The President's Report - April 2010

JayStokes

All associations struggle to have their members more deeply involved in the governance process. With USPA, the problem isn’t apathy so much as acceptance. As long as members can skydive when they want and where they want at a reasonable cost—and as long as they receive their monthly Parachutist on time—most are content to leave the “business” of USPA to others. However, the scope of the association’s issues demands that as many members as possible get involved in elections and stay informed. more »

Profile - Matt Cline | D-21585

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20103Matt Cline is a retired member of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division and has had countless combat engagements and many war deployments during his career. He also led and trained the 101st Airborne Parachute Demonstration Team, the Screaming Eagles. After 20-plus years in the military, Matt is now a full-time skydiver who holds just about every rating USPA has to offer and is a USPA Safety & Training Advisor at Large for the southern region. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Jay Lehr

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by Jay Lehr | D-22708 | Ostrander, Ohio

When I was 16 years old and working as a summer camp waiter in New Hampshire, I was commandeered off a road one day to help fight a forest fire. That day, I saw smoke jumpers jumping in to fight the fire. I thought it was so neat that each summer during college I applied to the smoke jumping school in Missoula, Montana, but, sadly, was never accepted. more »

Gearing Up - March 2010

CBS Sports’ coverage of USPA’s National Collegiate Skydiving Championships, held December 28 through January 2, completed a trifecta of nationwide media coverage of national skydiving competitions. CBS Sports was taping for its “Alt Games” TV show that covers collegiate sports and competitions. The show will air later this spring. Just two months earlier, the USPA National Skydiving Championships hosted a film crew from “Good Morning America” who taped footage for an upcoming segment. USPA’s National Canopy Piloting Championships began the trend in 2008 when ABC News sent a team to capture swooping for a segment Charles Gibson introduced on the evening news. more »

Gearing Up - February 2010

In 1962, USPA’s forerunner, the Parachute Club of America (PCA), was garnering the results of its two principle efforts—promoting skydiving and working for skydiving’s acceptance by government agencies. Only five years earlier, the organization had changed its name from the National Parachute Jumpers and Riggers, Inc. and changed its constitution to move away from commercial promotion of exhibition skydiving to become an individual membership organization of recreational skydivers. The PCA ended 1958 with 807 members; it ended 1962 with 6,800 members. But another number increased as well: Parachutist reported five fatalities “in the 24 months of 1959 and 1960,” but 1962 alone had 19 reported fatalities. more »

Profile - Brian Giboney | D-21070

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20102Brian Giboney wrote his first “Profile” column for the February 1999 edition of Parachutist, and he hasn’t slowed down since. Since that first piece (which profiled Eric Fradet) came out, he has been by far the magazine’s most reliable contributor—producing 12 installments a year for 10 years now. In this, Parachutist’s 121st “Profile,” the tables are turned. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Mark Perry

 

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by Mark Perry | C-37171 | Naples, Florida

I began this wild and wonderful sport of skydiving like most, by taking a trip to the local DZ on a dare; I experienced the thrill of freefall with a tandem jump. A month later, I made one more tandem and was hooked. My good friend, Angel, and I decided to continue the thrill and step it up a notch by wearing our own rigs. After a year of AFF and accumulating enough jumps, we were skydivers! I felt confident enough in my skydiving skills to invite my wife, Debbie, and son, Nick, to visit the DZ and share in my enthusiasm for the sport. Debbie had no interest in skydiving, but out of her love for me she wanted to be there to support my new hobby. At the end of the day, and after witnessing one of my less glamorous landings, she turned to me and said, “Are you sure this sport is right for you?” I assured her that skydiving is safe and told her that I would get better at my landings with a little more practice. Nick thought that his old man was just going through a phase and the hobby wouldn’t last. more »

Gearing Up - January 2010

As the USPA staff prepares the 2010 budget for review and approval at the February board meeting, we first determine the issues and initiatives that need to be addressed in the new year. In government relations, USPA has developed winning strategies that assist current and prospective DZOs with their airport access issues. These days, more often than not, skydiving is securing its right of access to airports that receive federal funding. But the workload on staff is demanding, so we’re determined to put more resources on our web site so that airport access issues become more do-it-yourself, under USPA guidance, while still remaining successful. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Ann Rezbanyay

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by Ann Rezbanyay | C-36575 | Northville, Michigan

 It was the summer of 2006 in southeastern Michigan. I was barely 23 years old, growing my destination wedding photography biz and in the midst of being a serial dater attempting to find someone who could keep up with my passion for extreme sports. Every date I had was atypical and centered on adventure. Trying to not repeat anything, it was only a matter of time before one of my dates included skydiving. more »