LEBANON â€” A group of local daredevil skydivers celebrated their independence by flying like birds and setting a Maine state record on the 4th of July. Over Skydive New England in Lebanon, the five jumpers set the state record for largest completed formation while flying in wingsuits.
A wingsuit is a specialized jumpsuit that uses fabric to create arm and leg wings on the jumper. The wings allow the jumper to cover large horizontal distances across the skyâ€”â€śflockingâ€ť in skydiving lingoâ€”while maintaining a relatively slow descent rate. After leaping from an aircraft more than two miles above the ground, the group flew their bird-like suits into formation as they soared across the sky.
The U.S. Parachute Association, a non-profit organization that sanctions national and state skydiving records, certified the wingsuit formation as an official state record. The record-setting jumpers were Jill Herrington of Stratham, New Hampshire; Mason LaCoste of Weymouth, Massachusetts; Keith MacBeth of Biddeford, Maine; Harry Parker of Kittery, Maine; and Taya Weiss of Belmont, Massachusetts. Jeff Nebelkopf of Zephyrhills, Florida, jumped with the group to film and photograph the stunning achievement.
Skydive Like a Pro
For sheer excitement and high-speed fun, no sport comes close to skydiving. Fortunately, this high-flying adrenaline sport is not as extreme or intimidating as it may seem. Just about anyone 18 years of age or older can take to the skies after some comprehensive safety instruction. In fact, all it takes is a half hour of ground school to prepare for a tandem jump, the easiest and most popular way to experience skydiving for the first time. Tandem jumping allows students to experience the thrill of freefall from 13,000 feet while securely harnessed to an experienced, licensed instructor.
Another first-jump method called Accelerated Freefall (AFF) allows students to jump solo right awayâ€”with two instructors at their sideâ€”after four to five hours of intense ground instruction. Just about anyone can earn a license in as few as 25 jumps!
For more information on skydiving and to find a USPA Group Member skydiving center near you, visit www.uspa.org.
Founded in 1946, the United States Parachute Association is a non-profit association dedicated to the promotion of safe skydiving nationwide, establishing strict safety standards, training policies and programs at more than 200 USPA-affiliated skydiving schools and centers throughout the United States. Each year, USPAâ€™s 32,000-plus members and hundreds of thousands of first-time jump students make approximately 3 million jumps in the U.S. USPA represents skydivers before all levels of government, the public and the aviation industry and sanctions national skydiving competitions and records.
For more information on making a first jump or to find a skydiving center near you, visit www.uspa.org or call 800.371.USPA.
Contact Name: Nancy Koreen
Telephone Number: (540)604-9740