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 »

Jumping with Toys

We’ve all seen the great photos in Parachutist of smiling jumpers riding in rafts, dangling from a tube or hanging upside down from an unruly, inflatable shark. It sure looks like fun, and in almost every case, it really is a blast! But jumping with toys presents challenges that can turn a fun skydive into a nightmare in a split second, so you need to use caution and common sense on these jumps, just as on any other skydive. more »

Closing Loop Length

Q:Recently, someone gave me a pin check and told me that my closing loop was too long because the grommets of my main container were not stacked vertically. The pin fits very snugly in the closing loop and holds my container tightly closed. Is it OK if my grommets are not aligned vertically when I close my main container? more »

High Original Genius: Charles Broadwick and His Backpack Parachute

High original genius is always ridiculed on its first appearance, most of all by those who have won themselves the highest reputation in working on the established lines. Genius only commands recognition when it has created the taste which is to appreciate it.

—James Anthony Froude more »

Profile - Karen Lewis | D-24575

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE201010Karen Lewis is a PRO-rated canopy pilot and freefall photographer based at Perris Valley Skydiving Center in California. She started skydiving in 1997 and since then has built up an impressive medal collection from the USPA National Skydiving Championships. Though Lewis is known mostly as a camera flyer, she is also an instructor, swooper and FAA-certified parachute rigger. She was also very active with Jump for the Cause (JFTC), the organization that set multiple women’s large-formation world records while raising money for the fight against breast cancer. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Lois Davis


by Lois Davis | B-33903 | Springfield, Missouri

Twenty-five years ago, when I was in veterinary school, I had a classmate who posted an advertisement about skydiving on a bulletin board in a school hallway. Although he never got enough people together to make it happen, he planted a seed in my mind: Someday, I would check out the sport. Then I graduated, went to work and got married. more »

Gearing Up - October 2010


Once the facts emerge after a fatality, USPA catalogues it into one of several categories for record-keeping purposes. The canopy-related category is a broad one that includes accidents involving low turns (both intentional and unintentional), botched landings, canopy formation entanglements and canopy collisions—basically, any accident that occurs after a jumper deploys a fully functional parachute. more »

USPA Instructional Programs Through the Years

When the Integrated Student Program (ISP) was approved at the July 2000 USPA Board meeting after two years of testing and development, the next task at hand was restructuring the instructional rating system. The rating system that originated with the static-line program had become a confusing patchwork, pieced together when the Accelerated Freefall (AFF), Tandem and Instructor-Assisted Deployment (IAD) training methods and the Coach rating came along. The Instructor Examiner rating also needed a complete overhaul, since it had remained virtually unchanged since its introduction in 1962. It was definitely time to simplify this hodgepodge. more »

Misassembled Soft Links

While walking through the DZ hangar, a rigger noticed a licensed jumper’s main canopy attached to risers with soft links (Slinks®) that he had assembled incorrectly. The jumper had passed the soft link through the suspension lines of the main canopy only one time; when correctly assembled, the soft link passes through both the suspension lines and riser twice before the ends are secured together. He had jumped the canopy a few times in this misrigged configuration, and luckily the main canopy remained attached to the risers. The jumper, who was also the owner of the rig, thought that he had correctly followed the assembly instructions and didn’t consult a rigger. Replacing hard links with soft links is a complex assembly operation, which if done incorrectly could result in injury or death. According to the FAA, the maintenance should have been performed by a master rigger, senior rigger or by the owner while under the supervision of a master rigger. more »

Wings in Water

Everyone who holds a USPA B or higher license is required to have undergone live water training and should have an understanding of how to survive an unintentional water landing. However, wingsuits add another dimension to water landings and can complicate an already difficult situation. Recently, a group of jumpers set out to discover how a wingsuit water landing might differ from one in a traditional suit. They performed a total of 46 water entries into swimming pools, including some into a pool that had a moving current. They entered from diving boards and platforms, with and without attached main canopies, wearing fully zipped and partially zipped suits, and were sometimes fully clothed beneath those suits, including wearing heavy boots. more »

Tracking—Theory and Application

photos by Niklas Daniel

Tracking is an area that jumpers, regardless of skill level, need to continually practice and improve. Even those who have made thousands of skydives often need to go back and hone the basics, since many will have formed inefficient habits over the years. more »

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Ed Scott

Elijah Florio
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