A Welcome Winter Respite

A Welcome Winter Respite

The Winter 2015 USPA Board of Directors Meeting more »

Parachutes Incorporated: The Genesis of Commercial Skydiving

Parachutes Incorporated: The Genesis of Commercial Skydiving

The author takes a look at the beginning of skydiving as we know it. more »

How to Execute a Perfect PLF

How to Execute a Perfect PLF

The author discusses the importance of the PLF and how to do it properly. more »

Freeflying: Where to Start?

Freeflying: Where to Start?

Expert freeflyers talk about how to get started in the discipline. more »

Profile - Zach Lewis | D-21616

Tag: Profiles, July 2015

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20157Photographer Zach Lewis took to the skies in 1997 and naturally gravitated toward camera flying. Attracted to the precision and engineering of formation skydiving, he became a successful camera flyer for nationally competitive FS teams in his native Texas. In addition to contributing many remarkable photos to Parachutist , he authors a popular photo-interview series in Blue Skies Magazine that combines his good-humored inquisitiveness with his photography talent. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - J.T. Valente

Tag: How Skydiving Changed My Life, July 2015


by J.T. Valente | D-26340 | Mount Holly, New Jersey

When I was 9 years old, I witnessed my first skydive. That was when I knew my dream of flying could become reality. Nine years later, I made plans to jump with a friend who worked for a skydiver. We toasted with a few drinks on the eve of our big event. The next morning he chickened out, and I was left without a connection to the sky. more »

Gearing Up - July 2015

Tag: Gearing Up, July 2015


One way USPA engages in its mission of “supporting safe skydiving and those who enjoy it” is through a very active government relations effort aimed at removing obstacles to drop zone establishment and reducing government burden on established DZs. Usually these efforts take the form of advocating against restrictive regulations (whether local, state or federal) or challenging arbitrary decisions by government employees that unfairly try to deny skydivers the use of airports and airspace. But occasionally overzealous tax agents see busy DZs and think that government deserves a place at the banquet table, and USPA has to act to keep them away. more »

A Welcome Winter Respite

Tag: Feature, June 2015

From March 27–29, the USPA Board of Directors gathered in Daytona Beach, Florida, for the fifth meeting of its three-year term alongside the 2015 Parachute Industry Association Symposium. Since many on the board left behind frigid temperatures—and in some cases, feet of snow—it’s no surprise that they welcomed the area’s warm weather and spring-break atmosphere, even though most sat on committees with packed agendas that kept them busy indoors much of the time. more »

Sit-to-Sit Cartwheel

Tag: Foundations of Flight, Freefly, Instructional, June 2015
Axis Flight Logo Skydive Arizona Logo

Brought to you by AXIS Flight School Instructor Niklas Daniel at Skydive Arizona in Eloy. Photos by Brianne Thompson. For more information visit more »

Avoiding Canopy Collisions

Tag: Safety Check, June 2015

Do not fly your canopy into another canopy. It seems like a fairly easy-to-follow concept. Yet somehow, we continue to see fatal accidents due to canopy collisions each year, not to mention a lot of near-misses. Every single collision is avoidable. Every. Single. One. But creating safer skies requires some effort on everyone’s part. more »

Tandem Selfie

Tag: The Rating Corner, June 2015

Should tandem instructors allow their students to wear small video cameras such as the GoPro to film their own jumps? This question came up at a recent standardization meeting for tandem instructor examiners—which included some of the most experienced tandem skydivers on the planet—and none of them felt that it is reasonable to allow a student to wear a camera of any type. Additionally, Skydiver’s Information Manual Section 6-8 recommends that skydivers have at least 200 jumps before using any camera on a skydive. However, some drop zones are allowing it. more »

Profile - Olav Zipser | D-11733

Tag: Profiles, June 2015

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20156Olav Zipser, D-11733, spearheaded the freefly revolution of the early 1990s. Zipser founded the Space Games freefly competition and has earned numerous championships and records, as well as an Emmy award for his work on ESPN’s “X-Games.” He has traveled extensively for decades teaching jumpers all over the world his art of freeflying, and his students say he has a Zen-like presence in the sky. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Tiffany Becker

Tag: How Skydiving Changed My Life, June 2015


by Tiffany Becker | C-40498 | Acworth, Georgia

"I'll never, ever skydive." I said those words out loud at one point in my life, partly because I was genuinely scared and partly because I could sense the pull toward the sky. Later, as a single, 27-year-old woman, I heard my sister say she would skydive, and I caught myself responding that I would jump with her. I seemed to have forgotten about that "never, ever" part and made tandem reservations for the two of us. We spent the day at the hangar waiting out clouds, and when it came time for us to jump, we had the plane to ourselves. I didn't want to witness my sister falling out of the plane, so I volunteered to jump ahead of her. My first thought once I landed was, "Why was I so scared of this? It's amazing!" After we walked back to the hangar, my tandem instructor gave me a brochure about AFF, and that's when I knew I was hooked. more »

Gearing Up - June 2015

Tag: Gearing Up, June 2015


Some longtime members may have begun to wonder if they somehow missed a recent election of USPA board members. They didn’t. An election is scheduled for this fall, and for those interested in running for the board, the process begins now. Anyone who has been a USPA member in good standing for two years and who is at least 18 years old as of August 1 can submit the required materials described below to qualify as a candidate. more »

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