At Skydive Paraclete XP in Raeford, North Carolina, (clockwise from left) organizer Ashley Goldstein, Silas Davis, Ty Swansboro and Courtney McCarthy make a freefly jump.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (which provided women and men with equal voting rights) and the global women’s suffrage movement that swept across the world in the early 1900s, the Women’s Skydiving Network (formerly the Women’s Skydiving Leadership Network) is launching Project 19. The project is a four-stage plan that will culminate in the 100-way women’s head-down world record attempts at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, Illinois, in the summer of 2020.
Body Fly University in Reggio Emilia, Italy, hosted a high-performance-canopy-flight camp March 2-3. Mario Fattoruso, a member of the Performance Design Factory Team and multi-time Italian national champion canopy pilot, taught the course. The drop zone believes that the camp—which was very popular with attendees—was the first high-performance camp of its kind in the country.
March 15-17 was a memorable weekend at Skydive Arizona in Eloy, as the Rookie Round-Up brought novice skydivers from around the country to learn from local professional teams. Members of formation skydiving team Arizona Airspeed, freestyle team AZ Dream and vertical formation skydiving teams Arizona Anthem and Arizona X-Force provided coaching in the sky, as well as the onsite SkyVenture wind tunnel. On Saturday, the rookies had lunch in one of the DZ’s Skyvans as the chief pilot discussed safety precautions and taught them how to open the door of the tailgate aircraft.
The International Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame Board of Trustees gives its Trustees’ Award to thank those who contribute services or make other gestures of goodwill to the museum. The board of trustees recently chose Doug Garr, D-2791, to receive this award.
Michael Sean Washburn and Reza Moradi of the Skytrash wingsuit team make a jump at the Skydive Dubai Desert Campus in the United Arab Emirates.
Actor Wade Williams, best known for his role as prison guard Brad Bellick on the TV series “Prison Break,” makes a tandem skydive with instructor Ryan Clough and jumpers Ryan Mari and Eric Salas at the Fitz Boogie in Fitzgerald, Georgia.
Skydiver James Bauer recently introduced Pack Monkey, a tool to help jumpers put their canopies in deployments bags easily. The tool is designed to help those who have slippery canopies, small hands or just want to pack more quickly. Pack Monkey is designed for canopy sizes from 120 to 250 square feet but can also work on larger or smaller canopies. A video of how the product works and ordering information are available at packmonkeydesigns.com. It retails for $35.
The British Parachute Association recently appointed Angel Fernandez to the new staff position of communications manager. Fernandez, who began skydiving in 2017, has more than 20 years of communications and marketing experience in a variety of industries.
Orange Skies Free Fall Center launched its opening weekend at Fort Morgan Municipal Airport in Colorado April 20-21.
Canopy pilot Junior Ludvik and wingsuit pilot Calin Dobos fly together at the Skydive Dubai Desert Campus in the United Arab Emirates.
On Saturday, January 26, California DZs Skydive Elsinore and Skydive San Diego held a friendly competition revolving around the Bob Buquor Memorial Star Crest Awards. Jumpers earn an SCR—an award conceived of by Bill Newell in 1965—by participating in a star (aka round) formation consisting of eight or more jumpers.
During its recent meeting in Dallas, the USPA Board of Directors voted to support a major airport-access win for skydiving by Luther Kurtz, DZO of the Phoenix Skydive Center in Casa Grande, Arizona, under Part 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Kurtz will receive a $24,156.76 as a reimbursement for a share of his legal expenses through the Airport Access and Defense Fund. Details about the case are available in the article “DZO Wins Part 16 Appeal” on page 16 in the February issue of Parachutist.
The USPA Membership Services Committee is currently seeking nominations for three of its service awards: the Lifetime Achievement Award (a maximum of one recipient annually), the Gold Medal for Meritorious Service (up to three recipients annually) and the Regional Achievement Award (up to five recipients annually).
Raymond Adams took the photo on the cover of the March issue of Parachutist at Skydive Georgia in Cedartown.
Seven Hills Skydivers in Marshall, Wisconsin, once again hosted its annual ice jumps onto frozen Lake Mendota at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison. Sixteen jumpers participated this year, more than double the number of jumpers in 2018! Jump conditions were good (albeit brisk), with temperatures peaking at 16 degrees Fahrenheit in the afternoon.
Milko Hodgkinson organizes a pyramid-shaped formation over the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt.
On January 18-20 at Skydive Arizona in Eloy, local wingsuit organizer Cameron Stiles hosted Project Desert Skies, an exclusive invitational event for wingsuit flyers. This was the second year for the event. Stiles gathered a talented team of more than a dozen accomplished flyers and led them across the desert skies in one formidable formation after the next.
Maytown Sport Parachute Club in Marietta, Pennsylvania, honored founding member Dick Gochenaur, D-1404, at its February club meeting. The club presented him with a plaque and a check in recognition of his many years of selfless service dedicated to the continuing success of the club.
On February 23, Jane Haynes celebrated her 100th birthday at Skydive Arizona in Eloy by making a tandem skydive (as did her daughter and granddaughter).
On February 14, the International Skydiving Museum and Hall of Fame announced its 2019 inductees. The museum will induct the 10 skydivers—Irena Avbelj, Chuck Collingwood (posthumous), Kate Cooper-Jensen, Patrick de Gayardon (posthumous), Alan Eustace, John Higgins, Andy Keech, Tom Sanders, Deke Sonnichsen and Lofty Thomas (posthumous)—at its Hall of Fame Celebration at Skydive Perris in California October 17-19. More information on the weekend event is available at skydivingmuseum.org.
Yong Chisholm, a longtime California skydiver of Korean descent, dreamed for more than 20 years of building an all-Korean freefall formation. It was a daunting task since skydiving is not common in Korea, and most jumpers there need to travel to the United States to have access to drop zones where they can improve their skills.
Operation Wings of Freedom—an organization to help veterans battle post-traumatic stress disorder through skydiving—launched in January. The group hopes to help eight veterans achieve their A licenses in 2019. Wings of Freedom believes that skydiving can help veterans since it helps build a bond through shared experience, is highly intense and helps to develop powerful skill sets through the sport’s extreme demands.
Fluid Wings began taking orders for its newest wing, the Echo, on February 14. The company produces the canopy, which it aims at intermediate jumpers who are looking for more performance than a basic entry-level wing, in 107-, 120-, 135-, 150- and 170-square-foot models.
On March 8, skydiver and award-winning TV and film composer Kim Planert released his first solo album, “SKYLIGHT: Notes From a Logbook,” featuring the Budapest Scoring Orchestra and vocals by established artists such as Keeley Bumford, Lisbeth Scott and Waterson.
Editors Doug Garr, Michael Kearns, Tim Long and Jan Works recently released “More Skydivers’ Stories: Close Calls and Epic Feats Above Planet Earth,” the sequel to “NSTIWTIWGD” (“No, S***, There I Was, Thought I Was Gonna Die”), a 2015 compendium of scary jump stories written primarily by old-school jumpers and compiled by Long.
Johann Kruger, Rashid Abdullah and Darren Burke fly their wingsuits at the Skydive Dubai Desert Campus in the United Arab Emirates.
On January 2, Yvette Walter, D-22592, received the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service for her exceptionally meritorious service to the Department of Defense and the U.S. Special Operations Command Demonstration Parachute Team, the Para-Commandos. Walter received the presentation, made on behalf of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for her immeasurable contributions over 12 years as parachute coach, media coordinator and team photographer for the Para-Commandos and for enhancing their mission as ambassadors for USSOCOM.
(More articles being added every day!)
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