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Updated Apr 2, 2014 - 1:24 pm

Hundreds of skydivers to attempt record over Arizona

The group practices the dive. (Photo: Andrey Veselov)

PHOENIX -- More than 200 skydivers will attempt to set a record this week in the skies over Arizona.

"We're definitely on track and moving towards the goal," said Rob Leitlaw, captain of one of the participating teams. "We have until Friday to do this but right now we're probably ahead of schedule."

Leitlaw and 221 other skydivers will attempt to create the largest double-formation skydive ever. They have 80 seconds to jump from the plane and establish the formation before deploying their chutes.

Leitlaw said it will take practice to get it right, but things are progressing well.

"The probability of building -- you have to realize 222 people (have) to try and be in sync with each other -- is a pretty big deal," he said.

The previous record for such a maneuver was set by 110 people in Florida in 2013.

About the Author

Martha is the traffic controller in the KTAR newsroom. Her full time role is that of Assignment and Breaking News Editor of KTAR News. She oversees daily Breaking News planning and over-the air execution, and puts together the elements that make it happen. She gathers and distributes daily news assignments to reporters and editors. She also reports on a daily basis, anchors news afternoons 1-2p and fills in as anchor occasionally during other time slots. She began working at KTAR in the winter of 2012 as Desk Editor and was promoted to oversee Assignments and Breaking News in 2014. During that time, she received two awards as a journalist. The first was the 2013 APTRA Awards, where she took home 2nd place for Best Serious Future in the "Recycled Orchestra." The second was a 2014 Edward R. Murrow Award for her collaboration in KTAR's Voice for a Better Arizona Series: Immigration - seeking solutions. In her piece, Martha profiled two Arizona sisters looking for the DREAM. Martha was born in Mazatlan, Mexico. She moved to Arizona in 1996 with her parents and younger sister and has lived here since. She attended Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix and graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University in Tempe. Prior to working at KTAR news she worked in news and production at Univision Arizona in Phoenix. She also supervised the marketing, catering and public relations department at Hotel Araiza, 5-star hotel in Mexicali, Mexico. She has also been a personal trainer and aerobics instructor. When she isn't in the newsroom or behind the microphone Martha is an avid gym-goer and marathoner. She trains for two races a year and enjoys taking group exercise classes, such as kickboxing, indoor cycling and weight lifting. Martha is married and lives in Surprise, AZ with 2 dogs, Tasha and Elsa, and a cat, Sammy.


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