Contributions and Innovations—Mark Baur Receives the 2018 USPA Gold Medal for Meritorious Service
a USPA Staff Report
Monday, April 1, 2019
Mark Baur, D-6108, is a USPA Lifetime Member who made his first skydive in 1978. By 1979 he had earned all four licenses and USPA issued them all—A through D—in March of that year. Over the years, Baur earned nearly all possible USPA instructional ratings: He was a Coach Examiner and AFF, Tandem and Static-Line Instructor Examiner. Although he no longer holds instructional ratings (he stopped using his last rating—AFF Instructor—at the end of 2018), he continues to mentor local instructors at his home DZ, Skydive Twin Cities in Baldwin, Wisconsin.
Baur also made his mark in the world of skydiving through rigging. He’s a Federal Aviation Administration Master Rigger and Designated Parachute Rigger Examiner who owns the Parachute Magic rigging loft. He wrote “The Integrated Guide to Parachute Rigger Tests,” more commonly known as “The Green Book,” an indispensable source for FAA-rigger-rating candidates. And Baur currently serves as chairman of the Parachute Industry Association Rigging Committee.
Safety and Training Advisor John Ward nominated Baur for the USPA Gold Medal for Meritorious Service, which honors “outstanding Americans who, by their efforts over a period of years, have made significant contributions to the skydiving community.” Ward’s nomination states that Baur serves “as the go-to guy for rigging questions for Upper Midwest DZs, skydivers and other riggers alike.” He added, “His contributions and innovations in the rigging world are legendary.”
In recent years, Baur has taught rigging courses in the Rigging Innovations loft at Eloy, Arizona. It’s no surprise that he selected Rigging Innovations President Sandy Reid to present him with the USPA Gold Medal. Baur accepted the medal from Reid at the Sun Path Products Reception on the first night of this year’s Parachute Industry Association Symposium in Dallas, Texas. After making heartfelt remarks, Reid presented the framed, beribboned USPA Gold Medal and read the engraved citation, “To Mark Baur, for his contributions and innovations in parachute rigging and equipment, and for many years of teaching and mentoring riggers and skydiving instructors to improve the skill levels of all involved.” Baur received a standing ovation.