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USPA Mourns Skydive and President George H.W. Bush
Features | January 2019

USPA Mourns Skydive and President George H.W. Bush

By Christopher Needles

Skydiving has had many great moments, but none surpass the first skydive by President George H.W. Bush. Now it is with great sadness that the skydiving community bids farewell to one of its own. President Bush was 94 years old.

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Coming Together
Features | January 2019

Coming Together

Skydivers Join Forces with Kids for Peace

When some of the best skydivers in the world learned that Kids for Peace was launching the Do It for Peace campaign to inspire people worldwide to take action, they just had to be part of it! On September 27, 34 world-class skydivers with a combined total of 195,000 jumps united and accomplished a peace-sign formation at Skydive Elsinore in California.

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Epitomizing the Sport: The 2018 Hall of Fame Celebration
Features | January 2019

Epitomizing the Sport: The 2018 Hall of Fame Celebration

By Doug Garr

Lew Sanborn, D-1, was holding court outside the Bird House bar, relaxing with old timers whose jump totals were in the thousands. Just a few yards away at the other end of the facility, a couple of tandem students were gearing up for the experience of a lifetime. Nobody knew whether they would become skydivers or were merely weekend seekers of a thrill ride. In between, skydivers of every age, from everywhere and from every discipline, champions and casual weekend jumpers, gathered. It was the kind of atmosphere that epitomizes our sport. It was the International Skydiving Museum’s Hall of Fame weekend at one of the iconic locations of sport parachuting: Skydive City Zephyrhills in Florida

Author: Doug Garr
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Aging Gracefully: Skydive Elsinore Celebrates 60 Years
Features | January 2019

Aging Gracefully: Skydive Elsinore Celebrates 60 Years

A Parachutist Photo Essay

Some say that aging gracefully is hard. But on Saturday, November 10, Skydive Elsinore in California showed that time is on its side and age is just a number as it celebrated 60 years of top-notch skydiving at the drop zone’s home, Skylark Airfield. Current, former and aspiring jumpers flocked to the event. Among them was Larry Perkins, the son of the drop zone’s founder, Cy Perkins, who on March 1, 1958, took a skydiver (whose name is lost to time) up in his Cessna 172 and let him fall out. 

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Down for 50
Features | January 2019

Down for 50

What Jumping in 50 States During One Trip Can Teach You

t was the best worst idea (or, perhaps, the worst best idea).  It came, as all the best worst ideas do, over coffee.

It bubbled up one wintry Slovak afternoon as my partner, Joel Strickland, and I were taking a mid-tunnel-camp break. As I snuggled down into a beanbag chair with my thermos, I checked my phone. A dear friend—the inimitable Melissa Dawn Burns—popped up to invite us to visit her in Alaska, where she and her husband have been flying planes over the wilderness at the world’s end. I’d never been to Alaska. I’d always wanted to go.

Suddenly, a thought occurred out of the ether. I turned to Joel.

“Hey, do you want to jump in all 50 states?”

“No,” he said, without missing a beat.

A few moments went by. I kept scrolling.

“Wait. Yes.”

And suddenly, it was real.

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Freefall Celebrates 100 Years
Features | January 2019

Freefall Celebrates 100 Years

A USPA Special Report

On April 28, 1919, 23-year-old Leslie Irvin did something many had long thought impossible: He jumped from an airplane—intentionally untethered by a static line—freefell 1,000 feet, deployed a parachute and landed safely. And so freefall as we now know it was born.

Author: USPA Staff
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Terms and Concepts for Comparing Canopies
Features | December 2018

Terms and Concepts for Comparing Canopies

by Hollie-Blue Allum for Performance Designs

Being a new jumper can be overwhelming. You graduate from AFF and are constantly learning new information about disciplines, the flow of the drop zone, landing rules and more. On top of that, you have a big choice to make: What canopy should you buy? To be fair, this will continue to be a significant question all the way throughout your skydiving career.

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Everything’s Coming Up Pink!—The Jump for the Rose Pinkfest Boogie
Features | December 2018

Everything’s Coming Up Pink!—The Jump for the Rose Pinkfest Boogie

A Parachutist Pictorial

Jump for the Rose is a skydiving charity that raises funds for a beautiful facility called the Rose, a nonprofit breast cancer clinic that Dorothy Gibbons and Dr. Dixie Melillo founded in 1986. The Rose helped Marian Sparks, the founder of JFTR, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 and had no insurance. Sparks paid it forward by creating a fundraiser to help uninsured women (and men) get help at the Rose.

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The 2018 National Parachuting Championships
Features | December 2018

The 2018 National Parachuting Championships

Photos by David Wybenga

USPA held its 2018 National Parachuting Championships at sunny Skydive Sebastian in Florida September 19-28. This was the first USPA Nationals for DZO Amanda Smalley and staff, and they did a spectacular job handling all of the expected (and unexpected) issues that arose.

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Pillar of Sportsmanship
Features | December 2018

Pillar of Sportsmanship

Greg Windmiller Receives the USPA Gold Medal for Meritorious Service

On September 27, USPA Director of Competition Steve Hubbard called Greg Windmiller, D-20004, to the podium during the awards ceremony at the USPA National Championships of Canopy Piloting to receive a gold medal. It was not Windmiller’s first gold. In fact, it wasn’t even his first gold that day, as he had just won the canopy piloting speed event with a perfect-300 score.

Author: USPA Staff
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Gold Medals on the Gold Coast
Features | December 2018

Gold Medals on the Gold Coast

The 2018 FAI World Championships of Artistic Events, Canopy Formation, Formation Skydiving and Speed Skydiving

A USPA Staff Report with contributions from Team Managers Eli Godwin, Karl Meyer, ShawnaRae Miliano and L.J. Wobker

The world’s most elite skydivers representing more than 40 nations made their way to Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, for the 2018 Fédération Aéronautique Internationale World Parachuting Championships of Artistic Events, Canopy Formation, Formation Skydiving and Speed Skydiving October 6-13 to vie for World Champion titles. The U.S. showed up with a healthy delegation of 12 teams and six speed competitors to compete in 10 events.

Author: USPA Staff
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Staying Warm and Safe on the Winter Jumps
Features | December 2018

Staying Warm and Safe on the Winter Jumps

By Magaly Sandoval | Photos by David Gerstein

Skydiving in winter can be a beautiful experience. Flying your canopy through the crisp air over snow-covered fields is an activity you definitely should try and may find you enjoy. It can be challenging—and even potentially dangerous—but it’s a very rewarding and safe experience if you prepare for it properly.

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Rhythm’s Guide to Team Budgeting
Features | November 2018

Rhythm’s Guide to Team Budgeting

By Steve Lefkowitz of SDC Rhythm XP

So, you’d like to form a skydiving team and you’ve found other skydivers to join you. Congratulations! Now what? The good news is that the greatest hurdle is behind you. The next step is to come up with a team budget.

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Camaraderie and Community
Features | November 2018

Camaraderie and Community

The 35th FAI Freefall Style and Accuracy Landing World Championships

Determining world champions is not the only purpose for holding world championships. Promoting the sport, exchanging knowledge and information and strengthening friendly relationships between participating nations are equally important. The 35th Fédération Aéronautique Internationale Freefall Style and Accuracy Landing World Championships at Dropzone Erden near Montana, Bulgaria, August 24-31 offered the chance to do all of those things.

Author: Lindy Leach
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The 2nd FAI Wingsuit Flying World Championships
Features | November 2018

The 2nd FAI Wingsuit Flying World Championships

Photos by Scott Callantine

In the Olomouc region of the Czech Republic lays Prostějov, a city of more than 44,000 people that dates back to the 12th century. Home to the 601st Special Forces Group of the Czech Armed Forces, the airport in Prostějov has a history in parachuting going back to 1960. The drop zone Jump-Tandem, owned by Martin Dlouhý, a professional skydiver of more than 33 years, has been host to multiple world events, including two Vector Festivals, the CYPRES 25th Anniversary Boogie, three European Championships, two Féderátion Aéronautique Internationale World Cups and now two FAI World Championships.

Author: USPA Staff
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Swooping San Diego
Features | November 2018

Swooping San Diego

Swoop Freestyle FAI World Championships

For the first time in the U.S., a swooping competition came to the heart of a major city, giving the non-jumping general public a front-row seat to the dynamic, high-speed, spectator-friendly sport of canopy piloting. The Swoop Freestyle FAI World Championships came to the waterfront in downtown San Diego September 14-15, and the action lived up to the hype.

Author: USPA Staff
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On Valor—Skydivers Work Together to Help a Hero
Features | November 2018

On Valor—Skydivers Work Together to Help a Hero

By Annette O'Neil

When it happened, Chief Petty Officer Kenton Stacy, a Navy explosive ordnance disposal operator, had already been serving his country for a dozen years. Those years had been good, full, strong years. On the day in question, the mission at hand was most certainly not Stacy’s first. All the way back in 2010, the USO presented its Service Member of the Year award to CPO Stacy for his key role in more than 50 combat missions while he’d been deployed to Afghanistan. Over the course of that decade-plus, Stacy had destroyed improvised bombs, trained both Afghan forces and U.S. Special Forces members on delicate clearing techniques and helped ensure the zero-casualty rate in the province where he was doing the good work.

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The 2018 USPA National Skydiving Championships
Features | November 2018

The 2018 USPA National Skydiving Championships

By Steve Hubbard

Chicagoland Skydiving Center in Rochelle, Illinois, hosted the 2018 USPA National Skydiving Championships September 4-18. This was the first time the mid-sized Midwestern drop zone hosted a national championships and despite a few unexpected challenges, DZO Doug Smith, Director of Marketing Becky Johns and the rest of the CSC staff rose to the occasion to ensure a successful event.

Author: USPA Staff
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Johnny Carson's Long Freefall
Features | October 1968

Johnny Carson's Long Freefall

By Bill Sinclair

On the morning of July 5th, at the Elsinore Paracenter (California), Johnny Carson, Host of NBC's "Tonight Show", realized a life long ambition by making the delayed free fall parachute jump from an altitude of 12, 500 feet.

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2019-2021 Elections
Features | October 2018

2019-2021 Elections

United States Parachute Association Board of Directors

Author: USPA Staff
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In Celebration Of Aviation
Features | October 2018

In Celebration Of Aviation

by Jim McCormick | Photos by Brian Festi

Skydivers are aviators. Our bodies are low-performance aircraft. Under canopy we are slightly higher-performance aircraft. We share airspace with aviators of all kinds. So it makes sense that skydivers were well represented at AirVenture 2018 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The airshow, produced by the Experimental Aircraft Association and billed as “the world’s largest and most significant annual aviation event,” has taken place for more than 60 years. Occurring annually during the last full week in July, the show attracts more than half a million spectators each year.

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Boogie of the Year—The 2018 Summerfest Boogie
Features | October 2018

Boogie of the Year—The 2018 Summerfest Boogie

A Parachutist Pictorial

For the 11th year, Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois, delivered Summerfest—its annual midsummer celebration of all things skydiving—July 28 through August 5. Jumpers from all over the world gathered for a week of blue skies, nightly entertainment and what returning attendees describe as “the ultimate sky family reunion.”

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The Age of Authority
Features | October 2018

The Age of Authority

A Parachutist Pictorial | Photos By Norman Kent

The 75-Way Skydivers Over Sixty World Record for Largest Formation Skydive

Organizers: T.J. Hine, Roger Ponce de Leon, Rick Poplinger

Record Holders:

Andy Anderson, Michael Anderson, Pat Arthur, Art Barchie, David Benjamin, Betty Bennett, John Benoit, Stewart Brookes, Scott Buethe, Monique Careau, George Conwill, James Crandall, Carl Daugherty, Carlo De Martino, Kim Dobson, Jim Doyle, Valerie Estabrook, Chuck Finley, Nels Forsman, Bill Fridberg, Glenn Giamatti, Gary Greer, William Grimm, Tiiu Haamer, John Hardy, Michael Hare, Dee Hawley, Michael Hawley, Tom Hayes, T.J. Hine, Robert Johns, Ronald Johnson, John Kallend, Peter Kazmierczak, Kevin Keenan, Peter Kramer, James Krogh, Francois Leblanc, Jerry Lehnherr, Richard Luczak, Marshall Madden, William McMurry, Jeff McVey, Raymond Medley, John Mignanelli, Douglas Mullinax, George Nisson, Darrell Ogi, Richard Parrish, Dan Pillasch, Roger Ponce de Leon, Rick Poplinger, Cynthia Raible, Mike Raible, David Robinson, Mike Robinson, Dan Rosenthal, Jeff Saxton, Hank Schraeder, Craig Seasly, Jonathan Smith, Hank Stapel, Larry Stein, Larry Thomas, Mark Thompson, Steve Van Buren, Butch Van Lewis, Kevin Vetter, Ron Wands, Tracy Warrington, Harold White, Casey Wiggins, Paul Wold, Josh Wolfe, Peter Zimmerli

Camera Flyers: Brian Festi and Norman Kent

Author: Norman Kent
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The Summer 2018 USPA Board Of Directors Meeting
Features | September 2018

The Summer 2018 USPA Board Of Directors Meeting

By USPA Staff

The 2018 USPA Board of Directors summer meeting—the sixth and final meeting of the 2016-2018 board before the fall elections—took place July 13-15. For the board’s first visit to Milwaukee, Skydive Midwest in nearby Sturtevant, Wisconsin, welcomed board members and staff to the drop zone the Thursday before the meeting, and everyone enjoyed the cool, northern temperatures and blue skies before heading into three days of meetings. Compared to recent meetings, agendas were light, allowing the board to explore each topic fully.

Author: USPA Staff
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We Are The 13% - WSLN Leads The Charge For Women
Features | September 2018

We Are The 13% - WSLN Leads The Charge For Women

by Annette O'Neil

Instructor, coach and champion Christy Frikken hardly needs an introduction. If you’ve been in the sport over the past 16 years—or watched formation skydiving podiums since 2007—you’ve certainly seen her. Unfortunately, dozens of major wins and one of the most highly respected names in 4-way coaching apparently only gets you so far.

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Wingsuit Progression Part Four: Making It Back Alive And Well
Features | September 2018

Wingsuit Progression Part Four: Making It Back Alive And Well

By Matt Gerdes and Taya Weiss

Wingsuit flying is complicated and requires a significant amount of training, education, practice and dedication. It isn’t something you can just do a little here and there and still do it well. It deserves respect and your full attention. Your life is on the line, along with the lives of others. A wingsuit skydive presents many opportunities to make fatal errors. And don’t kid yourself about the risks to others: If you mess up in this sport, you can kill someone. It has happened before.

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Total Commitment
Features |

Total Commitment

by USPA Staff

85 competitors from 27 nations test their skills at the Federation Aeronautique Internationale 7th Canopy Piloting World Championships and 1st Freestyle Canopy Piloting World Championships.

Author: USPA Staff
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The Spirit of Independence--4th of July Events Around the Country
Features | September 2018

The Spirit of Independence--4th of July Events Around the Country

A Parachutist Pictorial

Author: USPA Staff
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Getting Started in Freefall Photography
Features | August 1968

Getting Started in Freefall Photography

By David R. Kreiser

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An Elite 10-Way—The 2018 INTERNATIONAL Skydiving Hall Of Fame
Features | August 2018

An Elite 10-Way—The 2018 INTERNATIONAL Skydiving Hall Of Fame

By Doug Garr

Each year, the International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame inducts a select few men and women who have “defined, promoted, inspired and advanced the sport at the highest levels.” This year’s induction ceremony and gala dinner for the 10 newest members will take place during the 2018 International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame Celebration November 1-3 at Skydive City Zephyrhills in Florida.

Author: Doug Garr
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