2013 Hall of Fame Inductees
2013 Hall of Fame Inductees
James F. “Curt” Curtis III, D-1407, packed administration, competition, DZ ownership and a dazzling array of skydiving accomplishments into a 12-year skydiving career. He made his first jump in 1966 at the Lakewood Parachute Club in New Jersey, where he quickly advanced and served as the club safety officer and then area safety officer (the forerunner to today’s Safety and Training Advisor position). Curtis worked for USPA as its assistant executive director and served on the USPA Board (including terms as president and board chairman). He was team leader for three U.S. national teams and the American delegate to the parachuting arm of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. Curtis competed in style and accuracy, but reached the pinnacle of his competition career as a member of the famed Mirror Image world championship 8-way team in 1977, where they won the gold. Along with Tim Saltonstall, Curtis opened the world-famous Pope Valley Parachute Ranch in California. His last jump—number 4,317—was with skydivers from several countries at a world meet in Gatton, Australia. He is a recipient of USPA’s 1983 Lifetime Achievement Award.
Jack Jefferies, D-10287, was a founding member and coach of formation skydiving team Arizona Airspeed. The team won multiple 4- and 8-way nationals, world cups, and world championships during Jefferies’ tenure between 1995 and 2012. Airspeed was (and still is) one of the most recognized and decorated competition teams in our sport’s history. But perhaps more importantly, the team shared its techniques and training regimens with other teams to promote and advance sequential formation skydiving, bringing it to the level it has reached today. Jefferies’ involvement helped move the sport toward a more positive, humanistic culture and he remains one of the most respected coaches in the nation with more than 18,000 skydives.
Kim Emmons Knor, D-221, knew she wanted to skydive when she was five years old after her uncle brought home a military parachute from World War II. In 1959, she forged her parents’ signatures so she could make her first jump. She then sold all her possessions, bought a Eurail Pass and an open-ended plane ticket so she could travel as a parachute enthusiast, visiting 21 countries. She was one of only two women to compete against the men at the 1961 Team Tryouts at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In 1962, she made history as a member of the first U.S. Women’s Parachute Team, which won gold at the Sixth World Parachuting Championships in Orange, MA. After a 37-year hiatus from jumping, she took up the sport again in 2003.
Chuck MacCrone, D-526, made his first skydive in 1962 and had a long, stellar career as one of the sport’s steadiest guiding hands, beginning with regional accuracy and style circuits and culminating on the highest international stage, the FAI’s International Parachuting Commission (which sets world policy and rules for competitive skydiving events). He was president of the IPC for an unprecedented six terms, only retiring from that post because of a term-limit rule change. MacCrone was a nationally rated judge who developed the Equislope scoring system used worldwide in the heyday of style and accuracy competition. A former USPA Board member, he retired from skydiving with 849 jumps in 1974 and received the association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1984. A former engineer for NASA, MacCrone now works as a paramedic.
Jackie Smith, British Parachute Association D-1113, first began skydiving in the British military Women’s Royal Army Corps. She joined her nation’s Red Devil Free Fall Display Team in 1971 and two years later became the first woman to receive the parachute regiment’s red beret. Smith competed in style, accuracy and formation skydiving over many years on the BPA’s teams. In 1978, she won gold in women’s accuracy (her score also beat all the men’s scores) at the World Parachuting Championships in Yugoslavia and became the first skydiver to hit dead-center on the electronic scoring pad in all ten rounds, earning her a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Less than a year later, she won gold and silver medals in formation skydiving at international meets. After retiring from competition, she became renowned throughout the European community as a coach for budding competitors.
Jim Wallace, D-3497, started skydiving on a dare on October 31, 1970. He became an instructor in 1982 and opened his own jump school, the Jim Wallace Skydiving School, ten years later in Perris, California. Over the past four decades, Wallace has won three national championships, held 11 world records in formation skydiving and was a member of the 1975 U.S. Team that won the 10-way world championship. He is a USPA AFF, Static-Line and Tandem Instructor Examiner and Safety and Training Advisor, as well as a Federal Aviation Administration-rated rigger and commercial pilot. He leads a professional demonstration team, which has performed in front of crowds from the Rose Bowl in California to the Marina Bay Sands Resort in Singapore. A member of the Screen Actors Guild, Wallace has been a stunt skydiver and aerial stunt coordinator for dozens of TV commercials and feature-length movies, including “Terminal Velocity,” “Point Break,” “The Bucket List,” and “Iron Man.” In 2006, Wallace received USPA’S Gold Medal for Meritorious Service.