The 21st FAI World Formation Skydiving Championships

2014WPCProstejovCzechRepublicEvery two years some of the best skydivers in the world FAI-Federation-Aeronautique-Internationale-logoconverge on one spot to compete for the coveted title of World Champion in their discipline. From August 25th to the 31st, Prostejov a city in the Czech Republic, played host to the FAI event. USA VFS Team Arizona Arsenal attended the 2014 World Meet, having qualified a year earlier at the 2013 USPA Nationals – see scores.

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Left to right: Sara Curtis, Brandon Atwood (Camera), Niklas Daniel, Ty Losey, Steve Curtis

Eight teams competed in the 4-way VFS category: Canada (Evolution), France (Team 4Speed), United States (Arizona Arsenal), Australia (The Addicted), Belgium (Element), Great Britain (QFX), Russia, and Switzerland (Avalon).

The aircraft chosen for the event was the LET 410, a Czech manufactured plane mostly used for passenger transport. Unfortunately this plane is not permitted to operate in the United States, so this made training for the exits a challenge.

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Omniskore ScoresScreen Shot 2014-09-16 at 3.31.50 PM Source: Omniskore.com

SkydiveMag: World Championships 2014 Part Eleven

NSL: Did you know that Arizona Arsenal won world meet silver with a team record average?

 

Burning Parachutes with Jim

In May I posted a picture on my website that got people wondering how it was done.

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Jim Hickey visited Skydive Arizona a number of times in order to burn some parachutes.

Follow the link to view a short interview with Jim about his experience: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CvV0w2IdYc&feature=youtu.be

Here is some of the compiled Video Footage – edited by Joe Jennings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQippJLNDF4&feature=youtu.be

Jim came back in early August for a second attempt – this time at night. Steve Curtis and I joined him, successfully burning three parachutes in one go. Here are a couple of screen grabs form a GoPro that was attached to my knee. Some of the footage will be incorporated in a compilation video and uploaded to the AXIS YouTube Channel very soon.

Canopy Burn Screen Grab Canopy Burn Screen Grab 2

 

vex 13 000 – skydive art

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Combining elements of skydiving and art into one project revolving around time and the transformation of self: continuously moving beyond the cycle of fear, letting go of inhibitions, and falling into the unknown vision.
Limited edition screen prints available for purchase at http://www.vexedart.com/store.html
Find out more at http://www.vexedart.com.html
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OEW Canopy Choice

 Originally posted on the Performance Designs Blog.

Joe Grabianowski in Freefall

Operation Enduring Warrior – Skydive is a non-profit organization that works to empower wounded veterans by helping them to achieve Extreme Goals. Operation Enduring Warrior has seen a number of inspiring veterans welcomed into our sport and skydiving family. Most of us have seen the inspiring images of Todd Love and other wounded warriors that have gone through AFF training and continued to become licensed skydivers. Axis Flight School has been a big part of this training, and has helped these wounded warriors to fulfill their personal goals of becoming licensed skydivers. We sat down with lead FS coach for Axis, Brianne Thompson, to better understand the challenge of choosing the appropriate canopy for these new skydivers.

“As with all things, there is a learning process. We take our best educated guess, try it, then assess the next best course of action. In some cases, you wing it. In the case of the Spectre 170, when it was first sent to us for Todd Love, I was a little bit concerned that it would be too small. I was expecting a Navigator 200. I tend to be on the conservative side of things, and putting a student, regardless of their size or body shape, on something below a 200 seemed a bit out there. Granted, it was a complete emotional response; I had no scientific evidence of that being bad, just that “we’d never done that before”. Dangerous words, to be sure. So, when the Spectre 170 came I was a bit skeptical, but Nik felt confident that it would be awesome. He did a test jump and we agreed that shorter brake line length would be critical in order to preserve the arms and hands of Todd. We needed the canopy to flare at or above his belly button, rather than past his hips. Once the brake lines were shortened, we were ready to go. Todd did his first couple landings with the confidence of someone who had done that before, and as someone constantly trying to learn their canopy. It was actually pretty exciting to watch.

Spread in Parachutist

The landings were soft and forgiving, but the power of the Spectre had yet to reveal itself. After several jumps, Nik figured it would be time to follow Todd under canopy in order to get some pics. Nik jumped the Pulse 190, thinking that that had more glide and size than the Storm and he would be all set. What was amazing was that because of Todd’s lack of legs, it affected how he hung in the harness and it directly affected the glide of the canopy.

Todd Love on Spectre 170

Todd sat in the harness much like a paraglider pilot: he reclined in the harness. With the combination of the recline, and the lack of drag on his legs, the Spectre had more glide than the Pulse! A surprising amount more.

The Spectre’s powerful, yet forgivable flare was the other big keeper. The Spectre allowed the students to correct mid-flare, rather than having to commit to the process and hope for the best. We all want soft landings for our students, but we must confess, it seemed even more critical for these students because Todd and Joe had no landing gear. Their landing gear is their seat/tailbone and spine. The Spectre offers a flare that allows the student to adjust and correct, mid-flare, with good response from the canopy, yet without an adverse affect. As the students grow and evolve, it will be important for them to try other canopies. Their canopy skills will evolve just like their freefall skills, and it will be important for us to foster those changes. But, during the learning process, the Spectre seems to be the most forgiving canopy for the wing loading and body style that these students have.”

Contact:

Brianne Thompson
AXIS Flight School
4900 N. Taylor St.
Eloy, AZ 85131 USA
520-466-4200
Info@AXISFlightSchool.com
AXISFlightSchool.com

Photos by Mike McGowan