Profile - Ty Losey | D-22574

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE201110Ty Losey, D-22574, is a multi-talented full-time skydiver who jumps at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. As a member of Arizona Arsenal, he won a gold medal in the first official 4-way vertical formation skydiving (VFS) competition, a test event at the USPA Nationals in 2006. Since then, he has stockpiled an impressive array of medals in VFS. Besides being a competitor, Losey teaches skydiving and is a tandem and AFF instructor examiner, a wind tunnel instructor, an FAA Senior Rigger and holds a PRO rating. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Brian Doyne

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by Brian Doyne | A-60685 | Fredericksburg, Virginia

To put it simply, skydiving gave me freedom. In February of 2005, I was deployed to Iraq as a member of an explosive ordnance disposal unit. Our job was the neutralization of explosive threats to coalition forces; we’re the guys and girls that stop roadside bombs from hurting folks. It wasn’t always easy, but truth be told, we sure had fun doing it. On February 24, 2005, I was doing a post-blast investigation on a blast site that had injured some American soldiers when three more devices went off. The largest of them was about 20 feet away and had an estimated 20 pounds of explosives in it. Besides hurting like a bunch of words not allowed in print, it did the following: mostly tore both legs off below the knee, screwed up all the tendons and ligaments in both knees, collapsed a lung, blew my left arm off below the elbow, destroyed my left eye, and fractured my skull (and those are just the major injuries). Needless to say, this was a life-altering experience. I’ve stayed positive, though, kept myself active and try to stay in shape, but the truth is—things hurt. All the time. more »

Gearing Up - September 2011

EdScott

That Tuesday 10 years ago started memorably as a clear, blue-sky morning. Suddenly, there were news reports of a tragic airplane accident, which soon proved to be no accident at all. Some of the windows of USPA’s offices, then located in Alexandria, Virginia, faced north, and before long, smoke from the Pentagon obscured the sky. Throughout the day, it was hard to sort news from rumor. In nearby D.C., there were wild reports of car bombings, bomb threats, more inbound jets, and before long, the Alexandria streets that led out of the city were jammed. Before the day ended, all civil aviation, including skydiving, was grounded, with no indication of when things would get back to normal. In fact, no one knew what the new normal would be. At home that night, I took my 9-year-old son outside. Our house was near a busy general aviation airport and beneath arrival paths into both Baltimore and Washington commercial airports, and there were always airplanes overhead. Not that night. Only the sounds of the combat air patrol were heard. more »

Profile - Ray Cottingham | D-1653

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20119Ray Cottingham, D-1653, is a legend. During his 51 years in the sky, he’s filmed some of the most important aerial skydiving scenes in the history of the movies. Cottingham’s impressive résumé includes filming scenes for “Terminal Velocity,” “Operation Dumbo Drop” and “Honeymoon in Vegas,” and his work on “Point Break” inspired legions of jumpers to try the sport. In addition, Cottingham is responsible for numerous skydiving scenes on television programs in the 1970s and 1980s, and he’s shot aerial footage for hundreds of commercials. Even if you’re not a jumper, chances are you’ve seen his work. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Shaun Brock

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by Shaun Brock | B-34969 | Altus, Oklahoma

I’m active duty in the Air Force, and I have spent the last 12 years as a loadmaster, planning and calculating proper cargo and passenger arrangements on C-17 transport aircraft. Nine of those years, I worked on air drops. But until a little over a year ago, I was 100-percent a whuffo! I have watched countless numbers of parachutists jump out of my aircraft, and I can’t even count the number of times that I asked, either aloud or just in my head, “Why would anyone ever jump out of a perfectly good aircraft?” more »

Profile - Simon Bones | D-28573

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20118Simon “Bones” Palacio, D-28573, is an accomplished freeflyer who participated in the 2009 108-way head-down world record. He organizes at events around the country and is a member of vertical formation skydiving team SDH Vertex, based at Skydive Houston in Eagle Lake, Texas. He’s also a USPA AFF and Tandem Instructor and an FAA Senior Rigger. Prior to becoming a skydiver, Palacio operated submarine nuclear reactors for the Navy. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Tracey Sullivan

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by Tracey Sullivan | B-35331 | Houston, Texas

When someone asks me, “Why?” I tell them that there is so much in life to experience that the greater question is, “Why not?” more »

The President's Report - August 2011

JayStokes

The invitation to visit the Australian Parachute Federation (APF) brought with it the daunting promise of a 20-hour, 7,200-mile-long plane ride. And I travel coach, of course. But the prospect of being a guest speaker at the 2011 APF Conference weighed positively on the scales, so off I went with my wife, Vivian. Australia greeted us with warm temperatures, bright blue skies and very friendly people. The site selected for the conference was near the Great Barrier Reef and offered spectacular views of some of the most beautiful parts of the planet Earth. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Doug Garr

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by Doug Garr | D-2791 | New York, New York

It was April 12, 1969. I had turned 20 the previous week and found myself hanging from the strut of a Cessna 206. A sort-of-nerdy guy with horn-rimmed glasses who lived down the hall in my dorm had made several skydives. Though I kept oversleeping and exhaling with relief when bad weather scrubbed my planned jumping weekends, I figured if he could do it, I could. Also, as a sophomore journalism major, I thought it was a good story for my college newspaper. more »

Profile - Taya Weiss | D-27874

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20117Taya Weiss, D-27874, is an accomplished wingsuit pilot who has an Ivy-League education and founded skydiving outreach organization Raise the Sky. She was instrumental in developing the first official judging system for wingsuit formations and was on the 68-way U.S. Wingsuit Formation Record in 2009. Recently, she and canopy pilot Jessica Edgeington became the first female pair to perform a canopy-wingsuit dock. more »