Monica Noncheva | D-36387
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Saturday, July 20, 2024
Monica Noncheva | D-36387

Monica Noncheva | D-36387

Profiles
Friday, May 31, 2024

Monica Noncheva is a world-record-holding, multi-rated jumper who serves the community as president of Skydive Orange, a club-based drop zone in Virginia. She is an incredibly talented skydiver, particularly as a freeflyer, and a member of the all-female Project 19 team. More importantly, she is a kind and welcoming person who is ready to help anyone at the drop zone—from the student first learning to jump to the newcomer looking for a friendly load to the wayward skydiver who just needs a ride.

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“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Monica for eight years, and have watched her grow in her skydiving journey. Her pure joy and dedication to the sport has been great to be a part of, and I’m honored to have witnessed it and to be her family.” —Jared Miller, Parachutist profilee #247


Age: 29
Height: 5’4”
Birthplace: Alexandria, Virginia
Marital Status: Not married; in a partnership with Aaron Sisk
Pets: Britty, the sweetest, shyest cat
Occupation: Artificial intelligence engineer
Education: Bachelor’s in information technology
Pet Peeves: Inconsideration
Pre-Jump Superstitions: Touching my handles in the order I’d use them
Hobbies: Hanging out with friends, lifting, rock climbing, playing video games, going to the beach
Favorite Food: Italian food! Pizza and pasta and bread and cheese.
Life Philosophy: Practice kindness and compassion. You never know what someone is going through.
Sponsors: Option Studios (brand ambassador)
Container: United Parachute Technologies Vector
Main Canopy: JYRO JFX2 99
Reserve Canopy: Performance Designs Reserve 113
AAD: Airtec CYPRES
Disciplines: Freeflying, tandem video, AFF
Home Drop Zone: Skydive Orange in Virginia
Year of First Jump: 2012
Licenses/Ratings: A-70418, B-40415, C-43486, D-36387; Coach, AFF-I, S&TA; FAA Senior Rigger
Records:
2022 California Women’s Record for Largest Head-Down Formation, 2023 Virginia Women’s Record for Largest Head-Down Formation, 2024 Puerto Rico Record for Largest Head-Down Formation, 2024 Puerto Rico Women’s Record for Largest Head-Down Formation
Number of Jumps: 4,500
    Camera: 2,500
    AFF: 1,145
    Freefly: 700
    FS: 150
    Demos: 5
    Cutaways: 3

Most people don’t know this about me:
I think assembling furniture is fun!

Does one jump stand out most?
Flying on the outer ring of the 97-way for Project 19 was the most surreal jump of my life. The realization that we had just done something that had never been done before was really special.

What do you enjoy the most about Project 19?
Sometimes, it can be challenging being in one of skydiving’s minority groups. The fact that I got the chance to come together with all of these amazing women for Project 19 to show the world what we can do as a team is something that I will never forget.

What do you like most about the sport?
The community. It is so cool that we get the opportunity to meet and spend time with one another through our shared love of skydiving, when I probably wouldn’t have otherwise crossed paths with most of the people in this sport.

What do you like least?
Egos. I get it, skydiving is an alpha sport, but the peacocks are annoying.

What are the challenges and rewards of being Skydive Orange’s president?
Being able to give back to people who have given me so much means everything. I’m passionate about doing everything I can to make Skydive Orange the best place it can be for the jumpers who call it home. The most challenging part is having to sometimes make unpopular decisions. It’s impossible to please everyone.

Who have been your mentors?
Gigi Denna, my aunt who managed Skydive Orange when I was a little girl. Mario Ripa and Chuck Hashek, who used to pick me up at volleyball practice when I was younger. And Jared Miller out at Skydive Arizona.

I skydive because …
I love accomplishing things that I never dreamed of doing: record attempts, helping military and law enforcement learn how to skydive and getting to work alongside the instructors who were my instructors when I was growing up in the sport.

Any suggestions for students?
Take your time. The sky will always be there. Better to take time and respect the risks of the sport so you can have a long career with it instead of having to get out due to an injury.

Most embarrassing moment at a drop zone:
I was standing in a circle with a bunch of other people getting ready to dirt dive our jump. There were maybe 10 people, and I had my rig on my shoulders and was about to put my right foot through my leg strap to start fully gearing up, and my foot caught on the leg strap instead and sent me sprawling face first onto the ground in front of everyone. I declared my dirt dive complete.

What kind of student were you?
I was definitely not a natural since it took me a few jumps to complete my Category D turns, and it took me several skydives to learn how to exit the airplane properly. My landings as a student were great, though!

Is there one jump you would like to make again?
I would love to do my 100th jump over again. I chose to do it with two of my mentors, Chuck and Mario, along with my now-uncle, Shane Denna, shooting video! Chuck passed away in September 2018, and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about him.

What do you consider your most significant life achievement?
I get to work with military and law enforcement groups, and it makes me really proud to be able to help give back to people who give so much to help others. I don’t have a military background, and so the fact that those guys trust me to help guide them in skydiving means a lot.

Worst skydiving moment?
In 2023, I was involved in a canopy collision when coming in for landing, about 20 feet off the ground. Thankfully the other jumper and I both walked away without any major injuries. I will never forget when our friends helped untangle me from both of our canopies and I got a chance to look around. The first thing that I saw was him lying prone on the ground. By far, the worst moment of my life was not knowing if my friend was OK.

What are your upcoming projects?
I have been working on training for the head-up world record attempts happening in November 2024. Just getting out there and going to the camps and tryouts is something I’ve been enjoying, and I look forward to continuing as the year goes on!

Explain Monica Noncheva in five words:
Loyal, hard-working, considerate, kind, shy.

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