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Traveling Circus

I have to admit I’m having a lot of fun traveling to different dropzones, meeting new people, jumping new places, spreading the craziness!

Last weekend a few of us dropped in on Skydive Long Island’s casa boogie, did I mention casa? The staff was great, huge landing area, and everyone was very inviting. They had a king air, caravan, casa, helo and beach jumps! I absolutley LOVED the beach jump, definitely have to do more of those!! The view at sunset jumping out of a casa lining up along a stretch of beach with atlantic ocean as far as the eye could see, the smell of the air, the ladies on the watch tower I buzzed on final, the sand castle I decided not to land on, the sand I shook out of every nook and cranny. Yup that’s one for the memory banks.

There was an incredible pig roast Saturday night with plentiful amounts of food and free beer, ice luge, DJ and tunes all night, with some fire dancing mixed in…. even the fire extinguisher couldn’t keep them down hehe

We discovered that Erica’s freefall speed in a sit matches our belly speeds as we hooked up in a round looked over and she’s holding a sit hahahahahahah

There was a 31-way bigway doing jumps out of the casa, heads up in the landing area! The crowd really enjoyed watching them in freefall and scatter like ants at breakoff.

Oh and there’s a pretty good horse nearby too 😉

This weekend wingsuiters invaded Skydive Cross Keys, we had such a great weekend of flying. If you couldn’t make it out I’m sorry, you missed some excellent times

Perfectly Good Canopy

Hearing about another canopy collision resulting in a fatality saddens me :( Far too many of our friends in the sky are snatched away while under a perfectly good canopy. We all must do a better job of preventing canopy collisions.

Knowledge and training are some of your best defenses. If your dropzone offers canopy courses, take advantage of them! If you have never taken one please do, regardless of how many jumps you have or how badass you think you are. You might learn more about that wing above your head, you might gain that confidence you were lacking under canopy, you might learn that some things you thought you knew were completely wrong. Only good can come out of it for you and everyone in the air with you.

If your dropzone doesn’t offer canopy courses there are courses available from outfits like Flight-1. Talk with your dropzone staff to see if there is interest in organizing a course.

When was the last time you rear riser stalled your canopy?

How much toggle input does it take to stall your canopy?

How would you make it back from a long spot up/down wind?

Could you put your canopy down in a small backyard if you had to?

How do you obtain and maintain horizontal and vertical canopy separation?

Obstacle avoidance… is a quick level flat turn second nature?

There is no shame in admitting you might not know the best answers, but if you have any doubts or are feeling unsure about your canopy skills please seek out information from your coaches, instructors, s&ta’s. They are great resources, make use of them.

I had the opportunity to take Ian Drennan’s Flight-1 course again at Skydive Pepperell recently, and it was well worth it. It was a great refresher from last time, and was fun finding out that my joy of canopy stalls from last year was spreading :)

Pepperell’s Boogie is coming up, so let’s start off the Safety Tips with canopy control, here’s some great reading from Take Back the Sky.

Be safe!

I’m reminded I’m not dreaming

Picture in your mind one of your skydives that stands out amongst all the rest, that took you to a place of pure euphoria, that swept away everything that was on your mind, perhaps a “perfect jump”. Maybe it was a big way event, a record setting jump, a wingsuit rodeo, a kiss pass, that crazy miniskirt jump, or just a memorable solo flight. Now try putting into words the feelings you had…

As I finish my flare and my feet touch down on the ground below I’m reminded I’m not dreaming. I lay backwards into the soft grass, toggles in hand, look up… unable to find the words…

Stacks of puffies from 16k to pull, bliss!

Touchy-feely? Deal with it suckers! Why do I skydive? Is wingsuiting fun? I think you know my answers. I think anyone who has ever been within a half mile of Lurch landing knows his answers also :) Skydives like that are the refreshers of my soul, I wish everyone could experience a fraction of the joy us lucky few who play in the skies get to experience.

Getting Published and New Gallery

I have shot a lot of ground photography of skydiving and skydiving related shenanigans but I had never sought out to get published or sell my work. It started as a fun way to capture the moments to share with others, and what skydiver doesn’t like to get their picture taken??? Setup anywhere on the field with my lens in hand and the peas seem to suddenly move as I caught the eye of incoming canopy pilots. Great fun!

City Living Magazine featured Skydive Pepperell in their Summer 2010 issue and I was more than happy to provide some pictures! You’ll find them in the table of contents and on page 23. Yes, yes, I can hear it already… BEER!! My first published pictures :)

People from time to time have asked if they could buy prints from me and I’ve never been setup to either print high quality prints myself or offer an ordering system online. Well to that end I have made the switch from Flickr to SmugMug. I invite you all to browse through the new gallery at http://gallery.flyingchipmunk.com If you find a shot of yourself that you like you can purchase a huge array of print sizes/products right from the gallery.

I’ll keep the existing Flickr gallery online until Sept 4th, 2010 when the account is set to expire.

Blue Skies!

New & Updated Skydiving Sites

Do you know what the differences are between the T/R/S/X-Bird wingsuits? Thanks to their newly launched TonySuit Wingsuits site you can get all the details with some great pictures. It is a very welcome update from their main site that didn’t have much information about the new line of wingsuits. Be sure to check out the gallery, and the headless escape sleeves… love that picture :) Take a gander at the site, some great information and explanations of all the different features of the wingsuits.

A new venture I recently learned about Skydive TV has posted their first episode online, congrats! It was great to watch as I wasn’t able to attend the Skydive Expo in DeLand, and they have some neat coverage and interviews from the Expo. Thanks for the efforts of spreading news and coverage, I hope the project takes off and continues to build momentum. I think it’s a great idea, anything that helps promote the sport! Could also be a great potential for dropzones and events to help spread the word about what’s going on in their little corner of the world.

And of course I have to mention the newly renovated Skydive Pepperell site that Darin and I just launched! All the feedback we’ve gotten so far is very positive, I’m glad everyone enjoys it! We’ve put a lot of work into it, and I think it was worth it :) There’s some cool features already online, and we’ve got plans on expanding on what’s there and continuing to make it even better. Take a look around if you haven’t had the pleasure of checking it out yet. We’ve got a new calendar online that you can subscribe to keep up to date, a nifty spotting calculator that generates exit and open spots based on forecast data all automatically.

What new or updated sites have you found out there? Give a shout…