Gearing Up

Ed ScottFor eight years, five months and counting, USPA members have enjoyed the longest run ever without a dues increase. That streak will end on January 1, when USPA dues and rating and license fees go up an average of 20 percent. No one on the staff or the board takes such action lightly, and both should be commended for making the 2009 dues change last as long as possible. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Vicki Dillon

I frequently said that for my 50th birthday, I wanted to make a skydive. Just before my 48th birthday, my son, who had recently achieved his A license, said, “Mom, don’t wait. You are going to love it.” A few weeks later I took my first jump and knew I was going to do more. more »

Profile - Sean MacCormac | D-18844

By Brian Giboney

Sean MacCormac is a devoted father of three and an iconic skydiver who originally made his mark in skysurfing. As a skysurfer, he perfected the “invisible man” self-propelled spin, on one jump exceeding 12 revolutions per second. He also participated in the development of the Space Games freefly competition. Currently, MacCormac is a member of the Red Bull Air Force, promoting the sport of skydiving around the globe. He is also a stuntman who performed stunts for movies such as “Iron Man 3,” “Godzilla,” “Point Break” (the 2015 remake) and “The Hangover Part III.” more »

Gearing Up

Ed Scott With proposed air-traffic-control privatization, skydiving—and indeed all of general aviation—is facing the gravest threat to its longevity and future than ever before. If the 21st Century AIRR Act, otherwise known as H.R. 2997, goes through the U.S. Congress and the president signs it into law, it would carve the ATC function out of the Federal Aviation Administration and hand it to a new private corporation funded by new aviation user fees. (As written, the bill exempts general aviation from user fees, but any future Congress could change that.) more »

Once Upon a Time There Was a Movie Called “The Gypsy Moths”

In 1964, I launched my magazine, DZ-USA, to promote the sport and contribute something other than doomsday predictions at a time when the man on the street viewed a parachutist as a daredevil looking for a place to die. In that same year, I was invited to appear on “The Joey Bishop Show” in Hollywood to represent the sport. There, I met John Frankenheimer, who was promoting his move “Grand Prix,” and Lyle Cameron, who produced Skydiver magazine. John was very interested in what Lyle and I had to say about the sport. He stated that he’d always wanted to make a movie about it and would contact us if a future project came up. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Don Jean

Jumping out of an airplane was never on my bucket list. Well, honestly, I never had a bucket list until May 14, 2016: the day I completed my first tandem. more »

Profile - Jennifer Davidson | D-30287

by Brian Giboney
Jennifer Davidson, D-30287, is a member of the U.S. Army Golden Knights 8-Way Formation Skydiving Team. Until recently, she was a member of GKF4, which in 2012 was the first all-female team to medal in open FS at a USPA Nationals and in 2016 took gold in women’s 4-way FS at the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale World Championships. A versatile jumper, Davidson was also on the 2010 FAI Women’s World Record for Largest Head-Down Formation Skydive. The Army recently promoted her to master sergeant. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Brandon Kendrick

Since I was a kid, I’ve dreamt of flying. I would have dreams that were so vivid that I could feel the zero-G sensation as I flew in my sleep. As a boy, I would climb onto the roof of my house and jump off with a towel stuffed in the back of my shirt, yelling, “Superrrrrmaaaannnnn!” Thankfully, I never broke any bones, because the secret would have been out, and my parents would have killed me once they learned of my dangerous hobby! No matter how much I tried to hide it, though, all the early warning signs were there that I was an aviation addict. more »

Profile - Ryan Risberg | D-22873

by Brian Giboney

Ryan Risberg, D-22873, is a vertical formation skydiving competitor and freefly organizer. He was a member of SDC Core, which won the gold in vertical formation skydiving at the 2015 USPA Nationals, and was also a member of the team that set the 164-way Fédération Aéronautique Internationale World Record for Largest Head-Down Formation Skydive. Risberg, who is known for jumping in flip-flops, now travels the world sharing his knowledge and love of the sport and all facets of freeflying. more »

Gearing Up - July 2017

Ed Scott

More than once in past “Gearing Up” columns, you’ve read me urging jumpers to take a canopy course. Of course, since 2012, USPA requires those who want a B license to take one. But it’s generally conceded that it’s a good idea for all skydivers who haven’t done so yet to go through a canopy course, no matter how many jumps they have. It’s also a good idea to go through a refresher course if your last one was a while ago. After all, the average number of jumps made by those who died last year in landing accidents was 1,840. 

Last weekend, I finally took my own advice. more »