Author name: Jim Cowan

Who is Jim Cowan and what makes him an authority on these subjects? I’m definitely not an authority on them, but I have put a lot of time and effort into studying these subjects with some practical exams that I ultimately passed by surviving just over 24,000 jumps over 45 years! BACKGROUND • Raised by a family of skydivers in St.Louis, Missouri. 2nd generation. • Parents and uncles were competitors, instructor examiners, riggers, pilots. • Uncle Bob Cowan was a freefall photographer pioneer in the late 60s and early 70s, with several cover shots on parachutist magazine and the winning photo in a national contest that made the cover of every Sunday newspaper in the country. The shot was a 4th of July theme featuring my dad and two other jumpers in freefall wearing a red, a white and a blue jumpsuit each with smoke blazing. • Started packing round parachutes at parents; DZ at age 10. $2 a rig for 5 seasons. • Learned to hang-glide at my uncle’s hang-gliding school at age 15. • Began skydiving at my parents DZ in 1978 at age 16. • Worked at a flight school and soloed an aircraft at age 17. • Partnered with a jump club and bought a Cessna 182 jump plane together. • Became a jump master and started instructing at age 18. • First night demonstration jump into a Cardinals’ baseball game at age 18. • First night fixed object jump from a tower in 1980. • Researched, opened, owned and operated a twin turbine, multi aircraft DZ for 13 years. • Personally trained over 25,000 students in canopy control of all levels and types. • Developed, implemented and supervised a wide variety of training curricula including; sport and military tandem, mttb, aff, ram air s/l programs, comp cf teams, search and rescue orgs, smoke jumpers, multiple gov’t agencies and military freefall groups in the US and around the world. SPORT SKYDIVING • USPA Safety and Training Advisor • Tandem Instructor (examiner for over a decade) • Accelerated Freefall Instructor • S/L Instructor (examiner for over a decade) • USHPA P3 Paragliding Rated • FAA Parachute Rigger Technician • Founding Member of the Quantum Leap Canopy Formation Team for over 2 decades. • US Team at 8 World Championship Competitions (every other year) and 1 World Cup • Brought home 4 gold, 4 silver and a bronze at those championships. • Took the gold 25 times at the US National Skydiving Championships over 9 competitions. • Successfully disengaged from over 300 canopy entanglements. • Been in 140 canopy entanglements where at least 1 jumper had to cutaway. • Have personally cutaway from entanglements 15 times. • Have personally performed over 50 cutaways while making malfunction videos. MILITARY EXPERIENCE • Naval Freefall Parachutist Course Instructor and Rigger for 2 years. • Navy Parachute Team “Leap Frogs” Safety Officer and Rigger for 1 year. • US Marie Corps Multi Mission Parachutist Course Co-Developer, Instructor and rigger, contractor in charge of operations for Complete Parachute Solutions the manufacturer of the equipment and commercial business holder of the contract. • General Manager and Developer of the Tactical Training Facility in AZ for a decade. • Flight-1 Military and Sport Canopy Flight Instructor for dozens of US military, agencies and other countries for nearly a decade currently.

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