USPA Board of Directors Election Results

    Results of the USPA Board of Directors Election (1/5/00)

    BJ Worth

    Roger Nelson

    Glenn Bangs

    John DeSantis

    Mike Mullins

    Michael Ortiz

    Don Yahrling

    Larry Hill REGIONAL

    Central: Gary Peek

    Eastern: Mike Perry

    Gulf: Madolyn Murdock

    Mid-Atlantic: Gene Paul Thacker

    Mideastern: Gary Cooper

    Mountain: Marty Jones

    North Central: John Goswitz

    Northeast: Marylou Laughlin

    Northwest: Jessie Farrington

    Pacific: Jess Rodriquez

    Southeast: Barry Chase

    Southern: Larry Stapleton

    Southwest: Lee Schlichtemeier

    Western: Harry Leiche

    By admin, in News,

    Lack of oxygen caused skydivers' pilot to crash

    The pilot of a skydiving plane apparently lost control of his aircraft and crashed off Mokuleia in 1999 because he was suffering from hypoxia -- a lack of oxygen to the brain -- from repeated flights to altitudes above 18,000 feet without the use of an oxygen mask.
    Shawn Gloyer, 48, died when the Beechcraft B-90 he was piloting crashed into the ocean 1.5 miles northeast of Dillingham Airfield in Mokuleia on May 22, 1999. His body was never found.
    The impact was so severe that only pieces of the aircraft, owned by Pacific International Skydiving Center, were found after they sank to a depth of about 156 feet.
    A National Transportation Safety Board accident report said the crash occurred after the 12th sport parachute jump of the day. Witnesses said the plane went down nose first without the engines sputtering or popping or making any erratic movements.
    Skydivers said that two pervious jumps had been made from 18,000 feet, and the last jump was from 20,000 feet.
    "During the final jump flight, one of the skydivers stated he had a hard time breathing and felt nauseous," the accident report said. "The skydivers noted that the pilot was unable to maintain a steady course and did not respond well to minor course corrections. No supplemental oxygen was found during the recovery or subsequent inspection phases of the investigation."
    The plane's pressurization system would have been inoperable because the cockpit door could not be sealed.
    Hypoxia occurs when a person is deprived of oxygen, resulting in poor judgment and reaction time. It can result in loss of consciousness with little or no warning.
    A couple of the skydivers had paid Gloyer to climb to 20,000 feet for the day's last jump, which occurred 20 minutes after sunset. However, the parachutists jumped without any lights, which are required by the Federal Aviation Administration for night jumps.
    The pilot also had not made any of the required radio calls to the air traffic control center, nor did he report that he planned to make any jumps above 16,000 feet.

    By admin, in News,

    Small Skydiving Plane Crash in Utah Kills 9

    TOOELE, Utah (AP) - A twin-engine plane returning from a skydiving trip crashed into the Great Salt Lake, killing all nine people on board.
    The plane was on a flight from Mesquite, Nev., when it went down in about 5 feet of water around 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Airport officials didn't know it was missing until a relative of a passenger called hours later.
    Helicopters and boats were used to recover the bodies of the pilot and eight passengers early Monday, said Frank Scharmann, a spokesman for the Tooele County sheriff's office.
    The 35-year-old Beech 65 plane was headed for Tooele County Airport, about five miles south of the lake. It crashed about a mile offshore.
    Airport officials were not expecting the plane because the pilot had not registered a flight plan, so radar tape recordings had to be checked to determine the time of the crash.
    The tapes indicated the plane was banking and that it may have spiraled into the lake, Scharmann said. There had been no distress signal.
    Duck hunters along the lake's south shore found parachutes, clothing, the pilot's log book and other debris Monday morning.
    "It smells like fuel out here. It's kind of an eerie feeling," said Tim Bryan, 31, one of the hunters.
    Snow fell intermittently throughout the day Sunday, but there was no immediate indication if the weather contributed to the crash.
    The passengers, members of a group called Skydive Salt Lake, had spent the weekend jumping during the day and camping in sleeping bags at the Mesquite Municipal Airport at night, airport manager Ray Wilson said. He said they took off for Tooele about two hours before the crash.
    The dead were identified as the pilot, John T. Cashmen, 41; and passengers Mike C. Hurren, 51, a co-owner of Skydive Salt Lake; his wife, Gayle Hurren, 45; Lisa Ellise, 34; Nathan B. Hall, 29; Denise Stott, 26; Charles Wilson, 31; Merriah Hutson, 25; and Jay Johnson, 24.

    By admin, in News,

    Base Jumper Dies in off-heading Opening

    Michael "Schlefy" Schaefer was involved in a fatal BASE incident on Friday, December 29th due to an off-heading opening from a cliff in Arizona. Schlefy was a beloved staff member of Chicagoland Skydiving in Hinckley, IL.
    A memorial fund has been set up for Schlefy's young sister and the restof his family in Germany.
    The Schlefy Memorial Fund

    PO Box 758

    Hinckley, IL 60520
    Chicagoland Skydiving

    By admin, in News,

    Man Dies in Lake Wales Skydive Mishap

    A 42-year-old man from Germany died in a skydiving accident Wednesday at Lake Wales Airport. Witnesses said Manfred Klaiber, of Munich, Germany, was an estimated 100 feet off the ground when it appeared he attempted to do a stunt of some sort, Lake Wales police reports said. Klaiber made a sharp right turn, then went straight down, the report said.
    Klaiber's wife, Andrea Klaiber, told police her husband has been skydiving for four years and Wednesday was his 100th jump.
    Andrea Klaiber also said her husband was using a new chute and it was his first time jumping with it. Andrea Klaiber could not be reached for comment Thursday.
    Certified chute packer Angela Hatchette told police she couldn't find anything wrong with the chute, the report stated. Hatchette declined to comment Thursday.
    The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified of the incident and the case is still under investigation.
    Klaiber was the second person to die Wednesday in a parachute accident in Florida.
    Chantal Bonitto of New York City was killed when her parachute failed to open while skydiving near DeLand. Bonitto, 31, was an experienced skydiver with more than 100 dives, said DeLand police Lt. Paul Proctor.

    By admin, in News,

    Skydiver falls to death in DeLand

    DELAND -- A skydiver plummeted to her death Wednesday evening near U.S. 92, and investigators worked well into the night trying to determine exactly what happened during the final moments of her fall.
    Chantal Bonitto, 31, of New York City, was pronounced dead at the scene, an EVAC spokesman said.
    Her body was discovered shortly after 5:30 p.m. in a wooded area along U.S. 92, directly behind the Flo Met office building at 810 Flight Line Blvd.
    Bonitto was vacationing in the area and was taking part in jumps offered by Skydive DeLand, according to the DeLand Police Department.
    She was no stranger to skydiving, having completed at least 100 jumps, said DeLand Police Lt. Paul Proctor.
    "It's still too early to tell what happened," Proctor said Wednesday night. "At 100 jumps, it would seem to be they know what they're doing to a certain degree."
    Proctor said people who witnessed Bonitto's fall offered conflicting stories as to whether the woman's parachute opened.
    "That's where some of the stories differ," he said.
    Some eyewitnesses reported they did not see a parachute open. Others, Proctor said, reported seeing Bonitto perform a "cut-away," detaching herself from the primary parachute in an effort to deploy a back-up canopy.
    Proctor said local investigators, along with the Federal Aviation Administration, will investigate the incident.
    He said more witnesses would be interviewed, including the pilot of the plane from which Bonitto jumped.
    Bonitto was married, and her husband was at the scene Wednesday night. His name was not immediately available.
    Proctor said he did not know if Bonitto's husband was a skydiver.
    Skydiving injuries and fatal accidents occur sporadically in DeLand, Proctor said, due in part to the sheer volume of participants.
    Skydive DeLand officials have previously said they average nearly 85,000 jumps per year.
    "There are just a huge number of skydivers in the area," Proctor said.
    Two skydivers were reported injured in April, one of them critically.
    In April 1999, a French skydiver died after her parachute malfunctioned and failed to open properly. The 55-year-old woman was an experienced skydiver with more than 500 jumps.
    2000 News-Journal Corp.

    By admin, in News,

    Wild Humans - A Reputation in Rotation

    For the past three US Nationals, the Wild Humans have topped their competition in the canopy relative work event of 4-way rotation. Known in the past as rogues and the back street gang of the CRW community, this reformed team is marking up a new chapter and serious side to their history. Sort of.
    "This is the first Nationals we didn't have a cutaway," says Stu Wyatt. "(In the past), we hardly ever practiced. We were known for coming and getting our practice at competitions. We always had the attention of everyone, because we were learning while we were on video."
    The history of this team starts as far back as 1979. Stu Wyatt's older brother, Doug, started skydiving shortly after Stu, and because they had "a bad reputation for wanting to learn too fast," people veered away from jumping with them. That left each other. So, the two brothers spent a lot of time doing stacks and free fall together.
    Around 1981, Jeff Wagner asked the two brothers if they wanted to build a canopy formation team, with Bill Storms as their fourth. The team, Wild Humans, was born.
    Wagner organized one of their first experiences together. Wagner wanted his NCCS, an 8-stack award. It was to be performed at night, under the full moon out at Stapleton. Stu, who up to that point had no more than a 3-stack experience, closed the top as number 9, and Wagner got his award.
    "I was jazzed," says Stu. "I didn't get the NCCS (due to technical fumbling), but we got broke in pretty good.".
    The team started competing and training for the Nationals. They got third place that year. They also entered the Nationals with one different team member, but they were just going to learn and have fun. After about three competitions, the team faded.
    Scott Chew, wanting a new chapter on the Wild Humans, approached the Wyatt brothers three years ago about reforming. Scott wanted them all to commit to a certain amount of training jumps. Joined by Joe Berning, the same four have won the gold at the '98, '99 and '00 Nationals. They also had the opportunity to go to the World Championships in Finland, where they placed fourth overall, but were proud to give the top-ranked Italians a run for their money on the first round.
    Doug notes, "We're way more serious. Used to be completely for fun."
    In that vein, they put in about 100 training jumps a year at their home drop zone in Colorado. They also had Scott, a certified rigger, redesign their deployment procedure with a pull-out pilot chute system.
    Doug says, "We lost a lot of points in Finland over a pilot chute in tow. Our (new) method allows us to pull the pin by putting the pilot chute handle inside, up against the apex where the bridle meets."
    Another feature also flattens their pilot chutes after their canopies open. "Even though our parachutes are so little (126 PD Lightnings), we can't have that little pilot chute up there; it will affect our landings," notes Doug. "Our wing loading is 1.7. And these canopies aren't designed to land well from the get-go."
    So, these US Nationals proved to be their test run, and it was their best to date. Their throwaway round was 16 points, five points better than their competition's best. They will be attending next year's World Meet in Spain.
    "To be in contention, we need to get 200 practice jumps in between now and then. The big boys in the world get 500-600 practice jumps," says Stu. "We're looking for sponsorship. There's only so much T-shirts can do for you."
    But one thing the Wild Humans have always excelled at is public relations. In Finland, "while we were doing formation, we were the only team that landed together, and it excited the fans. They were rooting for the USA, even over their own teams," says Doug.
    Their name and attitude definitely precedes them. And their tattoos. The temporary gnarly, tooth canopy tattoos seem to be stuck on anybody within their reach.
    "It's a good ice-breaker with people; we talk to them, and it's a little more personable. Then, we try to sell them a T-shirt," laughs Stu.
    But for the World Meet, "we plan on keeping the same game plan. If we're consistent, we can do it," says Stu. "This is the first time we've put up consistent scores all the way along. But even in those 17's, we had some problems. We want to work out those glitches."
    However, it was their very own Scott Chew who was awarded a very special honor, the Overall Canopy Relative Work Medal, for scoring the best in all three CRW events.
    "Usually, it goes to a team, but these guys let me ditch them," Scott laughs. He joined Clean Leap in 8-way speed, and his Wild Human teammates says it was due to no less than Scott's presence that Clean Leap won their gold.
    Scott has 6,000 jumps, the most of his team, and has accomplished such bold maneuvers as building a 2-stack off of the River Gorge Bridge. The other three have about 3,000 jumps apiece.
    "It's amazing you can still be an athlete over 40 in CRW. Some of these old boys have been around a long time and they're good flyers. It's kind of ageless to some degree," says Stu.
    There's a history of jumping with the Wyatt brothers, and Stu has a T-shirt that lists all of the people that have competed with them.
    Stu says, "We have two rules. First, there's no such thing as rules. Second, you can't change the rules."
    So, what came first--their name or their behavior?
    Stu answers, "We considered ourselves 'wild humans' before we even got into skydiving."
    But these bad boys turned somewhat good are getting up to world-class levels. They're a little more serious, but not losing any of the fun. All four got a permanent version of their team tattoo this past summer.
    "It shows one's commitment to some degree," says Doug. A lifetime, noting the permanency of real tattoos, to which he responds, "Naw. We won't stay together a lifetime. But it'll bring back good memories."
    "Yeah, we'll be legends in our own minds," Stu jokes.

    By admin, in News,

    Skydive Sebastian Sold

    Skydive Sebastian has been sold and is also under new management.
    Come and check out the great new vibes !! We're looking forward to a busy and exciting winter season and have planned plenty of fun events for all levels of experience! See our website http://www.skydiveseb.com for a complete calendar of events. Our "New Ownership Celebration" is going to be over the "THANKSGIVING BOOGIE" 20th - 26th November!! $16 skydives, plenty of load organizing, freeflying, flat flying, wing suit flying and more! Celebrate with us! Live band, party and Turkey dinner!
    And......Its that time of the year again!!!! Our infamous "KEYS BOOGIE" is going to be held in Marathon from the 10th to the 12th of November!! This is always an excellent boogie and one not to be missed - Beach jumps, great party and a weekend of FUN FUN FUN skydiving over the beautiful Islands of the Florida Keys!! Contact info@skydiveseb.com ASAP to sign up or call us @ 1800 399 JUMP. See you there!! (Please note that there is a B License requirement for this event)
    The "HALLOWEEN BOOGIE" is next on our agenda from 27th to 29th October! Jump for $16 all weekend, free load organizing for free flyers and belly flyers! Wear a costume and party with the band "RUDY" on the night of the 28th!
    See you in Sebastian soon!!

    By admin, in News,

    FAI Deal Brings 2000 Skydiving World Cup to Discovery Wings Channel

    Fédération Aéronautique Internationale and Discovery Wings Channel agree on production and broadcast partnership
    Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, (FAI), the world governing body for air sports, is proud to announce the first time ever long term partnership with a television channel: Discovery Wings Channel, the premier destination for airsports enthusiasts in the USA and North America.
    Eilif Ness, FAI President, and Tim Knatchbull, Director of development and programme partnerships for Discovery Digital Network, signed the agreement today in Linköping, Sweden, at the FAI annual General Conference, attended by delegates from the 93 member countries.
    "We are extremely proud to continue our work with FAI and our new agreement significantly augments Discovery Digital Networks continuing efforts to present timely, in-depth, and personal programming for our viewers, said Charly Humbard, senior vice president and general manager for DDN."
    Said Eilif Ness, FAI president: "FAI is pleased to have reached agreement with a prestigious network such as Discovery Digital Networks, and more specifically with a channel that intends to explain airsports to the public as well as show spectacular images. This agreement is undoubtedly a very important step in FAI's effort to give airsports the wide television exposure they deserve."
    FAI's TV production began in 1999, with a series of 6 programmes featuring World or Continental Championships in various airsports disciplines. The programmes were distributed worldwide and gained a total audience of more than 5 millions adult viewers. This was only a start as the series continues in 2000, with Discovery Wings Channel's partnership and other programmes. The 2001 plans are already very advanced as FAI is preparing daily programmes during the FAI World Air Games, in Andalucia, Spain, including coverage of more than 20 Championships.
    The Discovery Wings channel partnership will include three one hour programmes on the FAI 2000 World speedgliding championships in Greece, the FAI 2000 World Aerobatics Championships in Muret, France, and the FAI 2000 World Cup of skydiving in Eloy, USA. These events will be part of a new monthly series: "Sports on Wings", scheduled to launch in the second quarter of 2001. Discovery Wings Channel will also have the exclusive North American broadcast rights for the FAI 2001 World Air Games.
    The monthly, one-hour series, will air in the USA on Discovery Wings Channel, and on Discovery's international network in the UK, Latin America and Asia. Said Tim Knatchbull, "this is a partnership made in heaven - or at least in the skies".
    For more information, please contact:
    Mrs. Patricia Lamy-Airault (FAI Media Officer)
    Email: patricialamy@fai.org

    By admin, in News,

    Alistair Hodgson - Overcoming Obstacles

    Everyone has some kind of disability; some seen outwardly, while others are not readily visible to the naked eye. Some live with the notion that the only limits we have are the ones that are self-imposed. This was clearly evident in my interaction with Alistair. Alistair came to spend a month at Skydive Arizona, his goal to become a more proficient freeflyer.
    I was so inspired by this young man that I decided to have a word with Craig Girard. I asked Craig if he would consider making a jump with him, Craig's response was a resounding yes! I then spoke with Greg Gasson about doing a photo shoot with him and Greg informed me that he had met Alistair in Sweden at a freefly festival. They had been in contact via email prior to Alistair's arrival in Arizona. Greg had taken the time to ensure that there wouldn't be anything that would prevent Alistair from jumping at the DZ, and of course he would certainly jump with him. Small world. Needless to say, Alistair is exuberant at the prospect of jumping with these two world- class skydivers that are now on his growing list of friends.
    One morning while waiting for the first lift, I asked Alistair how long he had been skydiving and why he partakes in the sport. He told me that his legs were "blown off" twelve years ago by a land mine in Ireland. He took up skydiving three years ago to experience life. In his easy manner he looked at me and posed the same question. I answered simply that I had found freedom and a sense of community. His response was a quick: "Exactly!"
    Alistair resides in England and according to him, is the first double amputee to take up skydiving in that country. He began his journey by experiencing tandems, three to be exact, and was then offered a course in freefall. Although he had static line experience from serving in the military, it was nothing compared to what he is doing now. Alistair says that he has tried everything from rock climbing to kayaking since his amputations, and found skydiving to have been the best rehabilitation. He states that he is better physical shape now, and his life much richer than before he lost his legs. Alistair went as far as to say that he even drinks less than he used to since he wants to feel his best for the next day's jumping.
    He offers that skydiving has given him his life back, and it is the only thing that he is interested in doing. His travels have taken him to several countries, and Alistair has found that the people in skydiving are generally approachable and open- minded. They are quick to offer him a hand up by lifting him into the airplane, other than that he isn't treated any differently. He feels as though he is accepted in this community, he belongs. There is of course, a curiosity that goes along with seeing a skydiver without legs, but for the most part he says that people are just glad to see him participate.
    During his visit here he was approached by one of the camera flyers for "Pieces of Eight" and asked if he was interested in flying with them. Alistair responded by saying he appreciated the inquiry and would get back to him.
    Alistair jumps in a custom made Merlin Suit that has small pockets on the legs to help catch air. He says that the suit has made all the difference for him in his freeflying. Alistair managed to maintain head-down all the way to break off for the first time while here, and is excited to learn to fly his body in this new orientation.
    I asked him if he had one piece of knowledge to impart to his fellow skydivers, what would that be? He said: "If you think you can't do something, you're right, you can't! Can't isn't something that I recognize in my vocabulary." Alistair has nearly 600 jumps to date and hopes to add an additional 100 before returning to his native England.

    By admin, in News,