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Lunatic Fringe Into the Void

Lunatic Fringe Into the Void

Author: The Pilot

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Step into the void with The Pilot from Blue Skies Magazine as he talks to some of the worlds premiere extreme air sports athletes to get their take on living life to the fullest, their paths to the “lunatic fringe” and how they fit into the mainstream world while living life on the dark side.
120 Episodes
It's kind of an unbelievable list of accomplishments and stunts. X-Games Skysurfing World Champion. Super Bowl Halftime winning Pepsi Commercial  pulling stunts with a goose. First ever to skydive from an exploding aircraft. First ever parachute on fire in flight... The list goes on and on.  Yet if you had asked a young Troy Hartman what he thought he was going to be when he grew up, there was only one answer. Pilot. Unfortunately, as seems to be the case over and over in life, the plan didn't exactly go the way he thought, so on to plan B...  Becoming not only a world champion skysurfer, but the ambassador for skydiving at a time when not only the US but the whole world seemed to be screaming for something extreme. Join us on this edition of Lunatic Fringe as we talk with Troy about more out of your mind tricks, stunts and lucky breaks than anyone could ever imagine, all of which have him forever linked with the Lunatic Fringe. 
With one of the most unique stories of how skydiving entered his life, Moe Viletto had just survived an impromptu zero gravity aerobatic flight by the skin of his teeth when he and his pilot buddy spotted canopies off in the distance. Knowing the instant he landed from his first jump that this was what life had been aiming him toward, he embarked on what this year would have been five decades of skydiving, rigging and BASE jumping. Living life on his terms as a rigging gypsy king, scoring a bit of luck here and there and having an incredible time, he did it all without any real plan. From drougeless tandems and AFF before it was a thing, to living in a VW Beetle while trying to find a home for his sewing machines, to BASE jumping with a tent and then on to Hollywood, Moe Viletto and I only scratch the surface of his fifty years of Lunatic Fringe adventures. From his antics to his rigging, Moe Viletto was a trailblazer in every sense of the word and we aren't likely to ever find another quite like him. On what was suppose to be the first of many installments of "Story Time With Moe", he shared with us just a little of what made him such an incredibly loved icon in our sport.  Recorded not much before his passing, I feel nothing but lucky I had the chance to meet the man behind the Lunatic Fringe legend.
World Champions and always outgoing ambassadors to the world for skydiving, Team Airwax with Greg Crozier, Karine Joy and Ewan Cowie join me face to face in the studio to talk about life after lockdown, travel in the time of Covid, previous lives and what the future holds in store. We touch on what it takes not only to be a championship team in our sport, but how social media plays an enormous part in staying relevant not only to sponsors, but to future generations of skydivers, and how a 2006 Pommero is the perfect bottle of wine to sip while chatting with other lifetime members of the Lunatic Fringe. 
On the conclusion of Lunatic Fringe with Joe Jennings... From the X-Games to Good Stuff; from Hollywood to the Super Bowl, Mr. Joe Jennings has helped to shape not only modern skydiving through the lens of his camera, but was instrumental in bringing our sport to the forefront of pop-culture, entertainment and the masses. Like most, his first jump wasn't just entertainment, it was transformation, and on part two of Joe's chat on Lunatic Fringe, I get the opportunity to sit and talk with Joe, and my guest host Omar Alhegelan about the making of not only a world class camera flyer, but of some of the most iconic skydiving videos ever to see a screen.
From the X-Games to Good Stuff; from Hollywood to the Super Bowl, Mr. Joe Jennings has helped to shape not only modern skydiving through the lens of his camera, but was instrumental in bringing our sport to the forefront of pop-culture, entertainment and the masses. Like most, his first jump wasn't just entertainment, it was transformation, and on part one of Joe's chat on Lunatic Fringe, I get the opportunity to sit and talk with Joe, and my guest host Omar Alhegelan about the making of not only a world class camera flyer, but of some of the most iconic skydiving videos ever to see a screen.
On this, his first time in the host seat, the familiar Mr. David Junior Ludvik takes the time to sit down with fellow skydiving instructor Kareem Madoor.  Working as a management consultant, Kareem started to wonder if there weren't a little more to life than office walls and deadlines. With his first foray toward the Lunatic lifestyle, he found an affinity for scuba, then moved on to kite surfing, first as a student and then eventually as an instructor.  By the time the idea of skydiving hit his radar there wasn't any second guessing; he was just ready to jump. Now as a kite surfing and skydiving instructor, he spends his free time traveling the world to chase his passions, leading him to epic experiences like free falling over the Giza Pyramids in his home Country of Egypt. Join in on this first time in the hot seat episode with Junior and Kareem as they chat all things Lunatic.
As a young Kiwi, starting out with sport was a pretty natural thing, and Jeff Weatherall excelled. Surfing seemed to be a natural fit for him, and competition became the standard at a young age; but as is known to happen when you push for the top, Jeff found himself burned out on the waves, and instead put all of his focus into a sport he'd never considered before, wakeboarding.  On his way to becoming an international champion behind a boat, he happened to catch a bit of footage of a guy named Frank BASE jumping, and knew it was in his cards. Years after his first glimpse, and long after that very first skydive Jeff made his first BASE jump, and was off on a new trajectory in his life that would eventually lead him on to become a full-time skydiver, wingsuit and BASE coach, and lifelong member of the Lunatic Fringe.
From a young age he was drawn to air sports, and skydiving in particular, but having an uncle who'd broken his back landing a round years before, it would have been easy for Jarno Cordia to watch his dreams of flying stay nothing more than childhood fantasy; but his desire to get in the air was much stronger than any fears he or his family may have had. After finishing school at 17 and a top notch career for the taking, he was able to use his early start in the professional world to put aside time to pursue his passion for flight both in skydiving and BASE, most specifically with wingsuiting. As has been for many a jumper, the drive to fly found a way to push career aside, and almost without thinking, he found that his passion and profession were now one in the same. With his partner and teammate Jenna Gygi at his side, @teamflylikebrick continues to lead him to almost every side of the Lunatic Fringe.
Kim Worthington.  Now known as Kim Turnbull. Wife. Mom. Upstanding citizen and all around normal person. But back then, well...  Kim got her start skydiving like a lot of us did, with a tandem and an instant love for the sport. With one trip to Spain it was game on for her, and straight into a career as an AFF instructor (Via manifest) coach and a run all around the US that culminated in one hell of a stint at the then infamous Skydive CrossKeys, the craziest DZ in the world (at the time). On this episode of Lunatic, we get the chance to talk with someone who's put their skydiving life well in the past with no plans to return, as she looks back at some of the seriously wild and sometimes twisted adventures that make up some of the best, and possibly most difficult memories of her life. Time to chat with one of the crew that helped give this podcast its Lunatic roots.
Lunatic fringe with Death

Lunatic fringe with Death


On this edition of Lunatic Fringe, Omar Alhegelan, Junior Ludvic and I tackle the difficult subject of death, and how we as skydivers deal (or don't deal) with the end.  From denial to humor, we speak about how we and those around us cope with it, and try and speak openly about a subject that most skydivers work really hard to avoid; when we at last shuffle off this mortal coil.
Just another last minute plan is how it started for Flavio Almeida. At the ripe old age of 16 years, he found himself doing not just his first, but second static line jump on his first ever trip to a small Brazilian dropzone near the rainforest, and never imagined then the path he'd just started himself down.  From jumping in his home country, to studying, jumping and working in Canada (which ended in rather spectacular fashion) and then the states and eventually around the world, Flavio found that he could actually manage to make a life for himself doing what he had assumed could only be a part-time sport. As an AFF, tandem instructor, camera flyer and eventually swoop competitor, this multi-lingual well traveled skydiver takes the time to fill us all in on his adventures so far with the Lunatic Fringe.
A Vegas OG, Brian Moler, and in fact pretty much the entire Moler family have either been a part of, or heard every story there is to tell about skydiving in Las Vegas, Nevada. For a city not at all known for skydiving, you'd might just be amazed at just how much has gone down in Sin City, and he is most certainly the man to talk to. From failed contracts put out on a DZO's life (kind of), to warring tribes of Elvi, man eating dust devils and a huge Outlaw failure with the FAA, Brian Moler has more than 30 years of dirt and a whole lot of fun to share on this edition of Lunatic Fringe.
For Tim Jones, the decision to become a skydiver wasn't a difficult one. A half planned road trip from the UK into France and a tandem skydive was about all it took. As sometimes seems to be the case, skydiving and Tim fit together pretty easily, and through a fortuitous friendship formed with Andrew Ford, who he would later find out was "somebody" in skydiving, he found himself working ground control at a very busy multi-aircraft turbine dropzone. With quite a few challenges, but also a number of valuable learning experiences, Tim managed to work and jump his way into the world of camera flying, and then eventually to tandems, finding pleasure not just in the work and the community, but in the potential for travel and experience in the small but extensive world of the Lunatic Fringe. Join in on this episode for an upbeat chat about all things jump.
Back in the can to talk over old times and new, Andrew "Fordy" Ford brings 35 years of airsports experience int to talk about not just the "good Ol' days" of yesteryear, but to talk about the advances of today, and what might be around the corner. Paying homage to some of the greats from back in the day and some the incredible talent of now, Fordy takes some time to chat about his life with the Lunatic Fringe.
Raised with a competitive spirit, but finding herself in constant competition with older BMX riding brothers, Amber Forte knew from a pretty young age not only that she wanted to find her own path, but more importantly that she wanted a life less ordinary. Having made her first skydive on her own at 18 and being just as impressed with the mentality of the jumpers as she was with their profession, it was only natural that more was to come. Finding herself living in the land of the long white cloud and becoming friends with someone new to the sport, she fed off the excitement he had for skydiving and decided to join in. From working tunnels and dropzone's both in Austrailia and New Zealand, to the tunnel in Voss where she would find yet another passion in BASE, she fell in love with the life she had carved out for herself and went full throttle with a long list of goals to achieve. Until she found herself wondering if she'd ever be able to do it again. Join in on this episode as Amber shares her stories of success and failure, injury and recovery on her amazing journey with the Lunatic Fringe.
Born and raised in a part of Norway where sport wasn't just another choice, but a way of life, Espen Fadnes grew up roped up and climbing or skiing almost before he was walking. Being on the rock and in the mountains was beyond second nature, as were all the other terrestrial adventures Norway had to offer. Yet with Espen, from a young age, reaching the tops of the peaks he climbed and either hiking or skiing down soon didn't satisfy, and he found himself dreaming of flying where others walked. In an environment that back then was alien and overwhelming, his beginnings in skydiving were tempered with having to overcome something he hadn't really known before; fear. Now, arguably at the top of his game as a seasoned and highly respected BASE jumper, skydiver and instructor, Espen takes a little time to speak about some great and even no so great choices and adventures on his path with the Lunatic Fringe.
Back in the can with the Fuckin' co-host Junior Ludvic, he's got some good tips and advice on taking care of your gear while it's down for the winter months, keeping or getting current, dealing with injuries and what the future holds, this time around on The Lunatic Fringe.
A Southern California jumper from go, Nathan Smith didn't realize just how good he had it at the world famous (with skydivers that is) dropzone he "grew up" on.  Perris valley was the beginning of a journey that has since led him to multiple world records and more than 20 countries around the globe, not just competing in, but teaching the sport he loves. Holding camps and organizing boogies year round, all while working a full-time job in the real world, Nathan isn't satisfied to leave well enough alone, and in 2021 will be launching an entirely new endeavor with one of the best known and winningest canopy pilots in the history of the sport. Join in on this edition and hear about how it really is possible to find a balance between the real world, and the Lunatic Fringe.
Growing up seeing canopies in the air pretty much his entire life, the idea of going to make a skydive when he turned eighteen seemed like a pretty easy decision. Like more than a few jumpers, it didn't take very long until Timmi spotted the direction he wanted to take his journey in the sport. Seeing what at the time he thought was a fatality in action, but was in reality just another swoop did the trick.  After a fortuitous job offer to go pack nylon in New Zealand, and a few mentors along the way, Timmi once again found himself on the good side of luck when after and impressive swoop with the help of home field advantage caught the eye of event organizers, he found himself doing demo jumps into one of the most impressive arenas skydive has ever seen, the Copenhagen Swoop Freestyle competition in 2015. Join us on this edition of Lunatic Fringe while we chat about nylon, tunnels and the real world with Timmi Thomsen.
From a very young age, extreme for Matt Jaskol was common place.  Starting first on two wheels and then to four, racing simply became a way of life, and one that he chased with true passion. Yet just like life, racing and it's pitfalls left him looking for some type of escape and distraction from the negatives, and skydiving became his very unexpected release. From pushing the limits on a path aimed toward a seat on the pro racing circuit, to skydives around the world, and eventually to a soul searching experience in the jungles of Indonesia, Matt Jaskol has more than enough to put pen to paper, and in this episode takes his time to share just a taste of his path with the Lunatic Fringe.
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