European Skydiving Symposium 2022 – It’s a Wrap

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European Skydiving Symposium 2023 – Impeccably organised with lots of love!

I am still smiling and it’s a week after the event. This was a very special experience, bringing together many diverse skydivers from all sorts of countries and ways of life.

The event took place at the Airport Hotel Okecie, Warsaw for three days from Wednesday, the 15th of November to Friday, the 18th of November. The symposium was well supported with 565 registrants from 21 countries, creating a real community spirit. Every day was packed with a fascinating seminar program. I was very happy to travel as a speaker to support the event, because I believe it has a real value for all of the participants. Also, when I looked at the eclectic seminar program and the standard of the speakers, this was a must-not-miss event.

Professional presenters Damian Sebastian Abramowicz and Regan Tetlow brought a level of professionalism to the program

Speaker Program

Much of the program was based around safety topics, with 33 of the world’s most experienced skydivers sharing their knowledge unstintingly. Presenters Regan Tetlow and Damian Sebastian Abramowicz smoothly introduced each speaker, rounded up the session afterwards and handed over to the next speaker, which gave a very professional, slick feel to the symposium.

Dan BC excelled himself, running two seminars, one of which was mostly adlibbed due to a last-minute cancellation. Julian Barthel gave two immaculate presentations, on Downsizing (for everyone), and Fear (for instructors).

Albert Berchtold, Executive Director of the USPA, presented an analysis of the last two years, and three decades of the fatalities in the USPA, drawing together common themes and lessons we can learn. This information can be downloaded from the USPA website here. Albert also gave a more personal session analysing what we can all do to make the sport safer for all. 

The Blind Packjob Race

Two ‘Ask Me Anything’ sessions by Sun Path were absorbing and eye-opening… followed by eye-closing for the Blind Packing contest, which was enthusiastic and hilarious. Vincent Descols showed how ‘Impossible’ became a reality for Wingsuit Tandem. Other topics included plane-related emergencies, aircraft loading, hypoxia, wingsuit FFC, camera safety, flying with drones, avoiding hard openings and much more.

One of the most memorable sessions was by Martin Mall, a juggler and world record skydiver, who combined his passions into an entertaining hour, using his natural comedic skills. This was the perfect way to lift us up from the heavy but necessary safety topics and set us up for the party to come.

Martin Mall combined his talents of being an entertainer and skydiver


A well-planned concept was to have live translators, who were also skydivers, so the seminar program could be enjoyed by all nationalities. You simply borrowed a translation device, which went in the ear and, as the speakers on stage were relaying information, it was smoothly and eloquently translated into other languages live, so that the audio matched with the visual slides on show. The Babel Fish became a reality! 

A canopy flight VR simulator was remarkably realistic and provided hours of fun for participants trying to land on the cross

Euro Symposium App

An excellent free app had been created, which had everything you needed to know; agenda, seminars, speakers, venue information, floor plan and all sorts of well-planned extras. One nifty feature of this app was to be able to rate each seminar with a number of stars, to provide feedback to speakers and organisers to improve future programs.

It was also possible to ask questions for the speaker in the app whilst the seminar was going on, which led to very interesting points of discussion in conclusion. I thought this was an especially useful feature since I often find when asking if there are any questions, there are none, but as soon as you finish speaking, the stage is bombarded by people who had questions but were too shy to ask. How much better that these questions are brought out into the open for all to benefit. 

Sebastian Dratwa, winner of the Tom Noonan Best Speaker award – decided by the audience

Tom Noonan Award

1698 ratings were made in the App by participants. These determined who would win the Tom Noonan Best Speaker award, a new accolade created to honour the legacy of Tom Noonan, who was a very big influence and help in the symposium’s early days. The happy winner was Sebastian Dratwa, whose topics were AFF video debriefing, and Plane-related Emergencies, an engrossing talk with some scary but enlightening videos.

Kenneth Gadja presenting his Tandem Reserve seminar


In the morning, the talks were for a general audience, and in the afternoon the large auditorium room was subdivided to provide a separate program for instructors, riggers and TIS, alongside that for ‘Joe Jumper’, supporting ‘coach the coach’. There is no doubt of the enormous value of this event, bringing together our community of skydivers as we approach the winter downtime, introducing or reinforcing important safety concepts.

I am sure that incidents, injuries and perhaps some fatalities have been prevented by the information passed on here. We only have to break one link in the chain as a preventative measure. It was interesting to see how the messages from all of the speakers backed each other up. In other words there was no contradiction in safety advice, but it was not all the same. Everyone came from their own perspective, as though we were all looking through different windows into the same safety garden. 

Damien Sorlin and Tom Parker from Sun Path, giving a seminar on improving reserve packjobs

As a speaker, I received a huge amount of positive feedback from so many different people, it was an incredibly rewarding experience. This feeling was shared by most if not all the other speakers.

Two or three of the seminars will be available online so those who weren’t there can still receive this information, and see what they missed. The videos are being edited now and will be released in a couple of weeks. We are also hoping to convert some of the presentations into future articles for

The Airport Hotel Okecie, was the perfect venue

The Venue 

The airport Hotel Okecie was the perfect place to hold the event. It had multiple bars, restaurants, auditoriums and social areas, which were well laid out to encourage mingling and conversation. Complimentary coffee, tea, biscuits, and lunch were available during scheduled breaks with nicely laid out eating and chillout areas providing the ideal place for participants to discuss the contents of the seminars they just attended. It was a terrific place to meet greet and socialise with skydivers.

There was a lively buzz in the exhibition hall

The food was fantastic. There was an exhibition hall where major manufacturers displayed their new products, plied their wares, or simply connected with their customers. Interaction with the stands was encouraged by means of collecting sponsor stickers onto a card which enabled entry into the euro symposium raffle.

The lucky winner of an outrageously cool raffle prize – 50% off a Vector container by UPT, presented by Marta Molinska


A raffle draw was held each day, with an astonishingly valuable selection of prizes donated by the sponsors of the event. The 124 prizes included a Cookie helmet, 50% off a Vector from UPT, more than 5 hours of tunnel time divided into 15- and 30-minute vouchers, 10 jumps at Pink Klatovy, Skydive Warsaw and Sky Camp, 30% off a Javelin from Sun Path and a 2.5% discount for a Cessna Grand Caravan! 😉  These special prizes and many more were given out every day for three days, so some very happy winners went home with goodies. All the proceeds for the raffle were donated to help Ukraine.

Dan BC autographing a copy of his book, ‘Above All Else’. Dan brought a large number of books to sell, all proceeds going to help Ukraine

Help for Ukraine 

This year’s symposium was originally to be held in March 2022, but was postponed because the Polish organisers were busy providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine. This shows the great heart and community spirit of the organisers, who also ran various initiatives to raise money for Ukraine during this event.

Over 3,000 euro was donated, 3,000 euro raised with an auction of donated items, and 30kg of medical items, sleeping bags and clothes were collected. Everything is going to those who need it most in this war-ravaged country. The organisers used the funds to buy 10 Mavic3 controllers which go to DZ Boro owner, who reprograms them and gives them to the army. The controllers are already on their way to Ukraine. 

Ukrainian skydiving season 2022: Zero jumps

The video documentary above was shown by Lala Bagirova at the symposium. It shows the current daily routine of regular jumpers, instructors, DZOs and pilots. It is published here with information about how skydivers can help our Ukrainian skydiving community to make the victory come sooner.

The party

This was a party to top all parties. Held on the top floor of the amazing Airport Hotel Okecie, there was a spectacular view of the lights of Warsaw in 360. The whole of this floor was dedicated to the Aviator club, with complimentary welcome drinks, an excellent DJ who kept us moving and grooving till the small hours, and a few extra special touches, such as a podium with rotating strobe and lights to create crazy dancing reels. It was a very late night for most – no one wanted the night or the event to end.

The party!

Congratulations and thank you

The event was chiefly organised by Arek Majewski, LOTG7, with capable co-organisers Marta Molinska (Sky Camp), and Katarzyna Witkowska (Skydive Warsaw). I really congratulate and thank them for putting a beautiful framework together, and the fascinating group of personalities who made the program come to life with their profound, well-considered observations. Also, the 59 Partners of the event, who made it affordable and exciting for everyone. This was simply the best non-skydiving skydiving event I have ever been to. I cannot recommend it highly enough. 

Sympsoium organisers Marta Molinska, Arek Majewski and Katarzyna Witkowska, happy with a job well done

Euro Symposium 2024

This was the fourth edition of the European Skydiving Symposium, held every two years. It is intentionally held on alternate years as the PIA symposium in the US, thus spreading the love. The PIA Symposium 2023 will be held in Reno, Nevada during 27 February to 3 March 2023, followed by the European Skydiving Symposium roughly a year later, 6-8 March 2024. Meanwhile you can check what’s on offer at the PIA symposium here.

I very much hope you will join me, Dan, Regan and many other skydiving personalities at Euro Sky Symposium in Warsaw, 2024 to see why we’re all so blown away by this event. 

Euro symposium 2022, by Martin Mall


Don’t take my word for it, here’s a range of opinion…

You want it or not, you have now set up a new standard in our industry. Well done!

Willy Boeykens, Director, Vigil

That was, without a doubt, the best event of its kind I’ve seen in my 32 years as a skydiver.

Regan Tetlow, Air Sports Promotion

What a great event! Exceeded my highest expectations, and they were high. The seminars were very interesting, and covered a variety of important topics. The organization ran flawlessly which made it smooth and easy to enjoy, learn, see old friends and make many new ones. Hoping to make it back in 2024!

Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld, Manager, Skydive Perris
Marta Molinksa presents Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld with a token of Appreciation

Everyone put such good energy in this event and with a fluid organization, it perfectly set the headings for what our beautiful sport needs.

Vincent Descols, Sky Vibration

An outstanding event, really top notch! This counts for all aspects; seminars, exhibitions, hotel, the app, etc. Thanks for the opportunity to participate. Already looking forward to 2024.

Herman Landsman, Aerodyne
USPA Director Albert Berchtold, getting into his Skydiving Safety Culture seminar

An event of this magnitude is difficult to organize. You made it look easy, which is a real testament to how hard you worked behind the scenes. Thank you for creating this event and bringing the community together. Great job!

Albert Berchtold, Director, USPA

Marta, Maya and Katarzyna put together an amazing event! The European Skydiving Symposium was definitely the place to be this fall! 3 days fully dedicated to improving safety and learning more about our beautiful sport. Top speakers from all over the world shared their knowledge and inspired participants to think outside the box. It was an absolute pleasure to be part of it and I will definitely be back in 2024!

Uschi Wagner, Skydive Pink Klatovy

All photos kindly supplied by Kuba Konwent / CYPRES

Symposium 2022 Official Aftermovie

For a real flavour of the event, check out the Aftermovie…

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Meet: Lesley Gale

Lesley has been in love with skydiving for 35 years. She is a multiple world and national record holder and a coach on 20 successful record events worldwide. She has over 100 competition medals spanning more than 25 years and has been on the British 8-way National team at World events. She started Skydive Mag to spread knowledge, information and passion about our amazing sport.
Lesley is delighted to be sponsored by Performance Designs, Sun Path, Cypres, Cookie, Symbiosis suits and Larsen & Brusgaard

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