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
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 there 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 has always supported experienced qualified skydivers. Not only do they host the National Championships each year, but they also hold a wide range of events including:

  • An annual 28-way formation skydiving sequential competition. This event has now ended and was run from 2005 to 2015.
  • 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.[1][2]
  • BPA Coaching roadshows for freefly, formation skydiving and speed skydiving.
  • Canopy coaching, canopy formation, regular wingsuit flocking and FS bigway weekends.
  • The European Skydiving League finals were held for the first time at Hibaldstow in 2009.
  • British Collegiate Parachute Association (BCPA) nationals were held on 22 to 28 June 2015 and are scheduled again for 2016.[3]
  • 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 parachute packers and meet the same aircraft with a second 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 2014, a record 78 teams took part (see below for more information).

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 Number Image
Dornier Do 28 G-92 15 5
Dornier G-92
Technoavia SM92 Finist 10 1
SMG Turbo Finist
Cessna Grand Caravan 14 2 n/a

Records[edit]

Formation skydiving jump by British Women's team NFTO
  • 6 September 2015 - UK Headdown Freefly Record - Using 3 Dornier G92 aircraft, a formation of 37 freeflyers built over beautiful blue skies over Hibaldstow.
  • 9 August 2015 - Two records were set for the largest UK wingsuit formation. A 13-way (13 person) wingsuit record was first set and then a few hours later a larger 14-way.[4]
  • 10 July 2015 - A record 304 tandem skydives were completed within 24 hours and was organised by Skydive Hibaldstow and Teenage Cancer Trust (as part of the Skydive for Stephen event).[5]
  • 6 September 2014 - The largest formation skydiving national championships in 2014 took place at the dropzone with 78 teams taking part (75 teams of 4way and 3 VFS).
  • 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.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

News items[edit]