The Spring Fling at Skydive Sebastian in Florida, traditionally held each year in early March, is a big deal for both experienced and aspiring canopy formation skydivers from around the world. This year, concerns surrounding the spread of the novel coronavirus drastically limited the event, which shut down after four of the scheduled nine days. However, 80 jumpers (about two-thirds of the normal crowd) were able to get in a handful of skydives—which on the last day were limited to loads of nine jumpers or fewer—before the day-to-day lives of Americans changed and the drop zone shut down.
Although the event was cut short and last day’s loads were limited in size, the jumpers were able to perform a memorial skydive in honor of Betty Hill, the longtime drop zone operator of nearby Skydive Lake Wales, who passed away last year after a long battle with cancer. Also, members of the Parachutists Over Phorty Society—James Davis, Bob Felt, Dave Hillebrandt, Dawn Hillebrandt, Mark Klingelhoefer, Martin Kučera, Brian Pangburn, David Sands and Kevin Vetter—set a POPS World Record for Largest Two-Point Canopy Formation Skydive with a 9-way. Pangburn was the main organizer for the abbreviated event, which also featured coaches and organizers Andrew Draminkski, Chris Gay, Eduardo Guillen, Jackson Hoffman, Kyle Taylor and Kirk Van Zandt. Camera flyers Michael Tomaselli and Gary Wainwright captured the moments for posterity.
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