Chapter 3 of the Skydiver’s Competition Manual stipulates procedures by which records are established and claimed. Of course, the hardest part of setting a record is developing your skills and talent (you and/or your team) and organizing the record attempt. Not quite as difficult but certainly important is arranging for qualified observers (normally, USPA judges) and making sure that you and any other participants are properly credentialed, with valid USPA membership and any other requirements (for example, you’ll need an FAI sporting license in order to attempt an FAI world record).
The process of filing your claim with USPA for a state or national record is surprisingly straight-forward. You can fax or mail the properly filled-out Records Claim Form (Appendix B of Chapter 3, downloadable to the right) or photograph/scan your completed form and email it to USPA (email@example.com), earning you a handsome certificate suitable for framing, along with a place in history.
Chapter 3-2 of the Skydiver's Competition Manual has instructions for establishing state and national records. Appendix B, the claim form, is available for download to the right. A summary:
State records: You'll need the jump(s) observed by at least one discipline-specific judge (for example, you need a FS judge to evaluate a FS 4-way sequential record attempt) plus one other qualified person listed in Chapter 3 (also listed on the claim form). You only need two authorized signatures to confirm a state record. Not only that, your judge can take part in the jump!
National records: For "performance record" attempts made outside of a USPA National Championships (for example, a formation skydiving large formation record attempt) you'll need three judges, at least two of them nationally-rated in the discipline involved (one can be a regional judge rated in the discipline). For disciplines documented and graded by air-to-air video, only one judge must actually be on site to validate the performers, document the jump plan and collect the video; the judging itself can be done remotely.
Altitude jumps and most-jumps-in-24 hours claims: You don't need a judge, although using a judge as an official observer is perfectly acceptable. However, if you'd rather, the pilot's signature and one other qualified observer (as listed in Chapter 3 and the record claim form) will satisfy the requirement.
The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, in Lausanne, Switzerland, is the official accrediting body in the world for aviation records. USPA is the official governing body for all world parachuting/skydiving record attempts in the United States in Class G (Parachuting) records. The record classes are listed in the FAI Sporting Code, Section 5. Skydivers may claim records in many disciplines, including accuracy landing, freefall style, largest formation of jumpers in freefall, largest formation of jumpers with open parachutes, most points accrued on a competition formation skydive, as well as various forms of wingsuit flight. There are team and individual records. The records can be in female, general (non-gender specific) and junior categories. For the latest FAI records, and to see eclipsed world records, go to the FAI records search page where you can do a search by name, year or discipline.
See Chapter 3-1 of the Skydiver’s Competition Manual for instructions for establishing world records. The claim form, Appendix A, is available for download above.