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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:


Hall of Fame Weekend Celebration a Success!

2014 Inductees with plaques

2014 Members of the Hall of Fame… from left, Chris Needels, Norman Heaton, Helmut Schlecht, Dan “BC” Brodsky-Chenfeld, and Jerry Bourquin.

NSM_HOF_patch_colorizedMore than 300 skydiving enthusiasts made their way to Raeford, North Carolina, the weekend of October 9th, to honor five influential members of the skydiving community as they take their place in the Skydiving Museum Hall of Fame.  This year’s inductees are Gerald “Jerry” Bourquin, Dan “BC” Brodsky-Chenfeld, Norman Heaton, Christopher J. Needels, and Helmut Schlecht. The Hall of Fame dinner, sponsored by PIA, along with an array of weekend activities at Skydive Paraclete XP, raised almost $100,000 for the museum’s building fund.

This is the fifth year the Skydiving Museum has hosted its weekend event.  In 2010, the inaugural weekend celebration was held at Skydive DeLand (FL); in 2011, the museum hosted a Hall of Fame Dinner at Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC; in 2012, the event was at Skydive Arizona followed in 2013 at Skydive Chicago.  All totaled, 35 skydiving luminaries have received their blue jackets and are now members of the Hall of Fame.   While each year’s focal point has been the induction into the Hall of Fame, each venue has helped the museum achieve its goal of raising money for the museum building fund while providing many activities for active skydivers – young and old – and avid spectators to enjoy.

2014 hall of fame curt

Board of Trustees President/CEO James F. (Curt) Curtis III

Museum president James F. Curtis III, a member of the Hall of Fame Class of 2013, served as emcee.  Among his duties included introducing a video snippet of museum honorary chairman of the board, President George H.W. Bush, who reminded everyone how important preserving our history should be to everyone and encouraged all to “get this museum built!”

Curt Curtis presents Linda Miller with the 2014 Trustees' Award.

Curt Curtis presents Linda Miller with the 2014 Trustees’ Award.

During the evening’s festivities, museum board advisor Linda Miller was honored with the prestigious Skydiving Museum Board of Trustees’ Award for “her dedication and creative enthusiasm as a board advisor and her many contributions towards bringing the museum to reality.”  President Curtis also presented a special award to chairman of the museum board, Lenny Potts, for his commitment and leadership over the last decade while serving as president. Unfortunately, Lenny could not be in attendance, so the award will be re-presented in Daytona Beach next March.

inductees and knights with batons

The Golden Knights presented the Hall of Fame inductees with batons.

Before the official induction ceremony began, the U.S. Army Parachute Team – the Golden Knights, who were the special guests for the weekend, were recognized and applauded by the crowd.  Earlier in the weekend, ten members of the current Golden Knights showed their respect to the five Hall of Fame inductees by jumping with the traditional batons, which they presented to each inductee upon landing in front of the appreciative crowd.


Team Raeford present their check.

A special surprise came when Team Raeford members (skydivers from US Teams who trained and made their home at the Raeford drop zone in the mid-70s) contributed over $12,000 to the museum building fund in honor of Dana & MK Engelstad for their enduring support of Team Raeford and the Skydiving Museum. Team Raeford was inspired to help raise awareness and funds for the museum, and, in this spirit, challenge the rest of the skydiving community to do the same.

2014 hall of fame larry and chris

Chris Needels receives his Hall of Fame plaque from presenter, Larry Bagley.

As each inductee was presented to the museum by a close friend and fellow skydiver, the honored guests came to the podium one at a time to receive their handsome blue sport blazer and memorial plaque, confirming their rightful place in our sport’s history. It was truly a magical evening and proves just how important the Skydiving Museum & Hall of Fame has become to so many in the skydiving community. (Larry Bagley left presents Chris Needels with his Hall of Fame plaque)


A special thank you to a group of sponsors who helped to make the Hall of Fame Dinner as well as all of the celebration weekend activities possible with their generous support:  PIA (Title Sponsor), Phil Chiocchio & Bob Lewis (Audio Visual), the Law Offices of Robert L. Feldman/Robert & Jeanine Feldman (Guest Giveaway Sponsor), Team Raeford (Honoree Gift Sponsor), Skydivers Resurrection Award (Inductees Dinner Sponsor), Skydive Arizona (Hall of Fame Reception Sponsor), Team Sunkist/Henry Ottley (Centerpiece Sponsor), and Dana & MK Engelstad and Kirk Knight (Golden Knights Dinner Sponsors.)

Sponsors for other activities held during the weekend included Pope Valley/James F. Curtis III & Tim Saltonstall (Pioneers Lounge), Strong Enterprises (Pioneers of Sport Parachuting Reunion Lunch Sponsor), Cypres (Name badge/Lanyard sponsor), Golden Knights Alumni Association (Golf Tournament Sponsor), Lenny Potts (Golden Knights Tribute Reception and BBQ) , Skydive Perris (Fun Four-way Scrambles Competition Sponsor), and Skydive Raeford/Skydive Paraclete XP (DZ Venue Sponsor.)  (All pictures courtesy of Sean Capogreco)

Come Join Us!

NSM_HOF_patch_colorizedOur Hall of Fame Dinner and Weekend Celebration is almost here!!!   Please see the schedule of events under the “Celebration Weekend” tab for specific times of all activities.

Seating is limited for our Hall of Fame Dinner and only a limited amount of tickets will be available on site so if you are planning on attending, please register online (click the big red button on our home page!) or contact or 540-604-9745.

Tickets for the Friday evening BBQ honoring the Golden Knights are $25 and are also available online and can be purchased onsite.

For anyone attending the dinner (we get this question a lot!)… dress is business casual.. men in dress slacks and shirt with or without a jacket and women in dress pants or a dress.

If you have additional questions, please contact Nancy Kemble at or 540-604-9745.  Hope to see you this weekend in Raeford!


Join Heroes Skydiving for an event like no other!  20-ways, 100-ways, 50-ways and then more 100-ways with great friends, amazing skydives and fun-filled evenings!  Heroes Skydiving, a group founded in 2008 that brings together skydivers for high-end challenging sequential skydives will host its annual event October 2 – 5 at Florida Skydiving Center in Lake Wales, Florida.  Proceeds from the event will go to the Skydiving Museum to support its efforts to build a museum.

The event will alternate the size of the skydives from day to day.  Day one will feature 20-ways while day two will jump right into 100-ways from 18k with O², then back down to 50 ways (also from 18k) on day three, then back up for more 100-ways on the last day.  Each day, the evening with feature celebratory dinners, beverages, and activities all included in the event fee! The event is by invitation only with inquiries going to plane captains who will make selections based on experience.


The cost for the weekend experience is $760 which covers 18 jumps, a stellar leadership team providing debriefings after each jump, HD video of each jump, pictures of the jumps, a Heroes event t-shirt and dinner and entertainment all four evenings (Wednesday – Saturday).  A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Skydiving Museum.


The leadership team of Heroes consists of organizers Louis French, Roger Ponce, and Kirk Verner; Plane Captains Jack Berke, TJ Hine, Jim McCormick, Fortson Rumble (bench captain), Derek Thomas and Joseph Wood; and Videographers Brian Festi, Norman Kent and Matt McLean.


Details and participation inquiry information as well as a weekend schedule and travel information is available at


USPA Lifetime Achievement Award winners from left: Len Potts, Chuck MacCrone, James F. "Curt" Curtis III, Larry Bagley, Patrick M. Moorehead, Clint Vincent, Chris Needels

USPA Lifetime Achievement Award recipients from left: Len Potts, Chuck MacCrone, James F. “Curt” Curtis III, Larry Bagley, Patrick M. Moorehead, Clint Vincent, Chris Needels

A long overdue CONGRATULATIONS to trustee and board secretary, Larry Bagley, as the 2013 recipient of USPA’s highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award.  The Lifetime Achievement Award is “…awarded annually to an active or retired sport parachute jumper in recognition of outstanding sportsmanship, skill or personal contribution to the sport of parachuting and the United States Parachute Association, its goals and its purposes.”

Larry served 20 years on USPA’s board of directors – a record eight as president – and 16 more as a member of the USPA staff, as well as someone who held numerous official national and international positions in the field of sport parachuting.

More than 100 friends and 20 family members, including 12 grandchildren and his veteran skydiving wife, Cindi, gathered at the winter 2014 USPA Board meeting at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas to share this special moment. USPA Executive Director Ed Scott opened the ceremony and USPA former executive director, Chris Needels, along with former recipients in attendance, all graciously recognized Larry’s lifelong service to the sport and the USPA.  USPA president, Sherry Butcher, presented Larry with the award, a beautiful engraved silver bowl.  The inscription reads, “For selfless dedication and commitment to the core values of the United States Parachute Association and the skydiving community as advocate, leader and wise counsel for nearly half a century.”

Congratulations Larry for a well-deserved honor!

Sidebar – In Memory of 2013

In memory of Cliff Schmucker
Herb and Barb Ahting

AIAA Aerodynamic Decelerator Systems Technical Committee
John Amirtharaj
David Arcaro
Dori Bachman/Para-Gear Equipment Co., Inc.
Bally Ribbon Mills
Jean Beck
Mike Beck
Beech Mennonite Church, Inc.
Blue Skies Magazine, LLC
Mr. and Mrs. Bill Booth
David and Denise Castner
Harvey and Linda Castner
Chattanooga CVB
Complete Parachute Solutions, Inc.
Curt Curtis
Tiffany Dees Moy
DeLorean Club of Ohio
DJ Associates
EJJ Publishing & Literary Services
Monica Haltrecht
HLC Industries
Jeffrey and Susan Hodge
Amanda and Annette Keefe
Robert and Karen Gates/Jump Ohio, LLC
Joe and Sherry Kittinger
Kenneth and Christine Koncelik
Lubrizol Advanced Materials
Jen Morrissey
Para Loft Inc.
Pat Thomas/Sun Path Products Inc.
Performance Designs, Inc.
Jeremy Popp
Lenny Potts
Mark Procos
Tacoma Rascona
Riggings Innovations Inc.
Rik Saylor Financial
Earl and Dorothy Schmucker
Vivian Schmucker
Ann C. Shackelford
Staff at UPT
Bevan Steward
Systems Technology, Inc.
Paul and Mary Thompson
USFS Missoula Smokejumpers
Joy Velasquez
Tianran Ye
Kara Ziegelmeyer

In memory of Jim Arender
Barbara Roquemore

In honor of Dori Bachman
Jane and Preston Beard

In memory of Lowell Bachman
Jane and Preston Beard

Ray and Jane Drexler
Paul and Mary Thompson

In memory of Jim Bates
Marjorie Bates

In memory of Jason Eisenzopf
Paige Taft

In honor of Kim Emmons Knor
Barbara Roquemore

Dick Myron

In memory of Jon R. Erpenbach
Ron Zais

In honor of John G. (Jack) Johnson
Ron Zais

In memory of Rick Olchovik
Barbara (Basia) Zielonka

In memory of William H. Ottley
Lenny Potts

In memory of Joel H. Papke
Ron Zais

In memory of Gary Pond
Nona King

In memory of all the good times at Pope Valley
Jo Timmsen

In memory of Dick Rau
Ron Zais

In memory of Jerry Roquemore
Barbara Roquemore

In memory of Ralph L. Schauss
Lee Dunlap

In honor of Charles Seymour
Chip Seymour

In memory of Ted Strong
Pepperell Skydiving Ct.

In memory of Mark Sutton
Priscilla and Simon Repton

In memory of Lenn Taylor
Kate Griesser and Tony Thacker

In memory of Gene Paul Thacker
Paraclete Real Estate Holdings, LLC

In honor of Paul and Mary Thompson for their years of service
Larry Stein

In honor of Jim Wallace
Margaret Connery