Troy's Senseless Acts and Others

    "They thought she had just paralyzed me, it was very frightening " Hartman is best known for his appearances on MTV's Senseless Acts and numerous television commercials. In this candid interview he talks about his broken neck, Senseless Acts, and various other skydiving (and non skydiving) related issues. So who was she and was she worth almost getting paralyzed? Read on to find out....
    Age: 29

    Current Number of Jumps: 4500+

    Year of First Jump: 1992

    Rig: Javelin NJ w/PD113 reserve
    Main Canopy: Velocity 96

    Cypress: yes

    Current Residence: Sherman Oaks, CA

    Highest USPA License: D

    Home DZ: Perris

    Favorite Discipline in Skydiving: Base Jumping

    Number of Reserve Rides: 4

    Web Site: http://www.troyhartman.com/
    Dropzone.com: Troy, you recently had a pretty bad accident while doing a stunt - you ended up breaking your neck while performing it. When did all of this take place?
    Troy: April 29, 2000
    Dropzone.com: How are you doing now?
    Troy: I'm fully recovered actually.
    Dropzone.com: How long were you out of skydiving due to this accident?
    Troy: 3 months
    Dropzone.com: That's it?
    Troy: Yeah, the doctor wasn't happy he wanted me to be out for 6 months but I was doing stunts again within 3 months.
    Dropzone.com: When can we expect some new episodes of senseless acts?

    Troy: Well, MTV is claiming they are going to pick us up for fall but I'm not sure yet.
    Dropzone.com: Well then, what kind of exciting things are you working on now?
    Troy: Just trying to sell the show concept to other networks, channels - trying to continue my field of expertise in another format. I'm not sure what that format will be.
    Dropzone.com: So MTV is history?
    Troy: Yeah, they have pulled the plug due to money
    Dropzone.com: You are in May's edition of Playboy with E!'s Wild On host Brooke Burke - what's that like?

    Troy: It was cool, great exposure - much bigger article than I expected. In my opinion it was really well done. I feel the writer portrayed me in the correct light, so I was satisfied with it.
    Dropzone.com: You know Brooke did a tandem for a Wild On episode, did you have anything to do with that?
    Troy: Yeah I heard about that, I think I saw it but no I didn't have anything to do with it.
    Dropzone.com: So you haven't met her eh?
    Troy: Nope.
    Dropzone.com: I heard about this plane vs cow incident that cost you your Air Force career. What kind of plane did you crash? (In Playboy's May interview)

    Troy: A T-41. A modified cessana. I was out screwing around with a buddy of mine. We could go check out the planes whenever we wanted and I got a little carried away with buzzing things.
    Dropzone.com: Speaking of hitting cows, have you ever had a problem with animals while landing under a canopy?

    Troy: Huummmm.. not really. Well, indirectly, I landed in Colorado one time, and they had these electric fences for the cows which I didn't know were electric, I tried climbing one of them. Well I'll just say I learned a lesson from that.
    Dropzone.com: Ouch! That must have been a shocking experience. Your girlfriend is a jumper, has she shown any interest in doing stunt work?

    Troy: Yeah she has, her take on it is that she would do it if there was a reason to do it. If there was a format she was able to learn.

    Dropzone.com: How would you feel about her getting into it?

    Troy: I know that she is very concerned about her safety & conservative, she never gets over her head. I've never seen her say she wants to try something that was completely beyond her ability. I wouldn't even worry about it. I'd be like go for it, do your thing. She'd be more conservative than I would.
    Dropzone.com: It must be every skydiver's dream to have their jumps & gear paid for, but also get to appear on national TV on a regular basis. How has all this fame affected you?

    Troy: Well, it's um. I don't know - it hasn't too much. The biggest thing that has affected me, for a while there I'd show up at the DZ and my main concern was having jumpers look at me and say "this is the guy that is going to make our sport look bad" my main concern was that other skydivers would say "oh yeah he did that stunt that he shouldn't have" I would show up at the DZ feeling like I should hide for fear of people coming up to me and telling me that I shouldn't have done a particular stunt. I'm finding out now that just about every skydiver that watched the show liked it & respected it. When you become a public figure, people want to see you a certain way. I'm just starting to realize most things people have to say are positive. I've found out that I'm still accepted with people in the sport.
    Dropzone.com: So do people notice you on the streets?

    Troy: Yeah I don't get that very much. I get that from younger kids, the real demographic. I'm certainly not a public figure head. Most people don't even know my name. They say "oh, you're that guy!"
    Dropzone.com: Have you heard from any skydiver wuffos? Or stories of people you inspired?

    Troy: I get a lot of those actually, I get a lot of emails from people who say I started skydiving because of you. For the sport it's a good thing. The jumpers under 100 jumps have no problem coming up to me and asking me about things. Experienced jumpers can do most of the stuff I can do on the show anyway, but they aren't going to go "woah" because they know how that stuff works.
    Dropzone.com: What is the wildest thing one of your fans has done?

    Troy: I would say pretty much most of the time its people emailing saying "wow that is awesome, I want to do that." I tell you what, one time I was signing some autographs in Redondo beach for the IMAX film I did- I was in my neck brace, clearly had a broken neck - this one girl tackled me - just took me out, it scared everybody. They thought she had just paralyzed me, it was very frightening ... I was like "oh my god" you just don't know - you can't predict what someone will do.I felt helpless, there was nothing I could have done. She was just like "I love you" she looked like she was like 17. I have no idea what she did it for.
    Dropzone.com: That's nuts! Looking back on the stunts you've done aside from the broken neck fiasco, is there any one that you thought "I shouldn't have done that" ?
    Troy: Yeah. The only one, believe it or not, I would do any of them again - even landing on the train, the one I wouldn't do again was when I landed on the roof of sahara hotel in Las Vegas. It wasn't really considered a stunt, it was just something to open up the show with - it wasn't even something we pumped up. This was a very tight landing area, smaller than the pro rating. There were many obstacles, air condition ducts, etc... I have people from basic research check out the place to see if it is safe or not so I hadn't even seen the area up close very far in advance. The only hotel that would have let us was sahara, and out of all of them it was the worst one. When I came in to land, the wind shifted and the head wind turned into a tail wind. I was under a big canopy, but it could have been much bigger. I sprained my ankle - that was the worst of it but it could have been so much worse.
    Dropzone.com: Why don't you check your own places out instead of having others do it for you?

    Troy: A lot of times it is a time issue, I'm working on one stunt and I have a scout team out preparing for another one. They don't' want to waste my time. Once they do get clearance, then I do get to take a look at it but that is after they've made a decision on it. I can back out up to the last minute but I've felt that if all the conditions are right, and if the ground crew says it is safe if you do this then I would do it. I'm actually not a super confident skydiver - I have less confidence in my abilities than what my abilities probably are, most of the stunts I did I would probably do again because I do know now that I can do them - but sometimes I need these guys to have an outside look to tell me I can do this. I sorta have to rely on them to give me that extra confidence. I feel that at this point in the game I feel like I need to make some of these decisions. I don't think the show would have been quite as good if I had been the one making all these decisions, because I would have turned down most of these stunts.
    Dropzone.com: How do you come up with an idea for a stunt? Does MTV suggest it or what?

    Troy: Yeah, 90% of the time MTV the producers.. they're sharp, they know what can and can't be done. They do a lot of research, they will approach me with an idea. If it is even remotely possible, I will just say "yes, that can be done - now lets talk to the right person"
    Dropzone.com: How long does it take from when they come up to when you do it?
    Troy:Sometimes it's 2 months, the parachute that we lit on fire was actually planned the day before.
    Dropzone.com: On that jump, did you have two reserves or what?

    Troy: On that jump : Yeah, that was my second reserve. It was a typical 3 canopy rig.
    Dropzone.com: Has there been any stunt that you wouldn't do?

    Troy: Yeah, it's funny because the only one that I clearly said no was they wanted me to ride a bull. I know there are plenty of people that would say there were things that were way worse than riding a bull. I don't know, the control variables are so limited when riding a bull. With skydiving most of the things that go wrong are under my control, but with riding a bull it's not like that.
    Dropzone.com: So what do you think about riding horses?
    Troy: I don't have a problem with that. I've ridden them since I was a kid.
    Dropzone.com: Even though they have a mind of their own as well?
    Troy: Well, You're not strapping their balls up.. you don't know how they will react in that type of environment.
    Dropzone.com: True....
    Dropzone.com: With all the snafus going on with skydivers and health insurance, do you know if MTV will stand by you if something goes wrong with a stunt?
    Troy: Well they took care of me for my neck injury, but it was the bare minimum - they paid me workman's comp, it's just a standard procedure. They took care of my hospital bills. You would pretty much expect that in any situation. If I lost my arm or became paralyzed I don't know how far they would stand behind me. I think when you get involved with production companies I'm sure it says somewhere in the fine print it says they aren't responsible for anything. I'm sure it could get very ugly. I had plenty of people tell me I should sue MTV because it was their negligence. I just said forget it, I'm fine - I don't want to make a stink about it.
    Dropzone.com: Has there ever been a day where you didn't want to get up and "go to work"?

    Troy: Oh yeah, sure... I was good with doing a couple of days of stunts a week, I never minded going to the office or going on scouts. I love my job as long as it didn't overload me with 3 stunts in one week. When I had to do 3 stunts in one week I just didn't want to wake up for the 1st day because I knew I had 3 full days ahead of me. The 1st day was always the worst. It seemed like such a long tunnel to make it to the end of the week. There were only a few weeks like that, Vegas, Tahoe, and the Grand Canyon - I did 4 stunts out there. It was a long week, a very long week. If I can focus on 1 thing very well and even smile on cue I do good, I've learned to relax - the one thing I had a hard time doing was thinking about 3 stunts and not getting overloaded. I did 45 stunts last year, I don't know many stunt guys do 45 different stunts. If they do - they are doing a lot of the same thing over and over again. I'll just say I was on heavy sleeping pills the last 6 months before the show was over because I was so concerned.
    Dropzone.com: Do you have any skydiving role models or inspiration?
    Troy: Patrick. I started to see his weaknesses as I got to know him. I found a few of his weaknesses in skysurfing. It made me think "oh this guy is human, he isn't immortal" He was like a god to me. He was one of the most talented out there. The thing I most respect about him was no matter how much he jumped he never got burned out. He would always do a sunset jump, he would jump with whoever it didn't matter. He would just keep on going, I couldn't believe his persistence. I think he took some dumb shortcuts that caught up to him, and I try and learn from those because I get lazy too.
    Dropzone.com: What is the worst injury you have had from skydiving?

    Troy: Knock on wood, I haven't had anything bad. Just sprained my ankle early on when I was skysurfing. I had a binding come loose so the entire torque of the board was on my one ankle.
    Dropzone.com: What do you like least about the sport?
    Troy: Sitting in the airplane.
    Dropzone.com: So packing doesn't bother you?
    Troy: Packing I don't mind, because I have space - for me it's like mowing the lawn, it's a thoughtless thing - it gives me time to think, most of the time it is on fresh cut grass, I'm outside. But I can't stand getting on an airplane with turbine fuel blowing at me being all cramped up with everyone, that's why I turned to base jumping.
    Dropzone.com: What is the coolest non skydiving thing you've done?
    Troy: Humm.. gosh I'm trying to think. I absolutely love snowboarding, nothing has given me the incredible feeling of back country sking and snowboarding really does something for me.
    Dropzone.com: Speaking of skiing, I read somewhere that it was because of your skiing friends that you got into doing stunts. Do you keep in touch with those same friends ?
    Troy: Oh yeah, I see them every winter. I go up to the mountain and hook up with each other and put in a day of skiing. They still live in mammoth which is where I'm from.
    Dropzone.com: Do they skydive any?
    Troy: I had one friend that got into it did about 60 jumps and then quit doing it. I got my sister into it as well but she got out of it.
    Dropzone.com: How do you go about getting selected for commercials? Do you advertise yourself, have an agent, or what?

    Troy: In this business you almost don't even need an agent with the skydiving stuff. It's good to have an agent to negotiate a deal and not get ripped off, if you don't have an agent they will make you feel like you are getting a lot of money - skydivers with your talent you're worth a lot more than what an ad agency would pay you. They do casting calls where they call the DZ and get people to come out to the casting call. I've seen it a lot of times where people were at the DZ when they called, they went down by the truck load and 2 or so got picked. Then again a lot of the production companies find the aerial cameraman and then they have the camera man send them a group of people to select from. In my opinion that is the best way. Joe Jennings and I do a lot of work together, he suggests me right away, but I do feel that also limits other people.. so I see that as a negative as well.
    Dropzone.com: ESPN Recently axed skysurfing from their X-Games because sponsors didn't feel like it had an "automatic consumer base" what do you think about that?

    Troy: I saw it coming. I really did, I was in the sport from the beginning. It was so strong in the 1st year and 2nd year, but the 1st year was so exciting - it never grew after that. The way they produced it and aired it and the moves, yes it grew in skydiving but failed to grow outside. Vic and I struggled our assess off to get a sponsor. We wrote to every company - sports drinks, sunglasses, everyone that might could benefit from having a skysurfing team.. we hammered them for years - we'd keep going back, they kept saying no though. I said you know what, if they don't want it - the sport is going no where. You had the 14 year old rollerbladers making millions then you had us - we were at the top of our sport, a much more difficult sport - we were spending more money to get into it and we were having to spend our own money to compete.
    Dropzone.com: What do you think can be done in the skydiving community to make it a more accepted sport?

    Troy: Um... I think skydiving needs to be more accessible, I don't know how that can be done - I think that is a too good to be true kinda statement. It would be great if DZs were in the center of cities, it would be great if tandems were 100 instead of 200. I've seen skydivers feel they were different than the rest of the world.. I don't know if it lends newcomers to feeling like they could get into it. Skydiving isn't easy, but it certainly isn't the most difficult thing. Until a bunch of the barriers are broken down, I don't think they are going to buy the product. The general viewing members don't relate to the product.
    Dropzone.com: If you could take anyone in the world skydiving with you, who would it be and why?

    Troy: Awe man. You know what, my dad. I'd take my dad but he won't go with me. Only because the way I grew up, in doing things his way - following him for so long, I know he is proud of me I feel he did all the right things for me growing up but I feel I need to enlighten him a little bit. Let him see my environment.
    Dropzone.com: If you could wave a magic wand and change something about the sport of skydiving what would it be?

    Troy: These questions always get me.. I try to come up with some deep response but never do. I'd have to say, I just wish it could be done in more places. It was more accessible, like I said before.
    Dropzone.com: You've got some shirts called Oddbird what's the story behind those?

    Troy: Well it was a company I started, we liked the name - we started to promote the shirts, it was kinda a failed venture. We just didn't put enough effort into it. I never have had dreams of owning a DZ, I'm not a big business man. I like the way I'm making my living now, I don't want to oversee a bunch of things.
    Dropzone.com: We are also planning on interviewing Carl Nespoli, who worked with you on senseless acts. What do you think about him?

    Troy: Carl in my opinion is the one person I would absolutely want to have at every stunt. His job might not be 100% necessary but his personality is - just having him there for his attitude just makes all the difference. He does look at the small things others would oversee, but I could just get away from everyone else and sit down and just talk to Carl.
    Dropzone.com: You almost choose skysurfing as your favorite discipline but changed to base jumping, why was that?

    Troy: I love skysurfing, when I'm out of the plane. Maybe the reason I didn't like the plane ride was because I skysurf. That is the one thing every skysurfer hates because of the plane ride up and putting the board on on the way up it inconveniences the other jumpers, I really don't like to do that.
    Dropzone.com: Finally, what is something not many people know about you?
    Troy: Um... hmmm. The first thing people don't realize about me, well the thing is people don't realize about skydivers. Skydivers aren't daredevils, they come from every walk of life, but the rest of the world doesn't know that - there are so many people that think I'm just crazy & don't care about anything, but the truth of the matter is when I'm not out doing this stuff I'm very into going to movies, hanging out at home. I have my cat. I'm not a out on the town big partier. I'm so entirely not, I much more enjoy going up to the mountains and going up and hiking and being by myself. I' love to spend a lot of time alone. For me it's therapeutic.

    By admin, in News,

    Tragedy Ends Skydive Effort

    Man dies, another injured after collision
    DAYTON TOWNSHIP -- The death of a Missoula, Mont., skydiver and the serious injury of another Sunday ended Skydive Chicago's attempt to break the world record for the number of skydivers in a free-fall formation.
    Paul L. Adams, 54, died during a mid-air collision with Kenneth Reed, 22, of Holts Summit, Mo., during an 10:30 a.m. jump, the 22nd jump record attempt.
    Reed was taken to Community Hospital of Ottawa, and was later airlifted to OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, where he remains in critical condition this morning.
    Sunday was the last day for the skydivers to break the record -- they had been attempting since Aug. 13, and had scheduled 24 jumps.
    The accident is being investigated by the La Salle County Sheriff's Department and the La Salle County Coroner's Office.
    "Unfortunately, on this jump, people from two different waves somehow crossed," said Roger Nelson, Skydive Chicago program director and jump participant. "We've had no problem on the other jumps."
    The decision was made after the accident to stop the world record attempt.
    The skydivers began to open their parachutes at about 7,500 feet, according to Nelson. Chutes are opened in "waves," meaning skydivers from the outer, middle, and inner rings of the flower-shaped formation open at different times and altitudes to avoid collisions.
    Adams opened his parachute first, and immediately struck Reed, Nelson said. Reed's parachute opened, and their passengers floated to the ground. Both divers were equipped with devices to automatically open the parachutes at a preset altitude.
    Adams was reported missing shortly after the jump. Each skydiver is required to check in immediately with a captain after landing to maintain accountability in the record attempt. The collision was spotted by another diver, who reported it to a ground medic.
    Adams' body was located by a spotter plane carrying Nelson, who jumped from the plane and landed near Adams' body in a cornfield off the runway.
    Nelson began yelling during the descent that he found Adams, said Sheriff Thomas Templeton. Nelson separated from his parachute and ran toward Adams. Adams was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:24 p.m., said La Salle County Coroner Jody Bernard. An autopsy is scheduled for later today. Bernard did not know if Adams was killed in the collision, but said at a minimum he was knocked unconscious.
    Reed was located before Adams. He was found in a soybean field about 350 yards west of East 19th Road, Templeton said.
    The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the accident, Nelson said, and examine the equipment used by the skydivers. Nelson said that the equipment Adams used is in perfect working condition, and that the accident wasn't anybody's fault.
    The death marks the seventh since Skydive Chicago moved to its present location in 1993.
    Victim `had passion for skydiving'
    Paul Adams planned to take Amber Taylor and her roommate -- who rented the basement of his Missoula, Mont., home -- skydiving with him when he returned from the world-record attempt in Ottawa.
    "He talked about (skydiving) a lot. He was always trying to get us to go," Taylor said. When they agreed, "he was all excited to take us when he got back."
    She learned Sunday he had been killed in an accident that morning, and it looks like she and her roommate won't be making that jump for a while.
    "It's not because of the accident, really," Taylor said. "It's because he's not here. He was an amazing guy. He treated us awesome."
    Adams, 54, had given Taylor a $70 watch when she graduated from the University of Montana this spring, and he bought his tenants a new refrigerator for their apartment, she said.
    Before he left for Illinois, he was in the yard, excitedly showing the women a diagram of the formation planned for the world-record attempt. He told them he was a little nervous, Taylor said. Adams' ex-wife, Brenda Elvey of Missoula, said skydiving was a natural part of life while they were married, and the two have maintained a friendly relationship since their 1992 divorce. They have two adult children, Beth and Steven.
    Elvey estimated Adams had been skydiving for more than 30 years. When the couple would move to a new town, the first thing he would do is search out the nearest place to skydive, she said.
    "He really loved it. He had a sense of adventure. He had a passion for skydiving, and that probably grew the more he did it.
    "He had had a couple small injuries before, broken bones in his foot and different things like that, but that never seemed to bother him or set him back, or make him not want to do it. He really enjoyed a lot of things -- scuba diving, hunting -- but skydiving was his biggest passion.
    "I think he was very responsible; he wasn't foolhardy. I think he was very much safety first," she said.
    "I think he was a Christian man. He liked skydiving, traveling and he enjoyed his kids."
    Mick Fauske, who worked with Adams at Montana Rail Link, said Adams was "thrilled" to be asked to join the record attempt, and proud he was one of the oldest people participating.
    The two men hunted together, but Adams had never persuaded Fauske to jump.
    "I'm not much of a heights person, but he enjoyed it," Fauske said. " (He liked) the thrill of it, the idea of flying. I know it was his favorite sport."
    Adams had been a railroad engineer for more than 30 years -- for Burlington Northern and Union Pacific before Montana Rail Link formed in 1987 -- and both Elvey and Fauske praised his railroading abilities.
    Elvey said, "I know he could run an engine by how the seat felt. He was a good engineer."
    "He was a really good guy," Fauske said. "He took care of his family. He was a good railroader; he was a good skydiver."
    "He'll be missed," Taylor said. "We're all still in shock here."
    © The Daily Times

    By admin, in News,

    Top Skydiving Mobile Apps

    Skydiving Logbook (Android / iOS)
    Skydiving Logbook is an extremely popular application for both Android and iOS devices. The application allows users to log jumps with information such as jump #, aircraft, gear used, type of jump, delay, cutaways, notes and more. A unique feature is the ability to have licensed jumpers sign your logbook entries using the touchscreen. The application also caters for gear related information, allowing you to tie your gear item to their serial number and to set up service reminders on gear items. One is able to sort easily through the display of specific information that is recorded during your jumps, such as total jump counts, cutaways etc. You're able to manage your dropzones and aircraft, as well as setting a home dropzone. Another feature that's offered with this application is the ability to calculate and manage wing load information. The ability to import and export data from the application also means that you can perform frequent backups onto external devices.

    Overall, this application is packed full of features and it's clear that the developer has done something amazing with it, offering a great application to the skydiving community for free, in fact to quote their download page: "This application is free and always will be."
    Price: Free

    4.5/5 based off 123 votes on Android.

    4.5/5 based off 6 votes on iOS.
    Download: Android: Skydiving Logbook
    iOS: Skydiving Logbook
    Skydiving Draw (Android)
    There are a few apps out there at the moment that cater to formation skydiving, Skydiving Draw is the more popular of the apps available. It allows you to manually create or to randomly generate formation sequences which are then presented in visual form though graphic images.

    The application provides you with the ability to copy and share your formation sequences, as well as the ability to export them as a PDF file, allowing for the easy print of such documentation onto paper, for training purposes. You are also able to save and load your sequences, this is something that while being worked on by other applications for future releases, wasn't yet available.
    Price: $3
    Ratings: 5/5 based off 17 votes.
    Download: Skydiving Draw
    Canopy Calculator (Android)
    This app for Android devices is a small and basic application which calculates canopy size and wing load based off body and gear weight.
    Naturally with such a lightweight application there isn't really too much to say about it, but the app seems very stable on most Android devices and can come in as a useful tool, also at only 80kb in size and as a free download, there is really no reason not to have it.
    Price: Free
    Ratings: 5/5 based off 8 votes.
    Download: Canopy Calculator
    BASEline Flight Computer (Android)
    This application is more of an honorable mention, as the truth is, we really don't know just how well it works. On paper though, this looks to be a great application, if one has the correct mobile device that can support all of the functionality. BASEline Flight Computer is an application which is designed to improve flight performance, offering real-time feedback by both visual and audible means. The application claims that it uses the phone's sensors to determine things like altitude, glide ratio, tilt, speed etc.
    BASEline Flight Computer offers the user the ability to program your mobile device into an audible altimeter. Though naturally one should never rely on your mobile device to act as your altimeter.
    There is also a built in log book which has altimeter and gps recordings.
    It is vitally important to note that this application should not at any stage be used as a primary means for altitude awareness, and to exercise extreme caution when using it in a skydiving or base jumping environment. The maker also strongly recommends that this device only be used with barometric altimeter sensors, which are only available on select few mobile devices. GPS data is not reliable for altitude readings, and even with barometric altimeter sensors, the readings may not be reliable.
    The developer ends the description with the line: "Software is provided "as is," with no warranty of any kind. Skydiving is dangerous, don't be stupid."
    This application has a lot to offer, as mentioned above. The real question is- How well does it work?
    Price: $6
    Ratings: 4/5 Stars based off 1 vote.
    Download: Baseline Flight Computer

    Which skydiving apps have you got loaded onto your smart phone?

    By Meso, in News,

    Top Gun flights now boarding at Skydive Airkix

    Skydive Airkix is proud to announce that the UK members of the BIRDMAN Factory Team –
    Top Gun (www.BirdManTopGun.com), will be permanently based at Skydive Airkix in
    Peterborough, with immediate affect.
    In line with Skydive Airkix’s commitment to bringing world renowned coaching and instruction
    to the UK, Top Gun members, Macca, Duncan, Steve and Dave will be available for first flight
    courses, coaching and load organising – for beginners, right up to already advanced wingsuit
    The team have a fleet of demo suits for instructional use or rental and whether you’re a solo
    flyer looking to join a flock, or a team looking for some coaching, you’ll find everything you
    need at our dedicated wingsuit facilities based at Skydive Airkix.

    Macca from the team comments, “As the team is spread across Europe, we have spent a
    long time floating around. It’s great to finally have a place to call home, especially one that
    offers £15 lift tickets and up to 15K of altitude! The team are really looking forward to making
    Skydive Airkix the number one choice for wingsuiters in the UK and offering skydivers quality
    wingsuit coaching and instruction”
    In addition to regular wingsuit activity, Skydive Airkix will also be holding dedicated wingsuit
    weekends this year, along with instructional evening seminars.
    The current requirements for wingsuit jumping in the UK are 500 jumps, or 250 in the last 18
    months - at CCI’s discretion. There are also certain gear requirements, but if you’re interested
    in getting your flock on, get in touch to organise your flight: Info@BirdManTopGun.Com

    By admin, in News,

    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,

    Time for a National "Sky" Patrol?

    Back in 1936, snow skiing was a sport that only a few dedicated individuals pursued. The primitive
    conditions practically guaranteed that anyone foolish enough to ski would eventually be injured.
    On the snowy slopes of a Vermont mountain, just that happened to Charles Minot "Minnie" Dole when
    his ankle snapped in a fall. His friends went for help, but eventually had to toboggan him off the
    slope themselves, using a piece of sheet metal roofing material as an improvised rescue sled. The
    ankle fracture was so bad that Dole was told he would probably never ski again.
    A few months later, one of Dole's friends who had helped him down the mountain was killed in a ski
    racing accident.

    Dole was not only determined to recover and ski again; he was also determined to do something
    about making skiing safer. He co-founded the National Ski Patrol in 1938, modeling it after some
    of the informal ski patrols at local ski areas and grafting on some of techniques used by Swiss
    ski instructors and mountain guides. After World War II, skiing boomed in popularity, equipment
    and services improved, and the National Ski Patrol is now the largest winter safety organization
    in the world. To this day the NSP serves an invaluable function in preventing or responding to
    skiing accidents with special training and equipment.
    Skiing and skydiving have many parallels. They evolved over roughly the same time frame, and
    advanced rapidly after World War II. During the sixties and seventies national organizations
    formed, services improved, training became professionalized, and equipment evolved rapidly.
    Similar sports enjoyed similar progress. Swimmers and surfers have trained, well equipped
    lifeguards. Climbers have mountain rescue specialists and spelunkers have cave rescue
    organizations. But for some reason skydiving has never evolved an organization dedicated to
    preventing accidents, responding to them where and when they happen, and evaluating them to
    learn how to make the sport safer.
    Considering the frequency of skydiving injuries, there is an obvious need for trained response.
    All outdoor sports share some commonalities. Each takes place in an unusual environment, with
    specific environmental hazards. Each has specialized equipment and skill sets. Each has an
    undeniable element of risk, yet those risks are not mysterious and can be mitigated through
    proper preparation. Skydiving can learn from other forms of outdoor recreation and develop a
    national training program to prepare drop zone staff and volunteers in accident prevention,
    preparation, and response.

    Such an organization, modeled after the National Ski Patrol, may be just around the corner.
    This December Skydive Arizona will host a training course that will also serve as an opportunity
    to examine what is needed to bring this sort of organization to your drop zone. At the core of
    the program will be a Wilderness First Responder course from a nationally accredited organization.
    The WFR was chosen over standard EMT training because of a heavier emphasis on trauma, and on
    managing it without access to immediate ambulance response, since many DZs are a long ways from
    the nearest ambulance.

    In addition to the WFR, the course will include modules on skydiving specific problems such as
    aircraft and fuel safety, removing skydiving equipment from injured jumpers, recovering cut-away
    equipment, problems involving tree, water, and power line landings, and incident investigation.
    Relationships with the local emergency medical system and with the FAA will be reviewed.
    Recognizing and mitigating hazards will also be discussed, as will incident reporting and the
    possibilities offered by building up a national database of accidents.
    The course, scheduled for December 1 - 10, 2007 is open to any interested skydivers, regardless
    of their experience in the sport. Slots are limited and must be reserved well in advance.
    The course cost is $600, which includes instruction, materials, and training aids. Graduates
    will receive WFR certification from the Wilderness Medicine Institute of the National Outdoor
    Leadership School. For registration details, go to www.airdropassist.org/wfr.htm

    The course cost does not include lodging or food. Participants will be engaged in classroom
    activities all ten days, and actual skydiving is not on the agenda. If you bring your rig, plan
    on jumping before or after the course. Camping is free. Inexpensive team rooms or bunks are
    available on the drop zone. There are several hotels nearby. For lodging and travel information,
    go to
    For other questions, contact Bryan Burke at: bryantburke@hotmail.com.

    By admin, in News,

    Tim and Ted Wagner - Judge(Able): The Great Debate

    "Judging was only a little bit better than last year's (Nationals). Only because it couldn't be worse." Ted Wagner at the U.S. National Skydiving Championships 2000.
    Many competitors and judges simply do not understand each other. They certainly don't agree on some of the scores that end getting posted. And maybe too often, judges miss making accurate calls, which ultimately determine some teams standing worldwide. This situation is not new to just skydiving; it's prevalent in many other sports. But observing the outcome of this year's Nationals and the numerous busts that the judges missed in their multiple viewings brings up the questions on how judges are trained and how they address their work task.
    In talking with Ted and Tim Wagner, both who have designed and revolutionized the sport with their scoring system, Omniskore, and Rob Work, who was a judge at this year's Nationals, they all agree that certain modifications would not only help everyone, but are desperately needed. All three are also former competitors and Golden Knights, so they're very aware of the views from both sides of the fence.
    Fifteen years ago, skydiving did not have full-time teams. Now, there are many, but there are still no full-time judges. Judging has not kept pace with the evolution of the sport.
    At the Nationals, the judges get paid a mere stipend of $40 a day. Tim suggests that maybe if they got paid $100 a day plus all expenses, the demand for the position would be greater.
    "Make it competitive. Sign up 15 judges, put them through boot camp before the Nationals and whoever pushes the buttons the best, put them in the meet," Tim says.
    He feels that teams that are already paying tens of thousands of dollars will be more than cooperative in paying more in entry fees just to get a higher caliber of judging. It is these very judges, who score their performance at the Nationals for example, who determine if they get to go to the World meet. This is not taken lightly by either side; however, competitors have more to lose from a false ruling or inconsistencies.
    The judges also need to practice more throughout the year. The Wagner brothers designed a piece of software a couple of years ago that mimics a judging panel, called the Omnitrainer. People can play the skydive on their VCR and practice pressing the buttons.
    More important is "knowing the dive pool inside and out like the chief judge needs to know the rules," says Ted Wagner. This is a valid reason why competitors make better judges and need to get more involved in the other side. Judges miss grips placed on the wrong leg or a jumper turned a 180 degrees in the opposite direction all the time.
    Tim brings up the theory of "perceptual judging vs. analytical judging." He compares it to reading a book. When one looks at a word in a book, one knows what it means as a whole and also knows instantly if it is misspelled. One is not dissecting its parts, or letters. Judging needs to more like that. More instinctual, instantaneous and less analytical.
    Rob Work defends the other side by saying that when he got into the judging room, he found it to be "an eye-opening experience." He notes, "They are doing their job better than I expected."
    Rob says that competitors don't understand all the elements going on inside the judging room and should experience it for themselves, if only once. Skydivers need to see how many things judges are actually looking for at the same time and the details that go into preparing a judging round. The judges can't talk to each other or shake their heads if a blatant bust occurs, and they only know a team by its number, not by its standing. Overall, it's hard, hard work.
    The judging volume at this year's Nationals of "47 skydives in a hour for 10 hours straight" does make it challenging, and human error does creep into the picture. With two panels of five judges, "hopefully, the majority catches (the bust)."
    Tim Wagner is putting together a Judge 2000 Training Tape. He did another video like this with the '98 Nationals. He compiles 40 to 50 of the more challenging skydives from the Nationals on a tape and proceeds to analyze every jump with a 30-40 page manual. He points out what the judges should look at and how they should judge, often comparing the results to how they were judged.
    He does have "the advantage of being at home, alone, with his VCR, without the pressure they're feeling here." But his goal is to supply judges with a competent tape and a full summer season in 2001 to practice.
    "The biggest obstacle is the concept of pushing the point button until they see a penalty," says Tim. "They should hover over the penalty button until they see a point, and that should be the modern concept."
    He continues, "You're not doing you're job if you don't have a lot of red marks. With fast teams like Maubeuge, you have to be on your toes. You have to be really fast."
    Because as Rob Works notes from his coaching and competitor background, it is a well known practice to try to "blind them with speed. The judges get into a button pushing mode and are not going to see it."
    "Judges are afraid to offend," says Ted, and Tim adds, "A really good judge is not there to make friends."
    But they need to know their job really well. So instead of taking a defensive stance when they're confronted by glaring, demanding competitors, judges can come back with a confident and informed response, "Show me your tape, and I’ll discuss in it what I saw or what I didn't see."

    By admin, in News,

    Three Jump Plane-to-Plane

    Joe Jennings is back at it again! Only this time, the stunt is bigger and better than anything like it before. The group shot this stunt at Skydive Arizona, in Eloy, for a television show called "That's Incredible"-a remake of the 70's show that inspired many of our current skydivers and stunt people today-which should air in late spring. Teaming up with some of the best skydivers in the world-Omar Alhegelan, Greg Gasson, and Steve Curtis - Joe planned a stunt that started three skydivers in one airplane and ended with them in a completely different airplane.

    Photos: Brent Finley
    Joe Jennings flew the main camera with other angles shot by Brent Finley (who graciously let us use his pictures) and Blake. Joe enlisted the piloting skills of Larry Hill and his son, Sean, to fly the two birds. Larry flew the Otter that the jumpers started in while Sean flew the Porter, which was the final destination for the jumpers. Joe also hired Scott Christianson to rig the drogue chute for the plane with an assistant, Chuck Ross. Carl Nespoli was in charge of turning on all the P.O.V. cameras mounted to the Porter and also jumping from the Porter with the drogue d-bag to deploy the drogue.
    Joe's team started testing the stunt on a Tuesday, but was only able to make one jump due to the production company dealing with legal and insurance issues. On Wednesday, the production company that was originally in this backed out, so Joe hired the crew under his own production company. Thursday came and the team did one jump, which resulted in a broken drogue chute. Sean Hill recovered the Porter and landed. After that, 60 mph dust storms and the broken drogue chute brought an early end to the day. Friday came early and yielded blue skies and a wind warning. The team rushed to the DZ and had a go at it.
    The team went up in the plane, ready to jump. They made their first practice jump for the day. Omar caught up with the Porter, climbed in, and waved to camera flyers! During jump number one, the three jumpers-Omar, Greg, and Steve-caught up with the plane and climbed in by 8,000 ft. This whole stunt was achieved in only 40 seconds! In an e-mail, Joe said, "We could have done it with five guys, but three was all we needed for a great stunt, so our work was done." Soon after the stunt was finished, the original producers returned and finished up the job. The final product seemed as though they never left.
    Congratulations to Joe and his whole crew on this unbelievable stunt. I am sure that we will be seeing much more from Joe after this.

    By admin, in News,

    Third Fatality in Eight Days at Skydive Chicago

    DAYTON TOWNSHIP. The third skydiver to die in eight days at Skydive Chicago in Dayton Township was killed Sunday afternoon. Bruce A. Greig, 38, of Jacksonville fell to earth at about 12:46 p.m. when witnesses reported his parachute failed to properly deploy, according to La Salle County Coroner Jody Bernard.
    Greig landed on Skydive Chicago property south of the hangar. He was taken by ambulance to Community Hospital of Ottawa, where he was pronounced dead at 1:30 p.m.
    An autopsy was scheduled for today and the Federal Aviation Administration was notified.
    Greig was an experienced jumper, according to his father, Curt Greig, of Jacksonville.
    "He loved skydiving and talked about it all the time", Curt Greig said in a subdued voice. He was there (Chicago Skydive) every weekend and loved that group (fellow parachutists) up there.
    Curt Greig said his son was a friend of Deborah Luhmann and Steven Smith, who died Oct. 6 in a skydiving mishap at Chicago Skydive and attended their funerals last week.
    Bruce Greig was a program installer with AGI based in Melrose Park.

    By admin, in News,

    Thief lands stolen plane on South African highway

    A South African thief who stole a plane for a joyride had to land on a motorway when it ran out of fuel. He made the emergency landing on the N4 highway near Bronkhorstspruit, about 30 miles from Pretoria.
    Police say the aircraft was undamaged and the thief got away before he could be arrested.
    "We have no idea who the suspect is," police spokesman Capt. Piletji Sebola said.
    There was no apparent damage to the plane and there appeared to have been few cars on the road when it landed. One of the highway's two lanes was closed to traffic, Sebola said.
    The Cessna, used for skydiving, had been brought into Wonderboom airport in Pretoria on Sunday for a routine maintenance.
    The plane was stolen sometime Monday night or Tuesday morning.
    According to the flight instruments, it was flown for roughly one hour and 36 minutes before it ran out of fuel and was forced into an emergency landing.
    "I'm dumbstruck. He really knew what he was doing," said Carlos Garcia Cabral, the plane's owner.
    Police and airport officials were investigating how the plane was stolen.

    By admin, in News,