After deciding to retire from the sport, Andy Tuman (blue jumpsuit, purple grippers) makes his farewell skydive with friends at Skydive the Ranch in Gardiner, New York.
Photo by Laszlo Andacs | D-22468
As part of a new privacy initiative beginning January 1, new USPA members must specifically designate that USPA can share their accomplishments (licenses, ratings and awards) and contributions (donations to one of the four USPA funds) in print in Parachutist. New members must now also opt in for USPA to share their accomplishments and display their membership cards digitally through Sig.ma. Previously, members did not need to opt in before USPA listed their credentials but had the ability to opt out.
Members of Fly Team Evil exit a balloon during the suicide-prevention event.
All USPA Foreign Affiliate memberships of non-U.S. drop zones that did not submit their annual renewals expired December 31. USPA is in the process of removing any non-renewing Foreign Affiliate’s listing from Parachutist and the USPA website. If a DZ renews after membership has lapsed, it may take several months for the listing to reappear in the magazine due to publication deadlines and print cycles. Foreign Affiliate DZs that wish to renew should contact the Group Membership department at email@example.com as soon as possible.
In “The 2018 USPA National Skydiving Championships” by Steve Hubbard in the November issue:
• The winner of the 2017 10-way speed event was Arizona Airspeed.
• The advanced wingsuit performance flying guest competitor from Moldova was Iurii Cartev.
• In 4-way intermediate formation skydiving, SDC Rhevolution XP was a guest team. TSC Cadence, SDMW X and Hands Free took gold, silver and bronze, respectively.
Jim Tafralian, USPA #1298, started his jump career in 1971 at the age of 20 at Midwest Sport Parachute Club near Monroe, Michigan. Early in his jump career, Tafralian became interested in formation skydiving and competed in 10-way speed on the Beechnuts team. In 1974, he was part of the groups who built a 28-way round and a 20-way night round at Zephyrhills Parachute Center (now Skydive City Zephyrhills) in Florida. He also became a Federal Aviation Administration Master Rigger and Commercial Pilot.
Joe Kelly, Tyler Moran and Cathy Leone, all members of the U.S. Air Force, make a patriotic hybrid jump at Skydive Arizona in Eloy.
The weather was perfect for the 10th Annual Halloween Carnivale hosted by Skydive Arizona in Eloy October 26-28. Skydivers enjoyed three beautiful days of jumps from the drop zone’s fleet of aircraft, including the DC-3. Vertical formation skydiving team Arizona Anthem organized Crazy Eights, an 8-way VFS event, while Thiago Gomez and Niklas Hemlin of formation skydiving team Arizona Airspeed organized the belly groups. Saturday’s costume contest was spook-tacular, and Danielle Lakota Barlow took home the grand prize, a Rigging Innovations Curv container, for her fortune teller costume. The boogie was a great start to the winter season in Arizona.
When chess grandmaster Timur Gareyev won the 119th edition of the venerable U.S. Chess Open over almost 400 other players, Chess Life magazine knew that it had to do something special with the adventurous player for its November 2018 cover. As an ultramarathoner, yoga enthusiast and blindfold-chess Guinness World Record holder, the Kansas-based player who was born in Uzbekistan could inspire a potentially exciting photo. But it was when his manager Jennifer Vallens told the magazine’s editors that Gareyev is also a skydiver with close to 150 solo jumps that U.S. Chess—the 501(c)3 non-profit that publishes Chess Life—knew a cover was born.
In late October, just before the end of the board election, then-Pacific Regional Director Ron Bell accepted a position at USPA, which made him ineligible to serve on the board. In a special meeting in November, USPA’s board of directors convened to decide how to treat the Pacific Regional Director election since Bell, who received the most votes, was ineligible to be elected. Because Brett Martin was on the ballot and received the second-most number of votes, the board declared him to be the Pacific Regional Director when the 2019-2021 board begins its term on February 1.
Members of Skydive Suffolk in Virginia pose for the camera after performing a demo jump into a Toys for Tots event, where they also donated more than $150 worth of toys to the cause.
Skydive Empuriabrava in Spain hosted a fundraising event for the Sky Family Fund, which raises money for victims of skydiving and BASE accidents, on November 16. The Sky Family Fund is part of the Care-All Foundation, whose mission is to give people the possibilities for better lives. Founded in early 2018, Care-All has already provided educational and business funding for recipients in Nepal, Kenya and Zambia, helped support an orphanage in Kenya and—through the Sky Family Fund—assisted two people injured in air-sports accidents.
United Parachute Technologies recently introduced its Mutant harness-and-container system, which the company designed to maximize performance in canopy flight. In contrast to familiar systems, the Mutant suspends the pilot in the supine position—resting back with the feet stretched forward—which is an efficient flying position resembling a paragliding pilot’s. This position reduces drag, thus allowing for more speed and range, and is also very comfortable, according to UPT.
Anticipation is high for the 2019 British Parachute Association Skydive the Expo after record crowds attended the 2018 event. The event, hosted at the East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham, U.K., will feature seminars from leading skydiving experts, a large exhibition hall and BPA’s annual awards ceremony, as well as after-hours parties. More information is available at skydivetheexpo.com.
Results are in for the 2019-2021 USPA Board of Directors election, which concluded October 31.
At Skydive Arizona in Eloy on October 18, Thomas Beranek, Joseph Bourke, David Dow, David Harper, Dirk Janssen, Gyorgy Kiss, Scott Macario, Corey Mendoza, George Nisson, Douglas Pinkham, Mauro Ravanelli, Sergey Sergienko, Jonas Siksnelis, Derek Thomas, Vladimir Ursachii, Kevin Vetter, Jose Villa and Stephen Woodford set the U.S. Record for Largest Four-Point Formation Skydive at Night with an 18-way.
World record events take a number of things to be successful—talented team members, capable leadership, a strong video team, experienced pilots, lots of large planes, tireless ground support and favorable weather. Team Ripcord had all but the last component when it gathered at Skydive Perris in California October 11 for a four-day effort to set a Parachutists Over Phorty Society World Record for Largest Formation Skydive.
Bay Area Skydiving in Byron, California, held its Oktoberfest Boogie October 12-14 and saw an exceptional turnout of more than 150 experienced jumpers and 100 tandem students. The Central California drop zone, which is near Silicon Valley and offers breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay area and the Northern California Hills, has been in business for more than 25 years.
In remembrance of the events that took place on September 11, 2001, U.S. Marine Corps veteran Chip Schultz purchased a 3-foot-by-5-foot nylon American flag on a wooden pole and now travels with it coast to coast where numerous public figures have posed with it.
On October 8 at Skydive Perris in California, Team Elite organizer Guy Wright put together a 33-way formation skydive that broke the Parachutists Over Phorty Society World Record for Largest Four-Point Formation Skydive.
USPA selected Ron Bell as its Director of Safety and Training to succeed Jim Crouch, who served in the position for 18 years. Bell’s first day was October 29.
On October 13, Skydive Suffolk in Virginia partnered with the Combat Wounded Coalition from nearby Chesapeake to host Jumping for a Purpose, a day for wounded veterans to take to the skies. Dozens of military veterans attended the event and made skydives, including Norwood Thomas, a 95-year-old veteran of World War II who jumped from a plane to fight at Normandy.
For one of its season’s final events, Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois, welcomed freshly licensed jumpers from all over the country to its ninth annual Rookiefest, a Nationals-style competition for beginning skydivers. Jumpers with fewer than 200 jumps or two years in the sport qualified to participate, and this year’s competition enjoyed a record number of 78 Rookiefesters, nearly double that of previous seasons.
After rain and clouds shut down the DZ multiple times, the gang at Skydive Danielson in Connecticut decided to host a Onesie Chili Cookoff October 6. Everyone enjoyed comfort food in comfort clothes, forgot about the horrible-weather streak and spent some time with their sky family around the fire. The group hopes that the weather gods got enough of a kick out of the event to bless the DZ with a few weeks of skydivable weather!
Jack LaLonde, D-6875, made his first jump on Saturday, October 6, 1968 at South Florida Parachute Inc. in Clewiston. On Saturday, October 18, he made his 50-year anniversary jump at Skydive Palatka in Florida. The 79-year-old LaLonde and seven friends flew an 8-way formation skydive (snowflake to round, then LaLonde flew to the center) to celebrate the milestone
In 2001, a jumper who worked at Skydive Elsinore in California convinced DZO Karl Gulledge to host a boogie centered around women. And so began the Chicks Rock Boogie, which celebrated its 18th anniversary October 4-7 this year. Although the boogie attracts many men, it emphasizes female empowerment and creates an environment where jumpers learn from some of the leading ladies of the skydiving world.
(More articles being added every day!)
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