Parachuting, Sport

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Parachuting, Sport


an aviation sport involving Parachute jumps from airplanes, helicopters, gliders, dirigibles, and balloons. Properly speaking, the term “sport parachuting” refers to the parachute descent, while free-fall activities are covered by the term “skydiving.”

There are several classes of sport-parachuting events. Competitive events include solo and group jumps for touch-down accuracy (target circle has a 10-m radius) from altitudes of 6001,500 m; solo jumps with performance of aerial acrobatics during free fall from an altitude of 2,000 m, and solo delayed jumps with protracted free falls and no upper limit on altitude. There are also group jumps from altitudes of 2,400 m, in which team members must pass a baton to each other during free fall and must land within a target circle, group jumps from altitudes of 2,400–4,000 m in which team members must form a predetermined figure during free fall, and multi-event parachute contests that include jumps for touchdown accuracy, target shooting with a small-bore rifle, cross-country events, and swimming events.

Sport parachuting originated in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. In the USSR large-scale development of the sport began in 1930. The first ail-Union records in sport parachuting were registered in 1932. In 1934, Osoaviakhim (Society for the Promotion of Defense and Aviation and Chemical Construction) instituted the title Master of Sport Parachuting of the USSR. In 1935 the Central Aviation Club of the USSR was formed to link the aviation clubs and parachuting stations throughout the country. The first all-Union competitions in sport parachuting were held during this period.

The origins and development of Soviet sport parachuting are linked with the activities of Osoaviakhim (later DOSAAF, the All-Union Voluntary Society for Cooperation with the Army, Air Force, and Navy) and with the first masters of the sport: L. G. Minov, la. D. Moshkovskii, B. N. Petrov, N. A. Ev-dokimov, N. A. Ostriakov, M. G. Zabelin, and N. A. Kamneva. In 1948 an all-Union sport parachuting section was organized, which became part of the Federation of Aviation Sports of the USSR in 1960. In 1966 the independent Sport Parachuting Federation of the USSR was founded. National championships in sport parachuting have been held regularly in the USSR since 1949. In all, there have been 19 national championship meets in the period 1935–73.

In 1950 a commission on parachuting was established by the International Aeronautical Federation (Fedération Aéronautique Internationale, founded 1905) and assigned to direct the development of sport parachuting internationally and to hold world championships. In 1973 the commission represented national organizations from more than 60 countries. The first world championships in sport parachuting were held in Yugoslavia in 1951.

Soviet participation in the world championships, which are held every two years, dates from 1954. During the period 1954— 72, Soviet parachutists have won eight individual championships and six team championships. Honored Masters of Sports V. G. Romaniuk, T. N. Voinova, V. B. Gurnyi, and L. M. Eremina have been USSR and world champions and record holders numerous times, as have Honored Masters of Sports O. N. Kazakov, V. S. Krest’iannikov, I. I. Savkin, A. A. Osipov, N. I. Priakhina, V. M. Seliverstova, P. A. Storchienko, I. A. Fedchi-shin, and L. G. Iachmenev. As of Jan. 1, 1974, Soviet parachutists held 21 of the 23 world records registered by the International Aeronautical Federation; an outstanding feat being E. N. Andreev’s 24,500 m in free fall; the federation provides 46 types of jumps for which world records are registered.

Sport parachuting abroad is highly developed in the USA, France, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, Canada, Yugoslavia, and Poland. At the 11th world championship, held in the USA in 1972, there were teams from 39 countries. Among the outstanding foreign parachutists are C. Scho-elpple (USA), D. Armaing and M. Baulez (France), B. Kar-koschka (German Democratic Republic), and M. Maier (Czechoslovakia).


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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