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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.
92 Episodes
Don't let the package fool you.  Michael Washburn, or should I say, Officer Washburn, Retired US Army Ranger may not be large and imposing, but this guy has been there and done that! Coming to civilian skydiving later in life after a military freefall career that left him less than thrilled with the sport, it was a chance meeting with a guy named "Noah" who flew "wing suits" that drove him to chase a new dream.  Years later, as the team captain of "Sky Trash" wing suit team, he's got a humble outlook, but big dreams, and when it comes to chasing them, you can most certainly see the "Ranger"! Join us on this edition of Lunatic Fringe.
He'd let his student down in a major way.  Quite literally the last thing she wanted to hear when asking her attractive, worldly instructor what had driven him to become a skydiver was "Google".  From a skydiving school with a "work placement" program, you wouldn't necessarily think big things were on the horizon, but Chris Stewart is flying proof that once that passion takes hold...  Champion competitive canopy pilot, instructor, world traveler and dare I say, cutting edge test pilot for New Zealand Aerosports and the Icarus canopies, this is an interview you're not going to want to miss.  Fuck. Yeah.
in 1976, Tony Uragallo started up Tony Suits after more "never again's" than he ever would have imagined. As a young man working as a brick layer in England, the idea that 50 years later his name would be synonymous with two of the most extreme sports the world has ever seen wasn't even imagined, but after breaking needle after needle building his first suits and heading off to Florida for the love of skydiving, Tony Suits was inevitable.  From jumpsuits for every discipline and canopies named after classic characters from literature, to cutting edge wingsuits and ionic "patch pants", Tony has led the way. With his daughter Flora at the helm, and long time skydiver and industry pro wife Mary, this family trio has a lot to say about their roots in the sport they love. Join us on this edition of Lunatic Fringe with the wonderful Tony Suit Crew!
Multiple lives all rolling after and on top of the other.  Mitch Steere, software engineer, father of 2 teenage daughters.  Mitch Steere, sliding off a motorcycle at triple digits, dirty downwind on his first jump, downsize demon. Mitch Steere, building a full database on how to perform beautiful flock dives with as much safety and precision as possible. Having come through his truly "sketch" times with the help of a great mentor, Mitch and his crew are looking toward the future of XRW and canopy flocks with great anticipation! Check it out on this edition of Lunatic Fringe!
From Nervous beginnings in communist Hungary on military rounds with a reserve he had to pack himself, to Four-Way world meets to a stint packing for the Golden Knights and test jumps on Icarus canopies that would be enough to make anyone lay the nylon down and walk away, Attila Cszmadia has come a very long way in his time in the sport; and as the long time GM of NZ Aero it's safe to say there's a whole lot more to come. Join us as we talk about slow starts, fast canopies and growing up with the Lunatic Fringe.
At first glance you might not see a whole lot in common between Brazilian Jujitsu and skydiving, but if you look twice you just might be amazed. Ricky Rout, a black belt and passionate coach in Brazilian Jujitsu spotted the similarities between the two immediately, and put to work the mental toughness he'd earned through years on the mat to work for him in the air. Born in India and raised on the island of Guam where wrestling became a passion, Jujitsu seemed like a great fit as a "pastime" on his way to university; but like many deep in the Lunatic Fringe, pastimes have a way of becoming lifestyles. Join us on this edition of Lunatic Fringe as we speak about Jujitsu and skydiving, the mental game of each, the drive and joy continuing to learn can bring, and how a chance meeting with one of skydiving's icons put Ricky on a new path.
Florida kid born and raised, William Lux always had a slightly different idea of fun.  Tearing away from the police on the back of a motorcycle as way to get a little rush may have been fun, but skydiving turned out to be a much safer way to get his fix, and William took to it almost right away; although it wasn't exactly love at first jump...  Join us on this edition of Lunatic Fringe to find out about bouncing around the country, swooping the Amish, and exactly what William means when he says for work he "lays pipe".
Being a champion many times over is amazing. Having a reputation for riding the cutting edge of the sport you love is spectacular. Thinking outside the box and embracing new and bold and daring in a sport full of daring people is wonderful. But let's face it, being the parents your nine year old daughter looks up to and admires makes all that pale by comparison. Dunia Alhegelan, daughter of Omar Alhegelan and Cheri Johnson will be the first to tell you that traveling the world and jumping out of airplanes is something she's wanted to do forever, because well, dad does it, and does it really well! On this episode of Lunatic Fringe I get the whole family in on the act to talk all about life, love, travel, skydiving, mixed up birthdays and piercings. Join in and enjoy Omar and the family!
At 17 he knew. Well, he knew after he talked his mother into signing the release anyway. Marat Leiras showed his dedication to the sport of skydiving almost right away with a 400 kilometer drive one way to the dropzone just to get through AFF. With some serious skill, some wonderful luck and a whole lot of great timing, Marat managed to travel the world, train and jump with some of the best the sport had to offer and even marry the Iowa girl of his dreams; all without ever overstaying his visa!  join us as we talk about everything from wind tunnels and BASE jumps to what a crowd of 70,000 looks like from above.  All on this edition of Lunatic Fringe Into the Void.
It's the return of Mr. Tom Noonan to talk a whole lot about safety!  At a time when more skydivers are less current than they've ever been, Tom has great information, tips and advice on everything from canopy choices and getting back into the nylon groove, to AAD's and his personal take on Covid.  Join us for a super informative and safety based talk on this edition of Lunatic Fringe.
When you start out your life as a packing weight, you're either going to hate everything about our sport, or you're going to be in it for life. Luckily for Laurie Lubbe the latter is what happened.  The daughter of a French National and World champion in Style and Accuracy, she fell in love with the sport the first time she found herself under her own canopy, and never looked back.  Now herself a sponsored athlete by the French Federation, Laurie takes the time to tell us about what it was like growing up in the sport, her journey to the tunnel life and competitive aspirations, what she believes it takes to chase the title of "Champion", and what life for her has been like in the time of Covid.  Join us for a fun and upbeat chat on this edition of Lunatic Fringe.
Anas Bekkali.  Like a lot of us, he got his start in "Air Sports" almost completely by accident, and like most of us, it totally took over his life, and damn has he made the most of it!  Starting off as a pure "tunnel rat" and transitioning to the sky, he's managed to do a whole lot with his ten or so years in the sport.  From skydiving over Everest with the Moroccan Flag and jumping his countries flag back home (where he was invited to meet the king), to plans for jumping the great pyramids of Giza and an adventure show of Morocco, Anas is working hard to make the most of his time in the Lunatic Fringe.
I've always wondered what non skydiving mom's and dads think about the sport we all love, how they deal with the stress and fear, and how they handle dealing with their kids involvement in the Lunatic Fringe, so to find out, we sat down with Bonnie and Nancy, the mothers of Junior and I respectively to find out how they coped, and still do...  Slightly embarassing and fun, join us for a little family time
Rafael Schwaiger. He likes to fly in tunnels and sometimes he skydives. Perhaps the most ridiculously understated introduction any guest has ever given themselves on Lunatic Fringe.  Unless you pay no attention to what's been happening in the tunnel for quite some time, then you're well aware of just how talented and charismatic Rafa is. World Freestyle Champion and holder of so many other titles and accolades that I won't even begin to attempt to list them, I'll still be the one to tell you that I think his biggest accomplishment is being so exceptional at what he does, while still being a happy, fun and slightly out of his mind guy. Please join us as we talk all about Rafa's path down the Lunatic Fringe, and I describe what I get to see on camera that you can't!
Back again to talk about weird shit during weird times, its Puss Foot's own Brian Casserly taking time out of his crazy busy schedule to just shoot the shit! In true bonfire style we cover everything from Covid to kids, and religion to dildo's in true lunatic style.  Join us for a good laugh in true Lunatic Fringe style.
A Kiwi born and raised, Antz Hansen had been around aviation from a very young age, so when the daydream of making a skydive finally presented itself, the outcome wasn't quite as he'd expected.  As it turned out, round parachutes weren't his thing...  But then, after he'd already established himself as a professional photographer, the chance to try the new "Square" design presented itself, and boom! Working behind the lens his entire adult life, specifically as an "extreme" photographer, Antz has gone out of his way to put himself into some seriously sketchy situations, and is happily not only still here, but happily is sitting down to tell us about his path with the Lunatic Fringe.
From round parachutes to squares. Riding atop busses fueled with beer and coke and dodging power lines. Lodi O.G. jumper. World record big ways. Subterranean BASE in Mexico. Burning Man. Waterfall wingsuiting...  There isn't a whole lot in air sports that Splash Robinson hasn't experienced firsthand! One of the original crew out of Lodi and on to Skydance in Davis, Splash has been going big ever since he wrapped his fathers car around a telephone pole (not how you would imagine). He's been there, done that and was probably the guy who designed the t-shirt. This is the guy that helped put the Lunatic into Lunatic Fringe, and its an episode you're not gonna want to miss! 
Raised in a family of Aviation enthusiasts, pilots and veterans, Jan Kruger had thought the career of a pilot might be the right path for him, but his family aimed him in a slightly different direction.  Taking on the challenge of becoming and A&P, or Mechanic, or Engineer, or as Jan puts it, somebody that fixes airplanes he found his niche, and ended up working with one of the premier companies that helps keep Twin Otters in the air and doing their thing. With skydiving a dream that had always been on the back burner, it jumped to the forefront as soon as he started spinning wrenches for a skydiving operation which has led him happily and inevitably down a path straight toward the Lunatic Fringe.  Join us on this wine filled and aviation enthusiast based episode!
Living mirrored lives on different sides of the planet, Louise Kristensen and Shannon Seyb had a passion and drive for most all the same things. From Horseback riding and yoga, to tunnel flying and a love of the sky and our community, forming a team to spread the love and a positive vibes was the only natural thing to do. Biding their time until they can train for dynamic two way tunnel comps and get back in the air, Louise and Shannon take the time to tell me how they got their starts in the sport, and how they've spent their "down" time lately keeping it interesting here in the Lunatic Fringe.
Just about as all around positive as they come. Professional Skydiver, writer, life coach, "Ball of Light"...  I had to ask, just how does Melanie Curtis manage to stay so positive and upbeat all the time? The answers may not surprise, but they will most certainly inform. As a member of a new skydiving demo team designed to raise awareness and highlight women in our sport, she's all about making positive change! We go pretty deep on this one to be sure, so...  For those that are looking for just light hearted and want to avoid some of the topics of the day, well, this may be a bit more in depth than you're expecting, but I got the chance to really talk straight with Melanie about the world we're living in, the sport we love, and all the reasons why for good or bad, we love the Lunatic Fringe.
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