Congratulations to OEW Skydive’s latest USPA A-Licence graduate, Jonathan.
Spending 2 weeks with AXIS Flight School at Skydive Arizona, Jonathan completed is training with determination and enthusiasm. Here is a short highlight reel of his experience:
Instructors: Brianne Thompson, Niklas Daniel, Joost Luysterburg, and Murv Riggins. Special thanks to Skydive Arizona, UPT Vector, Performance Designs, Cypres, Cookie, and L&B for their support.
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
“Skydiving, as one can imagine, is dangerous enough, but try to imagine the added element of trying to capture the perfect picture, 12,000 feet up in the air. One photographer does exactly that, as a career.
“As a kid, I’ve always been pretty active, always enjoyed extreme sports, whether it was doing the skateboarding thing or riding bicycles,” said Niklas Daniel. “In this case, this was just another thing I wanted to experiment with.”
One can call Daniel a skydiving expert. To date, Daniel has made more than 10,000 jumps, and counting, and he is now known as one of the best behind the camera, at 12,000 feet.
Daniel’s love for photography began at an early age, and after falling in love with skydiving, he blended his two passions.
“The moment is very fleeting,” said Daniel. “So, if you have a shot in your head that you would like to create, it takes a lot of practice, a lot of training, also a little engineering to try and put that together.”
Daniel also described the difference between photography works that take place on terra firma, and those that take place up in the air.
“If you’re taking a photograph on the ground, depending on the subject, you maybe have the ability to take a test shot, take a look at the settings, and then be able to adjust until you get that right shot,” said Daniel. “Skydiving is more of sport photography, where they’re trying to get that perfect shot and it’s not something that you can recreate necessarily.”
Daniel said in order to be a good aerial photographer, you’d have to be a great skydiver.
“Not is it enough that I have to fly my own body or my parachute for example, but I have to be able to do that without having to think about it that much that I can now focus on the shot,” said Daniel. “In addition to that, I have to be very aware of my closing speeds with other people, the distance I’m away from them and I also have to remain altitude aware. I can’t look at my altimeter constantly, because that would ruin the shot.”
Equipment is also important. Daniel’s helmet works as his rig, and his tripod is his own body.
Over the years, Daniel has documented other people’s jumps, along with the formation of skydiving teams. He has also produced training video. Daniel said some of his favorite pictures to take are during competition with his team.
“I really enjoy the pressure of having to get a specific shot, and then being able to present that to the judges,” said Daniel. “That’s been my expertise, but I also really enjoy the off-the-wall projects, so whether someone wants to light a parachute on fire or something kind of more in that direction. Something you don’t see everyday.”
Besides doing what he loves everyday, Daniel also gets to share his passion with others who might not get the chance to. He and his wife, Brianne, support “Operation Enduring Warrior” by donating their time to help wounded veterans enter the sport of skydiving.
Skydiving, one could say, is a sport that has taken Daniel to heights he never could have imagined.” – reported by Danielle Miller of FOX 10 News
USPA recognizes its members for contributions to the sport of skydiving and to USPA.
The Regional Achievement Award is to honor an outstanding member of a USPA Region who, by their efforts over a period of time or one outstanding act, has made a significant contribution to that region’s skydiving community.
Congratulations, Brianne! And thank you for all your contributions to the sport!
View original post on Skydive Arizona website here. Interview by Melissa Lowe.
Skydive Arizona is a big drop zone with many extraordinary people from local to visiting jumpers, staff, pilots, instructors, ground crew, maintenance, manifest to teams, event organizers and load organizers!!! The Featured Friday series is aimed at getting to know the people that make Skydive Arizona work and rock!
Today, we meet a woman with a stacked resume including earning the USPA 2015 Regional Achievement Award. This woman has blazed (no pun intended) the trail continuing to inspire skydivers of all disciplines. Meet co-founder of Axis Flight School, Brianne Thompson!
You have many achievements! So many we’re just going to link your BIO HERE! Is there any achievement that stands out that you feel most proud of?
I have 2:
2) Working with the Operation Enduring Warrior Projects. It has been so cool to teach these individuals, with varying injuries, to skydive and fly their bodies with complete control. So awesome. Todd Love was our first OEW student, and we have had a handful of completely awesome students from this project after him. We have seen this project go from theoretical to happening all over the country. Many of these students working towards their B licenses and beyond. Wicked.