by Pat Works
Parachuting, which has been around since the Middle Ages, was practiced as a sport as far back as the 1800s and actually predates most other air sports. "Skydiving," a term credited to jumper Raymond Young in the late 1950s, gained a strong following after World War II, when former paratroopers started jumping for fun, not just as part of military operations. As a division of the National Aeronautic Association USPA has the sole authority in the United States to control all parachuting activities, in consonance with the NAA's responsibilities as the overall representative of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). USPA is a member of the International Parachuting Commission (IPC), the parachuting arm of the FAI, as a result of its association with the NAA. The FAI is responsible for administering rules by which the world meets and world records are conducted. USPA's delegate to the IPC is National Director Kirk Verner and the alternate delegate is James Hayhurst, USPA's Director of Competition.
1905 NAA -- The Aero Club of America, now the National Aeronautic Association. NAA—the oldest national aviation association in existence—exists to fulfill its mission of advancing the art, sport and science of aviation.
1948 France -- “The National Aeronautic Association, prompted by its parachuting delegate, Mr. Joe Crane, proposed that the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) recognize parachuting and establish parachute records commensurate with other aviation sports. As a result, the FAI created an International Parachuting Commission and Mr. Crane became the USA’s first delegate.”
1957 America -- “ Under the leadership of Mr. Istel, the National Parachute Jumpers and Riggers Association was converted to the Parachute Club of America for the control and advancement of sport parachuting in the U.S.”
1962 America --- “PCA membership hit a new high of over six thousand members and there was an estimated 13,000 sport parachutist now in the United States.”
R.A. Gunby, Sport Parachuting, 1960, p. 9
World Records -- The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, in Lausanne, Switzerland, is the official accrediting body in the world for aviation records. Skydivers may claim records in several disciplines, including target accuracy landing, largest formation of jumpers linked in freefall, largest formation of jumpers linked with open parachutes, and most points accrued on a competition skydive. The records can be in the female or general (non-gender specific) categories. Skydivers participating in FAI records must hold a sporting license from their country's national aeroclub, which is the National Aeronautic Association in the U.S. Click here to visit the NAA site and obtain an FAI sporting license. “