Andy Malchiodi has collected more competition hardware than most skydivers, but you’d never think that was the case when meeting him. While he lacks the big ego that might naturally go with a dozen national and world records, he doesn’t lack the drive and expertise necessary to organize record skydives, instruct and coach legions of skydivers and dominate the highest levels of competition in multiple disciplines. He most recently directed and produced the paranormal skydiving movie “Hex,” which can be streamed on various platforms.
“Andy is a high-achieving champion, organizer and visionary for the sport, and does it all on his own timeline and terms, while having fun throughout. The word “legend” gets thrown around a lot in the sport , but Andy definitely qualifies.” -Brian Erler, Profilee #5
Birthplace: Miami, Florida
Home Drop Zone: Skydive Elsinore in California
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Skydiver and amateur economist
Education: B.S. in sociology from University of Central Florida
Pet Peeves: Those who ever try to close the aircraft door during a southwest summer
Pre-Jump Superstitions: Just a boring old check of threes
Hobbies: Surfing, basketball and music
Favorite Food: Burritos
Rock, Rap or Country? If it’s sincere, I like it. But I’m a rock guy.
Life Philosophy: Play the percentages.
Would you rather swoop or land on an accuracy tuffet? Those options are not mutually exclusive. Both, of course.
Jump Philosophy: Do the jump for the people you have, or get the people for the jump you want.
Team Name: Fliteshop
Sponsors: Cookie Composites, Firebird, Larsen & Brusgaard, Liquid Sky Sports, Performance Designs, Skydive Arizona and Skydive Elsinore
Main Canopy: Performance Designs Valkyrie 75 and Storm 97
Reserve Canopy: Performance Designs Reserve 113
AAD: Airtec CYPRES
Year of First Jump: Tandem in 1996; AFF in 2000.
Licenses/Ratings: A-37488, B-24705, C-32491 and D-28016; AFF-I, T-I, PRO and S&TA.
Championships/Medals/Records: Freefly world champion, five-time freefly national champion and six-time MFS national champion; 12 national and world records for largest formation (head-down, head-up and sequential) and fastest sequences in competition.
Total Number of Jumps: 16,500
Freefly: 11,000 Camera: 8,000 Tandem: 4,000 Accuracy: 2,000 FS: 500 Demo: 100 WS: 100
Largest completed formation: 142
Total number of cutaways: 15
What was it like directing “HEX”? Are you happy with the movie?
It was a grand adventure and like drinking from a firehose every day. For the budget, time and resources we had available to us, it’s the best movie it could be and I’m super proud of it.
Most people don’t know this about me:
I haven’t really eaten meat since the summer of ’95.
Is there one particular jump that stands out the most?
Many. There was round 2 of the 2010 world meet—setting a world record and maintaining a lead we never gave up. Also, the final round of 2019 Nationals. We were tied going in, and winning coming out. A few different formation world records. And a tandem with two of my best friends, with one as the passenger and one flying with us.
What do you like most about the sport?
Never running out of things to learn.
What do you like least about the sport?
Losing friends. Egos.
Who have been your skydiving mentors?
I’d consider Chris Fiala my skydiving mentor. Other early freefly coaches were Stan Gray, Dusty Smith and Jon Devore. I continue to learn from my teammates and peers every day, as well as my students.
What are your future skydiving goals?
Seeing MFS on the world stage.
How did you become interested in skydiving?
As a kid, once I reached the limit of the highest object I could jump off without getting seriously injured, I had to start asking: What else could I jump off?
What safety item do you think is most often neglected?
Rehearsing emergency procedures.
I skydive because …
I like having presence forced upon me.
Any suggestions for students?
No matter how intuitive or obvious something may seem to you, always ask the question, “I’d like to try X, Y or Z. What should I know about that beforehand?”
What’s the most bad-ass thing you can do in the air?
Break world records with my teammates.
What is your favorite jump plane and why?
Cessna Super Caravan. Best balance of operational efficiency, lift capacity and door size.
If you could do a fantasy 2-way with anybody, whom would it be with and where would it take place?
A tandem with my Dad into a Miami Dolphins football game.
Most embarrassing moment while in freefall or at a drop zone:
Imperviousness to embarrassment or awkwardness is my superpower.
Is there one jump you would like to do again?
The 2012 world meet was decided by two tenths of a point. I’d like to have round five back. We could have flown better, and it might have made the difference.
What do you consider your most significant life achievement?
If I’ve created a life I’m satisfied with, while hopefully inspiring others and making a difference in their lives along the way, I’d call that significant.
While in freefall, what has been your strangest thought?
If you’re going to fart in freefall, best to do it head-down, where it can just escape out the bottom of your jumpsuit.
Suggestions for USPA:
Do a limited number of things, and do them well.
Greatest competition moment?
Winning the 2010 world championship.
Worst skydiving moment?
Although thankfully the worst consequences have never been realized, the times I’ve made poor decisions that could have cost myself or others injuries or worse.
Weirdest skydiving moment?
Organizing the 2008 naked freefly world record. The loader loaded the plane naked. The pilot flew the plane naked. It was great.
What is your perfect day like?
There’s a lot of ingredients to choose from that could create a perfect day. But anytime you can surf and skydive in the same day—that’s a good place to start.
How did it feel to set the 77-way two-point vertical sequential world record?
It was a pleasure working with my co-organizer, Matt Fry. To start and finish with the same personnel was incredibly satisfying. No bench, no cuts and no one left behind.
Explain Andy Malchiodi in five words or fewer:
Introverted, lazily ambitious, deviant, pensive.