High and Fast: Understanding Density Altitude

High and Fast: Understanding Density Altitude

A number of variables affect the speed with which a canopy flies and lands. In this article, the author looks at the effects of density altitude. more »

Save the Date: March 8, 2014

Save the Date: March 8, 2014

Information for drop zones and jumpers about the upcoming Safety Day, as well as a list of resources. more »

The RSL: Separating Fact from Fiction

The RSL: Separating Fact from Fiction

Jim Crouch talks about the history of RSL and the myths and considerations regarding its use. more »

The Story of the Miracle Eleven

The Story of the Miracle Eleven

On November 2, two small jump planes carrying a total of nine jumpers collided catastrophically at Skydive Superior in Wisconsin while flying a formation load. All on board, including the two pilots, survived the crash. Those involved have come to be known as the “Miracle Eleven,” and the following is based on their reports and accounts of the incident. more »

The Accuracy Trick

Tag: Foundations of Flight, April 2014
Axis Flight Logo Skydive Arizona Logo

Brought to you by AXIS Flight School Instructor Niklas Daniel at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. For more information visit or search “Axis Flight School” on Facebook. more »

Improperly Sealed Reserve

Tag: Keep an Eye Out, April 2014

Last year, a rigger alerted USPA about an improperly sealed reserve container that he had found during a gear check at a large boogie in Ohio. Parachutist placed the photos in its March 2013 issue (“Keep an Eye Out—Reserve Seal” by Eric Boerger). Unfortunately, USPA did not receive information about the person who packed the reserve and had no way to get in touch with the rigger to address the problem. Now, a year later, DZ staff at an Arizona drop zone discovered another rig sealed in the same improper manner. Unfortunately, once again USPA did not receive the name of the rigger—although it is unlikely to be the same person—and learned only that she is female and lives on the West Coast. more »

Developing Altitude Awareness

Tag: Safety Check, April 2014

A jumper with more than 100 jumps totally blows his landing pattern. He flies way too far downwind before realizing it and then turns 180 degrees to face into the wind. He lands outside of the main landing area but manages to avoid additional problems. Another jumper with more than 100 jumps pulls low, saddling out at 1,300 feet. Luckily, his automatic activation device does not activate his reserve, and he is able to land under his main without further issues. more »


Tag: The Rating Corner, April 2014

One of the most important duties of a USPA instructor or rating course examiner is handling the administrative requirements for jumpers’ USPA licenses and ratings. While some do a great job of taking care of their paperwork, USPA is forced to reject a substantial number of license and rating applications because the people responsible for submitting them did something wrong. The end result is often an angry license or rating candidate and a backlog in the processing of all licenses and ratings. Essentially, everyone is paying the price—in the form of delayed applications and a system that is moving much more slowly than it should—for those who are making mistakes. more »

Profile - Juan Mayer | D-26130

Tag: Profiles, April 2014

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20144Consensus is that Juan Mayer is one of the nicest people in the sport (if not the nicest). Mayer began flying camera in his native Argentina, and his talent opened doors for him around the world. He travels extensively to photograph boogies, competitions and big-way formation skydiving record events, and he is also a wingsuit instructor, as well as a USPA AFF and Tandem Instructor. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Kevin Bukstein

Tag: How Skydiving Changed My Life, April 2014


by Kevin Bukstein | B-38806 | Madison, Wisconsin

I was three jumps away from getting my A license when I had to leave for college. Seven years later (and many failed promises to get myself licensed), I finally returned to my home DZ, AtmosphAir Skydiving Center in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. When I started skydiving in 2005, I was by no means a featherweight skydiver. Due to my heavyset appearance, I was affectionately nicknamed “Cannonball.” And during my seven-year hiatus from skydiving, I had packed even more weight onto my already stocky 5-foot-7-inch frame. I was pushing 260 pounds when I passed the certification jump for my A license. more »

Gearing Up - April 2014

Tag: Gearing Up, April 2014


At what age should a person be allowed to skydive? At its most recent meeting, USPA’s board of directors decided the age should be 18 effective May 1. Anyone under 18 who has made a jump prior to that date may continue skydiving as long as they acquire a USPA A license by the last day of 2014. Anyone under 18 who is already licensed by May 1 can continue skydiving without condition. more »

High and Fast: Understanding Density Altitude

Tag: Feature, Instructional, March 2014

How many of you have muttered, “Whoa, that was faster than I expected!” (or a more forceful, colorful variation) after blazing in for landing on a hot, humid summer’s day? Maybe you paused for a moment afterward to ponder why the landing was so much faster than anticipated, or maybe you just shrugged it off and blamed it on a gust of wind and then rushed to pack for the next load. Pondering the “why” is a worthwhile exercise, actually, because although a fast landing can be a rush if you know what you’re doing and are anticipating the speed, unexpectedly landing more quickly than normal can cause a bruised ego, broken bones or worse. And this is especially true for less-experienced skydivers. more »

Advanced Belly Turns

Tag: Foundations of Flight, March 2014
Axis Flight Logo Skydive Arizona Logo

Brought to you by AXIS Flight School Instructor Brianne Thompson at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. Photos by Niklas Daniel. For more information visit or search “Axis Flight School” on Facebook. more »

Dust Devils

Tag: Keep an Eye Out, March 2014

As temperatures begin to increase and the ground warms up throughout the day, the chance of encountering a dust devil also increases. Keep in mind that dust devils usually develop when wind conditions are calm and warming occurs around an intersection of two dissimilar surfaces. more »

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