This past weekend, on November 3, 2018, Leslie Irvin was inducted into the International Skydiving Hall of Fame. Elizabeth Johnson, Director of Sales and Marketing at Airborne Systems, and Robert Sinclair, Chief Engineer of Space and Recovery at Airborne Systems, attended the banquet and proudly accepted Leslie Irvin’s award. The event was filled with skydiving icons from all around the world.
Pictured to the right: (from left) Daryl Henry (represented by friend Buzz Bennett), Henny Wiggers, Coy O. McDonald Jr., Ray Cottingham, Jay Stokes, Roger Ponce de Leon, Leslie Irvin (represented by Rob Sinclair and Elizabeth Johnson of Airborne Systems), Dom Jalbert (represented by his grandson Craig Oldre), Tony Uragallo, and Suzie Hunter-Joerns.
(Photo by Andrey Veselov)
The Skydiving Hall of Fame is awarded to people who “…through leadership, innovation and/or accomplishments have defined, promoted, inspired and advanced skydiving at the highest and sustained levels such that they have made it possible for generations of skydivers to enjoy the sport.” (Skydivingmuseum.org/hall-of-fame). Leslie Irvin is credited with making the first premeditated free-fall descent using a ripcord in 1919. With an intense interest in parachute innovation and jump safety, he formed his own parachute company also in 1919, which grew to six factories by 1939 serving over 45 countries, and eventually led to today’s Airborne Systems. During the WWII era when canopies were made of silk from Japan, he quickly got to work and delivered the first canopies made entirely from nylon, the material of choice to this day for skydivers. His many patents for innovative design of canopies and parachuting equipment pioneered the industry and produced tremendous advancements to the parachute industry.
We are so honored that Leslie Irvin received this well-deserved award. Every day, we strive to carry on his legacy in the parachute industry with new technology, innovations, and ideas. As we come up on the 100th anniversary of Irvin’s first intentional freefall jump and incorporation of the Irvin Air Chute company, we are proud of the many contributions to the industry through his incredible legacy.