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Airmanship for Canopy Pilots

Airmanship for Canopy Pilots

As an aircraft pilot should be aware of his aircraft, the environment in which the aircraft operates and his own capabilities, skydivers must possess awareness and discipline when flying canopies. more »

How to Nail a Gear Check

How to Nail a Gear Check

Let me ask you this: When was the last time that you saw the pilot running down a safety checklist on the jump plane? If you’re paying attention, you certainly have. more »

Military Aviation's Lessons for Skydivers

Pilots die more often in training mishaps than from enemy actions. This safety training includes lessons on the Swiss-cheese-mishap model, normalization of deviance, complacency and risk management. But how does this apply to skydiving? more »

Parachute Flight Dynamics

Parachute Flight Dynamics

The goal of any skilled canopy pilot is to take command of the parachute system so as to dictate his location under the wing at any given time. more »

A Low-Cost Life Saver

Q:
How do I make a closing loop? How do I know if mine needs replacing? more »

Light Box

TRICKSOFTHETRADE20101-1Light tables can be a real help when working with canopy fabric, but they're a little bulky, especially for a rigger who works out of varying locations. Here's a more portable option: a light box. Just find, buy or make a plastic or glass box that will be big enough to light a worthwhile area, but small enough to fit inside most canopy cells. Install some small lights on one half of the interior of the box. LED lights are probably best, since they're highly shock resistant and give off almost no heat. A set from a big box store costs around $10. The top surface of the box can be translucent plastic for most purposes, but would have to be made of sturdy glass if any hot knifing will be done on it. A clear piece of glass or plastic can be made translucent by spraying a very light coat of white paint on the inside surface, which will help brighten and even out the light. more »

The Reasons for the Rules

While every skydiving fatality is a tragedy, tandem student and instructor fatalities are doubly so. But the truly tragic part is not just that two lives are often lost in a single accident, it is the fact that most, if not all, tandem fatalities to date could have been avoided by sticking to standard procedures. A trained, professional tandem instructor controls a tandem jump from the ground training to landing, but in spite of that, tandem fatalities have been on the rise over the last five years. more »

Performing a Wingsuit Gear Check

With the rise of popularity of wingsuiting, even if you’ve never flown a wingsuit, you may be in the position to give a gear check to someone wearing one. Although many of the techniques go back to the basics of skydiving, others are particular to the discipline. Adding to the confusion is that wingsuit design varies by brand and model, and suits can be rigged differently depending on how the container is designed or due to jumper preference. So if there is ever any doubt as you go through the following steps, consult the manufacturer. more »

Gearing Up - January 2010

As the USPA staff prepares the 2010 budget for review and approval at the February board meeting, we first determine the issues and initiatives that need to be addressed in the new year. In government relations, USPA has developed winning strategies that assist current and prospective DZOs with their airport access issues. These days, more often than not, skydiving is securing its right of access to airports that receive federal funding. But the workload on staff is demanding, so we’re determined to put more resources on our web site so that airport access issues become more do-it-yourself, under USPA guidance, while still remaining successful. more »

Flying a Flag

Demo jumps made with flags and banners can be great publicity for the sport if done correctly. Although there are a number of different setups, the most popular for demo jumps is known as the "drop flag," so called because the flag is dropped down on a lanyard for display below the jumper’s body. Drop flags are pretty awesome to see, make great symbols of pride and can be very effective advertising. more »

Good Pilot/Bad Pilot

Flying an unairworthy aircraft is like jumping a tattered old rig with a parachute that has big holes in it. And having an untrained or unqualified pilot fly an unairworthy plane is like giving that tattered old rig to a student and not teaching him how to cut away and pull his reserve. Seems absurd, right? Sadly, history shows us a long list of aircraft accidents in the skydiving industry that started with a poorly maintained plane flown by someone who didn’t know how to appropriately handle the malfunctions that occurred. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Ann Rezbanyay

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by Ann Rezbanyay | C-36575 | Northville, Michigan

 It was the summer of 2006 in southeastern Michigan. I was barely 23 years old, growing my destination wedding photography biz and in the midst of being a serial dater attempting to find someone who could keep up with my passion for extreme sports. Every date I had was atypical and centered on adventure. Trying to not repeat anything, it was only a matter of time before one of my dates included skydiving. more »

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Ed Scott
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Elijah Florio
Editor in Chief, Advertising Manager

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