Group of Five Skydivers Set Out to Compete in 4-way Formation on National Level

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The team was quickly dubbed by fellow skydivers as Team America. From the start Team America set out to win the TSL, Texas Skydiving League, Gold Medal and the NSL National Skydiving League Gold Medal as well.

A group of five skydivers set out to compete in 4-way formation on a national level. The team was quickly dubbed by fellow skydivers as Team America. From the start Team America set out to win the TSL, Texas Skydiving League, Gold Medal and the NSL National Skydiving League Gold Medal as well.

The five member team had high hopes and dreams of making their mark in the Skydiving world. These five skydivers had very few jumps, no experience in competition skydiving and no sponsorship. The cards were stacked against them, it would take raw determination to be national champions the first year.

Every Saturday and Sunday, 8:00 am sharp, rain or shine was practice. They worked hard all day stopping only to grab a quick sandwich. The days are long an hot in Texas, Jumping 6 to 10 times a day was grueling.

They traveled to SkyVenture in Orlando Fl. to a state-of-the-art skydiving simulator / vertical wind tunnel designed for the entertainment, team building, sport skydiver and military training markets. A vertical wind tunnel gives skydivers a place to practice. The team spent 4 hours inside the tunnel honing there skills under the watch eye of a private coach.

The hard work was paying off easily winning there first TSL meet. On Oct 8th. Disaster stuck inside the plane. At 9,000 ft. John McDonnell’s leg caught the pilot chute of Ray Privitt’s rig, pulling the chute out of its container.

A pilot chute out inside a skydiving plain is a very dangerous situation. If the pilot chute goes out the door it will pull the skydiver out with enough force to render the plane un-flyable endangering everyone on board.

The plane was climbing at 1,000 ft per min. with only 1,500 ft left before the door would come open on jump run, making for some tense moments. John quickly put the pilot chute back in its pouch. Just before the door would open. They now had to exit the plain an put this behind them and concentrate on the dive. The last minute distraction, combined with a not having a pre-jump team huddle broke the concentration needed to turn in a good jump. Things did not go as well turning only 3 points avg.

The next jump came quick, only 45 min. This jump would tell if they had what it took to be champions. The TSL Championship was on the line, they could not afford any mistakes. Could they shake off the bad dive an come back. Team America showed they had all the right stuff by turning in a solid 8 point round on a very hard dive winning the TSL Championship. With a meet avg. of 7.8 points.

With the first leg of there goal complete. They turned there focus on Nationals only a few short weeks away. The Nationals would be a lot harder. The best of the best from around the country would be there.

Nov. 18th. The NSL Championship at SkyQuest Florida, located in Polk Fl. would be the true test of what champions are made of.

Round 1 Team America turned in a record round with 10 points. They never looked back. Scoring an average 9.3 points per round. Round 10 the final jump proved to be their personal best, scoring a whopping 14 points! Job well done!

For you non skydivers out there let me put this in perspective of just how good this Team America really is. The NSL has 4 classes your first year you compete in the Rookie class, after that you can choose which class to compete in. A Class, AA Class, and AAA Class.

Zero Tolerance Miami, A Class, took 1st place with a meet avg. of 4.5 points.

Air Force Prodigy, AA Class, took 1st place with a met avg. of 9.4 points.

Italy Sinapsi PD, AAA Class, took 1st place with a meet avg. 20.6 points

Italy Sinapsi PD is a world class team from Italy, sponsored by Performance Design, Manufacture of skydiving gear. Look over your shoulder Italy that’s Team America.

So what is Team America’s goals for 2006? They will be jumping in the AA class, skipping the A class. Since the A class only turned in a 4.5 round avg. The team is looking at the AA class. The Air Force has dominated the NSL year after year. Team America Thinks it’s time for change.

Team America will be seeking sponsorship for 2006. Team Members include Johnny Tubbs (point), John McDonnell (outside center) Angelee Jones (inside center), Ray Privitt (video), Georges Lezaun (tail) You can view there skydive at or drop them email

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