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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 »

Wingsuit Deployments Part 1

Wingsuit Deployments Part 1

The tricky part—the part that even some highly experienced skydivers struggle with—is deploying and opening the parachute. more »

Inspiring Current and Future Skydivers—The 2017 Skydiving Hall of Fame

Inspiring Current and Future Skydivers—The 2017 Skydiving Hall of Fame

Each year since its inception, the Hall of Fame pays tribute to a select few men and women who have distinguished themselves over a lifetime of participation in the sport.  more »

Is Indoor Skydiving Skydiving? USPA seeks member input

Is Indoor Skydiving Skydiving? USPA seeks member input

Is indoor skydiving actually skydiving, or is it only related to skydiving? more »

The Secrets of D.B. Cooper, Part One - Notorious Flight 305

Would you jump into a mountain forest for $1,052,000? In the dark? In the rain? In November?
In 1971, one man did. Unfortunately, the cash was stolen and the aircraft was hijacked Boeing 727 with fighter jets and FBI agents in a helicopter following it.
Was he an experienced skydiver or an ordinary criminal attempting an extraordinary theft? Did he survive and escape, or perish in a forest in Washington State? Thirty-nine years later, no one knows for sure.
more »

Profile - Mary Bauer | D-8123

by Brian Giboney

PROFILE20105Mary Bauer has been jumping since 1981. She has more than 15,000 jumps, is a USPA AFF Instructor, Static-Line Instructor Examiner and Safety and Training Advisor, an FAA Senior Parachute Rigger and Commercial Pilot, and is instrumental in running Skydive Wissota/Indianhead Sport Parachute Club in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Bauer was very active in Jump for the Cause (JFTC) and participated in the 118-, 131-, 151- and 181-way women’s world record jumps. As a member of World Team, she was part of the 300-, 357- and 400-way formation skydiving world records. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Bob Davies

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by Bob Davies | D-13735 | Lake Forest, California

As years of skydiving passed, I noticed that my jumpsuits were starting to get tighter. My fall rate became a challenge, and I couldn’t guarantee that I would be able to honor my part of the skydive. But since I was only making six jumps a month, I continued on as if everything were normal. more »

Gearing Up - May 2010

EdScott

As a USPA member you pay annual dues, including extra fees for adding a license or adding or renewing an instructional rating. Drop zones also pay dues to USPA if they choose to affiliate as a Group Member. All of these fees increased last year as one measure to halt annual budget deficits that had become the norm since 2003. more »

Comparing AADs

Q:
What should I consider when purchasing an automatic activation device (AAD)? more »

In the Right Spot

As skydiving equipment, training and drop zone operations have changed over the past 20 years, so has the act of spotting. The widespread use of larger aircraft and GPS technology has caused the true art of spotting to slowly disappear. Although technology now helps jumpers accurately exit over the airport, we shouldn’t simply rely on a green light to tell us when to leave the plane. more »

Last-Minute Adjustments

This jumper performed her regular gear checks—one before boarding the aircraft, again while the aircraft was climbing and one just prior to arriving at exit altitude—in preparation for a freefly jump. However, after the final check, she removed her helmet in order to put on her goggles and forgot to re-buckle the strap. Soon after exiting, as she transitioned from a head-down position to a sit, the helmet flew off her head. The jumper caught the moment on her chest-mounted camera. No one was struck by the departing helmet, so it was a harmless (but expensive) oversight. Jumpers who make last-minute adjustments should perform an additional gear check just to make sure nothing has been overlooked. more »

Preventing Tandem Fatalities

A look at USPA’s fatality statistics shows an alarming trend: While overall skydiving fatalities decreased during the past 10 years compared to the two previous decades, student fatalities increased. With better training programs and equipment than ever before, the number of student fatalities should have declined just as the total numbers have. The reasons for student fatalities vary, but many could have had different outcomes had the instructors stuck with standard procedures for working with students and supervised them more closely. more »

The Safest Year—The 2009 Fatality Summary

To find a year in which there were fewer U.S. skydiving deaths than 2009, we have to go back to 1961, when there were 14. Considering that USPA membership is more than nine times what it was in 1961 (and that 2009’s members almost certainly made more than nine times the number of jumps), the 16 skydiving deaths that occurred in 2009 indicate that our sport has made real advances in safety. However, anyone who has been touched by the death of a jumper knows that a single fatality is one too many. When we consider the loss that these deaths represent—and the fact that most could have been easily prevented in ways identified years ago—it is clear that we still have a lot of room for improvement. more »

Getting Down to Work—The USPA Board of Directors 2010 Winter Meeting

The USPA Board of Directors gathered for its winter meeting February 19-21 in Phoenix. In a departure from Arizona’s usual sunny skies and arid climate, a cool rain fell outside while the directors got down to business inside, working smoothly and efficiently to complete a full agenda in near-record time. more »

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Ed Scott
Publisher

Elijah Florio
Editor in Chief, Advertising Manager

Laura Sharp
Managing Editor

Colby Walls
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