Project Strato-Jump I, II, and III

Project Strato-Jump I, II, and III

The Nick Piantanida Story more »

Getting Past the Door Monster

Getting Past the Door Monster

The author discusses the fear of getting out of the door to jump that new skydivers usually had. more »

The Dunning-Kruger Effect

The Dunning-Kruger Effect

The author applies a psychological phenomenon, which states that people below average skill or knowledge tend to grossly overestimate their own abilities, to skydiving. more »

A Welcome Winter Respite

A Welcome Winter Respite

The Winter 2015 USPA Board of Directors Meeting more »

Aircraft Etiquette

Tag: Wing Tips, September 2015
Lightning Flight Logo

Brought to you by Taya Weiss of the Lightning Flight wingsuit, freefly and angle-flight school at Skydive Perris in California. more »

Backward Movement in a Sit

Tag: Foundations of Flight, September 2015
Axis Flight Logo Skydive Arizona Logo

Brought to you by Niklas Daniel and Brianne Thompson of AXIS Flight School at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. Photos by Brianne Thomspon. Information about AXIS' coaching and instructional services is available at more »

Do Your Homework

Tag: Safety Check, September 2015

It’s safe to say that it’s extremely important for aircraft pilots to have a thorough understanding of all of the systems on their airplanes that affect the safety of their flights. After all, if a pilot is unfamiliar with his equipment and takes the wrong action in an emergency, it could be fatal. The same is true of skydivers and their equipment, but you would never know it judging from the approach some jumpers take toward their gear. more »

A Different Kind of Mae West Malfunction

Tag: Keep an Eye Out, September 2015

After landing uneventfully under her main parachute following a clear-and-pull skydive, this jumper discovered her reserve ripcord handle wedged into the side of her bra outside of her shirt. If the jumper had needed to perform emergency procedures on the jump, the wedged handle would have prevented or delayed her from pulling her reserve ripcord. The jumper had performed a handle check before exiting and speculates that the problem occurred on opening. She was wearing a soft, stretchy T-shirt and had tucked her cell phone into her bra, which may have created a gap that allowed the handle to get lodged. Jumpers should ensure that the clothing they wear while skydiving does not prevent operation of their parachute system’s handles. more »

Accident Reports

Tag: The Rating Corner, September 2015

One of a USPA Safety and Training Advisor’s most important responsibilities is to investigate accidents and submit reports on them to USPA Headquarters. According to data gathered from membership-renewal forms, USPA members sustained 729 injuries that required medical attention in 2014, but USPA received just a handful of non-fatal accident reports from S&TAs. This low ratio of accident reports to injuries is true for other years, as well. Additionally, USPA rarely receives reports of close calls that didn’t lead to injuries, although those could also teach valuable lessons to jumpers. Each year, plenty of close calls and injuries occur, but their valuable and potentially life-saving lessons are lost because nobody hears about them. more »

Profile - Chris Wagner | D-5479

Tag: Profiles, September 2015

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20159Over the past 39 years, Chris Wagner has made more than 15,000 jumps, amassed 233 hours of freefall time and built a huge résumé of accomplishments. As a member of the U.S. Army Golden Knights from 1983 to 1991, he earned numerous national and world championships in 4-way and 8-way formation skydiving and served as both team captain and team leader. In 1986, he was on the first 100-way formation skydive, and in 1988, he was part of the Olympic Rings Team that jumped into the Seoul Olympics. Currently, Wagner teaches advanced freefall techniques for the U.S. Navy, holds numerous USPA ratings, is a national judge for formation skydiving and is a Federal Aviation Administration Senior Rigger. more »

Tales from the Bonfire - Those Human Feelings

Tag: Tales from the Bonfire, September 2015

by Dan Gingold | B-39878 | Brooklyn, New York

I met Bryan in Florida on my very first day skydiving. Bryan had driven down from New York City to practice wingsuiting. His girlfriend, Katherine, came with him to go through the AFF program and was in my first-jump course. All through ground school and training that day, my nervousness rose. I rode to altitude quaking. When I landed, I felt such an incredible elation. Afterward, drinking a beer with Katherine and Bryan, I tried to describe what I had felt. I remember Bryan, with a huge smile on his face, listening knowingly. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Pierre Tomasini

Tag: How Skydiving Changed My Life, September 2015


by Pierre Tomasini | B-41392 | Tempe, Arizona

One evening in France in 1982, a national-news broadcast featured a story on a skydiving school’s open house. I immediately perceived that there was no need to be an athlete to jump: Gravity works for everybody. It was a big revelation for my teenaged mind. I told my parents that I wanted to jump, and fortunately they did not make it difficult. more »

Gearing Up - September 2015

Tag: Gearing Up, September 2015


The vision of a national skydiving museum that would collect, archive and showcase skydiving’s unique history began with William H. “Bill” Ottley. Bill served three separate terms on USPA’s board from the mid-1960s through the late-1970s, and then served as USPA’s executive director from 1978-1992. In 1972, Ottley filed corporate documents and had what was then called the American Museum of Sport Parachuting and Air Safety (changed in 2005 to the National Skydiving Museum) incorporated as a charitable organization. From the start, the museum—which has its own, separate board of trustees—has been distinct from USPA. more »

Project Strato-Jump I, II, and III

Tag: Feature, August 2015, Historic

Photos by Phil Chiocchio

One spring day in the early 1960s, Nick Piantanida traveled to the recently opened Lakewood Parachute Center in New Jersey to watch people jumping and knew instantly that he wanted to get involved. He soon began taking lessons and jumping regularly. Parachuting became Piantanida’s new passion, and he earned D-778 in November 1964. Skydiving was more rewarding than anything he had done before. It started him on a journey to become a remarkable high achiever, and it altered the direction and purpose of his life in ways he never foresaw. more »

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