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    Skydiving From a Drone - A World First

    The world’s first human jump from the drone is accomplished
    Latvians have accomplished the world’s first human flight with the drone and jump at high altitude. On May 12, a 28-propeller drone built by Aerones has lifted a skydiver Ingus Augstkalns at a height of 330 metres, from where he accomplished the planned jump and landing with the parachute.
    Successful achievement shows the reliability and lifting-ability of the drone technology that approves unlimited possibilities for its use in saving people, fire-fighting, sports and entertainment.
    Ingus Augstkalns, an author of the idea and skydiver: “Emotions are fantastic. Both feeling how easily and quickly the drone lifted me, and because Latvia proves itself in innovations of technology. It is obvious that we will experience an increasingly important use of drone in our everyday life. Definitely also my friends skydivers all over the world will be excited about these new opportunities. We live in an exciting time.”
    Jānis Putrāms, a chief engineer of Aerones and a pilot of the drone: “Already in the near future, our technology will save human lives, will help to fight fires and carry out other challenging and significant work. With this project, we show that we are ready for serious tasks in the field of civil defence and sports.”
    The jump was accomplished in Māļi, rural area of Amata, Latvia, in cooperation with the State JSC Latvian State Radio and Television Centre (hereinafter -– LVRTC), whose communications tower of 120m was used as a platform for the jumper. In order to reduce potential risks, the drone took the jumper from the tower of 120m and then lifted up in the height intended for the jump.
    Preparations lasted six months, at which time the payload of the drone increased up to 200 kg and a number of tests were carried out, including the flights with the jumper over the river Daugava.
    Aerones is the Latvian drone manufacturer that is focused on the development of drones with high lifting power.
    Ingus Augstkalns is an experienced skydiver and a wind tunnel flyer. He also is a co-founder of innovative technologies companies AERODIUM Technologies, Cube and Captomatic.
    We thank our partners Latvian State Radio and Television Centre, FILMORY, FlyVision, SABI, f64, AERODIUM, Civil Aviation Agency and Skydive Latvia for cooperation and support for project implementation.
    Editor's Note: With the exit altitude being just 330 meters, some may consider this more of a BASE jump than a skydive. Whatever you classify it as, we classify it as awesome.
    www.aerones.com

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    By admin, in News,

    Eating (And Breathing) Your Way to Peak Airsports Performance - Part 2

    Holistic Performance Specialist Lucie Charping Talks You In
    Image by Juan Mayer In our last article, we met holistic nutrition coach Lucie Charping, who works with elite athletes to get them--and keep them--at the top of their game. Often, that game is an airsport. Here’s the continuation of our conversation regarding peak performance strategies for more “normal” airsports athletes, like you and me. (Spoiler: These strategies work just as well if there isn’t a charging bull on your helmet.)
    ALO: If going cold-turkey on every naughty item in your diet isn’t the way to peak performance, then what is?
    Lucie: Changes made little-by-little help an athlete increase awareness and get in touch with their body’s natural intelligence by balancing the systems that run us. In actual fact, we're healed by those same systems that keep us going, so--if you balance those systems, such as blood sugar and pH--you'll be setting yourself up for a broad spectrum of positive effects, healing from stress and sports injuries among them. Make better choices until you build the momentum that gets the pathways programmed.
    ALO: It sounds just like establishing a yoga practice. Right? As soon as you keep the promise that you're going to do it for five minutes, before you know it, it’s 10; 20; 40; 60...
    Lucie: Absolutely. People think it's matter of willpower. It’s not. It's really a matter of neurobiology--what's happening in your brain, what's happening with your biochemistry, your neurotransmitters, what's happening in your gut--that’s making the decision about what you're going to eat.
    You can’t fight your hormones. No matter how strong of mind you think you are, you're ruled by your chemistry. You are strong of mind because of your chemistry. So: If you get your chemistry in alignment, you’ve essentially learned to hack yourself. You can not only be happier, more effective, more creative and more motivated in your daily life--but if you’re the kind of person who relishes a heightened-stress, high-consequence situation like skydiving, tunnel flying, BASE jumping, etcetera, then you’ll get even more benefit from this kind of management. You’ll learn faster, you’ll have faster decision-making and you'll have more focus to excel in these unique sports with their unique pressures.
    Of course, I could say to you, “Here; go to the dropzone with this power-packed superfoods smoothie of maca and cacao with all these berries in it.” And it would be super awesome, of course; it’d give you a short burst of energy for a short amount of time. But it’s not sustainable to do that every time you go to the dropzone; every time you go to the tunnel. If you learn how to balance your blood sugar, you're going to have an abundance of energy for an extended amount of time, and you don’t have to plug a blender in next to the packing mat.
    ALO: Let’s talk a little more about energy. It’s a big part of airsports to manage your energy when you’re waiting on loads or tunnel rotations or weather, and a lot of airsports athletes struggle with it. How can this stuff help with that?
    Lucie: The peaks and valleys in these sports are quite steep. I see a lot of adrenal fatigue and overactive minds in the group of people that I work with.
    For this, I’ll use the term “extreme sports,” because these athletes like to push their minds and physiologies to the extreme. When you put yourself in a high-consequence or high-risk situation constantly, the chemistry that is firing in your brain is full of reward chemicals. It’s highly addicting. Over time, you reset your brain’s baseline for what it means to feel good.
    When you're on the ground or on the bench, those reward chemicals are not firing. So, what happens is--more often than not, and you can correct me if I'm wrong--we have major addictions in these sports. Not just to drugs, though that is certainly within the landscape. We have addictions to sugar; caffeine; tobacco; all kinds of stimulants, and you can see for yourself how people are having to use those things constantly between jumps and flights. It's not because the individual a yahoo; it’s because their baseline chemistry is telling them this is what is required for you to feel happy now.
    So, on the ground as an action sport or, say, “extreme sport” athlete--for peak performance, you must learn to cultivate that chemistry whilst not risking your life. And you do that with the food that you eat and with relaxation practices. You can keep your blood sugar level, which keeps your mind and body in a receptive state, then cultivate that satisfying chemical response through breathing. Then you won't have to reach for an energy drink every time you pack, bouncing from one coffee to the next, not eating all day at the dropzone and then binging whenever you manage to get home.
    Peak performance comes with time. And so, it’s interesting to note, does optimal health and weight, without calorie counting, or deprivation, or guilt.
    ALO: It sounds way simpler than I thought.
    Lucie: It’s not really simple, it’s elegant. To me, that's where the power is. If you want to talk about what is both the barrier and the bridge between business as usual and peak performance for airsports athletes, it’s a single path, and it’s not complicated: cultivating these practices of prioritizing your food so you balance your body's chemistry and practicing mindfulness techniques in order to bring a single point of focus to your mind. Not only do you get better at jumping and flying; you become happier as overall person.
    Your body is magic; it's magnificent, actually We often forget about that. But we never, ever should.
    ------
    Lucie is based in San Diego, but travels to wind tunnels worldwide as the nutritional arm of Fusion Flow Retreats. To reach out to Lucie for a personal consult, pop over to her Facebook page.

    By admin, in News,

    Eating (And Breathing) Your Way to Peak Airsports Performance

    Holistic Performance Specialist Lucie Charping Talks You In
    Image by Serge Shakuto Lucie Charping grew up in the world of food and hospitality--but quite a bit more actively than you might imagine. She founded her first restaurant, in fact, at age 16. Lucie made the food-to-medicine connection early, too. Plagued by a variety of ailments throughout her childhood (as well as adrenal fatigue and a battle with anorexia, which almost killed her), Lucie healed herself through holistic nutrition. Eighteen years later, Lucie’s expertise centers on peak performance, sports injury management and plant-based nutrition--with a particular focus on lifestyle strategies for adventure sports practitioners, elite and Olympic athletes.
    I had the opportunity to pick Lucie’s brain about peak performance strategies for skydiving (and the shredding of tunnel gnar, to boot). Here’s what she had to say.
    ALO: So: tell us what you do!
    Lucie: I'm a peak-performance health coach.
    I’ve been a holistic nutrition coach for about 18 years. Originally, I worked exclusively within the Ayurvedic model--Indian medicine. These days, there is so much more western science and up-to-date nutritional information available, so I extended my practice to encompass it. The focus is two-pronged: first alignment, then optimization. Once you align your systems, the body can optimize.
    Most of my clients are adventure athletes of some kind who want to heal from their minor injuries faster; who want to be faster; who want to be clearer in their path towards performance in air sports and who want to have the mental energy that is takes to do these sports well.
    ALO: At what stage along this path do you usually meet a new client?
    Lucie: Usually, they come to me already having had an inkling of what needs to be adjusted. With a little bit of age and experience, top-level athletes--and people who want to become top-level athletes--discover for themselves the power of food-as-medicine to improve recovery rates, reduce inflammation, oxygenate more efficiently and focus better. Soon after that, if they’re paying attention--which they are, at that level--they realize that without using nutrition as a tool, they’re effectively shooting themselves in the foot. People come to me because they’re starting to realize how important it is and they want a customized, individualized plan of action--but you can do it for yourself, of course, if you’re willing to put in the research.
    You’d think that in top-level sports--airsports included--people would know what they need to know about nutrition. Unfortunately, they don’t. In order to be light and strong and focused, you need to eat and balance your body systems.
    ALO: Most folks that I know who do anything in the human-flight realm are under the impression that they’re doing pretty well, nutritionally. What’s the biggest problem you see with nutrition in airsports specifically?
    Lucie: In airsports, I come up again and again against the fact that people live predominantly on sugar. Soft drinks and lab-created bars are the major culprits behind the energy rollercoaster. Protein powders and bars replacing real food is a close second. There’s a perception that crap food is par for the course when you’re in the tunnel at 2 o'clock in the morning or out on a dropzone for the weekend--and then you don't know why you can't focus anymore, you don't know why you keep injuring yourself, why you're so frustrated all the time. It’s a matter of blood sugar and stress responses.
    Once you get your blood sugar and your stress responses under control, the training can rapidly come together. If you manage your body chemistry and your neurochemistry, you can absolutely catapult yourself. You can actually create an environment that sets you up for a state of peak performance--for a flow state. You can cultivate those states within your body, and how you do that is through your food choices and your relaxation practices. We all have these systems built into our bodies; we just need to learn to use them properly.
    There is a lot of science on this now--about how food choices and relaxation practices can optimize your learning rate; your motivation; your creativity; your focus. You can halve your learning time, for instance. The benefits are across-the-board.
    ALO: Let’s take a look at your typical skydiver. By that, I mean somebody in their late 20s to mid-30s who thinks that they eat pretty well, but definitely drinks socially--and probably has more quote-unquote “cheat days” than they would care to admit. This hypothetical jumper is starting to feel their age kicking in; starting to feel a little bit less, shall we say, unstoppable; starting to get the little nudges from their body that say something needs to be changed. What are the steps that you first recommend to that person?
    Lucie: The first thing I ask is simple: Are you eating enough food? Because in airsports--as in most sports--athletes don't eat regularly enough to balance blood sugar. Hangriness is hypoglycemia, which is crippling to an athlete. You can easily manage your blood sugar with plant protein and fiber (for example: hummus and carrots), even while you’re moving quickly at the dropzone. No matter how transient you are, you must think am I eating regularly enough and is my blood sugar stable. That’s step one.
    ALO: So you’re not telling people to drop everything and go raw vegan.
    Lucie: Absolutely not. I don't actually agree with that, anyway. I think that a whole-food, plant-based diet is the way forward for health and performance--but, as a coach, you have to meet a person exactly where they’re at. I can prescribe my perfect formula, but it will be a set-up for failure if the athlete can’t or won’t adhere.
    -----
    Next week, Lucie talks about her favorite strategies to make that plan and stick to it.

    By admin, in News,

    Discussing Jet-Powered Wingsuit Flying With Jarno McCordia

    As one of the most experienced pilots in the world, Jarno McCordia is continually involved with things at the pointy end of wingsuit flight. Following on from providing details about the new wingsuit tunnel in Stockholm, he shares some information about a more personal project that aims to answer a question that continually bothers us as humans:
    “What happens if we strap rockets to it?”
    “In a way this project started back in 2005 when I first saw Finnish wingsuit pilot Visa Parviainen experimenting with the first set of small jet engines. I had been involved in helping him with some media stuff around 2010, and at that point it really sparked my interest. It had always been a secret longing, but at that point I really got inspired to try and turn it into a reality.”
    “Every wingsuit pilot dreams of flying with unlimited range and power - to turn yourself into a true flying machine. Visa took that and turned it into a reality. He worked for years to develop the idea, logging longer and longer flights, aiming for level flight and then the ability to gain altitude.”

    While Jarno concedes that other high-profile projects that utilise similar technology have helped to draw attention to his plans, it has taken a lot of work to get it up and running.
    ‘It took quite a few years, and many dozens of sponsor proposals to finally get the project of the ground. At the moment we are midway into construction on the fuel setup and engine mounts, our software engineer is almost done programming the custom onboard computer that will control and monitor the engines, and provide various safety features related to matching thrust and (automated) startup and shut down sequences.”

    “Engine technology and wingsuit design have both come a long way since Visa's first flights over a decade ago, and it is going to be exciting to see how far we can take it. We have a team of aeronautics designers helping with the engine mounting and fuel setup, and experts in construction making the gear. Visa himself has been involved from the start, providing us with a great deal of knowhow and practical information - as well as showing us his setup and design ideas.”
    Unlike the various rigid wing systems we have seen over the years, your plans appear to utilise fairly standard wingsuiting gear. What have you had to adapt?
    This is one of the main goals for the project. I’ve surrounded myself with a lot of experts in various fields and we are trying to design a set of gear that can be added to any normal wingsuit/parachute system. I will be using a bigger canopy due to around ten kilos of added weight I will have on landing, but thanks to recent advancements in ultralight fabrics and canopy design it will fit into my normal rig.

    So when can we all have one?
    I am not sure that buying a jump ticket and getting on a plane with a tank of Jet A1 strapped to your back and engines blasting super heated exhaust at 600 mph will ever become standard, but for me this is a dream project and I'm trying to get as many knowledgeable and skilled people as possible involved to help it become reality. An important personal goal is to develop a system that is as safe and easy to use as possible, and I think approaching the design process from the point of view of that anyone should be able to use it is a good place to start from.”
    How long until we can expect to see you in the sky?
    “We do have a date we're aiming for in terms of the first flights, but we are keeping that off the record for now. It is crucial to let safety, finalised designs and a thorough testing process dictate when we a ready to go. My biggest wish for the whole project was to make it safe, accessible and of course as awesome as can be.”
    Project manager & Pilot: Jarno Cordia

    Made possible by: IGOFX, AMT Jets, Phoenix-Fly
    Programming & Technical Setup: Martijn Decauter
    Technical Realisation & Construction management: Jean-Louis Becker / NL Ballon
    Aerodynamics Design, Tunnel Testing & Support: DNW Aero

    By admin, in News,

    Angled Wingsuit Windtunnel To Open in Stockholm

    With more than four thousand jumps over the last fourteen years, Jarno McCordia is one of the most experienced and highly respected wingsuit pilots in the world. Here he joins us to discuss a couple of upcoming projects from the pointy end of wingsuit flying. First up is a look at the soon-to-open indoor wingsuit facility in Stockholm.
    Towards the end of 2016 footage began to emerge of an angled tunnel facility in Sweden where some ambitious aeronautical engineers have been conspiring to do for wingsuit flying what vertical wind tunnels have done for our skydiving skills - change everything.
    Brought quietly onto the project in early 2016 by the founder of Phoenix Fly and wingsuit development grand wizard Robert Pecnik, Jarno immediately saw the potential:
    “The whole thing was already underway a fair bit when I got involved in an active way. Secretly Robert had already been working for almost a year with the team behind the technology to realise the project. The first test flights had already been done when I was invited to come take a look at the flying and help assess things - mostly from an instructional point of view but also to see how far we could push the flying. Normally a lot of the development and testing we do together is open and shared process - so to have Robert tell me he had some news but couldn't show me anything until we met in person made me suspect it was something big.”

    “The flying I saw at that point was just steady cruising, but it immediately made me realise what I was seeing and the potential of how it could change the sport in a similar way that indoor skydiving transformed Freefly and FS in terms of skills and training.”
    Many disciplines within skydiving are evolving quickly and wingsuit flying is no exception. Suit designs are continually updated as our methods are refined and our abilities better understood. Steep and fast is the way to maximise the potential of a wingsuit - but getting it right takes time. How does the tunnel work and what have you learned about the instruction process so far?
    “The whole tunnel chamber is a moving structure of which the angle can be altered from pretty much flat to almost vertical. This ability to do this gives us a glide ratio varying from 1:1 all the way up to 3.65:1 (comfortably more than the sustained full glide on high range wingsuits) and the controllable speed of the tunnel is from 0 to almost 300km/h. Balancing these two factors means the tunnel is able to match the glide angle and for the suit one is flying and be appropriate for the skill level of the pilot. We have looked a lot at the teaching technique for beginners as we see that as being a significant percentage of customers. Experienced wingsuit pilots will also need to learn the basics first so that was an important area to focus on.”
    The indoor skydiving industry has a complex system of managing students abilities while they are training developed over many years . With good quality instruction accidents are few and far between but there is still some inherent risk. What have you learned so far about keeping people safe?
    “In terms of spotting and safety, procedures will vary a lot from what people are used to. I cannot go into to much detail yet due to a pending patent, but there is an assisted flight system that holds the student in a central position in the tunnel. There is free range of movement in all directions but only up a certain degree. In a similar way to how a seatbelt works, any rapid movement towards the ground or the walls is halted in a gentle way. Once pilots reach the stage where they can fly around free without any assistance it will be possible to get into close contact with the floor and walls, though experience has shown that the lower windspeed and design of the tunnel make those situations a lot less severe than one would expect. I’ve been practicing some quite aggressive acrobatics and of course it does not always go down without a hitch, though due to the padding and angle of the chamber you never really hit hard and you get gently rolled down to the floor - feet first.”
    “Initially there is something very intimidating about flying in a confined space but it pushes the accuracy and precision of your flying to a new level. It has definitely helped me realise how much further we can develop the precision of our flying. Even in the smaller test setup we have been flying 2-way and performing advanced acrobatics. Once the full-scale tunnel opens in September the possibilities are limitless - we are already going to host the first indoor acrobatics competition in December.
    LT1 is currently scheduled to open in September 2017.
    You can read more about the project and the history of the facility here: https://flywingsuit.se/

    By admin, in News,

    Para Gear Photo Submissions For Catalog #81

    Para Gear is interested in photographic submissions that you may have for the 2017 - 2018 Para Gear Catalog #81. We have taken the time to briefly describe the format and certain criteria that we look for, in order to help you to see if you have something worth submitting. We have included examples of previous catalog covers for your reference, on Facebook or here on Dropzone.com
    Over the years Para Gear has used photos from all of skydiving's disciplines. We do not have a preference as far as what type of skydiving photo it is, rather we look for something that either is eye-catching or pleasing to the eye. In light of the digital age, we are also able to use photos that in one way or another may be less than perfect and enhance them, removing blemishes, flipping images, altering colors, etc.
    The following are preferences. However what we prefer and what we get, or choose, are not always the same. If however we came down to a choice between two photos of equal quality, we would opt for the one that met more of our preferences. We typically prefer that the photo be brighter. In the past we have used sunset photos and even a night jump photo, although by and large most of the photos are daytime. We like the subject of the image to have contrast with the background. Subjects that are wearing brighter more colorful clothing usually stand out more. We prefer to have the people in the photo wearing equipment since that is what we sell. Headgear, goggles, jumpsuits, altimeters, audible altimeters, and gloves are all good. We also prefer to see skydivers wearing head and foot protection.
    We do not print any BASE jumping nor any Tandem photographs. No submissions of these will be accepted. We are not interested an any photos of individual or groups of skydivers standing on the ground



    Front and back covers from the previous catalog (Issue #80)
    Our basic criteria is as follows:
    Vertical Format. The front and back covers of the catalog are both in a vertical format. We can use a horizontal (landscape) shot, as opposed to a vertical (portrait), and then crop it as long as the image lies within a vertical cropping.
    Photo Quality. The front and back cover shots will be printed as 8 ½ x 11 in 300 dpi format. Any film that can hold its quality up to this size and print dpi is fine. Digital format is preferred. In the event of a final cover choice, we prefer to be sent the original digital image or slide for getting the best quality out of the image.
    Back Cover Photo. The back cover photo is no different from the front except in one respect. We need to have room on the left side of the image for the thumb index. In the past we have taken images and been able to horizontally flip them thereby creating this room.
    Originality. Anything that is original, eye-catching, or makes someone take more notice of the catalog covers is something we look for. It could be a photo from a unique camera position or angle, a scenic skydive, shots under canopy, landings, etc. We look for photos that have not been previously published and most likely would not accept them if they have, as we want a photo that no one else has seen yet. We also do not want any photos that are chosen as the front or back covers to be used for other non Para Gear advertising for a period of one year.
    Para Gear offers $500.00 each for both the front and back covers we choose. Our current deadline for catalog cover submissions is January 16th 2017. Sending sample pictures by e-mail to [email protected], If you are sending sample digital pictures please note that they do not need to be in a very large format. If we like the sample picture we will then ask you to send the higher quality original. Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions.
    You can stay up to date with Para Gear via both Facebook and Twitter.

    By admin, in News,

    Skydiving Gift Ideas for Christmas 2016

    It's that time of the year again, where we pull out the credit card and bite the bullet to bring some festive joy to our friends and family. But we've spoken to the guys over at Para Gear and ChutingStar and had them send us over some options for Christmas gifts that will get your family or friends grinning without breaking your bank.

    Golden Sky Closing Pin Earrings - $40
    These custom Golden Sky Closing Pins Earrings are like no other.
    Available in Sterling Silver, 14kt Yellow Gold and 14kt White Gold. Earrings are 1" in length.
    Sterling Silver earrings in stock. Turnaround time for the 14kt Gold closing pin earrings is approximately two weeks as these are made to order by Golden Sky Jewelry.
    Available at ChutingStar


    GoPro LCD Touch Bacpac - $79.99
    The LCD Touch BacPac™ is a removable LCD touch screen for GoPro Hero3, Hero3+, or Hero4 cameras. (*Limited compatibility with original HD Hero and HD Hero2 cameras, requires firmware update. Touch functionality is not compatible with HD Hero2 and older cameras).
    As a removable accessory, the LCD BacPac keeps your camera as small and light as possible, yet provides the convenience of an LCD screen when attached. Camera not included.
    *US Only
    Available at Para-Gear


    LEGO Skydiver / BASE Jumper - $9
    The perfect companion for the home or office of any skydiver or BASE jumper.
    This LEGO minifigure is all geared-up to jump, and that adrenaline is coursing through his body. Time to jump!
    This is an official LEGO Skydiver/BASE Jumper Minifigure. The packaging has been opened to verify it is the skydiver, but the item is brand new.
    Available at ChutingStar


    Limited Edition Robin's Egg Blue Alti-2 Altimaster Galaxy Altimeter Gift Package - From $161
    Unique . . . Thoughtful . . . Perfect!
    Every gift giver wants to hear those words from the skydiver they love after the present is opened and the treasure inside is revealed. Just in time for the holidays, we have made your shopping effortless! This limited edition galaxy makes a perfect holiday gift.
    Fresh out of the Alti-2 workshop: a Limited Edition Altimaster Galaxy. Crafted exclusively in Robin's Egg Blue with a Swarovski Crystal pointer setting, this once in a lifetime offering is limited to 100 altimeters. It comes elegantly wrapped in a matching color gift box to add style to any occasion.
    Available at Para-Gear
    Available at ChutingStar


    Cookie G3 Helmet - $379
    Welcome to the G3 headgear, Cookies latest release full-face headgear and a result of significant refinement of the previous full-face headgear.
    The G3 features the original VMech Visor Locking System that works unlike any other in the industry. The system makes for easy opening and positive locking of the headgear visor.
    The visor is 2mm polycarbonate and features a complex curved design for extra strength, unsurpassed field of view and an anti-fog coating.
    The headgear's cinching system is simple and secure, adjustment can be made to customize the headgear fit and once locked down just throw the headgear on and jump.
    Available at Para-Gear


    ChutingStar eGift Card - From $25
    The ChutingStar eGift Card is the perfect gift for your buddy, family member or sweetheart! Available in any denomination and it never expires. The ChutingStar eGift Card is sent via e-mail and can be used at anytime for any products online at ChutingStar.com.
    Vouchers available from $25 to $1000
    Available at ChutingStar


    PG Headgear Bag - $35
    The PG Headgear Bag is designed for today’s full-faced headgear. Made from cordura. It features a padded contoured shape to snugly fit most full-face headgear, a clip strap for easy hanging, strong zippers, and a protective pocket for gloves, goggles, altimeter, etc.
    Available at Para-Gear


    Parachuting Flipping Santa Musical Christmas Ornament - $19
    This large parachuting Santa Claus sings Jingle Bells while he performs front flips and back flips under a round parachute! The perfect skydiver Christmas ornament!
    Available at ChutingStar


    Kroops I.K.91 Goggles - $24.95

    The I.K. 91 is an ultra lightweight and very comfortable goggle. The multilayer foam sinks into your face like a soft pillow making it very easy to wear for long periods of time. The spherical lens gives you a great distortion free view with totally unobstructed peripheral vision.
    The mirrored blue and the red lens color is a gradient to provide sun protection from above while still allowing you to see the ground clearly below. The narrow headband easily fits over or under your headgear.
    Available at Para-Gear
    Happy shopping!

    By admin, in News,

    10 skydiving myths and facts

    10 Skydiving myths and facts
    1. Talking while falling?
    So, unlike many blockbuster films like Point Break, you cannot hear anything while in free fall. During a tandem skydive the wind travelling past you at over 100mph makes it pretty much impossible for you to hear your buddy!
    2. Parachute deployment
    What happens when you deploy your chute? Do you go back up? No. No you do not. What you are seeing in many skydiving videos, is all an illusion. What actually happens is the cameraman continues falling when the other opens their chute, giving the impression that you go back up.
    3. Most skydives in a single day

    The current record stands at 640 jumps. Jay Stokes of Greensburg jumped on average every 2.25 minutes, using 3 planes to get up to the right height quicker.
    4. Youngest ever skydiver
    The youngest person to have skydived is four year old Toni Stadler from South Africa. Toni was strapped to Tandem Master Paul Lutge's chest as they leaped out of their single-engine plane 10,000 feet above the earth, free falling for half a minute before opening the parachute.
    5. Oldest ever skydiver
    Frank Moody has the record for the oldest skydiver, at age 101, he made a tandem jump on 6 June 2004 in Australia.
    6. Will opening the parachute hurt?Skydiving myths facts
    Many people think that when they open a parachute that the sudden 'jolt' from falling at 120mph to just 5mph will cause some kind of injury. However, modern parachute designs mean that the canopy opens gradually and the fall in speed is also gradual meaning you experience little or no jolt at all.
    7. Fastest ever free-fall
    Felix Baumgartner holds this record from his Red Bull Stratos space jump. He reached a speed of Mach 1.24 or 834mph, breaking the sound barrier!
    8. Most skydives
    Don Kellner Has jumped over 41,000 times in his life! Making him the most experienced skydiver, EVER.
    9. Biggest formation skydive
    The current world record for the largest formation skydive is 400 people, set in Thailand in 2006. They held the formation for just over 4 seconds.
    10. Skydiving is safe!
    Approximately 3.1 million skydives occur annually. Out of this, the average number of fatalities is around 55 which is less than 1% of the jumps that take place!
    For more skydiving updates and information, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

    By admin, in News,

    The Loss of Two Legends - Pat Works and Scotty Carbone

    This week saw the loss of two skydiving heavy-weights, Pat Works and Scotty Carbone, in separate incidents not related to skydiving. Both Pat and Scotty were long time members of dropzone.com and legends within the skydiving community as a whole. Pat and Scotty couldn't have been more different in personalities, though they garnered both love and respect from fellow skydivers in their own individual approaches to life.
    Scotty Carbone




    It's difficult to say anything on Scotty that hasn't been talked about already on dropzone.com. In fact, a thread started way back in 2002 sought to bring together both stories and rumors relating to Scotty, titled "Who is Scotty Carbone?", which gathered more than 150 responses including individuals such as Bill Booth who shared his own story on Scotty.
    Although controversial at times, Scotty's brash nature and loud personality was accompanied by a willingness to help others and an unmatched ability to bring smiles and laughter to those around him. He will always be known as a man who followed his own path and didn't allow others to dictate how he should live.
    Not only was Scotty a well known personality in the community, but he was also a skilled skydiver with plenty of jumps behind his name and 'more cutaways than most people have jumps'.
    Scotty Carbone Memorial Thread
    Pat Works




    Pat Works will always be remembered for his contributions to the world of skydiving. He was a key participant in the creation and overall establishment of the relative work (formation skydiving) discipline back in the 1970s. In the 1990s he again played a crucial role in the development of VRW or vertical formation skydiving as it is now known.
    An extremely skilled skydiver with more than 8000 jumps behind his name, Pat sought to share his knowledge of the sport through his writing and authored several popular books, including: "United We Fall", "The Art of Freefall RW" and "The Art of VRW: The Way of Freefly"
    Pat was truly spurred on by his eagerness to teach and was never shy to hop onto the forums and share his knowledge with others. He was also a member of the Skydiving Museum with roles as historian, museum curator, collections and curatorial committee.
    Although he has left us, Pat's contributions towards the sport shall be noticed for decades to come.
    Pat Works Memorial Thread
    We thank Pat Works for his considerable literary contributions to the sport and Scotty for being himself and bringing a smile to those around him.
    BSBD

    By admin, in News,

    Saving Veterans With Skydiving

    Image by Quincy Kennedy, Courtesy Skydive Carolina It started with a simple fact: Soldiers are dying--after they come home--from self-inflicted injuries.
    The numbers are seriously disturbing. The veteran suicide rate, according to the Los Angeles Times, hovers a full 50 percent higher than the suicide rate of the general population. Some Veterans Administration studies suggest that up to 22 veterans end their lives every day. Those statistics underline the stark fact that it is overwhelming, for many servicepeople, to successfully make the transition from military to civilian life. The numbers indicate that the social safety net built to facilitate re-integration doesn’t seem to be up to the task. Unsupported veterans are suffering--achingly alone and mortally vulnerable.
    As harrowing as those statistics are, there’s another essential fact to face: one suicide is one suicide too many.
    Skydiver Jim Osterman, a Navy veteran himself, thinks that we--as representatives of our sport--can make a big difference in the lives of veterans. Osterman has been touched by suicide “more times then [he] want to think about.” After losing close military friends to suicide, he was moved to take action.

    Jim Osterman's late friend, Frank in his Marine uniform. “I knew when I got home from active duty,” he explains, “That what was missing in my life was the camaraderie that I had while I was in the service. The [veteran] suicide rate is as high as it is because these guys and gals are coming home and feeling completely alone, even if they actually aren’t in a physical sense. You don’t have that closeness you had while you were in the service. The dropzone community can fill that gap.”
    Osterman’s mission, project and passion is pretty simple: to make skydivers aware of the aching need for community in veterans’ lives, and to ask skydivers to bring as many people to the dropzone as they can.
    “It makes all the sense in the world,” Osterman explains. “Dropzones are very military-friendly. There tend to be lots of military people around, and dropzones generally already have military discounts and events for, say, Veterans Day and Memorial Day. But we need to let our veterans know that they are welcome to the dropzone everyday--not just the major vets’ holidays. Hopefully they will decide to skydive, but even if they choose not to jump, they need to know that they are welcome to come and just hang out.”
    “They need to experience the camaraderie at the heart of it,” Osterman enthuses. “It’s literally lifesaving, in some cases. Pretty much anybody is accepted into skydiving, and it doesn’t matter what your background is--your ethnicity--whatever. It just doesn’t matter. You walk in that door and you are greeted warmly. Veterans need that welcome more than I can say.”

    Jim joins up with a couple of buddies on a leg of his long, long trip. To raise awareness for this mission--and to commemorate the memories of his departed friends--Jim took off on a long-haul, dropzone-to-dropzone motorcycle trip on his Yamaha Raider. Sure, he made a few skydives on the trip, but the jumping always took a back seat to the mission. “I went to several drop zones that I knew I would not be able to jump at,” he says, “Just so I could speak with the owners in person rather than via email or over the phone.”
    Thirty-eight dropzones later, Osterman has spread his message all over the east coast of the US--and so far, he’s been overwhelmed at his fellow skydivers’ receptivity. “It really makes my point,” he says, “That even though they’d never met me before, I was completely welcomed and heard.”
    Interested, but unsure how to help? According to Jim, it’s very easy to get involved.
    “If you’re a skydiver, you can do this,” Osterman insists. “When you learn that someone is a veteran, approach them with an invitation. Let them know that they’re welcome to come out anytime and just hang out--sit on the park bench and watch some swooping, or join the weekend barbecue, or whatever else happens to be going on. Offer them a ride.”


    Lynn Luzynski Gromaski, Steve Luzynski and Karen Luzynski.
    “We’re looking to get these men and women out of whatever isolating situation they might be in and bring them to the dropzone so they can see the camaraderie that we as skydivers share,” he continues, “If we help even one man or woman see that people do care as a society, it will all be worth it.”
    When all was said and done, Osterman had exceeded his 4,000-mile goal by three thousand miles, had personally spread his message to hundreds of people and had earned the hearty support of several dropzones (including, exceptionally, Skydive Carolina). He’s already making plans to repeat the journey on the west coast next year.
    “‘Bring a Veteran to the Dropzone Day’ isn’t enough,” Osterman says. “I want the skydiving community to participate in the mission to bring veterans to the dropzone whenever, wherever they can. It’s not just another day. It’s another place for veterans. We can save lives.”

    By admin, in News,

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