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

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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September 13, 2020

Lunatic Fringe with Ricky Rout

At first glance you might not see a whole lot in common between Brazilian Jujitsu and skydiving, but if you look twice you just might be amazed. Ricky Rout, a black belt and passionate coach in Brazilian Jujitsu spotted the similarities between the two immediately, and put to work the mental toughness he'd earned through years on the mat to work for him in the air. Born in India and raised on the island of Guam where wrestling became a passion, Jujitsu seemed like a great fit as a "pastime" on his way to university; but like many deep in the Lunatic Fringe, pastimes have a way of becoming lifestyles. Join us on this edition of Lunatic Fringe as we speak about Jujitsu and skydiving, the mental game of each, the drive and joy continuing to learn can bring, and how a chance meeting with one of skydiving's icons put Ricky on a new path.

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Florida kid born and raised, William Lux always had a slightly different idea of fun.  Tearing away from the police on the back of a motorcycle as way to get a little rush may have been fun, but skydiving turned out to be a much safer way to get his fix, and William took to it almost right away; although it wasn't exactly love at first jump...  Join us on this edition of Lunatic Fringe to find out about bouncing around the country, swooping the Amish, and exactly what William means when he says for work he "lays pipe".

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Being a champion many times over is amazing. Having a reputation for riding the cutting edge of the sport you love is spectacular. Thinking outside the box and embracing new and bold and daring in a sport full of daring people is wonderful. But let's face it, being the parents your nine year old daughter looks up to and admires makes all that pale by comparison. Dunia Alhegelan, daughter of Omar Alhegelan and Cheri Johnson will be the first to tell you that traveling the world and jumping out of airplanes is something she's wanted to do forever, because well, dad does it, and does it really well! On this episode of Lunatic Fringe I get the whole family in on the act to talk all about life, love, travel, skydiving, mixed up birthdays and piercings. Join in and enjoy Omar and the family!

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At 17 he knew. Well, he knew after he talked his mother into signing the release anyway. Marat Leiras showed his dedication to the sport of skydiving almost right away with a 400 kilometer drive one way to the dropzone just to get through AFF. With some serious skill, some wonderful luck and a whole lot of great timing, Marat managed to travel the world, train and jump with some of the best the sport had to offer and even marry the Iowa girl of his dreams; all without ever overstaying his visa!  join us as we talk about everything from wind tunnels and BASE jumps to what a crowd of 70,000 looks like from above.  All on this edition of Lunatic Fringe Into the Void.

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It's the return of Mr. Tom Noonan to talk a whole lot about safety!  At a time when more skydivers are less current than they've ever been, Tom has great information, tips and advice on everything from canopy choices and getting back into the nylon groove, to AAD's and his personal take on Covid.  Join us for a super informative and safety based talk on this edition of Lunatic Fringe.

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