OEW Skydive student Jonathon Blank receives USPA A-License

We would like to congratulate Jonathon on receiving his USPA A-License. Over the course of several visits, Jonathon has trained with AXIS Flight School at Skydive Arizona. He has been on a custom training program to meet all the USPA standards and we are very proud of him and his success.

Jonathon sporting the traditional USPA A-License stamp on his forehead with his instructors Brianne and Nik. Photo by Steve.

1st Swoop Du Jour Canopy Piloting Competition at Skydive Arizona

On February 18th, Skydive Arizona held its first local Swoop Du Jour canopy piloting competition.

M’m! M’ m! Good!

An informal Canopy Piloting competition where the main objective is for beginner pilots to learn the competition rules AND for the professionals to get practice. There were judges, prizes and soup.

The first Swoop Du Jour focus was on Zone Accuracy. Nik collecting points on the water. Photo by Jochen Althoff.
Niklas Daniel swooping the pond at Skydive AZ. Photo by Jochen Althoff

Coaching and video debriefing was provided by PD Factory Team Member Justin Price. Competitors jump the course as many times as they want and the top three scores were used to determine standings.

There was a Pro-Class and a Beginner Class. The first competition focused only on Zone Accuracy Landings. Anyone who is signed off to land at the pond can participate in the upcoming Swoop Du Jour events. Future 2022 Dates: April 15 / June 4 / August 20 / November 19 / December 17

If you have any questions about the competition, reach out to Events@skydiveaz.com

Top 3 in the Open Class. Photo by Brianne Thompson.
All participants of the 1st Swoop Du Jour Meet. Photo by Brianne Thompson.

OEW Skydive Update: Jonathon Blank

Jonathon checking out one of the Skydive Arizona otters. Photo by Niklas Daniel.

Back in September 2021, Operation Enduring Warrior (OEW Skydive) sent Jonathon to AXIS Flight School at Skydive Arizona to get them ready for their custom Accelerated Freefall (AFF) program. Over the course of three days, Jonathon trained with Brianne Thompson, Niklas Daniel, and Joost Luijsterburg, getting him through his First Jump Course (FJC), flying 15 minutes in the Skyventure Arizona wind tunnel, and completing two succesful skydives.

What follows is a pictoral of Jonathon’s progress.

Jonathon learns how to react to various parachute malfunctions using a training harness and que cards.
Rehearsing emergency cutaway proceedures using a training harness.
Brianne Thompson working with Jonathon in the wind tunnel. Photo by Niklas Daniel.
Special made custom rig and tunnel cover by United Parachute Technologies (UPT). Photo by Niklas Daniel.
Jonathon and Brianne after checking out the otter. Photo by Niklas Daniel.
Rehearsing the exit and jump plan at a mock up. Photo by MURV.
Jonathon exits the aircraft with AXIS Instructors Brianne Thompson and Niklas Daniel. Photo by Joost Luijsterburg.
Looking good!
Jonathon checking his altimeter after a series of practice touches. Photo by Joost Luijsterburg.
Deployment. Photo by Joost Luijsterburg.
A picture perfect landing. Photo by Joost Luijsterburg.
Photo by Joost Luijsterburg.
The gang heading out on Jonathon’s AFF Level 2. Photo by MURV.

Unfortunately we got weathered out by strong winds and were unable to continue jumping.

Current conditions from the AXIS weather station.

We look forward to flying with Jonathon again in early March, completeing his A-Licesene and beyond.

Jonathon Blank is a former USMC Staff Sergeant injured by an IED while deployed to Afghanistan.

2021 Chicks Rock Boogie recap

On September 30th – October 3rd, Skydive Elsinore hosted its annual Chicks Rock Boogie. 2021 marked the event’s 20th anniversary, which had a space odyssey theme. Over the weekend Brianne and Nik of AXIS Fight School organized a variety of jumps including belly, free-fly, tracking, angle flying, canopy flocking, and even an 11-way hybrid with an orbiting wing-suiter. Jumping form Caravans, Otters, and a Skyvan, there was something for everyone. At night there were festivities, live music, and many opportunities to socialize. Brianne and Nik also participated in the night swoops event. Check out the recap video below. Looking forward to next year!

Sunset Canopy Flocking Jump by Brianne Thompson.

OEW Wind Tunnel Training 2021

Kevin and Jonathon just completed flying with AXIS Flight School at the Skyventure AZ tunnel. Having flown 3.5 hours each over the course of three days, Kevin and Jonathon are part of the January 2021 Operation Enduring Warrior Skydive class (a veteran-founded nonprofit organization). The goal of this training camp was to best prepare Kevin and Jonathon for eventual AFF and skydive training in the near future; aiming for the beginning of next year. Both excelled at learning body-flight in the tunnel and exceeded their own expectations. Before jump training can commence, there are still a few equipment hurdles that need to be taken care of. AXIS Flight School instructors Brianne and Nik feel confident that Kevin and Jonathon will take to the sky without hesitation and are happy to welcome them to the skydiving community.

During their visit, Todd Love was in town to get recurrent and jump, but unfortunately the weather did not cooperate. Todd joined the gang in the tunnel and was able to provide some valuable insights to Jonathon via demonstration, since they have a similar body compositions.

Nik, Kevin, Brianne, Todd and Jonathon in front of the Skyventure Arizona wind tunnel at Skydive Arizona.
Photo by Emily Quinn

“Echoes in Time” Parachutist 75th Anniversary Center Fold

ECHOES IN TIME by Niklas Daniel | D-28906 | At Skydive Arizona in Eloy, David Robinson poses for a photo that reflects skydiving then and now.
Readers can see more of Daniel’s work at https://niklasdaniel.photography
Photos by Brianne Thompson.

View the digial version of Parachutist’s 75th Anniversary issue.

Skydive Radio Photo of the Week Show #253!

I would like to thank Dave at Skydive Radio for making my image below their pic of the week! Skydive Radio is the world’s leading internet radio show dedicated to the sport of skydiving.  Weekly episodes include commentary, feature interviews with industry insiders, listener-contributed photos, and e-mails from an audience that spans the globe.

To watch the video of the intensional cutaways, click here.

SKYHOOK Video

Check out our latest YouTube video where we deep dive the differences between a regular RSL (reserve static line) and a Skyhook equipped RSL. Brianne interviews UPT rep/rigger Greg Rau in the AXIS Flight School studio, as well as enjoying a weekend of intensional cutaways.

Greg Rau: “In an emergency there is a lot of other things involved, and the lower you take it, you’re just buttering up your disaster cake.”

Niklas Daniel Photography