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News

    Leap Frog Recovering From Skydiving Accident

    A member of the Navy's elite "Leap Frogs" skydiving team was recovering in a hospital Wednesday from injuries he suffered when a jump from 12,000 feet went awry near the U.S.-Mexico border. Malfunctioning chutes forced USN Senior Chief Kelly Hickman, 44, into a hard landing east of Brown Field airport in Otay Mesa during a routine jump Tuesday, according to 10News.
    It was the second such accident at the military drop site in as many weeks.
    Medics, who found the 25-year Navy man conscious and alert in a grassy field, stabilized him before loading him onto a medical-transport helicopter, Cmdr. Jeff Alderson of U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command said.
    The Coronado-based ordnance disposal technician was admitted to Scripps Mercy Hospital for treatment of a broken leg, several fractured ribs and back injuries, Alderson said. He was listed in stable condition early Wednesday.
    The commander said that Hickman's main chute only partially deployed and tangled with his reserve canopy several thousand feet above ground.
    The accident occurred 14 days after a similar mishap befell two other Leap Frogs as they practiced a tandem jump in the same general area.
    The men were connected by a leash in midair for a stunt called a "corkscrew" and were unable to unhook from each other in time to make safe landings, officials said.
    They both had to be hospitalized following the April 24 accident, one with head trauma and the other with broken ribs, Alderson said. They were discharged after several days and have been on light duty since.

    By admin, in News,

    Skydiver breaks leg

    A skydiver was in Perth Royal Infirmary last night after badly breaking a leg while at Strathallan airfield in Perthshire.
    It is believed the man, who has not yet been named, landed awkwardly at the end of an otherwise uneventful 2,000ft dive.
    The latest accident comes less than a month after Craig Paton fell hundreds of feet when his jump went wrong. He suffered serious internal injuries.
    Mr Paton, from Kilmarnock, was badly hurt because the canopy of his parachute failed to open and he hit the ground at over 40 miles per hour.
    He has since been discharged from hospital.

    By admin, in News,

    Long Beach Resident to Receive National Skydiving Museum Trustees Award for Team80

    Fredericksburg, VA... Pat Moorehead, 80, of Long Beach, CA, will be awarded with the National Skydiving Museum's Trustees Award during the museum's fundraising weekend celebration at Skydive Arizona, Eloy, November 10, 2012. The award is being given to recognize Moorehead's TEAM 80 event where he made 80 skydives to celebrate his 80th birthday. The event raised more than $18,000 toward the museum's building fund.
    On November 20, 2011, to celebrate his 80th birthday, Moorehead jumped out of a plane at Skydive Elsinore -- 80 times. Despite cloudy skies and rain, he set the world's record for the most skydives by an 80-year-old in one day. Moorehead actually made 81 jumps; after he broke the record, he went up one last time to fly the American flag.
    The feat took a little over 6 ½ hours and was supported by more than 50 volunteers including Moorehead's wife Alicia, riggers, cameramen, a pilot, and a doctor on standby. Moorehead also managed to get the necessary equipment and an airplane on loan for the event. The jumps began around 6 a.m. and concluded shortly after 12:30 p.m. right before the skies opened and the rain began. Friends and admirers from around the world sent in contributions to the National Skydiving Museum to honor Pat. His original goal was $8,000….the final total was more than $18,000.
    The Trustees Award is a newly created award that will be given at the discretion of the museum's Board of Trustees for significant contributions to the museum and its mission. Moorehead will be presented the award by the president of the museum's Board of Trustees L. Len Potts at its prestigious Hall of Fame Dinner Saturday, November 10. The gala will be held at Skydive Arizona.
    Tickets to the Dinner are still available. The dinner is part of a weekend fundraising celebration with activities starting Friday morning (November 9)that include exhibit displays with some of the rich history of the sport, a theater featuring great skydiving footage, and a special display on the history of the Star Crest Recipient Awards (SCR). A video of Moorehead's jumps will be continuously played along with a banner signed by all who donated to his efforts. Throughout the weekend, a group of large-formation skydivers will be building 64-way formations to commemorate the birth of relative work. On Friday evening, there will be a BBQ with some of the sports' living legends sharing stories from the past.
    The culmination of the weekend is the Hall of Fame dinner presented by the Parachute Industry Association when seven skydiving legends will join 17 others into the museum's Hall of Fame. More than 300 people from around the world are expected to join in the festivities and the event is expected to bring in more than $125,000 to support building the museum.
    The fundraiser will benefit the National Skydiving Museum's $6-million capital program that will raise the necessary funds to build the museum in Fredericksburg, VA. The National Skydiving Museum is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation governed by a Board of Trustees.
    For more information and to register for the National Skydiving Museum Weekend and Hall of Fame celebration, visit www.skydivingmuseum.org or contact museum administrator, Nancy Kemble, at 540-604-9745 or nkemble@skydivingmuseum.org.

    By admin, in News,

    Student survives after parachute fails at 4,000ft

    A STUDENT who survived a 4,000ft fall after her parachute failed to open during a skydiving holiday in America was recovering from her injuries at her father's home in Gloucestershire last night. Lynda Harding, 20, a chemistry student at Hull University, spent a week in intensive care in California with broken ribs, a punctured lung, a broken nose, muscular back injuries and concussion.

    On a visit to the Lake Elsinore centre near Los Angeles with friends from university, she tried to use her reserve parachute when her main canopy apparently jammed.The reserve chute carried her for a short distance but it became caught in the main canopy, which had not disconnected, and she hurtled towards the ground.
    Her father, Philip, 41, a violin maker, who flew to America to accompany his daughter home, said: "She is very lucky. She jumped at 4,000 feet, her parachute failed to open and she hit the ground probably at about 70 to 80 mph."
    Mr Harding, a widower, of Newent, added: "The odds of this happening must be a million to one." Experts believe some drag caused by the flapping, tangled parachutes must have slowed her descent.
    Miss Harding, who is expected to make a full recovery, said she could not recall what happened after she left the plane. "The only thing I remember is waking up in hospital." She was unconscious for four days. "I am totally amazed I am still alive."
    She fell on to grassy scrubland but may have escaped serious injury because she fell sideways instead of on her feet or bottom. Her father said it had been his daughter's ninth jump. He said: "She was very keen on parachuting but she is in two minds now."

    By admin, in News,

    Plunge skydiver on the mend

    A NOVICE skydiver who fell 3,200ft after his parachute failed to open properly is back at home and expected to make a full recovery.
    Craig Paton, 26, was being cared for by his family in Kilmarnock last night, less than three weeks after cheating death when he hit the ground at more than 40mph.
    Mr Paton took the place of a friend at the last minute to make his first skydive jump from Strathallan airfield, near Auchterarder in Perthshire, on 8 April.
    His descent took a quarter of the normal four minutes after his main parachute malfunctioned.
    Mr Paton's fall was cushioned by landing on a grass embankment, missing a concrete road yards away that would have meant certain death.
    He escaped without a single broken bone, and tried to walk to an ambulance after remaining conscious after hitting the ground.
    Last night, Mr Paton's girlfriend, Diane Giels, 21, said she was delighted that he was back home after being discharged from Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on Monday.
    She said: "He is getting there, and a full recovery is guaranteed. He is able to walk about, but has not talked about his experience."
    Mr Paton was initially treated in intensive care for internal bleeding before being transferred to another ward in the hospital during his two-week stay.
    His terrifying jump from a Cessna light aircraft had followed several hours of skydive training at the airfield.
    He fell past two others in the group who had jumped before him after a static line that should have opened his parachute automatically failed to work.
    Just a few hundred feet from the ground, he tried to open his back-up parachute, but it became entangled in the first parachute.
    Mr Paton runs a newsagent and milk delivery business with his father, John, 52, in Kilmarnock. However, It is not known when he will be able to return to work.
    His father said after the accident that it was a miracle he had survived.
    He said: "Quite honestly, he shouldn't really be here. He only went up because someone had dropped out and he said he would go and do it for the fun. It was the first time he had ever done a jump.
    "He landed on the banking of a road which sits higher than a grass area and then slid or rolled down the banking. If he had hit the road he would not be here.
    "After he landed, Craig was wanting to sit up and walk out of the field. He had to be restrained because he wanted to get up and walk over to the ambulance."
    Mr Paton was taken to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee for emergency treatment before being transferred to Edinburgh.
    His father added: "Craig does weights and runs a lot and the doctors said that is one of the factors which has saved him.
    "He didn't smoke so his lungs are in great condition and he was always jogging or riding his mountain bike."
    An investigation into the accident has been launched by the British Parachute Association.
    Kieran Brady, owner of Skydive Strathallan, who piloted the plane involved, said the parachute that had malfunctioned had been used on numerous previous occasions and that such problems were very rare.

    By admin, in News,

    Navy SEALs Injured In Parachute Jump

    Two U.S. Navy parachutists were injured Tuesday when a training jump went awry, sending them crashing to the ground in a field near the U.S.-Mexico border. The SEAL team members' hard landings occurred shortly before 12:30 p.m. near Otay Mesa and Alta roads, east of Brown Field airport, a Heartland Fire Department dispatcher said.

    The members of the Navy's elite Leap Frogs skydiving unit reportedly got tangled in each other's equipment while taking part in an exercise at the Trident Jump Center in Otay Mesa.
    The parachutists were performing what is known as a corkscrew maneuver. They began the jump at 12,000 feet. As they parachuted toward earth the team members were connected to one another. The problem came when they were unable to disconnect.
    After the landing, medics worked to stabilize the patients for about half-hour before loading them into ambulances.

    The parachutists were transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital, the dispatcher said.
    The two patients suffered abdomen bruises and back pains. They were both listed in stable condition and were expected to fully recover.
    About The Leap Frogs
    The U.S. Navy Parachute Team is a fifteen-man team comprised entirely of U.S. Navy SEALs -- Sea, Air, and Land commandos.
    Each member comes to the team for a three-year tour from one of the two Naval Special Warfare Groups located on the east and west coasts.
    On completion of the tour, members return to operational SEAL Teams.

    By admin, in News,

    Canadian skydiver dies in Florida jump

    DELAND, Fla. (CP-AP) - An experienced Canadian skydiver died after making a tricky high-speed turn too close to the ground, crashing into the pavement at a popular Florida skydiving centre. Stephane Drapeau, 30, from Beloeil, Que., was making a routine jump until he made the high-speed turn at an extremely low altitude as he approached the landing area at Skydive DeLand near the municipal airport.
    Drapeau had about 4,700 jumps before Friday's accident.
    DeLand Police Lieut. John Bradley said Drapeau slammed into a strip of pavement at a high speed causing massive injuries.
    ''He was wearing a helmet, but at times they can go as fast as 80 mph (130 km/h) when they make that turn,'' Bradley told the Canadian Press.
    ''His chute deployed properly ... His canopy probably collapsed or when he made the turn he was so close he just impaled the ground.''
    Though the case is being treated as an accident, it has been turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration, Bradley added.
    If performed correctly, the manoeuvre brings skydivers in at a high rate of speed but allows for a horizontal glide about one metre off the ground, usually resulting in a soft landing, said Skydive DeLand General Manager Mike Johnston.
    ''He misjudged his landing,'' he said, also noting that Drapeau appeared to have made the manoeuvre too close to the ground.
    A pair of paramedics joined a skydiving doctor in treating Drapeau at the scene. He was flown by helicopter to Halifax Medical Center in nearby Daytona Beach, where he later died, police said.
    Just an hour-and-a-half before the fatal fall, a 42-year-old sky diver from Holland suffered a broken ankle after making a hard landing at Skydive DeLand, the Daytona Beach News Journal reported Saturday.
    Johnston said Drapeau was a frequent visitor to the popular DeLand skydiving spot, making the trip from Canada almost every winter. Although he didn't teach there, he was accredited to do so and worked for a parachute centre in Quebec, the Journal reported.
    Drapeau became the second person to die at Skydive DeLand in four months. Chantal Bonitto, a 31-year-old New Yorker, died Dec. 27 when her parachute failed.
    In April 1999, Beatrice Vanderpol, a 55-year-old French woman, also fell to her death because her parachute failed.
    A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa said Canadian officials are looking into the accident.
    ''We're in contact with our consulate in Miami and we are trying to find out more,'' Patrick Riel said.
    Drapeau's family has been notified and are being offered consular assistance, he said.

    By admin, in News,

    Squirrel Releases C-Race For Advanced Pilots

    Over the past two years, the Squirrel R&D; Team have been working hard on high performance wingsuits for competitive events. Their focus on this segment of the sport began when the first edition of the RedBull ACES was being put together for 2014. It happened to coincide with Squirrel’s development timeline on the Colugo 2, and it provided the team with an excellent opportunity to test the final prototypes against the fastest suits on the market, being flown by the best pilots in the world. In 2014, Andy Farrington won the ACES event flying a race prototype that included a lot of features that went on to become the C2.
    The Squirrel team say that development is a constant. As soon as the C2 was released, efforts began on creating a higher performance race suit that could be used by team pilots in the next ACES event, and other competitive wingsuit competitions. Mainly Squirrel had their eye on ACES 2015. But with the first US Wingsuit Nationals being announced, and the 2015 WWL planned for October, there was more than one reason to redouble efforts on the C-RACE development.
    The first C-RACE suits that were delivered to pilots outside of Squirrel’s headquarters in WA state, USA, went to a few pilots attending the US Nationals. Only a few suits were delivered to pilots going to the event, but 4 of them made the top 10, including Noah Bahnson and Chris Geiler, who took 2nd and 3rd respectively. The C-RACE is considerably smaller in surface area than the designs that have traditionally done well in the PPC format, and the significance of this size difference is important. For a suit with so much less surface to be competing so well in the PPC spoke to its speed and efficiency. Squirrel focused on profile efficiency and stability at high speeds, instead of increasing surface to score well in the time and distance tasks.
    Next came the WWL wingsuit race in China. The final podium saw Noah Bahnson in first overall, and Julian Boulle in second. Both were flying the C-RACE and had fought their way through multiple heats against the Phoenix Fly team pilots at the event, who were flying a clearly excellent new race suit, and flying it well. Relative newcomer, Nathan Jones, impressively took 3rd place flying his Phoenix Fly suit in this event.
    Of all the wingsuit races in the world, only one involves a mile-long slalom course involving 4000 vertical feet of turns, dives, and straightaways. RedBull ACES truly encompasses every aspect of wingsuit flight, and is an incredibly dynamic and challenging environment. Furthermore, it is the only 4-cross event, allowing multiple pilots to race head-to-head, offering the best chances of a fair result (in contrast, PPC competition runs necessarily take place with jumpers flying solo, through different wind patterns and conditions and often at different times, making truly accurate comparisons impossible). Because of this, the 2015 ACES event was the most important to Squirrel. The team made efforts to support as many of the invited pilots as possible, and trained relentlessly for this type of competition – the mission was all-out speed, with precise agility. Four pilots diving through slalom gates that are suspended from helicopters and held taught by 150lb steel weights is not a situation to take lightly. It was critical to design a suit that would not only allow team pilots to overtake everything else, but also maintain agility and precision through a course full of very real hazards.
    In the end, the C-RACE prevailed. Only C-RACE pilots made the final, sweeping the podium. 28 out of the 40 invited pilots at the event were flying C-RACEs. Andy Farrington defended his title as top ACE, Noah Bahnson took second flying the same suit that he flew to podium finishes in Chicago and China a few weeks before, and Matt Gerdes, co-founder of Squirrel and co-designer of the C-RACE, placed third. All three podium finishers were also flying the Squirrel EPICENE main parachute, which was by far the most popular parachute at the race.
    Squirrel says that the C-RACE is available to qualified pilots only, and the design will evolve slowly over the course of 2016. Design features that are tested in the C-RACE will (and have already) trickle down to the other suits in their range.

    By admin, in News,

    BASE Jumper Tangled in Treetops Falls 40 Feet

    An Ohio man BASE jumping from West Virginia's New River Gorge Bridge early Saturday morning missed his landing spot and got tangled in some trees before releasing himself from his harness and falling some 40 feet.
    According to a report today by the National Park Service, 33-year-old Shannon Murphy, of Wadsworth, launched into the darkness at 1:40 A.M. The sky was overcast and the gorge was full of fog, making it nearly impossible for him to see his landing zone.
    After friends John Maggio, 37, and Andrew Pulton, 20, placed a 911 call, rescuers including a team of rangers, county police, fire and EMS personnel got to Murphy, who was semi-conscious and suffering from a severe head injury and a fractured arm, 45 minutes later. He was stabilized and taken to a local hospital before being transferred to a trauma center in Charleston, West Virginia.
    The NPS report stated that alcohol may have been a contributing factor in the accident.
    Murphy will be charged with illegal aerial moves; Maggio has been charged with aiding and abetting. An investigation is underway.
    Four men caught BASE jumping off the Virginia's New River Gorge Bridge in December were fined $600 a piece after pleading guilty to aerial delivery in a magistrate's court. Tourists visiting the Fayette Station area of the New River Gorge National River snapped photos of two of the four jumpers in mid-air and dialed 911 as the group was still free falling towards the gorge floor. Rangers and several law enforcement agents were dispatched to the scene and, aided by vehicle-descriptions given by the tourists in a second 911 call , - apprehended the men.
    BASE jumping from the New River Gorge Bridge is illegal except for one day of the year, when the annual Bridge Day is held. The 2001 Bridge Day is scheduled for October 20.

    By admin, in News,

    Police parachutist injured in test jump

    TAIPING: A police parachutist suffered a bad fall from a 1,500m jump after his parachute strings became entangled mid way before the landing.
    Safaruddin Mohd Ariffin, 36, who suffered head and neck injuries, was rushed to the Taiping Hospital in the 10.45am incident at the old airport in Tekah here yesterday.
    A member of Special Task Force formerly known as Vat 69--an elite police commando unit based in Ulu Kinta near Ipoh--Safaruddin was among 25 members in a parachuting test at the old airport over the last three days.
    Safaruddin was transferred to the Ipoh Hospital where his condition is reported to be stable.
    The father of three children from Teluk Intan had made 18 jumps in the past.
    It is learnt he had safely jumped out of a light aircraft at a height of about 1,500m but his parachute strings became entangled mid way before he landed.

    Seven others who jumped with him landed safely.

    By admin, in News,

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