Monroe native Lance Dutton won two gold medals recently at the 2015 U.S. Parachute Association National Skydiving Championships. Dutton, 23, is a cadet at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. He has completed more than 500 skydives.
According to a press release from the United States Parachute Association, Dutton’s teams, Air Force Smolder, took the gold in the advanced 4-way formation skydiving event and Air Force Rendezvous won gold in intermediate 8-way formation skydiving. The competition took place at Skydive Arizona, outside of Phoenix, between Oct. 22 – 31, 2015. USPA reports that in formation skydiving, “teams of four or eight 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.” They are accompanied by a videographer who jumps with the team to capture the maneuvers for the judges on the ground.
The National Skydiving Championships is the country’s largest skydiving competition. More than 500 competitors from across the country participate in multiple events during a 10 day period. The events include formation skydiving, vertical formation skydiving and artistic freestyle and freeflying.
Founded in 1946, the United States Parachute Association is a non-profit association dedicated to the promotion of safe skydiving nationwide, establishing strict safety standards, training policies and programs at more than 240 USPA-affiliated skydiving schools and centers throughout the United States. Each year, USPA’s 38,000-plus members and hundreds of thousands of first-time jump students make more than 3.2 million jumps in the U.S. USPA represents skydivers before all levels of government, the public and the aviation industry and sanctions national skydiving competitions and records.