. Their team, Spaceland Anomaly, created some never-before-seen moves and also set several world records during speed rounds. Alkek, a USPA member for 17 years and counting, is now a sought-after load organizer who also works in aircraft leasing at Skydive Spaceland—Houston in Rosharon, Texas. more »