Waialua resident earns spot on U.S. Parachute Team

Gage Galle (Photo: Randy Swallows)

A Waialua resident has earned a coveted slot on the U.S. Parachute Team.

Gage Galle competed at last week’s 2014 U.S. Parachute Association National Skydiving Championships of Canopy Piloting at Skydive City Zephyrhills in Florida.

The 28-year-old works and trains at Skydive Hawaii. He has completed an astounding 7,000-plus skydives and is a member of the Performance Designs Factory Team.

The eight-person team will compete against the best canopy pilots from around the world when the World Championships comes to the U.S. November 1-7 in Zephyrhills.

In canopy piloting, often called “swooping,” skydivers fly high-performance parachutes that can generate high vertical and horizontal speeds. By performing speed-inducing maneuvers, experienced skydivers can glide inches above the ground for hundreds of yards at speeds approaching 90 mph.

The canopy piloting championships include competitions in speed, in which pilots try to fly as quickly as possible through a course; distance, which involves flying as far as possible across the ground; and accuracy, in which canopy pilots must stop on an exact spot for maximum points.

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