tony domenico

                                       by brian giboney


           A fixture on the 4-way and big-way skydiving scenes in Perris, California, the u.s. and the world for many years, soft-spoken Tony Domenico has helped organize numerous big-way world records, including the two Jump for the Cause women’ s records. He is also a savvy businessman who has made a good living in the sport.

Age: 43

Height and Weight: 5'10"; 190 pounds

Birthplace: Denver, Colorado

Children: None

Marital Status: Single

Occupation: President of Square One Parachute  Sales and Service

Hobbies: Mountaineering, big-game fishing,  art, photography, jewelry making and design, working out, bicycling

Containers: Talon and Jave1in

Mains: Sabre 2 150, Spectre 150

Reserve: PD-143R

AAD: Cypres

Home DZ: Perris Valley Skydiving

Licenses and Ratings: Private pilot (Instrument rated), master rigger, PRO Rating, AFFinstructor

 Records: 300-way, Eloy, Arizona, 2002; 282-way,  Thailand, 1999; organized first 104-way star and two-point 114-way

    Total jumps: 5,000-plus

   RW: 2,500-plus

   4-way: 2,000-plus

   Freefly: 300-plus

   CRW: 50-100

   100-plus formations: 400-500

200-plus formations: 100-150

Total cutaways: Five

Pet peeves: Jumpers with more than 200 jumps who can't consistently stand up their landings.

Life philosophy: Treat people how you would like to be treated.

Most people don't know this about me:

      I'm a quiet, very warm person. I am looking forward to having children someday.

 What do you like least about skydiving?

      The politics, and as an organizer, I have to  deal with it. I try very hard to be fair.

      Who were your skydiving mentors?

Guy Manos, Tommy Piras, Roger Nelson.  I learned a lot about how to organize-and how not to organize-from these guys.

     What kind of student were you?

Below average and determined. After attempting several clear-and-pulls for my first freefalls, I would still leave the strut of the C-182 and go inverted and dump on my back. My jumpmaster finally gave me the "you know, skydiving isn't for everyone" talk. Well, that pissed me off, and I was determined to force myself to arch and wait before pulling. I learned that by just not giving up, I will eventually get to where I want to be.

 I skydive because

     I like the buzz --it's a very healthy high. I also like seeing my friends in a 3- D world-upside down, vertical, right side up, smiling and laughing, generally loving life. If life could be like this all the time, wouldn't we want to make it that way?

    Best skydiving moment?

Organizing the first 100-way star! Both Guy Manos and Jack Jefferies tried it, but I did it, and I'm proud of that.

    Explain Tony Domenico in five words or less.

      Caring, sensitive, emotional, driven, athletic.

    What makes Tony Domenico tick?

      Friends and loved ones-what else really matters?

    How did you get to your level of formation skydiving?

    Jump a lot! The more you jump, the better you get. Doing 4-ways taught me a 1ot-4-way is the best way to learn skydiving. Most of my first 2,000 jumps were 4-way.

    What was your role in the 300-way?

The 300-way was great fun. On my computer, I laid out the formation design that Jack and Dan.sent me, I saw some areas that were crowded and could he improved, things I had learned from other world records. I shared my concerns with them, and then I created at least ten different formations using their base 100-way and adding different whacker designs to it. I sent them all to Jack and Dan, arid they liked one design a lot. We ended up using one of my designs, modified a bit. It was really cool to be able to add input to the project.

How are you able to organize such great formations while having to deal with such a mixture of people?

I try hard to be fair to everyone. Sometimes, this involves asking someone to sit out so the group as a whole can succeed. I think people respect me for the way I deal with individual people, as well as groups. Another secret of my success is to create a safe atmos­phere to jump in...People do their personal bests when they are not scared or freaked out. I accomplish this by making safety the number-one goal of every event­  - don't put people at any additional risk, period. If you come to one of my events, I am looking out for you.

I seriously care about everyone who jumps with me.

    What personal traits must a top-notch organizer possess?

   The ability to work with people. My job as an organizer is to bring out the best in people so they can successfully complete their personal jobs. If everyone completes his own job, the group will be successful.

How do you motivate yourself to accomplish so much in skydiving, piloting, fishing, etc., in one lifetime?

Life is short and precious. I figured it out a long time ago-I can sit on the couch and watch TV or get off my butt and accomplish fun things.