Target Skysports

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Target Skysports
Legal status
Training school (registered company is Side Target Ltd)
Purpose Parachute training in North Lincolnshire
Location Hibaldstow Airfield, North Lincolnshire, UK, DN20 9NN
Affiliations British Parachute Association
Website Target Skysports

Target Skysports is a BPA affiliated parachuting centre and skydiving drop zone at Hibaldstow, in North Lincolnshire, England.

A Technoavia SM92 Finist of Target Skysports lifts skydivers to the jump altitude at Hibaldstow

History[edit]

The airfield is the former RAF Hibaldstow, a former satellite fighter airfield for RAF Kirton in Lindsey and first opened in May 1941. 255 and 253 Squadrons were based their during the war and the airfield acted as a satellite of RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey. Later on it changed its role to fulfil a training role before eventually closing in May 1945.

Skydive Hibaldstow has its origins from several early parachuting clubs dating back to the 1960s. These included Lincoln Pathfinders, Leeds Bradford Parachute club and Doncaster Parachute club. Doncaster Parachute Club started in the early 1980s. The operation then moved in 1992 to its present location due to the industrial development, with the runway being dug up and replaced with warehousing.

Events and Training[edit]

Skydiving at Target Skysports has always supported experienced qualified skydivers. Not only are they host to the National Championships each year, but they also hold a wide range of events including:

  • An annual 28-way formation skydiving sequential competition. This year, it will be held on the 28th to 29th June.
  • A dropzone formation skydiving bigway record attempt. In 2007 this was set at 50, and in 2009 the record was increased to a 60-way formation.
  • BPA Coaching roadshows for freefly, formation skydiving and speed skydiving.
  • Canopy coaching, canopy formation and bigway weekends.
  • The European Skydiving League finals were held for the first time at Hibaldstow in 2009.
  • The annual Halloween 10-way Speed Frostbite Friendly competition.
  • Host of the UK Skydiving League competition which act as a regional grand-prix type event.
  • Safety and packing days.
  • Instructor courses.

In addition to the many events held at the parachute centre, they are also well known as a centre for team training. Teams preparing for the National Championships jump at Hibaldstow because they can make high numbers of descents in a short space of time. This is facilitated by an efficient manifesting system, fast climbing aircraft and back-to-back jumps.

Back-to-back jumping is where a skydiver or team can make high volumes of jumps by owning more than one set of equipment. After landing from the 1st jump, they hand their equipment to qualified parachuter packers and meet the same aircraft with a 2nd set of equipment as it lands on the runway.

National Championships[edit]

The National Championships were first held at Hibaldstow in 1996. Since then they have continued to host this prestigious competition ever year except one. The disciplines which are held include 4-way and 8-way formation skydiving, freefly, freestyle, speed skydiving and VFS (vertical formation skydiving). Two weekends (Saturday to Monday) are set aside every August, with the events being split equally between them.

2009 saw the 4-way, 8-way and VFS disciplines all completed in a single day totalling some 143 take-offs by the fleet of 3 aircraft. In 2011, another UK record was set of 54 formation skydiving 4-way teams and 3 VFS teams attend on the first weekend. It is also believed that proportionate to the number of skydivers and dropzones, the UK has the largest national championships event in the world.

The dropzone was awarded a 3-year contract to run the National Championships from 2012 to 2014.

Courses and Equipment[edit]

The centre offers RAPS (Static Line), Accelerated Freefall (AFF) and Tandem skydiving courses to the public all year long. As part of this, they own a selection of student equipment and parachutes for hire.

Fleet[edit]

Target Skysports fleet
Aircraft Passengers Registration Image
Dornier_Do_28 G-92 15 n/a
Dornier G-92
Technoavia SM92 Finist 10 n/a
SMG Turbo Finist
Cessna Grand Caravan 17 n/a n/a

Records[edit]

  • 29 September 2013 - A group of 8 Head Up jumpers created a formation. An unofficial 11-way record was also completed, but did not hold for long enough to be counted as a record.
  • 22 September 2013 - An attempt was made at the UK Freefly Headown record and after 8 attempts, they successfully built a formation of 30 jumpers together.
  • 1 September 2012 - A record total of 76 teams registered for the National Championships in formation skydiving (FS & VFS combined).
  • 28 August 2011 – A group of 28 of the best UK freeflyers set a record for the largest freefly formation. This was organised by the British VFS team, the Bad Lieutenants and beat the previous record of a 22-man formation set in 2010 at the same dropzone.
  • 13 August 2011 – The dropzone hosts the largest Open National Skydiving Championships in the world and some 55 4-way teams take part.
  • 10 July 2011 – A UK record of 130 charity tandem skydivers jumped in a single day. They were raising money for Khalsa Aid. This surpasses a similar record set at the same dropzone in 2010.
  • 22 May 2011 – The first every UK women's headdown record was set at the dropzone consisting of 8 jumpers flying in a headdown formation and was organised by Anna Howerski and Catriona Adam.

External links[edit]

News items[edit]