Arizona skydiving team wins silver in World Parachuting Championships

PHOENIX — It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Arizona Airspeed.

The Arizona skydiving team out of Eloy took home silver medals in the 2018 World Parachuting Championships recently.

Representing the United States, the Arizona skydivers competed in the formation skydiving championship against hundreds from around the world in Gold Coast, Australia.

“Formation Skydiving is the art of building formations or patterns in freefall. The discipline is executed either in the prone position or vertically,” the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale website read. “A competition team consists of four or eight performers, and one videographer. A competition consists of up to 10 rounds, and each round consists of up to six formations.

“The teams have a certain number of seconds to continually and correctly repeat the sequence of formations in freefall. Each correctly completed formation scores one point.”

The four-man team consisted of Thiago Gomes, 41, from Tucson; Mikhail Markine, 32, and Niklas Hemlin, 41, of Casa Grande and Ari Perelman, 35, from Chandler. The videographer, David French, 44, hails from Eloy.

Their silver medal effort was just another accolade for the team as they took home the U.S. Nationals in September.

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