ELOY, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Arizona Airspeed, a local skydiving team, has once again won a national championship in 4-way formation skydiving, according to a recent news release.
The team took home the gold last week at the 2017 U.S. Parachute Association National Skydiving Championships at Skydive Perris in southern California. They not only won gold, but a spot on the prestigious U.S. Parachute Team and will compete at the 2018 World Championships in Australia.
Airspeed members are Thiago Gomes, 40; Niklas Hemlin, 40; Mikhail Markine, 31; Ari Perelman, 35; and videographer David French, 43. The team trains at Skydive Arizona in Eloy.
In formation skydiving, 4-person teams exit the airplane more than two miles above the ground and race against the clock to form prescribed geometric formations in freefall before opening their parachutes. A videographer jumps with the team to capture the maneuvers for the judges on the ground.
Another Skydive Arizona team, Fliteshop, also won a gold medal last week in the mixed formation skydiving event. In mixed formation skydiving, the team exits the aircraft more than two miles up and then must complete a series of maneuvers in multiple orientations, including belly- and back-to-earth, upright and upside-down. A videographer flies alongside to catch all the action.
Fliteshop members are Andy Malchiodi, 39; Jason Peters, 44; and Mike Friedman, 38.
For more information on making a first jump or to find a skydiving center nearby, visit www.uspa.org or call 800.371.USPA.