Patron: His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
BPA Skydive the Expo 2015 celebrates everything to do with skydiving. It's at EMCC, Nottingham, on Saturday 24 January 2015. Attendance is free of charge for BPA Members and other visitors. The Expo compirises an exhibition, seminars & presentations, prizes & surprises, and a great night of partying and entertainment including an optional Gala Dinner (for which a charge applies). The BPA AGM 2015 is on the morning of the Expo. Pre-register and you could win a prize at the Grand Prize Draw. You can book overnight accommodation online, if required. See the Expo website for more.
For results of the BPA British Open Nationals 2014 in 4-way and 8-way FS, VFS, Artistics and Speed Skydiving that have recently taken place at Skydive Hibaldstow, see skydivingchampionships.com Next up, from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 September, it's the turn of CF, Classics (Style & Accuracy) and 8-way Speed at UK Parachuting, Sibson near Peterborough. See the BPA Nationals page for links to the rules and entry form.
Major-General Dare Wilson CBE MC DL (pictured on the occasion of BPA's 50th Anniversary in 2011), BPA Chairman from 1962-66, has died aged 95. After a distinguished military career during WWII, Dare Wilson was a legendary name in the BPA's early days. He was a subscriber to the Memorandum & Articles of Association that incorporated BPA, which had been founded in 1961, as a company limited by guarantee in 1966. The family association with BPA continues, with one of his sons Alex serving on BPA Council from 2007-9. For more on Dare Wilson's life story, see his obituary in The Daily Telegraph.
Congratulations to GB team Kaizen who have taken Bronze in the 4-way Female Formation Skydiving event at the World Parachuting Championships in Prostějov, Czech Republic. Awesome job! The Official event website is wpc2014.com For results & scores see Omniskore
The BPA British Open Nationals 2014 in 4-way and 8-way FS, VFS, Artistics and Speed Skydiving all take place in September at Skydive Hibaldstow in North Lincolnshire. Later in September, it's the turn of CF, Classics (Style & Accuracy) and 8-way Speed at UK Parachuting, Sibson near Peterborough. See the BPA Nationals page for dates and rules of all this year's BPA British Open Nationals. For the Nationals taking place at Hib, there's a dedicated website skydivingchampionships.com
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.
Updated 17 May 2012