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Southwest Skydiving League Inaugural meet at Skydive Arizona

The Southwest Skydiving League launches its inaugural meet this weekend at Skydive Arizona in Eloy, AZ.
The League provides a new competition arena for all Formation Skydiving Teams throughout the Southwestern region. The commencement of the League's first competition this weekend has been greeted with much excitement. For the first time seasoned competitors will have an established competition base from which to improve their skills. Even more exciting is the opportunity the League provides to start up Teams and individuals. On site coaches and a handicap system will ensure everyone has an opportunity to win. All local teams are expected to turn up for the competition this weekend and will feature representation from current World Championship Team ARIZONA AIRSPEED.
The SOUTHWEST SKYDIVING LEAGUE forms part of the larger organization the NATIONAL SKYDIVING LEAGUE, where winners from regional competitions continue through to a Nationally based competition. This new format will soon prove to be the competition format of the future and result in the selection of the National Team chosen to represent the USA at World Championship Competitions. With Skydiving being on the verge of breaking into the Olympic Roster, the new League system is ready to deliver the necessary infrastructure to develop and support the growth of Formation Skydiving. Everyone is welcome to participate and ample provision is made for spectators, who would like to view some of the finest Skydiving available in the world today. The competition begins Saturday 8:30AM, with the competition draw and briefing starting at 6:30 PM on Friday March 24 at Skydive Arizona.
For more information please contact the League Director; Graham Harding at (480) 704 7534 or email:

By admin, in Events,

Pilatus Porter crash at Moorsele in Belgium

MOORSELE - A Pilatus Porter crashed on Sunday afternoon Mach 12, 2000 at a military airport at Moorsele in Belgium. All eleven people on board which included ten skydivers and the pilot were injured of which three critical. Shortly after take-off the plane reached an altitude of thirty meters before crashing to the ground and landing on it's belly. The cause of the accident is still unknown. Several people witnessed the incident and rushed to the scene to assist the victims.
The fire-brigade erected a tent at the scene to treat the injured and curious bystanders were kept at a distance.
Frans Deruytter from Brugge was one of the many witnesses: "I come here regularly on Sunday afternoons and always fly with them. Today was an exception as I took an earlier flight to tend to some other obligations I had. When I think that I could have been sitting in the crashed plane myself..."
Dieter Derez, a fourteen year old from Heule was one of the passengers. According to is mother Dieter has been waiting for five mounts to make a tandem jump. Due to the good weather on Sunday his wish was to come true. "Of course I was watching the plane as they took off. Suddenly it plunged to the ground. I never want to live through something like that again, the uncertainty." Except for pain in his head and back, Dieter is fine.
Another witness, Freddy Vandecappelle from Izegem said: "When I saw it plunge to the ground, I feared for the worst." An inspection team was on its way to inspect the wreckage to try an determine the cause of the accident. The airport controller Roland Nuytten says he doubts that it was pilot error. "Eric Vits is one of five full-time professional pilots and has a lot of experience."

By labrys, in News,

Accident Report - Chris Gauge

On Wednesday, February 9th 2000, Chris Gauge had a fatal accident at TRAIN IN SPAIN, Aerodromo Sierra Morena , E-23710 Bailen.
Exiting the DZ Twin Otter from 4000 m at aprx. 17:50 hour to perform a solo skysurf training jump Chris Gauge failed to open either main or reserve parachute of his own Tear Drop Parachute equipment and died on impact.
His exit was observed by other skydivers and reported to be normal. He was waving up towards the following group. Just before impact he was seen from the ground flat spinning at high speed while his fallrate appeared slow and the noise was similar to that of a helicopter.
His parachute was equipped with a CYPRES automatic opening device, However the Cypres did not activate the reserve parachute.
I suspect that Chris Gauge went unconcious during his jump, possibly due to his fast spinning, and therefore was unable to determine opening altitude and to deploy his parachute. Furtheron I suspect that his fallrate was abnormally slow due to his fast spinning, he was jumping his normal surfboard which has a length of approx. 1,60 m. That could be the reason that the Cypres did not fire.
Chris Gauge:

32 years old, British Citizenship, member of the British Parachute association, 3100 jumps, known as an expert on the surfboard, British National Champion 1999 skysurf, World Meet 1999 skysurf 8th place.
Jan Wildgruber

DZ Operator

By admin, in News,

First Southwest Skydiving Meet at Skydive Arizona Completed

Special note of thanks to everyone for their participation in our first Southwest Skydiving Meet. We had a great start to the season. In total we had 5 Open Division teams and 4 Recreational Teams. A great turn out considering an unavoidable conflict with Perris Valley's Iron Crank this weekend. Members of Arizona Airspeed were on hand to assist teams with all aspects of competition jumping. Two Airspeed members also joined 3 Recreational Jumpers each, to form two recreational teams and help them through. Here are the results:
Open Division
Team Average Average With Handicap Placings AZ Inertia 10.5 26.3 1st Cave Girls 9.2 22 2nd Elsinore Matrix 15.5 18.6 3rd Perris High Pressure 10.3 18.6 3rd Airspeed Zulu 16.7 16.7 5th Recreational Division
Team Average Average With Handicap Placings All about Charly 5.3 11.2 1st Safety Officers 4.3 9.1 2nd F-16 7.0 7.0 3rd Perris High Pressure 10.3 18.6 4th Monica's Boys 6.5 6.5 5th First place carries 8 points into the league standings, second carries 7 etc. At the season end teams total their 4 best scores to determine the SSL season winners for each division. Good Luck to everyone at meet 2 in Elsinore on April 29!!

By admin, in Events,

German video man dies at Eloy Arizona

A videographer from Germany died on Monday February 28, 2000 at Eloy Arizona. Early reports suggest that the incident happened because of a Spectra suspension line snagging under the grommet on the main loop retainer on a Javelin rig. The main loop retainer was attached to the reserve divider wall. Reports suggest that his reserve was deployed into the trailing mess resulting in a main-reserve entanglement.
Although the modes of malfunction was different this scenario is similar the incident on Saturday January 8, 2000 when James Martin a competitor in the Rumbleseat Meet at Perris Valley outside Los Angeles died during the first round of competition. James Martin spun in under a main-reserve entanglement after a suspension line snagged on the top main flap grommet. He was jumping a Reflex rig. This incident prompted Fliteline Systems to issue a Product Service Bulletin (PSB #FSI-SB-1004) for all Reflex containers.
Relative Workshop has issued a PSB (#20000302) for all Relative Workshop Vector I & II Harness/Container Systems that have a closing loop retainer that incorporates a grommet on a Type 12 webbing extension, attached to the reserve/main container divider wall. The changes involve removing the closing loop tab permanently from the reserve wall and using the bottom flap grommet for a closing loop attachment point with an added modification.
A similar incident occurred a few years ago in Australia and it is apparent that line hang ups have been happening more often than most people realize.

No further details are available at this time.

By admin, in News,

2000 Skydive America Palm Beach Space Games # 8 Report

Space Games # 8 took place at Skydive America Palm Beach Florida, from the 28th January to the 6th February. Everything went very smoothly with all the Games. More precision and control was requested for the Races and as expected everybody's flying skill level was much higher then previous Space Games. Beautiful. Once again a big thank you to our sponsor Skydive America and Larry Kerschenbaum for hosting the event at its beautiful location and putting up all the prize money for the events and developer of the Space Games, Olav Zipser! Here are the Results:
Atmosphere Dolphin Challenge:
Started with the Atmosphere Dolphin Challenge this time, 31 competitors from (USA, Italy, UK, Germany, Finland, France, Canada, South Africa, Macedonia, Venezuela) Double elimination One on One Tournament style event. Names were drawn randomly the day before starting the competition. Believe in fate or not, to me it is one of the must fun part of the all Games: the Drawing from the hat. He He, it gives you the chills and butterfly and is kind of magic that moment where they pick your name and now they pick the next name..apprehension, phew!!, who is it gonna be ??? It's funny how the Fate Plays it's own game and make you meet specific persons along the Race !!
2 racers exit the plane with the ball master who is filming the race. They need to perform specific maneuvers in a specific order next to the spaceball and in between each maneuver, point at the spaceball at grabbing distance.etc This time even more precision was requested to all Free flyers in order to get their points: be in the picture with full torso, head and hips, pointing to perfection, don't cross over the other competitor airspace. Fast yes.but super precise that was the winning key decision on who was the winner was first left to the competitors themselves no matter what the rules would say. If the racers could not decide between themselves who was the winner, the decision was then left to the judges who would apply the rules systematically.
Everything went smoothly and most of the times competitor would find the winner by themselves. Judges ended up being called only for very tight races. The nicest way to actually understand how the Competitors get along during the races, basically see who had to meet who and so on would be to see the bracket itself.
These are the final results!
1st Place : Jon De Vore 3000,-$
  2nd Place : John Matthews 1500,-$
  3rd Place : Steve Utter 900,-$
  4th Place : Filippo Fabbi
  5th Place : Mike Ortiz, Stefania Martinengo
  6th Place : Olav Zipser, Eli Thompson, Bruce Graybill, Mike Swanson
  7th Place : Jim Oreilly, Rob Silver, Matt Nelson, Kevin Sabarese, Mauro Tannino, Janine Hill 8th Place : Teppo Heikinnen , Timmy Wardensky, Goran Lazarovsky, John Skinner, Max Cohn, Francisco Neri, Emannuelle Celicout, Joe Josephs
  9th Place : Lucky Mike, Dave Brown, Stan Gray, Micheal Sandner, Dave Padijasek, Nathan Gilbert Special special Thanx to all the people who helped so much to get this Game going without whom this race would have not possiblytake place :
AD Challenge Space Ball masters cameraflyers : Timmy Wardensky, Francisco Neri, Steve Utter, Teppo Heikinnen, Stefania Martinengo, Janine Hill, John Shoffner, Filippo Fabbi, Mike Swanson, Mauro Tannino, Bruce Graybill, Olav Zipser, John Matthews, John Skinner, Jim Oreilly, Rob Silver, Stan Gray, Lucky Mike

Outside cameraflyers : Brad Chatellier, Steve Utter, Larry Kerschenbaum

Judges : Roger Nelson, Gordon Craig
Freefly Indy 500:
32 Competitors. Actually a few of them left the Competition after the 1st round giving a forfeit as the AD Challenge the Freefly Indy 500 is a double elimination One on One style Event. Again winning key was: super fast but precise and more than anything aware of how your track was set. As a matter of fact some of the fastest people lost their races as being very fast but didn't take enough precautions in making sure that they got the gate or the eclipsing of the ribbons attached to the foot of the Pylons. Other people had different approach in the game sacrificing some of their speed to make sure to get the gate and eclipse the ribbons in a clear way. As the race is judged through the 2 pylons camera views, racers had to consider carefully the different perspectives of the shooting angles, in case the 2 pylons would have not be perfectly on level.
In this Game, as in the AD Challenge decision on who was the winner was first left to the competitors themselves, no matter what the rules would say. If they could not come up with a winner by themselves accordingly, then judges were called to make the decision applying the rules systematically.
A new element in this edition of the Free fly Indy 500 compared to the previous Space Games Events was that for each single race the 2 competitors had to flip a coin to decide which direction to go around the track: left or right.
The final results!!
1st Place Olav Zisper 3000,-$
  2nd Place Jon De Vore 1500,-$
  3rd Place Mike Swanson 900,-$
  4th Place Steve Utter
  5th Place Colon Berry, Mauro Tannino
  6th Place Rook Nelson, John Matthews, Teppo Heikinnen, Brad Chatellier
  7th Place Max Cohn, Michi, Janine Hill, John Shoffner, Francisco Neri, Filippo Fabbi
  8th Place Dave Padyjasek, Stefania Martinengo, Jim Oreilly, Dave Brown, Lucky Mike, Tim Wardensky, Bruce Graybill, John Skinner
  9th Place Emannuelle Celicout, Joe Josephs, Larry Kerschenbaum, Rob Silver, Goran Lazarovsky, Kevin Sabarese, Mike Ortiz, Nathan Gilbert, Special Special Thanx to all the people who helped so much in getting this Game going, without those friends this race would have not possibly taken place:
Pylons Cameraflyers: Kenny Cosgrove, Brad Chatellier, Timmy Wardenski, Francisco Neri, Dave Padyjasek, Stefania Martinengo, Max Cohn, Kevin Sabarese, Mike Swanson, Filippo Fabbi, Dave Brown, John Schoffner, Janine Hill, Teppo Heikinnen, Michi Sandner, Mauro Tannino, Steve Utter, Olav Zipser, John Matthews, Rob Silver, Larry Kerschenbaum, Nathan Gilbert, Bruce Graybill, Emanuelle Celicout.

Outside Camera: Brad Chatellier, Steve Utter, Olav Zipser, Larry Kerschenbaum, Filippo Fabbi
The Bermuda Triangle Tracking:
Here the race is a One on One Single elimination style event. Anyone is welcome to test their tracking skills in this event and the race is judged by
competitors as to who was ahead at opening time. The only fast rule in this event is that competitors have to be open by 3000 ft!
The final results!!
1st: Olav Zipser $ 500
  2nd: Dave Padyjasek $ 300
  3rd: Dave Brown $ 150
  4th: Rook Nelson, Mike Swanson
  5th: Bruce Graybill,Teppo Heikinnen, Lucky Mike Pantall, Kevin Sabarese 3 way Freefly Open:
11 Teams. For the 3 Way Freefly Open teams had to present a video of their best Compulsory Round and a video of their best Free Round. Compulsory Round consisted of 9 basic moves to be repeated in order in the 45 seconds. The moves were: 360 turn, 360 loop, weedeater (done simultaneouslyby the 2 team members without the camera) Under over, 3 carves, 69, Foot to foot, Mind warp, Vertical Compress. Best Teams performed 18 points in the 45 seconds.
Free round was judged on Camera Work/ Photography, Technical Skills, and Artistic Overall Impression. Most of the Teams presented very technical flying combining it with Artistic Choreography. Very Nice and Interesting stuff: speeds changing from belly to vertical to fast tracking to fast transitions and difficult docks.
Flyboyz won with a very nice Choreography and excellent interactive team flying, the musical rhythm and perfect synchronization is what characterizes this team.
Team Skyfly (Olav Zipser, Rook Nelson and Mauro Tannino) and Team Modern Skyflying (Mike Swanson, Filippo Fabbi, Olav Zipser)both presented very technical dives showing all flying dimensions in a nice fluid combination, which didn't lack rhythm!
2 teams distinguished themselves presenting 2 dancing style routines mixing free flying and freestyle together in a nice Choreography: French Connection (Emanuelle Celicout, Max Cohn and Steve Utter) and team Sky (. Both Teams presented a nice fluid and elegant Choreography with
technical speed changing and new original moves. Again, all teams distinguished themselves for different elements, technicality and originality of certain moves.
1st Flyboyz (Fritz Pfnur, Mike Ortiz, Eli Thompson) 4500,-$
  2nd Skyfly ( Rook Nelson, Olav Zipser, Mauro Tannino) 1800,-$
  3rd Modern Skyflying (Mike Swanson, Filippo Fabbi,Olav Zisper) 900,-$ Best Camera : Fritz Pfnur (Fly Boyz) 180,-$
  Best Tecnicall Tied : Flyboyz, Sky and the Juice 60-$ per Team
  Best Artistic : Flyboyz 180,-$ Special Special Thnx to the Judges in the 3 wayFreefly Open as we know is a very tiring and hard job.
Camera/Photography : Janine Hill, Tim Koranda, Roger Nelson

Technical : Kevin Sabarese, John Schoffner

Artistic : Chad Jonosky, Joel

By admin, in Events,

New England Skydiving League is expecting an exciting inaugural 2000 season

The New England Skydiving League is expecting a a very exciting inaugural 2000 season. As the new league director, Beth Murray has put together all the pieces in the beautiful New England area.
Skydive New England and Pepperell Skydive Center are the first two hosts for two meets each. But the new league is still open for other interested hosts, as well. Skydive New England is expecting four teams to participate in the league. Pepperell already has two teams committed for the first season. The whole area is very excited about the new project and is finding some overwhelming support.
League director Beth Murray is enjoying positive cooperation with Mike Carpenter at Skydive New England and Paula Philbrook at Pepperell Skydive Center. Many helping hands have offered to do whatever it takes to launch the league this year: Philbrook has been in contact with NSL President Kurt Gaebel for a long time. Finally, she succeeded in finding the necessary interest in New England. Gaebel met with Murray in January at Lake Wales in Florida to discuss details for the new league.
A large group of skydivers from New England visited the Sunshine State to skydive and fly the SkyVenture wind tunnel while winter keeps their home drop zones asleep. But the spring will bring all the action and excitement to New England that other leagues have already been enjoying and more. For now, League director Murray will use the NSL website to post information. She is planning to build a website for the league at a later date. Welcome to the club. Blue Skies - Go Compete.

By admin, in Events,

Airspeed Vertical takes Gold in NSL Valentine's Meet at Skydive Eloy

The 4-way competition of the Valentine's Meet at Skydive Eloy in Arizona is already completed. After six rounds, Airspeed Vertical took the first place, three points ahead of DeLand PD Blue. The Golden Knights Gold team took third place. The second Airspeed 4-way team Zulu finished fourth, two points ahead of Elsinore 4.
These five teams entered the Open Class competition and are expected to compete for the medals at this year's U.S. Nationals. The biggest surprise of the meet was the performance of DeLand PD Blue. The former Genesis turned from a weekend team into a full-time team after last year's nationals. Blue represents a new generation of young competitors challenging the world champions from the West coast.
The big scramble inside the Airspeed squads had obviously a much bigger impact on the current performance than was expected. The distance between Blue and Airspeed was shortened from 2.5 average at the nationals to 0.5 at yesterday's competition. Blue is highly motivated after becoming full-time skydivers and will probably enjoy a huge confidence boost after this meet.
While the skydiving world is still expecting the Airspeed world champions to keep the U.S. title in Arizona, DeLand PD Blue is eager to bring it back to Florida where it used to be years ago. It seems as if all the top teams are competing on the same playing ground at the beginning of the season. Only 0.7 average is separating the Golden Knights, Blue and Airspeed Vertical.
Only one of the top teams was not on site: FX just started training with new team member Dave Timko. It will be interesting to see at what level and point they will enter the playing field.

By admin, in Events,

Search for missing BASE jumper comes up empty

HANSEN -- His friends warned him not to jump. It was too dark. The wind wasn't right. The water was too high.
But 29-year-old Roger Butler, an experienced BASE jumper who once parachuted from the Stratosphere hotel tower in Las Vegas, apparently died Sunday after jumping from the Hansen Bridge and disappearing in the water.
"All of them tried to talk him out of it, but he had to do it," said Cpl. Daron Brown of the Twin Falls County Sheriff's Office. "The guy was experienced, but he made a bad choice."
With the help of a brand-new underwater camera, search and rescue teams from Jerome and Twin Falls counties continued searching the frigid Snake River Monday for signs of Butler and his parachute, but the search was called off as sundown neared. Water flow at the Minidoka Dam was stopped late Monday to lower the water level and aid searchers when they continue this morning.
The counties don't know the cost of the search.
Butler, who had made more than 600 BASE jumps, spent Sunday with three friends parachuting from the Perrine Bridge, a popular spot for BASE jumpers because it is legal to jump there. BASE stands for building, antenna, span and earth.
In October 1999, this same group had parachuted with a woman the day before she broke her back in a jumping accident at the Perrine Bridge, said Nancy Howell, spokeswoman for the Twin Falls County Sheriff's Office.
The group was headed back to Ogden, Utah, Sunday before stopping at the Hansen Bridge, where jumping also is legal. With his friends videotaping, Butler jumped from the west side of the bridge and glided toward the water without a hitch, but he ran into trouble after hitting the river, Howell said.
It wasn't immediately clear what happened, but shortly after landing in the water Butler and his chute disappeared below the surface. Neither has been seen since, she said.
Butler was not wearing a life jacket, and he was jumping into a highly inaccessible area of the Snake River Canyon, Brown said.
"BASE jumping is like whitewater rafting," he said. "It's a self-saving sport. You can't expect to jump off a bridge and have someone come and save you."
Butler's taste for daring jumps was passed down from his father, a parachuter for 30 years, said Paul Butler, an uncle who drove to Twin Falls after the accident.
Roger Butler watched his father nearly die in a 1998 parachuting accident that almost cost the older Butler his leg. But a year later father and son were parachuting together again during a Fourth of July celebration, Paul Butler said.
"He just loved to do this," Paul Butler said of his nephew. "He loved to fly."

By admin, in News,

Skydive Houston's 2nd Annual Swoop Extravaganza

Skydive Houston has given the "GO" for the 2nd Annual Swoop Extravaganza. The event will be held at Skydive Houston in Waller,Tx.
Skydive Houston And Reggie (the inventor of the Airblades) have teamed up again to bring you the thrills and spills of Swoop Extravaganza 2000! Reggie will be bringing his many Airblade courses to set up on the swoop pond, swoop ditch, as well as the main landing area. The courses will be set up to challenge both the novice and the pro.
The swoop ditch has had a face lift since last year. It has been shaped like a huge frying pan, "it's round on the entry side and over two hundred feet in length" says event spokesman Jim Slaton. There is even rumor(from reliable source) that the swoop ditch will go through more remodeling as the DZ wants to add another 100 feet to it's length so it can have a 30 degree carve and pee-pit at the end.
The 1999 Swoop Extravaganza winner was JC Conclasure from Perris Valley,CA. This year the event has already booked names from the Orbit Punks freefly Team, Super Freaks Freefly Team, Pimps Freefly Team, Sebastian, Quebec swoopers, Perris Valley pilots and more. The cost of the event registration will be $10.00, collected into a pot and then given to the winner. There will also be prizes for the top three winners in the event.
So, all you hard core canopy swoopers and spectators alike, prepare yourself for another year of intense canopy performance by some names you know! Sponsors for the event include: Sunpath, Sky, Tony Suits, 3M, Bone Head Composits, The Rigging, Skydive Houston,Airblades and more.......
More info on the event can be obtained from or phone 1-281-843-5012

By admin, in Events,