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Wingsuit Deployments Part 2

Wingsuit Deployments Part 2

Advanced Techniques by Matt Gerdes with contributions from Chris Geiler, Will Kitto and Rich Webb. more »

The Seven Keys to Downsizing

The Seven Keys to Downsizing

“The most deadly aspect of skydiving isn’t swooping or wingsuiting or big-ways or collisions or whatever you think it is. It’s lack of patience.” more »

Summer in Seattle

Summer in Seattle

For many who attended the summer USPA Board of Directors meeting July 21-23, Seattle, Washington, offered respite from the oppressive heat blanketing most of the country. Armed with research and member feedback, the directors arrived in the Emerald City ready to tackle difficult topics and ensure the association’s continued success.   more »

The Clouds in Our Heads—On the Lake Erie Tragedy and the False Security of Technology

The Clouds in Our Heads—On the Lake Erie Tragedy and the False Security of Technology

On August 27, 1967, 16 skydivers died on the same load. What has come to be known as “The Lake Erie Tragedy” resulted in more fatalities than any other skydiving-related accident since. This month marks its 50th anniversary. more »

You Make Me Sick!

Some tandem instructors rarely have a problem with students becoming nauseated under canopy, while others frequently land with their students (and themselves) covered in vomit. Is it a coincidence? If it happens with any regularity, probably not. more »

Tracking Dives

Tracking dives are popular among jumpers with a wide range of jump numbers and skill levels. In addition, the size of the tracking group can be very flexible, limited only by the number of jumpers and the type of aircraft available (although common sense dictates that if there are newer jumpers on a tracking dive, the size of the group should be kept small). But regardless of whether a tracking dive includes one jumper or 32, or whether it consists of fresh A-license holders or world-champion record-setters, there are special considerations that every participant needs to understand. more »

Wave of the Future—Building an 8-Way VFS Dive Pool

with contributions from Mike Wittenburg and photos by Adam Tippie

Ten years ago, finding enough flyers capable of forming an 8-way head-down round was challenging. Multi-point formations of this size were even rarer, and most vertical formation skydiving (VFS) organizers concentrated on achieving a single point. Since then, skydiving has evolved. Freeflying and VFS are becoming more popular at drop zones around the world, and it looks like 8-way VFS may be the next challenge on the horizon. more »

Ripcord!

Turn back the clock for a moment and imagine it’s the early 1960s. The television screenwriters of the time are scrambling for something sensational to base their next show on. The genre of the day, aside from westerns, is low-budget action-adventure. The writers use a simple but sure-fire formula, in which some new-fangled technology forms the backdrop for good guys to fight bad guys. The concept worked successfully for scuba diving in “Sea Hunt,” twin-engine aircraft in “Sky King,” high-speed airboats in “The Everglades” and helicopters in “Whirlybirds.” So what’s left? Well, there’s this daring, new sport of parachuting looking for an outlet... Voilà! “Ripcord” is born. more »

Profile - Keri Bell | D-15889

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20108Keri Bell is a third-generation jumper. She is a member of the Farrington family of skydivers in the Pacific Northwest— her grandparents were pioneers of the sport. Bell has traveled the globe participating in para-ski events and world-record-setting jumps such as 1999’s 282-way formation skydive in Thailand. Currently, Bell manages her family’s drop zone, Kapowsin Air Sports in Shelton, Washington, where she is also the Safety & Training Advisor. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Reno Soverns

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by Reno Soverns | A-57030 | Vallejo, California

It was, as they say, on my “bucket list.” I was 42 years old, at least 50 pounds overweight, and I’d just ended a 10-year relationship that had been anything but good. I needed some excitement in my life. When I walked onto the drop zone on August 8, 2009, I expected to put a check mark by that item on my list and never return. more »

Gearing Up - August 2010

EdScott

Over the past few years, USPA has been working to increase the association’s membership count. Our efforts appear to be paying off with a steady increase in both first-jump and membership numbers, thanks to a very active two-pronged strategy: encouraging positive media coverage of skydiving, which we label “promotion,” and encouraging those who have made their first jumps to continue in the sport, which we call “retention.” It makes little sense for USPA to market itself to the non-skydiving public; if you’re not a skydiver, then USPA has little to offer. So instead, our goals are to promote skydiving itself and to increase retention of those who have tried it. more »

What Danger Lurks?

Almost any weekend, tandem instructors and skydiving school managers hear some variation of this question from a licensed jumper: “Hey, I brought my (insert one of the following: girlfriend, brother, mom, boyfriend, sister, buddy) out for a tandem jump; is it OK if I tag along on the skydive?” more »

The Answer is Blowing in the Wind

Most of the time, it’s pretty easy to figure out which weather conditions—low clouds, rain, freezing temperatures—should put a halt to jumping. However, the one weather condition that always seems to bite skydivers, year after year, is the wind. What some may consider comfortable wind conditions may very well be too difficult for others to handle. So, how do you decide when the winds are too dangerous for you to jump? There are a lot of factors to consider: more »

Deployment Handles

This jumper experienced a main-canopy deployment as soon as he exited a Twin Otter during a multi-aircraft large-formation skydive. Luckily, the exit and deployment were otherwise uneventful, and the jumpers exiting after him were not in the path of the deploying main canopy. His main-deployment handle may have snagged on an oxygen tube (used during high-altitude flights) or on some other part of the airplane as he moved toward the door to start his dive toward the formation. more »

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