Archive for Author Linda Miller

CPI Sponsors Shuttle Service from Marriott to DZ during our weekend celebration

Connecticut Parachutists Inc. (CPI) is proud to sponsor shuttle service between our host hotel, the Hartford/Windsor Airport Marriott and the CPI drop zone during our Weekend Celebration!

Shuttle vans will leave the Marriott to the DZ every 30 minutes from 9 – 11 am Friday morning and from 6:30 – 9 p.m. Friday evening.  On Saturday, the shuttle will run between the hours of 8 – 11 am and 3 – 5 pm in the afternoon.  Space is limited and it is first come, first serve.  Please meet in the hotel lobby.

Early Bird Registration & Pioneers Lounge Open Thursday during Weekend Celebration

Our Weekend Celebration is almost here!  Join us in the Pope Valley sponsored Pioneers Lounge (directly adjacent to the hotel lobby in the Hartford/Windsor Marriott) for a cocktail or two to catch up with old friends and make new ones beginning Thursday, October 1, at 4 p.m.  Each night, the lounge will be open after event activities end for meeting and greeting (check the event program book for specific times.)  And while you are there, stop at the registration area and pick up your weekend name badge and goodie bag to avoid crowds at the DZ.


The Hall of Fame had a unique opportunity this last month to put on an aerial demonstration never before witnessed at EAA Oshkosh.  The largest airshow in the world invited the Hall of Fame skydivers to demonstrate their attempts at a world record sequential mega-formation over its skies in Oshkosh, Wisconsin for the 2015 airshow.  The team was invited to make three high altitude jumps, two on July 22 and one on July 24th.  The Eagles Over Oshkosh team was born.

On July 22, 2015, the team made a spectacular three point skydive on its first record attempt over EAA Oshkosh.  Unfortunately, there was a mis-grip on the 2nd point and the FAI judges couldn’t award a world record.  However, the Hall of Fame Eagles Over Oshkosh skydivers did set a new Wisconsin State large formation skydiving formation with 108 of the world’s best skydivers from 15 nations and 23 states represented. The previous state record was a 30-way formation set in 2011.

EaglesOshkosh'15_108-wayP1_byAndreyVeselov (00000002) EaglesOshkosh'15_108-wayP2_byAndreyVeselovEaglesOshkosh'15_108-wayP3_byAndreyVeselov





Through this exposure at EAA Oshkosh, the Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame was able to broadcast its world-class activities to hundreds of thousands of aviation enthusiast.  Nancy Kemble, the Museum Administrator, diligently “womanned” a booth in one of the exhibition halls, helping to boost attention for the museum as well as the Eagles Over Oshkosh skydives.

President/CEO of the Skydiving Museum Board of Trustees, James F Curtis III and Museum trustee Dana Engelstad, along with Gulcin Gilbert and Jimbob Slocum, presented the world of skydiving at three forums at EAA Oshkosh – which included “Being on the 400-way World Skydive Record” and “Pioneers of Skydiving.”

HISTORY OF THE TEAM How did all this come about, you might ask?  It’s a story worth noting.  Jim McCormick, an avid big-way skydiver, introduced himself to the person sitting next to him on a flight several months ago.  This person happened to be the Air Show Director for the EAA Oshkosh airshow.  The two got to talking and came up with a plan.  Jim got together with world-renowned big-way Dive Director, BJ Worth.  Enlisting the help of TJ Hine, Roger Ponce de Leon and Louis Tommaso, who had been planning a record attempt previously during this time frame, the Eagles Over Oshkosh team took its first tangible steps forward.


It was an incredibly challenging event to undertake, as it would occur in two locations.  The team would practice and hopefully make records at Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, IL, and then bus the entire team 200 miles to Oshkosh, WI for the three demonstration/record jumps to be made there.  There was exceptional sponsorship from Skydive Chicago, a few major members of the skydiving industry and one avid skydiving enthusiast, to pick up some of the extra costs involved.

Fifteen practice jumps were made over Skydive Chicago under mostly clear skies.  The first jump over EAA Oshkosh, the one with the most pressure – the location being entirely new, was the most successful.  They were one-tenth of a second away from a world record. The team completed each point perfectly but there was an “interim move” between each point, where all grips had to be broken as depicted in the diagram given to the judges before the jump.  In one of the formation’s sectors, one of the grips was taken one-tenth of a second too soon and the required separation was not shown. BJ Worth was quoted as saying; “the sequential big-way records are proving to be quite a challenge because of the difficulty in seeing all the grips before the next point is sequenced.  But if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.”

The second jump was marred by a rainy overcast sky with a ceiling of about six thousand feet, so the Eagles Over Oshkosh performed an amazing demonstration of 112 skydivers doing hop ‘n pops, thrilling the crowd.  The last jump on Friday had the team negotiating a later time in the airshow lineup for better weather.  EAA and the FAA bent over backwards to make that happen and the team got full altitude, about 21,000 feet.  Unfortunately, as has happened on several of these challenging sequential big-way records, two jumpers weren’t quite on the same page and the world record alluded the team.

Jim McCormick, the man who brought the team to Oshkosh had this to say:  “This event, large-way skydiving, has never been part of the EAA Oshkosh airshow before and the Eagles Over Oshkosh are very proud to have been able to showcase our sport for this special group of aviators and aviation enthusiasts in a safe and exciting manner.  I had a person come up to me, after I landed, and was talking to folks on the show line, who said that it was one of the coolest things he’d ever seen and he’d been to Oshkosh regularly for many years.”


The team, had an impressive lineup of Captains consisting of Roger Ponce, Lou Tommaso and TJ Hine for the base 44-way center, plus Fernando Gallegos (Peru), Alia Veselova (Russia), Jim McCormick (USA), Lise Nansen (Norway) and BJ Worth, Larry Henderson, BK Krause, Mike Johnston (USA) as “action team” captains.  The “action team” skydivers were on the outside and would be making the planned 3-6 sequential moves.  There was an Alpha Team (replacement bench) and half of that team ended up on the record formation doing an outstanding job.

The group was supported by five brilliant pilots and a team of packers from Skydive Chicago. A fabulous team of aerial cinematographers: Andrey Veselov – Camera team captain, Norman Kent, Brian Festi, Charles Lane and Jim Baker on the ground, provided the team and judges with spectacular still photographs and video.  Chief Judge Marylou Laughlin, along with International FAI Judges Jim Rees and Randy Connell, reviewed each dive and scored it accordingly.  Media director Gulcin Gilbert was able to provide these images and daily updates to an eager EAA, national and international press.


Photos and video may be viewed on this site, at and the Eagles Over Oshkosh Facebook site at

Some of the media stories generated by the event can be seen at:

Early stories:  

Stories during the event:–2#/story

International stories:

Skydiving publications:


Skydiving Museum to Host Booth at EAA Oshkosh Airshow

oshkoshStop by and visit us at Booth #4053 – Hangar D.

The Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame will be hosting a booth at this year’s EAA AirVenture Oshkosh airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, July 20 – 26, 2015. Stop by to say hello, make a donation, and get updates on all of the museum’s activities.

And, witness a world record attempt when, on July 22 and 24, a team of 108 skydivers called the Hall of Fame Eagles is scheduled to jump from 20,000 feet above the largest airshow in the U.S. for 30,000 spectators.

Make Oshkosh your summer destination and experience the world’s greatest aviation celebration!

Spring Summer Newsletter is Here!

Our 2015 Spring Summer newsletter is now online! The newsletter includes a listing of all 2014 donors. The expanded newsletter also includes a four-page insert about our 2015 Hall of Fame Weekend Celebration Event being held October 1 – 4 at CPI, Connecticut. Registration online will be available soon.

Skydiving Museum Spring Summer 2015 newsletter PDF

If you are not on our mailing list to receive a copy of the newsletter via mail, click here and sign up now!


New SCR Award

You are Invited to Witness History in the Making: The Bob Buquor Memorial Star Crest Recipient Awards (SCR) are Rolling Out our New 9th SCR Award! RECORD ATTEMPT 8 MAN SPEED STAR – H.A.L.O. HIGH ALTITUDE LOW OPENING w/Outside Video! FAI Judges will be on site! A category of this magnitude doesn’t even exist yet! If this can be pulled off this may become a WORLD RECORD QUALIFIER!! Luke Short will petition this new category to be opened!!! This will be EPIC! The USPA will give us a full spread article in Parachutist once they qualify the jump!! The record attempt will commence in the early morning on May 30th. The judges will make the announcement in the afternoon. Below is the skydiving team attempting the SCR HALO Award: Luke Short ~ Captain SCR # 15041 VSCR #135 Beth Johnson SCR #15131 Brandon “McG” McLaughlin SCS #8325 Kevin “Loco” Miller Anthony Levay Matt Brown Scott DeLong Mark Fassler

Honorable mention to the pioneers of the 1st 8~Man Star: 1. SCR #1 Gary Young 2. SCR #2 Al Paradowski 3. SCR #3 Bill Newell 4. SCR #4 Mitch Poteet 5. SCR #5 Bill Stage 6. SCR #6 Jim Dann 7. SCR #7 Don Henderson 8. SCR #8 Brian Williams.

In 2012 the SCR Awards were honored at the Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame Celebration Event at Skydive Arizona in Eloy, AZ. Rachel Newel (daughter of Bill Newell, RIP) took over the Star Crest Skydiving Awards when Bill passed away in 2012. Bill was the founder and administrator of the SCR awards for over 45 years.

Skydance Skydiving (Davis, CA) 24390 Aviation Ave, Davis, California 95616


PBS program on skydiving features Hall of Fame

Rocky Mountain Adventure Quest, a nonprofit company, recently filmed a half hour educational adventure focusing on skydiving for a show called, “Hittin’ the Road” which airs on Rocky Mountain PBS. Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame Board of Trustees President/CEO, James F. Curtis III, had the opportunity to speak with the show’s producer and share information about our museum.

The episode includes an interview with Kim Emmons Knor who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013. You will see Kim is wearing her Hall of Fame blazer and also shared her Hall of Fame plaque.

PBS says they have gotten more hits on this episode than any others so far.

eMuseum Encyclopedia: Skydiving’s History WIKI Online

An online databank exploring the use of parachutes, beginning with the earliest attempts to slow a man’s descent from high places, is under construction at More than 850 separate articles have been uploaded to The Encyclopedia of All Things Skydiving website, and more are added every week. The website is a publicly searchable research tool that will serve future generations of aviation enthusiasts who have an historical interest in parachutes and the people who use them for sport.

Preview and testing began in January when the link was publicized on social media and news outlets frequented by the skydiving community. To date, the site has been viewed by more than 40,000 people representing 50 countries. A membership function and collaborative “wiki” software enables visitors to comment, add new articles, correct inaccuracies and otherwise participate in building a valuable and accessible archive of sport parachuting’s collective history.

The site’s content includes technical articles, anecdotes, pictures, reminisces and biographies of the sport’s notables, past and present. Articles are collected, organized and posted under the supervision of Madden (Pat) Works, longtime skydiving author, and website administrator Mary Todd. They intend to grow the scope of the project by encouraging others with an interest in skydiving—parachute equipment designers, enthusiasts of the sport’s many disciplines, aerial photographers, jump pilots, etc.—to add informed content in their areas of specialty. All new content, corrections and suggestions submitted for consideration are reviewed and approved before they are added to the website.

Military parachuting is a currently popular category, as are personal profiles on some of the sport’s leading personalities written by authors Brian Giboney (for Parachutist Magazine) and Robin Heid (for the now-defunct Skydiving Magazine.)

The Encyclopedia of All Things Skydiving is a personal project initiated by Pat Works (USPA D-1813), who, as a pro bono advisor to the Skydiving Museum’s Board of Trustees, has written on a broad range of topics that tell the history of parachutes and sport skydiving. The WIKI site also has a link to the Skydiving Museum’s “eMuseum” function that enumerates the collection of artifacts, documents and other “in-kind” donations from skydivers around the world. eMuseum listings represent what could be displayed when the Skydiving Museum achieves funding sufficient to open the doors at a physical location.

The eMuseum database and moderated wiki, along with an “old-timers” video interview project that currently exists on the Eternal Friends of Skydiving’s YouTube channel, are projects of the Museum’s Accessions and Curatorial Committee under the direction of trustee and curator Dan Poynter.

Wiki Website Terms of Use

Website content authored by Works adheres to the standards of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 international license governing the sharing of open data. Articles can be freely copied, altered and shared as long as the user credits the original source and also distributes it under Creative Commons license conditions. Creative Commons standards apply to many online “blogs”, scholarly research and online information sources; examples include Wikipedia and ProPublica.


CONGRATULATIONS to our STARWall raffle winner…

New logo STARWall 2013a (1000)CONGRATULATIONS to Tony Uragallo of Zephyrhills, Florida who is the winner of our STARWall (Skydiver Tribute and Recognition Wall) raffle held at the 2015 PIA Symposium this past week in Daytona Beach! Tony will receive a STARWall brick that will forever become a part of the Skydiving Museum.  The bricks are normally sold for $1,000!

You can get your STARWall brick and memorialize or honor a loved one or have your own name become a permanent part of skydiving history with a brick engraved with your personal message.  Click on “Donate” and “Skydiver Tribute and Recognition Wall” for more information.




Skydiving Museum to Co-Locate in North Orlando

The Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame is pleased to announce it is collaborating with Skyventure iFly to co-locate the Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame with a 16-foot iFly wind tunnel in North Orlando, Florida.  The museum is currently working with a leading design firm to combine building space and functions and iFly is actively searching for a suitable piece of property as a venue for the combined facility.  The co-venture is expected to open its doors in 2018.

The name on the building will be “Skydive Experience.”  The museum will not be a traditional static museum… there will be displays featuring the evolution of gear over the years but even they will have an interactive component.  Most displays will be interactive and many will immerse visitors in a dynamic skydiving experience through virtual reality simulators and other high-tech wizardry.  The heroes of the sport, who have been inducted into the museum’s Hall of Fame, will be touted through a touch screen technology exhibit.  Conceptually, the goal is to make the museum an entertaining and enjoyable experience as well as an informative one.

James F. (Curt) Curtis III, President/CEO of the Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame Board of Trustees, made the announcement at the USPA Board of Director’s meeting and the PIA Symposium in Daytona Beach earlier this month.  According to Curtis, “the perfect location for our museum is in North Orlando.  We are in close proximity to DeLand, one of the finest skydiving centers in the country, and many other DZ’s are nearby.  Orlando is one of the largest tourist destinations in the world which gives us an extensive age group of the public to share our sport.”

The museum also plans to open its doors to outside groups for educational experiences and after-hours receptions.

“It was the dream of Bill Ottley, a pioneer in the skydiving community, to build a museum dedicated to capturing and preserving the history of skydiving,” added Curtis.   “In 2005, when Bill Ottley went to the blue skies forever, he left a sizable bequest to make the dream a reality.  We are ecstatic to be able to make Bill’s dream into a grand reality.”

Updates on the museum’s progress will be posted as they become available.

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