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 »

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 »

Hoop Dives

Tag: Safety Check, March 2014

Did you ever look at a photo of a skydiver passing through a hula-hoop and wonder just how cool it must be to do a hoop dive? The 2009-2010 Skydiver’s Information Manual even had a hoop dive on the cover, so they must be fun and safe, right? Well, they are lots of fun, but in reality, few hoop dives go as designed, so everyone needs to stay heads-up when the original plan falls to pieces. Since most hoop dives end up looking more like Keystone Cops movies than anything resembling skydiving, the jumpers must prepare carefully and have alternate dive plans in place. more »

Rating Renewal Seminars

Tag: The Rating Corner, March 2014

With the approaching warmer weather and the start of the skydiving season for a large part of the northern hemisphere, it’s a perfect time for drop zone staff to gather and hold a season-opening staff meeting. One of the tasks USPA requires of each rating holder is to attend a USPA Rating Renewal Seminar annually. The Skydiver’s Information Manual defines the seminar as, “A meeting of USPA instructional rating holders to exchange information, introduce and discuss new ideas, and to develop, improve, or assure the quality of skydiving instruction.” more »

Tales from the Bonfire - The Waynesville Story

Tag: Tales from the Bonfire, March 2014

by Mike Schultz | D-1180
Crofton, Maryland more »

Profile - Joe Abeln | D-28755

Tag: Profiles, March 2014

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20143After serving a tour in the Middle East as a member of the historic 82nd Airborne Division, Joe Abeln tried out for the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights and made the cut. Since then, Abeln has flown video for President George H.W. Bush’s tandem jump and taken actor Vince Vaughn on a high-profile tandem into the city of Chicago. Along with being an instructor and videographer, he’s an accomplished canopy piloting competitor, demonstration skydiver and freeflyer. Dedicated and driven, Abeln is everything one would expect from a member of the U.S. military. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Wendy Helton

Tag: How Skydiving Changed My Life, March 2014


by Wendy Helton | B-38074 | Mount Pleasant, North Carolina

The year 2011 found me struggling with the effects of my recent divorce. I was floundering like a fish out of water, just gasping for that last breath of air. Sadly, there were moments when I wondered if life was even worth still living. more »

Gearing Up - March 2014

Tag: Gearing Up, March 2014


In 1996, Patti Chernis, a Northwest jumper who won election to the USPA Board that year but perished on a skydive before taking her seat, advanced the idea of the skydiving community spending a day early in each season to focus on safety. In 1997, USPA Safety Day—a day when DZs host seminars, demonstrations and discussions about how to enhance each skydiver’s level of safety—began. more »

Save the Date: March 8, 2014

Tag: Feature, February 2014, Safety Day

It’s hard to believe that spring is just around the corner, and it is time once again for USPA Safety Day! The event takes place each year on the second Saturday in March, but some drop zones will use an alternate date, and some will host the event at a location other than the DZ. Check with your local drop zone to make sure you show up at the correct time and in the right place! more »

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