This Week In Skydiving | 9/20 – 9/27

Free Fall Thailand PAC 750XL

INDUSTRY NEWS – This Week In Skydiving – 9/20-9/27

Arizona Airspeed Victorious at US Nationals

September 26th, 2017

Arizona Airspeed defended their national title from 2016 having won gold following 10 rounds of competition in the Open Class division at this years USPA National Championships hosted by Skydive Perris.

Full Results for all disciplines available at

New Law Passed Following Lodi Tandem Fatality

September 23rd, 2017

On September 23rd, the state of California passed a bill that would allow local governments and the state the ability to hold skydiving companies accountable for accidents if their instructors or employees who pack parachutes fall out of compliance with federal standards.

The bill was passed unanimously in the state’s house and senate and was proposed by Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton.

Sunpath Products

Industry news is proudly sponsored by Sun Path Products.

The USPA was opposed to the measure expressing that the law was “duplicative of federal law and potentially unenforcible.” The bill gives the California Department of Transportation authority to levy penalties in skydiving accidents.

In August of 2017, the FAA announced that no sanctions would be placed on the Lodi Parachute Center because the discrepancies found in the paperwork submitted by the tandem instructor, (Yong Kwon) could not be verified.

The bill was proposed in response to a 2016 tandem fatality (instructor and student fatality) that later showed the instructor did not have the necessary ratings to be a certified instructor.

Source: The Sacramento Bee | Aero-News Network

5 New Members Added to the Skydiving Hall of Fame

September 23rd, 2017

Hall of Fame

Chicagoland Skydiving Center was the host for this year’s induction ceremony for the Skydiving Hall of Fame. This year’s prestigious class included five members:

Richard “Buzz” Bennett, Canada

Roy C. Johnson, USA

Major General John “Jack” Singlaub, USA

Graeme Windsor, Australia

Pat Works, USA

Source: Skydiving Hall of Fame

Brand New DZ Opens in Thailand

September 22nd, 2017

FreeFall Thailand opened its doors last week boasting a beautiful facility and brand new PAC 750XL. The facility has been purpose-built for skydiving operations and has been constructed from the ground up. The runway has been paved, the landing area leveled and the hangar and operational space built from scratch. The DZ is a full-service dropzone set to welcome tandems, AFF and experienced skydivers and offers coastal, ocean views.

The DZ is located two hours southeast of Bangkok and 1.5 hours east of Pattaya. The DZO is Graeme Black.

DropZone Marketing Announces 2018 Marketing Conference

September 21, 2017

James La Barrie of DropZone Marketing announced the launch of a new industry-specific marketing conference designed for DZs and manufacturers in February of 2018. 

“My wish is to create a unique event to help DZ operators and manufacturers grow their businesses. This conference will be a mix of hands-on workshops, open discussions and the teaching of techniques that we know, work. It’s my goal to ensure that everyone who attends this conference will leave invigorated for the 2018 season equipped with great information, clarity and a solid plan. The conference will be professional in every sense with no detail too small to ensure the comfort of everyone attending.”

Courtyard Marriot Kingsley Fort Mill

On the long-term vision of the conference, La Barrie shares:

“My wish is to start this conference small with no more than 30 participants. The long-term goal is to host this event in the off year of the PIA Symposium and let it grow organically. This is the proving year and my team and I will be driven to ensure that everyone leaves us blown away by the information we’ll be presenting. I think there is a need for this in the industry. All the major skydiving associations host conferences, but the topics are wide and ranging. Our focus will be on one topic: business growth.” 

Tensions Build Between iFly and Indoor Skydive Australia Group

September 20th, 2017

On September 20th, iFLY Holdings, LLC and its subsidiary SkyVenture International, Ltd (collectively, “iFLY”) issued a written notice to Indoor Skydive Australia Group Limited and its affiliate that they are in material breach of contract between the two parties.

Indoor Skydive Australia Group Limited (ISAG) operates three iFly Vertical Wind Tunnels in Australia in Penrith (outside of Sydney), the Gold Coast (outside of Brisbane) and in Perth (Western Australia). The breach in question comes from ISAG’s published intent to develop, construct and operate vertical wind tunnels in Malaysia with equipment provided by a third-party manufacturer.


According to iFly this constitutes a material breach of the written agreement between ISAG and iFly which states that “ISAG is restricted from directly or indirectly acquiring access to VWTs (vertical wind tunnels) from other suppliers (than iFLY) during the term of the agreement and for two years thereafter.”

In return for access to proprietary iFLY systems, processes and know how, ISAG further promised not to compete with or assist others in competing with iFLY.

Source: PR Newswire

Skydiving’s Newest Book Goes on Sale

September 18, 2017

Melissa Nelson Lowe’s latest book, Charlie Bravo is now available for sale on This is the final book in the SugarCharlie Bravo Alpha Chronicles which is focused on the life of skydiving pioneer, Roger Nelson. The book’s synopsis on Amazon reads:

Roger Nelson retired from drug smuggling after the audacious and perfectly executed scam recounted in Sugar Alpha, the first part of The Sugar Alpha Chronicles. He was set financially and ready to focus on his family, and on building the best parachute center in the world. But while Roger extracted promises from the rest of his smuggling crew to retire with him, their pledges disintegrated in the deluge of cocaine cash that made reefer profits look like chump change. Several were promptly busted, exposing Roger to legal liability for his past activities that forced him to make deals with DEA and drug smugglers alike to avoid a long prison sentence. That is the world of Charlie Bravo, the second part of Roger and Melissa Nelson’s Sugar Alpha Chronicles. Sugar Alpha, the first part of the Chronicles, was a rollicking adventure tale about skydiving, reefer smuggling, loyalty and brotherhood – and pushing the limits in a dozen different ways. Charlie Bravo is a different animal. It is the story of Roger’s descent into darkness and danger and despair, where loyalty and brotherhood give way to betrayal and treachery, where political corruption and piles of Franklins poison every moment – and where Roger’s renowned self confidence and ability to solve any problem are pushed beyond even his limits. At the same time, Roger relies on skydiving to keep himself sane and, in the process, reaches new heights of innovation and accomplishment as the Sugar Alpha Chronicles reach their dramatic conclusion in Charlie Bravo.

New WR For Oldest Female Tandem Skydiver

September 18th, 2017

Irene O’Shea is the new world record holder to hold the title of oldest female skydiver! The 101-year-old made her tandem skydive at SA Skydiving in Australia with tandem instructor Jed Smith. The footage which has gone viral around the world was shot by Bryce Sellick.

Source: The Advertiser and SA Skydiving

101 Year Old Irene O'Shea

101 Year Old Irene O’Shea


Vigil America Service Center Now Open

September, 2017

AAD Manufacturer, Vigil has opened a service center in Deland, Florida offering battery replacements and general maintenance for its units. The opening comes following the hiring of Pablito Perazzoli, a well-respected rigger who has worked for some of the largest skydiving brands in the industry. Source: Blue Skies Magazine

NZ Aerosports Adds US Phone Line

September, 2017

NZ Aerosports has made it easier for their US customers to make contact with the addition of a new US phone line.

The US number is 1-844-742-2787. Customers should make calls Monday thru Friday from8:00am PST until “late.” Source: Blue Skies Magazine


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About James La Barrie

James La Barrie is passionate about marketing and changing a company's service culture. Originally from the Caribbean island of Antigua, James melds his approach of marketing and delivering elite service together as one. James has injected his 'service marketing' approach throughout his career to transform companies from good to great.

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