Profile - Sally Hathaway | D-17133

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20112Sally Hathaway, D-17133, has medaled in formation skydiving at a number of USPA Nationals and has achieved an impressive four women’s 4-way formation skydiving world championships. Hathaway jumps at Skydive City in Zephyrhills, Florida, and makes her living in the world of skydiving—she’s a USPA AFF Instructor and Coach Examiner; an FAA Master Rigger and owner of Paragone Rigging; and a wind tunnel coach at SkyVenture in Orlando, with more than 1,000 hours in the tunnel. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Matt Feeser

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by Matt Feeser | USPA #213775 | York, Pennsylvania

My journey into the sport of skydiving was a little different than most. Like many people, skydiving was something I always said that I wanted to do, but it seemed to be something I just kept talking about rather than doing. Although for me, skydiving is a bit more difficult than for most people. more »

Gearing Up - February 2011

EdScott

The year 2010 ended with 21 U.S. skydiving fatalities, 70 percent of which were canopy related (meaning the jumper successfully deployed a parachute but did not survive the landing). Earlier this year, USPA decided to gather industry experts for a Canopy Safety Summit (see page 23 for participants) and created a web page to solicit ideas and comments from all sources for consideration by the group. more »

Profile - Kamuran "Sonic" Bayrasli | D-21394

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20111Kamuran “Sonic” Bayrasli, D-21394, started skydiving in 1992 after watching ESPN coverage of the then-current world record 200-way formation. He is now a USPA AFF and Tandem Instructor, PRO-rating holder and Safety & Training Advisor. Bayrasli is also active in swoop competitions and aerial photography and videography. In addition, he’s an FAA Master Rigger who owns The Ranch PROShop, the gear store and rigging loft at Skydive The Ranch in Gardiner, New York; and Ulster County Containers & Canopies (UC3), a BASE-gear company that sells gear approved by the FAA for skydiving. more »

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 »