|The NSL News of the NSL
website has covered the NSL Championship at SkyQuest 2005 already with
earlier stories, and Chris Hayes, event manager of the Fantasy Swoop, already
provided his story for the NSL News and the SkyQuest
website on December 3.
NSL Championship at SkyQuest
The NSL News will continue to cover
more details of the 4-way competition every time new rounds of NSL-TV will
be uploaded. The 4-way teams were obviously able to complete all ten rounds
of the event, even though the NSL Championship began officially Friday
The participants of the other
two events, BJ Worth's "Kaleidoscope Dives" and Guy Wright's "Team Elite",
were already at Fantasy of Flight on Thursday, ready for a whole day of
jumping. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate this year as it did
in 2004. The larger formations require more clear skies than a 4-way load..
Fantasy Swoop at SkyQuest
In fact, the size of the formations
reflected exactly the different success of dealing with the inconsistent
weather situation. The 4-way event management was able to send loads whenever
there was enough visibility. Jump plane operator Paul Fayard and his staff
was flexible enough to accommodate any requests and any weather situation,
and the 4-way teams were eager to get in the air.
Guy Wright's Team Elite jumpers
used two planes to make 45-ways and completed up to 13 of 20 planned jumps.
The quality of the 2005 jumps was once again on a high level after the
first successful Team Elite participation at SkyQuest 2004.
Team Elite at SkyQuest
World Team organizer BJ Worth was
facing the most challenging situation of all four events. His Kaleidoscope
Divers needed four planes flying in formation to get the 100-ways into
the skies over Fantasy of Flight. Such a large formation needs a lot of
blue skies for safe spots and landings.
Roger Ponce has been doing
a most professional job spotting the Kaleidoscope Dives at Fantasy of Flight
ever since the inaugural event in 2001. He had another almost flawless
record at SkyQuest 2005 and managed to drop the formations on top of the
theme park and museum in Polk City six times during the 4-day event.
Kaleidoscope Dives at SkyQuest
BJ Worth had planned a total of 17
challenging Kaleidoscope Dives for the 2005 event. The weather did not
allow to get through the whole dive plan, and safety concerns have always
been on top of the SkyQuest priority list ever since the very beginning
of the annual event series in 2001. However, the quality of the jumps was
on a higher level compared to the Kaleidoscope Dives in 2004, and the participants
left Fantasy of Flight well prepared for the upcoming world record attempt
Drop zone at Fantasy of Flight
The Kaleidoscope Dives 2005 served
to a certain extent as a warm-up opportunity for the World Team members
who will travel to Thailand in February 2006. BJ Worth is currently in
the middle of his final preparations for the new world record attempt of
the largest freefall formation in history.
SkyQuest Florida offers an
important advantage compared to other skydiving events in case of weather
problems and delays. The event takes place at a unique location. Fantasy
of Flight alone offers enough entertainment for any visitor at any given
time of the year and charges a gate fee of $25 per day and visitor.
Kermit Weeks after his tandem jump
at SkyQuest 2003
A very busy skydiving schedule usually
does not allow the SkyQuest participants to enjoy the facilities as much
as it is worth it. This time, the skydivers had enough time to take full
advantage of the theme park visit, which is included in the SkyQuest participant
Fantasy of Flight's owner
Kermit Weeks, a former world class aerobatics competitor and aircraft designer,
enjoys to welcome the skydivers once per year at his unique facilities
and always watches the different activities whenever he can. He also made
his first skydive with a tandem jump at SkyQuest 2003.
Playland at SkyQuest 2005
The Fantasy of Flight staff had prepared
an additional show for Saturday, which was publicized as the Family Day
of SkyQuest 2005. The whole tarmac in front of the exhibition hangars was
prepared to entertain kids and parents all day long, while parachutes were
in the air at the same time. Not only the kids enjoyed the fun rides, several
SkyQuest participants could be found in the middle of the playland, as
Team Elite and the Kaleidoscope
Divers put some great formations and sequences into the skies over Fantasy
of Flight, while the Fantasy Swoopers with the lowest required jump altitude
entertained participants and visitors whenever the wind came from the right