99 Problems, But The Wind Ain’t One

99 Problems, But The Wind Ain’t One

Given that wind conditions change constantly, being able to properly read and compensate for them is an important skill set for students and competition pilots alike.  more »

Finding the FLOW

Finding the FLOW

What Four High-Profile Accidents Can Teach Us About Finding the Ideal Mental State for Survival more »

Practical Tips for Cloud Clearance

Practical Tips for Cloud Clearance

Most jumpers have a difficult time remembering the cloud clearance regulations, but understanding the reasons for the different altitude requirements can help you remember the necessary information. more »

Winter is Coming

Winter is Coming

Winter comes for all of us, whether you’re of the Great House of Chicagoland or the Great House of Perris. While the season’s arrival clearly hits the Lords of the North hardest, every skydiver in the 50 Kingdoms needs to maintain at least some awareness of cold-season strategy. more »

Differences in Reserve Parachute Systems



Do all reserve parachute systems work about the same, or are there real differences? more »

Dislodged Reserve Ripcord Handle

A jumper on a 4-way freefly skydive inadvertently dislodged this jumper’s reserve handle while reaching for a grip on exit. Jumpers should use caution when taking grips to help prevent this scenario. more »

Profile - Sally Hathaway | D-17133

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20112Sally Hathaway, D-17133, has medaled in formation skydiving at a number of USPA Nationals and has achieved an impressive four women’s 4-way formation skydiving world championships. Hathaway jumps at Skydive City in Zephyrhills, Florida, and makes her living in the world of skydiving—she’s a USPA AFF Instructor and Coach Examiner; an FAA Master Rigger and owner of Paragone Rigging; and a wind tunnel coach at SkyVenture in Orlando, with more than 1,000 hours in the tunnel. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Matt Feeser


by Matt Feeser | USPA #213775 | York, Pennsylvania

My journey into the sport of skydiving was a little different than most. Like many people, skydiving was something I always said that I wanted to do, but it seemed to be something I just kept talking about rather than doing. Although for me, skydiving is a bit more difficult than for most people. more »

Gearing Up - February 2011


The year 2010 ended with 21 U.S. skydiving fatalities, 70 percent of which were canopy related (meaning the jumper successfully deployed a parachute but did not survive the landing). Earlier this year, USPA decided to gather industry experts for a Canopy Safety Summit (see page 23 for participants) and created a web page to solicit ideas and comments from all sources for consideration by the group. more »

Why You Shouldn’t Leave Your Rig in the Trunk of Your Car

A jumper left his rig in the trunk of his car for a few months before giving it to his rigger for a reserve repack. During the inspection, the rigger discovered that a stow band had melted to the grommet on the main deployment bag. As the photo shows, it took quite a bit force to break the stow band and allow the deployment bag to open fully. The melted stow band was a black rubber band from an unknown source. There have been similar cases reported in the past of black rubber bands melting and sticking to grommets or even disintegrating into small pieces. This may be caused by a chemical reaction between the rubber band and grommet or by the heat generated in the trunk of a car. more »

Making Sure a Used Rig Fits



I want to buy a used rig from an internet site, but I’m not sure it will fit. How can I find out before I ask the seller to ship it, and can the size of the harness be adjusted? more »

Choosing the Correct Canopies for Your Students

There are many variables to consider when deciding what size canopy a student should jump. Years ago, this was not really an issue—every student jumped a 300-square-foot canopy, and instructors didn’t need to make a choice. But while larger canopies allowed for soft landings (at least in most cases), the very low wing loadings meant that even the slightest amount of wind caused students to fly backward. In those days, it was not unusual for students to back into trees, power lines or other landing hazards. more »

Hypoxia: Impending Judgment on Reaction Times

The Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) set the requirements for the use of oxygen while on aircraft in Section 91.211 of the FAA’s General Operating and Flight Rules. The section applies to pilots and passengers, including skydivers, even though there is no mention of oxygen use in the more familiar Part 105, Parachute Operations. Jump pilots are required to use supplemental oxygen above 14,000 feet mean sea level (MSL), and supplemental oxygen must be provided to each skydiver when the aircraft is above 15,000 feet MSL. The USPA Basic Safety Requirements also mandate the use of supplemental oxygen for skydives above 15,000 feet MSL. more »

Thinking on your Feet—Improving Your Sit-Fly

photography by Brianne Thompson

Whether you are just learning to sit-fly or have simply hit a plateau in your learning curve, fine-tuning your basic head-up body position is worth the time. Many jumpers, even those for whom sit-flying initially came easily, find themselves stuck in place or unstable if they try to move from a neutral position to drive forward or take a dock. This article explains the basic mechanics of the sit orientation and offers solutions to common problems. more »

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Ed Scott

Elijah Florio
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