The USPA Board of Directors held its second meeting of the 2019-2021 term in Arlington, Virginia, July 12-14.
At its 2018 summer meeting, the USPA Board of Directors chose Mike Horan, D-881, to receive its prestigious Gold Medal for Meritorious Service.
The five members of professional skydiving team ToraTora—Jarno Cordia, Willem de Groot, Rene Terstegen, Martijn Van Dam and Jasper van der Meer—put together a magical week of skydiving and other adventure sports in Slovenia’s Soca Valley, adjacent to Triglav National Park.
Sebastian Alvarez, D-32538, was a pro surfer and a Chilean Air Force pilot (flying helicopters and planes alike) in his home country before he donned his first wingsuit.
An international group of skydivers broke the Féderátion Aéronautique Internationale World Record for Largest Head-Up Formation Skydive by flying an 84-way during the Upright World Record Attempts at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois, July 22-26.
The club invited friends from years past, and many showed up for the weekend, including some who were part of the club in its first decade.
May 24-27, 88 elite formation skydivers from more than a dozen countries and a team of five in-air videographers (Niklas Daniel, George Katsoulis, John Lyman, Jim Stengell and David Wybenga) came together at Skydive Arizona in Eloy to participate in the 23rd annual Arizona Challenge and celebrate the 25th anniversary of world-renowned formation skydiving team Arizona Airspeed.
Many top world-class competitors had a difficult time at the 14th Fédération Aéronautique Internationale World Cup of Freefall Style and Accuracy Landing in Cordoba, Argentina, May 18-26, and the members of the U.S. Accuracy Team were no exception.
The French government arranged a series of tributes to the heroes of Normandy that attracted more than one million people from across the globe for ceremonies, speeches and commemorative airborne operations.
Robert Crandall, the longtime CEO of American Airlines, once said the industry is always in the grip of its dumbest competitor. A corollary for general aviation—if there is one—is that the perception of safety is always set by the latest horrific accident.
Near sunset on June 21, a Beechcraft King Air crashed shortly after takeoff from Dillingham Airfield near Waialua, Hawaii, killing all 11 aboard, including pilot Jerome Renck.
A good helmet once seemed like just the ticket to escape such a fate. The reality, unfortunately, is that helmets simply aren’t designed to protect people against traumatic brain injury. They can’t.
When Leslie Irvin made the first freefall jump using gear designed for that purpose more than 100 years ago, no one really foresaw parachuting becoming a sport.
Each year for the past decade, the International Skydiving Museum has inducted a select few men and women who have “defined, promoted, inspired and advanced the sport at the highest levels” into its Hall of Fame. This year’s induction ceremony and banquet for the 10 newest honorees will take place during the 2019 International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame Celebration October 17-19 at Skydive Perris in California.
There have been five skydiving fatalities in the U.S. as of May 15 of this year. Four of those involved spinning malfunctions. To raise awareness of this problem, USPA is initiating an educational campaign: Don’t Delay, Cut Away!
Skydivers and fighter pilots share a unique characteristic: Both can eject from their aircraft. They also share a common reason for fatal accidents: a delay in the decision to do so. In fact, according to the U.S. Air Force, it’s the single most common cause of fighter pilot fatalities. Similarly, in the past few decades, failure to cut away and pull the reserve ripcord in time has been a major factor in skydiving deaths.
John LeBlanc, vice president at Performance Designs, loves “flying everything that can be flown.” He’s been doing just that for more than 40 years (since age 16, as a matter of fact), and he’s been designing parachutes for 35 of them. Over the course of those years of intense testing, LeBlanc has unsurprisingly suffered more than his share of openings that were slappers.
Remember when President Harry S. Truman announced over the family radio that there was a growing threat on the Korean Peninsula? Me neither. But U.S. Army recruit Lewis Barton Sanborn must have been paying close attention, as he was going Airborne and was about to make his first jump. On April 18, 1949, he made that jump—a static-line from 1,200 feet—over Fort Benning, Georgia. That was a long, long time ago.
It was June 2011, and USPA excitedly announced its newest program. We had named it Sisters in Skydiving. We had no idea how the skydiving community would receive the program or whether it would succeed. But we knew one thing: We needed to do something to encourage more woman to take up and stick with the sport.
No great adventure was ever achieved by staring at a phone. Well, unless you’re a skydiver who spotted a post on social media about a Huey-helicopter-based innhopp (a nomadic skydiving adventure where you’re not told the itinerary) in Namibia, Africa, and decided to sign up! Noted innhopp organizer Even Rokne and aerial cinematographer Tommy Papatango put together the event, which included jumps into 23 locations, overnight stays at five-star lodges and an adventure spanning 1,600-miles.
Hey, skydiver: What’s your mental image of hypoxia? Do you immediately picture a plane full of sport jumpers laughing like drunks and falling all over each other? If so, you’re not alone, and there’s also a good chance that you think a) you’ve never been hypoxic; b) hypoxia is just something that happens on high-altitude jumps when the oxygen system is on the fritz; and c) you know what to look for.
The thing is: You’re not actually right about any of that.
We live in the age of GPS spots, turbine aircraft and high-performance ram-air main and reserve parachutes that have lots of forward speed. So, we’re finished landing off the drop zone, right? Unfortunately, not! Murphy’s law—the foundational rule of skydiving—says, “If it can go wrong, it will.”
Maybe you are on a big-way dive or in a tracking contest or really finding out what your wingsuit can do. Maybe the weather is tricky or your exit delayed. No matter the situation, when you open your canopy and find the drop zone is w-a-a-a-y farther away than you wanted, your plan went wrong. So, how can you avoid this situation? And what can you do when it inevitably does come up?
Sunny with a Chance of Beach Landings—The 2019 Costa Rica Boogie
Hosted By: Tsunami Skydivers Exotic Boogies
Tambor Bay, Costa Rica | February 9-18
A Parachutist Pictorial
On St. Valentine’s Day weekend, February 14-17, many of our sport’s founding members and innovators reconnected with lifelong friends in Felicity, California—the Official Center of the World (as declared by France’s Institut Géographique National in 1985)—during the Pioneers of Sport Parachuting Reunion. The event also included a celebration of USPA President Emeritus Jacques-André Istel’s 90th birthday (or, as Istel referred to it, his “100th birthday rehearsal”).
More than 150 jumpers from 17 countries and six continents traveled to Skydive Sebastian in Florida for the Spring Fling canopy formation skydiving (aka canopy relative work or CRW) event March 9-17. The nine-day event—now in its 15th year—has continued to grow. Organizers Chris Bohn, Chris Gay, Eric Gallan, Francois Huot and Brian Pangburn kept up with the surge in participation by adding Andrew Draminski, Gerben Frankvoort, Sean Jones and Scott Lazarus to the organizing team. The team’s goal was to keep everyone challenged, from the 12 jumpers who had never tried CF before to the most experienced participants.
To open Safety Day 2019 at Skydive Cross Keys in Williamstown, New Jersey, DZO and pilot Pico Mazure remarked, “Safety is no accident. Safety is an attitude and a core value of our community. We are happy to see not only students but also highly experienced jumpers attend Safety Day and help us instill that value in all generations of jumpers.”To open Safety Day 2019 at Skydive Cross Keys in Williamstown, New Jersey, DZO and pilot Pico Mazure remarked, “Safety is no accident. Safety is an attitude and a core value of our community. We are happy to see not only students but also highly experienced jumpers attend Safety Day and help us instill that value in all generations of jumpers.”
(More articles being added every day!)
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