Sports

The Freakin’ Pilot from Blue Skies Magazine talks to some of the worlds premiere extreme air sports athletes to get their take on living life to the fullest, their paths to the “lunatic fringe” and how they fit into the mainstream world while living life on the dark side.

Episodes

USPA in the house!  The Director of Competition and Records sits down to tell me all the in's and out's of life inside the belly of the beast! Adding to the burn is a litany of brutal hot sauces eaten between Steve Hubbard, Junior Ludvic and myself as we talk about everything from world records to the changing of the USPA guard with the addition of the one and only Albert Berchtold as the big boss.  Join us on this informative and entertaining Lunatic Fringe!

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He might not be the best known name in the sport, and you've not seen him standing atop a podium after a sick canopy competition, but he's been there none the less.  Julien Peelman wasn't just creative in how he began his time in skydiving or even in how he got his gig with NZ Aerosports, but it's that exact creativity and training that has forever solidified his name and legacy in our sport. Designing wings that not only saves lives, but smash world records, he's put his skills to work on everything from the Petra to the Kraken and everything in-between, and he's helping keep himself and so many more happy and active with the Lunatic Fringe. 

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Back for a little more abuse, Olga Namova, professional skydiver, canopy pilot competitor and NZ Aerosports athlete sits down to have an entertaining, yet serious and sobering conversation about injuries in our sport, her rush in days past to get back into the air regardless of the consequences, and the lessons she's learned on staying safer, taking better care, and recognizing the dangers of pushing too hard too quick. Listen in for a little great advice about how to either avoid, or if not, how to get back into the air wisely after an injury with the rest of the Lunatic Fringe.

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You don't know them. You've never heard of them. You'll probably never meet them, and almost certainly never jump with them, but I promise you this is a chat you'll love listening to.  Having just done their first tandem skydives the day we recorded, they will take you straight back to the excitement, the fear, the wonder and the sense of accomplishment each of us had after that first experience with rare air, and remind you even if just a little how truly lucky we all are to have this sport and community.  

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A climber since he was very young, Ivo Ninov had to learn to overcome his fear of heights in order to follow his passion, and overcome he did. Without any real pretense or ego Ivo will tell you about his countless climbs in Yosemite, setting record after record up some of the most formidable rock on the planet. As member of "The Stone Monkey's", He, Ammon McNeeley, Nicola Martinez and two other world class climbers set their sites on BASE as a means of "transportation" back down the mountain when their climbing day was done; but Ivo will be the first to tell you that skydiving didn't come naturally to him, and was one of the hardest learning experiences of his life. Yet this, just like most every other goal he's set for himself was one that he achieved, going on to mark his path in the BASE world as one of the top athletes of his time. Join us on this episode as we get a look at Ivo's continuing path on the Lunatic Fringe.

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Don't let the package fool you.  Michael Washburn, or should I say, Officer Washburn, Retired US Army Ranger may not be large and imposing, but this guy has been there and done that! Coming to civilian skydiving later in life after a military freefall career that left him less than thrilled with the sport, it was a chance meeting with a guy named "Noah" who flew "wing suits" that drove him to chase a new dream.  Years later, as the team captain of "Sky Trash" wing suit team, he's got a humble outlook, but big dreams, and when it comes to chasing them, you can most certainly see the "Ranger"! Join us on this edition of Lunatic Fringe.

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He'd let his student down in a major way.  Quite literally the last thing she wanted to hear when asking her attractive, worldly instructor what had driven him to become a skydiver was "Google".  From a skydiving school with a "work placement" program, you wouldn't necessarily think big things were on the horizon, but Chris Stewart is flying proof that once that passion takes hold...  Champion competitive canopy pilot, instructor, world traveler and dare I say, cutting edge test pilot for New Zealand Aerosports and the Icarus canopies, this is an interview you're not going to want to miss.  Fuck. Yeah.

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in 1976, Tony Uragallo started up Tony Suits after more "never again's" than he ever would have imagined. As a young man working as a brick layer in England, the idea that 50 years later his name would be synonymous with two of the most extreme sports the world has ever seen wasn't even imagined, but after breaking needle after needle building his first suits and heading off to Florida for the love of skydiving, Tony Suits was inevitable.  From jumpsuits for every discipline and canopies named after classic characters from literature, to cutting edge wingsuits and ionic "patch pants", Tony has led the way. With his daughter Flora at the helm, and long time skydiver and industry pro wife Mary, this family trio has a lot to say about their roots in the sport they love. Join us on this edition of Lunatic Fringe with the wonderful Tony Suit Crew!

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Multiple lives all rolling after and on top of the other.  Mitch Steere, software engineer, father of 2 teenage daughters.  Mitch Steere, sliding off a motorcycle at triple digits, dirty downwind on his first jump, downsize demon. Mitch Steere, building a full database on how to perform beautiful flock dives with as much safety and precision as possible. Having come through his truly "sketch" times with the help of a great mentor, Mitch and his crew are looking toward the future of XRW and canopy flocks with great anticipation! Check it out on this edition of Lunatic Fringe!

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From Nervous beginnings in communist Hungary on military rounds with a reserve he had to pack himself, to Four-Way world meets to a stint packing for the Golden Knights and test jumps on Icarus canopies that would be enough to make anyone lay the nylon down and walk away, Attila Cszmadia has come a very long way in his time in the sport; and as the long time GM of NZ Aero it's safe to say there's a whole lot more to come. Join us as we talk about slow starts, fast canopies and growing up with the Lunatic Fringe.

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