How Skydiving Changed My Life - Chad Christian

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by Chad Christian | B-34226 | Houston, Texas

In August of 2008, I was diagnosed with stage IV non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The doctors and other medical center staff told me that I had about six months to live and that treatment was not an option. Being the fighter that I am, I told them they were insane and that I would go broke getting treatments before I would allow myself to die. One year later, I was in remission. I felt that life had just flashed before my eyes. I proved, not only to the doctors but to my friends and family, that I had the will to succeed and would do anything in my power to make the most of life. more »

Gearing Up - January 2011

EdScott

Age is just a number until put into context (ask any of the members of Skydivers Over Sixty). Organizations age too, and this year on July 10, USPA turns 65. That was the date in 1946 that the National Parachute Jumpers-Rigger, Inc., was incorporated in New York (though the organization had already existed for a number of years as the unincorporated National Parachute Jumper’s Association). By 1957, when the organization became the Parachute Club of America (PCA), there were 354 members, which quickly grew to 6,658 by 1962. By 1968, when PCA changed its name again—this time to the United States Parachute Association—membership was at 9,950. Today membership stands at 33,050, and no, we’re not contemplating a name change. more »

Profile - Brianne Thompson | D-30035

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE201012Brianne Thompson is a professional skydiver, a member of 2010 U.S. Women’s 4-way Skydiving Team Spaceland Blue, co-founder of AXIS Flight School and a wind tunnel coach. Thompson has competed in formation skydiving at several world championships, earning bronze in Russia in 2010 and silver in France in 2008. She has also competed in seven USPA Nationals, adding more medals to her trophy case. Expect Thompson to be a force at future competitions. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Kevin Yasuda

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by Kevin “Yoshi” Yasuda | D-26770 | Houston, Texas

One of the first things I tell people when they ask me about skydiving is that it goes from being an experience to a hobby to a lifestyle, and those of us who are licensed jumpers can attest to the gravity of that statement (pun intended). more »

Gearing Up - December 2010

EdScott

September 16, 2008, will stand as a seminal date in skydiving. That was the date of a public hearing by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on its “Special Investigation Report on the Safety of Parachute Jump Operations.” The report catalogued a 27-year history of 32 fatal jump plane accidents, many due to faulty maintenance and poor pilot training and decision-making. In fact, the report noted three “recurring safety issues”: more »

Profile - James Hayhurst | D-6411

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE201011James Hayhurst made his first appearance on the U.S. Style & Accuracy Team in 1976. Since then, he has been on 18 U.S. Style & Accuracy Teams (including the 2010 team) and won 10 national style championships and several world titles along the way. Hayhurst is also a jet pilot who has flown F-15 fighters for the Air Force and jumbo jets for the airlines. He has more than 16,500 hours in the cockpit. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Susie Marshall

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by Susie Marshall | B-34172 | Cardiff, California

I had never been interested in skydiving. I have a friend who has skydived for years, but it wasn’t something that was even on my bucket list. I was scared of heights and of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. I thought, “It might be great for other people but not for me.” more »

Gearing Up - November 2010

EdScott

On the morning of February 11 in Reno, Nevada, a gavel will drop and bring to order the newly elected 22-member USPA Board of Directors for 2011-2012. That same day, the board members will elect their (and our) Executive Committee, comprised of the USPA President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Chairman and Member at Large. Then, the president will appoint chairmen for the seven standing committees listed in the by-laws, and the committee chairs will select up to six board members to serve on each of their committees. With that, the new board will get down to business. more »

Profile - Karen Lewis | D-24575

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE201010Karen Lewis is a PRO-rated canopy pilot and freefall photographer based at Perris Valley Skydiving Center in California. She started skydiving in 1997 and since then has built up an impressive medal collection from the USPA National Skydiving Championships. Though Lewis is known mostly as a camera flyer, she is also an instructor, swooper and FAA-certified parachute rigger. She was also very active with Jump for the Cause (JFTC), the organization that set multiple women’s large-formation world records while raising money for the fight against breast cancer. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Lois Davis

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by Lois Davis | B-33903 | Springfield, Missouri

Twenty-five years ago, when I was in veterinary school, I had a classmate who posted an advertisement about skydiving on a bulletin board in a school hallway. Although he never got enough people together to make it happen, he planted a seed in my mind: Someday, I would check out the sport. Then I graduated, went to work and got married. more »