Down For 50 Logo
 

we're all under the same sky.

THE MISSION

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Two travelers. Fifty states. Every single sky in America.

In 2018, two airsports athletes--an American woman and a British man--are going to visit all fifty states in America over the course of one, unbroken journey. They'll skydive in each one. When they make that fiftieth jump, the event will mark the first time the feat has ever been accomplished in one fell swoop.

For all but Alaska and Hawaii, the pair will be making the journey in a motorhome.

The journey isn't just about jumping. It's about finding common ground, first-person, in a fractured world--and an especially fractured America--in every corner of the nation. As the pair travel, jump and fly, they'll dig in to the hidden stories of the places they visit; uproot the complexities reduced to black-and-white by the media. They'll help illustrate how diverse micro-communities like that of skydiving can foster the inclusiveness, mutual respect and healthy discourse that will help our world beat radical isolationism. They'll show how opposing perspectives use tight-knit community networks like skydiving to take a chance on each other, and how the communities surrounding them benefit from that sacred space.

Meeting in the middle is a risk. And there's no more beautiful metaphor for that than jumping out of a plane.

For each state visited, the project's goal is to raise $1,000 for Operation Enduring Warrior: a veteran-founded non‐profit 501(c)(3) whose mission is to honor, empower, and motivate our nation's wounded veterans through a physical, mental and emotional rehabilitation.

OEW Skydive is one of OEW's several training and adventure programs designed to honor, empower, and motivate our nation’s wounded veterans. The mission of OEW Skydive is to facilitate skydiving for wounded veterans, from initial training through to the achievement of their USPA A-license certification. Skydiving for wounded veterans offers an unparalleled sense of freedom of flight and offers endless mental, physical, and emotional rehabilitative solutions in what can feel like a completely new dimension in their lives. The training takes place in a wind tunnel and often becomes a lifelong hobby.

OEW is a completely volunteer run organization. Donations go directly towards operational support of the organization and its different programs.

 
 

THE TRAVELERS

Annette O'Neil is, in her words, an "adventurer who writes." She was raised in the US Air Force, spending much of her childhood hopping from base to base as her father's medical career took him from clinical nephrologist to Hospital Commander. After matriculating from active duty, her father moved into a career with the Veteran's Administration, giving Annette a firsthand peek at the uphill battle our returning troops face.

During her nine years as a skydiver, she has seen the power of skydiving to make a difference in veterans' lives, so she co-imagined Down For 50 as her way to contribute to the efforts on their behalf.

 

 

 

 

 

Joel Strickland began skydiving in 2006 while backpacking in Australia and New Zealand. Upon returning home to his native Great Britain a few years later he pursued a career in the indoor skydiving industry as an instructor, trainer, and coach.   

Between 2010 and 2016 Joel competed in artistic skydiving, earning three national titles along the way and representing Great Britain several times on the world stage. More recently he has become an FAI judge and has been a member of the panel at several world-level events over the last few years.

Joel now works as a freelance skydiving instructor and airsports journalist. Across almost a decade as an industry professional he has trained military veterans form many nations and finds teaching among the most rewarding elements of sport parachuting. 

For Joel, Down For 50 represents a collection of skills given to a worthwhile purpose. A way to share some of the many wonders and benefits that skydiving allows us access to.  

 

THE ROUTE ★ 2018

Alabama

Skydive Alabama ★ Vinemont

Alaska

Alaska Floats & Skis ★ Talkeetna

Arizona

Skydive Arizona ★ Eloy

Arkansas

Skydive Fayetteville ★ Fayetteville

California

Certification Unlimited @ Skydive San Diego ★ Jamul

Colorado

Ultimate Skydiving Adventures ★ Delta

Connecticut

Conneticut Parachutists, Inc. ★ Ellington

Delaware

Skydive Delmarva ★ Laurel

Florida

Skydive Spaceland Miami ★ Clewiston

Georgia

Skydive Spaceland Atlanta ★ Rockmart

Hawaii


Idaho

DZONE Skydiving Boise ★ Boise

Illinois

Skydive Chicago ★ Ottawa

Indiana

Skydive Windy City ★ Michigan City

Iowa

Skydive Iowa ★ Brooklyn

Kansas

Air Capital Drop Zone ★ Derby

Kentucky

Special Mission ★ WV Skydivers  ★  Huntington, WV

Louisiana

Gold Coast Skydivers ★ Abita Springs

Maine

Skydive New England ★ Lebanon

Maryland

Skydive OC ★ Ocean City

Massachusetts

Jumptown ★ Orange

Michigan

Skydive Tecumseh ★ Jackson

 Minnesota

Skydive Adventures ★ Luverne

Mississippi

Fred Poole, Balloon Pilot ★ Meridian

Missouri

Ozarks Skydiving Center ★ Miller

Montana

DZONE Skydive ★ Bozeman

Nebraska

Lincoln Sport Parachute Club ★ Weeping Water

Nevada

Skydive Fyrosity★ Las Vegas

New Hampshire

Skyventure New Hampshire ★ Nashua

New Jersey

Skydive Cross Keys ★ Williamstown

New Mexico

Skydive New Mexico ★ Belen

New York

The Blue Sky Ranch ★ Gardiner

North Carolina

Paraclete XP ★ Raeford

North Dakota

Skydive Fargo ★ Fargo

Ohio

Start Skydiving ★ Middletown

Oklahoma

Oklahoma Skydiving Center ★ Cushing

Oregon

Skydive Awesome! ★ Madras

Pennsylvania

Skydive Pennsylvania ★ Mercer

Rhode Island

Skydive Newport ★ Middletown

South Carolina

Skydive Carolina ★ Chester

South Dakota

Special Mission ★ Skydive Adventures ★ Luverne

Tennessee

Skydive Tennessee ★ Tullahoma

Texas

Skydive Spaceland Houston ★ Houston 

Utah

Skydive the Wasatch ★ Nephi

Vermont

Vermont Skydiving Adventures ★ Addison

Virginia

Skydive Orange ★ Orange

Washington

Skydive Toledo ★ Toledo

West Virginia

WV Skydivers ★ Huntington

Wisconsin

Wisconsin Skydiving Center ★ Jefferson

Wyoming

Melvin's Brewing ★ Alpine, WY

 

 

This is a list constantly in progress. If you'd like to see your dropzone here, reach out to us!

News & Updates

 

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For Our Partner Dropzones

This undertaking is a collaborative effort, and we're so grateful to have you on our side!

What We'll Need In Order To Prep

  1. As much paperwork completed ahead of time as possible. This is vital. We know that you'll need to do a gear check and verify the two scanned repack cards we send you, but we need to complete all the rest of the material (waivers, etc.) well ahead of time to keep the schedule moving.
  2. Detailed directions for RV parking (in case we have to arrive after hours)
  3. Any potential issues or closures during our visit
  4. Your OK in writing for local news crews to visit alongside us (and any considerations that might go along with that)
  5. Our two comped jumps (one each) entered in the system and ready-to-go.

What We'll Ask For On-Site

  1. An interview with the best dropzone representative(s) to talk about what makes this particular dropzone unique. 
  2. An interview with at least one local veteran in the community (owner, staff, fun jumper...no rules here) to talk about their experience of skydiving and the skydiving community as a veteran. We'd love to be connected with this person/persons two weeks ahead-of-time to make arrangements.
  3. A location for these interviews that highlights the dropzone's best/awesomest/most unique features (so we can prepare any additional equipment that might be necessary)
  4. A dropzone sticker for the time-lapse we're doing on the back of the RV

Route Details

To help you keep tabs on our movements in your direction (and going forward), we've posted the exact route of our journey.

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Contribute Directly to Operation Enduring Warrior

First, let's get this out of the way: We co-adventurers are self-funding this journey and encourage direct donations to Operation Enduring Warrior. OEW is a 501(c)(3), and all donations to the organization are tax-deductible.

Got a lil' more? We'd love help fueling this effort

OEW is rad, and they put every dollar they get to great use. That said: if you have a little more to spare, heck yeah, we would love some help with the fuel. Driving around the country is thirsty work for our valiant old motorhome, and any contribution you can make will be received with ecstatic joy. Thank you!

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