TJ Landgren - Freefly Master and Expert Canopy Pilot

    Name: Anthony Landgren

    Age: 35

    First Jump: 1997

    Skydives: 20,000

    Home Dropzone: Skydance Skydiving, Davis CA

    Tunnel Hours: 1000+-

    Sponsors: Liquid Sky Suits, Velocity Sports, Cookie composites & Icarus Nz

    Cut Aways: 12

    Container: Velocity Sports Infinity

    Canopy: Perta 67, JVX 88

    Reserve: Icarus 119,Icarus 1092

    AAD: None

    Wingsuit: Havok,Tony suits Apachi Rebal

    Helmet: Cookie G3 and Cookie Fuel

    DZ: You started skydiving quite young, when you were just 16. When you did your first jump, did you ever foresee that your life would end up revolving around skydiving, to a large degree?
    TJ: I did my first jump at Parachute center in Lodi,Ca. After that first jump I knew that I wanted to skydive for a living. I figured with skydiving there would always be cool new disciplines starting and always be interesting.
    DZ: Many of the top flyers talk about how they initially struggled in their AFF training and that their skills had to be developed through constant persistence and that it was never something they felt came to them naturally. What was your AFF training experience like? Did you feel as though things came natural to you in the air?
    TJ: Aff was a little rough for me, I failed level two twice and for a second I thought this was harder then I initially assumed. I took a couple days to rethink what I was doing and whether skydiving was really going to be for me. My Aff jump master Yoni Bango said "Just arch and smile, and don’t forget to pull. YOU GOT THIS" The rest is history. Some things in skydiving came natural and other things took a little more time. I had to keep telling myself to just keep trying you’ll get it!
    DZ: You're considered an expert in both freeflying and in canopy piloting, which discipline do you find yourself having more fun in and do you see yourself leaning more towards any one discipline in particular?
    TJ: I love freeflying and canopy piloting a lot! I find myself learning more in freeflying, with all these new tunnels popping up witch makes it easier to fly 7 days a week. I spend most of my time at Ifly SF Bay. On the canopy side I haven't been able to really push my canopy in a long time. The DZ I was jumping at would not allow big turns. I left that DZ about a year ago and started jumping at Skydance in Davis CA. I didn’t realize how much I missed it. Now that I get to swoop all the time I would say I’m having so much fun on my canopy. With all these new canopies coming out from Icarus makes it a really good time to fly fast canopies.
    DZ: Which competitive teams are you currently a part of?
    TJ: NorCal Alliance
    DZ: In your opinion, what makes Norcal Alliance such a strong team, besides having skilled flyers?
    TJ: What makes us a strong team is the comunication with each other and the pure love for what we are doing.
    DZ: Outside of skydiving, what other sports are you most interested in and which do you partake in?
    TJ: Outside of skydiving I like to snowboard, wake board and speed flying. I would say out of those 3 I speed fly the most.
    DZ: You've got quite a number of achievements under your belt. Which of them stands out as your proudest and why?
    TJ: The freely world records! It’s awesome to see all your friend from all over the world on one big jump and also all the people I have coached over the years ripping on the big ways. Truly rewording.
    DZ: Your schedule is usually pretty busy, with something exciting almost always on the calendar. What events are you most looking forward to at the moment?
    TJ: Extreme Week in Norway! It’s an awesome country, people are friendly and the event is amazing. Seeing all the extreme sports in one place is epic!

    DZ: Outside of your home dropzone, what is your favourite dropzone to jump at and why?
    TJ: Wow, that's a hard question to answer. Do you base it on scenery,lots of jumps in a day or if they have a tunnel close by. I love Skydive Arizona for always having a plane flying and a tunnel running. For scenery, Torquay in Australia - the view is amazing and the ocean is so beautiful. First time I saw a kangaroo was there.
    DZ: In your opinion, which aspect of skydiving safety doesn't receive enough attention?
    TJ: Canopy piloting, I feel a lot of DZ are stepping away from this. I remember when DZs where building swoop ponds not filling them in.
    DZ: I believe you have a keen interest in Canopy Wingsuit Flying / XRW, this is a discipline that not many people may be aware of. What does XRW entail and what makes it so interesting to you?
    TJ: Xrw is when wing suit flying relative to a open canopy. It is so amazing watching a person in free fall while you are under a open canopy and talking to them like your on the ground. Nothing gets me more pumped up then XRW. When you are doing Xrw you normally want to load a canopy at 3.0 or higher. The canopy pilot exits first with the wing suits and 10-20 seconds after the canopy pilot will be about 90 off of jump run by this time. When the wing suit gets close he should be aproching on the canopy pilots head level after the wing suit pilot figure out the speed we can then try to dock. The wing suit pilot flies in and the canopy pilot tack the dock. You fly around for about 2 min break off is at 5,000 ft.
    DZ: You do canopy testing with companies who are working on new products. Are there any new products in the works that you've seen that you're excited for?
    TJ: Yes! I love testing new canopies. Icarus is playing with so many new ideas. I can’t wait for there new line of canopies coming out.

    DZ: Which disciplines do you see dominating the future? Do you think we'll see more cross disciplines where jumpers are merging various existing ones in unique ways?
    TJ: I believe dynamic flying is going to dominate the future. Its got all the cool things in freefly that keep us pushing the edge, sit flying, head down, carveing and a hole bunch of eagles.
    DZ: What are you hoping to achieve in the next 5 years of skydiving? Are there any specific accomplishments you're hoping to achieve?
    TJ: I would love to do another canopy world meet and win and do 2 way VFS, Oh and win a Dynamic comp but will see.
    DZ: Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us TJ, and all the best with your flying! Keep killing it!

    By admin, in News,


    Agreement helps pave the way for skydiving to return to Creswell

    CRESWELL, Ore—Urban Moore, owner of Eugene Skydivers, announced this morning that his business has regained the right to land parachutes at the Creswell Airport. “The settlement with the city cleared all hurdles and now it’s official. We can land at the airport,” stated Mr. Moore through some early morning text messages to employees and friends.
    Last August a settlement was reached between Eugene Skydivers and the City of Creswell in an attempt to end an eight-year legal battle. Although the agreement accelerated a resolution, Mr. Moore credits the United States Parachute Association (USPA) and the Airport Defense Fund (ADF) for providing much needed support during his legal challenge to the eviction of skydivers from the airport.“I couldn’t have gotten this far without the help of USPA or the ADF. I’m looking forward to going back to work. This is a great day for skydiving,” continues Mr. Moore.
    The settlement has established safety guidelines and written procedures that both sides agreed to. The policies in place will ensure safe operations for all parties involved. Weather permitting skydiving is expected to resume at the Creswell airport as early as Thursday, Feb. 13.
    About Eugene Skydivers Urban Moore opened Eugene Skydivers in February 1992 at the Creswell Airport. During the last twenty-years, Eugene Skydivers has performed exhibition skydives for businesses, charities, and political campaigns. In 1998, an Oregon State skydiving record was hosted at the parachute landing area of the Creswell Airport. To date, Eugene Skydivers has successfully performed an estimated 70,000 skydives. The hours of operation are Thursday thru Sunday and by appointment.

    By Ronn, in News,

    Plans for Middletown Wind Tunnel Announced

    The expansion of iFly indoor skydiving centers continues, this time with development planned for the Middletown, Ohio area. Start Aviation LLC and iFly Corp recently signed an agreement that would see a vertical wind tunnel build in Middleton. Though the exact location of where the tunnel will be built is still undecided, Middle Regional Airport has been listed as a potential location.
    Start Aviation LLC is the operator of Start Skydiving, a dropzone that has in recent years shown itself to be one of the best in the country, while iFly has shown its dominance in the global wind tunnel market with more than 20 wind tunnels located around the world, and the company continuing to show impressive growth.
    While still in the early stages, aspects of the project have been released; such as the plans for the indoor skydiving location to include a restaurant, classroom and an office.
    With the development of the Middletown tunnel, there will be a total of 15 iFly tunnels in the United States, several of which have been established in the past couple years. With the next closest tunnel being located in Chicago, the city hopes that the new attraction will bring in visitors from surrounding locations.

    By admin, in News,

    Andrey Veselov - Featured Photographer

    Andrey Veselov is an extremely skilled photographer, whose first taste at professional skydiving camera work began when he invited as a ground videographer for the Russian National Formation Skydiving Team; a few years after beginning skydiving in the Russian Airborne Army. His heart however always lay in photography and it wasn't long before he had a Kiev-19 camera attached to an anatomical helmet he made and was taking photographs of 4-way and 8-way teams.
    He later became a professional cinematographer and photographer with involvement in numerous world record team jumps around the world.

    Andrey, who runs skyphoto.ru has captured skydiving photographs in the remotest and most unique of areas, from Micronesia to Siberia and the North Pole. He boasts an unbelievable portfolio of thousands of world class images and has over 13 000 jumps to his name.
    Every year he participates as a Captain and a Camera Team member in various international big-way events.

    He is also the winner of various awards including the 1997 Interphoto contest of professional photography, where he took first place in the "sport-singles and series" category and the "best photography of the year / grand prix". He also claimed first place in the Canon Photo Contest in 2001.

    Be sure to check out the amazing work Andrey has submitted to dropzone.com

    By Deleted, in News,

    Ricardo Sa Freire - Developing The Cookie FUEL

    Cookie Composites was founded in 2003 by Jason Cook and Jeremy Hunt, in Australia, with the focus of manufacturing high quality skydiving head gear and accessories in small series. In 2006 the company decided to invest in their industrial design department. Since then new methods of product development and manufacturing were introduced, improving the products and allowing the brand to grow. Today Cookie's products can be found all over the globe.
    Ricardo Sa Freire is one of the creative minds behind the very successful Cookie FUEL helmet. The talented industrial designer has been working with the guys at Cookie for almost a decade, having designed gear items that can be found in thousands of skydivers' inventory. We caught up with Ricardo to find out exactly what went on in the design and development process of the Cookie FUEL helmet.
    Dropzone.com: When you were approached by Cookie to do this design, what was the high-level brief? In a nutshell, what did they want in terms of design, cost and market positioning?
    Ricardo: I've had the opportunity of working with Cookie for the past eight years and together we have developed several products from helmets to accessories. All projects start the same way, we observe things. The market, the users, materials, new trends etc. Once we understand these factors we can begin to design something. In the case of the Fuel we knew it was time for us to design a new open face helmet that could provide all the great features it now does. We then set our minds to design the best open face helmet possible. It should be safe in the air, easy to customize and comfortable without forgetting about the aesthetics.
    Dropzone.com: Talk us through the basic phases or steps that goes into designing a new helmet, from the initiation of the project to when the first products roll off the line.
    Ricardo: Whenever you design an object, that will be directly used by a person, there are some steps you need to take. Considering that all your pre-project development is done (research and strategic decisions) you then start the conceptual phase. This is where the ideas and findings you previously came up with are explored. After filtering these ideas it's time to test them through models and prototypes. Once everything is up to our standards we move to pre-production, where we make a final assessment and give the final touches. During the whole process we have constant discussions over the concepts, looks, and solutions. We only move forward once the three of us are satisfied.
    Dropzone.com: When you set out to design the FUEL, did you start from the proverbial "blank canvas" or did you build on concepts that you've looked at before?
    Ricardo: The concept behind the Fuel was something that came up after a lot of talk between Jason Cook, Jeremy Hunt and myself. Way before we started designing it we knew all the features and options the helmet would have. When it came to the helmet's shape and looks we were very open about it, all we knew, was that, it had to tie up with the rest of our range specially the G3. We wanted people to put these helmets side by side and see they were related.
    Dropzone.com: Working with Jason and Jeremy on the project, were there specific areas (build quality, comfort etc) where each individual focused,or was everyone involved with all aspects of the design?
    Ricardo: All three of us have very different skill- sets and expertise, this allows us to cover a lot of ground during the development. Jason and Jeremy have the business/production engineering side of things really locked in. They know if we will be able to produce what we are developing in a realistic way and will also come up with elegant and intricate solutions like the G3's visor mechanism, the Fuel's cutaway chin-strap and may others. They are also skydivers, something I am not. I have been an industrial designer for more than a decade (designing mostly sports equipment) and I am very comfortable designing new products for the skydiving community. But even after learning so much about it by researching and talking to athletes I still trust their judgment when we are exploring options during development.
    Dropzone.com: Is there any added pressure when designing a safety device, where a prototype may fail a strength test and require a change in design?
    Ricardo: Cookie products are not safety devices however we understand the environment in which they will be used. We know how we want something to perform and shoot for that. Most of the times we get a better result than we were expecting but when we don't, we learn from it and come up with a better solution. The Fuel's cutaway chin-strap is a good example. After the concept was turned into a prototype and tested we realized that it held more weight than we expected and took less force to activate. So after testing it many times we realized that that was not ideal and decided to make some adjustments to have it performing exactly how we wanted.
    Dropzone.com: Where did you look for inspiration when designing the Cookie FUEL? And do you find that you are more influenced by natural or industrial elements?
    Ricardo: The Fuel's main design influence is its functionality. Of course we wanted a helmet that looked good but the final shape came from the idea of optimizing the features and comfort. So I wouldn't be able to choose only one of the two options. It is a tool with no unnecessary features like a turtle shell but it was though through down to it's minimal details like a high-tech component.
    Dropzone.com: What are the various trade-offs that you have to keep in mind during the design process? Are there any specific ones you'd call out that was particularly difficult for this design?
    Ricardo: Trade-offs are part of the design process and sometimes they can turn into improvements. During the development of the Fuel we came across moments were we had to choose between two directions but we normally do it after testing both so it never feels like you are missing something. But this also has a lot to do with the fact that we knew what we wanted to achieve from the beginning.
    Dropzone.com: Did you arrive at a bunch of concepts from which you guys chose the final candidate or did you pretty much work on a single design and evolve it to where you ended up?
    Ricardo: We have been working together for so long that we really understand each other and Cookie, as a brand, became what it is today because of this. The earlier projects had a lot of concepts and designs to choose from and that was necessary back then. But nowadays we have really matured in terms of design. We know how a Cookie product looks or should look, so now we focus on making it the best possible. And we will keep doing it.
    Dropzone.com: What, in your opinion makes the FUEL stand out from other freefly helmet designs available on the market?
    Ricardo: The Fuel delivers a lot in a low profile package. It's light, comfortable and allows you to customize it in a very fast and simple way. It is a helmet that will evolve according to your needs. You can choose to mount L&B; or Alti-2 altimeters, side mount Sony or Contour cameras and top mount GoPro cameras by choosing between the classic snap or the snag-free Roller-Mount all this combined with a cutaway chinstrap. The only thing missing was a chin-cup. But I am happy to say that we have just finished the development of a completely new chin-cup and cutaway system that will be presented in the next week or so. We are currently building stock before starting to take orders so keep an eye in our Facebook page for more info.
    Do you own a Cookie FUEL? Let us know what you think of the helmet.

    By admin, in News,

    The Physics of Freefall

    Without an atmosphere we would continue to accelerate during free fall to ever increasing velocities until we impacted mother earth. Without an atmosphere our parachute would of course be worthless. Hence a soft landing on the moon requires retro rockets to decelerate to a soft landing while parachutes have been used to help decelerate the Martian landers in the thin carbon dioxide atmosphere of mars.
    In the absence of atmospheric drag we would experience a linear increase in velocity with time as described by:

    Where ln is the natural logarithm base e and cosh is the hyperbolic cosine function.
    We can now evaluate eqns (10), (11) and (12) for various times over the free fall period to obtain the acceleration, downward velocity and the distance the skydiver falls. These results are tabulated in Table (1) and corresponding plots are illustrated in Figs (1) through (3).

    Eqn (11) was used to calculate the plot in Fig (1). We note that as we exit the aircraft at t = 0, our initial acceleration is 32 ft/sec^2, (gravity rules). As the opposing aerodynamic drag force increases with our increasing free fall velocity, our downward acceleration decreases. We see from Fig (1) that our acceleration diminishes to about half of it’s initial value after 5 sec of free fall and all perceptible downward acceleration has ceased after 15 or 20 sec.

    Our free fall velocity was calculated from eqn (10) and is plotted in Fig (2). It steadily increases over the first 5 seconds of free fall from zero to nearly 90 mph. During the next 5 to 10 seconds our acceleration diminishes significantly as we approach terminal. It is the post 10 sec period of the skydive when our sensation of falling is replaced by the feeling being suspended and cradled by the pressure of the wind.

    Eqn (12) was use to calculate and plot the free fall distance. It is apparent from Fig (3) that we fall only about 350 feet in the first 5 seconds and at least twice that far in the second 5 seconds.
    Beyond 10 seconds the plot is nearly linear as we approach a constant terminal velocity. Fig (3) confirms our often used rule of thumb “we free fall about 1000 feet in the first 10 sec and another 1000 feet for every 5 sec thereafter”. Comparing the distance at 25 sec with that at 20 sec in Table (1) we see a difference of about 860 ft, a bit less than the rule of thumb value of 1000 ft. The 1000 ft per 5 sec of free fall at terminal is only precise for a free fall rate of 1000 ft / 5 sec = 200 ft/sec or 136 mph rather than 120 mph used in this example.

    Hopefully this example and discussion may provide some insight to those who are mathematically inclined and curious about the “whys”.

    By admin, in News,

    Falling Into Fire - SmokeJumpers

    When I graduated from college I headed west and became a wildland firefighter. Over the course of a decade I fought fire from Arizona to Alaska. During that time I worked fire with a variety of agencies and units ranging from prison crews, BIA crews, and hotshot crews. From time to time I also crossed paths with smokejumpers, and always felt obligated to kick it up a notch when in their presence. That was for good reason, for among firefighters smokejumpers are at the top of the food chain.
    Smokejumpers are often dropped into fires that are too remote for ground based firefighting resources to reach. They are deployed to fires shortly after they ignite while they are relatively small with the intention of putting them out before they grow into large conflagrations. They are left to their own resources to extinguish the fire, hopefully within a day or two of being dropped on the fire.
    If the smokejumpers are unable to quickly extinguish a fire, other resources are typically brought in on the fire within three days. Once other firefighting crews are in place, the smokejumpers return to their base of operations and await another call to deploy quickly on a fire. However, this is not always the case, as smokejumpers have been known to spend over a month on some fires.

    Smokejumpers typically spend several seasons as a hotshot, an elite ground base fire crew, before applying to be a smokejumper. Experience as a firefighter is critical to making it as a smokejumper whereas previous experience parachuting out of aircraft is not a requirement. In a given year, only a small number of those that apply make it as a smokejumper.
    Smokejumpers undergo rigorous training where the washout rate is high, either from injuries or from being unable to keep up with the physical training. Training consists of a large amount of physical workouts which include calisthenics and running. Classroom time is devoted to a range of topics including CPR/First Aid, parachute manipulation, pre-field exercise briefings and post-field exercise debriefings, and tree climbing.
    Field exercises are designed to make the candidate competent enough to successfully handle the diverse number of situations a smokejumper will encounter during smokejumper operations. They include cross cut and chainsaw use, map and compass orientation and tree climbing. Parachute training initially includes mock ups of how to successfully perform airplane exits and landings. Before a rookie smokejumper can make their first practice jump, they must successfully pass through the field exercise training. Rookies must then make a total of 15 practice jumps into a variety of jump spots with each successive jump increasing in difficulty.
    At any point in the training a rookie may be let go if it is determined that they may be unable to meet the challenges of the job. They are constantly being evaluated on their attitude, fortitude, and leadership qualities. Candidates must be self-reliant yet also work well in a team environment. They must also exhibit flexibility and adaptability as they must be quick to adapt to the ever changing dynamics of a fire.

    Dropping In
    The size of the fire and the availability of manpower determine how many smokejumpers are deployed on a fire. A typical jump consists of two to eight jumpers and is usually made between 1,500 and 3,000 feet above ground level. Smokejumpers are used strictly for initial attack on a fire when other resources are not available. The first jumper on the ground takes the role of Incident Commander. This means a rookie jumper could be in charge of a much more veteran crew.
    Parachuting into wilderness terrain is a stressful endeavor unto itself. Landing in an un-scouted forest meadow on the side of a mountain after navigating erratic wind currents is considered a great option. That is the easy part. The challenge is to safely and quickly get the fire under control or out and find your way to a pickup location so that you will be available to do it over again. This translates into long hours working on a fire, often through the night when the humidity rises and the fire tends to slow down.
    Once the fire is put out or other resources arrive to take over, smokejumpers are released from a fire so they may be available as a resource for initial attack on other fires. For a smokejumper, a ride out of a fire by helicopter or on a four wheel drive vehicle is a luxury. Otherwise they must hoof it out on foot. When packing out on foot, they typically carry 100 lbs. of gear or more across rough, trail-less terrain.

    Two types of chutes are used depending on which agency the smokejumper works for. The Bureau of Land Management uses the square or “ram-air” parachute while the forest service employs the round parachute.
    Over top of their fireproof clothing, smokejumpers wear a padded jump jacket and pants made of Kevlar. A motorcycle type helmet is worn with a heavy wire-mesh face mask. Each smokejumper carries a small gear bag containing their water, gloves, fire shelter, hard hat, and other personal gear necessary to keep them active on a fire line for an entire shift.
    Heavier equipment, such as chain saws, hand tools, enough food and water to last several days, and other gear is dropped separately and, like the smokejumpers, as close to the fire as possible without running the risk of having the fire burn it. Becoming hung up in trees is an occupational hazard and one smokejumpers train extensively for. In the event they become snagged in a tree each smokejumper carries a “let down” rope in their leg pocket for rappelling down from a tree.
    Alan Carr is an avid aviation buff that enjoys writing on all aspects of the aviation industry. He currently works with globalair.com to provide resources on aircraft related information.

    By admin, in News,

    Shin Ito and Jari Kuosma Fly Mt. Fuji

    Shin Ito flying his Katana at about 12000 ft. The jump altitude was just 8000 ft. above ground level measured from the drop zone and because of the rising terrain at exit point our altitude was just over 5000 ft. above ground level. Hiking tracks visible on the side of the 3776 meter high volcano.
    Last Friday Jari Kuosma and Shin Ito performed wingsuit flights over Mount Fuji, Japan. Mt. Fuji is Japan's largest mountain, at 3776 meters in elevation. The flight was part of an upcoming Japanese documentary feature named "Jounetsutairiku" which is being broadcast by MBS. Both Jari and Shin, exited from helicopter at 12 500 feet. Shin Ito is a world record holder in wingsuit flying and Jari is both a professional wingsuit pilot as well as the owner of Birdman. The documentary will be aired on the 1st December 2013.
    "Part of the preparation was to check our jump craft, Eurocopter AS 350, that turned out to be a perfect lift, 10 minutes to altitude and very convenient stepping skis."
    "Our wingsuits taking a rest under the Japanese sun. BIRDMAN Katana was our primary equipment for the flights. The brand new wingsuit design is still a prototype and it is made for to reach very high speeds to cover the maximum distance."
    "We spent one day getting used to Japanese air near Narita airport. Airspace is very limited and we can only get 8000 ft., which is the max we will get at Fuji, 8000 ft. AGL."
    Mt. Fuji seen from freefall before opening the canopy. The weather conditions can change quickly at the mountain and winds regularly exceeds over 100 km/h on the top, like the jump day afternoon.
    Jari who filmed the aerial part of the documentary carried four GoPro 3’s and a Garmin Virb on his Z1. Shin carried two GoPro 3’s and a Garmin Virb on his belly.
    Mt. Fuji in an active volcano that erects to 3776 meters. Wind direction is west most of the time and the wind speeds exceed 10 m/s over 300 days a year. Team Fuji Birdman was prepared and had permits to wait for three weeks for the right weather conditions. After a three day weather hold three jumps were made November 22nd 2013.

    Jari Kuosma carrying five cameras to capture all the action from different angles.
    Shin Ito flying towards the DZ 3 km away, an empty parking lot that also served as a heli-pad.
    Last poses for the film crew of Shin & Jari after a very great day. Fuji-san on the back ground.

    By admin, in News,

    Skydive Ultra 2014 - What is your next adventure

    "No matter how bad you think it is, never give up, because guess what, it may not be as bad as you thought it was."
    Jeb Corliss shared this lesson he learned with Conan following his—seemingly un-survivable—crash on Table Mountain. It wasn’t his first crash, and it may not be his last, but he’s been quite open about what brought him to skydiving in the first place. He uses his jumps to chase his personal demons away, pushing himself farther, faster, and closer to the edge, and as long as the sport doesn’t kill him, it appears to be working.
    Ultra-Runners have more in common with Jeb that you may think. Many of them are also chasing demons, using the tremendous personal challenge of running 50 or 100 miles, or even more, to explore their boundaries—to get closer to the edge—because coming back from the edge makes life’s hardships seem trivial… for a while, then it is time for a new challenge.
    Eric Friedman, a skydiver, an ultra-runner, and maybe just a little challenge starved, enjoyed running with a friend around their drop zone before a day of jumping. It was a regular habit and neither thought much more about it until, one day, while jogging on the beach in Hollywood, his combination of habits, and hunger for a new challenge gave Eric a crazy idea, “What if we combine skydiving with ultra-running? That would be awesome!”
    Like taking chocolate and peanut butter, smashing them into a ball, and launching that ball into space… and then making the ball run 50 miles, the first Skydive Ultra was born. Loosely organized, and with limited promotion, the first event attracted the nuttiest of the demon chasers who, based on the pictures, seem thrilled to be falling two miles before running 50.
    That was last year, and it was a small but memorable success. This year is going to be bigger, better, and even nuttier. 50 miles? Nah, make it an even 100. This will be for top honors but everybody likes to skydive and run right? So, this year, in addition to the 100 miler, there will be a 50 mile, a 50 kilometer, and some ‘short’ races like, you know, a marathon. There will even be a half-marathon and a 10k for you regular skydivers that just want in on the action.
    Skydive Ultra 2014 is February 1-2 (Yep, two days, have you ever run a 100 miles?) The drop zone is located in Clewiston, Florida but participants are coming from all over the world. If you aren’t already a skydiver maybe you thought that was your excuse, nope, first time jumpers are the biggest part of the fun! Tandem jumps will be offered but licensed jumpers are, of course, required to encouraged to participate.
    Bring your not-so-nutty friends and family, there will be plenty of fun to be had. There will be a tire-pull competition as well as horseshoes, Frisbee, volleyball, and more. Visit Skydive Ultra on Facebook, Google+, and YouTube to keep up with the event news and stop by the website for all the details.
    Maybe we aren’t all chasing demons, maybe we’re chasing dreams, or maybe we’re just chasing the guy in front of us, but no matter what you’re chasing, “…never give up…”

    By admin, in News,

    New iFly Indoor Skydiving Center Opens in Dallas, TX

    iFLY has continued its global expansion of vertical wind tunnel centers with the opening of iFly Dallas this week. The company, who now operate 27 facilities around the world, cut the ribbon on the new North Texas on Monday, 18th November 2013. The center is located at the Stonebrier Center Mall in Frisco.
    The company has claimed that the center boasts the world's most advanced wind tunnel with wind speeds of up to 175mph. The tunnel measurements are 14’ in diameter and 48’ in height. It will cater to persons aged 3 to 103.
    Whether or not we will see the iFly Dallas center hosting any competition in the near future is left to be seen, and it does seem that given the location and the focus of the press release, that the Dallas center may be catered more towards non-skydivers who are looking for fun, as opposed to other tunnels that tend to focus more on competitive training. Never the less, the center will still be open to competitive skydivers and will also no doubt expand the already explosive growth of indoor flying.
    Over the past decade tunnel flying has become an imperative part of freefly training and is now an almost mandatory aspect of competitive training. The expansion and increase in accessibility has also seen an entire new wave of tunnel flyers emerge, as children under the ages of 10 have become proficient flyers. The impact that this may have on the growth of the skydiving industry will be seen in a few years. With these children already skilled in freeflying, it will no doubt give them a large advantage should they take up skydiving and begin doing it competitively - particularly within the freeflying discipline.
    iFly is largest indoor skydiving company in the world with 27 tunnels across several continents. The company has plans of further expansion and will see more tunnels being erected in the coming years. The company opened their Orlando center in 1999, and 10 years later, at the end of 2009 iFly had 18 centers up and running. In 2013 alone, they have opened up an additional four indoor tunnel centers.

    By admin, in News,