Down for 50

Annette O’Neil and Joel Strickland made their skydive jump over Arizona, performing an incredible air dance before pulling their chutes. They also completed jumps in New Mexico, are currently headed to Nevada, and eventually, they plan on making skydives in all 50 states (even Alaska and Hawaii) over the next six months, making it the first time the challenge has been completed in one fell swoop.

But they’re not just making these jumps to set a record, they’re also raising money for Operation Enduring Warrior (OEW). The organization’s goal is to honor, empower, and motivate wounded vets. To tell us more, Annette and Joel joined our RTM hosts in the studio, along with Brianne Thompson from Axis Flight School, who partners with OEW to teach veterans to skydive.

If you’d like to know more or donate, please head over to DownFor50.org

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2017 USPA National Championships

uspa-nationals-logoThe 2017 USPA Nationals were held at Skydive Perris, CA. AXIS Flight School members Brianne Thompson and Niklas Daniel entered three separate events: VFS open, MFS open, and Speed.

In the 4-way VFS category there were 3 teams in open, and 4 in advanced. After completing close to 400 training jumps at Skydive Arizona, and spending about 30 hours in the Skyventure Arizona wind tunnel, the team finished 3rd with a competition average of 14.20.

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Left to right: Johnny Gunn, Seth Studer, Keith Fournier, Brianne Thompson, Niklas Daniel

VFS Competition draw, recreated using the AXIS draw generator:

VFS

(VFS team Arizona X-FORCE by David Wybenga)

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In the MFS category there were 6 teams in open, and 8 in advanced. This is the first time AXIS competed in MFS at the USPA nationals. Without having trained this year, the team walked away with a 12 point average and a 4th place finish.

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Left to right: Brianne Thompson, Keith Fournier (video), Niklas Daniel

MFS Competition draw, recreated using the AXIS draw generator:

MFS

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The speed category had its largest USA turn out ever, with 15 competitors on the roster. Though speed is not an official USPA event, it is a FAI recognized world event. Therefore the discipline is still considered a “test event” in the states, because past participation has been very low. However, this competition was a qualifier for the World Championships that will take place next year at Australia’s Gold Coast.

Brianne Thompson ended up collecting 3 records as the fastest female in several competitionUSPA_Speed_2nd_Mcategories: State (CA), Nationals (USA), and Continental (North America). Flying at 347.05km/h, approximately 216mph, in round 2. Nik’s best round was his first, with a speed of 447.32km/h (approximately 278mph).

Congratulations to all participants, and a big thank you to all our sponsors for their continued support!