Sean MacCormac | D-18844
by Brian Giboney
Sean MacCormac is a devoted father of three and an iconic skydiver who originally made his mark in skysurfing. As a skysurfer, he perfected the “invisible man” self-propelled spin, on one jump exceeding 12 revolutions per second. He also participated in the development of the Space Games freefly competition. Currently, MacCormac is a member of the Red Bull Air Force, promoting the sport of skydiving around the globe. He is also a stuntman who performed stunts for movies such as “Iron Man 3,” “Godzilla,” “Point Break” (the 2015 remake) and “The Hangover Part III.”
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana
Marital Status: Married
Children: Three—two boys and one princess
Pets: Three—one dog and two cats
Occupation: Red Bull athlete and Hollywood stuntman
Education: High school, one year of college and then attended a two-year theatre conservatory in New York City called The Neighborhood Playhouses
Pre-Jump Superstitions: Gear check, visualization and breathe
Jump Philosophy: Practice doesn't make perfect ... perfect practice makes perfect.
Team Name: The Red Bull Air Force, but I will always hold close to my heart Happy Scrappy Hero Pups and McFly
Sponsors: Airtec, Cookie Helmets, Larsen & Brusgaard, Red Bull, Squirrel Wingsuits, TonFly
Container: Sun Path Javelin
Main Canopies: Performance Designs Spectre 120, NZ Aerosports Extreme VX 84 and Leia 69
Reserve Canopy: Performance Designs PD Reserve 120
AAD: Airtec CYPRES
Disciplines: Freefly, freestyle, skysurfing, wingsuiting, swooping, camera and wind tunnel
Home Drop Zone: DZ homeless
First Jump: Tandem jump in 1994
USPA Licenses and Ratings: B-18267 and D-18844; Coach, AFF and Tandem Instructor; PRO
Medals: Skysurfing—two gold medals at the USPA Nationals; silver and bronze medals at the X-Games. Freefly, vertical formation skydiving and freestyle—many silver and bronze medals at the USPA Nationals
Total Number of Jumps: 21,000
Freefly: 21,000 (They are all freefly jumps.) Camera: 6,000 Skysurf: 6,000 Tandems: 3,500 Wingsuit: 1,500 Demos: 400 CF: 300 FS: 150
Balloon: 100 BASE: 35
Total Number of Cutaways: 35
Would you rather have a hard opening or line twists?
Man, that’s a tough call. They both can suck.
I hate line twists with the wingsuit, but I will have to say that the old hard openings take the toll.
Would you rather swoop or land on an accuracy tuffet?
Definitely swoop. I would rather swoop an accuracy target with a board on.
Of all your skydives, does one jump stand out most?
Wingsuit buzzing the opening of the freedom towers in New York City. Skysurfing in a lightning storm.
What do you like most about the sport?
The freedom, the endless challenge to fly more efficiently and the creative impulse.
What do you like least about the sport?
Limited resources and loss of friends.
Who have been your skydiving mentors?
Bob Griener, Jon Devore, Omar Alhegelan, Olav Zipser
What are your future skydiving goals?
To perform high-profile flying stunts that seduce and inspire the next gen of super-freak freeflyers, skysurfers and freestylists to paint the sky.
What safety item do you think is most important or most often neglected?
How did you become interested in skydiving?
I was into sport bikes, and the guy I used to buy my bikes from was an old-school jumper with pictures on the wall. I asked him, "How many of these things do I have to buy before you take me jumping?" He asked if I was 18 yet. I said, “Yes,” and off we went. After the first jump, I sold my bike, got gear, trained my ass off, started competing in the X-Trials and placed in the top 10 with 450 jumps.
What's the most bad-ass thing you can do in the air?
Exist and be aware in fractions of a second.
If you could do a fantasy 2-way with anybody, whom would it be with and where would it take place?
Skysurf with Rob Harris into the heart of NYC, launching from a Richard Branson space jet and landing in Times Square with Beyoncé performing with holograms of Tupac and Biggie.
Were you a hard child to raise?
I feel blessed. If I had any other mother, I'm sure I would have been massively challenging.
If you could make everyone do something to make earth a better place, what would it be?
Treat each other with respect, compassion and brotherhood.
What kind of skydiving student were you?
I was very focused. After my tandem (and despite the instructor, who was actually kind of a dick), I knew it was where I was supposed to be.
What do you consider your most significant life achievement?
Do you have any suggestions for USPA?
Remember, you’re there to support your members and their disciplines without being influenced by your opinion or lack of awareness.
What has been your worst skydiving moment?
I had about 600 jumps, doing a 2-way skysurf demo with Jerry Loftis near Atlantic City. Bad spot. Off landing. Small parking lot surrounded by buildings and power lines. Once my canopy got just below the roof tops, it collapsed. Dropped like someone cut the lines. I broke my first bone (my face … haha). Almost detached my retina, and jacked my hip. Luckily, I was young. It’s amazing how you bounce back at 19 or 20.
What has been your weirdest skydiving moment?
I took a woman who survived a car accident on a tandem. On opening, she passed out cold. Under canopy, I thought she had died, and I started looking around to see if anyone saw me with a dead body. She woke up, and I felt relieved.
What is your perfect day like?
A coffee and a day with my little ones.
What drives your competitive spirit?
I will never forget standing on the podium with Zipser at the X-Games, feeling a bit bitter watching rollerblading being unfathomably rewarded (they sacrificed Band-Aids relative to our friends’ funerals), when this kid came up to me and asked for my blue goggles. I saltily asked him why. He looked up at me boldly and said, “I want to see what you see!” Humbled and graced, without a word I gave them to him, thinking that I definitely won in the trade. I think about that kid all the time. His words have inspired and motivated me for decades.
What’s the best thing about being on the Red Bull Air Force?
An immense pride in my teammates. I feel like we have one of the most accomplished and versatile skydiving teams ever assembled. I know that whatever we come up with, our team can do it.
Are there any upcoming Red Bull team projects you are excited about?
We are always cooking up something. We've got some hot projects coming up that promise not to disappoint, but I will keep a lid on them for the moment.
Explain Sean MacCormac in five words or fewer:
Artist, father, adventurer, fighter, dreamer.