← Newsletter Nov./Dec. 2010

Newsletter Jan./Feb. 2011 →

Welcome to the December 2010 / January 2011 edition of my newsletter!

AXIS Flight School & Parachutist

AXIS and Parachutist have teamed up to bring new and current information to the skydiving comunity through articles and monthly "trick tip" columns. AXIS hopes to provide helpful information that will promote safety as well as performance.

Our latest publication, entitled "Thinking on your Feet" (Parachutist January 2011) addresses the sitfly position on pages 48 - 51.

Article by Niklas Daniel. Photos by Brianne Thompson.
Published in Parachutist, vol. 52, no. 1, iss. 615, Jan. 2011.

Click here or on the picture to read the article.
(note: download size app. 12 MB)

Readers Response to Article on Tracking

On page 9 of the latest Parachutist, a reader responded to an article AXIS wrote about Tracking back in September. 

The Axis "Tracking Article" was well received by the skydiving community. So well in fact that Air Press, a Brazilian skydiving magazine, contacted the USPA in order to receive permission to copy the article and images to translate into portages. 

Click here or on the picture to read the letter.

Click here to read the article on Tracking.

Photographs now available at Square 2!

My images are now available for your viewing pleasure and purchase at the local Skydive Arizona gear store, Square2. 
Images are available in a number of sizes, as well as framed, and postcards.

Square2 has a large rental and demo equipment program and a large selection of skydiving accessories (including jumpsuits, helmets, altimeters, and other skydiving clothing and paraphernalia). 

The store is located directly on the Skydive Arizona Drop Zone
(on the main boardwalk, across from the swimming pool).

Call: +1-520-466-9566 or email: info@square2az.com

Square 2

Jones Soda Photo Contest

I submitted an image to Jones Soda in the hopes that it might end up on a label.

The pictures I chose for this were the 3-way flocking dive with World Champion Freefly Team SoCal Converge (below), and a flag jump I did with Douglas Spotted Eagle (right).

The SoCal picture has already been selected as a "staff favorite". So now there is only one more hurdle to go:

Please click here or on the image below to vote!




Please click here or on the image below to vote!

Holiday Boogie

The Holiday Boogie at Skydive Arizona is an epic adventure filled with VFS sequentials, Airspeed formation loads, speed star competitions, off the hook parties, DJ’s, bands, a giant beer truck and a journey from one year into the next.







Arizona Women's FS State Record

Text by Brianne Thompson

Set back in 1978, the previous record was a 20-way. It may not sound like much, however, when you consider the fact that several of the ladies had less than 300 jumps, and a large number have never done anything bigger than a 4 way, 27 seems quiet impressive. Eliana Rodriguez (Arizona Airspeed), Sara Curtis (Arizona Arsenal) and Brianne Thompson (AXIS Flight School/ AZTC) organized the Women’s Arizona State Record. It was such a fun record because of the varying levels of experience. Besides the organizers, there were seasoned big-way jumpers and even a few Women’s Headdown Record holders!  It was a great mix of belly flyers and freefliers that made this record attempt happen. It was only going to be a 22 way. After a practice day of successful 15-way skydives, the organizers thought they would have to scramble to fill all the slots. But when registration was over on day 2, it turned out to be a 27-way! Bring it!

To order prints of the events,
please visit my online store on

Day 2

Jump 1: This first attempt was so close. The closing grip happened as the first person began to track off. It was so close to building; everyone figured the champagne would pour by the next jump.

Jump 2: The ladies had slight fall rate issues. The types of issues that happen when the participants want something so badly, that they try to do dramatic changes in order to make the formation work. At around seven thousand feet, there was a slight funnel from just outside the base.

Jump 3: The jumpers refused to have their confidence or their spirits dampened. While taxiing, the ladies in the lead Skyvan performed their own rendition of “We Will Rock You” and the ever-popular crowd-pleasing Wave. This time, most of the formation built, but unfortunately, some of the divers just simply failed to put the breaks on soon enough and went a little low- unable to get back in the formation before break off.

Jump 4: Using minor slot changes on the outside of the formation, the formation went up for jump 4. The last attempt at the record- the sunset load, so to speak. The formation exited and it didn’t just build- they owned that formation! The 27 way held for 15 seconds before break off. Even in the air, all the women knew the record was built! Smiles could be seen across the entire formation, as the women knew they set a new state record!

After the judging to make sure it was official, the women came together to watch their jump on the big screen, where shortly after, the Champagne was popped and the celebration began.

But, what made it so awesome were the attitudes and the mix of experience levels and disciplines. This record happened because of the teamwork and enthusiasm from the all of the participants. Congratulations to all the awesome ladies that contributed to the new Arizona State Record! Let’s try to shatter it again next year!




Arizona 27 Way State Record

01 Eliana Rodriguez 4/30/2011 [117737]
02 Brianne Thompson 11/30/2011 [164424]
03 Sara Curtis 4/30/2011 [159327]
04 Emily MacDonald 7/31/2011 [242873]
05 Shannon Sweeney 11/30/2011 [208554]
06 Katherine Groschwitz 11/30/2011 [220186]
07 Amy Benton 9/30/2011 [219350]
08 Patricia Rhodes 11/30/2011 [220843]
09 Loraine Clark 5/31/2011 [35650]
10 Rebekah Leftwich 2/28/2011 [230033]
11 Karen Jehle 4/30/2011 [207357]
12 Carmen Villamil 8/31/2011 [201029]
13 Jennifer Sharp 6/30/2011 [95031]
14 Leigh Estabrook 4/30/2011 [191173]
15 Allison Harper 8/31/2011 [203554]
16 Morgaine Charman 8/31/2011 [CSPA 13294]
17 Bekie Thompson 7/31/2011 [074764]
18 Erika Lopez 4/30/2011 [212697]
19 Kayla Miller 10/31/2011 [236600]
20 Cynthia Jardine 8/31/2012 [CSPA 890]
21 Chazi Blacksher LIFETIME [173104]
22 Diane Oelschlager 6/30/2011 [109138]
23 April Eldredge 1/31/2011 [159468]
24 Olimpia Estera Patej 7/12/2011 [PL-19724-PJ-09]
25 Francisca Elena Molnar 6/30/2011 [APF/FAI 353455]
26 Samantha Schwann 2/28/2011 [213725]
27 Christine Kelley 10/31/2011 [173918]

Also featured on the Cypres Blog and PD Blog

Collegiate Championships

The National Collegiate Parachuting League was formed in 1961 and has hosted competitions at various locations in the U.S. ever since.

USPA conducts the National Collegiate Parachuting Championships to promote learning, safety, competition, sportsmanship, and camaraderie among college skydivers. 

A West Point Military Cadet landing on an accuracy tuffet at Skydive Arizona.

The collegiates provide a great way for college students, generally limited for funding, to compete in skydiving, and many continue on as competitors after graduation.

Ball Jump

Skydive AZ School

VFS Team Arizona Drive

For the 2011 season I will be joining open VFS team 
Arizona Drive as the point flyer.

Brandon Atwood 
Keith Fournier 
Mike 'Friday' Friedman 
Niklas Daniel 
Jon 'Tex' Walker (Video)
Sara Curtis (Alternate)

Arizona Drive

20 Years of Cypres

2011 will mark the 20th year that CYPRES has saved lives all over the world, this calls for something special!






20 Years of Cypres

20 Years of Cypres

Blue Skies Images

Here are some images that were published on the Blue Skies Magazine website in conjunction with articles.

Please click on images to view the articles.


Blue Skies Magazine

January 2011, Issue 16,
pg. 4, 24, and 31


January 2011, Issue 615,
(vol. 52, no. 1),
pg. 9 (letter about Tracking article), 42, and 48-51 (AXIS Sitfly article)

90 Percent

nr. 1, year 7, pg. 3

ParaMag (France)

Nov. 2010, pg. 34

Upcoming Events

1/7/2010 – 1/23/2011: Canadian Invasion Eloy, AZ.
1/28/2011 – 1/30/2011: XRW Training with Barry Holubeck Eloy, AZ.
2/12/2011 – 2/13/2011: Valentines 4-way Money Meet Eloy, AZ.
2/19/2011 – 2/20/2011: Valentines Freefly Money Meet Eloy, AZ.

Pictures and videos by Niklas Daniel if not otherwise stated.

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