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Lee Schlichtemeier Receives the 2016 USPA Lifetime Achievement Award

Lee Schlichtemeier Receives the 2016 USPA Lifetime Achievement Award

USPA gave special recognition to Dr. Alvin Lee Schlichtemeier by presenting him with the association’s highest honor, the USPA Lifetime Achievement Award. more »

Skydiving-Related Aircraft Accidents 2016

Skydiving-Related Aircraft Accidents 2016

Because skydiving is dependent on aircraft, it’s essential to understand the risk of the ride to altitude. One way to evaluate that risk is to review recent jump plane accidents. Philosopher George Santayana said, "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."  more »

2016 Fatality Summary—The Same Problems

2016 Fatality Summary—The Same Problems

During 2016, the United States Parachute Association recorded 21 skydiving deaths in the U.S. This is the same number of deaths as in 2015 and slightly below the average for the last 10 years. more »

Brimming With Hospitality—The Winter 2017 USPA Board of Directors Meeting

Brimming With Hospitality—The Winter 2017 USPA Board of Directors Meeting

The Scenic City—brimming with southern hospitality—was the perfect host for the 2017 USPA Board of Directors’ winter meeting held February 10-12. more »

Gearing Up - November 2016

EdScott

Right up there with agricultural aviation, flying skydivers is one of the most demanding non-military aviation jobs. If the weather is good and manifest is busy, the jump pilot can count on working the entire day—sunrise to sunset—eating and hydrating in the airplane and getting few breaks. Load, taxi, takeoff, climb, level, descend, land, taxi and repeat. There is no en-route phase of flight where the pilot can kick back with cruise settings or engage an autopilot. more »

Without A Parachute—Luke Aikins Dares The Impossible And Succeeds

When Luke Aikins jumped from 25,000 feet without a parachute on July 30 and landed safely, it put him in the company of those who achieved other epic breakthroughs in skydiving—Joseph Kittinger leaping from 102,800 feet, Felix Baumgartner breaking the sound barrier, Gary Connery landing a wingsuit—with one caveat: Aikins’ jump wasn’t technically a skydive. Skydiving is the act of jumping from an aircraft with a parachute (the “P” in USPA), which of course Aikins didn’t have. Still, skydiving made it possible.

more »

Action Camera Placement

With point-of-view cameras now an integral part of our sport, we’re seeing more instances where these cameras are affecting safety in a very negative way. Most country’s skydiving organizations demand a sensible minimum experience level of 200 jumps or more before skydivers can use any type of camera, and not without reason. (USPA recommends that jumpers hold a USPA C license and have made 50 jumps on the same parachute equipment used for camera flying.) In skydiving—and BASE jumping, as well—many dangerous situations and even deadly accidents have occurred when a pilot chute or other part of a jumper’s gear wrapped around a camera. As when dealing with all problems in life, prevention is best.
Here’s some advice about placing your camera. more »

How to Become a USPA Instructor Examiner

So, you have been an instructor for quite some time, have all of this knowledge and experience and would like to pass it on to the new generation of coaches and instructors. Congratulations! You are now ready to advance to the sport’s university level by achieving USPA’s highest instructional rating, the examiner rating (coach examiner or instructor examiner).

Of all rating courses, examiner courses are the ones that jumpers are most confused about. Many believe that taking an Instructor Examiner Rating Course alone will make someone an examiner. The truth is that it is just one of the many requirements. more »

Tales from the Bonfire - How NOT to Break a World Record

“Basically, there are only two things you must do on any skydive: pull and flare. In that order. If you forget the first one, don’t worry about the second.” I have occasionally made that facetious statement as a funny way to explain simplifying priorities. But in the sunny skies over Rochelle, Illinois, in June 2013, those priorities were no joke. W hile hurling myself at the planet with a broken right arm, I was challenged to put my own advice to the ultimate test. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Wendy Jones

by Wendy Jones | C-42940 | Austin, Texas

To describe how skydiving changed my life, I’ll begin with why I did it in the first place. In February 2013, I sustained a complete ACL tear and three impaction fractures while practicing my other great passion in life, tae kwon do. The orthopedic surgeon gave two options: 1) have reconstructive surgery including a tissue graft followed by nine months of physical therapy or 2) never do martial art or sports involving legs again. The decision was easy, since a life without recreation is unimaginable to me. However, nine months with no tae kwon do, no gym, no sports, no anything except physical rehab was a bitter pill. more »

Profile - Tom Sanders | D-6503

by Brian Giboney

Legendary aerial cinematographer Tom Sanders, D-6503, has filmed skydiving scenes for dozens of movies, including “Drop Zone,” many James Bond films and the original “Point Break,” which inspired thousands of people to become skydivers. His resume also includes countless TV commercials, the award-winning documentary “Over the Edge” and coordinating filming of the 1988 Olympic Rings skydive. In 2005, USPA awarded him its Gold Medal for Meritorious Service. He is the 200th person profiled since this column began in February 2000. more »

Back-Fly-to-Belly Front-Flip Transition

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 David Cherry. Information about AXIS' coaching and instructional services is available at axisflightschool.com. more »

Accessories

When performing your gear checks, remember to check your accessories, too!

Aircraft Knowledge

A group of 24 jumpers boards a Twin Otter and the last one to board can’t find a seatbelt. So two jumpers share a belt so everyone is belted in for takeoff. The jumpers think this is OK, and the pilot has no idea what’s happening because he can’t see what is going on in the back of the plane.
The left main tire on a Cessna 182 is bald. In spite of complaints to the drop zone owner from the Safety and Training Advisor, the DZO and pilot continue to fly the airplane load after load. The tire finally pops. Luckily, it blows while the plane is taxiing to the runway.

How much do you know and understand about the airplane you jump from every weekend? more »

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