Patron: His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
BPA Member Dane Kenny has been involved in the Cloud Lab project, in which a group of scientists travel coast to coast across the US in an airship to explore the Earth's atmosphere. As part of the expedition, parachute jumps were made over Flordia and Arizona. Photo shows Dane Kenny preparing for a test jump with scientific equipment from 12,500 ft. For the full story see 'Operation Cloud Lab: Secrets of the Skies', a two-part documentary series that was shown on BBC2 on Wednesdays 16 & 23 July at 2000 but you can still catch it on BBC iPlayer for a limited number of days after transmission. Click on red tab below for more.
Dane says "For the first jumps in Florida we we're trying to reveal how convection currents keep clouds afloat. The idea being that once under canopy (big, docile), the skydiver steers under the cloud, releases smoke and this is measured by observing scientists and devices carried by the skydiver."
"The second jumps in Arizona were to be High Altitude, High Opening (HAHO) jumps to be done from 26,000 ft, to be able the skydiver to carry petrie dishes on his clothing and equipment that will sample air and the presence of bacterial life at different altitudes."
"Now the hard part: the BBC were hoping that one of their presenters, Andy Torbet (A licence), 26 jumps and not jumped for three years would be able to do this and would it be possible for me to get him to the required level? If this was impossible - would I do it? The other issue was getting all the equipment together in such a tight timeframe, making sure it was capable of the task in hand, that it was safe, user friendly and finally conducting test jumps?"
"For those of you who have worked on production projects before you will know there is always a time constraint."
"The initial training/re-training took place at Netheravon and the Bedford wind tunnel, we then spent a few days in Eloy and DeLand prior to the shoot starting."
"Without giving away the outcome - I'll let you all watch the documentary - it was emotional..."
This was the comment made by the Executive Producer, BBC Science to those involved: "Cloud Lab was the most ambitious TV production in which I've been involved. It was editorially complex and logistically challenging and it placed huge demands on all of you. I am very proud of what you achieved. The finished films are visually stunning, the on camera performances are tremendous, the stories feel fresh and it has a look and tone different to anything I've seen before. I hope the audience like it, but I will continue to believe those things regardless of the viewing figures."
BPA's free Skydive Starter Magazine has been updated for 2014/15. It's aimed at total beginners and explains how to get into skydiving, what you can do once you're qualified, how to cope with fear and much more. If you haven't jumped yet, or you've got friends who want to give it a go, read it online or download it free from skydivethemag.com/starter
BPA Chair Martin Soulsby (left) presents Jim Crocker, Chair of the Royal Aero Club Trust and a Vice President of the BPA, with a cheque for a donation of £2,500 from BPA to the Trust. The Trust is a charity and one of its main aims is to help young people to achieve their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potential through participation in air sports and recreation. Its 'Flying For Youth' bursaries have helped many young BPA members, aged 16-21, to their next stage of progression in sport parachuting. The application form for the Trust's 2015 Bursaries will be available on the Trust's website from September 2014.
BPA's members' magazine Skydive the Mag has been Highly Commended in the sport & recreation category of the Memcom membership communications awards. Entered by BPA's media partner Archant Dialogue, the Mag 'packs a punch for members of the BPA - 91% of readers say that they keep their copy or pass it on to friends - and we can see why'. Inclusive to the BPA full membership subscription, Skydive the Mag is also available to non-members through Archant's subscriptionsave service.
BPA Full Members - if you have already renewed, thank you! If not, the new membership year started on 1 April 2014 and you need to renew your membership to jump on or after that date. See the Members' homepage for how to renew.
BPA's Skydive the Mag App has already achieved 5000 downloads worldwide just 6 months after launch. Eager skydivers have downloaded the App in 88 countries on 6 continents and demand shows no sign of slowing. Giving a library of mags on phone or tablet wherever you go, the App is compatible with iPhones, iPod touches and iPads and is optimised for the iPhone 5 (through Apple Newsstand) or for all Android devices (through Google Play). Download whole mags or individual pages and search for favourite articles, authors or subjects. Best of all, it's free to full BPA members! Click on 'more' for links to download.
Download the App using the members' username and password at the bottom of the BPA March e-Newsletter coming out soon, or on the address label to your printed 'Skydive the Mag' - at:
Apple Newsstand: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/skydive-the-mag/id655521825?mt=8
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pagesuite.droid.skydivethemag&hl=en
Liz Ashley, Editor of BPA's Skydive the Mag, has won the coveted Royal Aero Club’s Nexus Sport Aviation Journalist of the Year Award 2013 as 'the journalist, producer or author of the outstanding media item on sport & recreational aviation during the year'. BPA's media partners Archant Dialogue produce Skydive the Mag for 5000+ BPA members every other month. It also has a new App version. Pic shows Liz and BPA Chair Martin Soulsby. See full story on the Archant website
BPA Chair Martin Soulsby said 'there was really only one choice for who this year’s worthy winner would be… this is an honour and recognition that Liz so richly deserves'. Liz, a full-time maths teacher and skydiving instructor at Skydive Hibaldstow in Lincolnshire, became editor of Skydive the Mag in 2010.
Working with Archant Dialogue’s production team at Prospect House in Norwich, her tenure as Editor has seen a well-received redesign of the magazine, the launch of a dedicated App and unreserved praise from Skydive the Mag’s readers in a recent survey.
The magazine will also celebrate its fiftieth anniversary in June 2014 and the Skydive the Mag team are already hard at work planning a special bumper edition.
Liz said: “I am absolutely delighted to receive this award, and it means so much to me. Editing Skydive the Mag is a labour of love, and something I do because of the pride I feel on publication of each issue. To know that others also love the magazine, and to receive such prestigious recognition for it, is simply the icing on the cake.”
Here are videos of the oversubscribed seminars, Avoiding Hard Openings and Getting Better Landings by John LeBlanc of Performance Designs on the afternoon of BPA AGM Day in Nottingham back in January. Apologies to John and also to members who had to stand or who could not get in the room - sorry, we should have scheduled it for the big theatre. We’re planning to invite John back next year, and if he accepts, it’ll be to present in the big room!
Dates for the 2014 season are up on the BPA's UKSL & Grand Prix page. To hone your competitions skills, look out for BPA Skills Coaching Roadshows in the diary of events. Later in the season, after the World Parachuting Championships 2014, there are the BPA British Open Nationals 2014 to look forward to. Bring on the blue skies!
Are you a young BPA Member aged between 16 - 21 years? Do you hold at least a basic sport parachuting qualification? Do you wish to advance your sport parachuting qualifications but lack the funds? Would a bursary help you to realise your air sport ambitions? Closing date for applications: 31 March 2014 - see royalaeroclubtrust.org/bursaries
Updated 17 May 2012