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,

    The Harpers - A Lasting Passion for the Sky

    The culture of skydiving attracts an eclectic group of people and for me, some of those people stand out by character, resume and history. I recently met a couple that fascinated me because of their longevity and passion for the sport. They are Gerry and Debbie Harper and they are the DZO’s of Canada’s, Skydive Vancouver.
    Gerry and Debbie are still very active skydivers and involved in running their drop zone. Their enthusiasm after all of these years of skydiving was inspiring as many people get burned out, stop jumping because of relationships or just lose their zest for the sport and the people. And not only do they have the enthusiasm, they have grand goals of keeping their drop zone open in Canada even though there are many challenges to face.

    So I sat down and asked them some questions:
    First Jump

    Gerry: Christchurch, New Zealand on May 20th, 1967

    Debbie: Lynden, Washington on June 17th, 1974
    Total Jumps

    Gerry: 16,000+

    Debbie: 5,600+
    What inspired you to make your first skydive?
    Gerry: Doesn’t every kid want to skydive?!
    Debbie: It was something that had always intrigued me while I was growing up. In my travels I met a fellow who just started and was so excited, he told me where I could go.
    What keeps you motivated to stay in skydiving?
    Gerry: It’s simple. I still love it! One of our instructor’s once said, ‘As long as we keep jumping, we’ll stay young.’
    Debbie: I think this is such an exciting time in our sport. I look at what the freefliers are doing and I am in awe! It’s challenging and inspiring. AND, I get to play in the sky with my husband and son everyday.

    How did you two meet?
    Debbie: I met Gerald [Gerry] when I went to make my first jump and he was my instructor. The rest is the age-old story! We lived together for several years then married in 1983.

    What has been your proudest moment in skydiving?
    Gerry: Representing my country (Canada and New Zealand) at World Meets! We won the Canadian Nationals in 1971 for Style and Accuracy, and I represented New Zealand in 1970, 1972 and 1974.
    Debbie: My proudest moment is when my dad came out to the DZ for the first time to watch me skydive. He came out only after I had a couple hundred jumps. By then, he knew he wasn’t going to talk me out of it. I was so proud when he watched me! (I landed in the ditch!)
    He offered to buy me a new jumpsuit. I guess he didn’t like the one I had, or thought it might improve my accuracy!

    Biggest accomplishment in the sport?
    Gerry: Winning Gold in the Canadian Nationals!
    Debbie: Getting the 30 way Color Concepts (organized by Roger Ponce) over downtown Vancouver in 1995.
    Who was your skydiving mentor?
    Gerald was mentored by Jimmy Lowe. We both thought very highly of Jim and considered him a friend.
    When did you open the DZ?
    We took over Abbotsford in 1977 in western Canada and is called, Skydive Vancouver.

    What inspired you to take on the challenge of opening a skydiving center?
    Abbotsford has been a drop zone since the 1950’s. Gerald and his friend, Rod Bishop, Canadian Team Member, were training students in the late 1970’s and grew into taking it over.

    What’s a cool fact about Skydive Vancouver?
    The first US/Canadian Nationals were held here in 1961 or 1962.
    In the past, skydivers always leased property to use for jumping, when this property came up for sale, the jumpers organized to buy the land before a blueberry farmer did.
    What is your season? And what do you do in the off-season?
    We consider our season to be March through October, although we often jump in February and December.
    Having slow time in the winter allows us to work the airplanes and getting gear ready for the next season.
    In the off-season, we like to take some time off- like going to the Puerto Escondido Boogie over New Years. Nothing hard core, just fun.

    You had stated that skydiving is fun, but what about being a DZO?
    It has its moments. We may write a book....if we ever had time!

    What was it like when your son, Jess first started jumping?
    Gerry: I never questioned it. He has always been capable.
    Debbie: Jess was determined to skydive from an early age. We ignored his requests because he was so young. However, he started asking questions to other Instructors. When they told us what was happening we knew we couldn't ignore him much longer. He did a Tandem at 8, Static Line at 16, then AFF.
    I knew it was inevitable that he would be a skydiver, but I never wanted him to run a DZ and I pushed him to get an education. He got a diploma in Mechanical Engineering, but he has been working at the DZ since he finished school. There was probably never any way of stopping him. Now he is my boss!

    Advice to new jumpers?
    Gerry: Don't be afraid to ask questions.
    Debbie: Slow is fast.

    Advice to not-so-new jumpers?
    Gerry: Complacency kills. Stay vigilant.
    Debbie: Remember why you got into this sport: because it is fun!

    Future goals?
    Gerry: We have seen a lot of DZs close for various reasons. We have to operate commercially in Canada, which has overburdened many small operators financially and created a paperwork load that many find overwhelming. Some have lost location due to building etc. We want to keep skydiving alive, available, safe and fun in the Lower Mainland.
    Debbie: To make more fun jumps and learn from the kids.

    Anything else you'd like to add?
    Gerry: I am happy to be jumping my Stiletto 120 and square reserve and not my 28' C9 and my unmodified 24' twill reserve!
    Debbie: I feel so very fortunate to have met and so many wonderful people in this sport. People I meet when I travel to other DZs and skydivers that come to our DZ; people that have become lifelong friends and people I met just yesterday. Customers who make 1 jump and skydivers I have learned from, some more experienced and some less experienced than me. Everyone adds a piece to the puzzle.

    By MissMelissa, in News,

    216th Anniversary of the First Parachute Jump

    Today recognizes the 216th anniversary of the first parachute jump, made back in 1797 by French aeronaut André-Jacques Garnerin. Garnerin, who was born on the 31 January 1769 was a student of the legendary ballooning pioneer, Jacques Charles. Charles himself, a decade before Garnerin's record was set, set a record of his own when along with Robert brothers, he became the first to used a hydrogen-filled balloon for manned flight. Garnerin, no doubt heavily inspired by his professor, began to forge his own path in the aeronautics world, becoming the Official Aeronaut of France.
    France was undoubtedly the hot spot for aeronautic discovery and innovation in the 18th century, and in 1783 it was the Frenchman, Sébastien Lenormand who invented what is considered the first modern parachute.
    The original design that was used by Garnerin for the first parachute jump was naturally a far cry from what we are familiar with today. The parachute itself was made from silk and was approximately 23 feet in diameters. The device was constructed using rope to connect the basket to the edges of the material. Prior to ascent the parachute resembled a closed umbrella and consisted of a pole which ran down the middle, with rope that ran through the pipe. This was used to attach the parachute to the balloon that he would be ascending with.

    The occasion of the first parachute jump itself took place in Parc Monceau, Paris on the 22 October 1797. Garnerin made ascent to a height of around 3,000 feet, before cutting the rope that connected the parachute to the balloon, and in turn allowed him to begin his descent. The descent was anything but smooth and Garnerin had to deal with the basket swaying violently during the flight, as well as having what could be described as a bit of a rough landing, with the basket scraping along the ground. In the end though, Garnerin had successfully completed the first parachute jump and paved the way for modern parachuting.
    Despite the fact that Garnerin was the first to perform a manned descent with a parachute, it is worth noting that 12 years prior to this, Jean Pierre Blanchard had used a parachute with a basket attached to perform parachuting demonstrations using a dog as a passenger.
    While given the advances made in France each year in the latter part of the 18th century, it was inevitable that a manned parachute jump would occur. It was Garnerin who made it happen first and can in turn be seen as the first modern parachuter in the world.
    Google honored this anniversary by adding a parachuting game to the Google doodles. Be sure to go check it out!

    By admin, in News,

    How to Start a Collegiate Skydiving Club

    Numerous people have asked me how to start and maintain a club in the past, so I have put together a little (or not so little) essay on how to do this. I started the skydiving club at the University of Maryland, College Park in September 1998. It has grown quite a bit since then and there is much more active participation by the members. The beginning of a club is very strenuous on the founder, as there is a lot of legwork and red tape to get through. But, someone has got to do it.
    Each school works differently for how a club could be formed. Anyway, you could find our constitution at: http://www.inform.umd.edu/StudentOrg/cpsc/Documents/Constitution.doc I thought that you could use that as a standard constitution to see what you could put into your constitution. Each school has different rules on what should be in a constitution but for the most part, they are all the same.
    You should see if you your school would actually permit such a club (skydiving) on campus. I say this b/c I have a friend who tried to start a club at U. Delaware and they didn't let him b/c the school takes on a different role with the student clubs there. At U. Delaware, the university has control over the club that they would be liable for any incidents. At U. Maryland, we are considered a student organization/club, NOT a sport club and the university allows us to do pretty much anything b/c they don't have any liability over us. The only thing that we must abide by are the basic university rules (non-discrimination, etc.).
    Okay, so I could only tell you how I started the club here at U. Maryland as I don't know how it works at other universities. We needed to fill out a student organization form that required a President's and Treasurer's signature. Moreover, it required a minimum of 7 other undergraduate students to sign and put their social security #'s (Student ID's) on it. Finally, we had to have an advisor sign it. The advisor could be anyone who is faculty/staff of the university as long as they are not an undergraduate student (I'm UMD's advisor now as I finally became a graduate student and TA for the university). Most professors are kind of wary about signing a form to be an advisor for a skydiving club. Therefore, you might need to go to your Office of Campus Programs (that is what it is called at UMD) and request some literature to show to the potential advisor on what they are liable for or what they are not liable for within the club.
    After you get them to sign the application and you have the signatures/SID #'s of other students and the constitution done, you hand it in to the Office of Campus Programs. It may take a little while for them to approve it as they need to read your entire constitution and pick out the details that need to be changed.
    After they approve it, you might want to apply to the Student Government Association (SGA) to be a club under them. They may require you to change the constitution a little according to their policies but this is usually a standard procedure and the Office of Campus Programs should be aware of it already. So, you end up filling out another application to the SGA with some student signatures and Student ID #'s (25 minimum in UMD's case). After the SGA approves it, you may have to just be a SGA club without funding from the SGA for the first year. Again, it depends on the school. Anyway, the treasurer or whoever you have as the contact person would get a notification that a budget is due if you are requesting funding from the SGA. You need to fill out a budget with items that you wish the SGA would fund you for. I find the best way to get the SGA to fund a skydiving club is to orient everything around SAFETY as you stress that you want to keep all the skydivers in the club safe. They rarely refuse this. But, if you choose to itemize the same exact item without using the terms safety, they may reject your request. For instance, if you want to get some funding for equipment, you could call it "Safety equipment", which you may have to put under "Contractual Services" (as that is what it would be considered at UMD.
    Another example would be time in the wind tunnel, which you could call "Free fall Safety Training". This would also fall under "contractual Services". At UMD, they have a few different categories that you could itemize things under such as "Transportation", "Advertising", "Contractual Services", "Subscriptions", and "Dues and Fees". "Transportation" would be the use of a motor pool that your school may have (i.e. van). "Advertising" would be something such as an ad in the school newspaper. "contractual services" typically means paying for a "lecturer" to come (in skydiving, it would be an instructor or some other skydiving expert). Or you could use "Contractual Services" for stuff such as Safety Training (as in my example of the wind tunnel). Moreover, you could designate the "Contractual Services" to alleviate the initial cost of 1st timers. The SGA would also be happy with this as you tell them the entire goal of the club is to get more students into the sport of skydiving and introduce diversity among the club while keeping it as cheap as possible. "Subscriptions" would be something like a subscription to "Skydiving Magazine" in the name of the club. But, this would be rejected if you don't have a centrally located office where students could come to. "Dues and Fees" would refer to the club membership fees to USPA ($200 the first year and $100 every year thereafter). The money from the SGA doesn't usually go directly to the club, but rather an invoice may need to be required by the company, which you want the SGA to pay with the Federal Employee # and mailing address for the check. The university may take a while to process this and send it to the company that you want the money to go towards. Our university is big on "Safety" and "Diversity". So, you could tell the SGA that you are trying to make the club as diverse and safe as possible, so you need their financial assistance. If the SGA says no, they are just pricks.
    You could make your club a "sport club" by contacting your school's "Campus Recreation Services" department and talk to them about it. They may fund you after a year of recognition or so. This funding may include club gear (rig, etc.) and owned/maintenance by the Campus Rec. Services. But, at UMD, it ends up being a huge hassle b/c the Campus Rec. Services requires meetings every week, a lot of paperwork, permission for the club to leave the state (our dropzone is in a different state), and permission to spend money where we want to. The only advantage of becoming a sport club is that the Campus Rec. Services may potentially buy us gear. Of course, this all depends on the school.
    Next thing you might want to consider (depending on the drop zone's waiver and the university's policies) is a legal waiver for your members to sign. You could get this done through the Student Legal Aid Office that some schools may have on campus. We started using the legal waiver when we first started but that got phased out b/c the drop zone's waiver covered us, as well as our club is just considered a "referrer" as opposed to a profit organization.
    A website helps the club enormously in getting information out to the public and to the students who don't quite understand what skydiving is about. You should have descriptions of the types of jumps (i.e. Tandem, AFF 1, and Static Line), prices of the jumps, and pictures of what each type of jump looks like. Also, you should have directions to the drop zone, contact information for possible students, events calendar, FAQ section, statistics on how skydiving is safer than driving your car or even walking on a treadmill. You could take a look at our club's website to get a general idea of what information you may want to have on your web page at: http://www.umd.edu/StudentOrg/cpsc
    You need to choose which drop zone will handle your club. You should call all of the local drop zones nearby and tell them that you are apart of a club at a university and you want to set some prices that are discounted dramatically from the regular price. If you are apart of a big university, you could tell them that and that you are potentially able to get hundreds of 1st timers each year. Also, you may want to work a club membership fee into the price of the 1st jump. That way, the club could make some money towards other things (i.e. boogies, gear, etc.). You could even have a "referral fee" worked into the price but that is your choice. Basically, you should have the total price be lower than the regular price by a good amount, which will increase your potential of getting students to jump through your club. Another thing to consider when choosing the drop zone is the type of aircraft they have. Drop zones with little Cessna's may not be able provide the necessary service for large groups. Also, if you were to charge a membership fee to people who are jumping through your club for the first time, you may want to give them something back in return such as a "free" t-shirt, sticker, etc. that would cost the club $5 per person. This money would be met up with the money from the membership fee. Anyway, this item that you would give the student would also allow you to get advertising on campus. A t-shirt would be worn around and others may ask that person about it. Then, they would probably direct those people to your club.
    You should choose 2 - 4 jump dates throughout each semester to start off with. That way, if someone can't make it 1 of the dates, they could make it to another one. Before each jump date, you may want to have an "information session" meeting somewhere on campus. In the meeting, you should go over what each type of jump is like, the costs, the places to sleep/shower at the drop zone, safety, clothing to wear on the jump, what skydiving feels like (not roller coaster type of feeling), pics/video of people who already jumped who are in your club, etc. The pics/video of professional skydivers are good to get the students interested but it is also good to have some of the experienced skydivers at the university. That way, the students would realize that it is very possible that they could become good at the sport while having a good time as you started out the same way at some point. You may want to have the club pay for some pizza, which sometimes is an initiative to get people to go to the meetings. It is okay b/c it will pay off as people will become interested in skydiving through the meetings. You could make this meeting as formal or informal as you wish. You might want to have some gear there to explain the different components of it along with its safety devices (i.e. AAD and RSL). Moreover, you might want an instructor from the drop zone come and make a speech about skydiving and the drop zone itself. Just remember this, the students are going to be very nervous and scared about their first jump, so keep that in mind when giving a speech in these meetings. Don't make any skydiving jokes mocking death. In fact, explain to them that skydiving is safer than most acts of daily living. But, still keep their attention by telling them that you are a student too and like to have fun. Just don't act cocky about it as the students will think that their safety would be in jeopardy. The most important key to these meetings is to smile and act extremely excited about the sport. The students will draw off of your enthusiasm and you will have more students wanting to jump despite the costs!
    Besides these information meetings, you should have general club meetings with the active members. You should discuss advertising issues, budget issues, etc. with them. This way, you all could brainstorm for more ideas as well as it would get the other members more involved with the club. This way, you don't have to do all the work. You could delegate the work so it is easy for everyone including yourself.
    Advertising: You should plaster the campus with fliers in the most NOTICEABLE areas. For example, at UMD, no one put fliers up on the bathroom doors in the dorms nor in the elevators until after I started doing it. Students notice these fliers while ignore the most used flier spaces (i.e. kiosks). You may want to make quarter sheet fliers and pass them out at a place on campus that many students frequent (i.e. Student Union or Dining Hall, etc.). Make the fliers have a dark background with light colored writing (i.e. white letters). This also, makes it more noticeable. Try not to have too much text on the fliers as students would just glance at it. You may want to just put "SKYDIVING" in large letters with information on the next jump or meeting along with your website.
    Other ways of advertising are pretty much infinite. You could put an ad in the school newspaper, put an ad on the football stadium's TV screen (or basketball), have some demonstration team jump onto campus with a banner trailing behind them, set up a table in front of the student union with pics of skydiving on a poster on the front of the table, co-host a happy hour with a local bar, or just email all of the presidents of other organizations (including frats/sororities) with information on your club.
    Fund raising would predominately be through your membership fees or referral fees. But, you could always purchase t-shirts or stickers, etc. with your club logo on it and sell them at a reasonable cost.
    If you have any more questions, please feel free to email me at: Lgershen@umd.edu
    Blue Skies, Soft Landings,
    Lewis D-25265

    By admin, in News,

    Close Call As Perris Plane Collides With Fuel Tanker

    A jump ship at Perris airport was involved in a collision with a fuel truck on Wednesday 24 May 2017. According to official reports, the plane was in the process of landing when it hit the fuel truck, causing damage to the front and the wing of the plane. The aircraft then spun out of control, stopping just short of one of the building structures.
    Despite a hard collision with the truck, and extensive damage to the plane, there was no fuel leakage from the truck after the incident.
    Only minor injuries were reported by one of the two individuals on board, both of whom declined any medical treatment at the scene. The situation could have been different had the fuel tanker leaked, or had the plane been going any faster.
    The 1976 de Havilland “Twin Otter” DHC-6 suffered severe damage to both the right wing and the nose of the aircraft. It wasn't immediately clear whether the aircraft was being rented by the dropzone or whether it is owned by Perris.
    After the series of plane crashes in the past 2 years, this incident will go down as a best case scenario, with no fatalities or severe injuries.
    The information as to exactly what happened to cause the plane to collide with the tanker wasn't immediately published, and would likely warrant an investigation prior to any public information being released.

    By admin, in News,

    Skydiver Wins Lawsuit Against Teammate

    CALGARY, June 26 (Reuters) - A Canadian skydiver who was knocked out by a teammate during a jump, then plunged nearly half a mile (more than half a kilometre) to earth, was awarded C$1.1 million ($748,000) in damages by a judge who ruled the teammate was negligent.
    Gerry Dyck, an expert who had made about 1,800 jumps before the 1991 mid-air accident, sued Robert Laidlaw, charging the team member failed to take proper care to avoid the collision that caused him severe brain injuries and ended his career.
    The case raised questions about how much risk one can expect in an inherently risky sport, and included expert testimony from a veteran Hollywood stuntman known for his work in several James Bond movies.
    In his 19-page decision issued late last week, Alberta Judge Peter Power ruled Laidlaw violated well-established safety procedures by failing to keep a proper lookout for Dyck while manoeuvring his body in preparation for opening his parachute.
    "The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff which was breached by the unchecked turn into the plaintiff's air space," the judge wrote. "This act, which was foreseeable, was negligent and resulted in substantial harm being inflicted on the plaintiff."
    Dyck's injuries were severe enough to prevent the 43-year-old former surveyor from holding a job ever since.
    "The judge found that this is not a sport about people falling from the sky like flies, it's a sport that's highly regulated, that's highly controlled in terms of procedures and prescribed practices," Dyck's lawyer Greg Rodin said on Monday.
    During the trial in Calgary this spring, the judge heard the eight-person team jumped out of a plane at an altitude of 12,500 feet (3,800 metres) on May 5, 1991. The members went into formation to perform manoeuvres while free-falling above the farmland near Beiseker, Alberta, 47 miles (76 kilometres) northeast of Calgary.
    The jumpers were to perform manoeuvres until they fell to 3,500 feet (1,067 metres), then "track off," or steer away, so they could open their parachutes.
    As they opened their chutes, Laidlaw's elbow hit Dyck in the head, knocking him unconscious and causing the two men's parachutes to become tangled.
    At about 2,200 feet (670 metres), Laidlaw managed to free himself and land using his reserve chute. But Dyck, out cold, remained entangled and plummeted to earth, sustaining severe brain injuries and broken bones in his right arm.
    Laidlaw had testified that as he moved away from the centre of the formation, he lost sight of the other jumpers in his peripheral vision, indicating to him that he was sufficiently clear of his teammates.
    Testifying on behalf of Laidlaw was B.J. Worth, an expert skydiver and stuntman, who co-ordinated and performed aerial stunts for numerous motion pictures, including such James Bond films as "Tomorrow Never Dies," "Goldeneye," and "License to Kill."
    Worth's testimony did not convince the judge, however.

    Dan Downe, Laidlaw's lawyer, said he was surprised by the ruling, and was reviewing it to determine whether there were grounds for appeal.
    "We were quite confident that the trial evidence indicated that Laidlaw did not make any turn prior to collision, and he was the only eyewitness because Dyck was rendered unconscious," Downe said.
    Rodin said Dyck was pleased with the result because it proved his right to compensation after nine years, and that he believed the skydiving community would "benefit from a decision that holds jumpers accountable for their conduct in the sky."

    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/

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    World Championships in Freestyle Swooping Coming This August

    FAI Swoop Freestyle World Championships 2017 will be the first ever World Championships in the urban parachuting discipline, freestyle swooping, and it will take place in the heart of Denmark's capital, Copenhagen, August 25 and 26 2017 - making this the premiere of a whole new urban world championship settings: Taking world class air sport to the people in the middle of great cities.
    18 of the best canopy piloting athletes in the world will battle it out for the first ever world championship title in the freestyle discipline over two phenomenal days of high octane parachuting athleticism in the centre of Copenhagen. Over 100.000 spectators will be watching the event live with millions watching online and behind the screens worldwide.
    The event format is the idea of two Danish entrepreneurs and in only three years, the event has grown massively and has revolutionised the sport.

    Swooping is the new darling of parachuting and the freestyle discipline is the most spectator friendly and adrenaline seeking within human flight.The high-impact, adrenalin-fuelled discipline of Freestyle Canopy Piloting is known as Swooping, and involves parachutists flying at high-speed across a ‘Swooping Pond’ to score points based on style and execution.
    Canopy pilots jump out of a plane or helicopter in 1,500 m/5,000 feet altitude, release the canopy straight away and start to navigate towards the surface immediately. To gain great speed, they make a series of turns before reaching ground level, and right before they make contact with the surface, they straighten out and with speeds up to 150 km/90 miles per hour, they do their freestyle trick on the water surface before landing on a platform on the water right in front of the spectators.
    From local pilot project to official world championships
    With the world championship stamp from the The World Air Sports Federation, FAI, the Danish organizers have gone from an idea and a pilot project to an official world championship in only three years.
    "In the space of three years we have gone from an idea and pilot project with 10,000 spectators to an internationally recognised platform with hundreds of thousands now following live and behind screens across the globe. We have taken the sport on a journey, with the athletes now seeing themselves in a professional light and professional settings in the heart of major cities whereas they before were used to competing in small airports without spectators or media coverage. We have managed to bring the environment and talent together in a major project within the city and now with official recognition and the World Championship we are a step closer to realising our dream of a World Series," George Blythe, CEO of A. Sports, the organisers of the FAI Swoop Freestyle World Championships says.
    International federation: We could not have a better venue than Copenhagen
    "Freestyle Swooping really is one of the most exciting and dynamic air sports to watch. So it is very exciting, and my genuine pleasure, to welcome the athletes to the very first FAI Swoop Freestyle World Championships in Copenhagen. There couldn’t be a better venue than in the heart of this great city. It really is unique, and will help bring this rapidly growing sport to thousands of spectators both in the city and through the media. I would like to wish all the competitors, organisers, and volunteers a fun, safe and fair competition. I am looking forward to following this amazing event," FAI President Frits Brink said.
    "The FAI Swoop Freestyle World Championships adds another dimension to our work with sporting events. Here we are talking about an event that has been developed in Denmark and now has been appointed official world championships. That fact is a cadeau to the organisers and the partners behind," says Lars Lundov, CEO, Sport Event Denmark which partners the event.
    FAI Swoop Freestyle World Championships 2017
    Training and Swoop Night Lights Friday August 25, Qualifying and Finals Saturday August 26 2017.
    Location: Peblinge Lake, Queen Louise's Bridge, central Copenhagen.
    18 parachute pilots from 12 countries.
    It's the first swoop freestyle world championships ever in freestyle swooping (canopy piloting).

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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.



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    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.

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